We had our first big family cruise a few months ago, and I can’t wait to tell you all about our adventures in Central America! I’m going to start this blog series by giving you a tour of our ship: the Norwegian Getaway!
Y’all, I am a researcher. I spend hours poring over internet reviews, blogs, YouTube videos, deal sites, and every piece of information I can get my hands on. So I can tell you that I did not choose the Norwegian Getaway lightly. I ended up choosing it because it was 1) going places I wanted to see, 2) an absolutely amazing ship full of kid-friendly activities, and 3) a stunningly low price! We ended up being on an 8 day/7 night cruise, with 2 full days “at sea”, which means the ship didn’t port anywhere and we stayed on the boat all day. Believe me, there was plenty to do! My lovely in-laws joined us on this cruise, and the kids loved having Granny and Packy along!
First of all, let me show you where our ship traveled:
Here’s a little photo tour of our time on board the ship:
The ship was absolutely stunning, with beautiful surprises at every turn.
It had 18 stories packed full of wonders!
There were TONS of things to do, most of which didn’t cost anything. A few things — like the arcade, for example– had an added cost, but there were so many free things to do that we didn’t even feel tempted to spend extra $$!
My absolute FAVORITE part of the ship was the ropes course. It was on the top floor and had one part of the course that extended 8′ off the side of the ship. It is an absolutely exhilarating feeling to be several stories above the open water while the wind whips through your hair! Several of the other on-board activities we enjoyed together were: mini-golf, the game room, shuffleboard, the rock climbing wall, movie screenings…
…and of course the water park! The kids had a blast in the splash park and water slides. In addition to the splash park area, there was a large pool surrounded by several hot tubs. But my favorite part was relaxing on the lounge chairs while the kids frolicked in the sunshine.
Besides all of the amenities of the ship, there was a FULL schedule every day packed with fun things to do together! I couldn’t even begin to name them all, but some of them included: Good Morning Trivia games, live music with dancing, Harry Potter trivia (!?!), fruit carving demonstrations, cake decorating workshops, sunrise yoga… just so much to choose from!
The food was to-die-for! The kids were completely thrilled about the buffet that stretched for miles. Besides the buffet, there are a bunch of restaurant choices that were included in the price of the cruise (and several that cost extra, but we had so many free options we didn’t need to eat at the paid ones!) I had some of the fanciest meals I’ve ever had in my life — delicious and decadent. There were even several sugar-free options for me (I can’t have sugar) and unlimited free ice cream for the kids… hey, we were on vacation, after all! And besides the food: look at this view!? This is what we got to look at during every breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack!
Let’s take a look at our stateroom. We scrimped on the room and got the cheapest room possible — an interior stateroom. I had read horror stories about the cramped nature of cruise ship rooms, but that wasn’t the case at all! Our room was quite roomy, especially because we folded up the bunk beds each morning. The bathroom was also surprisingly spacious, and the shower wasn’t even cramped for my 6’5″ husband. There was plenty of storage space for all of our things. Additionally, our steward was super friendly and made us adorable animals on our bed each day. The kids couldn’t wait to see what friend would be joining us next!
For my last point, I don’t have any pictures, but I have to tell you how amazing this feature of our cruise was: free childcare. The ship had the most wonderful children’s programs, with a packed schedule full of scavenger hunts, ship parades, talent shows, themed nights, and much more — just so much fun for the little ones!! My husband and I got to drop the kids off EVERY DAY (sometimes twice!) and have a date night! The kids loved the staff, and they begged to be dropped off — then we headed out to free comedy shows, dance performances, dinner by the water, musicals, and strolls in the moonlight. It was absolutely perfect.
And all of this was just the things we did ON the ship– I haven’t even gotten to the ports yet!
Here are the other posts I intend to put in this series (which may change as I actually start writing them):
- Roatán, Honduras
- Costa Maya, Mexico
- Chichen Itza & Ik-Kil, Mexico
- Family Fun in Miami
- How to get a SMOKING deal on a cruise (you wouldn’t believe what we paid!)
Stay tuned for more!
**if you are considering any kind of vacation, I highly recommend using a travel agent, like Jamie from Vacations Gone Goofy! It costs NOTHING (they get paid by the destination, not the consumer)… but believe me, she will be worth her weight in gold!**