Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by sbills
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Baltic Sea
- Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
Some common complaints I had read and my rebuttal based on my experience:
"The ship was too crowded.": Yes, the ship had over 4000 passengers along with 1600 crew members. There are a LOT of people on board. However, the ship is gigantic and I found it actually eats up crowds pretty well. The only time I felt overcrowded was at the buffet (more on that later) and occasionally in the atrium. We were always able to find chais lounges or chairs outside by the pool, or up on the sun deck. When it wasn't nice enough to hang out outside, it was very rare to not find an open seat somewhere in a public area.
"The internet was too slow.": Uh, who cares. You're on a ship. The internet will be slow due to the nature of it being a cruise ship. I did not worry at all about getting internet on the ship--there is plenty of Wifi to go around at the European port cities.
"The food was terrible.": Not in my experience. I thought the food ranged from just above average to excellent (except at the buffet). We ate at a variety of restaurants since we had the dining package and I was impressed with the quality of food.
"We had to wait forever to get seated anywhere for a meal.": The key to a successful dining experience on this cruise: MAKE DINING RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE. As in, before you ever go on the ship. Since we made reservations (including at the complimentary restaurants) well in advance, we never waited more than 30 seconds for a table.
"The bartenders were inattentive and reluctant to serve.": Not even close. The bartenders were excellent and extremely friendly.
"The crew was incompetent and unfriendly.": No way. The crew was exceptional, particularly the waitstaff. Very personable and fun. Those people work incredibly hard and do it with a positive attitude. Nothing but good things to say about the crew.
"NCL nickels and dimes you on board constantly.": Actually, I only felt this once--our couple's massage basically turned into a sales pitch for different skin products. Otherwise, this wasn't really an issue. Just be aware that there are some fine print costs that you can take care of in advance to avoid being surprised by them at the end of your trip. I'm mostly referring to the (basically mandatory) gratuity charge & the gratuities for the unlimited beverage package if you have that. Pay these in advance, and no worries while on board.
"NCL has a reputation for skipping ports for no good reason!": Fortunately, we made it to every port either on time or early. No problem there!
"The entertainment was amateur and boring.": We didn't see a whole lot of entertainment onboard, but I would disagree with this statement. Burn the Floor was not amazing, but it was well done and entertaining. Cirque Dreams was outstanding. They are true professionals who know how to put on a show. My jaw was on the floor. It is a little frustrating that there are at least two pianos on the ship. but I never once saw them being used. Instead, the DJ set up his equipment on top of the piano.
"The buffet sucked.": Ok, this one is true. The buffet is very poorly designed and at mealtimes was an absolute zoo. The food is mediocre to poor. Avoid the buffet if you can. Fortunately there are multiple dining options. For lunch, O'Sheehan's bar & grill; and Shanghai's noodle bar are excellent options where we never had to wait for a table.
Overall, this was an excellent cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The key is to take the time to plan ahead for dining reservations and different costs/packages. The itinerary was excellent, and we saw so much history in Europe. We are not guided tour people, so no need to buy excursions at every port. Just go explore.
Bottom line: don't go into a cruise with a negative attitude. If you're looking for stuff to complain about, you'll find it. Enjoy yourself, that's what a vacation is about! I have no problem recommending NCL or the Getaway to anyone. It was a fabulous trip.
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