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ScottnBobbi

Just off Breakaway - July 2019.

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Cruise Review of Some Important Items.

 

Flight In:

Flew in on Saturday, July 20, 2019 to Ft. Lauderdale.  Flights arranged by NCL were the worst they could arrange.  This is really the only issue we had, but it was so bad we may not travel with NCL in future.  11 and ½ hours to travel from Connecticut to Florida.  

 

Had reservations at hotel in South Beach (Z Ocean)  

·     South Beach was interesting to see ONCE.  Wouldn’t go again.  People on the cruise said to stay in Ft. Lauderdale as it is much nicer.  

 

Used LYFT to get to hotel - $42.72 (not bad considering it was a long ride)

 

·     South Beach was interesting to see ONCE.  Wouldn’t go again.  People on the cruise said to stay in Ft. Lauderdale as it is much nicer.  

 

Gluten Free:  I am a severe Celiac and must not come into contact with any gluten.  NCL has been good with this, but Breakaway was incredible.  Carlo was the specialist that worked with me and was incredible! I never really see anything about Gluten Free Diet Reviews so I will include it.  

 

Cruise Day: 

 

LYFT from South Beach was quick and reasonable at $14.05.

 

Cruise Port Arrival:

 

Arrived at the cruise port at 11:00 am.  We walked through security and check in with no lines and received a number 3 boarding card. We waited no more than about 15 minutes and they began Embarkation. 

 

IMPORTANT:Dinner reservations (at Headliners) and Show reservations (Outside Headliners) are located on Deck 6.  On Breakaway they also have touch screens everywhere. A great Maître D (Darren – Awesome all throughout trip) showed us how to use them. Really easy and you can make show/dinner reservations.  Do this as soon as you get on the ship as times fill up quick.  

 

Rooms were ready by about 1:00 PM.  We went to ours early (14164-Spa Minisuite – won upgrade bid at lowest amount – Spa was great) and it was ready by 12:30 pm.

Room Note:  

·     The service in the rooms has been getting worse by the cruise.

·     The room stewards do the minimum.

·     No more ice unless you aggravate them to bring it.

·     Towel animals are no extinct.

THIS WAS THE ONLY ISSUE WE HAD WITH THE CRUISE, but it was painful!

·     Calling for help over the phone is also useless.  Shout off the balcony, you may get better help.

 

Restaurants:

 

·     Ocean Blue * Best Restaurant on the Ship!

o  Food was incredible.  Appetizes included king crab legs and scallops.  There were three huge scallops on top of bacon.  This could be a meal.  Surf and turf is included with meal package and you get a lobster tail.  Two sides are included.  For dessert, my wife got a chocolate mousse cake and I got a gluten free cheesecake in a jar.  Turns out this was the best dessert on the boat based on our opinion gluten free or not.

o  Absolute best service on entire boat (all service was good, this was just better).

 

·     Cagney’s

o  Always good.

o  Did not disappoint.

 

·     Savor:

o  This is where we ate most meals that were not at specialty restaurants.  

o  Were exceptional with Gluten issues all trip.

 

·     Noodle Bar:

o  Reserve as soon as you get on the ship as you will not get in if you don’t.

o  Request Seat at the bar.

o  They took care of my Gluten Free needs exceptionally well.

 

 

 

Entertainment: 

 

·     Howl at the Moon – Dueling Pianos at Headliners

o  This was our favorite show.  The three piano players are great and if you are lucky Joaquin the guitarist for “Rock of Ages” shows up and plays some songs with them.

o  If it is too busy at start just come back a little later and you will find seats.

o  Adult show starts at 11:00 PM and is well worth going.

·     Pour House

o  Was said to be very good, but was extremely small.  We never got a chance to go there.

·     Velvet

o  Based on our opinion, this show was the worst of any we saw on a total of 4 cruises.  Meal was ok.

o  Spend money to go to “Ocean Blue”.

·     Rock of Ages

o  Very good show with some great performers.  

o  Best show we have seen, but most others were much shorter.

o  Very much worth going.

 

·     Headliners Comedy Club:

·     Comedians rotate nights with piano players.  The three comics were all good, Jorge was incredible and every show with him was different.  Other two comedians did the same thing over and over.  Good the first time, but not worth repeating.

 

Shore Excursion:  

 

We only booked one and just walked the ports on our own for the others.

 

 Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hang Out

 

If you do anything in Roatan, this should be it! The booking was simple and the communication with   the hang out was quick and helpful. Upon our arrival in Roatan, we could see a parking lot crammed with buses and other forms of transportation. The lines going different places were long and plentiful. We walked by all the people gathering, walked by all of the packed buses, across the street to a clearly identifiable group of people waiting with the Dan Johnson Hang Out signs. 

            We were introduced to Felicia who would be our own personal driver. Yes, she was going to drive us around Roatan while we were there. She walked us a short distance to her car and we were on our way. The car was very comfortable and air-conditioned. Felicia drove us to the hang out and showed us many great spots and explained life in Roatan as she did. The hang out is 20 minutes or so away, but the drive was fine as we were very comfortable.  

The hang out is not a flashy tourist spot, which was amazing. Dan himself welcomed us to the hang out within the first five minutes of our arrival. We chose to snorkel as part of the package and were on the boat in no more than 15 minutes. This is a great experience no matter your skill level. You only have a 10 minute boat ride to the snorkel site and a guide swims with each group to help identify the best areas to see the great sea life in the chosen area. Dan was the one that took us out and he was extremely patient and helpful. Once back, we changed and moved on to the animals.

At the hang out, there are monkeys, birds, and sloths. We were given a tour with with another couple, four total. We were given plenty of time to experience the monkeys and birds, but the sloth was the ultimate experience. We both got to hold the sloth and we were not rushed at all. This was my wife's most anticipated event on our cruise and it did not disappoint. It is worth it! The animals were very well treated and it is clear that there are great relationships between all of the animals and the people that work there. The animals are all very well maintained and have large pens that connect to other pens. The sloths aren't even in pens. Ask to see the baby!

Felicia was waiting when we are done to take us back to the boat. We could have toured more than we did or even go to the beach, but we chose to stop at a couple of shops and go back to the boat. Felicia drove us to the entrance of the port and we were there in plenty of time.  

This is truly the best excursion we have taken during our four total cruises. The price was also the most reasonable. What was even better was that all of the money we spent went right to the people who live and work on Roatan. Dan takes care of his employees, this is VERY clear, and they all care for the animals and the people that visit them. The drive showed us some very poor areas and this was memorable as well. I am glad we saw what we did as we appreciate what we have even more than we did.  

When we found out about the hang out, the reviews seemed a little too positive. Too good to be true. It is exactly what people write about it. DO NOT HESITATE to go the Hang Out. Dan, Stephanie, Felicia and everyone else was amazing. If we return to Roatan, this will be the reason.

Thank you Dan and Felicia!

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Just wondering about your flights and how much NCL charged you.  Friends in CT fly frequently from BDL to FLL for anywhere between $95 and $130 each way on 3 hr non-stops on SW. (and bags fly free!)  Was booking air through NCL so much of a savings that it made an 11.5 hr flight worth it?  I'd think it would have to be free to make it worth while.

Edited by marco

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On 8/20/2019 at 1:17 PM, ScottnBobbi said:

Cruise Review of Some Important Items.

 

 

Flight In:

Flew in on Saturday, July 20, 2019 to Ft. Lauderdale.  Flights arranged by NCL were the worst they could arrange.  This is really the only issue we had, but it was so bad we may not travel with NCL in future.  11 and ½ hours to travel from Connecticut to Florida. 

 

 

 

This is why we always book our own flights!

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11 hours ago, awhcruiser said:

This is why we always book our own flights!

 

Ditto.

Cruise lines have their pet airlines - sorry, their "preferred air partners" :classic_rolleyes: - and if  using them means three flights including long layovers when other airlines have direct flights - tough!!

 

JB :classic_smile:

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On 8/22/2019 at 12:49 PM, marco said:

Just wondering about your flights and how much NCL charged you.  Friends in CT fly frequently from BDL to FLL for anywhere between $95 and $130 each way on 3 hr non-stops on SW. (and bags fly free!)  Was booking air through NCL so much of a savings that it made an 11.5 hr flight worth it?  I'd think it would have to be free to make it worth while.

late arrival on this one but wanted to give my opinion of the free/discounted air. For us, we got a good schedule. NCL uses Delta, American and United mostly we have been told We are scheduled, next month on Delta. No, not the best seats but good flight times. We will leave here at 6am day of sailing; Return home by 5:30 which is great . The price, including taxes, etc is $99 a person, plus the transsfers which we would have regardless. If booking on our own, we would have paid about $600 each if we were lucky and would have flown in the night before, so would have added another $150 or more for hotel. As much as we do not like flying in the day of, we are happy. 

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Is there an area/areas with loungers open to all?   We do not need to be near the pool; but would like to relax in the fresh air with a view of the sea.  Thanks!

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10 hours ago, Aeryn said:

Is there an area/areas with loungers open to all?   We do not need to be near the pool; but would like to relax in the fresh air with a view of the sea.  Thanks!

The deck above the pool has many areas with deck chairs.  Spice H2O in the back of the same deck (16) is adults only and quiet.  All have great sea views. Also areas up the stairs to deck 17 and the very top, deck 18, awesome views.

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Thanks for the review!  Looking forward to the Breakaway in a couple of weeks.

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6 hours ago, PelicanBill said:

The deck above the pool has many areas with deck chairs.  Spice H2O in the back of the same deck (16) is adults only and quiet.  All have great sea views. Also areas up the stairs to deck 17 and the very top, deck 18, awesome views.

 

Thank you!  Looking forward to the Breakaway in March.

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Hi I was wondering if there was a "Lobster Night" and what day that was.

Also if no lobster was there a seafood buffet?

Trying to figure out what nights to use our SDP.

Thanks! Breakaway 9/22 sailing

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Go to Ocean Blue.  They have a surf and turf with lobster tail. It is amazing and we were never charged extra.  We went twice.  This was the best restaurant on the ship.

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Where would you recommend eating on embarkation day to avoid the rush at the buffet?  (Is the noodle bar open before you leave port?)

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I was wondering if there were any upcharges for individual meals at Ocean Blue since there is no longer an add-on fee to use it with the SDP.  Thanks for the info!  Looks like I'll be changing La Cucina to Ocean Blue for our November cruise.

 

Were there any dishes listed that were an extra fee, or was everything there included?

 

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Hello there, thank's for the gf info as I'm also celiac. Were there any gf options in the buffet & O'sheenens pub?

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O'Sheenens can do gluten free if you preorder and there are some good options including chicken wings, Ruben Sandwich.  The buffet is what you feel safe eating.  I would think you can preorder, but we never took the chance and always ate at Savor or specialty restaurants.  All sit down you can preorder.  

 

I was told Ocean Blue would have an up-charge, but we were never given one or advised there was one.  I had lobster and steak each time and was never assessed an uncharge.

 

The Noodle bar is really great, but booked very quickly.  Reservations are required unless you get very lucky and don't mind waiting for someone not to show.  I would book a specialty restaurant on embarkation day.  We did Ocean Blue.

 

The pool was crowded as is on any cruise.  On sea days it was to the max but accessible.

 

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8 hours ago, ashleyriley said:

What didn't you like about the show Velvet? Did that replace Burn the Floor? Thank you! 

 

Velvet is the dinner show, it did not replace BTF.  I have heard on the Roll Call for the 1 FEB sailing that Six will soon replace ROA though but I have not seen anything that confirms that.  I was hoping it replaced BTF because I've seen it already.

 

Just found that Six will be added to BA starting 10 NOV but it doesn't say which show will be replaced.

 

https://cruiseweb.com/blog/2019/08/norwegian-cruise-line-to-add-six-the-musical-to-stacked-entertainment-line-up

 

Edited by RedwingHockeyFan

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Daniel Johnson's Sloth Hangout should be booked through the company's website.  No upfront money and you will get a quick response.  https://monkeyandslothhangout.com/home/

 

Velvet was just a poor version of a 70's soundtrack.  It is our opinion, but we heard a lot of people that were not thrilled either.  Rock of Ages was great and I hope they don't get rid of it.  We did not go see Burn the Floor.  

 

What is Six?  It will be playing on the Bliss when we go in April.

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