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2,810 Norwegian (NCL) Miami Cruise Reviews

We bid on and upgrade suite and got it.. it looked the same as a regular suite with double the size balcony and bathroom.. 3 of us in the room so it was comfortable. Mark took care of our room.. he was great and brought us anything we ... Read More
We bid on and upgrade suite and got it.. it looked the same as a regular suite with double the size balcony and bathroom.. 3 of us in the room so it was comfortable. Mark took care of our room.. he was great and brought us anything we needed right away.. we tipped Mark everyday, which we always do on a cruise, and Mark made sure we were in need of nothing! Great experience.. We were traveling with 6 family members... all of us enjoyed something different.. My teen girl loved encore.. a place she could meet 13-17 year olds.. and spent lots of time with these kids as the days went by... The cigar lounge was our favorite place to go after dinner with my husband and adult sons.. we thoroughly enjoyed all the men and women we met there.. Learned how to play craps with my oldest son! Great late night entertainment...Met the same dynamic group of people every night..So fun! My husband enjoyed the hot tubs in the quieter part of the boat.. he also loved the water slide that drops the trap door under your feet and away you go fast through a tube over the side of the boat and back again.. We all wanted sun... it was spring break, super small pool,, lots of drunk obnoxious 21 + year olds crammed around a large bath tub.. 2 days of this until we found H2O at the front of the boat with water falls to walk through when you get hot and perfect place to talk and read... Honduras was our first stop.. We all did a snorkel and kayak tour.. Our guides were awesome.. the fruit and food were delicious Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I wanted to experience a new mega ship and this one seemed right. I have sailed Norwegian several times and always enjoyed it. So getting right to it: Pros: beautiful decor and public areas. Food was very good overall and wonderful in ... Read More
I wanted to experience a new mega ship and this one seemed right. I have sailed Norwegian several times and always enjoyed it. So getting right to it: Pros: beautiful decor and public areas. Food was very good overall and wonderful in the Specialty restaurants. Bars were plentiful. The two main shows, Kinky Boots and Choir of Man, were the best I have seen at sea. Staterooms were well designed and spacious enough. The crew was cheerful and enthusiastic. I really enjoyed the day at beautiful Great Stirrup Cay with drinks and food included in the package, if you had it. Cons: Limited deck space due to the extensive areas taken up by teen activities: laser tag, VR games and race track. Smoking areas small, crowed and sad. Music on the decks seemed to be exclusively Cuban/Miami dance and very loud. Tiny, overly salty pool. Hot tubs always full of children. Daily activities basically trivia, bingo and spa/shopping seminars. No central elevators. There seemed to be extra charges for everything. Ports were lovely but only spending an evening in San Juan was a waste. BTW, we were on the last cruise before they were cancelled due to the Corona virus outbreak and the Encore crew were fantastic. They handled the extra precautions like champs. Washy-washy! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We book a cruise with our adult children and our grandchildren during spring break each year. We choose Norwegian because of the kids sail free offers and the number of activities available for the little ones. This year the cruise was not ... Read More
We book a cruise with our adult children and our grandchildren during spring break each year. We choose Norwegian because of the kids sail free offers and the number of activities available for the little ones. This year the cruise was not as worry free as usual because of the virus scares throughout the world. We did not cancel because our cruise was before the Norwegian offers to give passengers credit for a future cruise, and our children did not have CFA insurance and would have taken a significant economic hit. Overall, we had a good cruise. There were many good things but also some "misses." Embarkation was terrible for us. We arrived at the port at 12:30, went quickly through the temperature screen, security, etc, but then my husband and I were in line to board the ship for over an hour. We did not make in on board until after 2:00. This delay was in no way related to the virus because we had already completed the extra screening prior to getting into the line. We went straight to Taste for a bite of lunch. We finished a quick lunch, went to our mini suite, met our steward, and unpacked our carry-ons before the muster drill. Our room steward kept our cabin clean and we were pleased with him. I wouldn't say that he went above and beyond, but he did a nice job and responded to my request for additional coffee packets promptly. Personally, I do miss the towel animals a little and think not having them removes a bit of the fun. I know I could have requested them, but I did not. My children requested them for their cabins because they have little ones. They asked for the children so I hated to also ask for adults. I felt it was important for the little ones to have that experience. We gave him a nice extra tip for doing the animals. Perhaps Norwegian could do towels for all guests just one night during the cruise so guests could have that experience at some point during their voyage. Our first port was Roatan, and we did a private excursion there, which turned out to be our favorite day. We visited the sloth sanctuary before splitting our group into 2 parties. Half went snorkeling while the others went to Las Palmas Beach. Both groups had a wonderful time, and we returned to the ship with time to spare before our scheduled departure from the port. We had to tender at the private island, but that tender went fairly quickly and efficiently. We rented clamshells, let the kids splay in the splash pad area, spent time on the beach, and really enjoyed the time there. The tender back to the ship was also not excessive. We chose to stay on the ship at Costa Maya but planned to go ashore at Cozumel. That is one decision I would change now if I were making new plans. Cozumel was a disaster so I wish we had gone ashore at Costa Maya. I will address that in more detail later. We ate at Cagney's, Teppanyaki, and LaCucina and enjoyed all three. We had amazing waiters at Cagney's and LaCucina. Suma at Cagney's went above and beyond trying to please one of our picky diners. The chef at Teppanyaki was quick to make the show as special as possible for our three year olds, and I would not hesitate to rebook at any of those specialty restaurants. One real positive that I saw was the effort that the crew was making in sanitizing the ship. Cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning was observed all day in the common areas and hallways. You did not enter a restaurant without using the hand sanitizers. No salt shakers or condiments were on tables without request so contact between other passengers were avoided that way. Tables and chairs were disinfected between use. I think Norwegian was doing their best in that area. We are not big buffet lovers, but the one morning we needed to eat at the buffet because of an early port time. Turns out that was at Cozumel so it was a mistake too, but the buffet was not self serve. Everything was done to keep people safe from germs and the virus. The one big negative on our trip was the stop at Cozumel. Norwegian could not dock on the day we were there so the plan was to tender. That was a disaster. When we discovered we were tendering, we immediately reacted and secured Tender Tickets for Tender # 1 never dreaming how bad it would be. We thought we were in good shape with an early tender until we reached the theater to wait and saw what was happening. One whole side was filled with people waiting who had priority tender, and they had not boarded yet. No one was boarding because there weren't enough tenders, and of course, they had to sanitize them after every trip over and back. I understand that the sanitizing slowed the process down, but what we experienced was ridiculous, and it was not all because of sanitizing. There were not enough tenders, and even without the sanitizing, there would have been long delays. They called Tender Groups 1-3 at 8:30, and we were still waiting at 10:00! When we asked if they had any idea of how much longer it would be, they had no guess except maybe 45 more minutes. We'd booked a private excursion, but we were going to miss it so we finally gave up, forfeited our excursion deposit, and left to let the kids enjoy amenities on the ship instead of waiting for a tender. Lots of other people left too. They were still calling tender numbers at noon and were only half way through the list. I think Norwegian needs to re-evaluate the itinerary during this cruise shutdown. If the ship can't dock at the pier in Cozumel, perhaps they need to change their order of the ports, and if they know you will be tendering there, they should let you know in advance so you can plan accordingly. They knew about the tendering before we sailed because someone told me they were doing a bi-weekly share of the dock. One week tender; next week dock. We tried to salvage the rest of our day, but this is a problem that they need to solve. We also experienced shutdowns of mini golf, ropes course, etc. due to sanitation, which made the few days hard on our little ones. Some of that I understand, but golf clubs, golf balls and bocci balls could have been checked out with equipment sanitized between uses. They could have checked them out at the same spot that was signing out pool towels. Interestingly enough, bowling was open. That is a "for fee" activity so I guess those balls were safe for guests to handle but not golf balls and clubs. We returned to Miami under a cloud because of the virus, but disembarkation was super simple for us. We never see a reason to try to get off the ship early so we get luggage tags for 8:30 or 9:00, depending on what is available. This time it was 8:30. We vacated our cabin at 7:45, went to Savor, had a nice breakfast, and went to the line at 8:40. It moved quickly, and we were off the ship, in our cars, and on the way home by 9:30. I want to close by once again saying how hard the crew on this cruise worked at trying to keep the ship free of the virus. I truly feel sorry for them during this time because they will suffer income loss and are probably worried above loved ones just like the rest of us. Even if Norwegian pays them, they will be missing out on tips. We stopped for lunch on our drive home, which is about 6 hours. What we saw at the restaurant was far more concerning than ANYTHING we experienced on the cruise. Of course, now we are on a 14-day quarantine just because we were on the cruise. My kids can't work, kids can't go to day care, etc. Good news is that we are now 8 days post cruise with no symptoms. I'm thankful we were able to go on this cruise, even if it wasn't perfect. I look forward to a future cruise when all the craziness is over, but I will reevaluate whether or not I wish to port in Cozumel. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Sailed for the first time on NCL in a Haven Penthouse Balcony room. The NCL embarkation and disembarkation processes need a lot of work. Although we were pretty much escorted through the throngs of people it was still a little bit ... Read More
Sailed for the first time on NCL in a Haven Penthouse Balcony room. The NCL embarkation and disembarkation processes need a lot of work. Although we were pretty much escorted through the throngs of people it was still a little bit convoluted. We arrived about 10:15 am and there were already at least a thousand people in various lines waiting to board. I can see why people get upset over the process as there were not nearly enough employees to assist those standing in long lines. The Haven experience is wonderful and the Haven restaurant is elegant and welcoming. The staff there are the best and special kudos to Griffin-the greeter who I think has never had a bad day. He was friendly, cheerful and caring-simply a great employee. The Haven pool area has a small sitting pool with chairs in it and a 4 ft deep little lap pool. There is also a dry sauna just off the pool deck and plenty of chairs near the pool and on the deck above. The service in the Haven pool area was also great with drinks and lunch brought to those hanging out there. The Haven bar area was spacious and elegant. The bartenders were the best with a special shout out to Shah-who makes the best lemon drop martini we have ever had. The rest of the ship is vast with bars everywhere that will soothe your taste buds. We really liked the Adults only Spice H2O sunning area on the rear of the ship. There were plenty of chairs there and a waterfall cavern to cool you off We ate at three specialty restaurants-steak house, Japanese and Italian and all were very, very good with great service. The Haven restaurant dinners were scrumptious but the menu was the same every day. Having said that the menu included filet mignon, surf and turf, prime rib, rack of lamb, sea bass, etc. You could literally have lobster every nite if you chose to. The breakfast in the Haven was the best-steak and eggs(actually filet mignon and eggs) and the pressed coffee was the best! We thought the entertainment was just Ok. The two main shows were After Midnight and Choir of Man. Both shows were high energy with outstanding performers. We really enjoyed the Choir of Man and thought it was one of the best shows we have seen on any of our 25+ cruises. The rest of the entertainment was merely ok and nothing really stood out. We only took one excursion-Tepanyaki Beach on Roatan. It was a very relaxing beach day and the beach vendors were kept at bay by the security personnel. The beach there is beautiful and there are a variety of water activities you can choose from. We had no problem with the tendering process but heard that it was a nightmare for some of the guests. All in all a very nice cruise experience and we will try NCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Just returned home from this 7-day western Caribbean itinerary on Norwegian Pearl. It was just my boyfriend and I (both in our early-mid 30s). I have previously been on 2 Princess cruises, on Norwegian Escape twice and the Dawn last year. ... Read More
Just returned home from this 7-day western Caribbean itinerary on Norwegian Pearl. It was just my boyfriend and I (both in our early-mid 30s). I have previously been on 2 Princess cruises, on Norwegian Escape twice and the Dawn last year. My boyfriend has also been on the Epic. Used NCL arranged airfare and transfers and flew into Miami from Maine on day of the cruise. This is the first time I have used NCL airfare and transfers and all went as expected without any issues. We usually fly in the day before but due to prior commitments we were unable to do this. Very pleased with the flight arrangements made by NCL. We arrived in Miami around 1:15 pm and there were NCL staff at baggage claim directing their cruisers to the transfer shuttle. We arrived to the port within 30 minutes of landing and made it through check-in at the port pretty quickly without any long waits. Our luggage was at our room by 5pm even though we checked in on the later side. The Ship Smaller ship but still has plenty of dining and bar options. Very clean and updated. Does have digital tough screens in a few areas like some of the newer NCL ships, but most of them weren't working properly. You don't need to prebook shows so we didn't really need to use these much. Cabin We had a 10th floor midship balcony cabin (10612) and were very pleased with our room. We don't spend much time in our room other than for sleeping and getting ready, but it is really great to have a balcony to sit and have a drink or room service breakfast. Bathroom was very similar to the Dawn but has a door to the toilet area. Shower also has a door. Bed was comfortable. Room was clean and our cabin steward was great. He was very attentive. I had him clear out the mini bar and put a mattress pad on the bed on the first day and otherwise we didn't need to have him do anything else other than the basic tidying up. Dining We had a specialty dining package for 3 meals. We tried Cagneys Steakhouse (filet mignon and cheesecake were amazing), La Cucina (Italian) and all our dishes were great. We went to Tepanyaki (hibachi) for our last meal and this was also very good. Typical hibachi experience but the steak and shrimp were so delicious. Main buffet was typical for NCL ships. Food was ok. It was even smaller than the Garden Cafe on the Dawn with fewer options. Always crowded. We have learned to avoid the buffet at all costs except for afternoon snacks. There was another buffet in the Great Outdoors area on the back of the ship which had the basic food items. Again, we only stopped for snacks. O'Sheehans: Same menu as on other NCL ships. We like the wings, nachos and Caesar salads for a quick snack or lunch once returning from port. We usually stop here for a sit down breakfast most mornings to avoid the buffet lines. They have decent omelets and some other basic breakfast options. Can usually get in and out quickly. They also agree to fill our water bottles which is nice so we don't have to make a stop in the cafe to do this. Main Dining Rooms: We only ate at Indigo as their dress code isn't as strict as Summer Palace. They allowed men to wear shorts and I saw a lot of casual outfits on both men and women. We had 3-4 dinners at Indigo and all were very good. Can usually get through the meal in about an hour for 2 people and be on your way to a show. We discovered that you can order room service (preorder the night before) and have pastries/fruit/coffee/juice delivered to your room so we did this twice. Was great to sit out on the balcony and enjoy a coffee and not have to worry about going anywhere. We did this on sea days as we don't usually need to get an early start. Bars Best drinks came from Maltings Whiskey Bar and Sugarcane Mojito bar. The service was quite slow, however. Happy to find out they have Bon & Viv and Truly seltzers at the main bars now. Entertainment Not as many options as other NCL ships. Duo Contessance was awesome (couple that does aerial acrobatics). Legends was good but geared toward older crowd. A lot of 60-70s themed music, again geared toward older crowd. Pool band was ok. The DJ was overall fine. We didn't listen to any of the lounge music. Pedro, the cruise director was pretty absent throughout the day compared to the cruise directors I've seen on the Dawn and Escape. He was never by the pool or getting the crowd pumped up. Usually the cruise directors communicate the daily/weekly shows or activities and give details. None of that from Pedro aside from at the main evening show. I never saw the assistant CD, Guido, at all. We happened to wander into some shows that turned out to be pretty good but would not have otherwise known what they were about unless we showed up. We spent an hour or so in the Casino. Pretty typical for a cruise ship casino. Lots of smoking. Not overly crowded. Rock wall had very limited hours and was closed due to wind at times. Service Overall very good. Our cabin steward was great. Wait staff were all pretty average throughout the ship. No one really stood out to me as being exceptional. Pool bar staff were doing their jobs but didn't appear to be having much fun doing it. Usually we have one that we get along with and call our own for the week, but they were all pretty stoic. Guest services staff were all pretty good. Pool 2 main pools and 4 hot tubs in the main pool area. We did discover a water feature on one of the sun decks but no other pools or hot tubs. One of the main pools and 2 hot tubs were adult only which was nice. No issues with kids playing or splashing. Last day was super windy so 1 pool was drained and they were doing pool maintenance. Not much of an issue getting a lounger on the pool deck on this cruise. A little more so on sea days but there was a pool attendant actually watching empty chairs and moving stuff if people were away for >30min which I appreciated as they never seem to do this. Fitness Center We did go to the gym on our first sea day and it was packed. Was able to get a treadmill pretty quickly and ran a few miles but it was difficult as you are looking out at the waves. Was also very hot and humid in the gym which made it hard to get a good workout in. Has all the basics for cardio and weightlifting. Ports Overall a good itinerary. Enjoyed all ports. Roatan, Honduras: Booked Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkel through NCL. This was a great excursion. Good food and rum punch included. Not much instruction or education as far as explaining what fish or coral we were looking at. Harvest Caye, Belize: My least favorite port. Very commercialized. Waited in line for nearly 2 hours for tender to shore. I guess they were doing maintenance on the pier and we were unable to dock as initially planned. Several ships in that day and there were not enough tenders to keep up with everyone trying to get to shore. Once there, everything was fine. Beach was ok. Water was not clear and couldn't do much snorkeling. HUGE pool with swim up bar. We spent most of the day at the pool. They have restaurants and bar stands throughout the area. There are also shops. Good and affordable coconut drinks. Costa Maya, Mexico: I liked this stop the best. Very cultural area. People were friendly and helpful. Took a shuttle to YaYa Beach in Mahahual and had a wonderful beach day. Booked this through shoreexcursioneer.com without any issues. Beach was calm and beautiful. Drinks and food included. Cab/shuttle fare was $4 each per person one way and I felt safe using these services. Cozumel, Mexico: Been here before and rented scooters and rode around the island. This time wanted to do something different. Booked an all inclusive package at Mr. Sanchos and had a great day! All food and drinks included and it was all delicious. My glass was never empty as Julio the bartender kept it topped off at all times. They have a beach, pools and other activities. Booked through shoreexcursioneer.com beforehand as they tend to sell out months in advance. 100% would go here again. More of a party atmosphere but people of all ages there. Took a cab to and from the port for $20 each way. Cab drivers were trying to charge more and I believe the typical cab rate is $17 but we didn't argue. We did not travel with children and can't comment on any of the kid's activities. We did not visit the spa, purchase photos/art/other items. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
NCL Encore - room 12605. 3/2020 Embarkation - showed up at 10:30. By 10:45 we were seated in a huge airport-like waiting area, checked in and ready for them to start boarding. With so many people, even on a day that was 60 degrees ... Read More
NCL Encore - room 12605. 3/2020 Embarkation - showed up at 10:30. By 10:45 we were seated in a huge airport-like waiting area, checked in and ready for them to start boarding. With so many people, even on a day that was 60 degrees outdoors, the area warmed up pretty fast. Cool water and unclean restrooms available. Group 9. Started calling #s at 11:08 am with people who required special assistance and priority boarding. 11:25 we were called and were on board in no time! Vibe club pass: Rushed to purchase vibe passes. We were #92 & 93. The cost of the vibe beach club for 7 days was $209 per person. The fee is non-refundable and you are warned of inclement weather closing of the entire area which may include rain or high winds. There is no pool. Only a misting station. On sea days there is extremely high winds. So much so, that 1 jacuzzi was closed off and even tho the sunning area on that side of the club was open, there was no-one who could stand the strong winds enough to hang out there. Fortunately, they did not close the entire area, but most logical adults could reason that unattended belongings would fly away if left in the high winds. They do give you clip-on, removable, brightly-colored wrist bracelets to wear in the club area. The attendants will ask you to put it on if you forget and will escort any non-wearing, non-paying guests out of the club area on the 1st days as they get to know everyone by name after only a day or 2. The area includes shade umbrellas but, as we quickly discovered, they are rarely put out for use. The winds are pretty intense on the top decks where the club is located and so they have a few issues. Even while in port, in Miami, they had to take the umbrellas down as they started toppling with the high winds. Jacuzzis fit about 8 people comfortably. There are no bubbles. Just warm (not hot) water. No drinks allowed in jacuzzi. The explanations was that drinks have toppled into the jacuzzi which then take 2+ hours to empty, clean, and refill the tub. On the plus side, if you bring your yeti cup, bartenders seem to be nice enough to fill those with your drink of choice or fresh water or alcoholic concoction throughout the day. I also saw them bring out pitchers of citrus flavored water to small groups with plastic cups to go with it. On the sea day towards the Bahamas, they were able to open a few umbrellas and played some soothing jazz music. Enjoyable weather and good times. Muster drill @ 3:30 in indoor air-conditioned area. Lasted 15 mins total. As always, if you would like seats, show up 30 mins before. If you’re ok standing for 15 mins, then wait for the alarm to ring then walk towards your muster station to have your card swiped for check-in. They demonstrate the exits and how to put on a life vest. And then the bars re-open. Taste of India and taste of China in buffet area towards back after you pass all the American fare. The food has been an excellent surprise in the buffet as the tastes and spiciness have been just right with absolutely no complaints for the buffet variety and seasonings. Ice cream cups and cones served during lunch with an options of 10+ flavors including rocky road. Also available towards the bow at the buffet is soft serve ice cream cones. On sea day, taco bar served towards the back area as well. Extra charges: $9.95 per device per week for unlimited text messaging with other passengers who purchase the plan. Make sure you bring your yeti cup, etc. water is not included on the beverage package and they charge $5 per paper bottle. (Non-refillable) Using clean glassware, you can refill your water bottle at the water & tea dispensing areas in the buffet area. Observation lounge still smells brand new. Like a new construction site. Huge living room type spaces for your small or large party of people. Cold cuts, sandwiches, fruits, and dessert varieties are served throughout the area up until dinner time when all food and drinks disappear. Beverages can be purchased at the bar or self-serve areas dispense lemonade, tea, and various flavored waters. The times we went to the lounge, it was very quiet library-like ambiance except the people hanging out at the bar. No music streaming. No piano playing. Very serene. People napping here and there. Except the unexpected cold sea day. The observation lounge on that day quickly filled with loud families and teens finding somewhere to hide from the cold winds. Brew house seats still smell of new leather. For your Latin music fix, hang out at the indoor & outdoor mojito bar area with comfy couches in the shade. Latin music plays when bar opens around 11:30 am at a pretty low volume with a variety of songs sprinkled around throughout the day until the live music takes over with the usual English music cruise ship sing alongs and requests in the evening. Entertainment throughout the ship consists of karaoke-type bands with a few instruments playing over the pre-arrangement along with a singer. Good for entertaining the masses but no great stand-outs overall. The encore theater has cooling fans at the back of every seat. Makes it a very comfortable temperature. As others have reported, shortly after 9:00 am, the running/walking track disappears under a sea of chairs. Deck 8 has “the waterfront” which includes a wooden floor all the way around the ship. Some people use this as a walking exercise area. No jogging possible as intermittent window walls are strewn about. Fun morning dance for sea days includes Zumba! Drinks are pretty good, varied, and strong. You can substitute tequilas, rums, etc in your favorite concoction to your liking. No frozen mojitos or margaritas available at most bars as bartenders inform us they do not have blenders at all the bars. Frozen sangria and frozen red wine blend available at the vibe as they have a slushy machine that dispenses those 2 drinks & an array of pina coladas, daqueries, and the infamous Miami vice. Paper straws provided for frozen drinks only - which quickly get soggy and give you that wet paper after taste every time you sip. So bring your own plastic ones if it takes you a while to get thru your drink or if you prefer to straw sip you beverages. BBQ smokehouse is the country dance place to be at night for all those country music fans. The food is ok. Plates served are much smaller than that of a usuals “authentic” Texas bbq place. But taste was good. Service was slow. They play 45 min sets from 8:30pm until way after midnight. Feel free to bring your boots and join everyone in the dance floor or just sit back in the bar and sing along! The NCL app is great but you still have to rely on the daily planner for the details on what the shows and activities are about. Also, you need to book your entertainment activities for future days at the screens around the ship as they don’t show up until 24 hours before the event on the app. And, unlike other cruise apps, other people in your contacts or room reservation cannot see what activities you like or plan to attend. Nor can you see the dinner menus at the public or reserved restaurants for the ability to weigh your options in the app. You can only see them posted at the restaurants or ask for a menu at each restaurant. Also, unlike other cruise lines, you cannot map your way to the next venue from the touchscreens around the ship. So a very useful navigational tool for these 1st few days is very much missing. In PR- walgreens & CVS store right by the pier. Needed some water bottles for the day & to take back onboard as empties for water storage for our beach day next day. Great shops with lots of souvenirs, travel size amenities & last minute gadgets. St. Thomas - do your research. Pick a beach and take a taxi from the beach. There will always be a taxi near any popular beach to take you back at whatever time you need. Usually about $10 per person each way. Most beaches have amenities with bars and restaurants nearby. Then take a stroll thru the shops at the pier. Remember that all jewelry purchases are negotiable. Tortola - we did the cruise line’s escape to Jost Van Dike. They pick you up at 8:00 am. Drop you off at 9:00 am at the soggy dollar beach area. Then pick you up at 12:15 for the 45 min boat run back to the ship. Because of the early departure, there was no time to do anything else as far as shopping or sight seeing. Made it back just in time to re-board. Bahamas - great stirrup cay was completely skipped because of the high waves and wind conditions. Many months ago when we booked this cruise, we were ok with only 3 stops with Tortola being a long day as we figured we would enjoy the warm weather and hot sunny days on each island. We were not excited when the itinerary was changed just 2 months before the sail date to shorten the Tortola stop and include a Bahamas stop instead. As frequent cruisers, we know about the weather conditions in March in the Bahamas. And sure enough, it was not beach weather at the beginning of March. The outside temp was in the 60s. So maybe not a bad thing we skipped the cold beach water. Made the vibe beach pass even more worth the purchase! More activities were added to the daily planner such as Latin Cardio Dance class and more open times at the “for purchase” activities onboard. All excursions were reimbursed. Pool area was empty. Jacuzzi were full. NCL announces on its daily planner that you can access cruisecritic.com free of charge with no internet package to buy to post reviews. I have not found that to be the case. The main page comes up on my smart phone but once you click “boards” or “reviews” it freezes. Inside stateroom #12605: overall smaller than most ships we have been on. The location was fabulous! Right next to the elevators. There are only 2 main elevator areas on the ship - forward and aft. That’s it. The down side to having our room so close to the elevators was we could hear the kids running the hallways at night and the nighttime entertainment seemed to be funneled into the elevator shafts and dispersed into the hallways. Nice if you’re at the party. Awful if you need to get rest for a very early excursion next day. The neighbors across the hall taped paper decorations to their door (non-magnetic) and were allowed to keep them up the whole voyage. But not very many people did that. Suction cup hangers work on the inside windows of your shower stall but not the walls. Lots of hangers provided. You also have just enough storage space for 2 people. (Don’t think 4 could do it.) apart from the closet with a long upper shelf and 4 smaller side shelves inside the closet (one which is occupied by the in-room safe), you also have 2 small shelves next to the mini-fridge, shelving under the bathroom sink, shelving next to toilet area, and 2 night time shelves next to the bed. Along with a place for small, trivial accessories above the headboard. Disembarkation: The ship arrived super early at the pier because of the missed Bahamas stop. Arrival on all paperwork we had seen was 10:00 am. We were there well before 5:00 am. On the app’s “farewell” screen, they had a screen for information on disembarkation, immigration & customs, and final day info. None of those worked. Message was “oops. Content not found”. So had a hard time deciphering if they would let us leave early or what the status was. We took our luggage with us and made our way to the 7th floor gangway. They make us line up along the casino area. As much as they try not to let the smoke penetrate outside the smokers lounge, it still does & will affect those with sensitivity to smoke. Lines were long but moved quickly. We lined up at 7:15. We were allowed off the boat at 7:35. Out thru customs at 7:50. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was our 5th cruise. 4th one with Norwegian. a quick trip to get away from the Candian winter. The ship is big. VERY big... almost too big. I found the ship easy to move around in... easy to find things.. but the pool deck was ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise. 4th one with Norwegian. a quick trip to get away from the Candian winter. The ship is big. VERY big... almost too big. I found the ship easy to move around in... easy to find things.. but the pool deck was insane. I had read reviews so knew what to expect... had decided not to buy the package for the VIBE package - thought I could endure it... I could not. each chair is side by side along with the others... they had attendants coming to ask for a drink (great) but you could not MOVE - let alone save a seat if you could find one for the hubby or kids. I spent my time on the pool deck sitting way to close to strangers alone - with my headphones on to drown out the conversations of strangers beside me. we saw choir man - GREAT. Kinky boots very good (had seen it on broadway before-held it's own). Ate at the Mexican place and twice at Q as we could not get a reservation anywhere else. Kids really enjoyed the Buffet and we went to Savoir 3 times. all very good. Never used any of the shore excursions - did those on our own. The room was a good size for the 4 of us. (two parents and two teenagers.) complaints about the room.... it was above the cavern night club... for an 'upgraded' room and the noise that came out of that club just didn't compute with me. we survived - but they really shouldn't sell that room at an upgrade due to the noise... The next thing that really made me upset was out 'neighbor had a marijuana habit. every afternoon and evening they would smoke up. the smell was disgusting and foul. we could not sit out on our balcony due to the smell. (now - we are from Canada where it is legal... but seriously??) smell wafted into our room as well so venting is obviously not tight. Again - we survived. But I would have really rather not had to deal with that every day - all day. we did the race track and laser tag. did not do the virtual reality (kids just used the video arcade) my husband used the gym - said it was huge and nice... but crowded in the am - I told him because everyone else has the same idea as him. I would NOT go on this ship again. too big - not enough space in the sun. Kids said they enjoy the rope course more as they can go on it for free (thanks for saving money kids!) and do rock climbing. they did the race track twice. and a few video games. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was our(two of us) 3rd cruise with Norwegian (Escape & Getaway prior) and we did enjoy the crown jewel. There were many things we missed and many things that made us scratch our heads. Check in/embarkation was fast and simple as ... Read More
This was our(two of us) 3rd cruise with Norwegian (Escape & Getaway prior) and we did enjoy the crown jewel. There were many things we missed and many things that made us scratch our heads. Check in/embarkation was fast and simple as usual with NCL, though we were a tad confused as to why we were ushered to the waiting area for the Pearl and unable to hear the announcements for Encore boarding. After boarding we were in awe of how beautiful the interior was decorated and how large each of the areas were, enough space for many people with ample elbow room. Making our way to what we thought was going to be the only smoking section on the ship, other than the enclosed casino area, we were told there was an outside smoking section on Deck 16. Bravo NCL for accommodating the "outcast" we truly appreciated it. Though I do understand that some whom do not smoke still complained and I agree it could have been in a better ventilated area, but being close to the bar was huge plus. The weather could, of course, been better but that is not NCL's fault. it was very windy and the water was rough for most of the cruise, we have learned our lesson and will wait to later in the year to cruise again. Ports of call were great and un-boarding and boarding were simple as always. San Juan we took the Bacardi distillery tour (1/2 star for this one) was very boring. Not sure what we were expecting but this was not it. St. Thomas ( 5 stars) this is my favorite place on the planet and was very much looking forward to the this port once again. We did the helmet dive at Coral Park, it was little windy but the warmer weather helped beat the chill. The experience was amazing and the instructors were awesome. After we hung out at Cokie beach the water was so blue and so clear it was truly a much needed relaxing area. Tortola was the warmest day of the cruise, we took the "un"Speedy boat over to the Baths and spent about 2 hours swimming and exploring all the nooks and crannies. Due to the weather we were unable to stop at Great Stirrup Cay, which I kinda figured was going to happen once I stepped out on the balcony and saw the clouds and how choppy the water was. We made the best of the extra sea day and it turned out to be lucrative in the casino $$$. The food was outstanding, and coming from me who only eats once a day, that's saying something. Ocean Blue was by far the best sea bass I have ever had. Manhattan Room was so much fun (if you have a chance to have Franklin as your server, you will not be disappointed) Taste or was it Savior, whichever, server could not be bothered and was very rude, however the steak was very good. The Garden Cafe was very good and seemed larger on the Encore compared to the others, though partner says it wasn't. The things we missed; Spice H2O, this is just a great space on the other ships allowing only adults and is a welcome space to escape (no pun intended) from the family drama on the pool deck(s). We also missed the Irish Pub (who by the way was open 24 hours, unlike the Local which claims to be) food was better than the Local. Why we scratched our heads; All the up charges, talk about being nickle and dimed to death..good grief. We were also bewildered as to why some bars closed so early, this made no sense to us, with as many people that are on this ship and as many bars that are on it, no one should have to wait at an over crowded bar. Overall we were very glad we took this ship, though we will not cruise it again, we will step back down to either the Escape, Bliss or Joy. Thanks Norwegian for another great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Chose this cruise because we wanted to sail on the new ship. Encore is a beautiful ship but lack of pool space is a serious problem! And to top it off, Vibe now has fee which really is not right, especially because there was never a seat ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to sail on the new ship. Encore is a beautiful ship but lack of pool space is a serious problem! And to top it off, Vibe now has fee which really is not right, especially because there was never a seat at the pool. We loved Teppanyaki!! The food was outstanding as was Cagney’s! Los Lobos was not very good and the service was terrible. The buffet was always delicious and fresh. The behind the scenes tour was very well done and we really enjoyed seeing how the ship operated! Everyone was so friendly! We loved the shows in the atrium and saw the Beatles three times! They were fantastic! We also loved the Choir of Men! We only did one shore excursion and it was okay. The stop in Puerto Rico was a waste of time. We walked around but there was not much to do and shore excursions were way overpriced for what they were. Overall, we had a great time! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We received a promotion through tour company from our time share. We rejected sales pitches much to their dismay, cruise paid so no worries about canceling. We have been on Celebrity & Carnival this was our fifth cruise in 10 years. ... Read More
We received a promotion through tour company from our time share. We rejected sales pitches much to their dismay, cruise paid so no worries about canceling. We have been on Celebrity & Carnival this was our fifth cruise in 10 years. Hubby just retired so we drove from Iowa and to POM I watched videos and due to good timing we arrived for embarkation at 10:15. Trying to drop off our luggage proved interesting, we kept getting waived off of NCL area after 2nd time around Disney porter got NCL and he said he would stay with the luggage until it was on the ship. He was given a generous 25$ tip for 2 suitcases, luggage arrived at our cabin at 4pm. We had a 3 hour wait to board! Some fool tried to stowaway we later heard. I embarked by wheelchair some other senior citizens had a very very difficult time in line! There aren’t many chairs. Our cabin was a balcony 15714 best thing about NCL was a nesspresso coffee maker! Otherwise this was the smallest balcony & cabin we ever have had, no way 4 adults would be comfortable. Staff were fabulous the friendliest, we have experienced. Best cruise critic meeting, free beer, cider appetizers, most staff attended we have Ever been too. 2011 Celebrity had a great one on the Eclipse, this surpasses that. We got free champagne and chocolate covered strawberries delivered free to our room. Loved all the complimentary restaurants, Cagney and le Bistro excellent, la Cucina had issues, noisy, confused new staff delivered wrong orders, food cold sat too long, toughest Veal I’ve ever had, offer to exchange but I declined hubby almost done , by that time I wanted to leave. These were free perks we received. Rough seas for Costa Maya port closed. Some confusion about going on and off ports for mobility impaired and which elevator to access. Other cruise lines have staff situated at elevators to give priority access. I’m glad we tried NCL we will have to see if we try again, not sure the bigger ships are as comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Embarkation was the worst I have ever seen since I started cruising (1979). Three and a half hours in line (made Disney & Universal envious w/their lines) and no water available along the way. Only once you were in the final area did ... Read More
Embarkation was the worst I have ever seen since I started cruising (1979). Three and a half hours in line (made Disney & Universal envious w/their lines) and no water available along the way. Only once you were in the final area did the Platinum Priority Boarding show up. Almost missed my muster drill as a result. No worries, I still got scanned. I chose this cruise based on I wanted to try the Breakaway Class from NCL, and the pricing. I chose not to upgrade dining on this cruise, and for the most part it was a great decision. Most of the dining was great, and where they failed, NCL worked harder to improve (AND they did~!). I've been to all of the ports (Roatan - you need to book an excursion to enjoy this island; Harvest Caye - no zipline, and the tendering created issues for those unable to take steps to the tenders - they stayed on the ship. Costa Maya cancelled due to rough seas and high winds. Cozumel - always fun to ride along the loop on the scooters visiting the bars on the beaches). The ship (Escape) is considered a port (destination) to me, IMO; the pool was so full there was no room to even sit on the pool's edge. For Escape's "Dance Club" was in the Skyline Lounge - right next to the Casino - talk about poor design. Other ships have a dedicated area that actually looks like a dance club - both the pool and the night club need some rethinking NCL. While onboard, they transitioned Jimmy Buffet's Magaritaville Dining and the 5'O Clock Somewhere Bar to the American Diner and The Pour House (no more karaoke?) So these two venues were shut down mid-cruise. Cabin wise, I was in an inside cabin (10417) that was very comfortable and quiet. The filtration system on Escape (in the common areas) should be inspected because it does not work~! The smell of smoke permeated from the casino area throughout the other areas of the interior of the ship. O'Sheehans was excellent (service and food), Manhattan Room (MDR) also a great place for excellent food as was both Taste and Savor. On night one, the buffet had prime rib and it was really good. No complaints on food and service (one minor issue resolved). Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
As this is a potentially longer review, I'll put the bottom line up front: NCL Escape has a great mix of spaces to cater to different cruising needs, especially some quieter areas (my preference). Staff on this ship were cheerful ... Read More
As this is a potentially longer review, I'll put the bottom line up front: NCL Escape has a great mix of spaces to cater to different cruising needs, especially some quieter areas (my preference). Staff on this ship were cheerful and helpful with very few exceptions - and some were especially great at making travelers feel welcome. Port calls went smoothly for us (although one port was cancelled due to wind/wave conditions) but weren't really what we had chosen this itinerary for, as we had been to most of them previously. We chose this cruise partly for the ship, the embarkation port and the calendar. [TIMING:] We needed a break from New England winter and tried to pick a week that was after the school vacations, but before college spring break, so as to avoid lots of kids and/or drunken college students. That plan was mostly successful except that I learned that much of Canada takes their winter school break a week or 2 later than New England, so it seemed about 1/3 of the cruisers on this run were Canadian families. This never presented a problem as the ship is well arranged so that louder groups tend to gravitate to the pool deck and the atrium, leaving H2O Spice and the Waterfront for those of us looking for relaxation. There was only one afternoon that this broke down when a group of young adults decided that they would relax on the Waterfront and supply their own bluetooth speaker so that EVERYONE around could enjoy their selection of music. [SHIP] We chose the Escape (a Breakaway+ class) because we had previously sailed on the Breakaway and Epic and were looking for a ship that had the Waterfront (missing on Epic) and that had an H2O Spice area (present on both). As we looked at ship choices, that immediately ruled out the Encore - what was NCL thinking on that design when they dropped the H2O in favor of laser tag??!! In any case, we were pleased with our selection. The extra 200 people compared to Breakaway didn't make a noticeable impact on crowd size, though there didn't seem to be a huge difference in quantity of any other on-board offerings (apparently the "plus" in Breakaway Plus means "plus 200 people") Overall- The good: We had a great cruise - in spite of the ongoing country-wide health concerns. The NCL staff did a great job at taking care of us and was very friendly and a surprising number were able to remember us and greet us by name (not just those with whom we had frequent interaction). Choice of on-board food options, bar options [mostly - see below] , entertainment and activities provided a great selection for all types of travelers. The selection of beers at the District Brewhouse was good. Though I enjoy IPAs, I was glad that the selection wasn't IPA-heavy and had a good choice of other styles. Disembarkation (we did self-disembarkation) was very quick and painless. Maybe 15 minutes from the start of disembarkation till we were on the curb. Tendering (at Harvest Cay) worked out well with almost no wait - we chose a very early tender. I had heard that later tender groups had more significant delays. The bad: Embarkation was a mess because the previous week's sailing arrived in port about 3 hours late. Nothing much could be done about the crowds and lines that ensued - and we didn't really sweat it because it was clear that NCL was doing the best they could. Besides - who wants to start off a vacation all worked up? We just smiled and waited patiently - as did most people in the crowd. A few of the little ones had meltdowns, as could be expected, but we all eventually got ourselves onto the ship. Our embarkation was probably 90-120 minutes. Sometimes the dice don't roll your way... The other [admittedly VERY minor] problem that I wanted to comment on was the selection of bars - or specifically bar menus. Both Epic and Breakaway have a Shakers Martini bar. That offers a great alternative to all the sickly sweet boat drinks (loaded with pineapple, lime mixer, coconut...). Unfortunately, the Escape doesn't have Shakers. It wasn't until our last sea day that we solved this problem - I downloaded an NCL drink recipe list and found a willing bartender to make Shaker's "Citrus Gem" for my wife. Special shout out to Reynaldo at Mixx Bar. [Note to NCL drink manager if you read this - please add something like Shaker's drinks "Aviation", "Citrus Gem", "Cucumber Basil Twist", etc to some one of the bars' menu] Overall - a good cruise - would do it again. Possibly looking at Bliss or Getaway next (but still miss Shakers - which neither of those has, either) Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Escape is a beautiful ship! We loved mostly everything and definitely recommend it and especially a balcony if you can. It was so nice to go out every morning and have coffee on our own balcony. The beds were very hard and caused my ... Read More
Escape is a beautiful ship! We loved mostly everything and definitely recommend it and especially a balcony if you can. It was so nice to go out every morning and have coffee on our own balcony. The beds were very hard and caused my back to hurt but thankfully the trip was so amazing that I was able to get used to it. If you have some sort of small pad that will fit in a luggage, it might be a good idea if you have back issues. Food: Teppanyaki was amazing!!!! We probably would've used our 3 specialty dining credits here had we known how good the food and entertainment was. We also loved Moderno but didn't really have a good experience at Cagney's. The server seemed rushed and it just felt like an ordinary dining room experience, instead of a specialty restaurant. The filet Mignon was good but tasted just as good at Moderno. The waterfront dining was beautiful! Lunch and dinner was good at the Garden cafe but the main dining rooms were just ok, nothing spectacular. We loved the set up in the Manhattan with live music as you dine. Water: This is our biggest complaint!!! We have sailed with multiple different cruise lines and usually you are able to bring at least a small amount of water on board. Norwegian will not allow any water at all and in our opinion, they really didn't make it convenient to get complimentary water either. It should be more accessible throughout the ship and on their private island in Belize. There was no complimentary water anywhere on there private island in Belize! If you had to purchase it, it was $7.50 for a bottle. Thankfully, one of the bar tenders had pity on us and gave us cups of water. I have never been on a cruiseline's private island where they didn't provide water. If I had known this, I would have definitely filled up more containers before getting off the ship. It wasn't really convenient to get off and on due to tendering so go prepared with plenty of water/snacks unless you're planning to purchase them there. Entertainment: After Midnight was phenomenal!!! First musical I've ever seen with a live orchestra! My husband said Choir of Man was awesome too! Just make sure to make reservations as soon as you can because they fill up fast. We missed out on the Escape show because it filled up, so definitely reserve all shows and dining as soon as you can. Overall, our trip was amazing!! Ship is beautiful and clean. We loved Daniel Johnson's monkey and sloth hangout in Roatan, Dennis gave us an incredible tour and allowed us to customize it to our preferences. We tried Allegro all inclusive Resort in Cozumel which was wonderful but the food was just average, they definitely could have incorporated some authentic mexican cuisine here, instead it was more basic American dishes. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Chose this cruise to hopefully miss spring break but discovered it was Canada’s spring break. Very crowded and rowdy crowd. Tried to find quiet places and all the designated quiet areas were full of unruly screaming children. No rules ... Read More
Chose this cruise to hopefully miss spring break but discovered it was Canada’s spring break. Very crowded and rowdy crowd. Tried to find quiet places and all the designated quiet areas were full of unruly screaming children. No rules were ever enforced. Embarkation was a nightmare. Some people were in line for over 3 hours before getting on the ship. Not sure if Corona screening played a part. But I doubt it. All of the specialty restaurants were superb. The buffet was good for lunches. Except again, children using their hands to get food. Unacceptable. Entertainment was fabulous. Choir of man was amazing. We love dueling pianos and went 3x during the week. The Carol King tribute was also very good. The spa was very annoying with the constant attempts to lure you in. We had the spa package and loved the thermal suites. I had a manicure which was no different from any one I could have gotten at home. Plus it chipped in 2 days. $ 55 was waaaaay overpriced. Stateroom just ok. Blah decor. Dark brown and green. Balcony nice.neighbors really noisy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We enjoyed our cruise very much. This was the next-to-last sailing before the COVID 19 shut down NCL, and we approached it warily. We observed no especially stringent sanitation efforts, other than an inescapable sing-song "we are ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise very much. This was the next-to-last sailing before the COVID 19 shut down NCL, and we approached it warily. We observed no especially stringent sanitation efforts, other than an inescapable sing-song "we are washee you" in the buffet, which got real old real fast. We're casino creatures, and found the one aboard quite the best we've ever encountered at sea: large, good spacing between machines, tolerable noise, payouts about as expected. Good luck finding a cocktail server. More often than not, we had to go to the bar to get our own drinks. TV offerings in the cabin were inadequate (especially compared with those on the Royal Princess on which we'd recently sailed): not much other than news unless you want to fork over $10 for a movie rental. Portions in Cagney's Steakhouse were obscenely huge. My prime rib could have fed a family of four. Ridiculously wasteful. I suggest NCL offer a more modest portion at the diner's option. We had a dining package and were able to eat in four of the upscale restaurants--Cagney's, Le Bistro, Ls Cucina, and Bayamo by Blue Lagoon. The only real standout was Bayamo, but what a standout it was! As an appetizer, I had the crab cake, which was sensational. Main course was the filet, literally fork-tender and perfectly cooked. And, oh, the brussel sprouts! Words fail me. The bread was soft and delicious, made with mascarpone and caramelized onion, and by itself worth the price of admission. The restaurant manager, Sandra Brown, was kind enough to get me the recipe (now I just need an occasion to make bread for 50 people). Most reviewers, it seems, wax poetic about the Choir of Man show, but I found it slightly off-putting--mostly unfamiliar songs, and a kind of forced levity among the performers, who are undeniably talented. On the other hand, After Midnight at the Cotton Club had me applauding wildly. The performers--all--are exceptionally talented, and the staging and costumes were terrific. One performer sang a wordless lament the memory of which still gives me goosebumps. The (maybe) dying art of tap dancing was forefront. I went to see it twice, and would gladly go again. I found it odd (and not a little disrespectful) that quite a few people walked out mid-performance. After Midnight. Cotton Club. Harlem. What didn't you get? Maybe I'm wrong. Hope so. Don't miss the crew staff talent show. Because of an NCL promotion (children cruise free!) there were children in abundance, but most were quite well behaved. The only time I got knocked down was by an adult. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The ship felt brand new. The carpet was in great shape, no wear showing anywhere noticeable. We were in cabin 10153 which was wheelchair accessible. It had enough room for 4 guests and my wheelchair/scooter. Our cabin steward Patricia ... Read More
The ship felt brand new. The carpet was in great shape, no wear showing anywhere noticeable. We were in cabin 10153 which was wheelchair accessible. It had enough room for 4 guests and my wheelchair/scooter. Our cabin steward Patricia was very nice and we left her notes for things, which she took care of. Lots of American plugs in the cabin. FINALLY!!! The cruise industry may be waking up. This was very handy for my medical equipment. I usually have to carry a power strip, but not for this cabin. Norwegian has owned Great Stirrup Cay for decades, but they haven't found a way to dock more than one ship there. The newer ship of course got preference and we were turned away for "safety" reasons. This is very disappointing since it was half our stops. Then the captain made a defensive statement about not berating the staff about the cancellation. He claimed there were 2 meter swells, but 22 years in the military and 20+ cruises and I disagree with that assessment. Why not pull the other ship off the dock or spend another night in Key West, Miami, or Nassau? The cruise industry and especially Norwegian needs to get better at this. Norwegian did the same thing to us in the Mediterranean in December. They knew the forecast 3 days in advance and they didn't have time to pivot? The worst thing they did was take away my small 12" fan I use for a medical condition. It's UL listed and battery operated. They made me wait an hour past my bed time to return it when they promised it would be in my cabin shortly after boarding. So I didn't get much sleep the first night. All that said, Red and Jinky were excellent in the dining room. The hostess Christina was very nice and accommodating for us. The comedian was entertaining. The show was big. More Abba and Billy Joel hits please. Karaoke was a blast. Everyone was really enjoying it. I'm very concerned about the bottleneck getting into the Bliss lounge. The bar is right in between the two exits and when the bar gets backed up and the place it packed, it's a real fire hazard. If you're claustrophobic, don't go to Bliss! You've got to know that changing the name of the Corona bar is necessary, right? Duh! Internet was SLOW in all areas of the ship. I got less than 1Mbps throughout the whole cruise and averaged around 280kbps. So don't plan to work if you're on this ship. It will drive you crazy. The buffet on deck 12 was really good. Well designed, good flow. It was a mistake to steal the footprint for the french restaurant, but still not bad. The handicapped seating was adequate and well-marked both here and in the theater. The food was excellent. The coffee stations were well-designed although you do have to open those tiny creamers. No half and half in carafes. I like a lot of cream, so it was a pain for someone with dexterity issues. There was milk in jugs, so why not cream? Also, flavor would be nice. The theater is very nice however, the SEATS slope down toward the deck and want to drool you onto the floor. Not just one of them, but most of them. At least in the handicapped seating. This was very uncomfortable. If the show was longer than an hour, I couldn't do it. I hope NCL fixes this quick. Never seen it before. The gift shop people were nice but they're doing this thing in the photo gallery where they don't print out the special photographer photos. You know where they have stations set up all over. On formal night there was only ONE backdrop. Green. Yuk. So we got ONE photo the entire cruise. But they only have one kiosk to view your photos and the software for reviewing them is not very user-friendly. This is going to cost them I'm sure. I like the kiosk idea, cutting down on waste. But they'd better get a lot more kiosks. The people in front of us spent about 10 minutes and couldn't have cared less that we were behind them waiting. Casino staff was nice, but there's always one dealer who hates their life. You'll meet him. They really need to stop smoking on the ship. I would have gambled a lot more had it not been for the smoke. I can't stand it. Security needs to address the drunks a little more quickly. Especially the jerks from Engine #4 in Miami. Wow. Out of control foul-mouthed drunks. I feel bad for anyone in Miami near Engine 4. BIG fitness area. Well equipped. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Embarkation- was the worst experience out of my 27 cruises. Since the cruise was departing at 4 we were advised to get there 2 hours before departure. We arrived around 1 pm and the lines were around the outside terminal. We were ... Read More
Embarkation- was the worst experience out of my 27 cruises. Since the cruise was departing at 4 we were advised to get there 2 hours before departure. We arrived around 1 pm and the lines were around the outside terminal. We were hearded like sheep, in the mist of the corona virus. I felt like a refugee in Elis island after ww 2. People coughing in lines with probably 300-500 passengers. Ship - although dated was in decent shape Cabin - was on the 8th deck with a obstructed view handicapped accessible. It was large Very close to o Sheehan but was surprisingly quiet. We never saw the steward , but he did a decent job Dining- food was better than I expected. We did eat at steakhouse, and they sat us at first at table near the entrance of the kitchen with waiters constantly walking by. The restaurant was not full and there were other tables and we asked to move and the did. Our food was delicious. It was only a 3 day cruise so most of our meals were in dining room and service and food was fine. Entertainment-we went to the legends show which was very good. I was surprised that the theater was never that crowded, although the seats were very uncomfortable. Spa- one of the reasons we went on this trip was because of the thallospa. It was a terrific Get away from the crowds and since the weather was cold it was good to be inside. There was an issue with the heated stone beds not working but that was fixed in a few hours. I just don’t know if cruising is in my future in light of covid 19. It was great for a while but the cruise industry put profits instead of lives first. I would have cancelled this trip if I could . Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Any Ratings listed will be on a scale of 1-5 Stars. The main purpose of the review is to give you ratings wherever possible and focus on the ship. Day 1 We got to the terminal around 11 am. Encore took up terminals B&C. Naturally ... Read More
Any Ratings listed will be on a scale of 1-5 Stars. The main purpose of the review is to give you ratings wherever possible and focus on the ship. Day 1 We got to the terminal around 11 am. Encore took up terminals B&C. Naturally we went to the wrong one, but there were no signs saying that one was for odd numbered decks and the other for even. We had our sea passes within 15 minutes of arriving, but had over 30 minutes wait to get on the ship. We went to the Local Bar to wait for the cabin to be ready. We have a standard balcony cabin. The bed is really comfortable, the shower is nice and there is lots of storage space. There are three outlets by the desk and a USB port on each side of the bed. The muster drill went off pretty well. We had ours down by the Main Dining Room. Everything being digital these days, made it go smooth. Afterwards, though was like a herd of cattle with everyone scrambling to the elevators. The problem with that is that people in wheel chairs get trampled. That is sad that some folks can be so inconsiderate. We spent the rest of the time getting to know the ship and we had supper at a BBQ restaurant. Food and service get 5 stars. Day 2- At Sea Day Bit of a bumpy ride last night. We had breakfast at The Local Bar, which is open 24/7. They serve breakfast longer than the buffet and are closer. The food gets 4 stars and the service gets 5. Very limited menu, but very quick. Good coffee and real orange juice. Good day for a nap. We had supper at Ocean Blue, which is a sea food restaurant. Again service gets 5 stars. The Appetizers, soup and desert were excellent, but alas, the entrée’s only rate a 3. We had 6:00 reservations and let them know we were going to the 7:30 show. They were very prompt to make sure we were done in time. We also used our free bottle of champagne which came with the cabin. The show was Choir of Men and it was really, really good! I don’t usually like musicals, but this one was centered on a local pub. If you have a chance to see it, give it a look. Day 2- San Juan This is a little bit misleading as we don’t get to port until 5:30 and leave at 11 pm, so most of it will be after dark. We turned our clocks ahead last night, so we are 2 hours ahead of back home in Wisconsin. Once again we had breakfast at The Local Bar and once again the service was fantastic. We finally made it up to deck 16 where the pool and buffet are. Met several from our group there. The pool area was packed. The important thing is, I found the soft serve ice cream machine! There are several of them and they serve hard packed ice cream too, when the buffet is open. It seems that most of the best venues are at the other end of the ship from our cabin. We had supper at Teppanyaki, which is a Japanese restaurant. It is worth trying once for the entertainment value, if nothing else. The food is really good, though, so not to worry. The chef cooks the food right in front of you. They have a lot of stations and they are divided in half. One chef does one side (8 guests to a side) and another chef does the other. They have to time it right, because the chef banters and jokes with the guests. The entertainment gets a definite 5 stars and the food gets a 5. Day 4- St. Thomas In port all day, but it is very hot and humid outside. We are staying on the ship and taking pictures as we have been to this port more times than any other. We had breakfast in the buffet and were disappointed. Usually we like their breakfast. We did get there a little late, but they started closing down early. They weren’t putting fresh food out. Coffee was good but they had the orange juice switched over. The French bread was dry. Hopefully I can give you a better report the next time we go. For now, it gets 3 Stars. Dinner was at Cagney’s. We had the dining package as one of the perks, so it included a bottle of Champaign. Both of the steaks were perfectly cooked and tender. 5 Stars. Day 5- Tortola Finally, a port we haven’t been to! Good long day in port. We had breakfast at The Local again, with very different results. The service was not very good. I asked for eggs over easy and got them scrambled. Both of our eggs weren’t warm and we had to send them back. We had to ask for the toast and butter. Much different than the 1st 2 times we were there. The Assistant Maitre”D came over and was basically annoying. He was annoying again when we went back for supper. Our excursion was a tour of Tortola and we almost didn’t go. First of all, it was a very hot day and I don’t do well with heat. The coach we were going to be on was open air. But the coach was also very high and no stool was provided to help people get on board. Lynette has bad knees and there was no way for her to board. This excursion was rated as level 1, meaning anyone should be able to do it. We really lucked out here, because we were able to get on 1 of the air conditioned coaches which was lower. It was a very nice tour. Tortola is a British possession, although the driver said it is owned by the people. They drive on the left. Lots of hair pin curves. 4 Stars for the tour. We stopped an hour at a beach. Fortunately, they also had a bar and shopping. As mentioned, we went to The Local for supper. Overall, I would give the food 4 Stars. Days 6&7- At Sea. Not a lot to report for the last two days. We ate breakfast at the café one day and The Local Bar the next. Both were very good, so that erases the bad experiences we had at each. We had supper at The Oservation Lounge one night The Local the other. So we did not eat supper at the Garden Café or the main dining room the entire cruise. This is a first for us. It was mostly due to the fact that we had the dining package for a perk. Friday afternoon, see saw a ship band Guns and Rojas. They were good. We had heard them before and weren’t impressed, so it must have been the style of music they were singing. This time they were doing a Frank Sinatra tribute. In the evening we went to see a comedy show that was quite good. One of the groups that we got to really like, during the cruise, was Jelly Bean Duo. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS • CABIN- 5 Stars; Very spacious for a standard balcony, lots of storage space, bed was comfortable. • CABIN STEWARD- 4 Stars; He did his job, or most of it, but seemed very late each day. Friendly enough to talk to. • FOOD QUALITY- 5 Stars for Specialty restaurants and 4 Stars for complimentary. • FOOD VARIETY- 4 Stars; They don’t seem to have the variety they used to have. They can no longer list breads and rolls as their specialty. They didn’t serve smoked salmon for breakfast and we never saw escargot on the menu for supper. Little things like that add up • ENTERTAINMENT- 4 Stars. Choir of Men and the comedian were terrific. We saw 3 of the house bands and 2 of them were very good. Not a lot of options. • FOOD SERVICE- 5 Stars; In spite of the few problems we had • BAR SERVICE- 4 Stars; It depends on where you are and when you are there • BARS- 5 Stars; A lot of the bars were at the other end of the ship so we didn’t spend much time there. The Local has a limited beer selection, so I had to stop somewhere along the way to get the beer. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just returned from a week on Encore. It is a fabulous new ship with tons to do on it and decorated to NCL's high standard. Unfortunately for us we chose a school holiday week, being from the UK this was unknown to us. However, with ... Read More
Just returned from a week on Encore. It is a fabulous new ship with tons to do on it and decorated to NCL's high standard. Unfortunately for us we chose a school holiday week, being from the UK this was unknown to us. However, with that said the 1000+ children on board didn't really bother us, other then sitting on stair cases and running the cabin corridors, then I did get a bit peed off with them! With all the things to do on this ship like Go carts, VR room and Laser Tag it is always going to attracted more families. We had an inside cabin (13665) which was plenty big enough or the 2 of us and was fine as we don't spend much time in there. It was spotlessly clean and had everything we needed. The reason I haven't given this ship 5 stars is due to the lack of quiet sunbathing space. H2O has been removed on this ship to make way for the VR room so that leaves Vibe, which I refuse to pay extra for! We spent our sea days sitting on the Waterfront, this has now also turned into sun bathing deck as some people were laying on towels on the walk way or dragging chairs out blocking the walk way in order to catch some sun. I am aware that there is always space available on the pool deck but it is far too busy and loud for us. We ate at Taste, The Local (breakfast) Garden cafe (lunch), observation lounge (lunch), Teppenyaki, Cagney's and Los Lobos. All were great with wonderful service. The only negative i can find is that Cagney's is so over booked that they are always running late with tables and its far from a nice relaxing environment to have dinner, tables crammed in and even spilling out into the A List bar. All the entertainment we seen was really good, Choir of Man is unmissable and we loved Jim Badgers humour! Unfortunately we didn't make it to see Kinky Boots but I heard others say it was great. Over all we had a great time, met some great people really liked Encore but it wouldn't be my first choice of ship in future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The laser tag and speedway are very cool but quite expensive. They seem to have taken the place of other free activities like basketball etc. which we missed. There are not enough chairs on the Pool deck perhaps forcing people to pay for ... Read More
The laser tag and speedway are very cool but quite expensive. They seem to have taken the place of other free activities like basketball etc. which we missed. There are not enough chairs on the Pool deck perhaps forcing people to pay for the beach club. The main dining rooms were every bit as good if not better than the specialty restaurants. We loved the deck 8 big blue couches and chairs and camped out there on all at sea days including the day that was supposed to be the private island, some usb plugs by all those chairs and sofas, may be helpful. Perhaps a dock at the private island would be a good idea rather than tendering so people can actually use the private island because it seems to be cancelled often due to safety issues with tendering. Our stateroom was very well appointed and our attendant was great. All the bar staff treated us well. The Chocolate Cowboy as he liked to call himself at sugarcane mojito bar outside on deck 8 was awesome. The cruise director was fine when we saw him, but not the best one we have ever had. Tortola needed to be way longer, no one wants to go snorkeling at 7:30 in the morning, especially when anyone who checked the weather report knew we weren’t getting off the ship the next day at the private island. We really enjoyed the Choir of Man, Kinky Boots was good but not for smaller children, we didn’t see the one you had to pay for, because really, we paid enough already, entertainment should be free. Overall, you have a beautiful ship that with a few tweaks would make me try again. For now, I will stick with Royal Caribbean or Disney. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise because I wanted to experience a brand new ship. I’m glad we cruised on the Encore. It’s a stunning ship. There is lots to like, but some legitimate drawbacks in a couple areas. I would cruise again with NCL, ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to experience a brand new ship. I’m glad we cruised on the Encore. It’s a stunning ship. There is lots to like, but some legitimate drawbacks in a couple areas. I would cruise again with NCL, but probably not on this particular ship. A bit about us. We are in our early 50s and do not have children. We like cruises, but every vacation is not a cruise vacation. We have taken cruises with Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Viking (a river cruise). This was our second cruise with NCL. The ship is indeed beautiful and offers to many choices of activities, dining, and entertainment. Our cabin (10226) was a mini-suite with a balcony. It was large enough for a couple. For a family, it would be tight. (The sofa could turn into a bed, and there was an upper bunk that could be pulled down from the ceiling, if desired.) The bathroom was the largest one we have ever had on a ship. The shower is nearly full-sized and a most welcome improvement over the telephone booth style showers we have encountered on some other ships. The shower head was quite fancy. It featured different spray options. Water pressure was good and the range of water temperatures was excellent. There is a trough-style double sink. A double sink was useless for us, but it could be helpful for a family. There are two dispensers in the shower: one containing shower gel and the other containing a combined shampoo & hair conditioner. Both my husband & I have short hair, so this was not a big deal. If you have longer hair, you might want to bring your own hair products. The shampoo/conditioner did not rinse as “cleanly” as I would have liked, but this was a minor issue. There is no standard waste receptacle in the bathroom, which I found odd and inconvenient. Instead, there is a very small waste container in a drawer below the sink. The bed was comfortable. There was plenty of storage space for two people. The TV worked well, but it seemed a little small. If you enjoy quiet time on your balcony, this is NOT the cabin for you. We were located two decks above the Sugar Cane Mojito Bar on the Waterfront. I could hear the bartender shaking drinks. As long as the bar was open, it was quite noisy on our balcony. Speaking of the Waterfront, I was looking forward to this set-up as it sounded like a great idea…in concept. We never saw anyone dine outside the specialty restaurants on the Waterfront. It was either too warm, too windy, or too chilly…and we were in the Caribbean. There is lots of seating scattered throughout the Waterfront, and these areas were popular with families and large groups, and probably people looking to escape interior cabins. I missed having a deck that we could walk around the entire ship, as we have done on other cruises. There is nothing comparable on the Encore. (The jogging track above the main pool area is a joke.) Many reviewers have commented about the lack of pool space and deck chairs, and this is very fair criticism of this ship. There is not nearly enough public pool and deck area for a ship with this many passengers. The hot tubs were packed full. The music was way too loud. It gave us a headache just to walk through the area. We did not pay for the more exclusive pool area because we never use the pools, so I can’t comment on conditions there. Some have commented about poor service on the Encore. That was NOT our experience at all. In nearly every instance – wait staff, our cabin steward (Elan), spa, guest services, and excursions, the service was outstanding. In most cases, the food was very good. Food in the specialty restaurants was OUTSTANDING. We ate at Cagney’s, Onda, Q, Los Lobos, and the American Diner. Food in The Local Bar was okay. I did like the set-up. Food was a little bland there, except for the hot dog. The basic level wine & alcoholic beverage package was included in our cruise fare, and worked well for me. I’m a wine drinker and fully enjoyed the wines (had to be less than $15 per glass) that qualified under the basic package. Without prompting, the wait staff always offered to refill a glass. The Garden Café (buffet) was my least favorite eating area. There were lots of choices, but it was always way too crowded and difficult to find a table. Pizza ordered through room service was okay. We've had much better pizza on other cruise lines and ships. The Observatory Lounge on Deck 15 is a GREAT space. It is really a unique area of this ship. It is a quiet space where many families gathered to play board games or complete puzzles during the sea days. Singles and couples read books there, or just sat and enjoyed a drink. There was always an abundant and varied offering of snacks, desserts and other food items – all complimentary. The panoramic view is amazing. The spa was nice. I enjoyed two different massages there. Ask for Raj. Yes, they do subject you to the usual sales pitch, which always annoys me. I would pay more just to avoid the stupid sales pitch and health “coaching”. To the question “What are you doing to reduce stress?”, I responded, “I am taking this cruise.” Raj thought that was funny. We went to Choir of Man on the Encore. I highly recommend it, and we generally don’t get all that excited about musicals and shows. The cast was incredibly talented, and the music was infectious. The entire audience was participating by the latter half of the show. We also enjoyed the piano player (can’t recall his name) in the Atrium. There were a lot of children and teenagers on this cruise. Nothing against children and teenagers, just against parents who don’t believe in teaching their children to respect others and behave reasonably. There were quite a few “entitled” young folks on this cruise. My husband summed it up, “I know I sound like a grumpy old person, but I never hear these young folks say ‘thank you’”. We tried the race track. It was fun, but once was enough. I think most people would have been much happier with this ship if the space dedicated to the race track was instead dedicated to more pool and lounging deck space. Don’t bother with the Internet and Wi-Fi packages offered on the ship. Connections (when available) are SLOW. Ditch the electronics and use it as a good excuse to unplug and get away. We participated in shore excursions offered by NCL in San Juan, St. Thomas, and Tortola. We did “Sips & Bites” in San Juan. I was hoping for more history about San Juan and Puerto Rico. Instead, the guide got really detailed about the “art” of “craft cocktails”. I love a good cocktail, but this guy acted like they were finding a cure for cancer -- took himself way too seriously. We had some nice cocktails and appetizers, but definitely not worth the price for this excursion. In both St. Thomas and Tortola we opted for the standard minibus tour of each island. On the St. Thomas tour, they forced way too many people into the wagon. Be prepared to get to know your seatmates very well. Due to choppy waters and poor weather, the Great Stirrup Cay stop was cancelled and became a sea day instead. By this point in the cruise, I was getting stir crazy and ready to get off the ship, so that was my least favorite day. The disembarkation process was very disorganized. Embarkation was okay. Many cabins were not ready until 3:00 or 3:30 pm. In summary, I'm glad we experienced the Encore, but I don't need to experience it again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We go for the newest ships, often sucked in by the gimmicks plus the itinerary. In this case it was the race track and laser tag and the chance to try a new line. This was our 8th cruise -- previously we've been on Disney, Royal ... Read More
We go for the newest ships, often sucked in by the gimmicks plus the itinerary. In this case it was the race track and laser tag and the chance to try a new line. This was our 8th cruise -- previously we've been on Disney, Royal Caribbean and Carnival. For our "free perks" I had selected 3 specialty dining (Cagney's, LeBistro, Ocean Blue), 250 minutes of wifi, and the drink package. Food I felt was on par with other lines except not many complimentary choices for lunch. For example nothing on the pool deck except the buffet. I've never done specialty restaurants before. It's fine if it's included but I wouldn't pay for them. Main dining room is perfectly sufficient for us. Staff I felt was on par with other lines. Typically if you're friendly and treat people with respect they respond in kind. Not very happy about all the extra activity fees. $10 for laser tag. $15 for race track. $30 for an hour in Galaxy Pavilion. They should let everybody do each thing once and pay for extra times. I ended up paying almost $400 for activities for the four of us (including a $160 arcade pass). Thankfully my wife thinks the spa is too expensive and didn't go there. I waited a year in order for my kids to be tall enough for the race track but my youngest still wasn't tall enough. But at least they have double car sessions and he could ride with me. Note even though this is supposed to be "free style," you seriously need to plan out and reserve dinners, shows and activities -- especially laser tag, race track and escape -- if you want to be assured that you can do them. So planning was actually a little tiring, especially since many items you can't reserve until you get on board. We had intended to do the escape room but I didn't book it fast enough and all the slots disappeared by day 2. But it's just as well based on the feedback I've read. I didn't realize until after I booked that all these gimmicks seriously impacted other areas on the ship. For example there is no adults only area unless you want to pay extra for the Vibe. There is just one small pool and a small shallow one for the kids. And four small hot tubs (capacity of 6-7 adults but typically was full of kids). This is the first cruise I ever went on where I didn't get in the hot tub. The pool was salt water so my kids didn't care to go in a second time as it burned their eyes and tasted nasty if it got in their mouths. The tube water slide was fun but we only did it once. Not really worth waiting for 30 minutes each time. The Ocean Loop slide is a failure due to poor design or implementation only people weighing 130 lbs or more could go on it. And even though I'm well over 130 lbs I failed to go through the first time. The second time I took off my rash guard (shirt) and made it through. And lounging space on the pool deck is extremely limited. Since we prefer shade it wasn't a big issue for us. The tv system and app is decent but doesn't have the ability to book certain things and you can't cancel anything either. So I had to visit guest services a number of times. If the app was more comprehensive this would not have been necessary. Texting via the app worked well. I think this should be a complimentary feature, not $10/device. The free wifi was so-so but it generally worked well enough. Trying to limit kid's accounts was very difficult. I couldn't put a dollar limit, it was either leave open or close it. I closed it just to be safe but that caused various problems (for example it wouldn't let me book laser tag for my son even though I was using my card to do it). So I shouldn't have bothered. My kids know enough not to charge stuff wantonly. I had only been doing it just in case. At least the kids activities and kids club was not an extra charge. We didn't use it much but my younger son spent about 5-6 hours total there. He enjoyed it enough to ask to go back after the first time. For some dumb reason they didn't properly accommodate smokers at launch so they scrambled to add an outdoor smoking area on the pool deck. They should have planned for this in the first place. I love that the main casino is smoke-free. You can actually walk through it without gagging. We thought the shows and entertainment (Choir of Men, Kinky Boots, Beatles) were quite good and entertaining. I refuse to pay extra for a show so I didn't attempt to see Prohibition. Bottom line is go for this ship if you are interested in race track, laser tag and galaxy pavilion. Or the overall itinerary. But if you won't use those anyway pick a ship that has the adults area (Spice H2O) and more space for the traditional areas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port ... Read More
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port at 12pm on a rainy day in Miami only to find a massive line up, in which parts of it left you standing in the rain. It took approximately 2.5 hrs to board the Escape. Upon entering I was blown away by its beauty and pure size- I couldn’t wait to explore! I quickly learned that the lineup I dreaded having to deal with to board would follow me wherever I went on the ship- food, drinks, washroom, you name it. Which quickly becomes frustrating when you are trying to have a relaxing vacation. On our first sail day we went to go to the pool, only to find it was a sea of bodies in the pool and no chairs to be found. Sadly the Escape has a pool not much bigger than the average backyard pool that is somehow supposed to fit +4000 people. I was very disappointed to know I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere close to the pool. Our first stop was Roatan and we chose to do the Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkelling. Everything was perfect. The staff were friendly, and very helpful when teaching how to snorkel. And the Reef was absolutely stunning! Second stop was Harvest Caye, Belize. I was very interested for this stop as I knew the island was owned by NCL and operated by locals. We chose to not do an excursion that day and just explore and relax on the island. What I was not aware of is that our food and drink package are not included on the island. 2 daiquiri’s were a whopping $25! It was refreshing to have a large pool to sit next to as this was my first day being able to go in a pool on our vacation. After lunch we decided to go back to the ship as it was too expensive to be buying drinks when we already had paid for a very costly drink package. Third stop was supposed to be Costa Maya but unfortunately got cancelled due to a local strike. In turn we had a half day at sea as they continued onward to Cozumel. Having over 24 hrs in Cozumel actually worked quite well as we were able to do extra exploring and not be in a hurry to get back to the ship. We went and swam with the dolphins and stingray. It was a 5 min cab ride to the aquarium. Overall it was an amazing experience! The highlight of the cruise was the food. Le Bistro was hands down my favourite restaurant. Most of the staff throughout the ship were friendly and very attentive. The only staff member I can complain about was a bartender at the Mojito bar. We went there every night before dinner and he was always straight to the point and we witnessed him yell at various customers. If NCL is reading this, I would say their app is very helpful when on-board and we caught ourselves always referring to it. You can message fellow passengers through it for a very expensive price. I would like to see them change that so you can message your family members on the cruise through the app for free. Overall it was a great trip and I was able to bring home lots of amazing memories. I do feel like I could use some time away from people though. Personally I would not recommend Harvest Caye but Roatan and Cozumel were lovely. If I go on another cruise it will have to be with less people and more pool options. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose Norwegian Escape because his itinerary and packages included . Having the balcony is a must and thermal Spa this will get to be well relax and enjoy your trip. The only drawback is the amount of people using the pool and the ... Read More
We chose Norwegian Escape because his itinerary and packages included . Having the balcony is a must and thermal Spa this will get to be well relax and enjoy your trip. The only drawback is the amount of people using the pool and the jacuzzi is like having a human soup, it is pack all day long. The food is OK the ship had with multiple restaurants for different taste I recommend the drinking And specialty packages. In any of the restaurants they Desserts are no bueno, pastries tasted and looked like been defrost the day before and then served to the passengers. Asian food was great with multiple plates presented but at the same time very spicy(hot). Shows were great with full of talent. Must see the dueling pianos show they sound the best. Multiple activities around the ship were very good. We enjoy our cabin which have the balcony this was great . Plenty is space for our 3 suitcases and clothes for two the bathroom was small but enough space to put all your wife’s things and yours . Regarding Excursion, be beware of Roatan . That Island sucks it is very poor and below average beach. The best was Harvest Caye (cabanas) and Cozumel, Chankanaab natural park great snorkeling time and beach relaxing time. My complains is your drinking and food plan can not be use at their private island were a bottle of a draft beer will cost you $9 ..... Enjoy your trip and Escape Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Overall a wonderful trip. The ship is magnificent. Boarded in Miami and was so glad to have just moved up to platinum as my line to get on was 10 minutes long, the others were in the hundreds and took 3 hours to get on. There must be a ... Read More
Overall a wonderful trip. The ship is magnificent. Boarded in Miami and was so glad to have just moved up to platinum as my line to get on was 10 minutes long, the others were in the hundreds and took 3 hours to get on. There must be a better process not a good way to start. The ship is beautiful, the staff is excellent and the food is best I’ve had on a cruise except the buffet. It was constantly cold and all tasted the same. The room was great, spotless at all times with a very personable nice steward. Room 9878 sits on top of a bar on the waterfront and had extremely loud music until 10:30 every night but then was quiet. Just don’t plan on a quiet night in. One big issue was Re boarding the ship in Cartegena. There were 3 long lines and a short Haven line which is fine, they pay plenty for that service but then 2 buses arrived and those 100 people were allowed to create their own line and cut in causing the rest of us an additional hour in the 100 heat to snake our way up. This is the fault of ncl not organizing and moving lines. There sure were plenty of staff handing out washcloths that could hVe controlled traffic, just frustrating when hot and exhausted. The smoking situation is an issue on this ship. It’s great to have an open deck area on 17 in Spice to go but in the casino it’s a small room that is is normally ventilated very well except on sea days when crowded. Also they have 5 table games in there that in 17 days ionly saw 2 with a player. I suggested they remove 2 and add more slots as times we were standing in line to play. It would have been nice to have like on others ships an ashtray outside on deck 8 where you could duck out and smoke a quick cigarette and get back in. There are many more closet smokers than you would expect. The staff on this ship were excellent. The specialty restaurants obviously have the best servers but we found some trying very hard in main dining rooms. Ocean blue was a great surprise for us. The seafood was wonderful as well as the service. Also no I Sheehan’s, name change to local. Served a great fast breakfast and menu upgrade. Overall a great trip Oh it did take 3 hours to get off ship thanks to customs border protection wow lots missed shuttles and tours was really ugly.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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