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6,307 Norwegian (NCL) Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

First off, service across the board is lacking. Our ship cards got deactivated on the second day, due to a few members mistake, which prevented us from using any of the bars until reactivated. Therefore, we had to wait in the guest ... Read More
First off, service across the board is lacking. Our ship cards got deactivated on the second day, due to a few members mistake, which prevented us from using any of the bars until reactivated. Therefore, we had to wait in the guest services like for 1 and a half hours. Cesar Diaz from guest services acted surprised that a card was deactivated and assured us it was our fault, not there’s. Additionally, the majority of the wait staff acted as if they could not be bothered by actually helping us and doing there job, likely because they already have a $15/day tip coming their way. Very few speak good English and it is hard to communicate with the ones who stick around long enough for you to ask them a question or order something else. This was a big issue because my husband has a severe pineapple allergy and we had to make sure certain drinks didn’t include pineapple. With that being said, there were a few that were good and that deserved additional cash tips, which they were given. Also, the ship rocked... a ton and all the time. I have been on several cruises, in much worse weather, and had never felt a boat shake so continuously. But, if you choose to book with NCL, don’t worry, it isn’t likely you will gain any weight on this boat. The food was not good. As stated, I’ve been on several cruises and I always look forward to the food, both in the dining rooms and buffets. Here, everything was mushy, flavorless and unappetizing. We ate bread and potato salad for 7 days straight. The only meal from the dining room that was decent was a sirloin, featured one night only, and even then the sides were not good and tasted similar to hospital food. None of the food was the fancy stuff you normally expect on ships, and it was just plain not good. Go to your local high school or hospital to experience gross cafeteria style food like on the Pearl. Our room steward, HeHe, was nice and attentive, or so we thought. If what you read above doesn’t deter you from NCL, keep reading. BED BUGS. We stayed in room 5609 on the March 1st sailing. About 2-3 nights in my husband noticed he had a rash on his chest. We thought it was no big deal and may be from chlorine or something. We were wrong. On day 4 we saw a couple blood spots on the bed. We thought the room steward would change the sheets. He didn’t. The next day we noticed even more blood marks and thought that while we were out at port the steward would surely attend to the stained sheets. He didn’t. After talking to another guest about our strange findings, it hit us. Bed bugs. We had never had them before and didn’t connect the dots that the rash, which looked like small bites and kept getting worse and spreading to other body parts, and the blood stains were 2 of the most prevalent signs of bed bugs. We alerted guest services and they said the would send an expert and if it was positive, change our linens. Their examination was negative but they changed the blood stained sheets nonetheless. The next day, on clean sheets, more blood stains appeared. We went back up to guest services and asked to speak to someone in charge. We were told there was no one in charge, and we could wait to speak to the pest expert since his decision was final. We waited in our stateroom for the expert. When he arrived he told us he wasn’t an exterminator or entomologist, he just went to school in his home country, not America. He said that while blood stains, like ours, and my husbands rash were signs of bed bugs it was NCLs policy not to do anything unless an actual bug was found. We had a dead one we found, he told us it was a breadcrumb. He also stated that if it was up to him, based on his findings, that we would go through the sanitation process for bed bugs based on the signs found. When we asked to speak to his supervisor he said he didn’t have one and to go to the service desk, the desk that sent us to him. When we became frustrated that no one was in charge or helping, he changed his story and said we must be scratching and causing the small blood dots which were from the foot of the bed to under the pillows. We exited the boat with no help found and carried the bed bugs off. Upon exiting we found bed bugs, alive, in our luggage and we fear they may get into our home. My husband still has a rash and NCL has done nothing. I called NCL and hit almost all the buttons to reach each department, every person said they could not connect me to someone in charge or directed me to an online claim form which will take 15 days to get a response. I submitted a claim, but I fear the bed bugs could continue to infest the Pearl, those on it, and spread to things we come in contact with. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I found myself very unhappy with the Pearl. My opinions are because I'm a accustomed to the Breakaway, Getaway and even the Sky was better. The Pearl's buffet was the same nightly with the exception of the meat. They served ... Read More
I found myself very unhappy with the Pearl. My opinions are because I'm a accustomed to the Breakaway, Getaway and even the Sky was better. The Pearl's buffet was the same nightly with the exception of the meat. They served the same dishes from lunch to dinner aswell such as the pasta. On the other ships, they had themed nights and a ton of variety. I also found the entertainment options to be much less. On the others, there were the regular shows at 1930 adult only shows past 2130. They also had much better side shows such as the dueling pianos, or amazing instrument players, they also had dinner shows (extra cost) but still much more options. On the Pearl, they had the boring instrument players who used recordings more than actually playing. Also after the 1930 and 2130 shows, there wasn't much to do other than a club. Very underwhelming!! I just feel awful paying for what I got compared to what I'm used to with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I rate my overall experience of NCL Pearl (7-day-Honduras, Harvest Caye Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel) a 3 for the following reasons good/bad: I loved our cabin room (with balcony) 8518 that is right smack up front of the ship where ... Read More
I rate my overall experience of NCL Pearl (7-day-Honduras, Harvest Caye Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel) a 3 for the following reasons good/bad: I loved our cabin room (with balcony) 8518 that is right smack up front of the ship where you feel EVERY motion. I knew this information before I booked this cabin and was okay with it. I was prepared for any sea sickness because I had prescription promethazine and over the counter Dramamine. Now this was my second cruise and had very little sea sickness on Carnival Victory. I would say the first few days were very bearable with the motion of the ship. Unfortunately, the seas were not on our side a few times the next few days. Even people who had cabins on ship where there is very little motion were complaining big time of sea sickness. After a while I noticed that the food at Indigo and the their main dining room (can't remember the name) all had a bland taste. Took long time to serve as well. The buffets were okay but like I said after the 4th day I was kind of over it. O'Sheanans (not sure of spelling) breakfast was pretty good quality but can't same the same for dinner. Overall it's like eating was a hit or miss. In my opinion the entertainment was terrible! That had singers singing Motown sounds that was not good at all. Some lady singing in the Bliss Lounge was totally off key. And the so called "White Night" which they changed the name was advertised at a specific time and it was combined with teenagers. Did not do many excursions because they are a waste of my money but the only port I enjoyed was Harvest Caye, Belize. Even with the bad Mojito I bought. But overall it's a beautiful beach. I would like to experience a bigger NCL ship and a more diverse crowed with better entertainment and activities. 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
I chose this cruise due to its price, single inside cabin $251.30 for a week! I booked it approximately 8 days before sailing and from the NCL website. It was probably my 12th cruise (1st on NCL) and it was great, one of my best ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to its price, single inside cabin $251.30 for a week! I booked it approximately 8 days before sailing and from the NCL website. It was probably my 12th cruise (1st on NCL) and it was great, one of my best cruises. I bid on and received an upgrade to a balcony mini suite, very spacious and nicely appointed. The bathroom even had a great soaking tub, sink and basin area and separate toilet area. My cabin steward Alifton was the best I have ever encountered on any cruise I’ve been on. There were no people that I saw who were sick, no people were wearing masks or gloves. They ship was using additional cleaning practices including what they referred to as “Washy-Wash Crew” there sole responsibility was to squirt hand disinfectant from a spray bottle into every passengers hands (pretty much whether they wanted it or not). They made it a fun action by singing songs about it and interaction with the passengers. Additionally, I noticed crew at all times of the day and night spraying and wiping all hard surfaces of the cabin corridors. Door knobs, hand rails, buttons, do not disturb signs pretty much everything they could disinfect in the cabin corridors. I felt that all precautions possible were being used to ensure the cleanest ship possible. They layout of this ship was great, and all the restaurants were very good especially the steakhouse. I purchased the dining upgrade for four (4) dinners in the À la cart restaurants for just over $100 and I feel it was money well spent. The only restaurant I did not dine in was the Brazilian steakhouse. The spa was very relaxing and surprisingly big for a ship this size. There was a co-Ed area with a very large hot tub, indoor small pool, heated tile lounge chairs and chaise loungers facing the open sea. Flavored water and whole fruit were always available. The treatments I received (massage, facial, manicure and pedicure) were all way above services I’ve received on previous cruises and the pressure to purchase the Elemis products was minimum. In the separate male and female areas there were ample lockers, showers, toilets, cold plunge pool, single person hot tub, scenic sauna with panoramic views of the ocean, steam room and additional chaise loungers facing the ocean and a large TV. Amenities such as the casino, deck pools, children’s area and photographers I did not use therefore I have no feedback or insight. Other than the casino was very smokey when walking through. The entertainment was the only shortcoming in my opinion. The productions seemed very outdated. Ledgers in Concert, look a like performers representing Michael Jackson, Madonna and Elvis. The Michael Jackson performer was by far superior to the others. The highlight of this department were the husband and wife performers. They did a contortion act and did amazing feats on the trapeze/suspended ring. The ship singers and dancers were completely different, seemed like they were not on par with each other. The dancers were very well rehearsed dance professionals and were great and the singers were below average (in my opinion). The comedian was not the level I would expect on a ship of this caliber. I also did not care for the cruise director, he neither did or said anything to me personally but I just did not like his vibe. On previous cruises this position sets the mood of the cruise overall. I can remember Cruise directors from 18 years ago but I honestly could not tell you this guys name. Embarkation was also another weakness, very disorganized and overcrowded. I realize that this is a difficult experience to control with 2,500 passengers anxious to get on board and start their vacation, but there are ways to improve this process. Disembarkation was great in my opinion, I’ve never been on a ship that allowed passengers with hand held luggage to disembark at their leisure. This was a very welcome surprise and made for a great morning instead of a hectic, rushed morning. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This is going to be a fairly short review. We have been to all the ports and the only excursion we booked, got cancelled. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS • EMBARKATION- 3 Stars; Considering we are Platinum members, this took longer than it ... Read More
This is going to be a fairly short review. We have been to all the ports and the only excursion we booked, got cancelled. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS • EMBARKATION- 3 Stars; Considering we are Platinum members, this took longer than it should have. We came off the Encore, so we were in the terminal by 10:00. We didn’t get on the ship until 11:00. • CABIN- 4 Stars; the bed in our cabin is really comfortable. We have an aft facing balcony and that helps too. It is bigger than a normal Stateroom. We had really choppy sea one day that were so bad the door to the balcony would not stay shut when we were out there. • CABIN STEWARD- 4 Stars; He did his job, or most of it, but seemed very late each day. Friendly enough to talk to. • RESTAURANTS A. O’Sheehan’s- 3 Stars; another disappointment. Mostly it is their lack of beer choices, so don’t read too much into that. Bud, Bud Light and Coors Light? Seriously? I had Chicken wings and pretzel bites and they were good. Lynette had Irish American Stew, which was actually a soup. Not recommended. We didn’t go back the rest of the cruise. B. Garden Café; 5 Stars for breakfast and 4 stars for supper. They don’t seem to have the variety they used to at dinner. C. Le Bistro- 5 Stars; The most fun we have had in a Specialty restaurant, and our server, Ayu, was terrific! D. Cagney’s- Huge disappointment the first time. We were among the 1st 10 people there and everything started out fine Then our entrée’ didn’t come. People that came in well after us had theirs, People that came when we did were on dessert. We had steaks, in a steak house. Go figure. Lynette’s was almost raw and mine was very tough. We had to skip dessert to make the show. The second time we went was much better. If we didn’t have the Dining Package (one of the free perks) the meal would have been complimentary anyway. E. La Cucina- Excellent service at this Italian restaurant and the food was very good. The best bread on the ship and it was fresh baked! • ENTERTAINMENT- 5 Stars. A. Show Band. We went to see them in the atrium and they were good. B. Aldo Canta; Guitarist, he was in the atrium most evenings. So were we, because he was very good. C. Jon Stringer- Main stage comedian. Jokes were clean and he was very funny D. Duo Quintesant- A married acrobatic couple that were amazing! E. Sea Hashtag- I think they were the ship band and they were very entertaining. They played a variety of music, but looking at the age of the crowd, they kept it to our generation. F. Avalon- This was a Latin band and drew the largest atrium crowd we have seen. People seemed to really like dancing to it. • FOOD SERVICE- 5 Stars; In spite of the few problems we had • BAR SERVICE- 5 Stars; Once the bartenders and servers get to know you, the service was great. Except for the theater. There, the server brought us the wrong drink. Instead of going back to correct it, she collected orders from a lot of people who had come in. When she finally came back, she walked right by us. • BARS- 5 Stars; A. Atrium Bar. This is where we spent most of our evenings. B. Malting’s Beer&Whiskey Bar. We only went there once, but the service was really good and the seat comfortable. Great place to spend some time waiting for dinner. C. The Great Outdoors Bar. The great thing about this bar, is that it is really close to our cabin and you can sit outside. • Disembarking. Our flight was out of Ft. Lauderdale and not until 6 pm, so we signed up for the Everglades tour. From our meeting spot in the theater, to out of the terminal was an hour an only a couple of minutes of that was Customs. It was an 8 am disembark, the second color tag called.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
The Getaway is a fantastic ship for 2300 people. The problem is they put 4000 on it... In no particular order: The HVAC system onboard seemed overwhelmed in the common areas and in the cabins it seemed they worked better or worse ... Read More
The Getaway is a fantastic ship for 2300 people. The problem is they put 4000 on it... In no particular order: The HVAC system onboard seemed overwhelmed in the common areas and in the cabins it seemed they worked better or worse from day to day. The "atrium" (really just a large hole in the deck between 6 and 7) was the worst, but then again, it was always packed full of people. It was always about 80 degrees or better in there. The elevators are insufficient in numbers (8 each at 2 banks), small, with narrow doors. They are always full, and getting on and off usually requires emptying out the whole car if someone in the back wants off. The 'forward' elevator bank is actually more midships. If your cabin is in the front of the boat, you better have walking shoes on. There are 4 call buttons for each bank, but they are not fully linked. Pushing one only activated one half of the elevators. Curiously, in the front bank, pushing one activated both buttons on one side. in the aft bank, pushing one activated it and the one across from it. Weird. Cabins were Standard Mark I, Class I cabins. Average in every way. Not uncomfortable, just not remarkable. A budget Toyota Camry of cabins. Electrical outlets were only two, side by side over the desk, making it hard for CPAP user. An extension cord was provided. The balcony stretches the term balcony severely. About the size of 2 phone booths side by side, unusable for anything other than standing on. The might as well take the chairs off them, they just get in the way. I assume we had a cabin attendant. I mean, the bed was made and the towels changed. but like BIgfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, actual proof of his/her? existence is very tenuous. This ship had the liveliest ride of any ship I have ever been on. Even in low seas and not enough wind to generate whitecaps, she shaked, shimmied and swayed far more than I have ever experienced. In conversation with other seasoned cruisers, I found that most people had that opinion. Perhaps the stabilizers were INOP or not deployed. The buffet was just awful. I have somewhat limited NCL experience, but I find that the buffets are not their strong points. Just a horrible layout, and food quality that would put most land-based restaurants out of business in a month. In contrast, all other dining quality was excellent. Nice selection, well prepared and presented. We did 3 specialty restaurants (Teppanyaki, Italian, and that Brazilian Meat-Sword thing), and all were bordering on the Divine. Wait staff was superb in all restaurants, but our teppanyaki chef made the night. Very funny, and personable. He made us feel like we were the only people he was on the ship to cook for. One thing... the capacity of the restaurants were not up to the number of people on the ship. You would need a reservation even in the complimentary dining rooms, and if you didn't book all nights on the first day out, you were eating at 9:15 at night. NCL really needs to rethink this "freestyle" thing because it ain't working. Bars were plentiful and chronically understaffed. Getting a drink took so long that we usually ordered 2 each at a time so as to minimize trips to the bar. The bar-tending staff heroically tried their best, but their ability to give great service collapsed under the strain Entertainment was hit and miss. They have a nice nightclub (The Pour House) with a great band made up of younger kids and a horrible band made up of old geezers pretending to be young kids. As most things on the boat, it was not designed for the sheer numbers of people on the boat, and it was SRO and out the door every night. The comedy club had a very good comedian with a not-so-good warmup act, and a simply dreadful "dueling pianos" act. The main stage offered us a so-so comic/magician, a cuban dance show that my wife enjoyed tremendously (not really my cup of tea), But the shimmering highlight was the Million Dollar Quartet show. Just astonishing from the first note to the last bow. also, I'm not sure it was a NCL provided show, but a goofy rock band played at the pool and the sound was terrible. I think it was a band that had a large group of fans on board and they threw on a show. I can't blame them for the sound, they had to use ships equipment, but I could only take so much of it. The outside activity areas were nice. Pool and hot-tubs were always crowded (naturally). Being a big kid at heart, I wanted to do the waterslides. I am a bigger guy and I know some things have weight limits. I am ok with that. But I have never had it be a problem on waterslides before. I read every warning and instruction sign listed, but at no time did it mention a weight limit. Not till I climbed all the way to the top did they inform me that I could not go down the slides. It would have been nice to known that at the bottom. Taken overall, this is probably the worst cruise I have ever been on, simply because it was not spectacular. Sad thing is, we finally talked some friends in to taking their very first cruise with us, and I doubt they will ever cruise again. Maybe we built cruising up too much, but they were horribly disappointed. End the end, I cant ever see taking another NCL cruise again. Especially after our last cruise on a competing line. The difference is overwhelming. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Embarkation in NOLA was fast. I estimate that we were onboard within 15 minutes from the time we got in line. They said our room would be ready around 1:30 pm and it was. The Free Dining rooms food was not as good as it was 3 years ago ... Read More
Embarkation in NOLA was fast. I estimate that we were onboard within 15 minutes from the time we got in line. They said our room would be ready around 1:30 pm and it was. The Free Dining rooms food was not as good as it was 3 years ago on NCL Jewel or last year on the Dawn. Twice we looked at the MDR menu and decided to just eat at the buffet. Great shows in the Getaway Theater, especially Million Dollar Quartet. I did not see the comedians since it was always in one of there smaller venues and we would arrive too late for a seat and did not want to stand for 45 minutes. Some game shows were in the Atrium which you could be heard while talking to a Guest Service person and on the next deck above. Ports were ok. Staff was ok. I heard some people were left behind at Costa Maya because they did not make the 1:30 pm onboard return time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary so we decided we'd try NCL booking the Haven. Well worth it at the price point we got. Service was great...priority embarkation/debarkation was terrific! Made the whole thing worth ... Read More
My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary so we decided we'd try NCL booking the Haven. Well worth it at the price point we got. Service was great...priority embarkation/debarkation was terrific! Made the whole thing worth it right there! The entertainment was great. We really enjoyed The Million Dollar Quartet, the actors were excellent. Burn the Floor was quite a show, too. We did pay to see Cirque Steam, I'd recommend it. Dining was also enjoyable. We had dinner at two of the specialty restaurants...Cagneys and Le Bistro. Out of the two, Le Bistro was the better. We had reservations at Ocean Blue for a 9:30 reservation on the last night of the cruise, but we pooped out. Entertainment at the Atrium lodge was fun. Lots of trivia, game shows, musical entertainment and informational presentations. All the drinks we had were quite tasty. We did have the premium drink package, so anything up to $15 was free. My wife made full use of it! For the most part, everything was great. We really enjoyed the Haven experience and will probably try to book it again. A standard balcony cabin would be good, too... Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Booked this cruse at the last minute because the price, $306.00 for an interior room. Ended up getting upgraded to a midship balcony through the Upgrade Andvantage program. Had read a lot of horror stories about embarking from NOLA but ... Read More
Booked this cruse at the last minute because the price, $306.00 for an interior room. Ended up getting upgraded to a midship balcony through the Upgrade Andvantage program. Had read a lot of horror stories about embarking from NOLA but overall it wasn't too bad, the line was long but it moved at a steady rate. Disembarking went very smooth, found our luggage immediately. We spent a day and a half in NOLA once we disembarked went to one of our favorite restuarants, Muriel's for the jazz brunch. Also we found a new restaurant Oceana which was increadable. The NOLA Trio is a must. We explored Jackson Square and spent the evening on Bourbon Street listening to everything from rock to zydeco to jazz music. Our second day was spent listening to Street musicians and shopping. We thought the entertainment on Getaway was outstanding. We saw Burning The Floor, Million Dollar Quartet and Back to the 80's in the theater. My wife and I have seen Million Dollar Quartet in Chicago and Vegas, we felt this performance was the best of the three. Syd Norman's Pour House is a must, you'll have to get in line early to get a seat but it well worth the wait. The house band and vocalist put on a hell of show and get the audience engaged. We liked the bars, restaurants and common areas on Getaway but pool area is small with very few lounges around the pool, we choose to spend our sea days on deck 16 where there were more chairs available. One of my favorite spots was the Humidor Lounge where I meant many great folks and shared many stories while solving the problems of the world. This area is a very social are for cigar smoking and a drink of your choice. For dinners we went to Taste, Savor and The Tropicana Room the menu selections were find and the meals were decent. We did one shore excursion on our own by booking a taxi to West Beach for the day, it $10.00 per person each way and $20.00 to access the beach and get a chair. If you don't book an excursion I recommend it, its a beautiful beach. All in all we would book another cruise on Getaway. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I was a first time cruiser and was delegated by my group to research cruise lines, destinations, and deals. After countless weeks of research we voted on the Norwegian Cruise Line porting out of NOLA. We were very pleased with our rates, ... Read More
I was a first time cruiser and was delegated by my group to research cruise lines, destinations, and deals. After countless weeks of research we voted on the Norwegian Cruise Line porting out of NOLA. We were very pleased with our rates, cabins and service we received from NCL before and during our cruise. We contacted NCL to book a group cruise, we received 10 balcony cabins and 1 solo cabin. I diligently watched for price drops and we received a great discount per cabin. Our rate also included free airfare, with the exception of our solo cabin. NCL flights were booked without a hitch giving us ample time before and after our cruise. Our NCL group coordinator was absolutely awesome. Our experiences were superb. There were a few glitches yes, but overall we were very pleased. I believe with anything you go into it with a positive attitude and your results will be positive as well. The Getaway was very clean, washy washy everywhere, cabins were attended to twice daily and no one had an issue what so ever. There was minor complaints about dining mostly the specialty dining, but overall consensus was wonderful experiences. The service was great, did seem a bit under staffed but you could tell everyone was working very hard with the exception of a bar tender who's head was way too big at the waves bar and a bar tender on the outdoor Mojito bar who's personality was that of a card board box. These significantly little things were not going to dampen our experience. Honduras port was very boring, suggest doing an excursion for sure. Those of the group who did an NCL shore excursion loved this port. We had no children in our group and booked this cruise specifically to avoid children. There were not many on board that we saw. We have purchased Next Cruise Certificates and can't wait to go again. And NO the Coronavirus did not scare us, wash your hands and rest assured that NCL takes every measure to keep things clean all throughout the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We have been on 18 cruises since 2000 with 9 of those cruises being NCL. The wind, Majesty, Sky twice, Pride of America, Pearl, Epic and Bliss. Last March we went on the Bliss and it was great. In December we went on the Royal Caribbean ... Read More
We have been on 18 cruises since 2000 with 9 of those cruises being NCL. The wind, Majesty, Sky twice, Pride of America, Pearl, Epic and Bliss. Last March we went on the Bliss and it was great. In December we went on the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas and it to was a great experience. I don't know where to start on the break away but the first issues was the microscopic balcony, almost unusable due to being so narrow. The room layout was not very well thought out with the closet being parallel with the bed. Also, very limited storage for a mini-suite. The shower is nice with full closing doors. The main dinning room is way to small and there is always a wait. The specialty restaurants, small but having great food are hard to get reservations. The pool floor is a joke with a bad lay out and design. The main out door pool area should be much bigger for a ship that carries 4000 people. The Up town Bar and Grill hamburger joint on 16 is a waste of space and should be redesigned. The casino layout is the worst of any ship I have been on except for the Epic. Having the Casino located at the atrium makes the ship a lot more smokey. The worst part of the cruise, even though it was better than being at work, was the food in the Manhattan Restaurant was maybe a few points better than a Golden Corral restaurant. The Garden Cafe was also just a lot of cheap food even though their Omelettes were great and the milk, ice cold. Aboard the Symphony of the Seas the fresh squeezed OJ was included with the drink package, $3.00 of Breakaway. Also RCCL has lobster night, not NCL. I think NCL needs to rethink Free Style Cruising and stop cheapening it out . It's a great idea but they need better quality food, ships that can accommodate the amount of guest on board with more common areas and not just more rooms. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Dining: All 3 complimentary dining rooms were very crowded every night. Menu didn't change much over 7 days. They added a couple entrees each night. Sorry to find out Prime Rib was never served! Entertainment: Theater shows ... Read More
Dining: All 3 complimentary dining rooms were very crowded every night. Menu didn't change much over 7 days. They added a couple entrees each night. Sorry to find out Prime Rib was never served! Entertainment: Theater shows were crowded, reservations were needed some nights. They have another venue with a dinner & show which of course was an extra fee. There were no house band(s) playing music for dancing and really no place to dance except on the aft deck outside. The Bliss Lounge was very small and not used much at all. Music was basically a DJ. I've been on smaller ships with 2 bands playing every night in different dance venues. There was a small lounge with rock bands which was very loud and crowded. Only entertainment bright spot was the 3 comedians and "dueling pianos" in the Headliners Comedy club. Pools: No separate one for for adults, packed with kids every day. Elevators: Only 2 banks, one fwd, one aft always crowded, should have a third bank. Margaritaville restaurant has been replaced with American Diner. Breakfast is free, lunch and dinner are ala carte fee. My impression of the Breakaway is that the builders crammed as many cabins as possible in the ship and didn't give much thought about how to handle the 4500 passengers. Will not sail on this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We liked the itinerary, Port Canaveral is closer to home, embarkation was good, but this ship was too over-crowded and extremely noisy. Disembarking was an extremely long walk from one end of ship to the other & back again, and down ... Read More
We liked the itinerary, Port Canaveral is closer to home, embarkation was good, but this ship was too over-crowded and extremely noisy. Disembarking was an extremely long walk from one end of ship to the other & back again, and down many walkways to finally get to where our luggage was staged. Food was good and plentiful and we had good service most of the time. O’Sheehan’s was our favorite place to eat although we ate in LaCucina, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Savor, Taste, LeBistro, the Manhattan, and the Garden Cafe. We must have had the best cabin steward, Jonathan Babao, a very caring young man who went above and beyond to take care of our cabin and us. The best feature of our mini-suite was the bathroom as the cabin itself was no bigger than a regular balcony cabin. We enjoyed the piano player from Brazil, the magician, and Burn the Floor show. Sixx was not too much to my liking. Our shore excursions to Jamaica and Cozumel was very nice and informative. Did not go ashore to Grand Carmen having been there before so we enjoyed the quieter ship and just relaxed. The pool is too small for the size of this ship. We will cruise with NCL again but not on the Breakaway. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have been on 16 cruises. We have traveled with NCL, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We almost always sail the newer ships but decided to sail breakaway because we wanted to sail out of Orlando. We were a group of 14 from 70’s -young ... Read More
We have been on 16 cruises. We have traveled with NCL, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We almost always sail the newer ships but decided to sail breakaway because we wanted to sail out of Orlando. We were a group of 14 from 70’s -young kids. Positives: Teppanyaki, less people, buffet, piano bar, karaoke, getting on and off the ship was great super fast , osheehans Negatives: kids club, moderno, check in people were so grumpy!!! Smoke from casino Getting in the ship was a breeze. The pool deck is not ideal for a sailaway party but it was fun. The biggest disappointment was the kids club. The 10-12 yo club staff has some issues. One ended up quitting in front of the kids. My son usually loves going but this staff made them play the quiet game while they played on their phone and kept extending it for over 20 minutes at a time. This happened multiple times until my son did not want to go anymore. We missed great stirrup cay because of wind but we made the best of it on the pool deck. Food was good... not as good as carnival but decent. Smoke from the casino was awful we went on bliss last year and it was smoke free! So much better!! Piano bar was awesome the husband and wife that did the dualing pianos were awesome. There was tons to do. Weather was not ideal but that’s not NCL’s fault. Cruise director was energetic. Moderno was terrible!! Meats were salty. Osheehans was great. We all had a good time but will definitely sail newer ships everything was dated Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My hubby and I decided to do the NCL Breakaway for our 10-year anniversary. We have done two other NCL ships in the past, this was the best yet! Cabin: We got upgraded into a handicap accessible room for some odd reason and were ... Read More
My hubby and I decided to do the NCL Breakaway for our 10-year anniversary. We have done two other NCL ships in the past, this was the best yet! Cabin: We got upgraded into a handicap accessible room for some odd reason and were we’re shocked when we walked in and saw the size of the cabin. It was HUGE! We had a nice balcony and enough space to even have a lounger on the patio next to the two chairs. Very nice NCL! We were cabin 14586 and the location was our favorite. Just a couple flights away from our favorite spots on the ship. Our room attendant was beyond excellent and greeted us by name every time he saw us in the hallway. We left him an extra tip when we left and felt he was the best we've ever had. Entertainment: We saw Rock the Floor but missed SIX. I enjoyed Rock the Floor but wouldn't write home about it. The comedians were our favorite entertainment. The 18+ shows in the theater and at Headliners, were HILARIOUS. I would highly recommend trying one of these shows if you aren't with little ones. We enjoyed the shows and games in the atrium. We’d watch anytime we walked by and they were having so much fun. Excursions: We missed GSC due to weather which was very disappointing. We really wanted a great day at the beach. So instead, we went down to the shore excursion desk and saw what Jamaica had to offer. To our surprise, we found a $39 beach day and booked it right away. With our shore excursion credit, we spend $20 for the two of us to spend a great day lounging on the beach with transportation. I looked high and low through the shore excursions available before we left, this was not on there. Our favorite excursion was Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman. This will go down in my mind as one of the best things I've ever done. This excursion took us into the middle of the ocean and once in the water we were about chest deep and the sand beneath our feet was so soft. Swimming, kissing, feeding and holding WILD sting rays was unbelievable! We would do this excursion again and again! Air Included Promo: We booked air through NCL, we were booked on United on the way out and American on the way home. Our flight out took us through 3 airports (Phoenix(home), Denver and Orlando) We left at 7:30pm on a Friday night and landed in Orlando at 5:30am on Saturday. This was a hell of a trip to get to Orlando lol. We were exhausted and couldn't wait to get to our cabin. Luckily, after waiting for 5 hours at the Orlando airport we were taken to the port and quicker than ever before our cabin was ready at around 1pm. It was a VERY long day. We did have a direct flight home which was nice. The transportation to and from was also a nice tough. With the ride from the airport to port being around 45 minutes, it was nice to be in a charter bus with a bathroom instead of a small cramped 12-seater van. We left around 9:45am going back to the airport even though our flight wasn’t until 4:30pm… but we enjoyed the airport more this time since we didn’t have an overnight flight beforehand. Food: We had specialty dining and tried 3 of them on the ship. Teppanyaki, Le Bistro and Moderno. All were beyond good but teppanyaki was the best with Moderno coming in a close second. The specialty dining filled up FAST, my suggestion would be to book first thing when you get on board. I wasn’t sure how the specialty dining would work with our promos but they seem to have it all worked out. You order what you want and then they ask if you want to use your credit and that’s it! It was much easier than I thought it would be. We tried all 11 meats at Moderno but we LOVED the filet. The salad bar was impressive and delicious and even had my smoked salmon Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
we chose this cruise at the last minute,two weeks before the cruise because of the price. the embarkation went very quick. the sail away was on time.there was a lot of kids on this cruise,of course the parents just let them run wild all ... Read More
we chose this cruise at the last minute,two weeks before the cruise because of the price. the embarkation went very quick. the sail away was on time.there was a lot of kids on this cruise,of course the parents just let them run wild all over the ship.they take kids to shows that they should not take them to,the comedians even committed about it. parents PLEASE KEEP your kids out of the hot tubs. the show six was horrible,that is an hour of my life i cant get back. burn the floor was very good. the food in the restaurants was very good.the ship seemed over crowded.the weather was not the best the fist couple of days,but it got a little better from jamaica on.I was not crazy about the cruise director paquito,potato or whatever his name was.your cruise director needs to be able to speak very clear english. alot of older people were having some difficulty understanding him.the staff was very friendly.the captain was one of the best we have had he was very friendly and talkative. overall the cruise was good and we will keep cruising with NCL,just not in a inside room any more. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
After waiting 4 hours just to get on the ship, my expectations were pretty low. Finally got on about 4pm and rushed to get food. Staff was trying to rush us to leave for the muster stations but people were still getting onboard. Finally ... Read More
After waiting 4 hours just to get on the ship, my expectations were pretty low. Finally got on about 4pm and rushed to get food. Staff was trying to rush us to leave for the muster stations but people were still getting onboard. Finally announced that muster was delayed until 5:30pm. Odd that staff was oblivious to the lengthy embarkation. They were so disorganized that they couldn’t even get all passengers onboard in time for the safety brief. Also recording room numbers for towels on paper then not recording returned towels. Really not efficient or organized. Food was okay. Pool wasn’t great as it was busy and cold. As well as only having 1 pool for families. The inside room was tiny although the bathroom was very nice. Really no storage so we were living out of a suitcase. Evening entertainment was mediocre although Choir of Man was very good. Daughter just turned 18 and absolutely nothing for that age group. They had a 18-25 meet and greet but my daughter isn’t going to hang out with people who can drink. Not an appropriate age mix. Also missed one of the ports (Costa Maya) which was disappointing and the revised schedule for the day was underwhelming at best. Received a phone call morning of disembarkation that we had a credit on our account. Luckily we had time to go to customer service as it was money from the excursion we missed when the ship couldn’t dock. Paid out in cash with no proper receipt for us to look at. Not sure what would have happened if we hadn’t been available to collect our cash. The Norwegian Escape Is really nothing special and there was an enormous amount of lining up and waiting. Royal Caribbean is far superior. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my 2nd cruise and I enjoyed myself however there could be many improvements. First off, the logout page for the wifi only seems to work once in a while so I probably wasted 30-40 minutes just trying to logout of my sessions.  ... Read More
This was my 2nd cruise and I enjoyed myself however there could be many improvements. First off, the logout page for the wifi only seems to work once in a while so I probably wasted 30-40 minutes just trying to logout of my sessions.  Their app is also buggy as many messages did not go through.  I would send somebody a message and when I found them an hour later, the message was never received making it hard to coordinate things. Sometimes the app just wouldn't load at all as well. When it did work, it was great to communicate with my family who was also on the ship and to quickly find out what's going on however I'd say it only worked 75-80% of the time. I also had a $50 per port excursion credit that was not credited to my account so I had to go ask for it to be added otherwise I would have been charged the full price. The pool is very small and you always have a long wait for drinks to the point where almost everybody ordered 2 drinks at a time so they wouldn't have to go again for a while. The entertainment was ok however I expected more from the reviews.  Many people walked out from "After Midnight". The lounge entertainers were good but all seemed tired and had no energy or stage presence which made it hard to get into it. The only thing I found exceptional was the "Choir of Man" show and the food.  We did the Tepanyaki and Brazilian steakhouse which were both amazing and a different experience.  We also did Bayamo which was also very good.  O'sheehans was great for a quick bite when needed. I also ended up getting a complimentary bottle of wine and strawberries for some reason which was nice. All in all, it was fun but I would probably choose another ship next time I cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Have been on other mega ships and they were nice. This ship had great shows. Choir of men was fabulous and so was After midnight. We loved howling at the moon and went to 3 of their shows...so much fun singing along. The supper club was ... Read More
Have been on other mega ships and they were nice. This ship had great shows. Choir of men was fabulous and so was After midnight. We loved howling at the moon and went to 3 of their shows...so much fun singing along. The supper club was nice, menu was beef with no other choice. We liked the buffet for breakfast and lunch, had a million choices and everything was tasty and fresh. Ate at O'sheehans for dinner the night they had Cuban pork. The meal was awful, no flavor to the meat, and it was dry. Platanos were dry and hard, like hockey pucks! The black beans were edible. Main problem with this ship was the lack of space in the public rooms. In the atrium they brought out folding chairs which made matters worse because they impeded flow of traffic, and the lines for the service desk were also in the way. For the amount of passengers the pool was a joke. Not much bigger than a typical backyard pool. Ridiculous! Good luck getting a lounge or even a chair. Another case of poor planning. This ship needs a major rehab to make the public areas and pool larger. Read Less
Sail Date February 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
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