Escape Aboard the New Norwegian Escape

February 18, 2016

All my life I have been curious about cruise ships. Growing up watching The Love Boat on TV, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to vacation on one of these mega-resorts at sea. However, my fear of being seasick always seemed to trump my curiosity and so this experience remained an elusive dream. That is, until now.

I was recently invited to ‘Escape to a New World of Cruising’ for a two-night inaugural sail to celebrate the launch of the award-winning Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest and most exciting ship – Norwegian Escape. The inaugural celebration began with a thrilling performance by the ship’s Godfather, international music star Pitbull. The energy was palpable. What an experience!

The Norwegian Escape will sail seven-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean, including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. The ship is one of the most anticipated additions and is set to become the largest cruise ship ever based year-round in Miami. It joins the line’s slightly smaller ships, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, making it the line’s third in three years and the largest to date. The 4,248-guest, 164,600-ton Escape is the first in the Breakaway Plus Class and will welcome a maximum of 243,600 travellers on 58 voyages in 2016.  

The moment I entered the new Norwegian Escape, I knew I had won the cruise-ship lottery. The ship is a showstopper, from her hull designed by marine artist Guy Harvey to the Haven, the line’s signature luxury ‘ship-within-a-ship’ suite two-story complex featuring its own enhanced courtyard area with retractable roof, private pool, restaurant, butler service and concierge. As I walked around admiring the ship’s beauty and attention to design details, I was certain the Escape would elevate the cruising experience for past and future cruisers like myself.

The food aboard cruise ships is legendary, but this is some of the best you will ever have. This mega-liner is home to many industry firsts along with some exciting branded partnerships that I was only too happy to experience. The Norwegian Escape features the industry’s first wraparound, restaurant-lined oceanfront promenade with alfresco seating; their first wine bar by the Michael Mondavi family with panoramic ocean views; two new restaurants by Iron Chef Jose Garces: Bayamo and Pincho Tapas Bar; Jimmy Buffet’s first Margaritaville at Sea; the District Brew House with craft beer from the Wynward Brewing Company; and the Food Republic with iPad menus developed by Miami-based The Pubbelly Restaurant Group.

The many amenities and activities available on the Norwegian Escape were also impressive starting with the adults only grotto in H20; a giant, two-deck Mandara Spa with the all-new ice-cold Snow Room and the largest Thermal Suite at sea; and Lacoste and Carolina Herrera Boutiques located in the impressive 678 Ocean Place that features a jaw-dropping crystal chandelier and a three deck staircase.

When it comes to entertainment, this ship really impressed me with its two Tony Award®-winning musicals. The Million Dollar Quartet was by far one of the best musical performances I have seen in years. It had me singing and dancing all night long! At the Supper Club, I enjoyed a delicious meal while watching For The Record. This post-modern cabaret brought all my favourite 80’s movies to life through their original soundtracks. What an entertaining stroll down memory lane!   

When it comes to adventure, the Norwegian Escape features a sprawling, deck-top fun zone with four major water slides; the largest ropes course at sea with three story ropes-course, five sky-rails and two planks; a miniature golf course; a full-size basketball court; and a bocce ball court - another first for the line. Though I didn’t partake in any of these fun activities, I did observe others having a world of fun from my poolside lounger with cocktail in hand!

If I had to choose any ship to experience cruising for the first time, I’m glad I got to experience a never-before-had adventure at sea aboard Norwegian Escape. I could honestly sing her praises for days!

My article for the Norwegian Escape was featured in Travelweek.


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