NCL Breakaway B2B Cruise Review
February 17 & February 24, 2019
Just The Facts
Ship: NCL Breakaway
Ship Captain: Matko Candrlic from Croatia
Cruise Director: J.C. Sanchez from Philippines
Ports: New Orleans (3), Isla Cozumel, Mexico (2), Harvest Caye, Belize (2), Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico (2), Belize City, Belize.
This is my first cruise on the NCL Breakaway, 6th & 7th time sailing Norwegian Cruise Line, 4th time sailing from NOLA, and 140th & 141st cruises overall. The ‘dear wife’ (DW) and I are sailing with the Snoozemates on their 10th annual February group cruise.
Saturday / Travel / February 16th / Day 0
A good cruise friend stayed at the Ranch Friday night and the three of us were off about 9:15 am headed south using some pretty Texas blue highways. We had a very nice lunch at the Ranch Hand Cafe near Cleveland, Texas…my second time at the unique country cafe. CFS is specialty, but I had the Hawaiian Chicken. The sandwiches looked really good. We continued and joined the Interstate highway system in Beaumont and had an uneventful trip although I didn’t enjoy the interstate as much as the rural Texas blue highways. Soon we crossed the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge and arrived in Gonzales, Louisiana about 6:10 pm. to stay overnight at the LaQuinta. They have opened a new burger place next door named Mooyah with a good selection of hand crafted hamburgers. The fries are great and identical to Guy’s...all was good including the shake. A good travel day.
Sunday / Embarkation / February 17th / Day 1
|Mississippi River Bridge at NOLA
Monday / Sea Day / February 18th / Day 2
|Atrium area of NCL Breakaway
Tuesday / Cozumel Mexico / February 19th / Day 3
|Fun with boats - Cozumel
Wednesday / Sea Day / February 20th / Day 4
|Manhattan Dining Room - main dining room
Thursday / Harvest Caye, Belize / February 21st / Day 5
|Ship view from Havest Caye
Friday / Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico / February 22nd-Birthday / Day 6
|Waterfall cool off
Saturday / Sea Day / February 23rd / Day 7
Sunday / New Orleans, USA / February 24th / Day 8
|Circus friend on deck 6
Monday / Day at Sea / February 25th / Day 9
Smooth seas overnight and I slept well. We sat in river for a time that actually woke me as I had been so used to being rocked to sleep at night. Clear blue skies and water, but a bit breezy. I went up to the buffet for a light light breakfast as I have plans for lunch today. Today I was insulted to my face by staff. I went to the Cruise Next desk to purchase a single future certificate, the desk is well known for their up sell philosophy so I said upfront that I am an experienced cruiser with 141 cruises and a travel agent and that I am fully aware of the program. After stating all that she said if I only got one that it was stupid, i.e. I am stupid. Stupid was her word. I know that the next level up, two futures offers a better return of OBC (on board credit) than what I wanted the single. But I only want one now as I can get more on the next cruise when I will not be in a group and will need more OBC. Still deciding what to do about this but to insult a guest is surely not in their training. Went to Moderno Churrascaria for the Seaday BBQ, this was excellent. Beautiful room with excellent salad and dessert buffet and various BBQ dishes served in chafing dishes. I had some nice salads and a selection of Ribs, Steak, Chicken, and Sausage. They have service and not too busy as it had not been discovered as yet by guests, but only two sea days this week to enjoy it. We had a relaxing afternoon enjoying balcony (with cloudy skies) and cabin time. We met the group for cocktails in the atrium then went to the theater for excellent production show Burn the Floor. A very high energy show featuring the dancers and two feature singers. Great exhibition of dancing. After the show we went to Savor for dinner. It was a nice and relaxing dinner, I ordered: the Scotch Beef Barley Soup, Cobb Salad, Parmesan Crusted Pork Chop grilled entree, and Cherries Jubilee for dessert. It was a good dinner with good service. We retired after dinner. It was another great sea day on the NCL Breakaway.
Tuesday / Cozumel, Mexico / February 26th / Day 10
|Fun at Woody's - Cozumel
Wednesday / Belize City, Belize / February 27th / Day 11
|Moderno Churrascaia Salad Bar
Thursday / Harvest Caye, Belize / February 28th / Day 12
Friday / Costa Maya, Mexico / March 1st / Day 13
|Costa Maya Mexico
Saturday / Sea Day / March 2nd / Day 14
|Much visited Garden Cafe
Sunday / Debarkation Day / March 3rd
We were awake from 3:00 am when we were notified that the DD was in labor and admitted to the hospital. Several weeks early. Well no sleep from then on. We will soon be in NOLA exactly half way between the Ranch (home) and DD in Tampa Florida. It’s about nine hours drive either way. What to do? We have another passenger riding with us to complicate matters. Who will use air and where do they go. Poor connections to TPA so driving would be faster, but ultimately we decided to go home as probably would not be in Tampa in time for delivery and there is also a lot of items we are supposed to be transporting to Florida. Long story short we made it home before delivery so probably would have made it to hospital in time. We will head that way after a bit of a rest. Drive was rainy at times, but uneventful and we enjoyed a great TexMex dinner at Los Pericos in Huntsville, Texas.
The NCL Breakaway entered service on 30 April 2013. She was constructed at Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
Tonnage: 145,655 GT Length: 1068.3 ft
Beam: 169.7 ft Draft: 27 ft (8.23 m)
Decks: 18 Speed: 22 knots
Capacity: 3963-double occupancy Crew: 1,657
We had cabin 14842 a balcony cabin (with extended angle balcony space) located on deck 14 near aft elevators. The cabin has a double bed, a push button safe with light, two-section closet, small couch, two electrical outlets on counter/dresser, interactive TV, Telephone, excellent Hair dryer at counter/dresser, refrigerator (never used), and nice fixed doors at shower. My cabin steward, Aquilino Bathan from Philippines was very good, the cabin was always clean. This is the first cabin ever that was actually too cold if we had the thermoset on coolest setting. We never needed the fan we brought along.
Dining / Food / Bars
Huge difference with the Freestyle dining on NCL. There are NO set dining times anywhere, but the option to dine in six or seven dining venues or six premium venues with an extra cover charge. I really like the Tablecloths in the primary dining rooms…very classy compared to Carnival Cruise Line. They also have one MDR with stricter dress code and one MDR with more casual dress code. Something for everyone. I like it. The food was very impressive, but also different to me so change is good. They did have a REAL steak, among other nice entrees offered every night on a set menu if you wished, or the daily menu that changes with special entrees. Very impressive menus and waiters were very friendly and helpful. The BBQ on sea days is great. The bakery is very good as all breads were excellent. There are two almost 24 hour soft serve ice creme machines in addition to an ice creme station in the Garden Cafe. There are 21 bars on board, my favorites were Shakers the martini bar and Headliners bar in Atrium. One of the few items that need improvement IMHO is slow bar service, but it is due to that the vast majority of guests (75%) have a drink package.
Crew / Other
Most crew were friendly, helpful, and efficient. The NCL iPhone App is wonderful, especially for checking your account balances or reserving entertainment.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CRUISES
Private boat tour in Cozumel
Rock of Ages theatrical production show
Woody’s Day in Cozumel
Burn the Floor production show