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Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
3,026 Reviews

Enjoyable 1st cruise, ship ok

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by rbarton22

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2017
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom

This was our second cruise, the first being a 'taster', overnight cruise on P&O Britannia. We originally intended to sail in June to the Baltic but due to circumstances had to wait until April to start booking anything by which time our cruise line options were limited even for a September cruise.

Embarkation was very painless. We boarded at 3pm, my partners luggage arrived about an hour later but my luggage still hadn't turned up by 7pm. My partner went to reception to enquire and by chance found this was due to there being a travel iron in the case (electrical and certain other items are banned but this is not made clear by NCL). The case, along with many others had been put into a back room and required one of us to open it to remove said iron; why we were not told of this when the other case was delivered I don't know. anyway, iron removed, case retrieved, cruise commenced. BTW; The iron was returned on disembarkation.

The cabin and balcony (mid-ships balcony stateroom) were adequate (16 sqm & 3 sqm) although smaller than average cabins on other ships; it was a bit tight between the bed and the wardrobe. A good size bathroom had a roomy shower with instant hot water. Plenty of storage throughout both rooms but the safe was tiny; I had to put my iPad in at an age for it to fit. Although noise from other cabins was not a problem at night, come 5am the airline style suction toilets started flushing and doors banged as people got ready for the day.

The Cabin Steward was excellent (as were all the staff) and kept the cabin clean and tidy with the obligatory towel animal on the bed each evening.

Ship was kept spotless at all times. I found the interior very closed in and busy,; in the evenings it was very noisy. I initially failed to recognise the atrium on our first explore, it was so underwhelming. In this area there are a couple of cafes, Guest Services and the Shore Excursion desk; unfortunately there is also a dance floor and big screen so this area is constantly noisy, something that even the staff on the Guest Services desk complained about.

If you can't afford to go "Havan" then there is no lounge for you, you'll have to fight for a (limited) seat at the (noisy) bars like the rest of us or sit in a dingy corridor. Anyone seeking quiet couldn't even escape to the library as it is situated next to the Atrium screen/dancefloor - good planning. Fortunately we had good weather and were able to sit outside but even then armchair seating was limited. As usual smoking was permitted in the overlarge and underused casino which made the air in this area a bit stale.

There were plenty of activities onboard. We did not partake in any organised events but tried out the rope walk, crazy golf deck games and some arcade games inside. There were excellent shows in the theatre but get there early for a seat. We did not use the spa as it was very expensive.

Food was excellent everywhere, service good and restaurants clean. We have some of our best meals in the Garden Cafe which seemed to cope with the large number of cruisers very well and would recommend Bistro and Cagney's.

Excursions were pricey; we did two; 2 day St Petersburg mainly because it was easier than arranging our own visas etc and a bus ride into Stockholm mainly because my partner would not take the train. It was very easy to do your own thing with a bit of forward planing. All the calling points were of interest and being portside so no tenders were involved, very accessible.

Although we were informed of the $28/day (discretionary) gratuity when booking 18% is a bit on steep side for us Brits where 12% is more the norm but we were happy to pay it considering the excellent service we received onboard although there is no info on how the money is divided. What we did object to was the additional 18% on purchases outside our package; these included fancy coffees and bottled water at $5 /bottle. Needless to say we followed more seasoned travellers and refilled our water bottles for free in the Garden Cafe. All goods in the shop onboard and the guest photos were ridiculously overpriced. Halfway through the cruise we received a letter saying that having got us from the airport to the ship if we wanted to get back again it would cost us $60. At least this meant we weren't kicked off till 9am so had a lay-in and breakfast but had to hang around the airport for our 3pm flight.

Would we choose Getaway again? No. Would we choose Norwegian again? It wouldn't be our first choice.

We will be cruising again but at least we area bit more aware of the scams and pitfalls cruise companies employ now.


rbarton22's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BA 11152

The cabin and balcony (mid-ships balcony stateroom) were adequate (16 sqm & 3 sqm) although smaller than average cabins on other ships; it was a bit tight between the bed and the wardrobe. A good size bathroom had a roomy shower with instant hot water. Plenty of storage throughout both rooms but the safe was tiny; I had to put my iPad in at an age for it to fit. Although noise from other cabins was not a problem at night, come 5am the airline style suction toilets started flushing and doors banged as people got ready for the day.

The Cabin Steward was excellent (as were all the staff) and kept the cabin clean and tidy with the obligatory towel animal on the bed each evening.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Copenhagen

We were met at luggage reclaim by NCL reps and taken to the coach. Our luggage was taken on a separate vehicle. Journey to the ship was through the centre of the city and took about 40 minutes.

Berlin

Don't be misled; the port is Warnemunde, Berlin is a few hours inland by coach. The rail station was very close so we made our own way to Rostock (about 20 minutes) but was a bit disappointed with it so didn't stay long. We went back to Warnemunde and was pleasantly surprised; it is a very charming, seaside town.

Tallinn

again, very easy 20 minute walk into town. Tallinn was another charming city, very picturesque with plenty to do.

City Tour

This was a (full) 2 day tour starting both days about 7.30am and finishing about 5pm. It was a bit pricey but we booked it as we couldn't be bothered to arrange our own visas. Day one we were taken to the Hermitage and then to Peterhof after lunch. Day two we did Catherine Palace and Peter & Paul Cathedral with lunch in between. Both days we had a shopping stop at very expensive souvenir shops which were obviously tied into the tour. We thought the second stop was an unnecessary waste of time. Although the tours are little rushed to fit it all in they were well worth doing although St Petersburg itself is looking a bit tatty. If you have the time beforehand it is possible to arrange your own visas and private tours; this means you can roam the city freely.

View All 378 City Tour Reviews
Helsinki

Pleasantly surprised with Helsinki; it doesn't look much on Google. Take a later boat tour around the islands to avoid the crowds.

Stockholm

Ship docks at Nynashamn south of Stockholm because of it's size and we took the tour bus into the city (about 1 hour) as my partner wouldn't use the train. Having only recently been to Stockholm, and it being a Sunday so everything was shut, we took the metro and a bus to Drottingham Palace (very quick and easy). Having been around the palace and gardens we took a ferry back the the Town Hall. despite being 2 hours early for the bus back to the ship and having a travel card to cover the journey my partner still wouldn't get a train so we had to sit in sulky silence.


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rbarton22
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