Chose the escape because it was the right time and the right place to the right destination. My wife and I usually cruise by price and we have had some wonderful experiences!!! This time we needed to get away between April 12-22, 2019 ... Read More
Chose the escape because it was the right time and the right place to the right destination. My wife and I usually cruise by price and we have had some wonderful experiences!!! This time we needed to get away between April 12-22, 2019 and choose the Escape out of NYC to Bermuda for three days and home again. Not a bargain $750 for 7 days, unassigned obstructed view . We live in Baltimore and decided to take the bus (Greyhound) up and back leaving plenty of time for connections. The embarkation process was very slow and port staff and Norwegian staff were all screaming for us to carry our bags off the ship on debarkation. Very slow and the first step on this ship we realized the ship has a fatal flaw... not enough public space! I have been on 35 cruises, in fact I work chartered cruiser ships providing my services, often! There simply is not enough space. The cabin was nice, clean comfortable. We paid for a unassigned obstructed view, usually we take an unassigned inside. You can take "the cruise of a lifetime" and fall victim to the cruise industry or you can take several cruises a year, just have to know how to play the game. Think price, not location and eventually you will have traveled the world many times over. We have previously traveled on Norwegian , last cruise was a 30 day south American cruise... $529 for first half and $1189 for second half on the Sun and it was a great cruise, but this cruise line is my last choice. On that cruise we had an unassigned room and they moved us to a cabin on the other side of the ship and the couple in our old cabin got our new cabin... and I asked Norwegian why... and they said "because we can"... That's the Norwegian attitude!!! Other cruise lines are very accommodating to back to back to maybe back to back loyal customers, but Norwegian "not so much" just adjust the gratuities accordingly! Freestyle is not my style. Sign me up for Holland America :)
This cruise was two days at sea, three days in Bermuda and two days back. The food was at best bargain buffet, shrimp is tiny, no surf and turf, just salty pre-processed food... the Manhattan dining room was the same crap they served up top. Terribly salty, lots of saturated fat, a lot of unhealthy choices and so few healthy choices. Spring break spelled a lot of spoiled children. Not as many whales or corpse's, but oddles of spoiled children screaming running, making messes, and no parental oversight. On @$750 and forward Starboard 5702... low is always nice, one floor up to the public floors 6 7 8. Elevators were too deep and difficult for people getting on and off as many people would have to step out to let people off. Elevators would be great to get concerts pianos from floor to floor and that's what I do for a living, and elevators are always a problem (size) for moving pianos.
Any who, got to Bermuda, first cruise of the season, chilly, Bermuda is a wonderful port of call, the people are friendly and no "you want, you like, you Buy", but remarkable personable people. Rented a Scooter for a day from Olingers, don't recommend, unless you are seeking an early death. They tried to rip me and extra $15 because I returned the Scooter with a full tank, with receipt. As for scooters that things was worn out! 40K KM and worn out, blue smoke trail left behind everywhere we went and not power hills and you can rent a scooter many places in the world for 15% what you can in Bermuda. A $2,000 scooter is $75 a day! Wish I had a piece of the action! Take the Bermuda speed limit by three (3), or you will be run down, narrow streets, brick, or block walls everywhere... "a death in progress". They offered a free ferry to St George, which would be the ticket. the Navy dockyard is distant from Hamilton and St Gorge and not a lot to see. A bus ride or long walk to church beach and little further horseshoe and then elbow... if you like beaches, it does not get much better... might try the Navy cemetery… a hoot checking out tombstones. Not much shopping for Bermudian product unless you are a rum drinker (gosling) but no bargain as you can buy stateside for less. 30 kids each of 2 hot tubs, I'll pass. A trail of soft melted ice cream leads to the ice cream machine and kids throwing food because "hey its spring break and its fun and I need every one to notice me!. Appalling uneaten food waste and the usual whales in wheel chairs in handicap spaces shoveling it down. The deck 7 boat deck, rear is REMARKABLE!!! small, saddled between many "non-complimentary" spots meaning swipe your keycard for a ten page statement at the end of the cruise. Hey, the biggest bar tab does not spell winner, what don't they get. You can sneak 1.75 liter of vodka or rum with a drop green and a drop of blue food coloring in a mouth wash bottle and drink for free, just saying. It is all plastic teak, deck rail and chair, but nice plastic! It is a remarkable shiop of plastic, but I think the Manahattan dining room has a solid wood floor, please don't ruin my dream. The promenade is silly rubber track, does not go 360 and not level. I love a nice boat deck, a teak lounge, teak deck, varnished cap and hand rail, but that is Holland America, not Norwegian. Think freestyle, wear a tux and your wife vasachee ha ha , and be seated next to a table of rednecks dudes in kakki shorts and tee shirts on "dress up if you want to or not" night, while beautiful people in their skimpies run the boat deck while you are scarfing it down. Food was miserable... way too salty, gained 15 pounds in one week, no healthy choices... two gallons of water a day after and I dropped 12 pounds in two days, "if I am lying I am dying" :-) on return. Terribly unhealthy choices and cheap cheap cheap. However there was one day, a steam ship round on upper deck and the second night meddallions of tenderloin that was "acceptable" Bread was all good, but too salty. Cheese was cheap and I thought I never met a cheese I didn't love. Past Norwegian cruise had great smoked Norwegian salmon and blue cheese, but not this one! Lots of desserts but "a moment on the lips, forever on the hips" no Thank you!
The debarkation was absolute HELL! Can you say unbearable rotten absolute hell, spose to be off at 8:00AM and finally after hours of lugging suitcases up and down flights of steps after Norwegian locked down all the elevators and there were no announcements until 10:30AM. Norwegian should be ashamed of themselves and before they cleared the walk offs they announce the others making cray gridlock. 5000 people on the ship all wanting to get off and it was hell. The ship has a fatal flaw and NYC port is not ready... four immigrations officers to process the whole ship. Claim a disability and have your own walkway and b first through immigration! "where di I put my cane?" It was torture!!! It was Norwegian negligence. All cruise lines want to rape you, they want to hold you buy your ankles and shake all the nickels out of your pockets. They just LOVE suckers!!! In my 35 cruises I have never had an onboard charge. I be the food on the escape may be a bit better in the non-complimentary restos, but I'll wait for the next cruise... 15 day Asian cruise on the Fortuna in December, if I don't snag a summer bargain... had a wonderful back to back on the Nordam last August, Alaska two weeks @$1316 for an obstructed outside, wonderful experience :)~ Terribly pestered by crew pushing drinks the first two days... I just dock $5 each time off the gratuities.. ended up being $100 off.. Hell gratuities are a joke the cabin boy and waitresses see nothing, they see $500-$600 a month and the cruise line pockets the gratuities, don't believe me read the guest ticket contract... what a joke! always best to dock the gratuities for what-ever-reason... they may make it a hassle ,and they charge you a "service charge" which is technically a gratuity "freely given for above the call of duty service" but unfortunately the crew does not see it unless you hand them cash! Yes, a train wreck getting off the ship, and unfortunately that's what you remember! I vowed last time to never sail Norwegian again, and I signed up again... Shame on me! There are many better choices! Bermuda is a choice destination, though, beats any Caribbean port by a mile! Read Less