Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by contrymouse
- Sail Date: February 2018
- Destination: Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Family Inside Stateroom
The ship was nice, clean, showing some wear and tear but not overly so. We had an inside cabin this time that we allowed the cruise line to choose (lower price) which was on deck 12 forward. Other than being a long walk to the buffet, which we saw as much needed exercise, it was a good location. The walls were thin so noisy, not ship noise or vibration just other people in the hall, and the room was quite tiny. Bathroom was nice, large enough, nice shower. Not enough storage for a 14 day trip and no self serve laundry so did some rinsing out in the bathroom sink. We each kept a suitcase under the bed and used it like a drawer. This was a very windy trip, lots of swells and waves but the cabin was toward the center line of the forward section of the ship so not bad for movement. I like to nap in the afternoon so an inside cabin was great, very dark if needed.
The food was just ok. We ate most of our meals in the buffet, again keeping costs down, and we were reminded of a college cafeteria line minus the trays. The carved meat was always tough and dry. If you happen to hit the buffet early the food was fresh but if you didn't get back till mid afternoon and wanted lunch many selections were tired and old. Stir the dishes up people, keep them looking fresh and hot all the way through! Each night they had a theme for dinner and for the most part we were very disappointed. The best meal was the last night of the cruise with prime rib and a big bowl of shrimp with cocktail sauce. There is lots of variety and everyone can find something they'll like every meal. We ate in the Manhattan room only once because we don't like to sit at the table for 2 hours. We both ordered roast beef which came cold and tough. We did share a table with 2 other older couples who were very experienced cruisers so the conversation was pleasant and informative.
We saw the Rock of Ages show which was very well done and the Burn the Floor dance show, also well done. From what I understand these shows have been run on the ship for quite some time and I wouldn't want to see either a second time. We saw some good standup comedy and lots of live music. Our favorite was Melvin who played accoustic guitar and has a wonderful voice. We followed him all over the ship where ever he was scheduled. Others were ok. Other activities on the ship were not very entertaining for us. We did the ropes course (half an hour of activity) and the rock wall. The pools and hot tubs were overcrowded. We did hit both one evening around 9 pm, that's the time to go. My husband does not sit still well and did a lot of miles on the walking track. Bingo, over loud game shows and casino gambling are not for us so there was not much to do during those long 3 days coming and going. The music around the pool was way over loud and annoying. There were lots of nooks and crannies which would have held a half dozen lounge chairs in a quiet setting but Norwegian doesn't get it. Again, that herd of cattle mentality. On our first cruise there were lots of nice padded loungers placed around where you could sit in peace, read and watch the ocean which is why we thought an inside cabin would be ok but the ship was full and the noise and crowds were exhausting. After a full day of snorkeling, kayaking and shopping if you thought you'd stay in and have an early quiet evening the cabin tv was horrid. We expected decent movies available but there were only about a dozen to choose from for $9.95 each, not the dozens of late run movies offered free by our other line (again, you get what you pay for). We were bored silly.
Service was again, OK. Our cabin steward was likely not very experienced. Every night the sheets were loose and tangled after a few minutes, he forgot towels, water glasses and we never knew when he was going to come to do the room. I let him know that I like to nap in the afternoons so cabin care was hit or miss. Generally there was a lot of care to keep the ship clean and everyone healthy. I hadn't expected to be assigned 2 only beach towels that would cost $25 if they were not accounted for. If you wanted a second towel at the pool you had to sign up for it so they could charge your account if you didn't return it! The staff was all smiles for the first couple days and for the most part slowly lost enthusiasm. By the end most didn't even see you with a few notable exceptions.
We booked all our port excursions through Shore Excursions Group and were mosty happy with them. Our last excursion on St Kitts was canceled do to rough seas and we have not had time yet to poke them for our refund but I don't for see any problem. We had nothing planned for Bonaire but through research found there was a $20 water taxi to Klein island. Klein is a small undeveloped island nearby, a nature preserve with a super reef a few feet off the beach. EXCELLANT snorkeling and the water taxi captain gave us great advise on how to navigate the reef. In Aruba we were taken out on a sailing catamaran to a ship wreck and then a reef along a beach. There was only one other couple with us on a large boat. The crew was very capable and kept a good eye on us but were generally bored with the whole thing, pleasant but no more. On Curacao the kayaking and snorkeling trip was not good. The tour guides were watchful but not entertaining, the kayaking was very difficult over 4 ft swells and 25 knot winds. They took us around a couple of rusty "ships" that were moored to the shore to stop, give us a breather and the story of the ships. Both would have been cut up for scrap and not left to mar the scenery at home. The snorkeling was good but because of the waves we both lost some skin on the rocks. We were glad we brought our own gear cause they didn't provide fins and luckily we had water shoes on because the beach was all sharp rock. At Martinique we got off the boat to connect to the free wifi to check in at home, did a little shopping at the port set up but did not venture further. We had always heard that on port days the ship would be a much nicer place to spend time cause many people were off so we wanted to try that. Since Martinique only takes euros away from the port, the language is french, and we were not enthusiastic about the excursion offerings we thought this might be our chance to try staying on. On St Lucia we signed up with Spencer Ambrose for a beach/snorkeling tour. VERY good excursion, great snorkeling, nice lunch on the beach provided, drinks and interesting talk on the way back. Recommend Spencer Ambrose whole heartedly. On St Kitts our snorkeling adventure was canceled due to rough seas so we took a chance on one of the many taxi drivers hailing their availability at the pier. We were attracted to a driver that we asked about going to the beach. So for $14 dollars we got a narrated ride through Basseterre, St Kitts to Frigate Bay Beach. We rented an umbrella and two chairs for $10 and spent a wonderful day. Several bars (had my first pina colata), food available (fried conch fritters and fries), guys on the beach willing to get food and drinks for you, only one person trying to sell aloe massages on the beach, one guy with a table set up to sell his carvings. It's a sandy beach quite a ways out so not much to see snorkeling but a nice day all around. The beach server called the same taxi service (Sylvester Pringles Tours & Taxi Service) to pick us up when we were ready to go back to the ship....$12 back.
We did not travel with children just my husband and I. There were not many children on this trip. Lots of elderly people, wheel chairs, scooters, walkers and canes who it seemed were all very well cared for by the staff. We chose to keep our bags with us and take them off the ship ourselves so we left at 8:30 am with a pretty smooth disembarkation. We will definitely go on another carribean cruise but not on Norwegian.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
SnorkelingOnly one other couple on the sailing catamaran. Good snorkeling on a sunken ship and a second dive on a reef. Lots of different fish and not too many other snorkelers. Uninspired white bread sandwich for lunch, nice drinks.View All 166 Snorkeling Reviews
SnorkelingWe just took the local water taxi $20 round trip to Klein Island. Boat captain gave us good advice on snorkeling the reef which is located a few feet off a sandy beach. This island is totally unimproved, no facilities to speak of but GREAT snorkeling.View All 151 Snorkeling Reviews
KayakingVery rough conditions for kayaking and snorkeling. Saw lots of different species of fish and a sunken tug boat. Lots of people there from several tours. Very rocky beach, bring swim shoes and your own fins. Would not do this againView All 5 Kayaking Reviews
BeachOur booked excursion was cancelled due to high winds so we found a taxi driver at the port who took us to Frigate Bay Beach. Nice 15 minute ride through Basseterre narrated by our driver, $12. $10 rented an umbrella and two beach chairs on the beach. Several bars and eating establishments on the beach. A young man who set us up with the umbrella also checked back occasionally to see if we wanted him to get us anything. We had conch fritters and fries for lunch, vodka tonics and pina colotas. Nice sandy beach, only one person selling aloe massages, one guy with a table set up to sell his carvings. Our beach attendant called the same taxi service to pick us up when we were ready to go back to the ship $12. All around a perfect beach day.View All 152 Beach Reviews
SnorkelingSpencer Ambrose took very good care of us. We had a speed boat ride to a beach and snorkeling area. Spent several hours there and was given a great lunch and drinks. On the way back we stopped at several interesting spots for a narration by Chi Chi, our great tour guide. Bought some bananas from a local with a kayak full of local fruit to sell. Fresh and sweet.View All 54 Snorkeling Reviews