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notthatpaulyd

Getaway Review 5/24-31 (Our first NCL Cruise)

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Hello Cruise Critic Community,

 

So I have been consuming tons of information from these boards ever since January when I booked this cruise. I now feel I owe it to the community to provide a review on my cruise and share any observations, tips, and thoughts that I had throughout.

 

But first, a little background.

 

My name is Paul, my girlfriend, Lindsay, and I have been on 3 cruises. We are both 28 (no kids), and fell in love with cruising on our very first voyage on the Allure in May of 2012. We had a less than great experience the following May on Carnival's Liberty, and were really excited to give a new ship and new cruise line a shot. Enter NCL Getaway. We booked her in January, through Expedia, and NCL provided us $100 OBC and a free Balcony Upgrade. Expedia gave me an additional $150 OBC for paying with a MasterCard. (for reference, NCL's was applied immediately and viewable on myNCL on day 1... the Expedia $150 was a "gift" that was left in the stateroom and applied to our account).

 

Our Cruising Style

We love spending time at the pool, beer in hand, and enjoying the activities, sun, and, the always entertaining, people watching. We also love the evening game shows and entertainment (and beer again :)). We had a long internal debate as to whether buy UBP or not... the new price of $59pp/day ultimately turned us off. It ended up being the right decision for us.

 

I am not a big of eating dinner with strangers, so I never enjoyed the traditional dining setup on our other cruises. On each of our prior cruises we primarily ate in the buffets, and mixed in a few specialties here and there. The idea of Freestyle Cruising was quite intriguing to me. We did not buy UDP (never considered it).

 

On the Allure, since it was our first cruise, we booked all excursions through Royal. On Carnival, we felt more experienced, and leveraged CC and Trip Advisor to book our own excursions. We mixed it up again this time around (more on that to come).

 

On to the review, I'll go day by day. I also have most (if not all) of the Dailies still, so if you have questions on that, or anything else, I'd be more than happy to help. I should mention I took no notes whatsoever, so I will likely forget things until a question is asked on it ;). This review will be relatively detailed.

 

 

Day 1: Friday, May 23 - Travel Day

Lindsay and I met in Miami, and lived there for 2.5 (me) and 5.5 (Lindsay) years, before we moved back to the NYC area. We hadn't been back since we moved, so we wanted to take an extra day and enjoy some South Florida sun. We also knew, from our living there, that Memorial Day Weekend can be a bit crazy in Miami Beach, so we decided to fly into, and stay in Fort Lauderdale. We woke up nice and early and über-ed it over to Laguardia, where we caught our 6:40am flight to FLL. Once we got our baggage, we took a quick cab over to our hotel. Based on some word of mouth recommendations, I booked an Ocean View King Studio at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. The room, and the resort, were absolutely gorgeous. We had a huge kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom (with jacuzzi tub), and a huge wraparound balcony overlooking the beach and Fort Lauderdale.

 

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We spent all day at the beach, and the pool in the resort. It was fantastic! We also walked down to the Beach Place center where we ate alligator and got cocktails at Lulu's Bait Shack, and picked up some last minute cruise items at CVS (including a case of water bottles to bring on board).

 

At night, we went to the famous Elbo Room, and enjoyed some drinks and live music in one of our favorite Fort Lauderdale spots. All in all, a great day, and a great night... followed by a great night's sleep in our beautiful hotel room.

 

Day 2: Friday, May 24 - Cruise Day 1

We woke up around 9:30am, packed our bags, said goodbye to our beautiful room, and went downstairs to check out a little after 10am. We asked the staff at the Hilton to grab as a cab, and within moments, we were on our way to the Port of Miami. The ride took about 45-60 minutes, and cost us $100 with tax and tip (of note, we were prepared with cash, but the Fort Lauderdale cabs (or at least the one we took) have been updated to include CC payment, which was a nice convenience). We left our bags with the porters, and made our way into Terminal C. We got through security pretty quickly, filled out our forms, got our cards, pictures and such, and then entered the waiting area. We were boarding group 8. We waited for maybe 30 minutes or so (they hadn't started boarding at all), and made our way onto the beautiful Getaway. As we walked from the Gangway to the ship, we were met with a warm welcome from the NCL team, including the washy washy ladies, and some party music. Great way to set the tone. We walked into deck 7, and were immediately in awe of the beauty of the ship. I couldn't believe the size of O'Sheehan's... it was huge. We made our way through the ship a bit, and took the stair up to deck 15 to check out the area we'd spend most of our time, the pool deck. We loved the layout, and were immediately calmed by all the concerns we've read about the small area. The adult pool, as I am sure you have seen, has a deep center section, and wide wading areas, flanked by hot tubs, bars, and a stage. We walked around and checked out the slides, which were over the kids / family pool area (which seemed plenty adequate), and then Facetimed with family to make them jealous!

 

We got some quick lunch in the Garden Café (fyi - the salad bar was delicious), and by 1pm, we learned that our staterooms were already ready. It was great. We made our way down to deck 9, where we met our steward Roy, and entered 9736, our forward angled balcony (on the bump out... thanks cruise critic!) and got settled in. This was the first time we booked a balcony on a cruise (ocean view on the last two) and were pleased with the size. We could see the smaller, neighboring balcony, but even with those, would have been satisfied. Our angled bump out did give us a bit more space to spread out. We definitely could have fit a third deck chair if we needed. We also thought the shower was the largest of any of the staterooms we have had thus far. It also featured a nice bar on the bottom that we assumed was for washing (or shaving for you ladies) your legs without hitting your head on the door when bending over. Lindsay wanted me to send an FYI to the ladies on here that there is no conditioner on the ship, just shower gel and shampoo. She wished she had packed it.

 

IMG_7650.jpg

 

We did a quick unpack, and made our way back out to do a quick ship tour, and then ended up at the pool. We loved the connection to Miami, especially having lived there for a number of years.

 

I should mention that we loved being on deck 9. It was nice and close to the 678, and wasn't a terrible hike to the pool/buffet. We never once stepped foot in an elevator, and took the stairs everywhere we went without issue. We bought a few of the Sail Away drinks and hung out at the pool until about 3:30pm. The pool stayed pretty empty throughout the afternoon, and we comfortably got spots sitting on the edge of the pool enjoying the cloud free sun! After getting a few drinks, we quickly realized that "our bartender" would be the fabulous Terasta, who was working at the bar on the right (facing the bars). I threw him a larger tip on our last round, and for the rest of the trip, he remembered my name, my drinks, and always expedited my orders. Some may disagree with this strategy, but it's a strategy I believe in, and have always employed. I gave him a few drinks to try out his service, was pleased, and gave him an early "thank you."

 

After reading on Cruise Critic about the day 1 promo (20% off), we decided to pre-book premium seats at the Illusionarium, and chose the 5:30pm time. As I had read on here, the $29 was refunded back to me and I was charged the discounted rate. Since sail away was at 4:15pm, we got ready for dinner early, and made our way back up top for the sail away. We said goodbye to our former home of Miami and loved seeing South Beach in the rear view mirror as our voyage officially began. We toured the ship a bit more, and then got to the Illusionarium a bit early (4:45pm or so) and were one of the first groups to arrive. We didn't wait too long at all, as doors open 30 minutes prior, and were walked to a great table in the center of the venue right in front. We ordered drinks, confirmed that we were good to eat the steak and shrimp (a few of the guests we shared the table with said that they were allergic to shrimp, and the staff didn't flinch in making the accommodation). While we are here, I'll just mention that I personally enjoyed the three course meal, which was a salad, steak and shrimp, and desert. I know some have complained on here, and for that reason I certainly wasn't expecting the quality or presentation of the meal to be as good as it actually was. Anyway, on to the show... it was MINDBLOWINGLY GOOD. I don't want to ruin anything at all, so I won't say anything else on this outside of; if you do anything on the ship at all, do this. You will not regret it.

 

After the show, which ended around 7pm, we walked around the Waterfront area, and enjoyed a drink at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar. A lot of the bars had a small, and of course hygienically individual, container of bar snacks like trail mix. The Sugarcane had something more unique and was this delicious roasted corn thing. It was so good. I need to learn how to make this snack (or figure out where to buy it!).

 

We are big fans of the land version of Howl at the Moon, so we mozied on over to Headliners to check it out a few minutes after 8pm and discovered that it was already PACKED! And not like, the venue was too small packed, but this huge venue was filled with happy cruisers. We got lucky, and two seats were available at the bar, right near the front corner, giving us a great view of the pianists.

 

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We spent our whole night here, singing along at the top of our lungs, and got our first two buckets of the cruise from our favorite evening bartender, Jane. The convenience of the buckets were a huge advantage of not having UBP. Throughout the rest of the ship, we almost only bought buckets (when buying beer). A bucket of six 16oz Miller Lites was only $31 (including the 15% auto-gratuity). That's eight cans of beer (assuming a normal 12oz can) at under $4 a piece. It was a great deal and a huge convenience.

 

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OK - I have been writing for a while, and need to take a break for a bit! I'll continue to post more soon. I hope you are enjoying so far... please ask any questions you have!

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Also - my first "tip" -

 

Everyone has posted on here about the fact that the fish swim forward on the hallway carpets, but when in the lobbies, there's another way to tell. Since we spent a lot of time in the stairs, we used the fact that the forward stairs were 4 flights wide with a central rectangular mirror and the aft stairs were 2 wide, split in the middle by something else (like Cagney's / Moderno), and had circular mirrors.

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Just a quick post - Roy was excellent! He took care of our large balcony on deck nine, my parents' cabin right next door to ours, and also our teens' inside cabin. He was truly a great steward, and we enjoyed chatting with him as well! We saw him off the ship in Nassau, and he made it a point to come over to us and chat. Just a really nice guy!

Edited by SissasMomE

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First time subscriber here - really enjoying your review.

 

thanks,

 

deb:D

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Thank you everyone for the kinds words... I shall continue...

 

Also, as I mentioned, since I took no notes, I realized I made a slight mistake above. We actually left our room at 330pm for the Muster Drill, where we met in the Getaway Theater. After that, we went up for sail away...

 

I also will change my naming structure going forward, making my travel day "Day 0", as to not confuse with the cruise daily naming convention. I don't know how to edit my first post though...

 

Day 2: Saturday, May 24 - Cruise Day 2, At Sea

I love days at sea! I think they are the absolute best, and today we had absolutely perfect weather.

 

We started our day by getting ready in the stateroom and going up to the Garden Café for breakfast. There's a pretty good selection of items for breakfast, but since I'm not much of a breakfast person, I just got some sausage links (that were great), a scoop or two of the potato wedges with peppers and onions, and some fruit. There was a few choices of fruits, and since Lindsay heard that green apples help prevent seasickness (she can be pretty sensitive to it), she ate one every morning! Lindsay loved these little hash patties they had too and got those every morning. Once we finished our breakfast, and mimosas (only $4.25 each!), we made our way to the pool. We found ourselves a little corner in the wading area between the ladder and the hot tub, and got comfortable with a nice bucket of Miller Lite (this will be a theme!). We were excited for the Mr Sexy Legs competition at 1pm, and came to find out we had chosen a pretty good spot to see it. They hosted all of the games and contests on the "bench area" between the pool and the stage. Right before the contest began, I got myself a nice Miami Vice too!

 

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The Mr Sexy Legs competition was hilarious, as those things usually are, and this was also the first time we "met" our Cruise Director and staff, Joel. Each member of the CD staff had a little "hello phrase" that they would ask the audience to yell out, and Joel's was "What's up Jersey Boy?!"

 

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While we are here and "introducing" Joel, I'd say that he was absolutely great, but we didn't see him quite as often as we saw the CDs on our other cruises. There's nothing wrong with this, and was likely because of the things we chose to do/see, but it was a noticeable difference. We loved the CD staff though, including "Zesty Zach," the ACD Omar, Junior (from Brazil), Kayla, and our favorite Jessy. I'll talk more about these guys throughout the review.

 

During the contests, the pool and pool deck did get a bit crowded, but I personally love the energy of that. It was a fun atmosphere. We also made our way to the pool early enough to get comfortable, and anytime we got there late, we found a spot pretty easily. I'll add that we are not chair hogs either, in fact we didn't use chairs at the cruise deck at all for the entire cruise. Anytime we got up, like to eat lunch, we would give up the spot.

 

Speaking of lunch, we are in the Garden Café this day, and I honestly don't remember what I ate, but throughout the week I really loved the salad bar, the pretzel rolls, and the asian noodles. There was also this great chili sauce that I put on my white rice to "spice it up" a bit... it was quite spicy so caveat emptor.

 

We spent a few more hours at the pool that afternoon, but started to get a bit tired from our first day in the sun. Knowing that we had a late night ahead of us, we decided to check out Spice H20 and take a nap! This was actually the only time we went to Spice, because like I mentioned before, we like the atmosphere of a busy pool deck with music and events going on. It was nice, it was quiet, and it served it's purpose. I was out cold! Lindsay didn't fall asleep quite as well as I did, so she just laid out, and enjoyed the waterfall feature a few times to keep cold.

 

After our nap, or my nap, we went back to the room to shower and get ready for dinner. We tried one of the MDRs for the first time and made our way to Savor. Tonight was "Norwegian's Night Out," so if there was anytime to dress up, it was tonight. We decided to enjoy the moment, and we looked good! Savor had a table for two ready for us within moments, and I loved freestyle dining immediately. It was exactly like going to a restaurant and getting a table whenever we wanted (instead of the structured time like most lines). We also liked that Savor was more like a restaurant and less like a ballroom. Our waiter, pretty quickly came and took or order. We bought a bottle of Ruffino Pinot Grigio (about $30) and ordered our meals. I don't recall what I got for an appetizer, but both Lindsay and I enjoyed whatever it was we asked for. For our entrees, we both got the featured item that night, which was Salmon. It was decent, but a bit overcooked for my taste. I got a strange, but tasty pineapple desert. I did take a pic of this, because we both thought it was a bit funny.

 

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We made our way over to the Atrium, around 8:30pm or so, and realized, what I think, was one of the biggest tips I could possible share. I'm going to give this one it's own line, because it really made a difference to how we enjoyed the cruise, specifically the Atrium entertainment.

 

IMHO, The best place to sit to watch the Atrium shows is deck 7 at O'Sheehan's at the "horseshoe bar" overlooking the stage. Here you will get bar/food service from the O'Sheehan's staff and have an unobstructed view of the entertainment.

 

We got a bit lucky the first night, as we happened to find two seats right before the show started. The rest of the cruise, we intentionally got there earlier, to get even better "nosebleed" seats. We sat up here tonight to watch the Newlywed, Not So Newlywed Game Show, and, as you can probably imagine, we ordered none other than a bucket of Miller Lite.

 

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I don't mean to be repetitive, nor post pictures of drinks only, but this really was a great difference in having UBP vs not (remember UBP = no buckets). For our O'Sheehan's seating strategy, we were able to get comfortable, and have a few drinks each without having to order again. The one thing that was kind of annoying, I suppose, was that the high tops made it kind of tricky to reach down and get the beers while in the seats. (boo hoo, right?). Lindsay told me that I should recommend that girls wear longer skirts/pants when possible, as sitting up there, you're seated in a high chair and are in front of glass.

 

The show, hosted by Joel, was hilarious as they always are. The newest of the newlyweds (only 3 days!) won, and we recognized them throughout the rest of the week. It's funny how you can become a "cruise celebrity."

 

After the NNSN Game Show, we stuck around in the atrium and watch Bandaoke, where a band, who played most of the live music onboard, called "Groove International," played backup for cruisers to sing karaoke. There were some really ,really impressive singers in the group, including one lady who ended up doing a cameo with Groove International later in the week. This isn't her, but this is a pic I took of Bandaoke that may help give you some perspective on the seating. Like I mentioned earlier, these were the worst of our nosebleed seats for the week. We were still able to see just fine, and were at the side of the stage.

 

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We ended our night when Bandaoke ended at midnight, and decided to skip out on the Norwegian's Night Out Dance Party in Spice. We were looking forward to our next day at sea, and got to bed at a somewhat decent time :).

 

OK, that's Day 2...

 

Day 3, and hopefully Day 4, to come tomorrow. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

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Oh! A few other quick things -

 

There was a picture promo for the Norwegian's Night Out pictures, where the following day you could buy 1 and get 2... we didn't read the not fine at all print, and assumed this was all cruise long, but this definitely has an expiration. So if you like those pics, actually read the little thing they give you!

 

Another reason not to get UBP; if you buy a drink for someone other than yourself, like some who kindly bought drinks for the pianists at Howl at The Moon, the bartender will charge you for that drink. I saw this happen repeatedly and consistently.

 

Also, a lot of sports viewing questions have been posted on the forum; while we were on the ship, they showed all the Miami Heat games on pretty much every TV, but did not play any NHL playoffs.

 

And finally, we found some of the restaurants to be a bit chilly and I wouldn't recommend shorts... Lindsay wanted me to remind all girls to bring sweaters or cover-ups, which she did thankfully. It wasn't crazy cold or anything, but on one of the nights where I wore a nice pair of shorts, I felt colder than I'd like to have.

Edited by notthatpaulyd

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Loving your review!!!!! :). We sail June 14 and I am soaking in all of this information! :)

 

Question though- are you confused as to which day you left Miami? I believe all GA cruises leave on Saturday, not Friday. ;). Too much fun in the ship to remember which day you left? :D

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Loving your review!!!!! :). We sail June 14 and I am soaking in all of this information! :)

 

 

 

Question though- are you confused as to which day you left Miami? I believe all GA cruises leave on Saturday, not Friday. ;). Too much fun in the ship to remember which day you left? :D

 

 

Yes you are absolutely right! We left Saturday 5/24.

 

Glad you are enjoying the review!

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

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Thanks for doing a lengthy review. Can't wait to read the rest! I am excited to to experience this ship but we don't sail until April.

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I'm not even sailing the Getaway and I'm enjoying your review! Sounds like you enjoyed NCL and had a wonderful cruise. :)

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Well, reading this review takes me back to when Pdiddy and I were 28 and childless and on our first cruise out of Miami....

ahhhh..

Keep it comin!!!!

 

Pdiddywife

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Paul-

Great review. My wife and I ship out June 7th. We have also decided to forgo the UBP. My question to you is- Do they have any other types of beer in the bucket other than Miller Lite?

Edited by plouffe13

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Paul-

Great review. My wife and I ship out June 7th. We have also decided to forgo the UBP. My question to you is- Do they have any other types of beer in the bucket other than Miller Lite?

 

 

Absolutely! In fact you can even mix and match.

 

They had a number of the 16oz aluminum varieties and then a bunch of glass bottles too. One note is they don't allow glass at the pool.

 

During our sailing they had a special that if you bought a Dos Equis bucket you also received a free XX lanyard with a bottle opener.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

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Sorry for the delay on the rest everyone. Long days at work catching up! I'll do my best to continue today and tomorrow.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

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Hi there

do you know which nigth is the seafood buffet ?

Thank you

miryam

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hello cruise critic community,

 

so i have been consuming tons of information from these boards ever since january when i booked this cruise. I now feel i owe it to the community to provide a review on my cruise and share any observations, tips, and thoughts that i had throughout.

 

But first, a little background.

 

My name is paul, my girlfriend, lindsay, and i have been on 3 cruises. We are both 28 (no kids), and fell in love with cruising on our very first voyage on the allure in may of 2012. We had a less than great experience the following may on carnival's liberty, and were really excited to give a new ship and new cruise line a shot. Enter ncl getaway. We booked her in january, through expedia, and ncl provided us $100 obc and a free balcony upgrade. Expedia gave me an additional $150 obc for paying with a mastercard. (for reference, ncl's was applied immediately and viewable on myncl on day 1... The expedia $150 was a "gift" that was left in the stateroom and applied to our account).

 

our cruising style

we love spending time at the pool, beer in hand, and enjoying the activities, sun, and, the always entertaining, people watching. We also love the evening game shows and entertainment (and beer again :)). We had a long internal debate as to whether buy ubp or not... The new price of $59pp/day ultimately turned us off. It ended up being the right decision for us.

 

I am not a big of eating dinner with strangers, so i never enjoyed the traditional dining setup on our other cruises. On each of our prior cruises we primarily ate in the buffets, and mixed in a few specialties here and there. The idea of freestyle cruising was quite intriguing to me. We did not buy udp (never considered it).

 

On the allure, since it was our first cruise, we booked all excursions through royal. On carnival, we felt more experienced, and leveraged cc and trip advisor to book our own excursions. We mixed it up again this time around (more on that to come).

 

On to the review, i'll go day by day. I also have most (if not all) of the dailies still, so if you have questions on that, or anything else, i'd be more than happy to help. I should mention i took no notes whatsoever, so i will likely forget things until a question is asked on it ;). This review will be relatively detailed.

 

 

day 1: Friday, may 23 - travel day

lindsay and i met in miami, and lived there for 2.5 (me) and 5.5 (lindsay) years, before we moved back to the nyc area. We hadn't been back since we moved, so we wanted to take an extra day and enjoy some south florida sun. We also knew, from our living there, that memorial day weekend can be a bit crazy in miami beach, so we decided to fly into, and stay in fort lauderdale. We woke up nice and early and über-ed it over to laguardia, where we caught our 6:40am flight to fll. Once we got our baggage, we took a quick cab over to our hotel. Based on some word of mouth recommendations, i booked an ocean view king studio at the hilton fort lauderdale beach resort. The room, and the resort, were absolutely gorgeous. We had a huge kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom (with jacuzzi tub), and a huge wraparound balcony overlooking the beach and fort lauderdale.

 

untitled.jpg

 

we spent all day at the beach, and the pool in the resort. It was fantastic! We also walked down to the beach place center where we ate alligator and got cocktails at lulu's bait shack, and picked up some last minute cruise items at cvs (including a case of water bottles to bring on board).

 

At night, we went to the famous elbo room, and enjoyed some drinks and live music in one of our favorite fort lauderdale spots. All in all, a great day, and a great night... Followed by a great night's sleep in our beautiful hotel room.

 

day 2: Friday, may 24 - cruise day 1

we woke up around 9:30am, packed our bags, said goodbye to our beautiful room, and went downstairs to check out a little after 10am. We asked the staff at the hilton to grab as a cab, and within moments, we were on our way to the port of miami. The ride took about 45-60 minutes, and cost us $100 with tax and tip (of note, we were prepared with cash, but the fort lauderdale cabs (or at least the one we took) have been updated to include cc payment, which was a nice convenience). We left our bags with the porters, and made our way into terminal c. We got through security pretty quickly, filled out our forms, got our cards, pictures and such, and then entered the waiting area. We were boarding group 8. We waited for maybe 30 minutes or so (they hadn't started boarding at all), and made our way onto the beautiful getaway. As we walked from the gangway to the ship, we were met with a warm welcome from the ncl team, including the washy washy ladies, and some party music. Great way to set the tone. We walked into deck 7, and were immediately in awe of the beauty of the ship. I couldn't believe the size of o'sheehan's... It was huge. We made our way through the ship a bit, and took the stair up to deck 15 to check out the area we'd spend most of our time, the pool deck. We loved the layout, and were immediately calmed by all the concerns we've read about the small area. The adult pool, as i am sure you have seen, has a deep center section, and wide wading areas, flanked by hot tubs, bars, and a stage. We walked around and checked out the slides, which were over the kids / family pool area (which seemed plenty adequate), and then facetimed with family to make them jealous!

 

We got some quick lunch in the garden café (fyi - the salad bar was delicious), and by 1pm, we learned that our staterooms were already ready. It was great. We made our way down to deck 9, where we met our steward roy, and entered 9736, our forward angled balcony (on the bump out... Thanks cruise critic!) and got settled in. This was the first time we booked a balcony on a cruise (ocean view on the last two) and were pleased with the size. We could see the smaller, neighboring balcony, but even with those, would have been satisfied. Our angled bump out did give us a bit more space to spread out. We definitely could have fit a third deck chair if we needed. We also thought the shower was the largest of any of the staterooms we have had thus far. It also featured a nice bar on the bottom that we assumed was for washing (or shaving for you ladies) your legs without hitting your head on the door when bending over. Lindsay wanted me to send an fyi to the ladies on here that there is no conditioner on the ship, just shower gel and shampoo. She wished she had packed it.

 

img_7650.jpg

 

we did a quick unpack, and made our way back out to do a quick ship tour, and then ended up at the pool. We loved the connection to miami, especially having lived there for a number of years.

 

I should mention that we loved being on deck 9. It was nice and close to the 678, and wasn't a terrible hike to the pool/buffet. We never once stepped foot in an elevator, and took the stairs everywhere we went without issue. We bought a few of the sail away drinks and hung out at the pool until about 3:30pm. The pool stayed pretty empty throughout the afternoon, and we comfortably got spots sitting on the edge of the pool enjoying the cloud free sun! After getting a few drinks, we quickly realized that "our bartender" would be the fabulous terasta, who was working at the bar on the right (facing the bars). I threw him a larger tip on our last round, and for the rest of the trip, he remembered my name, my drinks, and always expedited my orders. Some may disagree with this strategy, but it's a strategy i believe in, and have always employed. I gave him a few drinks to try out his service, was pleased, and gave him an early "thank you."

 

after reading on cruise critic about the day 1 promo (20% off), we decided to pre-book premium seats at the illusionarium, and chose the 5:30pm time. As i had read on here, the $29 was refunded back to me and i was charged the discounted rate. Since sail away was at 4:15pm, we got ready for dinner early, and made our way back up top for the sail away. We said goodbye to our former home of miami and loved seeing south beach in the rear view mirror as our voyage officially began. We toured the ship a bit more, and then got to the illusionarium a bit early (4:45pm or so) and were one of the first groups to arrive. We didn't wait too long at all, as doors open 30 minutes prior, and were walked to a great table in the center of the venue right in front. We ordered drinks, confirmed that we were good to eat the steak and shrimp (a few of the guests we shared the table with said that they were allergic to shrimp, and the staff didn't flinch in making the accommodation). While we are here, i'll just mention that i personally enjoyed the three course meal, which was a salad, steak and shrimp, and desert. I know some have complained on here, and for that reason i certainly wasn't expecting the quality or presentation of the meal to be as good as it actually was. Anyway, on to the show... It was mindblowingly good. I don't want to ruin anything at all, so i won't say anything else on this outside of; if you do anything on the ship at all, do this. You will not regret it.

 

after the show, which ended around 7pm, we walked around the waterfront area, and enjoyed a drink at the sugarcane mojito bar. A lot of the bars had a small, and of course hygienically individual, container of bar snacks like trail mix. The sugarcane had something more unique and was this delicious roasted corn thing. It was so good. I need to learn how to make this snack (or figure out where to buy it!).

 

We are big fans of the land version of howl at the moon, so we mozied on over to headliners to check it out a few minutes after 8pm and discovered that it was already packed! And not like, the venue was too small packed, but this huge venue was filled with happy cruisers. We got lucky, and two seats were available at the bar, right near the front corner, giving us a great view of the pianists.

 

img_7681.jpg

 

we spent our whole night here, singing along at the top of our lungs, and got our first two buckets of the cruise from our favorite evening bartender, jane. The convenience of the buckets were a huge advantage of not having ubp. Throughout the rest of the ship, we almost only bought buckets (when buying beer). A bucket of six 16oz miller lites was only $31 (including the 15% auto-gratuity). That's eight cans of beer (assuming a normal 12oz can) at under $4 a piece. It was a great deal and a huge convenience.

 

img_7676.jpg

 

ok - i have been writing for a while, and need to take a break for a bit! I'll continue to post more soon. I hope you are enjoying so far... Please ask any questions you have!

hi there

i apologise if you got this question before ,but i couln't tell if it went .

Do you know what day of the week is the seafood buffet

thank you

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Sounds like a weird question but is the the pic of the shower in a balcony room???

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We saw you guys in St. Thomas last week when Allure was in port as well. How would you compare your experience on Allure vs. Getaway? We're debating booking Getaway next January or going on Oasis.

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Also, a lot of sports viewing questions have been posted on the forum; while we were on the ship, they showed all the Miami Heat games on pretty much every TV, but did not play any NHL playoffs.

 

You have made my day by posting this! Huge Heat fan here and I now know that I will get to watch the finals while on the cruise. I'm even more excited about my trip now.

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