May 2015 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Getaway
Overall a very good cruise. Here are some of the positives and negatives: Embarkation: no signage as to where to go and we had to wait in the broiling sun for over 15 minutes while in line to check in. A cruise member shouted to the crowd to make sure we were in the "correct" line as they were boarding from two entrances. Luckily, we were in the right line. If we hadn't, I would have been livid after standing in line for so long. Once we got inside the terminal, a gentleman told us to go over to a table and fill out the medical survey. The table was crowded but I was able to get a form and fortunately had a pen so I didn't have to scramble for a writing instrument with everyone else. After filling out the form, we asked about priority boarding and were sent in a very long line. Evidently, everyone got priority boarding as everyone was sent to the same line. So much for the loyalty perks. We stood in line another 15 minutes until we got to an agent. We've cruise on other lines where the check in process is much quicker and much more efficient.
Crew: the entire crew was extremely friendly and always spoke to you. We had an issue in our cabin and guest services went above and beyond to make sure it was taken care of.
Food: we did not dine in any of the specialty dining areas. I'm old school and feel that your purchase price includes food and you should not have to pay extra to get "better" food. We tried all of the complimentary restaurants and the food was very good. The Tropicana has live music and it's pretty loud, so if you want to enjoy conversation, beware. We ate most breakfasts at the buffet and the food was good and a good variety of items. We ate dinner one night at the buffet and were disappointed. The food looked dried out - like it had been sitting out for a while and the selection wasn't much. Not that we use room service, but they now charge $7.95 to use it. This was a bummer. O'Sheehan's was their complimentary pub and had good food and a great atmosphere and décor. You can sit around a counter and watch the entertainment going on down on the floor below, sit at the bar, or in regular tables. The menu's not extensive but gives you the feel of a pub. They held a lot of their games and activities in this area.
Cabins: We had a balcony on the 9th deck-mid ship. There was more storage space in this cabin that on any other ship we've sailed on. The bathroom had a lot of shelving as well but I was a little concerned as the "lip" on the shelf did not extend up very high and if you hit some rough waters, I could see things falling off of these shelves.. The deck was VERY small but sufficed. The most disappointing thing was the view. The ship's WATERFRONT is located on the 8th deck and has a roof over it. This roof is directly underneath the balcony cabins - therefore, you can't see directly down to the water. This was true of probably 75 - 80% of the balcony's on the ship. The higher up you went, the less of an obstruction, but nonetheless, if you want to look directly over your balcony and see water, you won't be able to. We moved mid way through the cruise (due to a cabin issue) to a cabin on the 10th deck-forward. we didn't have the WATERFRONT roof, but we did have a deck with shuffleboard on it directly below us. Again - no view of the ocean directly below us :( In looking at the balconies overall, it would appear that the suites are the only ones that have this type of view. This ship was the first one we experienced with using your key card to activate the electricity in your room. This was great in that you always knew where your keycard was and made it easy to turn everything off when you left your cabin. They also have two buttons you can push: one for "make up the cabin" and one for "do not disturb". This was a big improvement over putting cards in your door. They also have an interactive TV (which we've used before and it's great) and it was nice to finally see it on an NCL ship.
ENTERTAINMENT: Their two most publicized shows were "Burn the Floor" and "Legally Blonde". We really enjoyed Legally Blonde but were a little disappointed in Burn the Floor. Although it was high energy, it was like watching Dancing With the Stars and after several dances, it seemed redundant. They had a magician/comedian one night and one night we went to their comedy show (it's on every night). They were both good - not great.
The itinerary takes you to Nassau. We've been there so many times that we didn't get off the ship. Instead we spent the time on some of the deck 16 and 17 activities. They have a ropes course which was a lot of fun. You can make your interaction with it as long as you want. They have 5 water slides - each with increasing degrees of difficulty. Their green and blue slide will really get your adrenaline going! They were a lot of fun. We also played miniature golf and although that's not a novel concept to ships, the course was cute and fun to play. My husband did the rock wall. You can go up one deck and get a different view of the wall, but it is a very congested area. We're not joggers, but if we were, we wouldn't have liked the jogging track. It went through a lot of high traffic areas. We tried the hot tubs one night and they were not crowded. The only negative was that the "adults only" sign was ignored and there were children in all tubs. We did try the Spice H2O area for adults one afternoon and it was very nice. The only negative was that there were no shady areas.
DEBARKATION: We chose to do the self assist debarkation which means you have to carry your own luggage. Just beware that if you chose this option, you will have a real challenge getting an elevator. We ended up carrying our luggage down the steps which was not ideal. Once we got it line (which was VERY long), it moved quickly and orderly. A big improvement over the check in process.