Just returned from a 9 day July 4th- July 13th Baltic cruise on the Getaway. The ship looks beautiful after her refurbishment, with new carpets shipwide and in the Theater where they replaced all the seats. The ships hull artwork was bright and vivid, obviously touched up as well. The weather was cold, although many enjoyed the hot tubs. The children's area was not used much, only a few days on the return trip as it warmed up a bit.
The ship sailed at full capacity plus, with many large/extended family groups. This made for seating challenges with Dining, and some groups were rather demanding. Otherwise, the ship didn't seem full. The entertainment was top notch, especially enjoyed the Howl at the Moon pianists, the English Band and hosts at Syd Norman's and the cast of Million Dollar Quartet. Burn the floor was also good! New Cruise Director Fernando is getting into the swing of things, it was obvious he was still getting to know his staff, but they seemed to respect him.
Because of the full ship, the Spa was often quite busy, especially on sea days. It settled down after Day 3, and I had no problems finding a stone lounger, relaxation lounger and enjoyed the thermal spa. The spa staff was attentive, removing towels from loungers every hour and checking on folks reserving loungers without ever sitting in them.
One area I found where the crew need to reinforce rules is adult only hot tubs and Spice H2O. I observed on several occasions underage kids with an 18 year old+ young adult in those areas, and they were never questioned. It was obvious they were very young. There were also several large families that I would just consider rude. I understand cultural norms are different, and there were 77 nationalities represented by guest on this ship. However, there were SO MANY folks who would just TALK LOUDLY over anything not being spoken in a language they speak. When your muster drill is being given in 5 languages, folks need to be patient. Several times on tours unfortunately guides had to ask people to stop talking, watching videos without headphones and speaking LOUDLY on cell phones. It went beyond cultural norms, it was just rude.
Shows were no problem, and getting reservations for dinner weren't either. Our one and only issue came with reservation to the Cirque Steams and Dreams Dinner show. We were charged twice due to prebooking, and all was resolved eventually. Please show up super early, as we showed up 10-15 minutes before the time given and were barely given time to eat dinner. Almost all spots were taken, and we were way in the back. I would recommend at least 30-45 minutes prior. This wasn't communicated clearly. Be sure to ask and get clear directions. Also, I would recommend checking the menu in advance, as the broccoli had red pepper flakes and was VERY SPICY. My husband and I also found not all steak was the same, I clearly had filet mignon and his cut was more like a sirloin. It was also here we noticed folks videotaping the ENTIRE show, even after being asked to put their phones away. Recording piracy is a crime in the US, but many just said "No English", and kept on doing as they wanted. I don't know the fix for NCL, except to collect phone/cameras at the door as some concerts do. As for the show, it was a lot like others we have seen in the past, so this upcharge experience should be done by those who have reviewed it's content. I will note that NCL shipboard management heard our issues and resolved it to our satisfaction.
The Shipboard Credit desk will exchange local money, just not on debarkation day. Credit cards are best and easiest to use.
We had a great time, and loved the ports. This area of northern Europe is very expensive for everything, so plan accordingly. We want to go to the Norwegian Fiords, and maybe England/Ireland. I wish NCL would offer more ports in Portugal, as that would be also be a place I would love to visit. We enjoyed our time, but are very thankful to be home.