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Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
3,650 Reviews

Crowded with odd layout

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by Yogibearadventure

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Inside Stateroom

With over 4,000 passengers, you can imagine how cramped it is. There’s limited seating for shows and dining. You have to reserve a seat for the show using the app, tv, hallway touch screen or calling the box office. The problem is that there isn’t enough seatings and shows to accommodate everyone. The shows were “sold out” within an hour getting on board. Our other options included paying for a dinner show. Even the comedy shows required reservations with extremely limited seating. However the tv said reservations were not required and the app didn’t even have it listed. Apparently the, freestyle daily paper sent to the room had it written in small print that you needed to call the box office for reservations-or go to the box office and stand in line. This was definitely the nickle and dime you to death trip. Nearly everything was an upcharge. Unless you don’t mind endless hours of trivia or shopping talks, that about sums it up. The main pool and kids pool were both on deck 15. Nearly end to end with very limited seating around the pool. Cramped to say the least. Adult deck Spice H20 on deck 16 was extremely tiny and always packed. The wheelchair ramps were often blocked by sunbathers desperate for a spot. Can’t say I blame them, the main pool downstairs was right next to the kids pool-it’s loud. Deck 17 and 18 have some limited deck seating but if the winds are high-they have to close them. Some days it’s like hearding cattle to get anywhere especially after the muster station roll call. All of the elevators are either front or aft. No middle elevators! Lots of walking. The main activity areas (dining, shopping, lounges and casino) are centrally located on decks 6,7,8. The problem was I’m not a fan of cigarette smoke. Because the casino is on deck 7 in the middle- you can’t escape the smell. Even the Asian noodle bar restaurant is up against the casino-not exactly a fine dining experience. Ans only 2 seats in the back for handicapped. O’Sheehan’s pub is 24/7 but located also in the middle overlooking the atrium. It gets quite loud/rowdy in the evening so go early or be prepared! The food was terrible. Im sorry I usually love NCLs food but this trip was the pits. Food combinations were strange and flavors were off. Some foods too spicy or salty and some items just dry or tasted warmed over. Runny scrambled eggs and dried out meats. Mexican night buffet was a loss because it just wasn’t authentic foods and either overcooked or just made incorrectly. I don’t know what happened. The sales people for the most part are pushy when it comes to jewelry. I hate that. Won a raffle for a $200 voucher- which could only be used for a new type of stone and not in conjunction with other discounts. No pieces were available under $2000. So what I won a raffle for a 10% discount and it couldn’t be applied because the jewelry was on sale for 33% off?? The worst part about it- I didn’t even like jems! I had already told them I didn’t care for the color. They kept shoving pieces at me saying, but it’s so good, it’s so rare. They wouldn’t let me apply the winning voucher to anything else in the store. So I walked away. I did get a free bottle of champagne-which in my opinion tastes like aspirin water. You know the freebie one they leave in your room or give away at the art auction. You almost need to be a diehard alcoholic to want it LOL So my opinion, avoid the jewelry store. I will say the hallway shopping in Tradewinds was more positive. The sales staff were more interested having conversations and asking about how your trip was going. They didn’t care if we bought or not-so we ended buying several items from there. They had a Mexican bazar with handcrafted gifts like you find in port. Now that was actually fun and reasonably priced. We walked away with a few neat things! For the most part, the staff was nice. Our room porter, Paul (deck 12) was absolutely amazing. He was always prompt, energetic, happy, smiling and he was on top of everything. Always called us by name and made sure we had water for our CPAPs and even brought egg crate toppers when I mentioned my spine disease. He truly went above and beyond and never complained. In fact he was always thankful. He quite possibly saved the trip. Room sizes. Well we had a family inside room- the largest in the inside room class. It was actually only 135 sq feet with two twin beds and two overhead drop down beds. Now there was only two of us, but if we were a family of 4- forget it. The people on the bottom would have to crawl to fit in and out because the top bunks were directly over the two beds. Add two ladders and your cabin looks like a truckstop bathroom. Y’all got kids? Better consider ocean view. You’ll need it! However, there was ample storage in the room and bathroom with many built on shelves and cabinets. The tv was wall mounted across from the beds which was convenient and easy to see. The shower was a plastic or acrylic type enclosure with a door. That was awesome! No shower curtain to tangle and no water all over the floor. Shower had plenty of room to move around in. Water was easy to operate. Bathroom vanity had two large long shelves- perfect for storing lots of toiletries. The room ac was easy to operate. For the two of us-the room was quite comfortable. Not that I wouldn’t have minded more space but the layout was well designed. The wifi is extremely expensive compared to what other cruiselines offer. We used our free at sea for 250 mins of wifi which is a pain because you have to log in and out each session. Free at sea beverage package isn’t really free because the gratuity is about $200/person. You can get drinks non alcoholic but I suppose you would have to use it often to get it’s worth. To each their own I guess. Unlimited wifi was way overpriced. My overall opinion is that this ship wasn’t designed well because there wasn’t enough room to lounge, not enough room to for everyone to enjoy a show due to limited seating, way too many upcharges including additional gratuities with the upcharges and there were just way too many people. I didn’t like it. But if large crowds don’t bother you and you don’t mind upcharges for extras- could be for you. If I could go back- I would have opted for a balcony so we could have the ability to sit outside or maybe even the haven to have the luxury of more secluded spaces. Oh-the spa staff were exceptionally friendly. We couldn’t afford to pinch anymore extra into this trip but they constantly offered massage tasters by the pool and that little 3-5 minutes here and there was perfect. They never pressured us one time. Ok last thing- disembarkation was a complete failure. They released too many people at once and had us snaking all over the 7th deck walking through casino and even outside along the deck and back inside. The casino of course reeked of cigarettes and I’m allergic to cigarette smoke not to mention it was hard to breathe. I had to walk through with my shirt pulled up over my mouth and nose. When we got off the ship, the luggage areas were cram packed with people literally stepping into each other with no room to move. Because they let too many people off at once. The baggage porters were complaining. I told him it’s not our fault-whomever handled disembarkation messed up. One porter yelled out, “This is a cluster”

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Family Inside Stateroom

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