Sail Date: September 2019
Never been on a cruise before (myself and wife) and I would NOT enjoy any type of formal dressing up; so, chose this for a beginner. The embark and disembark went well and if you are fearful of sea sickness...the ship is too big to be ... Read More
Never been on a cruise before (myself and wife) and I would NOT enjoy any type of formal dressing up; so, chose this for a beginner. The embark and disembark went well and if you are fearful of sea sickness...the ship is too big to be rocked by a few waves. The GOOD - Large ship with a few entertainment options. Initially I thought it was massive, quickly realized that it was just right. - Cabin was comfy (balcony), the room was made up every day (twice) and all was good. - Food was acceptable, although the chefs from the various restaurants (even the a La Carte) has a VERY similar menu with minor variations. The BAD - Shore Excursions. Book your excursions with OTHER companies as the Prices NCL charge are equal to Robbery! However, be warned, if for whatever reason the ship does not make it to any port (due to weather etc...) you have lost your money. The UGLY 1. The information disseminated was poor; as the ship did not make it to Gothenburg; instead made it back to initial port (Copenhagen). NCL put on free transport to the city centre HOWEVER announced NOTHING. 2. As I was not pleased, I went to Customer Services (CS) queued for 20 min and asked for a gesture of good will from the ship (like additional credit etc..) the response someone will be in touch... I am still waiting... 3. I had credit due so I went to Customer Services (queued for 20 min) and asked if it was possible to get the dollars due put back into the account; the response certainly sir. So, I went away. The next day message on the cabin phone to report to Customer Services; again (queued for 20 min) went to CS discussed the refund and was given the same response that it will be paid to my account. The following day cruise over went to leave got pulled to the side and was given a wad of cash... I explained to no avail... Final Assessment To me it appears that when staff do not have an answer to either a complaint or an issue the resort to saying that someone will be in touch... do notice that when they resort to this they immediately avoid eye contact... I am not alone in this assessment; I believe that NCL staff are trained to deal with things in this way as you have no way of getting anywhere. I noticed this more than once with others on the cruise as well. I won't say that I will NEVER cruise with NCL again however be VERY wary as they have your money and they REALLY DO NOT CARE!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We were a group of 10 people (8 adults and 2 children) celebrating my parent's 50 Anniversary and thought the cruise would be the perfect holiday for everyone to bond and spend quality time. We live in Dubai hence we approached ... Read More
We were a group of 10 people (8 adults and 2 children) celebrating my parent's 50 Anniversary and thought the cruise would be the perfect holiday for everyone to bond and spend quality time. We live in Dubai hence we approached Imagine Cruising (The authorised agent for the UAE) for our bookings. We finalized 3 Balcony rooms next to each other and were pretty excited about the arrangements. We paid approx USD 6300 for a family of four for the 9 day full board cruise. On embarking we realised that there were people who had booked directly from NCL who got great deals on beverages, alcohol, speciality restaurants which we were never made aware of by imagine cruising. One of the things that really irritated us was the fact that on arrival the cabin had two bottles of water - One still and one sparkling. Being travelers and been to our share of hotels, usually bottles kept out meant complimentary, however we were told later that sparkling bottle costed USD 6 odd and since the bottle was big and didn't fit in the mini bar it was kept out. When we argued with the guest services that there was no mention of the charges, their reply was "well, it doesn't say that it is free either" WOW!! That's when the distrust started with the cruiseliner...Imagine straight off in the first 15 mins of people embarking the cruiseliner makes approx USD 9 per cabin for the water consumed by unassuming people. Around the fifth day we became aware of a charge called gratuity fee which is USD 15 per person per day. For a family of 4 it came to USD 540 which was never communicated by Imagine cruising to us. We started freaking out coz we had budgets for our trip and this was serious curveball. We are happy to pay gratuity if we are told about these expenses and we raised it with the guest services. It took them 2 days to reverse the fees and we were stressed for 2 days as 3 families were going to get hit with approx USD 1300. We were charged for mini bar consumption which we debated and was reversed. People go on holidays to forget stress but we had it in abundance on this cruise. Everyday we didn't know if we would get a seat at any of the complimentary restaurants, wait time was 40 mins. Garden Cafe Buffet is where we ate our Breakfast/lunch and dinner for about 5 days. O'sheehan's would have a special for the day which would be served till 9pm only and then regular food would be served again with no change in the menu. We didn't understand the concept of having 3 complimentary restaurants with the same menu for 9 days! You basically are finding ways to push people to go for the speciality restaurants out of sheer boredom! A lot of the arcade games across the ship were money making machines, people playing were getting frustrated losing their money. Being travelers we understand that you are docking at lesser known countries like Poland, Estonia to increase their tourism and generating revenue but Poland as a port can be missed entirely as the scenic tour wasn't great. Estonia was a pleasant surprise and St Petersburg was bustling. For some reason when docking at St. Petersburg all gambling activities on the ship ceased leaving us very little to do in the evening time. Good things on the cruise was the food across the restaurants we ate in. The service was good and staff was friendly and helpful. Very good layout of the ship allowed people of different age groups to do their own thing. All in all we could have had a much better and relaxed experience had all the money related problems not been there. I don't think we will sail with NCL again as I don't trust them to be transparent in their dealings, charges and overall approach to customer service. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Although we had cruised with NCL in the Baltics before, we were excited to try out the new Getaway, and were also looking forward to experiencing the new kosher dining which is being touted (at least in Israel) on its splash page. Please ... Read More
Although we had cruised with NCL in the Baltics before, we were excited to try out the new Getaway, and were also looking forward to experiencing the new kosher dining which is being touted (at least in Israel) on its splash page. Please note that we had taken a kosher cruise the previous time, meaning that we had our own dining room with a kosher chef. We have also cruised previously without a kosher program, and were aware of the challenges of having warmed-up frozen items. We typically take precautions, bringing our own pots and some essentials (cheese, meat, challah) just in case there are issues. We had a beautiful suite in the Haven, and ate all of our meals in the Haven dining room We were severely disappointed to discover that when we boarded, the luggage carrying the food-related items was confiscated, and they threw away all of the food and the pots. Note that while they were supposed to return them to us at the end of the cruise, one of them was actually lost, and we had to be reimbursed. The real challenge was that the kosher options that were initially offered to us on our first day quickly began to run out. By the end of the cruise, there were no burgers left (tough when you have two young children who live off them), chicken fingers had run out, and worst of all, the challah that is promised in the FAQ page in NCL ran out on the first day, so we had no challah for Shabbat, ours having been thrown away. The catering staff kept promising that new food would be loaded on in subsequent ports, but having been in this situation before, I explained to them that they were incorrect, as in my experience (see below) there is no kosher food loaded once the boat has come from N. America. We also had several dishes served to us that proved to be moldy or had clearly gone "off". While I love NCL (this was our 6th cruise with them), the handling of the kosher food was simply deplorable. I would caution anyone kosher cruising with them outside of N. America to ensure that you aren't the last cruise of the season, or you are likely to be very disappointed or very hungry. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This cruise had good itinerary and dates were convenient for us. Embarkation was fast because we're platinum members. We also booked a transfer to the airport so disembarkation was good too. However in my opinion NCL still has a lot ... Read More
This cruise had good itinerary and dates were convenient for us. Embarkation was fast because we're platinum members. We also booked a transfer to the airport so disembarkation was good too. However in my opinion NCL still has a lot to learn how operate ships of this size - 4000 people. Coming back from the shore was always a challenge, in Gdansk it was a disaster with hundreds passengers coming back to the ship and only one gangway open. The room cleaning service was good. Entertainment was ok, nothing special. We didn't travel with children so we didn't use any child care. We booked shore excursions to Schwerin castle and to Gdansk. Both tours were good. In Saint Petersburg the Norwegian was trying to scare people to buy their tours and this was unseemly. For the complementary dining we were hugely disappointed with Garden Buffett. The selection was extremely limited. The food was tasteless and cold (except for soups and drinks). Tables weren't cleaned on the timely fashion. Dirty dishes kept piling up and sometimes it took up to 20 minutes for the staff to take them away. We took 15 cruises but this was the worst buffet service by far. Main dining rooms were ok, not that there were many choices for the complementary dining. Our package included four a la card restaurant. They were ok. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We traveled as a family of four in August 2019, setting sail from Copenhagen with stops in Warnemunde, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, and Stockholm. My son is 13 and my daughter is 10. We chose the Getaway because we wanted the ... Read More
We traveled as a family of four in August 2019, setting sail from Copenhagen with stops in Warnemunde, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, and Stockholm. My son is 13 and my daughter is 10. We chose the Getaway because we wanted the amenities of a large ship with lots to do for families, thinking that we might even leave the kids on the ship for some of the smaller ports. Overall, we loved the vacation and thought the ship met our needs pretty well. There were a few things I wish were better: - The food was absolutely dismal. I've been on a Norwegian ship before so I knew not to expect a gourmet experience, but the buffet actually smelled so bad I could hardly stand to be in the room with it, and the taste was just poor. I was desperate for fresh fruit and veg by the end of the week. The main restaurants were also spotty, although we did have decent sushi at the sushi place and the seafood restaurant was pretty good. - The ship was PACKED at all times, and it was quite hard to find a quiet spot. I expected this, but it really does hit you what it's like to be on a boat with thousands of other people. It really came to a head with the insane debarkation process for St. Petersburg, where they tried to assign people to groups and it generally became an angry free-for-all. - The activities were kind of lame. I think the shows and stuff appeal to my mom's age, but there's nothing really there for adults in their 30s and 40s. We were all bored for the sea days. My kids did like things like the ropes course and the mini golf, but you can really only do that so many times before it gets old. - My 10-year-old really liked Splash Academy, but my 13-year-old went to Entourage once, proclaimed it 'lame' and never went back. I don't blame NCL entirely, it's a tough age group to please. - Half the treadmills in the gym were broken. I think I would use this ship again, but I'd definitely upgrade to the Haven for a more premium experience. If I had to eat breakfast on this ship one more time, I think I would have puked. 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
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
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
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
Sail Date: July 2019
Chosen by another family who was trying to please everyone. It didn't have the entertainment or on-board activities I would have expected. Overall the ship was more for younger couples or families with children than for seniors. ... Read More
Chosen by another family who was trying to please everyone. It didn't have the entertainment or on-board activities I would have expected. Overall the ship was more for younger couples or families with children than for seniors. Ship was very loud and crowded. Long narrow hallway to room was always blocked with cleaning carts and equipment. Few shows that had to be reserved went very quickly, and they let people in after show had started, interrupting those seated near the back. Specialty dining was overall a good experience though we could not get our first choice in restaurants. Buffet had good food selection, but it was crowded and difficult finding indoor table at times. Teenagers joined the teen club but never went there. They didn't use the pool, water slide or other amenities on top deck. Not sure what they did except go to fitness gym and out for late night ice cream and snacks. Glad I go to visit a few cities. Only saw Copenhagen from the bus as we missed our flight connection and were last ones into airport and on last bus. Definitely would have liked them to have booked us earlier, even a day or so on advance with time for excursions. St. Petersburg can't be seen in a day although we went on city and waterway tours, inside of cathedral. Tallin was interesting old city but guide let her opinion be known about our president. Helsinki was delightful modern city. Stockholm was my favorite, a beautiful old city and good waterway/city tour guide. Only wish I could have scheduled Vasa, but excursion family wanted was sold out. What can I say about Visby? I so wanted to see that town and family loved it. All excursions required a lot of walking and there was no easy way to get to town without fighting other passengers for a cab ride. I decided there was not way I could physically walk the 1/2 mile or so to the edge of the lovely buildings. Overall, this trip was stressful, and I and happy to be home. Would have to think some more whether I would have gone knowing how it all unfolded. Definitely more time in Copenhagen and better flight arrangements. Even with what seemed like excess time coming home, we almost missed flight connections in Chicago and were last ones on plane. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Just returned from a 9 day Baltic cruise. First time on such a large ship. Lots of people everywhere always crowds. Trouble with internet went for help waited 1 hour and half for help. Only one person working and just a few hours a day. ... Read More
Just returned from a 9 day Baltic cruise. First time on such a large ship. Lots of people everywhere always crowds. Trouble with internet went for help waited 1 hour and half for help. Only one person working and just a few hours a day. Very frustrating. Guests services long lines, excursions longer lines. Very few port talks. One on Russian Heritage held at a very small bar area. Probably 20 seats, no standing room left, very disappoint8ng since it was only held once and not any other informative talks held. Norwegian has turned into a floating sales pitch. Talks were almost exclusively on product sales. Buffet was a mad house, quickly learned to stay away. Restaurants all required some wait time. LeRned to eat when they opened to avoid long wait times. The theater was small in comparison to passenger population. No balcony, one floor. Almost impossible to find seat unless again you went early and waited. The strangest room was the now combo library game room. This is a very small room with a few tables scattered around very close together with books along side walks. Room so small no way to look at books without interrupting game players. A fellow traveler said they took library made it into the photo shop. Another sales point, little care for guests needs. Food was good always served well. Crew were always cordial and friendly. Ports were amazing. Main issue sheer number of people and sales pitches. Will stick with smaller ships and other lines. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My cousin's wife picked the tour because of the itinerary. We have traveled Norwegian many, many times and always had a good experience. We are senior citizens and felt that due to the size of the ship we missed a lot of things. VERY ... Read More
My cousin's wife picked the tour because of the itinerary. We have traveled Norwegian many, many times and always had a good experience. We are senior citizens and felt that due to the size of the ship we missed a lot of things. VERY long lines, reservations for entertainment venues, LONG tracks up and down the docks to load. These were things we should have expected due to the huge size of this boat. Dining with all of the choices was very, very nice and we enjoyed all of the food that we were served. Our excursions were booked with Cruise Critic folks and we REALLY did like meeting the folks on these trips. The entertainment that we were able to see was generally good. We felt much lack of dancing venues and any subdued piano, etc. was very, very hard to find. The lines at customer service, excursions and anything else you really needed tended to run into half hour/hour waits and that was just not good. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This particular cruise checked all of the boxes for length, dates, ports and price. Having cruised over twenty times on Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean, I feel I have a pretty good frame of reference when it comes to ... Read More
This particular cruise checked all of the boxes for length, dates, ports and price. Having cruised over twenty times on Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean, I feel I have a pretty good frame of reference when it comes to making comparisons and following historical trends. That being said, I'll break my review down by topic so readers can skip what they like. EMBARKATION: We arrived in Copenhagen early in the a.m. on cruise day. We handed our luggage off to VALIZO after customs so we could explore the city without the burden of suitcases. They were happily waiting for us to arrive and provided outstanding, to-our-stateroom-door, service for a very reasonable price. We purchased a 24-hour pass for the Copenhagen public transport system (good for bus, metro, and train) and hopped on the Metro to the city center for a fun morning of shopping and exploring. After doing some homework, we learned we could catch bus 25 or 27 from Osterport Station directly to the Oceankaj cruise terminal. The bus stop was absolutely slammed with people. Bus after bus came and went - the driver shaking his head that he was full - and more and more people arrived with hopes of a ride. Even though a courteous line had formed early on, new arrivals just went to the front of the line and stood there like they'd been there all along. Many more buses came and went and none of us got on. After about an hour, we decided to grab a taxi for about $22. The cruise terminal was very poorly organized. There were groups of passengers walking every which way and clogging up whatever traffic flow existed. We finally made it to the check in counter. The family of four at the neighboring agent's station all stood across the whole counter with their elbows on it (only one person is actually required to do the check in), so we had to shout over the top of them to our agent and pass paperwork over their heads. This sort of behavior would set the tone for most of the cruise, so I won't dwell on the manners of fellow passengers. Just be prepared that courtesy is not the norm. Finally walked onto the ship. Not a greeter in sight! For each and every past cruise we have been met with a kind, "Welcome aboard!" greeting and a glass of champagne. For this cruise the gangway entrance was lined with little clumps of very grimy balloons. Woo-hoo!! Staterooms weren't quite ready, so we ordered a glass of wine and explored the ship. There were two or three dining area available, but they were full of passengers sitting at the [dining] tables and waiting for their rooms so we didn't have an opportunity to sit and eat. DECOR The ship public areas were clean and well staffed. The overall décor on the ship is rather subdued. Nothing spectacular or opulent. The dining rooms are small and cramped. The theater looked like a second rate high school auditorium, with acoustic ceiling tiles lined in LED light tubes to make squares. The atrium bar, the hub for the daily activities/games/etc. is just a giant, poor resolution, video screen with a good many spelling errors in its announcements. STATEROOM We had a Spa Balcony in a nice forward location. The room was clean and our room steward, Kepler, was efficient and very friendly. The balcony is smaller than we are used to having in the same category room and the guy in the room next door would just sit outside and sing very loudly a great deal of the time. Storage could have been better. The drawers are next to the carpeted floor and do not slide open and closed very easily. Even with the key card in the slot, the A/C never really got cool and it shuts off after a short while and you have to re-press the snowflake button. Water pressure in the shower just sucked. At full force and with the head at its most open angle, the water would fall down next to the controls. Hugging the pipes was the only way to get a shower. We only got a towel animal after asking for one on the last night. No more chocolates on your pillow, folks. SPA We were psyched to have complimentary access to the Thermal Spa with our stateroom category. The spa is full of great amenities: Hot and Cold Ceramic loungers, a sauna, a steamroom, showers, padded deck chairs, etc. We went several times, but there was no "relaxation" in the equation. Each time, despite the numerous wall signs that say "QUIET AREA", there were passengers that were having loud conversations (trying to talk over the jets) and kids running and shouting. We passed several other passengers in the access hallway who were leaving because of the noise. Complaining to the staff was of no avail. Prices for treatments were quite high. Kepler came to us on day four with a cool coupon for $50 off of a treatment for port days, so we went right to the spa and tried to book something. There were zero available treatments for the remainder of the cruise. So much for the cool coupon. DINING The buffet gets a F- from me. Poor selection, cold and stale food, horrible organization and traffic patterns. Not enough seating for the size of the ship. I've been to a myriad of cruise ship buffets and this one is the singular worst. We ate in two of the complimentary dining rooms: Tropicana and Savor. Both were just "meh". Service was slow and food was never hot. Menus lack any imagination. We did enjoy our specialty dining experience. Ocean Blue was top-notch in every way. Le Bistro had a great menu and fabulous servers. Moderno has a unique dining experience with traveling servers with meat skewers - you get a red/green card to place on the table and they don't stop serving you until you flip it to red. Everything was delicious. Cagney's was just okay. We were seated in the direct sunlight (even with blinds down) so we could not actually see each other. Lobster bisque tasted burnt. All that being said, the "specialty dining" quality is what used to be complimentary on cruises for those who chose the main dining room. It is the sad truth that the cruising experience is all about the upcharges for the cruise company. A note to anyone from NCL who might be listening: Put a sign up indicating the line for those "WITH RESERVATIONS". Each restaurant hostess seemed to be clueless as to what to do with people. They barked out orders to "just get in line", so if you had a reservation, you still had to wait for those without them to be seated ahead of you. HUH??? DRINK PACKAGE We got the Ultimate Drink Package as one of our complimentary amenities. A word of caution, it is not a "free" perk. You have to pay a pretty large gratuity up front to even get the package (same with the Dining Package - 20%?). After the fact, we did the math to figure we really did not get anything for free. We are moderate drinkers, so 2-3 drinks per day each. You are limited to any drink under $15. Anything above you have to pay the difference. There were very few glasses of wine that fell within that free range. There were many familiar selections that cost $14 per glass that I could buy the whole bottle at home for $7.99. I'm not arguing that servers should not get a gratuity. I do question whether they actually receive what I pay up front. I'd rather tip in person for good service. PORTS OF CALL All of the ports were great and leaving the ship was well organized. We did Berlin By Train and Leisure Time. Lots and lots of walking and (as noted in the tour description) the train is NOT air conditioned. Unfortunately, our train broke down. It was 98 degrees F in Germany. We sat for a LONG time in the heat (not allowed to leave the train for safety reasons) and waited for another engine to come and push us into a station and then waited some more for another to tow us to Berlin. The NCL team did extend our time approximately 2 1/2 hours so that we would get the full tour and all of our free time. That meant the ship had to wait for us to get back. When we returned, we were greeted by a line of officers apologizing for the trouble (where were they on Embarkation Day??). I was absolutely SHOCKED when all 600+ of us were then allowed to re-board the ship WITHOUT going through ANY security scanners or having our packages inspected. I'm sure this was done in the sake of expedience, but I really didn't appreciate the captain and crew potentially sacrificing the safety of its passengers for something that saved 30 minutes time. Luckily, nothing happened as a result. Had something terrible occurred because of a passenger bringing something back they should not have, it would have been through sheer negligence. Best of St. Petersburg and Leisure Time was great. We took it because we were bamboozled by the cruise line that you have to use their excursions to get off the ship in Russia. I should have done more research, because we paid too much through NCL and got less than through private operators. We planned to stay on the ship for Day #2 of Russia because the time of departure was changed from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. I'm sure that messed up some folks who made Day #2 private excursion plans. We did Best of Gdansk in Poland (great tour), Stockholm On Your Own (basically a bus ticket from the port to town - 45 min. away), and HOHO bus in Helsinki. A note of warning about the Shore Excursions credits. I learned from previous experience that you have to book them in advance via TELEPHONE, and not using the online reservation system, in order to receive your Latitudes discount and $50 per port credit. I did that for all of my excursions way in advance and the Norwegian rep on the phone quoted me the total price, including Latitudes discount and port credit. However, when I got on board and had participated in two excursions already, I noticed on my account that I had received the $50 credit but not the Latitudes discount. When I went to the SE desk, I was told you have to SHOW your room card to the SE desk to receive the Latitudes discount. I have never had to do that before, as my Latitude status was always built into my account. Anyhoo….I did what they said and they then applied the discount. So, make sure you check yours. I found it all to be weird. I wonder how many people let that slip by their notice? Hmmmmm….. ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT The bars were fun and always full of people. I was excited for the Ice Bar, but we didn't go when we found out it was another pricey upcharge. Burn The Floor was amateurish and boring. Million Dollar Quartet was definitely a highlight. The four guys were oozing talent and the narration was well acted. Could have lived without the chick singing Priscilla's role, tho. LOL Passengers were always actively engaged in the game shows, bingo, trivia, etc. that took place in the Atrium. It's always loud there, which amps up the fun-factor but degrades the experience of those trying to have a conversation at Guest Services or eat a nice meal at Le Bistro outdoors. On a positive note, I won quite a bit at slots in the Casino!! I always test out the machines on cruise ships to find that one machine that's a little loose with the payout. No one anywhere around me was winning squat. ONE BIG NEGATIVE What's with the VIBE beach club taking up the ENTIRE forward part of the ship??? This isn't a beach cruise and it's not really even an outdoorsy cruise (weather most evenings was chilly). The VIBE tix were $200 per person. If you didn't purchase, you couldn't even stand on an open deck forward to enjoy the sea. C'mon!!! OTHER Due to a mild medical emergency, I had to use the ship's medical facility. A brief consult with the doc, a blood test, a tube of OTC Cortisol cream, a pack of OTC Allegra = $925. No insurance is accepted. You have to pay up front and then submit with your own insurance. DISEMBARKATION We had an NCL transfer to the airport. Lots of pushing and shoving by passengers stressed about making flights, but otherwise fine. IN SUMMARY We had a good time DESPITE the failures of NCL and the general demeanor of our fellow passengers. Cruising has become another Walt Disney World where you pay for a ticket to get in and then pay a lot more to get a true quality experience. Many of the "little things" that used to be included are a thing of the past. (Remember the waiters dancing and singing, the midnight buffet, the "grand" buffet with all of the carvings, towel animals, flaming Cherries Jubilee??.....SIGH) All of the nickel-and-diming truly degrades the experience. NCL used to be our favorite. Going to jump ship over to Celebrity for the next one. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First, sorry for such a long review.... This was our first NCL cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We have sailed quite a bit previously on Carnival, Celebrity and Princess. The ports we visited were excellent. ... Read More
First, sorry for such a long review.... This was our first NCL cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We have sailed quite a bit previously on Carnival, Celebrity and Princess. The ports we visited were excellent. Warnemünde/Rostock, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. As with most cruises, there were good, bad, average, exceptional throughout the 9 days. The ship sailed near or at capacity, 4000+, and for the most part it always felt crowded and lines everywhere, with the exception of a few times at dinner around 7-7:30pm in Savor, Taste and Tropicana. We were new to making reservations for nearly everything in advance but were tipped off and did so several weeks prior to departing. Unfortunately twice we arrived at specialty dinners only to be told we had no reservations and they were completely sold out nothing could be done about it. Following a rather brief and somewhat rude conversation the first time, I returned minutes later with confirmation of our reservation on my iPad. Miraculously a table appeared and all was suddenly good and we’re sorry for the computer error. The first was at Teppanyaki (very rude), the second was at Cirque Dreams where they were very accommodating and apologetic. The final bad experience was at our excursion. Our tickets said to meet at 7:15pm for an evening show in St Petersburg. We exited the ship and arrived at the busses. No signs or direction for which bus and the only workers were sitting and chatting with each other. We finally found our bus after getting help from a security guard. We started to check in and a woman from either NCL or the bus company not sure which began to berate us and threatened the bus was just about to depart without us. I checked my watch and we were right on time, but decided not to engage her and just get on the bus, which by the way did not depart for another 10 min or so. We try not to let a couple of bad individuals be the face of an entire company. So much for the bad. We did enjoy the anytime very casual dining format. The many dining choices, and most of the time the food was very good. We loved Moderno and Cirque Dreams and Steam was not to be missed. Be sure to book floor seats and sit close to the stage. Burn the floor was a mixed review, my wife loved it, I thought it was just ok. Nearly every worker who came into contact with us were excellent and friendly. We had a balcony room on deck 11. It was rather small compared to other cruise lines but otherwise sufficient. We met our cabin steward the first day and only saw him once or twice more passing in the hallway. He did a good job with our cabin each day. We did have a coffee maker in the cabin with a selection of coffees and tea’s. We didn’t like having to make so many reservations in advance to be sure we didn’t miss out on things or dining times. Be sure to keep your confirmations in case there are any problems. Their internet plans are pretty expensive and only work for one device at a time. Meaning two people cannot be online at the same time. Reaching a live person at customer service prior to the cruise at times was frustrating with waits up to 30 min at times. At the end of the day, none of the bad things were enough to ruin our cruise only minor nuisances. The ship was clean, and modern. Embarkation was pretty easy and not too long, maybe 30 min. Disembarkation was pretty orderly and went as they stated. Port embark and disembark was good except for day one in St Petersburg which had some long lines. Day two was very quick since they had all of your info already. In trying to be fair, we are going to give NCL’s shortcomings a pass try them again in the future. Not judging an entire fleet and company based on one ship and one experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Picked this cruise for the ports. Embarkation was a disaster, long lines and staff that was not trained which made the process even longer. Traveled with a family group of eleven that spanned three generations. The ship was fun, ... Read More
Picked this cruise for the ports. Embarkation was a disaster, long lines and staff that was not trained which made the process even longer. Traveled with a family group of eleven that spanned three generations. The ship was fun, clean and lots to do for all ages. Entertainment was good for everyone. One drawback was only two pools and four hot tubs. The pools were ok, but if this ship is in a warm weather destination, not enough pools. Guessing the hot tubs were full as the weather is cool. We went to three shows which were very good, similar to what you would get in Vegas. Bar service was good, but the food service. Food in the buffets was poor to average, humongous crowds and generally cool to cold by the time you ate. Food in the specialty restaurants was unbelievably slow, often cool to cold and lacked any quality. I would say Olive Garden and a cheap steak house were much better than the "specialty" dining options on board. If you dine in the specialty restaurants, plan on at least two hours and bring your own drinks as they are very slow and often wrong. Ship was clean, room was fine. They did a good job getting you off and on at the ports although communication was very poor, you had to seek out the information. The people at guest services were generally not helpful, nor interested in providing meaningful service. I had intended on putting money down on a future cruise, but the food and service changed my mind. I'll shop around for another cruise line for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We booked a Haven room on the Norwegian Getaway for our Baltic Sea trip. The Haven is the luxury level on some Norwegian ships. Our room was a Family Villa - two bedrooms, which was perfect for my wife and I and our adult daughter. ... Read More
We booked a Haven room on the Norwegian Getaway for our Baltic Sea trip. The Haven is the luxury level on some Norwegian ships. Our room was a Family Villa - two bedrooms, which was perfect for my wife and I and our adult daughter. First the good: beautiful room, lots of storage, very attractive. The Haven has a restricted access pool and sun area, as well as its own dining room and concierge services. The servers and bartenders are very good in the Haven. I think the best get promoted here. The ship made all stops on time and the entertainment on board was decent, though always extremely crowded. If you are in to casino play, there is a huge casino on board, well-used. The bad: We should have figured out that family villas would mean lots of kids. We thought that sailing during the school year and the extra cost of the Haven would restrict the number of young kids. We were wrong! Crying children, tantrums, running around the dining room spoiled pretty well every meal in the Haven dining room. This dining room is undersized for the 320 people in the Haven area, and the dining room is consequently crowded. You can almost always count on waiting for a table, and the noise level was always so high that meals there were uncomfortable. We compensated by eating elsewhere most of the time. The concierge staff in the Haven were generally unhelpful unless the service you were requested brought in more money to the company. Probably the worst concierge staff we have experienced in our dozen or so cruises. They were very good at saying no. The ship itself has about 4000 cruisers and a lack of facilities for this many. All entertainment venues were overcrowded and we had to always arrive 20 minutes of so early to get a seat, except in the large theatre, which has sufficient seating, but is quite unattractive. The venue we missed most on this boat is a nice, quiet piano bar where we could dance to pleasant piano songs. In summary: The Haven rooms and facilities are quite outstanding, except for the dining room. The servers, bar staff and room stewards are outstanding, though we were disappointed with the concierge staff and the butler was OK, but not great. The specialty restaurants are decent but not great. The ship's venues are crowded and loud. We will probably not return to the Haven on Norwegian. We were the wrong people for this ship. We'll return to the luxury lines we have enjoyed in the past. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Dining was the biggest disappointment. Garden Café Buffet was disorganized and poorly laid out, food was cold and tasteless. Dessert selection small and flavorless. Moderno breakfast buffet had a nice selection but ice cold. Taste, Savor ... Read More
Dining was the biggest disappointment. Garden Café Buffet was disorganized and poorly laid out, food was cold and tasteless. Dessert selection small and flavorless. Moderno breakfast buffet had a nice selection but ice cold. Taste, Savor and Tropicana all have the same menu and nothing to write home about. Service was slow with a few exceptions (Zimik our Tropicana waitress was most excellent). Food here too was subpar compared to other cruise ships. We let the Asst. Maître D Isaac Dobson know our feeling one evening and gave him our room number but no effort was made to follow up. We spoke with a few other passengers who agreed the complimentary offering weren't great but said the specialty restaurants were pretty good. O'Shenigans was okay with good service. Bar service and drinks were outstanding (Vinnie and Darwin at the Sunset Bar were most excellent). Casino smoke was a little annoying. Theater shows are not every night. However, the Million Dollar Quartet and Burn the Floor were both worthwhile. There is no movie theater. State room was average size, nice big bathroom but the balcony was tiny (Rm 8748). Some noise from the theater until 11pm. Embarkation was pretty slow but it is a big ship. Disembarkation was smooth, taxi wait not awful. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Full disclosure-this is about number 40 cruise for us over about 30 years of cruising. First, let me tell you all of the GOOD things about the cruise. 1. The food was universally very good. We have cruised on some of the best (and ... Read More
Full disclosure-this is about number 40 cruise for us over about 30 years of cruising. First, let me tell you all of the GOOD things about the cruise. 1. The food was universally very good. We have cruised on some of the best (and worst) and overall the food on the NCL Getaway is very good and in some restaurants just excellent. The best restaurant on-board hands down is Le Bistro. Cagney's is a close second. La Cucino's is just ok. Pretty boring and just ok Italian. The best (no additional charge place) on the ship is O'Sheehan's. It is fun, great service, great food and always open. It is a great alternative for breakfast. The staff is universally good. Dining rooms: Savour is the best. Taste is the worst--poor management and nasty front staff ruin the dining room experience at Taste. The Tropicana is also good and fun with live music. The buffet was just a mess for us. We had a very large tour group from Asia on-board that dominated the buffet whenever it was open. After a couple of attempts we just gave up on getting close to the food or having a place to sit. As mentioned O'Sheehan's was a great alternative. 2. The ship was just overhauled so it is bright and clean. In general a very nice ship. They made a couple of huge errors in design mentioned below. 3. The bars (and there is one every 50 feet) are all nice, well-staffed, and fun. 4. The dinner/circus act is fun and the folks are incredibly talented. Illusionarium I think is the name of the separate dining and performance area. Do not miss this act and dinner. You will have to arrange it in advance of your trip. Ok, now for the BAD stuff with the ship. 1. The internet does not work. Not even a little bit. For those of us who have to work even while on a ship it is a disaster. The manager, to his credit, knows that it is really bad. It is impossible to work or even search on the internet. It is the worst experience for us since the implementation of internet on ships. It is a deal-killer for us as I have to have internet capability. I was refunded all of my cost but that does not solve the issue. 2. The ship's excursion staff is the worst we ever encountered. They are just lost with no management or oversight. Rude, incompetent, and sullen is the best i can do. We heard endless complaints about the staff and the quality of the trips offered by the ship. They fouled up the only ship arranged excursion we purchased. Ultimately we ended up canceling because of the staff errors. It was to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Although we scheduled our trip months in advance (along with this one excursion) when we got on-board they told us that our trip was full and that instead of a 130pm departure we were booked on a 6am departure....huh? Again, no coordination and no one to talk to about the issues. 3. The entertainment is high school level. Sorry, but if you expect anything in the way of entertainment do not look to this ship. The Burn the Floor group is painful. The bands on board were loud. Loud because that was all they could do. Compared to other ships the Getaway has to do better than the folks we had on board. 4. The casino. My suggestion is do not go near it. Over 14 days we saw no one....not a soul...win anything on the slots. We talked to folks who were using the casino and to a person they said exactly what i am telling you. The payout for the slots has to be hideous. I asked what the payout percentage was and they refused to discuss it. That has to tell you something. Walk through it or just donate your money to them and save time. 5. Maybe the poorest design on any ship we have been on is the band/performance/public area on the 6th floor which opens to the 7th floor. It is dead in the center of the 6th floor. It is a horrible place to stick bands as it is just deafening and you cannot get away from it. The sound is ramped-up to an uncomfortable level. It is like a garage band in your neighbors garage that you can hear all over the neighborhood. HInts: 1. In Bergen do a hop on hop off and wander on your own. 2. In Reykjavik walk from the ship and take a taxi downtown. It is about the same price as the mess they have with the bus transports. It is faster and way less hassle. 3. Go to Vitar (or any other trip planner for the stops) and get a private provider for wherever you want to go. It is cheaper, better planned, and a lot less hassle than fighting with hundreds of others who will push you out of the way to be first on a cruise ship bus. 4. Do not believe the provided by the cruise director or others about needing to use the ship provided excursions. You can rent a taxi or private tour for the same or less than you pay to be one of two hundred on a ship excursion. 5. Edinburgh and Copenhagen on your own or on a hop on hop off. Both cities are just wonderful and you cannot get lost. 6. Departing Copenhagen. Stay at the airport area and take the train to the city center. You cannot get lost and it is cheap, clean, and fun. The Marriott AC (the totally weird hotel design) close to the train and the airport is perfect. You can walk to the train station in five minutes. 7. The Tivoli in Copenhagen is worth every penny. A zillion cute restaurants, wonderful gardens, and a fun place to spend a few hours. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Our second cruise with Norwegian in eleven years has improved our opinion of this cruise line but still has many other areas of improvement when compare to Princess or Celebrity cruises. The most noticeable areas of improvement were the ... Read More
Our second cruise with Norwegian in eleven years has improved our opinion of this cruise line but still has many other areas of improvement when compare to Princess or Celebrity cruises. The most noticeable areas of improvement were the quality of the meals and the service provided by the crew workers (not the ship officers/supervisors). This was the first time we were on a ship with 4000 other passengers. We tried to avoid the buffet as it was a nightmare trying to get a table, food or walking with the plate(s) back to the table. There were 4 other restaurants included with long line ups. In the future we'll try to avoid ships with more than 3000 passengers. We had a midship mini suite and it was smaller than the regular rooms on other cruise lines. Although the ship was less than 5 years old the rooms were not fitted with USB ports or HDMI port on the TV to manage the media equipment. We could not find a lounge in the entire ship that was fitted for relaxation having a drink overlooking the outdoors. All we could find it was a few chairs on hallways or internal rooms. Logistically the ship was poorly managed in a few areas. On the first day the ship left port 5 hours late due to the poor loading of the provisions. As a result of that we did not stop on the first port in Norway. We did get a $50 refund per room to compensate us for their poor schedule adherence. Who would know that a few days later the captain decided not to stop at another port due to safety, claiming that it was too windy. Looking to the outdoors the water was calm (sea state 1) and almost no wind. We did not get any refund for that port. As it was we missed 25% of the ports included on this tour and the loss of booked tours on land. The port tendering was another nightmare and in one occasion over 600 people we were retained in the theater room for over two and a half hours before we could start boarding the tenders. The Taste restaurant had a very rude receptionist but nothing was done about it and everyday was the same thing. We stop going there. My conclusion for our future on Norwegian cruises is that we would have to read many excellent reviews before we could contemplate another cruise with them but definitely not with other 4000 passengers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my fourth Norwegian Cruise. Good points: 1. Itinerary awesome! Norway, Iceland and Scotland leaving from Copenhagen (I stayed here for 3 nights prior to cruise) 2. Food good (hey I don’t have to cook or wash dishes ... Read More
This was my fourth Norwegian Cruise. Good points: 1. Itinerary awesome! Norway, Iceland and Scotland leaving from Copenhagen (I stayed here for 3 nights prior to cruise) 2. Food good (hey I don’t have to cook or wash dishes plus I’m not a fussy eater) 3. I stayed in the Studio cabins (for solo travellers) and we have our own lounge area with own bar and bartender (scheduled between 5-7 pm) plus our own social director. 4. I did see some entertainment. Not bad. Vincent (the cruise director) and Nicolas (one of the entertainers who came onboard) were good as a duo one night in the Headliners. I recommend seeing Million Dollar Quartet which was excellent! Albeit the music was too loud ( ), Syd Norman’s House band was very good. Bad points: 1. We left Copenhagen 5 hours late so the next day the captain decided to cancel the first port of call of Haugesund, Norway. We got a refundable port charges but didn’t think the non-refundable $50.00 each cabin was good enough. Should have been maybe a bit more and each person. Also we missed Invergordon because captain said it was the weather. I had a private tour here but with luck I got a full refund. Some people felt there was nothing wrong with the weather but I’ll have to take captain word for safety reasons, I think. So I feel we kind of got gipped anyway. At least we should not have missed the first port. 2. The tendering was awful both ports of Geiranger and New Haven (for Edinburgh). I missed my private tour in Geiranger by 15 minutes (in this case those tours won’t give full refund but they were nice enough to give me 50% back). I told Guest Services (I know they won’t care because wasn’t ships tour). I told them I tried to book the tendering on the TV and couldn’t find where (I found out later it was under entertainment, the daily newsletter was vague on how to find it on the TV menu). I went right away next morning went to Box Office to book and was told earliest was tender #5 and that I would be there by noon (that’s when my tour left). Guest Services said others booked on TV. I wasn’t happy with that response and said “well I guess I’m not so techno savvy, eh?” He booked me on #2 tender for New Haven. Didn’t have a private tour in Edinburgh but took a heck of a long time to get tendered as I waited for over an hour in the theatre then it took 25 minutes to get to the port. 3. We solos have our own activities person. I think someone needed to train her better because all she did was get us together for a quick meeting then dinner. We met in another lounge instead of our studio lounge like other ships. The poor bartender (scheduled from 5-7 at the studio lounge) was there alone every evening. A few people here and there got drinks. The activities director did bingo one evening (I won). I kind of felt sorry for her. Maybe I should have trained her. 4. With 4,000 people yep it does feel crowded at times especially at the buffet. Most mornings I’d grab my breakfast and head to our lounge area. I liked my cruise but at the same time this tendering business kind of spoiled it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We picked this cruise because of the rare Iceland itinerary. At first, I was in awe as to the size of the ship...we have cruised with Holland America, Cunard, Vantage and Royal Carribean and also Carnival...but our first time on a mega ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of the rare Iceland itinerary. At first, I was in awe as to the size of the ship...we have cruised with Holland America, Cunard, Vantage and Royal Carribean and also Carnival...but our first time on a mega sized ship capable of 5000 passengers. What I like: the itinerary, and news that the ship is just refurbished and fresh from dry dock. My first experience with NCL, my wife's second. What I dont like: a.) The captain is a poor communicator, leader. First ports of call was cancelled due to NCL's fault of very late departure from embarkation, supposedly due to delay in loading needed stuff. Though each cabin was re-imbursed with $50, the timing of the announcement is late. The Captain communicated this only HOURS before we were supposed to arrive at first ports of call the following day. For sure they knew way ahead of time that the port will be missed! Again, on another instance, we missed another port, supposedly due to strong winds that suddenly appeared at Inverness, Scotland. Again, the captain made the announcement only 2 hours before the scheduled arrival, in fact, he made the announcement after the ship has already made the U-turn on approach to Inverness. You should see the large number of people complaining to the captain at the atrium that day!!! And to make it worst, this captain allows his clown Entertainment Director (famous for his nuissance "Hey hey hey" and "I see you when I see you" greetings) to make the repeat announcements....we were not entertained and it was not funny. If there is a slightest chance any port will be missed, the CAPTAIN should relay that ahead of time, and keep the expectations LOW.... but no, he would rather surprise the passengers on the last minute! b.) Daily food menu was stale and boring....I've seen better food selection with Holland America and Royal Carribean. The salad bar is anemic. They frequently ran out of spinach (for the omelet), and cucumbers for the salad.... their salad selection is a smalll 5 or 6 vegetable selection. Holland America's salad rendering by far is the best for my, in my opinion. c.) Too many people. There are groups of guests who crowd the water filling stations filling their water bottles. The journey ran out of some fruits, necessitating emergency loading of fruits at our 2nd to last ports of call. d.) Being winter, clearly, the indoor dinning areas are clogged and full of people. Some even make the dining area as their entertainment, discussion place...So discouraging and painfully aggravating to wait for vacant table just to eat. e.) Clearly, the ratio of crew to passengers is at critically low point. Clearly, at the dining areas, the workers are spread too thin. Gone are the common courtesy of waiters going back to you to refill your water/ coffee or just check up on you. Only THREE wine stewards on entire ship, if you will believe me; I was lucky to meet one of them near the end of our cruise. On the bright side however, the most of the crews, attendants, dining room servers are hard-working and courteous. f.) The tendering service is pathetic, took too long and is so disorganized. It took us 3 hours to wait for our tender to go ashore. And the clown that facilitates the tendering process in the theater does not provide adequate information, but instead cracks up not so funny jokes it is irritating. He should constantly provide status, what the process is as new groups of people arrive at the theater. g.) Their customer/guest services also is inadequate. One should see the long lines of people waiting for their turn to be served. With 5000 passenger capacity, one would think that NCL could have plan better how to accommodate this! h) In summary, I can only rate this journey a flat 3 or average. If not for the Iceland itineray, I will give it a poor 2 without any hesitation; and may be a long lasting lessons-learned for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary and the value. We saw a lot of beautiful sights, especially in Norway and the ship's personnel were excellent, especially our room steward. Our cabin was a balcony cabin and we were very pleased ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary and the value. We saw a lot of beautiful sights, especially in Norway and the ship's personnel were excellent, especially our room steward. Our cabin was a balcony cabin and we were very pleased with the accommodations. There was ample storage and we loved being able to sit on the couch and look at the view through the sliding glass doors. We also liked being able to step out onto the balcony and take pictures and it was warm enough a couple of the days that we were able to sit on the balcony. The food was good overall with a good selection, but the buffet was always crowded and finding a place to sit was usually a challenge. Most of the time the food on the buffet was not very hot or very cold unless it was something that was made to order like an omelet. We also ate in O'Sheehan's, Taste and Savor. In those restaurants the food was beautifully presented and hot or cold as appropriate for the dish. Overall the service was pretty good in the restaurants, although there was only one time when we we brought teaspoons for our iced tea and we usually had to ask for sweetener. I gave up getting coffee with my dessert as they never arrived together. The cover band Rock the Pour House was excellent and we also enjoyed Million Dollar Quartet and Howl at the Moon. TV selection was very limited with the same programs and movies airing over and over. A little more variety would have been nice since we had so many days at sea. The big downfall of this cruise was the missed ports and the tendering situation. We missed our 1st port because we were 5 hours late leaving dock because supplies were still being loaded on the ship. We also missed Inverness because we could't get into port because of the wind. There was a very small opening into the harbor and it may not have been an appropriate port for such a large ship. Our time of shore was only about half of the time listed in port at Edinburgh and Geiranger because of the tendering. It was an hour round trip to tender at Edinburgh and when we returned (2 1/2 hours before the last tender was scheduled) we had to stand in line for almost 2 hours in order to get on a tender. The size of the ship and the amount of people on board made tendering a nightmare. All the public areas were crowded, especially the entertainment venues and the buffet plus one side of the buffet closed down early even on days when people were late getting back to the ship because of the tendering situation. If I ever go on another cruise I will not go on such a large ship and I will investigate the ports more thoroughly. Cruising is a very economical way to see Scandinavia, but the amount of people on the ship and the rudeness of some of them made the trip very unpleasant at times. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We choose this cruise for the itinerary, so when two of our eight ports were cancelled (one due to NCL inefficiency leaving Copenhagen and the other because of safety concerns getting into Invergordon), it was a big disappointment. A $50 ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary, so when two of our eight ports were cancelled (one due to NCL inefficiency leaving Copenhagen and the other because of safety concerns getting into Invergordon), it was a big disappointment. A $50 credit per cabin didn't compensate for the loss of 1/4 of our itinerary. Two additional stops were cut short because of delays with the tenders -- we waited two hours to get off the ship at Geiranger, two and a half at Edinburgh. Lines to return to ship were horrendous. Port security in Edinburgh said they'd never seen anything like the inefficiency of our NCL crew -- hundreds of people lined up in the rain to return to ship, an empty tender at the dock, and no one making a move to start loading. As the hours went by, port officials ended up supplying extra tenders and staff to get us back to the Getaway. They were probably afraid we'd be there all night if they didn't do something. You can expect lines for dinner, too, even with reservations. I don't think freestyle dining is working out well. Without assigned tables, each party has to be shown individually to their seats, making for long lines at normal dining hours. If you don't make reservations ahead of time, you'll wait even longer. If you want to eat late, it's not as bad. Internet was a waste of money. It could take ten minutes just to connect - minutes you were charged for - and then the service was slow and cut you off, requiring another ten minutes to reconnect. We used most of our minutes trying to cancel car rental and tour plans at the two stops we missed. All of that said, we still had a good time. Howl at the Moon was our favorite entertainment, with Million Dollar Quartet coming in second. Escape the Big Top was a fun activity - wish they'd had more like this. Food was decent, but we had to carry back to our room from the buffet several times because there was no seating available. Probably in a warmer climate there would be less congestion in the indoor spaces, but the outdoor tables were unusable because of cold. O'Sheehans was routinely good, though it suffered a bit from the noisy atrium (more on that below). The chicken wings were terrific - their fry cook knows what he's doing. The atrium was very noisy and crowded, and that's where they chose to play most of the daily games. Only a few hundred people could participate on a ship with 4,000 and we saw a lot of regulars who had space staked out every day. (Guest services is adjacent to the atrium - we found ourselves having to shout to ask a question of them.) The library is tiny and doubles as the card room, but we did find some quiet moments there occasionally. Room steward was great, very efficient and willing to help. Crew in general was friendly -- don't know where the poor management of tenders and port departures is coming from. 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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