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jpcello

Breakaway Review August 23-30

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I just want to start this by saying we were new to NCL so no perks of Latitude or any other package.

 

My sister and I chose this cruise because it was convenient - left from NYC (she lives on the Upper West Side so it was so easy). We also chose to park at the port itself (expensive but convenient).

 

Embarkment - using the special needs lines at the terminal, we were 3rd in line to check in and then sent to a "holding pen" with all the other special needs folks. Once they opened the ship to passengers (around 10:30) we were one of the first ones onboard. We went straight to our cabin. The steward was just finishing up so we dropped off our stuff and went to explore.

 

Cabin - We were in 14856 - Handicapped Accessible Balcony Cabin Starboard Aft. Nice and typical HC balcony cabin. Small balcony (holds two chairs and a small table the size of a stool). Because it was a HC cabin, the balcony was double the width so it also accommodated a lounger.

 

Public Spaces - felt the Breakaway is very lacking on public spaces considering the size of the ship. The Atrium is tiny and got very crowded for even the smallest of events. The Atrium, Guest Services, and Shore Excursions Desk are all right together. The library (also right next to the Atrium) was tiny as was the card room. The Library wasn't useful since anything going on in the Atrium can be heard in the Library.

 

Pools - Deck 15. Two adult pools and one kids pool for 4000 people. People were reserving deck chairs as early as 5:30. The kids area was crazy because all the kids in the pool and the parents sitting/standing around watching their kids. We did find a great place on Deck 16 called The Waterfalls. This is part of the Spice H2O deck and it was a lovely place to lay out, get some sun, and enjoy the water (as long as we were up there by 9-10 AM).

 

Entertainment - went to see Rock of Ages, Burn the Floor, a couple of Second City shows, and Wine Lovers' the Musical. Rock of Ages was a good production of a bad show. The current cast (which was great) is only there for 3 more weeks. Burn the Floor was amazing. Second City was fun, and I really like Wine Lovers (it was Saturday afternoon lunch, wine tasting, and a little three-person musical about wine). Did see Circ because I didn't want to pay $50 pp.

 

Dining - we took the UDP. We ate at Le Bistro (great food, terrible service), La Cucina (good service, terrible food), Wasabi (great sushi), Shanghi (great food, adequate service), Moderno (great salad bar, hit or miss meat, terrible service), Ocean Blue (this was comped to us - I'll tell you about this later - amazing food and service), Cagney's (OK food, terrible service). Never even made it into any of the dining rooms or Tappenyaki - we had a conflict and I was disappointed - I really wanted to go). Buffet was good for breakfast or a quick lunch (custom eggs & omelets, always hot food). Overall we were pleased with the UDP - really liked the casualness and flexibility. I had made all my reservations ahead of time.

 

Noise - this is where the problem was. Our cabin (14856) was two decks below Spice H2O. The noise was insane because every night from 10:30 to 1:00 AM they have some kind of event. At points the walls in our cabin would shake. I complained several times. Guest services even offered to move us but because we were in an accessible cabin, we couldn't move. First complaint got us a bottle of wine. After exchanging several calls with the Guest Services rep she offered us dinner. When I explained that we had the UDP, she got us into Ocean Blue - great experience. By the 6th night the noise was crazy. I wasn't sleeping and I even got validation from our cabin neighbors that they had the same issues. By the last day we also received $200 room credit because my last complaint threatened a letter to NCL CEO (which I still intend to send). Because Spice H2O is an outside venue the speakers are so big and loud, the bass turned up to the max (I assume) that it just makes the walls literally vibrate.

 

Bermuda was fun but of course it was very hot. Definitely check out Wednesday Night Harbour Nights if you have the opportunity. It was fun. Lots of local artists and vendors. The street dancers are groups of kids who perform throughout the island throughout the year.

 

We had an OK time. This was our first (and last) NCL cruise. Guess it's back to RCI and Celebrity for us.

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Sorry you didn't enjoy your cruise.

 

I'm curious, once you knew that they couldn't move your room, what were you hoping to accomplish by your further complaining? I'm not trying to be rude, just curious. What could they have done to resolve the issue?

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NCL says on their site that if there is any reason you believe your cruise was less than expected they allow service charges to be reduced.

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It has been my experience that "there's nothing we can do" is often not true and repeated complaints or escalating to the right person can magically make rooms appear where there were none before. Maybe not in this case, but in general

Edited by conandrob240

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Sorry about the noise experience. When we were on Disney our room was under one of the lounges and after complaining they turned the bass down on one of the speakers and it wasn't as bad. We still got some vibration but not as bad.

 

The space issues I keep hearing about remind me of the Celebrity Reflection, their pool deck was horrible too

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Sorry you didn't enjoy your cruise.

 

I'm curious, once you knew that they couldn't move your room, what were you hoping to accomplish by your further complaining? I'm not trying to be rude, just curious. What could they have done to resolve the issue?

 

The night after the initial complaint, the noise level was much better. When I mean noise, I mean the bass. The third night it was back to the level of the first night. The fourth night the Guest Services rep said that it would be the last night. So on the fifth night when it was back to the level of the first night, I complained again.

 

The resolution would have been to adjust the base so the walls of the cabin wouldn't vibrate. I didn't expect them to do anything other than that, and that is what they didn't do.

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This is a design flaw of having an open air club with pounding music. It's almost impossible to soundproof. Our room was deck 11 aft and I could hear the music cwith our balcony door open. With it closed, it was a non-issue. There was definitely vibration but I'm not sure if that was music or some issue with the ships propellers. The ship vibrated a lot with the side propellers were running during docking. It seemed to vibrate a lot intermittently at certain times during sailing

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Sorry you didn't enjoy your cruise.

 

I'm curious, once you knew that they couldn't move your room, what were you hoping to accomplish by your further complaining? I'm not trying to be rude, just curious. What could they have done to resolve the issue?

 

Apparently they got $200 by continuing to complain (which really does not resolve...& IMO not enough)...but they demonstrated to us how the ship service responds.

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jpcello, Thank You for your straight forward detailed review...the specialty restaurant food matches the view of a number of other reviews. Amazing you even had an OK time with the incredible noise problem. I appreciate your information. The Thumbs Up means I enjoyed your honesty & writing.

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If one wants to talk noise on this ship, put aside the music for a moment, which being on deck 14 we did not hear at all ---- but the flush of the toilets from other rooms (particularly those above) was extremely loud.

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Apparently they got $200 by continuing to complain (which really does not resolve...& IMO not enough)...but they demonstrated to us how the ship service responds.

 

You kind of made my point for me there. The $200 did not resolve the problem and clearly didn't pacify the OP or they wouldn't have taken the time to come on here and complain.

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If one wants to talk noise on this ship, put aside the music for a moment, which being on deck 14 we did not hear at all ---- but the flush of the toilets from other rooms (particularly those above) was extremely loud.

 

I can imagine. I dread not having someplace onboard to have quiet time. Earplugs aren't effective enough. I won't have a balcony on my next cruise, but wonder about how quiet it would be out there.

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