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Cruise Ratings
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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Very overcrowded, Casino allows smoking, food and staff was above par. Rock of Ages in the main theater was a bunch of high schoolers. Mini Suite emphasizes on mini with a very small balcony. Beds were 2 twins put together to make a king ... Read More
Very overcrowded, Casino allows smoking, food and staff was above par. Rock of Ages in the main theater was a bunch of high schoolers. Mini Suite emphasizes on mini with a very small balcony. Beds were 2 twins put together to make a king but with a valley between the 2. Very uncomfortable. The water in the sink was scalding hot immediately so if you have small kids keep them away from the sink until the water cools down. Our suite was 1 level above a night club and the noise kept us up passed midnight.. Ship posts a passenger capacity of 3963 but we were told there were almost 4800 passengers. Forget about a chaise near the pool on sea days or getting someone to serve drinks. Pool area was plain and boring, whitewashed walls. Shore excursion was very overcrowded as well. Most of the time the soap dispensers were empty in the public restrooms. The buffet staff was excellent in reminding us to wash our hands but missed the small area of black mold on one of the walls and ceiling. Disembarkation was a total cluster. We had to leave our cabin by 9am but our disembarkation color wasn’t called until 9:45. We stood on a very long line for another hour trying to get off the ship which took us thru the smokey casino. I tried to enjoy the casino during the cruise but if you are an asthmatic like me “stay away” Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Before I get too far along I want to say that the crew, bar staff, room stewards etc.. were excellent. They did what they could.. Now, some complaints: 1. The main dining room food was a disappointment most days. Lunch menus were ... Read More
Before I get too far along I want to say that the crew, bar staff, room stewards etc.. were excellent. They did what they could.. Now, some complaints: 1. The main dining room food was a disappointment most days. Lunch menus were identical every day. specialty dining, on the three nights we had it, was much better but I was left suspecting the main dining rooms are suffering to drive passengers into paid venus.. The buffet was a complete disaster. The food was just ok, but the crowds were overwhelming. The crowding was some of the worst I have witnessed on any of my dozen or so cruises. 2. The Bahamas Atlantis excursion was a disaster. It seemed they sold half day tickets without regard to crowd size or infrastructure of the port. We stood on a pier under construction with no shade water or seating in 95+ degree sun for about an hour before the line even thought about moving. 100s if not thousands of passengers were shuttled the short trip to Atlantis in 25 passenger Van's, severely cutting into time to be spent at the park. 3. Disembarkation in Miami was only slightly improved from the Atlantis excursion. Ncl called categories much faster than people could exit the ship, and snaked the line of passengers through most common areas on the ship. I understand they need to make ready to set sail, but this was an absurdity. No one will forget standing in a massive line an inordinate amount of time like this and it will hurt return business. 4. The water slides were often out of service for maintenance. When I went on them I found why. They are brutal. The sliding surface has a cheese grater like effect and was dry in spots as you go down the slide causing your skin to chafe. 5. Crowding everywhere. This may seem repetitive, but its intentional. I don't know if it is understaffed or what but there were lines on top of lines...for everything. The good: 1. Osheeans was pretty nice to have but was overcrowded with 30 or 40 minute waits standard. 2. The rock band at the pour house was incredible and saved our cruise singlehandedly. 3. Embarkation was pretty smooth. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Cruise was a normal Norwegain experience, which I think it pretty good! Embarkation was a little unorganized. With the new terminal under construction, we were in terminal G and the signage on which line to get in was poor to ... Read More
Cruise was a normal Norwegain experience, which I think it pretty good! Embarkation was a little unorganized. With the new terminal under construction, we were in terminal G and the signage on which line to get in was poor to non-existent. There were Norwegian staff to point you in the right direction but it was still confusing. The check in counter is a circle with lines all around it. I think they could do a much better job with signage here. But once we got to an agent check in was fast and efficient. We spend a lot of our cruise in SpiceH2O and was shocked at the state of the waterfall feature! We have been on Breakaway in the past, and it has been a few years, the difference was drastic. We collected 4+ tiles off the bottom every day of the cruise, the rain shower and misters no longer worked and were all rusted. The waterfall was very slow in some spots and heavy in one particular spot. We are scheduled back on the Breakaway in Nov and hope this is refurbished by then. Increase in Cabin Service Charge was a popular topic aboard ship. In case you have not seen it, you will be charged $15 per person, per day! Even if you pre-pay gratuities you will not be able to pre-pay this amount. For my wife and I this was $210 on our on board charge that was not expected. For families with a couple small kids this could easily be 400-500 dollars they might not be expecting. I think this should just be built into the cost of the cruise fare and not tacked onto your room charges. Or at least allow it to be paid ahead of the cruise. But I suspect its an easy way for them to give you some free at sea $$ but then charge it right back to you. Disembarking is my least favorite part of Norwegian. It is just much less organized than other cruise lines. This time there was facial recognition used, which actually worked pretty well (was surprised) and helped. But then once off the ship there was no clear direction on which way to go and the Norwegian staff nearly got into a shouting match with the porters on which way we should go. And a large garage door was nearly closed on a elderly guest in the process. luckily someone pulled them out of the door way in time or they would have been knocked to the ground or worse by that door. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This is my 4th trip on NCL and first time on Breakaway. Was on Getaway a few years ago and thought it would be much the same. It wasn't. We had to search for help, The wait staff left our food sitting. Even went so far as to bring ... Read More
This is my 4th trip on NCL and first time on Breakaway. Was on Getaway a few years ago and thought it would be much the same. It wasn't. We had to search for help, The wait staff left our food sitting. Even went so far as to bring my daughter and I dessert that was supposed to have ice cream but ended up with a puddle of milk. There were 2 times we enjoyed our meal, and both times we went out of our way to find someone and actively engage the people. Waiting on someone to come to you and ask is a thing of the past in all but 2 places. We lucked out at Cagneys and got a great server the second time and he was on top of things. The other great experience was at Savor and I finally had to compliment the Asst. Mitre'D. She did an excellent job of making sure everyone was in their place and attending to customers. My other issue was with the shows. They were crude and not very friendly to families. The most family friendly show we went to was at the comedy club starting at 8:30 in the evening. The one time my daughter went to the splash academy she complained there was a bully there and she wasn't interested in attending any more (of course I didn't find this out until we were ready to leave the last evening). There were some really great people that made this cruise work. The entertainment staff and some wait staff and officers made this trip work. I have an Alaska trip planned for 2020 and if not for these people renewing my faith in NCL I would probably reschedule with another line. I'm still waiting on over $250 in last minute charges that mysteriously shown up on my CC. They took hours to take the money out and have 15 days to explain why? Seems a bit crazy to me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first cruise, and we enjoyed our week on the Breakaway. Embarkation in Miami was very efficient. We went through the check in process quickly and the person assisting us was helpful and courteous. Getting onto the ship was ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and we enjoyed our week on the Breakaway. Embarkation in Miami was very efficient. We went through the check in process quickly and the person assisting us was helpful and courteous. Getting onto the ship was almost effortless—just a few drips to avoid since it was raining. Disembarkation was really the only negative (and not a game changer for us) as the line was REALLY long and weaved and twisted all around deck 7. We heard it was due to a new customs process. Our balcony cabin was fantastic. Cyril, the cabin steward, was great—friendly, courteous, and helpful. In the dining areas, we also experienced very friendly and courteous staff—not at all what some reviewers described. In fact, all of the staff that we encountered were pleasant. Our meals were all delicious—we mostly ate in the main dining rooms or specialty restaurants. We especially recommend Ocean Blue, Moderno, and Teppanyaki. For breakfast, be sure to check out the free buffet at Margaritaville for a quieter place with great views. We did the San Juan City Tour and the Island Beach Break (Tortola); those were our favorite excursions. While we enjoyed snorkeling in St Thomas and the Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter in Nassau, these were over-crowded and expensive. All of the shows that we attended—Velvet, Dueling Pianos, Rock of Ages, Burn the Floor—were very professionally performed. We would most definitely cruise on the Breakaway again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
The Breakaway was very clean, the staff on board was pleasant. The dining experience was exceptionally well. We dined at Cagney’s, which is one of the ala carte restaurants. I definitely recommend booking a reservation here. They have ... Read More
The Breakaway was very clean, the staff on board was pleasant. The dining experience was exceptionally well. We dined at Cagney’s, which is one of the ala carte restaurants. I definitely recommend booking a reservation here. They have options for everyone. We also ate at the French restaurant Le Bistro. Small and romantic- dress code applies. The other nights we ate between Taste and Savor. We chose this cruise because of the destination. All 3 ports were amazing. I had no expectations, but it was very enjoyable. Nobody was pushing you to buy things, and everyone was so nice. We did a non NCL tour in San Juan, PR. it was with a company called "Taste of San Juan." We walked and ate on our tour. Our tour guide was very personable and he explained everything, and gave us the history if he knew it. St. Thomas we did the skyride and then the Champagne Cataraman snorkel on the dancing dolphin - through NCL. that was an awesome experience as well. if you like to check out the beautiful landscape/ocean/and ocean life. this is the excursion for you. Tortola we just hung out and did the island beach break. our taxi bus driver was cool, he told us alot of the history and answered questions people had about the island. once you get to the beach you pay $5 per chair and umbrella and swim in the ocean or catch some rays. You are pretty much on your own until it is time to leave. There are resturants and bars along the beach and water activites you can do for a price. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Let me just start by saying this is my first time ever writing a review. I travel quite extensively and I’ve had great times and good times and I roll with the punches regardless. I’m truly not hard to please so………Let me tell ... Read More
Let me just start by saying this is my first time ever writing a review. I travel quite extensively and I’ve had great times and good times and I roll with the punches regardless. I’m truly not hard to please so………Let me tell you about my cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway from May 19th – May 26th. Boarding - We boarded a bus from Miami Airport to the ship. While on the bus we received an impromptu tour while in route, which was fine. However, after arrival and getting off the bus we were herded into the line to board, employees began yelling hurry, hurry, why don’t you have your passports ready?? Fill out this form or you can’t board the ship. Hurry up. It would have been nice to be told on the bus to have things ready. The line was long but in fairness did move relatively fast. Food - Once on board and after the mandatory safety briefing we began to settle in. First, the food on board the ship was pretty good overall. The buffet had a decent variety. The complimentary restaurants and pay restaurants were both good. Interestingly enough service and quality of food improved with price. Pool – The pool was tiny considering the amount of people on board. People because saving seats because of the terrible wait for a drink. The main pool is flanked by four hot tubs, (Not my thing), but any given day one or more would be covered with netting and not able to be used. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Once again, no poolside services either. Service – The service on this ship was slow to non-existent. Getting a drink poolside was awful. There were two bars poolside and on any given day the line was terrible. The bar staff was “Mostly” friendly but completely overwhelmed and understaffed. Not one person walking around taking drink orders, not one! It was so bad; people began getting the maximum number of drinks possible per card rather than stand in the long line again. I began to walk to lower floors in hopes of not finding a line. What a pain and no luck there either. We quickly realized that pre-paying your tips is a really bad concept, because I can assure you the incentive to provide good service is gone. I would much rather pay for good service “provided” rather than be forced to pay for mediocre to no service. Needless to say, we are all mad about the $200 we pre-paid for tips……….What a joke! Ports – Time allotted for each port was insufficient but we knew that going in so can’t really complain about that. However, the actual act of disembarking was terrible. We literally stood in line, winding down the stairways for a minimum of 45 minutes. Getting back on wasn’t nearly as bad. The Bahama’s, we were promised Nassau we got Great Stirrup Cay. No explanation given as to why the change, just deal with it. This was truly a nightmare. In order to visit we had to tender from the main boat. You had to arrange your own tender time, which we did; we were supposed to leave by 12:15. Well, after waiting and waiting we finally got called only to now stand in line for another hour or so. We finally boarded our tender and arrived at approximately 2:45. Great, we had to be back on the ship by 5!! First thing, we decide to grab a beer, one guy working the booth “Handwriting” everyone’s information so, 20 minutes later we had a beer! When asked why short staffed “well we have people on the boat and here”, is that my problem? Should it be? So, we made the best of our hour and a half before we, you guessed it stood in line for another hour to tender back to the ship. Can I really say I visited the Bahamas, I think not? Final Disembark – This must be the greatest disaster of them all. At this point, I was truly convinced the crew of the Norwegian Breakaway had no earthly idea any of the 4000 people on board were coming this week. We snaked several flights of stairs after finally getting to the deck we would disembark from, we were then routed the entire length of that floor which unfortunately meant a trip through the casino. It stunk so bad from cigarettes people were literally holding rags over there mouth to breathe through. This process took almost three hours, no exaggeration. We were so glad to finally get off of that ship. I could go on because there is much more but, suffice to say. If you are into terrible service, long lines for food and drinks and decent food the Norwegian Breakaway is for you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
wanted a short cruise and have always loved Norweigan and recommend it to others. This cruise offered very little in entertainment, things to do were lame (such as games). Found the elevators in the morning with spilled drinks and ... Read More
wanted a short cruise and have always loved Norweigan and recommend it to others. This cruise offered very little in entertainment, things to do were lame (such as games). Found the elevators in the morning with spilled drinks and food not cleaned up. Our mini suite was a dissappointment, old. Our steward was great, kind to two older retired people, always helpful!!! The excursion in Key west was terrible. Our guide thought he was amusing instead of informative. If anyone decided to leave the trip his reply was "get an uber." It was never stated that you would be walking for 2 hours. Just that if you were disabled, this trip was not for you. Wear comfortable shoes. We left and took a cab back to the ship. We had only two good meals on this trip. Breakfast in the Venetion and Dinner at the French restuarant. I do not recommend this ship or trip. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose NCL because the free packages offered at booking and the port of calls available on the itinerary. What a sad investment it turned out to be. Highlights: -4 hours to receive the NCL booked transfer from airport to pier ... Read More
I chose NCL because the free packages offered at booking and the port of calls available on the itinerary. What a sad investment it turned out to be. Highlights: -4 hours to receive the NCL booked transfer from airport to pier -2.5 hour wait time to get from the port desk to the ship -service at the pool bar was nonexistent without flashing cash (yes we had the drink package) -the power/toilets/water was out on our hallway for a length of time during a sea day -ropes course/rock wall had limited hours of opening during the day -there was very little to do on board without laying in the sun or visiting the casino on the days at sea -food was average-nothing extraordinary -docking in Nassau there were 4 other boats in port so moving around in the shopping area was incredibly hard to do. I would not recommend NCL or this ship if you are looking for activities or a smooth sailing experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I’m a silver latitudes, almost gold level. Have also cruised princess and carnival. Embarked out of Miami, got to the pier at 10:30, group 3 boarding card. The rear gang plank broke, so we weren’t called to get on the ship till 1:30pm. ... Read More
I’m a silver latitudes, almost gold level. Have also cruised princess and carnival. Embarked out of Miami, got to the pier at 10:30, group 3 boarding card. The rear gang plank broke, so we weren’t called to get on the ship till 1:30pm. Once onboard I went immediately to get cirque show tickets only to be told that show was cancelled. Stayed on deck 5 a large family ocean view, which was a good size for 4 adults. The casino was the worst ever. Many complaints about tightness if machines, but you are in international waters so remember us governing rules don’t apply. 1st night someone will win big to draw you in. After that it’s all downhill. A costly, painful lesson. I lost enough to have stayed in Haven, elevated to pearl level mid cruise, and not once did a casino host ever come and introduce themselves to me. I finally went to desk and asked for the head host. He was nice, however didn’t even comp our alcohol on board or 3% money charge fee. I’m not an alcohol drinker, so the drink package wasn’t a deal for us. The casino and mid ship is Saturated with smoke smell that goes up the center of the ship, even to the 8th deck. We felt nickeled and dimed to death on this ship. A comment we heard by many we talked to. You can charge gambling money to your card, at a 3% fee, which really adds up, 15 bucks a day per person room gratuity. There were 4 in our room(420 bucks for the week). And even if you purchase the drink package which includes a 20% gratuity, you are automatically charged another 20% gratuity per drink. Bought the soda package for me and my daughter. Soda on the entire ship lacks carbonation. Of course you will pay for almost all entertainment, bingo, deal or no deal, photos, etc etc. If you want a lounge chair at the pool, expect to save one by 8am, or you are out of luck. Not enough drink waiters at the pool, waited 15 minutes standing at bars to get a drink or soda. One pool waiter told the lady lying next to me that it would be better for her to go to the bar herself and get a drink, that he would be about 30 minutes. She gave him her card and order, and it was about 30 minute wait before he returned. She was a gold latitudes member and said this was worst service she had ever had on Norwegian. Said she hadn’t had her room made up in 2 days. Our cabin steward Erwin was wonderful. And jenelean our server in the Manhattan room was great. We ate there 3 nights and requested her area. Food overall was average to good. Paid extra for Tappanyaki, it was our best meal, huge portions and fun meal. I booked our excursions, shows, and dining prior to boarding. If you wait you may get shut out on your dates and times. Staff was nice overall, just seemed a little overworked and not enough of them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I earned this cruise as part of an incentive program with work. Had I actually paid for the cruise-I would feel much different-like possibly demanding my money back different. Some things I loved: The stateroom was clean and steward was ... Read More
I earned this cruise as part of an incentive program with work. Had I actually paid for the cruise-I would feel much different-like possibly demanding my money back different. Some things I loved: The stateroom was clean and steward was great. The ship itself is beautiful and we loved the "Ocean View" concept with bars and outdoor seating with the restaurants as well-it made it feel much more resort style. Also, their methods for embarkation, muster call and disembarkation were the best I have experienced. However, The atruim smells like stale smoke all the time even though No Smoking signs are everywhere. I'm allergic so I had constant congestion on the trip. We were on the 5th floor with a ocean view room and had CONSTANT noise above us from midnight-3am every night. We reported it several times and it was never handled. Someone called our room the day before the cruise was over and asked if it was "ok now"...when we said no, their response was that we should have called them each night-seriously?! Also-there is no way this was a first time problem for them-so just be upfront from the beginning the noise isn't going away. As for eating and entertainment...they boast you have a freestyle cruise you can do your trip your way. To me, that means I get to decide each day what I want to do and when for eating and shows etc...or at the very least wait until I'm ON THE CRUISE to decide. We quickly learned that if you didn't book specialty restaurants and shows BEFORE the cruise you would miss out or be eating after 9pm, as was the case for us each night. We didn't get into any shows. The food was ok-if you're a foodie then you'll struggle to find food you consider great...we had random dishes that were great and others that were flat out bad. Also, the service overall from the dining room and staff was subpar. Ironically the best service we had was in the buffet (though the food wasn't great) and just in the mornings in the dining room. I have been on Royal Carribean and and Carnival where they are ON IT and provide great service even with full ships. I would say overall if you expect excellent food and service this is not the cruise line for you. If you just like the ports and the cost of Norwegian or like the idea of having lots of specialty restaurants etc then you'll maybe like it. I have sailed with Norwegian twice and found each time wanting. I would never go again unless it's an incentive trip-though I have conveyed to my company I don't want to take another cruise with this line. Time and again for my money I prefer Royal Caribbean and would pay to sail with them. Also-I would have loved to convey some of this in my post trip survey direct to Norwegian...but their survey basically asks multiple choice questions and no room for comments or a way to express real concerns. It seemed more like a way for them to collect information about my employment, income, race and how much I want to spend on vacation than actually getting feedback. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Cruise was pleasant but the ship was so crowded it almost seemed overbooked! Having to reserve shows and events on ship was a must. Several on ship touch screens were malfunctioning and made this a chore. Norwegian takes every opportunity ... Read More
Cruise was pleasant but the ship was so crowded it almost seemed overbooked! Having to reserve shows and events on ship was a must. Several on ship touch screens were malfunctioning and made this a chore. Norwegian takes every opportunity to nickel and dime you with extra costs and upgrades around every corner. Ridiculous charging extra for WIFI these days! Should be included. The "only" adult pool was extremely small and always overcrowded. people waited in groves for the pool and hot tubs to open each morning so that they could actually get into the water. The room steward did a great job in keeping the room tidy. Buffet food was ok, but often gave me a case of the runs. the included cost "complimentary" sit down dinners were very nice. The excursion to Punta Gorda baths was nice. A bit over priced. Other stops we managed to find great beaches ourselves. Overall though I think if I cruise again, I will be looking at Royal Caribbean or even Carnival next time. I may even look into a flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I have heard great things about this place. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Just returned from a cruise on the Breakaway May 5-12, 2019. It was FANTASTIC! Embarkation in Miami was a bit unorganized and a mess. After we were able to get on board things went smooth. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 11 Cabin 11840. ... Read More
Just returned from a cruise on the Breakaway May 5-12, 2019. It was FANTASTIC! Embarkation in Miami was a bit unorganized and a mess. After we were able to get on board things went smooth. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 11 Cabin 11840. It was very spacious and very clean. The ship throughout was very clean. The food was great. Many options to choose from. On sea days is when you noticed that you were travelling with 4,000 people. Everyone was very nice and courteous. Wake up early on sea days to secure your spots on the pool decks. Entertainment was good too. We thoroughly enjoyed the jazz bar on deck 7 outside the casino. We saw the dueling pianos and were not very impressed. Do the specialty dining at Teppankani (Japanese hibachi), Moderno Churrasco (Brazilian style steakhouse). We skipped Ocean Blue which had an upcharge of $12 pp and only allowed you to have 1 appetizer, 1 entrée and 1 dessert. The lobster is extra and were small. Unfortunately, no captains dinners or all white nights. Those were removed. Great ports Tortola, St Thomas and Nassau. Very nice ports with great beach excursions. Can't wait to book my next cruise on Norwegian. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise and overall we had a great experience. We had a mini-suite and the room was spacious with a balcony. Our room steward was wonderful and really took care of us! The ship has a lot of activities that you can take ... Read More
This was our first cruise and overall we had a great experience. We had a mini-suite and the room was spacious with a balcony. Our room steward was wonderful and really took care of us! The ship has a lot of activities that you can take advantage of. There are plenty of dining options and the buffet is HUGE. We do wish that the pool area was larger or that there was another adult pool on the ship, we didn't even use it because it was always so crowded. The aft sun deck was great. The waterfall/dipping pool was not working the first few days of the cruise, but once they got it fixed it was also very crowded. We had plenty of excursions to choose from, although transfers to the last one were delayed so cut into our excursion and shopping time. The ship staff does need to work on giving better information to first-time cruisers though. We felt lost a few times, especially with disembarkation. Overall we had a great time and would cruise Norwegian again, but think we will try a different cruise line next time just to compare. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I booked this last-minute cruise as a way to disconnect and have fun. Overall, it was a successful trip! The cruise staff was pleasant and worked hard to correct any issues brought to their attention. As a solo cruiser, I particularly ... Read More
I booked this last-minute cruise as a way to disconnect and have fun. Overall, it was a successful trip! The cruise staff was pleasant and worked hard to correct any issues brought to their attention. As a solo cruiser, I particularly appreciate the "freestyle cruising" concept because it allows me the flexibility to meet new people if I wish, or to find a quiet spot on the ship to read and relax. The solo cruisers on this trip spanned many age groups, and it seemed everyone found plenty to do! The ship was nice; you can tell it was dry-docked last year because the common areas aren't showing any extensive wear-and-tear yet. That said, the theater was a bit smaller than I experienced on Escape (it spans two decks on the Escape), so it was a bit more difficult to get reservations or my first choice of seating location. The pool area can become quite crowded on sea days because a significant amount of upper-deck space is dedicated to paid areas (Haven, Vibe sundecks). That said, there's plenty of comfortable, shaded seating along the mid-deck "Waterfront" area for those looking to lounge outside without direct sun. Overall, the food was good. We especially enjoyed having early dinner in The Manhattan on sea days because the Burn the Floor dancers would put on a brief but incredible show (check the Freestyle Daily, but it was around 6p each night it happened for us). Service was slow when we have a large group (over 2 hours whenever we had more than six people dining together) but the food was usually hot and well-seasoned when we received it. Make sure to try out the Shanghai Noodle Bar -- it's reservation-only but also complimentary, and the food was very good and made to order! The entertainment was top-notch. Rock of Ages, Burn the Floor, Syd Norman's, Howl at the Moon -- all are not to be missed! I had a bit of a snafu at Wine Lovers: The Musical, but had a fantastic experience at Velvet. This new show was installing in the Speigel Tent during our sailing, so we only saw it on our last day. If I had the opportunity, I would see it again! The whole entertainment staff was engaging and entertaining. I initially had some issues with cabin cleanliness, which were quickly corrected, and with getting ahold of crew members on the phone. Specifically, I waited over 30 minutes to speak with someone on the Dining Reservations line before hanging up. I also heard there were issues with the wifi package onboard, but I didn't purchase the wifi so I didn't experience this directly. One other random note: know that the soda package onboard most of the NCL fleet includes a commemorative soda tumbler, but for some reason the Breakaway is the exception and does not provide this. It was a bit of a disappointment to learn this once onboard. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I just returned from my very first cruise, a seven-day adventure aboard the Norwegian Breakaway. We sailed from Miami to Tortola, St. Thomas, and Nassau. We had a comfortably sized outside stateroom with a private balcony, just the right ... Read More
I just returned from my very first cruise, a seven-day adventure aboard the Norwegian Breakaway. We sailed from Miami to Tortola, St. Thomas, and Nassau. We had a comfortably sized outside stateroom with a private balcony, just the right spot to sit quietly and enjoy the beautiful, deep-blue sea on our at-sea days. Since I'm an introvert, my greatest fear was that the ship would be wall-to-wall people and noise. But in addition to the balcony, there were plenty of quiet spots to sit and read or soak up the sun. We took excursions on all three islands -- snorkeling on Tortola, enjoying a bus tour of St. Thomas plus time on a private beach, and a harbor tour and private beach on Nassau (I recommend the Blue Island Island trip, but pay extra to get into the the VIP area if you want fewer people in the water and no children. For $56 (for two people), you get a buffet, two free Mimosas, all the cold water you want, a shaded chair, and a personal valet ... it's worth it!) If you are traveling with kids, however, there were lots of inflatable play equipment in the water for them to enjoy. We also enjoyed the various spa treatments -- from the whole body lime/ginger scrub and massage, to the hot stone massage, and a seaweed wrap+massage. I also had three acupuncture treatments for chronic hip pain. The staff members were knowledgeable, super-friendly, and fun to chat with. The spa treatments are expensive, but the spa offers discounts based on the number of sessions you schedule (just watch out for the "upsale" on beauty products ... that can REALLY get expensive if you have no self-control). We ate at three of the speciality restaurnats (La Cucina was our favorite, followed closely by Le Bistro), but the restaurants and buffet included in the basic cruise price were very good, too. My daughter, who has been on several Carnival cruises, remarked that the food was much better on Breakaway, and that the overall decor a lot more elegant. The service we received from ALL the staff (at every level) was outstanding. My only complaint was the they allowed smoking in the casino area, which could be a problem for someone who is allergic to cigarette smoke (I merely find it stinky!). I wish they would ban smoking everywhere (or only allow it in a closed off area on the open deck. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We choose this cruise because we have had good experience with Norwegian in the past and the cruise was available for the only week we could go. We also like the Freestyle type cruise where we have more flexibility to each when we want. ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we have had good experience with Norwegian in the past and the cruise was available for the only week we could go. We also like the Freestyle type cruise where we have more flexibility to each when we want. We wanted a total R&R trip and we definitely found it. While there are always going to be things that “go wrong” on a trip, it is how they are dealt with that makes the difference. We loved all of the specialty restaurants. We ate at Ocean Blue, LaCucina, and Le Bistro. All were top notch. The food was amazing. I highly recommend them all. We also ate in the Manahattan dining room twice and Savor once. The food in these dining rooms was excellent. One night we weren’t Hungary so we ate in O’Shehans bar and grill. The menu there is not fancy but the food is good and the service is quick. If there is one “major” issue with this cruise it is the service at the bars on the first day and during busy times on the ship. You can wait a long time for a drink. I frustrated others more than me as I didn’t drink much but when I did want a drink, it had to wait a long time. They really need to address that issue. We never had a hard time getting a chair in the sun on sea days. That was nice. Plenty of room. The entertainment was top notch. There is lots to do at night. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My Mother and I are lucky enough to do a "mother/daughter cruise" each year. We chose this cruise because: a. we've never been on NCL b. we had never been to Tortola We have been on every cruise line BUT NCL. ... Read More
My Mother and I are lucky enough to do a "mother/daughter cruise" each year. We chose this cruise because: a. we've never been on NCL b. we had never been to Tortola We have been on every cruise line BUT NCL. What people need to know is that in Miami, before you board the ship, yo are given a numbered card. This is your boarding group. We had no idea what was going on! They finally called our number 17, all people had cards which went up into the high 20's and 30's, and we boarded. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL and huge ship! The cabin was nicer than the other cruise lines as the shower had a door and you can actually turn around comfortably in it. The dining was great! The food was fantastic. We did not go to the "fancy" restaurants that you have to pay extra and make reservations for, as the other ones were simply enough! I say that in a good way! The shows were great! Loved the comedians and the "Rock of Ages" production. The only one I didn't care for was "Burn the Floor". A lot of high energy dancing, but no recognizable music.... The service was outstanding! I was watching the in cabin tv and saw the entire crew. The show was explaining the careers of the various officers. GM, Captain, etc. Well, I was at the pool and I saw the GM and told him how I had seen him on tv and thought that he had a remarkable career! He was very kind. Next thing you know, Mom and I are invited to a party in the haven. The Haven is where the ships' most exclusive residents are located. It's quite pricey from what i can gather. The party was top notch and we had a marvelous time. Then, we get to our stateroom and find a bottle of wine and fruit from the GM. This didn't stop! Every day we had either hor de hourves or chocolate strawberries in our room! These folks really do care about their guest and I'm here to tell you! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we thought that it would be a nice relaxing cruise on a smaller ship. My wife and I have been on over twenty cruises, and are platinum members on NCL. We have previously sailed on NCL Epic, Escape, Bliss, and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought that it would be a nice relaxing cruise on a smaller ship. My wife and I have been on over twenty cruises, and are platinum members on NCL. We have previously sailed on NCL Epic, Escape, Bliss, and Getaway. We have also sailed on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Carnival and Celebrity. I get so much information from all the people on Cruise Critics, I feel an obligation to submit a short review. EMBARKATION:Being platinum members we were supposed to have "priority check in." The customer service representative said that the person that was supposed to do the "priority check in" did not show up for work so we would have to go to the back of the line and check in with the other guests! That was a pretty telling expression of how NCL feels about their loyal customers! I asked why they didn't move one of the other check in host down to the priority check in and he said that there were more other guests than priority guests! THE SHIP: The ship is old,but in relatively good condition. Even though it has been recently refurbished, some things can not be changed. The overall layout and design of the ship speaks to it's age. Some of the "you can't get there from here" features remain from times past. It does not have the "WOW" factor of the more modern ships. STATEROOM: We were in an obstructed view outside stateroom. The storage space was ample, the most storage that we have had on any of the past 10 to 15 cruises. Room was well laid out. The bathroom was VERY small. Separate shower with a sliding glass door, and a separate toilet area with a sliding glass door. Each were on either side of the sink area. The steward did not clean our room on the fourth day, so we ended up getting our own ice and replacing the towels in our room from a cart that was in the hall. On another day, he did not replace the empty Kleenex in the bathroom, so my wife found him and told him that the Kleenex was empty and handed him the empty box. He said "OK" and handed her a new box and took the empty one, and never offered to put it into the dispenser. The next day as we were leaving our cabin, he handed us a "Cruise Hero Card" and a pen and asked us to fill it out! DINING: We ate at three of the specialty restaurants, Cagney's, Le Bistro and La Cucina. We have always enjoyed Cagney's on other ships and has become our favorite specialty restaurant, That was not the case on the Star, Steaks were never cooked properly, service was bad, We found Le Bistro to be OK, not any better or worse that any other ship. The surprise was La Cucina. The food was very good and the service was excellent. We ate one evening in the complimentary Ginza restaurant, and the food was very, very good, but the service was terrible. We had most breakfasts in the Versailles MDR and the food and service were good. We also ate one dinner in Versailles MDR, and both the food and service were very good. We ate a few times in the Garden Buffet for lunch and breakfast and the meals were the usual food variety. Overall, we were most impressed with the MDR and La Cucina for the service and food quality. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was very good. The show dancers and singers were awesome as was the acrobats.The overall entertainment we found to be better than on most ships. Bars: We had the UBP, and had a very difficult time getting service from most of the bars. We found that we got the best bar service while we were eating inside a restaurant.. Several of the bars do not open until around 5:00pm or later, leaving only a few bars open during the day. Also, the Atrium area is much smaller than on previous ships, and does not serve alcohol, only Starbucks coffee that is not included in the UBP. Disembarkation: What a mess! We do self assist walk off. We asked several different people at the Guest Services Desk as to the time and place and got a different answer each time. The Cruise Director stated in one of his informational announcements that the location of the gangway and departure times would be announced the date of departure.This never happened. I spoke to an officer at 5:30AM the morning of disembarkation, and he said that the self assist walk off would take place at the front of the ship near the Stardust Theater around 7:00AM. We were the first in line and so many people were told so many wrong locations and we got to hear all the stories as they eventually arrived at the correct location.We were able to disembark at about 7:45AM, and there was never an announcement made as to the time or location before we disembarked. EXCURSIONS/PORTS: We did not do any shore excursions as we have done most of them previously. We have been to each of the ports several times, bot enjoyed St Thomas the most. OVERALL: Overall it was a cruise and we were not working! A cruise is what you make of it. There was nothing "really" terrible, and other than the shows, nothing "really" spectacular either. It was a nice time away, and we got a good deal on the cruise so everything is good, however, I don't anticipate sailing on the Star again in the future. We enjoyed our time away, but we are glad to be back home. We are already excited about our upcoming cruise in November 2019. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
The itinerary was nice. The ship layout was very nice. The services... well.... here's my cruise... My flight down to FL was cancelled due to weather. yea, stuff happens. No problem, I purchased NCL travel insurance that ... Read More
The itinerary was nice. The ship layout was very nice. The services... well.... here's my cruise... My flight down to FL was cancelled due to weather. yea, stuff happens. No problem, I purchased NCL travel insurance that included travel interruption protection. Or so I thought. Since I didn't purchase my flight through NCL, as far as their insurance is concerned (or as far as that agent was concerned) my trip didn't actually start until I hit the ship. We did the amazing race and drive overnight to IND, flew on SW to Ft. Meyers, rented a car and drove to the port. We made it with an hour to spare. Boarding the ship was a breeze. It was perhaps the nicest boarding experience we have had in a long time. Thank you!!! We had as many days at sea as we had in ports. I like that, as we get to know more of the crew and we get to just relax and unwind. Our first excursion was an ECO hike on St. Johns to a remote beach where we were going to get to kayak, SUP, or just sit on the beach. We made it to the beach after a nice hike, but the amenities weren't there for us, they were there for us to rent. This is contrary to what the excursion description indicated. Still a nice boat ride to st johns, and a nice hike, and a nice beach. Next time, we will just take a ferry and do the hike on our own. Our second excursion was to "escape to jost van dyke". OMG, was that nice. A little costly, but I would do this again. we left the boat early, escaped, and hit a mostly empty beach just as the bars were opening, at 9am (yea, it was 5pm somewhere). Very enjoyable. The beach gets busier as the day goes on, so plan to get out around lunch time. Our third stop was in Nassau, Bahamas. We walked around a bit, but, not sure getting off the boat was really all that exciting other than it gave us a place to walk around without going in quarter mile circles on the ship. The ship was nice as it was recently remodeled. We are noticing a pattern on late season cruises, though. As you get past tax day, the crews seem to be getting tired. This is not just related to the STAR, as this is the third time in a row on different itineraries and ships that we noticed it. It is the little things like ordering a beverage at the pool bar and having to wait and watch as the bar-tender disciplines a member of the wait staff for borrowing an ice scoop. It was a public spectacle that shouldn't have happened, or I needed that drink so it wouldn't have mattered. We tried to buy CruiseNEXT deposits, as we usually do. We watched in horror at the treatment of the person in front of us. Surely, nobody can be so dense that they can't understand the program, but that customer was having a lot of issues, and the cruisenext rep had lost her patience. We asked if we could just leave the deposit purchase form that was filled out and signed. She grumped at us and said no, that she must go over all the program details and requirements and we can't just leave the order form. So, we left. We opted for the first time in many cruises to NOT purchase the CruiseNext. They are a good deal, but not if you have to deal with a grumpy person on your "cruise of a lifetime" just to get it. Maybe next time. We went to the OShehans bar and the bar tender there was as nice as he has been the entire cruise. Brought a smile to our faces even before he delivered our beverages. Always a pearl to be found if you look close enough and don't harbor an attitude. We had to travel lightly, so we did one load of laundry mid week. Last time it worked out great. This time, we got our clothes back with a blank laundry form, not the one we filled out with the item counts. Being the relatively retentive person I am, I saved a copy of the original. The basket was missing 3 shirts and there was no indication or explanation. So, if I hadn't saved my original, I would have no way to show what should be there. Seems to me that they had to know the shirts were missing, as they had the original laundry ticket. SO, why didn't they deliver the laundry with a note indicating that they misplaced 3 items and will be looking for them or will replace them in a day or two? This is a rather unethical way of doing a laundry business. Accidentally misplace a garment, then return the rest and hope nobody will notice. We ended up getting the garments back, but it took a discussion with the room steward and two calls to customer service. Our room was mostly clean when we moved in. Just a dirty coffee pot, dirty balcony(grossly dirty), and little half cigarettes in the tray under the coffee pot. I suspect is if from the prior tenant smoking shorties on the balcony (which is not allowed). No towel animals this time. Just basic service. Nice smile, though. We noticed on our final bill that we didn't get our Lattitudes discount on the excursions. That's ok. Grab a beverage (we did have the package, after all) and go wait to talk to the customer service person. The young man didn't even seem to know that NCL had a frequent traveler program called lattitudes. he read and re-read the flier we brought from our room and still had to talk to three different people. Nothing was resolved, and we were told to watch our online account and it should be fixed overnight. If not, stop back before getting off the ship. Well, we stopped back, and got the same treatment the morning of disembarkation. So far, no discount for the lattitudes member. So, remind me why I keep coming back? The specialty dining was very nice. Our favorites were Moderno, and Cagneys. Very nice. Good food. Nice relaxing environment. We do it every cruise and will continue. The buffet was nice as well. The only issue I had is that nothing was marked as to allergens, so it was difficult to pick through the offerings and not get something by accident. The crew were nice about it, however, not well informed. Can't cruiselines just put GF, DF, V and what ever other acronym applies to each food ID tag on the buffet? We survived. The food was very good on the buffet. If you couldn't do the specialty dining, there were still high quality options at the buffet. Disembarkation... on most cruises, this could be converted to a four letter word. On the Star, though, they have it down. It was perhaps the best experience we have ever had getting off the ship without waiting in lines that circle the ship twice. The cruise director and disembarkation staff should teach a class to the rest of the industry. Thank you for a very nice ending to our cruise. I would certainly cruise on the STAR again. I would do this itinerary again, but prior to the spring break/tax day timeframe. We have decided not to cruise the Caribbean after tax day in the future though. The staff is consistently burned out by the crazy spring break crowds that they have been dealing with. The staff are only human, so you can't expect 100% perfection. I think all cruise lines should look into how to get their staff relief in the last weeks of a busy stretch (like spring break). All in all, the cruise was ok, the entertainment was awesome, and most of the staff were amazing people. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
In general, we had a great time but the staff put a damper on our experience. The ship was nice, our room was clean. We did Excursions at all three stops and had a great time at all the stops. Now the Staff. Our steward barely talks to us ... Read More
In general, we had a great time but the staff put a damper on our experience. The ship was nice, our room was clean. We did Excursions at all three stops and had a great time at all the stops. Now the Staff. Our steward barely talks to us and never ask if we need anything or how was the room. Most of our dining experience was poor except at the Japanese restaurant. The waiters and waitress seem confused and not sure of them self. It took a long time to clear our dishes away. Very seldom anyone came around ask we need more drinks. The two best bar people were the Steak house. She went by the name as the Booze lady. She was on the money. She always made sure our drinks were full and she did some small talk with us. The other guy was at the Gatsby bar. Just like the booze lady, he knew how to interact with us. I would say 88% of the staff did not know how to interact with guest and they look very Timid. Like some other guest I talk to, we all said it look like this was the first time this crew work on the ship. This was the 1st time we went with Norwegian, been on Carvinal three times. Not sure I will give Norwegian another chance. The reason, this is my third-time writing a response. Yet no one from Norwegian would care to respond back to me?? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Staff was great...hands down. All of our interactions were wonderful and the other passengers had great stories to tell. The food was decent to good and we only ate in the main dining room and the buffet. I personally was caught off guard ... Read More
Staff was great...hands down. All of our interactions were wonderful and the other passengers had great stories to tell. The food was decent to good and we only ate in the main dining room and the buffet. I personally was caught off guard because the main dining room was actually enforcing the dress code. I've been on about 15 cruises and was pleasantly surprised by this, even though it affected me. What was my offense? I had on, what I would call, nice cloth flip flops. What I did find humorous was that my sneakers were acceptable. I am no "joe fashion" but I personally think my flips looked better. In any event, I was glad to finally see a main stream cruise line enforce their dress code. The ship lay out is horrible. I have noticed this on other NCL ships, Epic, but this was even worse. It was impossible sometimes to go from point A to B without going up and back down a floor. I have become fond of the ships with promenades down the middle and this was more like navigating a maze. The venues were nice, clean and staff friendly...once you found them. The coffee shop in the middle, I mean dead center, of the atrium was odd and required the band to play on their roof. The 5 O'Clock Somewhere bar was a transit/walk through area. It was rare to see someone stay more than ten minutes and it was used mostly as a walk way. Finally, the audio during the shows in the main theater was not good. The volume of the live band often superseded the vocals. I believe could easily be fixed and am not sure what it hasn't to date. The Cruise director, Dave, was outstanding and very funny. I am biased to self-deprecating humor and he excelled at it. Overall, it was a nice week. The ports of St. Thomas and Tortola need your money, so make sure you buy local when there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We went on this cruise to celebrate our Anniversary and Birthdays. To make it special, we booked a suite and overall, we really had a wonderful time. To keep this short and sweet - the best highlights. - booking a suite is definitely ... Read More
We went on this cruise to celebrate our Anniversary and Birthdays. To make it special, we booked a suite and overall, we really had a wonderful time. To keep this short and sweet - the best highlights. - booking a suite is definitely worth it! From having a butler, a big room with a gorgeous balcony to having amazing perks like daily afternoon snacks, priority seating, embarkation and disembarkation. You have 2 specialty restaurants for breakfast and lunch daily. I don’t think we would cruise any other way now! - the best restaurants in our opinion we’re Ginza (complimentary) the food is amazing, The Steakhouse and Teppanyaki. If you’re staying in a suite, the room service is also excellent and not from the standard menu - the beds were really comfortable and I loved the Nespresso machine in the room - we paid for the premium internet package which was pricey and the internet was very very slow so we were not happy about that. - the service was slow at the restaurants however, the staff was so great it was still worth it It was a relaxing trip and just what we needed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
First time to Carribbean, … wanted some sea days. Night-prior hoteled over at Embassy in Miami airport, which was a disappointing experience. After taking Embassy's $10/pp transfer to the terminal, the trip started. ... Read More
First time to Carribbean, … wanted some sea days. Night-prior hoteled over at Embassy in Miami airport, which was a disappointing experience. After taking Embassy's $10/pp transfer to the terminal, the trip started. Embarkation went like clockwork. Don't know why NCL encouraged us to print out our 'documents', as they were never asked for or viewed by anyone other than us. NCL did it right on this ship, great crew, good balance of sea/shore time. Plenty of on-board activity available. Talented entertainment, especially the dancing. Cannot really fault anything in any meaningful way. A smaller and older ship, but well maintained and kept ship. Crew attentive and responsive to all requests. Would have preferred some shorter-duration Shore Excursion choices. Free-Style dining was a different plus for us, but we still made reservations at all the places we used. Had three specialty choices, and Moderno was the best. La Cuchina was a bit lacking (for our taste). We had included internet and drink package. We used in-room breakfast 4 out of 7 days, and only ate at the buffet on occasion. NCL has a different take on 'snack time', as it was a mini-buffet layout, and not extensively pure snacks like chips, pretzels, crackers, etc. Drink service was universally awesome. Overall, we would do NCL again. Disembarkation was a bit uneven...being out of the room at 8:30AM, and being encouraged to 'enjoy the ship', when most of 'the ship' was closed off, or access was limited. The shore transfer contractor 'SMS' needs to get their operation more organized, when it comes to signage and bus loading. (Would opt for a taxi next time). Luggage handling was like clockwork.. No apparent small-item shopping venue for thinks like candy, snacks, first aid items, etc., which seemed unusual, as Holland has such a shop.. The extra non-inclusive activity might be a little over the top for new cruisers. Art Auctions, luxury shopping, BINGO. Just smile and say no.. The soon-to-be-opening Miami NCL terminal B will be a welcomed replacement to the existing terminal, which has crowd/traffic pattern control limitations.. St. Thomas and Tortola were nice port calls, but the Nassau port call was short (6.5 hours), and the area of the cruise terminal is congested to the point of wondering why any cruise line would stop there... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband is not fond of large crowds so we mainly chose NCL Star because of the smaller capacity. It was also a plus that the interior had been newly renovated. The Star Atrium was impressive from the start. When we got to our room, ... Read More
My husband is not fond of large crowds so we mainly chose NCL Star because of the smaller capacity. It was also a plus that the interior had been newly renovated. The Star Atrium was impressive from the start. When we got to our room, it was better than expected. Comfortable bed and pillows, descent storage and nice bathroom, especially loved the shower head-good water pressure. We attended the nightly entertainment which was easily accessible and highly enjoyable. We also, liked the dining at leisure atmosphere and felt the food was very good. All staff seemed very nice and cordial. Our room was cleaned daily to our satisfaction. Being our first cruise together and only our second officialy vacation in nearly 15 years, we casually toured the ports and didn't try and fit too much in. Our main goal was a relaxing vacation and we feel we got exactly what we wanted. Read Less
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