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Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

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Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

Hi folks , hubby to be and I have booked a Caribbean cruise on the new ship 'getaway' on the breakaway line for our honeymoon (it's also H2B 30th while away) as its a double special occasion and way out of our normal holiday budget I'm kean to make the best of our time on and off board . It's our first time cruising too and have never been away without the kids so it already feels daunting with so much information its hard to take in whats best to do. we have upgraded for drinks to be included as after the wedding were not anticipating on having much cash to spend after! Although in saying that we are aware trips are extra but We want to pay for tipping in advance, does this mean we will be served less frequent if we're not tipping cash every time too? Or do you end up paying twice? It seems to be spiralling out ofF control :-( if anyone could advise on what and what not to do would be hugely appreciated! Also information on the excursions , is it safe to go off and do your own thing on the islands? Or do we have to book through the cruise line in which case pay more?

I regards to the shows do these need to be booked before you embark to ensure you get to see them? I've read it's like (and I quote) "herds" to try get to see anything ! :-((

From A very stressed bride to be

Thank you for any help in advance :-)

X x

Wigan, United...
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1. Re: Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

Ok, lets start with tipping on NCL.

Firstly, there is no cash. Its a cashless system. Tips or gratuities as they call them are ' added to your onboard account daily for your convenience ' to the tune of $12 per person per day.

I will preface this next bit to the usual suspects who are likely to come on here ranting and raving and they know who they are :

You do not have to pay tips. Before anyone starts, we do ! That's our choice. The tips can be paid in full, you can pay extra or you can pay whatever the heck you like, even nothing. They simply add them to your onboard account and that is settled at the end of the cruise by either a credit card or cash. We always use a credit card, saves messing with cash.

Shows : I think Getaway will be similar to Epic. Shows can be booked. We didn't bother til we got onboard, although plenty did. That's your choice. Personally I despise the system. Say you meet some new friends onboard and you want to see a show. You fancy Tuesday.. well hard luck as they have booked and they are going Wednesday..

Tours : do not book a tour with NCL ! Pleeeease.......... a little bit of research here on TA and over on Cruise Critic and you will find plenty of local, good quality alternatives at a fraction of the cost for a better experience.

We sail in 10 days to the Caribbean, we have not got a single tour booked with NCL, yet we have tours booked at 90% of our ports already.

Any more questions, just ask.

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2. Re: Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

Thank you for your help :-) I found this very helpful! Will deffo try organise our own excursions , we were unsure if its safe to do this but feel more reassured now if other people do this too.

Have an amazing time on your cruise

Thank you again

Jo & damo

Wigan, United...
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3. Re: Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

You are welcome.

Have you looked at cruise critic to see if there is a roll call for your sailing ?

A roll call is an online gathering of people who are booked onto a particular cruise.. most helpful when it comes to planning as people share ideas and a lot are looking to share tours, therefore keeping costs down.

Plus you will get an invite to a meet and mingle should you wish to attend such a thing - the people off the roll call and some NCL crew will have a venue set aside for the meet and mingle and cruisers can chat and make friends and meet senior officers.

Some like this sort of thing, some do not.

hampshire
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4. Re: Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

hi we have just returned from an overnight and one day cruise on this new ship. This was our first time with nfl and have only ever been on one cruise before with Cunard. Firstly the ship is great and plenty to do the food also was good but the downside is extra charges any drink we had to pay an automatic service charge plus port tax also. Tried a treatment at the spa and was kept half an hour with hard sell on products then told to sign for the treatment I had whilst the girl who did the treatment told me the top bit was for me to also leave her a tip if I wanted to ... No pressure whilst she is stood over you to see if you fill in a tip for her.On top of that a charge also is put on which was not cheap a massage that I had paid for another 27dollars added. Zion won't be going to book a cruise now with this company as I would be to frightened of the end bill so be very aware

Detroit, Oregon
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5. Re: Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

Just got off. The food stinks, but everything else here is accurate. 15% automatic gratuity on all drinks which makes for $7 beers.

Richmond Hill...
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6. Re: Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

We just got off as well and I guess we must have been on a different cruise than pjpavlik. We went as a group of 6 including 2 kids. We found the food to be great regardless of whether it was at the buffet, the restaurants or specialty restaurants. The ship is beautiful and the service exceptional. We are going again in May

Ogden, Utah
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7. Re: Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

my sister says that you tip at the end of your trip. Lets says its $10.00 a day by how ever many days you sailed for.

wirral
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8. Re: Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

15% service charge on all drinks is the industry standard.Nothing new there then.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH
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9. Re: Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

We just got off the very first 7 day cruise on the Getaway this Sat 2/15 and I can offer some cost saving tips for you.

Firstly, the ship is awesome. The food was great. We tried several of the "extra" cost restaurants and felt the "included" restaurant food was so good the "extra" cost places were not necessary. By the way the Cucina Italian place has VERY slow service (2 hrs to eat) so to be avoided. We had some good breakfasts & lunchs at O'Sheens Irish Pub which is included. There are sit down menu restaurants & the buffet that are all included.

The service fees are $12 per day per person. They earn this in my opinion with pretty excellent service. It is automatically added to your account although can be paid in advance. There are no cash transactions on board. Every drink has a 15% gratuity added jacking up the drink costs even more.

What we did was order an amenity called a "bar set up". For $80 to $100 they will deliver a 750L or 1.0L bottle of liquor of your choice to your cabin. This includes mixers (7 UP, Pepsi, whatever) and garnishes to be ordered each day. It's one way to get free sodas. We went to a ship bar and got some plastic bar cups and made our own drinks the entire cruise which we brought with us to dinners or shows. No problem doing this. This allowed us to drink at a fraction of NCL's bar charges.

We also brought a piece of luggage filled with 12 packs of soft drinks. This is allowed. Bringing liquor is not allowed. Yes, many people do sneak it in and we spoke to several that had it confiscated. So the "Bar set up" is a sure thing & allowed way to bring your drink costs way down.

No show needs to be booked in advance of your cruise. These can be booked on board either from your cabin TV or the Getaway Theater box office. I would wait to book on board. We saw all the free shows without much problem. Be advised the "Legally Blond" musical is extremely loud. I'd bring some cotton or ear plugs. It was crazy loud.

Do not miss the comedy club (also free). The ship has two comics and both are excellent top notch performers. Booking a 2nd visit to this is blocked when ordering via the cabin TV but if you go to the box office you can get reservations for a 2nd show. I would see both comics and these were the best shows on the ship. You need to arrive 30 minutes early. It is VERY popular and crowded. Although during the later part of the cruise the crowds thin as most folks as have seen both comics.

DO NOT go to the bingo. It is very expensive ($39 per person) and run very, very slowly. Awful.

I do agree with the poster above about avoiding the NCL arranged shore excursions for the most part. We went on our own in St Marten and did book a beach excursion through NCL for St John's. Some of NCL's excursions are reasonably priced & some are not. The problem with the NCL excursions is they jam a huge group onto a sailboat, boat or bus. If you go on your own you avoid some of that. In St Marten we took a 2 hr island tour from "Lisa" a young taxi lady who spoke perfect English. She is there at the water taxi dock in town, just ask for her. We got that tour for about 1/2 of NCL's charges and it was just my wife & I, not a bus full of people. From what we saw going on your own on these islands with a local offering some sort of tour seemed safe to us. We chose that local "lady" to further ensure it would be safe.

All of NCL's shore excursions can be viewed & booked from the cabin TV's or from the 6th deck service desk. It is easy to peruse these on your cabin TV and see what there is to do. Most can be duplicated on your own before you cruise.

By the way if you go on an NCL excursion you waste a lot of time in the Getaway theater while they get things organized. It's time consuming. When we went on our own we were off the ship much faster & on our way. So consider that as well if you use NCL for an excursion. If you book ahead on your own or grab a tour at the port you avoid that.

By the way a lot of the best shopping is right at the dock areas in St Marten & St Johns. In town on these 2 islands it's not as good and there's a lot of hard selling from the door ways and even on the beach at St Marten.

Nassau downtown is not very nice at all. Many just stay on the ship at that port.

In Nassau a lot of folks go over to the Atlantis resort. If you go on your own it's $4 taxi fare per person each way. We did that but you cannot see much as that resort is very restricted unless you purchase the access from Atlantis. You do see more on the NCL tour but it is expensive and a large group. We were happy seeing what we did see for the cost of the taxis.

There is a lot of free stuff on board to do without leaving the ship. Many stay put while in port. The 5 water slides, 2 pools, an enormous elevated rope course, very nice miniature golf, shuffle board, ping pong, rock wall climbing and excellent fitness center are all FREE and very nice. The Getaway's free activities are outstanding.

I will be happy to add what ever additional info you might need about this ship since we just spent an entire week on board, just e-mail me.

You will have a blast that is for sure....

Princeton, MA
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10. Re: Norwegian getaway trip booked may 2014

Dear Bride-to Be: Yes, there are things to take into consideration, but fear not. My GF and I just got back from the Getaway's Inaugural Cruise, and it was amazing! There is a $12 per day, per person "service charge" billed to everyone, which is in effect the tip for the stateroom steward and the restaurant service staff. I highly recommend getting to know your stateroom steward early on. As for drinks, we did not pay for a 'package' ahead of time. Therefore all drink receipts were signed onto our stateroom. There is a gratuity automatically included in this situation, although you can add more if you want to, of course. I feel confident that your drink service will not be affected regardless of how you are paying.

As for excursions: There are many, and they are all spelled out on your TV. Yes, you can save money by arranging them yourself. But doing it through the ship makes it easier to get to them and back.

Shows: Yes, be sure to book them ahead of time. There are long lines as early as 30 minutes before the main shows (Burn the Floor, Legally Blonde). Illusionarium (magic and dinner) was fantastic, and having booked it ahead of time got us into a priority line. Even the comedy and music (Grammy) shows can get crowded with lines, especially for the first (approx. 7pm) show each night.

Try not to stress. You get a daily newsletter the night before spelling out everything going on on the ship each day. The ship is amazing, and I'm sure you'll have the time of your life. The pool/sun decks (15/16) are great. Be sure to try out the water-slides! The main buffet (the "Garden Cafe") is on 15 aft, and is really, really good. Just above it, on deck 16, left side (facing aft) only, is the Flamingo Bar and Grill, which has amazing Miami-Latin food.

You will quickly find your way around the ship, as well as how things work. Again - Try not to stress. There is really no need to. The whole experience is designed to be user-friendly. Cast your day-to-day cares aside as you board the ship, and just enjoy yourselves. It was amazing! (feel free to ask me direct questions).

The Saturday you board, you will get an offer for half-off of ironing/pressing your clothes (wrinkly out of your luggage). And on Tuesday night you'll get an offer to wash, dry and press your laundry at a fixed rate ($28) per bag, which is less than half the per-item price.