Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by bambilin: Breakaway to Bermuda with my Buddies July 14, 2013
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Breakaway to Bermuda with my Buddies July 14, 2013
We are a family of four, hubby, myself and two boys ages 5 and 8. We sailed with a group of 24 total and I coordinated the group. This was my 10th cruise on NCL! We are from Queens, New York so no hotel pre or post cruise!
I arranged a Cruise Critic Meet & Greet and NCL did a GREAT job with it as usual in Cagney's!
Enjoyed my Latitudes and Group perks and special attention of the Guest Services and Hotel staff.
Embarkation: A Breeze, arrived at terminal around 10:30 and were on the Ship by 11:20 and our cabin was ready! Very lucky to have the slides and pool deck pretty empty at that point!
The Shipand our Cabin: The Breakaway is beautiful. So very much to see and do but because of this, a lot of crowding. Standard balconies are ridiculously small as I am sure everyone else has pointed out. Hallways are very very narrow. Iunderstand deck 5 had wider hallways but on deck 11 and 12 they were miniscule. Room decorated tastefully, loved it. Nice bathroom/shower, More
but storage for 4 an issue. The two large drawers under the sofa were great, nice and roomy. All of the other shelves in the room were quite shallow. Closet was roomy but hard to access because of proximity to the sofa/bunk. Bed was comfy and the kids liked the sofa bed and bunk. Weird situation with the air conditioning! If your balcony door is not locked AND the handle touching the plate, the AC shuts off. The AC kept going off at night when the balcony was tightly locked. I called to inquire. Seems hubby was hitting the snowflake button thinking it meant MAX cool. It meant QUICK cool,and the AC would shut off after the room had cooled down. It was explained to just use the "minus" button to keep it on, and that worked. Do not disturb and make up room "buttons" have to be depressed above the door. Friends did not realize they had it on "do not disturb" and so their room as not made up. They called and the cabin steward came right away. It is easy to miss though! We were able to fit suitcases under the bed. Our cabin 11272 was convenient to the aft elevators, pool and Garden Cafe. Long hike to the Kids Club!! 11274 would have been better, on the bump out so balcony angled and a little bigger! Smoke from the Casino was pretty bad walking through, and the Cigar bar smoke was awful. Was enjoying a Margarita tasting but it was marred by the awful Cigar smoke smell.
Service: For the most part, great, a few hiccups along the way. Our Cabin Steward Richard was GREAT. Very glad we were fortunate to have him! Dining service was mostly great. One waiter in Savor was a bit off. There were 6 kids at our table and they only brough 3 kids menus and no crayons. I asked him if he could get us 3 more menus and some crayons. He got very defensive and was almost shouting that they are supposed to do that up front. I was not yelling, or rude at all, just asked if we could have them. He did have somebody deliver them to us shortly after. One waitress in Taste forgot our friend's salad course, but although my friends complained about itafter the fact and to us, they did not not remind her. To me that is ridiculous. Everyone is human, I am sure she would have apologized and brought them immediately. At Moderno our waiter was very nice, but after he let them know to start serving us the meats, it was a really long time before he came back to check on us and no meat had been served. He went immediately and let them know, but it was probably nearly an hour between sending us to the salad bar and them starting to serve. My friend complained to the Maitre'd so I did not. He apologized and brought over a bottle of wine. Service in the Garden Cafe, O'Sheehan's, Spiegel Tent, La Cucina, and all the bars was great.
Activities: Kids and hubby just loved the slides!! Kids also loved the ropes course, mini golf, Spider Climb/Slide and the Bungee. The rest of the "activites" we participaed in were really just the pool. Chair hogs were in full force! I would go out around 7:30 AM on Sea days and see individuals holding 12 and 16 lounge chairs with towels and flip flops. The first of their "friends and family" would show up around 10. So rude! Poor NCL crew would mark the loungers with tags so they could remove the belongings an hour later, but these hogs watched, would wait until they were gone, remove the tags and move the stuff around to make it look like somebody had been there. Hung out mainly at the kids pool adjacent to the Sponge Bob pool area, because of the kids, and even when not with the kids, the bigger pool tended to have a lot of drunks and a lot of smoking. Towel situation was werid. At times we were told we had to get them from the stateroom, then that there were none availble via the stateroom. While the loungers were always full, the kids pool was never really overcrowded when we went. Also did not experience long lines for the slides as others have stated they did. Maybe we just hit them on the right times! There were lines at times but they moved quickly! Enjoyed the Nick games at the pool.
Port & Shore Excursions: What's not to love about Bermuda? Having been before, only shore excursion purchased from NCL was the Bermuda Triangle Evening Sail. It was organized, informative and very enjoyable, and the kids loved it. We took bus/ferry to the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute and to Tobacco Bay and Horseshoe Bay. Ahhhhhh!!
Entertainment: We only got to see Cirque Dreams, and loved it,great show, and the food was pretty good too and Pajama Jam Breakfast...ugh! Kids enjoyed the "show" and taking pictures but the breakfast was horrible, lots of sweets and cold food. Even the kids did not like it! Donuts and Pigs in a Blanket? LOL We had reservations for Rock of Ages but there were alerts that the time changed to 6:30. We cancelled as we were under the impression (based on what we were told) that the kids clubs opened at 7. (more on kids club later) Found out after the fact that it actually opened at 6 those days, but it as too late for us to catch another show. I guess it is possible i missed some notification, but if so, everyone in my group missed it as well. The Glow Party and 80's Party Fireworks were a lot of fun. My boys matched the crew colors and were dancing and posing for pictures with their glowing selves! Very crowed, but it was July so......Ice Bar...kids loved it, great photo op with the parkas and gloves, drinks tasted great in the glasses made of ice. But we were packed in there like sardines and it was not as pretty in there as it looks in the brochure. Would not repeat that, but glad we did it. Friends really enjoyed Burn the Floor and Slam Allen. When we tried to go to Slam Allen it was packed!!
Kids Crew: Boys only went twice. 8 year old enjoyed it, 5 year old did not. He will be 6 in 4 weeks, reads at second grade level, is 52 inches tall and weighs 100 pounds. He did not belong with 3 year olds. The crew member who signed us up got her supervisor when we asked if we could bump him up, said rules were very strict, "especially when so many kids were on board and in each group" Supervisor looked at him, observed himn for ahile and said he had never seen any 5 year old so big, and he could see he was more mature, he would nothave believed us if we said he was five and they did not have the passport info. Explained the rules are very strict for safety reasons but he agreed he felt justified in asking Miami for approval to move him. He said I would hear back by Monday afternoon as they were closed Sunday. I never got a call so we went Monday night. I explained the situation and that I never got a call, and a crew member said she would go check. She came back and said, "He said they said no" No apology for not getting back to me until I asked why I had not been notified. No answer about that either. Just , "Oh sorry" That surprised me. My little guy complained at how babyish it was and he did not want to go. One crew member who saw him later in the week at a Nick event in the Garden Cafe asked where he had been. When he said it was too babyish, the crew member said, "That's why I had you be my helper" Just did not work for him, so not for us either. I would never force himn to go, I only send them when they want to go. The rest of the kids in our group decided not to go because he was not going, so all of them only went twice. Woudl love to see some kind of pager or phone for families with kids in the club. They ask you where you will be if the child needs you, so you have to call if you are going elsewhere.
Dining: Not a bad meal at O'Sheehan's, Garden Cafe, Taste or Savor. Just wish there was a little more variety with the "specialties of the day" Everything tasted great and was at the correct temperature that I had. Food at Moderno and La Cucina was awesome! Never made it to Carlos and decided against Ocean Blue when the price jumped to $49. I am not a big seafood lover and hubby said never mind. Had planned on some take out and stopping at the Noodle Bar but it just never happened..so much to do!! ;0) Oh, hot dog cart..really Sabrett, jut like NY dirty water dogs! LOL
iConcierge: For texting/calling was not great for us. It activated on my husbands' phone right away, but took 2 days to activate on mine and then blanked out on Friday. I am sorry we paid the $7.95 per device.
Disembarkation: We had Priority so we went to O'Sheehan's for breakfast at 8:20 nd we were off the ship by 9:30, excellent!
Overall we had a great cruise, the issues here and there certianly did not spoil our vacation. I am sure I am forgetting things, and if you have any questions, please ask! I am technically challenged and so cannot figure out how to spell check this or bold anything so I apologize for any erros in advance!
Hope this review helped and that you enjoy your Breakaway cruise! Less
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Cabin review: BC11272
11272..great access to Aft elevators, Garden Cafe, pool deck. Horribly tiny balcony, hard to access closet.