Beth J. Harpaz, The Associated Press, January 29, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) — Norwegian Cruise Line's new ship Norwegian Getaway made a brief stop in New York City January 28 and will return later this week as a floating hotel for Super Bowl fans before it heads to its new homeport in Miami.
The tropical colors on the ship's exterior were a bright contrast to the drab winter day on the Hudson River. Getaway's swirly turquoise and yellow design features a mermaid and was created by Miami-based Cuban-American artist David Le Batard, also known as "LEBO."
The ship arrived in New York from its maiden trans-Atlantic crossing. After a short cruise from New York Harbor out to sea and back, returning Wednesday with mostly media and travel agents onboard, Getaway is being leased to serve as a floating hotel during Super Bowl weekend for events themed on the beer brand Bud Light.
Bud Light Hotel will also take over the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, including the deck of the retired military ship, which is permanently docked in the pier adjacent to Pier 88, the dock for Getaway. Concerts and other events will be held onboard for guests connected to Bud Light's retailers, partners and VIPs.
Getaway is a sister ship to Norwegian Breakaway, a New York-themed ship that debuted in 2013. Both Getaway and Breakaway offer seafood restaurants by chef Geoffrey Zakarian, bakeries by "Cake Boss" star Buddy Valastro and other niche eateries like a Shanghai-themed noodle bar, plus a ropes course, children's area and comedy club.
But where Breakaway had some New York-themed extras, like hot dog carts and artwork by New York pop artist Peter Max, Getaway offers hints of Florida and Latin culture. For example, bright colors and tropical floral motifs can be found throughout the ship. There's a Sugarcane Mojito bar with tropical-fruit cocktails, an elegant Tropicana Room restaurant with black-and-white photos that evoke Miami and Havana, and the Flamingo Bar & Grill with chorizos, Puerto Rican-style roast pork and rice and beans on the menu. Decks with outdoor eateries and room for strolling offer murals of Key West symbols like the famous "90 Miles to Cuba" marker.
Getaway carries 3,969 passengers, has 18 decks and two unique offerings: the Illusionarium, part restaurant, part magic show, and the "Grammy Experience at Sea," with performances by Grammy winners and nominees, plus exhibits of Grammy-related artifacts.
The ship is scheduled to be christened in Miami on Feb. 7 and will begin its regular seven-day Eastern Caribbean itineraries from Florida on Feb. 8.
Winter is "Wave Season" in the cruise industry, when many vacationers book cruises for the months ahead. Cruise companies often launch ships or make major announcements at this time of year. For example, last week Carnival announced a new series of onboard concerts called Carnival Live, with singer Jennifer Hudson as a headliner.
January is also when many vacationers cruise to warm climates to escape cold weather, but the busy time of year has seen negative headlines for the industry as well. A Royal Caribbean cruise was cancelled this past weekend by a gastrointestinal outbreak; a Carnival ship was stranded at sea in January 2013 by a power failure; and the industry's worst disaster in decades happened in January 2012 when 32 people died in the Costa Concordia shipwreck.