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GORDONCHICK

Disappointed in Thanksgiving on the Breakaway (not the actual day or food)

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50 minutes ago, kaykels said:

I am booked on my 42nd cruise in January. (I’m a travel agent so toured and sailed so many ) All ships are different and I liked something about all. But certainly have my favorites and least favorites. 

    Oddly enough my advice to you is try Rccl Oasis class ships. I know they are huge ships as well, But unlike NCL big ships, it is set up much better for crowds. More pools, more activities and they win in the organization department. 

      MSC is not my favorite. Do your research. But some love it. I hope you have a better experience next time around !! 

 

I completely agree about Oasis class.  

 

Personally I rank mega ship classes crowd control like this, based on my own time on them:

 

RCI Oasis 

RCI Freedom/Voyager

Celebrity Solstice

Carnival Dream

NCL Epic 

NCL Breakaway/BA plus

RCI Quantum 

 

Haven't been on Princess Royal class or MSC yet and HAL and Cunard flagships are not mega in my book.  

Edited by molole

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15 hours ago, NLH Arizona said:

Thanks for your review.  Next week I'll be on the Breakaway and it will also be my first time on one of the big ship, as I prefer the jewel class.

We have been on e mega ships, 2 NCL and Princess. The Breakaway was the best, but I am certainly not a big ship fan. I do think for kids it is a great choice. As long as you know what to expect you will enjoy the cruise.  Nothing works for everyone. I think that is what happened with the OP. It certainly has nothing to do with NCL service going down. It has more to do with mega ships. I have heard by a few that the Bliss is awesome. 

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14 hours ago, PTC DAWG said:

You let the fan thing get on your nerves...that’s my take...other than that, seems like a crowded cruise, as I would expect over Thanksgiving...

I was thinking the same thing. And seeing it happened as soon as the got to the port, it left a really bad taste as they had never sailed a mega ship before. 

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I think you gave a fair review.  I have very similar feelings that you've expressed well.  As far as the NCL vs "big ship", I think it is more the ship than NCL.  We are not fans of the newer ships.  I hated the Getaway and the Escape was only slightly better.  We had a great cruise on the Spirit a few years ago and are going on the Spirit this summer.  NCL isn't the same as it used to be but I think the big ships make it worse.  But as you've said, I'm not sure I'm an NCL person anymore.  I will see how this summer's cruise on a smaller ship goes.

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We were on this same sailing (Breakaway over Thanksgiving).  This was not our first NCL cruise, nor our first cruise on a megaship; we sailed on the Escape in 2016.  However, after all our cruises, this one ranks the absolute worst for service.  Our cabin steward was fine, but the restaurants were terrible and the bars were worse!  Twenty minute waits for drinks?  Yes.  Hour-long waits in the MDR -- after being seated?  Yes.  Having to ask three times (on more than 1 occasion) for iced tea?  Yes.  Missing dining room reservations?  Of course.  Someone told my father-in-law he just had to understand that they were overbooked that week and understaffed.  Puh-leeze -- these ships know exactly how many guests they can hold and well in advance.  Staff accordingly.

 

I have never, in all my cruising (see my signature) adjusted the DSC, but I did on this one.  I didn't remove it entirely, but I took back half.  We have another NCL cruise in May out of Rome.  I can only hope it is better!

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1 hour ago, newmexicoNita said:

We have been on e mega ships, 2 NCL and Princess. The Breakaway was the best, but I am certainly not a big ship fan. I do think for kids it is a great choice. As long as you know what to expect you will enjoy the cruise.  Nothing works for everyone. I think that is what happened with the OP. It certainly has nothing to do with NCL service going down. It has more to do with mega ships. I have heard by a few that the Bliss is awesome. 

The good thing is that the aft penthouse on the big ships has access to The Haven, so I'll be a happy camper.

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13 hours ago, molole said:

 

I completely agree about Oasis class.  

Haven't been on Princess Royal class or MSC yet and HAL and Cunard flagships are not mega in my book.  

We have been on Regal Princess and it handles crowds beautifully.

Our friends LOVE Regal Princess and absolutely hated Oasis of the Seas (long lines for everything, too crowded, horrible food compared to Princess, no free on demand movies)...

We will be on Allure in 3 months, and I am sure we'll LOVE it (except for the food - it definitely doesn't compare to Regal Princess).

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17 hours ago, GORDONCHICK said:

There were no tickets - I asked 4 times!  There was something about booking on the tv?

 

NCL doesn't use tender tickets. The person you are quoting is wrong. Everyone lines up for tenders, unless you are platinum or above where you are escorted to the front of the line.

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19 hours ago, GORDONCHICK said:

I've hesitated on posting my thoughts, opinions and experiences on our Breakaway cruise because, well, this board has become quite vicious at time.  But I've got thick skin and just want to inform others.

 

. . .

This was our first big ship cruise.  I'm not sure we'll do another.  I can't tell if our problem was with the size, or the service that comes with that size or if NCL has changed that much.

 

Off the bat, my fan was confiscated at the port. 

This is a shame that it happened but IMO it soured your whole view of the cruise.

19 hours ago, GORDONCHICK said:

 

 She was tipped well in cash on top of her portion of the DSC.

 

Stewards don't get a portion of the DSC, it doesn't work exactly like that on NCL

19 hours ago, GORDONCHICK said:

 

But they found they couldn't get in to a restaurant - even MDRs - before 9.  After they complained at customer service, someone helped them make reservations for a few nights. 

 

Your friends experience is very atypical. Sure there may be a short wait, but getting in one of the main dining rooms for a party of three at any time is rarely more than 15 minutes. This is a time where you should have ignored your friend.

19 hours ago, GORDONCHICK said:

This was a first - I filled out 0 vacation hero cards.  At this point, we are just unsure about booking another NCL cruise, though we have 4 FCCs remaining.  Our next cruise is on MSC so we are looking to see how that goes. 

Please come back and let us know about the value you get on MSC. We have heard nothing good about it except some of the pricing.

19 hours ago, GORDONCHICK said:

 

 

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16 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

For the most part it is a big ship thing.  I prefer Jewel class and Dawn class ships.

We have cruised on three NCL ships, The Spirit,  Dawn and Epic. Of these three ships we enjoyed the Spirit the most and Epic the least. The Epic was just too big and crowded.

 

Our upcoming cruise was booked on the Jewel class ship that was being used out of New Orleans before the Breakaway took over this season. We booked this cruise because after the Epic we decided we preferred a smaller ship. We will be cruising on the Breakaway after the ship change but the upgrade from a standard  aft penthouse suite to a Haven aft 1 bedroom suite will make up for the ship change.

 

Hopefully this will be our last cruise on a mega ship.

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1 hour ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

We have been on Regal Princess and it handles crowds beautifully.

Our friends LOVE Regal Princess and absolutely hated Oasis of the Seas (long lines for everything, too crowded, horrible food compared to Princess, no free on demand movies)...

We will be on Allure in 3 months, and I am sure we'll LOVE it (except for the food - it definitely doesn't compare to Regal Princess).

 

You will love Allure!  You do need reservations for some shows.  I didn't need some of them because I strategically booked a Boardwalk balcony.  :classic_biggrin: 

 

Looking forward to Royal class.  I have been reading the Princess board and there seems to be mostly positive feedback.  

 

I had a good time on Breakaway myself, loved the waterfront.  And oddly enough I loved Epic.  I know she is a love-hate ship and I am an Epic lover.  

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14 hours ago, farmer92 said:

To the op was your fan in your checked luggage or carry on ?

No, I've always carried it on without incident until now.

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1 hour ago, zqvol said:

 

NCL doesn't use tender tickets. The person you are quoting is wrong. Everyone lines up for tenders, unless you are platinum or above where you are escorted to the front of the line.

Evidently, they are now "booking" via your cabin tv somehow.  And I think they were booking in groups.  Not positive on how it worked since we didn't do that.  And it could be different on smaller ships by now.  All I had to compare was our previous cruises to this one.

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1 hour ago, zqvol said:

This is a shame that it happened but IMO it soured your whole view of the cruise.

 

Stewards don't get a portion of the DSC, it doesn't work exactly like that on NCL

 

Your friends experience is very atypical. Sure there may be a short wait, but getting in one of the main dining rooms for a party of three at any time is rarely more than 15 minutes. This is a time where you should have ignored your friend.

Please come back and let us know about the value you get on MSC. We have heard nothing good about it except some of the pricing.

 

Since the fan was returned by 7pm that evening, it didn't impact my view of the whole cruise.  It would have had it not been returned.

 

The stewards DO get a portion of the DSC - confirmed by several HDs I've known over the years.

 

My friends' experience of not being able to get into any MDR until after 9pm is atypical?  Maybe when you don't make reservations on a big ship.  They waited more than 2 hours with one of those pager things.  I know my friends, their expectations and values, while I do not you.  I will continue to listen to them.  Had I not, we wouldn't have been able to get into specialty dining until after 9pm and sometimes not at all - and we had the dining plan plus the platinum vouchers.

 

I've heard both good and bad about MSC.  And I'm getting lots of good info from a friend who's an HD with MSC. 

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4 hours ago, newmexicoNita said:

I was thinking the same thing. And seeing it happened as soon as the got to the port, it left a really bad taste as they had never sailed a mega ship before. 

Since it was returned around 7pm, it did not impact my view of the cruise - just my opinion on how something like this should be handled in the future.  If I hadn't gotten the fan back, my view most definitely would have been affected because I most likely wouldn't have slept much.

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7 minutes ago, GORDONCHICK said:

Since it was returned around 7pm, it did not impact my view of the cruise - just my opinion on how something like this should be handled in the future.  If I hadn't gotten the fan back, my view most definitely would have been affected because I most likely wouldn't have slept much.

I agree with you and I understand what you are saying, but I think you did not totally understand my response. You were upset about the fan and understandable so, thus you had a sour taste right then. It is hard, when things start out wrong to let them roll off your shoulders. Thus little things become bigger things. I thing this is just human nature. I know I am often though of my some as being almost too positive and yet, if something starts out wrong I have trouble letting it roll off my shoulders. I had an experience, which I won't go into, recently at a restaurant. If was the beginning of the meal and thus it seemed the meal never quite matched up to what we had hoped it would. We were with another couple and they felt the same. 

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We were on this sailing as well.  First a little background, this was 2nd time on Breakaway, been Getaway 2x, Epic 2x, and Escape 1x.  There was something just "off" with this sailing.  I spoke with am experienced NCL couple in the Thermal Spa Suite about half way through, and they also agreed, and the poor guy on his honeymoon was a first timer NCL.  We just chatted about a lot of the issues you presented.  I guess it was second nature for my wife and I to book our specialty dinners early, so we didn't have an issue getting what we wanted.  But, it sounded like all of the reservations were booked at all of the restaurants by the end of the first night.  I assumed that part of the issue was that the 4 stops was a new itinerary for the ship, so it wasn't something they were used to.  However, I would have expected the impact to be far less.  We had a great time, but understand why some people may not have.  I also know they had over 550 invited casino guests on board, so the casino was always crammed.  Only a couple of times was I not able to play on the machines (Super Star Poker) that I wanted, but I know that the table players were feeling the jam.  I wouldn't move on from NCL because of this one sailing, but maybe stick to the smaller ships for holiday sailings?  Happy cruising! 

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2 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

I agree with you and I understand what you are saying, but I think you did not totally understand my response. You were upset about the fan and understandable so, thus you had a sour taste right then. It is hard, when things start out wrong to let them roll off your shoulders. Thus little things become bigger things. I thing this is just human nature. I know I am often though of my some as being almost too positive and yet, if something starts out wrong I have trouble letting it roll off my shoulders. I had an experience, which I won't go into, recently at a restaurant. If was the beginning of the meal and thus it seemed the meal never quite matched up to what we had hoped it would. We were with another couple and they felt the same. 

I understand what you're saying.  But since that issue was resolved, I let it go but would like to figure out how to keep it from happening in the future.  Someone suggestion contacting the access desk, and I'm going to do that - but don't know if I should wait until we book another NCL cruise or not.  When I'm on vacation, I'm in vacation mode.  That means moving on from bad experiences, especially if there was a positive resolution.  I can do that not on vacation, unless someone is messing with my kid (on or off vacation, that IS the danger zone!).  Then you need to watch out! 

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4 minutes ago, GORDONCHICK said:

I understand what you're saying.  But since that issue was resolved, I let it go but would like to figure out how to keep it from happening in the future.  Someone suggestion contacting the access desk, and I'm going to do that - but don't know if I should wait until we book another NCL cruise or not.  When I'm on vacation, I'm in vacation mode.  That means moving on from bad experiences, especially if there was a positive resolution.  I can do that not on vacation, unless someone is messing with my kid (on or off vacation, that IS the danger zone!).  Then you need to watch out! 

Go to the access desk after you are booked and just prior to sailing. We do with because hubby uses a wheel chair for getting on the ship at the embarkation port. They will have any special needs on a list. You should not have any more problems. 

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2 minutes ago, clcjdn said:

We were on this sailing as well.  First a little background, this was 2nd time on Breakaway, been Getaway 2x, Epic 2x, and Escape 1x.  There was something just "off" with this sailing.  I spoke with am experienced NCL couple in the Thermal Spa Suite about half way through, and they also agreed, and the poor guy on his honeymoon was a first timer NCL.  We just chatted about a lot of the issues you presented.  I guess it was second nature for my wife and I to book our specialty dinners early, so we didn't have an issue getting what we wanted.  But, it sounded like all of the reservations were booked at all of the restaurants by the end of the first night.  I assumed that part of the issue was that the 4 stops was a new itinerary for the ship, so it wasn't something they were used to.  However, I would have expected the impact to be far less.  We had a great time, but understand why some people may not have.  I also know they had over 550 invited casino guests on board, so the casino was always crammed.  Only a couple of times was I not able to play on the machines (Super Star Poker) that I wanted, but I know that the table players were feeling the jam.  I wouldn't move on from NCL because of this one sailing, but maybe stick to the smaller ships for holiday sailings?  Happy cruising! 

Not that I needed anyone to validate my thoughts, opinions or experiences, thanks for your input.  It was the first 7 night sailing for Breakaway out of NOLA, and I don't think they have another one until Christmas.  The whole thing did seem "off" as you put it.  Some people were on point, but it seemed like the majority weren't - and that has never been our experience on NCL.  I never got a "happy crew" feeling while on this sailing.  I was happy most of the time - not the issue in O'Sheehan's, but otherwise I was.  Just because I notice or experience not great service, that doesn't mean it changes my mood.  But I still take a mental note.

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The times that some mention to eat in the MDR's (on any ship) is one thing that makes me shy away from them.  Specialties or Buffet for me seems to work.  Although O'Sheehans is fine too.  

 

I have sailed the Getaway and Escape as big ships on NCL.  I enjoyed the Escape much better..mainly because of The District and Food Republic.  

 

I too think you were on an "off" ship.  Loaded with Gulf Coast gamblers it sounds like.  I would give another NCL ship a try.  

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Just out of curiosity since the ship was so full, how did your son like Entourage?  Curios if it seemed crazy or disorganized.  Also, what kinds of activities were there that he enjoyed?  

 

We will cruise with our 16 year old next year and love any details about Entourage to prepare our expectations.

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I've been on Breakway 4 times.  When the ship is near full capacity with many families, there are a lot of problems with crowding, getting seated for dinner, getting reservations, etc.  I did that once.  The other times were all with a much smaller number of families, and so we were well below 4,000 total and it was much easier.  But reservations do have to be made early for specialty places ... by mid cruise it will be very hard.  waits for dining rooms never got more than a half hour on these cruises.  One thing that is true:  The main kitchen serves three large dining rooms. Any custom order takes a long time.  And they have stretch wait staff to the limit so getting drinks and water refilled is a terrible problem.  Waiters don't come back to check on food - they don't even realize it was delivered.  Drop a fork?  Had to ask the next waiter passing by because ours was MIA for 15 minutes.  Lots of service mistakes.  Place settings wrong, spills on guests because of hurrying, reaching too far over people at times.  I don't let it get to me in the dining room except for the awful times it takes over 2 hours to get served 3 courses.  And none of these things should happen in the specialty restaurants.

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2 hours ago, zqvol said:

 

NCL doesn't use tender tickets. The person you are quoting is wrong. Everyone lines up for tenders, unless you are platinum or above where you are escorted to the front of the line.

Some NCL ships do actually. We were just on POA in early Nov and we had to get tender tickets, and they were actual paper tickets with a number for our group. Then they called the groups over the intercom when we were supposed to line up. Granted, we had to wait in line for an hour or so, which sucked, and then right when we got to the front of the line, they stopped issuing tickets and said everyone can just get in line. So they do use tickets for at least part of the time on some ships, until they decide to give up apparently. 

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