Norwegian Getaway – January 2014
Gayle Austin-Hogg – 22-01-2014 – Norwegian Cruise Lines – Getaway
I have just returned from two nights on the new Norwegian Getaway. The Norwegian Getaway is the first ship to be launched this year and is sister ship to the Breakaway (which was launched last year – 2013). Getaway sailed from Amsterdam overnight to Southampton, so we were among the first people to step on board in Southampton.
Getaway is 145,655 tonnes and has capacity for 3,969 passengers. On board there are a whopping 27 dining options (including Teppanyaki, Seafood, French and Italian), 22 bars and lounges (including an ‘Ice Bar’), a Waterfront area (like a promenade with bars and restaurants for al fresco dining); a sports deck complete with ropes course (for children – young and old) and entertainment including two live Broadway shows – Legally Blonde and Burn the Floor (with a Latin feel).
Arriving at Southampton we were greeted by a huge queue outside of the City Terminal (and it was only mid-day). Fortunately it was sunny! It took us some one and a half hours to get checked in and on board. Being a seasoned cruiser I know this is NOT the norm. There were six of us on for the first night (all girls), the second night I was on to experience the ship as a travel agent.
After stepping on board and a brief freshen up in the cabin, we headed for lunch in the Garden Cafe (buffet restaurant). The selection and quality of food was really good, with Asian, Pizza, Pasta, Carvery, soup, sandwiches and paninis to name a few. Although we did spend some time trying to find a table (I think everyone had the same idea as us when they got on board). There were other complementary options available for lunch, including eating in one of the restaurants and O’Sheehans.
After the mandatory life boat drill (yes, surprisingly, we actually sailed), we headed to the Ropes Course – I stayed on solid ground (well sea) and took the photos! Three of the girls donned the harnesses and up they went. I think it was harder than it looked as they weren’t up there for long. Don’t think the freezing cold wind helped! The course is really big with a zip wire at the end. It is ‘open’ in parts – although perfectly safe with the harnesses. Sure to get the adrenaline pumping! After the short time on the ropes course, the same ones also climbed the ‘rock climbing wall’. I think my seven year old would love both the Ropes Course and the Rock Climbing Wall, although I would prefer to play on the Pirate themed Crazy Golf course. Oh and did I mention the five water slides!?! Two of which are racing slides – where the ‘floor’ drops out! And whilst my oldest would be on these slides, my youngest would be in the Nickleodeon themed children’s splash area.
There was plenty to do outside – with basketball nets and the usual ‘sunbathing’ space (although in limited supply around the pool). There was only one main pool though, which was separate from the Children’s area and the water slides. For me, as a family, this is a little disappointing as it would make it difficult moving from one area to another.
Children’s Area – Splash Academy
All new and fresh. A great big space where the kids can hang out and participate in the activities as featured in the Programme. As we were all Mum’s looking around the ship, we did notice that there were no windows. Something that I also remembered from the Breakaway. This is quite a big downside to such a great area.
This is a great innovation with bars and speciality restaurants set along a ‘Promenade’ – allowing drinking and dining al fresco with a great view. This is unique to the Breakaway and the Getaway. Personally I love this idea and would love to experience this concept somewhere warm...
For dinner we chose to eat in the Tropicana Room – this is one of three main (complimentary) restaurants. You can go to dinner in the restaurants anytime between 5.30 and 9.30/10pm. Even as a party of six turning up at 8pm, we were seated without a wait. The food was of a good standard (the starters and deserts particularly good), but the service was a little slow. I put this down to being a new ship and everyone in effect was starting a ‘new job’.
Whilst Norwegian is a ‘Freestlye’ Cruiseline, dressing for dinner, we did not feel out of place. It really does seem to be ‘anything goes’, and that applies whether you want to dress up or down.
After dinner we went to see Legally Blonde the Musical (you have to book tickets, but they are complimentary – we booked before we went). I had seen it in the West End a few years back and although not everybody’s ‘cup of tea’, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the standard of singing, staging etc equalled that of the performance I have seen in London. A real feel good show. I was impressed. The second night I paid $24.99 to go to the Illusionarium. I watched a jaw dropping magic show, whilst eating dinner. I am not normally a fan of magic, but the ‘magic’ was pretty amazing! The Getaway will also feature the Broadway show ‘Burn The Floor’ (with a Latin feel).
The first evening, we burned the mid night oil. Listening to a Reggae band in the Atrium (Bob Marley always gets people singing along), then onto the night club ‘Bliss’, then we even managed ‘late night snacks’ in O’Sheehan’s at about 4.30am!
We stayed in a Balcony stateroom which was well equipped with a nice big sofa (big enough to be a third berth/bed) and the bathroom was a good size compared to other mainstream cruise lines. Oh and the shower had a glass door rather than a shower curtain – which is always a bonus. There didn’t seem to be much storage space though and the balcony was only small (narrow) – something that I had noticed on the Breakaway too).
I got to see some other types of accommodation too. Very similar to other cruise-lines, but unique to Norwegian Cruise Lines are the Studio s and The Studio Lounge and ‘The Haven’. The Studios are for solo travellers and have exclusive keycard access to the Studio Lounge – great for meeting other solo travellers. The Haven is hidden away at the top of the ship. It is home to the most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodation. Completely private with it’s own pool and deck area, bar/lounge and dining area.
On the second night I had a ‘Spa Balcony’. The cabin was identical but I had access to the Spa – which is usually charged at $45pp a day.
The Spa as amazing. With a good sized mixed Jacuzzi jet pool, lots of heated beds, a Salt Room, Sauna, Sonarium and a Steam Room. Pure bliss.
Norwegian Getaway sailed to New York this week, before heading to Miami to start her inaugural season. She will sail year round from Miami offering 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruises.