Choosing a cabin on most large ships can feel like an insurmountable chore: There are so many options, and they can be hard to tell apart. It’s an even more important task on Norwegian Getaway because intimate spaces aboard are few and far between, so your cabin should be a welcome respite from the throngs. As a result, you’ll want to choose your cabin category wisely before you book a Caribbean sailing out of Miami: It may be your only break from the crowds. The main question when picking a cabin: Do you want space or savings? We evaluate the cabins to see how they stack up:
Best for: Budget-conscious travelers planning to spend more time on the ship than in their staterooms.
What you get: Staterooms in the lowest category clock in at 129 to 150 square feet, sufficient for storing your stuff and crashing at night. While bathrooms are comparable to those in ocean-view and balcony rooms, the downside of this choice is obvious: without even a porthole, these cabins lack natural light.
Mid-Ship Inside Cabin
Best for: Value-oriented and location-conscious passengers who don’t mind sacrificing sunshine for savings.
What you get: These are exactly like the other inside cabins, but their central location offers easier accessibility to dining and entertainment venues. Best of all, this coveted mid-ship location doesn’t come with an additional cost.
Family Inside Cabin
Best for: Frugal families whose members have roughly the same bedtime and don’t mind being on top of each other — literally.
What you get: In these cabins, a queen bed coverts to two twins, and you’ll also find one or two Murphy bed-style pull-down bunks that can hold another two passengers. Internal doors in some cabins connect to the cabin next door, making close-quarter living more manageable for groups. Because they primarily serve parents with kids, they’re located near the children’s facilities.
Best for: Singles who want a break from the standard singles supplement.
What you get: An exclusive feature fro Norwegian, this ship has studio cabins designed for single travelers looking to avoid those nasty single supplement fees. Studio guests can mix and mingle in a dedicated two-story lounge with coffee bar and concierge. The cabins themselves are small (they start at 99 square feet) but they’re big on style: The neon lights will make you feel as if you’re in a trendy club, not on a cruise by yourself. But the biggest advantage is that they offer a savings of 40% compared to booking a cabin based on double occupancy.
Oceanview Cabin with Large Picture Window
Best for: Those who would feel claustrophobic in Inside cabins but want to save a few extra dollars to spend onboard.
What you get:These cabins get you an average of 32 more square feet than an Inside cabin, along with the obvious benefits of an exterior view. But they may not be all that you pictured: Windows are often located above the bed, which means that you may have to kneel on the mattress to catch the views.
Mid-ship Oceanview Cabin with Large Picture Window
Best for: Passengers who want to be close to the onboard action and need to see the light of day, but don’t want to spring for a balcony.
What you get: These cabins’ mid-ship location sets them apart from other ocean views, which are otherwise identical. Overall, they feel much less cramped than inside cabins because a large picture window provides the illusion of space. Don’t worry about the location: Even though these rooms are located on a lower deck, they get plenty of sunlight.
Family Oceanview Cabin with Large Picture Window
Best for: Large families that need a manageable living space
What you get: These cabins are configured for families of up to five. A curtain divides the room for privacy, and bathrooms have two sinks and a combined shower-bathtub so multiple people can get ready for bed at the same time. Because the rooms don’t have an outdoor space, you don’t have to worry about children horsing around on the balcony.
Best for: Those who want to use their cabin as a living (and not just a sleeping) space.
What you get: Balcony cabins are the most popular category on the Getaway for all their creature comforts. You’ll find a sitting room with a sofa that converts to a single bed and more storage space than ocean-view rooms, including drawers under the couch. Of course, the highlight is the floor-to-ceiling glass doors that slide open to an outdoor space where you can inhale the sea breezes.
Mid-ship Balcony Cabin
Best for: Those who want a cabin in a stable position of the ship and a good value.
What you get: Some say that location is everything. When it comes to these mid-ship cabins, it’s true. These offer easy to access restaurants and bars both aft and forward. Otherwise these staterooms are similar to other Balconies in size and décor. The bathrooms, comparable to those of ocean-view and inside rooms, have lots of shelves.
Large Balcony Cabin
Best for: Value lovers who don’t mind not having a location on a mid-level deck.
What you get: These staterooms offer a great value compared to standard Balcony rooms, which cost the same price. You’ll get 245 square feet instead of 207, plus an outdoor space that’s impressively double the size.
Best for: Families with older children who don’t need a bathtub.
What you get: Designed for families, these cabins are located near the children’s facilities and feature a not-to-be-taken-for-granted amenity: a balcony. They’re similar in size to Mini-Suites, but don’t have a tub, which makes bathing small children a challenge.
Best for: Passengers planning to bliss out daily on the cruise
What you get: These 207-square foot cabins are like their non-spa counterparts, with the addition of Elemis products, bathrobes, and slippers, and blond wood fixtures that give the rooms a softer tone. Admission to the Thermal Suite is also included, saving you the $49 per-day fee for access to the sauna, salt room, pool, and steam room.
Aft-facing Large Balcony
Best for: Cruisers who want a private view at sunset and plenty of space on their terrace.
What you get: These staterooms are near replicas of Balcony rooms, but with souped-up versions of the terrace. You’ll double the amount of outdoor space and unobstructed views thanks to the location at the aft of the ship.
Mini-Suite with Balcony
Best for: These cabins are for those whose motto is “Bigger is better.”
What you get: A king-size bed replaces the Balcony’s queen-size, and bathrooms have deep-basin double sinks and multiple-jet showers. At 310 square feet, these suites are roomier, but as the layouts are similar, you won’t feel much of a difference.
Mini-Suite With Large Balcony
Best for: Passengers who like big balconies and don’t mind being on the same deck as public venues.
What you get: Catering to those who like to linger and dine al fresco, these staterooms have double-sized balconies that hold a circular table and two plastic chairs. All of these rooms are located on Deck 8, within walking distance of the Waterfront promenade’s restaurants, such as Cagney’s and Moderno. At just $100 more than regular Mini-Suites, they’re worth the upgrade.
Family Mini-Suite with Balcony
Best for: Families who want space.
What you get: Geared toward families, these are the only cabins in the Mini-Suite category that have a bathtub, as opposed to a simple shower. A king-size bed sleeps two and a full-size sofa bed accommodates another two passengers. The location near the children’s facilities make it convenient for parents to drop off and pick up their kids.
Spa Mini-Suite with Balcony
Best for: Serious spa-goers who need extra elbow room
What you get: These cabins, more spacious than Spa Balconies, are almost an extension of the spa. The waterfall showers with jet-sprays and mosaic-backed double sinks contribute to the Zen-like ambiance. They also have admission to the facilities at Mandara Spa.
Aft-facing Mini-Suite with Large Balcony
Best for: ADA passengers who enjoy the luxe life
What you get: This is the top category cabin of the ADA-compliant rooms and it’s a good value for your money. Measuring 513 to 585 square feet, including an aft-facing balcony, these cabins are the most spacious of all Mini-Suites. The front door has peep holes at two heights and a push-button for entering and exiting, while the shower has a fold-down stool, grab bars, and a curtain instead of a glass door. The cruise line doesn’t check credentials of ADA-room passengers, but the non-disabled are discouraged from booking.
The Haven Forward-facing Penthouse with Large Balcony
Best for: Those willing to shell out for upgraded amenities and services
What you get: This ship-within-a-ship complex features exclusive perks, such as a dedicated cocktail bar and restaurant and a private pool deck where you don’t have to stake out loungers. A concierge service will book your (priority) reservations at the spa, specialty restaurants, and shows. (Think front-row seats at the Illusionarium.) Staterooms include upgraded amenities such as Bose docking stations, pillows menus, Lavazzo espresso machines, and evening canapés delivered to your door by a butler, who is at your beck and call around the clock.
These 451-420 square feet penthouses stand out from other suites in that they have sloped ceilings and a porthole in the bedroom. Bathrooms are just as cushy as the bedrooms, with a deep oval tub and a jar of bath salts. Our only complaint is that the balcony is small for a luxury-level cabin.
Haven Aft-facing Penthouse with Large Balcony
Best for: Large parties who want ample indoor and outdoor living space
What you get: In these penthouses, you’ll find a generous passenger-to-space ratio with a seemingly interminable balcony situated at the aft. Bathrooms aren’t shabby either: one has two showers and a bathtub, and a second half-bath makes this suite perfect to host dinner parties and other guests.
The Haven Spa Suite with Balcony
Best for: Spa lovers who want to feel as if they’re in a sanctuary, 24/7
What you get: The highlight of these suites, the most sumptuous of the Spa staterooms, is the ocean-facing whirlpool tricked out in neon. Other tranquility-inducing features include adjustable mood lighting and a toned-down color scheme of taupe and pale green. Guests have coveted access to two
most exclusive areas of the ship: the Thermal suite and the Haven complex.
Haven Courtyard Penthouse with Balcony
Best for: Those who want to enjoy the perks of the Haven and don’t need a separate bedroom.
What you get: Though these cabins are small in comparison to other Haven suites, there’s still no shortage of space. A king-size bed sleeps two and a couch converts to a comfortable single bed. An integrated dining and living area sets the scene for intimate gatherings, and balconies are bigger than those in the forward-facing Haven suites.
The Haven 2-Bedroom Family Villa with Balcony
Best for: Families who need plenty of space and privacy and don’t mind paying top dollar.
What you get: Spending seven days with your family can be a bit much for some folks, but these two-bedroom villas make communal living much easier to bear. You’ll find a king-size bed in the master bedroom and a second bedroom with a double bed; a living room couch folds out to hold another passenger. Two bathrooms (one with an oval tub with ocean views) make it easy for families to shower and brush their teeth without falling on top of each other.
Haven Owner’s Suite with Large Balcony
Best for: Large groups who want a balance of privacy and connectivity
What you get: Getaway has only two of these sought-after suites, adjacent to each other at the forward of the ship. A wall between them opens up, allowing for a combined living space for larger parties. A spacious balcony means you’ll never be tempted to brave the overcrowded sun decks, and a walk-in closet has a built-in vanity. The only downside is the standard-size tub, which seems sad compared to those in other Haven suites.
Haven Deluxe Owner Suite with Large Balcony
Best for: Big spenders looking to throw their own private parties.
What you get: Sprawling over 932 square feet, this stateroom is an equivalent of a sumptuous hotel suite on land. A dining area integrates a curvy wet bar, and the palatial bathroom is equipped with a whirlpool with seating for two. The balcony stretches across both the living room and bedroom, and the circular walk-in closet is a room in itself.
What you get in every cabin:
Whichever category you choose, you’ll find that Norwegian Getaway’s 2,014 comfortable cabins set the bar high: The vanity triples as a mini-bar and writing desk, equipped with a lightweight blow dryer, a drip-coffee machine, and a bucket of ice that’s refreshed each night. LED lighting rims the room and adjustable reading lights are located near the bed. Flat-screen TVs (a minimum of 26 square inches) broadcast news and service channels and on-demand movies (some complimentary, others for a fee).
Storage space is plentiful, including nooks for magazines and tablets, a closet with a safe large enough to fit a laptop, and a stool that doubles as storage. The bathroom has a single sink, plenty of shelving, a ladies’ shaving bar, and dispensers of generic-brand shampoo and body wash. 220 and 110-volt outlets are located near the vanity and in the bathroom (for razors only). There’s also a digital “Do Not Disturb” indicator, turn-down service with towel animals, and twice daily housekeeping that keeps the cabin tidy and refreshed.
- Lisa Cheng
All photos by Lisa Cheng