1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Our extended family cruises together every other year. This was the first time cruising NCL (we previously did Carnival and RC). We booked travel and transport thru NCL. My aunt is disabled and we also registered her with the Access ... Read More
Our extended family cruises together every other year. This was the first time cruising NCL (we previously did Carnival and RC). We booked travel and transport thru NCL. My aunt is disabled and we also registered her with the Access Desk at NCL. Upon arriving for our transport to the port (at the Miami airport) we were informed that they did not have handicapped transport for my aunt. We called the Access Desk (they were closed on Sunday). The NCL workers at the airport informed us that they did have access equipped vans. They had us carry my 80 year old aunt up the narrow stairs of the regular bus. Upon arriving at the terminal we were told that we had to carry her from the bus location to the terminal-it was a bit of a walk. We refused and thankfully had an understanding onsite manager who made an exception and brought a wheelchair from the terminal to the bus. We did not bring my aunt's chair since it does not comply with NCL guidelines (which is normal-we have rented scooters on some of our other cruises). However, the rental chair that we received did not work-and we had to argue with guest services that it didn't (was actually asked if we knew how to use the chair) They finally sent a tech, who discovered/agreed that it didn't work. He found a replacement-but it wasn't the type we had paid for. The ship is nicely appointed and the family room I was in was the most spacious that I have been in. I especially loved the larger bathroom (a must for young children). In general, the dining is the best of any cruiseline. Lots of options and the staff is generally thoughtful. BOOK OCEAN BLUE. If you go, book this restaurant as soon as you are able-the slots went first. It was amazing-went with my husband and our baby (DD was is kids club). Staff here was the BEST of the ship. We booked Cagneys for our group of 12. Food was good-staff was overwhelmed. Had to request multiple times for water and they forgot appetizers for some of our party. We also booked Teppanyaki-if you have children this is a must. Most entertaining staff and food was good. We visited every included restaurant-food was really good. Make sure to do one night at the Manhattan-they include a show and it was amazing. My 8 year loves the apple pie at OSheehans as well. And the staff at SAVOR adored my 1 year old. Entertainment was okay-but not as good as RCL. Activities were okay-best one was the escape room (sign up early). My daughter said the kids club was the best one of any cruiseline. Our room porter (Ariel) was the best. Lost and found was easy to navigate. Gym was much smaller than we have experienced on other lines. The ropes course and zipline were fun-my 8 year old adored it. My 1 year could not get in the pool (even with a cover or swim diaper). For a ship of its size, the lack of pools is shocking. Both times that we tried to do the water slide-it was closed (but it looked fun). Ports-Honduras did an encounter at the monkey sanctuary and beach. Fun. The beach was clean and kid friendly. Animals (monkeys and sloths) were a welcome surprise of fun. Belize-its a private beach which is fun. Lighthouse was closed when we came-bummer since that is what my daughter most wanted to see. Ferry to the mainland is $25 roundtrip. Costa Maya we booked the Mayan Ruins. It was a lot of fun and both of my kids enjoyed it (bring something to entertain them for the 45 min bus trip each way). In Cozumel we booked a horse buggy tour off ship ($60) which was fun. Please note: NCL does not have a separate disembarkation line for access needed guests. Lastly, the day before we departed I went to Guest Services to make sure my aunt's departure would be seamless. Most of our travel group was flying out of Fort Lauderdale while my aunt and cousin were flying out of Miami. We were also leaving earlier than they were. I wanted to ensure that the issues that plagued our arrival would not happen for disembarkation (especially since the bulk of us wouldn't be there to help carry her). The staff verified for 30 minutes and assured us that everything would be okay. On our disembarkation day-while waiting at the airport-we got a frantic call from my aunt that the same issues were plaguing her. She had to complain and get management involved. I would only go on this cruiseline again if it was my family only. If you have an access needed traveling companion please look elsewhere. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Food: the main complimentary restaurants are mediocre at best. If you have the funds do at least 3 nights of speciality dining. Chaney’s was the best. The buffet was standard and we alway enjoyed it. They do seem to lack in tasty ... Read More
Food: the main complimentary restaurants are mediocre at best. If you have the funds do at least 3 nights of speciality dining. Chaney’s was the best. The buffet was standard and we alway enjoyed it. They do seem to lack in tasty desserts but the ice cream is yummy and always available. Room: prefect we had a balcony. Plenty of storage. Nice size and almost noise free. (White noise machine helps at night) we had room 8170 and loved it. Excisions and Ports: Amazing. We saw monkeys in Roatan, Mayan Pyramids in Costa Maya, and snorkeled in Harvest Caye (tip get off the ship early at Harvest Caye to get a good seat and swim in a empty beautiful pool. By 12 the place is packed. If you like to shop cozumel is for you. Second tip bring your own water bottles and bring them every where you go. We used our the time. Amenities: slides, rope course and pool is nice but the pool is full by 10. Chairs gone by 9:30. Get up early if staying on board and stake your claim with towels and clips to keep them there. Entertainment. Not a fan. Tried. It was either not good or more for teenagers. We brought movies downloaded on iPads as the tv has Minimal to watch. Is it a Disney Cruise? No it is not but we still had fun. Last tip plan on spending more than you think as many things cost extra. Without the drink plan plan on spending 9-16 dollars a drink. Also bring an air freshener for you bathroom. It helps. Service can be slow, staff nice but not really knowledgeable, and get to embarkation early if you can. First people there get on the ship first and parking at the port is tricky. We got there by 9:00. On by 11:00 Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My family traveled on the Norwegian Breakaway to the Western Caribbean from 7/7/19 through 7/14/19. The following outlines issues we experienced leading up to and during the cruise along with recommendations to prevent these issues from ... Read More
My family traveled on the Norwegian Breakaway to the Western Caribbean from 7/7/19 through 7/14/19. The following outlines issues we experienced leading up to and during the cruise along with recommendations to prevent these issues from arising in the future. This was our first family cruise and at this point I cannot say we intend to repeat the experience. Multiple issues outlined below. No communications starting with post-booking 5/15/19 through submission of this feedback on 8/7/19 has been received. At this point I have filed an ADA complaint and a BBB complaint against NCL on 8/20/19. Awaiting any response. Update (no response received so BBB & DOJ complaints filed 8/21/19). 1- Food Allergy a. My eldest, age 13 at the time of travel, has Celiac, an immune system deficiency that causes extremely violent physical reactions if she ingests wheat/barley/rye. Typically referred to as gluten intolerance. b. 5/15/19 The cruise was booked via the NCL.com website. Nowhere in the booking process did I see an indication of where to mark if any “guests” in the party had a food allergy. For a vacation where the majority of the meals are taken onboard that seems to be a miss and is a relatively standard question on most travel websites I have booked through in the past whether it be a hotel or amusement park. c. 5/20/19 I received my first of many emails from my “personal cruise consultant” trying to sell me additional items but offering little in meaningful information. d. 5/30/19 I found a note on NCL.com advising that if my party had a food allergy I needed to make NCL aware 30 days prior to embarkation. No noticeable information was shown online how to make NCL aware, so I contacted my NCL consultant via email at 9:09am. In this email I asked how to note the account, what steps needed to be taken by us when dining onboard and how allergies were handled for excursions booked via NCL where meals were provided. To date (8/20/19) no response has been received from him in regard to these questions. e. 6/3/19 Getting closer to the 30 day window, I then attempted contact at the phone number/extension provided in the email (1-877-416-9722 ext 44252). I was placed in voicemail where I reiterated the prior questions and the urgency since I was 4 days outside the 30 day window. To date (8/20/19) no response from him has been received. f. 6/5/19 Still having not received any form of response, I called the number again but without the extension so I could find a live representative. The rep who answered the phone still first attempted to locate Vmy consultant despite my protestations but fortunately was unable to find him so this rep handled the call. The rep was able to note my account as Celiac, but was unable to answer any of the additional questions regarding dining both onboard and on shore. He provided a phone number to “call closer to the time of sailing” to get additional information (1-866-584-9753). g. 6/26/19 After booking our excursions through NCL my wife called the number we had been provided. This number, as I’m sure you are aware, is NCL’s main number, not any form of information line in regard to dining or food allergies. After 22 minutes on hold someone answered the call. He was unable to provide any usable information and placed her on hold again for an additional 3 minutes before transferring her to Shore Excursions. She was on hold an additional 8 minutes with that extension until another rep came on the line. The only information he was able to provide was that “the allergy info should carry over to shore excursions but check with the shore excursion desk once on the ship." My goal was to get all this taken care of before vacation so I wouldn’t have to waste vacation time chasing this so that wasn’t a very good response in my estimation. h. 6/27/19 Whilst again combing through the website for any usable information I came across a webform to contact the Access Desk. I again filled out the form with all the above questions and was thrilled to get an autoreply from the Access Desk informing me that Case: 02729318 had been opened and I would hear from them within 72 hours. To date (8/20/19) I have not received any additional reply aside from the autoreply. i. 7/7/19 We boarded the Norwegian Breakaway at approximately noon EST. As rooms were not yet available we were advised by staff to “go get some food”. We approached the first restaurant we came across at 12:18pm, O’Sheehans, and upon reaching the front desk advised the woman seating customers of our need for GF. She then called for a manager who advised us that we needed to provide our meal choices 24 hours in advance so they couldn’t serve us at this restaurant. They directed us to Savor, one of the main dining halls, instead. This response was a tad confusing as we had only been aboard for 18 minutes and had been provided with no access to any menus beforehand so how could we have provided them a meal option and dining location 24 hours in advance? This behavior is what is referred to as a Denial of Service when it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act which recognizes Celiac as a disability. We proceeded down to Savor where we were seated without issue and enjoyed a good meal. The waiter, was knowledgeable in our needs and did ensure the soup my daughter ordered was prepared GF as in the standard preparation it contained Hoisin sauce which generally contains a wheat extract. Great job on his part. The maître d did come out to our table and again mentioned the 24 hour notice item again. Given that we did not know at this point day by day what our dinner plans were for dining location or time we were still unsure how this would work. NCL very much stresses the “freestyle dining/freestyle cruising” experience and this certainly seemed to deviate from that expectation. For dinner we went to the Buffet and had a fine experience more akin to what I have found to be the norm in most locales. We approached each station, asked what was GF, were advised what she could eat and had no issues. No 24 hour notice was required for the buffet so that was a tad confusing. j. 7/8/19 We went to the buffet at Moderno for breakfast and had a similar experience to dinner, station by station asking for options and having a fine meal. At 11:15am we knew what our dinner plan was, so we approached the restaurant desk to see that night’s menu. The menu was provided and after reviewing the options my daughter made her selections. Upon stepping back up to the desk to place our order the representative attempted to call a separate line to convey our order. When no answer was received on that line the rep advised us she was unable to help us further and directed us up to the buffet to place our dinner order…the buffet 9 floors up from where we were currently standing. Just another example of the lack of ownership for any problems/issues by many of the staff I encountered. If security cam footage is reviewed for 7/8/19 at approximately 11:20am you will see me standing by the door to said desk debating if it was time for me to just walk through the door and stand behind the desk until my issues were resolved, though I opted instead to continue to do NCL’s job while on vacation. You may also see the look on both my face and my family’s face as we took the elevator up to the buffet. Those looks will tell you that 24 hours into our vacation we were most assuredly not having a very good time. Upon reaching the buffet we found anAsst maître d. She was as confused as us as to why we were sent up 9 floors to place a dinner order for a different restaurant but she took ownership of the situation and took down and sent in our dinner order. Since we were already up there we decided to have lunch at the buffet and again no issues. Prior to heading out to dinner at 4pm we called the allergy line we were provided in a letter when we got in our stateroom the day before(28704), where it rang incessantly and eventually disconnected, called another line that did the same(26363) and continued back and forth in this fashion for 15 minutes until someone answered at ext 28704. After my wife explained our issues the rep agreed to meet us for dinner at Savor at 5pm, advising us to request at the desk that they page her upon our arrival. Over the course of approximately 45 minutes we requested the desk at Savor to contact her 3 times and my wife even walked out to Guest Services to try and get assistance. On the 3rd attempt to communicate that the rep was supposed to join us it all finally clicked with someone and she was at our table a few minutes later. She did a wonderful job of listening to me lay out for her the same items I have noted above for 10 minutes at which point she apologized for the confusion and provided us our first detailed information on dining with an allergy on an NCL ship in 39 days. She was concerned with the constant push off given with the phone reps and very concerned we were denied service on 7/7 and not assisted at the Reservation Desk on 7/8 asking for times and descriptions of the individuals involved so she could better educate them in the future. She also gave us the rundown on the 24 hour notice, advising us that our dining location and time were not necessary as the meal could be sent anywhere on the ship at any time we requested it. That would have been fantastic information to have had prior to boarding. She advised that breakfast dishes could be ordered for items not readily available at the buffet and brought up once requested. We later did this with pancakes, eggs benedict and French toast and my daughter was delighted. She advised that certain items such as GF pasta were available in the buffet area and could be requested at the counter (more on that later). However, the most important bit of information she provided was that, despite booking excursions via NCL, NCL had no knowledge of what items were being served and what may or may not be gluten free. She also indicated no food could be taken off ship at any of the ports which meant we were essentially on our own in foreign countries trying to explain a gluten allergy to folks who did not necessarily understand all the nuances associated with cross contamination. To the credit of the 3 establishments we dined at on shore, my daughter had no reactions. Any reaction would have disabled her for approximately 6 hours and would have inevitably resulted in our missing departure for a particular port. Though 2 of the 3 were booked via NCL which guaranteed they would not leave without us if we booked an excursion through them, it was best not to put that to the test as I had seen little from NCL to this point to make me feel confident in that guarantee. After speaking with the rep I can say our vacation did finally begin. We enjoyed dinner, saw the comedian and I enjoyed my first adult beverage 31 hours after boarding. The process of pre-ordering was not especially cumbersome as we just took the next days menu while we dined and made selections before leaving from dinner the night before. We did encounter one final issue regarding dining that evening when we went to the buffet later in the evening. We had previously been informed that GF pasta was available but upon approaching the first pasta station were told it was at the other pasta station. Upon reaching the other pasta station we were informed the GF pasta was at the first pasta station. We stated that’s where we started so the person looked around for a maître d. None was readily visible, so the person informed us they could not help us and my daughter had to do without her preferred option for that meal. This was the only negative instance we had at the buffet, but I wanted to make sure it was called out. On a side note, the maître d at Savor was our constant companion for the duration of our trip and did a wonderful job taking care of my daughter. So hats off to the Savor staff. Their assistance was greatly appreciated. However I would have to give a failing grade to the others mentioned above. This issue was by far and away the biggest detractor from the trip. That I spent hours and days chasing information before the trip with no response and was met with a refusal to serve at our first restaurant was inexcusable. 2- Excursions a. Roatan, Honduras trip to Gumbalimba Preserve and Tabyana Beach booked via NCL i. Tabyana Beach, while very beautiful, needs to have some items addressed and since NCL supports this location via their offerings/bookings then NCL can be a point of contact. 1. The shore vendors were no problem and the meal was very good and we found a person who understood GF and walked us through the offerings. 2. The individuals working the snorkel kayaks that are employed by the beach resort are a different story. a. I was approached at my seat and asked if we wanted them to take us out further to snorkel and have them feed the fish to draw them in. I advised no and the individual went back to his area. b. Upon entering the water and gearing up the same individual approached the 4 of us and I again advised we were all set. c. 10 minutes later, while snorkeling 100 yards or so from shore he again approached on a kayak and circled us until we surfaced and again asked about taking us out further where we again indicated we were all set. d. Shortly thereafter my wife and my eldest child went off in a different direction on their own as my eldest was uncomfortable near the fish. Another Tabyana Beach Resort employee kayaked over and after being advised they were all set, proceeded to drop fish food into the water anyway, attracting a large number towards my daughter that was already uncomfortable. i. Under no circumstance do I want myself or anyone I know to be associated with food in regard to wildlife. Feeding fish causes them to associate people with food. The smaller fish come in, quickly followed by the larger fish until eventually you end up with a large aggressive fish coming after you…or worse case…a shark. This behavior is inexcusable and needs to be addressed. In reading reviews, I am clearly not the first person that has experienced this. b. Harvest Caye, Belize i. This will be a discussion on a communication failure and the negative impact it had on our day. 1. Prior to departure I researched each port of call and looked for points of interest. The main call out on this island was the Flighthouse, a lighthouse located about ¾ of a mile from the ship with ziplines that carry you over the beach and other areas. 2. In the Freestyle Daily for Day 4, Wednesday July 10 2019, left in my cabin the night before there was an insert on Harvest Caye with bullet 4 calling out the Flighthouse. I retained a copy of this paper for this discussion, not an action one who is truly “on vacation” would need to take. 3. In the Atrium the morning of Day 4 the slide show for Harvest Caye included a slide on the Flighthouse. So at this point all indications are that the Flighthouse is an option when we arrive, yes? 4. That morning I discuss options for the day with my children. Since they wish to partake of the zip lines and they figure it makes the most sense to do this first when they’re dry, we exit the ship in full dress (shirts/shorts/sneakers) carrying all the swimming/snorkeling gear in 2 beach bags and 2 backpacks and exit the ship. It is a pretty long walk to the Flighthouse in full sun much of the way, but we followed all the signs and continued past all the other Harvest Caye attractions. The closer we got the more concerned I got that, not only did I not see anyone ziplining, I didn’t even see a zipline cable anywhere in the sky. But we carried on because there was no indication anywhere that this was not a viable option. Upon reaching our destination I wish I could say I was surprised to see a chain across the entrance with a closed sign attached. At this point we retreated to the beach nearby to figure out next steps. My wife and kids went off to change into swimsuits while I remained at the beach watching as one family after another reached the Flighthouse only to find it closed. I located a staff member wearing a Flighthouse nametag and asked if this was closed just for a bit or if it was closed for the day. The person then indicated that it is undergoing renovations and has been closed for a while and will be closed for the foreseeable future. This leads me to understand this wasn’t a last second cancellation and that instead NCL had operated in bad faith by continuing to promote an attraction that was not available thereby costing my family an hour of travel time and time spent changing into suits we would have worn off the ship had we known beforehand. So instead of carrying just the 2 bags, we were stuck with 4 for the day. c. Algae/Sargassum i. The Western Caribbean is currently inundated with a massive algae bloom the evidence of which was clearly visible both on and off the ship. Any south or east facing beaches are covered with mounds of rotting algae that is surrounded by flies. This algae reaches out several feet from shore that must be waded through to get to any sort of open water for swimming. 2 of the 4 beaches we visited were covered to a point where utilizing the beach for any water activity was greatly inhibited, one of these was the beach in Cozumel booked via NCL. 1. Under no circumstance am I holding NCL responsible for the algae problem, however I would note that I found no mention of this anywhere in regard to NCL’s website or Excursion listings. This problem has existed for 5 or so years apparently but is a guarded secret. That is again unacceptable. Communicating these issues ahead of time allows people to manage expectations and make more informed choices for excursions. It wasn’t until I returned home 2 days later and saw a story on MSN.com outlining the issue up and down the coasts of Mexico and Central America that I was truly aware of the scope. 3- Onboard a. An inclusive list of items in need of addressing onboard. i. Climbing Wall 1. For all amenities onboard I would recommend a whiteboard listing the hours of operation for that day posted early in the morning. There were times when we approached an activity during the timeframe called out in the Freestyle Daily and the activity was not open. 2. Specific to the climbing wall and the “ropes” course, have an assortment of socks available for purchase at or nearby these attractions. I was aware of the restrictions as I always research ahead of time. However, on Day 2 while we were awaiting our turn to do the rock wall a young girl ahead of us was turned away as she did not have socks on. She immediately broke down but there was no available remedy. I did step in and offer her my younger daughters socks and she and her father accepted and averted a meltdown. This is something that bowling alleys have had for decades and would be a relatively easy implementation and would result in better customer experiences as well as a small revenue source. ii. Spider Wall 1. As noted above, a few times we went to this attraction during its scheduled operating hours it was closed with no indication of why or for how long. Simple enough to add a whiteboard and post hours and messages if items close unexpectedly. Set the expectation. iii. Bungee Trampoline 1. This attraction was not operating at all during the duration of the cruise. That was disappointing to my children. No reason was given for why it was closed. Again, communicate and set the expectation. iv. Main Pool 1. This attraction was also closed a couple times when it was listed as open. In addition, when kids then went over to the adult pool to swim they were chased out. That’s not acceptable. As above, whiteboard with hours and any updates for why it’s closed and when it’s expected to reopen. And if it’s closed unexpectedly, especially on a sea day, allow the kids into the adult pool. v. Waterslides 1. From a safety perspective, this was the first place I had ever encountered waterslides where there was not a staff member present at the exits of the slides to assist anyone that may be having an issue at the bottom. Both sets of tube slides had very restrictive access should someone need assistance since there were plexiglass walls around them. I would certainly address that before a real accident occurs. vi. Shuffleboard 1. We went to the shuffleboard areas every day during their scheduled operating hours and pucks were never present. Over the course of the cruise the condition of the sticks deteriorated as folks unable to find pucks began using the sticks for swordplay and such. Finally on Friday, Day 6, I sent my wife to Guest Services to request the pucks while my children and I played “shuffle phone” with my Samsung. I only had 1 phone though so it didn’t quite work. The Guest Services rep was confused by the request but did call it in and a few hours later we were finally able to play. After the pucks came in you can see that the courts were occupied consistently so we were not the only ones waiting. Both courts are in a very highly trafficked area for crew, so that this was missed for what easily could have been the duration of the cruise had we not brought it up is disheartening. I would expect that someone is responsible each morning for getting these loose items like shuffleboard/chess/ping pong/foosball set up. vii. Casino 1. Only issue here was in utilizing the machines. There is no information posted on/near the machines telling you how to set up an account and then transfer money onto the machine. I did successfully load money onto my card Saturday morning, Day 7, but was then unable to place bets. Nobody was around to assist so I came back later to the main desk in the Casino and the staff member handed me a card that gave the instructions on loading to the card and then transferring to the machine. These cards need to be located in multiple locations, most notably near the machines. viii. Toilets 1. For a billion dollar cruise ship I was surprised by the number of low level maintenance issues I encountered. Most notably the near constant signage for restrooms being out of order. In some instances there was no signage, but upon entering the facility it inevitably encountered an issue. There are 2 key examples, but multiple other times we ran afoul of the restroom. a. One morning I entered the men’s room by the Manhattan on Deck 7. Upon entering the first stall I noticed that the stall had been recently cleaned as the toilet paper was still folded as they do when they replace it. However, upon lifting the lid of the toilet I was greeted by someone else’s leavings. I did attempt to flush but the toilet did not respond despite numerous attempts. This tells me that a staff member actually went into the restroom to clean, found the offending item, continued on their cleaning and left the mess without any effort made to resolve the underlying issue or put up signage that that stall was Out of Order. I then went to the next stall and, upon completion, found that this toilet also would not flush. This toilet also had the blue cleaning solution still in it so this tells me the toilet wasn’t tested during cleaning. On a ship where toilets were constantly out of order I would recommend adding the step of checking the flushing mechanism during each cleaning and having signage to warn customers of any that may be in need of repair. Repairs also need to be swifter in coming. b. On the morning of debarkation the toilet in our stateroom decided to act up. We had no issues for the entirety of the trip with out restroom until this day. Unfortunately this issue resulted in my having to leave a mess behind for the cabin steward. I was very appreciative of the work he had done for us during our cruise up to and including having to come up and retrieve a match I had found in an elevator lobby on the 9th floor. I did not want him to think my decision not to flush was an indication of my feelings toward him or the service he had provided so I was left scrambling to write a 1 page note to leave him apologizing for the mess and making sure he did not perceive it as a reflection on him in any way. All while trying to get everyone and everything off the ship in a timely fashion. This was a sad conclusion to our trip. ix. Trash cans 1. Over the first 24 hours I was surprised by the amount of trash customers were leaving laying around and I would pick items up as I came across them (cereal boxes, napkins, etc). What I soon discovered though was that, while there were recycling containers around the main decks I could not locate a trash can anywhere but the restrooms. As such I stopped picking up garbage as I found it. a. I’m not sure if this is a standard cruise ship issue or if there’s some maritime rationale for not having them accessible, but if there is not then I would set some up by the recycling bins. x. Touch Screens 1. These were a great idea and very useful the first couple days, but like so many other items they quickly fell into disrepair. By the midpoint of the cruise I would estimate 50% were out of order in some way or another. Particularly the card scanner when making show or dinner reservations. xi. Bowling Game by O’Sheehans 1. Almost constantly Out of Order. When we finally found it working we paid the $6/person for the 4 of us to play and by the 3rd frame it was offline again. There was no phone to contact maintenance, so my wife had to go down a level to guest services. While she was away someone did happen by and fixed the issue, but my wife was not back yet and the game immediately resumed with a countdown so she ended up missing a frame. My feeling here is that ship phones or call buttons need to be installed in many of the areas around the ship so that a quick call can be put in when an issue is found. Make it easier to report issues so hopefully they get reconciled faster. xii. Phone calls 1. Frequently our calls to the operator or specific extensions rang until the call would disconnect unanswered and would require multiple call backs to finally get someone to pick up. That was not a great experience. xiii. Contacting NCL online while aboard without paying for wifi 1. Several companies provide a way to access their website and download their app while onsite. NCL needs to provide a way for all customers to access while aboard and provide pertinent updates like attraction closings or storm warnings on that site. As can be interpreted from this write-up, this was far from the relaxing vacation I thought I was booking. There were positives, the food was great, the shows we saw were wonderful, the bed was comfortable, and the steward was magnificent, however the negatives far outweighed the positives making me rate this vacation a 2/10 and perceive it as a waste of my time and money. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise itself, along with the itinerary was fantastic. We had quite the hiccup, at the very beginning at the dock, while checking in, we had to wait for over 2 hours, while various people were telling us that they were on the way. We ... Read More
This cruise itself, along with the itinerary was fantastic. We had quite the hiccup, at the very beginning at the dock, while checking in, we had to wait for over 2 hours, while various people were telling us that they were on the way. We were in terminal C, and we found out later that all of the wheelchair personnel were over at terminal B doing nothing. Other than that everything on and during the cruise was amazing. The food was plentiful and beautiful. All the staff were extremely friendly, and there were always things to do, or chairs to lounge in, and just do nothing! Shore excursions went off without a hitch except one was cancelled, andwe were not informed of this, until we left the ship, and arrived at the boarding area. Fortunately, they had another boat ride we could go on, instead! The service at every restaurant was outstanding, and the food was a treat to the eyes, and tastebuds....... There is something to do for everyone, regardles of the time of day, 24 restaurants, various parties going on, I only wish the pools and hot tubs could stay open for at least another hour, and not close at 10. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Third time on the NCL cruise line. One tends to get hooked when you’ve Enjoyed one cruise...what vacation can you go on and wake up in a different country every morning, eat unlimited food, enjoy entertainment at your leisure and just ... Read More
Third time on the NCL cruise line. One tends to get hooked when you’ve Enjoyed one cruise...what vacation can you go on and wake up in a different country every morning, eat unlimited food, enjoy entertainment at your leisure and just relax on land or shore. Plus, meet people that are always happy and without all their daily cares? I went with my 87yr old mother and her best friend from College. We stayed in a balcony suite (which, is always nice to have when you're anywhere and want to see God’s beautiful and serene calm in the morning and sunset in the night). Embarkation was a breeze with my mother in a wheel chair. But even without it’s been a breeze and quite organized on all my NCL cruises. Disembarking took just a little longer but because we used their wheelchair service it was much faster. By the way, there were lots of people in wheelchairs and elderly. So, if your parents or grand parents would like to tick something off their bucket list - don’t hesitate. They will have great fun and get a renewed sense of not feeling that getting old means staying home. Since they had no interest in the Western Caribbean (Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel) - we did no tours but, we did leave the ship in Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Ports were lovely and in the first two you could use their pools, free of charge and buy food/drinks, and it had shopping. Cozumel - we hired a taxi for $18 one way to Playa del Mia, paid $28 to use their pool, beaches and water slides. I think it was just a bit cheaper than purchasing a shore excursion on the ship. Food/ drinks, massages and motorized water sports were for an additional fee. There were also other choices that we could visit but my family and I always enjoy going there when we visit Cozumel. Entertainment was varied and always fun. I had been on the Getaway exactly a year before and the Bliss in December of 2018. All very similar and with great entertainment. Burn the Floor was an exquisite show. It felt like I was watching a $500 show for free. It was well choreographed, sexy, tasteful, professional and the outfits were beautiful - it was very elegantly done and extremely Then, we attended their comedy night - well, it was funny but could have been better. I had seen better before on the Getaway. The Atrium always had very entertaining events with guests as the entertainers - always a hoot. Even my mom enjoyed it! Newly wed couples, and the Perfect couples, karoke, etc. Then, since I was solo, I decided to have a little fun... so I attended the sólo meet up the first night but prospects were quite disappointing for women (ranging from 25-70). Not enough men that would be a catch or worth compromising your relationship for. Maybe because it was low season. MSo, there definitely was something for everyone. However, the evenings had fun entertainment from 10pm (salsa dancing, line dancing, glow night, pure Finally, staff were great, food was good not Disney great but acceptable - always lots to eat so one could always find something. And you’d never need to spend a penny at the specialty restaurants. Just don’t bother with the Shanghai Noodle complimentary restaurant - better food elsewhere on the ship, especially in the Garden café. And to work off the food, there were Stretch, Abs and Yoga classes every morning at 7:00am -8:00am, as well as, a great gym. After, one could relax in the Breakaway’s Thermal Spa, using their sauna, steam room, thermal lounge chairs and bading for some alone time before you set out to a smorgasbord breakfast and day of fun or just more relaxation and sun. ALL in all a fun time. Just one last thing - get a porter to help you through the lines and immigration (if he knows the ropes). Don’t know why people chose to self assist with their luggage and not use the luggage system on the ship the night before. It made getting off easier the next day and without having to wait for an empty elevator with lots of Luggage. Finally, if you intend to rent a car - I highly recommend using Enterprise car rental with their free shuttle bus going to and from the Miami airport. But you must have a confirmation to show the bus driver. NCL gets to be addictive and looking forward to another cruise before summer is over. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for a new itinerary. This is not our first time on the Breakaway. Fewer waiters in bars. Less activities such as expert lectures. Less musical choice, too many DJ sessions. Shambolic disembarkation. The cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a new itinerary. This is not our first time on the Breakaway. Fewer waiters in bars. Less activities such as expert lectures. Less musical choice, too many DJ sessions. Shambolic disembarkation. The cruise ship had a lot of facilities closed until 4 or 5pm each day giving little choice when wandering around ship. The entertainment was only 50% ok. The "rock of Ages" show is not the kind of thing that is needed on a cruise ship with lots of teenagers and younger on board, I wouldn't go to a show at home that was over 100 minutes long without an interval. The content was unacceptable as it meant that a large number of passengers had no show for two evenings. The waiters in the resturaunts had poor grasp of English and we ended getting our full meal delivered at the one time and when asked for them to be delivered as 3 courses all they did was leave the plates at the serving hatch to get cold. I had asked for no main courses and have my starter along with my wives main course. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The positives: beautiful boat. Cirque show was good. Bar staff served two drinks at one time with the drink package (that everyone has - free with sea offers are plentiful) The negatives: From the port experience to disembarkation ... Read More
The positives: beautiful boat. Cirque show was good. Bar staff served two drinks at one time with the drink package (that everyone has - free with sea offers are plentiful) The negatives: From the port experience to disembarkation all we did was wait in lines. Every dinner (Savor, Taste, Manhattan Room, and Specialty - Carney’s and Tepanyaki) took no less than theee hours. Breakfast in the dining room was 2 hours and 20 minutes. Getting a drink at any bar, 20 minutes. Seeing a show? Stand in line for no less than 30 minutes. Want to watch something fun in the atrium - good luck. Better get your chair 40 minutes early. We usually cruise with carnival (which NCL staff bad mouthed in their show) and are used to friendly staff, bartenders that remember you and what you drink, waitstaff in the dining room that build a relationship with you. None of that is at NCL. They are severely understaffed and the staff does not care about the guest. Bartenders will not even make eye contact. You have to wave your hands to get noticed. Casino is horribly Smokey. If you play foe even half an hour, you return to your room smelling like an ashtray. The smell of smoke permiates to the 8th floor - which is quite beautiful but smelly. We loved the concept of the open promenade on the 8th deck and enjoyed being able to sit outside, but you get no service. We will never sail with NCL again. NCL does not make anyone feel like they want your business. Even the people checking in and out at the ports are grumpy. Finally - Harvest Caye is a rip off. We bought a beer for $6.95 PLUS a service charge AND taxes and it equated to $10. Later on at the swim I bar, the bartender arbitrarily changed the price of the same beer to $9 plus service fee and taxes. And then a tip on top of it. No one was friendly at this stop either. If they too are NCL employees they are all embracing the crappy culture that is on the boat. We have a disabled daughter and on Royal Caribbean, received exceptional service at the port. NCL promised that they would have someone meet us at the port, but the person did not show up. We called four times and she kept saying she was on her way but did not come. We ended up just doing the lines. We are also promised a private lifeboat demonstration for her which they did not do. NCL does not keep their promises. The parking situation is beyond awful. We will never give our money or time to NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I went with a 50+ singles travel group for safety in numbers. Ana was my cabin steward, and she was wonderful. The studio cabin was clean, the bed was comfortable and good for my back, and I loved the towel animals Ana made. I'm ... Read More
I went with a 50+ singles travel group for safety in numbers. Ana was my cabin steward, and she was wonderful. The studio cabin was clean, the bed was comfortable and good for my back, and I loved the towel animals Ana made. I'm with others on here in that the room could be equipped with drawers and a refrigerator. It was really nice to be able to shove my empty luggage under the bed, too; plenty of room there. The reason I'm writing this review is because, before I went on the cruise (Western Caribbean), I had read numerous reviews on Cruise Critic. One in particular makes me laugh now. The reviewer had complained about someone in the next room snoring loudly all day and all night every day of his or her cruise. I'm profoundly hard of hearing and wear a hearing aid, and they had set up my cabin with a deaf alarm that went off for every little noise, even people walking by, or me opening the door or the bathroom door or the closets. It was a constant, LOUD, irritating WAH WAH WAH WAH noise. It took me a day to figure out how to shut off everything but the alarm clock part (which I had to reset every night because all electric shuts off when you pull out the key card and leave your cabin)... and I realized that the reviewer must have had a deaf person in the room next door who couldn't hear the constant alarm at all. The ship was supposed to provide me with a device that alerted me to all announcements (sort of like a TTY), but they didn't. Fortunately, I had 4000+ people I could ask about what was going on. Other people LOVED the cruise, so I suspect much of my dissatisfaction had to do with being unable to hear. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
While I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the trip because I did there were many things I didn’t like. First we get to the port and the shuttle drops us off at the carnival terminal because of traffic and we had to wheel our luggage down the ... Read More
While I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the trip because I did there were many things I didn’t like. First we get to the port and the shuttle drops us off at the carnival terminal because of traffic and we had to wheel our luggage down the street to the Norwegian terminal which was quite a chore for disabled people. We even had a truck hit our bag my husband was pulling. Then with the bad backs and the disability making it difficult to stand very long.. we were in line for over 2 hours past our check- in time. Then we get on the ship and My husband is a smoker and instead of having an open area and smokers on one side & non smokers on another where the fresh open air would disperse the smoke. We felt isolated because like on carnival the deck above the midship swimming pool was smoking on one side and not on the other. NCL put us into a penalty box and were unable to be part of the fun. I wish the shows such as newlywed, etc were done in one of the theaters because there were not enough seats in atrium, and if you were at O’Sheehan’s you had to be able to get a bar stool right along the wall because lf you sat at one of the table in the bar there you couldn’t see, which was very disappointing.If you wanted to sit in the fresh air you can’t smoke except in one small area on the upper deck away from the fun which is not an ideal situation for disabled people that can’t walk very far as it is. While we understand not being able to smoke in the rooms or sitting at the bars it would be nice if smokers wernt made to feel like they weren’t wanted on the ship. It’s like if you smoke we don’t want you to enjoy your cruise. I could not believe all the people I heard say how bad they hated the way they were made to feel like lepers and that they would never set foot on a Norwegian Cruise ever again. The Carney’s steakhouse was great and ocean Blue seafood was amazing! The rooms a very nice and spacious. Be aware some cruise lunes offer free room service and while Norwegians has some free they charge you a “convenience fee” of $7.50 to bring it to you so if you want coffee in the morning it’s gonna cost you. While I’m not sure things are like this on every boat I would be willing to give ncl another chance to try to win our loyalty but it would have to be a great deal. I’m sure this has got to be an exception to the rule surely all Norwegian cruises aren’t the same experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Overall we were very pleased. There was some issues with my having pre-paid the tips and NCL not seeing that. I spent an hour on hold during my vacation trying to get it cleared up and am still arguing with Expedia and NCL I brought my ... Read More
Overall we were very pleased. There was some issues with my having pre-paid the tips and NCL not seeing that. I spent an hour on hold during my vacation trying to get it cleared up and am still arguing with Expedia and NCL I brought my family including my 77 yr old mother for a holiday cruise. She is very mobility restricted so we got the handicap room for her and it was perfect. No stepover for the shower and ramps for the balcony made her experience so much nicer. We ate in all specialty restaurants during the week and it was fabulous. Special shout outs for eating on the waterfront as the sun was setting, really made my cruise. We had adjacent aft facing cabins 9322 and 9922. My favorite spot on the boat was on those balconies. The beds were super soft and our room steward was always going the extra mile for us. We didn’t do any excursions (mom), but we did check out all the ports at least a little. Cozumel is always pretty fun, lots of stuff to shop for and do. Harvest Caye. “the private island” was a joke. It looked great but everything costs cash and the cruise ship was only a thousand feet away. We used the pool and went back before lunch and used our drink package on the ship. Costa Maya was super touristy but still fun. My wife and I checked out the Aviary, lots of cool birds up close. New Orleans is all you have ever heard and more. We stayed there three days before and after, and I would have liked to stay even longer. The shows were great as well. I enjoyed Rock of Ages, even if the Lonnie character was way to stereotypical (hint to actor, we aren't supposed to know he is gay). The Pour House was also great with rock and roll shows featuring several vocalists who kept the energy high. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The only time I really saw any member of the ship that worked there smile we when we were getting off the ship to go back through customs at the end of the trip. The Ultimate Beverage Package is a joke. It does not include everything and ... Read More
The only time I really saw any member of the ship that worked there smile we when we were getting off the ship to go back through customs at the end of the trip. The Ultimate Beverage Package is a joke. It does not include everything and anything. Every other cruise line does, not this one. Even the generic coffee cafe that was terrible was not included. What is free is only the well alcohol they deem well and what they have priced themselves as $15 or under. Anything they have priced over that or is espresso is not included and you have to pay. I only saw my room steward three times the entire 7 day cruise. Everything is extra. The ports we stopped at only had what the ship had onboard. They were not concerned with customer service and made sure we all knew it. Waiting at one of the pool bars for a drink, a bartender started yelling that we all had to get in a line if we wanted to be served because she was tired of having to go around the bar to figure out what we all wanted and we were bothering her. If we didn't get in line, we wouldn't be served. None if the bartenders made eye contact or acknowledged you until they were ready. Only two bartenders on the entire ship were worth anything but by day three, everyone figured out who they were and waiting to get drinks was to long. The other bartenders admitted they weren't experience and complained about having to stand like they were and it hurt their backs. The food on the entire ship, including restaurants, could be compared to Golden Corral quality. I lost weight instead of gaining, which I guess could be considered a positive, but not when you pay as much as we did expecting to have the time off our life and really ended up just waiting for it to be over and back home by day three on the ship. I will NEVER do another Norwegian cruise line ever in my life. Do Royal or even Carnival before you even think or try to consider Norwegian. Their customer service on and off the ship was terrible and the service and care you get while on the cruise could be compared to the crappy kiosks inside of a low rate mall or even at a Long John Silvers. Don't do it. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We have only cruised on NCL once (NCL Star 2007 Mexican Riviera). Since then we've cruised Princess (Royal, 2016 Southern Caribbean) and Celebrity (2018, Western Caribbean). I don't remember a lot about the first NCL cruise ... Read More
We have only cruised on NCL once (NCL Star 2007 Mexican Riviera). Since then we've cruised Princess (Royal, 2016 Southern Caribbean) and Celebrity (2018, Western Caribbean). I don't remember a lot about the first NCL cruise except we liked the ship (easy to move around the ship probably because it was smaller, good food in the free restaurants although the wait lines were long, fairly easy to walk-in specialty restaurants without reservations. more seating around the pool). We scheduled the NCL Breakaway Western Caribbean cruise with friends, one who is very handicapped using a walker and limited to short distances. We chose a mini-suite for a little extra room and the larger balcony which was an excellent decision (8724). It was close to all of the decks associated with the atrium (decks 6,7 and 8). We used the stairs to access anything on those levels. The room: I chose this room since the bed was near the sliding glass doors leading to the balcony. It allowed more room to access the closet. Everything written about storage is true. I did like the little ottoman with the faux wood cover that could be removed and used as a tray on the couch for morning coffee. Doing so revealed a soft top to the ottoman which DH used to prop his feet while surfing on the computer. WiFi was fairly strong in the room. We did use our phones as hotspots when in port saving WiFi minutes...and that worked well, too. The bathroom is large however the double sink isn't quite as large as they seem in the pictures with the one side close to the toilet (not a lot of room but useable). I didn't like the liquid soap or shampoo in the shower (should have taken my own). I did like the shower head and the body jets (it took a little time to figure all that out). I didn't find the bathroom trashcan until the last morning when I was checking the bathroom cabinets for left-behind items. It's in the door of the cabinet on the left! The balcony: I loved it!!! We celebrated with our friends and the complimentary champagne with plenty of room for all 6 of us. Our handicapped friend had a handicapped room (12889) and though the room was huge, the balcony was one chair deep. I think most balcony rooms are the same size. I'd have been very unhappy with that. BTW, this cabin did have a fold out couch and drop-down bunk. I honestly think it would be horribly crowded with children or another couple. The ship: The Breakaway is a huge ship. It's a long walk from one end to the other...but great exercise. I haven't gotten that many steps in since I got home! The walking didn't bother me but it was pretty tough on my handicapped friend. The cabin hallways are VERY NARROW. There were folks with motorized scooters at the far end of our hallway. When they were motoring down the hall, the cabin stewards had to move their carts back and forth to allow these vehicles past. We had to duck into doorways to allow them by. It would help if there was one floor only dedicated to handicapped rooms and hallways wide enough for motorized scooters. It's a trend and ships need to keep up with it. The public areas were large enough for the masses of people, although it did seem crowed on sea days and evenings when everyone was aboard. The atrium was loud with the adjoining bar, iConcierge, Coffee Bar and Guest Services. When there was a movie broadcast on the large screen there, the words had to be projected on the screen. It was impossible to hear the actors voices. All movies really need to be in the theatre. The restaurants: The buffet took some navigating and getting used to. The stern area is the easiest to find seating since most folks are lazy and won't walk back that far! The food offered is repeated on each side. The food is fair. We ordered basic breakfast foods (cereal, sweet rolls, fruit, coffee) through room service daily...for FREE. Eggs, etc have a cost attached. We had lunch in the buffet until the last two sea days when we opted to eat lunch in Savor (or Taste), complimentary restaurants. We ate dinner twice in the main dining room (Manhattan). It was loud, too many people with a dance band made it hard to hear conversation at our table. We ate the most of our dinner meals in either Savor or Taste. They were smaller and quieter. We did have trouble in Savor twice with the waiter (table 20) putting someone else's drink bill on our charge. That was frustrating but ultimately cleared up at Guest Services. We ate in Shanghai one night and it was okay. I liked the Spring Roll and could have had a dozen of those. The Fried Rice tasted like it came from the frozen food section of the grocery store. The last night at sea, we had dinner at La Cucina, the Italian venue. It was a bust. The pasta was not al dente. It was just plain not cooked! Trust me, I know Italian cooking well. The Ocho Buco was not anywhere near the rave reviews. We didn't get our money's worth there. The bars: We used MIXX on the nights we had reservations in Taste and Savor. We used Shakers a few other nights. Both were great places to relax. We needed to get there early to get seats for the 6 of us. The Bar Venues (Sid Norman's and Bliss) seemed loud and small so we didn't stay. We did like the specialty coffee bar in the atrium and used it daily. The Shows: There were not enough shows! We went to Burn the Floor, Rock of Ages and Cirque Dreams (a dinner show). All were excellent! There need to be more shows to give cruisers something to do in the evening beside drink and stare at each other. The Excursions: We did schedule two excursions through NCL with our friends. Neither were worth the money. We would have done better to stay on the ship. We chose to walk around Harvest Cay (NCL's island in Belize) instead of scheduling an excursion, an excellent decision. It is well done and we did enjoy our day there. We had scheduled a private excursion in Grand Cayman. Unfortunately the seas were very rough and tendering was cancelled. We had no problem getting a refund. The Crew: We found the entire crew very accommodating and helpful. Jade was our cabin steward and he was fantastic. Our room was well kept, he provided for our requests and helped us when when we had questions. Everyone else we came in contact with from Guest Services to restaurant staff to waiters in the bars made us feel good to be in their service. The officers were available throughout the ship (we did meet the junior officers at the CC Meet & Greet). Capt. Dan, even with his good sense of humor, knows his ship and knows the seas. We felt very confident in all his decisions. The Port of New Orleans: What a disaster! If this port is going to continue to handle cruise ships and passengers, it needs a HUGE REDESIGN!!! Both during embarkation and disembarkation, huge semi-trucks were passing back and forth across areas dense with pedestrians. Taxis, shuttles and buses were stuck in the middle of mass deliveries necessary for the ships in port with 10 hour turnaround cruises. The terminal on embarkation is a sea of people (3000 to 4000) trying to fit themselves into a short maze leading to check-in. Even with pre-boarding check in, unless passengers are handicapped and finally disbursed into the handicapped line, expect a long, long wait with a lot of unhappy folks. Behind the check-in area is a HUGE room that is empty (except for lines of chairs) and not in use. Get a clue and redesign check-in! Debarcation: We chose to walk our luggage off. We did not wait and were walking down the hall with our luggage at 7:30AM when the announcement for walk-offs was made. NCL has this figured out. No waiting. We were off and through Customs in less than 10 minutes. It was fast! A lot of walking but well worth taking our own luggage. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I don't like to write negative reviews, I always try to be positive, but you need to know this before you spend your money on the Breakaway!! Background information- We took the Norwegian Breakaway at Thanksgiving out of New ... Read More
I don't like to write negative reviews, I always try to be positive, but you need to know this before you spend your money on the Breakaway!! Background information- We took the Norwegian Breakaway at Thanksgiving out of New Orleans. The ship was crowded and you had to wait in line for everything even if you had made prior reservations they were not honored. You just got in line and waited. When you dialed the operator on the phone you were simply put on hold to listen to music. The crew are not passenger centered nor properly trained. Activities- The activities on the ship were average but too crowded. Example there were only 4 hot tubs at the small pool for the 4,000 guests so you had a 1 in 1000 chance of enjoying those. We never got near one. The omelet stations were the same. Never got one. Service- The service on this ship was horrible! I don't know a worse word than horrible or I would use it. Waiters constantly cut in front of you at the garden buffet, there was frequently nobody at the carving stations. Crew members were not personable and did not assist or greet passengers . When we were boarding the ship and had requested wheelchair assistance we were ushered down a separate aisle but could not find the wheelchairs so we asked a crew member and he said you have to go back to the beginning of the line! He then said “you should have known that” This crew was not properly trained nor were they passenger centered. You don’t blame the guest for not knowing the workings of the ship! He should be there to help us not rebuke us. Port & shore excursions The ports were great but there was a lot of walking to get off the ship to the ports. Many times they would only open the door furthest away form the port so you had to walk even further than needed. Sometimes there was transportation but it took a very long time. The shore excursions were enjoyable but poorly organized. I fell during one and they just continued on without me. They neither helped nor waited for me, I had to find my own way back to the ship! But all in all the shore excursions were the high point to the trip. Dunn's falls was great, The parasailing was excellent and the beach on Roatan were all wonderful. Travel to embarkation port- The port is highly congested and you sit in traffic for the longest time. Our bus finally let us out a block away and we had to walk to the port. They offered to take our luggage so we didn’t have to carry it, however they left the luggage out in the rain and (delivered it to the wrong cabin) when I finally found it all my clothes were soaked with rain. The ship was over 2 hours late leaving port and there was no place to sit to wait Cabin The ocean-view cabin which was not ready for 3 hours after we boarded the ship was nice for the first few days. After that It smelled like raw sewerage. I complained and they told me It was a broken water pipe (that smell was not water). Finally after complaining many times and getting sick from the smell they gave us a different cabin to sleep in but put us right back in the smelly one in the morning. They did send us 2 pieces of candy and a bottle of wine to apologize but trust me it was not enough. Dining The food at the garden buffet was average at best and most of the time it was poor. The food was cold. It was not good choices. It was simply the same old same old. In the dining rooms it was the same menu with very little change. Even if you made a reservation you had to stand in line with everybody else because they were not honoring reservations. I ordered Steak rare and it came well done (inedible) the waiter never asked me why I didn’t eat it he just took it away and brought desert. The waiters in the main dining rooms were much better than at the buffet. The specialty restaurants were a different animal. Ocean Blue was excellent. The food, the service and the atmosphere were everything you could want. The food parings were perfect. Moderno too was excellent in every way including you could opt to sit outside on the deck which we did. The salad bar had everything you could hope for and a few choices we had not heard of but tried anyhow. Everything was great here food, atmosphere and service! Tappanyaki The food was excellent here too, however, they gave you very few paring choices, you had to choose their parings and that was not optimal because you may like one thing but not the other. You ended up choosing the lesser of 2 evils. This restaurant was entertaining but way too loud for us. We will not choose this one again because although the food was excellent, well prepared and the cook entertaining it was not the relaxing experience we hoped for. Le Bistro Again, the food was excellent, well prepared and beautifully served by a very attentive waiter, however, there was a woman laughing and screaming so loudly at the next table it absolutely ruined that experience. She should not have been set in the middle of the restaurant at all. And others should not have been subjected to this uncouth behavior so they could not enjoy the meal they paid for. This was probably the hostesses area of responsibility and she failed miserably. Again not considering passenger comfort. Entertainment The entertainment we experienced was great. They said to make reservations and nobody would be admitted after the beginning of the show but again reservations were not honored and people kept coming and going standing up in front to you during the shows. Many shows were an up charge but considering your value for the dollar on this ship we did not opt for any of those. Disembarkation Again, we needed wheelchair assistance to leave the ship and even though we requested it in advance, we had to stand in line to get a wheelchair to disembark. However, that did go smoothly once we finally got a wheelchair. Summary The ports of call were great, we had fun on the shore excursions and the specialty restaurants had great food. That being said, I would never travel on this ship again. Bad food, bad accommodations and the poorest service are what we got and not what I want on a luxury cruise. This is not just my opinion, when you rode the elevators or sat in the common areas, people were openly sharing these same thoughts. There is not much good you can say about the Breakaway. Consequently, because of this awful experience, NCL is not on our list of cruise lines to travel with in the future. Simply put we did not get what we paid for…It was a waste of money for us. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Was looking forward to the 11 day cruise out of New Orleans. Have sailed on the Getaway twice and as the Breakaway is basically identical, could find my way around. I really love the Boardwalk feature as it provides a calm oasis away from ... Read More
Was looking forward to the 11 day cruise out of New Orleans. Have sailed on the Getaway twice and as the Breakaway is basically identical, could find my way around. I really love the Boardwalk feature as it provides a calm oasis away from the poolside hustle and noise, Always found a comfy chair to read or relax. Embarkation was smooth and quick once my friend was provided a wheelchair and staff assistance, FOOD- a bit of a letdown in both Savor and Taste, entrees ranged from very good to just passable. Only ate occasionally in Garden Cafe so cant review it, Always east breakfast at O'Sheehan's and often lunch as well after shore excursions, We both liked Moderno and La Cucina, and i enjoyed Teppanyaki. Jimmy Buffet's was awful and had poor service. Did not get to Oceans Blue or Cagney's on this trip but have tried them on the Getaway previously. Manhattan Dining Room was usually very good and consistent, SERVICE: This was a huge letdown, First day on board, we asked a staff person for directions and she literally rolled her eyes at us, Wow, We found the service level to be all over the place and really inconsistent, My friend and I are not demanding travelers and are willing to overlook small waits, On one occasion, we waited 20 minutes for my drink to arrive while eating our appetizer and then the server had the wrong order. Activities: Good always enough to do, even enjoyed the ropes course, Excursions: Enjoyed Jamaica, Belize, Grand Cayman and Harvest Caye. Isla De Cozumel is always fun as i have been there before, You have to pick wisely as you tend to get what you pay for, Debarkation: Fine no issues as we both had a late airport transfer, Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
i cuised with norwegean twice before and this one made think i will nerver again the menue was always the same unless i would have paid extra the shows were very good the casino was fine we were 10 hours late getting off the ship and ... Read More
i cuised with norwegean twice before and this one made think i will nerver again the menue was always the same unless i would have paid extra the shows were very good the casino was fine we were 10 hours late getting off the ship and theydid not even come around and offer us water to drink nor did they offer any future cruise insentives the food we did have was served warm enough and the seering size was good but i do not want meatloaf served on a cruise eleven times the casino was very nise and the employeed were cortious thhhhhhe shore excursions were a bit expensie but were good and informstive docking in new yor was hard and the weather was bad being disabled was hard to find my lugage and it took 20 minutes to get any help after i did theywere very helpful but unless iget contacted i will go back to royal carribean for my cruise in the spring Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We took our first cruise a year and a half ago, on the Norwegian Breakaway. We enjoyed it so much that we returned to the same ship for a cruise to the Caribbean this October. Unfortunately, we found that a great deal had changed on the ... Read More
We took our first cruise a year and a half ago, on the Norwegian Breakaway. We enjoyed it so much that we returned to the same ship for a cruise to the Caribbean this October. Unfortunately, we found that a great deal had changed on the ship during that time. Here's the summary: 1. The ship allows smoking in its casino, which is located in the center of one of the main floors, with an open staircase that connects it to the floor below and the floor above it. Frustratingly, that allows the smoke to permeate all three of the main floors used for dining and entertainment. On our first cruise, we noticed the smell at times but were able to avoid it without a major problem. This time, the entire center part of the ship reeked, to the point that we walked on the deck instead of the interior hallways to avoid it. If you're sensitive to cigarette smoke, I advise you to avoid this ship. 2. They decided to close the public restrooms for hours every day -- on multiple floors at once. Effectively, you were forced to return to your room to use the bathroom, which was a little silly if you were out for entertainment or a meal. Presumably, this was a cost-saving attempt, but it was a major inconvenience for the guests. 3. Along the same lines, they decided to close many of the free restaurants for lunch, often leaving only two of them open. This resulted in enormous lines and waiting times for meals -- up to 3 hours for lunch. 4. They serve the same menu at most of the free restaurants, so while they nominally have lots of restaurants, it's really more like one restaurant with multiple seating options. They also don't change that menu out frequently, so if you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions, you'll find that you eat the same foods over and over. I got thoroughly bored with my limited choices. 5. The first time we took this ship, everyone was extremely accommodating about my mother's walker, and she was able to get a wheelchair for boarding and debarking. This time, they ran out of wheelchairs and left disabled people standing (literally standing, with no chairs) for hours both on the way into the ship and getting off afterwards. They also closed the elevators at one point to control traffic, leaving their disabled passengers stranded. 6. Speaking of stranded, we purchased an expensive shore excursion to view Tortola by Land and by Sea. We took the Sea part first, and that was wonderful. We then got on the bus for the Land part. The driver took us to a shopping area (with no tour first) and told us we needed to get out so he could take some other people back to the ship. Several people wanted to stay, but he insisted he needed the space and promised he'd be back in 15 minutes. He never returned. So, not only did we not get the Land part of the tour, but we were literally abandoned in an unknown part of an unknown island, with no way back to the ship. Eventually, we gave up, and people started walking or sharing taxis, but two people with walkers were stuck. Finally, a bus driver took pity on us and gave us a ride back to the ship. Want to know how Norwegian handled this? After delaying for days, and after a heated argument with the Excursion Director, we got a 25% refund. We only got half the tour, and we had added expenses in getting back to the ship, but they only returned 25%. Lesson learned -- never take their shore excursions again. 7. If you're sensitive to strobe lights, there aren't many shows you can watch. They do at least have warning signs out now, but check those before making reservations. In particular, the dance show and Rock of All Ages are completely out. 8. There were significant delays in returning to the port. The delays themselves weren't Norwegian's fault at all, but there was terrible communication about them. As a result, thousands of people ended up standing in line for more than 8 hours, waiting to debark. If we'd known it would be so long, they could have kept the amenities open, and we could have enjoyed another day of cruising. 9. Because of the delay, we're all filing insurance claims at the same time. You'd think that Norwegian would make life easier on themselves and us by providing a page that serves as proof of the delay (required for insurance claims). Instead, we all have to request that from NCL, wait 15 days to get it, and then file the insurance claim. 10. During the cruise, they took my mother's scooter to a central area to charge it. This was a nice service, since the scooter didn't fit into the stateroom. However, when they returned the scooter to her on the last day of the cruise, they forgot to return the power supply, and we didn't notice until we got home. We haven't been able to get an answer on whether or not they'll be able to return it to us, so we're now stuck buying a new one. By now, you may be wondering why I rated this 3 stars instead of 1. So, I'll tell you about the good parts.... 1. Cirque is fantastic. Hands down, this is a great show. We saw it twice this trip. 2. The staterooms are nice. They're comfortable and efficient, and the staff who take care of them are wonderful. I loved the towel animals they made for us every day! 3. What food I could eat was very tasty. In particular, their desserts are great. 4. They have a lot of beautiful artwork out, with art auctions throughout the cruise. Those are always fun. 5. The comedians were great. We didn't watch them on the previous cruise, so they were a very pleasant discovery this time. 6. They had a variety of games and entertainment that we didn't notice during the first cruise but enjoyed this time. Overall, I gather that a lot of the changes were due to the change in NCL ownership. That can happen to any cruise line, so I'd recommend checking recent reviews before selecting any ship for a cruise. Just because you've been on it before doesn't mean you can expect the same service the next time. Good luck! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise because I have always wanted to see the Baltic region. I had read the reviews of Norwegian Cruiseline which weren’t great but it was our only choice for the dates we were available.. we decided to have a good sense of ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I have always wanted to see the Baltic region. I had read the reviews of Norwegian Cruiseline which weren’t great but it was our only choice for the dates we were available.. we decided to have a good sense of humor and consider our cruise as just transportation between the places we wanted to go. Our trip began in Copenhagen where we learned that we would be skipping our first port, Berlin. They said that they had notified us by email but no one seems to have received the notification. Those passengers that were to embark in Berlin were notified a full 2 days before that they needed to get to Copenhagen if they wanted to sail. At the cruise terminal there was 1 or 2 wheelchairs available in total to help passengers who needed assistance. People waited 2 hours for assistance onto the ship. Once on board the ship, there is no place to sit and relax. There is a very loud and crowded area dense with chairs where there is constant noise from Bingo and Trivia. The flexible dining is a euphemism for stand in line to get a pager in order to get a table, sometimes an hour wait. Food was mediocre and the staff were surly. As for transportation to the places we wanted to go, our ship skipped 3 out of 5 ports. They claimed weather but we watched local ferries go back and forth. In general, the mood on the ship was anger. The talk on the elevators was disbelief that things went so badly. There was no attempt at compensation of any kind. They didn’t even offer the good will gesture of make no the movies on the ship free ($10 each). At the Q and A session with the captain there was a full theater if angry people and the crew stopped passing the microphone trying to suppress it. What a disappointment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
we were a group of 38pax with most in state cabins and a few in Haven suite trying to enjoy the baltic cruise starting 4th July 2018 what was good: 1. large ship with loads of activities for the entire family 2. some staff are ... Read More
we were a group of 38pax with most in state cabins and a few in Haven suite trying to enjoy the baltic cruise starting 4th July 2018 what was good: 1. large ship with loads of activities for the entire family 2. some staff are very good with hospitality 3. food is not healthy but good what can improve: 1. very limited healthy food options, like for example they don't have seeds for breakfast 2. hygiene in bad shape every time had to point cutlery wrapped in dirty napkins 3. bliss lounge on 11th July had Filipino DJ playing Indian songs on Indian night. The DJ did not have any clue of Indian songs, the DJ had a huge ego/attitude and was not willing to entertain Indians with suggestions for improvement. All the indians had no option but to enjoy on whatever was available. 4. no rules being followed, seen children in cigar lounge with adults smoking on the day of England/Croatia match. 5. server non-cuscsain people with low priority 6. $9.99 for iconcierge is a total waste as it does not function most of the times and will keep getting automatically logged out. 7. internet package is expensive and will get consumed without your knowledge...complaint and they will just say sorry bad luck?!? 8. Water is sold at $3 in a super cheap package or $6 normal. Choked for water you will shell out the price! 9. some staff attitude is very bad they just look at you like freebeeies on a ship!?! my suggestion don't waste your money...my last cruise prior to this was Sea Princes in Alaska...although not great it was definitely better than NCL. My last vacation was Sandals in Antigua and it was best value for my money! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My health limits me, medication makes it difficult to drive. My wife has poor feet and it pains her to walk. We desired to go on a vacation and the honeymoon of a lifetime and after considering all options we decided on a cruise. Our ... Read More
My health limits me, medication makes it difficult to drive. My wife has poor feet and it pains her to walk. We desired to go on a vacation and the honeymoon of a lifetime and after considering all options we decided on a cruise. Our documents arrived early, and one morning after prayer we decided to visit a travel agent and book a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway the Baltic cruise. We thrive on cool weather, the history, and the chance of a world class tour appealed to us. Our travel agent assured us we were too late to book passage, as it was early May 2018, but checked at our urgent request. Amazingly a mini-suite on deck 14 was available. We took it immediately and had a wonderful amazing time. The food, shopping, ports, entertainment. were all fantastic. I recommend a beverage package. Food was superior everywhere we ate and we ate almost everywhere. Making sure to hit all 3 meals a day a snack as desired and room service. When I die, if heaven is like the cruise on the breakaway plus God then I am ok with that. There were lots of people, a great wonderful mix of culture. The crew was well staffed and equal to the task. A bit of overcrowding could be expected at the fantastic end of cruise sail. We enjoyed the art auction put on by Park-West and purchased a few to proudly display around our home. Not normally a person to play bingo, I did at the request of my wife and won $105. dollars. Not much of a gambler I did play some craps; after the staff explained the game patiently to me the casino was great. I quit even. The free raffle was moved after the time announced, on a you must attend to win, so much for integrity of gaming standard regarding raffles, but no big deal I left rather than hang around. Our mini-suite was comfortable, well equipped, the shower was super with an unlimited supply of hot water. The queen size bed was comfortable, the balcony wonderful, we lived there nicely. Mr. Karl Loxley was wonderful we caught two of his shows. The Cirque was extraordinary. The "off Broadway" play Rock of Ages was just putrid, no humor to speak of, we left mid show as did several others. It wasn't the vulgarity, or the adult theme it was plainly not funny, boorish and of low quality acting. John our house keeper was terrific our super crew member was a vast store of knowledge, a hard worker who as always right there for us. The spa was great, two Swedish massages and a bathing ritual, I so enjoyed working with their assistant Manager Frank. Thanks you. Port excursions were we chose to be selective and limit our spending. We did not have a visa for Russia so a crews ship tour was required to enter the country; and I would not have missed it. In Finland we used a bus tour hop on hop off saw lots got off at two stops and were able to re-board easily both times. Enjoying an outdoor market on the bay. In Sweden we took a local cab with the same type of hop on and hop off service and visited the little town by the anchorage. It was wonderful, visited a local supermarket, ate at a local breakfast establishment and shopped at the local stores. In Estonia we took a cab into Talen, were a lot of things were closed as it was Sunday, but the mall was open, a wonderful stroll and we did some shopping. Returning to the ship we bought most of our goodies from Estonia from the shops on the pier. Love it, will do it again if my health allows. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
My brother sells cruises and it was a last minute trip. I think the ship is too large. I did not like having to make dinner reservations for the general seating. I do recommend buying the 3 package specialty restaurants. Cagneys and Le ... Read More
My brother sells cruises and it was a last minute trip. I think the ship is too large. I did not like having to make dinner reservations for the general seating. I do recommend buying the 3 package specialty restaurants. Cagneys and Le Bistro were excellent. We did not like the entertainment in the main theater. The small venues had good talent. A lot of us also did not feel this ship had any charm or personality. I had a mini suite cabin with a balcony. It was laid out strangely so that two people were in the way to the closet. It was very long and narrow. The balcony was also tiny. I had a stupid Steward. Even though I tipped him first, he made many mistakes from taking my nightgown with the laundry to coming in when the Do not disturb light was on and other stupid errors. This cabin needed the key to operate the electricity as well.Do not waste time or moneyon Cape Cannaveral. A total rip off. Too little time and too much money. I heard the same from everyone as we docked at 1 p.m. and left at 6:00 p.m. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
I’ve been cruising for years. Both in United States and International. This cruise was by far the Best I’ve taken so far. Took myself and several family members to celebrate my Fathers upcoming 80th Birthday. I rented him a scooter ... Read More
I’ve been cruising for years. Both in United States and International. This cruise was by far the Best I’ve taken so far. Took myself and several family members to celebrate my Fathers upcoming 80th Birthday. I rented him a scooter that was waiting in his cabin. And boy did he see everything onboard. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were whisked by with my Dad in a wheelchair, checked in, keycards in hand and eating lunch before we knew it. The entire staff was Excellent, very Professional and Friendly. Our cabins were clean, beautiful decor and spacious. The Dining Rooms were beautifully decorated and the food was Outstanding. The waiters were very accommodating. And the Entertainment was Fabulous. Just like we were at Broadway shows. I had so many pictures taken of me it was very hard to chose. But the photo package made is easy and affordable. A wonderful time was had by all. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Large groups of drunk university students took over the ship ,while families on school break stood by and watched.Too drunk to get off the tenders, vomit all over the ladies washroom on Grand Stirrup and general poor behaviour ruined ... Read More
Large groups of drunk university students took over the ship ,while families on school break stood by and watched.Too drunk to get off the tenders, vomit all over the ladies washroom on Grand Stirrup and general poor behaviour ruined this cruise for many families. NCL security and bar staff did nothing to stop this! Perhaps unlimited beverages and 3 & 4 passengers free turned this into a Party Cruise for the twenty something age group. We took our grandchildren on this cruise, it may have been advertised as a Family Cruise but it wasn't ! I won't even get into the 2 hour dinners or cold food! The only redeeming feature was our cabin steward .Assistance in embarkation and disembarkation was very good for people with mobility issues.However, the distance between where the ship docked and where transportation was avaliable was too far to walk,therefore getting off the ship at the ports was not possible . NCL should either provide shuttles or allow taxis to pick up people with health issues . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
I traveled on the Norwegion Breakaway with my husband and 2 other couples. We all had a great time. We all booked a spa mini suite cabin. The cabin was well worth the extra money, it included the spa, which in my opinion was Excellent. I ... Read More
I traveled on the Norwegion Breakaway with my husband and 2 other couples. We all had a great time. We all booked a spa mini suite cabin. The cabin was well worth the extra money, it included the spa, which in my opinion was Excellent. I was a little supprised by the food on this ship. I cruised with Norwegian on other ships. I also cruised on the Breakaway in the past and the food was always excellent. The two restaurants Savor and Taste was horrible. The food took a long time and when we were served the food was cold. We ate so much bread that by the time the food got to us we had not desire to eat. We ate at 3 speciality restaurants, Cagneys was the worst - we ordered surf and turf we asked the waiter if the lobster was included and she confirmed it was. When we got the food they served us shimp Cabob with a tiny piece of filet minion (which was dry). After we complainted they sent us Chooclate Covered Strawberry's and Champayne to our cabins. Modermo was the best speciality restaurant!!!! Cabin was confortable, we had enough space for 2 people only!!! Overal we had a great time because we made the best of it. My only real complaint was the food. We mostly ate at the buffet which was much better than any of the resaurants. What they serve in the restaurants should be free of charge. Nothing special at all!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Convenient sail from NYC to Caribbean. Even the day and a half to get to warm weather was worth it. I rented a power scooter which was a wise move and increased my enjoyment greatly despite a few problems. Embarkation was slow but ... Read More
Convenient sail from NYC to Caribbean. Even the day and a half to get to warm weather was worth it. I rented a power scooter which was a wise move and increased my enjoyment greatly despite a few problems. Embarkation was slow but deembarking was a major cluster. I needed a porter for help but was totally ignored. An NCL lady tried to help but to no avail. I finally just gathered my bags and got myself out. Customs was very quick on the disabled line. The food was very good. I particularly enjoyed Taste dining room as they always found me a convenient table to dine. Their service was excellent. O'Sheehan burgers and wings are top notch. Bartenders at O'Sheehans, Maltings and the Pool were great, easy access, excellent service, never a long wait. Pool area is too small for this many travelers. SPA facility is very nice but the Therapy Pool gets closed when weather is rocky which makes the SPA package a little pricey if you don't get to use it as much. I had a hands-free cabin which was great, plenty of room for me and my scooter. I was a solo cruiser and NFL graciously upgraded me to an inside handicapped cabin when i decided to rent the scooter. The handicapped ♿shower was very nice. Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor were both entertaining. I really enjoyed Rave On...a Buddy Holly tribute. Bar entertainment was generally mediocre. Fat Cats was disappointing...They call it a Blues and Jazz club but had no Blues at all.. Manhattan Jazz band was very good. Comedians were funny. The only ship sponsored Tour i did was St Kitts railway which was fun, except the driver who knew i was disabled dropped us off at the far end of the shopping complex in order to sell tourists stuff. Fortunately two NCL travelers from Saskatchewan rescued me and brought scooter to me I did complain to the Tour DESK but she didn't seem very concerned. I also felt they missed an opportunity to celebrate Mardi Gras which occurred when we sailed. They have party's for White clothes and Flow Sticks but ignored the biggest party day in the world. Alvin, the Cruise Director, had no clue what i was talking about...a lost opportunity for a fun party. I did a Tuk Tuk Tour In Curacao which was fun and informative, and a private taxi tour in Martinique. Would I sail the Breakaway again? No, for the simple reason they allow far too much smoking on this ship. Even the pool had a smoking area! Terrible in this era where smoking has been widely banished in public. People smoked freely even in non smoking areas, which were poorly marked. Smoke from the casino permeates much of the interior public areas. For this reason alone, I won't sail the Breakaway again. Clean up your smoking NCL or designat this ship as a smoking ship. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We have been on this ship 3 times before so we new about its features. We selected this cruise for the itinerary since we never visited any of the ports. With the exception if Martinique (too dangerous) all the port were just lovely. ... Read More
We have been on this ship 3 times before so we new about its features. We selected this cruise for the itinerary since we never visited any of the ports. With the exception if Martinique (too dangerous) all the port were just lovely. Plenty of dining options from the Haven like La Cucina, The Bistro, Cagney's and the Manhattan room. All were excellent for service and cuisine. Entertainment for us has become a little boring since its basically the same each cruise we take on this ship but they added The Escape Room. That was really hard. Everyone agreed it should have been easier and prizes should have been given. Its free and offered only on sea days. On port days we did not always take a tour and we found nothing to do.....even the library had ridiculous hours.....movies were at terrible times or just for the kids. So we loved our balcony as the best thing we could do. Read Less
Norwegian Breakaway Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 5.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 2.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 3.0 3.3

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