The Norwegian Escape is the first Breakaway Plus Class type cruise ship that was added to Norwegian’s fleet in 2015. Its cruises leave from Miami with port stops in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. With over a 4,000 guest capacity, having plenty of things to do on the Norwegian Escape was a must. Our list highlights all of the major activities and entertainment you can expect when cruising on this beautiful city at sea.
Things To Do With Kids on the Norwegian Escape
There is no need to worry about keeping the kids entertained on this cruise ship. The Escape is full of family activities and has something fun to do for every age group. Whether you are looking for something to do with the whole family or let your kids join one of the many youth programs that are available, they have got you covered for activities and entertainment. Below is a list of the best family activities on the Norwegian Escape cruise ship.
Zipline and Stand Over the Edge of the Ship on the Ropes Course
The Norwegian Escape Ropes Course is a three-story course that spans the width of the ship and is the largest ropes course at sea. This course will certainly test your courage and stamina as it pushes you through many challenging elements and rewards you with a sense of accomplishment and a one of kind experience. After you strap into your harness and ascend to the upper levels of the ropes course, you will encounter two planks that extend eight feet over the side of the ship, sky rails that have you zip lining high above the ship’s deck as well as over the side of the ship and dozens of other challenging obstacles to tackle. It is quite exhilarating and a bit scary to be over the side of the ship, but it is a view only those brave enough to do it can see. My 12 year old daughter had no problem or fear traversing the course. I on the other hand hit a few obstacles on the course that were a challenge and a bit intimidating, but I braved through it – including walking the plank over the side of the ship. The course is free for all cruise guests and the height requirement is 48″ or taller. For those that have kids under 48″ tall, there is a Kids’ Ropes Course that has the same fun, just in a smaller size.
Ride the Water Slides and Swim at Norwegian Escape’s Aqua Park
The Norwegian Escape’s Aqua Park boasts four water slides, two swimming pools and the Kids Aqua Park. For the ultimate thrill ride on the ship, the Escape has side-by-side free fall water slides that drops both riders feet first into an aqualoop – the water slide equivalent to a roller coaster loop. Although my daughter is a thrill seeker (any roller coaster, zip lines, etc.), this one was too intimidating and left just dad to go it alone. The free fall water slides will keep you in suspense waiting for the floor to drop out beneath your feet and the speed and g-force at which you travel before hitting the aqualoop is nothing I have experienced on a water slide. The most popular water slide on the Escape is the Aqua Racer, which is a multi-story enclosed tube water slide (single or tandem riders) that races you through many twists and turns with the highlight being the transparent tube portion that towers over the side of the ship. This was our family favorite and seemed to be the most popular water slide on the ship for kids and adults alike. The fourth water slide is the kid friendly water slide that is two stories, but is still full of twists and turns. Below all of the water slides, there are two swimming pools and the Kids Aqua Park.
Enjoy a Broadway Musical
After Midnight is a Broadway quality musical that takes you back to the Cotton Club’s big-band era of the 20s and 30s. This beautifully choreographed show is full of energy with a live jazz band and very talented dancers and singers. Less of a story and more of a celebration of this fun era will allow even the younger ones to enjoy the show. Our whole family had really enjoyed the show and even our preteen enjoyed watching the amazing dance routines. Our favorite part of the show, without a doubt was the energetic tap dance routines – really amazing.
For The Record: The Brat Pack is a musical that transports you back to the 1980’s via music and classic John Hughes films – The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and more. We really enjoyed what we saw of the show, but we had to leave due to my big parent fail. When we booked this show, I read the show title but somehow my brain read Rat Pack and NOT Brat Pack. As the show started we realized it was the 80’s and the Brat Pack. Well we were on board with our 80’s music. Here is the bigger fail on my part – the show was recommended for ages 16+ and that usually isn’t that risqué. Well, when they got to the locker room, my wife and I looked at each other and our eyes said, “What were we thinking.” We hated to leave such a good performance, but we couldn’t let our munchkin watch. If you have older kids, we think you will have a blast.
Splash, Climb and Slide at the Kids’ Aqua Park
Tucked below the water slides, the Kids’ Aqua Park is a fun water playground for your kids. The aqua park is filled with areas to explore, climb and slide around as well as water buckets, water guns and oversized faucets raining and shooting water all over the place. It’s a fun stopover for the preteen crown before they head to the water slides or the pool. Younger kids will spend a lot of time here or on the family friendly water slide.
Play a Round of Miniature Golf
In the shadows of the ropes course the Escape has a sizable nine hole miniature golf course. Each of the nine holes had a different obstacle and various ways to get to the hole. The course had a nice balance with enough challenges to keep the adults happy, but not too difficult for the kids. Our family is pretty competitive and hitting that perfect shot through an obstacle to get you straight to the hole gave you bragging rights – until the next hole.
Swim, Soak and Sunbathe at the Pool and Aqua Park
One of the most popular spots on the Norwegian Escape is the main pool deck. The main swimming pool is flanked by shallow wading areas complete with wooden seating. Both sides of the swimming pool have a large hot tub for a warm soak with your fellow cruisers – not sure how many each hot tub fits, but it is a lot. Outside of that, there are rows and rows of lounge chairs to lie out in the sun, but you better get them early to have a prime spot. As a family we spent more time near the water slides and family pool, but this was a nice area to lie out and listen to music.
Play Video Games at the Arcade
The Norwegian Escape’s arcade has a nice variety of games to play from the latest video games to skee ball and pop a shot. My daughter and I spent some time racing each other in Mario Kart, shooting skeletons that were raiding our pirate ship and unsuccessfully trying to claw up some prizes. The arcade is not free and you use your room key to swipe and pay for a game. Let your kids know ahead of time not to go crazy with the swipes. It’s a great escape for an hour or so each day.
Play Basketball, Bocce Ball, Soccer and More at the Sports Complex
There is a lot to do at the sports complex. The biggest draw is the ropes course, but the complex also has a basketball court, a miniature golf course, ping pong tables, bocce ball and a small soccer set up. Our family did everything they had to offer and it was all very fun, even bocce ball.
Let Your Teens Hangout With Other Teens
Norwegian Escape’s Entourage Teen Lounge is an indoor space for 13 -17 years olds to hang out with each other without the parents. Entourage has plenty to do for the teens with video games, movies, nightly theme parties, art classes, music, dancing, sports and more. Although our preteen was a year too young, we did go to Entourage a couple of time to see what was happening and the teens were having fun. Also, the teen lounge is complimentary and supervised.
Preteen Activities Galore at the Splash Academy
Norwegian Escape has the Splash Academy for kids that range from 3 to 12 years old. The Splash Academy has three different age groups, so your kids can play with those in their own age range. The daily offerings vary by age group, but each one has plenty of fun to offer each day. From circus school and scavenger hunts to arts & crafts and video games, your kids will a lot in store for them. The older group even gets a night to take over the Entourage Teen Lounge – have that teens!
Throw Some Strikes at the Kid Friendly Bowling Alley
Tucked away in the game section of O’Sheehan’s, there is a bowling alley, pool table, skee ball and electronic dart boards. The first thing you will notice is the bowling alley is about half the size of a regular alley. That was intriguing, so we decided to play a game. The blowing balls have no finger holes, are small enough to be gripped with one hand and are much lighter than traditional bowling balls, which made it easier for my daughter to bowl. The pins are also half the size, so it was basically a half size blowing alley. It was a lot of fun hurling the balls down the lane – and you can get some speed going with these miniature bowling balls – and seeing what havoc you can wreak with the pins. Pretty fun, different than traditional bowling and small enough that kids can play without using two hands or the dreaded gutter bumpers.
Escape the Big Top
This activity was more of a mystery solver than an escape room, but it was entertaining nonetheless. A twist on the escape room, Escape the Big Top has multiple teams trying to solve clues to avoid a curse that was cast onto each team member before time runs out. Each team was given the same bag of clues to try and figure out a variety of challenging puzzles placed around the onboard carnival. The first team to solve all the clues and unlock the treasure box, wins the challenge and has the curse lifted from the team.
We spent an hour running around the room trying to figure out each area’s clues, but some were decoys and wasted your valuable time. Of the 10 teams that participated in our session, only one team made it to the treasure box on time, but they didn’t unlock it as one of their solutions was incorrect. So, no one unlocked the treasure box and lifted the curse. Escape the Big Top was very challenging and some clues were downright tough to solve, but it was fun running around and trying to figure it all out.
Adults Only Activities on the Norwegian Escape
Along with the many family friendly things to do on the Norwegian Escape, the ship has many areas and activities that are only for the adults. As much as we love spending our family time together during our vacation, it is nice to have a little getaway here and there. Below is a list of the best adult only activities and areas on the Norwegian Escape cruise ship.
Lounge and Sunbathe at Spice H2O
This is the best place on the ship for adults, age 18 and up, to bask in the sun and soak in one of the two big hot tubs. Spice H2O is located on the upper deck of the back (stern) of the ship, which separates it from the rest of the ships activities. By day the area is filled with sun seekers lying out on the rows of lounge chairs, grabbing a drink at the bar and sitting in the bubbling waters of the hot tubs. At night, Spice H2O transforms into a party space with a dance floor, a massive video screen and a DJ. Once in a while, the space is also used to host a movie night, which is for all ages.
Gamble at the Casino
The Norwegian Escape has a smaller version of a Las Vegas type casino that is complete with most of the usual games you would expect to be there. The casino is fairly lively in the early evening and gets jam packed after dinner time. Slot machines and a variety of table and card games will give you plenty of options to try your luck with. We both had a few quick rounds at the casino and the early evening (before dinner) was the sweet spot for us as it wasn’t too overcrowded, but still had some liveliness. FYI, when the ship is in port, the casino is closed.
Have a Laugh at Headliners Comedy Club
Depending on which show you see, the comedy acts at Headliners Comedy Club could be for adults only or for families. The earlier show of the night is usually a family friendly show with the later showing being geared towards adults. With our 12 year old in tow, we saw the early show and saw other families in the audience with kids around the same age. The routines were clean enough for the kids, but were still absolutely hilarious that we didn’t miss the mature content at all. If you are looking to bring your kids along, just ask when making reservations if it is a kid friendly show. For those attending without kids, I think you would be happy with either show.
Relax and Unwind at the Mandara Spa
If you are looking for even more “me time” during your cruise, then head on over to the Mandara Spa for the most relaxing destination on the ship. Book yourself a day at the Spa Thermal Suites for a wonderful variety of luxuries that are sure to pamper and relax you. Among the many offerings available at the spa, the salt room and the snow room are unique experiences that you can’t get at most spas. Recharge yourself with a dip in the vitality pool, unwind on heated lounge chairs, sauna, steam room and soak up the warm waters of the hot tub and tropical rain showers. On top of all of that there are over 50 specialty spa treatments available.
Cool Off Under the Grotto’s Waterfall
Spice H2O has a wonderful way to cool off after a day of lying out in the Caribbean sun and soaking in the hot tubs. Behind the sun deck is the Norwegian Escape’s grotto with a cool and calm waterfall area that is the perfect place to escape the heat for a bit. No better place for a cool and calm waterfall than next to the sundeck. The only minus to this was that the kids miss out on the waterfall fun, which would have been a surefire hit with them.
What’s Included with Your Cruise Fair?
From our list of entertainment and activities on the Norwegian Escape listed on this article, here are the complimentary ones that are included with your cruise.
- The Ropes Course
- Aqua Park & Water Slides
- Kids’ Aqua Park
- Grotto Waterfall
- Sports Complex & Miniature Golf
- Escape the Big Top
- After Midnight Show
- The Brat Pack Show
- Headliners Comedy Club
- Spice H2O
- Entourage Teen Lounge
- Splash Academy
Norwegian Escape Ship Highlights Video
We hope our list of things to do on the Norwegian Escape will help you plan your perfect family cruise. In addition to all of the entertainment and activities we have on our list, Norwegian has so many more daily activities to enjoy. Feel free to leave us a comment or email us with any questions or suggestions you have about planning your cruise to the Caribbean.