Getaway simply oozes Miami, and that's exactly what Norwegian Cruise Line was going for when it built the ship. It starts with the hull, with art designed by Miami artist David "LEBO" Le Batard. It's impossible to miss the painting, which features a mermaid and pelicans and employs the colors of the sea. Inside, the overall color palate successfully melds bright purples and turquoises with more muted browns and gleaming silvers. Even the public spaces feel like Miami. Passengers can grab a variety of signature cocktails at Sugarcane Mojito Bar and eat rice and beans and other Latin-inspired cuisine at the Flamingo Grill. Then there's The Waterfront, an outdoor space that encircles Deck 8, where passengers can sip drinks or dine alfresco. While the innovation debuted on twin sister Norwegian Breakaway, it just really works on Getaway, which sails year-round from Miami, where the weather is always ideal for spending time enjoying dinner, drinks and uninterrupted ocean views.
Getaway scores huge points for entertainment options with 28 restaurants, more than a dozen bars, Broadway-caliber theater and a large sports complex that boasts a ropes course, climbing wall and zip line. Passengers on Getaway would have to go out of their way to squeeze in everything. It's almost impossible to be bored. Highlights include Howl at the Moon, an outrageous sing-along dueling piano show; musical "Million Dollar Quartet"; dinner theater production The Illusionarium; and five multistory waterslides, including the scream-inducing Free Fall.
The ship was built for socializing, with most of the action taking place around 678 Ocean Place, the three-deck open space around which many of Getaway's bars are located. Have dinner in Le Bistro on Deck 6, catch a Second City improv comedy show across the way at Headliners, and then climb the stairs to hit the Casino on Deck 7 before finishing the night at Sugarcane Mojito Bar on Deck 8 without missing a beat. The area is packed with activities, which also means it's packed with people. The casino encircles the area on Deck 7, and smoke drifts to restaurants and clubs on the decks above and below. It also leads to some bottlenecking as passengers make their way through. Adding to the chaos is Norwegian's Freestyle dining concept which, while much-adored on the line's smaller ships, can seem onerous on a ship of more than 4,000. A vacation on Getaway requires planning ahead to get seats in the venues that you want.
It also can make avoiding the crowds somewhat of a challenge, though it's entirely possible. Set off from the rest of the ship, the Vibe Beach Club and the Thermal Suite spa lounge provide sanctuary, but you'll pay for the privilege. Of course, luxe-lovers can head off the crowds before boarding by booking a room in the Haven, Norwegian's ship-within-a-ship enclave, which has a small pool, restaurant and lounge exclusively for Haven suite residents.
Generally, cabins are comfortable though snug, with balconies that are small, even at the suite level. Still, Getaway is a perfect option for passengers who consider the ship to be the destination. Options for entertainment are plentiful, and outdoor spaces work in harmony with the Miami theme and Caribbean sunshine.
<em>Editor's Note: As of May 2017 Norwegian Getaway will be based in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the summer.</em>