July 2014 - Norwegian Getaway to Caribbean - Eastern
We just returned from a 7 day cruise on NCL's Getaway. We had a balcony cabin, which was nice and fairly roomy for a room on a ship. The food, overall, was good, but certainly not great. Even when paying for specialty dining, the food is not outstanding. In fact, some of specialty restaurant dishes are served in the "complimentary" restaurants. And why is this referred to as complimentary in all the daily activity sheets. Didn't we pay for the food as part of the thousands of dollars we spent for an "all inclusive" vacation? Consequently, what was hugely disappointing about the entire experience were the constant charges. We paid a great deal of money for an all inclusive trip, but little beside the general dining is included. You are constantly charged for fairly simple things like arcade games, snacks, and various other dining experiences. We had sushi one night, but the tempura shrimp was pre-fried so the roll was soggy. This is one example of the little things that negatively impacted the experience. The staff were overall friendly, but many just lacked character and there was little charm to the staff in general. The worst part of the experience was the adult pool. First, it is much too small for a ship serving thousands of people. There is no where to sit if you don't come at 7am to save a seat, which you are told not to do but everybody does anyway. Then there are places, like the haven and Vibe, that you can't enter without paying extra for, but we paid a great deal to go on this cruise to begin with. The pool experience was also hampered by a partially enclosed smoking area dead center on the deck parallel to the pool. So, if you sat on either side of that area, you were smelling smoke, especially if the wind picked up a bit. The overall design of the ship is poor. For example, there is a stairwell where everyone takes photos, but this is a main path of movement for the passengers to travel up and down (even the comediens were making fun of this stupid design and utilization of the stairs).
The onboard entertainment ranged from great to mediocre. The comediens were all hysterical and friendly. Burn the Floor was phenomenal. We didn't see the Broadway show, but were told it was good. If you like onboard shopping, and consider that entertainment, then you will love this ship. They have turned shopping into a show and constantly remind you of "deals" that are centered on "giveaways". The rope course and slides are awesome for adults and kids. I strongly recommend that you experience this.
Overall, while we enjoyed ourselves, this was not an economical trip, and being charged for every little thing, and constantly being reminded to buy, buy, buy for seven straight days is mentally and financially exhausting.