October 2014 - Norwegian Getaway to Caribbean - Eastern
My husband and I went on the Getaway on the Oct 11, 2014 sailing, heading to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and the Bahamas out of Miami. Because I would be celebrating my 60th birthday at sea, we booked Suite 14872 (Aft-facing Penthouse Suite) and enjoyed all of the wonderful Haven privileges. The balcony was HUGE, the service from the butler, the cabin steward, and the Haven concierge staff made everything extra, extra special. I say it was "not what we had planned" because on the 13th while at sea, we had to be diverted from the planned itinerary and ended up going to Jamaica and Cozumel to avoid Hurricane Gonzalo which directly hit St. Maarten AND St. Thomas while we were on the cruise. Things absolutely could not have been handled any better by every crew member on the ship. We had picked this cruise because of the ship itself, the itinerary was secondary; going to Falmouth in Jamaica allowed us to go on a zipline adventure (which we would not have done on the original itinerary), and when we docked in Cozumel we took a ferry to the mainland and toured the Mayan ruins in Tulum - something my husband and I had always wanted to see! So, it really did work out okay and the weather was perfect every day on the cruise once we headed west away from the hurricane. As far as the ship and its amenities - fabulous in every way! We did not purchase the specialty dining package, but did go to Moderno on my birthday (we love Brazilian steakhouses), and went to Cagney's TWICE -- it was THAT good. We thoroughly enjoyed "Illusionarium" and were surprised at how great the dinner was, especially since it was served "banquet-style". VERY good food and a great show. Breakfast in the buffet was made extra special because of Isaac. If you've been on this cruise, you know what I'm talking about; if you haven't yet been, I won't spoil it for you... but make sure you get to experience Isaac in the buffet at breakfast at least once. He's hilarious! There are so many things to do on the Getaway, so many that we didn't get to do a few things we had planned to do. Although it is a big ship with a lot of guests, we never felt crowded. We were on Deck 14, so we used the stairs as much as possible (it was our version of working out) so never experienced the crowding in the elevators others have talked about. I did the ropes course and walked out on the plank; we both did the water slides -- what a great experience! This was just a wonderful cruise and we would go again on Norwegian without hesitation. We were so pleased with how smoothly everything was handled when we had to change the itinerary -- it was hard to imagine this was not the planned itinerary for this particular cruise! We loved, loved, loved the stateroom we had, and so enjoyed all of the Haven privileges. Haven passengers had a separate lounge at the Port of Miami, and we were escorted on the ship ahead of the other passengers. The pools in the Haven area on Deck 16 are not huge, but there was more than enough room to lounge "up top". It was much quieter than around the main pool area, and the Haven lounge was right there for snacks, lunch, drinks, etc. I'm going to be keeping my eyes open for information on the new ships Norwegian will be bringing into its fleet the next couple years so we can start planning our next wonderful cruise! The one thing that we found to be a negative: In O'Sheehan's they did not have Guinness beer on tap! We were very surprised, and disappointed that it was available only in a can... We only did that once - never again. It's an Irish pub -- there should be an abundance of dark Irish beers on tap!!! Because of other reviews we had read prior to our cruise, we expected to be aware of cigarette smells in and around the casino area, but thankfully that was not the case. Personally, I'd like to see smoking totally banned on cruise ships, but I don't think that will ever happen. Overall, this was by far the best cruise we've experienced. Five stars to the Norwegian Getaway and crew!!