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Traveled on the Getaway on February 26, 2017, Western Caribbean. My wife and I have cruised about 12 times prior to this cruise, 10 on RCI, once on Celebrity and once on Carnival. My wife and I have always traveled on larger ships, particularly enjoy the Oasis Class on RCI, and usually book a Crown Loft Suite. Our general cruising style is to purchase a very nice cabin on a "mass market" ship and we tend to care less about the ports than the ship itself. I have watched the development of NCL's product over the past few years with interest. I particularly like the "freestyle cruising" concept the idea of no fixed dining times. We have done the "My time dining" on RCI in the past and did not find that it was well executed. Also, my wife and I both dislike formal nights, mostly because it makes the process of packing for a cruise much more complex. Our embarkation on the Getaway was a disappointment. First off, there was no separate entrance or security line for Haven or suite passengers, RCI has both. The security line itself was not too long but the "private lounge" for Haven check in was much too small, hot and understaffed. There were a few snacks and some water available while you were waiting to be called for check in but the overall process was confused and aggravating. I finally walked up to the podium and demanded to be checked in after I saw a group that had arrived after us called for check-in. The woman who checked me in did her best to be helpful. The size of the lounge and the staffing levels are not under her control. First impressions matter, especially if you are trying to sell a premium product, with a premium price. I found myself wondering if I had made a big mistake by booking on NCL. Once we got past the chaotic check in process, my impressions of NCL and the ship improved dramatically. We were escorted onto the ship and whisked up to the 15th deck via a priority elevator. We were escorted into the Haven area and given a quick briefing by the concierge. The Haven really does live up to its name. The lounge was beautiful and the courtyard/pool area were also very nice. Our staterooms were ready by the time we got on board (about 1PM) so we headed there immediately after the briefing from the concierge. The room was outstanding and our attendant, Jauna, immediately introduced herself and showed us around our room. Once settled, we explored the ship a bit. The difference between the Haven and the rest of the ship was startling. I have cruised almost entirely on large ships but the Getaway's public areas were the most crowded and loudest of any ship on which I have cruised. There is no question in my mind I would have disliked the Getaway immensely if I had not been in the Haven. I like an energetic atmosphere, but this was overwhelming The Haven was a complete contrast, quiet, except on sailaway day which is to be expected. Servers were everywhere, extremely attentive and friendly. They knew our names and favorite drinks within about an hour. After a few days on the cruise, I was almost afraid to make eye contact with the servers in the Haven because they would immediately offer me a drink, even if i was just passing through. Our room also came with a butler. My previous experience with a butler was on Celebrity, about 15 years ago. The Celebrity butler told us on our first day that we needed to call housekeeping for a bottle opener when we asked him for one. Aside from that mostly he brought canapes that went uneaten. He also said he could lay out our clothes for dinner, but I guess I prefer to dress myself. Our butler on the Getaway could not have been more different. If he was in earshot and my wife and I were talking about needing something (like bandaids) he immediately offered to get them for us. He made sure our mini bar was well stocked and brought us the excellent snack mix they serve in the bars on NCL (which for some reason they did not stock in the Haven). He brought us afternoon snacks that we actually liked. If there was something that was not within his purview (like the status of some laundry) he went and tracked down the information. Now I get it! As for dining, I thought the food was very good and generally better than RCI. We ate in the Haven restaurant several times. It was not busy and the service was attentive with excellent food. We also ate in the steakhouse, Italian, and French specialty restaurants. We really enjoyed the specialty restaurants and never had any problems with service or food quality. We really liked the Garden Cafe, the food choices and preparation were very good. It was definitely crowded but you could always find a seat if you looked. I was also impressed with the soft serve ice cream machine that had an attendant. If you have ever seen the mayhem around the soft serve machines on RCI's Oasis class ships you know why I really appreciated this. We did not eat in the main dining room so I cant comment on the food or service there. I found the overall service level on NCL was very good, especially in the Garden Cafe, where waiters were always quick to clear dishes and very friendly. We also ate a few times in O'Sheehan's and the service/food was also very good. I have seen a lot of negative comments on the service/staff friendleness on NCL, my experience was quite positive. I did not expect to say this, given some of the comments on NCL that I have seen, but the dining was a highlight for us. Where NCL really shined was the quality of the entertainment. My wife and I are not big show people. We usually like to find a relatively quiet space, sit down with a drink and listen to music. The quality of the shows on NCL were so good that we ended attending several. The comedian was excellent (even in the early, clean show). The magic show in the Illusionarium was amazing and the Million Dollar Quartet was probably the best show I have ever seen on a cruise ship. We also watched several acts in the Jazz club all of which we enjoyed. My only complaint about the entertainment was in the lounges it was usually impossible to get a seat if there was someone performing in the vicinity. Several times we tried to listen to the piano player in the Sugarcane Mojito bar and gave up because we were sick of standing. Overall this is a minor quibble, but it did detract from one of NCL's real strengths. As for ports, we really enjoyed Roatan (Gumbalimba preserve) and Cozumel (Atlantis Submarine). We mostly stayed on the ship in Costa Maya. As for Harvest Caye, I had high hopes but was a little disappointed. The pool, although large, was extremely crowded and the music from the bar was extremely loud, even over 100 yards away it was too loud to read a book comfortably. This did not bother me much since I could always go back to the Haven. Debarkation was breeze since we had priority debarkation in the Haven. The morning of debarkation was the only time I saw the Haven restaurant busy, everyone was getting breakfast there before getting off the ship. Overall, we really enjoyed our cruise on the Getaway, a big reason for this was we could enjoy the big ship amenities and retreat to the Haven when the crush of humanity became too much. If you are like us and love the variety of venues/activities on the big ships but still need some place where you can grab some quiet time I highly recommend the ship.

The Haven lives up to its name.

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by jfkenney

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2017
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: The Haven Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
Traveled on the Getaway on February 26, 2017, Western Caribbean. My wife and I have cruised about 12 times prior to this cruise, 10 on RCI, once on Celebrity and once on Carnival.

My wife and I have always traveled on larger ships, particularly enjoy the Oasis Class on RCI, and usually book a Crown Loft Suite. Our general cruising style is to purchase a very nice cabin on a "mass market" ship and we tend to care less about the ports than the ship itself.

I have watched the development of NCL's product over the past few years with interest. I particularly like the "freestyle cruising" concept the idea of no fixed dining times. We have done the "My time dining" on RCI in the past and did not find that it was well executed. Also, my wife and I both dislike formal nights, mostly because it makes the process of packing for a cruise much more complex.

Our embarkation on the Getaway was a disappointment. First off, there was no separate entrance or security line for Haven or suite passengers, RCI has both. The security line itself was not too long but the "private lounge" for Haven check in was much too small, hot and understaffed. There were a few snacks and some water available while you were waiting to be called for check in but the overall process was confused and aggravating. I finally walked up to the podium and demanded to be checked in after I saw a group that had arrived after us called for check-in. The woman who checked me in did her best to be helpful. The size of the lounge and the staffing levels are not under her control. First impressions matter, especially if you are trying to sell a premium product, with a premium price. I found myself wondering if I had made a big mistake by booking on NCL.

Once we got past the chaotic check in process, my impressions of NCL and the ship improved dramatically. We were escorted onto the ship and whisked up to the 15th deck via a priority elevator. We were escorted into the Haven area and given a quick briefing by the concierge. The Haven really does live up to its name. The lounge was beautiful and the courtyard/pool area were also very nice. Our staterooms were ready by the time we got on board (about 1PM) so we headed there immediately after the briefing from the concierge. The room was outstanding and our attendant, Jauna, immediately introduced herself and showed us around our room.

Once settled, we explored the ship a bit. The difference between the Haven and the rest of the ship was startling. I have cruised almost entirely on large ships but the Getaway's public areas were the most crowded and loudest of any ship on which I have cruised. There is no question in my mind I would have disliked the Getaway immensely if I had not been in the Haven. I like an energetic atmosphere, but this was overwhelming

The Haven was a complete contrast, quiet, except on sailaway day which is to be expected. Servers were everywhere, extremely attentive and friendly. They knew our names and favorite drinks within about an hour. After a few days on the cruise, I was almost afraid to make eye contact with the servers in the Haven because they would immediately offer me a drink, even if i was just passing through.

Our room also came with a butler. My previous experience with a butler was on Celebrity, about 15 years ago. The Celebrity butler told us on our first day that we needed to call housekeeping for a bottle opener when we asked him for one. Aside from that mostly he brought canapes that went uneaten. He also said he could lay out our clothes for dinner, but I guess I prefer to dress myself. Our butler on the Getaway could not have been more different. If he was in earshot and my wife and I were talking about needing something (like bandaids) he immediately offered to get them for us. He made sure our mini bar was well stocked and brought us the excellent snack mix they serve in the bars on NCL (which for some reason they did not stock in the Haven). He brought us afternoon snacks that we actually liked. If there was something that was not within his purview (like the status of some laundry) he went and tracked down the information. Now I get it!

As for dining, I thought the food was very good and generally better than RCI. We ate in the Haven restaurant several times. It was not busy and the service was attentive with excellent food. We also ate in the steakhouse, Italian, and French specialty restaurants. We really enjoyed the specialty restaurants and never had any problems with service or food quality. We really liked the Garden Cafe, the food choices and preparation were very good. It was definitely crowded but you could always find a seat if you looked. I was also impressed with the soft serve ice cream machine that had an attendant. If you have ever seen the mayhem around the soft serve machines on RCI's Oasis class ships you know why I really appreciated this. We did not eat in the main dining room so I cant comment on the food or service there. I found the overall service level on NCL was very good, especially in the Garden Cafe, where waiters were always quick to clear dishes and very friendly. We also ate a few times in O'Sheehan's and the service/food was also very good. I have seen a lot of negative comments on the service/staff friendleness on NCL, my experience was quite positive.

I did not expect to say this, given some of the comments on NCL that I have seen, but the dining was a highlight for us.

Where NCL really shined was the quality of the entertainment. My wife and I are not big show people. We usually like to find a relatively quiet space, sit down with a drink and listen to music. The quality of the shows on NCL were so good that we ended attending several. The comedian was excellent (even in the early, clean show). The magic show in the Illusionarium was amazing and the Million Dollar Quartet was probably the best show I have ever seen on a cruise ship. We also watched several acts in the Jazz club all of which we enjoyed. My only complaint about the entertainment was in the lounges it was usually impossible to get a seat if there was someone performing in the vicinity. Several times we tried to listen to the piano player in the Sugarcane Mojito bar and gave up because we were sick of standing. Overall this is a minor quibble, but it did detract from one of NCL's real strengths.

As for ports, we really enjoyed Roatan (Gumbalimba preserve) and Cozumel (Atlantis Submarine). We mostly stayed on the ship in Costa Maya. As for Harvest Caye, I had high hopes but was a little disappointed. The pool, although large, was extremely crowded and the music from the bar was extremely loud, even over 100 yards away it was too loud to read a book comfortably. This did not bother me much since I could always go back to the Haven.

Debarkation was breeze since we had priority debarkation in the Haven. The morning of debarkation was the only time I saw the Haven restaurant busy, everyone was getting breakfast there before getting off the ship.

Overall, we really enjoyed our cruise on the Getaway, a big reason for this was we could enjoy the big ship amenities and retreat to the Haven when the crush of humanity became too much. If you are like us and love the variety of venues/activities on the big ships but still need some place where you can grab some quiet time I highly recommend the ship.
jfkenney’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

The Haven Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
Cabin H3 16700
Great cabin layout. Really enjoyed the large balcony. It is at the front of the ship so you get a great view, but there is definitely more motion than midship.
Deck 16 Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews