I am a retiree living in west coast of Florida, We started cruising in 2009. Our first cruise was on the NCL Sky. My wife and I had such a great time and found the entertainment and the dance venues were excellent. We did a short cruise to make sure we would be compatible to cruising, being this was our first trip. We were blown away, what a great value cruising is, unpacking one time, then find yourself in a new port 3 to 5 times in just one week, that's just fine with us. We have tried the following lines: NCL, RCI, , Princess, Carnival and Holland. All listed in order of liking.
September 2016 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Escape
What a Great Ship, this is our third time this year
What a beautiful ship the Escape is, just like the sister ship, the Getaway. #1 Food quality is excellent! I can compare this to all other lines I have traveled on like RCI,Princess, Holland and Carnival. Getting through a main dinning room should not have to cost you two plus hours of your time as the other lines and with poor service & food quality . I have not received a meal yet that I was unhappy with in any of the restaurants or the buffet, great food! I am really not a fan of the buffet though, not cause of the food, but more of the frantic atmosphere of the people at times, not all the time, but during a rush it's a mess. I can not stand to see wasted food either.
#2. Super friendly crew, I have not bumped into a crew member on this ship that did not have a smile. I have engaged many of the members in conversation and found them to be quite genuine, friendly and warm. Not so on other lines, some look so burned out maybe they should release them from contract and send them home.
#3. Dancing, If you like to dance there is a venue just waiting you. You like ballroom, POP, Latin/Rhythm, freestyle. You pick from live to canned it's all there. Nice wood floor in the Manhattan Room, a dine and dance venue. The Sky line Lounge has live and canned music but it has a tile floor (so don't wear your dance shoes there, bring leather soles shoes), The Atrium has live or canned music that has a good wood floor as well. FreeStyle music, every night in H2O, top of the ship, under the stars, where the party goes until you drop.
The Pool deck is tight on sea days, one Pool for Adults is nuts, that was a fail. There is a kids area which is great for the kids. The main pool opens to all after 5PM. Shows are great, comedy is good. Spa up grade for $199 PP is not bad compared to the price of other lines that charge $350 for the same. Look it up on youtube there are videos. It suppose to be a quite zone but some Americans don't read and follow the rules so well.
Public areas were always clean, every now and then I saw a stray glass, but I blame the cruisers for their careless ways not NCL.
For the price this is a excellent vacation. It seems that NCL is moving to capture the clients of other lines with their excellent service and friendly staff. They did with us, this our fifth NCL cruise this year alone. I think we found a new home.
July 2016 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Escape
If you have not tried NCL, what are you waiting for?
My wife and I are ballroom and latin dancers, so this ship as well as the Getaway was a home-run for us. There are usually three to four dance venues going at the same time, and no you do not have to be a trained dancer to have a good time. We have had so much fun that this is our second time this year on this ship. We find the food in the main dining rooms to be excellent, the waiters very good to excellent. The staff in general were all great, always smiling, always a hello. I have felt so welcome on this ship.
I find the public area, such as the pool area tighter than RCI. The pool is adult only until 5PM, That's a plus, but on sea days the tourist are wall to wall, no matter to me I am from FL, so I have the sun and water at home.
Embarkation and debarkation is a breeze. All around very good to excellent cruise. I can't think of one thing I did not like, and I am a nit picker.
May 2016 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Escape
January 2016 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Getaway
This was my first 7 day cruise on the Norwegian, we choose the Getaway. We have been big fans of Royal Caribbean, it's hard to say that now. The Getaway, what a beautiful ship. excellent food (you don't need to up grade the restaurants unless you just want to try them), ship is kept clean, very friendly staff and dancing, wow dancing up the wazoo. No matter what kind of dancer you are, there is a venue for you. There were at least three different groups playing every evening. There are group dance lessons taught on the ship , so not to worry if you don't dance. Personally I don't like the pool, I think it is too small, but that's my opinion. Up grade to the beach club or spa, that will cure the crowds. There are more pay for venues on NCL, but don't buy them if you don't want or have a need for them, easy as that. All in all we are booked for our fifth cruise on NCL this year, pricing is great, service is great, what more can we ask for. See you on our next cruise.
Just do not like to be harassed by the locals. You can't walk ten feet in any direction without someone begging to walk you, drive you somewhere or just plain O begging for money. They should clean that up.
$2 dollar cab to the beach and $20 dollar professional message how can you beat this, $10 dollar all day bicycle rentals, what more do you need, Plenty of seats on the sand if you buy from their restaurant, definitely a good day.
Great place to visit on your own take a 2 dollar PP cab to the beach and have a blast, and I am not a beach person and I still have fun. Get $20 massage on the beach in the open air, how nice is that or rent a bike all day for $10.
I like to walk outside of the port gates by myself and it's little tough, people begging for money without shame everywhere. You can tell them no, and they won't curse you, but I don't like being approached by beggars. It's a poor depressed area not much to see walking unless you need the supermarket 10 minute from the port gate.
Very nice area to walk or take a bike and/or trolley tour.
Rhapsody of the Seas
There was Karaoke just about every night if you are a fun. Live and canned music the the dancers. Very good food in the windjammer.
Don't bring liquor or candles, just a smile is good enough. If you don't buy a excursion from NCL you can always get something on the Pier. A city tour is good for me and if there is a beach they will drop there if you want.
Open truck rides not a bad way to see the place in two hours, nice beaches, I like to walk the area though.
Don't get on any ship with a pre expectation, you are only setting yourself up for a down fall.. Let the ship reveal itself to you, if there is a negative event that takes place, put it on paper and make it known to the Hotel Director, then move on and do not focus on it. You only have 7 days.