December 2015 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Escape
This was my first cruise and my fiances second. We brought my 16 yr. old son along. We had a balcony room on the 15th floor. It was nice getting up in the morning and sitting on the balcony. You can't beat the view. I'm an early bird and my guys sleep late. We had the dining package which I highly recommend. We already knew to make reservations prior to the trip so there was no issue getting a table. The website allows you to make your reservations 90 days before the cruise. Do this and save yourself the headache later. I have nothing bad to say about the food in the specialty restaurants. I loved all the food a little too much I think. For breakfast we ate at Savor or Taste. I avoided the cafe because it was like Golden Corral at sea for me. Too many people and too many small children. If you prefer a quieter sit down type breakfast then go to Savor or Taste. The only time I ever used the cafe was if I just wanted to grab something quick and take it back to my room. When we initially boarded we got our reservations for the comedy show because we weren't able to do it online. Later I learned that there are large computer monitors stationed all over the ship where you can make reservations. I didn't even notice them until half way through the trip. You can also reserve shore excursions on them as well so check often because availability changes constantly as people cancel. Just because something isn't available one day doesn't mean it won't be available the next. The staff was great. Everyone was so friendly and so polite. . I think you should treat others the way you would like to be treated because I saw a couple guests speaking to the staff in a very derogatory tone. I felt bad for the staff. Our room steward was wonderful. He greeted us each day and evening. I began to wonder when did he ever get the chance to sleep. Each morning you get a newsletter letting you know everything thats going on that day so check the newsletter if you want to find something to do. The first day my son went to the teen lounge he didn't really care for it so we went back later that evening so see what activities they had for the older kids. At the time there was a scavenger hunt going on so he decided to stay. By day two he had a group of kids he was hanging out with. He loved meeting teenagers from all around the world and as the week went on we only saw him at breakfast because he was out with his new friends. When the cruise was over he told me that he had the best time he ever had in his life. That was great to hear coming from a teenager. The second night my son and I went to see the Brat Pack. Its a mix up of some of my favorite 80's movies. My son who is obsessed with the 80's loved it because he had seen all the movies and knew the songs. The cast was so talented and did an amazing job. The music was live and the sax player was awesome. He received the biggest applause at the end. It is a more adult show because they do say the lines from the movies and not the watered down edited versions we see on tv. They serve a meal at the show as well. This was one of the shows you had to pay for so reserve the show online prior to the trip because the price goes up if you book once you're on the ship. I hate that I missed After Midnight because I heard it was good but I was just too tired that day to make it to the show and there were no other openings. My fiance and I went to the more adult version of the comedy show which is late in the evening. It was hilarious. We avoided the pools because it was just too many people packed into one space. I tried the water slide but that was it. I saved water play for the beach when we went into the ports. We did a shore excursion in St. Thomas which was an island tour and a couple hours at Magens beach. We booked it through the cruiseline for $186.00 plus another $12.00 for the cab ride back to the ship. The water was so clear. I grew up in Virginia Beach so to see crystal clear water like that was amazing. We did a similar excursion in Tortola but didn't do it through the cruise line and only paid $60 and the guide brought us back to the ship. There was a bar at the beach as well. Drinks were $5.00 so I got a little tipsy. So if you just want a tour of the island and a day at the beach you may be better off doing this yourself instead of through the cruiseline. Tour buses were always waiting at the ports. Towards the end of the cruise you will find all kinds of sales going on. Bring something white to wear to the all white party towards the end of the week. There was an 80's party one night too. It was so much fun. A few crew members did the dance to "Single Ladies" on the stage. We had a great time at the white party then danced some more at Sky Line til nearly 2 am. Initially I was worried that this cruise was going to be a disappointment based on other reviews I had seen but I really enjoyed it. We are planning on going again next year on the same cruise but I'm taking my mother and aunt this time. They really need a vacation.