Will not do this one again.

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 13

Overall rating:

3.4 out of 5
Norwegian Breakaway

7 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip)

Sail date: March 10, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Breakaway

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 14830

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

While I enjoyed myself, I'm not a fan of Norwegian and I won't be doing one with them anytime soon.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
This may have been the most organized portion of the entire cruise second only to disembarking. Just FYI, parking at this location cost $140. Come prepared.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Not impressed at all with the food at the buffet. My favorite thing was their pizza which was thin crust a yummy. The buffet food was bland and not very tasty. The dining room food was much better. The drinks were okay, but I purchased several adult beverages that made me wonder if they had even added alcohol to it.

Savor Restaurant

4 out of 5

Taste and Savor were great dining rooms, but the under staffing problem persisted in there was well. One night it took us 2 hours to complete our meal. We sat at the table with a menu, no water, for 20 minutes and no one even came to introduce themselves as our waiter. This happened more than once. But the food was better than the buffet by a mile.

Taste Restaurant

4 out of 5

Taste and Savor were great dining rooms, but the under staffing problem persisted in there was well. One night it took us 2 hours to complete our meal. We sat at the table with a menu, no water, for 20 minutes and no one even came to introduce themselves as our waiter. This happened more than once. But the food was better than the buffet by a mile.

Skyy Vodka Ice Bar

1 out of 5

Didn't do this b/c there was a $20 charge per person, something Norwegian doesn't tell you while their advertising what a unique experience this is.

Dolce Gelato

2 out of 5

The ice cream in the buffet area was just as good. Don't waste your money.

Bar at the Atrium

2 out of 5

This bar is most likely the most visited bar on the ship. They were way understaffed. I had wait times for a drink if 20 minutes. There were only 2 waiters for this entire area. The drinks were tasty, but I wondered on a few of them if they had put any alcohol in them. Also, Norwegian adds gratuity to each and every drink. Just remember that $12 drink is really $14.

O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar and Grille

3 out of 5

Their nachos and spinach artichoke dip was the best thing. Husband got fish and chips and he was disappointed. I got the banger's and mash which was good, but not fresh, just instant potatoes and gravy.

Garden Café

3 out of 5

The buffet was lackluster. It needed spice and was just overall bland. The pizza is their best item. Thin chewy crust.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
I picked this ship so my kids could all have fun with all the activities such as the ropes course, the rock-climbing wall, the water slides. These are only open when weather permits. For the ropes course, it was never opened when it was windy. A moving ship is always windy, it was never opened while the ship was docked, so the ropes course was never accessible. The rock-climbing wall was open, but there were 3 cables, 1 worker, and hundreds of kids wanting to climb. Some activities cost money. For example, I couldn't wait to go to the Ice Bar which is something special to Norwegian ships. No where did it indicate this would cost $20 per person to enter until you are on the cruise.

Ropes Course

1 out of 5

This stayed closed the entire time we were on the ship. They close for wind. Well, when a ship is moving, it's windy. When the ship is docked and it's not as windy, they are closed b/c the ship is docked. Why put these activities on a ship if they can't be used?

Climbing Wall

2 out of 5

Three cables, 1 worker, 100 kids. You do the math.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
Best part of the entire cruise!! I loved every show we went to. They had a magician who was hilarious and very talented. They had some of the funniest comedians I've seen. BUT, be warned you have to make reservations when you get on deck and you better do it fast b/c they fill up quickly. Some shows didn't even indicate you needed reservations, until we showed up and was told we needed a reservation. They did keep a standby line and we were fortunate to get into every show by being in the standby line, but there is no guarantee. I felt the ship lacked activities during the at sea days until the evening. If you weren't into art, shopping, or the spa demos, you were pretty much relegated to trivia and piano/guitar players. I feel this is an area that needs to be improved upon.

Headliners Comedy Club

5 out of 5

Loved this venue and the acts were amazing. We saw Jay Black and Dean Edward. Very funny comedians and they were clean. I liked that their early show was family friendly, then they did a PG13 and then their late night show was for 18+. The two guest comedians kept it clean in all the shows, only the host got graphic.

Children's Programs

My child did not participate.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Our room steward was great. We never saw him, but he kept our room clean and tidy and he made cute towel animals. Waiters were hit or miss. In the dining room, service was slow. One night it took 2 hours to eat. For the first 20 minutes we sat at the table with not even a glass of water poured. They were very short staffed in several areas. The bars were awful. This ship the "atrium bar". It is in an area where lots of activities were hosted, plus guest services were right there, so lots of traffic and people stopping to get drinks. THREE BARTENDERS!! That was it. It took 20 to 30 minutes to get a drink. Sometimes it took that long to get the bartender's attention. Very frustrating. There were only 2 waiters working the area and one time I actually had to go chase down the waiter after waiting 20 minutes for my drink. Once they have your card, your stuck there. Staffing is very poor on this ship. Also, no one really seemed to know much about what was going on. There was a lot of confusion, for example, my key card and the card on the back of my door had different muster stations. I didn't know which one I should report to. When we first got on the ship, staff had no idea how to direct us to our room, or the correct elevator to take. It was little things like this that made the trip confusing and at times stressful.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship is nice and clean, but too big. I know this is a personal preference, but it is. The layout of the buffet was so confusing, there were people starting on both ends of the line. There was no clear beginning and end. It just seemed chaotic.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
The room is probably the best thing about the entire ship. It was plenty spacious. One of my children stayed in our room while my other 2 stayed in a separate room, but even when all 5 of us was in the room, we were not crammed in. This was my first balcony and I will never go back to not having one. It makes all the difference in the world!! Your own little getaway from the crowds. The bathroom was nice and spacious as well. I like having a door instead of a curtain for the shower. Also, since our balcony was on the top row there was a large overhang so even when the sun was out, our balcony was shaded which was nice. Our bed sucked, the mattress was hard as a rock. We just took a Princess cruise in August and their beds are like sleeping on a cloud. Norwegian needs to look into changing their mattresses. Also, they made the bed with flat sheets, not fitted, which meant the sheets were all pulled out by morning. I don't like this at all.

Ship tip

Get the NCL app for your phone if you go on this ship and have a large group. It will cost you $10 per person to be able to text, but it was a life saver on this ship. Keeping up with my adult children made it nice. We could have our space, but still be in contact.

Ports of call

New Orleans, Louisiana

1 out of 5
I embarked and disembarked and that is it. This city is torn to pieces with construction which makes getting to the dock extremely difficult. We sat in 2 hours of traffic trying to get to the port. I know this isn't Norwegians fault, but I will never go back to N.O. for a cruise again. Total chaos.

Cozumel, Mexico

4 out of 5
Been here several times before. I actually think it gets better each time I go. It was clean (for the most part). No excursion, just walked the streets shopping. We ate at Casablanca and it was delicious!! Edgar was our waiter, Antonio Banderas, as he jokingly called himself. I had a very nice time at this port. Though there are lots of shop keepers trying to get you in their shop, they are easily dissuaded with a no thank you, and just keep walking.

Belize City, Belize

3 out of 5
I've never been to Belize before. We did the city tour, but we did it off the cruise ship. Norwegian was charging $69 per person and it was on one of those "trollies" you see in zoos toting people around. We got off the ship and there are people at the dock that are selling the exact same excursions (pretty sure its the same excursion companies) taking people for much cheaper. We did a city tour in a van for $25 per person. Belize city is a large bustling city, but there are lots of slums and really it is sad to see. After the tour we were going to walk around a bit on our own, but the beggars and vendors are far more aggressive, so we turned right around and went back to the dock. There is shopping and food. Not may favorite port, but absolutely gorgeous landscape.

Harvest Caye, Belize

5 out of 5
My favorite port by far!! This is Norwegians own private island. The down side is that you are trapped to their food and drinks WHICH ARE NOT CHEAP, so come prepared. You can rent "cabanas" which are literally beach tents. We did not do this, but simply got off the ship walked as far down the boardwalk as we could, and found 5 lounges with umbrellas under a palm tree. We stayed in the shade and my kids swam and had a great time. The breeze off the Caribbean sea was cool and refreshing under the hot sun. It was a day of simply relaxing and doing absolutely nothing!! The ship is docked close enough that if you absolutely wanted to, you could go back to the ship to eat and then return to the beach for some more fun. Since it's Norwegian's island, there are no other ships. The island was large enough for 4,000 people to spread out nicely. We weren't on top of each other. It was perfect. We didn't do any excursions, but there were several activities on or near the island to do.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

4 out of 5
This was my second favorite port. While there is next to nothing to do at this port, we were only there until 1, so not a lot of time to kill. We stayed in the area right off the ship where all the shopping and eating was located. There is a aviary there that cost $12 per person and that was so much fun. There was chocolate to try and tequila tasting. We ordered a huge bowl of nachos that were delicious. Another passenger we talked to that same day, said they walked right outside the gate and there were people there ready to take you on any excursion, so they took a snorkeling excursion that they described as amazing. If I ever end up at this port, I will definitely do this. But for my first time, walking around the immediate tourist area was just fine.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Easiest part of the entire trip. Customs was literally looking at my passport. No one asked me if I had anything to declare or checked my bags. I could have brought back anything. :)
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