My family decided to try a western carribean cruise on the Breakaway since they were new ports to us. We have sailed NCL 3 times before including the Escape. My "kids" are 18 and 20. As in our previous cruise we had a mini suite, and although it can be tight, it works for us. Love the bathroom and we had excellent service from our steward except for no towel animals. I will say I felt the room was a little tired...there were a few things that weren't up to par but it did not ruin our vacation at all.
We got the air through NCL. They messed it up at first. Had us going to the wrong airport, had my kids on a different flight... in the end it all worked out but I found the process a bit frustrating. It did save us money so that was good. We flew in a day early to avoid the anxiety of traveling on ship day (plus we had a layover) and we stayed at The Hampton Inn Bricknell. Excellent location and hotel. They gave us a complimentary drink and free breakfast. We used the shuttle from the hotel but the people trying to get on were crazy! Next time I might Uber to avoid people running me over with their suitcases to be first!
I found the service to be good to excellent in all dining venues. Yes O'Sheehans can be a little slow but it gets crazy in there. The MDRs were decent. I thought the buffet was very good and had a good variety. Cagney's and Moderno were excellent. Sherman was our waiter at Modernos and he was top notch. I thought the food at LaCucina was blah. This may also be due to the fact that we live in an area with very good Italian restaurants and are probably a little spoiled.
I know this is a big topic and many complain, but I rarely had to wait more than 5 minutes. If I did it was because it was at the pool bar on a sea day or at the Atrium during a show. Even then it wasn't long. The Meridian Bar is a great, and quiet, place to go and the servers there were awesome. We also enjoyed the Martini Bar---yum!
We never made it to Burn The Floor but we all enjoyed Rock of Ages. We tried to get tickets to Escape the Big Top but I guess an hour after we got on the ship was too late. Syd Norman's Pour House was a lot of fun. We didn't make it to Howl at the Moon but went there on the Escape and it was good. We enjoyed some of the night time entertainment in the Atrium and loved spending time on the Waterfront. It surprises me how quiet it can be out there on a full ship! My kids enjoyed the slides and ropes course. The pool could be crowded on ship days but I expected that. Chair hogs didn't disappoint.
With 4 stops on this trip we were busy.
Roatan: We did a Monkey/Snorkle/Beach trip with Daniel Johnson Tours. This was a fabulous day. We not only got to hold sloths and play with monkeys, but the snorkling was a blast and what beautiful water. We had our own driver for the day ( Carla) and she made sure we had a good time and were back to the ship when we needed. Stopped at a beach club for a bit to swim and eat lunch. Las Palmas was very nice. The food was just ok but we had great service and hardly anyone on the beach! Great excursion!
Belize: We hung out at Harvest Caye until a downpour caused us to head back to the ship. Beautiful place but the prices were high. NCL blew it on this island. When other cruise lines include things on their private islands it's hard to swallow paying $51 for 2 beers and 2 drinks...Oh well. We did enjoy the beach and pool.
Costa Maya: We did a tour through Native Choice to the ruins and Bacalar Lagoon. I patted myself on the back with another good selection! You have to walk a bit out of the port to get to their place but it was worth it. We had the best guide and driver ( Eder and Miguel) who took excellent care of us all day. We had a group of about 12 in a beautiful van with a/c. The tour of the ruins were wonderful and informative and the trip to the lake was spectacular. The lunch was delicious and they kept bringing us more margaritas! I saw the ship tours at the ruins and they had a huge group of 50-60 people with one guide and they paid about $90 more a person for the same tour.
Cozumel: We went to Mr. Sanchos for a beach day. The place was nice but very crowded. The pools were so busy we didn't bother with them at all. The food and service were very good, however, and we had great beach massages and my kids went jet skiing. The water was nice also.
Getting on and off the ship was fine.
Overall we had a fabulous vacation.