1. Home
  2. Cruise Styles
  3. Spa Cruises Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
See Reviews For
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise to celebrate a Birthday and our Anniversary. We have cruised this trip on 4 other occasions. We are platinum cruisers with Carnival and have been on many cruises. This cruise tops our "favorite" list. ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate a Birthday and our Anniversary. We have cruised this trip on 4 other occasions. We are platinum cruisers with Carnival and have been on many cruises. This cruise tops our "favorite" list. (Not the destination, but the cruise). We normally find ourselves drinking more than we normally do and come home exhausted. This cruise, we decided to pamper ourselves the entire cruise. We had a balcony suite on the Spa Level. It was awesome. We spent 90% of our time at the spa. We had the couples bamboo and hot stone massage, a facial, the men's shaving treatment/haircut/foot and leg massage, teeth whitening and even hired a personal trainer while on board. The Physian, Dr. Olachea, Spa Manager and all of the Spa Staff, Elina, Victoria, Megan, Oliva, Kate and many more, were the best we have ever experienced on a Carnival Cruise. I have a fractured heel, due to a running injury. Kate, the Personal Trainer put together workouts that were customized to my injury, still providing a great and challenging workout. They always made us feel "important" and treated us like Kings. We had to walk by the Spa door every time we left or came to our cabin. They always waved and were very friendly. We had the flexible dining schedule. Our waiter was the best we have had on a cruise as well. His name was Roger. He had 2 other young ladies working with him and they were awesome as well. Our room steward was great and very attentive. We did not visit the bars often, but when we did, they were always friendly. As far as the entertainment, it was average. We did partake in the casino (slot tournament) twice. The 2 female staff members that were in charge of the tournament were great also and very entertaining. The process gaining access to the ship was quick and efficient. The process departing the ship was quick and efficient as well. This was an excellent experience. We wish we could have this entire staff on every cruise that we take. In all the cruised that we have taken, we have never submitted a review, not that the trips were bad, but the trips in the past never really stuck out in our minds. We have never had any issues with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was my 7th cruise and we only had a couple of problems that need to be addressed. #1 the manager of the Internet was not Customer Service friendly, he was very short when my sister asked questions about the internet being so slow. He ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise and we only had a couple of problems that need to be addressed. #1 the manager of the Internet was not Customer Service friendly, he was very short when my sister asked questions about the internet being so slow. He never smiled and seemed not happy with his position. We have never had someone from the staff be so unfriendly. #2 we had two water leaks in our room which NCL did take care of, but we had to stay in the room for two days while the leak was repaired and the air blowers dried the carpet out. We did get strawberries and a bottle of wine, but we talked to other cruise members and said that we should have either been moved to another room or $compensated for this inconvenience. Otherwise we had an enjoyable time on the Sun and 99% of the staff were friendly and could not do enough for us. We did opt in on the ultimate dining plan which was good. Cagney's got our top review for food and wait staff with Le Bistro coming in second the others we could do without. At Roatan the excursion we took to Maya Keys was awesome. They served Sea Bass which was the best we have ever had and that is a compliment coming from 2 New England ladies that know what Sea Bass should taste like. The island was the best and I would recommend this excursion. Can't wait for our next cruise with NCL! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
From the moment we boarded we knew there would be trouble, spring breakers running around drinking in the pools and causing disturbances all around. We went to our Aqua Class cabin and it was not clean at all, stains on the couch, dirt on ... Read More
From the moment we boarded we knew there would be trouble, spring breakers running around drinking in the pools and causing disturbances all around. We went to our Aqua Class cabin and it was not clean at all, stains on the couch, dirt on the floor, a musty odor and the balcony was not cleaned from the previous guests. We called guest services asked for the supervisor because we wanted to get off and schedule a future cruise without the ambiance of a college dorm full of dropouts. We stated the ship was dirty, kids are running thru the halls banging on the walls and doors and all we want is a credit for a future cruise so we do not have to put up with this for 5 nights. We were assured there would be no problems, the crew was specially trained to handle this situation and security would not have a problem. We again said that is fine but we would like a credit for a future cruise because this was not our idea of a relaxing week at sea and not a preferable use of our vacation time. She said we could leave but there would be no credit. In hindsight I should have said I was feeling like I had the flu and left and fought with the insurance because this cruise was a nightmare and a pattern of lip service and inaction began that day. After we decided to stay, we asked to have the room cleaned because we did not want a dirty room. We went for a walk on deck 11, could not believe the antics at the pool and how the bars just kept serving the drunk and unruly dropouts. We went back to the room after they assured us again everything was under control and the room was clean and started unpacking. I went by the desk and found toe nails on the rug, I called and asked again if we could leave and get a credit but the employee of the year said no but they would clean again. Went for another walk came back and the toe nails I pointed out to the steward were gone, however, there were more under the desk which would have required him to move the chair to see which he obviously did not do. Yes,disgusting. That night dinner at Blu was very good but it went downhill from there everyday afterwards. The ribeye was just terrible and the waiters knew it. The day at sea, Monday was a total disaster, the crew members in the spa never checked for Aqua class cards to get into the Persian garden and as a result the dropouts were in there as well. While I am on that subject, don't believe the hype about solticizing the constellation, sorry, this was a lame attempt to renovate a basement on Long Island and it was just a small cramped dark dank space. There are no tile lounges only a bench that you cannot get comfortable on and a strange tower in the middle that served no purpose. The Aqua spa cafe was terrible, I am not sure what it was supposed to be but it didn't work had strange hours and the smoothies were disgusting. The pool was a sea of delinquents, security was permitting bottles in the pools and hot tubs and adults were driven from the area by the loud music and absolute lack of security. There was nowhere for adults to go and it was a total nightmare. The bar tenders never cut them off even when they were visibly drunk and disorderly. We complained to the employee of the year again and were told she didn't think it was that bad, when we asked her if she was on the pool deck she said no, she did not go there herself, amazing really to tell us it was not bad and she never left her office. More lip service and inaction. At one point on deck 11we could not walk the track due to all the drunks blocking the track and we looked down at the pool, there were 30 kids in one hot tub and at least 30 beer bottles lining the tub while security did nothing. The room was never really clean and we found the ship to be shabby in need of a few weeks out of service just to clean the ship. The furniture in all the common spaces looked nice until you look close, all shabby and in need of replacement. Needless to say, celebrity is not what it was years ago. The new CEO should be fired for incompetence to let the celebrity name be attached to such a shabby ship, inept employee of the year and really forgettable food. This cruise is on the heels of a cruise on the Reflection in December of 2014 which was not much better without the delinquents. No more celebrity for me. We sent a letter to customer service, called to complain and not a word. We met Captain Nicholas who was very friendly and listened to our complaints. He was a personable man and was one of the only crew who was friendly. Most of the officers did not acknowledge guests when passing on the decks and looked sloppy. I am comparing it to the Norwegian Getaway which we were on in September 2014 where every crew member was as sharp as a tac to the point it stood out. What happened to Celebrity? I read some people call this ship Connie, I call it a loser, don't waste your time or money booking this ship. Oh yeah, the adult pool had a slime floating on it for 3 days, we would not go in. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We have cruised 17 times and only once with Carnival. We were a bit hesitant when we booked with Carnival but we did it because we liked the 8 day cruise with only three stops Aruba, Curacau and Grand Turk The boarding process could use ... Read More
We have cruised 17 times and only once with Carnival. We were a bit hesitant when we booked with Carnival but we did it because we liked the 8 day cruise with only three stops Aruba, Curacau and Grand Turk The boarding process could use some work as it was crowded and confusing and took around an hour. We even took their advise and waited until 12:30 to arrive. Big Mistake! Wait later. Those that got there earlier waited longer. Not a good start to the cruise. Once on board things improved dramatically. We had a spa balcony room on the 12th floor and it was accessible upon arrival. Bags showed up within a couple of hours. Nice room with a good size bathroom and decent balcony. We are used to sliding doors to the balcony so we can open them and listen To the ocean but these are doors that close automatically but it was a minor issue. Not too difficult to find your way around the ship. Lots of working elevators Cloud 9 SPA was decent but doesn't compare to others offered by NCL and RC. As for the Serenity the Adults only area - don't waste your time trying to find a place as every piece of furniture had a flip flop or a bag or a towel on to reserve the spot. Only got to spend an hour up there one afternoon during the stop at Grand Turk FOOD - we had early seating at 6:00 PM and ended up at a table for 10. So it was us and 4 other couples and I must say we all. Hit it off so well that we were the last ones to leave the dining room most evening. As for the food if was Ok - really nothing spectacular or memorable and it really didn't change much from night to night. I tried four different times to get reservations at the steakhouse and could never get one. It worked out fine because we were enjoying the company of our new cruise friends. The burgers were amazing at Guy Fieri's - always a line but well worth the wait. The barbeque was good as well SHOWS- nothing much here. Not of the same caliber as NCL and RC or Princess. Comedians were not very good either. ENTERTAINMENT- We did enjoy the Piano Bar quite a bit. The later in the evening the funnier it became. The cruise team did a decent job. We were a bit disappointed that the dance club was rarely opened and when it was it was late late late in the evening. ISLANDS - we love Aruba and a tour of the island with a stop at the beach for a couple of hours was perfect. We booked the evening sunset cocktail cruise excursion thinking it was be romantic and peaceful only to discover once aboard it was very casual with lots and lots of drinks included. Curacau is a beatiful island as well with lots to do within walking distance of the ship Grand Turk in our opinion is really the Carnival private island. Not much to do except drink or lay on the beach which was ok by us. You can see the entire island from the top of the ship OVERALL - we were quite surprised with the service and the friendly people on board. We really had an enjoyable time and would consider booking with Carnival again especially if we new that our new cruise friends were booking with them as well.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Fantastic spa , the cleanest ship, would highly recommend. My husband and I (late 40's) loved this ship. Food was great I. Both complimentary and specialty restaurants. Definitely try o'sheehans, that was our go to. They have ... Read More
Fantastic spa , the cleanest ship, would highly recommend. My husband and I (late 40's) loved this ship. Food was great I. Both complimentary and specialty restaurants. Definitely try o'sheehans, that was our go to. They have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Shows were great, Howel at the Moon was super fun, my favorite. The Spa was fantastic. We are from East coast, 8 feet of snow and below 0 temps, the thermal pool and salt room was were I spent my time. Room was awesome, great bathroom . If I had to have a negative it would be jogging track very small, but never had an issue with getting a treadmill in gym. We didn't experience any of the issues I read in other reviews. We have taken many cruises, I did a lot of research and this cruise exceeded my expectations. I would definately recommend. My advise, make reservations if you really want a particular time for a show, same for dinner. The spa is worth the money, Vibe beach pass, we did , not sure I would do again. loved our mini Suite spa balcony, worth the money. Bathroom was great. We didn't experience any issues , it was a great vacation and can't wait to book the next one! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
I recently sailed on the Oasis of the Seas for the first time. I've been sailing with Carnival for the past ten years because of the price point. However, since Carnival made wholesale changes (Cruise 2.0), I wasn't very happy ... Read More
I recently sailed on the Oasis of the Seas for the first time. I've been sailing with Carnival for the past ten years because of the price point. However, since Carnival made wholesale changes (Cruise 2.0), I wasn't very happy with either the food or the entertainment. Also, it seemed that other cruise lines were way ahead of the game when it came to Ships and what was on them, even though Carnival was coming out with some larger ships. The Oasis of the Seas is a gorgeous ship. The seven different neighborhoods were fun. Central Park was amazing. My stateroom was near Central Park and I enjoyed walking through it to get to the back of the ship and looking at the thousands of plants. Above the park there are balcony staterooms. It hard to believe you're on a ship in the middle of the ocean when you walk through central park. Compared with Carnival, Royal Caribbean has a much more international, more upscale group of guests. With high diving shows, Cirque de Soleil type shows and ice shows, RCCL's entertainment is far superior to Carnival. The food was also superior, but not by that much. RCCL's onboarding process is a breeze. A few days before sailing, I got an automated phone call requesting that I get to the port at 2:45pm, however since I was staying at a hotel and had to check out early, I got to the port at around noon and was on-boarded immediately. On Oasis, you board directly onto the Promenade deck, which is busy with tables set up on each side where the crew sells drink packages, dining packages, etc. There is a Starbucks toward the front of the ship on the Promenade deck, which I really appreciated. My stateroom was ready at 1pm. The My Time dining was a complete disaster and I don't believe they offer it on the Oasis any longer. Although I had reservations, several nights I had to wait quite a while and the maître 'ds were rude for the most part. I was ignored on several occasions while waiting for a table, skipped over so they could seat families and couples. After that, they kept calling out in loud voices that I was a "single". I almost cried I was so embarrassed. Being a single traveler, I was hoping for company during dinner, but for some odd reason, they sat me with other people only on the first night. The rest of the voyage, I was seated alone, even if I was at a table for four. The food was good both in the American Icon dining room and in the buffet on 16. I did not try any of the for fee dining, but I recommend making reservations as all venues were well-attended. Be careful when booking reservations for restaurants that say they are complimentary. Izumi and the Mexican restaurant both say they are free when you book them online, but when I arrived, I was told that they were al la carte and the "free" reservations were so they would know how many people would be there. The prices at Izumi were extravagant. I just don't get the for fee dining on a cruise. Shouldn't the quality of the food be the same across all venues, since you are paying for it? There are plenty of places to get great free food on Oasis, including Central Park, where you can beat the crowds at breakfast and dinner. The Solarium Bistro is free for breakfast and lunch, but has a charge of $20 for dinner. You can also grab a bite for breakfast and lunch at the Wipeout Café. I had breakfast there one morning when the Windjammer was full and the selections were sparse and cold. These venues are less crowded than the Windjammer, however. Personally, I loved the Windjammer. It has great ocean and sports zone views. Any spa is great. However, Carnival has a far superior spa than RCCL. The Thermal Suite on the Oasis is buried deep within the ship on deck 6. It is very dimly lit and small. There are about six heated loungers, two steam rooms and a dry sauna, along with two rain showers. There is a mud bath room and a couple's hot tub. A package for the thermal suite is available for couples which includes a single use of the mud bath and a single use of the hot tub. The area is very small and they only sell thirty spaces for about $99 on the first day of the cruise. Carnival's Thermal suite is huge and faces the ocean. There are many different thermal chambers along with a thalassotherapy pool (a giant mineral hot tub). It's a place you spend all day looking out at the ocean and up at the sky. Otherwise, the gym is great and the rest of the spa is nice. I got sucked in by a very determined aesthetician when I first boarded the ship. She was at a table set up to sell spa services. I went to her for a facial on the second day of the cruise and she was extremely unprofessional, telling me about her love life in detail. When I purchased one of the products she suggested, she kissed me passionately on the mouth. I was so taken aback!! I didn't know what to do, so I did nothing but push her away and act like nothing happened. There was no mistaking that this was something completely inappropriate. I've never experienced such unprofessionalism in all my years of cruising - and I go basically for the spa pampering! It made me so completely uncomfortable. YIKES!! That took a lot from the pleasure of going to the spa. I did not report it because I did not want to be responsible for someone getting fired. Royal Caribbean does not cater to the single traveler at all. Internet was offered for "$10 per day," but only as a double occupancy package. So it wasn't $70 for the entire week, it was $140 even though I was traveling alone. They wouldn't budge on that and suggested I "share it with someone else." Okay, as soon as I meet them in the dining room where I'm kept isolated. Geez. I wasn't the only person traveling alone, but there weren't many of us. Also, as I said, they didn't sit me with anyone in the dining room so I ate alone while reading. I mentioned that the maître Ds were rude, but I can't say enough about the fantastic quality of the service in the dining rooms. The waiters and waitresses were absolutely wonderful. I've never had such excellent service. On Carnival, you could spend two and 1/2 hours in the dining room the service is so slow. On Oasis, the service is fast, thoughtful and friendly. The wait staff was concerned that I was alone and came to talk to me every night. I felt a bit adrift (no pun intended) on the Oasis. There was no central meeting place like on Carnival ships; there are large screens on the Boardwalk, but no movies were shown; no Cruise Director talking to me over the intercom like I was part of a huge vacationing family like on Carnival ships. On RCCL, the single traveler is very much on their own and I really felt it! There were informal singles gatherings, but they were held so late that I never made one. In summary, the Oasis was a beautiful ship and I enjoyed exploring her, the shows were excellent and food were really great, but RCCL really lacks in it's service to single guests and the spa is lacking. The music around the ship wasn't to my taste - it seemed like a ship full of wedding bands. If you're a single cruiser, know that you are completely on your own on RCCL and except for the cabin steward and the people who actually serve the food in the dining rooms, no one cares. Although Carnival is more for "Joe Sixpack," the crew is friendlier and for that matter, so is Joe Sixpack. Not sure I'll be going on another RCCL cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Overall had a nice trip....but instead of a couple things making the experience extraordinary- there were a couple situations that were cause for disappointment. I have travelled extensively - from back packing/hostel type trips to 5++ ... Read More
Overall had a nice trip....but instead of a couple things making the experience extraordinary- there were a couple situations that were cause for disappointment. I have travelled extensively - from back packing/hostel type trips to 5++ star resort style. From Costa Rica to Tanzania, Mexico, Dominican, Thailand and so on. I always go with ZERO expectation - which ensures any vacation is enjoyable- and Enjoyed for what it is. So we DID have an amazing time...because we made it an amazing time. The ship is beautiful. And clean, really clean in all areas. There are plenty options for food. Good variety both on buffets and menus We were not happy with the "value" of the a la Cartes $30 each extra pp for Steak house???? Steak in free restaurants the same (actually better) Restaurant staff rush you in and out- no personal service. In some cases if you didn't ask for a drink it wasn't offered ( at dinner). Ambiance in all of the free restaurants beautiful and very different from one to the next. Value for Sushi Bar very good- good friendly staff that recognized you on subsequent visits. Irish Bar awesome bar food :) We found the entertainment staff very good We didn't attend all or many events- we loved the 50/60/70's night. The 80's night was too busy to dance because the fire works were just done and it felt like the whole ship was on the dance floor. Movie night was cool And we enjoyed (too much) time at the casino :) Overall - felt 90% of the staff was just there in body and not in spirit. 10% smiley and friendly and wanted to serve you Not sure if the lack of cash tipping relates directly to this?? Some bar staff didn't make eye contact- even if you were sitting there for a bit... And the bar wasn't too busy - again, I feel like this is directly related to lack of Cash tips (You pay $12/day each that goes towards "tips" in general) The Three things that frustrated me and motivated me to write this review was (1) feeling that we had been taken advantage of at the Spa with their "up sells" and (2) feeling incorrect Info was provided to us regarding port excursions just to sell the on board trips (3) Finding out that most everyone we talked to had the ultimate beverage package Thrown in - when we paid top dollar, no discounts on any portion of our reservation (1) Day one is hectic booking dinners, shows, spa etc to make sure you get a spot I had planned all along to get at least one massage - so we headed to the spa to book this right away. The rep started upselling us on every service they had. We had a discussion and chose on: 1 massage (each) 1 acupuncture treatment (each) & 1 couple teeth whitening. Services =well over $1000 When reviewing the charges in our room - we had been charged for 9 services and over $1900 We spent at least an hour going through our receipts vs the in room account to see where the error was. When bringing this to the Spa's attention they fixed it-however I sort of expected an apology or a small discount or something for our troubles After my massage the massage therapist (who claimed she was previously an RN) highly recommended I purchase the detox bath soak as my back is very bad. She stated this Detox would help loosen my muscles. She came across as very concerned and felt that this was absolutely necessary. So I told her I would buy ($500!!!) When I met my husband in the waiting room he had also been pushed to buy the detox pills!! That is when I knew I was likely taken advantage of. After researching the product online at home it is NOT a detox. It is a $500.00 bath soak.... We visited the spa 2 more times for acupuncture. Our bill was up to approx $1500 in spa charges and the front desk staff not so much as recognized us day after day The acupuncture Dr was excellent ....but she also tried to convince us into daily acupuncture (yes DAILY at $150 a pop) The front desk staff.....seem ready for a vacation. The constant up sells were a HUGE disappointment. I would have preferred a "Thank you so much for visiting our Spa- we really appreciate your business. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you"...... (2) Booking excursions: We are well rounded travellers- but we were being lazy and thought we might try a couple beach and snorkel trips, since the time at port is limited to make sure we made the best of the time at port We asked the excursion desk staff opinion. I asked directly if there was a nice beach in ST Maarten and was told NO I suppose this could be personal opinion....BUT THERE IS a gorgeous beach - perfect for spending the day We paid $59 for a beach excursion that left at noon from the ship We spent 4 hrs in town and then excited to see where they could possibly be taking us more beautiful than this...headed back to the ship to meet tour at noon Well- we got to "the beach" on the windy Atlantic side. The waves were nuts. There was "reserved seating" which a huge joke.... Long story short we took a cab back for $7 each , we rented chairs on the beach & enjoyed the rest of our day. We visited the excursion desk later to advise how unhappy we were with this tour; BUT most importantly the fact that we were straight out told there was not a nice Beach walking distance off the boat (which is a lie) and we paid $59 each to be Taken to a "nice beach"..... They reimbursed us 50% which I feel is .... unsatisfactory We cancelled the next days excursion as we didn't trust their judgement and advice (3) We paid full price for our entire trip and most importantly the for the ultimate beverage package - (over $900 CND) I never once Imagined this was negotiable for anyone on the ship However we soon found out from every couple we met on the boat - that they had theirs "thrown" in!!! Either they booked last minute- or they booked months ago and saw Subsequent deals later, that they called Norwegian on. Value....for 1 week????? We paid $1300 pp for airfare from Canada to Miami We paid $1000 pp for the cruise (for inside cabin which I would NEVER do again) We paid approx $900 for the Bev package =approx $5500 PLUS $2000 in room charges for spa (as listed above), 2 visits to the sushi bar, and 1 Dinner and the steak house TOTAL $7500... For 7 days I simply don't feel the service was what it should have been given the money we spent. I won't be recommending cruising to my friends and family, as I feel that at this price point there are much more interesting things to do and see in this world Overall TRIP was amazing because of the company I had - but Norwegian did not WOW me -Tammy   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
This is a fairly in-depth review of the Norwegian Getaway that sailed on Jan 10-17, 2015 for a party of 2 - Me (41) and Wife (45). This was an Anniversary, Thanksgiving, college graduation, Christmas, and New Year cruise rolled into one. ... Read More
This is a fairly in-depth review of the Norwegian Getaway that sailed on Jan 10-17, 2015 for a party of 2 - Me (41) and Wife (45). This was an Anniversary, Thanksgiving, college graduation, Christmas, and New Year cruise rolled into one. We were excited, but leary to do our 5th cruise, 3rd on NCL, on the Getaway. Excited because hey, we're cruising again... we will have fun no matter what... right?!?! Leary because we weren't sure what to expect with a 4,000+ passenger ship. How will the embarkation be handled? Will it feel like there are too many people on board? With 4 days full days at sea, will we just want to be locked in our room? ~~Embarkation~~ By accident, we were the first in line at the port. The person driving us had a prior engagement at 10am, so she dropped us off about 9:40. We waited for about 10 minutes outside and the doors were opened. The few of us that were there at that time were seated in the chairs around the outside of the queue line. As more showed up, the put them standing in the queue line. About 10:30-10:45, the security waved us up to start scanning us and our bags. We then went to ticketing and received our cards and "Group 1" boarding card. We went upstairs and sat for about an hour before they started boarding. Up to this point, we were excited. I was even able to setup and test the iConcierge app by connecting to the ship's WiFi (more about iConcierge later). We walked along the gangway and stepped foot on the ship as 4 or 5 crew members welcomed us on board and through the doors. I don't remember which deck we entered - I think 6 or 7. With no map and no directions, we walked into an elevator on the left and stairs on the right. We were surprised! The Dawn and Pearl seemed so inviting into the Atrium, everything was laid out in sections with music playing, and they about pushed the Sail Away drink in our hand (then had us sign the bill for them 2 steps later). Yet the enormous Getaway shuffled us into nowhere to pick your unknown direction. Even with days of memorizing the ship's layout and main area locations, I was lost. Disappointment #1... so we just went up the stairs one level and started exploring. ~~Muster Station - Decks 6 & 7 Mid~~ The required drill at the muster stations are on decks 6 or 7 depending on the code on your key. We were B9 which was in the O'Sheehans area on deck 7, but we did not have specifics as to where the meeting point was at first. I tried to ask several people in O'Sheehans where B9 would be and they all of a sudden, they don't speak English. About 15 minutes before time through waiting crowds, the crew come out with numbered signs which you can barely see and are at random areas. We got to the "B" area early and took a seat, but then had to move when we finally saw the B9 sign and chased the lady to the other side of the deck, now having to stand. Every card has to be scanned by the crew holding the sign. Then they go through the safety lecture and life vest usage. ~~Balconies~~ We were in a balcony room, deck 13 forward. The standard balcony on the Getaway is 32 sq ft, smaller than the standard on other NCL ships (our Pearl balcony was at least 2x the size). The small balcony was a complaint by many. There is also a medium (~60 sq ft), large (~102 sq ft), and aft facing balcony, but the price per sq ft to go larger is expensive. And while the aft balconies are spacious, all we noticed was everything is wet and salty from the sea spray at the aft of the ship. This will be our last balcony for awhile since we want to take at least 2 cruises a year. We just don't use it enough to justify the price. We will make an exception in the future for our Alaskan and Panama Canal cruises. We did the Cruise Critic Cabin Crawl and saw almost all the different staterooms from the Studio to the Haven Suite (thanks to everyone who volunteered to show their rooms)! ~~Garden Buffet - Deck 15 Aft~~ We were not impressed at any meal with the buffet, unlike the Dawn which was great, and the Pearl which was good as well (but seating was atrocious). There was enough seating inside and on deck which was good. But that's about where the good ended. We tried just about everything they had in small portions. Everything was bland, over/under cooked, or not the right temperature. The salad bar had the worst selection we've seen on any of the 5 cruises we've taken. The kiddie corner with the mac and cheese, pizza, and nuggets probably tasted the best! Best dessert was a bowl of ice cream. ~~MDR (Taste & Savor) - Deck 6 Mid~~ If you're tired of the Buffet, try the main dining rooms. Both offer the same menus, but different items are on the menus each night. It's a sit down meal with waiters, but the food isn't much better than the buffet. My wife liked the Steak Diane, I like the rolls that are served at the table. ~~O'Sheehans Irish Pub - Deck 7 Mid~~ This is the 24-hour restaurant, the place to get wings, a pot pie, or dessert at 2am. The wings are delicious - I had 50 of the hot ones throughout the week. They weren't really hot, but they were good and probably the second best thing I ate on the ship! We also had the prime rib on the 2 nights it was here. Check the back of the Freestyle for special lunch and dinner meals and the times they are offered. Prime Rib is from 5:30pm - 9:30pm. After that it's not served anymore even though O'Sheehans is open 24 hours. The cheese sticks were hit or miss - sometimes hot, sometimes cold. NOTE: This is also the place to get decent (but not the premium) coffee. It's better than what comes out of the coffee makers in your stateroom (unless you're in the Haven with the k-cup makers). If you're a big coffee drinker, bring a refillable cup with you in your luggage and fill that thing up at O'Sheehans. ~~Wasabi (Sushi) - Deck 8 Mid~~ We were looking forward to Sushi on the ship. It was wonderful on the Dawn and Pearl. But yet again, it seems like even this a la carte venue had a pre-made taste. To start, the rice was not fresh. It was probably made in the morning, but then pre-made into flats and put in the fridge until ready to be used - kind of like Subway does with their pre-measured meats. ~~Food [In General]~~ The food was marginal at best. We stuck to O'sheehans and the buffet mostly. We spent $1,700+ on our trip, we weren't going to pay for specialty restaurants as well which is what it felt like they were trying to make everyone do to get decent food. It seems like the food is rushed and/or low quality in the buffet and MDR to service the increased number of guests. I couldn't find a decent chocolate dessert anywhere on the ship. NCL has stopped the Chocoholic Midnight Buffet!! Everything varied from day to day as far as taste, preparedness, or temperature. Somehow we still gained about 3-4 pounds each on the trip, but it's probably because we tried to try everything. ~~Latitudes Special Party - Deck 16 @ Spice H20~~ All I can say is windy, loud, and rushed! Such a disappointment after the nice party we experienced on the Pearl in the Spinnaker Lounge on our last cruise. First of all, since when did music have to blow your ear drums out? We all wanted to enjoy drinks and talk to other cruisers, not yell to talk and barely hear the other people! Drinks were Bahama Mama's and Chard or Cab wine. We saw the waiter in our area once. I had to get up and chase one down to get a second drink. The captain spoke and introduced the head members of each department. Then the music blared again for about 15-20 minutes. The party lasted all of 30 minutes because of the wind and loud music. I went to get a second glass of wine for my wife toward the end and they said "Sorry, no more". I turn and see someone had NINE full drinks still sitting on their table! Talk about abuse, but I guess they knew what the price of drinks were, yet seemed like the type that already had the drink package! ~~Event Seating~~ While the ship is bigger for more people, the venues are smaller and crowded or have to book everything in advance (most by the end of the first day)... then if we saw something else we wanted to do later in the week in the Freestyle, we would have to decide what to do. We can't book another show/venue as the rest are already sold out. Smaller ships, such as the Dawn and Pearl, if you show up early you get good seats, show up late, you still get seats but on the side or in the back. The BA/GA may sport the biggest stage on a cruise ship, it is offset by the [fewer] number of seats. "Burn the Floor" was outstanding, despite the dancers sweaty clothes after 10 minutes... but they danced non-stop for an hour! "Legally Blonde" was good, but if you've seen the movie then you've seen this already! The Illusionarium, for what it's all hyped up about, was not "Amazing". The usual illusions/magic mixed with corny jokes, too much smoke effects, and over dramatic grandmaster scene changes made it an overall "OK" at best. This is a dinner show with a 3-course meal (so don't eat before hand). Italian salad - tomato & mozzarella slices to start, main course is a steak and mashed potatoes and 3 large breaded shrimp, and dessert is a mini-medley of 4 desserts on a plate. If you want to watch the magic, don't eat as you'll miss stuff left an right. It's $25/pp for Banquet seats which are the booths along the back of the venue, and $30/pp for Floor seats which curve around the stage in 4 rows. Watch in the Freestyle for the night they give you 20% off (so it will be $20/pp Banquet or $24/pp Floor) - it's usually the first night. The discount has to be done manually so you won't see it until the 2nd or 3rd day. Howl at the Moon was a great show of dueling pianos at Headliners, but if you weren't in line 45 minutes early, it was standing room only every night it was on! The Levity comedy shows, also at Headliners, only seat about 80 people so reserve (and arrive) early. We saw Rodney at the 18+ late show and he was funny. We didn't get to see Mark. We did not see the GRAMMY Experience so we can't comment on it other than the seating in that venue is even smaller than Howl at the Moon! ~~Norwegian iConcierge~~ I was excited to try the iConcierge app on our iPhone 4s (both of us) to text and talk to each other for $7.95/pp for the whole trip ($1/day). We don't spend too much time apart, but this would make it easier to find each other. There are 2 parts to the iConcierge app - the informational part, and the text/call part. Informational: This FREE part of the app I would give a 4 out of 5. It gives you the Freestyle for the entire week in your hand, ability to reserve venue times (paid or free), see dining options (no times or specialties like Prime Rib night, but all restaurants and daily menus), buy Future Cruise Credits, and a host of other features. I recommend loading the app before boarding, then put your phone in Airplane mode but turn on the Wifi and connect to the ship's wifi. You can only use the features while on board the ship and connected to the wifi. There are no internet charges to just connect to the ship's wifi and use this app. Text/Calling: This is the part you pay for. It costs $7.95/pp (for the entire trip) to use to text or call others with the app on the ship including calling directly to staterooms. Also, you can call outside numbers (and others can call you) for $0.79/minute (whereas using your stateroom phone will cost you $4.99/minute). HOWEVER, texting and calling is VERY temperamental and may or may not work for you. It worked find for us on the first day, but after that, texts would only be received intermittently and calls sounded horrible. We stopped trying to use it after the 4th day and spoke to guest services to get a refund. I had iOS 8.1.1 and my wife had iOS 7.1.2 (both model 4s). It may work better on other models but it's definitely YMMV! ~~Thermal Spa - Deck 15 Fwd~~ I was upset to hear a few days before leaving that the Thermal Spa on the Getaway would cost $199/pp for 7 days instead of $129/pp as it was on the Dawn and Pearl. I guess their thinking is "more people, more money"! We loved the Mandara Spa on the other ships, and we wanted to make sure we got it this time again. 7 day use of the Thermal Spa from 8am to 10pm whenever we wanted/had time. We paid the extra $70/pp to experience it on the Getaway as well, so we went straight to the spa and looked around, signed up, got our stickers on our cards. I would go to the Spa every morning after working out in the Fitness Center. I have a gym bag with all my stuff in the morning. I could change in the locker room and secure my bag and personal items, grab a robe and towel, and head into the spa area. After, I could do a full shower (nicer than in the room) and get dressed for the day and bring the bag back to the room. We would also go in the afternoon/evening. We booked late shows (10:15-10:45) so as not to take time away from the spa in the evening. Trying to do the many parties, shows, eating, and other "freestyle activities" AND fit in the spa is challenging. You want to get the most out of the $30/pp/pd and use the spa! For the most part, it was relaxing. There is 1 jacuzzi, a heated pool with massage jets and seats, 2 sauna's, 1 steam room, 1 salt room, 10-12 heated stone chairs, and about 20 cushioned loungers. At busy times, you couldn't find a chair to put your stuff on, but people were scattered through all the areas so no one area seemed over crowded. We went in the salt room once - I guess it's supposed to be salty beach air. I wasn't impressed or felt any "special healing" properties of the salt air, but then again we're from Florida and lived near/on the beach. The steam room was nice, but it was a constant steam and you could barely see the person next to you. The stone chairs and loungers had a nice forward view of the ship - windows from one side to the other. Overall, it's a nice place to getaway from it all. If you don't care for kids in your jacuzzi, don't want to be in the sun/rain on deck, or want to just truly relax then get the Thermal Spa package! ~~Water Slides/Rope Course~~ Sadly, we did not get to experience these attractions. I would have liked to do the ropes course, but the water slides are just 4 seconds of fast water in your face. ~~Movies, Movies, Movies~~ There are 3 full-size LED movie screens on board, and throughout the cruise they show many movies. The first is in the Atrium on deck 6 mid. A lot of events happen here including movies in 3-D. The second is the outside screen in Spice H20 on deck 16 aft. Aside from all the late night parties (70's Groove, GLOW Party, 80's Remix), there are several movies shown on this huge screen as well. The third is in the Getaway Theater. Most of the movies are for the kids, but adults love them too. A few I can think of off the top of my head are Despicable Me 2, Amazing Spiderman 2, and Iron Man 3. There were about 6-8 others. Also on your stateroom TV, channel 31 shows free movies (old and new) nonstop throughout the cruise. Channel 30 is called "Favorite Shows" and plays episodes of popular TV shows. ~~[Get] What You Pay For~~ As others have stated, they have made this ship to nickle and dime you to death. It wasn't enough that I spent over $1,700 on the cruise itself, but it felt like if you wanted anything more while on the ship, you pumped out more money to NCL. From booking the Illusionarium at $25/pp, to Wine Lovers: The Musical (also $25/pp), to a $5 anytime pizza, to expensive drinks with/without alcohol, to photos, to specialty dining, to gelato and cupcakes, to auto gratuities (and port gratuities on top of them), to tips, to many desserts, to... well, I think I'd spend less walking into Disney World! ~~Overall Rating~~ Overall we give the Getaway a [barely] Good Rating (3 out of 5). There are a lot of little things that we noticed that should have been though of. There are no plugs next to the beds which means you can't plug in your phone/alarm next to you. There are 2 plugs across the room from the bed. Also, only 1 person gets control of the light switches next to the bed. Technically, the ship tries to be state-of-the-art with things like touchscreen tv's on every deck to find places throughout the ship, reserve shows, and view excursions. We made the best of the issues and enjoyed our vacation. Nothing bad happened, no one got sick, we weren't delayed, we enjoyed the ports, and we made some new friends. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
If you've never sailed the Celebrity Solstice class, we suggest you do so. Our favourite is the Reflection. Launched in just 2012, the ship is a dream boat. There are SOOO many things to do and see on the ship that our ports are not ... Read More
If you've never sailed the Celebrity Solstice class, we suggest you do so. Our favourite is the Reflection. Launched in just 2012, the ship is a dream boat. There are SOOO many things to do and see on the ship that our ports are not the driver of our choice. Next January 2016 will be our third cruise on the same ship, same itinerary, why you ask? Because it's so delightful! We cruise Aquaclass so I visit the Persian Gardens daily, and breakfast and dinners in BLU are worth the upgrade. Our fav dining is at QSINE and its so much fun with a group (try the LavaCrab). Join up for a beverage package, and we upgrade to premium so no sticker shock when checking out. I had 3 massages this last cruise and can't say enough about the skilled staff at the Spa. My hubby likes to play poker, so he has fun at the tables, and throw in a few slots too. I like the activities, and there is so much to do it's hard to choose. Night club is good, Sunset Bar entertainment was great. The food at the Buffett and MDR was fabulous. All in all, the Reflection has something for everyone. Can't wait til Jan 2016! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
We sailed out of Fort Lauderdale Fla. We stayed at the Bahia Mar By Hilton, loved it will stay there again in March for our next cruise. Got a shuttle from the hotel to port. We did not have fast to fun and waited a little to get on ship. ... Read More
We sailed out of Fort Lauderdale Fla. We stayed at the Bahia Mar By Hilton, loved it will stay there again in March for our next cruise. Got a shuttle from the hotel to port. We did not have fast to fun and waited a little to get on ship. We were on ship by around 12:30. We went to the buffet and had sandwiches from the Deli, they were really good. There is a very nice girl that works there and makes good deli sandwiches her name is Laelah. By the time we were done eating our room was ready. We were in room 1108. Very nice room, it was next to spa so very quiet. Checked out spa, it is a bit dated but used the sauna's everyday. Our room stewardess Shiela was very nice and did a good job. I really like the layout of the ship as it is not a huge ship and you could find your way around very nicely. Food on board..... We had anytime dinning and it was very nice. We got a wait team the 1st night of Karnita our head waiter and loved them. We asked for them at Breakfast, brunch and every dinner we had in the dinning room. They were the best. All of the meals in the dinning room were great, good choices taste good. We also ate at the steak house one night it was really good, worth the money. The highlight of our cruise was the Chef's table, the chef Biju Jacab was warm and very good at what he does. The meal was wonderful, we would do this again. Nice point was the every time chef saw us he asked how everything was. A must for lunch is Guys, loved it! Entertainment... first I want to say we loved the cruise director Mike, he was always around and very funny! We did not go to any of the production shows. But the comedian was very good. And the band that played in the lobby was so much fun. The lead singer Shelly was great! We went to the adult pool area and it was nice. The casino was nice we used it at night, and sometimes in morning when there was not as much smoke and less people. I would say that I would go on the Conquest again, very nice ship with a great crew. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Email me when prices drop