Booked a Balcony for an early April cruise. Miami, St Martin, St Thomas, Bahamas.
The ship was very nice. It IS a new ship so that was to be expected. I was surprised by how clean everything was.
There was a lot of things to do while on board. Ropes course was fantastic and had great hours. They had a climbing wall but it was ALWAYS closed. The mini golf was always full of kids. Movies were great and seating was always open. The Legally Blond show was VERY overrated. Very loud and the actors sucked. Illusionarium was was pleasant experience. A bit tacky at times and unfortunetely non of the tricks wowed me. I think they can hire MUCH better magicians for the show. Food was BLEH, make sure to get there early because the floor seating fulls up quickly. NCL offers a large variety of movies in your cabin via your TV. Some are free and some aren't. They rotate the free movies daily so you never have to watch the same ones over. Overall with TWO days at sea a was very happy that NCL kept us busy. I can honestly say that travling with two kids 5 and under was made easier because of the great entertainment choices.
The water activiies on this ship were AWESOME! The slides (free fall and others) were a lot of fun. Lines were alwasy short and the hours of operation were great. Walking the plank is a MUST!
There are A LOT of choices for dining. Most have an up charge, but it was ok because they also have a lot of free restaurants. They have something for every taste. We choose to keep it simple and ate dinner almost every night in the main free dinning halls. Taste and Savor are exactly identicle restaurants opposite from each other on the 6th floor. Food was excellent EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Unfortunately, the staff was horrible. They were very rude and not attentive. They have a rival between the two restuarants that cloud the atmosphere. We kept coming back because the food was so good. Food took a while to be brought out. The food during the magic show was sub par. The buffet (garden cafe) was great for breakfast and lunch. Every day they had something different. The second day of our cruise was seafood night. The garden cafe had all you can eat lobster. The lobster was just OK. Nothing out of this world. I was pretty dissapointed with the food room service. Very limited on food and it took well over 45 mins to even get water delivered to your room. Also, breads given at the main dining were always cold. (as in just taken out of the fridge) YUCK
Our balcony was awesome. A bit smaller than the traditional ones (carnival, royal, X and MSC) but very nice. The room was ALWAYS kept clean by our steward and he was the nicest NCL employee on the ship. We were VERY happy with the room and the room steward.
This was really hit or miss. 40% of the staff were extremely rude and unhelpful. The other 60% seemed content with their work and it showed. We had the unforunely event of needing the ER services for our 5 year old and the med staff and MD was ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. Very kind, patient and had us in and out WITH RX antibiotics in less than an hour (only 135$). We were VERY happy with them. Guest services were horrible overall. Very snobby. Again, staff at the two main restaurants (taste and savor) were very rude. We were celebrating our 8 year anni on this cruise and NCL gave us a coupon for a free mini cake (cheap if you ask me) and the staff never gave it to us. We actually requested it twice on two different nights and nothing.
I really enjoyed the attention to detail while getting back on the ship from the ports of call. They had a whole team dedicated to providing cold water and juices, entertainment, ice cold wash cloths for cooling down, live music, and characters for the kids. Cleaning crew on the ship was great. The ship was impecable at all times.
Overall, on a ship this size with SO many people we almost NEVER felt crowed. 9 times out of 10 we were alone on the elevators. There were a lot of families on the ship. No lines except for mabey a short one at the buffet.
Ports of call
The ship was incredible overall. If they change the ports of call I will cruise the NCL getaway again and again. St Martin was aesthetically pleasing, but thats about it. Nothing to do. St thomas was dirty and expensive for crap. We did the butterfly garden since there was nothing else really to do. If you have kids take them there. Save yourself the money taking a taxi anywhere on this God forsaken island. Bahamas is the armpit of the carrib. Atlantis charges you for a few nice sights and the poor dolphins look decrepid. The beaches upcharge you to breath basically. The only thing that was remotely nice was the fleamarket of local artisan items.WARNING The "fake" cuban cigar peddlers will harrase and attack you. BE firm. Say no. Looking back we would have been happier just staying on our nice new ship. If you decide to explore the Bahamas, dont miss the amazing conch fritters at the port authority building after disembarking your ship. She is all the way towards the back. 5$usd will get you a very nice size conch fritters.
This was my 8th cruise. I have been on Carnival, Royal, celebrity and MSC and I was very impressed with NCL. I will go on NCL again in a heartbeat. With a few touch ups the getaway would get a 10/10.