We will be on her and her sisters again. We've got this class of ship figured out and how to enjoy it the most. Reserve what you need to do in advance.
5 out of 5
As I stated in another eview of a recent cruise, NO should be ashamed of itself for allowing an old, decrepit 50's stly terminal building to remain untouched, like it was some kind of shrine to what "was". Its too small by half, gets way too crowded, is attached to parking facilities that are too hard to get to, and dangerous to walk from (across cab, bus and even train tracks). Noisy, inefficient and sorely in need of replacement. So why did I rate it as "excellent". Because after using it mnore times than I care to admit (its an easy days drive from me), we've figured out how to deal with it. First, we expect it. Second, we stay downtown 15 min away, at the HI which has a cruise n park program. So the car is safe, indoors. (and since parking at the terminal is a mere $20 for the privilege, we can subtract that from the cost of the room. The cab ride is flat rated, and there you are. Last, some folks arrive late on purpose, to beat the crowds. WE choose to arrive early, since we need to avail ourselves of an extremely limited availability venue. AND, by observing how folks board, we learned where to sit in the "great hall" to be amongst the first to board. This is the second time in a row I was probably the first person on board, not counting "HAVEN". So for me, once I learned how to take advantage of the general confusion, its an exccellent experience. For 99% of the rest, not so much. Yes, it probably gets easier in the afternoon, but by then IM well ensconced where I need to be.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
On my last review, I stated I didn't like the MDR. I didn't like the idea of some sections of it in the center looking more like an aircraft hangar, complete with an "observation deck" above it. This time, because the BURN THE FLOOR dancers were putting on a show at 6, we ate there. Did I mention the center is a dance floor? No reservations, long line. Amazing, they opened the doors a good 10 minutes early, and the line disappeared., told the door crew I needed a table for two near the dance floor, and if we had been any closer to the show, we would have been in it. Spectacular show! The theater show was pretty darn good, but thus was stunning for a cruise production. Oh yeah, the meal wasn't bad, a bit above average, but that wasn't why we were there. We ate there once. TASTE and SAVOR, the OTHER two twin MDR's, got our trade for breakfast and dinner, way more pleasant. Managed window seats most of the time. Nice. Pretty much standard fare, no complaints. O'SHEEHANS is our "go to" place when we cant decide. Breakfast, Lunch, after midnite chow, the wings are as good as any I've ever had, and it seems like everyone there is in a good mood. I understand it may be changing, just a rumor. Of course..they heard I liked it. MODERNOS is open for a themed buffet lunch on sea days. (Don't tell anyone)...way better than the buffet, and also included. TEPPINYAKI was a hoot..our chef was really Japanese, singing American tunes 1/2 English 1/2 Japanese as he sliced and diced. The steak was better than Cagneys! Well...Cagneys is Cagneys. Every line has a steak house, this is NCLs. pretty much standard Didn't do Le Bistro (french y'know) didn't float my bote atall last time. LaCuccina was a disappointment. They have managed to remove the "old standards" that I think most Americans expect when they eat Italian.Believe it or not, since we saw the cook making fresh pizzas in full view, we decided to go bak, and ordered two somewhat different pies for us (they're only 12 inchers). Yknow the fresh pies you can get at the supermarket were better. Next time (on GETAWAY IN NOV) we'll eyeball the menu, and if it hasn't changed, La Cucchina will be added to the list of non starters. Continental breakfast on the balcony was delivered promptly within 10 min either side of 6:30 every single day. And then the first decision...where to get the real breakfast. You'll notice Im omitting mentioned Jurassic Park (the buffet). We do that on port days when we don't get off. The ship is virtually deserted. Its a different world.
5 out of 5
I don't climb rocks, and I stay fit by doing arm crunches at the bar. There are more bars on this class of ship than any other Ive ever experienced. However, we stayed at one for virtually the entire cruise, tucked away up on deck 17 up a flight of stairs. Two steady bartenders, knew everyone's name in a day. No lines, no kids, limited ($$) access with a special key card. And they were tipped accordingly. We d
5 out of 5
We saw ROCK of AGES for the second time, and sat near the front. Enjoyed it even more. Did CIRQUE in what they call the SPIEGEL TENT. Got seats in a booth for two around the perimeter, perfect view. Dinner was a standard 3 course dinner theatre affair. No choices, they bring it and want to be done by the time the show starts. Excellent production, but the space is limited..it is a ship after all. Best "show" was a 30 minute show in the MDR of the BURN THE FLOOR DANCERS. only did one show, we caught it and had one of the few tables on the edge of the dancefloor. It was absolutely great. And all I can say is it wasn't your grandmothers "ballroom dancing"either. Saw a bunch of comedy shows. The funniest was the comedy juggler...yep...that's what he was...and it may sound cheesy, but the had the entire audience howling.. wife laughing so hard she had tears running...
We don't cruise with kids.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Our steward did everything he was supposed to do, on time. And pleasant too. The assortment of waiters all over the ship did exactly the same thing. What made this trip was the bartenders up in the VIBE...same two, the whole cruise..Just like CHEERS. That's where we spent our time.
3 out of 5
This was our second cruise on BREAKAWAY. I don't like the layout of the casino, and the smoke that drifts all over because of it, even tho there is a so-called no-smoking area. Couldnt use the noodle bar next to the casino, and all it was was like lunch counters. We knew where everything was, and it made things a lot easier. It IS a big ship. Didn't use the pool at all, no need, with VIBE passes. Limited access, adults only, private hot tubs, cabana. They call it the "VIBE EXPERIENCE" on the bill...it certainly is. This is the second time we've done it. I'll pay the $$ every time if I can snag it. You cant reserve it in advance.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Second time on BREAKAWAY, same cabin as the first time. Midships, high up. Bump-out balcony. Got its duplicate on GETAWAY, AND again on more BREAKAWAY sailings. Standard Balcony cabin otherwise.
Do your homeowrk online. Theres so much to do on board that even if you use a TA (we don"t) if enhances the experience if you know whats available.
Emarnked and disembarked here. Old, raggedy, too small. Parking at the pier is inconvenient, and you have to walk thru traffic and across RR tracks to get to the terminal. We stay downtownwith "park n cruise rates" at the HI, and cab over.
Been here before too. Just a great way for NCL to separate you from your money. Read the fine print if you wander off the ship. Its THEIR port, they built almost everything in it, but your key card is next to useless.
Been here too...nothing special. Ive seen jungle. They paid me once upon a time to wander aound in it. Get of the beaten path and it becomes a 3rd world country.
3 out of 5
We "walk off" lined upo around 6ish, started off the ship around 645, thru customs, and cab to ou car by around 730..its a loooong walk off and to Customs in NO. Id rate the ship part excellent..The NO terminal part awful.
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