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MaryBethV

Escape! Feb 10-17 Trip Report & Review

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You have a wonderful way with words. The pictures were breathtaking. Your tr has helped me with planning my own escape on the Escape. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.

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We will be going on our 7th Escape cruise next month and I still found new things to make notes about from your trip report.

Thanks so much for your very well written report and posting all the amazing pictures! We might have to set an alarm to see one of those sunrises one day;p

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The showers on the Getaway have the foot bar for shaving legs and it was very convenient. However we were on the Escape back in Sept 2017 and I brought a small folding step stool that I purchased from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for use in the shower to prop up my foot for leg shaving. Worked really well, but I was bummed that I had to make room in my suitcase for the stool. I've been meaning to e-mail NCL about their decision not to include this foot bar in the Escape bathrooms.
I was surprised at some of the changes they made to Escape that I don't think are for the better.

 

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The showers on the Getaway have the foot bar for shaving legs and it was very convenient. However we were on the Escape back in Sept 2017 and I brought a small folding step stool that I purchased from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for use in the shower to prop up my foot for leg shaving. Worked really well, but I was bummed that I had to make room in my suitcase for the stool. I've been meaning to e-mail NCL about their decision not to include this foot bar in the Escape bathrooms.

 

Our next cruise is on the Getaway - happy to hear they have the bar in the shower! So strange that they didn't include something simple like that on the newer Escape.

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Thank you for such a wonderful review. We are planning a family cruise 1/2019 with a 9 year old and 18 year old. Considering NCL vs Carnival, either of which would be new to us as a family. Hope you write a review of your family trip this spring!

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I was surprised at some of the changes they made to Escape that I don't think are for the better.

 

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Besides the lack of the foot bar, what other changes not for the better did you notice? I'm sure I noticed more too but can't remember just now.

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Besides the lack of the foot bar, what other changes not for the better did you notice? I'm sure I noticed more too but can't remember just now.
The biggest is how much more smoking areas there are compared to sister ship getaway. It was more than triple the size in H2O and what replaced the dance club is open to the casino so even though you can smoke in it the casino is just outside that you can. And a big portion of the waves bar. I wanted to go to the adult pool in port, but without the movement the smoke filtered down to the pool. (I have asthma and ended up on steroids when I got home because it was hard to avoid the smoke and socialize. It might not be as noticeable to others.)

 

Not sure if it was timing, but they had huge areas of the ropes course blocked out when I went on it - only one of four zips open and the entire second level was closed, but on Getaway nothing was closed off.

 

The studios lounge didn't have a bar - not a huge deal but a small bummer. (And I thought the storage for studios in getaway was slightly better.) But the buffet has a much nicer bar on Escape.

 

I still can't decide which waterfront/deck 8 I prefer. It was rowdy on Getaway where they could smoke, and I'm not sure if they could smoke on Escape as I didn't see it, and getaway had a larger bar area outside. Where it was more couches and chill on Escape. But the inside seemed more crowded less open floor plan, but it could be because the cigar bar was not an option for me and when I was in 5 o'clock somewhere it was crowded and just seemed too small.

 

I also couldn't decide what water feature I liked better in spice. The shade was nice on Escape, but then it got cold and the sun from getaway would have been nice.

 

Honestly, the smoking is the only thing that would make me hesitate booking escape again - but I doubt anyone would want to go on a cruise knowing you're likely to end up at the doctor when you get home!

 

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The biggest is how much more smoking areas there are compared to sister ship getaway. It was more than triple the size in H2O and what replaced the dance club is open to the casino so even though you can smoke in it the casino is just outside that you can. And a big portion of the waves bar. I wanted to go to the adult pool in port, but without the movement the smoke filtered down to the pool. (I have asthma and ended up on steroids when I got home because it was hard to avoid the smoke and socialize. It might not be as noticeable to others.)

 

Not sure if it was timing, but they had huge areas of the ropes course blocked out when I went on it - only one of four zips open and the entire second level was closed, but on Getaway nothing was closed off.

 

 

 

I still can't decide which waterfront/deck 8 I prefer. It was rowdy on Getaway where they could smoke, and I'm not sure if they could smoke on Escape as I didn't see it, and getaway had a larger bar area outside. Where it was more couches and chill on Escape. But the inside seemed more crowded less open floor plan, but it could be because the cigar bar was not an option for me and when I was in 5 o'clock somewhere it was crowded and just seemed too small.

 

Regarding the bits I highlighted in red: The smoke drifting from the casino was unpleasant, but we liked this venue quite a bit better than the Getaway dance club. Mainly because the dance club on the Getaway was like a dark cave and they did not enforce the rule "no drinks on the dance floor". Hence, we saw more than a few people dancing with drinks and spilling them, making for a potentially dangerous situation.

 

And, you are right about Deck 8 on the Getaway being more rowdy with larger outside bar area.

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question with details.

 

Our next cruise is this fall back on the Getaway again.

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Regarding the bits I highlighted in red: The smoke drifting from the casino was unpleasant, but we liked this venue quite a bit better than the Getaway dance club. Mainly because the dance club on the Getaway was like a dark cave and they did not enforce the rule "no drinks on the dance floor". Hence, we saw more than a few people dancing with drinks and spilling them, making for a potentially dangerous situation.

 

And, you are right about Deck 8 on the Getaway being more rowdy with larger outside bar area.

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question with details.

 

Our next cruise is this fall back on the Getaway again.

You're welcome. And I'll agree, I did like the openness of the skyline a lot better. But unfortunately my asthma is a cumulative effect, so especially on sea days when I spent a lot of time in spice by the time we moved to skyline I was past my smoke limit so any level would kill me where the closed off club was a respite.

 

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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. :rolleyes: 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!

 

Definitely give Food Republic another try if you ever go on Escape again. We absolutely loved it. We were on Escape in September 2017. I was not a fan of their cocktails, so I ordered wine by the glass instead. But the food.....it was innovative, flavorful, nicely presented......we just loved it. We went there several times. It seems, though, that maybe the menu has changed since I was on board. Nevertheless, I urge you not to write off Food Republic just yet. Give it another go.

Loving your review by the way. You have a great, witty writing style.

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Totally agree re: the smoke from the casino permeating....disgusting. We all hated it and avoided the 7th floor like the plague when we were on board. And I smoked for 34 years, and do not normally mind the smell (even like it sometimes 😀) but this smoke is like a concentrated ashtray smell. You know that smell when someone has smoked outside in the cold, and comes inside. Barf. I have head that the new ship, The Bliss, will not have this problem. Fingers crossed.

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Definitely give Food Republic another try if you ever go on Escape again. We absolutely loved it. We were on Escape in September 2017. I was not a fan of their cocktails, so I ordered wine by the glass instead. But the food.....it was innovative, flavorful, nicely presented......we just loved it. We went there several times. It seems, though, that maybe the menu has changed since I was on board. Nevertheless, I urge you not to write off Food Republic just yet. Give it another go.

Loving your review by the way. You have a great, witty writing style.

 

We will give it another try if we are on the Escape again (or the Bliss - I think I read that it will be on the Bliss?)!

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Totally agree re: the smoke from the casino permeating....disgusting. We all hated it and avoided the 7th floor like the plague when we were on board. And I smoked for 34 years, and do not normally mind the smell (even like it sometimes ) but this smoke is like a concentrated ashtray smell. You know that smell when someone has smoked outside in the cold, and comes inside. Barf. I have head that the new ship, The Bliss, will not have this problem. Fingers crossed.

 

Maybe we didn't have many smokers on our sailing??? I'm pretty sensitive to smoke and I could smell stale smoke when we walked directly through the casino to get to the other end of the ship. It was noticeable, but not overwhelming. We did consciously take other routes after that to avoid it. I didn't notice any smoke when in H2O on the port day when we were laying out on the same side of the ship as the bar. I also didn't notice any smoke - ever - on the waterfront on deck 8... which we were on daily. Clubs and pools weren't our thing, so it is possible that is where it was concentrated.

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Great review! We were on Escape over Christmas week, loved it. Going on Bliss for Panama Canal Cruise in May. They have a glass enclosed smoking area in Casino, hope it helps. We live in casino; skyline bar, spa, wine cellar and Haven areas. Loved the food, shows, supper club and mojitos and other drinks! Thanks for reliving our cruise through yours!

 

 

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Thanks for this fantastic review! I have the Escape booked for 2/3/19 and was going back and forth whether or not to keep it. You convinced me to keep it! 2 weeks on the Escape out of NYC. I'm getting excited and it's still 11 months away!

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Thanks for this fantastic review! I have the Escape booked for 2/3/19 and was going back and forth whether or not to keep it. You convinced me to keep it! 2 weeks on the Escape out of NYC. I'm getting excited and it's still 11 months away!

 

Two weeks! Jealous. :) Have a great time - you'll love it!

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Really enjoyed this review...thank you for all the details and photos! Sailing this August, so excited!

 

 

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Your review was fantastic and I literally LOL'd reading the part about the waiter bringing the cake to your room. Ha ha ha!

 

I will say I'm a little concerned with what the others are saying about all the smoking on board. I'm not a huge fan of the smell of cigarettes and really don't want something like that to put a damper on our vacay next month.

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Your review was fantastic and I literally LOL'd reading the part about the waiter bringing the cake to your room. Ha ha ha!

 

I will say I'm a little concerned with what the others are saying about all the smoking on board. I'm not a huge fan of the smell of cigarettes and really don't want something like that to put a damper on our vacay next month.

 

I was a bit apprehensive from all the reviews also... but, it certainly wasn't anything that even came close to putting a damper on our cruise. We smelled it when we made the mistake of walking all the way through the casino on deck 7. (If you like to be in the casino it will probably bother you.) From then on - we just walked through on deck 6 or deck 8. One other time we stopped at the Tobacco Road bar for drinks and we started walking towards a seating area near that little cigar/smoking room - and we could smell it then. We backtracked a few steps and sat on a couch more towards the edge of the bar - which was just fine. I didn't smell it at all at H2O or at all on the waterfront on deck 8. No one smoked on their balcony that we could SMELL - though there was some ash that mysteriously landed on our balcony one morning. That's it. I was surprised how much of a non-issue it was being that I am sensitive to it and my husband's nose is crazy sensitive. All that being said - maybe it was just the mix of passengers our week. Hope your week is the same!

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I was a bit apprehensive from all the reviews also... but, it certainly wasn't anything that even came close to putting a damper on our cruise. We smelled it when we made the mistake of walking all the way through the casino on deck 7. (If you like to be in the casino it will probably bother you.) From then on - we just walked through on deck 6 or deck 8. One other time we stopped at the Tobacco Road bar for drinks and we started walking towards a seating area near that little cigar/smoking room - and we could smell it then. We backtracked a few steps and sat on a couch more towards the edge of the bar - which was just fine. I didn't smell it at all at H2O or at all on the waterfront on deck 8. No one smoked on their balcony that we could SMELL - though there was some ash that mysteriously landed on our balcony one morning. That's it. I was surprised how much of a non-issue it was being that I am sensitive to it and my husband's nose is crazy sensitive. All that being said - maybe it was just the mix of passengers our week. Hope your week is the same!
I was on the same week and hug out mostly in H20 and it was smokey. My rescue inhaler got a workout and my Dr put me on steroids when I came back. So even on the same week there's varying opinions on if it was a lot or not!

 

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I was on the same week and hug out mostly in H20 and it was smokey. My rescue inhaler got a workout and my Dr put me on steroids when I came back. So even on the same week there's varying opinions on if it was a lot or not!

 

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Exactly! We were only in H2O one day. Maybe I have "don't smoke by me" stamped on my forehead or something. ;)

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Mary Beth,

Really loved your review and pictures. Thanks for posting. Do you have any more pictures or details of the Spa?

We are sailing the 14 night in January from NY and are in a spa balcony cabin.

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Again, good review....re smoking, not a smoker, just a live and let live kinda guy....sailing Escape 4/7...

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