Beautiful ship/ Lackluster food: Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by chrisander
Overall Member Rating
Beautiful ship/ Lackluster food
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
A previous reviewer stated that there was no way to even "dip your toes" in the pool. Unfortunately, this is absolutely true. The pool chairs are lined up with less than an inch between them and are filled by 9:00am. Although the official policy of NCL is that reserving chairs is prohibited, it is not enforced. Although we were at sea for 4 full days I never once sat by the pool or had a swim. NCL really should have done a better job in designing the pool decks to comfortably accommodate the guests they are serving.
The food, unfortunately, was mediocre at best and downright bizarre at worst. Room service More never once got it right. It was actually humorous because it was always a surprise. I don't know how room service could botch an order for two pots of coffee with extra cream but they did! The Garden Cafe ( the huge buffet dining venue) was always crowded and cafeteria quality. The best bet for breakfast ( and lunch) was O' Sheenans, a sit down Irish pub-style restaurant that had a decent breakfast and lunch menu ( and was never crowded). We opted for several of the "premium" restaurants, paying cover charges ranging from $20- $49. per person. None of them were note-worthy with the exception of Ocean Blue, which was bizarre and, at times, inedible. ( This was the $49. per person charge). Apparently the restaurant is attempting to be creative with a fusion, contemporary flair, but it fails miserably. It is also ridiculous that a designated seafood restaurant does not have lobster or crab on the menu! My husband ordered the scallops which came with a sour grapefruit sauce, accompanied by anchovy tempura ( yes, you heard that right). The anchovies made him quite ill with a heartburn that didn't quit and kept him up for the entire night! My meal was equally distressing with an over abundance of chili peppers and spice. I was hopeful for dessert ( a lemon meringue tart and cassis sorbet) but it was so sour I could not eat it. Stay away from Ocean Blue!!
If you want some great sushi, take a seat at the bar at Wasabi and order sushi, sashimi, and rolls a la carte. It's worth it! The other problem with NCL is that they arbitrarily charge for everything. Want a pizza from Room Service? It's $5.00. Feel like a gelato? Pay up. The cake boss has a small bakery on-board, but bring your wallet. Those beautiful ice cream sundaes at O' Sheenan's? It'll cost you.
All of the bars on-board are well equipped and beautifully designed. Make your way to Shaker's for a variety of very good martinis and a nice staff. Avoid the ice bar, unless you want to pay up.
The entertainment is top notch. All of the shows are really great, but get there early to get a good seat. The Spiegel Tent, home to the Cirque show is stunning.
Lastly embarkation and disembarkation are almost seamless. If you can carry your own bag of the ship, go for the option of easy walk-off. You will save yourself a lot of time and yet another crowd.
Bermuda is as beautiful as I recall. There are many taxis available once you leave the ship, and the bus and ferry system are terrific. Be careful of the ferry schedule: some of the last ferries depart from St. George at 5:30pm. Tip of the day: take the little red trolley to Daniel's beach. The beach is almost private, NO crowds, will rent you a chair and an umbrella and cook you a lunch! Avoid Horseshoe Beach unless you plan to get there VERY early in the day. The beach can be extremely crowded.
If I were to return to the Breakaway I would probably pay the extra money and go for the Haven. It might cut down on the crowds and allow a chance for an on-board swim! Less