Loved our first NCL cruise!

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 8

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Norwegian Breakaway

7 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip)

Sail date: March 10, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Breakaway

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 12633

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

This was a GREAT cruise! We loved the bars and entertainment. We chose NCL because we are not "hang out by the pool or on the beach" kind of people. But we love to stay busy with activities and things to do. The Breakaway Daily Activity schedule always had several things we enjoyed doing that were offered free. We loved Shakers Bar and the bar outside of Syd Norman's on the outside of the ship. The free restaurants were fine and we enjoyed the food. The entertainment is extremely professional from the shows to the musicians. This made the cruise for us as that was part of the key components important to us. Great ship, even during a sold our Spring Break ship. Crowds were well-managed and we didn't experience problems from crowds. We did everything we wanted so the ship and staff can handle crowds well.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
The process was very smooth and quick. That said, the area around the port is under major construction so allow plenty of time to get to the port.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
We ate in all 3 of the main dining rooms, the noodle bar, O'Sheehans, and the buffet. We ate breakfast and lunch in Taste and Savor a few times and enjoyed both quite a bit. We loved Manhattan Room for dinner. It is slightly "dressier" in that no shorts are allowed but it was nice and the live music is a wonderful touch. The food was good. Some was great, most was good. The buffet was eaten at for breakfast and dinner but never lunch. It has a very large selection but they struggle to keep the food hot. We had late night snacks several times at O'Sheehans. The service is a bit slow but we enjoyed the pub food.

Maltings on the Waterfront

5 out of 5

This was our favorite bar, especially at night. Courtney and Newman are super good bartenders and the view of the ocean is perfect here.

Mixx Bar

3 out of 5

This bar is located between Taste and Savor. It is just down from the Atrium Bar. Unfortunately, it has pretty limited hours but it would be much better if it would remain open and relieve congestion at the Atrium Bar.

Shanghai's Noodle Bar

4 out of 5

The food was good and the service was great. But it is right next to the smoking casino so that interferes with it. TIP: Eat there on the first day before the casino opens up as the casino is non-smoking until it is open and operating.

Maltings Beer and Whiskey Bar

5 out of 5

Great selection of drinks on their specialty cocktail menu. Newman is a great bartender.

The Manhattan Room Restaurant

5 out of 5

A little dressier than Taste and Savor. Great dinner menu and enjoyable live music.

Taste Restaurant

5 out of 5

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were all very good.

Shaker's Cocktail Bar

5 out of 5

Our favorite indoor bar! We had every cocktail on the menu, ,many more than once! Great bartenders and nightly entertainment.

Savor Restaurant

5 out of 5

Good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar and Grille

4 out of 5

I love the 24 hour option for food and drinks. We enjoyed late night pub food here several times. Service isn't fast, but it isn't bad.

Garden Café

4 out of 5

Large variety of food but they struggle to keep the food hot enough.

Bar at the Atrium

4 out of 5

Drinks are good, bartenders are friendly. But this is likely the busiest bar on the ship.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The water slides were fun as was the mini golf course. We loved the Glow Party and enjoyed the martini tasting seminar, the Thriller Dance Class, and several of the game shows.

Free Fall

5 out of 5

Really fun water slide!

The Whip

4 out of 5

Fun water slide!

Mini Golf

4 out of 5

Fun animated decor on the holes.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
We booked with Norwegian because of the reputation of the entertainment. It did NOT disappoint! Burn the Floor was very professional and fun to watch; Rock of Ages was a full-fledged Broadway production and it was done very well (much of it was not our taste, but that doesn't impact the quality of the performance which was excellent). We loved loved loved loved Rock the Pour House and the rock band that plays there. We went several nights. Get there early if you want a seat. Wine Lovers the Musical was worth every penny. Such a fun show! We even had a couple at our table who don't like wine but went just for the show and they loved it. The Cirque show was amazing but I believe is ending its run soon. We also loved the musicians such as Randon, one of the Duos, and the piano player. Howl at the Moon is just as fun on sea as it is on land! Really fun sing-a-long group!

Video Zone

4 out of 5

Our teens enjoyed both arcades -- the main arcade and the one to the side of Osheehans.

Headliners Comedy Club

5 out of 5

We did not see any of the comedians but LOVED Howl at the Moon that was available most nights. Fun sing-along dualing piano bar that you really should take time to enjoy.

The Atrium

4 out of 5

Just needs to be larger to accommodate the quantity of activities hosted here.

Spiegel Tent

5 out of 5

We enjoyed the Cirque Show, Escape the Big Top, and Wine Lover's The Musical in this venue. Loved all three experiences.

Breakaway Theater

5 out of 5

The shows in here are all excellent! The seats are comfortable, the stage is large. There are cocktail servers but they are busy. You might just bring your own beverage with you.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
Our teen (age 13) and her friend (age 13) both loved Entourage. We hardly ever saw them as they were enjoying the schedule and activities there so much.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Everyone was very friendly. Even though the ship was sold our for Spring Break, the wait at a bar or restaurant was never unreasonable. It was shorter than waiting for a table at a restaurant normally and the bar wait was just like it would be at a bar on land.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
VERY clean everywhere in public areas. No complaints. Design is bad in that smoking casino is right in the middle of the ship and permeates beyond the casino. It really impacts the noodle bar as it is right next to it with no wall to seal it off.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
It is small, but it works if you don't plan to spend much time in it. We had 2 adults and 2 teen girls. There were 2 twin beds for the adults and 2 drop down twin beds for the girls. The suitcases do indeed fit under the beds so that is good. Lots of hangers in the closet. Lots of little storage places so look everywhere (including in the ottoman) for those hidden compartments. Bathroom was plenty large and the shower was much larger than our Carnival cruise balcony room shower.

Ship tip

If you want to eat in the noodle bar, do it early on the first day. The casino is non-smoking until the casino opens. So eat at the noodle bar before the casino opens up for the cruise.

Ports of call

New Orleans, Louisiana

4 out of 5
We have been to New Orleans many times. We just grabbed some cajun food, Cafe du Monde, and did a ghost tour (not for the ghosts but because it is a great way to learn some history of the French Quarter and get a tour of it).

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
We went to Discover Mexico (booked on our own, not through the ship). LOVED it! Adults did a tour of the art museum, replicas, flyers, chocolate making, and tequila tasting. Kids did same tour but did an art class instead of the tequila tasting. GREAT place and a good balance of education and entertainment.

Belize City, Belize

4 out of 5
The port is just ok. But we went on a cave tubing experience (booked independently) that was a GREAT experience.

Harvest Caye, Belize

3 out of 5
We aren't big beach people. We spent an hour or so on the island just to look around and the girls spent a little time swimming in the ocean. But we spent most of our time just staying on the ship. It is very expensive to go on the island for shopping, dining, drinks.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

5 out of 5
GREAT port as far as shops, swimming, music, etc. We did a tour of the Mayan ruins (booked on our own, not through the ship) and we enjoyed that.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
We enjoyed a late breakfast and a late disembarkation. Went smoothly and all of our luggage was ready and even stacked together when we arrived at the luggage pick-up area.
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