We’re cruising again! This time we are cruising Norwegian Getaway.
Last summer, after many discussions of where to head in the fall, surprisingly we ended up booking a cruise. After a terrible cruise 8 years ago, we vowed never to cruise again, so it did come as a shock when we finally agreed to give it another try.
Many of our friends were cruising and having a blast, so we figured another chance could not hurt. This time I decided to try a completely different cruise line and came across an amazing itinerary to the Western Caribbean on the Norwegian Getaway out of Miami, Florida.
I will admit, at first I loved the idea of a planned itinerary. Let’s not forget the endless variety of delicious food offered when you’re on the ship. I figured once I booked, everything would be laid out for us. I didn’t have to worry about room and board or finding out what the best places to eat were. Everything would be at our disposable.
I envisioned myself with a fruity drink with my husband, next to the pool, basking in the sun, and getting off at the ports and just winging it. So there wouldn’t be much for me to arrange. Right?
I couldn’t help myself. Like a dog on a bone, I dove right in and read as many reviews and as much info available online about the Norwegian Cruise Line and their ship: Getaway.
Cruising Norwegian Getaway
Knowledge is power. There is nothing wrong with being well prepared.
For example, if I hadn’t dedicated my time to learn every piece of intel I could gather about this ship, I would have never learned about the secluded, adults-only area that exists called The Vibe. And your chances of getting your hands on a pass all depends on how fast you can run to Headliners Comedy Club (deck 6) to grab one of the 70 passes for $99 per person.
Every review I read with Vibe passes made it sound like it was a slice of heaven, and it probably is. I almost convinced hubby we needed to be at the terminal super early to score these passes, but then the Advance Upgrade Bid Program happened.
Cruise Cabin Upgrades
Upsells seem to be popular on Norwegian Cruise Line.
There used to be an 800-number to call to get a great deal on a suite – so I’ve read. Customers in search of a sweet deal would call this said number and be quoted an amazing discount for a higher category room from what they originally booked.
At the time after our final payment, Norwegian decided to try a new method by inviting customers to bid on these upsells. I took the knowledge I had gained, did some math and submitted a bid I thought was fair. And, guess what?
I originally booked a mid-ship mini-suite and was upgraded to a Haven Penthouse suite with our bid. I saved around $2,000 by taking a chance with a bid, instead of booking the Haven directly. We were able to keep our 2 perks: Unlimited Beverage Program (UBP) and (3) specialty dining Program (SDP).
If we hadn’t won, we would have been just as happy with the mini-suite. However, the Haven is an indulgement and one we wouldn’t mind repeating given the opportunity.
The Haven on the Norwegian Getaway
Let’s talk about The Haven. It did not disappoint. The priority access each and every time we embarked or disembarked was 100% worth what we bid alone. Our room was spacious, with modern decor, a comfortable King bed, and an ample amount of storage space. The Lavazza coffee machine in our suite was a dream come true for Hubby. We can’t wait to purchase one of our own.
The butler was on call when we needed him – not that we really used him. Every afternoon, we would return from port to find and we’d find yummy snacks he’d leave in our room. Our steward kept the room clean and was on top of everything. The concierge was always available and helpful. The crew throughout the entire ship was friendly and wonderful. No complaints.
The exclusive pool, hot tubs, and courtyard for Haven guests is exactly what was needed to relax during sea days.
We did venture out of the Haven. We enjoyed the water slides, ate at the buffet many times for lunch and sat at the waterfront with a couple of drinks while gazing at the sunset. The ship had plenty for us to do and we made a pretty good attempt to not miss out on anything. I do regret not trying out the rope course.
Cruising the Norwegian Pearl
Read why this is one of our favorite Norwegian cruise ships.
Tasty Itinerary: Food on the Norwegian Getaway
The food, we thought, was great throughout.
- The Buffet I loved that they had scooped ice cream of different flavors available, as well as soft served. Fresh crepes for dessert at dinner time – YUM. As far as the rest of the food, what I did try, I remember enjoying. The best part of a buffet is there is something for everyone.
- O’Sheehan’s This is a pub that is open 24/7, where you can have a late-night burger and/or wings. Beer is optional.
- Cagney’s Steakhouse (a specialty restaurant) While it is not Peter Luger’s, it was still pretty good and I recommend it if you are a carnivore.
- Teppanyaki (a specialty restaurant) The chef was highly entertaining, there was plenty of food. Scratch that, an abundance. We booked this with our free specialty dining package, but if you decide to pay a-la-carte, you’ll definitely get your money worth.
- The Haven Restaurant (only available to Haven guests) This restaurant is superb. We were impressed and didn’t feel the need to try other specialty restaurants, besides the ones already mentioned. We had breakfast there every morning, I had my favorite eggs Benedict and hubby got his fill of filet mignon and eggs.
I have to give props where they are due. It’s true the Norwegian Getaway is the first ship I’d been on in 8 years, but I remember the boredom and aggravation endured on our previous cruise. To say the entertainment on this one was above par would be an understatement.
I participated in many of the activities throughout the ship. Every night there was a different dance party at H20. If that isn’t your scene, you can hang out in the atrium where a band played different music. There was also Howl at the Moon – hubby’s favorite activity – and sing along with the dudes dueling with their pianos. There was something for everyone.
The best show of the week was “Million Dollar Quartet”. Standing ovation! Hubby and I were astonished at the talent of this ensemble. The music, the acting and the singing was unbelievable. I highly recommend you do not miss this show while it’s still playing on NCL Getaway.
Bonus: You might be able to catch the cast members at Howl at the Moon and if you’re lucky they might even join in on the performance.
I’m sure I’m missing something as it was a full week. Even though it was a while ago, it was a pleasure to reminisce and write a summary of the great vacation hubby and I had.
Norwegian won us over as customers, we even purchased two cruise next vouchers on-board. We are looking forward to dividing our time between land vacations and cruising. I’m looking forward to sharing our experiences with you… the good, the amazing, and the ugly.
Any questions, just ask in the comments.
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