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Gatordad815

Carnival Breeze vs. Norwegian Breakaway

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Hi all! Please help a Royal Caribbean cruiser choose which of these ships to try out!

 

We are considering Spring Break options for next March and considering both of these ships. We have sailed Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships 3 times now, and loved our experiences, but I’m not willing to pay what they want for Spring break 2020....

 

A little about us: family of 4, will stay in a balcony room, kids will be 4 and 6 years old. Daughter has celiac disease so gluten free dining is a must for our family. I’ve read reviews of both Carnival and NCL and both appear able to handle passengers with Celiac well.

 

Carnival is an Eastern itinerary (Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk). Breakaway is a Western itinerary (Great Stirrup Cay, Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel). We would likely hang back and do easy ship days in both San Juan and Falmouth and do beach/pool days at the other ports on both itineraries. New ports for us would be Amber Cove, Grand Turk, Great Stirrup Cay and Grand Cayman, so plenty of new experiences on both itineraries.

 

From what I’ve seen, the Breakaway seems larger and more upscale with greater variety and more to do, though Breeze also looks like a nice fun ship. Costs are comparable.

 

I’m interested to hear thoughts and opinions from any of you who have cruised both lines, given our kids’ ages, diets, etc. Which ship is best?  I’ll post in both the Carnival and NCL forum to get thoughts from both groups.

 

Thank you in advance for any input!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hello boy are people going to red flag me but you know what, I am telling it as it is and giving you my experience, so whatever people say or disagree with me, trust me, your getting the truth from me...on another note, if you want to provide me with your email I can give you a very lengthly summary of both, if not, say the word to just write here.

By the way, I just came off the Breeze with that being my 91st cruise, and both of those ships are right on the bottom of MY dislike list, but there are many positives also which I let you know.

Edited by Cruisegirl6

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16 minutes ago, Gatordad815 said:

Hi all! Please help a Royal Caribbean cruiser choose which of these ships to try out!

 

We are considering Spring Break options for next March and considering both of these ships. We have sailed Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships 3 times now, and loved our experiences, but I’m not willing to pay what they want for Spring break 2020....

 

A little about us: family of 4, will stay in a balcony room, kids will be 4 and 6 years old. Daughter has celiac disease so gluten free dining is a must for our family. I’ve read reviews of both Carnival and NCL and both appear able to handle passengers with Celiac well.

 

Carnival is an Eastern itinerary (Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk). Breakaway is a Western itinerary (Great Stirrup Cay, Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel). We would likely hang back and do easy ship days in both San Juan and Falmouth and do beach/pool days at the other ports on both itineraries. New ports for us would be Amber Cove, Grand Turk, Great Stirrup Cay and Grand Cayman, so plenty of new experiences on both itineraries.

 

From what I’ve seen, the Breakaway seems larger and more upscale with greater variety and more to do, though Breeze also looks like a nice fun ship. Costs are comparable.

 

I’m interested to hear thoughts and opinions from any of you who have cruised both lines, given our kids’ ages, diets, etc. Which ship is best?  I’ll post in both the Carnival and NCL forum to get thoughts from both groups.

 

Thank you in advance for any input!

 

 

I loved NCL Breakaway's kids' club back then, as I was younger (I am an older teen), and it was by far the best kids club experience, besides Carnival Horizon! The bedding on CCL Breeze and NCL Breakaway are both the same and differ from RCI. One Pullman bed above a sofa that converts to a twin-sized bed. I would choose the Western Caribbean itinerary as all of those ports are new to me. Breakaway is much larger awith far more activities for your children! For the adults, arguably better shows and entertainment, and there are myriad options in terms of specialty dining. CCL aims for families on a budget on for those that do not care too much about the "exquisite stuff." 

 

TLDR, I would choose the Breakaway, hands down!

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I also loved Oasis. My favorite ship to date.

 

My least favorite is the Breakaway. I felt like the ship was full of smoking sections, the pool deck was horribly laid out with lounge chairs squeezed in touching eachother, the specialty dining was meh except for the seafood restaurant, the theater was so plain that it looked like a high school theater with uncomfortable chairs and they held major events and movies in the atrium which was awkward. If we didn’t have the cabana in Vibe for the week, which was wonderful, I would have considered getting off in Florida.

 

My husband and I sailed the Breeze this past October and we liked it so much we’re going back and bringing the whole family for a Christmas cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The ship is laid out nicely, never felt too crowded, it’s clean and bright, smoking is contained to one deck outside and the casino and the included food was good to very good. Lots of stuff to do and spread out to help spread out crowds.

 

My pick would definitely be the Breeze. Good luck with your decision and have a great cruise whichever you choose.

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We enjoy good entertainment.  The Breakaway has great entertainment. We watched two great shows and the entertainment in the PourBar was excellent.  Also, a lot of entertainment for the young ones.

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I'm not the best one to help you out, but here goes: Have only done one RC cruise, also on Oasis and loved the ship, layout, activities and would sail again. 
I have done NCL Getaway (Breakaway's sister ship)for my 1st and 2nd cruises and NCL Escape as my 3rd cruise. I loved the layout (very easy to navigate and not chopped up like some other ships), the specialty dining, shows and the Waterfront deck. Crew was excellent on both. Now, that being said- I have absolutely NO desire whatsoever to sail on Breakaway even though she is a sister ship. Call it a bad vibe that I get or too many negative reviews of that particular ship, I don't know.

I have my very first ever Carnival cruise coming up in Sept that happens to be on Breeze and I'll tell you what- I am super duper excited to be going. I have read so many excellent things about Breeze and how it's the favorite ship of many people. I'm looking forward to the abundance of available free restaurants, reasonable drink prices and lots of activities, in addition to 2 brand new ports- Bermuda and Grand Turk.

This is just my opinion and I don't know if I have helped you out at all, but hope you enjoy whichever one you choose!

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Thanks all for the feedback-appreciated! It appears both ships have pros and cons. This ones a hard decision. I’m kind of feeling like I’d like the Carnival ports and Dining better, but I’d like the Breakaway ship and entertainment better. Decisions, decisions...

 

Any additional input appreciated!

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On 6/4/2019 at 8:38 PM, Cruisegirl6 said:

if you want to provide me with your email I can give you a very lengthly summary of both, if not, say the word to just write here.

 

I’d love to read your thoughts/opinions, even if they’re negative impressions of both ships! All helpful for my purposes! I’m not sure how to share email addresses. I’m sort of low-tech. Is there a private message function? 

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I've sailed on NCL Escape and also the Getaway.  NCL theater shows are the best.  They also have fun dinner shows.  The ships are nice, other than some shows that they have in the atrium with not enough chairs. Howl at the Moon is also a lot of fun. I have no experience with the kids club or special diets.  Their grotto area is very nice.  They sell Vibe passes, which sell out quickly, for an exclusive adult area. They also have a bidding system that is offered often where you will get an email giving you an opportunity to bid on a better cabin. They may or may not accept the bid.

I've been on the Breeze before and have a cruise booked with them again this September. We really like Carnival comedy shows (they have more comedians and more shows) so Carnival is usually our first choice.  The Breeze is a great size ship.  We like the layout.  The theater shows are not as good as Norwegian's theater shows.  The game shows are equal.  Carnival has better comedy shows.  Also, Carnival has Guy's Burgers and the Blue Iguana (Mexican food) right by the main pool for free. Buffet is better on Carnival, in my opinion.

I would say that NCL is a little fancier, whereas Carnival is more laid back, but with a more energetic vibe. NCL often has perks with booking certain cabins.  As far as itinerary, I would choose eastern over western every time.  Personal preference.  I think your kids would have fun on either ship.  If you are used to Royal, then I think Norwegian is more similar to it than Carnival.  On spring break, there might be less partying on Norwegian.

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There is a posting on the NCL form on CC that  includes cleanliness ratings of the Breakaway which did not get a good score. You may want to read it.

My DH andI have been on the Breakaway.

To us, the ship seemed crowded.

Most lectures,game shows and ship activities take place in the Atrium in the center of the ship.

It has been noted that people arrive in the morning and stay most  of the day. There is limited seating and the area becomes noisy and crowded.

As for the entertainment, the show, Rock of Ages, was performed on the cruise we took about two years ago.

If It is still performed on theBreakaway, it is not a family oriented show and not something for your young children.

I do not know anything about the Breeze,but just by a process of elimination, I would choose the the Breeze for your family vacation.

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Breakaway is a very unpopular ship with the NCL crowd. I think the sinks are in the cabins...

The entertainment is pretty good on NCL but is not for your kids. My pet peeve on the away ships is how they hold all the activities in the Atrium. This is a big ship and there are very few seats in the atrium. And its next to  guest services so heaven help you if you need to speak to them. But NCL is a good line to try after Royal.

We loved Breeze. My husband hates Carnival and he loved the Breeze. Theres a million great options that are free to eat at for breakfast and lunch. The staff is very friendly and the layout of the ship is stellar. I would choose Breeze unless the drinks are free for same price on Breakaway.

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I agree with tinkr2 about the Breakaway except for one thing.

The bathroom - we were in a mini suite- was excellent. The sink was in the bathroom,not in the bed/ sitting area. The shower was very roomy,with multiple jet sprays and a glass door.

Something else about the Breakaway, the balconies tend to be very small if you book a regular balcony cabin.

 

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Let me start off by saying, I am not a cheerleader for any cruise line.

I go where I get the best deals...........

I went on the Breakaway for a 10 day cruise in February 2019.    I always port from NOLA and have done numerous Carnival Cruises.

The Breakaway is a very beautiful ship but.............rooms tend to be small, the food is NOT as good as Carnivals.  If you want better food on the Breakaway, you have to pay extra.

 

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Breakaway hands down for the following reason:

 

Breakaway is beautiful, full of life, tasty, and there's entertainment at every turn. Of course, if you want down time you can find those spots too.

 

Breeze has a lackluster design, dead after 9pm, minimal daytime activities, bland food, and laughable evening entertainment.

 

Most importantly, the Breakaway crew is top-notch.

I'm not sure why someone above said the Breakaway is unpopular with NCL crowd. The NCL crowd loves the Breakaway and all her sisters who have followed.

 

The Breakaway casino is also much better than the Breeze's, if that matters to you.

 

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1 hour ago, Alegeeter said:

Breakaway hands down for the following reason:

 

Breakaway is beautiful, full of life, tasty, and there's entertainment at every turn. Of course, if you want down time you can find those spots too.

 

Breeze has a lackluster design, dead after 9pm, minimal daytime activities, bland food, and laughable evening entertainment.

 

Most importantly, the Breakaway crew is top-notch.

I'm not sure why someone above said the Breakaway is unpopular with NCL crowd. The NCL crowd loves the Breakaway and all her sisters who have followed.

 

The Breakaway casino is also much better than the Breeze's, if that matters to you.

 

I was wondering the same thing about the comment of unpopular ship. Sounds more like the Epic which people either love or hate with NCL and the bathroom being in the cabin.

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We had to make a similar decision for our December 2019 cruise (Carnival Magic vs. NCL Breakaway).

 

We ended up picking the Magic but went back and forth quite a bit.  What finally sealed it for us was avoiding the tender ports of Great Stirrup Cay and Grand Cayman on the Breakaway.  We much prefer being able to dock at port and not spend a ton of time in line and on the small boats needed to tender.

 

 

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Thanks for all the input. All helpful points, though the even split doesn’t make my decision any easier...lol!

 

I was initially leaning towards Breakaway because it seems like a bigger more upscale ship (closer to Oasis), but now I’m starting to lean towards Breeze. The reasons: 1) we would be in a Spa Balcony cabin on deck 11 with access to the spa for my wife and easy access to the pool area; 2) with my daughters celiac disease I like the idea of having the same dining crew each night; 3) it seems like there are lots of easy quick service food options on Breeze; and 4) we have been on 2 Western trips in a row so the Eastern ports seem more fun to me.

 

Is Breeze such a drastic downgrade from the Oasis class that the kids would be lacking activities? I realize nothing compares to Oasis class, but I’m hopeful that between the Waterworks and kids club and new ports and hopefully an itinerary with some family events planned that the kids will have a blast and forget there’s no carousel! 

 

Any other input/thoughts on the above are sincerely appreciated! Thanks!

 

 

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my first cruise was on the Breeze, will always hold a special place in my heart.   It's a fantastic ship. 

 

our last few have been on NCL, which I must admit is my favorite cruise line due to A)shows B)food C)free at sea promotion.

 

I like both of your itineraries.  Falmouth and Grand Turk both have awesome Margaritavilles where you can hit the complimentary pool.  GT is head and shoulders above the Falmouth pool, but both are must do's for me when in those ports. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/4/2019 at 8:23 PM, Gatordad815 said:

 

From what I’ve seen, the Breakaway seems larger and more upscale with greater variety and more to do, though Breeze also looks like a nice fun ship. Costs are comparable.

 

Hi Gatordad815,

Your observation is correct. 🙂

As to the kids activities, the ships are equal.

At the moment the Breakaway is the best NCL ship.

The Breakaway is a larger, more upscale and more expensive ship.

Itinerary: It's hard to choose between Grand Turk + St. Thomas vs Great Stirrup Cay + Grand Cayman. But I do agree that the first two have more convenient access (piers vs tendering) that may be important for families with kids.

I think that in your situation the Breeze+Spa+Itinerary is a  better option.

 

Happy cruising!

 

Edited by ronbe65

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On 6/4/2019 at 8:23 PM, Gatordad815 said:

Hi all! Please help a Royal Caribbean cruiser choose which of these ships to try out!

 

We are considering Spring Break options for next March and considering both of these ships. We have sailed Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships 3 times now, and loved our experiences, but I’m not willing to pay what they want for Spring break 2020....

 

A little about us: family of 4, will stay in a balcony room, kids will be 4 and 6 years old. Daughter has celiac disease so gluten free dining is a must for our family. I’ve read reviews of both Carnival and NCL and both appear able to handle passengers with Celiac well.

 

Carnival is an Eastern itinerary (Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk). Breakaway is a Western itinerary (Great Stirrup Cay, Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel). We would likely hang back and do easy ship days in both San Juan and Falmouth and do beach/pool days at the other ports on both itineraries. New ports for us would be Amber Cove, Grand Turk, Great Stirrup Cay and Grand Cayman, so plenty of new experiences on both itineraries.

 

From what I’ve seen, the Breakaway seems larger and more upscale with greater variety and more to do, though Breeze also looks like a nice fun ship. Costs are comparable.

 

I’m interested to hear thoughts and opinions from any of you who have cruised both lines, given our kids’ ages, diets, etc. Which ship is best?  I’ll post in both the Carnival and NCL forum to get thoughts from both groups.

 

Thank you in advance for any input!

 

 

I just sailed the Breeze, and I’ve sailed the Breakaway’s sister ship, the Getaway, and let me just say that your family will be much happier with the Breeze. Not to mention, Carnival’s kids clubs are far better, and with more planned fun things for kids to do. We LOVED the Breeze! And Eastern Itinerary is a better itinerary to choose. I’ve done both.as for gluten free meals, Carnival seems to handle this better, as I’ve read reviews on this very subject lately, and Carnival wins in that category, also. You just see the MDR staff on day one about it, and fill out the menu every day for the next day. They seem to be very accommodating. But you will have to be mindful when eating elsewhere on the ship. I hope this all helps. 

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1 hour ago, ronbe65 said:

Hi Gatordad815,

Your observation is correct. 🙂

As to the kids activities, the ships are equal.

At the moment the Breakaway is the best NCL ship.

The Breakaway is a larger, more upscale and more expensive ship.

Itinerary: It's hard to choose between Grand Turk + St. Thomas vs Great Stirrup Cay + Grand Cayman. But I do agree that the first two have more convenient access (piers vs tendering) that may be important for families with kids.

I think that in your situation the Breeze+Spa+Itinerary is a  better option.

 

Happy cruising!

 

Actually, the Breakaway is NOT the best NCL ship. It is getting older, with much better choices out there. Since I’ve sailed RCCL, NCL, and Carnival, I can honestly say that Carnival is the line to choose, especially with children. One negative for NCL, is there are far more drunks onboard, due to nearly everyone choosing the Ultimate Drink Package as their free perk. There are NO ROAMING WAITERS, either, since why bother? They aren’t going to make any additional revenue, since everyone has the package! And to get a drink, you need to wait in a roped off que to the bar! No, definitely, choose Carnival. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved my NCL cruises, but the whole drink issue was a pain, and we saw very little activity for children. Carnival has the Dive In Movies, also, an excellent choice for families, with free popcorn. 

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Posted (edited)

I've been on both of these ships.  I tend to like NCL more than Carnival because carnival is redundant across the entire fleet.  All rooms look identical and the activities are identical across the fleet.  They do have nice ships but I definitely prefer the Breakaway.  The NCL ships each have different shows and many of their ships are different because they have different "classes" of ship. The Carnival Improv is good, but after a number of cruises I have started seeing the same comics.  I have seen the same shows on Carnival for a long time.  So the entertainment is not as good to me.   For kids though, I think either would work.  I do think Carnival is very family friendly, but we raised our kid on cruise vacations and he went on more NCL cruises and always had a blast.  My last cruise was on the Breakaway and my next one is on a Carnival.  We primarily choose Carnival since they leave out of a port that is only 90 minutes away.  The closest NCL port to us is about 7 hours away if driving.  We do prefer to drive as we can pack more easily and flying is simply not fun.  So as an adult, I would say I prefer NCL overall.  Their specialty restaurants are mostly good (Italian is just so-so) but we love to eat at the many varied restaurants onboard and their entertainment is a cut above Carnival. We have taken more than 20 NCL cruises and more than a dozen Carnival if that helps.

 

 

Edited by Another ship trip
added info

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I can tell you that I have sailed on the NCL Breakaway with a large group that had many children of all ages and they had 2 pools. One for children only and one for adults only. Which is ok except the fact that the kids pool was Half the size of the adult pool and it was for “kids” up to 17 years old. So they had the older kids  roughhouse playing with this more toddlers. And no the parents weren’t allowed to be in the water to watch the younger kids they had to stand outside of it. Also there are NO chairs or loungers around the kids pool so you can watch them.  Hopefully you understand this post as I am sending it from my Apple Watch  

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On 6/6/2019 at 12:19 PM, Illbcruzn4life said:

I was wondering the same thing about the comment of unpopular ship. Sounds more like the Epic which people either love or hate with NCL and the bathroom being in the cabin.

Oh you may be right . Sorry I cruise too many ships and lines. You are right Epic is where the darn sink was in the cabin with its weird flow. Still said breakaway was good.

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