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We were looking for a cruise out of New Orleans in the last week of January. Norwegian had that cruise! They did not have the less expensive cabin available. We signed up for a balcony room. The website listed that the balcony rooms came with the "Free at Sea" promotion. CALL TO FIND OUT THE APPLICABLE PROMOTIONS, FIRST! This promotion, although listed everywhere on the website that it was, was not available with the cabin we selected. The ship is beautiful. Very few of the staff speak fluent English. Most were very difficult to understand and communicate with. The cruise price inclues room and board, pools, and select entertainment. Everything else is an upgrade. They charge for: -Alcoholic drinks -bottled water -mandatory tips daily -special restaurants -special entertainment -mandatory 20% tip on drinks and food purchased -shore excursions -most activities -internet service Food: The food was sufficient. Seasoning was lacking as well as flavor. Food in the restaurants was not hot. Service in the main dining rooms was slow. Water, coffee, tea, milk and juice are free. It is not necessary to buy water. There was a group of young people who sing camp songs in broken English every day at the buffet. This was over top of the piped-in music. It was annoying at best and the noise level was disturbing. Drinks: We did not purchase the alcohol package. We spent about half of the package price on drinks we bought. Unless you intend to be drunk everyday, the package is not worth it. We were told, even with the package, they still charged an additional 20% tip on every order. Our experience was that the bars were understaffed. It took a very long time before the bartenders acknowledged you. Many times, the less expensive drink options were 'not available'. The bartender in the Atrium spent the entire Super Bowl mocking our enthusiam for the game. I found it very rude. Excursions: When we found out we did not get the "Free at Sea" promotion, we cancelled our shore excursions and specialty restaurant reservations. We found that there were the same shore excursions being offered outside the terminals by many companies for half the price. Rooms: We had a balcony room on the 8th deck. It was a lovely view. The room was spacious and the cleaning service was terrific. The room was located above the theater so, every night there was pounding music to keep you awake... General areas: Lots of options for deck activities. Pools were nice. Everything was clean. There were several options for lounge chairs on deck spaces. Dockside bars were nice but, again, wait times were excessive. Norwegian spends a lot of time and effort trying to sell shipboard services. I expect that at port but not on the ship. We're there to relax and enjoy ourselves. I did not want the stress of constantly fight off sales people at every door and at every event. The casino and the pool decks smelled like cigarette smoke most of the time. Internet: If you don't order the internet from NCL, don't think you'll get any data on your phone onboard. They block the internet while you're onboard. You need to be off the ship to get wireless data. Going into it, if you expect to pay twice the cost they publish, you won't be surprised. As for us, we'd prefer to try another cruise line.

B(reak)O(ut)A(nother)T(housand)

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by boatgerl

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
We were looking for a cruise out of New Orleans in the last week of January. Norwegian had that cruise! They did not have the less expensive cabin available. We signed up for a balcony room. The website listed that the balcony rooms came with the "Free at Sea" promotion. CALL TO FIND OUT THE APPLICABLE PROMOTIONS, FIRST! This promotion, although listed everywhere on the website that it was, was not available with the cabin we selected.

The ship is beautiful.

Very few of the staff speak fluent English. Most were very difficult to understand and communicate with.

The cruise price inclues room and board, pools, and select entertainment.

Everything else is an upgrade.

They charge for:

-Alcoholic drinks

-bottled water

-mandatory tips daily

-special restaurants

-special entertainment

-mandatory 20% tip on drinks and food purchased

-shore excursions

-most activities

-internet service

Food: The food was sufficient. Seasoning was lacking as well as flavor. Food in the restaurants was not hot. Service in the main dining rooms was slow. Water, coffee, tea, milk and juice are free. It is not necessary to buy water. There was a group of young people who sing camp songs in broken English every day at the buffet. This was over top of the piped-in music. It was annoying at best and the noise level was disturbing.

Drinks: We did not purchase the alcohol package. We spent about half of the package price on drinks we bought. Unless you intend to be drunk everyday, the package is not worth it. We were told, even with the package, they still charged an additional 20% tip on every order.

Our experience was that the bars were understaffed. It took a very long time before the bartenders acknowledged you.

Many times, the less expensive drink options were 'not available'.

The bartender in the Atrium spent the entire Super Bowl mocking our enthusiam for the game. I found it very rude.

Excursions: When we found out we did not get the "Free at Sea" promotion, we cancelled our shore excursions and specialty restaurant reservations. We found that there were the same shore excursions being offered outside the terminals by many companies for half the price.

Rooms: We had a balcony room on the 8th deck. It was a lovely view. The room was spacious and the cleaning service was terrific. The room was located above the theater so, every night there was pounding music to keep you awake...

General areas: Lots of options for deck activities. Pools were nice. Everything was clean. There were several options for lounge chairs on deck spaces. Dockside bars were nice but, again, wait times were excessive.

Norwegian spends a lot of time and effort trying to sell shipboard services. I expect that at port but not on the ship. We're there to relax and enjoy ourselves. I did not want the stress of constantly fight off sales people at every door and at every event. The casino and the pool decks smelled like cigarette smoke most of the time.

Internet: If you don't order the internet from NCL, don't think you'll get any data on your phone onboard. They block the internet while you're onboard. You need to be off the ship to get wireless data.

Going into it, if you expect to pay twice the cost they publish, you won't be surprised. As for us, we'd prefer to try another cruise line.
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