August 2014 - Norwegian Getaway to Caribbean - Eastern
We sailed (a party of seven) on the Getaway on August 9-16, 2014. What a great vacation! The ship is wonderfully appointed and gorgeous. The layout of the ship is logical. The only negative is that there are only two banks of elevators, one forward and one aft. With such a large ship, several more elevator systems would be nice.
We had a Haven Suite on the 10th Deck. The Haven is definitely the way to travel. We had our own Concierge, our own Butler in addition to our room Steward, and all were more than happy to meet all our needs. Our suite was spacious, with a comfortably sized living room, dining area, bedroom with king bed, and a surprisingly large bathroom with its own bathtub and two sinks. There was ample storage and closet space.
The Haven also includes use of the Haven area on Deck 16, with its own very nice restaurant (we had lunch there several times) and its own pool and hot tubs. So if you get tired of the crowds on the regular pool decks, the Haven is aptly named. If you are able to book a suite directly in the Haven, on deck 15 or 16, it is even better. Ruth, one of the Concierge staff in the Haven, was gracious and accommodating in answering all our questions. She was able to make restaurant and show reservations right from her desk, saving us from doing it ourselves. She also was able to arrange special escort for our Illusionarium show, where we got front row seats.
Our three (almost and adult) children had their own cabin on Deck 10. Their balcony stateroom was a bit small for 3 people. They noted a distinct lack of storage space in their cabin. They were able to accompany us to the Haven whenever we were together.
All the restaurants on board offered exciting, differing and excellently prepared cuisine. We particularly liked Le Bistro. This French restaurant offers plentiful and delicious food; it books up early so be sure to reserve. We made many of our reservations before we sailed and this service is extremely helpful. Another favorite restaurant was Moderno, the Brazilian Steakhouse. We enjoyed O'Sheehans sports bar for a quick bite for lunch. The regular restaurants, Taste, Savor and Tropicana also offered excellent food and service. We tried Ocean Blue (with recipes by Geoffrey Zakarian), and thought it was overpriced for the quality and overall experience. We didn't get a chance to try to other steakhouse or La Cucina; both booked up very early.
The entertainment on the Getaway was Broadway quality! Burn the Floor was just incredible! The dancers and musicians put their hearts and souls into a very captivating performance. Legally Blonde was very well done, and the cast also put their "all" into making it memorable. The Illusionarium, although "hyped" quite a bit by the crew and by Norwegian, fell a bit short. It did not amaze as expected. The special effects are very well done however.
We have been cruising for over 25 years, and have been on Costa, Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Norwegian. Norwegian is a great value--we got a "Haven" suite for the same price as a mini suite on the RCCL Oasis or Allure. These RCCL ships, being so popular, are charging more because of their name. Also, Norwegian is still independently owned. All the other cruise lines are now owned by Carnival Corporation (Mickey Aronson). We like the independent style of Norwegian's owners. We even ran into Kevin Sheehan on board in the Bahamas. He is the COO of Norwegian, and we recognized him because we saw his "Undercover Boss" episode on the ship's TV. When he walked past us in O'Sheehans, we said "hey, there's Kevin Sheehan". He immediately stopped at our table and asked us how we liked our cruise. Now that's customer service!!
We would definitely cruise with Norwegian again, and will shortly plan our next vacation to the Mediterranean!