Norwegian Escape Cruise Ship: Overview and Venues

Here's an over and guide of the Norwegian Escape cruise ship, including all the venues and onboard features.

Affiliate Disclaimer

A relatively new cruise ship, Norwegian Escape entered service in 2015 as a Breakaway Plus-class ship. Even with its young-ish age, the ship has already received a refurbishment in 2022, with another dry dock slated for 2025.

Overall, this is a ship that’s been kept up nicely, ensuring you can still thoroughly enjoy all the stand-out features that were considered unique and groundbreaking when the ship first premiered (such as the ship’s water park, which was the largest for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) in 2015).

If you’re considering taking a Norwegian Escape cruise soon, keep reading for everything you need to know about this ship’s history, construction, staterooms, dining, entertainment options and more.

Stats

Norwegian Escape was the very first Breakaway Plus cruise ship for Norwegian Cruise Line. In comparison to older sister ships, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, of the OG Breakaway class, Norwegian Escape is simply bigger and better. Here’s how Norwegian Escape weighs in:

  • Gross Tonnage: 164,998 GT
  • Length: 1,069 feet or 326 meters
  • Decks: 20
  • Passenger capacity: 4,266 (double occupancy)
  • Crew: 1,733
  • Elevators: 16

In comparison, Norwegian Breakaway measures in at 145,655 GT. When it launched, Norwegian Escape was the largest Norwegian Cruise Line ship (now, that honor goes to Norwegian Encore). Norwegian Escape currently sits within the top 35 world’s largest cruise ships.  

Construction

Built by Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Escape was ordered in 2012. Costing an estimated €700 million, the ship would be the largest for Norwegian Cruise Line at the time, as well as the first to launch the new Breakaway Plus class. The ship would be significantly larger than the previous Breakaway class, with far more capacity, but still include Norwegian favorite features like 678 Ocean Place and The Waterfront.

Norwegian Escape at the Meyer Werft Shipyard
Norwegian Escape at the Meyer Werft Shipyard

The ship was delivered to Norwegian on October 22, 2015, in Bremerhaven, Germany, and then the ship made its way to Miami, where Norwegian Escape was christened uniquely not by a godmother, but by a godfather: Pitbull, on Nov. 9, 2015.  

Refurbishments

Since Norwegian Escape is still pretty new, it hasn’t received much in the way of refurbishments just yet. In 2022, the ship ran aground in the Caribbean and had to go into dry dock for repairs shortly after, and then, later that year, the ship was dry docked again in France, in September. However, repairs were minimal. 

Now, the next dry dock, which should include broader changes, as it coincides with the ship’s tenth year, is slated for 2025.

Norwegian Escape Itineraries

After the ship’s christening in Miami, in late 2015, Norwegian Escape served Caribbean routes from Miami, until 2018, when the ship moved to New York City, to offer cruises to Bermuda and Canada & New England, before returning to the Caribbean in 2019.

In 2022, Norwegian Escape began offering Mediterranean cruises, as the cruise line’s largest ship in Europe at the time, as well as the first Breakaway Plus-class ship to ever offer a full season of European sailings. 

The ship was based in Rome until it returned to the Western Hemisphere for a mix of Caribbean, Bahamas and New England sailings. 

Staterooms

There’s a wide array of cabin and suite options available aboard this vessel. Whether you want to cozy up in a queen-size bed and watch the waves from your forward-facing living room; tuck the kids away in their separate bedroom for privacy’s sake; or just enjoy some of the best views of the sea right from your couch, you can find something to match your specific requirements.

Options include:

  • 407 interior staterooms
  • 114 oceanview staterooms
  • 1,168 balcony staterooms
  • 308 Club Balcony suite staterooms
  • 82 solo staterooms
  • 95 suites 
  • 47 ADA staterooms

The solo, or studio, staterooms, are the smallest of the bunch, with just enough room for a full-size bed and a private bathroom. Studio guests enjoy access to their own Studio Lounge, and single travelers who book a studio stateroom do not have to pay the default single supplement at the time of booking.

Norwegian Escape Studio Cabin
Norwegian Escape Studio Cabin

However, do note that these rooms are designed to fit one person and one person only. They can’t fit much more than that. Space is at a minimum, and you’ll likely find yourself preferring to spend most of your time out of the stateroom. (The somewhat garish, bright purple décor does not help matters.) 

Interior staterooms are much more refined and sophisticated, with a dark brown and neutral color palette. There’s more floor space in the interior staterooms, as well as sitting areas. 

Oceanview staterooms carry the same décor theme, but offer even more space, as a higher category stateroom. The only downside to the oceanview staterooms? The ocean view is going to be behind you whenever you’re in bed, as the rectangular window type means windows are situated on the walls directly behind the bed.

Balcony Stateroom
Balcony Stateroom

Balcony staterooms increase your space further. They offer large couches and a bar/desk area, along with large glass doors along one wall that lead out to your furnished, private balcony. Additionally, the bed is situated parallel to the glass doors, so you’ll finally get that ocean view from the bed. 

On a budget, but still want a balcony? Get a more affordable balcony rate, when you book a lower category balcony stateroom. 

Suites

Looking for a couple’s retreat with an in-suite whirlpool? What about a spa vacation suite with tranquil spa décor? A top-of-the-line shower experience with body spray jets? An amazing vista view?

For all of the above and more, upgrade to a suite. As mentioned, there are more than 300 Club Balcony suites on the ship, along with nearly 100 traditional suites.

The Haven Owner's Suite
The Haven Owner’s Suite

Club Balcony suite staterooms are also called “mini-suites.” They offer a space very similar to what you’ll get with a balcony stateroom, but with extra-special features like larger balconies, or bathtubs in some suites.

On Norwegian Escape, the traditional suites are all tucked away within The Haven. Like what you’ll find now on many modern cruise ships, The Haven is a special, luxury VIP area for suite guests only, wherein these guests enjoy exclusive access to the amenities of The Haven, and special spaces that aren’t open to just anyone, such as a private sundeck, private pool, the private Haven courtyard area, and private dining in an exclusive Haven restaurant.

The amenities of The Haven include: 

  • Priority access to reservations
  • Priority embarkation on the day of sailing
  • 24-hour butler and concierge service
  • Service from The Haven courtyard valet
  • Escort during disembarkation 
  • And more!

Suite options include:

  • Deluxe owner’s suites
  • Family villas
  • Penthouses
  • Deluxe suites

The Deluxe suite offers a king-size bed, in-suite hot tub and oversized waterfall shower in the modern upscale bathroom, among other features. 

The Family Villas feature two separate bedrooms, so everyone in the gang enjoys some privacy, thanks to that additional bedding. There are also two bathrooms.

The Haven Owner's Suite
The Haven Owner’s Suite

The deluxe owner’s suites come with either standard or extra-large balconies, depending on the suite you book, and they also offer one and a half to two bathrooms, plus spectacular ocean views.

There are several Penthouses to choose from, but most offer tons of space, including dining and sitting areas, a master bedroom, and some of the best forward-facing views on the ship. 

Free Dining

You’ll find a handful of free dining options on this ship. There’s a little bit of everything included in your fare, so you’ll have variety, even if not a huge number of options. Complimentary dining options aboard Norwegian Escape include:

  • Savour, one of three main dining rooms
  • Taste, the second of the main dining rooms
  • The Manhattan Room, the final of the main dining rooms
  • O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill, a classic Irish pub open 24 hours
  • American Diner, a 1950s-style diner
  • Garden Café, offering buffets three times a day

You can also order room service 24 hours per day, though it does come with service fees. Then, The Haven restaurant is also complimentary, but that complimentary access is only open to Haven guests staying in suites. 

Specialty Restaurants

If you want to expand your dining options, you can certainly do so, beyond the few complimentary restaurants detailed above. If you’re willing to pay a per-person or a la carte dining bill, you can enjoy dining at the following:

Cagney’s Steakhouse
Cagney’s Steakhouse
  • Food Republic, an Asian-Latin fusion eatery
  • Teppanyaki, a Japanese hibachi-style restaurant 
  • Bayamo by Ocean Blue, a seafood fine dining option
  • Moderno Churrascaria, a Brazilian restaurant
  • Cagney’s Steakhouse, the cruise line’s classic steakhouse
  • La Cucina, for Italian classics
  • Le Bistro, a French restaurant
  • Pincho Tapas Bar, for small plates in a lively atmosphere
  • Atrium Café, a café with light bites in the center of all the action
  • Dolce Gelato, a casual gelato counter 

As you can see, when you expand your dining options to include the ship’s specialty restaurants, you can really widen your culinary experiences during your cruise.  

Bars and Lounges

When it’s time for a drink, explore the ship’s many watering holes. Options include:

The District Brew House
The District Brew House
  • Atrium Bar, a coffee-to-cocktails bar 
  • Headliners Comedy Club, for drinks with comedy sets
  • Mixx Bar, for cocktails
  • Pour House, a newer Norwegian Cruise Line favorite
  • Prime Meridian, a convenient bar near several of the ship’s restaurants
  • Skyline Bar, in the casino
  • Spice H20, a bar-club venue that channels the spirit of Ibiza
  • Sugarcane Mojito Bar, for mojitos and similar beverages 
  • The Cellars, also known as the Michael Mondavi Family wine bar
  • The District Brew House, for all the beer you can drink
  • Tobacco Road, for old-school Miami vibes
  • Vibe Beach Club, an adults-only venue on the top deck 

The Haven Lounge also offers drinks, but it’s only open to Haven guests.  

Activities and Entertainment

Norwegian Escape offers tons of things to do, no matter what kind of cruiser you are, no matter your age. Couples have places to relax and soak up the sun, or sip some drinks all day, (or both!) whatever their preference.

Kids have their own spaces. Families enjoy spots to come together for some bonding time. Whatever your ideal cruise, you’ve got it. These are some of the few, top ways to stay entertained during a Norwegian Escape cruise.

Pools

While some older cruise ships only offer one main swimming pool, that’s not at all the case when you’re aboard Norwegian Escape. There are three swimming pools in total. 

There’s a main pool with two hot tubs; a smaller pool with a waterfall that’s more kid-friendly; and then a separate, VIPs-only pool within The Haven. A hydrotherapy pool is in the spa, but you have to be signed up for a spa pass to access it.

The Haven Pool
The Haven Pool

There’s also a walk-through grotto on Spice H20, the adults-only deck that provides a place for adults to find a bit of peace and quiet away from the screaming, splashing kids, but it’s not really a pool, so much as just a place to wade and chill out.

In addition to the pools, there’s also the water park, of course, which, as we mentioned, was once the largest water park in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet.

Main Pool Area
Main Pool Area

The AquaPark includes lots of fun activities, with four different water slides, including the free fall slides, a kids water park, a pool and a poolside movie screen. The Aqua Park isn’t just about the aqua, though.

Read Also: Norwegian Joy Cruise Ship – Overview and Things to Do

Other activities keep you nice and dry, including a ropes course (which was originally the largest ropes course at sea — make sure to dare your friends to walk the plank!), a golf course, sports complex and other fun activities. These are all top activities for traveling families and the perfect way to get in some family bonding time while you’re cruising. There’s something for everyone!

Spice H20

Spice H20 is part sun deck, part bar, part Ibiza-inspired waterfront venue. It’s an adults-only space surrounding an extra-large hot tub, with lots of loungers and other seating, looking out to the ocean and unparalleled views. While it’s mostly a chill space during the day, it becomes a party hub at night, with music, dancing and drinks awaiting your entourage.

Spice H20
Spice H20

Theater and Shows 

Norwegian Cruise Line is known for having some of the most high-quality theatrical performances at sea. When you’re aboard your Norwegian Escape cruise, you’ll enjoy shows at the two-deck Escape Theater, as well as several other venues. You’ll want to make reservations for the shows, but attendance is free. 

Shows include “Howl at the Moon,” a dueling piano show featuring favorite rock and pop hits; “The Choir of Man,” another musical act with top tunes; and takes on favorite game shows, such as Deal or No Deal and Wheel of Fortune. The theater also hosts a supper club.
 

The Spa

Hit up the fitness center and then head to the convenient spa location and see how the Mandara Spa and salon aboard Norwegian Escape really pull out all the stops and deliver some serious pampering. 

There are two dozen treatment rooms within the spa area, and an expansive spa treatment menu available during regular spa hours that even includes treatments that are suitable for kids, and treatments that family members can enjoy together.

Norwegian Escape Fitness Center
Norwegian Escape Fitness Center

When you’re not enjoying a treatment, you can take advantage of the spa’s various relaxation spots. Thermal suite access allows you to enjoy a thalassotherapy pool, heated lounge chairs and a hot tub. Plus, there are floor-to-ceiling windows for great views of the water while you kick back and relax. 

Things getting a little too heated for you? The spa also boasts Norwegian’s first snow room, where guests can relax post-sauna in a 14-degree room that literally has snow falling from the ceiling. There’s no better cruise line for a spa vacation. 

Kids Venues 

If you’re traveling with kids, you won’t have to worry about keeping them entertained whatsoever. Norwegian Escape has plenty of kids activities and fun kids programming via Splash Academy that parents can feel good about. So, drop the kids off into the staff’s well-qualified hands and know that everyone’s going to have a great time during your cruise.

Splash Academy
Splash Academy (Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt)

Programming is available for all ages, from toddlers to teens, with activities that are well suited to each age group, from sensory play for the smallest children to appropriately chaperoned parties for the teens.  

Norwegian Escape FAQ:

What class ship is the Norwegian Escape?

Norwegian Escape is in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus Class, where it joins sister ships Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Joy. The Breakaway Plus Class was launched in 2015 and has received rave reviews worldwide since.

How many pools does the Norwegian Escape cruise ship have?

The Norwegian Escape cruise ship has several different pools. There’s a main pool with two hot tubs; a smaller pool with a waterfall that’s more kid-friendly; and then a separate, VIPs-only pool within The Haven. A hydrotherapy pool is in the spa, but you have to be signed up for a spa pass to access it.

How large is the Norwegian Escape?

The ship sports a tonnage of 165,300 GT, with a length 1,069 feet and 20 decks. It has a capacity for 4,266 passengers and 1,733 crew members. When launched in 2015, it was the largest ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet.

Final Thoughts

While Norwegian Escape may no longer be the biggest ship in Norwegian’s fleet, nor the flashiest, it still offers a lot to love, and, it’s still on the newer side, too, with something for every type of traveler, from couples to singles to families.

Worth Reading: Norwegian Bliss Cruise Ship – Overview and Things to Do

In short, you can book a Norwegian Escape cruise and be assured that you’ll still enjoy all the perks and benefits of sailing on a newer, modern, larger cruise ship.

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.

CRUISE HIVE NEWSLETTER

Free expert cruise tips and news from Cruise Hive! We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Cruise Boards
1.2K Share
Copy link