To start you out, I've been cruising my whole life. I'm 28 years old and I've been on 23 cruise ships (Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival) . There's been some but few undesirable experiences along the way but I've ALWAYS enjoyed the cruising lifestyle and even turned new leafs over for many people who thought that cruising wasn't for them.
JUST got back from my 7 day cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway yesterday and I now think I'm going to be taking a break from cruises. This cruise ship has totally tainted my view of a cruise. This was supposed to have been 2013 Cruise Ship of the Year?!?!?!?! This was BY FAR the worst cruise, in EVERY category, I have been on.
For starters, the food was HORRENDOUS!! I can only speak for myself although every fellow passenger we met said the same thing. I actually felt like I was starved on this cruise. I'm not trying to be dramatic either! My husband and I joked that we were going to the New More
Jersey Landfill every time we made our way to the buffet. The buffet had NO variety whatsoever and the food had to have been recycled. The burgers were dry and the buns were dried up so they just broke into a million pieces. We hated going to the buffet but there were hardly any other options for lunch except the O'Sheehan's bar and grill which was the exact same food that they were serving up at the Buffet.
We thought we would enjoy the freestyle dining aspect of the cruise but, oh boy, were we wrong! I made 2 reservations online before the cruise which I thought would be good because we do enjoy eating in the main dining room too. The Manhattan Room, Savor and Taste (all the complimentary dining halls) had the same menu each night and the food was absolutely disgusting. We ate at the Manhattan Room the first night and after that we said "we gotta go make some more reservations at the independent restaurant because we are not resorting to this place again!". Well, day 2 of the cruise, we went to book more reservations and we couldn't be every restaurant was booked until 9:30PM. This was a joke too because every night as we walked by the reservation-only restaurants (pretty much starving for some decent food at this point), there were a dozen or so empty tables from 5-9:00 at night! When we asked if we could get a table one night around 7PM, we were turned away because we did not have a reservation. My husband counted 8 open tables and no line to get in the place so we were not happy at all. We ended up eating at the landfill (really our only option). I could go on and on about how shitty the food was but hopefully you get my point.
The POOL situation: 1 adult pool for 2500-3000 adults?!?! are you JOKING?! It was a like a cesspool in there before 10 am. Not one inch of that pool didn't have flesh coverage. There's a policy about saving seats also- 1 hour max. Yeah, that was bullshit. Although we got chairs every time we needed too there were MANY people who did not and MANY chairs will towels thrown over there for more than 1 hour. The showers by the pool, where you rinse yourself off, were STEAMING HOT. You couldn't stand under them for more than a second. They were the hottest hot water that would come out of your shower in your cabin.
Customer Service. If you wanted to call the operator for a simple question, prepare to wait on hold for at least 5 minutes. I was blow drying my hair one night and the smoke detector went off in our room- my hair does not smoke when I blow dry it but we had to use the blow dryer provided in our room (not our own or the circuit would blow in the whole cabin) and it took 20 minutes for them to turn off the noise!! It was incredibly irritating.
On a high note, the cabin and the whole ship was very clean all the time. They really do care about sanitizing the whole place which we really appreciated.
Overall I would give this ship a 3 out of 10 stars. The food was the worst I have EVER experienced not only on a cruise but on any vacation I've ever been on. The service was Subpar at best. The freestyle dining experience was a nightmare. The cruise director, Julie, sucked- she was just a pretty face- not funny or entertaining at all. The shows were pretty good but the whole ship lacked things to do. Less