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2,037 Norwegian (NCL) Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Reviews

Sailed the Breakaway out of Cape Canaveral. It was my husband and I (48 / 54 years old, we have no kids) and our friends – another couple. We booked a large balcony M6 and our bid for an upgrade to SPA balcony was accepted. I had already ... Read More
Sailed the Breakaway out of Cape Canaveral. It was my husband and I (48 / 54 years old, we have no kids) and our friends – another couple. We booked a large balcony M6 and our bid for an upgrade to SPA balcony was accepted. I had already booked the Thermal Spa passes, and they were refunded with no issues. (you have to call!) Our first Port was Great Stirrup Cay/ Bahamas. We skipped the private island due to rough water – our port fees and shore excursions were credited back to our on board account and I was handed cash at the end of cruise, since I pay for pretty much everything before I sail. Day 3 – Port was Ocho Rios Jamaica – we booked the Bamboo Beach VIP. The tour guides on the Beach and on the bus – worked their butts off, and made sure we wanted for nothing. Nice sunny areas/ Nice ‘sails’ hanging for those who didn’t want the sun. the bring the food to your chairs, and it’s nonstop little bits and a nice lunch. Very local. The beach isn’t as fabulous as I expected- kinda shallow, beach grassy.. etc. The sand is sugar like, which I love. Only issue I had here – NO REFLECTION on the excursion, but some non-VIPers came over and wanted to sit in the shade, literally plopped their 5 bags down for the 3 of them on the last 5 chairs in the shade. I was just heading for the shade. They were asked to leave, but being the privileged 3 that they were, they insisted on staying, at lease the staff pushed them all the way to the edge of the beach, cause my Brooklyn was coming out.. cause they were SOO rude to these folks working their butts off.. Here’s my advice. you want the VIP experience, pay for it. Hey its Norwegian, we should all storm the Haven and insist we ALL deserve to have that!! (ok RANT over) Day 4 George Town, Grand Cayman we did the White House Beach Getaway (no lunch) - Beach could be better.. rocky, shallow. (I am beginning to see a pattern here) – we spend the day at the pool with 3 other couples. They charge $10 for an umbrella, and of course the minute I paid, the clouds rolled in . LOL If not into sand or pool decks, there is a beautiful wooden deck that juts out to the ocean. Very nice to just sit and absorb the rays. Day 5 Roatan Bay Islands, Honduras- we had been here about 9 months before and this was the reason we took this cruise, we LOVE this excursion Maya Key Private Island Retreat- A short ferry ride from the pier, and you arrive at the luxurious island, teaming with rescued animals. , a lovely beach, with comfy shares, immaculate changing/rest rooms. They serve a tasty lunch, which some complained you couldn’t get seconds.. it you aren’t the 1st on line, they give you plenty (last year we skipped breakfast and were starving, this time we didn’t eat until it was almost time to shutdown the buffet line – and they piled our plates high!) There is ice tea and chilled water. The highlight of this is the feeding of the monkeys, you go in the cage with 5 monkeys and a bowl of fruit for the critters , the staff takes pictures & video with your phone – and you just need to tip. We did the monkey encounter 2x . the sand can get a little buggy. (bites on legs and ankles) – so bring the bug spray. Our fiend snorkeled and he spent the whole day there.. saying it was very good .. big drop off, lots of corals and amazing schools for fish. Day 6 : Harvest Caye, Belize – the couple we were with, rented the Cabana, it holds up to 4. (we were in separate cabins) – we did this last year also. I do not know why they cannot attach 2 cabin numbers to these bookings. She visited the medical for her bug bites and didn’t get off the ship til almost noon – we were not allowed to access the cabana. When you get there, there are 2 very nice loungers, and they then dragged over 2 standard.. we had to tip the guy to get us 2 padded ones (??) as much as they charge, and it says it holds up to 4.. it should include 4 if available, there were a lot of unbooked cabanas- so there were definitely loungers available. You can order food from Margaritaville and they will bring it to you. The staff was a little ‘sly’ – asking what I wrote for a total (it came to $94) they asked if that was $154.. Ummm no. I wouldn’t tip you $50 for service that I just experienced. Wasn’t thrilled with the service this time. Guess it’s hit or miss. Day 7 : Cost Maya Mexico – didn’t book any excursions , this is manufactured port to try to get you spend you money.. they don’t haggle, and they barely budge. They start with these crazy prices – and barely go down $5- I will avoid cruises with this port going forward. Day 8 Cozumel Mexico – booked an excursion through my travel agent (Cruises Inc) It was a Fish Spa & Beach day. This is a resort within walking distance – (although the direction on the COUPON are limited to 1 port (the directions said, if at this pier, walk to end of pier , make left, and walk 50 yard, or the other pier 150 yards. Umm we were at a port that was 7 blocks from the pier referenced in the coupon directions, and then we were late, and it had a time of 9am (so we thought we missed the bus.. but there is NO bus..We sat and waited and people would look at our coupon and call someone,, then finally 40 minutes later.. this guy comes by and says. you don’t have to wait, just go thru there to get your bracelets - this is the resort, and it includes a fish pedicure.. and use of the resort, again. Nice sand, loungers, pool, at lunch at the on site restaurant, the pico de gayo was spicier then I expected, but the make you own tacos was very tasty.. this was an Ideal Pool Day – there was a beach also, but again rocky (nd DEEP) the have hammocks set in the ocean, 2 beaches separated by a pool. (I really am fine with pools, since I NEVER venture to the Ships pool – the Breakaways is so small - Ship Days – We had been on the Breakaway 7 years ago, and I don’t recall it being so ‘cramped’ – but we were in the Haven, but had friends that weren’t so we didn’t hide away , like I would love to now. The lounges all seem small – Syd Pour House, the visiting band SWITCH would pack the house every night they performed, but it was standing room only. I felt like every portion of this ship has a ceiling over it., except the big chandelier, and that is a very small area opened up to the upper decks. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are long-term Norwegian cruisers, so the cruise line and this particular ship are familiar to us. We did a Transatlantic crossing on the Breakaway previously and wanted a winter break on it, to try snorkeling in the Caribbean. This ... Read More
We are long-term Norwegian cruisers, so the cruise line and this particular ship are familiar to us. We did a Transatlantic crossing on the Breakaway previously and wanted a winter break on it, to try snorkeling in the Caribbean. This was the first time we used the 'inclusive airfare' package. The flight down on the day of departure worked smoothly, but with little room for error. Prior to departure, we had sorted out with Norwegian some issues with late changes to the return flight made by them without advising us. We normally make our own arrangements to fly to the departure city the day before a cruise and will return to that approach in future. We particularly like the open air restaurant and seating areas on Deck 8 on the Breakaway, for meals and during the time they are free. Our best meal aboard was a dinner at Ocean Blue there, but it, and other specialty restaurants, were very difficult to book at workable times, either on the web site before the cruise or on the ship itself. The port stops on this cruise are well done with good, safe areas and some interesting shops and excursions. On shopping issues, we bought iTouch watches on board in a sale - to later find that the warranty is only USA-applicable (one doesn’t work properly and we followed up with the manufacturer; we are out of luck on that). So Canadians and other nationalities, check the warranties of on-board items BEFORE you buy! The first stop (Great Stirrup Cay) was missed due to bad weather and tendering safety concerns. We did three shore excursions; the ‘Day at the Beach’ tour in Ocho Rios, the Maya Island Retreat in Roatan and the semi-submersible trip in Cozumel. We would recommend them all as being well organized and enjoyable. Overall, Norwegian staff worked hard to give good service. The standard of hygiene in the self-service food areas was high - with special additional measures in place during the last two days of the cruise, as the news of the coronavirus issues in China emerged. Overall, a nice break from winter!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
we chose this cruise to take my son and his girlfriend on there first cruise having sailed with ncl on numerous occasions in the past 4 years 3 jade 1star 1epic we started off with 3 nights in orlando too visit the parks then made ... Read More
we chose this cruise to take my son and his girlfriend on there first cruise having sailed with ncl on numerous occasions in the past 4 years 3 jade 1star 1epic we started off with 3 nights in orlando too visit the parks then made our way to port canaveral stayed at doubletree by hilton at the entrance to universal studios nice hotel no complaints shame could not use outside sauna and pool due to weather very cold arrived at port around 1130am on ship by 12am purchased drinks and dining package when booking holliay cagneys lebistro 2 and blue ocean lebisto and blue ocean excellent cagneys poor eat in taste and modernos and buffey irishpub food generally good drinks good booked 2 rooms minisuite with balcony 9808 and 9804 mid ship rooms nice size balconys are the smallest i have ever experienced bathrooms the largest 9804 room is to avoided at all cost as my son found out on the first night situated above sid normans pour hs noise incredibly loud we requested and demanded too be moved guest services very poor and rude we finally got them moved to another cabin and in my opinion this cabin should never be sold did not book any ncl trips too expensive prefer to book our own missed great stirrup cay rough seas no tender ocho rios hired ataxi for the day blue hole james bond beach george town went jet skying stingraycity and starfish beach recommended roatan bay took taxi to beach harvest caye nice pool beach man made very expensive costa maya and cozumel went to allinclusive resorts would i cruise on breakaway again i dont think so layout of ship not a patch on ncl epic of same size Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I traveled with Norwegian several times however, this was the first time with Breakaway. I was very pleased. This time I ordered an inside room as those tend to be quiet. I was decompressing from the holidays!! Sunshine : Deck 8 ... Read More
I traveled with Norwegian several times however, this was the first time with Breakaway. I was very pleased. This time I ordered an inside room as those tend to be quiet. I was decompressing from the holidays!! Sunshine : Deck 8 provides multiple seated areas "mostly shaded" for drinks, reading or just observing the ocean. Mornings had a coffee station for early risers as well as walkers. The afternoons, have a dedicated bar as well as access to restaurants, both large and small.. Thank you for this design as reading outside is a delight! And I enjoy the cozy conversations with fellow travelers. Dining - "Kudos" to the dining organizers,, for opening the Moderno for breakfast and lunch. The buffet was well stocked with a variety of foods in a 'civilized' atmosphere. Sometimes the Garden Café is chaotic. The Manhattan, Cagney's Taste, also provided good food. The bartenders were 'not in a good mood" SUGGESTION: Espresso - please place a machine in the Garden Café. The station in the Atrium was slow, disorganized. The solo area has a machine that I have used before Entertainment: Burn the Floor is not to be missed! The Comedians provided laughs. Ports: Harvest Caye was a delightful surprise. The 'no charge' village is an assortment of beach, pool , butterfly garden, animal pool and shopping village. Bars both in pool and at beach. The layout is similar to the Westin Grand Cayman beach. Costa Maya also a surprise delight, for the same reasons, but not as large. Cozumel has upgraded significantly since my last visit 10 years ago, so I will plan a direct visit. I took the Chichen Itza excursion which I do not recommend. The guide provided IPADs with a Mayan presentation that exceeded expectations. The only reason that i do not recommend is because it is 7 hours of travel and 1 hour of touring. I spent 2 weeks in Roatan Honduras a few years ago and will never go again. However, while on a sofa watching passenger traffic I noticed that others felt the same. Not safe Unexpected : During this cruise, we had bad weather the first 2 days. 60 Mile per hour winds and 14 foot waves. Weather caused a cancel to the 1st port however, the crew quickly published a revised activity sheet. They were quick to provide activities for passengers. Travel is an adventure. I got a discounted massage. :) Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our very first cruise - we flew out from Gatwick, UK for a 10 night western Caribbean cruise. The embarkation was excellent - we were on the ship by 11 am although we were told it would be by 1 pm. This is purely due to the ... Read More
This was our very first cruise - we flew out from Gatwick, UK for a 10 night western Caribbean cruise. The embarkation was excellent - we were on the ship by 11 am although we were told it would be by 1 pm. This is purely due to the excellent way it is organised. We queued for a max of 10 mins - superb. Our luggage arrived to our room within 2 hours. One of the labels had detached from one case so I would suggest you put the luggage label in something like a lanyard to make sure this doesn't happen - it was pouring with rain when we arrived so nobody's fault! The missing case had been delivered to our room by 5pm as we had an additional luggage label on so was not an issue. The welcome on board show was excellent and we decided we would see as many as possible! We had booked Six! online prior to our holiday and I would highly recommend you do this for all shows as they are very popular and not surprising either - they are absolutely fantastic. The cast from all of the shows are an absolute credit to their craft. All West End/Broadway worthy. We ate in the Italian restaurant, Tepanyaki, Le Bistro and Ocean Blue, the latter to be absolutely exceptional - please book well in advance! We tended to stay around the H20 area - there are 2 hot tubs along with a waterfall cooling area, bar and there is a smoking area too. Sunbeds are limited so get there early on a sea day. The bar staff (bar opens around midday) are fantastic! The main pool gets very busy and is loud as is the main area for outdoor activities, so it is to be expected. The garden buffet food is really good - always hot, fresh and being refilled. We stayed in room 12280 which has a family balcony - enough for 2 people to sit outside comfortably. The premium drinks package has more than enough to choose from - the only thing I would say is coffee and tea is fairly limited unless you buy the speciality package - I love coffee and tea! There was a tea/coffee maker in our room though - just leave a note in your room for your room steward to ask for it to be replenished frequently. We purchased the water package - to be honest they ask you not to fill your own bottles from the dispensers but most people did. I'd consider this before buying it! We didn't book any excursions as we did our own thing when we got into ports. There are plenty of people around to help you if want to organise your own trip but do ask around a few - we almost got ripped off by one but were savvy enough to realise. If you require an iron, you need to call services and you can have use of it for an hour, but need to be in your room to receive it! One thing you must be aware of is the muster training just after sailing - you need to keep any eye on information on where you need to go or just ask somebody once you're on - you need to attend or you can't leave ship until you do - it only lasts 15 mins. Do your research online before getting off in each port so you know what you want to do and there will be somebody to help you with each one - either with the ships own or as you get off. One other thing that is a must is a lanyard - always at hand!! We will certainly be booking again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We went as an extended family, all adults trip. Both embarkation and disembarkation was quick and smooth. Our expectations were pretty low both due to some reviews we had read and experience with similar size ships on Princess. We ... Read More
We went as an extended family, all adults trip. Both embarkation and disembarkation was quick and smooth. Our expectations were pretty low both due to some reviews we had read and experience with similar size ships on Princess. We found the Breakaway layout much easy to get around than the Princess experiences. Almost all of the staff was very friendly. Our room steward was fantastic even calling us by our names when he would see us. We enjoyed the food for the most part. Much better than Princess, but not as good as Viking which should be better as very expensive. Both Savor and Taste were good places for breakfast, lunch (when open) and dinner. We found the Manhattan Room to be way loud. There is music during dinner, so it makes it impossible to have a conversation. There is a dance floor, so it seemed that the oldsters who had taken ballroom dancing enjoyed it. We ate at the buffet on occasion, but four of the six of us are not fond of buffets. O’Sheehans was okay for lunch. Not great. We did no specialty dining. We had scheduled online for a couple of the shows. I don’t understand reviewers who did not and felt disappointed as early communication with Norwegian was pretty clear. After boarding and lunch at Savor, we stopped at the Box Office to sign up for other shows. It was a short wait and the service was fantastic. Some shows are first come, first serve. But even for those where you are preregistered, need to get there at least 30 minutes ahead at Breakaway Theater. Favorite show was the comedian-magician. The female comedienne was pretty horrible and gross. John Stringer, comedians, was pretty good with the Fred Bevil being the best. We did the Escape Room which was way too hard. All of us had done them before and this was an experience in frustration as well as a waste of time. With their apparent British accents, it was difficult to understand lyrics in “Six.” But a lot of talent on stage as with “Burn the Floor.” We are a card/game playing group. The game room is small and dark. But we did find other locations to play. Due to rough seas, we could not stop at the first place - Norwegian’s private island. But we were understanding of that. We did an excellent excursion with Charlie Miller’s Roatan tours on our own in Roatan, Honduras. We scheduled it through email. It was only $40 per person and just the four of us in a minivan. Went to the monkey and sloth hangout which was a lot of fun and the driver Stanford gave us a wonderful tour of the island which we found to be our favorite place on our trip. Also did three NCL excursions - although the wait was long to get in the Bamboo raft on Martha Rae, the rafting experience was fun and relaxing. The paddler was focused on our enjoying our trip. We agreed that we could have skipped the Monkey River Eco boat ride. There were lots of Mayan ruins options. We wanted to limit our time traveling, so we chose Chacchoben Mayan Ruins. Four of us went with the intent to check off seeing ruins expecting we would not return to Mexico. So again, low expectations paid off and it was a great excursion. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and we experienced many ruins. Smoking passengers on the ship were a bit of distraction/unpleasant. The smoke from the casino would linger on floor below. My brother and sister-in-law experienced people smoking off their balconies which is forbidden. And the smoking room near the pool was unpleasant to walk by. It sadly has an open door. For the money, it was a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this for the length, date, and the offer of free air. In addition, it gave us an opportunity to try out the Haven as we normally sail on the smaller ships. We really enjoyed this cruise as it was very relaxing and the weather ... Read More
We chose this for the length, date, and the offer of free air. In addition, it gave us an opportunity to try out the Haven as we normally sail on the smaller ships. We really enjoyed this cruise as it was very relaxing and the weather really cooperated. We were especially pleased the food and we think that NCL food has been getting better and better. Man wife really enjoyed the lobster at Ocean Blue and the shrimp cocktail she had at other restaurants was exceptional. Even though we had the Haven, we spent several days by the main pool and had a great time-a little crowded in the pool, but so what? Every crew member that interacted with was pleasant and helpful. Our Butler, Alex, was simply outstanding. The entertainment was terrific and we saw all the shows, but favorite was Burn the Floor. We had an opportunity to meet the band and talk with them. Oh, our Concierge was also wonderful as were her assistants. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I never write reviews but I felt compelled to write one given all the negativity on here. Prior to leaving I was getting a little nervous regarding comments about NCL in general. Overall the cruise was amazing ! We missed one port ... Read More
I never write reviews but I felt compelled to write one given all the negativity on here. Prior to leaving I was getting a little nervous regarding comments about NCL in general. Overall the cruise was amazing ! We missed one port and had rough seas one day.... that is not the fault of NCL and I cant understand people who write negative reviews about that. We enjoyed the extra sea day anyways . The entertainment was amazing the "six " was so good we saw it twice! Both comedians were funny and we never felt bored in the evenings . We also made no reservations and were able to walk in everytime in the stand by line. The service was amazing ! our room steward was so polite and always around . We saw people complaining having to wait a few minutes for a drink ... I also thought this was rude it was clear the bartenders were working hard .... we never had to wait more then 5-10 minutes for a drink sitting by the pool or in the casino. Food was great ! Surprised by how good the MDR food was .... never had a cold meal! Our personal favorite was Ocean Blue . My one negative is the smoking in the casino .. Would go again ASAP! =) Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise based on reviews, destination, ports of call, and price. It was a birthday trip for my husband and our first time cruising. We ruled out Carnival because of the party type atmosphere. Royal was not loved by friends, ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on reviews, destination, ports of call, and price. It was a birthday trip for my husband and our first time cruising. We ruled out Carnival because of the party type atmosphere. Royal was not loved by friends, and while Disney is well...Disney, we wanted a relaxing week on our cruise. Let's start with the pros...because I will give credit where credit is due. First off the Captain is super cool and was wonderful to meet an talk to. Not to mention he is hilarious. He and the staff overall were great. Super friendly crew for the most part. Our room steward was incredible. We couldn't of had better. He decked out the room on my husband's birthday and everything was spotless. In fact, the entire ship...spotless. It's also a beautiful ship. We loved that it wasn't a giant ship filled with slides and such, but an overall great ship. While we got some rough seas coming home, the captain and his crew were amazing and handled it perfectly. The food was outstanding everywhere we went. If you leave hungry...that is definitely your fault. Something for everyone!! The chef knows what he is doing along with his teams. The entertainment was fun for what we saw and well Richard the cruise director is great. Super friendly. Embarkation and Disembarking was smooth as could be. Everyone was fabulous. Now for the cons... We again chose this ship and line because we wanted to relax. This was not an option on sea days. At all. On the way to our first Port the weather was gorgeous and we wanted to be at the pool. We couldn't enjoy the sun or use the pool because of the lude, crude and obnoxious trashy behavior of the people at the pool. Families couldn't swim, we couldn't swim, no one but the people bar dancing on the pool deck, swearing, bumping, twirking and being nasty overtook it. so much for the pool. It was a booze fest. After about 2 hours of this garbage some security officer asked them to settle down...really? Settle down? How about stop being so rude or you are done. I mean really Norwegian? I'm about people having fun and bar scenes don't bother me...what does is when you have a public area you let it get overun so only those who care about drinking get that space. It stunk. The Four Seasons restaurant was so good and the staff was fantastic...except the Maitre D....that guy is about the rudest host I've ever met. And wow the way he spoke to staff, ridiculous. I've been a manager for 20 years. Not how you treat a staff, that's for sure. It's a con simply because he's the face of the restaurant and he didn't show that. It seems that this cruise again caters to those who but the drink packages. Just because we don't drink doesn't mean we only want to sit in the library. We enjoy fun. Just not fun that involves nastiness. Norwegian needs to take all guests into account. Look, this is my opinion and my review. Hope you have a great cruise because at the end of it all we did have an amazing time. Norwegian needs to do some refinement. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was my first cruise, so I didn’t know what to expect. Embarkation was a breeze and I enjoyed our inside cabin. It had plenty of space! Onboard service was OK. I was erroneously charged a cocktail in a restaurant. It took 3 ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I didn’t know what to expect. Embarkation was a breeze and I enjoyed our inside cabin. It had plenty of space! Onboard service was OK. I was erroneously charged a cocktail in a restaurant. It took 3 trips to guest services and the restaurant to get it reversed. They still didn’t reverse the entire charge, but I was done asking about it. Otherwise the service was acceptable. Lines and service at bars were disorganized, but you got drinks quickly, once you were able to order. I appreciated staff spraying people’s hands with noro-killing spray at every entrance to the buffets. Onboard entertainment was fantastic! the cruise director, Richard, has a great team of people that kept us entertained. The main stage shows were pretty good, too. Smoke in the casino wafted into the atrium which was gross, but I hope that will change during the ships next refurb. Being able to walk around the ship on deck 6 was nice, especially because the gym was always at capacity during the day, with long waits to use equipment. Navigating the ship was confusing at first, but once you figure out the layout and shortcuts, it’s really not that bad. Excursions were well organized and time in port was enjoyable, despite losing an hour in Costa Maya due to an emergency disembarkation in the middle of the night, prior to arriving at port. We encountered high seas on the second half of the cruise. The ship moved a lot, parties got canceled, pools closed, but what can you do? I’d go on this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The ship is pretty small, but I actually enjoyed that. It allowed for closer friendships. However, I found the service very poor. I was routinely ignored at the bars and the sports bar, there’s no towel animals, the ship lost a bag and ... Read More
The ship is pretty small, but I actually enjoyed that. It allowed for closer friendships. However, I found the service very poor. I was routinely ignored at the bars and the sports bar, there’s no towel animals, the ship lost a bag and sent guests a note asking guests to look for it, activities routinely started late. Just a really poor experience when you’re paying so much. The buffet is in a poor location and people were always tumbling over each other during mealtime. Food was either bland or salty, and the shore excursions offered were poor quality. I found better excursions on shore excursioneer. For some reason they held a lot of the big draw entertainment, like the newlywed game, in the teeny tiny lounge instead of the theater. We often had to stand and stretch our necks to see over the crowd. However, my cabin was big and comfortable, the ship was clean, and the comedian, magician, and dancers were all very good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
On Deck 6 & 12 there are many, many inaugural port plaques on the wall. An impressive display that says this ship has-been-there-done-that. Built in 2001 it's age shows here and there but the 2018 refurbishment has definately ... Read More
On Deck 6 & 12 there are many, many inaugural port plaques on the wall. An impressive display that says this ship has-been-there-done-that. Built in 2001 it's age shows here and there but the 2018 refurbishment has definately invigorated the beauty, comfort and cruising experience aboard this ship...As veteran cruisers we've come to anticipate and expect bells & whistles, spacious contemporary designs and all the 'wows' of todays mega-ships and new boats. We had uncertain expectations booking a 5 day cruise on this small old vessel but the price was right. In review, this was a highly satisfying cruise surpassing our expectations. The Pros; The crew was pleasent and hard working, they did their jobs. The senior staff was obviously experienced and visible. Our cabin steward Arleine was a new hire and did an exceptional job, such pleasantness and attention, thank you...The food & beverage is consistant with other NCL ships, better than many others, good food and selection. The Specialty Restaurants are exceptional...The ship's size and layout is nostalgic, very clean, nicely decorated and easy on the eye but it is a challenge to navigate...The ship never felt crowded. Limited and modest waits for elevators and buffets...Embarking and disembarking was efficent and quick..."washy washy" prior to entering the buffet is a good and healthy practice, well done, good move...Decent cabin space and comfortable beds Cons; The canvas roof over the aft outdoor dining area on deck 11 is badly stained. It appears to be new, provides very functional shade & cover and is likely expensive. However, when docked next to the Disney ships in the home port and docked shoulder-to-shoulder with three other ships on the Costa Maya pier this canvas is an eyesore ("yep, that's my boat")...Loud band music in the Atrium location makes conversation difficult on three decks...On the upper decks oudoors nearly all viewing is through glass, windows that sea water relentlessly cloud. Guess it is what is. Seek out forward and aft deck 12 and anywhere on deck 6 for clear views. Overall; This is a comfortable clean ship with an air of nostalgia but no bells & whistles. The staff is pleasant and do their jobs. The food is good. The price is right...Our recent NCL cruises were aboard the Encore, Getaway and Breakaway and we would not hesitate to sail this ship again or to recommend. In fact, we have booked The Sun for an Alaskan cruise in August. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I'm writing from the point of view of someone that has cruised with Disney a few times and loved it (but it was too expensive) and did quite a few Carnival cruises (cheap, but inconsistent quality). We had heard that Norwegian fits ... Read More
I'm writing from the point of view of someone that has cruised with Disney a few times and loved it (but it was too expensive) and did quite a few Carnival cruises (cheap, but inconsistent quality). We had heard that Norwegian fits somewhere in between these 2 options, and based on our first NCL experience on the Sun, we agree. While the entertainment and service are no where near Disney Cruise Line's offerings, this was certainly overall a step or 2 above our recent experiences on Carnival. The most notable advantage that we observed on the Sun over our last few Carnival cruises (even on small ships) was that the Sun never felt crowded. There were always places to sit and relax, whether at the scenic outdoor buffet on deck 11 or in the shows, bars or other public areas like the library or atrium. Also, contrary to any Carnival ship we've been on, the Sun has enough dining choices, both free and premium/paid, to keep you fed at most times of the day. There are ample free options including multiple buffets, 2 free dining rooms and several premium/paid dining options. We never had much of a wait getting seated in the dining rooms, and the buffets were never very crowded, even on embarkation day. As others have noted, the food in the dining rooms is, in large part, repeated, so don't expect much creativity. However, the food was almost always very good, and the dining room and buffet staff were always attentive (both improvements over our last 3 Carnival cruises). On the downside, since this is a smaller, older ship, it rocked...A LOT. To be fair, we were traveling through some rough seas, with waves from 5 to 8 ft at times. But by far, we felt it more on this ship than any other recent cruise. Also, due to a poor design, cigarette smoke from the casino can become overwhelming at times, and not just in the casino, but also in the Atrium area as the smoky casino air tends to waft throughout midship on deck 7 (note: this is due to be fixed in an upcoming dry dock). Also, another minor annoyance/quirk of this ship is that the older layout can be confusing at times, as you have to travel through venues to get from one end of the ship to the other on deck 6 (ie: you have to go through the Bliss lounge, Windjammer bar, and Photo Gallery to get from the Atrium area to the theater (Stardust lounge). Entertainment was hit or miss. The welcome show was typical (aka a bit lame) cruise fare - it killed some time, but you can skip it if you find something else to do. There was a fun comedian (Dylan Mandisohn) and and entertaining magician (Greg Gleason) onboard for shows on Day 3 and 4. The final show by the NCL performers, World Beat, was high energy and is worth checking out. The cruise director, Alvin, was 'OK', but he sometimes lacked the high-intensity energy and leadership that we've seen from some other CDs. However, we learned at the end of the cruise that he was moving to a different ship, so perhaps that was weighing on him...regardless, you'll have a different director for your cruise. Overall, this was a pleasurable cruise experience and we're now sold on the value of an NCL cruise - not too expensive and not lacking expected services, dining and quality. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Firstly I’d like to say I’ve been on other Norwegian Cruise Line ships and they have been great but this cruise was an unmitigated disaster and it’s really sad because I was on the Getaway the sister ship of the Breakaway recently ... Read More
Firstly I’d like to say I’ve been on other Norwegian Cruise Line ships and they have been great but this cruise was an unmitigated disaster and it’s really sad because I was on the Getaway the sister ship of the Breakaway recently and it was an AMAZING experience. Now onto the 11 day nightmare cruise so it all started pretty much night 1 when I though I heard banging and what sounded like “slushing ice in water” coming from the room next door I was in solo cabin 11545 and the room next door to my right seemed to have one of those “door decoration” stickers on it with someone’s name on it this isn’t really strange or out of the ordinary but it’s important. So night after night I kept hearing those noises and everyday I would go down to the desk and complain and let my hallway steward know what was going on and they would either say “we will send a tech to check on it” or they would send me a box of the stale chocolate covered strawberries and some cheap wine and continued to tell me they would check on it. This went on for around 5 of the 11 nights of the cruise “they wouldn’t move me because they continually told me the ship was full” and then night 6 I was told a room opened up it was a interior room on deck 5 but in order to take it I would have to lose the access to the solo lounge and they wouldn’t be refunding me the significant price difference between the solo room and the interior room that they were offering so I had to reject it they were also saying I was going to have to pay for the “difference in currently reflected pricing” if I wanted to switch so I had to politely decline the offer. So day 6 I get a call from guest services and they tell me they sent a technician down to the room while I was out and they “heard an unexplained noise while in the room” and wanted to offer me “compensation” for my issue........ they offered me a complimentary show and dinner at a premium dinning option. Which for my issue was a nonsense solution since they knew I had a dinning plan, premium plus alcohol plan and what is the point in a show if I can’t sleep ? So I rejected that and later that day they offered me a $50 onboard credit which was kind of insulting since the entire price of the cruise with everything was $3000 + . This kept going on night after night and I would continue to report it now we come to night 9 which is where this gets very interesting these boxes and tool bag get left outside the room next door at night which made me wonder what was going on please remember this door had one of those “door decoration” stickers on it so for all intensive purposes it appeared occupied so that morning I knocked on the door to inquire with the passenger in the room if they are hearing anything “I didn’t do this earlier in the cruise simply because mostly the only time I was in the room was at night and didn’t want to wake that person up”. so I knock on the door for a fairly long amount of time thinking maybe they are in the shower I definitely know I can hear someone in there so I finally get these two gentlemen come to the door after they have turned off the lights and they ask me if everything is ok I ask them about the sounds and they proceed to tell me that they are maintenance people who have been working on replacing the floor and some other things in the room THE ENTIRE CRUISE the room was basically entirely stripped down of furnishings by the 9th day ! They said NO one has been a paying passenger in the room and the “door decoration” was left up from the previous guest ! This means that NCL guest services clearly knew the room next door was being worked on and didn’t bother to let me know they could have said this BEFORE I checked in or given me the option to upgrade or cancel but they didn’t and they have been lying to me about “not knowing the origin of the noise ! That night I got a letter on my bed from NCL about there being “extensive work being done in the room next door and a apology for any issue this was causing” this is after 9 nights of an 11 day cruise ! NCL made some sort of “cruise next restricted limited time voucher” offer but why would I ever want to go on another NCL SHIP AGAIN ? NCL should have offered me a partial refund or a upgrade the day I embarked and lying to me about the cause to make things easier for them in the short term was uncalled for and they lost a customer over it. The guest services on the Breakaway for this cruise was not only a group of liars but unable to solve a very fixable problem as well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I decided to surprise my adult son with a cruise and spent months planning the trip. We were very excited about the trip and had excursions booked but couldn't decide about a specialty dining package so we chose to wait until onboard. ... Read More
I decided to surprise my adult son with a cruise and spent months planning the trip. We were very excited about the trip and had excursions booked but couldn't decide about a specialty dining package so we chose to wait until onboard. I've cruised before so knew what to expect but it was my son's first so it was important to leave a good impression. Embarking was quick and easy, despite waiting for over two hours at Enterprise for a shuttle. Our cabin was inside no window and incredibly small. We made it work but only had one electric port and our steward would not allow anything to remain plugged in while we were out of the cabin which was most of the time. (Make sure you have good batteries for whatever you are using for pictures!) We had the free drink package and headed to a smoking area H20 to grab our first drink. We ordered and were told no I'm not making that I will make you this, and were handed drinks! Not the best way to start off but we blew it off as a communication barrier or maybe he misheard us, and our second drinks were what we requested. Btw, they use some pretty awful drink mixes and a pina colada tastes horrid. There are only two smoking areas on the entire ship besides a small area within the casino, and they fill up fast. Standing room only if you don't get a seat. One is half of a side of a back deck called H20 and then a box of sorts on the 15th deck by the pool. We vape and felt like second class people stuffed into a noisy chatbot as if we were in time out. H20 played football on a large screen alot so if your not into the sports bar scene...good luck. No drink runners to be found any of the times I was in the casino and extremely tight slots. Bartenders so rude at poolside we ended up getting managers involved. Waited about 10 mins to be served and even though the bartenders were making eye contact, they kept helping others. It got so obvious we were being ignored that a group of other people were literally yelling at the staff to assist us!! Bartenders just looked at us and walked away!! We just stood there a bit dumbfounded but got taken care of by the supervisors after we said something. I hate to make complaints..I'm on vacation and nobody has time for that!! Cleaning staff was friendly and the staff at the buffet entrance were awesome. Room steward was punctual..cleaned twice a day and knew our schedule right off as well as our names. No cute towel animals the entire trip though. Missed two ports for weather-so they said. All inclusive days at the private island appear to be hard to come by if you read other reviews. Missed Costa Maya. We were refunded 12 dollars and change for those port misses. Lots of hidden charges on this ship. Drinks are taxed while in US port....and we had some random charge for seeing a comedy show in the theater but by the time this cruise was done and we reviewed our bill, we decided not to bother because the lines to everything were long and staff just wasn't all that friendly. The food was fair...some days really good, other days not so much. Big on handwashing but food was cooler than should be allowed and the seafood was usually undercooked with a strong fishy taste. I'm a huge seafood lover so that was also disappointing. Met a few people that got food poisoning right at the start of the cruise. We were only able to get one reservation for specialty dining so I'm glad we didn't buy the package. We went to LeBistro which was amazing!! Top notch food and service, a highlight for our trip really. Book things as early as you can, shows, tenders, etc or you won't get in or will have to wait in large crowds. Very disorganized. Elevators constantly full and hard to come by. Pool area incredibly small and chair savers made sure no room to lounge. Ship pretty much shuts down at 10pm unless you like nightclubs with the you get crowd. Pot smokers in the smokers box with staff right there. No one did a thing about it. Pot smokers in H20...no one batted an eye. The end of our trip was the straw that broke the camel's back. Our last night we pulled put everything to pack and decided to head to dinner before the packing began. We put on the do not disturb light so our steward wouldn't stroke out on the mess we made and headed out. We had been very diligent utilizing our safe for valuables up to this point but felt safe with our light on knowing we wouldn't be too long. WRONG!!! We came back to find that someone had placed our shore bought liquor in the room and we were missing a kindle tablet and sunglasses that were on our desk before we left!! My son went to guest services about the sunglasses but we knew for a fact the kindle was there because I was going to plug it in and decided against it last minute. I was pretty much in shock knowing that someone breached our security despite the do not disturb light on and failed to make a claim until we got home the day after disembarking. After making a claim I emailed the VP of guest services Paula and was told an investigation would be done. Was later told it was our steward who brought the liquor, and that the security cameras showed him opening our door and placing things inside but that he didn't go in. HA!! Our bottles were in next to our desk...where the missing kindle was placed ....and unless his arms are 8 feet long, he DID absolutely go inside!! After a back and forth with her I realized nothing would come of it (obviously lied to me about not entering the room) and even though things were taken, the biggest issue as far as I'm concerned was that someone came in with a do not disturb light on!! What if I had been in the shower, or worse???? Worst guest service ever!! Will never, ever book again with this cruise line. Save your money!! The service is barely rateable and it appears to be a crooked company with the crap I encountered. Despite it all...our vacation was fun but NCL won't be getting another red cent from our family!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
we decided on this cruise because of the length of time the cruise was and because we had been on the Getaway 5 times within the last few years and loved it. This ship does not even come close to the service on the Getaway. I have been ... Read More
we decided on this cruise because of the length of time the cruise was and because we had been on the Getaway 5 times within the last few years and loved it. This ship does not even come close to the service on the Getaway. I have been on over 80 cruises and almost all the cruise lines and this by far was the worst service. The ship itself was nice. The cabin we had was very nice 10138. It was a balcony so very nice to sit outside, when we were able to. It was an extremely rough cruise with high winds and waves. We missed 2 ports because on the high winds, which I can't blame the cruise line for.Dining service was the worst I have experienced. Long waits for food, we had to ask for water, the tables in the buffet were not cleared. Most of guest services were rude. One of the female officers yelled at us when we were getting off the ship Six and Burn the Floor were amazing and well done. Some ports were very nice, some not, Jamaica was a port that looked like a old run down shipping port that was being worked on. it did not look safe to leave so we went back to the ship. There was no shopping nothing.Grand Caymen turtle farm was very nice although i felt very sorry for some of the turtles but it has improved from the last time we visited. NCL private island in Belize was very nice and relaxing. There is a beautiful swimming pool there. The ocean however is posted warning of jelly fish.Nothing was included on this island, You had to pay for food and of course drinks, even if you had the beverage package. It was a very long walk to get there but they did have a shuttle service if you wanted to wait in long lineups. We would have stayed and enjoyed the day but decided to go back to the ship for lunch and didn't bother to go back for the afternoon. i would suggest another cruise line that have everything included on their private islands. i traveled with my daughter and grand daughter. They thought the service was very bad as well. No i will not go back on this ship ever and not even sure about going back on NCL Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The Ship: We got what we expected out of the cruise. There were some things though that stood out that we did not like. Number one, my husband is a recovering alcoholic (22 years) so he did not want to buy the drink package. But since ... Read More
The Ship: We got what we expected out of the cruise. There were some things though that stood out that we did not like. Number one, my husband is a recovering alcoholic (22 years) so he did not want to buy the drink package. But since I bought the drink package he was forced to buy it, even though he also bought the soda package. I feel this was unfair and a waste of our money. Number two, the soda package was a joke. My husband bought the soda package because he likes Pepsi. Then we found out that you had to buy the actual cans of Pepsi that were in your room even though he spent money on the soda package. Why would he buy the soda package when he could’ve just drank the sodas out of the room and still pay the same price? Every time he ordered a soda they checked his card. But when I ordered a soda they didn’t check my card. So what exactly was the value of the soda package other than just taking our money? Number three we purchased the four specialty dining package. We tried to make reservations a few weeks before the cruise, not knowing that we had to make reservations weeks ahead of the cruise. No one told us that. So we were never able to get into Ocean blue, or the French restaurant. Cagney’s was very good, but we wanted to try other things. Number four, I understood why we couldn’t go to Norwegian’s private island or Costa Maya due to weather, but I didn’t understand why we wouldn’t get some sort of a rebate, because we paid for those locations and didn’t receive them. Number five, the staff at the excursion desk was so rude. We had a problem with one of our excursions, went to politely explain our problem, the gentleman who took our information never smiled and never commented, Just took down the information. He said we would receive a phone call within 24 hours which we never did. We did see a $12 each rebate on our cruise screen on the TV, but we paid $79 each for a package that was recommended by Norwegian, but was just horrible. Nothing that we read about the excursion was true. We feel like we should’ve received at least half back from this package. Number six, the disembarkation process was ridiculous. The way it was set up was good, by using colors, but you had to stand in lines that were 3 miles long rather than waiting for one color to finish and then calling the next color. I have mobility issues, and had a real problem standing in line for two hours, when I could’ve been sitting in one of the dining rooms waiting for my number to be called. Further, when we finally made it down to where our luggage was being held there were no signs for the brown luggage location. So I got in line, and my husband went back and searched everywhere for it and nobody could tell us where it was, it wasn’t until we reached the front of the line that we were told that the brown section was in another part of the enormous room. A sign saying, ”brown luggage in this direction” would have been very helpful. Now I don’t like to complain, and I probably would’ve been good with almost all of these things if we would’ve received friendly service (rather than rude service) from the excursion people, or from the cashiers at the casino. (The cashier at the casino was also all business no smiles as well). Service: There were two people that really stood out. Mikal, who was our steward, could not have been better. He introduced himself the very first day, with a big smile on his face, and told us that if we needed anything to let him know. And he delivered on his promise. From new batteries on our remote control, to refilling the Pepsi in our refrigerator, to making our bed even when we just came in to take a little nap, he was the epitome of a stellar service. It seems like he worked 24/7 because he was always there to help us whenever we needed it. I don’t know how much he was being paid, but they need to clone him, because he was the best service that we could’ve asked for, and to receive customer service like that, is priceless. The second person we’d like to add knowledge is Laurie who worked as a server in Cagney’s. The first time we went to Cagney’s, she explained every little thing that we needed to know about up charges, what to expect, and she did it in a friendly, charming, and delightful manner. The service was absolutely excellent. The second time we went to Cagney’s, we were seated in someone else’s section because Lori wasn’t serving that day. While we were eating, we did see her, and she greeted us like we were old friends. It was delightful to have her remember us, we told her we wanted to sit in her section and if we ever came back we’d ask for her. Excursions: do not ever book the White House Beach Getaway on Grand Cayman. It was a joke. This was advertised as a beautiful beach where you could snorkel, or swim, or while the day away in a hammock. NOT. The actual beach was bout three feet of water to your ankles, then about 6 feet of sharp pointy rocks that they said to “avoid” (no way to do that), then about 2 miles of dense seaweed. They did not groom the beach in any way, and their pool was tiny. They overcharge you $79 for this. The drinks were $15 each and there was no lunch unless you paid $22 for a taco plate. Basically, we paid $79 for the privilege of sitting on one of their chairs. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Hadn't been on NCL for a year. While the crew and service were outstanding, cut backs were evident in the main dining room menu and quality of food. Consistently food was cold and entrees were disappointed. No shrimp cocktails and ... Read More
Hadn't been on NCL for a year. While the crew and service were outstanding, cut backs were evident in the main dining room menu and quality of food. Consistently food was cold and entrees were disappointed. No shrimp cocktails and lobster. Only had creme broulee one night. Main dining room food was so disappointing we ate in the buffet 3 nights which we had never done before on 12 cruises. Couldn't get reservations in comedy club or pour house any of the 11 nights. Their new show SIX is terrible. Don't waste your time seeing it. NCL's bigger ship design is flawed and no where near RCL's ships of same size. Crowded and smokey. Trivia was too hard. Several of the activities staff were irritating escpecially Cassie, Simba and another one who said Whow all the time. Not enough activities while ship was in port. All activities were held in Atrium which didn't provide enought seating for more popular events. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
It was a birthday celebration for my wife & like all cruises some good & not so good points. First the good...ship had approx 4000 guests but didnt impact our enjoyment, cabin was spotlessly clean & roomy but balcony definitely ... Read More
It was a birthday celebration for my wife & like all cruises some good & not so good points. First the good...ship had approx 4000 guests but didnt impact our enjoyment, cabin was spotlessly clean & roomy but balcony definitely helped, food in speciality dining excellent but main dining average, overall entertainment was above average with sone of the theatre shows exceptional. Now for the not so good....NCL failed to dock in 2 separate ports (stirrup cay & costa maya) due to high winds. Now NCL cant be held responsible for the weather but should have a plan B. We sailed back on the last day from Cozumel & was off shore @‘Miami a full 12 before we disembarked at cape canaveral. I’m sure this time could have been better utilised. Overall successful cruise & would return with NCL in future but maybe southern caribbean would give a better chance of good weather Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Because of ports and price. We thought the food choices were not what we expected. First time on Norweigan and probably will not use them again. we missed two ports due to Weather and very rough rocking of ship. No shrimp offered and ... Read More
Because of ports and price. We thought the food choices were not what we expected. First time on Norweigan and probably will not use them again. we missed two ports due to Weather and very rough rocking of ship. No shrimp offered and the smoke in casino was TERRIBLE. People were smoking in the non smoking areas. The last night I ordered strip steak and it was about 1/4” thick. We have always traveled with Royal Caribbean and I guess my expectations were too high for Norweigan. One night in the Manhattan Dining Room we had terrible service we had to ask our waiter for water and bread three times before he brought them to us. Our cabin steward was very good his name was Trevor and he was very helpful whenever we needed anything. We were hoping that this cruise would have been better as we wanted to try a new cruise line. Also there were 8 In our party and two couples were on the 13th deck and the other two were in the 11th deck and they were on opposite ends of the deck seems to me they could have accommodated us better as we booked together. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife choose this cruise because it was 11 days. Boarding process was quite good and quick. We were on deck 14 inside and the room was great!!! Lots of space. Dining was typically slow and food was typically good. Nightly shows in the ... Read More
My wife choose this cruise because it was 11 days. Boarding process was quite good and quick. We were on deck 14 inside and the room was great!!! Lots of space. Dining was typically slow and food was typically good. Nightly shows in the auditorium were horrible! One show we went to was a juggler. Come on, a juggler for nightly entertainment? He was not anything special as juggling goes. I'm sure Norwegian is not the only cruise line that has cheapened their nightly shows but the Breakaway was absolutely the worst experience I had on this cruise! We sailed an 11 day a year ago on the Epic and bought the spa package which was excellent, but the Breakaway was nowhere near as good for the money. We were quite disappointed. As for the ports, we were not able to stop at Grand Stirrup Cay because of the weather so we were able to overnight at Nassau, our second stop which I preferred. Nassau was great with the overnight. We were not able to stop at Costa Maya because they had not learned yet how to secure the lines to the pier. Two lines broke so we got to sail around the area for the remainder of the day and night. So the remainder of the cruise was good. I was looking forward to the shows but was quite disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Summary: Excellent service as always, food good in all complimentary options and excellent in speciality options, and plenty of choice for things to do both on the ship and on excursions. However, if you are not organised from the word ... Read More
Summary: Excellent service as always, food good in all complimentary options and excellent in speciality options, and plenty of choice for things to do both on the ship and on excursions. However, if you are not organised from the word go, you may be disappointed when you cannot select your dining or excursion options. Equally, some of the ports are tendered on this particular itinerary, and do run the risk of being avoided if the weather is bad, as was the case with 2 out of the 8 we visited. PROS: Service, speciality food, some excursion options. CONS: Some activities and dining options fully booked long before embarkation day, ports are likely to be cancelled if there is bad weather, initial costs for packages and excursions are steep. --- We were a party of 3 from England, aged 26-60, and two of us have cruised NCL before on the Breakaway and the Jade. We were impressed with NCL from the previous two cruises, and had never sailed to this side of the Caribbean before. Embarkation was busy but smooth, no issues at all. Cabin was always clean and tidy, well looked after by our wonderful stewardess Hamalinne, and any maintenance issues were fixed promptly with follow up calls to make sure they hadn't happened again. The ship has been refitted a little since our first go in 2015, not a huge amount of change but everything still looks smart. A small note for smokers as two of us do smoke - when we went previously there were at least 6 locations you could smoke, now there is only two generally and two with conditions (Spice H2O and The Pool Deck generally, the Casino if you play and the Humidor if you smoke cigars). This was a bit of a surprise as previously they had an area outside next to the Maltings bar which was fantastically social for smokers, and since taking that away the area is now not really used. Our first priority was to get dining reservations as the trip was part of a birthday celebration. Unfortunately we were told as soon as we went on the ship that Ocean Blue - our favourite from the last cruise - was fully booked prior to anybody getting on the ship. This was a shame, as it does not promote the Freestyle Cruising element NCL base their marketing on. We chose Le Bistro, La Cucina and Cagney's instead, plus two walk-in trips to Wasabi sushi. Food as a whole was good, the complimentary restaurants were of good quality. Some wait times at peak for the complimentary restaurants (around 25-45 minutes), but if you went past 8pm or before 6:30pm you never had any problems. All of the speciality restaurants we chose were excellent, especially Cagney's. If you have the Speciality Dining Package as we chose, they are extremely generous with what you can order as part of it. When the cost is added up for what this is normally, the dining package is a brilliant way of saving money (what one meal alone cost normally was more than the value of our 4 piece dining package) and well worth the initial investment. Bars had some excellent bartenders (looking at you Gilbert from the Pool Bar!), but were very busy and occasionally understaffed for the volume of people. Again we had the Premium Drinks Package and this is worth it if you have a variety of drinks throughout the day, plus wine over dinner etc. Entertainment was good, Six was a great musical and Burn the Floor was a dancing masterpiece. Glow Party was a bit of a laugh but is more spectated than participated in! Pool decks get very busy very fast and it does take a while to find some loungers if you are any later than about 8:30am. The ship does not enforce the towel removal of lounger-reservers, which can be frustrating if you want to spend serious time in Spice H2O or the Pool Deck. The ports on this itinerary are designed for beach lovers or port shoppers; Great Stirrup Cay, Harvest Caye (Belize) and Cozumel/Costa Maya (Mexico) are all geared for this, and if you want to see more of the islands for their heritage and culture, you will need a tour or a taxi. Unfortunately due to bad weather, we missed Great Stirrup Cay altogether and stayed overnight in Nassau, then ended up missing Costa Maya as it was unsafe to dock the boat. Excursions are a little pricey, but very fun! The ATV/Playa Mia combo in Cozumel was brilliant, Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica is a must, and Discover Cayman on Grand Cayman is a brilliant round trip tour of all the highlights. Once again though, several of our excursions were cancelled with minimal notice, or fully booked even after we placed our requests to be on them. Preparation is key here - but again this goes against the Freestyle cruising NCL is proud to offer. One of us also booked the Thermal Spa Pass for the week, but unless you really use this every day, I would not recommend the additional cost. Equally, where the ship encountered bad weather, they close the pool and jacuzzi/hot tub in this area as well as the upper floors, so this isn't an option for bad-weather-days either. Disembarkation was done for us as part of a tour to the Kennedy Space Center and was also smooth and uncomplicated. The tour to the KSC is well worth it as it is a VIP tour as standard and takes you out to see the launch pads and assembly building. As we didn't travel with children, we can't comment on the children's activities, nor can we comment on the solo traveller aspects of the cruise. ----- All in all, given that this is my third cruise with NCL, I would cruise NCL again but be ten times more prepared than we were. From a customer perspective this is an easy change, but this is risky for NCL as it does take away the Freestyle cruising aspect; once, we could walk on the ship and do everything/book everything we wanted. Now if you aren't prepared to lock down the things you definitely want prior to sailing, you're likely to get disappointed. 4/5 from us! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Although, we had been to these ports several times before, we had not tried out the Breakaway and this cruise put us into platinum. This time going our of Orlando, we stayed in Coco Beach, Courtyard Marriott. We went in a day early and ... Read More
Although, we had been to these ports several times before, we had not tried out the Breakaway and this cruise put us into platinum. This time going our of Orlando, we stayed in Coco Beach, Courtyard Marriott. We went in a day early and stayed over a day after the cruise. Hotel was excellent, will post on TripAdvisor. We ate both lunch and dinner at the Pier. We used CoCo Beach Shuttle to and from the hotel, excellent service. The hotel arranged Shuttle, same service, to and from the port. Again excellent service. The embarkation went very smoothly, not a long wait. We went on up to the pool deck, to relax and grab lunch. CABIN: We had a mini-suite, on the Breakaway it was smaller than the mini-suite on the Jade. But was comfortable and we always love a balcony; plenty of storage for both of us. We didn't see our cabin steward as often as on other ships, but she always kept our room clean and ice bucket full. The bed was initially hard to sleep on; she rapidly placed an egg matress cover for the rest of the cruise. that worked! SHIP: Although, there were many people, i never felt over crowded. Bar lines weren't horrible, although we always tip in addition to our prepaid tips. The ship was always clean and well staffed. The pool is definitely smaller; more hot tubs available; H2O Spice was large and was packed for the football play offs. DINING: We always get a speciality dining package. Cagneys is our favorite. This cruise we added Ocean Blue to our favorites. La Cucina did not dissapoint. The servers are all three were excellent. I especially liked the way the Ocean Blue server explained our choices as she served them. We ate at each of the MDRs for dinner. We found the Manhattan Room to have tables far to close and too small to accomodate our party of 7. The meal that night was also not as good as normal. The Garden Cafe was good. We ate in the MDRs for a few breakfast times, and occasionally O'Sheehan's. There was usally at 15 to 20 minute wait for dinner seating in MDRs. But, we had a group of 7 and expected that at the times that we went. ENTERTAINMENT: Velvet was amazing; even the food was great. Highly reccomend. Six was also very good. A few of our group didn't understand the British humor and the words that were fast paced. Burn the Floor, was great as usual. The comedian/magician was so entertaining that we went back for his second show. He was great! dueling pianos were very good. didn't make it into the comedy acts, too crowded. the atrium was way too loud during their activities, so it was easier to watch later on our cabin tv. SERVICE: Two servers came thru the Garden Cafe, singing and offering pastries. in additon to the washy washy staff. I purchased fine jewelry this time, and the sales person was professional and not pushy. Our grooup had to change our first excursion, when we found out it was not activity rated properly. It was changed with no problem. We had a great conversation with another excursion staff member who guided us on what to choose for one of the ports. SHORE EXCURSIONS: Because we had been to Jamaica a few timew, we did not do Dunns River Falls. I do reccomend it for those that have not been there. The other tours were either full or we weren't interested since our original choice , the Blue Hole, was rated incorreclty. Two of our group did the Bobsled and enjoyed it. Despite some negative reviews, we did the Blue Lagoon Beach Day. It was clean and a nice stop. We returned back to Big French Key. It was once again, a good choice. very clean, good food, Grand Cayman was a tour this time. it was good. In Cozumel, this time we were docked at the old pier. We ended uo with a dune buggy beach tour. there was a rather long walk to the dune buggies, the staff was very good. it was mostly a long drive on paved roads past trees. the snorkel part was cancelled due to wind. understandable. the beach stop, had only a few broken down beach chairs. the lunch was okay, the shop keepers were not too pushy. we could not dock at Stirrup Cay due to heavy winds. We could not dock at Costa Maya for the same reason. we had a few very windy nights. The Captain and crew kept us safe. Disembarkation: Same as the Getaway, winding thru the ship and casino , took awhile. the face recognition was very quick. our luggage was scattered within the section, but we found a couple porters and departed. I would do the Breakaway again, but not these ports as been there too often. which is not a bad thing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My friends and I have been on 3 Norwegian cruises and this last one topped them all. Although we missed out on 2 of our ports due to weather and it was 2nd time not being able to see Great Stirrup Caye, we still had a blast thanks to the ... Read More
My friends and I have been on 3 Norwegian cruises and this last one topped them all. Although we missed out on 2 of our ports due to weather and it was 2nd time not being able to see Great Stirrup Caye, we still had a blast thanks to the staff. Kasi, one of the bartenders made every day special. His personality and helpfulness was above and beyond what I expected. By the end of the trip he had me drinking Campari shots like it was nothing. Having to say goodbye to him was my least favorite part but now I have a friend for life. Along with Kasi their were a few other crew members that made our trip amazing. Marcus one of the bar waiters felt like family by the end, Iwana created a drink just for us that we named after him, Lee was another great bartender, Deadra from Osheeans dealt with all our drunk loudness after bliss each night, Predrag another bar waiter played the floor is lava with us every time we saw him in passing, Gustav- Guss(our housekeeper) cleaned our 3 rooms with no complaints always helpful and always smiling. These people deserve praise for all the hard work they put in each day and night. Belize was one of our favorite ports because we got the private cabana just steps away the the ocean. It was absolutely beautiful. Another favorite was Nassau Bahamas and Cozumel Mexico. Gian guided us during our tequila tasting for my birthday. He was so informative and genuinely nice. I didn’t expect to like Cozumel as much as I did but now I can’t wait to go back! I could go on and on about how much fun we had. I will definitely recommend this cruise to everyone I know! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Took an NCL Western Caribbean cruise last year and wanted to share experience with family...what a mistake!! The food presentation was good but taste was very low quality. The desserts were the worst! Even the breakfast pancakes were ... Read More
Took an NCL Western Caribbean cruise last year and wanted to share experience with family...what a mistake!! The food presentation was good but taste was very low quality. The desserts were the worst! Even the breakfast pancakes were clearly packaged and not fresh. Looooong waits between courses, 2 hrs+ for dinner. We chose dining rooms because it was the best of the worst. We did complain to guest services about wait staff, met with lead dining mgr, but nothing changed. Additionally, we reviewed all of the policies for Splash Academy, and there is NOTHING in them about illness. Our granddaughter got sea sick and the staff in Splash Academy were very professional, but they said we had to pay $200 to visit the doctor to have her cleared for return. We understand the requirement to visit the doctor, but not for that fee, no prior notice, and no ability to use health insurance. The doctor only treated for sea-sickness and did not test for viral issues. (What if she had a virus? No quarantine, just $200 please) Even after talking with head of guest services, no apology or accommodation was made for the $200 fee. Beware, if bringing kids. A few other negative issues were: - daughter's room door twice left unlocked after cleaning - men watching TV in daughter's room after dinner (claimed maintenance) - late night (9 p.m) knock to repair a light while granddaughter sleeping - zero ice in room, unless requested - zero towel animals at turn-down (although pushed and sold in photo shop) - horrible smoke filtration in casino - asked wait staff numerous times for more water or butter refills - overall staff attitude acted as if "bothered" (There are still a few staff taking pride in their jobs; But, very few. I actually wondered if the SUN might be a training platform?) I've been cruising over 20 years, on 7+ cruise lines and witnessed the decline of service over costs. This was, by far, the worst cruise for food, service, hospitality, commercialism of ports and general attitude toward passengers and me and my family. Cruise lines should revert back to customer tips in envelopes, not pre-paid tips. This would ensure staff is aiming to please, earning their tips and they are guaranteed to get the money... I will never give NCL any more of my business and let anyone know the truth of this line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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