NCL Escape - All Included Food Reviewed

Nov 14, 2023

Welcome back to Byte Size Cruises! If you’re new here, we are a small travel agency located just outside of Philadelphia and we specialize in all things cruising. If that sounds interesting to you and you’d like to learn more about designing your best cruise vacation, click to subscribe and join us! In this post we will be reviewing all of the included food on NCL Escape. Let’s get into it.

When you go on an NCL cruise there are several included food options in the price of your ticket. NCL has what’s called “freestyle dining” which means that there are no preset dining times. Whenever you’re wanting your meal, you can walk up to the restaurant and say however many people are in your party. If there is a wait, they’ll give you a little buzzer to alert you when your table is ready, just like at a normal restaurant. 

The two main restaurants on the NCL Escape are Taste and Savor. These are located at the back end of the ship on either side of the Mix bar. They are both open during the same hours and both will be open throughout the cruise. The exception to this is when you’re at port, in which case only one will be open. 

Breakfast at Taste and Savor is pretty standard with the typical options available (eggs, bacon, waffles, pancakes, etc.) and they have a breakfast special each day. Overall, the food is good and we’ve never had complaints when eating breakfast at either of these places. There are no limits and you can order anything you like, so if you’re a morning person and you enjoy a big breakfast feel free to order several entrees. All of your extras, juices, coffee, etc. are included. The only things that are not included are sodas, specialty coffees, or alcoholic beverages. 

For lunch, these restaurants are open with the exception of days at port, which makes sense since everyone is off of the ship on those days. At lunch you’re going to get the same kind of standard fare, such as fish and chips, burgers, salads, etc. and they have a special every day just like breakfast. It can be nicer at lunch to sit down and have a meal if you’re not looking to battle crowds at the buffet and again, the food is good. Similarly, for dinner you’re going to get standard fare. We wouldn’t recommend getting “fancy” things here; they do simple and honest food best. For example, if you get a steak in the main dining room, it’s not going to be the best steak you’ve ever had. It’s going to be a standard, included with your fare, steak, which, considering it’s all included, makes complete sense. If you’re not a picky eater and if you’re not a foodie, you’ll find plenty to eat at Taste and Savor while on the NCL Escape. 

Next up, let’s talk about the Manhattan room. This is going to be a short blurb because the food, kitchens, etc. are exactly the same as Taste and Savor for this dining room. The only difference is that it is a fun and interesting place to sit and eat. It’s got an old-school “supper club” vibe and sometimes there is live entertainment here. Definitely something fun to check out.

Let’s move on to the Garden Cafe. The Garden Cafe is the all-included buffet on the NCL Escape. It does get crowded for major meal times, as to be expended on a cruise ship. The downside with the buffet is that because it is crowded it can be challenging to find a place to sit.  The food overall is good and has a wide variety of standard fare at every meal. For dinner they will have a special every night, such as Indian, Italian, or Oriental night, where you’ll find ethnic options in addition to regular choices. It’s obviously not the place to expect any kind of extravagant sitdown meal and it’s a great option if you’re rushing off to an activity or want to grab food and go. Again, our issue with the Garden Cafe has never been the food, it’s just the rushed environment and a crowded space that has never been our favorite. 

Next up, let’s review Osheehan’s Pub and Grill. Osheenhan’s is like the Irish bar on board and is open pretty much round the clock. This is definitely our preferred included restaurant on the NCL Escape. Here you’ll find all of your favorite pub style food and it’s all delicious. They also have an ice cream bar here, which is a fun addition to this restaurant. Now, the ice cream bar is an extra cost, but for a few dollars it is absolutely worth it. Osheenhan’s also has breakfast fare. Their menu is less varied than the other included restaurants, but if you love the atmosphere here, you can eat breakfast here as well!

Lastly, there is room service! Now, room service food is included in your cruise but you do pay a $10 service charge for delivery, so keep that in mind. The room service menu is going to be similar to the other standard food items you’ll find on the ship and overall a good experience. Keep in mind that if you’re ordering room service on a really busy morning, such as a port morning, you might be waiting a few extra minutes or they might run out of things early, so be patient.

Those are all of the included food options on the NCL Escape! Have you been on this ship before? What were your favorite places to eat? Comment below! We would love to hear from you.


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