I wanted to take a cruise and get away to just destress and recharge so I booked a Western Caribbean cruise on the Getaway that would let me check off two boxes on my to do list. Be in NOLA during Mardi Gras and this would complete my ... Read More
I wanted to take a cruise and get away to just destress and recharge so I booked a Western Caribbean cruise on the Getaway that would let me check off two boxes on my to do list. Be in NOLA during Mardi Gras and this would complete my cruising of the Caribbean so I have done all the islands. Would definitely love to go see some again. I am not going to review the things that NCL did not have any control over such as crowds, weather, parking, etc.. What I will review is what the ship could control such as embarkation/disembarkation, restaurants, bars, shows, activities, cabins, etc..
Embarkation: Once I got to the port I walked in and the first person that I asked showed me directly where to go for the lines and since I was in a Haven suite they escorted me to the priority line where I went through the process in about 5 minutes and was then escorted to the waiting room until it was time to board the ship. Once it was time they escorted us up to the haven lounge and welcomed us with a beverage and let us know that our lunch would be ready at noon. We could go to the Have Restaurant, Savor, or Margaritaville for lunch, I opted to go the Haven Restaurant. Glad I did, the shrimp cocktail was wonderful as was the salmon. After lunch I went to my room to put my carry on away and then go explore. This is where I found the biggest drawback to the layout of the ship. My room was on Deck 9 Forward. Meaning that when I got off the elevator on Deck 9, I still had a long walk ahead of me to the room (almost 40 cabins to walk past) The room was fantastic with a sitting room with balcony, a separate bedroom with a window, and bathroom with both a soaking tub and a shower. The balcony was a little small but since I was cruising solo it was fine.
Restaurants and Bars: I had the dining package so I figured I would try as many different restaurants as I could, and on the Getaway there are lots. They were all great with highlights in each. Only disappointment I had was the Ocean Café (aka the Buffet). The food was overcooked, mostly tasteless, and rubbery. I have done the buffet on other NCL ships and other Lines and have always enjoyed it just this time it didn't really give me anything to be excited about. Ocean Blue was good seafood and probably the best clam chowder I have ever had, Le Bistro had good escargot and shrimp and amazing onion soup. Sushi bar had great rolls and sashimi, noodle bar had amazing potstickers, Cagneys had an amazing bone in ribeye, and Moderno's had excellent meats and if you went back to your room hungry it was your fault. O'Sheehans was good pub fare, and Tropicana, Savor, and Taste (the 3 mdr's) were all good. Service at times was a little slower but that could have been during the times I went which was during the meal time rush. I highly recommend that if you want to eat at any of the specialty restaurants you make reservation either before sailing or as soon as you get on board. The bars were basically the same, The Mojito bar made great mojitos, but there weren't set up for a lot of other drinks, Atrium bar had the best selection of fresh made drinks, Waves (the pool bar) was good but a little slower due to amount of people although they had a lot of drinks already premade.
I didn't do any of the "enrichment activities" but I did go to some of the activities put on by the Entertainment/Cruise staff such as the "Not as Newlywed Game", "Battle of the Sexes", Bingo, and a couple of others. Other than not having a lot of seating available unless you showed up early they were fun and entertaining.
I went to "Burn the Floor" and "Million Dollar Quartet" and both were very entertaining. Burn the Floor was very good and a great way to watch Latin dancing, Million Dollar Quartet was about the night Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis got together for a jam session, I would HIGHLY recommend this, but make sure you stay until the end it is worth it.
Disembarkation was nice and easy. After making sure I had everything packed and outside my door prior to the time the night before, I grabbed my carryon, went to the Haven for breakfast and then was escorted down to the gangway where I scanned my key card and then went to get my bags. As a hint, spend a count extra dollars and get a porter to help with the bags, they also help you bypass the long lines to get through customs and will take you right to the taxi's or other transportation.
I have done multiple cruises in all room categories and multiple different cruise lines and always come back to NCL. I think the service, attitudes, and atmosphere are hands down among the best in the industry and they honestly try to improve every time, plus it is impressive when the staff remembers your name the 2nd time they see you. (remember there are over 4,000 people on board) Read Less