Wow, it has been a while since I posted something! I need to get more used to posting about trips I have taken right after I come home. There is always just so much going on it is hard to sit down and write!
Last June I had the chance to go on an Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Escape. Now last time I went on an NCL cruise was in February of 2010 and I did not enjoy it as much as I would of thought. Since it has been a few years I figured I would give them another chance and see what has changed. I am glad I did!
I always recommend flying in a day before your cruise departs in order to deal with any potential delays that might occur. The JW Marriot Downtown Miami was where I stayed before my cruise. This is a great hotel, slightly older decor but very clean and walking distance to restaurants, shops and the waterfront close to the Marina. The pool is so nice and there are hot tubs for when it is cooler!
After my lovely night at the Marriott I proceeded to the port and boarded The Norwegian Escape. The check in process went smooth and it didn’t take anytime to get on the boat. Check in was open at 12 but the boat did not depart till 7 pm. I got there about 2:30 and it was the perfect time
First impressions of the boat was it is huge!
Over the week I learned there is an abundance of food options although only some of them are included in your original cruise fare. O’Sheehans is located on deck 7 overlooking the atrium. Here you will find a variety of bar foods as well as some favourites like Shepard’s Pie and Bangers & Mash. The Chicago style hot dogs are also a must try here! Taste and Savour are your two main dining rooms located on the ship! There is no difference in the menus each day, it just depends what side of the ship you prefer! All food that I had at either of these places was delicious. The warm potato salad as an appetizer is highly recommended! The Manhattan which is located at the back of the ship is another main dining room. There is usually a band that played here while you enjoy your meal. Depending on where you are eating however it can be quite loud and hard to talk to one another.
Despite being a large ship you can tell there is a large amount of guests on board especially on sea days! There is one main adult pool and one kids pool and play area. Both were packed on days at sea and it was hard to find a spot. Shade is another thing that was hard to find, but there were plenty of pool chairs if you don’t mind sitting in the sun. There are plenty of other activities to do on board if you cannot get into the pool! Try the ropes course (make sure you have closed toe shoes or they wont let you on). On the course you can walk the plank out over the ocean which is quite cool! There is mini put and watersides (no jewelry though!), casino for those who enjoy gambling and for those parents who want some time to themselves there is a nursery, kids and teen clubs to keep them entertained. Don’t forget about taking some time to yourself and check out the spa and fitness center.
One good thing to know which I wasn’t aware of before boarding is that the entertainment fills up super quickly! There are screens around the boat that allow you to reserve dining and entertainment and look up what is going on. Because I did not plan ahead I was only able to see the one show After Midnight but from speaking with other guests I can tell you that you don’t want to miss any of the entertainment! From Wine Lovers the Musical to comedy shows and the Supper Club where dinner and entertainment are combined there is plenty of variety for everyone.
All cruise ships are meant to cater to a certain type of traveler. I may not choose to go back on this ship, not because I didn’t like it but because there is so many more out there I want to try! This ship is great for families including multi generational ones as well as those who enjoy spending lots of time on the boat!
Now who wants to cruise??