August 2016 - Norwegian Escape to Caribbean
My husband & I liked that we could make reservations for the free shows and dining rooms, besides the reservations for the specialty restaurants, so we could dine by ourselves or with others and have the variety that you usually have to pay extra for on other cruise lines. We did purchase through our travel agent a 3 specialty restaurant package to be able to try the Brazilian Steakhouse w/ tapas salad bar; the French Bistro; and The Supper Club with a musical show during a lunch with 6 wines. (Only offered 1 time in 7 days, but fun). All were excellent! We went to a cabaret show and gourmet dinner in the Supper Club another night (all free, except your drinks). We've eaten in many fine restaurants and this was up there with them. This you must have reservations for and it may only be offered 1 time during a week long cruise. The large main dining room has a dance floor and only other place to dance is the Skyline Bar which is on the Casino floor. This ship had waterfront dining off of most of the restaurants which is not common, but very nice. All the food in the "free" dining rooms was also excellent! They had very good quality steaks and seafood, which isn't always the case on other NCL ships or other cruise lines we've been on. Prime Rib Night in the Irish Pub on a couple nights (excellent and reservations are not required). They also know how to poach an egg and had many eggs benedict versions and smoked salmon in the Savor & Taste dining rooms (but not on the 16th floor buffet). The ship is one of the biggest and only a year or so old and was very nice & very smooth even as we were on the fringe of a hurricane. Service was exceptional in every department with very friendly and helpful (foreign) staff. So good, in fact, that we filled out many small little comment cards with praise. The ship had the usual bars, karaoke, spa, exercise room, shops, movie time only twice in the atrium & once by the pool, but comfy and good viewing ($10.00 on demand movies in your room), a lovely atrium with color changing chandelier. Special places we liked: There was a dueling pianos/comedy club room/bar, which was a big hit! 9 hole putt-a-golf; (2) nice ping pong areas with 2 tables each; (2) inner tube slides & (2) scary, straight drop down slides for the more adventurous. Also unique to this ship was an obstacle course with planks and swinging bridges, for the adventurous & those not afraid of heights, even though you are harnessed in with a guide rope for security. I did it, but once was enough, and could not bring myself to "walk the plank" over the ocean for an option to pull a cord to take your picture for $25.00. The pools weren't overly large, but we're plenty fine with plenty of chaise lounges and movie screen and TV's out by pool. Lots of Jacuzzi's on different levels and an adults only pool and a waterfall wading area to get out of sun. Must explore different deck levels to find neat little places to relax on the decks. Lots of varied entertainment: Great "Cotton Club" show with singing and tap dancing; 4 guys singing like the Jersey Boys, very talented and funny; a juggler; at least 3 comics; a variety show the 1st night; and don't forget The Supper Club if you like entertainment while you eat! It was my birthday and this ship made it quite special! We've been on at least 25 cruises and never have been on any of them more than once, but may have to go back on the Escape & take our daughters.