Sail Date: February 2019
I'm 51, and went with my girlfriend, who is 47. This cruise began the last week of February and ended in early March. The weather couldn't have been better for the entire cruise. A few passing clouds at times, but even then it ... Read More
I'm 51, and went with my girlfriend, who is 47. This cruise began the last week of February and ended in early March. The weather couldn't have been better for the entire cruise. A few passing clouds at times, but even then it was nice for a cool down. I think I paid a reasonable price for a balcony cabin, and we got the free drink package, $50 towards each shore excursion, 250 internet minutes, and 3 free specialty dining nights. I primarily sail on Princess because I'm Platinum and get amazing casino deals on cabins. (I may refer to Princess for comparison in this review several times if you are considering which line to sail on.) However, I found the last one (Nov 2018 on the Royal Princess) to be boring, especially at night (thank God it had piano man Kory Simon), and the crowd seems to be getting older and older, even as I get older and older, so I thought I would give NCL another try. This was my second cruise on NCL (first one was in 2014), and it won't be my last. There were a lot of positives about this ship, and cruise line, but some things really need fixing in my opinion. I'm going to complain about the same things I've read in other reviews, but I hope the more we do maybe they will eventually address them. Embarkation- We arrived fairly early (I think around 11) and zoomed through the line (no line actually). However, we did wait about 75-90 minutes to board once we got into the waiting area. I thought it was smart that they took our picture when getting the cruise card vs taking the extra time to do it right as you get on the ship like other lines do so it was pretty quick to board once our group was called. The Ship- My first impressions were positive. It was very easy to navigate, and it felt much smaller than I expected with a 4000+ capacity. I don't ever recall thinking I had walked a long way to get to something. Having a mid-ship balcony on Deck 9 may have had something to do with that, but I think they did a great job with the design. The whole ship was clean, and kept up well (with the exception of women's bathrooms according to my gf). I liked the large elevators, and they had displays everywhere that would tell you where to find something. The dining/entertainment/shopping was all centrally located so it was very easy to get to anything on 6/7/8. Besides leaving a show, or after the muster drill, I never really felt it to be crowded or too busy to me. I was expecting it to be more hectic with that many people. The entertainment on this ship was amazing! It was honestly the best of any cruise I've been on by far. The Burn the Floor show was incredible, and I wish I would have been able to see the Million Dollar Quartet more than once. We didn't go to the Cirque style show/dinner, but will next time for sure. There were always bands playing somewhere, and they were all pretty good. I especially liked that you could have dinner in the Tropicana Room while a band was playing. Besides the shows, there was always something fun to do in the evening. We saw a comedian once (I didn't like how you need to reserve a seat in advance for most things) and he was ok. We went to the dueling pianos show several times and that was a lot of fun. The Bliss night club always had a lot of people even until the wee hours, which was a nice change from Princess where it would be a ghost town after 11 in most areas. Everyone seemed to be having fun on this ship. I really enjoyed the party atmosphere. I wish they would go back to the White Hot Party instead of whatever the new one was called, but it was still fun to watch (even though it was too loud). The food overall was really good I thought. The buffet was decent (when have you ever had buffet food that you'd describe as excellent?) and I liked almost everything I ordered at dinner whether it be in the specialty dining rooms or Tropicana. We only went to O'Sheehans once surprisingly, and the wings were good. If you like seafood (I don't) you'll be very happy with the choices every night in the main dining rooms. Two of the nights we were seated right away in the dining rooms, and two others we got a pager that would work on several levels, so we would leave to get a drink before dinner. Great idea. I'd never seen that on a cruise ship. Here's what I didn't like about the ship.. The pool. Terrible. I never once went in it. In fact, I never even found two chairs available to sit in near it. It looks really cheesy. Everything is painted white, and had no charm or class, unlike Princess pools. The music was too loud (you could even hear it way in the back "pool" area which I'll describe next) and you could not escape cigarette smoke no matter where you were (oh you just wait til I get to the smoking on this ship). We would occasionally find spots above the kid pool area and back by the water slides. Depending on what side of the ship you chose, or the way the wind was blowing, you could end up smelling smoke and/or diesel exhaust though. This was the same at the adults only Spice H2O area in the very back. We always found chairs here, but there was no pool! They had a waterfall area that you could enter to cool off, but every time I did I'd have someone give me the stink eye for splashing water on them as they sat around it after I would put my head under. Isn't that the point of the whole thing? And the only bar in this area was in the smoking area, which was always packed and disgusting, and made the entire sitting area stink. SMOKING! I was shocked at where they allowed this. Honestly I wouldn't have booked this cruise to begin with had I known it would be this bad. It's 2019 for crying out loud, and you can't smoke anywhere anymore in the US and Canada, so why should a cruise ship be different? I can't believe there are actually reviews from smokers complaining about a lack of spaces to do so on this ship! In 2014 on the Pearl they had one side of the pool area designated as smoking which was gross but actually didn't seem to be as bad as this ship for some reason, but I figured 5 years later they would have changed their policies. If you are really bothered by smoke, don't go on NCL. I have heard other lines, that cater more towards Europeans, are this bad but did not expect it on NCL. My experience on other cruise lines (never been on Royal, Celebrity, Disney) is limited, so keep that in mind. And yes, I'm going to go again someday regardless of the smoking, but only because the amount of fun I had diminishes how much this annoyed me (and hoping they will correct this in the future.) I'm wondering if NCL actually caters to smokers for their business. This can be the only explanation. Princess only allows smoking in the casino, and on one side of a small area in the back of the ship. The Getaway has this big hot box thing that's mostly enclosed in glass on one side of the pool where you'd always see 15-30 smokers gathered. The coolest bar on the ship, an outside bar on deck 8, allowed smoking too at the bar and half of the high top tables, which ruined it for me. The casino is centrally located near everything on 6/7/8 and the smoke goes up and down throughout the atrium, so there's no avoiding it. They clearly tell you (and everyone should know anyway, duh) that smoking is not allowed on balconies several times during the muster drill (that was awful and way too long by the way) yet we had an old lady 2 cabins forward from us fire up constantly, so if you had your balcony door open to hear the ocean you'd also have your entire cabin filled with smoke. There were a lot of people doing it, and eventually I leaned over the rail, at great risk of life and limb in an un-creepy peeping tom kind of way, and caught her in the act. She gave me the excuse that she was told it was ok (ya right lady), but l corrected her politely yet firmly. Did that stop her? Of course not. Eventually I had enough, and kudos to our room steward for scolding her after going into their room when they didn't answer the door. We should have complained earlier in the cruise, but figured it was futile. Bar Service- Yes I get it. Probably 95 percent of the adults on the ship have the free drink package, and 20-30 percent of them drink too much anyway so it's not in their best financial interest to really fix this. That being said, they definitely need more bartenders, and more staff walking around taking orders for those of us who don't appreciate having to stand at a bar (was always terrible near any pool or outdoor location) for up to 15-20 minutes next to all the smokers just to get a lukewarm beer. I felt bad for the bar staff at the pools. They looked like they hated their job. There were constant little arguments between patrons over who was first, or you'd get people cutting and getting served first (not always the bartenders fault) while you'd be standing there holding up your cruise card until your arm ached. Several times I just said screw it and left. Usually I only do excursions on my own, and don't pay the ship prices, but with that $50 they gave us it made sense to, and after some research I discovered their rates were the same or close to it anyway which surprised me. Roatan- We did the Tabyanna Beach excursion. It was fun, but I would not do it again. They have construction on the island, and there was an accident so it took over an hour to get to the beach. Once there you're at a nice little jungle village area where the bar and free (included in your fee) food is. The beach is really nice, as is the water. The beach chairs are AWFUL! I would still go back there though if it weren't for the local vendors peddling souvenirs. They apparently can't do anything about them, or I bet they would. They all seemed harmless, but there were so many that they would all stand in front of you to block your view of the beach. It seemed intentional because you weren't buying from them. I was ready to go back because of this even though we could have stayed longer. I can still hear the lady chanting, "Mahogany!", in my head. Belize- I would stay on the ship next time rather than go to Harvest Caye. It is actually really nice on this private island, has clean big bathrooms, nice bars, etc, but it's fake. Even being fake, I'd still go back if it actually had a nice beach like Princess Cays does (and maybe the NCL island in the Bahamas.) It had terrible sand, and the water was not pretty at all. It was rough and full of seaweed. We stuck our feet in the water just to say we did, and left. We didn't do an excursion. Costa Maya- We picked the water park here. (Well I picked it, and my girlfriend agreed just to be nice I think lol). It seemed like a good value for the day. I had been to Costa Maya once before and didn't recall anything else to do (we'd both see plenty of Mayan ruins in the past) if you don't want to stay in town (another new fake one that does have a cool bar/pool area and a lot of shops). We mostly did the lazy river, and a few of the water slides. I enjoyed this. Kids would absolutely love it. Cozumel- We picked the Passion Island Beach day. This was my favorite excursion ever, but with one complaint which I'll tell you about later. It was a bumpy, wet 40 minute ride on a ferry to the island. After an annoying meet up with your tour guide to have your picture taken by a sign once you get there, you're allowed to run (yes some people were running, but I just kinda jogged) for chairs and umbrellas on a beautiful beach. This one had comfy chairs, unlike Roatan. We were the first boat to get there, so we got first choice. Not many umbrellas, hence the running. The water was beautiful and calm. The beach was amazing. The food was good, and you got free drinks. They were small and there was always a line, so it was easier just to pay $15 for a bucket of 6 beers which was a good deal. What was my complaint?? It didn't last long enough!! We only got 3 hours on the beach! I would have spent 6 if I could. I wanted to cry (I didn't though). There was a constant stream of boats coming in with people from different cruise lines, (8 ships in Cozumel that day) so they have to stagger how many people are coming and going. So all of that being said, this was one of my best cruises ever! I can't give it 5 stars though because of the things I mentioned, but let's call it 4.5. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Priority embarkation went smoothly. Once onboard we went to a main dining room for lunch before muster. Luggage arrived shortly after. Unpacked and ready to enjoy the week. We felt NCL is listening to reviews and making some ... Read More
Priority embarkation went smoothly. Once onboard we went to a main dining room for lunch before muster. Luggage arrived shortly after. Unpacked and ready to enjoy the week. We felt NCL is listening to reviews and making some changes that we really appreciated: no pushy photographers every where you go, no constant pushing of Bingo, no pushing of ‘crack it cards’, smoking ‘room’ on the pool deck versus walking through it to get into the Garden Buffet, drinks and food were EXCELLENT (huge improvement from the previous). Couple of changes we didn’t appreciate: lack of nightly shows in the theater (only 2 shows that each ran 2 nights and you needed reservations, the rest of the nights it sat dark), difficulty figuring out which shows needed reservations and seeing the long lines to get into the small Headliners kept us walking versus waiting, Atrium hosted a lot of different events but is too small based on the amount of people showing up, lack of deck bar service (went from hounding to non-existent). Lots of chatter about the private island in Belize taking away from the mainland activities and the high cost of food and drinks. Most guests we talked with enjoyed a little time on the island, spending no money, and going back to the ship to enjoy their already paid for meals and drinks. Our party of 7 included. Our weather was perfect and no rough seas, so overall the vacation was AMAZING. Read Less
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Sail Date: February 2019
Staff are still great. The bartenders, wait staff, staff in stores and stewards go out of there way to make your vacation experience great! The overall quality of food in buffet has gone down. NCL has also lessened the number of smoking ... Read More
Staff are still great. The bartenders, wait staff, staff in stores and stewards go out of there way to make your vacation experience great! The overall quality of food in buffet has gone down. NCL has also lessened the number of smoking areas and we were told that they will be getting rid of smoking in the casino in the future. There was only two areas to smoke and they were very very small areas. Our embarktation was terrible even though we are lattitude members and were told we had priority embarktation. The pricing for a cruise has significantly gone up and as stated before the quality in a lot of areas have gone down. Also, I can't understand why techno music is played every night at every club or after themed party? The average age of the majority cruiser was over 30 and these are the paying cruisers. It was amazing to see everyone on the dance floor when motown, 70's, 80's and 90's where played. There should be a club just for this music only and another one for just techno! I also feel like you really don't get the perks for being loyal cruisers like other cruise lines. We were disappointed this time around with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I had friends who sailed with Norwegian and had good things to say. This was a special trip, celebrating the adoption of our two teen girls. Brought the whole family, including the adult children and granddaughter. From the amenities on ... Read More
I had friends who sailed with Norwegian and had good things to say. This was a special trip, celebrating the adoption of our two teen girls. Brought the whole family, including the adult children and granddaughter. From the amenities on the ship, to the fun activities, to the superb dining experience, and not to mention the most incredible staff...we had the trip of a life time! There wasn't one thing we could say could improve. Our son, who has traveled all over the world and eaten in dozens of countries, raved about the quality of the food. Our 2 year old granddaughter was treated like a princess, with staff attending to her needs (nice touches such as getting her meal right away to keep her happy while the the rest of the family chatted an enjoyed the atmosphere). Our teenagers could go off on their own and get involved in activities just for them (although they were usually so exhausted by the end of the day we couldn't convince them to leave the cabins). This was our first Norwegian cruise, and certainly not our last! We planning a couple's cruise to Alaska next! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Overall, I enjoyed the cruise. However, there were several things Norwegian could have done much better. Highlights: Spa thermal suite was very nice, have a room with a balcony if you can, GO at least once to the hibachi restaurant. ... Read More
Overall, I enjoyed the cruise. However, there were several things Norwegian could have done much better. Highlights: Spa thermal suite was very nice, have a room with a balcony if you can, GO at least once to the hibachi restaurant. These ports were fun, if you knew which excursions to do. I would recommend finding your own thing and not doing a ship excursion. Unfortunately, the staff was not friendly, service was very slow, and drinks were watered down, which is the main reason for the low rating. Ship: The ship was nice overall. There were 5 slides, a rock climbing wall, a ropes course, and mini golf, plus pools and hot tubs. The ropes course was a lot of fun but they do insist on shirts with sleeves, closed toe shoes, and no phones in your pockets. It was open even on the sail days, which was really cool. They had a plank you could walk on over the water, with a guy there to take pictures. When you were done with everything, there was a short zip line back to the beginning to get down. That was a lot of fun and so were the slides. I didn't get a chance to try to the rock climbing wall, as it had limited hours. I didn't like that the casino was open to several floors, including the atrium. The casino was a smoking area and it drifted out into the atrium, which is where guest services was, as well as where they held a bunch of activities. Cabin: I loved our cabin, which was a spa balcony room up on the 14th floor forward. We were right under the spa, so it was nice and quiet at night. I really enjoyed relaxing on the balcony or just sitting in the room with the door open. There was a couch, as well as the beds, so there was room for guests to sit. There was plenty of storage space, as well, plus a coffee maker with grounds in the room. Being at the front of the ship and on the highest floor for staterooms meant that you could feel the sway of the ship a lot more. I wasn't bothered but my roommate got seasick a few times. You did have to be careful in case there was another ship across from you in port, if you don't want people looking in on you. The interesting thing on this ship was that you didn't have electricity in the rooms unless you put your ship/room card in a slot by the front door. We did discover it would take any similarly shaped card if you were worried about forgetting it on accident when leaving or wanted to charge something while you were gone. The room attendant, unfortunately, would pull it out when cleaning the room, which was irritating when you wanted to charge something during the day. Food and drinks: The food in the buffet was generally pretty good quality, as was the coffee. You could take your plate anywhere on the ship, which was nice and they had lots of tables outside on the deck. I only went once to the main dining room for dinner and was disappointed by the food. It tasted alright but the Bang Bang chicken and shrimp I ordered was not spicy in the slightest. The french onion soup was good but the desserts were meh. Finally, the other free dining place was the Irish restaurant, which was fine. Nothing special to say about it. My group had the specialty dining package, so we went to 3 of the specialty restaurants. The first was the Cirque and Steam show, which was a lot of fun. The food was also pretty tasty, although they wouldn't serve during the show, so you had to show early and no one at the box office told you that. We also tried the Brazilian steakhouse, which was fine. The meat was all very salty, which I did not care for. The brown sugar pineapple at the end was delicious and refreshing and I don't normally care for pineapple. The soup and salad bar was expansive and tasty. Finally, I also went to the hibachi restaurant, which was the best meal by far. The food was incredible and the chef was very entertaining. The wasabi cocktail was surprisingly tasty. Highly recommend going there at least one night. The alcohol was very watered down everywhere except the hibachi restaurant. This was very disappointing, as I had the alcohol package and I do not feel that I got my money's worth. Entertainment: I mentioned earlier that we went to the Cirque and Steam show, which was very good. Get a seat closer up, as you will miss some of the aerial stuff otherwise. They had movies every night but I only went to one of them. They were played at the top, back of the ship under the exhaust of the engines, which wasn't very nice. I had soot on me by the end. They also only put out maybe 30 chairs for people to sit on. They had trivia some nights, which was fun but I wish they had had trivia once every night, as that is one of my favorite activities. Spa: My group had spa balcony rooms, which meant free access to the thermal suite in the spa. This included a pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, salt bath, rain shower, aromatherapy shower, lounge chairs, and heated ceramic benches. The hot tub was wonderful and at a much higher temperature than the public hot tubs, which was great. The pool was kept at a nice temperature and had jets to massage your body with, as well as a fountain. I also had a fire and ice pedicure down, which I enjoyed very much. Service: This is where Norwegian shot themselves in the foot. The staff and service they provided was terrible. The biggest issue was that they were seriously understaffed, especially at the bars. Getting a drink usually took at least 10 minutes, even when they weren't busy. As mentioned above, the drinks were very watered down, to the point that you couldn't tell there was alcohol in anything. In the main dining hall, they had separate staff for food and drinks, which was dysfunctional. Dinner took about 3 hours, they were so slow to get us seated, take our orders, and bring our food. This is why I only went once, I couldn't bear to go again after that service. Our room attendant didn't do a very good job, he didn't vacuum up any sand, never emptied the mini-bar, despite being asked multiple times. At one point, he took our beach towels and never replaced them like he was supposed to. Also, if you didn't select the make up room sign on your way out the door in the morning, your room would not be done until the late afternoon. The cleaning staff left their carts in the hallway right outside our door all day long, which was frustrating to navigate. I've sailed before on Royal Caribbean and knew the room attendant and chatted with the wait staff, got to know them. The staff on Norwegian were cold and unfriendly. Many of them did not speak English very well, including those working at guest services, so you would get confusing messages from them and be directed to the wrong places to get issues corrected. Service is the main reason I gave this only 3 stars, overall. I did not enjoy spending time on the ship. Finally, for my biggest issue with service, when ordering the complementary breakfast for an early excursion, the staff brought decaf coffee, instead of regular like we ordered. Do not mess with my caffeine at 7 in the morning. Also, on the last day, they brought it at 6:30, instead of 7, like we asked. On-board messaging app: For ten bucks, you could use the Norwegian app and their WiFi to send messages to others with the app. This was nice since my group consisted of 9 people and it was easier to keep track of everyone. Sometimes, though, messages would either not come through for all people or they would come out of order. Also, it took a long time to update if you made any reservations for dinner and there was no way to save ship events to a calendar, to easily see things you might be interested in. Finally, the menus for the various restaurants were not included. Ports and Excursions: I only went on one excursion through the ship, which was Xplor Park in Cozumel. That was a lot of fun, with lots of ziplines, some of which had water landings. You could also drive ATVs around the park, Jurassic Park-style, and then swim and raft in an underground river through a series of caves, which was very cool. There was a restaurant with food served buffet-style that was included and was quite tasty. Because it is an all-day excursion, the guide with us was very strict about moving from one activity to another in a timely manner. I wish we had been allowed to just roam the park a bit more freely and skip some of the activities and meet at the designated time. Forewarning for those who get seasick or motion-sick, you have to take a 45 minute ferry to the mainland for this excursion and there can be rough waters. I didn't do any other ship excursions because I felt that they were a bit lacking in variety and over expensive. Although, I think some of this is due to these ports being relatively new stops, so they haven't built up many excursions yet. On Honduras, my friends and I took a taxi to West Bay Beach (took about an hour with traffic and construction, they are working on repairing the road right now) and paid for a day pass at the Infinity Resort. Fair warning, there is a public beach there but access to the beach is controlled by all the resorts there. Buy a day pass with one of them (usually 15-30 bucks, Infinity was 20), it will be worth it. The taxi was 20 bucks round trip per person and the driver stays with you all day until you are ready to leave. My group also chose to go out on a boat and snorkel over the reef (also 20 bucks per person), which I highly recommend. We did this for about an hour and it was amazing. The taxi driver watched our stuff on the beach while we were out in the water, which was nice. The food (not included) at the Infinity Resort was also excellent. They did have free WiFi. You could swim in the water or just lounge on chairs on the beach. Guards kept vendors from bothering people too much if they just wanted to relax. There was also a pool at this resort. Overall, we spent 60 bucks for the taxi, resort day pass, and snorkeling. I had a lot of fun on Honduras. Harvest Caye was the next stop, which is a private island owned by Norwegian off the coast of Belize. I was less than impressed. Despite being owned by Norwegian, your ship benefits and packages (such as drink packages) do not carry over onto the island and drinks were expensive. 5 bucks for a bottle of coke. The sand on the beach was very rough and rocky, much like the beaches in North Carolina. The pool was very nice but all of the bathrooms were too far away and had no changing rooms. There was a mix of local vendors and the regular, touristy crap, which I liked. One vendor (an all-woman agricultural company) sold different spice rubs, jams, and hot sauces, which I really liked. Finally, at Costa Maya, my group did a day-long tour with a local group called The Native Choice. They were great. First, we drove ~45 minutes to Chacchoben, which are Mayan ruins. It isn't very well known and this part of Mexico is remote, so there weren't a lot of tourists there, which was very nice. Our guide was knowledgeable about both the history and area. You can only climb up the ruins a few steps and they aren't done excavating all of them yet, which is cool. We spent around an hour there. After that, we drove down a dirt road through the jungle to the Bacalar Lagoon, where there is a resort. We had fajitas and margaritas for lunch. Afterwards, you could swim or kayak in the lagoon. The water was beautiful and the lagoon huge. There were bathrooms and changing rooms at the resort. A couple of hours there and we were back to the port with a couple hours to wander the stores there. Embarkation/disembarkation: The day we boarded, the gangway was broken, so we sat in a hot, packed room for over an hour waiting to board. Not much information was shared while we waited. However, once that was corrected, boarding went smoothly and they quickly processed groups of people. Leaving the ship went smoother. My only complaint is the layout for where you picked up your bags. They were kept in several different rooms with no signs to point the way. The shuttle transfer to the airport was excellent, the driver was funny and gave us a bit of a tour of Miami on the way to Fort Lauderdale. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Having sailed on NCL before, I had no reservations about choosing this line again. The Getaway is a huge ship. Therefore, embarkation is a rather long adventure. The ship is beautiful, and I would say that nearly half the guests we spoke ... Read More
Having sailed on NCL before, I had no reservations about choosing this line again. The Getaway is a huge ship. Therefore, embarkation is a rather long adventure. The ship is beautiful, and I would say that nearly half the guests we spoke with had been on her before. We found the staff to be cheerful and helpful at every turn. We had a few breakfasts and most of our dinners in the included restaurants. The Tropicana was our favorite, because of the live music and the overall decor. Our service was outstanding, and the food was really, really excellent. I had read reviews which said otherwise, but they were wrong. The soups were exquisite, and we tried them all! If I asked for salmon on the well done side, I received salmon on the well done side. We are in the restaurant business, and I would give the food and food service on this ship 5 stars. Our mini suite was comfortable, and the bathroom was the largest we have had on a cruise ship. The balcony was small. That didn't keep me from enjoying morning coffee on it, or watching the sunset over the sea. We saw most of the shows and highly recommend the following: The Million Dollar Quartet (make a reservation and don't miss this!), Burn the Floor, and the Comedy Shows, both comedians. The Cirque show is mind blowing. We purchased floor seating, and I would not pay the extra for it again. The regular seating was three feet behind us (booths) and I think that they were more comfortable and could see just as well. The Atrium entertainment is OK. Mostly things to have you spend more money. Disembarkation was smooth. We enjoyed the ports, especially Belize (gorgeous, and the Monkey River Tour is something you will talk about for a long time to come). Costa Maya had 3 jumbo ships in port and it was very crowded and just an island shopping mall. We probably should have planned a tour for that day. Cozumel is beautiful. We did the Dolphin Encounter. We loved the Dolphins, but the $15 charge for a locker was a rip off. Harvest Caye was an eye opener. Honduras is a poverty country, and I hope that you will choose to spend a few bucks when these people approach you with their trinkets, Consider what you have been blessed with, and help them out with a non haggled purchase of something. I spoke with a friend who visited the National Park in Cozumel and it sounded like an wonderful way to spend the day. I mean, once you have seen one diamond shop, you have seen the other 25 of them! Get away from the Mall in Cozumel is what I am saying. I remember that port when it was new, and the town was right there, and you could visit the church and have a meal on the beach with people who spoke no English. It has changed, and not for the better. This ship is huge, and requires a lot of walking. In one week there were parts of the ship that we still had not discovered. The adult pool is small and crowded. The staff was wonderful. The food was wonderful. The Casino was tight, but large and entertaining. Having said all of this, I must admit that I prefer a ship not so large. My next cruise will be on a large ship, but not a gigantic ship like the Getaway. If you have kids, this ship is probably a fabulous choice for you. Safe travels my friend! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was a first cruise for my friend and 4th for me. 1st on NCL. It was ok. Up charge restaurants were very good. Main dining room was very poor and totally lacking any direction from those in charge unless it was to berate the ... Read More
This was a first cruise for my friend and 4th for me. 1st on NCL. It was ok. Up charge restaurants were very good. Main dining room was very poor and totally lacking any direction from those in charge unless it was to berate the waiters which in my book is a definite no no. In fact the food wasso tasteless or wrongly delivered we didn't even bother to have dessert. There was just no wow factor on the ship it was boring decor. The entertainment i thought was very poor and badly thought out. They crammed what could have been a good musical event (fuelling pianos) into a small venue that was hot and stuffy and had standing room only when theu completely underused what passed for their 2 story atrium where a lot more people could habe watched and would have created a much better atmosphere. Unlikely to cruise Norwegian again. For me there are far better cruise lines out there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We really enjoyed our first cruise experience on the Getaway. We flew in the morning of our cruise and arrived fairly late, around 1pm, so embarkation was super easy with almost everyone else already on the ship. For us the Ultimate ... Read More
We really enjoyed our first cruise experience on the Getaway. We flew in the morning of our cruise and arrived fairly late, around 1pm, so embarkation was super easy with almost everyone else already on the ship. For us the Ultimate Beverage Package was included and we made the most of it! We spent a lot of time at SugarCane Mojito bar and the Margaritaville Chill bar. Those places had the friendliest bartenders who could mix up some great cocktails. We also spent time at O'Sheehan's but the service was less than stellar there. Maybe it was because it's right above the atrium and is always packed but it took forever to get a drink (and sometimes to even be acknowledged). The food was a mixed bag. In the main dining rooms (Savor and Taste) we had some excellent meals and some well below mediocre. Tropicana serves the same food but a band is playing so that somehow made everything taste better. The buffet is just straight up terrible and people eating there are like wild animals. Bring plenty of purell and keep clean before you touch your food. Now the specialty restaurants, however, were incredible! Teppanyaki is a hibachi-style Japanese restaurant and we got lucky with a fun chef and a lively table. I don't know if I can go back to eating rice without a pound a butter in it after that meal! Cagney's, the steakhouse, was also very good. My steak was cooked a perfect medium rare. We ate so much at La Cucina, the Italian place, that I practically had to be rolled out of there. Excellent gnocchi. We don't really go for the cheesy games - bingo, deal or no deal, charades, etc - but we did play trivia one afternoon and that was fun. We went to the show Million Dollar Quartet and it was amazing! Really talented guys. I recommend it if you are into music from the Sun Records era. One thing that is not up to par is the pool deck. Very small and impossible to get a spot close unless you got there at 7am. There were so many people crammed in there in sea day you could barely see the water. I did the ropes course and although it was terrifying it was really fun. For excursions we did Horseback riding in Roatan which was very fun and included a few hours on a private beach. In Harvest Caye we rented a Clamshell and laid on the beach for hours. That place is like a Disney-fied version of Belize so it was fun but definitely not authentic. In Cozumel we went to Mr Sancho's, an all-inclusive beach club. We had so much fun there we nearly missed the boat on the way back. I can't wait to do it again. We loved Norwegian and it's relaxed atmosphere. Next time I'd make my dinner reservations a little earlier and be sure to make time to see another show since we enjoyed the one we saw so much. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Our cruise was from Feb 17th to Feb 24th, 2019 aboard the Norwegian Getaway. Overall, we had a decent time, the food was excellent and the service was great. The specialty restaurants did not disappoint and the servers were quite worthy of ... Read More
Our cruise was from Feb 17th to Feb 24th, 2019 aboard the Norwegian Getaway. Overall, we had a decent time, the food was excellent and the service was great. The specialty restaurants did not disappoint and the servers were quite worthy of extra tipping such as Colin at La Cucinia and Babusi at Cagney’s. However, there were some aspects of this cruise which were disappointing. First and foremost was the Cigar Lounge on Deck 8 beside the Sunset Bar. The smell permeating from that room and the smoking at the outside part of the Sunset Bar was nauseating. That cigar smell spread mostly on Deck 8 both ways but you could also smell it on Deck 7 when transiting the casino. Why Norwegian would condone and enable this despicable habit is beyond me, especially when the linkage between various cancers and smoking is well known and understood - since families with children were onboard it was even more troubling. Although, there was a no smoking policy throughout the ship with designated areas for smoking, I could on occasion spot persons surreptitiously taking a puff from their E-cigarettes in the pool area. If I could spot these individuals why couldn’t the crew supervising the area? Another aspect that was unsatisfactory was the adult area of the swimming pool. Although, it was announced that it was adult only, plenty of children could be seen in that area. So, this was also not strictly enforced. Our stateroom was excellent as was Asep our room steward, who took care of us and accommodated our requests in a very timely fashion. His attention to our needs and others was quite evident. We booked our shore excursions online and for the most part were satisfied with our choices with the exception of the Tabyana Beach Party. When booking this shore excursion, there was no indication that there was a significant delay in getting to and from the beach due to road construction. We figured that we lost about 1.5 to 2 hours of our 6.5 hour excursion due to the delays caused by the road construction. When we received our tickets onboard it was mentioned but was somewhat downplayed. Tabyana Beach itself is beautiful and safe. The BBQ included with the excursion was good. There was no language barrier as staff spoke decent English. The bathrooms were clean and no charge. Guides like Dillon (works for tips only) were available to take you to the best snorkeling spots. Harvest Caye was also a huge disappointment. Although the sandy beach area is beautiful and there are plenty of chaise loungers available, the water was a dark, murky green. The pool on the island is very nice but good luck trying to find a lounger near the pool as it was over-crowded much like the pool on the ship. The shops on the island were very limited in their merchandise such as no regular type T-shirts (mostly tank tops). As well, my credit card was supposedly declined. When I checked with my bank the same day, they indicated there was absolutely nothing wrong with my credit card. Other guests suggested that this was regular scam by the merchants wanting cash instead of credit cards – hmmm. We walked away from the purchase. We doubt very much we will be back for the reasons above. Additionally, we found the ship crowded and noisy. As well, we cannot condone smoking and exposing ourselves to second hand smoke. It appears that Cigar Lounges are on all the Norwegian ships – too bad for us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I would've never chosen a NCL cruise, but the running group we were cruising with picked the cruise. I was surprised by the quality of food, drinks and entertainment. They were all much better than I expected. Our cabin attendant, ... Read More
I would've never chosen a NCL cruise, but the running group we were cruising with picked the cruise. I was surprised by the quality of food, drinks and entertainment. They were all much better than I expected. Our cabin attendant, Duke was wonderful, he's one of the best I've had in16 cruises. The disappointments were the lack of staff for a ship so large and how small all the public spaces were. They only had 1 pool for general use, or should I say nonhaven use. Kids weren't even allowed in it, they had to use a very shallow play area that contained water. We didn't have any kids with us and I still thought it was awful. On sea days the pool area was so packed with people standing, sitting and waiting to get in the pool, that you couldn't walk through the area. I have been on big ships, like Royal's Oasis of the Seas, crowding was never a problem. You could always find a chair, maybe not in a prime location, but a chair. Not on Getaway, on sea days, every chair was filled in the afternoon. It took a long time to get waited on for food or drinks, not because the staff didn't want to help you, but because they were overwhelmed. It was sad to see how hard they worked, I tried to be extra nice to them. Some passengers were not so understanding, it was hard to watch. Overall I might cruise NCL again, if the price was right, and I would definitely make sure there was more than 1 pool for general passengers. Read Less
Norwegian Getaway Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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