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Juvesgirl

Just ESCAPEd to Bermuda - had a great time!

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We just sailed 7/14-21 on the Escape to Bermuda.  We traveled with another couple for the first time - it was their inaugural cruise with Norwegian.  We all had a fabulous time.  A few highlights:

  • I can't say enough about how friendly everyone was on the ship.  When you entered a dining room, for example, every single waitstaff member greeted us on our way in and said goodbye on our way out.  All of the room stewards said hello as you passed them in the hallways.  No matter where you went, people were greeting you and making you feel welcome the entire week.  The officers did a really nice job with the CC meet-and-greet (it is at District Brewhouse and they provide finger foods and beer samples).  The rest of the week, they recognized us and kept offering for us to call them if we needed anything (which I would have, but I never needed anything!).
  • Our room was very comfortable.  Plenty of room for clothes and toiletries.  We liked the configuration with the bed by the balcony door.  We were on deck 14 and it was great - easy access to the pool, gym, and buffet.
  • In general, the entertainment was terrific.  The absolute standout was Choir of Man - I think this might be the best show I've ever seen on an NCL ship.  I liked it so much I went back a second time.  All I can say is wow!
  • The ship was immaculate.  There was always someone cleaning.  Each night, there was someone cleaning the stairwell near our room.  Our friends who were sailing Norwegian for the first time couldn't get over how clean everything was.  They are both in food service, and they remarked what a great job NCL was doing regarding preventing cross contamination in the buffet, etc.
  • So, everyone knows how crowded the pool is, that's a given.  My husband and I slept late every morning, so we went to the pool deck in the afternoon.  We mostly went to Spice H2O and after lunch if we were patient we never had to wait too long for two loungers together.
  • We had dinner almost entirely at the specialty restaurants.  Service was fabulous, as was the food.  We also had help from one of the hostesses when we wanted to make a last minute change to a reservation.  It seems that the options on the buffet are even more varied than the last time we were on the ship, with a mezze station of Mediterranean items, for example.  Something new we noticed (which we wish we knew before we got on the ship) seems to be a recent change to the dining package guidelines.  It appeared that there was no longer an upcharge to Bayamo; also, there was no longer an upcharge with all-you-can-eat at Pincho - now, it was included in the plan and you can pick 4 items per person from the menu.  That is also the same with Food Republic, which used to not take the meal plan at all (this is what we wish we knew before boarding - we intentionally picked the 6 night dining package, thinking we would eat at FR one night - little did we know we could have had the 7 meal plan and use it at FR and spend a lot less $!).  Overall, I think this is a good change, but perhaps NCL can send a notice to folks who have already purchased (and researched) dining packages so they are aware before boarding in case they want to make any adjustments.
  • I surprised myself and went to the gym 4x - it was always about 10% full.  Almost all machines were available.
  • We never had to wait on line for anything, we never had trouble finding a seat at the buffet, and we always boarded the ship quickly when we were in port.  No complaints despite it feeling like a very full ship.

 

I tried hard to think of something critical to share, but I really can't think of a single complaint; our friends who traveled with us said the same (and I was relieved, since it was their first time on NCL).  It was a fabulous week on one of NCL's friendliest ships.

 

I did not save the dailies (sorry), but if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.  

 

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3 minutes ago, puppycanducruise said:

Thanks for the report.

Glad you enjoyed your cruise.

My pleasure!  Thank you so much!

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18 minutes ago, Juvesgirl said:

 

  • In general, the entertainment was terrific.  The absolute standout was Choir of Man - I think this might be the best show I've ever seen on an NCL ship.  I liked it so much I went back a second time.  All I can say is wow!
  •  

 

So what made the Choir of Man so "WOW"  Im on in few weeks

What was your second favorite entertainment option

How was the live music on the ship

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30 minutes ago, drvmywifecrzy said:

 

So what made the Choir of Man so "WOW"  Im on in few weeks

What was your second favorite entertainment option

How was the live music on the ship

 

I really like entertainment I can sing along to, and Choir of Man is basically an a capella versions of all popular songs.  The show has great energy and does a good job of getting the audience involved.  We really liked it a lot.

 

We also liked a woman named Chelsea Reynolds - a great singer!

 

We also heard a number of other singers (a duo, and then a singer in the brewhouse) - all excellent.  

 

The only live music that wasn't as good as usual was Howl at the Moon; it wasn't bad, but it just wasn't as amazing as usual.  But all other live entertainment was fabulous.

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Thanks for your review.  We sailed her nov 2018, then just may of this year.  Great crew, they really have a awesome attitude considering how hard the work.

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7 minutes ago, Nclgetawaymenhoney said:

Thanks for your review.  We sailed her nov 2018, then just may of this year.  Great crew, they really have a awesome attitude considering how hard the work.

 

I completely agree!  They were the friendliest crew we ever experienced.  I think it comes from their leadership.  The ship's officers were so friendly and accommodating, and I think it trickles down to the rest of the ship.

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Just now, drumming cruisers said:

Great review of the ship. What excursions did you do?

 

We did a few things:

1) A Catamaran snorkel trip with Restless Native.  I would highly recommend!  Great crew, clean boat, lots of fun.

2) A beach day at Horseshoe Bay - we go every time we are in Bermuda and we love it.

3) An evening boat trip to look for GlowWorms (they come out 3 days after the full moon).  Booked through BUEI.  Very nice sunset cruise experience, but not many glowworms, and expensive taxi back from Hamilton (ferries had stopped running).  Would still recommend, though.

 

 

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I totally agree with your review of the Escape. We did a two-week western Caribbean in February and enjoyed a fantastic cruise. Loved Choir of Man so much that we went to two shows! We will be cruising to Bermuda in October and my question is related to freedom of disembarking and boarding while docked in Bermuda. How much are AM and PM hours limited fot coming and going?

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9 hours ago, Juvesgirl said:
  • Our room was very comfortable.  Plenty of room for clothes and toiletries.  We liked the configuration with the bed by the balcony door.  We were on deck 14 and it was great - easy access to the pool, gym, and buffet. What type room or room number did you have?
  •  Something new we noticed (which we wish we knew before we got on the ship) seems to be a recent change to the dining package guidelines.  It appeared that there was no longer an upcharge to Bayamo; also, there was no longer an upcharge with all-you-can-eat at Pincho - now, it was included in the plan and you can pick 4 items per person from the menu.  That is also the same with Food Republic, which used to not take the meal plan at all (this is what we wish we knew before boarding - we intentionally picked the 6 night dining package, thinking we would eat at FR one night - little did we know we could have had the 7 meal plan and use it at FR and spend a lot less $!).  Overall, I think this is a good change, but perhaps NCL can send a notice to folks who have already purchased (and researched) dining packages so they are aware before boarding in case they want to make any adjustments. Did you eat in any of the free dining options and how were they?  If we only have a 3 night dining package, how expensive is Pinco and can you explain the 4 item and all you can eat?

Thank you for the great review.

 

 

 

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Also, does each person pick 4 items at Pincho?

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1 hour ago, PSU78 said:

How much are AM and PM hours limited fot coming and going?

There’s no curfew. You can come and go as you please until a half hour before sail away.

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1 hour ago, PSU78 said:

I totally agree with your review of the Escape. We did a two-week western Caribbean in February and enjoyed a fantastic cruise. Loved Choir of Man so much that we went to two shows! We will be cruising to Bermuda in October and my question is related to freedom of disembarking and boarding while docked in Bermuda. How much are AM and PM hours limited fot coming and going?

 

Glad you loved the ship and crew as much as we did.

 

You are not limited at as far as I know!! I believe you have total freedom from when you dock on Wed. until you depart on Friday. I know we got back around 11:30pm on Thursday after the glowworm cruise and it was no problem at all.

 

Have a great time!!!

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1 hour ago, HOSKI said:

Also, does each person pick 4 items at Pincho?

 

I think we had a BB balcony on the 14th deck. It was forward (towards the front of the ship). It wasn’t midship, but it was just a few cabins away from where the midship section ended.

 

We had breakfast and lunch (once each) in the main dining room and it was terrific both times. We had breakfast and lunch in O’Sheehans (also once each) and the service was great, and the food was fine, but maybe not as great as the other venues. We had lunch a bunch of times at the buffet. We were really impressed by the variety of options on the buffet - it truly was impressive. There really was something for everyone with so many cuisines represented. 

 

In in my opinion, if you plan to go to Pincho or any other specialty restaurant, you should add meals to your meal package. I am not sure how much it costs to add meals to your 3 meal package if you got it as a perk, but it might be as little as $15pp (check with NCL). If that is the case, then it is a bargain because the items on the tapas menu range from ~$4-15 if you purchase a la Carte without the meal plan. Yes, if you use the meal plan for Pincho, it is 4 items per person. I believe that now there is no more all you can eat option at Pincho, but I could be wrong (it used to be that you got all you can eat with the meal plan, but you had to use a meal plan AND pay a surcharge - now with the 4 item exchange for the meal plan, there is no surcharge). Hope this makes sense!

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1 hour ago, PortFees45 said:

Escape has the best buffet in the NCL fleet. 

 

I was extremely impressed!! The magnitude and variety was amazing. And who doesn’t love Nutella crepes!?!?

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Posted (edited)

Looks like NCL updated the restaurants that are included with the SDP.  I got this on my Escape reservation.

BC2FF0D7-5839-4874-AA67-BAE27725C5C1.png

Edited by cincicruisers

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Do you have any information on how the dining package works at Food Republic?

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9 hours ago, cincicruisers said:

Do you have any information on how the dining package works at Food Republic?

 

Yes, I looked up the dining package info when I got home yesterday and saw that it was updated.  I'm glad!

 

Sure, Food Republic will count as one of your dining package options and each person with the meal plan can order any 4 items from the menu as far as I know.  If you don't have the dining package, or don't want to use one of our meals at Food Republic, it is still available a la carte.

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Thanks for your mini-review!! We are sailing on the Escape in October. Can't wait!!! 83 days and counting!!

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May I ask what your top 5 specialty restaurants were on the Escape, in order?  Thanks in advance!

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9 hours ago, ThxMomnDad said:

Thanks for your mini-review!! We are sailing on the Escape in October. Can't wait!!! 83 days and counting!!

 

Have an amazing time!  Wish we could join you again!

 

1 hour ago, jasperess said:

May I ask what your top 5 specialty restaurants were on the Escape, in order?  Thanks in advance!

 

Sure! We ate at Cagney's, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Bayamo, and PIncho.  I liked them in that order, but La Cucina could be tied with Cagney's.

 

We didn't eat at Teppanyaki or Moderno, so they aren't included in the ranking.  We usually don't eat at Moderno.  I have eaten at Teppanyaki before and have loved their filet mignon.

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On 7/22/2019 at 7:24 PM, Juvesgirl said:

 

Have an amazing time!  Wish we could join you again!

 

 

Sure! We ate at Cagney's, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Bayamo, and PIncho.  I liked them in that order, but La Cucina could be tied with Cagney's.

 

We didn't eat at Teppanyaki or Moderno, so they aren't included in the ranking.  We usually don't eat at Moderno.  I have eaten at Teppanyaki before and have loved their filet mignon.

Thanks for your awesome review.  Haven’t seen anyone who has eaten at Pinchos since the price changes.  Do you by chance remember how the prices have changed there from the original menu that never seemed to change before?

 

thanks a million for any feedback.

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