Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Recommended Posts

Just got back from our trip on the Escape - NY to Florida and the Bahamas.  Here are my takeaways from the trip:

 

Embarkation was a breeze. We showed up at the peer around 1030 and had just enough time to find seats to plop our butts in before our boarding group was called.

 

The Escape is a beautiful ship!  We had a mini suite on the 10th floor.  Because we were taking advantage of the family sails free perk, our 2 teen girls were in our room with us.  One on the couch that they turned into a bed, and one on the pull down bunk.  I was a bit nervous about squeezing us all in one room, but space was never and issue.  However, for anyone that is sharing a room, note that deadbolting the door does not stop someone from entering the room with a card key ... my husband and I learned the hard way, and we may need to pay for our girls’ counseling when they are adults. 😉

C3B732C9-FBD6-44D1-9911-BCDCEF88C7E3.jpeg

7D8958B0-D7F1-4782-930A-27581649B71D.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We bought Spa passes before we got on the ship.  I did this after reading so many great reviews, and figuring we would have some cool sea days while cruising out of NYC this time of year.

 

The spa was beautiful.  The therapy pool was fabulous.  Lots of powerful jets to massage any kinks out of your body, and the water is wonderfully warm.

 

The other rooms felt more like a novelty ... we spent a few mins in the salt room and the snow room, but once we checked it out once we didn’t use them again.

 

The lounge chairs were hard to come by a few times we were there.  This was a disappointment. 

 

The locker room room was lack luster.  Our gym at home has a nicer locker room with nice lotions and soaps and amenities.   While this locker room did offer robes, twice the girls’ locker room was out of them.

 

All in all, I don’t think we will do the spa again.  We just didn’t use it enough to justify the cost.  And when we did use it, it was crowded.  Next time I think I’ll purchase massages, because I think that also gives you a pass to the spa before/after your massage. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During warm days, we spent time outside. We didn’t have too much trouble finding loungers in Spice 2 O.  And when we didn’t want to be in the sun, we spent time on the coaches on the Waterfront.

 

Much of our evening time was spent in The District.  My husband loves beer, so this was right up his alley.  I love live music, and JR the piano player did not disappoint.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Entertainment:

 

My husband participated in a few different games in the Atrium ... which is always good for a few laughs.

 

We also enjoyed Howl at The Moon a few different times, and even dragged our 2 teen girls who ended up enjoying the show as well. 

 

We went to the magician’s show ... and were pleasantly surprised by his show because we saw him on Worlds Best and weren’t impressed.  But his show on the ship was pretty darn good, and he was funny. Much funnier than the comedians we saw on the ship.

 

Unfortunatly the comedians weren’t all that great.  I wondered if it was due to the fact that we went to the early shows and there were a lot of young kids at those shows so the comedians had to keep it very G rated.

 

The highlight of the entertainment was Choir of Man.  That was a fantastic show!  If you want to ‘participate’ in the show sit on the aisle seats close to the stage. I’m hoping when they go on tour they come to a city near me because we will go to see them again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Food:

 

We did not have a good package, so much of our dining was in the MDRs.  Our kiddos had some meals in the buffet ... but I find that area annoying having to search for seats ... so we typically stick with the MDRs.  Had good food each time.  My husband was a little disappointed that the MDR menus did not have any upgrades which they had on the Getaway a few years ago.  On the Getaway he added lobster to his MDR meal a few times for an extra charge.  No options like that this time around.  My daughter was sad that we only saw the lava cake on the dessert menu one night.  But she made up for it by eating her weight in ice cream from the buffet 🙂

 

We did enjoy one dinner at Cagneys.  It was delicious! 

 

It was nice to have breakfast at 5 o’clock Somewhere during the warm sea day.  You can’t beat that view.

BFBAB500-B969-4308-894C-C25D15EDD4C0.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Jessieasanders said:

The other rooms felt more like a novelty ... we spent a few mins in the salt room and the snow room, but once we checked it out once we didn’t use them again.

 

 I agree; the pool and the quiet lounging area was the attraction.  The sauna and steam room seemed to have some activity, but virtually everything else seemed empty whenever I looked in.  The snow room was interesting, but it felt more like a nicely decorated freezer with a thin layer of compacted snow.  I didn't really enjoy the odor in the salt room.

 

46 minutes ago, Jessieasanders said:

The lounge chairs were hard to come by a few times we were there.  This was a disappointment. 

 

Do you mean the heated loungers?  Those were definitely at a premium!  Regular loungers seemed available all the time, though you might not get the location you want or be able to sit together if you had a group.

 

41 minutes ago, Jessieasanders said:

Much of our evening time was spent in The District.  My husband loves beer, so this was right up his alley.  I love live music, and JR the piano player did not disappoint.

 

We had many fun afternoons/evenings with JR in The District!

 

31 minutes ago, Jessieasanders said:

Unfortunatly the comedians weren’t all that great.  I wondered if it was due to the fact that we went to the early shows and there were a lot of young kids at those shows so the comedians had to keep it very G rated.

 

That's unfortunate.  Definitely noticed variations among the comedians on our cruise, but I felt they ranged from average to very good.  

 

32 minutes ago, Jessieasanders said:

The highlight of the entertainment was Choir of Man.  That was a fantastic show!

 

Liking COM may be the only thing CC board members don't argue about ;).

 

Thanks for the review.  Sounds like you had a great trip and brought back some fun memories!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excursions:

 

We bought all our excursions through NCL.  

 

Bought the the bus pass to Cocoa Beach for our Florida stop.  I was hoping that it would drop us closer to the peer, but it drops you at the shopping area that includes Ron Jons.  We rented chairs and a boogie board and spent a few hours down in the sand. The weather wasn’t fantastic, but we enjoyed ourselves none the less. Next time we will probably just take a taxi down to the peer area.

 

The next day we made it to GSC!  We had an early tender time because we had bought the swimming with sting ray excursion, so tendering was a breeze and felt very organized.  We rented a clam shell as soon as we got on the island because I had gotten a little too much sun in Florida and needed the shade.  We were happy that we snagged a clam shell when we did because when we got back from our excursion we overheard an employee telling someone that there were no more clamshells available.   Our 2 teen girls found loungers right next to our clamshell. We all had lunch from the taco stand where the line was super short.  The tacos were pretty good too! 

 

We did the swimming with the stingrays while at GSC.  Took a short boat ride to the area that had a small dock and an area fenced off in the after for the sting rays. We spent about an hour in the water.  The sting ray ‘handlers’ were fantastic!  They seemed to really enjoy their jobs, and loved the animals.  The one handler was able to identify the sting rays in the water and told a us their history and names.  He was beyond fantastic and earned his tip.  We each held a stingray and they took pictures for free download from their website.  We also were given the opportunity to feed the stingrays.  This was a fantastic excursion that I would highly recommend.

 

Our final excursion was to Blue Lagoon while we were in Nassau.  Mixed reviews on this one.  We met outside the ship at the designated time and then stood in line for over an hour before being led to a boat.  The line turned into a mob trying to get on the boats.  It was very unorganized.  When we were finally let on a boat we quickly realized that there were no available seats so we had to stand for the ride.  Just didn’t seem all that safe, but we did finally get to Blue Lagoon.  The location is absolutely beautiful!  We had to go searching for loungers but eventually found some.  We also had upgraded our excursion to include the Segway tour of the island.  This was a lot of fun, and showed us pieces of the island that otherwise we would have not seen.  The island itself was fantastic.  But when we were ready to leave, it took another hour of waiting in line for a boat.  Not sure we would do Blue Lagoon again purely for the fact that we had spent over 2 hours waiting in lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, AL3XCruise said:

 

Do you mean the heated loungers?  Those were definitely at a premium!  Regular loungers seemed available all the time, though you might not get the location you want or be able to sit together if you had a group.

 

 We were just looking for 2 regular loungers together.  I recognized that we were going at busy times (cold sea days), but it was still disappointing to have to wait for a lounger to open up.  I did use one of the heated loungers once .. and found it relaxing.  But after that first night, I didn’t attempt to find a heated lounger because we had such trouble finding two regular loungers next to one another.

 

I do want to say that this really didn’t ruin our spa experience, we still enjoyed the pool ... it just didn’t add to the positive side when we decide if we will do the spa passes again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Service on the ship:

 

We had great service from everyone we came in contact with.  

 

Our room steward found extra blankets for our girls and found a mattress topper for the couch so it was a bit more comfortable for my daughter.  He gave us extra towels, and was very quick to exchange any wet towel we had.  

 

The wait staff were all very attentive and accommodated all the request our teens had with swapping out sides for the entrees and adding extra appetizers as the meal.

 

The bar staff at the district was fabulous.  My husband found a chair at the bar and got to know each of the guys behind the bar pretty quickly.

 

I did witness a few altercations between staff and guests... but found that each time the guest was being rude from the start.  Unfortunately it seems that some guests act very entitled once they walk on the ship and they lose all manners when speaking to employees.

 

We ended up tipping some of our favorites at the end of the cruise and filled out the hero cards for them as well.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, AL3XCruise said:

The snow room was interesting, but it felt more like a nicely decorated freezer with a thin layer of compacted snow. 

 

It's too bad you and OP didn't know what the snow room was for. They really should have instructions. 

 

In Norway, it's popular to step out of the sauna and either jump in the freezing water or walk outside in the snow. Just for a short time. Then back in to the sauna. 

 

So you basically get nice at hot in the sauna then go to the snow room just for a couple of minutes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, BNBR said:

It's too bad you and OP didn't know what the snow room was for. They really should have instructions. 

 

In Norway, it's popular to step out of the sauna and either jump in the freezing water or walk outside in the snow. Just for a short time. Then back in to the sauna. 

 

Just sharing my impressions, there is no need to assume we are ignorant.  I'm well aware of the intended use, but it didn't do anything for me.  The fact is I didn't have a use for it, and judging by how few people ever entered, not many others did either.  That doesn't mean people won't appreciate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Jessieasanders said:

 

Our final excursion was to Blue Lagoon while we were in Nassau.  Mixed reviews on this one.  We met outside the ship at the designated time and then stood in line for over an hour before being led to a boat.  The line turned into a mob trying to get on the boats.  It was very unorganized.  When we were finally let on a boat we quickly realized that there were no available seats so we had to stand for the ride.  Just didn’t seem all that safe, but we did finally get to Blue Lagoon.  The location is absolutely beautiful!  We had to go searching for loungers but eventually found some.  We also had upgraded our excursion to include the Segway tour of the island.  This was a lot of fun, and showed us pieces of the island that otherwise we would have not seen.  The island itself was fantastic.  But when we were ready to leave, it took another hour of waiting in line for a boat.  Not sure we would do Blue Lagoon again purely for the fact that we had spent over 2 hours waiting in lines.

 

I was on your cruise and went to Blue Lagoon as well.  I totally agree: it was a MADHOUSE getting to the island.  And then super crowded when we were there.  It may have been because there were 5 ships (including 3 very large ones) in port (3 Carnival ships + Escape + Harmony of the Seas).  But while my kids and I loved the dolphin encounter we did at Blue Lagoon, getting there felt SO much like an enormous cattle call!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AL3XCruise said:

 

Just sharing my impressions, there is no need to assume we are ignorant.  I'm well aware of the intended use, but it didn't do anything for me.  The fact is I didn't have a use for it, and judging by how few people ever entered, not many others did either.  That doesn't mean people won't appreciate it.

I did not have the same feeling a few weeks prior.  I loved the snow room and found it to be heavily used.  The salt room for me did nothing but it seemed to be in use a lot.  We also did not have much issue finding loungers but the heated loungers were pretty heavily used as well.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Paphillyguy said:

I did not have the same feeling a few weeks prior.  I loved the snow room and found it to be heavily used.  The salt room for me did nothing but it seemed to be in use a lot.  We also did not have much issue finding loungers but the heated loungers were pretty heavily used as well.  

 

This is the experience I had as well. Snow room got plenty of use. The salt room was more of a gimmick. Heated loungers could sometimes be challenging to get but the regular loungers were widely available at all times. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Paphillyguy said:

I loved the snow room and found it to be heavily used.  The salt room for me did nothing but it seemed to be in use a lot

 

6 minutes ago, BNBR said:

This is the experience I had as well. Snow room got plenty of use.

 

I can only report my personal preferences and observations from a few hours a day on a single cruise.  If people are enjoying the snow room, that is great.  I just didn't appreciate the implication I was wrong because I "didn't know" how to use it; I'm glad others find it useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, AL3XCruise said:

 

 

I can only report my personal preferences and observations from a few hours a day on a single cruise.  If people are enjoying the snow room, that is great.  I just didn't appreciate the implication I was wrong because I "didn't know" how to use it; I'm glad others find it useful.

 

I did not say anything about you not knowing how to best use the snow room.  Just stating my observations from trip.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Paphillyguy said:

I did not say anything about you not knowing how to best use the snow room.  Just stating my observations from trip.  

 

No worries, that was in reference to the other post I quoted.  Sorry if it was confusing, and glad you enjoyed the snow room!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/1/2019 at 10:55 PM, Jessieasanders said:

Food:

 

We did not have a good package, so much of our dining was in the MDRs.  Our kiddos had some meals in the buffet ... but I find that area annoying having to search for seats ... so we typically stick with the MDRs.  Had good food each time.  My husband was a little disappointed that the MDR menus did not have any upgrades which they had on the Getaway a few years ago.  On the Getaway he added lobster to his MDR meal a few times for an extra charge.  No options like that this time around.  My daughter was sad that we only saw the lava cake on the dessert menu one night.  But she made up for it by eating her weight in ice cream from the buffet 🙂

 

We did enjoy one dinner at Cagneys.  It was delicious! 

 

It was nice to have breakfast at 5 o’clock Somewhere during the warm sea day.  You can’t beat that view.

BFBAB500-B969-4308-894C-C25D15EDD4C0.jpeg

 

 

Is there a full breakfast buffet offered at Five O'clock Somewhere?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/2/2019 at 12:10 AM, Jessieasanders said:

Service on the ship:

 

We had great service from everyone we came in contact with.  

 

Our room steward found extra blankets for our girls and found a mattress topper for the couch so it was a bit more comfortable for my daughter.  He gave us extra towels, and was very quick to exchange any wet towel we had.  

 

The wait staff were all very attentive and accommodated all the request our teens had with swapping out sides for the entrees and adding extra appetizers as the meal.

 

The bar staff at the district was fabulous.  My husband found a chair at the bar and got to know each of the guys behind the bar pretty quickly.

 

I did witness a few altercations between staff and guests... but found that each time the guest was being rude from the start.  Unfortunately it seems that some guests act very entitled once they walk on the ship and they lose all manners when speaking to employees.

 

We ended up tipping some of our favorites at the end of the cruise and filled out the hero cards for them as well.

 

 

Yes we have seen guests very rude to the employees or you read guests saying the employees weren’t smiling, etc. it is how you treat the employees to. They work very hard to make your vacation enjoyable. We always say good morning to them, how is your day going, etc and have never had an issue with the employees

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We found that the excellent service on the ship started from the top and all the way down through the crew. There were multiple instances on the cruise where the Hotel Director (Deepak) and Assistant Hotel Director (Nomita) stopped to check on our cruise experience multiple times,,,, just stopping and asking in the hall. 

 

SUPER SERVICE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely agree, Depak made me feel like a rockstar.  Everyone on the ship made me feel welcomed and appreciated.  Such great customer service!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your observations.  Enjoyed your comments!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎4‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 10:55 PM, Jessieasanders said:

Food:

 

We did not have a good package, so much of our dining was in the MDRs.  Our kiddos had some meals in the buffet ... but I find that area annoying having to search for seats ... so we typically stick with the MDRs.  Had good food each time.  My husband was a little disappointed that the MDR menus did not have any upgrades which they had on the Getaway a few years ago.  On the Getaway he added lobster to his MDR meal a few times for an extra charge.  No options like that this time around.  My daughter was sad that we only saw the lava cake on the dessert menu one night.  But she made up for it by eating her weight in ice cream from the buffet 🙂

 

We did enjoy one dinner at Cagneys.  It was delicious! 

 

It was nice to have breakfast at 5 o’clock Somewhere during the warm sea day.  You can’t beat that view.

BFBAB500-B969-4308-894C-C25D15EDD4C0.jpeg

I'm just starting to learn about the Escape.  Is the 5O'clock somewhere bar a free location for breakfast?  Do they have a buffet, or did you just take your food from the buffet there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, alwalaska said:

I'm just starting to learn about the Escape.  Is the 5O'clock somewhere bar a free location for breakfast?  Do they have a buffet, or did you just take your food from the buffet there?

 

It's actually Margaritaville on Deck 17, not the 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar (that's on Deck 8 ). There is sort of a mini breakfast buffet set up in Margaritaville at Breakfast. It is complimentary and doesn't have quite the selection that the Garden Cafe has, but it is much less crowded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:

 

It's actually Margaritaville on Deck 17, not the 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar (that's on Deck 8 ). There is sort of a mini breakfast buffet set up in Margaritaville at Breakfast. It is complimentary and doesn't have quite the selection that the Garden Cafe has, but it is much less crowded.

Thank you!  I see it now on the Dailies someone posted.  It says weather permitting, so I'm guessing we will be limited to going there on our nicer days. Baltic in October is going to be cold I'm guessing. 🙂

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...