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1,942 Norwegian (NCL) Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Reviews

I have sailed on Norwegian four or five times, so I had a pretty good idea what to expect this time and, indeed, this cruise conformed to my expectations. Basically, this is a medium giant ship with lots and lots of activities for kids - ... Read More
I have sailed on Norwegian four or five times, so I had a pretty good idea what to expect this time and, indeed, this cruise conformed to my expectations. Basically, this is a medium giant ship with lots and lots of activities for kids - minigolf ( the course could use some rehab); ping pong; water slides; rope climbs, bingo etc. Family upgrade cabin 12772 has bunk beds below and from ceiling a la Disney, but very small and crowded for me and my 13 and 10 year old. Small balcony. Small and undistinguished bathroom. Generally clean ship staffed almost entirely by Asians who were universally polite and friendly, but frequentlyi lacking in fluent English - the absence of any cadre of Eastern Europeans in any visible capacity suggests that Norwegian is squeezing the pennies on staff wages. Oftentimes, our cabin was not even serviced until 1-2 pm. Oh well. Buy the adult drink package and the specialty restaurant package. Not sure you really need the kids soda package, as nobody in the numerous bars and restaurants pays much attention to that. Fresh squeezed juice in the morning for an extra $3 is well worth it. Overall, the breakfast buffet was pretty good ( eggs and omelets made to order ), the lunch buffet was pretty bad unless you like hamburgers which were pretty good; the dinner in the two standard restaurants was OK, although the food generally showed up more warm than hot ( but I did like the "restaurant" character ), Cagney's was very good and all of us loved the Bistro. Can't stand the smell of stale smoke that permeates floors 6-8 from the casino. House cabernet was quite good and your alcohol package will get you top shelf drinks, although the wait times at the bars was sometimes excruciatingly long. On "sailing " days, I tried to avoid the pool deck as much as possible as it is an unbelievable cacaphony of music, noise and pell-mell which is fine with my boys but not me. Get up early to "claim" your lounger as otherwise you will be screwed on those days even though lounger "claiming" is not technically permitted. Stay away from the pool deck on embarking day. The Carribean ports were standard fare and Ocho Rios has not improved. One day, I may shell out for some peace and quiet on the Haven deck, but the cost is pretty stiff. I'd rather spend my money on a regular cabin on Viking or Seabourne..Happy Trails. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose to take my young adult children on a trip post Christmas to bond and have fun. Boat filled to capacity with over a quarter being young kids. Elevators were almost always completely full. Our cabin was slightly small for three of ... Read More
Chose to take my young adult children on a trip post Christmas to bond and have fun. Boat filled to capacity with over a quarter being young kids. Elevators were almost always completely full. Our cabin was slightly small for three of us and the steward left the couch made as a bed the whole week. He was very pleasant and thorough in the cleaning daily. We would not have had dinner reservations if I had not prebooked. Had excellent food and service at Cagneys and at Moderno and very good at La Cucina. The food at Velvet was terrible and so was the service - but the show was very entertaining, as was Burn the Floor. I hate that the smoke from casino is not walled off from the rest of the ship - I have asthma and it is terrible not to be able to get away from it to walk through the center/Atrium. I had little trouble getting drinks at bars inside or outside. I thought the employees were very polite and genuine. This was way too crowded and they let opening coughing sick kids and adults run amuck - kids stuck their faces in the softserve ice cream machines at buffet - no parent around! Excursions: Enjoyed Cozumel tour of local ruins but the guides were definitely getting kickbacks to have the gift shops and restaurants pushed on us. The beach stop was very pretty and employees worked hard though. They kept trying to sell on endangered black coral jewelry - not eco friendly tourism. Grand Cayman was a pit. Discovering Cayman tour was abominable - Guide was one continuous ramble about anti-environmentals and how they were ruining tourism. The spots we went were not scenic - except maybe "Hell" and that was only because it was so kitschy -so cheesy. The turtle farm was a rush job and no one took us around or explained anything to us. The tortuga factory was a sales pitch and you could not walk in it was so crowded. I saw nothing appealing at all. Jamaica port was terrible, put us in at the industrial port, not cruise port - not accessible to shopping or enjoyment of the port area. Big Stirrup Cay was very pleasant - we got there early and sat on beach and daughters snorkeled with our own equipment. Later that day, we all started coming down with respiratory infections that moved into bronchitis immediately. Ruined the whole trip to start healthy and leave very ill (am still very ill). Last three evenings Spice H2o parties were so loud the walls vibrated from people jumping at command of band/dj until 2pm and we were three decks down. High point - given help to tender off because I was using a cane for a back injury. I appreciated the wheelchair service. However, could not find our bags and they were put in the wrong color section at port. I don't believe I received the value paid for this vacation plus I am now paying to treat a miserable illness. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The Breakaway was always clean and tidy and in very good shape. The layout is nice. The cabins were small, but well designed. One bummer: no college football was anywhere to be found during the bowl season. We loved being able to ... Read More
The Breakaway was always clean and tidy and in very good shape. The layout is nice. The cabins were small, but well designed. One bummer: no college football was anywhere to be found during the bowl season. We loved being able to walk around the ship outdoors and sit and chat by the sea. Specialty restaurants were plentiful and nice. We enjoyed Teppanyaki and Moderno. The food at non-specialty restaurants was ok – comparable to Carnival but not as good as Royal Caribbean or Princess. Bar-wise, we loved the Shakers Martini Bar. It was usually not very crowded and quiet and comfortable. We really enjoyed that the shops are not all in your face hawking their merchandise. The layout is almost such that you never have to see a shop unless you want to. We were not disturbed too much by photographers as well. The atmosphere on the ship was laid back and great. Even though it is a big ship, it was easy to find your quiet spot, sit, and use your drink package (which is a must have!). As this was our first NCL trip, we had to get used to making reservations for dinner and to many shows or attractions. Once we did, it was not a problem. The Ice Bar was great. Six was a good show as well. Excursions: We did Mr. Sancho’s in Cozumel. It was fantastic in every way. We would highly recommend it. In Grand Cayman, we did the Snorkeling and Sting Ray excursion with Captain Marvin. It was very good and much cheaper to book directly that with the cruise line. In Ocho Rios, we did the Dunn’s River Falls and Whitewater Rafting Excursion with Karandas Tours/Excursions in Jamaica/Dwight Soares. Dunn’s River Falls was crowded but a lot of fun. Whitewater rafting was entertaining, but not the least bit thrilling. The tour operator was just ok. We loved Great Stirrup Cay. It was very crowded. NCL put 4,900 passengers on the island that is realistically equipped to handled 3,800 or so. Once we found a spot, everything was fun and tranquil. The food on shore was ok. The bars were almost impossible to get to during the stay at Great Stirrup Cay. The island is seriously under-barred and under-restauranted for the amount of people. All in all, it was an excellent cruise and any concerns I had about sailing NCL were unfounded. We would definitely do the Breakaway and NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose the Breakaway for a group of four families (19 of us in total, including teens and young adults) because it fit in our families' schedules. It was a treat to spend New Year's Eve on such a great ship. I read a lot of ... Read More
We chose the Breakaway for a group of four families (19 of us in total, including teens and young adults) because it fit in our families' schedules. It was a treat to spend New Year's Eve on such a great ship. I read a lot of negative reviews during the time leading up to our cruise and became a little nervous about what we might experience. As a group, we were very pleased with the level of service we received and didn't see any evidence of the negative comments others had posted. I have a nut allergy and received excellent attention from the Assistant Maitre D', Marliza. There was an erroneous charge on our account the first night and it was promptly handled by Evidente at Financial Services. The service staff worked really, really hard all week since the cruise was filled to capacity. Despite such demands, we didn't ever feel like we waited an unreasonable amount of time for anything. If a particular bar was swamped, we simply went to another. The food was delicious, although my young adult son wished the portions were bigger. I wish there was something that could be done about the lack of lounge chairs available on sea days, but that is an on-going issue for every cruise line, I hear. Both embarkation and disembarkation went well enough. The tendering process was rather confusing despite an attempt to group people by time slots. The show 'Six' was absolutely fantastic! This is a very high quality show with excellent performers/musicians. 'Burn the Floor' was also very enjoyable. There is so much talent evident in these productions. I highly recommend them. Our favorite nighttime hangout was Syd Norman's Pour House because the band that plays there is excellent. They perform classic rock and do it well. The instrumentalists and the vocalists are really good. I wish the venue was bigger. Every night that we went was jam-packed. The wait staff couldn't circulate and most people had to stand. That is evidence that the band is of a high caliber. My husband and I bought the spa passes so we could use the Thermal Suite for the week. It was a lovely, tranquil oasis from the crowds. We think, however, that the one on the Gem was better laid out. Others might think differently. In another comparison to the Gem, there was a lot more storage/drawer space in our stateroom on the Gem. Our inside cabin on the Breakaway, though, was functional and the bathroom was a good size. It was a great trip full of memory-making for our four families. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The good: -Boarding process: Left out of Port Canaveral and from the time we arrived via hotel shuttle to the port (around 11, boarding started at 12 on paper but they started early) to the time we set foot on the ship was around 25 ... Read More
The good: -Boarding process: Left out of Port Canaveral and from the time we arrived via hotel shuttle to the port (around 11, boarding started at 12 on paper but they started early) to the time we set foot on the ship was around 25 minutes. We waited maybe 5 mins at most outside to be let into the terminal and once we started moving, we never stopped other than the check in desk until we set foot on the ship. Was really impressed with how quick boarding process was. -Food: Did not have one bad meal on the whole cruise. We ate at taste, sushi bar, la cucina, moderno, buffet, le bistro, and ocean blue and did not have one bad meal. Food was amazing. Buffet food was a bit bland IMHO but it's buffet food. Can't really speak about the breakfast because I didn't eat breakfast once on the whole trip but my boyfriend said it was good. -Drinks: didn't drink too many frozen drinks or premixed drinks but liquor selection was good for the free at sea beverage package and had not problem getting my buzz on, this is coming from a heavy drinker. Martinis at shaker's were great, as were the bartenders there, same goes sid norman's pour house and spice h20 staff. Take care of them, don't be rude and they will take care of you. Ship could have a bit better beer selection but not bad. -Service: We were on a completely full ship during once of the busiest vacation weeks of the year and my BF and I both think the staff did an amazing job with service. From servers, bartenders, guest services, to our room attendant, no complaints at all. Ship was kept very clean as well. -Entertainment: We saw burn the floor and the band at sid norman's pour hour house. They were both great. DJ at 80s night could've been better. DJ for NYE party at spice h20 was good. -Ship: This being my first cruise, did not have much to compare this to as far as the actual ship but I thought the decor was nice, layout was a bit confusing at times at first but I picked it up over the next few days. Cannot really comment on pool since we didn't spend much time there, opting instead for spice h20, which we both loved and spent a ton of time at. I would say, if pool space is important to you, might want to consider a larger ship (symphony of the seas, etc) as I though pool space seemed limited on breakaway. The not-so-good: Wifi: Paid for unlimited premium wifi package for both BF and I so we didn't have to worry about sharing 1 internet package. With the amount of money NCL is charging for internet packages, the speed should really be a lot faster. Yes, yes I know, you're on vacation, you're supposed to disconnect but us both being self-respecting millennial internet junkies, we have to have it. Did several speed tests throughout the cruise and I think fastest I got was 3 megs, at around 3am when nobody else is online. At most other times, if you get the internet package, you are going to be waiting for stuff to load. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We first sailed on the Sun in 2010...The ship is an older one (2000 I believe) but the upgrade in 2018 really made the ship look new. We originally had a family ocean-view but bid $140 (x2) for an upgrade and got a balcony two days ... Read More
We first sailed on the Sun in 2010...The ship is an older one (2000 I believe) but the upgrade in 2018 really made the ship look new. We originally had a family ocean-view but bid $140 (x2) for an upgrade and got a balcony two days before we sailed! I also bid on a mini-suite but did not get it sadly. The bidding game is kinda fun! Getting on the ship was the fastest we ever experienced! Room was ready by 130pm and baggage was delivered at 230pm. When we tendered to Stirrup Cay it was quick and easy with no lines and the same goes for when we got home. For a sold out cruise it was amazing! The cabin was really clean, well laid out and roomy (for a cruise ship anyway). Bathroom a bit tight but we also like to RV so we are used to small bathroom showers! Bed was VERY comfortable, but the convertible sofa not so much for our two adult children with us...a bit like sleeping on the floor they said (hard). Balcony was GREAT to have and the in room coffee maker was a really great thing to have as well! We were on 10th floor, port side AFT (Room 10062). Some noise from chairs on pool deck but other than that the AC was great, water hot and pressure great, lots of places to plug in phones and was very clean. Room steward was very good as well. Dining was very nice. We ate in Seven Seas one night (dress accordingly), Four seasons once then hit buffets the rest of the cruise. Kids ate in Sushi Bar on 12 one night, they said it was great. Food was very good, appetizers and entrees changed nightly in all restaurants (to keep things different) and quality was very good. Buffets were also rotated...Mexican one night, american the next...etc We watched both main shows and loved them. The quality of the dancers.singers was better than expected and the shows were entertaining and enjoyable. The final night show with the crew was really the best. We also spent time in the Windjammer listening to the piano player (great by the way) as well as did several trivia games, newlywed and couple games and also spent time each night in Spinnakers watching Karaoke after 10pm. The casino was eh...I brought money expecting to play but the table minimums were too high and the electronic games were really "rigged" or set so you never win anything...avoid them at all costs! Drink package was AMAZING and the service, for the most part, at the bars was good. Expect to wait when it gets crowded. I read a few complaints about the sales tactics on board and must agree...My wife and I spent around $400 (with extra tip) for couple massage and were hit with a lengthy sales pitch afterwards...really took the enjoyment out of a really good massage. We did not buy anything because of this high pressure sales tactic. As far as the other sales pitches...simply don't go see them! Great Stirrup Cay was really nice (ocean freezing...but it is December mind you) and we spent about three hours there. Rented the covered lounge chairs for the afternoon and later found that the shore excursion credit we did not used covered them! :) Overall we loved the trip and already booked the Sun for our next cruise in October (14 days thru the Panama canal). The smaller ship keep lines and crowds to a minimum, few children running around and the clientele seem more "adult" and behaved than on Carnival (mad house usually)...and with the smaller ship we don't have to fight to eat, swim or get a lounge chair! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We booked this cruise because we wanted something in the 3-5 day range, somewhere warm, and that spanned Christmas. Our ship was The Sun and embarkation went great. We showed up earlier than we were supposed to, but they were already ... Read More
We booked this cruise because we wanted something in the 3-5 day range, somewhere warm, and that spanned Christmas. Our ship was The Sun and embarkation went great. We showed up earlier than we were supposed to, but they were already boarding some groups. We waited a minimal amount of time. They tagged our bags outside, which showed up in our room later without any issues. Overall, I liked the ship. Everything was kept clean and in good condition. They need more public restrooms though. For food, we at at the Four Seasons, Garden Cafe, The Great Outdoors, Moderno Churrascaria, and Teppanyaki. The food at Moderno Churrascaria was amazing. Everything else food related was just average at best. The Garden Cafe can be a pain to navigate. The layout causes bottlenecks in a couple spots. On board entertainment was mixed. Most of the stuff in the Bliss Lounge was borderline terrible, the George Lopez wannabe in particular. The Rock You Tonight show was amazing and I would highly recommend it. We spent a couple nights in the Windjammer and the piano guy was pretty good. Our bartender there, Ardie, was amazing. As was Olga in the Spinnaker. Photography services were mixed. The pictures we seen were good, but several of our photo ops were not in our binder. The pricing on pictures is terribly expensive in my opinion. It cost us $150 for 5 pictures with digital copies. Laundry services were very expensive and the one time I used it, they didn't deliver until I called and reminded them, a day after it was expected. I would not rely on it if I were to cruise with NCL in the future. We had to tender at our second port, which delayed us almost 2 hours, only to find our excursion was canceled without reason. However, the ship staff on the pier were awesome at getting us another one booked ASAP. With only one other cruise to compare to, this trip was sub-par. Unless there is some type of package in the future that is too good to refuse, I don't see us taking another NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our family of 12 chose the Norwegian Breakaway for our Christmas Cruise. We had eight adults and four children ranging in ages 11 to 17. We were so excited to go on this Cruise and planned for over 12 months. Boy were we disappointed! ... Read More
Our family of 12 chose the Norwegian Breakaway for our Christmas Cruise. We had eight adults and four children ranging in ages 11 to 17. We were so excited to go on this Cruise and planned for over 12 months. Boy were we disappointed! In general, the boat seemed severely understaffed. Service at the restaurants and at the bars were incredibly slow. At times we waited over 30 minutes for a drink by the pool. We ordered virgin drinks for the children and on at least three different occasions, the drinks were served WITH alcohol. We had 3 staterooms and every day there was something wrong with at least one of them. Clogged showers that flooded the bathrooms, no AC, no electricity, showers that didn't work, and or clogged toilets became part of our daily routine. Sometimes the issues were fixed quickly and other times it took hours. There was one main pool which is an adult only pool. There was a kiddie pool but it wasn't heated and only allowed for a small number of kids. They have slides but they were always closed or they would only have one open with a massive line. The rock climbing wall and sky walk were rarely open due to weather and when they were, the line was crazy long. None of our four kids got to go on either of these during the seven days that we are on the cruise. Everything costs extra and any activities for the kids closed at 10. They do have a kids area called Entourage but it was always full and there was usually a line of kids waiting to get in. My kids got to go in once. We couldn't do ping pong, basketball, or anything after 10. Thank God I thought to bring a deck of cards otherwise we would have had nothing to do. Maybe there was more things for the little kids but nothing for the tweens. Our first Port was scheduled for Great Stirrup Cay. We were excited because we paid for an excursion to swim with the pigs. However, due to inclement weather (or so they said) we got rerouted to Nassau. So instead of an all-inclusive day at the beach, we had to walk around the streets of Nassau trying to figure out what to do. There was nothing to do. Norwegian was running a special at the time that we booked and so we got to experience three of their upgraded dining rooms. Moderno was a joke. Blue Ocean had excellent service but served undercooked seafood. Eating at Teppanyaki was the highlight of our trip. The servers and the cooks were friendly, outgoing, and actually seemed happy to be there. Everyone else on this ship was miserable and some of them were even downright rude, completely dismissing you while in the middle of a conversation with them. The all-you-can-drink package sounded good in the beginning until the server's realize that they didn't have to work very hard for a tip anymore. My husband and I come from service backgrounds. 20% is a minimum an our book. However the service on this boat was so bad that by the third day we insisted that the auto gratuity be removed. We started tipping people accordingly with cash instead. We met some other really great families that also complained about the service and lack of activities on the boat. Some of them said that they had been on Norwegian Cruise line many times before and this particular Cruise was the worst they have ever experienced. I would give anything to go back and pick a different cruise line. Did our family have fun? Of course! But for the amount of money that we spent on this cruise and the excursions, it would have been nice to leave the ship with better memories. I will never go on another NCL ship again. Norwegian could call and offer me a free Cruise and a million dollars and I still wouldn't go. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our second time on the Breakaway. Our first time was wonderful, so needless to say, we were excited about our Christmas cruise. We are avid cruisers.... and this was our 4th time cruising during Christmas. This was, by ... Read More
This was our second time on the Breakaway. Our first time was wonderful, so needless to say, we were excited about our Christmas cruise. We are avid cruisers.... and this was our 4th time cruising during Christmas. This was, by far, the worst holiday experience we have had. This boat was WAY overbooked! On sea days you could not escape a crowd. There were people everywhere! Impossible to get a chair on pool deck...impossible to get any specialty dining reservations... no seats at Trivia...etc. Heard at a Cruise Next presentation that the boat, which on average carries around 4000 passengers, had over 4900 for this week! We had dinner in Manhattan Room twice ...The poor dining room staff didn’t know whether they were coming or going! Lots of confusion and awful service. Food was sub-par at best! We paid extra for the Velvet dinner show... show itself was good...not worth extra $ though.....but, service and food was terrible. (We went to buffet later that same night for soft serve, and realized our exact meal came from the buffet...why the extra charge then!?) Once again, servers were confused and seemed “put out” when we reminded them that they forgot to bring dessert to 3 people at our table, or when we ordered drinks from the bar. The one bright spot, besides being with family, was the entertainment. “Burn the Floor” and “Six” were both fantastic. NCL is typically our cruise line of choice. But this cruise will make us rethink our options. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had been planning this as our family Christmas gift for several months. We are a family of 4, husband and wife early 50s, 14 yo son, 17 yo daughter. Cruise started off rocky when we noticed our drink packages missing from our key ... Read More
We had been planning this as our family Christmas gift for several months. We are a family of 4, husband and wife early 50s, 14 yo son, 17 yo daughter. Cruise started off rocky when we noticed our drink packages missing from our key cards. Who wants to spend the first exciting hours of a cruise in guest services lines. Upside, the problem was easily remedied and that crew member very pleasant. Not so much the shore excursion crew member who seemed to want to be anywhere but helping us with the excursion that had to be dropped because of itinerary change. Without boring you with details, we ended up having to walk away and seek assistance elsewhere. Even though we still didn't get the answer we had hoped, at least this other person was more diplomatic and made sense. We were determined to not let a rough start ruin the whole week so we powered on with optimism. Unfortunately, I spent much time biting my tongue and rolling my eyes on this trip. While we did have fun and thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment (the kids and I LOVED Six and Burn the Floor!), overall the crew was listless, restaurant and bar service was the slowest we have ever experienced on a ship, and crew really didn't seem to care if passengers were actually attended to. (Big exception....our cabin steward was great. Kind, helpful and considerate.). A good example of the overall poor customer service.... when approaching the host podium at the main dining rooms, not once the entire week did the host/hostess greet us when we arrived. It was as if we were bothering them. It really takes no break in concentration to look up for a second, smile and say something like , "welcome, if you would wait for just a moment while I finish....". Disappointing. The major complaint I have is the general feeling of disorganization. I never felt like things were well explained. A cruise vacation is a time for the guests to be able to relax and be loose but the crew should have their act together. It did not feel that way. The wait for a tender back from Grand Cayman screamed disorganization! We were told the last tender was 3:00. Our excursion (which was awesome, btw) returned in plenty of time, about 2:10. The line wound around a blazing hot parking lot with only one person "in charge" that we could see. We didn't board a tender until 3:30 and there were still many behind us. Water and cool cloths were not available until almost the end...these should have been brought around as we were winding around like cattle in the sun! You can imagine the chaos and tempers in this scenario. I had many smaller gripes but I feel like most things wouldn't have bothered me if I had not already been disillusioned. I do want to end with some positive things. We felt the food was excellent. We chose to dine every evening in one of the main dining rooms, Manhattan Room being our favorite. The buffet, while not always excellent in quality, sufficed and offered nice options. I suggest eating in Margaritaville for breakfast... it's a smaller buffet and included but much, much less crowded. O'Sheehan's was probably my favorite lunch spot. There were some individual crew members that were excellent, including our cabin steward and my favorite bartender in the Spice H2O bar. The dolphin/stingray excursion on Grand Cayman was our favorite. We would have stayed longer if we could have. Best of all was the entertainment staff. My daughter is interested in the creative arts and talented in music and theatre, hoping to make a career in the field one day. She was able to talk with cast members and dancers and musicians about their work. All were delighted to speak with her, so friendly and happy to pose for pictures with her. In summary, we had a good vacation....it was Christmas, after all....but too many problems that should be easily avoided mean we will not sail with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have been on multiple NCL cruises in the past and have been completely satisfied. But, the most recent cruise on the Breakaway was pretty bad! We took a Christmas cruise with the family. The ship was full and the staff did a poor ... Read More
We have been on multiple NCL cruises in the past and have been completely satisfied. But, the most recent cruise on the Breakaway was pretty bad! We took a Christmas cruise with the family. The ship was full and the staff did a poor job of handling the number of people that were on this cruise. There were lines everywhere. The concept of eating meals when you want to didn't work! Anytime eating should be rightfully called "Make a reservation or forget about it". Many of the shows were cancelled with no explanation as to why cancellation was necessary. The shows that were operating were often so crowded that it was standing room only. The all inclusive vacation previously enjoyed on NCL should be renamed "we will nickle and dime you to death with annoying charges." Although there were good things on this cruise, there were too many problems. The staff appears to be overworked and sometimes disinterested. NCL get you act together! You need to go back to passenger service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Extended family Christmas Vacation Cruise. The Breakaway reinforces our love for NCL. Overall, this is in our top 5 of great cruises. 1st time on the Breakaway, and it did not disappoint. THE GOOD: (1) The ship layout NEVER feels ... Read More
Extended family Christmas Vacation Cruise. The Breakaway reinforces our love for NCL. Overall, this is in our top 5 of great cruises. 1st time on the Breakaway, and it did not disappoint. THE GOOD: (1) The ship layout NEVER feels crowded. Despite almost 5k passengers, the only time it ever felt like there were a ton of people was post-shows at the theater. Even disembarkation / embarkation was smooth and not generally crowded. We actually got onboard at 11:30am on day one - which is a first! (2) The dining rooms (see the "not so good" for other food experiences). We ate every night in the Manhattan Room and our waiter / staff was amazing. We had a large party, and they accommodated us in every way imaginable. Can't say enough about the excellent service we received in the dining room. O'Sheehans and the Noodle Bar were really quite good as well. Don't miss the wings and brownie cheesecake at O'Sheehans! (3) The weather. We had some "sporty seas" moments in the Atlantic, but even then, the ship handled it well. The weather was amazing - it only rained when we didn't care about rain, and the temperatures both on and off ship were perfect. (4) Hidden spaces: This ship has a ton of places where if you want to go chill, you can. In fact, this is a feature of all of the NCL ships we have been on. We spent tons of time just relaxing on the Waterfront outside of the Martini Bar. (5) The Atrium was just a fun place to be. The cruise director and his staff did a great job of keeping the party going throughout the cruise. (6) Stateroom: NCL's bigger ships have well thought out staterooms and more importantly, bathrooms. We had a total of 5 staterooms in our group (part of a bigger group) and they were all very well thought out. Coffee in the balcony and higher rooms is a really nice touch. The complimentary sparkling wine was disgusting, but it was a nice "welcome back" gesture. (7) Excursions / Itinerary: We went to Nassau (too rough seas for the private island), Jamaica (Ocho Rios), Grand Cayman, and Cancun. The excursions we took were: Bahamas: none; Jamaica: Dunn's River Falls - CANNOT recommend this enough... amazing experience; Grand Cayman: Stingray City and Snorking (awesome time) and Cancun: Passion Island. I strongly recommend all three of these excursions. (8) The shows were good enough. Production value was good, the casts were good. However, it wasn't "Royal Caribbean good", so if shows are super important to you - take that into consideration. By contrast, the shows on our Alaska cruise on the NCL Bliss were amazingly good. That said, the Christmas show was great. THE NOT SO GOOD: This isn't NCL, it's Port Canaveral staff, so I won't hold it against NCL - but the Port personnel are about the most surly, miserable people on earth. Listen folks - if you want to start thousands of people's vacations by being a complete jerk, maybe you should go work somewhere else. You don't have to be all smiley and fake happy, but you also don't have to be downright miserable. Add to that the incompetence at check-in (see #4) and it wasn't a great start. (1) Stateroom attendant: We met him on embarkation day and saw him twice after. We had to request via the operator (the "housekeeping" speed dial said "your stateroom attendant is busy, please try your call again later") to replentish the coffee, toilet paper, shower soap, etc. - basic things. We hung our towels, and came back to fresh ones, so evidently "saving the environment" as displayed in the bathroom by hanging and reusing towels isn't important enough to our guy. Terrible service. All of that said, it didn't really impact the overall enjoyment of our cruise. Just annoying. (2) Speciality restaurants: We booked this cruise in April 2019, and could not book specialty restaurants at booking time. We repeatedly checked, since our packages included 3 speciality restaurants - and could never book them. Once booking opened, they claimed they couldn't accomodate a reservation for a group our size, and that we would have to book once on board. Once on board, all reservations were taken - so the "Free Specialty Dining" part of the overall value was lost. We never ate at specialty restaurants while on board. (3) Pay for coffee?!!?? We had the "Unlimited Drink Package" as part of our fare (one of the "benefits", and discovered that espresso drinks were not included. There was one place to get espresso drinks on board (deck 6, Atrium Bar), and they were SUPER slow. Completely understaffed and overworked personnel at the coffee shop. (4) Smoking: The casino is on deck 7, in the middle of the ship. It's smoking allowed everywhere in the casino (except for a small area - and it made no difference). The middle is open from decks 6-8, so the stench was pervasive on all 3 of those decks. The Bliss, by contrast, doesn't allow smoking, except in a few areas of the casino (opposite of this ship). You would think NCL would have a uniform policy on this, but evidently not. The smell at the center of the ship is literally nauseating (unless, I guess, you're a smoker). Also, we observed people smoking cigarettes and vaping in non-smoking areas (pool deck, Waterfront, Whiskey Bar) and staff did nothing to stop it. (5) A nit for sure, but there have definitely been better and more engaging cruise directors than Paquito. The CD staff was great in the atrium - but that was the ONLY place they were. They were doing the "compulsory" stuff - nothing more. Overall, I give this cruise a solid 9.5 / 10. NCL is a fantastic cruise line, and this particular cruise did not disappoint. I won't even call my "not so good" observations bad - they were just not to my expectations. We will definitely cruise NCL again, and would consider the Breakaway again. I wish NCL would do something about the smoking - it really ruins an otherwise beautiful ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this ship because of the itinerary. We found the ship to be very similar to the Epic all the way down to the smaller rooms and restaurants. The food was good and it was nice to see what type of food would be served at the evening ... Read More
We chose this ship because of the itinerary. We found the ship to be very similar to the Epic all the way down to the smaller rooms and restaurants. The food was good and it was nice to see what type of food would be served at the evening buffet. Our kids enjoyed themselves. The negative aspects were the room stewards were not as attentive as we have seen in the past. Washclothes we're not left, and 2 towels for 4 people. We also had to ask for the soap dispenser to be filled in the shower. We have up on the main dining rooms after 2 tries as the service was lacking. Overall, having done many cruises with multiple companies, we have experienced much worse. We would sail on the Breakaway again if the itinerary was right. NCL has been our favorite cruise line after Disney. Thank you again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
While I understand why we missed Cozumel (and agree with the decision the weather was dangerous) absolutely NOTHING was done to make up for this fact. The "additional activities" were the same from the day before leaving us bored ... Read More
While I understand why we missed Cozumel (and agree with the decision the weather was dangerous) absolutely NOTHING was done to make up for this fact. The "additional activities" were the same from the day before leaving us bored and feeling like the rest of the vacation was a waste of money. The onboard activities are too expensive, not interesting, or are those horrible seminars that prey on peoples insecurities - shame on them for having seminars about cellulite etc. The pool was too packed or never had enough water in it. The fitness center is too small to do anything but a cardio machine. The spa staff tries to sell you on products during the massages, which is not relaxing. Browsing the duty free jewelry I constantly had sales reps trying to talk to me - making me leave without a purchase because I was unable to look at the products I was interested in. The organization of getting off the ship at Costa Maya needs work. Those with excursions that leave almost immediately after docking should meet on the ship then be given priority disembarkment. We were in line early and still only caught our excursion as they were leaving. Had this happened, the vacation would have been ruined as we were not on the ship for the days at sea (the excursion itself was wonderful). The 15 dollar a day a person charge should just be included in the ticket price if it is a set fee. Overall, I do not have confidence that I am getting my money's worth with Norwegian and will likely not be booking with them again. I felt like most of the cruise someone was trying to sell me on something - this is not a vacation to me. However, the rooms were not bad, food was decent, and I must stay the staff were exceptional and the only redeeming quality. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose Norwegian Sun because we always traveled on Carnival and wanted a different experience. Unfortunately we got a horrible experience. For starters, the servers spraying your hands as you walk in the door was crazy. The food on the ... Read More
We chose Norwegian Sun because we always traveled on Carnival and wanted a different experience. Unfortunately we got a horrible experience. For starters, the servers spraying your hands as you walk in the door was crazy. The food on the buffet never looked appetizing. We got into disagreements with staff on 2 separate occasions at the Four seasons who had the slowest Service Ever on a cruise. This is not a big boat compared to others we have been on. Our cabin steward put soiled bloody sheets back on our bed after we discarded them to be replaced. The people in the Photo Gallery never offer to help or assist with anything but stand around and speak in foreign languages. The black jack table in the casino as well as most other games were definitely fixed. Not going to Cozumel ruined my entire experience and the Guest Services could care less. We got sick on the 2nd night from all the motion on the boat and the half done pizza we ate. We just did not enjoy this cruise/ship. Too many little kids playing in the Jacuzzi. There are no adult only areas on this ship which I hated. Never been on a cruise where so many employees do not speak or acknowledge the guests. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This being our first cruise with Norwegian, I had higher expectations than we received. With so many other cruise lines, I have no reason to return to this cruise line. This ship and others Norwegian ships have no docking rights, so ... Read More
This being our first cruise with Norwegian, I had higher expectations than we received. With so many other cruise lines, I have no reason to return to this cruise line. This ship and others Norwegian ships have no docking rights, so they don't go pier side, you have to be tendered in. And when the seas are rough, they just cancel your port visit. With a too bad so sad... no refund, NOTHING.... No where did I find that we would be tendered in. You don't know this until on board and read it on the daily itinerary. ONE Line to get off the boat, which was LONG and wrapping around... We paid to go to certain ports, this was my teens Christmas present. ONE port for 5 days. No impressed, and this being a small ship, 4 days at sea, was pretty boring... Many areas of the ship smelled like backed up sewage The ship was sooo rocky, they had to close the pools. the pools were splashing so hard they emptied themselves a couple times in only 5 day cruise. The food in dining was good, it was a long wait after you ordered your meal to get to your table. The buffets were the same all 5 days. Nothing special nor anything to brag about. We were going to get the teens a soda package. However, their were no kiosks that they could just go up to for a refill. Teens had to go to the bars, to get a refill. Teens have no business being around bars. the package also came with no travel mug or anything, regular plastic cups each time. We skipped the whole beverage package deal, such a waste of money. Entertainment was only 30 mins each, vice a hour other places. And the host had the worst lame jokes. It was like they were killing time, to drag out 30 mins. Looking forward to taking our teens on a real cruise, so they can really experience why we love cruising.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
As with previous cruises (and future booked ones for now) I'm traveling solo, and this was my second annual Christmas cruise. Going into this cruise I was a little worried, I'd just gotten off the Harmony of the Seas which I ... Read More
As with previous cruises (and future booked ones for now) I'm traveling solo, and this was my second annual Christmas cruise. Going into this cruise I was a little worried, I'd just gotten off the Harmony of the Seas which I loved and wasn't sure how this would compare, especially given that this would be my first back to back with the second week being very family heavy for Christmas. I'd read some reviews leading up that were largely negative about this ship and the service. I'm happy to say that my experience overall was really fantastic. I stayed in the "Studios", the rooms are small but I'm someone that's only in them to sleep, shower, and change so the size didn't bother me. I find them well laid out and more than suitable for my needs, but if you're someone that needs space or natural light, probably not for you. Room steward was a ninja, I swear I'd leave my room in the morning to go grab coffee and by the time I got back to shower it'd have been completely cleaned/remade. The lounge area is small, never got much use outside of the solo meetings, but having decent coffee nearby was a huge bonus. Solo meetings - this is a tale of different weeks meaning different crowds, and different levels of success. Week 1 we had a fantastic solo host (Gabi) and a generally fun group of people. While there was some fragmentation into smaller subgroups in general everyone got along really well and there were plenty of enjoyable group dinners. Week 2 was a different story, the solo host (Tim) was great, but I did not click with most of the group and never attended any meetings after the first. I did run into a few people who were traveling solo that I drank with (or attended shows/dinner), but the get togethers themselves I didn't click with. MDR - Overall good. The only real issue was one night in the Manhattan room we had two tables of 10 and due to some delayed courses/confusion on how to handle it/etc, dinner took almost three hours. It was handled though by the solo host (Gabi) who was joining us and never repeated, in fact for the rest of the week anytime I was in the MDR service was impeccable and near constant checkins by servers and maitre d to make sure everything was taken care of. Food wise, keep your expectations in check, it's not 5 star dining, but the food is good and generally well prepared. I never had problems getting modifications (less meat, more vegetables usually) and overall an enjoyable experience. Specialty dining - Unlike the first week where most of my dinners were in the MDR, one in a specialty, the second week I ate strictly at specialty dining for dinner. I went to Wasab (2), Le Bistro (2), La Cucina (3), and Teppanyaki (1). Fantastic experience across the board. I'd have likely switched out the third La Cucina for something different, but with it being Christmas week reservations were difficult to get. Likely could have walked in and gotten a table anyways, but I also really enjoyed the food there regardless. No complaints about specialty dining and it is a substantial step up from MDR food. Garden Cafe - Not really a breakfast person so only stopped in here for lunch, and mostly because it was the best source of salad on the ship. I'm used to a very vegetable heavy diet and was able to satisfy my cravings for those here. Bars - I'm a simple man, I generally pick 2-3 bars that I'll frequent on a ship and stick with those. My preference comes for ones that aren't too crowded, that I can find a place to read nearby, good service, and good drinks. Most of my week was spent at the Vibe bar, Syd Normans on the Waterfront, Syd Normans, and occasionally Shakers. Unlike some reviews where people complained of a wait to get a drink, I don't think I ever had to wait more than a min or two for one, outside of insanely crowded bars like the one in Headliners during Howl at the Moon. Vibe - One of my goals was to get Vibe passes so I'd have an adult only area that didn't have a smoking section. Goal achieved, and they were able to sell me a pass for the second week during the first week so I didn't have to worry about getting one. For me, Vibe is totally worth it. It's generally quieter, _fantastic_ bar service, everyone up there was incredibly accommodating and helpful, making sure drinks were always full and you had everything you needed. The wind was pretty horrific a few days and the hot tubs could be warmer, but I would not hesitate to get them again. Entertainment - SIX and Burn the Floor I love. I saw each at least 4 times over the two weeks and completely enjoyed them each time. You can disagree with me, personal taste and all, you'd be wrong, but you can still do it. Bands (Queen Flash and Syd Norman house band) were great, I spent a lot of evenings there the second week. Comedy shows, hit and miss, there were a couple I enjoyed but a lot weren't my style / too tame / etc. Overall I never lacked for anything fun to do though. Overall - Loved it. Staff was friendly and seemly went out of their way to make sure you had a great time. (Getting photos with the casts of Six and Burn the Floor was honestly a highlight of my week) Food, entertainment, drinks, cabin, etc, all great. Was it perfect? Of course not, things went wrong but they were always taken care of. I'm on vacation, as long as the ship doesn't capsize, what goes wrong isn't done on purpose/maliciously, and it gets taken care of, I don't much care. Will I cruise Norwegian again? Yup, I completely will. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had this cruise planed for 10 months. Having been on many (over 15) eastern Caribbean cruises we didn't feel the need to book one that was in port everyday, we choose this one because it was going to be at sea several days, which ... Read More
We had this cruise planed for 10 months. Having been on many (over 15) eastern Caribbean cruises we didn't feel the need to book one that was in port everyday, we choose this one because it was going to be at sea several days, which we find relaxing. The boarding process was organized ciaos, it went very well. The freestyle cruising concept is a neat idea however it is not our thing. We prefer the more organized traditional dining that other lines offer, where you either have early or late seating, and optional specialty restaurants including formal nights where a large portion of the guest get dressed up. On this ship, the captains dinner night which is normally considered a formal dress night only a handful of guest dressed up which was disappointing. The specialty restaurants we dined at were good and the service better if you could get a reservation (plan ahead). The general feel of the ship was that of a noisy ant pile, in public areas it was loud and lots of people everywhere. We had to wait in lines everywhere we went on board. The buffet was always crowded, the bars always had a line, waiting 10 minutes or more to get a drink. We dined at the main dining room twice both times we had poor, slow service. I think this is largely due to being understaffed and the tipping policy where they automatically charge you 15% tips. The entertainment was sub par compared to all of the other cruises we've been on. Most of the singing sounded more like howling. The comedy act was good however, the warm up acts were better than the headliner. We also like to play slots, the machines on board we're extremely tight, we saw very few wins. The thermal suit at the spa was nice and I am glad we joined it. Once again it was always crowded, a few guests reserved chairs by leaving their things there and weren't using the chairs, that is just rude! The main port of call for us was St. Thomas, for unexplained reason we had to be back on board by 1:30 pm. and the ship left port at 2pm. I don't recall seeing this early afternoon departure listed on the itinerary when we booked it, it was another disappointment. We won't be cruising with Norwegian again anytime soon its more a Carnival cruise style. We have had much better experiences on Royal Caribbean and Princess. I would recommend Royal Caribbean Adventure class and Oasis class ships, the layouts are the best. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
So 7 day cruise, that some friends and I yearly go on, we hop around on which line we cruise on. This time was Norwegian. The pluses, unlimited drink package, a bit higher class, and good destinations. Now onto the positives of the ... Read More
So 7 day cruise, that some friends and I yearly go on, we hop around on which line we cruise on. This time was Norwegian. The pluses, unlimited drink package, a bit higher class, and good destinations. Now onto the positives of the cruise. Food was really good all around, rooms were nice and our steward was great. The ice bar was cool too, as well as the ropes course. The casino was fun and had enough elbow room here, so fi you are a gambler this would be a cruise for you. Negatives- Most of the bar staff was pretty rude, they seemed understaffed and over worked. I would say about 70% were in this boat. Everything is a dang reservation, have to reserve eat at some restaurants, get into shows, everything. It really goes against a vacation of just wandering, it is like work, have to plan all ahead of time, be on time, very little flexibility. The common areas for things like the piano bar, comedy show, etc, are entirely too small for a ship of this size, there is never enough room for the crowds, and for most if you didn't make a reservation, no walk ups. Unlike many other ships that have large entertainment areas, this ship does not have those, other than the main stage. This ship was built for about 1500 passengers too many. Also the casino stinks, they need to ozone the area after each sailing, the cigarette stink poisons most of the mid ship, you can really smell it. Also had to interact with the front desk looking for a friends left behind hat, the folks there seemed bothered to have to go look in the lost and found. A big thing too, the adult area to relax does not have a stinking pool, just some water sit down areas and two hot tubs. Now this is a fault that I didn't research this, but most ships of this size have an adult pool area with a pool, such a letdown. Oh and another dumb thing, when coming back from a shore day, none of the restaurants are open except the buffet. Open the dang restaurants, people wanna eat, even the paid ones, make some money on walk ups. This ship just seems to be not managed well for the amount of passengers, and the staff may have been at sea too long. There were many other things that were death by a thousand cuts, and Norwegian will likely never be a line I sail on again, I'll stick with RC or on a budget Carnival. And the price paid on this cruise did not equate to the experience. TLdr; (at the end) Staff was not pleasant, ship has too many people on it for the amenities, adult pool rec area was weak, food was good. Would rather have sailed on RC. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was for a family vacation. The food and dining was terrible. We made a reservation and still stood in line for almost an hour, 3 times!! We pre ordered water for our room, it never showed up, We were forced to stand in the ... Read More
This cruise was for a family vacation. The food and dining was terrible. We made a reservation and still stood in line for almost an hour, 3 times!! We pre ordered water for our room, it never showed up, We were forced to stand in the customer relations line For 45 minutes, At which point they told us it is now in your cabin. We return to our cabin to find five waters, as we ordered 12! Back down and in line for another 45 minutes until they finally got it straightened out.The wait for dinner took minimum 2 1/2 hours each time we dined in the Manhattan dining room. The wait for dinner took minimum 2 1/2 hours each time we dined in the Manhattan dining room. We observed a man vomit from too much alcohol outside the bathroom we were sitting next to, we reported it three times and it took at least 30 to 45 minutes for someone to come and clean it up. I was thoroughly unimpressed with the entire cruise, and embarrassed that I brought my family on this vacation. The Buffet offered the exact same food each time we tried it, and had to wait forever for them to refill items. Other than Never seeing the room steward, I don’t have many complaints about the staff, they all appear to be doing their best to keep the customers happy. I don’t believe it is a staffing issue, I believe it it is an issue with the Ncl system in the way they operate. I will never cruise Ncl again, I will be happy to return to carnival which I cruised in the past and had no issues! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were a party of 4 people and have always cruised with Royal Caribbean and wanted to try Norwegian. The ship is very large and updated and they do a great job of keeping it clean while you are cruising. When talking about the food here ... Read More
We were a party of 4 people and have always cruised with Royal Caribbean and wanted to try Norwegian. The ship is very large and updated and they do a great job of keeping it clean while you are cruising. When talking about the food here the buffet was not very good compared with our previous experience with Royal but when compared with the dining hall experience the food was very good and many different choices and not the same food as we had found in the buffet so this was our main choice. We eat 3 special restaurants on board Cagney Steakhouse was a let down steaks we’re almost unbeatable for all of us the second was Monderno which is a Brazilian buffet and it was good but the best was the Japanese steakhouse It is worth eating every night and the entertainment while they were cooking was awesome. We booked a excursion 4 weeks before sailing pain in full only to find out once we were on the ship that they had sold out of the excursion but the bad part is that we only found out because I went to the desk to ask for the tickets and let me say that the customer service was horrible they acted like it was no big deal and there is no communication at all about how things are done on the ship such as having to book any shows everything got booked up the first day. We had no idea you had to book shows and such we were use to just freestyle and showing up at your convenience to a show with Royal but would have been better if they could have told us but we found out on our own. The rooms were the typical small rooms you find on any ship ours was under I think the laundry room because we heard water and dryer running the whole cruise so least to say we didn’t have much rest. Overall we have been there and tried Norwegian but we will not try them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I just returned from a 7 day cruise on the NCL Breakaway. This is my 3rd NCL cruise and my 2nd time on the Break away (last sailing on this ship was 2015 out of NY). We booked a mini suite on deck 11 and paid for NCL's Priority ... Read More
I just returned from a 7 day cruise on the NCL Breakaway. This is my 3rd NCL cruise and my 2nd time on the Break away (last sailing on this ship was 2015 out of NY). We booked a mini suite on deck 11 and paid for NCL's Priority Boarding ($99.00) per cabin, I arrived at 10am and were on the ship before 11am and was the quickest most pleasant boarding I have ever had! We rushed to get tickets to "The Vibe" as this has been very nice on prior NCL cruises, we did get tickets which were now $209.00 per person when we have always paid $99.00 per person in the past. On arrival to our room we opened the door to a very heavy smell of cigarette smoke and my wife and I both smoke, the smell was like sitting in an ashtray. I just used some AXE spray in the room which did help some, I have always had great service in the area on every other cruise but we experienced a very poor room steward who never introduced himself or cleaned our room on a timely basis. I did not complain about this just because, hey we are on vacation. The bed was very rigid and I requested an "eggcrate" pad be put on the mattress which was done and made a big difference in comfort. As I stated earlier, my wife and I smoke and when we were on this ship in 2015 we found adequate smoking areas located on the ship which has certainly changed since then! When we got on the ship we were told that we could smoke on deck 15 and in the cigar lounge which is where we headed for a quick smoke. When we got to the cigar lounge we were advised that no cigarettes could be smoked there it was only for cigars so we headed up to deck 15 where we found a 10X10 glassed in area with chairs with every smoker on the ship trying to get a place to stand in the tiny little space. We made our way to the "Spice H2O" section where you could smoke on the port side of the ship in a small section but at least it wasn't glassed in holding all of the smoke in a tiny space. I understand that smoking is offensive to some people but I am quite sure that out of 3900 people that over 1000 of us smoked and the tiny space provided was not anywhere near enough, of course you can smoke in the casino but only if you are gaming, if you were not gaming they would quickly move you out and not let you simply have a smoke. Dining was much better on this trip than our last NCL cruise on the Jade! The service in the main dining rooms was far better than we expected and the food was much better than the Jade. The down side with NCL is that the menu is unchanged all week which just happens to be about the same menu as it was in January on the Jade. The buffet was also basically the same thing every day over and over which is one of the reasons that I will not be on another NCL cruise. The crew was head and shoulders better than we experienced on the Jade and I will hand it to the crew they did have great attitudes (minus our room steward) and were pleasant and uplifting! The entertainment was so very crowded that we were not able to make reservations so that was a bit of a letdown. Book these EARLY or you will not be able to get in! The piano players in the public areas and the singers in the Manhattan room were very talented and a welcome alternative to the crowded shows. Tortola was very nice with beautiful weather, St. Thomas was also lovely and we enjoyed shopping and walking around the shops. After that we were faced with the rest of the week with 40-60 knot winds and 7-14 foot seas which caused many to get sick and vomit on various areas around the ship, fortunately my wife and I were not effected by the movement of the ship. We were not able to go to Great Stirrup Cays due to the rough conditions and we went to Nassau instead which was also overcast and windy so we did not get off the ship. I was told that due to the tender situation on the private island caused the Great Stirrup Cays to be cancelled about 50% of the time which is a bummer because it is the only place that does not cost money to enjoy a beautiful beach day, might be time for NCL to build a pier to prevent this in the future. This cruise was just my wife and I who do like to spend some time in the casino which we found to be the WORST paying casino on any of the 12 cruises I have been on, we joked about just going to the back and throwing money over the back because it was about the same result as it was playing the slots and I am not talking about just one machine! Every person we spoke to that had gone into the casino said the same thing as us reference the payout I have never been to a worse one anywhere! We will be looking at other cruise companies in the future as we feel the NCL line has forgotten what is important to customers, it does not impress me to have the ability to cram more people on a boat by building them bigger if you lose your ability to offer a week of pampering and a special experience. I have been cruising for over 20 years and as the ships get bigger it seems that it is all about the money and much less about the service. I think I will be looking at "FUN SHIPS" in the future as we would like a little more fun and a little less "oh there is an upcharge for this and that". NCL does not do a thing when a complaint is made so I would not even bother to complain, I think over time this will cause a migration and certainly will from many of the folks we spoke to on this cruise! Happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Well this was my first cruise experience. As a family we decided to vacay rather than xmas at the house. First thing is first, I am a big planner so I planned everything out prior to going on the cruise. On embarkation day the process ... Read More
Well this was my first cruise experience. As a family we decided to vacay rather than xmas at the house. First thing is first, I am a big planner so I planned everything out prior to going on the cruise. On embarkation day the process was pretty smooth. We arrived at about noon and there was not a long line. Got on the ship in about 30 to 45 minutes. Once on the ship it's a total different ball game. Jam packed trying to get a drink at O'Sheeans. Couldn't get a table either to eat something. One of the workers suggested going further on the ship to Savor. At Savor it was empty. Got seating right away and ordered food and drinks. Food was ok not great. We then went to the room and saw that my 24 pack of water had been brought to the room. Had dinner at Temppayaki that night. Food was awesome and the cook was a great entertainer. This place was the best I had eaten while on the ship and next time I would do all my specialty dining there. DAY 2 we ventured out of the room around 9am had breakfast and the Garden Cafe, which was good everyday we had breakfast there. Got to the pool deck and there was still plenty of seating. We found a hidden bar on the deck above the pool. Never any lines and the bartender had a heavy hand =). We hung out there most of the day. Ate at Manhattan Room, which is the better of the three free restaurants. Food was decent there compared to Savor and Taste. Day 3 came out of room about 10am. Big mistake. There was no seating whatsoever on the pool decks. Went to the hidden bar and there was no seating there as well. We finally found a spot at about noon. Day 4 Tortola, planned ahead so I knew where I was going. Got off boat with no lines found a taxi and headed to Cane Garden Bay. Sat right on the beach for $20 and bucket of 6 beers for $20. Stayed there for about 5 hours. Best time I had in the 7 days. Day 5 St Thomas, Due to having to be back on the ship by 130 PM we just did a van tour of the island. Once back on board it was still early and there was plenty of seating on the pool deck. We saved two chairs and put our belongings on them. Kids went to water slides as the wife an I sat at the pool with our feet in the water. After a few hours we went back to the chairs which were not far from the pool and a group of 8 had taken up all the chairs including the two chairs we had our stuff on. We questioned them and they played dumb saying the chairs were empty and nothing was on them. One of the guys told me that maybe staff removed our stuff. I then questioned him and he started playing dumb. I then moved one of the towels on a chair we had and saw our stuff hidden under the towel. Needless to say words were exchanged and they ended up giving the two chairs back. One of the guys told me he was sorry. The pool deck was empty and there were other chairs around. Don't know why these people had to do that and lie about it. This was the worst experience I had on the ship as I am there to relax and not have to worry about petty stuff like taking over an area because you have a big group and other people don't matter. Day 5 we hit a storm and Stirrup Cay was cancelled. We ended up at Nassau Bahamas for Day 6 but had to be back on board by 1pm. We got off the boat and winds were gusting at 45 mph. We decided to stay on the ship. Had another day just lounging around. Overall I enjoyed myself on this cruise. The specialty dining is worth it. The main rooms are just ok. The Garden Buffet breakfast was always good never had dinner there though. The one thing that I dislike is the service at restaurants and especially bars. The service at the free dining rooms was always super slow. The poor bartenders, every bar has one or two bartenders depending on the size of the bar. The lines for the bar are crazy. It takes at least 15 minutes to get an order in if your lucky. The bartenders try there best. NCL should staff a minimum of three to four bartenders at the larger bars and two at the smaller ones. Also more organization at the bar. The mixed drinks take longer to make. There should be a beer only bar. Just my opinion. I will probably do Alaska next, but not sure if it will be with NCL. 7 days might have been a bit to long for me as by day 6 I was getting burnt out and ready to be back on land. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
A Day in the Life of a experience Cruiser on NCL Sun This was a girls cruise and we booked b2b just to be on the sea. The price was incredible almost unheard of. (10 days for $400).. This was a book on Wednesday on the ship Thursday. ... Read More
A Day in the Life of a experience Cruiser on NCL Sun This was a girls cruise and we booked b2b just to be on the sea. The price was incredible almost unheard of. (10 days for $400).. This was a book on Wednesday on the ship Thursday. My friend was flying in from Canada and her plane was 2 hours late. I had booked a transport from the Orlando International Airport to Port Canaveral. There last shuttle was at 1pm. We were the only 2 for this shuttle and there was no driver. We sat around and asked the customer service rep what was going on. She told us they would be here in 5 minutes. Come to find out the driver was sent home and she was trying to get a hotel to shuttle us. The lady said she had to go get a cig break. 15 minutes later she is back, and nobody has appeared to take us to the port. At this point I am not very happy, so I followed her around until we had a solid plan. They put me in an Uber. We left the airport at 2pm Since we were late boarding was done with no issues. We went right to our room and dropped off our carry ones. The room was on the 10th floor, inside family. Nice room for being inside. Our room steward, Julius, was awesome. When we asked for something, like ice, we got it every time he did service. We loved him. The ship is small and while it was renovated, it was just cosmetics. The ship is not easy to navigate, for one main dining venue, you had to go up one flight of stairs across the ship then down another flight of stairs. There were little areas that we found by accident. A speciality restaurant is being used for a buffet. Great place to eat and never crowded. The sailing had rough waters everyday. That didn’t bother us, we have sea legs. Allot of people were sick, including the staff. Good thing about folks being sick, is they stayed in their room. We were able to find some quiet spots on the ship. Forget being around the pool. Folk were packed and the music was loud. During some of our days at sea, the pools were closed due to rough seas. Referencing staff customer service was non-existed. We asked several times where is this or that, and the answer was always “I don’t know”. We went to guest services to ask about our second leg and can we upgrade to a balcony or at least leave us in the same room. Everyone said they can’t do that until the “sea day”. We heard this twice and even when we were back at the PC port they still couldn’t answer the question. Stardust entertainment. The first night was fun. We enjoyed the show. There was a female comedian who was horrible. I don’t remember her name. (pink hair) She had two shows, one was children friendly. We got to the show and watched part of it and left. Back for the adult show and it was a repeat from the previous one. Then there was a show with the crew. We enjoyed the show. We didn’t bother to go for the second comedian as we saw him in the first night ‘taster’ show and realize he wasn’t our cup of tea. We also didn’t go to the juggler or hypnotist. Our second hero of the trip was the piano man, Derrick. I wish I wrote down his last name. We spent allot of our evening at the piano enjoying Derrick. He was engaging, friendly, and took allot of request. The last night, Derrick stayed late and mingled with the crowd, and did some new music. He has his own music and we were lucky enough to hear some. I hope to see him on my other ships. Jason who is the another singer, is horrible. We ate at the main dining rooms, buffet, and room service. The food was nice and plenty of variety. The ship should make note that there is only 1 waffle maker in a station. There should be more than 1. I watched 4 omelets being made and my waffle wasn’t done. We were on the cruise that got sent away at Cozumel. Since we had b2b we decided not get off at Cozumel on the first cruise. So we didn’t get to see Cozumel. Disappointing however it is safety first. This pier was also the one where the two Carnival ships collided. We were suppose to tender and couldn’t due to water conditions and ultimately were told to pull up anchor and leave port. It would have been nice to see our port fees refunded. We had an extra day at sea. I didn’t mind that, however the ship was not prepared for an extra day at sea. They tried to have extra ‘events’, unfortunately it didn’t come across as successful. Some of these special events you had to pay some type of fee. The other events had staff that didn’t care to be hosting the event. Our first room was 0303. Clean and everything was in working order, clean, and wonderful room stewart. Second cruise we were in 9603. Horrible room. Horrible stewart. Bathroom had cracked counters that were filled in with epoxy. I think a kid did the repairs. The bathroom mirror had started to decay and had damage to 3 sides. Basically the mirror was useless for the bottom portion. The shower had the shelve missing the bar, so nothing could be placed in the shower. I have two more cruises with NCL and have them since I had to use some cruisenext certificates. After that I will be trying some new cruise lines. I’ve seen allot of changes that are effecting the quality of the cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Let me start by saying that I have cruised over 25 times, and usually travel on Carnival, where I am Platinum. We just returned from 5 day itinerary to Costa Maya and Cozumel. The ports were fun as usual, so I'll spend some time ... Read More
Let me start by saying that I have cruised over 25 times, and usually travel on Carnival, where I am Platinum. We just returned from 5 day itinerary to Costa Maya and Cozumel. The ports were fun as usual, so I'll spend some time talking about the ship. SERVICE/SHIP: I have been on NCL several times before, and it seemed to me that the service was much better on this ship, perhaps because it was smaller. The refurbishment last year resulted in an updated, classy ship with lots of dining choices, but not really enough in the way of amenities.The staff was extremely friendly and some of them spent the time to speak with us individually about their experiences with NCL and the various ships they had been on. The photo setup is really excellent here, as you can scan your card to view and order your pictures instead of scanning walls and walls of photos to find yours. They are also organized in binders so you can see the photos themselves. I wish there was a way to view your folio instead of having to wait in line. It seemed like some folks at the service desk only did specific things, so that was a bit confusing for the guests when they were told to go back to the front of the line and wait for someone else. The displays of gingerbread houses around the ship and the trees were really nice for the holidays! Embarkation and debarkation was one of the fastest and most efficient I have seen. Bravo! FOOD: Freestyle dining is not really a concept that I'm used to, but the boards on various decks made it easy to see what times were going to be the most crowded so you can plan ahead. We went with the 3 meal dining package (purchased the first day), which was a good deal considering that Cagney's steakhouse, Le Bistro, and La Cucina are all a la carte prices (and they are not cheap). What I am not sure of is why some of the restaurants are one up charge ($39 for Teppanyaki, for example) while others are a la carte. Venues are very nice, but overall I felt like the service at Cagney's was a little slow and I would have been slightly disappointed if I had to pay the a la carte prices. La Cucina's service and food were both excellent. Le Bistro was good, but I ordered one glass of wine and the waiter kept "topping it off". I was then charged for 3 glasses of wine, despite the fact that I did not ask for more and my glass was never more than 3/4 empty. The one dinner and lunch we ate at Seven Seas was good, but the service was very slow. The buffet food was also pretty good, but the beverage area is very cramped and you are really better off going to the great outdoors. SPA: I chose a special for $109 which was a massage and eye treatment. This was pretty good, but there was no chance of relaxing with all the noise coming from things banging and being dragged around in the Windjammer bar above.The hard sell at the end for products costing well over $200 also takes a bit away from the experience. ACTIVITIES: The usual stuff for days at sea like bingo, Mr Sexy legs etc. with a couple of fun additions like the Wheel of Ill Will and the musical trivia games. The comedian, Julie Barr was also pretty funny. Alvin the cruise director was a hit, especially during the Cake Master competition. I would like to see more "enrichment" activities where you can learn something. I'd even be willing to pay for something like a cake decorating class or some kind of art lecture etc that doesn't revolve around the art auction. PRICING: I would say this cruise was a great value considering we had an awesome time with a very nice room. I started with an ocean view and wound up with a balcony after I bid on an upgrade. I might not do this next time, as I found out if I had waited to book at the last minute, I could have probably gotten the same room for less, but I did not have the luxury of waiting to book. The only thing to be aware of when booking is that gratuities on things that are "free at sea" are not automatically included and those will be an additional charge. I did have lots of fun overall, and would recommend giving this ship a try. I'm sure I will sail on it again! I hope this helps! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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