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Sail Date: August 2015
This being our first time cruising with Celebrity having cruised with Carnival and RC in the past.I love sailing out of Bayonne and Baltimore because we are only a 5 hour drive away and flights don't get along with me anymore. That ... Read More
This being our first time cruising with Celebrity having cruised with Carnival and RC in the past.I love sailing out of Bayonne and Baltimore because we are only a 5 hour drive away and flights don't get along with me anymore. That being said i was confident it would be a great cruise due to the number of positive reviews found on Cruise Critics. My companions for this cruise where my DW,DS(15),DD(12) i was able to get one of the sweet 16 cabins using guaranteed veranda booking...balcony is huge and not as obstructed as you think. Our cabin was very clean and the room setup was one king, a role sofa and a pullman bed. I would have liked the sofa to fold open instead of out. In the out position you can't access the balcony with out rolling it back up...minor inconvenience...not that i wanted to go out on the balcony at 3 am. its just inconvenient. Our room steward was spot on as far a attending to our needs.. one thing to note is that there where always in the hallways...Other cruises I've been on stewards have been very stealthy. The Summit its self is older by cruise standards ...I like to think it has character. Quantum of the seas its not! Its not a huge ship with surfing and zip lining or bumper cars. It is a very classic cruising ship with just the right amount of passengers that you don't have to fight for deck space or show seat. Of coarse there are the lounger hogs by the pool but they are on every ship. One thing i was concerned about was the activities for the kids with not even having a mini-putt coarse to occupy their time. The X club was the place they ended up going most nights then roaming the ship for pizza late at night. My kids being 12 and 15 were in the same age group so knew they would be sorta together....my daughter didn't want to hang out with her brother all the time? go figure! Also going to Bermuda for a 3 day stay was reassuring for activities. The nightly shows were pretty good except for the imagic show...boring! its like the magician was thinking we have never seen a laser and a iPad. We did have movies shown on the back wall of the very upper sports deck while we were a port (Frozen, Imitation Game and Guardians on the Galaxy) one thing i loved about it was that they served beer, chicken wings and popcorn during the movie. It was a pretty bad setup a projector and laptop dvd...but i believe they are doing a recondition in Feb. 2016 and putting a real screen on the ship as well as a rooftop terrace. Fun times ahead! Service was excellent throughout the ship with one exception breakfast in the main dining room was always mismanaged and disorganized. one morning we arrived at 8:30 and no waiter was assigned to us and we kept asking for our server - in one ear and out the other - 9:30 arrives I had to eat something so i ran up and down on the maitre'd... perfect service after that. One thing I've learned on cruises is to avoid the buffets as much as possible...the breakfast buffet is an absolute no-no ---cold food, crowded tables and cranky kids -- We tend to eat at the MDR for all meals when possible except much i like the grills outside for burgers or hot dogs. Dinner in the MDR was exceptional! The service was great! Our servers had a table that would never show up so extra attention was directed to out table of 6 and with the drink package my wine glass was never empty - Cune 2011 Rioja Tempranillo- i think i drank a bottle a night. The meals were always great and our server would give us the heads up on his recommendations and was always spot on! Our servers would always have extra desserts handy for us to try ---why just have one with all that choice! Dinner was just the perfect start of the night before the going to the night Show. Another enjoyment was Cafe al Biaco's early morning relaxing espresso or late night Latte. The kids loved this drink -- tea over ice -- and of coarse the Berliner (apple filled donuts). Bermuda was just OK! I don't think i would go there again at least not in August. We experience humidity in the northeast that is pretty severe but this place is a sauna 24 hrs a day. So much so that it makes your skin bead up as soon as you exit the ship. One exclusion we did was the Crystal Caves - Take Ferry to St George, then the Bus and Get off right at the Caves. Be prepared for a lot of stairs up/down - Do both caves - just spectacular! Went to Warwick beach the next day. I had hoped to do some snorkelling buy the water was choppy but still beautiful, Warwick is just as nice but less crowded that Horseshoe Bay. We had purchased SPF long sleeve swim shirts to combat the sun and they worked great. Allay in the sun and no hint of a burn. The Dockyard is okay place to spend sometime just be aware that Bermuda is very expensive! No real shopping deals like St. Thomas or St. Martin. Needless to say I don't think i would go again and it would be okay for just a day port maybe 2. I must say though i would not hesitate to cruise with Celebrity or on the Summit. Already looking on a deep south cruise leaving San Juan for next year. Downside is that requires me to fly(yuk). One thing i do love about Cape liberty is that you can be off the ship and in your car by 9am easy peasy! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
I am an avid lover of the water and did work on the water professionally years ago and finally my wife and our two older boys ages 17 and 21 were finally taking a cruise. Let's just say I was looking forward to it along with my boys. ... Read More
I am an avid lover of the water and did work on the water professionally years ago and finally my wife and our two older boys ages 17 and 21 were finally taking a cruise. Let's just say I was looking forward to it along with my boys. We are familiar with Boston Harbor and approaches to Boston and it was great to see the pilot boat and the harbor islands on departure. Cruising was uneventful weather wise and this was welcomed by my Wife especially because of concerns of motion sickness. I can say that the pre-cruise planning and reservation interaction with Norwegian was easy and efficient. We had the same easiness with the staff and hospitality stewards embarking and disembarking in port without any problems. Our room steward Emmanuel was excellent and greeted us with a smile every time we saw him. He especially made the cruise experience welcoming for us. Our expectations as far as the food , recreation equipment and exercise equipment was surpassed. The food was better than expected at the buffet. The emphasis on cleanliness was noticeable. If you can recommend dining at the sit down restaurants where you are waited on at no extra charge. Did not try Cagney's or any of the upper end restaurants. The only complaint is that I never did get a reply or confirmation that my suggestion was read or reviewed by the ship's senior hospitality officer that "Sargasso Sea" is misspelled on the NAV channel as "Saragasso Sea" in one of the slides. Also they should not charge for tours of the bridge and behind the scenes. As a former officer aboard a merchant vessel it was always a pleasure to explain what happens on the bridge to guests. I provided my email and room number and still no reply. Only promotional material in emails following the cruise. They do have the marketing down and only wish there was more time in Bermuda. And yes the pool area was disappointing and the tubs and pools occupied by either drunks, children, or inappropriate young adults. My boys were turned off mostly by the conduct of a lot of the young adults their age Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
The Grandeur of the Seas is a ship of many contradictions. The Diamond Lounge offered stellar service and was a great venue to meet knowledgeable and experienced travelers. The staff in the venue took service to a new level! Continental ... Read More
The Grandeur of the Seas is a ship of many contradictions. The Diamond Lounge offered stellar service and was a great venue to meet knowledgeable and experienced travelers. The staff in the venue took service to a new level! Continental breakfast, mid-day snacks and a lovely happy hour display couldn't have been better. This was my first trip to Bermuda, traveling with my son and his family. The island is so beautiful, and it's very easy to get around using the ferry system. Visited St. Georges and Hamilton during the three day port. Bermuda is fairly expensive, but it is very easy to get back to the ship for meals if you are on a budget. The Port of Baltimore couldn't be easier to navigate. Dropping luggage, parking and walking onto the ship was handled very well and arrived at the stateroom very promptly. The convenience of being able to drive to a port can't be overlooked. When traveling via Florida, the flight, hotel, and other expenses easily top $1,000 for two passengers. The servers in the dining room took special care of my 7 year old granddaughter and were just delightful. Food was good and of course, there was more than plenty. As always, my granddaughters loved the children's activities. Royal Caribbean provides a great experience for them, which allows their parents to get a break. The public areas of the ship were well maintained and clean. The room steward was not well trained, nor proactive. Finding potato chips under the bed, as well as having to give the toilet a good scrubbing didn't get things off to a great start with him. I'm not sure if he was new at the job, or just didn't particularly care. Overall, the Grandeur of the Seas is a good ship if you live close to Baltimore. It is small and after being on the Allure of the Seas in April, the activities on Grandeur seem much more limited. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
Embarkation went smoothly; we had put in arrival betw 10:30-11 but was processed as soon as we arrived. Left our carry-ons in our stateroom, our luggage arrived soon after brought in by our friendly steward FRED. Had lunch @ garden cafe ... Read More
Embarkation went smoothly; we had put in arrival betw 10:30-11 but was processed as soon as we arrived. Left our carry-ons in our stateroom, our luggage arrived soon after brought in by our friendly steward FRED. Had lunch @ garden cafe (which always had a nice selection of food & very friendly staff). Participated in the required emergency orientation. We missed the sail away party - wish they had posted this information all over so first time cruisers like us would know :-(. It was a whirlwind one week of fun & activities. We watched a couple of complimentary shows, checked out Duelling Pianos (very good!), karaoke, burn the floor dancers gave daily lessons of the various dance form, they also had a guitar player & a piano player on different nights at Maltings & Shakers. They had movies playing in the Atrium, parties on top deck - we liked 70's night, note GLOW party is really for kids. The main dining rooms (Manhattan Rm, Taste & Savor) have the same menu. The Manhattan line can get long so better make rsvn - the only advantage to the Manhattan that I can see is if you have a big group as the room is bigger than the other 2. We tried Shanghai Noodles which is ok. The WASABI was good & prices were reasonable. In BERMUDA, majority seem to have gone to the beach on the first day so Horsheshoe Bay Beach was very crowded. Those who went the second day experienced a more enjoyable time as the beach was not as crowded. We took the ferry to Hamilton the 2nd day & did some shopping. No need to sign up for NCL shore excusions as you can easily make arrangements with any bus or taxi waiting @ the Dockyard. We checked out the shopping mall near the docks on the last day - advice1: keep it close to the ship on the last day in Bermuda: a couple of passengers got left behind bec they weren't back in time for ship's departure. Again, we missed the sail away party :-( As we cruised in AUG, there were lots of kids & young adults - pools were always crowded except for days in Bermuda. Walking/running track on deck 16 is very small. Advice2: Ave. drink costs $10 so if you're only a social drinker, skip the UBP. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
This was the sixth cruise for my wife and me but it was the first time we brought our kids, ages 8 and 12. They loved it, and it was great to see things as if for the first time, through their eyes. This was our first time on Norwegian ... Read More
This was the sixth cruise for my wife and me but it was the first time we brought our kids, ages 8 and 12. They loved it, and it was great to see things as if for the first time, through their eyes. This was our first time on Norwegian since our honeymoon in 1993; we have taken Royal Caribbean and Celebrity since then. We chose Breakaway because it was convenient (we live two hours away from NYC and have no interest in flying the kids down to Florida just to hop on a cruise ship) and because it is marketed as good for the kids, with the water slides and all... Fortunately I am an early riser, so it was not a hardship for me to reserve lounge chairs, but I can see how it would really stink to get up at 6AM only for that reason if you prefer to sleep late on your vacation. This is a common problem on many vacations though, both on land and at sea - except on Royal Caribean's Oasis class ships, where I don't remember having such problems due to the ample multi-deck seating. The water slides were fun to ride with the kids. The lines were long on the first day but after that, particularly while in port and/or late in the day when approaching dinner time, they were not bad at all. I was relieved when my son decided not to try the "free fall" slide, so I was able to escape that obligation unscathed :) The "whip" slide actually picks up quite a bit of speed near the end; you can feel the G-force as you hit a completely dark segment of the tube (particularly the purple one; the yellow one seems to allow more light in), and just as you feel it is getting too unpleasant you hit the straightaway and see the light. The kids enjoy "racing," seeing who will emerge first from their tube at the bottom. The rock climbing wall is pretty standard as climbing walls go. The "ropes course" is something interesting that I haven't seen before. Although I am relatively fit and athletic, I found it nerve-wracking to be up there. I'm not particularly afraid of heights, yet couldn't summon the courage to walk the longest beam that parallels the side of the ship, where the ocean is about 160 feet below you to one side. I did "walk the plank," also nerve-wracking, particularly when you have to turn around and come back. I was literally unable to walk the tightrope; although I tried counterbalancing myself by holding on to the rope that tethered me to the rack above my head, I just could not regain my balance and my whole body was vibrating along with the rope under my feet. I am sure this thing is safe, but couldn't envision what it might be like to fall off, have my feet hanging below whatever surface I was on, and having to get back up there. And in any case, who wants the embarrassment of falling off?? The ropes course ends with a zipline ride, which is way better than the short one on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. We did the ropes course together twice, but I skipped "walking the plank" the second time... The food was pretty good. I tend to get a bit grossed out by buffets with tons of people crawling all over them, but the food was generally enjoyable. We ate in the main "Manhattan" dining room every night but one, and always had a good meal. Let's face it, food cooked in mass quantities like this is not going to be as good as a true fine dining restaurant. But it's generally good quality. And I think you have to know what to order. For example, if you're going to order a steak, you have a right to expect that it's going to be significantly better than a steak in Outback or Applebee's, but don't expect it to be steakhouse quality either. The other "free" restaurants, Taste and Savor, have the same exact menus so not worth trying in my opinion. The atmosphere is a little different, but not significantly so - just smaller and a little more intimate. We ate at Taste one night and felt rushed, but in fairness I guess maybe the wait staff is conscious of trying to get people out to shows... One of my favorite food items was the burgers up at the Burger Bar, which is on Deck 16 as part of the Uptown Grill. Big, thick burgers, great country rolls, interesting topping alternatives. And this is going to sound crazy, but they have this brand of ketchup on the tables there called "78 Red." After a lifetime of thinking only Heinz could make ketchup, I found this stuff to be awesome and will be looking for a way to buy it now that I'm home! The only problem with the Burger Bar is the wait time; you order at the counter and they bring the food to your table, finding you with a number you place on your table. Try to go at an "off peak" time instead of right in the lunchtime hour. The Burger Bar area has a smaller breakfast buffet that starts at 8AM; it tends to be quieter and less crowded up there at that time, so is a nice, quick alternative to the big, main Garden Cafe cafeteria, although of course there are far fewer food options. There is a Sabrette's hot dog stand near the pool area, and another on the "adults only" aft deck. We found many of the bars to have long wait times. These folks work hard; I think they are just understaffed. One day at the bar in the Uptown Grill (next to the Burger Bar), one guy was covering the whole bar; it literally took 20 minutes for me to get a beer to go with lunch (but fortunately or unfortunately depending upon your point of view, the burgers had not yet arrived during that time so at least I wasn't returning to cold food). The pool bars on Deck 15 are absolutely insane trying to even get a bartender's attention. The Shakers martini lounge seemed to have just one person covering the whole thing; it took a half hour for her even to get to us one evening (but once she took our order, the cocktails came pretty quickly). One night at Fat Cats, three songs were performed between ordering and receiving our drinks. At dinner in the Manhattan dining room, the wine stewards did not seem particularly attentive to when a second round was required, so be proactive if you want a certain glass of wine with dinner after starting with a cocktail. (Note - we had the "ultimate beverage package," which I recommend if you like to have a few drinks throughout the course of a day; it mounts up quick, unless you are the type that only has one glass of wine at dinner and that's it). The entertainment was outstanding, high-quality stuff. I usually suffer through shows to keep my wife company, and sometimes can't even stay awake. But I enjoyed the Welcome Aboard Show and the Burn the Floor dance show. Fire & Ice is not my kind of music (R&B, Whitney Houston / Tina Turner type stuff) but have to admit that woman has got some serious talent, a powerful voice and stage presence, and filled all the seats in front of her as well as had the attention of the standing room only crowd one and even two levels above her that could see and hear her down through the atrium. She did a Michael Jackson tribute one night that my wife and mother-in-law loved (I did not see it). There was a dueling pianos show. I enjoyed Fat Cats blues club; Charlie Love was a great entertainer and the real deal; many times, "blues" in the lowest common denominator crowd environment of a cruise ship turns out to be more mainstream R&B, Motown, etc., but there was some authentic blues in this set - but also some of the other non-blues stuff noted above. Shakers lounge had pleasant piano music each night, except for the last night when "Justin" was off and they had some less-pleasant acoustic guitar stuff instead. Justin was very kind to my twin 8-year-old daughters, who developed a little "crush" on him and talked to him every night. He gave them a free autographed CD. My girls also had a great experience during Natalie Weiss's show, where she invited all the kids onstage to sing "Let it Go" from "Frozen." Despite my general dislike for shows, particularly musicals, I was excited to see Rock of Ages because 80s hair metal was my college soundtrack. I had already seen the movie and knew the plot was dumb but was looking forward to the live music and theatrics capturing the 80s rock scene. There was ample warning that this show was not for kids, yet I could not believe how many kids were in there. How does a father look his 13-year-old daughter in the eye after a show in which there are F-bombs, simulated sex, a character suggestively dangling nunchakus between his legs while flirting with someone in the audience, scenes that take place in a strip club complete with lap dances and women touching themselves and each other??? Aside from the issue of what's appropriate for children, it is fine to have adult entertainment with adult themes, but some of this was gratuitous even relative to the subject matter of Rock of Ages. (Having not seen the original Broadway play, I am not sure whether this was faithful to the original or added for shock value...) Further, although I wanted to see Rock of Ages since it was available, was it the best choice of headline show on what is supposedly a family cruise??? Speaking of which, there were several incidents that we were not happy with on an allegedly family-friendly cruise. The Welcome Aboard show include a joke by the cruise director asking if anyone on board was "celebrating a divorce." We asked two separate crew members whether an 8PM comedy show was appropriate for all ages, only to find a number of inappropriate things that went over the heads of our 8 year old twins but understood all too well by my 12 year old boy. Even the explicitly "all ages" comedy show at 7PM included some questionable material, including a disturbing skit with parents disliking one of their kids and trying to throw her out of the house for good - oh, and the parents were "dad and dad." A show during dinner at the Manhattan dining room by Burn the Floor included provocative dancing and a song with a chorus repeating the phrase "I want to make love to you" over and over. (Age-appropriateness aside, I also want to mention that they did this same show twice - not sure why they would repeat it instead of doing something different the next time). The very worst kid-unfriendly incident was at an 8PM karaoke show, where a vacationer decides to avail himself of an option in the songbook that includes the words - sung and shown onscreen - "mother f___r." My wife complained afterwards to the DJ, who had a smirk on his face and said he didn't see anything wrong with it! We went down to guest services to complain about the song - as well as the DJ's attitude - and the assistant cruise director (Adam) came to talk to us about it. His response was appropriate but of course we can't know how he actually handled it with the DJ or whether, as promised, the song is actually removed from the book. So bottom line, if you're trying to bring your kids up with some morals and protect their innocence as long as you can, be cautious, even of stuff going on at 8PM. As far as the port-of-call, we have been to Bermuda twice before so exploring the island wasn't our main priority. We walked to Snorkeling Park right near the ship one day, took a bus to Horseshoe Bay the second day, and went to Glass Beach the third (I regret not bringing my snorkeling equipment to Glass Beach, the water was calm and there were a couple of small reefs visible just offshore. The shoreline is very rocky though). Some other miscellaneous comments: - The music on Deck 15 is absolutely brutal. Blaring, urban jungle hip hop. The adult pool looked like a scene from a spring break "girls gone wild" video, with a bunch of teenagers (and adults that think they're still teenagers) dancing around in a drunken stupor with their hands in the air as if to say "Look at me!!!! Look at me!!!!" To each his (or her) own. But the music was obscenely and uncomfortably loud and could not be avoided anywhere on Deck 15, even at the kiddie pools and water slides. Wouldn't some nice reggae, steel drum or calypso music be more appropriate for a summertime ocean cruise??? The band did play some great reggae, but generally not until later in the afternoon, like sometime between 3:00 and 5:00. If you want some peace and quiet, retreat to Deck 16 if you can, there are a few lounge chairs in a quieter, shadier spot up there right near the Uptown Grill; too bad we didn't really notice this until the last day! - Too many restaurants are closed on port days. Why not keep the Burger Bar and the Sabrette's hot dog stand open?? - Nice touch on Deck 8 with outdoor sections to some of the "pay" restaurants and most of the bars (e.g., Fat Cats, Shakers, etc.) where you could be outside and still hear the music. - The ice bar is an interesting touch. I always wanted to go to one of these but with kids and a $20 cover charge, it was not on our agenda. But I was disappointed that they wouldn't let us just step inside for a moment to just see what it looked like. - If you like drinking a few cups of coffee in the morning, or bringing coffee back to your room or elsewhere on the ship, bring your own travel mug or paper cups. There are no "to go" cups on the ship, unless you pay for a specialty coffee at the cappuccino bar. - Get the ship app, I think it's called Norwegian iConcierge or something like that. It costs $7.95 for the week to be able to text other passengers but it was worth it for the convenience, we used it to communicate all the time. It is supposed to also allow you to make calls to other passengers but we could not get that to work. Without an extra charge, you can use the app to access your account or the activities, which is more convenient than carrying the day's paper around and it is also categorized in various ways (entertainment, dining, etc.) as opposed to just chronologically like the hard copy. - For the fitness buffs: The gym was decent in that it included dumbbells up to 85 pounds, pre-set barbells up to 110 pounds, kettlebells up to 35 pounds, and a Smith machine. Better than the Oasis class gyms on Royal Caribbean. However, it is VERY cramped, with almost no open space for those into bodyweight/functional training or CrossFit type of training - except when the aerobics/yoga room is available between classes (note that's where the kettlebells are located). The jogging track is on Deck 16 and does not go around the entire circumference of the ship, so it is relatively short - it takes 25 laps to do a 5K. The jogging track was also wet every morning due to being washed along with the rest of the deck. If you don't run first thing early in the morning you'll be running inches from lounge chairs while dodging people walking aimlessly around carrying their plates of food from the Uptown Grill. This is no good for the runners or the other passengers. I prefer jogging tracks that are on lower decks, shaded by the deck above, and made with the absorbent track material. Also, this track was not wide enough to allow for a passing lane to pass slower runners or walkers. - We did the walk-off with our own luggage. We were among the first 10 or 20 families in line and got off very quickly; we were already in the Lincoln Tunnel within a half hour of the first people being allowed off. Despite some of the negatives cited above, it was a great cruise. It's just natural to highlight some of the negatives to look out for, especially in the hope and expectation that NCL management is monitoring these reviews and can fix the problems to move ever closer to excellence. Actually I would say our experience was pretty close to excellent, but I feel that a five rating has to be near perfection so I usually stop short of a five rating on anything I review. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our 3rd sailing on The Breakaway and she did not disappoint. The Bermuda itinerary in my opinion is one of the best, 3 days to explore the island. Our first sailing to Bermuda the ship departed Friday at 5 PM but a few weeks ... Read More
This was our 3rd sailing on The Breakaway and she did not disappoint. The Bermuda itinerary in my opinion is one of the best, 3 days to explore the island. Our first sailing to Bermuda the ship departed Friday at 5 PM but a few weeks prior to this sailing NCL issued an email stating it would now depart at 2 PM, bummer! We took advantage of the UBP and apparently everyone else did as well. Considering the amount of alcohol being consumed everyone was well behaved. We purchased the 3 day UDP and dined at Le Bistro, Teppanyaki and Cagney's well worth the cost. There was a massive amount of people on the ship - summer sailing, schools out, to be expected. With that said Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze, I really thought it would be a lot worse. Overall this was my best cruise to date. We chose the Aft Balcony B1 and will do so moving forward every time we sail in the summer months. The larger balcony with lounger saved me from dealing with chair hogs on the pool decks. I'll never understand people who think it's right to place towels, shirts, books, etc. on 6 + loungers at 6 AM in the morning never to return until the afternoon. This is a universal problem on all cruises so I don't hold it against Norwegian. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
I was actually really worried about sailing on the Breakaway due to all of the negative reviews it was receiving prior to our cruise to Bermuda. I am happy to say I worried for absolutely nothing. We had a really great time and ... Read More
I was actually really worried about sailing on the Breakaway due to all of the negative reviews it was receiving prior to our cruise to Bermuda. I am happy to say I worried for absolutely nothing. We had a really great time and didn't really find any of the negative aspects everyone was complaining about. We did not find one rude staff member on board. We were always greeted with a smile and a hello. I did however see lots of guests being overly rude and down right demanding/demeaning to the staff on board. The ship staff are there to enhance your vacation, they are not your personal servants. Treat them nicely and with respect and you will get the same in return. We had a balcony cabin and yes the balconies are small compared to other cruise lines but it was ok for what we needed. Our room was always kept nice and clean. I loved the huge shower with the surround plexi-glass door. No more uncooperative shower curtain clinging to the body. The only small complaint I would have is that on sea days they did place the deck chairs everywhere on the upper decks so it was almost impossible to walk by them. A lot of the time you had to wait for people coming in the opposite direction to pass and then you could go as there was barely enough space for one person to walk along the pathway in between the chairs and you ending up tripping on the legs as they were so close. It was also very hard to find a chair that has a bit of shade. The Cirque Dinner show was absolutely stunning and well work the extra fee paid. We also ate at the Brazilian Steakhouse which was delicious!!! The buffet and Taste/Savor also were very good. We had a small problem with our show reservations for Burn the Floor and Rock of Ages. When we arrived for our first show they didn't have any bookings for us for anything and the shows were sold out! I had reserved them both from home a few months in advance. I did receive confirmation but didn't think to print it and take it with me. They let us in any ways and then I went to see the Box Office about our second show and they were able to squeeze us in. So I would recommend printing all of your documents and bringing them with you just in case! Bermuda was absolutely stunning. We were disappointed that NCL decided to leave at 3pm instead of 5pm as we could have used the extra time. We did almost all of our excursions through the ship. The SNUBA excursion was not worth the money we paid for it. The tour guides were very nice but the actual SNUBA was only in about 10 feet of water. We could saved a bunch of money and just snorkeled there as it was pretty much the same view. We have done SNUBA is several other ports before and it was much better elsewhere. In the afternoon we did the Shipwreck Snorkel tour which was amazing. We also did the Crystal Caves and Aquarium. The Crystal Caves were beautiful and a sight to see but we did not like the Aquarium and felt that it wasn't being taken care of very well. We felt sorry for the animals. The Catamaran Sunset Swizzle Cruise was fun as well. Nice just to go out on a relaxing sail and watch the beautiful sunset while having a tasty Rum Swizzle or two or three! On our last day we did the Bermuda Island Drive by Mini Bus. It was very nice and informative and a great way to see pretty much the entire island. We also ventured off to Horseshoe Bay Beach on our own via the beach shuttle one day. This beach is absolutely stunning and one of the nicest beaches I have ever seen. The main beach is huge and has lifeguards on it but it was pretty busy so we wondered to the end of the beach past some big rocks and there were dozens of little secluded cove beaches which is where we stayed. It was great because the rocks provided some shade and it was like having your own private beach. I wouldn't hesitate to get back on the Breakaway again! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
My wife and I sailed out of Ft Lauderdale to Cozumel back in April on Liberty of the Seas. We liked it so much that we booked a second trip for August so I could take my kids on their first cruise (they are 15 and 18). We live in ... Read More
My wife and I sailed out of Ft Lauderdale to Cozumel back in April on Liberty of the Seas. We liked it so much that we booked a second trip for August so I could take my kids on their first cruise (they are 15 and 18). We live in Ohio so we opted to drive to the port. Well, sort of. What we actually did was drive from Columbus OH to Hamburg PA the day prior, staying overnight, then driving the last 90 minutes or so the morning of the cruise. This went very smoothly. I had booked parking with a place called "Premier Parking", and while it seemed to be a bit "fly by night" when we arrived there, it proved to be an adequate solution. The shuttle transfer to and from the port went smoothly enough without much waiting. We arrived at Cape Liberty port around 11:15 am, and after a relatively pain free 15 minutes in line, we were crossing the gangway and entering the ship. The cabins weren't available until 1 pm (we knew this ahead of time), so we took the kids to Windjammer to eat. We finished by 12:30 and walked around on deck 11 and 12 until 1 pm. Promptly at the aforementioned time, the doors to the cabin corridors were opened and we went to our rooms. My wife and I had room 1230 (Deck 10), which is the front most cabin on the starboard side. We were able to choose the room when we booked the cruise. My kids had the room across the hall, 1231, which was a handicapped room that they ended up not needing. We were told when we booked that they could be moved if they had need of it. The front cabin is nice because it is about as private as you can get. There is no one above you or to the left of you. Just in case you care about those things! The kids' room had a very "big" roll in shower and a bit more square footage than our balcony room, otherwise they were furnished the same. Nothing special. Room was well maintained and basically holding up pretty well. The ship is nearing a decade of use so I would have expected to see a little more wear in the cabins. (Maybe it's been remodeled?) The ship is crowded, no doubt about it. Thankfully I'm not a huge sunbather so it didn't really bother me that sun chairs on deck 11/12 are hard to come by. It does get old dodging people in the promenade though. Do yourself a favor and avoid it when they have the shirt sales. The food is just average. Whether it's the windjammer, Sorrentos, or the dining rooms. One of these days I need to try Chops, but paying more money after dropping $5000+ on the cruise is not something my wife was a fan of. I do like the cold soups though. They always have one on the dinner menu and they're all good. One other note about food: I have celiac which requires a gluten free diet. The dining room people are very knowledgeable and cater very well to this dietary restriction. They always have 3 types of gluten free bread too. Both times we've been on Liberty we have had fantastic waiters. The first time was a gentleman by the name of Suresh. We liked him so much we requested him again, only to be told he had been promoted and was no longer serving. Well somehow word got back to him and he surprised us with a visit and some chocolate covered strawberries in our room. The second time we had a gentleman named Bajuu, and he too was awesome. I mentioned that I liked indian food, and each night he brought my wife and I two types of curry dishes on top of whatever we ordered. The curry was actually the best food I had on the ship so I really appreciated that. All that said, I do like the ship. After being on it twice in the span of 4 months, it feels almost like I belong there. In spite of that, I won't book another cruise on Liberty (or her sister ships) if I can help it, solely due to the fact I'd like to see what else is out there. As for Bermuda, it's a nice place. We docked at King's Wharf, which is a bit of a pain because there really isn't much around there to do. You'll have to pay for a ferry / bus / taxi to go to the good beaches or into Hamilton or St Georges. We took a bus all the way to St Georges and that was interesting just as a way to see basically the entire island. I'd recommend taking the ferry back though. Horseshoe Bay is a great beach, though a bit rough when we were there. There are some big rocks you can jump off of on the North side of the beach. I'd say the best spot is about 15 ft high and the water below was around 10 ft (I suppose that's tide dependent). Compared to other Caribbean destinations, Bermuda is much nicer and safer. The entire island is well maintained and none of it seemed dangerous or dirty. Hamilton was a surprisingly bustling city and I get the feeling that Bermuda doesn't depend solely on tourism to survive. We did not pay for any shore excursions on this trip. We have our own snorkeling equipment so we just did our own thing, which reminds me. King's Wharf does have one interesting thing, and that is Snorkel Beach. $5 per person to get in, another $5 to rent equipment if you don't have it. It's worth it as it has a very nice coral reef right there. Plenty of diverse fish, coral, and other colorful stuff I don't know the name of. Go spend an hour or two there if you can. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
The Ship This was my 9th cruise and my favorite ship so far. We really enjoyed the Flowrider and pools. We also tried out the ice skating, wall climb, mini golf, and shows. I usually get bored after a few days on the boat, but on ... Read More
The Ship This was my 9th cruise and my favorite ship so far. We really enjoyed the Flowrider and pools. We also tried out the ice skating, wall climb, mini golf, and shows. I usually get bored after a few days on the boat, but on this boat, we wanted another day. The shows were fun and the promenade was always hopping. I never had trouble getting a chair by the pool, and there was always room in the water. We barely saw any kids because of the all the activities and the separate splash pool for little ones. The adult only section also had its own pool. My only complaint was the food. I quickly got bored of burgers for lunch every day. I felt like there wasn’t enough of a variety. One day, they had tacos, but the meat had jalapeños in it. Not everyone can eat them, and they should have been on the side. Dinner wasn’t great the first three nights. I did love the appetizers. The last two nights it got much better. Our waitress couldn’t keep up with all of her tables and kept messing up orders. I have to say it’s my first time I have ever been disappointed in dinning staff on a cruise. Getting on the ship was slow. Security was fast, but getting our room keys and photos taken took over an hour on line. We were allowed to go to our rooms at 1pm. Next time, I will take my bags myself. We waited until 7 for our bags but got on the ship at 1:30. Leaving the ship was fast. We carried our bags of and there were no lines at 8:30am. Parking We drove from LI to the port and parked at the Park 2 Go. It was cheaper, and the shuttle was fast. I booked online, but they told me it would have been even cheaper if I booked directly through them. I will use them again in the future. Bermuda As soon as you get off the ship, there is a tourist booth. You can buy ferry and bus tickets and get maps. Everyone says Bermuda is expensive, but looking at menus, it was similar to NYC prices. ($13 for a hamburger) Ferry and bus As soon as you get off the ship in Bermuda, there is a ferry and bus stop. You can get an all-day pass that covers both for $19 or a two day for $31.50. If you don’t think you will need unlimited (we broke even with it) you can get a token for $4.50 each way or pay $5 cash when you are getting on the ferry. Crystal Caves We hopped on the ferry to St. Georges (45 min). From there, we walked a block to the bus stop. It was a 20 minute ride to the caves. The ferry and bus were very easy to find. Once there, you walk up a small hill. We caught the first ferry, so we were one of the first tours. There were about 20 of us in the group, and the tour took about 30 minutes. There are 81 steps down, and then, you walk cross a floating bridge. The steps are easy, and it is nice and cool in the caves. Not cold. We only did the Crystal Caves, $22, which we thought was enough. To do the Fantasy Cave too, it was an additional $8 and half hour. We then caught a bus to Hamilton and a ferry back to the ship from there. It was an easy morning excursion. We enjoyed the cave, and it was a nice break from the heat. Tobacco Bay- Free Beach The beach was an easy 20 minute walk from the ferry to St Georges (45 min ferry ride). It is a bit uphill, so if you are with children you may want to cab it. We were told it would be a $6 ride for two. Once there, we put our stuff on some rocks and jumped in. We brought our own snorkels and saw a few really nice fish. There were rocks to jump off of and a few coves. The chair rental was $15 and included a cover, but we didn’t need them. The water was amazing, and while the beach had a lot of people, the water empty. We walked back to the ferry wet and were dry by the time we got there. The beach also had a bathroom and food and drinks. We brought snacks and water (read tip below) from the ship and paid for nothing but the ferry there. It was one of our favorite parts of the trip and was very affordable. Tips: Bring a watch. You will need to change time zones and your cell phones won’t do it if they are in airplane mode. It is also helpful if you need to meetup with someone from your party at a certain time. Make sure you bring your photo ID onto Bermuda. It can be a driver’s license. Most cruises you just need your room key but Bermuda checks both. They said we couldn’t bring bottled water on, but when we got to the port, everyone had a couple of bottles. I think they don’t bother you if you only have a few. I refilled my bottles with water from the ship each day and never needed to buy any on land. Don’t forget to bring you one bottle of wine per person. They will lend you an opener and ice bucket. You just need to ask for glasses. Our room attendant didn’t think to give us any. Since you can snorkel at most beaches, bring your own if you can. Just off the ship is a snorkel beach. It’s $5 to go or head to Tobacco Bay with them. Bring long pants for the ice skating and stop in to try it out. It’s really cool to ice skate on a ship. If you are going to try out the FlowRider, wear a shirt. Little bikini’s won’t stay on. And, make sure someone is there to video tape you wiping out. There are a lot of things just off the ship, such as jet ski rentals. We didn’t book any excursions and still filled up our days. If you do your research, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Hamilton is really just for shopping and everything closes by 6pm. (20 min ferry ride from cruise ship) Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
Overall this was a great cruise. As many have mentioned the ship is on the older side so if your looking for water slides climbing walls and things like that this ship will not have any of that. With that said she is in good shape for her ... Read More
Overall this was a great cruise. As many have mentioned the ship is on the older side so if your looking for water slides climbing walls and things like that this ship will not have any of that. With that said she is in good shape for her age. Ship is clean and crew is always working to keep her looking good. We had 4 people to our cabin myself, my wife and our two sons. Booked a mini suite and although not super large the space worked well for us. Room was a bit dated but overall very nice. If you travel with kids we highly recommend the splash academy. What a great program the counselors were great with the kids and our kids could never wait to get there. Amazing program and it was all free kudos to NCL for offering something like this, made everyones cruise more enjoyable. Entertainment was really good as well. David Divinci was great as was second city. Each night had a good show to see. Food in the main dining room was good to very good buffet was hit or miss sometimes great selection other times just ok. Read Less

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