Getaway 7 night cruise 2018 // Avoid March or not?

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#1
St. Louis, MO
530 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
We will be doing a seven night cruise on the Getaway from Miami next year first quarter (2019). My mom who is a retired college professor (active 81 year old) and my dad (same age and in great shape for his age) are coming with us. My mom loves the university activities in her home town where she taught for 38 years (concerts, theatre, sports including Division 1 men's and women's basketball), but doesn't travel to the away games typically. To miss as little as possible of all the cool things she and my dad do at home, she told me her preference for a cruise week would me March 3 to 10 or March 10-17, the two weeks the University is on spring break. She did say, though, it's just a week, and to see me, my husband, and her grandson (our son - age 22) who is out of school and will be cruising with us, she will let us pick the week. She also agrees with me that for more than a small cost differential, if March cruises are way more expensive to do January or February instead.

So here is my dilemma. The weeks she is looking at in March are quite reasonable and only $50 more per person than the January and February dates we are considering and I'd love to cater to my mom. BUT all of us including DS 22 are not drinker/party people and would prefer a cruise that doesn't have lots of loud obnoxious people who have been drinking too much or something like that. We sailed the Escape in 2017 for seven nights in early March and were happy with that cruise, so maybe I should do that on the Getaway with no qualms. The Escape didn't seem to be a spring break party ship back in 2017, the second week in March. I just, though, read a post about someone's very negative first week in March this year short cruise on the Epic which sounded awful.

What is the trend these days? What would you recommend I do? Avoiding a crazy spring break scene would be a higher priority to me than catering to my mom. DS 22 is totally on board with that too and would prefer to avoid that also. He has plenty of time at home with significant other and friends, isn't concerned about meeting others his age on board (but as a very nice friendly person he usually does meet others his age and older), and is mostly there to chill out and have fun with his grandparents/parents. Is there a particular week you would recommend we consider in January, February, or March? I really appreciate your input.

Should I cater to my mom or pick a different week?
#3
Daytona Beach, FL
186 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
We did the Getaway in March of 2017 (we always try to get out of Daytona during Bike Week, which starts tomorrow,) and had a great experience. There were more younger people than has been typical on other NCL cruises, but none of the obnoxiousness that I've been reading about on the Epic this March. I don't know if it's a 2017 vs 2018 deal, or four day versus seven day deal, but we had no issues at all last March.

We would have gone again this year, but have to be in Syracuse next week for a family event, so we did the Escape in February, along with about 1000 kids, because it was winter holidays in New England.
#4
USA
11,498 Posts
Joined Apr 2015
People tend to complain about anything and everything. Book your cruise when it meets your schedule the best. Remember, for the 3 or 4 people who complained about the Epic, there were 4200 other people on that ship.
#5
200 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
I think with every sailing you never know who your fellow passengers will be and what they will be like. IMHO I personaly would choose Jan or Feb to sail. We have sailed the 1st week in Feb the last 2 years, Escape last year and Getaway this year and will be doing the Bliss (yeay!!!) same week next year. It is absolutely awesome watching the Super Bowl on the ship. Very few young children due to Feb vacation weeks the 2nd and 3rd week. And no spring breaks happening then.

Ive read the same reviews from this month so far. Last year my friend sailed during spring break and had 400 Clempson students. She said they were great! So like stated above... you never know who youre sailing with and how they will act... adults or young adults. I'd personally rather lessen my chances with loads of college kids and go before school breaks happen.
#6
St. Louis, MO
530 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Appreciate the thoughts. Sounds like we would probably be OK either way (The general consensus is that "it is the rare cruise with spring breaker that are really obnoxious", but it has happened to some.). DH, though, thinks January would be best when it's coldest at home, so I think we'll go the last full week of that month, the last full week in January. Catering to DH rather than mom avoids the issue. But like others have said -- you don't pick your other passengers, spring break or any other time.

I was actually a bit concerned that our last NCL cruise, now that they have the unlimited booze, Free at Sea offer, would have too many drunk unruly people that we run into. Mostly though hanging with the family in our own cabin/balconies -- we always get extra large on NCL because they are so small and we spend lots of time there, doing excursions in the ports, going to dinner, shows, the comedy club, playing shuffleboard, mini golf, doing the rope course, etc. but that being about it in terms of hanging in common areas didn't notice problems. DS and his grandma spent a lot of time in the hot tubs, and we are going to try to get them a Vibe pass on this next one, but not counting on it (hear those go really fast).

For a hopefully less crowded ship we are avoiding what we know of as school holidays in the USA.
#8
Wisconsin
944 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I think you will run into a few but not the big crowds you might see on the shorter cruises. This year seems to be especially bad with Epic running 5 day cruises in early March, which I feel is marketed to the college crowd. Last year we were on the Epic third week in March for a 7 day cruise and we didn't encounter any issues. Yes, there were large groups of college kids (mostly from the Carolina's I believe) on the cruise but we didn't witness or notice anything different from our last cruises. In fact, some that we would encounter on the ship, were friendly and nice and not drunken idiots (although I'm sure there were some

I also believe Epic going out of Port Canaveral is much more affordable for college kids in price and location because the Miami ships are usually more expensive. Good luck!

Edited: We leave on the Escape out of Miami next week. I have no fears of encountering massive amounts of drunken, college idiots as it seems those peeps were on the Epic the last few weeks.
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UPCOMING: Norwegian Escape March 2018

PAST CRUISES:
Norwegian Epic March 2017
Carnival Conquest March 2015
Carnival Legend March 2014
Carnival Ecstasy March 2013
Carnival Dream February 2012
Carnival Destiny March 2009
RCCL Nordic Empress February 1999