By Brittany Chrusciel
Cruise Critic Editor
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Cabins

Norwegian has opted for a contemporary, sophisticated design with the 2,175 cabins on Escape. Inside, outside and balcony rooms employ a color palette of dark blues and warm browns, and the result is a sophisticated, upscale feel, similar to that found in a modern business hotel in a city center. That said, standard cabins are just that; Norwegian opts for uniform over wow and reserves the surprises for the suites and above.

All cabins have two lower beds that can be converted to a queen-size bed (except for the studios) and are outfitted with a safe, hair dryer, desk with a small stool, three power sockets above the desk and a large flat-screen TV. Each has a wardrobe and bedside cabinets. There is a small reading light above each bed. All cabins, other than studios, include mini-bars, as well.

Bathrooms each have a shower with a glass door, single sink and toilet. A small fixed cabinet underneath the sink houses the trash can and additional storage. The shower has a drawstring for drying wet clothes. Toiletries are generic in the standard cabins, with soap from a dispenser over the sinks and gel and shampoo dispensers in the showers. Suites and above enjoy Bulgari products.

Norwegian caters exceptionally well to families, with options in a range of price points, from interconnecting inside cabins to large Family Garden Villas in The Haven complex. The Haven -- Norwegian's exclusive suite complex -- is the line's largest to date, with 55 suites at the front of decks 17 and 18 (plus a further 40 elsewhere on the ship) and a private restaurant, pool and sunbathing area, concierge services and exclusive keycard access.

Interior: There are 408 inside cabins on the ship, which each run between 135 and 201 square feet and are located on decks 5 and 8 to 14. Many are connecting and sleep up to four passengers. The inside rooms on Deck 5 are near Splash Academy, the children's facilities, so they're ideal for families.

Ocean View: The 114 ocean-view cabins have large picture windows and range from 161 to 252 square feet. They're found on decks 5 and 9 to 14. Forty are Family Oceanviews that sleep up to five people and have bathrooms with modern double sinks and bathtubs, as well as second wardrobes for added storage.

Balcony: The 1,150 balcony cabins -- ranging from about 207 to 239 square feet -- are located on decks 8 to 15 and make up the majority of cabins. Each has plenty of shelving areas to help reduce clutter and keep everything within easy reach. The balconies are narrow (43 square feet), with just enough space for two chairs (not a lounger), but no little table. In the bathroom, the built-in sink is a generous size. The shower has a shaving bar for ladies.

Mini-Suite: Located across decks 8 to 15, the 308 mini-suites offer more space than balcony cabins, coming in at 239 to 513 square feet. The extra square footage allows you to spread out. A sofa bed in the living area converts to a king-size bed, and there is bedding to accommodate up to two additional passengers. The 40 Family mini-suites are the same size and layout, but they come with bath tubs and are nearer to the kids club.

Spa: Spa cabins come in two variations -- Spa Balcony and Spa Mini-Suite. They share the same layout and size (208 to 239 square feet) as a standard balcony and mini-suite. The difference is the decor, which is more tranquil with a softer color palette. The cabins offer easy access to the adjacent spa and fitness center (all on Deck 16), and passengers receive complimentary passes to the Thermal Spa Suite.

The Haven: Norwegian Escape has the fleet's largest Haven -- a private area accessible only by keycard -- with 55 suites within the enclave and a further 40 suites (specifically, the Spa Suites and Aft and Forward Penthouses) outside it. All 95 suites have keycard access to The Haven's outdoor terrace, private restaurant, courtyard with retractable roof and pool, two whirlpools, sauna, spa treatment rooms and sun deck. The Haven's other benefits include priority embarkation and disembarkation; priority boarding of tenders to shore; in-suite espresso/cappuccino machines; gourmet treats delivered each evening; Bliss Collection by Norwegian pillow-top mattress; fine linens, feather duvets and pillow menus; plush bathrobes and slippers; and oversized towels and beach towels. 

Spa Suite: The big wow with the 13 Spa Suites (and one Deluxe Spa Suite) is the oval-shaped hot tub in the bedroom, located by the window and beside the bed. It's backlit and very pretty and romantic, but it still seems kind of odd to have a bath in the room. If you're feeling shy, you can opt instead to bathe in the bathroom's separate oversized waterfall shower, with multiple body spray jets; the bathroom also features twin sinks and Bulgari bath products. The 309-square-foot cabin is otherwise laid out like a mini-suite with the same size balcony as a standard cabin. It also has a Nespresso coffee machine.

The one Deluxe Spa Suite has the same square footage as the other spa suites, but it has a different layout, so you effectively have two rooms: a bedroom, again with a hot tub in the corner, and a living area separated by glass. The living room has a desk and a sofa bed, which can sleep one other person. The balcony is twice the length and can be accessed via the bedroom and the living room. Other extra touches include a walk-through wardrobe to the bathroom, which is the same as in the Spa Suite.

As with the other spa cabins, Spa Suites and the Deluxe Spa Suite include easy access to the adjacent Mandara Spa and fitness center, as well as complimentary access to the Thermal Spa Suites during regular spa hours. The suites are located outside of The Haven but offer full access to The Haven facilities.

Forward/Aft Facing Penthouse: The penthouses are outstanding in terms of layout, amenities and thoughtful design touches. They each include a square-shaped living room and dining area with a small dining table (more akin to a card table), a double sofa bed, a chair, a coffee table and writing desk, and a cabinet with Nespresso coffee machine and mini-bar inside. The bedroom is a similar size and shape with a king-sized bed. Adjoining it is a beautiful bathroom that's ultra-modern with double bowl sinks, a curved oval bathtub and separate shower, and Bulgari bath products. There is also a small vanity/dresser, and beach towels are provided. The standout feature in each aft-facing penthouse is the balcony, which is huge, offering plenty of space for several loungers, a table and chairs, plus drinks tables. Some penthouses have interconnecting doors to other cabins, ideal for large families. The 26 penthouses (14 aft-facing, 12 forward-facing) are all outside The Haven, but they have full access to its facilities. The aft-facing suites are larger at 534 square feet with 78-square-foot balconies; forward-facing penthouses are 451 square feet with 32-square-foot balconies.

Courtyard Penthouse: Each of the 22 Courtyard Penthouses accommodates three passengers and includes a king-size bed and a living area with a small, round dining table with two chairs, a single sofa bed and a desk. A dressing/closet area leads into the bathroom, which has a tub/shower combo. Courtyard Penthouses range from 328 to 540 square feet, with balconies of 48 to 58 square feet.

Owner's Suite: Four Owner's Suites sleep up to four passengers each. The odd thing is that, despite the square footage (which comes in at a very respectable 572 square feet), the suites feel cramped (compared, say, to the Penthouse Suites, which are the same square footage). Perhaps it's because there are too many rooms crammed into the space: living/dining area, master bedroom, bathroom, second smaller bedroom and shower room. The long, narrow living room leads out to a standard-size balcony, which is not big enough for a sun lounger. The second bedroom is off the living room and is ideal for kids. The master bedroom is taken up by the huge bed, which creates the squashed feeling. The bathroom is stunning with twin sinks, a standalone shower and an oval corner bath, complete with a massive picture window.

Deluxe Owner's Suite: This is a vast space, which takes up a large chunk of real estate (1,345 square feet, to be exact) at the front of the ship, including one of the biggest balconies we have ever seen. There are four Deluxe Owner's Suites on the ship. You enter through a small corridor; a small bedroom is immediately to your left with an ensuite shower room. Just beyond is a large living/dining room, with dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows running the length of the room. It's furnished with a dining table and chairs, wet bar, large sofa, occasional chairs and a coffee table, and it offers all the amenities of the other suites. The main balcony, accessed from the living room, has almost the same square footage as the suite, and it has stunning views over the front of the ship. The living space leads into the master bedroom, which is taken up mainly by the bed and has floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a separate balcony. The master bathroom, which is done entirely in marble, includes two modern vanity sinks and a tub with amazing views. The bathroom leads into the walk-in closet.

Studio: For solo travelers, Escape offers 82 inside cabins of 100 square feet, all in the same spot -- a complex on decks 10, 11 and 12, complete with a lounge bar. Escape offers the line's biggest studio concept to date, with the largest number of cabins and the largest lounge area. The cabins are small, but they're well designed to maximize space, with little shelves above the bed for storing things. They have a wardrobe and tiny desk, but no mini-bar due to space restrictions. However, the lack of a mini-bar isn't a big deal, given the access to the Studio lounge/bar.

Studio cabins also have a few interesting design elements -- a padded wall, a window that looks out onto the communal corridor, remote-controlled mood lighting and a shower cubicle and a sink in the room. They are very popular and still unique in cruise.

The Studio complex has a certain cachet in that it's only accessible by keycard and has its own lounge, complete with a bar, tea- and coffeemaking facilities and wine dispensing machines, as well as plenty of seating, including sofas. (Tea, coffee and snacks are free; booze costs extra.) There is also a white board where passengers are encouraged to write where they are going for dinner or on shore excursions so others can join them.

Families: Families have options across multiple cabin categories, with 40 mini-suites located near the Splash Academy, 172 family balconies near the children's facilities, 48 ocean-view cabins that can accommodate up to five and an unspecified number of inside cabins with additional Pullman beds that drop from the ceiling.

The Haven also features 25 Two-Bedroom Family Villas (540 square feet each) that sleep up to six passengers. They offer real luxury (and space) with two bedrooms and two bathrooms apiece. As well as the space and facilities, these suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies. The large master bathroom includes a rain shower, two modern vanity sinks and an oversized tub.

Accessible: The 46 wheelchair-accessible staterooms include two suites, four mini-suites, 16 balconies, eight ocean-views and 16 insides. All feature collapsible shower benches mounted on the shower walls, toilets with collapsible arm guards and lowered ADA-height washbasins. Amenities in the staterooms include vibrating alarm clocks, door beacons (light flashes when someone knocks on the door), televisions with closed-caption decoders and flashing-light fire alarms. Each stateroom has permanently lit emergency lights in the living area and bathroom. Braille text is available in all staterooms and elevators. Hearing-impaired kits are available to passengers by request. 

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