I have just returned from the inaugural sailing of the new NCL Escape and I wanted to share some of my photos and thoughts about the largest and most innovative ship in the Norwegian Cruise Lines fleet. Accommodating up to 4200 guests, the Escape is a ship full of surprises and experiences even for the most seasoned cruiser.
My husband and I sailed as part of Guy Harvey’s personal group to celebrate his painting of the hull of this ship, and the excitement of watching people interact with him throughout the cruise was so much fun. He is by nature very personable, and throughout the sailing I watched as passengers lined up to have him autograph tee shirts and other items, he held several seminars on preserving sharks and other works going on with his ocean foundation, and throughout the sailing he painted in the main lobby on paintings auctioned off on the ship. ** Just a note that a portion of the sales price of the Guy Harvey Merchandise sold in the gift shop benefits the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation so be sure and visit the gift shop.
Our mini-suite stateroom was large and comfortable with rain shower, king-size bed topped with a pillow mattress and a sofa bed. Staterooms feature all-new contemporary design and energy saving features such as key slots to operate the stateroom lighting while in your suite. Also service button lights found in luxury hotels alert your cabin steward whether or not you are at home, wish to not be disturbed or are ready for your stateroom to be serviced. The Escape offers many stateroom categories for singles, families or the ultimate in pampering The Haven staterooms feature tranquil décor , waterfall showers, whirlpool tubs and guests also enjoy complimentary access to the spa’s Thermal Suite.
So many dining choices await guests onboard the Escape with all new enhanced menus in every specialty restaurant and main dining room, plus brand-new experiences created in partnership with leaders in the culinary world of food and beverage- delicious tastes can be found around every corner, be advised however that not all of them are complimentary.
Foodies will probably want to purchase a Norwegian Specialty Dining Package and have the freedom to indulge with a night at La Cucina, Le Bistro and Cagney’s Steakhouse, additional add on dinner options are available as well for purchase- in all 11 complimentary dining options are available including the 24-hour O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill. We both have a gluten allery but we were able to order gluten free items in the main dining room, gluten free bread for toast in the morning.
But without a doubt, the most popular dining option onboard at to be Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Sea but be warned the wait will be long, we planned our dining time and got our name on the waiting list about 1.5 hours prior to the time we wanted to eat. It was worth the wait both food and service were great.
Whether you are looking for a quiet place to enjoy a glass of wine and watch the sunset, sampling beer at a brew hall or want a cocktail at the re-creation of Miami’s oldest and most celebrated bar Tobacco Road which has new home aboard the Escape there is definitely plenty of options to belly up to the bar.
Entertainment is offered with shows, music and comedy including the debut of two Tony Award winning Broadway shows, first-rate comedy and Howl at the Moon everyone’s favorite sing-a-long performance.
A world class spa, fitness center with a thermal suite, 19,000 square foot casino, wet and wild water play, ropes course-( I am proud to say I walked the Plank), sports complex. Adults Only Spice-H2O, Kids and Teens will have a blast in Splash Academy.
Our ports of call were St. Thomas, Tortola and Nassau – I suggest arriving in Miami early and choose your check-in time in advance, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables and would highly recommend it.
Oh and one more important thing – if you get lost onboard the Escape follow the fish – they are swimming forward.
Want more information on the NCL Escape contact Linda Dancer Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331 or Direct Line 828-256-1520