We are frequent cruisers. We enjoy all areas of the world and seeing new sights. We cruise as a family, my wife. adult daughter and myself. We were "Loyal to Royal" and have cruised with most other cruise lines. Norwegian is become more appealing to us.
Cruise Lines: Norwegian Cruise Line
Ships: Norwegian Escape
Ports: Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Ship: Norwegian Escape
We chose this cruise for two reasons: It left from our home port of San Pedro Ca. and it was a Haven cruise with Norwegian Cruise lines. The Haven is very nice. This ships Haven does not have the Haven restaurant Or lounge with the bar. It is still a great setting for cruising. We have done this Itinerary many times so there is little that is new. Cabo and Puerto Vallarta are wonderful stops. Mazatlan is nice but the shopping and sights are far from where the ship docks.
The experience of the haven is not to be missed if you can afford it. While pricey it is worth it. The two bedroom suite was more than adequate. It comes with a butler and a room steward. The balcony is small but nice. The internet connection was good. The Haven on the Escape comes with its own private lounge and bar, its own pool area and separate sun room and sun deck. It also has its own restaurant and the service was the best. The restaurant was never crowded.The food for breakfast, lunch and dinner was always good. The speciality restaurant were good as well. I believe there ore only twenty two suites available.The itinerary was typical for the Caribbean and it was warm in October. They escort you on and off the ship , which is one of the best perks.
The Suite was the best part of the cruise. There are many cruises that have the same itinerary but few ship with cabins and views like those available on the Oasis of the Seas.
We usually sail with RCCL. We have sailed with Princess before and have a Platinum status with them, with RCCL we are Diamond Plus. RCCL has not had any regular west coast sailing for some time. We are probably going to be increasing our sailings with Princess as a result. We had many opportunities to compare. Because we book a suite we are given what I have been told is similar to there Elite status loyalty privileges. One of the best is breakfast in the Crown Grill. RCCL does a similar breakfast opportunity but the menu is not as good and the service on the Ruby Princess in the Grill was second to none, the pastries were fantastic. Princess does not have a Concierge lounge but does have Skywalkers. They charge for drinks in Skywalkers the do not in the Concierge lounge. Both give wifi but Princess is limited. Princess gives free laundry RCCL does not. Not having a concierge is a bit of inconvenience but not insurmountable. The theater on the Ruby Princess is to small and there is no reserved seating for suites as there is on RCCL. Also there was no handicapped seating in the theater that I could see. We stayed in a Penthouse Suite L107.This was forward on the ship. It had an odd configuration. We have friends who had the Penthouse Suite midship and it had a much better layout . I would not recommend the forward suites. The staff was friendly and helpful though some of the crew who ran the trivia contests thought the were funnier that actually were. The ports were all good with possible exception of La Paz, not much there for us. I will quite probably do this cruise again.
I have enjoyed all the 60 cruises I have been on, some more than others. This was not a bad cruise but it was not one of the best. One factor was the weather, which RCCL is not responsible for. The crew always has some people who do very well and others who do not. This cruise seem to have many who were inexperienced or were burned out.
This was a consecutive cruise for us, The staff was very nice. The Loyalty Ambassador was very helpful (Martin). I had brief encounters with both captains and did not find them particularly friendly (two different captains for the two cruises). The Itinerary was good St. Maartin, St Thomas, Labadee and San Juan. The weather from and to Baltimore was somewhat rough but I understand this is not unusual for this time of the year. I would do this cruise again but probably from a port further south.
A nice ship with good crew. The ports were all good and typical of many caribbean cruises. The 10 day gives you days at sea. Some people enjoy days at sea and we do. The entire experience was a good one. RCCL has continued to cut back on some of the perks but infrequent cruisers will not notice.
As many are aware it has been about five years since RCCL has sailed from Los Angeles. It is a pleasure to drive to the ship rather than fly to the destination , stay in a hotel and take an over priced cab to the cruise port. We first went to Santa Barbara, always a pretty place with good weather. Then for a two day stay in San Fransico. The ship docks near pier 39 which is convenient. The hop on and off bus picks up from there and was a good way to see the city. After that we went to Monterey. We took an excursion that went along the 17 mile drive. We stopped at pebble beach, the fame lone cypress tree and to Carmel. Well worth the time and effort. Our final stop was in Ensenada. I have been there many times. We took a walk from the ship looked at the minor changes in the main business district then had lunch. It is a nice place but not exciting in any way. The cruise is not to be repeated any time soon according to the schedule. I have been told this is probably because of the revenues. Well worth the time to go.
This was a cruise of contrasts. The ship is beautiful and technologically unmatched in my experience. The dinning was a disappointing experience for the most part. Some of the crew had difficulty with english beyond a basic understanding. While I enjoyed the Ifly, the Northstar and the bumper cars, I probably would not chose this style of cruising for future cruises based on the dinning experience. I do not regret my one time experience. If they change the dinning to a more tradional style I would be interested in trying it again.
The internet connection is the best. Probably pricey for many but with out complaints by those who used it. The resturants are a different story. Many we would chose not to go back to. The food was not as good or as much variety as we would have hoped for. Because you dine in a different resturant you do not get to know your wait staff or fellow cruisers. When we asked officers about feedback they indicate that it was about 50/50 pos and neg response. We dined in the Grande on two different occasions and will not return. The service was not terrible but not what you would hope for and the food left something to be desired. Chops is really very good as it is on many others ships and we will return there. There are more resturants we did not like that one we did. Johnny Rockets is not a regular set up. It is only food to go. There is out side seating but it is limited with no wait staff. We like the food there. This ship is being prepared to be sent to China. Many of the staff seem to be in training and the language is difficult at times. I would say that they are all nice and try to be helpful but have challenges. Because the same class of ship will be sailing soon I would suggest that if you want a different experience this would be a good chance to have it. If you prefer a more traditional experience it probably won't be your cup of tea. The staff in the concierge club,Mario and Filip are first rate and Captain Felix is the right person for this ship. Wendy Kirby is, in my opinion, the best loyality abassador in the Crown and Anchor Society,
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