NCl Getaway eastern Caribbean out of Miami

May 10th, 2015, 07:25 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,426
NCl Getaway eastern Caribbean out of Miami

This was our first NCL cruise and lets get to the plusses and minuses.
Embarkation; Overall we were on the ship in just less than thirty minutes so thats OK but before embarking they wanted to inspect my wifes carry on and found some food we had which they said was not allowed. It was some cooked Indian snacks in a plastic bag and he said it had to be in a sealed bag. This was the first time this has ever happened to us and I must say this was not the way to start our cruise. It wasn't fruit or meat, it was akin to chips so that to us was ridiculous.

After got to our room I saw a large bin with luggage and went to see if ours was in it. It was right across from our cabin. Well the steward was pretty pissy about me being in a crew only area. The door was open and I did not see the sign but he wasn't too nice about it to me. Hmmm. Later an officer came by who said he was their supervisor so I told him what happened and he apologized and got our luggage in a timely manner and the next day we got some choco covered strawberries and a bottle of merlot. He cleaned up the mess very well which also included four calls over 6 hrs. for robes which we never got. Finally this same super solved that problem as well.

The life boat drill was next and this was frankly not well done. We went to our stations where some gal told us, about say 100 adults to be silent. Then did nothing for five minutes so by then people were talking so she repeated her announcement and again nothing happened for 5 mins. so of course people began to talk again. So now some officer said she wanted 'absolute silence! and she was very stern. Hey earth to you two. JUST START THE DRILL. By the time they did we all listened. Just make one announcement that silence is necessary when the drill starts, then start it. Period. So far it seems the crew we have encountered is not well trained in CS. But that changed.

Food: Overall I thought it was on a par with X and Princess. NCL does not have a lobster night but at O'Sheehans pub which is one of the 28 dining venues the Getaway has they at least twice had prime rib and we had it in the MDR so maybe nix it form a pub and use that $$ you save for one night of a lobster dinner. Just a thought. My wife always orders Indian food and here NCL was disappointing. They served it but it was basically what they had from lunch in the cafeteria whereas on our other 12 cruises which include X, Princess, RCL and CCL they mostly made something fresh every night and often took requests so this part was not on a par with what we have become used to. However we spoke to the Maitre'd who prepared a feast for us on the last night so that was very nice. The great thing here is that there are so many choices including a Japanese style noodle bar as well as 4 or 5 extra fee places which we did not try. Again overall the food was up to the standards I have noted on other lines.

The balconies are very small. Well at least we had one. The table on the balcony is basically big enough for one plate of food and cup of coffee. two people on the balcony was ok, albeit a bit snug.

The public areas were all very clean and there is plenty to do especially on sea days. However outside of the much more expensive Haven there is but on adult pool which is a joke to accommodate 4K passengers. On top of that there is a smoking section on the pool deck and that is not enclosed. I was especially bothered by that. NCL close that off. No non-smoker and most passengers are in this category want to be exposed to cig smoke, especially by the pool where you hang out for hours. They also had no indoor pool area as well. We missed that.

As time went by it became clear that the services glitches we first encountered are not the norm. Most of the crew work very hard to please you and it shows. Our cabin attendant was a bit lax and you realize just how important they are as ambassadors to the passengers as you see them most often usually and a friendly rapport goes a long way to make one feel welcome. We missed that with him. His cleaning of our room was ok but spotty. He would leave dirty dishes, forgot to replenish the coffee, and missed a few things like this consistently. it is very nice that NCL has tea and coffee makers in the room however. I have not encountered this before.

Entertainment: Well this is where NCL shines. The comedy club featured one of the actors from the movie "barbershop", Frank Townsend. He was a riot. The grammy show features someone who at the least has been nominated for a grammy and we had the pleasure of seeing Shannon McNally who was nominated in a country music category. Well she was a pro and you could see why she got a nod for this award. She put on the best cruise ship show we have seen and its in a club with about 15-20 tables and a small stage so you were up close to her performance.

NCL has an atrium with a huge screen and a stage for audience participation shows and the CD, Joel Sanchez MC'd most of them and wow he is fun and the shows were great. We loved just hanging out here watching the shows or listening to the reggae band, Groove International but the shows featuring the passengers were a riot. They had one similar to DWTS where you paired up a crew member with a passenger and man you should have seen them cut loose. The eventual winners who were both a bit large . and did a take off from that scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby runs and jumps into Johnnies arms and he lifts her. Well as they got ready to do this I though OMG! someone is gonna get hurt but they pulled it off and that was it! Winners!!

We saw a great song and dance show called Burn the floor and it was very high energy and very well done. We also saw the magic show at the Illusionarium and this too was good though the seating was not tiered so if you were in the back your view was somewhat blocked. However overall we saw well enough. it was a dinner show and the fee was about $25.00 pp and it was worth it IMHO. They served filet and prawns and it was pretty good.

There was a crew talent show which featured some surprisingly good singers and dancers and it too was very entertaining.

On the last night the crew performed a rousing final show which sent us off very happy to be so well entertained. Folks most of the crew are very hard workers but there are some who need more training and for this I think service its a notch below X and Princess. The guy running the internet cafe was frankly lazy. I did not purchase an internet package because he could not even look up from his pc to help me. He handed me a pamphlet and told me to follow the instructions. As this cafe is next to the atrium where we saw a lot of shows we saw him often and he was either on his pc or his phone. Once some people took chairs meant for the PC's and used them to watch the shows and people using the pc's had no where to sit. However I doubt he noticed this or of he did didn't care enough to intervene. This was a poor impression and from our experience the overall level of service was unfortunately not up to par with what we have seen on other ships. That being said would be cruise NCL again. Absolutely. They do put out a wonderful product and there are enough positives to win out the day. However we did miss one thing. Breakfast in the MDR on other lines would include a large table being filled so you had a chance to meet people. We requested shared tables on the Getaway but never got them for breakfast or dinner and we missed the opportunity to meet people this way and I think most folks like to meet new people too so I hope NCL could consider something to promote shared tables unless you prefer privacy which you can always ask for.

Unfortunately they had a fireworks which we missed but I hear it was awesome and we will be sure to see it again if available.

Disembarkation was a breeze and I like the that you can stay in your cabin until you have to leave to get your luggage. Their transfer to MIA was only $16.00 per person, very reasonable.

We had a fun time and someday will cruise NCL again given the right ship and itinerary. As I have always wanted to see the USS Missouri in pearl Harbor perhaps the POA cruise will be in our future. We have done land vacations on the major islands so hopefully a cruise will be in our future.

Any questions please ask and I will f/u with port reports, Tortola, St. Thomas and Nassau.
jacketwatch is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,315

Enjoyed your report. You always manage to have a good time.

I too thought Norwegian was over all quite good. Everybody was extra nice to our Granddaughter. The pool area on Epic was also crowded. My biggest complaint was music and shows being too loud, but most people do not seem to mind that. There always seems to be some things that are really good and a few that are not.

Glad you enjoyed it.
Sassafrass is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 11:21 AM
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This is true. The band by the pool was pretty loud too and if you were in the hot tub next to them like I was you really can't speak to others there. Just too loud.

Yes, there are always parts you don't like but you just deal with it. Funny thing is as the cruise went on we became more used to their style and in the end we decided to try it again.
jacketwatch is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 326
Thanks for the trip report. I enjoyed the details. I have only cruised once with Norwegian. I liked the food better on Dawn than Independence of the Seas. As usual the people on give me great information. Thanks again Jacketwatch.
tch912 is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 08:36 PM
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Larry, we have not been on an NCL ship for years. Our knock on them was spotty service, bland food, and a lot of "for a fee" items, even in the MDR.

DW was less forgiving than me so I think it will be still a while before we get back on any NCL ships again. Besides, there are so many lines and ships to choose form. For her to be back, the itinerary and the timing is absolutely a perfect match

At least she is now on-side again with X after a so so experience with them 4 years ago. Our last cruise with X was good enough for her to give it the nod again.

I am surprised at the "snack" and the drill. Someone must be having a power trip. A new officer perhaps? We pack home made dried ginger all the time and no one seems to care. We also pack granola bars, trail mix and the like. No food allowed? That's a first.

The smoking thing would be a huge problem for us. I am surprised that they do not have a confined smoking area. Most lines have literally banned smoking on board except for a small designated areas. Most ships don't even allow smoking on private balconies.

My conclusion from your TR is they have improved but still a notch below the others. Service is still spotty.

Of all the lines, NCL probably has the best entertainment line-up outside of Disney. However, that is not on our radar screen for selecting a ship or a line.

I guess I'll just have to get my fill of NCL experience through other people for now.
Eschew is offline  
May 11th, 2015, 06:01 AM
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Tch912 I am glad you found the TR helpful. If you have any questions please ask.

Eschew thanks for you comments. From what I had read in the past and from what others who I know who have sailed them recently they have improved enough to give them a try and though it was a mixed bag it was more positive than otherwise.

I just read that as of May 6 they will no longer allow you to take food to your cabin. Well on May 9 our last day I brought breakfast to our cabin and no one said anything. I also saw that the $7.95 service fee for room service which was a trial on the Getaway, Breakaway and Epic is now fleet wide. It seems as if they are trying to "encourage" that service charge though it does not apply to the room service continental breakfast. It also seems that as they just started this fee like a month ago that it's a very short trial period. They probably planned it this way all along.

Funny thing is that yes they took our snacks as we embarked but did not bat an eye to the three bottles of rum I brought back from Nassau. It went thru the scanner and they did not say a word. .
jacketwatch is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 06:05 AM
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I was just reading this again and can add that they have reversed their ban on bringing food to your cabins. It did not take long..
jacketwatch is offline  
Sep 16th, 2015, 08:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Nice TR.. We leave on Sat/19th for same sailing and our second "Getaway"..

Not too fond of the "New Way" NCL does business but we got a great last minute deal and I need to put on a few pounds before Thanksgiving.

Have car booked for STT..(thinking about taking ferry to St Johns).. Not sure what to do in Tortola but we will as always be "Kalikin" in Nassau.

Shore suggestions welcomed
DMBTraveler is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 01:52 AM
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Theres not much to do in Tortola but there is a nice Pussers Rum shop there.

We normally don't do too much in the Caribbean so we just strolled around. We did find a local place for some lunch and the conch stew was not bad. Add some Erikas hot sauce which makes McIlhenys tobasaco seem like catsup and ya got something!!

Tortola does not have their own local brew so I had a Red Stripe and Sue had some Ting!

As for NCL I was put off by a few things like what I mentioned above. I did fill out an on line survey which pointed out those issues but was also positive overall. The same day they replied by giving us $300.00 towards a future cruise which was amazing. We once had a problem with Celebrity and at first the agent I spoke with on the phone acted like any compensation was coming out of his pocket. Later however I spoke with another person who made a very generous offer. NCL certainly exceeded them this time for post cruise CS.
jacketwatch is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,075

Thanks for tips.. I'm definitely into the "Rum" and "Conch" cuisine.

I often fill out post cruises survey but have never received anything so generous. NCL did once offer a bottle of champagne on our next cruise.. we would have preferred the $300
DMBTraveler is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 04:40 PM
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I really don't understand it either. My review was overall very positive and I think I did mention that I would cruise with them again. Maybe they just liked me. .
jacketwatch is offline  

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