Onboard Review: Norwegian Getaway from A to Z

Norwegian Getaway_Interior
Free Fall, part of Norwegian Getaway’s water park amusements.

Even our A-to-Z guide of the Norwegian Getaway doesn’t begin to tell the entire story of this 4,000-passenger ship, with 18 decks and a mother lode of diversions.

A is for Adults-Only—The moms and dads of the family circle will want to know right off the bat where they’ll be hanging while the kids are off in kiddieville. Enter Spice H20, an outdoor enclave open during the day and at night with sun loungers, hot tubs, and a bar. Downtime anyone?

B is for “Burn the Floor”—Based on the Broadway show of the same name, Norwegian calls this show, which plays at the Getaway Theater, “ballroom ‘supercharged,’” with dancers performing everything from cha cha to the waltz…and you thought you could dance!

C is for Carlo’s Bake Shop—No one—especially teenagers who seem to be head over heels for these creations and the making of them—can pass on a “Cake Boss” treat: cookies, cakes, other splendiferous desserts. (Ok, maybe the Miami Dolphin cheerleaders, the ship’s godmothers, passed on them—maybe!).

D is for Dinner & a Show—We were lucky enough to see the “Illusionarium” dinner/show during our time on the ship. Guests enter the theater through a steampunk-inspired world with magical interactive artifacts, antique spell books, and relics. Inside, passengers are “transported” to mystical places—ok, so maybe that’s a little silly, but…the magic performed by the magicians does not disappoint (during our show, they left the best for last!). Although, do tell clients to have a bit of patience when asking servers for anything that doesn’t fall exactly into the routine—say a coke instead of wine, which comes with dinner.

E is for Eastern Caribbean Itinerary—Through April 2015, Getaway’s 7-day Eastern Caribbean sailing, leaving out of Miami and visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, USVI and Nassau, has rates starting at $419. After that, starting rates go up to $599.

F is for Family Accommodations—Recommend the 239-sq.-ft. Family Mini Suites with Balcony, located on Deck 12 and in close proximity to the children’s facilities. Accommodating up to four, the stateroom features a king-size bed, a sofa bed, flat-screen TV, and a bathtub. In all, Getaway offers 2,014 guestrooms.

G is for the GRAMMY Experience at Sea—Pretty cool stuff to have past Grammy winners playing on board a cruise liner, and that’s exactly what this experience is all about. Let’s drop some names, shall we: harmonica-playing Sugar Blue, soul music star Carolyn Malachi and Louisiana artist Roddie Romero, and this is just for starters. And before they take in a show, passengers can check out the GRAMMY Museum.

H is for The Haven—Have clients who like to get far from the maddening crowd? Tell them The Haven was built just for them, and point them to the 2-bedroom Family Villas, with two bathrooms, a separate living room and dining room, and a master bedroom featuring a king-size bed, floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony. The second bedroom includes a double sofa bed.

Norwegians Getaway’s SVEDKA/Inniskillin Ice Bar.
Norwegians Getaway’s SVEDKA/Inniskillin Ice Bar.

I is for the Ice Bar—Kept at 17 degrees F, the Getaway’s SVEDKA/Inniskillin Ice Bar cuts right through Miami’s sultry heat, even though it’s all decked out in Art Deco-style decor. This frozen chamber should definitely be on the must-try list, but tell clients that they need to reserve ahead of time, and that the $20 cover charge gets them two signature cocktails. The fashionable won’t like covering up with hooded coats and gloves, but with Arctic temperatures, there’s no way around it.

J is for Japanese Dining—Exhibition-style Japanese cuisine or a sushi feast? Your clients can take their pick of either Teppanyaki, which shows off chefs’ knife-wielding skills, or Wasabi, and yes, it’s hot with a vast array of choices. But the point is, TWO Japanese restaurants on ONE ship. Pretty good deal!

K is for Klub—The Norwegian Fight Klub, to be exact. This boxing class is one of many classes at the fitness center, where guests will also find a 45-minute Flywheel cycling class that includes climbs and descents, along with an upper body workout utilizing weighted bars attached to each bike. There’s also Pure-Form Pilates and Chi Ball Yoga, as well as Body Sculpt Boot Camp classes. You can actually get off the Getaway leaner than when you went on—(mantra: “There’s no Carlo’s Bake Shop on this ship; there’s no Carlo’s Bake Shop on this ship….”).

L is for “Legally Blonde”—“Legally Blonde,” yes, that Legally Blonde, is the headlining show at the Getaway Theater, and although it might not be a perfect fit for the high-brow set, those clients who like to catch Broadway whenever and wherever they can, will enjoy it.

M is for Mojito Bar—This is a Miami-themed ship after all, so you can’t do without a mojito love fest somewhere, and that’s where the Sugarcane Mojito Bar steps in. Grab a mojito, and sip it slowly in the outdoor space along the waterfront—it’s the best way to get into the Miami spirit.

N is for Nickelodeon—A waterpark with SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick and Squidward—where did that kid just dash off to? The Nickelodeon Kids’ Aqua Park includes a kid-sized pool and slide, along with multiple water features squirting and showering guests. There’s also the Nickelodeon Pajama Jam, a breakfast experience with Nick characters; Dora’s Dance Party; Character Meet and Greets; and Nickelodeon Arts & Crafts. Talk about a slime fest!

Norwegian Getaways' O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill.
Norwegian Getaways’ O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill.

O is for O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill—This classic sports bar is exactly what it seems: a cool hangout serving comfort food.

P is for Park—The Aqua Park features the Free Fall, two side-by-side slides where guests stand up and the floor drops underneath. Need we say more? That alone is brilliant, but add the Whip, which is two racing, side-by-side twister slides, and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece of the slide variety.

Q is for Quiet Time—The Haven guests can find some quiet time at The Haven Restaurant/Lounge, located in The Haven complex and offering a private dining experience. Can you say shh?

R is for Recreational Fun—At the 3-story Sports Complex, yes, there’s the quintessential 9-hole mini-golf course and a basketball court, but there’s also a Spider Web climbing cage, a rock climbing wall, a bungee trampoline, and a ropes course, with 40 different elements including a zip track. And for those with nerves of steel, there’s The Plank, a platform that extends eight ft. over the side of the ship (we’ll leave you to think about that for a bit while we tiptoe over to the Spa Suites…).

Norwegian Getaways'  309-sq.-ft. Spa Suite.
Norwegian Getaways’ 309-sq.-ft. Spa Suite.

S is for Spa Suites—A great complement to walking The Plank, the 309-sq.-ft. Spa Suites offer tranquil surroundings and an in-room whirlpool, easy access to the adjacent spa and fitness center, as well as complimentary access to the Thermal Spa Suite. There’s this little thing called Nirvana that has made a home for itself in these Spa Suites.

T is for Tropicana Room—As we mentioned, the Getaway is a Miami-themed ship, so a Tropicana Room that’s inspired by the Miami Beach nightlife of the ‘40s and ‘50s makes perfect sense, right? It’s a retro supper club with a large dance floor that’s calling your client’s name.

U is for Unbelievable—What’s unbelievable are the luxuries found in the 932-sq.-ft. Deluxe Owner’s Suite, the largest suite within The Haven and outfitted with a living room and dining area that includes a wet bar and floor-to-ceiling windows in the bedroom with a wrap-around balcony. This suite can be joined with the Owner’s Suite, creating accommodations that sleep up to eight guests.

Norwegian Getaways' Vibe Beach Club.
Norwegian Getaways’ Vibe Beach Club.

V is for Vibe Beach Club—If your client can prove they’re 18 and over, then they’ll be granted access to this private retreat that offers stunning views of the ocean, an oversized hot tub, chaise loungers and a full-service bar. While mom took to the Flywheel, we’re guessing dad escaped to the Vibe (smart choice!).

W is for Wine Lovers the Musical—It’s not all about nighttime entertainment, with Wine Lovers the Musical playing during lunch hours. The show combines musical theater and comedy with a 6-flight wine tasting and lunch.

X is for Xhale—At the 22-treatment room Mandara Spa, your clients can exhale and get rid of any stress, with a variety of signature spa treatments. There’s also a Salt Room, a Thermal Suite with 13 heated loungers, a vitality pool, sauna, solarium and steam room. And guys, there’s also a pretty cool-looking barber shop.

Y is for “Y Not Let them Run Free”—At the Splash Academy, for ages 3 to 12, and Entourage, for teenagers 13 to 17, it’s all about kids running wild, or at least they think they’re running wild. Entourage looks like an adult lounge, while Splash Academy, which is actually divided into two age groups, with the 10- to 12-year-olds getting their own space, features an interactive dance mat, video game stations, wall mounted activities and building block activity centers. Parents will like Norwegian’s e-Youth tablet-based electronic registration, which allows them to swipe their keycard and input a password to sign in their children.

Z is for the “ZZ’s” in Pizza—The Getaway offers pizza delivery 24/7—yes, it’s the first-ever pizza delivery at sea and it can be delivered directly to the guest’s table, stateroom, or a bar or lounge. (Did we miss Flywheel class?).

why book norwegian cruise line
According to Camille Olivere, senior v.p. of sales, there are three sound reasons to book with Norwegian:

“Freedom & flexibility—Norwegian’s Freestyle cruising product means that families can create their ideal vacation experience on their terms. No other cruise line offers the options that Norwegian does in terms of dining, entertainment and activities, so cruising with Norwegian means that families have the luxury of choice to design the vacation that works best for them.

“Activities & amenities—From 28 dining options, to Broadway shows and the largest Aqua Park at sea, Norwegian Getaway is a destination unto herself.

“Value—There is simply no better value for families than a cruise. Along with the convenience of visiting multiple destinations while only unpacking once, cruising provides the best value for vacation dollar and, for families who choose to cruise on Norwegian Getaway, on the newest ship at sea!”

contact information
Norwegian Cruise Line: (866) 234-7350; ncl.com