1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Nowhere Cruises
  4. Nowhere Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: January 2014
I have been on many cruises, but none in recent years. This was our first trip on the NCL Breakaway! I gave this to my husband for Christmas because I wanted more experiences instead of the usual "gifts". It was a wonderful gift ... Read More
I have been on many cruises, but none in recent years. This was our first trip on the NCL Breakaway! I gave this to my husband for Christmas because I wanted more experiences instead of the usual "gifts". It was a wonderful gift - lots of before and after cruise talk! We will be back! We arrived to the pier around 11:30 or so. We paid our $40 per night to park for convenience purposes! Check in was a breeze! The only delays were because people didn't have what the cruise line clearly asked them for. Bring your drivers license or passport when traveling on this 2-day cruise. Yes, your children need identification as well. We had 2 young travelers (7 and 9 years old) who did not have ID with them. Note: no luggage service for this cruise, so be prepared to carry what you bring. During check in, you will be issued a card for each family member. You must hang on to it all the way up the gangway! It was incredibly smooth with staff greeting you the entire way. They started calling numbers around 12:30 - we were number 29. I think we boarded around 1:15 or so. The cabins weren't ready, but you could put your luggage in the lounge. We opted to be rebels and see if our cabin was ready. It was , so we put our luggage in our cabin and our vacation began! We very much enjoyed our Deck 13 Aft Balcony cabin! What a beautiful view! I loved the bed being right next to the sliders! Our room was clean and roomy! Perfect for the two of us. I'm not sure I would have wanted a 3rd person in that cabin with us, but it does sleep 3. My husband had ordered a bottle of wine and shrimp prior to our leaving port so that we could watch the NY skyline as we went out to sea! The shrimp was excellent and well worth it! Note: There is no room service during this cruise! However, if you pre-order, they do deliver items to your room. Dining highlights: The ribeye at Cagney's! Well worth the upcharge! Lobster Roll from Ocean Blue was another highlight! We enjoyed cannoli from Carlos' Bakery as well! NOTE: Everything was good, but these items stood out as special for us! Shows/experiences: We saw both shows - Cirque Dreams Jungle Dinner and Rock of Ages. The dinner show was great, food was "okay". When the server asked if it was okay if they served my meat "medium", I should have known to ask for medium rare. The meat kept on cooking and it was more than medium when it arrived. No pink center. The food wasn't bad, but it is what I expected from a dinner theater. You are there for the show. I was not a fan of Rock of Ages, but so many others absolutely loved it. I would not judge the show based on my review. I found it to be too long, too loud and quite frankly, the narration was annoying. I wish I had brought a bathing suit! I had totally forgotten it had heated pools! Note: Bring bathing suit next time! Everyone looked like they were having such fun! There is a Glow Party - so bring your white and get ready to get your glow on! There are no fireworks on the 2 day cruise to nowhere which is understandable. Our ship was packed to capacity and that led to congestion in some areas - like the Atrium. Many people were just hunkered down in any bar area they could find just for a seat indoors "by the water". It was disappointing for us that kept searching for a place to sit for a drink. Keep this in mind when the outdoor activities are taken out of play due to weather, you then have to find a way to accommodate everyone indoors. Sinan (sp?) was a great cruise director! Great personality for this job! Many things we never saw and never experienced! We had a very enjoyable time and loved every minute of it! Your cruise is what you make of it!   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
I have been on a number of cruises over the years, including a few "Cruse to Nowhere" cruises. However, this 2 day Cruise to Nowhere on the Breakaway was the WORST cruise I have ever taken. Since my husband is in a wheelchair, I ... Read More
I have been on a number of cruises over the years, including a few "Cruse to Nowhere" cruises. However, this 2 day Cruise to Nowhere on the Breakaway was the WORST cruise I have ever taken. Since my husband is in a wheelchair, I booked my room through one of the Access Coordinators, explaining our needs. When we arrived at the terminal, I was told to stand by the blue Special Needs Sign. I wheeled my husband over there and stood waiting with a woman with a walker. We waited for a while and no-one came to assist us. That was pretty much the way the whole cruise went. I had to push my husband's wheelchair while pulling a suitcase (I am almost 70 years old) by myself. The did have help for two short legs of the trip but we for most of the time, there was no help, even when I asked for it. The room was cold even though the heat was set all the way up. When I called for help, someone arrived about a half hour later and told me that the cabin was warm enough. It wasn't and didn't actually become comfortable until the next day. The toilet often didn't flush. The first time that happened, I called downstairs and someone was sent up about a half hour later. The toilet flushed perfectly when he was there. He said that sometimes the toilet didn't flush when too many people were using the water on that line. That continued to happen often. I called to get blanket because it was still cold and was told they would be sent, but no-one came. I finally went out in the hall and was able to find someone to get my husband a blanket. The corridors are very narrow and were often obstructed by supply carts and laundry bags so that I couldn't get the wheelchair through. I asked for help but got none so I had to move the carts myself. As we were leaving the terminal, I had difficulty getting into the elevator with the wheelchair and our suitcase and asked the woman there if she could please hold the handle of the suitcase for a minute while I turned the chair around. She refused, saying that that was not her job. Seriously!!! The passengers in the elevator jumped to help me and expressed disbelief at the woman's attitude. Overall, it seemed that there were too many people on-board for the resources available. I heard many people comment about the waits for seats in restaurants that they were closed out of tickets to shows. The description on the Norwegian Cruise of the 2 day Cruises to Nowhere on the Breakaway states that there is "complimentary room service" on those cruises. The daily printed schedules that were given out also said that room service was available. When I called for room service, however, I was told that there was no room service on 2 day cruises. Since my husband was exhausted, I had hoped to eat in the cabin but no such luck. Customer Service was terrible. People rarely apologized for anything that went wrong and often didn't seem to understand what I was saying when I asked for something. We were sent a complimentary fruit bowl by someone from Guest Services when I made a complaint but most people didn't seem to care at all. This was my first and last cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
For a brand new ship built FOR NY year round, you think they would have thought of an inside pool area. Even a pool with a retractable roof like another cruise line's ship. This left the inside public areas crowded with 4000 cruisers ... Read More
For a brand new ship built FOR NY year round, you think they would have thought of an inside pool area. Even a pool with a retractable roof like another cruise line's ship. This left the inside public areas crowded with 4000 cruisers stuck inside when it was 30 degrees outside. The decks seemed closed in maybe because of the crowds. The Atrium is just two decks deep with a huge screen. However, really only seats maybe 50 people, standing about 200. People above can be seated at the O'Sheehan's bar and grill to view. Most everything is on three decks 6-8, also 4000 people on three decks. The cabins were a good size and clean. Expected since it is a brand new ship. Service was not impressive. Custom forms missing last night of the cruise, missing floor mat and a cabin attendant who didn't want to help. I attribute this to the automatic gratuity charged to the room that the industry does now. No one cares to go above and beyond anymore. Rock of Ages was an AWESOME show!!! The Dueling Pianos was also a great show. The Second City show was just OK, but I think it depends on the group you get. Didn't want to pay for the Cirque Du Soleil show (with dinner). The food in that Garden Buffet was ok. Quite a bit of variety. The Le Cucina food was good. Good views. Could have eaten outside, but for a ship from NY in January, not an option. Nice concept, but not sure what they were thinking. I will not be sailing on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was my first time cruising with Norwegian. I have been on Royal Caribbean and Carnival in the past, and never thought Norwegian was good enough based on what I've read and heard from others. My secretary swears by Norwegian and ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with Norwegian. I have been on Royal Caribbean and Carnival in the past, and never thought Norwegian was good enough based on what I've read and heard from others. My secretary swears by Norwegian and has cruised with them many times, and my January vacation plans got messed up with timing, leaving me limited to a quick weekend getaway on Breakaway. I've heard so many awesome things about how great a ship Epic is, and figured that this shouldn't be all that much different - or so I thought. I've read about the many mixed reviews about Breakaway prior to cruising (and before I booked the cruise), but I didn't let it sway my decisions or thoughts. I'm easy going and can make the best of it if it would have been a bad experience - but it wasn't. Not entirely, at least. It all started with getting to the ship. As I was crossing 12th Avenue to get to Pier 90, there was a flock of people that must have just gotten off the ship, and as I moved over to make room for this woman to get onto the sidewalk from the street, I asked her if she just got off Breakaway, and she nodded and asked if that's where I was going, I said yes, and her response was a mortified look combined with a relieved look, followed with the words "Good Luck"...Oh boy, what am I getting myself into! My wife started to freak out a little, but I just kept telling myself to think positive..... The last time I cruised out of NY was in January '13 aboard Carnival Miracle. I don't recall what time I boarded, but I remember minimal lines, and a quick check in, followed with a smooth boarding process. I had a feeling it would be hectic because of the cruise happening during super bowl weekend, so we made sure to get there early. We were there around 11:30am or so. I walk into the Pier 90 lobby and just see a zoo of people...EVERYWHERE. We walked past them to where we needed to be. We spent about 30 minutes on line, in which we were given a number and told to walk over to the side to wait until our number was called. There were so many people everywhere, and not nearly enough chairs to accommodate everyone. The 30 minutes in line was followed by about an hour and a half of waiting in the lobby packed with people. At around 1:45pm or so, our number was called, in which we were allowed to board. It was relatively smooth aside from the crowd of people, which I guess is expected. My wife kept commenting on the art outside of the ship looking so cheesy, and she expected it to continue inside, but she was pleasantly surprised to see the interior of the ship to be very tastefully decorated. We were starving, so we dropped our stuff in our cabin, and went straight to the buffet in the Garden Cafe. It appeared like many others had the same idea, because it was packed - so packed, that it took a few minutes for us to find a seat to sit. Food was good (for whatever it is that we could eat - more on that shortly). We then walked around the ship and were satisfied with what we saw. This really is a nice ship! I just wished the weather was warmer, but it was chilly and we expected it, so it is what it is. Our room was pretty much what we expected; the room was nice. The bathroom is nice. 2 nit-picks about the bathroom, and that is the water pressure in the shower was a little on the low side, and you borderline hurt your thumb with the amount of pressure you need to push the button to flush the toilet. The beds were comfortable, covers were nice, pillow slightly mushy but I made it work for me. Balcony is a little on the small-ish side, but sufficient for two. Now, our dietary needs are a little unique, as my wife and I keep kosher. We requested kosher meals when we booked the cruise. I never expect the kosher food to be that good, I would compare it to average quality airline food. It's not the fault of the cruise, but we expected it to be sub-par (based on previous cruises on other lines with the same food requests). We went for dinner on Friday night at Taste dining room, and mentioned to our server about our special request, which prompted her to speak to the supervisor, who came to our table and went over everything with us. He was very understanding and helpful to our needs, not to mention knowledgeable about the way certain things need to be with our meals. Maybe it was that we were hungry, but the pre-packaged frozen and thawed/heated kosher meal was better than we expected it to be. We didn't have many choices this time, but what was offered was sufficient. The supervisor showed us the vast kosher menu for us to pick from to have for the next meal, which was good to know that we didn't have to eat the same thing every meal. Worst part of the experience is other people around us looking at us a little funny because we're eating food out of packaged food trays, but we're used to this...oh well! Sorry about the very detailed review...I'm a details kind of guy, but I will try to get to the point... The good: Awesome ship, lots of activities. Plenty of bars for the alcoholics (which I didn't really take advantage of). Food was good at the buffet. I did not try any of the restaurants. The staff was very friendly. The ship was clean, and it was a pretty smooth cruise, so smooth, you almost couldn't feel that you were moving. Rock of ages was excellent. Second City was funny, so much that we went to two of their shows. The ropes course was a lot of fun, not so much of a challenge for me, but enough for me to finish the course feeling satisfied. It was unfortunate that we chose to cruise in the winter and not getting to warmer weather, because I would have enjoyed the outdoor activities so much more if it wasn't for the fact that it was rather cold. The music played around the ship was very good. Bliss lounge, although very crowded, played the music that I enjoy dancing to. The not so good: What's up with NCL choosing to charge passengers to watch certain shows? Considering the length of the ship at a bit over 1,050 feet, has a capacity of close to 4,000 passengers. That's a LOT. Competitive cruise lines with ships at a similar length generally have a passenger capacity of around if not under 3,000. And it showed. The ship was PACKED. There were many times I wanted to play basketball but I couldn't because it was crowded. I wanted to play miniature golf, but I couldn't when I wanted to because it was too crowded. We had to book the shows way in advance because they sold out very quickly, leaving you to be on stand-by in hopes to get in (we did). Many times we wanted to be around the Atrium for certain events taking place and there were no seats to sit, leaving me to either stand or sit on the floor. Majority of the "not so good" is the fact that there were too many people everywhere. My wife and I like to participate in the trivia or games that the staff organizes with the passengers, and although there were a few, there weren't as much as we expected (compared to, say, Carnival, which after me cruising with them only once so far, will confirm it truly is a "fun ship"). The final verdict - Would I cruise NCL again? As much as I prefer the larger ships with all the fun features outside, I'm not so sure I would do it on an NCL ship again unless it's a deal I'd be a fool to refuse. I'd be willing to sacrifice those features to be on a smaller NCL cruise that I will enjoy myself more. So, yes, I would cruise NCL again, but might be more selective on the ships I choose to cruise on. I'm hoping to plan a cruise to Alaska soon, and I'm 75% sure it will be on another NCL ship, that is unless I find a better deal elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was the CTN on Superbowl weekend. The Getaway was in the berth beside us, which may have hampered embarkation. In addition, NCL's phone and e-mail blitz advising to arrive early may have caused the deluge of people early on 1/31. ... Read More
This was the CTN on Superbowl weekend. The Getaway was in the berth beside us, which may have hampered embarkation. In addition, NCL's phone and e-mail blitz advising to arrive early may have caused the deluge of people early on 1/31. Arriving around 10:30, we didn't board the ship until after 1:30. Places to get a bite to eat were swamped onboard. Cabin was very tight. Our bed was up against the sliding glass door. There were no hangers in the room. The balcony was very, very small. There were two towels, two hand towels, and one washcloth. There was no top sheet, no towel animals, no turn-down, no chocolate, no robes. Not what I have come to expect from Norwegian.  There were no hangers in our room. A call to housekeeping was met by a constant busy signal. Finally three hours later we grabbed a steward walking in the hallway. She didn't believe us and had to go into the room to look. The staff were "coldly polite." It was nearly impossible to get a reservation at ANY specialty restaurant. We finally got one at LaCucina and when we arrived at 9:30, it was basically empty. The dining room staff told one member of our party they couldn't accommodate 12 people, and another that 12 would be fine. The four hot tubs were occupied by beer bucket groups so there was no chance to take a dip. We spent approximately 2 hours a day being served lunch and an average of 3 for dinner. The balconies are teeny, tiny. Love, love, love Norwegian, but the Breakaway is more like a cosmopolitan hotel rather than a floating resort. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We just got back from the cruise to nowhere Jan 17th - 19th. PROS: food at Teppenyaki excellent - not sure why, but they were turning folks away and said they were booked the first night and there was only 2 tables during our 2 hours ... Read More
We just got back from the cruise to nowhere Jan 17th - 19th. PROS: food at Teppenyaki excellent - not sure why, but they were turning folks away and said they were booked the first night and there was only 2 tables during our 2 hours there. I think it may be true that they are understaffed. Cirque du Soliel show was wonderful - a must see Spa mini suite was beautiful room ( I thought the entire ship was beautiful - not gaudy like older ships) - the spa suite shower was great -enjoyed the waterfall showerhead - the bathroom was a great size. Buffet food was pretty good - did bottleneck at times - I think you just needed to time it right. casino quite large and we did win a little - purchased the chips/slot discounts online prior to the cruise which was a good deal. CONS: too much smoke drifting from the casino into other areas of the ship. the last Disney cruise we were on, staff stood guard at all the restaurants with hand sanitizer and made you use it before meals. On this cruise, it was available, but I saw very few people using it. SPA: while it is quite large and a beautiful area... it was completely packed on this cruise and very noisy - I go to the spa to relax and this was just a fight for access to the tile loungers/spa pools/access to the salt room etc... and they were charging $279.00 for spa access for the 2 day cruise which was outrageous given how crowded it was and that the spa was not even open the second night ( it closed at 8pm) . my access was included with the room ... but if I had paid additional I would have been very upset. free dining rooms very slow... we had to wait one day for lunch at Manhattan for 45 minutes to get in and once inside it took 30 minutes sitting there and no service yet. The restaurant was only half full .. so we got up and left for the buffet. very disappointing. Other folks we spoke with said all dining rooms were very slow. again, not sure if they have enough help. The upcharging for everything seems excessive on this ship- the whole point of cruising is to have an all inclusive vacation .. and it seems NCL is slowly trying to get away from that concept ( charges for shows, restaurants, kids clubs after a certain time..) .. if you want anything of better quality they want to charge you for it. the first day on board it was 50 degrees and sunny - not sure why there was no outdoor activities open such as the slides/ropes course etc. 2nd day it was cooler/windier and again they were not open.. so disappointed that we could not try them. My son is 12.5 years old - Splash Academy was where he was assigned. Did not want to go at all as you had to stay 2 hours minimum before pickup and the area was set up for much younger kids with kiddie activities- not age appropriate.. they should rethink adding 11 and up to the teen area ( 13 and up) - Entourage which looked like lots of fun. Rock of Ages show was fun and well done - but definitely for adults only- cursing/girls in stockings/garters/dry humping/sexual innuendos throughout - seems like an odd choice for a cruise line for their major free show on board. Costs of leaving from NYC are high - $ 80.00 for parking for 2 days at the pier + tunnel/tolls etc... and it was rocky/choppy/cold the second day of the cruise- felt ill for a while - I don't know if I would pick another trip from here again ( definitely not in winter) - but would rather leave from Florida port . a cruise to nowhere was a great way to check out the ship without having to spend a fortune. We had a fun weekend, but I don't think I'd take another trip on the Breakaway - I'll stick with Disney and Royal Caribbean lines.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Was looking for a short getaway to relax and recharge but got aggravation instead. Lets start by the boarding process.....I have completed the required forms on line, and assumed that the check in will be a breeze.......big mistake. After ... Read More
Was looking for a short getaway to relax and recharge but got aggravation instead. Lets start by the boarding process.....I have completed the required forms on line, and assumed that the check in will be a breeze.......big mistake. After arriving to pier at 12.30, registering, getting the cabin keys, instead of continuing straight onto the ship, like on every other cruise we have ever taken, we were told to wait...and wait...and wait......than the boarding started...by zone...more waiting...the employees themselves looked confused and aggravated. Then, on the ship itself, customer service is lacking....employees are uptight and not very friendly. Went into the casino 8.20 am..cashier is closed.... My question is...if the casino is open 24 hours, shouldn't the cashier be available as well? And be prepared to pay for everything......the days of all inclusive cruising are gone...restaurants cost money even though they serve the same food, shows cost money, the tips are automatically added to your bill even though you may not want to leave a tip, but the choice has been taken away from you. My recommendation......go on a true all-inclusive vacation in the Caribbean...much more relaxed, friendly and no hidden charges Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
I spoke to the Access Coordinator before I booked this trip because I would be traveling with my husband who is in a wheelchair. I was given an handicap accessible room but wasn't asked any questions about what my husband's ... Read More
I spoke to the Access Coordinator before I booked this trip because I would be traveling with my husband who is in a wheelchair. I was given an handicap accessible room but wasn't asked any questions about what my husband's special needs might be. Before the trip, I called the Access Coordinator again to see what help I could get with getting on and off the ship. I was told that there were no porters so that only carry-on luggage could be brought, I said that we had carry-on luggage but I would need help because I would also be pushing a wheelchair. I was told to look for the Special Needs Assistant when I got to the terminal. I was directed to a blue sign that said Special Needs Passengers but there was no-one there. After waiting a while, I inquired and was told to go on ahead to check in - with no assistance! We then had to walk from Pier 90 to Pier 88 which I again had to do with no assistance. I did get some help from "Margaret" who said she was a VP at NCL. She pushed the chair up the steep ramp unto the ship for which I was very grateful but I was on my own after that. I asked for help when we got on the ship and finally had someone push the wheelchair for me. He told me that our room was not yet available but that we could go up to the 15th floor buffet to get some lunch. I asked where I could check my suitcase since I did not want to be dragging it around while we went upstairs to eat but the man just kept repeating that the buffet was upstairs, not seeming to understand what I was saying, even after I repeated myself many times. Fortunately, he was told that the room was available a few moments later so I wasn't stuck having to drag a suitcase with one hand while pushing the wheelchair with the other. The buffet was a madhouse. It was hard to find a table, there were long lines for food and the food was poor. Getting around the buffet with a wheelchair was particularly difficulty because it was so crowded. Our room was nice but had mechanical problems. The toilet only flushed about 2 out of 3 times which I was told was due to the fact that so many other people were flushing their toilets at the same time. This happened throughout the weekend. It was cold in the room but it took a long time for someone to come up to the room and he never really did anything. I then asked for a blanket because my husband, who has a neurological condition, was cold. The blanket was never sent but I was finally able to get one from our cabin steward, Sheila. Sheila was one of the few people on board who was helpful. The lights over the desk stopped working the second night and the shade for the window broke our second night as well. The corridors leading to the cabins were very narrow and were often impassable with the wheelchair because of the housekeeping carts with towels. I called out to a staff person for help when we were unable to get past a housekeeping cart but he looked right at me before turning on his heel and disappearing. I had to move those carts out of the way myself, something that I had to do frequently throughout the weekend. The information that you have online about the 2 day cruise on the Breakaway says that there is "complimentary room service". The Freestyle Daily that was given out both days we were there also stated that room service was available. However, when I called for room service, I was told that it wasn't offered on the 2 day cruises. My husband was feeling very tired and I had hoped that we wouldn't have to leave the cabin to do battle with the wheelchair in order to get something to eat on Friday night. Since it is not safe for me to leave my husband alone, I had to get him dressed again and take him out in the wheelchair to get something to eat which was very inconvenient. If I had known that there would not be any room service for this weekend, I probably would not have booked the cruise. I had to go to Guest Services when I had a problem booking a show on one of the large touch screens on the 7th floor. The person at Guest Services was actually pleasant, something I had not come to expect from the staff by that time. I told him about the things that I was not happy about and later found that he had sent a complimentary fruit bowl to our room. That was nice of him but I needed assistance a lot more than I needed free food. The Cirque Jungle Dream and Dinner in the tent was the one bright spot in the cruise, It was a beautiful show that was very professionally presented. Overall, my impression was that there weren't enough staff members on board to take care of the large numbers of passengers who were on the ship. There also wasn't enough physical space to accommodate the numbers of passengers on the ship. There were long waits for elevators and long lines to get into the complimentary restaurants. I also heard people complaining that they had been closed out of all of the shows. I have been on a number of other cruise lines but have never encountered such poor customer service before. I can truly say that this was the worst cruise I have ever been on. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was our first cruise on NCL since 2009. This time, it was me, mom and the kids ages 6 and 8. I was concerned that a cruise to nowhere would be a drunkfest but we had a NCL reward certificate that was about to expire so we redeemed it ... Read More
This was our first cruise on NCL since 2009. This time, it was me, mom and the kids ages 6 and 8. I was concerned that a cruise to nowhere would be a drunkfest but we had a NCL reward certificate that was about to expire so we redeemed it for the most inexpensive NCL experience we could find. Overall, it was an okay trip. Nothing really stood out. Not sure if that’s because it was NCL or because it was unbelievably cold or because it was a cruise to nowhere or some other reason. The port was easy to find and parking was simple. However, when we returned, we discovered that the parking area is not well labeled and we had difficulty finding the car. Once inside the terminal, service was slow. Again, not sure if that was due to size of the ship or inefficiency. We arrived around noon and waited on line for just shy of an hour. Word of advice- go to the bathroom immediately when you get to the terminal because once you enter the area where the line begins, you won’t see another restroom until right before going onboard. The ship décor was nice. Not flashy like Carnival and not “wow” like I experienced when I stepped on Celebrity for the first time. We had an inside cabin and this was the first time I’d had an inside cabin in years. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the cabin and the number of storage bins. Would definitely select an inside cabin again to save money. The only downside was my cabin steward never delivered youth life jackets to the cabin. On previous cruises (other companies), youth jackets were automatically delivered. On this cruise, even after I asked, they still weren’t delivered. Both kids enjoyed the Splash Academy. The activities were typical for cruise ship youth programs. I appreciated NCL’s willingness to provide a pager so that I could be reached in case my special needs son had issues. He never did, but the pager (and calling them periodically) gave me peace of mind. The food was disappointing. Frequently, buffet items were cold and lacked variety. My mom and I got hungry around 4pm and had difficulty finding something to eat. Desserts were ordinary. Our sit down meal wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t anything special. Food is very subjective but this is one area where I really missed Celebrity. The other was the smoking policy. Because it was so cold, people packed the common areas. The Breakaway has a beautiful multilevel atrium–like area near the casino with restaurants and comfy chairs- and the smell of smoke. So unfortunate. I’ve decided freestyle dining is not for me. I did not want to pay for a specialty restaurant so we ate in the Manhattan Room. It took us two tries because the first time we showed up, there was quite a wait and my little one got tired of waiting. We went to the buffet to feed the kids, then returned the Manhattan Room and then, we were able to get seated without a wait. Because this was a cruise to nowhere, I’d planned to spend time in the library relaxing and reading. Not sure why the library is next to a lounge that features karaoke but it is poor planning. There were many times when my fellow library patrons and I gave each other frustrated looks because of the shrill noise. The Cirque show was very good- but about 30 minutes too long. The food was okay, except for the trio of desserts which was disappointing (unimaginative and not tasty). Yes, I would cruise NCL again if the price was right. After all, any day at sea is better than a day ashore. However, for my average family vacation, I’ll be cruising Celebrity again- for the food, service, and smoking policy. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Just off the 2 night weekend cruise on Breakaway. I am usually a RCCL cruiser, but wanted to give both NCL and a megaship a try. Embarkation was slow, and there was no luggage service for the cruise- travelling with kids and having to ... Read More
Just off the 2 night weekend cruise on Breakaway. I am usually a RCCL cruiser, but wanted to give both NCL and a megaship a try. Embarkation was slow, and there was no luggage service for the cruise- travelling with kids and having to wheel luggage both on and off the ship was disappointing. Cabin seemed small for a balcony, but the ship was both beautiful and clean. Cirque show was fabulous, and specialty french restaurant was great, but other food options were bland and overcrowded. Everything shut down for lunch at 1:30 on Saturday, with no room service available. I had never been on a cruise where there was no room service except the last night after dinner. Rock of Ages show was good, but a little on the overly racy side. Compared to RCCL cruises, Breakaway seemed overly geard toward raising your bill, and with gratuities automatic: while service was not bad in most venues, the personalized service just wasnt as evident. Overall, i had the impression that this cruise was geared more to booze cruisers, and much less to people on a brief vacation or seeking to give NCL a try as a new customer. It wasnt bad- but there are better options elsewhere. I am not likely to cruise on Breakaway again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
I've never cruised in the US before, so when my sister and I decided to do a "weekend escape" from NYC I wasn't sure what to expect. It was mostly fun and I was pleasantly surprised, although they were a few hitches on ... Read More
I've never cruised in the US before, so when my sister and I decided to do a "weekend escape" from NYC I wasn't sure what to expect. It was mostly fun and I was pleasantly surprised, although they were a few hitches on the relatively short trip. Boarding was an absolute disorganized nightmare. I'm not sure if this is always the case with Norwegian, or things were weird because the breakaway was in the neighboring dock and had been turned into the Bud Light hotel for super bowl weekend. We were told we could get on the boat between 12 and 4, but when we arrived at the cruise terminal at 12:30, the waiting area was packed with passengers and we were told the ship wasn't ready. We were given a boarding card with a number on it and waited for at least another hour. There was some semblance of order once they began boarding and they started by calling sections by number, but after the first set of numbers it was chaos and nobody had any idea if and when it was their turn to go. After about another half hour, we just got up and walked past the guy checking boarding card numbers and got on the very long line to go through security and board the ship. About 40 minutes after that, we were on the ship- close to 3 hours after we were told we could board. After that, it was mostly smooth sailing. The food was good, even the buffet (which, as a vegetarian and a picky eater I was prepared to be disappointed in), the service was mostly good (though our room could have been cleaner- we found hairs in our bed that weren't ours!). The cabins were small but fine, definitely not what we expected for a mini-suite. The atmosphere was fun, clearly people came to party and they did so pretty much non-stop! The piano lounge was nice, and some of the other bars were great. The 24-hour irish pub (whose name I can't remembered, but I nicknamed O'shitshow) was a mess, though, clearly understaffed and they couldn't keep up with the crowds. It was constantly full, dirty, out of glassware, etc, and we tried to order food there once and were told that they were so backed up that we couldn't even place an order unless we waited 20 minutes. I hated rock of ages, but the crowd seemed into it. We paid for access to the spa, and while the facility itself was nice, especially since it was too cold to use the outdoor pools, my experience was mixed. The woman at the front desk refused to sell us a one-day pass and when we went back to look at the facility, we saw another woman selling one day passes so we proceeded to buy one from her. Mid-transaction, front desk lady stormed into the spa and started yelling at the lady who was selling us passes, and took my receipt and wouldn't give it back! We finally got our things and were on our way, but were not looking forward to having to check in with front desk lady the next day. We spent several hours in the spa on saturday, and while the facilities were great, it was too crowded and more of a party atmosphere than a spa atmosphere. People were fighting over chairs, including 2 couples who kept throwing each others' things off of the 2 chairs next to me, the pool was crowded, people were screaming and talking loudly, and somebody actually brought a bucket of beer in. People were carrying on full conversations in the sauna, and there was nobody there to regulate anything. Definitely not a relaxing setting, but the pool, saunas and steamrooms were nice. I also used the gym on saturday, and it was fine. It was nice to overlook the water while working out. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was to be a trail cruising experience for a couple who travel extensively for both work and leisure. After an easy Amtrak trip up from DC we arrived at Pier 88 by an easy taxi ride. I must say that having no NCL status whatsoever I ... Read More
This was to be a trail cruising experience for a couple who travel extensively for both work and leisure. After an easy Amtrak trip up from DC we arrived at Pier 88 by an easy taxi ride. I must say that having no NCL status whatsoever I was impressed how easy check in was. Our balcony cabin was ready and we unloaded our bags by 2pm and went to look around before our 6pm sailing. It didn't start off too well and in spite of getting a welcome email touting the bar and soda packages, room service, robes etc once on board were told none of that was "offered" on a weekend getaway by the service desk. The staff wasn't quite clear what food was offered where before departure. Okay it was basically a booze cruise. Not our intention but with the size of Breakaway and 4200 passengers figured there would be lots of options. Not really - everything was crowded. Nice singer at the Martini Bar but no seats. Nice atrium no seats. Comedy Show reservations but SRO arriving 30 minutes prior. I assume that part of this is the frenzy of all trying to do everything on a short cruise but the ship was not over capacity so where's the space! As a designer myself one flaw that I can't believe NCL did on this huge amazing ship is the placement of the casino at the atrium with smoking allowed and poor ventilation which has smoke pouring all over the midship! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
NCL offered a free 2 night cruise aboard the Getaway for travel industry people & press out of NYC on January 27. The newest member of NCL's fleet had just made it's maiden transatlantic journey and was in NYC for the Super ... Read More
NCL offered a free 2 night cruise aboard the Getaway for travel industry people & press out of NYC on January 27. The newest member of NCL's fleet had just made it's maiden transatlantic journey and was in NYC for the Super Bowl as it was chartered as the Bud Light Hotel. My wife and I are both in our 30's ad have no kids. We are very laid back and down to earth...not uppity at all. There were Pros & Cons about the Getaway & the cruise in general. Pros: Embarkation & Disembarkation - Fastest I've ever experienced on any cruise I've ever been on. Dining - Tons of choices and mostly good food (see MDRs & buffet in Cons section). All of the specialty restaurants were free on this cruise, but even if they weren't, they are well worth the extra charge. Moderno, Le Bistro & Cagney's are our favorites! The new O'Sheehans Pub is a much improved version of NCL's 24 hour diner on their other ships. Chicken pot pie was AWESOME and I'm not even a big fan of it usually. Carlo's Bakery is a nice touch...best cannoli I've ever had & I'm from NYC & Buddy "Cake Boss" himself was on the cruise! Entertainment - The Illusionarium was a great and fun magic show & I would recommend it. Just note that this is a dinner show, so don't eat before you go! Headliners comedy club was a fun (or should I say funny) hour spent. We didn't get to see the main show Leagally Blonde. Public Spaces - Very big and nice ship, but no real WOW factor. The casino is huge and has every game you could want on a cruise ship. I didn't have any luck, but my wife won $200. The ropes course is cool & the overall decor on the ship is very nice & modern. Service - Everyone we encountered were friendly, helpful and seemed like they knew what they were doing. Cons: Dining - The MDR's food is good, but not as hot as it should be and the portions are tiny. The buffet has the same things over and over everyday and gets boring. The food is usually cold and not the best quality. Cabin - We had a mid-ship balcony & it was hands down the smallest cabin I've ever had on a ship before. The balcony was rediculously small...have to put the chairs on an angle just so your knees aren't hitting the glass. The shower was like being in a coffin & the only outlets were by the phone...not near the bed. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
As experienced cruisers with 30+ sailings on a mix of many mass-market lines, and a handful of luxury ones, we booked Breakaway’s 2-night cruise-to-nowhere out of Manhattan on Super Bowl 2014 Friday-Sunday. Check-in was efficient, but ... Read More
As experienced cruisers with 30+ sailings on a mix of many mass-market lines, and a handful of luxury ones, we booked Breakaway’s 2-night cruise-to-nowhere out of Manhattan on Super Bowl 2014 Friday-Sunday. Check-in was efficient, but embarkation was inefficient and confused, perhaps because NCL’s normal venue at Pier 88 was usurped by “The Bud Light Hotel” (aka the Norwegian Getaway) that weekend. Itinerary: Breakaway sailed due south in a slow and fossil-fuel-efficient-manner, thoughtfully reaching as far as about 60 miles offshore the VA-DE borderline before turning back, where it was warm (60‘s) by this winter’s standards. All the outdoor amenities, pool, waterslides, rope course, were open and in use! An unexpected treat! The Ship: Spanking shiny, spotless and new. Breakaway’s interior decor is best described as sober, restrained & tasteful. Nothing at all loud or in-your-face. The only deservedly eye-popping public artwork is arguably Breakaway’s hull livery by Peter Max. If you’re looking for soaring 12-deck atria w/ glass elevators, look elsewhere. The atriums (there are two, the round one quite small) are only two and three decks tall. Someone figured that taller atria would have subtracted from valuable cabin space. The casino (and its smoke & noise) dominates the middle tier and thus most of the smaller atrium, and in fact much of deck 7, one of only three totally indoor decks with all-public venues. Overall, a nice new ship, but clearly designed for maximum # of cabins within a certain gross tonnage, with public space, particularly indoor, at a premium. This is reflected in the design of the MDRs, theater, and atria, and lack of a third, forward elevator lobby/stairwell. The 16 elevators are fast, but their doors are unnecessarily slow, which slows down the works. Breakaway is a 4000-pax ship without the design features and amenities necessary in other mega-ships. Breakaway could have used a fourth indoor public deck. There are other similarly sized (and in fact larger) ships on the market which actually feel more open with more interesting features and might be a better choices. Personally, I preferred my stay on Norwegian Pearl, or by extension NCL’s other Jade/Gem/Jewel-class 2400-pax ships, which, if I had to stick with NCL, I’d pick out of Miami instead of, say, Norwegian Getaway, Breakaway’s new twin. The Breakaway’s venues visited, in no particular order: Teppanyaki ($25): Possibly the largest hibachi-style restaurant at sea, with 12 flattop teppans each seating 8. Beef/chicken/lobster/scallops/calamari/shrimp/veggies/rice/noodles quality excellent. Teppanyaki chef competent, but not as flamboyant as you might experience on land. Notably absent was “flaming stacked onion ring volcano”, probably since that staple of teppanyaki performance flair involves, well, open flame... Moderno Churrascaria ($20): Notable for its salad bar featuring unusual & tasty offerings such as ceviche. Meat quality adequate, but not exceptional. Side dishes uninspired. The signature “passadores” (meat waiters) do come by frequently, until you cry uncle (or simply flip the card to red), but the conventional waiter (sides, desert, etc) seemed a bit overworked, a recurring theme at all the food venues. Incidentally, wine selections were decent and reasonable ($25-$85ish). Found an excellent $28 Chilean cabernet. Manhattan Room (Free), the largest of the 3 MDRs, along with Savor (Free), one of the two smaller MDRs (the other is Taste): Had breakfast and a lunch. Food quality was actually decent. Lavazza coffee very good. Small portions, but that’s a good thing in what amount to all-you-can-order venues. If you’re looking for a vast, soaring 3-deck-tiered MDR with Titanic-class chandelier and curving staircase entrance, look elsewhere. Manhattan Room is all on deck 7, with a center 2-deck opening only above the dance floor (used only for the “Burn The Floor” show). Again, I got the impression that 2 or 3-tiered MDRs were considered a waste of valuable potential cabin space. The specialty restaurants seem much larger than in most other ships; on any 7-10 day cruise, you’ll most certainly, and deservedly, want to try at least a couple of them. SVEDKA Ice Bar ($20 cover): Actually a decent value, by Breakaway standards, since the cover charge gets you two very generous martini-sized ice glasses of a choice of flavored vodkas, no ice cubes necessary!. However, the decor should be rethought as it comes across in person not as a polar wonderland but exactly as what it is, a steel walk in commercial freezer with a few ice sculptures and stacked blocks of ice as a bar counter, with NCL logo. A missed opportunity for a “Wow” design. Slip-on hooded poncho and gloves provided, but temp inside seemed no lower than 20F. You will have no reason to visit more than once. Breakaway Theater showing Rock of Ages (Free): About all I’ll say about this staging is that it appears, as advertised, true to the Broadway version with no language omitted. A taste for (tortured) 80’s metal comes in handy. If you’re looking for a vast ornate tiered theater with balconies and scenery flyloft, look elsewhere. The Breakaway Theater is basically a 600-ish seat rectangular box with one level of sloping seating and essentially no decor. Breakaway pulls it off in such a small main theater (by 4000 pax-ship standards) by showing the same show twice a day every day of cruise, so everyone on a 7-day trip can see it if they wish. Larger theaters (which traditionally show a different show each day) might be a waste of valuable potential cabin space. Reservations get you in early, standbys get what’s left over 10 minutes before curtain. Oh, there’s no actual curtain. Headliners Comedy Club / Second City (Free): Actually nicely done venue, with club and bar seating. Large TVs on wall in case your view is blocked. Second City troupe, a staple of NCL, is competent & funny. They perform different shows (improv/adult/etc), so do inquire as to what format each showtime features. Thus, reservations are a really good idea. Carlo’s Bake Shop ($ varies): Milking the popular “Cake Boss” reality show on TLC, Carlo’s is a very tiny and for some reason always crowded, well, cake, muffin & pastry shop. No seating, save for immediately outdoors on the “Waterfront”. The cakes ($50), assuming you have a reason to buy a full (9”) cake on a cruise ship, adhere carefully to the popular styles available in Buddy’s signature Hoboken NJ shop. One disappointment was learning that the bagged cookies are however baked and packaged in NYC. Atrium Lounge & Bar: The larger of the two atria, featuring NCL’s signature video wall and the band “Impac”, doing a really nice job with a wide repertoire. The bar waitress service was severely lacking, well, waitresses, leading to inordinate waits to order, never mind receive, cocktails. I wonder if NCL realizes how much skimping on the waitstaff here is costing them in missed bev revenue. Sports Complex / Rope Course (Free): An impressively-sized and actually lots of fun rope course with various challenge level sections. My favorite is the 40ft simple beam, with no handholds, way above and along the edge of the ship’s hull. “Walk the Plank” 200’ over the edge is an optional part of the course with a camera that snaps your pic when you’re at the end of the (3” wide!) plank, er, beam. Once on the course, you have lots of choices of path and challenges, but, be warned, no way to bail out until the exit. The finale is a zip-line (more accurately, a trolley-line) to the exit. Accommodates lots of people so no inordinate wait time. Indulge your Nick Wallenda fantasy. Unlike Nick, tethering isn’t optional. Try it. Otherwise, there’s a nice mini-golf course underneath for the acrophobic. Cabin: Balcony Stateroom #12108 which shares the distinction of being the furthest fwd in its class, just under the port-side bridge wing. Incidentally, portside you’ll get a breathtaking view of Manhattan and sunset leaving, and a nice Statue of Liberty view and sunrise returning (at 6:30am). Anyway, so far forward provides a rather long walk to the mid-ship elevator lobby & stairs, never mind the aft lobby. Breakaway could have used a fwd elevator/stair lobby. As many others have noted, there are larger balconies on the seas, but, thus expecting something truly useless, I found the size (3.5 ft deep sliding-door-to-rail) adequate. Two aluminum mesh chairs and a tiny 12”x12” table, suitable for resting two drinks. Cabin desk area features two US 115VAC outlets, two recessed-euro 220VAC outlets, and very good conventional handheld hair dryer, wired captively below desk. Slot near door to hold keycard and enable all cabin power. All lights, and notably the AC outlets, go out when card removed. Wanna charge your laptop while away? Fortunately, any plastic card will do. Generous under-bed storage. Decent sized closet w/hotel style wooden hangers. No drawers. Good mix of CFL and LED room lighting. Bathroom size generous for cabin size. Shallow, but adequate, shelving. Shower stall very generously sized with curved glass enclosure and door. Shower footrest bar. Shower pressure adequate but not invigorating. One universal AC "shaver" outlet above washbasin. Really powerful vacuum toilet! Novelty: Three little LEDs above outside your stateroom door inform passers-by (and presumably your attendant) of your status: white for cabin occupied (card in power slot inside), red for do-not-disturb switch on, and green for pls-make-up-room switch on. Effacive stateroom attendant honored these signals perfectly, as well as a request for extra bath towels (you only get 2?). Overall, std balcony cabins that are not the largest on the seas, and in fact smaller than other NCL ones, but not unpleasant at all. Fine for two, cramped for three. Nice & new & spotlessly clean. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Booked a weekend getaway to check out the Breakaway. Have cruised Celebrity,Princess, Carnival and NCL once before on the Spirit. The ship is new ,big ,and sports some of the worst features and options I have ever seen on a cruise ship. It ... Read More
Booked a weekend getaway to check out the Breakaway. Have cruised Celebrity,Princess, Carnival and NCL once before on the Spirit. The ship is new ,big ,and sports some of the worst features and options I have ever seen on a cruise ship. It seemed like a gambling ,drinking ship ,with the weather pretty much everyone was indoors ,and the ship felt like a NY subway. Embarcation was on the Friday before the super Bowl ,and ''was awful My son and his wife had gone 2 weeks before and arrived around 1130 am and were in their room by 1230pm. We arrived around 12 and didn't get on until 2 30 pm. The mini suite was smaller than most balcony rooms . They have system that is the dumbest thing i have ever seen . You need to put your room key in a slot next to the bathroom to have electric power. when you take it out to leave the room is dark ,and hey don't count on anything in the fridge staying cold . In our case it did not matter. There is nothing in th e fridge for the weekend cruise . also no cosmettics, no towel animals. The cabins stewards were nice but seemed overworked and not terribly interested. I made reservations for the Cirque show and dinner ,as well as for Rock of ages. Never received an e mail confirmation ,so I went to guest services to check, and guess what ,they had no record. After carrying on , they booked them.Wonderful. The shows and food were very good , the high points of the weekend/ I booked a facial for my wife thae t she enjoyed . Figured I would work out and then hit the steam room. WRONG . Was told the stem room was part of the Spa Suites ,and there was a $9 charge to use it , but I couldn't because they wer full anyway. This was rock bottom . I was trailer park mini suite trash. First time on any ship I ran into this. Princess had the Sanctuary that was reserved ,but anyone could use the steam or sauna , ditto Celebrity or even the lowly Carnival. The Atrium was unimpressive as were the shops ,small and with really nothing . Would I cruise NCL again? Yes but never on the Breakaway. Oh did I mention how small the balcony was. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We arrived at the pier around 11:30 on Friday. The security lines moved quickly and off to check-in we went. We used our NJ driver’s license as our photo ID and this worked fine. I did note that people next to us used passports which get ... Read More
We arrived at the pier around 11:30 on Friday. The security lines moved quickly and off to check-in we went. We used our NJ driver’s license as our photo ID and this worked fine. I did note that people next to us used passports which get swiped, so using a passport speeds your check-in a bit. Driver’s license needs all digits manually typed in. It had been announced that boarding would begin at 12:30, and at 12:30 sharp I saw the suites people being escorted on. Then the groups started being called. The rooms weren't ready yet so we took our bags up the stairs to the Garden Café which was not at all crowded. You could also lunch at O'Sheehan's or one of the dining rooms. There was the option to leave your suitcase at the Bliss lounge; the line for this was quite long. Checked our cabins out at 1:30. Two were balcony cabins aft on deck 12—the one angled balcony was nice. The interior deck plan on NCL was right for ours; showed the bed in the middle, but for the other cabin the deck plan wasn’t accurate. And one studio which was cool, as was the studio lounge area. Our cabin was very nice. At this point there were still show tickets available, so don’t worry if something appears as not available online. We then headed outside to the top decks since it was about 50 and sunny outside. The pools are heated and had people in them at various times, and 4 mid-ship (pool area) hot tubs were ready. (the 2 aft at H20 were covered). Muster drill came and went quickly. Efficiency as usual for this. After muster we wandered up to the buffet to check it out and it was crowded. Only one side was open. Wait an hour and it’s much less crowded. Lines were off a little after six and off we went. We stayed on our starboard angled balcony for most of this ride. Yes, we had coats on. Never get tired of cruising down the Hudson out of NY Harbor. Lady Liberty was aglow. We didn’t go to Rock of Ages, but spent time at Fat Cats with Slam Allen and also Howl at the Moon. We always enjoy NCL’s food. The buffet was good, and we ate in Savor Saturday night. The wait is hit or miss; our group of six could have been seated immediately at 7 if all had been present—which they weren’t—so we ended up waiting about 20 minutes. Food and service was good. There was a note in the Freestyle Daily that kids 4-12 eat at 1/2 price from specialty restaurant menus. Other observations: There was no room service available at all. You won’t receive a final bill so take a photo of the tv screen showing your account balance. The fridge in the cabin was locked. Not one of the self-serve wine dispensers was available--even in the studio lounge. There were no martini, mojito, etc. tastings scheduled. No White Hot Party (it’s not a Breakaway thing). Waterslides were not open, neither was the rock wall or ropes course. The ship was quite warm (in contrast to the Gem last month where it was cold everywhere). Various bars have various bar menus—if you don’t find what you like, try another bar. Watch your charges if you use the arcade; some games didn’t work but we were charged for them and it wasn’t fun wasting time at Guest Services trying to have $ removed (some games are $5!) iConcierge app—codes were on your tv—we didn’t use it. $4.99 per minute to use in-cabin phone to call off the ship. I still think the atrium is not the best place for some venues--they need a bigger space indoors as a backup. Breakfast was available in the buffet, one dining room, and there was a scaled-down buffet in Moderno. Sure, the ship seemed crowded in certain places at certain times. That didn't ruin anything for us. Gold and Platinum Latitudes members received a plate of canapes and chocolate-covered strawberries. The gym was empty Friday evening. We went at noon on Saturday figuring people would be eating, but a lot of the machines were in use at this time. Checked out the spa area which smelled really nice. We cruised about 50 miles off the Jersey coast and down toward MD, and then mid-day Saturday headed east a bit and then back north. The water was rough on Saturday since it was quite windy; a lot of white cap waves. But the ship handled it very well I thought. Back at the dock Sunday at 7am and we saw people getting off around 7:30. We were off at 7:45, handed in our customs cards, and to our car we went. Very quick and simple. The debarkation documents asked you to be out of your cabin by 8:30 and off the ship by 9:30. Definitely a fun way to spend the weekend. There are little things onboard here and there that can be annoying, but I don't expect perfection and I don't let little things ruin my bliss when I'm on a ship. :-) Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We started off getting up at 5:30 a.m. to get the pups ready for daycare. We dropped them off and headed downtown to catch the Amtrak. The train ride to NYC was quick and uneventful to Philly. However, there was a delay in changing over ... Read More
We started off getting up at 5:30 a.m. to get the pups ready for daycare. We dropped them off and headed downtown to catch the Amtrak. The train ride to NYC was quick and uneventful to Philly. However, there was a delay in changing over the tracks heading from Philly to Trenton, and then from Trenton to Newark. I think we waited in Newark for 15 minutes while they waited for the tunnel into NYC’s Penn Station to free up and continue letting trains through. Overall, we arrived at Penn Station about 35 minutes late. We headed up to the street to hail a cab and it was an eventful ride that ended up costing us about $17 bucks with tip. The cab dropped us off at Pier 90 and it was quite crowded when we entered the terminal. We were handed boarding group number 29 and proceeded to get in line to check in. Check in was long and one of the workers sent us into the wrong line, so her co-worker tried to tell us to go back around and walk down the correct line which would have lost our place in the current line. I wouldn’t hear of it. I told him that wasn’t fair and he needed to close off the line well behind us since requiring everyone to walk back around would make all those folks behind me lose their place in line as well. Before we got to the counter, the older gentleman directing passengers to an open counter was super nice and a bit “Friendly” so my babe looked at him like “slow it down a bit pops.” She’s so cute!! While waiting be called to transfer to pier 88 to board, some folks were just downright NASTY. I started to get a bit uncomfortable b/c obviously there was nothing any of the workers could do to make the process go faster so nastiness proved to be fruitless and unnecessary. When groups 1-16 were called to board, a nice gentleman said he liked my outfit, hair, etc so gave me his extra group 16 boarding card which I appreciated and off to the Breakaway we went. We were onboard probably around 1:10ish I believe. We headed straight to our balcony cabin #11114. I thought it was nice, but it was on the port side (I wanted starboard). We then headed up to the Garden Café for lunch. The buffet food was pretty good. There were a few misses that I tried but overall, it was good. I also met Tiggerwannabe and got my pretty pink butterfly. After lunch we explored the ship and I thought it was just beautiful. My first cruise was on Carnival and all I remember were bright gaudy colors. We headed to O’sheehan’s for the muster drill where I met Mizlorinj. After that we walked around a bit more and headed out to the Waterfront for Sail Away. After sail away we headed to dinner in the Manhattan Room. I had the salmon tartar for my app. It was yummy, I almost ordered a second helping, but the Duck Confit dish was awful, I sent it back and got the Eggplant which was just okay. I love duck confit but this was not Confit, no duck fat at all and it was dry -- which is the complete antithesis of Confit!! That was disappointing. I had the pistachio crème brule’ for desert which was good because it wasn’t too sweet. After dinner we walked off the food a bit. We then headed back to the room to freshen up and relax a bit b/c we had a 10:00 pm reservations for Rock of Ages but we missed it. We had the munchies around this time so we snuck into the studio lounge and grabbed some cookies. It’s really nice in there. Around 10:30 we were beat and ended up skipping the show, so we showered and headed to bed. Saturday morning I got up early b/c I wanted to get sunrise pics which came out absolutely stunning. I then hung out until it was time to get ready for the Meet & Mingle. I thought it went great and was extremely happy to meet everyone that I had the pleasure of meeting. I liked the DJ, but I didn’t spot a bartender or photographer?? After the Meet & Mingle we headed to O’sheehans for lunch. The food was just okay. I ordered a burger and the bread was hard as a rock. The apps (wings & cheese sticks) were okay but the spinach dip was awful. We then headed to Carlo’s and got 2 cupcakes they were also awful, not fresh, dry, and fell apart in the box and a cannoli which surprisingly was probably was the best darned cannoli I’ve ever had. We then stopped in the casino, had a few drinks, and just people watched until dinner. We headed back to the buffet for dinner and again it was pretty good. Overall, it was a great cruise that we really enjoyed. The only downsides were the food issues listed above, all the unsupervised young children running around especially in light of yesterday’s tragedy, and no towel animals or chocolates left for us even after I tipped our steward each day.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We were on this ship for a cruise to nowhere with a group of friends. We took a similar cruise last year for Valentine’s Day with a large group on the NCL Jewel. We had such a good time on that trip we figured we would do it again this ... Read More
We were on this ship for a cruise to nowhere with a group of friends. We took a similar cruise last year for Valentine’s Day with a large group on the NCL Jewel. We had such a good time on that trip we figured we would do it again this year. First impression was that the staff was friendly, the ship appeared clean. We immediately sat at O’Sheenhan’s Pub as the rooms were not ready. The bartenders were friendly and very helpful. We got our drinks right away. Once they announced the rooms were ready we dumped off our luggage and met back up back at O’Sheenhan’s Pub, the bar was packed and we went off in search of another. The few bars that were open were packed. There is nothing worse than having as many bars as they have on this ship and most are closed. They need to open the bars on departure day. Especially on a cruise to nowhere. Let’s face it is January, we are leaving out of New York, therefore it is cold outside. We decided to meet up after the lifeboat drill and try again. We met up at Malting’s Beer and Whiskey Bar. Good service at this bar. Bartenders were responsive and friendly. We met up again for pre dinner drinks at the La Cuchina Bar and behind the bar was Apolinario Valiente the same guy we had at O’Sheenhan’s Pub. This guy was the best employee we met. We had reservations at Cagney’s for dinner, my wife was hoping to get to eat at La Cuchina as it was her birthday and she loves Italian food. We had reservations the next night there. First they tried to seat us in the bar. If we wanted to sit in the bar we would have sat at the bar. It took a while for them to get us a table in the main room. Once we were seated the waiter came over and took the drink orders. Again he was great. We ordered appetizers and dinner. The appetizers came out and the shrimp cocktails were very good. This is where it goes downhill. The steaks came out and they were cold and overcooked, my wife asked for medium and got medium well, not once but twice. I asked for rare and got medium well, I didn’t feel like sending it back as I was now very disappointed.. The sides were missing at this point. One of group asked where they were. 10 minutes later one of the two sides came out, the mushrooms, which were warm. Potatoes were still missing and finally came out another 10 minutes later and were cold. One of group asked to speak to the restaurant manager and have him explain what was the problem with getting this type of service. His explanation was that they didn’t expect this amount of people on the cruise. Is this guy kidding? They have a ship that holds 4500 passengers and didn’t expect this amount of people. Our friend explained to him that that was a poor excuse and how was he to recommend this ship and the restaurant to his customers, as he and his wife are also travel agents, who they are and this is not their first cruise. Thanks for ruining my wife’s birthday NCL. Breakfast buffet was cold and even with all of the stations open it was also lacking. Lunch was basically the same. Cold and lacking food. Missing on this ship were the omelet and carving stations. The next night we went to La Cuchina for dinner, again wait staff was attentive. The mozzarella, tomato and basil appetizers were good; the calamari was tasty but cold. I now was getting nervous expecting cold main course. Dinner came and my expectations were met, the food was cold. They recommended the chicken parm, it was overcooked and ice cold, the cheese was horrible. Went a saw Rock of Ages and the show was great. I believe we will stick with Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: I’ve cruised 41 times, mostly solo, all over the world,and am an active, enthusiastic, cruise-loving adult traveler. NCL’s weekend getaway cruise from New York City in the dead of winter appeared to be a good ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: I’ve cruised 41 times, mostly solo, all over the world,and am an active, enthusiastic, cruise-loving adult traveler. NCL’s weekend getaway cruise from New York City in the dead of winter appeared to be a good change of pace, and I booked a mini-suite for this trip. From past experience, I realized this cruise would be a “party cruise” atmosphere, but hoped for tolerable conditions, and I missed the ocean and needed another cruise “fix”. I used Amtrak’s Acela express to New York from my home town, first class, and it was superb, with return home the same pleasant way. HOTEL: I stayed at my favorite hotel in New York, the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square, and received their usual warm and royal service. It’s about a 15 minute ride from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal piers. The few minor glitches with the hotel were taken care of to my complete satisfaction. EMBARKATION: This is where things began to go wrong. The ship holds over 4200 passengers, and they all apparently got there early. The reservations agents I spoke with, multiple times, told me that porters load passenger’s bags for them on this cruise. The cruise line emails an information “booklet”, and it states how to put the luggage tag on one’s bags and they will be delivered to the stateroom. When I arrived at the pier, several surly and grouchy people from the cruise line, presumably, were barking orders at people to just keep moving, keep moving and there was no baggage service. Inside the pier terminal, the heat was going full blast, and the lines of people filled the building, snaking back and forth. Some people had been in the city or traveling long enough to have large luggage, and some were elderly, struggling to push and pull their bags with them because of no porter service. The NCL-uniformed agents kept barking at people to keep moving, keep moving. It was like the old descriptions of Ellis Island and the refugees struggling in lines with their bags. I was in line (and I’m a Latitudes Member in NCL’s loyalty program, which had an “expedited” check-in line) for 90 minutes. Normal check-in for cruises in my experience is 15 minutes. Agents had problems with their computers, and other NCL personnel kept misdirecting passengers to the wrong lines. Security checkpoints were manned by grumpy, surly agents who stood and watched while people struggled to lift full-size suitcases onto the conveyor belts of the scanners. Once through this area, there were unclear, tiny, and poorly placed signs as to where exactly one could finally get on the ship. That took another 15 minutes in the maze of people and locked doors to finally reach the gangway. The gangway was extended into a long, huge zigzag climb at a steep angle. I’m fit and strong, but many people again struggled to climb up the steep ramp while hauling their bags. No help was visible that I could see. Upon entering the ship, no “welcome committee” of crew members, just deadly serious security people at their podiums who scanned the passenger ID cards. I entered a crowded vestibule of some sort, filled with cigarette smoke and mobs of humanity lining up for elevators. The blasting, blaring rock music made any conversation impossible, and was horrible. It took forever to get jammed into an overloaded elevator and finally reach my cabin on deck 11. The critical, important SOLAS law-mandated lifeboat and emergency drill was chaotic and unruly. At my muster station, there was a huge crowd of boisterous, drunk, noisy, inattentive, shouting, cell-phone using, selfie-taking, profane people who were so loud you could not hear anything. The officer on the public address system was trying to get some degree of order, and to quiet people down, but people just yelled him down, even when he said if we did not “shut up and pay attention, we would do this again tomorrow”. Inappropriate comments about what people had been doing to make them late for the drill were embarrassing to listen to, especially when shouted by staggering drunks. I heard the “F” word more times than I care to remember, as well as other swearing. Between the ill-informed passengers, the narrow corridors on cabin decks, and the badly delivered drill (recording nearly inaudible above the noise level), I had honest doubts about getting off that ship alive in an emergency. People paid no attention to the instructions, officers and crew who worked very hard to deliver life-saving and legally required information before the ship sailed, and I feel that somebody in authority should have called the captain to the scene for order, and to have some of the worst of the drunks removed from the vessel before it sailed. There is a difference between happy people enjoying themselves and out of control drunkenness and bad behavior, and this cruise reminded me of an animal house mentality where company profit mattered more than how the passengers behaved and affected other passengers. I love to see people happy and having a good time on a cruise, as I myself enjoy doing, but not to the degree where it affects my health and safety on a ship. SHIP INFORMATION: The Norwegian Breakaway is a monster at over 145,000 tons, with gaudy hull art that is eye-catching in its own unique way. The sheer size of this vessel would stop traffic anywhere, but it is not really attractive either inside or out. Due to cold and later stormy weather, all I saw of the ship was my cabin deck and the several entertainment, dining, and shopping venue areas. The ship’s décor reminded me strongly of a modern New York office building, with dark functional colors, odd lighting, and a lot of sharp corners, use of metals, and nothing remarkable enough to even comment on. The casino was huge in the ship’s center, and open, and smoking is allowed in that area and/or areas in close proximity to the extent that the strong cigarette smoke odor is sucked into the ship’s ventilation system and spreads throughout most of the ship. With all the metal in the ship, the noise level is such a roar that it’s impossible to converse in normal tones anywhere, or to be heard. ACTIVITIES: There were plenty of activities on the ship’s daily newsletter, aimed at the party atmosphere. For whatever reason, I always marvel at ship activity planners who don’t seem to realize that people on party cruises stay up late – yet all the activities relating to fitness seem to be at dawn or shortly thereafter. I don’t “party”, and took this cruise mainly for the boat ride, not having to cook for two days, possible good exercise options and socializing – plus I love to sleep on ships while they are underway at sea. The only “activity” I did and thoroughly enjoyed was the 8 AM Zumba class. The handsome, young male dance entertainer from the Dominican Republic gave the best Zumba class I’ve had in years, and as I’m a former professional dancer, the two of us really burned up the floor for a marvelous solid hour of good music and dance moves. Shopping was popular with the “captive audience” crowd – nobody could go outside due to storm conditions with rough sailing and high winds. The casino rocked out 24/7, and there were several theatrical productions and shows at night. I could not get reservations for any of the shows at the time convenient to me, but having seen enough cruise ship shows, it wasn’t a problem for me. I was thrilled just to read quietly and relax in my cabin, as the rough trip didn’t really encourage a lot of activity, especially outdoors – I would have enjoyed the ropes course in good weather, however. The internet service on the ship was the slowest I’ve ever seen, and outrageously expensive. I only was able to connect once for a few minutes from an IPad, after paying for 30 minutes of internet access. There were frequent, raucous, tacky announcements loudly on the ship PA system throughout the day about the money-maker activities such as the art auctions, gambling, and shopping opportunities. Every little thing on this ship for sale was overpriced, and every opportunity to make money for the cruise line was the priority. The cruise director was a total disaster. The first time I heard his off-key, terrible, singing on a PA announcement, I thought it was one of the drunk passengers who had somehow gotten access to the PA and was trying do karaoke. This singing prelude to early morning announcements on the ship and at debarkation were absolutely awful and dreadful to hear and start the day with. The way this cruise was presented overall made one of Carnival’s legendary bad trips look like a high-end cruise in comparison. SERVICE: This was a very serious, almost depressed bunch of crew on this cruise. I did not see one smile, and I kept overhearing crew discussing how many months, weeks, days, and hours it would be until they could get off the ship and go home. Not a good sign. The crew were attractive and international for the most part, but some of them had problems with enough English to communicate with. I never got accurate answers from the guest relations desk crew, either in person or by telephone while on the ship. Service in the dining room was very good, just serious. It was like being on a cruise with a robot crew. My cabin steward did his job, but the cabin was not serviced until afternoon on the one full day at sea. I waited in the public areas as long as possible, but the cigarette smoke aggravated my allergy to it and I was forced to return to my cabin eventually. I was there when my cabin steward showed up finally to make up the cabin, and he was mature and nice, but also seemed depressed and all I heard was how long it would be until he could go home. I was not impressed at all by the service – just the lack of it from seemingly miserable people. The last morning of the cruise, no statement appeared under my door as we were told to expect, despite seeing the statements in and partially under other cabin doors in my vicinity, and when I phoned guest relations, I was told rather nastily to just pick it up myself in person. I insisted on having it delivered and somebody pounded on the door and woke me up to give it to me, despite the electronic light above the door clearly indicating not to disturb. When I asked early in the trip where the room service menu was in my cabin, or might I please have a menu at the guest services desk, the young man on duty told me he would get one right away – and then was stopped by his supervisor, who stated that this trip had no room service. Reservations told me several times that I’d enjoy the room service available on this particular cruise. The one pleasant exception to the lack of service noted above was the hostess at the Tepanyaki restaurant, who graciously cancelled my prepaid reservation and waived the cancel fee when I checked the menu, found everything either loaded with garlic and/or had foods I can’t tolerate, and I told the hostess I had to cancel as I could not eat the food there – this saved me $25. There is the option available to raise or lower the prepaid gratuities, and I should have lowered the tips based on what I received. After trying to deal with the guest relations staff many times with poor results, however, I decided it wasn’t worth it, and they would probably have not done it right anyway. EXCURSIONS: Since this cruise was only 36 hours, it offered pre- and post-cruise New York City excursions which I did not participate in, and can’t give any feedback on. CABIN: I had a deck 11 midship mini-suite, which seemed slightly smaller than the average regular balcony cabin on most ships. The décor was depressing, with more “office building” feeling. Dark colors, sharp metallic edges, cheap fake wood and other hard surfaces. Extremely narrow balcony with two chairs and a tiny table. Balcony wall was full glass with a sliding door. The queen bed was two twins connected, and very comfortable with decent linens. The AC system did not work when I first got to the cabin and I had to call the engineer to fix it. Be aware that this ship has key-card activation for electricity use in the cabin! No card in the slot in the cabin equals no electricity. There are no drawers in the cabin, just shelves, but they are quite adequate. I found the refrigerator locked, and called to have somebody open it. Nobody ever appeared to do this despite repeated calls. There was no ice in the ice bucket. Also, oddly, no pen, notepad, usual book about how things work and where things are on the ship, no map of the ship, no postcards, nothing. It was like the cabin was completely stripped of anything moveable by somebody and not replenished or even checked. Only the bolted-down TV and phone and small refrigerator were in the cabin as standard items, but had they not been bolted to the ship, I would not have been surprised if they had been removed, also. Repeated calls to the guest service desk to have missing items brought to the cabin resulted in a rude answer to “come pick up these things yourself”. Are you kidding me, when I’ve paid double the high fare for this cabin? The closet was large with a safe and plenty of wooden hangers in those metal hooks on the rod to prevent theft of them. There is adequate storage space for two people at least, despite no drawers, as there are a lot of clever shelves and cubbyholes for everything. The carpet was peculiar, and did not go with the room. It was a sand color, with ripple-like darker sand color patterns in it which made the carpet looked like the ripples were real or raised on the seabed floor, and it was rather disorienting to see it and walk on it. Lighting was very poor, just ceiling spots and small low-wattage lights and lamps elsewhere. Turn-down service was a joke, as nothing looked any different in the evening before bed than when I first entered the cabin. There were visible clumps of gray dust in the corners of the furniture. There is a rather clever electronic light system above the cabin door on the corridor side which allows a light to show by color that the guest wishes either to have the cabin made up, or not to be disturbed, and is activated by a light switch inside the cabin. This system was not always observed by crew, however. It was good, however, in keeping prankster passengers and kids from either reversing the do not disturb signs hanging on doors, or removing them altogether. Having been walked in on several times due to improper door signage, the lights were a relief. When I first looked in the bathroom, I noticed empty towel racks, other than two bath towels. No hand towels, no washcloths. There was a tub mat on the under-sink shelf. I called housekeeping twice, who assured me that somebody would deliver the missing linens, and 30 minutes later they were delivered. This is something cabin service should have taken care of when setting up the cabin after the last guests departed. The bathroom was very large, with a huge glassed-in shower featuring a rain shower and various water jets. There was a large, trough-like very modern double-faucet sink. Dispensers in the shower provide shower gel and shampoo amenities, and there is a soap dispenser at the sink, but no body lotion of any kind – if you use it, bring your own. The bathroom looked clean and new. The main problem with it, however, was the lack of cold water. The faucets were installed in reverse, as well, with the colored dots of hot and cold water opposite what actually came out of the faucet. Two calls to the engineers resulted in cold water, but I had to wait up to 30 minutes for the cold water to actually come out every time I used the bathroom sink water. The water came out in a very thin, low-pressure stream at the sink faucets, but was normal in the shower. Cabin walls were paper-thin, and I can’t repeat here what I heard going on from either side of me. The cabin door was also very thin, and the rowdy, drunken party guests on board roared and pounded through the corridors all night long. There were a surprising number of children on this trip, and the unsupervised kids would run through the corridors, pounding on doors and pounding their feet on the floor when they ran – when they weren’t trying to push passengers or each other down the stairs, where these kids congregated in their boredom. DINING: I ate dinner in one of the two main dining rooms. Nice views out the windows of the evening sailing from New York City. Good but serious service. Terrible ambiance, as it was very dark, and I was seated at a table for four close to the doors to the kitchen, which had a harsh bright lighting glaring into everybody’s eyes at the table with the doors open all the time. Very unsanitary place mats of some kind of plastic with the utensils placed on this mat – it was sticky and did not look clean. Very basic menu of typical American home meal items such as spaghetti, salad, steak, etc. Certainly not gourmet, as that costs extra in the premium restaurants on this ship. Portion sizes were just right, however, and the fish I had was very good. Tasteless, unimaginative desserts. People began lining up for the dining rooms with their free-style eat when you want service, and the waiting area was jammed and reeked of the cigarette smoke filtering throughout the ship. I enjoyed the two mature couples I dined with the two nights on the ship. The noise level in the dining room was extremely high, and we had to shout to hear each other, even sitting fairly close together. This was for the earliest seating, around 6 PM. The enormous buffets higher up in the ship had food for every taste on the planet, literally, but seemed disorganized and opened late. Tiny little plates, no trays, and it was hard to get even a decent meal onto one plate and have a hand free to serve with. The lines were far too slow and long to go back for deserts or seconds, besides losing seating. Unsanitary practice of putting serving tongs on the counter edge before putting them into the food when the buffet opened, and people handled the food with their hands or fingers, and the tongs were put anyplace but where they should have been, or just left on the presumably soiled counter tops. Plenty of seating, but it was hogged by people just reading or using computers, and it was hard to find seating to eat, even early. Terrible service, with seemingly just two or three unhappy-appearing people for one side of the ship’s huge buffet seating area, and to get bar service for a soda took forever – and it was done by the same few staff cleaning the tables with what looked like dirty grayish dish rags. Be prepared for a surprise when you order a soda. I ordered diet Pepsi, and got a tiny plastic cup which held maybe 4 ounces of liquid and a lot more ice. No can full of soda, as on Princess or other lines, and it was $2.35 for this tiny cup. I had to order four to get enough to drink with my lunch. Some of the hot foods were improperly held at lukewarm or even cold temperatures. Surly serving staff at the buffet, and total confusion and more depressed crew visible. Very good Indian food was available. I had brought some nonperishable breakfast food items and bottled water with me, as I always travel with these things, and at least could enjoy breakfast the two mornings of the cruise in the privacy and convenience of my cabin. I’m glad I did, after seeing how the buffet operated. ENTERTAINMENT: I did not go to any of the on-board entertainment, as I could not get reservations at a time convenient for me. DISEMBARKATION: Total chaos at 7 AM when the ship docked. Huge mob trying to leave the ship at the same time, through too-narrow corridors, with people having to haul their own bags off the ship. Reservations staff told me there would be baggage removal, and to be sure and leave my bag outside the door the last night. Good thing I did not do this. The corridors were clogged, as were the elevators, with people hung over and in very bad moods. It took about 40 minutes for me to get off my 11 deck location with one rolling bag, down the elevator, and finally off the ship, down the long, zig-zag gangway, and into the terminal. I had a limo reserved to pick me up at the terminal, and the signs in the terminal were unclear as to where to go for this with different level roads outside. A middle-aged woman in NCL uniform was directing people by yelling at them rudely to “get in the elevator”, over and over again, and she had the ugly expression and personality of an angry pit bull. Questions directed at her as to where to catch a taxi, limo, or bus were snarled at and barely answered. I was misdirected, and ended up on the icy street where some very suspicious people were loitering. I called my limo driver, and he told me he had been blocked by the cruise people from entering the terminal roads at all, and was worried about finding me in the freezing cold and mobs of people. It took 20 minutes of calls, plus having to walk several long blocks with my luggage in a bad neighborhood before my kind driver finally saw me and collected me into his vehicle. Other than the rude woman in the terminal, there was nobody else directing mobs of people, many of whom had questions as to where to go for their various transportation. Absolutely hideous, and totally disorganized. The usually rather serious customs people looked like angels, and were very nice, in comparison. SUMMARY: Most of what I was told about this cruise was not accurate, but might apply to regular full-length cruises. The cheery, hyper reservations staff kept repeating the company slogan about “cruise like a Norwegian”. From what I saw, this style of cruising has nothing to do with Norwegians, and is an insult to this legendary country and its people. I am of Nordic heritage, and would hate to think that the world views my people by how this cruise line operates. Maybe the ancient Vikings partied in their own way on their dragon ships and longboats after a raid or war party, but that doesn’t apply to today’s standards of service and behavior on an overpriced cruise line. If one is young of mind or at heart, and loves to drink a lot, be in a noisy atmosphere, breathe cigarette smoke until you strangle, party until you drop, eat until you waddle, loves loud contemporary music, has to shout to converse, doesn’t expect much if any service, and enjoys being packed into too-small public spaces with too many people who behave similarly, than this is the cruise line and way to cruise for you, especially with world-class New York party people. I did enjoy being on the sea, and watching an impressive winter storm from my cabin – it was too windy to even be able to open the balcony door. What sleep I got between noises from drunks in the corridor was superb on a very comfortable bed. The luxury shower was an activity in itself, and I was in there for an hour at a time. There was good TV variety available. Most of what I ate was good, considering it was not high-end gourmet. My concern is for people who use these short getaway cruises as their first cruise, and who form quite the wrong impression of how good cruising can and should really be. I don’t feel that I got the service or value for which I paid, and I paid double as a single occupant for a mini-suite solo occupancy. Previous NCL cruises some years ago were nice basic cruises, although overpriced even then, and I had reasonable expectations that this short cruise would be pleasant. After this cruise, I would not go on this cruise line again even if it were free.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
Just returned this morning from a one night voyage and was never so happy to be home. Nutshell of this 24 hour trip is as follows: check-in was lengthy and very confusing; state rooms would not be ready for 2 hours and so the line to check ... Read More
Just returned this morning from a one night voyage and was never so happy to be home. Nutshell of this 24 hour trip is as follows: check-in was lengthy and very confusing; state rooms would not be ready for 2 hours and so the line to check your bag was about 100 deep on the ship (only 2 men tagging suitcases); lunch in the main dining room was good but the portions very small (big eaters should go to the buffet where 90% of the guests so there is a lot of pushing, shoving and NO available tables to sit so people where standing withe their plates of food). I did not eat there so I have no comment; no internet in your room have to pay; constant overhead loud speakers telling people what to do and where to go (this went on most of the trip except for about 8 hours in the evening); the theatre group at 7:00 PM were entertaining and enjoyable; dinner in one of the "speciality" dining rooms for an additional cost of $20 per person was horrible. They ran out of food by 8:30 PM; 7:00 AM the House Keeping crew arrives and all heck breaks loose. Loud voices, carts going up and down the hall and a meeting of the group right, smack in front of my stateroom door. After 15 minutes of this I swung open my door and told about 15 employees to be quiet. Yep....this really worked ....not!; Went to the dining room and although the loud speakers are screaming for you to disembark our breakfast took 32 minutes to arrive and then we had to rush eating to get off by 10 AM. Getting off the boat was the same as getting on (read the above). Never again with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
I didn't intend to take a cruise to nowhere. Originally, the plan was that my very first cruise would be in March of 2014 aboard the Norwegian Breakaway. I booked it over a year ago as a present to myself for my 50th birthday, even ... Read More
I didn't intend to take a cruise to nowhere. Originally, the plan was that my very first cruise would be in March of 2014 aboard the Norwegian Breakaway. I booked it over a year ago as a present to myself for my 50th birthday, even treating myself to an aft-facing balcony. But then I saw the one-night Cruise to Nowhere, and the price was just too good to pass up. So I decided to get my feet wet, so to speak, by using the overnighter as sort of a sampler to see how I'd like the world of cruising. I'm a single guy -- what they called a "confirmed bachelor" in more civilized times -- who lives in Manhattan, so getting to the port on the morning of the trip was a breeze. As was, honestly, the entire process. It helped that almost as soon as I arrived at the terminal, I met fellow Cruise Critic member Lellie and her son, two of the nicest people you could hope to meet! She basically walked me through the entire process and by noon, we were on the boat. By 12:05, I had my first cocktail in hand. 'Cause that's how I roll! Lellie and her son invited me to join them for lunch, and I gladly accepted. While I'm very, very good at traveling solo -- and have no problem eating (or doing much of anything else) on my own -- when good company presents itself, why turn it away? We wound up going to the Grand Pacific dining room. So, how was my first experience with cruise food? In a word... pretty darn good. Okay, technically, that's three, but... you get the point. One of the things I really loved about the meal -- aside from the whole "order as much as you care to" -- was the portions. I know some people probably complain when they order, say, fried calamari and receive 8-10 pieces (with a delicious aioli accompaniment) -- as opposed to the mound you might get at a landlocked restaurant -- but I found it ideal. I ordered the calamari, a delicious shrimp Caesar salad and the fish and chips. (Lellie's son, it should be noted, is a human garbage disposal. He must have had three appetizers, two main courses and three desserts! But the kid burns it off and is thin as a rail.) In any case, both my order and his illustrate the point: the smaller portions left me pleasantly full but not overly so, while Lellie's son was free to order to his heart's content. (Did I mention that as soon as we finished this fantastic meal, he was ready to go to the buffet? Ah, to have that metabolism again... ) The calamari wasn't hot (it wasn't really even warm), and oddly, the "warm bread pudding" was borderline chilly. And yet, the food was actually very tasty. Look, I'm a foodie, and -- having read a lot of mixed things about meals aboard the ship -- I came in with fairly low expectations. And yet I wound up really enjoying just about everything I ate over the next 24 hours. I'm also very much of the mindset that I'm on vacation, and it's going to take a whole lot to get me even warm under the collar, let alone hot. By the time lunch was over, the cabins were ready. This was a good hour earlier than they'd told us it would be, which was an unexpected treat. I went to my cabin -- room 8005 -- to drop off my stuff. Now, I'm a big believer that balconies are the way to go, but on a one-nighter, I just couldn't see paying the price, so I went with an inside. A couple notes about the room. As I expected, it was small. While it was fine for a solo traveler on an overnighter, I most definitely would not want to spend a week in it. I suspect I'd feel very claustrophobic after a few days. And if you had two -- let alone three of four? -- occupants... yeah, that might get real ugly real fast, especially if you planned to spend any significant time in the room. The other thing to note is that room 8005 is as far forward as a room on level 8 can get... and as a result, the ride was, at times, a little rough. I'm not talking things falling off shelves or anything, but there was a fair amount of noticeable motion that I assume was the boat sort of plowing through the water. While I didn't actually get sick sick, I did get a little... sea sick. This may also have been me, however. I do have a tendency toward car sickness in certain circumstances, and I noticed that at around 9 p.m. or so -- by which time I was in the casino -- I was feeling a bit queasy. A walk around the promenade deck and some brisk air cleared that up.. which is why I'm glad I have an aft-facing balcony on the Breakaway: easy access to all the fresh air I can suck into my lungs! Over the course of the evening, I really did my best to see as much of the ship as possible, so let me hit a few highlights: * Bliss Lounge: This is just a fantastic, groovilicious spot to hang out. Four bowling lanes, air-hockey tables, good music, a great vibe. It's sad that, by all reports, this was turned into sort of an uncomfortable cave on the Breakaway, because on the Gem, it's fantastic. (It definitely could have used more staff, however. The poor girl working the bar alone was clearly in over her head. Nice as could be, but out of her league. It didn't help that -- this being a one-night cruise filled to the brim with a whole lotta people wanting to party hard -- she was getting slammed with customers, not all of whom were of the patient variety.) * Stardust Theater: Really nice space, very comfy. Lellie, her son and I met up to see comedian Jeff Harms here. (He was, by the way, fantastic. I love a comic who plays with the crowd and manages to do circular humor that all ties together in the end, which was exactly what he did.) We went directly from here to... * Spinnaker Lounge: ... where we caught the Second City improve group. Spinnaker is a fantastic space, nice big bar, lots of seating for shows (although it was standing room only for Second City). As for the show itself... they say adult, and they mean it. It was raunchy as heck... in the best way possible. It's also true that how successful the show is depends entirely on the audience. Unfortunately, our audience tended to be a little shy when it came to shouting things out. (Except for one man, seated in front of me, who was calling out some pretty dark stuff... much to my amusement). * Casino: I had a blast here. They had a great selection of games, and a surprising number of penny slots. The staff was a LITTLE pushy when it came to selling the nightly Paradise Lotto tickets. I bought tickets, and then was asked every 10 minutes by someone else if I wanted to purchase tickets. It's not a huge casino, so it can feel a little claustrophobic, but I walked away a winner and had a blast. What more can you ask, right? * Star Bar: I'd actually like to have spent a bit more time here, but there just wasn't time. Also, there were two groups in the place when I entered... a crazy-drunk group of girls celebrating a birthday, and a group in the corner who were apparently using an iPhone or something similar to loudly play their own music over the music played by the lounge. * Shakers Martini bar: I never actually got drinks at either of these, because they were jam packed with very loud, very drunk people most of the night. Totally not my scene... unless I happen to be one of the very loud, very drunk people. :) And that IS one thing to know about a cruise to nowhere: There are a lot of people on board who have one night to party, and man, are they intent upon doing so. By 8 p.m. or so, there were folks so drunk they couldn't walk. I have to think that the bar staff hates the cruises to nowhere, with everyone trying to drink as much as possible in the course of the evening. After cashing out at the casino, I headed to the Garden Café, the only place open for late night snacks (it was around 12:30 a.m. by now, and I'd skipped dinner... unless you count bourbon!). They had a nice selection of food, including a surprising (to me) number of vegetarian options. The pizza was fantastic, as were the ham-and-cheese on sourdough bread mini sandwiches. I took one last walk around the promenade deck -- a real highlight, to me -- taking time to stand at the very back of the boat, look off into the distance and contemplate life. (My conclusion? "I'm on a one-night cruise having an awesome time... life is good.") The bed in my cabin was super comfy. The bathroom was odd... the shower stall is pretty roomy (although it would be helpful to have H and C indications on the handles, as it wasn't the easiest thing to figure out which was what or how it worked). But the toilet is oddly angled so that should you need to... er... do your business sitting down, your knees are gonna be pressed against a wall. I can't begin to imagine how some of the more... um... corpulent of my fellow cruisers would possibly use the toilet. Then again, public restrooms are plentiful... I don't know if it had to do with the far-forward location of my cabin or if this is just common (remember, this was my first time on a cruise ship), but man, there is no way you'll sleep through arriving in port! I woke to the cabin shaking and I thought, "Good lord, are the alarms going to go off? Are we goin' down?" On the plus side, you won't miss breakfast! (On the down side, you may WANT to, given that the Garden Café was a madhouse with folks trying to get in that last meal! I'm not really a breakfast person, so I skipped, but the food looked pretty tasty!) Disembarkation was a breeze. Although the announcement said I'd have a customs form in my room, I didn't... but it was easy to grab one either from guest services or even after getting off the boat. In summary? My one-night cruise to nowhere was a fantastic experience. I'd do it again tomorrow in a heartbeat... and it definitely got me excited for my first "real" cruise on the Breakaway in March! Got any questions? Hit me up, I'll try to answer them! Happy Sailing! Tralfie/Richard   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
I went on the one-night Cruise to Nowhere sailing from New York City in November. I live in Manhattan, so it was fairly simple to get to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, though it's far from the subway if you are taking public ... Read More
I went on the one-night Cruise to Nowhere sailing from New York City in November. I live in Manhattan, so it was fairly simple to get to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, though it's far from the subway if you are taking public transportation. The embarkation process was very smooth and the staff I talked to were all very nice, which helped me to get more excited for the cruise. Aside from a cruise of the Greek islands I went on as a teenager, it was my first cruise, and definitely my first cruise where the ship and the entertainment were the major focus. On a Cruise to Nowhere, the ship is everything, since there are no ports of call. We did have beautiful sunset views of Manhattan, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty, but at night the ship provided all the entertainment you need. There wasn't time to do everything, but I was happy with what I decided to do. I used my copy of the Freestyle Daily, NCL's daily newsletter that lists the day's available activities, to plan my schedule. First I had dinner at the Grand Pacific dining room. I loved the ambiance of the dining room—very grand—but I wasn't wowed by the food. Next I went to the 70s-inspired show, "Get Down Tonight," which was high-energy and a lot of fun. Finally, I went to the Bliss Lounge for open mic karaoke, which was my favorite activity of the night. I met some amazing people there who were on the cruise with a huge group of family and friends, and we all had fun performing, singing along, and cheering for each other up on stage. I walked around the deck before returning to my cabin, but it was a bit cold and dark to really enjoy to the fullest. I slept well in my cabin. The next morning, I woke up early with the idea that I could make the most of a one-night cruise by going up on deck to watch the sunrise over the ocean, but I emerged on the deck to find that it was raining and we were already docked back in Manhattan. I grabbed breakfast at the buffet and disembarked early to beat the rush. There wasn't much left to do at that point anyway. Overall, I did enjoy my cruise and I thought it was a great value. I wish the food was better, but maybe it's better in the paid dining rooms. Other than that, the crew was great, the other passengers on the cruise were lively and friendly, and I had a good time. I hope I get to have other cruise experiences soon! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Wow, what a surprise this ship was. If it had launched 10 years ago, I would have been impressed. But I don't think it can compete with other ships today. Check-in was uneventful. At the entrance to the ship there were several ... Read More
Wow, what a surprise this ship was. If it had launched 10 years ago, I would have been impressed. But I don't think it can compete with other ships today. Check-in was uneventful. At the entrance to the ship there were several staffers and loud music, the kind that tries to generate excitement. They were trying to get people to dance their way onto the ship. I know some people like that and it puts them in the mood but I thought it was annoying. I just wanted to get to my cabin. However, I was disappointed the minute I walked in. It was so dull looking! The last time I was on a Norwegian ship, it was a lot more colorful. Beige walls and brown accents on the Breakaway. The bathroom was well organized but I was surprised there were no freestanding amenities, just dispensers for soap and shampoo (no lotion, no conditioner). Not only did it seem cheap (but eco friendly) to me, but a user had no way of knowing what kind of soap it is -- and some people have sensitive skin. It's nice to have a balcony but it is very small. Even up in the Haven, the balconies are small. Food was eh at best. If you like Italian food -- and no doubt a lot of the passengers who come aboard in New York will know what good Italian food tastes like -- avoid the onboard Italian restaurant. Food in the main dining room and the buffet is better, but uninspired. The pool seems small for 4k passengers. I think the ship will appeal to low and middle income family groups. If you want to celebrate a birthday or anniversary with one special person, it's not for you. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We only needed 2 pts to get us to Platinum status so we decided to book a 1 night cruise in a suite. However, I had noticed that the cruise prices had decreased so I called to see if anything else could be done. And was it!!!!! - we ended ... Read More
We only needed 2 pts to get us to Platinum status so we decided to book a 1 night cruise in a suite. However, I had noticed that the cruise prices had decreased so I called to see if anything else could be done. And was it!!!!! - we ended up being upgraded to an Owner's Suite - 10004. It had: 4 phones, 3 tv's, 2 bathrooms, 2 balcony's, seating for 15+, etc...It was a shame that we only had it for 1 night. Embarkation was a breeze - since we were staying in a suite, we were processed quickly, taken to the small room for refreshments and then taken upstairs to meet the concierge and then to lunch in Cagney's. We had sailed on the Gem in March and were familiar with Cagney's. The thought is good - allow suites to eat breakfast and lunch there. Well, every time we eat there, the service isn't good. We are ignored, when tables around us are being asked for their orders. We see coffee being served, but skipping us. And for breakfast, it was a joke. We weren't asked for bread orders, while the table next to us was. The fresh fruit and misc foods weren't where they were in April so I presumed that they weren't available on the 1 night cruise. It wasn't until we overheard another table pointing and talking about it, that we saw it. None of the wait staff had told us. The show was good -we had seen the main dance show in March. I was surprised to see how empty the Stardust Theatre was. The comedian was excellent. We spent time at the casino and broke even. Clientele for this cruise is certainly different than on the long cruises. This was the first cruise for many people and there were lots of VIP casino players, too. I think that many people took this cruise "just to escape" for 1 night. Where else in NYC can you get a room, all meals, gamble, and take in a show - all for a reasonable price? Many, many people were drinking, buying booze and cigarettes. Being in a suite allows us for early debarkation, too, but when we went down to Deck 7 where others were getting off, there was no one in line and so we literally, just walked off the ship. Would I do this again? Probably not - now we are at Platinum and we don't need to garner any points. It was a hectic day/evening for us since we drive 150 miles just to get down to NYC. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
This was our 4th CTN with 2 very recent ones on NCL Jewel and Gem, and Carnival Victory a few years back. Our 2 NCL CTN's were in the Winter, so this was a nice change taking a CTN in August as we spent the entire 2nd day at sea in ... Read More
This was our 4th CTN with 2 very recent ones on NCL Jewel and Gem, and Carnival Victory a few years back. Our 2 NCL CTN's were in the Winter, so this was a nice change taking a CTN in August as we spent the entire 2nd day at sea in the sun. Was very hard to find a lounge chair to sun due to the beautiful sunny weather and literally all 3,000 passengers were out there. Lets get the meat and potatoes of the cruise. Overall we had a fantastic cruise, the service was excellent everywhere, from our Cabin Steward, to our Waiters, to the roaming bar servers. Fastest embarkation on record, we got to the Manhattan piers at 11 AM, paid $70 to park, breezed through security, and literally boarded as part of zone 3 by 11:15. We were eating lunch on the LIDO deck by 11:30. Debarkation was smooth, ship returned to the pier by 6:30 AM, and passengers started leaving by 8 AM as they called you off by deck number, no stress no worries, we carried our luggage on and off ourselves. We had balcony cabin 8267, typical Carnival room, plenty of storage, flat screen TV, lots of storage, free products in the bathroom with an adequate shower with shower curtain. Only negative was that our cabin was located too close the lobby elevators and we could literally hear the elevators buzz on arrival and the music from the lobby came up and could be heard in the room. Ship was recently updated in December of 2012, mostly hits, some misses. The whirlpool in the gym had the ugliest brown fake rock formation I have ever seen at sea. This ship still has some of the gaudy decorations that have now been retired by Carnival on the newer ships. The disco was the ugliest one we have ever seen on any ship, piano bar was a blood red and black, thank god they changed designers finally. The pools for some reason by their paint scheme made the water look green and unappealing. We never went in them as the pools were packed during the CTN. Winners of course were the Guy Fieti's burger bar, the burrito bar, the Red Frog bars by the pool, and this ship has the first Fish and Chip's food area that I ever saw at sea and the food there was delicious. We ate both of our lunches at the LIDO buffet, food was good, lots of variety, if you can't find something you like then you are too picky an eater. We ate our breakfasts in the main dining room, that was a great choice as they were not crowded, service was excellent, and food choices of filet mignon, eggs benedict, etc were very very good. We ate our 2 dinners also in the main dining room, mostly hits, nothing to complain about, highlights were the melting chocolate cake, lobster, the soups, etc. The casino was packed, everyone was having fun in there. Surprisingly there was no formal show on night one which worked out well as we took pictures, listened and danced to a very good Latin band, then danced in the packed disco, what a great time. The second night we watched the very entertaining Latin show, we liked the new Carnival glitz show and the short 30 minute presentation. The crowd on the CTN varied from young to older adults, a few kids, and just lots people having a lot of fun. Overall, the was our favorite cruise to nowhere since we got to sun in the beautiful weather, everyone was in a party mood, we stayed up late dancing and people watching, we would take this ship again. This type of vacation hands beats a weekend in Atlantic City or the Poconos, we are already looking at booking our next CTN. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise