Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by hillsofrome68
- Sail Date: October 2019
- Destination: Transatlantic
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
The ship is very large and lacks good and quiet areas around the ship to just read and relax. In fact, at the last refit a large area of open upper decks were eliminated to build more cabins. All possible public areas were monetized to increase income rather than provide relaxing areas. The ship bulletin mentioned certain areas, later in the day used as bars or restaurants, as being quiet areas from 0800 to 1000 hrs. Pretty pathetic to say the least.
There were about 4000 pax plus crew.
Embarkation was very crowded but it went fine. The entrance to the ship itself was extremely long full of inclines that were very difficult for many passengers with canes, walkers and wheelchairs. Staff was not available to ensure that flow was steady.
Our cabin was small with plenty of storage. Our cabin steward, Omar, was excellent. He was professional and kind. We felt very comfortable in his care.
Buffet was very crowded with tables very close to each other and long lines at each station. We finally opted for breakfast and dinner at the dining rooms Savor, Taste, and Tropicana. We were totally unwilling to pay for room service at 7.95 each time.
Entertainment options were basic, if any one wished to attend more elaborate shows, those required reservations and extra fees for tickets. The theatre had one level removed so that more cabins could be added.
We enjoyed the food options at all the dining rooms and the specialty restaurants. Of those, we liked Cagney's and Le Bistro the most. La Cucina lacked ambience since it was open to bars across the entrance where lots of pax were drinking to excess.
There was one server, Ms Anyway from Zimbabwe, who was always professional and helpful. She was so kind and cheerful, it was so nice whenever we met her.
This is a ship where pax are ensuring that they are drinking every cent they paid in their Drinks Package from early in the morning to late evening.
Enrichment activities consisted of a few half hour talks about locations where the ship landed.
Every other activity in the ship bulletin related to attending product demonstrations with options to buy products. Or basic games and activities that didn't interest us.
Spa was limited to use with expensive day passes, or included with spa services.
The walk/run deck was closed off at forward end to provide seclusion and priviledged space to elite levels cabins.
The library is just two locked shelves of books totally unrelated to the areas the ship visits. These shelves space is in the card room, with six small card tables. The shelves can be unlocked only during two hours daily.
The casino on deck 7 is extensive, smoking is allowed, there is always a musty smell of smoke and other things.
There was very limited signage to direct pax to the gangway to disembark at each port. Also, the cruise director failed to clarify any changes to that location.
Ports re embarkation.:
Portland Island UK
A complete shambles where the ship and port authority were unable to organize a smooth return of 4000 pax with only 2 officers and 1 security machine. It took us over 1 hr to stand in line in a open area in a windy and rainy day to re board the ship. Meanwhile those who took tours were taken by their buses directly ship side to reboard.
Grand Stirrup Cay
Great delays to disembark from our ship, they were using only tenders from port to ferry pax to shore. Those few tenders were shared Norwegian sun. They did not use the boats on board our ship. This was done in other cruise lines, and it would avoid delays to get to shore. We finally gave up waiting in the theatre and spent the day onboard.
Shambolic disembarkation complicated by excessive delays on clearance from US CBP authorities. There were only 5 CBP officers clearing 4000 pax!
Further, the departure time was 2pm, so we spent 1 whole hour on land! Of course, any pax who signed up for tours were cleared first.
It was unreasonable to have such a short stop at a large city such as Miami. It seemed that the company didn't want to pay port fees at this location.
Equally chaotic was the re embarkation process, many older disabled pax were suffering waiting standing without any ship or port staff to direct pax smoothly. Police were called to handle pax incidents, including a pax who hit a port staff person.
The shore excursions desk didn't provide any information on port stops unless the pax were part of a tour. It provided a Bermuda shopping handout issued by the Bermuda merchants association. That is it. Many cruise lines provide interesting port talks before arrival, Norwegian provided marginal talks. Other cruise lines provide basic port maps to anyone who wants one. Not Norwegian.
We prefer to arrange Independent visits and tours.
It seemed to us that the company's management of the ship is focused on income generation. Ensuring that the pax were relaxed and enjoying the trip was a secondary goal. It was obvious to us that the staff seemed generally stretched thin and very tired at most times. They seemed rushed in trying to serve such a large pax complement.
New Orleans disembarkation slow and crowded. Test port lacks good signs to baggage and the to taxis and other transportation modes and for airport connections.
We would not take another cruise with Norwegian.
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