November 2015 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Escape
It was just OK.
Everything's Extra. Drink package, extra... Dining Package, extra... Shows, extra, even a behind the scenes ship tour, extra... If you have the dining package, good luck! Reservations were booked up on day one. If you eat after 9PM, good luck, everything closes by then except for buffett. No matter what time we ate, the service was just horrible. It took forever to get drinks, food, even butter!
Lines everywhere. With a ship this big, and full to capacity there's lines everywhere. Lines to bathrooms, bars, dinner, lunches, buffet, pool chairs, towel exchange, etc...LINES!!! You want to attend the comedy club, well you will be standing outside because it's full. You want to watch the "main event" in the Atrium, good luck they brought out a ton of chairs and it's still full. I don't think they realized how popular some things were going to be (new voyage) and were underprepared for the number of people. I'm sure this will work it's way out as they get more comfortable with how this large ship functions.
Elevators...wow, you'll see what I mean if you are on the ship. They just don't work. You wait forever for an elevator. Half are parked on different floors, others just are slow. You stop at EVERY floor up and down. The only time you don't have to wait is at 3am. They have 8 forward and 8 aft, but look at which floors they go to. Some go down to four, others stop at five, some go up to 16, others go up to 20, pay attention! It took me a few days to realize that you need to walk to EVERY button and press up or down to call ALL of them, not just the one you pressed. Holding the floor, or close, or both doesn't work, sorry.
Bathroom placement, wow this didn't make a whole lot of sense. The bathroom locations were so confusing. In the casino, walk a mile down to go the closest bathroom. Up at Margaritaville, walk to a single handicap bathroom, or around the corner for a tiny bathroom by the pool, or downstairs for a larger one. Just very strange where they were and how to get to them.
The crew was friendly when walking around, but many bartenders acted like they were doing you a favor. The drink package says two drinks per person, but they kept asking for everyone's card! Made no sense if you ordered two drinks. They can't leave the tab open either. Every time they have to re-swipe your card, so it took even longer to wait for them to run the card, and return it. Highly inefficient. Mixed drinks were too inconsistent to be "Super". Some missing ingredients, some proportions wrong, some too strong (not a bad thing) some to weak. Some bars had some beers, others didn't. That's the other thing, some bars weren't included in the drink package. It's so confusing!
I thought NCL was known for their towel animals. I only had two in the seven days. When I came into my cabin they were worth it, they even went as far as to put my sunglasses on the penguin. But would have been so much better coming in to different animals every day. One of the couples we went with didn't get any, and the others had to ask but only received on the last day.
They had a lot of do! Activities and events planned from 8am to 9pm. After 9pm the ship just dies. If you are a party animal or want to stay out late, you have two, maybe three bars, and the casino. That's it. The "Spice H20" bar is adults only, until 6pm and then turns into a kids hangout. The Irish pub is open 24/7 but with a limited menu after midnight, and the bar DOES close for a few hours into the wee morning. The "primetime" shows they put on the Atrium were the highlight of the cruise. They had gameshows that really brought the crowd together. Highly entertaining and funny! Just show up around five to get your seat for the 8:30 show.
A day is barely enough to see the destinations, let alone a half day. You need more time, but i guess you are aware of the half days when booking the cruse. Our excursion in St. Thomas was canceled and no one told us. We stood around for an hour waiting for them to assist. No one knew what was going on and it was just so un organized. We had to go back on the ship just for them to tell us, sorry beach closed. Very frustrating, and they should have given a discount on another excursion, due to their lack of communication and a waste of our precious time.
As i said before it was just OK. Nothing stood out as AMAZING! Would probably go for a smaller ship next cruse to get a more personal feeling. And bring your dramamine! Fresh out of port the ship was "rocking" so bad that there was a mad rush to the store for drugs and wristbands.
Also worth noting prices on liquor in duty free cheaper in St. Thomas.