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Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by shiphound

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Norwegian Breakaway
Norwegian Breakaway
Member Name: shiphound
Cruise Date: December 2013
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Destination: Bahamas
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number:
Booking Method:
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Member Rating   3.0 out of 5+
Dining 1.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment 5.0
Spa & Fitness 2.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 4.0
Embarkation 1.0
Service 1.0
Value-for-Money 2.0
Rates Not Rated
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Ship Facts: Norwegian Breakaway Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Norwegian Breakaway Deck Plans
Mixed review

My wife and I also were on the New Year's cruise on Breakaway. There were things I really liked and things I did not like on Breakaway. I have been on RC, Celebrity and Carnival before, so my comparisons are to those ships.

I thought the entertainment was first rate, as good or better than any ship I have been on. Esp. liked Rock of Ages and Second City.

I liked the private island. The beach was nice and I enjoyed playing beach volleyball. But the tenders were the most disorganized thing I have ever seen. Crew seemed totally untrained and it took much longer to load and unload the tenders than on any other boat I have been on.

As for the dining rooms, the "free" dining rooms were well below RC and Celebrity. I thought the buffet was boring with the same food everyday. Much below all other ships, including Carnival. Manhatten and Savor were also quite boring. Poor menus. Mediocre food. Way below Celebrity and RC. We found the wait staff in these restaurants to be very poorly trained. They seemed nice, but did not really know how to provide proper service. The worst wait staff on any ship. Manhatten was a disaster new year's eve. We came there late because we did not get back from Epcot until late. We went straight to the restaurant from the boat (about 8:30). We asked how long the wait would be and were told 1/2 hour. We did not get in until after 10:00. Then, we did not get any food or really any attention from a waiter until 10:30. Had we known of the extended delay, we would have gone elsewhere. Very poor. And, in the restaurant, there clearly was insufficient staff. The whole place looked like a zoo.

Then, the next night we went to Savor and was told there would be a 1/2 hour wait again. We got in after 5 minutes and (to our surprise) the restaurant was half empty. Why were we told 1/2 hour wait?

The main restaurants are a mess and need to be completely overhauled.

The better restaurants (Cagney's, le Bistro, and the Italian restaurant) were major steps up. The waiters were much better but still I thought were undertrained. The highlight of the cruise was the maitre d at Cagney's named Lulia. She was just wonderful and really helped my wife, who has dietary needs.

The food in these three restaurants was good, not great. In fact, the food at David's (the steakhouse on Carnival) was better.

Our cabin steward was nice and helpful, but he seemed overworked - too many cabins to take care of.

A couple more things. Interesting, the process of getting onboard Breakaway was the worst and most disorganized I have ever seen getting on a ship. It took 15-30 minutes (in cold and rain outside) to just drop off checked luggage. Total time from arrival at the port to getting on the ship was almost 2 hours. Just a disaster.

But, getting off the ship was a delight. The easiest and fasted time getting off a ship that I have had.

Also, a lot of the big spaces, the buffet restaurant and the theatre for example, seemed very undersized for the size of the ship. Interesting ship, very tall, very long, not very wide.

So, a mixed review of the ship. Great entertainment, mediocre food, a ship in need of additional training.

I emphasize training because the staff seemed very nice and tried to be helpful - they just did not always seem to know what to do.

Publication Date: 01/08/14
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