Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by Snipe74
- Sail Date: November 2014
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Inside Stateroom
To put this rating in perspective, I’ve cruised 22 times previously since 1992 on Carnival (Ecstasy and Spirit), Celebrity (Mercury and Reflection), Costa (Mediterranea), Princess (Coral, Star, Sun, Diamond, and Grand), Royal Caribbean (Viking Serenade, Rhapsody, Radiance, and Allure), Holland America (Zuiderdam), and other Norwegian (Pride of America, Dawn, and Sun) ships on Alaska, Pacific Coast, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Bermuda, and Trans-Atlantic cruises.
As an additional perspective, my wife and I had just cruised on Celebrity Reflection the week before our Getaway cruise (we literally dragged our luggage down the pier from one ship to the other), and we both agreed that Reflection failed to measure up to Getaway in any aspect (see my separate review on Reflection on CruiseCritic). Upon boarding Getaway, I was awestruck how two new/relatively same age ships could be so physically different with respect to facilities, décor, furnishings, features, and venues. From then on with each passing day, the differences between them in all categories (e.g., crew, dining, entertainment) continued to materialize dramatically. In the final analysis Getaway put Reflection to shame in every significant (to us) respect.
CREW: All the hotel and food services crew members that we encountered seemed genuinely happy with high morale. They were pleasant, helpful, and eager to assist. Dining room wait staff (never the same person twice) service impressed me so much that I was compelled to submit complimentary comment cards after each meal (I’ve never done that before on any previous cruise). The Cruise Director (Joel) and his staff were an amazing, very friendly, accessible, self-deprecating, and entertaining bunch. The ships’ officers, who circulated and mingled frequently with passengers, were approachable, down to earth, and appeared highly competent in their chosen professions.
FOOD/DINING: I enjoyed one of the best slices of beef that I’ve ever had in my life (are you ready for this?) at the embarkation day lunch buffet, which is typically an unremarkable/unmemorable event. From there on, the food quality in all the complimentary dining venues (we didn’t partake of any extra cost ones) proved consistently amazing. Easily the best food that I’ve ever had on ANY cruise ship. My only complaint/quibble: No complimentary dining room lobster main course or escargot appetizer night (a minor disappointment).
ENTERTAINMENT: Here’s what we saw, together with my rating on a scale of 1 to 10: Legally Blond – 9; Burn The Floor Main Theater Show – 9; Burn The Floor Dinner Show at the Tropicana Dining Room Dance Floor (dancers up close and personal to tables, substantial perspiration obvious at conclusion reflects tremendous level of effort) – 10; Levity Entertainment Group (3 professional comedians) – 9; Howl At The Moon Dueling Pianos – 9; The breakfast buffet rooster and limbo show (I won’t describe this…you need to experience it for yourself) – 10; Crew Talent Show – 5; How To Run A Floating Hotel – 6; Getaway Technical Presentation – 8; Fireworks Show – 7; Dancing With The Getaway Stars – 9; “Maleficent” and “Guardians Of The Galaxy” 3-D movies in main theater – 8. NOTE: Getaway does not, unfortunately, perform the “Fountains” show that some other NCL ships do – darn!!
ON BOARD ACTIVITIES: Here’s what I did, together with my rating on a scale of 1 to 10: Aqua Park Enclosed Free Fall Water Slide (I actually gasped out loud on my first run when the floor suddenly dropped away) – 9; Aqua Park Enclosed Cork Screw Water Slide (I was slightly dizzy at end) – 8, Aqua Park Open Sluice Water Slide – 4, Ropes Course Overall – 8; Ropes Course Walk The Plank – 7; Ropes Course Zip Line – 3; Mini Golf Course – 6; Fitness Center – 9. We’re not swimming pool users/sun bathers, so we have no rating on this. We do use, but not on this trip, hot tubs, which we noted were full anytime that we walked by.
MISC PLUSES: Electronic interactive deck plan maps are scattered around the ship near the elevators and stairwells that advise you how to get from Point A to Point B. Also scattered around the ship are self-updating electronic Dining Room and Entertainment/Activities status boards. Attention to detail is evident in many ways throughout the ship, e.g., to accommodate the signed request in the public restrooms to use a toweled hand to open the door, the location of the towel dispensers and trash bins is right next to the exit doors, so you can indeed grab a towel, dry your hands, grab the handle with toweled hand, open the door, and then conveniently toss the towel into the bin. I don’t know how many times I’ve used other public restrooms in the past that request the same, but placement of the towel dispenser and trash bins is no where near the door handle, which effectively subverts the requested action.
MISC MINUSES: No covered exterior perimeter/promenade walking/jogging deck.
OTHER: Pierside staff does indeed scan luggage during embarkation for prohibited items.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
ZipliningTree Limin' Extreme Zipline very safe and friendly staff, but way over-rated, poor value for money. Advertised as about 4 hours total; actual time consumed pier to pier about 3 hours. Facility consists of 6 ziplines plus two rope-supported wooden planked bridges. About 15 minute ride in safari type vehicle (open sides, solid roof) from pier to site and then back (included in price). Time on ziplines and bridges themselves only about 3 minutes. Spent vast majority of time waiting around on platforms, which afforded great views, but which became boring after a while (view never really changed from platform to platform). My overall "thrill" rating of this Zipline on scale of 1 to 10 - 4 (hardly extreme). My previous zipline experience with similar ratings: At Oahu mini golf course (about 20 feet off ground, about 15 second ride) - 3; RCCL Allure of Seas over Boardwalk area - 3, and Icy Strait Point (~90 second ride in chair vs harness (can go arms free), 60-65 mph top speed, 6 parallel 5330 ft ziplines, 300 feet over trees, beginning elevation about 1400 feet, ending elevation, near sea level, 45 minute narrated (very interesting) bus ride to launching platforms, auto decel/stop at end of ziplines themselves) - 10.What really irked me though was the misleading advertisement (per their brochure) regarding what I expected was a complimentary drink back at the pier, but which proved not to be the case. To quote their brochure: "Lastly, end your ultimate Caribbean experience with a tropical libation at our Caribbean run shack da lime in da coconut located at Yacht Haven Grande. This specialty bar features Caribbean rums and beers from various islands. Our signature drink "da lime in da coconut" is served in a fresh cut coconut with your choice of rum.". In fact, if you visited the Zipline gift shop, you received a coupon for $1.00 off a drink. Hardly complimentary. They should clarify this in their advertising materials.View All 48 Ziplining Reviews