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Non NCL Loyalist Review of The Escape and NCL

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Posted (edited)

We had a lot of similar thoughts about Escape.  For us, we probably wouldn't sail it again.  The only thing I don't really agree with you on is that the ship design/layout are great.  We thought it kind of sucked.  It felt closed in and claustrophobic.  The inside spaces were tight, with low ceilings that funneled everyone in to tight crowds.  No grand areas or open areas at all.  But as you pointed out, there were a few highlights - the spa is second to none on Escape and the waterfront is awesome.  For specialty dining, I think it's similar to drink packages where almost nobody actually pays for it.  I would be disappointed if I paid $107 for one night specialty dining, too.  But we had the 3 free nights with our room and thought it was a nice little bonus, and we really enjoyed eating out on the waterfront.

 

Basically, we thought dining was really good overall (sans the awful buffet), the spa was amazing, entertainment was mediocre to bad (compared to Royal mega ships - and we ditched After Midnight 20 min in, too, lol), waterfront is something every ship needs to aspire to duplicate, District was an awesome bar with volume craft beer (yeah, disappointed, too), and the ship overall was far too congested.  We much prefer the larger Royal ships that have tons of space and open areas.  Even Carnivals ships like Dream class feel much more spacious than Escape with a very similar layout.

 

Have you sailed Anthem, by any chance?  Which Royal ships have you been on?

Edited by BNBR

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On 8/17/2019 at 12:37 PM, 1bets1 said:

And I'd like to be able to put it in my travel mug and go back to my cabin. Thanks!

If you want to take a stroll out of the cabin to get coffee and its not out on the waterfront that early they will fill your travel mug at O’Sheehans. I did that most mornings. 

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On 8/15/2019 at 8:50 PM, tap_out said:

I think the prices for the specialty restaurants is absolutely insane. We decided it was just not worth it to us. However towards the end of the cruise we didnt spend that much money so we splurged on the steakhouse. It was a mistake and not worth the money. Not some of the horror stories that I have read on the boards but not worth the $107 we spent. 

 

I think more and more people who dine at the specialties without an SDP are going to feel this way. There was a recent massive increase in the ala carte prices at most of them - either they're trying to reduce the amount of people who eat there without the SDP or trying to get more people to buy the SDP (2 sides of the same coin?)

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Disappointed by your comment regarding the Mojito Bar. We were on Escape last October. I can confirm that all the drinks were made to order. Doubt I would have tipped the bartenders for a drink poured out of a bottle.

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3 hours ago, ppcox said:

If you want to take a stroll out of the cabin to get coffee and its not out on the waterfront that early they will fill your travel mug at O’Sheehans. I did that most mornings. 

Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. On RC, I was able to go down to their coffee shop and fill my mug. I take it that this is not self-serve. Do they add the cream and sugar, or I get to? ( I know this probably sounds silly, but coffee is important to me!)

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5 minutes ago, 1bets1 said:

Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. On RC, I was able to go down to their coffee shop and fill my mug. I take it that this is not self-serve. Do they add the cream and sugar, or I get to? ( I know this probably sounds silly, but coffee is important to me!)

On the waterfront you self serve but at O’Sheehans I think they add it for you. I take my coffee black so I’m not sure. 

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On 8/16/2019 at 9:27 AM, graphicguy said:

While I don’t live in NY (actually in OH), I have sailed out of NYC 3 or 4 times the last few years.  I’ve never had any issues with embarkation.  But, because of flying in the same day, or just out of habit, I never try to get into the port before noon to embark...usually closer to 1:00 p.m.  Embarkation is easy-peasy doing it that way.  The previous passengers are mostly all gone by that time and the initial push to be the “first to board” is finished.  All you have to do at that point is just check in and walk on.

 

Disembarkation is hit and miss.  It really depends on immigration.  They either have enough manning the immigration desks, or they don’t.  If they don’t, you’re in for long lines and a long wait.

 

The way I alleviate that is to have a porter grab your luggage for you, and he will escort you to the front of the line.  Or, my personal favorite, take your luggage with you (don’t check it the night before) when you disembarks and leave as soon as the ship is cleared.

 

I’ve found that the food has improved over the last couple of years....in the MDRs and the Specialty Dining places.  The only caveat would be the Shanghai Noodle Bar.  It really has disappointed me on the ships that have that venue.  Even the Garden Cafe has become really good (I really like seafood night and prime rib night).

 

To me, casinos on cruise ships are all about the same.  They have a few table games, roulette, craps, but mostly they have slots.  I’m not a slot guy.  I was in the black jack tournament on my last cruise and made it to the final table.  I didn’t win.  And, the winner had a choice of envelopes he could choose which had different amounts for him to win.  He ended up picking the one with $50.  Not worth the effort to me.  But, I did have fun.  Probably won’t enter it again.

 

I do know the guy who won the Texas Hold’em Tournament.  I think he actually won $1,500.  That’s more like it.

 

Have fun.  I do like sailing out of NY.  But, December weather in the Atlantic?  Waters are likely to be a bit rough until you get down around FL.

 

Have fun!

 

Thanks for the feedback!  With the 20% off latitudes and cruise next deposits I figured why not - cost was really low.  Am most interested in ease of getting there and back.  For us it’s no flight - only a shuttle bus or train ride from DC.  Embarkation sounds good easy - we would probably do what you do and get there early afternoon.  Hadn’t considered immigration, but if we aren’t rushing for a flight, wouldn’t be effected by delays.  Only downside is the cold sea days down and up.  But it’s over a year out, so can rebook a different or cancel if we change our minds.

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On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 1:54 PM, tomservo said:

 

I think more and more people who dine at the specialties without an SDP are going to feel this way. There was a recent massive increase in the ala carte prices at most of them - either they're trying to reduce the amount of people who eat there without the SDP or trying to get more people to buy the SDP (2 sides of the same coin?)

IMO, with the MDRs being included with the cost the specialty venues should really only be an upcharge.  Probably half of what they charge.  I personally do not see the value in them and I wouldn't ever go without the SDP as a perk.  I like variety and there is still plenty of free options.

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1 hour ago, RedwingHockeyFan said:

IMO, with the MDRs being included with the cost the specialty venues should really only be an upcharge.  Probably half of what they charge.  I personally do not see the value in them and I wouldn't ever go without the SDP as a perk.  I like variety and there is still plenty of free options.

Good point.  I’ve found the “free” options like O’Sheehans, the MDRs and Garden Cafe to be quite good.  Matter of fact, I LOVE seafood night in the Garden Cafe.

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