We enjoy cruising as a family. Living in Central Florida makes it easy and economical because we don’t have flight costs on top of our cruise fare. I sailed on the Norwegian Escape in October of 2016. Our first morning onboard was sunny and clear. Hurricane Matthew was gearing up strength in another part of the Caribbean but our skies were blue and the ocean breeze was SO refreshing.
We were all up by 8:30am and the kids practically bounced out of bed and started begging to go on the waterslides. We had our morning prayer and then quickly prepared for the day. We anticipated that the pool deck would be quickly filling up so we wisely dressed and packed our beach bag for a day by the pool.
We planned to eat breakfast at the Garden Café. We had to walk across the pool deck to reach the café and we noted that many of the loungers on the main deck area were already taken with either people lounging or towels thrown across them as placeholders. We were fortunate to find two empty loungers within eyesight of the Aqua Park.
Breakfast was great. As we did the day before we walked straight to the back of the café and easily found an table. The buffet had many options that would please just about anybody. I loved that there was fresh fruit available, sliced and prepared melons and whole fruit as well. We ate quickly and then headed out to the pool deck.
The Aqua Park still was not open after we had eaten so we went up to the higher sports decks to explore. We stopped by the ropes course and spoke with staff, confirming that the girls would be able to participate.
We then went over to the miniature golf course and played for awhile. It was cool playing golf with the strong ocean breeze blowing around us and the ropes course above us.
By the time we finished on the upper sports deck the Aqua Park was open. The girls played in the splash pad for a while.
Then my oldest daughter connected with some girlfriends she had made in the kids club (Splash Academy) the night before. She took off with them to ride the bigger water slides and my youngest relaxed with me on the loungers, people watching and eating soft serve ice cream cones from the Garden Café.
We hung out in that spot until lunch time. After having lunch in the Garden Café around 1:30pm we headed back to our room.
We showered and relaxed awhile that afternoon. My friend Iris was working on a paper for school and was camped out on the balcony with her laptop. I helped the girls wash up and styled their hair. Then I took some time on my laptop getting work done.
At 4pm we realized we were all super hungry. We originally wanted to wait to head down to dinner at 5:30 when the dining rooms opened but we were all ravenous! So we consulted the iConcierge app and Daily Newsletters to find out which dining venues were open.
O’Sheehans is a family friendly bar and grill in the hub of 678 Ocean Place (the main atrium area) and it is open 24 hours. We decided to stop there for a light snack and then go directly to the Manhattan Room (one of the main dining rooms) when it opened at 5:30.
O’Sheehan’s menu was varied and the kids had fish and chips while Iris and I had Salmon Caesar Salads. The portions were on the smaller side so we were hungry enough to continue down to the Manhattan room for dinner.
We loved the Manhattan Room. We arrived 10 minutes before opening and even though there were several people congregating at the entrance, checking in for dinner, we were all seated quickly. Our servers were friendly and attentive and we really enjoyed the live music.
We rushed through dessert and took the kids to Splash Academy for Prince and Princess night. After dropping them off we ran up to the Escape Theatre where we had reservations for After Midnight, the Harlem Jazz revue featured on the Escape.
We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the show! The theatre was packed when we arrived, just as the curtains lifted. We enjoyed the entire show; the dancers were very talented and the singers were on point. Though it wasn’t family friendly, it was of high quality and an enjoyable night’s entertainment.
My friend and I wandered the ship a bit that night and then picked up the girls from the Splash Academy at closing time..
Our first full day on the Escape was just awesome and our trip was only beginning!