I cruised on the inaugural cruise on February 8th on NCL Getaway from Miami as a solo cruiser. I flew from Melbourne, Australia and had three nights in Miami pre cruise to get over the long flight. I stayed at Blanc Kara Hotel in SoFi (South of Fifth street) in Sobe (South Beach). It was a newly opened great stylish hotel and fulfilled my expectations of South Beach with its design, service and flavour. For sightseeing I did a historic walking tour of the art deco buildings and movie,tv show locations which was fun. A trip to Everglades National park to see the wildlife and go on a fan boat was thrilling and a great experience of southern Florida.
Embarkation was a smooth and quick process with two boarding areas. The NCL Getaway blew me away with it's design and new innovations. The hull painting design is beautiful when seen from the dock. I was lucky to meet the artist David LeBatard (LEBO) who was on our sailing and see him demonsrate his techniques for painting. The ships design and layout worked great for me and being able to get from one end of the ship to the other on the same deck on such a large vessel was wonderful. The outdoor promenade is lovely and a great place to unwind with a book or chat with fellow cruisers. The buffet restaurant was very smartly designed and never felt like a bustling cafeteria with its clever positioned screens to break up the spaces. Julie the cruise director was always present at arranged events and her bubbly personality was infectious. We had a huge turn out for the CC meet and greet with 110 people coming along. It was made better with many officers and crew attending also. A big thank you to Seashark (Len) for the organising the meet and greet and the lovely lanyards he made for everyone. I also did a cabin crawl with some fellow cruise critic members. I had fun showing off the studio lounge and I think I fitted 8 people into my Studio room which was a squeeze but fun and everyone loved the concept. I got so see a balcony room and Haven suite so had a great time also. Entertainment was superb with many options. The casino is huge and was always buzzing with excited gamblers. I ate wonderful meals in the main dining room as a treat also tried out the Teppanyaki speciality restaurant and as we had Geoffrey Zakarian on board for the inaugural cruise and was spoilt in his Ocean Blue restaurant. The Imaginarium with its fun magicians is a must see dining experience on board. The water slides, ropes course and swimming pools all make a day at sea lots of fun. The fireworks at sea was beautiful and alot of great dancing under the stars was had on the theme party nights. Overall the great atmosphere and environment set out by NCL led to lots of friendships being made and now even a cruise on the inaugural sailing of the NCL Escape is in the planning for a fun catch up reunion early 2015.