September 2016 - Norwegian Escape to Caribbean - Eastern
The Norwegian Escape is a huge beautiful boat with a few quirks that make it unique and in some ways annoying. The use of the Atrium on the Escape baffles me. The Atrium on the Escape is used as the centerpiece of the boat for games, classes, and all of the loud activities that are usually isolated to the Spinnaker Lounge on other Norwegian Ships (at least the 3 I have been on). This makes enjoying a meal or a drink at O' Sheehan's a challenge unless you have a strong desire to listen to someone in the crowd yell "No Deal" over and over while trying to eat some wings and watch a football game. The other thing on this boat I found annoying was the music in the Manhattan Main Dining Room. We ate dinner there one night and a five piece amplified band was playing so loud we had to yell our order to our server. We were graciously reseated further away from the stage when we complained but the music was still overbearing. Needless to say that was the primary reason we only ate in the Manhattan Room once. The staff on the Escape was friendly and efficient. Prior to the cruise I was a little concerned about speed of service on such a large ship. There was an occasional slow meal but generally things operated well in the dining areas. The pool is too small in case you haven't picked up on that from all of the other reviews. Spice H2O and it's Grotto were an excellent Adults only option for sunbathing and cooling off. The District and The Cellar were great options for after dinner or afternoon drinks. I was a little disappointed that the indoor portion of the 5 O'clock Somewhere bar seemed to never be open during the day. Cagney's was spectacular (we went twice) and made us very glad to have chosen the UDP as one of our freebies. Moderno was very good and a much classier setup than I have seen for Moderno on other Norwegian ships. Embarkation went very smoothly but disembarkation was slow and baggage claim was disorganized with no display of where your tag color could be found (This may just be a port of Miami thing but was definitely frustrating. Overall a good cruise with a nice itinerary.