Norwegian Escape Cruise
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The Norwegian Escape cruise was our second cruise experience and this time it was a 14 day cruise with 8 ports of call, embarking out of New York City. Our ports included San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Tortola – British Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Kitts.
This was truly a Friends and Family cruise. In total our group had booked 25 cabins. It was almost like a family reunion. My Mom, my sisters, cousins, family friends. We all got on board. My sister Colleen did an amazing job bringing it all together for us. Our first night was spent in New York City, where we visited the 911 Memorial.
I must admit, our trip got off to a rocky start. While we were waiting to board we heard that during the last sailing there was a gastrointestinal outbreak aboard the ship, so we had to wait until the entire ship was cleaned and disinfected before we could board.
When we finally were able to go to our cabins, the crew was still cleaning, but they were amazing, and brought us everything we needed.
The staff served our food to us in the first week, even at the buffets, we could not touch the food. Although a little annoying, it was the right thing for them to do. Nobody wanted to get sick.
A lot of hand sanitizing stations throughout the ship. The crew complied with CDC guidelines and that’s all we could really ask for. No one in our group ended up sick (except for maybe self-induced sickness from too much alcohol). 😉
We spent the first two days at sea, then for the next eight days, we were in eight different ports. Then three days at sea heading back to New York. The first two days gave us a chance to explore this vast cruise ship, have dinner with the group and plan our excursions. It was a very ambitious schedule and by the end of the eighth day, I think we were all ready to relax and recoup on the ship, lazing by the pool and enjoying the entertainment.
There was so much to do on the ship. Some great Broadway shows, 25 different dining options, 14 bars and lounges, water slides, mini golf, walk the plank, the casino, a two lane bowling alley, dance clubs, a teen lounge, daily entertainment and contests. If you were bored on this ship, it was your own fault.
We did an excursion in St. Thomas. 7 of us went on The Cat, which is a catamaran to go and snorkel and see the turtles at Turtle Island. It was absolutely amazing.
We did a lot of shopping, picking up souvenirs at most of the other ports of call, enjoying the beaches. Some of the family went beaching every day, but we hadn’t gone to the beach and I wanted to make sure that we did that, so we went to the beach in Barbados. It was so beautiful. But, we were saving our big excursion for St. Kitts. Our cousin Kevin actually lives there and he arranged a tour of the island for the entire group. Everyone went, and we had a blast. But, that being the eighth port in eight days, I was super tired, but it was still very enjoyable.
We had a group dinner on our first night, and a group dinner on our last night. It was an amazing vacation that I will never forget. The best part was being able to spend quality time with family. Like I have said before, don’t be surprised if some of our family reunions take place on a cruise ship. 🙂
So, now that I have done a 7 day cruise and a 14 day cruise, from my perspective, I thought the 14 day was too long, but the 7 day was too short, so I would love to plan a 9 or 10 day cruise in the future.
If you are interested in checking out our next friends and family cruise, you can go to Escape with Colleen and Kim, or our Warm Winter Getaways Facebook page. We get group rates which will save you some money if you book early.
Another option is to: Find Your Perfect Cruise Vacation from Cruise Critic!
Here are some pics from our cruise. Enjoy! Oh, and happy planning your next vacation.
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