Sail Date: May 2011
My family of 6 (3 adults 3 kids 11-14) sailed May 24th. We chose this cruise for a several reasons. Last year we sailed the Breakaway to Bermuda mid May. We enjoyed the cruise and the ship. Having the kids and all the activities offered on ... Read More
My family of 6 (3 adults 3 kids 11-14) sailed May 24th. We chose this cruise for a several reasons. Last year we sailed the Breakaway to Bermuda mid May. We enjoyed the cruise and the ship. Having the kids and all the activities offered on the Getaway in a warmer climate just made since. I will make several references in this post comparing the Getaway to the Breakaway as people seem curious about the comparison. I will add we are platinum members with RCL and Princess and this was our 16th total cruise. So here goes. Arrived in Miami Friday afternoon and stayed at the Embassy Suites. Hotel was as described by most on Trip Advisor. A very popular place pre cruise. Rooms were a little dated but it was clean and safe. Not much to do in the area nearby. There were 3 ships sailing out the same day we were (Saturday). Breakfast was good. Pool area was nice. and they offer a shuttle for $10 per person to pier. Airport shuttle runs every 30 minutes 24/7 Embarkation was a snap. We left hotel at 11:30. 15 min drive to pier. They were already boarding. There was 2 lines for general boarding and The Haven. Before you sail register to be a Latitudes Member. We heard an NCL employee ask people if they were Latitudes members. We spoke up and went straight to a booking rep. One hour from the time we left the hotel we were on the ship. First impression was you don't realize how big the ship is on first sight until you see it side by side to other ships. Several on the shuttle were sailing Carnival and the most common thing heard was "wow' when they saw the Getaway compared to the one they were sailing. Inside the ship was very clean which was expected due to the newness of the ship. Having been on the Breakaway we were familiar with the layout. Our rooms were ready about 1:15.. The rooms (adjoining) themselves were smaller than what we had on the Breakaway which we expected. We were in the back of the ship, maybe 5 rooms till the end. The shape of the ship didn't let us see the very front of the ship or the navigation wings that stick out. One room was configured for my wife, one child and myself. We were expecting the couch to be a sleeper but in fact the had a bunk bed that pulled out from ceiling and a ladder to climb up to get into bed. This was put up and down for us. The 11 year old loved it. The other room was set up with two single beds and another child slept on couch as it was. The bedding was very comfortable. Bathroom was smaller than last year but still bigger than other ships we have been on. Be sure to take a clock with you. Biggest complaint were the balconies. They were very small. Two chairs and a small table was still very crowded. I always get a balcony room and I will say this was the smallest of any ship I have been on. There was no putting a 3rd chair on one deck. The decks have a door that you could open to the other room but the room steward said we weren't able to leave them open per the captain's orders. Needless to say we worked around this. Our room steward was good and we never wanted for anything. Room served it's purpose as a place to sleep and change. NCL gets high marks for food on this cruise. They stated they had upgraded the menu. Compared to the Breakaway it was noticeably better basing this mostly on the buffet. I cant remember the buffet having repeats of it's main courses and very few sides. They always had pizza, chicken tenders and Mac and Cheese for kids at dinner. Breakfast and lunch had it's regular assortment of items. The second night was their seafood buffet. We ate at O'Sheehans one night when they had prime rib which was quite good. This is a place the kids really liked. Anytime they wanted a snack that is where they went. Ate one night at the Brazilian Steakhouse. A treat for a carnivore like myself. Always a must for the true meat eater. Entertainment: As with the Breakaway our favorite was Howl at the Moon. This was a different group with a different style. They weren't great singers but they put on a show and were exceptional on the keys. The crowd was always big and having a great time. I don't get (from reading some posts) why people had a problem paying for a request but that just me. Get a few drinks in these guys and the fun really began. We saw the comedians one night and had some good laughs. The blues club had a harmonica player who was quite good. Never saw the singers or dancers. A lot of talk pre cruise was made about the cruise director Joel. I thought he was quite good. He put everything he had into his job. They had the normal game shows. The only issue was these were held in the atrium. It was too crowded for this area. Bringing in folding chairs is not a good idea and sight lines were poor. Pool & Sports Decks: Out of respect for my wife I will post her biggest complaint. I'm not a swimmer but the kids love it. She was looking forward to swimming with them. Now the main pool is very small for 4000 passengers to begin with. Then you have all the people that bring chairs and sit in the most shallow part and then those who sit and line the edge. It's more like a big wading pool. She had one of the kids with her and she was told that wasn't allowed. The area allowed for families was beside the Kiddie pool and splash academy. Again it wasn't big enough. The adults also have the Spice/H2O area but there is no pool there, just a waterfall and two hot tubs. Not having a suitable area for families to swim together was a BIG issue for her. I can see both sides. The ropes course and the plank were net. Putt Putt was neat and so was "Bounce." The entertainment area is where NCL excels and the Getaway was no exception. Their fireworks show and glow parties are fun for all. The Teen Entourage was a huge hit for the 13 and 14 year olds. They each made so many friends and spent most of their time there. Use deck 8 aft for sunsets going and 16 forward for sunsets coming home. We had been both to St Martin and St Thomas multiple times and had enjoyable times at both. Did an ATV tour in St Martin and yes Solid ATV does exist for those curious. Island Marketing actually subs the tours to Solid ATV. Magens Bay and The Green House are musts for us in St Thomas and never disappoint. Nassau we did the Blue Lagoon excursion through the ship and this turned out to be a great excursion. Disembarkation was fine. We left in the last group due to a late flight. The did stop the process for 15 mins due to crowding. $60 cab fare to airport where we checked our luggage (11:00 for a 5:45 flight) then went to South Beach before heading home. This was a good cruise and we got our monies worth. This was the kids first cruise and they had the best time of all of us. Except for the swimming situation this is a perfect cruise for families. We book based on itinerary between Princess, RCL and NCL. Each does things better than the other. This can only be determined by personal experience and preference. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
A little about us. This was our 15th cruise but our first with NCL. We are both early 50's. We flew from Atlanta to Miami the day before, stayed at the Marriott Courtyard downtown and took their shuttle to the port the next day. $5 ... Read More
A little about us. This was our 15th cruise but our first with NCL. We are both early 50's. We flew from Atlanta to Miami the day before, stayed at the Marriott Courtyard downtown and took their shuttle to the port the next day. $5 per person can't be beat. Hotel was fine, typical Courtyard. We left the hotel at 11:15, at the port by 11:30 and on the ship by 11:50. We had a quick lunch at the buffet and our room was ready by 1:15 and our luggage arrived about 2:30. Returning we walked off at 8:15 and were at the airport by 9:00am. Customs was super quick and despite us going over our allowance we were not asked to pay anything! The agent just said "have a nice day" and smiled and waved us on. We had balcony cabin 8778. The location was perfect. Super quick to get anywhere. The cabin itself however was our least favorite of any other line. No drawers or upper shelves in the desk area made it very challenging for us to stay organized. It was hard to fine a "home" for everything. But we certainly managed just fine. Closet was adequate. Bathroom was great - plenty of space and shelves and the shower doors are great, no more clingy shower curtains! We never met our cabin steward. We ran into him once in the room and he never spoke to us. He made our bed and changed towels and emptied trash daily so I was perfectly happy however hubby was disappointed he made no effort to engage. No biggie for me. We purchased the Ultimate Dining package and for me this is where NCL really is a game changer. I LOVED eating at a different place every night, different times and sometimes alone, sometimes with others. Gone was the weird dinner dynamics of trying to build a friendship with a group of people you may or may not have anything in common with over 7 meals. We met great people at the Teppanyaki and other events but were not forced to spend 90 minutes with them every single night. That was a blessing. The food was fantastic, better than Carnival, Royal, Holland, or Princess. This is of course only our opinion but we were thrilled with each restaurant. Cagney's was by far my favorite and Italian was my least but we were happy with every meal. Burn the Floor and Legally Blonde are not to be missed. Stellar entertainment. JC, the Cruise Director, is a hoot and a very good singer actually - he did a number on the last night and it was great. The pools are small, as are all ships, but I loved that there were 2 free adults only areas and we enjoyed them both. We also purchased the drink cards and it worked out perfectly. We didn't have to have our card with us if we used the glasses you get with the package, which was nice too. Casino is HUGE. Found $6 blackjack tables and enjoyed those several nights. Dealers were very friendly and helpful to those that had not played before. Loved the Air Hockey and bowling, so glad that was not with the teen area. I did miss watching a movie under the stars, we really enjoy doing that. Either we missed them or they didn't do them, not sure which. Staff were super friendly and helpful (except Cabin Steward). Cannot wait to book our next NCL cruise!!!!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2013
This was the first cruise that my wife and I were on that we can't rave about. We've been on 6 NCL cruises,the last being about 3 years ago, coincidentally with the same captain-different ship. We had a mini suite and liked our ... Read More
This was the first cruise that my wife and I were on that we can't rave about. We've been on 6 NCL cruises,the last being about 3 years ago, coincidentally with the same captain-different ship. We had a mini suite and liked our cabin 12804-but it was all downhill from there! I'm sure some of my disappointment comes as a result of large size of the boat, but that was only a minor problem. The food and menu in the included restaurants for dinner was not nearly as good as it used to be and I'm not saying that just because Lobster Night went the way of the dodo bird. Everything seemed bland and boring. We used to love eating in the main dining room so much that we only ate once in a specialty restaurant on NCL's other ships. I can't tell you whether those other ships we've been on would have been any better as it was several years ago that we were on one. The entertainment also was disappointing. I missed what I heard was excellent-Burn the Floor- because my brother and I opted to watch the Superbowl instead while our wives did the show. The screen in the Atrium was HUGE but there weren't nearly enough seats. We had to walk all over the place and carry the chairs to an open space all the way on the side of the screen with pole obstruction. On top of that, people were bringing their dinners and drinks from the restaurants while somebody saved their seat. Empty plates, glasses, and silverware littered the floor. It looked like a fraternity house party! There weren't enough seats for another activity they staged there either-The Not So Newlywed Game-an NCL staple. We found only two seats so 2 of us had to stand. Same comedians doing mostly same jokes...... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
In July of 2013 as a family we boarded the NCL Jade, having read the reviews and having sailed previously with Carnival on the newly refurbished Sunshine we were a little apprehensive. the Jade was a fantastic ship and the Staff were eager ... Read More
In July of 2013 as a family we boarded the NCL Jade, having read the reviews and having sailed previously with Carnival on the newly refurbished Sunshine we were a little apprehensive. the Jade was a fantastic ship and the Staff were eager to make our stay enjoyable. in November i booked the one night stay on board the NCL Getaway, the newest addition to the NCL Fleet and sister ship to the NCL Breakaway. Not the biggest in the fleet (the biggest being the NCL Epic) however, a quality ship by far. Our experience. we arrived at the Port of Southampton at 12.00pm, unlike our previous experience with boarding, this one seemed to be a lengthy procedure. we eventually boarded the ship at 1.50pm and was greeted by many helpful staff assisting in anyway they could. we proceeded to our cabin which we found to be modern, and extremely large (we booked Allocation on arrival). our first dining experience. we then proceeded to explore the ship (it is huge) rather than dine buffet we decided on a sit down meal. we ended up at the "Savor" restaurant. this served fast food with a fine dining twist, the quality of the food was good and service superb. The Ship. it would take a lot longer than one day to explore this ship in its entirety however, we spent a good couple of hours looking around. the sunshine deck had many amenities, Rock Climbing, Mini Golf and not to mention the Water Slides amongst many other things. what amazed me was that in the middle of January the clientele seamed to be of retirement age however this did not seem to hold them back when it came to the Zip Wire and what is the largest ropes course at sea (no holding back). Evening Dining Spoiled for choice, throughout the exploration of the ship and trying to make the best of our "1 night" we made and cancelled many reservations at the restaurants on board, yes i would say i was spoiled. we eventually ended up at Moderno Churrascaria, a truly unique experience "Start with an impressive salad bar of imported cheeses, olives, cured meats, ceviche and specialty salads. Be sure to save room for the delicious skewers of slow-roasted meats including beef, pork, lamb and chicken – all carved tableside by our Pasadores" Service yet again Superb, food very good. Evening Entertainment. after dining we caught the late show "Legally Blonde" this is a must, the quality of such a show at sea was second to none. the only downfall being that the seats in the theater, they are extremely uncomfortable, after the first half an hour i was in pain with my back. (we were not the only ones.) this is an issue that really needs to be addressed. overall. we are told that the CEO of NCL was on board, this ship is a real credit to NCL. all in all i give the NCL Getaway the thumbs up, its just a shame that it will not spend any more time in European waters. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
A 1 night cruise aboard pre-inaugural Norwegian Getaway was too good an opportunity to pass up, so we joined her yesterday on a sunny January day in Southampton, the port unusually quiet after the departure of all the world cruises. We ... Read More
A 1 night cruise aboard pre-inaugural Norwegian Getaway was too good an opportunity to pass up, so we joined her yesterday on a sunny January day in Southampton, the port unusually quiet after the departure of all the world cruises. We were delayed a little before embarkation began, due to the ship's late arrival, but once the process started, we were speedily trying to get a proper look at the huge hull painting Miami artist David Lebo Batard, with its surf and mermaids. We found our way to our outside, forward facing cabin, functional, pleasantly spacious,with neutral and turquoise decor a well thought out bathroom, with nicely curved, decent storage shelves and proper shower cubicle. As it was lunchtime, we decided against totally casual dining, but settled for the O'Sheehans pub, choosing salads and traditional fish and chips. There is a limited, available 24 hours , pub menu, served by cheerful staff. We went out into the January sunshine to explore this large resort ship, finding her a twin of sister Breakaway apart from a few minor decor changes. The enormous top deck has wonderful activity facilities, for adults, teens and smaller children. There's a huge aqua park , climbing wall, rope walks suspended high over the deck, huge water slides and several pools, some especially for toddlers and young children. A few brave souls were enjoying the outdoor pool, pleasantly warm, but cold to get out of!, A fun pirate mini golf is on one side, and enormous sports courts to keep the more active happy. A jogging track winds it's way past the rows of sun chairs, and one deck down, at the stern is a huge, adult only SpiceH2O, with outdoor cinema screen, hot tubs and rows of loungers, with cocktail bar tucked in one corner. We explored the amazing Mandara spa, with its state of the art beauty rooms, gorgeous relaxation areas, range of pools and hot tubs and an enthusiastic team of trained therapists and beauticians. We took the opportunity to take a look at some of the other cabin choices on offer, from the gorgeous Haven suites, each with lovely decor, gorgeous bathroom with ocean facing tub and access to the Haven sunbathing and relaxing areas, the lovely corner suites, with living and dining area, second bedroom for other family members and a beautiful bathroom, with both ocean view tub and amazing multi jet shower in separate cubicle. Naturally the toilet is in its own screened cubicle. We managed to take a look at the tiny , nicely planned Studio cabins, designed for single travellers, and with a central Studio lounge for guests to socialize. The main entertainment decks and dining are on lower decks, centred round the huge atrium with its cascading chandelier. There's a huge theatre, showing the Broadway show Legally Blonde , the magical Illusionarium, which will offer dine and show evenings, delightful bars, several club venues and a large , rather confusing casino. Sandwiched between is the inevitable art gallery. To one side of the atrium is a terrific IceBar, offering a chilly experience, whilst wearing insulated capes and frozen glasses of vodka, and vodka based cocktails, served in ice glasses. Getaway has a total of 26 choices for dining, 3 main dining rooms, one that will host dance shows, several variations on steak restaurants, several with an oriental menu , and Ocean Blu, speciality seafood restaurant with its ancillary Raw Bar. There is a roomy Italian restaurant La Cucina, and a French cafe Le Bistro. We later chose the former, preferring Italian menus, but were disappointed by the food, over salted and heavy. Many of the restaurants have a charming outdoor eating area along the delightful Waterfront, sure to be the place of choice once Getaway arrives into its home port of Miami. Dinner over , found the Grammy club, with displays of pop memorabilia, the venue for Grammy winning performers, but settled on the popular Headliners. This club is home to the Howl at the Moon duelling piano act, with talented pianists playing audience requests with verve and enthusiasm. Other nightspots are dotted round the ship, and became busy as the night wore on, as did the casino. The theatre show was excellent, with talented young singers and dancers interpreting the delightful film and subsequent Broadway show, getting huge applause and many laughs at the comedy moments from the enthusiastic audience. The only thing missing was Buster the dog! We thought the theatre lacked side aisles, and anyone with mobility problems would find it quite a challenge as there are no hand rails on the sides After our one night in our quiet comfortable cabin, we enjoyed breakfast in the busy ocean cafe, but thought tables very close together. There were plenty of breakfast choices, including eggs cooked to order,   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We enjoyed a small taster on an inaugural 1 night cruise to nowhere. Our cabin was a family inside which was adequate for 2, but I struggle to see how 4 can fit in. The storage was somewhat lacking, hanging space was fine, but not many ... Read More
We enjoyed a small taster on an inaugural 1 night cruise to nowhere. Our cabin was a family inside which was adequate for 2, but I struggle to see how 4 can fit in. The storage was somewhat lacking, hanging space was fine, but not many shelves for clothes and other belongings. The cabin felt cosy and the beds were very comfy. The bathroom is surprisingly spacious with plentiful storage. The decor is tasteful dark wood veneer throughout. The shower was powerful and a ladies leg shaving bar was a nice touch. The Getaway is beautiful ship inside and out, and is decorated in a contemporary modern style, with lots of white, taupe and brown. Extensive use of led lights is made throughout and the neutral decor is accented with bright colours (azul blue, cerise pink). This is the Miami theme shining through. E.g. stairwells were accented with bright pink and there were images of south beach and other Miami inspired imagery. A cute touch is the fish on the carpet which swim 'forward'. The outside deck areas are superb, with lots of interesting features including the waterfront which provides outdoor seating for chargeable eating and drinking venues. There are no non-smoking sections on the waterfront. I imagine this area will be over-running on a Caribbean sailing. The ropes course is vast and instead of bright colours like on breakaway, it is themed in a pirate ship style with mock wood which is much classier. It's a stunning feature which is interesting to watch from below. There's a small crazy golf course below. Our favourite bars were Mixx martini cocktail bar and the mojito bar. You can get a martini flight with six half measure martinis for $15 from the Mojito bar (Cosmo, le fizz, aviation, appletini, blue lagoon and coconut cocktails included on a glass tray). They also had a mojito flight available. One thing I did notice was the lack of drinks menus on board. The main list was a 'navigate to your drink menu' with a very limited selection of cocktail options. For example cosmos were not listed. I don't drink cocktails often so it would have been helpful to have the classics listed somewhere. Come knowing what you want. The bars themselves were well stocked with lots of brands and flavours of vodka etc. The food was good overall. Of course this is subjective, but the negatives were that some food was served cold/ lukewarm or not very nice. The breakfast eggs, bacon, sausages were awful, but eggs Benedict and omelettes were delicious. Salmon on bagel was excellent but French toast was far from good. Pancakes were much better with delicious maple bananas. Everyone agreed the coffee was really awful and tea was Liptons which doesn't taste liked proper tea to a Brit. The buffet is well laid out and the decor is reminiscent of the Ikea cafe. There is some outdoor seating. We ate lunch and dinner in taste and savour. The decor and ambience was very sophisticated and elegant. We enjoyed both experiences greatly. Dishes were hit and miss. The salmon tartare was too salty to finish. Crab salad and calamari delicious. Rack of lamb not of the highest quality, but was tasty nevertheless but the mint jelly was so bright in colour it could be luminous after dark! Sirloin steak was very tasty as was the excellent salmon dish for dinner. Caesar salad with chicken was also a hit with us. Pasta was often served to those in our party cold, but quickly replaced. Deserts were disappointing, crumble was too sweet and grand marnier cream pudding was not so good. Cheese biscuits and fruit was lovely and portions were large. Deserts were far too sweet for our tastes. Bread was so notice we asked for seconds. Entertainment options were numerous on board. Howl at the moon was very popular and fun. Legally Blonde was unexpectedantly excellent, not usually the sort of production we are drawn to, but the execution was excellent and it was 1.5 hour of pure entertainment. Sets, costumes, singing, choreography were all 5 star. The theatre is comfortable but there are no little tables for drinks, don't order martinis. They won't fit in glass holders in the seats. The ice bar is an experience, but a novelty and basically a rip off. It is like being in the fruit fridge room at Costco, but with the addition of 2 bright coloured vodka drinks. There is one 'throne' made of ice and a bar made of ice and plastic....and that's about it. We did get some good photos which make it look better than it was in reality! The tropicana room is beautiful, it has an old skool Miami posh hotel vibe, with wooden dance floor and live band. We didn't eat there because we could not get a table. O'Sheehans is huge and wings were as tasty as we were led to believe. The place is open 24/7. Flamingo grill is on deck 16, is open to the elements. Fitness facilities are excellent especially the weight room which had a single dumbbell weighing in at 75lbs. The spa is is spartan and very white; large floor to ceiling windows with fabulous views. The swimming areas were generous and inviting, although 4000 passengers will surely fight over them. Could have added another pool really. The 6 waterslides looked amazingly fun, the water was warm but we didn't have time to try them. Duty free was not available on our cruise to nowhere. The casino is mid ship and open plan, there are lots of machines and a lack of roulette tables. It is a shame non-gamblers have to walk through the casino to get to other parts of deck 7. Smoking here is controversial. You can smell in on deck 6 below, but not too bad. The staff were excellent, they provided very enthusiastic and proactive service, although the bar service was painfully slow. Overall we loved the ship. The only criticisms was the lack of artwork and the decor is in places a little plasticky and does not scream luxury. Perhaps this is due to the Miami theme? We were expecting a little more of a nod to the Art Deco era of Miami on this cruise liner, rather than a modern contemporary vibe. The layout is easy to navigate and interactive screens throughout the ship help you on your way. This ship will be in its element when based in Miami. The picturesque outdoor decks and outside drinking and dining options will make this ship stand out in the Miami market.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was a last minute booking two weeks ago but we are so glad we did. We got to Southampton at 10.45 am but security didn't happen until after 11.30am. Boarding was onto deck 5 which isn't spectacular but once you go up a deck ... Read More
This was a last minute booking two weeks ago but we are so glad we did. We got to Southampton at 10.45 am but security didn't happen until after 11.30am. Boarding was onto deck 5 which isn't spectacular but once you go up a deck the ambiance changes. We chose to go up to the Garden buffet for lunch and had a very nice soup, salad (and pudding). The staff were very helpful and in plentiful supply. We then set off to find our cabin which was by far the best we have had as I will explain below. We had a drink in O'Sheenan's bar but my wife was not impressed with her Irish Coffee as it was made with squirty cream and not proper cream which was available elsewhere. We toured the ship from top to bottom and we both had a taster message to music which was very nice. The gym equipment is brilliant with all the latest machines. We eventually chose Savor for dinner at approx 7.30pm but this turned out to be a drawn out affair lasting over 2 hours apparently as the same kitchen supplies both Savor and Tropicana (main dining room) so we had quite a wait for starters of Chicken Mulligatawny Soup and Shrimp with ginger but well worth the wait. Our main course we both had the Striploin steak which was succulent and plentiful. I had Mint and Strawberry profiteroles and my wife had the cheese selection, again very delicious. We then moved onto the casino before the late showing of Legally Blond. Very good cast but not quite London or Broadway standard. I guess trying to fit a show onto a small stage has its drawbacks. My wife felt the Theatre was 'tacky' with noen striplights but 10/10 for effort. Back to the casino and the smokey atmosphere. Why they can't ban smoking full stop to he outside I do not know. We sat near to Bliss which was going full blast and quite full. A few idiots had a few too many but security were present and not over fussy. Breakfast was back in the Garden buffet and minor point, no English bacon but there again its going Stateside. As we only took a carry on we disembarked very quickly at 9.00am but on the way off, a few people were annoyed at being disembarked for 24 hours to let the TA's on, surely NCL could have let them stay pre TA crossing. All told a very nice ship and if it sailed from the UK we go on her again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
I visited Getaway, at Southampton, in January 2014 and stayed on-board for two nights. This brand new ship had come straight from the shipyard, via Rotterdam. She was berthed at Southampton’s ‘City Cruise Terminal’ before she crossed ... Read More
I visited Getaway, at Southampton, in January 2014 and stayed on-board for two nights. This brand new ship had come straight from the shipyard, via Rotterdam. She was berthed at Southampton’s ‘City Cruise Terminal’ before she crossed the pond to her home port of Miami. Getaway is the sister ship of Breakaway (both the ‘Breakaway’ class) which entered service in April 2013. It is impossible to fully experience all of the 20+ dining options, bars and entertainment options of this big ship within a few days. This review will just feature some high-lights and my conclusions Getaway The first thing that you notice when arriving at the cruise terminal apart from Getaway’s size (big) is her colourful Hull Art. It was created by popular Miami modern artist and muralist David “LEBO” Le Batard. As the ship will home-port in Miami, much of the ships décor has a ‘Miami’ theme. Getaway is an almost identical design to Breakaway, although some of the public spaces have been re-named/re-themed. ’Freestyle’ has determined her design and she is packed with dining areas and bars. These often have an open-plan design, with some of the bars, and dining areas seamlessly blending into each other, sometimes without walls. It is quite an assault on the senses. What you do not get on NCL ships is any big ‘wow’ spaces such as tall Atriums, ‘Royal Promenades’, Parks or many double height rooms. Getaway has 14 passenger decks numbered from 5-18. Deck’s 6, 7 and the rear half of deck 8 accommodate most of the public spaces. The ship only has two stair towers/elevator banks, which is not ideal for such a big, long ship. However there are some stairs between decks 6, 7, and 8 amidships, at ‘678 Ocean Place’. This is a sort of mini-atrium with giant LED Chandelier. The elevators are large and efficient. Décor: NCL have now dropped the prime colours and embraced a more classy ‘Cappuccino lounge’ style. Internally Breakaway has lots of tasteful brown wood (effect) and beige décor, often creating an understated look. In fact, some public spaces on-board Breakaway could easily be on-board a Celebrity or Cunard ship. There have been comments that Getaway is a little more subtle in terms of internal colours than Breakaway. Entertainment I saw ‘Legally Blonde’ in the main theatre, which is Getaway’s signature show. It was a full production (1.5 hours) and features some excellent singers and dancers. It is definitely quite a few notches above some cruise ships almost amateur ‘Red Coat’ style entertainment. Getaway’s illusionariun (forward deck 6) is a re-branded space replacing Breakaway’s Spiegel Tent, which resembled a big-top style circus tent. The illusionarium is a relatively intimate venue, with a circular stage and domed ceiling, hosting a magic show. The nice thing is that it is close-up magic in the round, with no dark back-stage area for the magicians to hide things. For a surcharge you get a set meal (surf & turn) and the show. The show was very good and featured a compare, a narrative and maybe five (?) magic acts. Very clever moving graphics were projected onto the domed ceiling, although this was done a few times too often. To be honest I could have done without the narrative and extensive dialogue, but this will probably be edited in the future to make the show tighter. Some passengers felt the meal was mediocre, but I spent most of my time concentrating on the magic and not really noticing what I was eating too much. Conclusion Getaway is going to be a massive ‘hit’. She makes ‘regular’ ships look boring. NCL are now providing direct competition for Royal Caribbean’s newer ships. It’s not just media hype, Getaway’s design really does take NCL’s ‘freestyle’ concept to the next level. Getaway is built for ‘fun’. She will suit those wanting a casual, but ‘busy’ cruise experience, packed with multiple dining and multiple entertainment options. Families are well catered for. She will not suit those looking for tradition, relaxation and tranquillity. NCL’s dining flexibility is second to none, compared to the other mass-market cruise ships, although their food and service can be inconsistent at times. It is worth remembering when you are comparing fares of the rival cruise lines, that NCL are market-leaders in the additional on-board surcharge. Although the many surcharges are optional, they are very tempting. However you are paying for ‘choice’. It is important to note that these big ships are designed on the premise that not everybody on-board will want to do the same thing, in the same place, at the same time. This premise largely works, but when it doesn’t, expect queues and congestion. Breakaway is definitely a ‘busy’ ship. I do wonder how the ‘Aqua-Park’ might cope on a hot sunny day at sea, and ‘The Waterfront’ and ‘H2O’ on a warm evening. Although a very simple idea, Getaway’s ‘Waterfront’ makes her much less ‘inward’ focused that some other mega-ships. After all cruising should be about connecting with the sea, at least occasionally. Malcolm Oliver  Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Our first cruises 10 years ago were with NCL,..since then we have cruised exclusively with the RCI family taking around 3 cruises a year. So when we learnt that NCL’s newest ship was doing a 1 night sailing from Southampton we leapt at ... Read More
Our first cruises 10 years ago were with NCL,..since then we have cruised exclusively with the RCI family taking around 3 cruises a year. So when we learnt that NCL’s newest ship was doing a 1 night sailing from Southampton we leapt at the chance to see how the ship compared with those of RCI. We booked via the head office – which is in the UK – unlike RCI who appear to have abandoned the UK market by outsourcing their call centre to Guatemala….. . We found them to be very efficient. Online checkin was easy, as was the facility to prebook shows. Something we have not needed to do before. The ability to prebook restaurants was not offered beforehand. First impressions – the ship is large 145,000 tonnes carrying 3969 passengers so she compares to Independence (154,000 tonnes and 3634 pax). As we have cruised several times on Indie it is natural that we made comparisons. And with this thought, the decorated hull and the obtrusive ‘stuff’ on the top of Getaway looked garish and ‘cheap’ compared to the sleek curves and subtle colours of Indie. Onboard though it was a different story – the colours and furnishings and fabrics made us feel as if we were on board a Solstice class ship. Very very classy indeed. The ship was 1 day old so she had a lovely new ship smell. Our cabin was a balcony, very well appointed with nice reflective wood, some very clever use of storage, and again the bathroom was straight out of Solstice, with a wonderful large glass shower and even the little rail so ladies can shave their legs. There were dispensers with shower gel and shampoo – far better than the all in one gunk you get on RCI. 2 European and 2 USA plugs. Hairdryer located under the dresser. But a very small balcony and a tiny table. Other clever design touches included lights in the safe, and lighted ‘make up my room’ or ‘do not disturb’ signs which is far better than tacky laminated signs. Ice was provided and we even got a towel animal! Overall Getaway wins on the cabins. We set about exploring the ship which claims to have 27 dining options and 22 bars and lounges. Most were located on 678 Ocean. A very clever concept. And we just loved the idea of “on the waterfront” where most of the specialty restaurants offered an outside eating option – this would be fabulous in the Caribbean, not so good in the English Channel in January. One of the things we dislike about Indie is the lack of connection with the sea. On the RP you could be in the middle of a shopping mall.. The range of dining was very impressive – there are even 3 different MDRs. Loved the look of Tropicana with the bandstand and dance floor – very elegant. We dined in Cagneys ($30pp cover – very good food and very similar to Chops). I had mentioned it was DH’s birthday and he was given a full sized cake, I think on RCI you get a candle stuck in your desert…! We had lunch in O’Sheehans which offered a good selection at no extra charge. However with so many restaurants on board we thought it would be easy to run up a large account whilst you sampled them all! However the prize for innovation must go to the Ice Bar! $20pp included 2 drinks. Thick lined ponchos and gloves were essential (provided). Drinks prices onboard were $5.25 for a Corona; $9 for a glass of Proscecco; $29 for a bottle of Rose or Ravenswood Zinfandel (which I think is cheaper than RCI). Entertainment – we remember the shows on NCL being very good indeed, and they still are. We went to the 7:30p performance of Legally Blonde – excellent with a very good vocal cast. Unlike Saturday Night Fever on Liberty which was so poor we walked out after 10 minutes. The theatre was very small – just on one level which surprised us. There was a variety of live music around the ship, but not so loud that it was intrusive. We enjoyed the duelling pianos in Headliners. So Getaway wins on entertainment too. There is not a main atrium as such, rather 2 smaller ones that link 678 Ocean. By the coffee shop there was a large screen but this showed the view from the bridge as you sailed away. A nice idea. Interactive boards guide you round the ship and show restaurant availability in 30 minute windows. Spice H2O at the aft of the ship was a great space although we were slightly confused as to who could go there or to Vibe Beach club and we were conscious of the many ‘pay to enter’ areas. There also was just one very small swimming pool for 3939 guests and I could find no complimentary sauna or steam rooms. The ‘stuff’ on top consisted of a large climbing frame and brightly coloured waterslides. There was also a rock climbing wall, and bowling in O’Sheehans. For the children there was SpongeBob SquarePants….he just waved and was not nearly as friendly as Shrek or Puss in Boots! NCL claim that there are fireworks on every sailing……we had no fireworks. Indie wins on outside space and pool areas So you can probably gather we were very impressed indeed. Unfortunately the Getaway is now bound for a life in Florida, and the ships in Europe are either the horrid looking Epic or one of the older ships, so I’m not sure if we will sail with NCL in the near future. But if we were in Florida and Getaway and Indie offered the same itinerary I do honestly think we would chose Getaway. Sorry RCI. In summary; It would have to be a port intensive cruise as NCL wins hands down for evening dining choices and entertainment; but looses out on balcony size and swimming pool size! However, our next RCI cruise is on Oasis. It will be interesting to see how she compares.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
The Norwegian Getaway is going to be based year-round in Miami sailing around the Caribbean. This is my Norwegian Getaway review with observations, advice and tips based on sailing on the inaugural sailings out of Southampton before the ... Read More
The Norwegian Getaway is going to be based year-round in Miami sailing around the Caribbean. This is my Norwegian Getaway review with observations, advice and tips based on sailing on the inaugural sailings out of Southampton before the ship moved to her new home. Style and Decor I really like the look and feel of the ship interior. One of the things that always surprises me about Norwegian Cruise Line is its style. In my mind I think of Norwegian as being a little bit brash but whenever I come on board the newer ships like Norwegian Epic and now the Norwegian Getaway I enjoy the decor and style throughout the ship. It is not overly loud and has a feel of sophistication. It is not a very traditional liner style design but does feel like you’re in a contemporary hotel and resort. The Getaway has Miami themes weaved throughout the ship linked to its home base. This includes some of the names of the restaurants and murals of the iconic art deco buildings on Miami beach. Deck Six, Seven and Eight hold most of the main public areas. On Deck Six is a large atrium area with the usual excursions desk, guests services and a huge video wall. Radiating from here are the many bars and restaurants. There is a central core with a resplendent chandelier. All the large Norwegian ships like the Epic, the Getaway and the Breakaway have a magnificent chandelier. It’s at the heart of the ship and it sets the tone. Radiating from here are more restaurants and bars. Freestyle Cruising Dining Choice Norwegian is known for its “freestyle cruising” which means lots of choice. On board the Norwegian Getaway you have a choice of 28 dining options, including room service. There are a couple of free dining options including the Garden Cafe buffet restaurant, Tropicana, Taste and Savor restaurants. Then you have a multitude of dining options where you pay surcharge including O’Sheehans Irish Pub, Teppanyaki, Cagney’s Steakhouse, the Italian restaurant La Cucina, the Argentinian restaurant Moderno Churrascaria, Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian, sushi, or noodles. Entertainment The other thing Norwegian really focus on is entertainment, including bringing brand name entertainment on board. For example, on the Getaway they have ‘Legally Blonde’. They also have a magic show with dinner in the Illusionarium. They have a new innovation on board in the “Grammy Experience”, where they have Grammy nominees and winners performing on various cruises. They also have the ‘Burn the Floor’ dance show with a latin twist. When you look at the daily program you have long lists of bars, restaurants and entertainment! One of the things that did catch my eye as a huge fan of water parks are the amazing water slides. They’re very advanced, including one where you stand on a pad, the floor gets pulled away from you and you zoom down doing almost and entire loop the loop. There is also a large ropes and zip line course. There is a large Kid’s and Teen Club. The Kid’s Club has a partnership with characters like Sponge Bob Squarepants and other characters from Nickelodeon. Stateroom Design I stayed in a Veranda Stateroom on Deck 11e. I really liked the cabin and feel they are much better than on the Norwegian Epic. Self Managing of Bookings All around the ship are giant over sized wall panels like large iPads. These can be used to make all your reservations for dining, shows and excursions using your cruise card. It means that it takes a lot of pressure away from the Guest Services Desk so they can spend much more time helping with more important problems than booking shows and meals. Smoking The policy follows the US approach and rules on smoking. It’s not as strict as some cruise lines as smoking is allowed in balconies. You cannot smoke in your Staterooms. There is some smoking possible out on the decks and in the casino. Busy and Large The Norwegian Getaway is a big ship and it holds over 4,000 passengers. Officially it holds 3,969 guests based on double occupancy, however on most cruises there will be many more as families and groups of people traveling will often have a third or fourth person also in the cabin. There are 1,640 crew to look after those passengers and so a pretty good crew to passengers. As it is a large and busy ship embarkation and disembarkation can be slow and you do have to line up. Budgeting and Add-on Costs Norwegian is a value line and the fares to get you on board are attractive usually. Because of the freestyle approach to cruising there is the potential to spend a lot more money on board and you do need to bear in mind to budget properly. If you want to take full advantage of everything that it has to offer you need to make sure that you are budgeting for dining surcharges, gratuities which are added on around $12 per person per day, excursions, drinks and gambling and gaming. Dress Code Norwegian does embrace a more relaxed approach to the dress code. It is very different to more traditional cruise lines like Cunard, Holland America, and P & O which have formal nights, semi-formal nights and smart casual nights. The Norwegian Getaway dress code dress code is “resort casual”, and shorts are allowed in most dining venues, except for the Tropicana Room which is the main dining room, Ocean Blue and Le Bistro after five o’clock. In the evenings you will find a mixture of dress codes around the ship. Even if you do wear a suit you don’t feel out of place, but overall it is a much more relax and informal. Best Suited For: - Lovers of Resorts: If you are the sort of person who wants a huge amount of choice and like going to resorts, then the Norwegian Breakaway is for you. - Families: The ship, facilities and choice means the ship is great for families as there will always be things that everyone finds they like.The pricing and accommodation works well for families too. - Solo Travelers: Norwegian does embrace solo travelers with dedicated cabin area for solo travelers. It has its own lounge, meeting areas, and lots of events for solo travelers. - Premium Travelers: The other thing they have is the Haven, which is the premium ship within the ship. This has larger suites with butler service and dedicated dining, pool and spa. - Youthful Mindset:It’s a young vibrant, young minded cruise line and ship.There is a lots of things going on. The daily program is packed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a daily program on any cruise line that’s quite chock-a-block as that on Norwegian Epic or Norwegian Getaway. They’re both absolutely jam-packed. Overview The Norwegian Getaway is a modern ship. It’s large. It’s busy. There’s lots of choice. It’s for the people who want to be on the go and have lots of things to do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
We travelled up to Southampton the 14th & went to the docks for a quick look at this enormous & brightly decorated ship. She stood resplendent in the sunshine & we then stood on Town Quay to watch her sail away nicely ... Read More
We travelled up to Southampton the 14th & went to the docks for a quick look at this enormous & brightly decorated ship. She stood resplendent in the sunshine & we then stood on Town Quay to watch her sail away nicely illuminated down the Solent blasting her horn as she passed the dwarfed Red Funnel ferry!! Wednesday dawned dull & showery but, it didn’t dampen our excitement as we drove through Gate 8 at 10.30am & into the car park We walked the short distance into the terminal & went straight to a check in desk, quickly receiving our cruise cards & lanyards, through security & into the lounge. After a 20 minute wait our “colour” was called & we boarded. We headed straight to our port side mid-ship balcony cabin on deck 14 & dropped our luggage. After a quick greeting from the room steward we headed off to start exploring the ship. CABIN. The cabin was not as big as some we’d stayed in but, was adequate for 2 people. However, if the third bed & the ceiling bunk were utilised it would be somewhat cramped. The balcony was also bijou but had 2 chairs & a table. The cabin had a generous amount of storage, a large wardrobe with half shelves & half hanging. It also contained the safe with the usual code system (it was illuminated inside which is handy in the dark.). The vanity unit had the mini bar/fridge underneath plus the hairdryer (powerful!!) & 2 cupboards with shelves. There was also a cube storage stool with removable table tray top. On top the unit was a coffee/tea machine with filter coffee; tea bags etc. plus glasses, an ice bucket & the telephone. There were 4 sockets 2US & 2 Eurpoean. The television was mounted alongside the unit & was on a swivel to view from the sofa or bed. The bed was large & very comfortable with small bedside units either side. The side nearest to the balcony doors was very narrow making access to the bed difficult if you are not very mobile. The life jackets were found in a basket under the bed as mentioned on the Emergency Instructions notice on the door of the cabin. To the side of the entry door was the card slot to turn on the lights. Also two switches for “Make up the Room” or “Do not Disturb”, each lighting up a tiny light outside the cabin to give instructions to the room steward. The bathroom was spacious with the ever popular shower with doors!! Shampoo & shower gel was supplied & the water flow was excellent. The wash basin unit had plenty of storage & shelves to put all your “essentials” on & hand wash was supplied. The loo roll was also easily reached!! On returning to the cabin in the late evening we found a cute mouse peeping out from under the pillows made by the steward from a face cloth! A lovely touch & would prove popular with children. GARDEN CAFÉ. (BUFFET) This is situated at the Aft & there are serving stations in the middle with plentiful tables all around, including tables for two. There are 12 stations on each section: at lunch time these are Pizza, Asian, Soups, Grill, Carving, Sandwiches, Asst Breads, Salads, Specialities, Beverages, Sweets & Fruits & Ice Cream. Something for everyone in our opinion. The food we chose was delicious & we thoroughly recommend the gateaux! It does get busy at peak times but in good weather with the additional outside seating it shouldn’t be a problem finding a table. BISTRO . We chose to eat our evening meal in one of the Speciality dining venues & booked a table at the Bistro shortly after boarding. We had a table for two & the waiters were efficient & polite. The Maître D was subjected to a barrage of abuse by a very rude gentleman & dealt with him calmly & politely which is more than he deserved!! The meal was absolutely delicious, my husband’s steak was tender & cooked to perfection. It was hot & service throughout first class. The desserts were “to die for” & I’d recommend the Bistro to anyone fortunate enough to cruise on Getaway. MDR’s We didn’t dine in any of the 3 MDR’s but, they were nicely laid out with plenty of “proper” tables for two, (2 chairs, not a long bench seat!). They seemed to have a lovely ambience & the sample menu had a good choice of dishes. SVDKA/Inniskillin Ice Bar. We booked a visit to the Ice Bar on boarding the ship. It’s open from 5.30pm in one hour slots. We were provided with a hooded poncho, gloves & tickets for 2 drinks either alcoholic or non-alcoholic. It was -6C & the bar had ice sculptures & ice walls. If you have visited a Scandinavian Ice Bar you may be disappointed, if not it’s worth a visit for the “experience”. GETAWAY THEATRE: We booked for the 10pm performance of “Legally Blonde” online. The doors opened 30 minutes before curtain up & your cruise card gets “swiped” on the way in (be sure to have one card per person!). Seats are on a first come basis & are rather hard, hopefully they will soften up with wear! It’s a small theatre for the size of the ship. The show however, was excellent. The cast were energetic & mention has to be made to “Elle” who was on stage for most of the 90mins. The show is of the “High School Musical” style which seemed to be a shock to some passengers but, a quick check online would have provided an insight into the type of show. SHIP & OBSERVATIONS; Obviously the Getaway was clean & sparkling as any new ship would be. The external artwork is either loved or hated but, doesn’t add or distract from the enjoyment of the cruise. It’s a huge ship & the carpets in the cabin corridors have fish “swimming” towards the front to help in navigating your way around. There are lifts at the front & aft, 8 in each location, they were fast & we didn’t have to wait when using them. The Atrium is on decks 6, 7 & 8 with a beautiful centre piece of a crystal chandelier which along with the glass staircases, changes colour. Guest Services is situated on Deck 6 & they were very helpful & polite. There are 22 bars & lounges catering for all tastes from pub style to piano bars. There were many quiet seating areas dotted around the ship. A two lane bowling alley, arcade games, climbing wall, rope walkways, mini golf are among activities for teens & active adults! There are flumes, fun pools & much more to keep everyone occupied. The casino is large but, we didn’t spend time (or money) there. For the Fitness conscious there is an extensive gym area & a fabulous spa thermal suite with pool. The Photo Gallery was organised differently: on the cruise card is a location where you will find a file with corresponding number & your photos inside or you can use the cruise card to swipe to view. On a longer cruise 10 photos can be put on a USB stick for $19.95, but have to be completed in ONE transaction. DISEMBARKATION On this cruise as we were all carrying our own luggage it was not representative of a longer cruise. It did seem to go smoothly though. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed this taster cruise, NCL may not be to everyone’s taste but, for us we loved every minute, we just wished we could have stayed on longer.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
I'd love to sit here and say I'm a seasoned traveler, but I won't. I'd love to say doing a transatlantic was old hat, but I can't. What I CAN say is what a remarkable ship Getaway is and how her services, food, ... Read More
I'd love to sit here and say I'm a seasoned traveler, but I won't. I'd love to say doing a transatlantic was old hat, but I can't. What I CAN say is what a remarkable ship Getaway is and how her services, food, entertainment and crew far exceeded all my expectations! From the moment we boarded the ship one thing was perfectly clear, we were about to be treated to some heavy-duty pampering! Each department exceeded the last in its customer service and their obvious desire to keep the passenger happy. The ship was spotless, the service right-on and the crew just couldn't seem to do enough for us. I can honestly say that my husband and I never enjoyed any vacation nearly as much as we did this one. We tried things we never tried before, be it different foods or off-the-beaten-path experiences. Heck, the Ice Bar was a no brainer when you consider my hot flashes! LOL There wasn't one meal or show that was anything short of stellar. The beauty of the ship and the ease in finding my way around her was remarkably easy -- I do have a negative sense of direction, just so you know -- but by day two I was easily finding my way without the map. And when I did find myself turned around, the crew wouldn't just point me in the right direction, they took the time to actually walk me to where I needed to be. How's that for incredible service? I was happy to fill out many, many "Vacation Hero" cards, because there wasn't one crew member who didn't far exceed my expectations. Some even going so far as to seek me out to say hello when they saw me anywhere around the ship! Their warmth made me feel like a Rock Star! And the meals and the shows?! Each meal was a delight and the shows were awe-inspiring. Each show was better than the last and by day 8 I was trying to figure a way to stow-away! Kidding. Well, sorta kidding... As I said, all the shows were wonderful, but if I had to say there was one that you just MUST see, it's Illusionarium. Yes, it is a specialty show and there is a fee, but when you take into account the meal itself, even without the show, it was well worth every cent. However, when you add in the show as well, it's almost like you're being paid to enjoy. It is truly not to be missed! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was a fantastic trip across the Atlantic. Only 1300 passengers and 1600 crew so we were very well looked after. Our balcony cabin was perfect although we did think the balcony was not as big as some we have had. Food was all excellent ... Read More
This was a fantastic trip across the Atlantic. Only 1300 passengers and 1600 crew so we were very well looked after. Our balcony cabin was perfect although we did think the balcony was not as big as some we have had. Food was all excellent and the Tropicana Main dining room provided some music and dancing if you dined between 6 and 7pm. All shows were excellent quality especially The Illusionarium which had an additional charge. The magic and illusions were great and a meal was included consisting of the most tender steak ever. I would imagine the water slides would be great fun but did not try due to weather conditions in the Atlantic in January. Disembarkation was easy as we walked off carrying our own luggage Altogether an excellent cruise for us but do wonder what the queues for ding ,shows etc will be like when the ship has its full capacity of over 4000 people. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
This review is somewhat limited in its application because it is about a transatlantic crossing, which is not what the Getaway is designed to be doing. It is also limited because there were approximately 1300 guests in a ship built to ... Read More
This review is somewhat limited in its application because it is about a transatlantic crossing, which is not what the Getaway is designed to be doing. It is also limited because there were approximately 1300 guests in a ship built to carry close to 4,000. There were more crew members than guests on this rare transatlantic crossing. That said, the experience was most pleasurable. The crew is happy; in talking with various members of the crew, they indicated to a person that they would not want to work for any other cruise line. NCL provides them with private or semi-private quarters on the newer ships; provides benefits (such as transportation expenses when there contracts are over); and generally follows a philosophy that if the crew is happy, the customers will be happy. And it works. The food on Getaway was excellent, and in our opinion was right up there with the quality food we've had on Cunard cruises. The ship is designed for Caribbean cruises, so that there are many opportunities to dine outside on the decks next to the upscale restaurants (but not for us on the North Atlantic in January). Whether you choose to use one of the many upscale restaurants, or eat in one of the four dining rooms available at no extra charge, you will not be disappointed in the quality or service. We had a couple of minor complaints; but they were either recognized and corrected before we could register our complaint, or were remedied immediately upon our submitting them to the staff. Best of all was the entertainment, especially the music in the smaller venues about the ship. Since we are jazz fans, we were treated to the fabulous work of Nestor Torres (a magnificent jazz/latin flute player) and the astonishingly able Grammy Experience band that backed him up. (The band only assembled together a couple of weeks prior to our crossing, but you would think that they had played together and with Torres for years.) We also enjoyed the "Howling at the Moon" dueling pianos, who took requests from the floor and seemed to know every rock 'n' roll song ever issued from memory. We opted for one of the smaller outside rooms on Deck 5. Our only negative criticism was that in an economy room such as that one there is not an abundance of space for clothing storage. But again, because this is "free style" cruising in the Caribbean, most passengers will likely have fewer and less bulky clothing than those of us crossing the Atlantic in January needed. Since it was a crossing, there were no ports of call. Therefore we have no experience with the operation of getting off and on the ship at ports, other than the original and final ports. Both of those were very easy (again with a light passenger load) and "free style" cruising allows you to carry your own bags off and avoid the luggage search upon final disembarkation before customs. Based on our limited experience, NCL should see us as repeat customers to see how well they do with a full ship. Reviews of the Breakaway (an almost identical sister ship operating for about 1 year) would address that concern.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
A friend and I flew to London to see the west end premiere of a Sondheim show and decided to return to America via ship. This brand new cruise liner was about to make it's maiden voyage, taking a leisurely 10 days to transit from ... Read More
A friend and I flew to London to see the west end premiere of a Sondheim show and decided to return to America via ship. This brand new cruise liner was about to make it's maiden voyage, taking a leisurely 10 days to transit from Southampton to New York. The route took us south across the Atlantic to the Sargasso Sea roughly even with the Florida/Georgia border before cutting up and passing wast of Bermuda into New York. The ship will be stationed in the Caribbean and is designed for that sort of tropical climate with vast outdoor areas that include swimming pools, exercise areas, climbing wall and an oddly intimidating rope course that takes up a significant amount of high deck space. Since the passenger count was approximately 30% of what the ship can accommodate, there were no lines or crowds for boarding or buffets. Our cabin was a rear facing stateroom designed for disabled access. It was roomy but oddly poorly decorated. The bathroom had almost non-existent counter space but a roomy shower. This stateroom featured a large veranda, fitted with two smalls chairs and a table. When we arrived, it had an overflowing ashtray on it which inferred that the crew had used this space for a break area. Really unappealing. The beds are exceedingly comfortable, but only one chair was provided so two people could not sit and enjoy the view at the same time. I hope that they take another look at this particular stateroom, as it was an upgrade but seemed almost like crew quarters. The ship's pluses: 1. Great dining options, all of which we tried during the cruise. 2. Great food almost uniformly. 3. English speaking staff were delightful. 4. Lovely spa (treatment area) 5. Excellent room service with limited options. 6. Good entertainment in lounges, particularly. 7. Wonderful flat screen TV with terrific movies and show options for an additional fee like in most hotels. The ship's negatives (at least on this voyage): 1. Non-English speaking crew were a true challenge. I recommend putting them through a conversational course in English upon hiring. Very frustrating. 2. Entertainment was somewhat limited and under par. the big showroom musical was only presented ONE evening during the whole cruise. The comedy headliner was dreadful. The Ilusionarium is fun if a bit kitschy. I wasn't aware it was a dinner theater, so they should make that clearer to passengers. The singers should have been used more as they were great. I suggest using the Headliner or Grammy club for more vocal/cabaret acts during the cruise. 3. The safety orientation in the main dining room was completely inadequate and unprofessional. The crew seemed completely unprepared an a young Hispanic gentleman who gave the presentation was condescending and rude to us. They need to get this act together post haste. Important! 4. Although the spa treatment rooms were great, the spa itself is inadequate for a ship this size. It was unappealing, with dirty towels and an odor of mustiness when I visited. I just found it a bit too "Japanese communal" in atmosphere and hope that they rethink it for the next update. Overall impression was that of a ship getting it's sea legs on many levels, but with a potential for great things. It is definitely designed for warm-weather vacation cruising and should be a hit in the Florida/Caribbean market. Since I tend to favor a more sophisticated atmosphere, however, I doubt that I'd be taking this ship again. I think NCL has a winner on their hands with the Getaway, however, and wish them much success. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
NCL offered a free 2 night cruise aboard the Getaway for travel industry people & press out of NYC on January 27. The newest member of NCL's fleet had just made it's maiden transatlantic journey and was in NYC for the Super ... Read More
NCL offered a free 2 night cruise aboard the Getaway for travel industry people & press out of NYC on January 27. The newest member of NCL's fleet had just made it's maiden transatlantic journey and was in NYC for the Super Bowl as it was chartered as the Bud Light Hotel. My wife and I are both in our 30's ad have no kids. We are very laid back and down to earth...not uppity at all. There were Pros & Cons about the Getaway & the cruise in general. Pros: Embarkation & Disembarkation - Fastest I've ever experienced on any cruise I've ever been on. Dining - Tons of choices and mostly good food (see MDRs & buffet in Cons section). All of the specialty restaurants were free on this cruise, but even if they weren't, they are well worth the extra charge. Moderno, Le Bistro & Cagney's are our favorites! The new O'Sheehans Pub is a much improved version of NCL's 24 hour diner on their other ships. Chicken pot pie was AWESOME and I'm not even a big fan of it usually. Carlo's Bakery is a nice touch...best cannoli I've ever had & I'm from NYC & Buddy "Cake Boss" himself was on the cruise! Entertainment - The Illusionarium was a great and fun magic show & I would recommend it. Just note that this is a dinner show, so don't eat before you go! Headliners comedy club was a fun (or should I say funny) hour spent. We didn't get to see the main show Leagally Blonde. Public Spaces - Very big and nice ship, but no real WOW factor. The casino is huge and has every game you could want on a cruise ship. I didn't have any luck, but my wife won $200. The ropes course is cool & the overall decor on the ship is very nice & modern. Service - Everyone we encountered were friendly, helpful and seemed like they knew what they were doing. Cons: Dining - The MDR's food is good, but not as hot as it should be and the portions are tiny. The buffet has the same things over and over everyday and gets boring. The food is usually cold and not the best quality. Cabin - We had a mid-ship balcony & it was hands down the smallest cabin I've ever had on a ship before. The balcony was rediculously small...have to put the chairs on an angle just so your knees aren't hitting the glass. The shower was like being in a coffin & the only outlets were by the phone...not near the bed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
We arrived at Southampton early and boarded the ship in record time. So we were able to go to the buffet on deck 15 for lunch. A fantastic selection of food way way better than on our previous cruise on MSC Divina. Small amounts of ... Read More
We arrived at Southampton early and boarded the ship in record time. So we were able to go to the buffet on deck 15 for lunch. A fantastic selection of food way way better than on our previous cruise on MSC Divina. Small amounts of freshly prepared food were available and were continuously replaced as required. There were lots of staff ready to help carry food to tables and to clear tables and take orders for drinks. The was also a new innovation we had not seen before. A help yourself wine station with a choice of four reds and four whites. You could choose from a taste, half a glass or whole glass. Simply slide your room key in the side of the machine and then select which win you required and which size of glass. The cheapest a South American Cabernet Sauvignon for less than $2 for a taste and about $5 for a full glass. We had taken a coupe of bottle of red wine aboard on embarkation which could be consumed in out stateroom at no charge. NCL discourages bringing spirits on board however. We went to the first show in the theatre which is quite small only has about 800 seats so shows are repeated during the cruise to enable the 4000+ guests to get to see the show at some time during the cruise. On our inaugural cruise from Southampton to New York there were different shows nearly every night including a first class dance group doing classical ballroom and Latin stile dancing of the highest order. There was also a very funny classical musical quartet called Classical Graffiti which was very entertaining and a shortened version if the Broadway Musical Legally Blonde. The Casino was the best we have encountered at Sea with some of the latest Vegas style slots as well as old favourites. The only negative for non smokers like us was the fact that the Casino was one of the few places inside the ship where smokers were allowed to smoke. There were sections of the Casino which were smoke free but smoke was very pervasive. The balcony cabin was comfortable if a little narrow with a dressing table settee queen bed and easy chair. The bathroom was very well designed with a roomy glass shower. The main problem with the cabin was the noise from creaking which we assumed was something to do with it being a new ship and the fact that we had fairly rough seas crossing from Southampton traveling towards Bermuda before changing course for the last three days in to New York. We heard the same complaint from other passengers and one couple had changed their cabin three times. We did not complain as we did not feel the problem was bad enough and put it down to the weather and the settling down or bedding down of the ship. There were plenty of different eating venues. The buffet was outstanding and I personally had a ChateauBriand steak as good as any I have enjoyed at sea or on land for that matter, in the Savor one of the free dining venues in board. In the main free restaurant, the Tropicana, they had a show each night on the small dance floor in the centre of the restaurant as an added attraction for diners. There are a number of premium restaurants to choose from for an extra charge of between $15 to $35 per person. We tried the Brazillian Moderno Churascaria where you get selected cuts of pork, lamb and beef as much as you can eat plus a choice of soups and salads at a buffet for $20 per person. Very good. There was a firework display one night at sea and a neon party. All in all a very good cruise. Top class food and excellent and friendly service.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
This past Friday, February 7th, I had the opportunity to attend the official christening ceremonies and then sail on an all-too-short overnight voyage from Miami on the spectacular Norwegian Getaway. Not counting some time for sleeping ... Read More
This past Friday, February 7th, I had the opportunity to attend the official christening ceremonies and then sail on an all-too-short overnight voyage from Miami on the spectacular Norwegian Getaway. Not counting some time for sleeping (yes, we actually did get some sleep), we spent about 12 hours on this amazing new ship and ran ourselves ragged checking out virtually every public area, entertainment venue, traditional and specialty restaurants along with dozens of staterooms and suites. Sister-ship to the New York based Breakaway, the Getaway was designed with a true Miami feel from the Mojito Bar and Churrascaria to the spectacular hull artwork which was designed by David “Lebo” LeBatard, a Cuban-American artist who is based in South Florida. To add even more of a genuine south Florida atmosphere to the occasion the beautiful Miami Dolphins cheerleaders did the honors as the official godmothers, the onboard ceremonies were hosted by actress, dancer and television personality Brooke Burke Charvet, we were treated to an exciting live musical performance by Grammy award-winning rapper Pitbull, and shortly after we sailed from Miami at 9 P.M. we viewed a great fireworks show. Obviously, you need much more time on the Getaway to see and experience everything that Norwegian has included on this exciting and extremely attractive ship. In total, however, the ship has something to offer for the young and young-at-heart, and there are an unbelievable number of options and things to do during your days onboard. The ship features 27 dining options, 22 bars and lounges, 5 amazing waterslides, and a 3-level sports complex that includes a ropes course, rock climbing wall, miniature golf and the opportunity to be harnessed and, if you dare, walk on a narrow plank that extends about eight feet from the side of the ship and leaves you standing over 160 feet above the ocean. The Getaway also features a huge spa and fitness center, the exciting new Illusionarium supper club, a sprawling casino, a terrific kid’s pool, great facilities and programs for children, and lots of other live music and entertainment venues. Accommodations range from the cute, 100 square foot Studios which are designed for solo travelers and which feature their own private lounge and mingling area, all the way up to the spacious suites, exclusive restaurant, private pool area and total pampering of the exclusive Haven. The décor of the standard cabins and larger suites is light and modern and the bathrooms are spacious with great lighting, plenty of shelf space and excellent showers. Hanging space for garments, along with additional cabinets and shelves could certainly have been more generous even though casual attire is the order of the day and you won’t be bringing along any formal attire. The ship has an unique deck plan in that you will actually pass through two atriums as you negotiate Decks 6, 7, and 8 from one end of the ship to the other. Restaurants, bars, music and comedy clubs and shops can thus be found along the entire length of the ship, and the casino is spread out with small alcoves and secluded gambling areas rather than being a completely separate venue as is found on most cruise ships this size. Deck 8 features the one-of-a-kind Waterfront where, for the first time ever on the Promenade deck of any ship, the restaurants and bars have outdoor seating areas so that you can enjoy your meal, listen to live music, or just stop to have a drink or a gelato while sitting or strolling in the fresh air and enjoying a spectacular view of the sea. Since the Getaway will be sailing to the warm and sunny Caribbean year-round from Miami this area will, undoubtedly, be one of the most popular spots on the entire ship. We had lunch at the buffet which is easy to navigate as the same culinary and beverage areas are located along both sides of the ship and then loop around towards the rear of the deck. There is plenty of seating inside and out and you will find what I would describe as fairly typical cruise ship offerings. For dinner, rather than dine at one of the specialty restaurants we decided to have our meal at the absolutely gorgeous Tropicana room which is located aft on Deck 7. This venue, which is the largest of three main dining rooms, was inspired by the glitz and glamour of Miami Beach nightlife in the 1940’s and 1950’s and it is a visually stunning, nostalgic throwback to the supper clubs of yesterday. The spacious two-story room has a bandstand at one end and a large parquet dancing floor in the middle. The tables are located on both sides of the dance floor and extend farther back towards both sides of the ship and they also extend towards the entrance to the room. Decorated with dark wood chairs and molding, with flickering table lamps and a low-lit atmosphere, it is a classy and truly gorgeous dining venue. Our meal was excellent from start to finish as we listened to an exceptional three-piece Latin band whose lead singer was outstanding and whose repertoire included all music genres. Dozens of couples hit the dance floor in between the courses of their meal, and overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening in a setting that would be absolutely amazing for a large onboard wedding reception. Another unique venue is the Illusionarium where you can dine and have an up-close view of a fabulous show that features live performances by illusionists, magicians and mentalists. Other popular spots are the Grammy Experience, a music lounge where performers will be current and former Grammy winners and nominees. Our cruise featured jazz flautist Nestor Torres and many more top-quality professional acts are scheduled in the coming months. For more entertainment and great laughs the Howling at the Moon dueling piano bar was packed to the walls as were the Headliners Comedy Club and the performance of the Burn the Floor ballroom and Latin dance troupe. Unquestionably, the highlight of the evening was attending a performance of the Broadway musical comedy Legally Blonde in the main theatre. Running an hour and a half with no intermission, the singing, acting, and dancing was superb and it is definitely a not-to-be-missed event. The Getaway is colorful, creatively designed ship and the décor of each of the many venues and themed restaurants perfectly matches the type of live entertainment and cuisine that is being served. Overall, the ship truly represents Norwegian’s commitment to combining humor and whimsy with traditional and ultra-modern settings. In total, their superb efforts have resulted in a really cool ship where you should have lots of fun and a terrific time and I cannot wait to spend a full week on the Getaway in the near future. I believe that if you have sailed on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis or Allure, or any of their other large ships, or on a Carnival or Princess cruise, that the Getaway will be a great choice for a future voyage. The Getaway (as well as her sister-ship, the Breakaway), offers an incredible variety of live music and entertainment and lots of dining options including the unique venues described above. To summarize, if you love fun, activity, laughing, music, comedy, dancing, a terrific variety of really good food, excellent service and lots and lots and lots of options either one of these ships would be a great choice for your next Caribbean cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Travelled with an 8 year old, 2 and a half year old and 13 month old. My husband and I could not tell who was having the best time. The kids loved watching the whales and dolphins from our balcony cabin which was my favorite part of the ... Read More
Travelled with an 8 year old, 2 and a half year old and 13 month old. My husband and I could not tell who was having the best time. The kids loved watching the whales and dolphins from our balcony cabin which was my favorite part of the cruise. Definitely don't go below a category other than a balcony cabin room. I will never cruise inside or window again. The kids loved the Illusionarium show, especially the 8 and 2 yr old who thought the actresses were princesses. The 8 year old still talks about the show. It was fantastic. The surf and turf dinner was good and so was the trio dessert. The 13 month old got ansy after a little while and we went walking around the museum which was interesting. The shows were very professional. The Garden atrium buffet on deck 15 was extensive and delicious. So many choices for breakfast and lunch. The buffet is endless but don't miss the last few dishes. They are the most exotic. One day there were two very good indian dishes. The cuban style lunch on deck 16 was my favorite. Dinner at the Tropicana had an excellent salmon tartare and the entrees were very good. My husband ordered O'Sheehans for a midnight snack and brought it back to the room to eat on our private balcony. He thought the food was good. Room service mac and cheese was good and I liked the ramen noodles in the chicken soup. Also ordered sandwiches and chicken nuggets which were better than average. The kids enjoyed the game room and even O'Sheehan's mini bowling alley. The mini golf was cute with skulls and skeletons and a boat to climb. Did not do the obstacle course above with the plank and zip-line due to a 2 hour wait but it looked like a lot of fun. My son did the water slides which he couldn't get enough of. The spongebob splash pools are smaller than they look on the website's photos but were cute. We enjoyed our walks around the outside decks, passing the restaurants and bars which all had their outdoor seating. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful with the children, even entertaining my very fussy one year old while we ate at the Tropicana. We did not have time to try any of the specialty restaurants. The ship is impressive. Nice atrium. We liked to hang out on the deck with the band area where characters such as Spongebob greet and dance with the passengers. There, the piano player, Bill, would play late into the night. One night he picked up my one year old, put him on his lap and gave him his first piano lesson! Everyone we encountered was super friendly, all smiles. The library was nice with books and games to borrow for all ages. We attended the art auction which show cased some of amazing works of art. The kids enjoyed the splash academy. You must be 3 and older to be left without a parent. There are of course computers with 25 cents a minute internet service after a small fee. The attendant was extremely helpful. When we sailed, there were only 300 passengers aboard. We know this will never happen again and it made for a very intimate experience on a fantastic ship!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Magnificent ship. Decorated beautifully. Almost 3000 passengers but never really felt like it. The ship is so big, so many things to do, that people are spread out. On sailing days - we had 3 - the sun deck/pool is crowded. But we never ... Read More
Magnificent ship. Decorated beautifully. Almost 3000 passengers but never really felt like it. The ship is so big, so many things to do, that people are spread out. On sailing days - we had 3 - the sun deck/pool is crowded. But we never had a problem at the restaurants or dining rooms (there are 3 and they serve the same menu but me he's change each night). Cagney's Steakhouse was great and worth the money. The Illusionarium was great, but eat beforehand or plan on it after. The pub O'Sheehan's is 24 hours and the food is great. The Garden Buffet food is good/acceptable yet repetitious. Burn The Floor dance show is sexy, hot, totally a must see. Didn't go see Legally Blond so I can't comment on that production. Warning: they make you reserve seats for everything even if it is free admission. Kinda annoying. You have to check the daily planner for what is going on that night and go reserve your tickets. Warning: poster night was the night of the first full day. We had no idea, thought it would be later in the week, and we were disappointed. It had a small mention in the planner that we missed. We had 2 adjoining studio suites. The closet system is great except you have to move the cube seat to open closet door to access the safe. The toilets are loud and you can hear them in your direct vicinity. Bed is very comfy. I wish the shower was a little bigger but it is doable for a week. The staff is great. The drinks were great. Lots of waiters serving drinks. The jogging track is in a bad place where people are walking to get good and relaxing on sun loungers. The casino is big and they have convenient hot/cold food in a corner for east access. On St. Maarten go to both Sunset Beach to see the planes come in overhead and go to Orient Beach. You can do both on your own with a reliable cab driver. The ship will tell you that you can't do it on your own. We did. We took a water taxi across to the shopping. Then hooked up with a cab driver for the day. He took us to Sunset Beach and waited for 3 hours. Then gave us a your of the island while taking us to Orient Beach. He left us at a beach cafe and picked us up on time at end of the day. We paid him for entire day at the end and is was only 50$ pp. the taxi service on St. Thomas was unorganized. I suggest you take a ship your. Bahamas in February is a waste because it gets too cloudy to enjoy water activities. I suggest not prepaying and making dinner reservations at any restaurants until you check out the menus. Reason being getting the credits posted to my shipboard account was a pain and I had to keep checking on it. Cagney's would be the exception here. Go there. Go there twice. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
My lady Linda and I stayed in Miami Friday Night (Feb 7th) at the La Quinta. Not the greatest location next to the airport, but with free shuttle from the air port to the hotel, and free shuttle from the hotel to the cruse port, I could ... Read More
My lady Linda and I stayed in Miami Friday Night (Feb 7th) at the La Quinta. Not the greatest location next to the airport, but with free shuttle from the air port to the hotel, and free shuttle from the hotel to the cruse port, I could live with it. Saturday morning we embarked (got there at 10, was on by 11 or 11:30) and explored the ship while waiting for the room to be ready. There are 5 free dining areas: The 3 main dining areas, Taste and Savor on deck 6, and the Tropicana room on deck 7. There is the buffet on deck 15, called the Garden Cafe. On deck 16 there is the Flamingo Grill. We had lunch at the Flamingo Grill. It seemed to be heavy on the fried stuff (Plaintains, etc), but then so is the local cuban restaurant in my neighborhood here in Denver. The Tres Leches cake at the Flamingo Grill was AWESOME! Next came the sail away party in the Spice H2O area. There is no pool in the area like on the Epic, but there are a couple of Hot Tubs (adult only area during the day) and a nice area with waterfalls to cool off in. I had a great time dancing to the sail away party music (note: I'm a dancing fool so most of my activities on board revolved around that. The cruise director on the Epic called me Mr. Dancing Machine and it stuck all through the Epic cruise). There was also dancing in the Bliss lounge like the other Norwegian ships. There were Samba dance classes, salsa, swing, tango and Merange. It was nice that in the Bliss lounge they played music to practice the dance to for the next hour after the class, i.e., the Salsa Power Hour, the Swing Hour, etc, etc. The first night we ate in the Tropicana room, and there was a band there, the Latin Express. There is a largish dance floor in the middle of the room, though sometimes 1\2 of it is taken up with tables. They played some nice slow Latin music suitable for dining to, and I enjoyed a dance or two with Linda. The dinner show later in the cruise by the cast of Burn the floor was awesome! The food in the main dining room was always good, sometimes great. Linda said several times that "I never had an average meal, they were always great". Salmon, steak, swordfish one night, Chateau Briand (best meal of the trip), they were all good. They also had a daily special that changed daily. Since we had on board credit, we ate in La Cucina one night. It was good, being better than some meals we had in the main dining area, but not as good as some of the best meals we had in the main dining area. If you don't have on board credit to burn, think twice about this one. We did not go to any other speciality restaurants. The buffet was good, though occasionally the food could have been hotter. When they were slammed, the food flew out, so it was always hot when they were very busy. Sometimes the coffee that came out of the dispenser was weak, but often it was really stout. I like stout over weak, but sometimes it was even a bit much for me.. The coffee in the dining areas was always just right. The cabin was an inside cabin, with lots of nooks and crannies for storage (we did not even use them all!). The shower was roomy, and the bathroom was not cramped. We saw a lot of Julie, the cruise director, at many events, and the overhead announcements as well. The first night party at Spice H2O was Norwegian night out. There was a 70s might dance party there, and 80s party (too much 80s rock for my taste and not enough 80s dance music), and the White Hot party is now the glow party. I like all the dancing and dance classes, and the fact they have two areas to dance in. If I don't like the music in one, I just go to the other! For entertainment, we saw Burn the Floor, which had great dancing. Highly recommend it. We also saw Legally Blonde, the musical, and it was good as well. We did walk off, carry your own bags, and we were off early and easily. All in all, and fabulous cruise. The crew bent over backward to address any issues, even the most minor ones! I think Norwegian has the best break point between price and service, which is why I keep coming back to them. I like all the dancing and dance classes, and the fact they have two areas to dance in. If I don't like one, I just go to the other!   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Sailed the Getaway's sister ship in October; this was my second cruise with NCL. After having sailed with several other cruise lines, I now consider myself an NCL fan. I have officially come to love the concept of "free ... Read More
Sailed the Getaway's sister ship in October; this was my second cruise with NCL. After having sailed with several other cruise lines, I now consider myself an NCL fan. I have officially come to love the concept of "free style" cruising. NCL's diverse offering in terms of entertainment (Broadway quality shows, great music) and an abundance of activities (ropes course, water slides, mini-golf) is right up our family's alley. The food choices are brilliant: semi casual if you wish (Tropicana Room), easy buffet style for a quick snack (Flamingo Grill), slightly more planned formal at a nominal fee (our favorites are Teppanyaki & Moderno), and all at a time of your choice, that seamlessly works with whatever entertainment selection you make for the day/evening. The ship is well laid out with plenty of opportunities for 'quiet time' or to "get social". The staff is eager to please and on this sailing there were a lot of NCL HQ staff to ensure any potential concerns were addressed right away. This ship is a winner and I can't wait to sail on her again! Entertainment We loved Burn the Floor (incredible dancers), Legally Blonde (fabulous performers, great choreography, lighting & costumes), Howl at the Moon (seriously talented), the Illusionarium (unexpectedly impressive) and the Wine Lovers Musical (refreshing). Word of caution: the Welcome On Board Show unfortunately does not really represent the actual quality of any of the shows. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Cruiser Type - Young and Avid (at least yearly)  Room Type - Spa Balcony  Inaugural cruise of the Getaway First lets start with the good. The food in the main dining rooms was better than normal (it seems over the years to get good food ... Read More
Cruiser Type - Young and Avid (at least yearly)  Room Type - Spa Balcony  Inaugural cruise of the Getaway First lets start with the good. The food in the main dining rooms was better than normal (it seems over the years to get good food you had to pay extra and that is what we normally do). Ship was easy to get around and the slides were amazing. The wine lunch musical was so much fun but watch out because if you do both the magic and the wine show they serve the same food.... and it is not very good. Fireworks were fun and we loved the bowling although we never got through a full game without having to call the tech guy. The Bad: We LOVE going on inaugural cruises as the lines usually do a lot of extra stuff to celebrate the new ship. (ex all kind of momento's in your room, towels with the inaugural date, parties, lots of free drinks being passed out all the time, even the casino's have done stuff like putting 100's in the quarter machines and such) This ship did NOTHING and I mean NOTHING. I don't even think it was mentioned one time that this was the ships first sailing. On top of that all but one (3 of the 4) shows were canceled or time times were changed. Even the ones we had to pay extra for. It was such a mess that two of them were scheduled the same night. We assumed they knew what they were doing, but found our self still in the dinner show when the other show started and it was the last night so we missed it all together. The room was nice, but the balcony was the smallest we have ever had. The ship only had maybe 1 1/2 pools which were so crowded it was hard to even get in them. The slides were nice, but took up a ton of room and then of course the haven had its own pool which would usually be the adult only pool on other ships. We purchase preferred seeing for the magic show... well apparently all the seats are considered preferred seating and we were sat almost as far back as you could get, even after arriving 45 minutes before the show. We did the Ocean Blue celebrity chef restaurant as well. This was a joke... nothing special at all and they don't even have a see in kitchen to see if the food is even being prepared fresh. I was very disappointed by this. All in all I guess I have come accustomed to the larger ships with more to do. The theater on the ship is tinny so no wonder you have to book everything and there is no nightly shows. No chocolate midnight buffet, just not much of anything.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Another NCL cruise, another review. My wife and I usually take one cruise a year. Since stepping onto the deck of the Majesty in 2008, we have only sailed with Norwegian. This is cruise number seven, and the first time we have sailed on ... Read More
Another NCL cruise, another review. My wife and I usually take one cruise a year. Since stepping onto the deck of the Majesty in 2008, we have only sailed with Norwegian. This is cruise number seven, and the first time we have sailed on the inaugural itinerary week. We sailed the second week on Breakaway since it coincided with our wedding anniversary. Before NCL, we did sail with three other lines which puts us up to cruise number 12 overall. Just like with Breakaway, check in was quick, and boarding appeared to be controlled chaos. We were in boarding group 11, and I could see the staff's frustration as groups eight through eleven were all called at the same time. Even with this glut of passengers, we still got on board very quickly, and slightly ahead of the official noon boarding time. Cabins were ready by 1:00 pm. We chose a mid-ship balcony cabin for this cruise. The cabin is spacious, and there is plenty of storage. I still wonder why the only electrical outlet is on the vanity table. My wife has sleep apnea, and I have to pack a six foot extension to connect her CPAP. I also pack a multi-outlet surge protector to charge our growing list of electronic devices. The balcony is small, but it's not the nightmare that some would have you believe. I am actually sitting on the balcony now,early in the morning watching the lights of St Thomas in the distance as I write this part of the review. One important note about the balcony. When you open the door it turns off the air conditioning. My wife, still in bed, is getting warmer by the minute as I enjoy the early morning breeze. We enjoy a good meal. This does not mean gluttonous amounts of un-ending food, even though that is an option. NCL is famous, or infamous for their up charges. However, it seems that most other lines have embraced the practice too. I do not have a problem with the extra fee as long as I feel the return is worth it. We always book Monderno, and Le Bistro. The food is delicious, the service is fantastic, and the fee is reasonable. I cannot say the same about Ocean Blue. It may be great seafood, but I will never know because $50 per person is too much. We opted for the raw bar instead. The muscles that everyone raves about in Ocean Blue are available a la carte as well as some very tasty oysters on the half shell. Chef Zakarian was on board with us, giving cooking demos, and participating in a meet and greet. He was in ocean Blue the night we were at the raw bar, and we did receive two complimentary appetizers based on his demo. We also find ourselves eating more complimentary meals in the buffet than in the main dining rooms. The food is abundant, and delicious, and since I am my own server, I get great service. We always look forward to lobster night, and NCL moved this exclusively to the buffet. I am still trying to decide if this is good or bad. On the one hand, we had our fill of lobster tail, and it was delicious. However, I had a view of a very loud, drunk man, eating a plate full of lobster tails with his hands. It was disgusting. In fact, we did not eat at a main dining room until the last evening. It was Valentine’s day, and we chose to go to Tropicana. Some how we got a table by the large rear windows. There was a full moon out, and NCL also shines a spotlight on the wake. My strip steak was tender and tasty, and my wife had a very nice prime rib. We also shared a serving of the garlic shrimp. The service was very good, and it made for a very nice evening. On Breakaway, we had sushi on the Waterfront. On Getaway, Wasabi's outside space has been given to Ocean Blue. This was a little disappointing, but will still enjoyed our meal, and of course, some delicious sake. After returning, I checked the deck plans for Breakaway, and it seems they have also changed all Waterfront space to Ocean Blue. We took the Orient Beach excursion in St Maarten, and had a great time. You are packed in tightly on the beach, but it wasn’t too bad. It’s an extra $3.00 for an umbrella, which to me seems like a bargain. You get a free rum pouch upon arrival which you can spice up with a shot of rum. It was not a sickly sweet as some free pouches I have had in the past. Lunch was included, and we both opted for the fish. The sauce was good, but the fish was a little dry. This beach is topless, so be aware if that type of thing bothers you. The clothing optional beach is a short walk south if you want to see old fat naked people. We did the Atlantis Aquaventure excursion in Bahamas. It is expensive, and getting there is an ordeal, but we had a great time once we arrived. It was almost two hours from leaving the ship to going down the first slide. The actual drive is only about 20 minutes, but it took an hour to get to the bus from the ship. The Atlantis is so big it t also took time getting to the right spot, and finding the lockers, then finding chairs. All that aside, I rode almost every slide, and did the rapid river twice. Be sure to bring a credit card since there is no cash accepted. We opted to stay on board at St Thomas, and make it a spa day. We had a wonderful couples massage, and I had a great shave and scalp massage. I spent the whole morning in the spa, mostly alone, enjoying all the different treatment facilities. We enjoyed our week on Getaway, but it seems odd that there was almost no recognition for the inaugural itinerary cruise. It's a beautiful ship, and you should not hesitate to book a vacation. I leave you with my usual reminders. Relax, you are on vacation. Do not get upset or obsess over small details. Remember what your mother taught you: Always say please and thank you. Ask, don't demand. Remember to use your inside voice, especially while dining. I do not want to know, and do not care what you did that day, or what you are doing later. Treat the staff with respect. They work harder than you, and for less money. Read Less
Norwegian Getaway Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 N/A

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