This was our 12th cruise and our 8th on Norwegian Cruise Line (Getaway). When we first started with NCL we were getting double loyalty points for the cruises. This moved us up the ladder to Platinum level for this cruise. As a Platinum members, we have an exclusive check in line at the embarkation port. Once we checked in we got our boarding number, not realizing we did not need one. Our number was eight and they hadn’t even called one yet. Fred, having checked in on his cruise in September as a Platinum member, knew this wasn’t right. So he went out to find the Platinum boarding. In just a few minutes he was back and we were off to embark on the Getaway. One minor problem, Dee had not reached Platinum yet. But with a few words from Steve and Fred we were on our way to the gang plank.

This was just the first of our Platinum benefits. We now have free Behind the Scenes Tours. I have done three of these and they can be a lot of fun. It is an organized guided tour of the ship for a small group. Every ship is different but usually includes a tour of the kitchens, laundry, recycling, engine control room, backstage of the theatre and the crew’s living area. Besides the regular restaurants there are Specialty Restaurants. These are unique restaurants you must pay extra to dine. With the Platinum we get to Specialty Restaurant meals free. We have always felt why pay extra for these when you have so many other choices for your meals. However, if they are going to give to you free . . . . why not. On this cruise we receive chocolate strawberries delivered to our cabin. We kept six of them and gave Dee four of them. Fred had his own strawberries so we didn’t share with him. During a cruise of six days or longer we each get a bag of free laundry. It was nice to fill a bag with our clothes and leave it for our cabin steward. He returned it in 24 hours all clean and folded. Steve and I each get 30 free internet minutes. Again, this is something we would not pay for but it was nice to have to check email and check in on Facebook. We get discounts ranging from 10 to 30 percent off of photos, shore excursions, spa treatments and duty free shops. We also got a free bottle of water (yes, like everywhere else you must pay for bottle water), a bottle of sparkling white wine and a bottle of red wine. At the end of the cruise we had priority disembarkation. Being the first time we weren’t sure about this but it turned out to be very nice. We had a special luggage tag color, which gave us the right to leave the ship at any time we wanted. No more waiting for our “color” to be called. Even better was that we didn’t go to the area where there were masses of luggage. We were directed to a separate area. quickly finding our bags with just a glance.

So with all of this being said, we got on to the ship and made our way to O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill. This is usually our first place to eat because it is easy to get to and usually it takes first time cruisers to find it. We arrived to find that we were the first to be seated. It was at this point we realized that our Platinum boarding was worth a lot!!!

We ordered our first drinks of Long Island Ice Tea, Manhattan, Frozen Almond and a BBC. O’Sheehan’s is known for their wings, so of course we had some of them.