Being the nerd that I am; I quickly went into research mode. The Norwegian Escape seemed to be the best contender. It is the newest ship that NCL has and it is a state-of-the-art vessel. Watching on Youtube, I also liked the cool way the doors open, sort of Star Trek style.
The ship lives up to its hype. Its gorgeous. We had a balcony suite and it was spacious, beautiful and very clean.
The first place we went once we got settled in was the pool area. I have to say we were not impressed. There are two pools side by side. The kid's and the adult, which is small for such a large ship. The kid's pool does have huge cool slides.
The music was not our favorite. It felt like the repetitive thump - thump did not reflect my old fashion romantic notion of a caribbean cruise. We were looking for more of an island, reggae type vibe. But there were plenty of benches and the bar was very lively.
However, we were not giving up. We ventured to the rest of the ship, which is about 17 floors..excuse me, decks.( I am still learning the lingo).
One of the places was the Margaritaville restaurant just above. The vibe was more our style and we sat nearby.
Looking for the perfect travel bag? Soft and spacious.
- One of our worries about going on a cruise was cleanliness. But I just dont know how NCL can do more. There are places all over to wash your hands and the staff stands by in the buffet area always reminding the guests. The wishy-washy boys were hilarious.
There is a tiny library. It's almost an afterthought, for such a huge ship, but quite pretty. I saw families playing monopoly or reading. The book collection is decidedly limited, so instead of my usual sci-fi, I went for a fantasy children's book. "The land of Stories," by Chris Colfer. Highly recommend it. One of the characters has a magic potion that turns every book into a portal to other worlds, and .. well never mind..
Since we were not going near the pool we decided to try the spa. I was turned off by the heavy selling. We were never told that there was a possibility of booking for just one day. However, I had researched it and knew t was possible to get a spot on an excursion day.
Once we paid, no one walked us in, or explained a thing. We had to ask a staff that was cleaning were to get our robes. However, the thermal suite spa has tile lounges that are heated and the view is to die for!
My thrifty husband did need some convincing... However, as he melted into the warm tile he muttered, "I could get used to this.."
The rooms were cleaned twice a day and the staff was very gracious.
We only chose one excursion which was the Teppanyaki snorkeling beach trip in Roatan, Honduras. The water was beautiful, and simple food for lunch was available, ( burgers, etc.,) and belongings were secure. We even had a Caribbean band while soaking the sun!
There were small touches all over the ship that made it special. For example, each seat in the Escape theater has a little air conditioning vent. The shows were first class and After Midnight Show is a must see. The cruise director, Tyler Gray was really fantastic.
Having nightmares of the old Carnival trip, I was worried about departure, but it went very smoothly. It went so smoothly that we caught ourselves thinking of taking another trip. Highly recommend our NCL advisor, Ryan Lelchuk!
I wish the Escape would go there as well instead of just the Bahamas and Caribbean. There is talk about brand new ships getting built, so the future looks bright.