12 October 2021
Our marketing executive Amy was lucky to be invited recently (September 2021) on board NCL Getaway which departed from Rome, stopped in Palma, and headed back to Rome, and here she will recount her experience.
From start to finish my journey aboard NCL Getaway was absolutely fantastic. It was my first-time cruising so I didn’t quite know what to expect and let me just say, I will be back! My first encounter with the NCL team was when I arrived at Rome airport to be transported to Civitavecchia port to embark Getaway. They were so friendly and helpful, and it was a seamless experience transferring us all to the port.
Firstly, I should mention you can only board an NCL cruise if you have been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure. Then once we arrived at the port, everyone needs to do a Rapid Antigen test before checking in, so we all felt extra safe! This process took about half an hour in total and then we could check-in with little to no queues and be escorted to our cabins.
I was lucky enough to have an outside balcony cabin, and immediately I was struck by the stunning views of Civitavecchia outside my window. Cleanliness was top notch, and the décor in our room was beautiful. A very comfortable and luxurious space to enjoy cruising from.
Once we were settled, we had to satisfy our hunger, so we headed straight to O’Sheehan’s Irish bar on board where we got some lovely food and drinks. I got Mac and Cheese and a veggie taco bowl. I should also mention that all packages include food in several on board restaurants and we had the Beer and Wine package too which meant drinks were included. You can however upgrade to a premium drinks package which would include top shelf liquors and cocktails.
Later that evening, we joined our fellow TC’s who were on board and met up in Tropicana, the main dining hall which was very grand and based off the classy traditional idea of cruising. It was all table service, and this was actually my favourite meal on board. As a vegetarian I didn’t think there’d be a lot of options for me, but there were some meat options I fancied and asked if they could make it vegetarian and it was no problem – and so delicious! Our night was complimented by a fantastic singer on the floor in between all the tables, and excellent company.
Late at night, there are so many options to keep you entertained. We headed to see Howl at the Moon in the Headliners Club, where an amazing piano band took requests for the entire show and performed them. Following this we all headed to H2O Spice, which is the ship’s top deck outdoor nightclub, and which had a different theme every night. There was always lots of dancing here as well as beautiful seating areas in an outdoor club environment, and it felt so good to be back to that after so long! It really seemed like the place to be late at night.
Our next day was spent at sea, so it was time to check out the on-board facilities. I headed straight to the Garden Café for a buffet breakfast with amazing selection, and then to the fantastic pool deck. The pool deck has a saltwater pool, four Jacuzzi’s, a kid’s pool, water slides, and endless sunbeds, so there really is something to entertain people of all ages. During the day they even provided entertainment on the stage directly in front of the pool. I chilled out this day and hopped between the pool and Jacuzzi’s for most of it.
That evening we had booked a speciality dining restaurant and we opted for La Cucina, the Italian restaurant. We got a fantastic outdoor seat overlooking the ocean, and the service was just second to none. The food was great too. Following this we went to one of the on-board Broadway show productions, Burn the Floor, a dance show with the most incredible dancers from all over the world. And of course, we ended our night once again at H2O Spice with a 70’s party and lots of dancing.
Our next day we woke up to Palma City! This is where I see how people get most of their excitement out of cruising because it really is amazing to wake up, open your curtains to see a new city in front of you, and it’s all yours to explore for the day.
We got a shuttle bus complimentary of NCL to the Palma Cathedral and explored from there. We saw the Cathedral and wandered around the stunning city, doing a tiny bit of shopping and a few stops in Santa Catalina, a trendy neighbourhood within the city. Then we visited the beach, only a ten-minute walk from our drop off point for a dip in the ocean and some relaxation time. We made sure to sample some Spanish Tapas and Sangria before going back to our shuttle bus to bring us back to Getaway.
Having freshened up after a wonderful day, we visited the Sunset Bar on board for a drink overlooking the Palma skyline as we were yet to depart, and it was stunning watching the city go from light to dark and then lit up by lights. Then we visited a Fleetwood Mac tribute band which was just fantastic as it went through the ins and outs of all the relationships in the band as well as incredibly uncanny performances.
The next morning, we woke up to another full day at sea which meant another relaxing day to enjoy the on-board facilities. I went straight for the pool again and this time went on the water slides countless times – it was fab! We chose deck chairs on the higher level facing out towards the sea this time and even saw some dolphins swimming beside the ship.
At sunset, we were going through the passage between Corsica and Sardinia, and even miles off the coast you could see the sun lighting up the golden cliffs of both places. It was a stunning sight. We ended the night in the theatre where we saw the Million Dollar Quartet, a brilliant production about a jam session the famous Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins once held in Sun Record Studio’s in Memphis.
The next morning check out was early so we headed to the buffet for breakfast before a very quick and easy disembarkation. NCL had once again organised complimentary transfers to the airport for everyone on board, however we opted to stay a few days longer to explore some of Rome.
To summarise, my first cruising experience was absolutely fantastic. I had an amazing time, I was constantly entertained, well fed and so relaxed!
What sticks out to me most about my experience is how friendly the staff on board were. NCL Rep’s kept saying how happy all the staff were to be back on board after eighteen months and having worked in hospitality in my college days I didn’t believe this could be true, but I was so wrong! The staff on board are the most genuine, smiley, and helpful people I’ve ever come across, and they clearly were very happy to be back on-board. They were always there, but never annoying and they would bend over backwards for any request; nothing was too big or too small.
Though it might seem outside of the norm for young holiday makers to enjoy cruising holidays’, I would seriously advise them to challenge this belief with an NCL Cruise. There were plenty of younger people on board too and the ship is well equipped to provide the vibrant entertainment and experiences we usually seek out when travelling. Holidaying is about new experiences after all and coming from years of slumming it and backpacking in my late teens and early twenty’s this was an amazing luxurious experience, complimented by so much fun.
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