Archive for November 2015

Days Three and Four and Five on the Escape   Leave a comment

Finally awoke to some sun. Yay!

We planned on Margaritaville for breakfast, but were disappointed to find it closed for the first time. So we wandered to O’Sheehans for breakfast. I have always enjoyed the corned beef hash on other ships, and I was not disappointed this time. The food was promptly served and hot, and the service great.

Despite the sun disappearing and the temperature dropping, we did manage Margaritaville for lunch.  I was anxious to see how close the ship matched the Key West restaurant. Not bad. Probably the best nachos at sea.

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And the conch fritters were hot and spicy (though predictably sparse on the conch).

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The meal was free for us, but I have heard that there will be a $4.95 service charge once the Escape hits Miami.

That evening we took in For the Record, a supper club based on the movies of John Hughes. Let me start by stating that I am not a fan of musicals, and this was not an exception for me. I had hoped that I would enjoy it because these are movies that I grew up with. But I found the “storyline” tedious as it jumped between six movies. The cast was very talented though.

The meal was fairly awful. The appetizers were good, but the coconut battered shrimp was served with heads, tails, and shells on in pitch-darkness. Not appealing at all. The dessert was flavorless. I found the meals served at the Cirque dinners on the Epic and Breakaway much more palatable.

This review continues to be about food because I spend my mornings reading and my afternoons napping!

Today we tried Pincho Tapas bar for lunch.

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This was very good! Better than what we had at Bayamo and only Food Republic has been better. The tapas is very reasonably priced and you can use your dining package with a $7 up charge. I loved the pork belly with sliced apple on foccacia

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And DH loved his lamb skewers:

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Unfortunately dinner wasn’t as successful. LeBistro is usually one of my favorite restaurants across NCL’s fleet, but this was an atrocious experience. It took 65 minutes to be served the wrong wine and to have our appetizers trickle in. Half our party of 8 went to the Atrium bar for cocktails the wait was so long. When food did arrive it wasn’t hot, and in one instance the soup had clearly been spilled (bowl only half full and soup spilled down the outside of the bowl).  When questioned, the waiter said that was how it was supposed to be. Overall, dinner took about three hours and was not up to Bistro quality.

Margaritaville still isn’t open for breakfast, so we have stuck to the Haven restaurant.  It is a fine but unexciting menu.

The weather is still not cooperating, so after breakfast I spend some time wandering around decks 6, 7, and 8 snapping photos. I find the restaurants are packed with people hanging out as it’s too chilly and murky to sit outside. NCL puts out coffee, tea, and juice in these spaces, which is a nice thought.

For lunch, more fabulous Food Republic. The tuna tataki is DH’s new favorite.

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Dinner was La Cucina, which began promising enough. Our orders were taken promptly and starters and wine came along quickly enough. Then everything ground to a screeching halt. It took about 45 minutes for the entrees to arrive for some reason. You could tell that the waitress was stressed about it and checked on our order several times.

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For the most part the food was good however I would like to have a dinner done in under three hours!

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Posted November 18, 2015 by cubechick in Norwegian Escape

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First Two Sea Days   Leave a comment

It’s harder to divvy up sea days in a blog, so I will post in chunks.

First I have to mention the further degradation of Latitudes benefits. There is a coupon in our welcome packet for the “Behind the Scenes Tour” but the back of the ticket states that the tours have been suspended by Miami until further notice.  Seriously, why put the coupon in the packet?  Why not put the cancellation in a separate note? This way, until you look at the back of the “coupon” you don’t realize the perk has been eliminated.  Second is that the Platinum dinner is only good for one appetizer, one entree and one dessert, and is only good @ le Bistro or La Cucina…still get a bottle of wine though, for now. We can each do a bag of laundry still, so that’s something!

The big excitement this day (for our band of merry travelers) was our DOS friend’s balcony repair.  They arrived to tighten a loose bolt on the railing of her front balcony. and somehow they shattered one of the panels, which spilled glass onto the roof of the fly bridge. THAT got the Captain in her cabin, wlth assorted officers. She ended up with a portion of her balcony roped off, and a bit of a fun story.

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We had rough seas all day, but did get to take some photos when the sun peeked out.

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Had a good lunch at the Haven restaurant..(Giant sandwiches but very small scallop entree).

The VIP cocktail party was in the Haven as usual. I have noticed the nicer the Haven the longer it takes for them to throw people out who are not Haven guests!😂😂

The big excitement the next day was waking in the morning and turning on the navigation channel and seeing this:

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Heading towards Spain could only mean one thing. Medical evacuation. 

Let me preface the following with the statement that I feel terrible for the poor person who was airlifted from the ship.  As a passenger though, I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the process.

The crew set up in three different areas around the ship so they were ready wherever the helicopter came in.

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The chopper belonged to the Spanish Navy and ended up performing the evacuation from the stern of the ship.

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Big doings like that work up an appetite, so off we went to Food Republic. Hands down the best food we’ve had on a ship! This does not taste like ship food at all!
The menu is ala carte, but reasonably priced and worth every penny!

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We decided to go to Bayamo for dinner, keeping up the streak of “new” food. Unfortunately, Bayamo is definitely “cruise ship food”. It was good (loved the carpaccio) but nothing compared to Food Republic.

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Posted November 8, 2015 by cubechick in Norwegian Escape

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Escaping to Miami   Leave a comment

The first day of the ten day adventure begins. Believe it or not, with 30 cruises under my belt, I have never done a “back-to-back”, so I wasn’t sure what the process was.  A letter was delivered the night before letting us know that the room steward knew of the move and would handle the luggage.  The letter also instructed us to get our new cards from guest services in the morning. However, being that we were staying in the Haven, we knew the concierge would have our new key cards.

While I quickly repacked our bags (we hadn’t taken much out in the one night), DH went to the Haven to retrieve our new cards. He found out that our suite was already available, so we just brought our bags up ourselves. After breakfast in the Haven Restaurant, we unpacked. Awesome!

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The Haven Penthouse Suite is very small compared to the aft PH suites, but we sacrificed the size of the room to be in the Haven itself.

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The Haven Restaurant is small relative to the number of suites, so at 1:00pm we found ourselves with a 40 minute wait for lunch and extremely slow service. I was beginning to wonder if we’d finish before the lifeboat drill at 4:00!

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We have a friend staying in one of the deluxe owner’s suites and we watched sail away from there. Not much to see at night though!

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Dinner was at the Haven restaurant.  The food was good, but always missing an element. The steak and lobster had no starch with it (potato or rice, etc) and my four mushroom ravioli, though tasty had no sauce.

The rest of the night passed as many embarkation nights do with many cocktails and many laughs. 🙂

Posted November 8, 2015 by cubechick in Hawaii Cruise

Escaping for One Night   Leave a comment

Apologies for not posting live, but the Escape had terrible WiFi. However, I am back on land, so here we go!

We had friends on board who joined the ship in Hamburg, and others boarding for the one-nighter the day before we were to sail. We surprised them all by securing an invitation for ourselves and showing up a day early.

It was great to have an extra day to explore the Escape. We also stayed in a balcony cabin this one night, so we got to experience two cabins. The balcony on the Escape is the same as on the Breakaway and has the same issues. No drawers, limited storage, etc.  The cabin is narrow, so there isn’t much space between the foot of the bed and the wall, so having the bed by the balcony doors makes the room easier to maneuver.

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We didn’t spend much time here so it was okay. We just wandered around and checked out the ship and exulted in the fact that we get to stay on for ten more days!

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Can’t wait to move to our home away from home tomorrow and really explore!

Posted November 8, 2015 by cubechick in Hawaii Cruise

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