Norwegian Getaway Review
- Pro: Getaway makes the most of outdoor spaces like the Waterfront with its South Beach vibe.
- Con: Fees add up for wow-factor experiences, such as upscale restaurants and dinner theater.
- Bottom Line: Getaway offers an abundance of dining and entertainment options with a Miami flair.
Norwegian Getaway Overview
Editor's Note: As of January 2016, the Nickelodeon program will no longer be offered on Norwegian Getaway.
Getaway simply oozes Miami, and that's exactly what Norwegian Cruise Line was going for when it built the ship. It starts with the hull, with art designed by Miami artist David "LEBO" Le Batard. It's impossible to miss the painting, which features a mermaid and pelicans and employs the colors of the sea. Inside, the overall color palate successfully melds bright purples and turquoises with more muted browns and gleaming silvers. Even the public spaces feel like Miami. Passengers can grab a variety of signature cocktails at Sugarcane Mojito Bar and eat rice and beans and other Latin-inspired cuisine at the Flamingo Grill. Then there's The Waterfront, an outdoor space that encircles Deck 8, where passengers can sip drinks or dine alfresco. While the innovation debuted on twin sister Norwegian Breakaway, it just really works on Getaway, which sails year-round from Miami, where the weather is always ideal for spending time enjoying dinner, drinks and uninterrupted ocean views.
Getaway scores huge points for entertainment options with 28 restaurants, more than a dozen bars, Broadway-caliber theater and a large sports complex that boasts a ropes course, climbing wall and zip line. Passengers on Getaway would have to go out of their way to squeeze in everything. It's almost impossible to be bored. Highlights include Howl at the Moon, an outrageous sing-along dueling piano show; musical "Million Dollar Quartet"; dinner theater production The Illusionarium; and five multistory waterslides, including the scream-inducing Free Fall.
The ship was built for socializing, with most of the action taking place around 678 Ocean Place, the three-deck open space around which many of Getaway's bars are located. Have dinner in Le Bistro on Deck 6, catch a Second City improv comedy show across the way at Headliners, and then climb the stairs to hit the Casino on Deck 7 before finishing the night at Sugarcane Mojito Bar on Deck 8 without missing a beat. The area is packed with activities, which also means it's packed with people. The casino encircles the area on Deck 7, and smoke drifts to restaurants and clubs on the decks above and below. It also leads to some bottlenecking as passengers make their way through. Adding to the chaos is Norwegian's Freestyle dining concept which, while much-adored on the line's smaller ships, can seem onerous on a ship of more than 4,000. A vacation on Getaway requires planning ahead to get seats in the venues that you want.
It also can make avoiding the crowds somewhat of a challenge, though it's entirely possible. Set off from the rest of the ship, the Vibe Beach Club and the Thermal Suite spa lounge provide sanctuary, but you'll pay for the privilege. Of course, luxe-lovers can head off the crowds before boarding by booking a room in the Haven, Norwegian's ship-within-a-ship enclave, which has a small pool, restaurant and lounge exclusively for Haven suite residents.
Generally, cabins are comfortable though snug, with balconies that are small, even at the suite level. Still, Getaway is a perfect option for passengers who consider the ship to be the destination. Options for entertainment are plentiful, and outdoor spaces work in harmony with the Miami theme and Caribbean sunshine.
Norwegian Getaway Fellow Passengers
Norwegian Getaway blends a lot of adult spaces with kid-friendly activities, so passengers are a mix of couples, families -- both nuclear and multigenerational -- and groups of friends. Getaway's Miami homeport and vibe make it a solid draw for South Florida residents, but its seven-night itineraries lure passengers from all over.
Norwegian Getaway Dress Code
With its Freestyle dining program, Norwegian broke cruising's formal night tradition years ago, and the casual concept has only gained in popularity. While passengers are encouraged to "dress up" (meaning suits for men and cocktail dresses for women) one night, now called Norwegian's Night Out, only a fraction of people do. On this Miami-based ship, women should be fine with sundresses, skirts or nice pants with blouses most evenings, while men can get by with khakis or linen pants and collared shirts. Note that some of the nicer restaurants, such as Le Bistro and Cagney's, do require men to wear slacks; you'll see few shorts at an event such as the Chef's Table.
Norwegian Getaway Gratuity
Each passenger is automatically billed $13.50 per person, per day in all cabin categories up to and including a mini suite. Suite guests will be charged $15.50 per person, per day. If a passenger is unsatisfied with service, and the line can't resolve the issue, the service fee can be adjusted. An 18 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar drinks, and 18 percent is added to spa and salon services. All specialty and entertainment dining carries an 18 percent auto-gratuity. For passengers using concierge and butler service, Norwegian recommends a gratuity "commensurate with the services rendered." The bill can be paid in cash or with credit or debit cards.