Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Giantfan13

Just off the Breakaway

Recommended Posts

We just got home after our 2 week sail on the Breakaway. I really don't know how much was written about this sail, but I just wanted to add a few things and try and answer any questions we can.

First thing, we are two seniors and I walk with a cane. We have sailed NCL about 5 times before, but not in the last 6-7 years and never on a ship this size. We arrived at the terminal about 4PM on the original embarkation day and boarded about 8ish. We were able to board a bit early. due to my handicap. Just my take, but the terminal was a real mess.

No need to go into day to day details, but just a few observances.

Service in dining rooms was basically bad. On our second night on board, it took 3 hours for us to eat dinner. My DW ordered ice cream for desert and it was completely melted when she got it. We complained all the way to the head person in charge. She was very receptive and we did notice a change for dinner. We basically dined in the Taste MDR. We tried the Manhattan room once, have a 45 minute wait for a table, very loud inside and we never went back. At Taste, we found a great waiter, Medino, and he was super and we never had another problem. But breakfast was a completely different story. They really seem to run around like chickens without their heads. We asked for a Danish basket and it comes while we are already eating, ordered eggs benedict and it was almost a hard boiled egg, yesterday my DW ordered team and they brought her a tea pot with a small plate as a cover, I kid you not..Overall just bad.

Overall food quality was good though.

Shows were OK. We did not like Rock of Ages at all (maybe because it just wasn't our taste in music). Hypnotist was good, singers OK, Burn the Floor was very good, magician was good. We did go to the Circus dinner show and thought it pretty good. A few of the singers who sing around the ship were excellent. Melvin Howard was great and his Beatle tribute show is not to be missed. I don't remember the names of the husband and wife duo who seem to be all over the ship, but they are also excellent and their show of Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand was great.

What we did find troublesome was that there is simply no where to sit to enjoy many of these floor entertainers. The lounges and Atrium, where they perform, are always filled (very limited seating anyway) and then, if you want to listen you have to stand. Myself, it is hard for me to stand for long periods, but you simply have no choice. Our thoughts were it was very poorly designed for a ship this size.

Sea days. We had a bundle, with an extra one missing Aruba. We are NOT pool people so anyone having question about that, I refer to anyone who spent time there. WE like to find a quiet, shady spot to sit, which is another problem on the Breakaway. On the upper decks there is none of this. So we settled for the Waterfront part of the ship. Because of the damage from the previous cruise, you were not permitted to walk around the stern of the ship as ceiling tiles were missing or falling down, so it was roped off. We found this convenient as we pulled out some chairs and settle into the space along the rail as no one could get by because it was roped off. It suited our needs very well.

I'm sure there is more stuff, so if I remember, I'll post it. Overall it was a good cruise and great to be in warmer climates. Getting on and off the ship in ports wasn't a major issue and we had great weather. We booked this cruise last minute and the price was great, so can't complain too much. We had an inside cabin, small for a 14 day cruise as there isn't much room to store anything, but we managed. We never did room service. I did call for a bagel and lox and was told they don't do lox which I didn't understand as it is available in the dining room, but no big deal. We don't do casino's, so no comment there except it really smells of smoke.

Still a lot of damage from the previous cruise and the Captain was great in updating us all the time about ports and weather.

Cheers

Len

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update. I am sure repairs will be going on each day. Glad you hooked up with a good waiter. :)

 

bosco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What we did find troublesome was that there is simply no where to sit to enjoy many of these floor entertainers. The lounges and Atrium, where they perform, are always filled (very limited seating anyway) and then, if you want to listen you have to stand. Myself, it is hard for me to stand for long periods, but you simply have no choice. Our thoughts were it was very poorly designed for a ship this size.

i have the same problem too when i sailed on the breakaway. It seems to be trend to these days too, not enough lounges to have shows/events and everything is in the atrium

 

when i was on the breakaway in November, the noises by o'sheehan's was loud it was hard to listen to the music and the other things they had like the staff QA talks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. We'll be on this ship the first week of March, hope things are back to normal by then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing your review with us. We have been wondering how the Breakaway was doing after that last trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To the OP

I see that you are from LI and ,as you noted,are senior cruisers as so are my DH and I.

We sailed on the Breakaway twice to Bermuda , once in July 2015 and once in late September 2016 in mini suites.

We had much the same experiences as you and your DW.

The terminal and boarding experiences were not pleasant. Disembarkation was not easy either.

The ship felt crowded both in the atrium and on the open decks.

We also share the same thoughts about the entertainment choices.

That being said, I wonder if you have considered Celebrity cruising out of Cape Liberty,NJ or Princess out of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

We have found both of those cruise lines to be more to our liking.

While NCL is convenient for passengers from LI, our experiences with the cruise line and the terminal have caused us not to consider future cruises with them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We just got home after our 2 week sail on the Breakaway. I really don't know how much was written about this sail, but I just wanted to add a few things and try and answer any questions we can.

First thing, we are two seniors and I walk with a cane. We have sailed NCL about 5 times before, but not in the last 6-7 years and never on a ship this size. We arrived at the terminal about 4PM on the original embarkation day and boarded about 8ish. We were able to board a bit early. due to my handicap. Just my take, but the terminal was a real mess.

No need to go into day to day details, but just a few observances.

Service in dining rooms was basically bad. On our second night on board, it took 3 hours for us to eat dinner. My DW ordered ice cream for desert and it was completely melted when she got it. We complained all the way to the head person in charge. She was very receptive and we did notice a change for dinner. We basically dined in the Taste MDR. We tried the Manhattan room once, have a 45 minute wait for a table, very loud inside and we never went back. At Taste, we found a great waiter, Medino, and he was super and we never had another problem. But breakfast was a completely different story. They really seem to run around like chickens without their heads. We asked for a Danish basket and it comes while we are already eating, ordered eggs benedict and it was almost a hard boiled egg, yesterday my DW ordered team and they brought her a tea pot with a small plate as a cover, I kid you not..Overall just bad.

Overall food quality was good though.

Shows were OK. We did not like Rock of Ages at all (maybe because it just wasn't our taste in music). Hypnotist was good, singers OK, Burn the Floor was very good, magician was good. We did go to the Circus dinner show and thought it pretty good. A few of the singers who sing around the ship were excellent. Melvin Howard was great and his Beatle tribute show is not to be missed. I don't remember the names of the husband and wife duo who seem to be all over the ship, but they are also excellent and their show of Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand was great.

What we did find troublesome was that there is simply no where to sit to enjoy many of these floor entertainers. The lounges and Atrium, where they perform, are always filled (very limited seating anyway) and then, if you want to listen you have to stand. Myself, it is hard for me to stand for long periods, but you simply have no choice. Our thoughts were it was very poorly designed for a ship this size.

Sea days. We had a bundle, with an extra one missing Aruba. We are NOT pool people so anyone having question about that, I refer to anyone who spent time there. WE like to find a quiet, shady spot to sit, which is another problem on the Breakaway. On the upper decks there is none of this. So we settled for the Waterfront part of the ship. Because of the damage from the previous cruise, you were not permitted to walk around the stern of the ship as ceiling tiles were missing or falling down, so it was roped off. We found this convenient as we pulled out some chairs and settle into the space along the rail as no one could get by because it was roped off. It suited our needs very well.

I'm sure there is more stuff, so if I remember, I'll post it. Overall it was a good cruise and great to be in warmer climates. Getting on and off the ship in ports wasn't a major issue and we had great weather. We booked this cruise last minute and the price was great, so can't complain too much. We had an inside cabin, small for a 14 day cruise as there isn't much room to store anything, but we managed. We never did room service. I did call for a bagel and lox and was told they don't do lox which I didn't understand as it is available in the dining room, but no big deal. We don't do casino's, so no comment there except it really smells of smoke.

Still a lot of damage from the previous cruise and the Captain was great in updating us all the time about ports and weather.

Cheers

Len

Happy your overall cruise was good and you found a waiter who took good care of you. We also found the inside of the ship very crowded, sometimes we went to our cabin because there was no place to sit in the common areas of the ship. I was wondering what was the extent of damage on the ship?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

;pGlad the Captain kept you well informed and everyone got back safely. Since there were letters or announcements, would you share who the current Captain is? We sail on the next cruise.

 

The crowded atrium because of good entertainment and many game shows and events has been an issue since Epic. Show up early for popular ones particularly. Without the "Spinnaker Lounge" type feature, the atrium has become a major entertainment issue. And then there are the people reading or napping.

 

Who was the CD? He/she can add a lot to the enjoyment.

 

In our experience the hypnotists like Brenda Kaye or Nadeen (last year's 14 night BA) tend to stay on awhile. Do you happen to have the name?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Len,

 

I'm glad that you were able to find a waiter who gave you better service, and I thank you for your review.

 

Have you ever tried the mid-sized Jewel Class ship out of N.Y, DH and I enjoyed our cruise on the Gem in 2016, and she will be trading home ports with the Dawn in 2019. Gem will operate out of Boston, and Dawn will come to New York.

 

These ships are a bit smaller than the Breakaway, but feel less crowded. The service and entertainment is very good. You don't need to make reservations for the MDR or theater, like they recommend for the megas.

 

DH and I have never tried a megaship yet,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Len,

 

I'm glad that you were able to find a waiter who gave you better service, and I thank you for your review.

 

Have you ever tried the mid-sized Jewel Class ship out of N.Y, DH and I enjoyed our cruise on the Gem in 2016, and she will be trading home ports with the Dawn in 2019. Gem will operate out of Boston, and Dawn will come to New York.

 

These ships are a bit smaller than the Breakaway, but feel less crowded. The service and entertainment is very good. You don't need to make reservations for the MDR or theater, like they recommend for the megas.

 

DH and I have never tried a megaship yet,

 

Hi Barb. We love the Gem and the Dawn too! I think a much better option than the BA especially in the winter. I agree with the OP that there is just no place inside to sit on the BA in bad weather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting your review. What time did they let you stay in your cabin since you were late to arrive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few answers to the questions

We were allowed to stay in our cabin till noon, although, I would say, most did not. We docked about 11:30 but it took about an hour to clear customs and people were allowed to disembark. We were waiting inside and many, many, many people were carrying their own luggage off and were all over the ship.

As I said originally, we haven't cruised NCL in quite a while, but when we did, we sailed the other 3 Jewel class ships, the Pearl to Alaska, the Jewel in the Baltics and we sailed the Jade when she was the Pride of Hawaii. We are thinking of using our 25% off money on the Gem.

As far as the Captains name, I have the paper that they gave us, but it still buried somewhere in our luggage. He was very nice and articulate, sort of on the youngish side, but said he came from the Spirit. As far as the Cruise director, again, senior moment, but his name started with an A. He was OK, I guess, but ourselves, we didn't see too much of him.

As far as damage we could see, we explored the ship the first couple of days and on deck 16 where the Haven connects with the regular deck, the gate was completely torn away and in the Haven section several of the glass partitions were missing.. Many of the hallways had blowers going to dry the carpet and in places it did smell. Going into Cagney's, you could see where the water was on the carpet by the water stains on it. We were on deck 9 and at least 10 balcony cabins had blowers going to dry our rooms for the first few days. When we left, the entire front of the ship was a sheet of ice--on every balcony, glass partition, decks, but by day 2 most, if not all of it, was gone.

Just another comment on seating. As I said, we preferred to stay around the Waterfront area, but since one side is a smoking side and it was in use extensively, if you don't smoke, it basically leaves you one side of one deck to try and sit. We noticed some civilian engineers going around the ship, taking notes and looking at things. In my infinite quest of knowledge, I asked them about what they were doing. They did say that the Breakaway eventually will be going into dry dock and they are looking for ways to improve it. I 'suggested' more outdoor seating and ONE deck where you could sit or walk around the entire deck, as there is none on the Breakaway. They said they would consider this suggestion. :):)

The hypnotist WAS Brenda Kaye and she was good.

We also enjoyed the 'Escape' program held in the 'tent'. You go in, they assign you to teams and as a team you need to solve some very complicated riddles with clues on your table and around the room. They give you one hour. One group did open the box but failed to get the 6 required words in the tight order. It was something different and we enjoyed that.

Just another note, the pool area was always open but they never opened the water park, the ropes or anything like that. Only miniature golf was open on the upper decks.

 

Cheers

Len

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CD with the first name A as in "Alvin" probably ?? from Asian country - Alvin was working on the BA in 2016 as part of the Shorex/CruiseNext team and co-lead the BTS tour. When we sailed last November, he was the CD ... agreed, didn't see too much of him, nice voice whenever we heard his PA announcement ... on stage as part of the crew farewell & crew's talent show as well. CD don't make a difference for our NCL cruises - and who is "Dan Dan" ;) again ...

 

As for bagel & lox, no - they don't do regular room service delivery for that. Besides the MDR, the trick is to ask nicely for them in the buffet, they really do hide them but have them, on request - behind/under but inside the refrigerated counter where they have the cold selections - fruits & what not.

 

IMO, the overcrowded conditions on the *Away class ships are well documented and nothing new - just about anyone, except those super new to CC - would've learned about it by reading a few of the better reviews & seen the discussions and feedback. Next sailing coming up, booked on the Gem again, where it's easier to just "wing" it as we hate to be on the alarm clock for dinner & make reservations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A few answers to the questions

 

Just another note, the pool area was always open but they never opened the water park, the ropes or anything like that. Only miniature golf was open on the upper decks.

 

Cheers

Len

 

I did notice that the ropes were open two of the last sea days, and the rock wall was open quite often. But the Slides were never open and I heard they would not be open until after drydock due to damage caused by the storm. The second main pool and little kiddie pool were open also more days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We just got home after our 2 week sail on the Breakaway. I really don't know how much was written about this sail, but I just wanted to add a few things and try and answer any questions we can.

First thing, we are two seniors and I walk with a cane. We have sailed NCL about 5 times before, but not in the last 6-7 years and never on a ship this size. We arrived at the terminal about 4PM on the original embarkation day and boarded about 8ish. We were able to board a bit early. due to my handicap. Just my take, but the terminal was a real mess.

No need to go into day to day details, but just a few observances.

Service in dining rooms was basically bad. On our second night on board, it took 3 hours for us to eat dinner. My DW ordered ice cream for desert and it was completely melted when she got it. We complained all the way to the head person in charge. She was very receptive and we did notice a change for dinner. We basically dined in the Taste MDR. We tried the Manhattan room once, have a 45 minute wait for a table, very loud inside and we never went back. At Taste, we found a great waiter, Medino, and he was super and we never had another problem. But breakfast was a completely different story. They really seem to run around like chickens without their heads. We asked for a Danish basket and it comes while we are already eating, ordered eggs benedict and it was almost a hard boiled egg, yesterday my DW ordered team and they brought her a tea pot with a small plate as a cover, I kid you not..Overall just bad.

Overall food quality was good though.

Shows were OK. We did not like Rock of Ages at all (maybe because it just wasn't our taste in music). Hypnotist was good, singers OK, Burn the Floor was very good, magician was good. We did go to the Circus dinner show and thought it pretty good. A few of the singers who sing around the ship were excellent. Melvin Howard was great and his Beatle tribute show is not to be missed. I don't remember the names of the husband and wife duo who seem to be all over the ship, but they are also excellent and their show of Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand was great.

What we did find troublesome was that there is simply no where to sit to enjoy many of these floor entertainers. The lounges and Atrium, where they perform, are always filled (very limited seating anyway) and then, if you want to listen you have to stand. Myself, it is hard for me to stand for long periods, but you simply have no choice. Our thoughts were it was very poorly designed for a ship this size.

Sea days. We had a bundle, with an extra one missing Aruba. We are NOT pool people so anyone having question about that, I refer to anyone who spent time there. WE like to find a quiet, shady spot to sit, which is another problem on the Breakaway. On the upper decks there is none of this. So we settled for the Waterfront part of the ship. Because of the damage from the previous cruise, you were not permitted to walk around the stern of the ship as ceiling tiles were missing or falling down, so it was roped off. We found this convenient as we pulled out some chairs and settle into the space along the rail as no one could get by because it was roped off. It suited our needs very well.

I'm sure there is more stuff, so if I remember, I'll post it. Overall it was a good cruise and great to be in warmer climates. Getting on and off the ship in ports wasn't a major issue and we had great weather. We booked this cruise last minute and the price was great, so can't complain too much. We had an inside cabin, small for a 14 day cruise as there isn't much room to store anything, but we managed. We never did room service. I did call for a bagel and lox and was told they don't do lox which I didn't understand as it is available in the dining room, but no big deal. We don't do casino's, so no comment there except it really smells of smoke.

Still a lot of damage from the previous cruise and the Captain was great in updating us all the time about ports and weather.

Cheers

Len

 

We are cruising on the Breakaway in 2 weeks. Been on it before & agree with your assessment, but we really like the itinerary. We do not have mobility issues. Another cruise line we’ve sailed out of NYC is HAL. Maybe more to your liking. More subdued. Did a Bermuda & Alaska on HAL. Boarding seems more orderly. Disembarkation about the same. Ships never seemed crowded although they were fully booked. Food is excellent on HAL. We do like NCL... I need a little more action! I will agree about the Casino...very poor planning or was it? Maybe intentionally to get people in there. We don’t gamble & hate :mad: smoke. Last time we just found other ways to get around the casino...glad it wasn’t a total disaster for you, given what the ship had been thrubefore your cruise. Don’t give up on NCL...they offer many great amenities at a very reasonable price!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did notice that the ropes were open two of the last sea days, and the rock wall was open quite often. But the Slides were never open and I heard they would not be open until after drydock due to damage caused by the storm. The second main pool and little kiddie pool were open also more days.

 

 

 

Funny, many people have posted about the slides. We are sailing feb 25th. 2 members from our group called NCL about the slides after seeing all the posts and they said there is nothing wrong with the slides and they are not closed! I guess we will have to see the reviews after the current cruisers come off the ship, but they were obviously closed this past sailing!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's disappointing to hear they're still running blowers to dry the carpets, and that the ship is musty.

 

They were only using the blowers for the first few days of the trip, so by maybe the 4th or 5th day they were gone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They were only using the blowers for the first few days of the trip, so by maybe the 4th or 5th day they were gone

 

Agreed. By the 4th or 5th day they were gone.

A note on the smell though. My business for 35 years was carpet cleaning. I can say for a positive, once a carpet gets that musty smell it is from mildew forming on the underside, or on the padding, if there is any. That smell NEVER goes away. It can be very unnoticeable on many days, but when it is humid or damp, it will come back. There are many ways pf masking it, but again, people who are sensitive may always smell it. The blowers are to try and get it dry before the mildew sets in, or else it is too late.

Cheers

Len

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Funny, many people have posted about the slides. We are sailing feb 25th. 2 members from our group called NCL about the slides after seeing all the posts and they said there is nothing wrong with the slides and they are not closed! I guess we will have to see the reviews after the current cruisers come off the ship, but they were obviously closed this past sailing!

 

I have been on the Breakaway 3 times and preparing for my 4th. The slides being open has always been hit or miss depending on the weather/wind conditions, in my experience. Land based water theme parks are more of a sure thing. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...