February 2017 - Norwegian Escape to Caribbean - Eastern
I myself always read reviews. I've written a few too. My nature is to stay pretty positive about things since I'd feel foolish complaining about a Caribbean vacation in the dead of winter. I've cruised with the other big named cruise lines and this was my first with Norwegian. I booked it a year in advance so I had plenty of time to prepare and plan. I stayed in a 2 bedroom family suite in The Haven. Like you will read in many reviews that upgrade is totally worth it. I don't think I could ever cruise on Norwegian in a room not in The Haven. Its just too good.
This being a newer ship, it was clean and had lots of stuff to do for kids of all ages and adults. My kids like Splash Academy and the times it was open was perfect for my husband and I to have some 'us' time. The percs they are offering at the moment are awesome. Just pay the tips on your drinks and dining at the restaurants was completely worth it. Free wifi and saving some money on a shore excursion was a nice extra too.
Those who go on cruises know the entertainment/shows can be something to do every night with the entire family. We all kind of go our separate ways during the day, but at night, after dinner, its fun to get together for some good shows. I was a bit disappointed in the Escapes entertainment. Only a magic show was something for the whole family to enjoy. Evening entertainment was just not as good as Royal Caribbean, in my opinion. I spoke with someone who said the Getaway had some great shows. I will go on that ship next.
We snorkeled in St. Thomas and Tortola. Because of bad weather our Gorda Beach/Snorkel shore excursion booked through the ship was cancelled and they took us to Norman Island instead. I thought it was the best snorkeling I have ever done. I saw an octopus! I do not get off the ship in Nassau. What a great day on a ship that's 1/2 full. We were on the ropes coarse as we were docking in Nassau. I'd advise you try to do that as the views were super.
Shopping? There was nothing to buy!? There were the usual watch and liqueur stores, but no place to buy anything for my family or grandchildren. My 8 year old son would have liked a shirt that said "The Escape" or something like that, but I never saw anything kid sized. I got my usual magnet.
My end of week charges were a total of $700. That included the $500 shore excursion for the five of us. That is by far the smallest bill I have ever received. It was mostly tips on drinks and some arcade fun. That told me the alcoholic drink percs was worth it for us.
The specials offered to book the cruise, the room and upgrades you received in The Haven, the island ports you stop at, were all things that made us choose this ship and I would recommend it as well. Don't expect the same quality of shows or shopping like you might have on RC Allure of the Seas. The staff, food, ropes course, water slides, and overall vibe of the ship was great. I plan on sailing the Getaway next and look forward to trying out other Norwegian ships. I think each ship has its pluses and minuses. You have to travel with the right attitude and you will always have a great time.