Smokers Paradise

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 6
Helpful Votes: 67

Overall rating:

4.2 out of 5
Norwegian Breakaway

7 Night Western Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 04, 2020

Ship: Norwegian Breakaway

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 14806

Traveled as: Family (young children)

Reviewed: 6 months ago

Review summary

I did have a lot of fun. Great ship for a larger group because there is something for everyone. Although, I like relaxing on a deck with a grill close by and that's not Breakaway. People we getting up at 6:30 am to get a chair because the number of chairs on any deck were limited. If you can put up with cigarette smoke in public areas, enjoy game shows, and like to plan then this ship will be a blast. I had a lot of fun but unless it was a big sale, I would pick a smaller, old school style ship next time.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
Luckily I live within driving distance of three ports. Had to fly this time though. Stayed at a Disney resort. Took their free Magical Express bus to airport (make bus reservations when you check in to resort) then took GoPort Canaveral $15 to ship.... Embarkation was super fast. Got to pier 10:45 on ship at 11:00.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Overall good food. MDR taste and presentation were good but food ingredients were lackluster. A lot of chicken and pork dishes. However, since they give free specialty restaurant upgrades that makes food guality overall really good.... Buffet food was decent. It may look the same every day but if you actually read the dish labels you will see there is a lot of variety. You would never need to repeat a dish unless you wanted to. Pizza not very good but hamburger and fries were fabulous. Margaritaville breakfast buffet was not crowded. Dessert crepe bar at night.

Teppanyaki

5 out of 5

Super fun. Fillet was the best on ship.

Moderno Churrascaria

4 out of 5

It was pretty good meats but on a cruise ship you are never hungry so not as fun as going on land. I would pick a different specialty if I could choose over again.

O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar and Grille

5 out of 5

Great decor and vibe. Good pretty good. Nice change.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
There was definitely something going on somewhere at just about any given time. A decent variety but heavy on the game show type activities. Atrium was not a good venue though. Only held a fraction of the guests that wanted to attend. I didn't care for the Cruise Director much. He was more of a nightclub DJ personality. "Let's make some noise!" was his go-to line. I couldn't understand a lot of what he was saying and he didn't really add to the experience for me.

Public Sundeck

1 out of 5

NCL put a large smoking area in between the pool and the kiddy pool. The smoking area has a glass strip around it but it is open below knees and above your head and totally open in front. Obviously the smoke is not at all contained by the glass strip. This makes the whole area a smoking area. Great for smokers because they don't have to leave the public area to smoke. Bad for everyone else. Obviously NCL caters to smokers and doesn't car about everyone else.... Deck is small for the number of passengers. Upper decks are closed when windy. On a normal ship you can always find a deck chair in prime time somewhere but not on the Breakaway class. No poolside grill but the buffet is not too far. A curse on chair hogs! Get there early or late for hot tub.

Breakaway Casino

1 out of 5

I don't gamble much and it appears neither do a lot of people. Casino was giant and almost empty except for smokers who seemed to just want to take advantage of smoking indoors. Casino took up a lot of space mid ship and the smoke blew into the nearby venues. NCL will pay half a billion for a ship but can't spring a few more thousand for a vent system so their non smoking guests can enjoy the ship too.

Free Fall

5 out of 5

Big thrill for a cruise ship. Drop down then slide uphill. No line for this one. Be sure to remove all rings, watches, etc. Before you climb the stairs. They won't let you put anything in your pocket either.

Guest Services

5 out of 5

Very nice and helpful. Long line but it went quickly.

Ropes Course

5 out of 5

Pretty good for a ship. Will shutdown if windy or rain. If you want to do it and it's open then do it. Don't wait or it may not open later.

Aqua Park

5 out of 5

Best slides on a ship I have seen. No lines.

Pool

1 out of 5

As everyone says it is small for this many guests. The pool chairs near it are few and taken up by chair hogs. Don't sail on this ship if laying by the pool is important to you.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Good quality acts. Dancers and singers were top notch. The magician/comedian (Jean Pierre Parent) was amazing. Most dual acts are just OK but he was fantastic in both magic and comedy... Saw a Queen tribute band that was amazing. Can not get reservations for their show so you must get their super early at least thirty minutes before.

Spice H2O

3 out of 5

Great concept but starboard side is smoking so depending on wind direction, the whole deck is smoke filled. Can sometimes find a hot tub spot here when pool area hot tubs are full.

Breakaway Theater

4 out of 5

All good seats. Small for the number of passengers. Must reserve and get there early.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
Grandkids only went a couple days but enjoyed it. The kids put on a circus style performance. It was really fun.

Kids' Aqua Park

1 out of 5

Park was fine but was located next to smokers area so kids and their parents had to breath cigarette smoke the whole time. I don't blame the smokers, it is NCL's stupidity that designed that.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Every crew member I met was nice and pleasant. Seemed to laugh and joke around with each other which is a sign of a happy crew. I was especially impressed they were so happy after being away from home over the holidays. Steward did not talk, I don't think he could speak English much yet. OK with me. He did a good job cleaning.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Cleanliness was great. Giant casino took up too much space. Not enough places to just sit and hang out. I already harped on the over abundance of smoking areas.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Room 14806 a mini-suite mid ship. Don't expect a mini-suite. This is only a balcony sized room with a nicer bathroom. The cost is only slightly higher than a balcony so I can't complain. Bathroom was amazing for a ship. Balcony was too small to hang out on which meant everyone had to go to the deck to layout making the deck extra crowded. NCL did not think that through. I wouldn't pay much extra for a balcony on this ship.

Ship tip

There are lots of fun things to do on this ship but with so many people you have to be really organized. Plan well ahead, make reservations for everything you can and get there early. If you just try to "freestyle" it you may end up frustrated because what you want to do is full or you have to wait too long.

Ports of call

Cozumel, Mexico

4 out of 5
Went to Chankanaab. Purchased online for cheap then took a taxi for $15. Got there way ahead of the cruise excursion people and got good spot. Snorkeling was not great but OK. Maya recreation was neat. Wear bug spray in the jungle. Souvenirs at port mall were cheaper than straw market.

Falmouth, Jamaica

4 out of 5
Port was the best shopping I have ever been to. Venders were very pleasant, only tried to sell you if you asked about something. Prices were OK. They would only haggle a little. My son went beyond the wall and said it was a different world out there. I stayed on the ship till noon when everyone was coming back then went out. Excursions were far and pricey.

Great Stirrup Cay (Cruise Line Private Island), Bahamas

4 out of 5
Missed because of weather which seems to happen more often than not in the winter. Oh well, I'll have to try again.

George Town, Grand Cayman

4 out of 5
Amazing. Get tender tickets early by using a touch tv. We took the city bus (van) for $2.50 per person per trip. Depot is a block away. First went to Cemetery Beach. We were the only ones at first. White sand, blue water, no waves. OK snorkeling near beach, really good snorkeling about 80 yards out.... Next caught bus (just waive them down on the road) to Turtle Farm. It was fun. Kids loved it. If you've never snorkeled with turtles, here is your chance. If you have then it's a let down.

Port Canaveral, Florida

4 out of 5
Only went from bus to ship.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
You have to get your own debarkation tags from the customer service desk on the last two days. Cruise director called the last four debarkation times all at once so it made the line super long. The facial recognition by Customs made it go quick though. We had 9:15 departure and made the last GoPort Canaveral bus.

Traveler Photos

Great shopping area Super nice venders Cagney's. Here's the beef Wild Ride!
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