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Found 527 results

  1. Hi Everyone, We are looking at booking a Haven spa cabin on the Escape for 2022. It is the cheapest option for the Haven but the room seems really crowded with the big tub in it. How much space does it take up? I don't think we will use the tub but moving up to the next Haven cabin is currently $1500 more. Is the tub a nuisance? We are concerned about cabin space Thanks! K
  2. Well my friends, this week I was really confident we would be back on board in December on board Escape from Canaveral. Well, now its not looking so good due to the meeting being cancelled with the White House and now, it appears perhaps she went into a dry dock today. Pics below. I was told by NCL It would take about 6 weeks to get the ship prepped, staffed, and back here to operate. If this is a drydock, and not maybe just provisioning at a shipyard drydock (very doubtful) as it appears, I think we may be out of luck. Here’s the AIS position and the bridge cam shot.
  3. This entire video including the time lapses was shot using just a GoPro Hero 5. We left Boston's cold and snow for some fun in the sun in the Caribbean. We boarded the beautiful Norwegian Escape from Miami on February 4, 2017 for a 7 day cruise to explore the islands of St Thomas and St John in the US Virgin Islands as well as Tortola and Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands with a final stop in Nassau, Bahamas. I will post a link in the next comment for the Bloopers and Out Takes that never made it into this video. Hope you enjoy!
  4. I’ve booked a TA on the Escape leaving Southampton on Oct 26, 2020. But now I notice that Escape does not show a cruise for the 2 weeks prior. She is doing a Baltic Cruise Oct 2-11, 2020, then she’s nowhere until the TA. At least, I didn’t see any cruise listed for her from Oct 11-26. Questions.. Is there somewhere I can find out if it’s headed to drydock? Have you cruised post drydock, and would you do it again? TIA for any insights.
  5. If you sign up for the 5 free "perks" .. one of them is $160 in Specialty Dining. What does this mean ? You can eat a few nights at a specialty restaurant or just one meal? They are not specific in the advertising. It might be worth it. For $200 extra each on Norwegian Escape we can add the 5 perks. We are not big drinkers and would not really consider the package for that reason.. but specialty dining might change my mind. Thanks for any info.
  6. My next cruise is on the Escape. I have heard some good things about the "Supper Club." What exactly is the venue and what kind of food (is it a prefixed menu?) is served and what is the entertainment featured? Does anyone happen to have a menu to show? Thanks. Don:cool:
  7. Hi everyone, I'm thinking of booking a Haven spa cabin on Deck 16 of the Escape. Is there access to the main Haven area from this deck or do we have to go to deck 17 to access dining/pool area? Thanks! K
  8. Just curious where in the world this ship is as of right now? Last I heard, it had sailed to India and Philippines to drop crew off. Is it still waiting over there for the new-hires? Or has it come bacK? Loved this ship last September when we sailed on her on the Hurricane Dorian cruise!
  9. We have booked a Haven suite for this cruise, what can we expect? We have been in a suite on the Sun but never in Haven. Just wondering what we can expect and hopefully the cruise will actually happen
  10. We have a B2B booked on Escape for Feb. 2021 out of Port Canaveral. Our reservations are still listed but the ship is not scheduled for any cruises. I is supposed to be sailing in January and March. Now the only ship going out of Port Canaveral in Feb. is the Sun. Does anyone know why this would show up that way? Is it still possible it will still sail as scheduled? Just wondering how it has been with people that have have a similar experience.
  11. Hi there! I understand that Escape no longer has a cigar lounge for smokers. I'm wondering if they sell cigars at the Tobacco Road bar? Also, does anyone have pictures of the smoking area that's attached to Spice H20? Thanks! We have a cruise booked for February 2021 that I hope will actually happen!
  12. Looks like the poor Escape and her crew have finally arrived in Manila. Can hang out with the Joy now. The Filipino crew can at least see their home now. I think the Philippines still requires them be quarantined though.
  13. HI Friends! I currently have two cruises booked for the same week in 2021. Has anyone been on both the Navigator and Escape? How would you compare the two? The Navigator is way more expensive by the time you add in the unlimited drinking, dining, and internet. It's also 1 day shorter. Those are the biggest reasons I'm leaning towards Escape! We've been on two RCL cruises (Oasis Class) and on the NCL Epic once. Thanks in advance for your opinions 🙂
  14. Good morning / afternoon / evening, or whatever it may be where you are... I've just about had as much "cancelled" and "refunds" and "when do you think they'll sail" threads, so I dug up one of my old cell phones that contains photos from cruises around 2015 / 2016... This was my very first time on the Escape, and I've subsequently sailed her three more times... I'll go ahead and say that this was in fact, my "best cruise ever"... At the time, I was the leader of the Cruise Critic meet and greet, and this was their biggest turn out ever on the then new Escape... Also, the first time ever that Sean, the hotel manager gave me the full treatment... The photos only exist on this old Motorola Droid Maxx phone, and I'll have to try and put the story together from the pictures... Let's see if this old hunk of junk can still upload photos...
  15. Hi Everyone - We have re-booked for April and on to a 15 night transatlantic on NCL Escape. I was wondering if anyone had dailies for this? Or do they just repeat the 7 day dailies? Thanks Chris
  16. As someone who did a lot of research and spent a lot of time contemplating my choice to try a new cruise line for the first time, I wanted to take some time to share my first Norwegian Cruise Line experience with others. My goal within this topic is to review Norwegian Cruise Line and the Norwegian Escape both as a first time Norwegian cruiser, as well as compare it to my previous cruise experiences, primarily with Carnival Cruise Line as well as with Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line. Background I'm a 32 year old male with extensive experience with both cruise travel and land-based vacations. I previously worked as a travel agent from 2006 to 2008 and have previously cruised with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney. I am a Platinum level VIFP with Carnival, having completed a total of 14 Carnival cruises, ranging from 4 to 8 nights in length. I have also cruised with Royal Caribbean once in 2016 onboard the Independence of the Seas, and once on the Disney Wonder in 2014. Booking the Trip / Decision-making It is well known that I enjoy cruising, and I typically choose Carnival Cruise Line as I have almost always had a positive experience with the cruise line. I won't give away too many spoilers that will come later in my review and comparison of the Norwegian Escape with my previous cruises, but I typically find Carnival to offer a great variety of departure dates and home ports, as well as itineraries that I tend to enjoy. Highlights of my Carnival experience, or reasons why I continue to return to Carnival include the quality and variety of standard (as in non-upcharge) dining offerings, friendly staff, and my favorite onboard entertainment options, which include the comedy club and piano bars. When researching for this trip, and really with almost any cruise vacation, I start by researching current pricing and available itineraries using two tools - a third-party online travel agency that gives me the ability to view and compare offerings from many cruise lines (including past guest rates), and Costco Travel, which allows me to view Costco's negotiated rates and the availability of Costco-exclusive rewards that generally come in the form of Costco gift cards. Naturally, I started zeroing in on Carnival offerings, but as my last several experiences with Carnival have taught me, while the food and entertainment are almost always great, the quality and condition of the ship varies greatly depending on age and how recently the ship has been drydocked, and what work was completed during that drydock. I knew that I was looking for a 7-or-8 night cruise, and if I were going to sail on Carnival, my preferred ships would be either a Dream or Vista class ship, or possibly the recently transformed Carnival Sunshine or Sunrise. Based upon previous experience, I prefer to avoid the Destiny and Conquest class ships as I do not enjoy the tiered lido deck design. I actually quite prefer the design of the Fantasy class ships, even if the decor is quite dated. My travel dates were restricted to January or February, so I was searching within that time frame. I also wanted to sail from a Florida port due to the weather at this time of year. Port Canaveral, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami are all easily accessible with direct flights from my home city. I would also consider sailings from Mobile, New Orleans, or Galveston, however these ports either require a very long transfer (Galveston), or a connecting flight or drive to the port. I only consider Baltimore for warm weather sailings. What I started to find during my research for this trip was that Carnival was actually quite expensive in comparison to other cruise lines, at fact that was amplified by the fact that I would be traveling solo for the second time on this cruise. Carnival very rarely deviates from their 200% single occupancy premium these days as they regularly fill their ships to capacity at primarily double (or more) occupancy, whereas some other cruise lines, such as Norwegian and MSC offer both single occupancy discounts, and in the case of Norwegian, solo traveler "Studios". In this instance, both Norwegian and MSC had several offerings that came in at well less than half the cost of the sailings that I had at the top of my list on the Carnival Horizon or Carnival Vista. Tough Decisions - Norwegian vs. MSC After my initial research, I found five sailings that really fit my criteria and had a good value proposition in comparison to other sailings for the time of year. After ruling out Carnival due to cost, I had really narrowed down my chices to either Norwegian or MSC Cruise Line, both of which would be new to me. The five sailings being considered were: Option #1: Norwegian Escape - 7 Night Western Caribbean - Departs Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, Costa Maya, Harvest Caye, Roatan Option #2: Norwegian Getaway - 7 Night Western Caribbean - Departs New Orleans to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios Option #3: MSC Meraviglia - 7 Night Western Caribbean - Departs Miami to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve Option #4: MSC Seaside - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean - Departs Miami to San Juan, St. Thomas, Nassau, and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve Option #5: MSC Armonia - 7 Night Western Caribbean - Departs Miami to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve I'm sure there are two things that really stick out here. The first is that the MSC Seaside sailing is an Eastern Caribbean sailing, while the others are Western Caribbean. I had mixed feelings about the itinerary, as I really enjoyed my last visit to San Juan, and have never been to Ocean Cay (it's brand new!), but try to avoid stops in St. Thomas and Nassau due to previous negative experiences in these ports. St. Thomas was a safety-related issue with a taxi driver that turned me off to the port, while Nassau just really doesn't offer anything that I want to experience at this point. The public beaches are dirty, the historical sites are small and over-commercialized, and Atlantis is WAY overpriced. While this didn't necessarily immediately rule out the MSC Seaside sailing, I wasn't super enthused by the itinerary. The second one that sticks out is the MSC Armonia. The first four options are all on almost brand new mega-ships in the 4,500 passenger, 150,000-165,000 ton displacement range, while Armonia is 19 years old and less than half the size, at 58,000 tons and 2,600 passengers. So how is this one even in consideration when compared to the others? It would be a drastically different cruise experience! The answer is simple - cost. At the time I was booking, MSC Armonia had 7-night sailings in the $209 price range for an inside cabin, several hundred dollars less expensive than the other offerings. This was quite tempting, and after a lot of research on Cruise Critic and YouTube, I found reviews of Armonia to not be all bad, although most certainly found some shortcomings. But, common, its a 7-night cruise for $200! So why didn't I book this one? In the end, my time is more valuable than the dollars that I would have saved, and I didn't want to taint my opinion of MSC as a cruise line based upon an experience on a ship that really doesn't fit with the image and the experience that MSC is going for with their new ships. I still plan to try MSC at some point in the future, and may even take a cruise on the Armonia if the crazy low price tag sticks around, but I don't want it to by my first experience with MSC. As I did my research and really started to narrow down my choices, I ended up with three contenders, the Norwegian Escape, MSC Seaside, and MSC Meraviglia. Norwegian Getaway was ruled out due to the embarkation port (New Orleans) and the lack of direct flights, as well as my desire to combine my cruise with a few days at Walt Disney World to maximize the value of my WDW annual pass. MSC Armonia was also ruled out for the reasons outlined above. And then there were three... So I've narrowed it down to three - how did I end up selecting the Norwegian Escape, and Norwegian Cruise Line in general, over the two MSC options? Honestly, it was a very tough decision. I've heard a lot about MSC in the last two years, and the YouTube deck tours and stateroom tour videos show some really beautiful ships with features that are comparable to any of the new mega ships from the mass-market and even up-market cruiselines. Quite simply, they are stunning ships, and even choosing between the Meraviglia and Seaside was proving to be quite difficult, with Meraviglia offering a beautiful multi-story promenade and Seaside offering a better top deck design for warm weather sailing. Both also offer staterooms that appear to be significantly larger, and at lower pricepoints, than Norwegian. So why did I rule them out and end up on Norwegian Escape? 1. Entertainment - Reviews of MSC's nighttime entertainment offerings are mixed at best. It seems as if they are still trying to figure out their customers and the North American market. They've built beautiful ships, but based upon the reviews that I've read and videos I've watched, they haven't quite figured out the entertainment offerings. Their theater shows are primarily song-and-dance and variety acts without a central theme or story line, and they seem to be lacking alternative entertainment such as comedy clubs that I really enjoy. 2. Food - MSC gets mixed reviews when it comes to the food, with most of the negative comments centered around the buffet. They do tend to get high marks for their pizza (we'll talk about NCL's pizza later in my review), but the rest of the buffet offerings are somewhat limited (again - see my NCL review later on), and the dining room experience appears to be mixed, although many passengers state that it has improved significantly over the past few years and the pasta courses are outstanding, as you would expect from a cruise line with Italian roots. 3. Itinerary - I've never been to Ocho Rios, and Grand Cayman doesn't enthuse me. I outright avoid Nassau. Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve was just getting ready for its first calls after significant delay, and I really didn't know what to expect or if the island was really ready. I've also been wanting to experience Harvest Caye, so Norwegian won on itinerary. Booking So I've made my decision, I'm booking Norwegian Escape for the Janaury 25, 2020 sailing from Miami. Here is the itinerary: Saturday, January 25 - Miami Embarkation Sunday, January 26 - Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas Monday, January 27 - At Sea Tuesday, January 28 - Costa Maya, Mexico Wednesday, January 29 - Harvest Caye, Belize Thursday, January 30 - Roatan, Honduras Friday, January 31 - At Sea Saturday, February 1 - Miami Disembarkation This sailing offered several great deals for solo travelers at a reduced or non-existent supplement. I booked roughly 60 days out, 63 I believe, and all categories were still available. Solo rates started around $549 for an inside stateroom, $649 for a studio, and I want to say somewhere in the $849 range for a balcony stateroom, although I could be off on that number. The balcony room was very tempting, however I was also being tempted by another 5-night cruise that was an unbelievable deal (more on that later), and the extra few hundred dollars would cover the cost of a second cruise as opposed to a room with a view on the Escape. My budget-minded brain said to go for the inside stateroom and save the extra money for the second cruise, but I was also really intrigued by the studio rooms and private studio lounge for solo travelers, because it is an experience that appears to be unique to Norwegian. Yes, it was an extra $100, but I know what an inside stateroom looks like and they really bore me. I hate sailing without a window to the extent that I've only sailed in an inside stateroom twice in my previous 16 cruises. If I'm going to try Norwegian, why not spend a little extra and experience something new? Yes, I really did pay more to stay in a smaller room - where else would you do that? I settled on stateroom 12511, a solo studio on deck 12, nicely sandwiched between two decks of passenger cabins and hopefully far away from anything that would generate unwanted noise. My booking qualified for one selection from the long-running Free at Sea promotion. Had I chosen an oceanview room, I would have been able to select two options, and a balcony room would have given me four options. For a seven night cruise, my studio included one of the following options: 1. "Free" Unlimited Beverage Package or "Open Bar". I put the word free in quotations because although the drinks are free, you have to pay 20% gratuity on the retail price of the package, which is marked up to a hefty $99 per day on Norwegian. Those who have sailed other cruise lines will understand when I say this is marked up, as most of the other cruise lines charge between $53 and $65 per day for their bar package. So 20% of $99 per day equals $138.60 for seven days in added gratuities, which are charged at the time of booking. Certainly not a bad deal for seven days of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, but I have a medical condition that limits my tolerance of alcohol and limits my consumption to a maximum of two to three drinks per day. While this appears to be the most popular Free at Sea promotion option, it doesn't really have much value to me. 2. "Free" Specialty Dining Package. Again, free in quotations because although the package is free, you have to pay 20% gratuity on the retail price of the package. On a seven night cruise, the free specialty dining package includes three specialty dining meals. Shorter cruises only offer two meals. The value of this is $99, or $33 per meal, which means that you'll pay $19.80 in gratuities at the time of booking if you select this option. 3. Free WiFi. This is not one of the unlimited packages that appear to be very popular on the ship. Rather, for a seven night cruise, this is a 250 minute credit, valued at $125.00. This works out to about 35 minutes per day, perhaps enough to stay in touch with family or send a few emails, but not enough for sharing photos/videos or doing any type of real work. I know, I know, you're on vacation, why are you working? In addition to my full-time career, I also run an e-commerce business with multiple channels. When I'm not on vacation, I handle fulfillment for all but one of the channels myself, but when I'm on vacation, I use the inventory that I have in Amazon's warehouse system as a part of the Fulfillment by Amazon program to fulfill orders for all channels so that there is no disruption to my customers. The downside to this... I have to manually create a fulfillment order in Amazon's system for each order that comes in through one of the other channels so that Amazon can ship the product to my customers. This means a lot of time on the computer, and thus greater demand for internet. 35 minutes per day isn't going to cut it. The good news is that Norwegian lets you (actually encourages you - they are all about making more money!) upgrade your free 250 minute package to an unlimited package for an additional charge. Pricing varies by the length of sailing, but on seven night sailings, the unlimited premium package is $34.99 per day, or $244.93 for the length of the cruise. After the credit is applied, the end cost is $119.93 for seven nights of unlimited premium internet for one device, or $17.13 per day. This is the option that I selected as the $125 "value" of the credit was greater than the $99 value of the free specialty dining or the $50 shore excursion credit. The value of the beverage package is variable by person, but for me, I figured that I would consume two drinks per day on the ship at an average cost of around $10 per drink, or a spend of $140. Keep in mind that the gratuity charge for the beverage package is roughly $140, so the net value to me was zero at two drinks per day, or about $70 at three drinks per day, still less than the $125 value of the internet package in my situation. 4. Free $50 Shore Excursion Credit. This one has the least value for most cruisers, especially given that NCL appears to mark up their shore excursions more than other cruise lines. More on that later. 5. Free Extra Guest. This option isn't offered for solo passengers or those in studio rooms, but it may have value to others. Not an option for me. After Booking So I've selected a sailing, booked my stateroom, and selected my Free at Sea promotional option. What's next? For most NCL cruisers, you'll get an offer to bid on stateroom category upgrades approximately 48 hours after your booking (more on that later), but for this sailing, I was in a Studio stateroom, which is not eligible for upgrades. In addition to the upgrade offer, NCL provides many other opportunities to spend money to "enhance" your vacation before you board the ship. You can pre-purchase shore excursions, dining packages, drink packages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), bottled water, spa services, etc. In my experience, I found NCL's shore excursion offerings to be somewhat lacking and significantly more expensive compared to those of other cruise lines. In the ports of Costa Maya and Roatan, I was able to make direct comparisons to previous visits on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. In the instance of Costa Maya, I had a specific excursion in mind that I had experienced previously on Royal Caribbean and was somewhat shocked to find that it was not offered by NCL at any price. This excursion was Maya: Lost Mayan Kingdom water park, which is located in the port vicinity and is incredibly popular on other cruise lines. They sell tickets in the port area, but for some reason, it was not offered as a shore excursion on NCL. Overall, I found the vast majority of NCL's shore excursions to be in the $129-159 price range, with some exceeding $250. I feel that this is roughly $30-50 higher than excursions offered by the other cruise lines, for what appears to be an equivalent experience. I did not pre-purchase any shore excursions through NCL. I did pre-purchase a few things for my sailing on the NCL website. 1. Bottled water. At the time of booking, NCL was offering multi-packs of 1L bottles of Just Water, their new eco-friendly bottled water partner. I think I paid somewhere around $36 for a 24-pack of 1L bottles. Upon arrival, I was surprised to find that the 1L bottles were substituted with four 12-packs of 500ml (16.9 ounce) bottles. The current price for the 24-liter bundle is $44.95 as of February 4, and they no longer specify the bottle size on the website. 2. Specialty dining. I didn't select the specialty dining package as a part of my "free at sea" as the internet package represented a better value, but I knew that I wanted to try the specialty restaurants onboard Norwegian Escape. I knew based upon my research and reviews that I have read previously that NCL's main dining room food is only average at best, and that their specialty restaurants are quite popular. Since this was my first NCL experience, I wanted to try it all. I ended up reviewing the menus for all of the restaurants and making a list of what I wanted to try. I settled on the six meal package for $139.00 plus 20% gratuity, or $166.80, which averages out to $27.80 per meal. In retrospect, six was probably overkill and five would have better fit my cruise experience, but the cost difference to increase from five meals to six is only $10.00 ($129.00 vs. $139.00). It is worth noting that although the specialty dining package is targeted toward the dinner meal period, both Food Republic and Pinchos are open from 12:00 to 1:30 for lunch and accept specialty dining credits, exchanging one credit for any four a la carte menu items on the menu. I skipped one of my pre-planned dining reservations on Thursday night and ended up using my extra specialty dining credit at Food Republic on the last sea day. I'm not sure if it can be used at Margaritaville for lunch, but it does not represent a good value for your credit as Margaritaville is only a $15 upcharge, whereas you'll get $40-60 in value at the other specialty restaurants. Coming Up... This was a VERY long post, but I wanted to share my cruise planning experience and how I ended up selecting Norwegian and specifically the Escape before I get into my cruise review and comparison. Now that the introductions and background are out of the way, I'll share my review of my cruise on Norwegian Escape and provide comparisons to my previous experiences primarily on Carnival, but also on Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line, where applicable. Enjoy...
  17. Norwegian Escape sailed past Ponta Delgada, Azores (Portual) in the Atlantic earlier this morning, cruise speed 10 knots. Currently out of AIS tracking range again but latest destination next is Civiavecchia, Italy (ETA is June 9th) - not clear if it is skipping/bypassing Barcelona, Spain. Plan posted previously for crew repatriation from Miami to Asia via the Suez Canal is/was to be at Gibraltor tomorrow morning (June 2nd) for bunkering.
  18. Hi. We are booked in a aft balcony on the Joy and the again in an aft on the escape. Which decks offer the biggest aft baloncies? We want to make sure we have loungers and when I looked up some youbtube vidoes, it looks like some decks only had room for 1 lounger or none at all because they were so short. Thanks.
  19. We're currently booked on the Norwegian Escape in a large balcony (9114) but saw there were a bunch of open Aft Balconies for not much more. Which do you recommend, and why? Thanks in advance!!!
  20. FYI - just read this on CLN - a very (over)crowded Norwegian Escape is indeed docked at POM (Miami) this evening as expected, said to be sailing at some point to repatriate crew members to Asia. The Breakaway has crew members heading to Europe. FWIW, read for yourself about the crews and living arrangement onboard, social distancing measures, etc. as "leaked" out - https://www.cruiselawnews.com/2020/05/articles/disease/ridiculously-overcrowded-norwegian-escape-sails-to-miami/ It was mentioned that the crew transfer were done several days earlier while some of the ships were at GSC, using tenders to transfer them among ships. As a matter of fact, I can confirm that as I noticed (on the Bliss/Encore's live shipcam then) small tenders from the ships were in use in the evening while their fleet of ships were anchored there. I am at a loss for words ... even if this is twisted and not entirely true. Humanity. from my Google Pixel XL over Fios/T-Mo/Fi 4G.LTE
  21. Thinking of looking at the August 2021 Bermuda cruise since this year's cruise is looking less likely. We have the aft penthouse suite on Encore booked for this year. I see the Joy has replaced Encore for Bermuda next year from NYC. When I went to look at possible dates, I see where NCL is now marketing those suites in 2 categories. Regular balcony and large balcony. Guess getting that extra dime. Actually I wish they would tell and show the exact floorplan of these suites. The bedroom/bath arrangement is more important to me than a slightly larger balcony. We have cruised on Escape in these suites before and I prefer the darker bedroom with bath facing the balcony. I know deck 11 is what we generally get. A while back someone on here had a list of the different decks which had each arrangement. Bedroom or bath facing balcony. My longwinded question is is this arrangement same for identical decks throughout the Escape Class ? I forget which other decks had the bath by balcony but does that pertain (repeat) for the entire class ? Regards, Gerry.
  22. Bought a GTY balcony and just got my cabin assignment, and aft balcony #11914 Has anyone been in that room? so excited! any advice or tips?
  23. CHRISTMAS CRUISE 2019!!!! ESCAPE TO: Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya, & Cozumel. After going back and forth between various ships on different cruise lines, we decided to give the Escape a try. Sakari had been asking to go on it for awhile and I figured...why not? I didn't realize that it had actually been out for several years now! I'm still thinking it's a new ship...as in over the last year or so. Man time flies when you're having cruising fun! :) Now, I honestly was not planning on cruising this winter. Anyone who follows my reviews knows why and the ordeal I have been dealing with since August after our Breakaway cruise. For anyone that might not be a "regular" follower of mine...I still lol when I say that and people say I have a "fan base"...you can check out my Breakaway review with the gory details and pictures starting at post # 109 LINK The short version of my accident: 2 days after returning from my cruise, I fell, fractured my tibia/fibula in 3 places around my ankle area, chopped off my ankle and broke my fibula up closer to my knee. I had surgery with plates and screws put in on both sides, 2 repairs of ligaments, and 2 screws fusing my fib/tib together. As if that wasn't enough...I developed 3 blood clots by the next week. 2 weeks later, I developed an infection on one side and it required another surgery. I've been in a wheelchair for 3 months and just started PT and learning to walk again. I will have to have a 3rd surgery in the future to remove one of the plates and the screws fusing my bones together. I don't have much range of motion because of that. So...that's the "quick version" of what happened. So, I just wasn't sure I'd even be able to cruise and if I did, how fun could it possibly be for me? My oldest daughter, Kendra, begged and begged to "go somewhere" for a Christmas getaway. "Land vacation in Aruba, cruise, or even Orlando and go to Disney with the kids" she said. "It'll be fun" she said. 🙄 Ugh...I just wasn't so sure about that! But we started making plans. Then all of a sudden, when I booked, she dropped out. Her fiance said no and to wait for Spring Break. She was crushed but didn't put up much of a fight for some reason like she always does. Now normally she would just go without him. But not this time. I really really wanted her to go because I knew I would need all the help I could get this time around. Sakari promised to help as much as I needed. 🥰 Who's cruising: Me the Hubs and Sakari, who is 11 years old but appears more like a teen at this point. 😮She is almost as tall as me and I'm pretty sure by the next cruise, she'll be as tall as me. We are on (I think) cruise number 23 since we started cruising "full time" 🤣 in 2010. However, Sakari gets a little confused at times and I'm sure she adds at least 3-4 to that number EACH time we cruise. I used to be able to name, in order, every ship...but I've lost count and have to go back and actually look at my website (have you guys checked it out yet??? I hope you have found it useful with the ports, hotels and so on) and recount every time. INSERTS A PLUG FOR HER WEBSITE HERE 😅 OUR ITINERARY: (This is a repeat of what we just did 4 months ago on the Breakaway) December 14 Saturday: Board the ship December 15 Sunday: Sea day December 16 Monday: ROATAN 10-6pm December 17 Tuesday: HARVEST CAYE BELIZE 8-5pm December 18 Wednesday: COSTA MAYA 8-5pm December 19 Thursday: COZUMEL 8-5PM December 20 Friday: Sea day December 21 Saturday : Back to port This time around we decided to go with a balcony. The price was good and cheaper than an OV when we checked. It was also only a few hundred more than an interior. I mean who could pass that up right? Now I honestly don't care what type of room it is. Interior, OV, balcony...doesn't matter to me. I usually don't spend any time in the room other than to sleep, shower, and change. I don't use a balcony like most balcony lovers do. It's nice to wake up and walk out and see where we are, but...that's about it. BUT, with my current situation, I figured I just might get a little more usage out of it and booked. Also, something new for me this time around....I decided to book a guarantee balcony. 😲 Some people have had good luck with this and others didn't like it. I was going to roll the dice and hope for a good location. They assigned me room 9140. It wasn't too close to the elevators as I usually like to book as close to the elevators as I can. But, I figured I'd be in a wheelchair so it wasn't going to matter to me. Another thing we decided to do (well hubby decided) was to use the Uplift financing for this cruise. Now we have credit cards for all 3 cruise lines we cruise with. We usually use those to get the points. My rule is they always have to be paid in full by our next cruise or before we go on a cruise (which is usually within 2-3 months time frame). However, the hubby wanted to try out this new financing to see how well it worked and to get some other types of accounts on his credit profile to improve his already mid-high 700+ score. (He's always trying to compete with my fluctuating 819...I told him good luck). 😜We financed the cruise, used my NCL cc for the automatic payments...win-win right? There was only $119 interest charge so not bad at all. THEN...I remembered that my (long-lost-daughter and my sons ex, Courtney, who had cruised with us in the past) still had 2 Cruise Next certificates that needed to be used up ASAP. I had her transfer one over to me and called up NCL and told the to apply that to my booked cruise and they did. They sent a letter over to Uplift and they credited the account. Easy Peasy.
  24. Just curious where Escape was sent. I see all the idle ships in port and sitting offshore, but haven't come across Escape yet. Any ideas?
  25. Can anyone tell me if all the balcony cabins on the Escape have the bed closest to the balcony and the couch closest to the hallway? We wanted the bed closest to the hallway and the couch closest to the balcony door, but not sure what category or deck we have to book to get that. Just two of us in the cabin. Please help! Thank you!
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