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If you're lucky, your next cruise will have a couple of “sea days” — those days spent sailing on the ocean with no land in sight. Seasoned cruisers often look forward to spending a few days at sea, but first-time cruisers are usually a bit skeptical.
You might wonder, What will I do while I’m “stuck on the ship”? Won’t I be bored? Given our 10-plus years of cruising history, we can assure you that there will be no shortage of activities to occupy your time. In fact, how you spend your time at sea can really separate a good cruise ship from a great one.
The ideal sea day requires getting out of your stateroom to enjoy all the ship has to offer. Whether you choose to wake up early or sleep in a bit, you should get your day started with a little morning sun — even if that means just relaxing on your balcony. For us, we started our sea day with a morning walk.
We recommend avoiding the small and busy jogging track on deck 16 and heading to the Waterfront instead. This open promenade on deck 8 wraps around the ship and provides amazing views that will invigorate you for the active day ahead.
On your way back, you may want to fuel up with some specialty coffee at the Atrium Café and some breakfast from the Garden Café. The Garden Café is one of the best breakfast stops on the ship, offering plenty of fresh fruits, made-to-order omelets and essentially any breakfast item you could imagine.
Next, it's time to enjoy one of the best spots on the ship, Spice H20. Aft on deck 17, this adults-only area provides a tranquil vibe for some mid-morning relaxation. After soaking up some sun, you'll want to take a dip in the unique Grotto water feature to cool off. The Spice H20 Bar is also a short walk away; after all, it is 5 o’clock somewhere! Other cruisers discover this retreat quickly, so by the end of the cruise, it is difficult to secure a deck chair after 9 am.
As your base station, you can come and go from Spice H20 to take in some of the other ship activities. Of course, no one would blame you if you just lounged here the entire day.
Are you an adventure seeker? You'll want to try out the waterslides. On the Aqua Racer tube slide, you can ride solo or as a couple. You can even wear a GoPro to capture an awesome video from your vantage point. The Aqua Loop slides are a different story; absolutely no jewelry, watches, or additional accessories can be worn on these free-fall slides. We recommend that you ride the slides when they open in the morning (around 10 am) as the wait times will be considerably shorter.
Once you've had your fill of sun, waterslides and maybe even your first drink of the day, you may want to head inside for a short break during the early afternoon. You have plenty of options! Watch one of the cooking demonstrations, attend a towel animal folding class, or even listen to a Q&A session from the cruise director and staff.
At some point, lunch will beckon. Several options exist, but our personal favorite is the first Margaritaville at Sea. This a la carte restaurant offers items at a reasonable price and is also part of the specialty dining package. Be sure to try the volcano nachos … and some margaritas! Don’t worry, the drinks are covered if you opt for the Ultimate Beverage Package.
This mid-afternoon snack will certainly re-energize you to conquer the rest of the daylight hours. Perhaps the ropes course, mini-golf, or sports deck is calling your name. If you’d rather stay inside, you could head to the Casino or check out one of the other bars to indulge in a custom mojito or a few LandShark brews.
Norwegian does not have an official “Formal Night,” but one of the sea days will be the “Dress-Up or Not” night. If you like to get fancy, then do it up. But if you enjoy a more freestyle vacation, you will not feel out of place in your Caribbean attire.
With more than 12 different dining options, you have plenty of choices for dinner. Of the complimentary venues, we recommend the Manhattan Room, a sleek, sophisticated venue with live music. If you're willing to spend a few extra bucks, our choice for a specialty restaurant is Food Republic. A fusion restaurant serving up small plates and tapas, the Food Republic delivers some of the best food at sea.
You better not be tired — you still have a full night ahead of you. Even though this is a sea “day,” it doesn’t mean you have to quit when the sun goes down. For evening entertainment, you will have your choice of live music at several lounges, with our favorite being the District Brew House, and plenty of laughs to go around in Headliners. This dual-purpose lounge serves as both a comedy club and a dueling piano bar, so be sure to enjoy them both.
In the main theater, you can enjoy one of two production shows, including the Tony awarding winning “After Midnight” and the 1980s-inspired “Brat Pack” (each show is offered on a few select nights of the cruise).
Don’t think about hitting the sack before you check out one of the several parties offered aboard Norwegian Escape. From the neon glow of the White Party to the ’80s deck party, Spice H20 comes alive with music, dancing and plenty of fun in the evenings. The high-energy atmosphere keeps going far into the night.
Norwegian Escape offers travelers of all ages and activity levels entertainment around the clock. From fun in the sun to indoor activities, a day at sea is whatever you want it to be.
How about you? Have you cruised on Escape yet? What did you like? If you haven't cruised on the ship yet, what looks interesting? Please share in the comments.