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Old December 13th, 2018, 02:02 PM
canuckity canuckity is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,230
Default Our cruise on NCL Escape, brief review.

Manhattan to the Caribbean, Nov 25- Dec 9

Prior to leaving we were asked about 4 times, by email from NCL, to bid for an upgrade. We finally did so and were successful with our bid of $75 each to go to a balcony cabin. Our 31 previous nights with NCL may have factored in. Our stateroom was your typical balcony and was in immaculate shape. Our steward provided excellent service as did every employee that we had contact with. We ate in all 3 complimentary dining rooms although we enjoyed the 2 smaller ones (Taste and Savour) because they are smaller in size, more intimate and less noisy than the Manhattan. O'Sheehans Pub, open 24/7, provided complimentary typical pub food and it was very good. We and our friends found all food to be very good. We mostly ate lunch in the Garden Café and it was very typical of most buffet cafes on all cruise lines we have been on.

There was a medical emergency on our first sea day (2 crew suffered burns in the engine room) and a Coast Guard Medivac delayed us getting into Port Canaveral and subsequently, due to time delays, our next port at their private island was scrubbed. Port days at Ochos Rios, Grand Cayman, Harvest Caye (NCL's private island in Belize), Costa Maya and Cozumel provided us with nice sunny days and a chance to spend time at the beach. NCL’s Belize Harvest Caye, there 2 year old private island, has a great beach, plenty of shopping and several restaurants and bars. It also has zip lines. For $89 I did the 3 “sitting” lines and also the horizontal line that begins 160 feet up from the lighthouse tower and traverses the beach........not scary and well worth the money.

The Escape is a 3 year old ship, very large with many venues. Entertainment was first class with production shows portraying the Cotton Club in Harlem (“After Midnight”); For the Record, The Brat Pack (a take on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and The Choir of Man (additional cost, $19.19) which was a sing along, British type pub theme. There was also an illusionist and several comedians.

One thing that we missed was a forward looking lounge where you could enjoy quiet time to just read or look forward. Many activities such as dance classes, bands, trivia and games took place in the atrium on the 6th deck. This area is located in an area that also housed Guest Services, the Internet station, Cruise next and the Shore excursion desk. Needless to say at times it became very congested as they would put out many folding chairs.

Of note is that NCL does not allow you to bring on bottled water, soda or beer but you can bring on as many bottles of wine that you desire. They impose a $15 corkage fee per 750mls. This is new to us and I expect it will eventually be the norm on all cruise lines.

We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants or have spa treatments.

All in all we had a great cruise.

"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list." ~ Susan Sontag

Last edited by canuckity; December 13th, 2018 at 05:06 PM.
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Old December 13th, 2018, 03:47 PM
Cruwysie Cruwysie is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Quinte West, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 148

Thanks, Keith! It's good to hear you're back safely and seem to have enjoyed your cruise. We haven't tried NCL yet.

We received an email from Royal Caribbean about our Jan. 6th cruise, offering us the option to bid for an upgrade - but they specify a minimum amount. We decided not to bid, as we're doing a second back-to-back cruise and we only have to move 2 doors down the hall. We're sailing out of Cape Liberty, New Jersey, so like you, we'll be driving down.
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Old December 14th, 2018, 07:23 AM
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rollerdonna rollerdonna is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Caribou River, Nova Scotia
Posts: 17,740

Thanks for the review Keith. Have not tried the Escape, but have considered it, as I like the itinerary. Have done Getaway twice and love everything about Norwegian!

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