The Norwegian Escape is a fantastic ship. With a guest capacity of 4,266 and a crew of 1,733 it is the largest ship we have ever sailed on. There are more than 25 different dining options and over 21 bars and lounges. There is no way you can do it all in 7 days... or that I can fit it all in one blog! I will try to highlight some of the best and share what we were able to experience.
The main fun starts on Deck 6. All the way forward is the main floor of the Escape Theatre. The entrance is actually on deck 7 and you walk down the stairs towards the stage. There is no balcony or second floor seating.
On the right hand side is the Supper Club. This is essentially a dinner and a show option. The tables are seated around a stage where they have musical performances. The price for this dinner is around $35 per person.
We did not eat dinner here, but we did participate in the Escape The Big Top which was located in the Supper Club and was free. This is an escape room activity. You have to sign up prior to attending and spots were going quickly. I believe they had 3 times this was offered during the cruise. They place you in teams of 8 and then each team has 1 hour to attempt to solve all the clues and break the riddle. There were only 4 of us so we were with another family of 4. I had never done anything like this and I was surprised how challenging it was. I love puzzles and actually figured out 4 of them so I was rather proud of myself. Our team did not win… but it was fun.
Towards the middle of the ship you will find the Atrium that holds the guest services and shore excursions desks. There is also a small stage, dance floor and large screen here for entertainment. Many of the game shows and night time music can be found here. We played a couple of Deal or No Deal games. They were really fun. Tickets are $25 a piece. A random member of the audience is chosen to play based off of the game cards. We saw one lady win $1000! The rest of the audience plays along. As the contestant opens a case, you open that case number on your card. If the amount in their case matches the amount in your case you start to win prizes once you have matched 2 or more. These can include a free instant win game card at Bingo, a free picture, $50, $200, etc. I actually won $50! It is pretty nice because the money is credited right back on your Sign and Sail card. No need to collect anything or stand in line. It’s all digitally done.
Ooh... see those things hanging from ceiling in the picture below. Those little upside down R2D2 looking thingys are the migraine starters! lol
There is lots of seating around the dance floor area and the last Deal or No Deal game was so popular they were bringing out folding chairs so everyone could have a seat. O'Sheehans is on the floor above and is where this picture was taken from. It overlooks this area so there is additional seating upstairs.
The atrium area also contains a bar area, pastry shop and coffee shop. All items available for an additional purchase.
As you walk down the hallway towards the back of the ship you are walking through the art gallery. They change the pictures daily. This is a really good space to get their art out there. It isn’t tucked away in some corner like it is on most ships.
This hallway will lead you to what is almost like a 2nd atrium. It is round and goes up several decks as well. There is a beautiful chandelier that hangs in the center with a gorgeous staircase going up. You would expect this would be the center of the ship and a grand entrance point… but its not. Lol
On one side is the Comedy Club, located behind the stairs which we did not try. There were a few comedy shows, but they always seemed to conflict with something else we were doing. On the other side is Le Bistro, which is a French Specialty Restaurant. The price of dinner here is A la carte. If you are going to spend money on an “extra” dinner… this is definitely one you want to choose. Everything was fantastic!
I will do a separate blog on the dining options that include menu's... stay tuned for that one. If you look towards the top of this picture, on the floor above is the casino that wraps around.
Moving towards the aft of the ship are 2 of the main dining rooms, Taste and Savor. These are complimentary and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a bar in the center which provides a nice spot to wait for the rest of your party. They serve the same menu that varies each night. You can make a reservation if you like. We ate here one night and had a party of 18 so we did make a reservation which is recommended for large parties. The night there were only 3 of us we just walked up and were seated. They are both very elegant and include table cloths on the tables :)
Moving up to Deck 7 forward you will find the actual entrance to the Escape Theatre. "The Box Office" is located on the right hand side.
The Box Office is where you will go to make reservations for any of the shows on board (free or not). This is also where you make reservations for The Escape Room. We did not partake in any shows on this cruise. I read the ones that were offered and none really appealed to us. It is recommended if you want to attend a show that you make a reservation in advance as seating is limited. This kind of greatly defeats Norwegians "Free Style Cruising" marketing plan. You have to make reservations for shows and dinner ... if you want to make sure you are able to do it .. and usually 90 days in advance to your cruise, which I find difficult.
Moving back towards the center of the ship on Deck 7 you will find O'Sheehans. This is the 24 hour food option on board. I posted the menu in my beginning blog of this ship. The food is pretty good and provides a nice range of options. You do have to wait to be seated, but service is pretty quick (other than embarkation day). If you want to go to the bar, you can just walk up and take a seat. On the other side from the main dining here are several games.
Darts, Pool, Skee ball, a few arcade games, basketball and bowling. All of the games are an extra fee where you just slide your card... like the arcade. Pool was in the $2-3 range. Bowling was $5 per person.
I thought $5 a game was kind of high, but it was a lot of fun. The balls are smaller and don't have finger holes. The pins are also attached by a string, but the system works pretty well. There is an option to put the bumpers up if you are playing with small children.
Working our way back past midship on Deck 7 is the casino. The slot machines start in the hallway as you leave O'Sheehans. The casino wraps around the 2nd atrium area with the large chandelier and continues back towards the aft. It is a really large casino with table games on both sides. It includes 1 poker table with a real dealer. It was extremely smoky in there though.
I can't believe I don't have a picture showing how large it actually it. Just this one of the hallway leading OUT of the casino and back towards where the Skyline Bar is located. The hallway leading into the casino looks just like this too.
This is your typical casino bar. There were workout classes here in the mornings, typical bar atmosphere in the afternoons, and music and dancing all around in the evenings.
The aft of Deck 7 is home to the Manhattan Room. This is the 3rd of the Main Dining Rooms.
This one while having the same menu as the 2 downstairs has a dance floor and live music. We did not realize this when our party of 18 had a reservation one night. The live music was so loud you could not hear the person next to you talking. The waiter could also not hear us to take our drink orders. Thankfully they only played for about 10 minutes and their set was over. So... if you want dinner, music and dancing... or simply don't like your table mates, this is the restaurant for you! If you actually want conversation with your dinner... head downstairs to Taste or Savor.
So we have now covered 2 decks of this massive ship. I am tired now and going to bed. Stay tuned for Part 2.