Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by akaupstate
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
Dining on the ship is one area that I had hoped would be better. The buffet is large and well stocked with good choices, and the quality is what you would expect from a decent buffet. The main dining rooms and other eating areas are not much better that the buffet fare. The service we received from the dining areas was always next level, top notch. That may have taken a little from the food, as service of this caliber usually comes with top notch food. I recommend steering clear of any "steak" from the complimentary menus.
The specialty restaurants are a different story. The food is much better and is worth adding to your vacation package. I had a well cooked, and perfectly marbled Ribeye from Cagney's, and had dinner twice at Teppanyaki. I have been to a few hibachi style restaurants and both of my meals there were better than what I was used to.
The Beverage service was basic but not lacking. We had the premium beverage package and never had to wait long to be served. The bars are well located on the ship, and the servers are generous when making drinks. My wife would rather drink Pepsi than tequila, and found having to wait at the bar for a soft drink to be inconvenient. Our experience was drastically soured by a Bartender in the Headliners venue that was extremely rude to my wife on the second to last evening. His actions seem like a departure to the service culture on board, but it was bad enough to keep us from ever considering NCL in the future.
The Ports were not the greatest for me. Living near the beach in South Florida, I don't get too excited about laying in the Sun. I was also travelling with a 6 year old, so some activities were not available to me.
Roatan. None of the excursions that I could do with my daughter appealed to me, but knowing that Harvest Caye is a default beach/boat day, I felt compelled to purchase an excursion. We went to Maya Key. The cost to book Maya Key on the ship was much more than the payoff to go, but after forgetting the price, it was a pleasant day. We enjoyed posing for pictures with birds and monkeys, and had a relaxing day on the private island. There is a pool on the island and a sandy beach with chairs.
We left the island early to try to walk around the area surrounding the port. I could not walk more than one block away from the secure area without being concerned for my family's safety. I may have been being overprotective, and always try to be open to other cultures, but I don't recommend being a pedestrian outside the Port in Roatan.
Harvest Caye was exactly what we thought it would be, but in a good way. I wasn't looking to sit/swim on a beach because I always have easy access to the beach. I do enjoy a day at the beach, and this island is great for this. Get off the boat first to get one of the free chairs under an umbrella and be better off than the ones paying for the distant clamshells. There was a LOT of jellyfish in the area and multiple people were stung, but a large portion of the bay is screened in and much safer, if swimming ouside of this area, stay vigilant. There is a small exhibit showing Macaws and butterflies and local flowers. Nothing mindblowing, but worth seeing. I rented a paddle board and kayak and both were reasonably priced. Fun day, but no reason to make a early return to the ship.
Costa Maya is where we decided to do the Mayan Ruins excursion to Chacchoben. We booked through the ship and were whisked away to the ruins (1.5hr ride) in comfort while or guide spoke with us about local culture. The ruins were impressive and we were returned to the port with time to eat and shop. The Port area is not a place for local culture. Everything in the area is built only for cruise ship passengers. Nice, safe, plastic.
Cozumel was fun. We wanted to do an exciting excursion, but could not book through ship due to age of our daughter. We were able to find an ATV excursion within 5 minutes that would allow our girl to ride. because they were bending the rules, we were given a private tour (Guide on one machine, wife on another, and my girl and I on the third). We were brought to a mud "playground" and encouraged to have as much fun as we could. Our guide was very warm and friendly and answered all of the questions we could think of. Where we returned the machines was a flea market about 3 blocks North of the port. the vendors sell the same things that are found in the shops at much lower prices. I was able to average a selling price about half the asking price on most items. My advice, say no to ALL tequila tastings. They are delicious, and are hard to say no to.
The return day at sea I planned to sleep and relax. My wife made sure that didn't happen and kept the day full of shows and events. It was worth it.
If you happen to smoke, there are few places to do so on board. It was so inconvenient to smoke that I actually quit the habit on board. Hopefully that continues, and I will save enough $$$ to pay for next vacation.
I summary, the trip was a pleasant experience. If not for the incident with a server so close to the end, it would have been remarkable. I would try to find a better itinerary.
During Disembarkation, a passenger fell in front of me and I stopped to help her up. My family continued walking and they were routed to the front of the ship. They rerouted me to the rear and we were unable to find each other going through customs. Make sure that you stay together as a group when traveling, and never depend on cell service. A family set of walkie talkies is a great investment.
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