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    New Jersey
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    travel, cinema
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  1. Meanwhile, my parents have been in transit and HAL has not reached out to them at all and are only getting updates from family. My brother is picking them up at the airport and called HAL to make sure and they said they said they are good for pick up.
  2. I'm flying to see them. Definitely glad they will be back in the states.
  3. Can you only be tested if you show symptoms? My parents are in the process of flying back to the states and now I'm worried they may get quarantined. I'm supposed to see them in a few days. Hi mom if you're reading.
  4. I am a family member and I want them involved if need be, for sure. Any ideas who I can contact on their behalf?
  5. My parents are on board too. They are the same way. Hope they have lots of books to read. We were supposed to meet up in Seattle when they got off the ship, but now we have no idea what will happen. Hope they can get back to the states and that no one on board has the virus.
  6. I think it will depend on the ship itinerary and instructors. On my last Getaway cruise, I took classes with both of the guys who worked at the fitness center and they both had different ways of teaching. I got a lot out of it. I am not an expert spinner, but have been getting into it more lately. You can ask about getting into the room, but one instructor was upset that passengers had been in the room and used the heart rate monitors and he didn't know which ones and had to sanitize them all.
  7. My husband won $20k on video poker the last night on our Caribbean Getaway cruise. We had to pay taxes on it and got held in customs when leaving the ship. He didn't play much on our last cruise, we were trying to remember which machine it was that he won on.
  8. I was unable to take a screenshot of my barcode in the app because of "security reasons." I think as long as you are logged into the app, it will pop up whether you are online or not. And yes. I earned stars at the Starbucks on Getaway.
  9. I just wish they would have refill stations.
  10. If I look hard enough, maybe I can see myself on our balcony in that pic. lol.
  11. You can do this, no problem. Sometimes I would just sit with my husband and not drink anything.
  12. I just looked at my credit card bill and it was $43 USD from the airport and $51 USD to the cruise port. It was the TAXA cab company and going the hotel called the taxi for us, so I am not sure if maybe arranging different transportation would be cheaper. The cruise terminal was all on one floor and you then walk to the gangway of the ship. I will see if I can find a photo and will post for you.
  13. Just got off The Getaway on the Sept 14th 9 day Baltic 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. CABIN: We had a Spa Mini Suite cabin 14164. We had originally booked a mini suite but I had put in bids to upgrade on just about everything. I decided I was going to cancel the Spa upgrade bid and just get a spa pass. I got lazy about it and about 3 weeks or so before our cruise I got upgraded. We loved the cabin. The bathroom is so spacious, lots of storage space, great shower. Balcony is tiny. We sailed on this ship a few years ago in a mini suite and I remember the bathroom being smaller and balcony bigger. But I could be confusing the cabin with other ships. Noise: It was quiet most of the time. Although there were times when it sounded like a stampede above, perhaps when deck furniture was being moved around. There was also a constant sound of running water in the bathroom. Maybe for the Jacuzzis or pools upstairs. Not sure. Didn't hear much noise from the hallways except at 3:30am one night when some guy got locked out of us stateroom and was banging on doors. I went out to check what was going on and he was there in nothing but a towel…. 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 area again someday and would definitely not hesitate to sail again on the Getaway. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, even those of you sailing out of NOLA since I go there once a year to visit family.
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