The cabin was nice. It was what you expect of an internal room, my kids thought it was cool that the beds dropped down from the ceiling when sleeping more than 2 people in the cabin. They loved sleeping in the little bunk. For us, the low overhead space and ladder in the small space was a bit annoying. But luckily we don’t spend very much time in the cabins.
My low score for the onboard experience is because I HATED that I could not get away from the crowds. EVER. There was no sanctuary. No restful place. Norwegian DEFINITELY has an amazing party atmosphere, but if you are wanting to wind down and really relax, I could not find a place to do so on board (unless paying for a spa treatment $$). And the Gym? Forget about it! TINY gym, and overpacked, and low ceilings. My husband is 6’4” tall and couldn’t lift dumbbells over his head without hitting the ceiling. So, your range of motion is limited if you’re tall.
The biggest complaint is the number of people. I compare this to Royal Carribean’s Liberty of the Seas. The Getaway is nearly the exact same size (just a few feet smaller in width and length), however upon research, Getaway holds about 335 more guests, and about 300 more crew. That means at least 600 more people on board. Also those extra cabins to accommodate the extra guests means LESS public space. We could NOT get away from the crowd. Around the pool, at the buffet, in the casino, EVERYWHERE. There was NO escape. The crowd was constantly heavy, heavy traffic everywhere we went. By day 4 on the cruise, I was starting to get really grumpy with people overload. And I am a people person.
This impacts the public space I mentioned above. On Royal Carribean’s Liberty of the Seas, they have a huge Studio B, stadium seating to host all the amazing game shows. On the Getaway, we were literally in the ATRIUM of the boat. Like the Hotel Lobby for all the game shows. Which made visibility to see the shows really poor, and when we were trying to conduct business with guest services/shore excursions/etc, we could hardy hear what the staff was saying. Lose, Lose. Poor visibility for the Atriums purpose in entertainment, and negative impact in ability to conduct business at guest services. These two things really should have been separate spaces.
The Feng Shui of the boat was really compartmentalized. The Casino was everywhere through the middle of the boat and the smell of smoke was not overly annoying, but definitely able to be smelled throughout the center of the ship because the casino was everywhere. Many restaurants were nearby the casino, if not considered to be right inside the casino, so if you have an aversion to cigarette smoke while eating, this would be a negative.
The biggest, coolest pool was for Adults only. And RIGHT in the middle of the upper deck. The kids got a small pool (SALT water pool) with very poor visibility for adults wanting to supervise from a lounge chair (but its not like you could find one anyway because of the crowds). If you want to watch your kids swimming, you have to sit on a wooden bench that surrounds the pool. It was really a bummer for us with our family who wanted to swim together. We simply couldn’t.
Hot Tubs for kids? Nope. 2 of them in the Adults only pool area had signs that said “Family”, the other 2 had signs that said “Adult Only”. Which is weird, because if this is an adult-only area, why would adults want kids at the Hot Tub nearby? And also, because it’s an Adults only pool, I didn’t really want my kids there on the periphery of adult only activities. (BAD Feng Shui and Design of purpose. Again.)
Norweigan WINS in entertainment. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING entertainment. We left every single show totally impressed and admitting that we had never seen any thing so incredible on a ship before. I was blown away over, and over again!!
Because of the incredible party atmosphere, AMAZING shows and entertainment, the kids club’s are also TOP notch! My kids were LOVING the kids clubs and activities. My teenager spent MUCH more time with the teen’s club activities than he did with us. “Entourage”, the teens lounge is a “Parent Free” zone. Literally, I thought of the guys as bouncers keeping me out of the place. I’d look in on my son and they’d be there telling me to wait outside, they would have him meet me in the hall to talk. As I walked by one time, I heard a couple boys say as they were leaving, “Man! that place is LIT!” It was extremely popular. What happens in there? I don’t know. I was literally forbidden to go inside.
Another highlight are the the Water Slides and the Ropes course. They were SO thrilling! Amazing! And fun! Walking the plank was probably the most terrifying thing, but a total blast. I loved that they didn’t close the ropes course even during high winds. It just increased the thrill. And the Drop Slides?! wow. Take my breath away fun!! For real! We really enjoyed these.
Norweigan did great. I only have Royal Carribean to compare it to. I will likely book Royal Caribbean next time. We are more family centric, and I thought Royal did a better job of accommodating activities and ship functionality for famillies. I also highly value rest and relaxation. Royal Carribean knocks it out of the park to provide less crowds, more wonderful and restful ship space, and the Adults only section is more like a quiet resort retreat while Norweigan’s adult space was a party all night long with loud music and drinking in the pool. whether that is a pro or con is up to you.
Food between the two was a toss up.
Norweigan does a great job of providing activities to separate families and keep them respectively entertained. But we like to spend time together as a family. And this was more difficult on the getaway.
DO book this boat if you LOVE to party hard!
DO book this boat if you want separate time from your kids
DO book this boat if you don’t mind constant heavy crowds
DO book this boat if exercise on the ship means very little to you.
DO book this boat if you want WORLD Class entertainment.
DO book this boat if you like to casinos and don’t mind mild cigarette smoke.
DON’T book this boat if crowds bother you.
DON’T book this boat if you like Family Centric Boat Spaces
DON’T book this boat if you are searching for Rest and Relaxation
DON’T book this boat if you dislike casinos.
DON’T book this boat if closed, crowded spaces and bad Feng Shui is annoying.
Its what you would expect for an inside cabin. Small. If you’re sleeping more than two people in the room, they drop down a bunk bed from the ceiling. That was fun for my kids, but the low overhead ceiling and ladder on the floor could be a bit cumbersome in the small space. Great shower size! And quiet despite being near the elevators. I didn’t hear the elevator people at all.
We travelled to Trunk Bay on St. John on our own. It was AMAZING!! And easy to do. Just some travel time on Taxi’s and Ferry’s. But we were able to spend an outrageously relaxing day on the most beautiful beach ever. So relaxing!
The Baths were AMAZING!! I wanted more time! much, much more time. We had NO time to see the baths entirely or to buy any souvenirs. I will have to revisit the Baths while I am not on a cruise.View All 248 Virgin Gorda Reviews