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While the dining experience and shows were excellent, we have to rank this cruise as THE WORST. I understand many folks may not mind the loud, shoulder to shoulder situation at the pool, and and less than hot, hot tub. But the response to Hurricane Dorian was inexcusable. The Cruise line had no contingency plan to deal with the situation, kept changing their minds in ways that severely worsened the situation, did not keep passengers informed of what was going on, and treated the passenger extremely poorly in this emergency situation. Passengers were initially told the ship would remain in Costa Maya weathering the storm there, and that passengers could disembark and remain off-ship until 4:00 am. Then, while passengers were off-ship, plans were changed and the crew decided to try to outrace the storm. Because of this waffling, and the fact that the ship then needed to wait for the passengers to return to the ship and re-board before setting sail, by the time the ship reached Miami, the port had been closed. At that point passengers were told we would be remaining in the straights of Miami until the port reopened. But the crew changed their minds and took off for New Orleans without bothering to tell the passengers. Hours later, when they got around to telling the passengers, they offered no plan for getting the passengers back to their home port. Panic ensued when everyone realized that there was no way enough plane tickets would be available to get everyone home that day or the next, and that no offer had been made to cover the costs of hotels, transportation, etc. A near riot broke out. Instead of diffusing the situation by offering information and assistance, a dozen or so male uniformed staff lined up shoulder to shoulder against the passengers like they were Pinkerton guards out to break the resistance. Eventually we were told that Norwegian would cover costs up to $300 per person to get us home, but of course, all the passenger realized that would not be a fraction of the cost of airfare, plus taxis, hotels, and meals until we could find an available flight home. The cruise line proceeded to do every possible thing to make things more difficult at that point. Instead of opening internet access so that passengers could find out what was going on and work on making arrangements, passengers were told they could have one free call, and could use the limited number of computers the ship had to make arrangements. (That's for 4,000 passengers - I'll leave you to picture the lines.) No effort was made to help passenger who would run out of medicine due to the situation. A friend on board, had to pay $149 to see the ship's doctor $149 to try to get the insulin she was running out of. (The doctor didn't actually have the kind of she used, and didn't know how much of the alternate he had she should take.) They also charged her $104 for a bottle of aspirin. On Sunday they lined all 4,00 passengers up to trade in our key cards for new ones. Then Monday while we were at dinner, they disabled the new ones so that no one could get in or out of their room without a staff person letting them. Slightly after midnight Monday night, they banged on our door, and handed us a piece of telling us we needed to have our bags packed and in the hallway by 3:00 am, and that we would be deboarded that morning. No mention of whether breakfast would be served, so I assume the earliest to go went without food. My husband and I were placed on a bus to a charter airfield where we waited approximately 6 hours for a plane Norwegian ultimately arranged for us after being shamed into it. There was one women's bathroom stall for everyone there. Four busloads. (Don't know about the men's bathroom.) Because Norwegian didn't want to spend a penny more than they had to, there were no plans to feed us. Passengers were told they were not allowed to order Uber Eats (even at their own cost.). Around 4 pm when they broke down got Subway sandwiches for us. Note: There were no candy machines or anything, so there was absolutely no way to get any food at all before that. And there were little children among us who hadn't eaten - and elderly people, and presumably diabetics. Ultimately, we did get home. When the plane finally landed, the passengers were so relieved everyone broke out into applause. Oh, did I mention our confinement at the airfield made national news, with our group being filmed penned up in a fenced area that we weren't allowed to leave while we waited for the plane? Also, just a note, this doesn't even touch the way Norwegian completely gave up on taking real care of the passengers once they realized they were stuck with us and there was no more money to be made on us. So here's the deal: Under ordinary circumstances, Norwegian may be fine. But who wants to take a ship that only knows what to do when the sky is blue and the sun is shining? Norwegian has no plan for what to do in an emergency, and clearly resented having to take care of passengers beyond their 7 day paid for stay. Summary: Stay away! Find a cruise line that plans for the unexpected, and will take care of their passengers even when things don't go according to plan.

Incompetence abounds

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by BHLevin

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
While the dining experience and shows were excellent, we have to rank this cruise as THE WORST. I understand many folks may not mind the loud, shoulder to shoulder situation at the pool, and and less than hot, hot tub.

But the response to Hurricane Dorian was inexcusable. The Cruise line had no contingency plan to deal with the situation, kept changing their minds in ways that severely worsened the situation, did not keep passengers informed of what was going on, and treated the passenger extremely poorly in this emergency situation.

Passengers were initially told the ship would remain in Costa Maya weathering the storm there, and that passengers could disembark and remain off-ship until 4:00 am. Then, while passengers were off-ship, plans were changed and the crew decided to try to outrace the storm. Because of this waffling, and the fact that the ship then needed to wait for the passengers to return to the ship and re-board before setting sail, by the time the ship reached Miami, the port had been closed. At that point passengers were told we would be remaining in the straights of Miami until the port reopened. But the crew changed their minds and took off for New Orleans without bothering to tell the passengers.

Hours later, when they got around to telling the passengers, they offered no plan for getting the passengers back to their home port. Panic ensued when everyone realized that there was no way enough plane tickets would be available to get everyone home that day or the next, and that no offer had been made to cover the costs of hotels, transportation, etc. A near riot broke out. Instead of diffusing the situation by offering information and assistance, a dozen or so male uniformed staff lined up shoulder to shoulder against the passengers like they were Pinkerton guards out to break the resistance.

Eventually we were told that Norwegian would cover costs up to $300 per person to get us home, but of course, all the passenger realized that would not be a fraction of the cost of airfare, plus taxis, hotels, and meals until we could find an available flight home.

The cruise line proceeded to do every possible thing to make things more difficult at that point. Instead of opening internet access so that passengers could find out what was going on and work on making arrangements, passengers were told they could have one free call, and could use the limited number of computers the ship had to make arrangements. (That's for 4,000 passengers - I'll leave you to picture the lines.)

No effort was made to help passenger who would run out of medicine due to the situation. A friend on board, had to pay $149 to see the ship's doctor $149 to try to get the insulin she was running out of. (The doctor didn't actually have the kind of she used, and didn't know how much of the alternate he had she should take.) They also charged her $104 for a bottle of aspirin.

On Sunday they lined all 4,00 passengers up to trade in our key cards for new ones. Then Monday while we were at dinner, they disabled the new ones so that no one could get in or out of their room without a staff person letting them. Slightly after midnight Monday night, they banged on our door, and handed us a piece of telling us we needed to have our bags packed and in the hallway by 3:00 am, and that we would be deboarded that morning. No mention of whether breakfast would be served, so I assume the earliest to go went without food.

My husband and I were placed on a bus to a charter airfield where we waited approximately 6 hours for a plane Norwegian ultimately arranged for us after being shamed into it. There was one women's bathroom stall for everyone there. Four busloads. (Don't know about the men's bathroom.) Because Norwegian didn't want to spend a penny more than they had to, there were no plans to feed us. Passengers were told they were not allowed to order Uber Eats (even at their own cost.). Around 4 pm when they broke down got Subway sandwiches for us. Note: There were no candy machines or anything, so there was absolutely no way to get any food at all before that. And there were little children among us who hadn't eaten - and elderly people, and presumably diabetics. Ultimately, we did get home. When the plane finally landed, the passengers were so relieved everyone broke out into applause. Oh, did I mention our confinement at the airfield made national news, with our group being filmed penned up in a fenced area that we weren't allowed to leave while we waited for the plane?

Also, just a note, this doesn't even touch the way Norwegian completely gave up on taking real care of the passengers once they realized they were stuck with us and there was no more money to be made on us.

So here's the deal: Under ordinary circumstances, Norwegian may be fine. But who wants to take a ship that only knows what to do when the sky is blue and the sun is shining? Norwegian has no plan for what to do in an emergency, and clearly resented having to take care of passengers beyond their 7 day paid for stay.

Summary: Stay away! Find a cruise line that plans for the unexpected, and will take care of their passengers even when things don't go according to plan.
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