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This was the first time we have cruised with NCL and probably the last. Whilst I won't say it was a bad cruise it just wasn't on the same level as we have come to expect from other cruise lines. Starting with a hap hazard check in process first impressions were not great. We were travelling with my daughter and her friend and were surprised to be told that they could check in with us as they were on a different floor from us. Our check in was relatively quick but it took ages for them to check in my daughter and her friend. The ironic thing is that we did all of the check in processes such as provide credit cards and passport numbers online so I can't see why it should have taken so long. Once on board we decided to have lunch at O'Sheehans Pub before exploring the ship. The food served here is very typical American comfort food which we chalked up to being because this is the all hours dining venue but unfortunately the food in the other restaurants doesn't get much better. We then sat through a farcical safety drill in the same restaurant. They had TV screens all around the restaurant that they could have displayed safety information on but did not use them and instead relied on staff shouting on megaphones. It was really confusing as you had groups in another area across from us trying to conduct their safety briefing at the same time and it was really hard to here what was being said. They then went on to repeat the safety briefing in five different languages and by this time a lot of people started talking during the different briefings in other languages to which the staff responded by yelling at those talking so you could'nt actually here what was being said. Once the safety drill was over my wife and I left my daughter and her friend to explore the ship whilst we did likewise. The ship is huge but NCL pack far too many cabins onto this ship so unlike other large ships I have been on that cater to several thousand guests this ship always feels crowded. The public areas, whilst nice, are nowhere near the same standard as we found on Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class boats which Norwegian Getaway competes. That said there are plenty of things to do throughout the ship including Rock Climbing, 6 Waterslides, a Ropes Course and Mini Golf. Unfortunately the ropes course and waterslides were not open that often and even though my daughter tried many times she didn't get to go on either throughout the 9 days of the cruise. On the last sea day they had closed the big water slide as it was leaking? There were several restaurants throughout the ship but I am not sure why they have so many as pretty well all of the complimentary ones serve exactly the same food. I am sure the American guests, who comprised around 60% of guests, would have found the food fine but for people who enjoy good food we were disappointed in the selection provided on the menus throughout the ship even in the specialty restaurants. The food wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. It was very basic and not much variety. We ate at three of the specialty restaurants and in all honesty would have to rate them as mediocre at best. About the only decent one was the Italian restaurant La Cucina. The food here was quite good but still note what I would classify as fine dining. The outdoor promenade concept was nice touch but unfortunately on a Baltic cruise the weather was not ideal to eat outdoors on a number of nights. The free style dining concept, was also good in principle, but can be a bit tiresome when you have to queue every time to get a table even if you have a booking (which never seem to be available) but the wait times are generally only 15-20 mins.They give you a buzzer so you can wonder off and get a drink whilst you wait. We thought the staff, whilst always friendly, lacked the level of training we have experienced on other cruise lines. A few of them were quite rude. Even in the specialty restaurants where you expect really professional wait staff, sommeliers etc they just seemed to lack the class you get from other cruise lines. We didn't take any of the "free extras" like drinks packages, specialty dining etc when we booked as they are not really free and booked our cabin at the "sail away" rate so had to pay for drinks as we went and found NCL to be really overpriced for drinks on board. It was actually cheaper to buy wine ashore and then pay their exorbitant corkage charge (USD$15 per bottle) than to buy drinks from the bar as they not only charge you $10 per glass but then add on 20% service. (I am sure the staff don't get paid this 20% service charge). Just about everything on the cruise was way overpriced and we were in Scandinavia!! Our room steward, Roberto, was always very friendly and helpful. I was surprised when we didn't get the cute towel animals you find on other cruise lines but apparently NCL don't do these. The entertainment was a bit hit and miss. There were not a lot of shows in the main theatre. "Burn the floor" was really good but "Million Dollar Quartet " was average. I really enjoyed going to the "Pour House" Rock show which they had around 3 or 4 times throughout the cruise. I am perplexed about the "Headliners" club as they did not have a single comedy show on for the duration of the cruise. They also did not have any movie nights on deck even though they had the big screens. maybe it gets a bit too cold on deck but I would have thought they would use them at some stage throughout the cruise. We did not do any of the ships shore excursions as they are a massive ripoff.(eg We did a two day Sy Petersburg all inclusive tour with a small group of 12 people for USD$265 per person through ALLA Tours when the cruise was charging USD$300 per day in a bus packed with 40 others. Interestingly one of the comments made during the "meet the officers" presentation was that the Shore Excursions were the most profitable department on this cruise so I guess there were a lot of suckers who did shell out money for them. In summary I would say this was a good cruise in terms of destinations and lots of on board activities but I don't think I would choose NCL again.

Not in the same league as Royal Caribbean

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by Skippy431

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2019
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Spa Balcony Stateroom
This was the first time we have cruised with NCL and probably the last. Whilst I won't say it was a bad cruise it just wasn't on the same level as we have come to expect from other cruise lines.

Starting with a hap hazard check in process first impressions were not great. We were travelling with my daughter and her friend and were surprised to be told that they could check in with us as they were on a different floor from us. Our check in was relatively quick but it took ages for them to check in my daughter and her friend. The ironic thing is that we did all of the check in processes such as provide credit cards and passport numbers online so I can't see why it should have taken so long.

Once on board we decided to have lunch at O'Sheehans Pub before exploring the ship. The food served here is very typical American comfort food which we chalked up to being because this is the all hours dining venue but unfortunately the food in the other restaurants doesn't get much better.

We then sat through a farcical safety drill in the same restaurant. They had TV screens all around the restaurant that they could have displayed safety information on but did not use them and instead relied on staff shouting on megaphones. It was really confusing as you had groups in another area across from us trying to conduct their safety briefing at the same time and it was really hard to here what was being said. They then went on to repeat the safety briefing in five different languages and by this time a lot of people started talking during the different briefings in other languages to which the staff responded by yelling at those talking so you could'nt actually here what was being said.

Once the safety drill was over my wife and I left my daughter and her friend to explore the ship whilst we did likewise.

The ship is huge but NCL pack far too many cabins onto this ship so unlike other large ships I have been on that cater to several thousand guests this ship always feels crowded. The public areas, whilst nice, are nowhere near the same standard as we found on Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class boats which Norwegian Getaway competes. That said there are plenty of things to do throughout the ship including Rock Climbing, 6 Waterslides, a Ropes Course and Mini Golf. Unfortunately the ropes course and waterslides were not open that often and even though my daughter tried many times she didn't get to go on either throughout the 9 days of the cruise. On the last sea day they had closed the big water slide as it was leaking?

There were several restaurants throughout the ship but I am not sure why they have so many as pretty well all of the complimentary ones serve exactly the same food.

I am sure the American guests, who comprised around 60% of guests, would have found the food fine but for people who enjoy good food we were disappointed in the selection provided on the menus throughout the ship even in the specialty restaurants. The food wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. It was very basic and not much variety. We ate at three of the specialty restaurants and in all honesty would have to rate them as mediocre at best. About the only decent one was the Italian restaurant La Cucina. The food here was quite good but still note what I would classify as fine dining.

The outdoor promenade concept was nice touch but unfortunately on a Baltic cruise the weather was not ideal to eat outdoors on a number of nights. The free style dining concept, was also good in principle, but can be a bit tiresome when you have to queue every time to get a table even if you have a booking (which never seem to be available) but the wait times are generally only 15-20 mins.They give you a buzzer so you can wonder off and get a drink whilst you wait.

We thought the staff, whilst always friendly, lacked the level of training we have experienced on other cruise lines. A few of them were quite rude. Even in the specialty restaurants where you expect really professional wait staff, sommeliers etc they just seemed to lack the class you get from other cruise lines.

We didn't take any of the "free extras" like drinks packages, specialty dining etc when we booked as they are not really free and booked our cabin at the "sail away" rate so had to pay for drinks as we went and found NCL to be really overpriced for drinks on board. It was actually cheaper to buy wine ashore and then pay their exorbitant corkage charge (USD$15 per bottle) than to buy drinks from the bar as they not only charge you $10 per glass but then add on 20% service. (I am sure the staff don't get paid this 20% service charge). Just about everything on the cruise was way overpriced and we were in Scandinavia!!

Our room steward, Roberto, was always very friendly and helpful. I was surprised when we didn't get the cute towel animals you find on other cruise lines but apparently NCL don't do these.

The entertainment was a bit hit and miss. There were not a lot of shows in the main theatre. "Burn the floor" was really good but "Million Dollar Quartet " was average. I really enjoyed going to the "Pour House" Rock show which they had around 3 or 4 times throughout the cruise. I am perplexed about the "Headliners" club as they did not have a single comedy show on for the duration of the cruise. They also did not have any movie nights on deck even though they had the big screens. maybe it gets a bit too cold on deck but I would have thought they would use them at some stage throughout the cruise.

We did not do any of the ships shore excursions as they are a massive ripoff.(eg We did a two day Sy Petersburg all inclusive tour with a small group of 12 people for USD$265 per person through ALLA Tours when the cruise was charging USD$300 per day in a bus packed with 40 others. Interestingly one of the comments made during the "meet the officers" presentation was that the Shore Excursions were the most profitable department on this cruise so I guess there were a lot of suckers who did shell out money for them.

In summary I would say this was a good cruise in terms of destinations and lots of on board activities but I don't think I would choose NCL again.
Skippy431’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Spa Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B9 14607
We upgraded to a Spa Balcony and based on the website description were expecting a slightly nicer cabin than the standard balcony. Even though the ship had just been in dry dock were surprised that the cabin was no different from a standard cabin. The only difference between a Spa Cabin and standard balcony is that you are on a higher deck and have access to the Spa.
Whilst the cabs itself was nice enough for the price I thought it could have been a bit more lux than a standard balcony cabin given that they charge you quite a bit more for a Spa cabin.
The cabin itself is fairly stock standard but a lot smaller than other balcony cabins we have stayed in. Like the rest of the ship it just lacked the nice finishes you find on Royal Caribbean such as power points by the bed and quality fixtures and fittings. I think NCL try to cram too many passengers onto their ships and the size of the cabins reflect this.
The Mandara Spa is quite nice and provides a great getaway from the crowds on the ship. It has a nice area to chill out with a spa pool, sauna, steam room, salt room.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins