Norwegian Getaway Review – Itinerary, Embarkation & Staterooms
Part 1 – Itinerary, Embarkation & Staterooms
Note: I was given a media rate to sail on the Norwegian Getaway. Norwegian also provided a free dinner at one specialty restaurant and complimentary admission to the Illusionarium. All costs of the trip were paid by me. No agreement was made as to the content or scope of this review. All words and ideas are my own.
The Norwegian Getaway debuted in early 2014 and is Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest and greatest ship. Designed from the ground up to enbody the line’s mantra of “Freestyle Cruising”, the ship and its sister the Breakaway, are among the best designed mainline cruise ships in the world.
In this Norwegian Getaway review, I will take you through every aspect of the ship and talk about my experiences both good and bad. The Getaway was the third Norwegian ship I have sailed on and I will also compare her to the smaller Jewel class ships.
Introduction & Itinerary
I sailed on a pretty typical itinerary departing Miami on a Saturday and visiting St. Martin, St. Thomas & Nassau. I had visited St. Martin & St. Thomas before and it was rainy in Nassau so we didn’t participate in many off ship activities.
This itinerary could use a fourth port in my opinion. I know that some people love sea days, however Nassau isn’t a very strong port and I would have liked to stop somewhere else. With that said, this exact itinerary has worked for Norwegian for quite some time so people must like it.
Norwegian Getaway Review – The Ship
The Norwegian Getaway weighs in at a massive 146,600 gross tons and is over 1,000 feet long. The ship contains over 20 places to eat, a casino & numerous entertainment and recreational venues. In other words, there is nothing intimate about her.
During my sailing there were 3,600 guests, although the stated maximum capacity of the ship is just under 4,000. The only areas of the ship that I ever felt were crowded were the buffet and pool deck. Those were the most popular areas, especially during sea days when space seemed to be at a premium. I will get into more details of that as I review the ship.
Norwegian Getaway Review – Embarkation
The Getaway docks at the far end of the Port of Miami in terminals B & C. This won’t mean much to those who arrive via taxi or shuttle, however for the braver souls trying to make it by public transport, there will be a little walking.
We arrived at check-in around 11:30am following a very short wait to go through security. While we checked in at the Haven area, I did peak into the regular check-in lines and there was not a wait. I thought that was pretty impressive given the size of the ship and number of passengers on board.
The Haven check-in area is off to the left almost immediately after clearing security. In addition to a private check-in area, they have a number of small snack items and beverages available for guests. If you are staying in the Haven, when the ship is ready, someone will give you a private escort on board.
Shortly before noon Haven guests were being allowed on the ship and soon after they started calling boarding groups. I asked and was told that passengers arriving at the port at the same time as me were being put into boarding group 7. Thankfully they let me on the ship early to take photos even though I was not staying in the Haven.
Norwegian Getaway Review – Staterooms
The Norwegian Getaway has a full selection of cabins ranging from insides to luxury suites in their Haven area. We stayed in a normal balcony cabin located on deck 11 directly in the middle of the ship.
The decor in the ship’s cabins is very nice with heavy use of dark woods and earth tones. It feels very modern and comfortable. The balcony cabin is a decent size and we found it comfortable as well. My only issue was with the balcony itself. It was the shallowest I have ever seen on a cruise ship and was barely deep enough for a chair to face outward.
Lets take a look at the ship’s main cabin types.
Inside cabins are the most economical on the ship. They range from 129-150 square feet and can hold up to four people. On my sailings these cabins were being sold from $299 per person for the lowest category. A very economical way to enjoy one of the newest and largest cruise ships in the world.
Oceanview staterooms are a step up from the inside. Not only are they larger at 161 square feet, but they also give you some natural light. On my sailing these rooms were being sold for as little as $349 per person. The ship also has larger family oceanview staterooms which are anywhere from 218-340 square feet.
Balcony staterooms are by far the most popular category on just about any mass market cruise ship. The Norwegian Getaway’s balcony rooms are about average size in the market at 207 square feet. This is the category I stayed in and my wife and I found the cabin to be very comfortable for two people.
As mentioned before, my only complaint comes with the depth of the balcony. Other than that we really enjoyed the room. It is also important to note that the bathroom in the Norwegian Getaway’s staterooms comes with an enclosed shower with a glass door. I much prefer this to the shower curtain found on other cruise ships.
On our sailing the lowest category balcony stateroom was going for $449, which I think is a steal. The Getaway also has large balcony staterooms and mini-suites which are essentially larger versions of this room. They are available for an additional charge. It is important to note that the larger balcony staterooms don’t suffer from the shallow balcony issue I described.
Norwegian introduced inside Studio cabins on the Epic and brought them back on the Getaway. These cabins are designed for one person and run from 99-131 square feet. While that may seem small, I can assure you the rooms are comfortable and well thought out. The Studio cabins also have a common lounge area where single travelers can meet. It seemed like a nice space.
Studio cabins are often the first category to sell out on any sailing. I wasn’t able to find out the prices of these cabins for our sailing, however they generally run about 75% of the cost for two people to travel in an inside. In the end it is a savings over the double occupancy charge of the regular staterooms.
The Getaway is also home to the Haven which is Norwegian’s ship within a ship concept. Located on Decks 16 & 17, the Haven has a private lounge, restaurant and pool area reserved for guests who are staying in suites. This is area is very large and attractive. Essentially, people staying in suites really don’t have to mingle with the “commoners” if they do not want to.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to tour any of the Haven suites since they were all occupied during my sailing. The Haven has a number of suites available which range from 328-932 square feet. Some of them are located on the Haven level of the ship, while others are on the normal decks. All suites have access to the private Haven lounge, restaurant and pool area.
I was able to tour the Haven public areas and they are clearly a step up over what is available on the older Jewel class ships. In addition to the restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Haven lounge and bar are very inviting and open spaces. The two story pool area with private lounge chairs is also much nicer then you will find on deck. It really is a “ship within a ship” experience.
Norwegian Getaway Review – Conclusion
In the end, I was impressed with the speed and efficiency of the check-in process at the pier. Even if I had not been allowed to board early, there were not long lines like I have experienced with just about every other cruise line. While I wish the itinerary was a little more varied, it seems to be popular among the guests and thus works for NCL.
I had the opportunity to see most of the staterooms on board the Norwegian Getaway. If I was sailing her again, then I would stay in the exact same room. The normal balcony stateroom was big enough for us and we never felt short on space. My only wish is that they had added around 2 more inches of depth to the balconies. For someone who spends a great deal of time out there this may be an issue.
The next part of this Norwegian Getaway review will cover the extensive food options available on board. See you then.
Part 1 – Itinerary, Embarkation & Staterooms
Part 3 – Entertainment, Activities & More