1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Breakaway
I've always wanted to go to New Orleans & the Caribbean so this cruise checked 2 boxes. We flew into NOLA on Dec 13th, the airport is like 30 minutes out of town, we got an Uber for $50 for the 4 of us. Around town, stick with Uber! we Took a cab to Cochon & with all the people milling around & the extended way the cab driver went we paid 4 times as much as it took us to get back with an uber. We toured the French Quarter, nightlife/music, ate great food & rented a car to go out to tour a plantation. Dec 16th, I allowed 15 minutes to get to port from our hotel, under 2 mile drive, there is construction at port so at 30 minutes we got out & walked the rest of the way, definitely figure that into your timing as it will be going on for awhile & all the uber drivers we talked to feel like it's not going to get better when the project is done as they are taking away lanes. We got through check in faster than I expected, last time we were in the Haven & got to skip all this & lines had looked crazy so I really expected a long wait. They don't allow drinks or food through so if bringing snacks for kids to eat while in line keep it to tiny bags that you don't mind being tossed if uneated. The ship is big but only 1 pool which gets crowded on nice days. we rarely ran into people we met on board. Spice H2O is outside so if there are any dance parties, check the weather. Sunday night football we all crowded in the covered entrance to watch the game due to rain & cold, Final night GLOW party was cold & had to go back to cabin for a sweater (be prepared). Also it says adults only but there were kids at everything there. We were pleasantly surprised by our cabin 11228 mini suite (review below). We ate at the complimentary restaurants & for dinner preferred the Manhattan Room. Each night all the menus were the same but we felt the service was a bit better there. They do enforce the "dress code" which seemed to be no shorts (I feel like they should add a collared shirt because it was silly seeing the guys run back to put pants on but still be in a stretched out raggedly tee shirt). All our food was good though not real impressed with the desserts. I really wish they would just do a formal night. It was never clear when it was until you saw people walking around very dressed up. I don't mind dressing up for dinner but I like to do it with everyone else. We ate at the buffet for breakfast a couple of times when we were short on time. It's too chaotic for us but I did feel what we had was better than on the Pearl & lots of seating. our teens loved it for late night snacks & the soft serve cones. They seemed a bit understaffed with bartenders but those there worked hard so I am not going to complain about wait times. Whoever the manager is should be more on the schedule: sunny sea day with pool activities, the pool bar needs to be stacked with bartenders & other bars no so much, etc. We loved Shakers. all the bars seem to only have 1 drink menu. We loved the 80's party but only wished it hadn't been the night before an early port so we could have stayed & danced. I wish the GLOW party had a mix of music, the techno chased anyone not in 20's & 30's out quickly. We ended up at Shakers & there were older people with there glow sticks dancing to a duo so they obviously didn't like the "music". anyway it's unfortunate & I was disappointed since we had such a great time at the final party on the Pearl. They had a veterans meet & greet on the first day & last which was good. However the first responders meet was on the last sea day, I wish they had done it sooner, we met some really great people that we would have liked to have the time to get to know better. Also for the veterans they had their own room, the first responders was at Shakers & we had to organize it ourselves, not sure how many people may have left before some of the group started gathering people up. The seas were a bit rough at night a couple of times but not sea sick inducing, just a little extra movement. First stop was Cozumel & it was cold, rainy & windy. I had scheduled us for the Fury Catamaran snorkel & beach party, it should have been canceled. They got us out there & said if you are not a strong swimmer don't go in because seas were rough. It was not a pleasant day though the team did work hard to try to make it better. When we got to the beach, more people huddled under umbrellas, back on ship we were shivering cold. Got back to port & just took a hot shower & did not go back out. We were left thinking how bad did it have to be to cancel. A lot of excursions were canceled that day but we were not in the lucky group. Had it been a good weather day it would have been amazing trip. The guys were great & did get us all dancing & therefore warmed up on the way back & tried to keep the drinks flowing. Next day was Belize City & thankfully the heat returned. We did the Al Tun Ha Mayan Ruins & Olde Belize River tour. Booking through the cruiseline, our excursion ticket included our tender time so no issues there. (be ready with tips please, the dollar goes a long way for them). We loved the bus ride, road was not bumpy beyond all the speed bumps in town. Our guide was amazing & gave us so much info on their history & life. I was very moved by the poverty I saw on this trip but also the hustle I saw to make a living. I found the people of Belize to be very gracious & left me wanting to come back & learn more. The ruins were amazing! I wish we could have stayed longer, in fact they should have let us & cut back on the boat ride - ugh - 2 hours on the river was way too long! Also I didn't have time to shop the vendors at the site because we were given less than an hour & I wasn't going to cut short the cultural experience just to shop & there were things I wanted to get here (very expensive at next port). Next was a lunch at a tavern on the river. They have it down to a science & you have your food quickly & a soda, if you want a local beer, Beliken, I think it was $3. The chicken, rice & beans were really good. Then you get on the river boat. I had read 1 hour for this part but it was 2. The driver & his spotter were great but 2 hours & multiple crocs & iguanas was just too much. 1 hour with more on site would have made this trip one of our best. Harvest Caye is so good! I booked a private cabana & was well taken care of. I had worried about getting chairs but there was really no reason to get a cabana beyond deciding to splurge & be pampered. Our teens played beach volleyball all day (this was there favorite day). The water was murky, not sure if it was the rain the day before or all the people in a small area. half way out there is a trench of a drop off so be prepared. The pool is huge & freezing but so refreshing in the heat we had this day. We loved talking to our concierge & getting even more info on Belize. The markup in the shops here is ridiculous but we did get some mayan chocolate to take home. Costa Maya we booked the beach break. This port is the easiest to find your excursion off all of them as they have clearly marked lines. We were put on a bus & taken to La Bamba. We found it cool how they had converted old cargo containers into a bar, restaurant & bathrooms. They had beach volleyball which a couple of waiters joined us in playing until more people arrived (we were the first ship here). The excursion included all you could drink. We had beer our daughter coke. We tipped $1 every time & after 2 round we never had to ask again. He did start bringing our daughter different non alcoholic drinks, she loved the strawberry daiquiri. We finished with a shot of tequila, not included, but $5 & was the best tequila I've had in years, totally worth it. On our waiters recommendation we got the chips & guacamole & once again the best guac I've ever had. There is not a shuttle, come & go as you please as advertised. The bus brings you, you are given a wrist band that is your free cab ride back. We asked our waiter to have our cab there at a specific time & he took care of that too. The water was beautiful, no sea grass as I saw in other reviews, but it did look like they had probably cleared it that morning. These guys were hustling. No problems with disembarkation. Our color was called before the expected time. Long line around ship but it moved quickly. Inside terminal they kept shutting down the escalators so slow the line to keep it from getting too backed up. We walked several blocks to a nearby hotel before calling an uber. We stayed 1 more night to explore the Garden District. While on board we signed up for "Cruise Next" as NCL would match your money up to $1000 & you have 4 years to use it or give it away. Do not wait for the last sea day as the line gets super long. We are looking forward to our next cruise With NCL

Wonderful time & can't wait for the next cruise

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by Sabbytravels

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
I've always wanted to go to New Orleans & the Caribbean so this cruise checked 2 boxes. We flew into NOLA on Dec 13th, the airport is like 30 minutes out of town, we got an Uber for $50 for the 4 of us. Around town, stick with Uber! we Took a cab to Cochon & with all the people milling around & the extended way the cab driver went we paid 4 times as much as it took us to get back with an uber. We toured the French Quarter, nightlife/music, ate great food & rented a car to go out to tour a plantation. Dec 16th, I allowed 15 minutes to get to port from our hotel, under 2 mile drive, there is construction at port so at 30 minutes we got out & walked the rest of the way, definitely figure that into your timing as it will be going on for awhile & all the uber drivers we talked to feel like it's not going to get better when the project is done as they are taking away lanes. We got through check in faster than I expected, last time we were in the Haven & got to skip all this & lines had looked crazy so I really expected a long wait. They don't allow drinks or food through so if bringing snacks for kids to eat while in line keep it to tiny bags that you don't mind being tossed if uneated. The ship is big but only 1 pool which gets crowded on nice days. we rarely ran into people we met on board. Spice H2O is outside so if there are any dance parties, check the weather. Sunday night football we all crowded in the covered entrance to watch the game due to rain & cold, Final night GLOW party was cold & had to go back to cabin for a sweater (be prepared). Also it says adults only but there were kids at everything there. We were pleasantly surprised by our cabin 11228 mini suite (review below). We ate at the complimentary restaurants & for dinner preferred the Manhattan Room. Each night all the menus were the same but we felt the service was a bit better there. They do enforce the "dress code" which seemed to be no shorts (I feel like they should add a collared shirt because it was silly seeing the guys run back to put pants on but still be in a stretched out raggedly tee shirt). All our food was good though not real impressed with the desserts. I really wish they would just do a formal night. It was never clear when it was until you saw people walking around very dressed up. I don't mind dressing up for dinner but I like to do it with everyone else. We ate at the buffet for breakfast a couple of times when we were short on time. It's too chaotic for us but I did feel what we had was better than on the Pearl & lots of seating. our teens loved it for late night snacks & the soft serve cones. They seemed a bit understaffed with bartenders but those there worked hard so I am not going to complain about wait times. Whoever the manager is should be more on the schedule: sunny sea day with pool activities, the pool bar needs to be stacked with bartenders & other bars no so much, etc. We loved Shakers. all the bars seem to only have 1 drink menu. We loved the 80's party but only wished it hadn't been the night before an early port so we could have stayed & danced. I wish the GLOW party had a mix of music, the techno chased anyone not in 20's & 30's out quickly. We ended up at Shakers & there were older people with there glow sticks dancing to a duo so they obviously didn't like the "music". anyway it's unfortunate & I was disappointed since we had such a great time at the final party on the Pearl. They had a veterans meet & greet on the first day & last which was good. However the first responders meet was on the last sea day, I wish they had done it sooner, we met some really great people that we would have liked to have the time to get to know better. Also for the veterans they had their own room, the first responders was at Shakers & we had to organize it ourselves, not sure how many people may have left before some of the group started gathering people up. The seas were a bit rough at night a couple of times but not sea sick inducing, just a little extra movement.

First stop was Cozumel & it was cold, rainy & windy. I had scheduled us for the Fury Catamaran snorkel & beach party, it should have been canceled. They got us out there & said if you are not a strong swimmer don't go in because seas were rough. It was not a pleasant day though the team did work hard to try to make it better. When we got to the beach, more people huddled under umbrellas, back on ship we were shivering cold. Got back to port & just took a hot shower & did not go back out. We were left thinking how bad did it have to be to cancel. A lot of excursions were canceled that day but we were not in the lucky group. Had it been a good weather day it would have been amazing trip. The guys were great & did get us all dancing & therefore warmed up on the way back & tried to keep the drinks flowing.

Next day was Belize City & thankfully the heat returned. We did the Al Tun Ha Mayan Ruins & Olde Belize River tour. Booking through the cruiseline, our excursion ticket included our tender time so no issues there. (be ready with tips please, the dollar goes a long way for them). We loved the bus ride, road was not bumpy beyond all the speed bumps in town. Our guide was amazing & gave us so much info on their history & life. I was very moved by the poverty I saw on this trip but also the hustle I saw to make a living. I found the people of Belize to be very gracious & left me wanting to come back & learn more. The ruins were amazing! I wish we could have stayed longer, in fact they should have let us & cut back on the boat ride - ugh - 2 hours on the river was way too long! Also I didn't have time to shop the vendors at the site because we were given less than an hour & I wasn't going to cut short the cultural experience just to shop & there were things I wanted to get here (very expensive at next port). Next was a lunch at a tavern on the river. They have it down to a science & you have your food quickly & a soda, if you want a local beer, Beliken, I think it was $3. The chicken, rice & beans were really good. Then you get on the river boat. I had read 1 hour for this part but it was 2. The driver & his spotter were great but 2 hours & multiple crocs & iguanas was just too much. 1 hour with more on site would have made this trip one of our best.

Harvest Caye is so good! I booked a private cabana & was well taken care of. I had worried about getting chairs but there was really no reason to get a cabana beyond deciding to splurge & be pampered. Our teens played beach volleyball all day (this was there favorite day). The water was murky, not sure if it was the rain the day before or all the people in a small area. half way out there is a trench of a drop off so be prepared. The pool is huge & freezing but so refreshing in the heat we had this day. We loved talking to our concierge & getting even more info on Belize. The markup in the shops here is ridiculous but we did get some mayan chocolate to take home.

Costa Maya we booked the beach break. This port is the easiest to find your excursion off all of them as they have clearly marked lines. We were put on a bus & taken to La Bamba. We found it cool how they had converted old cargo containers into a bar, restaurant & bathrooms. They had beach volleyball which a couple of waiters joined us in playing until more people arrived (we were the first ship here). The excursion included all you could drink. We had beer our daughter coke. We tipped $1 every time & after 2 round we never had to ask again. He did start bringing our daughter different non alcoholic drinks, she loved the strawberry daiquiri. We finished with a shot of tequila, not included, but $5 & was the best tequila I've had in years, totally worth it. On our waiters recommendation we got the chips & guacamole & once again the best guac I've ever had. There is not a shuttle, come & go as you please as advertised. The bus brings you, you are given a wrist band that is your free cab ride back. We asked our waiter to have our cab there at a specific time & he took care of that too. The water was beautiful, no sea grass as I saw in other reviews, but it did look like they had probably cleared it that morning. These guys were hustling.

No problems with disembarkation. Our color was called before the expected time. Long line around ship but it moved quickly. Inside terminal they kept shutting down the escalators so slow the line to keep it from getting too backed up. We walked several blocks to a nearby hotel before calling an uber. We stayed 1 more night to explore the Garden District.

While on board we signed up for "Cruise Next" as NCL would match your money up to $1000 & you have 4 years to use it or give it away. Do not wait for the last sea day as the line gets super long. We are looking forward to our next cruise With NCL
Sabbytravels’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Breakaway price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11228
Our cabin worked better than expected with 4 of us staying in it. We expected to be cramped but we were good on space. Our teens had the couch & the Pullman (bunk that pulls down from ceiling) & it worked great. I was worried it would be in the way, because once you choose it, it's always set up that way but it was fine. The only slight issue, is it was hard to get to the hang up clothes in the closet. We had a full size shower & double sinks, pleasantly surprised by the bathroom size. No outlets in the bathroom so have to use desk area. Only 2 outlets there but that was enough. Sadly, we really didn't use the balcony on this cruise, when not in port we were roaming the ship. Bed was a little hard for my taste but my husband loved it. I wish the upper bunk had a rail on the top part so the pillow wouldn't fall off every night but our daughter felt it was comfy. Our son is tall so his feet hung off the couch bed, but he is used to that. Our steward seemed fine but for some reason I felt a little shorted in that area compared to past sailings.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Altun Ha
    Al Tun Ha & Olde Belize River tour, I would give it 5 stars except 2 hours on the river boat was too long. longer at the ruins & 1 hour on the river would be better. The food was good
    View All 165 Altun Ha Reviews
  • Beach
    La Bamba beach resort was so good. The water was clear & beautiful with no visible sea grass in the water. The waiters will try to direct you to their section but sit where you want & then make sure it's your waiter taking care of you as they do try to take your order. I would definitely do this again. It is not a shuttle come & go as advertised, you are loaded on a bus, given a wrist band that acts as your cab fare back.
    View All 335 Beach Reviews
  • Deluxe Sail, Snorkel and Beach Party
    Fury catamaran snorkel & beach party, this really should be 5 stars but the weather was horrible & I feel it should have been canceled. We came back soaked & freezing. The guys did try to save the day. The photographer should allow people to get used to the snorkel before harrassing them to put their face in the water especially when rough seas
    View All 74 Deluxe Sail, Snorkel and Beach Party Reviews
  • Harvest Caye
    Rented a cabana, was well taken care of. Our teens loved playing beach volley ball all day. pool so cold but refreshing on a hot day. ocean was murky, not sure if it was all the people in the water or the rain the day before
    View All 1,121 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Harvest Caye Cruise Port Review