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Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We really enjoy NCL for its food service and shows, but this ship has squashed our positive feelings, let me explain. The ship holds 4000 plus passengers, mostly heavy drinkers and casino addicts on this cruise, but that was not the ... Read More
We really enjoy NCL for its food service and shows, but this ship has squashed our positive feelings, let me explain. The ship holds 4000 plus passengers, mostly heavy drinkers and casino addicts on this cruise, but that was not the problem. The design of the ship is not passenger friendly. Firstly the balcony cabins are small, with a huge uncomfortable to sit on sofa bed occupying much of the space in addition to the beds in this cramped space. The bathroom is another issue. On one side of the door to the cabin is a phone booth size shower stall, and the toilet is on the other side in a similar stall. The tiny sink is located about 6 feet away next to the closet in the cabin- and I mean tiny. More importantly there is not enough seating in the show room, or in the atrium area where many activity are held. These are simply nice chairs but there are not enough of them. Activities there attract a lot of guests, most of whom must stand. The cavern club where great music takes place holds less than 100 people- again very few chairs. The comedy club fails in the same way. We were also disgusted by their "dueling Pianos" that for one show featured two improvising drunks begging for drinks or tips, or in the second show a screetching girl player and the worse drunk.Crowded, but not for long. There was a lack of band music to dance to, and the large Bliss lounge was underused, mostly saved for drunken karaoke singers. If you do not buy the drink package be prepared to pay 9 dollars for a beer, and 12 for a mixed drink. They will not allow you to bring on board a bottle of wine, or bottled water- 3bucks to buy it there. This ship is a real negative for NCL, so avoid it. I have been on 30 plus cruises- I know a dog when I see it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Went with a group of folks on the Norwegian Epic from January 13 - January 20th. Overall it was a nice trip in spite of the ship. Lets get on with it shall we? Ports Visited: Nassau, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Stirrup Cay Weather: ... Read More
Went with a group of folks on the Norwegian Epic from January 13 - January 20th. Overall it was a nice trip in spite of the ship. Lets get on with it shall we? Ports Visited: Nassau, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Stirrup Cay Weather: This was a very unusual trip in that almost every port we visited was overcast with the exception of our last stop which was Stirrup cay (Norwegians Island). Even that visit was fairly cool and none of us went in the water because of it. Embarkation: Somewhat chaotic with long lines of people sitting around waiting to be called to board by group. Fortunately we were early however it really seemed disorganized. Cabin - We stayed in a mid-section cabin on the 9th deck starboard side. Folks have complained about the cabin size however my wife and I found the bed very cozy and comfortable. It's definitely close quarters however we did not think it was overly tight quarters. The Bathroom and shower are by the door however we didn't find this to be a problem. Our steward (Kim) was one of the truly bright spots of our cruise and took good care of us during this trip. Shops onboard Ship: The jewelry/watch shop is nice and seemed to have a good selection of watches at decent prices. Running track: Located on starboard side on deck 7. The track is restricted to the starboard side of the ship only and does not go around the entirety of the ship. 3.5 laps = 1 mile so Joggers plan accordingly. Wireless plan: Because of our work, we chose to get the unlimited WiFi plan. Cost was $209 U.S./week for unlimited WiFi access. The catch is that you can only have one device accessing the WiFi at a time. This could be problematic for families. Messaging using iConcierge is spotty at best. I would text our friends and they wouldn't get our texts until hours later and vice-versa. Wireless services are on deck 5 to sign up. Meals/Restaurant: We ate at La Cucina, Wasabi, Teppanyaki, and Cagneys. All of these restaurants were good and provided a good meal for the price. We really liked the Garden Cafe on Deck 15. It was busy however we were always able to find a seat. The food selection was good however it was literally the same food day after day with the exception of the main courses. Norwegian Room Upgrade: This feature is awful and I was not impressed with it at all. I bid on 4 rooms at or near full price and didn't get any of them. My sense is that they were all sold out weeks ago however the cruise line still lists them up for bid until 2 days before sailing. In general, I would simply prefer to pay for a suite if one is available rather than 'hope' to get one. It's cruel to hold folks hostage for the possibility of a nice room then not deliver. Elevators: Norwegian has simply not mastered the movement of large amounts of people between decks. We were constantly waiting for an elevator for at least 10 minutes to get between the Buffet on 15 to the main decks (Decks 5,6,7). On the last day, I wound up giving up on an elevator to leave the ship and had to carry our rather heavy luggage down the stairs to disembark the ship. Pools: If you are looking to layout by a pool or experience drinking in a bar in the pool, this ship is NOT for you. ALL of the pools are kiddie size and there is no large pool that we could find. My wife and I like to 'hang out' in the pool on a cruise and with 4,000 guests, that simply was not possible on this ship. Many folks seemed frustrated and hung out at the H20 bar hoping that a lounge chair would become available and take a 'dip' in the kiddie adult pool located at the stern of the ship. Casino: We enjoy playing the slots on board ship however we gave up after a few days. If you're expecting these slots to pay anything worth while, good luck. They're extremely tight. As for table games, I occasionally like to play 3 card poker however after several attempts here i realized I was simply just throwing my money away. I like to watch people play this game however many were frustrated with the game since the dealer always seamed to crush the players. So much so that after a couple of days, folks didn't even bother playing the ante since they knew they would lose. I watched folks play 3 card every day and saw only one 3 of a kind during the entire trip. Again, the Casino is large and the wait staff are fantastic. Just don't plan on winning much and you will be fine. They have several slot machine tournaments and we watched several of our friends compete. It was alot of fun to watch and they seemed to really enjoy it. Casino Games include: Penny, Dollar, High Limit slots, 3 Card Poker, Black Jack, Craps, Roulette, and Let it ride. There were other table games however we didn't play any of those. Shore Excursions - We had one shore excursion (snorkeling in Grand Cayman) scheduled however it was cancelled the night before due to weather. When we arrived in port, we took a tender to town to shop and noticed alot of folks snorkeling. Come to find out Norwegian was the only cruise ship to cancel its water excursions. Disappointing to say the least. Ports Visited - Nassau - Our sense is that Nassau is still recovering from Hurricane Matthew. Several shops were closed and there was such a competition for tourist dollars by the vendors that it almost became annoying (which is NOT normal for Nassau locals). We went over to the Atlantis which was nice however the casino looked a bit run down and the shops were VERY expensive. On top of that, the weather was fairly lousy and it was very breezy so we left early back to the ship. Jamaica: The town of Falmouth seemed nice and we enjoyed checking out the shops right by the port. We took a cab over to Montego Bay and it was not a pretty drive. Lots of poverty in Jamaica which was on full display during our ride. Once we arrived in Montego Bay, we walked around a bit and landed at MargaritaVille and had a nice lunch there. We went to walk around by the water however we wound up being hounded by a local who wouldn't leave us alone forcing us to leave back to the ship early. Grand Cayman: By far our favorite port and one that we would consider spending a week at. Very clean, lots of shops, and friendly folks. On top of that the water around the island was gorgeous. I REALLY wish our snorkel excursion would not have been cancelled. Such is life and something to look forward to in the future should we decide on an extended stay here. Stirrup Cay - This is Norwegians Island and it's very nice. Members of our group rented a cabana which was nice. Cost = $500 and you get a cabin steward to bring you drinks and food trays (cheeses, meats and chips). By far this was the best weather day of the trip which unfortunately was the last day. Dis-embarkation: Norwegian allows you to just walk off the ship starting at 7:30 on Saturday. Great concept however executing the exit was challenging to say the least. We waited over 20 minutes for an elevator, gave up and wound up lugging our luggage down the stairs to deck 7 to disembark. Bottom line: The ship and cabin were very clean and looked great however Norwegian has a ways to go with managing so many people onboard this size of ship. The pools were a huge disappointment and its for that reason that we don't plan on cruising this ship again. Next cruise will probably be with Royal Caribbean since they seem to manage their guests and activities so much better. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how wonderful this cruise was for us! Everything was spot on from the moment of departure to the sad moment when we returned back to port on the final day. The staff is compromised ... Read More
There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how wonderful this cruise was for us! Everything was spot on from the moment of departure to the sad moment when we returned back to port on the final day. The staff is compromised of the best, most enjoyable people that you could possibly meet. Now, I know what you are thinking, these people are paid for this. Which is true. But I was able to sit down with several of them outside of them "working" and we chatted and just enjoyed life together! I have never danced so much In my whole life than what I did on the cruise (and I used to be a dance teacher!) The numerous dancer classes that they offered were a blast! Plus the parties every night gave you a chance to show off your dance moves that I picked up! Shifting gears, the food was wonderful! It was always delicious, and when you have a buffet that has a different theme every night, you never find yourself eating the same food twice. The specialty restaurants have offer you an experience unlike any other. From the fine dining of La Cucina, to the Hibachi of Teppanyaki, every meal was fantastic! The shows on the ship were phenomenal. And me being the over eager individual I am, made it a point to meet a specific member of the amazing dance show Burn The Floor. It only took me about a a day and a half but I got my moment, and we got to dance a salsa together before snapping a pic or two together! Just there is so much to love about this ship. The rooms, are perfectly cute and quaint. They may not be the most spacious but, how much time do you really expect to spend in the room? The layout of the ship is simple and effective and you won't have any trouble finding your may around! This was our first cruise, and after this experience it will not be our last! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We were on this cruise to celebrate my wife’s 65th birthday. During the booking process we were asked what time were we planning to arrive for checking in, yet we had to line up and wait with the masses to embark. **When ... Read More
We were on this cruise to celebrate my wife’s 65th birthday. During the booking process we were asked what time were we planning to arrive for checking in, yet we had to line up and wait with the masses to embark. **When booking the cruise I informed the agent that We were on this cruise to celebrate my wife’s 65th birthday. She indicated that she was making a note of it in the reservation. Other people on other cruise were recognized for their birthdays with a “happy birthday” plackard placed on their stateroom door. Nothing was done for my wife, despite my mentioning it to several members of your staff. Despite that we had a good time on the cruise. The culinary staff of the Garden Cafe were excellent. I am a vegetarian and I mentioned it to one of the head chefs. He made sure that there vegetarian food available for me. The best thing about this cruise was the staff! Thanks Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We saw a video of the Escape that NCL put together on a cruise to the Panama Canal on the Pearl. We had such a great cruise on the Pearl we would give NCL another chance on the Escape. The ship had over 4,000 cruisers on it (very big ... Read More
We saw a video of the Escape that NCL put together on a cruise to the Panama Canal on the Pearl. We had such a great cruise on the Pearl we would give NCL another chance on the Escape. The ship had over 4,000 cruisers on it (very big ship). The main problem is that there is not enough amenities to service the 4,000 cruisers. Staff was way over whelmed and not friendly in those situations. Also be prepared to book shows and dining at least 3 months in advance. Again not enough ship services for all to take advantage of the many things advertised on the video we saw on the Pearl. Don't use this as a review of NCL but rather the Escape and NCL's take on a large cruise ship. They did a great job when we sailed on the Epic and Pearl. Not so great on this ship due to the lack of dining and entertainment venues not being able to handle 4,000 cruisers. All dining was good except the buffet. Due to the buffet being bad as compared to Pearl and Epic the lines were long for the dining rooms and due to this the host staff at the dining rooms were not very friendly at all. the specialty restaurants were fantastic but book early unless you want to eat at 10 pm. Due to the buffet being bad I gave dining a poor rating. Also recommend to carry your bags off the ship during debarkation. The place to pick up your bags is a mess and we had a bag picked up by someone thinking it was their bag when we had our bags clearly marked they belonged to us. Thank to a very smart Delta agent and great staff at the Miami Airport lost and found we got our bag back. When we tried to get help the contractor help NCL has at the baggage area to help us but it was poor at best and we almost missed our flight dealing with this. Just be aware of the liability policy NCL states on their contract and I would highly recommend keeping your bags with you as much as you can on Embarkation and Debarkation. I would not recommend the Escape unless you like crowds and are able to book specialty dining and shows 3-4 months in advance. NCL did a poor job on their version of a mega cruise ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Before I start my review I want to let you know how fun the Meet and Greets, Slot Pulls and Cabin Crawls are with Cruise Critic. Our Meet and Greet this time was put on by MIchelle and Chris and they did a fantastic job of organizing that ... Read More
Before I start my review I want to let you know how fun the Meet and Greets, Slot Pulls and Cabin Crawls are with Cruise Critic. Our Meet and Greet this time was put on by MIchelle and Chris and they did a fantastic job of organizing that and the Cabin Crawl. My husband and I did the Slot Pull. For our Meet and Greet we were in the District Brew House so there were beer samples and snack samples being passed around. There was music playing and we got to meet the staff and of course the other nice cruisers. What a blast. From there we went right to the Slot Pull and that was a lot of fun. We actually made $3.00 above our bet. Then on Wednesday we had the Cabin Crawl. This was my first time doing a Cabin Crawl and I was really impressed with all the different types of room we saw. These events are a great way to meet other and to learn more about your ship and cruising in general. I really recommend this especially if it is your first cruise. But it is for everyone first cruise or 30th cruise. Great time!! Ok so now here is my review. I purchased this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and my cousins 60th birthday. We went with our husbands. I had been on the Escape before and really loved Tortola and St. Thomas and those were two of the ports were were going to see. After the hurricane devastated some of the islands our stops were to Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Cayman, GSC (Great Stirrup Cay) and Nassau Bahamas. I was not as thrilled with these stops but it was looking forward to Grand Cayman and GSC. Embarkation It went smoothly...no issues at all. Got to our room and was disappointed that the room configuration was not what I asked for. I had a spa balcony cabin and after researching I found that there are two configurations of these rooms. One were the couch is closer to the closet (allowing you much more room to get in and out of the closet) and the other with the bed is closer to the closet giving you less room. Because of my disability (I am getting a two level low back fusion in 3 days) I discussed the rooms with the agent and she was able she said to get me my desired room. Well she did not give me the right room. So when I got to my room I called guest services and they said they said they would send in my concern. Later that day received a message on my phone from some man that said there was no record of this. Since I did not speak with him I have no idea if he knew the correct request or not. So either she did not put the notes in or they were telling me I was lying. Very said for a person who likes NCL and has recommended them to many friends and family. So I was really in a lot of pain trying to bend in this small area to get things that I needed. The Muster Drill was a little longer than usual because you have those people who think they can wander in late...then those who wander in even later...and those who do not care at all and come when they feel THEY should show up. So this makes for a longer time. At my cousin's station a lady was screaming that it was taking to long. I think they had to remove her because she was screaming so loudly. So when they give you your time for the drill please be considerate and get there on time. The Escape is beautiful and there is something for everyone. From a pool, childrens area, slides for both kids and adults putt putt, bowling, Spice H2O a place for adults only. So many places to go on this ship. . Then there are many bars and places to dine. I don't drink much if at all but in order for my husband to get the drink package I had to as well. He also doesn't drink much but being with my cousin and her husband he did drink more than usual. The District Beer house was very nice. We all enjoyed everything about it except the waitress. She was the most unfriendliest person on the ship. They have many types of beers and a cozy atmosphere. You can order I believe 4 different items from the menu, like sliders and wings but it will cost you an additional fee. My cousin and her husband ordered a few things the second night not knowing she had to pay. This was her their first time on NCL. So if you are looking for great beers go here. If you want beer and free food go to Sheehans as it complimentary. The Cabin The cabin was nice except for the configuration as I spoke of above. Everything worked fine. There was enough storage and room for both of us. Our steward was great with the animals in the room. Those are always a treat. And he kept everything nice for us. I should have asked him to fix the bed because there was a piece of plastic that went between our beds where they push them together. I could feel this and it was uncomfortable. I should have requested him to fix it and I am sure he would have. Just kept forgetting after I got up. The pillows on the bed were very nice. Make sure if you are in your room and you want to hear the announcements turn your tv on and go to channel 22 and you will be able to hear them in your room. Dining All specialty restaurants we went to were wonderful. We did La Cucina, Cagney's and Tepanyaki. All of us enjoyed our meal. In fact in the Italian they had tbone steak...kinda sad they took out the ribeye. But I was so stuffed after eating the pasta that I told our waiter to skip my steak. My husband got it so I had a few bites of his. I just did not want to waste a steak. So yes there is definitely a lot of food at these restaurants. And the desserts are great except for the Tepanyaki. I do not like either of the two desserts they offer. Green tea cake and fruit sashimi. I wish they would add a few other choices like the other restaurants have. We also went to Taste, Savor and Manhattan Room for dinner as well. All were very good. I love when the strip loin is on the menu and I was so happy I did not have a specialty reservation that night. Oh and really make your reservations for the specialty restaurants as soon as you are able to on line. Otherwise you may get shut out. We tried to change a time on our 630 La Cucina reservation to a 530 reservation so we could get to a 730 show. This was the first night I tried and they were booked. So this is really important if you want to get reservations. Entertainment and Activities. We get the spa package so most of our free time is spent there. And being disabled it really helps me feel good. My cousin and her husband did the slides and they loved them. My cousin is 60 and her husband 70 and they had a blast. So the slides are not just for kids. We only ended up with one show and that was the For the Record the Brat Pack. It was excellent. We saw it the last time on the ship but it was in the Supper Club. So being in the Theater gave it a little difference. Still excellent. I would recommend it. But there is some strong language so I would not recommend it for smaller kids. Spa We love the spa and so we got the spa balcony our room was so close to the steps and we could go directly up to the spa on the next floor. This spa is a little more expensive than on other ships but it has more. There is a steam room which is great and then right after we would go into the ice room for like a minute or so and boy is that refreshing. You are not even cold. They also have a salt room which I went into but then after reading the sign inside that says people with diabetes and high blood pressure should not use it, I got out. It would have been nice for the sign to be on the outside like all the other signs. They also have two types of saunas as well. And what is nice on this ship is that I could go in these with my husband. On the Gem and Dawn these areas were inside the women's areas so you could only go in by yourself or with other ladies but not with your spouse. I like this much better. They had many heated loungers and they were great about removing towels for people who were saving them while they got a spa treatment. I like that they were pro active in this area. There are also many regular loungers that are very comfortable. We had a relaxing time in the Thermal Spa!! Ports and Shore Excursions. This is where we were really disappointed due to weather conditions. Our first stop was Jamaica. We did a food walking tour that was excellent. We did not do it from the ship but directly from the website. Look up Jamaica Culinary Tours if you are interested. Next stop was Grand Cayman and we had a three stop snorkeling and stingray experience with Captain Marvins. Another one that you can book directly with them. 3 snorkeling stop and then the stingray stop for $45. Another guest said he booked Captain Marvin through Shore excurioneer and paid more. But it did not matter what we paid because after we got off the ship we found out that the port police or port authority would not let the snorkeling tours go out. Not private ones and not on the ship. Boy we were disappointed. I went with Captain Marvins about 6 years ago and it was amazing. So we walked around just a little bit since it is hard for me to walk and we went back to the ship and to the spa.. Next stop Great Stirrup Cay. We were really excited to see there island and lay in the sun and have a bbq. another highlight of the trip that did end up happening. Due to the weather we could not tender and therefore could not visit the Island. The captain took us directly to the Bahamas and we got there at 1pm on Thursday and stayed overnight and spent the entire day there on Friday. I am not big on the Bahamas so was pretty disappointed. But we did find a snorkeling tour with the ship to Athol Island. It was only $50 so not a bad price. We went to one snorkeling spot and it was really chilly out. But I did get in and snorkel for awhile. Many of us just stayed in about 15 minutes but there was enough time to snorkel a lot had it been nice out. Service The service on the ship was great!! Everyone except for the waitress in the District Brew House and our waiter in Cagney's had a smile on there face. I am for the most part always smiling and try to stay happy so I like when I go on a trip and the service staff is also happy. Just a shout out to Leyda in the Manhattan club. She was so sweet and so nice we all wrote the comment cards out about her. I hope she and the other crew members had a good time in the Bahamas. Since we were staying overnight there the crew got to enjoy some of the sites. What a nice break for this hard working staff. We would definitely go on the Escape again. We think it is a great ship. Lots to do and great food. If you have any special requests I would make sure you put it in writing. You do not want to have happen to you what happened to us. I am doing that with our next trip on the NCL Bliss to Alaska so I can get the room configuration that will be good for me and my disability. If you decide to go on the Escape have a great time! We sure did! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We choose this ship because of the itinerary and also how need the ship was and the amenities. We also wanted to just have a relaxing time and reconnect as a couple away from the stresses of everyday life My wife loved the Spa and by ... Read More
We choose this ship because of the itinerary and also how need the ship was and the amenities. We also wanted to just have a relaxing time and reconnect as a couple away from the stresses of everyday life My wife loved the Spa and by far was the activity that she found the most value in as for myself I enjoyed the casino and just how smoke free it was and also the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Our Stateroom was immaculate and the steward was so attentive and always looking to go the extra mile which was indicative of all the staff that we encounter with Norwegian. The value on this trip was outstanding, the food was top notch and I definitely recommend the specialty Dinning Moderno it was amazing. Ocho Rios was our favorite Port as we loved the Best Of Ocho excursion loved learning about Jamaica and the Jamaican culture Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because of the schedule was hitting 6 islands on a 10 day cruise. However, spending the last 3 days at sea got a bit boring. We loved the Dawn as we don't have a liking for mega ships so the crowd was less invasive. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the schedule was hitting 6 islands on a 10 day cruise. However, spending the last 3 days at sea got a bit boring. We loved the Dawn as we don't have a liking for mega ships so the crowd was less invasive. It also helped that the ship was only half booked. We did have a great time, but it's sad to see they even want to charge extra for water??? Really?? Just go to the 24hr Garden Café and get it at no charge. The staff was incredible! Everyone was very friendly and paid attention to every detail. Food was ok, bland at times and we did get tired of pretty much the same thing over and over. Cabin was great! It had good storage and the beds were even comfortable.. or maybe we were just so tired at the end of the day it didn't matter. The on board entertainment was fantastic, but they needed more variety on a 10 day cruise as we saw the same comedian twice. Available TV viewing in the cabin was extremely limited. Don't waste your money on an internet package either. If you have to do that hit an free internet spot at most ports. We booked shore excursions separate from the ship and we dad a blast, plus saved some bucks as well. The Dawn is very comfortable and in good shape with the recent renovations. I'll let my video speak for itself... Just copy and paste... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e894Ivusx8 Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first cruise aboard any cruise line and we were invited to join our friends who have had previous cruise experience. From the very first moment on board on day one we were amazed. The ship itself was in a constant state of ... Read More
This was our first cruise aboard any cruise line and we were invited to join our friends who have had previous cruise experience. From the very first moment on board on day one we were amazed. The ship itself was in a constant state of cleanliness and readiness. All of the staff, no matter what their position on the crew were wonderfully receptive and friendly. We travelled with an all adult party with 6 others and planned for only one shore excursion in Falmouth Jamaica. We enjoyed our first cruise experience by booking a balcony suite and we were both amazed at how large our cabin suite was. Admittedly, we didn't spend a great deal in our cabin but, when we were there we were very, very comfortable. Waking up in the morning and having coffee together on the balcony at sea or as we pulled into a port of call was like a dream come true. And the views at sea at sunset or in the evening while at sea were fantastic. Our cabin steward was the absolute best! She provided such great service for us the entire cruise and kept our room tidy and provided turn down service every evening. We opted for the ultimate beverage package as well as the dining upgrade and enjoyed dining at LeBistro, Cagney's Steakhouse and LaCucina. All three restaurants were exquisite and the staff were so very accomodating. Even without a dining upgrade, cruisers can enjoy some of the best food from a wide variety of cuisines. All of the dining areas were kept in a constant state of cleanliness and the wait staff were so attentive. The various bars and taverns on board were fantastic and again the staff were very responsive, friendly and hard working. The variety shows and entertainment onboard, the casino and the water activities such as the pools and waterslides were absolutely wonderful. Our trip included some slight inclement weather however, that didn't seem to stop both novice and experienced cruisers from taking advantage of those water activity areas. Along with our cruise package, we opted for the addition of onboard spa privileges and while we didn't visit the spa daily, when we were there we were completely pampered. The spa services offered were outstanding to include our favorite area, the quiet area on sauna beds that overlooked the bow (front) of the ship with a breathtaking view both at sea or in port. The spa also offered various steam, sauna, salt and snow rooms and we took advantage of all of the aforementioned as a way to relax. A complimentary tea and infused water bar along with locker rooms with showers, fresh towels and robes complete the main spa area. While we didn't book any spa treatments onboard, their offering include haircuts and shaves for men as well as massage, pedicures and manicures and many other services. Adjacent to the spa was a fully equipped gym with both free weights and machines for resistance training. Treadmills and other cardio machines were readily available with fantastic views along the Starboard (right) side of the ship. All of the ports of call offered something different for everyone. And while we opted out of our shore excursion (water tubing) in Falmouth Jamaica due to weather, we enjoyed our time there shopping. We would recommend to future cruisers to boo excursions ahead of time because these activities do fill up quickly. And while many local excursions are offered aside from NCL, there is no guarantee that they will get you back to the port in time to make ships movement. Missing your ship can be expensive and will ruin your vacation. Our favorite excursion/port call was the wonderful beach party that was held for us by NCL on their private Island the Great Stirrup Cay. The crew offloaded food and beverages and provided a great day at the beach with music, food and plenty to drink. Probably the best party we've ever been to! On our last day of the cruise, we opted to take part in the easy walk off and carry our bags ourselves to the pier. This was really no big deal and while it took some time in line, we had plenty of time to get to the airport via Uber. Overall, we really enjoyed our vacation and we have already purchased CruiseNext credits toward a cruise next year with friends again. For first time cruisers we offer this advice: Be patient - remember that you are on a ship with thousands of people. Wait your turn and be polite. You are leaving the hustle and bustle of your life to relax. Try to remember that. Bring about $100 extra cash in $5 bill increments and tip the staff that stand out the most. Your crew will bend over backwards for you. Say please and thank you and please don't be rude, these folks work very hard. Plan your excursions early, they fill up quickly. If you are going to the Great Stirrup Cay, book your cabana rental day one of your cruise if you can. Bring sunscreen and respect the sun. You are traveling in a different hemisphere and the sun exposure here is more intense than perhaps where you live. Pace yourself with alcohol if you drink. There's plenty on board and they won't run out. Drink one for one water to alcoholic beverage, you'll thank me later. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Our travel agent helped us select this ship and this sail date for our first cruise. She deserves all gold stars. We LOVED our balcony suite, our cabin steward (Henra) took excellent care of our room and us-very personable and kept ... Read More
Our travel agent helped us select this ship and this sail date for our first cruise. She deserves all gold stars. We LOVED our balcony suite, our cabin steward (Henra) took excellent care of our room and us-very personable and kept our space spotless (and he makes wonderful towel animals) The entertainment was top-notch, from the Broadway shows to the dueling pianos-no complaints, we enjoyed "Howl at the Moon" enough to see them more than once!! Food was outstanding-we enjoyed both the service and the incredible food in The Manhattan Room-and it was one of their free options. Specialty dining was very good-Cagney's steakhouse was our favorite The ship itself is a floating marvel: gorgeous, well designed, we had no problems with waiting for elevators or getting lost. Our ports were changed due to hurricanes: we visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Stirrup Cay (NCLs private island) and Nassau, Bahamas. Grand Cayman was our favorite-absolutely beautiful. Great Stirrup Cay was a wonderful way to spend a day-beach, swimming and snorkeling. We already paid our deposit for the next cruise! We would enthusiastically recommend the Escape to anyone wanting a fantastic week at sea. The cruise director is the BEST Read Less
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