November 2014 - Norwegian Breakaway to Caribbean - Bahamas
We arrived at the NY terminal by bus. It must have taken at least 1.5 hours to check in. No place to sit and everyone was pushy shoved just to get on board.Getting to our cabin was very easy. We met our steward almost immediately. He seemed pleasant. We decided to head to the buffet to get lunch. Got there and they were shutting everything down already for the drill. So we waited until after the drill to get a snack. Place was crowded but the buffet usually is on the departing of the ship. We went back to our cabin and our luggage was there so we unpacked. There is a lot of storage in the room. More than we have ever had on any ship. I had gone online prior to sailing and booked our dinner in the various "Free" restaurants so at 5:30 we headed to the Manhattan restaurant. Long line but we got right in. They looked at us like we were crazy when we asked for a large table so we could meet others. We ended up with a table for 4 and they Never added any other guests to our table. Food was Ho-hum but I figured it's the first night. We realized by the end of the week the only way you are going to get decent service or food is to pay their high fees to go to the specialty restaurants which refuse to do. Other cruise lines might have one extra place to eat but all of the good food was in these extra cost places. The other restaurants and buffet served mediocre food with not much of a change in selection. There was never shrimp cocktail on the menu. Their escargot was something dark ground up and spread on something hard, not the little snails in a dish of butter. The pies were worse than you could buy in any cheap market. Crusts were hard and filling pasty. I truly believe that a lot of the food is not prepared on the ship it is stuff they buy frozen and cook. The restaurants and buffet had a lot of staff. I think they were all trained to do only 1 thing. If you asked the server that was pouring water you wanted more bread he just looked at you like WHAT??. The overall service in the restaurant was very slow. Some nights they forgot to bring our salads and desserts, even getting coffee, if you don't order it with your meal you will never get it. It was a couple of days before we found out that the kiosk's to book anything are large poster like screens all around the ship. The theater is small if you want to see a show you have to book it at one of the kiosks when you get on. We managed to book the comedy show. We went to the 9:00 one and it was great. Rated PG-13. Thought we might like the 11:00 one for adults and managed to get the last two seats and the show was boring. We went to one show one night and it was so loud I had to leave. The whole ship is very noisy. You can't get away from the crowds and noise unless you go to your cabin. They have, I guess you would call it an open concept. That is fine at home but when you have an atrium that is 3 stories high and in that same area you have many bars, game room arcade, service desk, 2 restaurants, to name a few all open into each other with lots of people the noise is almost unbearable. We went to the service desk to ask a question and could barely hear the representative. We spent a lot of time in our cabin just to get away from the noise. Bring your own Kleenex. What they have is something I've never seen, 1 ply it is like blowing your nose on a piece of 1 ply toilet paper. The bed was very comfortable and we had no problem sleeping. Our cabin steward was efficient but except for asking if we were having a good time I wonder how much English he actually knew. We found out on the way home on the bus that they had a chocolate buffet and other things that we never heard about. They do not really give you good directions of what is available on the ship. Very poor communication. I doubt if we will ever try this again. The only good part is it is a ship that sails out of NY all year around. Believe the reviews you read. The ones that are excellent are most likely from people who have never sailed on a different cruise line.