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Sail Date: August 2017
My husband and I have cruised with NCL 7 times now, but the Getaway is our least favorite ship. The ship was too crowded and had too many kids running around especially by the pool and buffet dinning room. 2 major disappointments were ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised with NCL 7 times now, but the Getaway is our least favorite ship. The ship was too crowded and had too many kids running around especially by the pool and buffet dinning room. 2 major disappointments were 1) - The atrium is absolutely NOT the place to hold Games and Trivia activities. There is already traffic from people walking by, its where the customer service and Internet desk is located. People walking by would stop and crowd the area. It was impossible to get a seat and I found it odd that parents allowed their children to watch the adult game shows. This is why on other ships these activities are held in a lounge. 2) - This was the first time we witnessed passengers who were not booked on NCL excursions being treated as 2nd class citizens. The morning we arrived in St Petersburg, they announced on the loud speakers that the boat hadn’t been cleared, so they advised people to wait in the common areas or in their cabins for an announcement to disembark. My husband and I ignored the announcement and waited by the Theater with other NCL excursion passengers even though our tour was with Alla, an independent tour company. We observed NCL crew letting the NCL Excursion passengers walk out the ship, so my husband and I joined the crowd. The following day we heard a couple had missed a portion of their independent tour because NCL did not give the announcement to disembark until all their Excursion passengers had gone through security at around 8.30am. 3) - My advise to all passengers booked with independent tours – don’t wait in the common areas or cabin for an announcement, find out where the NCL excursion passengers are meeting and wait there.Also don't believe it when they announce the ship hasn't been cleared. 4) - Positives are food was great, Ocean view cabin was a good size with plenty of storage, staff was friendly and helpful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
First, the positives: the ship is new and in great shape. A lot of restaurants and activities. Great cabin showers. Efficient crowd wrangling, which is important with a ship of this size (about 4000 passengers). Interesting ports around ... Read More
First, the positives: the ship is new and in great shape. A lot of restaurants and activities. Great cabin showers. Efficient crowd wrangling, which is important with a ship of this size (about 4000 passengers). Interesting ports around the Baltic Sea. But... the negatives really outweighed the positives for me. I've been on about ten cruises, and this was by far the worst experience. The crowds were constant and got to be overwhelming. Virtually every activity and restaurant involved a big pack of people, and most things required reservations (and usually an extra fee - another annoyance). The base price of the cruise was relatively inexpensive, but once you're onboard the upselling is relentless. Being a summer cruise, there were a lot of kids of all ages, and they ran around (literally - thundering down hallways) unsupervised at all times. Had to use earplugs every night to sleep. Staff seemed somewhat exhausted, understandably, and conveyed forced politeness/tolerance in response to the generally poor behavior of the passengers. Unless you LOVE being around rowdy people all the time, go somewhere else! I've always had great cruises on other lines, on other ships about half the size. Won't go with Norwegian or a mega-ship again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I have travelled with NCL and other cruise lines around 20 times and always recommended NCL as my favourite, but not anymore. The ship itself is a nice ship and the staff on board were generally excellent. Food in the main and speciality ... Read More
I have travelled with NCL and other cruise lines around 20 times and always recommended NCL as my favourite, but not anymore. The ship itself is a nice ship and the staff on board were generally excellent. Food in the main and speciality restaurants was good and there is plenty of entertainment. Why then would I be so disappointed in my cruise because I was one of the 'Forgotten passengers of Warnemunde'. The Baltic cruise picks passengers up (if it can dock) in 2 locations, Copenhagen and Warnemunde. The majority of passengers embark in Copenhagen and the cruise is pretty much geared to this group. On embarkation day, we got to Warnemunde and there was no ship. We had already been travelling for a long time and were disappointed to hear it could not dock because of high winds. The only area where we could rest was the marquee used for embarkation and we were given some hard chairs to sit on. There were no refreshments, no snacks or food and more importantly no representatives from NCL. The port staff did go and buy a few bottles of water but we sat there for around 6 hours. Eventually, we were told we had to go to a hotel as the ship could not dock, they had taken our cases and we were not allowed to retrieve them (we didn't get them back until 10pm). We were put in a nice hotel for the night but it was very expensive 7 euros for a bottle of water. The following day the ship had arrived but because of delays people had missed their trips to Berlin and we had to miss the next port Tallinn, which was really disappointing. Also when we booked the cruise we were supposed to be going to Stockholm via the archipelago but apparently the berths had been double booked so we ended up in Nynashamn, which again was disappointing (not much to see in Nynashamn and about 2 shuttle buses). The communication throughout was terrible, nobody from the ship told us were weren't going to Tallinn, we found out from other passengers. Everything was geared up for the Copenhagen passengers eg on the last night of OUR cruise, the cruise news said it was Day 1 and everything was geared up to welcome people aboard. There were many other instances of this type of thing but this would be a very long review if I went into all of them. I wrote to NCL highlighting my concerns and they didn't even address the customer service issues just talked about port changes sometimes being out of their control, just saying sorry for their lack of customer service would have gone a long way. I am really disappointed at my recent experience and have decided to cancel the cruise I have booked with NCL next year. It makes me very sad as I have had some wonderful experiences with NCL but will not be using them again. To end on a positive note, St Petersburg is stunning and well worth a visit. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This cruise was unique in that you can embark either in Copenhagen or Warnemuende, Germany (about 2.5 hours from Berlin). Because I was going to spend time in Germany afterwards it seemed to make sense to embark from Germany. I don't ... Read More
This cruise was unique in that you can embark either in Copenhagen or Warnemuende, Germany (about 2.5 hours from Berlin). Because I was going to spend time in Germany afterwards it seemed to make sense to embark from Germany. I don't recommend this option at all and it made my cruise disjointed, strange, and a second class experience. I would estimate about 10% of the passengers embarked at Warnemuende, based on what I overheard from the crew and our roll call. Of course embarkation was quick with zero waiting. The port was easy to find - the local train takes you right there, although there's really no clear signage at the train station telling you which way to go (to the right, and through the tunnel :-) ). Luggage delivery was super fast. Disembarkation was also easy with none of the massive herds to deal with, the deactivated elevators, etc. But I'd say the advantages ended there. The entire cruise was set up for the Copenhagen group. 100%. All materials are geared towards that group. When I got to my cabin, I had stacks of paperwork from Day 1 that had already occurred. But my Day 1 is their Day 2. All the "Welcome Aboard" activities have already commenced. I traveled as a solo passenger, paying a premium for the privilege. When I attended the "first" solo traveler get-together only 2 others showed. I figured the rest of the cabins must be empty because I didn't see the large group I did on the Epic. Many days later I went into the solo cabin lounge to find a large group of people! One person said "who are you?" And I said the same back to her! All in fun of course but for days I had not really seen anyone until then. I didn't bond with these folks and was really just an add-on. All the busy and long port days (which were great!) took away from the opportunity to connect with folks. This disjointed customer experience created oddities and variation throughout the cruise experience. Talking to another group who embarked in Warnemuende I found that we each received different documents regarding how the Copenhagen day would work specifically for us. Clearly this second class experience wasn't intentional per se, We also found that the cruise ship marketing was also not geared towards us. On the last day of our cruise we got all the "Day 1" marketing. My friends commented that the offers like the Internet package they wish they knew about so they could have enrolled in it! All those offers were not made to us until the last day! So NCL needs to fix this for the passengers and for their shareholders. Also, our muster drill was very much truncated. Instead of meeting in our muster stations we all met in the theater. The content was much less than what we should have received (and what the Copenhagen passengers received). On my last day I'm overhearing the Copenhagen brief learning things I didn't know from my safety brief. This is a safety gap that needs to be closed! Attending the Welcome Aboard show on my last night (their first night) that highlighted all the cool entertainment I *could* have seen was strange and was just disappointing and sad. Going on the all-day Copenhagen excursion (that wasn't available online, I had to sign up on the ship) was good but then embarking while the muster drill was going was weird. My friend's son was forced to attend it again by mistake by the crew despite protest from his parents. Meanwhile it was awkward for me, I was in the Atrium waiting for their drill to end to talk to Guest Services, and because I was on my phone catching up on email and not listening some passenger, she was glaring at me. I'm like, Lady, this isn't even my muster station! No passengers seemed to be aware at all that people were embarking from Warnemuende, and many didn't know that was an option. Again, we were second class citizens on the ship. My steward didn't seem to understand my situation. I got double documents or no documents. I didn't get a towel animal on my last day. It was just...weird...all throughout. Not the consistent customer experience I've come to expect as a 8 time cruiser. So until NCL addresses this situation I definitely wouldn't recommend embarking like this. Just take a train from Berlin to Copenhagen. The trains run efficiently and predictably. Flix Bus is another option, or even renting a car. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Very relaxing spa vacation on the Baltic Sea. I booked a spa mini suite and loved having access to the Thermal Spa. We also were able to get two massages while on board. Would have given five stars for just the spa experience, but ... Read More
Very relaxing spa vacation on the Baltic Sea. I booked a spa mini suite and loved having access to the Thermal Spa. We also were able to get two massages while on board. Would have given five stars for just the spa experience, but the overall rating only gets four stars. My niece and I both felt the food was not as great as our Alaska Cruise a few years ago in the main dining areas. Disappointed in the hours for Margaretville, but the food was awesome. Loved the French Restaurant and our Bar tender at the Ice Bar. The Brazilin restaurant was another favorite and loved their breakfast buffet in the mornings. Only entrainment we did was the Cirque show with dinner and it was fabulous. I did read some reviews before the trip and was a little worried about embarkation, but overall the leaving the ship was a breeze. We loved Tallin and Porvoo, Finland. Russia was a bit crowded with other cruise ships in town, but very beautiful. Looking forward to our next cruise in Alaska. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Baltic Sea Cruise). Plus, we have cruised Carnival pretty much exclusively for the last 10 - 12 years, so we were ready for a change. And we are glad we did change! For all of the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Baltic Sea Cruise). Plus, we have cruised Carnival pretty much exclusively for the last 10 - 12 years, so we were ready for a change. And we are glad we did change! For all of the cruises we have taken, this one was, hands down, the best cruise we have ever been on. Not only was the itinerary excellent (especially St Petersburg Russia) but the ship was fantastic! Food was excellent including the four specialty restaurants we visited, entertainment was great, staff was great. My wife and I both agree that we are switching our cruise allegiance to Norwegian! I've already booked our next cruise with them (12 day British Isles cruise next year). And as an extra bonus, we took advantage of the purchase of future deposits (which we have already used to book the British Isles cruise) and received $500 shipboard credit! Hard to beat that deal! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
NCL is sloppy, low class and thieving. Keep ALL receipts! They added on erroneous charges to my card after I signed off and disembarked this nightmare of a ship, specifically NCL Star. My cabin had to be changed because of the blood on the ... Read More
NCL is sloppy, low class and thieving. Keep ALL receipts! They added on erroneous charges to my card after I signed off and disembarked this nightmare of a ship, specifically NCL Star. My cabin had to be changed because of the blood on the balcony. To a cabin that flooded the first night there. The food was terrible (servers, good). All the "free" amenities are NOT free, so read all the provisions carefully. When I began litigation, an NCL employee actually told me on the phone that "you didn't read the fine print". Can you imagine! Totally profit driven. I've been on 12 ships in my life, but never a disappointing one until the NCL Star.. No outside music, just folks hanging around with not much to do while at sea. My cruise was in July to the Baltics. No mid-night buffet, well, on this ship, thank God. The ship got stuck for a few hours in Stockholm, ok, unavoidably I missed my flight. I slept 2 nights in the Handicapped Lounge in the airport until the next flight my son could arrange for me. No food, coffee, hotel, nothing. LOOK for an alternative to NCL. Read reviews!!! Read Less
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