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Liliane Davis

Age: 43

Occupation:Nurse Manager

Number of Cruises: 10

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Getaway

Sailing Date: 2014-07-19

Itinerary: Caribbean

This was a fantastic cruise! My husband and I, along with our two children ages 13 and 7, had an amazing time! We have been on many cruises before, with different cruise lines; however, this was truly the best one yet. We are a very active, sporty, and adventurous family who love to stay busy. This cruise offered a multitude of activities that kept us entertained the entire time. There is plenty of opportunities to rest and take it easy, though, if you have a more laid back family. The food was delicious; Wasabi had some of the best sushi we have ever had! There was a wide variety of meals; freestyle cruising was great in terms of choosing dining times that fit our schedule. The entertainment was great, although some shows were PG-13. We will pay closer attention to that next time, instead of assuming every show is like a Disney one. The excursions were fantastic; well organized and planned. The ship was almost to full capacity, yet it was well organized; we never felt claustrophobic. The cruise director, JC Sanchez, was the best we have ever experienced. We will return!!!!

Great variety of choices that suited each of our family members. The inclusive/complimentary restaurants were just as satisfying as the specialty ones. Some restaurants offered an elegant ambiance, while others a more festive one. We had dinner at a different one each night. We highly recommend having sushi at Wasabi; some of the best sushi we ever had. Tropicana Room is great fun for a night of dancing. Our daughter's favorite was Savor; request a table by the window and enjoy the view while dining. Our son's favorite was the italian restaurant, La Cocina. We chose to sit outside for this one; the ocean was calm and simply breathtaking.

We booked our cruise at the last minute due to my husband's work schedule. There were not many options left; however, we were able to book an oceanview family suite. To our surprise, we were upgraded to a suite designed for handicap use; it was huge!

We recommend reading the daily itinerary that is delivered to the cabins every night. This has an hour by hour list of all activities the ship has to offer; it also lists the popular options. There are so many activities to chose from, for all age groups and interests. There was not a dull moment for our active family. My teen daughter's favorite activities were: rope/ zip lining course, rock climbing wall, cake decorating class, and teen spa treatment. Our 7 year old son's favorite activities were: mini golf, balloon animal class, Nickelodeon character PJ party, and family party (included face painting and cupcake making). My husband's favorites were: behind the scenes tour, wine tasting, rope course, and water slides. My favorites were: towel design class, Bingo, spa treatment, movie at the theater, and simply enjoying all activities with my family. There is truly something for everyone in your party!

St. Martin:

We booked the Dolphin Encounter/ beach one. There is a difference between the Dolphin Encounter and the Dolphin Swim adventures/excursions. Both groups are taken to the same place; however, the experience is completely different. For families with younger children or older adults, the encounter may be a better option. This includes interaction with the dolphins such as: kissing, touching, taking pictures, dancing, etc. There is no swimming involved. The swim adventure includes taking rides on the dolphin / with the dolphin. Both groups are well organized and we had ample time spent with the dolphins. We loved it! The beach portion was equally great. Head over to the right, away from the dolphin habitat, in order to truly appreciate the beauty of the beach. It is small but breath taking beautiful. The lunch is included, but it was the worse burger we have ever had! Not sure what the mystery meat was; quite a disappointment. Make sure you have a good breakfast, because you will not have another good meal until late in the day. The boat ride, 40something ft boat, was rough at certain points (45min ride). Our family is used to boats; therefore, we absolutely loved every second of it. However, some people were sea sick. The crew was incredibly helpful at all times. Do not be concerned about the amount of time it takes to get to the beach. There is plenty of time to do it all. We enjoyed each part of the experience. Upon return to the ship, we still had a couple of hours left to explore the many shops at the port. And yes, we also tried some of the real good local foods!

St. Thomas - we chose the St. John beach and snorkel. We loved it and highly recommend it! We were concerned that the 4 hour time given would not be enough for it all, but it truly was. The beach was straight from the pages of a magazine; we felt so blessed to be there and experience such beauty. The snorkel gear/equipment is included. We have taken snorkeling excursions before which consisted of jumping off a boat in the middle of the ocean...not exactly safe for younger children. This excursion, however, suited every age group. There are designated areas on the beach for true snorkeling (deeper part of the ocean with beautiful reefs and hundreds of marine life), as well as great areas on the shallow side of the beach. My teen daughter and husband swam out into the deeper area, while my 7 year old son and I experienced snorkeling on the shallow end (equally fun and with a multitude of fish). Even non swimmers can enjoy the experience! After the excursion, we still had time to do some shopping in the beautiful port which is full of shops. Loved it!!!!

Bahamas- We took an excursion to Atlantis Beach, for the day. Again, great choice for our family! The excursion included use of the beach, lagoon, and aquariums. The beach offered options for jet skis, banana boat, para sailing, and boating (reasonable and negotiable prices). The lagoon offered paddle boats, and snorkeling rental equipment. Our family enjoyed a multitude of activities and had a blast! Again, appropriate for all age groups. The aquariums were dirty, but the children did not notice that. We were surprised that for such a lavish resort, the upkeep for the aquariums was truly lacking. The great thing about this excursion is that it includes an air conditioned tour bus ride to and from the Atlantis Resort. The buses run, every half hour, from 3-6. Therefore, you are free to leave at whatever time you chose. We have been to the Bahamas many times; therefore, we chose to stay at the beach. However, some people spent three hours at the beach and then three hours shopping. Again, something for everyone.

Advice for all excursions----- on every cruise that we have ever taken, we always notice so many people complaining about the time it takes to actually arrive at the destination. Our advice to everyone is to incorporate the transportation portion, of each excursion, into your adventure. Our kids love to experience different modes of transportation; we make it part of our overall experience! Take in the bus ride as an opportunity to see the island itself, the locals, the houses. Take the boat rides as an opportunity to breathe in fresh air and get salty wet! Why not? We learned this from years of living in Orlando, FL. Our kids love the monorail ride as much as the actual Disney rides. Stop complaining and take in each moment! Have fun!!!!

We had an amazing family vacation. Every aspect of this cruise was well planned, well organized, and well executed. It never felt like a crowded ship. There was a great mixture of fun and relaxation. The cruise director, JC Sanchez, was simply fantastic! The crew was friendly and helpful; nothing but smiles and attentiveness. The activities and entertainment were phenomenal. The excursions were the best we have ever experienced. The food variety and restaurants were great. The attention to detail was apparent at all times. For example, handing out cold, wet towels and juice and water as we arrived back on the ship from the excursions, was a very nice touch. We loved every aspect of this cruise, and will certainly return!

Ship activities: For families with young children, we highly recommend the PJ jam with the Nickelodeon characters. This is at an extra cost, but includes two free photos with the characters, buffet breakfast, dancing and activities with the characters. It was incredibly fun! The rope / ziplining course is best when there is not much wind. We were surprised, one day, when people were still being allowed to go on the course during an evening of high winds. The zipline portion of the course was closed, but not the others. It was perfect when we chose to go. The Legally Blonde show and the Burn the Floor show were, in our opinion, PG-13 rated. We are conservative parents; therefore, we may be more picky than most parents.

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