Fun, but go solo at your own risk.

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall rating:

3.2 out of 5
Norwegian Breakaway

7 Night Bahamas & Florida (New York Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 26, 2017

Ship: Norwegian Breakaway

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 12750

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

I had a good time and met nice people. Would I have enjoyed it as much if I'd spent full price? Maybe not. It is what you make of it. If they worked a little harder on making solo travelers feel welcome but not weird or pathetic it would be better.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
Much faster and easier than I expected, probably because the cruise was not sold out. However I was given bad answers from staff more than once about where to drop my bags off.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The food in the main dining rooms was exceptional, though portion sizes were wildly inconsistent and it was always a guess whether you would be overfull or hungry at the end. Teppanyaki, Cagney's, and Le Bistro also had great food. The buffet and O'Sheehan's were both mediocre at best and suffered from major issues with temperature, and eventually I avoided them. That said, across the board I felt that, as a solo diner, I was largely ignored and forgotten. I was routinely seated behind corners out of the way or behind view obstructions in the Manhattan Room and other spaces with entertainment. Food took an absurd amount of time to come with the exception of Le Bistro. It was an hour before I got one 8 Oz piece of meat and three shrimp at Cagney's and ultimately I was comped. Teppanyaki held me and two other people for 45 minutes before beginning service because "they were waiting for more people." Across the board I was skipped by waitstaff with water refills, coffee, etc. NCL is working hard at pushing the solo traveler thing with their studio spaces but the restaurants have not gotten the message.

Maltings on the Waterfront

5 out of 5

Great bartenders here. Friendly and attentive. Nicola has a great, dry sense of humor.

Garden Café

3 out of 5

Stick to the carving stations and cold foods and you will be fine. Anything left out under heat lamps avoid. This is about quantity ovet quality.

O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar and Grille

2 out of 5

The saving grace is that it's open. But they were the worst chicken wings I have ever eaten, the nachos were also odd tasting and everything was lukewarm at best.

Teppanyaki

3 out of 5

If you don't go with a large group, expect to wait for a very long time for them to get started. The "showmanship" of the chefs varies widely and depends on the crowd. The food is plentiful and good.

Le Bistro French Restaurant

5 out of 5

Exceptional food, great, attentive service.

Cagney's on the Waterfront

2 out of 5

Don't go by yourself. You will be ignored and eventually your food will arrive cold. The filet was very good, however.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Pool was great and not as crowded as I had been warned. Hot tubs were not especially hot. Slides were fun but it is embarrassing to be forced to get on a scale in front of people (I am overweight but only a fool would think I was over 300 pounds). Ropes course was fun. Onboard activities ranged from standard cruise ship cheesiness to a lot of fun. Bingo was incredibly overpriced. I was shocked that things I saw 20 years ago are still standard, ie ships staff dressing as the Village People and Newlywed games, etc. It would be nice to have some musical act in addition to overworked, overcheesy ArVin and Emily. Pools close too early.

Free Fall

4 out of 5

Fun! But the public fat shaming and surly attendants I could live without.

Pulse Fitness Center

3 out of 5

Well equipped, but SMALL. Charging for use of the steam room is crass.

Whirlpool

3 out of 5

I assume they mean the hot tubs? They were not much warmer than the pool, tbh, so not very useful on a winter sailing.

Public Sundeck

4 out of 5

Not nearly as crowded as I had been told, but I am sure that depends on how full the ship is.

Pool

3 out of 5

Very comfortable temperature, no room to actually swim, though.

Breakaway Casino

3 out of 5

Dealers were fine, so we're slots. A real dearth of low-minimum tables however for those of us who are timid. I am a smoker and I felt terrible for nonsmokers because they make no effort at all to filter.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The performers were all very talented though the shows themselves were not exactly Broadway calibre. Rock of Ages was great but a little jarring in the current discussion of sexual harassment. Burn the Floor was enjoyable but not exactly the sort of thing you can develop an emotional attachment to. Magician was very entertaining even though his tricks were not especially original.I was disappointed, as a supporter of the arts, that there were no programs or any way of giving the performers and musicians the credit they are due.Other shipboard musicians were cruise-cheesy though they work hard. Would have been nice if any of the pianists allowed for people to sing with them, but it is what it is.Comedian was funny bug his routine was very old fashioned. The whole "women are like this, men are like this" thing is played our and even though I am not a woman having a man making gross generalizations about women was eye-rolly. Fat Cats performers were first rate.

Breakaway Theater

4 out of 5

Surprised they didn't build a theater proportional to the size of the ship but generally was able to get in.

Children's Programs

No kids

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Staff ranged from super friendly to surly. Some great bartenders. particularly at Malting's and H2O, (John Fernandes) and some terrible, unfriendly ones who were easily overwhelmed and petty. Same goes for waitstaff and shop keepers...a wide range. Cruse directors were all enthusiastic and friendly. I found the chief director's ego and insistence on making himself a "star" tiresome. It offends me that he inserts himself into shows where the performers are all professionals who worked hard on their craft to get there, and suddenly a nonperforming no talent is taking a bow with them. Solo traveler program was very kind and the director very enthusiastic, but I found the guilt tripping to participate annoying. I travel solo because I can make my own friends, and I hadn't realized I was committing to join a "group."

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Staff very attentive. Elevators were terrible. Too few wastebaskets and smoking area are disrespectful to both smokers and nonsmokers alike. Buy some filters and maybe don't pen smokers up like they're in a cancer cage at the zoo.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Great size. Can't really do much on the balcony but I appreciated opening the door at night. Outlets are inconvenient and I ended up needing an extension cord. Staff ignored my reusing of towels and I ended up getting new ones every day whether I put them on the floor or not. No soundproofing at all, so even though room was nice I was very grateful I thought to bring earplugs. On either side of me were screaming, trashy families with children who have discipline problems.

Ship tip

Hold out for deals. Don't travel alone unless you are very patient with people. Bring earplugs. Don't book excursions through ship (way too expensive).

Ports of call

New York, New York

5 out of 5
I live here. Best city on Earth.

Port Canaveral, Florida

4 out of 5
I went kayaking and met manatees. I loved it.

Great Stirrup Cay (Cruise Line Private Island), Bahamas

1 out of 5
I expected we would skip this so was surprised when we landed. Then 2 hours later we were called back. Terrible decision by Captain meant we didn't get into Nassau until hours after we could have.

Nassau, Bahamas

3 out of 5
Beaches are great. Town is not much.

Disembarkation

2 out of 5
Customs was an absolute nightmare. 2 1/2 hours to get out.
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