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We are a couple in our late 30s - new to NCL but not to cruising - just got off the Getaway and here is our take: We loved all the information we were able to gather from here and other boards prior to getting on. We believe it made our trip a lot more enjoyable than if we had just been winging it the whole time. Embarkation/Debarkation: This to us was probably the biggest low of the trip and one area that I can see NCL has a good opportunity to improve on. We got to the port early on embarkation day (and fully understood that we would not be able to embark for a couple of hours) however there are no ropes or lines to be formed, so it is really just survival of the fittest. If you know which door they will be letting people in then you can go ahead and stand there... however be prepared for a stampede of people and then running towards the ship. If this was more organized and I hate to mention other cruise lines here however in our opinion this is an area that Carnival has mastered much better. On debarkation day of course it is not easy to get 4000 people off a ship, however they called the colors so close to each other that we were wrapped all around the ship and outside on the deck and therefore stood in line for over an hour. If they would space out the colors a little more people could be in line for a shorter amount of time yet they could get everyone off on time. On the islands it was the same type of mess like every other cruise line - around the first hour or so after getting to an island it is chaos and then it evens out a bit as the day goes on - so just normal. Cabin: We were in a B6 Large Balcony cabin on Deck 9. This was by far the smallest cabin we have stayed in. We always book balconies but gosh this was tiny. However... we got used to it VERY quickly. Storage space was fine (at least enough for all of our stuff and we had 2 big suitcases and a carry on) so no complaints there The bathroom was a reasonable size for a balcony stateroom and the shower was a nice surprise. The water pressure was low but to be expected. The balcony was a really nice size with 2 loungers and 2 chairs and a table. I booked it expecting to use the loungers however we did not once sit out there, so it was kind of a waste for us. If you like to use your balcony a fair amount while on a cruise then I would HIGHLY recommend this cabin type. They are all located on deck 9 forward and are sandwiched between cabins above and below so no noise yet a very short walk to all the activities. Itinerary: This cruise was to the Western Caribbean and we chose it because we had never been to 3 out of 4 of the stops before. I love trying out new places so pressured my DH to agree to this one (our other option was the Escape)... however I wish I had listened to him (yes I said it!). Roatan was OK. We went to the Monkey and Sloth sanctuary, snorkeled on the reef and went to a beach. The beach was GORGEOUS but we didn't have much time there. The snorkeling was quite disappointing compared to other snorkeling we have done in the past... not that much to see. The monkeys and sloths were as we had expected. Harvest Caye was nothing special. Since we were planning on doing activities on all the other stops we did not leave the island. The beach is not good at all, the sand is terrible and the ocean very murky. The pool is really big and has a nice swim up bar. We paid $50 for 2 drinks each there and called it a day early. I will have to add that the sun is SUPER strong there and my husband who is mixed race and has never burned in his life before got scorched there and peeled. We used SPF 50 so can't blame no sunscreen on this burn. I burned as well but that is normal for me! Costa Maya was probably the most disappointing stop. Our plan had been to go jet skiing but due to the choppy waters they cancelled the jet skis for the day. We went to Krazy Lobster beach which was truly Krazy and we would never go there again nor recommend. The area that the ship docks at was an absolute Zoo and took a long time to get through. They force you to go through the whole shopping plaza before getting out. We did get some decent tacos just as we came back through the gates... however my DH payed for that dearly the next day!!! Cozumel: We had been here several times before so we felt very comfortable renting a Jeep ourselves and doing our own tour. This was our best port day on the cruise! We rented online in advance through Sol-Y-Mar for $65 for the day including insurance. It is right by the port (3-5 min walk) so we just strolled over after we got off and off we went. We drove once around the island first thing in the morning since we picked up the car around 9am. After that we went to Antonios (a day "resort") and rented jet ski's. They cost $65 each for half an hour. We had actually never rented jet ski's before just to play around... had always done jet ski tours where we head to a specific location and either snorkel or swim with dolphins, sting ray city etc. Therefore we thought 30 min would be WAYYY too little (given that our past tours have been 2-3hrs). We were VERY wrong lol. 30 min would have been plenty for us. But we stayed on there the full hour since we had payed for it! After Jet skiing we got back on the road and went back to the remote part of the island. That is our favorite part. We stopped at a few bars and huts and had a drink and a taco at each. It is such an amazing experience and we love interacting with the locals there, seeing the iguanas and the parrots and just enjoying the remoteness of it all! Entertainment: In our opinion by far the best entertainment of any ship we have been on. Paquito the CD was on point and really fun and interactive. The shows were really amazing and there really was something for everyone on there! We went to see Burn The Floor which is a dance show with AMAZING dancers and great percussion. Million Dollar Quartet is not to be missed - a broadway style show but really is for everyone. Wine Lovers the Musical (for fee lunch show) was good... they serve you lunch as you watch the show and get to taste 6 different wines (the dessert there was my favorite on the entire cruise!). Cirque Dreams and Steam was fantastic as well (for fee dinner show). We also went to Karaoke and Howl at The Moon and nothing disappointed! The two theme parties (80s and Glow) were reasonably well attended but don't worry if you don't bring a costume since about 70% of people didn't. We did and enjoyed dressing up... but it is absolutely a personal preference! Tip: When selecting a seat in the theater try a seat to the side of the theater instead of the middle section. We had originally picked a middle seat for Burn the Floor and it was the most uncomfortable seat I had ever sat in... we moved to a few middle seats and they were all like that (a bar in the back just sticking up you bottom)... however for Million Dollar Quartet we came a bit later and got a seat to the side and it did not have this same problem! To me a much more enjoyable experience. Ship Layout: In general I feel like the ship is laid out very well for its size. After a few days the size is not so overwhelming anymore and you get to know where everything is. Decks 6, 7 & 8 are the primary decks for food, drink and entertainment while 15 & 16 are your outside enjoyment decks. HOWEVER I will unfortunately have to agree with every review I have read about this ship... the smoke is terrible from the Casino. I TRULY hope that when she goes into Dry Dock they fix this because it did take away from my enjoyment a few times having to walk through the terrible smell on 6, 7 & 8. I am a planner from hell so I had printed out deck layouts, maps and lists of what is located on each floor prior to boarding. That definitely helped to get acclimated faster. Food and beverage: In general we really enjoyed the F&B on board. We had the UBP & UDP so we were able to enjoy pretty much everything. We had dinner at Tropicana, Le Bistro, Ocean Blue, Cagney's, O'Sheehans, Shanghai's and Cirque. We had breakfast at Taste and the buffet. The main dining rooms were fine - very similar to other MDRs on other ships we've been. We were quite happy we had other options as well although we would have been fine eating there every night. O'Sheehans is probably really good if you're drunk... but really just so/so when sober lol Shanghai noodle bar was good. You sit in a really tight space and there is smoke smell from the casino but the food is decent. We liked the dumplings and the noodles, the fried rice was just ok. Cirque and Wine Lovers had very similar foods... a salad, steak and shrimp and then desert. We enjoyed it well enough and would do both of the shows again for the food and entertainment. Le Bistro was very good. We both did a seafood app and entre and my sole was so good! Also a much better wine list than at most of the other places. Highly recommend going here. Ocean Blue was also very good. I did crab legs and DH had mussels for apps. We both did mixed entres (DH: surf and turf, me: trio). We were very happy with this experience. Cagneys was excellent. This was BY FAR the best food experience on the ship. I would go so far as saying this was the best steakhouse experience we have had. The steaks were so great and all the apps were fantastic. We didn't go there until the Friday but had we gone earlier I'm sure we would have gone again during our cruise. Next time we will be sure to go early The cocktails were pretty weak. We were getting extra shots or floaters on the cocktails after the first couple of days just to get some alcohol in there. This was not a problem at all and it did ensure that we were not getting wasted by noon! The beer selection was very poor and no IPA available. I don't drink beer but DH was not impressed at all. He was having to drink Whiskey most of the time because the beer was so bad, which was not very helpful. I really hope NCL gets an IPA onto their regular beer menu and not just in the Haven. Staff: All the staff we encountered were fabulous. We had read reviews about staff not being too friendly or being in a bad mood etc but we found none of that. In general everyone was happy and helpful and really made our trip fantastic! Summary: We really liked our NCL experience and are looking forward to our next cruise

Great time had by all!

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by fandssullivan

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Large Balcony Stateroom
We are a couple in our late 30s - new to NCL but not to cruising - just got off the Getaway and here is our take:

We loved all the information we were able to gather from here and other boards prior to getting on. We believe it made our trip a lot more enjoyable than if we had just been winging it the whole time.

Embarkation/Debarkation:

This to us was probably the biggest low of the trip and one area that I can see NCL has a good opportunity to improve on. We got to the port early on embarkation day (and fully understood that we would not be able to embark for a couple of hours) however there are no ropes or lines to be formed, so it is really just survival of the fittest. If you know which door they will be letting people in then you can go ahead and stand there... however be prepared for a stampede of people and then running towards the ship. If this was more organized and I hate to mention other cruise lines here however in our opinion this is an area that Carnival has mastered much better. On debarkation day of course it is not easy to get 4000 people off a ship, however they called the colors so close to each other that we were wrapped all around the ship and outside on the deck and therefore stood in line for over an hour. If they would space out the colors a little more people could be in line for a shorter amount of time yet they could get everyone off on time. On the islands it was the same type of mess like every other cruise line - around the first hour or so after getting to an island it is chaos and then it evens out a bit as the day goes on - so just normal.

Cabin:

We were in a B6 Large Balcony cabin on Deck 9. This was by far the smallest cabin we have stayed in. We always book balconies but gosh this was tiny. However... we got used to it VERY quickly. Storage space was fine (at least enough for all of our stuff and we had 2 big suitcases and a carry on) so no complaints there The bathroom was a reasonable size for a balcony stateroom and the shower was a nice surprise. The water pressure was low but to be expected. The balcony was a really nice size with 2 loungers and 2 chairs and a table. I booked it expecting to use the loungers however we did not once sit out there, so it was kind of a waste for us. If you like to use your balcony a fair amount while on a cruise then I would HIGHLY recommend this cabin type. They are all located on deck 9 forward and are sandwiched between cabins above and below so no noise yet a very short walk to all the activities.

Itinerary:

This cruise was to the Western Caribbean and we chose it because we had never been to 3 out of 4 of the stops before. I love trying out new places so pressured my DH to agree to this one (our other option was the Escape)... however I wish I had listened to him (yes I said it!).

Roatan was OK. We went to the Monkey and Sloth sanctuary, snorkeled on the reef and went to a beach. The beach was GORGEOUS but we didn't have much time there. The snorkeling was quite disappointing compared to other snorkeling we have done in the past... not that much to see. The monkeys and sloths were as we had expected.

Harvest Caye was nothing special. Since we were planning on doing activities on all the other stops we did not leave the island. The beach is not good at all, the sand is terrible and the ocean very murky. The pool is really big and has a nice swim up bar. We paid $50 for 2 drinks each there and called it a day early. I will have to add that the sun is SUPER strong there and my husband who is mixed race and has never burned in his life before got scorched there and peeled. We used SPF 50 so can't blame no sunscreen on this burn. I burned as well but that is normal for me!

Costa Maya was probably the most disappointing stop. Our plan had been to go jet skiing but due to the choppy waters they cancelled the jet skis for the day. We went to Krazy Lobster beach which was truly Krazy and we would never go there again nor recommend. The area that the ship docks at was an absolute Zoo and took a long time to get through. They force you to go through the whole shopping plaza before getting out. We did get some decent tacos just as we came back through the gates... however my DH payed for that dearly the next day!!!

Cozumel: We had been here several times before so we felt very comfortable renting a Jeep ourselves and doing our own tour. This was our best port day on the cruise! We rented online in advance through Sol-Y-Mar for $65 for the day including insurance. It is right by the port (3-5 min walk) so we just strolled over after we got off and off we went. We drove once around the island first thing in the morning since we picked up the car around 9am. After that we went to Antonios (a day "resort") and rented jet ski's. They cost $65 each for half an hour. We had actually never rented jet ski's before just to play around... had always done jet ski tours where we head to a specific location and either snorkel or swim with dolphins, sting ray city etc. Therefore we thought 30 min would be WAYYY too little (given that our past tours have been 2-3hrs). We were VERY wrong lol. 30 min would have been plenty for us. But we stayed on there the full hour since we had payed for it! After Jet skiing we got back on the road and went back to the remote part of the island. That is our favorite part. We stopped at a few bars and huts and had a drink and a taco at each. It is such an amazing experience and we love interacting with the locals there, seeing the iguanas and the parrots and just enjoying the remoteness of it all!

Entertainment:

In our opinion by far the best entertainment of any ship we have been on. Paquito the CD was on point and really fun and interactive. The shows were really amazing and there really was something for everyone on there! We went to see Burn The Floor which is a dance show with AMAZING dancers and great percussion. Million Dollar Quartet is not to be missed - a broadway style show but really is for everyone. Wine Lovers the Musical (for fee lunch show) was good... they serve you lunch as you watch the show and get to taste 6 different wines (the dessert there was my favorite on the entire cruise!). Cirque Dreams and Steam was fantastic as well (for fee dinner show). We also went to Karaoke and Howl at The Moon and nothing disappointed! The two theme parties (80s and Glow) were reasonably well attended but don't worry if you don't bring a costume since about 70% of people didn't. We did and enjoyed dressing up... but it is absolutely a personal preference!

Tip: When selecting a seat in the theater try a seat to the side of the theater instead of the middle section. We had originally picked a middle seat for Burn the Floor and it was the most uncomfortable seat I had ever sat in... we moved to a few middle seats and they were all like that (a bar in the back just sticking up you bottom)... however for Million Dollar Quartet we came a bit later and got a seat to the side and it did not have this same problem! To me a much more enjoyable experience.

Ship Layout:

In general I feel like the ship is laid out very well for its size. After a few days the size is not so overwhelming anymore and you get to know where everything is. Decks 6, 7 & 8 are the primary decks for food, drink and entertainment while 15 & 16 are your outside enjoyment decks. HOWEVER I will unfortunately have to agree with every review I have read about this ship... the smoke is terrible from the Casino. I TRULY hope that when she goes into Dry Dock they fix this because it did take away from my enjoyment a few times having to walk through the terrible smell on 6, 7 & 8.

I am a planner from hell so I had printed out deck layouts, maps and lists of what is located on each floor prior to boarding. That definitely helped to get acclimated faster.

Food and beverage:

In general we really enjoyed the F&B on board. We had the UBP & UDP so we were able to enjoy pretty much everything. We had dinner at Tropicana, Le Bistro, Ocean Blue, Cagney's, O'Sheehans, Shanghai's and Cirque. We had breakfast at Taste and the buffet.

The main dining rooms were fine - very similar to other MDRs on other ships we've been. We were quite happy we had other options as well although we would have been fine eating there every night.

O'Sheehans is probably really good if you're drunk... but really just so/so when sober lol

Shanghai noodle bar was good. You sit in a really tight space and there is smoke smell from the casino but the food is decent. We liked the dumplings and the noodles, the fried rice was just ok.

Cirque and Wine Lovers had very similar foods... a salad, steak and shrimp and then desert. We enjoyed it well enough and would do both of the shows again for the food and entertainment.

Le Bistro was very good. We both did a seafood app and entre and my sole was so good! Also a much better wine list than at most of the other places. Highly recommend going here.

Ocean Blue was also very good. I did crab legs and DH had mussels for apps. We both did mixed entres (DH: surf and turf, me: trio). We were very happy with this experience.

Cagneys was excellent. This was BY FAR the best food experience on the ship. I would go so far as saying this was the best steakhouse experience we have had. The steaks were so great and all the apps were fantastic. We didn't go there until the Friday but had we gone earlier I'm sure we would have gone again during our cruise. Next time we will be sure to go early

The cocktails were pretty weak. We were getting extra shots or floaters on the cocktails after the first couple of days just to get some alcohol in there. This was not a problem at all and it did ensure that we were not getting wasted by noon!

The beer selection was very poor and no IPA available. I don't drink beer but DH was not impressed at all. He was having to drink Whiskey most of the time because the beer was so bad, which was not very helpful. I really hope NCL gets an IPA onto their regular beer menu and not just in the Haven.

Staff:

All the staff we encountered were fabulous. We had read reviews about staff not being too friendly or being in a bad mood etc but we found none of that. In general everyone was happy and helpful and really made our trip fantastic!

Summary:

We really liked our NCL experience and are looking forward to our next cruise
fandssullivan’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Embarkation
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Cabin Review

Large Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B6 9132
We were in a B6 Large Balcony cabin on Deck 9. This was by far the smallest cabin we have stayed in. We always book balconies but gosh this was tiny. However... we got used to it VERY quickly. Storage space was fine (at least enough for all of our stuff and we had 2 big suitcases and a carry on) so no complaints there The bathroom was a reasonable size for a balcony stateroom and the shower was a nice surprise. The water pressure was low but to be expected. The balcony was a really nice size with 2 loungers and 2 chairs and a table. I booked it expecting to use the loungers however we did not once sit out there, so it was kind of a waste for us. If you like to use your balcony a fair amount while on a cruise then I would HIGHLY recommend this cabin type. They are all located on deck 9 forward and are sandwiched between cabins above and below so no noise yet a very short walk to all the activities.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Costa Maya
    We had intended to rent jet skis in Costa Maya however the seas were rough the day we went there so there were no jet skis to be rented. We ended up at a beach in Mahahual called Krazy Lobster (where we were going to rent the jet skis originally). The beach was really crazy with terrible service and the worst drinks we have ever had, however the ocean was decent and we went snorkeling on our own. Taxi's were only $2 per person each way which is not bad at all. The port area was absolutely crazy as well... wayyyyyyyy too many people there for the size of the area. There is however a nice pool there and some loungers and dolphins to swim with etc so for people who are fine with A LOT of crowds then there is probably plenty to do at the port.
    View All 2,529 Costa Maya Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Cozumel
    Cozumel is one of our 2 favorite ports. It is so easy to get around and we always feel safe there. We get the feeling that the locals really understand that they depend heavily on the tourism and therefore take good care of visitors. This time we rented a jeep and went around the island a couple of times, rented jet skis, chilled by the beach with some cocktails in coconuts, ate our way in tacos around the island and enjoyed the ocean and beaches. Just heavenly!
    View All 6,712 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Harvest Caye
    We have been to a few private islands before and Harvest Caye is just average. The beach is not good but the pool on the island is excellent. The drinks are REALLY expensive. The ocean was very dirty and murky and not appealing at all.
    View All 1,140 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Miami
    We always stay at least one night in Miami before and after a cruise and really love it. Before the cruise we normally stay close to port while after we go to South Beach. I would highly recommend people do that if you can take the time off work in order to "recover" from your vacation :)
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  • Roatan
    It was really interesting hanging out with the monkeys and sloths. It was very interactive and you got to hold sloths and have monkeys jump on you and hold parrots. Driving to the destination our driver gave us a slight tour of Roatan which was quite interesting. After the monkeys we went snorkeling from a boat at the sanctuary. The water was clear but there was not a lot of marine life. This was quite disappointing. Our time at the beach was good, it was a beautiful beach at a resort... however the food there was terrible. I do not recommend you buy lunch there, rather just a snack if you are really hungry (like we were) and then eat when you get back on the ship.
    View All 13,150 Roatan Cruise Port Reviews
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