I had an amazing time aboard the Norwegian Escape. Well, I don’t think there’s any cruise that I wouldn’t enjoy! But I don’t know if I kept noticing things about it that I didn’t like because I was on the ship with a bunch of travel agents who were supposed to be critiquing it, or if the cruise really was not the best. Here is my list of likes and dislikes and a review of the brand new Norwegian Escape.
The Ropes Course. I loved the ropes course! It’s a great option for both adults and children. They have so many different types of obstacles to walk across, zip lines, and places to walk the plank!
The District Brew House. We also spent almost every night there too! They have an actual brewery on board with 24 beers on tap. We drank, listened to live music, and had a great time! Make sure to ask your waiter to bring a mini beer pong game to your table!
The solo traveler rooms. There are special studio rooms just for solo travelers! I thought that was really cool. They also have special meet ups just for solo travelers.
The Grotto. They have a (mostly) adult-only grotto. It was really fun. Probably would have been more fun if I had someone to kiss in there, but hey maybe next time.
You have to pay for some shows. First of all, make sure that you book all of your shows the second you get on the ship via the touchscreen boards. We didn’t know you had to do this, so we were left with slim pickings. AKA the shows you had to pay for. I thought that was weird. That stuff’s supposed to be included! We were able to book one show that was free, and I didn’t enjoy it. I actually left part of the way through because I would have rather been doing anything else. The show we saw was called After Midnight. An older couple I talked to told us that they saw a show and it was the best show that they had ever seen on a cruise. I don’t know which one it was, but I guess go see that one instead.
You have to pay for the night club. The one night club was like $30 a day. Uhh no thanks. The one club that was included, Spice H20, was okay. We went a few times, but left soon after. It’s adult-only, but only until around 7pm. Isn’t that backwards?
The specialty restaurant we dined at wasn’t very good. We ate dinner one night at Le Bistro, the French specialty restaurant.My food was okay. No one was amazed. I enjoyed the regular dining dinners more. The regular dining options were good. Some meals were awesome, some were flavorless. Honestly I’ve never been on a cruise with outstanding food. This one definitely didn’t change my mind.
The staff wasn’t as friendly as other cruises’ staff. One of my favorite parts about cruises is how awesome the staff members are. At the end of my cruises, I always am sad I can’t take the waiter or room steward home with me. They usually know me by name, know that I don’t want ice cubes in my water, and ask me how my day was. I was super bummed that so many of the employees on the Escape weren’t like that. Our room steward was awesome, but no one else left an impact. A waiter spilled on us and didn’t say sorry; if we started a conversation with an employee, it seemed like talking to us was the last thing they wanted to do; and it was often hard to find a staff member with a smile.
Limited late night dining. When its 1AM and you just want a chocolate chip cookie, milk, and your pillow… too bad unless you want to pay $7 for room service. Or you can you to the 24 hour sit down restaurant. No thanks.
There were multiple things not working. For a brand new ship, shouldn’t it have been in tip top shape? There were quite a few things closed on the ropes course, a door handle broke off as I grabbed it, and one of the slides was closed all weekend. Bummer!
There wasn’t enough seating. On our first night, this was something that became a issue fast. We went to the battle of the sexes, and had a hard time finding a spot to stand because there were so many people, you were always blocking someone’s view. Then we went to the dueling piano bar and were crammed in a corner. More seating or more activities to spread everyone out would have been a good idea.
The hot tubs were cold tubs. I get excited to hop in a nice hot tub when it’s cold outside. I get really sad when I’m excited for something and it doesn’t happen. It was like a nice cold bath with strangers getting drunk and complaining. Also, we had to turn the bubbles back on every 3 minutes. Literally, we timed it.
Again, I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer. I had an amazing time. I just expected more. Overall, if I had to recommend a cruise for you to go on, it wouldn’t be this one. It was my 7th cruise, and it was one of my least favorite as far as the atmosphere. It was also their first sailing, so maybe the staff was still getting used to the new boat. Maybe it will get better. Maybe not. But, although I did have an awesome time, I would not pay to go on the Norwegian Escape again.