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Last April we had the most awesome cruise adventure on the Norwegian Cruise Line’s ship, the Getaway! This was honestly our best trip yet, we all had so much fun and there was so much to do on this amazing ship. I am so excited to share my Norwegian Getaway Tips and Tricks and our NCL Getaway Review!
Norwegian Getaway Tips and Tricks
The Norwegian Getaway is one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s seventeen ships. It holds over 4000 passengers and in the spring of 2019 was cruising out right out of New York City. After our Easter sailing, the Getaway was repositioning to Europe.
LOOKING TO BOOK AN UPCOMING CRUISE? I am a full-service travel planner, and cruises are one of my specialities. I actually have a PHD from Norwegian Cruise Line University (yes, that is a real thing!). Always use a travel agent to book a cruise, and reach out for a FREE, NO OBLIGATION Cruise quote.
In planning this trip, we chose the Getaway for its many amenities, we loved the itinerary, and cruising out of the NYC port was so convenient for us – we only live about an hour away! Its nice to have NCL sailing out of New York, along with Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas.
As a travel planner, I knew when to hit the best NCL promotions that gave us such a good value for what we paid. We love cruises for all they include, and Norwegian is the cruise line that tries to make your cruise fare as all-inclusive as possible. In fact, I am booked in 2023 on the NCL Prima, their newest ship, also to be sailing out of New York City in the spring of 2023!
Norwegian Getaway Staterooms
This was my seventh cruise, and our second as a family. This was the first time our family stayed in a balcony cabin. Our stateroom, 11130 was located on Deck 11.
The rooms were well furnished with a King bed, a sofa that converted to a twin bed and a pull-down twin for the fourth guest.
The bathrooms on the Norwegian Getaway were fairly large (for a cruise ship) although our room only had a shower, not a tub (Like in our Holland America ms Veendam or our Disney Wonder stateroom).
In our cabin was also a large closet, with a place to hang your clothes, and plenty of shelves for your stuff. One thing I found strange, there were no drawers in the room! I don’t know about you, but I find it strange to have socks and underwear on shelves?
The Norwegian Getaway staterooms also feature a television (no good channels through), and a desk area. There is also a mini-fridge stocked with drinks and snacks. It’s worth noting that those drinks are NOT complimentary with your Ultimate Beverage Package and you will be charged for beverages that you consume.
Our Norwegian Getaway balcony was equipped with two chairs and a small table. From Deck 11, you could look down and see the balconies in the LARGE BALCONY category. Those rooms have large balconies (duh!) which are outfitted with two LOUNGE chairs! Needless to say, that is going to be my category of choice going forward!
The Norwegian Getaway, like many of their ships, have MANY categories of rooms to choose from. From the exclusive Haven suites, to studio rooms for solo travelers, there is something for every family size and budget.
What is there to do on the Norwegian Getaway?
Okay friends, now where do I even begin? Honestly there was so much to do on the Getaway – yet I found our stay a great combination of relaxation and activity!
Norwegian Getaway Pool Deck
On Deck 15 you will find the pools. There is a kids’ pool (with lifeguard) and an adult only pool, which is surrounded by four hot tubs, and two bars. Since our sailing was over Easter break, and packed with families, I thought it strange that the larger pool was designated for adults only, but I guess that’s how they do it!
Adjacent to the kids’ pool was a splash park for younger kids and in that area, is where you will find the four waterslides. Even I went down the gentle slide and they were super fun! Two of the slides you have to be over 100 pounds to ride, and with a vertical drop, those looked pretty scary to me!
I loved that on sea days there was a live band or DJ playing music by the adult pool. Throughout the day there were several activities going on organized by the cruise director. We did think the “Miss NCL Getaway” competition got a little raunchy at the end (as women vied to be crowned the queen of the ship) so if you have smaller children, you might want to skip that one.
A few Norwegian Getaway pool area tips:
- When you arrive in your stateroom, there will be a pool towels for each guest. You can take these into the ports and up to the pool. You can trade them in for fresh towels up on the pool deck. We tried to do that each evening, so we could start the next day with clean towels.
- One thing I did not like about this ship is there is not a lot of seating right near the pool, and most of that limited seating is in the shade. There is however, plenty of seating up on decks 16, and 17 in the front of the ship. We really liked holing up on deck 17, forward. There was also a bar up there and a restroom, and it was a little quieter spot to read and relax.
- To get mid-ship chairs, you had to put your stuff down pretty early. We did see NCL attendants coming around to “sticker” chairs that were not being used, supposedly to check back within 30 minutes to then boot people if they were in fact not actually using the chairs.
- On deck 16, at the very back of the ship is the adults only area, called Spice H2O. Use of this area is complimentary, and back here you will find more seating, a bar and two hot tubs. I regret not spending more time back here.
- Haven guests have their own private pool area.
- Adults can also purchase a pass to the Vibe Beach Club, which gives you a private pool area.
Other Norwegian Getaway Activities
Activities on Deck 17– Up on deck 17 you will find the mini-golf course, rock climbing wall, and ropes course. Our kids loved ALL this stuff! On embarkation day, and our first sea day, these activities were very crowded, but after the first 24 hours, the crowds seemed to thin. By the last day, were we able to play golf or climb whenever we wanted!
NCL Getaway Arcade – Not my thing, but our kids spent A LOT of time in the arcade. We pre-purchased an arcade package for them, so they had unlimited access to the green colored swipe games. For our sailing, the arcade package was $23 per day, and all of us could use the card. Only one package per family is needed. The only stipulation is that you could only swipe your card three times in three minutes. On the Getaway, the arcade is up on deck 16. There were also several games in O’Sheehan’s you could play using the card.
A few things on the Norwegian Getaway we did not end up doing:
- Ice Bar – The Ice Bar is located on deck 8 and advance reservations are recommended. For $20 per person, you can enter the Ice Bar, with two drinks included. The ship will provide you with large jackets to wear, and it is recommended you wear closed toed shoes, as it is in fact 17 degrees Fahrenheit in there!
- Escape Room – our friends did this and loved it.
- Bowling at O’Sheehan’s – Inside O’Sheehan’s pub there is a two-lane bowling alley. For some reason, we did not find time to play!
Norwegian Getaway Dining
First of all, we all enjoyed the food choices on the Getaway. We ate to our heart’s content and definitely liked the variety of options and quality of what we had. My only complaint is that there is not a place to get a poolside snack, other than running into the buffet, but in general there are a lot of dining choices on this ship!
Breakfast on the Norwegian Getaway
We ate breakfast each day in Margaritaville, which is an upcharge restaurant for lunch, but is open for a complimentary breakfast. The breakfast served is the same as in the buffet, but its nicer to eat outside and not many people realize Margaritaville serves a complimentary breakfast, so it is less crowded.
The buffet also serves breakfast, as well as the main dining room and O’Sheehan’s if you want a seated meal.
NORWEGIAN GETAWAY PRO-TIP: At O’Sheehan’s, the breakfast entrees are pretty small in size, so order two or three per person.
On the Getaway, you can order complimentary Continental breakfast through room service as another option.
Lunch on the Getaway
For lunch, most days we went to the buffet, but during two sea days we had lunch at O’Sheehan’s. The main dining room is open for lunch, as well as Margaritaville (prix fix menu for less than $20 per person).
Specialty Dining on the Getaway
We booked our cruise with the FREE AT SEA promotion, so we received 3 nights of specialty dining included with our cruise fare. This is for two adults in the stateroom. Children 12 and under can dine in specialty restaurants, for free, when ordering off the kids’ menu. However, our kids loved the kids’ club so much, they wanted to go right at 7pm when it opened. We fed them from the buffet, and then went out for a nice, leisurely, grown up meal each night.
The specialty restaurants on the Getaway include La Bistro (French), Teppanyaki (Hibachi), Moderno (Brazilian Churrascaria), La Cucina (Italian), Cagney’s (Steakhouse) and Ocean Blue (seafood).
You can make your specialty dining reservations up to 120 days prior to sailing. I highly recommend doing so as many of the specialty restaurants are small and will fill up. But on the flip side, if pre-cruise you get shut out of your favorite specialty dining restaurant, go to guest service on embarkation day to secure your reservation. They only release some of the reservations for pre-booking, so more will open up once you are on the ship.
For our three specialty dining nights, we chose La Cucina, Teppanyaki and Moderno. We loved all of them, especially the hibachi show!
Each specialty restaurant offered great food, specialty cocktails, good theming, and a variety of menu choices. This is a great FREE AT SEA perk which will really elevate your cruise experience.
Dinner in the Main Dining Room
Norwegian Cruise Line is famous for their “free-style cruising” part of which means you can dine where and when you want. That allows you to eat early one night, and late another – allowing you to plan around shore excursions, shows, etc. On nights when you do not have a specialty dining reservation, you can eat dinner at the buffet, O’Sheehan’s, or one of the three main dining rooms.
Since I like to plan, I made advance dinner reservations for each of the seven nights. For the main dining rooms, Savor, Taste and Tropicana, you can make reservations, or come as a stand-by. If you are stand-by, you may have to wait a few minutes to sit and they will give you a pager so you know when your table is ready.
The three main dining rooms offer the same menu each night, but one that rotates nightly. Meaning on night #1, you get the same menu at any of the dining rooms, but then on night #2 there is a different menu. There are a few menu staples that are offered each evening such as New York Strip, Pork Loin, Flounder Filet, Rotisserie Chicken or 3-Cheese Ziti (updated as of 2019).
Savor and Taste are pretty much the same restaurant. Located on deck 6 they are situated directly across from each other and are separated by the Mixx bar.
Tropicana is located on deck seven, AFT and is two stories with a ballroom dance floor in the middle. Some nights there are dancing shows, and at other times a cocktail/jazz band playing while you eat.
Again, we all very much enjoyed the food, including me as a vegetarian, and my picky children!
Norwegian Cruise Line Premium Beverage Package
As an agent, I would highly recommend you consider a balcony (or higher) level room taking advantage of all the FREE AT SEA amenities NCL offers. If for some reason you can only choose one or two perks (that’s if you book an interior or ocean view stateroom) you definitely get the most bang for your buck out of the NCL Premium Beverage Package.
NCL PRO-TIP: If one adult in the stateroom takes the UBP, all adults in the same stateroom must take or purchase it.
The Unlimited Beverage Package affords you, well unlimited beverages that retail for $15 or less. On our cruise, I’d say about 99% of the drinks we considered fell into this category. This was a great way to try different cocktails out by the pool or in the specialty bars! We loved starting our evening each night with a pre-dinner cocktail at the Mojito Bar!
NCL PRO-TIP: You can use your Unlimited Drink Package for drinks at Great Stirrup Cay!
On the Norwegian Getaway, even on a packed, Easter-week cruise, there were hardly any lines at the bars. With the UBP, you can order two drinks at a time (kids loved getting virgin Pina Coladas when mom and dad got the adult version). The mixed drinks were not that strong, but I saw several people asking for extra shots of liquor and that was not a problem!
Service on the NCL Getaway
Even with all the great ship amenities, a beautiful balcony room, great food and drinks, the thing that impressed me the most about sailing with Norwegian was the service. It was truly exceptional – every staff member went above and beyond to ensure all our needs were met!
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More Norwegian Getaway Tips and Tricks
- With most cruises, anything you can pre-order or pre-purchase will award you a little discount over purchasing on board. For example, the arcade package, Thermal Spa passes, Water Bottles, etc.
- Download the NCL app and PAY FOR THE CHAT FEATURE. This was a big regret of ours – we never enabled the chat feature and had trouble finding each other on the ship. The chat feature will work through the ship’s Wi-Fi and on our sailing, it was only $10 to add the chat.
- Speaking of Wi-Fi, if 250 Wi-Fi minutes are included with your FREE AT SEA package, know that if you don’t log out of the internet when you are done with your session, you will eat through all your minutes at once. Yeah, learned that the hard way!
- If you are sailing to Great Stirrup Cay, or another port that tenders, you can book your tender through the information kiosks located throughout the ship!
We loved our trip on the Norwegian Getaway and I love sharing my review with fellow cruise lovers, or future cruisers! Great service, good food, and a beautiful ship your whole family will enjoy. Have you sailed on Norwegian? On the Getaway? Be sure to comment below or reach out if you are interested in booking a future cruise or have any questions about sailing on the Getaway!