Sail Date: July 2019
We choose this cruise for the uniqueness of the destination, the Baltic Countries. a great experience on the cruise but couple of things left us angry and wanting 1) Seafood Paella being served was a highlight as we love seafood and ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the uniqueness of the destination, the Baltic Countries. a great experience on the cruise but couple of things left us angry and wanting 1) Seafood Paella being served was a highlight as we love seafood and Paella, we know Halal is not offered but the paella had PORK sausages even though pork was not mentioned on the menu description. With the number of Muslims cruising with NCL, I would think they would at least be clear about that. live cooking omelets in the breakfast saw spatulas being used to turn ham filled and normal eggs, The Indian Dishes , in the garden Cafe had beef and pork dishes along with the vegetarian choices, which sort of says NCL does not care about the sensitivities of this segment of the market. The pullman beds were left out for the duration of the cruise and not closed daily which would have made the day time cabin use pleasant. Value for money, being specific an 1 year old infant being charged full 3rd person cost is not value for money in anyway as there is nothing infant friendly available or provided by the cruise line, Freestyle for adults is definitely a great way to cruise and value for money, but NCL has to look into the Muslim cruising market by making sure pork is properly marked and the utensils not used, at least by the crew handling the food, in an interchangeable manner, may be even take some pointers from other cruise line on how to avoid the same, like Carnival. We had 8 seniors in the group, for who there was no on board activity, that they could enjoy, These avoidable incidents would have enhanced the good experience Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We've loved all that Norweigan has to offer; food, entertainment, consistency in a great travel experience. The staff is more than welcoming and they are very organized. Some minor tips for a better experience: The Getaway ... Read More
We've loved all that Norweigan has to offer; food, entertainment, consistency in a great travel experience. The staff is more than welcoming and they are very organized. Some minor tips for a better experience: The Getaway should not be used in cold areas. Without a big lounge at one end of the ship, the open areas are way too crowded without the pool being an option. Chocolate Lava cake should be offered every night. We love it! In the Tropicana, tables should be placed a few feet from the wait stations. If you are unlucky and are seating near one, you will be bumped all night and interrupted by staff just trying to do your job. It's not the typical experience. We could detect a little friction between staff at times. Not good. A woman and her fiancé got into a big argument in Ocean's Blue. This was at the next table. It was extremely disrupting and caused a scene. I wish the staff had just escorted them both out. Our drinks were covered and we received three apologies, but it went on for too long. Overall, it was a great experience and we know any cruise line can't prevent minor issues. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first cruise with NCL and we were not disappointed. We are used to Royal Caribbean but chose this ship for itinery and it fitted our schedule. We travelled as a family with 2 teens and 2 friends. We had 2 days in Copenhagen beforehand ... Read More
Our first cruise with NCL and we were not disappointed. We are used to Royal Caribbean but chose this ship for itinery and it fitted our schedule. We travelled as a family with 2 teens and 2 friends. We had 2 days in Copenhagen beforehand which was good and extended our holiday, Pretty and safe city but expensive. Tivoli good but better in evening with the lights and a light show over the lake around 10.45 pm. Good river cruise. Stayed in Scandik hotel which was modern and comfy with good breakfast. Cruise embarkation and disembarkation seamless. On board ship there is a smaller public atrium than we are used to but it served its purpose and there are plenty of bars and restaurants and outside space in which to relax. We had an inside interconnecting cabin on the 11 th deck which was comfy and not too small. The bathrooms were spacious. It was extremely quiet down its own corridor. The beds were comfy and it was clean and modern. Our cabin stewards were hardworking and kept the rooms spotless. The food we had no complaints with. If you can get a speciality dining plan you will find it worth it to sample some very good restaurants. We are in Le Bistro, Tepanyaki, Cagney's Moderno. All excellent. We had the drinks package and it works out better value if individual drinks are as expensive as people say although we are not heavy drinkers but enjoy the odd drink from the many bars available. Try the ice bar for a small extra cost as it's fun but yes cold! Our 18 year old had the drinks package and could order unlimited wine beer and cider as well as intermittent cocktails and spirits as no one seemed entirely sure what was included. We found service excellent. No complaints and they were more flexible than we had experienced before. A word on tips. We prefer to tip as we go and had our service charges refunded on request without argument. The shows were excellent. Yes the theatre is smaller but we didn't reserve all shows and got in fine if we got there a bit earlier but some we had reserved which is easy to do on board or better still before you sail. There is an extra cost for Cirque steam but worth it for sure. The rest I believe were included for free. Shows are are a matter of personal taste so try them but they may not be everyone's cup of tea. Excursions : We had been on this itinery before so we did most alone this time. Stockholm lovely and we got an Uber to town which was quick and cheap. Vasamuseum is in town so easily done alone. Tallin you can walk to easily. Beautiful. Helsinki we got hop on hop off and ended up at great amusement park and lovely park at top of town. Worth a visit. No charge for entry and rides reasonably priced. Visby we walked to easily. Beautiful. At Petersburg we did evening ballet and through the eyes of russian people. Both good and you see things off the beaten track. The ballet was expensive but a once in a lifetime experience. If you check the ports beforehand it is easy to do trips alone but do check this out if you have mobility issues and be mindful of timing. Otherwise go with ship excursions which we did on our first visit. Our teens made amazing friends by going to the club's but you have to be brave and do it otherwise it's difficult to meet other people of similar to age. It makes their cruise. The teen club activities are good if you want them but ok to just hang out if you don't. There was an X box apparently! We didn't try on board activities but they are available and seemed well maintained and plentiful. Overall we found this to b a good ship for our purposes and a good cruise. It is more or less suited to families than other cruises we have done but yes if you want a small quiet cruise it may not be your taste. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely sail NCL in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The Ship: The Getaway feels like a big ship and it’s a very crowded ship. We were told there were 4,600 (!!) passengers plus 1,600 crew members and it FELT that crowded. What really lent to that was the feeling that you couldn’t ... Read More
The Ship: The Getaway feels like a big ship and it’s a very crowded ship. We were told there were 4,600 (!!) passengers plus 1,600 crew members and it FELT that crowded. What really lent to that was the feeling that you couldn’t find any place quiet to be. There’s no observation lounge where you can go and sit and read or play games. As in, no place to look out the front of the ship as you sail unless you’re a Haven suite user or you pay for the Vibe Beach club. I’ve never been on a ship where you couldn’t see out the front of the ship. There’s the H2O spice deck at the back of the ship that’s child free during the day. The speakers weren’t working properly and when they tried to play music, it was jaunting. They absolutely didn’t need it. Again, no place quiet. When I mentioned to a crew member in dress whites that the music wasn’t necessary and to look at the faces of the people who didn’t want it, he told me if I wanted some place quiet, I could go back to my room. His inflection wasn’t nasty, I think it was a language/cultural barrier, but it was still inappropriate. Couple that with the fact that towards the end of the cruise the outside areas on some of the decks (7,8,15,16) had flying carpenter ants. Where I feel the Getaway really failed, was the restaurants. For free there was the buffet, which was hit or miss (mostly miss - the food wasn’t always hot and people were touching things with their BARE HANDS), 3 main dining rooms where the food was excellent, O’Sheenans (the food wasn’t as good as the last time I ate at one on an NCL ship), and Shanghai Noodles. The Noodles was the sorest point - we ordered a few things and one of our dishes tasted like DISH SOAP. When we complained to the maitre’d about it, there was a language barrier, I think, because he surely didn’t understand. When we complained to guest services, the gentleman we spoke to looked at us blankly, like he was still waiting for an actual complaint. We ate at one of the pay for dinner restaurants, Moderno, which was good, and skipped the others. We also tried the ‘Taste of India’ buffet for lunch one day at Moderno- it was so awful we abandoned our plates and had lunch at the sit down dining room after. To finish the dish soap incident - the head of Food and Hotel operations sought us out and apologized. For the next 3 days she sent food trays to our room consisting of chocolates, Hors d'oeuvres, a fruit basket, and cheeses. This was a nice and probably expensive gesture, however, after telling us that we were hard to find (since we were out in the ports all day, every day), the items were left mid morning. Remember, they’re perishable, and not refrigerated. The cheeses included a blue cheese that left a stench that stayed for 3 days. I finally had to give the trays to guest service and ask them to please stop leaving things we couldn’t eat. The ship had a ton of entertainment. The Burn the Floor cast was phenomenal, but the hidden gem was Syd Norman’s Pour House. The performances were captivating, the crew members were bursting with enthusiasm, and the place was always packed. We also checked out the comedian (who sadly wasn’t very funny), the comedic magician (funny, but the tricks weren’t anything to write home about, and the Other Guys (sounded great on paper - total pass in person. They were out of sync, out of tune, and didn’t carry stage presence). If alcohol is your thing, the tastings are the way to go. We loved the mojito tasting so much we did it twice. The pours were generous and a great bang for your buck. Norwegian's Freestyle dining concept was great on the Gem, but a nightmare a few times on the Getaway, as 4500 people can only sit in so many places. A vacation on Getaway requires planning ahead to get seats in the venues that you want both in the restaurants and for the entertainment. As of July 2019, the gym offers a spin class, but you HAVE to have clip in shoes. They provide them, but there weren’t enough sizes to go around. Instead of taking a spin class I tried the boot camp style class, which was a beginners course for $24 (because of gratuity). The instructor/trainer advised it was because he has to cater to everyone. The sign of a good instructor/trainer is being able to make movements harder for advanced gym go-ers and modifications for beginners. He was unable/unwilling to do this. Pass on the expensive classes and just do your own thing in the gym. Finally, we had a midship inside room. It was comfortable for 2, though it lacked in storage. I would have loved to see drawers or more shelves given we were on a 9 day cruise. Overall, the ship was a C. The servers and hostesses/hosts in the main dining rooms were outstanding, and really showed that there were crew members that cared. The ports: Visby was a HIDDEN GEM. The itinerary we originally chose and paid for had an overnight in Russia AND an overnight in Nynashamn (Stockholm). Without warning or announcement, the second overnight was switched to 8hrs for day 6 and 9hrs in Visby on day 7, instead of 36hrs in Nynashamn. We were furious and beyond disappointed that Norwegian didn’t send out any communication or answers regarding it. Visby turned out to be marvelous. I traveled to another part of the island and went stand up paddle boarding, then walked around the town after. The food was excellent and the people were super friendly. The only port we paid for an actual excursion was Russia, because traveling there requires a visa that the tour agency will give you. Book it through a site like Viator for the best value. Other highlights: visiting Sumenolinna Island in Helsinki, the free walking tour into Estonia, and the Vasa museum in Stockholm. We did the hop on, hop off bus in Helsinki which came with free ferry fare to the island, and the bus/boat hop on hop off combo in Stockholm. The boats and bus didn’t run on the schedule they claimed it did, and therefore just paying for their public transportation would have been cheaper and easier. Despite the disappointment that was the Getaway, the trip was an overall success, and I’d give it an A. I will definitely avoid the Getaway in the future, as well as really look at deck plans and passenger size before booking with NCL again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had many little issues on the Norwegian Getaway. No one issue would have led me to rate the cruise as poor. But there were so many issues that it affected our relaxation and enjoyment of the cruise. I rated the cruise as poor because ... Read More
We had many little issues on the Norwegian Getaway. No one issue would have led me to rate the cruise as poor. But there were so many issues that it affected our relaxation and enjoyment of the cruise. I rated the cruise as poor because NCL does not seem to care enough about passenger loyalty to respond to complaints. I filed a complaint through the NCL website complaint option, I sent an email to customer relations and I called the corporate office and left a message with the guest relations manager for the Getaway. A month later I have not received a response from any of these attempts to contact NCL The problems we had on the cruise were: 1. Waiting in line over an hour to correct a check-in mistake made by NCL 2. Waiting in line for another hour to try and get an extension cord for a CPAP machine that was promised earlier in the day. 3. Over cooked foods at 3 of 4 specialty restaurants with no offer of replacement from the wait staff when they were notified 4. Travel approved / sealed cheese bought in Amsterdam was confiscated the first day. I was given a receipt to pick it up the last day but security could not locate the packages. No restitution was offered. 5. $100 voucher won for SPA services had an expiration date that was not disclosed at the raffle. The SPA wanted to charge a now show fee if my wife didn't keep the appointment and pay full price. They finally let her use the voucher when she told them to cancel her appointment. 6. Reservation at specialty restaurant Moderno was for only one guest instead of our party of four. The manager was on the phone trying to correct this for 15 minutes before he gave up and just seated us. He said he would just cover the screw up. 7. The staff at the main dining restaurants were indifferent. The staff at several of the specialty restaurants were not friendly. By comparison the staff at the buffet and at the English Pub were awesome. 8. We selected the free drink package option at booking. The mixed drinks throughout almost all the venues seemed really weak. I had to order shots on the side to spike the drink to a normal level. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I went with my fiancee for the 9-day Baltic Sea cruise, we've been on plenty of trips to Europe before, but this was only our 2nd cruise. It was a good experience, although as more independent travelers, the itinerary was a bit ... Read More
I went with my fiancee for the 9-day Baltic Sea cruise, we've been on plenty of trips to Europe before, but this was only our 2nd cruise. It was a good experience, although as more independent travelers, the itinerary was a bit confining. The ship: -I was worried about seasickness, but felt pretty much absolutely no motion the entire cruise. At worst, it was the rumbling of the ship's engines when sitting in an aft restaurant. -Our inside stateroom was quite a bit larger than I expected. There was plenty of room for movement and storage, and the bathroom was larger than what we had in our Copenhagen hotel. And we definitely turned up the A/C during the heat wave. -Really only 5 decks are publicly useful: 6/7/8/15/16. If you need to get from one end to the other quickly, the outside of Deck 7 under the lifeboats was always wide open. And it was our fresh air deck during the frequent rainstorms when we didn't feel like getting wet and windswept. -We didn't need a balcony stateroom, there is cushioned deck furniture outside the gift shop on Deck 8 to enjoy the scenery. This deck also wraps all the way around the stern, plenty of wide-open space for solitude or romance, although none of the decks actually goes all the way out to the front of the ship. -The shows were there to pass the time and not much else. Burn the Floor was lively and quite packed, Million Dollar Quartet was overly long. The magician and flamenco guitarist in the Headliners club were nice, but the obstructed view seating was horrible. -The smoking area is on deck 15 port side, and the smoke is not well-contained. Avoid this area if you don't want to smell like smoke. -The better pool (for non-kids) is the "Spice H2O" area on deck 16, enter near the arcade. It was actually nicer when the speakers malfunctioned, otherwise it did get a bit loud. Although there really weren't that many kids in the main pool area, the ones that did come had large, noisy extended families that liked to stand in the walkways. -The climbing wall was hardly ever open, and when it was, the line was long. -We took advantage of the $20 fill-it-up laundry bag on Day 4. It was all returned nicely folded the next afternoon, although I swear things shrunk slightly. And find your room-number stickers on all your clothes so you can peel them off. -The touchscreens are useful to see what events were happening. The restaurant capacity indicators never seemed accurate. And we could never reserve any show tickets with them, it would always freeze on the last screen after inserting our keycard. The food: -Never sprung for any of the "extra" restaurants. Savor, Taste, and Tropicana all have the same menus, and their own seating/waiting lists. We seemed to have the best luck with wait time for a table at the Tropicana, but there were a couple nights where the wait time to have our food served there was quite long. -The food was decent (Applebee's quality?) and could have varied options over 9 nights, so we never had the same dish twice. -Did the Shanghai noodle bar once, but it has to be reserved, and not same-day. You can order more than 1 serving of each appetizer/entree, and you probably should (I'm not a big eater, and even I thought the portions were quite small.) -No card swipe at the buffet, so you can enter as many times as you like. We made a fair number of trips to the ice cream booth... -But the buffet's "snack" times had a pretty barren selection. If we were hungry after the restaurants closed at 10:00, we went to O'Sheehan's. -The deck 8 Moderno restaurant also offers breakfast, and the lines weren't as long as the main deck 15 buffet. -You can't bring liquids on board at any time (except for sealed wine). We didn't feel like spending $3.45 for a Pepsi or $15 for 6 bottles of water onboard, so although there are signs stopping you, we filled up our water bottles with ice and water from the buffet dispensers. We didn't push our luck with the "flavored water" dispensers, but those just tasted like dilute Crystal Light. -And we always asked for a glass of iced tea with our sit-down meals. The people: -Far fewer American tourists than I would've thought, probably no more than about 5-10% of the total onboard. -At least who we came in contact with, the largest groups were: Chinese, Germans, Indians, Russians, Spaniards -Really not that many kids either, the kiddie pool and waterslides were never even remotely crowded. -Our cabin steward was Benjie from the Philippines, very friendly and efficient, and we had quite a few conversations about life and the ship. -However, there were a handful of waitstaff and a restaurant concierge also from the Philippines who were quite rude and obviously unhappy. -The cruise directors were so peppy all the time, even at a 6:30 am excursion call, I really don't know how they do it. -The folks at the spa and gift shop and photographers are there to sell you stuff. It's not a full-on hard sell, but there is some aggression to their pitches. -Do you want to buy art? Are you sure you don't want to look at art? How about more art? The incessant art gallery sales pitches were almost as bad as telemarketers. The ports: -We could use the port Wifi only in Helsinki and Tallinn. Otherwise, it's only the ship's Wifi. -The ship's $100+ Wifi package was apparently painfully slow. It was nice to disconnect from the world for a week. -We had a $50 per cabin (NOT per person) shore excursion credit, which made it more cost-effective to use the ship's excursion buses in Helsinki, Tallinn, and Stockholm. Without it, we would've done it ourselves in Helsinki and Tallinn. -Also, if you are on a ship excursion, even if it's just the local sightseeing bus, you will get to disembark before do-it-yourself folks. -The excursion credit doesn't show up in your onboard account until after the day's trip, but still use the TV in the cabin to view your account so there's no surprise at disembarkation. The line on the final day to contest your account is extra long. -Rostock: -The dock is in the middle of nowhere. We bought our own train tickets from Rostock HBF to Berlin (27 euro each way). Hardest part was actually getting a taxi from the port to Rostock HBF, all the waiting taxis only wanted to take groups all the way to Berlin. Eventually, we pooled with a few others to convince one cabbie to take us downtown. 15 minute drive for 50 euro, made it in time for the 8:34 train. -One cabbie claimed there was a bus stop a few minutes away from the port. If there was, I never heard from anyone that found it. -Becuase of the cab difficulty, we didn't want to chance taking the 6:13 return train from Berlin, so we took the 4:13 train. 5 hours in Berlin obviously wasn't enough, however in 88-degree weather, it was still tiring. And unlike the ship excursion train, the regular trains were air-conditioned. -But we didn't have cab trouble back to the ship in Rostock, many taxis were waiting, and we got charged 35 euro this time. -Helsinki: -If you don't use the ship's hop-on/hop-off bus excursion, there are still plenty of others waiting right outside the ship. -It's a very long 2+ mile walk from the port to downtown, but it is against the seawall. -We got to the Temppeliaukio Church even before it opened, and there was a long line to buy entrance tickets. The little gift shop across the street, Anne's, also sells entrance wristbands at no additional charge. We got ours there, and were first in the pre-paid line to enter, along with tour groups. -The buses were supposed to run every 15-20 minutes, but it was more like either 5 or 30 minutes between them. -Made it to the National Museum a few minutes before it opened at 11, very nice exhibits. -Walked down Mannerheim to Stockmann's department store, we picked up some unique food in the gourmet supermarket in the basement. -Enjoyed perusing the outdoor marketplace near the cathedrals, everything from cheap souvenir stalls and handcrafts to a farmer's market. Cloudberries plus vanilla ice cream was a treat. -St. Petersburg: -We bought the 2-day excursion through NCL. I know others booked local tour companies on their own, we probably would've done that if we had a larger group to split the cost. -But I have no real complaints with our excursion. Obviously 2 hours in the Hermitage isn't enough, and we fell far enough behind the tour group a few times that we lost reception in our headset, but it was still a nice taste of the museum. -Lunch was simply food, not gourmet or even really local cuisine. Both days came with sparkling wine and a shot of vodka, too. -There was sufficient time at the photostops, although there were no stops along Nevsky Prospekt. I really wanted to see how the Metro looked. -Of course the shopping stops were pre-determined. Same stuff as the gift shops in the cruise terminal, although slightly less expensive. Not useful if you want something really nice or unique, but good enough for souvenir trinkets. -Catherine Palace was impressive, although the ushers are forceful in moving you along. No photos in the Amber Room, but I did take some from the doorway of the next room. I thought the ballroom was far more memorable. -The outside walk through Peterhof's fountains was nice. The inside tour was a mess: a long wait outside and very hot and crowded inside. -But 92 degrees and sticky is not a good time to be in the city. Flying bugs everywhere! -Tallinn: -With our ship credit, the hop-on bus was essentially free. It allowed us to visit Kadriorg Palace, which was far enough outside the old city that we wouldn't have gone otherwise. -The walk from the ship to downtown is much more manageable than in Helsinki, but we took the bus back anyway. It was 90 degrees and I'd sweated through my shirt by noon. -Started with Toompea and worked our way downhill. Strongly suggest this way unless you want to work out your calves. -Things here are probably 1/4 the price they are in Copenhagen. -If you only get to 1 of the viewing platforms, go to Kohtuotsa (the one farthest east). -Pikk and Lai streets are obviously touristy. If you can get to Balti Jaam market just outside the west wall, it was far more local. -Enjoyed the KGB museum along with all the antique stores with Soviet and Nazi items on display, they were like dusty free museums. -Stockholm: -Rather, it was Nynashamn, a good 50 to 60-minute bus ride away from the city. Take that into account when looking at ship itineraries. -The NCL bus excursion was very convenient for time and location, although $50 off sure helped. And we got an hour's worth of trip planning on the bus Wifi on the ride home, until my phone/camera battery died. Too many pictures... -The bus stops at the opera house, and the walk to the Vasa museum took exactly the right amount of time for it to open. Get there early, because the place was packed within an hour. -If it weren't so hot, we would've went to Skansen. Instead we went to the Nordic Museum, which was still quite fascinating. -The tram is expensive, but we took #7 back to Kungstradgarden just in time for the band and Changing of the Guard. -Gamla Stan is a nice place to get lost in, especially side streets or the east side away from Vasterlanggatan. Shop around a little, too, the same postcards cost anywhere from 2 SEK to 15 SEK. -Even better, cross the bridge back to the city center. We only had a short amount of time in Mood and Galleria malls before we had to catch the last bus back at 4:30 though. -Copenhagen: -We spent the night before departure here, along with 4 nights after. (Ended up going to Amsterdam for 3 nights after that, flights home were half the price that way). -My gosh, this city is expensive, and I've lived in San Francisco and Boston. -Having already lived in northern California, that's why I skipped visiting Christianshavn. -Buses are convenient to use, but suggest using the online trip planner because we always seemed to need to transfer. -Of all the castles, Rosenborg is easily the most memorable. The Amalienborg museum was quite minimal, and only the reception rooms at Christiansborg were worth seeing. -For Americans used to Disney World, Tivoli is small and nothing special. But it is still worth experiencing, the fireworks were great, the free ballet shows were enjoyable, although the Illuminations light show was very weak. And single ticket rides at $5, $10, or $15 apiece seemed extravagant, but we had to put down the $10 apiece for The Flying Trunk ride, which is kind of like It's a Small World. Not a suggested itinerary if you're looking for a relaxing family vacation, but we had a good time sightseeing, and it was a nice taste of Scandinavia for a reasonable price. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose it because I wanted something that will include St. Petersburg with it and the Baltics. I thought since the ship was carrying 4500 passengers and 2500 crew members that it will be like lining up for a blockbuster movie. Anyway, ... Read More
I chose it because I wanted something that will include St. Petersburg with it and the Baltics. I thought since the ship was carrying 4500 passengers and 2500 crew members that it will be like lining up for a blockbuster movie. Anyway, most days it was organized, the only times it was in disarray was the embarkation and disembarkation day which happens on all cruise ships. Ship really big, with most of the activity in the garden cafe on the 15th deck, the rest of the restaurants are ok. We stayed in a mini suite and it was an upgrade from our usual inside stateroom and i will probably never go back to the inside stateroom Dining in most restaurants are ok. Specialty dining is good if its offered free at sea otherwise, I wouldn't buy it. Entertainment and activities are good, although we went out to port everytime, we didn't have time to try out everything Help for someone with limited mobility like me is ok, although at 2 ports, we couldn't find wheelchairs and attendants to it because they were all under the shade whiling their time away and coudln't care less about people who actually needed their help. Crew is great always Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
There were pros and cons as on any vacation, but we came away satisfied. We chose this cruise because of the ports and the price (a similar Princess cruise was much more expensive, even with our “Platinum” status). The rooms were ... Read More
There were pros and cons as on any vacation, but we came away satisfied. We chose this cruise because of the ports and the price (a similar Princess cruise was much more expensive, even with our “Platinum” status). The rooms were quiet (except once late at night when we heard loud voice from next door) and comfortable, most of the food was good, there was plenty to do (I never cracked the book I brought along), and we enjoyed the ports, especially St. Petersburg. We booked a 2-day (plus an evening) tour with Alla in St. Petersburg and just went out on our own for the rest of the ports. Although the ship did not feel as crowded as I expected (except on the last morning), the main down side to such a large ship was that we did not port close to the town centers in Warnemunde, Stockholm, or Helsinki which complicated independent travel. But if you do your research, it is still the way to go in my opinion. You can see what you want; you are not traveling with a large group; and you save a lot of money. Plus I think you get a more authentic experience exploring a city on your own. The Ship: The Getaway recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, so it did look clean and updated as one would expect. As others have pointed out, the atrium area in particular is very small for the size of the ship and seating is very limited (especially given the number of events held there). But if you arrive early, you should at least be able to get a seat on the next level up overlooking the action (like a balcony). On the other hand, way too much space is devoted to the little-used casino. While I realize that gambling is a good money maker for ships, even at its busiest, I never saw even 10% of the slot machines being used (there must have been hundreds of them). At the most, I saw maybe 25% of the tables partially occupied. Usually, it was much less than that. Plus the smell of smoke wafted beyond the boundaries of the casino. Yuck! A chunk of that space should have been used to enlarge the atrium area when the ship was renovated. Although seating in other entertainment venues was also limited given the size of the ship, if you plan ahead, it is not a big problem. Make online reservations as soon as you can for what you can (e.g., the main dining rooms, The Cirque show, Million Dollar Quartet, and Burn the Floor); reserve what you can once on board (e.g., Escape the Big Top and Shanghai Noodle Bar); and arrive early for the first-come, first-serve restaurants and activities. There were no nightly movies on a big outdoor screen like we have had on other cruise line ships, but they did have lots of daytime outdoor activities, including several big water slides, a rock climbing wall, a ropes course, mini golf, a basketball court, ping pong, and a giant chess set. Our adult children took advantage of the first three of these activities, but were a little frustrated by their limited time availability. They have an “adults only” deck area (Spice H2O) which is nice, but it did not have a real pool, just one that looked like a kiddie pool—small and shallow. It did have two hot tubs. It was a bit frustrating that the staff did not enforce the “adults only” rule for the hot tubs in the main deck area. We found the staff to all be pleasant, courteous, and hard-working. Restaurants: Taste/Savor Main Dining Rooms (same menu/food, just on opposite sides of the ship)—we ate here six of the nine nights. We were generally pleased with the selection and food. Yes, they repeat some entrees every night but that means that you always have a choice of beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and two veggie (pasta) entrees, in addition to the seven entrees that are new each night. They also have about 10 appetizer choices (some repeating but we didn’t mind because they were good) and we always found something good for dessert! The portions were relatively small, but we liked that because you could have one (or two) appetizers, an entrée, and dessert without feeling overly stuffed (definitely full though!). Shanghai Noodle Bar—We ate here for one dinner. The appetizers and soup were good; the entrees were just okay. They only had two desserts—fruit cup and “chocolate cake” (it did not have a cake texture)—which were okay. The service was odd in that we got our soups after our entrees. O’Sheehans—My daughter and I had most of our breakfasts here. The menu is not extensive and the same every day, but we liked their omelettes (they had more choices of add-ins than the buffet). Our group of five also had one “snack” meal here—just fish and chips and the wings. I didn’t eat these but the fish and chips were described as “good” and the wings “okay”. Garden Café—this is the buffet. I read very mixed reviews on this prior to our trip. We thought that, in general, the selection was good and most of the food was at least “okay to good.” Nothing was “bad” and some was quite good. Yes, it can be crowded at peak times, but other than the last morning, we could always find a table within a minute or two of looking. The last morning took a few more minutes, but we did eventually find one. The main negative was the limited hours (not 24/7 like we were used to) and only limited snacks were available during non-peak hours. O’Sheehan’s is 24/7. There are lots of bars. We went primarily to Syd Norman’s Pour House—brand new rock ‘n roll venue with the recent renovation and our favorite place to hang at night. The Pour House Band is excellent in terms of musicianship and vocals, especially with the addition of the two women singers (I don’t think they are formally a part of the band because they were never introduced). Our kids also went to Bliss where they met up with similarly-aged adults (mid- to upper-twenties). In particular, they enjoyed the Glow Party. Entertainment—besides the bars, we went to: • Cirque Dreams—they had some acts we’ve never seen before (like one woman using another woman as an acrobatic “swing”). However, the show was short (about 45 minutes); it ended about a half hour before that stated time. Dinner was mixed; the filet and shrimp were good, as was the caprese salad appetizer, but the mini desserts were disappointing—a flan that had little flavor, with a fruit sauce that was good; a red velvet cupcake that was just okay (the cream cheese frosting was the best part); and a fudgy-type brownie? It looked good, but was thick and not very flavorful. • Burn the Floor—good singing and dancing (samba, rumba, and salsa). Lots of energy and entertaining! • Million Dollar Quartet—this show’s main characters were Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins at the start of their careers. The voices and musicianship were very good. • Escape the Big Top—you don’t escape the room, but do have to solve a mystery with other people (groups of 8) using various clues. Our kids and I had fun and our group won! Don’t do it for the prizes though—just a thin drink coozie and deck of cards. • Dueling Pianos and Howl at the Moon got many good reviews, but we missed these shows. Fitness Room—my husband reported that they had a decent array of machines and he was able to get on one without much of a problem. He said that you may have to wait for ellipticals and treadmills, but something was always available in the weight room. Another plus—the hours were longer than on other ships. A negative—you have to pay to use the sauna and steam room (same on the other ships, though). Ports: Copenhagen: We arrived a day early to spend some time here. I ordered the 24-hour Copenhagen Card on line before we left (you get a voucher). If you plan to visit at least three attractions in 24 hours, the card is worth it, since it covers all of the major attractions and transportation. You take the voucher to the airport information desk (when you leave the baggage area and go down the escalator, heading toward the exits/trains, the information desk is on the right). Once you get the card, just follow the signs to Track 2 to get into the city. Our first attraction was the Lousiana Museum of Modern Art. Definitely worth the 40-minute train ride). So many interesting and beautiful things to see and experience, especially the exhibits by Pipilotti Rist. From the city center, take the train toward Helsinger, getting off at the Humblebaek stop. Once you exit the train, signs will direct you to the museum. We ate at the café on the corner where you turn (Lind’s Kaffebar). They have sandwiches, wraps, paninis, and omelettes. Good food; reasonable prices. When we returned to the city center, we checked into our hotel (more on that later), then we went to Rosenborg Castle. You can see rooms on five floors, including two basement levels (one for the treasury and the other for wine and weapons). There are many beautiful and unique items, but we were particularly impressed with the 3-D ceiling decorations and intricate ivory carvings. After a nap (flew overnight, so not much sleep), and dinner at L’Appetito (close to our hotel and the central train station; the pizza was good; they gave us free bread; and the service was quick and courteous), we went to Tivoli Gardens. We got there around 9 pm (twilight was at 9:30 and they were open until 11). They have beautiful gardens and lights, and free entertainment. Mamma Mia 2 was playing on a giant screen when we arrived, but they have a variety of other shows that pop up at various times (e.g., pantomime theater, ballet, acrobats, puppets, etc). You do have to pay extra for the rides (which our adult children did for the roller coaster), but my husband and I enjoyed ourselves without spending any extra money. We booked 3 double rooms (for 5 adults) with private bathrooms at Steel House. The rooms were small, just enough space for the bed and a small area in front of it (with a space to stash luggage in the base of the bed). But the bathroom was a decent size; the room was clean, quiet, and modern; the bed was comfortable; the price was significantly cheaper than other similarly-rated hotels; and it is close to the central train station, Tivoli Gardens, and the start of The Stroget, a pedestrian street with lots of shops. They also have lockers in the basement where, for a small fee, you can store your luggage if you arrive before check-in time. A tour guide stops by at 9:20 and 10:20 am to lead anyone interested in a free 2 1/2 hour walking tour to the meeting area in town (we did not do this). One minor annoyance was that the light in the bathroom was on a timer (you can set it for up to 5 minutes) and it will go off if no motion is detected (including when you are in the shower, but opening the shower door turns it on). Overall, I highly recommend Steel House and would definitely stay here again if I make it back to Copenhagen! Warnemunde/Rostock: Our berth was LP31 in Rostock. We took public transportation to get into town. To get to the Seehafen Fahre bus stop, go to the main road and turn right. When the road curves, just keep going straight to the large white building and you’ll see several bus stops—“A” right in front of the building, and “B” and “C” together off to the left. You can take bus 19 and 49 from B/C to the Dierkower Kreuz stop, then from there take tram 1 or 4 to Rostock Neuer Markt (New Market Square). We just walked through the market right there and then around town. The only building we went into was St. Mary’s Church, mainly to see the astronomical clock built in 1472, but it also has a beautiful stained-glass window, organ, and pulpit. We stopped in the Tourist Information Office to ask for a recommendation for a German restaurant for lunch. The gentleman gave me two names; one was a bit of a walk and one was just a couple of blocks away which is the one we chose. Hopfenkeller was a disappointment. The food was okay, but the prices were relatively high and service was terrible. We waited more than 20 minutes for the check even after catching the server’s eye once and then going right up to her to ask for it. Then we went to Warnemunde. From Neuer Markt, take tram 5 or 6 to the last stop (it’s the second one in Warnemunde). This is a beachside resort with lots of little shops (mostly clothing stores on the main drag [Alter Strom] with some souvenir shops on the road one block inland [Alexandrinenstrasse]). There is a lighthouse you can climb and you can just spend time on the beach. To get back to the ship, take the S-train toward Rostock, getting off at the Lutten-Klein stop. Then take bus 45 or 49 back to Seehafen Fahre. Helsinki: From our port (West Harbor/Hernesaari), we took bus 14 into town (the stop is close to the ship; just walk straight ahead on the road leading out of the port). Armed with a map of the tram routes and Rick Steve’s book, we were able to get around pretty easily. Our first stop was the Hietalahti Market (a flea market). They had a variety of goods—clothing, houseware items (lots of plates, glasses, tea pots), kids games/toys, collectibles, jewelry, books—like you would find in the U.S., but in mostly Finnish styles (duh). They also had stuff from Asian and other European countries. Next, we stopped at Kamppi Chapel (a serene oasis in the middle of a bustling city and cool architecture) on the way to the Church of the Rock (again interesting architecture, blasted out of solid granite). There are also a couple of small but good souvenir shops nearby. Then we headed to Senate Square, Market Square (bought several items here), and Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral (beautiful inside and out). We had lunch at a little pizza place on a corner across the street from Market Square (Vaelsa)—good pizza, good prices, fast service! St. Peterburg: We booked the 2-Day Must See tour plus the night Faberge Museum tour with Alla Tours. They were very responsive to questions prior to the trip. Our guide, Paulina, was great—very knowledgeable, easy to understand (actually fun to listen to with an accent that sounded like a mix of Russian, French [which she also speaks], and British English), well-organized, charming, and adorable to boot! The restaurants we were taken to for lunch were both good—tasty food and in pretty rooms. We were dropped off at a more casual restaurant to get a snack on our own between the day and night tours on the first day; they had a wide variety of options, the food was very good, and the prices were very reasonable. All of the sights we were taken to were worthwhile; I would choose the same tours again. My personal favorites were the Hermitage and the Church on the Spilled Blood. Tallinn: This was the easiest port to do on our own—you just walk off and into town. First, we did the Tallinn Free Tour (they work for tips). Our guide, Helen, did a great job, despite the unusually high heat and humidity, having a double-sized group (the other guide was ill), and sometimes having to speak over the sound of church bells (which went off for a prolonged time). She provided just the right amount of information—enough details to get a general understanding of Estonia’s history, doled out in relatively small doses over a number of stops throughout the town, without being overwhelming and with a good amount of humor throw in! Very enjoyable!! After the tour, we just wandered around town and did some shopping. We ate lunch at Wok to Walk, which had made to order stir-fries—good food, reasonable prices, and quick service! Stockholm: From the port (Nyashamn), you can get a shuttle bus (it picks you up right outside of the Visitor Center at the pier (where you can buy tickets for both the shuttle and train). You can also walk to the train station, but we thought the shuttle was worth it (less than $4.50). We took the train to Stockholm City (the central station), then tram 7 to Skansen (this is also the tram for the Vasa Museum and the ABBA Museum). Skansen is an open-air museum representing five centuries of Swedish history with over 150 dwellings, people in period dress, and a zoo. It sounded good to us, but we were underwhelmed and decided that it was not a good use of our limited port time (we had seen the Vasa Musuem on a previous cruise and were not interested in the ABBA museum). Maybe it would be worthwhile if you have younger children, but many of the workshops/buildings in “Old Town” were closed and we found only two employees giving spontaneous information about their crafts/history of the buildings; the others remained silent. The zoo was very small and several of the animals were hard or impossible to even spot. Lots of walking is involved, up and down hills. We ate lunch in their sit down restaurant (cafeteria); the food was okay, but a little pricey. From here we went back to the central train station, then took the metro/tunnelbana one stop to Gamla Stan (Old Town). You can take the red or green line, just watch what direction it’s going (I printed out the Rail Network Map ahead of time). Again, we just wandered around town. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I had a fabulous time on this cruise for so many reasons--the itinerary was great, the ship itself was very nice, the dining and entertainment were wonderful. I could always find a deck chair, and the adults only pool was very nice. Music ... Read More
I had a fabulous time on this cruise for so many reasons--the itinerary was great, the ship itself was very nice, the dining and entertainment were wonderful. I could always find a deck chair, and the adults only pool was very nice. Music was everywhere and always great quality. But the thing that really set it apart was the Solo Traveler Program. The Getaway has a suite of Solo Staterooms with a separate lounge with coffee, food, drinks, etc. Avoiding the Single Supplement for a regular stateroom made this ship much more affordable. And the ship had a program to help solo travelers meet each other and have dinner together each night if we wanted to. This was a fabulous way to meet new friends and not feel awkward dining alone. I hope more cruise ships will have this type of program because it made a world of different for me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and wanted to try an NCL mega ship. After being on the ship for 9 full days, I found the ship to be just average compared to Royal Carribean's mega ships. First of all, if you are into ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and wanted to try an NCL mega ship. After being on the ship for 9 full days, I found the ship to be just average compared to Royal Carribean's mega ships. First of all, if you are into shows, entertainment and nightlife, this ship and cruise is not for you. We saw only two shows in the 9 days that we were sailing - Burn the Floor was amazing and the Million Dollar Quartet was just average. The other shows that were offered were just mediocure singers and nothing to write home about - we went into Headliners to sample one singer and ended up walking out because it was boring. Everything pretty much comes to a halt by 11:00pm - they even kick you out of the hot tubs on deck 15 by 11:00pm. We are not big gamblers and were losing money in the casino - unfortunately, that is your only form of entertainment at night. The prettiest part of the ship was on deck 6 right outside of Headliners - there is a beautiful chandelier that is multi-colored hanging down in that area. The rest of the ship was really nothing exciting, when you are used to the Harmony of Seas with Central Park re-created on one deck, a Boardwalk on another deck, an Aqua Theatre off of the back of the ship and an Ice Skating Rink that you can actually skate on when a show is not being performed. The tours that we booked through NCL's Shore Excursion desk were wonderful, except for the Best of Berlin - please note that the train that takes you to Berlin is NOT AIR CONDITIONED, the buses don't have good A/C also and the restaurants are not Air Conditioned either. So if you have a hot spell, you are in trouble. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We were two families of three generations (including grandparents and children) excited to be traveling to Baltic destinations. We stayed in a balcony family cabin (14814) that had a Pullman bed. I had previously sailed twice with ... Read More
We were two families of three generations (including grandparents and children) excited to be traveling to Baltic destinations. We stayed in a balcony family cabin (14814) that had a Pullman bed. I had previously sailed twice with my family on Royal Caribbean with similar accommodation so had an idea of what to expect. Overalll Royal Caribbean was by far more organised, pleasant and enjoyable. Left NCL in its wake. In summary: Good points: Easy booking Easy NCL bus transfer from airport to cruise terminal and cruise terminal to city Centre Loved Million Dollar Quartet Show Loved the Magician show Engaging staff at onboard bars Loved St Petersburg Clean cabin Spacious bathroom Enjoyed the water slides, climbing wall, mini golf and sports deck Bad points: Felt chaotic and overcrowded when first boarding the ship. I wanted to get off as soon as I got on. Absolutely terrible safety briefing- the children and I were crammed into the casino which stank of cigarettes and we couldn’t see anything because of the number of people The actual briefing was relayed in several languages which made the briefing excruciatingly long. RC was out on the deck in small groups and was far less time consuming My daughters Pullman bed was not made until almost midnight on our first night!!! Guest services was located opposite the central atrium which meant that you could not hear a thing the service personnel was saying if there was a band or other entertainment playing. I have excellent hearing and could not hear, so I felt sorry for the elderly people with hearing aides in the queue. Seriously bad location for guest services! The casino was centrally located in the middle of the ship on a middle deck. This meant that you had to walk through it to get to restaurants, bars or other services. As you are allowed to smoke in the casino it was disgusting to smell cigarettes whilst at the nearby noodle restaurant or to have to walk through it with children. RC has the casino at the bottom of the ship and out of the way. On the first day there was a problem with my credit card and when I went to guest services to sort it out I was quickly made aware that I was not the only one with problems. The queue was enormous. People had been waiting in line for hours!!!! Yet again, there was a band playing which made the whole experience frustrating. The queue was there the next two nights!! The free buffet restaurant The Garden Cafe, was nowhere near as good as the Windjammer on RC. The layout was like that of a school canteen with all the food stations located in a rectangular central hub that you walked around. The food was okay but not very exciting. The RC windjammer was more open and visually appealing with tastier food options. Paying 5USD for a bottle of water was absolutely absurd. The smoking area was right near the main swimming pool in the middle of the deck!!!! It was on the same deck as the outdoor seating for the Garden Cafe so on occasion the waft of cigarette smoke would blow towards you whilst eating. Disgusting! You would also have to walk past the smokers to get to the ping pong tables. Smoking on a ship is a health and safety risk. At the very least the smoking station should be away from areas that children and non smokers use. Specialty dining restaurants were not so special. Ocean Blue was the best of the lot. The others were all the same. The poor ship layout, food choices and inferior qualities compared to RC means I would never sail with NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Choose this cruise because Getaway has single studio cabins which 3 people in our group desired. Never been on NCL previously. Many cruises on Princess and some on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Cabin: Balcony 9728. Adequate. Only ... Read More
Choose this cruise because Getaway has single studio cabins which 3 people in our group desired. Never been on NCL previously. Many cruises on Princess and some on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Cabin: Balcony 9728. Adequate. Only drawback was constant awakening due to slamming doors all night. Strange. Neighbors weren't coming and going all night so I have no idea where the sounds were coming from. Staff: Friendly and helpful throughout. Ship: Clean and new Embarkation and debarkation: Excellent Dining: Complementary restaurants were ok; not quite up to Princess quality. Buffet was excellent. Lots of selection and generally tasty. Specialty restaurants Cagneys and Mondernero were excellent. Here's the big problem: LeBistro (French cuisine?) was atrocious. Slow service. Awful food. Appetizer of "lump crab salad" was mostly mayonnaise and devoid of crab. Main course of sole (most expensive thing on menu) was atrocious: came with 2 finger size potatoes and 3 croutons on fish. Seriously. That was it. Fish was pan fried but without taste. Would've been bad in the complementary restaurant, but to pay for it was unacceptable. Two big problems: ship docked in Rostock instead of Warnemunde; and, Nyahsamn instead of Stockholm. We knew these changes after we booked, but it proved to be problematic. Rostock is a somewhat boring city. Most other cruise ships dock at closeby Warnemunde. NCL probably docks at Rostock to save port fees. Could've have gotten to Warnemunde if we wanted to. Ship docks at Nyhasamn, about 43 miles from Stockholm. Again, we knew this going in, but the change happened after booking. Seems very deceptive in hindsight. We used the shuttle bus from NCL. They promised "narration" - there was none. The significant problems were with the return to the ship. Everyone was given different information about when and where to catch the bus. Total chaos in Stockholm. NCL staffer finally showed up about 1.5 hours after we all started waiting. Very poorly done and we've filed a complaint with NCL. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Cruise Scandinavia, Russia & the Baltic. This was our 1st cruise with NCL and 5th cruise in general.We choose this cruise because of the itinerary.We wanted to try something different and we were not dissapointed. The ship itself ... Read More
Cruise Scandinavia, Russia & the Baltic. This was our 1st cruise with NCL and 5th cruise in general.We choose this cruise because of the itinerary.We wanted to try something different and we were not dissapointed. The ship itself is incredibly pretty and well laid out. There was plenty of open deck space and it was never crowded. Our Cabin was very comfortable. The weather was great. The food tasted good, was well prepared. The desserts were fantastic! The buffet was gigantic. We booked excursions through NCL. They were well organized and efficient . Service in the buffets and restaurants was also outstanding. The crew were some of the most friendly and professional. Vladislav helped us to book our shore tours. Overall the entertainment was good with plenty of activities and live music throughout the day and night. We enjoyed every minute of this trip and I would definitely recommend it! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second cruise on Norwegian and we loved it. The ship was great, the destinations were great We found nothing but helpful and accommodating staff. The only minor problems we came across were other passengers - usually ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Norwegian and we loved it. The ship was great, the destinations were great We found nothing but helpful and accommodating staff. The only minor problems we came across were other passengers - usually persons from other cultures either unaware or uninterested in following american social mores (like waiting your turn) or inconsiderate persons who felt because they paid for a cruise they should be allowed to do what they want, but those were honestly few and far between. I have to say I was getting a little nervous before we sailed based on a lot of the reviews that were posted, but that was not our experience at all, but you have to be aware of what you signed up for. We like a big boat - we like the variety, we like the stability and we like the party atmosphere, but that brings up my first comment... - On a big boat, there are a lot of people. For our sailing they said there were 4700 passengers on board. To be honest, except for a couple times, it didn't really feel like it though. If you really want to do something, you need to make it a priority - make a reservation ahead of time, get there early, be flexible about your schedule. - You will be adequately fed - Its not necessarily gourmet food, but you will never go hungry. Our experiences were mixed, O'Sheehans wings were cold the first day, but really good several other times we went. Tropicana room was better the first time than the second, Moderno was good (twice), Teppanyaki was fun and delicious. The buffet was... a buffet, but it filled us up and fit the bill when we just wanted a quick meal so we could do other things - The entertainment was mostly outstanding, and if not outstanding, at least fun - We loved Burn the Floor, and Million Dollar Quartet. Don't let the need for reservations stop you - they release reservations 10 min before the performance and take walk-ins. We always got into the show (because people make reservations then their plans change) The Cirque show was fun. Dueling pianos was mediocre, Syd Normans was a great new venue and a lot of fun. - Don't go to the front desk on the first day or the last day if you can help it - the lines will be long and it will be noisy. Wait, go during breakfast hours (everyone is at the buffet then anyway), go when there is not a band playing. There were plenty of times when we went by and no one was there. We had 2 minor issues over the trip, both were handled quickly, and very helpfully. - Cabin was nice, better arranged than our cabin on the Epic a couple year ago, and a decent size bathroom/shower for a ship (again, better than the Epic). We mostly did our own thing on shore, so I can't comment on any of the cruise excursions. We did use the cruise shuttle bus in Rostock, it took a little longer to get everyone boarded than I would have liked, but it wasn't a problem for us since we weren't going that far that day. If you are planning to go to Berlin on your own, plan to take a taxi. The ports were awesome Copenhagen - spent 2 days there before the cruise, felt like just the right amount of time for us, though others could definitely want more, especially if you want to go outside of the city. Rostock - we didn't want to make the hike to Berlin, so we took the train to Schwerin Castle. Fun day, but we had been "warned" from another review that the town is not as accommodating to non-German tourists, which we found to be correct. Not really a problem, just something to be aware of - and bring euros if you want to buy anything - we only had dollars and credit card so it just meant we couldn't buy anything (we probably didn't need it anyway). Train was easy enough, though we got lucky with the timing, we probably should have researched the times before hand, but it worked out for us. Helsinki - semi-easy, if long, walk into town. Just enough time to see what we wanted. Rock church was OK, but not as amazing as I was led to believe. St Petersburg - 2 full days, definitely needed both. Did a 2 day private tour with SPB. Our guide, Olga R, was AWESOME. Two very full, busy days of wonder. Tallinn - fun, walkable, low stress half day spend wandering. St Olaf's tower is closed for renovation until 2020. Stumbled on the KGB Prison museum which my family enjoyed. Stockholm - kind of a bummer that we docked in Nynashamn and had to ride the train for an hour, but the port made it easy for you - buy the 24 hour train ticket at the TI, pick up the paper with the train schedule, follow the blue line to the train station and voila, 1 hr later you are in the heart of Stockholm. Get to Town Hall early if you want to tour/climb the tower. Don't miss the Vasa Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Have been on many cruises but first time with ncl. What a rip off. Not all the shows are free for a start. 2 standard shows we're free but you still had to book as theater tiny. Public places packed at peak times. Not enough staff and ... Read More
Have been on many cruises but first time with ncl. What a rip off. Not all the shows are free for a start. 2 standard shows we're free but you still had to book as theater tiny. Public places packed at peak times. Not enough staff and the ships design has not given that nice open attriam feeling that other ships have. Casino too expensive. Minimum bets etc. Didn't see our cabin boy for almost all the week just say 1 and 9. Food is quite good esp the buffet but it's a real fight. Too many people. Drinks god. A diet coke and a cocktail was 23 dollars. I drank water most of the week. Oh and you can't bring drink on board not even water cos they want to sell you it. Worst ship and company we have ever been with, and we won't be going back again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
A Norwegian Mega Ship We had a great time on this cruise but I really don't think Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) knows how to build good Mega Ships. A lot of people don't like big ships as they feel they are too crowded. I ... Read More
A Norwegian Mega Ship We had a great time on this cruise but I really don't think Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) knows how to build good Mega Ships. A lot of people don't like big ships as they feel they are too crowded. I can now see what they are talking about. I cruised on the new Carnival Horizon Mega Ship on its maiden Transatlantic crossing in May 2018. The Carnival Horizon is about the same size and carrys about the same number of passengers as the Norwegian Getaway, but other than embarking and disembarking, I never felt the ship as being crowded. I think the problem is that Norwegian has tried too hard to monetize all the extra space on their Mega Ships. The Carnival Horizon feels spacious with all the extra room in that Mega Ship. The corridors feel bigger, the main theater is multilevel and huge, and the two main dining rooms are quite large. There was just a feeling of spaciousness in the Carnival Horizon. Most important is that Carnival increased the size of all the bars and lounges in order to handle the larger passenger count of the ship. This meant when you went to see a live performance in one of the bars and lounges, you could almost always find a seat. Even in the rare times the seats were all taken, you just had to wait a short while before some party would leave and open up seats for you. None of the bars or lounges ever felt over crowded. In contrast, Norwegian seems to have filled up all the extra space of the Getaway Mega Ship with upcharge specialty restaurants. The Norwegian Getaway actually has over 20 different dining venues! Many of these are not even open until dinner time which means they are dead space for much of the day. What Norwegian has done is added a lot more passengers, but not added a lot more space for those passengers to hang out except for dinner. Also it seems like they kept their main theater as well as most of the bars and lounges about the same size as on their midsized ships. If you want to see live music in the evening in one of the bars or lounges, you are very likely going to have to stand if you don't arrive early. And, since the bars and lounges are not large enough to handle the additional passengers on the Norwegian Getaway Mega Ship, they feel quite crowded. I love Mega Ships as long as they are designed right. A ship can have 4000, 6000, or even 9000 passengers and not feel crowded as long as the designers take advantage of the extra space on the Mega Ship and give passengers the extra space that is possible on a larger ship. The theaters, bars, lounges, and main dining rooms all have to be bigger on a Mega Ship. The extra space should not be set aside for venues that will only be used for a small portion of the day. This is the mistake that Norwegian made with the Getaway that makes the ship feel overcrowded. If you have cruised on a Norwegian Mega Ship and felt too crowded, don't give up on Mega Ships. Try sailing on one of the Carnival Mega Ships such as the Vista, Horizon, Panorama, or the new Mardi Gras. If after trying one of those ships you still think Mega Ships are too crowded, then Mega Ships are definitely not for you. But I've cruised on the Carnival Horizon and did not think it felt crowded at all other than the initial embarkation and disembarkation. That is understandable as that is the one time that almost 4000 people are all trying to be at the same place at the same time. I will definitely cruise again on Carnival Mega Ships and already have booked cruises in 2019 for both the Carnival Panorama and the new Carnival Mardi Gras. However, I think I will avoid Norwegian Mega Ships in the future except when they might be the only ships going to a cruise destination that I'm seeking. The midsized Norwegian ships are fine, but I just don't think they know how to properly design Mega Ships so that passengers don't feel crowded. Food One thing that Norwegian wins hands down over Carnival is the selection and quality of food. Buffet Norwegian has a huge selection of excellent food in the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. The buffet selection on Carnival cruises is quite a bit more limited and not as delicious as that on Norwegian. The Norwegian buffet has stations that sort of repeat, but not totally. You really have to check the entire buffet to make sure you are not missing anything. One day I found that each of the carving stations were almost identical, but one carving station was serving one kind of meat and the other was serving a different kind of meat! You'll also find that each salad bar station is almost identical, but one might be serving some different items than the other one. It pays to check EVERY serving station at the Norwegian buffet or you might be missing out on something you like. Indian Food My wife and I both love Indian food. Carnival has an Indian food station in their buffet area, but it is only open at lunch time and the selection and taste is mediocre. Carnival also usually features Indian food in the main restaurant as their vegetarian option, but it is always the same and also of mediocre quality. Norwegian has delicious Indian food options in their buffet every day for both lunch and dinner. The food compares to that in some of the best Indian restaurants and is spiced just right! Main Restaurants The Norwegian Getaway has 3 main restaurants. I think this might be true on a number of Norwegian ships. They have the "Taste" and the "Savor" restaurants which are right across from each other with the Mixx Bar in between them. On a different level they have the "Tropicana Room" restaurant. All 3 restaurants have the exact same menu. Norwegian features "Freestyle Dining" which means you can go to any of the main dining rooms for dinner anytime you want to go to eat. Unlike Carnival and most other cruise lines, there is no "Early Seating" or "Late Seating" for dinner. Carnival does have a "Your Time Dining" option that allows you to eat dinner on your own schedule, but you have to book that option in advance of your cruise. "Early Seating" and "Your Time Dining" are the most popular eating time options and they fill up fast. Whenever we have not booked a cruise early we've always ended up with the "Late Seating" option. Thus it is nice that everyone gets "Freestyle Dining" on Norwegian and can eat when they want. The food in the main restaurants was also always excellent. The food in the main restaurants on Carnival is good, but not as good as that on Norwegian. Specialty Restaurants I know I complained about Norwegian devoting too much space to the Specialty Restaurants on the Getaway, but the food in the specialty restaurants that we tried was excellent. We tried the Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant and the Moderno Brazilian Churrascaria Restaurant. The food at both was absolutely excellent! The quantity of food at Moderno was beyond what anyone could consume. Our booking for this cruise included 2 free specialty restaurants for each of us so we only booked the two free meals that came with our package. The size of each of these restaurants was quite large which relates back to my comments about how much of the extra space of this mega ship has been set aside for specialty restaurants which greatly reduces the space available for other venues on the ship. Dinner Shows A couple of the shows that we attended featured a meal with the show. In both cases the food was excellent, as were the shows. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and date. Service was excellent, especially in the restaurants and bars. We had the extra dining package that included dining at specialty restaurants three times. All three that we experienced; ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and date. Service was excellent, especially in the restaurants and bars. We had the extra dining package that included dining at specialty restaurants three times. All three that we experienced; Teppanyaki, Moderno and Le Bistro, were excellent. The regular dining areas, Savor and Taste were also good, if not outstanding. The only entertainment we attended were Syd Norman's Pour House and Howl at the Moon. We enjoyed the entertainers that were there a great deal, but it should be noted that they were disembarking the same day we did. We liked our cabin, especially the bathroom. There was a lot of storage, but we did notice that it was all low and I wondered if it would be difficult for someone who has trouble bending. The balcony is small but adequate. The bathroom and shower was the best we've experienced on any cruise. The Getaway is not one of our favorite ships overall. The main atrium has too much going on and is crowded most of the time. The casino is open to the one atrium, so the cigarette smoke wafts not only through the casino, but the floor above. Ports- We stayed in Copenhagen for one night before and one night after the cruise. Tivoli was wonderful, especially at night. Taxis are readily available to take you to the port and after the cruise. NCL repeatedly states that taxis are in short supply which is absolutely untrue. We took the train into Berlin. It is a minimum of 3 hours into Berlin because of a stop, but a little shorter on the way home. They did provide water, coffee or tea and a cookie on the way there and a beer and wine cart with inexpensive choices on the way back. We agreed that we wouldn't do the train ride again, but did want to experience Berlin. Helsinki was nice. We booked the Hoho through NCL for the convenience and were able to walk off of the ship, board a bus and leave quickly. We also booked the Hoho for Stockholm. I was concerned about this because of previous reviews, but the buses left quickly. It might have been different for people who lingered getting off the ship. They told us we could catch the 3:30 or 4:30 shuttle back. They had buses there before 3:00 and each left as soon as it was filled. We loved Tallinn. I got off the ship at 8AM and walked into the city. Many things didn't open until 10, but for me, it was very enjoyable to walk around the city before the crowds arrived. The drawback for us was that we were there on a Sunday and several things were closed. St Petersburg is really pushed as the jewel of the cruise.NCL still tries to make you think you need to book an excursion through them or obtain a Visa independently. We booked a two day excursion through TJ Travel and recommend it highly. It was the same itinerary as the NCL excursion, but about $100 less. I booked it through email, did not have to pay until the end of the first day and the tickets sent to us acted as our Visas. There was absolutely no problem getting through immigration either day. Our van had only 14 people, while it appeared the NCL excursions were full sized buses. The only drawback to the TJ Travel was they advertise time for shopping, but it is simply in their gift shop, so I felt that was a bit deceptive, although common for excursions. Do note that the 2 day excursions, whether through TJ, Allah, or NCL or very intense. Our group agreed that we were glad to see such a variety, but might have preferred a little less intensity and more time in some of the places. Overall, we would definitely recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Everything was first class, service was impeccable; we upgraded to a spa room and it was definitely worth it, after walking all day in St. Petersburg, Berlin, Talinn and Stpckholm we really needed to relax in the spa. Absolutely loved the ... Read More
Everything was first class, service was impeccable; we upgraded to a spa room and it was definitely worth it, after walking all day in St. Petersburg, Berlin, Talinn and Stpckholm we really needed to relax in the spa. Absolutely loved the "Waterfront" especially the bar outside, so beautiful and relaxing-Sherwyn the bartender made you feel so at home, even remembered your drink before you even sat down. We were so exhausted from the shore excursions, we couldn't really enjoy the shows, but there was plenty of activity if you had the energy. As I said, we have been on many cruises and we have had issues with dining, reservations for activities, but never on this ship-would love to go back on the Getaway just to experience the ship for all the dining, activities, shows, bars, sushi bar, Margaritaville-too much so little time. Embarkation and disembarkation ran so smoothly-they really have everything down to a science! Only thing we were disappointed in was the ship's tour of Helsinki-it was very hard to hear the guide and she was very disorganized. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the first time we have cruised with NCL and probably the last. Whilst I won't say it was a bad cruise it just wasn't on the same level as we have come to expect from other cruise lines. Starting with a hap hazard ... Read More
This was the first time we have cruised with NCL and probably the last. Whilst I won't say it was a bad cruise it just wasn't on the same level as we have come to expect from other cruise lines. Starting with a hap hazard check in process first impressions were not great. We were travelling with my daughter and her friend and were surprised to be told that they could check in with us as they were on a different floor from us. Our check in was relatively quick but it took ages for them to check in my daughter and her friend. The ironic thing is that we did all of the check in processes such as provide credit cards and passport numbers online so I can't see why it should have taken so long. Once on board we decided to have lunch at O'Sheehans Pub before exploring the ship. The food served here is very typical American comfort food which we chalked up to being because this is the all hours dining venue but unfortunately the food in the other restaurants doesn't get much better. We then sat through a farcical safety drill in the same restaurant. They had TV screens all around the restaurant that they could have displayed safety information on but did not use them and instead relied on staff shouting on megaphones. It was really confusing as you had groups in another area across from us trying to conduct their safety briefing at the same time and it was really hard to here what was being said. They then went on to repeat the safety briefing in five different languages and by this time a lot of people started talking during the different briefings in other languages to which the staff responded by yelling at those talking so you could'nt actually here what was being said. Once the safety drill was over my wife and I left my daughter and her friend to explore the ship whilst we did likewise. The ship is huge but NCL pack far too many cabins onto this ship so unlike other large ships I have been on that cater to several thousand guests this ship always feels crowded. The public areas, whilst nice, are nowhere near the same standard as we found on Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class boats which Norwegian Getaway competes. That said there are plenty of things to do throughout the ship including Rock Climbing, 6 Waterslides, a Ropes Course and Mini Golf. Unfortunately the ropes course and waterslides were not open that often and even though my daughter tried many times she didn't get to go on either throughout the 9 days of the cruise. On the last sea day they had closed the big water slide as it was leaking? There were several restaurants throughout the ship but I am not sure why they have so many as pretty well all of the complimentary ones serve exactly the same food. I am sure the American guests, who comprised around 60% of guests, would have found the food fine but for people who enjoy good food we were disappointed in the selection provided on the menus throughout the ship even in the specialty restaurants. The food wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. It was very basic and not much variety. We ate at three of the specialty restaurants and in all honesty would have to rate them as mediocre at best. About the only decent one was the Italian restaurant La Cucina. The food here was quite good but still note what I would classify as fine dining. The outdoor promenade concept was nice touch but unfortunately on a Baltic cruise the weather was not ideal to eat outdoors on a number of nights. The free style dining concept, was also good in principle, but can be a bit tiresome when you have to queue every time to get a table even if you have a booking (which never seem to be available) but the wait times are generally only 15-20 mins.They give you a buzzer so you can wonder off and get a drink whilst you wait. We thought the staff, whilst always friendly, lacked the level of training we have experienced on other cruise lines. A few of them were quite rude. Even in the specialty restaurants where you expect really professional wait staff, sommeliers etc they just seemed to lack the class you get from other cruise lines. We didn't take any of the "free extras" like drinks packages, specialty dining etc when we booked as they are not really free and booked our cabin at the "sail away" rate so had to pay for drinks as we went and found NCL to be really overpriced for drinks on board. It was actually cheaper to buy wine ashore and then pay their exorbitant corkage charge (USD$15 per bottle) than to buy drinks from the bar as they not only charge you $10 per glass but then add on 20% service. (I am sure the staff don't get paid this 20% service charge). Just about everything on the cruise was way overpriced and we were in Scandinavia!! Our room steward, Roberto, was always very friendly and helpful. I was surprised when we didn't get the cute towel animals you find on other cruise lines but apparently NCL don't do these. The entertainment was a bit hit and miss. There were not a lot of shows in the main theatre. "Burn the floor" was really good but "Million Dollar Quartet " was average. I really enjoyed going to the "Pour House" Rock show which they had around 3 or 4 times throughout the cruise. I am perplexed about the "Headliners" club as they did not have a single comedy show on for the duration of the cruise. They also did not have any movie nights on deck even though they had the big screens. maybe it gets a bit too cold on deck but I would have thought they would use them at some stage throughout the cruise. We did not do any of the ships shore excursions as they are a massive ripoff.(eg We did a two day Sy Petersburg all inclusive tour with a small group of 12 people for USD$265 per person through ALLA Tours when the cruise was charging USD$300 per day in a bus packed with 40 others. Interestingly one of the comments made during the "meet the officers" presentation was that the Shore Excursions were the most profitable department on this cruise so I guess there were a lot of suckers who did shell out money for them. In summary I would say this was a good cruise in terms of destinations and lots of on board activities but I don't think I would choose NCL again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We cruised on the Norwegian Getaway in July 2019, embarking from Copenhagen to Warnemuende/Rostock, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm. There were four of us -- me, my husband, my mom (age 86), and my brother. We have cruised ... Read More
We cruised on the Norwegian Getaway in July 2019, embarking from Copenhagen to Warnemuende/Rostock, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm. There were four of us -- me, my husband, my mom (age 86), and my brother. We have cruised several times before but always on Princess Cruises. We chose Norwegian this time because the length of the cruise (9 days) fit our schedule. Overall, I think the cruise was okay but there were a lot of things that could be improved. And, next time I would go back to Princess, mainly because Norwegian seems more focused on families with children. We are in our 50s and don't like to be around loud kids, especially tired kids throwing temper tantrums in the dining room after spending a long day on a boring (to them) shore excursion. Norwegian seems to cater to families, with water sides and children activities, but we don't need that. I'll try to list pros and cons and also discuss the cruise ports, as I typically appreciate finding reviews with a lot of details. We embarked from Copenhagen. I have visited Copenhagen several times before. This time we stayed at the Skt. Annae Hotel, and I can recommend it -- good value for the price. It's a very nice location, close to palaces and restaurants. Copenhagen is a very safe and walkable city. If you are going to be there a few days, I recommend just exploring on your rather than booking a tour through the cruise ship. This time we bought a Red Buses Hop-on Hop-off ticket. I think it was about $35 per person, good for three days, and included a canal boat tour, which we really enjoyed. They even will drop off at the cruise port, but we had a lot of luggage and chose to take a taxi instead. The taxi-van from our hotel to Ocean Quai cruise port cost about 300 Danish kroner, which is around $48. We used Dantaxi with phone number +45 48 48 48 48. The check-in and embarkation process was very quick and efficient. There were crowds and lines but it all moved very fast. Lots of staff were available to direct, help, and answer questions. Once on board, it was about 1.5 hours before we could get into our rooms, so we had lunch in O'Sheenan's, where they have a good burger. I'll skip ahead to debarkation. That was also handled very well. Norwegian offers "Self Assist Debarkation" for people who don't need help with their luggage and haven't scheduled any transfers or tours in the debarkation port. I'll try and include that information in my photo attachments. You just grab your own bags and leave the ship anytime you want, before 9:30 a.m. That's what we did and it was so quick and easy. I was afraid we would have trouble getting an elevator from the 14th deck to the 4th deck, where we debarked, but that wasn't a problem. Within 10 minutes of leaving our stateroom we were out of the ship. The night before I had called Dantaxi from the ship and booked a taxi-van, and they were waiting, holding a card with our name. There were lots of taxis waiting that had been similarly reserved, and some that were free and available to engage. There was a bit of slow traffic getting from the cruise terminal to the city center but it wasn't too bad. I saw that on-ship, Norwegian offered a shuttle from the ship to the city center for $15 or $20 per person (I think) but we decided to just stick with the taxi. - Before the ship left port we had the mandatory safety meeting/practice. This was a joke, so poorly done. People were assigned a meeting place where they were to gather to learn what to do in an emergency. It took about 45 minutes. During that time all we learned was how to correctly put on a life jacket, to leave our bags behind in an emergency, and to not use our electronic devices. We sat in our area for 45 minutes while the loudspeaker repeated the instructions in English, Spanish, French, and German. The loudspeaker kept asking people to please be quite so that everyone could hear the instructions in their own language, but no one respected that. Everyone was talking very loudly and the staff were not doing anything to quiet the guests. I encourage Norwegian to review how they are doing this and come up with a better solution. - Food in the specialty restaurants was excellent. We had a free dining package so tried Ocean Blue, Moderno, Cagneys, and La Cucina. - Food in the main dining rooms (Taste, Savor, and Tropicana) was so-so. Many of the entrees weren't that interesting and some of the deserts weren't that well done. However, compared to Princess, I really liked the layouts of the main dining rooms on Norwegian. They were smaller than on Princess, a little more intimate and quiet. And where Princess always asks and encourages you to share tables with other guests, Norwegian did not do that at all. - I understand that this cruise was geared to families. If that is the case, it's important to provide special areas in the restaurants and dining rooms for those with children. In Cagneys, La Cucina, and two of the other dining venues, we were seated by families with small children that were screaming and crying. It was so unpleasant. If a cruise line is encouraging children to cruise, I wish they would either provide special kids' seating areas in the restaurants or forbid small children in the restaurants. Likewise, parents need to be considerate of other guests and limit their kids to the buffet if they can't behave in the restaurants. And remove them from the area if they start throwing being unruly. - I appreciated that the Garden Café (buffet) had a nice selection of food from around the world. This was very much an international cruise, with guests from around the globe, and it was evident that Norwegian was trying to cater to their customers' tastes. But the buffet was always extremely loud and crowded. - We discovered that Moderno restaurant had a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning, which was a quieter, less crowded place to eat than the Garden Cafe. I recommend it. - We ate twice in O'Sheehans. The food was fine but the incredibly loud noise in that atrium location made for a very unpleasant dining experience. - Noise was a big problem on the ship. The atriums, public areas, swimming and sunbathing decks were all extremely loud. Thankfully, we discovered the H20 adults-only sunbathing area. It was on deck 16 (I think) at the back of the ship, and featured two hot tubs, lots of lounge chairs which were usually open, and a bar. I highly recommend it for grown-ups who don't need to supervise children. - Our room was on deck 14. Right above us, on deck 15, were the pool and lounge chairs. At 3:30-4;30 a.m. every day, a horrible racket would begin above us, waking us every day. We are not sure what it was, possibly staff setting out the lounge chairs, but this was a big problem. - The wireless/internet packages were a joke. The service was so slow that it was nearly impossible to use. And the cost was outrageous for something that barely worked. I encourage you to save your money, disconnect, and enjoy the cruise. - We loved the "Cirque Dreams and Steam" show, even my husband and brother did, and they are somewhat of humbugs. It takes place in "The Illusionarium" theatre and they serve an amazing dinner before hand. It consisted of a tomato salad, filet mignon and shrimp, and an excellent dessert sampler. It was probably my favorite meal on the ship. The show itself featured acrobatics and high-quality circus-type acts, like you would see from Cirque de Soleil. I highly recommend it. It's a very small venue so all the seats are good. The "Banque" seats were basically booths around the back of the theatre, but it's so small they have a great view of the stage. - We also attended Burn the Floor and Million Dollar Quartet, which we enjoyed very much. But get there a half-hour early if you want a good seat. If you wait you will be sitting in the back. You also need reservations if you want to attend. - We enjoyed the library/card room and used it five times. It had six 4-person tables and a selection of card and table games, and seemed to be a very popular place. The ship should make it larger, as the room was full every time we played a game there. Many families would open the door, then leave when they saw the room was full. Unfortunately, the library books were locked in glass cases that were only open two hours in the morning and two in the evening. This was very inconvenient for those wanting to find a book. - Bingo was way over-priced -- $39 for three games. And though the Bingo caller was attempting to be fun, his silliness caused those three games to last more than an hour, which meant that we had to leave before the last game was finished to make our dinner reservation. - We could review our pre-booked activities and our onboard charges, via the TV in our stateroom. That is an excellent feature. You could also make restaurant reservations on the TV, but we didn't do this as we had pre-booked our reservations. - Our balcony stateroom was clean and comfortable. It had a safe, but the safe was not large enough to hold a laptop computer. The mattresses and pillows were comfortable. The beds had very thick down comforters, but since this was July, they were much to hot for the bed. We had to keep the air conditioner running and sleep just in the sheets. Summer-weight comforters or bedspreads would be appreciated. -It costs $9.95 to watch a movie on the TV in the stateroom! And the selection of movies was poor. This is offered for free on Princess. I noticed the ship offered two movies in the theatre, but they were titles I had never heard of. I really missed the "Movies Under the Stars" that they have on Princess, as well as the free movies on the TV. -Between the expensive movies, bingo, internet, and photos, I felt like we were being nickled-and-dimed every time we turned around. It was ridiculous. Let's talk about shore excursions. We pre-booked all our excursions. There weren't that many shore excursion options in each port compared to my past cruises on Princess. Also, not enough specific information was provided online about each shore excursion, which made it difficult to choose. I wish Norwegian would be specific about how long the bus rides are, and the number of stairs that will be climbed or the distances that will be walked. They did give ratings of 1-2-3 related to how strenuous the excursions are, but that was not enough. More details were needed. - Warnemuende/Rostock. We wanted to book the Schwerin Castle tour, but when we tried it was no longer available -- probably filled up. Luckily, I looked online and discovered that there is a rental car lot right across the street from where the cruise ship docks. I pre-booked a car from Hertz and we drove to the castle ourselves, which saved a lot of money. It was 86 Euros for the car and 8.5 Euro/person for admission, compared to $139 per person for the Norwegian shore excursion. We just walked across the street to the car rental lot, got the car, used Google Maps on our phone to drive to Schwerin, which took about an hour on both freeway and quieter roads. So easy -- don't be worried about driving in Germany! There is a parking lot right across the bridge from the castle, and since we arrived early it was mostly empty. (By the time we left the lot was full.) The castle opens at 10, and we were there before it opened, ahead of the cruise ship tours. We were able to wander through a mostly-empty castle. And it was wonderful! It's beautiful inside and out. The gardens are small but lovely. We ate Sunday brunch at the cafe in the castle's Orangery, and it was delicious. An all-together lovely day. - In Tallinn we decided to do our own thing again, so didn't book a shore excursion. (My 86-year-old mom stayed on ship that day.) It was a 1-mile walk from the ship to old-town. A lot of it is up-hill over cobblestones, but if you are in halfway good shape you can do it. We enjoyed wandering through the little streets, looking in shops and churches. We especially enjoyed St. Mary's church, which was different in that it had coats of arms all over the inside. And we also discovered St. Nicholas's Church, which had a museum of Christian art inside. We stopped in the old apothecary that is mentioned in the shore excursions, but didn't think it was that big of a deal. The apothecary is one room where you can read a few things about its history and look at a few things like dried toads and specimens in jars. More interesting to us were the antique stores right next to the apothecary, which had some cool memorabilia from the soviet era. Cautions about Tallinn: Don't do it on your own if you have mobility issues. And be prepared for crowds: There were other cruises in port too, so lots of tour groups on the streets. -St. Petersburg. The harbor has interesting views: a cool new modern skyscraper and a sleek stadium give the place a space-age look. But then you see blocks of ugly soviet-era concrete apartment buildings in need of repair. Supposedly St. Petersburg is a beautiful town, but what we saw on our drives through the town was quite dreary. The tour guide said that almost everyone lives in those awful apartment blocks. Perhaps if we had booked other tours we would have seen the more beautiful parts of the city, but we booked two tours that just drove through town on the way to palaces. Peterhof Gardens and fountains were WONDERFUL! Very lovely, expansive gardens to walk through. Lots of blooms. The tour guide said they are always replanting so that there are continual blooms. And fountains everywhere! We took a bus to the gardens, then rode a hydrofoil boat back. A wonderful day, highly recommended. Again, be prepared for crowds. The second day in St. Petersburg we visited Catherine's palace. Very crowded, and we had to wait in line about 20 minutes to get in. A band played music while we waited. And there was a huge jam of tourists at the coat room, which was a big problem. We could hardly move. Once inside, we quickly moved through the rooms without a lot of time to stop and look. I would have liked more time to look at the artwork on the ceilings and walls. The rooms of the palace were magnificent -- lots of gold on the walls and displays in the rooms such as a dining table set-up. The amber room was nice. It's not that large, but the walls are tiled in amber, almost like a quilt. After we toured the palace we walked past some other pretty buildings on the grounds but didn't go in any of them. Then we stopped at a gift shop where all manner of nesting dolls and other tourist junk was sold. Then back to the ship via bus. Our tour guide, Serge, was great, and on the bus ride back talked a lot about current Russian culture and politics from the perspective of a 30-year-old. I found that super interesting. I would like to get a tourist visa and go back to St. Petersburg so I could really spend time there and see the churches, museums, and cultural things that the city is famous for. The first night we were in St. Petersburg, a group of Russian folkloric dancers and singers gave a free performance on the ship. So no need to sign up for the shore excursion that takes you to that performance! Just get there early if you want a good seat. -Helsinki. We participated in the Suomenlinna Island Fortress tour. We took a ferry between the Helsinki harbor and Suomenlinna. The tour was okay ... not that impressive. We saw a few old buildings but really not very much. Then we went back to the harbor and had about an hour to walk around. The national cathedral was about a block away, so we walked over and looked at that from the outside -- very pretty. Then we went back to the harbor and went through the little market set up there. It was like an American farmer's market or flea market, with people selling produce, or street food, or other goods such as hats, Christmas ornaments, t-shirts, sweaters, etc. I think I enjoyed the market more than the island tour! - Stockholm. In Stockholm we chose the hop-on, hop off bus excursion. The ship docked outside of Stockholm proper, so we took a shuttle bus into Stockholm, and when we arrived they dropped us off and gave us a ticket good for the Red Bus hop-on hop off bus. and boat tour. It was 8:15 when we were dropped off, but the Red Bus didn't start running until 10:00! Luckily Stockholm is very walkable, so we walked about a mile over to the Vasa museum and saw the old Viking ship that was pulled from the harbor. We arrived before the tour groups so the museum wasn't too crowded. The boat was very impressive and well-preserved, and there are other displays there about life on the boat. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to and would recommend it. The museum offers a free English-language tour every half-hour or so. After visiting the museum we walked around to the back side of it where we got on the hop-on boat that was included with our ticket. We cruised around the harbor for a while, then got off by the palace. We considered touring the palace, since it was right there, but instead walked through old town and found a place to have lunch on a terrace. Very nice. Later, we stopped in the Opera House, which is the place where we were to meet our bus back to the ship. We discovered that the opera house had a nice second-floor terrace where we got drinks and waited for the bus. Stockholm was a beautiful city and we would like to go back and explore it more. It turned out that we didn't ride the hop-on hop-off bus at all, but we did enjoy the boat. In every port we visited there were 3-5 other cruise ships, so if you go on this cruise you can expect the ports to be crowded with tour groups. Obviously it's a very popular cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my fifth cruise, first time on Norwegian. The ports of call for this cruise were great. Where I was disappointed was the food. The restaurants were below average for a cruise ship, good but far from great. The buffet was ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise, first time on Norwegian. The ports of call for this cruise were great. Where I was disappointed was the food. The restaurants were below average for a cruise ship, good but far from great. The buffet was disappointing. It was overcrowded at all times. The more popular meals such as the pasta bar always had long lines with poor selection. The bread was stale on several occasions. I talked to several other couples that cruise frequently and they felt the cruise was average as well. The service was good but the staff was just not as friendly as other cruise lines. Nothing bad but nothing great. Same with the shows. There were a couple that were great but the rest were less than average. It felt like the cruise was catering towards kids so they figured they could let down on the food and service. It was just missing that little bit extra. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted to go on a Baltic Cruise because it stopped at destinations that we’ve never visited before. So the ports of call on this cruise perfectly satisfied the cities we desired to visit. The entertainment was great. The food was ... Read More
We wanted to go on a Baltic Cruise because it stopped at destinations that we’ve never visited before. So the ports of call on this cruise perfectly satisfied the cities we desired to visit. The entertainment was great. The food was good. However, there seemed to be a little disorganization at dinner time and reservations. Most people with reservations were getting frustrated. All people, with or without reservations, were lined up in the same queue and there seemed to be a lot of confusion. At the same time, I couldn’t help it feeling bad for the staff as well. Because they tried their best to seat people as quickly as they could but they could only do so much. Sometimes they had to send you to another one of their restaurants because the one that you had reservation at was full! Suggestions: To reduce everyone’s frustration organize two different lines One “with reservation” one “ without reservation”. The seats at “Headliners” were extremely uncomfortable, and we weren’t the only ones complaining about that! There is a easy fix for that. Our overall experience was great and we look forward to our next cruise and we decided to only go on cruises with newer ships like Getaway. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Went on the Getaway to cruise in Northern Europe through the Baltic Sea. This was my wife's first cruise and my first with NCL (I had been on two HAL cruises as a kid). I went into the cruise feeling pretty apprehensive based on the ... Read More
Went on the Getaway to cruise in Northern Europe through the Baltic Sea. This was my wife's first cruise and my first with NCL (I had been on two HAL cruises as a kid). I went into the cruise feeling pretty apprehensive based on the dozens of horribly negative reviews I had read about this ship. Fortunately, I found very little of that negativity to actually manifest itself on my vacation. Some common complaints I had read and my rebuttal based on my experience: "The ship was too crowded.": Yes, the ship had over 4000 passengers along with 1600 crew members. There are a LOT of people on board. However, the ship is gigantic and I found it actually eats up crowds pretty well. The only time I felt overcrowded was at the buffet (more on that later) and occasionally in the atrium. We were always able to find chais lounges or chairs outside by the pool, or up on the sun deck. When it wasn't nice enough to hang out outside, it was very rare to not find an open seat somewhere in a public area. "The internet was too slow.": Uh, who cares. You're on a ship. The internet will be slow due to the nature of it being a cruise ship. I did not worry at all about getting internet on the ship--there is plenty of Wifi to go around at the European port cities. "The food was terrible.": Not in my experience. I thought the food ranged from just above average to excellent (except at the buffet). We ate at a variety of restaurants since we had the dining package and I was impressed with the quality of food. "We had to wait forever to get seated anywhere for a meal.": The key to a successful dining experience on this cruise: MAKE DINING RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE. As in, before you ever go on the ship. Since we made reservations (including at the complimentary restaurants) well in advance, we never waited more than 30 seconds for a table. "The bartenders were inattentive and reluctant to serve.": Not even close. The bartenders were excellent and extremely friendly. "The crew was incompetent and unfriendly.": No way. The crew was exceptional, particularly the waitstaff. Very personable and fun. Those people work incredibly hard and do it with a positive attitude. Nothing but good things to say about the crew. "NCL nickels and dimes you on board constantly.": Actually, I only felt this once--our couple's massage basically turned into a sales pitch for different skin products. Otherwise, this wasn't really an issue. Just be aware that there are some fine print costs that you can take care of in advance to avoid being surprised by them at the end of your trip. I'm mostly referring to the (basically mandatory) gratuity charge & the gratuities for the unlimited beverage package if you have that. Pay these in advance, and no worries while on board. "NCL has a reputation for skipping ports for no good reason!": Fortunately, we made it to every port either on time or early. No problem there! "The entertainment was amateur and boring.": We didn't see a whole lot of entertainment onboard, but I would disagree with this statement. Burn the Floor was not amazing, but it was well done and entertaining. Cirque Dreams was outstanding. They are true professionals who know how to put on a show. My jaw was on the floor. It is a little frustrating that there are at least two pianos on the ship. but I never once saw them being used. Instead, the DJ set up his equipment on top of the piano. "The buffet sucked.": Ok, this one is true. The buffet is very poorly designed and at mealtimes was an absolute zoo. The food is mediocre to poor. Avoid the buffet if you can. Fortunately there are multiple dining options. For lunch, O'Sheehan's bar & grill; and Shanghai's noodle bar are excellent options where we never had to wait for a table. Overall, this was an excellent cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The key is to take the time to plan ahead for dining reservations and different costs/packages. The itinerary was excellent, and we saw so much history in Europe. We are not guided tour people, so no need to buy excursions at every port. Just go explore. Bottom line: don't go into a cruise with a negative attitude. If you're looking for stuff to complain about, you'll find it. Enjoy yourself, that's what a vacation is about! I have no problem recommending NCL or the Getaway to anyone. It was a fabulous trip. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my 4th total cruise, 2nd on Norwegian. I chose this cruise for the itinerary. I loved every minute of this trip! Embarkation- we arrived at the port around 11 am and there were no lines at all. Filled out a health form and ... Read More
This was my 4th total cruise, 2nd on Norwegian. I chose this cruise for the itinerary. I loved every minute of this trip! Embarkation- we arrived at the port around 11 am and there were no lines at all. Filled out a health form and walked right up to a check in person. It took about 5 minutes to get our key cards and were then allowed to walk right on the ship. Plenty of friendly staff members greeting us and helping point the way. We went to O'Sheehan's for lunch and right to the box office for some final reservations. Rooms were all available around 1 and our luggage was delivered probably around 2. Ship- the ship is recently out of dry dock where they replaced much of the flooring, some furniture, remodeled some areas, and generally fixed stuff. Everything was clean, looked new, and was in good working order. I saw staff all over wiping down railings and keeping everything as clean as possible. Public bathrooms were all clean and in good working order. We attended a "How to run a floating hotel" presentation where they gave information and had a question/answer period. One woman gave a suggestion to improve the comfort of seating in the atrium. The suggestion was implemented the very next day! I thought that was pretty impressive. We had great weather so plenty of people were outside enjoying the pools, ropes course, and outdoor lounges/bars. Staff handed out blankets to people who stayed later when it started to get chilly. We even won $100 on slot machines in the casino! The Ice Bar was a fun experience, it is definitely very cold! You get a discount on the admission if you have the beverage package. We had one issue with a credit not appearing on our account, but that was cleared up easily with one quick trip to the On Board Credit desk. Our cabin was an inside cabin. It was compact but was set up well and made good use of space. It felt quiet spacious after the tiny pre-cruise hotel room! Our luggage fit under the bed nicely. There was plenty of space for 2 people who both packed too much to completely unpack. Plenty of space in the bathroom for all our stuff. There were no drawers, which I miss, but everything fit in the closet and on shelves. Our room steward did a great job, it was always clean and tidy. They no longer do the towel animals and I sort of miss them! I am all for saving the environment, and can understand not using the extra towels every day....but maybe 1 or 2 little critters would be nice! Our days were so packed with activities, we spent very little time in the room. The staff in general were very friendly and helpful. They were always smiling and greeted us as we passed by, or stopped to make conversation. Although the ship is big with lots of people, its amazing how quickly you find your way around and start recognizing people you met on excursions or at activities. I was surprised by how often you run into the same people around the ship given it's size. Entertainment- we did have excursions at every port, so that took up a good deal of time. In the entire trip there was only 45 minutes that we didn't see something of interest to do, and honestly we needed the rest! Of the main entertainment I have to say the Cirque Dream and Steam was my favorite, it was absolutely amazing and the dinner was fantastic also. We were seated at a table so close to the stage you could reach out and touch it. I have been to Cirque shows in large venues on land, and although this performance was limited in what they were able to do (smaller room, moving ship) it was way more impressive because you were so close to the action! The costumes were just as amazing as the performances. I was also very impressed with Million Dollar Quartet and the Syd Norman Pour House Band, both shows had talented performers and were high energy. Other entertainment (Burn the Floor, Howl at the Moon, etc.) were also good, but the first 3 I mentioned were amazing and I would definitely recommend to everyone. Reservations are the key on this ship. Both for dining and entertainment. We decided a couple months before the cruise to log on to the website and make reservations for every show we could, and dinner every night. We figured if our plans changed we could cancel or ignore the reservation, but wanted to make them just in case. I am glad we did as much before hand as possible, saving us from having to take up time on board to sort it all out. We also loved the daily activities/presentations. We love trivia and attended as many as possible. Be sure to get an activity card and get it stamped after trivia. You can turn it in for a little prize at the end of the trip. The presentations were interesting and well worth the time. Lester, the assistant cruise director, was super funny and always entertained. There were over 4,000 people on this ship so popular activities (like bingo or the super funny staff movie skits), or places that don't take reservations (Howl at the Mood, Syd Normans) filled up quickly. I would suggest getting to events 20-30 minutes before hand if you want good seats. Get there early and enjoy a drink. If you don't mind hovering, get there whenever you want! We also did Escape the Big Top (escape room type activity). It was fun, free, and worth the time. That was the one thing I could not reserve ahead of time. I think they have 3 sessions throughout the cruise with limited availability. I went right to box office after getting on the ship and had my pick of sessions. Dining- as I mentioned, we had reservations for dinner every night. We mostly ate in the complimentary restaurants with the exception of the meal that came with the Cirque show (which was exceptional!). Of the complimentary venues, Taste and Savor were our favorites. We preferred the quiet, smaller dining rooms. We mostly had no problem getting seated right away with reservations, and absolutely loved the tables by the windows! The only time there was some confusion was after Berlin. Many of the excursions got back right towards the end of dinner and all the venues were a bit overwhelmed with the numbers of people all looking to eat at the same time. That particular day we had to wait about 15 minutes to get our table, but it was understandable. We tried the buffet a couple times for breakfast just because our excursions were so early the dining rooms were not open yet. We preferred to eat breakfast at Taste/Savor when it was open and then later discovered O'Sheehan's was a great breakfast option on those early days. The food at Taste/Savor/Tropicana had sufficient options that I never had difficulty finding something I wanted to eat (I have a super long list of things I don't eat) and never ate the same thing twice. The food was not gourmet, but tasted good, was well prepared, served at the correct temperature, and served with appropriate timing. The desserts were fantastic! The buffet is gigantic. The selection repeats itself, so if one area is crowded you will find the same items if you keep walking. I only went there a couple times for breakfast, and it was busy but not super crowded. I had no problem getting my food or finding a seat. The area is so large it can be difficult to find your companions if you get separated and it definitely is busy and loud. The food was typical breakfast buffet food. Phone App- the app for your phone has all your reservations as well as the schedule of events for the day. You can favorite events and then just see the list of things you were interested in. You can also check your room charges. It worked well and was very convenient for the first half of the trip then stopped working. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise, that app drains your battery very quickly even when just running in the background. It was much easier to keep my phone charged when I stopped using the app. Ports/Excursions- we arrived at all ports on schedule. We booked excursions through NCL. Yes, I know they are more expensive. We booked the "Ultimate Explorer" package that included an excursion at each port 20% off so that helped a bit. I get nervous when traveling in unfamiliar places (which is the whole point of the cruise!) so the convenience and predictability of NCL excursions is typically worth the cost for me so I can be anxiety free. The shore excursion team were all friendly and amusing (Fernando was my favorite!). They were well organized and efficient in moving large groups of people around. They provided good information while waiting to depart the ship. Berlin- the train ride to Berlin is long for sure but it's worth it if you have interest in the history of Berlin. They provided several snacks and water in both directions. We definitely could have stayed for days seeing all the sights, but I enjoyed the highlights and local lunch, and learned quite a bit along the way. Tallinn- this was a surprise for me. I didn't know much about the city before going there and found the medieval old town super interesting! It was like walking in history. St. Petersburg- I expected this to be the highlight and it did not disappoint. It wins for the stop that was most unique and different from my own life experiences. Clearing passport control takes longer the first day. There were lots of agents available and the lines were not terribly long. Each person took a few minutes though as they entered information into the computer. They did not ask any questions, just took your information and stamped your passport. The second day was much faster, they just wanted to see your excursion ticket and check to see your passport had already been stamped and you breezed right through. There were definitely lots of people at each stop so you had to be paying attention to stay with your group. I don't think any of the places we saw were climate controlled, and the Hermitage in particular was pretty warm inside. It just surprised me because it's a museum and those are usually pretty well regulated to preserve the art. Helsinki- if a full excursion wasn't included in the package, I would say a Hop on Hop off bus would be sufficient to see all the sights. There was plenty to see, but I didn't feel like a guide was really needed. Stockholm- absolutely beautiful. Ended up being a favorite stop of the trip. Our guide gave great information about the city and country during the bus trip from the port to the city so I felt it was time well spent. Be careful in the old town, the streets are compact and twist around. It's pretty easy to get turned around in there! Disembarkation- we were planning to stay in Copenhagen so were not in any hurry to get off the ship. We had plenty of time for a last sit down breakfast before leaving. We signed up for a later 9:15 disembark time and our group was cleared to leave by 8:45. The luggage was well organized by color tag on shore. Even though we were a later leaving group there was a long line of taxis available with no wait at all. Copenhagen- we were in Copenhagen a couple days before the cruise. We stayed in Scandic Webers Hotel because it was convenient to Tivoli Garden, the Hop on Hop off bus, and the Central train station. The hotel was clean and convenient but the room and bathroom were super tiny. It was crowded with 2 people and luggage. They had a really nice breakfast buffet included with the room. The 24 hour hop on hop off pass is good for 72 hours so covered our whole pre-cruise exploring needs. The boat trip that can be purchased with the hop on hop off was well worth the added price. There are 2 different companies that operate very similar looking buses so make sure you look careful before jumping on a bus. We used Red Bus (the other I think is called City Sightseeing) and they had a shuttle that dropped us right off at the ship, luggage and all, on embarkation day. We went to Tivoli Gardens in the evening after the HOHO bus ended. They have lockers that can be rented with a credit card at the entrance if you want to ride the rides without worrying about your purse/backpack. Everywhere we went in the city had English menus/signs available and took credit cards. We had no problem communicating with anyone or finding our way around. We even ran into a super nice local gentleman at the changing of the guard who gave us great history and narrative of the event! After the cruise we stayed at Copenhagen Island Hotel. It was a little further away but I did see a hop on hop off stop as we were walking around. We got there super early, maybe 9:30 in the morning. We had booked a standard room and were told the room wasn't ready (we were super early, not their fault), we could leave our luggage and come back later or upgrade to a room that was ready at a very minimal cost (maybe $25). We were tired so went with the upgrade, it had a beautiful view and was a large room and large bathroom! There was a mall with a full grocery store inside right next door. At the airport, if you are looking for the area to check the weight of your bags and shuffle stuff around, it's the floor above where you check in for your flight. Follow the signs for "all gates". I couldn't find it initially, then passed it after I had already checked my bag in with way too many souvenirs! I genuinely enjoyed every minute of this trip. A little pre-planning helped the whole trip go smoothly and we definitely packed our days full! I would love to go again and definitely recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I’m going to try to avoid doing what I normally do and write a ridiculously long and detailed narrative for a trip report. None the less, I do have a tendency to get a little… wordy. My wife and I have only been on one cruise 20 ... Read More
I’m going to try to avoid doing what I normally do and write a ridiculously long and detailed narrative for a trip report. None the less, I do have a tendency to get a little… wordy. My wife and I have only been on one cruise 20 years ago on the NCL Wind and our travel companions were first-timers, and our cruise on the NCL Getaway was fun. We had a great time, but there were things that didn’t quite measure up to the expectations that I formed from comments and reviews on the internet. I’ll do this by category. Service: Top-notch. They apparently recruit from the same pool as Disney, as everyone we encountered was smiling and friendly. The only stumble we saw was at La Cucina, and I’ll get to that under food. Our favorite bartender was Dexter from Granada. We tipped him well and he was a massive positive point for the whole trip. Our steward was Arson, but I can’t remember where he was from as I rarely saw him. He was a ghost that magically made everything right. I swear we’d put the “Make-up Room” light on and come back in ten minutes and it’d be done. I swear the guy had a magic wand or something. He’s the other guy that received an extra tip. Ports of Call: We sailed out of Copenhagen and hit five other cities: Warnemunde Germany, Tallinn Estonia, St. Petersburg Russia, Helsinki Finland, and Stockholm Sweden. Five ports on a nine-day cruise may not sound too bad, but it was EXHAUSTING. Fantastic, beautiful, and inspiring to be sure; but bloody tiring. I averaged about 24,000 steps per day on my counter for those five days plus two and a half days in Copenhagen. If you are mobility-challenged, this isn’t the cruise for you. I will say though that Stockholm was almost not worth the trouble. We only had seven hours or so, and two and a half hours were spend getting to and from the city center because we were ported in Nynashamn. In Russia, we used Anastasia Travel for the two days we were there. We are NOT guided tour people, so we booked the private tour for the four of us. It was OUTSTANDING. I would not hesitate to use them again or suggest them to anyone. Food: Here’s were things took a downturn I’m afraid. I’ve always had the impression that NCL was known for having top-notch food. Sadly, we didn’t feel like that’s the case. The buffet was acceptable but average and ALWAYS packed with people. The main courses in the main dining rooms were very good, but some of the sides and desserts were lacking. O’Sheehan’s was a disappointment. The food was average at best, bordering on just plain bad. The items that I ate there were ok at best but the other three in our group refused to eat there after two attempts. Nachos with squirt-on cheese, flavorless salad dressing, and fatty and unappetizing BBQ wings. I had the standard buffalo style and found then acceptable at best. Cagney’s was great and Teppanyaki was really good and a lot of fun, Moderno’s was good, but La Cucina was average. Our waitress there seemed forgetful and untrained. She was always polite and cheerful, but she forgot very basic things. For example, she spilled water all over the table then forgot to return to clean it up or even bring us a towel. I had to ask for help on that one, and there were more little things like that. I’m sure she’ll improve with time. The food was only average as well. Cirque Steam and Dreams was surprisingly good considering you get no choice at all in what you receive. (Surf n’ Turf.) The show was awesome as well. Shanghai’s was ok but frankly, I don’t see why this place is so popular. The food was slightly better than grocery store Chinese food, and the seating is awkward at best. Maybe it was better at one point. The Ship: The Getaway is a beautiful vessel. Flat out, no argument there. However, the design is a little lacking when it comes to the traffic flow and dealing with crowds. For example, we had 4600 people on board, so hallways were always busy. With this in mind, why would you design a shopping area in one of those hallways? This causes people to stop to look at things and ask questions of the staff member, causing blockages in the hallway. Yes, I know. I get it. This is done intentionally as a sales tactic. However, I suggest that it’s more detrimental than they think. I found it immensely irritating. Entertainment and activities: Oddly enough, we didn’t do that much on the ship. Never did the ropes course, mini-golf, or waterslides. Didn’t use the pool or hot tub either. Most of the time we were either too busy eating, drinking, or just plain resting up from an exhausting day. Also, on the first day we say a bunch of Hindi people in one of the hot tubs and they were gobbing on heavy layers of sunscreen while in the tub and getting it all over the place and in the water; I even saw that the waitstaff found that unacceptable as they were notifying the pool staff. They were then dubbed the Human Soup family and pretty much soured my desire to touch any community water areas. We saw the Million Dollar Quartet and it was great, even my friend who HATES plays and musicals liked it. The guy playing Jerry Lee Lewis was amazing. My wife said Burn the Floor was awesome, I declined to go. We walked into the dueling pianos show while it was in progress and it wasn’t even half full. It wasn’t very good either. They might want to re-think that one. We TRIED to go to the new Syd Norman’s bar for the band, but it was always packed. Even when it was bad karaoke it was packed. Considering that the Raw Bar and Wasabi were almost always empty, and I rarely EVER saw anyone going into or exiting the Ice Bar… They should re-think their use of space. Syd’s could be three times the size it is and still fill up. Final thoughts: All in all, a fun experience and I regret nothing. Having the drink package was great and I know we got our money’s worth. It was a perk, so we just had the service fees. I don’t know if it would have been worth it if we had to buy it outright. I think the drinks were mostly watered down to contain drunkenness though. Typically, I’m a loyal customer. When I choose a company, I like I stick with them. However, if and when we ever cruise again we might be looking at other options that better fit our desires and habits. There were a lot of features of this ship we just didn’t use or care about. We’ll see. If you’re considering this cruise, please keep in mind that this is NOT a cheap cruise. We pre-paid everything and were at ~$8500 before ever leaving the house. (Airfare, hotels, cruise, pre-paid everything…) I don’t know yet how much we spent existing in foreign ports, but I’d be surprised if was less than $1500. Wow, only 2.33 pages. Usually, I’m over 20 pages per week of vacationing… Read Less
Norwegian Getaway Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 N/A

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