January 2015 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Getaway
I traveled with my 2 college sons (18 & 22) and fiance for 7 nights on the Getaway to St. Marteen, St. Thomas and Nassau. The new boat was laid out well and offered a more youthful vibe that my sons enjoyed. The decor was clean and easy to look at but nothing special that wowed you as on previous boats with Princess and Royal Caribbean. The ship was full but didn't seem overly crowded until days at sea with everyone hovering around the pools. We found it best to escape to the back of the boat to the adult only zone. The bar was convenient and the dip zone was nice to quickly cool off. A big complaint would be the constant repetition on the big screen throughout the day. They showed the same 5 minute clip of Italy over an over all day. What a missed opportunity--music videos, location focused footage that aligns with our travels, anything but rock quarries in Italy over and over in your face would have been nice. The pools are very small, as always, and folks are out early saving seats so get with the program or you will be below deck playing bingo. The gym has separate cardio and weight rooms which makes it seem closed in. A number of the cardio machines were out of service all week making wait lines very long. The weight room was packed on at sea days. The younger crowd on this boat really demands more fitness space. The spa seemed very nice when I did the tour, but the prices were way to expensive to allow for the treat.
Evening entertainment was ok. The booking system was rather frustrating in that they would only release a few days at a time and you could only book for those in your room. Since my sons were in another cabin we ended up not going to the shows together. By the time they would try and book they were sold out. Burn the Floor was really great and Legally Blonde was well done and worth seeing. The comedy act was just okay. Dueling pianos was fun for a quick stop and drink before bed. The casino is smoky and it does travel to other areas which made that area tough for me with my smoke allergies. Sadly many opportunities were missed with entertainment. The grand piano by Taste and Savor (main dining) was never staffed. The last night we were surprised to find a lady playing and sat to enjoy the music. It turns out she was a guest on the boat and had been asking them all week if she could play. She put their entertainers to shame.
The dining was average in the main dining rooms and service was nice. There was a lot of repetition on the menus throughout the week. I found portions small and I'm a small women-especially desserts at dinner. Tropicana Room was very loud and rushed but the entertainment was nice...when they were playing, seemed to take long breaks between sets so most of your meal was w/o music.. We went to Cagneys one night--very nice and well worth the $30/person up charge. We tried to have breakfast and lunch in the dining rooms most days as the buffet was so crowded and hard to navigate with little variety. The Italian restaurant was not worth the upgrade. The lasagna was just like the one in the main dining room.
The Norwegian App they encourage you to purchase for $8 per phone was not worth the money. Most of the time it was over run with activity and not working. It was a lot easier to book reservations on the tv in your room and free. As for communicating with others, messages were very delayed and some never made it...definitely skip the charge and plan other ways to connect.
Getting on the boat was a breeze. We arrived around 11:30 and were on the boat by 12. Getting off wasn't quite so organized and locating your bags was a mess.
We had a balcony room on Deck 8. It was convenient to all the dining and nightlife. The boardwalk below did bring some late night and early noise with shuffleboard and walkers. Biggest complaint was the noise in our room. Rough nights at sea meant for very loud creaking that sounded like the boat was separating. It made it impossible to sleep even with ear plugs. My sons were midship on Deck 5 and slept like babies.
Overall it was fun but I'd look for another boat next time.