Disappointing because it could have been so much better

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Review to Transatlantic

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 18

Overall rating:

3.4 out of 5
Norwegian Getaway

19 Night Transatlantic Westbound (Copenhagen To New Orleans)

Sail date: October 20, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Getaway

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 9190

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

This trip had a fabulous itinerary. There were a number of complications out of anyone's control (weather, cancelled port). We had some good times and excellent entertainment (Million Dollar Quartet, Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams) but there were many hiccups that seem to be caused by NCL. They appeared understaffed, there was a constant up sale mentality that gets tiresome, and they are cutting back on the little things that make a cruise special. Long lines and waiting seemed to be normal. I made the mistake of purchasing a photo package so that all three of us would be in pictures at the ports and dinners. The rush to get to the buses made it impossible to stop at most ports for a group photo and then I was told that pictures in the dining room were not included in the packages (they were on the trip I took last year on NCL) Beware and don't make the same mistake I did. Do you have to have towel animals in the room-no, but do you miss them. Do I want to be handed a pager and told there is a 30 minute wait for dinner seating? Do I want to have reservations for entertainment and still have to line up 1 hour ahead of time to be sure I have a decent seat? Do I see entertainment I wanted to attend but because dinner service took almost 2 hours I missed the start time? Was there entertainment I missed because the venues were full? These are examples of how NCL seems to be forgetting the customer and being more focused on the bottom line. What should have been an incredible trip turned into a test of endurance. That is not how I want to spend my vacation time. While I have reached Platinum level in their Latitudes program, this type of experience will not keep me coming back.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
There were a lot of people lining up at once but the line kept moving and we were on the ship and in a dining room within 30 minutes of arrival to the port.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The food in the three main dining areas (Tropicana, Taste and Savor) were all the same menus. The food was good but nothing special. NCL seems to be continually cutting back their menu choices and quality in the complimentary dining areas. The buffet food was fresh and plentiful but nothing really memorable except for the grilled shrimp. We dined in 4 of the specialty restaurants which were mostly good to excellent. Le Bistro is a favorite and never disappoints. Cagney's is also very good. Be sure to go to Moderno hungry-the grilled pineapple is amazing. The Japanese Steakhouse was a disappointment. The food was overcooked. Once garlic is placed on a hot grill and charred black-everything gets a bitter taste.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Outdoor activities were limited til the end of the cruise due to bad weather and by then I had picked up a respiratory illness on the ship and could not participate. The activities offered for the number of passengers on the ship was not adequate. If you looked at the schedule and removed those items that required an additional charge and/or were trying to sell you something then there really was not much left. What few activities were offered were in the Atrium which is not conducive to a large crowd.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
The format for entertainment is different. There is not a performance every night that you can plan to attend. The theater is small so entertainment has to be offered several nights and I heard some people say they never got in to see some of the shows. The Million Dollar Quartet was fabulous-the hour long wait in line prior was not. We had reservations but lined up when we saw others doing so. Burn the Floor was also excellent. We paid extra for the Cirque Dreams and Wine Lovers The Musical. Both were well done and enjoyable. We participated in Escape the Big Top which is frantic and not well explained but fun. They had some wonderful singers and a great house band but finding a location/seat to listen was a challenge.

Children's Programs

There were only 12 children on-board.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
I thought all of the staff worked really hard and were always kind, pleasant and professional. They do appear to have more work than they can manage. Our room steward was wonderful and always greeted us with a smile. He checked on our needs and maintained a spotless area. The wait staff all seemed rushed and yet the service is slow.

Ship Quality

1 out of 5
Cleanliness was excellent. There was constant cleaning occurring on board. Many people were coughing throughout the trip. I wonder about the quality of air being recirculated on the ship. The public spaces are too small for the number of passengers so the ship feels very crowded and closed. For a good portion of our trip the outside spaces were blocked off (understandably with the weather) which forced everyone inside small venues. There is no promenade deck to circle the ship. The waterfront is nice when you are able to get out and about but has limited space. Getting into the smaller venues for entertainment required waiting in long lines and sitting in crammed spaces. There was entertainment I would like to have seen but we could not get in. The atrium is used for activities but you normally could not get a seat. Some people seemed to camp out in this area. Hearing these activities was difficult due to noise from the bar, O'Shehan's and the casino.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
We had three people in the room and managed well. The sofa bed was comfortable. The shower was excellent and the double sink in the bathroom was a pleasant surprise. The balcony is small. We could all three go out at one time but everyone had to move if one person did.

Ship tip

Make reservations for everything if you can. Even dining in the main dining rooms can result in a wait where you are handed a pager and told you have a 30 minute wait.

Ports of call

Copenhagen, Denmark

5 out of 5
A great city to explore. We spent three nights prior to the cruise and enjoyed the hop on hop off bus and harbor tour. Tivoli is fun place to spend an afternoon/evening.

Rotterdam, Netherlands

4 out of 5
We did a ship sponsored Windmills and Clogs tour which included a city tour of Amsterdam. We saw some beautiful countryside, learned about clogs and windmills, and had an opportunity to eat a quick lunch in Amsterdam.

Southampton (London), England

4 out of 5
We did a panoramic tour of London. It was a long day on a bus. It was definitely a sample of what is there and I look forward to going back to explore in depth. This was my personal favorite because there is so much to see.

Le Havre (Paris), France

4 out of 5
This was another long day on a bus tour but we got to see Paris and even had a couple of hours to enjoy the city. We packed a lot into the time we had.

Portland (Weymouth), England, Uk

4 out of 5
We did a tour of Stonehenge. There is beautiful farmland to see on the way. Be prepared for cool weather and wind. The mystery of Stonehenge is worth visiting.

Cobh (Cork), Ireland

4 out of 5
We did the Old Middleton Experience and Cork City Tour. The Jameson Distillery is very educational if you want to learn about whiskey distilling. Cork was not an easy city to see from the bus because of how close together everything is located. There is a wonderful museum at the cruise port that is definitely worth a visit.

Ponta Delgada, Azores Did not visit port

The wind was too high and the port authority would not allow our ship to dock.

Royal Naval Dockyard, West End, Bermuda

4 out of 5
We opted to hire an independent taxi for this port and take a drive around the island. It is beautiful.

Great Stirrup Cay (Cruise Line Private Island), Bahamas

4 out of 5
I was lucky and got a ticket for tender 1. Unfortunately we were an hour and half wait before we actually got off the ship. I walked to the far end and found a lounger but the other ship had definitely took up most of the chairs. The food on the island was good and definitely a nice place to enjoy a beach day. The cost of excursions are high which is why I opted not to participate.

Miami, Florida

2 out of 5
We did the city and harbor tour. It's an interesting tour if you like celebrities. This is not a port I feel compelled to plan a return trip to see. We were scheduled for a short time in port and had difficulties with clearing immigration, public health, and coast guard. It seems that NCL should be aware of what this will entail and do a better job of communicating to their passengers and planning for these activities. We returned from our excursion to find an entire ship of grumpy, angry people-some who had been sitting and waiting for hours. I felt concern for those with health and mobility issues.

New Orleans, Louisiana Did not visit port

We live close so our goal was to head for home.

Disembarkation

2 out of 5
We waited for a later debarkation time since we were not in a hurry. The way debarkation was handled did not seem efficient. We were told to be out of rooms by 9 AM but there was no where to go. People were everywhere. When people did leave places like O' Shehans then the staff were putting the chairs up. I am sure they needed to get ready for the next group but the people stuck on the ship needed a place to wait until their tag color was called. Once our color was called, we waited a long time before getting in line. We still ended up walking to the far end of the ship, getting in line then walking back to the front of the ship. This was even without having to clear customs once off the ship. If they do this weekly, they really should have a better plan.
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