Norwegian Getaway First Impressions
Disclaimer: Norwegian Cruise Line provided me with a discounted media rate to sail on the Getaway along with one complimentary dinner in a specialty restaurant and complimentary seating at the Illusionarium Magic Show. I paid my own way on the ship and the thoughts and words in this and future posts about the Getaway are my own.
The Getaway is Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, having debuted in February, 2014. A sister to the Breakaway, the Getaway is just under 150,000 gross tons, making it among the largest cruise ships in the world.
I have sailed on Norwegian a few times before and was glad to be offered a media rate to sail on the Getaway. This is the first time I have sailed on a ship in its first year and as an avid cruiser that has been exciting for me.
Having been on a few of Norwegian’s smaller ships, I can say the Getaway is a huge step up. This is the first time the company has been able to fully deploy their Freestyle cruising concept.
The first thing that I was impressed with on the Getaway is the decor. Instead of the typical tacky type decor that I have seen on many cruise ships, the Getaway feels more like one of the newer Hyatt properties. The decor is warm, edgy, contemporary and comfortable all at the same time.
Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising concept is taken to a whole new level on the Getaway. While some people may not like not having a set time to dine, I prefer it and no one does this better than Norwegian. Additionally they have expanded their restaurant offerings on this ship resulting in an amazing selection.
I have always found Norwegian’s staff to be much better than Carnival’s but a step down from Royal Caribbean. While all of the officers on board the Getaway are fantastic, I don’t see the same level of friendliness that I have experienced on Royal Caribbean. Don’t get me wrong, the staff is very good, but just not quite up to Royal’s standards.
The entertainment offerings on this ship are nothing short of amazing. With a number of small entertainment venues, they are able to offer everything from amazing blues music to comedy shows with high quality talent. Norwegian is spending money on their entertainment and it is shows in the final product.
In a time where lines like Carnival have drastically cut the live entertainment on board in favor of DJs, it is nice to see Norwegian invest in entertainment. The Getaway was clearly designed to expand their Freestyle concept to entertainment and it works.
I will have a full and extensive review of the ship posted in the next few weeks. I do have a few minor complaints that I will save for the review, but three days in, I am thoroughly impressed. If this is the direction Norwegian is going, they may just pass both Carnival and Royal Caribbean in the coming years.