First Time on the Getaway a Nice Getaway

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 36

Overall rating:

4.2 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Getaway

7 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 17, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Getaway

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 5113

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

I don't think I've ever had a perfect cruise, but I've come close, so while this one had a couple of glitches, overall it was a great time and if I had the opportunity again, I would sail on the Getaway. On the plus side, she's a beautiful ship. I had been upgraded from a studio to an inside room, and while I knew I'd be directly under the theater, I didn't care. In fact, I made it a game. If I was up late, I'd listen to the show for the second or third time and think "Well, I didn't even have to go to the theater for this." While other people might complain, I knew this was a chance to took in having the larger room - it was still worth it. My cabin steward was a delight and I can't thank him enough for the service I received in him keeping my cabin clean and welcoming. There was also Jackie, the GM's secretary who worked with me on various things as I arranged the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. There were others whose names I don't know who made the cruise such a pleasure, and while I realize the Getaway is not the Escape or the Bliss, I can see why she is such a favorite with many people. The Waterfront is wonderful and I'm happy that NCL has that feature on its' Breakaway-Plus. I'm not a huge "pool" person, but having that spot to escape too, even on the rainy cool evening returning to New Orleans as enjoyable. Now the things which lowered the overall experience from excellent to very good...I was disappointed by the channel selection on the TV. Sometimes you're just relaxing in your cabin at the end of the day and want to catch something. On my 15-day Bliss cruise in 2018, we not only had news channels but more than a half-dozen movie channels as well as nostalgia channels, etc and the usual ship's channels. So imagine my disappointment to find 1 movie channel for adults, a kiddie channel and one with a variety of entertainment, mainly TV shows such as The Goldbergs or Brooklyn 9-9, along with the news channels and ship's channels. I'm not sure why this was so, but I wish we'd had more variety. I had intended to dine at the noodle bar more than once because I love noodle bars and even make dishes at home. Once ended up being enough. The dumplings and spring rolls were quite good, but my noodles with BBQ pork, while not awful, was average with little flavor to it, especially on recalling what I've had at restaurants in the United State and abroad. I also disliked the table set up where the counters where we ate had a dip in them with no warning. When you put down your glass, if you didn't realize the dip was there, you were likely to have a spill. I noticed this happened not only to others but myself, which two rude guests across from a friend and I found hilarious. I didn't find it funny at all, but why the tables are designed as such is puzzling. The issue with the server at Cagney's was addressed while on-board. The food was very good, but the server made a comment I overheard about our choice of wine, and then afterward kept pressing me to take the steak although I had already said I would pay the upcharge for the lamb or veal. As I said, this was addressed and the restaurant manager sat down with me the next day to apologize, which I appreciated. It wasn't a major issue, but I don't want anyone else to feel as pressured or to overhear an employee being critical of their choice of drink. I mainly went to the Atrium Bar, and on a couple of occasions, Prime Meridian and Sugarcane. The Atrium Bar was in desperate need of more bartenders. On one occasion, after returning to the ship on a port day, there was one bartender and not only was every seat occupied, but there were people standing behind the seats trying to get attention. This was in addition to the servers who were obtaining orders from people in the Atrium. He was overwhelmed, and finally, another bartender as well as who I'm guessing was a bar manager arrived to help and even then they needed more help. At no time should there be less than 2 bartenders working the bar because it's difficult to know when a "peak" time might occur. I never want to see anyone that overworked. Syd Norman's was WAY too small a venue for a show as popular as The Eagles tribute. We tried several times to get in, but each time the place was already full and standing room only. If we tried to line up to get in, there was already a long line. Eventually, we gave up. I know the theater stays busy, but it would nice if, on one or two nights, they performed there in order for those unable to get inside Syd Norman's might have an opportunity. Although I am Platinum and earned the 30 minutes of the free Internet as a reward, I also had the social media package (which worked very well). Unfortunately, I could never switch over to the 30-minute plan as there were no instructions on how to do so. I went into the iCafe home page a few times, but I never saw any sort of menu or pull-down indicating how I could switch between the two plans. I didn't have a chance to go to the Internet Cafe for instructions so I lost my 30 free minutes. I'll try again on the Encore, but it would be nice if it was more self-explanatory. Finally, the Costa Maya experience as a port will rank as one of my least favorite ports of 11 cruises. Perhaps if I'd been able to go OUTSIDE the immediate area I would have been more impressed, but as it was such a short time there, a friend and I decided to stay in the vicinity within the port itself. With 3 other ships there at the same time, it became a claustrophobic nightmare, and I came close to having a panic attack for the first time in years. The only thing pleasant about the entire experience was returning to the ship and having the cruise directors staff perform a great show as we returned. I know it's difficult to gauge what will happen with that many ships in port - and I have no idea of what their departure times were - but I know there were likely several thousand pressed into that tiny area and I hated it. If I'm ever back in Costa Maya, I'll stay on board, especially if I see 3 decent-sized ships with possibly 3000-4000 passengers on each in port too.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
This was my first cruise out of New Orleans, and compared to Miami and Vancouver BC, things felt somewhat clunky. The porters were great. Once inside, the lines felt a tad claustrophobic although the personnel at check-in were polite and did a good job. The one annoying thing was when we were going thru the embarkation walkway to the ship. We would be told to shift to one side, then shift to another, then form 2 lines, then form 1 line, with someone occasionally telling us to move quicker (although we couldn't due to the amount of people, or being forced to pause for those in wheelchairs or those with priority boarding). When one keeps being told that over and over, it's annoying as we're not children, and if there's nowhere to move to, we can't move. When said personnel become snippy, then you get an opposite effect. This repeated order shouldn't have been made when the line was congested for a few moments. Gauge the situation. By the way, these weren't NCL personnel, but those with the port.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
LeBistro may have been my top favorite (and I'm usually a Cagney's fan). The food was outstanding and the service was top notch.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
I didn't do any of these activities so I can't comment.

Entertainment

4 out of 5

Children's Programs

I travel solo and do not have any children, grandchildren, etc.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The ship was laid out much like her sister Escape, but it was easy finding my way around, even without a map, although sometimes you start in one direction and realize you should be walking in the opposite direction, an action I think we all have had one time or another.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Roomy, comfortable, plenty of room for one person to move around; plenty of closet space and hangars. The bathroom had lots of shelving as well. My steward was great and kept everything organized and clean. WARNING - it is UNDER the theater so you'll either need earplugs; turn in after the shows or over, or relax in your room and enjoy the show!

Ship tip

Margaritaville has a FREE breakfast. The buffet is limited, but has the basics and plenty of seating. Nice if you don't want to deal with the insanity of the Garden Cafe.

Ports of call

New Orleans, Louisiana

5 out of 5

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
This is one of my favorite ports. If you don't mind the taxi ride, go to the pier Royal Caribbean and Carnival use and checkout Pancho's Backyard. Great food, great margaritas, great view. When you're done, walk out into the open area, find a seat and relax and watch the view.

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

4 out of 5

Harvest Caye, Belize

4 out of 5
If you want a lounger or chair near the pool, get off as early as you can. If you head into the area later, you'll find plenty of loungers down near the beach and it's a beautiful view.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

2 out of 5
We only stayed within the port area itself, but there were 3 other ships in port along with the Getaway, so what you find near the port was claustrophobic as hundreds piled into this one smallish area. Despite finding a great place for street tacos, I would never disembark into this port again unless I was going outside of it for an excursion. Four ships were way too many.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
It moved quite quickly. We were off the ship, picked up our luggage, through customs and to the curb in 15 minutes. They have doors for Uber/Lyft and taxis; doors for private pickups; doors for shuttles or the NCL buses.
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