Not the vacation we planned or paid for
Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review to Transatlantic
We were scheduled to have 6 days at sea, then have a stop in the Azores. Upon approach to the port in the Azores, the captain announced that we could not dock due to high winds. That meant that we had 11 straight days at sea before our first port. Once we arrived in Brest, France people were lined up to get off the ship. They had us on deck 6 all line up, 4 abreast to get off. Slowly, we were herded, still 4 abreast down the stairs to deck 5 where the gangway was located. Once on deck 5, we stood crammed in for a long time and then we were told we had to go back upstairs. After much confusion, we finally found out that the tide was coming in and they could no longer use the deck 5 gangway and we were being herded, 4 abreast up the stairs to deck 7. They had borrowed a gangway from the port, which was not a cruise terminal, but a working dry dock with large cranes working overhead. They were only allowing 20 people at a time on the gangway, which was very steep and slippery, due to rain. This process for us to get off the ship took over 1 1/2 hours of standing, crammed like cattle. We were told that the reason it was taking so long is that not only could they only put 20 people at a time on the gangway, people were not allowed to stand on the dock due to the work going on there. They had to get the 20 people onto busses before letting others off. Once our shuttle bus dropped us back at the dock, we found a very long line and once again they were allowing 20 people at a time to board the ship. They were still using the steep, slippery, rickety gangway. Even though, we were not allowed to stand on the dock, we did stand there, in the rain for over an hour to get back on the ship. By the time we did get back on, the line was out of sight and people were standing there, in the rain for 2 hours or longer.
Upon leaving Brest, the captain announced that we had lost a propulsion unit and we would not be going to the port of Zubregee. Also, we would not arrive to Southampton until noon instead of 8AM. So, we added another day at sea.
Since we were not able to dock in the Azores, the UK immigration people were not able to come aboard the ship to do the immigration at sea as planned. This meant that we had to stay on board once we arrived in Southampton to go through immigration. We had a shore excursion booked in Southampton and met with our group at 12:45 to go through immigration. We sat in the meeting area for over an hour waiting to be called, once we got the call, we stood in line for another 1 1/2 hours to go through immigration. They only had 4 immigration officers for 4000 passengers. Some of us were grumbling about the length of the wait and one of the Cruise staff said "This is the first time this ship has been to Europe". I could not believe he said that, maybe this ship has not been but NCL certainly has been and this is their business! After we finally got through immigration, we started to head off the ship and noticed others coming back onboard with the same # stickers that we had. We asked ad they said our shore excursion had been cancelled because it was now too late to go. We went on outside and had to find someone in charge to ask and then were told that, yes indeed it was cancelled. We just walked into town and spent a few hours looking around.
Next port, Rotterdam, where we did arrive at 6PM, the day before we were scheduled, due to missing Brussels. Once we were able to get off the ship, around 7, we walked into town and looked around for a few minutes, before things closed at 8. The next day we did a shore excursion to Gouda. Our tour guide read from a pamphlet while he led our tour. It was Sunday and so, nothing was open in Gouda until after noon and we had to be back on the bus to go back to the ship at 11:45AM. Once we returned to the ship, we walked into town again, only to find out that nothing was open, no shops or restaurants due to a national soccer game in town. After another sea day, we were so glad to get to Copenhagen to be off this ship!
I will say that the food was good and the shows were good, but after talking to people that had sailed this ship before, they said the food was not as good as they had experienced in the past. No one was happy on this cruise! The ship is so large that it will not fit into some cruise terminals. When we got to Copenhagen, we had to dock way outside of town instead of the closer in port. This caused it to cost more to get a ride into town.
We also found the seating around the ship to be terribly uncomfortable, all the chairs required a pillow to go behind your back. The chairs on the deck looked comfortable, but were too deep to be able to sit all the way back for support and still keep your feet on the floor and I am a tall person. The seats in the theater had a bar, or rod across eat back of the seat that was very uncomfortable. The wifi was terrible and there was always a very long line to talk to one surly man about it. He had the attitude that he could care less if he helped you or not.
This was my first and LAST NCL cruise.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Don't do it!