MBCKCannon
Second Mate

Joined: 03/03/2014
2
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2
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19
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MBCKCannon's Past Cruises

Norwegian Breakaway

May 2014 - Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda

Okay, but too many pay options

I posted this review on a few sites I am on: Did the Easy Walk Off for the first time and think I'll do it every time from now on! Got to the line of people waiting for the okay to leave at 0710. We were in walking past the luggage being lined up and heading for a taxi at 0732. At least the NY customs building stair nazi wasn't at the post this time, she would let only one person go down th escalator at one time last year. Created a huge logjam. This time, a different lady allowed about 10 feet between people. Okay, the cruise: 1. Tops down, the best entertainment I've seen in my whole 5 cruises (1 RC, 3 NCL, 1 Carnival). The Cirque starts hokey, but that is just the support crew. It was amazing. Food, not so much. Dark in the venue and hard to cut/eat and watch the act at the same time. Rock of ages was awesome! So much talent! Not exactly like the movie, but great! Burn the Floor was also amazing, the dancing and singing was excellent! The magician act (Michael Finney) was great as well. As for the ship's movement...hardly felt anything until the last two days, but we hit the swells coming from the storm that hit the east on Wednesday. I like the movement. We had a normal balcony stateroom with 2 twins and a couch. With the twin set-up it was difficult to get around the beds. Rooms are smaller than what we had on the Gem, which was the same type of room. Shower water pressure SUCKED, no other way to put it. It was difficult to get cold water once people started taking showers, in fact, the water was painfully hot. Sometimes the toilet wouldn't flush, had to reseat the lid or pound on the knobby (wall protector) on the wall behind the seat. That was the room. For the cruise, there are far too many pay only options. Ultimate dining pkg gives one a specialty restaurant each night with the cirque show on night one included, cost is $119. Does NOT include Ocean's ($49) or the ala carte Raw Bar or Noodle/sushi bar. The gelato, Cake Boss, and cappaccino is also pricey. Drinks, of course, cost. I do like the soda package at around $50. You get a cup to haul around for refills or just get a glass filled at any bar AND any restaurant. It is fountain, not out of a can, and bar staff are nice about it (that lacking was my pet peeve about Carnival). My biggest issue was with the Mandara Spa pass I had been so excited to get. Unlike the Gem, which was $99 and had a womens, mens, and co-ed spa with all of them including jacuzzi's, wet and dry saunas, showers, as well as both cushioned and warmed ceramic lounge chairs. They also only sold around 100 passes. Breakaway had a small co-ed location with one large jacuzzi, four different saunas, rain showers (that some were not working correctly), 10 ceramic chairs and maybe 30 cushioned chairs and they sold 120 passes that cost $199. On sea days, it was impossible to get a lounge chair. I will be critiquing NCL on that one. I was told they made it smaller to accommodate more rooms, probably the Spa Haven suites. They wouldn't get seats either. I found out there is a top deck pool area for adults only called Vibe. At least a hot tub and some chairs, but no way to see in there. No idea the cost and they sold out of passes. However, the water slides were the bomb!!!!! Note (since there wasn't a sign) NO jewelry allowed, to include wedding rings. The ropes course was also a total blast!!!! My fat butt fit both of those fun things!! Buffet was pretty good. Cagney's was awesome, Teppanyaki pretty good, and Moderno's okay (a bit to odd for me, but the salad was great). Pizza 24/7 was good, but at a cost of $5 and delivered anywhere. The casino is mid-ship, located around the multi-deck stairways (where photos are taken). Meaning, the smoke wasn't as bad as being confine in a closed room HOWEVER, you could smell smoke downstairs in Le Bistro (a specialty restaurant). The internet area was open and next to the atrium so people would sit there when they were out of seats if something was on the screen or an activity was going on. Stupid. The "stores" were kind of open as well which made it a bit chaotic as it is a major walk way. It incorporated the photo area. I did like the binder system for photos. MUCH easier to find your photo. Don't know how someone got away with the designs. Would I take the Breakaway or equivalent again? ONLY if I got a deal I couldn't pass up. Bear in mind, I don't complain about everything, but I expected more and won't blow sunshine up to gloss things over! I'll stick to the Gem/Jade. This one was too big and too many extra costs. 

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Carnival Pride

February 2014 - Carnival Pride to Caribbean - Bahamas

It was okay...

This was our first cruise with Carnival and I know I won't go on one of their Pride-sized ships again.  Embarking went well, but we had priority boarding due to having a mini-suite.  I did pick the wrong week to cruise from Baltimore (or NY) due to it being winter break for the school kids.  Heard there were aprox 600 kids on-board meaning the pools and hottubs were full at all times.  The adults-only area (Serenity) is a joke.  It was packed except when it was cold (days coming in/out of Baltimore).  I also had some spa activities.  Massage was great!  Nails and hair, not so much.  With 2 days at sea on each end, there just isn't enough to do onboard unless one is drunk or gambles.  I got the bubbles soda package and was very disappointed with it.  With my other cruises (not Carnival), purchasing a reusable cup comes with the package (it is extra and not needed for this program) and can be refilled ANYWHERE by any wait staff.  Carnival only gives drinks from the bar meaning when at dinner, we had to flag down a bar-staff person and it would be 10 minutes before they came back with the drink, forget getting a refill.  There was no incentive for them to help someone with a soda card as there was no automatic tip.  To top it off, even at the bar, the sodas were poured from a can not a fountain system.  This particular cruise has 2 seadays on either end (as mentioned before).  In following the cruise map, we hugged the coast.  I'm not a mariner, but wouldn't it be quicker just making a straight line down?  The port stops were short except for Port Canaveral.  When I cruise, I'm not planning on my longest port stop being in the states.  Freeport was extremely short, we made it back from our short excursion with 20 minutes to spare.  I also would like more dining options.  24-hr pizza was great, but the staff was inconsistent in the types as well as any organization in taking orders.  The caeser salad offered with pizza was in premade bowls sitting under the top counter. There was a grill that was open longer hours, but I only noticed it open a couple of times.  David's was very good and the service exceptional!  As for our room steward, ours was also exceptional. We also had a virus going around.  We weren't notified by staff, but the buffet staff started serving everyone, but not stopping those that grabbed the utensils anyway.  Plus staff was walking around with gloves and buckets with sponges and disinfectant.

 

Maybe we are used to larger ships (between this and a Breakaway size) that have more to offer during the sailing.  

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MBCKCannon's Tips

Cozumel, Mexico - Underground Mayan River Cenote & Famous 5th Street Shopping and Beach was fabulous. NOTE: this is NOT the 5th street location talked about in the Port Shopping talks. That location is near the port whereas this excursion is a ferry ride over to Playa Del Carmen.
Celebrity Equinox Celebrity Equinox - Ray and his assistant John in Blu are wonderful. Ray learned my dietary needs and had spot-on recommendations. Highly recommend sitting in their area.
Norwegian Breakaway Norwegian Breakaway - The thermal spa is a waste of money. Only sell 120 passes at $199 per pass, however, area is smaller due to putting in more staterooms. Only one area, co-ed only, one large jacuzzi, and four types of saunas. Only 10 ceramic lounges and maybe 30 cushion lounges (for 120 people). VERY disappointed.
Carnival Pride Carnival Pride - If you are trying to enjoy adults, Do not go when kids are on winter break. Serenity adults only is not big enough.

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received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Equinox cruise review - First Celebrity Cruise, but not the last!

shared a quick tip for Celebrity Equinox"Ray and his assistant John in Blu are wonderful. Ray learned my dietary needs and had spot-on recommendations. Highly recommend sitting in their area."

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Okay, but too many pay options

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Okay, but too many pay options

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Okay, but too many pay options

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Pride cruise review - It was okay...

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Okay, but too many pay options

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Okay, but too many pay options

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Okay, but too many pay options

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Breakaway cruise review - Okay, but too many pay options