Recently, I had the opportunity to sail on board the all-new mega cruiseliner Norwegian Getaway. She is the newest ship in the Norwegian fleet and offers a plethora of amenities and activities designed for even the pickiest guest! The ports of call are fantastic and multiple food choices make for a fun trip for families, a couple or singles travel.
A little about the Getaway…
The Getaway homeports in Miami, Florida with excellent seven-night itineraries in Caribbean ports of call such as St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Nassau. And speaking of Miami, the Getaway screams south Florida with its tropical flair starting with the hull art designed by well-known Miami artist David “LEBO” Le Batard. It is a most impressive mural-like painting with a larger-than-life mermaid featuring brilliant colors that flow with the tropical theme continuing inside the ship. This ship has space for some 4,000 passengers with a crew of almost 1,600.
One of the most innovative areas of the ship is Deck 8 – the Waterfront dining area where a quarter-mile walkway runs the outer perimeter of the deck. Here you will find alfresco dining options, bars and shopping. Hint: Don’t miss Ocean Blue, a creation of Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian with fabulous dishes from the sea, fresh ingredients and infamous cocktails.
Another exciting area on board is the water park on Deck 17 where five multi-story waterslides await along with two swimming pools and four hot tubs! Enjoy the rush of Free Fall, one of two slides that drops you at 4Gs…if you dare! The Whip is two racing twister-like slides filled with fun and then, of course, the family slide is available for the more subdued water adventurer.
The number one question I get from readers and listeners all the time is: what are your favorites on this trip, this cruise, this destination…so here you go!
Becky’s favorite complimentary dining venue on board: The Tropicana dining room was my favorite because of the dance and dine atmosphere with live music. The ambiance is a glamorous 1950s style creating an elegant dinner situation. Make a reservation because they tend to fill up fast.
Becky’s favorite lunch spot: O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill. Named after Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan, this Irish pub style eatery was full of comfort foods like burgers and salads, fish and chips and awesome milkshakes! They offer a “fried chicken” night and a “prime rib” night that are very popular. The atmosphere is casual with booths and tables.
Enjoying dinner at O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill.
Becky’s favorite upcharge restaurant: Cagney’s. Wow, what an ambiance! The service was outdone only by the food and presentation. Dine inside a romantic, beautifully set dining room or oceanside. This American-style steakhouse offers choice cuts of Certified Angus Beef® grilled to perfection which my husband feasted on. I, however, had one of the most scrumptious Seabass entrees that I’ve ever had. The famous truffle fries are the “don’t miss” item at Cagney’s. The food and ambiance make this an outstanding choice to celebrate a special occasion.
Becky’s favorite place to relax in the sun: Vibe Beach Club. A private sanctuary for adults with non-intrusive music in the background, a private bar and hot tubs, this hidden gem was wonderful, but comes with a price tag. Totally worth it.
Becky’s favorite show: I love the shows and various forms of entertainment, but my hands-down favorite was the musical Legally Blonde. Second place was a tie between Howl at the Moon over-the-top dueling pianos performance and The Illusionarium dinner theater featuring world-class magicians.
Becky’s favorite music on board: The smooth tunes from Groove International had me following them around the ship to see where they were performing next. Classics from the Commodores, Michael Jackson and other well-known artists set to their own Caribbean style made for awesome entertainment.
Becky’s favorite dance show: Burn the Floor was an energizing experience based on the Broadway show with non-stop Latin-inspired music and movements. They take the Foxtrot and Cha-Cha to a new level! And, if you are motivated, they offer classes throughout the cruise!
Becky’s favorite kids spot: Maybe this isn’t a fair question as I’m not a kid (not by physical standards anyway), but if I were a child or the parent of a child, I would be hanging with Sponge Bob Square Pants in the awesome pirate-themed kid-friendly water area. Also, Dora’s Dance Party was a “don’t miss” for kids. Check your daily calendar for times and location.
Becky’s favorite non-expected surprise: The fireworks at sea were spectacular! I was expecting some rinky dink little fireworks display, but Norwegian really wowed me with an amazing display of color that truly lit up the Caribbean sky.
Becky’s favorite stateroom amenity: Ah, the hair dryer! Most ships (and hotels) offer a low-quality, low-wattage hair dryer, so I pack my own. Not this one! It was a fabulous hair dryer built-in to the rooms dressing table tucked neatly out of the way. Norwegian, you did good with this amenity!
Becky’s favorite port of call: St. Thomas was my favorite with St. Maarten pretty close to a tie. I found a great beach (Emerald Beach) in St. Thomas at a bargain. A less than $10 round trip cab fare and $7 to rent a lounge chair and umbrella all day made for a fun, relaxing day on the beach. Clean bathrooms, an outdoor bar and food just steps away rounded out the perfect beach excursion at a fraction of the price. HINT: Always verify cab fares up front and hold them to it. Also, never get into a cab that is not bearing the CAB sign on top and a cab license plate.
This isn’t necessarily a favorite, but certainly wins most unique bar on board – SVEDKA/Inniskillin Ice Bar. Always a cool 17 degrees Fahrenheit, this ice bar features icy 3D elements resonating with Miami and South Beach. Guests (25 at a time) are draped in hooded coats and gloves to enter and experience the Getaway’s frozen venue.
My husband Larry is usually my travel companion and he often leaves with favorites that are different from mine. This time was no different, so I thought I’d share a few of his faves! He absolutely loved the Garden Café Buffet where he always found fresh fruit (especially watermelon) and a mix of Asian noodles, rice and beef. He would have been happy to dine there every meal…if I hadn’t insisted otherwise.
He also LOVED the sports area complete with a ropes course, climbing wall, zip line and mini golf course. There was a full court basketball area on the top of the ship that could be converted into a soccer field. This entire area was the hot spot for many sports and adventure enthusiasts.
Another of his faves that I should actually have mentioned was the fitness area. If you are thinking a couple of machines and a bicycle, you are wrong! This area offers a state-of-the-art complement of elliptical machines and free weights. There is no need to skip your usual workout routine with all this equipment available. And afterward, visit the spa for a wonderful massage, hair cut or mani/pedi. The perfect reward for working out!
If it wasn’t our “favorite” that certainly doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. There is so much to do (the casino and the art auction were popular) and so many places to eat (28 dining options)…you will truly find your own favorites. That’s what makes it such an awesome ship…something for absolutely everyone!
To book your ultimate getaway with Norwegian, visit http://www.ncl.com or your favorite local travel agent.