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alyssazoll

First time cruiser--Norwegian Getaway review 2/5/17 thru 2/12/17

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I have been dreaming of cruising since my best friend got to go when I was in 6th grade, and I didn't get an invite...;) We picked Norwegian because it was more expensive than CCL and RCCL, so we hoped that it would mean there would be less young kids, and I heard great things about the unlimited drink package. Just for some background, I am 22 years old and traveled with my boyfriend, Ryan, who is 25. We were worried also that maybe the crowd would be older and we wouldn't make friends. Again, this was our first cruise, so I will probably be "preaching to the choir" here, but CC helped me so much while preparing for this cruise, so I hope that I can do the same for new cruisers, or someone who is considering Getaway. Enjoy!

 

Saturday: Travel day

We flew from Lansing, MI to DC to Miami. I've been to Miami, but never to South Beach, so we booked the Colony Hotel right in the heart of South Beach. We took an Uber from MIA to SB, I think it cost us $30. We booked a standard queen room at the hotel, but had been upgraded to an oceanview suite. Awesome way to start vacation! Cruise%202017%20004_zpsefayyxww.jpg

We explored the boardwalk for shops and got dinner and drinks. We went back to the room to get ready for our exciting day to come!

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Following.....interested to hear if you were able to avoid "young kids" on the Getaway. Mine are 4 and 11 and were thrilled that there were so many on our Getaway cruise for them to play with. Looking forward to your review.

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Sunday: Miami & Embarkation

I woke up to watch the sunrise and could not fall back asleep. We walked to down to the beach and put our feet in, just to say we did. We picked a 12:30 boarding time (embarkation at 4:00 pm), but had read that NCL does not care when you show up. We left the hotel at 10:30 and got to port at 11:00 am. We used Uber again, no problems getting there or dropping off. The Carnival terminal was INSANE. So many people, kids running around everywhere. Hardly any passengers outside of NCL's terminal. A porter takes your bags, we had printed our tags at home so all went well. Carry small bills at all times. Ryan only had 20's in his wallet and felt obligated to follow suite after the people in front of us tipped him. The whole process of getting on took us maybe 30-45 minutes. Check in was easy, and we waited maybe 15 minutes in the "waiting room" before actually getting on the ship. We met a mom and daughter while waiting, who were extremely helpful for us, as they were experienced cruisers. They answered all our questions and gave us some helpful hints.

 

We were on the ship before noon. I know this because I was sitting at the Sunset Bar at 11:48 am with a Bahama Mama drink in my hand. SO GOOD, my favorite drink the entire trip. UDP is really the way to go. Our rooms weren't ready yet, so we walked around the Waterfront and checked out the pool decks.

Beautiful weather, especially being from Michigan. They announced our room was ready so we went to check in out. You have to put your room key in a switch right next to the door for the electricity in the room to work. They announce this over the PA, but just something I never had read on here. We booked a standard balcony room on deck 8, so we had a forward room. Luckily we had no problems with sea sickness!

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I thought the room was decent size. The balcony was kind of small for my liking, had two chairs and small table, but it worked just fine. Spent a lot of time out there regardless. As the week went on, the bed became more uncomfortable. It worked for a week, but that was one of my only complaints for the week.

 

We went for lunch at Taste, one of the MDR. We got cheeseburgers. I am a very picky eater, so I am probably not the best food critic. But, if I like you, you know it has to be good ;) We explored some more and unpacked before going to the top decks to watch sail away. We got a pretty good spot, and grabbed some strawberry daquiris (2nd favorite drink) to enjoy.

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Back to the Sunset Bar to watch the sunset. I was skeptical that we would find a bartender that would really remember us and know our favorite drinks. I was wrong. His name was Mark, and he was amazing!

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We went back to the room to get ready for dinner. We also chose the specialty dining package, 3 dinners for this trip. We had dinner at Cagney's. I am a steak and potato kind of girl, so I was really excited, at it did not disappoint. Service was good, food was excellent. I got the 20 oz porterhouse. You don't get any weird stares for taking pictures of your food ;)

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It was also Superbowl Sunday, so we went up to Spice H20 to watch it on the big screen. Being a Michigan fan, I was rooting for Tom Brady & the Patriots- wasn't looking too good for them at first!

We finished the night at O'Sheehans, prettttty intoxicated from trying out our UBP. Bed time for me!

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Following.....interested to hear if you were able to avoid "young kids" on the Getaway. Mine are 4 and 11 and were thrilled that there were so many on our Getaway cruise for them to play with. Looking forward to your review.

Haha maybe avoid wasn't the best word to use. Kids weren't an issue for us! The ship is just so big and having adult only and kids spaces worked really well for this ship. Every kid/group of kids we encountered were really well behaved. It sounded like there was a lot to keep kids entertained as well!

 

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Great review. Boarding the Getaway on Sunday with my mom. My daughter is in school and your age so Im very much looking forward to reading more about your experience. She usually cruises with us as a family but last year cruised with her friends on the Sky. Thanks for adding pictures. Did you find the drinks you ordered were made to order or were they premade? Did you go to any comedy shows? Looking forward to reading more. Thanks.

 

 

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Monday: At sea

So happy that I had the day after the Superbowl off. Even better, I was in the middle of the Caribbean. We started the morning at Savor eating breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, bacon, and potatoes. Ryan had an omelet. Good, nothing amazing, but good hangover food! We went at sat at O'Sheehans and started day drinking...:eek:. You pay for it, so you might as well use it! Tried the Poisonous Fish drink. It was okay, did not order again. We played trivia in the Atrium. Staff member leading it was pretty entertaining! Silas was our cruise director, we saw him multiple times through out the trip, he and his staff did an awesome job. We tried the "bowling" at O'Sheehans. It's not a real lane with pins and bowling bowls, but a miniture version-still kinda fun, but $5, so I am warning all you parents For the arcade at O'Sheehans and on Deck 15 (? pretty sure it is 15) kids can just swipe their card and it will let them play. I heard somewhere that you could put a limit on it though. Pretty sure we did the buffet for lunch. It was okay, but what can you expect from a buffet trying to feed 4,000 people. It has a soft serve ice cream machine, so not complaining. After lunch, we went to relax on our balcony. Thought on having a room on deck 8, rather than 10-13: I wasn't sure about having a room on a main level, busy floor (Sunset Bar, the Waterfront, Tradewinds shopping, restaurants, ect) Turns out, I really enjoyed it. It was SO nice being able to step out of our room and walk 30 seconds to get a drink. No stairs, no elevator. Noise was not an issue for us. We got to see Cuba from our balcony, and loved tracking our progress on the TV in the room.

 

The TV in the room is helpful for many reasons. There are a couple movie channels, new channels, a sports channel, a kids TV channel, ect. There are ship specific channels that show where you are at on the map and tells you speed and miles traveled, it also plays music if you just want some background noise. You can make dinner reservations, show reservations, check your account balance, look at shore excursions also from the TV. You can also see menus. MDR menus: I had heard that they rotate every night, so being a picky eater I had to plan carefully. Tip I learned though--the "special selection" entrees rotate every night and will be different every night. There is another section that stays the same every night. The rotating menus will be on the TV, the section that is the same will be in the menus they have on display at the restaurants. Taste, Savor, and Tropicana room serve the same menu. You can see specialty dining as well on the TV. There are now screens through out the decks that do everything the TV does. It will even tell you how to get somewhere. It sounds crazy, but it is a huge ship, so it's really helpful the first few days!

 

Back to the review:

After kicking back after lunch, we went to Margaritaville at Sea. The drinks are included in UBP, food is not included, so you will pay for food you order. I had "license to chill" (I love anything blue) and Ryan drank Landshark. Cruise%202017%20029_zpsiikc99fg.jpg

We sat right by the glass so we could see the water. So relaxing! After Margaritaville, we went up to Spice H20 and found some loungers. We went later in the day, so plenty were open. Can't speak for earlier in the morning. I drank a strawberry daiquiri and took a nap, because you know, vacation is hard work.

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For dinner I am pretty sure we went back to the buffet because I didn't know about the menu that stayed the same every night at the MDR (there is a new york strip on that menu that I would have eaten every night) . After dinner we went to the Svdeka Ice Bar. Okay so call us crazy, but it was pretty cool! You pay $20 a person to go in, you wear a parka and gloves, and you get two drinks, UBP does not apply here. It was 17 degrees in there! Yes, we came from Michigan, 23 degrees when we left, to be in the cold again.

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If you tip the bartender, he will give you extra drinks. Also while on the topic of tipping: it's not required, as you pay that with your reservation. But, if someone is taking the time to know your name and make your favorite drink, tip them. We did a dollar per drink with Mark at Sunset Bar. Any other bar we would tip maybe $2 if we sat there for 30 mins. We always tipped $2-3 at MDR, and $5 at specialty dining. Also our room steward we tipped a couple dollars a couple of days. I brought $100 in one dollar bills and it was more than enough.

After the Ice Bar, we went to Headliners Comedy Show with Landry. He was hilarious. If you have no kids and are not easily offended, go to the 11pm show, as that's the "unfiltered" performance. The 7pm & 9pm older teenagers are allowed (16 and up I believe) but it is kind of mild. Definitely recommend the comedy!

 

First day at sea: check. Went to bed to get ready for our next four port days!

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Tuesday: Roatan, Honduras

First port day! Was not really sure what to expect. We went to breakfast at the buffet because we had an excursion booked for 10:00 am (also ship arrival time). We booked all excursions through NCL. I was too nervous to adventure out on my own our first time. We booked the underwater museum and snorkel. We boarded up a tiny bus and took a 15 minute bus ride through Roatan. It was interesting to see the island outside of the port area. It was really poor and kind of sad to see. We got to the beach our excursion, which was actually someone's vacation house. They had TV & wifi inside, along with use of the bathrooms. There was a sandy beach area with chairs and hammocks. They seperated the snorkeling part into two groups. One went out to snorkel, while the second group enjoyed the beach. The dock extended out so you could jump in and swim.

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Snorkel part: ehhhhh not as good. It was very shallow, not a lot of coral or fish. Would be a good excursion for first time snorkel-ers. It was pretty windy which made it more difficult, and my mask was leaking in water, which made it frustrating. Men considering snorkelling: (advice from Ryan) Clean shave your face. He has a full beard and mustache, and the mask would not seal properly around his face, causing water to leak in. Ladies: pin back your bangs or any hair around your face for the same reason.

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Waterproof camera! Totally recommend it if you do water activities. Mine is a Nikon Coolpix. I got it off Amazon for $100, I also bought a floating wristband (incase you were to drop it in deep water) My underwater ones turned out pretty good!

 

After we got back to port, we get back on the ship to get lunch. We went to O'Sheehans and got some drinks since we were done swimming. We got back off the ship to do a little shopping. We decided to collect magnets for every place we visited, so we found one of those, and also bought t-shirts. There is a place that they are $6--gotta love that!

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For dinner we went to Teppanyaki, the hibachi restaurant. The chefs were amazing and very entertaining. I had filet mignon and chicken breast. Really good! At our table there was us, and couples from Belgium, Germany, and Jamaica. It was so cool to see people from all over the globe. Couple of drinks later, and it was time for bed.

Looking back at it, Roatan was probably my least favorite port (if I had to pick). But at the same time, it was cool to say that I've been there, as it is not a super popular cruise destination.

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Water Package: Bought 12 bottles. Expensive, but really worth it. Especially if you are drinking alcohol. Don't get dehydrated!

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Will continue tomorrow night! I can now see why people say these take forever ;) Hope you are enjoying! I will try to answer any questions!

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Great review. Boarding the Getaway on Sunday with my mom. My daughter is in school and your age so Im very much looking forward to reading more about your experience. She usually cruises with us as a family but last year cruised with her friends on the Sky. Thanks for adding pictures. Did you find the drinks you ordered were made to order or were they premade? Did you go to any comedy shows? Looking forward to reading more. Thanks.

 

 

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Thank you. You will have an amazing time together! Depends on the drink. The bahama mama was always premade. But i always watched my cranberry & vodka, daiquiris, sex on the beach, pina coladas, ect made to order

 

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Nick here! Me and my better half, Sarah, will be cruising NCL on May 6th (Cinco de Mayo in South Beach wooo!). We're both 24 so being similar ages I'm anxious to get the inside scoop on everything and will definitely be following along.

 

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Following - I will be on the same ship and itinerary in March - can't wait :) Great pictures.

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Haha maybe avoid wasn't the best word to use. Kids weren't an issue for us! The ship is just so big and having adult only and kids spaces worked really well for this ship. Every kid/group of kids we encountered were really well behaved. It sounded like there was a lot to keep kids entertained as well!

 

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LOL, gotcha! I agree. I think this ship has something for everyone. I travelled with my kids and my parents (in their 70's). My kids enjoyed all of the children's activities. I enjoyed the bars, restaurants and casino. My parents enjoyed the adults only spaces, shows, spa, and generally just relaxing. We had a blast!

 

Quick tip for your next cruise....you don't have to use your key card in the slot in the staterooms to activate the electricity. Any card will do. We just use an old hotel key card. That way we don't have to worry about anyone forgetting their ship card in the slot or anything.

 

Thanks for the great review! I will be following along

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Nick here! Me and my better half, Sarah, will be cruising NCL on May 6th (Cinco de Mayo in South Beach wooo!). We're both 24 so being similar ages I'm anxious to get the inside scoop on everything and will definitely be following along.

 

Sent from my LG-H810 using Tapatalk

 

Oh my...that will be an experience! We stayed right on the main drag and the music went until 2:30-3 am. Not a huge problem for us since we were so tired from travelling. It definitely is an older crowd but it is so easy to meet people. Did you do the drink package? That always helps with meeting people too ;) Thanks for following!

 

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Following - I will be on the same ship and itinerary in March - can't wait :) Great pictures.

Loved the ship and the ports! Would absolutely do this ship and itinerary again

 

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Loving your review! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it and for your amazing pictures!

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