Disclaimer: Due to the high price the internet on the ship (.99/minute) we were unable to blog live for this cruise. The events of this article took place on Oct 4, 2018.
Read about our previous day here.
Today we woke up en route to Southhampton, England. Ramon woke up early and went to the gym to work out. There were only 18 treadmills for 4000 passengers, and two of them were broken. The deck was closed due to wind so you could not run out on deck, so Ramon had to wait 20 min for a treadmill. His wait was lengthened because there were several people who had been on the treadmills for over 90 min, despite the sign saying that there was a 30 min max when there were other passengers were waiting. To say that he was aggravated was an understatement.
The kids were awake by the time Ramon got back to the room. After a very animated warning about the treadmill situation, I went to the gym while Ramon fed the kids breakfast. Their breakfast of choice this morning was Cinnamon Toast Crunch and chocolate milk.
After breakfast, we dropped Zack and Lucy off at Splash Academy. They were so excited that this session was soccer themed as Zack’s favorite sport is soccer.
One of Ramon’s favorite activities to do when we cruise is trivia, so he went to morning trivia. There were a lot of people there to participate, but no seats.
Ramon wasn’t able to join a team for trivia due to the lack of seats. We are quickly realizing that there are no large venues to host events and activities on the Breakaway.
After trivia, Ramon went to guest services to try and get a list of all of the complimentary nighttime entertainment that we were registered for. He was very annoyed that you could not check what you reserved on the app or on the touch screens around the ship.
After my workout and a shower, Ramon and I met back at our cabin. We picked up the kids and headed to Garden Cafe for lunch.
The kids had mac and cheese and fries. Ramon had rotisserie chicken, with a side of scoop ice cream. Today, we had an Australian couple join us for lunch. They were on the previous 9 night Baltic cruise, and also made similar observations about the ship. They noted the fact that they also felt the ship was very crowded, particularly the indoor spaces. On the last cruise they said they hung out in their cabin most of the cruise due to the lack of seating available anywhere.
After lunch, we had to go get our passports from our cabin, and go to see the UK immigration officer on board. This was mandatory of all guests. Immigration was held in one of the dining rooms, as venues to conducts large scale activities and events are nonexistent on this ship.
While we have have had to turn over our passports on previous cruises, we have never had to go through an in person immigration process before. We have also never cruised through the United Kingdom before. We have started cruises in the UK, but never passed through.
The line was long but moved quickly.
They formed a queue using chairs in the dining room which was very handy as it created a place to sit.
All passengers had to be present, so the kids had to come with us. They did really well and occupied themselves with coloring and iPads while we waited.
We were worried that we would not make it out of immigration before progressive trivia, which is our favorite event on long cruises. We made it out with time to spare, and we dropped the kids off at Splash Academy. When we arrived, the cruise director staff was hosting a “Deal or No Deal” game show.
Progressive trivia was held in the atrium, which despite being two levels, was very cramped with limited seating. After much searching, we found a group to join. Ramon sat on a coffee table and I sat on the floor because, of course, there were no seats.
In the middle of trivia, the Splash Academy staff came to tell us that Lucy had an accident. I left and went to change her. When i dropped her back off, they gave me a pager to be able to get in touch with us more easily. Trivia was VERY hard, and our team only scored 10 out of a possible 20, but our group was still in the top 6.
After trivia, we went to the library to check out their selection of books and to relax and read for a little while. There was a very limited book selection, mostly consisting of reference and nonfiction/self help books. There were also no seats available in the library to sit and read. We searched around for a while trying to find a place to sit, we finally found a place outside one of the specially restaurants. We were there 10 minutes and asked to move so that they could begin setting up for dinner.
We got a call from Splash Academy saying that Lucy was tired. I went to go get her, and took her back to the cabin to get a quick nap before dinner. While Lucy and I napped, Ramon went to Superheroes and Villains Trivia. He did not join a group, as again there are no seats, but still got 14 out of a possible 20. Instead of giving out prizes at every trivia or game, the cruise directors staff gave out signatures for participation, and more signatures for winning. This was different than Royal Caribbean in that you normally some spectacular as highlighters or keychains!! Now if you win a hat on Royal Caribbean you know you’ve arrived. Passengers can redeem these signatures for prizes. It is very reminiscent of the Ship Shape dollar program on Royal Caribbean that has been phased out.
After trivia time and nap time, it was dinner time. We decided to go to O’ Sheehan’s tonight for dinner. Ramon and I split a cheeseburger and fries. Zack got wings and fries and Lucy wanted “chips and sauce” – better known as nachos. It was all very good! I can see this becoming a favorite spot of our over the next two weeks.
The downside to O’sheehan’s is their dessert menu, or lack there of. We went up to Garden Cafe for dessert. Ramon and I got a scoop of ice cream, Zack loves soft serve ice cream, and Lucy got jello. While we were there, we all got to see a beautiful sunset.
After dinner, we took the kids to see Burn the Floor. This is a dance showcase requiring reservations. It took place in the main theater. We were not allowed to take pictures, but let me tell you, this show was AMAZING! The dancing was of varying styles, but all high energy. Ramon and I got exhausted simply watching them. They did a wonderful job with the logistics as well. The sets were simplistic and truly let the singers and dancers take center stage. The choreography was on point, and I was truly amazed by the costume changes. Zack absolutely loved it and wanted to go see it again immediately.
We wanted to get to bed early tonight since tomorrow we will be up early to see Salisbury, England. We went back to Garden Cafe for a snack before bedtime. When we got back to our room, our stateroom attendant made an elephant towel animal, which the kids absolutely loved!
Tomorrow we will be in the port of Southampton and will explore Salisbury and Stonehenge.
After three days on the Norwegian Breakaway, we are beginning to feel the effects of not having any large lounges or venues to hold activities. There is literally not ONE large lounge. All the space is taken up by the 30+ bars and restaurants. There is limited seating anywhere and this makes meeting people and socialization more difficult. Since the majority of activities take place in the atrium, most people just stay there all day whether they are participating in the activity or not. This can be very aggravating for those that want to participate in trivia or any activity in the atrium. People reserve seats in the Atrium in the same manner that people reserve a beach chair. They leave a cane or book on the chair for hours on end to reserve their spot, which can be very aggravating.
They should employ chair attendants to remove items if they have been left unattended for longer than 30 minutes like on the pool deck. This would avoid conflicts among passengers which can unfortunately result in said passengers inflicting harm on other passengers with their canes. True story. We can’t make this stuff up!
The nighttime entertainment on NCL has an edge above Royal. Burn the Floor was amazing, and we were stunned at how talented the dancers and singers were. For a non-broadway show, Burn the Floor was the best cruise ship show we have seen, and we’ve seen a lot. There is also a larger selection of nighttime entertainment every night than most Royal Caribbean ships of a similar size. We also feel the house band and singer’s are also a little more talented than on Royal Caribbean.
Read about our next day here.
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