Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Escape October 2016 **Rating 5*
Norwegian Cruise Line's Escape is one of the best ships I have ever sailed on. It is my new all time favorite ship.
The staff was very attentive and helpful. The food was very good and there were so many dining venues from the very casual to the very upscale. Many were complimentary and some carried a nominal surcharge. There was no shortage of food choices.
They also had a gelato bar (nominal charge; but worth it). We had gelato each afternoon (right before our afternoon nap). The choice of flavors was wonderful; my person favorite was the salted caramel.
As a disabled person; I was impressed with the number of handicapped public restrooms on board. I felt like NCL cared about ME! I was able to go just about anywhere on the ship.
The layout of the ship is well done; our balcony cabin was laid out well and our cabin steward was excellent.
I cannot say enough good things about this ship and her staff. If you have not sailed on her yet; book your trip NOW!
It was an awesome experience
Secrets Puerto Vallarta
June 11-17, 2018 (our rating: 4)
Secrets / Puerto Vallarta / Adults only
This is a beautiful resort not too far from the airport. Upon arrival you are greeted by a spectacular water feature wall. You will also note that this property is split in two and Secrets adults only on one side and Now Amber a family friendly resort on the other side. Adults can visit and experience both resorts, children must stay on Now Amber side.
Check in was well done, carried out at a desk with chairs for the guests. Front line staff is most pleasant and helpful.
The pool areas had more than enough chase loungers, but some folks still came out and clipped their towels to the ones in prime spots. There are drink waiters that will serve you at the pool and bring small plates of food as well. Great service. The public areas and lobby are open air and beautiful. If the breeze died down though, the lobby area got a little humid.
The restaurants were very good for the most part. Their French restaurant, Bordeaux's was so much better than I expected. I was hesitant to go as my last French experience was horrible. Food was presented well, tasted much better than I expected. The French use a lot of creams, sauces, and cheeses. They offered seared scallops in a creamy cheese sauce that was so good but very rich. Another restaurant, Oceana, had one of the best shrimp and crab cakes that I have had in a very long time. Even though it had a little more filler than I would have liked, the flavors were spectacular and the spicy sauce sealed the deal. I would give their food a solid 5*.
I stayed in an ocean view Jr. Suite and it was wonderful. Full size Jacuzzi tub in suite, open bath with Curtin/veils and private water closet. Plenty of space, balcony with chairs to enjoy the sunset, black out curtains to give you rest. They even offer room service.
Complaints: after checking in I was accompanied by an employee to my Jr. Suite (I thought the escort was a nice touch) and he called for my luggage to be brought into my room and he left. The bellman arrived within minutes with my bags which was great.
Neither the registration desk clerk, the escort, or the bellman ever explained any of the features of the room. I spent all afternoon searching for the thermostat as the room was warm and humid. I spoke with one of the others I was traveling with who informed me the thermostat is behind the curtain next to the bed (well hidden). Now I have found the thermostat but the digital screen is blank. No way to adjust the temperature so I stepped out onto my balcony for a little sea breeze. When I came back inside, the air began to work and cooled down. The next morning it got hot again and I called the front desk as my thermostat display was again blank; she informed me that I have to be sure the patio/balcony door is fully closed; if not, the sensor will cut off the air conditioner.
Why was this not explained to me upon check in???
The first night I was so tired, I just ordered room service. My order was delivered and after eating I decided to turn in for a good night's sleep. About 15 minutes after I stretched out there was a pounding on my door and the room service personnel said he was there to pick up the dishes. Totally interrupted my nap. Then I found out from another guest the next day that the metal door right next to the entrance is set up for guests to place their dirty dishes inside and the room service staff picks them up on the outside without disturbing the guests. It also has a lock/bolt on my side so no one can look in.
Why was this not explained to me upon check in???
Day two: housekeeping came mid morning and serviced the room.
Day three: I got up early and headed to the pool at about 8:30 am; I was gone until about 12:30 pm and upon arrival to my room it was still just as I left it; no housekeeping. I called the front desk and requested housekeeping be sent to service my room. I then left my room again and was gone until about 3:30 pm and the room still had not been serviced. My day thus far was great but I was wiped out and needed a nap. I called the front desk to ask for towels and advised them that no one had serviced the room. I was told they could send someone right up but since that is what I was told at 12:30 pm did not believe it; so I again just asked for towels as I wanted to stretch out and take a nap. Two minutes later there was a knock at the door and it was housekeeping to clean my room (right at nap time). I allowed her in and sat on the balcony while she did her thing in the room.
Why did housekeeping take until almost 4 pm to clean my room even after I called about it at 12 ish???
They offer turn down service and one night they knocked on my door at 9:40 pm to complete turn down service and put the mints on the pillow; I was in the bed sleep at the time. Way too late for turn down service.
So I did go to the front desk and ask for a manager; was told they don't come in until about 10 am and I was directed to speak with the Concierge regarding my complaints. He assured me that they would cover the staff on the proper way to show a room to a new guest and to make sure that my room was cleaned each morning.
Overall I would give this resort a 4
They claim to be a 5* resort but the service of the staff did not measure up. I enjoyed the resort.
Norwegian Cruise Line Ship: Epic sailed Sept 2016
This was a very strange adventure. I liked the food a lot. Our accessible cabin was awesome but I was not feeling the layout of the ship.
In talking with others; I heard the same comments. It seemed a little dis-jointed. If I had not obtained an accessible (handicapped) cabin; it would have been impossible to store my motorized scooter. I had a chance to see a standard balcony cabin and it was so tight that there was very little floor space.
The staff was not real accommodating; they did their job but no more. They weren't friendly.
Overall, I will try this ship once more to make sure this wasn't just a bad week. NCL is still my all time favorite; maybe just not this ship.