Before my review let me say they need lifeguards. 2 LITTLE BOYS DROWNED, the four year old passed and I am not sure how bad off the six year old is. I would think they can afford a lifeguard!
My husband and I took our first cruise on the GEM in Nov 2012 and we loved it so much we left the 250 deposit on a future cruise and immediately came home and booked a new one. I brought my grandson and his fiancé.
We sailed February 2 the Super Bowl weekend for Florida and the Bahamas. Disappointing and to top it all off I was sickened by the smoke.
While checkin was slow and laborious, we expected that when we saw passengers de-boarding as we waited to board. It was obvious the staterooms would not be ready and when they were they would be lacking but thankfully our room Stewart got everything up to speed by the next morning.
The buffet on 15 is more than adequate, Manhattan was very nice but not as lovely as as the main dining room (Ocean?) on the GEM- again the food was adequate to very good but sometimes cold. Taste and Savor was ordinary looking but the food came from Manhattan so only the venue - not the menu - varried.
The menus lacked enough variety. Forget room services you will still be waiting after you leave the ship. As for the 24 restaurant- O'Sheenans- yawn and yawn again!
The layout is not conducive to relax and enjoy but to drink and spend. No venue is large enough to accomodate many so you either get there an hour early and sit bored or watching Nickelodeon or some other thing- or there is no seating! Seating is limited everywhere on this ship!
Outdoor eating was for a fee and very little seating at that.
There really is no outdoor walk around deck that I could find and wherever you did try to hang out for fresh air was polluted by smokers!
BINGO is outrageously expensive!
In short here are the cons and they far outweigh the pro's! NEVER AGAIN on the breakaway or her sisters!
1.The electric system difficult to find in the dark and plugs can not charge your iPhone or iPad when you leave the room.
2. The flusher was difficult at best.
3. NO water pressure in the shower- it was a trickle.
4. The 3 floor atria areas were smoke permeated and noisy from the casino.
5. Seating or lack thereof in the common areas, around the pool and few outdoor sitting areas/decks deprived too many of enjoying activities.
6. The disinterest and/or lack of knowledge of staff was shocking.
7. Cramped common areas made it very difficult to enjoy or engage in dance classes - hot tubs were few and crowded. Double the people and half the pool and hot tubs.
8. They packed too much in too small a space for too many people and many of us did not get to avail ourselves of much at all. Many times shut out and bored we reverted to our cabin to not much to watch on TV.
9. Could not find a non smoking outdoor place to sit at the waterfront deck.
10. If you are going to sail in winter months then passengers need enough to do and space to do it in during cold weather. Limited space and seating destroyed more than half my trip!