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My significant other works for RCCL, and because of this we have been on at least 14 cruises on Royal and her sister cruise line Celebrity. On Royal, smallest ship was Jewel of the Seas, but we have mostly cruised on Voyager class, Freedom class and Oasis. On Celebrity, we have sailed mostly on Solstice class ships. We ended up on the Norwegian Getaway when we couldn't get any reservations, even regular full fare on Royal for spring break. Our last cruise before this one was last April 2014 on the Independence. We weren't sure what to expect never having sailed on NCL, and we were pleasantly surprised. I thought it would be helpful to breakdown and compare our experience on both lines. Embarkation: Check in was fine but we didn't like having to wait for our group to be called which is how NCL does their embarkation. I would almost say Royal wins in this category except for the fact that NCL gave us a great guide with map that really helped and we also liked that there were several lunch options including one of the dining rooms so we didn't have to forage for food while lugging around our carry on. I also liked that they offered an introductory ship tour on Getaway, which was very helpful. Despite the dislike of the groups to board, I'd say NCL Getaway wins out here. Cabins: We learned ahead of time that the Getaway balconies are smaller than what we are used to on Royal so we got a larger balcony room (B6). NCL wins out here also in that the bed was higher and more comfortable than what we've had on Royal. Instead of a bulky chair and oval glass coffee table like on Royal, the Getaway had an ingenious multi-purpose stool/storage cube with removable tray. Additionally, the full sized blow dryer was in a clever holster mounted under the vanity. The couch was also huge, in that I believe it serves as a twin bed, and it was armless making it really convenient to seat more people and also stay out of each other's way. Under the couch were 2 huge drawers that easier could fit at least 4 people's clothes for a week. The bathroom on the Getaway was nice with a seemingly larger shower than on Royal and a larger sink. The only negatives I could say would be there is no real enclosed cabinets,except one under the sink, in the bathroom and no enclosed spaces in the room around the vanity. Service: Again NCL wins out here. The service was outstanding exceeding our expectations consistently. There was nothing that wasn't accommodated and our cabin attendant, Winnie, was hands down the best cabin steward we've ever had and that's including the butler we had on Celebrity when we did our European cruise in a suite! Royal had just instituted mandatory daily gratuities when we cruised the Indy last year and we noticed a marked decline in service. NCL has the same policy and yet there was no degradation in service. Dining: We had a promo and got the Ultimate Dining Plan which allowed us to go to all the specialty restaurants on the Getaway. This was our first time with the "freestyle" approach so we weren't sure how we would like this being that we were used to the traditional dining approach on Royal/Celebrity. We loved the relaxed style of not having to get dressed up and we really enjoyed going to dinner at the perfect time for us. We liked some of the restaurants better than others, with the highlights being Teppanyaki (we went twice), Le Bistro (book this one early), La Cucina and Ocean Blue (not in the plan but with UDP you get 20% off and it was well worth it). Shanghai noodle was also really good for a quick bite. Another not to be missed Is the Ocean Blue window for lunch. The calamari and lobster roll were both among the best I've had. The variety of dining options really made me not even miss traditional dining. One final sweet note was Carlos Bake Shop where you can get the best cannoli or tiramisu. The hours are limited but these yummy sweets are also available at the atrium cafe. Pools and sun decks: I did not opt to pay for Vibe on the Getaway and I didn't see it, but even still, I have to say that if you want to enjoy the pool and sun, then Royal and Celebrity are miles ahead over NCL. There were only 2 small pools on the Getaway (1 adult/1 kids) and they are salt water. I much prefer the fresh water pools on Royal and the larger pools and more abundant spaces to get sun. Public areas: The Getaway has a central focus called 678 and it's almost like NCL's answer to the promenade that is found on RCCL's Voyager and above class ships. It was a nice design in that regardless of whether your cabin is forward or aft, you always felt like you weren't that far from the main area of activities. The card room on the Getaway was very nice with lots of games that were well maintained. The library on the getaway is considerably smaller than on Royal ships. There seemed to be more elevators on the Getaway but I did miss the open glass elevators on Royal/Celebrity. The giant screen in the Atrium on Getaway was a nice feature and there were lots of activities that happened there (games, movies, trivia). Another nice and very peaceful area on the Getaway is the waterfront. Activities: Like the dining options, there were also a wide variety of activities on the Getaway. In addition to bingo and trivia, there was also Deal or No Deal that was tons of fun even if you didn't buy a card to play. There were also other games, that we didn't even have time to get to, but I liked the variety offered. There was also daily origami, which was kind of different and fun. What really pushes NCL over the top was the fireworks show on one of the nights. We were lucky to have a port side balcony so we could see the show perfectly from our balcony, although there was also a huge party if that is one's preference. Fitness center: definitely smaller than the centers on the Royal ships. Royal wins out here. Spa: The main spa is on par with Royal with the exception of the Spa Thermal Suite on the Getaway. It's much bigger than the thermal spa found on Freedom class and above or Celebrity Solstice class, with more of those warm tile beds. Entertainment: Lots of varied options on the Getaway. I enjoyed the broadway show, Legally Blonde, the Grammy Experience and Levity Comedy. Ilusionarium was a good dinner show if you like magic, but kind of a one time thing. The wine lovers musical also at Illusionarium was campy and not recommended if you are serious about wine tastings. Disembarkation: NCL did a fantastic job with this by simply providing the time slots and allowing guests to decide their disembarkation time by picking up the appropriate colored luggage tags. Overall: We were very impressed with our cruise on the Getaway. NCL really weaves in freestyle cruising in every category through extensive offerings of dining, entertainment and activities. The pricing was also significantly less than Royal or Celebrity.  

Norwegian Getaway: A comparison to Royal Caribbean big ship cruises

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by Alwaazl8

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2015
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Large Balcony Stateroom
My significant other works for RCCL, and because of this we have been on at least 14 cruises on Royal and her sister cruise line Celebrity. On Royal, smallest ship was Jewel of the Seas, but we have mostly cruised on Voyager class, Freedom class and Oasis. On Celebrity, we have sailed mostly on Solstice class ships. We ended up on the Norwegian Getaway when we couldn't get any reservations, even regular full fare on Royal for spring break. Our last cruise before this one was last April 2014 on the Independence. We weren't sure what to expect never having sailed on NCL, and we were pleasantly surprised. I thought it would be helpful to breakdown and compare our experience on both lines.
Embarkation: Check in was fine but we didn't like having to wait for our group to be called which is how NCL does their embarkation. I would almost say Royal wins in this category except for the fact that NCL gave us a great guide with map that really helped and we also liked that there were several lunch options including one of the dining rooms so we didn't have to forage for food while lugging around our carry on. I also liked that they offered an introductory ship tour on Getaway, which was very helpful. Despite the dislike of the groups to board, I'd say NCL Getaway wins out here.
Cabins: We learned ahead of time that the Getaway balconies are smaller than what we are used to on Royal so we got a larger balcony room (B6). NCL wins out here also in that the bed was higher and more comfortable than what we've had on Royal. Instead of a bulky chair and oval glass coffee table like on Royal, the Getaway had an ingenious multi-purpose stool/storage cube with removable tray. Additionally, the full sized blow dryer was in a clever holster mounted under the vanity. The couch was also huge, in that I believe it serves as a twin bed, and it was armless making it really convenient to seat more people and also stay out of each other's way. Under the couch were 2 huge drawers that easier could fit at least 4 people's clothes for a week. The bathroom on the Getaway was nice with a seemingly larger shower than on Royal and a larger sink. The only negatives I could say would be there is no real enclosed cabinets,except one under the sink, in the bathroom and no enclosed spaces in the room around the vanity.
Service: Again NCL wins out here. The service was outstanding exceeding our expectations consistently. There was nothing that wasn't accommodated and our cabin attendant, Winnie, was hands down the best cabin steward we've ever had and that's including the butler we had on Celebrity when we did our European cruise in a suite! Royal had just instituted mandatory daily gratuities when we cruised the Indy last year and we noticed a marked decline in service. NCL has the same policy and yet there was no degradation in service.
Dining: We had a promo and got the Ultimate Dining Plan which allowed us to go to all the specialty restaurants on the Getaway. This was our first time with the "freestyle" approach so we weren't sure how we would like this being that we were used to the traditional dining approach on Royal/Celebrity. We loved the relaxed style of not having to get dressed up and we really enjoyed going to dinner at the perfect time for us. We liked some of the restaurants better than others, with the highlights being Teppanyaki (we went twice), Le Bistro (book this one early), La Cucina and Ocean Blue (not in the plan but with UDP you get 20% off and it was well worth it). Shanghai noodle was also really good for a quick bite. Another not to be missed
Is the Ocean Blue window for lunch. The calamari and lobster roll were both among the best I've had. The variety of dining options really made me not even miss traditional dining. One final sweet note was Carlos Bake Shop where you can get the best cannoli or tiramisu. The hours are limited but these yummy sweets are also available at the atrium cafe.
Pools and sun decks: I did not opt to pay for Vibe on the Getaway and I didn't see it, but even still, I have to say that if you want to enjoy the pool and sun, then Royal and Celebrity are miles ahead over NCL. There were only 2 small pools on the Getaway (1 adult/1 kids) and they are salt water. I much prefer the fresh water pools on Royal and the larger pools and more abundant spaces to get sun.
Public areas: The Getaway has a central focus called 678 and it's almost like NCL's answer to the promenade that is found on RCCL's Voyager and above class ships. It was a nice design in that regardless of whether your cabin is forward or aft, you always felt like you weren't that far from the main area of activities. The card room on the Getaway was very nice with lots of games that were well maintained. The library on the getaway is considerably smaller than on Royal ships. There seemed to be more elevators on the Getaway but I did miss the open glass elevators on Royal/Celebrity. The giant screen in the Atrium on Getaway was a nice feature and there were lots of activities that happened there (games, movies, trivia). Another nice and very peaceful area on the Getaway is the waterfront.
Activities: Like the dining options, there were also a wide variety of activities on the Getaway. In addition to bingo and trivia, there was also Deal or No Deal that was tons of fun even if you didn't buy a card to play. There were also other games, that we didn't even have time to get to, but I liked the variety offered. There was also daily origami, which was kind of different and fun. What really pushes NCL over the top was the fireworks show on one of the nights. We were lucky to have a port side balcony so we could see the show perfectly from our balcony, although there was also a huge party if that is one's preference.
Fitness center: definitely smaller than the centers on the Royal ships. Royal wins out here.
Spa: The main spa is on par with Royal with the exception of the Spa Thermal Suite on the Getaway. It's much bigger than the thermal spa found on Freedom class and above or Celebrity Solstice class, with more of those warm tile beds.
Entertainment: Lots of varied options on the Getaway. I enjoyed the broadway show, Legally Blonde, the Grammy Experience and Levity Comedy. Ilusionarium was a good dinner show if you like magic, but kind of a one time thing. The wine lovers musical also at Illusionarium was campy and not recommended if you are serious about wine tastings.
Disembarkation: NCL did a fantastic job with this by simply providing the time slots and allowing guests to decide their disembarkation time by picking up the appropriate colored luggage tags.
Overall: We were very impressed with our cruise on the Getaway. NCL really weaves in freestyle cruising in every category through extensive offerings of dining, entertainment and activities. The pricing was also significantly less than Royal or Celebrity.
 
Alwaazl8’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
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Cabin Review

Large Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B6 9130
Cabins: We learned ahead of time that the Getaway balconies are smaller than what we are used to on Royal so we got a larger balcony room (B6). NCL wins out here also in that the bed was higher and more comfortable than what we've had on Royal. Instead of a bulky chair and oval glass coffee table like on Royal, the Getaway had an ingenious multi-purpose stool/storage cube with removable tray. Additionally, the full sized blow dryer was in a clever holster mounted under the vanity. The couch was also huge, in that I believe it serves as a twin bed, and it was armless making it really convenient to seat more people and also stay out of each other's way. Under the couch were 2 huge drawers that easier could fit at least 4 people's clothes for a week. The bathroom on the Getaway was nice with a seemingly larger shower than on Royal and a larger sink. The only negatives I could say would be there is no real enclosed cabinets,except one under the sink, in the bathroom and no enclosed spaces in the room around the vanity.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins