Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by willow_sm
- Sail Date: March 2017
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Embarkation: Smooth. We arrived at the pier via shuttle from our hotel at 10am and were on the ship by noonish and seated in Savor (one of the main dining rooms) for our first lunch. We avoid the buffet when we first get on the ship, too crowded, much nicer to have a relaxing meal in the dining room.
Cabin: Where there was three of us we booked a mid-ship mini-suite with balcony (cabin 10228). I always make sure that the floors above and below are cabins and not public areas so that it's quiet. The room was very comfortable for three people, plenty of storage to spare. The balcony is small - as most are on NCL ships - but more than suitable for enjoying reading or staring at the ocean with a cup of coffee. The couch in this cabin is close to the balcony (my preferred configuration). I slept on the couch and the other two girls took the bed - we were all comfortable. Wonderful large bathroom with a delightful shower. Our cabin steward, Gerard, was just about the cutest person we had ever met. He had such a sweet little personality and won't soon be forgotten by any of us.
Dining: The food was true to the NCL standard. It isn't as high quality as Celebrity or Holland America (which we've sailed before), but plentiful and we were always able to find something to eat. As I said before, the simple fact that none of us had to cook for ourselves made us very content. We weren't specifically cruising to sample all of the fancy dishes and the specialty restaurants. We ate at the Garden Cafe, Taste, Savor, Tropicana Room and O'Sheehan's and each of us found something we liked.
Public Areas: We all felt the ship had plenty of places to tuck yourself away to read, sun yourself or enjoy the sights. Are they all pretty packed on sea days - yes? But what exactly are you expecting on a ship for 4000+ passengers? Are there the many that claim chairs and only use them for a couple hours in sporadic moments - yes. We just consider it a part of cruising. We never had a problem finding somewhere to lounge indoors or out (sun or shade). Spice H2O - adults only until 7pm - is a nice spot with a cool down waterfall, shallow wading 'pool' to beat the heat nicely.
Entertainment and Activities: As I said before our primary focus was relaxation and not activities. That being said we did ensure to take in Burn the Floor and Million Dollar Quartet - both fabulous, high quality shows adapted from Broadway. We also opted to go to the dinner theatre - Illusionarium. It was enjoyable and a nice experience - the menu is set and the meal was okay. I've now seen it the two times I've been on the Getaway and wouldn't pay for it again. Twice is enough. I believe they are changing the show however soon. We went to two movies showing at night in Spice H2O which was very nice to enjoy under the stars. We watched Dirty Dancing on 80's themed day, and the new Ghostbusters on the last night on the cruise.
Ports and Shore Excursions: The ship was originally scheduled to dock in Roatan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Unfortunately the day we were to be in Harvest Caye the winds were too strong for the ship to safely be able to dock despite waiting over an hour to see if conditions would change. The captain chose to cancel that call and make it a sea day due to safety concerns. Disappointing but unavoidable - it is a chance you take with cruising - the weather doesn't always cooperate. Luckily it was sunny and warm - even with the winds that day - all week. Not a drop of rain. I took the Chacchoben Mayan ruins tour in Costa Maya - wonderful insight into history. None of us were fans of the Mexican ports - the stores are far too pushy and deterred us from wanting to buy anything. We mostly enjoyed staying on the ship for the majority of port days since the ship is nice and quiet.
Service: No complaints. Staff work very hard and unfortunately have to put up with some very rude, inconsiderate people who seem to forget common courtesy. We never had any problems. Was everyone over the top bending over backwards to cater to our every whim - no - but we didn't expect them to. We were kind to everyone we encountered and kindness was returned. There were some cruisers that I would've liked to remind of that strategy.
Disembarkation: We were booked on the NCL airport transfer to MIA. Disembarkation was a bit slow this time. Long lineups. If you're not in a rush I'd wait until the later disembarkation times to avoid lineups. Getting 4,000 people and all of their luggage off a ship with only 2 exits in a matter of 2 hours no matter how hard you try will be somewhat chaotic. We just went with the flow and arrived at the airport by 11:00am.
Overall: We enjoy NCL for the relaxed freestyle atmosphere without the formal nights or set dinner times or fancy dress codes. Between the three of us we have been on 15 NCL cruises - so clearly we enjoy it. We returned relaxed, refreshed and begrudgingly ready to join our regular adult lives again.
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Take note - Getaway is designed differently and there are no mid-ship elevators - only forward and aft. That being said it wasn't that far of a walk to either from our stateroom. Everything was very accessible.