A Midwinter Getaway on the Getaway

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Reviews: 5
Helpful Votes: 28

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Norwegian Getaway

7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 07, 2018

Ship: Norwegian Getaway

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 12182

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 11 months ago

Review summary

We made a somewhat last-minute decision to book a cruise after the holidays, to "make up" for our Irma-interrrupted cruise the previous September. We originally thought about a New Year's cruise, but Norwegian's 3rd/4th guest Free at Sea promotion was only available for the first week in January. We picked this itinerary because the ports of call were different from the Disney cruise we had booked for the following May, and we picked the ship because it was a newer ship and also a larger ship. As I suspected, I found that I am much happier on smaller ships with fewer passengers. Due to the timing, this cruise still had quite a few college-age and twenty-something partiers. The lido deck was always active. That really didn't bother me much, because I don't tend to spend much time on the lido. However, the bars were also always packed in the evening. All that said, I enjoyed the cruise and the ship. The biggest problem for us was that our youngest daughter got very sick early in the cruise - the sequestered-in-the-stateroom kind of sick. So, I spent most of my time the first four days running to buffet and restaurants getting food for sick child and attendant wife, and trying to keep oldest daughter company. We really didn't get to relax until the last three days of the cruise. None of that is the fault of the cruise, and in fact, the service we experienced from our stateroom steward and dining room staff was top-notch. They really did their best to help make our cruise the best experience it could be under the circumstances. Background My wife and I are in my early 40s, we have two tween-age girls (ages 10 and 9 at the time of sailing, currently 12 and 10). This cruise was our second overall, and first with Norwegian Cruise Line. We are reasonably experienced cruisers, having taken (at the time of writing this review) five cruises on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Disney, and MSC (and with five more booked on Norwegian and Disney). We travel as a family, and look for a mix of relaxation, family time (these two being my personal #1 priority), good food, entertainment, and fun in a cruise vacation. While I try to incorporate educational experiences, we do not usually seek out action/adventure experiences. We booked stateroom 12182, a category M2 family mini-suite with balcony, with promotional free-at-sea Ultimate Beverage Package and 3rd/4th guests sail free.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
We selected an early port arrival time and ended up in Boarding Group 6. The wait was minimal and comfortable.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
We did not try specialty dining on this cruise - MDR and other complimentary dining options only. No complaints about the food in the MDRs. Taste and Savor are more or less the same MDR, only with red vs blue color scheme and separated/joined by a common waiting area. The Tropicana Room is a more-traditional style MDR, and worth experiencing at least once for the entertainment during the meal. Buffet food was typical buffet. O'Sheehan's was excellent. Best wings at sea.

Sugarcane Mojito Bar

4 out of 5

Excellent mojitos; always busy.

Savor Restaurant

4 out of 5

Applies to all MDRs on the Getaway. Savor and Taste have a more modern ambiance, and the Tropicana Room more traditional. The menus and food quality are all the same, though. I don't remember having a bad meal.

O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar and Grille

5 out of 5

O'Sheehan's has the best wings at sea, and an excellent breakfast.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Sea

5 out of 5

Great place for (complimentary) open-air buffet breakfast, complete with made-to-order omelets.

Cagney's Steakhouse

3 out of 5

I misspoke when I said that we didn't partake of specialty dining. My sister-in-law and her family booked the same cruise, and we joined them for her husband's birthday dinner celebration. The steak was just okay. I expect steak to be excellent at a specialty steakhouse. The service was mediocre for our party of 8.

Café at the Atrium

4 out of 5

Very good coffee drinks.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
The cruise director was quite engaging. Loved the Harry Potter trivia as well as the other trivia.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Wine Lovers the Musical was well worth the money. Once again, we didn't see any shows in the main theater.

Cirque Dreams & Steam

5 out of 5

Saw Wine Lovers The Musical here for lunch. Nice venue, good meal, excellent wine.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
Our youngest was sick/sequestered for half of the cruise. Our oldest didn't really enjoy the children's programming.

Splash Academy

3 out of 5

Our girls didn't really enjoy the programming in the Splash Academy.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our wonderful room steward did an amazing job keeping our stateroom clean, even with a sick child. MDR waiters were also excellent. One even sent plated food (complete with cloche) to our stateroom when my wife had to leave early to attend to said, sick child, so I wouldn't have to carry it myself.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The Getaway was fewer than four years old when we sailed her, and she still looked brand new. The layout is overall very good. I love the waterfront design, and spent quite a bit of time walking outside along the water. Having most of the public venues clustered around the atrium is very good for planning/meeting purposes and makes everything easy to find, though it can get quite congested, especially in the evening. The same is true for the two MDRs, Taste and Savor: having each side-by-side with a common waiting area is very convenient, but also very congested. Getting a pre-dinner aperitif at the Mixx bar can be next to impossible.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Category M2 Family Mini-Suite with Balcony. Good size for four people. Sufficient storage, closet, and bathroom space. Proximal to mid-ship stairs and the Splash Academy.

Ship tip

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Sea has a small, but excellent breakfast buffet (including an omelet station).

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

5 out of 5
Still and always a great departure port. Lots of convenient hotels between the airport and cruise port, and convenient transportation/ride share. Note that hailing your ride share can be tricky at the cruise port, since it will be hectic with debarkation/embarkation crossover traffic.

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

4 out of 5
Nice port area. We had no excursion booked, and just walked around until it started raining.

Harvest Caye, Belize

4 out of 5
Beautiful private island; feels almost "Disney" like - i.e. almost too perfect. Needless to say, well-maintained. I'm not sure I'm sold on the idea of a "private island" that isn't really a private island; from the passengers' perspective, it is the worst of both worlds: the limitations of a private island, with none of the benefits (e.g. all food and drinks are at cost). We did enjoy our excursion boating through the mangroves and seeing manatees.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

4 out of 5
Costa Maya is a planned cruise port, but it is very well-done. We actually really enjoyed our time here. There are free pools and entertainment, along with the typical shopping and restaurants. We also did not book an excursion here.

Cozumel, Mexico

4 out of 5
There is always something to do in Cozumel. We booked the Fury Catamaran snorkeling and beach break excursion here. The waters were slightly choppy for snorkeling, so weak swimmers were a bit out of luck. But, the entire family enjoyed the beach. Sailing on a catamaran is always relaxing. As usual, we booked a morning excursion, to be back on the ship before the heat of the day set in.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
We opted for self-assist debarkation, which proved to be a popular choice for this sailing, as the self-assist walk-off line was several hundred people deep. Not a fun experience with a still-sick child, but the line moved at a reasonable pace.
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