1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Getaway
This was my second cruise on the Getaway in as many years. The two cruises were taken almost a year apart exactly. I have a MUCH more comprehensive review of the ship in general from last January’s cruise, so if that is what you are looking for you can find it there (if interested). That said, on this cruise we had a great experience and would probably still do it again, but there are some things that I think should be reviewed. Embarkation: On our first cruise this went great. They had an attendant in the large waiting room who kept everyone in order. On this cruise there was none of that. We had arrived early to meet up with our entire party and be some of the first on the ship, but as could be expected, with no attendant, all we keep seeing were people who showed up hours after us who thought there would be no problem to just slide up to the front of the “line.” Seriously, Norwegian needs to handle this better. I have read reviews from others that talked about how unorganized this process could be and now I have witnessed it. It would not shock me if there is (or has been) a fight up there. There are always the jerks that think they can just jump to the front whenever they want and there are often people that will not tolerate it. If Norwegian does not have someone there keeping those jerks back it could get ugly at some point. Room: This year we upgraded to a Mini-Suite (I think it is called). There absolutely no difference between this room and a normal balcony room except for the bathroom. The bathroom in these rooms was significantly larger. They had a double sink and a MUCH larger shower. The room was nice but I would not pay for this upgrade- I would just ask for it as a bonus if the price of your cruise falls after you book it. That said, the room was nice. Our room attendant did a fine job of keeping it clean. I have heard people complain about the size of the balcony but this was never an issue for us. It is big enough for two people to sit out there and relax. Ship: The ship is just as beautiful as it was last year. As expected, they have kept it looking great. The water slides are top notch and the ropes course is fun. As may have complained, the pool is way too small for the ship, but this was never an issue for us. For those that are worried, the Casino does have a smoky smell (as most do) but it is not overpowering. Food: We all thought the food this time around was great. I ate at more places this time and can’t say there was much I was disappointed with. We did the buffet a LOT for lunch and we all really enjoyed it. I have still yet to have dinner there and once again thought the breakfasts were only ok. Taste, Savor and O’Sheehans all had similar breakfasts. They were good and I don’t think they will disappoint. A little tip though, if you like scrambled eggs, they admitted to us that they use an egg substitute (only for scrambled). So, if you want real eggs you have to ask for them. I did this after our second or third visit and they came out fine. Omelets and other items are made with real eggs all the time however. We all ate lunch at O’Sheehans a few times and for the most part thought it was fine (it is typical pub food- wings, nachos, burgers, fish and chips, dogs, etc., etc., etc.). I actually liked the food there. One couple in our group did have a horrible experience there where they ordered burgers medium rare and they came out charred. So, it is like any other restaurant. They usually get it right but will sometime really mess it up. The Tropicana room is a nice place to eat. I thought the menu was good and the atmosphere is nice. We ate at two specialty restaruants while we were on board this year; Ocean Blue and Cagneys. Ocean Blue oddly was the only place we were disappointed with. Although, I think we were only disappointed because of all the hype going into it. The food was fine and the service (though slow) was good. Unfortunately it took them over three hours to serve our party of 8 and we did a lot of sitting around and waiting between dishes. They did do a great job of keeping our wine glasses full during this time however, and the manager did come by to check on us 2-3 times. So, while slow, I have a feeling this was the kitchen’s fault and not the wait staff. Another few couples that were part of our large group went there on a different night and were in and out in just over an hour. One large complaint from me is with their lobster bisque. The bisque here had a constancy of a non-cream based soup (such as chicken noodle). It was very disappointing given the fact that this was a seafood restaurant. The Bisque at Cagneys was FAR superior. We ate at Cagneys three times because it was so good. The steaks come out as good as any steakhouse I have ever been to, and I live in Chicago. The Bisque was incredible, the service was great. Eat here as often as you can if you like steak. I heard about (but did not eat at) other restaurants from people in our group. The people that went to Mordeno’s were disappointed. They said the meat was very salty and not always cooked correctly (for their tastes). Some got sushi at Wasabi and said it was good, but the menu was very limited. Ports: Overall we were a little disappointed with the ports. We did Rotan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Rotan: This place is a dump. Perhaps if you do an excursion you will see a different part of the island and have a different opinion, but if you just get a cab (like we did) and drive around you will notice that there is virtually nothing to see but pothole filled roads and trash filled countryside. Some people in our group went to see the comedy show on board the ship and he was even making fun of what a joke this port was. We did end up at a monkey zoo/ sanctuary which was pretty cool. We got to hold a few different monkeys and see many others and it was only $10 a person. I would imagine this place has some beautiful spots to it, but you probably have to pay for an excursion to see them. There is not a whole lot in the port that Norwegian stops at. Harvest Caye: Ok, here’s the deal with the new Harvest Caye. Harvest Caye COULD have been the spot we all raved about the most. As it turns out, it was the place we all liked the least because of the way it is being ran. The Island is smaller than I expected and is rather beautiful. It has a nice large beach that is perfect for warm beach days and has a few awesome looking bars and a nice pool. Besides that (and a very short nature walk) it has NOTHING to offer. There are no volleyball pits or other outside games (like Great Stirrup Caye), no culture, no cheap shopping, no interesting dining (just Margaritaville). The people in our group found ourselves heading back to the boat about 2 hours after we got off because it wasn’t the best beach day, there was nothing to do (we did not pay for an excursion) and we had the beverage package which ONLY works on the ship. It does not feel like you are in another country, so there is also no real sightseeing to do either. Had the beverage package worked on the island (and had they had even simple food stations with just burgers or something). This would have been our favorite port. It would have been an all day party on a beautiful island at new open air bars. NCL needs to change things up a bit and find a way to make money off this island while allowing the beverage package to at least partly work on the island. The bars looked so cool but they were only at about 20% capacity because people did not want to pay for beer when it was free on the boat. As it is, despite Harvest Caye being much nicer than Great Strirup Caye, I would have much rather been at Great Stirup Caye. This “island” is more or less a sandbar on steroids where you can lay out and get sun, but do nothing else unless you want to fork over more money. Costa Maya: This is an artificial port with no real town attached to it. There is lots of shopping and as I understand some nice beaches nearby, but not within eyeshot of the pier. We did the excursion to Chacchoben and we all really enjoyed it. We did the deluxe package and others in our group did the regular. We were the first van there and they were the first bus (10 minutes later). Truthfully, so long as you are there within the first half hour or so, it really doesn’t matter if you do the deluxe or regular. We got there when no one else was there and have some really cool pictures. When we were leaving however, we could see the crowds forming and by then all of our pics would have been flooded with tourists. You can climb on some of the ruins, but you cannot go all the way to the top. You can go about 10 feet up on most of them. Some of the ruins were elevated courtyards that actually required some light climbing to even get to. The site is very nice (some spider monkeys were jumping around in the trees) and our guide was very knowledgeable and very passionate about the Mayan culture. I would recommend this tour. I know people who have now done this one and the Tulum ruin and they said this one was better. This is in the jungle and has a lot of tree covered areas (perhaps this could lead to mosquito issues in certain months) whereas I understand Tulum is far more wide open and takes all day. We were back from this excursion by about 12:30. Cozumel: We had been here before and we enjoy this port. It has some nice shopping, some in mini malls and some in shacks where you can really bargain. A little tip, if you like cigars, nearly all of the Cubans on the street are fakes. If you want to know how to tell the real Cubans from fakes, go to the Duty Free store (right at the end of the pier) and ask them. They will show you all you need to know. Entertainment: I just so happened to go with a group that spent at least part of every night in the casino, so I feel as if I can write an accurate review on that. I have to say, the casino staff was incredibly rude this trip. I have never seen a staff treat its players so poorly (pit bosses were fine, just the dealers). It was not like this last cruise. Last cruise they were normal, like you would see in Vegas or any casino. Not so much this time around. There were people in our group that literally would get up and leave when certain dealers came back just because of how rude they were. I am still willing to take another NCL cruise (of course) but they were bad enough that if I encounter anywhere near the same behavior on the next cruse I would probably never cruise NCL again- it was that bad. I enjoy playing a few nights a week and don’t need rude dealers when I am basically paying their salary with my losses. Other forms of entertainment were great. The Million Dollar Quartet crew was amazing. They were very good with their rolls and were extremely talented. The story is also a good one. I hear the show is slightly abbreviated from the show you may see in Chicago (or somewhere else) as they keep it to about an hour and a half. Howl at the Moon was great. We had a lot of fun in there a few nights. The dance parties were fun (if you go on a night when you like the music). The Karaoke was even good. Trivia was a little odd. Nothing strange with the questions, it was just shotgun trivia. Only 20 questions and only lasts about 20 minutes then that is it. So, if you like trivia but are short on time, this is your thing. They do trivia a few times a day. We also saw the Battle of the Sexes game in the Atrium and I’m embarrassed to say that we participated in the newlywed / not so newlywed game after my wife put our names in the drawing. It was fun nevertheless. Bars: All of the bars are great and I never had an issue with an unusual amount of wait time for a drink or a rude bartender. The spirits there are very good. Double Bullett’s on the rocks are within the beverage package (Woodford is a bit more), Grey Goose is the vodka of choice usually, various kinds of rum, etc. Nothing cheap. You should be happy with the pours. If you don’t get the package expect to pay normal bar prices $5.00-$6.00 a beer, $8.00-$10.00 for MOST mixed drinks… some are more. Overall it was a great time. My biggest complaint lies with the Casino staff and with the beverage package not working on Harvest Caye. They have put up such a cool place but are running it all wrong. If the package worked there, a stop at that location would be a solid reason for me to book a trip in the future. As it stands, because the island is only about 70% done and the package does not work, it is a reason for me to avoid a cruise there. No culture, no cheap shopping, not sight-seeing, no drinks and nothing to do. I would rather stay on the boat at this point- especially if it is not a perfect beach day. I sure hope NCL fixes this because it has a lot of potential.

Cruise was fun but Harvest Caye was extremly disappointing.

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by phelp1ma

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was my second cruise on the Getaway in as many years. The two cruises were taken almost a year apart exactly. I have a MUCH more comprehensive review of the ship in general from last January’s cruise, so if that is what you are looking for you can find it there (if interested). That said, on this cruise we had a great experience and would probably still do it again, but there are some things that I think should be reviewed.

Embarkation: On our first cruise this went great. They had an attendant in the large waiting room who kept everyone in order. On this cruise there was none of that. We had arrived early to meet up with our entire party and be some of the first on the ship, but as could be expected, with no attendant, all we keep seeing were people who showed up hours after us who thought there would be no problem to just slide up to the front of the “line.” Seriously, Norwegian needs to handle this better. I have read reviews from others that talked about how unorganized this process could be and now I have witnessed it. It would not shock me if there is (or has been) a fight up there. There are always the jerks that think they can just jump to the front whenever they want and there are often people that will not tolerate it. If Norwegian does not have someone there keeping those jerks back it could get ugly at some point.

Room: This year we upgraded to a Mini-Suite (I think it is called). There absolutely no difference between this room and a normal balcony room except for the bathroom. The bathroom in these rooms was significantly larger. They had a double sink and a MUCH larger shower. The room was nice but I would not pay for this upgrade- I would just ask for it as a bonus if the price of your cruise falls after you book it. That said, the room was nice. Our room attendant did a fine job of keeping it clean. I have heard people complain about the size of the balcony but this was never an issue for us. It is big enough for two people to sit out there and relax.

Ship: The ship is just as beautiful as it was last year. As expected, they have kept it looking great. The water slides are top notch and the ropes course is fun. As may have complained, the pool is way too small for the ship, but this was never an issue for us. For those that are worried, the Casino does have a smoky smell (as most do) but it is not overpowering.

Food: We all thought the food this time around was great. I ate at more places this time and can’t say there was much I was disappointed with. We did the buffet a LOT for lunch and we all really enjoyed it. I have still yet to have dinner there and once again thought the breakfasts were only ok. Taste, Savor and O’Sheehans all had similar breakfasts. They were good and I don’t think they will disappoint. A little tip though, if you like scrambled eggs, they admitted to us that they use an egg substitute (only for scrambled). So, if you want real eggs you have to ask for them. I did this after our second or third visit and they came out fine. Omelets and other items are made with real eggs all the time however. We all ate lunch at O’Sheehans a few times and for the most part thought it was fine (it is typical pub food- wings, nachos, burgers, fish and chips, dogs, etc., etc., etc.). I actually liked the food there. One couple in our group did have a horrible experience there where they ordered burgers medium rare and they came out charred. So, it is like any other restaurant. They usually get it right but will sometime really mess it up. The Tropicana room is a nice place to eat. I thought the menu was good and the atmosphere is nice.

We ate at two specialty restaruants while we were on board this year; Ocean Blue and Cagneys.

Ocean Blue oddly was the only place we were disappointed with. Although, I think we were only disappointed because of all the hype going into it. The food was fine and the service (though slow) was good. Unfortunately it took them over three hours to serve our party of 8 and we did a lot of sitting around and waiting between dishes. They did do a great job of keeping our wine glasses full during this time however, and the manager did come by to check on us 2-3 times. So, while slow, I have a feeling this was the kitchen’s fault and not the wait staff. Another few couples that were part of our large group went there on a different night and were in and out in just over an hour. One large complaint from me is with their lobster bisque. The bisque here had a constancy of a non-cream based soup (such as chicken noodle). It was very disappointing given the fact that this was a seafood restaurant. The Bisque at Cagneys was FAR superior.

We ate at Cagneys three times because it was so good. The steaks come out as good as any steakhouse I have ever been to, and I live in Chicago. The Bisque was incredible, the service was great. Eat here as often as you can if you like steak.

I heard about (but did not eat at) other restaurants from people in our group. The people that went to Mordeno’s were disappointed. They said the meat was very salty and not always cooked correctly (for their tastes). Some got sushi at Wasabi and said it was good, but the menu was very limited.

Ports:

Overall we were a little disappointed with the ports. We did Rotan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

Rotan: This place is a dump. Perhaps if you do an excursion you will see a different part of the island and have a different opinion, but if you just get a cab (like we did) and drive around you will notice that there is virtually nothing to see but pothole filled roads and trash filled countryside. Some people in our group went to see the comedy show on board the ship and he was even making fun of what a joke this port was. We did end up at a monkey zoo/ sanctuary which was pretty cool. We got to hold a few different monkeys and see many others and it was only $10 a person. I would imagine this place has some beautiful spots to it, but you probably have to pay for an excursion to see them. There is not a whole lot in the port that Norwegian stops at.

Harvest Caye: Ok, here’s the deal with the new Harvest Caye. Harvest Caye COULD have been the spot we all raved about the most. As it turns out, it was the place we all liked the least because of the way it is being ran. The Island is smaller than I expected and is rather beautiful. It has a nice large beach that is perfect for warm beach days and has a few awesome looking bars and a nice pool. Besides that (and a very short nature walk) it has NOTHING to offer. There are no volleyball pits or other outside games (like Great Stirrup Caye), no culture, no cheap shopping, no interesting dining (just Margaritaville). The people in our group found ourselves heading back to the boat about 2 hours after we got off because it wasn’t the best beach day, there was nothing to do (we did not pay for an excursion) and we had the beverage package which ONLY works on the ship. It does not feel like you are in another country, so there is also no real sightseeing to do either. Had the beverage package worked on the island (and had they had even simple food stations with just burgers or something). This would have been our favorite port. It would have been an all day party on a beautiful island at new open air bars. NCL needs to change things up a bit and find a way to make money off this island while allowing the beverage package to at least partly work on the island. The bars looked so cool but they were only at about 20% capacity because people did not want to pay for beer when it was free on the boat. As it is, despite Harvest Caye being much nicer than Great Strirup Caye, I would have much rather been at Great Stirup Caye. This “island” is more or less a sandbar on steroids where you can lay out and get sun, but do nothing else unless you want to fork over more money.

Costa Maya: This is an artificial port with no real town attached to it. There is lots of shopping and as I understand some nice beaches nearby, but not within eyeshot of the pier. We did the excursion to Chacchoben and we all really enjoyed it. We did the deluxe package and others in our group did the regular. We were the first van there and they were the first bus (10 minutes later). Truthfully, so long as you are there within the first half hour or so, it really doesn’t matter if you do the deluxe or regular. We got there when no one else was there and have some really cool pictures. When we were leaving however, we could see the crowds forming and by then all of our pics would have been flooded with tourists. You can climb on some of the ruins, but you cannot go all the way to the top. You can go about 10 feet up on most of them. Some of the ruins were elevated courtyards that actually required some light climbing to even get to. The site is very nice (some spider monkeys were jumping around in the trees) and our guide was very knowledgeable and very passionate about the Mayan culture. I would recommend this tour. I know people who have now done this one and the Tulum ruin and they said this one was better. This is in the jungle and has a lot of tree covered areas (perhaps this could lead to mosquito issues in certain months) whereas I understand Tulum is far more wide open and takes all day. We were back from this excursion by about 12:30.

Cozumel: We had been here before and we enjoy this port. It has some nice shopping, some in mini malls and some in shacks where you can really bargain. A little tip, if you like cigars, nearly all of the Cubans on the street are fakes. If you want to know how to tell the real Cubans from fakes, go to the Duty Free store (right at the end of the pier) and ask them. They will show you all you need to know.

Entertainment: I just so happened to go with a group that spent at least part of every night in the casino, so I feel as if I can write an accurate review on that. I have to say, the casino staff was incredibly rude this trip. I have never seen a staff treat its players so poorly (pit bosses were fine, just the dealers). It was not like this last cruise. Last cruise they were normal, like you would see in Vegas or any casino. Not so much this time around. There were people in our group that literally would get up and leave when certain dealers came back just because of how rude they were. I am still willing to take another NCL cruise (of course) but they were bad enough that if I encounter anywhere near the same behavior on the next cruse I would probably never cruise NCL again- it was that bad. I enjoy playing a few nights a week and don’t need rude dealers when I am basically paying their salary with my losses.

Other forms of entertainment were great. The Million Dollar Quartet crew was amazing. They were very good with their rolls and were extremely talented. The story is also a good one. I hear the show is slightly abbreviated from the show you may see in Chicago (or somewhere else) as they keep it to about an hour and a half. Howl at the Moon was great. We had a lot of fun in there a few nights. The dance parties were fun (if you go on a night when you like the music). The Karaoke was even good. Trivia was a little odd. Nothing strange with the questions, it was just shotgun trivia. Only 20 questions and only lasts about 20 minutes then that is it. So, if you like trivia but are short on time, this is your thing. They do trivia a few times a day. We also saw the Battle of the Sexes game in the Atrium and I’m embarrassed to say that we participated in the newlywed / not so newlywed game after my wife put our names in the drawing. It was fun nevertheless.

Bars: All of the bars are great and I never had an issue with an unusual amount of wait time for a drink or a rude bartender. The spirits there are very good. Double Bullett’s on the rocks are within the beverage package (Woodford is a bit more), Grey Goose is the vodka of choice usually, various kinds of rum, etc. Nothing cheap. You should be happy with the pours. If you don’t get the package expect to pay normal bar prices $5.00-$6.00 a beer, $8.00-$10.00 for MOST mixed drinks… some are more.

Overall it was a great time. My biggest complaint lies with the Casino staff and with the beverage package not working on Harvest Caye. They have put up such a cool place but are running it all wrong. If the package worked there, a stop at that location would be a solid reason for me to book a trip in the future. As it stands, because the island is only about 70% done and the package does not work, it is a reason for me to avoid a cruise there. No culture, no cheap shopping, not sight-seeing, no drinks and nothing to do. I would rather stay on the boat at this point- especially if it is not a perfect beach day. I sure hope NCL fixes this because it has a lot of potential.
phelp1ma’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Getaway price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB 9802
Room: This year we upgraded to a Mini-Suite (I think it is called). There absolutely no difference between this room and a normal balcony room except for the bathroom. The bathroom in these rooms was significantly larger. They had a double sink and a MUCH larger shower. The room was nice but I would not pay for this upgrade- I would just ask for it as a bonus if the price of your cruise falls after you book it. That said, the room was nice. Our room attendant did a fine job of keeping it clean. I have heard people complain about the size of the balcony but this was never an issue for us. It is big enough for two people to sit out there and relax.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Chacchoben Mayan Ruins
    We did the deluxe package and others in our group did the regular. We were the first van there and they were the first bus (10 minutes later). Truthfully, so long as you are there within the first half hour or so, it really doesn’t matter if you do the deluxe or regular. We got there when no one else was there and have some really cool pictures. When we were leaving however, we could see the crowds forming and by then all of our pics would have been flooded with tourists. You can climb on some of the ruins, but you cannot go all the way to the top. You can go about 10 feet up on most of them. Some of the ruins were elevated courtyards that actually required some light climbing to even get to. The site is very nice (some spider monkeys were jumping around in the trees) and our guide was very knowledgeable and very passionate about the Mayan culture. I would recommend this tour. I know people who have now done this one and the Tulum ruin and they said this one was better. This is in the jungle and has a lot of tree covered areas (perhaps this could lead to mosquito issues in certain months) whereas I understand Tulum is far more wide open and takes all day. We were back from this excursion by about 12:30.
    View All 374 Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Reviews
  • Cozumel
    We had been here before and we enjoy this port. It has some nice shopping, some in mini malls and some in shacks where you can really bargain. A little tip, if you like cigars, nearly all of the Cubans on the street are fakes. If you want to know how to tell the real Cubans from fakes, go to the Duty Free store (right at the end of the pier) and ask them. They will show you all you need to know.
    View All 6,826 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cozumel Cruise Port Review
  • Harvest Caye
    Ok, here’s the deal with the new Harvest Caye. Harvest Caye COULD have been the spot we all raved about the most. As it turns out, it was the place we all liked the least because of the way it is being ran.
    The Island is smaller than I expected and is rather beautiful. It has a nice large beach that is perfect for warm beach days and has a few awesome looking bars and a nice pool. Besides that (and a very short nature walk) it has NOTHING to offer. There are no volleyball pits or other outside games (like Great Stirrup Caye), no culture, no cheap shopping, no sight seeing and no interesting dining (just Margaritaville). The people in our group found ourselves heading back to the boat about 2 hours after we got off because it wasn’t the best beach day, there was nothing to do (we did not pay for an excursion) and we had the beverage package which ONLY works on the ship. It does not feel like you are in another country, so there is also no real sightseeing to do either. Had the beverage package worked on the island (and had they had even simple food stations with just burgers or something). This would have been our favorite port. It would have been an all day party on a beautiful island at new open air bars. As it turns out, we all were much happier laying on the sun deck with free drinks than we were laying on the beach with nothing to drink. NCL needs to change things up a bit and find a way to make money off this island while allowing the beverage package to at least partly work on the island. The bars looked so cool but they were only at about 20% capacity because people did not want to pay for beer when it was free on the boat. As it is, despite Harvest Caye being much nicer than Great Stirrup Caye, I would have much rather been at Great Stirrup Caye. This “island” is more or less a sandbar on steroids where you can lay out and get sun, but do nothing else unless you want to fork over more money.
    View All 1,257 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Harvest Caye Cruise Port Review
  • Roatan
    This place is a dump. Perhaps if you do an excursion you will see a different part of the island and have a different opinion, but if you just get a cab (like we did) and drive around you will notice that there is virtually nothing to see but pothole filled roads and trash filled countryside. Some people in our group went to see the comedy show on board the ship and he was even making fun of what a joke this port was. We did end up at a monkey zoo/ sanctuary which was pretty cool. We got to hold a few different monkeys and see many others and it was only $10 a person. I would imagine this place has some beautiful spots to it, but you probably have to pay for an excursion to see them. There is not a whole lot in the port that Norwegian stops at.
    View All 2,902 Roatan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Roatan Cruise Port Review