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New Cruise Review: Norwegian Breakaway Spring Break

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Great review, Jan - thank you!  We debate and debate about trying NCL....I think what would entice us would be a unique itinerary at a great price.......maybe I will start paying a little more attention to what they offer.  And when I do I will check with you on the better ships since you have experienced quite a few of them.  Glad that you had a nice cruise with your niece - always good to get away!

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Thank you for the review. We were on her sister ship the Getaway and I too was dismayed by how they allocated pool space.  I don't think they have enough for adults.

As for the chair hogs the fault lies with the crew for being lax in enforcing the rules. On the Getaway one day a guy by the pool was toasted and shouting out including some f bombs. I mentioned this to one of the crew who told me it would be better if I called security!!  Really. I did but left before they arrived so I don't know what happened. I do know hen I saw him afterwards he was cool. 

Its a shame how rowdy, unruly passengers can disrupt things especially when their behavior is tolerated. Something happened several years ago with a family or really a tribe of people ran amok for a few days before finally getting tossed. I saw videos of their actions and they were nearly assaulting the crew too. Should not have gone on that long. At the first sign hammer down. 

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We have been on 6 NCL cruises. This was the 1st on the Getaway. 1st in the Haven. Last on the Getaway. Last in the Haven. (4/13-20/19)

The good: Mandara Spa, limited number of paid passes for non-Haven guests but worth it, empty at lunchtime and on port days. Margaritaville - free on embarkation day, tasty hamburgers, try Havanas and Bananas, poorly located at far end of ship. The Haven restaurant - never crowded, friendly servers, the menu is the same every day but you may get variations if you ask. Cirque Dreams and Steam/Illusionarium - an impressive show, not so much the food. Search for the cruises (we use https://www.costcotravel.com, which offers a significant $ cash card to be used in their warehouses) where you get free wi-fi (didn't even use the whole 350 minutes available to us), free unlimited phone calls (otherwise $4.99/minute), and a free 10 picture package (otherwise $149.00). Buy the UBS flash drive for $20.00 and send the pics to your friends and relatives. 

The bad: The Haven special priority luggage tags should get your luggage to you first. It didn't arrive until over 4 hours after the ship sailed. Butler? Not really . We saw him twice. He usually left a plate of cut up vegetables in the room, once some oatmeal cookies, once 4 chocolate covered strawberries, more often nothing. Another Haven cruiser said he had no butler, had never seen him. The concierge?  She was nice enough but useless or extremely inexperienced in the job. 

I’m not even going to discuss the box of pre-soiled tissues.

Disembarkation was the worst we have ever experienced on NCL ships!!! (My cousins sailed in the Haven on the Escape. At disembarkation, a Haven rep escorted them on a private elevator to the baggage area, helped them retrieve their luggage, whisked them through customs and to a waiting cab. NO LINES for them! Also, their butler left them so much food that they were discarding it and had to ask him to stop.) We were escorted on a Haven elevator to a line of hundreds of people waiting to get into the terminal. I asked a cruise rep if Haven cruisers had to wait on that line and she said YES. There was no one to escort Haven passengers directly into or out of the building.  I use a cane. I cut the line of hundreds of people (sorry, I have a mobility issue and can’t stand on lines or walk well) and got myself into the building. Tell me again what I paid the extra Haven price for? On previous non-Haven/NCL cruises, I got myself off the ship, through customs, and into a cab in record time. Employees then who saw me with a cane were super helpful!  Hint: when you pick up your luggage, enlist a porter to take you right through customs and straight to a cab. It’s totally worth the tip that you give him/her.

The Haven offers superficiality but no substance. Not worth the high price, at least not on the Getaway.

By the way, don’t expect those cute towel animals on NCL ships. They’re now made only by request. And if you’re looking for gifts for the grandkids, forget it. 

We’re looking forward to our next cruise but will be exploring other cruise lines.

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Thanks for posting your review of the Getaway, Eue. I agree, Margaritaville was never crowded and we found it to be a great experience for breakfast. I think because of its remote location, many people didn’t think about going there, which was fine by me! ? I was surprised to hear about the bad service in the Haven. I’ve never booked a Haven Suite before, but have heard that the Haven suites on the Epic are the best in the fleet. 

i, too, heard that NCL was eliminating towel animals, but one appeared in our cabin every night without asking. Maybe it depends on the ship.

I hope you brought up your Haven issues with your travel agent, who will know the right people to contact to voice your concerns.?

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