***Hints and Tips for the Norwegian Escape

I recently had the opportunity to cruise on the beautiful Norwegian Escape out of Miami. The Escape’s first sailing was in November 2015 so she is not even a year old. The Escape has a unique Miami type theme.  She is very similar to the Breakaway and Getaway.  She has the first Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville At Sea.  The hull was painted by Guy Harvey and has a marine life theme.

Guest capacity is around 4200 double occupancy. The design of the ship is very nice so rarely did it feel crowded and there were 4900 guests onboard the cruise I was on. The following are some hints and tips for the Norwegian Escape.

-The fish on the carpet in the hallways are always facing the front of the ship- helps with confusion on which direction you want to go.

-Drop off your carry on luggage at Headliners when you get on the ship instead of carrying around. Have lunch and check out the ship until cabins are ready. Then pick up your carry on luggage.

-When you get on the ship on Embarkation day, instead of going to the buffet, head to either O’Sheehan’s or The Taste/Savor (whichever is open that afternoon). You will be able to have a more leisurely lunch (less crowded than buffet).

-Try to go for check in 11:00am and be 1 of the first people on board!

-Put bathing suit in carry on so can go in whirlpool, pool, or to Spa on Embarkation day. Otherwise could be delay in getting your luggage.

-Take a tour of the spa on Embarkation day and you can enter in drawing. Multiple prizes given away. Many time around $500 in spa services given away. Drawing for my cruise was at 5:00pm. Need to be present to win.  Pick up a fitness schedule while you are there.  Not all class offerings are listed in the Freestyle Daily.

-If you sign up for thermal suite and pool online before the cruise for complete usage of saunas, showers, steamroom, salt room, snow room, and therapeutic pool and whirlpool you get the lowest price.  If you buy the first day on board, you will get a slightly higher price.  They sell a limited number of these packages so that the area never gets crowded, so you will want to sign up on or before the first day/night. The spa is open 8:00am – 10:00pm except for the last day when the thermal suites and pool are only open until 8:00pm. Advance pricing is based on number of days of cruise: 2 day-$79, 7 day-$199, 12 day-$279.

-Lockers are available at the Spa for those with access to the thermal suites and pool/whirlpool.

-The thermal suite area is handicap accessible, including pools.

-Bring earplugs for at night in case you go to bed early and there is loud talking in the hallways. Earplugs will also block out any announcements in the hallway from the cruise director.

-There are a limited number of passes to the outdoor Vibe beach area. It is a private sun deck available to Haven and suite guests. Only a certain number of passes are sold each sailing so that the Vibe area never gets crowded. If you are interested in this type of pass, try to check in early on Embarkation day and go right to the Guest Services desk as soon as you get on the ship to see if they have any passes left.

-Sign up for as many shows as possible online before Embarkation day. When you get on the ship, sign up for all remaining shows either at the Box Office or on the large touch screen in the hallway outside the theater, or using your cabin TV. Shows will fill up quickly. Since the theater only holds approximately 850 people, those with reservations will almost fill each show. All reservations are released 10 minutes before the show. At this time, anyone waiting in the standby line can be let in the theater. Standby can be nice if you want to see a show more than once.

-Every day at 7:00am there is a stretch class in the group room in the gym area. This class is free and lasts for 30 minutes. Try to arrive early to make sure you get a spot. There is only room for about 20 people once the mats are down.

-Abs class is free and offered at 7:30am everyday also.   Need to check Freestyle Daily to confirm time.

-Zumba is offered on sea days at the Sports Court usually at 9am. Classes are for about 30 minutes.  Even though this class is outdoors, it takes place before the sun is really hot.

-Walnuts and pecans can be found at the sides of the buffet in the morning near the oatmeal or fruit.  Great with oatmeal, brown sugar or cinnamon, raisins, and banana chips in the morning.

-The ‘For the Record – Brat Pack’ show in the Supper Club is awesome. All seats are good but arrive early so you have a better selection. Performances are right in front of you. Surf and Turf dinner is served along with an appetizer and triple selection dessert. Show is 1 1/2 hours. Try to make reservations early since shows will fill up.

-Sometimes we found that some of the restaurants were on the dark side. Might want to bring little flashlight to help read the menu. Small flashlights can be purchased in the gift store also.

-80’s party and White Out party are lots of fun.

-Miniature golf, Bocce, Ropes course with zip line and plank and in the Sports area, Deck 18.

-Lots of sitting areas on Deck 8 in the Waterfront section. You can also dine outside. There is a wraparound deck that you can walk around (goes around 90% of the ship).  Coffee and paper cups are available outside on each side of Deck 8 each morning.  You can also get coffee refills at O’Sheehan’s.

-O’Sheehan’s, a 24 hour venue, is great especially off hours. Nice choices and everything is cooked up quickly and fresh.

-At ports, Norwegian always has tents set up with seats, drinks, and wet washcloths. Nice meeting area or place to rest when returning to the ship.

-Use Norwegian IConcierge on your Smart Phone.

-Choices galore: 29 restaurants, and many Bars and Lounges!!  Restaurants have beepers so you do not need to wait at the entrance, you can relax down the hall or at a close bar.

-Play WII on the big screen in the atrium!

-Go to the Q & A presented by the Cruise Director –running a Hotel on Sea. Hotel director, bar director, and head executive chef answer guests’ questions.

-Go to the Technical Q & A presented by the Cruise Director- the Captain and Chief Engineer answer questions. Nice informational presentation by Cruise Director.

-Manhattan Room has similar menu as from Taste and Savor.  Manhattan is more dressy (no shorts).  The menu is posted right outside each restaurant.

-Classes offered at the gym include Pilates and Yoga.

-Beautiful to watch front or back of ship from decks. Many times see dolphins playing.

-There are switches in the room that turn on lights on outside of room to let cabin steward know if you do not want to be disturbed or you want your cabin made up.

-Go to the Q & A by the performers. Very interesting. The panel that I saw consisted of 2 performers from ‘After Midnight’, 1 performer from ‘The Brat Pack’, and 1 performer from ‘Vocal Overdrive’.

-Go first thing in the morning on the Aqua slides and you will not need to wait in line.

-Bug spray is available at guest services.

-Sometimes the last ‘Howl at the Moon show’ (the last night of the cruise), different ship performers will go there.

-Conditioning shampoo and body wash are in the room

-Studio cabins are available for solo travelers.  Studio lounge is available to all guests staying in Studio cabins.

-Watch a sunrise and sunset!!

Please email or call for me to book your next cruise – dreameztravel@gmail.com or 413-949-9784.  I specialize in service.  Let me do the work for you.  If anyone in your group has food allergies, I will make sure that the cruise line knows in advance and you are all set.  Let me know what questions you have.




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