Accessiblity review (mobility impaired guest)

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 13

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Escape

7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 06, 2018

Ship: Norwegian Escape

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 13912

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

If you are mobility impaired, tender ports are VERY challenging. For the ESCAPE (and all large ships), rent from SPECIAL Needs at Sea for mobility equipment. Be prepared to wait. Service and entertainment on this ship - top notch. Mobility impaired guests will not be able to enjoy all the ship's amenities (i.e. pool, hot tubs), but most public areas (restaurants, entertainment venues) are handicap-friendly.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
We rented a motorized scooter from Special Needs at Sea and after arriving at the port, searched for the representative. He was helpful and brought the scooter to us. After that, embarkation was fast and the NCL terminal employees and security personnel zoomed us through the lines and up to the ship.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The Escape offered many dining options and with the exception of the Garden Cafe, the restaurants always had a table near the entrance that shortened the walking (the scooter was parked just outside the entry door). The Garden Cafe was a bit more challenging - there were always lots of people and despite the fact that there were tables designated for handicap use, they were often occupied by those who didn't need them because of the crowds. Not the ship's fault, but a bit frustrating. The food was excellent at each place we dined.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
As far as mobility impaired, options are very limited for on-board options. Casinos and entertainment are about the most you can find. Pretty much impossible to get in the shops unless you can walk. Deck 8 (Waterfront) was the only outside deck that we were able to navigate with scooter/wheelchair.

Hot Tubs

1 out of 5

Totally unable to enjoy if you have any mobility issues. There are stairs UP to get in (wet and slippery) and stairs DOWN to get in. Pools were also totally inaccessible.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Shows were incredible! The performers were amazing and friendly (always taking time to meet guests after the shows). After Midnight was filled to the brim with talent including the orchestra. Supper Club shows were intimate and totally enjoyable. All of the musicians on board deserve a standing ovation! Atrium entertainment was accessible friendly.

The Supper Club

5 out of 5

Wow. Amazing atmosphere and intimate performances while dining on amazing food (set menu). So nice that these talented performers would share their gifts with us. The service (waiters, etc) was impeccable - best on the ship.

Children's Programs

no children in party

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Despite the fact that we received contradicting answers from guest services personnel more than once, all the staff and service personnel were respectful and helpful. Most every employee that we passed or saw spoke to us.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Clean! Big ship = lots of walking. Mobility impaired guests be prepared! We were happy to rent from Special Needs at Sea...otherwise, it would have been impossible to enjoy the marvelous floating hotel. All hallways were accommodating to motorized scooter and wheelchairs...with the exception of the stateroom hallways when the cabin stewards had their carts out (easy enough to move out of the way though).

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
13912 is an accessible cabin and was large and welcoming for mobility impaired (including bathroom). Balcony was also oversized. Cabin steward was amazing and attentive to our needs.

Ship tip

If you are mobility impaired, be prepared! Ask lots of questions, seek those who can answer your questions. Rent a motorized scooter to allow your travel companion some relief - the ship is big and crowded. Many times the elevators were full and we ended up waiting !!! Lots of waiting for elevators. Even if you can walk a little, the stairs from deck to deck are pretty much impossible - you will need to take the elevators.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida Did not visit port

used an embarkation point only

Falmouth, Jamaica

4 out of 5
We did not do any shore excursions as those offered were not accessible. The ship did dock and we were were able to drive the motorized scooter down the ramp into the port shopping area.

George Town, Grand Cayman

3 out of 5
Tender port that was not on the original itinerary. VERY challenging to get on/off tender boat. Contracted tender personnel not friendly or possibly just annoyed that we needed assistance. Took collapsible wheelchair. We did Hell/Turtle Farm trip. Turtle Farm was interesting and accessible for wheelchair. Hell - not much to see and better if you can walk short distances instead of wheelchair. Excursion personnel seemed a bit annoyed with having to deal with wheelchair and "slow moving" passengers on their bus.

Great Stirrup Cay (Cruise Line Private Island), Bahamas

4 out of 5
Once again, tenders VERY challenging for mobility impaired. BE ADVISED - info printed for island says there are paved walkways....well, there are some near the cabanas, but otherwise YOU WILL NEED TO BORROW ONE OF THE SAND WHEELCHAIRS. Most pathways are sand covered. It was impossible to push a conventional wheelchair from the moment we got off the tender. Frankly, I don't know how those with strollers even managed. Cabanas are a must for mobility impaired - there really isn't anything else to do - beaches are on a grade. They are beautiful and the ship's personnel work on the island to maintain the quality of service. I wish someone had given me the straight scoop before on this port.

Nassau, Bahamas

4 out of 5
Ramps make it easier to disembark, but you can't do much where the ship docks. We had a long walk to get a taxi to take to the ATLANTIS resort. You will need a wheelchair and expect crowds.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
They zoomed us through customs after we got our luggage. Thankfully, we were able to keep the motorized scooter until we got outside the terminal. I would not recommend taking the bus transfers to/from the airport/port. Pay a bit extra and get a GroundLink car - they will give you the attention you need for your mobility challenges.
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