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Getaway review - May 9, 2015 - with 7 year old (daily schedule included)


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Just a note to start...I don't have a lot of time to sit and post a lot all at once but I will continue to add more on a (hopefully) daily basis. I will add some of my photos, but my husband is the photographer and I will have to add his photos later because they are not "ready" yet. His photos will be a lot nicer than mine. There will be a video as well.


We sailed on the Getaway the week of May 9, 2015. We are in our mid 30's and have a 7 year old son. We previously sailed with Disney (2) and RCL (1)


We didn't have a big budget to work with, and flying from Canada can be costly so we don't spend a lot on "extras" (restaurants, spa, beverage plans etc) . If you're interested in knowing about the experience without any of the extras I can tell you about that.



The trip itself

We booked a package with Transat Holidays. It included the flight, cruise and transfers. This is a discount vacation provider (Canada) and I was a little worried because they have limited flights if something goes wrong, and their planes are not as nice as flying with Air Canada for example. They also had a return flight from FLL at 12pm which is considered to be cutting it a little close, but they guaranteed that with their transfer we would make the flight. Considering pretty much everyone on the flight was either going on the Getaway or Carnival Glory I wouldn't be surprised if they would actually hold the plane. Anyway I actually was happy with Transat, especially considering the great price of the package. The service was fine, check in was quick. The plane did not have the personal entertainment screens and if you're tall it would be tight. But checked bags are free based on weight and the weight limit is higher for people on cruises. They have a Kids Club that you can register for and kids get to board the plane early and they can pick their seat for free as well as get coupons for extra snacks. That was great.



We got to the terminal around 12:30-1:00pm I believe. For us it was terminal B. There was a long line outside so I was worried, but it went quite quickly. Check in was smooth, and at that point there was no wait to get on the ship.


Coming up...I am posting the dailies :) ... but only the schedule portion, they were pretty mangled by the time I got them home. I've never posted photos before so bear with me...if there are no technical issues they should be up shortly...

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We had an inside room - #11653

It was small! We had a standard inside on RCL and Disney and this was smaller. I should take a look at the square footage of each room we've stayed in because I'm not sure if part of it was just the configuration . The bathroom seemed big compared to the size of the actual room - it had lots of shelves for toiletries etc. But we don't spend much time in our room so it was okay. The bed was comfortable. My son had a pull down bunk. There were two in that room.


There were nooks with shelves to store belongings and shelves inside the closet.


The room was very clean and our stateroom attendant was really friendly and made great towel animals.


An inside stateroom can be beneficial for us because my son will actually take a nap in the middle of the day if he's worn out - we can make the room so dark. He also sleeps in to a reasonable time - we're not up at the break of dawn on vacation :)

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As I mentioned earlier, we were on a budget. We had an inside room and so we did not have a dining or beverage package. We tried not to spend too much on food and beverage, and on this ship there were plenty of complimentary options, so in my opinion you can be happy without the extras.


We ate in one specialty restaurant and that was Moderno. We thought it would be good try at least one, and since my husband is Brazilian, it had to be that one! So of course we have been in several "churrascaria" style restaurants like this in Brazil, US and Canada. This one, in my opinion, had the best salad bar, and in general was one of the better ones we've been to. The salad bar had such a wide selection including cheeses, shrimp cocktails etc.. I could have been happy with the salad bar alone. The meat selection was great however for those not familiar with this type of Brazilian restaurant you have to be sure they bring the PICHANA! This is main traditional meat that they would serve in this type of restaurant and it was on the menu. My husband, knowing this, waited and waited for this one and it never came. So then he asked for it. They came with chicken and asked if we were asking for the chicken..he said no, I am waiting for the Pichana. Finally when it came, it was the full roast (none cut yet), they served it to us...and went directly back to the kitchen! We think that they come out with this meat less often than the others, maybe because it is probably the most expensive. I'm not sure. So based on our experience, some people may have missed out. So if you are there and you enjoy good meat, make sure they bring it to you. Aside from this it was excellent. They had the Caphirina, the traditional Brazilian drink. They warned us it is strong (not knowing my husband was from Brazil). The drinks were properly made with cachaça(sugar cane liquor). Sometimes outside of Brazil they make them with Vodka, and then it is not a proper Caphirina. I forget which type my husband got but I got the Acai one and we both like it the best.


We ate in Taste and Savor (once each). We found the service to be average. They were slow, especially when coming back to ask about desert. We always order it ahead of time but then they forget and ask us again...eventually...if we want desert. That can be rough with a 7 year old! The food was very good. (not excellent).


I loved the Tropicana Room and I wish I had gone more than once (rather than Taste or Savor). The Burn the Floor Dancers put on a show and its great. The service is much faster and better....interestingly it was the same server as we had in Savor.


I loved the Flamingo Grill. Its great if you want something different than buffet food and its never crowded like the buffet. This is Cuban/Latin style food. They always had fried yuca which is so good!


We ate in O'Sheehans several times, especially for lunch. The quality of service varied. My son ordered chocolate milk. I'm not sure they actually serve it there. It didn't come with our other drinks and then the manager came to apologize that we didn't have it yet but someone went to get it. I think they went across the ship to get it because it took a while, but I appreciate that they would do this rather than just say they don't have any. They do not have a kids menu, but most of the food is kid friendly anyway (but large portions). My son got the prime rib and loved it!


The buffet had lots of selection and it was huge. You didn't have to wait in long lines because every type of food was in its own little section. I found the buffet staff to be the friendliest and most helpful. They were very cheerful, saying good morning etc. Especially the man who walked around with the (fake) candle on his head :) The food was good. I don't have a lot of expectations for buffet food but I found it not as greasy and sloppy as typical buffet food. My son went every night after the kids club...he was always hungry in the evening...especially for cookies and soft serve ice cream. Its vacation so we let him go for it. Sometimes he would just get tortilla chips or a hot dog.


They had soft serve ice cream machines in the buffet. During busy times, a server would make the cone for you. This was great because I have seen some pretty gross soft serve machines on previous ships. They make it small but just ask and they'll make it bigger. They also had a sundae station in the buffet during regular hours. This is the scooped ice cream with a small selection of toppings.


About the non-alcoholic drink options. They had non-alcoholic drink/coffee stations in the buffet, just outside the buffet, and at the Flamingo Grill. It was much better than RCL, especially regarding the water. Disney has free pop/soda but no so many non-soda/pop options.


They had water next to the ice dispenser (came from a dispenser). They also had pieces of lemon to put in your water. The water quality was very good. We brought Brita water bottles to use but we didn't even bother. They also had two types of sugar free juice (I believe it was mango and strawberry punch). I think it was sweetened with sucralose. It did not have aspertame which upsets my stomach. They also had lemonade and unsweetend iced tea. The coffee cups are really small. Bring a insulated mug. There was a wide selection of teas.

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I forgot to add this earlier...Our room steward was great. Sometimes he arranged my son's stuffed toys with the towel animals. "Bunny" (shes actually a lamb :) ) has been with us for all four cruises. My son is 7 now and bunny wasn't seen in public so I have a feeling this might be her last cruise :(




You can also see in this photo, on the right, my sons bunk. They come quite low over the bed. I am short so I slept on that side. I think if you were tall, you could wake up and forget the bunk overhead and bump your head! This room had one on each side so if you have two kids sleeping overhead it might feel a little claustrophobic for some.

Edited by LASilva
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Question: Did the Transat plane have any premium or at least wider seats available?


Sorry I don't think it did. They have Club Class on the Airbus planes (probably to Europe) but this plane was actually a CanJet plane.

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Do they have any sort of kid menu in the sit down complimentary restaurants? I'm hoping to not be stuck at the buffet all week but looking at some of the options on the menus I've seen I'm not sure my kids would eat much of those options.

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Yes, in the main dining rooms they did have a kids menu. I actually didn't get a good look at it because my son always just orders a hamburger. Its one of those coloring/activity page menus like you would get in a non-cruise chain restaurant.

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Splash Academy


So my son is on the Austim spectrum, high functioning. He does quite well in the kids clubs but his main issues are crowds, staying focused and too much noise.


Splash Academy really surprised me. It is very structured and aside from the set Freeplay times, the kids pretty much go along with the program. Disney was not like this. On Disney my son had lots of places to go if he was over stimulated or unable to stay focused during the organized activities. I was worried, because if he gets overstimulated during activities he can get in trouble (screeching, getting in others personal space etc).


I really can't specify how, because I wasn't there, but the staff kept him completely engaged and out of trouble for every visit. He really enjoyed and participated in every activity. At first we had a pager but later we were so comfortable with the capabilities of the staff we didn't bother. When we first discussed his needs with the staff they were completely unfazed. On RCL they were almost ..irritaed?...they just had no enthusiasm and it was like "oh great here's another kid with special needs".


On DCL and RCL we had been called back to pick him up because of some issue. Not once did this happen on the Getaway. He was so happy, because I think when he is able to participate in activities and have fun without "getting in trouble" it boosts his confidence. It is possible that he may have had a time-out or was spoken to, but staff never brought it up with us and if there were issues they dealt with it on their own.


A couple of times my son was disappointed because he couldn't play Wii but he quickly got over that. (there were a few times where they could play Wii ...just ask the staff for the specifics).


It seemed really crowded at times, considering the time of year, probably due to the promotions but they seemed to have the kids very organized.


So even though they didn't have the free play opportunities and quiet spaces like DCL...the staff really made up for it. I think matching their pros and cons I was equally happy with DCL and NCL's kids programs. I was less happy with RCL's staff but my son enjoyed it so it was not bad, just not as good as the others.





Edited by LASilva
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Pools: : I found the adult pool to be too noisy and crowded a lot of the time. A lot of people seemed to enjoyed it - it looked like fun, but I really need quiet and relaxation so I preferred Spice H20. There was always a spot to sit when I was there. The "water fall pool thing" was nice to cool off in after sitting in the sun. I also had a foot injury and I couldn't swim on days 6 and 7..when I had planned to. I'll get into that later.


I did the slides on the first day - only red and orange - and they are really fast. I loved it. I wanted to do the drop slide when it was quiet on the Bahamas port day (day 7) but as noted above - I wasn't able to due to a foot injury :(


My son really enjoyed the kids pool and splash pad. The kids pool was never even close to crowded. During the day there was an attendant there. I don't think he was an actually life guard. He was just there to keep an eye on things. The pool was deep enough to swim in but not too deep - maybe 4 ft. There is a shallow wading pool by the splash pad. The pool is in between the slides and the splash pad so you have to sit on the wooden bench that surrounds the pool to watch your child - you can't pull up a chair or anything. So my husband and I would take turns watching - one would watch and the other would be on the deck chair way over on the other side.


Ropes Course and Rock Wall: We waited until the last day to do the ropes course since we did not get off the ship in the Bahamas. It didn't look so bad from below but once I got up there it was kind of scary! Only my husband did the plank. My son went through it like a little spider- no problem but he didn't do the plank. My son did the rock wall once and reached the top.


Mini Golf and Bounce: My son's favourite. He did both every day. Bounce was only open at certain times and there was usually 4 or 5 kids ahead of him.


The deck with the mini golf and ropes course were closed a few times, mainly on days 2 and 3 due to high winds. Once we got closer to the Caribbean I found it was less windy and they were open most of the day.





Adult Pool



Splash Pad, Kids pool on the right


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In case anyone is curious...


The Medical Centre


I was so excited to wear bring my sandals back out from winter hibernation. My feet weren't used to them so I got a blister on my big toe. To make it short..it got worse...and worse...it got infected. But of course I had to go to Tortola before doing anything about it. Soaking in the salt water did help with the pain though. The infection started to travel up my leg so I figured it was time to visit the medical centre when I got back from the beach.


So I showed up at the medical centre at 3pm on Wednesday. They said there were two other people being treated and asked if I'd come back at 3:45pm. I think they just figured I'd rather waiting in my room.


The medical centre looks like an emergency room, its pretty big. It was super clean. The doctor was young and very nice. She was from the Philippines.


The doctor and the receptionist asked several times how it got infected...? I mean really, it happens, who knows! :confused: But I think they may have been preparing themselves in case I were a complainer. I think they ship decks and everywhere were really clean. I don't blame anyone or anything..BUT...if I had to guess ....I went on a catamaran in St. Thomas and walked around it in bare feet. That was Tuesday.


I was really worried about the cost but there wasn't much choice at that point. The visit during regular day hours was $149.00.

14 Cipro pills (antibiotic medication) was $14.48. I have full prescription coverage at home but its seems reasonable. Not sure...10 Ibuprofen was $11.20 and then she gave me a handful of single antibiotic ointment and acetaminophen packets. There were prices noted for after hours visit and stateroom visit but I don't remember what they were. It was less than $200.

So I will send the invoice to my travel insurance and see what happens.


Anyway, I had a fever on Wednesday and Thursday. I did some stuff. But it really dragged me down. And I couldn't swim :(. But at least by Friday I was able to get a proper shoe on to do the ropes course.

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St. Thomas


We did the Twice as Nice Catamaran Sail and Snorkel

We enjoyed this. There was a stop near a shipwreck and a stop by Turtle Cove.

We did this one because my son wanted to see the turtles and the actual Turtle Cove Sail and Snorkel was only for ages 8 and up. Not sure why there's different age restrictions since I would guess the excursions are similar.

The stops were a little too short for us. Also there was only one turtle. When we were leaving we could see the turtles were actually a bit further down from where we stopped. But my son was happy enough seeing the one turtle thank goodness.

They served unlimited pain killers on the way back. :D


I have no photos of this right now but its well covered on our vacation video which is almost done:)




We took a taxi to Brewers Bay because we love to snorkel and this is supposed to be the one of the better spots. The ride there had some amazing views. The taxi was $8 per person each way...but on the way there they they charged for my son and on the way back (different driver) they didn't.


Do not go to Brewer's Bay if you want a spot with bars and shops etc. Some people got there and were disappointed. They should have gone to Cane Garden Bay. This is the place to go if you want a quiet beach. It only has one small cafe to get drinks and food called Nicole's (see photo). The food was fine - beer, burgers, fries, sandwiches etc. Its good for families because the water is very calm, and you don't have to go very far to see fish if you are snorkelling.


I believe lounge chairs were $5


If you are snorkelling start right at the beach on the left by the rocks - the coral reef is close to shore. If you go further out and towards the middle you won't see so much.


There is nothing much right at the port right now because it is under construction. But if you do your research there are some really nice beaches to go to by taxi if you don't want to do an excursion.


Nicole's at Brewer's Bay



Brewer's Bay



Brewer's Bay - you can see here where the rocks are - this is where to snorkel



All of the photos are my own from my phone. There will be lots more from the "good" camera once they are approved by DH ;)

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Burn the Floor - Excellent - extremely talented dancers. Various forms of dance and music, high energy. Everything from Samba to Tango. Even DH loved it and hes not really into regular dance shows but the energy of the performances keep you entertained to the end.


My 7 year old went to the kids club because he is not into the dancing and would probably be bored. But I don't recall anything that would make it inappropriate for kids. I think kids who love shows like Dancing with the Stars or who dance themselves would really enjoy it.


Legally Blonde - I really enjoyed it, but that's my kind of thing (loved the movie etc.) DH thought it was entertaining but did not enjoy it as much as I did. I'm not sure if its the kind of show that reaches a broad audience.

Do not bring younger children to this unless you really have to. I think it would be pretty boring for them and some of it would be over their heads - its geared to an adult audience. I saw a lot of parents taking young kids out midway. I think maybe older girls and teens would enjoy it.


Magic Show - Not amazing but quite good. He also used a lot of humor which was different compared to other magicians. It was also nice because with regard to shows on the ship, there it not much for the kids and my son really enjoyed it.


Note Illusionarium was closed for renovation during this week.


Due to my medical condition (discussed earlier) I could not get to Grammy Experience, Dueling Pianos or the Comedy Show.

Be sure to book these after you get on the ship! (you can do this on the App or on the TV) The comedy show booked up really fast. There was a stand by line I believe,but I was not well enough to stand so long and wait.


LOVED the game shows...there was the Not So Newlywed game show and one where the parents and the kids do something similar. There were a lot of different shows in the atrium and they were really funny. Get there early to get a seat in the Atrium.

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