Had a good time but won't return.: Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by travelgals
Overall Member Rating
Had a good time but won't return.
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
We booked a spa mini suite. We immediately received an email from NCL offering the opportunity to bid to upgrade for several Haven cabins. Our travel agent told us not to bother since the only cabin that was available was one 2BR, and it wouldn't happen. I bid anyway, (and bid high on two units) but was a bit annoyed since I felt NCL was only collecting market data, given nothing was or would be available. As expected, no upgrade purchase.
We arrived early and boarded and were able to get vibe passes. It was a miracle, since we were just about first on board and still barely were able to get the passes. On this trip we just wanted to quietly relax instead of party so didn't want to struggle with pool chairs and be part of the frenetic (but More can be fun) pool scene. Vibe was lovely.
After Vibe passes, we made specialty restaurant reservations. Many early times were already booked but we managed to make reasonable reservations for 4 nights, which is what we wanted. We went to La Cucina, Cagney's, Le Bistro and the Brazilian restaurant. All were excellent- food and service. Really good. Cagney's and Le Bistro were outstanding as was the salad bar in the Brazilian restaurant. La Cucina was very good, but not up to the others. We never went to the Manhattan Room, but had dinner once at Taste and once at Savior an both were good. We planned to have dinner in Bermuda one night but were rained out, so hit the buffet and that was fine. The buffet is so crowded though with people are running in all directions; it's very frenetic. There is a wide selection available and for the most part the food is pretty good except for breakfast which is dreadful unless you are a very healthy breakfast person and love fruit and yoghurt. (Good for you, but not me on vacation!) Cooked food was just not very hot, was greasy and tasteless.
Our cabin was deck on 14 and just fine. Our cabin steward was terrific. There were plenty of towels, the cabin was promptly made up and I asked for ice on day one and there was ice all week.
We had a spa room so we used the spa almost daily- actually my husband used the spa every day and really enjoyed it. He used the fitness center each day and gives it a thumbs up. Unfortunately the scale is very accurate!
We signed up for iconcierge, so we could reach each other on board but it never worked properly and was a total waste. Getting a text message 6 hours later was pretty useless when the whole point was to stay in touch to meet for lunch and the phone aspect never worked at all.
Internet was slow. Really slow. Help desk for internet and iconcierge had very limited hours and was crowded with cranky people.
Casino is extremely smoky. I did see some winners though.
Bars and lounges were all good. There is a good range of music in the various lounges- something for everyone. Shakers was a favorite.
We saw no shows, but went to the early improv one evening and it was good.
The library has very few books and is almost never open.
The coffee bar (Atrium Cafe) makes great coffee and is not too crowded.
The ship was very crowded, elevators passed us regularly, and I guess since it is freestyle with no dress code one is surrounded by a pretty sloppy crowd. It seems to have gotten even more informal since our last sailing. No shoes in the elevators and other public areas, wet bodies in swimsuits on the crowded elevators and the crowds make people pushy. This is also where my husband said never again.
Disembarking was easy, but we used self help and were in the early group so we were off the ship at 8 and home before 8:30.
We had a really good time, but because we were lucky to get the vibe passes it made all the difference- for us. We will not return because we would not take the risk of having to be one of 70 people to score a pass to a quiet area. The odds that we would get on board that early again are slim. And at Haven prices, which I think are between two and three times what we paid, (nothing was available so I checked other sailings for estimates) there are many options on other lines. Less