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Posts posted by Nhfd155

  1. I know it's s little late, but I forgot to post this. If there are a ny questions, I'll do my best to answer.



    Getaway review


    A little background info on us. We are are family of four. It was myself, my wife, daughter(9) and son(5). We were traveling with friends who also had a daughter(8) and son(7). The kids paired up nicely. We were all first time cruisers. We had such a blast we all put a deposit down on another cruise. Here is our review:


    We arrived a day early in Miami and stayed at the Intercontinental Miami. It was very close to the port of Miami. We had booked a summer getaway rate that included breakfast for two adults( the kids eat free). The hotel was great and very clean. My travel agent arranged car service for us and our traveling companions. It was kuala transport. I highly recommend them to anyone needing car service. They picked us up at Fort Lauderdale, dropped us off at the hotel and picked us up in the morning to drop us off at the cruise port. We decided to grab dinner at the bayside shops. There were a ton of choices and only a five minute walk from the hotel.


    Day 1: Our car service picked us up at 10:30. We left the hotel around 10:45 and arrived at the port by 11. The cruise terminal was filling up fast already. We dropped off our luggage and proceeded to check in. It went fairly quickly and boarding began around 11:30. By noon we were on board. We headed to the Atrium Cafe to sign up for the ultimate beverage package, then ran up to O'Sheehans for lunch. It wasn't too crowded yet but beginning to fill up. After lunch, we headed to the splash academy to sign up the kids. They do not make exceptions. My son was two weeks shy of turning six and the other three kids in our group were all in the 6-9 group. He had to go with the 3-5 group. Next, we went up to the pool deck. We all had bathing suits packed in our carry ons so we were all ready to go. After swimming for a little while, we went to the rooms around 3:00, just before the muster drills. The rest of the day was spent exploring the ship and enjoying the getaway sail away party.


    Day 2 and Day 3: spent both sea days mainly at the pool/water slides. First thing in the morning, we hit the rock climbing wall and ropes course due to the shorter lines.


    Day 4: St. Marten was great. We opted to not due a norwegian excursion and walked to the taxi stand just past the port. The eight of us took a cab to Orient beach. It cost $7 per person each way. We spent the day on the beach, rented a pair of chairs and an umbrella ($20), and ate lunch at a local bar/restaurant on the beach($150 with drinks). That's roughly $300. Norwegian would have cost us about $500 and the lunch was unknown. We got back early enough to shop at the port shops a little, but the kids wanted to get back to the ship to swim.


    Day 5: St. Thomas was equally great. We booked the St. John champagne sail and snorkel. Although the snorkel time seemed short, it was fun. I wasn't overly impressed with the fish we saw. I kind of expected more fish and more tropical colors. Again, we got back to the ship and the kids wanted to swim, so no shopping in St. Thomas.


    Day 6: this sea day looked like the first two. Rock climbing, ropes, and pool.


    Day 7: We initially arrived around 10AM but our excursion wasn't until 12:30 so we walked up Bay Street for a little shopping. For Nassau we booked the blue lagoon beach break. An hour catamaran trip left us on a private island retreat with a mini "wipeout" course for the kids. All inflatable slides and water trampolines. It was an additional $15 per person that the kids enjoyed. The water was at most 8' deep so we just swam around and enjoyed a bucket of beer. This excursion also included a lunch. I think it was hamburger, hot dog, or chicken patty plus a salad and drink. After the excursion, we looked around a little by the port to do some shopping.


    Day 8: we were staying an extra day in ft lauderdale beach so we opted for the 9:30 disembarkation time. We had plenty of time to grab our last breakfast in the buffet.


    Ship: we were impressed with the amount of restaurants, activities, kids splash academy, etc. The ship was in constant repair. I saw bar stools being replaced for no reason. The side of the ship was being repainted white as we disembarked. All public areas were always clean and seemed higher quality of finishings. Casino was nice. The pools were a little small but we never had trouble finding deck chairs. The upper sundeck was hardly used. I thought spice h2o was missing something. During the day, it was adults only. There was a small wading pool with misters and waterfalls but no other pools, just hot tubs. The splash academy was great with all kids begging to go back. My son was a little apprehensive since he was in a different age group. I wish they would make allowances for siblings. The first couple days were a little rough dropping him off.


    Cabin: we had originally booked a mid ship balcony but with some price reductions we upgraded to a mini suite at $100 less than what we originally paid. I could have kept the balcony room and saved $400. I should have done this. The room was great. I expected it to be a lot smaller based on other reviews. The double sink in the bathroom was nice. Our friends had the regular balcony and I didn't see much difference for the price. We had a king bed with a pullout couch and a drop down bunk bed that the kids fought over. Felix was our steward. He was just ok. I expected him to remake the couch and put away the bunk bed, but he didn't. While the balcony was small, we used it everyday.


    Food and restaurants: food was much better than I expected. We ate at teppenyaki which was great. Taste and savor were wonderful. Service there was out of this world. Food was great. I had rack of lamb one night. Grilled mahi mahi another night, strip loin another night. We went to tropicana room but we felt a little sick so we ended up leaving early and missed the food. O'Sheehans was good. We ate at the buffet for breakfast and a couple lunches. Flamingo bar and grill was great for lunch a couple days. I looked at their breakfast but it looked similar to the buffet but with a lot less options.


    Entertainment: we also enjoyed the illusionarium and pajama jam party. Food at the illusionarium was good as well as the entertainment. The food at the pajama jam was ok. The kids enjoyed the character interaction. We also stopped by and liked the Grammy experience and howl at the moon.




    Ultimate beverage plan: for us, this made sense. We (more me) can drink with the best of them. Most days I began with a couple bloody Mary's and around 11 began drinking by the pool. We drank off and on from then until dinner, usually a couple glasses of wine with dinner and drinks again after dinner at one of the many bars. We made out, but it was piece of mind not having to keep track of my spending. We were by no means "too drunk" to enjoy our vacation as many people mention. There was one day where my wife and I drank 20 beers/mixed drinks together. We loved it and would do it again on our next cruise.


    Service: I thought the service was great. We made several comments that there were almost too many staff to attend to the needs of the customers. We had several pool bar servers check on us for drinks while we were waiting for our order. We found Harvey at the end of our trip. He was our favorite pool server.


    Ports of call: we loved the current lineup but see that st Martin is changing to Tortola which we are also looking forward to visiting.

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