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We sailed NCL Breakaway 11/10/19 – 11/17/19. We had a midship balcony cabin on the starboard side/deck 11. Who we are: We are in our early 50’s, and have sailed with NCL 7 of our 13 cruises. Able bodied, self-sufficient, do it yourself, no schedule type of people. I don’t like people waiting on me hand and foot. If I want something, I will ask for it or more likely just get it myself. We’ve sailed 3 times on the NCL Getaway (sister ship to the Breakaway) and they are almost exactly the same with just some mild décor differences. The only real difference we saw was Getaway’s Mojito Bar, is Breakaway’s Shakers Martini Bar. Favorite things: Pour House: We really enjoyed it as the music was well targeted for my Rock generation. My preference is for hard rock/metal, but NCL corporate keeps the bands from playing it. So, the more subdued rock will have to do. Better music selection/atmosphere than any other cruise ship bands I’ve ever seen. Doors typically open around 8pm for early seating (I would recommend getting there 30 mins before showtime if you want a seat), with the band playing from approximately 9p to 11:45p. Ocean Blue: Best seafood creations on the ship, and no longer has a base upcharge. The menu is pared down from previous years, but still absolutely fantastic. Do watch out for 2 or 3 individual items with a specific individual upcharge (i.e. $30 whole Maine lobster). Drink Package (Free at Sea perk): Selected at booking, there is no charge for the package itself, but you do have to pay $139 in gratuities/per person. If selecting the drink package, all adult parties in a cabin have to get the Drink Package, and will be charge the $139 gratuities each ($278 total per cabin of two). I drink, but wifey does not. With standard drink prices for wine and mix drinks around $13 (Beer usually around $7), the gratuities charged for 2 at booking equates to roughly 20 drinks per cabin. You can decide if that works for you or not from a value standpoint (Package vs No Package). With the Drink package, you can order two drinks at a time at the bar (the premise being that one cabinmate can go to the bar and get a drink for both cabinmates, instead of each having to order their own). 3 Meal Dining Package (Free at Sea perk): Selected at booking, there is no charge for the package itself, but you do have to pay $20 in gratuities/per person at time of booking. The Specialty dining restaurants are all better than the Main Dining Room (Manhattan, Taste, Savor) from a food standpoint. Balcony: To me, this is what cruising is all about! Sitting on the balcony for an hour or so in the morning, and two hours around sunset, plus just standing out there for a few minutes at any point day or night. Tip: Gather up some glasses of wine during the day and bring it back to the room. Then get some cheese/grapes/etc. from the buffet late afternoon. You are now ready for your own 2hr Wine & Cheese Sunset Cruise….You are Welcome! ….truly my favorite part of cruising. Show – Burn the Floor: Seen the show 3 times before, and I really enjoy it. I’m not a dancing fan or anything of that nature, but I’ve seen too many other cheesy cruise ship shows. This is one of the best, most energetic, enjoyable shows I’ve seen at sea. It is only about 50 mins long, so you don’t become bored either. Margaritaville Chill Bar: Open 12p-5p. Included in the Drink package. I recommend Havanas & Bananas, and Zombie. Teppanyaki – The food (Seafood combo - Shrimp, Scallops and Calamari) and the chef entertainment (singing) is better than anything I’ve found in any land based Japanese steakhouse. The Good: Garden Café Buffet (Breakfast): If you can’t find an enjoyable breakfast here, you are just not a breakfast person. Large variety for most every diet type. Moderno for Lunch: Typically held on “At Sea” days from Noon to 1:30p. Themed (Spain, India, or Mediterranean) lunch buffet. A nice change from the standard Garden Buffet lunch. It is noted in the Freestyle Daily paper. Disembarkation: We were the last luggage tag called (9:45am), and proceeded down to deck 7. Caught the exit line at the aft side of the Casino by Shanghai’s, and wound our way through the casino and OSheehan’s. It was a bit slow moving line, but serviceable. The nice part was the facial recognition cameras that eliminated the standard Customs fiasco that traditionally follows disembarking the ship. This alone probably saved 20mins of standing in line. Ship: A large, modern, ship with tasteful décor. It was kept very clean by the staff. General Staff: They were serviceable, efficient, polite, checked the boxes, and did their jobs well. No memorable personalities either good or bad. NCL Free Flight(reduced flight) and transfer. If you choose to accept the NCL Flight promotion, not that you also HAVE to bundle in the Port Transfer as well. For our airport, we had to pay $99 per person for the flight plus $32 per person for the bus transfer to the port. We landed at the Fort Lauderdale airport before 9am the day of sailing. The first bus headed down to the Miami port left the airport at 10:30am. Overall, one can’t argue with the cost. The only downside is that NCL has full control over booking your flight times. On embarkation day, they had us landing in FLL before 9am, which was perfect. However, on disembarkation day, they had us flying out at 10pm that night. Called them to change, but they wouldn’t do anything. The Mediocre: Main Dining Room (Manhattan, Taste, Savor) Food: The menu options and food quality are somewhat mundane. Almost all of the options are serviceable, but there is no “Wow” factor in the selections. I recommend ordering several appetizers, entrees, desserts, and test out what you like and don’t like. If you have the Dining package 3 nights (on a 7 day cruise), you will only be eating in the MDR 4 nights. Room Steward: This one is so dependent on who you get, so really enjoy the times when you get a great Steward. Ours was serviceable and checked the boxes, but brought no fun or personality to the cruise. No towel animals, but I guess it saves on the wasting of clean towels. Show – SIX: This show’s Breakaway debut was on this sailing. As a whole, I guess it was fine. However, there was no production value brought to the stage beyond the women’s costumes. You are not going to do much singing along, or following of any actual theatrical storyline. The show runs about 1hr 20 mins, and I found myself hoping it would end sooner, rather than later. Garden Café Buffet (Dinner): I’ve never been a big Buffet for Dinner person, so this is very subjective. It was nice that they did have a different theme every single night; Latin, Street Food, American, Caribbean, Asian, Mexican, Italian (Note: There was no Seafood night). Outside of the themed decorations, the actual difference in food from one night to the other was not that impressive. Mexican night was the best as they had guacamole, and if you didn’t know, guacamole makes everything better!! If you like duck, they have roasted duck at the carving station on Asian night. Not Good: Main Pool: Yes, it is small for the number of guests aboard, and gets crowded. The entire deck definitely does have a sectioned off feel to it as well, but it also serves an extremely valuable purpose in helping to separate the kids/family area from the more adult party/music/drinking area. Smoke: Although I personally didn’t care too much, there is definitely a smell of smoke that permeates through the 678 atrium areas, and the immediate adjoining hallways. I’m a non-smoker, but I play in the casino several nights per cruise, so I’m more than used to the smoke smell. The only time I was truly disappointed in it was when we first boarded the ship. I guess I was planning for a fresh, clean scent, but got “Old Smoky” instead. An unfortunate first impression. The Bad: As an NFL fan, I was expecting the Sunday and Monday night games to be shown on the Atrium big screen and Spice H2O (This is how the games were televised on the NCL Getaway w/full sound). Only at game time did I find out that the Breakaway wasn’t televising the game on any of the large screens. They did televise it on just about every other screen on the ship (but no sound). Instead, they had some elevator music pianist, followed by a mundane keyboardist play in the main atrium throughout the entire game. It was a huge letdown for all of the NFL fans who were charged up for the game. A large group of us ended up huddled around the smaller bar TV’s at O’Sheehan’s with no sound. Drop Slides (Water Park): Both the drop slides were inoperable for the cruise. Reading through months of reviews leading up to the cruise, it appears the have been out of service since at least sometime this past summer. Tips: Starboard midship and forward balcony rooms are above Maltings and Syd Norman’s Pour House bars, so there is late night bar noise, especially if trying to sleep with your balcony door open. Each room has two standard US power adapters, and two European adapters. Bring European converter or two. Otherwise a power strip or extension cord. Ask your Steward to bring robes to your room. Garden Café Buffet will get busy, especially for breakfast. Hint - Go at off times! Bars with little to no waiting; Garden Café bar at the back of the buffet (Wine&Beer), the Juice bar outside buffet, the Vibe bar up on deck 17 forward, and Margaritaville Chill bar (open 12p – 5p).

A Getaway on the NCL Breakaway

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by Cruise1969

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
We sailed NCL Breakaway 11/10/19 – 11/17/19. We had a midship balcony cabin on the starboard side/deck 11.

Who we are: We are in our early 50’s, and have sailed with NCL 7 of our 13 cruises.

Able bodied, self-sufficient, do it yourself, no schedule type of people. I don’t like people waiting on me hand and foot. If I want something, I will ask for it or more likely just get it myself. We’ve sailed 3 times on the NCL Getaway (sister ship to the Breakaway) and they are almost exactly the same with just some mild décor differences. The only real difference we saw was Getaway’s Mojito Bar, is Breakaway’s Shakers Martini Bar.

Favorite things:

Pour House: We really enjoyed it as the music was well targeted for my Rock generation. My preference is for hard rock/metal, but NCL corporate keeps the bands from playing it. So, the more subdued rock will have to do. Better music selection/atmosphere than any other cruise ship bands I’ve ever seen. Doors typically open around 8pm for early seating (I would recommend getting there 30 mins before showtime if you want a seat), with the band playing from approximately 9p to 11:45p.

Ocean Blue: Best seafood creations on the ship, and no longer has a base upcharge. The menu is pared down from previous years, but still absolutely fantastic. Do watch out for 2 or 3 individual items with a specific individual upcharge (i.e. $30 whole Maine lobster).

Drink Package (Free at Sea perk): Selected at booking, there is no charge for the package itself, but you do have to pay $139 in gratuities/per person. If selecting the drink package, all adult parties in a cabin have to get the Drink Package, and will be charge the $139 gratuities each ($278 total per cabin of two). I drink, but wifey does not. With standard drink prices for wine and mix drinks around $13 (Beer usually around $7), the gratuities charged for 2 at booking equates to roughly 20 drinks per cabin. You can decide if that works for you or not from a value standpoint (Package vs No Package). With the Drink package, you can order two drinks at a time at the bar (the premise being that one cabinmate can go to the bar and get a drink for both cabinmates, instead of each having to order their own).

3 Meal Dining Package (Free at Sea perk): Selected at booking, there is no charge for the package itself, but you do have to pay $20 in gratuities/per person at time of booking. The Specialty dining restaurants are all better than the Main Dining Room (Manhattan, Taste, Savor) from a food standpoint.

Balcony: To me, this is what cruising is all about! Sitting on the balcony for an hour or so in the morning, and two hours around sunset, plus just standing out there for a few minutes at any point day or night. Tip: Gather up some glasses of wine during the day and bring it back to the room. Then get some cheese/grapes/etc. from the buffet late afternoon. You are now ready for your own 2hr Wine & Cheese Sunset Cruise….You are Welcome! ….truly my favorite part of cruising.

Show – Burn the Floor: Seen the show 3 times before, and I really enjoy it. I’m not a dancing fan or anything of that nature, but I’ve seen too many other cheesy cruise ship shows. This is one of the best, most energetic, enjoyable shows I’ve seen at sea. It is only about 50 mins long, so you don’t become bored either.

Margaritaville Chill Bar: Open 12p-5p. Included in the Drink package. I recommend Havanas & Bananas, and Zombie.

Teppanyaki – The food (Seafood combo - Shrimp, Scallops and Calamari) and the chef entertainment (singing) is better than anything I’ve found in any land based Japanese steakhouse.

The Good:

Garden Café Buffet (Breakfast): If you can’t find an enjoyable breakfast here, you are just not a breakfast person. Large variety for most every diet type.

Moderno for Lunch: Typically held on “At Sea” days from Noon to 1:30p. Themed (Spain, India, or Mediterranean) lunch buffet. A nice change from the standard Garden Buffet lunch. It is noted in the Freestyle Daily paper.

Disembarkation: We were the last luggage tag called (9:45am), and proceeded down to deck 7. Caught the exit line at the aft side of the Casino by Shanghai’s, and wound our way through the casino and OSheehan’s. It was a bit slow moving line, but serviceable. The nice part was the facial recognition cameras that eliminated the standard Customs fiasco that traditionally follows disembarking the ship. This alone probably saved 20mins of standing in line.

Ship: A large, modern, ship with tasteful décor. It was kept very clean by the staff.

General Staff: They were serviceable, efficient, polite, checked the boxes, and did their jobs well. No memorable personalities either good or bad.

NCL Free Flight(reduced flight) and transfer. If you choose to accept the NCL Flight promotion, not that you also HAVE to bundle in the Port Transfer as well. For our airport, we had to pay $99 per person for the flight plus $32 per person for the bus transfer to the port. We landed at the Fort Lauderdale airport before 9am the day of sailing. The first bus headed down to the Miami port left the airport at 10:30am. Overall, one can’t argue with the cost. The only downside is that NCL has full control over booking your flight times. On embarkation day, they had us landing in FLL before 9am, which was perfect. However, on disembarkation day, they had us flying out at 10pm that night. Called them to change, but they wouldn’t do anything.

The Mediocre:

Main Dining Room (Manhattan, Taste, Savor) Food: The menu options and food quality are somewhat mundane. Almost all of the options are serviceable, but there is no “Wow” factor in the selections. I recommend ordering several appetizers, entrees, desserts, and test out what you like and don’t like. If you have the Dining package 3 nights (on a 7 day cruise), you will only be eating in the MDR 4 nights.

Room Steward: This one is so dependent on who you get, so really enjoy the times when you get a great Steward. Ours was serviceable and checked the boxes, but brought no fun or personality to the cruise. No towel animals, but I guess it saves on the wasting of clean towels.

Show – SIX: This show’s Breakaway debut was on this sailing. As a whole, I guess it was fine. However, there was no production value brought to the stage beyond the women’s costumes. You are not going to do much singing along, or following of any actual theatrical storyline. The show runs about 1hr 20 mins, and I found myself hoping it would end sooner, rather than later.

Garden Café Buffet (Dinner): I’ve never been a big Buffet for Dinner person, so this is very subjective. It was nice that they did have a different theme every single night; Latin, Street Food, American, Caribbean, Asian, Mexican, Italian (Note: There was no Seafood night). Outside of the themed decorations, the actual difference in food from one night to the other was not that impressive. Mexican night was the best as they had guacamole, and if you didn’t know, guacamole makes everything better!! If you like duck, they have roasted duck at the carving station on Asian night.

Not Good:

Main Pool: Yes, it is small for the number of guests aboard, and gets crowded. The entire deck definitely does have a sectioned off feel to it as well, but it also serves an extremely valuable purpose in helping to separate the kids/family area from the more adult party/music/drinking area.

Smoke: Although I personally didn’t care too much, there is definitely a smell of smoke that permeates through the 678 atrium areas, and the immediate adjoining hallways. I’m a non-smoker, but I play in the casino several nights per cruise, so I’m more than used to the smoke smell. The only time I was truly disappointed in it was when we first boarded the ship. I guess I was planning for a fresh, clean scent, but got “Old Smoky” instead. An unfortunate first impression.

The Bad:

As an NFL fan, I was expecting the Sunday and Monday night games to be shown on the Atrium big screen and Spice H2O (This is how the games were televised on the NCL Getaway w/full sound). Only at game time did I find out that the Breakaway wasn’t televising the game on any of the large screens. They did televise it on just about every other screen on the ship (but no sound). Instead, they had some elevator music pianist, followed by a mundane keyboardist play in the main atrium throughout the entire game. It was a huge letdown for all of the NFL fans who were charged up for the game. A large group of us ended up huddled around the smaller bar TV’s at O’Sheehan’s with no sound.

Drop Slides (Water Park): Both the drop slides were inoperable for the cruise. Reading through months of reviews leading up to the cruise, it appears the have been out of service since at least sometime this past summer.

Tips:

Starboard midship and forward balcony rooms are above Maltings and Syd Norman’s Pour House bars, so there is late night bar noise, especially if trying to sleep with your balcony door open.

Each room has two standard US power adapters, and two European adapters. Bring European converter or two. Otherwise a power strip or extension cord.

Ask your Steward to bring robes to your room.

Garden Café Buffet will get busy, especially for breakfast. Hint - Go at off times!

Bars with little to no waiting; Garden Café bar at the back of the buffet (Wine&Beer), the Juice bar outside buffet, the Vibe bar up on deck 17 forward, and Margaritaville Chill bar (open 12p – 5p).
Cruise1969’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BA
Great cabin and location. A truly mid-ship cabin, so it is away from the elevators and there is very little hallway traffic as everyone else heads for their closest elevator bank (aft or forward). Starboard midship and forward balcony rooms are above Maltings and Syd Norman’s Pour House bars, so there is late night bar noise, especially if trying to sleep with your balcony door open.
Each room has two standard US power adapters, and two European adapters. Bring European converter or two. Otherwise a power strip or extension cord.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins