Onboard Service Review: Norwegian Breakaway
By Austin Gambino, Marketing Assistant, The Cruise Web, Inc.
After spending a few days on the Norwegian Breakaway, I thought it would be nice to share my onboard service review, and what I believe you can expect from future cruises. Before you book a vacation, and more importantly choose a cruise ship, it’s important to speak with your travel agent about the style of service you can expect to receive onboard, as well as the right environment to go with your vacation needs. Hopefully, the following review of the Boarding Process/Service, Room/Cleaning Service, Restaurant Service and Casino Service will assist you in your future cruising plans.
I’m pretty picky about this part of the process, so if you can truly satisfy me, that’s impressive. As I walked into the New York Port Authority, an employee immediately directed me upstairs to the area for pre-boarding, and each person I passed clearly and strongly pointed me in the right direction (through a few lines, checkpoints, etc.). Courteous warm smiles met me at every turn, with constant reminders for what documents I needed to board. The attendant who took our information and gave me my ‘cruise credit card’ was patient through my questions about the location of my room/restaurants/theater (even though that wasn’t their job), pricing, the process behind the credit card and so on. We got there at boarding time, 11:00 a.m., and were on the ship at around 11:30 a.m. Bravo.
The room (albeit a bit small) looked fantastic when I arrived. I had no idea how to get the electricity to work for the first three hours on board the Breakaway. Someone who has not cruised before, or recently, would most likely be unaware of the slot for your ‘cruise credit card’ that powers the room (see ‘Electricity’ section in our Tips and Tricks Blog). Besides that, the cleaning service was timely and efficient. For the most part, the entire ship seemed extremely clean, even towards the end of the night.
Ocean Blue: The hostess fit my party in for an outdoor seating on the first day, and we were taken care of just like any other guest. The waiter then brought us inside when a table opened up, which was a delight. Wine for each course, bread whenever needed, and enough space to enjoy our meal without us ever having to ask for something besides the dessert menu. When asked, the waiter even brought the chef out for us as well, in a timely manner. Fantastic service.
Teppanyaki Japanese Steakhouse: From the minute we sat down to the final bite, the service was excellent. The servers were courteous, served from the correct side, and timely. The best part about the service is the captivating cooking right in front of your eyes. Our masterful hibachi chef wowed the child at our table with egg-centric tricks and made the experience exciting and fun.
La Cucina: Smooth, clever and relaxing – the way an Italian dinner service should be. Our waitress paced the meal perfectly, added just enough personality for us to enjoy her presence, but never felt overbearing or unwanted. She got a strong seal of approval when my amaretto was served with three coffee beans, for good luck (Italian tradition). Buenisimo!
Cirque Dreams & Jungle Dinner Fantasy: Although warned ahead of time that this was going to be ‘theater-style dining’, it was still a bit inconvenient to be served each course without being asked anything, especially because I like the opportunity to order a steak cooked the way I like it. That being said, each course was brought out promptly enough, and timed well. We were served drinks quickly and without error the entire show (and the show was superb!)
I enjoy a nice roulette or blackjack from time to time, and when I do, the service is very important. I am pleased to commend the staff in the casino aboard the Norwegian Breakaway. The servers were around when you needed them, and the wait for a drink was unnaturally short compared to casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. The dealers/roulette staff were hilarious. Humor, fun and camaraderie ensued at each table I sat down at, and their interactions with each other (click-clacking a tune each time they were tipped, telling passengers to ‘beware’ of other dealers) were a riot!
Overall, the service onboard the brand new Norwegian Breakaway was, in my opinion, excellent. Courtesy, timeliness and a touch of personalization (on the casino floor in particular) were refreshing and enhanced the cruising experience. After experiencing the Norwegian way, I recommend sailing on the Breakaway as soon as you have the chance.
Have you experienced the service onboard the Breakaway? Tell us what you thought in the comments below.