The Norwegian Getaway was our first NCL cruise and we were not disappointed! The service on the ship rivals Disney. We have sailed on Carnival (never again!!), Princess and Disney. First, I highly recommend utilizing the transfer service offered by NCL. We were met at the airport, our luggage taken, even our carry-ons and quickly taken to the ship. We arrived around 3:30 pm and had a short wait to check in and we were on the boat. Our cabin was ready and we stopped by to check out the room and visited the buffet next to the climbing wall (sorry, I can't recall the name of the place). The food was good and plentiful.
One piece of advice- this ship has a great system onboard of booking reservations for dinner, shows, etc. that can be accessed through the tv in your room or on one of the many touch screens located throughout the ship. After lunch we returned to our room and booked all of the things we wanted to attend in a matter of minutes. If you can't remember, you can always check the system at any time.
Yes, the ship is huge, but there are small helpful hints, such as the fish swimming upstream on the carpet so you know which direction is aft. The touch screens have map it features that help you get to your destination as well. Most of the activities are concentrated on a few floors which you commit to memory in a very short time. While our ship was basically full, the only time it seemed crowded was at the Garden Café buffet occasionally.
Our cabin has a balcony and yes, it was small, but it worked for us. It was nice to have the great view and to hear the ocean as we sailed.
The entertainment was fabulous! We took our 21 year old daughter and there was plenty of entertainment options for all of us. If you are a 'sit by the pool' person there is entertainment there and games throughout the day. However, if you want other options there are plenty there as well such as origami classes, exercise classes, games, etc. While some of the activities have an extra fee there is plenty to do that do not cost extra. I was very pleased with the quality of the entertainment from Legally Blonde to Burn the Floor, the comedians, Duelling Pianos to the participation games in the atrium. Someone has commented before that there is no way you can do everything on this ship in a week are correct!
We thoroughly enjoyed the food. In our package, a specialty restaurant, La Cucinda, the Italian restaurant, was included. The food was fine, but we did not think that it was any better than the regular dining room food. Our waiter appeared to be new and nervous, but did a good job. Most nights we selected the Tropicana dinning room because we liked the music during dinner and the extra performance of Burn the Floor dancers. Our wait staff Ayu was outstanding-we loved her!! There are been a few complaint posted about the food from previous reviews, however, you have to remember that there are over 4,000 on this ship and the food has to appeal to the majority. If you are a foodie or gourmet dining is very important to you, you may need to look at another cruise line. I didn't ask, but the Haven guests may have other dinner options. There were enough items on the menu for us to try things that we have not previously eaten. We tried Taste for breakfast and lunch and found it satisfactory. Most days we utilized the buffet for breakfast and lunch because there were more important things for us to do other than be waited on. The food selection was similar in all locations.
Our main complaint is the smoking. There is a smoking area beside the pool. After the first day or two, we searched for chairs on the other side of the ship which minimized our exposure, however, there were still people smoking at the bars so it was never completely gone. Also, as others have mentioned, the casino is two floors of the central section of the ship. Smoking is allowed here as well, so every time you have to go from one end of the ship to the other, you have to walk through here. I guess you could go on a completely different floor but that would be very inconvenient. I wish there was some way they could address this issue, by the end of the week we were soooo tired of smelling cigarette smoke.
On another note, our 21 year old HAD to make sure she maintained a connection to friends, so we paid the $55 for 110 minutes. She was warned that the days at sea, the internet would be very slow and to get up early. She tried unsuccessfully for 2 days on her phone, finally resorting to using their computers which worked most of the time. The last night, unbeknownst to us, there was a message encouraging everyone to print out their boarding passes- no internet access again. I would suggest not spending your money but utilize the options in the ports, they are cheaper and more reliable. People were getting so angry at the desk attendant about the internet issues and I think most received a refund, however, there was nothing he could do. Internet at sea still has a way to go, especially on this ship. If your life is going to depend on access, you may need to pick another vacation option.
We had a great week- we enjoyed our stop in St. Martin. I had booked an excursion separately through Capt. Allen, which I highly recommend! In St. Thomas we walked and shopped and had a great lunch at Jenn's. Nassau was our least favorite- it would be nice if NCL invested in a private island type place.
The embarkation process was by far the quickest and easiest we have ever experienced! We went to breakfast, they called our number early and we walked off the ship with very little down time. Again, the transfer was simple and quick.
Overall, we loved NCL, would recommend it and will sail with them again. Everyone on the ship from top to bottom went out of their way to make sure we had a terrific vacation. Great job!!