May 2015 - Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda
The Good: -The ship is new, and the staterooms are well laid out to maximize space efficiently.
-Despite being a big ship, it is easy to get around. The specialty restaurants, casino, bars, and shopping are all in one spot, mid ship on three decks.
-The entertainment is some of the best I have seen on a cruise ship with Second City performing in the comedy lounge, and Rock of Ages in the main theater. They also show 3D movies in the main theater. -The top deck has several water slides and a ropes course, but they won't let you bring a camera on it, because they want to sell you photos. The Bad: -By far the worst service I have ever received on a cruise. Carnival and Celebrity were both far superior. When dining at the main restaurants service is extremely slow, and you actually have to walk out of the restaurant to find a bar if you want anything to drink other than water. We had dirty dishes on our table for 30 minutes. My wife's mean came out 15 minutes before mine did. You can seriously get better service at Denny's. This was not a single night either. It consistently happened at every mean except one. The specialty restaurants are better, but at $40 a person, you get the same quality food and service you get at the complimentary restaurants on other cruise lines. -The "beer and whiskey bar." They advertise 29 bars on the ship, but they all serve exactly the same thing. The marketing made a big deal about Maltings Beer and Whiskey bar, but they didn't really have a selection of beer or whiskey. They had the same six light lagers (Coors, Budweiser, Miller, Heineken, Amstel Light, and Corona) that the other bars on the ship had. You can't call yourself a beer bar when you only have six beers that all taste the same. On the Celebrity Summit they had a beer bar with over 100 varieties of craft beers from all over the world. They also had a total of 4 bourbons, and a handful of scotch, and Jameson, so their whiskey selection wasn't much better. -The staff on the ship are friendly but not professional. It seems like they are there more for their own fun than for the service of the passengers. We tried to get a table at a specialty restaurant, but were turned away because the tables were all filled with crew members that already had tables. -The food was by far the worst I have experienced as well. The cafeteria was OK, and it was easy enough to find something to eat, but the food at the complimentary sit down restaurants was pretty awful. Case in point was a spinach dip we ordered that consisted of a single spinach leaf in a soup of cornstarch. It was inedible. -More of a minor inconvenience, but the casino advertised live poker tournaments, but what they didn't tell you is that the ship keeps 25% of the purse plus the first $2,000 of your winnings, to buy you into another tournament on a different cruise later in the year. That means if there is $3,000 in the tournament, the casino keeps the first $750, then the next $2,000 of your winnings, and leaves you with a lousy $250. -Many of the problems with this ship is that everything seems to be geared to get you to spend more money. For example, no cameras on the ropes course in order to get you to buy their photos. Poor service in the complimentary dining rooms in order to get you to spend more at the specialty restaurants. -One huge plus side to the general lack of service of the crew is that we talked to several people who were able to easily smuggle alcohol onto the ship from port. On other cruises, they watch you like a hawk when you come on board on confiscate alcohol. This is a case where the lack of professionalism can work to your advantage, if you want to sneak your own booze on. Bottom Line: This was a really disappointing experience. The worst part about it was that the Celebrity Summit had nearly the identical itinerary, but since we had already been on that ship we wanted to try something new. That was a huge mistake. I would definitely never sail on the Breakaway again, and most likely avoid Norwegian altogether.