Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by jandheather
- Sail Date: August 2019
- Destination: Baltic Sea
- Cabin Type: The Haven Aft-Facing Penthouse with Balcony
* Haven, Haven, Haven. A game changer. The exclusive pool, deck, hot tubs, bar / lounge, restaurant, and concierge was worth the added cost. We rarely had drinks or ate outside of the Haven (aside from three meals at the specialty restaurants). The quality of service was far superior to the service you received at any bar outside of Haven in the general areas. The Haven food quality is very good. Service is impeccable.
* We had a one-bedroom aft-facing corner suite. It was amazing. The balcony makes all the difference. So spacious that we were able to exercise with plenty of room to spare. I read review(s) where folks complained about noise, smoke, etc. Nothing negative to say. The inside was very nice also. Two full baths, plenty of closets and great water pressure in the master bath.
* The chicken wings at O'Sheehan's is pretty good!
* Casinos were fine - nothing special. It was more about the people you met as you played the games. I lucked out and had a great time meeting folks. The craps dealers were hit or miss. Half were very professional and worked with us, the other half were angry and chose to enforce "rules" throughout the trip (dice are too high, you're taking too long, hands, drinks over the railing, etc.)
* Soft serve ice cream in the main buffet restaurant was a hit with the kids
* The activities for the kids were great. In many ways better than Disney cruises (although Disney's shows are great). There were not as many kids on this Norwegian cruise, providing whatever kids on the ship to more access to the climbing wall, ropes course and water slides. HUGE benefit. The sport court was also very well maintained and fun.
* Tipping and service charges. Horrible system. I asked the staff and they either didn't know the specifics or chose not to disclose what they knew. The $18.50 per day per person service charge is dumb. Just embed it into the cost especially since we're told its essentially us paying the staffs' salaries. We were told that essentially this service charge "went to anyone we DIDN'T interact with", like the cooks, cleaners, etc. However, for anyone we did interact with, we're expected to "tip" them. Not a big deal, however, there's this issue of all prepaid gratuities from any drink or meal package you purchased. As it turns out this gratuity is pooled and shared among all service crew. The icing on the cake is that we were told the Haven staff - restaurant waiters/waitresses, bartenders, may or may not receive a penny of this even though they're the one's taking care of us 90% of the time. I'm getting mad just writing / reliving this.
The point is, you will get nickel and dimed with service fees, gratuities, tip, etc. Just be warned. But also, be prepared and bring small bills onboard to take care of the staff throughout your cruise. Its the right thing to do despite Norwegian's idiotic system.
* Quality of food prepared in the Haven restaurant was in the 4 - 4.5 range. The quality of food prepared elsewhere was between 3 - 3.5. The Noodle restaurant was absolutely horrible - 1.5. The Garden (buffet) was hit or miss as to be expected. The specialty restaurants - Teppinyaki, Cuccino, and the Brazilian steak restaurant were all marginal at best. Actually, Cuccino and the Brazilian steak were actually pretty bad. Skip it. Ocean Blue and sushi were pretty good.
Haven all the way, bring cash for tips, lower your expectations regarding food quality, and know the kids will have a great time.
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