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14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We are a couple in our early 60's who have sailed on Princess, Holland, Celebrity and Carnival. We traveled with my son his wife and 8 month old baby. We were not expecting much as we had heard some negative reviews of this ship and ... Read More
We are a couple in our early 60's who have sailed on Princess, Holland, Celebrity and Carnival. We traveled with my son his wife and 8 month old baby. We were not expecting much as we had heard some negative reviews of this ship and Norwegian cruises in general. We were pleasantly surprised in a number of ways. First we found the food very good in both the dining rooms and buffet. There were lots of variety of foods to choose from, and for the most part it was delicious. We prebooked our dining each evening in the Manhattan Room, but found that dining room was very noisy since they have a band playing dinner music, but it was so loud you could not have a conversation with each other or the waiters. We changed our dining to Taste which was much quieter. We did try the Monderno Restaurant one evening,and it was very good. They have lunch on sea days in the Monderno which is complimentary and I would highly recommend. Secondly, the staff were very friendly and work hard to please. Our balcony stateroom on deck 10 mid ship was very nice and kept clean by our room steward Larry. One of the nicest cabins we have had. The balcony is small and compares to ones on all the newer ships that we have been on. This is an excellent ship for young people from toddlers to teens. There is so much to do. Water slides, pools, rock climbing and a splash pad. I would cruise on this ship again if taking my five year old grandson. But my husband and I like a more traditional ship. We like the set dining times and prefer less people, as this ship was crowded at times. The drink package was included and it was great, but we do not need it as we are not big drinkers. But for those who enjoy a few drinks each day it is a great included package. We saw Burn the Floor which was great, and Rock of Ages which was mediocre. We missed having dinner then going to the theater each night like they have on the more traditional ships. Much of the entertainment started after 11 o'clock which is too late for us. Embarkation and debarkation was slow and crowded. They do not seem to be as organized as other ports. Overall, we had a great time and it was an excellent way to experience Bermuda. One tip is when in Bermuda you can obtain a bus and ferry pass. There are two buses you can catch. A number 7 which takes about an hour to get into Hamilton and it is the most scenic traveling along the beach area. The number 8 travels inland and also takes about an hour to get into Hamilton. The ferry is about 20 minutes to Hamilton. We would take the bus in and the ferry back. If you want to buy these passes get there early as there will be long lines. When you come out from the ship you buy the passes at the customs hall at the dock. We would cruise on this ship again, especially if we were taking our grand children. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I've cruised on this ship several times before. I've also cruised many times in the past on NCL as well as many other cruise lines. I've also done this itinerary before. I chose this one due to close proximity to drive ... Read More
I've cruised on this ship several times before. I've also cruised many times in the past on NCL as well as many other cruise lines. I've also done this itinerary before. I chose this one due to close proximity to drive to the ship and so my lady friend could experience this ship & itinerary. Took an ocean view, picture window cabin. 2 adults. first Some cons: A) FOOD I found the food has gone down. I did not eat in the specialty restaurants as I've been cruising since the 1980's and do not wish to promote the changes in "only getting good food if you pay extra". The choices have changed since I was last on the Breakaway. Now in Savor, Taste & Manhattan. They even added pay for upgrades to the meals on the menus. Also it used to be that the 3 restaurants varied their menus from each other a little bit. They would have their standard menu as well as a page of that days specials which varied each day. Now it is the same each day. Also the food is the same in all 3 restaurants. The consistency of food is not good. In Manhattan I ordered my steak "medium rare plus" (this is a proper cooking terminology). The waitress did not want to do this even after explaining it to her several times. She wanted to just make it medium. The steak came out between raw & rare. When I ordered it at Taste it came out medium well. In both cases it was very tough. In Savor the chicken Parmesan tasted like frozen chicken cutlets. The fish meals were good, not very good, just good. Limiting the late night dining to only O'Sheehans has never been a good idea. Their food is akin to fast food, (cold old fries included) yes, I've eaten at Cagneys in the past and it was good then, but as stated prior I don't support that concept. Food quality in my opinion was fair. enough variance in choices but it would be better to alter it each day. They do not allow you to make reservations during most hours yet easily wait 40 minutes for a table. This needs to be corrected. FOOD PROS: Restaurant service was excellent. The entertainment in Manhattan was very nice. Unfortunately long breaks during meal times. B) CABIN: CONS: We did a "cabin crawl" with other CC members and found another cabin just like ours that was wider near the entrance which was much better if carrying items in or out. A system to prevent hangers from clapping in the ship movement would be a plus. CABIN PROS: Exactly what was expected. Did not select a very large cabin but it was adequate. Good unobstructed view. Steward replaced & extra beach towels. Very good bathroom storage. The rest of the cabin has good storage also if one looks around and uses it wisely. Lots of hangers. Good lighting. VERY comfortable bed, better than at home. C) ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES CONS: If one wants to do the zip line without the entire rope course, they will not allow you to. They put up a block. My lady was a bit afraid of the rope course and wanted to just do the zip line. In order to comply she suited up and tried but was unable to go far on the rope course. Instead she tried to go direct to the zip line. They would not release the block. They would to allow her to come down but not to do the zip line. They close the zip line, rope course, water slides etc by 6:00pm. Way too early. this was not a wind issue. They should keep these open much later. The choice of entertainment was better in the past. Even on this ship the Fire & Ice show was so good in the past compared to what was present this time. Now the choices are not as good. Even Rock of Ages has gone down a bit. Rock of ages seems to depend more on the "sex shock value" then entertainment. Some variety is needed having the same show for 5 years in a row is ridiculous. Perhaps this is why the theatre had so many empty seats. Only three main shows. The Cirque Dreams dinner show was excellent ($40pp up charge) however even that had only mediocre aerial acts. I've seen far better aerial acts on NCL ships in the past ie. "Man from Mars" and a couple I can't remember the name of, they were husband & wife, both blonde. However if the idea is to reduce the quality of the other entertainment in order to get us to pay for the "good" entertainment they will chase the savvy customers away from NCL. On past cruises the "staff" would dance with guests at the H2O shows ie White out night. This time they danced with each other. Why? Interaction is better. Dueling pianos are way too money hungry. Constantly "begging" for more tips if you wanted to hear a request. I made a request several times. As I did not put a tip in with it it was thrown away immediately. Yet they would announce if they got $20 they would play a particular song or stop playing a certain one. They were constantly calling for tip money. As customers gave a substantial tip their choice was played. In headliners during Friday night a customer knocked a glass over on the floor which shattered. I went up and told the bartender who only had one couple at his bar. He said he would call someone. No one came. a customer picked up some of the glass but there was still plenty of glass and liquid on the floor. Again I told the bar tender and said it was dangerous. He did nothing about it. We left after about 1/2 hour later. No one ever cleaned it up. Charging $5 per game for "duck pin" bowling is excessive. As there is a separate kids pool the staff should attempt to encourage the kids to go over there instead of taking over the adult pool. CASINO: TERRIBLE SMOKE ISSUE. NCL must do something about air filtration in the casino area. Lied to about Black Jack table rules. I am a serious BJ player for many years. I know the "lingo" as well as rule variations all around the country as well as on ships. We were told the $50 table was "No mid shoe entry". Therefore I complied even when my desire was other. However on the last night select people were jumping in and out of the game. Afterward I spoke with the casino manager. He told me mid shoe entry was allowed on the $50 just not on the $100 table. I told what we were told. He checked with that person who claimed he stated otherwise. After I was able to quote verbatim what was said from all parties and identify who, the manager agreed with what I told him and said the guy will need training. They also will try to cut out over 3 decks from the back. You need to watch for this and argue to have it corrected. Some dealers will fight you on this until the floor person corrects them. They have changed all the tables to "continuous shuffle machines" except $50 or higher. No "shoe" deals in the non-smoking area. When talking with the manager on the last day he said they would have switched a table over in the non-smoking area if we had asked. I DID request this on the first day from the guy who lied. The smoke was so bad my lady would not even play there and normally she would play every day. Hence they lost a lot of casino play from us. PROS: As prior stated The Cirque Dreams dinner show was excellent. They kept the theme throughout in every aspect. Came over to the tables (we had front row seats). Interacted with guests. Great talent. Wonderful costumes. Music blended well with show. Very good food. Liars Club was very well done. Very entertaining. Burn the floor was excellent. A lot of talent. Very good facial expressions on most. Dueling pianos good. Atrium singer good. Guitar player very good, sorry I don;t remember his name. Ship itself, although this is a very large ship with a huge amount of passengers and crew, there are enough broken up areas (nooks & crannies) to always feel "uncrowded". A very good flow. You are rarely overwhelmed by the crowds. I've heard so many people complain about a huge ship with so many people. We never found it to be a problem. They handle the logistics flawlessly (in most cases). I do not choose to cruise alone. I like the interaction. Do not let the size scare you away. Our cabin was deck 5 forward yet getting everywhere was easy and quick. Ship was very smooth. You could feel the movement but never an issue. The ship is kept very clean, spotless. The passengers tend to be pigs however for the most part the crew cleans up after them all the time. D) SERVICE CONS: No servers tend to come around the hot tub areas for beverage service. They should be able to carry around a scanning device to scan your card when taking your order or delivering your drink. The taking of your card and leaving for such a long time is so bad for many reasons as well as the problems I've had in the past of them losing your card. As for Cabin service: No towel animal first or last night. not much variation in animal choices. (maybe our steward was newer). No chocolates first night (I'm supposed to get them every night) My lady got stomach distress on the one day, hence a little bathroom mess. We did some cleanup ourselves. So I called and asked for the cabin to be cleaned up. They asked about doing only the bathroom. I explained NO, the entire cabin including bedsheets needed to be done. We left, when I came back later I found all they did was clean the toilet area. They took ALL the towels, leaving us none. They did not touch the rest of the cabin. I had to call again and request it to be corrected. Somehow the steward got water on the bottom shelf in the bathroom which soaked my toiletries bag. PROS SERVICE: Bartenders excellent. Amazing how efficient they are. Even with a crowd of people you rarely wait long for a drink. Consistency is nonexistent between the bars as far as drink tastes but that can be a good thing. Never displeased with the bartenders quality, personality or effort. Wait staff in dinning rooms very nice and accommodating. We were running late (our own fault). They rushed our foods and still gave great service. All crew, staff & cast very pleasant. Always greeting you and willing to offer assistance with a smile. Professional in service and trying to please. E) SHORE EXCURSIONS CONS: Did not do the Snorkel park excursion with the ship. Been there plenty of times. However I saw the ship charged $39pp for it !!! that is ridiculous. It is a very short walk or open tram ride from the dock and a small charge to go in. Why rip off the customer? PROS SHORE EXCURSIONS We did the Ship Wreck & Coral Reef Snorkel. AMAZING! This was done through the ship but was with the crew from the "Aristocat" It is a catamaran ride out to the coral reef for about a 45 minutes dive then a ride out to the 3 ship wrecks with another 45 minute dive. The crew Skipper "Smitty", mate "Baxter" (check out his Tattooes) and a very pleasant lady (sorry I'm bad with names). This crew made it a great experience. I've snorkeled too many times to name. I have my own gear. However they had good quality gear to supply for those in need. They did everything one could ask for and then some. The ride out and back was as smooth as one could ask for. Drinks aplenty. Extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Their guidance and thoughtfulness make this a great excursion. Funny, entertaining crew. They were good story tellers. Relaxed atmosphere, they never make you feel rushed. I wished more people tipped them. Cost of excursion was $99pp and worth every penny. We also did Horseshoe bay and Tobacco bay. Beautiful beaches - these are must sees. Snorkeling at Tobacco bay is good. Rock formations are great. Bring a camera. Had a chance to eat at "Wahoo" in St Georges. Delicious. Had the Rockfish BBQ, she had the Red Hind. Both were wonderful. Service from Diddi then another waitress was perfect. Nice atmosphere. The locals eat there. Very good. Not cheap but worth it. Very nice miniature golf course at Snorkel park (near the dock). Say hi to Angie. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Its hard to have some negative judgments when in the end, everything was done right. But why should that stop any good critic? THE GOOD: All services (with the exception of internet help desk) WERE DONE RIGHT- Staff was cordial, ... Read More
Its hard to have some negative judgments when in the end, everything was done right. But why should that stop any good critic? THE GOOD: All services (with the exception of internet help desk) WERE DONE RIGHT- Staff was cordial, competent and eager to give us what we needed- all levels, cabin, desk, dining, et al. Entertainment was 4.5 out of 5 for all venues, going from Broadway to acoustic guitar to hot Latin style dancing to Cajun blues. Food was excellent, and varied, AND WE didn't even take advantage of the upper level eateries. (Buffet was, well, buffet. But decent buffet) DanDan the cruise director was a hoot. Given the fact we came and went through 60 mph rain storms and 12 foot waves, even our top level (14th deck) cabin was not uncomfortable! (just some flexing and creaking noises at night. I assume it was the ship). Fore and aft areas moved a little, but again, bearable. THE 'Ehh': Decor was OK, but aside from the spiral glass staircase in the atrium, there was no breaktaking sites or photo ops on the boat. (except for the Peter Max mural painted on the entire side of the boat). Pool deck was super crowded, Pools were miniscule (though the 4 water slide park WAS pretty remarkable sitting on top of a cruise ship.) The theater was adequate (single level, but with a full entertainment tent on the deck below it) THE UGLY: TOO MANY PEOPLE : 4500. I can't believe how well the staff got their jobs done, servicing all these folk. Lines for everything, clutter of people everywhere, ONLY TWO sets of elevators for the whole ship. Everything that wasn't strictly scheduled involved a wait. Elevators usually were like Japanese trains, as everyone squeezed to get on after a long wait. Walking through the 3 story midship atrium was more like traversing an obstacle course. And the "get there 45 minutes early to beat the 30 minutes early crowd" rule was in effect to get any kind of event seating. It was a family centric cruise, and that was apparent by the noise level in some dining venues (especially when the kids were past naptime), but I guess I can't fault Norwegian for that. If you have kids, you'll feel right at home. Getting on the ship had a few delays, caused by problems getting last week's warriors off the ship. We did not even try early disembarkment (we heard later it was pretty grueling, so we managed OK. Again, even off the ship, things were pretty much done right, if not slowed down by the hoards of people. INTERNET ACCESS WAS A JOKE (did I already say too many people?) The Internet guy was not real knowledgeable with iPhone, iPad problems ;-/ IN THE END, we got everything we expected, a GOOD QUALITY experience, albeit having to wait, or wade through oceans of people to get it. But at this point in our lives we will be concentrating on 2000 passenger boats from now on. DESTINATION: BERMUDA- I'll pass on review. Read up on your own if you haven't been there, if you are return visitor, you know how much you can do or decide NOT to do, and just chill out. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Let me just start off by saying that this was my seventh cruise but only my second on Norwegian. All my other cruises were on Royal Caribbean, which I always loved. I chose this cruise, because this was for my honeymoon and after dishing ... Read More
Let me just start off by saying that this was my seventh cruise but only my second on Norwegian. All my other cruises were on Royal Caribbean, which I always loved. I chose this cruise, because this was for my honeymoon and after dishing out all the money for the wedding and then buying a house money was in smaller supplies. For my husband (which this was his first cruise) and I, the cheaper rate was an added bonus. We were at the point where we didn't really care which line it was we wanted to get away. I have to say for a cheaper cruise (comparing Norwegian to Royal Caribbean) we lucked out. Nothing really fancy with our reservation- inside cabin, complimentary dinning etc. Everything was great except for the restaurant service. Just being 2 of us, we would wait easily an hour for dinner, and no matter where we ate was the same wait time. It seemed like there were too many guests and not enough servers on staff. Any of the bars we went to were great with a short wait time, except for the O'Sheehan Bar and Grill on deck 7. The way it is set up is the pub is on one side of a hallway/ walkway type and the bar on the other side. Well over by the bar you can over see the Atrium that's a deck below, the servers rarely go over to those table to take any order for the pub or the bar. Why that annoyed me was because that was the only restaurant that was open 24 hours. The food itself was amazing, and the cleanliness and friendliness was great, but just the amount of servers were poor. For anybody reading this review for their first cruise let me tell you about the inside cabins: (not trying to suggest an upgrade, it's the rooms I prefer) the rooms are literally 2 feet (or so) wider than a queen bed and just long enough for the bed a vanity and a bathroom, which is also nothing to get carried away about. I like the inside rooms because I chose to not spend a large chunk of time in the room and having that room helps that. My recommendation for any room is to bring a clock. Let me just warn you though that they have some energy saving thing in the rooms (I had mixed feelings about it- I like the idea to save energy, but it got annoying at the same time) In order to have any electricity you need to insert your key card into the light switch- but when you take the card out all the power goes off. So if you have a clock that plugs in you need to reset it every time (which I did) it beats setting my watch alarm that I could not figure out how to shut off. If you plan on going to any shows on board book them early- they fill up fast. Even some 'free' shows (which is the only ones I did) require a reservation to get a seat. Overall I recommend this cruise line, ship and destination to everybody! Can't wait to cruise again :) Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
For the Kids: This cruise has a lot to offer children & young teens. I have a 15 year old and she enjoyed the ropes course, water slides, and the Rock of Ages show. She did not go to the teen program at all so I can't ... Read More
For the Kids: This cruise has a lot to offer children & young teens. I have a 15 year old and she enjoyed the ropes course, water slides, and the Rock of Ages show. She did not go to the teen program at all so I can't comment on that. Although I will say the cruise staff should monitor the teens sitting on the stairs outside of the teen program. I also have a 17 year old boy who was caught between the teen group being too young and him not quite being 18 to partake in the 18-21 group. He tried the Teen center but found it to be a bit immature. He did make his way into the nightlife with several other 16+ teens. During the day he was a bit bored but that is partly due to his personality (not a swimmer nor does he enjoy laying in the sun). Entertainment & Activities; Pool decks are crowded but we didn't really have any trouble finding a spot to relax when we went to spend time by the pool. I love music and there was always music playing however it was always VERY loud. I am not so sure it has to be that loud. The Rock of Ages Show was definitely an adult show. They have several warnings that is for 18+. The Burn the Floor show was just ok. The dancers are very talented but I found the show boring. It was just one dance after another without a theme or storyline. A lot of the game like shows are held in the Atrium and there just isn't enough seating for the number of people on the boat. They really should have the Newly Wed Game in the theater as well as a few of the other shows. They had a crew talent show and they only had 4 acts in the show that too was a bit disappointing. Cabin: The room was a bit tight for the 4 of us. The balcony is on the smaller side but sufficient. The bed my husband and I shared was comfortable. My daughter slept on the couch and she said it wasn't too comfortable. My son slept in the pull down bed and he had no complaints. We were on the 14th deck and we really liked being on this deck. We were on the aft side of the boat and this placed us close to the elevators and just one flight up was the Garden Cafe' (buffet). There was some sound from the cafe' above but not too much. The noise from room to room is ok too. We had a family next to us that had fights throughout the week so we could hear them yelling here and there. The bathrooms were very nice and we had plenty of room in there. The rooms cleanliness was ok. I saw a lot of dust on the furniture and the rug was so-so. The room steward never introduced himself and wasn't very personable at all. He was friendly enough but nothing compared to other cruises we've been on. Whenever I called for towels, pillows etc... he was always there. Food: The food was good. We did eat in a few of the dining rooms. The most disappointing was the menu in all the dining rooms was the same. They had the same entrees and desserts. To me, why bother having different dining rooms if you are all serving the same food. We were happy with the Garden Cafe' although there were always many people there and lines would form. I highly recommend looking at the daily menu for the Garden Cafe' as they do change up their themes. Also, look for the times when they serve snacks vs. meal type foods. The chicken salad is fabulous for lunch! The burgers were awesome on the Up Town Grill. The chicken wings, nachos, burgers, and such are great at O'sheehans. You definitely will not go home hungry after this cruise! I really enjoyed having the Ultimate Beverage Package and my kids had the soda package. If you can pick this up as part of a promo I recommend it. The drinks were always very good. They also used top shelf liquor a lot of the time. Service: All the workers are very nice and accommodating. We didn't have any problems with anyone. Like I said earlier the room steward was not personable but he did do his job well. My biggest complaint about this ship is the smoking in the casino and since the casino is in the center of the ship we would have to walk through it. We would actually do our best to avoid this deck. Bermuda was absolutely beautiful! You also feel very safe walking around. We didn't book any excursions through the ship. We took a taxi to Horseshoe Beach --- if you are in Bermuda this is a MUST!!! Beautiful and clean. The taxi ride there was $42 (approx. $7 per person) but it was well worth it b/c our driver gave us a tour as we made our way to the beach. At the beach you could rent lounge chairs and umbrellas (2 chairs and 1 umbrella $25 all in great condition). The snack shack was also reasonably priced. The next day we booked a glass bottom boat experience off the ship. It was $50 per person and again well worth it. They took us right over the reefs and shipwrecks. We fed the fish with bread and he served drinks for free!!! The captain and the tour guide were very knowledgeable about the reefs, Bermuda's history, and culture. It was great! We also enjoyed the National Museum of Bermuda for just $12 per person. Lots of shops too! The Clock Tower mall was very cool. I would sail the Breakaway again. I found the nightlife fun and the freestyle made meal times more relaxing. This was my first time sailing Norwegian and I was concerned about all of the negative reviews but I have to say that overall our vacation was pretty damn fun/relaxing in many ways. Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Review for NCL Breakaway, 4/24 – 5/1, 2016 Sailed on NCL for the fifth time, second on the Breakaway. Although it has many perks due to it's size, it is still the least favorite of the NCL ships I have sailed due to the set-up ... Read More
Review for NCL Breakaway, 4/24 – 5/1, 2016 Sailed on NCL for the fifth time, second on the Breakaway. Although it has many perks due to it's size, it is still the least favorite of the NCL ships I have sailed due to the set-up compared to the smaller ships. However, I still enjoyed the NCL experience and would continue to sail them again, just preferably on the smaller ships (the Gem being my favorite, the Dawn being my sister's). Hints you might not know: - Download the NCL iConcierge app BEFORE you get on board. Impossible to download once on the ship. Downloading the app is free, to activate it is $7.95 per user - the best $7.95 the ship charges. You can text or call anyone who has the app, to their phone or to their cabin. Don't "swipe" out the app or you are considered "off-line" and you will not get the messages until you reopen the app. Otherwise, it worked for us 95% of the time, and on a ship that large, it was extremely convenient to communicate with each other. You can also access the daily events and menus of the specialty restaurants and O'Sheehan's on it (not the regular dining rooms). You can also book tickets using this app. - The "fish" on the floors of cabins are all swimming to the front of the ship. That's how you can tell to which part of the ship you are walking to. - Selfie-machines to send pictures back home are a cute free addition on the seventh and eighth floors. - If you have the unlimited drink offer, you can only get one alcoholic drink at a time, but can also get a soda with it. - Inquire at the front desk for "Vacation Hero" cards to write positive notes for the staff who you feel go above and beyond. They are able to earn merit based on good reviews, and for only a few minutes of your time, it is a kind way to show thanks to those who made your trip a little more memorable. Leaving NYC: We were late to get on board due to coast guard drills being performed on the boat. The terminal was extremely crowded and not enough seating space for the number of passengers. However, this was not a fault of NCL, but it did create tension before boarding. Once on ship, O'Sheehans, the buffet, and Taste were all open for lunch. Rooms were ready as soon as we were on board to drop off carry-on's. Our luggage was in our room by 4pm. Cabin: 5th floor, window. Much more spacious than our friends on the 11th floor interior, and any interior we saw on our floor. I never compared prices for interiors vs. windows, but I would take our room over again in a heartbeat compared to the interiors for storage and floor space. Our steward never introduced himself to us, yet our rooms were always impeccable, ready / maintained while we were out. The only "complaint" we had was that we were Latitude members and should have had chocolates every night, but once we mentioned that at the front desk, they called housekeeping and it was rectified immediately (including "make up" chocolates for nights missed!). Although some people prefer to be higher up, we actually prefer the lower floor for the lack of movement you feel. Our parents had a balcony on the 14th floor, which was a great room, minus the swaying. Restaurants: We only ate at Taste, O'Sheehan's, the Garden Cafe, Uptown Grill (those four all complimentary), Teppanyaki, La Cocina, and Cagney's (those three for fees). - Book Teppanyaki BEFORE you get on board. It books up immediately. The whole experience here takes about 2 hours, but is very much worth it. - Cagney's - WORTH it. If you have the meal package, you can order as many apps and sides as you wish. They are small (definitely for only one person), so don't feel ashamed for ordering more than one side (ex. onion rings were three small rings). - La Cocina was our least favorite "pay" meal, but much better this time than previously on this ship or others. It's just not "Italian" compared to NY food. However, my mom ordered the steak here and said it was just as good as it was at Cagney's. - The best burger hands-down on board was at Uptown Grill. It was worth the wait for it. If this turns to a "pay" restaurant as noted in another thread, it really would be a shame on NCL's part for numerous reasons, number one being the penny-pinching of the passengers. Three years ago, it used to also feature meatballs, but the burgers alone (and waffle fries) were absolutely delicious. It was one of our favorite restaurants. - Buffet - Food always fresh, but I do think NCL should have more staff monitoring the how sanitary the "help yourself" stations are maintained. For example, (and I realize this is a parenting issue), I saw a pre-teen completely lick his ice cream cone and then stick it completely up the "sprinkle" machine leaving his germs all over the inside for everyone else who uses it. Also, staff were only housed at two entrances of the cafe for hand sanitizer, and even though the others had machines and sinks, no one was enforcing it. The staff were very busy keeping the food out, clearing the tables, etc., but I do think they were under-manned at all times. Breakfast was my favorite meal to eat there, although I do understand you can get the complimentary buffet at Moderno on at-sea days. Entertainment: - Pools - Parents need to watch their children. Plain and simple. There are no life guards, the floors get very slippery, the pools can get rough. Parents need to watch their own children. There are staff members who float around for safety reasons, but they are not life guards. - Slides - For the "freefall", you must be between 99-300 pounds and no jewelry at all. The twisted slides have a height requirement. - Ropes course - It is great but scary. Be prepared! - Jogging path - Ridiculous location. Very poor design on this ship. It goes around wet parts of the ship, as well as through narrow parts that are easily congested (by the rock climbing wall, also in a poor location). - Gym - Still confused why they designed it so that the treadmills face the side of the ship, as opposed to facing the back of the ship like on the Dawn and Jewel. Not good for sea sickness. - Second City - We love their scriptless acts and shows. Free, and fill up fast. Book even if you are unsure you want to see it to guarantee a seat. There are more family friendly versions at 7pm, but I don't think children under 10 or so would really enjoy them. - Rock of Ages - Be very aware that this is not for children. It is a great show, very true to the Broadway version, and we found it to be quite enjoyable. However, we did see a lot of people walk out (mostly families) and complain that it is in appropriate for children. It IS - and they make that announcement very, very clear both in the Freestyle Daily and before the show begins. Again, not the fault of NCL! Passengers need to read the Freestyle Daily! - Carla Stickler - Broadway star and VERY enjoyable performance. What a treat. - Staff Talent Show - Very enjoyable. - Game shows in Atrium - NOT enough seats for the guests. This too is a downfall to this ship. It's missing a "Spinnaker Lounge" like it's smaller ships, which can hold more people comfortably. Unless you arrive extremely early to get a seat in the middle of the sixth floor OR manage to get a seat around the edge of the 7th floor looking down, you are standing to watch it, and they are very, very popular. It's really a shame on the design of the ship, but they are worth it to attend if you can get a good spot to watch. - We didn't attend any of the dance parties or night events other than the ones mentioned above, so I cannot comment on them. Bermuda: - Buy bus / ferry pass in gazebo right at the dockyard. Hint - don't "wave" at the bus to stop it. Apparently this means to "keep going" in Bermuda. - To return to ship from Hamilton or St. George's, get to the ferry station in plenty of time or you will be waiting for the next one. - Snorkel Park - five min walk from the boat. Cheap, close to the boat, fairly clean (although we did see quite a bit of broken glass). If you want a prettier beach, head to Horseshoe Bay or Tobacco Beach. (BRING CASH to all) - Crystal Caves - enjoyable - Aquarium / Zoo / Museum - If your expectations are very, very small, go. Otherwise, skip it. - GET BACK TO THE SHIP WHEN YOU ARE TOLD. Staff: - You do not NEED to tip extra for most things, as you are charged a daily fee, plus an 18% gratuity is included. However, just because you don't need to does not mean you don't have to, especially for those who go above and beyond. - Write the vacation hero cards (see above). Make a difference for someone who made one for you. - I still feel that this ship has the most impersonal of the staff of any NCL that we've been on, but I attribute it to its size, or lack of training that those on other ships may have received previously. They simply can't remember 4000 passengers. However, we had a few staff who we felt went above and beyond, and we wrote out the vacation hero cards, as well as tipped them extra. We also saw a few who seemed down-right scared of their managers and / or chefs, which was upsetting to see. We only experienced one rude / surly crew member. Leaving the Ship: - Disembarking was a NIGHTMARE. Out of five cruises, this was the worst I've ever experienced. I don't know if it was the fault of NCL or customs, but the system was a disaster. Passengers were crowding the stairwells, wrapped in long lines, blocking floors for over 2 and a half hours. It was a total disaster. Plus, the cafe stopped serving at 9, you had to be out of your rooms by 8:30, so there was literally nowhere else to go. You were trapped, and it honestly felt like a huge fire trap. If this is how it is all the time, then the ship needs to rethink its procedures big-time. It was the only sour spot in our trip, but unfortunately as it was at the very end, it stuck with you. Customs: Do not use your phone in the building. It's quite simple. Do it and you will get yelled at. I don't understand why so many adults were belligerent about this. It was made quite clear. As well as the adults arguing with customs agents that they didn't know they needed to fill out the declaration papers. They are left in your room the night before you get off the ship with very clear instructions that you must fill them out. Read the instructions. It's very simple. Overall, we had a very good time and would still continue to cruise with NCL. However, we do feel that this was probably our last time on the Breakaway. It's too impersonal of a ship for us, and very poorly designed structurally. They tried to shove too much in, yet, location wise, so much of it doesn't work. We've had such wonderful experiences on the smaller ones, we'd go back to them in a heartbeat. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I am a frequent cruiser &have platinum status with carnival.Recently I have been cruisingwith Norwegian with my last 2 being on the breakaway. Both lines are good &have their pros&cons. In fairness I am only comparing ... Read More
I am a frequent cruiser &have platinum status with carnival.Recently I have been cruisingwith Norwegian with my last 2 being on the breakaway. Both lines are good &have their pros&cons. In fairness I am only comparing conquest&dream class of carnival to the newer ships of ncl,those built since&including the Epic.i would give ccl the edge on cabin,entertainment&slightly on service.NCL would get the edge on ship&strongly on dining.&pricing. My main gripe with ncl is that its tv coverage of American sports STINKS.In late April we have baseball season starting,NBA playoffs&NHLplayoffs on multiple times daily. What does ncl have on tv...soccer,rugby&formula 1 racing. Granted most people do not cruise to watch sports,but ncl could do a much better job of coverage&should consider adding a sports bar on the newer ships if coverage improves. Also it would benifit ncl to have more than 4 barstools in the headliners club to watch dueling pianos.. A classic rock band would appeal to many patrons in a venue that has some barstools..also some, if not all,of the performers were nothing more than glorified karyoke,how about some acoustic performers I did not take any excursions since I had previously been in the ports. Embarkation&debarkation were satisfactory however i might have been spoiled due to my priorty status with ccl. I will gladly cruise again with ncl in the future,but i will limit it to certain times of the year depending on the sports sason.television has limitations at sea but ncl could improve considerably. with ccl&ncl again .However my ncl voyages would be limited to certain sports seasons. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We choose the NCL Breakaway for the itinerary and departure port of New York. Our son has dreamed about visiting the Atlantis waterpark and what better way to experience this than by cruising to the destination. Our time slot for ... Read More
We choose the NCL Breakaway for the itinerary and departure port of New York. Our son has dreamed about visiting the Atlantis waterpark and what better way to experience this than by cruising to the destination. Our time slot for embarkation was 12pm, we arrived on time and found a long line to drop luggage off. Surprisingly, the line moved quickly and we were within the cruise terminal within minutes. Going through security was a breeze, but everything stopped when we were in line to check in. From arrival to stepping on board took an hour and a half. I am a gold member with NCL and found that this dedicated line did nothing to help in the timeliness of checking in. Once on board we were able to drop our carry on items in the cabin. Our cabin steward was there and apologized for the room not being ready just yet. It was 1:30pm, so we headed off to the buffet for a late lunch. We loved the buffet! The choices were endless, the food was fresh and the staff was able to keep up and stock items that were running low. Excellent quality food was had by all. We were afraid that we would not be able to find a table, with it being embarkation day and the many families surrounding us, but found that the flow of people coming in and out allowed us to find a table with no issue. Excursions: We took 2 shore excursions through the ship. The Kennedy Space Center was nicely organized and there was no wait for bus or any of the exhibits. Highly recommend. We also did the Atlantis waterpark through the ship and were not disappointed. They had multiple buses shuttling and we were able to get on a bus just prior to the meet time and be at the park as it was just opening. Even though there were many people we were still able to ride all the slides we had been hoping too. Great Stirrup Cay is a nice beach. We were on the first tender since we have gold status, so there was no wait. The beach is clean, food is great and lots of fish to see. Negative was the long wait to get a tender to return. the ship was setting sail at 6pm and we tried to leave at 4pm. The line was large and the wait took an hour to get a tender back. This was disappointing. Kids club was a hit with our 10 year old. All the staff in the club were very friendly and inviting. They made the 10-12 year olds week by having most of their activities in the Bliss nightclub away from the younger cruisers. Overall we loved the experience and itinerary. The cabin made the week and was hard to leave behind. Disappointed in the loss of enthusiasm in the restaurant wait staff. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
My first Norwegian cruise(always Celebrity) so was concerned about food, cabin, crowds, etc. We took our children and grandchildren so wanted a "fun" ship. 1. Even though the ship was full the crowds were really not bad at ... Read More
My first Norwegian cruise(always Celebrity) so was concerned about food, cabin, crowds, etc. We took our children and grandchildren so wanted a "fun" ship. 1. Even though the ship was full the crowds were really not bad at all. 2. Each family had a mini-suite and loved the bathroom with the double sink and great shower.The balcony was smaller than on Celebrity but honestly it was more than adequate for sitting and for watching the world pass by. 3. Embarkment: We got there around 10:30 so we had to wait for an hour or so. We were starting our vacation so we even enjoyed the wait. 4. The 3 main dining rooms were not great foodwise. However the Manhattan Room. we enjoyed because of the music and it was quite lively. Taste and Savor were very slow especially in the morning unless you get "express" breakfast. I really do prefer the MDR on Celebrity - get to know the servers and it was fun. We did enjoy Tappanyaki but really liked the food at LaCucina and especially LeBistro. As a party of 11 we definitely ran into problems getting reservations anywhere while onboard unless we made reservations before cruise. board. O'Sheehan's was loud and food was not good. Beverage service at dinner sometimes took a while to get.Bars were all good. 5, Casino was very good. We played every day for quite a while and did not loose but $100. Lots of playing time. 6. Kids really enjoyed all the top deck facilities and especially the game room. They went to Splash Academy once but I think because they had each other they never went back. 7. We did Cape Kennedy(must better than I thought and lots for kids to do), the NCL island was nice and we did the day at Atlantis(expensive but the kids loved it). 8. Worse thing was disembarkment. Our two children and their families elected to keep luggage and get off first.. One did and was on their way by 9. The other left when they called our group at 9:15 and we all spend an hour plus lugging luggage around Deck 7 and the stairways. Next time we will keep our luggage and leave the the first notice to leave. 9, There was smoke in some areas and the corridors were tight but not a big deal. Elevators were plentiful. We all agree it was a fun cruise and many complaints I read about were not present on our cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We were looking for a fall getaway. The Breakaway delivered as promised, with some good and some mediocre. This is large ship so be prepared for crowded elevators at times. For the most part, Norwegian knows how to move passengers on and ... Read More
We were looking for a fall getaway. The Breakaway delivered as promised, with some good and some mediocre. This is large ship so be prepared for crowded elevators at times. For the most part, Norwegian knows how to move passengers on and off the ship en masse. Overall the food and entertainment met or exceeded expectations. Buffet food was good, but not very creative. We took the dining promotion, so we tried all of the specialty restaurants. Cagney's had the best food, but the service was not up to the same standard. We really enjoyed the musical performances, especially Fire and Ice and Les Getrex. On the other hand, we found Rock of Ages to be dreadful. We may be in the minority, but I suspect that many of the folks who love it have never seen a real Broadway show. No accounting for taste. Our mini-suite cabin was comfortable for two, with good storage space and a nice sized bathroom. Our Cabin Steward provided adequate service, although used glasses were not always cleared and we didn't get fresh ice every evening. Based on prior experience on Norwegian (Pearl), we signed up for the Thermal Spa. This larger space was overcrowded with many people saving the heated benches with towels and robes. Access to the Spa is not supervised and I saw persons dressed in street clothes using the lounges! We suspect access to the Spa was oversold due to the poor weather. It was not the pleasant, relaxing environment we expected. The ship could use a better PA system and a better range of shop merchandise in lieu of all the space given over to jewelry and the photo shop. Overall, we got what we paid for. Read Less
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