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I booked this cruise a few weeks before sailing mostly to go diving in the ports it was visiting and for that it did not disappoint. I flew in the day before (never take chances during hurricane season!) and enjoyed a day in Miami pre cruise. I arrived at the port around 10:30am and boarding was a snap starting around 11am. As NCL's terminal is being rebuilt check-in was at one of the "public" ones and to be honest it flowed better and quicker than the old NCL one. From curb to waiting room took less than 15 minutes. On board the ship the part started right away with a trip to Spice H20. Layout is similar to her sister ships and though she's got a few years under her belt the Breakaway is still very clean and looks well maintained. Food on the ship was of good quality, but where they failed was in selection. In the MDR the service was excellent and quality of food was decent. In the buffet the quality was surprisingly good, but selection was severely lacking and very repetitive... nowhere near the buffet on the Bliss or Escape. Upsell dining was excellent as usual and this time around I only booked Tappenyaki. The chef put on his usual show and was pretty darn good, but sadly my fellow table mates were boring and didn't play along... the Chef did his best with his poor audience and still put on a good show. Cabin was my usual Studio. Nothing more to say about those, as far as I am concerned they are perfect for a solo traveller. Just big enough to sleep, shower and dry my scuba gear. Solo lounge was a tad on the small side as we had a fairly decently sized group of Solo's, but the in lounge bar was very appreciated. The host did an acceptable job organising dinners, but was nothing special and did not do very much to "gel" the group. Service at the bars was excellent! I never had to wait more than 1-3 minutes for a drink at any bar on the ship. Bartenders were all pleasant as were most fellow passengers frequenting the bars. Shows were first rate, I did not go to Burn the Floor having already seen it on the Bliss, but Rock of Ages was new to me and really great. And again I enjoyed the dueling pianos very much. The show in Sid Normans was energetic and very talented, but I found the singers running around the crowd - though very original at first - got old pretty fast. Sadly for the first time on a cruise (I've been on 30 cruises on all the lines), I have to say my Cabin Steward did not do a very good job. Dirty glasses and dishes not taken away, dirty bathroom glass not replaced, bed poorly made, having to ask for towels... I don't know if he was having a bad week or what but it's the first cruise where I did not give my Steward additional tip (On top of Prepaid Gratuities I usually give $5/day for adequate service and $10/day or more for superb service... in this case he only got his prepaid gratuity). This cruise and it's ports were chosen for scuba diving and did not disappoint. The only port I could have done without is "Harvest Caye" in Belize. You are not really in Belize, that port is an NCL "Private island" with nothing included where you get none of the benefits of other Private Islands like Stirrup Cay or Coco Cay so NCL can nickle and dime you more. It's very "meh". Overall a very good cruise and I look forward to sailing with NCL again soon.

A pretty good cruise

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by Pat.D

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Studio Stateroom
I booked this cruise a few weeks before sailing mostly to go diving in the ports it was visiting and for that it did not disappoint. I flew in the day before (never take chances during hurricane season!) and enjoyed a day in Miami pre cruise.

I arrived at the port around 10:30am and boarding was a snap starting around 11am. As NCL's terminal is being rebuilt check-in was at one of the "public" ones and to be honest it flowed better and quicker than the old NCL one. From curb to waiting room took less than 15 minutes.

On board the ship the part started right away with a trip to Spice H20. Layout is similar to her sister ships and though she's got a few years under her belt the Breakaway is still very clean and looks well maintained.

Food on the ship was of good quality, but where they failed was in selection. In the MDR the service was excellent and quality of food was decent. In the buffet the quality was surprisingly good, but selection was severely lacking and very repetitive... nowhere near the buffet on the Bliss or Escape.

Upsell dining was excellent as usual and this time around I only booked Tappenyaki. The chef put on his usual show and was pretty darn good, but sadly my fellow table mates were boring and didn't play along... the Chef did his best with his poor audience and still put on a good show.

Cabin was my usual Studio. Nothing more to say about those, as far as I am concerned they are perfect for a solo traveller. Just big enough to sleep, shower and dry my scuba gear.

Solo lounge was a tad on the small side as we had a fairly decently sized group of Solo's, but the in lounge bar was very appreciated. The host did an acceptable job organising dinners, but was nothing special and did not do very much to "gel" the group.

Service at the bars was excellent! I never had to wait more than 1-3 minutes for a drink at any bar on the ship. Bartenders were all pleasant as were most fellow passengers frequenting the bars.

Shows were first rate, I did not go to Burn the Floor having already seen it on the Bliss, but Rock of Ages was new to me and really great. And again I enjoyed the dueling pianos very much. The show in Sid Normans was energetic and very talented, but I found the singers running around the crowd - though very original at first - got old pretty fast.

Sadly for the first time on a cruise (I've been on 30 cruises on all the lines), I have to say my Cabin Steward did not do a very good job. Dirty glasses and dishes not taken away, dirty bathroom glass not replaced, bed poorly made, having to ask for towels... I don't know if he was having a bad week or what but it's the first cruise where I did not give my Steward additional tip (On top of Prepaid Gratuities I usually give $5/day for adequate service and $10/day or more for superb service... in this case he only got his prepaid gratuity).

This cruise and it's ports were chosen for scuba diving and did not disappoint. The only port I could have done without is "Harvest Caye" in Belize. You are not really in Belize, that port is an NCL "Private island" with nothing included where you get none of the benefits of other Private Islands like Stirrup Cay or Coco Cay so NCL can nickle and dime you more. It's very "meh".

Overall a very good cruise and I look forward to sailing with NCL again soon.
Pat.D’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Studio Stateroom
Cabin T1 11521
The usual solo studio. Perfect for the solo traveller. Just big enough to sleep, shower and dry my scuba gear.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Scuba - Certified
    Once again Dream Time Diving, the NCL contractor delivers amazing dives with great service. Can'T wait to dive with them again.
    View All 7 Scuba - Certified Reviews
  • Scuba
    Sand Dollar Diving hit the ball right out of the park once more. I've dived with them thru the cruise line several times and even if the boats are a tad on the large side they have multiple DM's and separate us into small groups according to experience.

    I very much appreciated the dock pick up and drop off after the dive. I've done many drift dives with them and look forward to more soon.
    View All 111 Scuba Reviews
  • Harvest Caye
    Garbage. You are not really in Belize but on a small "Private Island" owned by NCL, but contrary to other cruise line owned islands like Great Stirrup Cay and Coco Cay which are all inclusive for food and drink, this one includes nothing.
    Just one more way to nickle and dime you as NCL controls all the excursions, food and drink.
    View All 1,140 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Harvest Caye Cruise Port Review
  • Scuba Diving
    Anthony's Key dive center, excellent dive with them as usual. They always deliver.
    View All 39 Scuba Diving Reviews