Mitsugirly BREAKAWAYs for a summer cruise: Review/Pictorial
Day 1: Flying to Florida and spending the night before the cruise.
Time for a new review: Summer Break 2019!!!
We cruise the Breakaway out of Miami this time (despite my rule of not cruising the same ship more than once LOL). I try to do a different ship each time but it had been awhile since we cruised with NCL (2016) I still had 2 cruise certificates that needed to be used up before the first of the year. We've been trying to do land vacations in Aruba during the summer months and reluctantly decided we would need to forego that this year in order to use up certificates. I have to say that one of the main reasons we started trying other lines is that for some reason NCL seems to think that cruisers don't want to cruise the Caribbean during the summer months and don't have many options during that time frame. Yet, here are all the other cruise lines...cruising the Caribbean during the summer! Hmmm.... The other issue is that they just seem to cruise to the same ports over and over with no variety like the other cruise lines we've been cruising with lately. Come on NCL, spice it up a little.
Well...my only option this time around would be on the Breakaway (which we cruised to Bermuda in October 2015 and had a blast) going to the "normal" routes: Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. However, I did notice that it would be going to Harvest Caye in Belize instead of Belize City. At least I would get to experience a new port. WOO HOO! The other great thing about NCL is....I'M PLATINUM and enjoy the platinum benefits PLUS those free drink packages is always an added plus! So, why not? We booked and looked forward to this cruise and the planning began.
August 4 Sunday: Board the ship
August 5 Monday: Sea day
August 6 Tuesday: ROATAN 10-6pm
August 7 Wednesday: HARVEST CAYE BELIZE 8-5pm
August 8 Thursday: COSTA MAYA 8-5pm
August 9 Friday: COZUMEL 8-5PM
August 10 Saturday: Sea day
August 11 Sunday: Back to port
This time around would just be myself, the hubs and our daughter Sakari. The rest of the family decided to sit this one out, especially Kendra and family since they had just joined us on RC Freedom a few months ago for Spring Break.
This time around, we picked an interior room. The prices were a little high and I figured it would just be best to get an interior. Honestly, balconies are nice to let the sunlight in and watch us pull in or out of port, but other than that, we really don't hang out on the balcony or enjoy it the way a lot of others do. We are hardly EVER in our room and it just seems like such a waste for us to upgrade to one (unless there's just a deal we can't refuse). To each their own I guess. The last time we sailed the Breakaway we had a balcony (I think it was a mini suite) and loved the shower area (it had the shower spouts up and down the wall that were amazing!) and the shower was pretty big as well. But other than that, it was your normal balcony room. So, I just expected the regular interior room when I booked. The other nice thing is that when I booked, I was allowed to use 2 cruise certificates for the booking and was able to use up those last 2 I still had in one shot.
But before the review begins...just a few non-legal formalities heh heh heh.....
ALSO...notice my new signature line...I have my website up and running. In my signature line you will find all the hotels in various areas we have stayed in, all the ports we have been to, and all the ships we have sailed along with my land Aruba vacations and all the things there is to do there. Hopefully this will help others when planning and hopefully you'll find it useful and easy to navigate. If you find any broken links or anything wrong, please let me know.
This will make my 24th cruise, my husband's 22nd cruise I think? After a while, things are starting to run together.
and Sakari's 21st cruise...??? I've lost track to tell you the truth.
This entire review was shot with my Olympus Tough TG2 & a few with the 620. I take my model 620 & 830 along with me for back up because you never know what might happen and I would be devastated if I was without a camera. A few years ago, we also purchased Sakari her own camera (the 620 model) and she uses hers as well (which she managed to crack the screen on it during school camp last year so it's strictly a "land" camera now).
So on with the review....
When I first started doing reviews, I would carry a note pad and take notes during the cruise. Then that went to just taking a few notes about the day each night before bed. Then the world of technology convinced me to type notes into my phone during the day each day. This cruise....I DID NOTHING! Nothing at all. Oops. I enjoyed myself and hoped that I had taken enough pictures during the day to remind me of what we did. So forgive me if I have a few mess ups or forget things along the way. I'll do my best. I tried this on my last cruise and it worked out ok.
August 3, Saturday: We booked a fairly late flight out (mid day) of Columbus because I really hate rushing around in the mornings and it's just easier for our family to not be too rushed with last minute packing and getting ready.
Our flight departed at 3:35pm and we were due to arrive in FLL at 8pm. That would still give us enough time to find a place to eat dinner once we arrived at the hotel.
We were packed and ready to go...the animals had already been dropped off at my youngest sons home the night before and we were good to go. One suitcase per person...we packed fairly light (unlike my oldest daughter Kendra lol). Then off we went.
We used to have someone drop us off at the airport but it became more of an inconvenience and just started parking at the lot and shuttling over several cruises ago.
Our plane was on time and Sakari always has to touch the plane before getting on for good luck. Man she is getting big.
After take off, Sakari immediately started drawing on her phone. She has this huge infatuation with the "furry fandom". If you've been a follower of my reviews, you will remember we ended up on a cruise with the furries once on NCL Sun back in 2014. Sakari fell in love with them and had a blast on that cruise. She knows a lot of them by name (on youtube) and she has become infatuated with making her own "fur suit" these days.
So what is a furry? The furry fandom is a subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Sakari has always had a love for animals and creatures and a WILD imagination. She's always been creative and she is an artist. This imagination combined with her creative talents has landed her a space in the Art school starting next week in middle school. She was tested last year and labeled as "gifted" and had to create a portfolio and had several interviews to be accepted into the school. I'm so proud of her and her talents as an artist. So recently she has started creating, what she calls her "OC" drawings of furries she wants to make. OC, she says, stands for "original character". She has a character named "Remi" that she has created and I just can not believe the things she comes up with when she creates them. I will have to get some pictures to show you all later when I'm home.
She does drawings of different characters on her phone and this is a drawing she did of Remi on the first half of our flight.
We landed in FLL right on time, gathered our luggage and headed outside the terminal to catch our shuttle to the hotel.
WHERE WE STAYED:
We booked a room at the Hilton Garden Inn, located in Dania Florida. We have stayed in this area before and I managed to snag a decent price.
I usually try to pick a place that at least offers free breakfast in the morning to save some money, but at least this place was close to places to walk to for dinner that night and breakfast in the morning.
We called for transportation to get us and they said he was on his way. We waited, and waited, and waited....and it was an hour and they never showed. I decided to give them a call again. The receptionist said that he had been there and picked up 2 people already and didn't see us and came back to the hotel. She said she would send him out again.
He finally arrived and by the time we made it to the hotel, it was already around 9:45pm. That was a little late to be trying to find a place to eat dinner, not to mention the walk involved in finding a place. So, we decided to just eat there at the restaurant they had on site in the hotel. They informed us that they were closing at 10pm and as long as you had your order in, they would allow you to sit down. The front desk said we could store our luggage there and rush over to eat and that we did!
Upon check in, we received a bag of goodies and some water.
We put our order in and they served us our drinks....CHEERS! (Something Sakari always likes to do).
I opted for the steak burger (it was SO GOOD) and their fries were delicious. The hubby was craving a pizza and Sakari has been on a wing kick for months now so she got the wings.
They had a sign in the lobby and Sakari wanted her picture taken with it. It took about 5 minutes and 10 pictures of trying to get her to actually SMILE for me instead of sticking her tongue out at the camera...which is her new thing to do this year. UGH! So now, she'll give me the absolute worst fake smile instead...kids...
Here's a few pictures of the hotel. I found it to be really nice!
Dining area and bar:
Notice the sign? Rides....
Outside you would find the bikes they rent for you to ride with the first 30 minutes free.
And a few pictures during the day:
The lobby/front desk does have a small room off to the side with snacks and drinks you could purchase.
The hallways on the floors had vending machines as well.
Now on to our room...
I GOT A TOWEL FLOWER!!!
They had a lot of added little touches that made it nice.
The room and hotel was nice and clean. I didn't find anything wrong or not working at this point.
We settled in and watched a little t.v. and decided to go to bed somewhat early (for us) because I know that every night before a cruise, I have a hard time sleeping. Be it from the excitement of the next day to come or the fact that I have to sleep on a full size bed instead of a King and it's just not enough room for me to toss and turn and roll and tumble IMO. LOL
I turned the air cooler and we headed for bed.