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Glad to get away from the Getaway


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To OP, thank you for your review. I've posted our recent beyond disappointing Bliss cruise that made us promptly book a HAL cruise (after some research).  We are Platinum Plus and cruised NCL about 2-3 times a year. Makes me really sad/angry to see the steady downfall of what I so enjoyed. The Getaway was our favorite ship mostly bc of the happy crew. Sounds like that is a thing of the past. They continue to build new ships though. 

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We were on this 19 day TA cruise as well.  It wasn't the worst cruise we ever had, but it was close.  We took the Getaway to the Baltic before the refit and had a wonderful time.

 

The Getaway is a beautiful ship with many fun things to do.  We loved the fitness center and many outdoor areas where we could lie out in the sun. The ship was well-maintained and the rest rooms and dinning areas were kept clean.  The only complaint I have about the physical aspect of the ship is the self-flushing toilets in the public restrooms.  They were super annoying.  Most of the time they flushed, but sometimes they didn't and there were no buttons on them to make them flush.  I hated them.

 

A cruise from Hell is a cruise where I feel my life is in danger or where the power goes out and there isn't any air conditioning or heat or where there are bad smells from toilets that back up.  None of those horrors happened, and for that I'm grateful.  We made all of our ports except one, so it wasn't so terrible.

 

The ship was poorly run.  My husband had many problems with the excursion desk.  One clerk would tell him one thing and then another would tell my husband something completely different.  One would tell him he was on the waiting list for an excursion and then we'd find out he was never put on the list.  No one seemed to know what was going on.  I think some of those cruise staff had no clue what was going on and made things up as they went.  

 

The tendering experience on the Cay was the worst I ever saw.  We were one of the lucky ones.  I think we made the second boat over and at least got to the island in time to have lunch.  The beach wasn't bad, but the food wasn't very exciting.  The stuff in the shops was overpriced and none of the shops had anything particularly special.  

 

The cruise staff wasn't good at organizing people for tendering or getting people on and off the ship.  Whether we were waiting for tendering or waiting for an excursion, the attendants kept changing their story about where we were supposed to wait or when we were supposed to go.  No one seemed to know what was going on.

 

I never saw a ship that ran out of food more than this one.  They ran out of lettuce, bananas, half and half, iced tea, and yogurt.  One morning it was so bad that the banana compote had no bananas in it.  I pointed that fact out to the guy behind the counter and he just shrugged.  I understand that they missed a port in the Azores and were out to sea seven days without coming to a port, but even after stopping in Miami, they weren't able to replenish the iced tea or the bananas.  

 

If I had to sum up the problems with this cruise I would have to say first of all this was a 3600 passenger ship that wasn't able to properly accommodate anywhere that many passengers.  There wasn't enough food, enough seating in the main theatre, or enough crew members.  All the crew members seemed overwhelmed and were forced to deal with the poor management of their superiors.  Most did so admirably.  

 

By and large my husband and I had a good time.  The European leg of the cruise was a lot of fun. I didn't mind the bad weather, but seven straight sea days on this ship was more of an endurance contest than a vacation.  We did read lots of books and relaxed a great deal.  I will probably take more NCL cruises, but I will definitely pick another cruise line if I ever again do another trans-Atlantic cruise.

 

 

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1 hour ago, napper777 said:

We are Platinum Plus and cruised NCL about 2-3 times a year. Makes me really sad/angry to see the steady downfall of what I so enjoyed.

So true.  We are also Platinum Plus but that seems to mean less with each passing cruise/year.  This year, we went to LeBistro for our reward dinner.  The waiter came over and explained we could have any entree BUT only ones that cost less than $35.00.  Last year (6 months ago) the Dover Sole was $25.00.  Now, it is $39.00.  So, at the end of the meal, I signed a check for $4.00.  Some people would say this is nickle and diming us to death.  Our other chosen entree was the duck.  For some reason, the duck was cut up/minced so fine it almost appeared as pate', covered with gelatin which was covered with mashed potatoes.  It tasted old and definitely not like duck.  It went back and was replaced with beef madallions.

 

We have NOT given up on NCL and transatlantic cruises.  Transatlantic is probably our favorite route as we love the sea days, the quiet an the opportunity it affords to relax.  We'll be on the Epic headed East in April, 2020 and on the Jade heading West later in the year.  But after that, we'll have to see.

 

Smile: On the night we went through Customs, a black coat was making the rounds in the Tropicana where we usually ate dinner and she said, "Did you have a good day?"  Together, without consulting each other, we said "No".  She replied "Well, are you ready to go home yet?"  Whether or not she intended to, she made us laugh.

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9 hours ago, Toby459 said:

So true.  We are also Platinum Plus but that seems to mean less with each passing cruise/year.  This year, we went to LeBistro for our reward dinner.  The waiter came over and explained we could have any entree BUT only ones that cost less than $35.00.  Last year (6 months ago) the Dover Sole was $25.00.  Now, it is $39.00.  So, at the end of the meal, I signed a check for $4.00.  Some people would say this is nickle and diming us to death.  Our other chosen entree was the duck.  For some reason, the duck was cut up/minced so fine it almost appeared as pate', covered with gelatin which was covered with mashed potatoes.  It tasted old and definitely not like duck.  It went back and was replaced with beef madallions.

 

We have NOT given up on NCL and transatlantic cruises.  Transatlantic is probably our favorite route as we love the sea days, the quiet an the opportunity it affords to relax.  We'll be on the Epic headed East in April, 2020 and on the Jade heading West later in the year.  But after that, we'll have to see.

 

Smile: On the night we went through Customs, a black coat was making the rounds in the Tropicana where we usually ate dinner and she said, "Did you have a good day?"  Together, without consulting each other, we said "No".  She replied "Well, are you ready to go home yet?"  Whether or not she intended to, she made us laugh.

Oh, yes that" free dinner voucher" as Platinum Plus is becoming a thing of the past. Some people say to stick to smaller ships, will be interesting to see if the Jade will be any better.

Edited by spanishguy1970
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47 minutes ago, spanishguy1970 said:

Oh, yes that" free dinner voucher" as Platinum Plus is becoming a thing of the past. Some people say to stick to smaller ships, will be interesting to see if the Jade will be any better.

We loved the Pearl and it is our favorite NCL ship. The Jade was ok but the DH and I said no thank you to future sailings on her. We have sailed the not quite as large as the Getaway Epic twice but spent days when not in port in Posh. We walked the crowded area at night. The second time we spent some nights in the Haven bar as the service was wonderful. I am looking forward to the Getaway and admit I am excited about sharing the bigger ship experience with my adult daughter. I hope any issues left from your sailing are taken of before we embark. 

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On 11/9/2019 at 2:16 PM, Toby459 said:

irdWe were on this cruise as well.  My summation is Get Away Getaway!  Here are some of my observations.

 

On the morning (Thursday) before the cruise ended, I decided to do something that I had never done before.  I had prepaid my service charges but I was going to dispute them. 

 

At 8:30 in the morning, the line of people waiting for Guest Services extended out of the Atrium down the hall.  Eighty percent of those people had had ENOUGH and were attempting to do the same thing.  Although there were 5-6 Guest Service agents on duty, it took almost an hour to get to the counter, another 15 minutes to fill out the forms.  You had to fill out the form there, now and immediately turn it it.  I was told that it would be reviewed by the On Board Credit Officers and I could come back in two hours and they would pay me what they determined my immediate, stand up, don't thiink it over complaint was worth.  I returned at 3:30 PM (six hours later) and was told I'd have to come back later, my claim had not yet been reviewed.  They knew this without even checking.  I asked what "later" meant and was told I could get in line (third time today) "to see if it were done".  The On Board Credit people would be there between 5-8 PM.  I said I had been there for four hours of my last day on the cruise.  I noted how they would form another line which just happened to occur during the dinner hours and NO, this was unacceptable.  The agent said she would see if my claim had been processed.  She returned eight minutes later to tell me that yes, it had been processed and "if you will be so kind as to get in that line over there, we will pay you when you get to the counter."  She disappeard before others in the line could make a similar claim.  Four lines, five hours.

 

so if you prepaid your cabin tips, they gave you back the $ in cash?!
instead of a refund off your bill?

 

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14 hours ago, napper777 said:

To OP, thank you for your review. I've posted our recent beyond disappointing Bliss cruise that made us promptly book a HAL cruise (after some research).  We are Platinum Plus and cruised NCL about 2-3 times a year. Makes me really sad/angry to see the steady downfall of what I so enjoyed. The Getaway was our favorite ship mostly bc of the happy crew. Sounds like that is a thing of the past. They continue to build new ships though. 

 

link to that review?

im planning to be on bliss this april for 21day panama to seattle

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Wow, interesting read, regardless as to how we all may feel. I will give my view on all the gripes I am reading plus the positive statements. 

 

I have never been on the Gem, but have been on the Pearl several times and the Jewel about 3. I am shocked at reading what some are saying. It sounds like the cruise was a nightmare.  I believe, when we get into cruises over about 10 days and a few things go wrong, we get exceptionally upset. that is why some of the not so good things turn into really horrible thing

 

We have sailed 2 NCL ships this year: the Dawn and the Breakaway. Food quality wise has been hit or miss I will agree, but non was never inedible or even close. The MDR experience, we think has improved over 5 or 10 years ago. Specialty dining, probably has gone down hill. This could have something to do with "free at sea" it is no more a special treat to eat in the upscale dining rooms.

 

Our overall service, both cabin steward and everyone else has been outstanding and customer service desk has been very helpful. My husband has a mild problem with mobility and I can't not believe how helpful the crew has been to him. Many guest have also gone out of the way to assist him. 

 

Overall I guess I am saying, I do not think service has gone down hill, I do not think the food is bad or even below average over all and I hope no one will ever judge one experience as the end or all ends. 

 

Oh, one more thing: NCL versus HAL: we have done both, we love both, but for very different reasons. Both have a reason for being popular It depends on what you are looking for on a cruise vacation. 

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On 11/10/2019 at 10:14 AM, SAS21 said:

I didn't remove any gratuities, but I certainly didn't give anything extra. First time ever that I have done that. Our cabin steward was not up to par with his daily duties and considering that I don't have any special request he barely deserved the cruise lines suggested amount. I actually told him if he locked me out of my cabin again after 4 times I would remove his tips.

I'm curious.  How did your cabin steward lock you out of your own cabin?  Don't you carry your room key with you outside the cabin?

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15 hours ago, Happy Castaway said:

We were on this 19 day TA cruise as well.  It wasn't the worst cruise we ever had, but it was close.  We took the Getaway to the Baltic before the refit and had a wonderful time.

 

The Getaway is a beautiful ship with many fun things to do.  We loved the fitness center and many outdoor areas where we could lie out in the sun. The ship was well-maintained and the rest rooms and dinning areas were kept clean.  The only complaint I have about the physical aspect of the ship is the self-flushing toilets in the public restrooms.  They were super annoying.  Most of the time they flushed, but sometimes they didn't and there were no buttons on them to make them flush.  I hated them.

 

A cruise from Hell is a cruise where I feel my life is in danger or where the power goes out and there isn't any air conditioning or heat or where there are bad smells from toilets that back up.  None of those horrors happened, and for that I'm grateful.  We made all of our ports except one, so it wasn't so terrible.

 

The ship was poorly run.  My husband had many problems with the excursion desk.  One clerk would tell him one thing and then another would tell my husband something completely different.  One would tell him he was on the waiting list for an excursion and then we'd find out he was never put on the list.  No one seemed to know what was going on.  I think some of those cruise staff had no clue what was going on and made things up as they went.  

 

The tendering experience on the Cay was the worst I ever saw.  We were one of the lucky ones.  I think we made the second boat over and at least got to the island in time to have lunch.  The beach wasn't bad, but the food wasn't very exciting.  The stuff in the shops was overpriced and none of the shops had anything particularly special.  

 

The cruise staff wasn't good at organizing people for tendering or getting people on and off the ship.  Whether we were waiting for tendering or waiting for an excursion, the attendants kept changing their story about where we were supposed to wait or when we were supposed to go.  No one seemed to know what was going on.

 

I never saw a ship that ran out of food more than this one.  They ran out of lettuce, bananas, half and half, iced tea, and yogurt.  One morning it was so bad that the banana compote had no bananas in it.  I pointed that fact out to the guy behind the counter and he just shrugged.  I understand that they missed a port in the Azores and were out to sea seven days without coming to a port, but even after stopping in Miami, they weren't able to replenish the iced tea or the bananas.  

 

If I had to sum up the problems with this cruise I would have to say first of all this was a 3600 passenger ship that wasn't able to properly accommodate anywhere that many passengers.  There wasn't enough food, enough seating in the main theatre, or enough crew members.  All the crew members seemed overwhelmed and were forced to deal with the poor management of their superiors.  Most did so admirably.  

 

By and large my husband and I had a good time.  The European leg of the cruise was a lot of fun. I didn't mind the bad weather, but seven straight sea days on this ship was more of an endurance contest than a vacation.  We did read lots of books and relaxed a great deal.  I will probably take more NCL cruises, but I will definitely pick another cruise line if I ever again do another trans-Atlantic cruise.

 

 

We where also on the 19 days as well as the 9 day Baltic cruise. 

What a difference between the two cruise's. 

Things went down hill in Southampton when we change Captains and a lot of crew member's that where being transfer to the New Encore. The new crew members that came on where off the smaller ships and not used to working on a bigger ship like the Getaway. Also there where a lot of new crew members just starting a New Contract and just finished training for their job. 

And speaking of the New Captain we got. He sure loved to talk and talk.

 

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21 minutes ago, johnlcruise said:

We where also on the 19 days as well as the 9 day Baltic cruise. 

What a difference between the two cruise's. 

Things went down hill in Southampton when we change Captains and a lot of crew member's that where being transfer to the New Encore.

The new crew members that came on where off the smaller ships and not used to working on a bigger ship like the Getaway.

 

Also there were a lot of new crew members just starting a New Contract and just finished training for their job. 

 

oh boy.. 1-2 punch.

 

I bet the best employees went on the Encore leaving the 2nd string on the Getaway.

then add lots of rookie personnel on a mega ship and apparently that's a recipe for a disaster. 😞

 

Edited by fstuff1
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9 hours ago, fstuff1 said:

 

link to that review?

im planning to be on bliss this april for 21day panama to seattle

I'll post it here tomorrow as I can't figure out how to link it without saving it to a Word document and I don't have my laptop here 😃

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8 hours ago, johnlcruise said:

We where also on the 19 days as well as the 9 day Baltic cruise. 

What a difference between the two cruise's. 

Things went down hill in Southampton when we change Captains and a lot of crew member's that where being transfer to the New Encore. The new crew members that came on where off the smaller ships and not used to working on a bigger ship like the Getaway. Also there where a lot of new crew members just starting a New Contract and just finished training for their job. 

And speaking of the New Captain we got. He sure loved to talk and talk.

 

Yea, I was on this cruise as well.  Thanks for this insight.  I didn’t know about the crew shift.  We Did think many crew were learning on the job.   Boy did I get tired of hearing about how this or that was not ncl or the ships fault.
This was our first mega ship and first TA.  Most likely our last TA.  I got home and cancelled the TA I had booked for next October.We are already booked on Joy for a Panama Canal trip in feb, so one more mega ncl ship.  Not sure about what we’ll do after that.  I won’t be buying any cruise next anytime soon, that I do know. FYI I turn Platinum plus on our next sailing, so it’s not like I’m a newb.    Even with the foul weather, food mediocrity, entertainment fails, missed port, immigration debacle, overall I still say I had a good time, just not willing to repeat it anytime soon.

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16 hours ago, david_sobe said:

I'm curious.  How did your cabin steward lock you out of your own cabin?  Don't you carry your room key with you outside the cabin?

 

Your room key won't do you much good if you are snoozing on your balcony and the room steward locks the patio door.

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1 hour ago, Oakman58 said:

 

Your room key won't do you much good if you are snoozing on your balcony and the room steward locks the patio door.

Huh?  That's what happened?  Hard to believe.  Don't the newer ships have safety locks so no one can be locked outside?  Its hard to believe anyone could not see someone on the balcony while in the room.

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On 11/11/2019 at 1:56 PM, johnlcruise said:

We where also on the 19 days as well as the 9 day Baltic cruise. 

What a difference between the two cruise's. 

Things went down hill in Southampton when we change Captains and a lot of crew member's that where being transfer to the New Encore. The new crew members that came on where off the smaller ships and not used to working on a bigger ship like the Getaway. Also there where a lot of new crew members just starting a New Contract and just finished training for their job. 

And speaking of the New Captain we got. He sure loved to talk and talk.

 

None of this is surprising to me.  I have read several reviews from recent one-way cruises where everyone complained about lack of staff, staff not being properly trained, and terrible entertainment.  This is most likely due to the high cost of transporting people to the origination port, or back from the destination port, depending on where their "home base" is.  There was a Joy cruise that seemed to share these same issues.

I also noted from Doug's posts about the Encore inaugural that all of the superstar talent from NCL was assigned to that ship.  I had a colleague recently cruise on the Star in Europe and he stated that most of the staff seemed to not know what they were doing and it impacted his whole NCL experience.  I think the lack of good help will only get worse as the lines add more ships across the industry.

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Also on this sailing. 

 

Things that I also was troubled by:  

 

Definitely wasn't pleased that they ran out of so many food items/supplies.  It actually became a topic of jokes in Syd Norman's...grilled shrimp anyone?  Apparently there was a plethora of frozen shrimp, but butter, half and half, ice cream mix, lettuce, various fruit, iced tea mix, and many other items were not replenished in Copenhagen.  I can understand not having more than 5 days worth of fresh fruits and veggies, but the rest is ridiculous.

 

The venues for both shows and activities were absurd.  A lot of that can be attributed to the ship design.  A lot was also because we were almost exclusively senior citizen types, and everybody was interested in the same things....the theaters could have played the shows several additional times and still filled up, and the atrium area was always filled with a fortress of folks who hung out all day, so when it was time for an activity, there was no place to sit. Syd Norman's was a highlight for us, but it was often way too crowded, and for the "special" shows (Carole King tribute for one) impossible to gain access.

 

The casino was terrible, and pretty deserted because of it.

 

The specialty restaurants were all disappointing, and I only actually paid for one.  I do agree with the poster who said that free at sea has killed the quality.

 

The service in the MDR was extremely slow, but friendly.  Bar service in the MDR was awful.  One night a waiter left me an entire bottle of wine to pour on my own, LOL...wasn't complaining about that!

 

The captain did talk too much, LOL!

 

The immigration stop was a disaster...and that's what I"m calling it, because port of call would be a misnomer.  They did a horrible job of communicating exactly what was supposed to happen (a single line of text), and frankly, I overlooked it.  DH and I got off with our passports and our room keys...that's it.  Had I read it (which was ultimately my responsibility I know), I could have brought cash and taken a taxi to lunch.  My husband would have had his much needed medication.  I think that something this important should have been communicated by way of a stateroom announcement or such....and never advertised as a port stop.  I like the other poster's idea about providing a shuttle to the shopping area...that would have solved so many problems.

 

On sea days, when the conditions require that most things are closed up for safety, why not make the pay per view movies free?  Same thing for a missed port day due to rough seas, and a port stop with insufficient tenders.  At least give folks something to do that doesn't further tax the system.

 

Lastly, I witnessed more rude behavior on this cruise than any other cruise that I've ever been on.  It was utterly insane.  One small example.  I had a seat at Syd Norman's.  A woman came at the last minute and planted herself in a chair that she found somewhere else, directly in front of me, completely blocking my view.  She had a place to sit next to her friend beside us, but that wasn't good enough.  That was typical behavior.  All. week. long.

 

All in all, we had a great cabin steward, the food in the MDR was generally good, the buffet wasn't bad, the entertainment that we were able to get into was very good,  the ports were great (although the excursions were taxing because of distance, but not NCL's fault), the activities were plentiful enough, and I was sad to leave.

 

We have a Transatlantic booked in the other direction in 2021 with a Mediterranean cruise following, and I can't wait. I learned a long time ago that travel is often challenging, and I haven't found any cruise line that's even close to perfect.  This was definitely one of the most difficult, but didn't even come close to causing me to reject NCL or Transatlantic cruises.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

 

 

Edited by ryanpatricksmom
typo
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2 hours ago, ryanpatricksmom said:

Also on this sailing. 

 

Things that I also was troubled by:  

 

Definitely wasn't pleased that they ran out of so many food items/supplies.  It actually became a topic of jokes in Syd Norman's...grilled shrimp anyone?  Apparently there was a plethora of frozen shrimp, but butter, half and half, ice cream mix, lettuce, various fruit, iced tea mix, and many other items were not replenished in Copenhagen.  I can understand not having more than 5 days worth of fresh fruits and veggies, but the rest is ridiculous.

 

The venues for both shows and activities were absurd.  A lot of that can be attributed to the ship design.  A lot was also because we were almost exclusively senior citizen types, and everybody was interested in the same things....the theaters could have played the shows several additional times and still filled up, and the atrium area was always filled with a fortress of folks who hung out all day, so when it was time for an activity, there was no place to sit. Syd Norman's was a highlight for us, but it was often way too crowded, and for the "special" shows (Carole King tribute for one) impossible to gain access.

 

The casino was terrible, and pretty deserted because of it.

 

The specialty restaurants were all disappointing, and I only actually paid for one.  I do agree with the poster who said that free at sea has killed the quality.

 

The service in the MDR was extremely slow, but friendly.  Bar service in the MDR was awful.  One night a waiter left me an entire bottle of wine to pour on my own, LOL...wasn't complaining about that!

 

The captain did talk too much, LOL!

 

The immigration stop was a disaster...and that's what I"m calling it, because port of call would be a misnomer.  They did a horrible job of communicating exactly what was supposed to happen (a single line of text), and frankly, I overlooked it.  DH and I got off with our passports and our room keys...that's it.  Had I read it (which was ultimately my responsibility I know), I could have brought cash and taken a taxi to lunch.  My husband would have had his much needed medication.  I think that something this important should have been communicated by way of a stateroom announcement or such....and never advertised as a port stop.  I like the other poster's idea about providing a shuttle to the shopping area...that would have solved so many problems.

 

On sea days, when the conditions require that most things are closed up for safety, why not make the pay per view movies free?  Same thing for a missed port day due to rough seas, and a port stop with insufficient tenders.  At least give folks something to do that doesn't further tax the system.

 

Lastly, I witnessed more rude behavior on this cruise than any other cruise that I've ever been on.  It was utterly insane.  One small example.  I had a seat at Syd Norman's.  A woman came at the last minute and planted herself in a chair that she found somewhere else, directly in front of me, completely blocking my view.  She had a place to sit next to her friend beside us, but that wasn't good enough.  That was typical behavior.  All. week. long.

 

All in all, we had a great cabin steward, the food in the MDR was generally good, the buffet wasn't bad, the entertainment that we were able to get into was very good,  the ports were great (although the excursions were taxing because of distance, but not NCL's fault), the activities were plentiful enough, and I was sad to leave.

 

We have a Transatlantic booked in the other direction in 2021 with a Mediterranean cruise following, and I can't wait. I learned a long time ago that travel is often challenging, and I haven't found any cruise line that's even close to perfect.  This was definitely one of the most difficult, but didn't even come close to causing me to reject NCL or Transatlantic cruises.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

 

 

well regarding the casino, I played once, put in my regular 20 dollars that i play on every cruise i go on, and won 250 dollars. I immediately left and kept my winnings :-)....This cruise will not deter us from doing Transatlantics we love them, is this TA in particular on this ship that was a disaster.

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“Lastly, I witnessed more rude behavior on this cruise than any other cruise that I've ever been on.  It was utterly insane. “

 

Boy I agree there.  It started with embarkation and people shoving to get in line.  Same with the reserved shows.  One person saving long blocks of seats in the theater, too, where seating was already very limited.  Disembarking at ports was wild, too.  There has to be a better system.  People were just rude, ornery and short tempered.  The debacle in Miami tipped everyone over the edge.  But the tendering at GSC did not help matters either.  No wonder everyone started acting out in Miami!  At least we were in the Haven and a bit isolated but venues outside the Haven were next to impossible.  Another reason we try to avoid the herded cattle mentality of NCL shore excursions.  Just not worth the effort.  The ship is too big and we were not even at capacity.  However, we made the best of it and had a great cruise.  We just avoided the really crowded areas whenever we were able to so we missed a lot of the smaller venues.  But we were ok with that.

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On 11/11/2019 at 2:17 AM, OceanBlueWaters said:

Just wondering...how can a person do 20 cruises in less than a year?  Do you have a primary residence also?  I want in!

🙂

I’m an opportunity cruiser. Taking advantage of the fire sales. 😀😀.   I do own 2 homes.  😀.    The world is small.   I’ve recently taken advantage of the attractive rates and sailing the med on 5 cruises,  since July as example.     I have my eye on the b2b. December 1 Jewel cruises.  😀😀

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