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I’m going to try to avoid doing what I normally do and write a ridiculously long and detailed narrative for a trip report. None the less, I do have a tendency to get a little… wordy. My wife and I have only been on one cruise 20 years ago on the NCL Wind and our travel companions were first-timers, and our cruise on the NCL Getaway was fun. We had a great time, but there were things that didn’t quite measure up to the expectations that I formed from comments and reviews on the internet. I’ll do this by category. Service: Top-notch. They apparently recruit from the same pool as Disney, as everyone we encountered was smiling and friendly. The only stumble we saw was at La Cucina, and I’ll get to that under food. Our favorite bartender was Dexter from Granada. We tipped him well and he was a massive positive point for the whole trip. Our steward was Arson, but I can’t remember where he was from as I rarely saw him. He was a ghost that magically made everything right. I swear we’d put the “Make-up Room” light on and come back in ten minutes and it’d be done. I swear the guy had a magic wand or something. He’s the other guy that received an extra tip. Ports of Call: We sailed out of Copenhagen and hit five other cities: Warnemunde Germany, Tallinn Estonia, St. Petersburg Russia, Helsinki Finland, and Stockholm Sweden. Five ports on a nine-day cruise may not sound too bad, but it was EXHAUSTING. Fantastic, beautiful, and inspiring to be sure; but bloody tiring. I averaged about 24,000 steps per day on my counter for those five days plus two and a half days in Copenhagen. If you are mobility-challenged, this isn’t the cruise for you. I will say though that Stockholm was almost not worth the trouble. We only had seven hours or so, and two and a half hours were spend getting to and from the city center because we were ported in Nynashamn. In Russia, we used Anastasia Travel for the two days we were there. We are NOT guided tour people, so we booked the private tour for the four of us. It was OUTSTANDING. I would not hesitate to use them again or suggest them to anyone. Food: Here’s were things took a downturn I’m afraid. I’ve always had the impression that NCL was known for having top-notch food. Sadly, we didn’t feel like that’s the case. The buffet was acceptable but average and ALWAYS packed with people. The main courses in the main dining rooms were very good, but some of the sides and desserts were lacking. O’Sheehan’s was a disappointment. The food was average at best, bordering on just plain bad. The items that I ate there were ok at best but the other three in our group refused to eat there after two attempts. Nachos with squirt-on cheese, flavorless salad dressing, and fatty and unappetizing BBQ wings. I had the standard buffalo style and found then acceptable at best. Cagney’s was great and Teppanyaki was really good and a lot of fun, Moderno’s was good, but La Cucina was average. Our waitress there seemed forgetful and untrained. She was always polite and cheerful, but she forgot very basic things. For example, she spilled water all over the table then forgot to return to clean it up or even bring us a towel. I had to ask for help on that one, and there were more little things like that. I’m sure she’ll improve with time. The food was only average as well. Cirque Steam and Dreams was surprisingly good considering you get no choice at all in what you receive. (Surf n’ Turf.) The show was awesome as well. Shanghai’s was ok but frankly, I don’t see why this place is so popular. The food was slightly better than grocery store Chinese food, and the seating is awkward at best. Maybe it was better at one point. The Ship: The Getaway is a beautiful vessel. Flat out, no argument there. However, the design is a little lacking when it comes to the traffic flow and dealing with crowds. For example, we had 4600 people on board, so hallways were always busy. With this in mind, why would you design a shopping area in one of those hallways? This causes people to stop to look at things and ask questions of the staff member, causing blockages in the hallway. Yes, I know. I get it. This is done intentionally as a sales tactic. However, I suggest that it’s more detrimental than they think. I found it immensely irritating. Entertainment and activities: Oddly enough, we didn’t do that much on the ship. Never did the ropes course, mini-golf, or waterslides. Didn’t use the pool or hot tub either. Most of the time we were either too busy eating, drinking, or just plain resting up from an exhausting day. Also, on the first day we say a bunch of Hindi people in one of the hot tubs and they were gobbing on heavy layers of sunscreen while in the tub and getting it all over the place and in the water; I even saw that the waitstaff found that unacceptable as they were notifying the pool staff. They were then dubbed the Human Soup family and pretty much soured my desire to touch any community water areas. We saw the Million Dollar Quartet and it was great, even my friend who HATES plays and musicals liked it. The guy playing Jerry Lee Lewis was amazing. My wife said Burn the Floor was awesome, I declined to go. We walked into the dueling pianos show while it was in progress and it wasn’t even half full. It wasn’t very good either. They might want to re-think that one. We TRIED to go to the new Syd Norman’s bar for the band, but it was always packed. Even when it was bad karaoke it was packed. Considering that the Raw Bar and Wasabi were almost always empty, and I rarely EVER saw anyone going into or exiting the Ice Bar… They should re-think their use of space. Syd’s could be three times the size it is and still fill up. Final thoughts: All in all, a fun experience and I regret nothing. Having the drink package was great and I know we got our money’s worth. It was a perk, so we just had the service fees. I don’t know if it would have been worth it if we had to buy it outright. I think the drinks were mostly watered down to contain drunkenness though. Typically, I’m a loyal customer. When I choose a company, I like I stick with them. However, if and when we ever cruise again we might be looking at other options that better fit our desires and habits. There were a lot of features of this ship we just didn’t use or care about. We’ll see. If you’re considering this cruise, please keep in mind that this is NOT a cheap cruise. We pre-paid everything and were at ~$8500 before ever leaving the house. (Airfare, hotels, cruise, pre-paid everything…) I don’t know yet how much we spent existing in foreign ports, but I’d be surprised if was less than $1500. Wow, only 2.33 pages. Usually, I’m over 20 pages per week of vacationing…

Baltic Cruise on The NCL Getaway

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by DerekAllyn

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2019
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
I’m going to try to avoid doing what I normally do and write a ridiculously long and detailed narrative for a trip report. None the less, I do have a tendency to get a little… wordy.

My wife and I have only been on one cruise 20 years ago on the NCL Wind and our travel companions were first-timers, and our cruise on the NCL Getaway was fun. We had a great time, but there were things that didn’t quite measure up to the expectations that I formed from comments and reviews on the internet. I’ll do this by category.

Service:

Top-notch. They apparently recruit from the same pool as Disney, as everyone we encountered was smiling and friendly. The only stumble we saw was at La Cucina, and I’ll get to that under food. Our favorite bartender was Dexter from Granada. We tipped him well and he was a massive positive point for the whole trip. Our steward was Arson, but I can’t remember where he was from as I rarely saw him. He was a ghost that magically made everything right. I swear we’d put the “Make-up Room” light on and come back in ten minutes and it’d be done. I swear the guy had a magic wand or something. He’s the other guy that received an extra tip.

Ports of Call:

We sailed out of Copenhagen and hit five other cities: Warnemunde Germany, Tallinn Estonia, St. Petersburg Russia, Helsinki Finland, and Stockholm Sweden. Five ports on a nine-day cruise may not sound too bad, but it was EXHAUSTING. Fantastic, beautiful, and inspiring to be sure; but bloody tiring. I averaged about 24,000 steps per day on my counter for those five days plus two and a half days in Copenhagen. If you are mobility-challenged, this isn’t the cruise for you.

I will say though that Stockholm was almost not worth the trouble. We only had seven hours or so, and two and a half hours were spend getting to and from the city center because we were ported in Nynashamn.

In Russia, we used Anastasia Travel for the two days we were there. We are NOT guided tour people, so we booked the private tour for the four of us. It was OUTSTANDING. I would not hesitate to use them again or suggest them to anyone.

Food:

Here’s were things took a downturn I’m afraid. I’ve always had the impression that NCL was known for having top-notch food. Sadly, we didn’t feel like that’s the case. The buffet was acceptable but average and ALWAYS packed with people. The main courses in the main dining rooms were very good, but some of the sides and desserts were lacking. O’Sheehan’s was a disappointment. The food was average at best, bordering on just plain bad. The items that I ate there were ok at best but the other three in our group refused to eat there after two attempts. Nachos with squirt-on cheese, flavorless salad dressing, and fatty and unappetizing BBQ wings. I had the standard buffalo style and found then acceptable at best.

Cagney’s was great and Teppanyaki was really good and a lot of fun, Moderno’s was good, but La Cucina was average. Our waitress there seemed forgetful and untrained. She was always polite and cheerful, but she forgot very basic things. For example, she spilled water all over the table then forgot to return to clean it up or even bring us a towel. I had to ask for help on that one, and there were more little things like that. I’m sure she’ll improve with time. The food was only average as well.

Cirque Steam and Dreams was surprisingly good considering you get no choice at all in what you receive. (Surf n’ Turf.) The show was awesome as well.

Shanghai’s was ok but frankly, I don’t see why this place is so popular. The food was slightly better than grocery store Chinese food, and the seating is awkward at best. Maybe it was better at one point.

The Ship:

The Getaway is a beautiful vessel. Flat out, no argument there. However, the design is a little lacking when it comes to the traffic flow and dealing with crowds. For example, we had 4600 people on board, so hallways were always busy. With this in mind, why would you design a shopping area in one of those hallways? This causes people to stop to look at things and ask questions of the staff member, causing blockages in the hallway. Yes, I know. I get it. This is done intentionally as a sales tactic. However, I suggest that it’s more detrimental than they think. I found it immensely irritating.

Entertainment and activities:

Oddly enough, we didn’t do that much on the ship. Never did the ropes course, mini-golf, or waterslides. Didn’t use the pool or hot tub either. Most of the time we were either too busy eating, drinking, or just plain resting up from an exhausting day. Also, on the first day we say a bunch of Hindi people in one of the hot tubs and they were gobbing on heavy layers of sunscreen while in the tub and getting it all over the place and in the water; I even saw that the waitstaff found that unacceptable as they were notifying the pool staff. They were then dubbed the Human Soup family and pretty much soured my desire to touch any community water areas. We saw the Million Dollar Quartet and it was great, even my friend who HATES plays and musicals liked it. The guy playing Jerry Lee Lewis was amazing. My wife said Burn the Floor was awesome, I declined to go. We walked into the dueling pianos show while it was in progress and it wasn’t even half full. It wasn’t very good either. They might want to re-think that one. We TRIED to go to the new Syd Norman’s bar for the band, but it was always packed. Even when it was bad karaoke it was packed. Considering that the Raw Bar and Wasabi were almost always empty, and I rarely EVER saw anyone going into or exiting the Ice Bar… They should re-think their use of space. Syd’s could be three times the size it is and still fill up.

Final thoughts:

All in all, a fun experience and I regret nothing. Having the drink package was great and I know we got our money’s worth. It was a perk, so we just had the service fees. I don’t know if it would have been worth it if we had to buy it outright. I think the drinks were mostly watered down to contain drunkenness though.

Typically, I’m a loyal customer. When I choose a company, I like I stick with them. However, if and when we ever cruise again we might be looking at other options that better fit our desires and habits. There were a lot of features of this ship we just didn’t use or care about. We’ll see.

If you’re considering this cruise, please keep in mind that this is NOT a cheap cruise. We pre-paid everything and were at ~$8500 before ever leaving the house. (Airfare, hotels, cruise, pre-paid everything…) I don’t know yet how much we spent existing in foreign ports, but I’d be surprised if was less than $1500.

Wow, only 2.33 pages. Usually, I’m over 20 pages per week of vacationing…
DerekAllyn’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BB 10860
We had mid-ship balcony stateroom 10860. With the ship sold out our Haven bid was not accepted, but we were quite happy with where we were. Our travel companions were next door, so we opened the partition between the two balconies whenever we were all outside (frequently) and closed it when we left the room. I hear they don’t like you doing that, so we left no evidence. All it takes is something that can fit into an approximately 1/3 of an inch square hole and turn. We found that we overpacked and still had plenty of unused storage space. Everything was clean and new feeling after the May refresh. Our only complaint would be that whichever chucklehead designed those rooms put the light switch to the bathroom OUTSIDE the room. Stupid. All in all, I’d give the room 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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