Here is my comparison between my MSC Divina and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Getaway cruise.
On April 12th, 2014, my wife and I boarded the Divina for a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise.
On Sept. 27th, 2014 we boarded the NCL Getaway for a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise.
We are very casual cruisers and are in the 45-50 age group.
On the Divina, we purchased an inside (I1) cabin.
On the Getaway, we purchased a balcony (BC) cabin.
Our price for the Divina cabin was $369 pp, with a $50 onboard credit.
Our price for the Getaway was $839 pp, with a $225 onboard credit. This also included a free 4 night cruise for two to the Bahamas in February aboard the NCL Sky.
Although the price of the Getaway was more expensive, if money was no object, we both preferred cruising on the Divina.
On the Divina, we purchased drink coupons. On the Getaway, we purchased the Ultimate dining package at $119 pp. This allowed us to dine at the specialty restaurants each night and admission to the Illusionarium magic show on the first night.
While on the Divina, we strictly ate at the buffets. On the Getaway, we ate breakfast and lunch at the buffets and dined at the specialty restaurants at night.
Here is my scorecard of each cruises. Keep in mind this is subjective and your experiences are sure to be different:
Divina A; 10 minute wait.
Getaway C; 50 minute wait. The attendant put my face on my wife’s cruise card and vice versa. We then waited an additional 30 minutes in the back of the line to board the ship.
Cleanliness of ship:
Overall friendliness of staff:
Friendliness of bartenders:
Breakfast buffet variety:
Getaway A+ (Getaway had 3 omelet stations where Divina had none)
Quality of food on breakfast buffet:
Lunch buffet variety:
Divina A (This includes the pizza at sea).
Quality of food on lunch buffet:
Dinner buffet variety:
Quality of food on dinner buffet:
Night time entertainment:
Getaway D; With the exception of the Illusionarium show ($25 charge if you do not have dining package), the Getaway just did not compare to the Divina. We actually politely walked out of the Legally Blonde show which I believe was geared to teenage girls which hardly made up the demographics of passengers.
Onboard physical activities:
Getaway A; This included many watersides, climbing wall, ropes course and zip line.
This was important to me. The pool deck and sunning area around the pool on the Getaway was half the size of the Divina. There were other places around the ship to relax in the sun, but a large midship pool/deck is what I prefer.
Divina F; Maybe there was a unknown delay, but it took more than an hour to disembark as we chose to carry our own bags off.
Getaway: A; Once again, we chose to carry our own bags off and were off in less than 10 minutes.
Although both ships are roughly the same size and amount of passengers were the same, the Divina had more of a “together feel”. From the second night in the amphitheater on the Divina, when the amazing cruise director announced the staff and Capt. Scala to us, until the second from last night when they bid us all a farewell and thanked us, it was a warm welcoming feeling that you got from sailing the Divina. The Getaway on the other hand lacked this camaraderie. It could have been that there was actually too many things going on at different times and different places on the Getaway, whereas on the Divina, the amphitheater would have two shows every night and because of the size of the amphitheater, everyone was able to attend and enjoyed and got to know the cruise director and staff.
I did enjoy the Getaway’s specialty restaurants: Teppanyaki, Moderno and Cagney’s. I do like the concept of drink coupons on the Divina. The $6.04 beers that I was drinking on the Getaway would have been about $3.75 on the Divina. I do wish that the Divina would incorporate a few omelet stations on their breakfast buffet.
The Getaway, with its’ warm woods and furnishings gave the vessel a rich feeling. The Divina, with its’ atrium of crystal, marble and metals exuded elegance and class.
Even if price was no object, I would still prefer to sail on the Divina. From the minute that I stepped off the Divina in April, I knew that we would return, and we will.