1 Norwegian Breakaway Hawaii Cruise Reviews

We have just returned from our cruise and had a wonderful time. We (husband and wife) are mid-50's. Embarkation in Honolulu was slightly disorganized, going one direction to pick up luggage tags, then another direction to drop the ... Read More
We have just returned from our cruise and had a wonderful time. We (husband and wife) are mid-50's. Embarkation in Honolulu was slightly disorganized, going one direction to pick up luggage tags, then another direction to drop the bags off, then through security. The first two days were spent in Maui, the only island that we had visited previously. We rented a car from Alamo through DiscountHawaiiCarRental.com ( as we did for all of the islands). Good prices and no problems. We spent the days sightseeing in the Iao Valley and other areas, and visiting beaches (Kamaole 2 is nice, in Kihei). Next was the Big Island. The first day was spent seeing Volcanoes National Park, a must-see. Had we planned better, we would have headed right for Chain of Craters Road and taken the hike at the end of the road out to the lava flow. As it was, we took the 1/2 mile hike to see the lava tube. There was a small parking lot closer to the lava tube, but the short hike was nice. On the way back to rainy Hilo we visited the Mauna Loa macadamia nut candy factory and offset any benefit of the hike. The second day on Hawaii island, the ship docked in Kona. We spent the morning at a beach right next to the pier and rented an umbrella and 2 chairs ($29 for the full day). OK snorkeling at this beach, but it got crowded as the morning wore on. Kona is a tender port, but we have to praise Norwegian for a very efficient process. The tender ride is only 6-7 minutes, and the process ran smoothly. This was the only port at which we did not rent a car, and did not regret not getting one. The afternoon was spent walking and having Kona coffee, of course. Next was Kauai, our favorite island, as we had no children with us. The first day was again spent sightseeing, first to the Waimea Canyon. Spectacular scenery, especially if you continue on to the end of the road, past the canyon overlook. We stopped in the town of Waimea on the way back at the recommendation of our Alamo shuttle driver, Robert, to visit the local grocery store (Ishihara Market) for some local food. Delicious. We also visited Kauai Coffee for a tour and some more coffee. Well worth a stop for 30-45 minutes. Then it was on to the north shore and Hanalei. Another beautiful drive, but the traffic coming back into Lihue was difficult. If you drive to the north shore on the second, shorter day on Kauai, plan ahead so as not to miss the ship. The second day on Kauai was spent at Poipu Beach Park. A beautiful beach, well-protected, with a lifeguard. Snorkeling would have been excellent, but we did not bring our gear as a tropical storm was causing larger waves. Once we arrived at its beach, it turns out that it would have been fine for swimming and snorkeling. Live and learn. But there was a sea turtle sunning himself on the beach! Then back to the ship for the trip back to Honolulu. As for rental cars, we did two separate rentals on Maui, returning the car at the end of each day. As noted above, we rented a car for only one day on the Big Island. On Kauai, we rented a Jeep and kept it overnight. There is free parking on the street of the end of the pier that many people took advantage of. We paid $20 for a spot at Anchor Cove shopping center, secure guarded parking an easy 10 minute walk away. As far as the cruise ship itself, we were quite satisfied. This was our third cruise. The first was with Disney when the kids were young. Fantastic. The second was with Carnival when the kids were teens. Not our cup of tea. This Norwegian cruise suited us perfectly. The cabin was adequate. Always clean and relatively quiet, even though we were right next to the elevator on the 10th deck midship. The food was good, but we only ate at the Aloha Cafe. Buffet -style suits us. The salad bar was well-stocked. The entrees changed every night and were universally tasty. There were other complimentary dining options, but we did not take advantage of them. We did not opt for the $7.50 per day soft drink card, as the tea, water, and juices were enough to quench our thirst. As with any cruise, mixed drinks were expensive, but that was to be expected. We had a few drinks at various ports. A little less expensive, and we got to see some of the local spots. We did not do any of the cruise line's shore excursions, so I cannot comment on them. Others on the ship seemed to have a good time. Entertainment on the ship was good. One night was a Frankie Valli tribute band. One night was a Salute to Vegas type show. Both were good, but not Disney-good. There were also many other activities aboard, only a few of which we attended. We heard several favorable comments about the kids' activities, but had no first-hand experience with them. I also need to mention that the ship sailed around the east side of the Big Island when going from Hilo to Kona, to allow passengers to see the lava flow from Kilauea at night. We also sailed past the spectacular Na Pali coast of Kauai on the way back to Honolulu. Neither of these was on the most direct route to the next port, but the extra effort of the captain and NCL made for a more enjoyable trip. Kudos to NCL. A few minor complaints . An adults-only pool would have been nice. (55 and over?) Also, when we booked the trip, the policy was to allow guests to bring aboard sealed drinks (soda and water). The DAY BEFORE we sailed, the policy had changed to allow no drinks. We were never informed of the change and just happened to notice it on the day we arrived. Some warning would have been nice. One mistake we made was not allowing at least one day on Oahu. We missed seeing Pearl Harbor. An excuse to go back, I suppose. Overall a very enjoyable vacation. Highly recommended if you have never visited Hawaii and do not require top-of-the-line accommodations and experiences. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Norwegian Breakaway Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 5.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 5.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 2.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 3.0 3.3

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