Cruise Day 3: A Full, Vigorous Day

A picture of us on our balcony on the Norwegian Escape cruise ship
Us, preparing for the day ahead.

Just kidding; we did absolutely nothing again. It was glorious.

We got the time change correct this time, which only meant we got up even later than we’d planned when we slept in that morning. We had no hope of making it to either the buffet or O’Sheehan’s for breakfast, so we ended up having lunch for breakfast. We ate at O’Sheehan’s and I packed in a few more of my favorite wings. A weird breakfast, but very vacation-y.

Our first stop of the afternoon was back at the spa. We didn’t get enough relaxation time in yesterday, you see, so the only solution was to once again laze around on those padded loungers.

Strolling over to Spice H20, we were saddened to note how many more people were there at a time when it wasn’t 9:00 in the morning. Still, we enjoyed cooling off in the grotto, which is a little more elaborate than the one on the Getaway. There are more waterfalls, which is very refreshing, but which make it harder to enjoy a drink while cooling off.

After our dip in the water, we found a couple of loungers in a shady spot forward on deck 17. These chairs were in the shade, but close enough to the pool bar for us to grab some frozen drinks. I enjoyed my first frosé, which, as the name suggests, is frozen rosé. The wine lover in me rejoiced at this adult slurpee; it became my new go-to poolside drink.

We spent a very enjoyable hour or so just sipping our drinks and reading, all the while listening to the reggae band play music by the pool. I will say, though, with the exception of the wine tasting, this cruise seemed very lacking in activities when compared to other cruises. Or maybe I should say, it lacked activities we wanted to partake in. On prior cruises, we typically played a lot of trivia games or name that tune type games. All the events on Escape felt centered in the atrium and seemed geared toward mass group participation, so we missed that feeling of gathering in a smaller venue for things like trivia. I guess this comes with the territory of a larger ship, but it seemed particularly noticeable on this ship. I don’t want to say this left us with a feeling of boredom, because we very much enjoyed the many hours we spent just doing nothing, but we did feel a little bit like we had nothing to do during the day. Folks who feel more comfortable in very large group settings may find it more to their liking.

For second lunch, we decided to try Margaritaville on deck 17. Now, put aside all your notions about Jimmy Buffett and believe me when I say this: the food here was fantastic! There’s a $14.99 cover charge (plus 20% gratuity), but it’s worth it. Everything we had was great, but the standouts, for me, were the conch fritters (outside of Grand Cayman, the best I’ve ever had), the Key West Fish Sandwich (former Florida boy here, I know good fish), and the Volcano Burger. Margaritaville was my second favorite dining experience on the ship…more about my first favorite coming momentarily.

After getting showered and changed, we had just enough time to stop at Cellars for a pre-show glass of wine before heading to the theater for the Brat Pack at 7:30. Ok, upon further reflection, it was actually two glasses.

The Brat Pack was very enjoyable, even though I’d never watched any of the movies. I did know almost all the 80s songs though. The same can’t be said for everyone, as a ton of people left this show mid-stream. I guess if you’re not of a certain age the show might not hold much appeal, but we were still surprised.

Squid tapa on the Norwegian Escape cruise ship
On perhaps the best cruise ship for food we’ve ever sailed aboard, the tapas were the best of the best.

Because of our large lunch late in the afternoon, we weren’t ready to commit to a full dinner. This led us to our favorite food onboard the Escape at Pinchos!

Patatas Bravas tapa on the Norwegian Escape cruise ship
A Spanish tapa classic.

We sat outside, and, while it was warm out, it was still very nice. It was very quiet, and it was the perfect setting to enjoy some small plates and some excellent wine. Even though we didn’t think we’d need a full dinner, our first round of orders was so delicious we couldn’t help but go back for more. Squid, shrimp, Spanish ham, Patatas Bravas, we ate everything in sight! Hands-down, this was our favorite food on the ship and is well worth a visit (and we’d visit again in only a couple days).

Anchovies tapa on the Norwegian Escape cruise ship
This was before I’d tried anchovies for the first time. I have regrets.
Jamon tapa on the Norwegian Escape cruise ship
The only lackluster tapa we tried. Skip the ham, hit pretty much everything else.

After a wonderful meal, we wanted to find some evening entertainment. We wanted to go to the Howl at the Moon dueling pianos show in Headliners, as we really enjoyed it on our cruise on the Getaway. Unfortunately, the place was absolutely standing-room only by the time we poked our heads in at 10:00. If you’re planning on doing this on your cruise, I’d suggest lining up EARLY!

We ended up at Tobacco Road, where we encountered the single most talented performer we’ve ever seen on a cruise. His name is Orly Penate, and he’s one of the best guitar players I’ve ever heard. I mean, check this out:

I play guitar, as well, and have even played professionally, so I consider myself a good judge of musical talent. If you get lucky enough to have this guy on your cruise, go see him and you will be blown away!

We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours just listening to Orly kill it on guitar and knocking back Getaways. Eventually we made it back to our cabin and hit the hay, excited for Bermuda the following day.

Up next in cruise day 4: pink sand, and even more delicious food.


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