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1,958 Copenhagen to Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

First time cruising outside of the Caribbean and first time on NCL. This is NOT a one and done but a forever go-to cruise line. Exceptional food, service, cleanliness of the ship, professional staff and there is always something to do. ... Read More
First time cruising outside of the Caribbean and first time on NCL. This is NOT a one and done but a forever go-to cruise line. Exceptional food, service, cleanliness of the ship, professional staff and there is always something to do. The suites were perfect size with modern features and lighting along with the balcony being the perfect size for coffee in the morning. The food was exceptional at EVERY place we went with La Bistro being a 6 star restaurant. The shows were truly off-Broadway with the acting and variety. The excursions were very well organized, understandable in what to do and courteous staff to answer any questions one may have before embarking for the day. For night life - Bliss is a fun place to meet up with new friends and end the evening with a twist either on the dance floor or in your drink,. If you haven't cruised NCL, then you truly haven't cruised yet! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise to see areas of Scandinavia it would be difficult to see renting a car and driving around, which we usually do. We had an aft-facing mini-suite on deck 14 that would have been good for two people but was rather ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see areas of Scandinavia it would be difficult to see renting a car and driving around, which we usually do. We had an aft-facing mini-suite on deck 14 that would have been good for two people but was rather cramped for three. There was a lot of storage space but not for the suitcases. With four suitcases. we ended up putting two on the balcony because there just wasn't enough room in the cabin for them. The balcony was nice and the bed was comfortable, but being in the aft section and high up, we could feel the ship move when we went into rougher waters, which was actually often at the beginning of the cruise. The steward assigned to our cabin was good and friendly, but toward the end of the cruise the service started to slack off. We ran out of tissue two days before the cruise ended and it was never refilled. The food was very good, especially the three main dining rooms and for the most part the staff was very friendly. I was disappointed with the Tropicana Room. It was supposed to be a re-make of a 1940's Miami nightclub, but there was barely any music. There was this nice dance floor but it was filled with tables and the one time someone did have music, it lasted about 10 minutes and then they left never to come back while we were there. The Freestyle seating works to an extend. Yes, it is nice to be able to eat when you want and where you want and to sit at a table by yourselves but the wait to get into the dining rooms was some times too long, especially when the ship was at sea for the whole day and people had no where else to eat. Get there a half hour before the places open if you want to get a table without waiting! Activities were a bit limited, especially with the weather the way it was, but that was to be expected at the time of year we went. Indoor activities were okay, but the cruise director was annoying and to be honest, some of the activities were rather childish and stupid. Guest services needed more staff. There are not nearly enough trash receptacles on the ship. In fact, we had a hard time finding any. It was nice that there were disinfection stations everywhere and staff stood around with small spray bottles of the stuff also, but there was nothing in the cabin. As for the itinerary....There was no reason to spend two days in St. Petersburg. We had a two day and one night excursion from the ship and it all could have easily been done in one day. The first day we didn't leave the dock until 0900 and were back at the ship by 1230! Then what do you do? You can't go back into Russia because you don't have a visa or an active excursion. The second day we left the dock at 0830 and were back at 1330 and that was a complete waste. Went to Peterhof and all the fountains were closed, most of the statues were boxed up, and the Asian tourists from other groups were so rude and pushy that it made the entire excursion a waste of time. The two days could have easily been put into one day, as I said, and the Folk show at night, although very nice, wasn't necessary since the ship had one on board at the same time! Russia was just a waste, especially with the time needed to do immigration every single time you left or boarded the ship. It would have been far better to have spend two days in Stockholm, a beautiful city with lots to see and do. Instead, we had less than 4 hours there because the ship docks an hour's drive away from the city! The time in Helsinki was too short also, as was the time in Tallinn. We didn't need to spend until 2230 in Warnemunde. That was another waste. Yes, people want to see Berlin but Berlin is too far away and traffic is always a problem so that everyone else has to wait around while the Berlin buses get back. Take that extra time and put it into Tallinn or Helsinki. The two free shows (musicals) we watched were great! Very well done and entertaining. Great casting! The hypnotist was a joke and a waste of time. The magician was ok. For the price paid, I was disappointed. This was my first cruise ever and it might just be my last. Yes, there were several good things about the ship and I could see this ship in the Caribbean being a fun place to be, but up in the Baltic in October was not the best. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise based upon the ports, and it did not disappoint. This was such a wonderful cruise! The ports are phenomenal- I just wish we had more time in each. For me the highlights of the ship itself were the thermal spa and the ... Read More
I chose this cruise based upon the ports, and it did not disappoint. This was such a wonderful cruise! The ports are phenomenal- I just wish we had more time in each. For me the highlights of the ship itself were the thermal spa and the food (taste or savor- same menu and so very good!). I want to do it all again! I went on the NCL excursion to Berlin and it was a long day, but well worth it. The tour guides know what they are doing and as such you get to see so much in about 6 1/2 hours in the city. Tallin is quaint and lovely. This was the only day it rained continuously and was a bit miserable- so after my tour I did not stay to explore on my own, which I would have but for the rain. St. Petersburg was the port I was most looking forward to seeing. I did tours through NCL and picked what I was most interested in seeing- there is so much to do and see there, I hope I get to go back. Unbelievable experience. Helsinki- The Rock Church was neat, very cool to see. Otherwise I enjoyed the fall colors. Stockholm was fun- but wished we’d had a little more time as there is much to do here. Copenhagen was beautiful, fun and a great place to stay before or after the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Great cruise itinerary, we saw lots of places but would have loved some more time in almost every port. If you choose do do this cruise in fall be prepared for cold and rain, had a few miserable weather days but plenty of ok days too. Due ... Read More
Great cruise itinerary, we saw lots of places but would have loved some more time in almost every port. If you choose do do this cruise in fall be prepared for cold and rain, had a few miserable weather days but plenty of ok days too. Due to the weather very limited use of many of the cruise amenities such as pool, water slides, ropes course and rock wall. Our room came with access to the thermal suites which we utilized to warm up every day after our excursions and would be well worth the cost if traveling at this time of year. Embarkation went quickly and we were able to board the ship almost immediately. Rooms were ready in about the expected time. Disembarkation went similarly smoothly with the only exception being they started calling groups more than a half hour before the estimated exit time which did cause a little unnecessary stress. On the port days we also ran into several issues where the shore excursions dropped us into the cities an hour or more before anything opened. Also due to the season several attractions were closed or being renovated. We were still able to have a good time in each port. For Helsinki and Stockholm we booked the hop-on-hop-off buses but didn't use them very much once we made it to the city as we were able to walk to our destinations faster. In Estonia we opted for a guided tour but did feel a bit like we didn't see anything (maybe it was just due to the terrible weather). The two days in St. Petersburg was very nice but its important to note that most visitors must go with a tour unless they obtain a visa prior, we felt like it may have been worth the cost/effort to get our own visa as the port had lots of things to explore and the tours all felt a bit rushed and crowded. Onboard entertainment seemed to be feast or famine. At sometimes we had more things we wanted to do than we could possible squeeze in and at other times it felt like there was nothing going on. Much of the entertainment was geared more toward the prevailing age of the cruise which was quite a bit older than us (we are ~30). Overall we always manged to find something to keep us entertained. The food was the thing we were most excited for and was the biggest let down of the whole trip. Any of the sit down options (complimentary and specialty) were painfully slow. It sometimes took up to 15 minutes just to get our first glass of water. Food was also frequently cool by the time we got it. My husband was even told food items were not on the menu by one server only to have another server offer him the item he'd requested The specialty restaurants didn't taste worth the extra price. Overall it was usually just easier to grab food at the buffet so you weren't spending 2+hrs of your day just trying to eat one meal. We opted to upgrade to a Spa balcony room and were quite happy with the location and space. it was quite with easy access to the spa and enough room to unpack all our luggage for the whole cruise. This was the best part of our whole cruise. Overall, we had a good time but it wasn't the amazing honeymoon we'd hoped for. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My family and I made a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line on October 2019. The ship, "Getaway" is pretty new ship, manufactured 2014. The ship is very well maintained and in great condition. The stuff is wonderful and very ... Read More
My family and I made a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line on October 2019. The ship, "Getaway" is pretty new ship, manufactured 2014. The ship is very well maintained and in great condition. The stuff is wonderful and very friendly. But, not all is good. The main thing that we felt bad about is money. Although the cruise is not cheap, all the time we felt that the cruise staff has one goal above all, and that goal is to take the max amount of money out of the passengers pocket. The prices of each "extra" is ridiculously high and not reasonable. For example, a bottle of mineral water in the room cost 7.20$ !!!! The cost of spa, tours, and sport is just outrages. As a passenger you can choose not to take any of those, but, we were very surprised to see on our bill a compulsory pay of 15$ a day per person for tip. For us it adds up to an extra of 675$. No one told us that when we made reservation of the cruise. I think that it should be part of the cost in advance, because it's compulsory. (Yes, it is probably somewhere in the agreement small letters, but I see it as kind of cheat). The looks like the food was the same in the 3 restaurants included with no extra cost. (Savoy, Taste, Tropicana) The food in the buffet had a lot of choice, but not so tasty. I prefer quality on quantity. Embarkation and disembarkation went very quaqly and smoothly. The entertainment program was dinamic and had differant show each night. some were better then other, but it depands on personal preferance. For us, the Burn The Floor show and the Hipnosis were the best. Some of the ports are far from the city. Berlin is 3 hour drive from the port and Copenhagen is 1 hour drive from the port. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Great itinerary Copenhagen was beautiful and very walkable Embarkation- make sure your cab drops you at the right terminal ( 1 or 2 as stated on your ticket) Getting off at the ports of call is challenging at best. Not very ... Read More
Great itinerary Copenhagen was beautiful and very walkable Embarkation- make sure your cab drops you at the right terminal ( 1 or 2 as stated on your ticket) Getting off at the ports of call is challenging at best. Not very organized for general exiting the ship. Shore excursions on the ship are way over priced for what you get. We went through TJ travel and had a lovely tour in Germany and Russia for more than half the price the ship was charging. Food- Nothing to write home about. Most of the food such as lobster and good steaks are now served at the pay restaurants. State room had a large spot of black mold on the ceiling above the light fixture in the bathroom. Which I found quite odd because the ship came out of dry dock about 5 months ago. I would say the spot was 6inches wide and about 11 inches long. Entertainment was excellent Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We used our cruise next and invited our niece and nephew to come with us. I fixed our itinerary for at least a 1-2 night stay before embarkation. The date to board was on the 11th of October. My wife made arrangements with NCL knowingly ... Read More
We used our cruise next and invited our niece and nephew to come with us. I fixed our itinerary for at least a 1-2 night stay before embarkation. The date to board was on the 11th of October. My wife made arrangements with NCL knowingly that the agent will at LEAST get us an early arrival on the 10th. After getting confirmation via e-mail on the 24th of August, that our arrival time was at 8:00pm on the 10th, my wife tried got a hold to one of their agent and his only response was someone will get back within 72 hours. My wife was able to contact O from NCL to arrange an early arrival but was declined since everything was already booked. My wife was trying to cancel the hotel since it was too expensive at $370 for 2 person for one lousy night in a small room. But we got the same exact answer given earlier, they could not cancel reservation. I believe our late cruise to the Baltic was one of the last ones to sail. So, every port that we docked, we were just the only HUGE ship at the port. And I guess this was one of advantages when we did the excursion in St. Petersburg where there were lesser tourist at major attractions. We also had an onboard credit and had dilemma what to use it for. Our options where shore excursion which will still be much more expensive, specialty dining, when complimentary dining are already par quality dining itself and lastly the internet package of 250 minutes which I took. Aside from how slow the internet was, which I already knew from previous comments by other travelers, be very watchful and always check your usage. The day before the last day at sea, I still had 36 minutes to spare and use for the next day. As soon as I was going to check my emails, it showed that I already have exhausted all my minutes. I brought the issue to their IT department and was given extra 60 minutes. All on board staff were very friendly, cabin crew was nice and food was very good. We loved getting our breakfast either at Savor or Taste where it is a sit down and food are freshly prepared (kind of). I also recommend O’Sheehan’s chicken wings where we always go for our late night snack. Love all the entertainment show that they offer. We didn’t quite do all the activities on board because of the cold weather. Overall, the drawback was just the late arrival that NCL has given us and still hoping that they would make the refunds they promised. Now, all about our shore escapades: Copenhagen, Denmark: The person who picked us up from the airport was very friendly and gave us some pointers and recommendations for a place to eat local food. After check-in, we immediately went to Frk Barners Kaelder, where the driver mentioned for us to eat which was a short walk from Scandic Copenhagen Hotel. We didn’t expect for the price to be so high that we just ended up ordering appetizers. The only place we could get to after dinner was Tivoli Food Hall. We should’ve opted to eat at this place as it was very reasonable price. We could no longer go inside Tivoli Garden, which were on their soft opening for Halloween, since we did not want to spend $24 for each which was closing in 30 minutes. We tried to walk along Stroget but noticed that most store are already closed, we retreated back to the hotel. It was pouring rain the next day and neither uber nor lyft was available and out pick up time from the hotel was 11:15am that a stroll to anywhere was impossible. Warnemunde/Berlin, Germany: We did not avail of the NCL shore excursion. We just got off the ship and walked a couple minutes to the train station. You don’t even have to buy the ticket from the machine as what everybody tried to do that caused a long wait. We just used the app, trainline and bought the ticket which was very convenient and fast. The ticket only cost $60 each with a return. As soon as we had confirmation, we boarded the train and travelled for 3 hours to the central station and got out of the public square in Potsdamer Platz. Pretty much walked around to see all major sights (Public Square, Panoramapunkt, Holocaust Memorial, Brandenburg Gate, Galeries Lafayette, Gendarmenmrkt, Checkpoint Charlie) to check out. We chose to ride the taxi from GendarmenMrkt back to the station which cost less than 9euro. Tallinn, Estonia: Aside from Copenhagen, Tallinn was an all-day rain as well. We made a huge mistake taking the taxi going to Old Town, driver immediately charged us 20 euros. We lately found out about the app, Bolt (you can also use in St. Petersburg) which is exactly the same as uber/lyft that charges way a LOT less. The taxi driver also dropped us off in the uphill area so it would be much easier for us to walk going back. We didn’t cover that much of Tallinn due to the downpour. We first started on a nice overlooking spot where a sign said “The Times We Had”, and made our way to Old Town, St. Patrick’s, Saint Olaf’s Church but was closed, so we were not able to climb to check out the view. We also went to Balti Jaama Turg Food Market, Telliskivi Creative City & Linnahall. Bolt saved us a lot of time and kept us dry for at least a while. St. Petersburg, Russia: We didn’t bother applying for a visa since it was just for 2 days but since our companions (nephew/niece) are both from UK, they applied for an e-visa which was free starting October 1st of this year and had to apply for less than a week before embarkation. Me and my wife on our part had to use TJ Travel. I tried Alla Tours but could not get through their website. Maybe it was for the better as we had a great time with TJ Travel. Our Guide was Elizabeth or Liza and our driver was Alexander. Liza was very friendly and informative. A great guide and very knowledgeable and that made the trip more exciting. Our group of 13 was always on time that made the whole tour swift and spontaneously that was able to get to see all included in the itinerary list and much MORE! We also ate at some local restaurant that was delicious. I and my wife got to see and roam around after lunch but make sure not to go out too far. The tour also had their own special place to buy your souvenir where they also serve you hot coffee and even a shot of vodka. Unfortunately, I received an email 3 days before the trip that the fountain at Peterhof will close on October 13th. Helsinki, Finland: When we got off the ship, a minute walk from the ship, a public bus (#14) was waiting. And it only cost 8 euro each for the whole day getting around. We started from Sibelius Monument, Regatta for a quick sticky roll and hot chocolate (highly recommend), we went afterwards to Temppeliaukion Kirkko and were delighted to get a chance and to listen to an orchestra practicing. We also went inside Kampin Kappell. Then we went to Old Market Hall/Kapaturi Market, Esplanade, Market Square, the Tori Quarters, the Senate Square, Helsinki Cathedral and finally Uspenski Cathedral. If only there was more time. Nynashamn/Stockholm, Sweden: The final leg of the cruise. Another mistake on our part and hopefully you gain from our experience. Read some of the post from previous people who already took the same trip mostly took the Hop on Hop off (HOHO). So, we bought tickets before the trip not knowingly will be a tremendous waste of money and time. Just to let you know also that going to Stockholm from Nynashamn is a one hour train ride. Outside from the ship after the gate, on your right, there was a tent that sells tickets for $27 that also is good for bus rides. When you arrive at the Central Station, you go down to the right side where Mc Donald’s is located that would be the first station of the HOHO. We skipped the 2nd and 3rd stop since we knew that we were going to spend more of our time there and decided to stop at the 4th stop where a scenic view awaits after a short distance of walk. By the time we got back to ride another HOHO, it wasted more than 30 minutes of our time and the driver was VERY SLOW! At that point, we decided just to use the bus and explore ourselves. We went to Drottninggatan, NK for some shopping, walked at Kungstradgarden, visited Cathedral Storkyrkan, wondered around Gamla Stan and Stortorget Square, Royal Palace and Tessin Palace. We also crossed and walked at the narrowest alley which was awesome. We ended at Ostermalmstorg and got back to Central Station to catch the train going back. We missed Vasa Museum and I heard it was a must. So let me know how good it is. The journey to the train station requires at least a 20 minute walk but there is a bus which is included with the ticket that you purchase that will take you to the station. It’s about a 5 minute walk from the ship and takes 2 stops by the bus to the station. A helpful advice if you wish, especially when it’s pouring rain. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because the price was right. Loved the ports (even though it was cold) and the tours. We would have appreciated more time at Tallin and Helsinki but the other ports were perfect shore times. Our ship, The Getaway was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the price was right. Loved the ports (even though it was cold) and the tours. We would have appreciated more time at Tallin and Helsinki but the other ports were perfect shore times. Our ship, The Getaway was great and truthfully better than we expected. Our only suggestion would be to have the entire ship smoke free as there were some places where the smoke smell was very apparent. Food wise, w. We especially enjoyed The Bistro French Restaurant and Cagney's Steakhouse though the Tropicana Dining Room always offered a nice selection and the live music was a plus. The Spa was so much fun! We met a lot of nice people on this trip though it never felt like there were as many passengers as I know there was because the public spaces are so large ... and there is lots of variety to find your "own space". Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was based on itinerary and friends that we travel with had opted in to a package with Norwegian where they received 2 .free deposits for previously putting money down. The itinerary was great and we enjoyed the ports. We ... Read More
This cruise was based on itinerary and friends that we travel with had opted in to a package with Norwegian where they received 2 .free deposits for previously putting money down. The itinerary was great and we enjoyed the ports. We booked our excursions through Alla Tours as they were less expensive and we were not disappointed! They are rated very high on trip advisor and they were excellent! Dining- not very impressed with Savior, Taste or the Tropicana. We were a group of 7 travelling together and they kept trying to put us at a table of 6 which we refused as 2 of our party of 7 are over well over 6 feet and being squished in like that gave us no arm room . One night after yet again trying to sit us at a table of 6 they ended up sitting us at 2 tables which we were not impressed with either. They did offer to pull the two tables together which still led to no elbow room. Service was slow and all over the place in these restaurants. Food not exceptional but okay. In the Tropicana one night they had a group of thirty in and held there table for close to 45 minutes as per one of their staff, so this meant we were lined up longer than normal. They post that they will not hold tables longer than 15 minutes but I guess when you are with a tour company the same rules don’t apply. O’Sheehans was also a hit and miss. 2nd day we went for breakfast and they only had scrambled eggs and no real eggs as they were loading up on food in Berlin. They also ran out of butter on the last morning and instead of telling us they just brought us dry toast which we would have not ordered. Not sure who does their ordering but they need to do a better job. We noticed in the last few days that the butter would change from individual packages to shared butter, whipped unsalted butter and then nothing. We also had an issue on our last morning with getting seated together. Emmanuel (manager?) would only give our friends a table of 4 but said he would pull the empty table of 2 beside us or move us to a table for 7. He ended up sitting someone at that table of 2 and then refused to move us to a bigger table as he previously stated. We did have a few decent meals in this pub though on other days with good service. Best meal I had on the ship was at Cirque dreams steam which you pay for. The show was incredible and my food was good. One of our party had her meat way undercooked and struggled with that. She also was not given the option of how she wanted it cooked. We had a drink package included in our fare and I was disappointed that chocolate martinis were not included. I would have had to pay $4.00 extra for that. Strange that they charge extra for them while Royal Caribbean includes them in their drink package along with bottled water and their special coffees at their coffee shop. Not sure if opting into the drink package is even worth it because you still pay a portion of it and my husband and I are not big drinkers. One thing that was really disgusting was that they did not put soap in the soap dispensers by the pool area/ ping pong area for a day or so. I guess when the staff check off their list they don’t see if their is actual soap in the dispensers. We went to both sides of this bathroom and no soap in either side. We also had a phone package and internet package included. Internet slow but okay to send an email or talk to family members on messenger. Phone okay but noticed after 12 a.m. that you couldn’t call out or reach guest services. I wanted to a family member after 12 and it was out of service. We were on a 6 hour time change from home so it was the perfect time to reach that family member. The first time this happened I tried to call guest service which rang and rang and then just hung up. 2 of our party were smokers, myself included and we were told we could only smoke on deck 15. When I was on the escape a few years ago we could smoke in the warm cigar room which is now not allowed. The few times I walked by that area there it was empty. Why is it that cigar smokers have a nice warm area and we were up on the 15th deck in a semi closed off area that was cold and windy. You can also smoke in a part of the casino if you are playing. I don’t gamble so that was out for us as well. Our room was an inside room on deck 5 mid ship and was cleaned well. No complaints there! Limited space to put clothes away but we managed. Embarking and disembarking was effortless and one thing they did really well on this cruise! All and all is was not super impressed with Norwegian this time around. We have another cruise booked with them for Feb. so will see how that goes. They have already changed the itinerary for that one with no explanation despite sending an email on Aug 4th. I also called Norwegian and the person answering did not know the reason for a few ports being changed and suggested that we email and also that we had the option to cancel the cruise . Problem with that is that the airfare was already booked well In advance. I don’t find Norwegian really cares about customer service at all as of first hand experience. I have had much better Royal Caribbean cruises , Carnival cruises and Celebrity cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Norwegian Getaway / Baltic cruise Oct 2019 very large ship with 4K+ passengers. Many balcony cabins up to deck 14. General comments the not so good... It’s a big ship but it’s hard to find comfortable chairs indoors where ... Read More
Norwegian Getaway / Baltic cruise Oct 2019 very large ship with 4K+ passengers. Many balcony cabins up to deck 14. General comments the not so good... It’s a big ship but it’s hard to find comfortable chairs indoors where you can relax and get some peace and quiet for any length of time. On a Baltic cruise the weather wasn’t suitable for sitting outside. Games room was tiny and there’s a huge screen in what’s called the Atrium on deck 6 where lots of events take place, which is always crowded and noisy with its adjacent bar. The most relaxing place was on the outside of deck 8 but for us it was mostly too cold during our cruise. The outdoor facilities looked wonderful (water slides, climbing wall and bars / restaurant) but weren’t practical for our cruise. Staff generally friendly and helpful but staff at Customer Service desk not very effective and don’t go the extra mile. It’s like they are frightened to go “off script” so you get the same old platitudes about why something can’t be done!They are quite happy to tell you they can’t help rather than trying that little bit harder. Example - when we booked our cruise (3 weeks before) transfers to from airport were not available but we found Norwegian reps at the airport on our way in and gladly paid the $25 transfer to the boat. When we tried to book return transfers 3 days before disembarkation we were told that they had been sold before the ship sailed, so they couldn’t help. Since they were also advising that taxis might be scarce on the dock in Copenhagen it was disappointing that more was not done to help especially as we asked in good time. We eventually telephoned a taxi company when we were in an earlier port one day. You are not offered much, if any, port info if you’re planning to do your own thing. We asked for train timetables to Stockholm (c. hr away) and they we very resistant to downloading the info. We didn’t have any free shuttles port to town. Norwegian seem to rely on the local port authorities to send either hop on / hop off buses or shuttles, for which you have to pay. Disembarkation is OK in Copenhagen if you have pre-arranged transfers. It was total chaos for anyone hoping to get a taxi from the rank, all on a wet day with little cover. Thank goodness we'd booked a taxi otherwise I fear we may have missed our flight. The better..... Cabins we had a balc cabin which was not luxurious but most adequate. Nice shower with glass door (no horrible curtain) and no lack of hot water. Liquid hand /shower wash and shampoo in dispensers but no frills. We had a large couch which could probably be converted to 3rd bed. Beds comfy. Balcony very small - only just big enough for two chairs and a tiny table. You wouldn’t want to spend much time out there. Food we were pleasantly surprised. Food was generally much better than on recent Celebrity Constellation in the buffet and Main dining rooms of which there were 3. Of the 3 we opted most nights for the Tropicana which had a central dance floor and band playing which created a nice atmosphere. We could only book these complementary restaurants at 2 specific times online before the cruise but once you’re on board you can either book or take a chance and queue for all / any times. We found that if we accepted a booking later than we really wanted, then turned up at our chosen time we were nearly always accommodated (1 night we were asked to share the table which we were quite happy to do) The food came quickly, was nicely presented, hot and tasty. All 3 restaurants offered the same menu each night. In addition there are speciality restaurants for which you have to pay a supplement. We ate in Le Bistro twice because it was so good. The best fillet mignon we’ve had for many a year either at sea or on land. Other options equally good. The seafood restaurant, Ocean Blue is also excellent. You can choose large simple portions of well cooked fish of various types (with the sauce of your choice) or more exotic fish and seafood dishes ( my husband had seafood with pasta) which didn’t disappoint. I had excellent halibut with a garlic side sauce which was just delicious and an excellent dover sole which came boned and ready to eat. Service was excellent in both. The third speciality restaurant we tried was Moderno which is a brazilian steak house. You select your own starter from a selection on a buffet, then for main course, you’re given a plate and 5 “sides” appear, which are your veg dishes. Waiters then constantly travel round the tables carving off strips of steak, chicken, pork, chorizo from very large skewers and you can have as much as you like. If you like a bit of theatre with your meal you will enjoy it; personally I prefer to choose my meal and have it delivered all in one go!!! The meats were all good, some of the steaks tender & delicious. Then a choice of desserts. We didn’t sample other speciality restaurants. The one restaurant which disappointed was the Chinese for which there is no supplement. It was always full and difficult to get a table. When we finally did get a table, on our last day, we found the food indifferent, not very hot and it arrived sometimes after a wait, then all orders would come together. You eat at bench type tables which don’t have much space so we found ourselves running out of space to put everything. On the whole the Chinese dishes which we found in the main self service buffet restaurant were much fresher and hotter and you can choose your ingredients for the noodle soups, made in front of you by the chef. The buffet has a good range of offers with plenty of fresh fruit and veg. My husband was particularly complementary about the curries which changed every day. The entertainment varied. Burn the Floor and the Quartet shows (no supplement) were excellent and you can book seats in advance. We didn’t try the shows which had supplements such as the Cirque show as we’d heard the the meal they serve at the same time was not especially good. There are the usual cruise ship offerings of bingo, game shows and trivia plus other musical offerings such a instrumentalists, a magician, and a very good show with 3 girls singing Motown. In addition to the theatre there is live entertainment in smaller venues such as a comedy club ( we saw 2 shows, both good esp for us Brits but some other nationalities failed to get all the references/jokes) and other headliners. Something for all ages. We did find lots of the entertainment to be very loud especially in the smaller venues. Everything seems to be ‘over miked’ , even in the theatre, so go with that in mind. Would we travel on Norwegian Getaway again? Probably but only on warm weather itinerary out of school holidays. When we booked we had the option to add 2 supplementary options out of 4 for $99 pp. We chose the drinks package and the 4 trips to speciality restaurants and this was very cost effective considering some cocktails and spirits cost $10-15. 2 drinks per day (which included our dinner wine) and we saved! The shore excursions offered by Norwegian were eye wateringly expensive. We booked independent tour operators and often crossed paths with our shipmates on Norwegian tours. St Petersburg was the stand out trip. We booked a 2 day package with TJ tours. It’s was excellent and overall good value considering we went straight to the front of every long queue - & I do mean long - and we were dropped and picked up at the entrances to every place. The guide was friendly and very knowledgable - not a script in sight - and the pick up and drop off arrangements at the port were very efficient. If you disembark in Russia you must have a pre booked tour to avoid the hassle of getting a separate visa before your cruise. We would go back to St P again because there is so much to see that you can’t do it all in 2 days. The other stops, Tallin, Helsinki, Stockholm were pleasant but we wouldn’t consider revisiting specially. The ship docked at Warnmunde which was billed as stop for Berlin but be aware that it’s 150 miles away and 3.5 hrs in a coach. On the whole the cruise exceeded our expectations esp our 2 days in St Petersburg. The ship also exceeded our expectations re food and entertainment but there were niggles, above, which disappointed. Norwegian have gone up our rankings whereas Celebrity has gone down! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We got this cruise at a great price which included 4 restaurant upgrades and the drinks package plus taxes and service charges. Embarkation and disembarkation were both excellent, quick and efficient. There was no hanging about. We sailed ... Read More
We got this cruise at a great price which included 4 restaurant upgrades and the drinks package plus taxes and service charges. Embarkation and disembarkation were both excellent, quick and efficient. There was no hanging about. We sailed on 2 October and it hailstoned. Bring plenty of warm clothes on this trip, we could not go outside on deck as it was so cold. We got as far as Tallinn and it was -2 C. We found the temperatures really cold. The ship is not built for this type of weather, it's better suited to the Med as there is an outdoor pool and slides which are only used by the brave hearted. There should be more entertainment indoors because it's too cold to enjoy bands by the pool. The one hour safety drill went on too long.....boring. Our inside cabin on floor 5 was fine, clean and adequate. You do not need a balcony at this time of the year as its too cold. I would have preferred drawers in the dressing table for my makeup. The studio was a good size and the bathroom was too. I always used our bathroom as the public ladies toilets left a lot to be desired. The ship library was the worst we have come across. We found all the staff very pleasant and friendly unlike a lot of the passengers. As I am plant based we used the Garden Cafe mostly for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food, especially the vegetarian food was always cold. (We have travelled with NCL 6 times now and have told them over and over again about this but it's still the same). The meat was served beside salads, open for contamination and Vegan options were never labelled, staff were not always knowledgable regarding ingredients. There was not a great variety of salads available and there were 2 curries on at lunch and dinner every day, no variety whatsoever in the Vegetarian corner. The Photographers tortured people, it was like running the gauntlet trying to escape them, everywhere we went. Please NCL stop trying to make money this way. We ate in Cagney's twice and the Italian twice, the Bistro and Argentinian would not accommodate me. The food and service was excellent in both restaurants. Worth having the upgrade. We enjoyed Syd Norman's Pour House, it was always packed and the music was good, if not repetitive. The shows in the theatre were OK. We enjoyed our cruise and would sail with NCL again if we got another bargain. The tipping should not be optional, it should be built into the price. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife and I had the urge to use the ship board credit coupons we had purchased previously before they were due to expire. We would have one more credit coupon left after this cruise, we have decided to let it expire and not coming back ... Read More
My wife and I had the urge to use the ship board credit coupons we had purchased previously before they were due to expire. We would have one more credit coupon left after this cruise, we have decided to let it expire and not coming back to this cruise ship/line. The ship was average, it lacked a lot of the recreational amenities that other newer ships in other cruise lines could offer on their ships. The embarkation registration was segregated into even and odd numbers. Many earlier arrivals were not made aware of it until they had waited in line and ready to be called to the front counter for processing. The service on board, except for the cabin steward, was terrible or just average at best. The food at the Taste and Savor dining rooms were terrible and not meeting my personal expectation in comparison to other cruise ships. We had to resort to special dining such as the 'Ocean Blue' and 'Cagney's' for our dinners. The Ocean Blue and Cagney's were our favorite restaurants on this ship. The 'Le Bistro' French Restaurant was the biggest disappointment in my history of dining experience on board of any cruise ships I had been traveled in the past years. The service was bad with a grumpy looking waiter who looked too tired to be working that day. I ordered a 20+ oz. T-bone steak special and to be cooked 'medium-rare' as my preference. The steak came out to be so rare(almost raw) that I could not eat most of it. The matter was brought to the waiter's attention and he opted not to return back to our table. The waiter's assistant came to fill in the void instead. My wife and I decided not to stay any further either. I began to question: Some of these cooking staff came from a country where they revered 'cows' in their cultural foundation. And how would they feel, personally and emotionally if they were forced to cook a piece of steak(one of the best cut from a cow's carcass) on the grill and to be served to the diner! On an Asian Themed Evening at the Buffet Restaurant deck - the restaurant manager could not differentiate a ramen noodle from rice noodle or green bean noodle. He was serving Asian(Chinese) food, but I could not find a packet of chopsticks and soy sauce anywhere at the dining area. Everything served was imitational Asian food, they lacked the taste, quality and the presentation of how Asian food should be served. I asked the manager if he had ever been to an Asian(Chinese/Japanese/Thai) restaurant before. The answer was a flat 'NO'! In conclusion, I am inclined to believe that the quality of personnel working on board and how they interacted with the passengers are the factors that would entice people to come back. Or they would drift away for other cruise ships after their first or second trip with this cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We enjoyed the places we visited. Our stateroom was quiet and well serviced. We enjoyed meeting different people at meal times. The staff were invariably friendly and helpful. Provision was made of a meeting room for an informal church ... Read More
We enjoyed the places we visited. Our stateroom was quiet and well serviced. We enjoyed meeting different people at meal times. The staff were invariably friendly and helpful. Provision was made of a meeting room for an informal church service on Sunday evening. BUT We found the number of people on board a bit much and would consider a smaller ship therefore another time. The music was often loud. Our first meal in Tropicana was spoiled in this way. The background music in the corridors was irritating. We felt the excursion to St Petersburg was over priced and the lunch provided disappointing (no bortsch!) The guide, however was very good. If we had known about independent excursions we would have booked one of those. Apparently one of those had a short river cruise and a visit to the Church of Spilled Blood (and bortsch!) and some free time ashore, all of which which we would have enjoyed. On the second day of the tour we had to stand for a while for admission to Peterhof. This was made bearable by a brass band and that the weather was dry. To stand in the rain would have been miserable. We were disappointed that the speciality restaurants attracted a charge and that internet was charged at too high a price. It wasn't clear just what our basic drinks package allowed. At the rescue drill on the first afternoon, we found it hard to hear what was being said, partly because a gaming machine was playing music, until an enterprising passenger unplugged it - but surely it should be good practice for staff to ensure that there is no distracting music happening during safety drills. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Started in Copenhagen lovely city but expensive This was my first ever cruise so don’t have much to compare it with the ship was big and felt very crowded, probably because most people were inside the weather was fine but cool. My ... Read More
Started in Copenhagen lovely city but expensive This was my first ever cruise so don’t have much to compare it with the ship was big and felt very crowded, probably because most people were inside the weather was fine but cool. My cabin 9158 was nice small balcony with a lovely view the bathroom was good clean with a good shower the twice daily service was good and the cabin steward helpful. Food in the restaurant was good and I never had trouble getting a seat service was good. I did not like the buffet it always felt crowded. I only went to a couple of shows they were ok nothing to rave about. The best thing we’re the ports which is why I had chosen this cruise they were great St Petersburg being the high light for me I did a two day tour using Alla tours they were Considerably cheaper than the ones offered by NCL and only 16 people enabling us to see more and get about easily . I was a solo traveler but did not feel uncomfortable there was always someone to talk to and people to have dinner with if I wanted and a table available for just me when I preferred to be alone. I booked this cruise very last minute and got a very good rate overall very pleased I would certainly book again if I was able to get such a good deal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We travelled in late Sep - Baltic sailing. Despite the fact that temperatures on this later season sailing were quite cool (10 C – 16C), I would say that this is an excellent time to do a Baltic cruise. Firstly, there are far less ... Read More
We travelled in late Sep - Baltic sailing. Despite the fact that temperatures on this later season sailing were quite cool (10 C – 16C), I would say that this is an excellent time to do a Baltic cruise. Firstly, there are far less crowds and secondly, the cruise fare is more reasonable. We were also able to secure a Haven 2 bed cabin at an excellent fare. Embarkation We took a taxi from Copenhagen centre (Hotel Bethel) to the Oceankaj port where the Getaway was berthed. Embarkation was quick and easy and NCL are very efficient. We arrived just after 11am and were on the ship before 12pm. Haven guests could either have lunch in the Haven restaurant or at Margaritaville (complimentary). We decided to go Margaritaville and the service was excellent and the shrimps were delicious: large, firm, tasty. This was the standard throughout the ship – wherever we had shrimp it was the same excellent quality. We spent an hour exploring the ship and our bags were already at our suite by 2pm so we unpacked. The mandatory safety drill was at 4pm and this is the one area that NCL could drastically improve. The drill took at least an hour because all the information was repeated in three different languages. Many people are rude and talk over the languages that they don’t understand and the crew then has to request them to please be considerate of other guests. There was not enough space for seating in O’Sheehans for everyone and it was tough standing for all that time. In addition, the crew would not let us sit on the floor. So I suggest that you try to get to your meeting point before the required time so that you don’t end up like us standing all the time. Further, the crew member who demonstrated how to put on the life jacket literally got “stage fright” and was unable to do it correctly. He tried 3 times, before another crew member took over and correctly demonstrated how to do it. Many people just put their heads down on the tables in O’Sheehans and blotted the “noise” out. It just got too much. But hang in there, because after a bad start, it was all positive after that! Haven 2 bed family suite 15108 We absolutely loved our suite. With 2 adults and 2 children, there is ample space and it really is wonderful for the children to have their own room and bathroom. Our steward (Moncito), set up the Pullman bed for our 10 year old son (similar to a bunk) and made the sleeper couch below into a comfortable bed for our 12 year old daughter. There is ample storage space in the suite. The king bed in the main bedroom is the most comfortable bed I have had in over 10 cruises. We requested memory foam pillows and this was handled by our Butler, Stefan. Stefan also made sure we had coffee pods for the Nespresso machine and brought a lovely selection of snacks each afternoon (including choc chip cookies which were the best!) Stefan really was an excellent butler – always willing to go the extra mile and always offering helpful advice. The master bathroom in this suite is absolutely amazing with its bath and shower that look out to the ocean. The cost of the suite is worth that view alone! This Haven suite is so wonderful – you feel like you are experiencing the best of the best at sea in every way. The only negative is that there is some noise at night which sounds like a door slamming shut. It appears to be a door used by the night crew. After a couple of nights, it didn’t bother us as much anymore. Layout of the ship Although this is a massive ship (over 150,000 tons), it is so well layed out that you never feel it is so large. The flow of the ship is excellent. There are ample elevators so that they only time we really waited was when we returned from a port and a number of people were returning to the ship at once. Photography I honestly wonder when NCL is going to phase this out. No-one seemed interested in having their photos taken especially at the ports. Same in restaurants, no-one wanted their photos taken. Art The biggest waste is the Art Auction section – they must waste tons of paper with all the flyers for Art Auctions that get delivered to the rooms. I wonder if they even cover all the cost of paper and printing with the amount of art they sell?? Shows We attended three shows: Burn the Floor – absolutely fantastic dancers. We thoroughly enjoyed this show. Russian Folk Show – very talented performers. Make sure you get there early as it was extremely popular and the Theatre staff are clueless at trying to assist with checking who has been waiting for a seat and who is just walking in and pushing past. Million Dollar Quartet – vey long show. It became tedious and boring. The guy who portrayed Jerry Lee Lewis was excellent as well as the guy who portrayed Johnny Cash. Restaurants We had all our breakfasts at the Haven restaurant. A special word of thanks to Johnson who always ensured that my daughter had gluten free meals and who provided the most delicious gluten free bread. He also ensured that there were gluten free muffins and toast at breakfast as well as waffles and French toast. Breakfasts at the Haven restaurant are a real treat but I did feel that some of the waiters were not up to scratch. A little extra training is needed. For example, some waiters neglected to take juice/coffee orders and some just plain rushed us by bringing plates of cooked breakfast when we were still trying to finish fruit/yogurt. Tropicana We came here for dinner at 5.30pm when we had Burn the Floor show booked at 7.30pm. Edwin, our waiter was amazing. He ensured that we had ample time to enjoy our meal without feeling rushed and also ensured that my daughter’s gluten free requirements were met. He was extremely professional and the next time we ate there, we requested a table in his section. Savor The food and service were acceptable. Nothing spectacular but a pleasant enough evening. Teppanyaki Great evening, fun chef who made us laugh and have a great time and a great meal. Gluten free for my daughter was carefully taken care of and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Cagneys Loved the beef fillet and the service was excellent. Le Bistro Probably our least favourite of the specialty restaurants but still enjoyed it. Warnemunde We had planned to take the train to Rostock, but we so enjoyed the seaside town of Warnemunde that we stayed there and enjoyed strolling around all the lovely little shops. We enjoyed a lunch of fresh fish and chips and then we went on a cruise around the harbor. Very interesting to see the construction of ships at Neptun Werft. Tallinn We took a taxi into the town centre. Tallinn is a wonderful town to spend the day wandering around. We also walked to the Balti Jaam Market just outside the town centre (near the railway station). We enjoyed lunch there. There is a lovely confectionery shop at the ground floor of Balti Jaam which has a wide selection of chocolates suitable for souvenirs at very reasonable prices. The market is frequented by locals so it is an authentic example of Estonian produce. St Petersburg We took a 2 day tour with TJ Travel. Our guide was Daria and her knowledge is absolutely astounding. She never stopped giving us interesting facts and making the history come alive. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Catherine’s Palace and the walk in Peterhof with its utterly stunning gardens. September is a great time to visit as the trees are changing colour for autumn/fall so it is especially beautiful. We also found the metro trip very interesting and enjoyed the boat canal ride although it was the one time that it was raining. The weather was cool but there were minimal crowds so it was possible to really appreciate the sights especially at the Hermitage and Church on Spilled Blood. Daria took us to two modern Russian restaurants for our lunches on the two days and I must recommend Russian dumplings- they are light and delicious! St Petersburg is the place to really soak yourself in history and transport yourself back in time to another world. Would highly recommend Daria and TJ – they also give discounts to Cruise Critic members. Helsinki We met friends in Helsinki and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them. We were there on a Sunday which is not ideal as the shops only open at 11am (and we had to be back at the ship at 3.30pm) and many of the stalls in the market are closed. There is far too little time spent in Helsinki. NCL should only leave at 6pm. Nynashamn (for Stockholm) We took the HOHO bus into Stockholm which is about a one hour bus trip. We had $50 credit for each port so it was well worthwhile to use this option. The HOHO buses were parked within easy walking distance from the ship and they recorded your ship cabin details so you did not pay at the pier – instead you were charged directly to the ship account. We spent most of our time in the Old Town and then walked to the modern side of Stockholm. We also watched the changing of the guard which I honestly would not recommend. This is nothing like the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. There are 4 guards marching around (no band) and a bit of shouting. We really felt we wasted our time here. Stockholm is a beautiful city and we thoroughly enjoyed the day. The HOHOs return between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. This was a fantastic cruise – both the ports and the service on the Getaway and we wish we could do it all again. We would not hesitate to cruise with NCL next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We only booked this because when we were on a Mexican Cruise 2 years ago, we got suckered into their Cruise Next promotion and prepaid $1000. This is a party boat designed for the Caribbean with water slides, blasting music, 4000 ... Read More
We only booked this because when we were on a Mexican Cruise 2 years ago, we got suckered into their Cruise Next promotion and prepaid $1000. This is a party boat designed for the Caribbean with water slides, blasting music, 4000 passengers, and a constant fake party atmosphere. There is no quiet place to go for a drink or to listen to music. The food in the complimentary restaurants was so lousy, we opted to pay for specialty restaurants. The shore excursions had 32 or more people, and usually, no microphone system. And very expensive! Negatives: The seafood restaurant ran out of lobster in a few days. The free restaurants were awful. The noodle restaurant had the most bland food and worst service on the ship. It was continually noisy and crowded! Everywhere! I hated the blaring speakers and fake crew dancing to welcome us back from Stockholm. I hate the constant pitch for the horrible art auction, jewelry, and shopping. I think the casino pumped in a smoke fragrance into the air to stimulate play. Lots of very heavy drinking. The ice bar was filled with drunks every time I tried to get in. I had food poisoning one night from eating at the Tropicana room. I think it was the coconut sherbet, since that is the only different food I had from my husband all day. Disembarkation directions should be printed in the daily schedule; some of us are not glued to our phones or the TV. Positives The stateroom was clean. Service was very good. We were able to change a shore excursion at the last minute. One bartender made the best French 75. Several shows were excellent. Suggestion: Provide movies related to shore excursions. It would really provide context for the sights and reduce the inane questions some people ask on excursions. Most have no idea what they are seeing because they don't read. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to the Baltic. NCL is not different than carnival. The buffett is better on NCL but the dining room is better on Carnival. I was expecting NCL to wow me and it did not! Getting on was a breeze we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to the Baltic. NCL is not different than carnival. The buffett is better on NCL but the dining room is better on Carnival. I was expecting NCL to wow me and it did not! Getting on was a breeze we weren't supposed to board till noon and we were on by noon. Getting off was really easy we put our luggage out the night before and it was ready by 7:30am to pick up. Never saw room steward and I don't like that I like to see them at least once on our trip. We like to tip them the 1st day an then several days also. We had the dining package Moderno was awful! If you get a chance go to Cagney's it is the best! It will not disappoint you at all. Le Bristo was ok nothing special at all. Have a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I prefer traveling alone and I sail Norwegian because of the studio cabins. I also have rewards with Norwegian because I have sailed them so many times. I have not had the opportunity to travel abroad since the 1960's and I wanted ... Read More
I prefer traveling alone and I sail Norwegian because of the studio cabins. I also have rewards with Norwegian because I have sailed them so many times. I have not had the opportunity to travel abroad since the 1960's and I wanted to be more adventurous so I chose this Northern Europe cruise, I was interested in the ports, the culture, the people, the history, the beauty, etc. If I were to do it over again, I would have done so much differently. I stayed in Copenhagen for four days pre-cruise. I bought the Copenhagen Card but lost money because I did not use it enough. I wish that I had bought the HOHO bus in Copenhagen. I stayed at First Hotel 27 and can recommend. Breakfast was excellent and so was wi fi. Staff was great and I loved the personal care items. Location was very good. Copenhagen is great. Beautiful City with lots to do but as you have heard, it is also expensive. For Germany, I did not want to deal with the trek to Berlin and went to Schwerin and Schwerin Castle. I was not disappointed. I was surprised at how beautiful Tallinn was. I took The Palace and Old City tour. I learned a lot but HOHO bus might be a good option depending. St. Petersburg was still very crowded with tourists. The Hermitage was still overcrowded and frantic. I wish that I had chosen the evening visit. Try to avoid using the cloakroom if possible because it is so hard to get your things when leaving. Things were so chaotic in the Hermitage that I took a fall. Peterhof was beautiful. Recommended. Another very pleasant surprise as I was not expecting it to be so beautiful. Helsinki was a peaceful and relaxed respite after St. Petersburg. While I took an excursion, this would be a good port for doing the HOHO bus or just walking. In Sweden, I took the Stockholm by Sea and Land excursion. Stockholm is beautiful and so interesting but then so were all the ports. Another port where the HOHO might be a good choice. I believe that it picks up and returns to the port. I ate at the Garden Cafe and 24/7 restaurant only. The food was just so so. It was a hit or a miss. However, if you had a miss, you could always go back trying to find a hit. Desserts were always delicious and coffee is always terrible. The Atrium was always too loud and noisy. NCL needs to move some of the entertainment to The Theater or somewhere else on the ship. I did enjoy the Abba Tribute. I also sent to the Farewell Show and Million Dollar Quartet. Both very good. I was upgraded to a large size Oceanview which had a bathtub but no coffee machine. While I liked the window, I often could not see out because of water and fog. Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly for me. Some staff was friendly and helpful while others were not. That has been the situation on all my cruises and I have learned to go with the flow. Weather was good to us. It was always in the 50's and overcast but only a few sprinkles now and then. Very comfortable with the right clothing. it was a wonderful learning experience but it was a very demanding and exhausting and intense voyage. Also, a very expensive cruise. I went way over budget and I still was frugal and cautious with my spending. If possible, try to avoid having to change planes at Heathrow which is a nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to visit Baltic capitals, specifically St Petersburg. Chose NCL based on our prior experience with Alaska (Sun) from Vancouver and Gem ( Eastern Caribbean from NYC) experience more than 3 years ago. This big ship with ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit Baltic capitals, specifically St Petersburg. Chose NCL based on our prior experience with Alaska (Sun) from Vancouver and Gem ( Eastern Caribbean from NYC) experience more than 3 years ago. This big ship with 4000+ Passengers was a big disappointment for many reasons. There were also some good points. Good: Great cabin stewardess, Varied cuisines in Garden Cafe, Clean and spacious mini suite with balcony on the 11th floor. That’s about it. Bad: confusing ship with all sort of carnival like money making outfits between the fore and aft sections of the ship. You pay for almost anything that is tasty or of quality (like Cappuccino, gelato, water bottle, fountain soda and many such items). You pay through your nose for alcoholic beverages with 18% mandatory gratuity and the same for specialty dining. Included dining rooms serve at snails pace and food is mostly cold by the time it’s gets to you. If that’s not enough there are continuing game shows, Bingo and other scams that are heavily weighted in favor of the house. Casino area, unavoidable as you go for dining area, are smoke filled. For this big ship, the deck board walking track is about 1/8 of a Kilometer as opposed to nearly 1/4 of mile or so on the smaller Gem class ship. Avoid taking shore excursions with the cruise line. You can save more than 50%. Viator offers St Petersburg 2-day Excursion (Russia exempts one of Visa if taking approved tour) with 18 or less passengers in AC van for about $220 per person (you pay for lunch that costs about $15- $20 or less per person per day). Compare that to some $550 per person! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
MSC 25 cruises later, worse experience ever on board the very underwhelming MSC Meravilgia. Where do we start? We stayed in the Royal Suite, one of two on the ship, in the Yacht Club, $18K USD for a 17-day Transatlantic cruise. It ... Read More
MSC 25 cruises later, worse experience ever on board the very underwhelming MSC Meravilgia. Where do we start? We stayed in the Royal Suite, one of two on the ship, in the Yacht Club, $18K USD for a 17-day Transatlantic cruise. It was myself and my 26-year-old son. From a negative embarkation experience with an argumentative and unprofessional cabin steward, it basically went downhill from there. No working A/C and our deck hot tub was cold (for the entire trip, save for technician after technician coming and them giving us so many stories, we couldn’t keep them straight). Many days of voicing concerns got us nowhere. That’s just two issues out of the dozens we experienced with service. Most staff pays lip service and doesn’t follow up. My son couldn’t even get real cream for his coffee. We went to port and got it ourselves. As I write this, room service has taken 75 minutes, service for two... one person makes four trips because they can't carry everything (takes over 20 minutes from her first entrance to last). and remember, this is in the Yacht Club! Room service, total false advertising. Nothing hot except pizza. Terrible menu… and mediocre food everywhere else to boot. Buffet has the same food day after day and minimal choices. 17 days of agony. Not even proper vegetables except for a few same salad items. No gluten-free options on board whatsoever, and the sugar-free option was vanilla ice cream, more or less. Dining room was much better than the buffet. We honestly had hard time eating, and you definitely cannot eat healthy while onboard or have variety. Things to Note: - They nickel and dime you for everything. Be prepared! Even shuttles to get to ports once you get off the ship cost. The cash grabs are offensive to many guests. You want a good steak, you pay, even in the dining room. Don’t have one otherwise. They’re not good! Don't even talk about lobster. - 1500 staff to over almost 5200 guests, and half the staff were new to this itinerary. The overall service was simply awful, even in the Yacht Club. In fact, we dined in the main dining room because of it. The staff in the main dining room were fabulous! There were a few gems on board, which really helped. - Entertainment sucked, except for Cirque, which you had to pay for. Don’t bother going to the theatre at night. You will be disappointed. - Nothing to do on board unless you want to take dance lessons, do crafts, or aerobics. Didn’t even have a yoga class offered. - The loud speakers on board the ship are soooo loud, they’re deafening. AND in six languages. So be prepared many times throughout the day for 20 minutes of announcements where you cannot talk and feel like plugging your ears because it’s unbearably loud. There was nowhere to run! - The drink packages! Buyer beware. They sell you a pkg where they cap the drink price, and then the drinks are 50 cents over that limit. But you don’t pay the 50 cents; you pay the entire drink amount! We had the premium pkg that came with the Yacht Club, and we don’t drink much at all, so we weren't bothered, but guests were not happy at all. And it’s 55Euro/day for the premium plus one. Cheers! - And many staff on board are frazzled. After speaking to certain of them, they feel controlled, unempowered, and are unhappy. It shows to the guests. We felt bad for them. After finally having an hour-long meeting with the Yacht Club Director and the Butler Manager, in which we gave them an opportunity to make things right before we left a scathing review, voicing our concerns about service basically (which they were already totally aware of), the next day we got a note to go see the concierge where they offered a 30-minute massage to compensate us for our troubles! Talk about adding insult to injury. Not even a follow-up of any sort from the Director. We paid for service we never got, valid complaints about the A/C, heat, cold hottub, and many other things were not addressed or taken seriously, never mind the whole ship experience with subpar food and service. We will look forward to be off this ship. Along with our amazing new British mates, dining in the Panorama was one of the highlights of the ship for us. The amazing crew should have been performing in the theatre! A big shout out to them. And there was a state-of-the-art gym. All that being said, we can’t really lay blame at the feet of the workers per se, save for the Yacht Club Director, who had the power to make a difference and chose not to. Staff are mostly doing their best within restrictions and things out of their control. This cruise line and ship needs a serious overall. Book something else! They do not value their guests or their concerns. First and last time we would ever travel on this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Kiel to New York Embarkation at Kiel: Complete chaos took us 3 hours to get on the ship. There were no real lines for USA Citizens EU citizens after 2 hours they tried to rearange after thet it was more chaos. Food : ... Read More
Kiel to New York Embarkation at Kiel: Complete chaos took us 3 hours to get on the ship. There were no real lines for USA Citizens EU citizens after 2 hours they tried to rearange after thet it was more chaos. Food : Common this was sad the waves restaurant we eat 10 of the 17 nights i had one good meal that was the ribeye. I had a curry which was no curry. Spinach with some Meat no flavor. Lasagna was cold on the inside, frozen ????? Staff was very polite and was ashamed of the food. Buffet: every night the same and poor quality and very strange organised, i like yoghurt wit food and cerials you have to do 3 dif stations to complete ( breakfast was ok ) Hola Tapas restaurant, You pay a €30 for a standard menu which was very simple, if you do tapas like that in Sevilla you are out of bussiness in a month. The Butchers Cut steakhouse, simple menu for a extra €39,- A big sirlion steak which was very poor quality. My wife had Filet Mignon which was good. For €80 for 2 i have a perfect steak everywere. Dinner at Cirque do soleil was chaos but the fish and the lamb was good. Internet, i understand it can be slow on ships but this had nothing to do with slow it did not work or was very very very slow. Television after Iceland it was gone until New York Our toilet smells terribly, our great room steward masked the odor with coffee smell, thanx he was great. Embarcation after a port was dramatic only one entrance one control 20 30 mins to get back to the ship was no exception. Pasportcontrol New York took 6 hours. Disembarkation New York walk off at 8 was easy. My verdict, msc has nothing with giving people a great time, the greed is everywere money money money. This was our first and last msc cruise. We do Celebrity or RC next time. If you think it will be ok, everybody we spoke on the ship was negative. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the MSC Poesia as the Itinerary and price influenced us. Copenhagen to Genoa in September 2019. Aurea Balcony Suite, inclusive Drinks Package,(the old one as we booked before the new drinks package took over) We arrived at ... Read More
We chose the MSC Poesia as the Itinerary and price influenced us. Copenhagen to Genoa in September 2019. Aurea Balcony Suite, inclusive Drinks Package,(the old one as we booked before the new drinks package took over) We arrived at Copenhagen Terminal at 10.30am, they said we could board at 11.30am and a large Group of tourists decided to rush first, not lining up correctly, it was very chaotic, this was sorted out swiftly by the Crew. We boarded and even though our rooms weren't ready till 1.30pm, that didn't stop us exploring the lovely and elegant MSC Poesia and grabbing a bite to eat and drink. The ship is over 11 years old, but you would not know this, as it is kept in pristine condition. (and I have cruised with ships only 5-6 years old and they have had a beating!) Our room was always clean and spotless, cleaned twice daily. Lovely balcony, one floor down to access the Spa and pool deck. The ship is ultra clean, crew spending their days polishing everything and hosing all the pool area down daily. I found all the crew friendly and chatty. With regards to the language barrier and despite other reviews, I understand that as an Australian, English would be the last language spoken, as MSC being an Italian cruise liner, and there were many nationalities on board, Italian, Russian, French, German and Chinese. Not once did I find the language barrier a problem, in fact I praise the crew, most of them could speak three or four languages! We had My time Dining, never an issue granting four of us a table each night, waiting time probably no longer than 5 minutes. I found the food to be exceptional, I have cruised 10 times , RCI, Celebrity, P&O, Princess, NCL and Carnival and the food served was on a par with all cruise ships. All the waiters were extremely friendly and polite, never anything a bother, even when we ordered two or three entrees, mains or desert. The buffet was huge, we ate there for breakfast and lunch. It wrapped around the whole back of the ship and the food was plentiful, enough for anyone to find something to eat every day, vegans, Gluten free etc., Late night snacks, bread, meats, cheeses, cakes and pizza from 11.00pm to 12.00pm, despite another review on here, I found the Pizza to be very edible, dont forget its an Italian ship, so not many toppings! There are 7 Lounge bars and you could always find a nice quiet spot to have a drink. The only downside was the entertainment, night time shows (2) and they were okay, we went to most of them. No day time shows or entertainment. The singers in the lounge were a bit of a let down as well. They need to address this. As the weather wasn't perfect, no outdoor entertainment or activities. Only one Flower 60's70's night and that was the 2nd last night on board. No Italian night, or white night as expected. We did 4 shore excursions with MSC Rotterdam - we chose to do the night time canal tour in Amsterdam, This was such a great experience, going down the canal by boat and seeing all the famous houses etc., free wine and soft drinks and a small antipasto platter to eat. We then had 2 hours to explore by ourselves. Vigo, Spain - was a bit of a let down, the UNESCO Church was under re construction, they should have explained this to us, we could not see much, 1.50 hours travel in a bus, 1/2 hour in the Church, 30 minutes to explore and then back on the bus to the ship, for the price we paid, I was disappointed, it was expensive . Lisbon, Portugal, - what a great excursion with our tour guide Maria, Tram ride through the town, over an hour, custard tarts and port wine for brekky, and then 2 hours for site seeing, including stops to see Palaces, Castles, etc., all the best parts of Lisbon. This was inexpensive and a great way to see Lisbon! Cadiz - Spain, we chose to go to Seville to see the UNESCO Palace, 2 hours in a bus, should have explained that to us, (brochure said, short drive), but it was worth the drive, the Palace was lovely, the exhibition place was as well, then a lovely lunch included at a near by restaurant, with unlimited wine! All other ports, we explored ourselves, Warnemunde, Rotterdam, during the day, just cross the bridge, lots to see, Cartagena, wow, what a fantastic little port, duty and tax free haven, checked out the castles, roman ruins the amphitheatre first, then went on a shopping trip. Overall, despite the weather as it was not favorable for 6 days, it was a fantastic cruise and I would travel with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the chance to go to several Scandinavian/Baltic destinations we hadn't been to, including St Petersburg, Russia, at a great price. Twenty years ago we did an Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Cunard and concluded ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the chance to go to several Scandinavian/Baltic destinations we hadn't been to, including St Petersburg, Russia, at a great price. Twenty years ago we did an Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Cunard and concluded we weren't really cruisers as we enjoyed all inclusive Caribbean vacations better and liked spending more time at a destination. We decided to give cruising a second chance with this NCL Baltic cruise since the itinerary gave us a chance to visit several places in Scandinavian we really wanted to visit but weren't on my normal work or vacation European trip itineraries. We both loved it so much that at the end of the cruise we put down Cruise Next deposits to save on two future cruises with NCL. South America is our next destination planned! We really enjoyed the free/included specialty sit-down restaurants and the flexibility of NCL's Freestyle Dining approach. We liked them so much we never ate in the buffet (which looked quite a bit more busy/hectic.) The included main dining rooms (Savor, Taste and Tropicana Room) were great for dinner and offered lots of choices with many entrees, appetizers and desserts that changed each night (along with some standards like steak, etc. that were always available.) We also enjoyed O'Shanahan's pub and the Shanghai noodle/dumpling restaurant. Also the included continental room-service breakfast was a great way to start the morning each day. The destinations lived up and exceeded our expectations - - for St Petersburg - we did a third-party (Alla) tour two-day excursion for St Petersburg which was absolutely great and covered our need for a visa as a guided tour. The guide was excellent and the included dedicated van whisked us to many sights in a very well-thought out and efficient full itinerary over two days. - for Warnemünde - we walked into town and visited Warnemünde harbor town and beach and then bought a Mecklenburg state day rail pass and visited Schwerin and its castle and castle gardens. We didn't go to Berlin since it's about 3-hours each way and we had been there three times before. - for Tallinn - we just walked into the Old Town (upper and lower) using Rick Steves Baltic Cruise guidebook Tallinn walk to see the highlights - for Helsinki - I caught the city bus from just in front of our pier to the center and did the Rick Steves walk including the Church in the Rock which was really neat to see - for Stockholm - we caught the train in from Nynashamn and did the Rick Steves Gamla Stan walk including an extended visit to the Nobel Prize Musuem which was really cool to see. - for our two sea days - we took advantage of the the Thermal Spa and enjoyed sun and views from the deck chairs outside on the waterfront deck bar areas - in Copenhagen we stayed at the Ibsens Hotel which was very nice and rented bikes to tour around The main theater shows - Millon Dollar Quartet and Latin Dance Show were both great. I'd say at Broadway touring quality production values. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cabin size was not so bad for two people BUT - there is a sound underneath or on the side of your walls that is like flowing water - loud flowing water like gushing in - and just every night it woke us up - it's not the ... Read More
Cabin size was not so bad for two people BUT - there is a sound underneath or on the side of your walls that is like flowing water - loud flowing water like gushing in - and just every night it woke us up - it's not the toilet from the next door, it's a like a big gush of wave going through underneath the floor or on the side of the wall - also, sometimes that flush in the toilet doesn't work - and one day, all the toilet didn't work in our floor === our cabin steward "Muhamed", was awesome === When we were going to Sweden, I asked one of the Deck 4 staff if they accept US$ in Sweden, the answer given was, I don't know as I have never been to Sweden. there were two of them who can't answer a basic question. They are not deck hands, they are actually crew that's stationed by the stairway on Deck 4 before going to the Port Security, and Port Security didn't know either, and there was not notice on the daily bulletin. Wish you could staff those areas with more knowledge of the city we are visiting ==== The waiters on our last night at Tropicana Room, are, hands down, awesome ! - starting from the Manager - Ivan - there were 19 of us, and we ahve earlier requested with our reservation 2 long tables of 10. We got to our reservation early enough so that we can be seated to our tables, but as it turns out, the tables are not ready because one table, the guests was just beginning to order dessert, that's understandable. - Ivan, started with 3 square tables put together, for 10 people (squished in) and a round table of 8 - then another square table came open, he then added it, then another one - to the point that we were able to accommodate 14 of us in a long table - and 5 in the round table - perfect night - it was my wife' birthday too, so the waiter sung and surprised her with a cake and candle blowing - the singers, Funky Duo, greeted my wife twice - plus we had wine and bottle of Champagne from our Travel Agent for her birthday - but the champagne was warm, so "Gede", assistant Manager, replaced with a cold one - it was a great last night dinner for all of us === Special mentions to other waiters - at Wasabi Bar - Gary (waiter) , Stephan (chef) - Deepa, at Savor and Moderno, not only did she recognized and greet me everytime, she was even able to pass on a message to my brother at the restaurant. She is of greet asset, very diplomatic, very nice, and a great dining hostess Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was very interested in travelling to the Baltic and Scandinavia. I chose to take a cruise and overall enjoyed myself but found it to be short of my expectations. This ship is huge with approx. 4000 passengers. Everything is crowded ... Read More
I was very interested in travelling to the Baltic and Scandinavia. I chose to take a cruise and overall enjoyed myself but found it to be short of my expectations. This ship is huge with approx. 4000 passengers. Everything is crowded and exceptionally noisy. My cabin was beautiful, a room with a balcony. It had a very comfortable queen sized bed and was immaculate. Everything worked well, coffeemaker, safe, tv,etc. The bathroom was clean with lots of hot water and good pressure. I was frustrated with NCL's nickel and diming. They charged extra for everything from soft drinks to drinking water. There is a mysterious $15/day charge on your bill on top of everything else. They call it a service charge They charged extra for the better shows and restaurants. The shore excursions were exceptionally expensive, ie approx $300/day for sightseeing tours. To make things worse, the day trips all had 30-40 people in them and required a lot of time for assembly, waiting for stragglers etc. I should have arranged for independant plans for shore excursions. All of the ports are very accessable for taxis and buses. Prob. more enjoyable and less expensive to do it yourself with a little preplanning. I had intended to go to the spa for massage and facial but the prices were staggering. Over $200 for a 50 min. massage. The fitness center was well equipped for cardio and free weights, there were no classes offered. The food situation was below expectations. You have 3 choices. 1- Several restaurants that you pay for, approx. $40/meal, not including wine. 2- Restaurants which are included. These have inexpensive items like chicken and pasta, no seafood. Wine is extra. These places fill up fast so you must make reservations. 3- Buffet. The buffet on this boat reminds me of university dorm room food. Very bland, cold by the time you get to your table, ( if you can find a table) and poorly prepared. Also, the organization of the buffet is weird. For example, macaroni and cheese in the Asian counter, eggs and bacon 3 counters apart. In the mornings, the coffee is on the buffet, so when you get up to find it and pour yourself a refil, approx. 50% of the time, some server has swooped in and taken your plate away. The pool deck is great, 4 jacuzzis which were great after a busy sightseeing day. The waterslides look great however it was late in the season and a little cold. The pool doesn't seem to be heated.... brrr. I had a problem with the noise levels in the common areas. Music and mikes were on full blast and there was standing room only for most of the shows and entertainment. A lot of drinking and drunk people on board. I would go back to the region again, just wouldn't take a cruise. Not my cup of tea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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