Having spent a night onboard Norwegian Breakaway in April 2013, I was intrigued to see what changes had been made to her sister Norwegian Getaway, the second of four ‘Breakaway Class’ ships. She is to be the largest ship ever based year round in Miami, and will be offering cruises to the Caribbean. I was really pleased therefore when I heard that Ellena and I would be onboard for a night in January 2014, as the result of entering a Norwegian Cruise Line competition in the Travel Weekly.
We travelled down early so that we could get on board as soon as possible, to give us enough time to look around as much of the ship as possible. Two things really stood out as being really good, which aren't generally available on most other ships: -
We had a family balcony cabin on deck 12, which had a really comfortable bed and pillows. If I am to be picky then there wasn't much room between the bed and the wardrobe. The bathroom was a reasonable size with a proper shower cubicle with a glass door, rather than a plastic curtain. The shower hose could also be taken down, as opposed to being fixed in place, which was good.
We enjoyed our lunch in the Garden Café, which was bright and had plenty of tables. There was a great variety of food stations including Soups, Asian, Grill, Salads, Sandwiches, Burgers and Pizza, as well as Breads, Ice Creams and Desserts. I spoke to others who ate in Taste and Savor, which are two of the complimentary restaurants, and they said the food was great. I noticed that there are a lot of hand sanitising gel stations around the ship, especially at all the food venues, but there was no-one around to encourage usage.
In the evening we had an amazing meal in one of the speciality restaurants, Moderno Churasscaria, which is an authentic style Brazilian steakhouse. To start there is an amazing salad bar with a great selection of cheeses, olives, cured meats, ceviche, fish chowder etc. Then there is a wide selection of slow roasted meats, including Filet Mignon, rib lamb chops, sirloin of beef marinated in garlic, chicken breast wrapped in smoked peppered bacon, Chorizo sausages, and chicken legs marinated in lime juice, all presented on large skewers and carved table-side by the Pasadores. These meats are continually brought around and if you want a rest, or have had enough, you just turn the card in front of you over from green to red. For dessert there was Papaya Cream, Coconut Flan or Mango Rice Pudding (this was really good). The $20 per person cover charge was good value for the food and service we had, and there are other speciality restaurants as well. There are of course a number of complimentary dining venues, included in the cost of the cruise, and details are shown further on in this review.
We then decided to take a look at some of the other venues onboard, to try and walk off the fantastic dinner. We particularly liked the look of the Illusionarium, the Casino, O’Sheehan’s, and the Headliners Comedy Club, as well as the atrium which is a really lively place to be.
All too soon it was time to head to the Getaway Theatre, as we had tickets to watch the headline show on this ship, which was ‘Legally Blonde, The Musical”. Exclusively on Norwegian Getaway, this seven-time Tony Award-nominated musical proves once and for all that blondes do have more fun. There is no charge for watching this fantastic show, which is amazing when you consider how much tickets would cost in the West End or on Broadway.
After another stroll around the ship, which was still buzzing with a great atmosphere, we headed back to our balcony cabin for some sleep.
Bright and early next morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the Garden Café, before disembarking for the journey home. It is just a shame we weren't on there for longer!
Ship Facts & Figures – built by Meyer Werft in their shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, Norwegian Getaway is the 2nd of 4 ships in the Breakaway Class to be built. At 146,600 gross tonnes, and 1,062 feet long, she will have a service speed of over 21 knots. She will carry just over 4,000 passengers, based on double occupancy, with a maximum of just over 5,000 if all 3rd and 4th berths are used.
Accommodation – whatever type of cabin you are looking for, there is bound to be something which suits you, from nearly 40 grades of accommodation. These range from the good sized Studios which are for solo travellers, situated in a central area of the ship, with its own lounge, up to the Haven Suites (some sleep up to 6 people), and everything in between.
Dining Options – this is Freestyle Cruising, so you can eat when you want, where you want, and with whom you want. The dress code is resort casual, day and night, so no need to pack the dinner suits when you go cruising with Norwegian Cruise Line.
Complimentary dining venues include ‘The Tropicana Room’, ‘Savor Restaurant’, ‘Taste Restaurant’, O’Sheehan’s Irish Pub (to be added to all ships in the fleet), and the ‘Garden Café’.
Speciality dining venues, with a surcharge, include ‘Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian’, ‘Le Bistro French Restaurant’, ‘Cagney’s Steakhouse’, Teppanyaki’, ‘Morderno Churasscaria’, ‘La Cucina Italian Restaurant’ and the ‘Wasabi Sushi Bar’.
Entertainment – there is a great choice, including ‘Burn the Floor’, ‘Howl at the Moon’, ‘Wine Lovers The Musical’, ‘Legally Blonde The Musical’, plus the spectacular fireworks display at the open-air venue Spice H20, once on every cruise, and of course the casino.
Onboard Facilities – there will be plenty to do during the day, for people of all ages, including the Aqua Park with multi-storey water slides, two swimming pools and four hot tubs. There is also mini golf, an overhead ropes course, where you can even ‘walk the plank’, and a climbing wall. There are also a number of shops, library and the Medi Spa, salon and fitness centre. The bars onboard include the ‘Headliners Comedy Club’, ‘SVEDKA & Inniskillin Ice Bar’, ‘Sugar Cane Mojito Bar’ and ‘Bar 21’.
What is included? – When you pay for your cruise you have covered your accommodation, dining at any of the complimentary venues, and the majority onboard entertainment. Extra costs onboard would include gratuities (can be prepaid with your cruise), speciality dining venues, drinks, shop & spa purchases, shore excursions and of course anything you spend in the casino.
In Summary – Norwegian Cruise Line offers cruises for people of all ages, where you can do as much or as little as you want. If you like the idea of Freestyle Cruising, then a cruise on Norwegian Getaway, or one of the other ships in the fleet, could be just what you are looking for.