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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Wanted to get away from the wet NYC weather and hence the week long cruise to Bahamas. Smallish ship (2300 guests) compared to other modern ships (4000+ guests). We had a mini suite with balcony on the 11th floor. Great housekeeping, ... Read More
Wanted to get away from the wet NYC weather and hence the week long cruise to Bahamas. Smallish ship (2300 guests) compared to other modern ships (4000+ guests). We had a mini suite with balcony on the 11th floor. Great housekeeping, superb restaurants and food options and decent on board entertainment. The on board sale of merchandise was also quite inexpensive. There were art auctions and a casino which we did not try. We visited Port Canaveral (extra - visited Kennedy Space Center) and Nassau (extra - spent the day at British Colonial Hilton). Return trip was really long since the planned stop at the island of Great Stirrup Cay was cancelled (bad weather) and we returned to NYC after 3 days of continuous sailing. Cursing was freestyle and one could travel with light luggage and casual clothes. Check in procedure was very efficient but check out took a fair bit of time (had to leave our stateroom by 8.30 am and wait at the ship's restaurants till 11.30 am to disembark...food and beverages were served). If you a netizen, go for the unlimited internet plan (get yourself freebie limited internet plan during booking and pay the extra to upgrade to unlimited on Day 2 of cruise) and you can be on phone (Facebook messenger, WhatsApp) and internet anything during the cruise which is otherwise quite expensive as phone calls need to be made via maritime satellite and internet pacakages cost around $30 an hour. Internet bandwidth availability was decent. Strongly recommended for a 7 day trip. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because it went to Cuba. In retrospect we should have chosen a cruise that was in Cuba longer and gone to more ports. The disembarkation was late by 2 hours and very disorganized. The front desk did not have many ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to Cuba. In retrospect we should have chosen a cruise that was in Cuba longer and gone to more ports. The disembarkation was late by 2 hours and very disorganized. The front desk did not have many answers and the front desk staff was rude. The only information we picked up was the NCL shore excursions had priority over other passengers. This late embarkation cost us 2 hours because we hired a private guide with a 1952 Chevy. We did like the entertainment on the ship. The shows were amateurish and the singing and dancing were not good.Some of the activities seemed geared to drinking ( the sexy man dancing contest) by the pool. The only activity we enjoyed was the salsa dancing lesson. The room was dated because it did not have enoug outlets for our devices. The layout of the Sky was confusing and there were not enough maps of the ship posted. We did manage to get lost a few times. We felt that the shore excursions were way overpriced, and decided to book our own tours. This worked out well because we got to see much more, and we didn't have to wait for people to board the bus. The show at the Tropicana was fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We traveled on Pride of America around the Hawaiian Islands departing April 29th 2017, we have no issues with the cruise, it was everything we expected of Norwegian as we have traveled with them before. The cabin (we chose an Aft facing ... Read More
We traveled on Pride of America around the Hawaiian Islands departing April 29th 2017, we have no issues with the cruise, it was everything we expected of Norwegian as we have traveled with them before. The cabin (we chose an Aft facing cabin) which was roomy with an extra large balcony with tremendous views when leaving the ports of call. All in all this was a very full on cruise where the emphasis was on the ports of call and sail by's to ensure the full Hawaiian experience. The ships captain included a night time sail by to allow us the experience of seeing the hot volcanic lava spilling into the sea on the island off the island of Hawaii, a sight we will never forget. The cruise was intended to allow as much time as possible in port to allow time to discover the islands and to enjoy this cruise to its fullest your need to make the most of your time ashore to discover the sights and culture of the islands. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This cruise was a return taster cruise to Norwegian cruise line having previous sailed on the Sun x2, Jade, Pride of America. Firstly as a regular cruiser my first priority is not the food, the entertainment or the entertainment - I ... Read More
This cruise was a return taster cruise to Norwegian cruise line having previous sailed on the Sun x2, Jade, Pride of America. Firstly as a regular cruiser my first priority is not the food, the entertainment or the entertainment - I focus on the Ports, stateroom, relaxed approached and no pompus! Choosing the Epic for this trip was because of a few days spare and wanting to get from Bcn to Rome without flying or road transport - so if any company was doing the route then I would of jumped aboard - My first surprise was the boarding process in Barcelona - very lengthy que - with a similar feel to that of a theme park - once you thought you were nearing the front - a further twist and turn appeared !! Yes I hear you shout but there are 4000 peaple to board what do you expect ! Well there are two issues - a simple que management process slotting boarding times would alleviate such a problem ! ( I personally haven't a major issue with the que but felt it could be managed differently. The second issue is more concerning - there was a lot of elderly passengers and frail people in the line - it was 22 degrees clear blue skies - those who know about the sun will tell you that the strength at this time of the year is extremely strong - to be left out in midday sun without cover was rediculous if not dangerous ! There was a queuing shelter available but no - the line was in the sun ! ( we had hats , screen and water - the majority didn't . The ship - I get it - it's a party boat - but there is very limited space to relax and enjoy a little bit of me time - quiet zones - nil . The haven suites took a larger than normal proportion of usable space creating almost the two tear system of Cunard - having sailed Cunard their two tear is far more subtle and you don't actually notice the difference other than restaurants. I was surprised that you cannot do a lap of the ship - the running deck - more like a 50 meter shuffle with no views to the sea. Top deck fun deck - very open plan - large wet area with plenty of slides.- bar area - area at rear of ship with cinema screen . The pool and slides take a majority of this deck up - the weather was cool so this deck wasn't full - wouldn't like to be there on a sea day in the carribean - not enough beds. Walking from this area to the rear adult only area was not good - there is an area called the market area - please don't get offended - but it reminded me in parts of the 'Pride of Bilbao ' - white - no character - no colour and a dodgy sign advertising amusements - wasn't a great look! Staterooms - we had a balcony stateroom - wow who designed those !!! So your in the toilet or shower - I cannot say bathroom as there is not one - and some one - you partner , child or crew member walks in - they will see your shadow of you on the loo , or can or in the shower,. A curtain then divides you from the cabin but if cleaning your teeth you are this side of the curtain - bizarre ! I assume this design saves space creating more cabins per deck. The bed - feet hang over the end , tv - limited channels! Overall thoughts on the cabin - not good - if you are a larger couple - you will struggle. Cold water - well interestingly the three days I had hot water when turned cabin tap on to clean teeth - the only time it went cold was the morning we left the ship - the synical side of me was that this was a purpose act rather than an issue with the ship- force to buy water ! Drinks refreshments - so upon arrival there was an offer of a drinks package - my partner is t total and I like a beer - so upon enquiring I couldn't have one without the partner having one - Sorry sir why don't you have a soft drinks package instead - ah but I don't drink soda - ah - well in that case how about a water package - Really - that explains why there was a huge dust cart full of water as we entered the ship. So I decided to go it alone on the drinks - beer plus service charge plus Spanish tax of 10%- 8 bucks later my beer !! Little excessive but pleasant ! One thing I did notice was the lack of drunk people drinking cocktails - one American guy was on his 5th cocktail - he joked that if he was at home in Miami he would be legless - blaming the time difference - well my experience is that time differences usually add to the effects rather than reduce !!!!!! ( I'm not going to give my thoughts) When taking the drink package on board they then add tax etc onto it . So the advertised price per day isn't what you pay . If you want to drink 5 to 9 drinks a day then it's probably worth it - 300 calories minimum , fatty liver , crap sleep - then it probably ok - of course the next day you may be hung over but you don't get your cash back. cleanliness - stairwells , corridors immaculately presented - our stateroom bedding slightly yellow - one evening shower plug and filter left out of plug hole - cabin staff not particularly welcoming - this unusual for Ncl. Entertainment- Pricilla queen of the desert ! I've seen this show in the west end on three previous occasions - the ships presentation was as good with costumes and the bus being almost the same - I will go as far to say that in parts it was better than the west end version Cirque du soleil- this is my favourite show - - having been to many uk venues watching the show - I was surprised that this was an add on cost - we planned to go but it did change night - so I will never know how it compared. Garden cafe - food and presentation excellent - down side - not at rear of ship ! Now in normal life I'm fortunate to eat at very good restaurants - the reason I like the garden cafe on Ncl was that you could eat drink outside at the back of a ship , watching the sun set - not on epic - moved to the indoor front. Main restaurant - good food - good service No observation bar - the Ncl sun observation bar is still a favourite - soft music , alcohol flowing as you look out to your next port - epic - bars with no outlook - basically you could be in any city bar in the world - Ports - Naples - very expensive cruise packages - however Naples has a reputation for crime - this is not communicated to all passengers before disembarkation - do the cruise company have an obligation to warn - probably not - but it should ! Don't walk with mobile in hand , remove watches and jewelary , wallets - try only taking a credit card bit of cash - thieves hate cards , - Naples has a very high crime rate against tourists ! Now I know some of you will be screaming at your iPad , disagreeing with everything I've said . It's important to say that I enjoyed the cruise and may well travel Ncl again . Ncl has become Ryan air of the seas - or southwest . As soon as you board the cash tills start ringing - the in your face casino deck ( las vegus is reducing its slot tables so why are Ncl bucking that trend !! The epic doesn't work - when it was launched it came with much hype - we previously cancelled an epic cruise swapping to the sun because of reservations about cabin and outside space, it seems we were right to do so. This ship would be great with carnival doing short party hops - stag parties , hen parties - but it's deffinatley not for me ( I'm not a person who complains - these are my observations and will not form a complaint) Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My wife and I cruise a lot with more than 20 cruises under our belt. For no particular reason, we had never cruised on NCL before. We had the opportunity to sail on the Escape as part of a travel agent conference we attended. It proved to ... Read More
My wife and I cruise a lot with more than 20 cruises under our belt. For no particular reason, we had never cruised on NCL before. We had the opportunity to sail on the Escape as part of a travel agent conference we attended. It proved to be a very enjoyable experience. Embarkation - We easily found the NCL rep upon landing at Miami airport. We were directed to a shuttle and were immediately whisked away to the cruise port. Our documents were checked and we received our room keys quite promptly. Very impressed until we found there was a holding area prior to boarding the ship. Still, we've had worse. 1 hour to board the ship after arriving at the port will not set any records but, on the other hand, was not terrible. Boarding the Ship - This was an odd experience. The gangway took us to the 4th deck of the ship. We then had to walk along deck for about 100 feet and entered the ship via a maintenance door. We then passed through a crew area before finally arriving at an entrance to a hallway just off of the atrium. There was no formal greeting of passengers other than someone stating lunch was being served on the 16th deck. Cabin - Knowing that we would be at a conference during the day, we decided that an inside cabin would suffice. My oh my, this was definitely the smallest on any ship we've sailed. It was so small that it was impossible to walk on either side of the bed. The common area between the bed and the bathroom door was barely large enough for two people to stand. The desk was about 18 inches deep. There was virtually no shelving available to unload suitcases. I would NEVER book this category again. On a positive note, our room steward Kreshna was excellent. Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and the bed turned down at night. Dining - Meals in the main dining room were very good, as good as if not better than most of their competitors. Unlike Carnival who served salmon nearly every night, NCL offered a broad variety of fish... salmon, tilapia, sea bass, etc... a very good assortment. Other offerings were good. Presentation was basic, portions on the small side. The Food Republic offered one of the best meals we've had at sea. An a la carte menu allowed selection of a great array of delicacies. This one is not to be missed. Cagney's on other hand was a major disappointment. Service was terrible with our server and wine steward being nearly invisible. The a la carte pricing made it a very expensive option. My prime rib was not allowed to rest properly and was delivered swimming in a pool of red juices... not the most visually appetizing. No one checked on our dinner, nor were our wine glasses replenished. Save your money an go elsewhere. Service - Although staff were generally quite friendly, there were simply not enough of them. Very few servers were available in the public areas to offer drinks. NCL would do much better to hire more serving staff. As it was, acquiring a drink pretty much meant having to go to the bar and hope you could attract the attention of a bartender. Beverages - In a word... very pricey. $10.95 for an 8 oz drink served in a plastic throw away cup. (Think Dixie cup). Drinks were very weak with minimal flavour... mostly ice. They were so off putting that we stayed away from mixed beverages and drank wine or cider. Entertainment - Bid cudos for this category. After Midnight and The Brat Pack were phenomenal, very entertaining shows by very talented casts. The comedians were both very funny - Frank Townshend and Bill Palisol, although their sets were a bit repetitious over the week. We absolutely loved Howl at the Moon - three gifted and funny dueling pianists There were a good number of lounge acts playing. We particularly enjoyed Maya (pianist) and the guitarist. Members of After Midnight also had solo shows during the week. Don't be put off by the need to prebook. The majority of shows had seats available. Shore Excursions - We did not do any ship excursions, however the highlight of the week was visiting the Baths at Virgin Gorda. Rather than take a ship's tour at nearly $120, we opted to walk to the local ferry and go there for $38. The only difference? Being picked up at the ship instead of walking 10 minutes and a rum punch. Go for the private experience. Summary - I think this ship offers good value. It is not a luxurious ship by any means but if you are looking for good quality entertainment, decent food and a strong 'vibe', the Escape would be a good choice. Would I go again... yes, for a fun in the sun holiday, but not in an inside cabin. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
What I liked All inclusive internet Pick your tag and time to get off the ship Bar Tenders (most lol) Best cabin upgrade i've ever had on a ship Dude singing have a happy day at the food court SHORTS AND POLO TO DINNER ... Read More
What I liked All inclusive internet Pick your tag and time to get off the ship Bar Tenders (most lol) Best cabin upgrade i've ever had on a ship Dude singing have a happy day at the food court SHORTS AND POLO TO DINNER What I did not like No wide open areas on ship felt closed in Pool the size of a bath tub - with drunk fools and know I was not one this time lol NO BURGER BAR OUT DOORS Over priced drinks A Room so tight you bumped into the the bed trying to get to the closet or walk past it Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
SUMMARY: This was a wkend getaway for me and my sister in law. The embarkation was smooth and hardly any line. The disembarkation was organized as well. There was a line in customs but that has nothing to do with the ship. That is the Port ... Read More
SUMMARY: This was a wkend getaway for me and my sister in law. The embarkation was smooth and hardly any line. The disembarkation was organized as well. There was a line in customs but that has nothing to do with the ship. That is the Port of Miami and not being organized. SHIP: NCL Sky is outdated - and showing signs. It should either be retired or refurbished. You notice the biggest signs in the cabin bathrooms, theater chairs, and carpet. There is Free Open Bar on the cruise and on Great Stirrup Cay. We had an issue with flooding in the ship - which was very nervous situation. One of the complimentary restaurant, The Palace, was closed due to flooding. They had water (like a water fall) falling through the roof, and that was in Deck 5. I can only imagine the rooms and other decks above. CABIN: We stayed in the inside cabin. It was good for us as two twin beds. I have also stayed in an inside cabin with my husband and when the beds are together it leaves very little room to move inside the cabin. I do not recommend for a couple. I recommend a balcony for couples. DINING: The food was ok. Average. The food on NCL week cruises and more, have a better selection. I have definitely seen the food quality go down between one year to the next. No lobster or anything like that. ENTERTAINMENT: They have a comedy show that was ok and they also have pool side entertainment - but can get cancelled due to weather. The week cruises have better shows and comedy shows. SERVICE: NCL takes the lead on the service they offer. 99% of the crew members are always playful and happy. They are always trying to please you. PORTS: Nassau - Once you been there once, you do not even want to get off the ship the second time. The only thing good about Nassau is Atlantis. Great Stirrup Cay - this is why most people even go on the ship in the first place. This island is beautiful and everything included. You have two beach buffet that are included in cruise fare along with a taco place that is also included in cruise fare. Also all alcohol is included as well on the cruise fare, as well. We did not travel with children. This is my 3rd trip on NCL Sky and for right now I would not go again until they refurbish or retire the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise for 1)the Gem because its smaller than the Breakaway 2) leaves from NY and 3) it was a new itinerary for us. Being in the Haven is always the best and this was no different. All the shows were new and we especially ... Read More
We chose this cruise for 1)the Gem because its smaller than the Breakaway 2) leaves from NY and 3) it was a new itinerary for us. Being in the Haven is always the best and this was no different. All the shows were new and we especially liked the two Broadway type shows. Redoing the photo gallery was stunning and having new lounge chairs put in the atrium was awesome. I never recommend La Cucina since we get great Italian food locally but then it may appeal to others who have no preconceived idea of what to expect. NCL now assigned a dietician (waiter) to follow us and preorder our meals since we have some serious food allergies. Not only was the young man personable but we felt so extra special. Our only problem was disembarkation at the end since we needed wheel chairs. They were short staffed and short of chairs. A better system needs to be instituted. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Reviews from other family and friends had told us that this was one of the best cruise ships. And my husband found it to be very nice so much so we are sorry that we did not take advantage of the promotion where you pay $250. and Norwegian ... Read More
Reviews from other family and friends had told us that this was one of the best cruise ships. And my husband found it to be very nice so much so we are sorry that we did not take advantage of the promotion where you pay $250. and Norwegian cruise line add $500. and it is good for six years toward your next cruise. We love relaxing on the ship. I went to 2 comedy shows loved them. I went to an art auction I found that to be very interesting and exciting. White night was a lot of fun. Also we went on a tour in Nassau it was interesting. The whole cruise was great. Over all we had a great time great food and drinks oh and let me not forget the dancing. The staff was really nice and serve with a smile. If I was to complain about any thing it would be that I ordered water on line for our room and we did not receive it and we drank 2 or three bottles that was in the room and got charged $13. personally I thought that was rather high for water. Other than that we have no complaints. And this was my husband first cruise and we both hope to take another one however we want to go someplace different. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We are well seasoned cruisers. I dont hold things like weather or destination cancellations as a bad mark against a cruise line-it is what it is and safety of passengers comes first. However, what I do hold accountable to a cruise line are ... Read More
We are well seasoned cruisers. I dont hold things like weather or destination cancellations as a bad mark against a cruise line-it is what it is and safety of passengers comes first. However, what I do hold accountable to a cruise line are the other things-room, service, food, entertainment, on board experiences, staff interactions, etc. STAFF: Overall poor. From pool bar service, dining, and room attendant, the staff seemed to emit through the interactions that this has become a grind for them. I dont know if something internal is going on but I felt it-lots of cruisers felt it. Very few of them smiled, virtually no enthusiasm found. Pool bar staff: Never saw a smile, nothing upbeat-they were there to serve drinks and thats it-they didnt engage people. Very little around the pool services for drinks. Now this is just my opinion but I do compare to Royal Carib where the bar staff are fun and engaging and I think this deadness to Norwegian staff is the case because there are no slips to fill out where you can add addit tips. Yes you can do cash but I think it doesnt occur to ppl to do that.I also found it odd that there were very few caribbean people on staff as many other cruise lines have. I dont know about you but Jamaicans know how to liven things up-I just think its in their nature as friendly carib island people! I dont think I saw ONE. The dining staff on Norwegian also lacked any enthusiasm. They took your order and thats it. Room attendant-never saw him/her. Casino-on day 3 I finally saw some staff (3) that joked and talked to you.. DRINKS/FOOD: Wow this really fell short. Drinks are weak. If you drink mojitos-dont. They dont do it right-no muddling-they just throw a mint salad on top. Frozen drinks lacked taste-seemed diluted-more ice than the tasting the various mixes are used (pina colada, mango etc). My brother ordered the CAPS AND CORKS package: Buyer beware. Read the fine print. He was charged for Dos Equis (sp?) and wines he ordered-which is ridiculous. Staff never informed him of whether any of the wine or beer he requested was covered. He ended up not only paying for the Caps and Corks at $400+ but at the end of the cruise with the beers and wines ordered-cost him an additional $300. Staff do not tell you whether drinks are covered under your packages which I think is a bit dishonest on their part, Who brings the list with them around the ship for 7 days. FOOD (just ate in the complimentary options except sushi at Oceans): We ate a few times in Shanghai (loved), Savor (A dining room), Tropicana (Dining Room), O'Sheehans (advertisement says its available 24 hrs but wasnt), and Taste (Dining Rm). We also ate most breakfasts in the Garden Cafe (buffet). So for dining experiences in a sit own setting, the staff were not upbeat at all. Just hello, can I get your something to drink and what would you like for dinner, Thats it. No enthusiasm. If you are new to Norwegian-this is "free style". Instead of a few large dining rooms as is the case on most cruise lines, they broke dining into smaller venues. We enjoyed Shanghai-soups and Asian noodles kind of place. We didn't enjoy the dining room menus. They just fell short IMO. O'Sheehans-nice Irish pub place which has great sandwiches and appetizers like wings and nachos, Reubens, fish and chips, shepherds pie, etc. You can go here for a hot breakfast although a bit limited in choices. The Garden Cafe (buffet) for breakfast. Most of the food was cold. For instance I love Eggs benedict. They have them prepared in advance but they were cold and the Hollandaise that goes with it was cold-was never put on a warmer. Not sure if their heating choices are not adequate..but everything we picked that was PREpared was cold (french toast, waffles, eggs, potatoes). I dont hold a lot of value in breakfast so-meh its ok not a deal breaker by any means. CLEANLINESS: The ship and our room overall was clean and well maintained MINI SUITE w/LARGE BATHROOM: Shower was a standard shower most would have at home. The shower heads have a lot settings getting your lower, mid drift, to top shower head. Kind of neat. Twin sinks-good. The balcony is small. If you come from Royal Carib you will be disappointed in balcony size. But it was ok-still had enough room to get out and breath in the fresh sea air. Never saw the room attendant. Storage for clothes was good. POOL DECK: Very little chairs in the sun around pool deck level. Two bars If you want sun you will have to go one level above pool or get up at 5-530AM to secure one of the coveted in-the-sun chairs on pool deck. Most on pool deck loungers are in shaded covered areas. The adult pool was small. I was really surprised given the size of the ship. DJ gets the pool hopping about mid afternoon. Lots of bumping and grinding once the music starts-definitely not for kids to see! Tween Entertainment: 10-12 year olds: We have an 11 yr old boy. Outside of the sports court-this is a tough age on board all ships and cruise lines. Too big for the kids programming-most dont want to go to the child care for programs or kids pool area (FYI the outdoor pool on this ship is adult only-no kids) but too young for the teen programming/facilities. So 10-12 yr olds tend to find saving grace in the sports court to make friends and usually the pool but again-the pool they have to use has a bunch of little ones in it..so there you go. Read Less
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