I personally would not recommend Norwegian to anyone. I know that sounds a bit harsh, however, I have sailed with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Carnival and have taken 14 cruises since 2011. I'm in my mid-30s so that should help to understand my perspective. I much prefer the structured days of the other lines to the very loose approach NCL uses. There are nights when most things you'd want to do or see are all crammed in at the same time and other nights when nothing is going on. I find that annoying. I prefer the option of an early show and late show so I can choose when I want to have dinner and not miss any of the entertainment. I also do not like needing reservations to see shows, comedy, etc. The nickle and diming is excessive on NCL ans there is really no excuse for the bad food. I suggest you only consider Norwegian if you don't want to see any shows, don't care about food, and only want to lay out and have a difficult time getting drinks from the bar.
3 out of 5
Was surprised to see that suite guests were herded into same lines as everyone else. I've never seen that at any other embarkation port.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
The absolute worst thing about NCL is the food. I have 14 cruises under my belt with many different cruise lines and food is where Norwegian falls drastically short. The main dining rooms had very limited options and of the 7 lunches and dinners served, only 2 meals were actually good. The others were boring or poorly seasoned. Nothing like the elevated or fine dining I've come to expect from other cruise lines. The buffet was mediocre and I avoided it for the most part. The specialty restaurants were not worth the extra money either. I say this because the food was sub par and honestly, they serve the basic things you should be getting in the main dining rooms. When someone spends a few thousand dollars fare, you should be getting exception food included, not extra. If you want decent food, be prepared to pay, and pay, and pay. The standout was Wasabi sushi. It was the only thing on board worth paying extra for.
2 out of 5
Most activities offered were up sells like jewelry reveal events, for fee tastings, and art auctions. Not much fun to be had. Bingo is bad on NCL and so is Deal or No Deal. Don't even waste your money because the only "winner" of Deal or No Deal is the contestant they bring on stage.
2 out of 5
Comedy, Rock of Ages, and Cirque Dreams were excellent. Cruise Director (JC Sanchez) was not great. He had a boring personality and during games shows (newlywed, not so newlywed) he couldn't remember contestants answers or names. Was pretty disappointing.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Ryan, our cabin steward was wonderful. All of the servers, bartenders, etc. were very attentive and pleasant.
3 out of 5
The only knock on design would be the lack of forward elevators. They only have aft and mid-ship which is lacking considering Breakaway's large size.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Very nice cabin. I took off a star because this is a spa balcony and the shower didn't have the jets that I've come to expect with other cruise lines in this category.
It is very casual so don't need to pack nice clothing. Make comedy and other entertainment reservations on day 1 of your cruise because they fill up quickly.
The port is wonderful. The tendering process sucks because they have to anchor outside the reef. Tender ride is 25-30 minutes each way and was comfortable but the wait to get on one was long. I highly recommend you follow the instructions to make a tender reservation to tender in the first 2 hours. Otherwise the line is very long.
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