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We experienced many poor customer service to our dismay. Tipping is a culture in the US, and living in Los Angeles and Orlando for over 5 years, we are accustomed to it. Great service deserves tipping. However, NCL staffs did not only underperform to our dismay, we encountered many undertrained, underperformed unfriendly, and mostly grumpy staffs, along with grumpier passengers. It was an awful atmosphere. It does gets better as the cruise days progress with our excellent cruise director, Roberto. The embarkation process is especially slow. We encountered a staff who seems to be new, and 3 families of larger groups have been settled, but we waited on for almost 20 minutes and he was very quiet. It was my birthday on the embarkation day, nobody noticed that and it seems odd as it was clearly written on my passport. Puttting aside my unnoticed birthday from fellow staffs, my husband wanted to surprise me (he choose to follow Indonesia day and request from the staff a day later) to surprise with a little cake from the kitchen. My husband told me the hassle he went through. Nobody was helpful enough to told him where to get a cake. Instead at lunch time at Moderno, he was told to do it later at dinner and given a white piece of paper to write down the birthday person name. We had our dinner at Manhattan, putting aside the smile-less and greeting-less filipino lady who ushered us to our table, I was in shock when the "birthday cake" arrived together with my lava cake dessert. The waiter just slide it in front of me and says for you ma'am. No name written, no candles, no singing. Is this a funeral? I was extremely astonished at how NCL does things. I did not touch the cake and left. I feel no celebration or joy at all. It was hands on the most unwilling celebration I have seen in my entire life! At that point I just settled on making the biggest mistake for boarding NCL. And to think I was the one who persuaded my husband to went on a cruise. I could have my birthday celebrated elsewhere, not trapped in a ship, limiting us to what we may bring onboard. But here we are stuck in the middle of the sea. Grim and grumpy staffs and passengers alike. Alas the following night, I was most bizarre when the table next to us had a cake delivered by 4 staffs at Manhattan. Loudly singing the Happy Birthday song, followed by a round of applause. So, I asked to speak to the person-in-charge there. We had a much friendlier staff tonight too. Asking if the food is alright and some basic greetings. Mrs Goodman listened to us and apologized for the unpleasant situation we had yesterday. She told us that what we experienced last night was not the norm here. It better not be because that was simply awful experience. Whatever culture you are from, you don't celebrate a birthday like that. And we properly celebrated it this time. However, the misery for the service did not ends there. Our room steward was either a born prankster or jokester. One night we found the tv cable power unplugged. Another night my neatly arranged daily cruise schedule was turned upside down and one missing was found under the bed, near the life jacket basket. He was oddly quite friendly, always greeting us in the corridor. However, my dirty robes were never replaced when I put it on the floor. I have to call housekeeping each time to have a fresh one. And sometimes 3 dirty towels on the floor, only 2 were replaced. He is indeed really bad at counting. My husband was especially annoyed by the loud thudding and crashing noise he made when vacuuming nearby staterooms. F&B Experience. Recycling food is okay only to a certain extent. I can clearly confirm that the food served at the buffet is recycled from the main dining room. Whatever leftover from the menu last night is served as lunch or even dinner at garden buffet. The fish and chicken in the buffet has spongy texture resulted from freezing and recooking. They are not fresh. Vegetables options consists of only those that can be stored long term. Always zucchini, squash, broccoli and carrots, and other roots vegetables. And they are overcooked and even the color looks unappetizing. Even Panda Express does it better. And for those with food restriction, no labelling of food ingredients at all. I couldn't eat pork and lard. Most of the time I could tell if it clearly contains pork and I stay away from it. And there is once I asked the buffet staff cooking it if the meat patties contains pork, and he said no. I took a bite and that definitely is a blend of beef and pork in the patties. And I have to turn to Pescetarianism. And the meat there tastes awful anyway. The main dining rooms (Manhattan/ Taste/ Savor) serve slightly better quality food. Not restaurant standard by far, but at least not recycled meat and veggies. And they've got fish. Buffet variety is nonexistent. Breakfast is the same every single day. With fewer choice if your timing is wrong, and the stations could close unannounced. Factor in the entire ship people who all seems to be eating 1 hour prior to port disembarkation time, and always 1 hour before closing. It was always a chaos eating at Garden Buffet. And I was always most afraid by germy people who keeps talking as they stand in front of the buffet food. Why isn't there any hygiene glass shield to shield the food? And that was only the start, do I have to mention the unruly line at guest services and onboard credit. Most people appreciate the fair system of lining up. However, there are no staffs managing the line. There are big crowds who crowds around that makes the line confusing and when you are not noticing, there would be "notorious line cutter" who slipped in quietly when some people in the line are preoccupied of their own (Yes, on purpose, and I noticed that). And that cause those at the back to even wait longer. AND THE WORST PART OF IT, THE SERVICE STAFF STILL TEND ON THE LINE CUTTER DESPITE PROTESTS FROM PEOPLE WHO LINE UP AT THE BACK. That particular line I was talking about is the Onboard Services, occurred around 5pm 15th June, as I had been lining up before the counter was open, waiting to watch the FIFA World Cup match. We couldn't even use any of the popular facilities. The jacuzzi were always occupied and crowded. The pool. Is that a swimming pool or a dip pool? (My husband question) Thankfully our mini-suite balcony stateroom is cozy and spacious enough. And port side seems to be the right choice for this cruise as we enjoyed many beautiful sunrise and sunsets by our balcony. Bathroom shower head had a slightly leaking at the joints so when I shower there would be secondary water spouting from it as well, which is a minor irk. The dual faucets at the vanity area is a big welcome and the deep sink is perfect for washing up underwear. Kudos to the balcony stateroom good design. And perhaps that is the best thing I liked about this Norwegian Breakaway ship. And I do miss Roberto daily show. He was fun to watch. And no my husband and I did not dispute our tipping charges. We only hope there could be more training on hospitality and service provided for the entry level staffs. It was definitely an unacceptable level of hospitality. Unless NCL is aiming to compare itself to a 3-star motel standard.

Untrained Crews With Zero Knowledge of Hospitality

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by cruiserkingston

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We experienced many poor customer service to our dismay. Tipping is a culture in the US, and living in Los Angeles and Orlando for over 5 years, we are accustomed to it. Great service deserves tipping. However, NCL staffs did not only underperform to our dismay, we encountered many undertrained, underperformed unfriendly, and mostly grumpy staffs, along with grumpier passengers. It was an awful atmosphere. It does gets better as the cruise days progress with our excellent cruise director, Roberto. The embarkation process is especially slow. We encountered a staff who seems to be new, and 3 families of larger groups have been settled, but we waited on for almost 20 minutes and he was very quiet.

It was my birthday on the embarkation day, nobody noticed that and it seems odd as it was clearly written on my passport. Puttting aside my unnoticed birthday from fellow staffs, my husband wanted to surprise me (he choose to follow Indonesia day and request from the staff a day later) to surprise with a little cake from the kitchen. My husband told me the hassle he went through. Nobody was helpful enough to told him where to get a cake. Instead at lunch time at Moderno, he was told to do it later at dinner and given a white piece of paper to write down the birthday person name. We had our dinner at Manhattan, putting aside the smile-less and greeting-less filipino lady who ushered us to our table, I was in shock when the "birthday cake" arrived together with my lava cake dessert. The waiter just slide it in front of me and says for you ma'am. No name written, no candles, no singing. Is this a funeral? I was extremely astonished at how NCL does things. I did not touch the cake and left. I feel no celebration or joy at all. It was hands on the most unwilling celebration I have seen in my entire life!

At that point I just settled on making the biggest mistake for boarding NCL. And to think I was the one who persuaded my husband to went on a cruise. I could have my birthday celebrated elsewhere, not trapped in a ship, limiting us to what we may bring onboard. But here we are stuck in the middle of the sea. Grim and grumpy staffs and passengers alike.

Alas the following night, I was most bizarre when the table next to us had a cake delivered by 4 staffs at Manhattan. Loudly singing the Happy Birthday song, followed by a round of applause. So, I asked to speak to the person-in-charge there. We had a much friendlier staff tonight too. Asking if the food is alright and some basic greetings. Mrs Goodman listened to us and apologized for the unpleasant situation we had yesterday. She told us that what we experienced last night was not the norm here. It better not be because that was simply awful experience. Whatever culture you are from, you don't celebrate a birthday like that. And we properly celebrated it this time.

However, the misery for the service did not ends there. Our room steward was either a born prankster or jokester. One night we found the tv cable power unplugged. Another night my neatly arranged daily cruise schedule was turned upside down and one missing was found under the bed, near the life jacket basket. He was oddly quite friendly, always greeting us in the corridor. However, my dirty robes were never replaced when I put it on the floor. I have to call housekeeping each time to have a fresh one. And sometimes 3 dirty towels on the floor, only 2 were replaced. He is indeed really bad at counting. My husband was especially annoyed by the loud thudding and crashing noise he made when vacuuming nearby staterooms.

F&B Experience.

Recycling food is okay only to a certain extent. I can clearly confirm that the food served at the buffet is recycled from the main dining room. Whatever leftover from the menu last night is served as lunch or even dinner at garden buffet. The fish and chicken in the buffet has spongy texture resulted from freezing and recooking. They are not fresh. Vegetables options consists of only those that can be stored long term. Always zucchini, squash, broccoli and carrots, and other roots vegetables. And they are overcooked and even the color looks unappetizing. Even Panda Express does it better.

And for those with food restriction, no labelling of food ingredients at all. I couldn't eat pork and lard. Most of the time I could tell if it clearly contains pork and I stay away from it. And there is once I asked the buffet staff cooking it if the meat patties contains pork, and he said no. I took a bite and that definitely is a blend of beef and pork in the patties. And I have to turn to Pescetarianism. And the meat there tastes awful anyway. The main dining rooms (Manhattan/ Taste/ Savor) serve slightly better quality food. Not restaurant standard by far, but at least not recycled meat and veggies. And they've got fish.

Buffet variety is nonexistent. Breakfast is the same every single day. With fewer choice if your timing is wrong, and the stations could close unannounced. Factor in the entire ship people who all seems to be eating 1 hour prior to port disembarkation time, and always 1 hour before closing. It was always a chaos eating at Garden Buffet. And I was always most afraid by germy people who keeps talking as they stand in front of the buffet food. Why isn't there any hygiene glass shield to shield the food?

And that was only the start, do I have to mention the unruly line at guest services and onboard credit. Most people appreciate the fair system of lining up. However, there are no staffs managing the line. There are big crowds who crowds around that makes the line confusing and when you are not noticing, there would be "notorious line cutter" who slipped in quietly when some people in the line are preoccupied of their own (Yes, on purpose, and I noticed that). And that cause those at the back to even wait longer. AND THE WORST PART OF IT, THE SERVICE STAFF STILL TEND ON THE LINE CUTTER DESPITE PROTESTS FROM PEOPLE WHO LINE UP AT THE BACK. That particular line I was talking about is the Onboard Services, occurred around 5pm 15th June, as I had been lining up before the counter was open, waiting to watch the FIFA World Cup match.

We couldn't even use any of the popular facilities. The jacuzzi were always occupied and crowded. The pool. Is that a swimming pool or a dip pool? (My husband question)

Thankfully our mini-suite balcony stateroom is cozy and spacious enough. And port side seems to be the right choice for this cruise as we enjoyed many beautiful sunrise and sunsets by our balcony.

Bathroom shower head had a slightly leaking at the joints so when I shower there would be secondary water spouting from it as well, which is a minor irk. The dual faucets at the vanity area is a big welcome and the deep sink is perfect for washing up underwear. Kudos to the balcony stateroom good design. And perhaps that is the best thing I liked about this Norwegian Breakaway ship.

And I do miss Roberto daily show. He was fun to watch.

And no my husband and I did not dispute our tipping charges. We only hope there could be more training on hospitality and service provided for the entry level staffs. It was definitely an unacceptable level of hospitality. Unless NCL is aiming to compare itself to a 3-star motel standard.
cruiserkingston’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 13202
Thankfully our mini-suite balcony stateroom is cozy and spacious enough. And port side seems to be the right choice for this cruise as we enjoyed many beautiful sunrise and sunsets by our balcony.
Bathroom shower head had a slightly leaking at the joints so when I shower there would be secondary water spouting from it as well, which is a minor irk. The dual faucets at the vanity area is a big welcome and the deep sink is perfect for washing up underwear. Kudos to the balcony stateroom good design. And perhaps that is the best thing I liked about this Norwegian Breakaway ship.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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