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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I am a well seasoned cruise traveler for well over 40 years. My very first cruise was Ncl's NORWAY back in 1979. Those days cruising was considered a luxury that many could not afford. Also, it was also laden with European trained all male ... Read More
I am a well seasoned cruise traveler for well over 40 years. My very first cruise was Ncl's NORWAY back in 1979. Those days cruising was considered a luxury that many could not afford. Also, it was also laden with European trained all male waiters, teak deck chairs that a pool deck steward assigned to you for the entire cruise, assigned seating with no portion controlled dining as well as so much more. Today's mega ships lean toward the masses and a free style concept that I just cannot get used to. The Breakaway is high tech and very easy to get around. It's size is representative of all mega ships on other lines as well. I found their crew to be somewhat inexperienced and that tells me that NCL must have a pretty high turnaround rate. The cabins are well appointed and for this trip I took a mid ship balcony stateroom starboard side deck 11. The rooms were very clean and I felt that only 2 people would be comfortable in that size. Motion from the ship was very limited and walking in the hallways was fairly easy. As I am a recent widow of a combat Marine I had direct access to the solo lounge right opposite my room. Worked out very well. Norwegian has a very extensive program for solo travelers and I was able to make quite a few new friends that I will be cruising again with in the very near future. Entertainment and activities were I felt very limited as much of the activites centered around the younger element. But the crew really extends themselves so most of my age group(mid 60's and fairly fit) always felt included. I say well done to Norwegian. Dining is more subjective. Plenty of complimentary options were available at all times of the day and night. Quality of the food was quite good and always served hot. Specialty restaurants was a little more upscale but not much. I have quite a bit of high end cruising under my belt such as Crystal, Seabourn, Sea Dream Yacht Club, MSC Yacht club and a host of others. NCL is trying to compete with their Haven concept, but they miss the mark in both service and pricing. Ports and excursions on this trip left a lot to be desired as our itinerary was completely changed due to the storm damage. I was disappointed as well but you can always take another cruise. Life is more important.Overall it was not a total loss as the crew as well as my new found friends made it most enjoyable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Poorest service and food after 36 cruises..... Service and quality of food on NCL has gone waaaaaay down ever since Chinese bought the Holding Company. Very Sassy employees now that they are Unionized... Tips ARE not distributed as you ... Read More
Poorest service and food after 36 cruises..... Service and quality of food on NCL has gone waaaaaay down ever since Chinese bought the Holding Company. Very Sassy employees now that they are Unionized... Tips ARE not distributed as you wish them to..That is a lawsuit waiting....nCL could not tell me who would be getting the tips.... If you are a Vegetarian, Good Luck trying to have a diversity of food... SALT SALT SALT... I am sure Strokes and heart Attacks patients are admitted after sailing on these cruises.... Yes price good but not worth the savings! No way, rather vacation on land than deal with the Zoo on these cruises with NCL... Customer service still has not returned my email after 3 months... Just a Joke.... Serious incident while eating... broken glass or stone...NCLdid not even mae a report! Excursion Staff absolutely not trained or qualified! After platinum plus , leaving this Cruise Line... Please do not waste your money, health or precious time! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
This is my tenth cruise with NCL and third cruise with Breakaway. The two main shows, Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor, are fantastic but I suggest more performance. I, for one, would like to see them more than once in a 12 days cruise. ... Read More
This is my tenth cruise with NCL and third cruise with Breakaway. The two main shows, Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor, are fantastic but I suggest more performance. I, for one, would like to see them more than once in a 12 days cruise. Twice I dined at the Manhattan dinning room. The hostess kept asking me to remove my hat. This is the first for me in NCL cruises. I wear a hat at ALL other restaurants, including All specialty restaurants, without this issue. I always wear my hat in public and I feel I am naked without it. The Le Bistro should bring back the lobster entrée (even with reasonable surcharge). I submitted this comment in all NCL after cruise survey (2016 and 2017) but NCL does not seems to listen. I usually dined at Le Bistro 3 to 4 times in a 7 days cruise because of the lobster. Now I only dine once there. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
This was my second NCL experience on another large ship (Previously sailed on Epic December 2016) Despite rain interfering with excursions and some onboard poolside activities the staff and entertainment allowed me to have an enjoyable ... Read More
This was my second NCL experience on another large ship (Previously sailed on Epic December 2016) Despite rain interfering with excursions and some onboard poolside activities the staff and entertainment allowed me to have an enjoyable week at sea. From my cabin steward, to the desk, to the bar, dining, and entertainment staff, I felt like a welcomed and valued customer throughout. The balcony was smaller than the ones I had with Carnival but I made the most of it. I really liked the outdoor dining options and waterfront which could be utilized well with better weather. I look forward to tryiing other ships and itineraries for comparison. As with large ships, it will take a few days to get used to navigating. The floorplans posted by the elevators were a true lifeline and the iconceirge app was a great option to avoid carrying the daily newsletter around for activities. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose this cruise because I had not been to some of the islands. II was very leary of what I would find in San Juan. I was pleasantly surprised at the efficiency at the airport, in my NCL transfer from airport to ship, and finding out ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had not been to some of the islands. II was very leary of what I would find in San Juan. I was pleasantly surprised at the efficiency at the airport, in my NCL transfer from airport to ship, and finding out that my upgrade from an inside to a balcony was accepted. What a pleasant surprise! The crew were great! I want to give a special shout out to a lovely hostess in one of the main dining rooms ( the Aqua room). I had sailed on the Epic last year and she was so kind and seemed to remember me. I am a solo traveler and most times prefer to dine alone. She always seated me at a very nice table and made me feel very special. I was always seated promptly. The ship itself was quite clan. I was in heaven with my balcony cabin. The food was adequate. The desserts were wonderful. Entertainment, on a scale of 1 to 5 was a 3. The service was excellent. I went on several of the NCL excursions and was not disappointed.. I am going tomorrow to sign up for the Panama Canal. Can't wait until November! Happy cruising with NCL! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Just got off the NCL Escape last week and it was one of the best ships I have ever been on! The crew was fantastic and Tyler and Dave only made the experience with the crew even more exciting on a daily basis. The "free food" was ... Read More
Just got off the NCL Escape last week and it was one of the best ships I have ever been on! The crew was fantastic and Tyler and Dave only made the experience with the crew even more exciting on a daily basis. The "free food" was above average for the most part and the restaurants were pretty fantastic (Food Republic was our fav!). Entertainment was nonstop on the ship and the theater shows were both fantastic!! Tap dancing and 80s music, opposite sides of the spectrum, but both incredible. The brewery was great, Miami Weiss is delish if you are a beer drinker. The winery was possibly our favorite part of the trip. If you are looking for an incredible atmosphere and getting a lesson in wine, then Mario and Ricardo in the winery is who you need to visit. At night, the club on the back of the ship was always fun with its themed parties and the piano bar was extremely fun as well (Patti is AMAZING!). Rope course and water slides were surprisingly fun as well during any days we had at sea. I think at one point my family and I spent about 2hrs on the rope course just walking around and having fun. The only negative thing about the cruise was our experience in Jamaica. I have been there a few times now and generally never had a good experience. This time instead of doing a somewhat underwhelming excursion, we thought we might explore for a change. That turned into being bombarded nonstop by taxi drivers wanting to drive us all over the island. One gentlemen literally followed us around for nearly 30min asking to take us around the island...was borderline harassment at that point. We just decided to go back to the ship and call it a day. Definitely an island I will avoid if possible in the future. Cayman islands were absolutely beautiful and after doing the stingray swim last time we visited, we decided to just visit 7 mile beach this time and it was so beautiful. It would appear having a bad time on this island might be impossible. The locals are all wonderful and the ocean/beaches are breathtaking. The day we visited Nassau it was kind of gloomy outside and the ocean was pretty choppy when we went to do a seahorse snorkel excursion. Under the water it was great and literally thousands of fish swarming around you, but above it was super choppy and waves smacking you repeatedly in the face was no fun. The only negative about the excursion was we didn't sea a single seahorse. The guides told us we would have to swim further out on the reef where sharks were in order to see them...which makes the name "seahorse snorkel" rather deceiving. Unfortunately due to a medical emergency we weren't able to make it to Great Stirrup Cay, so that is still on the bucket list! I hear its wonderful. Overall I would give the cruise as a whole an 8 out of 10 and the ship and crew a 10 out of 10!! Look forward to our next NCL trip in the near future! WASHY WASHY!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Embarkation: 1st Time going out of NYC, so can't speak to if this is usual, The Good: Porters were quick to handle bags, got through security reasonably quickly... aside from that though, once in line it took about an Hour and a half to ... Read More
Embarkation: 1st Time going out of NYC, so can't speak to if this is usual, The Good: Porters were quick to handle bags, got through security reasonably quickly... aside from that though, once in line it took about an Hour and a half to get onto the Ship, this was apparently a combination of the ship returning to port late and computer issues, from what i heard... still the Terminal left one lacking, there was hardly any air flow, which wold have been nice when you are sardine stacked in 5+ rows of winding lines, there was also not form or "entertainment" to keep one distracted while stuck in line, No music or TVs, anything would have been better than nothing! Also we left late, around 5:30pm instead of 4pm, helpful hint, you get changed a tax on drinks when still in port (about 75 cents a drink) so beware with later or delayed departures, it adds up! Ship itself i enjoyed greatly, i had previously sailed on it's sister ship the Dawn, so was familiar with the layout (a lot of people found themselves lost trying to navigate Deck 6, as often, "you couldn't get there from here") and if i had to choose between the two, i would have to go back to the Gem, with it's Spinnaker lounge up in front of the ship, Great Outdoors Buffet/Bar in the back, Rock climbing wall, split Family/Adult Pools and hidden Bridge Viewing room... only downside was there were only 4 hot tubs on the Gem, were there are 6 on the Dawn, i sort of feel like if they swapped the comically huge wash off shower present up on the Deck 13 Sundeck for a large 5th Hot tub, they would be onto something great! Service on the ship i found to be great, i can't think of any "rude" staff member off the top of my head, i did have one Guest services employee "rub me" the wrong way, but generally every employee i came across in traversing the ship had a smile or a friendly nod, and would go out of their way to help you if they could. The Club bar staff got to know me well and my drink preferences, to the point even asking if i wanted my "usual" when i would show up in the evening, top notch! One thing that was some what lacking was the Solo Program, i will note that on this particular cruise we got up into the 70 person range, which for solo cruise is HUGE, so to be fair to the Solo host for the cruise (Troy) he was a bit overwhelmed given the usual numbers hosts deal with are in the 10 to 20 range!! And also to be fair Solo Hosting wasn't his primary function, so he tried his best and couldn't be everywhere. That being said things could have been handled better to improve the experience. For me the Solo program's best feature is the "Meet & Mingle" this is where you build connections with fellow solo travelers, i find that it is more important than dining together as one large group... because often smaller clicks form and want to dine together, this is where much of the "lacking" occurred. There wasn't much of a structured 1st meetup, which wasn't more than a "let me get your name and cabin number on a signup sheet" some people knew other people from previous cruises, however those of us who knew no one were somewhat left in the wind on the 1st night, and from that point on we were late instructed to go straight to the Main Dining Room, instead of meetup up to "Mingle"... this diminished the what i like to call "connection building" for the group, because in the MDR, we were sat at large tables, fairly separated apart, in a loud restaurant atmosphere, so it was really hard to get to know everyone in-depth. Another cravat was that because of the group size, required us to diner very early (530pm to 6pm) in order to not overwhelm MDR Kitchen, this didn't sit well with some in the group, so caused some smaller group to start breaking off on their own, which isn't a bad thing, however without having that initial "Mingle" time, caused a loss to the whole. There also wasn't much directed evening activities, it would have been a nice addition if the Host could have perhaps done a head count to see how many in our group wanted to go to the evening shows, and perhaps could have arranged for a section to be reserved for us a section so we could all sit together, as i know they do on other ships, which again goes to "connection" building. I'm not sure what the answers were to solve the issues above, maybe the addition of a 2nd assistant Host? Maybe a development of a more ridged but expandable solo program outline? In the end i meet some great people, but again I could have been better and left one lacking in the end. The Dining room staff did a good job, but service seemed to "down tick" when they found out we were part of the Solo group, other smaller group had much improved and fast service when they didn't identify as being part of the "larger" group. Service of food courses seemed to be somewhat hap hazard at times, but again this could be on account of our group size. Breakfast i found to be the meal with the slowest of the service. In the future i may just stick with the Buffet, although why they only serve French Toast and Pancakes at the Buffet and not the Waffle triangles, why is beyond be, they aren't much different, and yet i think you'll be hard pressed to ever find them up there!?! Entertainment was very good, i'm not big on the shows, but i gave them a try, and while i wouldn't say i love them all completely, they were entertaining and got the job done! One of the music groups, Sonata, i have to give a shout out to, because they are amazingly talented for all the genres they preform... and the stage production crew because with a moving stage, it's mind blowing what they do!!! As for Shore excursions, i ended up doing one thing in each port, booking via NCL as i wanted the peace of mind of making sure i wouldn't be left in port. the excursions were okay, i wouldn't say any were mind blowing, but they were fun & gave great memories. A lot of people i talked with found that the Martinique port left something lacking (I did the Historical Capital Tour and actually had a decent time and great value for the cost) also a lot of people were also disappointed with the half day in St. Thomas... if NCL could have somehow flip flopped the itinerary with a Full day in St. Thomas and only a Half day in Martinique, the itinerary would have probably been near to perfect! Of course because we were the odd cruise out due to itinerary changes from the Hurricanes, there isn't much they could have probably done. One detraction i always find is the Trinket "hawkers", this was most prevalent on the Horseback riding Tour in St. Lucia, which was enjoyable until you got to the "Home base" beach bar and there were 6 of them setup and waiting :/ Another lacking was the "snacks" on the Turtle Cove Cat & Snorkel Tour in St Thomas...basically just plain tortilla chips, after swimming around for an hour or so, a little something more would have been nice, which i heard other tours of the same nature had slight more substantial snacks, the crew was fantastic and friendly, that was only the real disappointment aside from the lack of seeing any sea turtles, but that's on Mother nature not the crew. I did SNUBA in St Kitts, and the beach resort they ran out of was Amazingly beautiful and far off from the built up rest of the island, and was located on the calmer Caribbean side of the island thankfully. i didn't have the best time because it was my first time and being safe rather than sorry i stayed more on the surface, but other in my group had a blast, so that's really more on me than the dive master, Tip: if you haven't done this before, try snorkeling first, then this... would have worked out better! Also one in my group did SNUBA in both St. Kitts and St. Thomas and said he enjoyed the St. Thomas location better, for what it's worth. Cabin: See Cabin Review Debarkation was surprisingly smooth, after the long journey of getting to the baggage area, Customs was a breeze, I choose to carry off rather than the timed baggage service, i wanted to make sure i didn't miss my Train home, but due to the ease off getting off the Ship, i was able to enjoyed an unexpected couple hours of walking around the City, Woohoo!!! So there is my take on the Good, Bad, and Ugly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze, both went very quickly. I was from baggage drop off to the ship in about 20 minutes. There was a bit of a line at the check in desk but it went pretty quickly. Disembarkation was 15 minutes ... Read More
Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze, both went very quickly. I was from baggage drop off to the ship in about 20 minutes. There was a bit of a line at the check in desk but it went pretty quickly. Disembarkation was 15 minutes including the time to find my luggage and wait in line for customs. They have this down to a science. The food on the ship was some of the best I have had on any ship. I highly recommend Food Republic and Cagney's specialty restaurants. The entertainment was world class. I really enjoyed the Flyboys. The waterfront has lots of couches and shaded areas if you just want to lounge and spend a quiet day reading a book. The service on the ship was excellent. I highly recommend the balcony staterooms the views were amazing. I got an upgrade to a mini-suite, if you want a bigger bathroom with a full sized shower this is a good option for you. The rest of the room was from what I could tell exactly the same as a balcony room. I did not travel with children but there seemed to be plenty of options available to keep kids entertained and happy all week long. I would absolutely go on NCL again. In fact I already have the next cruise booked. If you take advanatage of the cruise next desk you can get some great deals for a future cruise. I often travel solo and NCL has some great deals for solo travelers including their studio cabins and occasionally times where they have a reduced single supplement or sometimes the single supplement is waived completely you just got to keep an eye out for deals. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
The ship is beautiful, so clean and well attended to. All the staff were so polite and friendly. Efficient at their jobs. The people we met were happy so they too were very friendly! We dined in most of the areas and found the food to ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, so clean and well attended to. All the staff were so polite and friendly. Efficient at their jobs. The people we met were happy so they too were very friendly! We dined in most of the areas and found the food to be very fresh and excellently prepared! We loved that there were family and adult areas! Even if we grabbed a plate from the Garden Family area, we were able to sit off in the quieter spaces! Our cabin and cabin steward were excellent! Marc is the best! He was very helpful and attentive! We had a balcony, which I heartily recommend. The sound and smell of the ocean was so relaxing! Dancing on the back deck was excellent and fun! The shows were very entertaining too! I suggest you get the beverage package...so you can just order with no worries. We were not happy with the private Island port, as there were not enough chairs for all and the snorkeling was a bust! Too many people so no fish to see. Spend your money on a raft! The Florida port was also blah, Coco Beach is just a shopping center! We went to the drug store. Save your money! or go to the hotels for the beach. The Nassau Port was OK [the boat ride with the singing guide was the best]. Again not much for snorkeling. Families and kids would love this best. I will stay on board next time! Way too easy to spend too much in the on board shops! But it was fun! There was so much to do we always ran out of time! Get the on board credit for your next cruise...an excellent deal. All in All it was EXCELLENT! I have signed up for another cruise next year! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Firstly I start by saying I've been on 27 cruises and there are good and bad points on every cruise. I’ve cruised with P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Australia. This is my opinion only, everyone has ... Read More
Firstly I start by saying I've been on 27 cruises and there are good and bad points on every cruise. I’ve cruised with P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Australia. This is my opinion only, everyone has differing tastes. An experience for a first time cruiser will generally be different to that of an experienced cruiser. I chose this cruise as I wanted to try NCL. The people on board this cruise consisted of only 230 Aussies (surprising for a cruise out of Australia), 430 Germans, UK, Canadians and USA, Asians. There were very few children on board. Embarkation: Terrible, probably the worst I’ve experienced. We were queued and standing for several hours. I really felt for the elderly passengers. The hold-up/bottleneck appeared to be in the Customs area (there were only 4 officials processing when I went through). Cabin The Good: good size bathroom and shower. The shower had a sliding door not a curtain; however you needed to sit sideways on the toilet. They have little swimming fish printed on the carpet in the hallways showing the direction to the bow. My room was located above the theatre but I wasn’t interrupted by noise. The Bad: very small, poorly designed room, very tight to get round the bed and I kept hitting my head on the bunk bed (which was raised) and the light fittings in the bed head. No room steward name in the room and when I introduced myself on the second day of the cruise she never gave me her name and never greeted me by name, also general poor attention to detail in room. Very few TV channels other than cruise line advertising. There were too many loud entertainment announcements outside the cabin and in public areas (disruptive), cabin walls are very thin and you can easily hear neighbours, mattresses need replacing - they’re old and lumpy. Entertainment The Good: Entertainment was better than average, Burn the floor was excellent, as was Cirque Bijou, the physical comedian and the acrobats were great. Good Australian cruise director: David Food The Good: good variety in main dining room menu and service in the main dining rooms was excellent. Flexible dining and dress options are good however as I was traveling solo if I wished to share a table for dinner it was usually a table for 4 so I ended up sitting next to a couple, good glassware in main restaurants The Bad: average, lukewarm food - the food in the main dining room had been prepared well in advance and tasted like it had been sitting around for quite a while (often lukewarm and stale bread with dinner). The Garden Cafe is like a cafeteria and the quality of the food is poor with cheap artificially flavoured ingredients. In the outdoor areas, drinks are served in disposable plastic cups. They ran out of many items; my wine on day 2, fresh fruit was limited (they ran out of water melon on arrival to New Zealand) they have a mojito bar and ran out of mint! they ran out of fresh milk and had milk in little UHT containers. I actually lost weight on this Cruise General The Good: great wide decks, good lifts and onboard communication screens. Port arrivals and disembarkation were well organised. Most of the staff were friendly and offered good service The Bad: very dated décor, low ceilings and very dark throughout the ship especially in the restaurants. General cleaning and removal of rubbish around the vessel was not up to standard. Empty cigarette packs and dirty glasses were noticed in some areas for 3 days before they were cleaned away. Room service dirty dishes left in hallways for many hours. Drinks were very expensive as an 18% gratuity is added to each purchase and then USA to Australian conversion. A very expensive $39 US for airport shuttle (double the price of Australian cruises), Shore excursions were also very overpriced. Smoking is allowed in Casino. Staff often talked amongst themselves in their own languages in front of guests. Read Less
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