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We went on this cruise because it followed our other cruise on Royal Caribbean, Vision of the Seas, which docked the day before on 26 January in New Orleans. Our thinking was we drove 12 hours, so why not take a second cruise and try out a large ship before going home. The larger Breakaway had many more options on board, but it was very crowded. With long lines for dinner and the several of the main entertainment events required tickets, which booked quickly and in a couple of cases were unavailable after the first day.The two headliner shows, Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor were great. One plus was a large casino, which helped with the smoke typically a problem in most shipboard casinos. Several of the events hosted by the cruise director staff (eg. newlywed game, etc) was held in the Atrium, a venue definitely too small for even a fraction of such a large ~4100 passenger ship population to attend. A couple hundred got to attend, half standing, and the rest ended up having to watch on the ships T.V. at random times. We tried the dining package for the first time. It was hit or miss. Their Brazilian restaurant was amazing. The Italian was very good for food, but only fair service. Japanese was good and fair service. The steak house, Cagney's was fair food for all the hype and poor/slow service. The dining package came with our booking, so we had to only pay the gratitudes when we booked it. I wouldn't buy the dining package at full price given what we experienced. Two of the ports were tender ports. The tender start times at one port were moved up by an hour. We weren't able to eat breakfast before our tender was called. At the second port we decided to just forgo going ashore rather than working through the tender process, which Norwegian uses. One of the ports were changed 3 weeks out from Roatan, Honduras to Harvest Caye, Belize, which is solely a cruise port resort only unless you ferry over to the mainland. Harvest Caye was clean and new. A couple of the activities (pool) were crowded, but there were plenty of loungers along the beach. Unlike Royal Caribbean's, private port off of Haiti, Harvest Caye doesn't have any ship dining options on the island. Costa Maya and Cozumel were fun as always. We did Mayan ruin tour in Costa Maya and went to our favorite beach club and bar, Carlos & Charlie's, in Cozumel. The last comment is compared to the other six cruises we have been on, the customer service on this ship was less, with more up selling, add-ons, and waiting for service than any of our other 6 cruises. We have had 3 other Norwegian, 2 Royal Caribbean, and 1 Carnival cruise. Overall, it was a below average cruise for us due to the crowding of the large ship and lower customer service, even given the extra options and choices of activities on board.

Large Ship Disappointing

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by twolf11f

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Inside Stateroom
We went on this cruise because it followed our other cruise on Royal Caribbean, Vision of the Seas, which docked the day before on 26 January in New Orleans. Our thinking was we drove 12 hours, so why not take a second cruise and try out a large ship before going home.

The larger Breakaway had many more options on board, but it was very crowded. With long lines for dinner and the several of the main entertainment events required tickets, which booked quickly and in a couple of cases were unavailable after the first day.The two headliner shows, Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor were great.

One plus was a large casino, which helped with the smoke typically a problem in most shipboard casinos.

Several of the events hosted by the cruise director staff (eg. newlywed game, etc) was held in the Atrium, a venue definitely too small for even a fraction of such a large ~4100 passenger ship population to attend. A couple hundred got to attend, half standing, and the rest ended up having to watch on the ships T.V. at random times.

We tried the dining package for the first time. It was hit or miss. Their Brazilian restaurant was amazing. The Italian was very good for food, but only fair service. Japanese was good and fair service. The steak house, Cagney's was fair food for all the hype and poor/slow service. The dining package came with our booking, so we had to only pay the gratitudes when we booked it. I wouldn't buy the dining package at full price given what we experienced.

Two of the ports were tender ports. The tender start times at one port were moved up by an hour. We weren't able to eat breakfast before our tender was called. At the second port we decided to just forgo going ashore rather than working through the tender process, which Norwegian uses.

One of the ports were changed 3 weeks out from Roatan, Honduras to Harvest Caye, Belize, which is solely a cruise port resort only unless you ferry over to the mainland. Harvest Caye was clean and new. A couple of the activities (pool) were crowded, but there were plenty of loungers along the beach. Unlike Royal Caribbean's, private port off of Haiti, Harvest Caye doesn't have any ship dining options on the island.

Costa Maya and Cozumel were fun as always. We did Mayan ruin tour in Costa Maya and went to our favorite beach club and bar, Carlos & Charlie's, in Cozumel.

The last comment is compared to the other six cruises we have been on, the customer service on this ship was less, with more up selling, add-ons, and waiting for service than any of our other 6 cruises. We have had 3 other Norwegian, 2 Royal Caribbean, and 1 Carnival cruise.

Overall, it was a below average cruise for us due to the crowding of the large ship and lower customer service, even given the extra options and choices of activities on board.
twolf11f’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom
Cabin IC 13631
The cabin was fine. It had less closet space by half and no drawers, so we had to be creative with storage of our clothes. The room had 2 Murphy beds for a 3rd and 4th passengers that we didn't have, so we had to be careful getting in and out of bed, but we learned a lesson to be sure not to get this type of room in the future unless we are actually traveling with additional folks. However, given the limited storage in the room, I am not sure where clothes for a 3rd person, even a child would go; let alone a 4th person.
Deck 13 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Belize City
    It was a 30-minute each way tender port. After the problems tendering 10-minutes into Grand Cayman, we didn't leave the ship in Belize City.
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  • Mayan Ruins
    Tour to Kohunlich Mayan Ruins was great. It was a 90 minute bus trip there, but the tour guide was very good giving us the history of the Mayan and sharing the culture. The ruins were awesome. We had a lady in the group with a walker, which had a hard time. I would not recommend it for others with mobility issues. The Temple of the Masks is up a hill in the middle of the tour. You are still allowed to climb on the structures at Kohunlich. It was well worth the cost.
    View All 137 Mayan Ruins Reviews
  • Cozumel
    We just went and sent the day at our favorite little beach club, Carlos -n- Charlie's. It is free for beach chairs and umbrellas. It is a $15 or $16 taxi ride depending on which cruise port you come into. It has great nachos, tacos, and drinks at reasonable prices.
    View All 6,596 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Dolphin Encounter
    The Dolphin encounter was very good, but no personal cameras were allowed. The group of 8 each got to do 5 tricks with the dolphin individually, which was real cool including the dolphin kissing you. The staff photographed all the tricks with you. Afterwards, the pictures were $120 per couple; totally ridiculous. However, since personal cameras are not allowed it is a monopoly. Sad we got no photos to remember an otherwise very good cruise excursion.
    View All 80 Dolphin Encounter Reviews
  • Stingray Swim
    The Stingray encounter was good, but they only gave the stingrays to couple so you couldn't take your own pictures. Then when you returned to shore they wanted $80 for their pictures. It really left a bad taste in my mouth of the company and experience. It was like extortion.
    View All 704 Stingray Swim Reviews
  • Harvest Caye
    It was crowded around the pool and had to go back onto the ship for lunch. There were plenty of lounger on the far end of the beach.
    View All 1,076 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Harvest Caye Cruise Port Review
  • New Orleans
    Great Experience!! We did the $7 upgrade and watched the 48-minute movie hosted by Tom Hanks. We spent 4 hours, but could have spent more. It used to be only the D-Day museum, but it is so much more now. It covers the whole breath and deep of World War II. Highly Recommend it. Be sure to thank the World War II veteran who work as volunteers throughout the facility.
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  • City Tour
    Hop-on Hop-off Bus: We did the three day package even though we only used 2 days of it for $10 more. You get a free walking tour of the Garden District and part of the French Quarter with the three day package. It is definitely with the extra $10. We used the Hop-on Hop-off Bus to get around the city the second day to visit different site, instead of a taxi. Saved us money.
    View All 45 City Tour Reviews
  • Ocho Rios
    The Plantation Tour was a nice introduction to Jamaica. It was a 90 minute bus ride to the plantation, once 5000 acres, now 2000 acres. We spent `90 minutes learning about the working plantation and the toured the house. On the way back we stopped for 45 minutes at a beach club for lunch. I bet it was a great place in its heyday, but it is in need of some repairs now. The tour stopped for 30 minutes at a small shopping mall to allow everyone to get souvenirs. Total tour was 5.5 hours
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