Destinations was top of mind as we explored the many choices of cruise lines. A Caribbean cruise was our top choice with as many ports as possible. Norwegian Cruise Line Getaway offered a 9-day cruise to the Dominican Republic, Saint Thomas, Saint Maarten, Antigua, San Jaun Porta Rico and of course the NCL private island in the Bahamas. With only 2 full days at sea, it seemed the best value for our trip. We quickly learned how wrong we would be. However, let's start with the positives. As I state below our inside stateroom was very nice, well designed, very comfortable and our cabin steward was exceptional in many ways. Although the demand made the noodle restaurant hard to get into the quality of the food and service were outstanding. The friendliness of the bartenders outside of the Garden Buffet set the standard that the other bartenders we encountered never reached - most of them just flat out ignored us or acted as they were mad, or we were intruding on their time. The "complimentary" restaurants were extremely well designed and decorated, the service was on the 5-star level however, the food was usually cold unflavored or so over cooked it was uneatable. Although complimentary their food proved to be overpriced. Shopping is a term used loosely as there are only 2 shops on board even though "the marketplace" is listed everywhere it does not exist anymore. If you are a smoker, be prepared to be treated and judged as an inferior while being put on display. With just under 4,000 guests on the Getaway ship the smokers are isolated to a small clear plastic box which seats 20 guests. There are 4 tables on another deck which does offer guests to smoke and if you gamble you can sit (if you are playing) at the slot machines but expect to be accosted by one of the floor managers as there are only certain areas, which are not marked, where you can sit. Entertainment was available and the "quartet" seemed to steal the show. The ports were amazing, and the excursions were plentiful however during our 9-day cruise we did not speak to another guest who stated they were enjoying their time on the ship. Okay, was the highest evaluation given. Everyone is looking for a deal and we are no exception but saving your hard-earned cash should not come at the cost of the horrific embarkation and debarkation debacles, the disappointments of the quality of the food or the indifferent sometimes indigent treatment of the employees. If offered a free cruise on the Getaway or another NCL ship, we would emphatically decline.
Our inside stateroom was especially nice. The decor was updated and very well done. The use of the space was well designed. Our cabin steward was always very engaging, professional and happy. However, we were awakened many times during our cruise to a very loud noise which we nicknamed the cannon, because that's what we imagined a cannon would sound like. We inquired about the noise but no avail. We could hear "loud mechanical" sounds be it staff elevators, hydraulic lifts or equipment from approximately 10pm to when we left the room in the morning.