88 Southampton Singles Cruise Reviews

Right, where do I start......? I’m 45 and cruised with 3 of my friends of the same ago for a 19 day boy’s cruise on Explorer from the 4th May. Let’s get a few things clear after doing over 30 cruises and have sailed with 5 ... Read More
Right, where do I start......? I’m 45 and cruised with 3 of my friends of the same ago for a 19 day boy’s cruise on Explorer from the 4th May. Let’s get a few things clear after doing over 30 cruises and have sailed with 5 other cruise companies. I can’t see how anyone can say this ship is bad or the staff don’t care in any way unless you are look down your noses at everyone and think your better than everyone else. Some people have nothing better to do and moan about rubbish. I have one thing to say to people like that…..Keep winging and wining while everyone else enjoys there cruise. If you cruise from Spain most of the food will be for the Spanish and Italians because 75% of the ship will not be British. If you sail from the UK most of the food will be suited for us. So if you want posh food go to Cunard and don’t put down Royal Caribbean. The ship has been refitted and all the state rooms are nice clean and tidy and the public areas are clean and tidy all the time. There have also update some of the interior cabins with virtual balconies and have added more ocean view cabins that I viewed at the front on deck 12 that are beautiful. All the staff work very hard and are very friendly and go out of their way to please you. The bar tenders looked us all day and night and our drinks never ran dry, so make sure you tip these guys as they get paid pennies and work very hard to please us. The dining room staff and food where some of the best I have had on a Royal ship and have sailed on the Explorer 7 times over the last 5 years and this ship and staff are very good. After sailing on her for 19 days last month I only went to one show that was very funny so can’t comment on all the show but did hear that most of the shows where of a high standard. They have added a few new restaurant’s like Izumi (sushi/ Japanese ) and Giovanni’s (Italian) and my best Chops Grill where the service is better than any top restaurant in London for only a small cover charge where they always gave us 20 to 40% off. For the Kids There are kids clubs running all day up to about 11pm for younger children and loads to do for the over 12’s like ice skating, rock climbing wall, football/basketball court and crazy golf and the one all the kids use all day is the new Flow Rider on the back on the ship which I used most days to  The other thing I’d like to say to other people who always moan about the sea pass card not opening there cabins doors is. The reason for this is having in your sea pass card in your bag or packet with a mobile phone (cell phone) which wipes the magnetic tape on the card so keep them away from each other and it will be ok. So to recap, the ship is in very good condition and all the staff are great and I didn’t have one complaint apart from not wanting to get off. The food we very good in the all the restaurant’s and main dining room and the Windjammer was geared up for us brits and there was something for everyone for breakfast and lunch and dinner if you wanted to eat in there. The 1 thing I did not like about the ships refit is that they have removed the night club from deck 3 and 4 where it was opposite in Scooner bar and moved to the deck 14 in the dizzy bar. The Dizzy is not that good as a night club at all and it get quite hot in there. So I hope I haven’t upset too many people so stop moaning and enjoy your cruise. Bon voyage cruisers Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Oceana to Madeira and the Canaries: great itinerary and ports, usual friendly service and good food. Some of the most experienced staff were taken to feed the monster Britannia, as we were the only ship in Southampton at the same time as ... Read More
Oceana to Madeira and the Canaries: great itinerary and ports, usual friendly service and good food. Some of the most experienced staff were taken to feed the monster Britannia, as we were the only ship in Southampton at the same time as her naming and maiden voyage. This led to some inexperienced staff serving us, with the usual good humour and obliging manner you get on P and O always, but some minor mistakes were made. However, I think we could all understand why this was. And seeing Her Majesty naming Britannia onboard was a great experience. Boarding was as usual very quick and efficient; 22 minutes from arrival at the dock to enjoying lunch! Cabins were ready promptly and my luggage was already there so unpacked rapidly. Nice to meet cruisemates from previous voyages at the safety drill. My free champagne voucher wasn't delivered until after dinner ( I was on 2nd sitting club dining) so i never got my sailaway drink until much later in the cruise. This was typical of the minor errors made on this cruise. Another was arriving back at the cabin after dinner and a show to find the turndown service not done; first time ever on P and O! If it had happened again I should have made a fuss, but was willing to overlook it once as there was clearly a lack of experience around the staff who served us. For once I paid my auto gratuities but did not leave extra; I usually do.. Weather was great until the last 2 days with lots of warm sunshine as you would expect in the Canaries. We did have a force 12 on the way back, and Oceana rode it very well. My knickers were swept off my C deck balcony by a huge wave; at least they were clean! I liked the activities especially the Spanish classes which were excellent and got me functioning in the language in a few days. The Classical pianist Tia Eagle was exceptional and I loved seeing the sisters Paige and Rihanna from Aurora last season on the new Headliners group, who gelled as a team very quickly and gave us some superb shows. Other musicians were good and there was as always lots to do though often I enjoyed just sunbathing and chilling on my balcony. Oceana's cabins are smaller than average but having been on her several times I knew that already and the bathroom was adequate though small, as was the balcony. Nice to see La Palma, a port I'd not been to before, and the Mount Teide trip on Tenerife was exceptional mainly due to the lava scenery and the wonderful guide we had. The only port where I stayed onboard was Lanzarote; I had already done the Timanfaya National Park trip and enjoyed it so much I didn't want to repeat it in case I spoiled my memories. Had a nice morning sunbathing on my balcony and listening to the full "fire and abandon ship" exercise which gave me more confidence in the crew training! In Madeira, Gran Canaria and Lisbon I did my own thing, deciding to get the "Hop on Hop off bus" in Lisbon. What a joke! I don't know why P and O recommend these buses. We spent 40 minutes travelling half a mile waiting for "more tourists" who never arrived. Finally most of us got off in Rossio Square. I walked uphill for over a mile to the King Edward the 7th park, and still beat the bus there! Eventually I caught another bus with a more sensible driver, who took me around the city centre and over to Belem, then back towards the ship. But I still had to get off and walk the final mile from the docks because as we were about to pull away, the same stupid long drink of water who had driven us in the morning ran towards the bus, put up his hand and stopped it for a 25 minute chat! I complained to Lee at the Future Cruise desk who promised to pass on my feedback. Really no one should be recommending these buses! A lot of people complained about the force 12 weather but I found it exciting! The food was really good. I had one poor meal; some venison that was too dry, and the waiters were most anxious to bring me something else, but really by the time I'd had a starter, soup, a pudding and cheese, I wasn't bothered. The gym was great and I went every day, therefore put on no weight on the cruise. I do wish it opened at 7.30 rather than 8 though; I HATE the "Snatch and Grab" and wanted to work out, shower and have a restaurant breakfast. Opening 30 minutes earlier would enable us to do this! One night I ate at the Marco restaurant and had a superb meal! As always it's great not to be treated like naughty schoolchildren and allowed to bring on board a bottle of gin; after all you buy the mixers from P and O! Nothing like a drink before dinner on the balcony. I also attended the Martini talks; Pawan, Albert and Sunny were superb and their talk was entertaining as well as alcoholic. I got to know them quite well in my daily visits to Magnums, which went some way to making up for the lack of a Crows' Nest on Oceana. All in all a lovely cruise. Booked my next, Aurora in October, on board.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was my First cruise with RCI, my FIRST Transatlantic and my First solo cruise. I joined the cruise critic roll call for the ship, getting a lot of information about the cruise, including some trips to the various islands we were ... Read More
This was my First cruise with RCI, my FIRST Transatlantic and my First solo cruise. I joined the cruise critic roll call for the ship, getting a lot of information about the cruise, including some trips to the various islands we were visiting. We also agreed to meet at the sky bar for sail away, where I met other solo cruisers who were to remain friends throughout the cruise (RCI also organised solo events throughout the cruise) The first few days were sailing through the Bay of Biscay. This was a bit rough and caused you to stagger side to side at some times but other than that not a problem. The ship was fantastic with a great atmosphere of music and fun. I was assigned a seat in Vivaldi dining room - the only Englishman at a table of 9 Americans, and what a great group they were (if any of you read this, my heartfelt thanks for making me feel so welcome). The food selection was first class as was the service by the staff (thanks Robert and team) I also ate in the windjammer for breakfast and lunch and again the selection was first class. Entertainment in the main theatre was mostly great although there were a couple of shows not so good and the pubs and bars were great with excellent service by attentive and friendly staff with good music in the evenings, particularly at the schooner bar. (I had taken out a drinks package so no big surprises at the end of the cruise) I had an inside cabin which was quite adequate for me and the cabin staff were great. There were plenty of sunbeds on deck 12 with bars within easy reach to quench your thirst and a marked out walkway to assist in removing all the extra weight you put on eating and drinking (5 laps to the mile). So, a great cruise, fantastic service from friendly and helpful staff and great food (I don’t know how anyone could complain). Special thanks to “ icantthinkofone” for the company and friendship. Thank you RCI, I will definitely cruise with you again. And if you are also a solo cruiser – take the plunge- you may enjoy it. Alan   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
A great cruise - Ship gets you right into the ports, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rouen. So if you are used to doing your own thing, you are right in the thick of it, or if a first timer, or prefer the security of doing things with Fred Olsens ... Read More
A great cruise - Ship gets you right into the ports, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rouen. So if you are used to doing your own thing, you are right in the thick of it, or if a first timer, or prefer the security of doing things with Fred Olsens shore tours, you can do either. Love how on smaller ships you get to know everyone and there is never too much of a wait to get on or off. Braemar is a perfect size to make friends, but big enough to avoid the odd passenger you don't hit it off with. We had some really rough weather, which luckily, does not bother me in the slightest, but unfortunately put some first timers on the boat off sailing again. This is my second cruise with Fred Olsens and I can never praise the staff highly enough - their friendliness is outstanding. I have one comment to make about embarkation, which has happened on every cruise I have been on so far, When boarding everyone is asked to fill out a health questionaire to prevent Noro virus on board (why does everything have to have a label nowadays - what is wrong with good old sickness and diarrhoea) we then all use the pen provided thus passing germs to every single other person who will be on the ship?   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My very first solo holiday taken because of low 'singles' price. Interesting comparing prices people had paid and 'extras' they had received. Boarding was very quick and my inside cabin was large and spotlessly clean. ... Read More
My very first solo holiday taken because of low 'singles' price. Interesting comparing prices people had paid and 'extras' they had received. Boarding was very quick and my inside cabin was large and spotlessly clean. Cabin steward, Edwin, unfailingly helpful and friendly. First lunch in Windward was chaotic and unfortunately it didn't improve, similarly at breakfast. Plenty of staff serving drinks, would have been better employed finding seats. I usually finished up taking my food on deck and trays would have helped instead of queing for each course. There was plenty of choice but overall only average quality. Dinner was fair but not as good quality as on other company cruises. The dining rooms are lovely. The service varied. I had the soda package but in public area as a solo elderly female was often ignored. Think having to pay extra for fresh orange juice, Johnny Rockets, Ben & Jerries and Portofino wa extras a rip off. Italian food is very cheap to produce yet is $20. Tea bags in cabin but no coffee. I booked tours on line only to find there was much more choice once on board, although they are very good about 'swopping' Always plenty of sunbeds and deck chairs but don't lose your towel or you will be charged $25. Gets crowded round pools but aft and side decks plenty of room. Always plenty of room in the theatre, shows varied from awful to superb. The service charge that is automatically added to your account can be removed so you can tip where it's deserved. I did this and gave substantial tips to cabin steward, waiter and assistant waiter. For the price I paid it was value for money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This review is my umpteenth cruise on Royal Caribbean and for all its faults I keep coming back. The review covers a 14 day cruise down to the Canary Islands round trip from Southampton. Embarkation was very simple from City Terminal and ... Read More
This review is my umpteenth cruise on Royal Caribbean and for all its faults I keep coming back. The review covers a 14 day cruise down to the Canary Islands round trip from Southampton. Embarkation was very simple from City Terminal and arriving after I.00pm I was able to board within about ten minutes. New for this year is that you are allowed to take on board two bottles of wine per stateroom. I travel solo and enjoyed a mini suite on deck nine. As far as the cabin was concerned there was very little difference from last year’s cruise except the cabin was slightly smaller (than Independence of the Seas) and to keep up the penny pinching standard RCL have installed restrictors on the wash basin taps. This I find infuriating it takes about three minutes to fill a cup! Plenty of coffee was available in suite along with a percolator. I mention this because I understand that coffee making facilities have been removed from lower grade cabins. This was all I could moan about as far as the cabin was concerned. The room attendant was great at his job and deserved every penny of his cut from the pre-paid tips. Plenty of shops on board for you to spend your money. These included jewelry, gifts, watches and hairdressers shops. Although these were only open whilst the ship was at sea. Lifeboat drill seems to have improved to the extent that drills (as far as I was concerned) were carried out on deck and not in the depths of the theatre although still without life jackets. As the school kids had returned to school the ship was populated mainly by people in their late 50’s to mid 70’s. There were a considerable number of wheel chair users on board plus several kids in wheel chairs who may well have been recipients of the Make A Wish foundation (sponsored by RCCL) which helps very poorly children. There were also some people in their 20’s who were probably there because they were getting married on board. There is only one specialty restaurant on board, Portofino’s which is Italian. The cover charge for this restaurant is $20.00 per person. I guess you could say that there is one other speciality restaurant. That is Johnny Rockets which specialises in burgers and fries. The cover charge for this is $4.95 per person. This restaurant is well past its sell by date by now and should be replaced with something a bit more upmarket. The ships staff as ever are first class and one wonders at the amount of training that must go on behind the scenes to make sure that everything is up to standard. This also goes for cleanliness. The antibiotic gel dispensers seem to have multiplied over the past year and now appear at every possible turn. On a tour of the kitchens you couldn’t see any dirt, grime or grease anywhere. I received no comments on Norovirus whilst I was on board. Entertainment: Well this has certainly degraded over the past 12 months and I was very disappointed. I won’t mention any names (probably because you will never have heard of them) but the shows varied from a singer to a hypnotist to a guy who showed his skills at BMX riding. This plus a couple of various average tribute acts Beatles etc. RCL have really cut back on high cost productions. However the ice shows are well worth a visit if you can get a ticket. I had paid up front for My Time Dining. Deck five is reserved for my time dining with decks three and four for diners that do not take advantage of this service. You do get to meet up with different people, some good some bad. But all in all this is the way I like to cruise. It worked well on Adventure but the front of house staff were under a lot of pressure and on one or two occasions failed to reduce the waiting hoards. On sea days buffet lunch is served on deck three otherwise it was the Windjammer self service that was the only option. There was a lot of choice and good quality food. The food in the MDR was very palatable but cost cutting was in evidence with no lobster on the 14 days cruise except at an additional cost of about $35.00. In fact lobster was on offer in Portofino’s but it wasn’t enough to fill a sandwich. The only other comment I would make about the food was that I hope you like mashed potato. RCL don’t do any other variety although it is served rather well. As far as the dress code was concerned there were three formal nights and the rest were casual. They seem to have done away with Smart Casual. i.e. a jacket and tie. Had I known I could have saved myself some luggage space by not packing a couple of jackets and ties. I do wish they would be more specific before I left home. To keep the headline price lower RCL are now charging for some items that were once included. For example shuttle busses. In some ports the local authority provides free bus transport into and from town and in some instances it is walkable. However, on those journeys that RCL do provide they do charge and the cost is about $12 - $16 per return ticket. As I wrote earlier there were very few kids onboard. I was assured that they had their own program and they were oblivious to the adults onboard. I was certainly oblivious to them. There is no flow rider on this ship but there is an ice skating rink, a nine hole putting green and a golf simulator. As far as activities to keep you occupied are concerned there was plenty of organized action in the main pool plus many quizzes per day and free instructional courses including towel folding and origami. There were also dancing classes. Several street shows were put on with sing alongs on the promenade deck. Everything from the 1950’s through to the 1970’s. This was very well put together. I think I must have been spoilt on previous cruises with Cruise Directors. The director that was in charge on this ship (Drew) was still learning his trade and needed to be taken in hand occasionally. Why can’t they find a U.K. based director to head this important function up? Many bars littered the ship and service was just about acceptable. This cruise did seem to suffer a dearth of waiters. But you wouldn’t die from thirst. I do wish they would mention the opening hours of the various bars on the daily bulletin. You could for example travel from deck five the Connoisseurs Club which was the only place I could smoke my cigars, to deck fourteen for a quiet drink and find there was no service. By the way the "Nineteenth Hole” bar is well worth a visit if you want some peace and quiet. Whilst on the subject of bars and drinks I have noted below the cost of various drinks. You will have to carry out your own conversion. "Indy” is Independence of the Seas and prices charged last year. These prices do not show any gratuity on the bill and you tip as you want. The "Adv” shows pricing for Adventure of the Seas. On Adventure the receipts now show that a 15% service charge is included with the bill but not shown separately. You should bear in mind that spirits are served (free pour) as approximately U.K. doubles. "Adv” 2013 "Indy” 2012 Bombay Gin and Tonic: $7.20 $7.00 Coke: $2.50 $2.25 Lager: $6.95 $6.95 So my G&T (on Adv) has increased by 20 cents (or 3%) and now includes a 15% tip. Lager has remained the same price and now includes a 15% tip. Not bad value. Off loading at Southampton was very smooth this journey and I was off the ship and on my way home by 8.00am. I’m sure the RCL have got this down to a fine art. Their system certainly seems to work. Anyway, I’m back on Adventure in May of next year. I shall write another review then.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was my 11th cruise, 4th with NCL and 3rd Transatlantic crossing. After sailing NCL Epic 3 times and being a solo traveller wishing to visit New York as soon as the itinerary details were released I booked this cruise before most of ... Read More
This was my 11th cruise, 4th with NCL and 3rd Transatlantic crossing. After sailing NCL Epic 3 times and being a solo traveller wishing to visit New York as soon as the itinerary details were released I booked this cruise before most of the ship was even revealed. I can't help comparing with the Epic as that's my most recent and nearest match to Norwegian Breakaway. I'd selected a Studio Cabin after having enjoyed the "perks" of the studios on Epic. Check-in and boarding was simple, uneventful and well co-ordinated. I'd dropped my bags off before 11 and was onboard before 12. Finding the studios proved a tad more difficult than expected as the doors are not correctly marked and it appears like you are entering a crew restricted area. A small sign on the wall next to the door is not easily spotted when walking down the corridor and the lounge is "hidden" away. First impressions were how small the lounge was, a lot of the Epic features like a fridge, vending machine, events flipchart etc.. were absent and the lounge is a 1/4 to 1/3 of that onboard Epic. During the weeks meetings the lounge was packed and so noisy you could barely move or hear yourself speak. The cruise staff solo co-ordinator tried her best with sign up sheets brought to meetings but without any notice board you had to be there every night to hear any updates/amendments. Unlike Epic no breakfast cereals etc were brought to the lounge each morning. Also in the evening after returning from Bliss etc there was no cookies/snacks and the drinks machine for hot chocolate or any other drink seemed to be permanently on clean mode from midnight!! :( The studio cabins have changed a little: For those who have stayed in an Epic Studio Cabin the differences are: 1) The stool that fitted under the small table under the TV now doesn't fit as it's a square one. This meant I couldn't open the sliding door to the right!! 2) The above mentioned phone is no longer touchscreen with that dimmer light to remove the screen but a standard button phone (saving money?) 3) The mood lighting has gone! 4) the shower door now opens like a normal door rather than on Epic where it slides inside the cubical. This has the awkward affect of when you open the door not being able to reach the towels hanging on the inter-cabin wall mirrored door without getting fully out the shower and closing the door!! 5) Life jacket is now under the bed in one of the clothes bins rather than at the bottom of the wardrobe. 6) new switches in the cabin (in all cabins I think) for make up and do-not disturb. you can't press both at the same time (I did try to see ). the affect is that above the cabin doors there are three little LEDs. One lights when in theory someone is in the cabin (a card in the light/power slot), thats a yellow/white one, a green one for when make-up switch is pressed, red one for do not disturb. 7) For the ladies (and some guys) in the shower is a new foot rail!! 8) The card slot that used to just control lights now controls all the power as well. If a card is not in there the plugs dont work and anything left on charge wont charge! Not sure how that works if people have health equipment or other stuff in there but it was a pain if you wanted to charge phones/cameras say in the evening when at dinner. Some people put their own card/store type card in the slot to fool it. I heard of at least one person who's steward removed this said card! The new features like the Waterfront were great and I enjoyed the greater sea views from all the open decks. The food as ever was great, I'm not a big fussy eater but some people will find comments on food fit for a king but not for them.. It's food.. I enjoyed the beer package and this will save some money for future cruises. Even with 6 sea days the cruise went very quickly, breakfast was served until late each morning at O'Sheehan's so no need to get up early. When the Sun was out is when the ship comes alive and that is the main issue with this ship, it's highly focused on the new outdoor area and activities and so a cold spring transatlantic crossing is not the best of weathers to fully appreciate all it has available. So I guess a summary of the ship is: Pluses: Waterfront (if hot weather) Plenty of open decks and improved upper decks above Haven Increased size of O'Sheehan's Better venue for cirque dreams Better venue for Fat Cats First cruise with beverage package saved me money Fireworks were good Pleasant staff as always Minuses: Spice H2O smaller and hidden away Bliss nowhere near as good as Epic Solo Lounge and facilities far less than on Epic Needs warm weather! The likes of the mini golf and ropes are good if gimmicky as once you've done them any repeat cruises you probably wouldn't do again. If I sail on Breakaway again it would have to be in warmer weather to see how it leverages the upper decks and waterfront, also I wouldn't pay the extra over an inside for a Studio. I was planning to do Getaway to Miami next Jan but probably won't now due to the studio and high costs for so many cold winter sea days. Full review with pics is available at http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1842587 Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
I travelled on the Norwegian Breakaway on its journey from Southampton to New York. I was traveling by myself on this trip, leaving my wife and Son at home. Whilst a transatlantic crossing has always been on my wish list, my wife ... Read More
I travelled on the Norwegian Breakaway on its journey from Southampton to New York. I was traveling by myself on this trip, leaving my wife and Son at home. Whilst a transatlantic crossing has always been on my wish list, my wife didn't like the idea of that many days at sea, so we decided I should go on my own. The Breakaway crossing seemed ideal as it went from the UK to New York, which was my preferred route. This was my third cruise, all with NCL. We did a Baltic cruise on the Norwegian Dream back in 2003 before starting a family and in 2012 we returned to cruising on the Norwegian Epic in the Med. We have plans for a number of further cruises over the next couple of years, starting with the Epic again in a couple of weeks time. We very much like NCL and the freestyle concept, and really don't like the idea of traditional cruise dining. I won't say much about the boarding process as the Breakaway is unlikely to visit Southampton again, but it was very efficient and I was on the ship by about 11.30am. Whilst the rooms were not available at the time, I was able to drop off my bag, which was very handy and made exploring the ship much easier. I spent a few hours getting to know the layout of the ship. Having been on the Epic, many things were familiar, although it was easy to get mixed up with some things, such as the garden cafe being at the rear of the ship compared to the front on the Epic. Overall I was very impressed with the public areas of the ship. O'Sheehans has very similar to the Epic, other than the fact that there was no view of the sea as it is on the lifeboat deck. The lobby was also similar but seemed much busier all through the week than on the Epic. The entertainment venues (Fat Cats and Headliners) were very similar to the Epic, although the seating was different with more tables as opposed to the rows of seats that I was used to. I heard a number of complaints about the size of Bliss, although I don't generally go to the night club so it didn't effect me much. On the Epic, Bliss is used for other events (some Nickelodeon events were held there and also I believe it is often used for Meet & Greets). I wonder whether the loss of this venue for such events may be a problem in the future. I absolutely loved the Waterfront. We had some good weather before sailing from Southampton and sitting outside Fat Cats with a beer was the perfect way to start a holiday. For most of the week, the weather wasn't good enough for the Waterfront to be used fully, but on the second to last day the sun came out and it was a perfect place to sit and relax. When the ship is sailing in good weather this will be a wonderful place to spend time, although I do have concerns about overcrowding. On the first morning, I looked for somewhere to be able to walk on the ship and started off at the jogging track at the top of the ship. There were a number of issues here. The track is short, meaning that you needed to do 8 laps for a mile, and there were often people in the way, especially where it passes the rock climbing wall. I then went to the Waterfront and this is a much better place in my opinion. A lap of the Waterfront is about quarter of a mile and takes around 4-5 minutes to walk. A few of us were walking there each morning, and there were two ways to do it. I favoured complete laps, which meant having to cross through the ship at the point where the Waterfront ends, whilst others turned back at this point and stayed outside. Overall, it was a fairly popular place for early morning walking, but never got to busy. I spent about 90 minutes a day walking round, which set me up for the day and (I like to think) earned me an extra beer or two. Overall, the Waterfront will be the thing I miss most when I'm back on the Epic. I was staying in an Oceanview cabin on deck 5, which was more than adequate for just myself. On the CC cabin crawl, my cabin looked quite big compared to the Balcony Room and Mini Suites we were shown. This was because I didn't have a sofa which made the room seem more roomy. Overall I was pleased with the room. It has been mentioned many times, but I must reiterate that the balconies on this ship are very small. When I go back on the ship with the family we will certainly be looking at booking one of the M6 Mini Suites or an Aft room, as the standard balconies are just too small especially as my wife and I often end up sitting out there at night after our son has gone to sleep. As I was travelling by myself, I went prepared to spend the time reading and relaxing, but on the first evening I attended the solo travelers function in the Studio lounge. I understand from others that the lounge is significantly smaller than on the Epic, and overall it attracted a lot of negative comment. Having never been in the Epic lounge, it seemed OK to me, although there were not enough seats for everyone at the solos meet up. Another negative comment was about the lack of a flipchart to help people organise meals etc. Apparently this is something which had previously been discussed and Meghan, the NCL Rep, had been told that they couldn't have one. I hope that NCL reconsider this for the future. However, a number of events were arranged, including a visit to Cirque Dreams, the Ice Bar and Modernos, as well as a meal at the Manhattan Room. Of these, I only attended the Manhattan Room dinner as the others either didn't appeal or I was doing them separately. Having met up with some other solo travellers, I spent much less of the cruise by myself than I had planned. I formed part of a larger group, some of whom previously knew each other and some who didn't, who joined together or went our separate ways as we pleased. It made for a very enjoyable holiday as I was able to do things with people, but could also spend some time doing my own thing whenever I wanted with no pressure. Thanks to everyone who I spent time with during the week. Having expected to eat by myself most nights, I ended up having meals in the Manhattan Room, Taste, Savor, Moderno, Shanghai's and Teppanyaki with various other people. Overall, the food was pretty well as I had expected. I have previously eaten in Moderno and this was as good as on the Epic. Teppanyaki was also very good, with the show as enjoyable as I had previously heard reported and excellent food. I was very impressed with Shanghai's and as well as having an evening meal there, I also went by myself one lunchtime for a snack. As it is an a la carte menu you can just nip in for one dish instead of having a full meal. The main dining rooms were also very good, and the New York Strip I had at Savor one lunch time was probably the best meal I had all week. It was cooked just how I like it. I also ate in O'Sheehans a couple of times for lunch. The menu is the same as the Epic, and the Chicken Pot Pie just as good. I also tried the burger which was better than I remembered it. Breakfast at O'Sheehans was also very good. I had booked to see Rock of Ages, although I didn't have great expectations of the show. It did exceed my expectations, but I probably wouldn't bother with it again. I'm not saying the show was bad, just not really my thing. I also went to Graffiti Classics in the main theatre, which was quite enjoyable. A string quartet playing a variety of music, with some comedy thrown in, it was a nice way to pass an hour. My favorites, as I expected, were Slam Allen in Fat Cats and Howl at the Moon in Headliners. I had seen Slam almost every night on the Epic and did the same this time. However, for some reason I had missed Howl at the Moon last year, but didn't make the same mistake twice. They were great fun, and it was just a shame that at times both Slam and Howl were on at the same time. I did try out Second City, which was OK but after half an hour I decided that I would enjoy myself more in Fat Cats. I didn't go to Burn the Floor, but having heard the comments of others I think I should have. We will certainly go to that show when we return to the Breakaway. It was a bit of a disappointment to hear that we would be arriving in New York in the middle of the night, but a lot of people were up between 3 and 4am to see us go under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and up the Hudson. I suspect that early morning entries into New York will be quite common as ships usually dock early so if you are on the Breakaway then make the most of leaving from New York, but I would also recommend being on deck for the return, as seeing the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline lit up is quite an experience. Overall, I was very impressed with the Norwegian Breakaway. Yes there are some issues like the size of the Balconies and at times the service was slow, but other things more than make up for it and I'm sure that the service speed will improve in the coming weeks. The staff were, as usual, very friendly. I was also very impressed with the Solo traveller experience on NCL. It is easy to meet up with others and, whilst I turned up by myself, by the end of the cruise there were probably about 20 people that I could stop and chat with around the ship. It really is an excellent way of solo traveling. I'm looking forward to taking my family on the ship, hopefully next year. I'd recommend it to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
I had a fabulous time as a single traveller on board Azura. I found all staff to be friendly and helpful. I think if you are polite and well mannered and treat them how you would expect to be treated then that's what you get. I ... Read More
I had a fabulous time as a single traveller on board Azura. I found all staff to be friendly and helpful. I think if you are polite and well mannered and treat them how you would expect to be treated then that's what you get. I found the cabin to be spacious, clean and well decorated. I was at the front of the ship which does mean though you get the pitch and the swing when you are in storms. We did encounter a force 11 and 2 force 8 which weren't mentioned in the captains log and perhaps should have been. You are better off in mid-ship if you are seasick. I was fine during all storms. I was awake during the force 11 but having previously been in a force 10 felt I was safe although yes at times it was a tad scary. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring all aspects of the ship and used the Horizon guide as my bible to pick my own entertainment throughout the days. This Horizon was a god send to me. The entertainment was fabulous. I thought this of the entertainment:- Peter Piper -Hillarious The Four Tops -the best act of the whole cruise by a mile. Steve Larkin - was absolutely fantastic as Freddie Mercury. The theatre group - the Headliners -were awesome -to put on the amount of variety of shows during the cruise must have took some doing!!! Fabulous! Elton John, Peter Cutler and other comedians were poor for my taste. I agree I couldn't get into the pools due to the children but it is the Summer holidays so I expected that anyhow! I was a little disappointed also that as a strong swimmer there is no shallow end in the pools. The pools however were well maintained -every morning I saw them being thoroughly cleaned out! The food -I was on club dining. The waiters were superb and couldn't do enough for you! If there was nothing you liked on the menu he would sort something else for you - and the quality was of a fantastic standard! The room stewardess was superb and very friendly and we had several good conversations! Malaga! Malaga was pretty disappointing -more of a building site and I found the tour boring -fell asleep on the coach -oops! Kefalonia Superb -did natural wonders and an amazing trip in cave and on a boat!Korcula -did the Riviera cruise and a beautiful island! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Guernsey,France & Spain 6th Aug 2011 7 Nights My Mother and I are experienced cruisers and have sailed with Princess, P&O, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Fred Olsen & Cunard. Pre-cruise information by email was good and ... Read More
Guernsey,France & Spain 6th Aug 2011 7 Nights My Mother and I are experienced cruisers and have sailed with Princess, P&O, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Fred Olsen & Cunard. Pre-cruise information by email was good and P&O send a beautifully presented bound folder with all the information about your cruise, excursion information and ready printed luggage labels. We arrived at the Ocean Terminal in good time and after leaving our car with Cruise & Passenger Services we had a short wait before checkin. Then it was through security and onto the ship. All our cases arrived within a very short time of arriving in the cabin. Our Balcony Staterooms on Britannia Deck were compact but clean and well presented. There were decent wardrobes and good shelf space but good size drawer space was lacking. The ensuite had a shower only but there was always plenty of hot water. The TV was very out of date and the picture quality was poor. The balcony doors were extremely heavy, and in the case of my elderly Mother's cabin very stiff due to lack of maintenance. Maintenance were called later on but some adjustments made very little difference. After a freshen up it was off to the Plaza (Lido Cafe) for a drink and something to eat. The food here was generally very good indeed, with a wide range of hot & cold food available, in the evening sometimes with a particular theme. It has to be said however that the level of waiter service and organisation in the Plaza was nothing like as good as on the Crown Princess we cruised on the previous week. Help usually had to be requested and there were much fewer staff available for this. Also Butter, Jam and UHT milk were all in small pots in large bowls, which we felt did not assist hygiene matters (see our separate report of the Crown Princess). We never had to queue when using the Plaza. It is also worth mentioning that hand gel was actively insisted upon whenever anybody entered the cafe and was freely available in all areas throughout the ship. Our evening meals were taken in the Adriatic Restaurant where we were on a table for eight. Our Table waiter and his assistant were very efficient catering for our every need. The quality of the fish and meat at times however left a great deal to be desired, and pastry items were often very solid. Afternoon Teas were also served in the restaurant and these were most enjoyable, with a wide variety of sandwiches, cakes and scones to choose from. The layout of the ship is good, very easy to get around with the Promenade Deck containing most of the public lounges, bars and theatres. The Piazza (Atrium) which covers three decks is the central hub with an attractive Coffee Bar and some shops on the other levels. One major hassle however is the elevators. These are slow and the direction indicators are poor with virtually no audible warning of arrival. On occasions the call button lights would go out but no elevator would appear. All this resulted in much frustration and delay and at times people just gave up and used the stairs. Attended only one of the shows by the resident company, but volumes were far too loud and so left after a short while. Joined in some of the deck games and evening quizzes which were well run by pleasant entertainment staff. PORTS OF CALL ST PETER PORT, GUERNSEY The only tender port on the cruise. The short crossing to the landing stage was a bit bumpy particularly on return. A local coach driver was our guide for this short afternoon tour, which took us on a circular route around the island. Generally we were not over impressed, it is pretty enough but some how lacked the wow factor. We also missed going through the town, which was closed off due to a charity event. BREST Did not leave the ship here as we had no tour booked, so can't comment on this port. LA ROCHELLE It was a pleasure to return to this attractive but very busy port. Our afternoon tour took us first to the little town of Saintes, where we visited the Cathedral of Saint Pierre. The second destination was the La Roche Courbon (Courbon Castle). Transformed into a residence in the 17th Century it was restored in 1920 and a tour of the interior revealed a series of interesting rooms many with painted wood panelling and beams. The gardens, best viewed from the terrace, are beautifully kept with a large ornamental lake dominating the scene. Our excellent and knowledgeable guide provided a continual commentary on the many historical facts of the region while we viewed the unspoilt French countryside on our return journey. BILBAO No tour booked here, but took the free shuttle bus into the centre to visit the Guggenheim Museum. You may have to queue to get in, I waited about twenty minutes and a further ten minutes to get my ticket and free audio guide. I found the building difficult to navigate, with galleries scattered all over the different floors and the signage is very poor. The audio guide was OK if you wanted to spend time listening about the building, but not much use for the galleries. On my visit there was a mixture of Abstract art displays and other more 'off the wall' sort of exhibits. However I enjoyed the visit and seeing the building. LA CORUNA Booked a short afternoon tour here and took in some of the city highlights with a stop at the Tower of Hercules, Europe's oldest working lighthouse. We enjoyed some drinks and snacks at a local hotel before returning to the ship. An excellent well informed guide looked after us all. Disembarkation was smooth and trouble free and all the cases were grouped in Deck Order which made it much easier to locate them. Overall an enjoyable cruise on a well run ship, with good service, accommodation and food. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Norwegian Fjords 7 Nights 28th July 2011 My Mother and I are experienced cruisers and have sailed with Princess, P&O, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Fred Olsen & Cunard. Pre-cruise information by email was good, but I did not ... Read More
Norwegian Fjords 7 Nights 28th July 2011 My Mother and I are experienced cruisers and have sailed with Princess, P&O, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Fred Olsen & Cunard. Pre-cruise information by email was good, but I did not like having to print my own luggage labels. I had to reinforce the paper with sticky back clear film, otherwise they would have pulled off too easily. However I understand you can ask your travel agent to do it for you, but whether they would have gone to this amount of trouble I am not sure. Also Princess do not provide any printed literature about excursions. In contrast, P&O still send a beautifully presented bound folder with all the information about your cruise, excursion information and ready printed luggage labels. We arrived at the Ocean Terminal in good time and after leaving our car with Cruise & Passenger Services we had a speedy check in (we had priority check in). Then it was through security and onto the ship. All our cases arrived within 30mins of arriving in the cabin. Our Cabins Mini Suites on Dolphin deck were excellent in every way, very spacious, pristine condition, large sitting area with three seat sofa and large 5sq Mtr balcony. There was a large walk in wardrobe area and the ensuite had bath with shower. Shelf space was good, but drawer space however was minimal. Our cabin steward arrived to introduce himself and he looked after us very efficiently throughout the whole cruise. After a freshen up it was off to the Horizon Court (Lido Cafe) for a drink and something to eat. The food here was very good indeed, we had our breakfasts and lunches here and our evening meals in the Cafe Caribe which is adjacent to the Horizon Court at the rear of the ship. The service in these areas is first class, with staff anxious to assist you at every turn, very useful for elderly or disabled passengers. Once seated they are constantly at your side to assist with more food or drinks. These waiters are in addition to the staff clearing the tables, who do so efficiently and on a constant basis. A wide range of hot & cold food is available, in the evening sometimes with a particular theme. For us the only thing missing at lunch time was cold meats such as Ham, Beef or Pork, but there was always cheese and a very varied choice of salad items. We never had to queue when eating in these areas. It is also worth mentioning that hand gel was actively insisted upon whenever anybody entered the cafe and was freely available in all areas throughout the ship. Another aspect of hygiene was that milk was dispensed in jugs and jam and butter was in bowls with tongs or spoons which removed the process of multiple fingers diving into bowls for small packs of butter, jam and UHT milk (which we experienced on P&O Oceana the following week - see our separate report of this cruise) We ate only twice in the dining room, so cannot really comment on the standard of service here. The menu's we felt were not to our taste, a little too European and on one of the occasions for us, under cooked and poorly presented. However the evening meals in the Cafe Caribe were very good with plenty of choice and excellent desserts. If you are on anytime dining, there can be long queues if you want to eat in the dining rooms, so it's best to book a table early in the day. The layout of the ship is good, very easy to get around, the elevators are fast and numerous. The Piazza (Atrium) which covers three decks is the central hub with an attractive Coffee Bar which has lovely pastries throughout the day including sandwiches at lunch time (all free with the purchased drinks). We did not book any tours on the short cruise so cannot comment on how efficiently these were organised, but had no trouble getting on or off the ship at the various ports. PORTS OF CALL BERGEN city has some attractive areas in the town, with a large central park area with fountain and bandstand. The main shopping areas have wide pedestrian areas, although on our visit the pavements seemed very dirty and there were a lot of buskers. The attractive port area (with the pretty coloured quay side buildings) was rather spoilt by the covered market stalls and food outlets. The small harbour has some major building work on the quay side at the moment so it's in a mess. GEIRANGER We did not get off the ship here as it was a tender port and mostly for people going on tours who would be meeting up with the ship later in the day at HELLESYLT. The scenic cruising of the fjord here was very pleasant. HELLESYLT Service call only for passengers returning to the ship from overland tours. OLDEN is a small village at one end of the Nordfjord which has a few useful shops. The old church in Olden (the one in the village) was built in 1759 on the site of a stave church dating from around 1300. It's pew doors and jambs are made from timbers of the old stave church. This is well worth a visit and is only a 15 minute walk from the ship. During the Summer a small motor driven train with passenger cars does a shuttle service up and down the main road leading into the village. STAVANGER our final port is of course very large, we were docked very close to the Cathedral which is worth a visit if time permits. At the time of our visit a certain air of sadness prevailed due to the numerous memorials left in memory of all the students who died in the recent shooting tragedy. We did not go to any of the shows or entertainments so cannot comment on these. The usual array of daytime activities were available on board, including shuffle board, quoits, putting & table tennis. Disembarkation was smooth and trouble free. Overall an enjoyable relaxing cruise on a well run ship, with excellent service, accommodation and food. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Booked this cruise on impulse as the one I had booked in April was cancelled due to the Ash Cloud so was looking forward to it. Flew down to Southampton from Edinburgh this may have been my first mistake as the planes engine broke down so ... Read More
Booked this cruise on impulse as the one I had booked in April was cancelled due to the Ash Cloud so was looking forward to it. Flew down to Southampton from Edinburgh this may have been my first mistake as the planes engine broke down so spent an hour onboard waiting to get on another plane. Reached Southampton with no further delays and got a taxi to the port easy and painless.On board the ship by 12.15 this was great. Once on board had a wander around and was very disappointed I thought there was going to be a wow factor with this ship but for me it just wasn't there. The Atrium was so disappointing and so small. The Theatre was quite latge which was a plus and I also liked the idea there was three times for the shows as I was on second seating for dining it meant I did not miss out on any of the shows. I was in the Oriental dining room which was quite easy to get there but was very crowded outside as we were waiting to go in at 8.30pm.Service was very slow and we waited quite a while in between courses to be served. There was very little to do during the day and I found it very boring I have been on Transatlantic cruises before and this was not the case then. I am not into the Spa keep fit etc or listening to lectures or arts and crafts. I expected fun games bands anything around the pool area but this was very quiet apart from the sunbathers. It was always easy to get a sun lounger at any time but ther did not appear to be a lot of people in the swimming pools at any one time. The cinema screen was a bounus but would be better if they did not keep repeating the same films and had a greater variety. This was where I spent a few evenings after dinner when I did not like the shows that were on elsewhere. The shops have the usual items but did not have great sales on. My cabin an inside single was quite large with plenty of storage space and although next to the Atrium and Casino did not hear any noise once the door was shut. Meals were okay but nothing special apart from the Glass House which was superb. Due to the bad weather we did not leave until the Saturday but I am a good sailor and this did not bother me.We had to miss out Tenerife and go to Ponta Delgado instead. Embarkation was fine and as I had been in Barbados quite a few times just got off and had a wander round the shops to kill time. Would I book another Transatlantic cruise with P & O yes but not on the Azura. As Ponta Delgado is not one of the ports listed I will give my impressions here. I booked to go and see the mountains and fire lakes which was really special but it was a very cold and windy day which spoilt it slightly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
this was the first time on royal caribbean and the last. first impression great looking ship and thats the only good thing about it. entertainment verry good except you have to get your tickets for the ice shows on your first day at sea ... Read More
this was the first time on royal caribbean and the last. first impression great looking ship and thats the only good thing about it. entertainment verry good except you have to get your tickets for the ice shows on your first day at sea otherwise you wont get to see them.The cabin was comfortable.First night at dinner was the worst experiance i have ever had on a cruise before.Had to wait one hour for first course then when main course was served it wasnt worth waiting for.all it was waqs a steak with a jacket potatoe rolling round on the plate with 2 mushrooms and 3 mangetout peas and all of that was cold.Never got coffee had to leave for the next sitting.Went to dinner second night diddnt have to wait as long but anything you have is always served with a jacket potatoe rolling round on your plate and luke warm. Never went to dinning room again.The self service was a free for all always the same food and always luke warm.The only dinning place which served hot food was the burger bar and you had to pay for that.24 hour food was either filled roll ar pizza tea and coffee was plastic cups anywhere on the ship and they were mugs then you have a battle to find a seat to drink it.THE SHOPS are just one big rip off.Everything was so overpriced a family would need a mortgage.One of the cloths shops had a jacket which i hab bought on po aurora it was double the price to aurora.Drinks prices are extortionate and you cant take any drink you buy to your cabin.I have had better in a motorway caff. All you hear allday is if you leave your sunlounger your towel will be removed and your towels are charged to your onboard account untill you return them.Also all you hear is vacate your seat in the selfservice dinning hall when you have finnished this announcment is every 10 miniuts.The shuttle busses for all ports of call are charged and expensive. on ports of call if you stay onboard to sunbathe you are told to leave at around 4pm so they can stack the sun loungers away and that is usually 2 hours before you set sail. If you buy any dutyfree shopping ie alchohol tobacco ashore it is taken away from you when you get onboard and returned on your last night this is so you have to buy all your drinks from their bars and pay more for them than you would in any pub in england.IF YOU MAKE A COMPLAINT AT THE DESK THE STAFF LOOK AT YOU AS IF YOU WERE SOMTHING DIRTY ON THEIR SHOE AND DO NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT ANYWAY.I have never been on a cruise before and checked what i have spent on my onboard account on a daily basis but this time i had to.All in all if some of my friends had not been on this cruise i would have got off at the the first port.One last word of advice DO NOT PREPAY YOUR TIPS WHEN BOOKING YOUR CRUISE. BECAUSE WHEN YOU GET BAD SERVICE YOU CANNOT CHOOSE WHO GETS THE MONEY. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click