Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
jojoey

Mother daughter ESCAPE (review) - March 11-18

Recommended Posts

My 17 year old daughter and I just got off the Escape yesterday after a truly amazing week. We are not adapting well to being home - I'm missing the mojitos, twice daily maid service, afternoon snacks, and so much more! Posts here were so helpful, and while this won't be as exciting as JW and Jerome's or the DougOut's reports, still thought I'd fill you in!

 

Our cruising background - my first cruise was on the Carnival Sensation for my honeymoon (with my now ex-husband) in 1995. We've done nine Disney cruises over the past five years, all 3-4 days, usually adding to a Disney World vacation. This is only our second NCL, our first was the Baltics in 2015. We were spoiled on this one, staying in the Star's garden villa.

 

We scored a direct flight (they don't happen often from here - it's a winter thing) to FLL, and got in at noon. Uber came in 5 minutes and we were off. And then 20 minutes later we were stopped. Traffic was insane. We had a crazy driver who knew his stuff, weaved like a race car driver, honked like mad and back tracked to change routes. Was really quite entertaining. At one point, my daughter started coughing and before I knew what was happening he had a water in her hands. We got to the hotel in about 50 minutes and the cost was about $43. I was expecting it to be much higher!

 

Miami

Hotel - The Hall South Beach, Collins Ave. Awesome. Great location, retro looking, nice pool and super fun courtyard, complete with ping pong, huge Jenga and other games in the outside bar area and small restaurant. Loved it! Room wasn't ready yet so we went for lunch at Taco Rico, which was so good. Beach is across the street, and hotel had reserved chairs and umbrellas. Room was fine. Internet didn't work but they didn't charge me the resort fees, so that was ok. Received coupons for two welcome cocktails, although I did have to ask for them at check in. Enjoyed them while playing ping pong - bartender made Nicole a nice non-alcoholic fruit punch. Hotel is a short walk to Lincoln Road, and a quick, $11 Uber ride to the Port. Would recommend and definitely stay there again.

 

Meals - As I mentioned above, highly recommend Taco Rico! Was packed at 1:30, they give you a basket of fresh chips and have a salsa bar. Daughter wanted to try the 11th Street Diner since it was featured on The Food Network - cool setting in a retro street car but not great food. Made us sad to "waste" one of our few Miami meals.

 

 

Paul on Lincoln- we were excited to see this spot as we had been to one in France, so we grabbed a lemon tart and some chocolate thing for desserts later in the room, which were yum!

 

 

Saturday morning we literally stumbled upon Rosetta's Italian Bakery on Collins Ave. OMG - go! We shared a prosciutto sandwich and a tomato mozza one and while they sound boring, both were so so good! A bit of shopping and then it was off to the ship! Woohoo! More to come tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello - how do I follow along? Sorry - newbie at threads. Going on the Escape soon & want to know everything!!!!!! :halo:

Thank you! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello - how do I follow along? Sorry - newbie at threads. Going on the Escape soon & want to know everything!!!!!! :halo:

Thank you! :D

 

Thank you so much for the great mention, and yes, we think you are doing just fine so far with your story! Our own Adventures will continue in just 5 days, so we are looking forward to reading up on your review until then!

Fondly,

JW and Jerome

JW and Jerome's Adventures, Cruiseguys2009

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello - how do I follow along? Sorry - newbie at threads. Going on the Escape soon & want to know everything!!!!!! :halo:

Thank you! :D

 

You can subscribe to a thread by going to the top of the page and selecting "Thread Tools" and then "Subscribe to this thread" from the drop down. On the next page, simply choose how you want to be updated, and you'll get an email with updates accordingly. Otherwise just come back and hit F5 every 30 minutes or so like I do. ;p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sailing on Escape in July and look forward to reading more about your cruise.

I love sailing with my dd-23.

 

Great start and looking forward to hearing about how/where you spent your evenings as well

as any gym information.

 

Thanks so much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following! I will be on the Escape in September for our honeymoon in a Haven Spa Suite. I look forward to your story!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Following! I will be on the Escape in September for our honeymoon in a Haven Spa Suite. I look forward to your story!

 

 

My 27th wedding anniversay is in September, 22nd to be exact. Congrats!

 

We sailed Spa Haven on Getaway about two weeks ago. Its the best of both worlds! Except for the evenings, we never left the spa or Haven lol

 

Enjoy!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JS - MidTexHorn has some info about the gym in his posting titled "Live on board Escape - random thoughts." Search the thread for the word "gym" or for the phrase "exercise class schedule."

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JS - MidTexHorn has some info about the gym in his posting titled "Live on board Escape - random thoughts." Search the thread for the word "gym" or for the phrase "exercise class schedule."

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

From one New Yorker to another, thanks so much!:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must say we’re still coming to terms with the fact that we’re no longer enjoying our little piece of paradise, constantly playing that “this time last week we were…” game! The fact that it’s cold, rainy, snow still on the ground and we’re back at work is not helping! Sooo, back to happy thoughts!

 

Our check-in time was 10:30 – 11. We arrived at the port around 11:30. A quick walk through security (daughter had to dump the water from her bottle), our longest wait was about 10 minutes to get our key cards. Quick and easy. We were told to go upstairs for our boarding number. As we’re walking upstairs, mindlessly following the people in front of us, I realize the place is empty and we’re walking on the ship. It was before noon and we were on the ship! Woohoo!

 

First stop Headliners to change a ressie. There was a sign on the door saying Vibe was sold out. No surprise as our sailing was sold out and it was noon. While it sounds like everything I live, not for me this trip and it was just dd and I. Easily changed our Bistro reservation. I asked about booking the Escape the Big Top, the new Escape room. Well, it’s very difficult explaining an ‘escape’ room while on the “Escape” ship without it simply sounding like a room on the Escape. So, they had no idea and sent us to the front desk. Same thing. So, after two failed attempts, what else to do?Cocktail time!

 

I took the sage advice of JW and Jerome and Doug (again, pattern forming here) and brought a stack of ones. Having put myself through school as a server, this was a no brainer to me, and I was so surprised by how few people did tip and how far it got us. DD’s card apparently entitled her to soda – not juice or fun stuff, soda. While it says we can get two drinks at a time on our Unlimited Beverage Plan (UBP), I saw several bartenders refusing to give people two different types of drinks. My point is with tips, my kid had her fill of amazing (booze-less) concoctions, often prettier than my drinks. We might both be suffering mild withdrawals now.

 

So, key card and ones in hand, it was off to the Atrium Bar.He was there in a flash, grabbed my card and money, threw my card back at me, never rang it in and winked, guessing meaning he saved me the taxes, which was sweet of him. Got my first of many mojitos, Nicole her first of many juice concoctions and we were off to Savor for lunch. This may have been one of the best meals. Now, the excitement, breakfast booze and all may have impacted, but the popcorn shrimp and Cajun grilled grouper were perfect! Nic had fried chicken which was good too.

 

Then it was off to explore but they announced our cabins were ready. We had 13884 – aft balcony which I chose because it looked like it was across from a wall. Well, it had an employee hallway right across from it –more on this later. Cabin was fine, exactly as expected from all the reviews.Smaller than DCL and I missed the split bathrooms, but we were totally fine. Didn’tsee our steward, so left him a note with a few requests (empty mini bar, ice, robes,more towels – pet peeve when they just leave 2!) and a tip. We always tip more at the end, so figured why not leave some at the start? He was fantastic throughout the trip, though I have no doubt that he would have been without that initial tip too. He was just lovely.

 

Then it was off to explore the ship! Honestly we were still getting turned around on the last day! It is truly amazing, huge, beautiful. And confusing. Or that could be the early day mojitos.

 

Dinner that night was at Cagney’s – we also had the dining package. Everything was so good except it was at 7 pm and I think we were still full from lunch! The jumbo shrimp cocktail and crab cake starters were great;both had filets, which were tender and perfectly cooked. Despite not being starving we had to have several sides and desserts, so we waddled out of there.

 

Popped into the duelling pianos for a while, then it was off to the kids club for dd and to the casino for me, convinced I was going to win big. I go to Vegas a few times a year and don’t usually play other places, but thought I’d try. Well, no jackpot for me. Shocking I know. I think I left up $40, which actually is shocking for me.

 

This was the perfect first day of our vacation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sailing on Escape in July and look forward to reading more about your cruise.

I love sailing with my dd-23.

 

Great start and looking forward to hearing about how/where you spent your evenings as well

as any gym information.

 

Thanks so much!

 

I wish I could say I had more gym info for you JS! But I did pack gym clothes, AND we did go look at it! We went mid afternoon and there were just a few people and tons of open treadmills and ellipticals and just a few people using weights. It looked great and I had every intention of using it, but my gym clothes were about the only thing that came home clean and ready to use!

 

I did see two free am classes (an abs one at 0730) and the rest had fees. Sorry I'm not much help on this one! How excited are you for July? We're thinking of re-doing it next March and I'm already excited!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wish I could say I had more gym info for you JS! But I did pack gym clothes, AND we did go look at it! We went mid afternoon and there were just a few people and tons of open treadmills and ellipticals and just a few people using weights. It looked great and I had every intention of using it, but my gym clothes were about the only thing that came home clean and ready to use!

 

I did see two free am classes (an abs one at 0730) and the rest had fees. Sorry I'm not much help on this one! How excited are you for July? We're thinking of re-doing it next March and I'm already excited!!

 

Thanks so much! Loving your review! Very excited about July. Don't think about booking next March, just do it! Why wait!

 

Looking forward to reading more. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great review - I'm in! Missing the Escape :-(. Loved the 13th floor - so convenient!

 

I'm glad to hear people liking the 13th floor. It's the highest level we've stayed on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great review - I'm in! Missing the Escape :-(. Loved the 13th floor - so convenient!

 

I'm glad to hear people liking the 13th floor. It's the highest level we've stayed on.

 

The 13th was perfect! Just a few flights up to the buffet and the pool decks and a few down to the pubs and restaurants. Super handy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next up - two sea days!

 

We weren't sure how we'd feel about two sea days at the start of our vacation. Well, it was perfect! Lots of time to explore, eat, rest and play! I was excited to try Taste/ Savor for breakie, but a sleepy teen took precedent and it was the buffet for us. I must say I was impressed overall with the buffet. It was great having it there as an option until late at night, and was often our go to for a quick snack. There was always lots to choose from and even if it was crowded, you could always get a seat. Mind you we were two, so it was easier to find a table. I was surprised that at times the food wasn't really hot, and I did notice that on DCL they are constantly (like, seriously, constantly) checking the temperatures of the buffet food, and I never saw them do that once here. Not a complaint, just an observation.

 

Since we were slow starting, deck chairs were scarce. Our go to spot became the upper deck near the basketball courts. There were always chairs, but it did get busier later in the week. And you do need to put up with the occasional smells from the smoke stack depending on the wind direction...

 

We went to the CC Meet and Greet, which was moved to the Brewhouse. Thank so much to Sophia for organizing! The move wasn't a big deal but we already were a few minutes late and of course it was at the opposite end of the ship, so we got there for the tail end of the speeches. You should really all go to yours - it's a great way to meet the crew, and these contacts are key if you need them! Plus, you do get treats, and who doesn't love treats?

 

I'd read some negative reviews about O'Sheehans and I have to say we quite enjoyed it! We stopped there a few times for a drink and a snack or a late lunch. Loved that we could sit overlooking the Atrium, and often played the trivia or just watched what was going on, like Deal or No Deal. Service was always quick too, and never a wait to be seated.

 

Also tried cha cha lessons that day (were a bust - because of us - Alex, the teacher was awesome), ping pong, Bingo - the callers were annoying, with comments how to be sure we tipped them when we won, which of course is even more annoying when we didn't win ;) and the super relaxing tube slides. Will say right now we never did the drop slides. Yet another reason to go back.

 

Ate at the Manhattan Room. Was told there was a 30 minute wait and to sit in the bar, well, at the 55 minute mark, and when everyone after us was seated, I (finally) went to check. She was most apologetic and sat us right away next to the band. Then, the Maitre D and person in charge of restaurants (?) or some title like that were at our table, apologizing, offering me wine. I had a full glass (and the UBP), but she said no, to pick from this list and she'd send a bottle to the room. Not necessary but very nice. And btw the wine was much better than the by the glass stuff I was drinking. Customer service is certainly their priority, and while I love Disney cruises, I must say NCL was far better. I couldn't be sure last cruise because we were in the Garden Villa, so I thought maybe it was due to that, but there is no doubt after this cruise!

 

DD went to the teen club in the evenings and they always had super fun activities for them. There was a Norwegian Party on at Vibe, so I checked it out. Well, it was crazy packed, and I do believe Marcos, the bartender was trying to kill me. Damn tips! At one point I heard someone ask for a "not too strong" drink and wondered why anyone would do that. Now I know!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following along. We are on the Escape April 29th sailing. My DH first cruise. My 5th. Love NCL. Hoping to have my bid accepted for the Haven!!! I've sailed Haven on two of my cruises. Might just have to surprise the DH. It is our 20th Anniv after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Following along. We are on the Escape April 29th sailing. My DH first cruise. My 5th. Love NCL. Hoping to have my bid accepted for the Haven!!! I've sailed Haven on two of my cruises. Might just have to surprise the DH. It is our 20th Anniv after all.

 

I so hope you get it! That would be a fantastic surprise! The Haven was sold out for our cruise over a year in advance - turns out a company commissioned a large part of the ship for its annual cruise. Several of us in our roll call bid, but none were lucky enough, but it was no surprise since they had the entire Haven boked. I've been reading so many lucky posts of successful bidders so fingers crossed for you. I'm definitely going to try for the next one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...