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This was our first cruise with Norwegian. We've sailed with other cruise lines that we have enjoyed very much and were excited to try Norwegian. Although we had a wonderful time despite many issues, I'm not a fan of the Breakaway. I want to start by saying the the Breakaway has an outstanding staff who were, for the most part, friendly and helpful. They made our cruise great. Our issues are not with the staff, but with the ship and cruise line in general. Embarkation was disorganized as was many of the events. Most of the popular events are held in the atrium, which is far too small to host such a large crowd. The atrium is positioned directly across from guest services, which makes it very difficult to speak to guest services over the din in the crowd and event. Our biggest complaint: none of the toilets flushed properly. Some not at all. It took several pushes on the buttons to make them flush, if they were going to flush at all. On a couple of occasions, after pumping the button in vain, our room's toilet flushed on its own hours later. A 3:00am startle that I didn't appreciate. When we spoke to guest services they told us that they were aware of the problem and that it is ship wide. The Breakaway has a strange layout. Needing to venture through the liquor store to buy sunscreen? Weird. It feels like the ship was meant to be laid out differently, but was rearranged in a much less optimal fashion. The "adults only" area is only during certain hours (7:00am - 6:00pm ?) then open to all ages the rest of the time. This is the first cruise ship we've been on that didn't have a 24/7 dedicated adults only area. When I mentioned this to a staff member they suggested I hang out in the library. Was she cracking wise or sincere? I don't know. But we didn't use the adults area anyway because nearly all of it is a smoking section. Breakaway has so many smoking areas that it stinks like a dirty ashtray through most of the common areas inside of the ship. Great if you're a smoker I suppose, but I am not. Speaking of adult only areas, they allowed children to sit at the bars and in the 18+ shows. Come on now Norwegian... set some standards! Trying to order a drink at a lounge bar late at night while next to a three year old whose screaming, slapping the bar, and grabbing at the cocktail fruit behind the bar was a new experience. Not one I want to repeat. A bright spot: The show "Rock of Ages" was magnificent! Credit where it is due; this was one of the best shows we've seen on a cruise. Likewise the comedic magician Jean-Pierre Parent was fabulous! And we really enjoyed Dylan Mandlsohn in the comedy club. No complaints about Norwegian's shows. Disembarkation was a nightmare. I have not ever been through such a cluster of a debarkation in all of my cruises - and we have sailed on ships with many more guests than the Breakaway. Norwegian just doesn't seem to know how to handle crowds. The disembarkation winding through the smoke filled areas of the ship was bad enough, but then they dumped us out into a thunderstorm without any cover. So here I am, already ill with something I contracted on-board the ship, now wheezing from the stinking smoke filled ship, dumped out in a thunderstorm to be drenched, and then dumped back into another air conditioned building where I am now wet, cold, and sick. Not a great impression to leave with a guest. Again, the staff of the Breakaway was the very best part of the cruise. They are amazing people. The staterooms were comfortable and the food was good. The excursions were a blast even if they were a bit disorganized to start. We had a good time despite the disorganization and lack of properly functioning toilets. However, Norwegian will not be a cruise line we first consider in the future. Maybe a third or forth choice, but no where near our first. Maybe it was just the Breakaway, but I'm not spending my hard earned money to find out.

The toilets didn't work! At least the staff was amazing.

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by LisaABello

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
This was our first cruise with Norwegian. We've sailed with other cruise lines that we have enjoyed very much and were excited to try Norwegian. Although we had a wonderful time despite many issues, I'm not a fan of the Breakaway.

I want to start by saying the the Breakaway has an outstanding staff who were, for the most part, friendly and helpful. They made our cruise great. Our issues are not with the staff, but with the ship and cruise line in general.

Embarkation was disorganized as was many of the events. Most of the popular events are held in the atrium, which is far too small to host such a large crowd. The atrium is positioned directly across from guest services, which makes it very difficult to speak to guest services over the din in the crowd and event.

Our biggest complaint: none of the toilets flushed properly. Some not at all. It took several pushes on the buttons to make them flush, if they were going to flush at all. On a couple of occasions, after pumping the button in vain, our room's toilet flushed on its own hours later. A 3:00am startle that I didn't appreciate. When we spoke to guest services they told us that they were aware of the problem and that it is ship wide.

The Breakaway has a strange layout. Needing to venture through the liquor store to buy sunscreen? Weird. It feels like the ship was meant to be laid out differently, but was rearranged in a much less optimal fashion.

The "adults only" area is only during certain hours (7:00am - 6:00pm ?) then open to all ages the rest of the time. This is the first cruise ship we've been on that didn't have a 24/7 dedicated adults only area. When I mentioned this to a staff member they suggested I hang out in the library. Was she cracking wise or sincere? I don't know. But we didn't use the adults area anyway because nearly all of it is a smoking section. Breakaway has so many smoking areas that it stinks like a dirty ashtray through most of the common areas inside of the ship. Great if you're a smoker I suppose, but I am not.

Speaking of adult only areas, they allowed children to sit at the bars and in the 18+ shows. Come on now Norwegian... set some standards! Trying to order a drink at a lounge bar late at night while next to a three year old whose screaming, slapping the bar, and grabbing at the cocktail fruit behind the bar was a new experience. Not one I want to repeat.

A bright spot: The show "Rock of Ages" was magnificent! Credit where it is due; this was one of the best shows we've seen on a cruise. Likewise the comedic magician Jean-Pierre Parent was fabulous! And we really enjoyed Dylan Mandlsohn in the comedy club. No complaints about Norwegian's shows.

Disembarkation was a nightmare. I have not ever been through such a cluster of a debarkation in all of my cruises - and we have sailed on ships with many more guests than the Breakaway. Norwegian just doesn't seem to know how to handle crowds. The disembarkation winding through the smoke filled areas of the ship was bad enough, but then they dumped us out into a thunderstorm without any cover. So here I am, already ill with something I contracted on-board the ship, now wheezing from the stinking smoke filled ship, dumped out in a thunderstorm to be drenched, and then dumped back into another air conditioned building where I am now wet, cold, and sick. Not a great impression to leave with a guest.

Again, the staff of the Breakaway was the very best part of the cruise. They are amazing people. The staterooms were comfortable and the food was good. The excursions were a blast even if they were a bit disorganized to start. We had a good time despite the disorganization and lack of properly functioning toilets. However, Norwegian will not be a cruise line we first consider in the future. Maybe a third or forth choice, but no where near our first. Maybe it was just the Breakaway, but I'm not spending my hard earned money to find out.
LisaABello’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BC 11132
Bed was comfortable and view was amazing. Clean, comfortable, and well appointed. Only complaint was the toilet not flushing properly, but per the staff, none of them were during our entire cruise.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Walking Tour of Old San Juan
    Informative and fun, but no rest breaks and no stops to purchase water, etc. One stop to purchase hot sauces, but they didn't have water. Be sure to bring your own.
    View All 145 Walking Tour of Old San Juan Reviews