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My husband and I are retired and decided a Transatlantic cruise was on our bucket list. When we saw the price of this repositioning cruise, we couldn't resist! We didn't know what we were in for! When booking, I accidentally chose the dining package and free internet as my free package instead of the beverage package and free internet.  When I tried to change, I was told I could only change if I paid an additional amount per day up front.  Doesn't seem like a free perk if I have to pay for it!  So I was stuck with a dining package that I did not use. In New York, we had an appointment to get on the ship at 0930.  So we got up early, had a rushed breakfast, and got down to the ship, expecting to check in and get on board. Imagine our surprise when we didn't board until after 1300 and were told that, even if all had gone perfectly, we still wouldn't have been allowed to board until after 1200.  But there was a delay, supposedly caused by Customs, so everyone was lined up, no seats were even available, and, in spite of the delay not being our fault, no remuneration or apology was offered.  First five days were uneventful other than a rough sea and decks being closed.  Finding out that the vast majority of activities on board required a further outlay of cash was rather disappointing.  Finding out the big shows required even more cash was very disappointing!  I have never been on board a ship that required so many additional charges!  Even the majority of restaurants were paid!   With decks 6, 7, and 8 all being open to each other, the stench of the smoking area was horrible!  The smoke doesn't apparently know it is supposed to stay outside when people are coming in and out of the doors.  It reeked of tobacco smoke all around the area on all three decks.  Additionally, being open meant that there are few (If any) quiet areas.  The noise is constant especially when some event like Deal or No Deal or anything being done in that particular area is on. A friend had arranged for a Bon Voyage package in our room.  The next day, we had to request a smaller plate so the cake fit in the fridge.  The steward didn't cover it so it was quickly stale.  We ended up having to take the decorations down ourselves after they started to come down but weren't taken away.  The entire trip, the only time housekeeping carts were not in the hallways was after 10 pm. Watching some of the guests on Larks trying to get past them was difficult to watch. Several times, we helped to move one to assist one of these passengers. Our first restaurant was the Manhattan.  The service was terrible but the food was okay.  We didn't even have dessert because the waiter never came back to our table after the initial service of our food! The next night (and all subsequent nights) we ate at Taste.  The maitre d', Cielo Romo, was AMAZING, apologizing to us for the prior night's service and making our night special!  The waiter, Donny, was friendly, sweet, and made the effort to learn our names!  You need more employees like these two! They both deserve a raise or additional paid vacation or something! The Garden Buffet was okay, the chefs/servers were not very friendly.  The staff who came around in the morning with pastries were a delight!  The food was great at breakfast and adequate the rest of the day.  We joked that the theme nights just meant the same food served differently!  The service at the spa was awesome!  The young lady who was my massage therapist was extremely knowledgeable and I appreciated the consultation with the acupuncturist afterward.  However, prices were so high!   When we got to Punta Delgada, there were lines to get out but we were unconcerned as we had no excursions planned.  But after spending a pleasant day, we then had a long line to get back on board.  A couple more uneventful days and this was about when our steward started to pay some attention to us.  In Cobh, we had to go to the theater for our excursion.  We got numbers on the way in. After sitting for a bit, the young lady at the front mentioned that everyone in your party had to have the same numbers.  We ran to the back to get our friends, who were just coming in.  They had different numbers.  We spoke with staff at the door to try to get this straightened out.  The staff member was rude, not just to us but to several others who were there with the same problem.   There had been no notification of this policy and yet we were chastised like children for not knowing it!  We finally got it straightened out and went on our way to the Blarney Castle and Blarney Woolen Mills excursion.  The guide, although very nice, seemed more like someone they had grabbed last minute rather than a professional guide.  By the time we got to our destination, it boiled down to having enough time to see Blarney Castle OR Blarney Woolen Mills, there was not time to do both.  We were extremely disappointed! This was the one stop I was really looking forward to and there was no way we had time to climb the castle and kiss the stone, given the long lines of passengers from our ship who were ahead of us.  It was all a big rush! The drive in each direction seemed longer than the tour itself.  And the tour of Cork, although interesting, was mostly just visible to one side of the bus or the other.  Would rather have had more time at Blarney! Next came Portland, once again no excursions.  Once again one of our best days.  If you get a chance, go to their D-day museum! Still a line to get off the boat but we didn't care.  Then a line for the bus to town.  Then a line to catch the bus from town.  Then a line to get back on board.  Guess we know why it is called Norwegian Cruise LINE. Next day was La Havre.  We were supposed to meet in the theater at 0700.  At 0645, the theater was not open and there was a line that stretched LITERALLY from the theater, to the Manhattan Room, and halfway back to the casino again!  After about an hour, we finally made it to the theater and then on board a bus.  The bus ended up breaking down and it was at this point that we realized that the tour guide had no idea when we had to be back!  The failure to change to local time compounded this problem!  Our much looked forward to tour of the D-day beaches became more of a rushed drive by with no lunch (as we had to choose between lunch or a rush through the museum) and a couple of stops!   For the amount we paid ($400 for 4 people) I expected better. When we arrived back at the ship, we were lined up for 50 (FIFTY) minutes, in the cold, trying to get back on board.  And what were we offered to make up for this travesty?  Once we were inside, we were offered tiny cups of hot chocolate. FYI, booze might have been a better choice! When it came time to disembark in Southampton, surprise surprise, massive lines again. My bill had been messed up, showing charges for excursions I had paid for before embarking so that took some time to fix, during which the person in charge of excursions (Ms Jeanne Grignola) refused to come out to speak with us, in spite of us requesting several times that she do so!  So, after completing that, as we stand in line to leave, the line comes to a complete stop apparently because the tide came in and the gangway had to be moved to another floor?  Don't they have tide tables so they know when this is going to happen?  Another hour of my life I will never have back!  So, to sum it up, 1) I am fairly certain people chosen at random from the public could have organized most events better than they were organized by Norwegian 2) they really need to have their employees work to be more friendly and 3) they really need to replan their excursions to give them more time or change the excursion to fit the time.  As of this moment, unless something radically changes my mind, I will NEVER recommend Norwegian to anyone and will probably randomly interrupt strangers talking about Norwegian in order to tell them my story.

Now we know why they are called Norwegian Cruise LINE!

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by Celticolleen

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2018
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
My husband and I are retired and decided a Transatlantic cruise was on our bucket list. When we saw the price of this repositioning cruise, we couldn't resist! We didn't know what we were in for!

When booking, I accidentally chose the dining package and free internet as my free package instead of the beverage package and free internet.  When I tried to change, I was told I could only change if I paid an additional amount per day up front.  Doesn't seem like a free perk if I have to pay for it!  So I was stuck with a dining package that I did not use.

In New York, we had an appointment to get on the ship at 0930.  So we got up early, had a rushed breakfast, and got down to the ship, expecting to check in and get on board. Imagine our surprise when we didn't board until after 1300 and were told that, even if all had gone perfectly, we still wouldn't have been allowed to board until after 1200.  But there was a delay, supposedly caused by Customs, so everyone was lined up, no seats were even available, and, in spite of the delay not being our fault, no remuneration or apology was offered. 

First five days were uneventful other than a rough sea and decks being closed.  Finding out that the vast majority of activities on board required a further outlay of cash was rather disappointing.  Finding out the big shows required even more cash was very disappointing!  I have never been on board a ship that required so many additional charges!  Even the majority of restaurants were paid!  

With decks 6, 7, and 8 all being open to each other, the stench of the smoking area was horrible!  The smoke doesn't apparently know it is supposed to stay outside when people are coming in and out of the doors.  It reeked of tobacco smoke all around the area on all three decks.  Additionally, being open meant that there are few (If any) quiet areas.  The noise is constant especially when some event like Deal or No Deal or anything being done in that particular area is on.

A friend had arranged for a Bon Voyage package in our room.  The next day, we had to request a smaller plate so the cake fit in the fridge.  The steward didn't cover it so it was quickly stale.  We ended up having to take the decorations down ourselves after they started to come down but weren't taken away. 

The entire trip, the only time housekeeping carts were not in the hallways was after 10 pm. Watching some of the guests on Larks trying to get past them was difficult to watch. Several times, we helped to move one to assist one of these passengers.

Our first restaurant was the Manhattan.  The service was terrible but the food was okay.  We didn't even have dessert because the waiter never came back to our table after the initial service of our food!

The next night (and all subsequent nights) we ate at Taste.  The maitre d', Cielo Romo, was AMAZING, apologizing to us for the prior night's service and making our night special!  The waiter, Donny, was friendly, sweet, and made the effort to learn our names!  You need more employees like these two! They both deserve a raise or additional paid vacation or something!

The Garden Buffet was okay, the chefs/servers were not very friendly.  The staff who came around in the morning with pastries were a delight!  The food was great at breakfast and adequate the rest of the day.  We joked that the theme nights just meant the same food served differently! 

The service at the spa was awesome!  The young lady who was my massage therapist was extremely knowledgeable and I appreciated the consultation with the acupuncturist afterward.  However, prices were so high!  

When we got to Punta Delgada, there were lines to get out but we were unconcerned as we had no excursions planned.  But after spending a pleasant day, we then had a long line to get back on board. 

A couple more uneventful days and this was about when our steward started to pay some attention to us. 

In Cobh, we had to go to the theater for our excursion.  We got numbers on the way in. After sitting for a bit, the young lady at the front mentioned that everyone in your party had to have the same numbers.  We ran to the back to get our friends, who were just coming in.  They had different numbers.  We spoke with staff at the door to try to get this straightened out.  The staff member was rude, not just to us but to several others who were there with the same problem.   There had been no notification of this policy and yet we were chastised like children for not knowing it!  We finally got it straightened out and went on our way to the Blarney Castle and Blarney Woolen Mills excursion.  The guide, although very nice, seemed more like someone they had grabbed last minute rather than a professional guide.  By the time we got to our destination, it boiled down to having enough time to see Blarney Castle OR Blarney Woolen Mills, there was not time to do both.  We were extremely disappointed! This was the one stop I was really looking forward to and there was no way we had time to climb the castle and kiss the stone, given the long lines of passengers from our ship who were ahead of us.  It was all a big rush! The drive in each direction seemed longer than the tour itself.  And the tour of Cork, although interesting, was mostly just visible to one side of the bus or the other.  Would rather have had more time at Blarney!

Next came Portland, once again no excursions.  Once again one of our best days.  If you get a chance, go to their D-day museum! Still a line to get off the boat but we didn't care.  Then a line for the bus to town.  Then a line to catch the bus from town.  Then a line to get back on board.  Guess we know why it is called Norwegian Cruise LINE.

Next day was La Havre.  We were supposed to meet in the theater at 0700.  At 0645, the theater was not open and there was a line that stretched LITERALLY from the theater, to the Manhattan Room, and halfway back to the casino again!  After about an hour, we finally made it to the theater and then on board a bus.  The bus ended up breaking down and it was at this point that we realized that the tour guide had no idea when we had to be back!  The failure to change to local time compounded this problem!  Our much looked forward to tour of the D-day beaches became more of a rushed drive by with no lunch (as we had to choose between lunch or a rush through the museum) and a couple of stops!   For the amount we paid ($400 for 4 people) I expected better.

When we arrived back at the ship, we were lined up for 50 (FIFTY) minutes, in the cold, trying to get back on board.  And what were we offered to make up for this travesty?  Once we were inside, we were offered tiny cups of hot chocolate. FYI, booze might have been a better choice!

When it came time to disembark in Southampton, surprise surprise, massive lines again. My bill had been messed up, showing charges for excursions I had paid for before embarking so that took some time to fix, during which the person in charge of excursions (Ms Jeanne Grignola) refused to come out to speak with us, in spite of us requesting several times that she do so!  So, after completing that, as we stand in line to leave, the line comes to a complete stop apparently because the tide came in and the gangway had to be moved to another floor?  Don't they have tide tables so they know when this is going to happen?  Another hour of my life I will never have back! 

So, to sum it up, 1) I am fairly certain people chosen at random from the public could have organized most events better than they were organized by Norwegian 2) they really need to have their employees work to be more friendly and 3) they really need to replan their excursions to give them more time or change the excursion to fit the time.  As of this moment, unless something radically changes my mind, I will NEVER recommend Norwegian to anyone and will probably randomly interrupt strangers talking about Norwegian in order to tell them my story.
Celticolleen’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BD 10738
Nice enough. Rather crowded with only about one foot or less between the bed and closet. Bathroom is small with a rise to get in. Several people tripped on it, an older woman fell and blackened her eye!
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews