2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I booked the Haven for our anniversary. This was my first cruise, though my wife has had many. We have both travelled extensively. The ship is large, well appointed, but easy to navigate. There are signs all over the ... Read More
My wife and I booked the Haven for our anniversary. This was my first cruise, though my wife has had many. We have both travelled extensively. The ship is large, well appointed, but easy to navigate. There are signs all over the ship that makes finding things easy. One quibble, is that posted services and shops are not always open at the appointed times meaning it would take several trips, for example, to get into the duty-free free shop. Services on the ship are generally both easy to locate and access. The exception to this was the spa. The actual services, massage, etc, were good, if pricey. However, the spa uses the pretense of assessment and consultation to provide a pseudo-scientific basis for what can only be described as, "You really should buy our most expensive products and services." My wife, for example, has a highly developed care routine. After receiving a facial, her 'consultation' wound up being a pitch for $1000 in product. This was made even worse when every visit to the spa resulted in a billing issue, as promotional discounts were either not applied or additional charges were added when polite but firm 'no' resulted in a charge anyway. By the end of the end of the cruise, it was pretty clear that passengers were studiously avoiding the spa and its high pressure tactics. There were, individually, many wonderful people inside the spa who appeared miserable under the pressure to sell. Our experience with the spa is the only thing that prevents us from giving the cruise 5-stars. The cabin was large, spacious, and relaxing. The balcony provided gorgeous views visited ports, and was a quiet, enjoyable space to spend time with one another. Having the cabin made up twice day was an unexpected, if not for my wife, treat that I greatly appreciated as throughout the cruise. Laundry service was easy to use, and made the sweaty hiking through the ports even more enjoyable as dirty garments could be quickly laundered rather than tossed in a suitcase for two weeks. Dining was another highlight, with running the entire spectrum of both quality and quantity. The buffet, as one might expect, was always hot and easy to access, if not always the highest quality. The free, 24-hour access to ice cream was a high point. The quality of food continued up the scale of restaurants. O-Sheehans offered tasty, but small bits for quick eating while the main dining rooms upped the quality to the high end. The speciality restaurants were generally on-par with the main dining rooms, with the exception of the Bistro. the Bistro's food is some of the best food I have ever had anywhere in the world, and my wife and I were happy to make multiple visits. By the end of the cruise, it was all but impossible to even make a reservation. My only quibble with the food is that some of the smaller restaurants take reservations ... even for very large parties. When a restaurant only has 30 or so seats and 25 have been reserved it was frustrating for both staff and customers. The Entertainment on the ship is quite good. Generally speaking, you cannot go wrong with any of the shows. The exception, again in a good way, was Burn the Floor. The dancers and routines are nothing short of exceptional. One of the final perks of the Haven is a dedicated staff for Haven guests. This made everything on and off the ship incredibly easy. All questions were handled quickly and easily by knowledge friendly staff. A dedicated restaurant for Haven guests was perfect for post excursion relaxation in a quiet, conversational atmosphere. The food was, also, generally, a cut above the rest with only Bistro having a chance to produce better food. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise when invited by friends of ours who sailed with NCL on many cruises. It was the first time I had ever been on a cruise ship this large. I was wondering what it would be like to sail with 4000 other people but ... Read More
We chose this cruise when invited by friends of ours who sailed with NCL on many cruises. It was the first time I had ever been on a cruise ship this large. I was wondering what it would be like to sail with 4000 other people but thankfully there wasn't too much traffic. Here's how our cruise went: Embarkation: Very smooth as we were told to check-in in Terminal 2, which was pretty much empty when we arrived. After getting our cards, we followed the other guests and got on the ship rather quickly. As our rooms were not ready, it allowed us to explore the many decks of the ship. Pool area (Deck 15): Yes, it can get crowded when we are 4000 people together so if you want some sun, be sure to go out early and grab your deck chairs. There is also a stage for music as well as wacky participation events such as Mr. Sexy Legs and Ms. Biceps The pool area also has a walled smoking room but anyone nearby can smell smoke so if you are sensitive, do not plan to lounge in that area. There are also ping pong tables around if you want to be a bit more active. Again, it can be a challenge to find a time when a table is free. Garden Cafe (Deck 15): Connected to the pool area is the Garden Cafe buffet. It served OK food and there are many choices at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dinner had a different theme night (e.g. Russian, Italian, Scandinavian) every night to have some variety. The Fitness Center & Spa (Deck 15): Connected to the other end of the pool area is the spa and fitness center. The spa offers a full range of services, including acupuncture. The fitness centre offers machines, weights, and classes. Physical Activity Choices: The ship is impressive that it offers mini-golf (nine hole), ropes course, trampoline, spider slide, rock climbing, a jogging track, and a basketball court. The Tropicana Room: This is the main dining room, with a dance floor in the middle for people to dance while dining with live music usually playing at dinner. The Tradewinds shops: For such a large ship, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of shopping choices. On a positive note, with so little to buy, I saved money in this aspect! The shops had special sales events and even a Russian Bazaar night as the days progressed. Photography: I appreciated the non-pushy attitude by the photographers as well as the sales staff for the printed photos. It was entirely up to you if you wanted to pose for photos and to buy the prints afterwards. A sample 8 X 10 print will cost you $24.95 USD. Casino: The casino has table games, slots, as well as blackjack tournaments, and slots tournaments. Betting is in US dollars and no gaming is permitted while at any port. O'Sheehan's Restaurant: This is a nice hidden restaurant that runs 24/7 and is rarely ever crowded during the whole cruise. If you are hungry and just want food, and don't really care what they serve, come here to beat the crowds elsewhere. The restaurant is like a pub so there are also games like pool, darts, and even bowling to pass the time. The Atrium (deck 6): This is the center of the ship. Here, you will find Guest Services, Starbucks, the Internet stations, games room, library, and meeting rooms, as well as the two-storey big screen, stage area and chairs. The cruise director's staff have all sort of games (e.g. trivia, deal or no deal, bingo) pretty much every hour for entertainment. It is rarely crowded during the day but a huge draw at night. Headliners: This is a room designed like a comedy club, with an intimate stage but any act can perform in here Syd Norman's Pour House: This is another small venue but does feature almost nightly karaoke (note that their song list is very limited) as well as regular performances by Switch (a tribute band of songs from the 1980s mostly) SugarCane Mojito Bar and Ice Bar: These are specialty bars located on deck 8, one floor above the casino. Sugarcane also features live music at night. Seating is limited so get there early. Getaway Theatre: This is the main theatre where performance of "Million Dollar Quartet" and "Burn the Floor" are performed. Deck 8 walkaround: Deck 8 allows people to walk outside pretty much around the whole length of the ship. There are plenty of chairs around to take in the scenery as the ship sails. Magaritaville This is a restaurant that will charge $15 USD per person for a limited Magaritaville-type menu (just best-selling items). The portions are large and well cooked so $15 was a steal compared to how much a visit to a traditional Magaritaville would cost. Cruise Director and his staff: For such a large ship, Francesco and his assistant Lester worked very hard to be visible here, there, and everywhere throughout the cruise. Special mention also to all his staff who had to be able to entertain people sitting in the atrium with the latest activity of the hour. The activities also come with a participation card, the more activities you participate in, the better NCL merchandise you can claim at the end of the cruise (such as T-shirt, key chain, koozie, etc.) Excursions: They were pricey but the tour operators used were well-organized, professional, and knowledgeable. Entertainment: a. Funky Duo: This is a husband-and-wife team from Romania. They can sing pretty much anything. Andreea's (yes, it is spelled this way) singing voice is something that you just need to hear. b. Karl Loxley: Karl was a finalist on the Voice UK. His performance was breathtaking at times. c. RAEGAR: Another husband-and-wife: he's from the UK while she's from Texas. They both have amazing voices. Disembarkation: It can be a long wait depending on where you are going after leaving the ship (e.g. on your own, to the airport, to the city, etc.). You do have the option of disembarking with your luggage if you want but be warned the wait for the elevators on disembarkation day can be long (some elevators are put out of service). Surprises: 1. There seems to be a service charge on almost everything. Purchase additional items/services carefully. 2. Even if you are a couple in your cabin, you each have your own account. I could not understand why we kept getting messages about a credit amount when the total of my wife's and my account did not show that. It turned out the accounts cannot be combined so I wound up owing them money while my wife got a refund for her credit amount. 3. The Do Not Disturb cabin light will mean just that. I had forgotten to turn it off before leaving for an excursion and we came back to a room that had not been cleaned and made-up. We had to ask after-hours service (as it was after 9 PM) to get the room made, which they did to our delight. 4. Ship internet is very expensive, such as $125 USD for 250 minutes. However, you can still connect to the wi-fi and use the NCL app free of charge to be able to have the day's schedule on your phone. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our 10th cruise on NCL and we loved that itinerary. Embarkation went smoothly and our room was ready by the time we checked in. I did find it wierd that there wasn't a picture stop prior to getting on the ship. The ship ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise on NCL and we loved that itinerary. Embarkation went smoothly and our room was ready by the time we checked in. I did find it wierd that there wasn't a picture stop prior to getting on the ship. The ship is definitely huge. We had an inside cabin but the layout felt roomy so it didn't feel too small. I liked the lighting in the room this time because it felt bright. I was disappointed that there were no usb outlets by the bed. We've been on other renovated ships like the Pearl that has it. I was also disappointed with the limited variety of TV channels that was offered. It was very limited and it catered to a liberal audience. So be prepared to watch reruns of the same show and movies and CNN and MSNBC. There was no FOX news. Was also disappointed that the gym was always packed and because of that I think it smelled bad. So we always just did the Jog Track instead. We only watched one show which was the Million Dollar Quartet and it was a great show. We did buy the Cirque Show for the first time and it was totally worth it. The dinner included with the show was a surf and turf and the show was variety circus show. We really enjoyed it. We loved the specialty dining, Lebistro and Ocean Blue were our favorites. Service in general was just ok. I did not like that on the first day, hosts from the main dinings were asking if we made reservations. We were only a party of 2 and we have never had to make reservations for regular dining. So plan on making reservations on your first day as soon as you get there. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Friends told us a Baltic cruise would be good for us. It was. We really enjoyed this cruise. We were told that our cabin was ocean view or better. We were told that meant if there were better cabins available we would be upgraded. There ... Read More
Friends told us a Baltic cruise would be good for us. It was. We really enjoyed this cruise. We were told that our cabin was ocean view or better. We were told that meant if there were better cabins available we would be upgraded. There was better available, but no upgrade. We were on a low deck that was extremely noisy. Not a very romantic send off for our first ever cruise and our honeymoon. The service in many areas left a lot to be desired, however we encountered some staff that was over and above any expectations and really blew us away. Food in main dining areas was bland and very small portions. We had the drink package and the fine dining package. The restaurants in the fine dining were simply amazing. We loved NCL’s freestyle cruising and would love to cruise NCL again but to know that balcony cabins went unused and activities staff seemed unprepared or even uninterested in some of the games and such makes you wonder if NCL even cares that you are there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We were looking for a cruise on specific dates because we were already in Europe. The Baltic Sea cruise on NCL was a first for us as we normally sail on Windstar. However, the “Haven” seemed to help us bridge that small boat feel ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise on specific dates because we were already in Europe. The Baltic Sea cruise on NCL was a first for us as we normally sail on Windstar. However, the “Haven” seemed to help us bridge that small boat feel with big boat entertainment. The Haven would likely be the only way we would sail NCL again. Private restaurant, bar, concierge, priority seating at shows and priority boarding and disembarkation - all wonderful perks with good food and excellent bartenders. The entertainment exceeded our expectations, especially the “Howl at the Moon - dueling pianos”. The Cirque show was good and the Wine Tasting play was fun. The Folkloric program after visiting Russia was OK - just not our favorite. The Barricade Boys were terrific. The best specialty restaurant was “Le Bistro” by far. The Mojito tasting and Margarita tastings were really fun and very reasonably priced. Loved the spa - very large and with a sweeping view on 3 sides. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We had wanted to do a different cruise than our normal Italy/Spain vacation and thought this sounded like a perfect fit. We flew in from a 3 day stop in Iceland and landed in Copenhagen late the night before we boarded. I don't ... Read More
We had wanted to do a different cruise than our normal Italy/Spain vacation and thought this sounded like a perfect fit. We flew in from a 3 day stop in Iceland and landed in Copenhagen late the night before we boarded. I don't like arriving the same day as embarking. The boarding process was painless. The ship has been recently renovated and was lovely. The only complaint I had about the room is having the bed dead center in the room, allowing very little area to walk around the bed. It seemed to be a waste of space to have the bed blocking the seating area. There was plenty of storage room and the bathroom was spacious; even had a tub. The food was the high point on this cruise. Normally I am sick of the buffets by day 3 of cruising but that was not the case on this trip. The food was always fresh and there was a large assortment. We also ate at of 4 of the restaurants; they were awesome! The entertainment was good; not great but there was plenty to do in the evenings. I feel the gym could have had more equipment. There were quite a few times where there were no open machines when I tried to work out and I tried several different times of the day. The shore excursions were my biggest complaint on this trip. The Berlin tour was good. I wanted more information on WW I and WW II, not just the Berlin Wall. One of the members of our group went on the tour of the concentration camp and seemed to enjoy that one better. Tallinn was amazing and we did that on our own. A little research and we were good to go. We were told we would have two days in St. Petersburg but realistically it is 24 hours. Upon docking, we did the Evening at the Hermitage which was nice but the museum was actually closed when we took the tour. A lot of the lighting was turned off and none of the shops were open. However, it is only open for cruise tours and when you see the line during the day, you are grateful to have the experience you had. I had booked the Catherine's Palace and the St. Petersburg church tour before we left the US and was told it would be fine; two tours in one day. However personnel on the ship told me I couldn't make it and they would not refund money if we did not get back in time for the second tour. One of the people in our group went on the Catherine's Palace and had plenty of time when he got back before the second tour started. I was disappointed to say the least and the four hour St. Petersburg tour I took instead was very poorly done. It was basically driving around town in a bus looking at buildings. We were leaving port 24 hours after we got there. Not a two day stay. The last two excursions were a total waste of time. We did the hop on/hop off options for Stockholm and Helsinki and didn't have even enough time to make it around the entire route once. We were in town for a very short period of time and the options were very limited. I would have liked to have a more time in port and a later time to leave. We did the Copenhagen to the airport option and that was perfect. We had plenty of time to see the city with a great guide and then we were dropped at the airport. Two of us stayed with the luggage and the rest of us took the metro back into town and went to Tivoli Gardens and spent a few hours there. I would definitely do this tour again but would hope more time could be spent in port in some of the towns and less time between each destination. The distance is not so great we couldn't have more time in port. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We arived one day before embarkation to Copenhagen after a week in other parts of Europa so we mostly just explored the nyhavn area which is very pretty. Embarkation itself was super smooth we maybe took 15 min to board, rooms where ready ... Read More
We arived one day before embarkation to Copenhagen after a week in other parts of Europa so we mostly just explored the nyhavn area which is very pretty. Embarkation itself was super smooth we maybe took 15 min to board, rooms where ready at 1:30p and our luggage arrived at night as expected. The ship is beautiful, we could definitely tell it was recently renovated no complains on cleaniless and the public areas are spacious. We stayed in a family room for 4 for the first time and at first we where confused as the sofa bed was clearly only meant for 1 person. Only by asking around did we realize there was a ceiling bed that could be opened. We were very happy to hear this but I think they should include some sign or paper with this information in the room already because we grew upset at the beginning. The room is tight but there was enough storage for our family of four. We mostly at at the buffet and food was varied and good to great flavors, we could always find a table in the first few minutes we came. Other than that we dined twice at savor/taste and food is very good but it is missing a bit of presentation and flavor to be great. We also had lunch once in o sheenans but were disappointed with the mini portions and the service. We actually left before he could bring us all our orders or ask for dessert with how slow service is despite not being booked. The only specialty restaurant was Moderno and definitely recommend the quality of the meat os fantastic. The entertainment crew always had something to do its a shame the don't always have enough space or material for everyone interested to participate. The atrium simply does not have enough seating and the need to bring more paper for everyone to play. We had a great time in family dictionary for example but the only had paper for 7 teams it doesn’t make sense.This ship also has so many activities such as the arcade, bowling, mini golf the rope course and we enjoyed a bit of all it had to offer. Service overall is very good besides O Shennans we had no complaints. It may not be as personal than other cruises but everyone is kind and gets the job done. Though the cruise supposedly had 4600 guest (that not the capacity they advertise) we never felt it was so full we couldn't enjoy you just have to organize yourself to be at the activities before the begin and the shore excursions where fun. Btw the Cirque show is amazing you shouldnt miss it! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We are a family of four, two parent and two kids ages 8 and 11. We selected this cruise and specifically, the aft-facing Haven one-bedroom suite because it perfectly fit our needs. Bottom line, if we did not stay in a Haven suite and ... Read More
We are a family of four, two parent and two kids ages 8 and 11. We selected this cruise and specifically, the aft-facing Haven one-bedroom suite because it perfectly fit our needs. Bottom line, if we did not stay in a Haven suite and experience all that the Haven has to offer, we probably would not pick this boat or Norwegian again. Pros: * Haven, Haven, Haven. A game changer. The exclusive pool, deck, hot tubs, bar / lounge, restaurant, and concierge was worth the added cost. We rarely had drinks or ate outside of the Haven (aside from three meals at the specialty restaurants). The quality of service was far superior to the service you received at any bar outside of Haven in the general areas. The Haven food quality is very good. Service is impeccable. * We had a one-bedroom aft-facing corner suite. It was amazing. The balcony makes all the difference. So spacious that we were able to exercise with plenty of room to spare. I read review(s) where folks complained about noise, smoke, etc. Nothing negative to say. The inside was very nice also. Two full baths, plenty of closets and great water pressure in the master bath. * The chicken wings at O'Sheehan's is pretty good! * Casinos were fine - nothing special. It was more about the people you met as you played the games. I lucked out and had a great time meeting folks. The craps dealers were hit or miss. Half were very professional and worked with us, the other half were angry and chose to enforce "rules" throughout the trip (dice are too high, you're taking too long, hands, drinks over the railing, etc.) * Soft serve ice cream in the main buffet restaurant was a hit with the kids * The activities for the kids were great. In many ways better than Disney cruises (although Disney's shows are great). There were not as many kids on this Norwegian cruise, providing whatever kids on the ship to more access to the climbing wall, ropes course and water slides. HUGE benefit. The sport court was also very well maintained and fun. Cons: * Tipping and service charges. Horrible system. I asked the staff and they either didn't know the specifics or chose not to disclose what they knew. The $18.50 per day per person service charge is dumb. Just embed it into the cost especially since we're told its essentially us paying the staffs' salaries. We were told that essentially this service charge "went to anyone we DIDN'T interact with", like the cooks, cleaners, etc. However, for anyone we did interact with, we're expected to "tip" them. Not a big deal, however, there's this issue of all prepaid gratuities from any drink or meal package you purchased. As it turns out this gratuity is pooled and shared among all service crew. The icing on the cake is that we were told the Haven staff - restaurant waiters/waitresses, bartenders, may or may not receive a penny of this even though they're the one's taking care of us 90% of the time. I'm getting mad just writing / reliving this. The point is, you will get nickel and dimed with service fees, gratuities, tip, etc. Just be warned. But also, be prepared and bring small bills onboard to take care of the staff throughout your cruise. Its the right thing to do despite Norwegian's idiotic system. * Quality of food prepared in the Haven restaurant was in the 4 - 4.5 range. The quality of food prepared elsewhere was between 3 - 3.5. The Noodle restaurant was absolutely horrible - 1.5. The Garden (buffet) was hit or miss as to be expected. The specialty restaurants - Teppinyaki, Cuccino, and the Brazilian steak restaurant were all marginal at best. Actually, Cuccino and the Brazilian steak were actually pretty bad. Skip it. Ocean Blue and sushi were pretty good. BOTTOMLINE: Haven all the way, bring cash for tips, lower your expectations regarding food quality, and know the kids will have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this Baltic cruise due to the ports since it's an amazing way to see somewhat far-flung European cities easily and without unpacking. This was also our belated honeymoon so we were looking for something with resort-like ... Read More
We chose this Baltic cruise due to the ports since it's an amazing way to see somewhat far-flung European cities easily and without unpacking. This was also our belated honeymoon so we were looking for something with resort-like amenities and a relaxing feel in addition to our European adventures. Pre-Cruise- We spent one night in Copenhagen and loved it. Highly recommend the Scandic Front hotel. Copenhagen ended up being one of our favorite cities. We also spent another night here after the cruise and wished we had longer! Tivoli and Nyhavn are must see's. Embarkation- It was fine, a little crowded, probably took 45 minutes Disembarkation- We carried off our own bags since we weren't going to the airport and didn't want a transfer. Everyone else had the same idea and it was very challenging to get an elevator. The Ship- It was recently renovated and everything looked nice and new. We were impressed with all the updates, though as a Librarian, I wish it had maintained more of a library. The main downside was the sheer number of other people. There were 4700 passengers and 1600 crew and it just felt crowded all the time inside all main areas of the ship. Because it was a colder climate, there really weren't many people outside so those areas were pleasant, but the atrium was packed all the time and if you didn't have restaurant reservations you were in trouble! The Food- The specialty dining was absolutely fabulous, some of the best food we ever ate. We especially loved Ocean Blue, Teppanyaki, and Cagney's. However, the main dining was just okay, the food was pretty basic, service was hit and miss, and the buffet was terrible. The food at the buffet was bad in itself, but the feeling of being at a cattle feeding trough and the impossibility of finding a seat was very unpleasant. Entertainment/Activities- These were fun, but again very crowded. You needed to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of time if you wanted a seat. Our cruise was so busy with ports that we were pretty tired at night and didn't do a whole lot. The cruise director Francesco and Assistant Director Lester were very nice and helped make things fun. Ports- St. Petersburg- While we wished we had two full days, we really enjoyed it. Took a tour with an outside tour company (Shore Trips) and were able to see everything we wanted. Visas and getting around were easy with the company we chose. Helsinki- An unexpected favorite. We just went on our own and used the Hop on Hop Off for transit. We took a boat to Suomenlinna and loved being in nature and getting away from crowds. Tallinn- Amazing, medieval city. We went on our own and walked to town. It was a healthy walk, but very doable. Stockholm- We were very happy to dock in Stockholm and not Nynasham. This made our day much more usable. We did the Hop on Hop Off and were not fans. The route went away from the Vasa and Skansen museums and wasn't heading back there for an hour, so we ditched the bus and took a cab and beat all the crowds to the Vasa. This made a huge difference and we had time to see Skansen and have lunch in Gamla Stan as well. The Hop on Hop Off was kind of a disaster for returning to the ship with no space left on buses and many people left behind. From what I could see most people did eventually make it to the ship on time but had to wait for several buses to come and go. Sailing out of the Stockholm archipelago was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. It was stunning to see all those tiny islands so close up on our huge ship. Not every itinerary goes that way, but if you can find one, you should definitely do it! Visby- This was a late addition to our itinerary, but we were glad. We loved it. A very cute, upscale summer resort town on Gotland. We took the Medieval Visby tour because we were tired of walking all day and enjoyed seeing everything and hearing about its Viking history. Being there during Medieval Week really added an aura of authenticity! Overall- We loved this cruise and all the ports. We think you don't really need to book shore excursions (except in Russia) because all of the ports and have taxis lined up and many are walking-friendly as well. We learned we probably prefer a smaller ship just due to the crowds, and we learned to make reservations ahead of time. Additionally, we highly recommend the Thermal Suite which was a haven (cheaper than the real Haven!) of peace and quiet with stunning forward views. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We choose this cruise for the uniqueness of the destination, the Baltic Countries. a great experience on the cruise but couple of things left us angry and wanting 1) Seafood Paella being served was a highlight as we love seafood and ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the uniqueness of the destination, the Baltic Countries. a great experience on the cruise but couple of things left us angry and wanting 1) Seafood Paella being served was a highlight as we love seafood and Paella, we know Halal is not offered but the paella had PORK sausages even though pork was not mentioned on the menu description. With the number of Muslims cruising with NCL, I would think they would at least be clear about that. live cooking omelets in the breakfast saw spatulas being used to turn ham filled and normal eggs, The Indian Dishes , in the garden Cafe had beef and pork dishes along with the vegetarian choices, which sort of says NCL does not care about the sensitivities of this segment of the market. The pullman beds were left out for the duration of the cruise and not closed daily which would have made the day time cabin use pleasant. Value for money, being specific an 1 year old infant being charged full 3rd person cost is not value for money in anyway as there is nothing infant friendly available or provided by the cruise line, Freestyle for adults is definitely a great way to cruise and value for money, but NCL has to look into the Muslim cruising market by making sure pork is properly marked and the utensils not used, at least by the crew handling the food, in an interchangeable manner, may be even take some pointers from other cruise line on how to avoid the same, like Carnival. We had 8 seniors in the group, for who there was no on board activity, that they could enjoy, These avoidable incidents would have enhanced the good experience Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
There were pros and cons as on any vacation, but we came away satisfied. We chose this cruise because of the ports and the price (a similar Princess cruise was much more expensive, even with our “Platinum” status). The rooms were ... Read More
There were pros and cons as on any vacation, but we came away satisfied. We chose this cruise because of the ports and the price (a similar Princess cruise was much more expensive, even with our “Platinum” status). The rooms were quiet (except once late at night when we heard loud voice from next door) and comfortable, most of the food was good, there was plenty to do (I never cracked the book I brought along), and we enjoyed the ports, especially St. Petersburg. We booked a 2-day (plus an evening) tour with Alla in St. Petersburg and just went out on our own for the rest of the ports. Although the ship did not feel as crowded as I expected (except on the last morning), the main down side to such a large ship was that we did not port close to the town centers in Warnemunde, Stockholm, or Helsinki which complicated independent travel. But if you do your research, it is still the way to go in my opinion. You can see what you want; you are not traveling with a large group; and you save a lot of money. Plus I think you get a more authentic experience exploring a city on your own. The Ship: The Getaway recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, so it did look clean and updated as one would expect. As others have pointed out, the atrium area in particular is very small for the size of the ship and seating is very limited (especially given the number of events held there). But if you arrive early, you should at least be able to get a seat on the next level up overlooking the action (like a balcony). On the other hand, way too much space is devoted to the little-used casino. While I realize that gambling is a good money maker for ships, even at its busiest, I never saw even 10% of the slot machines being used (there must have been hundreds of them). At the most, I saw maybe 25% of the tables partially occupied. Usually, it was much less than that. Plus the smell of smoke wafted beyond the boundaries of the casino. Yuck! A chunk of that space should have been used to enlarge the atrium area when the ship was renovated. Although seating in other entertainment venues was also limited given the size of the ship, if you plan ahead, it is not a big problem. Make online reservations as soon as you can for what you can (e.g., the main dining rooms, The Cirque show, Million Dollar Quartet, and Burn the Floor); reserve what you can once on board (e.g., Escape the Big Top and Shanghai Noodle Bar); and arrive early for the first-come, first-serve restaurants and activities. There were no nightly movies on a big outdoor screen like we have had on other cruise line ships, but they did have lots of daytime outdoor activities, including several big water slides, a rock climbing wall, a ropes course, mini golf, a basketball court, ping pong, and a giant chess set. Our adult children took advantage of the first three of these activities, but were a little frustrated by their limited time availability. They have an “adults only” deck area (Spice H2O) which is nice, but it did not have a real pool, just one that looked like a kiddie pool—small and shallow. It did have two hot tubs. It was a bit frustrating that the staff did not enforce the “adults only” rule for the hot tubs in the main deck area. We found the staff to all be pleasant, courteous, and hard-working. Restaurants: Taste/Savor Main Dining Rooms (same menu/food, just on opposite sides of the ship)—we ate here six of the nine nights. We were generally pleased with the selection and food. Yes, they repeat some entrees every night but that means that you always have a choice of beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and two veggie (pasta) entrees, in addition to the seven entrees that are new each night. They also have about 10 appetizer choices (some repeating but we didn’t mind because they were good) and we always found something good for dessert! The portions were relatively small, but we liked that because you could have one (or two) appetizers, an entrée, and dessert without feeling overly stuffed (definitely full though!). Shanghai Noodle Bar—We ate here for one dinner. The appetizers and soup were good; the entrees were just okay. They only had two desserts—fruit cup and “chocolate cake” (it did not have a cake texture)—which were okay. The service was odd in that we got our soups after our entrees. O’Sheehans—My daughter and I had most of our breakfasts here. The menu is not extensive and the same every day, but we liked their omelettes (they had more choices of add-ins than the buffet). Our group of five also had one “snack” meal here—just fish and chips and the wings. I didn’t eat these but the fish and chips were described as “good” and the wings “okay”. Garden Café—this is the buffet. I read very mixed reviews on this prior to our trip. We thought that, in general, the selection was good and most of the food was at least “okay to good.” Nothing was “bad” and some was quite good. Yes, it can be crowded at peak times, but other than the last morning, we could always find a table within a minute or two of looking. The last morning took a few more minutes, but we did eventually find one. The main negative was the limited hours (not 24/7 like we were used to) and only limited snacks were available during non-peak hours. O’Sheehan’s is 24/7. There are lots of bars. We went primarily to Syd Norman’s Pour House—brand new rock ‘n roll venue with the recent renovation and our favorite place to hang at night. The Pour House Band is excellent in terms of musicianship and vocals, especially with the addition of the two women singers (I don’t think they are formally a part of the band because they were never introduced). Our kids also went to Bliss where they met up with similarly-aged adults (mid- to upper-twenties). In particular, they enjoyed the Glow Party. Entertainment—besides the bars, we went to: • Cirque Dreams—they had some acts we’ve never seen before (like one woman using another woman as an acrobatic “swing”). However, the show was short (about 45 minutes); it ended about a half hour before that stated time. Dinner was mixed; the filet and shrimp were good, as was the caprese salad appetizer, but the mini desserts were disappointing—a flan that had little flavor, with a fruit sauce that was good; a red velvet cupcake that was just okay (the cream cheese frosting was the best part); and a fudgy-type brownie? It looked good, but was thick and not very flavorful. • Burn the Floor—good singing and dancing (samba, rumba, and salsa). Lots of energy and entertaining! • Million Dollar Quartet—this show’s main characters were Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins at the start of their careers. The voices and musicianship were very good. • Escape the Big Top—you don’t escape the room, but do have to solve a mystery with other people (groups of 8) using various clues. Our kids and I had fun and our group won! Don’t do it for the prizes though—just a thin drink coozie and deck of cards. • Dueling Pianos and Howl at the Moon got many good reviews, but we missed these shows. Fitness Room—my husband reported that they had a decent array of machines and he was able to get on one without much of a problem. He said that you may have to wait for ellipticals and treadmills, but something was always available in the weight room. Another plus—the hours were longer than on other ships. A negative—you have to pay to use the sauna and steam room (same on the other ships, though). Ports: Copenhagen: We arrived a day early to spend some time here. I ordered the 24-hour Copenhagen Card on line before we left (you get a voucher). If you plan to visit at least three attractions in 24 hours, the card is worth it, since it covers all of the major attractions and transportation. You take the voucher to the airport information desk (when you leave the baggage area and go down the escalator, heading toward the exits/trains, the information desk is on the right). Once you get the card, just follow the signs to Track 2 to get into the city. Our first attraction was the Lousiana Museum of Modern Art. Definitely worth the 40-minute train ride). So many interesting and beautiful things to see and experience, especially the exhibits by Pipilotti Rist. From the city center, take the train toward Helsinger, getting off at the Humblebaek stop. Once you exit the train, signs will direct you to the museum. We ate at the café on the corner where you turn (Lind’s Kaffebar). They have sandwiches, wraps, paninis, and omelettes. Good food; reasonable prices. When we returned to the city center, we checked into our hotel (more on that later), then we went to Rosenborg Castle. You can see rooms on five floors, including two basement levels (one for the treasury and the other for wine and weapons). There are many beautiful and unique items, but we were particularly impressed with the 3-D ceiling decorations and intricate ivory carvings. After a nap (flew overnight, so not much sleep), and dinner at L’Appetito (close to our hotel and the central train station; the pizza was good; they gave us free bread; and the service was quick and courteous), we went to Tivoli Gardens. We got there around 9 pm (twilight was at 9:30 and they were open until 11). They have beautiful gardens and lights, and free entertainment. Mamma Mia 2 was playing on a giant screen when we arrived, but they have a variety of other shows that pop up at various times (e.g., pantomime theater, ballet, acrobats, puppets, etc). You do have to pay extra for the rides (which our adult children did for the roller coaster), but my husband and I enjoyed ourselves without spending any extra money. We booked 3 double rooms (for 5 adults) with private bathrooms at Steel House. The rooms were small, just enough space for the bed and a small area in front of it (with a space to stash luggage in the base of the bed). But the bathroom was a decent size; the room was clean, quiet, and modern; the bed was comfortable; the price was significantly cheaper than other similarly-rated hotels; and it is close to the central train station, Tivoli Gardens, and the start of The Stroget, a pedestrian street with lots of shops. They also have lockers in the basement where, for a small fee, you can store your luggage if you arrive before check-in time. A tour guide stops by at 9:20 and 10:20 am to lead anyone interested in a free 2 1/2 hour walking tour to the meeting area in town (we did not do this). One minor annoyance was that the light in the bathroom was on a timer (you can set it for up to 5 minutes) and it will go off if no motion is detected (including when you are in the shower, but opening the shower door turns it on). Overall, I highly recommend Steel House and would definitely stay here again if I make it back to Copenhagen! Warnemunde/Rostock: Our berth was LP31 in Rostock. We took public transportation to get into town. To get to the Seehafen Fahre bus stop, go to the main road and turn right. When the road curves, just keep going straight to the large white building and you’ll see several bus stops—“A” right in front of the building, and “B” and “C” together off to the left. You can take bus 19 and 49 from B/C to the Dierkower Kreuz stop, then from there take tram 1 or 4 to Rostock Neuer Markt (New Market Square). We just walked through the market right there and then around town. The only building we went into was St. Mary’s Church, mainly to see the astronomical clock built in 1472, but it also has a beautiful stained-glass window, organ, and pulpit. We stopped in the Tourist Information Office to ask for a recommendation for a German restaurant for lunch. The gentleman gave me two names; one was a bit of a walk and one was just a couple of blocks away which is the one we chose. Hopfenkeller was a disappointment. The food was okay, but the prices were relatively high and service was terrible. We waited more than 20 minutes for the check even after catching the server’s eye once and then going right up to her to ask for it. Then we went to Warnemunde. From Neuer Markt, take tram 5 or 6 to the last stop (it’s the second one in Warnemunde). This is a beachside resort with lots of little shops (mostly clothing stores on the main drag [Alter Strom] with some souvenir shops on the road one block inland [Alexandrinenstrasse]). There is a lighthouse you can climb and you can just spend time on the beach. To get back to the ship, take the S-train toward Rostock, getting off at the Lutten-Klein stop. Then take bus 45 or 49 back to Seehafen Fahre. Helsinki: From our port (West Harbor/Hernesaari), we took bus 14 into town (the stop is close to the ship; just walk straight ahead on the road leading out of the port). Armed with a map of the tram routes and Rick Steve’s book, we were able to get around pretty easily. Our first stop was the Hietalahti Market (a flea market). They had a variety of goods—clothing, houseware items (lots of plates, glasses, tea pots), kids games/toys, collectibles, jewelry, books—like you would find in the U.S., but in mostly Finnish styles (duh). They also had stuff from Asian and other European countries. Next, we stopped at Kamppi Chapel (a serene oasis in the middle of a bustling city and cool architecture) on the way to the Church of the Rock (again interesting architecture, blasted out of solid granite). There are also a couple of small but good souvenir shops nearby. Then we headed to Senate Square, Market Square (bought several items here), and Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral (beautiful inside and out). We had lunch at a little pizza place on a corner across the street from Market Square (Vaelsa)—good pizza, good prices, fast service! St. Peterburg: We booked the 2-Day Must See tour plus the night Faberge Museum tour with Alla Tours. They were very responsive to questions prior to the trip. Our guide, Paulina, was great—very knowledgeable, easy to understand (actually fun to listen to with an accent that sounded like a mix of Russian, French [which she also speaks], and British English), well-organized, charming, and adorable to boot! The restaurants we were taken to for lunch were both good—tasty food and in pretty rooms. We were dropped off at a more casual restaurant to get a snack on our own between the day and night tours on the first day; they had a wide variety of options, the food was very good, and the prices were very reasonable. All of the sights we were taken to were worthwhile; I would choose the same tours again. My personal favorites were the Hermitage and the Church on the Spilled Blood. Tallinn: This was the easiest port to do on our own—you just walk off and into town. First, we did the Tallinn Free Tour (they work for tips). Our guide, Helen, did a great job, despite the unusually high heat and humidity, having a double-sized group (the other guide was ill), and sometimes having to speak over the sound of church bells (which went off for a prolonged time). She provided just the right amount of information—enough details to get a general understanding of Estonia’s history, doled out in relatively small doses over a number of stops throughout the town, without being overwhelming and with a good amount of humor throw in! Very enjoyable!! After the tour, we just wandered around town and did some shopping. We ate lunch at Wok to Walk, which had made to order stir-fries—good food, reasonable prices, and quick service! Stockholm: From the port (Nyashamn), you can get a shuttle bus (it picks you up right outside of the Visitor Center at the pier (where you can buy tickets for both the shuttle and train). You can also walk to the train station, but we thought the shuttle was worth it (less than $4.50). We took the train to Stockholm City (the central station), then tram 7 to Skansen (this is also the tram for the Vasa Museum and the ABBA Museum). Skansen is an open-air museum representing five centuries of Swedish history with over 150 dwellings, people in period dress, and a zoo. It sounded good to us, but we were underwhelmed and decided that it was not a good use of our limited port time (we had seen the Vasa Musuem on a previous cruise and were not interested in the ABBA museum). Maybe it would be worthwhile if you have younger children, but many of the workshops/buildings in “Old Town” were closed and we found only two employees giving spontaneous information about their crafts/history of the buildings; the others remained silent. The zoo was very small and several of the animals were hard or impossible to even spot. Lots of walking is involved, up and down hills. We ate lunch in their sit down restaurant (cafeteria); the food was okay, but a little pricey. From here we went back to the central train station, then took the metro/tunnelbana one stop to Gamla Stan (Old Town). You can take the red or green line, just watch what direction it’s going (I printed out the Rail Network Map ahead of time). Again, we just wandered around town. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Choose this cruise because Getaway has single studio cabins which 3 people in our group desired. Never been on NCL previously. Many cruises on Princess and some on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Cabin: Balcony 9728. Adequate. Only ... Read More
Choose this cruise because Getaway has single studio cabins which 3 people in our group desired. Never been on NCL previously. Many cruises on Princess and some on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Cabin: Balcony 9728. Adequate. Only drawback was constant awakening due to slamming doors all night. Strange. Neighbors weren't coming and going all night so I have no idea where the sounds were coming from. Staff: Friendly and helpful throughout. Ship: Clean and new Embarkation and debarkation: Excellent Dining: Complementary restaurants were ok; not quite up to Princess quality. Buffet was excellent. Lots of selection and generally tasty. Specialty restaurants Cagneys and Mondernero were excellent. Here's the big problem: LeBistro (French cuisine?) was atrocious. Slow service. Awful food. Appetizer of "lump crab salad" was mostly mayonnaise and devoid of crab. Main course of sole (most expensive thing on menu) was atrocious: came with 2 finger size potatoes and 3 croutons on fish. Seriously. That was it. Fish was pan fried but without taste. Would've been bad in the complementary restaurant, but to pay for it was unacceptable. Two big problems: ship docked in Rostock instead of Warnemunde; and, Nyahsamn instead of Stockholm. We knew these changes after we booked, but it proved to be problematic. Rostock is a somewhat boring city. Most other cruise ships dock at closeby Warnemunde. NCL probably docks at Rostock to save port fees. Could've have gotten to Warnemunde if we wanted to. Ship docks at Nyhasamn, about 43 miles from Stockholm. Again, we knew this going in, but the change happened after booking. Seems very deceptive in hindsight. We used the shuttle bus from NCL. They promised "narration" - there was none. The significant problems were with the return to the ship. Everyone was given different information about when and where to catch the bus. Total chaos in Stockholm. NCL staffer finally showed up about 1.5 hours after we all started waiting. Very poorly done and we've filed a complaint with NCL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and date. Service was excellent, especially in the restaurants and bars. We had the extra dining package that included dining at specialty restaurants three times. All three that we experienced; ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and date. Service was excellent, especially in the restaurants and bars. We had the extra dining package that included dining at specialty restaurants three times. All three that we experienced; Teppanyaki, Moderno and Le Bistro, were excellent. The regular dining areas, Savor and Taste were also good, if not outstanding. The only entertainment we attended were Syd Norman's Pour House and Howl at the Moon. We enjoyed the entertainers that were there a great deal, but it should be noted that they were disembarking the same day we did. We liked our cabin, especially the bathroom. There was a lot of storage, but we did notice that it was all low and I wondered if it would be difficult for someone who has trouble bending. The balcony is small but adequate. The bathroom and shower was the best we've experienced on any cruise. The Getaway is not one of our favorite ships overall. The main atrium has too much going on and is crowded most of the time. The casino is open to the one atrium, so the cigarette smoke wafts not only through the casino, but the floor above. Ports- We stayed in Copenhagen for one night before and one night after the cruise. Tivoli was wonderful, especially at night. Taxis are readily available to take you to the port and after the cruise. NCL repeatedly states that taxis are in short supply which is absolutely untrue. We took the train into Berlin. It is a minimum of 3 hours into Berlin because of a stop, but a little shorter on the way home. They did provide water, coffee or tea and a cookie on the way there and a beer and wine cart with inexpensive choices on the way back. We agreed that we wouldn't do the train ride again, but did want to experience Berlin. Helsinki was nice. We booked the Hoho through NCL for the convenience and were able to walk off of the ship, board a bus and leave quickly. We also booked the Hoho for Stockholm. I was concerned about this because of previous reviews, but the buses left quickly. It might have been different for people who lingered getting off the ship. They told us we could catch the 3:30 or 4:30 shuttle back. They had buses there before 3:00 and each left as soon as it was filled. We loved Tallinn. I got off the ship at 8AM and walked into the city. Many things didn't open until 10, but for me, it was very enjoyable to walk around the city before the crowds arrived. The drawback for us was that we were there on a Sunday and several things were closed. St Petersburg is really pushed as the jewel of the cruise.NCL still tries to make you think you need to book an excursion through them or obtain a Visa independently. We booked a two day excursion through TJ Travel and recommend it highly. It was the same itinerary as the NCL excursion, but about $100 less. I booked it through email, did not have to pay until the end of the first day and the tickets sent to us acted as our Visas. There was absolutely no problem getting through immigration either day. Our van had only 14 people, while it appeared the NCL excursions were full sized buses. The only drawback to the TJ Travel was they advertise time for shopping, but it is simply in their gift shop, so I felt that was a bit deceptive, although common for excursions. Do note that the 2 day excursions, whether through TJ, Allah, or NCL or very intense. Our group agreed that we were glad to see such a variety, but might have preferred a little less intensity and more time in some of the places. Overall, we would definitely recommend this cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted to go on a Baltic Cruise because it stopped at destinations that we’ve never visited before. So the ports of call on this cruise perfectly satisfied the cities we desired to visit. The entertainment was great. The food was ... Read More
We wanted to go on a Baltic Cruise because it stopped at destinations that we’ve never visited before. So the ports of call on this cruise perfectly satisfied the cities we desired to visit. The entertainment was great. The food was good. However, there seemed to be a little disorganization at dinner time and reservations. Most people with reservations were getting frustrated. All people, with or without reservations, were lined up in the same queue and there seemed to be a lot of confusion. At the same time, I couldn’t help it feeling bad for the staff as well. Because they tried their best to seat people as quickly as they could but they could only do so much. Sometimes they had to send you to another one of their restaurants because the one that you had reservation at was full! Suggestions: To reduce everyone’s frustration organize two different lines One “with reservation” one “ without reservation”. The seats at “Headliners” were extremely uncomfortable, and we weren’t the only ones complaining about that! There is a easy fix for that. Our overall experience was great and we look forward to our next cruise and we decided to only go on cruises with newer ships like Getaway. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I’m going to try to avoid doing what I normally do and write a ridiculously long and detailed narrative for a trip report. None the less, I do have a tendency to get a little… wordy. My wife and I have only been on one cruise 20 ... Read More
I’m going to try to avoid doing what I normally do and write a ridiculously long and detailed narrative for a trip report. None the less, I do have a tendency to get a little… wordy. My wife and I have only been on one cruise 20 years ago on the NCL Wind and our travel companions were first-timers, and our cruise on the NCL Getaway was fun. We had a great time, but there were things that didn’t quite measure up to the expectations that I formed from comments and reviews on the internet. I’ll do this by category. Service: Top-notch. They apparently recruit from the same pool as Disney, as everyone we encountered was smiling and friendly. The only stumble we saw was at La Cucina, and I’ll get to that under food. Our favorite bartender was Dexter from Granada. We tipped him well and he was a massive positive point for the whole trip. Our steward was Arson, but I can’t remember where he was from as I rarely saw him. He was a ghost that magically made everything right. I swear we’d put the “Make-up Room” light on and come back in ten minutes and it’d be done. I swear the guy had a magic wand or something. He’s the other guy that received an extra tip. Ports of Call: We sailed out of Copenhagen and hit five other cities: Warnemunde Germany, Tallinn Estonia, St. Petersburg Russia, Helsinki Finland, and Stockholm Sweden. Five ports on a nine-day cruise may not sound too bad, but it was EXHAUSTING. Fantastic, beautiful, and inspiring to be sure; but bloody tiring. I averaged about 24,000 steps per day on my counter for those five days plus two and a half days in Copenhagen. If you are mobility-challenged, this isn’t the cruise for you. I will say though that Stockholm was almost not worth the trouble. We only had seven hours or so, and two and a half hours were spend getting to and from the city center because we were ported in Nynashamn. In Russia, we used Anastasia Travel for the two days we were there. We are NOT guided tour people, so we booked the private tour for the four of us. It was OUTSTANDING. I would not hesitate to use them again or suggest them to anyone. Food: Here’s were things took a downturn I’m afraid. I’ve always had the impression that NCL was known for having top-notch food. Sadly, we didn’t feel like that’s the case. The buffet was acceptable but average and ALWAYS packed with people. The main courses in the main dining rooms were very good, but some of the sides and desserts were lacking. O’Sheehan’s was a disappointment. The food was average at best, bordering on just plain bad. The items that I ate there were ok at best but the other three in our group refused to eat there after two attempts. Nachos with squirt-on cheese, flavorless salad dressing, and fatty and unappetizing BBQ wings. I had the standard buffalo style and found then acceptable at best. Cagney’s was great and Teppanyaki was really good and a lot of fun, Moderno’s was good, but La Cucina was average. Our waitress there seemed forgetful and untrained. She was always polite and cheerful, but she forgot very basic things. For example, she spilled water all over the table then forgot to return to clean it up or even bring us a towel. I had to ask for help on that one, and there were more little things like that. I’m sure she’ll improve with time. The food was only average as well. Cirque Steam and Dreams was surprisingly good considering you get no choice at all in what you receive. (Surf n’ Turf.) The show was awesome as well. Shanghai’s was ok but frankly, I don’t see why this place is so popular. The food was slightly better than grocery store Chinese food, and the seating is awkward at best. Maybe it was better at one point. The Ship: The Getaway is a beautiful vessel. Flat out, no argument there. However, the design is a little lacking when it comes to the traffic flow and dealing with crowds. For example, we had 4600 people on board, so hallways were always busy. With this in mind, why would you design a shopping area in one of those hallways? This causes people to stop to look at things and ask questions of the staff member, causing blockages in the hallway. Yes, I know. I get it. This is done intentionally as a sales tactic. However, I suggest that it’s more detrimental than they think. I found it immensely irritating. Entertainment and activities: Oddly enough, we didn’t do that much on the ship. Never did the ropes course, mini-golf, or waterslides. Didn’t use the pool or hot tub either. Most of the time we were either too busy eating, drinking, or just plain resting up from an exhausting day. Also, on the first day we say a bunch of Hindi people in one of the hot tubs and they were gobbing on heavy layers of sunscreen while in the tub and getting it all over the place and in the water; I even saw that the waitstaff found that unacceptable as they were notifying the pool staff. They were then dubbed the Human Soup family and pretty much soured my desire to touch any community water areas. We saw the Million Dollar Quartet and it was great, even my friend who HATES plays and musicals liked it. The guy playing Jerry Lee Lewis was amazing. My wife said Burn the Floor was awesome, I declined to go. We walked into the dueling pianos show while it was in progress and it wasn’t even half full. It wasn’t very good either. They might want to re-think that one. We TRIED to go to the new Syd Norman’s bar for the band, but it was always packed. Even when it was bad karaoke it was packed. Considering that the Raw Bar and Wasabi were almost always empty, and I rarely EVER saw anyone going into or exiting the Ice Bar… They should re-think their use of space. Syd’s could be three times the size it is and still fill up. Final thoughts: All in all, a fun experience and I regret nothing. Having the drink package was great and I know we got our money’s worth. It was a perk, so we just had the service fees. I don’t know if it would have been worth it if we had to buy it outright. I think the drinks were mostly watered down to contain drunkenness though. Typically, I’m a loyal customer. When I choose a company, I like I stick with them. However, if and when we ever cruise again we might be looking at other options that better fit our desires and habits. There were a lot of features of this ship we just didn’t use or care about. We’ll see. If you’re considering this cruise, please keep in mind that this is NOT a cheap cruise. We pre-paid everything and were at ~$8500 before ever leaving the house. (Airfare, hotels, cruise, pre-paid everything…) I don’t know yet how much we spent existing in foreign ports, but I’d be surprised if was less than $1500. Wow, only 2.33 pages. Usually, I’m over 20 pages per week of vacationing… Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of ... Read More
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of service that we like. We would be happy to travel again on this ship. Here are some observations. DINING Good: Variety of dining options. O'sheehans is often a favourite. We had 4 additional choices as part of our package. Le Bistro, Cagneys and Moderno are always winners (usually an add on). Needs tweaking: The garden cafe is good for all but close table seating made it difficult to move around when necessary. This can be managed by choosing to dine in Savor or Taste restaurants. Sometimes in the garden cafe, there were dishes that were cold by the time you sat down to eat at the table. For example, scrambled eggs, meat dishes that are meant to be hot, and Indian dishes. I imagine that could cause food to be wasted. I prefer hot food to be eaten at that same temperature. Specialty restaurants did not have this problem. Service: All good during our stay and in all areas of the ship. Entertainment: We love listening to live music. The Syd Norman Pour House had a band with a variety of vocalists that really worked hard to sing and engage the crowd. Definitely a winner for me to sing along with 70,80,90's music. The venue was often crowded. Burn the floor was a good show too. Any longer would have been repetitive. Their energy is amazing. Ancora was an opera/classical group of 4 that were simply fantastic. The range and quality of their voices was breathtaking. I didn't go to see the Cirque show. The additional cost was not the issue. I'm just not into the circus theme. There were other entertainment options too. I liked the interactive games on level 6 that engaged the audience. Nothing complicated, but amusing Room: We had a mini suite on deck 9 forward. While close to level 8 entertainment venue, we slept soundly. Fixtures and fittings are beginning to show some signs of age but, this did not impact on our comfort. Recommendations: Based on personal preference. More ping pong tables so that adults can play, not just the kids. Maybe more area in the gym for stretching, cooling etc in peak time. Also, a big thank you to Mario who was helpful in meeting the needs of the Cruise critic team when docking in Russia. Thanks to Tammy and Patrick (friendly cruise critic cruisers) too. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
After reading some of the reviews and complaints about NCL in general and their megaships I was a bit hesitant to book this cruise. It was our first time with NCL. having previously sailed with Disney and Celebrity. I am happy to say my ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews and complaints about NCL in general and their megaships I was a bit hesitant to book this cruise. It was our first time with NCL. having previously sailed with Disney and Celebrity. I am happy to say my fears were unfounded. Embarkation in Copenhagen went smoothly. We started out with lunch at Taste, which was great, and then headed back to our cabin - a 5 person oceanview on deck 5. It was clean, fresh and enough storage space. Dininig - We tried Cagneys, Teppaniyaki. La Cucina and the brazilian steakhouse - we absolutely loved the food there, Cagneys was our least favorite but it was good too. Other days we ate in the MDR's, we were happy with the food there too. The only place I wouldn't recommend eating was the buffet simply because it was so overcrowded and more about quantity than quality, but the fresh pasta station and other things like that made it tolerable. As for entertainment we didn't see any shows, except one violinist which was ok. We did partake in some of the family origami stuff but mostly our cruise was about relaxing, which we really did - as much as is possible with 3 kids under the age of 6. We did use the kids club on a few occacions, but I wasn't really impressed. The staff didn't seem to interact with our children much, but on the other hand I know some kids loved it there so I guess it depends a lot on the indidual child in question whether they will enjoy it. It was a good thing that they had the guppies playroom on deck 16, and then our oldest loved doing the mini golf, the bowling, the climbing wall and so on. The arcade was simply too loud, but we did enjoy the pool and splash area on several days even though the weather was freezing. I found the ship to be in excellent condition, and the service was fine. Apart from the kids club as mentioned above, I didn't find fault with a single crew member. We live in northern Europe, so we didn't go on this cruise for the ports. Instead we spent most of those days on the ship, which was much more enjoyable when there was less people on it. Having said that, apart from the buffet I didn't feel that the ship was overcrowded and waiting for elevators wasn't a problem. Favorite area on the ship was the waterfront, which was simply lovely. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The entertainment on the ship was amazing! We went to see Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams and Steam, the Magic Show and the Million Dollar Quartet. They were all fantastic and you could tell that the performers were very experienced. The ... Read More
The entertainment on the ship was amazing! We went to see Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams and Steam, the Magic Show and the Million Dollar Quartet. They were all fantastic and you could tell that the performers were very experienced. The dining was okay. Garden Cafe had lots of options when it came to different cuisines. The teppanyaki restaurant and La Cuchina were nice but it was really annoying because kids have to eat from the kids' menu in the specialty restaurants. The service was so-so. It took a long time for the staff to get the drinks. The pools and hot tubs were very nice. I liked that the pools were not saltwater like many other cruises I have been on. The ports were amazing. The only problem that I had was that it was a bit chilly so you need to make sure to bring jackets. I have a special recommendation for a man named Kashif from Zimbabwe. He was a photographer on our cruise and he was very kind and he is one of the best staff members on our cruise. He definitely deserves a raise!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Overall a good cruise. Food good, entertainment good, itinerary excellent. Main complaints had to do with poor internet service. After paying for the premium package I expected excellent service, instead I got internet that did not ... Read More
Overall a good cruise. Food good, entertainment good, itinerary excellent. Main complaints had to do with poor internet service. After paying for the premium package I expected excellent service, instead I got internet that did not work for at least two of the nine days. Many complaints from guests but no refunds offered. Ship was quite nice. Recently refurbished. Ports were great. St. Petersburg was a great surprise. We booked independantly for all tours and used TJ travel in St. Petersburg. Highly recommend. Copenhagen was nice, recommend CPH food tours and Hey Captain boat tours. Visby was added to our itinerary and it was a real treat. We were lucky to dock at the actual Stockholm port instead of the more distant port where the Getaway usually docks. Beware of the cabs in Stockholm, some will try to rip you off. Confirm your price before travel. Tallinn was quite nice. Wonderful old town. Our 16 and 13 year old children complained that the waterslides, mini golf and other activities geared toward them had strange operating hours. Weather was great. Temps high enough to for folks to use the outdoor amenities avoiding the indoor crowding that others had complained about on earlier cruises. Jogging track was short and crowded with people oblivious to joggers. Casino was great. Any casino that has Pai Got Poker is a good casino in my book. Craps table was hopping and casino overall had a good vibe. Couple of other insider tips: 1. Leave plenty of time to get to the port. Lots of construction right now, traffic was at a standstill going into the port. Plan for 45 minutes to one hour from city center. 2. At CPH look out for the passport control. It can take you 40 minutes or more to get through this. If you are in the main part of the airport (where all the shopping and restaurants are) leave plenty of time to get to your gate. Recommend 1 hour before boarding. Overall good cruise. Kids prefer Royal Caribbean for next one though. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was my best experience with NCL but, as on previous cruises, the full time assault on your senses with the myriad methods of selling is offensive and pervasive. The cruise itself was wonderful with an excellent crew and wonderful ... Read More
This was my best experience with NCL but, as on previous cruises, the full time assault on your senses with the myriad methods of selling is offensive and pervasive. The cruise itself was wonderful with an excellent crew and wonderful food as long as you stay away from the assaultive passengers in the Garden Cafe. The ports were of great interest for me and I bought more excursions than I usually do but I would say that they were disorganized and clumsy. I heard many comments from fellow guests wondering if this was the first time they were organizing these events. The food was wonderful and Chef Bennet was personable and very helpful with my dietary requirements. If he had a restaurant I’d be there every day. Miroslav, Barnabe and Mylene stood out as excellent ships ambassadors. Maybe the ship is just too big. I’ll try a smaller one next time. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Someone suggested we go on this cruise. It was wonderful but the highlight was the massage therapist. Surina Taljaard. She was so good I had 4 massages. Whatever Norwegian pays her it is not enough We enjoyed the specialty dining and ... Read More
Someone suggested we go on this cruise. It was wonderful but the highlight was the massage therapist. Surina Taljaard. She was so good I had 4 massages. Whatever Norwegian pays her it is not enough We enjoyed the specialty dining and Tropicana and Savor. Buffet not so much. We went on excursions in every port and they were awesome. I really enjoyed Berlin and will go back when I can spend more time. The tour guide was from Pennsylvania and help dual citizenship. We went everywhere we could in 1 day. St Petersburg was spectacular. After 2 days of 12,000 steps a day I was ready for a break. If we go back, we will take 3 or 4 days. I had no idea that Sweden and Denmark were so beautiful. The cabin we had was aft facing and it really made for a great trip. We would sit out in the mornings and evenings and were able to see both sides of the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
The ship was chosen for the itinerary which was great. There were lots of activities on board and the shows at night were excellent: Million dollar quartet and Burn the floor. We didn't go to any shows with a charge as we think ... Read More
The ship was chosen for the itinerary which was great. There were lots of activities on board and the shows at night were excellent: Million dollar quartet and Burn the floor. We didn't go to any shows with a charge as we think that's tacky and unnecessary. The food was just ok and we didn't like the buffet for breakfast or lunch. The quality of food in the 3 dining rooms was better but not great. The best restaurant was Le Bistro which had a charge. The ports were great and we found a WONDERFUL tour company that we used for 2 days in St. Petersburg and one day to Berlin. The company, Alla tours was professional, on time and very knowledgeable about the area. The tour guides were wonderful and their price was very fair and much less than the cruise line. I would definitely use this tour company again. To sum up, the ship had good points and not so good points but we would sail with Norwegian again based on the itinerary. We would definitely use ALLA tours again and have recommended them to friends. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I had a voucher PLUS I like the solo cabin option. However, the solo lounge director staff was unable to get us to know once another.. Still nice to have our own place for coffee, etc. I never had to wait too long at the ... Read More
I had a voucher PLUS I like the solo cabin option. However, the solo lounge director staff was unable to get us to know once another.. Still nice to have our own place for coffee, etc. I never had to wait too long at the complimentary restaurants. However, at Taste and Savour the service was very slow and many of the staff appeared to have a language issue. NCL need to make sure each waitstaff has a good understanding of English. Also, when I asked someone for something and it was NOT in there service area, instead of getting it, they passed the request along to someone else which caused taking additional time. Several time I had to ask the manager to provide menus as no one claimed responsibility as our waitstaff!!!! Speciality restaurant service was excellent. I had three excellent massages. But please cut the hard sell. So off-putting.The LGBT meet and greet in the Sunset Bar was well attended and bar staff friendly. Even the cruise director stopped by to introduce himself. I avoided NCL shore excursions. Very expensive and more intimate to find your own tour guides,especially in St. Petersburg. I only took SPB tour as many of the ports could be seen on your own with a local map. Disembarkation was a disaster. Took much too long. Just get off the ship early and do not wait until you tag color is called. I would book NCL again but only on a smaller ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Tons of fun on the NCL Getaway June 7th, 2019 cruise. The ship just got off from a 1-month dry dock and you could tell all the wall furnishings, artwork, carpet, paint, and other details were attended too. Embarkation: Fast and ... Read More
Tons of fun on the NCL Getaway June 7th, 2019 cruise. The ship just got off from a 1-month dry dock and you could tell all the wall furnishings, artwork, carpet, paint, and other details were attended too. Embarkation: Fast and painless Took about 35 min or so. Food: Recommend eating at Savor/Taste whenever you have the chance. These two dining rooms are 2 of the 3 main dining halls apart from the buffet. They have their own kitchen and you can taste the difference. First night line was long-about 45-minute wait but only 15-20 each night thereafter. They did allow reservations on the last night and thank goodness we did that. People were waiting for an hour or so I hear. Tropicana allows reservations but they go really fast. Book for your entire cruise if you don't want to wait. The food and service were lacking compared to Savor/Taste. Tropicana has nightly entertainment which can be fun. Buffett was a buffet, not horrible or great. Crazy, crazy busy ALL the time. We sat outside a few times-a little chilly but a nice break from the crowds. Cabin: BEST CABIN out of my 7 cruises. Had 2 adults, 2 kids. Plenty of storage (2 closets and multiple drawers. Bunk bed plus lower couch bed which kids enjoyed. Bring a window curtain or shower curtain with hooks and you can partition off the room at night time. Entertainment: Free Burn the floor was meh. Great dancers-but there was no storyline or anything to keep you entertained. It was just dancing for 45 minutes. Wish we would have seen Million Dollar Quartet- one of the guys showed up at the Dueling Pianos and he was AMAZING. Dueling Pianos was good fun. Mr. and Mrs. Smith was great. The Comedian was dumb...but with enough alcohol I was laughing. I enjoyed Escape the Big Top-its like Escape the Room. Did not wish to pay for any shows. Water Slides-Kids loved it. Slides are not heated so there were really cold when we went. Pools were a little warmer and many ppl enjoyed. Ropes Course is great with a zip line to at the end. Not to be missed. Mini Golf and rock climbing were great! Osheehans games are fun! Mini bowling ($6/person/game) Pretty expensive and not included in the all-inclusive game package. Air hockey, Pool, Basketball and some others. You will find more in the arcade room too. If you have kids, the all-inclusive game package is worth it. Each game is crazy expensive- 1.50 and up I believe. Kids Camp/Splash Academy: $6/meal which I think is crazy. There is a show performed by the kid's last sea day and if your child does not want to participate, they can't go during that 3 hour block of time. SPA: Booked a couples massage. Was good-not the best. Ended with a hard sales pitch. No Sauna, hot tub, amenities or a shower after... There is a 20% off coupon first sea day-art auction. If you want to use SPA, go get that coupon. Otherwise, the daily deals are ok, but spots filled up fast. Couldn't get into Thalassotherapy Pool-they only sell a limited amount of passes and had zero Sea days available. Ports: Berlin: Best of Berlin & Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp by Viator. Highly Recommend. (ULK tours) Probably one of the best tours I've been on. I was debating the 3hour bus ride both ways...but it was worth it. The camp really made the tour. This was one of the longest days we had, but since there isn't much to see during the bus ride- you have a built-in nap. :) St. Petersburg: Beautiful and surprising! Tour from TJ Travel: 2 day St. Petersburg City Tour. We got SUPER lucky and had Olga who was smart, funny and customized our tour due to the traffic. We overheard many saying they did not like St. Petersburg because of the lines and the number of people. There were quite a few ships in during our stay and line to Hermitage was NUTS. We ended up going first thing on the 2nd day and waited only 30 minutes. The otherwise-the line wrapped around the building. Probably a 2-3 hour wait. Petergof was AMAZING and equally surprising was the Subway Station! Make sure your guide allows you a few minutes at each stop to just look around. It's quite something. Side note: Our tour started at 8:45am and we got outside probably around 9am. You could see most tour operators were waiting outside and not leaving people who had reservations. NCL sends a notice the night prior saying NCL tours only will get off first, and then after 8:45, other tours. You get assigned a group number ( I think there are 12 groups total). The passport line after getting off the ship added to the time it took to get to the tour. (The 2nd day went faster since they entered your information already) Plan accordingly. Tallinn: Walked from cruise port to Old Town-easy walk. About 15-20 minutes. No tour needed. Beautiful place just to stroll around and grab some espresso. We all enjoyed it! Helsinki: Hop On Hop Off by Stromma with Canal Tour. Lots of mini islands which was nice to see. We did not hop off and tour any places as it was freezing for us. The bus was right outside by port. Stockholm: BEAUTIFUL and I wish I had more time there. It would take a few days to explore. Hop on Hop Off by Stromma...EXCEPT this was a horrible experience. They were allowing people getting off the ship to buy at the port-which is fine, if they had enough buses and if it was organized. Took an hour or more just to get on the bus and then an hour or so to drive into town. Then they make you get off by the ABBA museum to catch another bus or get on the canal tour. Another 45 min to get on the canal tour. So we wasted a ton of time with this bus company. Not to mention AC did not work on any of the buses and it was deathly hot. There weren't enough buses to take everyone back to the ship either...so the company had to call in another bus everyone...This took another 1.5 off of our day at port. Book a real tour because this city is not to be missed. It probably would have been one of my favorites. Copenhagen: We spent 3 days after the cruise. Originally had Hotel Nebo booked-which we stayed at before the cruise. Do not recommend at all...ended up at Hotel Tivoli which was great! Spent the entire day at Tivoli (11 hours) and that wasn't enough. My parents (in their 70's) had fun and went on rides. The gardens are beautiful and the food was good. Copenhagen Zoo on the next day. One of the best Zoo's I've been to! Watched a baby polar bear play and jump in the water while the dad ate. Saw a baby kangaroo come out from the mother's pouch and watched others jump around the fields. The panda was eating its bamboo and the monkeys were playing. The 3rd day was just walking around enjoying the city, did a canal tour (highly recommend) and enjoyed local food. Great tour overall. I would say there will be mixed reviews-but it is what you make of it. It's your vacation and some things won't go according to plan or what you hoped for. We just roll with it. It all works out and makes for some great memories in the end. Was the ship too crowded? Yeah. I would opt to go on a smaller cruise next time. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely-one of the better ones. Would I do NCL again? Yes Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
"We just completed a transatlantic trip on the Norwegian Getaway. A 12 day trip with intended stops in the Azores, Portland UK, Le Havre, Brugge and Southampton became a 10 day trip when the cruise company decided to cut it short. ... Read More
"We just completed a transatlantic trip on the Norwegian Getaway. A 12 day trip with intended stops in the Azores, Portland UK, Le Havre, Brugge and Southampton became a 10 day trip when the cruise company decided to cut it short. They changed ports dropping the French and Brussles area only to change again dropping the Azores and Portland. Having done that and accepted the changes, they provide a 25% discount on the trip and some refund on travel plan changes. Once the drama was over, (for us it was compounded by the fact that we were originally on the Oasis of the Seas which had an accident in dry-dock eliminating our trip), things went very well. While North Atlantic is notoriously unpredictable in Spring, it provided us with cold and rain but very smooth sailing. Because we were able to secure a spa suit and were in The Haven, a smaller area of the ship with a private dining and lounge area, we truly enjoyed the passage. The ship had great activities and good food. We enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I still wonder how Norwegian was unaware until the last minute that the long scheduled passage was to be cut 2 days short for a refitting in dry dock." 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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