January 2015 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Getaway
Our family has taken several cruises, from Royal Caribbean to Holland America, to NCL. We have been on older ships, new ships, and mid-size ships. Our cruises have been 7-day and 12-day cruises, most often in the Caribbean. We chose this particular ship because of the venue it offered, and the price was comfortable for us. What we found was that this new ship is definitely structured to entertain the young adult cruisers with children. There were plenty of activities (rock climbing, "zip" lining and water slides) with a "club" for tweens to enjoy. Bikini Bottom pool area was fun to watch. There were plenty of places to enjoy company, but few to enjoy a quiet moment. This ship holds almost 4,000 passengers, with about 1,700 service staff. Our cruise on Holland America hosted 2,000 passengers with a staff of 1,800. There was a huge, huge difference in the personal service we received - from the long lines wherever we went, to the very satellite-deficient Internet Café. The room stewards were always there, but never seen. They were pleasant, warm and welcoming. The Garden Café (buffet) was much better than most of the restaurants onboard ... although there again the lines were staggering. We never had a problem finding a place to sit, however - there are plenty of seats for relaxing and dining if you can manage walking distances. I probably would not go on another cruise on a ship this large again...but for younger cruisers it would be awesome! The shore excursions were basic, the onboard activities were all-consuming and touched on a wide range of interests. The play "Legally Blonde" was fun, the casino constantly hopping with activity, and plenty of restrooms were scattered throughout the ship. One thing I did miss was having a priest on board. My first NCL cruise had a priest who performed a marriage renewal ceremony, which made that cruise very special for us. Also missing was a daily "good morning" from the bridge. That was nice. We had information available on our television in the suite, but that personal touch with an update on location and weather made it nicer. We had two announcements on the eight days onboard.