I sailed on Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship the Escape. Departing from Miami, we sailed to St. Thomas, Tortola and the Bahamas.
The check-in process was quick and efficient. It took me about 15 minutes to go through security, stand in line and check in to receive my room key. I gave my luggage to an NCL staff member prior to checking in. I arrived on the ship at 2:00pm, knowing the embarkation time was 7:00pm. What I would recommend is to pack a small carry on before boarding the ship that is equipped with medications or necessities and comfortable clothing or walking shoes. This is important since staff members drop off luggage at different times, whether it is close to embarkation or after the ship has sailed. That way you can change and get comfortable and not have to wait till your luggage arrives to your stateroom.
I was staying in an ocean view balcony room, with a bottle of champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries awaiting my arrival. The room style was very modern and spacious. The balcony was wide enough to fit two chairs and a table. The beds were comfortable and always made up when I came back to my room. The bathroom was spacious as well. It had a walk-in shower with frosted glass. There were shelves for bathroom necessities.
I have been on three other cruise lines, and I was very impressed with what NCL had to offer and all of its amenities. The Escape has four waterslides, a small water park, a miniature golf course, a huge basketball court, and a swimming pool area with two large screens to watch either sports or music videos.
There were enough chairs for everyone to lay down on, and staff members were always available for assistance. One of the biggest attractions this ship has is its ropes course, which passengers are able to use free of charge. This course allows passengers to face their fear of heights and test their bravery while they are balancing on ropes, zipping through a zip line or even walking a plank over the ocean, strapped to a harness, of course.
Norwegian Cruise Line is known for having multiple dining venues. The Escape has more than 25 different dining experiences. I first dined at Cagney’s Steakhouse. The ambiance was very classy with a modern touch. Music played faintly in the background and I was still able to have a conversation without talking over the music. Definitely a lovely restaurant to have an intimate dinner. I ordered the filet mignon and lobster tail. For dessert I had a decadent chocolate cake embedded with homemade marshmallows with a side of macadamia nut ice cream. I went back to my room with a full stomach.
I had the chance to try other restaurants during my stay, which included: Savor, O’sheehan’s, Moderno, Taste, Food Republic, Garden Cafe, the Manhattan Room, Teppanyaki, and Pincho Tapas Bar. Every restaurant had its unique theme and flavors.
The night life on Escape was always entertaining. Passengers had the option to partake in events like the Captain’s All White Attire Party, be contestants in the Newly Weds game, listen in on a dueling piano show called Howl at the Moon, Karaoke with friends, partake in trivia games, or even watch a production show. I watched After Midnight, For the Record and Oh What a Night. Of of the three, After Midnight was my favorite. It was very entertaining with the funky sounds of Jazz and tap dancing. I enjoyed every bit of the show.
I went on one shore excursion during my sailing. When we docked in St. Thomas, I had a few hours to walk around and explore the many jewelry and souvenir shops. When I got back to the ship our group to get together and we boarded a catamaran and sailed off to our snorkeling area. I was able to see many sea turtles, a variety of fish and even a sunken ship. The staff was entertaining and very helpful in providing snorkeling lessons to those snorkeling for the first time.
The Escape is a beautiful ship, and its amenities were above and beyond. I love the idea of freestyle cruising, and how nontraditional it is. Every day felt like a different vacation since there were so many options to choose from, different areas of the ship with unique styles, and the entertainment was always a joy to watch or be a part of. A sailing with NCL may give you a different view of cruising.