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FredZiffle

Glad to get away from the Getaway

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We were also on this cruise.  It was not as bad as some have stated.  There were problems but we had a wonderful cruise.  We thought the food in Tropicana was very good.  And NCL does not control the weather.  The Captain clearly explained at his question and answer session that the Hurricane came up unexpectedly.  The ship rode the seas well but really you cannot expect them to cruise around bad weather all the time.  We were in the North Atlantic in October and November where storm fronts constantly move through.  Not fair to blame NCL for it.  I’m sure many will flee to other cruiselines but they all experience difficulties.  

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38 minutes ago, mertziek said:

We were also on this cruise.  It was not as bad as some have stated.  There were problems but we had a wonderful cruise.  We thought the food in Tropicana was very good.  And NCL does not control the weather.  The Captain clearly explained at his question and answer session that the Hurricane came up unexpectedly.  The ship rode the seas well but really you cannot expect them to cruise around bad weather all the time.  We were in the North Atlantic in October and November where storm fronts constantly move through.  Not fair to blame NCL for it.  I’m sure many will flee to other cruiselines but they all experience difficulties.  

Mine response is more to the fact that spending years with only one cruise line or only sailing with one cruise line imo does yourself a disservice. Look around. The market is competitive. I peeled one of my sail mates from NCL bc I thought they would like princess or HAL. Turns out I was right. :)

 

NCL is still the best fit for me (today), despite their terrible service. But it is more due to my age. Some cruise lines are too stuffy. And some may return to NCL after looking at others. Brand loyalty is silly tho imo. But that's just me. 

 

And NCL and carnival aren't always the cheapest. There can be deals to be had if you are flexible and you look around. 

Edited by DrSea

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Meh, NCL can’t control customs in Miami. I’ve been stuck in airports with the lineup snaking to the escalator because multiple international flights landed at the same time. 3000 people on a cruise ship are going through mandatory customs, write to your state if you are not happy with  how the US processes immigration. 

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14 hours ago, Toby459 said:

Cruise Next were offered on this cruise as well.  Sometimes people were in line for 30 minutes to see a Cruise Consultant.  They also sent out voicemail reminders.  On the next to last cruise day, while standing in line, I watched a couple telling the Cruise Consultant they no longer wanted their certificates.  How it ended, I'm not sure but the conversation was short and the guests left grousing to each other.

They will get refunds. You can get full refunds for cruise next certs up to I want to say a month after your cruise. 

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At least you were in a warm climate during customs.  Imagine how it is going to be for the people on the Encore who are arriving today in NY with 40+ degree weather and have to do customs.

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7 hours ago, JustAPilot said:

Meh, NCL can’t control customs in Miami. I’ve been stuck in airports with the lineup snaking to the escalator because multiple international flights landed at the same time. 3000 people on a cruise ship are going through mandatory customs, write to your state if you are not happy with  how the US processes immigration. 

 

You're right, they can't control the process, but when they are aware of the process ahead of time, NCL shouldn't pretend that this is going to be a normal port stop and advertise it as such on the itinerary.  They also should make some effort to mitigate the passengers' discomfort by providing adequate seating and something more than water dispensers if people are going to be stuck in the terminal for half the day.

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I never make global assumptions based on a single sailing and certainly would not shoot myself in the foot with a -never-   😀.    I’ve done 20 cruises this year on NCL-  currently on the Epic.   Overall an excellent value and great itineraries.   

 

Try other lines. And find the right match.  

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    Thank you all for the lengthy, well=written accounts.  I hope you were able to adjust your gratuities.  We'll be on her for the 1st time in Dec. and are Platinum, so I sure hope they get their act together.  

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  I made a long post myself about this cruise. After 8 days I was ready to buy cruisenext. I am do happy I did not. 

  The crew jokes about Carnival, but I much prefer my treatment on Carnival. I am treated with respect and communication there. Here, ugh, totally a lack of respect for my time or opinion.

  Read my post, there were positives, but I will not be back to Norwegian. People should lose their jobs over this  debacle.

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42 minutes ago, zounds said:

    Thank you all for the lengthy, well=written accounts.  I hope you were able to adjust your gratuities.  We'll be on her for the 1st time in Dec. and are Platinum, so I sure hope they get their act together.  

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.

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10 hours ago, DrSea said:

Mine response is more to the fact that spending years with only one cruise line or only sailing with one cruise line imo does yourself a disservice. Look around. The market is competitive. I peeled one of my sail mates from NCL bc I thought they would like princess or HAL. Turns out I was right. 🙂

 

NCL is still the best fit for me (today), despite their terrible service. But it is more due to my age. Some cruise lines are too stuffy. And some may return to NCL after looking at others. Brand loyalty is silly tho imo. But that's just me. 

 

And NCL and carnival aren't always the cheapest. There can be deals to be had if you are flexible and you look around. 

All good points.  We, too, have sailed several different cruiselines and experienced glitches on all of them.  Personally I think the Away class ships are just too big unless in the Haven.  But we like the Free Style of NCL although I know other cruiselines are now adopting that concept, too.  So the moral of the story is if you’re dissatisfied - shop around.  There are so many choices out there you are sure to find the right fit but don’t expect it always to be perfect.  And once soured on a brand, I totally understand the reluctance to trust them again.  Been there, done that with Carnival.  We try to go with the flow as best we can.  After all, we’re on vacay and someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning!

Edited by mertziek

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16 minutes ago, mertziek said:

All good points.  We, too, have sailed several different cruiselines and experienced glitches on all of them.  Personally I think the Away class ships are just too big unless in the Haven.  But we like the Free Style of NCL although I know other cruiselines are now adopting that concept, too.  So the moral of the story is if you’re dissatisfied - shop around.  There are so many choices out there you are sure to find the right fit but don’t expect it always to be perfect.  And once soured on a brand, I totally understand the reluctance to trust them again.  Been there, done that with Carnival.  We try to go with the flow as best we can.  After all, we’re on vacay and someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning!

So many options out there. no need to settle until you've sampled a little bit of everything and found your niche. I like that NCL isn't too stuffy. Ugh...just thinking of the stuffiness sometimes on other lines...Terrible!

 

The only drawback is that I would be platinum on like 2 cruise lines instead of the equivalent of bronze or silver on 5 other cruise lines. I'm gold on NCL, but the perks are useless (for me) until I hit platinum for those free dining certificates. But remaining loyal for perks is silly for me imo. 

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Why did customs take so long?  Were they terribly understaffed?  Is this normal?  They manage pretty well at the end of cruises getting everyone through at debarkation so what was going on?  If this is normal, I agree they should advertise different port times to reflect reality, and let people know they might be awhile in the terminal.  As I get older and have family with physical or medical issues, I am more sensitive to situations like this where plans need to be made for seating, food, medications & insulin, etc.

 

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We were told they also had a surprise Coast Guard cargo inspection in Miami, again out of NCL control, that really made the off board time extended and very long. They are in the process of building a new cruise terminal in Miami so thinking they are neglecting the old one we were all stuck waiting in. 

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OP,

Sorry you did not like the Getaway; it does sound like some of it was Ok.

That said, you really do need to try other cruise lines. IMHO, by doing that I have found they are all pretty much alike more than different. Our last cruise was with Royal and we did not like many things but we would never say never again but won't rush back.

Most of the things you were unhappy about are very subjective, for example I do not care if the room steward is my friend. 

Every cruise is not perfect, if it is perfect for you than more than likely it is not for someone else. It is really all subjective.

Thank you for taking the time to share your opinions of your experience.

Hope you find what you are looking for.

Safe cruising all!! ☺

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22 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

I have been cruising exclusively with NCL for the past 5 years.  I had forgotten how special a cruise could be until we took an Alaskan Cruise with Holland America this past June.  To be sure the theater entertainment on Holland wasn't nearly as good as what NCL offers but everything else beat NCL by a mile.  The food on that Alaskan cruise was excellent and they even had a surf and turf night in the main dining.  When's the last time you can remember having a lobster tail and filet mignon in the MDR on NCL free of charge?  Oh yeah, our waiter took the lobster tail out of the shell for us too...just like the old days.  It was great that we also had free room service 24/7 on that cruise. It came in handy on the day we cruised Glacier Bay National Park.  Our room steward was so attentive it was almost like having a butler.  On embarkation day there was a free gift waiting for us in our cabin.  There were too many little things to list that made our cruise feel special.

 

I don't know if our one and only experience with Holland was a fluke or not so I have already booked another cruise with them in June of next year just too see.

 

Glad to read your short experience with NCL review. Holland America was my mother's favorite cruise line. We tried MSC YC this year and loved it they really went all out making our experience seamless and wonderful. 

 

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5 hours ago, JennKach said:

Why did customs take so long?  Were they terribly understaffed?

When we went through, there were three customs officials on duty; one was on a break.

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As for Customs ....

 

Once we went through Customs and were put into the Cattle Holding Pen, I chose to stand near the floor to ceiling plate glass windows on one side of the room.  From my vantage point, I could see the last straglers arrive for their customs check.  The last group of 6-8 arrived with a shepherd, an NCL officer.  As they passed the window, they pointed at those of us on the other side and began laughing.  They went into Customs and within 3-5 minutes, they were passing by the glass headed back to the ship with their escort.  The person the PA ;system in the room said they were now reboarding Haven passengers and boarding for the rest of us would begin shortly.  Obviously, this man had little experience in how/what to say to crowds of people.  The response from the crowd at this point was loud booing.  Within two minutes, police officers arrived on the other side of the plate glass window.

 

For this final comment, it helps if you know how large groups of cattle are vaccinated.  Picture an upside down Y.  The carttle are forced into the V portion of the Y, and go through a chute single file, one at a time where they are vaccinated.  When we went through Customs, were were given laminated plastic cards which said, for instance, Boarding Group 18.  There were at least 20 boarding groups.  So, when the person boarding said, "We will now board Special Assistance Individuals (wheelchair), Ambassadors, Platinum Plus, Platinum, Gold and Bronze", the booing started again.  The crowd s u r g e d toward the chute.  At first, the man at the head of the chute was checking all boarding cards but within a few minutes .... before those groups could be cleared .... he announced that they would soon be reboarding Group 1.  When the remainder of the Groups 2-20 realized that they were not boarding by any process other than who pushed, shoved and crushed those in front of them through the chute (which was opened to two lanes and no one was checking for your Boarding Group), the entire room surged toward the chute.  Pushing, shoving, elbowing, cursing, yelling!  Back up the gangway to the ship ... woe unto you if you needed physical assistance, had a problem walking.  When you finally got to ship security, we were greeted with a friendly "Welcome Back".   

 

Whether you believe the problems were caused by Norwegian, Customs, the Coast Guard, terminal personnel or a combination of the above, it is hard not to conclude there was a lack of adequate planning for this event.  Remember the five P's: Prior Planning Prevents P__s Poor Performance!  This lacked Prior Planning and was P__s Poor Performance.  

 

All of these reviews provide factual information of what happened to Norwegian Guests on the Norwegian Getaway at Terminal 2.  They say nothing about other Norwegian Ships, at different ports, on different days.  But they should alert us to potential future problems and assist us in deciding if we want to enter the US through Miami on a large ship during the next two years.  

 

On the morning we left the ship our elevator had a Custom's  Boarding Group 15 sign discarded on the floor.  On the wall was a sign saying MIAMI, All Aboard 1:30 PM, a sign left on the wall for two days,

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Toby 459

       Yikes ! What an experience. It seems that your vacation had a good start in Europe,but went steadily downhill as the TA went on.

         The Getaway (and similar ships) are not ocean liners such as Cunard’s ships,the QE,QM II and Queen Victoria. I question how the ships such as the Getaway can handle open ocean travel and storms,such as you experienced, in a truly safe way. Since cruise ships are deployed to Europe during the Summer /early Fall season, they need to be returned to the US for Caribbean sailings during the winter months. This creates the need to sail those ships across the Northern Atlantic. TheseTA sailings generate income for the cruise line companies, but can pose the question of how well equipped for passenger safety these ships are in reality.

         I also noted that you posted about Getaway officers speaking harshly in a public setting to a crew member. I was witness to this twice on the Breakaway a few years ago. A young lady was openly criticized in front of passengers in the buffet area by a supervisor. She took the criticism without reply and continued with her work once the supervisor was finished talking to her. 

          The other involved a man who was vacuuming the stairs between decks . He was being harshly spoken to by two officers in a public area. He also did not respond to the officers and continued his work once they were finished talking to him.

       Both incidences left me with a feeling of disrespect for those officers and supervisor. No employee should be criticized in a public venue. If correction is needed it should be done in a place and in a manner where the employee can maintain a level of dignity.

       We have no desire to sail with NCL again. It is not only because of these incidences I saw on the ship, but Freestyle is not for us. We prefer the type of cruise experience offered by Princess and Celebrity. 

         I would suggest for you to try these either of these two cruise lines for future vacations.

 

  

 

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10 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

I never make global assumptions based on a single sailing and certainly would not shoot myself in the foot with a -never-   😀.    I’ve done 20 cruises this year on NCL-  currently on the Epic.   Overall an excellent value and great itineraries.   

 

Try other lines. And find the right match.  

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

🙂

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Customs and Border Protection is just Welfare with a uniform supplied. It gives them something to do.

 

We were on the Joy in September, and there was some little things that really made me scratch my head.

There was smoking allowed on the Haven sundeck. We discovered that when it started blowing into our cabin before we had even left Seattle. F@#king, seriously?

There is a doorway between the Haven and the sundeck next door that is left unlocked, so the dudes with the gold chains and their stripper girlfriends would sneak in, drink for hours, and constantly occupy the hot tubs. I never once saw a wet footprint headed towards the bathroom though. I guess they just held on. And on. I expect that was why my 13yo wasn't allowed up there. Not enough piercings and tatts to fit in with the cool kids. And that hot tub water must be saltier than the Dead Sea.

Our baked beans were full of bits of capsicum, and so much vinegar that they were inedible. And they were colder than a mother in law's handshake. Did no one actually taste them before they went out? Open can. Heat. Done. Maybe I can get a cooks job with NCL. Open can. Heat. Done! Simples.

While I was at the Concierge desk one of the girls had taken a picture of her bare thighs in her mini skirt, and was showing it to the other chick. I really didn't want to see that. No one wanted to see that. I pity the poor person that she sent it to as she clearly wanted to take things much further. All week we saw her do precisely zero that required actual work. SelfieLOL!

When we boarded there was a pallet with about a year's supply of carrots on it. Tons of them. I have never seen so many huge bags of carrots. But not once on the entire cruise did I see anything vaguely orange. Except for the dudes with the gold chains and their stripper girlfriends. Someone on there must REALLY like carrots, and is keeping them all to themselves. Maybe it is the Navigator, and he sits up at night on lookout because their radar is broken, and they don't want to accidentally run into a whale. Or a country.

The food in the Haven restaurant was so unspectacular that we had room service pizza three times. It was really good. Had vegetables on it. We even ordered it in the Haven restaurant after seeing other people doing it. That was after I had the undercooked (literally bleeding) duck. One single bite enabled me to enjoy the view out of my bathroom window for about four hours from 3.00am one morning. Beautiful sunrise! I have always told people that plan to travel to third world countries to stay in the hotel with the best bathroom, as you will be spending a lot of time in there. Despite my warning, my son and daughter had the same experience a couple of nights later. Luckily we had two bathrooms. Otherwise one of them would have been using the bathtub. NCL really needs USB charging points next to their toilets, because my iFone went flat, and it was only by sheer luck that I had taken an extra long cord with me, and I could reach it back around to the powerpoint near my bed. Otherwise the bathroom was very nice for an extended stay. Top notch. Good ventilation. Thank you Mr NCL. Someone is clearly paying attention.

When we got off the ship in Victoria our kids went straight to McDonalds. We never eat McDonald's. I was still struggling after the duck a few days previously, so I just had water. It was very nice water. I must do a review.

Instead of letting kids take the 50 foot long protected walkway from the exit of the aquaracer straight back to the entry of the aquaracer the attendant makes them run down a steep flight of steel stairs in bare wet feet, run 200 feet abound the back of the funnel on the windy, dark, freezing cold and slippery mixed general use and jogging track, and then go forward and up another flight of steel stairs so they can go again. Needless to say, the smooth walkway behind the funnel gets covered in water, so they have to put out those little yellow signs warning everyone to not slip over and break their hips. Safety first! I suspected that it was because the attendant's boyfriend who was supposed to be on safety watch when people got off the bigger slide thing kept coming over to talk to her, and she wanted to make sure that he could walk over out of the wind on a nice and dry deck in case he slipped over and hurt himself, or got knocked over by some shivering, wet kid. Another theory was that she just couldn't be bothered to have to keep putting down her Fone and pick up the slider things, and was doing her best to discourage kids from keep going on the ride. It worked! Our kids bailed, and never went back for the rest of the cruise. Mission accomplished. SelfieLOL! 

 

It was a pretty good cruise, but they need to put a grown up in charge to watch over the children. I mean, employees. And give up on the faux Gucci food if they can't be bothered to do it right. Maybe even stick a McD's on board, so people can get something hot and edible that won't land them in their bathroom half the night. That was pretty annoying. Or let people cook their own. I would have made a carrot cake. Maybe some carrot scones. Carrot soup...

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OMG I’m all about taking reviews with a grain of salt but much of these issues sound absolutely terrible. My friend and I are booked one week from now out of New Orleans on the Getaway. I’ve sailed Carnival, Disney, Princess and NCL - several times each line and never heard of or saw service such as detailed here. Good Lord I hope they get their act together by next week.  

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54 minutes ago, BullyLvr said:

OMG I’m all about taking reviews with a grain of salt but much of these issues sound absolutely terrible. My friend and I are booked one week from now out of New Orleans on the Getaway. I’ve sailed Carnival, Disney, Princess and NCL - several times each line and never heard of or saw service such as detailed here. Good Lord I hope they get their act together by next week.  

Take a couple of cartons of MRE's and you will be fine. I don't know if they will let you take the heaters though. You might just need to let them sit out in the sun for a while. And if you do insist on trying the duck, make sure you take a long charging cord with you.

 

Good luck. (Marko HoxhaAlbanian human trafficker in Taken, 2008.)

Edited by elwood_98034

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9 hours ago, Cruisercl said:

OP,

Sorry you did not like the Getaway; it does sound like some of it was Ok.

That said, you really do need to try other cruise lines. IMHO, by doing that I have found they are all pretty much alike more than different. Our last cruise was with Royal and we did not like many things but we would never say never again but won't rush back.

Most of the things you were unhappy about are very subjective, for example I do not care if the room steward is my friend. 

Every cruise is not perfect, if it is perfect for you than more than likely it is not for someone else. It is really all subjective.

Thank you for taking the time to share your opinions of your experience.

Hope you find what you are looking for.

Safe cruising all!! ☺

I very much agree with this statement. But I wanted the OP to come to that conclusion on their own. lol. When I first heard this, I vehemently disagreed until I tried other cruise lines. It was bc of this opinion that squashed any brand loyalty out of me. So I always focus on price first. 

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