Growing up, I never went on cruises with my family. A cruise, to me, was a vacation that my grandparents took. So, for us as a family, a cruise is not top-of-mind; it was the type of vacation that we just never considered. (We had similar feelings about those all-inclusive family vacation, and boy did our opinions completely change — we are going to our second all-inclusive family vacation this year.) When The Moms, Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein invited me and my family to get a behind-the-scenes look of the Norwegian GETAWAY Cruse, we had to go and check it out.
8 Things I Learned about the Norwegian GETAWAY Cruise:
1. The food was pretty darn good. There are 29 restaurants on the ship (!) and 6 are included in your meal package. The other 23 are $15 – $30 per person for all-you-can-eat options.
2. The service is excellent. Your wish is their command. There are a ton of people who work on the GETAWAY and they know how to treat their guests. They are super-nice and respectful and I loved looking at their name tags to see which country they came from.
3. Entertainment is bountiful. During our tour, we saw snippets of their on-ship entertainment: High energetic dances from Burn the Floor, Legally Blonde (performed in an 800-seat theater, just like the Broadway Show!), a magic show and — the highlight for any family — songs and dancing from the Nickelodeon TV crew: Dora, Sponge Bob, Diego and Patrick.
4. There is a casino and smoking is allowed. So, for those of you who are smoke-averse, stay out of the casino.
5. The “Family Inside “ interior rooms are small, but efficient. These rooms are 135 square feet and have a Queen-size bed which can be separated into two beds. There is additional bedding that accomodates two. (See the pull-outs on the ceiling? That’s where the other two family members would sleep.) There’s a 26-inch flat screen TV, and a full-size closet. According to our tour guide, you rarely stay in your rooms on a cruise, so it is, small because everything else is big! And, as you can see there aren’t any windows, so in order to enjoy the water view, you do have to step outside. For larger parties, there are some rooms that are connected.
6. The Haven rooms are exquisite. These rooms are 543 square feet and are located on the upper deck in an exclusive, key card access-only area. They have floor to ceiling windows and its own balcony, which makes a huge difference. (I’m sure there’s a big price difference, too.) These rooms have a living room (which contains a sofa bed), two bedrooms, two bathrooms — the master bath features a luxury shower and oversized oval bathtub and two vanity sinks. Haven guests have access to its secluded Courtyard Area, private restaurant and lounge PLUS a concierge and 24-hour butler service. These are the rooms I know I would want, but realistically, on our budget, we would wouldn’t be able to afford.
7. There are a ton of kids activities for children of all ages. They have kids camps called “Splash Academy” for kids 3 to 17 years olds. It comes complete with rock climbing walls, 6 water slides and a ton of fun activities.
8. A cruise looks like it could be fun. Like I said, cruises were never part of our family vacation repertoire. Cruises, to me, were more for my grandparents generation. Having an inside look at the Norwegian GETAWAY was really educational and helped me understand the allure of a cruise and what it has for a family vacation.
TELL ME: Have you ever gone on a cruise? What was it like? Did you enjoy it? What is your favorite part of going on a cruise?
For more information visit the Norwegian Getaway website.