1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
While it is churlish to be too critical when we are privileged enough to be able to afford a trans-Atlantic cruise, this ship has some issues that will keep us from booking with NCL again. I also recognize that the ship is not designed for ... Read More
While it is churlish to be too critical when we are privileged enough to be able to afford a trans-Atlantic cruise, this ship has some issues that will keep us from booking with NCL again. I also recognize that the ship is not designed for cruising in colder weather when, for the most part, the outside decks are closed. That meant that most of the time, the 3,700+ passengers were sausaged into the internal spaces. I suspect that would not be quite as big an issue in a Caribbean environment, but on this cruise from Copenhagen to New York, it was a fairly constant irritant. On the plus side, the staff in the dining rooms, bars and staterooms were as helpful, fun and eager to please as any we have ever had the pleasure to meet - so job well done there. The food, as well, was for the most part excellent although we did have one less than ideal meal in the Manhattan Club and our anniversary meal in Ocean Blue was underwhelming at best - certainly not worth the price. The overall cleanliness and upkeep of the ship were also excellent. My issues with the ship itself are: 1) noise. There is a significant lack of (indoor) quiet places where one can read in peace and maybe watch the ocean. There is the library, but it seats only about 15 people. To be fair, there were odd times when some of the dining rooms were opened for people looking for some quiet but they were not scheduled and not widely announced. For the most part, those prime locations remain closed and empty. Also there is the issue of constant muzak piped everywhere at all hours (this is not an NCL-only issue). It would be nice, when forward on deck 17, watching the white caps, to hear only the wind - but no, we are also subjected to non-stop music from speakers everywhere. I heard this complaint from several people and I would suggest NCL would do well to poll its customers to see how common this feeling is. 2) smoking. The smell of stale cigarettes permeated the casino area on Deck 7 at all times. Not that we used the casino, but we couldn't even walk through it to get from the theatre to the Manhattan Room because of the stink. As well, we never could go to one of the bars we wanted to visit (Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar) because it was plagued with both fresh and stale cigarette smoke. 3) Lack of places to see the ocean etc. Most ships we have been on have large lounges with excellent places for people to relax and watch the passing ocean no matter what the weather. This does not seem to be the case on Breakaway. Except for those paying more to be in The Haven (and I don;'t know what they have), there is no lounge forward to see what is ahead. And the after deck on 16 is not only a hang out for smokers, the views are blocked by the giant screen at the aft edge of the ship - what is on other ships a fantastic place to view sail away or just watch the wake. It is ridiculous to think that people would rather watch a looped video of a tropical island on the screen rather than having an unencumbered view off the stern of the ship. 4) closed in feeling. Recognizing that many people love to climb walls and slide down giant tubes, all the recreational equipment on the top decks looks junky and gives the ship a closed-in feeling. The Atrium, likewise, is pedestrian (and constantly noisy). Maybe this is why the ship is so popular with families but it was not for us. 5) the library: It is beyond me why the ship keeps the bookshelves locked up except for specific hours when there is a crew person available to monitor things. Surely the honour system that works on other ships is better. Treat passengers like they are trustworthy and the positive feelings engendered by that would far outweigh the cost of any books going missing. This is penny pinching at the expense of the big picture. 6) entertainment: it is just not acceptable that so many people are not able to get into shows because there is not enough space or performances to ensure everyone has a chance. Those in the know booked ahead to the extent. Good for them, I guess. But for the rest of us, by the end of day one, it seemed there was no availability for the bigger shows - and this was a 14-day cruise. The irritation we felt from this was not helped by the constant presence of promotional videos displayed around the ship and the pitches by the cruise director continuing to promote these events as if they were not already sold out. And for the free shows, we had to show up 45 minutes or so before the performance to get a reasonable seat, and even then as often as not there was an alcohol-fuelled crush of the crowd to get in. NCL needs to completely rethink its approach in this area. 7) sundries: it is laughable that out of all that retail space in deck 8, there are just 3 or 4 small shelves for everything from motion sickness tablets and tampons to sunscreen and cough drops/syrup, or over-the-counter cold medication of any kind - especially on a fall trip in cold weather locations. Acres devoted to watches, and handbags etc. Next to nothing for things people actually might need. 8) Lack of communication: At least once a day, the captain came over the PA to give an update on weather etc. However, if you happened to be in your cabin, or in a busy locale (i.e. anywhere on the ship) it was next to impossible to hear what he said, if only because people talked right over it. My suggestion is that those updates be distributed as voice mail and on the television network so that everyone has a better chance to stay informed. There was also precious little information available on the ports visited, again easily remedied if there were someone on the communications staff who could post material on the TV system - even something as simple as how far from the city centre did the ship dock - walkable or taxi? I did see a fibreboard display on one easel in the Guest Services area the day before New York but that would reach a miniscule fraction of the people on board (we did not go to Guest Services until that second to last day - no need) and seems a curiously primitive method of communication on a ship with all the technical wizardry that Breakaway has. 9) water; Speaking of penny-pinching, how is it right to exclude water from the drinks package? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose the breakaway transatlantic mainly for ports and price - we cruised Norwegian in 1990,1991,2001 but those records were no where in their system so went as new cruisers (our 14th cruise). the ship is beautiful but Norwegians ... Read More
We chose the breakaway transatlantic mainly for ports and price - we cruised Norwegian in 1990,1991,2001 but those records were no where in their system so went as new cruisers (our 14th cruise). the ship is beautiful but Norwegians attention to cost per plate in the main dining rooms were apparent - meals in the premium rooms were great but 14 days with cafeteria level food. Our room steward was in to make the room approx 4 times - if gone on a 5 hr excursion the room would be in the same condition as when we left. The Hibachi premium restaurant was very good and we found ourselves going to O'Sheehans and Shanghai more than the main dining rooms because of the food quality. I would like to ad the first night on the ship the Manhattan meal was spectacular but many guest commented that the chef must have changed in Sweden. General areas were very clean and nice. shopping was disappointing (on a transatlantic you have a lot of opportunity to shop), the comics were spectacular but found other entertainment not up to par with other ships we have been on. Drinks were priced in a way to make the drink packages look more appealing. Staff at the main desk were always friendly and helpful. dining staff we suspect must have largely started a new contract in Copenhagen. meal times in the main rooms were around 2 hours. Last year we went with another line from Rome on a transatlantic for comparison and at a cheaper price was a real bargain. Shore excursions ( we did 3) were rushed and we felt a little more time at the major attractions would have been helpful - we are fairly young and not slow moving but found ourselves running for the bus on all 3 excursions we booked thru the ship. In the azores we took a van tour from the dock with 2 other couples and was wonderful with much more relaxed pace and saw much more during the time spent. Room was clean and new looking ship clean and very nice Our room was booked as one step up from the bottom with it being said we would have a chance to upgrade (the travel consultant for Norwegian was fired in December and we found out we had been missing out in August) we like an interior room but promises did not materialize adding to the disappointment along with the poor service we experienced we find it hard to recommend Norwegian to our friends and co workers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We made a mistake in booking a cruise on this ship. It was too big for our liking and had too many passengers (even though it was not full). Many activities, such as they were, were in the atrium where it was very difficult to find a ... Read More
We made a mistake in booking a cruise on this ship. It was too big for our liking and had too many passengers (even though it was not full). Many activities, such as they were, were in the atrium where it was very difficult to find a seat. This class ship has no central elevator, meaning my partially disabled husband had to walk many extra steps every day. Even with reservations in the main dining room, there was a long line at peak dining times. The major productions in the theater required reservations; this was OK for us since I booked in advance, but others were not so fortunate. However, the "big show" in the theater, "Rock of Ages," was very disappointing. Rated 18-and-over, it was crude, offensive, and unsuitable for the senior citizens who made up the bulk of the passengers on this 2-week repositioning cruise. However, service was, as usual, excellent. Food in the dining rooms was usually very good. We had a premium dining package where food was generally excellent. The exception was La Cucina which was horrible. Our one excursion, to Bath, England, was excellent. The lecture series content was very good but the delivery could put you to sleep. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
To be fair we chose this cruise for the itinerary…not the ship. However, the ship was a big disappointment. The upper decks were closed for the vast majority of the cruise and there were no accommodations made even though there were 4000 ... Read More
To be fair we chose this cruise for the itinerary…not the ship. However, the ship was a big disappointment. The upper decks were closed for the vast majority of the cruise and there were no accommodations made even though there were 4000 people jammed in the lower decks. They have 3 main restaurants and they were almost never open at the same time. We utilized the “pay’ restaurants 6 times and they were great (as usual). The other restaurants were extremely slow. Our average meal was 1 and ½ hours. This includes breakfast. Several times our food was either wrong or didn’t show up at all. As for the entertainment, it was average. The Cirque Jungle Fantasy was very good. Many things were not working on the ship. The pool was drained and only available on the last 2 days. The spa hot tub was broken for 2 days and the spa therapy pool was broken for the last 5 days. The “ropes” course on the upper deck was closed for the majority of the cruise and, when it was to open, they would not open even one minute early. When they did and we “walked the plank” we found out that the camera was not working so….no photo opportunity. Overall the experience was poor to say the least. This is our 6th cruise with Norwegian and was our worst. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Small embarkation area in Copenhagen, but things moved smoothly. Loved our large balcony when we could, but transatlantic sailings have a long way to go, so we were going fast. Lots of wind closed decks a lot, plus traveling between two ... Read More
Small embarkation area in Copenhagen, but things moved smoothly. Loved our large balcony when we could, but transatlantic sailings have a long way to go, so we were going fast. Lots of wind closed decks a lot, plus traveling between two hurricanes. Closing decks meant more time in our cabin, which was hard on our steward since he needed to straighten up! But Lawrence did a great job and let us do our thing. Cruise director was the best we have had in all of our cruises. Dan Dan was engaging, very natural, and really enjoyed what he was doing. He is also a great singer. Our best time onboard was the first night of Howl at the Moon. Other singers and comedians joined the musicians at the pianos and it was a fabulous party. A bit disappointed we arrived in the very early morning into NYC -- it would have been great to do a sunrise entry past Lady Liberty, but with the tides and bridges, it was what it was. Overall a great time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
When Norwegian changed the first port of call from Amsterdam to Gothenburg, Sweden I knew it was an omen. Embarkation was rainy with no cover for the very long walk to the ship. The ship's crew were not friendly and service was ... Read More
When Norwegian changed the first port of call from Amsterdam to Gothenburg, Sweden I knew it was an omen. Embarkation was rainy with no cover for the very long walk to the ship. The ship's crew were not friendly and service was terrible. Food was mediocre at best. The Manhattan dining room served up food that was slightly warm and tasteless. The specialty dining rooms scored better but only on the food side. Service was certainly lacking. Our cabin was very spacious (mini suite mid ship) and the bathroom was the roomiest I have ever had on a cruiseship. The chairs throughout the entire ship were the most uncomfortable chairs ever. I guess Norwegian didn't want any loitering. Entertainment was quite good. In cabin TV was a boring loop of old movies and TV shows. If you wanted a movie, you paid for it. It seemed like every time you turned around, Norwegian was squeezing more money out of you. GOTHENBURG - why any cruise line would stop here is a mystery to me. There is nothing there. We were unable to walk on the pier and were forced to either stay on the ship, take one of their tours or pay $15 for a transfer to a city where there was nothing to do. The day before disembarkation, I found out that I couldn't use my onboard credits towards gratuities. This came as a surprise. There was no place they could point out in my documentation where it stated that. But they wouldn't budge. Not impressed. I am giving this cruise an AVERAGE rating although even that is a stretch. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This was the cruise for us!! Four stops in a transatlantic package!! Ideal! It was our first experience on a larger ship and it was a worthwhile experience. The facilities were luxurious and the ropes course was sprine tingling! Our ... Read More
This was the cruise for us!! Four stops in a transatlantic package!! Ideal! It was our first experience on a larger ship and it was a worthwhile experience. The facilities were luxurious and the ropes course was sprine tingling! Our cabin was perfect for us, not fancy but it had everything we needed including a surprising amount of storage space and the entertainment was outstanding! Totally top shelf! Cirque, Burn the Floor, Rock of Ages, Helen Ward-Jackson, Justino Zuppo all fantastic! The food was very good with lots of variety and the service was courteous, friendly and prompt. A new addition was a lecturer who briefed us on each of the destinations and tied the trip into a theme of American Immigration. Finally!! He was wonderfully informative. That said, I don’t believe we will choose a large ship again. The theater was too small to seat even half of the guests so that not everyone could see the shows. There were long queues for nearly everything, The fitness center had lots of machines and they were adequate.The trainers were knowledgeable, professional and friendly but the workout room was entirely too small to accommodate the number of people who wanted to attend morning stretch and abs classes. Many people were turned away. We had to be sure to arrive 15 minutes early for class to claim a slice of the floor and a mat. We did like the fact that a fitness pass was offered which allowed us to attend as many classes as we chose to attend for one price but there was an overwhelming sense that additional charges were a theme. There was no longer a shower or sauna in the gym. The only saunas or steam rooms were available at an additional cost in the spa which was beautiful but expensive and not our vibe. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This cruise was wonderful! I particularly enjoyed the “Freestyle” format. The venues provided everyone with a variety of options for dining. The Manhattan Room was my personal favorite. The staff was both pleasant and efficient. ... Read More
This cruise was wonderful! I particularly enjoyed the “Freestyle” format. The venues provided everyone with a variety of options for dining. The Manhattan Room was my personal favorite. The staff was both pleasant and efficient. Entertainment on this beautiful shop was first rate. The “Adele” tribute was incredible. There was something for everyone to enjoy. Port stops, though short, were great. The excursions that I booked through NCL were both informative and well organized. I particularly enjoyed the excursion on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. It truly has to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Around every bend was a picture postcard view. My cabin (9720) was spacious with plenty of storage. My only criticism would be the lack of effort of our cabin steward. He could have been much more thorough. All in all this was a very pleasant vacation experience. It was my first Transatlantic crossing, and I would gladly do it again! This cruise on The Breakaway provided memories to last a lifetime. I look forward to sailing with NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
The restaurants were very good especially the speciality group. Service at all venues and bars was friendly, prompt and well done. For port excursions, we were pleased with them all on this cruise and the ports we visited were ones we had ... Read More
The restaurants were very good especially the speciality group. Service at all venues and bars was friendly, prompt and well done. For port excursions, we were pleased with them all on this cruise and the ports we visited were ones we had not experienced before so that added to our enjoyment. The entertainment was quite good even though one show was not our cup of tea, but for other passengers it was. Our experience with service was good and all of our questions were answered and full of humour too. Our cabin met our expectations, was conveniently located and the cabin attendant was very good with her services and in responding to our few requests. We will travel with Norwegian again and have purchased Future Cruise Certificates to use for ourselves and for family members too. We found the overall experience was pleasing for us. The Captain always had the safety of the passengers and crew in mind when considering safety at sea due to weather conditions. That is and was very important to us. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Actually it was a YMT offer which they selected NCL not us. However, we chose it for combination of reasons: time of year, price, a cruise with bus trip in U.S. and ports of call were of interest. We were a little disappointed port ... Read More
Actually it was a YMT offer which they selected NCL not us. However, we chose it for combination of reasons: time of year, price, a cruise with bus trip in U.S. and ports of call were of interest. We were a little disappointed port changed from Amsterdam to Gothenburg but it was a lovely city and we enjoyed ourselves. Let me start with we have cruised 3x before so have a comparison, first time with NCL. Inside cabin SMALL no seating. Weather cool/cold windy so had to stay inside either your cabin or elsewhere. However, couldn't get a chair to sit, like in the Atrium people sat and didn't move ALL day. No extra seats to enjoy any of the programs NCL offered like games. Bar stools filled up early. Felt like vultures waiting for a seat. Layouts in some bars wasted space can add more tables and chairs. Our favorite bar was the Shakers Martini bar but again seating inadequate. Food in Manhattan Club excellent as was the service. Had a couple really great meals in the Garden Cafe Italian and Seafood nights. Other wise nothing in cafe really special some very good to some just OK. Lots of times we waited in lines for the comedy show then for the shows in the theater. Need to open sooner to be able to SIT DOWN. SERVERS very professional. We especially appreciated the attention from our Housekeeping personnel & Supervisor. EXCELLENT. Thank you for listening. Read Less

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