I read several reviews on this site before deciding to book. I normally stick with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and have 30 cruises under my belt. I've done Princess, Holland America, NCL, RCCL, and Celebrity. During and after my cruise, I was wondering if I had been on the same ship as the people who were so critical of the NCL Getaway. Granted it's not a top of the line cruiseship, but it definitely delivered great food, lots of fun things to do, a very diverse clientele, great pools and water parks, and pretty good food. So here are the things that I really liked and didn't like about my cruise as compared to what I'm used to on RCCL and Celebrity.
- Self-serve soft ice cream that ALWAYS worked
- The NCL mobile app is awesome on board!
- The use of lights instead of cards for do not disturb, make up my room, and I'm in my room
- Lots of diverse bars
- Quality and selection of food
- The spa is definitely worth the extra money--amazingly relaxing and great place to watch
- Coffee (which another reviewer said sucked)
- Very few wheelchairs and motorized carts (because it's a younger group of people)
- Lots of restaurants have alfresco dining on the deck (excellent idea!)
- Lots of separate places for adults, children, and teens (even an adults only pool)
- Breakfast pizza
- 3D movies in the auditorium with free popcorn
- Not having to "check out" pool towels against your room card
- Harvest Caye in Belize is amazing--so huge and new!
- Having the pool to myself while in port
- Made to order dessert crepes in the buffet area
- Poor selection on TV (but why watch TV when you're on a cruise)
- Toiletries in the room (bring your own soap and shampoo, which I always do anyway)
- Having to get or buy tickets for some of the entertainment shows
- Women cleaning the men's restrooms (awkward)
- WiFi sucks (but it does on most ships anyway)
- Fish and chips in Cagneys (I don't recommend it)
I never saw stained towels like some of the reviews mentioned. My cabin was spotless and the cabin attendant was extremely responsive. Onboarding and deboarding were completely painless, smooth, and very, very quick.
All in all, it was a great cruise. I booked a week before it sailed as a last-minute getaway from work and traveled alone since my partner couldn't make it. I was offered the opportunity to upgrade from an inside cabin to a balcony for a small fee, which I took and glad I did. Traveling alone worked fine. I don't like the regular restaurants that much anyway, so the buffet worked well for almost every meal.
BTW, if you're into snorkeling, definitely go to the Chankanaab Beach Park in Cozumel either on your own (with a taxi) or through a shore excursion. You won't regret it. Harvest Caye in Belize was spectacular. Very modern, clean, beautifully landscaped, great beach, and amazing pool with a swim-up bar. Definitely beats Coco Cay and Labadee from RCCL.
The cabin itself felt much smaller than RCCL or Celebrity cabins. And the closet would not have worked if my partner had been with me. It's very, very small. But for one person, the cabin was fine. New, clean, very quiet. And my balcony was trapezoidal in shape because my cabin was right where the ship bent out about 2 feet. So one side was about 3 feet in dpeth and the other side was about 6 feet. The neighbors on either side had rectangular balconies that were about 3 feet in depth. So that was great.
This place is amazing. It's huge so there is always room for whatever you want to do. There is a restaurant, several snack bars, a regular bar, a small shopping area, lots and lots of beach chairs and cabanas, a huge swimming pool, and a gorgeous beach. And you can go back and forth to the ship all day since the dock is covered and brand new.