Norwegian Getaway - Mediterranean Cruise

Jeni Ringland 08 September 2021
Just last week I got the chance to sail on the fabulous ship NCL Getaway, from Civitavecchia, the port of Rome. It was so much fun! It was my first time to cruise and a lot was how I imagined but there were some surprises too.

Our ship set sail at 5pm and sailed right through the next day arriving in Palma, Mallorca on day 3 very early in the morning. We set sail again for the return journey, with another full day at sea and arrived back into Civitavecchia the morning of day 5. The first thing I learned was that having a day at sea is so relaxing! Just knowing that you can't go anywhere instantly puts you into a chill mode. NCL ships have lots of sundecks on multiple levels and a wonderful crew to bring you drinks and towels while you laze by the pool or face out to sea in your sun lounger. There are quiet areas and lively areas, depending on your mood. So basically we spent these two days at sea moving between restaurants, sun loungers and the pool and it was heaven! I also treated myself to an afternoon in the spa!

There are lots of options for dining onboard. Most cruise lines have one main very big restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, alongside a huge buffet restaurant for more casual round the clock dining. NCL has split that main dining area into 3 distinct restaurants with rotating menus, and this offers far more variety. The largest of the three, the Tropicana, is a gorgeous opulent room with live music through dinner. It has an art deco feel and harks back to old style cruising; it feels very decadent, and the food is fine dining standard. It was fun in the evening to pick one of the 11 bars onboard for a cocktail, most with outside areas, then relax over a long dinner and then head to a show or karaoke or the upper deck disco into the wee hours. Every night was different. There is an Irish style bar onboard too, no Guinness served though unfortunately. This bar had some of the best food though, the burgers were so good I went back a second time!

Cabins on all cruise ships, regardless of who you sail with are compact and they don't really vary, although the bathrooms on the newer NCL ships are very spacious. What was a surprise for me was how well I slept. The design of these cabins mean they black out completely when you turn out the light, and the gentle movement of the ship means you are rocked into slumber. I would definitely recommend getting a balcony room every time as this really does give you more sense of space, and it is something special to wake up in the morning and take in the view of whichever port you have arrived at over night. Plus it is handy for drying your swimsuit!

Palma, Mallorca was also a new experience for me. What a fabulous small city! It has a stunning citadel up on a hill and an enormous Basilica that rivals Alhaurin. It's clear to see what an important trade route this was, from the 13th Century and beyond. We had a fab tapas lunch in the old town and then collapsed on the gorgeous city beach. After two summers of Irish sea swimming it was a pure joy to dive into the warm waters of the Med, it felt like I was swimming in a bath. Ibiza style cafes by the beach provided a last goodbye and then we headed back to the ship, which had been in our sights the whole day as the port is right at the end of Palma Marina.

Cruising is a great way to get a glimpse of a few new interesting places in a very relaxing way. It would be a fab way to see Alaska, or some Caribbean Islands. I would recommend NCL for anyone who hasn't cruised and wants to to have a holiday with a sense of adventure but who doesn't want to try too hard.