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Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
3,650 Reviews

We had a wonderful time on this well organized cruise!

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by SFritz

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2019
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Inside Stateroom

We love cruising Norwegian, and this was a our best ever experience:

- We booked through Dan McCormick, our Norwegian Cruise Consultant. As always, Dan was a great asset to us and to Norwegian. He's friendly, professional, available, and striving to make sure we had a great vacation.

- Embarkation was busy, but the staff kept the line moving. It's a large ship, and we are bronze latitude members, so that's to be expected. It would have been nice if folks didn't try to line jump, but certainly not the staff's fault. Staff members at check-in were very friendly.

- We loved our cabin and it was very comfortable (see below).

- The food was very good. We ate at Taste, Savor (Main Dining Rooms), the Garden Buffet, and O'Sheehan's. We also had a great meal at the onboard Cirque Fantasy. The only time we experienced really poor service or quality was at O'Sheehan's. The staff just seemed new and it was difficult to get service. They kind of stood around, and this was the only place on the ship we saw that happening. Food was often not optimal temp when served at O'Sheehan's and the food was not up to the standard on the rest of the ship. That said, Taste, Savor and Garden Buffet were excellent. Daily selections kept us trying new things and we didn't eat at the specialty restaurants at all. The buffet was far above average and the staff there was wonderful, always singing and coming by the tables. Savor's staff also stood out as excellent and personable.

- We loved the shows. We saw Rock of Ages (80's fun), Burn the Floor (they're so talented), three of the Levity Comedy shows (Tom Foss is the best!) and the Cirque Fantasy (fabulous!) and did the Escape Room (loads of fun). Rock of Ages was very entertaining and exactly as billed. It was disappointing to see that so many went and then reviewed it poorly. It's raunchy in a fun way, and there's lots to do on the ship if this is not your cup of tea. I can't recommend Cirque Fantasy highly enough, though it is extra.

- We played miniature golf, worked out in the fitness center, walked and lounged on Deck 8 and spent as much time outside as possible, since the weather was excellent. I highly recommend Deck 8 (The Waterfront) for daytime reading and friendly conversations. It's quiet and comfortable. It's also the best outdoor walking, as the "jogging track" is in a busy recreation area where people kept bumping into us and is only really good for jogging early a.m. and late day.

- We're not drinkers and didn't have the package, so I can't review that portion of the service, but we did enjoy our free sparkling wine as Latitude members.

- The casino is way too open and that kept us from seeing and doing things on Deck 6, 7 and 8 inside because of the stench of cigarettes. That kept us from trying the Shanghai Noodle Bowl, as it's basically inside the casino. Other guests told us the restaurant wasn't the best, and there was so much great food elsewhere we weren't bothered.

- The crew is nice and accommodating, but I recommend going to Guest Services personally if you have a question. The Box Office is pure chaos, and your Box Office booked shows won't show up on your app or TV screen.

- We took two shore excursions through Norwegian. Both were great and we thought they were a good value for the tour received. The excursions are very well organized. Our tour of Chacchoben Mayan ruins from Costa Maya was excellent. Our guide was very knowledgeable. The Turtle Centre in George Town Grand Cayman was a wonderful experience. These folks do great work, it's a great place to learn about these beautiful creatures. I recommend the shore excursion because I heard some folks getting dubious info from local tour companies.

We would joyfully sail Norwegian and The Breakaway again. We definitely recommend this cruise.

SFritz's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Family Inside Stateroom
Cabin I2 12405

The ship is newly refurbished (2018), modern and very attractive. Though compact, our interior stateroom was well organized with plenty of storage space for the two of us. It was easy to keep the temperature comfortable. The bed was also very comfortable. Our attendant, Ryan, came in twice per day to keep it clean. Everything worked, except the TV remote which was promptly changed out when we called. The stateroom was GTY, and we hadn't tried this before, but would definitely let NCL choose our room again for the Sail Away discount.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

New Orleans

Port was convenient and we actually walked from our Downtown/French Quarter Hotel to the ship. The city is a lovely place to visit, and we always enjoy the food.


Great little town to walk around, and nice carts with local arts and crafts. The people were friendly, but didn't pester you. We had great fajitas at Wet Wendy's. Ask for Abraham. He's awesome.


We didn't get off the ship at Roatan. We had nothing scheduled, and it rained for several hours starting around lunchtime (as forecast when we checked in Cozumel). I rated average because other cruisers said nothing to do unless you took a tour or excursion. After researching the port before leaving I would only take a Norwegian Shore Excursion, though some had great luck with local guides.

Harvest Caye

Norwegian and Belize did a wonderful job here. We could have spent hours watching the pelicans fish off the walkway from the ship. The beach is beautiful and there were plenty of chairs. The flowers are gorgeous. We ate lunch on the ship and then came back. The walk has been criticized in reviews, but it's not a long walk at all back to the ship for lunch or there is a Belize owned pay restaurant on the island that guests said was very good. There's also a shuttle if you don't want to walk to the ship. Don't miss the Nature Center and Blue Morphos Butterfly Exhibit. We've been to Belize before, but learned a lot in the Nature Center from the tour guide. Harvest Caye also has zip lines and fun water vehicles. We'd like to return to try some of them.

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

This is the best tour I've ever been on in Mexico. Our guide was mixed Mayan, and was more interested in answering our questions than in selling us something. This is rare. He knew a lot about the ruins and we really enjoyed the tour. The ruins themselves are not fully excavated, so you get to see what it looked like upon discovery.

View All 418 Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Reviews
Turtle Farm

This excursion gets a bad name with listing as the Turtle Farm. It's more of a conservation center. It's true that some of the turtles are sold for food, but turtles have been a food source here for hundreds of years. It was the same when I lived in Key West many years ago. They showed us the excellent progress they've made on mating and repopulating the green sea turtles there. They actually have traced the DNA of turtles released from this center to over 40% of the green turtles worldwide. Don't miss Sparky, the 81 year old and 600 pound turtle in the main breeding pond.

View All 329 Turtle Farm Reviews
Ocho Rios

We were approached by hawkers the minute we exited the port. In the tourist area they are thick, but well dressed and polite. In the main town there is really nothing to see. The locals there are more aggressive, telling you about their town and asking for tips. We loved the Jerk Centre Restaurant. It's not downtown, is walk-able from the port with the best Jerk Chicken and Jerk Pork we've ever had. Several tour guides were bringing their groups here.

It's near Turtle River Park, which is quite pretty. Treasure Beach used to be free, but they've changed the name and charge $3 per day. We decided to just go back to the shopping area and then the ship. We heard good things about the shore excursions.

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