Hi Everyone - We just got off the Getaway on Sunday and I wanted to share my quick thoughts from our trip. Happy to answer specific questions.
Background on us: My husband and I are both 40 and had only been on one cruise before this. I was on the NCL Sky last December with a friend on a short 3-day cruise. My husband had only been on a cruise with his parents back in the early 90s when he was a kid. We are definitely novices when it comes to cruises.
Overall, we had a great trip despite having mostly rainy and cloudy days in the Western Caribbean - we only had two sunny days out of seven. Obviously NCL cannot be held responsible for the crappy weather - thanks Mother Nature! 😉
We were in room 11106 - a forward facing penthouse suite (H7). We had access to the Haven, but were not technically inside the Haven doors. I had heard some people complain about the walk, but we had no problem at all with the distance. Honestly, it was kind of nice to get away from the people we were seeing non-stop most days. Don't let the distance deter you if you are wavering. The room itself was PERFECT for my husband and I. I had been going back and forth on whether or not to bid on upgrading to the Owner's Suite or Deluxe Owners suite, but honestly, in hindsight, I'm glad we stuck to our H7. I think it would have been a waste of money for us to upgrade. We loved the size of the bathroom in our room. It had both a large shower and huge tub along with double sinks - a huge plus for me. Another feature I really enjoyed was the vanity area in the bedroom. It allowed me tons of space for cosmetics and let me get ready while my husband was showering without being in the bathroom. (I can take forever to get ready, so this saved us a lot of time!) The balcony was small, but completely adequate for drinking my morning coffee and enjoying the ocean views. I don't think I would have spent hours out there, but that wasn't really necessary since the Haven had plentiful space to lounge.
The Haven itself was amazing. I could never, ever cruise in gen-pop again. My husband and I are both a bit cat-like in nature, so being around the masses is not our thing. At all. When we did venture out of the Haven, we found ourselves quickly returning to our safe space of the Haven. LOL. (Sorry, it's the truth!) The bartenders were amazing and remembered our names by day 1. Hanno, the concierge also did a great job. We didn't really bother him too much - just basic first-time cruiser questions, but there was a constant stream of people at his desk all the time. Huge props to him for being friendly, but stern. One day when we were standing in line a women (alongside her husband) was complaining about having to pay for the UBP because she "absolutely doesn't drink at all." Hanno held his ground and she stomped away fuming. The following days she almost always had wine or cocktails in her hand. So.. ha... yeah... 😉
Again, without the Haven, I'm not sure how we would have survived. We ate at the Haven most breakfasts (occasionally order room service instead), and all lunches. For dinner we dined at the Haven, Teppenyaki, Ocean Blue, Le Bistro and Cagneys.
The Haven - Food and service was amazing. My husband who eats anything could have eaten there every night. I am a bit on the picky side so I would have ended up eating the same two things, but this is me and I recognize my eating weirdness! Definitely not the Haven's fault. We honestly did not have anything we didn't like at the Haven. 5 stars here for sure! The hostesses were also AMAZING and super sweet and accommodating.
Teppenyaki - We also really enjoyed everything here. The food was delicious and the service was top notch. Another 5 stars
Ocean Blue - This was probably our favorite meal the entire time. I wish we had gone back another time instead of going to Cagneys. The service and food was on par with the Haven. 5 stars all the way.
Cagneys - While we loved the bar in Cagneys - Prime Meridian - we actually really hated our Cagneys experience. The service was just... weird... I'm not sure how to explain it but it was just off. Also, I was just not impressed with the food. I had the filet mignon and it was just OK. My husband only ate 4 bites of his NY Strip and said it tasted like propane. Not sure if we just had an off experience or what, but it was just eh... Would definitely just do Ocean Blue again next time! I give it 3 stars. But again, the bar, Prime Meridian was great. We actually went back another night for cocktails before dinner!
Le Bistro - I feel bad for our Le Bistro experience because it was day 6 and we were SO TIRED OF EATING (and drinking) at this point. Seriously, eating was just getting boring to us both, but I had made reservations, so I was determined to keep it! Service was totally fine and we actually really enjoyed our food - especially the coq au vin, but again, we just weren't in it to win it that night.
We tried on several occasions to hang out at O'Sheehans as I had heard so much positive about it, but it was just SO unbelievably loud and crowded due to the atrium being right there. (Again we are catty, so probably just us being us!) We did get in a quick few games of pool and a few bourbons there one evening which was fun.
Our biggest mistake was attempting to do a lunch at the Garden Cafe one day. Never again. I'm not sure how anyone can enjoy eating in such chaos! Just no. And the food we did manage to get was bleh. Back to the Haven we scurried! Sorry, I know I'm probably sounding like a total snob, but just trying to be honest. I know there are others out there like us! 🙂
Roatan - We decided to stay on the boat and I'm glad we did as it was rainy most of the day. We hung out on the Haven Sundeck when the rain stopped, but mostly was a bar day for us.
Harvest Caye - We got off the boat first thing. Again it was cloudy and a bit chilly, but no rain this day. We found a lounger close by the pool and read books and sipped on Margaritas. It was pleasant, I just wish there could have been more sun. If you want to go to the beach, bring water shoes. The sand hurts!
Costa Maya - By far my favorite stop - and it was SUNNY! Hooray! We went to Maya Chan and it was amazing. I cannot say enough about the staff here. They are top-notch. The water, as you all probably know by now, is not so great. If you are looking for crystal clear water, this is not your place. We didn't go in the water, and honestly didn't mind. A few brave souls went in and lounged on some rafts and didn't seem bothered by the water. We read our books and sipped on delicious cocktails in the sunshine. Also, they make the BEST homemade tacos with all the toppings. SO good. Oh, and yes, the road is BUMPY, but don't let it stop you, just part of the adventure.
Cozumel - Another sunny day! Yay! We went to Nachi Cocum after reading a lot of positive reviews. I was not really that impressed. It was definitely a bit worn around the edges, not posh resort like I was hoping, alas we still made the best of it! We once again read our books and enjoyed the sunshine. The staff was nice and quick with the cocktails so can't complain that much. We did not like the food at all, but they bring you a ton of it. We felt guilty because we only ate about 20 percent of what they brought us. I would probably do a bit more research next time to find somewhere a bit more upscale. I thought the photos on the website made it look a lot nicer than it was, just FYI. Also the sea water was the same as in Costa Maya, so we did not go in here either, but luckily we had the pool, which was a huge reason I picked this place. However, another person we talked to went out on a boat and snorkeled and said the water was AMAZING if you just go out a bit.
The Getaway was a nice ship. Everything seemed clean and in good shape, despite being due for dry dock next year. Our room and the Haven were huge pluses for us. We didn't take advantage of much entertainment or activities and definitely started to get bored by day 5 or so, but honestly there wasn't much that appealed to us in the way of activities. I also think the lack of sunshine kept us indoors a bit too much. I had envisioned laying out in the sun daily, but that didn't happen. We also got bored with eating and drinking every day. I'm not sure how people do it, but more power to you! Don't worry we still ate and drank plenty - at least that's what my jeans are telling me! I know I've been a little negative, but we really did enjoy our trip and NCL did a great job top to bottom. All employees we encountered were overwhelmingly nice and helpful! Would I sail on the Getaway again? Probably not, but not because of anything NCL did.
(Apologies for typos - I did not go back to proof read)
Questions? Fire away!