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Cruisin_Husker

Just off the getaway -- dailys menus & officers attached

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ABOUT US: My wife and I are in our early 50s and have been on 35 cruises--mostly NCL and Carnival. We are “frugal” cruisers seeking to get on the ship for as little as possible and spend very little once on the ship, e.g. we normally eat in the MDR and rarely do shore excursions (except we’ve done most of the popular ones when our kids were younger and cruised with us). So with that said, on to the review:

 

Embarcation: grade: A We arrived to the pier at 10:45 and after 15 minutes we were through security and had our keycards. After waiting about 10 minutes in the passenger waiting area, they began boarding and we went to our favorite, O’Sheehans and were ready to eat by 11:30!

 

SHIP ITSELF, Grade A: The breakaway class of ships (breakaway, Getaway, and Escape) are some of the easiest best laid out ships in the cruising industry in my opinion. Everything is on decks 5,6, and 7, with the lido buffet up on 15, and with only a fwd and aft stairs, it’s hard to get confused and turned around.

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PLATINUM BENEFITS GRADE A: One of the things we like about NCL are the superior platinum benefits. Here they are on the Getaway:

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(Continued...you can only post a limited number of photos at once)

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CABINS / TVs overall B:The cabins are roomy, the bathrooms and showers good sized and the AC worked well. The TVs continue to be the bargain basement “Sole” brand (am I the only one who hasn’t heard of that brand) and the remote and interface continue to be clunky. The selection of channels is underwhelming:

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Lifeboat drill: grade A:. We dread this on some ships during warm weather when everyone is herded up like cattle and made to stand outside usually next to someone who didn't shower that day. You don't have that problem on the getaway. All the muster stations are in inside areas with plenty of seating and the card scanning system is fast and efficient. The drill itself is quick and painless and you're back in no time to explore the ship.

 

DINING VENUES: grade overall: B

GARDEN BUFFET:. Grade B. A bit of a zoo and hard to find a seat during the first couple hours of embarkation day, but other than that, lines were minimal the food was well stocked and there was always plenty of seating.

 

O'sheehan's: grade B. One of our favorite venues except on the first sea day they pushed the lunch time back an hour due to having too many customers for breakfast?? That was a first for us. The next day they opened 45 minutes late for lunch due to switching over from breakfast. When the third day it opened late again for lunch we sent a note to the food and beverage director and the problem was solved! (The food and beverage manager actually visited us personally in the MDR to explain the issue which was very professional and appreciated) For thos unfamiliar, here’s the menu (I highly recommend the wings, the fajitas, and the “turkey reuben” order the regular reuben and ask the waiter to substitute turkey for the corned beef--it will set you free!)

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Cagneys: grade A. The service was excellent and food even better. We had the filet and ribeye. As a midwesterner from Nebraska who’s nickname was “cornfed,” I know good beef and staeak and the rib eye was fantastic. The shrimp appetizer was also fantastic.

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Moderno:. Grade A fantastic salad bar with sushi shrimp etc and an unlimited endless serving of all sorts of meat chicken and pork...what more could you ask for!-JhroHyUM02iqswe8K12HcZU_iEAICBps97EWmUObkBiN7Md_fVqXchAmt99_JFoqYhVs3Q_xZVgCqZJ7TPx3sG_nh7hqhx4akWQmCGFZTkXCXYbZxw8JzraLfSYpVpciTCTfBm2

 

La cucina: grade A. We were surprised--we anticipated this being our least favorite of the specialty restaurants but turned out to be our favorite. The waiter recommended the filet which I ordered and it was outstanding--easily beating the filet at cagneys. The appetizer portions are huge. My wife had the angel hair pasta for appetizer and we both agreed it was excellent while I had the meat lasagne which was average to good.

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Le Bistro: C. Previously o n e of our favorites. I had the escargot and sole fillet (the chefs recommend dishes) and both were excellent. What was disappointing was the coq au vin (chicken) dish which was one of my favorites. The new dish was just ok..the chicken was somewhat dry and flavor wasn't as good. Service was excellent.

 

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Entertainment. Grade overall B. NCL has some of the best quality and quantity of entertainment at sea IMHO. Plan out your week when you first get on the ship and make your reservations early--especially for the comedians (on our cruise I don't think anyone was turned away from any shows but our sailing was not at capacity either). Reviews of specific shows / acts:

 

Welcome aboard show: grade B. Typical all aboard show. It started on time and gave you just enough of a flavor of the acts so you knew what to expect during the cruise. They did have the obligatory introduction of “senior hotel officers” which I wish cruise lines would dispense wisth--does anyone really care who the beverage manager or assistant hotel manager are? I don't.

 

Howl at the moon dueling pianos: B. The trio that play are pretty good for the most part--not the best vocals you ever would hear but they had high energy and we're entertaining.

 

Park West art auctions:. I put this in the “entertainment” rather than shopping because most go for the free champagne and to kill time during sea days rather than to actually buy anything. Held in the headliners. Good venue because there was always room to sit. The auctioneer and his staff do a good job keeping the energy level up and providing interesting information on the artists and art history.

 

Levity comedy: C. We were disappointed when NCL replaced 2nd city with levity several years ago and for good reason. Most of the comedians are just so-so. We thought Steve Smith was just average while Phil Palisoul was really funny and had several funny sets (we did not go to the adult show versions because we go to bed too early!)

 

Million Dollar Quartet. Grade A. This is one of the best Broadway adapted shows at sea! MDQ is a musical depicting when Elvis Johnny cash Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins played a jam session at sun records. The actors / musicians in this show are spectacular and it's a great show.

 

Burn the floor:. We missed the main show but saw them in several different venues (I highly recommend eating in the Tropicana MDR the night the dancers perform. We've seen this show before and base on what we saw were sure it is also a great show.

 

Game shows / audience participation shows (deal or no deal, newlywed game etc). GRADE C: For whatever reason NCL on the breakaway class ships hold these shows in the atrium and there is never enough room and not near enough seats. If you do plan to go make sure to arrive early to get seats.

 

PORTS:

 

Roatan Honduras Grade C: The positives are the ship docks right near the “town”and there are $2 beers at a couple of the nearby bars. The downside is there's not much else and you have to “walk the gauntlet” of tour operator and scammers once you're outside the gate of the small cruise village. If you don't like the very poor Caribbean ports with aggressive sales\panhandlers this isn't the port for you.

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Harvest Caye Belize (ncls new private island). Grade B. Beautiful facilities great beach and fabulous fresh water pool can't all with a pier so no tendering can't be beat Major Major downside is tourist trap prices. With no food or drinks available for free it really detracts from the “private island” experience. I've never seen the ships Buffett and restaurants and bars so busy on a port day. There was a line to get back on the ship at 1130 during a clear sunny day because everyone was coming back to eat / drink. I for see NCL is going to have to make some food and drinks available on the island for it to achieve its potential. I doubt well even get off the ship next time.

 

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Costa Maya Mexico:.Grade D (with more than one ship in Port). C + (if only ship in Port). The day we were here there were two other ships in Port and the small cruise village and pool is way too small to accommodate that many people. Beers are expensive ($6) and there is not much else to really do. Taxis in to town are about $8 each way according to some people that went.

 

Cozumel Mexico. Grade A. A great Port of call for NCL guests when you dock steps from downtown (vs RCI and Carnival who dock 3.5 miles away). Plenty of reasonably priced excursions, plenty of cheap shopping, and $1 Mexican beers! What's not to like??

 

DISEMBARKATION GRADE A: We normally do the self assist walk-off to be one of the first ones off but this time we were doing a “back to back” on the Carnival Vista down the pier so we waited until we got kicked off the ship which was around 10:15 a.m. Once we did leave, the disembarkation process was fast, efficient, and well organized. It took approximately 15 minutes to clear customs once we stepped off the ship.

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FREESTYLE DAILYS:

DAY 1:

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Thank you for the well versed review and insights. I have seventeen cruises under my belt, but very much enjoy hearing other perspectives. I don't have to agree with other opinions, but I can definitely learn from them. Every vacation reveals new information and experiences. Best wishes for your future travels, an please continue to share your insights.

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Game shows / audience participation shows (deal or no deal, newlywed game etc). GRADE C: For whatever reason NCL on the breakaway class ships hold these shows in the atrium and there is never enough room and not near enough seats. If you do plan to go make sure to arrive early to get seats.

 

Basically everyone that posts a review says this same thing and I definitely found it to be the case on the Escape....

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Hey thanks so much for this!! So helpful! But do you happen to have the inside photo of Day 2? That's the first Day at Sea...trying to figure out how to organize my life on the two Sea Days! Also, do you happen to have any MDR menus? Even if you don't, THANK YOU again!

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Thank you for your detailed review.

 

TVs - I do not believe that Sole TVs are sold in the consumer market. They sell in the commercial markets. It is not surprising that many people will not know of them.

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Hey thanks so much for this!! So helpful! But do you happen to have the inside photo of Day 2? That's the first Day at Sea...trying to figure out how to organize my life on the two Sea Days! Also, do you happen to have any MDR menus? Even if you don't, THANK YOU again!

 

Sorry..it messed me up when I couldn't post more than a few photos at a time!

enhance

enhance

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Also, do you happen to have any MDR menus? Even if you don't, THANK YOU again!

 

Sorry! I didn't get the MDR menus--I missed the first night and because we had 4 free specialty restaurant visits, we only ended up eating in the MDR one night! (I too like seeing the MDR menus for the week to plan out where you want to eat each night).

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Thank you for the review. I loved how everything was graded! My DD and I have been to all of the ports except for the "private island" which we decided we would get off take a gander and maybe a swim and then get back on the ship. We have a spa balcony so we will most likely be spending part of the day there while everyone else is off the ship.

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Thanks, nicely done and very informative. One comment: In Costa Maya go into the small town, about two miles away. Nice beach with free lounges and cheap beer and food.

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Thanks, nicely done and very informative. One comment: In Costa Maya go into the small town, about two miles away. Nice beach with free lounges and cheap beer and food.

 

Thanks for the tip! We heard someone else comment that you can catch a taxi into the town for about $8.

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Don’t know if your a CFB fan did you get a chance to see any games on board? We’re any been shown?

I am--and they did have some football showing in the sportsbar up on deck 15 if I recall. They also showed the NFL on the generic sports channel in the cabins (channel 24). I don't remember them showing any CFB on channel 24 in the cabins.

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