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First time on NCL and we picked this one due to its itinerary (Iceland, Norway and no Russia), and it will be the last time on an NCL line. The ship had too many passengers and not enough indoor space as we were in generally 40-50 degree weather and strong winds which basically eliminated most of the outdoor spaces - pool, slides, athletic areas, Waterfront restaurants - leading to crowded public spaces, including all the rather tiny venues for shows. But my biggest complaint was the nearly complete lack of information from the ship, either too little, too late, or not at all. No port maps were provided, nor information on how long (if possible) it would take to get to town or the tour buses (nearly a 10min walk to the buses at Reykjavik), no information on what was happening (no info on why we were 5hrs late out of Copenhagen, necessitating skipping the next port of call, nor explaining about the tender fiasco at Edinburgh (probably related to the death of a passenger and the illness of two others - which we didn't hear until the next day from family members back home - requiring expedited tenders for the Scottish emergency crews and getting everyone to shore,) The crew was a mixed bag - awesome steward - with many lacking the simple ability to just say 'hello" and actually ask if you want your plate removed rather than just reaching in for it. NCL is big about having guest call out exemplary service and because we found the service rather poor throughout (2hrs to eat dinner in the Main Dining rooms? really?), we made the point of filling out those cards for the few that did shine. As noted by other reviewers, way too many pay venues, shows, entertainment - as if paying for the cruise wasnt enough - and a heavy push on merchandise (esp the shops and art show) and "deals" to sail w/ NCL again (not). It was obvious that many of the crew were new as the logistics end was a hot mess. For the tours, instead of handing out the buses numbers and sitting people (in the theater) in an orderly manner, both were haphazard, leading to a near riot on trying to get space on the tenders at Edinburgh. And its a shame too because the ports were amazing, the fjords, waterfalls, geologic wonders were unforgettable, too bad the method and lodging of getting to those ports IS forgettable...

Don't send a Caribbean ship to the North Atlantic

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by SquintyKat

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Aft-Facing Balcony Stateroom
First time on NCL and we picked this one due to its itinerary (Iceland, Norway and no Russia), and it will be the last time on an NCL line.

The ship had too many passengers and not enough indoor space as we were in generally 40-50 degree weather and strong winds which basically eliminated most of the outdoor spaces - pool, slides, athletic areas, Waterfront restaurants - leading to crowded public spaces, including all the rather tiny venues for shows. But my biggest complaint was the nearly complete lack of information from the ship, either too little, too late, or not at all. No port maps were provided, nor information on how long (if possible) it would take to get to town or the tour buses (nearly a 10min walk to the buses at Reykjavik), no information on what was happening (no info on why we were 5hrs late out of Copenhagen, necessitating skipping the next port of call, nor explaining about the tender fiasco at Edinburgh (probably related to the death of a passenger and the illness of two others - which we didn't hear until the next day from family members back home - requiring expedited tenders for the Scottish emergency crews and getting everyone to shore,)

The crew was a mixed bag - awesome steward - with many lacking the simple ability to just say 'hello" and actually ask if you want your plate removed rather than just reaching in for it. NCL is big about having guest call out exemplary service and because we found the service rather poor throughout (2hrs to eat dinner in the Main Dining rooms? really?), we made the point of filling out those cards for the few that did shine.

As noted by other reviewers, way too many pay venues, shows, entertainment - as if paying for the cruise wasnt enough - and a heavy push on merchandise (esp the shops and art show) and "deals" to sail w/ NCL again (not).

It was obvious that many of the crew were new as the logistics end was a hot mess. For the tours, instead of handing out the buses numbers and sitting people (in the theater) in an orderly manner, both were haphazard, leading to a near riot on trying to get space on the tenders at Edinburgh.

And its a shame too because the ports were amazing, the fjords, waterfalls, geologic wonders were unforgettable, too bad the method and lodging of getting to those ports IS forgettable...
SquintyKat’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Aft-Facing Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B1 11310
awesome views from the "poop deck"
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Whale Watching
    Nice (and rather brisk) cruise out into the fjord to find the long humpback (they feed singly, not in herds) but with the snow-top hills and mountains of the fjord providing the backdrop, it was a great tour. Toured the town on our own afterwards (looking for a desperately needed hot drink) and found a wonderful bakery that filled out stomachs and warmed our spirits.
    View All 12 Whale Watching Reviews
  • Fredriksberg Fortress
    wonderful castles
    View All 1 Fredriksberg Fortress Reviews
  • Copenhagen
    Very clean (you can swim in the river) and very expensive town, but watching the bicycles take over, esp at rush hour (they have the ultimate right-of-way), was a sight to behold.
    View All 1,069 Copenhagen Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Copenhagen Cruise Port Review
  • Edinburgh (South Queensferry)
    Fortunately with our tour, we were able to disembark before the whole tender fiasco flared into a near mutiny. We had toured the castle on a previous cruise so spent the day in the city exploring more of it and having a lovely day, not having a clue as to what had happened on the ship (emergency evacuation of the ill and deceased) until we started to note the long lines of people trying to get a tender back, just before the rains came (our friends on a different tour were not so lucky).
    View All 12,636 Edinburgh (South Queensferry) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Edinburgh (South Queensferry) Cruise Port Review
  • Flam Railway
    a great way to see the countryside, even if thru a window, but at least there was more room than on a bus!
    View All 177 Flam Railway Reviews
  • Hiking Westeras
    The hike up was a bit more than we anticipated (not everyone in our tour group made it up) but the views on the way up were amazing, even when it started to snow.
    View All 11 Hiking Westeras Reviews
  • Golden Circle
    Because we somehow had a late start time we had a late(r) arrival to the Blue Lagoon - after most of the tours - which got us there in the late evening, when the crowds were thinner. Oh, and the NCL tour info lied, you dont need to bring a towel from the ship for that...they have plenty there.
    View All 104 Golden Circle Reviews
  • Gullfoss Waterfall
    Other than the very long walk down the pier to/from the tour buses (elderly and those who have difficulty walking had issues), both tours were amazing. Gullfloss thundered on the clear day and we had (just) enough time to hike all the way down to the upper part of the falls to take some amazing pics.
    View All 9 Gullfoss Waterfall Reviews