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We sailed on the Norwegian Breakaway departing from New Orleans on 2/17/19. The ship itself is very nice and well kept. I am a travel agent and compared to the Carnival and Disney cruises I've been on, Norwegian has some catching up to do. It will be hard for me to recommend Norwegian to my travel prospects based on my experience. It felt as though on this cruise we were being nickled and dimed for every small thing on the ship. For example: We did not purchase the alcoholic beverage card. The drink prices were slightly higher than observed on other cruises and then were "automatically" charged gratuities. By the way, we pre-paid for gratuities as part of our package and were told that's just how Norwegian does it. The automatic charging of gratuities isn't fair to customers that received bad service. There were times we had to wait for extended periods of time before a server could get to us. On one occasion, we waited so long at O'Sheehan's we had to inform management. The bar was way understaffed with (2) people. One bartender was frantically trying to serve the people at the bar but couldn't keep up, while the other was assisting all the waiters for the large restaurant. It took about 30 minutes for backup bartenders to arrive. In the meantime, we were waited on but the bartender was short with us as though they knew we were the ones complaining about the service. To that, we were still charged extra gratuities "automatically" and the service was terrible. This is the main reason we chose not to purchase many beverages, including sodas. I feel the ship would make more money by lowering the price slightly and removing the automatic gratuity because you would have happier customers and let's face it, when people consume alcoholic beverages they begin to loosen up and are more then likely to spend more money on alcohol - Las Vegas has been using alcohol to get gamblers to spend more money in their casinos for years. The problem is getting people over the initial hurdle of higher prices and the unfair automatic gratuities. People do not want to pay gratuities for slow or bad service - it isn't fair to them. In addition, many smaller items like Bingo, small arcade games (not the main arcade) and other things one would think would be included had extra fees. For instance, a small (2) miniature bowling game was $6.00 for one person to play. It doesn't cost that much for a full bowling alley game. Other arcade games were $2-$3 to play games like PacMan and Galaga - games from the 90's. Things like this should be included - if not included they should not be that expensive. The food was good, not to the level we have seen on other ships, but was still good. There were longer wait periods than anticipated to receive our food. The waiters were kind and did a good job. Our room steward, Mark Allan, did a great job. No complaints there. Overall the level of interaction with other staff was just ok. Some of them would speak to us when we met them in the hallways of simply passed by where others just ignored us like we weren't even there. We enjoy speaking to others and learning about them, where they are from and how their day is going but many of them seem to have little interest. My overall rating is a 3 out of 5. I felt the cruise was just "OK". Nothing special at all. At this point, I find it hard to recommend Norwegian to my clients based on my experiences.

Norwegian Cruise Review

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by k5reeves

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We sailed on the Norwegian Breakaway departing from New Orleans on 2/17/19. The ship itself is very nice and well kept.

I am a travel agent and compared to the Carnival and Disney cruises I've been on, Norwegian has some catching up to do. It will be hard for me to recommend Norwegian to my travel prospects based on my experience.

It felt as though on this cruise we were being nickled and dimed for every small thing on the ship. For example: We did not purchase the alcoholic beverage card. The drink prices were slightly higher than observed on other cruises and then were "automatically" charged gratuities. By the way, we pre-paid for gratuities as part of our package and were told that's just how Norwegian does it. The automatic charging of gratuities isn't fair to customers that received bad service. There were times we had to wait for extended periods of time before a server could get to us. On one occasion, we waited so long at O'Sheehan's we had to inform management. The bar was way understaffed with (2) people. One bartender was frantically trying to serve the people at the bar but couldn't keep up, while the other was assisting all the waiters for the large restaurant. It took about 30 minutes for backup bartenders to arrive. In the meantime, we were waited on but the bartender was short with us as though they knew we were the ones complaining about the service. To that, we were still charged extra gratuities "automatically" and the service was terrible. This is the main reason we chose not to purchase many beverages, including sodas. I feel the ship would make more money by lowering the price slightly and removing the automatic gratuity because you would have happier customers and let's face it, when people consume alcoholic beverages they begin to loosen up and are more then likely to spend more money on alcohol - Las Vegas has been using alcohol to get gamblers to spend more money in their casinos for years. The problem is getting people over the initial hurdle of higher prices and the unfair automatic gratuities. People do not want to pay gratuities for slow or bad service - it isn't fair to them.

In addition, many smaller items like Bingo, small arcade games (not the main arcade) and other things one would think would be included had extra fees. For instance, a small (2) miniature bowling game was $6.00 for one person to play. It doesn't cost that much for a full bowling alley game. Other arcade games were $2-$3 to play games like PacMan and Galaga - games from the 90's. Things like this should be included - if not included they should not be that expensive.

The food was good, not to the level we have seen on other ships, but was still good. There were longer wait periods than anticipated to receive our food. The waiters were kind and did a good job.

Our room steward, Mark Allan, did a great job. No complaints there.

Overall the level of interaction with other staff was just ok. Some of them would speak to us when we met them in the hallways of simply passed by where others just ignored us like we weren't even there. We enjoy speaking to others and learning about them, where they are from and how their day is going but many of them seem to have little interest.

My overall rating is a 3 out of 5. I felt the cruise was just "OK". Nothing special at all. At this point, I find it hard to recommend Norwegian to my clients based on my experiences.
k5reeves’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 13834
The cabin was nice and had plenty of room. We had 4 in the room. There was 1 queen bed, 1 pull out sofa and 1 drop from ceiling bunk. Our room steward, Mark Allan, did a great job.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins