Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by eharrismd: Good-bye RCCL, Hello NCL!
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Good-bye RCCL, Hello NCL!
Excellent, beautiful ship! We stayed in a 2 bedroom family suite in the haven, which was pricey, but wonderful. The ship itself is classy and beautiful, with many places to explore and enjoy. However, unlike the Oasis of the Seas, it doesn't feel like a city at sea - every place is easily accessible, and you'll learn your way around the ship quickly. Doesn't have the "dazzle" of some RCCL ships - the atrium on the Getaway is less flashy, it's only 3 stories, and there are no glass elevators. But what it lacks in "schmaltz" it more than makes up for in elegance - lots of seating inside and out, lots of intimate spaces to share a drink or a conversation, lots of areas with bright light and many others with twilight lighting for a quieter atmosphere. Plenty of bars with very reasonably priced drinks (although we had the Ultimate Beverage package, so we didn't pay.) The ship was at full capacity, but rarely felt crowded - always able to get a deck chair or a table at the buffet. Lines at More
the water slides, rope course, rock climbing were sometimes long (especially on days at sea) but not outrageous.
The activities on the ship were wonderful. For physical activities, the rope walk was unbelievable - as good as anything on land. Also a bungee trampoline, a kids' pool, a spider crawl, 5 great water slides (including 2 where the floor drops out from under you!) and a good rock climbing wall. The indoor activities were plentiful and varied - game shows, wine tasting, art auctions, and tons of other things. I really liked the fact that they didn't push things upon you - no 8 AM announcements In your cabin that BINGO would be starting in 15 minutes! Several pools, which were somewhat small. Lots of spas.
We stayed in the Haven, which was glorious. The pool was small but never crowded, and the 2 spas were also usually empty. There was a wonderful sauna, and TONS of private luxury seating poolside and on deck. Very relaxing and wonderful.
I really enjoyed the food on board. My wife wasn't as impressed, feeling the steak and lobster especially were not prime. We dined several times in the Haven restaurant, but I was disappointed to find that the menu for breakfast and lunch was the same every day. The dinner menu was also the same, except for the chef's daily special. This may be OK for most, but I'm vegetarian, so that limited my options to ordering the same things every time. In their defense, the maître 'd offered (the first night) to make any special dishes for me.
The food in the Garden Café was plentiful and generally good, as well as at the two main restaurants (I believe they're Taste and Savor). We had the Ultimate Dining Package (allowing us to dine free in any of the specialty restaurants) but didn't even use it once (!) because we were travelling with 3 kids who wanted to get up and go all the time. We heard the food was generally excellent in these restaurants.
We stayed in an excellent 2 bedroom family villa with lots of room to move around, lots of room to store luggage away, and lots of drawer and closet space. Decoration was classy and understated, with lots of dark wood and glass. Balcony was a little small, but ample, with 2 chairs and a small table. Master bathroom was beautiful, with a waterfront window at the tub and another at the shower. Mattress in the master bedroom was delightful; other mattresses (2 in second bedroom, 1 in sleeper couch in living room) were terrible - thin and hard. Very nice having the butler bring fresh fruit, cheeses, and desserts to the cabin every day. Very quiet cabin, easily accessible.
NCL has really reinvented themselves - in my opinion, they have jumped a step far ahead of NCL, more now on par with Celebrity. The Haven was pricey, but I think worth it.
The employees were without exception friendly and welcoming.
The entertainment was very good. Our kids didn't participate in the kids programs, so I can't comment about those. Excursions were varied and enjoyable, typical of most lines.
A few pointers:
1) We pre-paid our tips, which was a mistake. We've done in on RCCL before, and we were given tickets to give the serving staff, the cabin steward, etc. in lieu of giving cash. Here, we were given no tip envelopes, no tickets showing we already paid, nothing. I asked a purser and was told that wasn't done on this ship. I asked for some direction as to how much to tip the butler, the concierge etc. and was told there were no suggestions. When I told our cabin steward we had already tipped, he explained to us that money goes to a general fund for all the service personnel. We felt guilty and left some extra money in the cabin. I also had to explain (and almost apologize) to the wait staff that we had already tipped. In the future I will not pre-pay on NCCL.
2) The Illusionarium show (well worth it) is free the night of departure. If you are staying in the Haven, and you do not go on the free night, purchase the cheapest tickets you can. There are 2 levels of tickets, and I purchased the more expensive, better seats. Turns out that if you're in the Haven, it doesn't matter - no matter which seats you bought, you are pre-seated and given the best seats in the house! So buy the cheapies! Less
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Cabin review: 15124
Excellent 2 bedroom family villa with lots of room to move around, lots of room to store luggage away, and lots of drawer and closet space. Decoration was classy and understated, with lots of dark wood and glass. Balcony was a little small, but ample, with 2 chairs and a small table. Master bathroom was beautiful, with a waterfront window at the tub and another at the shower. Mattress in the master bedroom was delightful; other mattresses (2 in second bedroom, 1 in sleeper couch in living room) were terrible - thin and hard. Very nice having the butler bring fresh fruit, cheeses, and desserts to the cabin every day. Very quiet cabin, easily accessible.
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