Today’s post was designed to be about Norwegian Cruise Line’s Peace of Mind Policy, but I realized I never blogged about our experience cruising with them before. Twice actually! So this post will be two-fold.
Our most recent experience was our 2015 Family Christmas Cruise, a 7-night W Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Getaway. The cruise left from Miami, and the ports of call were Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian’s private island in The Bahamas), Ocho Rios, Georgetown, and Cozumel.
The Getaway is a megaship in the Breakaway Class. It was just two years old when we sailed, and is absolutely gorgeous! This was pre-travel agent days, so I don’t have great pictures of the ship itself. But this video captures the spirit.
We were blown away by the amenities. Among them, The Waterfront is a quarter-mile long walkway lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. On the top deck are the ropes course, Aqua Park and rock-climbing wall. Stinky especially enjoyed the walking the plank, which jutted him over the edge of the ship, 18 decks above sea level!
The nighttime entertainment was equally spectacular. Our favorite shows were Legally Blonde – The Musical, Burn the Floor (a steamy dance production), and The Second City (improv comedy). Stinky was even a part of a Headliner’s show when the comedian heard his squeals of laughter and chatted with him for a bit during the show. They even took a picture together after. I wish I remembered his name.
We very much enjoyed the variety of food on board. Most of our meals were in the Garden Cafe buffet. But we also went the main dining room for select dinners. Our most memorable dining experience however was at Illusionarium, a specialty dinner show on board – a 10th Anniversary treat from my MIL. Illusionarium is a 3-course, immersive dining experience set in the 1800s. Top magicians perform a series of magical illusions. These are enhanced by mystical projections, with some of the back rows rising and shaking. Everything centers around a circular stage, which gives everyone an excellent view.
Excursions & Health Care Onboard
There were a variety of excursions to choose from. In Jamaica, we rode camels, toured a former plantation, and waded in Dunn’s River Falls. In Georgetown, we did a city tour to Hell and back. And in Cozumel, we did a tour of Tulum.
But, to kick us off, Blinky had a full-fledge asthma attack the first night. The clinic on board took excellent care of her! She had to have several breathing treatments over the next few days, and was under instructions not to get too much sun or swim while we were in Great Stirrup Cay. So my Mom and I let her spend about an hour on the beach, then took her back to the ship to rest. The MIL, DH, and Stinky hung back to snorkel and swim.
Our kids love Kids’ Clubs! So much so that we have to drag them away. This time was no different. The staff did an excellent job loving our littles and keeping them engaged with fun activities. Over the course of a week, they rehearsed for a show, which they performed on the last night. Super sweet! Blinky even made friends with a little girl named Nina. They were pen pals while she was resident in the US, but lost touch when they moved back to China.
The Family Christmas cruise tradition was born out of desire to celebrate the holiday with my family and the DH’s family simultaneously. As we live in three countries on two continents, this was no easy feat. Cruising provided a stress-free, affordable way to bring everyone together. Initially we weren’t sure what a holiday at sea would be like, but learned that Norwegian went above and beyond to bring the Christmas spirit onboard. From carols to ubiquitous Christmas trees, gingerbread villages to special treats, we didn’t miss home one bit.
As I mentioned earlier, the DH and I also celebrated our 10th Anniversary on this cruise. Early on, we were all at Guest Services. Unbeknownst to us, Blinky completed a survey stating it was her parent’s anniversary trip, and dropped the survey in the box. When we got back to our cabin that evening, we arrived to this…
What a delightful surprise! And so thoughtful of Blinky! She got to enjoy some of the chocolate-covered strawberries. 🙂
This also speaks to the level of service onboard Norwegian Cruise Line. In every capacity, they sole intention was to ensure they exceeded expectation. The kids were especially fond of our Cabin Steward Kim, who received a full recap of their day every evening.
NCL Peace of Mind
Now back to the initial inspiration of this blog post. Norwegian is extending their Peace of Mind policy for new bookings through 9/30/2020:
- 2020 Sailings: Guests are free to cancel anytime up to 48 hours in advance of embarkation (for any voyage embarking through December 31, 2020)
- 2021 Sailings: Guests are free to cancel anytime up to 15 days in advance of embarkation (for any voyage embarking January 1, 2021 through October 31, 2021)
- When guests choose to cancel via the Peace of Mind policy, they will receive a full refund in the form of a Future Cruise Credit to be used for sailings that embark through December 31, 2022.
Norwegian is also extending their 60-Day Final Payment Policy to include all sailings through March 31, 2021, versus the standard 120 days for both new and existing reservations. This postpones final payment and cancellation penalties to 60 days prior to sailing.
I understand not everyone is ready to book a cruise just yet. But when you are, Norwegian’s Peace of Mind policy gives you the extra boost of confidence you need in this time of uncertainty. Also, when you are ready, I would be honored to be of service.
As a full-service travel agent, I would love to be of assistance to you. I am passionate about what I do and pour that energy into crafting perfectly planned itineraries for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.