It used to be that cruise ships, no matter where they sailed, all looked the same. After all, that made it easy for the lines to move them around the world as needed. Now, some ships are being designed to reflect their cruising region. Case in point: Norwegian Getaway, which launched last week and will sail round trip from Miami to the Caribbean year-round, has a variety of spaces onboard that celebrate the sounds and flavors of the so-called “Capital of Latin America”:
Flamingo Bar & Grill
Perhaps the most “Miami” of all spaces onboard, this outdoor restaurant serves many dishes that won an employee recipe contest sponsored by the cruise line and held in its corporate test kitchen in Miami. Look for empanadas, steak with chimichurri sauce, and media noche sandwiches. Finish your meal with guava pastelitos, flan, rice pudding, or rich tres leches cake, as well as a sweet Cuban coffee. In its Miami offices, the cruise line serves Cuban coffee deskside in the afternoons to employees, as many are Cuban-American. So you know the coffee here is sure to be good and authentic.
Humidor Cigar Lounge
Many ships have cigar bars, which give smokers an elegant space to light up, but it makes even more sense on this ship — considering Florida’s close ties to Cuba — to have a proper dedicated cigar lounge. Located just off the Key West-inspired Sunset Bar, which is home to the Hemingway daiquiri, the bar has a colonial-inspired vibe.
“Iron Chef” Geoffrey Zakarian opened his first restaurant at sea on Norwegian Breakaway. On this, her sister ship, Ocean Blue serves a similar menu of sleek, modern takes on seafood, with the addition of a few dishes that highlight Florida’s selections. Look for local pink shrimp served in a tomato-laden panzanella salad; red snapper dressed with buttermilk, horseradish, and leeks; and risotto made with spiny lobster.
Sugarcane Mojito Bar
At this lively lounge, bartenders muddle minty mojitos — as well as concoct flavored ones and whip up pisco punch — both indoors and out.
This large restaurant has a Latin-inspired menu (think ceviche, churrasco, and arroz con pollo), but it’s the entertainment on the dance floor that’s most memorable. Each night, Burn the Floor, a hot dance performance, heats up the space with moves taken from salsa, rumba, and the cha-cha. The show sizzles so much, you may be tempted to move your own hips — fortunately, the dancers teach rumba classes to passengers on sea days, so you can learn how to move your hips if you feel inspired.