Every once in a while, the girls will catch a cruise ship out of the corner of their eye while walking along the Hudson or they”ll catch a glimpse as one passing by our living room window. They have so many questions about the ship passing by. As I was walking by the Hudson River, partly covered in ice (pictured above), all I could think about was a vacation to a warm destination. Although the girls have asked to go on a cruise as they watched ships pass by, I never thought about taking a cruise for our family vacation. Partly, because I never realized how much they have to offer for families but also because my husband has only heard negative media so wasn’t a huge fan of the idea. When I got the invite from The MOMS to spend the day on Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, Getaway, I couldn’t say no. I was anxious to see the girls reactions when they saw a ship similar to the ones they would look at in the distance but I also wanted to see all the cruise ship has to offer.
We watched as the Norwegian Breakaway sailed past our building last summer!
The Getaway recently sailed across the Atlantic from Germany,where it was built, to its temporary port of New York City. The Getaway transform into a Bud Light Hotel during the Super Bowl. After the Super Bowl, it will make its way to it’s new home in Miami, Florida. Beginning in early February, the Norwegian Getaway will set sail all year-long from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean (yes, get me out of this freezing cold weather and take me to sunny beaches). There are two itineraries to choose from:
- Embark in Miami, with stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Nassau, Bahamas, then Disembark Miami
- Embark in Miami, with stops in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Tortola, Nassau, Bahamas, then Disembark Miami
As we pulled up to Pier 88, for our outing with TheMOMS, my girls were mesmerized by the size of the ship. When your small, everything seems so much BIGGER, so I can only imagine what was going through their head. I heard “wow”, “oh boy”, “it’s soooo big”. I was excited to see my girls reaction when they saw a ship up close and personal. Throughout the day we got to experience a sample of activities, services, and amenities offered on board the Getaway.
The Norwegian Getaway offers many dining options. There are complimentary options which include three main dining rooms with brand new menus as well as O’Seehans Bar and Lounge which is open 24 hrs. Finer dining is also available for a cover charge. Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant Ocean Blue is on the Getaway with a chance for a dining experience with him on select cruises!
Our day on board began with a three-course meal in the Illusionarium. The starter was prosciutto with mozzarella, tomato, balsamic vinaigrette, and gourmet young mesclun greens. The main course was a surf and turf with jumbo coconut shrimp, roasted beef tenderloin, double baked potato, broccoli and a demi-glaze sauce. The dessert included a trilogy of sweets: red velvet cupcake with vanilla cream cheese frosting, vanilla crème caramel with wild berries, and a flourless chocolate cake with praline crème. The children had a separate menu that included macaroni and cheese or chicken tenders with a banana cup cake for dessert. Not only was the food delicious but the service and staff onboard was phenomenal. I was very impressed with our waitress, Donie. She was very accomodating when my youngest couldn’t decide what she wanted so she brought her both, mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. Before we even looked at the menu she asked about any food allergies. As a mom of a daughter, with a peanut/ tree nut allergy, I can’t tell you how appreciative I was. It’s rare a waitress or waiter at a restaurant asks, I’ve always had to tell them about my daughters allergy.
During our experience on board we got a little sample of the entertainment on board. All the performances we saw took place in the Illusionarium however there are separate theaters onboard when on vacation. My girls were in awe of the performances by the Burn the Floor dance group. They also loved watching Legally Blonde the Musical and seeing their favorite characters (Dora, Diego, SpongeBob SquarePants & Patrick Star) during a performance by Nick Junior. The magic show was unbelievable. They were amazed to see a table float through the air. It was an incredible experience just watching the shortened, condensed version so I can only imagine what they would think of the full shows.
The recreational activities for kids and families are endless. There is a Nickelodeon Jr theme aqua zone for kids to splash around. In the aqua park there are 2 pools, 4 hot tubs, and 5 water slides. The Free Fall water slide is one of the fastest at sea and one of two drop slides that floor comes out from underneath you and drops you down the slide in 6 seconds. The sports complex features a miniature golf course, a basketball court, a rock climbing wall, a bungee trampoline and a ropes course. At the end of the ropes course, those brave enough can walk an 8 foot plank off the side of the ship with a photo opportunity at the end. Other activities include an arcade, pool parties and opportunities to meet Dora, Diego, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star.
Splash Academy provides complimentary drop-off activities for ages 3-12 onboard the ship from 9:00 am – 10:30 pm, closing during meal times. Once on board you can get the full schedule of activities and classes offered. Each themed activity is two hours. Themes and activities change daily. Whether it’s free-style play, a Turtle’s Luau Party or super sports, your child will make new friends and have tons of fun. While my husband and I were on a tour of the ship, both of my girls spent some time in Splash Academy. They came out with art projects, balloons, and a huge smile on their face from all the fun they were having. The supervisors were extremely friendly and engaging with the children. Each child was assigned a number upon entering. To pick up your child, parents we required to return the corresponding number. Because of food allergies, Splash Academy is free of food. A late-night zone with fun activities like fort making and Nintendo Wii action is available from 10:30 pm until 1:30 am at a reasonable rate ($6 for the first child and $4 for siblings).
After you drop the kids off at Splash Academy, don’t feel guilty their having fun, you can head to the spa for a dip in the thermal pool or for a relaxing massage. There are also many adult only areas to enjoy a beverage, a bite to eat, or soak up a few uninterrupted rays! While on international waters you can also take an hour (or more) for duty-free shopping or chancing your luck in the largest casino at sea! At night, you can visit the dueling piano bar, Howel At The Moon or cool off after a day of fun in the sun for a unique experience in the SVEDKA and Inniskillin Ice Bar. While onboard, don’t miss The Grammy Experience. The first headliner will be Nestor Torres. I could go on forever with the entertainment, bars, and activities you can take part in if you need a date day or night while on vacation.
While we were onboard we got to peek into a few staterooms. For families, there are suites with pull-out sofas, adjoining rooms, or rooms with two single beds and 1 or 2 pull down beds above. The Haven Suite is incredible, my daughters couldn’t get over the closet and the spa bathtub filled with roses. Budget friendly options are available as well!
You may have seen the recent news about the recent outbreak of a virus leaving 600 passengers onboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise. When you hear news like that you may be skeptical of jumping aboard, I know my husband was in the past. We were discussing the news and my husband, the skeptic, pointed out how extremely impressed he was with Norwegians proactive efforts to make sure cleanliness and hygiene were a priority aboard the Getaway. There were hand sanitizing stations almost everywhere you turned. In the bathrooms there were signs reminding guests to wash hands and use a paper towel to open the door. The sink, soap dispenser, and trash can had sensors so you didn’t have to touch anything. The trash can had a reminder note on top letting you know not to touch.
There is so much to do and explore. By the end of our day on board the Getaway, I had to drag my girls off the ship. They were ready to move onto the beautiful ship, permanently. My oldest said “This is a beau-ti-ful ship! Mommy, can we move here?” When I told her that a cruise ship is for vacations and not for living she said “Can we go on vacation NOW?” My husband even changed his mind about taking a cruise and is ready to book for an exciting and entertaining adventure for all at sea.
Can’t make it to the port of Miami, the Getaway’s sister ship Breakaway embarks from NYC and sails to Bermuda!
Watching the Norwegian Breakaway sail by!
Thank you to The MOMS and Norwegian Cruise Line for an awesome day for my family. For more information visis www.ncl.com, follow on Instagram: NorwegianCruiseLine , on twitter: @cruisenorwegian and be sure to like Norwegian Cruise Line on Facebook!
Follow the Getaway’s journey at #UltimateGetaway.
To learn more about The MOMS visit http://themoms.com
Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own. I received a day on board the Norwegian Getaway and complimentary services and meals as part of the Family Media Day with The MOMS.