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This was only our second cruise, and had it been our first it may well have been our last. Our first was on Celebrity Summit, a significantly smaller ship...but size was not the issue here, quality was. Let me start by saying the staff and crew were universally pleasant and helpful, the issues we encountered were more "corporate decisions" rather than failures of the crew. First off let me talk about the bar/drink service. The bars were generally understaffed and overworked, that they remained pleasant and courteous is a wonder itself. We had the premium drink package which got you all drinks $15 and under...this should have been great, it was not. We could not get a decent Margarita to save our lives! On a ship sailing to ports in the Caribbean and Mexico this is shameless!!! The staff substituted orange juice for triple sec and when asked why they said that's what they were told to do, though the bottle of triple sec was sitting right there. Next disappointment were the number of "drinks" that were made from draft mixes as opposed to being created as "premium" would dictate. As example the Bahama Mama, a favorite of mine while vacationing. On Celebrity you actually watched them make the drink using orange and pineapple juice, rum and banana liqueur and grenadine. Not so on NCL, 2 oz. of rum over ice then a draft "mix" and a stir. The result was a Bahama Mama flavored wine cooler. Yuck! Only someone that has never had the real drink would accept this. Sadly the same was done with Mai Tais, Long Island Ice Teas, Blackberry Bourbon Smashes, and God knows how many others but those at least are the ones I had personal experience with. So we ended up drinking Tequila Sunrises as at least those were made properly. Our next disappointment was with specialty dining. It started with Ocean Blue. We had a package that included 3 specialty restaurants. When we arrived we were seated promptly, it went downhill from there. The courses that we would receive and what was covered were explained, there were upcharges for many of the more desirable options. One of our party attempted to order the Sea Bass and was informed they were out ON THE SECOND DAY of the cruise! He then ordered the Flounder and the waiter said he would have to check if there was any left. When he returned we were informed we got the last of it. My wife ordered the fried cod, I got the mussels and my buddy's wife ordered the Seafood Pasta. Calamari and Scallops for appetizers came barely above room temperature. When my wife's cod arrived it was easy to see that whatever fish this was, it was NOT cod, pollock or haddock maybe. Again, if you'd never had cod I guess you might not notice. Of the 15 or so mussels in my dish 3 were unopened and thus not safe to eat, so 20% of my meal was useless. The seafood pasta included 3 shrimp, 3 scallops the size of chic peas, 3 mussels (2 of which were not opened). Of everything ordered the ONLY thing that came to the table hot was the Au Graten potatoes. If we wanted cold seafood we'd have gone for Sushi! When the bill arrived our dinner would have cost almost $200, had I had to pay cash for this debacle heads would have rolled! Our next Specialty was Moderno. Again we were seated promptly, our server explained how everything worked and we hit the salad bar. The gauchos started bringing the meats to the table and everything was hot and prepared properly. The issue here was a couple of women a few tables over, one of which got violently ill, sicking up on their table and across the bench seat next to her. They got up and left, one rushing to the bathroom the other informed the Maitre De of what happened. After almost 20 mins. of inaction we asked our waitress when this would be cleaned up? As it was not her station she was unaware of what had happened, she apologized started clearing the table but was stopped by her boss. He then explained to us that a Haz Mat team had to do the cleanup...he had called 3 times and they were still not there. Another 15 mins. later a single guy in a tyvek suit showed up with a wetvac. They never offered to move us or offer any compensation. The one saving grace of our specialty dining experience was Tapanakki Japanese Hibachi restaurant. Chef, server and food were all excellent and well worth the trip if you get the chance. Dining at the complimentary restaurants and buffet were always good, though some of the items left us scratching our heads. What exactly "Ruby Trout" is, or the more confusing "Walleyed Cod" we're not sure, but if you don't know what you're serving we're sure not ordering it! Lol For entertainment we saw "Burn the floor" the second night and it was a great, high energy show. Unfortunately it was also one of the only shows we caught because every venue was packed even a half hour before each show. Finally, the smoking policy on this ship flat sucked. After seeing in the online literature that one whole side of the waterwalk was smoker friendly excepting near the outdoor restaurant seating, we were informed upon arrival that per the Captain's order the waterwalk would now be 100% smoke free. This left just 2 smoking areas on the ship. A smoke "room" near the pool area and close to The Wave bar on deck 15. There were only 25 chairs in this glass cage, the rest was standing room only. Always packed and even for experienced smokers it often was pretty thick in there. The other was on deck 16 in the Spice H2O Adult only area. About 40 feet on the starboard side by the bar. 3 loveseat size couches with tables and 2 chairs each. Then three small tables with 2 chairs each. The problem here is that these highly desirable areas caused some less conscientious cruisers to "squat" here taking up the area for the whole day leaving in shifts to eat/drink/bathroom breaks so they never vacated the table. Another problem with this area was that it closed 4 of the 7 nights for "private" events at 7pm. Leaving only the "fishbowl" on 15 to serve as smoking area for the WHOLE ship! I realize smoking is becoming less popular but even if 15% of the 5000 souls on board smoke, that's 25 chairs for aprox. 750 people!!! While I applaud the Humidor Cigar Lounge for the cigar smokers (which I am), you could not get bar service once inside. Conversely Celebrity Summit held the entire port side upper deck for smokers with full bar service. I would like to give a special shout out to our Bartender Anthony at H2O and servers Fidel, Rhoderick and Archie, also Carlos at the Wave Bar for making our time pleasurable, they all went above and beyond! Seek them out and they will take care of you. The ship was immaculately clean, and the staff always friendly. I couldn't help but feel they were doing the best they could within the constraints laid upon them.

Disappointments abound...

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review by ursus405

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
This was only our second cruise, and had it been our first it may well have been our last. Our first was on Celebrity Summit, a significantly smaller ship...but size was not the issue here, quality was.

Let me start by saying the staff and crew were universally pleasant and helpful, the issues we encountered were more "corporate decisions" rather than failures of the crew.

First off let me talk about the bar/drink service. The bars were generally understaffed and overworked, that they remained pleasant and courteous is a wonder itself. We had the premium drink package which got you all drinks $15 and under...this should have been great, it was not. We could not get a decent Margarita to save our lives! On a ship sailing to ports in the Caribbean and Mexico this is shameless!!! The staff substituted orange juice for triple sec and when asked why they said that's what they were told to do, though the bottle of triple sec was sitting right there. Next disappointment were the number of "drinks" that were made from draft mixes as opposed to being created as "premium" would dictate. As example the Bahama Mama, a favorite of mine while vacationing. On Celebrity you actually watched them make the drink using orange and pineapple juice, rum and banana liqueur and grenadine. Not so on NCL, 2 oz. of rum over ice then a draft "mix" and a stir. The result was a Bahama Mama flavored wine cooler. Yuck! Only someone that has never had the real drink would accept this.

Sadly the same was done with Mai Tais, Long Island Ice Teas, Blackberry Bourbon Smashes, and God knows how many others but those at least are the ones I had personal experience with. So we ended up drinking Tequila Sunrises as at least those were made properly.

Our next disappointment was with specialty dining. It started with Ocean Blue. We had a package that included 3 specialty restaurants. When we arrived we were seated promptly, it went downhill from there. The courses that we would receive and what was covered were explained, there were upcharges for many of the more desirable options. One of our party attempted to order the Sea Bass and was informed they were out ON THE SECOND DAY of the cruise! He then ordered the Flounder and the waiter said he would have to check if there was any left. When he returned we were informed we got the last of it. My wife ordered the fried cod, I got the mussels and my buddy's wife ordered the Seafood Pasta. Calamari and Scallops for appetizers came barely above room temperature. When my wife's cod arrived it was easy to see that whatever fish this was, it was NOT cod, pollock or haddock maybe. Again, if you'd never had cod I guess you might not notice.

Of the 15 or so mussels in my dish 3 were unopened and thus not safe to eat, so 20% of my meal was useless. The seafood pasta included 3 shrimp, 3 scallops the size of chic peas, 3 mussels (2 of which were not opened). Of everything ordered the ONLY thing that came to the table hot was the Au Graten potatoes. If we wanted cold seafood we'd have gone for Sushi! When the bill arrived our dinner would have cost almost $200, had I had to pay cash for this debacle heads would have rolled!

Our next Specialty was Moderno.

Again we were seated promptly, our server explained how everything worked and we hit the salad bar. The gauchos started bringing the meats to the table and everything was hot and prepared properly. The issue here was a couple of women a few tables over, one of which got violently ill, sicking up on their table and across the bench seat next to her. They got up and left, one rushing to the bathroom the other informed the Maitre De of what happened. After almost 20 mins. of inaction we asked our waitress when this would be cleaned up? As it was not her station she was unaware of what had happened, she apologized started clearing the table but was stopped by her boss. He then explained to us that a Haz Mat team had to do the cleanup...he had called 3 times and they were still not there. Another 15 mins. later a single guy in a tyvek suit showed up with a wetvac. They never offered to move us or offer any compensation.

The one saving grace of our specialty dining experience was Tapanakki Japanese Hibachi restaurant. Chef, server and food were all excellent and well worth the trip if you get the chance.

Dining at the complimentary restaurants and buffet were always good, though some of the items left us scratching our heads. What exactly "Ruby Trout" is, or the more confusing "Walleyed Cod" we're not sure, but if you don't know what you're serving we're sure not ordering it! Lol

For entertainment we saw "Burn the floor" the second night and it was a great, high energy show. Unfortunately it was also one of the only shows we caught because every venue was packed even a half hour before each show.

Finally, the smoking policy on this ship flat sucked. After seeing in the online literature that one whole side of the waterwalk was smoker friendly excepting near the outdoor restaurant seating, we were informed upon arrival that per the Captain's order the waterwalk would now be 100% smoke free. This left just 2 smoking areas on the ship. A smoke "room" near the pool area and close to The Wave bar on deck 15. There were only 25 chairs in this glass cage, the rest was standing room only. Always packed and even for experienced smokers it often was pretty thick in there. The other was on deck 16 in the Spice H2O Adult only area. About 40 feet on the starboard side by the bar. 3 loveseat size couches with tables and 2 chairs each. Then three small tables with 2 chairs each. The problem here is that these highly desirable areas caused some less conscientious cruisers to "squat" here taking up the area for the whole day leaving in shifts to eat/drink/bathroom breaks so they never vacated the table. Another problem with this area was that it closed 4 of the 7 nights for "private" events at 7pm.

Leaving only the "fishbowl" on 15 to serve as smoking area for the WHOLE ship! I realize smoking is becoming less popular but even if 15% of the 5000 souls on board smoke, that's 25 chairs for aprox. 750 people!!! While I applaud the Humidor Cigar Lounge for the cigar smokers (which I am), you could not get bar service once inside. Conversely Celebrity Summit held the entire port side upper deck for smokers with full bar service. I would like to give a special shout out to our Bartender Anthony at H2O and servers Fidel, Rhoderick and Archie, also Carlos at the Wave Bar for making our time pleasurable, they all went above and beyond! Seek them out and they will take care of you.

The ship was immaculately clean, and the staff always friendly. I couldn't help but feel they were doing the best they could within the constraints laid upon them.
ursus405’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BB
Stateroom was always clean, towels were replaced often...our steward went out of his way to make accommodations for us. Only issuse we had, which was not our stewards fault was that we requested diet pepsi in place of regular in the mini-bar. He informed us he was not allowed to do so...again a corporate decision.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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