Escape! Feb 10-17 Trip Report & Review

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257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017

“Hmm, what shall we do before dinner? Well, since The Doug Out’s home away from home is just a few (well, 7) floors below us… let’s go there.”

While we are in no way cool like Doug and Sue - we did love the District Brewhouse. DH had a funky buddha hop-gun. He said the beer was good - but we are spoiled coming from “Beer City” where we have a multitude of microbreweries and amazing IPA’s. Ironically - I’m not a beer drinker at all - so I ordered their cannonball cocktail and it was very good. Would order again - and did so later in the week.
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Thank you to all who are following my rambling so far… Keith, Janine, dexddd, LSKC, LuCruise, skynyrd, fantasytraveler, offtopic, and Diane.

Dexddd - That photo of the pool area at the Marriott compound is as close as we got to it. That’s too bad that it was a bit run down when you were there.
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by funCruise3
Hi, we are going on the March 10 Escape and I had a quick question: where can I buy those amazing metal magnetic hooks you bought, as any organizing help would be beneficial for 3 people in our family in one cabin! Awesome review so far, and hope to hear your reviews of the shows and ports of call. Cheers!

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We got them on Amazon here:

They were so useful and I'll be bringing all of them next time so the kids can have them in their room as well.
437 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Thank you for your review! We are sailing on the Escape in August and staying in a spa balcony room (15156), too! I hope that our bed is near the balcony, like yours was. I didn't know that we would have special toiletries! This will be my DH's first cruise, and I am going to have him read this as well. DS will be with us, same cabin, as well - he will be 25. We will make it work.
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257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Dinner at Savor | Kadek was our server. (In most cases, if I bothered to get the server’s name and record it in my phone -- we liked them!) We ordered three apps to share: Crab Wontons (amazing), Bruschetta (ok, a little blah), and a Crab Cake with shaved cucumber on top (The texture wasn’t bad - but wasn’t my favorite as the crab pieces were small and there was more filler than crab. The taste, however, was excellent - great sauce and the cucumber was a perfect compliment to the other flavors.). Would order the Wontons and the Crab Cake again. For entrees, DH and I both had the salmon over quinoa. It was good, but not very memorable. Would we order it again? Maybe - depending what else was on the menu.

We ordered blueberry cheesecake to share for dessert. As mentioned in this forum - this is in no way real cheesecake… more like gelatinous (our descriptor for many of the desserts) pudding. My husband still liked it. I did not. Pudding that just so happens to hold it’s shape like jello Is. Not. Cheesecake.

I photographed this thing so many times during the week, my DH started to just automatically stop here and wait for me.

A note on wine: We like wine, but we aren’t wine snobs. We have had superior wines on occasion, but that isn’t the norm. It’s true that there are not as many by-the-glass options on the ship as one would like. However, the North & South Red Blend was quite good and became our go-to red wine for the week. I’d compare it to an Apothic Red that we like to have on hand at home. The Matua Sauvignon Blanc was our favorite white wine of the standard by-the-glass options.

After dinner drinks were at the Cellars Wine Bar. Beautifully decorated venue. It would be MUCH better with more comfortable seating though - no wonder people grab wine there to take with them instead of staying. There was never more than a person or two in there - there is only one normal-height table and the rest are high tops! High top tables are not comfy! It didn’t help that the servers seemed less than thrilled to serve (on at least 3 different occasions). Maybe because we asked for recommendations? Or because we were only ordering by-the-glass options covered by the UBP? We both had a glass of Matua Sauvignon Blanc - served nice and chilled.

Next was a short walk on the Waterfront on deck 8. Amazing! The fact that you can just walk around and enjoy the sea without the craziness or volume level of the pool deck - or enjoy a meal & drinks there made this our favorite public space on the ship. It was always possible to find a chair or a couch to relax on - even on sea days when it was used by more passengers. It was also definitely a more enjoyable way to get from one end of the ship to the other instead of walking through the interior. We’re not writing off other cruise lines in the future, but having access to a deck like the Waterfront will weigh heavily on our future cruising choices.

Late night snack at O’Sheehans | We ordered nachos (not a hit - not a surprise from reading in advance about the cheese sauce) and spinach dip & chips (OK - ordered once more later in the week).

And our first towel animal. Love.

257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by myra711
Thank you for your review! We are sailing on the Escape in August and staying in a spa balcony room (15156), too! I hope that our bed is near the balcony, like yours was. I didn't know that we would have special toiletries! This will be my DH's first cruise, and I am going to have him read this as well. DS will be with us, same cabin, as well - he will be 25. We will make it work.
You are going to love it!
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Sunday | February 11th | Sea Day

Our bodies are programmed to wake up early due to work and school schedules… and mine apparently did not get the memo that we were on vacation and sleeping in was allowed. I fully intended to roll over and go back to sleep, but made the mistake of pulling the curtain aside and peeking outside. The sun was coming up and it was incredibly beautiful! Sunrises (and sunsets) are God’s specialty and I was going to enjoy it - so I grabbed the camera and made a quick cup of coffee to enjoy on the balcony.

Breakfast at Taste | Our server was Idania again. Loved her. DH ordered a made-to-order omelet (good!) and I had the eggs benedict (very good! - kicking myself for not ordering it again that week). We also ordered French toast. It is more like slightly toasted pound cake. DH liked it, but I much prefer a version made with French bread, soaked in egg/milk/cinnamon mixture, and pan-fried.

We went back to our end of the ship via the Waterfront and to our stateroom to change for the spa. You can’t help but relax in the spa, even when it is busy on a sea day. The therapy pool is nice and warm and deeper than I was expecting at about 4’ deep. Plus it is quiet, the whole place smells like eucalyptus, the stone loungers are as comfortable as people say they are, and the 180 degree views from the front of the ship are to die for.

Lunch at Savor | Jess was our server. We both ordered the caesar salad with salmon - very tasty. The chefs on this ship sure do love their salad dressing! Some would say (and I heard other guests actually saying…) that the salads are overdressed. In my opinion, what’s not to love as long as the dressing is yummy and the greens are still cold and crispy because it was dressed just prior to serving?

We also ordered the popcorn shrimp to share. It came with one good aioli-type sauce and plain old ketchup. It was OK. We did jokingly wonder if they shop at Costco… because I’m pretty sure it was exactly what we had for Super Bowl snacks a few weeks prior. Wouldn’t order again amidst so many other options.

For entrees, DH ordered the lamb dish (good) and I had the fish & chips. The fish was not great - pretty sure I’ve never had to chew fish like that before… and dig out my floss later. (Good thing I remembered to pack that!) The fries were hot and freshly done.

257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Lunch cont… None of the desserts were something we wanted to try, so we ordered Mudslides at the Mixx bar on our way out. Better dessert option!

FACE PALM! About this time I realized it was 1:30 and we had missed our noon CC meet & greet! I was looking forward to this and I should have had it written down or set an alarm on my phone!!! To the wonderful people who took the time to plan this event - we are so incredibly sorry for saying we would be there and then not showing up.

We walked back to our end of the ship via the Waterfront again,…

...took a short lazy nap in our room, and changed into suits to go find some sun to soak up. We were hoping not to have to climb any stairs, but the forward portion of the ship was popular and SUPER WINDY. The very front area opposite of vibe was closed due to wind and all other available loungers on decks 18&19 were taken, so we headed up to deck 20. The rebellious fish drink I grabbed from the bar on deck 19 wasn’t a good call. The wind literally blew the drink out of the cup while I was carrying it! Lids would be helpful on windy days NCL!!! The sun was nice even with the gale-force winds. We are from the currently frigid North and will happily take our sun any way we can get it.
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Dinner at The Manhattan | Ralston from Jamaica was our server. I mentioned the wind earlier, and at this point the ship was starting to give little frequent lurches. I thought you weren’t supposed to feel movement much on these big ships! NOT TRUE. Ralston assured us that our slightly bobbing wine glasses were not a cause for alarm. He had, in the distant past, worked on a smaller NCL ship during a transatlantic crossing that had flipped the grand piano on it’s head. Truth or story? - not sure, but it was amusing and oddly calming. The Manhattan room is beautiful with the high ceilings and lighting.

On to dinner… we both ordered cobb salads (good, but not memorable) as well as Thai spring rolls (good with very good dipping sauce) and Mozzarella ravioli with lobster sauce (also pretty good).

DH ordered fried flounder for his entree and was underwhelmed with it.

I had the Pacific broiled hake (white fish) which sadly was probably the worst thing I ate all week. It was like licking a salt block. Only ate a couple of bites. The pearl onions were yummy though. I never use them at home because who has an hour to peel a few baby onions???

Dessert was after dinner mint mousse which we shared - very rich and quite good. The live music which started around the time our dessert came was enjoyable and not too loud even though our table was right on the dance floor.

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Joined Oct 2014
Really enjoying your review! Escape is one of our favorite ships so we are really enjoying your perspective plus all the great pics
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Sand and Seas

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Joined Feb 2009
Enjoying your review so far! We will be on the Escape three weeks from today! Fellow Michigander here although now I live in Wisconsin.
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UPCOMING: Norwegian Escape March 2018

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257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
After Midnight Show | Definitely go see this! I truly hadn’t expected this kind of talent on a cruise ship. We arrived at the theater a little bit early - early enough to get seats high up & near the middle... and for the bar server that was walking around to take our order and bring me a Pina Colada.

Now the ship at this point was MOVING. The little lurches from during dinner became bigger lurches and long, slow-pulling sways to the side. Maybe it was the Pina Colada mixed with the movement - but about an hour into the show I had watched the stage curtains sway unnaturally to the side and watched people’s heads all shift in unison like a synchronized bobblehead army one too many times. I started debating in my head if it would be more rude to walk in front of the people in our row to get out or to take the chance of losing my Pina Colada in the midst of fellow show-goers. I wasn’t so much feeling nauseated as I was feeling trapped, but I still went with option A and headed out. The talk in the hallway and restroom was “WOW this ship is moving.” and “I’ve been on a lot of ships and have never felt anything like this.” Not what a first time cruiser wants to hear people! I went back into the theater and decided just to stand in the back near where my husband had parked the scooter for the last few minutes of the show. I did hold on to the half-wall I was standing in front of rather tightly. The brave people were on the stage, DANCING and singing and not missing a beat. #impressed

After the show, we waited to let the crowds disperse because we knew there was no chance of getting a scooter on an elevator right afterwards. It was interesting walking down one side of the hallway and suddenly you are walking on the other side of the hallway - or walking forward and all of a sudden losing all of your forward inertia due to no effort of your own. So on our way back to hide in our rockin’ room, we get on an elevator with a dear couple that has at least a couple of decades on us… and where are they on their way to? In excited, amused voices they say “We’re going to the pool deck to watch the water slosh out of the pool!”. Alrighty-then. You just take your bad selves on up there and do that. We are still going to our room! All my drama aside - looking back it was not THAT bad. Disconcerting and a new experience? Yes. However, at no time was I in fear for our actual safety.

Look who was there to greet us in our room… he was obviously taking the tippy boat in stride, so I figured we should too.

Not long after reaching our room, we turned the corner around the SouthEast part of Cuba and, magically, there was calm once again. Ahhhh.
622 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
That boat was definitely moving more than I've ever had that first sea day, and I was in the aft of the boat for most of the day! Though I'm weird because I much preferred the big up and down movement instead of the subtler movements.

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257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Monday | February 12th | Falmouth, Jamaica

Obviously the sunrise the day before made quite the impression on my subconscious and I was awake bright and early again. So worth it.

A few rain showers in the distance.

An abandoned building project???

The haze was lifing. It is going to be another gorgeous day!

257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
We made our way into port and the captain had us do a little 180 to back in.

AND... the most stunning rainbow came into view!

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Joined Dec 2014
Wow. Beautiful shots... especially the one with the rainbow!

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257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017

These guys waiting to tie the ship up were so funny! They were yelling at people on the ship (not in English) and then laughing hysterically at themselves. Would have loved a translator!

257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
This guy... enjoying a bite to eat in peace and quiet before passengers flood the cruise port. Made me think of 'the calm before the storm'.

A shanty town???

257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Breakfast at O’Sheehans | Marcos was our server. We both had omelets (good) and hashbrowns (so good). We also tried their pastry basket. The little sweet pastries were fine, but we really liked the butter croissants. From then on we asked for just croissants sans the other pastries. I shudder to think how many of those I ate throughout the week!

We went off the boat and walked around the enclosed cruise port area for a bit. It was nice for DH to be able to take the scooter off the boat to get around in the port area. Considering the travel advisories and DH’s mobility challenges, we didn’t venture further than that. The cruise port was clean and nice to walk around, but this port probably would not be on our list to visit on future cruises.