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RCI cruiser tries NCL Getaway

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Our first cruises 10 years ago were with NCL,..since then we have cruised exclusively with the RCI family taking around 3 cruises a year. So when we learnt that NCL’s newest ship was doing a 1 night sailing from Southampton we leapt at the chance to see how the ship compared with those of RCI.

 

We booked via the head office – which is in the UK – unlike RCI who appear to have abandoned the UK market by outsourcing their call centre to Guatemala….. . We found them to be very efficient. Online checkin was easy, as was the facility to prebook shows. Something we have not needed to do before. The ability to prebook restaurants was not offered beforehand.

 

First impressions – the ship is large 145,000 tonnes carrying 3969 passengers so she compares to Independence (154,000 tonnes and 3634 pax). As we have cruised several times on Indie it is natural that we made comparisons. And with this thought, the decorated hull and the obtrusive ‘stuff’ on the top of Getaway looked garish and ‘cheap’ compared to the sleek curves and subtle colours of Indie.

 

Onboard though it was a different story – the colours and furnishings and fabrics made us feel as if we were on board a Solstice class ship. Very very classy indeed.

 

The ship was 1 day old so she had a lovely new ship smell. Our cabin was a balcony, very well appointed with nice reflective wood, some very clever use of storage, and again the bathroom was straight out of Solstice, with a wonderful large glass shower and even the little rail so ladies can shave their legs. There were dispensers with shower gel and shampoo – far better than the all in one gunk you get on RCI. 2 European and 2 USA plugs. Hairdryer located under the dresser. But a very small balcony and a tiny table. Other clever design touches included lights in the safe, and lighted ‘make up my room’ or ‘do not disturb’ signs which is far better than tacky laminated signs. Ice was provided and we even got a towel animal! Overall Getaway wins on the cabins.

 

We set about exploring the ship which claims to have 27 dining options and 22 bars and lounges. Most were located on 678 Ocean. A very clever concept. And we just loved the idea of “on the waterfront” where most of the specialty restaurants offered an outside eating option – this would be fabulous in the Caribbean, not so good in the English Channel in January. One of the things we dislike about Indie is the lack of connection with the sea. On the RP you could be in the middle of a shopping mall..

 

The range of dining was very impressive – there are even 3 different MDRs. Loved the look of Tropicana with the bandstand and dance floor – very elegant. We dined in Cagneys ($30pp cover – very good food and very similar to Chops). I had mentioned it was DH’s birthday and he was given a full sized cake, I think on RCI you get a candle stuck in your desert…! We had lunch in O’Sheehans which offered a good selection at no extra charge. However with so many restaurants on board we thought it would be easy to run up a large account whilst you sampled them all! However the prize for innovation must go to the Ice Bar! $20pp included 2 drinks. Thick lined ponchos and gloves were essential (provided). Drinks prices onboard were $5.25 for a Corona; $9 for a glass of Proscecco; $29 for a bottle of Rose or Ravenswood Zinfandel (which I think is cheaper than RCI).

 

Entertainment – we remember the shows on NCL being very good indeed, and they still are. We went to the 7:30p performance of Legally Blonde – excellent with a very good vocal cast. Unlike Saturday Night Fever on Liberty which was so poor we walked out after 10 minutes. The theatre was very small – just on one level which surprised us. There was a variety of live music around the ship, but not so loud that it was intrusive. We enjoyed the duelling pianos in Headliners. So Getaway wins on entertainment too.

 

There is not a main atrium as such, rather 2 smaller ones that link 678 Ocean. By the coffee shop there was a large screen but this showed the view from the bridge as you sailed away. A nice idea. Interactive boards guide you round the ship and show restaurant availability in 30 minute windows.

 

Spice H2O at the aft of the ship was a great space although we were slightly confused as to who could go there or to Vibe Beach club and we were conscious of the many ‘pay to enter’ areas. There also was just one very small swimming pool for 3939 guests and I could find no complimentary sauna or steam rooms. The ‘stuff’ on top consisted of a large climbing frame and brightly coloured waterslides. There was also a rock climbing wall, and bowling in O’Sheehans. For the children there was SpongeBob SquarePants….he just waved and was not nearly as friendly as Shrek or Puss in Boots! NCL claim that there are fireworks on every sailing……we had no fireworks. Indie wins on outside space and pool areas

 

So you can probably gather we were very impressed indeed. Unfortunately the Getaway is now bound for a life in Florida, and the ships in Europe are either the horrid looking Epic or one of the older ships, so I’m not sure if we will sail with NCL in the near future. But if we were in Florida and Getaway and Indie offered the same itinerary I do honestly think we would chose Getaway. Sorry RCI. However, our next RCI cruise is on Oasis. It will be interesting to see how she compares.

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My husband keeps saying he refuses to sail the Epic because it's ugly on the outside. I told him then I'll just blindfold him until we are on board. I figure once we are board then we won't be hanging over the side of the ship to see what it looks like anyway!

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I have to agree about the cabin comparison of NCL Breakaway class and Celeb Solstice class ships.

I had been on Celeb Equinox last year and then NCL Breakway shortly afterward. Thought the cabins were almost identical. Which is not a bad thing!

Thanks for your review.

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Thank you for your thoughtful review!

 

Happy Cruising!

 

 

 

~Robin

Norwegian Breakaway July 2014

Carnival Miracle 2010

Carnival Legend 2006

Every Day at Sea is a Great Day

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lovely to hear your conclusion

 

We flew to New York to do the Breakaway - it was worth it and you can do direct flights from many UK airports

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Trying to read everything i can possibly read about the Getaway...just switched my April Pearl booking to the Getaway instead.

Thank you for taking the time to share a review!

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lovely to hear your conclusion

 

We flew to New York to do the Breakaway - it was worth it and you can do direct flights from many UK airports

Hi Jan! Yes I thought about that one - and can fit in some shopping too!

Hope you are well

LBx

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Our first cruises 10 years ago were with NCL,..since then we have cruised exclusively with the RCI family taking around 3 cruises a year. So when we learnt that NCL’s newest ship was doing a 1 night sailing from Southampton we leapt at the chance to see how the ship compared with those of RCI.

 

We booked via the head office – which is in the UK – unlike RCI who appear to have abandoned the UK market by outsourcing their call centre to Guatemala….. . We found them to be very efficient. Online checkin was easy, as was the facility to prebook shows. Something we have not needed to do before. The ability to prebook restaurants was not offered beforehand.

 

First impressions – the ship is large 145,000 tonnes carrying 3969 passengers so she compares to Independence (154,000 tonnes and 3634 pax). As we have cruised several times on Indie it is natural that we made comparisons. And with this thought, the decorated hull and the obtrusive ‘stuff’ on the top of Getaway looked garish and ‘cheap’ compared to the sleek curves and subtle colours of Indie.

 

Onboard though it was a different story – the colours and furnishings and fabrics made us feel as if we were on board a Solstice class ship. Very very classy indeed.

 

The ship was 1 day old so she had a lovely new ship smell. Our cabin was a balcony, very well appointed with nice reflective wood, some very clever use of storage, and again the bathroom was straight out of Solstice, with a wonderful large glass shower and even the little rail so ladies can shave their legs. There were dispensers with shower gel and shampoo – far better than the all in one gunk you get on RCI. 2 European and 2 USA plugs. Hairdryer located under the dresser. But a very small balcony and a tiny table. Other clever design touches included lights in the safe, and lighted ‘make up my room’ or ‘do not disturb’ signs which is far better than tacky laminated signs. Ice was provided and we even got a towel animal! Overall Getaway wins on the cabins.

 

We set about exploring the ship which claims to have 27 dining options and 22 bars and lounges. Most were located on 678 Ocean. A very clever concept. And we just loved the idea of “on the waterfront” where most of the specialty restaurants offered an outside eating option – this would be fabulous in the Caribbean, not so good in the English Channel in January. One of the things we dislike about Indie is the lack of connection with the sea. On the RP you could be in the middle of a shopping mall..

 

The range of dining was very impressive – there are even 3 different MDRs. Loved the look of Tropicana with the bandstand and dance floor – very elegant. We dined in Cagneys ($30pp cover – very good food and very similar to Chops). I had mentioned it was DH’s birthday and he was given a full sized cake, I think on RCI you get a candle stuck in your desert…! We had lunch in O’Sheehans which offered a good selection at no extra charge. However with so many restaurants on board we thought it would be easy to run up a large account whilst you sampled them all! However the prize for innovation must go to the Ice Bar! $20pp included 2 drinks. Thick lined ponchos and gloves were essential (provided). Drinks prices onboard were $5.25 for a Corona; $9 for a glass of Proscecco; $29 for a bottle of Rose or Ravenswood Zinfandel (which I think is cheaper than RCI).

 

Entertainment – we remember the shows on NCL being very good indeed, and they still are. We went to the 7:30p performance of Legally Blonde – excellent with a very good vocal cast. Unlike Saturday Night Fever on Liberty which was so poor we walked out after 10 minutes. The theatre was very small – just on one level which surprised us. There was a variety of live music around the ship, but not so loud that it was intrusive. We enjoyed the duelling pianos in Headliners. So Getaway wins on entertainment too.

 

There is not a main atrium as such, rather 2 smaller ones that link 678 Ocean. By the coffee shop there was a large screen but this showed the view from the bridge as you sailed away. A nice idea. Interactive boards guide you round the ship and show restaurant availability in 30 minute windows.

 

Spice H2O at the aft of the ship was a great space although we were slightly confused as to who could go there or to Vibe Beach club and we were conscious of the many ‘pay to enter’ areas. There also was just one very small swimming pool for 3939 guests and I could find no complimentary sauna or steam rooms. The ‘stuff’ on top consisted of a large climbing frame and brightly coloured waterslides. There was also a rock climbing wall, and bowling in O’Sheehans. For the children there was SpongeBob SquarePants….he just waved and was not nearly as friendly as Shrek or Puss in Boots! NCL claim that there are fireworks on every sailing……we had no fireworks. Indie wins on outside space and pool areas

 

So you can probably gather we were very impressed indeed. Unfortunately the Getaway is now bound for a life in Florida, and the ships in Europe are either the horrid looking Epic or one of the older ships, so I’m not sure if we will sail with NCL in the near future. But if we were in Florida and Getaway and Indie offered the same itinerary I do honestly think we would chose Getaway. Sorry RCI. However, our next RCI cruise is on Oasis. It will be interesting to see how she compares.

 

Thanks for your review, glad you enjoyed your trip and the ship. The "horrid looking" Epic is beautiful on the inside. The bathroom set up not so great, however, still a beautiful ship inside. :D

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I have to agree about the cabin comparison of NCL Breakaway class and Celeb Solstice class ships.

I had been on Celeb Equinox last year and then NCL Breakway shortly afterward. Thought the cabins were almost identical. Which is not a bad thing!

Thanks for your review.

 

It is just that design goes in trends. I really enjoyed the BA balcony interior from a design standpoint, but it was lacking in storage somewhat. The bathroom design was perfect though.

 

I think the same design company, Tillberg Design of Sweden, has done most of the interiors of all of the NCL and other Star Cruises ships since 1997, along with the RCI Sovereign, Vision and Radiance class and did not have the contract for the Celebrity ships. They have a history of about 200 ship interior designs, including the Queen Mary 2 and all of the Disney projects. They have been in the ship design business since the 1966 Kungsholm of Swedish America Line.

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I was told that the Epic studio cabins were designed by a different company to the rest of them, and that company then went on to design all the Breakaway (and Getaway) cabins.

 

No idea whether that's true or not, but it was the story going around on the Breakaway transatlantic last year.

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Thanks for the review - I've been on the NCL Epic and Jade and i have to say that I loved the design of the interior of the Epic which was gorgeous and the balcony cabin was a good size.

 

I can see that they have taken on some of the designs features off the Epic and onto the new ships.

 

I had a mini suite balcony on the Jade and that was a good size too as was the room as they are bigger sizes but the design of the Jade could do with an upgrade even though she is a lovely ship.

 

I am hoping that i get on board the Getaway later this year and if not the Getaway then one of Celebrity's Solstice class ships :)

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Nice comparison, well done!

 

85% of the ideas on-board Breakaway/Getaway come directly from Epic. She may be ugly externally, but inside she has the look and same feel and the same range of dining/entertainment as Getaway.

 

Epic's has just two negative factors:

 

1) Some people did not like the cabins with split show/toilet. I had no problem with them.

 

2) She does not have 'the Waterfront', but what are your chances of getting a seat, with a sea view, on a sunny day with 4,000+ other punters!

 

Forget her looks, she's well worth a try and will be permanently based in the Med next year.

 

.

Edited by London-Calling

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Forget her looks, she's well worth a try and will be permanently based in the Med next year.

 

.

OK you may have just talked me into it!!!:cool:

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The 'horrid' looking Epic ? Really?

Dont judge a book by its cover!

 

The Epic moving to Europe, is the best thing that could have happened for your region. Sailing the Epic is like sailing the Getaway without the waterfront.

 

Epic is an amazing ship, so much fun, so much to do. Bliss Lounge is the best..COMPLETELY different than that on the Getaway. They have beds, couches, load and loads of comfortable chairs, billards....so much fun..did i say that already :)

 

The spice h20 is a lot bigger and has a pool that is adults only during the day.

 

So you will truly miss out if you let that her outward appearance keep you from sailing her. But if that is how you feel, that is how you feel right. :shrugs:

 

Glad you enjoyed your time on the Getaway, and thank you for posting your review. It was helpful.

Edited by tiffygirl

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I wouldn't recommend sailing the Epic. Bad design and everything was crowded. Horrible bathroom situation. Dislike freestyle dining, but thats just me. The freestyle would have been fine if we didn't have to pay extra for a good meal and could have just went to one of the regular dining rooms (Manhattan or Taste). NCL charges extra for everything that is good. Not the greatest service either. There some nice things however. The Garden Cafe food was always good, large selection. The fitness center was awesome. Water slides looked fun, but pool deck always crowded. Was a battle to find a chair.

Edited by cruiserccl1212

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