Welcome Aboard the brand new Norwegian Escape!
After planning our cruise on this new ship for 6 months, we have just returned. She is an amazing ship with 20 decks of fun, food, and plenty of things to do and see. For those already booked and waiting to step onboard this ship or those considering a cruise on this newest megaship, we have put together this Norwegian Escape Photo Tour.
Touring every deck, and even getting access to some exclusive areas like the Haven and Vibe Beach club, this Norwegian Escape Photo Tour explores all of the major restaurants, bars and lounges, and entertainment venues, deck-by-deck. Let’s get started at the very top and work our way down. Be prepared, there is a lot to see on this tour.
Norwegian Escape Photo Tour
Our first stop on this Norwegian Escape Photo Tour is Deck 20, home to the top most sun deck, found forward on the ship. Plenty of deck chairs can be found here early in the morning, but on sunny days they do fill up quickly.
Norwegian Escape Photo Tour – Top Sundeck
Also forward on the port side of the ship is another public sun deck, complete with the Sundeck Bar.
For those who are looking for some privacy, you can purchase a $99 weekly pass to the Vibe Beach Club, including private deck chairs and umbrellas, a private bar, and a hot tub. For this Norwegian Escape Photo Tour, we got a glimpse of this secluded area.
For even more luxury, we also got a peek at the Haven Sun Deck, located forward on the starboard side. This area is available to guests staying in the Haven Suites only.
You can also grab a great photo of the pool deck and lower decks by walking the little track behind the bar.
To get to the aft section of this deck, you need to walk down to deck 17, and then climb back up again. If you make this journey, you will find yourself walking back up to the basketball court and sports complex.
Those Haven Guests have it quite good on this deck.
Gaining access to this area for our Norwegian Escape Photo Tour, we got to explore the Haven Area, including an Owner’s Suite that was not occupied. Also located here is the Haven Restaurant, open for all three meals. The menu does stay the same all week and is different than the main dining room menus.
Aft of the ship on deck 19 is where you will be able to really explore the sports complex. First up is the mini golf course, on the starboard side. Relatively busy during our cruise, we did manage to play one game which ended in a tie.
There was also a small bocce ball court which did see some action during the cruise just not from us.
One of my favorite features of the Norwegian Escape is the two story ropes course. Both the Princess and I explored this outdoor feature on day 3, and I returned again on day 5 for more climbing and balancing fun. Note, only wearable cameras are allowed on the ropes course.
Heading down one deck on this Norwegian Escape Photo Tour, deck 17 is full of great venues including Spice H20 at the aft of the ship. During the day, this adult only area offers some great sun, a bar, and the grotto, a unique water feature that lets you cool off without having to hop in the pool.
Heading forward from Spice H2O, you pass the teen lounge, which is adjacent to the Video Arcade. There are actually also arcade style games in O’Sheehan’s Pub on deck 7.
Perhaps one of our favorite spots on the Norwegian Escape was Margaritaville. We grabbed a few midday snacks here as well as some drinks from the Chill Bar. Even if you do not want to eat here, you can use the Ultimate Beverage Package at the Chill Bar to get one of the signature boat drinks or margaritas. The drinks and food are quite addictive!
To get to the front of the ship on deck 17 from Margaritaville, you pass the small jogging track. Even though this is supposed to “close” during the day, you will find people using it to workout throughout the morning and afternoon.
As we continue forward, on the port side is the Waves Pool Bar. Note, this is a smoking section.
Now that you are mid ship you will find deck chairs on both starboard and port side. These are highly coveted and fill-up fast as they provide you with a nice view of the pools and some great sun.
All the way forward on deck 17 is the Haven. While we have already shown you the restaurant and a room of this “ship within a ship” on our Norwegian Escape Photo Tour, Deck 17 is the main entrance to this space. Here, you have the reception area with a lounge, bar, and the Haven Courtyard with a private pool and lounge chairs. A retractable roof allows you to enjoy this pool regardless of the weather.
This is where a lot of the action happens. Forward on Deck 16 is home to the Pulse fitness center. Besides walking through this venue a few times to get to the spa, the Princess and I did not utilize any of the equipment.
Once you walk through the fitness center, you enter the Spa area. Here, you have the beauty salon as well as several treatment rooms that offer a variety of spa treatments.
If you continue forward, you enter the Thermal Spa. A pass can be purchased to use the Spa for the entire week or a day pass on select port days for $54. The cruise line was nice enough to give us a guided tour of the Thermal Spa for our Norwegian Escape Photo Tour. Several different spa experiences are available including steam baths, therapy pools, both a sauna and sanarium, a salt bath, and the snow cave- kept at 17 degrees Fahrenheit with actual snow.
Exiting the fitness center, you are at the adult pool. Honestly, this is more like the main pool area on most cruise ships where the stage is located. Many of the pool deck events like the sexy legs contest, ice carvings, and cruise director led shows occur at this pool. It is nearly impossible to get a deck chair here, but honestly, we found the best sun exposure on deck 19 forward and deck 17 in Spice H20.
Here, you can also find the main Waves Pool Bar and the Marketplace. Throughout the cruise, the outdoor Marketplace hosted regular sales including the $10 t-shirt sale on the last sea day.
Right behind this area is the main pool or family pool which is situated between the entrance to the water slides and the Kids Aqua Park. It felt a bit tight, so we can only imagine how busy it gets during peak times of the year.
The entrance to the waterslides is also on this deck, starboard side. We highly recommend trying both the Aqua Loop body slide and the Aqua Racer tube slide. They provide some wet and wild fun no matter how old you are!
Our Norwegian Escape Photo Tour of deck 16 would not be complete without the Garden Cafe. This buffet style restaurant encompasses the complete aft of this deck, serving food most hours of the day.
Technically, there are no public facilities from Deck 15 down to Deck 8. All of these decks consist of staterooms. Our balcony room was located on deck 11, mid-ship cabin 11782. We wanted to include some pictures of the cabin for now, but be on the lookout for a full stateroom review coming soon.
Also on this deck are some studio cabins and the studio lounge. There are three decks of studio rooms (Decks 10-12), and we were able to get a tour of the area for our Norwegian Escape Photo Tour. Unfortunately, all cabins were occupied, so we were not able to see one of the rooms. Maybe I can convince the Princess to let me go on a cruise in one of these cabins to get some photos.
Continuing down to the heart of the ship, many venues are found on decks 6, 7, and 8. There are a lot of places to eat and drink on deck 8, so we took plenty of pictures on this Norwegian Escape Photo Tour. Starting at the front of the ship, you have the District Brew House-a pub with a specialty cocktail menu and a wide selection of beers on tap.
Across the way, on the starboard side, is the Food Republic. Not part of the meal plan, this fusion restaurant serves a wide selection of tapas. We dined here on the last night of our cruise, and it was some of the best food we had.
Continuing toward the middle of the ship, there is the 5 O’ Clock Somewhere Bar, followed by the Tobacco Road bar, and the Cigar Lounge on your left if you are walking toward the back of the ship. Both venues have specialty menus. 5 O’ Clock Somewhere also has outdoor seating and an outdoor bar where you can also order tasty margaritas and boat drinks.
On the right as you continue towards the aft (i.e., port side), there is the specialty restaurant La Cucina. We had some of the best service here, and all appetizers, pastas, entrees, and desserts were excellent.
After passing a small hallway, you encounter the open 678 Ocean Place with its beautiful chandelier. It changes color throughout the day, making for a picturesque backdrop for photos.
Wrapping around this circular open area are the Cellars Wine Bar and shops on the port side.
Norwegian Escape Photo Tour – Some of the Shops on Deck 8
We are by no means wine connoisseurs, but we did enjoy some glasses of wine here. Crowds were hit or miss, but the times we visited the Cellars Wine Bar, it was rather quiet.
Starboard, you find Pincho- a tapas restaurant and the neighboring Bayamo, both restaurants are from celebrity chef Carlos Garces. We actually did not dine at either of these two venues during our cruise.
Rounding out this area is the Sugarcane Mojito Bar. It is worth getting a drink here to see Bong, one of the bartenders, who puts on a show while preparing and serving your drinks. He is quite the character!
As you continue past this area, it is no longer “open” to the decks below. There is a hallway that routinely has different sales on jewelry and other goods. As you head further aft, the Photo Gallery is on the starboard side.
The Photo Gallery on Deck 8
Next up is the Bake Shop and Dolce Gelato. They are basically the same venue and are open select hours during your cruise. The bake shop served very similar treats to what you could also purchase in the Atrium Cafe.
Complete aft of the ship are two more specialty restaurants, Cagney’s and Moderno, and the Prime Meridian Bar. This area is cozy with over sized chairs, and we saw people using this area during the day to relax and play board games and cards.
Deck 8 The Waterfront
Most of the venues found on this deck offer outdoor seating on the Waterfront. This area was a great place to dine al fresco, enjoy an evening cocktail, and just relax. If you choose to dine at some of the specialty restaurants here, we suggest you give the waterfront dining a go, if they have availability.
Deck 7 is the entertainment hub of the ship. Forward on this deck is the Theater. With a very modern design, the theater is more visually appealing than some other cruise ships. If you have not pre-booked shows, you can do so at the Box Office once onboard, or use the Norwegian iConcierge app or your stateroom television.
Showing in the Escape Theater are the two Broadway shows, Million Dollar Quartet and After Midnight. Both shows can be pre-booked prior to your sailing.
Proceeding aft on this Norwegian Escape Photo Tour, you come to the massive O’Sheehan’s Pub. There is a dining room area as well as a bar area with high top chairs. This venue is open 24/7 and offers breakfast from 5:30am to 11am, entrees and sandwiches from 11am to 11pm, and late night snacks after that. There are also plenty of arcade style games including pool, darts, and bowling available here, which makes for a nice break from the sun.
As you exit O’Sheehan’s heading aft on deck 7, there is the casino. Both smoking and non-smoking table games and slot machines are available.
There is also the Skyline Bar, the largest casino bar in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet. Large panel televisions depict various city skylines throughout the day and night. This venue also offers both live music and virtual concerts. Even if you are not a gambler, it is worth checking out this bar during your cruise.
Completing our Norwegian Escape Photo Tour on deck 7 aft is the Manhattan Room. Elegant and sophisticated, this main dining room offers the same menu as both Savor and Taste (located on deck 6). Live music is played throughout dinner, and patrons are welcomed to use the dance floor in between courses.
Heading down the forward stairs, there is a nice large sign showcasing all of the senior staff onboard.
On the starboard side is the Supper Club, home of For the Record: The Brat Pack. This up charge dinner show was one of the highlights on our vacation. Being kids of the 80s, we thoroughly enjoyed the performance. It is worth the additional charge, even if the actual “supper” was not the best meal onboard.
Heading aft, this deck opens up to the large Atrium which houses the Atrium Bar and Atrium Cafe. Behind this area, there is a small hallway that leads to the library and meeting rooms.
On the port side, there are a variety of guest services including the Shore Excursions Desk, Next Cruise Consultant, and the Internet Cafe. This area was usually quite busy.
Past the Atrium, you arrive at the bottom level of 678 Ocean Place. Immediately to the starboard side is Le Bistro. Honestly, we were a bit disappointed in service and food at this restaurant.
On the other hand, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Teppanyaki. This restaurant is definitely worth the flat charge of $29.95.
Across from the restaurants is the Headliners Comedy club. During the day, this venue often doubled as the art auction location. On some nights of the cruise, comedy acts were featured here. There were two comedians that alternated showings at 7, 9, and 11pm (adult’s only). We saw both comedians at the 9pm show and found them to be quite funny.
On other nights, this venue transformed into the Howl at the Moon piano bar. The performers were pretty solid musicians, but what made this show was the banter between the performers and the heckling of the crowd.
At the aft of the ship on deck 6 were the two other main dining rooms, Savor and Taste. The dinner menus are the same at all three complimentary restaurants, but these two are the only ones open for lunch and breakfast. In between the restaurants is the Mixx Bar, a great spot for a pre-dinner drink.
There are only two public areas on this deck. One of them is the private room at Taste.
The other public space on deck 5 is the Splash Academy. Not sure how families feel about having the kids area on this lower deck, but I know we found it nice as kids’ areas are usually up near the pool deck.
So there you have it, our deck by deck Norwegian Escape Photo Tour is now complete. What is your favorite area of this ship? Drop us an anchor below to let us know what you like about this brand new megaship. Have your own pictures to share? You can email us at [email protected], and we will feature them.