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TracyE

Escape TA: Likes, Dislikes and Random Thoughts

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I’m still collecting my notes from my Escape TA but wanted to share some of my likes/dislikes about this new ship (my 19th cruise on NCL). Sailed solo in a Haven suite but had friends on board and knew many crew members also.

 

 

Pre-cruise: flew Virgin Atlantic to London, arrived October 28th and was met at Heathrow by Smiths For Airports Driver, Robbie. He was a delight and very knowledgeable and gave me a great bit of history on our ride to Southampton. Stayed at the Novotel which was a good value and where many fellow cruisers as well as two friends stayed. My room was nice with a comfy bed and spacious bathroom and downstairs, they have a small but nice bar and a restaurant with good food.

 

 

Stephen, Daniel and I shared a short taxi ride to the pier at 10:00 a.m. where, in a reverse process, we did our check-in first and then went through security. We boarded very shortly after and were escorted directly to the Haven.

 

 

HAVEN LIKE: The Haven on Escape is simply beautiful with the lounge/bar and pool on deck 17. Both a spiral staircase and elevator take you up to level 18 for the restaurant (complete with new lunch and dinner menus plus an outdoor dining area) and then to deck 19 Haven’s upper deck with numerous loungers.

HAVEN DISLIKE: I found service in the restaurant, no matter which meal, to be fairly slow. Food was at a much higher caliber than on other ships but beverages took a while because they had to go down to deck 17 to get drinks. No rest room on the restaurant level.

My cabin: Forward H7 suite 12706. Probably not the best choice for a TA, but that was all that was left when I booked. For the first six days, I really felt the motion of the ship.

 

 

 

CABIN LIKE: Beautifully appointed cabin with a living/dining area with flat screen TV and sliders out to the teeny balcony and separate bedroom with TV, a porthole window and a huge bathroom that had a separate soaking tub (with stunning copper tile on the surrounding wall) and large shower stall, vanity table and double sinks. Lots and lots of storage space throughout this cabin.

 

 

CABIN DISLIKE: As mentioned, I was surprised to see how tiny the balcony was. It barely held the two chairs and small round table. Literally all the way forward, it was a long, long, long (!) walk from the forward elevators.

The TV was the usual lineup of BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNBC, Favorite Shows, Favorite Movies, one sports channel, safety/activities/Escape today channels. Two new channels included Prime US which was mostly CSI-type programming and a Guy Harvey channel which was mainly shark/fishing related shows. I can confirm that the “Pay-per-view” movies were free for Haven guests although the selection wasn’t that great. No more DVD players in cabins and no more Lavazza; they’ve now switched to Nespresso machines. Also, they’ve switched from Elemis to Bvlgari products in the Haven (nice!).

 

 

Now onto the ship itself: All opinions forthcoming are strictly my own observations and thoughts and some will likely disagree.

 

 

Restaurants/Bars:

 

 

Food Republic was hands down for me the best dining venue on the ship.

LIKE: A great selection of food from Ahi Tuna pizza, sushi, grilled meats and vegetables. Easy to order on the iPads. If you go: the best seats are the bar all the way forward against the window. Great way to watch the sea while having a great meal.

 

 

 

DISLIKE: By day 3 of the TA, they ran out of the most popular dishes like the Pad Thai and corn on the cob which was a bummer. Also, advertised draft beers were not available on the TA.

 

 

Bayamo/Pincho Tapas Bar

 

 

LIKES: Great service, the lobster salad appetizer was amazing as was the multi-layered chocolate dessert. Highly recommend the Tapas Bar: great menu of small plates, each one delicious. Memo to NCL chefs: enough with the black truffle oil/sauce/puree etc… it’s so 2014 and I’m simply not a fan lol.

DISLIKES: My shrimp dish was okay at Bayamo, not great and I thought the entrée selection was so-so and I was disappointed in the menu overall (and this was the one new venue I was really excited about). Also, Bayamo is situated in the same general area as Ocean Blue is on the Away ships, but instead of having the Tapas bar located where Ocean Blue’s Raw Bar is, they put the Sugercane Mojito Bar adjacent. Now this particular bar gets very crowded and becomes standing room only so the guests at the bar are spilling over into the Bayamo dining area so instead of enjoying a nice quite meal, it becomes very loud due to the bar. Now, the Tapas Bar is situated where the Wasabi Sushi bar is on the Away ships. As mentioned above, the food was great; however the décor is almost like you’re sitting at a deli counter. Glass cases are situated in front of you showcasing some of the menu items but in my opinion, they looked like they’d been sitting there a while and didn’t look very appetizing.

 

 

 

Margaritaville

 

 

I only attempted to go here once to see what all the fuss was about. In my opinion it looked like an extension of the Garden Café except you got menus rather than getting the food yourself. Menu was so-so...burgers, nachos etc. Lines to get in were very long. Heard from many that food was ok and that the key lime pie was great. NCL should have saved a ton of $$$ in licensing fees to Jimmy Buffett and just made their own sort of island restaurant. To my eye, it didn’t have that Jimmy B vibe to it. Also heard that while this venue was free on the TA, beginning November 14th , there will be a la carte pricing.

 

Cagney’s, La Cucina and Le Bistro are now a la carte. Dined in all three and honestly was more impressed with the steaks, fish and lamb chops in the Haven restaurant. When I ordered my dinner in Cagney’s the waiter actually said to me “we’re very busy so hope you’re prepared to wait a while” (!?). My ribeye did take a while and was just ok…not even close to great. Very disappointed and wouldn’t go back. Ordered the Dover Sole in Le Bistro and it came out dry and full of bones. Not cool. Veal Milanese in La Cucina was very good and they still have the best bread on the ship! Ate at Teppanyaki three times as it’s one of my favorites and consistently good.

 

 

Tobacco Road Bar

 

 

Sorry, but this is Maltings with different signage/framed posters and photos. Nothing about it feels any different. Same leather club chairs as Maltings/Sunset Bar on other ships. Honestly, NCL, if you’re going to tout that you have the “first and only Tobacco Road bar at sea”, then darn it, give us the real thing! Ditto w/ Margaritaville.

 

 

5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar

 

 

LIKE: This was THE gathering hot spot from morning until night for us smokers (nonsmokers should avoid the outdoor venue). We gathered for coffee in the morning and cocktails afternoon through evening and here is where I met so many great folks from around the globe. The inside 5 O’Clock venue hosts some great bands at night (in particular, do not miss the Starlight Band – they were phenomenal!). What was also great is that unlike the Away ships, they put a glass wall (not a solid wall) in between the outside table area and inside venue so you could see the shows from wherever you sat.

 

 

 

DISLIKES: Again, 5 O’Clock outside bar was just like the outdoor Maltings or Sunset Bar as on the Away ships but with costly Jimmy Buffet signage outside and at the inside venue some random oars with photos of JB on the walls along with TVs silently scrolling Buffett videos. Yawn.

 

 

 

Waves Pool Bar

 

 

On the Away ships, there is a smoking bar on the starboard side and nonsmoking on the port side. On Escape the nonsmokers have the poolside bar and smokers are up one deck above. The upper bar had a curving rail with barstools and a counter to sit and watch all the activity at the pool. Note the only other smoking areas were the Cigar Lounge and Spice bar aft.

 

 

Casino

 

 

I usually spend most of my time here and the casino is laid out pretty much the same as the Away ships. For the TA, it was announced only days prior to our sailing that the casino would be 100% nonsmoking. Let me tell you, as predicted by many, the casino was eerily quiet for most of the voyage. Never ever crowded and there were 100 invited players (including myself) who barely played because of the no smoking. From discussions I had, revenue was way, way down and because people weren’t playing, servers had no one to bring drinks to and get tips in return. On the inaugural there are over 200 invited players and my understanding is that a large section of the casino will be for smokers beginning November 14th. Also, they had some huge sound issues with slot machines on the TA. There were many machines that were deafeningly loud (with volume that could not be lowered!) – so much so that people were really getting annoyed. Other machines especially in the rear of the casino had no sound at all which made them not fun to play. Instead, cheesy songs such as “Kokomo” and other songs of that ilk played on a seemingly endless, tortuous loop.

 

I cannot speak to any of the main shows because I am going to wait and see them all with my son on our cruise next Saturday.

 

One thing I want to mention is the wine…especially the LACK of it, especially if you wanted pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. Gone after day one!! What everyone told us was that those two types of wine along with Prosecco were drunk by everyone on board during the preview cruises Hamburg to Southampton with no restocking happening until Miami. Pretty much all that was left to drink of any white varietals were Rieslings and low-end chardonnay. So, even though I had the beverage package, I didn’t drink that much during the TA as I am a pinot grigio drinker.

 

 

 

Lastly I want to say that as always with a new ship, the best of the best crew and officers are aboard and this was no exception. Our captain was Evans Hoyt and it was wonderful to also see Sean (HD) and Errol (Asst. HD), Poppi, Klaus and so many others (including casino hosts, my wonderful concierges Adrian and Karen) who are just genuinely wonderful people.

 

 

Being a transatlantic, there were people from literally all over the world and I met so many interesting people throughout the 10 days. Although the weather was chilly and rainy and so gloomy with high seas for almost seven days, people came together and made the best of it and had fun anyway. And when the sun finally came out (just after a double rainbow no less), spirits really brightened – you could really feel the change of vibe when that sun came out!

 

 

 

I have the Freestyle Dailies but don’t have time to scan or upload them. If anyone has any questions, I’ll try and answer as best as I can.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading this.

Tracy

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I have the Freestyle Dailies but don’t have time to scan or upload them. If anyone has any questions, I’ll try and answer as best as I can.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading this.

Tracy

 

I'm curious about the Dailies; were there any tastings such as a martini tasting or whiskey tastings? Not that we need a structured drinking event but it is always fun to participate in them. We did a few on the Epic and had a blast. Nothing like knocking back 4 martinis at 2:00 in the afternoon at sea!

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Since you were in the Haven, I'm hoping you can answer this question. On the Haven sundeck (deck 19), is the area all the way forward still a smoking area? It was on the Aways.

 

Thanks.

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They are seriously going to charge for margaritaville starting the 14th???? I have been fine with all the other "new" charges with NCL, but this will totally be a bummer. Was looking forward to eating there a few times since it would be a fun INCLUDED outdoor place to go with the kids and now they are going to charge? Where did you hear that? Have they come out with it publicly yet? :confused:

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Margaritaville

 

Also heard that while this venue was free on the TA, beginning November 14th , there will be a la carte pricing.

 

I hope that's not true and given that Margaritaville is listed under the Complimentary list of restaurants on the Escape page, I suspect it's an unbiased rumour. Probably someone grumbling about the à LA carte upcharge restaurants who wanted to exaggerate his complaining.

 

FYI:

http://www.escape.ncl.com/dining#complimentary

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I'm curious about the Dailies; were there any tastings such as a martini tasting or whiskey tastings? Not that we need a structured drinking event but it is always fun to participate in them. We did a few on the Epic and had a blast. Nothing like knocking back 4 martinis at 2:00 in the afternoon at sea!

 

Strangely, there weren't. I'd been hoping for that sort of thing as well, but the only "tasting" was the mojito flight at Sugarcane. I suspect that with the sheer amount of UBP on this cruise (and for the foreseeable future), Someone decided that additional tastings would be unnecessary. Personally, I find this shortsighted.

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Thanks for an objective review. I found the comparison of the meats between the Haven Restaurant and Cagney's very interesting. I wonder if it was the cut of meat or the preparation of said meat.;)

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I'm curious about the Dailies; were there any tastings such as a martini tasting or whiskey tastings? Not that we need a structured drinking event but it is always fun to participate in them. We did a few on the Epic and had a blast. Nothing like knocking back 4 martinis at 2:00 in the afternoon at sea!

 

We had a privately arranged martini tasting with our cruise critic group ( which was a lot of fun!), but no others on the TA. That will likely change on the upcoming cruises would be my guess.

Tracy

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Thanks for an objective review. I found the comparison of the meats between the Haven Restaurant and Cagney's very interesting. I wonder if it was the cut of meat or the preparation of said meat.;)

 

In my opinion, was the preparation. Cagneys always feels rushed to me while Haven is less so.

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They are seriously going to charge for margaritaville starting the 14th???? I have been fine with all the other "new" charges with NCL, but this will totally be a bummer. Was looking forward to eating there a few times since it would be a fun INCLUDED outdoor place to go with the kids and now they are going to charge? Where did you hear that? Have they come out with it publicly yet? :confused:

 

We were told by several crew members that, at the very least, the Margaritaville burger alone was going to a $4.99 surcharge. Other cruisers might know who said it.

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Since you were in the Haven, I'm hoping you can answer this question. On the Haven sundeck (deck 19), is the area all the way forward still a smoking area? It was on the Aways.

 

Thanks.

The first two days...no smoking. The Haven had lots of smokers and after many complaints, voila! We had our forward smoking area back!

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I didn't hear that anywhere, that would be such a shame if it went a la carte.

 

I had the prime rib in the Haven and in Cagney's and it was much better in Cagney's, but it may be that cut of meat was handled better rather than all of the dishes being comparable that way.

 

I did LOVE the Haven restaurant though, decor is really great. I could have done without the blue/green ceiling lights, but the rest was so lovely.

 

Thanks for you review, I should have asked Steven to introduce us :)

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cruiserke;48237585']I hope that's not true and given that Margaritaville is listed under the Complimentary list of restaurants on the Escape page' date=' I suspect it's an unbiased rumour. Probably someone grumbling about the à LA carte upcharge restaurants who wanted to exaggerate his complaining.

 

FYI:

http://www.escape.ncl.com/dining#complimentary[/quote']

 

The same info about Margaritaville not being complimentary after 11/14 has been posted by a second TA cruiser.

Next up.......O'Sheenan's??? :rolleyes:(pure speculation about O'Sheenan's, but at the rate Del Rio is going I would not bet against this happening)

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I also wanted to mention the painfully slow internet. NCL charges exorbitant rates and people weren't only not able to connect but also were not given refunds. I saw this several times at guest services because they do " not guarantee connectivity". I call B.S.

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The first two days...no smoking. The Haven had lots of smokers and after many complaints, voila! We had our forward smoking area back!

 

Interesting about the casino being empty due to no smoking. We have said that would happen but the non smokers insist that they will put an extra $20 in the machines so it will work out lol. Thanks for proving what I have been saying.

 

 

Geri

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I didn't hear that anywhere, that would be such a shame if it went a la carte.

 

I had the prime rib in the Haven and in Cagney's and it was much better in Cagney's, but it may be that cut of meat was handled better rather than all of the dishes being comparable that way.

 

I did LOVE the Haven restaurant though, decor is really great. I could have done without the blue/green ceiling lights, but the rest was so lovely.

 

Thanks for you review, I should have asked Steven to introduce us :)

 

Re Haven decor: what was up with those hideous poofy gold "flowers" on the walls? Looked like bad Christmas decorations!

 

Sorry we didn't get a chance to meet...one of these days I hope our paths will cross.

 

Tacy

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Food Republic was hands down for me the best dining venue on the ship.

LIKE: A great selection of food from Ahi Tuna pizza, sushi, grilled meats and vegetables. Easy to order on the iPads. If you go: the best seats are the bar all the way forward against the window. Great way to watch the sea while having a great meal.

 

DISLIKE: By day 3 of the TA, they ran out of the most popular dishes like the Pad Thai and corn on the cob which was a bummer. Also, advertised draft beers were not available on the TA.

Tracy

We also LOVED the food at Food Republic, and were disappointed to see the Rock Shrimp Pad Thai was sold out.... But get this - we went for lunch on the last day of the cruise, and miraculously it was available! I have no clue how it could have been sold out the entire cruise, then suddenly it wasn't, but that happened. :rolleyes: Oh, it was delicious, too, (like everything else we ate there.)

 

It was nice to have met you. Enjoy your next cruise!

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I’m still collecting my notes from my Escape TA but wanted to share some of my likes/dislikes about this new ship (my 19th cruise on NCL). Sailed solo in a Haven suite but had friends on board and knew many crew members also.

 

 

Pre-cruise: flew Virgin Atlantic to London, arrived October 28th and was met at Heathrow by Smiths For Airports Driver, Robbie. He was a delight and very knowledgeable and gave me a great bit of history on our ride to Southampton. Stayed at the Novotel which was a good value and where many fellow cruisers as well as two friends stayed. My room was nice with a comfy bed and spacious bathroom and downstairs, they have a small but nice bar and a restaurant with good food.

 

 

Stephen, Daniel and I shared a short taxi ride to the pier at 10:00 a.m. where, in a reverse process, we did our check-in first and then went through security. We boarded very shortly after and were escorted directly to the Haven.

 

 

HAVEN LIKE: The Haven on Escape is simply beautiful with the lounge/bar and pool on deck 17. Both a spiral staircase and elevator take you up to level 18 for the restaurant (complete with new lunch and dinner menus plus an outdoor dining area) and then to deck 19 Haven’s upper deck with numerous loungers.

HAVEN DISLIKE: I found service in the restaurant, no matter which meal, to be fairly slow. Food was at a much higher caliber than on other ships but beverages took a while because they had to go down to deck 17 to get drinks. No rest room on the restaurant level.

My cabin: Forward H7 suite 12706. Probably not the best choice for a TA, but that was all that was left when I booked. For the first six days, I really felt the motion of the ship.

 

 

 

CABIN LIKE: Beautifully appointed cabin with a living/dining area with flat screen TV and sliders out to the teeny balcony and separate bedroom with TV, a porthole window and a huge bathroom that had a separate soaking tub (with stunning copper tile on the surrounding wall) and large shower stall, vanity table and double sinks. Lots and lots of storage space throughout this cabin.

 

 

CABIN DISLIKE: As mentioned, I was surprised to see how tiny the balcony was. It barely held the two chairs and small round table. Literally all the way forward, it was a long, long, long (!) walk from the forward elevators.

The TV was the usual lineup of BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNBC, Favorite Shows, Favorite Movies, one sports channel, safety/activities/Escape today channels. Two new channels included Prime US which was mostly CSI-type programming and a Guy Harvey channel which was mainly shark/fishing related shows. I can confirm that the “Pay-per-view” movies were free for Haven guests although the selection wasn’t that great. No more DVD players in cabins and no more Lavazza; they’ve now switched to Nespresso machines. Also, they’ve switched from Elemis to Bvlgari products in the Haven (nice!).

 

 

Now onto the ship itself: All opinions forthcoming are strictly my own observations and thoughts and some will likely disagree.

 

 

Restaurants/Bars:

 

 

Food Republic was hands down for me the best dining venue on the ship.

LIKE: A great selection of food from Ahi Tuna pizza, sushi, grilled meats and vegetables. Easy to order on the iPads. If you go: the best seats are the bar all the way forward against the window. Great way to watch the sea while having a great meal.

 

 

 

DISLIKE: By day 3 of the TA, they ran out of the most popular dishes like the Pad Thai and corn on the cob which was a bummer. Also, advertised draft beers were not available on the TA.

 

 

Bayamo/Pincho Tapas Bar

 

 

LIKES: Great service, the lobster salad appetizer was amazing as was the multi-layered chocolate dessert. Highly recommend the Tapas Bar: great menu of small plates, each one delicious. Memo to NCL chefs: enough with the black truffle oil/sauce/puree etc… it’s so 2014 and I’m simply not a fan lol.

DISLIKES: My shrimp dish was okay at Bayamo, not great and I thought the entrée selection was so-so and I was disappointed in the menu overall (and this was the one new venue I was really excited about). Also, Bayamo is situated in the same general area as Ocean Blue is on the Away ships, but instead of having the Tapas bar located where Ocean Blue’s Raw Bar is, they put the Sugercane Mojito Bar adjacent. Now this particular bar gets very crowded and becomes standing room only so the guests at the bar are spilling over into the Bayamo dining area so instead of enjoying a nice quite meal, it becomes very loud due to the bar. Now, the Tapas Bar is situated where the Wasabi Sushi bar is on the Away ships. As mentioned above, the food was great; however the décor is almost like you’re sitting at a deli counter. Glass cases are situated in front of you showcasing some of the menu items but in my opinion, they looked like they’d been sitting there a while and didn’t look very appetizing.

 

 

 

Margaritaville

 

 

I only attempted to go here once to see what all the fuss was about. In my opinion it looked like an extension of the Garden Café except you got menus rather than getting the food yourself. Menu was so-so...burgers, nachos etc. Lines to get in were very long. Heard from many that food was ok and that the key lime pie was great. NCL should have saved a ton of $$$ in licensing fees to Jimmy Buffett and just made their own sort of island restaurant. To my eye, it didn’t have that Jimmy B vibe to it. Also heard that while this venue was free on the TA, beginning November 14th , there will be a la carte pricing.

 

Cagney’s, La Cucina and Le Bistro are now a la carte. Dined in all three and honestly was more impressed with the steaks, fish and lamb chops in the Haven restaurant. When I ordered my dinner in Cagney’s the waiter actually said to me “we’re very busy so hope you’re prepared to wait a while” (!?). My ribeye did take a while and was just ok…not even close to great. Very disappointed and wouldn’t go back. Ordered the Dover Sole in Le Bistro and it came out dry and full of bones. Not cool. Veal Milanese in La Cucina was very good and they still have the best bread on the ship! Ate at Teppanyaki three times as it’s one of my favorites and consistently good.

 

 

Tobacco Road Bar

 

 

Sorry, but this is Maltings with different signage/framed posters and photos. Nothing about it feels any different. Same leather club chairs as Maltings/Sunset Bar on other ships. Honestly, NCL, if you’re going to tout that you have the “first and only Tobacco Road bar at sea”, then darn it, give us the real thing! Ditto w/ Margaritaville.

 

 

5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar

 

 

LIKE: This was THE gathering hot spot from morning until night for us smokers (nonsmokers should avoid the outdoor venue). We gathered for coffee in the morning and cocktails afternoon through evening and here is where I met so many great folks from around the globe. The inside 5 O’Clock venue hosts some great bands at night (in particular, do not miss the Starlight Band – they were phenomenal!). What was also great is that unlike the Away ships, they put a glass wall (not a solid wall) in between the outside table area and inside venue so you could see the shows from wherever you sat.

 

 

 

DISLIKES: Again, 5 O’Clock outside bar was just like the outdoor Maltings or Sunset Bar as on the Away ships but with costly Jimmy Buffet signage outside and at the inside venue some random oars with photos of JB on the walls along with TVs silently scrolling Buffett videos. Yawn.

 

 

 

Waves Pool Bar

 

 

On the Away ships, there is a smoking bar on the starboard side and nonsmoking on the port side. On Escape the nonsmokers have the poolside bar and smokers are up one deck above. The upper bar had a curving rail with barstools and a counter to sit and watch all the activity at the pool. Note the only other smoking areas were the Cigar Lounge and Spice bar aft.

 

 

Casino

 

 

I usually spend most of my time here and the casino is laid out pretty much the same as the Away ships. For the TA, it was announced only days prior to our sailing that the casino would be 100% nonsmoking. Let me tell you, as predicted by many, the casino was eerily quiet for most of the voyage. Never ever crowded and there were 100 invited players (including myself) who barely played because of the no smoking. From discussions I had, revenue was way, way down and because people weren’t playing, servers had no one to bring drinks to and get tips in return. On the inaugural there are over 200 invited players and my understanding is that a large section of the casino will be for smokers beginning November 14th. Also, they had some huge sound issues with slot machines on the TA. There were many machines that were deafeningly loud (with volume that could not be lowered!) – so much so that people were really getting annoyed. Other machines especially in the rear of the casino had no sound at all which made them not fun to play. Instead, cheesy songs such as “Kokomo” and other songs of that ilk played on a seemingly endless, tortuous loop.

 

I cannot speak to any of the main shows because I am going to wait and see them all with my son on our cruise next Saturday.

 

One thing I want to mention is the wine…especially the LACK of it, especially if you wanted pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. Gone after day one!! What everyone told us was that those two types of wine along with Prosecco were drunk by everyone on board during the preview cruises Hamburg to Southampton with no restocking happening until Miami. Pretty much all that was left to drink of any white varietals were Rieslings and low-end chardonnay. So, even though I had the beverage package, I didn’t drink that much during the TA as I am a pinot grigio drinker.

 

 

 

Lastly I want to say that as always with a new ship, the best of the best crew and officers are aboard and this was no exception. Our captain was Evans Hoyt and it was wonderful to also see Sean (HD) and Errol (Asst. HD), Poppi, Klaus and so many others (including casino hosts, my wonderful concierges Adrian and Karen) who are just genuinely wonderful people.

 

 

Being a transatlantic, there were people from literally all over the world and I met so many interesting people throughout the 10 days. Although the weather was chilly and rainy and so gloomy with high seas for almost seven days, people came together and made the best of it and had fun anyway. And when the sun finally came out (just after a double rainbow no less), spirits really brightened – you could really feel the change of vibe when that sun came out!

 

 

 

I have the Freestyle Dailies but don’t have time to scan or upload them. If anyone has any questions, I’ll try and answer as best as I can.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading this.

Tracy

 

Thanks Tracy: Our daughter will be sailing her on the 14th. Your review espeially on running out of this and that reminds me of the first TA on the Jewel. They seemed to run out of some food and yes, certain wines almost as soon as the cruise started, and yes, the crew was the best for us as well. Now, the casino, I imagine there are a lot of mixed feeligson the smoke free. Being an X smoker, I see both sides: I no longer want to sit next to someone smoking anywhere, but I respect the rights of smokers and if there is anyplace smoking is part of the scene it has to be in casinos.

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Strangely, there weren't. I'd been hoping for that sort of thing as well, but the only "tasting" was the mojito flight at Sugarcane. I suspect that with the sheer amount of UBP on this cruise (and for the foreseeable future), Someone decided that additional tastings would be unnecessary. Personally, I find this shortsighted.

 

Bong ran out of tasting glasses at Sugarcane all the time so it's still a popular thing! The tasting "classes" (as per daily on any ship) are more fun than just a tray with 6 glasses. So actually no real tastings, just a menu item at Sugarcane.

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We also LOVED the food at Food Republic, and were disappointed to see the Rock Shrimp Pad Thai was sold out.... But get this - we went for lunch on the last day of the cruise, and miraculously it was available! I have no clue how it could have been sold out the entire cruise, then suddenly it wasn't, but that happened. :rolleyes: Oh, it was delicious, too, (like everything else we ate there.)

 

It was nice to have met you. Enjoy your next cruise!

 

 

Can't wait to taste the Pad Thai next week -- heard from several how good it was. I was told that they didn't have the "proper ingredients" for the sauce which was why it sold out, hmmmm.

 

Great to have met you also and hope we meet up again!

Tracy

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Oh, I just remembered two more things related to the spa:

 

1) Every day going to the spa, you have to basically run a gauntlet of 4-6 spa crew members trying to sell you services or daily specials. Namaste, namaste, namaste, namaste, namaste...super annoying.

 

2) In the what were they thinking department, the fitness center operates on both sides of the corridor leading to the spa entrance but without walls! The heavy scent of body odor permeates the hallway and is rather offensive.

 

Tracy

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Hi Tracy -

 

Thanks for the great review. Since I'm a smoker as well, I know the 5 O'clock Somewhere is smoking - do you know the other areas (as of your cruise)?

 

I decided to do the Haven Aft Suite (didn't like the balcony sizes of the suites in the Haven), so I'm trying to figure out the ship (usually I'm in the Haven).

 

Thanks!

 

Happy Cruising! :)

 

Heidi

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