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Overall, we were disappointed in this cruise. We had such a great time last year on the Getaway, we were expecting the same experience, but there were quite a few things that were lacking this time. 1) Embarkation was really easy, and fast. Our luggage arrived in our room earlier than expected also, which was nice. 2) The free bottle of champagne in the room for being a Latitudes member is a nice gesture, but the champagne was absolutely awful! It tasted like dishwater - we could not drink it. 3) Overall, the crew members on this cruise just were not very friendly. We saw very few smiles, friendly interaction, etc. Last time, everyone we saw (water slide attendents, the washy washy people, waiters, etc.) all smiled and said "Hi" and welcomed us, joked with us, etc. This time, very few people were friendly. The few that did stood out. Everyone else just seemed like they were going through the motions, especially the bartenders. They barely looked at us when taking the order and acted like they just wanted to get rid of us. Many times we had to flag down a waiter to get more water - they never came to check on us. 4) The bathrooms by the pool area and by the theater were often messy, out of toilet paper, soap, etc. I know these are busy areas, but they should be restocked often. 5) Our shore excursion on St. Thomas got messed up. I had reserved parasailing for 2:45, but the tickets we got on board were for 11:45, which conflicted with our Sapphire Beach excursion, so we had to cancel. I didn't have access on board, but at home I checked, and I have the confirmation for 2:45. Our kids were very disappointed to miss parasailing. There were no openings to reschedule. 6) It was discouraging to arrive at Great Stirrup Cay, and see Royal Carribbean's island right next to it, with all the fun stuff there, and not have any of that on Norweigian's island. The waterpark, the hot air balloon, etc is easily visible, but there are no activities like that on Great Stirrup Cay. 7) There was some wind and a threat of a storm, I believe, so my husband and son's jet ski reservation got cancelled, and all other times that afternoon were also cancelled, even though the weather cleared up. I understand if there are currents, other issues, etc. that might have affected it. But, the attendants were so rude about it! When my husband was told their reservation was cancelled, he simply asked if there would be any other times available in the afternoon, and they rudely said "No, ALL reservations are cancelled!" No explanation, etc. 8) The tender system back to the ship at Great Stirrup Cay needs work. We were there from 11-5:30, with the last tender at 5. I thought I would be plenty early getting ready to leave at 4. The line for the tender was incredibly long, the boarding process took forever, the disembarking process also was really long, so I ended up not getting back to the ship until 5:15. It should not take 1 hour 15 min to get back to the ship! That totally cuts into the time that could be spent on the island, if we have to cut it short by that amount of time! 9) The comedians were awesome - really enjoyed the shows and the comedy magician. Did not enjoy Rock of Ages at all - too campy. We did not see Velvet, as that also seemed very campy. 10) Paquito, the cruise director, while very professional and informative, was not "fun." We had Zach on our previous cruise, and he was hilarious! Was not the same experience. 11) We're big Bingo fans, but seriously, they did the exact same jokes that we heard last year on the Getaway. Do they all get the same script? It's incredibly boring and repetitive to hear the same things over and over. 12) Disembarkation was absolutely awful. There were delays in the terminal (not sure whether that was from Norwegian's side or customs) but the line to disembark was ridiculously long. It wound all the way around O'Sheenans back and forth through the casino, then out. Luckily, we were not in a rush, but I can't imagine if we had a flight to catch! Then, we were led out onto the deck far away from the gangway, and it was pouring rain. We had to inch along the deck in the rain in that line, until we finally reached the covered gangway. We should've been led out the door closest to the gangway, given ponchos, or held inside until we could just walk right to the gangway instead of waiting in line the rain. We were absolutely soaked by the time we got inside! 13) No one said goodbye as we were in the line to disembark - the crew members we saw were talking amongst themselves, and didn't even acknowledge us. 14) Buffet/bar times - For some reason, we had a hard time getting food and drinks at certain times of day. We always seemed to miss the meal times at the buffet, and it was always snack time when we wanted to get some food, especially in the afternoon. Since the snack stuff is the same every day, it got incredibly repetitive. A couple nights after a show, or whatever, we tried to find a bar to get frozen drinks at, and a lot of the bars were closed, and the few that were open were so incredibly busy that I couldn't get close enough to order the drinks. Besides the fact that the bartenders would never look up to see who wanted to order. We didn't have this problem last time, so I'm not sure if the hours were different, or we just had bad luck? 15) Our cabin steward, Dasy (not sure if that the correct spelling) was awesome. He was very accomodating, and worked around our schedule several times when the kids slept in really long. 16) We knew going in that the Breakaway was the sister ship of the Getaway, and knew that many things were similar. But I found it a bit boring, because it was pretty much exactly the same. I felt like we were on the same cruise again (with the exceptions listed above.) Maybe change things up a little between ships? Some different restaurants, or something? We would not want to repeat that again, so will not be cruising on either ship again. 17) The adult pool is way too small. I never wanted to go there because people were packed in there like sardines! It was soooo crowded, it was claustrophobic. 18) The website is hard to use in some instances. When I ran into issues, it is very difficult to find ways to get in contact with Norwegian without having to call (and wait on hold forever.) The few email links I found did not work. The survey they sent to me after the cruise crashed with an error, and I was unable to get back to the page I wanted. For the first time, I was happy to be heading home, rather than having "cruise depression" as usual. :-(

Not the same experience as previous cruise - very disappointed.

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by bamama

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
Overall, we were disappointed in this cruise. We had such a great time last year on the Getaway, we were expecting the same experience, but there were quite a few things that were lacking this time.

1) Embarkation was really easy, and fast. Our luggage arrived in our room earlier than expected also, which was nice.

2) The free bottle of champagne in the room for being a Latitudes member is a nice gesture, but the champagne was absolutely awful! It tasted like dishwater - we could not drink it.

3) Overall, the crew members on this cruise just were not very friendly. We saw very few smiles, friendly interaction, etc. Last time, everyone we saw (water slide attendents, the washy washy people, waiters, etc.) all smiled and said "Hi" and welcomed us, joked with us, etc. This time, very few people were friendly. The few that did stood out. Everyone else just seemed like they were going through the motions, especially the bartenders. They barely looked at us when taking the order and acted like they just wanted to get rid of us. Many times we had to flag down a waiter to get more water - they never came to check on us.

4) The bathrooms by the pool area and by the theater were often messy, out of toilet paper, soap, etc. I know these are busy areas, but they should be restocked often.

5) Our shore excursion on St. Thomas got messed up. I had reserved parasailing for 2:45, but the tickets we got on board were for 11:45, which conflicted with our Sapphire Beach excursion, so we had to cancel. I didn't have access on board, but at home I checked, and I have the confirmation for 2:45. Our kids were very disappointed to miss parasailing. There were no openings to reschedule.

6) It was discouraging to arrive at Great Stirrup Cay, and see Royal Carribbean's island right next to it, with all the fun stuff there, and not have any of that on Norweigian's island. The waterpark, the hot air balloon, etc is easily visible, but there are no activities like that on Great Stirrup Cay.

7) There was some wind and a threat of a storm, I believe, so my husband and son's jet ski reservation got cancelled, and all other times that afternoon were also cancelled, even though the weather cleared up. I understand if there are currents, other issues, etc. that might have affected it. But, the attendants were so rude about it! When my husband was told their reservation was cancelled, he simply asked if there would be any other times available in the afternoon, and they rudely said "No, ALL reservations are cancelled!" No explanation, etc.

8) The tender system back to the ship at Great Stirrup Cay needs work. We were there from 11-5:30, with the last tender at 5. I thought I would be plenty early getting ready to leave at 4. The line for the tender was incredibly long, the boarding process took forever, the disembarking process also was really long, so I ended up not getting back to the ship until 5:15. It should not take 1 hour 15 min to get back to the ship! That totally cuts into the time that could be spent on the island, if we have to cut it short by that amount of time!

9) The comedians were awesome - really enjoyed the shows and the comedy magician. Did not enjoy Rock of Ages at all - too campy. We did not see Velvet, as that also seemed very campy.

10) Paquito, the cruise director, while very professional and informative, was not "fun." We had Zach on our previous cruise, and he was hilarious! Was not the same experience.

11) We're big Bingo fans, but seriously, they did the exact same jokes that we heard last year on the Getaway. Do they all get the same script? It's incredibly boring and repetitive to hear the same things over and over.

12) Disembarkation was absolutely awful. There were delays in the terminal (not sure whether that was from Norwegian's side or customs) but the line to disembark was ridiculously long. It wound all the way around O'Sheenans back and forth through the casino, then out. Luckily, we were not in a rush, but I can't imagine if we had a flight to catch! Then, we were led out onto the deck far away from the gangway, and it was pouring rain. We had to inch along the deck in the rain in that line, until we finally reached the covered gangway. We should've been led out the door closest to the gangway, given ponchos, or held inside until we could just walk right to the gangway instead of waiting in line the rain. We were absolutely soaked by the time we got inside!

13) No one said goodbye as we were in the line to disembark - the crew members we saw were talking amongst themselves, and didn't even acknowledge us.

14) Buffet/bar times - For some reason, we had a hard time getting food and drinks at certain times of day. We always seemed to miss the meal times at the buffet, and it was always snack time when we wanted to get some food, especially in the afternoon. Since the snack stuff is the same every day, it got incredibly repetitive. A couple nights after a show, or whatever, we tried to find a bar to get frozen drinks at, and a lot of the bars were closed, and the few that were open were so incredibly busy that I couldn't get close enough to order the drinks. Besides the fact that the bartenders would never look up to see who wanted to order. We didn't have this problem last time, so I'm not sure if the hours were different, or we just had bad luck?

15) Our cabin steward, Dasy (not sure if that the correct spelling) was awesome. He was very accomodating, and worked around our schedule several times when the kids slept in really long.

16) We knew going in that the Breakaway was the sister ship of the Getaway, and knew that many things were similar. But I found it a bit boring, because it was pretty much exactly the same. I felt like we were on the same cruise again (with the exceptions listed above.) Maybe change things up a little between ships? Some different restaurants, or something? We would not want to repeat that again, so will not be cruising on either ship again.

17) The adult pool is way too small. I never wanted to go there because people were packed in there like sardines! It was soooo crowded, it was claustrophobic.

18) The website is hard to use in some instances. When I ran into issues, it is very difficult to find ways to get in contact with Norwegian without having to call (and wait on hold forever.) The few email links I found did not work. The survey they sent to me after the cruise crashed with an error, and I was unable to get back to the page I wanted.

For the first time, I was happy to be heading home, rather than having "cruise depression" as usual. :-(
bamama’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BA 13162
This was an adjoining balcony cabin. My husband and I stayed in one room, and the kids in the other. We could've stayed all in one room, but wanted to have the 2 bathrooms. The stateroom is very nice, lots of storage, everything you need. It's nice to have the balcony too.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Great Stirrup Cay
    This was a highlight of the cruise. My daughter is obsessed with pigs, and absolutely loved this excursion! Short boat ride to Treasure Island, and then you can get in the water with them. They all have names and personalities. Plenty of apples to feed them, and they take pictures you can order. You are not allowed to take pictures yourself, though I'm not sure why. The guides were very informative and friendly. The pigs seemed well cared for, and could come and go as they pleased.
    View All 12,621 Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Review
  • Stingray Encounter
    Enjoyed this experience. Short boat ride, then you could swim with the rays in an enclosed area. It was larger than I expected, and there were a ton of rays. The guides were very informative, and you could hold them, feed them, and just swim around with them. There was plenty of time to get all the pictures you like!
    View All 30 Stingray Encounter Reviews
  • Bioluminescent Bay Kayaking
    This was a cool experience! It's a long ride to get there, and they stop at a McDonald's. I wish they had specified that in the description, cause the excursion was from 4:15-9:45, so we were all stressed about when/what to eat. You kayak through a narrow canal to get to a lagoon. We got there a bit early, so had to wait till it got dark. After a few minutes, we had to head back, so wish we had a bit more time once it was dark. But, it was difficult to get back since it was dark, and you really can't see anything in the canal. We were following the kayak in front of us, then another kayak bumped into us, and we had to stop. Once we got going again, the kayaks in front of us were gone, so we had to fumble our way through. Once we hit the bay, we really didn't know which way to go, since there was no one around. It would be nice if a guide was stationed there to direct people. Overall, a cool experience!
    View All 14 Bioluminescent Bay Kayaking Reviews
  • Beach
    We went to Sapphire Beach, which is actually at a resort. There were plenty of chairs, snorkel equipment, etc. The beach is pretty rocky, so it was hard to get in and out of the water. Only there for about 1.5 hours, so very short time. There was confusion heading back, as our bus was late, but no one knew where he was, so we were worried that we had missed our ride. Stopped at an overlook on the way back, so got some great pictures.
    View All 235 Beach Reviews