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I cruised for the first time with my family. I have an Indian passport. My aim is to provide everyone with general information that might be useful for the 1st time cruiser. if you are not a big drinker, not looking to get on to the internet on a vacation you are like me, read below: I took the 7 day cruise from NY to Florida / Bahamas and the ship was supposed to have docked in 3 places, Cape Canaveral - Orlando FL, Great Stirrup Cay (NCL's private Island) and Bahamas. After debating between free gratuity (13.50 per Adult for 2 adults, you pay for the rest) and Free Shore Ex credit ($50 per port for max 4 ports), i choose the Shore Ex credit option. The problem : Great Stirrup Cay does not have a dock so the Ship stops at a distance and you take the tender (the 9 red little life boats on either side of the ship). If the water is choppy (not necessarily related to a storm) and it frequently is, then the captain skips the port, you miss the port and forfeit the Shore Ex credit. This happened to us. So instead of docking in GSC on Day 4, we docked in the Bahamas later in the afternoon and the ship was in Bahamas until 6:30pm the following day. We had our shore activities planned and booked in advance. Now we had to re-plan our activities in Nassau and so we made a beeline for the shore excursion desk, the problem is that so do bulk of the 4000 other people. We booked snorkeling in Nassau and that was cancelled due to weather as well. We lost another 50$ Shore Ex credit. We talked to Guest Services on-board the ship to request transfer of our Shore Ex credit to On-board credit but they won't. My point is, why offer the Shore Ex promotion when you know very well the uncertainty associated with it ? Why have a policy that does not allow us to transfer our credits from one form to another ? Had i known about the uncertainty, i have chosen the free gratuity and saved about 100$. That being said, overall the cruise experience was good. Check in : Pretty good. You send your bags at the curb. No restrictions on #bags you can check-in. They you proceed through security and then check-in. You get 1 key card per person at check-in. For adults, the card is linked to your credit card and you can use it throughout the ship for any purchases. For Kids, the card is not linked to your credit card. If you loose your key card not a problem, the guest services desk will make one for you. it took us approx 90 mins from when we got off the Taxi to when we were inside the ship. The checked-in bags were outside our cabin by 6pm. Don't get too much medicines. The ship can rock at times. Leaving Nassau we had 15ft waves for well over 24hrs. It can get a bit dizzy especially if you hang around to much on the back of the ship. Get something Specific for Dizziness, Nausea & Vomiting. My son threw up one night and had indigestion on another. You got to control the way kids eat, especially the cheesy / sugary stuff. Food : Awesome, as soon as you board the ship you get to eat. (except after 2:30 on Day 1 they close for 30 mins or so for mandatory safety drill). There is so much food on the ship, it can feed a whole city. You have the free main dining hall serving buffet (Garden Cafe) on 15th Floor that serves breakfast (until 10:30) , lunch (until 3:30) and dinner (until 10:30). Plenty of other places that you can book and eat free (Manhattan Cafe, Taste, Savor, uptown grill, O'sheehan's etc ..). The staff easily accommodated our request for Indian tea / breakfast / lunch / Dinner etc. Don't expect too much from it, get a jar of Indian pickles if you want it spicy. Just be sure to request specialty foods to be made with less salt. There was a lot of variety for any taste buds. Plenty of fruits water and juices to be had. After 10:30pm very few places serve free food so something to keep in mind. Communication : Get the NCL iConceirge app (7.95$) for messages, phone calls within the ship. if you have the latest iPhone (6s ) whatsapp seemed to be working connecting to NCL Wifi. it didn't work on Android, or older iphone and i could not figure out why. NCL will not charge you for connecting to their Wifi. It helps if you leave kids frequently at their care facility and they need to contact you. You can use the app to pre-book your on board dining / entertainment. The app will only work once you are on board. Entertainment : OK : For a ship that size, they had real cheap ping pong tables. Gym was good and well equipped. Pool was crowded and water extremely salty. Whirlpool was OK.The water slides were good. Rock Climbing, Zip line etc all of them were generally good as a 1 time activity. I could not relate to any of their shows (except maybe one dance show called Burn the floor). Plenty of bars and lounges to go in every floor if you felt like drinking. I found myself going to the casino often for lack of better entertainment, Misc: if you are big into photos, get a good camera and ask someone to take your pics. 25$ for 1 photo or 150$ for 10 is outrageously expensive. if you are into spirits then their duty free has a good collection (155$ for Blue Label ...) Disembarkation : pretty much like getting out of an airplane. Choose the earliest exit time. You get luggage tags color coded based on the time you choose to leave the ship. We arrived at the port at 7am, vacated the room at 8am had breakfast and left the ship at 9am. We had green tags (9:45 am debarkation) but we left the ship since we were done. You get to passport control area, pick your bags first and go through passport control. We were out by 10am. It was all right. Overall, spending 3000$ and haggling over 100$ credit was not in our interests so we gave up. I didn't know that until i found out inside the ship. if you have that choice, go for free gratuity so you won't have to suffer. Other than that, cruising was a good experience.

Norwegians Freestyle Choice; do not pick the shore excursion credit option!

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by blrsik

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2015
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Family Mini-Suite with Balcony
I cruised for the first time with my family. I have an Indian passport. My aim is to provide everyone with general information that might be useful for the 1st time cruiser. if you are not a big drinker, not looking to get on to the internet on a vacation you are like me, read below:

I took the 7 day cruise from NY to Florida / Bahamas and the ship was supposed to have docked in 3 places, Cape Canaveral - Orlando FL, Great Stirrup Cay (NCL's private Island) and Bahamas. After debating between free gratuity (13.50 per Adult for 2 adults, you pay for the rest) and Free Shore Ex credit ($50 per port for max 4 ports), i choose the Shore Ex credit option.

The problem : Great Stirrup Cay does not have a dock so the Ship stops at a distance and you take the tender (the 9 red little life boats on either side of the ship). If the water is choppy (not necessarily related to a storm) and it frequently is, then the captain skips the port, you miss the port and forfeit the Shore Ex credit. This happened to us. So instead of docking in GSC on Day 4, we docked in the Bahamas later in the afternoon and the ship was in Bahamas until 6:30pm the following day.

We had our shore activities planned and booked in advance. Now we had to re-plan our activities in Nassau and so we made a beeline for the shore excursion desk, the problem is that so do bulk of the 4000 other people. We booked snorkeling in Nassau and that was cancelled due to weather as well. We lost another 50$ Shore Ex credit.

We talked to Guest Services on-board the ship to request transfer of our Shore Ex credit to On-board credit but they won't. My point is, why offer the Shore Ex promotion when you know very well the uncertainty associated with it ? Why have a policy that does not allow us to transfer our credits from one form to another ? Had i known about the uncertainty, i have chosen the free gratuity and saved about 100$.

That being said, overall the cruise experience was good.

Check in :

Pretty good. You send your bags at the curb. No restrictions on #bags you can check-in. They you proceed through security and then check-in. You get 1 key card per person at check-in. For adults, the card is linked to your credit card and you can use it throughout the ship for any purchases. For Kids, the card is not linked to your credit card. If you loose your key card not a problem, the guest services desk will make one for you. it took us approx 90 mins from when we got off the Taxi to when we were inside the ship. The checked-in bags were outside our cabin by 6pm.

Don't get too much medicines. The ship can rock at times. Leaving Nassau we had 15ft waves for well over 24hrs. It can get a bit dizzy especially if you hang around to much on the back of the ship. Get something Specific for Dizziness, Nausea & Vomiting. My son threw up one night and had indigestion on another. You got to control the way kids eat, especially the cheesy / sugary stuff.

Food :

Awesome, as soon as you board the ship you get to eat. (except after 2:30 on Day 1 they close for 30 mins or so for mandatory safety drill). There is so much food on the ship, it can feed a whole city. You have the free main dining hall serving buffet (Garden Cafe) on 15th Floor that serves breakfast (until 10:30) , lunch (until 3:30) and dinner (until 10:30). Plenty of other places that you can book and eat free (Manhattan Cafe, Taste, Savor, uptown grill, O'sheehan's etc ..). The staff easily accommodated our request for Indian tea / breakfast / lunch / Dinner etc. Don't expect too much from it, get a jar of Indian pickles if you want it spicy. Just be sure to request specialty foods to be made with less salt. There was a lot of variety for any taste buds. Plenty of fruits water and juices to be had. After 10:30pm very few places serve free food so something to keep in mind.

Communication :

Get the NCL iConceirge app (7.95$) for messages, phone calls within the ship. if you have the latest iPhone (6s ) whatsapp seemed to be working connecting to NCL Wifi. it didn't work on Android, or older iphone and i could not figure out why. NCL will not charge you for connecting to their Wifi. It helps if you leave kids frequently at their care facility and they need to contact you. You can use the app to pre-book your on board dining / entertainment. The app will only work once you are on board.

Entertainment :

OK : For a ship that size, they had real cheap ping pong tables. Gym was good and well equipped. Pool was crowded and water extremely salty. Whirlpool was OK.The water slides were good. Rock Climbing, Zip line etc all of them were generally good as a 1 time activity. I could not relate to any of their shows (except maybe one dance show called Burn the floor). Plenty of bars and lounges to go in every floor if you felt like drinking. I found myself going to the casino often for lack of better entertainment,

Misc:

if you are big into photos, get a good camera and ask someone to take your pics. 25$ for 1 photo or 150$ for 10 is outrageously expensive. if you are into spirits then their duty free has a good collection (155$ for Blue Label ...)

Disembarkation :

pretty much like getting out of an airplane. Choose the earliest exit time. You get luggage tags color coded based on the time you choose to leave the ship. We arrived at the port at 7am, vacated the room at 8am had breakfast and left the ship at 9am. We had green tags (9:45 am debarkation) but we left the ship since we were done. You get to passport control area, pick your bags first and go through passport control. We were out by 10am. It was all right.

Overall, spending 3000$ and haggling over 100$ credit was not in our interests so we gave up. I didn't know that until i found out inside the ship. if you have that choice, go for free gratuity so you won't have to suffer. Other than that, cruising was a good experience.
blrsik’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Service
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Cabin Review

Family Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M2 14224
Cabin was excellent and the cleaning staff did their job very well. The room had a queen bed. A couch and a pull out bed from the ceiling directly above the sofa for the kids.The Balcony was small but had 2 chairs. It was ok as i did not spend too much time in the balcony.As a first time cruiser, prior to the cruise in my mind i wanted to spend more time in the balcony but i found out, ocean is not something you can keep looking from a ship all the time, it's boring after a while.

Don't bring Soaps, Shampoos, Hand Soaps, Iron , extension cords, towels etc. Bring everything else. Room has no night lamps so get a small one if you need to. Cleaning staff makes your room 2 times a day.

Iron / Iron Boards are available upon request.

Refrigerator is stocked with liquor / drinks all chargeable but you can ask the cleaning staff to clear it out.

There is plenty of water available on the ship, do not bring it with you.

Every night, you get a 4 page leaflet that outlines the activities for the next day. If any item you bring (e..g Iron) is deemed as a fire hazard, it will be confiscated and available at guest services to pick up prior to debarkation.

You can get food into your room.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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