NCL Escape 12/23/17 semi live Christmas cruise

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#61
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
More from beach getaway and Costa Maya tourist trap area. Actually we enjoyed the tequila bar, sipping good tequilas, I could have shopped a lot more but I didnít bring my credit card and we only had so much cash.


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#62
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by QuickieGlenn
Did they use the ships boats to tender or were they from the island?


Both, they used the lifeboat boats and the larger open air boats. We took life boats from ship to Grand Cayman and big tendering boats back to ship, I think. About a 10 minute ride each way. It just takes a long time to fill and empty all of the passengers. But it was easy. Patience is key in these environments.
BTW, Iím glad that you responded, because I donít see my review showing up from cruise critic on my safari on Norwegian boards. (I see it on the cruise critic forums app. though). This takes a lot of time to do. Iím currently sitting at Las Vegas airport for hours and they have quick internet here.


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#63
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
FYI Walking on pier from costa maya is a little long.
Celebrity solstice was parked (moored?) right next to Escape, we were bigger, but Iím sure everyone was comparing ships. We were out on our balcony, enjoying our 2nd bottle of bubbly 1 from casinos at sea and 2nd for being latitudes Platinum member.



Later it started to rain, but just for a few minutes.


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#64
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
We didnít drink those 2 bottles in one session, but thatís how it sounded! Sorry.
I see why it would have been better to actually do this review more semi live for real, because Iím starting to forget everything. Names of crew members, entertainment we saw, names of entrees etc. (I didnít have enough internet on the ship and I thought I would have good internet and time in the ports, but I didnít)
In fact if you let me go back to 1st day, I think we saw After Midnight show, which I really liked, in the theater.
The second day, a day at sea:
We had all this stuff going on that I forgot to include. Plus we enjoyed the spa and pool and sun deck and jacuzzis.
Just busy having fun and relaxing, but if I didnít take a picture of it, it just vanishes from my memory like a puff of smoke.
We also had a lot of reading time too. Even though we packed in a lot of activities, shows and dining, it seemed like we had enough rest, relaxation and great sleep on a very comfortable bed.
Ok to continue:
Dinner on day 5 was ďBelindaĒ, I want to say, I canít remember her name, anyway, she was a broadway singer and jazz performer. She was great with a real jazz band behind her. Good food too. Very entertaining in a classy setting.







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#65
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Millie was our server, she did a great job. Now for the food at the supper club:
We had a choice between tenderloin and Ahi tuna, we both chose tenderloin. But first the appetizer tray, very tiny bites of:
Mushroom soup, pate, and I think a crab cake.
Then the entree:
Then a tray of desserts:
Towel animal to end evening:


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#66
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Ok Iíll continue tomorrow night.
(BTW we are finally home now in California from our 11 day vacation; one day travel to Miami, 7 days on cruise, tour Miami then transfer to airport, fly to Las Vegas for New Years for 3 nights, then fly home). Sheesh Iím tired! Good night all. More to come, stay tuned.


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#67
2,205 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
You two look like you have THE most fun! Thanks for posting.

The breakfast food in the Haven looks soooo much better than the food in the MDR!
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-weltek
#68
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by shadowmeboy
Glad to see you had a great time. I am getting my pictures together to do my pictorial review of the Star cruise you were originally on!


I knew you were up for one of your fantastic reviews...can't wait!
Did you have good weather? Did you have fun?



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#69
Washington
3,384 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by skierjj
I knew you were up for one of your fantastic reviews...can't wait!
Did you have good weather? Did you have fun?



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Fabulous weather and we had a blast!


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NCL Jewel - June 2018 - Alaska Northbound Vancouver to Seward
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NCL Star - December 2017 - Mexican Riviera
NCL Escape - June 2017 - Western Caribbean
NCL Pearl - September 2016 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Sun - June 2016 - Alaska Southbound Seward to Vancouver
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Captain Impractical
#70
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
That afternoon Costa Maya day, before the supper club we went to the wine cellar for some wine and appetizers from Pinchos tapas. They were great! We had the cheese platter, the dates, and beef little appetizers on a stick.
Oh, also the name of the singer from the supper club was Brenda Braxton from the play on Broadway called 'Smoky Joe's cafe'. (Thanks Mike for looking it up).


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#71
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
After the supper club we also went to the late show at Levity. The comedians were funny!
Next day was a day at sea.
With only 2 full days at sea, the public pool and all of the places in the sun were in high demand! Lounge chairs in every conceivable space. All the people from cold places were trying to get their tan on.
I went to the jogging track to walk in the sun. Then off to the spa. Lunch was in Haven: salmon for me, French dip for Mike. Pictures to come from my phone soon.


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#72
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012



We had a wine pairing with chocolate at 4:00
We had another (and different) supper club with fly boys: really great, go see it!
And brat pack show in theater: really good and fun!
Then Glow party (it was rocking for hours) and a little casino action and music.
Then everybody on the ship was starving and there was a big line at Oísheeans. We decided not to wait and had little bites in our room from the butler, perfect.





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#73
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
2 more towel animals that got lost:

Next day was Great Stirrup Cay Private Island.
Big huge tender boats take us to island.
Iím not sure if you need to reserve the clam shells or not. We found s nice place under s tree.


Beautiful beach kinda quiet at first then very crowded later.




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#74
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
So at the private island we did the Stingray City Bahamas excursion. We met at a little shack and waited until everyone got there. We then walked about 1/4 mile to the boat dock. They had nice, knowledgeable guides and helpers 4 in total. They drove us to the area where the stingrays are. In a beautiful sandy bottom with beautiful blue water, we all go down into the enclosure. There are many large southern stingrays there. It was a delight to pet, feed and hold them. They also swam by your legs and even between your legs. They really felt soft and velvety on the undersides. And each one had different markings and colors so the guides knew each one by name and attitude.
Iím so glad we did this once. Would I do it again? Probably not, unless we want to take our grandkids someday. No photos of this excursion.
We swam in ocean a little more, read our books for awhile. We didnít get food or drinks on the island, so Iím not sure how that works, if food is free or not, etc.
The return trip was pretty bumpy and we got some splash. Getting off the tender was a little dangerous, as the seas were rough then. But the crew was very professional , rightly putting our safety first and helped everyone get off safely as gangway was sliding back and forth and up and down.


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#75
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
That afternoon we sadly had to start to pack and review our account etc. we hung out and enjoyed the Haven and the spa.
Next up our last dinner: La Cucina
It was yummy.
I think I had rigatoni and meatballs:

Mike had chicken and mashed potatoes served in an interesting way with a nice sauce:

I had a side of roasted vegetables:

Our wine was: ale Serre Nuove, I think it was an Italian Cabernet, very good.

The dessert was the best of the whole cruise, tiramisu:

Iím not really into desserts though, but this was fantastic!
End of day 7:

We put our bags out, and went to bed. Before retiring to bed, we made the rounds. We tipped our butler, room steward and our concierge and others that made our trip over the top excellent. We filled out a hero card for one of our casino bartenders: Yas-D. I went up to Haven for a nightcap and the bartenders up there are really talented mixologists. Wow I wish I had known about some of these drinks they were preparing for the guests. They were amazing.
I had a hard time sleeping that night, I just didnít want the cruise to end. I watched the stars, watched us coming into Miami etc.


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#76
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Here are pics of Coming into Miami port and many cruise ships at their terminals.







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#77
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Iím up early, so I take a last jacuzzi tub before breakfast, enjoying our espresso coffee maker.
Then up to Haven to take pics before people arrive:







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#78
Washington
3,384 Posts
Joined May 2009
I got my review started. Here is the link as requested! https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2581330


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NCL Jewel - June 2018 - Alaska Northbound Vancouver to Seward
NCL Bliss - November 2018 - Eastern Caribbean
NCL Dawn - June 2019 - Canada/New England

Past Cruises
NCL Star - December 2017 - Mexican Riviera
NCL Escape - June 2017 - Western Caribbean
NCL Pearl - September 2016 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Sun - June 2016 - Alaska Southbound Seward to Vancouver
NCL Jewel - May 2016 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Pearl - September 2015 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Star - November 2010 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Pearl - September 2009 - Pacific Coastal
NCL Star - June 2009 - Alaska - Seattle roundtrip
NCL Sun - July 2007 - Alaska - Vancouver roundtrip

Captain Impractical
#79
Palmyra, PA
95 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Thanks for the great review, I loved it!
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#80
Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca.
815 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by ClemsonTiger96
Thanks for the great review, I loved it!


Hi
Iím not quite done, but took a breather from review to get back to work, laundry, water and tend to the garden etc.
OK, on to our Miami City tour, shopping and transfer to airport excursion.
So we put our bags out in the hall of our cabin with special black tags for the tour the night before disembarkation.
Met our group in the Theatre. We walked off, got our bags, pretty long line to get to customs, but it was moving through Disneyland type rope maze, so it was a smooth operation.
Got on our bus, met bus driver and tour guide. Asked if anybody needed to use restroom, I did and an elderly lady did. If you can avoid using this restroom outside the terminal it would be better, but when you gotta go... it is a trailer type restroom.
Anyway back on bus, we had a very pleasant tour of Miami. Just views from bus, no getting off and on. So we saw: downtown with the museums, Miami Beach with architecture details, Star Island and another island with all of the expensive homes and yachts, a tour of coconut grove and finally Coral Gables and then we dropped off half of the group who had mid afternoon flights at the airport. We stayed on and they took us to a high end mall to shop.
We do not like to shop so we found a nice restaurant called Grand Lux cafť. I was hoping to continue with my review there, but alas I had poor internet connection there too. But it was very pleasant with good food and drinks.
I only took pics of our Escape ship from the road and a picture of the biltmore hotel.
And one of Haven breakfast menu too.





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