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Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Getaway

  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Getaway Review

With a Miami theme, Norwegian Getaway is expected to set sail in 2014 and will become the largest ship to sail full-time from Miami when it launches. Almost identical in layout to Norwegian Breakaway, it's a 4,000-plus passenger ship that offers one of cruising's widest range of restaurants, entertainment, and family recreation options.

Norwegian's newest class of ships is impressive, slightly smaller than Norwegian Epic but with improved flow in the main dining and entertainment district, 678 Ocean Place. A major innovation is the addition of outdoor dining at almost all specialty restaurants. You can check wait times and make reservations on digital screens throughout the ship. As on other Norwegian ships, entertainment is a strong suit and includes not only a Latin ballroom dance show and a full-fledged Broadway show. Norwegian Breakaway has a branch of Carlo's Bakery.

Outdoors, there an impressive ropes course on the sports deck, as well as five water slides and an aqua park for smaller kids. The kids and teen clubs are impressively large and offer a wide variety of programs and activities. The adults-only Vibe Beach Club has a cover charge. The ships' electronic screens now make reservations for dining and entertainment as well as giving wait times. Automated wine dispensers in the atrium and buffet let you buy a glass (or taste) whenever you want.

Norwegian Cruise Line (originally known as Norwegian Caribbean Line) set sail in 1966 with an entirely new concept: regularly scheduled Caribbean cruises from the then-obscure port of Miami. Good food and friendly service combined with value fares established Norwegian as a winner for active adults and families. With the introduction of the now-retired SS Norway in 1979, Norwegian ushered in the era of cruises on megasize ships. Innovative and forward-looking, Norwegian has been a cruise-industry leader for four decades, and is as much at home in Europe as it is in the Caribbean.

Noted for top-quality, high-energy entertainment and emphasis on fitness facilities and programs, Norwegian combines action, activities, and a variety of dining options in a casual, free-flowing atmosphere. Freestyle cruising signaled an end to rigid dining schedules and dress codes. Norwegian ships now offer a host of flexible dining options that allow passengers to eat in the main dining rooms or any of a number of à la carte and specialty restaurants at any time and with whom they please. Now co-owned by Genting Hong Kong Limited and Apollo Management, a private equity company, Norwegian continues to be an industry innovator.

From a distance, most cruise ships look so similar that it's often difficult to tell them apart, but Norwegian's largest, modern ships stand out with their distinctive use of hull art. Each new ship is distinguished by murals extending from bow to midship.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • You'll now find hand-washing stations outside the buffet
  • You can make make reservations on screens throughout the ship
  • There's a branch of Hoboken's Carlo's Bakery of "Cake Boss" fame

Cons

  • At $49, Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian is expensive
  • Most entertainment requires reservations
  • Balcony size has been shrunk dramatically in most cabin categories
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,640
  • Entered Service 2014
  • Gross Tons 146,600
  • Length 1,062 feet
  • Number of Cabins 2,014
  • Passenger Capacity 4,028
  • Width 130 feet
  • New

Jul 2, 2017

NCL Getaway ship is too big for the Baltic ports

We chose this NCL Getaway Ship cruise, 6/12/17 thru 6/21/17, Copenhagen, Warnemunde (Bering), Tallinn Estonia, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockhom, Copenhagen, as a vacation to celebrate our anniversary and a birthday. We also booked land excursions for touring Bering and St. Petersburg. It turned out to be a bad choice. We had a serious problem in the morning of the second day when the ship got close to Warnemunde. The sea channel leading to the

pier is only 100 meters wide which is not much wider than this big ship. The captain determined that the sea current was too strong in the channel and decided to circled outside of the channel, eventually for a day and a half (no joke), in order to wait for the sea current to slow down. However there were other very large sea ferries sailing through the channel without problem. By the time when the ship was able to dock, it's too late (didn't have enough time) for the Berlin tour. Then it became even worse, because of the extra day wasted by circling out the sea channel, the captain had to skip Tallinn, Estonia, which is storied medieval town that we really wanted to visited. The real problem is that NCL is knowingly picking (still does) this large ship for this itinerary for the economy of scale. But the ship is simply too big for entering Warnemunde during a relatively mild adverse condition. Captain couldn't even skip Warnemunde, which could save the next port of call, Tallinn, because he had to pick up and to discharge passengers in Warnemunde. The decision was made long ago by NCL management. A small and equally comfortable ship will avoid the problem. Thus we missed the visit of Berlin and Tallinn. But this was not the end of the story. The ship was advertised to dock in Stockholm in the city pier, so we could walk off the ship to begin the tour on our own. NCL without providing any communication changed to dock in the coastal town call Nynashamn after we had made the reservation. Nynashamn is more than a hour from Stockhom. The traffic was always heavy. It consumed more than 4 hours by waiting and riding the bus for the round trip, and it added additional cost to us. The reason for the change, it was likely that the ship is too big the city pier. Our vacation was basically ruined. We contacted and complained to NCL. The answer we got is that NCL has the right to make any changes.

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By Chas_CR

  • New

Apr 8, 2016

Carribean

I have cruised with Crystal, Carnival, Princess and Disney. This was our first Norwegian Cruise. I selected the Getaway during Spring Break for my kids aged 14, 12 and 10. We really enjoyed Disney a few years back but thought that they were now older and would probably enjoy a cruise directed at tweens and teens. We made our reservations through Norwegian directly. We chose 2 connected inside staterooms where 3 would sleep in one

and 2 in the other. When we made the reservations, the prices automatically included free Package to select. We chose the dining package, which allowed 2 individuals in each cabin to dine at 4 of the specialty restaurants. The agent said that would be fine because our youngest (10) could just order from the kids menu which was either free or a few dollars. That sounded fine and we didn't have a choice so she set up the reservations. Once on board, we looked more closely at the paperwork and noticed that my youngest and me were in one room while my wife and the 2 older kids were booked in the other. You have to have one adult per room. We didn't really think about it because we were in connecting rooms. When I noticed that it occurred to me that if only 2 per room could participate in the Dining Package, then my younger might be forced to order from the adult menu while the oldest might have to pay for her adult meal or order from the kids menu. I wanted to clear it up so I went to Guest Services and the agent quickly told me there was nothing she could do to change the names. She confirmed that the arrangement, made by a Norwegian agent, would in fact force the youngest to order from the adult menu and/or the oldest would have to pay full price. I told her that was silly because we didn't care who was in which room because we were one family in 2 adjoining rooms. Didn't matter. She couldn't or wouldn't do anything. Just to test her and Norwegian's philosophy, I told her both kids would order what they were forced to order and then just swap dinners. She said you could do that. I found the fact that an agent was telling me to cheat my way out of this disturbing. Back to boarding. Boarding was reasonable considering it was a Spring Break cruise and there are 4000 or so potential passengers that need to get on board. We boarded at about 12 noon. We carried our important items, change of clothes etc, in 3 carry on suitcases while we checked the 2 large suitcases we had. We were scheduled to eat at Cagney’s Steak House at 5:30 on the 1st day. The only times we were offered were 5:30 and after 8:30. However, our bags never arrived to our room. Unfortunately, our dress clothes were in the checked bags. We called Cagney’s to tell them that we were dressed in very casual shorts and T-shirts and that our bags had not arrived to our room yet and asked them for advice. I purposely asked them for advice, again to test the Norwegian philosophy. Cagney's said, you can just come as you are dressed€. I thought that was odd. A supposed upscale steak house where they charge $30 for entrees and $50 for a bottle of wine and they were encouraging passengers to show up in gym shorts, tennis shoes and a Miami sweaty T-shirt. But we had no choice to we did it. At Cagney’s, we explained the mix up in room names and its effect on the kids ability to order from the main menu. The waiter initially towed the company line and said there was nothing he could do. The eldest child must pay or order from the kid’s menu. I told him that was odd given that we didn't select the room assignments (it was a Norwegian agent) and that we were a family sharing 2 adjoining rooms. He was nice and ended up investigating. During our dinner, a Norwegian official who said she was the head of dining came up to our table to hear the problem. She said she might not be able to do anything and even if she could, it might take days. Low and behold, she returned and told us she took care of it. This is not the customer service I experienced on every other line I have cruised with. Very disappointing way to start a cruise. Bags finally arrived after we returned from dinner. DRESS CODE: The dress code polity is schizophrenic. It is simply not enforced. You can go to any restaurant if you have footwear, a shirt and pants. Same dress code as any beachfront bar in Miami. It is odd to be fine dining with people dressed for a basketball game sitting alongside people dressed in a suit or nice dress. Not sure why they don't separate the Savor, Taste and Tropicana into casual, cruise casual and tie required types of categories so that those who want to dine in a certain atmosphere can do so. TV: Most of the 20 channels are Norwegian advertisements. Only TV is Fox News, CNN and MSNBC and BBC. Aren't those things that people on a cruise are trying to escape? There was one movie channel that played old, second rate movies. Most of the movies cost another $9. Only 4 were free. ESPN showed mostly soccer and European basketball. I found that odd considering March Madness was going on and it was playing in some of the bars. Why not in the rooms I couldn't understand. There was very little on TV for the kids that this ship supposedly is directed towards. LAUNDRY: Every cruise I've been on has had Laundromat facilities where you could wash your clothes. No such facility on the Getaway. They will do your laundry for &20 a back. However, when we called on Wednesday (mid cruise), they said it would take until Friday evening to complete. Why would we want to spend $20 when the clean clothes would take over 2 days and arrive with just one day left in the cruise? FOOD: Thankfully the Dinner Package was forced upon us. I would have hated to pay 2 hundred dollars a night for my family to eat in the specialty restaurants. And as it turns out, I would have hated to eat in the main dining rooms, Savor, Taste and Tropicana every single night of our cruise. The specialty restaurants added variety and their food and service were at least what you would expect. Norwegian definitely fails in the bakery department. Most pastries and breads in all restaurants were hard, cold or stale. The only fresh baked product was the bread served with dinner in La Cusina, the Italian restaurant. I wasted a lot of baked goods trying to find something fresh, soft or warm. One bite and I couldn't finish it. I guess with 4000 guests, fresh baking is not possible. CABINS: Our inside rooms seemed to be as small as could be. I think they start at 129 square feet. Towels were of the thin and rough texture typically found in highway motels. We found a dirty sock and a sea sick wristband in our room left by previous passengers. Our Freestyle Daily News was not delivered (or someone took it) on the first night of the cruise. No body lotion offered. No wash clothes. Shampoo and body wash is provided from dispensers in the shower like in public or gym showers. One small bar soap was provided during the 7 day cruise. KIDS ACTIVITIES: While the kids clubs are open much of the time, scheduled kids activities were rare and they seemed to begin after 10pm. While odd, I am sure that this was a way to get the drinking and gambling parents a place to dump their kids while they drink and gamble. After one long shore day, there was a Late Night Fun Zone scheduled from 10:30 to 1:30am for 3 to 12 year olds. During the day, there were far fewer family events scheduled than I expected. Movies Bears and Disney Nature- Wings of Life were shown at midnight. Saw a fight almost break between teens during the Family Dodge Ball game. Staff dealt with it well and ejected the main culprit. Then one evening a pack of teens filled the elevator I was in. One boy was holding his bleeding fist. When we got to the top deck, security and emergency personnel were rushing toward Entourage, the teen space. Not sure what the excitement was but just felt like the kind of thing that happens in a big city. Also, unlike most other cruise lines, there are no walkie talkie options for keeping in touch with kids and family. Again, you are on your own. Trying to find someone you get separated from on this ship is very difficult. FITNESS: Fitness room was amazingly tiny for a 4000-passenger ship. I tried to use it a couple times but immediately gave up when it became clear I would have to fight for equipment use. The jogging track seems like either an afterthought or a mistake. It is a tiny 1/8th mile loop taking up most of the walkway in one of the busiest parts of the ship. I watched in amazement as joggers avoided human obstacles every few feet of their run. Every other ship I've been on has a running track on a wide path that encircles the entire ship. This one just goes around the smoke stack in the back of the ship not far from the 24hr buffet restaurant, the Garden Cafe. Not surprisingly, I didn't see many joggers. CONCLUSION: There were many other little things that I won't dwell upon. Overall there was a lack of attention to detail that I did not find on the other lines I've cruised with. Very crowded city feel where you never walk a straight line, always having to zig zag around the crowds. I was most disappointed in the fact that this cruise attracts kids with the Rope Course and Water Slides, but then seems to lack a solid kid/family entertainment program during the day. As others have pointed out, there was a lot of PG-13 and R language that snuck into the before 10pm public entertainment. The Getaway is very good at bars and gambling and sales of artwork or jewelry. I would describe it as Las Vegas with a few activities to keep the kids out of the adult's hair while they are enjoy their cruise drinking, gambling and shopping. For a true family cruise for teens and tweens, I will look elsewhere.

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  • New

Jan 25, 2016

Caribbean

What a horrific cruise experience!!! Arrived to a dirty, filthy cabin with no wash cloths - not even vacuumed. Room Steward nasty and mean. Had to beg almost every day of the cruise for more towels, clean sheets, and any wash cloths at all - room 9 times out of 10 never stocked properly. Guest Services always appeared and acted very mad and disgusted - they treated my friend and myself with great disdain!! Never accommodated us one iota and always

left us feeling miserable and abandoned. I have traveled a lot of the world, and I have never been treated as badly as on the Norwegian Getaway. The Getaway made me want to getaway from the boat and NCL!!! I would not recommend Norwegian Cruise Lines to my worst enemy!!! I have to say, the food was good - good variety. Terrible cabin - not stocked - dirty and filthy. Had to constantly beg to receive even a wash cloth. Just okay shows and activities. Shore excursions okay, however, some are way overpriced for what you get - Be Careful! The most miserable cruise I have taken out of 22 cruises. My second bad experience with Norwegian Cruise LInes - I am so done with NCL!

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  • New

Sep 21, 2015

Caribbean

This cruise line nickel and dimes you for everything, no where were we told that there will be a 26.00 a day charge for room steward - didn't know that until we looked at our bill. If you want coffee from the barista bar - that is an upcharge and not included in the drink package. The up charges for the specialty restaurants are pretty pricey so keep an eye on that. The salon will push products on you the second you get done with a service.

Just when you thought you were relaxed from a massage or facial, the salon staff will tell you that you need to buy this or that product. The are very pushy on getting you to sign up for more services. My husband felt pressured so he signed up for a message but cancelled later, they charged us anyway so WATCH YOUR BILL! They did take the charge off but we had to go talk to them about it. We also signed up for the adult pool understanding that on the Norwegian Epic you could be topless. My husband also asked the bar staff if that was acceptable and was told yes. I am French-American and this is normal for my culture. I sat clear off to the side and did not parade around. On the 6th day, Friday, one of the management staff came over to me and my husband and told me to put my top on. I was so humiliated and embarrassed to tears. We also found out that the policy had just been changed a couple months ago and it was not posted anywhere, even the bar staff didn't of know the new policy. Later, we learned that some prude, overweight elderly woman wrote a letter and complained. I will never sail with Norwegian again because of this embarrassment and how it was handled. Also, on the final day of disembarkment if you do the early "walk-off" program -it is completely disorganized and a complete nightmare. The line was all the way down the length of the ship and we heard there were fights that broke out in line because of people getting tired and impatient with zero organization. Food was good but the buffet was a nightmare because of how people act. People lose all sense of composure around food. Room was very good and our steward was awesome

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  • New

Dec 27, 2014

Eastern Caribbean

My family just returned from a weeklong vacation on the Getaway. We are experienced cruisers, with each of us taking over 25 cruises over the past 15 years on Royal Caribbean, Princess and even Carnival, and we all agree that this cruise was by far the WORST cruise vacation we have ever had to endure. The food was POOR and there was no variety. The entertainment was not entertaining, the security on the boat was lacking and the staff

seemed totally unprepared to handle the over 1700 youth on board as well as the large influx of overall passenger count. There were multiple security issues, which when we went to discuss with the appropriate staff, were delayed over an hour to speak with them. All that, on top of the continually DRUNK and OBNOXIOUS NCL sales employee on vacation, who stated that he was there to CHANGE THINGS for the better As cigarette smokers, we are sensitive to the non smoker, but being placed in either a CAGE on the pool deck or an area with only 8 seats on deck 8 were embarrassing and humiliating. There was NO VARIETY of edible or palatable food in any of the FREE dining areas. As much as we enjoy a cut of Prime Rib, having that as a featured meal on 4 occasions is not acceptable. On top of it all was the endless loop of Christmas music without variety for the entire 7 day voyage. Passengers were leaving the ship mid-trip to escape the poor service, poor food and entertainment. As we cruise several times yearly, NCL does a great job attracting the first time cruiser. They will not complain because they do not know any better. AS for the repeat cruiser, we will gladly spend our money elsewhere. Food: No Variety, Very repetitive. No taste Small cabin. It was Clean Entertainment was horrible STAY AWAY. Read above

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