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We chose this cruise based upon itinerary and value. We had not been to the Southwestern Caribbean and wanted a late summer vacation before school started in August. I had read mixed reviews on the ship but went in with an open mind. I also knew that this would be full of families and children. We boarded in Miami and it was a very smooth and quick process. IF you are bringing wine onboard, a tip is to walk right by the wine check in station so that you don't pay the stupid NCL corkage fee. For some reason, NCL makes you walk the length of the ship (outside) before entering. After walking through just a few areas inside of the ship, you begin to smell very stale cigarette smoke odor. Then as you continue and pass the 3 deck open area midship (decks 6, 7, 8) flanked on all sides by the casino on deck 7. The stench is extremely prevalent and hits you in the face. Why ANY cruise line would design a casino open to a major part of the ship is beyond stupid. If I had to get to the Aft or Forward Lobby (elevator banks) I decided to go outside on The Waterfront and bypass the center of the ship. That in itself is why I will never book any NCL ship in this class. Overall experience was poor and we will not be going back to NCL again. Positives: The food in the main dining rooms was very good. Previously, our only other NCL experience had very bad food and led us to discover (need for) specialty restaurant dining which we do now on every cruise. I was very pleasantly surprised. The service in each dining room is not consistent but pretty good overall. We did breakfast in Savor each morning after experiencing the jammed buffet on day 1. The service and food during breakfast was very good. The specialty dining this time was just average, I liked the mix but it was nothing great. We ate at Le Bistro, Cagney's, and La Cucina. Each was nice but just average food and service. I loved Wine Lovers The Musical and highly recommend that. The Waterfront is excellent quiet area to sit and relax however they put the life boats in front of it so the view of the ocean is somewhat impaired. The disembarkation process of self assist worked very well and the face recognition technology for customs worked very well. Line up at 6:45 am for a 7:30 am release so that you do not have to wait down the deck 7 corridor within the casino. Negatives: I mentioned the smell. Also the layout of the ship just seemed to be difficult to follow. The elevators are very thin and dark. The buffet had the same things mostly for breakfast and lunch so we chose the dining room for breakfast. We did not eat dinner at the buffet but they did have theme nights which looked interesting but the food did not look very appetizing. During the lunch and breakfast times, the buffet is extremely crowded but the servers do a decent job of keeping up the tables. The pool deck seemed to smaller than other ships we have sailed and so also crowded. The H2O Zone at the aft was a cool place but the large open air bar there is a smoking area which makes the entire area a smoking area. The soaking pool area there was closed the entire cruise to repair tiles but the hot tub was working - if you could tolerate the cigars and smoke from the adjacent bar. The sports area was big and the slides looked fun however with the thousands of teens and kids onboard, I was not going to wait in those lines. We only had two sea days so I could have participated on port days but did not. The entertainment was also not too good. Burn the Floor was pretty good but Rock of Ages was way too loud and I grew up with those songs. I had to leave after 5 minutes. Many others did as well. Some of the live music around the ship was decent but with the ship feeling so crowded and having to sit in some areas dealing with the stale smoke odor was disappointing. The demographic of this particular sailing had many teens and families blowing off steam before school starts so most public areas were very loud, and difficult to enjoy the live music options. The gym is also very poorly designed with very limited machines, very small free weight area. The cardio section across the hall facing outward had a decent amount of treadmills and elliptical machines but don't expect to work out in the morning on a day at sea. This ship is too crowded and gym too small to accommodate that amount of people. I would think twice about booking this ship due to the odor, design, and crowded feeling in most every venue. The food was above average but the other negatives really provided us with a disappointing experience.

Breakaway is HUGE disappointment

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by TwoGuysPBC

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We chose this cruise based upon itinerary and value. We had not been to the Southwestern Caribbean and wanted a late summer vacation before school started in August. I had read mixed reviews on the ship but went in with an open mind. I also knew that this would be full of families and children. We boarded in Miami and it was a very smooth and quick process. IF you are bringing wine onboard, a tip is to walk right by the wine check in station so that you don't pay the stupid NCL corkage fee. For some reason, NCL makes you walk the length of the ship (outside) before entering. After walking through just a few areas inside of the ship, you begin to smell very stale cigarette smoke odor. Then as you continue and pass the 3 deck open area midship (decks 6, 7, 8) flanked on all sides by the casino on deck 7. The stench is extremely prevalent and hits you in the face. Why ANY cruise line would design a casino open to a major part of the ship is beyond stupid. If I had to get to the Aft or Forward Lobby (elevator banks) I decided to go outside on The Waterfront and bypass the center of the ship. That in itself is why I will never book any NCL ship in this class. Overall experience was poor and we will not be going back to NCL again.

Positives: The food in the main dining rooms was very good. Previously, our only other NCL experience had very bad food and led us to discover (need for) specialty restaurant dining which we do now on every cruise. I was very pleasantly surprised. The service in each dining room is not consistent but pretty good overall. We did breakfast in Savor each morning after experiencing the jammed buffet on day 1. The service and food during breakfast was very good. The specialty dining this time was just average, I liked the mix but it was nothing great. We ate at Le Bistro, Cagney's, and La Cucina. Each was nice but just average food and service. I loved Wine Lovers The Musical and highly recommend that. The Waterfront is excellent quiet area to sit and relax however they put the life boats in front of it so the view of the ocean is somewhat impaired. The disembarkation process of self assist worked very well and the face recognition technology for customs worked very well. Line up at 6:45 am for a 7:30 am release so that you do not have to wait down the deck 7 corridor within the casino.

Negatives: I mentioned the smell. Also the layout of the ship just seemed to be difficult to follow. The elevators are very thin and dark. The buffet had the same things mostly for breakfast and lunch so we chose the dining room for breakfast. We did not eat dinner at the buffet but they did have theme nights which looked interesting but the food did not look very appetizing. During the lunch and breakfast times, the buffet is extremely crowded but the servers do a decent job of keeping up the tables. The pool deck seemed to smaller than other ships we have sailed and so also crowded. The H2O Zone at the aft was a cool place but the large open air bar there is a smoking area which makes the entire area a smoking area. The soaking pool area there was closed the entire cruise to repair tiles but the hot tub was working - if you could tolerate the cigars and smoke from the adjacent bar. The sports area was big and the slides looked fun however with the thousands of teens and kids onboard, I was not going to wait in those lines. We only had two sea days so I could have participated on port days but did not. The entertainment was also not too good. Burn the Floor was pretty good but Rock of Ages was way too loud and I grew up with those songs. I had to leave after 5 minutes. Many others did as well. Some of the live music around the ship was decent but with the ship feeling so crowded and having to sit in some areas dealing with the stale smoke odor was disappointing. The demographic of this particular sailing had many teens and families blowing off steam before school starts so most public areas were very loud, and difficult to enjoy the live music options. The gym is also very poorly designed with very limited machines, very small free weight area. The cardio section across the hall facing outward had a decent amount of treadmills and elliptical machines but don't expect to work out in the morning on a day at sea. This ship is too crowded and gym too small to accommodate that amount of people.

I would think twice about booking this ship due to the odor, design, and crowded feeling in most every venue. The food was above average but the other negatives really provided us with a disappointing experience.
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 14206
We upgraded through the bid process to a mini suite from a standard balcony. With the bid process we do not get to choose the location so unfortunately we were placed under the kiddie pool deck and outside seating from the buffet. The noise from the deck was extremely noticeable during the late afternoons and even in the early evening - I should have known better. They clean the deck at 5:00 am each day and you can hear it for about 10 minutes. Our cabin steward was never around. Two of the seven days we did not get a morning / afternoon cleaning but he did show up for a turn down service. It seemed that they had cleaning carts in the halls all day long but it took them forever to finish. The room itself was large with a great bathroom and shower. We had plenty of closet space but there are no drawers just shelves. There are two drawers under the sofa but they held extra pillows and linens. Don't choose this cabin if the noise from the pool deck above would bother you.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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