Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by CruisingDadWithDaughters
- Sail Date: May 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Let me start by saying we are all seasoned cruisers. I've cruised 40 plus times, my daughters have cruised eight times, and my parents have logged more than seventy cruises. We know the good, the bad, and everything in between when it comes to cruising. We have all sailed NCL in the past with no problems. No, it's not the caliber of Celebrity, but we picked the ship based on activities for my daughters (ages 15 and 13). Embarkation went relatively smooth (we arrived early) though they were not recognizing Latitudes members for priority embarkation (not a huge deal, the lines were short). Once we boarded the ship we made our way to Savor for lunch. Walking through 678 Ocean Place we noticed a strong odor of cigarette smoke, we came to find out it is because of the location of the casino on deck seven (with the casino in the middle of the ship that is open to three decks, the smell permeates). Throughout the cruise, the smell of cigarette smoke was quite strong throughout 678 Ocean Place. The service for lunch at Savor was lacking, but we figured it was just first day issues. Turns out, it was only a precursor for things to come. Throughout the cruise we noticed the service was just dismal. Drinks were seldom refilled at meals, tables seldom bussed, and the general attitude of most (not all) the crew was definitely not up to standards. Our cabin attendant (midship mini suite) was virtually nonexistent. We had to ask daily for ice, our cabin was never vacuumed (even from the cruise before as we found trash left from two weeks prior), the sheets were never changed, dirty beverage glasses were not removed and replaced, we did not have a bath mat for the last half of the cruise, and there were days that our cabin would not be "cleaned" until 3:30-4:00 (despite our "make-up room light being on since 8:00am). He also complained about being overworked which was pretty uncalled for, especially on the second day of the cruise. We would ask crew members questions only to be told "I just came on this ship" (& perhaps that is the majority of the problem, perhaps it's a training ship). The ship itself is nice, though almost always felt crowded (much unlike far larger Oasis Class ships). The activities that are offered are abundant. The water slides were great, but one of the two drop slides was broken our entire cruise and the other one was down a good bit. Without a doubt one of the best ropes courses my daughters have ever done, though don't try to do it on a sea day, it will almost always be too windy. The comedy on the ship was excellent! Our cabin was fine, though smaller than similar cabin categories on other ships & lines. The balcony was tiny, the smallest we've had on any ship. I'm not sure who designed the ship, but it could really use some improvements (casino open to other decks, jogging path literally runs through commonly congested areas). I will say, the condition of the ship was excellent (we've sailed a Carnival or two that were held together with duct tape). The itinerary was fantastic. We've been to all the ports on past cruises (except Harvest Caye which, while beautiful, was a ripoff - $7 for a bottle of water because they know they have you). Disembarkation was one of the smoothest, most well-organized we have ever experienced. It was great. All in all it was a great cruise and we made some incredible memories, however, this may be our last NCL cruise. It's easy to look past one or two lackluster crew members, but when almost every one of them shares the same attitude, it's hard to overlook. We expected more from NCL!
CruisingDadWithDaughters’s Full Rating Summary
Smaller than comparable cabins on other ships / lines. The bathroom was big, two sinks and a good sized shower. Nice water pressure and multiple jets. Good sized closet with ample storage everywhere. Only TWO power outlets - TWO! That's a joke! The balcony was small, almost too small.
Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
We love Costa Maya. It has grown a lot over the years. We like to take a taxi to Mahahual to get away from the crowds. Prices at the pier are ridiculous in comparison to Mahahual.
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Cozumel is great! We've probably been twenty times or more on cruises. While the downtown area has grown exponentially, the rest of the island is still nice and relaxed. We always rent a Jeep and explore the island on our own. It gives us the ability to go where we want, when we want. It's definitely the way to go!
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The island itself is nice. Its relatively new and well-maintained. My daughters paddle boarded which they enjoyed. In our opinion, the beach left a lot to be desired (we've been to hundreds of beaches worldwide and this one is average at best). The pool was nice, albeit a bit crowded (I guess that happens when 4000 passengers are relatively confined to a small island). Absolutely NO need for a cabana as there are plenty of loungers with umbrellas. The biggest disappointment was a total of 25% tax / fee being added to all food and beverages. That made a bottle of water a whopping $7.00.
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Having been to Roatan multiple times, we opted to book a driver to take us around the island. We did zip lining (which was awesome) as well as the park which had monkeys, birds, and a sloth (holding a sloth was INCREDIBLE). Our driver was extremely nice, very knowledgeable, and showed us a great time on the island. We were the only ones in his nice, relatively new van and we were able to do what we wanted and on our own time. It was fantastic!
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