My sisters and I celebrated our birthdays and went on the Getaway without our families for the week.
The ship is beautiful and we got a mini-suite with a balcony. Unfortunately we didn't realize that passengers can smoke on the balconies & we had 3 chain smokers next to us. We were downwind of them & one of my sisters had asthma which meant she could barely ever sit outside because the people smoked constantly & the smoke actually came into our room if the slider was open. So that was very disappointing.
The room was a good size but don't know how I would have liked a smaller room that didn't have the extra room our cabin did. The staff was very friendly & our room was always made up beautifully,
As far as the food I have been on the Pearl & the Gem & felt the Getaway had less free dining options than the other ships had. Taste & Savor were considered two restaurants but had the same menu which didn't vary that much from night to night. We never ate in the large dining room and the Garden Cafe had a big selection but always seem chaotic. There was one restaurant O'Sheehans which was open 24/7 & had decent food but it was pub food. We actually ate breakfast there quite a few times and that was good, Taste & Savor were also good for breakfast if you wanted to sit in a quiet restaurant & be served.
We picked two specialty restaurants to dine in but if you wanted decent times to eat you had to make reservations days ahead which kind of defeats the idea of free style dining. We ate at Moderno Churrascaria which was 20 extra pp & La Cucina 15 pp. I thought both restaurants were very good & worth the money. It seems like NCL is pushing passengers to eat at the specialty restaurants more & more. It was fine for us because we were only paying for ourselves but if you have a family it could cost you quite a lot to dine in those restaurants nightly. I still like the idea of eating when & where you want instead of eating in a main dining room with strangers at your table.
If you have older children the water slides, walk the plank etc were fantastic. It definately has more to do for kids than most other cruises except for Disney whiich is pretty expensive. The other problem we had were kids in the adults only pool & hot tubs & no pool attendants to watch the area. One day a couple actually had little children in the hot tub & people complained so they were told to take the kids out but that didn't stop tweens & teens from monopolizing the adult hot tubs. If you don't have children try not to go during school breaks or summer. We didn't realize that the week we went was spring break in Florida and we had massive amounts of kids on the ship. I have children & a granddaughter myself but if the parents weren't watching the kids it was crazy. One day there was a whole group of kids playing a board game in one the elevators so no one could use it. Crazy.
As far as entertainment all of the shows were excellent. There were great comedians, a dance show called Burn the Floor, the musical Legally Blonde & a Grammy lounge that had great musicians.
The highlight though was the fantastic show Illusionarium. If you love magic it is a show unlike any that I have seen on a cruise ship. We got preferred seating & it included dinner. I have read reviews that people didn't care for the meal but our was delicious. While we were watching it I felt like I was in Las Vegas & not on a cruise ship. We booked our tickets ahead of time & were smart to do so as we heard passengers saying they weren't able to get tickets once they got onboard.
The stops were St Maarten, St Thomas & Nassau. We didn't do any tours because we have friends in St Maarten who picked us up so we could go to our favorite beach ever - Orient Beach on the French side. Had a wonderful meal in a 4 star restaurant called Bikini Beach, our favorite. In St Thomas we took a cab to Magen's Bay which is nice but can't compare to Orient Beach & was very very crowded because there were 4 ships docked that day. We were advised by the sales people on the ship that there was great shopping in Nassau & told us it was a 10 minute walk. I walk with a cane & it was about a 25 minute walk to Bay St which didn't interest me at all because the area seemed shady. I was very upset that he mislead us as I am sure the cruiseline gets a cut of what people spend in the shops they recommend. I was sorry I even got off the ship as that was the only day that you could actually find a pool chair.
All in all it was a great week but the ship was very crowded which increased wait times etc. I have to say that all the staff on the ship were very friendly. We actually never had a bad meal or service. There is so much to do you can never fit it all in but you certainly won't be bored. I love NCL & would say you can spend as little or as much as you want depending on how much you drink, how many specialty restaurants you dine in, if you join the spa, gamble, take tours etc. I think we had a good time without spending a fortune - would not hesitate to take another cruise but don't think I would spend the money on a balcony cabin because of the smoking issue which is a shame because I love balcony cabins!!