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We booked this cruise about 3 weeks after a Carnival cruise just to get a feel for the ship and the hospitality differences between NCL and Carnival. This cruise on the Breakaway, was, in our estimation, a step down from Carnival. Embarkation was okay but not as efficient as Carnival. The embarkation terminal was crowded, unsettling and disorganized. We eventually made it to the ship without any other issues. The process took about 30-40 minutes. Carnival took 10 minutes or less. Debarkation was about the same for both ships and it took about 30 minutes to get to the curb. Our balcony cabin was not ready on our arrival, although we were told it would be ready for occupation. We had many problems with the cabin functions throughout the cruise. The shower overflowed everyday, due to poor drainage. This caused the shower water to rise up to our ankles, overflow and drain into a secondary drain behind the toilet causing the bath mat and floor to be soaked every time we used the shower. We told the room steward,, who apparently tried to fix the problem, to no avail. After asking her to fix the issue after 3 days, we gave up and just let the floor in the cabin bathroom flood everyday. The water at the sink tap was scalding hot even on the lowest cold setting that, at best, gave you lukewarm water. No cold water ever came from the tap. The toilets quit working on at least two occasions and we were told it was a problem on the deck we were on and would be fixed, which it was after several hours on two different day. The entertainment was excellent on the ship in the showroom, not so much in the atrium. Many shows were hosted by the Cruise Director who was bland, boing and unenthusiastic. Many activities were held in the very crowded atrium and were so loud that you could only stay for a few moments during the day. O'Sheenan's bar was nice and there food was prepared for you when you were seated for no up charge. The ice cream sundaes there had an added charge and were terrible. Smoke from the open deck casino permeated the center of the ship and if you are cigarette smoke sensitive, many central areas of the ship were effectively "off-limits". Our food, ship wide, no matter where we dined, was poor quality and most of the time cold. The speciality restaurants of Cagney's and La Cucina had up charges based on what you ordered. Our Cagney's bill for four people (with free drinks on our drink package) was over $300. The La Cucina bill was well over $200 for four people with not drink costs added. It also took almost 55 minutes from ordering to our first course at La Cucina. The Teppinayki and Moderno had a flat uncharge of $39 each. Not great deal when you already paid over $3000 for the balcony room cruise fare. Teppinaki was fun with the center grill but the 5, quarter sized shrimp and dime sized scallops were a disappointment. The food was over salted and drenched in soy sauce. Moderno was terrible. The food was over seasoned, salty and tough. None of the meats provided were of good quality. The dessert was grainy and overly sweet. We were never asked in either of these two restaurant's about the quality of the food provided. The Garden Cafe (buffet) was a disaster. Noisy, crowded, dirty tables, unenthusiastic employees and just a really poor attempt at feeding the masses. (The kids area chicken fingers were the best thing on the menu there.) We went one day at lunch for about 30 minutes and never returned to this venue the rest of the trip. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville was fun. Good food ($15 up charge/person), but only open for lunch. The bar drinks were good and the service probably the best on the ship. We had poor, uninspired food in the main dining rooms. We ate in all 3 during the cruise for dinner and the Manhattan room was by far the best. The servers in the other two rooms was spotty at best. Then pool areas were crowded, especially since we had 2 sea days, a non-stop added sea day due to Great Stirrup Cay unable to accessed because of high winds making tendering dangerous. (No compensation offered for this missed stop by NCL.) The islands of St. Thomas, Tortola and St. John are still recovering from the 2017 hurricane but it was nice to get off the ship and enjoy the beautiful beaches. Most of the tourist stops at these ports all had the same jewelry store and t-shirt shops. Ship internet was SLOW. We had a 250 minute package but spent at least a third of the minutes waiting for the system to load, even when we were standing 10 feet from the internet area, located in the noisy atrium area. We also had a problem getting drink servers to ask about beverages throughout the ship. It is a good "ploy" by NCL to sell you the drink package up front with added tips and then make you go in search of drinks at bars on your own. We were only approached by a drink server in any public area of the ship 3 occasions in 7 days. I don't know if is the lack of staff or intentional reduction by NCL to curb providing pre-paid drinks to the guests to save money. Compared to Carnival, which we though we would never say, NCL doesn't equal the service and amenities that Carnival provided us, three weeks earlier, for about an equal cruise fare and amenity package. We will NeverCruise with NCL again!

NCL - Never Cruise this Line again.

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by Fyrcop

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
We booked this cruise about 3 weeks after a Carnival cruise just to get a feel for the ship and the hospitality differences between NCL and Carnival. This cruise on the Breakaway, was, in our estimation, a step down from Carnival.

Embarkation was okay but not as efficient as Carnival. The embarkation terminal was crowded, unsettling and disorganized. We eventually made it to the ship without any other issues. The process took about 30-40 minutes. Carnival took 10 minutes or less. Debarkation was about the same for both ships and it took about 30 minutes to get to the curb.

Our balcony cabin was not ready on our arrival, although we were told it would be ready for occupation. We had many problems with the cabin functions throughout the cruise. The shower overflowed everyday, due to poor drainage. This caused the shower water to rise up to our ankles, overflow and drain into a secondary drain behind the toilet causing the bath mat and floor to be soaked every time we used the shower. We told the room steward,, who apparently tried to fix the problem, to no avail. After asking her to fix the issue after 3 days, we gave up and just let the floor in the cabin bathroom flood everyday. The water at the sink tap was scalding hot even on the lowest cold setting that, at best, gave you lukewarm water. No cold water ever came from the tap. The toilets quit working on at least two occasions and we were told it was a problem on the deck we were on and would be fixed, which it was after several hours on two different day.

The entertainment was excellent on the ship in the showroom, not so much in the atrium. Many shows were hosted by the Cruise Director who was bland, boing and unenthusiastic. Many activities were held in the very crowded atrium and were so loud that you could only stay for a few moments during the day. O'Sheenan's bar was nice and there food was prepared for you when you were seated for no up charge. The ice cream sundaes there had an added charge and were terrible.

Smoke from the open deck casino permeated the center of the ship and if you are cigarette smoke sensitive, many central areas of the ship were effectively "off-limits".

Our food, ship wide, no matter where we dined, was poor quality and most of the time cold. The speciality restaurants of Cagney's and La Cucina had up charges based on what you ordered. Our Cagney's bill for four people (with free drinks on our drink package) was over $300. The La Cucina bill was well over $200 for four people with not drink costs added. It also took almost 55 minutes from ordering to our first course at La Cucina. The Teppinayki and Moderno had a flat uncharge of $39 each. Not great deal when you already paid over $3000 for the balcony room cruise fare. Teppinaki was fun with the center grill but the 5, quarter sized shrimp and dime sized scallops were a disappointment. The food was over salted and drenched in soy sauce. Moderno was terrible. The food was over seasoned, salty and tough. None of the meats provided were of good quality. The dessert was grainy and overly sweet. We were never asked in either of these two restaurant's about the quality of the food provided.

The Garden Cafe (buffet) was a disaster. Noisy, crowded, dirty tables, unenthusiastic employees and just a really poor attempt at feeding the masses. (The kids area chicken fingers were the best thing on the menu there.) We went one day at lunch for about 30 minutes and never returned to this venue the rest of the trip.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville was fun. Good food ($15 up charge/person), but only open for lunch. The bar drinks were good and the service probably the best on the ship.

We had poor, uninspired food in the main dining rooms. We ate in all 3 during the cruise for dinner and the Manhattan room was by far the best. The servers in the other two rooms was spotty at best.

Then pool areas were crowded, especially since we had 2 sea days, a non-stop added sea day due to Great Stirrup Cay unable to accessed because of high winds making tendering dangerous. (No compensation offered for this missed stop by NCL.) The islands of St. Thomas, Tortola and St. John are still recovering from the 2017 hurricane but it was nice to get off the ship and enjoy the beautiful beaches. Most of the tourist stops at these ports all had the same jewelry store and t-shirt shops.

Ship internet was SLOW. We had a 250 minute package but spent at least a third of the minutes waiting for the system to load, even when we were standing 10 feet from the internet area, located in the noisy atrium area.

We also had a problem getting drink servers to ask about beverages throughout the ship. It is a good "ploy" by NCL to sell you the drink package up front with added tips and then make you go in search of drinks at bars on your own. We were only approached by a drink server in any public area of the ship 3 occasions in 7 days. I don't know if is the lack of staff or intentional reduction by NCL to curb providing pre-paid drinks to the guests to save money.

Compared to Carnival, which we though we would never say, NCL doesn't equal the service and amenities that Carnival provided us, three weeks earlier, for about an equal cruise fare and amenity package.

We will NeverCruise with NCL again!
Fyrcop’s Full Rating Summary
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