Norwegian Cruise Line for the Win!
Updated: Apr 13, 2021
You might know that I love to cruise! However, until now, I hadn't sailed Norwegian. I've always been fascinated by those vibrantly painted ships anchored at the port. In fact, on my last Royal Caribbean cruise, I took a picture of a Norwegian ship sailing by as I sat on my balcony. Little did I know I'd be sailing on that very same ship about six months later!
I didn't know what to expect. In fact, I'd read some reviews that had me worried. This was to be my yearly family vacation so I really didn't want to mess it up. However, my worries were quickly dispelled as we boarded the beautiful Norwegian Breakaway on our 7 night Caribbean cruise from Miami. From beginning to end, the crew was first class and the Breakaway is an absolutely beautiful ship from stem to stern.
Boarding was quick and efficient, we were onboard within 30 minutes. We hung out in the Garden Cafe, had a bite to eat while we waited for our cabin to become available. When we arrived at our room, most of our luggage was already there which was a nice surprise. We had two connecting cabins on Deck 6. Our steward came by right away to introduce himself and gave us a bottle of champagne as a welcome gift. We quickly established a rapport, and he was very attentive during our cruise. There's been some talk across the industry that the infamous towel animals were fading away, however our steward made sure we had a lovely animal waiting for us each night. The kid in me was very pleased.
We took advantage of the "free" offers. You will still pay gratuities for some of them so not completely free, but you have a choice to accept the offers you want and forego the rest. For this cruise we chose the drink package, 3 specialty restaurants, 250 minutes of wifi, and $25 toward shore excursions. I did find signing into the wifi troublesome as we had to visit the internet desk to get it to work. Overall, it wasn't of much use, but it was free so there's that. Lol
I must take a moment to express my delight at the specialty restaurants. We dined at Moderno Churrascaria, Cagney's Steakhouse, and Teppanyaki. Moderno Churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse. All I can say is bring your appetite because the food is delicious and plentiful. I especially enjoyed the ribeye, my husband was a huge fan of the lamb, and my daughter loved the parmesan chicken. Of the three I think Cagney's Steakhouse was my favorite. The ambiance was very upscale and the food was such a treat. I had the lamb which was very good. The Teppanyaki restaurant was our third choice and was very entertaining. We had a great chef who made our time there more enjoyable. I would highly recommend each of these restaurants; each one is very different but what they do, they do very, very well.
We also visited the Main Dining Room (MDR) a couple of times, and we found the food hit or miss. Some was really good, and other dishes were just ok. The one dish I remember and enjoyed very much was the cornbread. It was delicious so if you see it on the menu, you might give it a try. Shanghai's Noodle Bar was pretty good as well. It is included in your cruise fare, and we were able to squeeze in one night even though we didn't have a reservation. If you like Ramen, you will like this spot so check it out. Lastly, we visited O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar and Grill on a few late nights. They are open 24/7, and it was a nice treat to have something other than pizza after a night out. My favorites here were the nachos and the Thai Chili Wings. The fish and chips were good as well.
Our ports of call were in Roatan Honduras, Harvest Caye Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel Mexico. We did the Fun-n-Sun excursion in Honduras with Victor Bodden Tours. There were monkeys, sloths and birds, oh my! We really had a great time and the beach after was a nice cool down after a hot day. We got to hang out at West Bay Beach and we enjoyed the fried calimari and lobster bites from the Bananarama. The banana daiquiri was delicious as well. In Belize, we took a boat cruise on the Black Swan and the captain was very knowledgeable. It was very relaxing on the water as we sipped rum punch and enjoyed the view. We did quite a bit of shopping in both Costa Maya and Cozumel. Since we have been to Cozumel many times, we just walked down to the Mega Market and stocked up on Tequila. We also stopped by Taco y Tequila, a cute outdoor Mexican restaurant where we had a nice lunch and the largest margarita I've ever seen! I couldn't even drink it all, I think it was about 30 oz. Lol
A little bit about the shows! DON"T MISS THEM! We saw Burn the Floor and Rock of Ages which are complimentary. They were both fantastic! I felt as though I was at a true Broadway show (and I've been known to walk out of shows due to horrible singing and acting). I enjoyed every moment but make sure you check if the show is age appropriate if you plan to bring children. We also went to a show called Velvet which showcases the disco era. It does have a fee, at the time it was $30 per person. It included dinner before the show which was about an hour long. We enjoyed it VERY much and it was worth every penny. In fact, I'd pay to see it again! Btw, outside of the theatre, you will be able to read the impressive pedigree of the singers, dancers and actors which explains the high caliber of of the shows.
There are several other places and activities aboard the Breakaway that we enjoyed such as the Glow party outside on the top deck, or the Svedka Ice Bar. And we were very pleasantly surprised when we were greeted by the crew who stood outside the ship (think Soul Train line), and rolled out the red carpet while the music blared during the Welcome Home party as we reboarded after a day in port.
But all too quickly, we were back in Miami with another successful cruise under our belts and already planning our next Norwegian adventure on the ride home. My seven year old grandson says Splash, the kid's club, was the best club he'd ever been to and he's been to quite a few. So who are we to deny him another cruise aboard Norwegian? :) So if you usually cruise Carnival or Royal Caribbean and you've wondered about Norwegian as I had, DO IT! We all had a great time and would not hesitate to go again.
Until next time, safe travels and happy cruising!!