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BermudaBound2014

Getaway Review w/ Including Photos (Aug 15-22)

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We chose to do a Charter with Nightwind Yacht in St. Thomas. This is a full day sail with a maximum of 15 passengers. We sailed with 14 and it did not seem crowded. In my opinion, this is a much better value than the Champagne Catamaran Tour with is lovely, don't get me wrong, and would work for those that want do do something else in the afternoon, but for those that want a whole day on the water in St Thomas, I recommend booking on your own.

Champagne Catamaran was 99.00 for 4 hours and included transportation; but you only do one snorkeling stop and you're on a catamaran that can hold 50 plus passengers. Nightwind was $115.00 for 7 hours plus $20 in transportation so a total of 135.00 (plus tip); but the experience is much more enjoyable.

 

Many people are apprehensive to book on their own for fear of 'missing the ship' but rest assured, on the getaway itinerary you have nothing to fear because your next stop is Tortola and it's literally an very short ferry boat ride away from St. Thomas (bring passport) :).

 

We exited the Getaway at 8:00 and had made prior transportation arrangements. He was waiting for us at the gate with a sign and we off we went to Sapphire Beach. 20 minute ride and you pay AFTER he returns you to the ship so no worries about being left at Sapphire (not that that would be difficult to get a cab from anyway).

 

We got to the Nightwind early and had time to walk around the marina. There are restrooms and showers available. We boarded and immediately the drinks started flowing. Captain Rick and this first mate Deb were on it. I did the hibiscus champagne for sail to st. John. On the Nightwind you can drink before you snorkel too :). We had a great sail to St. John, although others on the yacht were nervous about listing. Honestly, it was no-big-deal. Great times.

 

My only disappointment with Nightwind is their choice for snorkeling in St. John was Caneel Bay (but I get it). My first trip to St. John was back in the 80's and I've actually camped for a week at Cinnamon Bay. To say the reefs have been damaged since then is a huge understatement. With the amount of people visiting each day off the cruise ships, it's no wonder the reefs are in such bad shape. I can see why they want to channel everyone off the cruise ships to Caneel or Trunk. However; Deb made it sound like Captain Rick chose Caneel because it was the snorkeling that day and I question this. We moored at a blue buoy and unless things have changed since my days working at sea, blue buoy's are pre-paid destinations. I'm thinking Captain Rick pays for a buoy at Caneel Bay and this is the standard destination at St. John. This also happens to be the standard destination of every catamaran tour they will sell you from the ship ;-). When we first arrived, the catamarans were already there and it was quite busy. We were able to stay a bit longer after the Catamaran heard left which was nice.

 

The trip included a lovely lunch of chicken, pasta, fruit, etc... We ate lunch (drinks KEPT flowing the entire time) and then sailed to Christmas Cove which I love! For those of you who have never been to Christmas Cove off St. Thomas, finding turtles here in huge numbers is a given. We also snorkeled with a 6 foot EAGLE RAY (kinda rare); lots of mantas, etc... It's a great, calm, snorkeling spot.

 

The absolute best part of sailing with Nightwind was the fresh water shower. Each time we got out of the water Captain RIck doused us with a hose of fresh water which, for those of you who aren't into the salty feel, made for a lovely ride back to the ship.

 

We then sailed back to Sapphire, our cab drive was waiting and dropped us off back at the ship at 4:30. Enough time to grab a T-shirt at Havensight and a perfect day was had by all :).

 

p><p>SAragassum is a problem at the Marina, but we didn

p><p><img src=[/img]

Edited by BermudaBound2014

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I've been to Tortola multiple times. The beaches here are lovely, as is Jost Van Dyke, but if you've never been to TOrtola, I highly recommend a trip to Virgin Gorda and the Baths. Since Rob had never been, this is what we elected to do.

 

Since our port times were 7-3; we opted for the ship tour to secure our spot on the 7:30 ferry. The ferry was entirely full, so I'm not sure if those that booked on their own had to wait or not. The difference in price between on your own and ship was about $20.00 and we decided that this was fine for a 'no-worry' tour.

 

Basically, if you do the ship tour or on your own you all end up at the same spot. The problem with the baths ship tour is that everyone enters the caves at about the same time. Since the first people in went the wrong way at the first cove, lots and lots of people were sort of stuck turning around in a one-way zone :).

 

Hint; when you get to the first water crossing go LEFT and use the rope to climb up and over the huge boulders. After that, following the trail is a piece of cake.

 

Because we knew to take the left, we ended up in the lead of the masses which was lovely because we simply weren't stuck in the man-made line (think Dunns River Falls). We took our time through the baths and were some of the very first ones to Devils Bay. If you have your own snorkel gear bring it. Devils Bay is a fun snorkeling spot and I saw an octopus! We had PLENTY of time to enjoy Devils bay before heading back.

 

For those who haven't done this tour, it's a no-brainer. You all ferry over to Virgin Gorda (the ferry is literally steps from the ship) and load into open air safari taxi's for the trip to the top of the baths. When you are ready to leave the Baths, you hike up the hill from Devils Bay (it's an easy hike, albeit hot; but they had ice water and juice at the top of the hill; NICE TOUCH NCL!) and load into the open air safari's for the return. No need to rush up the hill because as the safari's fill, they leave.

 

You all end up on the same ferry back to Tortola and if you wanted, there is enough time to shop a bit at the dockside shops. The new pier is fine, but to be honest; other than the new shops (think Havensight); the pier looked no different than my pictures back in 2005 when we arrived on HAL's Zuiderdam.

 

I've read that the new pier allows for Large ships to call on TOrtola, but the truth is that large ships have been coming into Tortola for a few decades. CCL used to own the Tortola contract and I sailed into Tortola on the 90,000 GT Zuiderdam back in 2005 and there were two ships in port that day. I think the big difference with the new construction is going to be the availability to shop right at the port verses having to walk a bit into Roadtown.

 

Summary; I do enjoy Tortola as a stop and if you're going I would highly recommend a trip to the Baths in Virgin Gorda.

 

This is probably the tightest squeeze in the Cave Trail:

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

Entering Devils Bay

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

Devils Bay Beach

<a href=image_zpsoka4woso.jpg' alt='image_zpsoka

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The next day we spent at sea. We went to Savor for lunch and I had a yummy scallop dish that reminded me of escargot only with scallops. We spent some time outside on the promenade after lunch enjoying cocktails at Sunset Bar. Have I mentioned yet how much I enjoy that WAterfront Promenade? Rob even took a nap on the rattan chairs. It's night and day difference to deck 15. Our cabin steward made the most adorable Birthday Decorations when we returned to the cabin. So cute. We ate at Cagneys for dinner and then went to LeBistro for the fondue dessert later. It was a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday :).

 

Birthday Sunrise

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

Waterfront Promenade drinks during the afternoon:

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

Birthday Sunset from Cagneys

<a href=image_zps5xvwdvoi.jpg' alt='image_zps5xv

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Very nice review and awesome photos. Looking forward to reading more about your adventure.

 

BTW, the towel cake looks great :)

Edited by tawaik

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You said you had pre-arranged transportation to the marina before hand. I am doing another sailboat out of the same marina you went out from. Who did you use to do that, I would like to set something up in advance for our trip on the Getaway on the 19th. If you have their contact information I would love to have that. You can email me privately at Debbie@jwncpa.com if you would like.

 

Thanks!

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I'm enjoying your review and pictures. It's bringing back memories of our wonderful cruise on July 18th. I really enjoyed the Waterfront, too and like you, enjoyed the sunsets during our meals outside at Cagney's and Moderno. We frequented Sugarcane a lot and I also liked just sitting on the Waterfront watching the world go by. My DH got the Thermal Spa pass and spent some time there every day. I wish I'd known I could have purchased the pass ahead of time.

Heather

Edited by SenatorsFan

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You said you had pre-arranged transportation to the marina before hand. I am doing another sailboat out of the same marina you went out from. Who did you use to do that, I would like to set something up in advance for our trip on the Getaway on the 19th. If you have their contact information I would love to have that. You can email me privately at Debbie@jwncpa.com if you would like.

 

Thanks!

 

We used Alvin Raymond (islandertaxiservices@yahoo.com) based on a recommendation from another poster here on CC. Couldn't have been any easier. I believe the cost is the same with or without reservations, but this way he was waiting for us with our names immediately inside the gates when you exit the ship. What I really liked was that we didn't pay until he returned us to the ship in the afternoon. A bonus was he was a TERRIFIC driver :). I highly recommend.

 

Workingmom: HAHA! So funny because I painstakingly gathered up all the confetti and wrapped it in a napkin to throw away because I didn't want to leave a mess for the steward :). The confetti on the sides of the tier cake was taped with clear packing tape so I didn't need to worry about the confetti on the tiers.

 

This reminds me of something a bit off topic, but I think it's nice to do for the cabin steward. Many people on here will think I'm nuts, but we leave the do-not-disturb light on our cabin every/other day. We simply don't need our cabin made up every day. I feel this gives the cabin stewards a little extra break because they all work so hard, once less room to vacuum each day. Pass it on if you can feel it :)

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Did you receive free dining UDP or free dining SDP? This matters because with with SDP you will be 'charged" for any reservation you don't cancel according to their guidelines. With UDP there is more flexibility. This is what I'd recommend. If you have UDP, make all reservations prior to embarkation. Make one each night. I know I'll get flamed for this, but we actually made 2 reservations on my birthday; we had 6:30 Cagneys reservations (for dinner) and 9:00 LeBistro reservations (for dessert).

 

As far as cost goes, I honestly think you can find lots to eat at the specialty restaurants with no added cost! There are just a few items on the menus with up-charges but the 'regular' fare is really really good. We were allowed to order 2 appetizers each and I'd recommend this if allowed for LeBistro: The scallops and escargot were terrific. You can not order multiple entries without a $10.00 charge (both UDP and SDP). You can order multiple desserts. I have read a bit where some people are being told no to multiple apps and desserts, but that was not our experience.

 

If you have UDP; positively make reservations for LeBistro. Maybe even twice. This restaurant is small and fills quickly. Same with Teppanyaki but we chose to pass on this restaurant this time around (lots love this one though). It's inside (no waterfront dining) and the same as any land-based benihanna. We elected to do more of the waterfront dining since we can't experience that atmosphere at home. We ended up eating at Cagneys three times, LeBistro twice, Moderno, & LuCucina. I'm such a planner I even made our reservations (port/starboard restaurant) to coordinate with the sunset so we could experience the sunset while we ate.

 

Thank you. I am a planner too so this is really hard to coordinate everything with food, shoes, etc. It will be myself and my 14 year old using the dining plan so I have to look through menus to see what he will eat. He is adventurous but some really fancy stuff he just will not try yet.

 

The comedy club shows are a really important activity he loves to do. Do you happen to know how the schedule works with them as to when they do new shows vs repeating the same shows? I know on Carnival some comics do a new show each time and other do a new show one night and then repeat it the next night.

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Workingmom: HAHA! So funny because I painstakingly gathered up all the confetti and wrapped it in a napkin to throw away because I didn't want to leave a mess for the steward :). The confetti on the sides of the tier cake was taped with clear packing tape so I didn't need to worry about the confetti on the tiers.

 

 

Is it bad that the mess was all I thought about when I saw that picture? Lol :). Love the review 😄

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Thank you. I am a planner too so this is really hard to coordinate everything with food, shoes, etc. It will be myself and my 14 year old using the dining plan so I have to look through menus to see what he will eat. He is adventurous but some really fancy stuff he just will not try yet.

 

The comedy club shows are a really important activity he loves to do. Do you happen to know how the schedule works with them as to when they do new shows vs repeating the same shows? I know on Carnival some comics do a new show each time and other do a new show one night and then repeat it the next night.

 

No doubt that coordinating food and shoes is a challenge!! :) :) :). Totally knew what you meant though :).

 

 

Coordinating the comedy shows on the Getaway was a bit of a challenge. Unlike the breakaway, you can't make your one allotted reservation prior to sailing. The benefit of being able to make the reservation prior to embarkation is that you can easily see what shows are being offered. We used the Iconcierge app to make the reservations once we boarded. Not all show times were listed on the app with clear descriptions so you could easily tell if it was a duplicate show, and it was a bit difficult to navigate the app. Also, the app allowed us to make reservations for conflicting times which 'wasted' our one reservation option since we missed the show due to Burn the Floor.

 

What I can say is this, once you board, you will have a much better idea of who is repeating and who isn't. There were three comedians on our trip and we were able to wait in stand-by to see two of the three. Very good. The shows did repeat, but you'll know the repeating performances based on the title of the show. One evening the comedy show was in the theatre, I doubt you'd have to wait stand-by long for that show; but keep in mind that the more popular comedy shows start lining up 30 minutes prior to the show for stand-by and in my experience there were not enough stand-by seats available to accommodate everyone waiting, so be sure to get there early.

 

The comedy shows on the Getaway were really quite good and I enjoyed them more than the improve from Comedy Central on the breakaway last year. Your son should be good for anything but the late performance, which might be a bit much for a young teen. Shows in Headliners were typically at 7 with a repeat at 11 and the show in the theater one night (I think it was Wednesday) started at 8. Hope that helps :)

 

As far as fancy stuff, I'd go ahead and positively book Cagneys. Think Outback Steakhouse. LeBistro is probably the most fancy, but even then I would imagine you can order plain steak. Moderno is cuts of meat and salad bar: Nothing too fancy. The Italian has pizza, but it's not pizza like we get back home (still very good). Try beyondships2 for the menus to see what he may enjoy.

 

Workingmom: Not in the slightest, after I took ohhed and ahhed and took some pictures I immediately went into clean-up mode :).

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Our last day was in Nassau 12-7. I was disappointed with these times because I finally found an excursion I absolutely love in Nassau: Swimming with the sharks at STuarts Cove. Unfortunately, the bus departed for stuarts marina from the clocktower at 11:45, so the Getaway passangers can't participate. I even called Stuarts to see if we could get our own transportation there, but no avail. For those of you looking for adventure, this is a SUPER fun excursion.

 

Here's there info and a pic: http://www.stuartcove.com/

p><p>Since we couldn

 

Before I do a summary, here are some pictures from Nassau with the empty ship:).

 

Italian Restaurant:

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

 

Shops (so pretty when they aren't crowded)

p><p><img src=[/img]

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Great review, sailing Getaway in Jan. We have the UBP do you still pay for drinks in the speciailty dining. Also what do you think is one of the best ones as our friend is 50 during this time do not know which one to book 1st.

 

:confused:

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Great review, sailing Getaway in Jan. We have the UBP do you still pay for drinks in the speciailty dining. Also what do you think is one of the best ones as our friend is 50 during this time do not know which one to book 1st.

 

:confused:

 

Drinks are covered anywhere on the ship with UBP. I too asked the question on the specialties and decided on Cagneys for our 40th Birthday Celebration. Le Bistro was a close second so we booked that as well.

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