The Annual "Get Away From The Cold" Cruise
NCL "Getaway"

  February 2017

This was our annual GAFTC cruise and per usual we flew to Florida to board a ship for 7 days of warm weather cruising.  In an effort to introduce something new we settled on NCL Getaway.  Getaway and NCL's new port in Belize called Harvest Caye were new to us.  Joining us on the cruise were neighbors Gene & Rita as well as my nephew Edward.  We've cruised with Gene & Rita before but this was a first with Edward.  Edward, I'll add, is a Royal Caribbean cruiser so this was his first NCL cruise.  NCL's newer big ships are known for their "Studio" cabins one of which Edward booked for the cruise.   This was our 25th cruise in 7-1/2 years.

Please Note:  Click on any image for more specific information about it.  Clicking on the little map will bring up a satellite image showing where we were when the image was taken.  Camera setting information can also be found.  This time I've included some "time lapse" video to introduce a new perspective.

Our Cabin, 14726:

Last years cruise aboard Carnival "Breeze" spoiled us.  We had originally booked an "Inside" cabin on Breeze when the upgrade fairy called and upgraded us to a "SPA Balcony" cabin.   Making that every day trip to the SPA before getting ready for dinner was oh so refreshing, we loved it!  So this time around we decided to spring for a SPA Balcony cabin aboard Getaway.  What the heck, you only live once.  Our cabin was on the starboard side forward so it was one floor up to the SPA entrance.  Our routine became.... airomatic shower, airomatic steam room, salt bath room, pool, hot tub, and 20 minutes on the ceramic loungers before heading down to the cabin.

As for the cabin itself:  We found the balcony to be narrow to the point sitting facing outward left little room for your legs.  There was ample storage in the cabin but none of it was drawers.  All of it was shelves.  Our cabin was configured with the bed over by the balcony door which made access into the closet less restricted.  The bathroom and shower were bigger than most we've had on NCL ships.  In addition to the soap and shampoo dispensers in the shower, we also were provided some in little bottles.  The bathroom floor was tiled.  There was a step into the bathroom which took some getting used to.    


Edward's "Studio" Cabin.... 


The Ship, Getaway:

A couple years ago we had sailed for our 1st big ship experience aboard NCL's first big ship "Epic".  This was our first time sailing on "Getaway" another in a series of big ships in NCL's lineup.  Published capacity for Getaway was a shade under 4,000 (+1,700 crew) and our sailing had 4,500.  The ship felt "crowded" to us especially around the atritum and, of course, around the pool deck.  We especially liked "The Waterfront" on deck 8 and the seating available there.  This ship was clearly designed to attract a more adventurous customer as witnessed by all of the amusmennts located on the top deck.  I'll usually give the circular water slides a try but simply didn't get around to it.  We had reservations for all three of the major shows and really enjoyed them especially "Million Dollar Quartet".  There were a couple other things we like to see but they were scheduled for the Atritum where seating was impossible to get and the noise level was bad.  A bigger venue was needed.  We had the dining package so we tried all of the speciality restaurants except Cagney's.  We even ventured into the "Ice Bar" which was a unique experience that we'll do again.  We ate one breakfast in the MDR but ended up using the buffet most of the time.  All of our lunches were taken in the buffet.  Our Platinum benefits and the dining package covered us for 5 speciality restaurant meals.   We thought about taking a dip in the main pool but it was small and to deep for this non-swimmer.  We checked out the pool in the kiddy area (2-3 feet deep) but it felt cold to us so we headed up to the SPA instead.


Roatan, Honduras:

We've been here before so no excursion was planned.  Several years ago we went on a private tour that took us to an iguana preserve and we thought about going there again but decided not to this time around.  Actually, Kathy had purchased a small bag from one of the vendors outside the gate so we ventured out in search of another.  We didn't find another bag but, frankly, being approached by people offering assistance and/or trying to sell us something made us very uncomfortable.  Coxen Hole is kind of "rustic".  Couldn't wait to get back inside the gate!  Kathy went back aboard while I stayed in the shopping area taking some time lapse video.  



Harvest Caye, Belize:

Harvest Caye is NCL's new private island that just opened for business in late 2016.  This was NOT like the private islands we've all experienced in the Bahamas with the free BBQ, etc.  Everything here was for a fee EXCEPT the pool and the beach.  Chairs and a few umbrellas at the beach were included.  Excursions were few and we chose not to do one.  The island is pretty far from the tendered port at Belize City so latching onto a private excursion wasn't possible.  It was book something through NCL or nothing.  We got into swim gear and headed ashore to explore the island and perhaps go for a swim at the beach.  It was windy and there were waves hitting the beach so we headed to the pool instead.  No chairs available so we simply plopped our backpacks off to the side next to some bushes and went into the pool.  Max depth was just over 4 feet which was fine by us.  We completely enjoyed the pool which saved the day for us at Harvest Caye.  Click "Show More" on this YouTube video for lots of useful information about the island.... Harvest Caye.


 Costa Maya, Mexico:

This was our 3rd time to this port and we again spent the day at Maya Chan.  The owners and staff at Maya Chan are very accomodating and we especially liked the little "welcome back" signs.  Very nice touch.  As for the port, some structural improvements were made since our last trip.


Cozumel, Mexico:

We've been here several times and gone off on excursions but this time we decided to just walk the streets and shop.  Shopping is certainly a major activity in Cozumel and our walking took us to some of the streets beyond the main road along the water.  In the end, Kathy found a leather case the exact size she was looking for.  In addition, we ordered another set of  Cariloha sheets made from bamboo.  We had purchased a set several years ago and liked them.  I had my eye out for one of Bulova's new "Curve" designs and found one at the right price.  Kathy returned to the ship while I stayed behind to catch some time lapse video.  The ship was late leaving this final port of the cruise but even at that, two people were left behind.


The Getaway Cruise Video:


To see images in stream fashion:  Flickr Album

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