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JamieLogical

Random Escape Stuff - Not a Full Review

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6 hours ago, DebQ5 said:

Thanks so much for posting these pictures!  This was going to be the first time we tried La Cucina, but I honestly don't see anything appealing on that menu, other than some of the apps... might be looking to change our reservation!

I'm with you on that, nothing but the apps appeal to me. I might have to cancel my reservations, 😞

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I am so glad your dad was able to get meat done to his preferred temperature at Moderno.  Nice to know how well that worked since I like medium well, and we will be on the Escape next June.  Appreciate the info!

 

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Here are some random thoughts and observations that didn't fit into my narrative above:

 

Straws

They now have paper straws on the Escape. I was given one without asking on the first or second day at the Atrium bar in my Mr. Worldwide. It was exactly as tall as the glass, so not very useful. I was not a fan of the flavor the paper imparted to the drink. I never really use straws in drinks anyway, so I wasn't disappointed. The only time I did ask for a straw was at the Sugarcane Mojito bar and they didn't have any. Mojitos are the only drinks where I do miss having a straw, because you end up with a mouth full of mint leaves and lime pulp drinking directly from the glass. But I made due and still managed to drink several mojitos on the trip.

 

Drinks

Speaking of drinks, I observed that they now have several of the more popular complicated drinks pre-mixed at most bars. One of my favorite NCL drinks is the Mr. Worldwide and one of my partner's is the Pain Killer. Both are now served pre-mixed all over the ship. I didn't mind so much with the Mr. Worldwides. They still did add the sparkling wine after the fact. My partner didn't like the pre-mixed Pain Killers and stopped drinking them after the first one. I did get one fresh-mixed Mr. Worldwide at the bar in the Theater.

 

In general the drinks and bartenders were great. I enjoyed many screwdrivers, vodka sours, mojitos, jackhammers, dark & stormies, Mr. Worldwides, and white russians. The last night at the District Brew House, I tried ordering a white russian, but they don't stock milk, so they made me an "Irish Russian", which just use Bailey's in the place of milk and it was a total "why-didn't-I-think-of-that" moment. It was delicious and makes so much sense. Guess what I will be making myself at home from now on!

 

Music

Speaking of the District Brew House, the music selection was really weird there. When there was no live music, they were always playing classical piano over the PA system. Why? It didn't go with the "vibe" of the DBH at all. It was downright distracting.

 

Aside from the distractingly incongruous PA music, the live music throughout the bars/lounges was simply not good. I was on the Gem in June and all of the live music throughout the ship was fantastic. I remember thinking how much better it was than what I had heard on the Escape in February, and things have not improved since then. I am sure all of the performers are lovely people, so I don't like disparaging them, but it just wasn't good. We went to check out Orly in Tobacco Road for what was listed in the Daily as "Sweet & Dirty Blues"... he started off with playing Sting and then played some Jimmy Buffet-sounding song. How was that Blues?

 

Piano Manny at the DBH was kind of fun, but it mostly felt like a poor-man's solo Howl at the Moon. I don't see what the point of having such a similar, yet inferior act on board is. He is not the best singer and he doesn't know nearly as many songs. But he was very enthusiastic and tried to keep things fun, so there was that.

 

The Golden Octaves were sort of a Soul/R&B act. I think they might have been okay, but the two times I heard them were in the Atrium and on the Pool Deck. Both times I couldn't hear the vocals at all. At least not well enough to make out the words.

 

The only live performance I really enjoyed was The Soulmates who performed in the Manhattan Room on the last night of the cruise. They were a really perfect lounge-style act for the venue. I wouldn't say it's my kind of music, but it really fit the atmosphere and they did a very good job both with vocals and instrumentation. I was sorry I didn't catch them anywhere earlier in the trip.

 

Food

I already talked a lot about the specialty restaurants in earlier posts. We also ate at the MDRs several times and the buffet a few times. The MDR food was all great. I discovered an amazingly delicious scallop appetizer at the Manhattan Room on the last night. it was so good, I ordered a second one! Desserts were great everywhere, of course. The Tastes of Asia section on the buffet is definitely worth checking out if you like Indian food. Also, if you get a chance, try out the curly fries on the Late Night Snack bar! They really hit the spot when you need salt and grease after some late night drinking. I only managed to find them one night. The rest of the time were just the normal fries, which are still pretty good. The "questionable pizza" as we call it was still not great... but did manage to also help fill the salty/greasy need late night as well.

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That's all the dailies. Here is the District Brew House draft and bottle list. My partner was very excited when they added Victory Golden Monkey to the bottle list partway through the week. That's one of the beers he often drinks at home.

 

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Looked back through my photos and paperwork and that's everything I have. Hope you found some of the info useful. I'll be happy to answer any questions anyone has if I can.

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Jamie,

thanks for all your good info, sailing in less than 2 weeks so especially appreciated that info about the new app being available just downloaded it this morning.

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It's a shame you said that this isn't a review, because if it was, it would be one of the better ones I've seen recently!

 

I'm glad you guys enjoyed the Escape. We've sailed on her twice and loved her both times—something about the crew on that ship, just a great vibe from them. 

 

You definitely caught the cruising bug. My wife and I caught it on our honeymoon, and have gone on a cruise every year since. Now she's home with our daughter (who just turned 1, and loved her first cruise) for a few years, making our schedules much more flexible—so we're hoping to go for two cruises next year.

Edited by dcipjr

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Yes, thank you for all of your observations!

 

Did you happen to have any experience with the unlimited arcade package?

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1 minute ago, rwf1 said:

Yes, thank you for all of your observations!

 

Did you happen to have any experience with the unlimited arcade package?

 

 

We did! Can't believe I forgot to mention that. We used it to play a lot of darts and Mario Kart at O'Sheehan's. My partner was really disappointed it didn't include skee ball. He ended up just paying for many rounds of that. We also played some air hockey and spent a little time in the Arcade proper where I played a lot of Guitar Hero.

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I am really enjoying this.   Trying to get up for what to expect and plan for on the TA in Nov 2019.  Will see you there.

Thanks so much for this awesome detail !!!

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Excellent read....I have sailed with In-laws, I get why you were worried at times...it can add unneeded stress....good for you, you seemed to get over it...

 

I don’t get the the angst of some over the LaCucina menu, looks great to me.  But I like all kinds of food....makes life easier. 

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Great! Thanks!  I am planning to get it for our cruise and you make it sound worthwhile.  My husband will be really disappointed about the skeeball too.  He will just pay for it or do without.

 

Did you have to wait in line for games?  Our cruise is in June, so there will be more kids, but just wondered how busy the arcade/O'Sheehans might get.

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8 minutes ago, rwf1 said:

Great! Thanks!  I am planning to get it for our cruise and you make it sound worthwhile.  My husband will be really disappointed about the skeeball too.  He will just pay for it or do without.

 

Did you have to wait in line for games?  Our cruise is in June, so there will be more kids, but just wondered how busy the arcade/O'Sheehans might get.

 

There really weren't a ton of kids on our sailing, so no lines. There was one kid who waited in line for me to finish Guitar Hero, so I just went over and played some more basketball while he played. The arcade pass works for pool too at O'Sheehan's but we never got around to playing any.

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Greetings from another Rochester, NY cruise fan!  We took our first cruise in April/May 2018 (Gem: Bahamas) to do something special for our birthday milestones (ya know, ones ending in 0) and though we had never had any strong desire to cruise before, we were hooked during the planning process and even more so as soon as we sailed.  We are booked for the Escape to Bermuda sailing next June. Hoping that we can reduce the gaps between cruises in the future.

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences!  

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1 minute ago, DuckTollerFans said:

Greetings from another Rochester, NY cruise fan!  We took our first cruise in April/May 2018 (Gem: Bahamas) to do something special for our birthday milestones (ya know, ones ending in 0) and though we had never had any strong desire to cruise before, we were hooked during the planning process and even more so as soon as we sailed.  We are booked for the Escape to Bermuda sailing next June. Hoping that we can reduce the gaps between cruises in the future.

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences!  

That's right, DuckTollerFans.  We are on that cruise with you!

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JamieLogical, you are rapidly becoming one of my favorite posters!   Very well written posts and good additions to these boards.  Thanks for posting the new La Cucina menus.  Very helpful as our next cruise (on the Bliss!) just opened up for booking and it's likely that menu will be the same.

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28 minutes ago, Sand and Seas said:

JamieLogical, you are rapidly becoming one of my favorite posters!   Very well written posts and good additions to these boards. 

 

Aw, what a nice thing to say! I just like to help when I can and posting here gives me a chance to pass the time until my next cruise! In case I didn't mention it, I am now obsessed with cruising.... 😋

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What happened with your parents in the end? Did they have a good time? Do they want to cruise again? I know you mentioned that you cried at one point thinking that they were having a miserable time. I sometimes worry that my mom might get that way on a cruise - although I keep trying to get her and my dad to just give it a try.

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