NORWEGIAN ESCAPE = FANTASTIC!
Let me start off by stating that my wife and I have never cruised before and we are both in our 50s. We weren't quite sure what to expect. I value others opinions but also want to make my own decisions, so I sort of take reviews like movie/restaurant critics, where I like to use my own judgment. I view the glass as half-full, not half empty.
We booked the guarantee balcony and chose the Ultimate Beverage Package and 250 internet minutes (4 kids/work access). We were given a room on the 10th floor, just 1 room away from what was considered mid-ship. Our excitement for this cruise was over the top, just like when you were a kid on Christmas Eve. From the moment we arrived on Saturday, 4/9 until we left on 4/16, the entire cruise was amazing.
We had a variety of drinks (all great), including Guinness (in the can) in the pub, along with many frozen and premium cocktails. We ate in the Manhattan room 3 times, along with Savor and Taste 1 time each, the buffet (seafood night) 1 night and the pub 1 night. The food was quite good and you could get as much of what you wanted. Some nights we had 2 appetizers each and an entree, along with dessert. The service was superb, the staff was friendly and the overall experience of this cruise was memorable. Make sure you do the ropes course. It is well-worth the butterflies you will feel. It is a rush!
I have to give 5 stars to the Cruise Director, Silas Cook, along with Andre, his Asst. CD and their staff. I don't know where they get their energy from, but they go from early morning to late at night and they really do a great job.
Since this was our first cruise, I have nothing to compare it to. I did have some issues, though minor in nature, but the chair situation in and around the pools. needs to be addressed. There were way too many chairs reserved (towels, magazines, etc.) that went unused for a lengthy period of time. I also thought the ports were well done, except more time should be provided in St. Thomas and Tortola.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Go on a diet and lose at least 10 lbs before your cruise. Take the stairs as much as possible as you can justify eating dessert more often. Put something bright on your luggage/handle/strap, etc. that will easily identify your luggage when you disembark.