Originally Posted by nymomof3
Hi we are thinking of booking this cruise this year and the negative comments really have us nervous. I am hearing it is very difficult to get to shows because you have to have tickets first. Never heard of this on the cruises. Also long waits to eat dinner and then you miss your shows. Please any opinions would be appreciated
We have not been on the Breakaway, but did cruise on the sister ship the Getaway. It is not difficult to get tickets, but it will probably require a little planning and research on your part. You can book these shows 90 to 100 days precruise, I think it is, so you have plenty of time unless you do a last minute cruise. Only one of the evening shows has a fee, the Cirque dinner show, but some of the others do require a reservation as there are a few thousand people on the ship, and you can't all show up on the same evening. There are several entertainment options offered on each evening, so everyone is not doing the same thing at the same time.
After you have booked, you will register on MY NCL and be able to view the shows available for booking about 90 days out. What we did was to sort of loosely block out our week based on the days and times each show was offered in order to spread our entertainment out over the week. We only prebooked a couple of shows, the equivalent of your Cirque and Rock of Ages show. You can also book on board at the box office ( they do not book ALL seats for the week precruise. They hold back a good portion for onboard booking.). Or, you can line up at a particular show, and 15 minutes before show time they will probably allow you in. Many things, like Howl at the Moon and the Grammy venue, do not offer reservations at all and you simply walk in and out at will, although they may get busy at times.
Most shows are offered at both early and late times. If you like to eat early, book a late show time, or visa versa for those who like to eat late. Allow a couple of hours before show time or even more. The show seats are not assigned, so whoever is in line first gets their choice of seats. And people tend to line up 30 to 45 minutes early or even more. The big MDR tends to go at a more leisurely pace, so I'd opt for the buffet or one of the two smaller MDRs, Taste or Savor, if you think you will be pressed for time. Let the server know, and they can move things along. The people who have problems are those who have it set in stone that they must dine at xPM each evening or their cruise is ruined. Be flexible. If the big MDR says it will be a 20 minute wait, walk down the hall to Taste or Savor and be seated immediately. Or book a reservation at a specialty, or even the MDR. In 6 NCL cruises, we were given a beeper once, for a 15 minute wait, ( I have waited waaay longer at home). We walk into specialty restaurants with no res, with none or minimal waits. It is not nearly as bad as people make it out to be.
With a little research you can find out in advance what days and times the various shows are offered. Then make a loose plan and book what is important to you when the reservations open up. Be flexible with your meal plans on those evenings, or, make a reservation for well before, or after the show. You will have a great time.