Norwegian Getaway: The Transatlantic Way of Travel
Cruise liners have brought people enjoyment world-wide since the first proposed passenger ship, Princess Victoria Luise, set sail in June of 1900. If we fast-forward to present day, it is considered to be a common method of travel with an astounding average of over 20 million people cruising each year. The most prevalent names in the industry are heavy hitters like Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line just to name a few. Each brand has a vast majority of vessels that are all shapes and sizes including an array of activities and entertainment. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian multiple times domestically, however, in October of 2016 we partnered up with Norwegian to experience a transatlantic cruise. In this article we’ll review all that the Norwegian Getaway has to offer from our point of view, and highlight areas we felt are the best attributes of this magnificent ship. Come explore with us as we set sail on an epic adventure!
After an epic three-month journey across 12 countries in Europe, We decided it was time to come back home for the holidays to visit family and friends. At that current moment we had just finished eating lunch in beautiful Santorini, Greece, and quickly found a perfect option to take a transatlantic cruise back to the USA. The only catch was that the sailing dates were a couple of weeks away, and the departure port was none other than Copenhagen, Denmark. Although this altered our itinerary, we managed to visit London, England for one week before flying to Copenhagen to spend a few days before our cruise. The day of departure, I remember stepping out of our Danish taxi, and taking a couple of minutes to admire the size of Norwegian’s newest addition. The excitement overcame us as we dashed to the check in line, which brings me to my first travel tip. If you are able to choose the “Priority Boarding” option, you and your luggage are granted access to the ship first. Once we had our room keys in hand, it was time for a memorable Bon Voyage!
The Getaway offers a variety of activities; here are a few of our favorites:
Adventure Ropes Course and Zip Line:
Settle in and strap up for an exciting workout as you balance your way over narrow beams and wobbling ropes! This ropes course is designed for people of all ages, and is most enjoyable with friends and family. It is completely up to you on how much time to spend and what routes to take at your leisure. If you dare, make your way to the other side of the ship and attempt to walk a frightening plank seventeen stories high above the ocean. Finish off strong as you zip line across the bow of the ship back to the start of where it all began. Always remember to have fun and good luck!
Aqua Park and Free-Fall Waterslides:
After an exciting workout in the ropes course, cool off and dive into one of the two main pools on deck fifteen. There are two outdoor bars, four jacuzzis and two levels of beach style chairs surrounding the outdoor pool. There are also two of the fastest free fall water slides located on the same deck for only the fearless passengers. In our experience, we would recommend the drop water slide after your lunch has digested. In any case, nothing can prepare you for the exhilarating rush when free-falling.
Multi Level Sports Complex:
Whether soccer or basketball is what you fancy, allow the Getaway to indulge your athletic side. A full service basketball court, which transforms into a soccer field, is available for all guests. Just steps below the full service complex is a complete mini golf course at your disposal, and below that is a giant climbing rock wall. In our experience, we finished the ropes course multiple times, but did not get a chance to experience the rock wall.
Award Winning Casino at Sea –
Picture Las Vegas on the water, and you might have a good idea of what the Getaway Casino is portrayed to be. There are all sorts of gambling casino games to play including a vast collection of slot machines, quarter games, roulette and black jack tables. Deal or No Deal happened to catch our eye as we approached, and quickly became our favorite game of the cruise. In our experience, the Casino was a fun little addition to our added fun, and a great concept for bringing the Las Vegas Strip concept to you.
Spa Thermal Suite – Sit back and relax on one of the thermal heated seats in the spa thermal room. This addition is part of deck fifteen at the front of the ship where quality meets comfort. Although this may sound fun, it comes with a hefty price attached to its services. In our experience, this is a great way to wind down from the busy activities and unlimited eating you’ll encounter on any cruise.
Spa Salt Room – At first glance, the salt room can be overwhelming if you have never tried it before, however, it can also be extremely relevant in your daily cruise life. This room is similar to a sauna, with the exception of salt transforming your body. In our experience, trying it once is well worth the admission price.
Pulse Fitness Center – lace up those Nikes and put on your newest pair of LuLu Lemons for a full range work out at the Pulse Fitness Center. This gym is fully equipped with multiple treadmills, bikes, strength building machines, and weight lifting. In our experience, we decided to at least visit the gym twice during our two-week cruise. One day for each week of eating at the buffet.
Mandara Spa & Salon –
Mandara offers a range of services from massages to haircuts. Although we did not experience either one, we felt the need to highlight the fact anyone is eligible for a free spa service. At the beginning of your cruise, there will be a drawing anyone can enter to win a free massage. In addition, there are other prize drawings that will allow a heavy discount percentage off any service, or a free exercise class of your choice. In our experience, we did not win anything, however, anyone can take advantage of the free ten-minute preview massage in case they wanted to book something, and that’s exactly what we did.
Although this transatlantic cruise happened to be 15 days, there were only two international stops along the way. The first port of call is an autonomous archipelago in the mid-Atlantic called Azores, which is a region of Portugal. The islands consist of small fishing villages and dramatic landscapes in a picturesque location. The duration of our stay was between the hours of 7 am to 4 pm, and this was plenty of time to explore the area.
In our experience, we ate breakfast on the ship, which allowed us to disembark right at 7 am, and then we ordered a taxi for a day to the closest black sand beach. This port of call was more relaxed than others we have encountered, however, a great addition to the itinerary.
The second port of call is a blend of British and American cultures combined with vibrant beaches and tropical landscape. This colorful island is also famous for their world-renowned pink-sand beaches that are a popular tourist attraction, and the mention of their name in a Beach Boys song. As you may have guessed, this destination is none other than Bermuda.
We spent two full days docked at this amazing location, however, the weather happened to be very windy. Unfortunately, we were unable to complete our scheduled scuba dives, but we were able to visit two of the pink-sand beaches. Horseshoe Bay Beach was brilliant with vibrant colors and a onsite restaurant. The only drawback is the crowd of tourists at this location.
The second beach was a hidden gem among the local houses called, “Somerset Long Bay.” At this site there were only 5 other tourists spread across this mile long bay with a family of sea turtles swimming around us. Luckily, I was able to capture great drone footage at this beach before the rain came in. Personally, we would have liked to have a couple more stops on this cruise, however, we realize this would have been impossible for the duration of the cruise from Europe to America.
Award Winning Entertainment: The Barricade Boys
The Barricade Boys were a highlight of our trip. The Barricade Boys are created and produced by Les Miserables alumni Scott Garnham and Simon Schofield. They perform powerful ballads and beautiful operatic arias to some of the best rock, pop, and swing number of all times. Their voices are absolutely incredible. We attended three of their shows on the Norwegian Getaway and we already look forward to attending future performances! One of our favorite perfomances we had the pleasure of seeing on the ship is when they performed Les Miserables, “One Day More”. We are happy to have had the opportunity to get to know some of these guys and become friends. Shoutout to Rob and Paul for swimming with turtles with us in Bermuda!!
We were highly impressed with the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus on the Norwegian Getaway. Some of our favorite dishes included the chocolate molten lava cake with chocolate chip gelato, the recess peanut butter cheesecake, the caprese salad, the french onion soup, the pistachio creme brulee, the lasagna, and the steak and shrimp.
Our favorite restaurant was the Teppanyaki. Although it is an extra fee, it is well worth the money!
Overall our experience was nothing short of magical, and a considerable idea instead of booking a round trip ticket. The cost of booking a one way ticket to Europe accompanied by a transatlantic cruise ticket back to the United States might be the same price if not cheaper. In addition, this way of travel allows for two different experiences wrapped into one. Another great fact to consider when decision time comes up is that all your food is included with your cruise ticket. The complimentary activities and shows are an added bonus, and allows for an entreating journey along the way! The staff on Norwegian is wonderful and we always appreciated the amazing animal figures made from towels they left hanging around our cabin!
Thank you for your support in reading this article, and please feel free to visit other destinations on our website for more travel tips and exciting adventure stories from our travels around the world!
Have a great one, and always remember your Adventure Awaits!