2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This is my fourth trip with NCL, and I think it's been my favorite. I liked the boat and the ports were fabulous to visit! As for the ship, I thought the embarkation process went very smoothly. We came into Copenhagen the day ... Read More
This is my fourth trip with NCL, and I think it's been my favorite. I liked the boat and the ports were fabulous to visit! As for the ship, I thought the embarkation process went very smoothly. We came into Copenhagen the day before and did some sightseeing in the morning before embarkation. We left for the boat from our hotel around 1:00 pm, so I think I may have boarded on the later side. The lines were short, and it was easy to get on. My daughter and I booked a mini-suite on level 13. The beds were comfy; the shower was nice; and our room steward was very helpful. I have only 2 minor complaints with the room. First, I remember on other cruises, we had a curtain divider that I could pull across to separate the sitting area from the bed. This would have been nice as my daughter likes to sleep in a bit longer than me. : ) Second, at times, the room could be noisy. I would hear alot of toilet flushing from other rooms, and my neighbors talked very loudly at times. Regardless, I would book the room again. I thought the food was decent on the Getaway. I stayed away from the Garden Buffet as much as I could as I don't like crowds there. We ate breakfast at Moderno, which is still a buffet but less hectic. I had the dining speciality package and had dinner at Ocean Blue, Le Bistro, La Cucina, and Moderno. I wasn't crazy about Moderno as It's not my type of restaurant. However, I thought the other restaurants were excellent. As a matter of fact, I thought it was the best Le Bistro I've eaten ate when compared to the other ships. I mentioned this to our waiter, and he brought out the head chef for me to tell him this. I thought it was cool that I was able to tell him this and the chef was very appreciative. The main dining was good too. However, I did find out on the first night, that "rare" means rare. I think Americans tend to like meat cooked a little more done than those from other countries. I just ordered medium rare going forward and I was fine. I enjoyed the entertainment on the boat, but the venues do get crowded. I wish the atrium, syd's pour house, and headliners could be bigger to hold more attendees as it's a "big" boat. For Ports, we did the following: Copenhagen - stayed at a hotel near the palace and Nyhaven. We visited the Rosenburg castle and the Round Tower on our own and walked around the city. Wundermunde - booked the Schwerin Fairy Castle tour. This was enjoyable, and I was glad we did this instead of Berlin. It was 90 degrees Fahrenheit that day, and it was hot!!! I felt bad for those who had to take an un-air conditioned train to Berlin. We visited the castle and a local church in the village. Both were interesting to visit. We also got to visit a farmer's market with this tour, and we enjoyed the brats that were being cooked at the market. Tallin - Tallin was a neat town with lots of neat architecture. We didn't book a NCL tour, and instead walked into town and attended a free walking tour of the city. I liked the shopping here, and I would recommend eating at the Russian restaurant (can't remember the name) in the main square if you have a chance. The food was pretty authentic, and I thought the infused vodkas were better here than in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg- my daughter and I booked a lot of NCL's tours in SPB. I really wanted to do the evening at the Hermitage tour and had to piece the rest of the tours together. First, we went on the Panoramic View of St. Petersburg tour. We did this so that we could shop and walk up and down Nevsky Prospekt. My daughter is learning Russian in college, and it was neat to see her speak with the retailers at various stores. In the afternoon, we attended Life in the eyes of the Russian People. The metro ride was neat, and we enjoyed the visit to the farmer's market. Both tours visited different parts of the city, so we got to see a lot of SPB. At night, we did the evening at the Hermitage tour. In my opinion, this is the only way to see this museum. Our group of 30 were the only ones in the room. Needless to say, we were exhausted Saturday night, but it was worth it! On Sunday, we did a tour that visited Peterhof and Sts Peter and Paul Fortress. I would recommend booking a tour that visits Peterhof on the 2nd day if you can. Our guide mentioned, we got to spend more time in the gardens as the disembarkation process is a lot quicker on the 2nd day. Helsinki - We visited this city on our own. Easy city to take their public transportation. We downloaded their transportation app (HSL) and bought a day pass for 8 Euros. We enjoyed reindeer and moose burgers at a restaurant called Stone's. Stockholm - Took the NCL tour bus into the city. In the morning, we visited the city hall and it's tower. We then saw the Vasa museum, had lunch at a cafe on Djurgarden. After lunch we visited the Prince Eugene museum. We ended the day walking around Gamla Stan. To get around the city, we took an Uber to get from city hall to Djurgarden, and then used public transportation around Djurgarden, and a ferry to Gamla Stan. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We loved our Baltic Cruise on the NCL Getaway. We had high expectations and were not disappointed. We booked this over a year ago and looked into many cruise lines and itineraries before choosing NCL (mostly for the itinerary). Ship: ... Read More
We loved our Baltic Cruise on the NCL Getaway. We had high expectations and were not disappointed. We booked this over a year ago and looked into many cruise lines and itineraries before choosing NCL (mostly for the itinerary). Ship: The ship was big. This was our first "big" ship cruise. It was always too crowded in the public areas and buffet. The number of passengers, as well as some very rude passengers (there are always some aren't there), was the only con. However, everything was accessible and very clean. Cabin: We had a mid-ship inside cabin (category IA). We prefer inside cabins so that we can use the money we save on other things. The cabin was normal size, the closet was a little small and there wasn't much shelf space (no drawers). The bathroom was a generous size for a cruise ship especially the surprisingly large shower (which had a door, not a curtain). Dining: We dined in all complimentary venues for dinner. We made reservations in advance and were always seated when we arrived - no waiting - and the food was excellent every time - lots of choices too. We never had an issue getting into a dining room for lunch either. We ate at Cagney's (great food) and LaCucina (not my favorite). We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at O'Sheehan's and every time it was excellent (service here for breakfast was the best we experienced). We could not, no matter how much we tried or how many times we stopped by, get into Shanghai Noodle House so we were very disappointed about that. Entertainment/Activities: No complaints about the entertainment, especially Syd Norman's Rock the House band. Matt, Roxey and Anna (and the band too) were beyond excellent and we found ourselves at this venue on multiple nights-great music and great voices too - especially Roxey. Activity staff were amazing and there was always something to do - at certain times there were so many things to do that they conflicted with each other. We were never bored. We participated in the ropes course (lots of fun), climbing wall, SpiceH2O (adults only section with hot tubs), many of the trivia games, mini golf, and so on. This was a port heavy cruise and you only had limited time on board. Service: No complaints about service at all. Our cabin steward was great, always leaving a clean wine glass in the room (without asking), bartenders, waitstaff, guest services, etc. were always on point. Ports: All of the ports were wonderful. We booked with SPB tours in Berlin and St. Petersburg and toured the other ports independently. We were disappointed that we weren't closer to city center in Helsinki but were able to get a shuttle bus ($10/per person). Tallin was an interesting city but the fact that there were many ships in port made it overcrowded. While we weren't in the city center in Stockholm, there's a train about 15-20 mins from the port and it was easy to locate and buy tickets at the port (much appreciated) which you could use for other modes of transport in the city (tram, ferry, bus - we used them all). Embarkation: Wow! After spending 2+ hours in line on a recent Cunard cruise just to get on the ship we couldn't believe how smoothly the Getaway embarkation process was, especially since the Getaway was twice the size. We were through the embarkation process within 10 minutes from the time we arrived at the terminal. Disembarkation: Since our flight was later in the day we chose the latest independent disembarkation time. We left the ship, our bags were waiting and we stood in a taxi line for about 10 mins. No issues at all. While the ship was big and there were A LOT of people, everything went as smoothly as possible. We were apprehensive about dining because of reviews that said if you had reservations you still had to wait but this was not our experience (maybe we didn't dine at popular times?). I highly suggest making dining reservations, even in the complimentary dining venues and especially at the specialty restaurants. Read your Freestyle Daily thoroughly. We didn't buy the beverage package because it's not worth it for us. In the end, we spent about $300 total on drinks which was definitely much less than the package. While we understand that everyone's experience is different, and everyone is looking for something different, we cannot understand the negative reviews for this ship or itinerary. It was fantastic, and getting off and on the ship at each port was a breeze. Everyone was friendly, accommodating and pleasant. The cruise staff were fun, exciting and made sure you had a great time. The CruiseCritic meet and greet (our first) was really nice. Many ship officers attended (even the captain) and that was very much appreciated. This is our 3rd NCL cruise and will not be our last. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Our travel agent chose the company and we chose to cruise in order to visit countries we had not visited before. Also we are senior citizens and wanted a quiet cruise, and a freestyle cruise. At ther airport, representatives of NCL met us ... Read More
Our travel agent chose the company and we chose to cruise in order to visit countries we had not visited before. Also we are senior citizens and wanted a quiet cruise, and a freestyle cruise. At ther airport, representatives of NCL met us and transfer to the ship and embarkation went smoothly. The cabin was super and the cabin attendant, Mr. Farid, did an excellent job throughout the cruise. The food was excellent, in the buffet and in the other restaurants. It was even better than what we expected. Crew members as well as support personal were helpful and always smiling. We did not watch any show, so I do not have any comment about entertainment. We did not play at the casinos and did not participate in outdoors activities either. We did 2 excursions in Saint Petersburg, guides were competent and funny. On the negative side, your beverage plan ought to be more flexible. My wife does not drink alcohol and I would have had to buy two packages. You will agree that 200$ per day is a lot of booze for a single individual, I do not drink that much. We appreciated the daily leaflet, it answered many questions. It was nice to have a French-speaking representative, Mrs Dionne, on board. We will definitely go again on a crise with NCL but we cannot make any commitment right now. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Never thought we would do another Baltic cruise but as my wife is Polish there was never a question. We took full advantage of our Platinum benefits getting five on this particular cruise. Having flights, transfers and excursions booked ... Read More
Never thought we would do another Baltic cruise but as my wife is Polish there was never a question. We took full advantage of our Platinum benefits getting five on this particular cruise. Having flights, transfers and excursions booked through NCL made most everything go nice and easy. A few bumps however did occur. First we landed on the day of the Gay Pride Parade which was no fault of the cruise line, unfortunately the normally 25 minute ride from the airport took two and a half hours. As mentioned in another review getting back on board in Gdansk took quite some time, as I recall both gangways were open but all of the cruise excursion buses seem to all get back at the same time. Another problem seemed to be with the passengers themselves. As with our previous cruise four years ago I can honestly say that we have never seen so many rude people or experienced a total lack of manners from fellow travelers. I even observed one lady verbally abuse one of the crew members for attempting to spray hand sanitizer, which is done at every entrance to all dining areas, as she felt she was being accused of being dirty. This complete lack of manners is totally unacceptable and was reported to the Director of Food and Beverage. Excursion to Berlin was great and we had one of the best guides ever. Russia was as impressive as always and we did a repeat visit to the Hermitage. Room steward was most polite and attentive, cabin always nice and clean. Didn't go to any shows however we really enjoyed all of our meals especially at Cagney's Steak House. Hardest part of the entire trip was going through Customs at JFK which took over two hours of being in line after line. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Russia. The ship was amazing. So much entertainment in so many parts of the ship. Definitely the best entertainment that we have had in all our cruises. The cruise staff weren’t great but ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had never been to Russia. The ship was amazing. So much entertainment in so many parts of the ship. Definitely the best entertainment that we have had in all our cruises. The cruise staff weren’t great but their cruise director, Francisco was outstanding. The food on board was excellent, better than we expected. The ports that we visited were worth seeing. Although the ship is geared to families with children with all the Amenities that they have for them it didn’t impede on the wonderful nine days that we had on the Getaway. We went to the Cirque night. Well worth it. The dualling piano show was very good as were all the shows. We really liked Sids Bar and it’s outside bar. Never seen bars and restaurants on the port and starboard sides of a ship before. Fantastic idea. Well done Norwegian Getaway. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We've loved all that Norweigan has to offer; food, entertainment, consistency in a great travel experience. The staff is more than welcoming and they are very organized. Some minor tips for a better experience: The Getaway ... Read More
We've loved all that Norweigan has to offer; food, entertainment, consistency in a great travel experience. The staff is more than welcoming and they are very organized. Some minor tips for a better experience: The Getaway should not be used in cold areas. Without a big lounge at one end of the ship, the open areas are way too crowded without the pool being an option. Chocolate Lava cake should be offered every night. We love it! In the Tropicana, tables should be placed a few feet from the wait stations. If you are unlucky and are seating near one, you will be bumped all night and interrupted by staff just trying to do your job. It's not the typical experience. We could detect a little friction between staff at times. Not good. A woman and her fiancé got into a big argument in Ocean's Blue. This was at the next table. It was extremely disrupting and caused a scene. I wish the staff had just escorted them both out. Our drinks were covered and we received three apologies, but it went on for too long. Overall, it was a great experience and we know any cruise line can't prevent minor issues. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first cruise with NCL and we were not disappointed. We are used to Royal Caribbean but chose this ship for itinery and it fitted our schedule. We travelled as a family with 2 teens and 2 friends. We had 2 days in Copenhagen beforehand ... Read More
Our first cruise with NCL and we were not disappointed. We are used to Royal Caribbean but chose this ship for itinery and it fitted our schedule. We travelled as a family with 2 teens and 2 friends. We had 2 days in Copenhagen beforehand which was good and extended our holiday, Pretty and safe city but expensive. Tivoli good but better in evening with the lights and a light show over the lake around 10.45 pm. Good river cruise. Stayed in Scandik hotel which was modern and comfy with good breakfast. Cruise embarkation and disembarkation seamless. On board ship there is a smaller public atrium than we are used to but it served its purpose and there are plenty of bars and restaurants and outside space in which to relax. We had an inside interconnecting cabin on the 11 th deck which was comfy and not too small. The bathrooms were spacious. It was extremely quiet down its own corridor. The beds were comfy and it was clean and modern. Our cabin stewards were hardworking and kept the rooms spotless. The food we had no complaints with. If you can get a speciality dining plan you will find it worth it to sample some very good restaurants. We are in Le Bistro, Tepanyaki, Cagney's Moderno. All excellent. We had the drinks package and it works out better value if individual drinks are as expensive as people say although we are not heavy drinkers but enjoy the odd drink from the many bars available. Try the ice bar for a small extra cost as it's fun but yes cold! Our 18 year old had the drinks package and could order unlimited wine beer and cider as well as intermittent cocktails and spirits as no one seemed entirely sure what was included. We found service excellent. No complaints and they were more flexible than we had experienced before. A word on tips. We prefer to tip as we go and had our service charges refunded on request without argument. The shows were excellent. Yes the theatre is smaller but we didn't reserve all shows and got in fine if we got there a bit earlier but some we had reserved which is easy to do on board or better still before you sail. There is an extra cost for Cirque steam but worth it for sure. The rest I believe were included for free. Shows are are a matter of personal taste so try them but they may not be everyone's cup of tea. Excursions : We had been on this itinery before so we did most alone this time. Stockholm lovely and we got an Uber to town which was quick and cheap. Vasamuseum is in town so easily done alone. Tallin you can walk to easily. Beautiful. Helsinki we got hop on hop off and ended up at great amusement park and lovely park at top of town. Worth a visit. No charge for entry and rides reasonably priced. Visby we walked to easily. Beautiful. At Petersburg we did evening ballet and through the eyes of russian people. Both good and you see things off the beaten track. The ballet was expensive but a once in a lifetime experience. If you check the ports beforehand it is easy to do trips alone but do check this out if you have mobility issues and be mindful of timing. Otherwise go with ship excursions which we did on our first visit. Our teens made amazing friends by going to the club's but you have to be brave and do it otherwise it's difficult to meet other people of similar to age. It makes their cruise. The teen club activities are good if you want them but ok to just hang out if you don't. There was an X box apparently! We didn't try on board activities but they are available and seemed well maintained and plentiful. Overall we found this to b a good ship for our purposes and a good cruise. It is more or less suited to families than other cruises we have done but yes if you want a small quiet cruise it may not be your taste. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely sail NCL in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second cruise on Norwegian and we loved it. The ship was great, the destinations were great We found nothing but helpful and accommodating staff. The only minor problems we came across were other passengers - usually ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Norwegian and we loved it. The ship was great, the destinations were great We found nothing but helpful and accommodating staff. The only minor problems we came across were other passengers - usually persons from other cultures either unaware or uninterested in following american social mores (like waiting your turn) or inconsiderate persons who felt because they paid for a cruise they should be allowed to do what they want, but those were honestly few and far between. I have to say I was getting a little nervous before we sailed based on a lot of the reviews that were posted, but that was not our experience at all, but you have to be aware of what you signed up for. We like a big boat - we like the variety, we like the stability and we like the party atmosphere, but that brings up my first comment... - On a big boat, there are a lot of people. For our sailing they said there were 4700 passengers on board. To be honest, except for a couple times, it didn't really feel like it though. If you really want to do something, you need to make it a priority - make a reservation ahead of time, get there early, be flexible about your schedule. - You will be adequately fed - Its not necessarily gourmet food, but you will never go hungry. Our experiences were mixed, O'Sheehans wings were cold the first day, but really good several other times we went. Tropicana room was better the first time than the second, Moderno was good (twice), Teppanyaki was fun and delicious. The buffet was... a buffet, but it filled us up and fit the bill when we just wanted a quick meal so we could do other things - The entertainment was mostly outstanding, and if not outstanding, at least fun - We loved Burn the Floor, and Million Dollar Quartet. Don't let the need for reservations stop you - they release reservations 10 min before the performance and take walk-ins. We always got into the show (because people make reservations then their plans change) The Cirque show was fun. Dueling pianos was mediocre, Syd Normans was a great new venue and a lot of fun. - Don't go to the front desk on the first day or the last day if you can help it - the lines will be long and it will be noisy. Wait, go during breakfast hours (everyone is at the buffet then anyway), go when there is not a band playing. There were plenty of times when we went by and no one was there. We had 2 minor issues over the trip, both were handled quickly, and very helpfully. - Cabin was nice, better arranged than our cabin on the Epic a couple year ago, and a decent size bathroom/shower for a ship (again, better than the Epic). We mostly did our own thing on shore, so I can't comment on any of the cruise excursions. We did use the cruise shuttle bus in Rostock, it took a little longer to get everyone boarded than I would have liked, but it wasn't a problem for us since we weren't going that far that day. If you are planning to go to Berlin on your own, plan to take a taxi. The ports were awesome Copenhagen - spent 2 days there before the cruise, felt like just the right amount of time for us, though others could definitely want more, especially if you want to go outside of the city. Rostock - we didn't want to make the hike to Berlin, so we took the train to Schwerin Castle. Fun day, but we had been "warned" from another review that the town is not as accommodating to non-German tourists, which we found to be correct. Not really a problem, just something to be aware of - and bring euros if you want to buy anything - we only had dollars and credit card so it just meant we couldn't buy anything (we probably didn't need it anyway). Train was easy enough, though we got lucky with the timing, we probably should have researched the times before hand, but it worked out for us. Helsinki - semi-easy, if long, walk into town. Just enough time to see what we wanted. Rock church was OK, but not as amazing as I was led to believe. St Petersburg - 2 full days, definitely needed both. Did a 2 day private tour with SPB. Our guide, Olga R, was AWESOME. Two very full, busy days of wonder. Tallinn - fun, walkable, low stress half day spend wandering. St Olaf's tower is closed for renovation until 2020. Stumbled on the KGB Prison museum which my family enjoyed. Stockholm - kind of a bummer that we docked in Nynashamn and had to ride the train for an hour, but the port made it easy for you - buy the 24 hour train ticket at the TI, pick up the paper with the train schedule, follow the blue line to the train station and voila, 1 hr later you are in the heart of Stockholm. Get to Town Hall early if you want to tour/climb the tower. Don't miss the Vasa Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I went with my fiancee for the 9-day Baltic Sea cruise, we've been on plenty of trips to Europe before, but this was only our 2nd cruise. It was a good experience, although as more independent travelers, the itinerary was a bit ... Read More
I went with my fiancee for the 9-day Baltic Sea cruise, we've been on plenty of trips to Europe before, but this was only our 2nd cruise. It was a good experience, although as more independent travelers, the itinerary was a bit confining. The ship: -I was worried about seasickness, but felt pretty much absolutely no motion the entire cruise. At worst, it was the rumbling of the ship's engines when sitting in an aft restaurant. -Our inside stateroom was quite a bit larger than I expected. There was plenty of room for movement and storage, and the bathroom was larger than what we had in our Copenhagen hotel. And we definitely turned up the A/C during the heat wave. -Really only 5 decks are publicly useful: 6/7/8/15/16. If you need to get from one end to the other quickly, the outside of Deck 7 under the lifeboats was always wide open. And it was our fresh air deck during the frequent rainstorms when we didn't feel like getting wet and windswept. -We didn't need a balcony stateroom, there is cushioned deck furniture outside the gift shop on Deck 8 to enjoy the scenery. This deck also wraps all the way around the stern, plenty of wide-open space for solitude or romance, although none of the decks actually goes all the way out to the front of the ship. -The shows were there to pass the time and not much else. Burn the Floor was lively and quite packed, Million Dollar Quartet was overly long. The magician and flamenco guitarist in the Headliners club were nice, but the obstructed view seating was horrible. -The smoking area is on deck 15 port side, and the smoke is not well-contained. Avoid this area if you don't want to smell like smoke. -The better pool (for non-kids) is the "Spice H2O" area on deck 16, enter near the arcade. It was actually nicer when the speakers malfunctioned, otherwise it did get a bit loud. Although there really weren't that many kids in the main pool area, the ones that did come had large, noisy extended families that liked to stand in the walkways. -The climbing wall was hardly ever open, and when it was, the line was long. -We took advantage of the $20 fill-it-up laundry bag on Day 4. It was all returned nicely folded the next afternoon, although I swear things shrunk slightly. And find your room-number stickers on all your clothes so you can peel them off. -The touchscreens are useful to see what events were happening. The restaurant capacity indicators never seemed accurate. And we could never reserve any show tickets with them, it would always freeze on the last screen after inserting our keycard. The food: -Never sprung for any of the "extra" restaurants. Savor, Taste, and Tropicana all have the same menus, and their own seating/waiting lists. We seemed to have the best luck with wait time for a table at the Tropicana, but there were a couple nights where the wait time to have our food served there was quite long. -The food was decent (Applebee's quality?) and could have varied options over 9 nights, so we never had the same dish twice. -Did the Shanghai noodle bar once, but it has to be reserved, and not same-day. You can order more than 1 serving of each appetizer/entree, and you probably should (I'm not a big eater, and even I thought the portions were quite small.) -No card swipe at the buffet, so you can enter as many times as you like. We made a fair number of trips to the ice cream booth... -But the buffet's "snack" times had a pretty barren selection. If we were hungry after the restaurants closed at 10:00, we went to O'Sheehan's. -The deck 8 Moderno restaurant also offers breakfast, and the lines weren't as long as the main deck 15 buffet. -You can't bring liquids on board at any time (except for sealed wine). We didn't feel like spending $3.45 for a Pepsi or $15 for 6 bottles of water onboard, so although there are signs stopping you, we filled up our water bottles with ice and water from the buffet dispensers. We didn't push our luck with the "flavored water" dispensers, but those just tasted like dilute Crystal Light. -And we always asked for a glass of iced tea with our sit-down meals. The people: -Far fewer American tourists than I would've thought, probably no more than about 5-10% of the total onboard. -At least who we came in contact with, the largest groups were: Chinese, Germans, Indians, Russians, Spaniards -Really not that many kids either, the kiddie pool and waterslides were never even remotely crowded. -Our cabin steward was Benjie from the Philippines, very friendly and efficient, and we had quite a few conversations about life and the ship. -However, there were a handful of waitstaff and a restaurant concierge also from the Philippines who were quite rude and obviously unhappy. -The cruise directors were so peppy all the time, even at a 6:30 am excursion call, I really don't know how they do it. -The folks at the spa and gift shop and photographers are there to sell you stuff. It's not a full-on hard sell, but there is some aggression to their pitches. -Do you want to buy art? Are you sure you don't want to look at art? How about more art? The incessant art gallery sales pitches were almost as bad as telemarketers. The ports: -We could use the port Wifi only in Helsinki and Tallinn. Otherwise, it's only the ship's Wifi. -The ship's $100+ Wifi package was apparently painfully slow. It was nice to disconnect from the world for a week. -We had a $50 per cabin (NOT per person) shore excursion credit, which made it more cost-effective to use the ship's excursion buses in Helsinki, Tallinn, and Stockholm. Without it, we would've done it ourselves in Helsinki and Tallinn. -Also, if you are on a ship excursion, even if it's just the local sightseeing bus, you will get to disembark before do-it-yourself folks. -The excursion credit doesn't show up in your onboard account until after the day's trip, but still use the TV in the cabin to view your account so there's no surprise at disembarkation. The line on the final day to contest your account is extra long. -Rostock: -The dock is in the middle of nowhere. We bought our own train tickets from Rostock HBF to Berlin (27 euro each way). Hardest part was actually getting a taxi from the port to Rostock HBF, all the waiting taxis only wanted to take groups all the way to Berlin. Eventually, we pooled with a few others to convince one cabbie to take us downtown. 15 minute drive for 50 euro, made it in time for the 8:34 train. -One cabbie claimed there was a bus stop a few minutes away from the port. If there was, I never heard from anyone that found it. -Becuase of the cab difficulty, we didn't want to chance taking the 6:13 return train from Berlin, so we took the 4:13 train. 5 hours in Berlin obviously wasn't enough, however in 88-degree weather, it was still tiring. And unlike the ship excursion train, the regular trains were air-conditioned. -But we didn't have cab trouble back to the ship in Rostock, many taxis were waiting, and we got charged 35 euro this time. -Helsinki: -If you don't use the ship's hop-on/hop-off bus excursion, there are still plenty of others waiting right outside the ship. -It's a very long 2+ mile walk from the port to downtown, but it is against the seawall. -We got to the Temppeliaukio Church even before it opened, and there was a long line to buy entrance tickets. The little gift shop across the street, Anne's, also sells entrance wristbands at no additional charge. We got ours there, and were first in the pre-paid line to enter, along with tour groups. -The buses were supposed to run every 15-20 minutes, but it was more like either 5 or 30 minutes between them. -Made it to the National Museum a few minutes before it opened at 11, very nice exhibits. -Walked down Mannerheim to Stockmann's department store, we picked up some unique food in the gourmet supermarket in the basement. -Enjoyed perusing the outdoor marketplace near the cathedrals, everything from cheap souvenir stalls and handcrafts to a farmer's market. Cloudberries plus vanilla ice cream was a treat. -St. Petersburg: -We bought the 2-day excursion through NCL. I know others booked local tour companies on their own, we probably would've done that if we had a larger group to split the cost. -But I have no real complaints with our excursion. Obviously 2 hours in the Hermitage isn't enough, and we fell far enough behind the tour group a few times that we lost reception in our headset, but it was still a nice taste of the museum. -Lunch was simply food, not gourmet or even really local cuisine. Both days came with sparkling wine and a shot of vodka, too. -There was sufficient time at the photostops, although there were no stops along Nevsky Prospekt. I really wanted to see how the Metro looked. -Of course the shopping stops were pre-determined. Same stuff as the gift shops in the cruise terminal, although slightly less expensive. Not useful if you want something really nice or unique, but good enough for souvenir trinkets. -Catherine Palace was impressive, although the ushers are forceful in moving you along. No photos in the Amber Room, but I did take some from the doorway of the next room. I thought the ballroom was far more memorable. -The outside walk through Peterhof's fountains was nice. The inside tour was a mess: a long wait outside and very hot and crowded inside. -But 92 degrees and sticky is not a good time to be in the city. Flying bugs everywhere! -Tallinn: -With our ship credit, the hop-on bus was essentially free. It allowed us to visit Kadriorg Palace, which was far enough outside the old city that we wouldn't have gone otherwise. -The walk from the ship to downtown is much more manageable than in Helsinki, but we took the bus back anyway. It was 90 degrees and I'd sweated through my shirt by noon. -Started with Toompea and worked our way downhill. Strongly suggest this way unless you want to work out your calves. -Things here are probably 1/4 the price they are in Copenhagen. -If you only get to 1 of the viewing platforms, go to Kohtuotsa (the one farthest east). -Pikk and Lai streets are obviously touristy. If you can get to Balti Jaam market just outside the west wall, it was far more local. -Enjoyed the KGB museum along with all the antique stores with Soviet and Nazi items on display, they were like dusty free museums. -Stockholm: -Rather, it was Nynashamn, a good 50 to 60-minute bus ride away from the city. Take that into account when looking at ship itineraries. -The NCL bus excursion was very convenient for time and location, although $50 off sure helped. And we got an hour's worth of trip planning on the bus Wifi on the ride home, until my phone/camera battery died. Too many pictures... -The bus stops at the opera house, and the walk to the Vasa museum took exactly the right amount of time for it to open. Get there early, because the place was packed within an hour. -If it weren't so hot, we would've went to Skansen. Instead we went to the Nordic Museum, which was still quite fascinating. -The tram is expensive, but we took #7 back to Kungstradgarden just in time for the band and Changing of the Guard. -Gamla Stan is a nice place to get lost in, especially side streets or the east side away from Vasterlanggatan. Shop around a little, too, the same postcards cost anywhere from 2 SEK to 15 SEK. -Even better, cross the bridge back to the city center. We only had a short amount of time in Mood and Galleria malls before we had to catch the last bus back at 4:30 though. -Copenhagen: -We spent the night before departure here, along with 4 nights after. (Ended up going to Amsterdam for 3 nights after that, flights home were half the price that way). -My gosh, this city is expensive, and I've lived in San Francisco and Boston. -Having already lived in northern California, that's why I skipped visiting Christianshavn. -Buses are convenient to use, but suggest using the online trip planner because we always seemed to need to transfer. -Of all the castles, Rosenborg is easily the most memorable. The Amalienborg museum was quite minimal, and only the reception rooms at Christiansborg were worth seeing. -For Americans used to Disney World, Tivoli is small and nothing special. But it is still worth experiencing, the fireworks were great, the free ballet shows were enjoyable, although the Illuminations light show was very weak. And single ticket rides at $5, $10, or $15 apiece seemed extravagant, but we had to put down the $10 apiece for The Flying Trunk ride, which is kind of like It's a Small World. Not a suggested itinerary if you're looking for a relaxing family vacation, but we had a good time sightseeing, and it was a nice taste of Scandinavia for a reasonable price. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Cruise Scandinavia, Russia & the Baltic. This was our 1st cruise with NCL and 5th cruise in general.We choose this cruise because of the itinerary.We wanted to try something different and we were not dissapointed. The ship itself ... Read More
Cruise Scandinavia, Russia & the Baltic. This was our 1st cruise with NCL and 5th cruise in general.We choose this cruise because of the itinerary.We wanted to try something different and we were not dissapointed. The ship itself is incredibly pretty and well laid out. There was plenty of open deck space and it was never crowded. Our Cabin was very comfortable. The weather was great. The food tasted good, was well prepared. The desserts were fantastic! The buffet was gigantic. We booked excursions through NCL. They were well organized and efficient . Service in the buffets and restaurants was also outstanding. The crew were some of the most friendly and professional. Vladislav helped us to book our shore tours. Overall the entertainment was good with plenty of activities and live music throughout the day and night. We enjoyed every minute of this trip and I would definitely recommend it! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I had a fabulous time on this cruise for so many reasons--the itinerary was great, the ship itself was very nice, the dining and entertainment were wonderful. I could always find a deck chair, and the adults only pool was very nice. Music ... Read More
I had a fabulous time on this cruise for so many reasons--the itinerary was great, the ship itself was very nice, the dining and entertainment were wonderful. I could always find a deck chair, and the adults only pool was very nice. Music was everywhere and always great quality. But the thing that really set it apart was the Solo Traveler Program. The Getaway has a suite of Solo Staterooms with a separate lounge with coffee, food, drinks, etc. Avoiding the Single Supplement for a regular stateroom made this ship much more affordable. And the ship had a program to help solo travelers meet each other and have dinner together each night if we wanted to. This was a fabulous way to meet new friends and not feel awkward dining alone. I hope more cruise ships will have this type of program because it made a world of different for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose it because I wanted something that will include St. Petersburg with it and the Baltics. I thought since the ship was carrying 4500 passengers and 2500 crew members that it will be like lining up for a blockbuster movie. Anyway, ... Read More
I chose it because I wanted something that will include St. Petersburg with it and the Baltics. I thought since the ship was carrying 4500 passengers and 2500 crew members that it will be like lining up for a blockbuster movie. Anyway, most days it was organized, the only times it was in disarray was the embarkation and disembarkation day which happens on all cruise ships. Ship really big, with most of the activity in the garden cafe on the 15th deck, the rest of the restaurants are ok. We stayed in a mini suite and it was an upgrade from our usual inside stateroom and i will probably never go back to the inside stateroom Dining in most restaurants are ok. Specialty dining is good if its offered free at sea otherwise, I wouldn't buy it. Entertainment and activities are good, although we went out to port everytime, we didn't have time to try out everything Help for someone with limited mobility like me is ok, although at 2 ports, we couldn't find wheelchairs and attendants to it because they were all under the shade whiling their time away and coudln't care less about people who actually needed their help. Crew is great always Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my 4th total cruise, 2nd on Norwegian. I chose this cruise for the itinerary. I loved every minute of this trip! Embarkation- we arrived at the port around 11 am and there were no lines at all. Filled out a health form and ... Read More
This was my 4th total cruise, 2nd on Norwegian. I chose this cruise for the itinerary. I loved every minute of this trip! Embarkation- we arrived at the port around 11 am and there were no lines at all. Filled out a health form and walked right up to a check in person. It took about 5 minutes to get our key cards and were then allowed to walk right on the ship. Plenty of friendly staff members greeting us and helping point the way. We went to O'Sheehan's for lunch and right to the box office for some final reservations. Rooms were all available around 1 and our luggage was delivered probably around 2. Ship- the ship is recently out of dry dock where they replaced much of the flooring, some furniture, remodeled some areas, and generally fixed stuff. Everything was clean, looked new, and was in good working order. I saw staff all over wiping down railings and keeping everything as clean as possible. Public bathrooms were all clean and in good working order. We attended a "How to run a floating hotel" presentation where they gave information and had a question/answer period. One woman gave a suggestion to improve the comfort of seating in the atrium. The suggestion was implemented the very next day! I thought that was pretty impressive. We had great weather so plenty of people were outside enjoying the pools, ropes course, and outdoor lounges/bars. Staff handed out blankets to people who stayed later when it started to get chilly. We even won $100 on slot machines in the casino! The Ice Bar was a fun experience, it is definitely very cold! You get a discount on the admission if you have the beverage package. We had one issue with a credit not appearing on our account, but that was cleared up easily with one quick trip to the On Board Credit desk. Our cabin was an inside cabin. It was compact but was set up well and made good use of space. It felt quiet spacious after the tiny pre-cruise hotel room! Our luggage fit under the bed nicely. There was plenty of space for 2 people who both packed too much to completely unpack. Plenty of space in the bathroom for all our stuff. There were no drawers, which I miss, but everything fit in the closet and on shelves. Our room steward did a great job, it was always clean and tidy. They no longer do the towel animals and I sort of miss them! I am all for saving the environment, and can understand not using the extra towels every day....but maybe 1 or 2 little critters would be nice! Our days were so packed with activities, we spent very little time in the room. The staff in general were very friendly and helpful. They were always smiling and greeted us as we passed by, or stopped to make conversation. Although the ship is big with lots of people, its amazing how quickly you find your way around and start recognizing people you met on excursions or at activities. I was surprised by how often you run into the same people around the ship given it's size. Entertainment- we did have excursions at every port, so that took up a good deal of time. In the entire trip there was only 45 minutes that we didn't see something of interest to do, and honestly we needed the rest! Of the main entertainment I have to say the Cirque Dream and Steam was my favorite, it was absolutely amazing and the dinner was fantastic also. We were seated at a table so close to the stage you could reach out and touch it. I have been to Cirque shows in large venues on land, and although this performance was limited in what they were able to do (smaller room, moving ship) it was way more impressive because you were so close to the action! The costumes were just as amazing as the performances. I was also very impressed with Million Dollar Quartet and the Syd Norman Pour House Band, both shows had talented performers and were high energy. Other entertainment (Burn the Floor, Howl at the Moon, etc.) were also good, but the first 3 I mentioned were amazing and I would definitely recommend to everyone. Reservations are the key on this ship. Both for dining and entertainment. We decided a couple months before the cruise to log on to the website and make reservations for every show we could, and dinner every night. We figured if our plans changed we could cancel or ignore the reservation, but wanted to make them just in case. I am glad we did as much before hand as possible, saving us from having to take up time on board to sort it all out. We also loved the daily activities/presentations. We love trivia and attended as many as possible. Be sure to get an activity card and get it stamped after trivia. You can turn it in for a little prize at the end of the trip. The presentations were interesting and well worth the time. Lester, the assistant cruise director, was super funny and always entertained. There were over 4,000 people on this ship so popular activities (like bingo or the super funny staff movie skits), or places that don't take reservations (Howl at the Mood, Syd Normans) filled up quickly. I would suggest getting to events 20-30 minutes before hand if you want good seats. Get there early and enjoy a drink. If you don't mind hovering, get there whenever you want! We also did Escape the Big Top (escape room type activity). It was fun, free, and worth the time. That was the one thing I could not reserve ahead of time. I think they have 3 sessions throughout the cruise with limited availability. I went right to box office after getting on the ship and had my pick of sessions. Dining- as I mentioned, we had reservations for dinner every night. We mostly ate in the complimentary restaurants with the exception of the meal that came with the Cirque show (which was exceptional!). Of the complimentary venues, Taste and Savor were our favorites. We preferred the quiet, smaller dining rooms. We mostly had no problem getting seated right away with reservations, and absolutely loved the tables by the windows! The only time there was some confusion was after Berlin. Many of the excursions got back right towards the end of dinner and all the venues were a bit overwhelmed with the numbers of people all looking to eat at the same time. That particular day we had to wait about 15 minutes to get our table, but it was understandable. We tried the buffet a couple times for breakfast just because our excursions were so early the dining rooms were not open yet. We preferred to eat breakfast at Taste/Savor when it was open and then later discovered O'Sheehan's was a great breakfast option on those early days. The food at Taste/Savor/Tropicana had sufficient options that I never had difficulty finding something I wanted to eat (I have a super long list of things I don't eat) and never ate the same thing twice. The food was not gourmet, but tasted good, was well prepared, served at the correct temperature, and served with appropriate timing. The desserts were fantastic! The buffet is gigantic. The selection repeats itself, so if one area is crowded you will find the same items if you keep walking. I only went there a couple times for breakfast, and it was busy but not super crowded. I had no problem getting my food or finding a seat. The area is so large it can be difficult to find your companions if you get separated and it definitely is busy and loud. The food was typical breakfast buffet food. Phone App- the app for your phone has all your reservations as well as the schedule of events for the day. You can favorite events and then just see the list of things you were interested in. You can also check your room charges. It worked well and was very convenient for the first half of the trip then stopped working. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise, that app drains your battery very quickly even when just running in the background. It was much easier to keep my phone charged when I stopped using the app. Ports/Excursions- we arrived at all ports on schedule. We booked excursions through NCL. Yes, I know they are more expensive. We booked the "Ultimate Explorer" package that included an excursion at each port 20% off so that helped a bit. I get nervous when traveling in unfamiliar places (which is the whole point of the cruise!) so the convenience and predictability of NCL excursions is typically worth the cost for me so I can be anxiety free. The shore excursion team were all friendly and amusing (Fernando was my favorite!). They were well organized and efficient in moving large groups of people around. They provided good information while waiting to depart the ship. Berlin- the train ride to Berlin is long for sure but it's worth it if you have interest in the history of Berlin. They provided several snacks and water in both directions. We definitely could have stayed for days seeing all the sights, but I enjoyed the highlights and local lunch, and learned quite a bit along the way. Tallinn- this was a surprise for me. I didn't know much about the city before going there and found the medieval old town super interesting! It was like walking in history. St. Petersburg- I expected this to be the highlight and it did not disappoint. It wins for the stop that was most unique and different from my own life experiences. Clearing passport control takes longer the first day. There were lots of agents available and the lines were not terribly long. Each person took a few minutes though as they entered information into the computer. They did not ask any questions, just took your information and stamped your passport. The second day was much faster, they just wanted to see your excursion ticket and check to see your passport had already been stamped and you breezed right through. There were definitely lots of people at each stop so you had to be paying attention to stay with your group. I don't think any of the places we saw were climate controlled, and the Hermitage in particular was pretty warm inside. It just surprised me because it's a museum and those are usually pretty well regulated to preserve the art. Helsinki- if a full excursion wasn't included in the package, I would say a Hop on Hop off bus would be sufficient to see all the sights. There was plenty to see, but I didn't feel like a guide was really needed. Stockholm- absolutely beautiful. Ended up being a favorite stop of the trip. Our guide gave great information about the city and country during the bus trip from the port to the city so I felt it was time well spent. Be careful in the old town, the streets are compact and twist around. It's pretty easy to get turned around in there! Disembarkation- we were planning to stay in Copenhagen so were not in any hurry to get off the ship. We had plenty of time for a last sit down breakfast before leaving. We signed up for a later 9:15 disembark time and our group was cleared to leave by 8:45. The luggage was well organized by color tag on shore. Even though we were a later leaving group there was a long line of taxis available with no wait at all. Copenhagen- we were in Copenhagen a couple days before the cruise. We stayed in Scandic Webers Hotel because it was convenient to Tivoli Garden, the Hop on Hop off bus, and the Central train station. The hotel was clean and convenient but the room and bathroom were super tiny. It was crowded with 2 people and luggage. They had a really nice breakfast buffet included with the room. The 24 hour hop on hop off pass is good for 72 hours so covered our whole pre-cruise exploring needs. The boat trip that can be purchased with the hop on hop off was well worth the added price. There are 2 different companies that operate very similar looking buses so make sure you look careful before jumping on a bus. We used Red Bus (the other I think is called City Sightseeing) and they had a shuttle that dropped us right off at the ship, luggage and all, on embarkation day. We went to Tivoli Gardens in the evening after the HOHO bus ended. They have lockers that can be rented with a credit card at the entrance if you want to ride the rides without worrying about your purse/backpack. Everywhere we went in the city had English menus/signs available and took credit cards. We had no problem communicating with anyone or finding our way around. We even ran into a super nice local gentleman at the changing of the guard who gave us great history and narrative of the event! After the cruise we stayed at Copenhagen Island Hotel. It was a little further away but I did see a hop on hop off stop as we were walking around. We got there super early, maybe 9:30 in the morning. We had booked a standard room and were told the room wasn't ready (we were super early, not their fault), we could leave our luggage and come back later or upgrade to a room that was ready at a very minimal cost (maybe $25). We were tired so went with the upgrade, it had a beautiful view and was a large room and large bathroom! There was a mall with a full grocery store inside right next door. At the airport, if you are looking for the area to check the weight of your bags and shuffle stuff around, it's the floor above where you check in for your flight. Follow the signs for "all gates". I couldn't find it initially, then passed it after I had already checked my bag in with way too many souvenirs! I genuinely enjoyed every minute of this trip. A little pre-planning helped the whole trip go smoothly and we definitely packed our days full! I would love to go again and definitely recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Everything was first class, service was impeccable; we upgraded to a spa room and it was definitely worth it, after walking all day in St. Petersburg, Berlin, Talinn and Stpckholm we really needed to relax in the spa. Absolutely loved the ... Read More
Everything was first class, service was impeccable; we upgraded to a spa room and it was definitely worth it, after walking all day in St. Petersburg, Berlin, Talinn and Stpckholm we really needed to relax in the spa. Absolutely loved the "Waterfront" especially the bar outside, so beautiful and relaxing-Sherwyn the bartender made you feel so at home, even remembered your drink before you even sat down. We were so exhausted from the shore excursions, we couldn't really enjoy the shows, but there was plenty of activity if you had the energy. As I said, we have been on many cruises and we have had issues with dining, reservations for activities, but never on this ship-would love to go back on the Getaway just to experience the ship for all the dining, activities, shows, bars, sushi bar, Margaritaville-too much so little time. Embarkation and disembarkation ran so smoothly-they really have everything down to a science! Only thing we were disappointed in was the ship's tour of Helsinki-it was very hard to hear the guide and she was very disorganized. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Went on the Getaway to cruise in Northern Europe through the Baltic Sea. This was my wife's first cruise and my first with NCL (I had been on two HAL cruises as a kid). I went into the cruise feeling pretty apprehensive based on the ... Read More
Went on the Getaway to cruise in Northern Europe through the Baltic Sea. This was my wife's first cruise and my first with NCL (I had been on two HAL cruises as a kid). I went into the cruise feeling pretty apprehensive based on the dozens of horribly negative reviews I had read about this ship. Fortunately, I found very little of that negativity to actually manifest itself on my vacation. Some common complaints I had read and my rebuttal based on my experience: "The ship was too crowded.": Yes, the ship had over 4000 passengers along with 1600 crew members. There are a LOT of people on board. However, the ship is gigantic and I found it actually eats up crowds pretty well. The only time I felt overcrowded was at the buffet (more on that later) and occasionally in the atrium. We were always able to find chais lounges or chairs outside by the pool, or up on the sun deck. When it wasn't nice enough to hang out outside, it was very rare to not find an open seat somewhere in a public area. "The internet was too slow.": Uh, who cares. You're on a ship. The internet will be slow due to the nature of it being a cruise ship. I did not worry at all about getting internet on the ship--there is plenty of Wifi to go around at the European port cities. "The food was terrible.": Not in my experience. I thought the food ranged from just above average to excellent (except at the buffet). We ate at a variety of restaurants since we had the dining package and I was impressed with the quality of food. "We had to wait forever to get seated anywhere for a meal.": The key to a successful dining experience on this cruise: MAKE DINING RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE. As in, before you ever go on the ship. Since we made reservations (including at the complimentary restaurants) well in advance, we never waited more than 30 seconds for a table. "The bartenders were inattentive and reluctant to serve.": Not even close. The bartenders were excellent and extremely friendly. "The crew was incompetent and unfriendly.": No way. The crew was exceptional, particularly the waitstaff. Very personable and fun. Those people work incredibly hard and do it with a positive attitude. Nothing but good things to say about the crew. "NCL nickels and dimes you on board constantly.": Actually, I only felt this once--our couple's massage basically turned into a sales pitch for different skin products. Otherwise, this wasn't really an issue. Just be aware that there are some fine print costs that you can take care of in advance to avoid being surprised by them at the end of your trip. I'm mostly referring to the (basically mandatory) gratuity charge & the gratuities for the unlimited beverage package if you have that. Pay these in advance, and no worries while on board. "NCL has a reputation for skipping ports for no good reason!": Fortunately, we made it to every port either on time or early. No problem there! "The entertainment was amateur and boring.": We didn't see a whole lot of entertainment onboard, but I would disagree with this statement. Burn the Floor was not amazing, but it was well done and entertaining. Cirque Dreams was outstanding. They are true professionals who know how to put on a show. My jaw was on the floor. It is a little frustrating that there are at least two pianos on the ship. but I never once saw them being used. Instead, the DJ set up his equipment on top of the piano. "The buffet sucked.": Ok, this one is true. The buffet is very poorly designed and at mealtimes was an absolute zoo. The food is mediocre to poor. Avoid the buffet if you can. Fortunately there are multiple dining options. For lunch, O'Sheehan's bar & grill; and Shanghai's noodle bar are excellent options where we never had to wait for a table. Overall, this was an excellent cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The key is to take the time to plan ahead for dining reservations and different costs/packages. The itinerary was excellent, and we saw so much history in Europe. We are not guided tour people, so no need to buy excursions at every port. Just go explore. Bottom line: don't go into a cruise with a negative attitude. If you're looking for stuff to complain about, you'll find it. Enjoy yourself, that's what a vacation is about! I have no problem recommending NCL or the Getaway to anyone. It was a fabulous trip. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was an awesome cruise! We are first-timers on NCL. Many timers on Carnival. I have to say I was very impressed. Restaurants were good! We only had one speciality restaurant and it was excellent. We booked our shore excursions though ... Read More
This was an awesome cruise! We are first-timers on NCL. Many timers on Carnival. I have to say I was very impressed. Restaurants were good! We only had one speciality restaurant and it was excellent. We booked our shore excursions though NCL- they were very organized and good. We saw three shows and were very pleased with the high level of quality entertainment. We travelled with my 81 year old father. We had plenty to do on the ship as we like to read and relax. My husband and I visited the all adult area on the 16 th deck and enjoyed our time there. I do think by the end of the cruise the regular restaurants- no fees were a little lacking in service. Food was always good though. What I really noticed was the many female officers onboard. Kudos to NCL! My one advice would be to ask for ice for your room in the beginning. By the 4 th day our steward knew to leave ice. I would sail NCL again and how can you beat the cool weather in the Baltics this time of year. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted to see the Baltics and this cruise was just right! The ship was amazing and I rarely felt like there were 4600 guests aboard. The only time it felt crowded was in the buffet for breakfast, sometimes it is difficult to get a seat. ... Read More
We wanted to see the Baltics and this cruise was just right! The ship was amazing and I rarely felt like there were 4600 guests aboard. The only time it felt crowded was in the buffet for breakfast, sometimes it is difficult to get a seat. The food was great and they were very accommodating for my wife's egg allergy. The itinerary was great and we really enjoyed our excursions, though they were very expensive, they were worth it. The entertainment was wonderful and we saw everything we wanted to see. Burn the Floor and .million dollar quartet were very good the others were just good, not the best I have seen but enjoyable. The magician was the notable exception he wasn't very good at all. Moderno was a great specialty restaurant and a good value for a brazillion Steakhouse. The weather was great but not really warm so we didnt use the pool as much as we would have liked but it was nice when we did. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and the ship. We have sailed on it before and new the quality. We participated in onboard activities, like the not so newlywed game and found out we suck at it! Overall though loads of fun. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and the ship. We have sailed on it before and new the quality. We participated in onboard activities, like the not so newlywed game and found out we suck at it! Overall though loads of fun. Hubby ran into his college roommate sailing with his wife. Total coincidence. Specialty restaurants always good, especially tempanyaki. Servers are always awesome. Cruise director and assistant were hysterical. Bartenders friendly. Casino folks always ready to take my money. Housekeeping good, except had to ask for a good vacuum of carpet. Don’t think they do it enough. Overall, you’ll enjoy. Oh, watch out for those germy people who don’t cover their mouth when they cough and sneeze. We only used one tour company through Allah tours in St Petersburg for the one and a half day tour. Awesome job! Wore us out. And then off and on bus for next couple ports. Other ports just get off and go to city center, especially Visby. Limited cab service to the center, so get ready to walk about 2 km. Plenty coming back, but definitely worth seeing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Excellent experience. Ship was fully staffed. Never had to wait for a drink at the bars. Public areas kept tidy and clean. Made reservations in advance for the shows and select dining. Found we did not need reservations in two of the ... Read More
Excellent experience. Ship was fully staffed. Never had to wait for a drink at the bars. Public areas kept tidy and clean. Made reservations in advance for the shows and select dining. Found we did not need reservations in two of the main rooms. Taste and Savor, we were walk right up and get a table with little wait. Heard it can be hard to find quiet spots on board. The sunset lounge was our favorite bar, located in the middle of the ship on the inside. Never too crowded or boisterous. Take the time and spend the money to see the cirque dreams steam punk dinner show. Very good production for a ship. The best shipboard entertainment I have ever seen. Burn the floor is good too. Just make your reservations before setting sail! Syd Norman’s Pour House had excellent rock cover band. Very entertaining there. For shot excursions, be sure to explore non ship options. We booked privately with Alla Tours for both St. Petersburg and Stockholm. We saved a ton of money compared to the excursions (relatively identitcal itineraries) by booking with Alla. Do it about 3 months in advance, They take care of your Visas for Russia, no worries! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I do not think I have nearly enough time to write a review that adequately captures the fun we had on this cruise, so I will touch on the basics! Embarkation and Disembarkation were a breeze. A little bit of a wait to get on the ship, ... Read More
I do not think I have nearly enough time to write a review that adequately captures the fun we had on this cruise, so I will touch on the basics! Embarkation and Disembarkation were a breeze. A little bit of a wait to get on the ship, with other Haven travellers, but once we got moving, it was smooth. We traveled on this cruise as a couple, leaving our kids at home for an anniversary trip. We chose The NCL Haven option over a smaller, more luxurious ship thinking that perhaps NCL would offer us more interns of entertainment...and we were right! Our Haven home, cabin 16130, was lovely. More than enough storage and room to move about comfortably. The bathroom has double sinks...a detail that really does make a difference. Our balcony was a little bit larger than other rooms, due to us being at the end of the hall and beside the Deck 16 but it was worth it! Even the conversations we got to overhear from the main deck were enjoyable;), while sipping our champagne in total privacy because of how the alcove is protected. We dined in The Haven restaurant several times for breakfast, lunch and dinner and did not have a bad meal. The menu remains the same throughout the cruise. I have read that as being a negative from some reviewers, but it was not for us as there was more than enough delicious choices. Breakfast was terrific, even just the buffet, allowing you to get out and about quickly every day. We also dined at Ocean Blue, Moderno, and at both dinner shows - The Wine Show and Cirque Dreams and Steam ( both worth the price of admission! ). We skipped Cagneys ( I KNOW! Crazy, right?) but we were so full by the end of our trip we enjoyed a night of noodles;) instead and we actually really enjoyed two meals at the sushi bar. It was almost always empty OR filled with staff. This intrigued us and we are glad we tried it...delicious with great service. I you love sushi, it is worth the price. In terms of ship activities, Vincent, our Cruise Director, was awesome. We did not partake in any poolside activities as we were off the boat at every port and it was a bit chilly and windy after the first few days. Trivia games, however, were great, while having a drink at O'Sheehans. I have to say that the only food we did not love was the bar food, but how could it stand a chance with the great offerings on board? The atmosphere was enough. The casino was fun but we are not huge gamblers, so a fun few hours over the course of the cruise, no big wins. The highlight of the cruise for us, entertainment wise, was the duelling piano bar, Howling at the Moon. The musicians were awesome! Steve, Justin and Emily are funny and talented and made the club feel like a hometown dive. Between the Australians, the South Africans and our much quieter contingent of Canadians, we had a blast. We were also fans of Syd Norman's Pour House and loved that at the end of the night, you could often find the members of Back in the Day ( terrific band! ), the house band and performers from all over the ship, hanging out together and even sharing the stage wit the pianos. It was awesome. The ports! Germany was so hot but so charming. Poland was a bit of a let down...the cruise tour was awful ( sorry, NCL, it has to be said ). Helsinki was lovely! There on the day of the Pride Parade which was 100,000 strong! We booked a FREE Green cap tour in Helsinki and really enjoyed the educated, funny, opinionated leadership of our guide, Micheal. SPB was too short...the second day is really just an at sea day. However, our tour, booked through Alla, was terrific. We connected with a group of people on Cruise Critic NCL Roll Call, and one member organized the excursion ( thanks Sherri! ). With only one day to explore SPB we were able to cover a lot of ground in a very effective manner as our tour guide was very experienced and kept us moving all day. Sweden was rainy but very fun on our own, using the water taxis, visiting the ABBA Museum, Viking Museum and feasting on meatballs and lingonberries in the old town! We had a day on each end in Copenhagen and it is a marvellous city. We were able to fill both days with activities on our own. Phew. This was not a cruise for someone who wanted to take it easy;). So much to see. My takeaway? The ship excursions fall short compared to the competition out here. We would have preferred to book through the ship, however again I am left feeling that this is an area that all large cruise companies could improve upon and we won't book through the cruise lines again. Now...service. We opted for The Haven on NCL. Now we are in trouble because there is no going back to a regular level of cruising for us. The Haven lived up to it's name, offering a level of service that was incredible, with space to relax in ( both in the size of the cabin and in the dedicated Haven areas ), with easy disembarkations when it came to excursions ( our own elevator ), pre seating for shows, the treats in the room at the end of a long day, the availability of a quiet bar, a lounge, a dining room just for Haven guests, and the attention to detail for...everything else. Nothing was a problem. It is not inexpensive, but it elevated this cruise to a new level. We had a fabulous time. We met great people ( Hi Laurie and Pete! ) and felt pampered and relaxed throughout the entire vacation. We will be cruising again on Norwegian, and likely in The Haven. We are already planning our next trip... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports. Neither of us had been to any of the Baltic ports and we were looking for an overview. We absolutely loved the ports and could have spent more time everywhere, but we knew that in advance. Cruising ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. Neither of us had been to any of the Baltic ports and we were looking for an overview. We absolutely loved the ports and could have spent more time everywhere, but we knew that in advance. Cruising on such a large ship has its disadvantages. On a minor point, it simply takes a while to figure out the deck plans, and how get from one point to another. More serious is the issue of always being at a pier that's far from the city center. We were lucky to get to dock in Stockholm, the Getaway often has to be in a town a hour away. We shared sevel ports with an Azamara Cruise, and as a much smaller ship, they were docked right downtown. When time in port is so valuable, arranging transportation to get to the actual city becomes a drain. Although we really enjoyed the ship and Baltic cruise itinerary, if we were to take the same trip again I'd consider a different, smaller ship. Someone who uses more of the entertainment available, or traveling with active kids, might have a completely different view point. We used a private company (there are many) to tour Berlin and St. Petersburg. We were able to have a much smaller group and more flexibility than if we'd taken a ship's excursion. Luckily we were in Stockholm on a Sunday and the company Stromma has a 3 hour brunch cruise available on that Sunday only. It was actually one of the highlights of our trip. In Helsinki and Tallinn we were able to enjoy the town on our own without a tour. They are both beautiful, but very different cities. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We took the June 7, 2019 Northern Europe cruise out of Copenhagen, Denmark in a Haven Spa suite (14728). We are a couple traveling without children from Arizona to Denmark via London. There is a direct British Airways flight from Phoenix ... Read More
We took the June 7, 2019 Northern Europe cruise out of Copenhagen, Denmark in a Haven Spa suite (14728). We are a couple traveling without children from Arizona to Denmark via London. There is a direct British Airways flight from Phoenix to London and then we hopped a short flight to Copenhagen. Arriving the day before departure left us a day to wander around Copenhagen. We had booked an inexpensive hotel in Copenhagen called "Wakeup Copenhagen, Borgergade." It was cheap and clean, but we discovered it was designed for tiny, tiny people. It was so small it was hard to turn around in the shower. We are small, trim people and found it so cramped that we booked a different hotel at the end of the cruise, even though we lost our payment for "Wakeup." The second hotel was the Best Western in Copenhagen and was slightly larger, but still small. I have never been to Copenhagen before, so the room size surprised me. It appears to be the norm, so you are warned. We embarked around 12:30 PM on the 7th. As Haven dwellers, we expected a smooth process and it was not. There was an issue with the NCL keycard printing process. We are both latitude members and in the Haven, but we wound up with a standard keycard for my wife and a latitude card for myself and neither were haven cards. This took 15 minutes and it looked like everyone had the same problem. We had to get the card issue fixed onboard and the woman working on the ship said in not so many words that somebody made a major error. Not sure what happened, but it was a hassle. Haven priority boarding did not really matter as we arrived so early that we just walked on board. Once on board we hung out for a bit in the Haven lounge and then we went to our rooms about an hour later. We had sailed on Getaway before, so we felt no urge to wander around the ship. However, the ship went through a refit the month before, so the furniture, carpeting and some amenities on the ship were updated. Everything looked great and the addition of a full-sized Starbucks kept my caffeine needs in check. I am sure there were many other updates I did not catch, but the main one I noticed was the main theatre looked much updated and the Illusionarium was altered to support the Cirque show rather than the magic show. The Haven Spa cabin was very nice, but something of a letdown. Due to booking late, our Haven options were limited. The spa suites are all outside the Haven area and their main feature is a large jet tub right next to the bed, Haven access and the thermal suite is included. Otherwise they resemble the other mini-suites. The in-room tub was silly, yes it was large and had jets, but it took forever to fill and the experience was lackluster. I used it once to try it out and never even looked at it for the rest of the trip. The Thermal Suite included with our room once again proved to be worth every penny. A great place to recover after a brutal day of excursions or the sea days. That said, the up-charge for the Haven spa room was likely not worth it. Just get a haven room and pay for the Thermal Suite. Likely cheaper and you do not loose 25% of your room to a useless spa tub. The room steward did a good job, but the towel animals went extinct due to their impact on the ship's laundry load. (Someone asked about them during the Q & A with ship's officers. You can get them on request now.) Wife noticed that we no longer got new shampoo bottles every day, or new slippers that come with the Haven. Small things, but it looks like NCL was doing some cost-reduction. Nothing too annoying, just thought I would mention it. Steward also distinguished himself by not bothering us at all. Unlike the butler. Our butler was very annoying. We almost never make use of them and he was clearly fishing for "tippable" moments from us. I guess some people like the attention, but we started putting up the 'do not disturb sign" just to fend him off. Shipboard dining was the usual mixed bag. The Haven restaurant was good as usual, but the limited, unchanging menu hit us hard this time as it included a lot of fish, lamb and duck, not our favorites. Still Haven dining had the advantage of being always available, quiet and tasty. We ate their most days for our meals, but did venture out to some other dining options. The Garden Buffet is both useful and painful simultaneously. Useful in that the food is tasty, available and fast. Painful in that it is too small for the passenger load. Going at peak times before port days means that everyone is trying to eat before the same disembarkation time. It is awful, no seating, crowds and pushy idiots from countries with no concept of "getting in line." We only ate there at odd hours or to grab a snack. "Shanghai's" is a noodle/dim sum restaurant that is a blight on dining. Truly awful noodle dishes came out lukewarm, with soggy noodles and tasteless broth. The only edible thing on the plate was the spring roll that likely came out of a freezer. Avoid this place like it is infectious. Cagney's had a great steak and was excellent. The other places we ate at were fine and not worth mentioning. Just be aware the lines can be long on the sea days and your should book in advance. Entertainment was the usual trivia/bingo/shows/sales pitches. A note on the sales pitches, they were frequent and intrusive. Your cabin has a message system built into the TV and 90% of my messages were some sales pitch for various goods, Cruisenext and services. NCL needs to reduce the load on the sales efforts. It reached the point of satire by the end of the trip. It was just too obvious and silly to not laugh at. A particularly humorous retail moment happened after St. Petersburg. There is a "Russia Bazaar" held on board that the staff talked up as "high-quality products" and "better value" than the souvenir options on shore in Russia. We had already bought our nesting dolls (they are everywhere) on shore, but I happened to be walking by when they set up the "Russia Bazaar." I noticed that the boxes the Russian products were coming out of were labeled "Kowloon, Hong Kong." It is possible the boxes were merely reused to store the Russian goods between cruises. As to the other possibility, I shall let you draw your own conclusion. A word on "CruiseNext," the NCL deposit system. They basically give you a discount if you give them some money up front. In our case, we knew we were going again with the four year time limit, so we put in $500.00 and they gave us $250 in onboard credit. We were happy with that, but on the last day suddenly a new offer appeared that stated if you deposit $500, you get $500 towards your next cruise for a total of $1000. However, you do not get the $250 credit now. I asked to convert from the $250/$250 deal to the $500/$1000 deal. They did it without question. We were just confused why the second option only appeared on the last day of the cruise. We hit the trivia a few times on sea days and the Bingo games were fun (we won twice is the only reason. We played on their money). The only issue with Bingo is NCL is making a killing and the pots are tiny. A $49.00 buy-in to play and pots hovering around $300-$400 is terrible. Given the number of players a similar ashore game would pay much better. Still, it is fun so long as you can afford it. "Burn the Floor" for the second time was nice. Good show and some talented dancers. Haven dwellers had some reserved seats which was great. Cirque Dreams and Steam was the highlight of on-board entertainment. Even on a tiny stage, the performance was impressive. We have seen various Cirque shows and this was among the "tightest" in terms of bang for your buck on a small stage. Well worth attending, even with the up-charge. I also did the "Escape the Big Top" escape room, also held in the Illusionarium. I have done escape rooms before, but this one was very poorly designed. Several puzzles used color coding as part of the puzzle and I am color blind, so that was tough. Also, there are red herring puzzles in the room, which is extremely controversial among escape room designers. You do it in a randomly assigned group and I got a nice group that included some kids. It was an amusing 45 minutes, but the odds of getting out hit zero the moment I saw who was on my team. Your mileage may vary if you go with a larger group you know that likes puzzles. We were on a colder cruise, so the pool deck did not see a lot of action. A couple of mildly sunny days got the kids in the pools, bu the adults stuck to the hot tubs. This means the Haven's separate deck and pool was barely used. We even got confined to the indoor areas on a sea day because of waterspouts potentially landing on the deck! We did not travel with kids, so I have no comment on the kid's activities. Ports and Shore Excursions We never book excursions through NCL due to the massive markup, so all the excursion below were made through Viator Warnemunde, Germany NCL pitches this port as an opportunity to visit Berlin. Sure, if you enjoy hours in a bus and few hours in one of the great cities of the world, burning rubber between photo ops and then more hours in a bus to get back in a single day. We decided to book the more rational "Hanseatic Rostock and Fairytale Schwerin Shore Excursion." It is about an hour away and you spend the day going through a charming medieval city and castle. The Viator tour cost $245 for two people and the entire experience went smoothly. As one would expect in Germany. Lots of great photo opportunities. Tallinn, Estonia Talinn is so tiny that we just got off the boat and walked around. No other transport was needed. We checked out the city and its architecture, ate lunch in a restaurant that was vaguely medieval in style and cuisine (Olde Hansa is the name. A little cheesy, but it was fun and the food was good). We spent a couple of hours in the "Kiek in de Kök" museum. Built inside an old fortress, this was a great museum and be sure to pay for the "Bastion Tunnels" upgrade to wander the old tunnels, now used as a museum. It is quite a hike in terms of length and stairs. Lots of stairs. Worth the effort though. St. Petersburg, Russia (Overnight) Once again, we book the Viator excursion called "St. Petersburg 2-Day Grand Shore Excursion Tour." At $513 for two people it was a good deal for the amount of destinations you see. Here is the tour itinerary Expert, professional and personable guide for two days Experienced and conscientious driver with a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle for two days All port fees & local Russian taxes Lunch on both days Subway ride Canal cruise (boat ride) Bottled still water (one bottle per person per day) Electronic headsets for groups of 7 and more Photo permissions inside museums Entry/Admission - The State Hermitage Museum Entry/Admission - Park And Gardens of Peterhof Entry/Admission - Catherine Palace and Park Entry/Admission - Yusupov Palace on Moika River Entry/Admission - Savior on the Spilled Blood Entry/Admission - The Museum Complex The State Museum St. Isaac’s Cathedral Entry/Admission - Peter and Paul Fortress (Petropavlovskaya Krepost) Entry/Admission - Peter and Paul Cathedral I usually loathe this type of guided-tour-with-headset-transmitters-follow-the-flag, but in this case it was necessary. Russia, unlike the rest of the countries on this cruise made us go through stern-looking immigration officers stamping passports to get ashore. If you do not have a tour, you have to get a separate visa. It is doable, but we were just looking for an easy excursion day with minimal hassle. There is no such thing as an "easy" excursion in St. Petersburg. This was a hard two days. Every stop on the list above is spectacular from both a historical and cultural perspective...and more crowded than any destination I have ever visited. The first day we hit every stop except Peterhof and Catherine's Palace. Turns out we were there starting Tuesday and a couple of places were closed on Wednesday, so they packed it in to he first day. I did not know this at the time, but it made for a long, hard day. Words cannot describe some of the things I saw in St. Petersburg. The art and architecture are among the most beautiful I have ever seen. The Hermitage in particular is stunning. However, the Russian authorities know this and push more people than comfortable through these locations. The Hermitage was packed with tour groups, literally shoulder to shoulder, shuffling along like zombies. That was the worst, but all the urban locations were nearly as bad. Only on the second day did you get some relief at Peterhof because it is about an hour outside of town and is a giant park. Much nicer. That said, still go see these places. It may be miserable, but walking into a room with 26 Rembrandts hanging was remarkable. The tour itself was nice and our guide spoke excellent English. Helsinki, Finland Weather bit us here and we just walked around town taking in the city. We took the "Hop on, hop off" bus around to the Rock Church. As a suggestion, if you go to the cafe run by the church on the left of the entrance you can get a cup of coffee and a discount ticket to the church. The regular ticket line was long and we just walked in. They had a small choir singing and the acoustics were interesting. Too many people though. Death by tourist. For some reason the Sibelius Monument (he was a composer) is a tourist stop. Not much to see, just a large piece of modern art. Took all of five minutes to exhaust that stop and we got on the next bus. We took some photos of old buildings and then headed back to the dock where there was a sort of flea market (tourist junk) and food vendors. I got a reindeer burger (tasty with mustard) and the wife got vendace. Vendace are small fish cooked and salted, basically sardines. However, after taking a few bites a large, aggressive sea gull swooped down and attacked her lunch! The look like an ongoing issue at the port, so hide in a tent before eating. Weather was poor (cold and wet, with wind), so Helsinki was not a truly memorable stop. Except for the seagull. That is burned in our memory forever. Stockholm, Sweden. Again, no excursion because I did not see the need in a country with spectacular public transit. However, I did buy a "Hop On Hop Off" (HOHO) bus ticket from the Stromma company. The ship docks at Nynashamn about an hour from Stockholm and the "Hop On Hop Off" bus makes a couple of special runs between the dock and Stockholm. However, I did not catch that they leave the port at 1000. We got off at 0800. The driver explained that many people get confused by this and they just walk 20 minutes and buy a train ticket at the local station. The trip to Stockholm takes an hour. Once there you can use the HOHO ticket inside the city. We took this option and it worked well. Tickets for the train were inexpensive and you need to buy them at the tourist office just outside the port area. You cannot miss it. Once you have a ticket, just follow a blue line painted on the ground for 20 minutes to the station. We got off at the main station in Stockholm and decided to start with the Vasa Museum. Vasa is a ship that sank and was raised and put into a museum. We hopped into a cab and promptly spent 20 minutes in traffic. After creeping along we got out of our driver that the South Korean president was in town and security had tangled up the entire downtown. The HOHO buses were not running at all! Thanks Stromma for not telling the people who pre-bought tickets about a massive issue with your service. I was not happy. However, while stewing at the thought of losing out on precious time stuck in traffic, I noticed 20 men in full military regalia ride by on horseback. We bailed on the cab and discovered the South Korean leader was getting a full military parade/escort to meet the king. Amazing experience and we felt so lucky to have seen it. Security was super-tight, so we could not get in the palace, but the parade more than made up for it. Traffic was a disaster, but I remembered that our HOHO ticket included their HOHO boat that ran around the harbor. We took it from the palace without issue and hopped off at the Vasa Museum. Vasa is amazing! A huge sailing ship that sank hours after it was launched and basically raised nearly intact in 1961. I loved it and the associated museum is fascinating. We also visited the Nobel Museum. Small, but fascinating history of Nobel winners and the man himself. There was a Martin Luther King Jr. exhibit going and it was interesting to see American history from a different perspective. After a quick lunch at a restaurant named "Paris, Texas" (expensive but very tasty), we headed back to the ship. No real issues navigating the public transit. It was easy. In Nynashamn is a small chocolate shop named "ChokladHuset" that you should see the sign on the way back from the train station. Expensive, but excellent chocolate. Their claim to fame is they do the chocolate for the Nobel prize winners when they visit. Copenhagen, Denmark Although this was the embark/disembarkation port, we were there long enough to do some things before and after the cruise. We basically wandered around. The Kastellet is an old fortress near the center of the city converted to a lovely park. We also visited Tivoli Park, a 100+ years old amusement park. Do not think Disneyland here. It is a small, charming affair with some rides that look better suited to a local amusement park in rural America. Lots of places to eat, play carnival games and generally enjoy the long evenings. We even found an open, unattended fire pit to sit around! Be warned, while entrance is cheap, we got beef stew and a bottle of water for $71.00 USD. Tasty, but clearly your are paying a premium on top of the already expensive Danish restaurant prices. Copenhagen is on the return visit list for us. Wish we had more time here. Disembarkation in Copenhagen, Denmark This next bit got my blood up. We got a letter stating that the port has limited transportation options (including cabs) were limited at the port on disembarkation day. So we bought the $15/person transfer to the main train station offered by NCL. This meant we got off the ship at 0940 in the morning. As haven dwellers we could have been the first off. Instead we had to sit around for hours only to watch perhaps 20 taxi cabs waiting near the port. Because of this we did not go through the Haven disembarkation process and went out with the rest of the passengers. This was painful, long, crowded waits to get off and, my favorite, an idiot decided to carry his own luggage off the ship. Normally you leave it outside your cabin the night before and then pick it up on the dock. This genius (who was elderly and wearing a back brace!) tried to carry all his own luggage off through a crowd of surly people down two flights of narrow stairs. He got some help from good samaritans, but the level of stupid was impressive. Bottom line, NCL oversold the transport issues in Copenhagen to sell their transport option. Summary It was a great cruise with a few glitches. Nothing that would prevent me from suggesting you check it out. My lessons learned include: 1. Skip the spa suite 2. Check hotel room size better before leaving 3. Wear comfortable shoes. The cobblestones are murder on your feet! 4. The weather went from hot to cold and miserable. Pack appropriate gear. Have fun! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Dining: Freestyle dining is probably the best part of this cruise from a family perspective. We tried all the complimentary restaurants but the buffet remained our preferred dining area since it offered the widest selection. Our ... Read More
Dining: Freestyle dining is probably the best part of this cruise from a family perspective. We tried all the complimentary restaurants but the buffet remained our preferred dining area since it offered the widest selection. Our favorite non-comp restaurant was Moderno because the meat was delicious and there was a wonderful variety. The waiter brings different types and cuts of meat to the table which you choose whether to try or not. It also had an excellent salad bar with seafood, sushi, green salad, soups, cheeses, and cured meat. Family activities: Our family enjoyed having so much to do onboard. The water slides, ropes course, climbing wall, pools, and games in the library were all viable alternatives to just putting the kids in the very popular kids club. Kids club: The kids club was excellent. Our youngest (3) never wanted to leave and woke up every morning asking to go back to the club. The 9 and 11 year old also enjoyed themselves. The 11 year old could sign in and sign out after two hours. We left our youngest onboard in the kids club while we toured St Petersburg. There was an additional charge for meals on port days ($6 per child per meal) if the kids received their meal while at kids club. We booked our kids in/reserved a place for them ahead of time to ensure that there was space for them while we did our St Petersburg shore excursion. We had to change our day 2 SP excursion since kids club opened at 8am so we changed to an afternoon excursion. On sea days kids club closed for lunch and dinner. Kids club also put together a wonderful circus variety show for parents. During the cruise they taught the kids circus tricks and then the kids performed them in the theater as a big group on our final day at sea. Kids club was no charge until 10:30pm. From 10:30pm-1:30am it was $6/hour $4/hour additional sibling. Teen club: Very happy with their teen club. Our teenager probably had the best time of anyone in our family and was definitely the most hesitant about the cruise. Didn't actually hear much from our tight lipped teen except that it was "really good" which is high praise from that child. It was open until 1:30am, no charge. Guppies: For 2 and under it was a parent/caregiver playroom where parents stayed with the baby and it had opening/closing times. Exercise: The gym was excellent and the jogging track offered lovely views for runners. There was a separate weight room and another room with boxing equipment plus the cardio area which had seaviews. Cons: The ship is huge and it's also quite crowded in the atrium area. Depending on the time of day it was impossible to get a seat and all public spaces in general were often crowded. We didnt mind the crowds. When you book on a huge ship then it's reasonable to assume that there will be crowds. Shore excursions: The shore excursions were all excellent. Some family members booked NCL excursions at every port and there were no complaints. It was really easy to explore the German port town on your own. The train in Germany was literally 5 min walk from the ship and the port had a lovely boardwalk. Tallin was about a 20 min walk from the port and easy to do independently. SP needed an organized shore excursion and our only issue was with timing and kids club opening hours which was solved by doing a half day afternoon excursion on day 2. The HOHO in Helsinki was perfect for our family. Our only issue was the Hoho in Stockholm which had a badly organized return to the ship. Public transportation in Copenhagen: Transportation from the ship to the airport was easy. We used the public bus which had a ticket kiosk literally in front of the debarkation area. The bus took us straight to the metro station where we caught the metro directly to the airport. It took us about 40 minutes. The bus stops right at the ship and is far cheaper than a taxi. One adult ticket allows two kids 12 and under to ride free of charge on the bus and metro. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
+++ Syd Norman´s, love that place, Rock the Pour House and Trixi Band was so much fun +++ Staff very friendly +++ ports, Norway, Iceland, Scottland are amazing +++ Million Dollar Quartet +++ Dance Battle was great +++ Glow ... Read More
+++ Syd Norman´s, love that place, Rock the Pour House and Trixi Band was so much fun +++ Staff very friendly +++ ports, Norway, Iceland, Scottland are amazing +++ Million Dollar Quartet +++ Dance Battle was great +++ Glow Party +++ o sheehaan´s with Billiard and Dart, love that pub style ++ food, was mostly good ++ spa enjoyed my time there o at my other cruises i loved howl at the moon, this time the musician didn´t get me --- big giant - to NCL Management for Deckplan change and cut included deck space for a bigger vibe. so we were sailing into the Fjords without a front view, hate that change -- Tropicana Taste and Savor were busy all the time, hard to get a table without waiting time --- they never showed a late night movie in the Atrium ( loved that at the Breakaway last year ) Breakaway, Getaway and Ecape are for me the best ships in the NCL fleet, i hope NCL destroy them not with more changes. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
It was first time cruising with my granddaughter and husband, it was my gift for her 12th birthday,and of course spring break and Easter holidays. So we took a cruise to Bahamas on Norwegian Getaway. My granddaughter was very excited, ... Read More
It was first time cruising with my granddaughter and husband, it was my gift for her 12th birthday,and of course spring break and Easter holidays. So we took a cruise to Bahamas on Norwegian Getaway. My granddaughter was very excited, happy, got a wonderful time especially she was happy with Garden Cafe where she could pick up any food and ice cream any time she was craving for it. She liked activities in Splash Academy and made friends of her age. so everybody had a good time for her/his own. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Cabin was comfortable, clean thanks to our steward's efforts. Every day we received brochure with detailed explanations about dining, entertainment, excursions,auctions, etc, so we could plan our activities.Excellent food, amazing service in all restaurants, bars. All crew members were very respectful, friendly, patient. Entertainment and activities were beyond expectation. We will plan next cruise (didn't decide about destination yet) on Norwegian ship for sure. 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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