May 2015 - Norwegian Getaway to Caribbean - Eastern
This was our 8th cruise but our first one with Norwegian. We booked this one because of the great deal it was offering--- Ultimate Beverage Package came with the room! The ship is new, so everything was in pretty good condition. We found the Getaway to be very compartmentalized and lacking in grandeur (however, that could be because we sailed on the RC Oasis of the Seas a year ago). When we saw the ship held over 4,000 passengers, we expected a much more open floor plan, but it was pretty.
Pros: Entertainment staff was probably the best of any cruise we've ever taken. There were deck parties planned every night, and lots of activities/games throughout the day & evenings. There was always something going on! Burn the Floor is a must-see. We found the room to be nice and clean-- the bathroom was a little bigger than others we had stayed on, but watch out if you are tall! Anyone over 6'5" would have issues getting in and out of the shower (and we saw several 7" men on this cruise... ouch!!). The main buffet was very nice and offered lots of different kinds of food options- serving all day. Great breakfast options, and it never took long to get a fresh made omelet. Also, there was a really neat Irish Pub that offered fresh food all day. We had several meals at the pub, and they were all very good. It's also nice because the pub area overlooks the atrium where many shows and activities are held throughout the day.
Cons: Not impressed with the food in some of the restaurants. We paid extra to eat at one of the "specialty" restaurants, and were annoyed to see that after paying the initial fee to dine, we were charged an additional $10 per person if we wanted to eat lobster or filet... The whole reason we went to this particular restaurant was to get the lobster, so after paying another $10, I expected it to be superb... but after waiting an hour and a half for our food, the lobster did not live up to it's expectations. I understand that eating in these restaurants is usually an experience that takes some time (which is what we expected), but we ordered our food and actually waited over 90 minutes for it to get delivered. Only one appetizer per person was allowed (vs. on Royal Caribbean we were invited to order several different dishes to share/try). Others we spoke with had mixed reviews of the restaurants, but we cancelled our second reservation because we were so disappointed with the meal. The food in the main dining rooms was not great compared to other cruises we had been on- who knows, maybe we ordered the wrong thing. Also, the drink service on this ship was almost non-existent. If you wanted a drink on the pool deck, you'd better be prepared to get it yourself... there might have been two servers walking around selling drinks, and they were hardly ever in sight. The set up on the pool deck is terrible... only one small pool for the majority on board (there is also a small kid's pool in the middle of the "slash zone"). It was quite difficult to maneuver to and from the 2nd deck... with just two stair cases (one on opposite sides of the boat), you had to walk all the way around to get up and down. Also, the average wait at any bar was about 10 minutes for a drink (and that is if there are only a couple people at the bar). I know the drinks were included, but it should never be that difficult to get one. Perhaps NCL slowed down their drink service because so many people on board had this package... whatever the reason, it was a little annoying (but not enough to ruin your day). The casino is in a weird place on the ship. You have to basically walk through it to go anywhere because it's at the center of the ship on one of the main decks. This is the only ship we've been on where you HAVE to walk through the casino to get from one side to another.
Overall, a vacation is a vacation and we did have a good time (once we learned the in's and out's of the ship). If you like Latin music, this is the ship for you because it is oozing with Miami/Latin flare! The cruise director, Joel was amazing, as was his entire staff. We have small children (who did not vacation with us this time), but would have loved the kid's "splash academy". The children's activities on this ship seemed wonderful.