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Trip Report - NCL Getaway - Jan 26 to Feb 2


RockyMtnCruiser1
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I’ve been using Cruise Critic to help plan our trips since our first cruise in 2014, but I’ve never posted. I figured it was about time to do a review! We just got home from our trip on the Norwegian Getaway out of New Orleans. Here’s our itinerary for Sunday, January 26th to Sunday, February 2nd:

 

Day 1 - Embark in New Orleans
Day 2 - At Sea
Day 3 - Cozumel
Day 4 - Grand Cayman
Day 5 - Jamaica
Day 6 - At Sea
Day 7 - At Sea
Day 8 - Disembark in New Orleans

 

A little about us! My husband and I are in our early 30’s. We both grew up in Michigan, but we’ve been living in Colorado for 8 years. We have three furry kiddos - a dog (Scout) and two cats (Thatcher and Willow).

 

We travel a lot! Outside of cruising, all of our trips are within the US. We’re currently working our way through all of the National Parks in the US (we’ve visited 27 of the 62). We also do a lot of weekend trips throughout Colorado and fly back to Michigan to see our family a few times a year. We’re craft beer lovers and homebrewers, so we always check out local breweries anytime we travel.

 

This cruise is our fifth cruise. Our first was Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas, our second was Norwegian’s Spirit, our third was Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, and our fourth was Norwegian’s Star. Can you tell we’re trying to decide if we like Royal Caribbean or Norwegian better? More on our final decision later!

 

This time we decided to try one of the larger ships on Norwegian. We chose this itinerary on the Getaway for a few reasons other than wanting to try a larger ship. First, it departed from New Orleans - a port we had never visited and an easy flight from Denver. Second, the itinerary - we wanted to visit Jamaica and we wanted to relax with lots of sea days! We didn’t plan to get off the ship at Cozumel or Grand Cayman, so we basically had five “sea” days.

 

My grand plan for this review is to basically walk you through what we did each day, complete with our thoughts and photos (including lots of menus, food, and Freestyle Dailies). To give you a sneak peek of what’s to come, we were in an inside cabin, had the Premium Beverage Package, had Thermal Suite passes, spent a lot of time in the relaxing in the sun, ate in the Tropicana Room every night, and saw a lot of the entertainment options aboard.

 

I'll post each day of our adventure as a separate post over the next several days, starting with our pre-cruise stay in New Orleans. Stay tuned!
 

Edited by RockyMtnCruiser1
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Pre-Cruise (Friday, January 24th)

 

We flew from Denver to New Orleans on Friday, January 24th. Our flight on Southwest was scheduled to leave at Denver 8:35pm and arrive in New Orleans at 12:10am.

 

We ate before leaving for the airport and planned to have a pre-vacation drink once we were all settled in. Last year, Great Divide Brewing Company opened a location in terminal C. Yay for beer lovers! I had a Black IPA and my husband (Patrick) had a Scotch Ale. We were getting our dark beer fix in before hitting the warm weather!


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The flight was great - no issues at all. We landed a bit early and our luggage was one of the first ones out. We requested our Lyft at our original arrival time of 12:10am. One different thing about Lyft at the New Orleans airport is that the app gives you a code and then you get into a line of waiting drivers. You give that driver your code and off you go! We’ve never had it work like that before, but it was very quick and convenient.

 

We decided to book a hotel closer to the airport since we were getting in so late. We’re not too picky when it comes to hotels as we never spend much time there. I always look for hotels that have reviews indicating they are clean, quiet, and have a decent breakfast included. Based on that, we decided to stay at the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson in Metairie. It’s about a 10-15 minute ride from the airport. We were all checked in and in our room by 12:45am.

 

I didn’t take any photos of the hotel, but it was very nice and we would stay there again. The property is much bigger than we expected. Our room was in the second building and overlooked the pool. The included breakfast was pretty good too. They had your typical continental breakfast fare and also had some hot food options that changed each day. The first morning, they had biscuits and gravy, sausage patties, and scrambled eggs. The second morning, they had french toast sticks, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage links. 

 

One note about this hotel - every Lyft driver we had struggled a little bit with how to actually get into the property. It’s only about 100 yards off of the freeway interchange and if you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to miss the entrance.

 

Next up, our epic beer tour of six NOLA breweries!

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Pre-Cruise (Saturday, January 25th)

 

We decided to spend our day checking out some of the breweries in New Orleans. Anytime we visit a new city, I always try to map a route that has us walking to each brewery. We like doing this because it really lets us get a feel for the city we are in during our visit. For this adventure, our route included six breweries over seven miles. Our journey started in the Bywater neighborhood, made our way through the French Quarter, and ended up in the Garden District.

 

We started our day with a lazy morning and breakfast at our hotel. Our first stop was Parleaux Beer Lab. What should have been a 15ish minute ride from our hotel took over 30 minutes due to a train sitting on the tracks. We had a great Lyft driver though and he told us all about the revitalization happening in the Bywater neighborhood.

 

We arrived at Parleaux Beer Lab and ordered our first flight of the day!

 

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We loved Parleaux. All the beers we tried were very good. We especially liked the Berry Bonds' Just Juicin', a Gose with black and blueberries. Their outdoor beer garden was definitely a highlight and was a cool spot to chill out in the sun! We definitely lucked out with the weather that day. It was sunny and in the high 60s.

 

Next on the list was Brieux Carré Brewing Co. It was about a 1.5 walk from where we were and it was so interesting to see all the different houses and artwork along our route.

 

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We liked Brieux Carré too! They had a fun outdoor space where people were playing Nintendo. We got another flight - it’s a fun way to try a bunch of different beers from each place! Our favorite beer here was Wookiee Sounds, a Double Dry-Hopped Farmhouse IPA.

 

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After Brieux Carré, we made our way through the craziness of the French Quarter to get to Crescent City Brewhouse. This is the first brewpub in New Orleans and Louisiana. We ordered another flight and also some snacks. We ordered the Alligator Bites and the Pretzels with Beer Cheese. Crescent City brews their beer according to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 that says beer is made with four natural ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast. Their beer was a nice change of pace from some of the more experimental beers we’d had already. We liked their Weiss Beer, an unfiltered wheat beer.

 

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Our next stop was Urban South Brewery. This was a little over a 2 mile walk from Crescent City. One thing we found weird was that barely any of the intersections with lights in New Orleans had crosswalks/lights for pedestrians to use when crossing. The drivers outside of the French Quarter didn’t really seem very pedestrian aware! Here are some other photos from our walk. 

 

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Urban South Brewery has a huge facility. They had tons of seating on picnic tables and several arcade games. They also had a crawfish boil food truck and nearly 20 beers on tap while we were there. Our favorite was Foxy Indulgence, Sour Cherry Stout.

 

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After Urban South, we headed over to New Orleans Lager & Ale (NOLA) Brewing, but stumbled upon Miel Brewery on our way. This place was rocking! They had a huge outdoor space with a food truck set up. Our favorite beer here was Frutsecco II, a Brut Sour fermented on 160 lbs of cranberries and plums. After our impromptu stop at Miel, we headed over to NOLA Brewing.

 

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NOLA Brewing shares a space with McClure's Barbecue. We were happy about this as we definitely needed a hearty dinner after all the beer and walking! We ordered the Cuban and the Veggie Melt with Waffles Fries. Both were delicious! As far as beer goes, we liked Old Man Yells At Cloudy IPA, a Milkshake IPA with Citra & Cashmere Hops.

 

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That wraps up our day of beer! We walked over to a nearby Walgreens to grab last minute items for the cruise and then took a Lyft back to our hotel.

 

Next up, embarkation day!
 

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Wow, I'm really wishing we could have flown in two days in advance for our cruise!  I'm loving your pics...living vicariously through those pics!

 

Unfortunately, not only do we only fly one day in advance, but the flight doesn't land until 3pm, so guessing we may not be at the hotel (staying at the Hilton by the Port) until 5pm or later?  I am planning to force the family to go up to the French Quarter for at least dinner and a walk before bed and the cruise.  Won't see much of New Orleans though...maybe a reason to go back! haha

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16 hours ago, amelia3171 said:

Enjoying your review very much. 
 

What a wonderful way to spend a day. 

 

Thank you! We definitely enjoyed our adventure!

 

16 hours ago, GettotheSun said:

Wow, I'm really wishing we could have flown in two days in advance for our cruise!  I'm loving your pics...living vicariously through those pics!

 

Unfortunately, not only do we only fly one day in advance, but the flight doesn't land until 3pm, so guessing we may not be at the hotel (staying at the Hilton by the Port) until 5pm or later?  I am planning to force the family to go up to the French Quarter for at least dinner and a walk before bed and the cruise.  Won't see much of New Orleans though...maybe a reason to go back! haha

 

We went back and forth about flying in early. Our flight option for the day before would have landed about the same time your flight does and we knew we wouldn't have enough time to visit all the breweries we wanted see. I think you'll have plenty of time for dinner and a walk! We did really like New Orleans and would definitely visit again!

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Cruise - Day 1 -  Embarkation Day (Sunday, January 26th)

 

We started our morning off with breakfast at the hotel and then started getting our luggage around. It was a cold and rainy day in New Orleans. We had a 10am - 10:30am check-in time. We hopped into a Lyft at 9:30am and arrived at the terminal just before 10am.

 

The Julia Street Terminal is confusing, congested, and lacking simple signage. There are two different ways to get to the Norwegian terminal. Both of which are basically just back alleys on one-way streets on different sides of the building. Even the Lyft/Uber drivers aren’t really sure which one to use.

 

Our driver dropped us off out front where disembarking passengers were waiting for their rides. There was no porter collecting luggage right out front which we’ve never experienced before. We asked one of the workers standing outside where we needed to go. That person assumed we were leaving the ship and told us how to get a ride. At that point, we went into the building and the security workers directed us to go out a different door (on the left), cross the street, and we’d find a porter there.

 

They have you crossing the street where the tour buses are picking up passengers, so this was a little crazy too. Once we did find where to drop off the luggage, there was no porter there. We lingered around and when a taxi pulled up, the porter appeared. Hooray! 

 

From there, it was all smooth sailing! There was no wait for security and no wait at the check-in desk. We were all checked in and relaxing inside within 5 minutes. It was around 10:15am and we were in boarding group 2.

 

They started boarding around 11am and our group was called around 11:15am. We planned to eat lunch in the MDR, but it didn’t open until 12pm, so we decided to grab a drink and explore the ship. We headed straight for O’Sheehan's and kicked off our cruise with a Bloody Mary.

 

We spent the next hour wandering around the ship and getting our bearings. We stopped by the spa to have them put the sticker on our cards for the pass. The woman at the front desk was from Jamaica and very friendly and informative.

 

It was noon at this point, so we made our way over to the MDR. I can’t remember if we went to Taste or Savor, but they have the same menu. 

 

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Service was a little slow that day. I think a lot more people were eating in the MDR’s because of the rainy, cold weather. For apps, I ordered the Cajun Shrimp Salad and Patrick ordered the Vietnamese Chicken Pho.

 

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For our entrees, I ordered the Spanish Frittata and Patrick ordered the Shrimp Arrabiata. Everything was very good!

 

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For dessert, we both ordered the Key Lime Parfait.

 

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We were done with lunch around 1:15pm and made our way over to the Sugarcane Mojito Bar for a cocktail. On our last cruise on the NCL Star, we did the mojito tasting one day, so we already knew which ones we liked. I had the Brugal Ginger and Patrick had the Spicy Passion. From what I can remember, rooms were ready right before 2pm.

 

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We were in room 8407 - an inside room in the front of the ship. It was down one of those interior hallways and our section was very quiet throughout the entire cruise. I didn’t take any photos, but it’s your typical inside room. We were impressed with the storage in both the room and the bathroom. Also, one piece of our luggage was already waiting outside our door when we got there. We did a little unpacking and headed back to the mojito bar to wait for the muster drill. 

 

Our muster location was in O’Sheehan's. This is the first time we’ve ever had the drill inside, which was nice! Everything went smoothly and I think we were back in our room by 4pm to grab our stuff for sailaway in the spa!

 

I’ll leave it at that for now and post about the spa, our dinner, and nighttime activities in the next post. Here’s the Freestyle Daily for Day 1.

 

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3 hours ago, RockyMtnCruiser1 said:

Cruise - Day 1 -  Embarkation Day (Sunday, January 26th)

 

We started our morning off with breakfast at the hotel and then started getting our luggage around. It was a cold and rainy day in New Orleans. We had a 10am - 10:30am check-in time. We hopped into a Lyft at 9:30am and arrived at the terminal just before 10am.

 

The Julia Street Terminal is confusing, congested, and lacking simple signage. There are two different ways to get to the Norwegian terminal. Both of which are basically just back alleys on one-way streets on different sides of the building. Even the Lyft/Uber drivers aren’t really sure which one to use.

 

Our driver dropped us off out front where disembarking passengers were waiting for their rides. There was no porter collecting luggage right out front which we’ve never experienced before. We asked one of the workers standing outside where we needed to go. That person assumed we were leaving the ship and told us how to get a ride. At that point, we went into the building and the security workers directed us to go out a different door (on the left), cross the street, and we’d find a porter there.

 

They have you crossing the street where the tour buses are picking up passengers, so this was a little crazy too. Once we did find where to drop off the luggage, there was no porter there. We lingered around and when a taxi pulled up, the porter appeared. Hooray! 

 

From there, it was all smooth sailing! There was no wait for security and no wait at the check-in desk. We were all checked in and relaxing inside within 5 minutes. It was around 10:15am and we were in boarding group 2.

 

They started boarding around 11am and our group was called around 11:15am. We planned to eat lunch in the MDR, but it didn’t open until 12pm, so we decided to grab a drink and explore the ship. We headed straight for O’Sheehan's and kicked off our cruise with a Bloody Mary.

 

We spent the next hour wandering around the ship and getting our bearings. We stopped by the spa to have them put the sticker on our cards for the pass. The woman at the front desk was from Jamaica and very friendly and informative.

 

It was noon at this point, so we made our way over to the MDR. I can’t remember if we went to Taste or Savor, but they have the same menu. 

 

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Service was a little slow that day. I think a lot more people were eating in the MDR’s because of the rainy, cold weather. For apps, I ordered the Cajun Shrimp Salad and Patrick ordered the Vietnamese Chicken Pho.

 

Day1-Lunch-App2.thumb.JPG.2cd8b2ef459685ceac2e9733cee0e972.JPG

 

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For our entrees, I ordered the Spanish Frittata and Patrick ordered the Shrimp Arrabiata. Everything was very good!

 

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For dessert, we both ordered the Key Lime Parfait.

 

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We were done with lunch around 1:15pm and made our way over to the Sugarcane Mojito Bar for a cocktail. On our last cruise on the NCL Star, we did the mojito tasting one day, so we already knew which ones we liked. I had the Brugal Ginger and Patrick had the Spicy Passion. From what I can remember, rooms were ready right before 2pm.

 

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We were in room 8407 - an inside room in the front of the ship. It was down one of those interior hallways and our section was very quiet throughout the entire cruise. I didn’t take any photos, but it’s your typical inside room. We were impressed with the storage in both the room and the bathroom. Also, one piece of our luggage was already waiting outside our door when we got there. We did a little unpacking and headed back to the mojito bar to wait for the muster drill. 

 

Our muster location was in O’Sheehan's. This is the first time we’ve ever had the drill inside, which was nice! Everything went smoothly and I think we were back in our room by 4pm to grab our stuff for sailaway in the spa!

 

I’ll leave it at that for now and post about the spa, our dinner, and nighttime activities in the next post. Here’s the Freestyle Daily for Day 1.

 

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🙂 🙂   Very fun reading your review!  We were on this same cruise! Enjoyed every minute of it.

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9 hours ago, zencruisers said:

Following along and looking forward to reading more. We sail out of NOLA on the Getaway on April 12th.

 

BTW- We have a dog named Scout too!

 

What breed is your Scout? We rescued our boy, so we aren't exactly sure, but we think he's part Lab, part Flatcoat Retriever. 

 

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Cruise - Day 1 -  Embarkation Day (Sunday, January 26th), continued

 

Before I continue with our day 1 activities, I just realized I missed a few “pre-cruise” planning items that we did. Based on lots of reviews, we pre-booked our dinners (minus the first night), shows in the main theater, water package, and internet. 

 

A few notes about all of this. If you’re ever having issues pre-booking anything on the app, try it on your desktop/laptop. I was having a heck of a time booking our dinner reservations on the app, but as soon as I did it on the actual website it worked out fine. Also, I had better results when I booked one night/item at a time rather than trying to book everything at once.

 

I went back and forth about booking our dinner each night in the Tropicana Room. We like to eat early, around 5:30pm, so did we really need to have a reservation? Probably not! Ultimately, I decided to make a reservation every night just to give me peace of mind. We actually prefer traditional dining where you are seated at the same table with the waitstaff every night. This is one thing we don’t like about NCL. Anyways, moving on! We also pre-booked Burn the Floor and the Million Dollar Quartet for the 7:30pm seating. 

 

Our biggest issue with NCL’s beverage package is that they don’t include bottled water (RCCL does). I know now that the Premium “Plus” package does, but the upcharge for that seemed really insane to us! Yes, every bar will give you a glass of ice water and you can get it in the buffet, but we like to have bottles of water in our room. On our last NCL cruise, we pre-ordered water bottles to our room and that worked out great. We did it again this time and purchased 12 one liter bottles. What we actually got was 24 500mL liter bottles, which was fine by us, but just something to note! 

 

We’ve lived through the changes to NCL’s beverage package since our first cruise with them in 2015. In case you're curious, we didn’t pay any gratuities for our package in 2015 and the liquor and wine selections were fantastic. In 2018, we paid the gratuities, but the $15 limit still included a lot of quality liquors and wines. For this cruise, the one thing we really noticed was how lackluster the included wine options were. The only time we ordered wine at dinner was after we went to the Wine Lover’s Musical and tried seven different options!

 

Lastly, we pre-purchased the 250 minute internet plan. One of the reasons we love cruising is the lack of internet access. It’s so great to disconnect from the world. That being said, I feel the need to be able to check in with our furry kiddos everyday. Our dog, Scout, goes to an amazing boarding facility. We can check in on him via various webcams anytime we want. We also get a report card each night that includes photos and a few descriptions on how he was during the day. For the kitties, we have a gal that comes each day to the house and spends time with them. She also sends us photos of “the nerds” (her words!). 

 

Here are some of the photos we got of our babies!

 

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1 hour ago, RockyMtnCruiser1 said:

 

 

We’ve lived through the changes to NCL’s beverage package since our first cruise with them in 2015. In case you're curious, we didn’t pay any gratuities for our package in 2015 and the liquor and wine selections were fantastic. In 2018, we paid the gratuities, but the $15 limit still included a lot of quality liquors and wines. For this cruise, the one thing we really noticed was how lackluster the included wine options were. The only time we ordered wine at dinner was after we went to the Wine Lover’s Musical and tried seven different options!

 

 

 

Yeah, that is why we always bring our own wine even with the beverage package. The options, as poor as they are, keep dwindling. 

 

We enjoyed the wine show 🙂

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Cruise - Day 1 -  Embarkation Day (Sunday, January 26th), continued

 

Finally time to finish our day 1 activities! After the muster drill, we headed to the thermal suite. We bought passes when we cruised on the NCL Star last year and we probably wouldn’t cruise without it again. The thermal suite on the Getaway blows the one of the Star out of the water in terms of size and options. The one on the Getaway has a lot more heated tile loungers and padded loungers. It also has a co-ed sanitarium, sauna, salt room, and steam room. I believe the Star just had a sauna and steam room in each locker room. One thing the Star has that the Getaway doesn’t is a lap pool in the main area. One thing we liked on the Star more than the Getaway though were the “relaxation rooms” on both sides of the main area with chairs/ottomans. You could actually close the door to these rooms which was nice when the main area got a little too loud.

 

Here are some photos from the Getaway (taken on one of the other mornings at 8am when we had the place to ourselves!):

 

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After our spa time, we headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. We were happy to find that our other piece of luggage had been delivered too.

 

We headed down to the Tropicana Room around 6:15pm and stopped for some scotch on the way. We always grab our dinner drink on the way as drink service in the MDR has always been really slow on every ship we’ve sailed on. There was a little bit of a line to get in, but we didn’t wait long. Guests were asked to remove their hats before entering the dining room, but shorts were allowed. When we did get to the front, they let us know only sharing tables were available. That was totally fine with us. We love meeting new people when we travel. We were at a table for 6 with two other couples. Here’s the menu.

 

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For appetizers, I ordered the Seared Atlantic Scallops and Patrick ordered Roasted Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese.

 

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For our main course, I had Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Pepper and Patrick had the Parmesan-Crusted Turkey Escalope.

 

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For dessert, I had the Warm Chocolate Lava Cake and Patrick had the Apple Cobbler.

 

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All said and done, dinner took just shy of two hours. We did wonder if a lot of the waitstaff had just come on the ship as we noticed many carrying around maps of the dining room when seating people. We didn’t mind that it took so long. We really enjoyed getting to know our tablemates!

 

After dinner, we made our way to the Atrium to watch the Majority Rules Game Show. I don’t think the Atrium is really big enough to host some of these more popular game shows, even with it being open to O’Sheenan’s from above. On other NCL cruises, a lot of games were held in the Bliss Ultra Lounge, but the one on the Getaway is much smaller. We lucked out for this event though and grabbed a few seats at the bar.

 

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Next we headed over to Syd Norman’s Pour House to see the “Rock the Pour House” show. We got there about 20 minutes early and it was already packed. No big deal, we thought, we’d just catch it another night. The day was starting to catch up with us, so we decided to call it an early night.

 

That wraps up day 1!
 

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23 hours ago, SpainAlien said:

Loving the review so far. Can I ask did you prefer Tropucana over Taste/Savor?

 

Thanks! We really liked The Tropicana Room for dinner. It's larger than Taste/Savor and feels more upscale. We also loved the live music and/or dancing each night. 

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18 hours ago, RockyMtnCruiser1 said:

 

Thanks! We really liked The Tropicana Room for dinner. It's larger than Taste/Savor and feels more upscale. We also loved the live music and/or dancing each night. 

Looking forward to more here.

 

Cheers

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Cruise - Day 2 - At Sea (Monday, January 27th)

 

Before going to bed the previous night, we filled out our room service card for our continental breakfast the next morning. This is the first time we’ve used the room service option, but we knew we wanted to get to the thermal suite right when it opened at 8am to avoid any sea day crowds.

 

We ended up ordering our breakfast to our room every morning except for when we were in Jamaica. We kept our order the same each day - coffee, orange juice, two orders of the sliced fresh fruit, one banana, and one order of the bran muffins (two per order). This was the perfect light meal to start our day!

 

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Here's the Freestyle Daily:

 

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After breakfast we headed to the Thermal Suite and made our rounds through all the different options. We started in the therapy pool and/or hot tub. We didn’t really think the hot tub portion was any warmer than the rest of the pool, but it was nice in there. We went into the Sanarium next for about 10 minutes. They do have a timer in there, which is nice. Next, we’d go into the Salt Room. I could spend all day here! The temperature/humidity was perfect. Lastly, we’d go into the Steam Room. It’s always a little bit of surprise going in here as the steam is so thick you don’t really see anyone until you’re all the way in. We could only spend about five minutes in there, but it was good to get some moisture back into our skin. We ended our first morning on the heated tile loungers and the padded loungers. That first morning, we watched quite a few people come in, drop their towels/robes on the heated tile loungers and then get into the pool or one of the rooms. Before 9am on the first day, all the loungers were taken, but I’d guess only 25% had people on them. There is a sign advising guests not to do that and also to limit their time to 30 minutes. I couldn’t stay on them for much longer than 30 minutes as I got overheated. The gal checking you in at the front desk also advised people to come let her know if people reserving the loungers became an issue. Anyways, we just decided we’d use the tile loungers first thing every morning for the rest of the cruise to avoid any crowds.

 

After our relaxing time in the spa, we headed to Spice H20. The Star also had a Spice H20, but just like the Thermal Suite, the Getaway’s was much larger and had more options. I didn’t get a photo of the setup on the Getaway, but there are a lot of loungers in the sun. There were two hot tubs, another water feature, a bar, and some other tables/chairs. The one on the Star did have hot tubs and a bar, but no loungers in the sun. It was set up with lots of cushy spots to hang out and relax. When we got there just after 9am, there probably weren't more than 10-15 people there. The Spice H20 on the Getaway is on the far back of the ship, and you have to go through a door near the Margaritaville to find it, so it seemed less crowded since nobody would ever just walk through it to get somewhere else. Patrick set us up in the perfect spot for some tanning and I went to the bar to get us some Bloody Mary’s. I don’t think I mentioned it earlier, but be sure to ask for the exact liquor you want in your drinks or they will use whatever their well/house brand is.

 

We spent a couple of hours in the sun and then decided to go to Taste/Savor for lunch. When we left Spice H20 around 11am, there were only a handful of lounge chairs open.

 

We stopped at the Mixx Bar before heading into the dining room and ordered a Rebellious Fish (the drink of the day). There was no line and we were seated right away.

 

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The lunch menu was the same as the previous day. For apps, I had the Popcorn Shrimp and Patrick had the Roasted Tomato Soup.

 

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For our entrees, I had the Tuna Salad Sandwich and Patrick had the Roasted Leg of Lamb.

 

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For dessert, I had the Orange Chocolate Mousse and Patrick had the Creme Caramel.

 

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After a delicious lunch, we decided to wander around the ship a little more since our time outside yesterday was rainy. We walked around The Waterfront as this was the first time we’d been on a ship with that feature. There’s lots of places to relax out there if you are looking to get away from the craziness of the pool deck. While you can’t make a loop all the way around outside, you can easily cut through on the inside at the front of the ship and make it a nice loop. We saw lots of people doing this every morning.

 

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We also made our way up to the Sundeck on Deck 18 to see how busy it was around 1pm. There were still lots of open chairs and this deck would become our spot for the rest of the cruise.

 

We ended our afternoon with another visit to the Thermal Suite to relax before dinner.

 

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I’ll end day 2 there for now and pick up on our dinner and nighttime fun in the next post!
 

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Cruise - Day 2 - At Sea (Monday, January 27th), continued

 

After our time in the Thermal Suite, we headed back to our cabin to get ready for dinner. Tonight was the “Dress Up or Not” night. This didn’t change our plans as we like getting dressed up every night because we don’t get an opportunity to do so in our everyday life. One observation - this is this most casual cruise we’ve been on as far as dinner attire is concerned (our previous cruises were out of Florida and Los Angeles).

 

We headed to The Tropicana Room, stopped for a martini on the way, and we were in our seats without any issues just prior to 5:30pm.

 

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For apps, I had the Creamy New England Clam Chowder and Patrick had the Smoked Salmon Tartare.

 

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For our main course, I had the Broiled Boston Bluefish and Patrick had the Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chop. Patrick’s dinner was one of the best we had on the entire cruise!

 

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For dessert, I had the Warm Apple Strudel and Patrick had the Carrot Cake.

 

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As a reminder as to why we always get our dinner drinks prior to going to the MDR, we ordered another round of martinis when our main course arrived at 5:45pm and didn’t receive them until right before our dessert arrived at 6:15pm.

 

We had 7:30pm reservations for “Burn the Floor” in the theater, so we decided to hang out and watch the 876 Konnect Band in the Atrium before we could get into the theater. Based on other reviews I had read, we decided to show up around 30 minutes before the 7:30pm show to make sure we got the seats we wanted. When we got to the theater, there was a small line for reservations and probably 15-20 people in the standby line already. This show definitely filled up the entire theater.

 

We were blown away by this show! It was really impressive. We haven’t gone to shows in the theater during our previous cruises, but I love dance, so I wanted to see this one. It did not disappoint! The talent blew us away! So, if you’re thinking about pre-booking this before you board, do it.

 

By the time we made our way out of the theater, it was around 8:30pm. We decided to see if we could get into Syd Norman’s Pour House. The “Rock the Pour House” show had started at 8:15pm and there was a sign outside the door that said the venue was full and to try again another night. We were a little disappointed since we couldn’t get in the previous night, but decided to head over to Headliners to check out “Howl at the Moon.” The show started at 8:30pm, so we got there maybe 10 minutes after that and we couldn’t even get in there either. 

 

At this point, we were pretty frustrated. We booked Norwegian over Royal Caribbean because we like Norwegian’s entertainment better. Now, we couldn’t even get into any of the shows we wanted to see. We had never experienced this on any cruise we’d been on before so it was a little bit of a shock for this. Honestly, at this point, we both agreed the larger Norwegian ship was not for us!

 

But, we weren’t going to let that get us down! We went back to the Atrium to watch the “Newlywed Not So Newlywed” game. I always love watching this game! It’s obviously different on every ship, but it never fails to entertain!

 

While watching this game, I was looking through our Freestyle Daily and noticed there was another showing of “Burn the Floor” at 10pm. Patrick and I figured people would be heading there about 30 minutes early and decided to try to get into Headliners to see “Howl at the Moon” again. We got there just after 9:30pm and while there were no seats, we lingered by the bar for about 5 minutes before two seats opened up. By 10pm, there were several open seats as people left to see the other shows.

 

We’ve seen “Howl at the Moon” on land before, so we knew what to expect. The performers on the Getaway did not disappoint! One note, be sure to bring some cash with you if you want your requests to be played. Requests without money are “suggestions” and they may or may not play them. Also, if they are playing a paid request they don’t like, the performers will tell you that you can make it stop by putting in your own request at $1 more than the song they are playing. It’s a fun show that really gets even better with audience participation.

 

As the night went on, we noticed that the performers kept asking the same audience member to come up and play the drums. We figured it was another employee, but the guy didn’t have a name tag on, so we weren’t really sure. Later on, they introduced him as Jerry Lee Lewis from the “Millionaire Dollar Quartet” show and invited him up to play a few songs on the piano. Wow! He was amazing and it was so cool to see the entertainers supporting each other (we’d later learn the drummer from the “Rock the Pour House” band was sitting in the audience too). This made us more excited to see “Millionaire Dollar Quartet” on Day 6!

 

After that, we headed back to our room and filled out our room service card for breakfast. 

 

Next up, day 3!

Edited by RockyMtnCruiser1
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