Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Contributor Level: Second Mate

Experience
7+ cruises

Reviews
3

Helpful Votes
11

5 out of 5

Upscale Cruising!

Sail Date: November 20, 2016

Reviewed: 8 days ago

Traveled As: Family (young children)

Room Type: Suite

While we have cruised many times, this was my first cruise on Norwegian. This was also the first suite that we have ever booked (typically get balcony cabins). 

 

First off, getting a Haven suite on a Norwegian ship is different from other cruise ships. Right after you drop off your luggage, you meet with a cruise member who escorts your party right to a representative who gets you your cruise card (snacks and beverages are available at the same spot). Once you have your card, you are escorted past the crowds and onto the ship. You get shown to the Haven deck, with the private bar, pool, and dining area. Meet the concierge staff, your butler, and others. Then you are escorted to you room; it was amazing! Despite costing twice what we normally pay for a cruise, it might have been worth it.

 

We had an aft facing Haven suite. We were concerned it would be noisy, but that was not a problem. In/out of port was a bit louder, but not bad. The view from the huge balcony was great. This was by far the nicest cruise cabin we have ever been in (or even seen... and we have seen some suites that our friends booked on Carnival and RCCL).

 

Dining was a treat on Norwegian. While we did use the Haven restaurant a number of times, our package included the dining package so we could eat at four of the restaurants on board. Even if we did not have the dining package, the cost for going to those restaurants was negligible.   We dined at the Le Bistro (French), Ocean Blue (sea food), Cagnay's Steak House, and La Cucina (Italian). All the food was amazing. This cruise had the best cruise food that we have ever experienced. 

 

We were a little disappointed about the beverage package that came with our suite (that I believe Norwegian charges $80 a day per person for). No bottled water and no coffee drinks. I will say all the alcohol drinks are premium, but not including bottled water and coffee seems cheap. On Carnival, you can get bottled water, coffee, and even milk shakes... and for just $50 per day. What I will say that I like about the beverage package, they just swipe your card and give you the drink; nothing to sign (only exception is when you are in certain ports and tax is charged). It would also be nice if they served Coke products instead of Pepsi. 

 

I wish they had some Internet packages on the ship that were comparable to Carnival. Carnival has very affordable options (including a week long social media package for $25 so you can communicate with others back home or even use WhatsApp messenger on the ship). The iConcerige app for communicating was not good; don't pay the $9 per person to use the messaging aspect of the app. The app was okay for the other features though. Our cruise package included some Internet time, but not in a manner that could be used regularly. 

 

Norwegian is very different from our RCCL and Carnival cruises. This was cruising, for us anyway, that bordered on luxury. 

 

Cabin / Stateroom
The aft haven suite has one bedroom and two bathrooms. Master bathroom has a shower and separate bathtub and there is another shower in the front of the cabin. Perfect for traveling with family.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Spoiled being in Haven. You literally walk on/off the ship. Escorted past everyone. Even escorted all the way to customs. They treat all the Haven guests like royalty the entire cruise.
Ship Quality
Loved the decor. Obviously, the Breakaway is a fairly new ship so the condition was excellent. Everything is well thought out.
Destinations and Excursions
Nothing too exciting; just Cocoa Beach and two stops in the Bahamas.
Onboard Activities
Plenty to do! Multiple water slides for kids (40"+ tall for the two small slides and 48"+ for the thrill seeker slides). Mini-golf... etc. Lots to do on this ship. You won't be bored.
Children's Programs
I did not get the sense from my daughter that the programs they had for her matched what she had recently on the Carnival Dream. I think she had more fun being off on her own.
Entertainment
My daughter did more of the shows than I did. She said they were pretty good.
Service and Staff
You are spoiled with Haven staff. If you can afford it, get a Haven suite.
Food and Dining
All the restaurants are great. By far the best cruise food we have ever had. Even the Garden Buffet was good.
New York, New York
We stayed at the DoubleTree Hilton Suites TimesSquare. It was about a mile or so from the pier. Good location and a chance to see Times Square (again). Never miss the opportunity.
Port Canaveral, Florida
We avoided going to the theme parks. Expensive tickets and little time to enjoy them with the ride to/from the parks being over an hour from the ship. We took the shuttle bus (about $50 or so for the four of us roundtrip) to Cocoa Beach and checked out the area.
Great Stirrup Cay (Cruiseline Private Island), Bahamas
Typical private island stuff. We did not have great weather here. A little windy (and a choppy tender ride to/from the ship) so we went back to the ship early so the kids could use the water slides without the crowds.
Nassau, Bahamas
We did the short excursion to Blue Lagoon Island. Nothing fancy, but the kids had a good time playing in the water activity park there.

Tip

Definitely try the upscale dining. You won't be disappointed. There is so much dining on the ship (some with a fee and some without). Even if you do not pay for the dining package, you won't be disappointed with the food that comes included with your cruise.



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