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All in all we had a really great time on this 7 day cruise out of New Orleans to Cozumel, Belize City, Harvest Cay Belize and Costa Maya. There were 35 of us in our group of family and friends! This was our first ever cruise with NCL and it was very different from our previous cruising experiences, both with Princess. The ship was EXTREMELY BUSY, which is just fine. We expected that given the spring break holiday and the overall carrying capacity of the boat. We really enjoyed the dining and bar/lounge options on this ship. We never wanted for anything in either regard. We love the variety and availability of both. There really was something for everyone in our group. We really liked the cruise director and his staff. They were a lot of fun and very personable. They excelled without a doubt. We enjoyed the different spaces on the ship as well. It could be as slow and peaceful or as fast paced and loud as we wanted it to be and there were plenty of opportunities to enjoy both given the offerings on this ship. And most importantly, there was always something to do for everyone, regardless of their age. Our biggest complaint, and it was not just our group as we spoke with at least a dozen other passengers that felt the same, overall the service was lacking. Our housekeeping service was good, but not friendly at all. Just people doing their jobs, which is fine, just not what we expected given our past history on Princess. The other thing about the housekeeping was the carts were always in the hallways. There was a family with a child in a wheelchair on our floor and they always struggled getting to their stateroom because of the carts. The restaurant staff did their job well, they just lacked friendliness. There weren't a lot of smiles going around. Much like the housekeeping staff, they seemed to be doing their jobs to a satisfactory standard, but they weren't joyful or even friendly. The bar and lounge staff was actually the low light of this journey. And it really was the talk of the ship in regards to anything negative. It truly felt as though they worked slower because almost everyone was on the drink package. The boat was not making a profit with each drink served and as a result it really felt as though they were told to work slowly to limit how many drinks were served. It was also very recognizable in the limited bar staff available. It seemed as though the same couple of individuals were working the same bars and lounges all the time, morning, noon and night. We were frustrated at the slow rate of service but also empathetic because their shifts were LONG, DAY AFTER DAY. NCL needs to find a way to address this for their staff members' sake as well as for their customers. The other disappointing thing on this trip was the price for excursions. We cruise about every 4-5 years, so maybe prices have increased across the board no matter what cruise line you take. But in regards to this trip, our family of 5 couldn't do an excursion for under $500-$600. Our last cruise was not nearly as expensive. The pool area and surrounding bars on the NCL Breakaway leave something to be desired. It is simply a very congested layout. The pool was always shoulder to shoulder and PACKED. The bars had LONG lines and there are no tables mixed in with the loungers unfortunately which made it difficult for the older people in our group to sit with us and enjoy the sun and family time in that area. Again it wasn't awful, its just different than my previous experiences. The staterooms are fantastic. We found them to be very roomy compared to our trips with Princess. Our family of 5 was able to function just fine in our balcony stateroom. Storage, closets, etc. were abundant. The bathroom was bigger than we expected as well. The balcony was sufficient but it would have been cool if it was a little larger. The entertainment on the ship is another hit. From Burn the Floor to Headliners Comedy Club we enjoyed it all. We didn't purchase tickets for any shows that charged a fee, but the free options were great. Bingo, however, was expensive and short. We played once and never went back and that is something we love to do. It just wasn't worth the cost on this trip. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. The staff for that was very helpful. The ports were not my favorite, but that's not the cruise lines fault. Harvest Cay is expensive and EVERYTHING costs money except sitting in the pool or on the beach. That was disappointing. Food and drinks there were VERY EXPENSIVE. All in all we had a great time. We would cruise with NCL again, but we might hesitate to get back on this specific ship. However, if the itinerary was right we would probably do it. New Orleans and cruising down the Mississippi was a VERY COOL experience, everyone should do it at least once!

Great time, subpar service

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by bigcreekpro

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
All in all we had a really great time on this 7 day cruise out of New Orleans to Cozumel, Belize City, Harvest Cay Belize and Costa Maya. There were 35 of us in our group of family and friends!

This was our first ever cruise with NCL and it was very different from our previous cruising experiences, both with Princess. The ship was EXTREMELY BUSY, which is just fine. We expected that given the spring break holiday and the overall carrying capacity of the boat.

We really enjoyed the dining and bar/lounge options on this ship. We never wanted for anything in either regard. We love the variety and availability of both. There really was something for everyone in our group.

We really liked the cruise director and his staff. They were a lot of fun and very personable. They excelled without a doubt. We enjoyed the different spaces on the ship as well. It could be as slow and peaceful or as fast paced and loud as we wanted it to be and there were plenty of opportunities to enjoy both given the offerings on this ship. And most importantly, there was always something to do for everyone, regardless of their age.

Our biggest complaint, and it was not just our group as we spoke with at least a dozen other passengers that felt the same, overall the service was lacking. Our housekeeping service was good, but not friendly at all. Just people doing their jobs, which is fine, just not what we expected given our past history on Princess. The other thing about the housekeeping was the carts were always in the hallways. There was a family with a child in a wheelchair on our floor and they always struggled getting to their stateroom because of the carts.

The restaurant staff did their job well, they just lacked friendliness. There weren't a lot of smiles going around. Much like the housekeeping staff, they seemed to be doing their jobs to a satisfactory standard, but they weren't joyful or even friendly.

The bar and lounge staff was actually the low light of this journey. And it really was the talk of the ship in regards to anything negative. It truly felt as though they worked slower because almost everyone was on the drink package. The boat was not making a profit with each drink served and as a result it really felt as though they were told to work slowly to limit how many drinks were served. It was also very recognizable in the limited bar staff available. It seemed as though the same couple of individuals were working the same bars and lounges all the time, morning, noon and night. We were frustrated at the slow rate of service but also empathetic because their shifts were LONG, DAY AFTER DAY. NCL needs to find a way to address this for their staff members' sake as well as for their customers.

The other disappointing thing on this trip was the price for excursions. We cruise about every 4-5 years, so maybe prices have increased across the board no matter what cruise line you take. But in regards to this trip, our family of 5 couldn't do an excursion for under $500-$600. Our last cruise was not nearly as expensive.

The pool area and surrounding bars on the NCL Breakaway leave something to be desired. It is simply a very congested layout. The pool was always shoulder to shoulder and PACKED. The bars had LONG lines and there are no tables mixed in with the loungers unfortunately which made it difficult for the older people in our group to sit with us and enjoy the sun and family time in that area. Again it wasn't awful, its just different than my previous experiences.

The staterooms are fantastic. We found them to be very roomy compared to our trips with Princess. Our family of 5 was able to function just fine in our balcony stateroom. Storage, closets, etc. were abundant. The bathroom was bigger than we expected as well. The balcony was sufficient but it would have been cool if it was a little larger.

The entertainment on the ship is another hit. From Burn the Floor to Headliners Comedy Club we enjoyed it all. We didn't purchase tickets for any shows that charged a fee, but the free options were great. Bingo, however, was expensive and short. We played once and never went back and that is something we love to do. It just wasn't worth the cost on this trip.

Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. The staff for that was very helpful. The ports were not my favorite, but that's not the cruise lines fault. Harvest Cay is expensive and EVERYTHING costs money except sitting in the pool or on the beach. That was disappointing. Food and drinks there were VERY EXPENSIVE.

All in all we had a great time. We would cruise with NCL again, but we might hesitate to get back on this specific ship. However, if the itinerary was right we would probably do it. New Orleans and cruising down the Mississippi was a VERY COOL experience, everyone should do it at least once!
bigcreekpro’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BB 9220
The cabin was great! It was larger than we expected and more functional with lots of storage. Compared to our room on our last cruise on the Royal Princess it was a hit! The balcony was a little small, but the size and functionality of the room more than made up for it!
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Belize City
    The only thing keeping me from rating it Terrible is we didn't leave the cruise terminal. It may be just fine once you leave the terminal and take in more of what Belize has to offer but we were sadly disappointed in this stop. As we were on a budget we could take another excursion here. All reviews we read said to venture on your own with extreme caution so we chose not to.
    View All 2,327 Belize City Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Chacchoben Mayan Ruins
    The ruins were great. The cost was high. The bus ride out and back wasn't bad but it took this excursion took the entirety of our stop in Costa Maya unfortunately. We an early boarding time (1:30) we really had no time to shop or venture onto the nearby beach once we got back from the excursion. The ruins themselves were very cool.
    View All 353 Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Reviews
  • Cozumel
    Experience was awesome. It is something my wife has always wanted to do so it was money well spent. Sadly, the pictures for purchase afterwards were honestly way beyond any sort of reasonable price. That was disappointing, but the experience itself was very nice. Free food and drink with the package was a nice added bonus.
    View All 13,176 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Harvest Caye
    Beautiful. We had hoped for better snorkling but there really weren't many fish to speak of. We should have booked an excursion here to get to the reef or something, but again we were limited by cost. The island is extremely clean and well kept. However, all the food, drinks and shopping were pricey. This was a great place to hang in the pool or sit on the beach, which isn't bad, so that's what we did.
    View All 1,143 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
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