Great Cruise, Mediocre Ship

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 18

Overall rating:

3.9 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Escape

7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: September 30, 2017

Ship: Norwegian Escape

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 12643

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Great ports, great food, so-so ship experience. The cruise line came highly recommended online and through friends. However, we were quite disappointed by the overall experience.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
Embarkation was good. The service at the counter was relatively quick and painless. Given the compliment of passengers, I would have expected the waiting area to be much larger. We've sailed with other lines whose embarkation experience was much more comfortable and fast.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Excellent food. While most cruise lines' food is very good, their desserts are generally not worth the calories (and I have a sweet tooth). Not only was the food very good, so were the desserts.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
With a full compliment of over 4000 passengers, one would expect bunches of activities, but we have to admit that we were disappointed with the apparent lack of activities onboard. The ropes course was only open when at sea, and most of the time closed. The water slides were only open when at sea, and closed half the time.

Entertainment

2 out of 5
Compared to other lines' entertainment, this ships was very mediocre. When the ship markets their onboard shows as 'PG-16', they mean 'R'. The overall family-oriented entertainment was weak.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
While some staff were very congenial and engaging, the majority didn't seem very willing to go out of their way to serve. We're not sure if this is due to the 'freestyle' dining plan or our pre-paid gratuities, but we didn't see our room steward at all for the first two days and the overall dining service was unremarkable.

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
This ship is a monster on the outside, but, don't judge a book by its cover. The interior design is low and cramped and left us feeling like we were just interminably wandering around a casino. Smoking in non-smoking areas is incredibly poorly policed--we even had numerous times when staff would walk by people clearly smoking in marked non-smoking areas without saying a word--and that included senior staff members! For non-smokers this ship is a P.U.!

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
At first glance, it didn't appear we would have enough room for all of our gear and clothing, but the rooms are deceivingly full of nooks and crannies. The bathroom is a full half size larger than any others we've been in.

Ship tip

If you want a great, smooth sailing, this ship is excellent. If you don't smoke, consider a different line. If you expect amazing, friendly service, likewise.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

3 out of 5

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

4 out of 5
We did an island tour and snorkel excursion. The majority of the people are incredibly poor, but very friendly and congenial. The water is amazingly warm and the fish plentiful.

Harvest Caye, Belize

5 out of 5
The beach was immaculately kept and the water beautiful. The shops were quite limited in number, but adequately staffed and cooled (ah, so nice).

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

4 out of 5
Of all our ports, this was the one we hesitated about most. With all of the drug-related violence in this region, we expected to not do much. However, the port was walled off and fairly well policed--we felt much more secure than expected, but did not venture away from port at all.

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
By far the best port of the four we visited! We did a jeep & snorkel excursion here. The people were congenial and inviting and loved to show us around and talk (especially if you speak Spanish). The beaches were incredibly beautiful and the waters the clearest we've ever seen. Absolutely stunning!

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
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