NCL South Caribbean Cruise

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 13

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Norwegian Escape

12 Night Southern Caribbean (New York Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 09, 2018

Ship: Norwegian Escape

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

This was my second trip as a solo traveler. Norwegian had nightly meet and greets in the solo lounge for singles and solo travelers. The lounge was exceptionally nice, but usually limited to those staying in the solo studios (small interior rooms for one guest). Sign-ups were available to meet others for dinners and shows. I could see why NCL is rated one of the best for solo travelers. I especially liked that I could go to the various bars to listen to Chelsea Reynolds and not feel any guilt or pressure to purchase drinks. This was my first trip on NCL and won't be my last.


4 out of 5
Embarkation was mostly orderly ... some cut line; others held up security by refusing to take off coats after setting off alarms. My carry-on was soaked by something in their carry-on, so that was frustrating.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
I ate primarily at Taste. There were a few exceptions, but mostly the food was very good. Recommend avoiding the Supper Club for meals ... eat elsewhere and then just enjoy the shows. Long wait for table and meal at O'Sheehans during 2nd prime rib special. Was relatively small location with high demand.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Favorites were the water slides (family and "drop"), ropes course with 2 mini-ziplines, 2 gangplanks, and 2 levels, and the dance exercise classes on sea days. There was some confusion as to location for the latter ... not what was posted on two occasions.

Ropes Course

5 out of 5

Highly recommend the ropes course ... two mini-ziplines (one of which goes over water), two gangplanks over water, and two levels. Also highly recommend the water slides, although I didn't see the opportunity to review them separately!


5 out of 5
Loved listening to Chelsea Reynolds (singer w/ guitar); Choir of Man was also excellent. Comedians were mixed; After Midnight was also excellent.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Vast majority of the staff work extremely hard with very long hours. My room steward, Alexis, was amazing. Hostesses Maricel and Venje at Taste were also wonderful. Vast majority of waiters were excellent. Don't miss Washy-Washy at the Garden Cafe (buffet).

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Between 4 & 5 stars, but will go with 5 stars based on observing staff washing the legs of lounge chairs and Washy-Washy ... encouraging guests to wash hands or use hand sanitizers before getting food. Hand sanitizers available at all restaurants.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Carpet was a little bit worse for wear, as were the beds. One was much softer than the other. Water also tended to back up in the shower, even after reporting it.

Ship tip

Relax and enjoy1

Ports of call

New York, New York

4 out of 5
Relatively convenient location for embarkation; lines reasonable at the time I boarded. Parking is very expensive in my opinion.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
Did a mangrove kayak and snorkel excursion through Viator that was excellent. Sabrina was extremely knowledgeable and the small group size (only 3 guests!) resulted in extra time snorkeling and a more personalized excursion. Given option of single or double kayaks.

St. John's, Antigua

5 out of 5
Did an excursion that visited the key points of the island; not through NCL. People's experiences were mixed. Some vans were older, making it nearly impossible to see out the windows on the opposite side; cramped and uncomfortable. Another guest traded seats with me which significantly improved my experience (but not that of others in the van). One guest told me her van skipped some of the attractions due to road conditions. Some guides were more informative than others. Long lines backing up into the shopping area to get through initial security to get back onto the cruise ship.

Bridgetown, Barbados

4 out of 5
Took a public bus to and from Harrison's Cave (short walk to Harrison's). Did the tram ride and the gully walk at the bottom where we saw wild monkeys; lush plants and flowers. Seemed to have more extremes between poor and wealthy than other islands, but that may have just been because of taking the local bus. Was worth doing once, but wouldn't do it again.

Castries, St. Lucia

5 out of 5
Did an adrenaline zipline excursion (8 ziplines; not through NCL). Suspect we took simpler/shorter ziplines due to the physical condition of one or two of the participants. Enjoyed it due to the guides, but wasn't particularly impressed with the specific ziplines we took. Had tried to change excursion prior to cruise, but would have lost what I paid due to a 2-week cancellation policy. (Cancellation policies of others tend to be 24-48 hours.)

Basseterre, St. Kitts

4 out of 5
Wanted to go snorkeling, but there didn't seem to be any areas that were highly rated/recommended, so did a tour on my own. (On hind sight, that advice seems to have been inaccurate.) Visited the local craft area where I had a wonderful conversation with one of the sellers, the Circus (clock tower), two churches, Independence Square, and a monument to Queen Victoria (very sad shape). Saw children/adults dancing in brightly colored outfits, but later realized they were expecting tips ... possibly part of Carnival.


5 out of 5
In contrast to many others, my experience was excellent. I did self-carry and left a short time after the first two colors had been called. I was apparently very lucky compared to the experience of others.
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