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A quick review of the NCL Escape, Western Caribean Cruise


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The following is a quick review of the Escape, 7-day, western Caribbean Jan 25 to Feb 1, 2020

We are baby boomers with Platinum status. 13th NCL cruise, but first time on the Escape.

Embarkation: Super fast. Arrived at the pier at 10:45 AM, we were on board at 11:06 AM.

Disembarkation: Again, really fast! We waited for Yellow luggage tags to be called (right after Walk Offs) and we were in the Uber before 8:00 AM. The freestyle said to pick-up luggage tags after 3:00 PM on Friday however by 12:30 they were out and getting picked through! To get the Yellow tag (for Platinum or Gold status) I had to ask at the customer service desk. Be sure to go early and don't wait until 3!

Vibe passes were still available by 3:30 PM after boarding. I don’t think they ever sold out. I was able to look in from the Sun deck during the first sea day and it did not look very crowded. It seems over priced ($209 per person) in our opinion.

We had 2 at sea days and spent them both by the pool. Chair hogs were out in force. By 6:30 AM chairs were getting saved. One guy had towels and clips on 15 chaises by 7:00. I did not see NCL removing any towels, but they should have. Spice H2O had both chaises and chairs, but since there was little shade (and no little pool) it seemed it didn’t fill up as fast. However, we did enjoy both pool days.

The food was very good and other guests we talked with agreed. Here is our list of restaurants starting with the best:

Food Republic was awesome! We had both sushi and shared a bowl of Pad Thai. By far our favorite.  

Moderno was super good!

La Cucina got a thumbs up!

Manhattan Room (twice) was very good! We left full and happy!

Cagney’s is over rated in our opinion. We both got filets and they were very dry (thank goodness for sauces). We can get better steaks at a lot of local restaurants.

Bayamo was disappointing. I would not recommend it. Others on the ship seemed to agree.  

Entertainment:

We saw “After Midnight”, “Flashback Four” & “Choir of Men” in the Theater. Loved them all! We also saw Golden Octaves in the Supper Club (for drinks only) and the Skyline Bar. They are great!

As for the other musicians, we really enjoyed Dan & Ella, Diego (however his sets were a little too repetitive) and The Starbridge Quartet.  Dave E is the piano player, and really good, BUT, I never want to hear “Piano Man” “Margaritaville” or “Sweet Caroline” again!

Private Islands:

Great Stirrup Key was an easy tender to get off the ship, but coming back was a problem as 1 tender broke down. We waited about an hour to get back. Some folks waited even longer. The Sun was also there, so by 11:00 AM there were no chaises left.

There was a problem docking at Harvest Key, so we were delayed about an hour. As a result, a lot of folks stayed on board. But it is a beautiful place, too bad food and drinks are so pricey!

Our balcony cabin on deck 11 was nice and very clean. We never met or even saw our cabin steward. We did meet Marian at the pool area and Anthony at the Wine Cellar. They both helped make our vacation extra special.

We really had a great time and we both agreed, the Escape in now our favorite ship! Even though it is big, it never seemed too crowded. We will definitely sail her again!

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We did this same itinerary last month and I agree with most of your observations.  This was a very well run cruise, the food was pretty darn good, service good, great shows.  We too had a dud for a steward, which is the first one we've had in about 20 NCL cruises.  Glad you enjoyed your trip!

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We sailed Escape 3 years ago, and Gagney's was bad then. Sent my filet back twice, which earned me the ire of the Head Chef & Maitre' D. They treated me like I was trying to get out of paying for it (it was included in Free at Sea lol).

 

Loved Escape, though.

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Thank you for your write-up. Well done.  We are boarding on March 28th for a Western Caribbean 7day.  Looking forward to our first NCL cruise.  Done several RCL and one Disney in the past.

 

Cheers

dp

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