This post is pretty long but worth reading if you want to know what to expect if you ARE NOT a first time cruiser.
Cruise critic has announced 2013 "BEST” new cruise line is NLC Breakaway
I want to share our experience on the Breakaway from October 6-13, 2013. this was our sixth cruise.
If you were a first timer cruiser on the Breakaway, you probably thought you had died and went to heaven. Trust me other cruises out there are so much cheaper better and don’t nickel and dime you to death once you are on board.
We had a very disappointing cruise vacation on the NCL Breakaway.
Room: Prior to this cruise we have been on many other cruise lines; this was our first with NCL. As we boarded the ship we went to our "Mini Suite with Balcony" (what a joke!), and laughed at how small these rooms are, and how super-small the balconies are. The chairs barely fit. We met a couple three doors down who had a "Balcony Room". I asked to see their room and to my surprise, it was the same as ours with the exception of the bathroom. Their bathroom had one sink and ours had two sinks. REALLY? That was the only difference (check Breakaway floor plan and you will see no difference other than the sinks in the bathroom). We paid much more for this so-called mini suite than the regular balcony room. If I were aware of the "VERY” small change in room size I definitely would have gone with the balcony room and not paid the extra money for a mini suite.
~ The Manhattan Room (main dining): Food selection sparse, meals slow and when arrived not very tasty. Waiters appeared very confused.
~ O’Sheehan’s: Server (Marie Cris Ebricga) was sooooooo rude! After I was seated, she took my order. When she brought my food, she tossed my drink and food on the table and walked away quickly. I said excuse me but she just ignored me. I had to get up with food in hand and go headed to the counter where she was standing and request a napkin and silverware. What great service that was! Food was not the greatest…
chicken wings were cold.
~ Garden Café Buffet: If you enjoy hospital or airline food you will enjoy this café buffet.
~ Savor: Food was good.
~ LaCucina: "WONDERFUL”
Bar Waiters: The Atrium and Casino area you will experience rude bar waiter. I am not a drinker, so I would ask for water with a lot of ice and 99% of the time. Several bartenders made me feel uncomfortable with the expression on this face and their body language (I am assuming they do not get the extra 15% added to each drink when water is ordered and wasn’t expecting a tip, I tipped $1.00 each time I ordered water). One of the bartenders did not get a tip after ordering water because he was very rude. However, he changed his attitude after I sent him across the way in the casino area for my husband to order a beer (I told this bartender I did not appreciate his behavior because I only ordered water and he should not assume he would not be tipped for ordering a glass of water.
Entertainment: The "BEST” show was "Fire on Ice” (in the Atrium). If you go to this show other than in the Theater get there at least 45 minutes early if you want a seat or you will be standing for an hour or longer.
Crew: Crew really mixed as far as helpful/friendly. Every other cruise I’ve ever been on the crew was very friendly and helpful…on this cruise they seemed very sluggish and tired. Some of the crew acted like they didn't want to be bothered when you asked a question and there was very little smiling. Basically, I experienced one too many rude staff members on this cruise and that left a very sour taste in my mouth.
WIFI: We bought wifi in Bermuda and no matter what others have said about this subject IT DOES NOT WORK ON THE SHIP” when you are at port. We tried many places on the ship (even outside on our balcony and could not get a signal). The only signal we were able to get is away from the ship, near the building where we bought it. What a waste of $30.00!
This ship was clearly designed as a money making ship. I didn't expect to get nickel and dimed for everything on this ship. Too many activities require extra fees. Too many dining choices required fees or were booked if you didn’t make a reservation on-line prior to cruising.
The casino is smack dab in the middle and it stunk and reeked of smoke especially when in port; I’m a smoker and even I couldn’t stand it. Felt sorry for the non-smokers.
This cruise was much more expensive for what it offered than other cruise lines.
We will not be booking the Breakaway again. We may possibly try the NCL Epic since we have heard so many good things about that ship while traveling on the Breakaway that is if we choose to continue with NCL. Other ships on which we have cruise have far better food and definitely better service from the staff, which made you feel welcome.
Royal Caribbean, Holland America or Carnival, I'm sorry I didn't come back to you instead. I never felt cramped there, and enjoyed the evening entertainment on the ships, and all at no extra charge.
We never expect anything in return when I complain to upper management other than improved service for the rest of my cruise and what we paid fo (if something is given or offered it’s much appreciated) which was to have received "great service”. We cruise because we like to enjoy, rest and relax. This cruise we did not experience such enjoyment at all. I felt all I did was complain the whole time. We should have enjoyed this cruise without having to constantly complaining. NCL your staff needs some SERIOUS training. In addition, yes, we are aware no cruise line is perfect. Everyone make mistakes and this cruise had excessively many things wrong that prompt me to write this review.
Day 7 (last day), Cruising back home, and eager to get there ended with us probably never wanting to cruise again on NCL.
In conclusion: I will say when I made a complaint to upper management they were very accommodating. However, Breakaway has way to many issues that should to be looked at and address if they expect to have return customers. I would not recommend Breakaway unless you are willing to spend A LOT of extra money, get a so-so cruise and don’t mind dealing with the rude staff.