Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 395 out of 500
Accommodation: NYR out of 200
Food: 248 out of 400
Service: 274 out of 400
Entertainment: 87 out of 100
Cruise: 285 out of 400
Overall Score: 1438 out of 2000
Norwegian Getaway Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9606912
Builder: Meyer Werft (Germany)
Original Cost: $600 million
Entered Service: Apr 2013
Registry: The Bahamas
Length (ft/m): 1,066.2/325.0
Beam (ft/m): 133.0/40.5
Draft (ft/m): 27.8/8.5
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (79,800MW)/2
Passenger Decks: 15
Total Crew: 1,595
Passengers (lower beds): 3929
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 37
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.4
Cabins (total): 1,994
Size Range (sq ft/m): 96.8-1,022.6/9.0-95.0
Cabins (for one person): 59
Cabins (with private balcony): 1,252
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 40
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 5
Hot Tubs (on deck): 9
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
This is a multi-choice, über-casual playground for the family
Overview. Norwegian Getaway really is a ship for young and trendy urbanites. It’s full of ‘bling’ and will provide families with children, single parents, couples, and solo travelers with a mountain of entertainment choices, in an environment that is a pure, lively playground for an active, entertaining cruise vacation. This is ‘South Beach Miami’ at sea - and then some!
The Ship. Norwegian Getaway (sister to Norwegian Breakaway) has a more streamlined, balanced profile than its slightly larger close-sister ship, Norwegian Epic, with less of a less boxy look to its forward section. Miami artist David ‘LEBO’ Le Batard provided the artwork on the hull, which depicts a whimsical mermaid holding the sun above the waves.
Norwegian Getaway is the coolest kid on the block. The ambience is pure South Beach in heat, with all the hype and volume to prove it, as well as some really great outdoor features for active types (including a jungle-like rope trek high above the aft decks).Families with children can enjoy extensive pool deck facilities like the Aqua Park, with multiple water slides and a rock-climbing wall and, rope walk (more for adult kids). Aft is a large movie screen with amphitheater-style seating. But, despite the ship’s size, the open deck space for sunbathing is rather tight, and made smaller by the ‘exclusive’ ‘Haven’ area in the forward section, whose suites-only occupants (pay more, get more) are given enough sunbathing space, bar, pool, hot tubs, and beach-club-like setting. The rest of the ship shares multiple pools and water-fun exterior decks, designed for families and children. Still, the pool deck is where all the family action will be - particularly on sea days - and the kids will love it - especially the little ones - because Sponge Bob is in the wading pool.
Lower down, on an outdoor promenade deck, a ‘Waterfront’ boardwalk-style outdoor area with bar and eateries brings you more in contact with the sea. It forms part of the outdoor experience, away from the hubbub of the family-friendly sun/sports action deck atop the ship.
Inside, the decor is decidedly more traditional and provides a more restful, relaxed feel and ambience - although this is all relative and still rather upbeat. Careful planning and time management will be needed to make the most of this large resort ship and all it has to offer. So it’s worth spending time to decide what you want to get out of your cruise vacation before you board the ship - which sort of negates the ‘freestyle’ aspect of a large resort ship cruise. You’ll be sharing the ship with about 4,000 others, so there’s no doubt it will be a lively travel experience.
Most of the public rooms, shops, entertainment spots, the casino, and a number of the bars and themed dining venues are located on Decks 6, 7 and 8 - a three-deck indoor-outdoor complex called 678 Ocean Place.
Norwegian Getaway’s homeport is Miami. Gratuities are charged to your onboard account, or you can pre-pay online. Bar purchases incur a 15 percent gratuity; spa treatments are 18 percent.
Families. Facilities for kids and teens are spread over two decks (Splash Academy for kids and a separate Entourage space for teens).
Splash Academy is located adjacent to the ship’s family-friendly accommodation and provides areas for three age groups. Babies and toddlers under three will also have their own dedicated play space and parent-involving activities. At the Splash Academy reception area, tablet-based electronic registration allows parents to swipe their keycard and input a password to sign in their children.
Just past the reception area, the 3-5-year-olds (Guppies) have their own brightly decorated space, complete with child-sized furniture. In a separate zone, 6-9-year-olds (Turtles) have building block activity centers, an interactive dance mat with corresponding large video screen, video game stations and a video viewing lounge.
Upstairs, 10-12-year-olds (Seals) get a multipurpose dance space with a touch-screen jukebox, moveable tables for activities, and bean bags for lounging. An activity zone includes arts and crafts items, and a ‘hang out’ area stocked with the latest video games.
Entourage, a dedicated space for ages 13-17 (Dolphins) has air hockey, football, and an arcade with five separate large-screen areas to play the latest video games while lounging on sofas. In becomes a teen nightclub with a dance floor and video jukebox in the evenings. Adjacent is a video arcade and an outdoor eatery.
Nickelodeon is the family entertainment brand on all cruises, as part of Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL’s) children’s programming. Activities include: Slime Time Live, an interactive game; Nick Live, with poolside entertainment; Character breakfast, at extra charge; and meet and greet. There’s also a Nickelodeon in-cabin TV channel. So, expect to see Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer, Patrick Star, and Diego as part of the family-themed entertainment.
Accommodation. There is an almost endless variety of accommodation grades and suite/cabin types, shapes, and sleeping capacities so you’ll need to decide what you are looking for, or are comfortable with.
Aboard this ship, the cabin doors open outwards (towards you) rather than inwards, as is more traditional. Also, note that when music is being played late at night in the lobby, cabins located above it can suffer from intrusive volume levels, despite the generally good soundproofing.
The Haven. The more exclusive accommodation is located in a two-deck-high section called The Haven - really a ‘ship within a ship.’ It consists of 42 suites on Decks 15 and 16 forward, and includes a private restaurant, a cocktail bar, and a concierge desk where passengers can relax, have a drink, and make dining, entertainment, and spa reservations through the dedicated concierge. There is a private pool (with a deep end for swimming and a shallow area for relaxing), changing areas, two hot tubs, gym, saunas, two private massage rooms, and sun deck with bar. The Haven occupants have private access to the spa and fitness center, as well as 24-hour butler service, and in-suite, white-tablecloth dining service. Suite occupants get a platinum key card (better recognition in the rest of the ship - who said the ‘class’ system was dead?) and priority reservations for all the restaurants, spa, and entertainment venues.
The top suites within The Haven are two Deluxe Owner’s Suites, with their contemporary skyscraper apartment look - including an elegant living room and dining area with wet bar. The bedroom has a king-size bed with pillow-top mattress that faces floor-to-ceiling windows and an extra-spacious wraparound private balcony. The bathroom has an oversize tub, two vanity sinks, and a luxury shower. The Deluxe Owner’s Suites can be joined to the Owner’s Suites, creating one grand suite that can sleep up to eight.
The 21 two-bedroom Family Villas have two bathrooms as well as two bedrooms. The separate living room and dining area includes a single sofa bed, writing desk, and bar. The master bedroom has a king-size bed, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a private balcony. The master bath includes an oversize oval tub that looks out to the sea. The second bedroom includes a double sofa bed and bathroom.
Also in The Haven are 17 Courtyard Penthouses, with a king-size bed, living and dining area, a single sofa bed, writing desk, and ample storage spaces. On other (non-Haven) decks throughout the ship are eight aft-facing penthouses and 10 forward-facing penthouses.
Other accommodation. There are 15 Spa mini-suite rooms and 28 Spa balcony cabins, all with easy access to the adjacent spa and its facilities. While most outside-view cabins have a balcony, some have only windows, but all have flat-screen televisions, satellite-linked telephone, and private bathroom. There are also 42 Family ‘suites’ with ocean views.
Balcony suites/cabins have rich wood-look paneling with warm tones. Each balcony cabin has a queen-size bed that can be made into twins, with a pillow-top mattress set against a chestnut leather headboard cushioned and tufted to make reading and sitting up in bed more comfortable. There’s a lighted recess above the bed for books, magazines, tablet computers, or electronic reading devices. Each room has a sofa bed with additional storage. A built-in 26in flat-screen television is mounted on the wall and tilts for viewing from the sofa or the bed. Underneath the television is another recessed nook to hold cruise information, books, and magazines. A built-in vanity area has shelving and decent storage space. There’s also a full-size closet with sliding doors. The cabins are energy-efficient, using key card access to control lighting in the room.
The balcony bathroom features a contemporary, clean design, ensuring more generous and comfortable space. An enclosed vanity unit underneath the washbasin hides the trash bin, along with more storage. The built-in washbasin is size-generous. A private shower with a shaving bar for ladies completes the picture. Mini-suite bathrooms get a rain shower plus a hand-held shower hose.
There are 59 studio (single-occupancy) interior-only cabins (none has a sea view). They are colorful, hip, trendy, and small, with a minimalist design - especially the closet space. Still this is a neat way to cruise solo - just don’t bring many clothes.
The many interior cabins also have one or two additional upper berths, while the lower beds are twins that convert to a queen-size bed - good for families with young children.
Dining. Freestyle Dining means no assigned dining rooms, tables or seats, so you can choose which restaurant to eat in, at what time, and with whom. In practice, the wealth of choices means that you’ll need to make reservations in whichever venue you want to eat, so you’ll need to be prepared for a bit of planning and waiting - just like you would ashore. But, if you want to see a show in the evening, then your dining time will really be dictated by the time of the show, which rather limits your choice.
Other dining options. The Tropicana Room is the ship’s equivalent of a main (included in the fare) restaurant; it is large, with an integral dance floor (for shows and dancing during dinner) and large ocean-view windows aft. Other dining venues (Cagney’s Steakhouse and Moderno Churrascaria) are located one deck above, and have a view into the Tropicana Room.
The Waterfront is a boardwalk-style outdoor area with bar and eateries, while Geoffrey Zakarian’s 678 Ocean Place (meaning Decks 6, 7, and 8) connects it with several interior extra-cost dining venues as well as the extensive Getaway Casino, cigar smoking room, and several entertainment and dining venues. These include Moderno Churrascaria, a Brazilian-style steakhouse with table-side carved meat service by passadores and a salad bar); the adjacent Cagney’s Steakhouse, a classic American steakhouse, with open kitchen; La Cucina, for Italian family food with a focus on Tuscany, with inside seating; or for alfresco eating on The Waterfront, Ocean Blu (designed and overseen by US TV’s Food Network’s popular Geoffrey Zakarian). The celebrity chef uses fresh-as-possible ingredients and techniques that he employs in his land-based establishments.
Other venues include Le Bistro, for classic French-style cuisine; a 96-seat Teppanyaki restaurant with 12 flat-top grills and a lot of show and noise (yes, food can be entertaining), and The Illusionarium - a combination magic show with dinner).
Casual (no-extra-cost) eateries (except Wasabi - an à-la-carte sushi bar), include O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, a sports bar and popular always-open fast-food joint, with a big screen for sporting events, miniature bowling alley, pool and air hockey tables, and interactive games; the Atrium Café and Bar, for coffees, pastries, and music; and Shanghai’s Noodle Bar, for Chinese-style noodle dishes. The Ice Cream Bar signature item is a ship-specific extra-cost sundae (Breakaway Sundae or Getaway Sundae), with nine scoops of ice cream in up to three flavors topped with ‘everything under the sun.’
The Garden Café is an extremely large, self-serve buffet, with indoor and outdoor seating. It’s open round the clock. Many different counters provide themed and ethnic food varieties, and there’s a special section for kids
Entertainment. Two-deck-high Getaway Theater, located at the front of the ship, is a stunning showlounge where the major production shows and mainline cabaret acts are presented. A specially produced version of seven-time Tony-award nominated Legally Blonde is one of the highlights, while Burn the Floor is an excellent, fast-paced and exciting Latin dance show (it is presented in the Tropicana Room).
Really cool: The Illusionarium and its Grand Master Magic Show with Dinner. It’s presented in a circular room with a large dome - a magic theater-in-the-round (think South Beach meets handcuffs and magic wand!). The show is the result of collaboration between NCL’s entertainment department and Broadway director/choreographer Patricia Wilcox, Tony Award-winning scenic designer David Gallo and veteran magician Jeff Hobson. Its design is inspired by the science fiction of Jules Verne, the artistry of legendary magicians such as Houdini, and the popularity of recent blockbusters featuring supernatural characters. Whether you can get your water changed into wine remains to be seen.
Also, Grammy Experience at Sea is a small venue featuring headline name musical artists.
Spa/Fitness. The spa and fitness center, spread over two decks, houses a warehouse-size gymnasium. The complex includes an extra-cost thermal suite (herbal rain showers, saunas and steam rooms, relaxation area with hot-tile beds), a beauty salon, and multiple body treatment rooms, including massage rooms for couples.
The Sports Complex includes Aqua Park’s five thrilling water slides, a multi-elevated rope course (there are more than 40 elements), The Plank (a platform extending over the ship’s side), rock-climbing wall, spider-web-like enclosed spiral climbing cage, bungee trampoline, and a nine-hole miniature golf course.