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We had booked this cruise two months before the date and were looking forward to the 12-day transatlantic itinerary with a more southerly route from NYC to Ponta Delgada, Azores. I had previously been on the Getaway on its inaugural season in the Caribbean out of Miami so was looking forward to being a returning guest. One week before our departure, NCL decided to let the passengers know that the 12 day itinerary had been cut to a 10 day and two ports (Le Havre and Zeebrugge) would be dropped. The only compensation would be a limited amount for airfare changes and 25% off the cruise fare. After serious backlash by passengers the compensation was increased, however just a few days before the cruise the itinerary was changed again, this time adding the previously dropped ports and dropping Portland UK (who cares) and Ponta Delgada, which of course ended any chance of warm weather on the crossing. These last minute changes that NCL claimed were due to 'circumstances beyond their control' caused a lot of grief and stress for us on what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation. We had negative feelings about our cruise before it even began and were hoping the staff would go above and beyond to make up for the disappointing changes. This however did not take place and the cruise itself was just as bad as the initial issues. Throughout the cruise there were long waits (20-40 mins) just to get into the complimentary dining venues. I had been on the Escape in December for Christmas with an above capacity 5000+ passengers and never waited more than 5 minutes yet on this under capacity transatlantic cruise we had to wait 40 minutes just to get into O'Sheehans, unacceptable! I have done 5 NCL Cruises and can tell you the service in the speciality restaurants on the Getaway was not on par with NCL standards. We asked for water refills multiple times and waited 5-10 minutes. Long waits between all courses. Our visit to Cagneys was over 2,5hours and this was not by our choice and by 2.5 hours our order for dessert was still not taken and we just gave up and left. We asked for extra bread in Le Bistro and this was forgotten and had a bottle of wine and no one offered to refill our glasses, we had to reach over and refill our glasses by ourselves, embarrassing and unacceptable when you are paying a hefty extra sum!!! The buffet was a total zoo which surprised me since there were barely any kids on this itinerary. Garbage food in the buffet, we went twice and gave up. The watermelon would always run out. The entertainment on board was not adequate for a transatlantic itinerary. There was barely any activities between 10am and 7pm. We enjoyed the guest lecturer at 9:30am but wish there would have been another enrichment activity in the early afternoon. Our favourite entertainment activities were the ABBA and Adele Tributes. In the theatre we went to Matt Johnson Magician Show which we enjoyed. We did not attend any other shows but heard they were all excellent. Entertainment in the night was fine, but daytime activities were scant, unacceptable for a cold weather cruise where everyone is inside and bored. If you wanted to do rock climbing and ropes course there were no waits, we did both. The service at the bars was the one bright spot for service on this cruise, and we frequented MIXX between Taste and Savour. We booked the D-Day landings excursion for Le Havre. Meeting time was 7:30am and we did not get off the ship until 8:45 ugh. Disembarkation was very disorganized on both port days. The tour buses were not ready for us when we arrived Sunday Morning in Le Havre, because of the delay, we missed an hour of our excursion which was the rushed. 20 minutes at the US Cemetery in Omaha Beach is not enough!! We felt ripped off on this excursion and would not recommend. D-Day beaches require multiple days to be properly experienced. We did however enjoy our Flanders Fields excursion in Zeebrugge. It was much more organized. Always long waits at Guest Services and Shore EX, but was mostly due to butchered itinerary. Overall we enjoyed our vacation albeit not due to this ship! A cruise is a cruise, we still had unlimited food, booze and thermal suite access so we cannot say it was a terrible time, however this cruise did not meet the previous standards I experienced with NCL and the unprofessionalism regarding last minute changes ruined our perception of the cruise line. We felt that the crew and staff just wanted to get us off the ship and get into dry dock. When we docked in Southhampton, crews were immediately on board and began work in front of us. We were to disembark at 12pm, and by 11am the buffet and all bars were closed shut. When I asked a crew member in the Garden Cafe where I could get drinking water she replied with an indifferent "I don't know, we're closed" we could not even get a glass of water to take with medications, How is that allowed? They just wanted us off the ship. We got that vibe throughout the cruise. In the minds of NCL it was just a repositioning of the ship, not a vacation of a lifetime for the guests. Avoid this ship! I enjoyed the Bliss and Escape, large ships but still had good service. This cruise however left us with a bitter taste of NCL and we will not be eager to cruise with them again.

A Getaway from NCL Standards

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by kjstronghold

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside Stateroom
We had booked this cruise two months before the date and were looking forward to the 12-day transatlantic itinerary with a more southerly route from NYC to Ponta Delgada, Azores. I had previously been on the Getaway on its inaugural season in the Caribbean out of Miami so was looking forward to being a returning guest.

One week before our departure, NCL decided to let the passengers know that the 12 day itinerary had been cut to a 10 day and two ports (Le Havre and Zeebrugge) would be dropped. The only compensation would be a limited amount for airfare changes and 25% off the cruise fare. After serious backlash by passengers the compensation was increased, however just a few days before the cruise the itinerary was changed again, this time adding the previously dropped ports and dropping Portland UK (who cares) and Ponta Delgada, which of course ended any chance of warm weather on the crossing. These last minute changes that NCL claimed were due to 'circumstances beyond their control' caused a lot of grief and stress for us on what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation. We had negative feelings about our cruise before it even began and were hoping the staff would go above and beyond to make up for the disappointing changes. This however did not take place and the cruise itself was just as bad as the initial issues.

Throughout the cruise there were long waits (20-40 mins) just to get into the complimentary dining venues. I had been on the Escape in December for Christmas with an above capacity 5000+ passengers and never waited more than 5 minutes yet on this under capacity transatlantic cruise we had to wait 40 minutes just to get into O'Sheehans, unacceptable!

I have done 5 NCL Cruises and can tell you the service in the speciality restaurants on the Getaway was not on par with NCL standards. We asked for water refills multiple times and waited 5-10 minutes. Long waits between all courses. Our visit to Cagneys was over 2,5hours and this was not by our choice and by 2.5 hours our order for dessert was still not taken and we just gave up and left. We asked for extra bread in Le Bistro and this was forgotten and had a bottle of wine and no one offered to refill our glasses, we had to reach over and refill our glasses by ourselves, embarrassing and unacceptable when you are paying a hefty extra sum!!!

The buffet was a total zoo which surprised me since there were barely any kids on this itinerary. Garbage food in the buffet, we went twice and gave up. The watermelon would always run out.

The entertainment on board was not adequate for a transatlantic itinerary. There was barely any activities between 10am and 7pm. We enjoyed the guest lecturer at 9:30am but wish there would have been another enrichment activity in the early afternoon. Our favourite entertainment activities were the ABBA and Adele Tributes. In the theatre we went to Matt Johnson Magician Show which we enjoyed. We did not attend any other shows but heard they were all excellent. Entertainment in the night was fine, but daytime activities were scant, unacceptable for a cold weather cruise where everyone is inside and bored. If you wanted to do rock climbing and ropes course there were no waits, we did both.

The service at the bars was the one bright spot for service on this cruise, and we frequented MIXX between Taste and Savour.

We booked the D-Day landings excursion for Le Havre. Meeting time was 7:30am and we did not get off the ship until 8:45 ugh. Disembarkation was very disorganized on both port days. The tour buses were not ready for us when we arrived Sunday Morning in Le Havre, because of the delay, we missed an hour of our excursion which was the rushed. 20 minutes at the US Cemetery in Omaha Beach is not enough!! We felt ripped off on this excursion and would not recommend. D-Day beaches require multiple days to be properly experienced. We did however enjoy our Flanders Fields excursion in Zeebrugge. It was much more organized.

Always long waits at Guest Services and Shore EX, but was mostly due to butchered itinerary.

Overall we enjoyed our vacation albeit not due to this ship! A cruise is a cruise, we still had unlimited food, booze and thermal suite access so we cannot say it was a terrible time, however this cruise did not meet the previous standards I experienced with NCL and the unprofessionalism regarding last minute changes ruined our perception of the cruise line. We felt that the crew and staff just wanted to get us off the ship and get into dry dock. When we docked in Southhampton, crews were immediately on board and began work in front of us. We were to disembark at 12pm, and by 11am the buffet and all bars were closed shut. When I asked a crew member in the Garden Cafe where I could get drinking water she replied with an indifferent "I don't know, we're closed" we could not even get a glass of water to take with medications, How is that allowed? They just wanted us off the ship. We got that vibe throughout the cruise. In the minds of NCL it was just a repositioning of the ship, not a vacation of a lifetime for the guests.

Avoid this ship! I enjoyed the Bliss and Escape, large ships but still had good service. This cruise however left us with a bitter taste of NCL and we will not be eager to cruise with them again.
kjstronghold’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Inside Stateroom
Cabin IA 12647
The room was small, but it is expected for an inside. The safe did not work in our room....
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Brugge (Bruges)
    Excellent excursion with a knowledgable local guide. We had ample time at all the sites visited and really enjoyed our visit to the in Flanders Fields Museum. We had free time in Ypres to explore on our own. Many young men are buried in their final resting places here, and we felt a connection as many came from places close to home. Visit to Tyne Cot cemetery was very moving. This was the highlight of our entire cruise.
    View All 13,165 Brugge (Bruges) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Brugge (Bruges) Cruise Port Review
  • D-Day Beaches
    Disorganized departure from the ship meant our excursion was cut short by an hour. We were rushed at all of the sites we visited and could not enjoy them. All of the NCL tour buses arrived at the Arromanches Museum at the same time, which meant it was extremely crowded, we could not enjoy the displays and left. Some of the buses should have split up to visit sites in reverse order, at least for this part of the excursion. The lunch that was included needs to be improved on. No one on the tour ate the appetizer, it was gross. So much for fine French Cuisine. only had 20 minutes at the American Cemetery at Omaha beach, and no time to walk on our own, disappointing! Don't waste your time or money on this expensive excursion. To properly experience Normandy Beaches, more time is required. A cruise ship excursion is not the way to see this important place in World History.
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