Sunlight fills your room, tempting your eyes and mind to see another beautiful day in the Caribbean from the Norwegian Getaway cruise. I’m awake but I don’t have to get up until I want to.
I feel rested.
A Day on the Norwegian Getaway Cruise
Activities run on the Norwegian Getaway from 7am until midnight, unless you count the 24-hour casino, and food is served all hours too – there’s no need to rush for anything. I’m not the type to get up early unless I have to, especially after last night.
The group of European journalists and travel bloggers I was with had dinner at the Ocean Blue Restaurant, followed by dancing and drinks in Bliss, the on board club. I ghosted at around 1am. I couldn’t repeat the night before, where Rosie from rosieglow.com and I were eating every flavour of Buffalo wings at 5am in the Irish bar, O’Sheehans.
That wasn’t how I wanted this trip to go.
Breakfast on the Norwegian Getaway
Breakfast is served to the table at Savor or Taste, but I’ve never actually made it there thanks to the wealth of choice at The Garden Cafe, the all day buffet restaurant. I get up, hungry, one of the few things that could tempt me out of my comfy double bed. Just a few days in and I’ve gotten used to all this all-day eating on board. Any plans of having a healthy cruise went out the window on day two.
At least I got that hour-long cycle ride in at the on board gym. Looking out over the ocean and listening to my music, I actually enjoyed using it and vowed to go back.
But first, breakfast.
I dress in my swimsuit and tie dyed dress, with flip flops. I might not swim in the ship’s three pools, but I definitely plan to lie by them. The Norwegian Getaway clothing vibe is a relaxed one. A fellow passenger will pass in boat shoes and the next in flip flops – up to them. Everything goes.
The quickest way to get round the ship is via the stairs, which also goes some minute way to helping to balance the food consumption too. I head up to the The Garden Cafe and it’s carnage. Kids grabbing at the sweet pastries, and the adults following suit. There’s plenty to go round though – everything you need for a Full English, a Mexican, American, and all the breads, cereals and porridge you could ever imagine.
For the last three days I’ve had a (multigrain) bagel stuffed full of bacon and spiked with hot sauce. Tempted by everything else, I’m just overwhelmed by the choice and on this occasion stick with what I know works.
One of the best things about The Garden Cafe is the fact it’s up on the top deck, with sunlight and sea views filtering in from every direction. It’s also right by the pool and waterpark, perfect for an after breakfast sunbathe.
Day time activities
Mornings on the ship can be as action packed as I please. Some cruisers like to schedule their activities like I used to schedule my Christmas TV viewing via the Radio Times – highlighters at the ready and up for anything. I opt for a more relaxed trip and enjoy the chance to chill on my balcony on the Wi-Fi
Of course I managed some time to sunbathe by the pool, check out the jacuzzis, explore the member’s only area and peruse the on board shops, but I did do that little bit of work that one time too.
Norwegian Getaway Excursions
– Belinda and I on our little rental boat on Harvest Caye, Belize
Today though, is a day for excursions.
During the week we have two sea days, on the first and final day, where the ship puts on a full display of activities all day long. But the other four days, we had the chance to see Harvest Caye, Norwegian’s private island in Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico; and Roatan in Honduras.
Today is Costa Maya, and despite doing excursions at the previous two ports, this time I just want to chill and explore for myself.
Two of the other bloggers and I walk through the port, find a tuk tuk man to take us to the beach and just chill on our loungers. After a glorious beach massage at just $20 from a local masseuse we order a few beers and lie to admire the view. I take the obligatory hot dog legs shot, although note mine are more like well-packed sausages.
We’re back well in time for our 4:30pm departure and hit the pizza and salad (easy on the salad) at The Garden Cafe. No point buying lunch off the ship, when it’s included on board is there?
Back on the ship
‘Washy washy’, so the staff cheerfully squawk at you as you stroll back on board, and into the restaurants. Gesturing for your permission for them to spray your hands with anti bac. Got to keep the ship as clear of germs as possible.
I can see why cruise is the fastest growing sector of travel. It really does feel like I’m on holiday – extravagance and luxury at every decision. You’d need the strength of will power of a monk to do anything healthy, although the options are always there.
My little achievements include not going near the daily ice cream, no desserts and staying away from wine. But of course that wine was just replaced by cocktails.
I had the drinks package, allowing free access to alcohol 24 hours a day, for 7 days. Any alcohol I could possibly desire all day long, for what felt like, free.
So a cocktail and a snack from The Garden Cafe for lunch was standard, apart from the day I had a snakebite with my fajitas and nachos from O’Sheehans. Hadn’t had one since my university days and it just tasted like pop. Dangerous.
The day before I’d had a burning desire for sushi, and so despite the fact the Wasabi sushi bar cost extra, no part of me regretted it when this plate of delight turned up. Yeah it’s a lot. Yeah I ate it all.
Early evening on the Norwegian Getaway
There are 8 jacuzzis on board the Norwegian Getaway, some in the private area, others at the front of the boat by the Spice H20 bar, and then these ones, by the main bar and daily afternoon pool party. Today was the day we decided to make the most of it and order some sort of sugary iced cocktail to sip in the frankly boiling water. With the Caribbean sun beating down on us, the drink was needed. Medicinal even.
Once the sun started to disappear I go to my room to catch the sunset from my balcony, and get ready for the evening’s fun.
I love my room – the first time for ages I’d spent a week in one place so I fully unpack. Like I live there.
I have a sofa, a really comfy bed with an amazing duvet and sheets, a lovely bathroom with hot shower whenever I want, and a TV which I think I watched once. Why watch that when I could see the world from my balcony?
The guy who serviced our rooms – can’t believe I’ve forgotten his name – created a different towel art to welcome me home every day, and tidied up what he obviously thought was mess, but I thought was organisation. He dropped off the events schedule for the next day and was always interested to hear what I was doing next.
I try to dress up a bit for the evening, not that it was totally necessary, but y’know, it’s nice to feel nice.
After an aperitif cocktail or two it’s time for dinner. So many restaurants on board, so little time. I didn’t even get chance to eat at them all over the week. Tonight is Teppanyaki, a Japanese inspired restaurant where the chef creates the food on the hot plate in front of us.
Our chef is brilliant. Making jokes, singing songs, getting us all to join in. He brings out the classics like ‘Heyyyy hey baby’, and ‘Wonderwall’ but somehow manages to incorporate them into what he’s doing by changing the lyrics. It’s all great fun, very entertaining and the food is delicious. Big portions too.
The shows on the Norwegian Getaway are just one of the reasons the ship is so popular. Professional, Broadway-like shows happen every night. I’d already seen Burn the Floor, a Cuban inspired dance show, last night, and tonight is the Illusionarium – a magic show with a coming of age story line. I’m pulled up on stage to help demonstrate the magician being able to put her hand through a piece of cloth, or something like that.
Also on board is the Wine Lovers Musical (which matches wine as the story progresses), Howl at the Moon (piano battling where the Americans in the audience were forking out $50 for a request), music quizzes (totally would’ve won if we’d been in at the start) and Million Dollar Quarter (all about the Sun Records label, which I went to in Nashville!).
Once you’ve ran out of shows (never going to happen) you can visit the Ice Bar, free drinks included. Sadly I only lasted about 5 minutes, thanks to having stupidly worn flip flops.
Every night at around 10pm there’s always some sort of party at the H20 Spice Bar, at the front of the ship. The best night was the Latin Dance Party, where we learned a few steps from the Burn the Floor cast, and one of the reps showed us how to dance to Enrique Iglesias – I may not have looked like a Spanish dancing beauty as I waved my arms around and snake hipped, but all that Champagne at dinner made me feel like one.
We need more.
Before I went on the ship, being a total newb, I didn’t believe my friends when they said there was a club on board. But after, I think 5 nights of attendance I can confirm it’s there. Bliss.
It was fun y’know. One night the party was in full swing and then one of my friends knocked another, which knocked her drink out of her hand and spilt on the floor. The DJ immediately put the lights on, stopped the music, and then ordered someone to clear it up.
Safety first, safety second.
We were generally the last to leave that club, every time we were in it. And the best thing? Bed was just a short stumble away.
I find my room, get ready for bed and get under the covers. Another brilliant day on board the Norwegian Getaway over.
And that’s how you’d spend a typical day on the Norwegian Getaway cruiseliner.
Sounds good hey?!
How to do the trip
Norwegian Air operates a direct year round service to Fort Lauderdale, less than an hour’s drive from Miami, where the Norwegian Getaway sets sail from. Norwegian Air and the Norwegian Getaway are not the same company, yeah I thought they were too, just for a minute (or a few days, oops).
Fly to your Norwegian Getaway with Norwegian Air and it’ll be by a fleet of brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircrafts. They’re faster, greener and help reduce the effects of jet lag.
There are two cabins – Premium (starting at £499 one-way) and Economy (£159). Prices include all taxes and charges. I flew back home in Premium (from NYC though) and had 14 inches extra leg room, drinks, dinner, luggage included and access to the Korean Air lounge too.
To book visit norwegian.com/uk or call 0330 828 0854
Joining the cruise
I was on the Norwegian Getaway 7-night Western Caribbean from Miami fly cruise. I visited Miami (Florida); Roatan, Bay Islands (Honduras); Harvest Caye (Belize); Costa Maya (Mexico); Cozumel (Mexico); and back to Miami (Florida). This cruise is priced from £1643 per person based on two people sharing an inside stateroom and departing London Heathrow on 4 March 2017.
You can find out more about booking a cruise on the Norwegian Getaway at ncl.co.uk, or phone 0333 2412319.
*I went on the Norwegian Getaway in December 2016 as a guest of NCL in return for a review.
All thoughts, photos and words my own.