First let me say we love cruising and although we didn't like this Norwegian cruise as much as our experiences with Carnival, we did still enjoy it. We've always cruised on Carnival so yes we're a little partial to them but as I mentioned we love cruising and this one was a free offer from work so we decided to take it to see what another cruise line was like. It's obvious to me after reading many other reviews that everyone is different in what they may or maynot consier important and we are no different. So with that said, first you need to know what we like and expect which will then help you determine whether our perspective may or maynot pertain to you.
We normally cruise alone, I find this more relaxing as there's no worry about coordinating dinner, events, excusions, and so on with others which many times complicates the whole prosses, not to mention if one of them is having a bad time or day it can effect your much anticipated vacation. We do bring family now and then which has been fun but usually we do a couple by our selves inbetween.
A huge and important fact about us is we're not big drinkers on the ships, matter fact my wife doesn't drink at all, but I do enjoy a few each evening before we call it a night. This is very important to know as to many drinking is a big part of their vacation so drink packages and booze cost is very important to many.
We are not activity participaters but we do injoy watching them. We go to most all of the shows and activities we can fit in, including the comedy shows.
We are not sun worshipers, so we don't get out of bed to go out and lay back down for the day near the pool.
We don't bring elegant cloths but do go to the dinning rooms as well as the buffet. We never go to the specialty restaruants other than once I went to the Steak House on a Carnival Ship and it was good but not that good that I'd go again when there's all kinds of good free food on the ship!
We rarely take the elevators so when I book our room I look for somthing between the Lido and Prominade.
Okay, with that said this is our report from our recent cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway.
The ship is very nice but we didn't like the layout as well as the Carnival ships. The Lido decks on Carnival are much more open and fun friendly. On the Breakaway, the pool area is very tight and secluded like a private party. There seems to be more observation area's on the Carnivals. The casino was broke up and spread out whereas on the Carnival ships the casino is one big area again making it more of a group fun than individual pockets of people. We did like the buffet area and seating. We never had to wait long and we always got a nice seat by the window.
As for the food, we thought the food was about the same when it comes to the buffet but in the dinning rooms we liked Carnival much better. From the appitizers to the desserts, Carnival gets our vote. It's not that the Norwegian food was bad, we just thought it wasn't as good as Carnival. Carnival has the Guys Burgers which are great, and Carnival has the deli which we really like and the Breakaway didn't have anything like that.
Drinks, well as I confessed earlier we are not big drinkers so for me that likes a few in the evening, it's much better on Carnival. I can get a double Jack and Coke on Carnival for about $12.50 and on the Breakaway a double would have been $36!! A single was $18, that's terrible, and it wasn't easy getting a drink as the bars were always understaffed or somthing because it took a while to get a drink. One night I went to three different bars hoping for a shorter line but no such luck.
Entertainment and shows, on the Breakaway was good, in the theater they had two main shows that we went to and then one night was a comedian/magician, one night a all Comedy show and the first night was a welcome board show. The theater was very nice and the shows were great. Some say the main shows were much better than Carnivals and although I agree they might have been better, I don't think they were that much better. The comedians were some of the best we've seen. As for the smaller activities, it seemed like there were less than on Carnival and again because the pool area is so small it was hard to watch some of the poolside activities. The ones I did see were good.
The rooms and stewards, the rooms are similair but the stewards on Norwegian aren't quite as personal and friendly as those on Carnival. On carnival the stewards remember your name and adress you by name most of the time whereas our Norwegian steward never done that. When you pass other stewards or housekeeping staff on Carnival they usually say hi, good morning, good evening or something whereas the Norwegian staff that wasn't your steward would look the other way or try to avoid eye to eye contact. . Not all of them but most of them.
The Cruise Director and staff on the Norwegian was nice but nothing like the Cruise Directors and staff on Carnival ships. The Cruise Director on the breakaway was nice but he did't have the energy or fun side like those on Carnival. Half the time he would make announcements on the PA system, it sounded like a robot. Which again wasn't bad, but just not uplifting.
Getting on and off the boat was about the same. No matter where we go, we've got it down to only having one carry on suitecase and one personal bag so we carry on and carry off which makes it much easier on both.
All in all we did have a good time but if given a choice, to fit our definition of a fun vacation, we'll go Carnival.
First time we've been here. They have some nice shopping, large beach with plenty of seating, a couple bars and large swimming pool. For a private island it's nice.
We do like this port as they have lots of shopping, food, swimup bar, watch dolphins, and not far to a cool small town with more shopping and food! Beware thou, if there's more than two ships it gets very crowded at the port. The time before there was three ships and it was very crowded, this time we were the second ship with a third on it's way so we got off and it was nice but by the time we were ready to get back on third ship was unloading and it was getting crowded