Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Day 6 - Norwegian Getaway

There will be a string of posts about our trip on Norwegian's Getaway. We went on the 7-night cruise which stopped in St. Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau. Our stateroom was 13234 which was considered a family cabin with balcony. To follow along or get caught up click these links: {What to Pack}, {Preparing for the Getaway}, {Day 1}, {Day 2}, {Day 3}; {Day 4}, {Day5}; below is the review of day 6.

Day 6 – Day At Sea

On our last day at sea, it was almost like we were childless. The boys had made so many friends in Splash Academy that they ended up meeting on the pool deck and decided to rock climb, do the ropes course, play in the splash pad, eat lunch together, and do the slides. TravelMan and I spent most of the day on Deck 16 enjoying the sunshine, the breeze of the ship moving, and the view of the mighty ocean. Norwegian had a ton of on board activities planned if anyone was interested. But we just relaxed for the day. Everyone was enjoying themselves and that's really what vacation is all about.

That evening we ate at Le Bistro. TravelMan was hesitant about going to a French restaurant as that wouldn't be his first choice in food. However, we all had a great meal. After dinner, the boys wanted to go to Splash Academy for Wacky Tacky night. The US Open was on, so TravelMan and I headed to a bar to watch a little golf.

On a side note, don't miss the camera kiosks throughout the ship. The boys enjoyed capturing silly photos of themselves that they could email to friends.
#cruiselikeanorwegian
#cruiselikeanorwegian
#cruiselikeanorwegian

Monday, June 29, 2015

Day 5 - Norwegian Getaway

There will be a string of posts about our trip on Norwegian's Getaway. We went on the 7-night cruise which stopped in St. Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau. Our stateroom was 13234 which was considered a family cabin with balcony. To follow along or get caught up click these links: {What to Pack}, {Preparing for the Getaway}, {Day 1}, {Day 2}, {Day 3}; {Day 4}, below is the review of day 5.

Day 5 - Tortola

The ship got to Tortola's port at 7am. So it was an early morning off the ship if you wanted. We woke up and went for a run on the jogging deck. Then breakfast at the buffet. As a family, we couldn't agree on an excursion offered by Norwegian, so we headed out to explore Tortola on our own. The “thing” to do in Tortola was taking an excursion to “The Baths.” We didn't do this, but a large majority of the passengers did. If you are thinking of doing this, you need to go on TripAdvisor and read some reviews. There is some hiking and a need for water shoes. Since I didn't do the excursion, I don't want to mislead you on information. So please do your own research ahead of time. My family decided to try the beach again. We had given thought to ziplining, but the beach won out. There are several beaches that are recommended. We ended up going with Cane Garden Bay as it was supposed to have the best amenities if you have children. The taxi ride was $8/each way per person. There was no fee to get in the beach. They had activities you could rent as well as beach chairs. The boys enjoyed more snorkling. There was also a little flea market type set up. Of course, the boys had to buy some handmade bobble heads (one of their favorite things to buy while in the Carribbean).

I'm going to pause here and write a little about Tortola. It is a new port for Norwegian. The ship has been going there for approximately 2 months at the time when we traveled. Prior to this, the ship went to St. Marteen. Tortola currently isn't ready for tourist. The roads are scary. The port isn't finished. In fact, they say it's going to be 2 years before the port may be completely finished. In hindsight, I wish Norwegian had Tortola be the short 6 hour stop and made the stop at Nassau longer (more on that port in day 7 review). Tortola was fine, but I'm not really sure why Norwegian gave up St. Marteen for it. We still had a great day together, but the port was an interesting decision on Norwegian's part.

After the beach, we got back on the ship and had a late lunch. Then we played a family round of miniature golf on the sports deck.


This was the only night we had no real dinner plans. We stayed very casual and thought about going to the pools and slides as they were close to empty in the evenings. However, the boys wanted to go to Splash Academy for the Hurray for Hollywood theme night. TravelMan and I just chilled in our stateroom and on the balcony. A perfect vacation day if you ask me!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Day 4 - Norwegian Getaway

There will be a string of posts about our trip on Norwegian's Getaway. We went on the 7-night cruise which stopped in St. Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau.  Our stateroom was 13234 which was considered a family cabin with balcony. To follow along or get caught up click these links: {What to Pack}, {Preparing for the Getaway}, {Day 1}, {Day 2}, {Day 3}; below is the review of day 4.

Day 4 – St Thomas

TravelMan was convinced that once we were at port and the ship could empty some of the waste that the urine smell would stop. I think he was right on this, as the smell didn't come back until late in the day 6 and day 7. This was great news. I also think our cabin stewart could have done better about cleaning the room. (And not just because we weren't getting towel animals.) But I'm happy to report our sheets were changed this day. And better than that, we got our first towel animal. In the course of the cruise, we got 3 total.

The days at sea were great, but by our fourth full day, we were ready to get off the ship for awhile. We had breakfast at the buffet. (We found it easier to do the buffet with the boys than to go to a sit down restaurant for breakfast. So you'll find we ate there everyday for breakfast. Plus, the food was very good on the buffet.) We got off the ship. It was an easy process. We didn't book an excursion in St Thomas. I had done some reading ahead of time and found out that Magens Bay is a great beach. It cost $8/per person for a taxi ride there and $4/per adult to get into the beach. Once there you could rent beach chairs. There was also a convenient-type store, a bar, and a food stand. They also had non-motorized rentals such as paddle boards and kayaks. I had read to go down the beach a ways to avoid the crowd and was that right! We went just past the last picnic table and while the beach did get full, it certainly did not feel overly crowded there. The water was amazing! It was clear and warm! I had packed a few buckets, shovels, fishing nets, and snorkel gear for the boys. I am so glad I had thought to pack the nets. They boys played in the water catching fish and crabs for over an hour. We built a sand castle; the beach had great sand for this! 


We played at the beach for a few hours and then headed back to the ship where we had a late lunch. We got off the ship again and headed to the Butterfly Garden.



You may recall from day 1's review that we were able to get reservations at the magic show (which included a dinner), Illusionarium. It could be because my kids have a huge interest in being able to perform magic tricks, but they couldn't get enough of this show. It was entertaining for both adults and children. After the show, off to Splash Academy went the kids. TravelMan and I enjoyed having the Unlimited Beverage Package and checked out a few more bars on the ship.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Day 3 - Norwegian Getaway

There will be a string of posts about our trip on Norwegian's Getaway. We went on the 7-night cruise which stopped in St. Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau. Our stateroom was 13234 which was considered a family cabin with balcony. To follow along or get caught up click these links: {What to Pack}, {Preparing for the Getaway}, {Day 1}, {Day 2}; below is the review of day 3.

Day 3 – Day at Sea

At this point in the review, you know I wasn't thrilled with our cabin's cleanliness. I thought about saying something. Yet, it was difficult to communicate with the cabin stewart for what seemed like a language barrier. So I just let it ride. We weren't in our room that much any way. 

TravelMan and I went for a jog on the track. By today, people seemed to understand better about the markings on the ground for the jogging track, making it easier to get a run in. I also went to the gym.   It was nice & a fair size for a cruise ship – split into two parts, cardio and weights. The gym is free, but the classes they offer have a fee.

We learned from the day before to reserve chairs early. We really don't like to do this as it feels rude if you aren't using them. Yet, the day before all four of us were sharing one chair. So we grabbed two lounge chairs by the adult pool and headed to breakfast. After breakfast, we went to the sports deck to check out the mini golf and ropes course. Of course, the boys thought the ropes course was great!  And I mean, great!  The boys did it over and over throughout the trip.

B on the ropes course
M on the ropes course
This ropes course actually has a “walk the plank” feature where the kids are out over the ocean. Crazy! 
M walking the plank.  He LOVED it!!  One more step off (and no harass) and he would have been in the ocean.
The boys played on the sports deck, on the slides, and in the splash pad while TravelMan and I enjoyed the adult pool, relaxing in the sun.  The ship was set up in such a way, we felt comfortable letting them go on their own between these three things as long as they stayed together.  The boys knew they had to check in with us and always tell us when they were leaving one area to go to another. After lunch, the boys wanted to go to Splash Academy, especially because the theme was Super Heroes vs. Villains for the afternoon. TravelMan and I stayed by the pool all afternoon. It was a great day – felt very relaxed and vacation like and everyone was doing exactly what they wanted to do!

At this point in the cruise, we were really starting to understand what Norwegian's Freestyle Cruising meant.  There are no pre-assigned dinner times.  No sitting at tables with strangers.  No assigned restaurants to eat at each day. We were "free" to eat when we wanted, where we wanted. We didn't feel like we were being herded like cattle.  We ate dinner as a family at Teppanyaki. It is a Japanese style hibachi restaurant that was part of the Ultimate Dining Plan. Teppanyaki took awhile to eat, which is common at hibachi; yet, when it was over, we all headed back to the room to get ready for bed. We had some busy days up to this point and going to bed a little earlier that night was a good idea.


The sheets hadn't been changed in the room still...and no towel animal...as I said earlier in the post, I was letting it ride.  The rest of the cruise was proving to be great; this wouldn't get me down.