Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review to Bermuda

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
5

3 out of 5

Great new ship, but way too crowded (over 4,700 people) and bad news for non-smokers!

Sail Date: August 04, 2013

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Balcony

We are VERY disappointed in our overall cruise experience with NCL while on the Breakaway for two main reasons.
First, it was WAY too overcrowded! They told us there were over 4,700 guests (not including NCL employees) on this cruise and it was extremely apparent. There were lines everywhere...elevator, cafe, restaurants, photography, and it was hopeless getting a chaise lounge near the pool if you didn't get up at 6:00 am to reserve it!
Secondly, we put out the extra money for a balcony room, and we were surrounded by heavy smokers! Our 'neighbors' on both sides and below us were on their balconies smoking incessantly! Seriously, we probably spent a total of 1 hour on our balcony the entire cruise. I am not exaggerating! My son has asthma and can't tolerate being around cigarette smoke, so he felt sick. Not only were we not able to enjoy our balcony, we had to keep our sliding door to our balcony shut the entire cruise due to the smoke. It is SO disappointing to us that NCL does not have the foresight to block a number of rooms specifically for smokers so this problem doesn't occur. We are so upset that we paid for a balcony room and couldn't enjoy it the entire cruise. It was a total waste of money. We brought this to the attention of customer service, but they just said smokers are allowed to smoke on the balcony and there is nothing they can do. They sent us a bottle of wine and comped a dinner, but that doesn't negate the fact that we spent a lot on a balcony room, and couldn't use it because NCL placed us next to and above heavy smokers.
The ship is absolutely beautiful and has SO much potential! It could have been a totally different experience for many of us on this cruise. It is unwise to overbook a cruise to this capacity because you get numerous angry guests. I heard the same feedback from literally dozens of other guests while we were waiting in line for dinner, elevators, etc.
Also, the smoking issue could have been prevented by keeping the smoking rooms together and not intermixing them with non-smoking rooms. We absolutely do not understand why this isn't done. It isn't simply that we dislike the smell of smoke, our son has asthma and gets physically ill from it (as he did on this cruise).
NCL should refund us the difference that we paid for the balcony room since it was NCL that placed us next to several smokers.
We are thinking of taking a Mediterranean cruise next year, but it won't be on NCL. I won't risk this happening again.
I truly hope you will take some of our feedback to heart because we do not want this to happen to other families. This should have been an amazing experience for our family, but it was disappointing due to NCL's decision to group smokers with non-smokers and overbook the cruise. In the mean time, we are planning on leaving our feedback on TripAdvisor, Facebook, our travel agents, etc. so others will be aware of these issues.
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