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981 Norwegian (NCL) Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

This cruise was based on itinerary and friends that we travel with had opted in to a package with Norwegian where they received 2 .free deposits for previously putting money down. The itinerary was great and we enjoyed the ports. We ... Read More
This cruise was based on itinerary and friends that we travel with had opted in to a package with Norwegian where they received 2 .free deposits for previously putting money down. The itinerary was great and we enjoyed the ports. We booked our excursions through Alla Tours as they were less expensive and we were not disappointed! They are rated very high on trip advisor and they were excellent! Dining- not very impressed with Savior, Taste or the Tropicana. We were a group of 7 travelling together and they kept trying to put us at a table of 6 which we refused as 2 of our party of 7 are over well over 6 feet and being squished in like that gave us no arm room . One night after yet again trying to sit us at a table of 6 they ended up sitting us at 2 tables which we were not impressed with either. They did offer to pull the two tables together which still led to no elbow room. Service was slow and all over the place in these restaurants. Food not exceptional but okay. In the Tropicana one night they had a group of thirty in and held there table for close to 45 minutes as per one of their staff, so this meant we were lined up longer than normal. They post that they will not hold tables longer than 15 minutes but I guess when you are with a tour company the same rules don’t apply. O’Sheehans was also a hit and miss. 2nd day we went for breakfast and they only had scrambled eggs and no real eggs as they were loading up on food in Berlin. They also ran out of butter on the last morning and instead of telling us they just brought us dry toast which we would have not ordered. Not sure who does their ordering but they need to do a better job. We noticed in the last few days that the butter would change from individual packages to shared butter, whipped unsalted butter and then nothing. We also had an issue on our last morning with getting seated together. Emmanuel (manager?) would only give our friends a table of 4 but said he would pull the empty table of 2 beside us or move us to a table for 7. He ended up sitting someone at that table of 2 and then refused to move us to a bigger table as he previously stated. We did have a few decent meals in this pub though on other days with good service. Best meal I had on the ship was at Cirque dreams steam which you pay for. The show was incredible and my food was good. One of our party had her meat way undercooked and struggled with that. She also was not given the option of how she wanted it cooked. We had a drink package included in our fare and I was disappointed that chocolate martinis were not included. I would have had to pay $4.00 extra for that. Strange that they charge extra for them while Royal Caribbean includes them in their drink package along with bottled water and their special coffees at their coffee shop. Not sure if opting into the drink package is even worth it because you still pay a portion of it and my husband and I are not big drinkers. One thing that was really disgusting was that they did not put soap in the soap dispensers by the pool area/ ping pong area for a day or so. I guess when the staff check off their list they don’t see if their is actual soap in the dispensers. We went to both sides of this bathroom and no soap in either side. We also had a phone package and internet package included. Internet slow but okay to send an email or talk to family members on messenger. Phone okay but noticed after 12 a.m. that you couldn’t call out or reach guest services. I wanted to a family member after 12 and it was out of service. We were on a 6 hour time change from home so it was the perfect time to reach that family member. The first time this happened I tried to call guest service which rang and rang and then just hung up. 2 of our party were smokers, myself included and we were told we could only smoke on deck 15. When I was on the escape a few years ago we could smoke in the warm cigar room which is now not allowed. The few times I walked by that area there it was empty. Why is it that cigar smokers have a nice warm area and we were up on the 15th deck in a semi closed off area that was cold and windy. You can also smoke in a part of the casino if you are playing. I don’t gamble so that was out for us as well. Our room was an inside room on deck 5 mid ship and was cleaned well. No complaints there! Limited space to put clothes away but we managed. Embarking and disembarking was effortless and one thing they did really well on this cruise! All and all is was not super impressed with Norwegian this time around. We have another cruise booked with them for Feb. so will see how that goes. They have already changed the itinerary for that one with no explanation despite sending an email on Aug 4th. I also called Norwegian and the person answering did not know the reason for a few ports being changed and suggested that we email and also that we had the option to cancel the cruise . Problem with that is that the airfare was already booked well In advance. I don’t find Norwegian really cares about customer service at all as of first hand experience. I have had much better Royal Caribbean cruises , Carnival cruises and Celebrity cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chosen cruise as a good way to see Scandinavia. Disappointed as extra days at sea and missed 3 ports and 2 alternative ports given in 14 days.Missed one of the highlights and draw cards, Iceland ! Extra sea day trapped with expensive ... Read More
Chosen cruise as a good way to see Scandinavia. Disappointed as extra days at sea and missed 3 ports and 2 alternative ports given in 14 days.Missed one of the highlights and draw cards, Iceland ! Extra sea day trapped with expensive internet and business to do! Poor, crowded, noisy inside lounge accomodation as weather was bad. Food was ok, shows were ok. Staff lovely and bad working conditions( no full days off) in 2 weeks and long 12 hours+ days. No compensation no plan B nor C. Poor communication with passengers about what was happening and why and where to next. Staff seemed to be as poorly informed as we were. Understand weather was poor . Perhaps this cruise was too late in the season altogether! This was our first sea cruise.. we won’t be doing another with NCL despite the 25% reduction for next cruise offered. They saved money on the port fees and fuel costs and should compensate us with at least s 25% refund for this cruise. Disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise was supposed to go to Amsterdam, Norway, Iceland and Ireland. When we first boarded the ship they informed us the first port was canceled. We had no time or internet to cancel our excursion so we were out that money. The port ... Read More
The cruise was supposed to go to Amsterdam, Norway, Iceland and Ireland. When we first boarded the ship they informed us the first port was canceled. We had no time or internet to cancel our excursion so we were out that money. The port they substituted was canceled as well we did stop in Norway than we were informed Iceland was canceled and two more Norway ports were substituted. The next day we found out the port we docked in was closed for the season, you couldn’t even get coffee. One more Norway port than the next substituted port was Greenock Scotland we were ready to dock and than turned around and was told we were not docking. Riots broke out. 3 days at sea missed ports and toilets stopped working. Food was cafeteria class, entertainment not as expected, a juggler, magician We did stop at the two scheduled ports. Norwegian offered a 25% discount on a future cruise. No compensation for this cruise. I don’t plan on booking with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have just disembarked from this Norwegian Spirit cruise that started in Southampton on 27th September and was supposed to call at Ijmuiden for Amsterdam then on to Bergen, Flam and Geiranger in Norway before heading off to Iceland to ... Read More
I have just disembarked from this Norwegian Spirit cruise that started in Southampton on 27th September and was supposed to call at Ijmuiden for Amsterdam then on to Bergen, Flam and Geiranger in Norway before heading off to Iceland to visit Akureyri and Reykjavik then on to Belfast and Dublin before returning to Southampton. Prior to departure from Southampton passengers were informed that due to very strong winds we would not be visiting Ijmuiden but would go instead to Le Havre. This port of call was cancelled the following day due to bad weather and the ship proceeded to Bergen then on to Flam and Gerainger. Whilst in Gerainger the passengers were told that due to very high winds and rough seas the ship would be unable to visit Iceland and instead would spend another two days in Norway visiting the ports of Hellesynt and Allesund before heading off to an additional port of Greenock for Glasgow.. Many passengers were upset that the Icelandic part of the itinerary had been cancelled and a minority felt so upset that they held a protest meeting in the atrium. Videos of this protest were posted on line. The number of passengers involved was quite small and the vast majority of passengers, including myself, were completely unaware that a protest had taken place. Once the videos were placed on social media the newspapers got hold of the story. Despite the published views of a minority of passengers that the whole cruise was terrible the actuality was almost the reverse. Despite the disappointment of not being able to visit Iceland the majority of passengers fully understood the reasons for the changes to the itinerary in that Norwegian Cruise Line places passenger safety ahead of other considerations. The passengers who demonstrated on board and demanded refunds of their cruise fares would more that likely have sued the cruise line for putting them in harms way if the itinerary had not been changed. As it turned out the visit to Greenock did not eventuate even though the pilot was on board, as winds in excess of 40 knots prevented the ship from mooring up. The two final ports of Belfast and Dublin did not pose a problem weatherwise. It is unfortunate that the ships Captain is not a good communicator and his accent is sometimes difficult to understand but his announcements to passengers were, if important, relayed by the Cruise Director so everyone was adequately informed of the reasons for the changes to the itinerary. Life on board the ship was very pleasant with the crew being extremely friendly and helpful.Despite the bad weather there was a full programme of entertainment that passengers could avail themselves of if they felt so inclined. I believe that only one show had to be cancelled due to the weather. The food in the main dining rooms was of an acceptable standard and that in the speciality restaurants was very good indeed. These views of mine are shared by many of the passengers that I spoke to and many were astounded at the negative remarks made to the press and on social media by a vociferous minority. The reported problems associated with the sewage system and the reports of stale food being served in the restaurants was not experienced by any of the many passengers that I met on this pleasant if rather rough weather cruise. I would certainly cruise on this ship again although I will probably take a greater interest in the time of year to book a cruise that includes Iceland in the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We only booked this because when we were on a Mexican Cruise 2 years ago, we got suckered into their Cruise Next promotion and prepaid $1000. This is a party boat designed for the Caribbean with water slides, blasting music, 4000 ... Read More
We only booked this because when we were on a Mexican Cruise 2 years ago, we got suckered into their Cruise Next promotion and prepaid $1000. This is a party boat designed for the Caribbean with water slides, blasting music, 4000 passengers, and a constant fake party atmosphere. There is no quiet place to go for a drink or to listen to music. The food in the complimentary restaurants was so lousy, we opted to pay for specialty restaurants. The shore excursions had 32 or more people, and usually, no microphone system. And very expensive! Negatives: The seafood restaurant ran out of lobster in a few days. The free restaurants were awful. The noodle restaurant had the most bland food and worst service on the ship. It was continually noisy and crowded! Everywhere! I hated the blaring speakers and fake crew dancing to welcome us back from Stockholm. I hate the constant pitch for the horrible art auction, jewelry, and shopping. I think the casino pumped in a smoke fragrance into the air to stimulate play. Lots of very heavy drinking. The ice bar was filled with drunks every time I tried to get in. I had food poisoning one night from eating at the Tropicana room. I think it was the coconut sherbet, since that is the only different food I had from my husband all day. Disembarkation directions should be printed in the daily schedule; some of us are not glued to our phones or the TV. Positives The stateroom was clean. Service was very good. We were able to change a shore excursion at the last minute. One bartender made the best French 75. Several shows were excellent. Suggestion: Provide movies related to shore excursions. It would really provide context for the sights and reduce the inane questions some people ask on excursions. Most have no idea what they are seeing because they don't read. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I prefer traveling alone and I sail Norwegian because of the studio cabins. I also have rewards with Norwegian because I have sailed them so many times. I have not had the opportunity to travel abroad since the 1960's and I wanted ... Read More
I prefer traveling alone and I sail Norwegian because of the studio cabins. I also have rewards with Norwegian because I have sailed them so many times. I have not had the opportunity to travel abroad since the 1960's and I wanted to be more adventurous so I chose this Northern Europe cruise, I was interested in the ports, the culture, the people, the history, the beauty, etc. If I were to do it over again, I would have done so much differently. I stayed in Copenhagen for four days pre-cruise. I bought the Copenhagen Card but lost money because I did not use it enough. I wish that I had bought the HOHO bus in Copenhagen. I stayed at First Hotel 27 and can recommend. Breakfast was excellent and so was wi fi. Staff was great and I loved the personal care items. Location was very good. Copenhagen is great. Beautiful City with lots to do but as you have heard, it is also expensive. For Germany, I did not want to deal with the trek to Berlin and went to Schwerin and Schwerin Castle. I was not disappointed. I was surprised at how beautiful Tallinn was. I took The Palace and Old City tour. I learned a lot but HOHO bus might be a good option depending. St. Petersburg was still very crowded with tourists. The Hermitage was still overcrowded and frantic. I wish that I had chosen the evening visit. Try to avoid using the cloakroom if possible because it is so hard to get your things when leaving. Things were so chaotic in the Hermitage that I took a fall. Peterhof was beautiful. Recommended. Another very pleasant surprise as I was not expecting it to be so beautiful. Helsinki was a peaceful and relaxed respite after St. Petersburg. While I took an excursion, this would be a good port for doing the HOHO bus or just walking. In Sweden, I took the Stockholm by Sea and Land excursion. Stockholm is beautiful and so interesting but then so were all the ports. Another port where the HOHO might be a good choice. I believe that it picks up and returns to the port. I ate at the Garden Cafe and 24/7 restaurant only. The food was just so so. It was a hit or a miss. However, if you had a miss, you could always go back trying to find a hit. Desserts were always delicious and coffee is always terrible. The Atrium was always too loud and noisy. NCL needs to move some of the entertainment to The Theater or somewhere else on the ship. I did enjoy the Abba Tribute. I also sent to the Farewell Show and Million Dollar Quartet. Both very good. I was upgraded to a large size Oceanview which had a bathtub but no coffee machine. While I liked the window, I often could not see out because of water and fog. Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly for me. Some staff was friendly and helpful while others were not. That has been the situation on all my cruises and I have learned to go with the flow. Weather was good to us. It was always in the 50's and overcast but only a few sprinkles now and then. Very comfortable with the right clothing. it was a wonderful learning experience but it was a very demanding and exhausting and intense voyage. Also, a very expensive cruise. I went way over budget and I still was frugal and cautious with my spending. If possible, try to avoid having to change planes at Heathrow which is a nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We enjoyed the places we visited. Our stateroom was quiet and well serviced. We enjoyed meeting different people at meal times. The staff were invariably friendly and helpful. Provision was made of a meeting room for an informal church ... Read More
We enjoyed the places we visited. Our stateroom was quiet and well serviced. We enjoyed meeting different people at meal times. The staff were invariably friendly and helpful. Provision was made of a meeting room for an informal church service on Sunday evening. BUT We found the number of people on board a bit much and would consider a smaller ship therefore another time. The music was often loud. Our first meal in Tropicana was spoiled in this way. The background music in the corridors was irritating. We felt the excursion to St Petersburg was over priced and the lunch provided disappointing (no bortsch!) The guide, however was very good. If we had known about independent excursions we would have booked one of those. Apparently one of those had a short river cruise and a visit to the Church of Spilled Blood (and bortsch!) and some free time ashore, all of which which we would have enjoyed. On the second day of the tour we had to stand for a while for admission to Peterhof. This was made bearable by a brass band and that the weather was dry. To stand in the rain would have been miserable. We were disappointed that the speciality restaurants attracted a charge and that internet was charged at too high a price. It wasn't clear just what our basic drinks package allowed. At the rescue drill on the first afternoon, we found it hard to hear what was being said, partly because a gaming machine was playing music, until an enterprising passenger unplugged it - but surely it should be good practice for staff to ensure that there is no distracting music happening during safety drills. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to visit Baltic capitals, specifically St Petersburg. Chose NCL based on our prior experience with Alaska (Sun) from Vancouver and Gem ( Eastern Caribbean from NYC) experience more than 3 years ago. This big ship with ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit Baltic capitals, specifically St Petersburg. Chose NCL based on our prior experience with Alaska (Sun) from Vancouver and Gem ( Eastern Caribbean from NYC) experience more than 3 years ago. This big ship with 4000+ Passengers was a big disappointment for many reasons. There were also some good points. Good: Great cabin stewardess, Varied cuisines in Garden Cafe, Clean and spacious mini suite with balcony on the 11th floor. That’s about it. Bad: confusing ship with all sort of carnival like money making outfits between the fore and aft sections of the ship. You pay for almost anything that is tasty or of quality (like Cappuccino, gelato, water bottle, fountain soda and many such items). You pay through your nose for alcoholic beverages with 18% mandatory gratuity and the same for specialty dining. Included dining rooms serve at snails pace and food is mostly cold by the time it’s gets to you. If that’s not enough there are continuing game shows, Bingo and other scams that are heavily weighted in favor of the house. Casino area, unavoidable as you go for dining area, are smoke filled. For this big ship, the deck board walking track is about 1/8 of a Kilometer as opposed to nearly 1/4 of mile or so on the smaller Gem class ship. Avoid taking shore excursions with the cruise line. You can save more than 50%. Viator offers St Petersburg 2-day Excursion (Russia exempts one of Visa if taking approved tour) with 18 or less passengers in AC van for about $220 per person (you pay for lunch that costs about $15- $20 or less per person per day). Compare that to some $550 per person! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to the Baltic. NCL is not different than carnival. The buffett is better on NCL but the dining room is better on Carnival. I was expecting NCL to wow me and it did not! Getting on was a breeze we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to the Baltic. NCL is not different than carnival. The buffett is better on NCL but the dining room is better on Carnival. I was expecting NCL to wow me and it did not! Getting on was a breeze we weren't supposed to board till noon and we were on by noon. Getting off was really easy we put our luggage out the night before and it was ready by 7:30am to pick up. Never saw room steward and I don't like that I like to see them at least once on our trip. We like to tip them the 1st day an then several days also. We had the dining package Moderno was awful! If you get a chance go to Cagney's it is the best! It will not disappoint you at all. Le Bristo was ok nothing special at all. Have a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Started in Copenhagen lovely city but expensive This was my first ever cruise so don’t have much to compare it with the ship was big and felt very crowded, probably because most people were inside the weather was fine but cool. My ... Read More
Started in Copenhagen lovely city but expensive This was my first ever cruise so don’t have much to compare it with the ship was big and felt very crowded, probably because most people were inside the weather was fine but cool. My cabin 9158 was nice small balcony with a lovely view the bathroom was good clean with a good shower the twice daily service was good and the cabin steward helpful. Food in the restaurant was good and I never had trouble getting a seat service was good. I did not like the buffet it always felt crowded. I only went to a couple of shows they were ok nothing to rave about. The best thing we’re the ports which is why I had chosen this cruise they were great St Petersburg being the high light for me I did a two day tour using Alla tours they were Considerably cheaper than the ones offered by NCL and only 16 people enabling us to see more and get about easily . I was a solo traveler but did not feel uncomfortable there was always someone to talk to and people to have dinner with if I wanted and a table available for just me when I preferred to be alone. I booked this cruise very last minute and got a very good rate overall very pleased I would certainly book again if I was able to get such a good deal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was very interested in travelling to the Baltic and Scandinavia. I chose to take a cruise and overall enjoyed myself but found it to be short of my expectations. This ship is huge with approx. 4000 passengers. Everything is crowded ... Read More
I was very interested in travelling to the Baltic and Scandinavia. I chose to take a cruise and overall enjoyed myself but found it to be short of my expectations. This ship is huge with approx. 4000 passengers. Everything is crowded and exceptionally noisy. My cabin was beautiful, a room with a balcony. It had a very comfortable queen sized bed and was immaculate. Everything worked well, coffeemaker, safe, tv,etc. The bathroom was clean with lots of hot water and good pressure. I was frustrated with NCL's nickel and diming. They charged extra for everything from soft drinks to drinking water. There is a mysterious $15/day charge on your bill on top of everything else. They call it a service charge They charged extra for the better shows and restaurants. The shore excursions were exceptionally expensive, ie approx $300/day for sightseeing tours. To make things worse, the day trips all had 30-40 people in them and required a lot of time for assembly, waiting for stragglers etc. I should have arranged for independant plans for shore excursions. All of the ports are very accessable for taxis and buses. Prob. more enjoyable and less expensive to do it yourself with a little preplanning. I had intended to go to the spa for massage and facial but the prices were staggering. Over $200 for a 50 min. massage. The fitness center was well equipped for cardio and free weights, there were no classes offered. The food situation was below expectations. You have 3 choices. 1- Several restaurants that you pay for, approx. $40/meal, not including wine. 2- Restaurants which are included. These have inexpensive items like chicken and pasta, no seafood. Wine is extra. These places fill up fast so you must make reservations. 3- Buffet. The buffet on this boat reminds me of university dorm room food. Very bland, cold by the time you get to your table, ( if you can find a table) and poorly prepared. Also, the organization of the buffet is weird. For example, macaroni and cheese in the Asian counter, eggs and bacon 3 counters apart. In the mornings, the coffee is on the buffet, so when you get up to find it and pour yourself a refil, approx. 50% of the time, some server has swooped in and taken your plate away. The pool deck is great, 4 jacuzzis which were great after a busy sightseeing day. The waterslides look great however it was late in the season and a little cold. The pool doesn't seem to be heated.... brrr. I had a problem with the noise levels in the common areas. Music and mikes were on full blast and there was standing room only for most of the shows and entertainment. A lot of drinking and drunk people on board. I would go back to the region again, just wouldn't take a cruise. Not my cup of tea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cabin size was not so bad for two people BUT - there is a sound underneath or on the side of your walls that is like flowing water - loud flowing water like gushing in - and just every night it woke us up - it's not the ... Read More
Cabin size was not so bad for two people BUT - there is a sound underneath or on the side of your walls that is like flowing water - loud flowing water like gushing in - and just every night it woke us up - it's not the toilet from the next door, it's a like a big gush of wave going through underneath the floor or on the side of the wall - also, sometimes that flush in the toilet doesn't work - and one day, all the toilet didn't work in our floor === our cabin steward "Muhamed", was awesome === When we were going to Sweden, I asked one of the Deck 4 staff if they accept US$ in Sweden, the answer given was, I don't know as I have never been to Sweden. there were two of them who can't answer a basic question. They are not deck hands, they are actually crew that's stationed by the stairway on Deck 4 before going to the Port Security, and Port Security didn't know either, and there was not notice on the daily bulletin. Wish you could staff those areas with more knowledge of the city we are visiting ==== The waiters on our last night at Tropicana Room, are, hands down, awesome ! - starting from the Manager - Ivan - there were 19 of us, and we ahve earlier requested with our reservation 2 long tables of 10. We got to our reservation early enough so that we can be seated to our tables, but as it turns out, the tables are not ready because one table, the guests was just beginning to order dessert, that's understandable. - Ivan, started with 3 square tables put together, for 10 people (squished in) and a round table of 8 - then another square table came open, he then added it, then another one - to the point that we were able to accommodate 14 of us in a long table - and 5 in the round table - perfect night - it was my wife' birthday too, so the waiter sung and surprised her with a cake and candle blowing - the singers, Funky Duo, greeted my wife twice - plus we had wine and bottle of Champagne from our Travel Agent for her birthday - but the champagne was warm, so "Gede", assistant Manager, replaced with a cold one - it was a great last night dinner for all of us === Special mentions to other waiters - at Wasabi Bar - Gary (waiter) , Stephan (chef) - Deepa, at Savor and Moderno, not only did she recognized and greet me everytime, she was even able to pass on a message to my brother at the restaurant. She is of greet asset, very diplomatic, very nice, and a great dining hostess Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just got off The Getaway on the Sept 14th 9 day Btic cruise and wanted to give a quick review. I will attempt to add photos later. Going to review specific places and things rather than a day by day. EMBARKATION: We arrived at the ... Read More
Just got off The Getaway on the Sept 14th 9 day Btic cruise and wanted to give a quick review. I will attempt to add photos later. Going to review specific places and things rather than a day by day. EMBARKATION: We arrived at the port by taxi and it didn't take too long to get through security and check in. Probably all within 30 minutes and then we were on board. Cabins still were not ready when we got on board so we just walked around until we could get in. DEBARKING: We had a late flight and decided to do Copenhagen on our own. I really wanted to eat at a cafe at Nyhvn so we ended up taking an NCL shuttle to city center for $15 each, stored our bags at the train station and then went off. We stayed in our room until 9am and got the last bit of scraps from the buffet and got called off the ship around 10am. . RESTAURANTS: Tropicana - We dined here on the first evening and the last evening. First evening our service was slow in the beginning because we asked for a different table and I think the hostess forgot to let them know. My husband enjoyed his meal, mine was just okay. I had the beef medians and they were overcooked and the sauce was meh. The last evening was a total 180. My husband enjoyed his brisket and I loved the beef goulash. The meat was so tender. Wasabi - It wasn't very crowded. We just did a la carte here. They made me a vegetable roll with Mango and I had some edamame and some chicken meatball yakatori. All delicious. Worth going to if you want some sushi and are tired of the complementary places. O'Sheehans - had a nice breakfast here. We also had lunch and midnight snacks, both those meals were fine but nothing to write home about. Cagney’s - We had the dining plan which gave us 4 meals on this cruise. This was the first time we used it. There have been a lot of complaints about Cagneys going downhill. I didn't notice much of a difference, but I always get the filet mignon. My husband got a tuna steak and enjoyed it. Moderno - Been here just about every time we have sailed NCL. Love it. Everything was good. Savor - Decent, but didn't love. I had southern fried chicken and corn. Le Bistro - This was my favorite meal. I think I had a filet again and French Onion soup. Teppanyaki - Love this place too. Sometimes the chef you get can be boring, but ours was very entertaining and the food was delicious. Shanghai's - It was difficult to get in here but we finally did. It was good, but can't compare to dim sum in Chinatown in NYC. Garden Cafe - did breakfast, lunch and snacks here. Felt the same as it has been for years. And the food seems the same every day, for example, the same food but a different theme. One day you have a Swedish meatball and the next day it is Italian. But there is always something decent to eat there. LOUNGES: Syd Norman's Pour House - I loved this. While I used to enjoy the blues club, this is just so much more fun. I never saw the Heart to Heart band but went to many of the Syd shows. The singers and band were fantastic and I loved the music they played. I usually hang out at Headliners, but this was my new fave spot. Don't miss prom night. Headliners - Went here a few times. I always enjoy dueling pianos. First night I went had a great crowd, next time I went, not so much. Also saw a comedian here, I laughed out loud a few times, but his humor seemed more aimed at the Brits, which they loved based on the laughter. Bliss - Never seen it so dead. Probably because of the passenger demographic. Only night it was lively was when they had the glow party there. Atrium - since it is cold outside, they had many parties here. 70s night seemed to be the most popular. It can get crowded on both levels. Starbucks - I am glad they had this on board so that I could have my daily matcha lemonade fix. O'Sheehans - Didn't hang here as much as I have in the past. But it is a fun place to hang around. OTHER AREAS: Fitness Center - It was very well equipped. Had a hard time trying to figure out how to get some of the treadmills on mph, but eventually figured it out. I got the class pass and was on track to get more than my money's worth but ended up not being able to wake up in time on the last sea day. Oh well, I tried. I really enjoyed the spin classes. Thermal Spa - Had access because of our cabin, but I am now hooked. From now on, any ship that has a spa like this, I am getting a weekly pass. It was so relaxing, especially when it's too cool to enjoy the outdoor decks. Spice H2O - Didn't hang out here this time, but it was my fave spot on our last cruise. I was saddened to see they got rid of the covered waterfall area. It was nice to sit in the shade and cool off. Not sure how the new area will work out in warm weather with just a few chairs in the wading pool. EVENTS: We did the Escape Room thing in the Illusionarium. My husband got bored and left, but I had a blast and our team won. If you like to dress up for theme parties, they had a 70’s dance party, and 80’s dance party and as I mentioned before, prom night theme at Syd’s. And also the glow party. We played some trivia. I didn’t play any bingo this trip. I think much of my time was getting my monies worth in the thermal spa. PORTS: Copenhagen - We arrived a day early and stayed at The Square hotel which was very nice and close to everything. Just a couple of blocks from Tivoli and Central Station. We visited Tivoli (just walked around, didn’t buy the pass for the rides) and it is such a wonderful park. When we returned after the cruise, we had lunch in Nyhvn and then walked down that really long road with all of the fancy stores. I really loved Copenhagen. Everyone was friendly, it was easy to communicate and just a beautiful city. Warnemünde/Rostock - We didn’t want to travel all the way to Berlin, so decided to just stay close to the ship. I wish I had done some sort of tour in the area. We had difficulties getting a train to Rostock ( would not take credit cards, thankfully a nice couple told us about an app we could get tic with) and it was a bit frustrating for a lot of people. When we got to Rostock, we had lunch (good food, horrible service), and then walked around. Everything was closed except for restaurants. It was Sunday. So it was a bit of a bust. Tallinn, Estonia - Such a charming city and very easy to get around from the ship on foot. We had a nice lunch at a restaurant called Progu, that was recommended by a friend of a friend, (Hi ML if you are reading :) ) . It was very good and great atmosphere. St. Petersburg, Russia - We did tours through NCL both days. First day we did The Hermitage with Gold Room tour. Such a gorgeous museum. The gold room part got boring after a while. If you take a tour with it, you have to have a special curator take you around and they don’t speak english, so your tour guide translates. You are in there for about an hour. There are definitely some interesting pieces in there, but could have done it in a shorter period. The following day we did a canal tour and Spilled Blood Cathedral. This was a great tour and we had such an informative guide. Both days we stopped at the same tourist trap souvenir shop, which is right by the Hermitage square. It was great to get to see the square both days. Helsinki - We did a Discover Helsinki tour. I don’t remember much from this tour. I slept through most of the bus part. We got out to see the Sebelius monument, Rock Church and had time to walk around a market area. As many before me have said, Helsinki is kind of underwhelming after the two previous stops. Stockholm - Another beautiful city. We did an NCL tour that took us to the Vasa museum and the old town area. Our tour guide was charming and very knowledgeable, but spent way too much time in the museum talking about every single detail of the ship when we just wanted to walk around, so we did sneak off on our own. He did give us a decent amount of time to wander around the old town. Areas like that are what I love so much about Europe. I just wish we had time to visit the ABBA museum. WEATHER: We got really lucky. Although it could be cool at times, in the 50’s, it only rained once while in Germany and it was just a light drizzle. Buying two travel umbrellas was a good investment to chase the rain away. Our last day at sea was sunny and in the higher end of the 60’s and people were finally out using the decks and Waterway. IF you do a Baltic itinerary outside of midsummer, I have a feeling the Vibe Beach Club won’t be an option. I never saw it in use. FINAL THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS: This was our second time on The Getaway. I enjoyed this cruise more than the first due to the itinerary. The staff all around was friendly and helpful. This was probably the oldest crowd I have seen on an NCL cruise, not elderly (although there were many), but late 40’s - 70’s. There was a large group of French Canadians and then there seemed to be a large majority from all over Europe and Americans mixed in from various states. The ship to me only felt really crowded on the first day. There were a few other times, but always manageable. This crowd seemed more on the formal side than I am used to on NCL. Most of the woman changed into dresses in the evenings and men put on jackets. I did not bring one dress so I felt very under-dressed compared to everyone else. This was an incredible cruise. I would definitely love to visit the ara again someday and would definitely not hesitate to sail again on the Getaway. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the chance to go to several Scandinavian/Baltic destinations we hadn't been to, including St Petersburg, Russia, at a great price. Twenty years ago we did an Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Cunard and concluded ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the chance to go to several Scandinavian/Baltic destinations we hadn't been to, including St Petersburg, Russia, at a great price. Twenty years ago we did an Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Cunard and concluded we weren't really cruisers as we enjoyed all inclusive Caribbean vacations better and liked spending more time at a destination. We decided to give cruising a second chance with this NCL Baltic cruise since the itinerary gave us a chance to visit several places in Scandinavian we really wanted to visit but weren't on my normal work or vacation European trip itineraries. We both loved it so much that at the end of the cruise we put down Cruise Next deposits to save on two future cruises with NCL. South America is our next destination planned! We really enjoyed the free/included specialty sit-down restaurants and the flexibility of NCL's Freestyle Dining approach. We liked them so much we never ate in the buffet (which looked quite a bit more busy/hectic.) The included main dining rooms (Savor, Taste and Tropicana Room) were great for dinner and offered lots of choices with many entrees, appetizers and desserts that changed each night (along with some standards like steak, etc. that were always available.) We also enjoyed O'Shanahan's pub and the Shanghai noodle/dumpling restaurant. Also the included continental room-service breakfast was a great way to start the morning each day. The destinations lived up and exceeded our expectations - - for St Petersburg - we did a third-party (Alla) tour two-day excursion for St Petersburg which was absolutely great and covered our need for a visa as a guided tour. The guide was excellent and the included dedicated van whisked us to many sights in a very well-thought out and efficient full itinerary over two days. - for Warnemünde - we walked into town and visited Warnemünde harbor town and beach and then bought a Mecklenburg state day rail pass and visited Schwerin and its castle and castle gardens. We didn't go to Berlin since it's about 3-hours each way and we had been there three times before. - for Tallinn - we just walked into the Old Town (upper and lower) using Rick Steves Baltic Cruise guidebook Tallinn walk to see the highlights - for Helsinki - I caught the city bus from just in front of our pier to the center and did the Rick Steves walk including the Church in the Rock which was really neat to see - for Stockholm - we caught the train in from Nynashamn and did the Rick Steves Gamla Stan walk including an extended visit to the Nobel Prize Musuem which was really cool to see. - for our two sea days - we took advantage of the the Thermal Spa and enjoyed sun and views from the deck chairs outside on the waterfront deck bar areas - in Copenhagen we stayed at the Ibsens Hotel which was very nice and rented bikes to tour around The main theater shows - Millon Dollar Quartet and Latin Dance Show were both great. I'd say at Broadway touring quality production values. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise went to the Baltic Sea in early September. It was my first cruise. Other cruise lines offer a similar itinerary. Great The ports: Tallin, St Petersburg, and Helsinki were great. I booked TJ Travel for Tallin (walking ... Read More
The cruise went to the Baltic Sea in early September. It was my first cruise. Other cruise lines offer a similar itinerary. Great The ports: Tallin, St Petersburg, and Helsinki were great. I booked TJ Travel for Tallin (walking tour), and St Petersburg (all highlights tour) and the NCL walking tour for Helsinki. The guides, the sights, the culture were all fabulous and I intend to return to these places. The dance classes on the ship were a lot of fun and well attended. I would have enjoyed even more classes. The entertainment on the ship: folk dance show in Russia, Million Dollar Quartet, Violinist in Copenhagen, Cirque Dreams and Burn the Floor were very good to fantastic. The spa had heated lounge chairs, 2 types of saunas, hot tubs, a salt room and a steam room. It was heaven lying on a heated lounge chair at the top of the ship in the front looking at the ocean. Good The exercise classes and gym were good. The port in Germany was good (Schwerin Castle NCL tour) but the guide for the excursion was overwhelmed by simple tasks such as making sure all guests were with the tour. Below average The ship food was the worst food I’ve had on a recent vacation. I don’t necessarily eat in fancy or highly reputed places but the food on recent land trips to Chile, Argentina, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Spain and Morocco was better. I ate in 4 specialty restaurants on the ship, most of the included restaurants and the buffet. Poor The service from the restaurant staff, guest services and the solo director was poor. The restaurant staff struggled with civility, bringing correct food orders and timely service. Guest services did not help when there was a problem and was hostile. The solo director had no sense about how to organize a program. I do intend to cruise again but would only choose NCL for a rock bottom price, great itinerary and with low expectations of food and service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Over the past 12 years we have cruised with NCL 13 different cruises. We had always wanted to visit some of the Baltic countries, especially Russia. This particular cruise covered most of our wish list. Two / three months after we booked ... Read More
Over the past 12 years we have cruised with NCL 13 different cruises. We had always wanted to visit some of the Baltic countries, especially Russia. This particular cruise covered most of our wish list. Two / three months after we booked this cruise and made our airline reservations, we were sent an email stating that do to a port scheduling conflict we would not be making the port stop in Stockholm, Sweden but would stop at a small port on the western coast of Sweden called Gothenburg...there's virtually nothing their to do or see. But since we had made our airline reservations we were stuck with this cruise. Since the ship was going to be in St. Petersburg, Russia for 2 full days, we decided to take a "Private non-NCL tour to Moscow. The tour company we used did a great job. In their communications to us they warned us about NCL may not allow us to disembark the ship just as soon as it has been cleared by the Russian officials. However, we could leave the ship once the passengers going on NCL bought tours had disembarked. Our flight out of St. Petersburg going to Moscow was to leave at 09:40AM. The first thing I did when I boarded the ship for departure was to go to the Customer Service Desk, stood in line for 45 minutes and finally spoke to a very non-helpful individual. He said " go stand in the other line to get a number assigned for disembarking AFTER NCL TOUR PEOPLE were off the ship. I told his this would not work and I wanted to speak whith his manager. He disappeared for 15 minutes and finally returned with his manager. I explained the situation to the manager and he said he would handle it and would leave me a voicemail on my cabin phone. I waited till the next day and NO VOICEMAIL message. So, I went back down to customer service desk stood in line again, spoke to a different desk person...same answer "NO CAN DO"...asked to speak to the manager again. A different person came out...explained the situation again...he said he would send me a voicemail with instructions...next day...no message. The late afternoon prior to arrival in St. Petersburg I finally spoke to a person who said he would take care of it and again ...send me a voicemail. Lo and behold 1 hour later I received the voicemail with these instruction. Please go to the Port side door of the Getaway Theater arounf 7 - 7:15AM. Show the gentlemen my tour ticket to Moscow and they would let disembark as soon as the ship cleared. That morning, we went to the port side door of Getaway Theater showed personnel our tour ticket and they said we needed to go to the service desk. We went to the desk and had a manager escort back to the theater. We were then able to leave the ship, clear port security and finally meet with our tour guide for Moscow. We made it on the plane with 15 minutes to spare. Enough of my of that. How about a general over all. If the Getaway was cruising in a warm climate many of the guests would be outside by the pool, walking / jogging waterslides, basketball and all the other outdoor activities. BUT with cool windy weather all 4,000 passengers and 1,600 crew were inside. That said, it was the most over crowed uncomfortable ship I've ever been on. In retrospect, the customer service group did a very poor job. Be cause of that I currently have a cruise booked with NCL in May 2020, that I will more than likely cancel. It may be time to look at other cruise lines. I refuse to sign out without saying something positive...To get away from the massive crowds we chose to pay the price and eat at Cagney's....The food there is wonderful each and every night. My wife wanted to adopt our waiter Ronald he was such a pleasure and also Cagney's hostess Maricel, see took care of us with timely reservations and great ocean views from our table. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Never been on a cruise before (myself and wife) and I would NOT enjoy any type of formal dressing up; so, chose this for a beginner. The embark and disembark went well and if you are fearful of sea sickness...the ship is too big to be ... Read More
Never been on a cruise before (myself and wife) and I would NOT enjoy any type of formal dressing up; so, chose this for a beginner. The embark and disembark went well and if you are fearful of sea sickness...the ship is too big to be rocked by a few waves. The GOOD - Large ship with a few entertainment options. Initially I thought it was massive, quickly realized that it was just right. - Cabin was comfy (balcony), the room was made up every day (twice) and all was good. - Food was acceptable, although the chefs from the various restaurants (even the a La Carte) has a VERY similar menu with minor variations. The BAD - Shore Excursions. Book your excursions with OTHER companies as the Prices NCL charge are equal to Robbery! However, be warned, if for whatever reason the ship does not make it to any port (due to weather etc...) you have lost your money. The UGLY 1. The information disseminated was poor; as the ship did not make it to Gothenburg; instead made it back to initial port (Copenhagen). NCL put on free transport to the city centre HOWEVER announced NOTHING. 2. As I was not pleased, I went to Customer Services (CS) queued for 20 min and asked for a gesture of good will from the ship (like additional credit etc..) the response someone will be in touch... I am still waiting... 3. I had credit due so I went to Customer Services (queued for 20 min) and asked if it was possible to get the dollars due put back into the account; the response certainly sir. So, I went away. The next day message on the cabin phone to report to Customer Services; again (queued for 20 min) went to CS discussed the refund and was given the same response that it will be paid to my account. The following day cruise over went to leave got pulled to the side and was given a wad of cash... I explained to no avail... Final Assessment To me it appears that when staff do not have an answer to either a complaint or an issue the resort to saying that someone will be in touch... do notice that when they resort to this they immediately avoid eye contact... I am not alone in this assessment; I believe that NCL staff are trained to deal with things in this way as you have no way of getting anywhere. I noticed this more than once with others on the cruise as well. I won't say that I will NEVER cruise with NCL again however be VERY wary as they have your money and they REALLY DO NOT CARE!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We cruise at least once a year and had been with NCL before, albeit a smaller ship last time. Embarking was fine, although we had to wait at the airport for sometime before the transport arrived. Having been with NCL and having bronze ... Read More
We cruise at least once a year and had been with NCL before, albeit a smaller ship last time. Embarking was fine, although we had to wait at the airport for sometime before the transport arrived. Having been with NCL and having bronze rewards we were supposed to have priority boarding, this didn't happen, not that we were that bothered about that. Our stateroom was lovely and kept very clean by our steward. We had a balcony and I would do that again. We opted for the all inclusive drinks package and gratuities were included so this was a fairly expensive cruise. Unfortunately there appears to be a hard sell all the time with NCL, which can be annoying. The included restaurants were good but the food in the buffet restaurant was always tepid, probably because of the number of people. There was always something going on quizzes etc, so plenty to do but it was disappointing that the casino area stank of smoke and you very often had to walk through that area. The excursions were fine but quite expensive, especially in St Petersburg. We were not able to get into Gothenburg because of the weather and I fully support that decision as safety comes first. However, the captain managed to get clearance for the ship to go to Copenhagen earlier so that guests could visit the city if they wished to. Fantastic we thought. Unfortunately when we got there it was utter chaos, no shuttles people wandering around phoning for taxis and not knowing quite what to do. There was a local bus stop and ticket machine which we managed to figure out how to use and then we all queued for the bus. We did manage to eventually get into the city and walk to the little mermaid. We then went to get the bus back only to find the last bus finished at 7pm. This wasn't NCLs fault but I was very disappointed that there was a total lack of information for people and we were left to figure it out for ourselves. I would have thought when they knew we were going to go to the port early then a few phone calls could have been made to organise shuttles. We wouldn't have minded paying for this. Having been with another cruise line (Viking) and a similar thing happened where we were not able to get to the place we were supposed to, they organised coaches to take us there and compensated us with credit towards another cruise with them, which we didn't expect as we still got to do the excursion and our lunch was provided in a hotel as we were away from the boat all day. NCL did refund our excursions cost but this was paid in dollars not back on the credit card, which means you lose some of it when getting it changed to your currency. NCL offered nothing in the way of compensation for missing one of the ports, which as there wasn't many made a big impact on the cruise. If we had been offered something towards another cruise we probably would go with them again, but it seems they are not interested in doing that unlike Viking, despite the latitudes reward scheme. Summing up, I think I wouldn't go for such a large ship as there were no quiet areas, unlike their other ship the Jewel that we went on before, also the hard sell was more evident this time. The floor on which the casino was situated smelt of smoke all the time. The positives were that there was always good entertainment and the staff were lovely. The stateroom was really good and spacious. There were lots of restaurants to choose from but I was surprised how many were dedicated to the 'additional cost' category. I would chose another cruise line over NCL just because of their lack of after sales customer relationship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my second NCL cruise. The first one out of Miami was exceptional. This one was just a little off, below the standard set by the Escape. Overall it wasn't bad but there was one thing that really affected me: nobody answered ... Read More
This was my second NCL cruise. The first one out of Miami was exceptional. This one was just a little off, below the standard set by the Escape. Overall it wasn't bad but there was one thing that really affected me: nobody answered the phone when we had a problem with our stateroom. Our stateroom steward forgot to leave us towels on the second day. I tried calling housekeeping. Went to voice mail. Tried calling the operator. Went to voice mail. Walked the entire deck. No stewards. Went to guest services. Really long line. Eventually walked to the spa to get towels. The rest of the cruise I had the feeling that there would be no-one to take care of me should I have a problem. Overall it wasn't as nice as my experience with the Escape. Having said that the ship was clean, and Elliam was exceptional in taking care of us at Taste restaurant. It was a pure joy getting on and off the ship so quickly, as that has not been my experience with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I don't know if NCL has a staff that actually read these review but if they do, I have some suggestions that may or may not be supported by other passengers. Everyone's experience is different on a ship and everyone has different ... Read More
I don't know if NCL has a staff that actually read these review but if they do, I have some suggestions that may or may not be supported by other passengers. Everyone's experience is different on a ship and everyone has different tastes and interests so read reviews objectively. The Good: Embarkation and disembarkation. 15 minutes to first embark and 10 minutes to disembark and find luggage. The best I've experienced in 9 cruises. Movement and flow on the ship. Never felt crowded No up-selling for spa packages except on paper. I will address the paper issue later. Clearly marked signs even though everyone gets lost. Buffet set up is linear and that is good for flow. Most ships have a chaotic set up, people darting all over the place. This one was consistent and you knew where to go for all items. Food in buffet good to very good. Beverage service a little slow. Specialty dining excellent. Entertainment great and a variety of venues. Reservations confused some into thinking there was a charge. Ample washroom facilities. Customer service guest services very good. Cabin (inside) ample room and efficient storage. Light in the closet would be awesome. House wines offered were good. Lots of space and chairs on deck. (Don't know if this is true in the hotter destinations) I like the reservations for the entertainment. Saves you from rushing from dinner to line up for shows. I like the NCL phone App. I like the smaller included restaurants Taste and Savor, as it gives people who do not have a dining package the feeling of specialty dining even though the menus are the same. I like the touch screens around the ship for reservations. I never felt pressured to get my photos taken. Does anyone like the photography on board? The not so good Atrium is noisy and has little seating. Chaos from guest service line ups interfere with activities in the Atrium. Shopping-pathetic, and I can shop anywhere. The art auction and art. Who buys this stuff? Television- A Canadian channel would be nice. Lots of us cruise the Caribbean well as the Baltics. Temperature of food was inconsistent. Cold steaks and fries are never good. Invisible Captain- never saw him once. Okay,saw his picture. OMG! The Muster station drill.I wanted to jump off the ship. Took over 90 minutes, and one crew sent us to the opposite end of the ship. Good thing it was not sinking. Celebrity does it best. A lot of wasted space. Why not put activities in the Headliner room or Illusionarium as well as Atrium? I'll get to that in suggestions section. Wasted paper for advertising every night on your bed. To dress code or not to dress code? That is the question. People don't make an effort anymore and the dress code sign just annoys the people who have made an effort. Why I dressed up to eat next to flip flop muscle shirt guy, I'll never know. And how did he get the better table? The Suggestions for Norwegian Captain should make an effort to be more visible. Not just at parties for the higher level passengers. Better planned emergency days at sea. Open up more areas so that the Atrium is not purgatory at sea for both crew and passengers. Complimentary sparkling wine that I can't fit in the mini fridge makes no sense. As a returning passenger just let me choose between a bottle of red/white/rosé or beer. Make sure that all included restaurants have the same quality and are managed the same. Savor is managed much better than Taste or the staff is better trained. Food is cold in Taste, warm to hot in Savor. In the Buffet, Celebrity has a card system that shows the wait staff if a passenger has been served or not. There is a slot where the napkins and condiments are kept. Green means I need service, Red means I don't. The days events should be on the television in cabin and not just around the ship. That way I don't need the paper in my room. Why does the photo gallery print all the pictures? Why can't I just view them in my cabin and them decide what I want to purchase? All those printed pictures that people do not buy, where do they go? We have digital cameras now. Also, anyone can steal the photos from another binder and who gets charged? Get rid of photo studio and put more seating are better shopping in. Cruise ships should do more charity promotion. Make some the proceeds from my bingo card go to ocean protection or a charity that everyone would be fine with. I would probably play. Let me know that 1% of the overly priced Internet package was going to a charity in the various ports of call. I would be okay with that. Okay, the OMG Muster station drill. Most of the muster stations have televisions or screens. Celebrity shows the videos simultaneously on the various screens in the muster station with subtitles in three different languages. No televisions? Okay then go old school and say it in three languages. One Princess ship actually took us to our spot on deck so we could see our lifeboats and did the talk over the speaker in three languages.They lined us up as if we were going to board the lifeboats. This made it seem much more real. It started 10 minutes late. Does that make sense. Will a sinking ship wait ten minutes for people? If you're late, you get go to another presentation at an inconvenient time or fine the room. This is a safety issue. Be more helpful to people who have lost their luggage. This has happened to me in the past. The poor people from a flight from Chicago lost their luggage due to a baggage handler strike in Copenhagen. I don't think they ever saw their luggage until the return to Copenhagen. Norwegian offered nothing. Princess offered us a credit for the clothing shop and a tuxedo rental for the week for my husband, and a toiletries bag. On emergency sea days, up the staff to help with issues by opening up other areas of the ship. Put another guest services in the theatre or Bliss lounge. I hope this was helpful rather than just me ranting awake at 3 am because I am still on Baltic time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise mostly because we wanted to go and have a taste o Russia without having to get a visa. This itinerary was perfect for it and I'm glad we did it. We were traveling with another couple, and we had a great time. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise mostly because we wanted to go and have a taste o Russia without having to get a visa. This itinerary was perfect for it and I'm glad we did it. We were traveling with another couple, and we had a great time. The ship was very nice and clean with lots of different restaurants and entertainment. The food was delicious and fresh too. I was glad to see so many elevatos they have making it easy to move around such a big boat. They were so organized with the embarkation and disembarkation it went fast with no troubles at all. Some excurtions could be a bit more organized, like better microphones on the busses so we could understand the tour guide a bit better, also offering earpieces in all of them would be great too because it is hard to hear everything the guide was saying. Standardizing the tours would be excellent! I'm glad the tours in Russia were the best ones. The shows on the boat were excellent, top performers. I had no idea they were going to be so good! Our cabin was nice not luxurious but with everything we needed to be very comfortable. Everything in the cabin was in perfect working condition. The housekeeping crew was top top notch. they were always smiling and so helpful making me feel welcomed. The rest of the service on the boat I would say it was more average. I would not recommend this itinerary for small children. I know they only had a few in the boat. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Baltic countries have always been an area of the world that my husband and I have wanted to see. Norwegian Cruise Lines is the expert in this region. They have a great itinerary and they do it affordably. We traveled as a party ... Read More
The Baltic countries have always been an area of the world that my husband and I have wanted to see. Norwegian Cruise Lines is the expert in this region. They have a great itinerary and they do it affordably. We traveled as a party of 2. We took the plunge and booked the 9 day Baltic cruise on NCL. We left the US on September 4th and arrived in Copenhagen on September 5th for Day 1 of the adventure. We took the NCL transfers to the ship. The transfer buses are easy to find right outside of Terminal 2 in the Copenhagen airport. The cost was $25 per person and we were able to book the transfers on the NCL website prior to our trip. There was a representative inside the airport Terminal 2 near the exit doors to guide us to the transfer area. Our luggage was taken and tagged. Be sure to print your invoice to prove you have paid for the transfers. They have a list of the people that have registered but it is always good in case of an error. We had printed our luggage tags at home. They attached the tags so that our luggage will find its way to our cabin once on board. The bus ride is pleasant and takes about 40 minutes to get to the port. Enjoy the ride through the middle of Copenhagen, a beautiful city. The registration and boarding process is easy and pretty quick. You are given a number for boarding and when your number is called, you can proceed to the ship. I think it was a little after noon when we were cleared for boarding. After boarding, we checked out the ship for lunch. There were several areas available for food and the food on board was very good throughout our cruise. Husband and I explored after lunch since we were not cleared to go to our cabins. We found the Spa area and Fitness Center on Deck 15 and it is first class! They have an area that is restricted called the Thermal Spa. There is an upcharge for access to this area. Only 120 people are allowed to sign up. The Thermal Spa has hot tubs, a large thermal pool with warm water and many strong jets for muscle relaxation. There are small quiet rooms for Sauna, Salt Room, Sanarium, and Steam Room and lots of lounge chairs facing the front of the ship with stunning views. The Thermal Spa is a sanctuary if you need a quiet spot to drop in or spend the day. The fitness center is free for all on board and is open from 8 am til 10 pm. The Getaway is lovely and huge! We had an aft facing balcony cabin on Deck 9. The cabin is typical of other cabins except for the very large balcony. The balcony length is much bigger that other balconies. There are 2 chairs, 2 lounge chairs and a small table with room to spare. There is an overhang on about half of the area so that you can sit out on the balcony rain or shine. The views are amazing from the rear of the ship! The itinerary is special. We went to Berlin on Day 2 of the voyage. Berlin is quite a long way from the port (about 3 hour bus ride) and should not be missed ! All the history of World War II is preserved in this modern city. Day 3 is a Sea Day and you will need it after the long day of touring in Berlin. Day 4 is Tallinn in Estonia. Most of the countries you visit on this cruise were behind the Iron Curtain as part of the Communist Soviet Union just a few years ago. Tallinn is a city in a city. They are proud of their heritage and have preserved the historical medieval city as the modern city grows around it. We are so lucky to see these amazing places at this time in history. Day 5 is the day we waited for, the arrival in St. Petersburg, Russia! Immigration is a lengthy process in this country. Everyone from the United States that plans on leaving the ship must have a visa. If you book a tour with NCL or any other private tour company registered or licensed as tour guides in Russia, they will provide your Visa free of charge. There is no need for you to purchase a Visa prior to your trip. Some people like to book through NCL but private companies can provide this Visa service also. The day before arrival in St. Petersburg, you need to make a stop at customer service to get a number for your departure to go through immigration. We were given number 2 based on the time of our tour. When the number was called that morning, we headed off the ship with our tickets, our passports, and our ship key card. There is a short line that takes a little time but it is what it is. Immigration is a necessary process to be able to see the amazing sights ahead! We met up with our tour guide and off we went. We were in Russia! Imagine that! The first day in St. Petersburg was packed with sites outside the city. The Hermitage Museum is closed on Monday and that was the day we arrived . Our guide planned well and took us to 9 hours of wonderful parks, palaces and cathedrals built during the era of the Tzars. Day 6 of the cruise was Day 2 in St. Petersburg and it was another day of 9 hours of sights inside the city. The Hermitage was a highlight. We also had a boat ride on the Neva River and a ride on the subway in St. Petersburg. We were taken inside the Church of Spilled Blood and the Usophov Palace where Rasputin was murdered. We still can't believe we saw everything in 2 days but it was a thrill! Day 7 we arrived in Helsinki. Finland. This city has lovely people....all so friendly! We toured the city and a living museum on an island just outside the city. The guide even took us to their library and let us see how proud they are of their advanced technology and modern design. Day 7 was another Sea Day.....ahhhhh relaxing on the ship! We spent a large part of the day in the Thermal Spa. Day 8 - Most of the NCL cruises in the Baltic stop in Stockholm, Sweden but our itinerary was a stop in Gothenburg, Sweden. The winds were strong that day and the port is narrow. The Captain had to decide to keep the ship safe and we had another relaxing day on the ship as the ship turned away from Gothenburg. The entertainment on the ship is really good. You are able to reserve some of the shows ahead of the cruise on the NCL website and I highly recommend it. We loved the high energy show, Burn the Floor. There is no charge for this show and reservations are required. The Million Dollar Quartet is a Broadway feature onboard the Getaway. The young men in the show were great. This show is about 2 hours long. There is no charge for this show but reservations are required. We also saw Cirque de Soliel Steam. It is a dinner show in a small venue. It is very entertaining if you like Cirque shows and the meal was very good too. There is an upcharge for this entertaining show. You can sit in a "floor" seat or a "Banquette" seating. The floor seating charge was less. We chose the floor seating and we were glad once we saw the position of the Banquette seating. All seats are good for visibility of the show. There is entertainment on the Getaway in every corner of the ship. The bars are hopping. The Tropicana Dining Room has a great duo that plays each night during dinner service and there were a lot of people dancing. There is hard rock in the Syd Norman Pour Bar, and too many others to name. There is truly something for everyone! We cruised in early September. The weather was chilly for pools and swimming activities but if you cruise during the summer this ship has a very exciting area for water activities on the upper deck. There are pools for adults and little kids and hot tubs. There is a Rock Wall, 2 huge waterslides, a Rope Course, Basketball course, golf simulators, and a very nice Arcade on the ship. There is also a large casino near the Atrium. The dining options on the Getaway were bountiful. We enjoyed the Tropicana Dining Room, Savor Dining Room, Taste Dining Room, the Garden Cafe Buffet, and the Singapore Noodle Bar as complimentary options. All were open til 9 pm except the Garden Cafe Buffet which is open all the time. The O'Sheehan's Irish Pub is also a complimentary dining option that is open 24 hours each day but we did not try it. We really needed more time to see and try it all! We also enjoyed the Cagney Steakhouse and La Cucina Italian Restaurant as Specialty Dining. There is a charge for the meals in the Specialty restaurants. There are several other Specialty restaurants and we heard from others that they were all wonderful. You won't find better service on any ship that compares to the wonderful people that took care of us on the Getaway. Our room Steward, Noel, always greeted us by name and with a smile. He made us feel at home each time we returned from our long days of touring. We wished we could bring him home ! The great service extended to everyone we interacted with while on board. It was just outstanding. Our voyage on the Getaway will be remembered as one in a million! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the dates and previous experience with NCL. The entertainment was top-notch and we enjoyed the food. The Haven Lounge and Dining room were highlights. The food and atmosphere were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the dates and previous experience with NCL. The entertainment was top-notch and we enjoyed the food. The Haven Lounge and Dining room were highlights. The food and atmosphere were very enjoyable. The bartenders and servers were experienced, efficient and very proficient in preparing a wide variety of cocktails. I had one of the best steaks ever in the Haven restaurant.The priority service for embarkation, tours and entertainment met our expectations. The tour of Rostock was good; not too long and very interesting. The guide was a graduate student at the University of Rostock and provided interesting background. Tallinn provided sights from the 18th century and before as well as the contrast between the present and the Soviet era. We had some qualms about visiting St. Petersburg but we had no problems and found the city interesting and beautiful. Helsinki was interesting and picturesque. Very enjoyable. NOTE: if you stay in the Haven, you'll always want to stay in the Haven! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chosen for ports of call. Great destinations. However the ship is worn down. The food is substandard compared to competitors. Many of the workers did not now how to charge versus packages. We were overcharged many times and had to go to ... Read More
Chosen for ports of call. Great destinations. However the ship is worn down. The food is substandard compared to competitors. Many of the workers did not now how to charge versus packages. We were overcharged many times and had to go to guest services to get charges fixed. This was do to employed not knowing benefit package allowances. Smoking is still allowed in many areas mainly casino just behind the times. We would have spent a lot of money in the casino as we usually do but do to your out dated policies we did not spend a dime unfortunately for both of us. Activities and programs are ok but could easily be improved. We last did Celebrity and they have evolved compared to Norwegian. This cruise could have been much better with little effort. Evolution is part of buisness if you do not evolve you will be left behind. We are well employed and fairly young 40-50 years of age. People like us will either use your brand or go to your competitors. Look at your future Customers or not? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this Cruise because of the port destinations. I had never been on a cruise and this exceeded all of my expectations. All of the staff and crew that I encountered were very friendly and helpful my cabin Steward was excellent. The ... Read More
I chose this Cruise because of the port destinations. I had never been on a cruise and this exceeded all of my expectations. All of the staff and crew that I encountered were very friendly and helpful my cabin Steward was excellent. The food was great the entertainment was out of this world. There were a few things I thought could have been better explained... Like it showed we were going to be in Reykjavik Iceland for 3 days in reality we got there one night were there a whole day and left at 1 a.m. so we were really only there for one day. There we're 2 sea days coming & going to Iceland. Then it was usually pretty difficult getting from the port into the town and you're not told of that. But overall this was one of the best experiences of my life and at the end of the cruise I bought 4 gift cards to cruise again. So Bravo to the crew of the spirit. As you see I said great value for my money even though I went as a single person I had to pay double the cabin price but I still thought it was worth it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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