I recently took a four night sailing on the Norwegian Getaway out of New York City to Bermuda. This sailing was a bit of a one off, as the Getaway was deadheading up from Miami prior to this sailing and would arrive in NYC empty of guests.
In addition, it was super early in the season for Bermuda and I was also sailing with my three year old son. Given all these circumstances, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the first few things that popped into my head from the sailing. It may provide you with some tips and tricks on sailing NCL and the Getaway specifically. You are probably going to get a couple different perspectives from my normal overviews for a nice change of pace. Let’s get started!
Pre-cruise I was planning on doing one specialty restaurant over the four nights. With my three year old son in tow I figured we would just stick to the main dining room (MDR).
Going into the sailing we only had our reservation in Teppanyaki where we would be joining some other friends. That plan quickly changed on night one. As we attempted to dine at 6:30pm the first night, we encountered extremely long lines in both the MDR and at the Garden Café (buffet). I instantly knew neither of these options were happening tonight as it was going to require a long wait, and to be frank, three year olds don’t like to wait.
Fortunately I came up with a quick plan on the fly, and headed to La Cucina (NCL’s Italian specialty restaurant). We were able to be seated immediately and a crisis was averted. Before I get ahead of myself, yes I did have to pay extra, but only for myself. Kids can eat free in specialty restaurants as long as they order from the standard kids menu. This ended up ended up being a blessing as we ate in specialty restaurants three out of the four nights.
In retrospect, I probably should have just purchased a three night dining plan pre-cruise or made some MDR reservations pre-cruise. Although this may sound like a bit of a complaint, it really wasn’t a big deal as I love NCL’s specialty dining venues. I have no complaints from our experiences in La Cucina, Teppanyaki, and Moderno and enjoyed wonderful meals in each. On your next NCL sailing be sure to check out at least one or two of the specialty restaurants!
My time spent in bars this sailing were very limited but a couple of them stood out to me. The Sugarcane Mojito bar has amazing mojito’s and it is centrally located in the 678 Atrium. It is a great place to hang out with friends or just people watch. Plus they usually have some live music during the evening hours.
The other bar I will mention is the Skyy Vodka Ice Bar. I’ll start by saying that it would be way more appealing if the weather had been hot out. It was not this sailing. I was planning on going regardless one night while my son was at Splash Academy, as I didn’t want to have to pay for him to not enjoy it. We ended up getting a complementary invite so we both went. Upon entering the bar my son was immediately freezing and asking to leave. I told him I at least needed to finish one drink.
Next time I visit the ice bar it will be without kids to ensure I can spend some more time in there. The drinks were super good but I honestly don’t remember what it was. The only other bar I spent time at was Spice H2O and even then it was limited with the chilly temps. If you are headed on the Getaway be sure to spend some time at Sugarcane and plan a visit to the Skyy Vodka Ice Bar especially if you have never been to one on land either.
Kids Club (Splash Academy)
This was one of highlights of my son’s cruise experience. He had cruised before so he was familiar with the kids club concept but this was his first time sailing on NCL. I would say that NCL exceeded both of our expectations.
He was always eager to go back and was all smiles and full of excitement every time I picked him up. The Splash Academy Glow Party was one of his favorite activities all week. I mean, what kid doesn’t love glow sticks, face painting, and a dance party!?
I was really glad that he was able to enjoy the experience as it also allowed me to do some adult things during that time as well. He visited each day for about an hour and a half and really helped balance our vacation. Kudos to NCL and their kids program!
Pools/Kids Splash Pad
As I mentioned the weather was not ideal for a ton of pool deck time. I actually never even put on a bathing suit the entire trip. However, I knew that would not stop my son from wanting to play in the water. Thankfully the Getaway has a kids splash pad.
It was really perfect, as it allowed my son to have his pool time and yet I could just stand off to the side to watch him and not have to get wet myself. The water was heated, so as long as he was in the area he was warm but as soon as he got out he was freezing. We visited a couple times throughout the trip and he spent an hour or two each time. I think he would have spent all day in the splash pad if I let him!
Sailing from NYC
One of the main reasons I chose this sailing was because it was out of NYC. Being able to drive to the port and park right next to the ship made traveling with a three year old way easier than having to navigate an airport and everything that comes along with plane travel.
It’s definitely something to keep in mind when traveling with little ones. While there are a lot of pros to sailing out of a local port, in my case, there was a con. The parking at the terminal is $40 per night, fortunately this sailing was only four nights so it really wasn’t too bad. There are some cheaper options, but for me convenience was more important. Be sure to check out all these factors when deciding on a particular port.
Even though the weather did not cooperate, I really enjoyed my time on the Norwegian Getaway. I got to make some great memories with my son, while still having a couple hours each day of time to myself.
I would not hesitate to book this ship again in the future, for both non-kid and kid sailings. Here we are a few weeks later, and my son still talks about everything we did on the cruise. I have to assume he shares my thoughts on the ship.
If you have any specific questions about the Norwegian Getaway feel free to reach out to me. As always, if you are looking for more of my cruise content you can find it at CruiseLifeMatt.com and on Instagram @CruiseLifeMatt.