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We were on this cruise for a friend's wedding and were excited to try Norwegian for the first time. With all that was included upfront, we paid a little more than other cruise lines like Celebrity, MSC, and Royal but received such robotic and impersonal service. I usually walk off a boat with a long list of memorable and personal staff members to rave about and I had 4 which made the list this time. Loved our cabin and steward, so kind. We missed each other on our first day but she made sure to find me on our second morning and introduce herself. Ship cleanliness was pretty good minus a much-needed exterior cleaning. Cruise Director and his direct staff were friendly and fun. Activities were cool but the Atrium is such a small space to hold some of the activities. Public space in general on this ship seemed at a minimum. There are many other ships of the same tonnage with about 1000 less passengers and you could tell on sea days. F&B left much to be desired as far as service and value. I understand the freestyle concept and I usual dine an average of 3 meals at a specialty restaurant on other lines, but it is no longer serving it's original objective and it is clearly a revenue generating function. Every time we were greeted at a meal, it was "Hi, what can I get you?" and our meals ranged from incredibly slow to being shoved out of the restaurant. (Especially in the specialty restaurants where I am paying A La Carte prices higher than on land and getting half the service and cold food.) What really irked me about the service was if we made a request for something to be redone or let them know something was cold, there was never a sincere apology, just an ok and then an explanation about how far the galley was, aka an excuse. The steakhouse was really good but again, I was paying such a high price like on land that the value is a bit underwhelming. We had an amazing server our last day for lunch at Savor named Leonard that was so full of personality, it was a breath of fresh air. The service was polite but lacked any personality you can find on any other cruise lines we've sailed. Reservations and ability was a sticking point too. Our group (8 people) usually use dinner to come together after doing our own things all day. We always had to wait 30-45 minutes for a complimentary restaurant and they wouldn't allow us to make a reservation because they are "freestyle". So we tried the specialties and they were always booked but half full because so many people no-show for their reservation and NCL doesn't have the backbone to charge people and hold them accountable for missing reservations. We wanted to treat my mother-in-law and her partner to dinner at the french restaurant and were told they could only take a party of 2. So we went and surprise, half the restaurant is empty and we were sat at a table for 4. Almost every table of 4 had 2 people. There is something missing between actual table tracking and the data in the reservation system. We had a diversion due to a tropical storm and then a medical evac, but those didn't even effect me or the party. Another sea day to do nothing or everything. Rock of Ages is AMAZING! Such a high caliber production and the cast was amazing. Velvet was advertised like many of the in-your-face Vegas burlesque shows but was more subtle innuendo and less edgy. WHY?!!!! You get edgy with Rock of Ages, be like Absinthe in Vegas, screw the easily offended and make the show it's full Studio 54 glory! Overall, I am on the fence about cruising NCL again. Perhaps a different ship or itinerary will make a change, but I am also a true believer about first impressions in the service industry, usually a second chance just validates the first. I am in my upper 30s and I really think NCL is missing the mark on my age market when it comes to service. I have plenty of money to spend and when I am served by people with personality and create genuine connections, I am comfortable spending even more. NCL could build more loyal guests with a staff that strives to create connections and show genuine interest in their passengers instead of just being polite and hitting the service points they are trained on.

Like a low cost airline, you gotta spend more to get... meh.

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by icsinger08

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We were on this cruise for a friend's wedding and were excited to try Norwegian for the first time. With all that was included upfront, we paid a little more than other cruise lines like Celebrity, MSC, and Royal but received such robotic and impersonal service. I usually walk off a boat with a long list of memorable and personal staff members to rave about and I had 4 which made the list this time.

Loved our cabin and steward, so kind. We missed each other on our first day but she made sure to find me on our second morning and introduce herself. Ship cleanliness was pretty good minus a much-needed exterior cleaning.

Cruise Director and his direct staff were friendly and fun. Activities were cool but the Atrium is such a small space to hold some of the activities. Public space in general on this ship seemed at a minimum. There are many other ships of the same tonnage with about 1000 less passengers and you could tell on sea days.

F&B left much to be desired as far as service and value. I understand the freestyle concept and I usual dine an average of 3 meals at a specialty restaurant on other lines, but it is no longer serving it's original objective and it is clearly a revenue generating function. Every time we were greeted at a meal, it was "Hi, what can I get you?" and our meals ranged from incredibly slow to being shoved out of the restaurant. (Especially in the specialty restaurants where I am paying A La Carte prices higher than on land and getting half the service and cold food.) What really irked me about the service was if we made a request for something to be redone or let them know something was cold, there was never a sincere apology, just an ok and then an explanation about how far the galley was, aka an excuse. The steakhouse was really good but again, I was paying such a high price like on land that the value is a bit underwhelming. We had an amazing server our last day for lunch at Savor named Leonard that was so full of personality, it was a breath of fresh air.

The service was polite but lacked any personality you can find on any other cruise lines we've sailed. Reservations and ability was a sticking point too. Our group (8 people) usually use dinner to come together after doing our own things all day. We always had to wait 30-45 minutes for a complimentary restaurant and they wouldn't allow us to make a reservation because they are "freestyle". So we tried the specialties and they were always booked but half full because so many people no-show for their reservation and NCL doesn't have the backbone to charge people and hold them accountable for missing reservations. We wanted to treat my mother-in-law and her partner to dinner at the french restaurant and were told they could only take a party of 2. So we went and surprise, half the restaurant is empty and we were sat at a table for 4. Almost every table of 4 had 2 people. There is something missing between actual table tracking and the data in the reservation system.

We had a diversion due to a tropical storm and then a medical evac, but those didn't even effect me or the party. Another sea day to do nothing or everything.

Rock of Ages is AMAZING! Such a high caliber production and the cast was amazing. Velvet was advertised like many of the in-your-face Vegas burlesque shows but was more subtle innuendo and less edgy. WHY?!!!! You get edgy with Rock of Ages, be like Absinthe in Vegas, screw the easily offended and make the show it's full Studio 54 glory!

Overall, I am on the fence about cruising NCL again. Perhaps a different ship or itinerary will make a change, but I am also a true believer about first impressions in the service industry, usually a second chance just validates the first. I am in my upper 30s and I really think NCL is missing the mark on my age market when it comes to service. I have plenty of money to spend and when I am served by people with personality and create genuine connections, I am comfortable spending even more. NCL could build more loyal guests with a staff that strives to create connections and show genuine interest in their passengers instead of just being polite and hitting the service points they are trained on.
icsinger08’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB 10208
LOVED the special shower and big bathroom. The balcony was a bit tight and the wardrobe/ closet was so closed to the bed. Mattress was SO HARD. And the couch smelled musty and possible urine. Was very clean all around!
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins