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NCL Escape Review - 1 Month Later

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It's been 1 month since going on a NCL Escape cruise with my family, and even though we tried to make the best of it, we're still bothered about how it all panned out, as well as NCL's obvious cuts and rollbacks over the course of the last 5+ years. So I felt the need to post this review here to help other cruisers make up their own mind. I hope this lengthy review helps you out, because it sure could've helped us out before booking! TL;DR Just read Intro and Conclusion to get the gist. 

 

INTRO: To start, we were a group of 6 aged 30-45 with 2 seniors over 65 but still physically capable, all sailing May 19-26, 2019. We’ve also sailed on other cruiselines to compare (RCI, Princess, Holland America). The 2 seniors were celebrating their 50th anniversary. We're pretty casual and sensible people, but we sure know quality when we see it.

 

While the NCL Escape wasn’t a horrible cruise, it was disappointing in too many areas that it really has left us just vexed and irked. It’s almost a completely different cruiseline compared to a few years ago, and not in a good way. They don’t offer a good enough product for the NYC area, with nothing premium that is not in The Haven (the ship’s suite facilities). The ship’s biggest flaw was not being able to fit the passenger capacity in the facilities onboard due to them being too small or an afterthought.

 

EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Embarkation was congested yet semi-organized, which took about ~1hr from the entering the marina to getting on the ship. Many hurdles to jump through, and towing luggage while doing it isn’t too fun and I can’t imagine doing this regularly/monthly.

 

Disembarkation was initially a disaster since the ship docked many hours earlier than expected, and some rocket scientist in charge thought it was a good idea to call our tag color 1hr before it should have. You should have seen the madness that was the buffet and elevators by then (8AM). Absolutely NUTS. And the staff was no longer as pleasant, but go figure special thanks to rocket scientist. Then once we managed to squeeze into an elevator, it was ~20min total time off the ship and passing customs. 

 

The $40/day pier parking was totally worth the convenience, and we could have gotten a potentially much cheaper shuttle arrangement had we researched in advance.

 

DEMOGRAPHIC: Basically the Carnival cruise kind of crowd. Passengers were mainly 30-60 yrs of the blue-collar-with-tattoos who looove to drink and consider the burgers and pizza to be gourmet, and there were some kids running around, making scenes and spreading germs via poor hygiene. But most passengers were respectful and we all treated each other as such. 

 

SHIP: Bigger isn’t necessarily better, and this ship’s a clear example. Aside from being a big & beautiful ship and all that, it’s packed to the gills with passengers like a sardine can. There simply aren’t enough pools & hot tubs for everyone. It’s hard to find a seat in the buffet most of the time. You have to hunt down lounge chairs often and early to get the location you prefer. I could go on.

 

The ship also seemed to be cheaply assembled since it constantly creaked and rocked from the slightest choppiness at sea, and how the walls didn't seem well insulated or secured as evident by the constant creaking in the stateroom and several facilities. I’ve felt less rocking in smaller ships, on WORSE waters. The strangest thing was that the engine’s vibrating was felt all the way up to the 10th+ floor, with sometimes jolts of vibrations that would dissipate randomly. Why? How? Imagine having to sleep with that….NOT fun!

 

CABIN: Our cabin was a mid-ship balcony, 9280, smack-dab next to the elevators. The elevators weren’t a noise issue because they were partitioned from them, but the cabin walls were thin enough to hear a cough from the neighbors or flip flops in the hallway. Especially door slams and toilet flushes, what a drag. The bathroom was OK in size, but the toilet paper roller is installed in a hidden place which doesn’t make sense. Also, 9280 had the bed closest to the balcony rather than the sofa (as some balconies do), which while it’s nice for couples, it didn’t work out at all when having guests over. The dark wood and the sofa material were terrible design choices, because the material cheapened & the color visually confined the cabin. 

 

SERVICE: The crew overall helped to create a positive cruise experience, and for the most part the staff is pleasant.

 

Our housekeeper Edwin was the rudest, laziest housekeeper we’ve ever met. Not to go into much detail, he was in a bad mood no matter what, constantly neglected to refill or clean certain things, hung up on our call requests to fix them, ignored us when we ran into him and said hello, and rushed us out of our cabin whenever he felt like making up our room. Sure, he had 16 rooms to clean, but frankly that wasn’t our problem since we were on vacation. 

 

We had to beg him to arrange an anniversary surprise for the senior couple traveling with us. He didn’t even provide the “anniversary cake” card they were promised, so we had to get it at guest services.

 

Other than folks like Edwin, the crew was overall friendly and hardworking however lacked refinement or training when it came to good service (eg MDR). Most are no longer willing to go above and beyond. Most are no longer eager to please. Those small details that make a vacation special were missing. 

 

The absence made sense when we saw staff being rotated around the ship instead of focusing on one area (eg one day Richard’s in the MDR, the next he’s in the buffet). The MDR was understaffed, lacking hands to manage several tables. The whole experience were even less special as a result of lacking food, service and timeliness. Other passengers complained of similar service issues in the specialty dining restaurants. Why pay more for the same experience?

 

The anniversary surprise resulted in a quarrel between the staff of who were or weren’t in the mood to sing for the couple. On their 50th? A crying shame...

 

DINING: The food aboard was overall acceptable, however was cut back a good amount since we sailed with NCL in 2015. It’s obvious that the cruiseline decided to go with a cheaper & lower-end selection of meals, even in specialty dining. It seems even Carnival (from what I've noticed) has more gourmet dining options now.

 

The Garden Café (buffet), while ideal for quick & no-frills meals, was limited or unimaginative when it came to selection and quality of food options. Where was the salmon, gourmet cheeses, array of cured meats, unique ingredients/foods/proteins or fine pastries? Because 80%+ of the time we couldn’t find them. 

 

Buffet breakfast was disappointing, with the same boring assortment every single day: continental/American usual choices, an embarrassing European selection, and congee. The buffet offered cuisine themes, but 1) themed ethnic dishes were NOT authentically prepared (not even the Mexican or Italian dishes! Really?? and the Pho station was underwhelming), and 2) just the dinner themes were advertised while nobody knew what themes were going on for lunch. The pizza would upset ANY native NYC’er since it was essentially tomato sauce & cheese on a bland and greasy insult to pizza crust. Buffet desserts were mostly boring and repetitive, including the crepe station. There were always 1-2 no-sugar-added options (eg vanilla ice cream; strawberry mousse), but again, VERY boring and repetitive. The executive chef (an Indian man whose name I forgot) did nail down not seasoning the dishes too much/little, much like on RCI. He especially excels at Indian buffet dishes, but as much as I enjoyed the fish curry or chicken korma, I had to skip it often due to being too heavy/spicy, (and most of the passengers apparently did the same).

 

O’Sheehan’s was a pub-style free dining option, with decent wings and other bar snacks of varying quality. The whole place kind of felt like an afterthought, like “yeah, welcome, what do you want, are you done yet?”. The atrium right next to it was deafening loud a lot of the times where you just couldn’t hear each other at the table. Most things we tried on the menu were overall good, not great. The service, just meh. The desserts were disappointing, including me not finishing the brownie cheesecake -- something I NEVER did on a NCL cruise in 2015. It didn’t even TASTE like cheesecake or brownie. What happened? Oh that’s right, quality cuts the company hoped their passengers wouldn’t notice...

 

The MDR menu selections were reduced a good amount, and lacked gourmet touches when it came to the ingredient quality and cooking technique. No special sauces, no complex flavors, barely/no textural components, no unique proteins/fish/etc, no Lobster night, and no prime rib or salmon every night like before. 

 

The MDR for breakfast and lunch was a COMPLETE afterthought in both food and service, glacial in pace (avg meal there was 1-1.5 hrs), and had a noisy ambiance forcing you to yell across the table just to hear each other (see sardine can notes above). 75% of everything we saw was just repeating classic fare available every day and night. MDR dinner was barely considered a memorable event due to scaling back the quality & presentation so much (not to mention the service lacking), so MDR meals never felt special like before.

 

We’re not picky eaters at the end of the day, even though this review may give the opposite impression. But most food options were seriously lacking that gourmet touch we expect when cruising (especially compared to the past); instead they just came off as upper-casual at best, or ideal for hangover recovery. 

 

ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment is all over the place from poor (eg After Midnight) to pretty good (eg Choir of Man). All the outdoor parties were underwhelming (deafening?), with the oldest of the age range doing most of the interacting/dancing while most of the youngest were just standing around and drinking. The comedy-magician guy was alright. Howl at the Moon was actually pretty good. The dance-off competition was funnier than the non-magic comedian. Again, all over the place.

 

SHIP AREAS, ACTIVITIES, ETC: There were 2 shuffle board courts, a ropes course, water slides, 2 tiny pools, a kid-zone, a mini-golf course, and some other small things.

 

The pools were empty most of the time, with people all around the perimeter dipping their feet. Why? Because a) the pools are too deep to touch the bottom, and b) they’re too cold to enjoy most of the time. At least they were salt water.

 

The ropes course & mini golf were nice but forgettable, and could have been removed to make (desperately needed) space for more pools & hot tubs. 

 

The running track on deck 17 is obviously an afterthought. It didn’t have a dedicated pathway and is actually a hazard for both the runners and non-runners. Who wants to run while dodging puddles, loungers and second-hand smoke?

 

The Waterfront on deck 8 was the ship’s saving grace for adults wanting R&R outside their stateroom. You can only walk on it due to dividers. It has plenty of chaises and lounge chairs to enjoy actual peace and quiet (something very rare on this ship).

 

The muster drill is a congested joke to get up the elevators, so we just waited it out in the Waterfront (deck 😎 until the crowds cleared. 

 

Deck 18 is a nice place to get some sun and relax, and there’s usually plenty of loungers available. There’s 2 hot tubs up there, outside of the Vibe Beach Club entrance. But the problem is that a) it oftentimes is too windy to enjoy, and b) not enough hot tubs for the deck’s capacity, so they were always crowded.

 

Spice H2O area is nice and adults only, but all the loungers are taken unless you snag one before 10am. Again, not enough space. The (scarce) umbrellas are almost always closed unless there’s barely any breeze, so hope you like tanning. Not enough hot tubs, and the waterfall just takes up wasted space.

 

I mean, I could see the need to go black-Friday-doorbusters for the 1st-come-1st-serve Vibe passes at guest services upon embarkation (~$100 each IIRC), to get guaranteed access to umbrellas and hot tub. But because it’s deck 18, it’s oftentimes too windy to enjoy whenever.

 

Enrichment activities were available, but many weren’t for pure knowledge and just ended up with upselling something you didn’t need. 

 

All other adult activities besides the gym, buffet, Waterfront & pools/tubs were basically fee applied.

 

Nobody other than a handful of people at most wanted to see late night movies in the Atrium, much less popular compared to other cruiselines. So giant heaps of pre-bagged popcorn went to the trash each night. So if you like popcorn...!

 

The gym was decent size for after 1st sea day when it cleared out, with plenty of treadmills, ellipticals, weight machines, etc as well as a cycle & yoga/dance room.

 

The gift shop had some good items, clothing and jewelry for sale, and at decent prices during their flash sale events. Honestly, not all of it looked like chintzy Made in China stuff like I assumed.

 

BERMUDA: Our 1st time visiting and we look forward to going back! We thoroughly enjoyed having a port of call for more than a day so we could explore it at our leisure. We did the mini-bus shore excursion which was a great way to see the island, but the experience is mostly all about the driver’s knowledge & proficiency (and we got a bad one). The Gibbs Hill Lighthouse area was probably my favorite part of the island. A view up there so nice that the Queen approved of it. The free ferry going from the dockyard to St. George (complete opposite side of the island) is nice if you go early to explore the area. We passed by Horseshoe Bay, and it’s $14 pp round-trip, but it appeared underwhelming with not-so-pink sand like we kept hearing.

 

CONCLUSION: NCL Escape has so much room for improvement that there are some key areas that cannot be improved or fixed. Don’t get me wrong, the crew is overall pleasant and there’s activities here and there, but NCL needs to bring back the quality in dining, comfort and service. There’s not enough space in several ship areas, and NCL clearly knew this when designing the ship. They cram the passengers like a can of sardines in order to maximize profits. It’s kind of like the airlines: if nobody complains, they keep cutting in quality and amenities. They act like a premium cruiseline by offering The Haven and specialty whatevers, but what about everyone else? NCL’s missing the big picture when it comes to what makes a cruise special, because they’re so transfixed on dumbing down everything to become mainstream or casual. It essentially feels much like a giant ferry to provide room & board and some distractions while getting the masses to their port destination. And last but not least, the Dining & Entertainment experience has dropped to a new low, which is unacceptable. Based on how the cruiseline trends are going, we’re basically left with no choice but to resort to the more premium lines (Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, etc) to ensure we get the quality and service we pay for. No more NCL for us, which is too bad!

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Posted (edited)

Wow.  I loved my trip on the Escape in January from New York to the Caribbean.  I think we were on two different ships.  Most of the passengers I met (I was solo in a studio cabin) were experienced world travelers. 

Edited by FLAHAM

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20 minutes ago, FLAHAM said:

Wow.  I loved my trip on the Escape in January from New York to the Caribbean.  I think we were on two different ships.  Most of the passengers I met (I was solo in a studio cabin) were experienced world travelers. 

Was that a 12 or 14 day? Completely different demographic of people on that cruise

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Yeah my trip on the Escape last July to Bermuda was terrific.

Is the pool area too small? Yeah it is.

But most of your complaints are a little over the top for me.

Choir of Man was maybe the best show I've ever seen on a cruise ship.

Howl at the Moon was sooooo much fun.

My cabin steward did everything we wanted. We had a few requests the first day and he accommodated us the entire 7 days.

The food was fine and just like most other cruises we've been on. Ranging from decent to very good. 

O'sheehans was ok. Nothing special but a good place to get a little breakfast,lunch or snack.

Buffet was ok too. And we always could get a table. 

Embarkation and disembarkation was great. No issues at all.

And the area outside of vibe is deck 19 and that was our spot on almost every sea day. Quiet with plenty of loungers and never had an issue with hot tubs. With a bar and a misting machine it was the place to be. And it's a 60 second walk to the pool.

And just to be clear, we were not in the haven.

I'm sorry your trip was so bad for you. It almost sounds like you were in the bizarro world.

Better luck next time.

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Loved our cruise on the Escape last year and can't wait to go again in August.  Sorry you didn't enjoy

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for your review. Some valid points...

1. Escape is too big for the ancient Manhattan cruise terminal. It's been an issue for a while. You either have to line up super early to be first off or stay back and relax onboard to the bitter end.

2. Passenger demographic. This is beyond NCL control. I try not to allow someone else to drive my level of enjoyment of the cruise.

3. Food - very subjective. We have found the food in MDR and buffet to be acceptable. They are cooking for the masses. On the bigger ships, the selections are varied. For breakfast multiple breads, fruit, hot and cold cereals, pancakes, waffles, scrambled/hard boiled eggs, cooked to order eggs/ omellettes, bacon, sausage, ham, etc. Yes, it is the same every day, but the selection is huge. I do notice, some ships have some more exotic selections....imported cheeses, dates, walnuts, and some don't. I don't know what determined this.

4. Waterfront - yes, a true win for NCL. Usually peaceful, comfortable, and quiet.

5.yes agree onboard events are limited. Seems to be trivia, game shows, and upsell seminars. NCL could benefit from more enrichment lectures, especially on their more exotic cruises. Their Caribbean onboard program is the same as their British isles program. Even their drink of the day are the same. Somehow, a tropical rebellious fish doesn't taste the same when you are cruising into Dublin, Ireland 

6. Yes, we've found stateroom service to be hit or miss. Some very friendly and solid cleaning. Others not so much and just going through the motions. 

7. Yes, you have to decide how your vacation dollar is best spent. We do cruise NCL, but always book at the very last minute when they dump cabins for $299 per person. Their offering is worth it to us at that price point. We'd never pay some of the prices they try to charge, though.

Edited by blcruising

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Sounds like a bummer. I'm looking forward to my Escape cruise in July, but then again, I'm part of the Carnival crowd so...😆

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I just got off the Escape for the 4th time two weeks ago. I am so sorry that you had a disappointing experience on board. It's my favorite ship of the three I've sailed on so far. Thus why I keep coming back. On my sailing two weeks ago, I found the food to be quite good. I especially love Pincho (one of the reasons the Escape is my favorite ship). Choir of Man and Howl at the Moon are fantastic. Surprised to see you say they were "pretty good".

 

The staff on the Escape are always the cheeriest and most helpful. I love them to death. This time I had an adoptive sister among the crew. My parents (who decided to sail with us 6 days prior to sailing) adopted her and introduced me to her on the second day of the cruise. After that, every time I saw her she called me "sister" and my fiance "brother-in-law" and was always the sweetest. We saw her for the final time right as we were walking onto the gangway to exit the ship for disembarkation and she gave all four of us a huge hug. What a sweetie!

 

I do agree that the crowding at the Atrium and the elevators (especially after muster and after shows let out) are a challenge on this class of ship. But I find those minor annoyances a small price to pay for everything else that the Escape offers.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, nr_clark said:

We passed by Horseshoe Bay, and it’s $14 pp round-trip, but it appeared underwhelming with not-so-pink sand like we kept hearing.

 

I had a very different experience of the Escape than you did, as I found it utterly lovely in most regards but everyone's experience is their own.  I'm sorry that yours was less than satisfying.

 

Horseshoe Bay, to me, however, is anything but underwhelming.  It is a beautiful beach, with many small coves to explore.  It alone would be enough for me to return to Bermuda

Edited by allygory

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I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the escape or NCL. Our experience on the Escape was the exact opposite. The service throughout the ship was very good and friendly. The buffet was like most buffets, especially breakfast, which I thought was far superior to Princess's. We enjoyed every show we went to, but obviously not to your taste. Very subjective, as is the food.The ship does feel crowded at times, but on the whole, there was always enough room to enjoy ourselves. You sail HAL and Princess, who's ships are smaller than the Escape, so maybe it's the size of the ship that enters into your problems with it.

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I can understand the OP. We had a ridiculous three hour boarding experience on the Jewel in Vancouver BC a few years ago. It was awful. Total disorganisation on a hot day. After that we were feeling pretty 'bruised', and even though most of the cruise was great, the odd tiny little thing just triggered you all over again. It got way better as time went by, but even years later my main memories of the cruise are a 'never again Vancouver departure', a very average (to be kind) meal in Cagney's, and a problem with a waiter. Actually, now that I think about it, other things are coming to mind. Hmmmm.

I guess the bottom line is that it can be a crapshoot. Like everything.

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Hmm, I was on escape May 19th as well, average dining time was 45 minutes to 1 15 max, our third time on escape, been deck 11, 13 and 14 mid ship balcony never ever heard neighbors cough, or any flip flops, never heard any of that stuff

yes the atrium is packed I do wish they had some more popular shows in the main theater and yes the muster drill was crazy, but I’ve never been on a cruise where after the muster drill things were not crazy busy, carnival, Royal Caribbean, princess and Disney all were busy after drill we always just go to the nearest bar after drill chill and let the world go by

i hope your next cruise on whatever line you choose works better for you.

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I’ve sailed on the Escape..really enjoyed it.  More and more, what these forums tell me is to never sail out of NY on any ship.  I live south of Atlanta, my neighbor is a native New Yorker, loves to cruise, his advice has always been, never sail out of NY, he appears to be correct, y’all can figure out why. 🙂

 

Sail on. 

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I loved the Escape in March, so much so that I am going again on her in August this time to Bermuda.  I have found they normally get back to port early.  Doesn’t please me either since it means they close the casino earlier than normal.  But I always plan on an early morning on disembarkation day.  Just because they called your color didn’t mean you had to get off then though.  I agree with others Choir of Man is fantastic and one of the reasons I chose that ship again.  But I agree with you on After Midnight, it was the first NCL show I walked out of, so bad.  Sorry you didn’t have a great trip, but personally so far Escape is my favorite ship.

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Does buying an NCL transfer to the airport actually help with the disembark mess at all?

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Was thinking of booking the Escape but I am now having second thoughts  "Blued collared passengers with tattoos that were drinking alcohol" who can't tell the difference between burgers and Kobe steak, from the New York area, imagine that.  I may have to look at a port in south and hope to sail with some classy folk 🧐 😎

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If you go to the OP profile... he posted in April his concerns about this cruise. It sounds like he went into it with a negative mindset....and it never improved.

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8 hours ago, Rob031 said:

Was thinking of booking the Escape but I am now having second thoughts  "Blued collared passengers with tattoos that were drinking alcohol" who can't tell the difference between burgers and Kobe steak, from the New York area, imagine that.  I may have to look at a port in south and hope to sail with some classy folk 🧐 😎

 

now granted I am a blue collared tattoo having person but I prefer to sit and enjoy a good read and a nice scotch and beer over pounding down shots but I feel that honestly it all depends on when you go to get that crowd. I try to go during the dead time since my boss doesn't care when I take a week off as long as its only a week(RIP long cruises) and I find more often then not you get an older more relaxed cruise. 

 

I do think the New York terminal needs a major revamp. not sure about the luggage hualing as you can just drop it off at the porters on the ground floor level.

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19 hours ago, nr_clark said:

We passed by Horseshoe Bay, and it’s $14 pp round-trip, but it appeared underwhelming with not-so-pink sand like we kept hearing.

If you think HSB is underwhelming maybe your not beach people. The "Pink" sand is hit or miss. Some beaches are better than others. Time of day and sun have a lot to do with what you see

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After re-reading the op's post, the demographic section is a little insulting.

While departing from NYC does make it a tri-state crowd, it's certainly not what the op describes.

I'm a new yorker and have taken quite a few cruises out of NYC.

I do love to drink but have no tattoos, I control my kids and while I do like a good burger and pizza, I know it doesn't classify as gourmet. Pretty tough take by the op.

And Horseshoe Bay? What a great beach! I've been to Bermuda many times and I always visit there. It's beautiful, the sand is cool to the touch and the water is perfect with no shells or anything to bother your feet. Definitely one of my favorite beaches and I've been to many.

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Posted (edited)

Escape is one of my favorite ships......in ALL of my cruises. That includes those on CCL and RCCL.  Sailed her to the Bahamas in February.  Leaving on her this Sunday to Bermuda.

 

Back in February, she was hit by the HUGE wind gusts that caused her to list.  I can say from first hand experience, that she’s as stout of a ship as I’ve ever sailed.  The Atlantic Ocean is a tad rougher than sailing the Caribbean.  But, make no mistake, the Escape is a bank vault solid ship.

 

OP....you made reference to Carnival a few times, so I’ll assume that’s your preferred cruise line.  NCL does have a different “feel” than Carnival (as does Royal, MSC, etc).  So, perhaps still with Carnival?  It’s something you know and appreciate.  Nice that you gave another cruise like a shot, though.

 

Maybe consider a HAL or Celebrity Cruise?  Those might be right up your alley.

Edited by graphicguy

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14 hours ago, PTC DAWG said:

I’ve sailed on the Escape..really enjoyed it.  More and more, what these forums tell me is to never sail out of NY on any ship.  I live south of Atlanta, my neighbor is a native New Yorker, loves to cruise, his advice has always been, never sail out of NY, he appears to be correct, y’all can figure out why. 🙂

 

Sail on. 

 

I have sailed out of NYC four times now. Our embarkation has always been pretty smooth. On our sailing last October, there was an Aida ship in port at the same time which made things a bit more crowded and hectic outside of the terminal. And on my sailing in April, the previous sailing's disembarkation was delayed due to going around a bad storm in the Atlantic, so boarding was late, but we just waited in the terminal, which wasn't a big deal. My advice would be to check your bags with the porters outside, so you don't have to transport them upstairs yourself (via elevator or escalator) and drag them through security. I never understood why people drag all their luggage around with them when you have the option to just have them brought to your room for you. I just carry a backpack with my electronics, medications, swimwear, and a change of clothes then check my main suitcase with the rest of my clothes in it. A lot easier just to wear a backpack around until rooms are ready than dragging around a roller bag all day.

 

I did have one pretty negative disembarkation experience out of NYC. In April it took us two hours and twenty minutes from the time we stepped off the ship until the time we were through customs. Absolutely NO idea what was going on that day that caused it to be so slow. Just got off the Escape in NYC two weeks ago and the line was moving so fast we were practically running and barely even had a chance to stop to get our passports out because the line was going so quick.

 

Sailing out of NYC when flying might be more of a hassle. We always drive and park two blocks away from the pier (saves us $80 over parking AT the pier). Coming through the Lincoln Tunnel, there are only maybe four blocks of "city driving" to deal with before we are parked. So it really isn't bad at all. Ground transportation from the local airports might be more of a problem.

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thank you for your review as I am looking at the Escape after sailing many times with other cruiselines its our first on NCl.

 

A few things from our cruises-- never did our sofa be at the balcony-   always the bed as the sofa was closer to the entrance

 

Breakfast was always the same ole same  but some days it was pancakes   another day was french toast 

 

I could never figure out why the smoking areas on any ship we sailed were always along the jogging track   Like you i have to ask why 

 

I am guessing that I should be okay with the Escape as it sounds like other cruises.   Iam also guessing not to compare with our princess cruises as those are a little bit more premium  (with the premium price tag) 

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The OP is right about the jogging track being an afterthought on the Escape and potentially downright dangerous. You will see some brave souls attempting to jog on it in the early morning, before the deck gets too crowded, but I can't imagine anyone trying to use it after 11:00 am or so. If jogging is your thing, you are probably much better using the treadmills in the fitness center. They do at least have an AMAZING view with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the ocean from the 16th deck. If walking is your thing, you are better off doing laps on the Waterfront on Deck 8.

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10 hours ago, teachberry said:

If you go to the OP profile... he posted in April his concerns about this cruise. It sounds like he went into it with a negative mindset....and it never improved.

Good call

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