Monday, December 21, 2015

Margaritaville at Sea

Escape to
Jimmy Buffet's

When Norwegian Escape debuted out of Miami in November, 2015, we were there. One of the highlights we had been anticipating was the first ever Margaritaville at Sea Restaurant. We'll tell you about our experience during that inaugural sailing and also what to expect now when you sail on Norwegian Escape.

Margaritaville at Sea Menu
Cheeseburger in Paradise

If you've eaten at Margaritaville in the states or one of the tropical islands, you are most likely familiar with their menu.  The famous "Cheeseburger in Paradise" is still the headliner on the Norwegian Escape.   For finishing touches, you have to end with a piece of Key Lime Pie.

Our Experience

We were attending our National Conference on Norwegian Escape, which meant that our "free time" on sea days was lunch between morning general sessions and the afternoon breakout sessions.   Needless to say, we didn't have a lot of time for lunch.

Several of the agents in our group decided to try to sit together one lunch. When arriving at the restaurant, we discovered that there was a wait.   Not unexpected due to the popularity of this new dining venue, but unfortunately, we didn't have the luxury of time.   We decided to wait afterall which meant we'd be late to our next session.    We had to experience this dining venue.

When checking in at the restaurant, you are given a pager for your group.  You can roam pretty much anywhere on the ship, so you don't have to stay there waiting to be called.   We actually dined there twice during the cruise and both times we had to wait more than 45 minutes.

click link to see more pictures of Margaritaville at Sea
Margaritaville at Sea  album
 "Solving" the Problem

Since Margaritaville is only open a limited number of hours each day (for lunch) we had opted to wait.  Many people went away disappointed because they didn't have the time.

Norwegian Cruise Line has since "solved" this problem.   Perhaps you are thinking that they extended the hours or increased staff.  You would be wrong.   They decided that they would now charge for dining instead of making it a free option.   If you click on the menu above, you'll see the revised menu with a la carte pricing.  You'll have to decide for yourself whether it is worth having your Cheeseburger, Fries, and Key Lime Pie at Margaritaville or picking a cheaper alternative.

We are disappointed that Norwegian selected this method to "solve" the long wait time problem.   In fact, we aren't alone in the disappointment passengers are expressing having sailed on this otherwise beautiful new ship.   One passenger told us that they were cancelling the three cruises they had booked because they "were not happy with the direction NCL was going.  They are nickel-and-diming passengers" he concluded.  Only time will tell if freestyle dining on Norwegian Escape remains in its current form.
Click (here) or Image to the left for more stories and photos from our conference cruise on Norwegian Escape.   Check out this brand new ship from Norwegian Cruise Line.

If you have specific questions about the ship, the itinerary, or cruising in general, we'd love to hear from you.

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