Worst cruise experience ever

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 5

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Norwegian Escape

7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 08, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Escape

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 14702

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 8 months ago

Review summary

Service issues but quite a fun ship. Quality shows and plenty of activities. The boardwalk deck is especially a nice touch. Buying flights through ship gets you nothing no matter what sales say. The ship is only interested in passengers once onboard. Their flight assistance line doesn’t give correct direction for situation. If you are going to miss departure time DONT FLY to port. It will only complicate matters worse. Once you miss ship, Norwegian will send you to airline and travel insurance. Now you’ve incurred a flight cost and travel insurance has a limit.

Embarkation

3 out of 5
We paid for Norwegian shuttle service and it went fine until I was let off at the terminal. The ship has 2 entrances into the terminal and the driver misstated which end of the boat to board. When I reached the entrance area, I directly asked an attendant there also and he confirmed I was in the correct line. However I was not. I ended up going around the building to the end of the line and only finding out I was in the wrong line after the line reached the front of the building. The line did move decently fast but a few from our shuttle had to walk to the other end and wait in a new line. Again, the lines moved ok for the number of people.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Overall I was happy with my food and meals. The meals are often served just warm and anytime I ordered steak, I had to request a steak knife. And it was needed - main dining had steaks a bit tough. The menu options continue to remove higher cost selections. There is still plenty of variety so it isn’t too noticeable. The bars can still be a pain to get service at. Every Norwegian ship I’ve been on lines every inch of the bars with seats and these mega ships have so many passengers they stay full. I had more issues with the pool bars than anywhere else. The bar I found most receptive was the osheeans bar on deck 7.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Hot tubs were a miss. They were full all the time and often had kids splashing water. The pools were a bit easier to get into. The water slides were fun and the drop slides had short lines usually. The tube slides had lines all the time. The rope course takes a bit of time to go through and often parts of it is closed. But if you haven’t done it, you should. The views are great and I really enjoyed it. There are plenty of things to do on this ship.

Escape Casino

1 out of 5

I never had a single waiter approach me in the casino. And these were the worst slots I’ve ever played in my life. 40 cent bets could take $40 before any hits and you were lucky to get $10 back. After over $200 I played 80 cents and it payed back $100 or so. You must invest a lot to get anything back and the returns were really small. I think I spent $600 or so. I did try higher bets. It seemed like $1.20 and $2.00 returned money more often but usually less than the bet so i was really losing money faster overall. And any spins on higher bets paid really low.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
Overall they have very good entertainment on the ship. You need to book shows as soon as you get on the ship. I’d rate higher if I felt the system was fair to passengers but had I not gone to book the first day, I would have missed shows. I booked through the box office on deck 3 and they did not book one of the shows for me and it was unavailable by the time I noticed. They don’t give you anything showing what they actually book so you just assume they book what you tell them. But verify in your room on the tv when you first get into cabin.

Escape Theater

4 out of 5

Be aware main shows have to be booked to attend. The shows are truly good performances but they repeat so there were only 3 shows plus the first show that gives the sneak peak of the others. I was okay with this since it gave us more free time to experience other ship activities.

The Supper Club

2 out of 5

They served us steak with a butter knife. This steak was not tender enough to cut with a butter knife. The show is okay but I wouldn’t sit up front again. We just did the best we could with the butter knives instead of trying to flag down the waiter. Our performers kept trying to get us to clap in tune with them like they are in the regular theater. When you are up front, you are well aware you are in view of the room too. It’s a bit hard to eat when the performers want the audience to be participating. If you expect to attend this, it’s included but shows are booked fully the first night. The menu has no options. Whatever they are serving is what you’ll eat. Not awful since you can eat again after. Lol.

Spice H20

1 out of 5

Everyone here at night got spewed with oil one night. We were in deck 8 below it and it got us too but likely not as badly.

Headliners Comedy Club

3 out of 5

Get here 20 minutes early and you’ll be way in the back if you find a seat. It fills 30 minutes or more before show. It’s easy to see and hear from anywhere inside tho.

Service and Staff

2 out of 5
Room stewards are nice and friendly. Usually there are towel animals on cruises but we didn’t receive a single one. I don’t know if that is a new change or if our steward took shortcuts. Bartenders were and servers were all friendly and fairly efficient. Some of the dining room staff is very good but others were some of the worst I’ve experienced on ships. They were friendly and all, but there were an unusual amount of mistakes. Nothing that ruined any of the meals - just not to the standard I’ve experienced in past. The service desk on deck 6 was useless for providing any real resolution unless you were needing to look in lost and found. My niece had an issue with her flight that we booked through them and they didn’t try to get any information for me. The ship will not wait even if you purchase through Norwegian. Be aware sales lies. You get NO benefit by ordering through ship. They will refer you to the airline and travel insurance. They will tell you to keep heading toward port even if you aren’t going to make ship! The support in phone do not tell you the ship will leave your on land. Close doesn’t matter. Do NOT believe them. The boat only waits if the boat cannot leave. For other reasons. Norwegian does 0 to assist. Once boat leaves. On the ship they pushed the internet package to get me back in touch with my niece instead of doing anything to assist. Eventually I was given access to their phone to talk to her. She received no assistance. She made all calls to sort situation even though she was where she was supposed to be at every point she spoke to Norwegian. Others from St. Louis was left too. The airline did get her to the next port eventually but the ship never let me know what was going on until I called. She provided info to Norwegian to pass info to me.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
I struggle with 4 stars because the ship spewed oily muck out the stacks one night and many in the back were covered with spots of oily gunk. We were outside on the deck 8 boardwalk looking off back and unaware what had happened. We started getting nauseous and returned to our room. when we got inside ship is when it was clear we had something all over us. The ship never announced it happened even. We didn’t know where it came from until passengers who were at a party on the top deck told us the next day. Luckily we felt okay that day. Otherwise the ship was clean as expected. I like this ship layout lots better than epic. After a day, I could find my way around fairly easy.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
I have never had a window cabin off the front of the ship before. I liked it quite a bit. A balcony is still quite a bit better but it was spacious and the window was surprisingly large. I imagined watching us go into ports but most of the time the ship Arrived at night so you sleep through it. When the ship rocks, you feel it well in this room. The room layout is much better than on the epic.

Ship tip

As soon as you board, go book shows from kiosk or at box office on deck 7 forward. Get to pool area early in mornings to get a good spot. The boardwalk is nice late evenings.

Ports of call

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

5 out of 5
Our excursion was canceled and we took a ride into the beach town instead. It was authentic Mexican vacation with the locals. It was cheap and the beach was really nice and you couldn’t snorkel to coral from the shore. The only item of concern is that the water we rinsed off with smelled like it might be tainted with the septic. I didn’t get ill but I scrubbed as soon as I got back to ship.

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5

Harvest Caye, Belize

3 out of 5
If you get option choose the other Norwegian island. This one charges you to eat and drink. You will see no real culture here - it’s all man made. The water is not clear and the beach is not nearly as nice. It’s pretty but you might as well stay in Florida. We did an excursion to see manatees and mangroves. It was fun but try to get under the shade. It gets hot on the water even in February.

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

2 out of 5
I didn’t get off here. I’ve been before and I find the locals insanely pushy outside the port area. Inside the port is no issue but once you pass the gate locals will be in your face. I didn’t feel unsafe but one can’t browse the shops along the street. Someone will be trying to get tips from you the entire time. If you go further than the street, research well for safety reasons.

Miami, Florida

3 out of 5

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
It went as smoothly as it ever does. My only complaint is that my niece entered from a different port than I and she had to get off the ship way early. I was not allowed to join so To catch her as quickly as possible I missed breakfast. It was specific to our situation. I think it went well for normal process.
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