Enjoyable cruise but NORO got us all in the end.

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 5
Helpful Votes: 73

Overall rating:

3.4 out of 5
Norwegian Breakaway

10 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 06, 2018

Ship: Norwegian Breakaway

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

We generally like cruising with NCL. This one may have been the one fluke not so great experience. NCL: please drop the tender ports.


1 out of 5
Disorganized. Despite staggered arrival, it was a 3-hour wait to get on board. Not enough NCl personnel.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Buffet was okay. La Cucina was horrible. Other (paid) restaurants were great. Ocean Blue specialty dining restaurant was awesome. Best cruise ship food ever.

Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian

5 out of 5

Awesome food. Easily the star of all dining options.

Bar at the Atrium

5 out of 5

Lightening fast service and friendly bar keepers.

Ocean Blue on the Waterfront

5 out of 5

Same as inside. Excellent food. You will love the breeze.

Café at the Atrium

4 out of 5

Nice place to hang out. You will get to know people.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
The usual games shows. Great for newbies but still enjoyable.


5 out of 5
Loved the shows. Cirque Dreams was nice. Burn the floor was entertaining, even the second time around.

Breakaway Theater

3 out of 5

Smaller than on other ships. Get there early. Nice view no matter the seat.

Children's Programs

No kids.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Cabin steward was very friendly. We could see she was tired from prior cruises and needed a break. The bar personnel was very attentive. Strangely, we had to listen to "it's my birthday so I should not have to work" several times from younger cruise personnel.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Loved the boardwalk and the restaurants with outdoor dining space. Large ship so personnel had a tough time cleaning up after the litterbugs. Bad sewer smell in the back of the ship. Also, smoke permeated throughout all decks above 7 aft. The ventilation system needs work. Fire hazard: some genius in a balcony cabin below us deemed it an excellent idea to smoke despite non-smoking signs being posted all over the ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Nice standard balcony cabin. No complaints about the size; we chose it so we knew what to expect. Would have liked the balcony to be a bit larger. Again, we chose the cabin so no complaints.

Ship tip

Plan your meals at Ocean Blue early. It sold out every day for every time slot.

Ports of call

New Orleans, Louisiana

1 out of 5
Embarkation nightmare. Long lines despite staggered arrival. Not enough NCL personnel available. Personnel available was stressed beyond reason. Not enough signs to point to check-in. Absolute chaos.

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
Went to Tulum. Great excursion. Plenty of options for the port shoppers. Had to find our tour guide to get tickets to the ferry from Playa del Carmen back to Cozumel.

Coxen Hole, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

5 out of 5
Did Boss underwater adventure excursion. Loved it!

Harvest Caye, Belize

2 out of 5
Not really a "port" per se as island belongs to NCL (or is rented by NCL). Although it is very private (only cruise passengers have access) it was no more than day at the beach after we were done with our mangrove tour and manatee-watching. Got some great pictures of Pelicans diving for fish though.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

5 out of 5
Excursion to Chacchoben ruins was well worth the expense. Would do it again.

George Town, Grand Cayman

1 out of 5
Tender port. Please, please, please NCL, get rid of those tender port stops. Captain decided the sea was to rough that day to allow disembarkation. Although it was the correct call, it was hard to swallow that another cruise line was using their tender boats to get their cruise passengers off their ship the 4 hours we were there waiting for departure. Unfortunately, there was a medical emergency that required a passenger to be transported to a local hospital. Hence the long wait to push off.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

1 out of 5
Worst cruise port ever encountered. Bad infrastructure did not allow for reasonable disembarkation. Tough to get back to the ship on time after excursion. Did not appreciate the greed Jamaican vendors displayed. Dissatisfied with the amount of my tip, one guy actually told me "to bring more money next time." Someone brought Norovirus onboard. Coming back to the ship, we literally went through a gauntlet of NCL personnel engaging us in a "washy-washy" exercise. That night, all salt and pepper shakers, ketchup and mustard bottles, as well as all restaurant menus disappeared and were replaced with respective paper items as much as that was possible. Things happen when you walk in a crowded place. However, NCL could have given us a heads up but did not. My wife got really sick the next night. It took 3 more days before I got it.


2 out of 5
Only two security officers checking passengers out made for a long wait.
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