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9 Day Scandinavia, Russia & Baltic Cruise
From Copenhagen, Denmark
July 13 - 22, 2019

Denmark, Germany, Estonia,
Russia, Finland & Sweden
Norwegian Getaway

Suggestions

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Mega Ships

Before reading this page you should probably read my "comments" about Norwegian Mega Ships on my "Comments" page. Click here if you'd like to read that page now. My most major suggestion is that Norwegian needs to learn something from Carnival about how to design Mega Ships. A mega ship gives ship designers a lot more open space to play with. The one thing you DO NOT want to do with all that extra space is set aside a huge percentage of it in order to offer over 20 dining venues including over a dozen specialty restaurants. Instead you want to dedicate most of that extra mega ship space to the areas where passengers hang out when they are all on the ship in evenings and sea days. If you add a lot more passengers to a ship, which they do by adding a lot more cabins to the mega ships, then you need to make sure you also add a lot more places those people can hang out. In the new Carnival mega ships they make all the bars and lounges a lot bigger, the main theater a lot bigger, and most public areas in general a lot bigger. On the Carnival mega ships passengers feel they have plenty of elbow room and they don't feel crowded at all despite the larger passenger count. But on the Norwegian Getaway, all the bars, lounges, theater, main dining rooms, etc., seemed to be about the same size as on the midsized Norwegian cruise ships. Thus, with the higher passenger count, the Norwegian Getaway mega ship felt a lot more crowded than the Carnival mega ships. My suggestion to Norwegian? Don't set aside so much of the space for specialty restaurants. I know most of the Norwegian mega ships are brand new, but when the time comes to refurbish these mega ships, I think they should give serious thought to removing a lot of those specialty restaurants and expanding the size of all the bars, lounges, theaters, etc. Otherwise I think Norwegian is going to get a bad reputation as their mega ships as being too crowded. Even worse, people might think that all mega ships are as poorly designed as the Norwegian Getaway and that they all feel crowded.

Most likely my wife will avoid the mega ships built by Norwegian and stick with those of Carnival and other cruise lines. We are very happy with everything else about the Norwegian Getaway, especially the selection and quality of the food and the shows, and the better selection of wines by the glass. In those categories Norwegian is much better than Carnival. I might book a mega ship cruise on Norwegian if it is the only option to tour a desired destination, but I'd really rather select a mega ship on a different cruise line or a midsized ship from Norwegian.

Buffet

The Norwegian Getaway has a fantastic buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breadth of offerings is tremendous and the quality of the food is excellent. If you walk all the way around the buffet you will find that the stations seem to repeat 3 or 4 times. For example, you'll find 3 salad stations, 3 carving stations, 3 Asian Food stations, 3 BBQ / Pizza sections, etc. At first you might assume that each of the same type stations has the exact same offerings. However, upon closer examination, you will find that some of the stations slightly differ from another station with the same name. Thus, one "salad station" might have a few extra ingredients that you won't find at another "salad station". You might also find that one "Asian Station" has one or more different offerings than one of the other "Asian Stations". It is definitely worth making your way around the entire buffet, even to stations with the same name as one you've already checked. It might have some offering that you didn't see at another one with the same name! My suggestion here would be for Norwegian to insure that each food station in the buffet of the same type has ALL of the offerings of that food type. Passengers should not have to visit EVERY salad station, EVERY Asian Station, EVERY carving station, etc. to make sure they get to see all of the foods being offered.

Live Shows

The live shows on Norwegian were fantastic. Some of the best shows I've ever seen in my life on a cruise ship! However, I did find their reservation system rather odd. Almost all the shows required a reservation, even the ones in the main theater! For many you could make a reservation online before boarding the ship. You could also make a reservation for almost any show at the box office on the ship, on touch screens around the ship, or using the interactive TV in your cabin. If a show is sold out, you can stand in the "stand-by line" and stand a good chance of getting in.

The one thing I found really weird is that the main theater can't even hold half the passengers of the ship. It is a relatively small theater for the size of the ship and the number of passengers. Most cruise ships built a theater big enough to hold at least half the passengers for the early performance and at least half at the later performance. Most cruise ships have a different performance in their main theater every day. They make sure there is enough seating that all passengers on the ship can attend either the early or late performance each day. On the Norwegian Getaway, this was not true. They would often repeat the same performance on multiple days expecting that most passengers would just attend each performance one time. However the Norwegian Getaway also has a dinner theater called Imaginerium where they had other performances. We really loved the performances in the dinner theater. The food was great and the performances were fantastic.

If might be just me, but I like the idea of the main theater having a different performance every evening and all passengers on the cruise ship being able to attend either the early or the late performance with no reservations needed. My suggestion to Norwegian would be to build main theaters on their future cruise ships that can accommodate at least half of all the passengers at each performance and then offer a different performance every night like other cruise ships.

If in this report you see any typos, misspellings, factual errors or other types of errors, please let me know. Please include the web address (URL) of the report in which you found the error. Thank you! Send your email to:

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