Norwegian Getaway Review – All the Rest
Part 3 – Entertainment, Activities & More
Disclaimer: Norwegian Cruise Line provided me with a discounted media rate to sail on the Getaway along with one complimentary dinner in a specialty restaurant and complimentary seating at the Illusionarium Magic Show. I paid my own way on the ship and the thoughts and words in this and future posts about the Getaway are my own.
Norwegian has really made great strives in expanding their Freestyle concept to entertainment. The Getaway has a large number of entertainment venues and styles throughout the entire cruise. On the newer ships Norwegian has moved to a reservation system. I was not able to reserve my shows online ahead of time like many others, so I was a little worried about getting seats.
Fortunately I used the touch screens on board to reserve seats as soon as we arrived on the ship. Within a few hours all of the shows were booked as more people realized this system was available. I recommend reserving seats ahead of time, but if that isn’t an option do it as soon as you get on the ship. The touchscreens are in every elevator bank and the main lobby.
There are several venues that host live entertainment throughout the day. One of the better ones is the Grammy Experience which has nightly shows featuring a live band and a Grammy Award winning musician. During my cruise it was the amazing harmonica player Sugar Blue. He was fantastic.
Live music can also be found throughout the ship in the main atrium, mojito bar and other locations. There were several different groups performing on board including a solo pianist who was very good.
Finally, I can’t discuss live entertainment without mentioning the Tropicana Room. This complimentary main dining room has a dance floor and live entertainment on most nights. We really enjoyed eating there and watching some of the other couples dancing the night away. It felt like a throwback to a different time.
The main theater is home to two large stage shows on 7 night sailings, Legally Blonde The Musical and Burn The Floor. Each show runs for two nights with the other three nights being taken up by a welcome show on the first night, comedy show in the middle and a farewell show on the last night.
Burn the Floor is sort of a take on Dancing with the Stars with Latin music. While it may sound cheesy, the dancers are very good and the music is incredible. The show runs for about 90 minutes which is my only slight complaint. I loved the show, but found myself a little bored about an hour in.
Legally Blonde the Musical comes to the Getaway from Broadway where it was well reviewed. Legally Blonde the movie is one of my wife’s favorites and thus we know the story well. The quality of the performers was for the most part excellent and the songs are catchy.
Comedy & Dueling Pianos
The ship has two to three comedy shows on almost every day. Unlike Carnival who switches out comedians mid-week, Norwegian has two comedians who stay on board for the entire week. Unfortunately this means you are likely to hear the same jokes repeated at least once.
A couple of times during the week, the comedy club turns into a dueling pianos bar. For our sailing there was a troup of three performers who rotated each other out to keep the show going without breaks for the most part.
If you have never been to a dueling pianos bar then you are in for a treat as long as you are not easily offended. The performers kept things clean until 10pm when they switched over to their raunchy adult program.
The atmosphere for the dueling pianos was a lot of fun and we often saw cast members from the various shows and one of the comedians hanging out. Sometimes the other performers would join in and perform on stage. I am not sure if this is genuine or a way for them to promote shows around the ship, however appeared to be having a lot of fun.
The Getaway has two shows which cost money to attend. A couple of times during the sailing they have Wine Lovers the Musical which is a musical journey through wine. With lunch and wine tastings included, it sounds like fun, however I wasn’t able to find anyone who attended.
Located in the same theater, the Illusionarium is the main upcharge show on board the Getaway. It costs $25 for banquet seats and $30 for floor seats and includes a three course meal. The food was average, but I genuinely enjoyed the show.
According to the story, the Illusionarium is a mystical place where famous magicians from the past appear and perform their tricks. The story isn’t the best, but it works well enough to string together the acts. Don’t expect anything revolutionary in this intimate venue, however the magicians all seemed fairly talented. If you have the Ultimate Dining Package then this show is free on the first night.
I spoke to several other guests about this show and most people seemed to enjoy it like me. There were a few that didn’t think it was worth the money spent. If you have the Dining Package then definitely plan on attending on the first night. (I was given complimentary admission to the show for the purpose of reviewing it.)
The Getaway has more recreational activities than any other Norwegian ship. Just like every other major cruise ship, the Getaway has several pools available including an adult pool and one specifically for children. The outdoor deck was hopping on every day of our journey and the hot tubs were always overflowing with people. (Too many people!)
We found that there was a large group of 20 somethings on board that got incredibly drunk during the day. They were loud and obnoxious, but thankfully they stayed in the main pool area and away from the children’s and adult pools.
The waterslides were very popular among guests. The ship has two large slides with a trap door launch along with three more traditional slides. This is perhaps the best selection of slides on any cruise ship out there.
Of course if you don’t want to get wet, the ship also has a rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline, traditional slide, sports court and a miniature golf course. In other words, something for just about everyone!
The final recreational activity to mention is the amazing ropes course. Bigger than most that I have seen on land, this course has every type of obstacle including a plank that extends several feet over the side of the ship. Additionally, the finale is a zip line which is a lot of fun. It was my favorite recreational activity on board.
The Getaway has a wide range of activities available for everyone. For children there is an extensive kid’s club which features Nickelodeon activities and characters. Several times during the week there are meet and greets with characters like Spongebob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer.
For children there is also a character brunch on the last sea day which costs $20 to attend. I think the price is a bit steep, but there is no price for a child’s happiness. Right? If you don’t want to pay just attend one of the scheduled meet and greets throughout the week.
For trivia lovers there is a lot going on throughout the week as well. Trivia is held throughout the ship in different venues at different times of day. I usually like to attend trivia, but for some reasons most of the times were not convenient for me. I did attend a few sessions and it seemed to draw large crowds.
The Getaway also has the normal compliment of game shows such as Jeopardy, the Newlywed Game & the Perfect Couple. The popular Quest show was missing, which is unfortunate in my opinion. Most of the game shows are held in the lobby atrium on the big screen. It is a perfect space for these activities, however it can get loud when people are playing basketball upstairs in O’Sheehans.
If you are into Bingo or Deal or No Deal (i.e. gambling), then there are games held throughout the week in the main theater. They also sell quick win tickets before major shows. (I am not a fan of them hawking these lottery tickets before shows.)
This & That
The Getaway is home to an extensive gym and spa facility. They have every type of treatment imaginable with prices that you would expect while at sea. (Higher than on land in most cases.)
If you are one of the many people who love to purchase art while cruising, then don’t worry as there are several auctions during the week. There is a small art gallery in the corridor on deck 6 and the comedy club is converted during auctions. I didn’t attend any, however once you have been to one art auction on a cruise ship then you have been to them all.
Shore excursions and restaurant reservations can now be booked via the touchscreens throughout the ship or in your stateroom. This is very convenient and a feature that is needed across their older ships. It works well for the most part.
The Getaway also has a large casino with every selection of game you could want or need. It does get a bit smoky, but I didn’t feel it was too bad. We did notice that certain areas would get very crowded during peak times, so if you are trying to get from one end of the ship to the other, try to avoid the casino and use another deck.
Finally, like a few of the newer ships around, the Getaway has its own fireworks show. While fireworks at sea may sound like a gimmick, we were impressed with the length and scope of the show. We were following one of the newer Disney ships one night and got to see their show as well. It was a lot of fun!
We really enjoyed our sailing on the Norwegian Getaway. The ship brings Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising concept to a level not realized on the smaller jewel class ships. If you are looking for an intimate experience then the Getaway is not for you, but if you can handle being on a ship with 4,000 other people then you may just like her.
This sailing of the Norwegian Getaway was my 9th cruise and my overall favorite. I think the ship provides enough of a variety of food, entertainment and activities that everyone should leave satisfied and I definitely recommend the experience. Now if only the balconies were deeper.
Part 3 – Entertainment, Activities & More