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Background: We are married, ages 50 and 58, and experienced NCL cruisers (28 and 18 NCL cruises respectively) Getting there: This cruise was booked as a celebration of my parents 60th wedding anniversary. Due to some last minute medical issues, air travel for my parents was not allowed, so we decided to drive ourselves (and my parents) from North Carolina to Miami, Florida. We booked a couple of rooms at the Red Roof Inn +Plus at Miami International because they have a good Park-and-Cruise option there. We left Statesville, NC at about 4 AM on the day before the cruise, and arrived at the hotel at approximately 5 PM with a few quick stops along the way. There were absolutely zero traffic issues. The hotel was adequate, although very very close to the airport so planes coming and going can be an issue for some people. The parking situation, however, is a little tricky. The lot fills up very quickly, and if you arrive late to the hotel you may find yourself waiting for people to arrive and leave so you can claim a coveted spot behind the locked gate. We were fortunate and got one of the last ones available on Friday evening. The hotel does offer a shuttle service for free to the pier, but the catch is it leaves at 1 PM ... so if you are like us and want to get on the ship early, arrange for your own cab. We arrived at the pier a little before 11 and were checked in and on board by 11:45 or so. No line at the platinum and gold latitudes line. We had brought six bottles of wine and paid the corkage fee on the pier as expected. Embarkation day: Once on board, we headed down one deck to visit Savor for lunch. It was actually quite a fine lunch, one of the better ones we've ever had in the main dining rooms. The fried calamari starter in savor for lunch was out of this world. By the time we finished our lunch, cabins were ready and we were able to deposit our carry on materials and continue to explore this new ship. Not having been on the newest and largest NCL ships before, it was a new experience for us. First thing we noted was the Miami styling, and the relatively muted tones of the decor as compared with the pre-Breakaway classes of NCL ships. The decor is much more understated and in some cases darker toned than all previous NCL ships we have been on. The layout of the ship is interesting and different from previous classes as well. On the Breakaway class ships there are only two banks of elevators... forward and aft. There are no mid ship elevators, and no glass elevator in atrium etc... Considering that people pay more for a mid-ship balcony, you may actually end up with a significant amount of walking to and from your cabin to an elevator bank depending on where your cabin is located. Our cabin was located directly near the AFT bank of elevators, so we ended up using those elevators more frequently. A few notes on the cabin: although I'm sure the balcony cabin square footage is similar to other ships in the fleet, this cabin (13274) seemed a bit smaller to us. Could be that we were mistaken since our last cruise was in a suite, but it just seemed a bit tight. The balcony itself IS definitely smaller than we have ever experienced, but we were still able to enjoy it. We found it interesting that the casino was placed on deck 7 above the atrium and beneath deck 8 containing popular bars and venues and shopping. Passing through the casino as much as we did coming from the AFT elevators you could detect the typical casino smoky odor. It also seemed to permeate deck 8 as well as the smoke would rise when it was busy. O'Sheehan's is located just past the casino on deck 7 but there did not seem to be any smoke odor from the casino there. Passing through, we noticed that there was a Prime Rib special for the first night in O'Sheehan's so we decided to try that out. Turns out it was a great decision. The Prime Rib served was at least a 14 - 16 oz cut and it was prepared to exactly the correct desired temperature. I think it was perhaps the best prime rib I have had on a ship (excluding specialty restaurants). Past experiences in complimentary dining venues with prime rib have been a little less than exciting, but this was delicious and very enjoyable in the O'Sheehan's setting with absolutely no wait for a table and quick service. The rest of the day was spent exploring, some casino time, and music in the atrium with the band Groove International from Jamaica. They were gracious enough to allow me to sing a couple of songs with them the first night and I had a fun time. First Day At Sea: After a good night's sleep, we headed to O'Sheehans to try breakfast there. We enjoyed it very much. The menu has many options including a design your own omelet, so we quickly chose to have our breakfasts there each day as the service was quick, and efficiient. The manager there, Via, was quite good and took good care of us. The weather was a bit choppy and rainy off and on, so for the daytime we managed to find other inside activities. Attended the cruise critic meeting and met a nice couple from Ireland. Various officers circulated nicely and asked us if any of us were celebrating, and of course we told them about my parents 60th, and our other friends who were celebrating their honeymoon. This would turn out to be very advantageous as we later found out. For the evening, after a fine dinner at Taste, we attended our first show "Burn The Floor" in the theater. A word about the theater: I like the reservation system, it is very easy. The seats in the theater however, do not lend themselves to comfort. In fact, after about 20 minutes you will find yourself fidgeting to try to stay comfortable. Given that you are suggested to arrive 45 minutes early to have a good choice for seats, you can get uncomfortable fast. "Burn The Floor" was a great show, highly recommended! Second Day At Sea: Slightly better day weather wise, so had some pool time in the afternoon... Didn't seem difficult to find a place near the adult only pool to sit. No obvious sign of chair hogging. Pleasant day capped with a nice dinner for all seven of us in our traveling group at Tropicana.... This is a great venue with good music and a big dance floor. And the food was great as well! I have begun to notice a gradual improvement in the food quality in the complimentary dining facilities across NCL's ships. St. Maarten - third day - After a nice breakfast, we eventually made our way down to deck 4 after the rush to go ashore. We engaged a taxi to Dawn Beach, and spent a relaxing day there. Buckets of beer for only $6 - including 7 beers! Very nice day, and we managed to skirt the rain shower that deluged downtown. After a few hours on the beach it was back to port and back on the ship for a later lunch and hang out poolside again. It rained a little on and off while we were in the pool, but no worries as we were already wet. Had a bit of difficulty with our platinum benefits. As you may know as platinum latitudes level you get a nice perk of a free dinner for two for Le Bistro. Problem with the Getaway is that Le Bistro is "booked" all week due to the large numbers of passengers. Not usually an issue, because if you ask the concierge (another platinum benefit) you can usually get in with no problem. So, I looked at my package from the latitudes consultant and sure enough, there was the phone number for the concierge... only it was a non-working number! OK, down to the front desk I go and ask them for the concierge number. Maybe it's policy, but apparently this is top secret information and they can't give it to me directly. OK... so maintaining a level of composure, I go back to the room and call the assistant hotel director Errol (great guy!) and he says that he will have the concierge call me. Adrian does call 2 minutes later, and just like that, we have our reservations for Thursday night. The Latitudes consultant really needs to fix this on his paperwork he sends to the cabins. St. Thomas - fourth day - Docked at Havensight, and hit downtown Charlotte Amalie at about 9 AM or so. Shopped for about 90 minutes and engaged our friend from last year's Gem trip, Raymond the firefighter , to give us a tour of the island again with our first timer friends. If you ever want to take an island tour of St. Thomas - go look for Raymond downtown at the flea market where all the taxis park. You can't miss his taxi as it is a bright fire engine red with fire fighting graphics on the back and sides and "Raymond" on the cab roof. he is the best tour guide. Not only does he drive you to all the sights he explains everything in great detail, so much so that other drivers' passengers are often crowding around him also because their drivers don't tell them anything! He is a straight up guy and will treat you like family. Back on the ship, we get a little more pool time before going to dinner and then to "Legally Blonde". "Legally Blonde" is a great show as well. However, it is hard to endure those seats for nearly two hours without being able to stand and stretch. I was honestly hoping for an intermission half way through, but there wasn't one. Afterwards, more casino, more Bong the bartender at the Mojito bar, and more music in Grammy Experience and atrium. If you have some time to spend, make sure you go out of your way to meet Bong at the Mojito bar... he will have you in stitches! Great guy and very entertaining. Nassau - fifth day - After breakfast, went out to do a little shopping and some more Senor Frogs (hilarious) and walk down to the beach. Great fun! - Went back aboard and had a bite for lunch, and then got ready for Le Bistro. Had a great meal at Le Bistro and then had a nice time again in the evening. Day six - At Sea - Good pool day today, still no sign of chair hogging really. There were a few kids that had to be shown where the kids pool and hot tubs were, but the staff was right on top of that situation. Packed our belongings and put the checked bags outside our room. Proceeded to have a nice dinner, and then off to party away the evneing, first with some music at the atrium, the THIS OR THAT game show, and then the "Bandaoke" with Groove International. Had a great time! Day 7 - disembarkation - Easy as can be. Was off and in a cab back to the truck by 8:30 AM. Overall impressions: The crew does a fantastic job to take care of you. We had a wonderful time with them. The shopping areas on deck 8 leave a lot to be desired. They really have a minimal selection of NCL logo wear... especially for men's t shirts or polo shirts. Food was excellent in all venues we tried. My final impression is I like the Getaway and would definitely sail her again, but I'm not 100 percent sold on the Breakaway class ships yet. I think I still prefer the Jewel Class...  

Norwegian Getaway to the Eastern Caribbean; 11/29/2014 sailing

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by cliffd64

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
Background: We are married, ages 50 and 58, and experienced NCL cruisers (28 and 18 NCL cruises respectively)
Getting there: This cruise was booked as a celebration of my parents 60th wedding anniversary. Due to some last minute medical issues, air travel for my parents was not allowed, so we decided to drive ourselves (and my parents) from North Carolina to Miami, Florida. We booked a couple of rooms at the Red Roof Inn +Plus at Miami International because they have a good Park-and-Cruise option there. We left Statesville, NC at about 4 AM on the day before the cruise, and arrived at the hotel at approximately 5 PM with a few quick stops along the way. There were absolutely zero traffic issues. The hotel was adequate, although very very close to the airport so planes coming and going can be an issue for some people. The parking situation, however, is a little tricky. The lot fills up very quickly, and if you arrive late to the hotel you may find yourself waiting for people to arrive and leave so you can claim a coveted spot behind the locked gate. We were fortunate and got one of the last ones available on Friday evening. The hotel does offer a shuttle service for free to the pier, but the catch is it leaves at 1 PM ... so if you are like us and want to get on the ship early, arrange for your own cab.
We arrived at the pier a little before 11 and were checked in and on board by 11:45 or so. No line at the platinum and gold latitudes line. We had brought six bottles of wine and paid the corkage fee on the pier as expected.
Embarkation day: Once on board, we headed down one deck to visit Savor for lunch. It was actually quite a fine lunch, one of the better ones we've ever had in the main dining rooms. The fried calamari starter in savor for lunch was out of this world. By the time we finished our lunch, cabins were ready and we were able to deposit our carry on materials and continue to explore this new ship. Not having been on the newest and largest NCL ships before, it was a new experience for us. First thing we noted was the Miami styling, and the relatively muted tones of the decor as compared with the pre-Breakaway classes of NCL ships. The decor is much more understated and in some cases darker toned than all previous NCL ships we have been on. The layout of the ship is interesting and different from previous classes as well. On the Breakaway class ships there are only two banks of elevators... forward and aft. There are no mid ship elevators, and no glass elevator in atrium etc... Considering that people pay more for a mid-ship balcony, you may actually end up with a significant amount of walking to and from your cabin to an elevator bank depending on where your cabin is located. Our cabin was located directly near the AFT bank of elevators, so we ended up using those elevators more frequently.
A few notes on the cabin: although I'm sure the balcony cabin square footage is similar to other ships in the fleet, this cabin (13274) seemed a bit smaller to us. Could be that we were mistaken since our last cruise was in a suite, but it just seemed a bit tight. The balcony itself IS definitely smaller than we have ever experienced, but we were still able to enjoy it. We found it interesting that the casino was placed on deck 7 above the atrium and beneath deck 8 containing popular bars and venues and shopping. Passing through the casino as much as we did coming from the AFT elevators you could detect the typical casino smoky odor. It also seemed to permeate deck 8 as well as the smoke would rise when it was busy. O'Sheehan's is located just past the casino on deck 7 but there did not seem to be any smoke odor from the casino there. Passing through, we noticed that there was a Prime Rib special for the first night in O'Sheehan's so we decided to try that out. Turns out it was a great decision. The Prime Rib served was at least a 14 - 16 oz cut and it was prepared to exactly the correct desired temperature. I think it was perhaps the best prime rib I have had on a ship (excluding specialty restaurants). Past experiences in complimentary dining venues with prime rib have been a little less than exciting, but this was delicious and very enjoyable in the O'Sheehan's setting with absolutely no wait for a table and quick service. The rest of the day was spent exploring, some casino time, and music in the atrium with the band Groove International from Jamaica. They were gracious enough to allow me to sing a couple of songs with them the first night and I had a fun time.
First Day At Sea: After a good night's sleep, we headed to O'Sheehans to try breakfast there. We enjoyed it very much. The menu has many options including a design your own omelet, so we quickly chose to have our breakfasts there each day as the service was quick, and efficiient. The manager there, Via, was quite good and took good care of us. The weather was a bit choppy and rainy off and on, so for the daytime we managed to find other inside activities. Attended the cruise critic meeting and met a nice couple from Ireland. Various officers circulated nicely and asked us if any of us were celebrating, and of course we told them about my parents 60th, and our other friends who were celebrating their honeymoon. This would turn out to be very advantageous as we later found out. For the evening, after a fine dinner at Taste, we attended our first show "Burn The Floor" in the theater. A word about the theater: I like the reservation system, it is very easy. The seats in the theater however, do not lend themselves to comfort. In fact, after about 20 minutes you will find yourself fidgeting to try to stay comfortable. Given that you are suggested to arrive 45 minutes early to have a good choice for seats, you can get uncomfortable fast. "Burn The Floor" was a great show, highly recommended!
Second Day At Sea: Slightly better day weather wise, so had some pool time in the afternoon... Didn't seem difficult to find a place near the adult only pool to sit. No obvious sign of chair hogging. Pleasant day capped with a nice dinner for all seven of us in our traveling group at Tropicana.... This is a great venue with good music and a big dance floor. And the food was great as well! I have begun to notice a gradual improvement in the food quality in the complimentary dining facilities across NCL's ships.
St. Maarten - third day - After a nice breakfast, we eventually made our way down to deck 4 after the rush to go ashore. We engaged a taxi to Dawn Beach, and spent a relaxing day there. Buckets of beer for only $6 - including 7 beers! Very nice day, and we managed to skirt the rain shower that deluged downtown. After a few hours on the beach it was back to port and back on the ship for a later lunch and hang out poolside again. It rained a little on and off while we were in the pool, but no worries as we were already wet. Had a bit of difficulty with our platinum benefits. As you may know as platinum latitudes level you get a nice perk of a free dinner for two for Le Bistro. Problem with the Getaway is that Le Bistro is "booked" all week due to the large numbers of passengers. Not usually an issue, because if you ask the concierge (another platinum benefit) you can usually get in with no problem. So, I looked at my package from the latitudes consultant and sure enough, there was the phone number for the concierge... only it was a non-working number! OK, down to the front desk I go and ask them for the concierge number. Maybe it's policy, but apparently this is top secret information and they can't give it to me directly. OK... so maintaining a level of composure, I go back to the room and call the assistant hotel director Errol (great guy!) and he says that he will have the concierge call me. Adrian does call 2 minutes later, and just like that, we have our reservations for Thursday night. The Latitudes consultant really needs to fix this on his paperwork he sends to the cabins.
St. Thomas - fourth day - Docked at Havensight, and hit downtown Charlotte Amalie at about 9 AM or so. Shopped for about 90 minutes and engaged our friend from last year's Gem trip, Raymond the firefighter , to give us a tour of the island again with our first timer friends. If you ever want to take an island tour of St. Thomas - go look for Raymond downtown at the flea market where all the taxis park. You can't miss his taxi as it is a bright fire engine red with fire fighting graphics on the back and sides and "Raymond" on the cab roof. he is the best tour guide. Not only does he drive you to all the sights he explains everything in great detail, so much so that other drivers' passengers are often crowding around him also because their drivers don't tell them anything! He is a straight up guy and will treat you like family. Back on the ship, we get a little more pool time before going to dinner and then to "Legally Blonde". "Legally Blonde" is a great show as well. However, it is hard to endure those seats for nearly two hours without being able to stand and stretch. I was honestly hoping for an intermission half way through, but there wasn't one. Afterwards, more casino, more Bong the bartender at the Mojito bar, and more music in Grammy Experience and atrium. If you have some time to spend, make sure you go out of your way to meet Bong at the Mojito bar... he will have you in stitches! Great guy and very entertaining.
Nassau - fifth day - After breakfast, went out to do a little shopping and some more Senor Frogs (hilarious) and walk down to the beach. Great fun! - Went back aboard and had a bite for lunch, and then got ready for Le Bistro. Had a great meal at Le Bistro and then had a nice time again in the evening.
Day six - At Sea - Good pool day today, still no sign of chair hogging really. There were a few kids that had to be shown where the kids pool and hot tubs were, but the staff was right on top of that situation. Packed our belongings and put the checked bags outside our room. Proceeded to have a nice dinner, and then off to party away the evneing, first with some music at the atrium, the THIS OR THAT game show, and then the "Bandaoke" with Groove International. Had a great time!
Day 7 - disembarkation - Easy as can be. Was off and in a cab back to the truck by 8:30 AM.
Overall impressions: The crew does a fantastic job to take care of you. We had a wonderful time with them. The shopping areas on deck 8 leave a lot to be desired. They really have a minimal selection of NCL logo wear... especially for men's t shirts or polo shirts. Food was excellent in all venues we tried.
My final impression is I like the Getaway and would definitely sail her again, but I'm not 100 percent sold on the Breakaway class ships yet. I think I still prefer the Jewel Class...
 
cliffd64’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BC 13274
Cabin seemed a little small ... Drawer space is at a premium. Layout tends to make it hard to get things in and out of closet. Balcony itself is tiny.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins