May 2016 - Norwegian Escape to Caribbean - Eastern
Our first Norwegian Cruise Line voyage on the Norwegian Escape, May 14 -21, 2016. Our previous cruise adventures were mostly on Royal Caribbean and it is interesting to notice the differences pretty quickly. The Norwegian Escape is a very nice new ship (11/15) but it is missing the Wow factor that we experienced on the Oasis of the Seas in 2011. I believe this is Norwegian's largest ship with 4200+/- passengers vs Oasis with more than 5,000. First impression turned out to be true, the ship seemed small for 4200 passengers. One pool for 4200 guests! The Oasis has four. I will say, the food was very good, especially the specialty restaurants. My favorite is Cagney's. The Brazilian restaurant was very good, the Japanese was excellent as well. The entertainment was top notch from the big shows to the comedy, Howl at the Moon, Hypnotist, great! Only complaint is that in the Brew Pub, the piano player felt the need to have the volume cranked up so it was unbearable to sit and listen. He must be deaf! Also, mornings by the pool were nice, good quiet music but afternoons, the DJ would crank up the volume and play Latin Beat very loud so that we old folks had to leave and find a quieter location. The Grotto was nice but again crowded and there is a smoking bar which case you'd get quite the whiff. Another feature we didn't care for was the casino being center ship and the smell of smoke permeated the air on multiple levels. The ports of call, St Thomas, Tortola and Nassau we have been to before. Not enough time in port to really enjoy what the islands have to offer, in fact we stayed on the ship in Nassau and had the nicest time at the pool which was not crowded. We ate breakfast or lunch at the buffet in which case the food was fine. The outlay is a little crazy with people all trying to grab and run and it becomes hectic during peak hours. Embarkation and Deembarkation went smooth and uneventful. If you have never cruised another cruise line you would probably not know the difference, for me, I'm waiting for the Harmony of the Seas to make it's US debut!