Escape your troubles on the Norwegian Escape
Norwegian Escape Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)
Sail date: September 17, 2016
Ship: Norwegian Escape
Cabin type: Balcony
Traveled as: Couple
Reviewed: 5 years ago
This was our first time on Norwegian and maybe more importantly our first Caribbean during hurricane season. We stayed in South Beach for 3 days before the cruise began and enjoyed that area very much. While researching various cruises we both were excited by everything we saw on the Escape. We took a taxi from our hotel in South Beach and within maybe 15 minutes we were dropped off at the port terminal. Embarkation went very smoothly and also very quickly.
After being welcomed aboard we walked around deck 7 a bit. Our cabin would not be ready till 1-1:30 pm. We decided to have lunch at O'Sheehan's, their sports bar/restaurant. Most people head right to the buffet after getting aboard which makes getting lunch a very lengthy process. Most Cruise lines have at least one of their restaurants open during embarkation. O'Sheehan's was very busy so lunch took a while anyway. Our server brought us a plate of nacho's and said our meals would be out shortly. And so it was. My wife got the Reuben sandwich and I got the chicken fritatas'. Lunch was very good. A good start to our cruise. Shortly after lunch our cabin was ready. We headed up to the 13th floor. This is the first cruise ship we've ever been on that didn't skip the 13th floor. Oh well with our fingers crossed we easily made it to our cabin. On all floors Norwegian has fish swimming on the floor. The direction they are heading is always towards the front of the ship. That's a neat tip. We got a balcony cabin. The overall size seemed nice although the closet was very close to one side of the bed. It was kind of difficult to unpack and put your clothes away. There were a few cabinets with shelves on the desk. The shelves were not very deep but we managed. There was also a small couch by the desk. The balcony was small but there was 2 chairs and a small table on it. The bathroom was bigger than I thought it would be primarily due to the size of the shower.
We very much enjoyed the food on the ship. We always had breakfast at the buffet known as the Garden Cafe. The variety of choices was pretty good. There were 2 omelet stations on each side which helped speed up getting one. O'Sheehan's was also open for breakfast as were 2 of the small complimentary dining rooms. There were quite a number of specialty restaurants on the ship. Some of them charged a fixed fee to cover service. Most of them however were Ala cart pricing. That could easily and quickly get very pricey. We decided to try Pinxto's, their tapas bar and also the Food Republic which was Asian fusion with a slight Latin mix thrown in. They also had a wine bar that we went to several times on the cruise. To us this was one of our favorite areas on the ship. The selection was impressive and the wine steward, head steward and wine master were all very knowledgeable. We really enjoyed all of their recommendations.
There were several things we were a bit disappointed in with the dining on the ship. In the "Complimentary" dining rooms there were several items listed on the menu every day that there was a surcharge for. Really in the Complimentary dining room. Lobster, surf and turf and the top beef choice. This just wasn't right. The other thing was we could not find cookies anywhere on the ship. When you're on vacation a cookie now and then is something that just needs to be there all day. We found out midway through the cruise that they have an afternoon snack selection up in the buffet where there are cookies. Again they should be at other venue's as well and also be out all day long. Sometimes you just need to eat a cookie!
We were very pleased with the entertainment choices on the ship. Some had a surcharge for and some not. There's a comedy club and they had 3 comedians that went on throughout the week. The venue is small so you need to make reservations for the various show times you want to attend. We did however get in without reservations by waiting in the standby line several times. One of the comedians is the intro performer and the other 2 are headliners. All 3 comedians were very funny. They also had a comedy magician and a tribute show to the 4 season's. Both of these shows were excellent. The production shows we saw were very good. One was called, For the Record, the Brat Pack and the other was After Midnight which was a tribute to the Cotton Club in Harlem in the 1920's or 30's. We also tried a lunch show that did have a surcharge. It was called Wine Lovers the musical. It included lunch and 5 glasses of different wines. We enjoyed it.
The ship has several really neat activities. There's a rope's course and 2 different water hoop slides. All a definite do.
Service overall was really great. That really sums it up.
The cruise stopped at 3 ports. We went to Magen's Bay Beach on St Thomas. This is a truly incredible beach, one definitely not to miss. On Tortola we did the ships beach break which took us to Cane Bay Beach. This was a nice beach too but the services offered there, not so much. We decided to stay on the ship at Nassau. Even the comedians called Nassau, the Detroit of the Caribbean.
The Escape has 2 pools, one more for kids as its right by the slides and there is also a wading area with water cannons. The main pool is in the center of deck 16. There's a bar, a stage for a band to play and 2 hot tubs. This is adult only until 5 pm daily. It's always very crowded and can get very loud as the pool games are done there. There is an adult only area on deck 17 in the very back of the ship called Spice H2O. There are 2 hot tubs, lots of pool lounges but no pool. There is an area they call the Grotto which is like walking into a cave with water falls. It does cool you down but they really need a pool there. For passengers that get the expensive suites called the Haven there is a private area for those passengers with its own pool. I feel the ship's design falls a little short by not having an adult only pool separate from the main pool.
The fitness room is connected to the spa. The equipment is nice and plentiful. The various services offered by the spa are way too pricey.
Overall my wife and I did enjoy cruising on the Norwegian Escape even though I feel we are not quite the demographic Norwegian is really aiming at. It's great for families with kids of all ages but also for couples. Many of the activities are more for kids or younger couples.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Make your entertainment reservations early for the whole cruise as some of the venue's are small and fill up quickly