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This is our 3rd cruise with Norwegian. We were traveling with my husband's parents as our retirement gift to them. We chose this cruise because it left from New Orleans, which is within driving distance to us. Embarkation: A terrible experience! It took us about 2 hours to get on the ship. I don't blame Norwegian for this because the design of the terminal is extremely poor. Terminal parking: Costs $140 for the week and it took us 1 hour to get in the lot. I don't know if this is normal. The lot has a tall, chain link fence with huge, person sized holes in it. There are 2 gates and 6 cameras. Despite the "safety" of the lot, when we got back to the lot after our cruise, our car was stolen. Nothing has been found on the cameras so far (It's been one week since the car was stolen). The ship: Our previous cruises have all been on smaller ships that are half this size. This ship holds 4,000 people and this is the first time I have encountered crowds everywhere on a ship. We typically enjoy listening to music at the bars, but every time we went to a bar all the seating was full and there were people milling around ready to snatch up a chair if anyone left. This was way too aggressive for me (I'm on vacation!), so we ended up leaving. We had the unlimited drink package and there was always a line at the bars. We usually waited 15-30 minutes to order a drink. Norwegian really needs more bartenders for a ship of this size. As others have stated, the staff on this ship was not the friendliest. On our other Norwegian cruises, we've had wonderful experiences with the staff. I'm not sure why this ship was so different. Excursions: From Cozumel: We did the Tulum Ruins excursion that was offered by the ship. We don't normally book through the cruise, but I couldn't figure out a way to book this trip without the cruise ship. We had to take a ferry to the mainland, then ride a bus to Tulum. Considering the logistics and that we were traveling with my husband's father who has limited mobility, it was in our best interest to book through the ship. Unfortunately, the tour size was massive and the ship didn't offer an small group tours. I would have gladly paid more money to be with a smaller group. Costa Maya: We did the small group tour to Chacchoben, which we booked through the ship. There were 10 people on the tour and our tour guide spend the entire drive to Chacchoben telling us about Mayan history. He had several maps and newspaper articles. He also had an ipad with him, which he used to show us local birds and trees. Our tour guide was named Luis, and I can't say enough good things about him! Harvest Caye: I wasn't interested in staying on the island, so we went to the ferry to go to the mainland. I was shocked to find out that the ferry cost $20/person. Norwegian really doesn't want their guests leaving the island! If you book a tour through Norwegian, then you don't have to pay the ferry cost.

First mega-ship experience; First stolen car experience

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by runningoutofideas

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
This is our 3rd cruise with Norwegian. We were traveling with my husband's parents as our retirement gift to them. We chose this cruise because it left from New Orleans, which is within driving distance to us.

Embarkation:

A terrible experience! It took us about 2 hours to get on the ship. I don't blame Norwegian for this because the design of the terminal is extremely poor.

Terminal parking:

Costs $140 for the week and it took us 1 hour to get in the lot. I don't know if this is normal. The lot has a tall, chain link fence with huge, person sized holes in it. There are 2 gates and 6 cameras. Despite the "safety" of the lot, when we got back to the lot after our cruise, our car was stolen. Nothing has been found on the cameras so far (It's been one week since the car was stolen).

The ship:

Our previous cruises have all been on smaller ships that are half this size. This ship holds 4,000 people and this is the first time I have encountered crowds everywhere on a ship. We typically enjoy listening to music at the bars, but every time we went to a bar all the seating was full and there were people milling around ready to snatch up a chair if anyone left. This was way too aggressive for me (I'm on vacation!), so we ended up leaving. We had the unlimited drink package and there was always a line at the bars. We usually waited 15-30 minutes to order a drink. Norwegian really needs more bartenders for a ship of this size. As others have stated, the staff on this ship was not the friendliest. On our other Norwegian cruises, we've had wonderful experiences with the staff. I'm not sure why this ship was so different.

Excursions:

From Cozumel:

We did the Tulum Ruins excursion that was offered by the ship. We don't normally book through the cruise, but I couldn't figure out a way to book this trip without the cruise ship. We had to take a ferry to the mainland, then ride a bus to Tulum. Considering the logistics and that we were traveling with my husband's father who has limited mobility, it was in our best interest to book through the ship. Unfortunately, the tour size was massive and the ship didn't offer an small group tours. I would have gladly paid more money to be with a smaller group.

Costa Maya:

We did the small group tour to Chacchoben, which we booked through the ship. There were 10 people on the tour and our tour guide spend the entire drive to Chacchoben telling us about Mayan history. He had several maps and newspaper articles. He also had an ipad with him, which he used to show us local birds and trees. Our tour guide was named Luis, and I can't say enough good things about him!

Harvest Caye:

I wasn't interested in staying on the island, so we went to the ferry to go to the mainland. I was shocked to find out that the ferry cost $20/person. Norwegian really doesn't want their guests leaving the island! If you book a tour through Norwegian, then you don't have to pay the ferry cost.
runningoutofideas’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 13190
This was our first time in a mini-suite. We decided to pay for an upgrade (this becomes an option the closer you get to your sailing date). We paid for a regular balcony room and bid $200 extra for an upgrade. If your bid gets accepted you pay the amount you bid, but if your bid isn't accepted then you don't have to pay anything. The day before our cruise, we found out our bid was accepted. If we had booked this room originally, it would have cost us $1800 more. Considering we only paid $200 I thought it was a great value. The bathroom was much larger than the regular balcony rooms and the room was nice.

I only saw our room steward once and he wasn't friendly. He said to me, "Don't get mad if your room isn't cleaned as early as you want it. I have 16 rooms to clean so it takes me a while." I was a little taken aback by this interaction. I never complained once about our room not being cleaned.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins