Escape! Feb 10-17 Trip Report & Review

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#41
Michigan
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017






If I ever do come here again... I'm going to plan ahead with room (and weight allowance) in one of my bags for a flower bowl. So pretty!


#42
Ottawa, Ont., CA
539 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Very much enjoying your review & pictures. Love those flower bowls ! The way I pack I may have to wear one home as a hat ��
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#43
Ottawa, Canada
308 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by MaryBethV
We got them on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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.
I just ordered the magnetic hooks although through the Canadian Amazon site. Thanks for the link! I am enjoying your review and pics, just fab!

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Diane
#44
Syracuse, NY
265 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Loving your review; enhanced by your engaging writing style and gorgeous photos!! Took our first NCL cruise on the Getaway last spring so enjoying the pictures of the Escape for comparison. Reminds me how much we enjoyed our cruise and can't wait to sail NCL again!
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Upcoming:
NCL Breakaway 10/2/18 1st TA, 1st time Europe, Copenhagen!!
MSC Seaside 3/2/19 One more time in Yacht Club
Disney Fantasy 5/19 Sister cruise now a tradition
NCL Epic 11/22/19 TA from Barcelona, 16 nights!, wow itinerary

Chandris Amerikanis 1986 Honeymoon on very old ship with outstanding service
Carnival Fantasy 1993 Night and day from our 1st
Costa Allegra 1994 Took my parents- precious memories
Costa Atlantica 2004 10 years between cruises is too long
Carnival Dream 2011 First cruise with our daughters!
Carnival Victory 2012 Jam-packed southern caribbean family adventures
NCL Getaway 3/12/17 Spring break family time after 5 year vacation drought

Disney Dream 5/1/17 1st sister cruise
MSC Divina 12/2/17 Two words- Yacht Club- best vacation so far
MSC Seaside 3/2/18 New ship Yacht Club- twice the indulgence
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#45
Cleveland, Ohio
276 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Was on same cruise with you. Thx for an excellent recap!


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Jim The Lizard



Carnival Sensation 1993
Voyager of the Seas 2003 - Wedding and Honeymoon
Grandeur of the Seas 2005
Carnival Destiny 2012
Norwegian Gem 2014
Norwegian Escape 2016 - Super Bowl Cruise
#46
Dallas, Tx
337 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Really enjoying your review of the ship I'll be on in two weeks! Appreciate you taking the time, and loving your pics,
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Bella O

Past Cruises:
DCL Wonder 2001 Bahamas
Carnival Freedom 2007 NE/Canada
RCCL Radiance of the Seas 2011 Mexico
RCCL Allure of the Seas 2013 Western Carribean
Un-Cruise Safari Explorer 2013 Alaska
Uniworld SS Catherine 2015 Southern France
RCCL Vision of the Seas 2017 Arabian Gulf
NCL Getaway 2017 Baltic Seas
NCL Escape 2018 Western Carribean
Uniworld SS Maria Theresa 2018 Danube
#47
45 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
OMGosh! Love your reviews and photos! I'm sailing on the Escape for the first time in April. I am wondering if you happened to talk to anyone who took the Ocho Rios City Tour when in Jamaica? I'm not comfortable with any of the other excursion choices and reviews of other's experiences have me wanting to avoid wondering around there. BTW - I was once in a hurricane at sea on a smaller RC ship and was stuck in the cabin for almost 15 hours. Finally wondered out although the ship rocked like mad and the floor would drop from under you and your knees come up with the lifts. 123 mph winds. I use Bonine and never got sick.
#49
Michigan
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by dlynn0366
Very much enjoying your review & pictures. Love those flower bowls ! The way I pack I may have to wear one home as a hat ��
A hat? Perfect!
#50
Michigan
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by My3Cents
OMGosh! Love your reviews and photos! I'm sailing on the Escape for the first time in April. I am wondering if you happened to talk to anyone who took the Ocho Rios City Tour when in Jamaica? I'm not comfortable with any of the other excursion choices and reviews of other's experiences have me wanting to avoid wondering around there. BTW - I was once in a hurricane at sea on a smaller RC ship and was stuck in the cabin for almost 15 hours. Finally wondered out although the ship rocked like mad and the floor would drop from under you and your knees come up with the lifts. 123 mph winds. I use Bonine and never got sick.
So sorry - I didn't happen to talk with anyone who did that tour. Maybe someone in the forum for Jamaica ports could help you? As for the hurricane at sea -- you are brave to ever set foot on a ship again! WOW
#51
New Jersey
779 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
My wife was eyeing one of the big carved fish, it was beautiful for $40
Then I asked her how are you going to get it home

did not buy it
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Don't sweat the small stuff.... Glenn



Song of Norway - Southern Carribean - Feb 17 1991
NCL Dawn - Eastern Carribean -March 16 2006
NCL GEM Feb 2008
Explorer of the Seas April 2010
NCL GEM Feb 2013
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NCL Getaway Feb 2017

NCL Escape Jan 2018
#52
Michigan
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
After a bit we headed to Taste/Savor for lunch...

Oops - I totally forgot that they aren’t open on port days!

So, we went straight up to the Garden Cafe. It was busy, but as I read here, there were plenty of available tables in the back. Since navigating that many people, walking with a cane, and trying to hold a plate of food all at the same time was just not possible for DH - we found a table and I went and grabbed some food for the both of us. This would be the one and only time we were in the buffet area. It looked rather nice and they seemed to have decent food and a wide variety of offerings. I’m glad we took a look around since I’m sure we will frequent it more when we cruise with our kids.

Next up was the close-by Spice H2O for some sun (without wind today, since we were in port!) It was pretty busy. I don’t think many people had excursions in Jamaica. We did manage to find two loungers together and just chilled for a bit. I walked through the grotto which was refreshing - and it would have been used more if my husband would have joined me. They do have handicap ramp entries to it (which is really nice), but with his wooden cane, he didn’t want to bother. We finished off our time there with a Mango Meltdown frozen drink - loved it!

It was so nice of this little cotton ball cloud family to line up for my photo! They just might win themselves as a screensaver on my laptop.




Since we had suits on already - we headed to the spa for a while… followed by a lazy late afternoon nap. Then we said goodbye to Jamaica as the sun was setting…











#53
Boston
434 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by MaryBethV
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???

Agreed....And the dressing on the salad had way too much white vinegar in it. It was very very astringent.
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#54
Michigan
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Food Republic for snacks & drinks | With our reservation for Cagney’s still about 3 hours away, we decided to take the opportunity to try out an item or two at the Food Republic. Based on the raves and “best food on the ship!” reviews I’ve read I was really looking forward to this. Upon walking in the hostess said “Yay - someone found us! Make sure you spread the word!”. And she was right - it was dead in there. Granted it was just starting to be dinner time, but still. Maybe they should consider a “cocktail hour” deal on certain menu offerings to draw more people in or something.

Our server seemed rushed even though we were one of maybe two or three occupied tables. Needing more time to flip through the iPad menu, we ordered drinks first (which had to be ordered through the server, not on the iPad). I ordered their Ancho Pancho cocktail and DH ordered the Thai Rum Tonic.

The server brought our drinks and mine was obviously not what I ordered. However, he was gone before I could say anything. I double checked, and it looked exactly like another drink pictured on the menu and had a strong ginger flavor. When we flagged him down, he tried to convince me that it was the drink I ordered. When I showed him the menu descriptions AND PHOTOS he said that what I ordered and the other drink also on the menu “were basically the same thing”. Despite different ingredients and completely different looks. I insisted (I don’t like ginger much) and he did go and order the proper drink (which after all that wasn’t even very enjoyable). DH wasn’t a fan of his Thai Rum Tonic either! 0 for 2.

I was holding out that the food would be good though! We ordered pork belly kushiyaki (beautiful presentation and good, though it was a bit sweet for our taste - so wouldn’t order again) and Short rib & corn dumplings (yummy - would order again). Apologies for no photos! Overall this was a disappointment. However I’m willing to try them again (if I can convince DH!) sometime because there are many things on their menu that look absolutely delicious. We’ll probably order drinks at the Brewhouse and take them with us to the Food Republic!

Cagney’s Steakhouse for dinner | I was really looking forward to this dinner! We arrived a little before our reservation time, gave the hostess our ‘celebrating our anniversary’ card, and were seated right away. They offered us a complimentary bottle of wine - which I thought was a nice gesture to start things off with. We were seated at a table fairly close to the kitchen/plating line area (which is out in the open as part of the design of the restaurant). First impressions were nicely decorated, quite busy, and very high ambient noise level. Our server’s assistant brought over the list we could pick our bottle of wine from. We chose a Merlot and away he went. A few minutes later our server came back with two bottles to pick from since they sadly did not have the wine we selected from the list. We just picked one. It wasn’t horrible, but in hindsight we should have just ordered from the by-the-glass selection like we normally did. The North & South red blend would have been much better.



We ordered and were waiting for a while for appetizers when we noticed other tables had bread baskets. We snagged our server and asked for one. He apologized for his assistant server’s mistake. Bread was good. Apps were crab cakes for each of us. They were delicious! Hardy any filler, just lots of crab.

We also ordered the same entrees… ribeye steaks, medium - mine with the green peppercorn sauce and DH’s with the herb garlic butter. Selected sides (2 per person) were the truffle mashed potatoes (bad-super grainy/dry! so strange. ate only a bite), roasted mushrooms (so good!), roasted brussel sprouts (delicious!), and a baked potato (no butter, no sour cream-totally blah).

Soooo - the steaks. Keep in mind we ordered the same thing. My ribeye was thick, perfectly medium, and very yummy! DH’s steak was noticeably thinner, medium well+ and INCREDIBLY fatty. You should know that my husband NEVER complains - it stresses his people-pleasing-self right out to do so. And vacation shouldn’t be stressful! I’m a little more forward, but rarely say anything since it make’s DH uncomfortable. What can I say - I love him and don’t like to stress the man out! So I just gave DH a big chunk of my steak - it was a huge piece of meat anyways and more than I could eat. When a manager briefly stopped by to ask how our dinner was I mentioned that my steak was good, but (gesturing to DH’s plate with ¾’s of his sad steak left on it all cut up in an attempt to find a good bite) that unfortunately was much better than DH’s. He didn’t say anything and just moved on. DH had just looked at him (after my comment) and said “It’s OK” even though it wasn’t - so, in the manager’s defense, we definitely sent some mixed signals. But something a manager who cared would have seen through. It is kind of like asking “How are you?” to an obviously distressed person who says “Fine” in response and you say “Great!” and move on without another thought. Not a big deal-we just roll with it. Well, easier for me… I got the good steak lol.

Next was dessert. I think I was so taken back by the discrepancy of my expectations vs. reality at the Food Republic and now at Cagney’s that I forgot to take a single photo until this point. I ordered the 7-layer chocolate cake (good!) and DH ordered the apple crisp (DH said it was amazing). A good ending after all.





We signed for the check and left, not even giving more than a passing thought to our “anniversary cake”. I actually thought that maybe they substituted a bottle of wine for it at this restaurant or something and was fine with that.

Story is not over yet… We got back to our room after a bit and the phone rang 3 different times. It is 2018 - does anybody answer a phone when they don’t know who is calling!? Not us. Well, the third time DH did pick it up. It was the server from the restaurant asking if he could please bring the anniversary cake to us that he forgot? OK, that was nice - so we said sure.

Knock, knock! Was he already on our floor??? - because it seemed like just a minute or two had passed before the knock at the door. I’m sitting IN BED wearing pj’s. DH opens the door, thinking some random staff member will just hand over the cake. Well, it is our server(!) who apologizes to DH profusely, then looks in and waves to me (A-W-K-W-A-R-D). He then offers to SING TO US. Apparently he brought other servers with him to sing to us!!!

Crap! Can I dive under the bed? No… the empty luggage is under there. Can I open the slider and jump off the balcony? No… that would be overly dramatic (even for me) and it wouldn’t be nice to ruin the night for the people in the District Brewhouse below. I settled for sheepishly waving back and inwardly wanting to die. haha

I have to give my DH major credit for politely and firmly shutting the singing offer down. We are still laughing about it. They tried very hard to make up for a small mistake. Truly. I used to work in the hospitality industry (I was the general manager of a hotel) and I am always grateful when providers do try to go above and beyond in making up for mistakes. Every single restaurant has an off night, every hotel has something that doesn’t go just right… avoiding it is best, but trying hard to make the customer feel valued for what went wrong is the next best thing. Even if it is as awkward as you-know-what.

The cake was good!… the next morning. We had to wait for utensils from breakfast room service to be able to eat it.

Goodnight from Mr. McCutie towel animal.

#55
Ottawa, Canada
308 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Nice Mcutie towel animal for sure! Did you get a chance to use the cantilever hot tubs and if so, how was the view? Cheers!

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Diane
#57
Long Island, New York
2,314 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
great report!

following!!
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Carnival Imagination 11/97
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#58
1,243 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Great review so far! I wonder if yours was the first week of the new Food Republic menu? Maybe they still have some kinks to work out. Still looking forward to trying them in two weeks!
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#60
Michigan
257 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by funCruise3
Nice Mcutie towel animal for sure! Did you get a chance to use the cantilever hot tubs and if so, how was the view? Cheers!

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I didn't even see a cantilever hot tub! Where are they on the ship - do you know?

Originally posted by Mistizoom
Great review so far! I wonder if yours was the first week of the new Food Republic menu? Maybe they still have some kinks to work out. Still looking forward to trying them in two weeks!
Interesting - I didn't know there was a new menu. Maybe that is what the whole strange situation was from! I will go back and try them again if I'm on this ship in the future. We only tried 2 things since we were eating again in a couple of hours and all the food offerings looked good.