ABOARD THE NORWEGIAN GETAWAY — Okay, the third day at sea has begun. As usual, because breakfast is my favorite meal and Lois starts her day with lunch, I had breakfast alone. Today I chose the lovely Taste dining room – Taste, Savor and Tropicana are the three complimentary dining rooms.
We dined in Tropicana the first night, and my breakfast in the lovely dining room today, at a window table, was a great way to start the week. And for someone who strongly believes variety is the spice of life, the concept of Freestyle Dining, one of NCL’s most endearing and daring innovations, is very attractive.
Traditionalists, who want that same table, same wait staff and same time dining can opt to do just that. Those eager to explore new options can do what they want. Twenty-four hour room service and the Garden Café (think Lido dining buffets and grills,) and you can keep your options open. Want to spend a few bucks on fine dining from seafood to Asian, from steakhouse to French bistro, the choice is yours.
Enough about food.
What should I do?
Daytime activities are even more varied than the dining options.
Yesterday, for example, in the Atrium I watched kids lining up for a Meet and Greet with Dora the Explorer and good ole Sponge Bob. The Nickelodeon characters are a big draw for the younger set on NCL ships, and it’s fun to watch the difference in kids. Some are terribly shy, others unbelieving, a few quite aggressive, and some immoveable from their mom’s hands.
Adults had their time a bit later when a session entitled “How to Run a Floating Hotel” with the Hotel Manager and his staff drew crowds and questions. Ship’s officers explained that the 1,650 crew, from more than 50 nations, undergo continuous onboard training sessions and enjoy that radical concept in crew housing — the fact that 80 percent of crew members enjoy single quarters. Getaway has 2,040 guest cabins and 1,230 crew accommodations. Food and beverage and restaurant personnel also answered questions. “The first 24 hours,” one woman said, “have been phenomenal.”
Day 2 activities included many seminars on health and beauty, those marvelous trivia games I can’t stay away from, the ubiquitous bingo and art auction activities, dance lessons, “Mr. Sexy Legs Competition” and music, music, music.
This itinerary offers two sea days in a row before we arrive in St. Maarten tomorrow morning. Keeping a shipload of people busy, active and interested is a huge job and, from my point of view, really well done. Of course the weather has been grand. I spoke to several people at the pool yesterday who live in the Midwest. The sun, the breeze, the heat — they couldn’t get enough of it.
I enjoy blackjack, so I have spent some time in the casino each evening. Last night, however, I made a point of watching Jim Long perform his musical tribute to Neil Diamond, He is a marvelous performer and viewed – again in the Atrium – up close and personal with a huge video of New York City and environs, it was definitely a hit.
Finally, a word about shower
By no stretch of the imagination would anyone consider me an engineer. I have showered in bathrooms on ships where I have: almost scalded myself, frozen in icy water, flooded the bathroom floor and once flooded a bit of the cabin. The shower in stateroom 14868 is among the very, very best. As untech as I am, it is easy to use and the temperature of the water is just right.
When most people talk about food, destinations or entertainment, you read it here first. The shower in my cabin is great!