This review is somewhat limited in its application because it is about a transatlantic crossing, which is not what the Getaway is designed to be doing. It is also limited because there were approximately 1300 guests in a ship built to carry close to 4,000. There were more crew members than guests on this rare transatlantic crossing. That said, the experience was most pleasurable. The crew is happy; in talking with various members of the crew, they indicated to a person that they would not want to work for any other cruise line. NCL provides them with private or semi-private quarters on the newer ships; provides benefits (such as transportation expenses when there contracts are over); and generally follows a philosophy that if the crew is happy, the customers will be happy. And it works.
The food on Getaway was excellent, and in our opinion was right up there with the quality food we've had on Cunard cruises. The ship is designed for Caribbean cruises, so that there are many opportunities to dine outside on the decks next to the upscale restaurants (but not for us on the North Atlantic in January). Whether you choose to use one of the many upscale restaurants, or eat in one of the four dining rooms available at no extra charge, you will not be disappointed in the quality or service.
We had a couple of minor complaints; but they were either recognized and corrected before we could register our complaint, or were remedied immediately upon our submitting them to the staff.
Best of all was the entertainment, especially the music in the smaller venues about the ship. Since we are jazz fans, we were treated to the fabulous work of Nestor Torres (a magnificent jazz/latin flute player) and the astonishingly able Grammy Experience band that backed him up. (The band only assembled together a couple of weeks prior to our crossing, but you would think that they had played together and with Torres for years.) We also enjoyed the "Howling at the Moon" dueling pianos, who took requests from the floor and seemed to know every rock 'n' roll song ever issued from memory.
We opted for one of the smaller outside rooms on Deck 5. Our only negative criticism was that in an economy room such as that one there is not an abundance of space for clothing storage. But again, because this is "free style" cruising in the Caribbean, most passengers will likely have fewer and less bulky clothing than those of us crossing the Atlantic in January needed.
Since it was a crossing, there were no ports of call. Therefore we have no experience with the operation of getting off and on the ship at ports, other than the original and final ports. Both of those were very easy (again with a light passenger load) and "free style" cruising allows you to carry your own bags off and avoid the luggage search upon final disembarkation before customs.
Based on our limited experience, NCL should see us as repeat customers to see how well they do with a full ship. Reviews of the Breakaway (an almost identical sister ship operating for about 1 year) would address that concern.