We have been on over 35 cruises, including the NCL Seaward in 1988, and on almost every cruise brand, and the Inaugural February 8, 2014 Caribbean cruise on the Getaway was ONE OF THE BEST CRUISE WE HAVE BEEN ON, with a few exceptions to be discussed later.
(There will also be comparisons to Royal Caribbean Oasis, the other mega ship we have cruised on.)
The ship never felt crowded. The ship is designed beautifully and flows excellently. Most of the action takes place around 678 Ocean Place, which is the 6th, 7th and 8th floor of the ship. The floor plan is great as everything is easily accessible on the 3 floors and has all the night life, restaurants, bars, shows, and shops. There are so many things to do, you will never be bored.
The Waterfront is a great idea as it allows you to sit on the outside deck of the ship and have dinner or a drink and see the beautiful ocean, one of the reasons for cruising.
(This is the opposite of Royal Caribbean Oasis, which tries to keep you contained within the ship and you can't even see the ocean unless you have a balcony cabin.)
Guest services is located in the Main Atrium on the 6th floor and is a very happening place as they have a large 2 story screen and many activities. Guest services was very friendly and efficient. We never had to wait in line more than a few minutes as they always had more than enough staff and also had someone talking to guest in line to try and resolve any issue so they did not have to wait in line.
(On the Oasis, they never had enough staff and the wait was almost always an hour to talk to someone. They also did not have someone trying to resolve issues in the line.)
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND STAFF
The staff on the ship was very nice and friendly, one of the nicest staff we have ever seen. Everyone from the buffet, dining rooms, shows, shops and guest services was very nice and friendly.
(The staff on the Oasis was very unfriendly and only seemed concerned with themselves.)
What we have learned from our many cruises is that the food in the buffet the first day will tell you how the food is going to be during the cruise. Once we tried the food in the Garden Café buffet on the first day we were delighted. The FOOD WAS DELICIOUS and we never had an issue finding a table easily. This continued throughout the cruise to the Main Dining Room and most restaurants.
The Garden Café has the BEST buffet food of any ship we have tried. The food is even better than most other ships Main Dining Rooms.
(The exception was Le Bistro, which was terrible, and O'Sheehan's which was OK).
(The food on the Oasis was terrible in the buffet and all Main Dining rooms. The only good food was the Specialty restaurants that you have to pay for. Also, in the buffet they kept playing an announcement that saying if you have finished eating, you must leave to make room for others).
MAIN DINING ROOMS
There are 3 Main Dining Rooms. Savor, Taste and the Tropicana Room. We always ate in the Tropicana Room, because of its great atmosphere and dance floor. We also ate on a late night in Taste. The food in the Main Dining Rooms are DELICIOUS and is the BEST food we have had in any Main Dining Room on any ship. Also the variety is incredible. On the Menu are 8 starters and 8 main course. The menu in Savor and Taste are the same while the Menu in the Tropicana Room varies slightly from the other 2 dining rooms. The menus change daily.
(This is very different than on the Oasis, which had a very limited Main Dining Room menu which was padded with items you have to pay for from the Specialty restaurants. Also the food in the Main Dining Rooms on the Oasis were terrible.)
The Tropicana Room reminds us of a very expensive dinner club with a live band singing nice and relaxing music. The atmosphere is EXCELLENT and so is the music. The dance floor is huge and the service is excellent. Also, the dancers from the Burn the Floor show perform in the Tropicana Room the last 3 nights. We were able to get a table beside the stage and enjoyed a great dancing show and dinner, all included in the price of the cruise. After the show, we danced to very romantic music, especially on Valentines Day. This was one of the highlights on the cruise.
For breakfast we ate in the Savor restaurant. The food and service was EXCELLENT everyday and the menu was the same as the buffet.
LE BISTRO $20.00
We were looking forward very much to dinner in Le Bistro, the French restaurant, as we have tried it on other NCL ships and it was our best meal. Unfortunately, this was the WORST MEAL OF THE CRUISE. The French Onion Soup had no onions and no flavor. It tasted like chicken soup without the chicken. The French Onion soup in the free Tropicana Room was much better. The Escargot had a lot of butter, but no garlic or flavor. The Scallops were over cooked and hard. The only dish that was eatable was the Lamb Chops and they were only OK. The Lamb Chops in Moderno was much more delicious.
We sat outside and the atmosphere was very nice, just like been in Paris sitting outside a café, including the unbearable smoke coming from the 7th floor casino above. After a few minutes all of our eyes were having reactions to the smoke from the casino.
Because of the terrible food in Le Bistro, we cancelled our reservations for Cagneys, the steak house as we did not want to pay $30.00 and get another very disappointing meal.
The food in Moderno was excellent and so was the service. The best item from the all you can eat meats was the Lamb Chops. I highly recommend you try this restaurant.
24 HOUR FOOD
The Getaway has the full service O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill which is open 24 hours. But the menu is very limited after midnight, when they have only 5 items available, but at least they are hot dishes. The food is OK, the hot chicken wings had too much vinegar and the spinach and artichoke dip was just a bunch of unfinished spinach. The restaurant is located on the deck 7 and surrounds the 2 story screen from the 6th floor Atrium. O'Sheehan's has table seating, bar seating, a pool table and many arcade games.
(On the Oasis, the only 24 food option was a was a cold sandwich restaurant, with cucumber sandwiches. For a drinks they only have 2 self serve pitchers of Ice Tea and Lemonade, which was always empty. The Oasis also never had a clean table to sit at.)
The Getaway has some of the BEST entertainment we have ever seen anywhere.
BURN THE FLOOR
Definitely the BEST show you will ever see on a cruise ship or anywhere. The dancers are beautiful and talented. The singers sound great. We saw two shows in the Getaway Theater and 3 shows in the Tropicana Dining room while enjoying the delicious dinner. You could spend hundreds of dollars on a show and it wont be as good as this show.
We did not like this show nearly as much as BURN THE FLOOR. The Legally Blonde singers were not very good and the acting was terrible. We left halfway through the show. Other guests that really liked the movie and Broadway show, said it was only OK.
On this cruise they lowered the price from 40.00 to 30.00 for the Premium seats and 25.00 for the Standard seats, so you should really see the show. The magic itself ran from the average everyday things you always see to some spectacular feats. The dinner was really not worth it, a piece of steak and 2 shrimps. We went to the 5 30 PM show so we could eat after in one of the Main Dining Room. The dinner service was terrible. NCL should lower the price of the show, don’t serve dinner as there are much better free dining options on the ship, take out the dinner tables and put in more seats for the show.
The comedy shows were either in the Getaway Theater or Headliners. The shows were very funny and worth the time. They had three comedians on the ship.
The Getaway Theater is not a huge as other mega ships that is trying to seat everyone at one time. The Getaway Theater was cozy, nicely decorated and every seat was a good seat.
The same night as the 80s Deck Party, they had the fireworks show on the ship. Can you believe, fireworks on the ship. We originally started at the 80s Deck Party on the 16th floor, but it was a too loud. So we watched the fireworks on the Deck 8 Waterfront. It was incredible.
The elevators were fast and efficient. The trick is you have to press the button on both sides as the elevator on both sides are operated by each button.
We tried the Thermal Suite at the Spa which is 199.00 per person per week and is limited to 120 persons. It was awesome. The hot tub is huge with special sprayers everywhere. One of the best things in the spa is the Salt Bath, it was very relaxing.
This was a wonderful cruise and we had a blast.
However, these items we did not enjoy.
The cabin was very nice and spacious, however the balcony was only 2 feet wide. Really, 2 people can barely fit on the balcony. The cabin was more like an ocean view cabin as the balcony was unusable. The only good thing was that since the balcony was so small, you could easily see the ocean from the bed, just like an ocean view cabin.
There were only a few smokers on the ship and as usual they only thought of themselves. The smoke filled 678 Ocean Place atrium and casino and made it very uncomfortable for non smokers. This is a policy NCL should change as almost everyone complains about it.
This was the worst cabin steward we have ever had. There were fingerprints on the TV, mirror and cabinets when we started the cruise and the same fingerprints were there when we completed the cruise and the fingerprints are probably still there nowo. We ran out of hand soap and bath soap on different days and had to call for refills, as the cabin steward never filled them.
Also, some of our clothes went missing the first day the cabin steward cleaned the room, and they were never found, even though we spent the week checking the cabin for them. I am happy for my clothes, as they are still cruising the Caribbean, while I am back home. These things have never happened to us on any cruises we took.
We had a blast on this cruise. We had such a awesome time, we did not want to leave the beautiful ship. The food was BEST of any ship we have cruised. The BURN THE FLOOR show was the BEST show we have ever seen anywhere. The Tropicana Room was INCREDIBLE. The food was DELCICOUS and the entertainment was AWESOME.
We definitely plan to cruise on the NCL Getwawy again or on the new ship, NCL Escape.