Sail Date: July 2019
My husband and I have taken several cruises over the past few years. This was the first time with Norwegian. We were absolutely blow away with the top notch service we received. It began with embarkation, easy, quick and with a warm ... Read More
My husband and I have taken several cruises over the past few years. This was the first time with Norwegian. We were absolutely blow away with the top notch service we received. It began with embarkation, easy, quick and with a warm smile. This set the tone for our week. The food was absolutely delicious. We tried everything on the menu throughout our trip and we were never disappointed. Our room steward Emanuel went overboard (no pun) to be sure our room was always stocked neat and clean. Alexandrea our restaurant hostess was so pleasant. She was very Intune to all the details. We needed to ask for nothing because the crew was always a step ahead and somehow predicted our needs. How they do I we will never know but they made this the MOST relaxing and truly enjoyable trip we have ever taken. As soon as we got home we made a few phone calls to family and friends to plan a 2020 trip. We will never take another cruise with any other line going forward. BEST VACATION EVER!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We've cruised a few times but so far this is our new favourite. The only reason I gave 4 stars was because of the location of the casino, it was right smack in the middle of Deck 7 where all guests including children passed by, so you ... Read More
We've cruised a few times but so far this is our new favourite. The only reason I gave 4 stars was because of the location of the casino, it was right smack in the middle of Deck 7 where all guests including children passed by, so you inhaled the smoke and all, but I guess it had a strategic location and purpose by NCL. The shows were good especially Cirque Dreams, vocalist Karl Loxkey and the female violinist. Food was tasty and had a variety of selection. There were themed nights at the Garden Cafe, and the Grilled Night was the best! The Prime Rib special of the day at O'Sheehans Is a must try, tender and mouth watering, cooked to perfection! The Indian themed lunch at Moderno's was very flavourful and tasted authentic! The cruise director, Dan Dan was my favourite of all. He was quick, witty, smart, hilarious and very generous and attentive! He even rendered a duet with Karl Loxley at the Matinee Farewell Show. He was such a great singer! His staff was amazing! The Matinee Farewell Show by the way is not to be missed! There was so much things to do and see for the family. Lots of free demonstrations and health seminars during the last sea day. Crew were attentive to guests' needs. There was also Lounge and cabins for single cruisers. Overall it was a cruise to remember! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
I'm sure that there are many cruise lines that are willing to offer more at a little higher rate. For a first timer this was an opportunity to get my "feet wet". The value was good for the services received. The breakaway ... Read More
I'm sure that there are many cruise lines that are willing to offer more at a little higher rate. For a first timer this was an opportunity to get my "feet wet". The value was good for the services received. The breakaway was clean. The cabin was clean and all surrounding public area such a bathrooms, stairs, hallways etc. The vocal entertainment was spot on. The bar tendering staff on decks 15, 16 & 17 where the best. The dining staff that i dealt with where also pleasant. Shore excursions i personally give 2thumbs down or 2 stars. #1. I wasn't sure if it was choppy waters or a poison sea snake in the beach water to norwegian's private islands. (Funds where refunded) #2.coco beach not quit a day at the beach. Too windy and dirty. #3.bahamas the weather was warm but only 1 day at dock. Even though ship docked the night b4. Food was decent and pretty much the same in most compliment dining rooms and buffet, unless you go asian or specialty dining. These spots served quality food and service. I'm a person who can find enjoyment in the worst possible case. I did just that. What others found unpleasant i made pleasant. Even a few racist. I met amazing and interesting people. I would advise all first timers and vets cruiser to never gave up the credit cards to load your ship payment card. I received $150 on board spending and added cash as needed. Carry only 1 card and use it for emergencies only. And cash out your card the final night and get back or clear up your account in cash. Who want to wait for a surprise bill in the mail.? Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The ship, crew and food were first rate. Million Dollar Quartet was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. Definitely will see again. The comedians were awful. Attended the 18+ show and expected to be in tears laughing ... Read More
The ship, crew and food were first rate. Million Dollar Quartet was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. Definitely will see again. The comedians were awful. Attended the 18+ show and expected to be in tears laughing so hard from the wealth of material available. Barely broke a smile.. Very unfortunate, Shore excursions overpriced and not very good value. Harvest Key, Norwegian's own island was a waste of time. You can get a tan on the boat just as easy and use your drink package as well. Every stop you would see the same watches, cheap jewelry, bamboo sheets for sale. Annoying the third and fourth port of call as you have to walk right thru the stores every time you get on and off the ship. What upset me the most was the amount of money the casino was taking from the passengers. I do understand that the boat is a business that is supposed to make money. However there is a limit between making money and gouging your customers. Eg 1. Blackjack tournament with a $500 prize. The boat took over $1800 in entries. $1300 profit is really greedy. Eg 2. Texas Hold-em Tournament. Over $2800 in entries, 3 prizes totaling just over $2100 were given out. $700 profit for a 3 hour tourney. Eg 3. The hold-em poker table took a 10% rake of every hand. That amounted to $250-400/hour depending on the size of the hands. The boat was the only winner. As I said the boat is a business to make money, but greed and gouging of your passengers is not the way to do business. I hope they change their ways. Finally, paying for water. $6.75 for a 2 litre bottle. 1/2 gallon in the US. More greed. If you didn't buy their water package and you went to a drink station to fill up a water container you were made to feel guilty like you were stealing. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise because we are frequent NCL cruisers and we like the convenience of leaving from NYC. We live in CT so it is an easy train ride into Grand Central and a mile long taxi ride to the pier. This was our first time on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we are frequent NCL cruisers and we like the convenience of leaving from NYC. We live in CT so it is an easy train ride into Grand Central and a mile long taxi ride to the pier. This was our first time on Breakaway and we wanted to try it because it is the largest ship we have sailed on. We took the NCL Gem for the last 3 years to Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Kay (NCL's Private Island) and Nassau. The last time we went to Bermuda it was on the NCL Star, which is the same size as Gem (now both considered "mid-sized" ships). Breakaway carries almost double the passengers as Gem or Star and is enormous in comparison. The Breakaway was very clean and generally well maintained, although several main public men's rooms were consistently out of soap throughout the entire trip, which is a really big issue for me, considering one of the main concerns on cruise ships is bacteria and food contamination, caused by improper hand washing etc. We were concerned about boarding issues on such a large ship but we arrived at the pier at about 9:45a and were through the security check and the the check-in process by 10:30a. They began boarding at about 11:15a and we were on board at 11:30a and had time to explore the ship before lunch. Disembarking was even quicker. We always carry off our own luggage, so we got an 8a departure. We got in the long line to disembark at 7:50a and we were off the ship and through customs by 8:15a. We went up to the 2nd floor to catch a cab to Grand Central and there was no line at all, so this was a truly painless disembarkation. Really great job by NCL in coordination of the whole process! Overall, Breakaway is a nice ship, but but the crowds compared to what you find on mid-sized ships was just overwhelming at times, and for such a large ship, it didn't have any really large bars or night club areas like the Spinnaker and Bliss lounges found on Gem and Star. Surprisingly, even the main theater on Breakaway seemed smaller than the main theaters on Gem and Star, which didn't make a lot of sense. Breakaway has several more restaurants and bars than their mid-sized ships, but they are smaller in most cases, so they don't accommodate the sheer volumes of people. There were several good things about Breakaway, and some bad things as well: The Good Things: Food - The food in the 3 Main Dining Rooms and at Le Bistro, Cagney's, Moderno was truly very good. We got the 3 night specialty dining package and it was really a nice experience in all 3 specialty restaurants we ate in. The service in each restaurant was superb and the wait staff all went out of their way to see that we got anything we wanted. They were all prompt and courteous. Hot food was served hot and cold food was served cold. The service most nights was slow, but we had no issue with that as we were on vacation and weren't in any rush. If we had to make a show at 7p or whatever time, we simply told our waiter and they accommodated us. We always like to eat dinner at around 5:30p, so with the specialty restaurants, we made reservations and with the main dining rooms we just showed up when we were ready to eat. We never waited more than 5 minutes for a table during the entire cruise. The buffet on Breakaway was adequate. They had a nice selection for breakfast and lunch (we didn't do the buffet for dinner at all), and again, hot foods were hot and cold foods were cold. We never had a problem finding a table or waiting in long lines either. Entertainment - We saw 3 shows on Breakaway; Burn the Floor, Rock of Ages and the Magician/Comedian. Burn the Floor and Rock of Ages were both great, high quality shows and require reservations. (Make your reservation online before you sail, or on the many ship kiosks as soon as you get on the ship). The Magician/Comedian was okay, but nothing special- no reservation needed. The Bad Things- The Main Pool Area (15th Floor) - On nice days (there weren't a lot of them on our cruise- Rain 5 our of 7 days for at least part of the day), the pool area was completely packed and impossible to find a lounge chair any time after 7am. People would put their towels and towel clips on chairs to reserve them before 7am and not show up until after noon. There was no attempt whatsoever by NCL staff to prevent people reserving lounges even though they say it isn't allowed. The pool is completely inadequate for the size of the ship and the number of people- very poor design plan. Spice H2O - This was supposed to be an adults only area until 7p on deck 16, with 2 hot tubs and a nice large waterfall sitting and wading pool. In general it was a very quiet and peaceful, but on a couple of occasion parents would bring their small unruly children (6-8yrs old) during the day and let them run around the waterfall wading pool and hot tubs. NCL staff neither said or did anything to the parents nor did they get rid of the kids who shouldn't have been there. Atrium area - This was a main gathering place for large events, entertainment and games, but it was completely inadequate for the sheer volumes of people on the ship. It was just a very poorly designed space for a ship this size and the flow was just not good at all. Main Theater and Lounges - The Main theater on Breakaway is actually smaller than the theaters on mid-sized ships like Gem and Star, and the decoration is reminiscent of a mall movie theater. As a result, the popular shows require reservations and it is very difficult to get a reservation unless you make it prior to sailing or as soon as you board the ship. The theaters on Gem and Star are both bigger than Breakaway, very elegantly decorated, and never require reservations. The Lounges on Breakaway are all smaller than the ones on their mid-sized ships (although there are more of them on Breakaway). As a result, they fill up fast and are just not of adequate size for the number of people on the ship. Overall, it was a nice cruise and our issues were minimal. We got the free internet package as part of our cruise package, but the Breakaway internet satellite was down for the entire first 2 days of the cruise and when is was repaired in Bermuda on day 3, several passengers (including us) still could not get into the NCL site for internet access. Several passengers complained, but so far we have not received any credit from NCL for this service issue. We have decided that we definitely prefer the smaller ships, both for design and flow. Next year we are going back to a mid-sized ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
all and all everything was great. They should do more parties like The glow party, the music that night was great...more appealing to people twenties to 60. Our Cabin boy Albert was excellent, cabin was always cleaned. The small ... Read More
all and all everything was great. They should do more parties like The glow party, the music that night was great...more appealing to people twenties to 60. Our Cabin boy Albert was excellent, cabin was always cleaned. The small rain pool on H2O seemed that it was always dirty, debris always on the bottom of the water...maybe needed to be vacuum more often. Thermal room was a delight, locker rooms very cleaned and full of clean towels and robes. The food at the buffet was always good and they always had something different everyday. The other restaurants is a hit or miss, our favorite was Le Bistro, great ambiance and delicious food. All the Staff was super friendly and efficient. We were glad we got the large balcony, we enjoyed the views of New York city and Bermuda, it was also nice having the door opened at night and listen to the waves, getting some fresh air in the room. Totally would recommend this Cruise to anyone. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I have been cruising with NCL since 1995 ( 16 Cruises to date ). I really like the laid back atmosphere of the cruises. I like the ability to eat when you want and freedom to do whatever. The NY port is convenient for parking at the ... Read More
I have been cruising with NCL since 1995 ( 16 Cruises to date ). I really like the laid back atmosphere of the cruises. I like the ability to eat when you want and freedom to do whatever. The NY port is convenient for parking at the pier. So here is the breakdown of the cruise. We took the NCL Breakaway out of NYC Embarkation : Hectic as there were 2 NCL ships at the port. Took 2 hours to drive 1/4 mile to parking because of the backup. The terminal was congested and poorly staffed. Restaurants : Note : We had the Ultimate dining package O'Sheehans' : Ate here 3 times. The service was horrible all three times. First Time : Was served our desserts before we even got our entree's Second Time : Took 1/2 hour to get food after order and it was not even what we ordered Third Time : Our drinks ( Cola ) didn't get to the table until after we finished eating because the server has to go to the bar to get them which was packed. Le Bistro ( French ) : The menu selection has been reduced. Not impressed with the new selection. with ala Carte pricing ( Not Cheap ) in place of the old Cover Charge of $15. Without the dining package it would cost appx. $ pp for app, entree & dessert. Food was ok. but not worth the wait or price. La Cuchina ( Italian ) : Decent menu selection. Also, ala Carte and pricey. Again, at least $30 pp. Service was good here. Food was decent. Missed the old oil and bread to start dinner. Last cruise you received a 4 sampler of different flavored olive oils with bread - now they just pour some olive oil on you bread dish, very cheap and tacky. Cagney's ( Steak House ) : Great menu selection. Very pricey now with the ala Carte way of doing it. One side dish is $2. Was informed what we could and could not order with the dining plan. Would cost around $50 pp to eat here without a plan. Food was excellent. Service was excellent Main Dining Room : The main dining room is included in your cruise fare. The food here was surprisingly very good. Improved since our last cruise. The service however was poor and inattentive. The servers were in the corner chatting away while guests were sitting waiting to be waited on. Buffet : The Buffet is included in your cruise fare. What can I say, It's the buffet. Selection was not great. Burgers, Hot Dogs, Pizza & Fries. A carving station and some international cuisine. But very limited selection compared to other cruises we've taken. NCL seems to be trying to cut back on the food options. The Buffet was clean and adequately staffed. Even though we had the Ultimate Beverage Package you will be charged if you get a soda in the Buffet. Cirque de Solie - Jungle Dreams dinner : Great Dinner show. Meal is preset but very good in both visual presentation and quality. The show was very entertaining with very talented performers. Note : You will be seated with others in this venue. Shows, Entertainment & Onboard Activities Rock of Ages : Great show. Well produced and well acted. Seating was good but you need to make a reservation. Trivia ( both progressive & regular types ) : NCL really misses the mark here. Trivia was usually held in the Atrium which is extremely noisy and hard to find seats. Guests not playing would yell out the answers. The host seemed to just want to get it over with. there are many places on the ship to hold Trivia and other activities that are better suited. Deal or No Deal : Really lame attempt at the game show. Host just rushes through it. Really just a way to sell game cards. Also done in the Atrium. Excursions : We went to SeaWorld at the Florida Port. The tour was very well organized. Disembarking and transportation was well organized. We enjoyed SeaWorld and had enough time though excursions really are up to the taste of whoever is doing it. NCL Private Island : We had a small Cabana. The Cabana is spacious and comfortable. It comes pre-stocked with bottled water and has concierge service. Service was attentive though the do push the non-free items (but it is to be expected as it is a cruise). the Water and Beach were well cared for and clean. Bathrooms were gross. Buffet was very lacking in selection and quality. Our Room : The room ( a Balcony on Deck 8 ) was clean and well kept. The bathroom was large with a double sink and nice shower. The balcony was deep because of the location allowing it to have 2 lounge chairs, 2 regular chairs a large table and a small table. One lounge chair was broken which we asked for a new one but never received. Ship in general : The ship was clean and fairly well kept. Noticed a lot of peeling or stained paint. Bathrooms onboard were clean. The old emphasis on sanitary "washy, washy" is gone. Crew : Very inattentive and unmotivated. Seems to be severely understaffed. There is no attempt to connect with the guests anymore - probably a byproduct of the larger ship. Everything seemed dis-organized. NCL Rewards Program ( Latitudes ) : Some background - we are "Platinum Plus & Platinum" cruisers. NCL really missed the mark here. The "perks" that you are supposed to receive are now not communicated to you on board unless you apply the first day of the cruise. Past cruises you would receive an envelope the first day with time, dates & locations of the perks. Such as the cocktail party, Free Laundry and ship tour. We had to call to get our chocolate strawberries. When we called to inquire we were made to feel like we were bothering them by asking. I could go on but suffice to say that NCL is not treating their repeat cruisers well anymore. Disembarkation : We do the Express Disembarkation. If you can carry your bags this is a convenient easy way to leave. Overall : NCL is taking a turn for the worse. The crew is inattentive and disconnected. The Rewards program is being modified and applied in a way to make it more difficult to take advantage of earned perks. The new ala Carte dining is horrible and poorly executed. Of course the cruise is fun and enjoyable though as we love being on the water and the downfalls of the staff can't take away from the enjoyment of being on the water. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our 2nd time in the Breakaway. We immediately hit the Shakers Bar and made some great friends with the Bartenders (Armand, Irma, Olga, Michele, and Klaus). Luz was our assistant cruise director. We had traveled with Luz before and ... Read More
This was our 2nd time in the Breakaway. We immediately hit the Shakers Bar and made some great friends with the Bartenders (Armand, Irma, Olga, Michele, and Klaus). Luz was our assistant cruise director. We had traveled with Luz before and really enjoyed her positive attitude. We loved all the ports, however Martinique was quiet since it was Sunday and most stores were closed. St. Kitts was our favorite. It was the only island we did a tour through the ship - we did the ATV Adventure and Beach stop. The best was beautiful. We did many beach getaways in the islands if we were not just walking around. We really enjoy Sapphire beach in St. Thomas. Entertainment on the ship was great. Since it was a 14 day cruise we did not feel rushed to see and do everything. The NCL Breakaway cruise was the best and as I stated before, the bartenders at Shakers made our cruise so special. They are now true friends. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
About the Reviewer: I’m a 34 year old male who traveled on this cruise with my mom. Since this review is coming from my perspective mostly then it is prudent you know my cruising history. This was my 25th cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line ... Read More
About the Reviewer: I’m a 34 year old male who traveled on this cruise with my mom. Since this review is coming from my perspective mostly then it is prudent you know my cruising history. This was my 25th cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line (charters and regular cruises combined) and my 38th cruise overall. I’ve sailed on other cruise lines including Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Carnival. My last cruise ended one week before this one began and was on the Norwegian Sun. This was my third cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway with my two prior being the ship’s pre-inaugural Trans-Atlantic crossing and the other being the NYC to Bermuda run 2.5 years ago. My reviews are written in the way I experienced the cruise and in chronological order. Hope you enjoy the review… DAY 1 – NEW YORK CITY – EMBARKATION We arrived to the cruise terminal around Noon to discover a long line waiting for porters to take the luggage. It seemed more disorganized than usual and I wasn’t sure why. Once our luggage was taken we headed inside to security and right through to the Platinum Latitudes line. There wasn’t a line and we were helped immediately by the representative for checking in. We had our keycard and were given a boarding letter. She told us to just get on the ship. Boarding had already commenced so we did. She was quick and friendly and embark was relatively painless. Once we boarded the ship they told us we could proceed to our cabin to drop off our carry-on luggage and then head to lunch. We proceeded to our cabin and upon arrival were going to throw the carry-on luggage in the closet. We discovered there was already someone’s jackets and carry-ons in there!! Turns out our French Canadian neighbors had mistaken our room for theirs. They came back down to the room and realized the mistake and moved to their cabin next door. Balcony Cabin 9144: Appearance-wise this cabin was in great shape. Once you dug a little deeper you found more issues. The easiest one to fix was the closet door which was off the track. Harder issues to fix were the electrical problems. The cabin’s electrical system shorted my electric shaver and sparked when I plugged in my re-chargeable camera battery. Both of these issues were brought to the attention of the Hotel Director who sent an assistant housekeeping supervisor along a day later who then sent an electrician. The shaver outlet in the bathroom was replaced. Beds were in a twin config. The stateroom steward Rosario was more social than attentive. Our cabin was constantly missing items in a normal day or night turn down. I was also reuniting with a cruiser I met on the Breakaway on the Bermuda run and we all dined in Taste restaurant which was opened as overflow since Savor was swamped. The ship’s public areas were already adorned with Christmas decorations. I can’t remember what meal I ordered but the meat was so dry I had to drink a ton of water just to eat it. Otherwise, the rest of lunch was good. We sat and talked until they announced the rooms were finished. When we dropped the bags off, the cabin was not ready yet. When they announced they were ready, our cabin actually was still not finished. It was missing hand towels, bath mats, bath towels and beach towels. While trying to sort out what our cabin still needed, two of the bags appeared outside the cabin and were left right outside the door which opens out. Momentarily we were trapped in the cabin and then pushed them out of the way to get out. A stroll down the hallway located the other two bags and we unpacked while waiting the few minutes for the muster drill. When we arrived to the theater, the drill announcement had just started and the sign for our station was already gone. We stood in the back and listened to the announcement and then headed to Spice H2O for the sailaway party. This was my introduction to one of two DJs on the Norwegian Breakaway – DJ Ned. Playing the obligatory line dance songs, one couldn’t help but participate because you were going to freeze to death if you stood still. The cruise staff did a great job getting us ready for sail away which was delayed a bit and getting us past the Statue of Liberty. They were frozen and so were we waiting for the Verrazano bridge to come up so we headed back to the cabin. At 6PM I headed to Maltings with my reunion friend for the solos gathering. She was staying in a solo studio cabin. The meeting point of Maltings was just so the cruise staff Lester who was our social host for the week could bring us all together to the studio lounge where our nightly gathering would be held. Lester introduced himself but was rather rushed and got us setup with the dining room. We dined in the Manhattan Room which had a small wait. Once we were seated the meal was slow as there was a gap between the appetizers and the main entrée. I had to leave before dessert was served because I had to get to the Friends of Dorothy gathering at 8. From there it was off to the show at 9PM. BREAKAWAY SHOWTIME: Welcome Aboard Show The three of us went to the Breakaway Theater for the sample of entertainment we would see throughout the cruise. When we sat down in the theater seats, we immediately realized they were uncomfortable unless you were slouching. The bar goes right along your tail bone in the seat. The padding is gone from them and the ship is only 3.5 years old! NCL really needs to get these chairs fixed. They were in bad shape no matter where in the theater one might sit (except the bar stools up the back). Getting back to the show, it was a sample of Rock of Ages, Burn the Floor, a sales pitch for Wine Lovers: The Musical, and lastly the wonderful talents of Arvin and Emily. The show ran about 45 minutes. After which I went back to the cabin and finally the towels appeared in the bathroom. We had to take a hand towel off the steward’s cart in the hallway to use up to that point. We still did not have a bath mat to use outside the shower. I left mom to check out the Bliss nightclub where they were doing a raffle. It was my second encounter with DJ Ned and I wasn’t impressed. I wondered what they did with DJ Keith because I knew he was on the ship but I’d yet to find him. DJ Keith was sorely missed on the first night and every other night DJ Ned graced the turn tables in Bliss. I went back to the cabin and went to bed. DAY 2 – SEA DAY It was a leisurely morning with complimentary continental breakfast room service delivered promptly. We sat and watched the sea go by from inside as it was cold and waited for the room steward to come. We floated around the ship and ended up at the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet at 11AM. All the senior officers came by and introduced themselves, including the captain. I asked the Hotel Director what the average age on the ship was and he said 56. Last cruise on the Sun it was 64 so I knew there should be a more lively crowd in the nightclub this cruise compared to last. The officers took off fairly quickly and we decided to head to lunch at Savor. It was still too cold outside to do anything so we had a nice leisurely lunch and talked about future cruises. The service was not attentive, water ran dry and the gaps between the apps and the entrée was again noticeable. When we finished our lunch, we made our way back to the cabin. I wanted to go for a workout and mom wanted to go for a walk. It was convenient because our cabin still hadn’t been made up and now it was going towards 2PM. At some point he finally arrived and greeted us. His name was Rosario. We chatted for a brief bit and then we hoped he would get to the cabin. I spent about 1.5 hours at the gym that afternoon and when I returned to the cabin he was still in there. I was beside myself as I stunk of gym sweat and you can’t use the showers in the spa unless you have a pass. I went for a walk around the interior ship to waste time until he was done. When I returned and he was done, beach towels were not present and hand towels were missing. Bath towels and face clothes were stocked. I just went to the cart nearest the cabin and took the hand towel needed for the cabin. Tonight mom and I went to meet my friend at the solos gathering. Before we went and I freshened up, I noticed the TV in the cabin was not working and none of the outlets were. We called guest services and they asked if we used a curling iron. I said we didn’t and he said he would send someone up to look at it. At the solos gathering, we met more people and tonight Lester had us dine in Taste Restaurant. There was a small wait as we were going at peak dinner hour of 6:30PM. Tonight’s dinner service was the worst as we had to wait forever between apps and entrée. I ordered a dessert and instantly regret it as it put me over the 8PM time frame for the Friends of Dorothy gathering. When all was said and done it took two hours for the dinner service. At that point we had to get up and make sure we were heading towards the Breakaway Theater. BREAKAWAY SHOWTIME: Burn the Floor At the 9:30PM show we sat on the right. This being my third time on the ship, I recalled the production numbers and they were as high energy as one can expect. I enjoyed the performance immensely sans the theater chairs and that bar across the coccyx. The dancers were incredibly talented and friendly with the guests throughout the cruise when they were out and about in the nightclub. After the show ended I stopped by the atrium briefly to take in the Sock Hop with New Generations playing. Mom wanted to check it out and sometimes you have to balance 50s and 60s music with today’s EDM style to make everyone happy. It was a good time and the cruise staff were getting people actively involved which is always good. Afterward I checked out the late night party with the DJ. When I entered Bliss I was SO happy to see DJ Keith behind the turn tables. It was an amazing night. A DJ who knows how to mix songs, play good nightclub music and read a crowd is impossible to find on cruise ships. DJ Keith is the one person who is still active with NCL who knows how to do this. He’s been with the company forever and I’ve sailed with him many times over the years. I always love it when he’s on the ship I’m going on. He makes the nightclub happen! What a wonderful night out and sorely needed after 17 days on the Norwegian Sun and a horrid DJ who lacked the ability to mix, read a crowd or play anything except the same 10 songs over again. DAY 3 – SEA DAY A leisurely start to this sea day with room service led to a morning where we tried to figure out what to do while waiting for the stateroom steward to come and make up the room. We sat for a bit and then I went to the gym and mom went for a walk of the promenade deck. When we both returned the cabin was still not made up. At this point Rosario kept greeting us in the hallway so he knew were gone but completely missed the queues that we were out of the cabin to service it. Finally we just turned around and left and went to the buffet for a quick bite before the Latitudes gathering at 12:30PM. It was getting warm up on deck finally so after that I went back and changed and headed topside for some sun. I spent the afternoon up on deck grabbing some sun. When I returned to the cabin it was finally made up and the room service tray gone. When I began to freshen up in the bathroom, the electric shaver I was using suddenly got very hot and then stopped working. I checked the cabin TV to see if it was still working and it was. It dawned on me this likely was the cause of the circuit breaker popping the previous night. I plugged the shaver into another outlet and it wouldn’t work. Thankfully I had a back up shave cream and razor from my trip to Peru the previous month and used that to finish shaving. I was absolutely besides myself that the ship’s electrical system shorted out my razor when the bathroom outlet said it was ok for shavers! We dined tonight in the Manhattan Dining room not with the solos and had the excellent service of Mary Grace, Head Waitress and Paolo, Assistant Waiter. This is the first dining room service between lunch and dinner where service was attentive and fast. There was a delay in the appetizers and entrée but not nearly as long as it had been before and they explained the kitchen was overwhelmed and apologized for it. At least they told us what the problem was and acknowledged the gap. Truly professional service and I would remember their names when not dining specialty to try and have them for the rest of the cruise. They had their act together and together as a team they worked great unlike the previous dinner service teams encountered in Taste and Savor. Afterward, while waiting for the evening turn down in the cabin I went to Friends of Dorothy at Shaker’s Martini Bar. Irma was a familiar face from the Norwegian Breakaway cruise my reunion friend and I did in May 2014. I’d also sailed with Irma before on the Norwegian Spirit where I met DJ Keith. It was nice to be in familiar territory. Irma has her own signature drink concoctions and proved quite popular with the guests at the bar. No wonder she had a loyal following this cruise. Actually the entire Shakers staff was amazing from Olga to the bar waitress Michelle and the guy from China whose name I can’t remember but who was training on the Breakaway for Norwegian Joy’s roll out. I would especially seek out the Shaker’s team for my nightly drinks when out at Bliss. It was nice to get out and visit them until they closed. I would switch to water thereafter. Since I did not have the beverage package I wanted my tips to be swiped by the staff member who deserved them the most! BREAKAWAY SHOWTIME: CARLA STICKLER Carla came highly recommended from some of the folks who saw her 7PM show at the Shaker’s bar. I went and she belted out Broadway show tunes, especially from WICKED since she was a part of the cast. Her show was energetic and amazing. Her vocals were on point. FEATURED NIGHT PARTY: NORWEGIAN’S NIGHT OUT Finally it was warm enough up on deck to have a party DJ Ned had the party topside. It was sparsely attended by the guests but the cruise staff was on hand trying to get people to get on the dance floor. After about an hour upstairs we checked out Bliss and DJ Keith was spinning. Spent the rest of the night out here until the wee hours of the morning! DAY 4 – SEA DAY and SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO Since the ship was slated to get in at 3PM, I woke up late from the previous night and went to the gym. On the Breakaway the gym is quite small for the passenger count but at the times I went it never seemed overly crowded. I did a mini-workout and hung out waiting for the cabin steward to complete the day turn down. Headed to the buffet for lunch and went back to discover the cabin was finally cleaned. I took a nap missing our approach to San Juan, Puerto Rico but awoke when we were in the channel spinning around and waiting. Our arrival was delayed by 1 hour because there was simply no room for us to pull in. All the berths were filled. Our time in port was lengthened by one hour. I got off the ship and hightailed it over to Fort San Cristobal which was not far from the pier. It’s the only thing I hadn’t seen in my previous visits to Old San Juan. It was confusing on the website whether the fort closed at 5PM or 6PM. Since there were so many cruise ships in the fort closed at 6PM. We were able to see the whole fort in just under 1.5 hours, moving quickly and headed back to the ship for dinner reservations. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: La Cuccina After getting some attitude from the guy working the reservations counter about booking into LeBistro since it was full most of the cruise (too many Platinum latitudes members on the ship), we decided to do La Cuccina for our first port night. We had requested to dine al fresco. When we arrived to the restaurant we presented the coupon and said we’d like to sit outside. At this time we were informed the outside was closed. I asked why? She said it was too humid to be outside. I explained to her that we come from cold weather but she wasn’t budging. We had to sit inside. Service was attentive but the food was lackluster. With all the restrictions NCL has put on what you can order now with this Platinum perk, all the dishes I would’ve ordered (steak) were excluded. It was an ok experience but not one I would recommend paying an upcharge for (unless you could get the steak). I had to run back off the ship to buy shavers at the Walgreens which was just wall-to-wall with people since all the cruise ships were in. I needed something to shave with since the ship neither offered any help with their electrical outlet blowing the motor on my shaver or giving me anything to shave with. I got back on the ship and sat on the balcony while mom checked out the comedian Bud Andersen. She said he was ok but not great. Can’t provide more details as I skipped the show! Went up to Spice H2O for a bit to hang out with DJ Keith and the nightclub crew before heading to bed for the night. DAY 5 – ST. THOMAS, USVI This was the first of two beach stops planned for this cruise. After breakfast, my cruise bud and some nightclub crew met up by the gangway and hopped a local taxi for $8 per person and headed for Magen’s Bay. Now there were two other cruise ships in town with us and they did have their sections of the beach for the organized excursions but we headed down the beach to the left and just kept going close to where they hold the weddings. It was far away from the hustle and bustle. Entry to Magen’s Bay is $5. It was a nice relaxing day at the beach and very low cost to do it independently. We headed back to the ship at 3PM which was plenty of time as it sailed at 5PM and before the crazy afternoon traffic in Charlotte Amalie began. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: Moderno Churrascaria We scoped out the other restaurants and saw that others had their al fresco dining options open yet the tables at Moderno were not set. Since we were running a bit early, I asked to be sat outside while waiting on my cruise friend to arrive. They setup a table for us right at the door. We had great service. The maitre’d made sure we had attentive service and the table-side service of meats was endless. When we had all the meats, sometimes, they came and asked what we liked more of. Important to know the garlic beef which I had on the Norwegian Sun two weeks prior was no longer being served on the Breakaway. They also changed out one of the sides from fried plantains to yucca. It was a great dinner and it was so nice to have it outside! BREAKAWAY SHOWTIME: OH WHAT A NIGHT! The Jersey Boys come to the Breakaway Theater singing the hits of Fankie Valli and the Four Seasons. We attended the second showing in the theater. I’ve seen them before and these guys are REALLY good. Yes it might not be from my era but I grew up listening to them because of my mom. She also attended and LOVED the show! I highly recommend checking this act out on any NCL ship you might find them on. They’re constantly switching ships so you never know when they’ll pop up. After the show it was time to check out the 90s party at Spice H2O. DJ Ned was spinning up there and we stayed for a bit before heading to Bliss to close out the night with DJ Keith. I have to give kudos to the cruise staff for trying to make the 90s party more interesting. Guests just stood there and watched, the few who showed up that were not part of the regular nightclub crew. When we were all dancing out on the dance floor there were about maybe 3 dozen of us! At least the cruise staff kept trying to get the party going. When they gave up we headed to Bliss with DJ Keith at the turn tables. DAY 6 – TORTOLA, BVI We arrived into Tortola as scheduled. After a leisurely breakfast and watching the ship pull into the berth across from us, we headed out for a walking tour of Road Town. A book we purchased about walking tours in the cruise port gave us some highlights to hit but so didn’t the information kiosk at the end of the cruise pier. We went to the Island Heritage museum to discover it was closed. We looped around to the old prison to find it was under construction and then headed further back to the botanical gardens and the sugar mill museum. These two latter features were both open and charged a nominal fee for the guests to enter. It was a leisurely stroll around the main town on the island before circling back to the port and doing a little shopping at the local shops just off the main road. We returned to the ship for a late lunch and headed back to the cabin to relax for a bit. Tonight we dined with the solos in Savor and again experienced exceptionally slow service. I couldn’t figure out if it was because we were a large group or if it was just something with the Taste and Savor restaurants but two hours for dinner was exceptionally long. No one ever informed us as to why the delay was happening between the apps and the main entrée. Asking for dessert we thought would be fast as most are pre-made but it still took forever. Thankfully we saw the main show the previous night which was repeated (Oh what a night!) but there was still some time to burn before the party got going at Spice and the Caribbean party pool side. I went to both and had another good night with DJ Keith at Spice before bed. DAY 7 – ST. MAARTEN Another beach day to be had. A group of us left the ship and hopped a taxi to Orient Beach. The driver dropped people off at different resorts along the way. We said we just wanted to go to the beach. We didn’t realize that the final stop was the NUDE beach. I guess we should’ve done some research on the resorts on the clothing side of the beach first to understand that there’s no just beach place. You have to be in someone’s section along the beach and feel obligated to get a chair or umbrella. We sat at O’Lasts which was the LAST spot before the rocks and the nude section. What a fun day at the beach that was. Plenty to see and not want to be seen! LOL! Live and learn for sure. It was a low cost day as the two chairs cost US 15 dollars with the umbrella and wifi access. Ship tours were constantly coming through the bar that was up on the rocks separating the nude beach and our side. We headed back to the ship around 1:30PM although we could’ve stayed longer as the ship didn’t leave until 5PM. Back on the ship I went to the gym before heading back to the cabin for a nap. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: CAGNEY’S STEAKHOUSE I had requested that we dine al fresco but again was told it was closed because it was too windy outside and the table cloths were blowing around. I told the hostess I didn’t need a table cloth and to just use the place mats from Moderno and it’d be good. She refused saying it was closed and sat us inside. Now I was really pissed because the only reason I bought the dining package was to dine outside. This was the second time I was told no for sitting outside. The ship has so much wasted space if they’re not going to utilize the outside dining areas. The wind was not substantial enough (such as gale force) to be an issue. It was a gentle warm breeze as the ship was not moving that fast between islands. Anyway, tonight I had the jumbo shrimp cocktail and the Tomahawk steak. Probably won’t be able to look a cow in the face for months after this cruise but whatever!! YOLO!! The dessert I had the apple crisp. No visit to Cagney’s Steakhouse is complete unless you have the Cagney’s fries!! Make sure you get those during your visit. BREAKAWAY THEATER: El Gaucho Comedy and Music You know you’ve cruised too much when you can say that NCL cycles through their talent on the ships in the Caribbean but this guy was NEW to me. If I recall correctly he was from Uruguay and performing some Spanish music with a bit of comedy thrown in. His act was entertaining albeit outside the box for what you’d usually see for cruise ship entertainers. I would say to check it out and judge for yourself. After the El Gaucho performance it was time to check out the 70s themed night at Spice H2O. I know the music is a little harder to mix together in the 70s but the transitions between songs were amateur hour for the large music speakers it was coming out of. It was a bit painful and we missed the cruise director’s staff performing their signature routines as we had stopped by to visit Irma at Shaker’s for her Irma’s special drinks. Kudos Shaker’s team for taking care of us this night! We stopped by Shaker’s again before heading to Bliss for the night with MUCH better music from DJ Keith!! DJ Keith to the rescue!! It was a late night and well worth it! DAY 8 – MARTINIQUE We were in town on a Sunday and that meant nearly everything to see and do was closed. Maybe the cruise lines (Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas from Bayonne was also in town with us) thought it was best to call on Martinique on a day where you wouldn’t spend much money as the vendors except the duty free at the port would NOT take US dollars. They only wanted Euros. We walked around the town doing a walking tour from the cruise book we got at Barnes and Noble. The church was having mass and was under renovation. The museum about the longest running Mayor of Fort-de-France was open solely because there were cruise ships in town. We happened upon a tour coming through and tagged along to get a history of the mayor which was quite fascinating (and free)!! We headed over to the island museum which was open but refused to take USD so we didn’t enter. We walked around a bit more before making the trek back to the ship. People did complain about the walk to the terminal because we didn’t have the downtown berth but were rather over by the container port. When we arrived back to the ship apparently the shore excursions had all returned at the same time and there was a queue to get back on the ship. All I heard was people complaining about the distance to town, the fact that nothing was open in town and that NCL should refund for the port visit as this was a wasted port call. I felt bad for the security on the ship who had to clear them as they got yelled at by most of the disgruntled people as they reboarded. I took it in stride and wasn’t overly impressed to return to Martinique based on what I saw. It was my first time to this island. Back on the ship after a leisurely lunch it was time to get some sun up on deck. My cruise friend had gone to the beach on the ferry as did most of the passengers. I just went up the front of the ship and leisurely laid out and napped. I headed back to Spice H2O to see if anyone was back there and make plans for the evening after dinner. BREAKAWAY THEATER: Rock of Ages This was my third time on the Norwegian Breakaway and my third time seeing the production of Rock of Ages on this ship. It’s not for the faint hearted or the ultra conservative and definitely NOT for children. With that in mind it tells the story of a girl who moves from the prairies to Los Angeles to get her big break in the end of the rock era. The club she ends up working in is slated to be closed to make way for a shopping mall and it’s the struggle to keep it open where the story continues along. Will it stay open or will it die? I won’t spoil it but I can say the show’s length is much longer than the standard 45 minute show. We actually had to leave to go to our dinner reservations. It was a mixed blessing as the cast really didn’t seem to have the energy the prior two casts did. My cruise friend said she was happy to leave as rock wasn’t her music and she didn’t like the production. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: Le Bistro After talking with the Group Service Coordinator outside the show the night prior, she was able to get us a reservation at LeBistro which was booked solid for the entire cruise whether you were using your specialty dining package or the complimentary Platinum Latitudes benefit. The maitre’d got us in and even though we were told we would be seated outside under the chandelier, we actually sat inside! It was a pleasant surprise. The only other time I have eaten at LeBistro on the Breakaway was on the Trans-Atlantic crossing and it was worth it as there was a paint odor stuck in the inside of the restaurant. By now that paint smell was long gone. The dinner service was good and leisurely but not overly elongated as had been experienced at other restaurants like Taste and Savor this cruise. After the dinner I headed up to Spice H2O where there was a toga party in full swing. I picked up my toga and danced the night away to DJ Keith. It was a perfect night to be dancing topside under the stars and with friends and good beats! We wanted Keith to keep playing but he’d finished up for the night. The after party was down in Bliss but the energy from DJ Ned was just not the same and I called it a night. DAY 9 – BARBADOS A small group of us took a taxi to head to Harrison’s Cave just outside the port. For a nominal fee the taxi driver took us there and waited for us to complete the tour and took us back to the port. Today we were in port with three other ships, two of them quite large. Mein Schieff was on turnaround but the Oceania ship that pulled in along with Princess were there on port calls. We had a tour with a spattering of guests who were independent from each of those ships. It was a good time and saved over $30 from what the ship was offering for the same tour! The taxis are right outside the port building. They’ll try and group you together to fill a van. If you can try and get a group together before hand it will save you the time of waiting but the wait really wasn’t that long. The caves were stunning! We asked the taxi to drop us off in town on the way back to the port. In Bridgetown we had lunch at Waterfront Café which served a unique Barbadian dish my friend wanted to try out and it was along the water way. After that we checked out the scenic sights on the walking tour in the book we picked up as we made our way back to the ship. We ducked into a local market when the Caribbean rain storms came and went. It was about a mile from the outskirts of the downtown to the port. A lot of people were walking it but the taxi fare wasn’t that bad either with tons of taxis in town to get you back. Back on the ship we freshened up and Mom and I headed to the Manhattan Dining Room where we had the impeccable service of Mary Grace and Paolo. These two were the best servers we had the whole cruise. Fast, attentive, friendly and welcoming. This combination was never seen in Taste and Savor. I was beyond happy we could get sat in their section. They weren’t on duty in Manhattan when we were sat in their section as they were making their way down from the Garden Café but it was worth the wait. They got us in and out before the show began and that was with apps, dinner and dessert with coffee and tea! All done in a timely fashion! Bravo to this team! SPIEGEL TENT ENTERTAINMENT: Divas Live Arvin and Emily had quite the cruise following on the Breakaway so nights when Cirque was off they would perform in the Spiegel Tent. Tonight they were joined by the Assistant Cruise Director Luz to sing songs by divas like Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, Barbara Streisand and more. It was a good performance by all the singers. Luz really loves her job and to sing as it really shined this night. After the show I went up to meet the disco crew to check out the 80s party with DJ Ned at Spice H2O. It was lightly attended and went down to Spice H2O with DJ Keith. It was an early night in comparison as the next port of call was also new to me. DAY 10 – ST. LUCIA I had room service breakfast on the balcony as the ship was approaching the port. It was overcast and a little chilly the Caribbean with the ship moving. When we docked we were on the far side of downtown but at least not at the less than glamorous container port that the P and O Ventura was docked at. Today we decided to do another independent tour and head to the volcano and botanical gardens in Soufriere. The ship only offered tours to one or the other but not both. Independent tour vendors right at the port were giving you the option to do both if you wanted to. We jumped on a tour bus with a bunch of other folks who unfortunately didn’t speak English so that was our bad but at least we got to see the two many sites on the West side of the island which were recommended by a crew friend I knew from the island. We did save money over the ship and did get to see both places so all in all it was a good day! I would recommend seeing both places but the volcano is not for the faint of smell because the sulfur is putrid! Just a warning. It didn’t phase me in the least but some people were grossed out by it. Back on the ship it was a quick turn around to get ready for dinner since we didn’t have lunch ashore so we headed to the Manhattan Room early and were seated in what we thought was Mary Grace and Paolo’s section. Tonight they had the window seats and unless you’re literally breaking down the doors to the dining room or queue up a half hour before it opens, you’ll never get one of those seats. After a bit it became apparent we didn’t have anyone waiting on us and they were insanely busy so we didn’t want to bother them as their whole section was sat at once. They were overwhelmed so we didn’t make a fuss of it. What happened next was short of comical. We ended up with four wait staff waiting on our table! We had the right appetizers but when the main course came around, I ordered two and my mom ordered one. Well I ended up with three main courses and she with two. When dessert rolled around Mary Grace and Paolo realized we were close by and stopped over. Paolo ran and got mom the fruit plate that was missed and I ended up with three desserts. LOL! We went from no food to food overload! I was starving so I didn’t mind it much. Tonight Jovan, the assistant maître’d for that section stopped by the table and we complimented him on having attentive servers Mary Grace and Paolo. Jovan and I took a stroll down memory lane as he has been with NCL and I’ve been around cruising with NCL as long as he’s been with the company. Very nice fellow. BREAKAWAY THEATER SHOWTIME: Comedy and Magic of Chip Romero I have to say cruise ship comedians rarely get me to laugh. Ok so he didn’t but his act was ok. It’s something to do to pass the night along. Mom liked him and my cruise friend thought he was just ok. Take out of it what you will. He’s a street performer, illusionist and comedian all in one. FEATURED THEME PARTY: GLOW PARTY The best night of any cruise is the White Hot Party only on the newer NCL ships, the name has changed to the GLOW PARTY. Wearing white will still make you glow under the black lights. The cruise staff were feverishly putting body paint on any of those who wanted it before the party began at 10:30PM in Spice H2O. The night started off with a stop at Shaker’s Martini bar for Irma’s special drinks and to take photos with the staff in my dazzling White Hot aka Glow Party outfit! DJ Keith was at the turntables and he blew the night away. Keeping the Glow Party (aka White Party) true to form he played vocal house music and mixed them to keep you dancing and drinking the night away. This party was the best attended of the voyage at Spice H2O. The cruise staff were out and about in the crowd to keep the energy going. We stayed until last call at Spice H2O and didn’t want Keith to end it! The nightclub group did check out the after party with DJ Ned in Bliss. It was an ok time and since we were all having a ton of fun, I stayed until the end and went to O’Sheehans for some fajitas before heading to bed at the early hours of the morning. Wished DJ Keith could’ve played both venues until the wee hours. He knows his music! DAY 11 – ST. KITTS After a long night and some crazy beats from DJ Keith, it was a rough start in St. Kitts. After a leisurely morning it was off to the taxi stand to get a half day tour going. For US 60 dollars mom and I did a half island tour taking us to the Brimstone Hill Fortress and the Caribelle Batik. We had a private taxi to ourselves and went at our own pace. The tour guide pointed out things as we went along and suggested the best way to avoid the tour crowds at both places. It was a great tour and well worth the price paid. It was a big value over what the ship was offering and more personable. For two ships in port together you’d have never known it with how the taxi driver got us to places. After a quick lunch on the ship at the Garden Café, we headed back ashore and went on a walking tour of Castries checking out the sites in the book. We started at the circus (traffic circle) and headed around to the church and then looped around the back towards the national museum again by the port. St. Kitts is more about natural beauty than history but what’s available in town can still entertain you a bit. There’s tons of shops at the port to grab some last minute souvenirs. It seems like they all sell the same things and you do get shopper’s fatigue after a while. Upstairs from the shops are restaurants and good places to grab a quick beer and get some wifi. When we returned to the ship, the crew and staff were throwing the welcome back party as St. Kitts was our last port of call. The cruise staff were out in full force and so were other people from the kitchen to the senior management of the ship. It turns out the guy from Teppanyaki was our cook that night too! SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: Teppanyaki A dinner and a show all in one. Tonight’s dinner service was timed to a set schedule so it flowed nicely. I had the Asuka – Beef and Shrimp combo. Along with fried rice made before your eyes, Teppanyaki has a fresh cooked atmosphere. I did notice the seaweed salad had more filler in it than before. Not sure if this was another cutback by Norwegian or not but it wasn’t like what I had two weeks prior on the Norwegian Sun. The chef did a great job of entertaining us although one of the guests seemed to think they would be having a private dining experience and wasn’t happy sitting with the rest of us. The chef did his best to make the most of it. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Second City All Ages Improv This show was lightly attended but still fun. They took suggestions from the audience and put them into skits where they would have to act them out or sing them out. Some of the suggestions were really good. It was a good 45 minute show. After the show ended then it was time to wait around the ship for DJ Keith to get playing more current music as Bliss was 50s and 60s themed early on. The format flipped heading towards to 11:30PM but I was so exhausted from the night before I crashed early (if you call 12:45A early). DAY 12 – SEA DAY After a good night’s sleep it was time for the Platinum Latitudes ship tour. Since there were so many Platinum Latitudes members they had to bring down a Youth Counselor to take the second group around that I was in. He was actually far more informative than most guided tours I’ve had. He explained a lot of what we were seeing as we passed it. Took a tour of the environmental area as the food stores were off limits since they had provisioned the previous day. Smell of rubbish first thing in the morning is always high on my to-do list! From there it was off to the main galley and then the laundry room. The head chef had some treats for us to sample while he gave his speech near the bakery area. Very nice touch with having the chocolate covered strawberries. Today we tried the Moderno Mexican buffet lunch. A little tip is on sea days Moderno does have a featured buffet lunch and it gets you away from the crowd of the Garden Café. It was a nice spread of rice and beans along with some tortilla chips and salsa along with burritos and some other items I can’t remember. After lunch I headed up to the sun deck for what would be the last day of catching sun this cruise. The sea was incredibly calm and the sunset tonight was simply beautiful from the balcony. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: Cagney’s Steakhouse This was our second time to this restaurant this cruise and our final night to use the specialty dining package dinners. We asked to be sat outside which was surprisingly set up tonight. We were seated after a bit of a wait. It turned out they sat most of the restaurant at once with reservations. Another couple came out and sat behind us and then nothing happened for 18 minutes. Finally the guy from the table behind us went inside and talked to the maître d of the restaurant about the lack of acknowledgement by the waitstaff. Out popped a waiter who went to their table first and then came to us as an after thought. I was not happy at this point. I knew it would just lengthen the dinner service but not as bad as it turned out being. When we finally did order there was a substantial gap between the ordering and the appetizer delivery. It was unclear why as none of the apps needed to be cooked! The couple behind us got their main course and dessert while we were still waiting for our main course to come out. The maître d came to our table and asked how everything was and I think he thought I was going to say it was great well enough was enough with the crappy service. I told him this was hideous that we’d been in the restaurant for 1.5 hours and still didn’t have our main entrée. If sitting al fresco meant horrible dinner service then NCL seriously needs to evaluate why they dedicate so much outdoor space to the restaurants! When all was said and done it took us 2.5 hours to go from being sat to finishing our dinner course. I was livid!! Get it together NCL. This was the WORST dinner service of the cruise and I paid EXTRA for it!!!! Tonight DJ Keith was at Spice H2O for request night. Problem was it began to rain off and on so they moved him up to the booth where no passengers can get to. That didn’t last very long and the party was relocated down to Bliss Nightclub with DJ Amateur Hour aka Ned. For a ship out of NYC you’d think they would have a better secondary DJ who could mix between songs, even if they were different beats (slower versus faster). It was the only option and I was with friends but the song mixes were seriously annoying. I left about 1AM but the party was still going. DAY 13 – Sea Day Today was a leisurely day at sea. A room service breakfast was delivered about 7:30AM and then it was lounging until we thought the cabin steward was getting close by. I took off for the gym and mom went for a walk on the promenade deck. Since it was cool there would be no lounging today. I returned back to the cabin first to discover the steward, Rosario, was still inside the cabin. Finally when my mom returned we decided to head to the Taste of India in Moderno for the lunchtime buffet. I love these sea day lunch buffets! After lunch I went back and relaxed for a bit, leisurely reading and taking a nap. Tonight we had dinner in the Manhattan Room and were blessed to sit in the section of Mary Grace and Paolo. Since we’d sat in their section a few times they were familiar with any small special request and the service was impeccable. Not only were they fast, and efficient but friendly. I complimented Jovan, the assistant Maitre’d on a well run section with them spearheading it. I can’t say enough positive things about this duo. They both got us out on time to catch the 7PM improv show. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Second City All Ages Improv Tonight’s entertainment featured the comedy troupe and a sparse audience. For some reason the cruise staff member working the door made a child and mother who had been in there for quite a while move from the front row. Later in the show that same child was selected to go on stage! The show was entertaining and some of the suggestions by the little audience were quite amusing to have them act out or sing out. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Burn the Floor Yes, you’re not seeing things. I went to this show again as I was burning time until the nightclub opened so I knew the crew would be doing their farewell during the show. The second time watching the show I was at the bar stools up the back. It was still a good show, even in the nosebleed section of the theater. The high bar stools were actually more comfortable to sit on than the chairs with the plush on them. They need to get rid of those regular theater chairs or add way more padding. The seat cushions are all flat and you have a board on your coccyx which is incredibly painful given the show’s lengths in that venue. Bring a spare pillow. People might think you’re crazy but they’ll understand why once they’ve been seated for awhile. Finally, it was time for Bliss to open after hanging at Shaker’s Bar for a bit with the wonderful Shaker’s team of Irma and friends! Every time I went through there it was impossible to stop. They were always such smiling and bubbly people! The regulars who hung out at the bar loved them and that’s why they returned there night after night. Any serious night in Bliss or at Spice required stopping here first! Next stop was Bliss Nightclub for what I knew would be DJ Keith’s last night at the turn tables. Since Bliss was on an every other night rotation with DJ Ned, it was Keith’s turn tonight! I stayed until the wee hours of the morning with people I had made friends with throughout the cruise. We stayed until it closed and then moved over to O’Sheehans. Couldn’t have had a better night in Bliss if I wanted to and really wished this night was the last night of the cruise. It would’ve helped me end it on a higher note than it had been going! DJ KEITH IS THE BEST!! DAY 14 – SEA DAY We rushed back up from the warm Caribbean waters to go slow off the coast of Delaware and New Jersey heading back into New York. It was freezing outside and the wind was howling. Our slower speed was likely to deploy the stabilizers although we didn’t feel the ship moving all that much. Once again it was a leisurely morning with room service and a small workout just to get out of the cabin. Today’s Moderno buffet was Bavarian and it was the least favorite out of all the ones I had. It was a good lunch to sit with friends and pass the time waiting for the cabin steward to finally do his thing. Since I was out way late and woke up early I was exhausted and just napped all afternoon. Mom checked out the crew talent show and went to support some talented staff. She said it was shorter than other cruises but really good! She floated around the ship for a bit and got her daily step count in. Tonight was to be the farewell dinner with Mary Grace and Paolo in the Manhattan Room but we were thrown a curve ball as they were given the window seat section again. As per usual those were gone by the time we got there about 5:30PM. The door breakers got there super early and sat in the whole section at once. Jovan knew we wanted them so he hooked us up with another nice duo from the Philippines. I’m sad to say I didn’t get their names but they offered us fast and attentive service too. Manhattan Room in Jovan’s section had the best dining team on the whole ship – period! After our dinner service we did sneak over to Mary Grace and Paolo’s section and got a photo with them and thanking them for being the best wait staff on the ship! We went to head back to the cabin to change and get the bags ready only to discover the stateroom steward hadn’t done the evening turn down despite our making it a point to say goodbye to him going down the hallway. Maybe subtly was not his strong suit? I don’t know but honest to goodness I was thankful to be leaving the next day with his service methods. I floated around the ship a bit trying to burn time but nothing really grabbed my attention. I just ended up sitting in the atrium and going through the photos on my camera. It saved me some time after the cruise sorting them all and looking for bad ones. When we finally could get back in the cabin it was about changing and getting the bags out. This was pushing 10PM. The ship seemed surprisingly dead at this point and I hung out with my disco friends. We all went into Bliss but the music was garbage. It was sad to end the cruise with DJ Ned at the turntables. He literally hid behind his laptop the whole cruise, wasn’t happy with requests and just looked miserable. I don’t know if he thought he was the gift to the DJ world but he was sorely mistaken. His mixing skills were incredibly horrible this night. He didn’t flow with the music styles and it was just choppy. I headed to bed around 1AM more annoyed with the DJ then wanting to stay and hang out for one last night with everyone. After getting their info I took off. NCL can do better than this guy and DJ Keith is proof positive of that. Really wish Keith had closed out the cruise instead. DAY 15 – NEW YORK CITY, NY The ship arrived in the early hours of the morning. By the time I woke up, the ship was alongside at Pier 88 in NYC. Even though we were back early the disembarkation. It wouldn’t start until 8AM with the easy walk-offs which no one did. No one wanted to get up or get off the ship right away. This led to a huge log jam as time went on and the easy walk-off people who didn’t get off started getting off during the luggage tags being called. Several times they had to stop the disembarkation to allow the customs hall to empty out. When we finally got off the ship after 11AM and into the customs hall, we were pretty much the last ones out. It did make our luggage easy to find. Since it was so late we did have to go one block to get a taxi as the queue was insane just across from the terminal building. One block up we had no issues at all getting back to the bus terminal. This review took me awhile to write and usually I’m much faster (click my user name to read all my other reviews). I found it hard because of all the negative things I had to write about. This isn’t the NCL I’m accustomed to. I don’t know what is going on with the Norwegian Breakaway. The lack of attention to detail by the staff, especially the stateroom steward and most of the dining staff in regular and specialty restaurants was astounding! If I hadn’t had Mary Grace and Paolo I would probably have given the ratings much less than I did. I am still stunned at how the ship handled the electrical issues in my cabin. The ship damaged my electric shaver and when I reported it and they found a problem, they still did nothing to resolve the damage to my property. After coming home and sending a message to corporate, still nothing. I’m not a fan of where NCL is going. After completing 25 cruises on them, for positive feedback I’ve received more. It’s like the ship just pretended nothing happened. Truly a sad day for me with NCL. I always close with the people who stood out and usually it’s a long list but if you see these people on the Breakaway, be sure to say hello and expect good service from them. Irma Tuazon, bartender at Shaker’s Bar. Actually, the whole bar staff team at Shaker’s Bar was amazing. DJ Keith is on point! Definitely check him out, especially at the glow party if you love EDM music! Mary Grace was actually signing off with us in New York heading home for a much deserved vacation but Paolo is staying on the ship so I don’t know where he’ll end up. He’s a good kid so seek him out for awesome service. If you’re in the Manhattan Room, try and sit in Jovan’s section. He runs a tight section in there! Cruise Director Alvin, Assistant Cruise Director Luz and Ari were all amazing and kept the fun times going. I usually say I’m looking forward to my next NCL cruise. I’m not so sure after this one where I’m going. I had been looking at a very long voyage with NCL but have recently found myself considering other cruise lines. Maybe it’s time to expand my horizons. Time will tell NCL. I know you’re reading this so wake up and fix the Breakaway Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My reason for choosing cruising over other forms of travel is for the personalized service. On many ships you can feel like you are staying in a 5 star hotel for very little money. Whether in an interior or the captains suite- you are made ... Read More
My reason for choosing cruising over other forms of travel is for the personalized service. On many ships you can feel like you are staying in a 5 star hotel for very little money. Whether in an interior or the captains suite- you are made to feel like you are the most important person on board. This was not present on the NCL Breakaway! After cruising Carnival in the past I left a little disappointed. Please don't get me wrong, it was a lovely vacation. My expectations based off of past cruises made this cruise surprisingly sub-par. The interior of the ship is modern, not overly fancy but pretty. It is extremely clean, and I loved the washy washy requirement. VERY disappointed in the smoking areas- they were not well contained and smoke would travel to many non smoking areas (I have asthma- it can RUIN a cruise). They would do well limiting smoking to one or two enclosed bars.The biggest thing that stood out to me was the poor quality of food. Most people enjoyed it very much, however, the main dining rooms food was not as fancy as I had expected. This is no doubt a ploy to push cruisers into their specialty restaurants. I will pay for many things on a cruise, but food is NOT one of them. (making this cruise ship the wrong choice). We had a free unlimited beverage package which was awesome- very pleased with that offer. The staff was very pleasant, but again not very personalized. Other than the room steward we did not have interaction with many staff more than once. This takes away the "Ms. Smith would you like your usual drink today" aspect from the cruise. Entertainment on the ship was lacking to say the least. They had the usual trivia, bingo, ect. As for the casino- I couldn't go (again a smoking area). It was mainly the nightly shows where they have failed. For a ship with 4000 people on-board the theater was very small. For this reason shows need to be reserved ahead of time (personally I like to go where the wind takes me, avoiding making any reservations). It definitely limits the amount of freedom for nightly entertainment. We reserved our shows on the first day, which became a problem if on the night before there was something on the next days schedule that you would rather do. We did not travel with children. From the families we met on board though the kids seemed to be having a fantastic time and loved the kids clubs. We did not buy any shore excursions, but instead got a 2 day transportation pass and rode the buses and ferries to anything we wanted to do. It worked out very well. We saw most of the island in the 2 days we were there and did a few attractions (one being the crystal caves- very cool). Being October the beaches were rough, but not terrible. Overall, even though I had negative things to say, it was a fair cruise that would be good for families. If I had not had prior expectations the cruise would have been excellent. As an FYI- they had AA, LGBT, 18-25 yr old, and solo traveler meets everyday. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
For those in a rush, here is my quick summary. A full review will follow below: EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION - Crowded as expected, but a smooth process taking just under 2 hours from arrival at the port to reaching my stateroom. On the ... Read More
For those in a rush, here is my quick summary. A full review will follow below: EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION - Crowded as expected, but a smooth process taking just under 2 hours from arrival at the port to reaching my stateroom. On the last day, leaving my stateroom to my airport taxi took less than an hour. SHIP SIZE/CROWDS - Despite a sold out week, a bit of planning and referring to maps made getting around easy, and crowds a non-issue. STATEROOM - My studio cabin was very stylish, and while small is was perfect for one person and offered lots of storage. Space was very well used. The in-room TV had a poor selection of films and television channels. POOLS - My travel partner and I did not enjoy the pool deck, as it was often busy and loud. We did like Spice H20 and found it very quiet when we went. EXTRA FEES/VALUE - I spent extra at the spa, and at Carlos' Bake Shop. I also purchased WiFi packages as needed, and got the Ultimate Beverage Package. I only ate in free restaurants; and did not find any "unexpected" fees or surprises as I made sure to inform myself before sailing. STAFF - All the staff we encountered, with maybe one or two exceptions, went out of their way to help us and were very friendly. A little courtesy, respect and tipping when appropriate go a LONG way! Some fellow passengers were horrible to staff. DINING/DRINKS - I found all food to range from moderate to excellent quality, comparable to any chain restaurant on land. The exception is room service, which I found underwhelming. All drinks were well made (and STRONG!) SPA - Great massages, although a the hefty price tag (to be expected) and heavy sales emphasis from spa staff. AREAS TO IMPROVE - The photo shoots are in a rather awkward/busy location that interrupts traffic flow around the atrium. The ship may also benefit from more garbage bins placed around FULL REVIEW: I was quite troubled and disheartened finding so much negativity on the forums and reviews prior to my cruise - and after I had paid for my vacation in full. As I write this review from my stateroom (for posting once I return), I am pleased to share that I have found all the negative reviews and complaints to be grossly overstated, founded in a lack of responsibility on the part of the client, or simply incorrect. To start my review, I wish to share that this is my first cruise so I have no other standard to compare this to, other than my many land-based vacations. I am also a very easy-going person, who is on vacation to enjoy myself and make the best of things, rather than pick everything to bits. Who wants to spend their entire vacation in a bad mood? What's more, I also came on board understanding that I would be sailing a mass-market cruise line along with a sold out ship of 4000+ other people; and based my expectations and standards as such. While there were some very minor issues that arose during the cruise, and a number of suggestions I would offer NCL; overall this cruise was outstanding! EMBARKATION - Check-in was crowded as expected, but overall quite well organized. From arrival at the port to arriving in my stateroom, the embarkation process took just under 2 hours and was relatively hassle-free. My travel partner and I did not receive the health forms until arriving at the check-in desk, so there may be opportunity to improve there along with ensuring pens are readily available and easily found. SHIP SIZE/NAVIGATION - Although the ship is massive, I found it quite easy to navigate. Maps are located practically everywhere, and finding your way is either a nearby map or crew member's direction away. STATEROOM - I stayed in a solo/studio stateroom and found it perfectly adequate for one person, and very stylish. Although small, space is used incredibly well and there is more than enough storage - in closets, under the bed, on wall hooks, etc. The shower pressure and temperature were both surprisingly good. My room steward, Bagus, was quick to introduce himself and always prompt to service or turn down my room when the request light was illuminated. An area to improve is the in-cabin entertainment, which offered a rather dull movie selection and only 2 or 3 television channels (I spent so much time out of the room though, that this was barely an issue). The garbage bin provided in the studio cabins is also minuscule, which was a bit inconvenient. POOLS - Personally, my travel partner and I did not especially care for the noise or chaos of the main pool and its bars. We did, however, quite like the hot tubs and overall calmer atmosphere offered at Spice H20. During the times we went, there were very few people there and more than enough lounge chairs and padded wicker armchairs for everyone VALUE/EXTRA FEES - Yes, there are many opportunities to spend above and beyond your cruise fare, however there are also a wide array of options at your disposal for no cost. I realize that some lines may offer at no charge what NCL sets at an extra rate, however with a bit of research I made sure I knew what to expect setting sail and didn't encounter any "surprises". I spent extra at the spa (see below) and prepaid for the Ultimate Beverage Package. With the exception of Carlos' Bake Shop, I did not eat in any of the a-la-carte or cover-charge dining options. I do understand that in recent months NCL has levied some new charges, removed elements of the cruise experience, etc. I did my part to ensure I was informed prior to setting sail, and knew clearly what I would and would not be receiving as part of my cruise fare. At the end of the day, one must remember that NCL is a for-profit business and that there is no obligation to spend more. STAFF - With maybe one exception or two, all staff were incredibly friendly. Understanding that these staff often work upwards of 18+ hour days, seven days a week a little courtesy and appreciation (along with a dollar or two tip per drink) goes a LONG way. I was quite appalled at how some fellow passengers treated ship staff; and can only imagine these are the same people calling staff rude. Remember the golden rule! CROWDS/PUBLIC SPACES - The reports of the ship being primarily an assorted (and rather colorful!) mix of tri-state residents is indeed true, but I found everyone I met to be quite friendly. There are plenty of quiet spots to be found on the ship (and our week was sold out!), my personal favorite being the padded chaise lounges around The Waterfront and Spice H2O. Using areas at off-peak times (eg: aqua park and hot tubs around 8AM and catching dinner right at 5:30) can ensure that crowds don't prove burdensome. The reality is that you are vacationing on a mega-ship with over 4000 other people. Expecting empty spaces at all times is simply unrealistic. DINING - I was quite satisfied with both the selection and quality found at the complimentary restaurants (especially Uptown Grill, in my opinion the ship's best-kept secret). Again, I feel most of the complaints here are based around unrealistic expectations - expecting 5-star restaurant quality, 24/7, included in your cab fare, on a vessel that is feeding 4000 other people simultaneously - is simply unrealistic. I would say food is equal (or superior) to that found at any chain restaurant or buffet found on land, The only experience that left me slightly underwhelmed was room service, which I found to take a bit longer than I would have preferred. The quality appeared to be no better than the free buffet available upstairs. I did not especially like the Macaroni and Cheese I ordered, although my turkey sandwich was quite good. DRINKS - If you plan on drinking, I would very strongly suggest setting aside the few hundred dollars it will cost you to get the Ultimate Beverage Package. I found the drinks to be good to very strong (!) and service times to be acceptable, with only a few exceptions in small venues (Shaker's) during peak times. Most bartenders at my preferred spots were quick to learn both my names and preferences. I appreciate the hard work that these staff put in day-in-day-out, and would tip either a dollar or two on most drinks. SPA - I enjoyed a massage at the Mandara Spa, and my attendant Natalia was very good. Prices are a bit steep, however on a cruise this is to be expected. I did notice a heavy sales emphasis from the Mandara/Elemis staff, however I cordially let them know I was not interested in additional products, services or a Thermal Suite pass (having taken a tour of the facilities, I wasn't especially impressed with the size or benefits the $200 pass had to offer). I will note that there were some "thud" noises I could hear a few times during my massage - but again, understanding that I am on a ship, didn't consider this a serious issue OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE - There were a few minor mistakes made (ie: my stateroom being linked to my travel partner's name, credits not applied to my account immediately, a non-functional WiFi package, etc.) however in all instances I found the staff to be very accommodating and flexible in remedying these either right away, or reasonably fast. I also noticed that waste baskets are few and far between, save for near the stairs and elevators. Although the staff keeps the ship spotless, adding some additional garbage bins would surely make everyone's cruise experience a bit easier. I also found the location of the photo shoots (in the middle of Deck 8 hallways between the atrium and shops) to be somewhat inconvenient, and display a lack of thought towards traffic patterns. This area was heavy with passenger traffic following dinner and we often found ourselves "walking through" a photo shoot in progress DISEMBARKATION - My travel partner and I chose to take advantage of the "easy walk off" option, as our luggage was rather minimal. This process was pleasantly efficient. We had left our rooms by 7:00AM, and I was in my taxi to Newark by 8:00AM. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We chose to cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway from New York to Bermuda as it enabled us to visit friends in New York and to spend time in Bermuda, an Island I know well. As a first timer I was also unsure of whether I would enjoy the ... Read More
We chose to cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway from New York to Bermuda as it enabled us to visit friends in New York and to spend time in Bermuda, an Island I know well. As a first timer I was also unsure of whether I would enjoy the experience onboard. My partner used to work on ships so was a lot more used to having his 'sea legs'. I have certainly overcome that uncertainty and found the cruise very enjoyable despite the weather at times being poor and the seas somewhat rough! We had a spa mini suite which was very comfortable for two and there was plenty of space, the bathroom was very good and perhaps the only criticism is the small balcony but we hardly used it. Having chosen the ultimate dining package we enjoyed the speciality restaurants, highlights being La Bistro and the Teppanyaki, perhaps our only poor experience was Moderno. Food was generally excellent. We particularly liked the waterfront area and also the thermal spa facilities. Entertainment was good and particularly "Burn the floor". Although the ship was crowded it was always possible to find some quiet space but it is a big ship so be prepared to be a little patient and understanding. Service was generally very good and the reservations system worked well for booking restaurants and shows. Boarding was very efficient despite the large numbers, disembarkation a little more shambolic but that was perhaps more to do with too few immigration officers. Bermuda is a beautiful destination and a lovely island to explore, we did not do any excursions preferring to use local bus and ferry services. Definitely converted I shall certainly be cruising again soon and found the NCL freestyle concept very acceptable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Leaving out of NYC is amazing the breakaway cruise past Manhattan past the World Trade Center and finally right beside Lady Liberty. This ships rockin' the drinks are flowing it's a departure like no other cruise. (Makes you feel ... Read More
Leaving out of NYC is amazing the breakaway cruise past Manhattan past the World Trade Center and finally right beside Lady Liberty. This ships rockin' the drinks are flowing it's a departure like no other cruise. (Makes you feel nostalgic for the good ole USA) I'm just getting around to writing about the Breakaway. I have been on NCL in the past and enjoy the freestyle concept of cruising. We generally ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch and a speciality restaurant for dinner. The buffet albeit busy was full of options and various cooking stations. They all compare on each ship with the exception of LeBistro as it was one the best meals I've ever had cruising. My favorite thing on this ship was the open concept of bars and restaurants on the boardwalk. With most other ships to drink and mingle outside means hanging near the pool to get a drink or food which can be loud. There are ample smoking areas away from guests who will still complain. I am very polite and contentious smoker but you know the look! Don't ever smoke in your cabin $250 fine each occurrence. The Breakaway was designed for smokers and non smokers with the exception of the Casino where smoking is allowed but poor design and open concept leaves smoke traveling to lower restaurant areas and public spaces. As a smoker you will get blamed for this design flaw. Lol Spice H20 on the rear of the ship was an amazing place to layout, have a cocktail and not be surrounded by children. They actually enforce this rule. It bugs me when people review ships based on their experiences with other guests or someone was noisy etc. This ship is amazing front to back. It is easy to navigate (the fish on the carpet swim up or down stream). We had a balcony cabin which had the smallest balcony of any cruise ship I've ever been on. When I book the breakaway again I'll just book an ocean view and save some $. I had a forward room and it was like a field trip if you want to go anywhere. This is however mega ship so I expected it. I prefer the jewel class ships over the mega ship as it does limit ports with most docks unable to accommodate these big ships so tendering takes forever to get thousands of people into port. Worst visit was Norwegians private island as it too is too small to accommodate thousands of people at once. Norwegian treated us wonderful as usual and I didn't feel a bit uncomfortable traveling with my same sex partner of 23 years. We do the FOD get togethers ands its hit or miss on cruise ships. We been where there is a huge crowd and some where we were the only ones attending. Don't be afraid to talk either. It's really bad attending these things when no one talks to each other (awkward lol). Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our first NCL cruise. Always cruised with Royal prior. We wanted a cruise during spring break since my DW teaches college and would be off that week and we needed a break from the winter. We also didn't want to have to fly ... Read More
This was our first NCL cruise. Always cruised with Royal prior. We wanted a cruise during spring break since my DW teaches college and would be off that week and we needed a break from the winter. We also didn't want to have to fly with 3 children, so driving 3 hours to NY sounded like the path of least resistance between ourselves and Bahama's weather. It was my DW and I, our three boys 4, 3 and 1 years old and a friend who came to help us with the boys and also have a vacation. We booked two adjoining Mid Ship Mini Suites with balcony rooms. Unfortunately we didn't know that the NY marathon was happening the day we were boarding the ship (Mar 15th), we were having a friend drop us off and no matter what street we went down the road was blocked off and we had to go a different direction. NY traffic is bad enough without that. After an hour of getting no where our NY friend used her persuasive manner and got us through a closed street directly in front of the port. We arrived around 10:45am. On boarding was pretty smooth, I think we waited for an hour and half after we were dropped off, in line and waiting for our number 27 to be called and on board. Once on ship we explored a bit, our staterooms (13184/13182) were close to the splash academy so we registered our 3 and 4 year olds. The staff was very friendly and outgoing and got the boys super stoked about the activities planned that week. They were begging to go the rest of the time on ship and had a great time. We loved where our rooms were located, right next to the Forward Elevators and one floor above entrance to Splash Academy, central on the boat between buffet up a few floors and main activities down a few floors. Our cabin attendant Willy was super nice however didn't seem to have a lot of attention to detail as our garbage can wasn't emptied when we arrived in one room and the mirror had an odd film on it with a noticeable smiley face someone had made on it. He came back later and cleaned it. The rooms had plenty of storage which was great! We shared two adjoining rooms and expected to have to store some of our kids things in the friend/nanny's cabin and we didn't have to. Under the couch drawers were great and our large suit cases fit under the bed just fine. One cabin was setup with the bed closest to the balcony, the other with the bed closest to the closet. My DW and I took the room with bed closest to the balcony and moved the bed even closer and were able to fit the pack and play between the couch and our bed and it was perfect! We did pack extra power strips as recommended and they came in handy for our devices. We didn't find the need to have a card in the slot for the lights to work to be a problem, we used other rewards cards we had that matched the same size as our room key and then just used the light switches to turn things off and on. We did wish we had brought a night light option, we ended up using an iphone flashlight app partially covered as a night light. The first day on ship was chilly of course, out of NY in March during a cold winter. First day at sea was chilly in the morning but nice in the afternoon with sun but still too windy to be in the pool. The rest of the trip we had great weather. Ft Lauderdale we decided to take a transfer to Cocoa beach from the ship. Unfortunately they didn't have very good signage once off ship to direct us where we should go, we were given misinformation twice and stood in the wrong line and almost got on the wrong bus. In previous cruises with Royal, there was always clear signs posted where to go if you had booked an excursion and people standing around with signs etc. Food: we ate mostly at the buffet because of the kids. Specifically the baby, he is not very patient yet and can be noisy so we kept him away from guests who wanted to enjoy a quite meal. haha. The food was fine overall, we did get tired of the same breakfast options by the end of the trip. Dinner buffet was hit or miss. We adults took turns going to the main dining room a few times as well. The food there was great one night and then very dull and boring the next. Things that sounded good were just so so. My DW and I did treat ourselves to Le Bistro the French restaurant at $20 extra we booked prior to the cruise. Sad to find out certain specials were then an additional $10 more (lobster special and two others). We didn't spring for that because the other items sounded just fine. I had the duck, she had steak. Both were very good, we both had escargot which is one of the reasons we went and some very good creme brulee. We had heard great things about The Uptown Bar and Grill burgers, I decided one night to try one out when it was my night to stay in with the kids. It lived up to expectations and was amazing, one of the best burgers I've had and the waffle fries were great. Come to find out and I some how lucked out on them being open at that hour of the day because my DW and our guest tried to go a few times after that and never had any luck! They were open for breakfast and then from 12-4pm, they also closed the last day at sea on our way back due to the weather getting chilly. So they didn't get to have the burgers at all. So that was disappointing. It seemed that it being one of the better included dining options the open hours should have been longer. O'Sheehans pub had good fish and chips and chicken pot pie. We ate there in the evening twice after the kids were in bed. We wish that place did room service because the room service menu was very lack luster and SLOW. There were often times we took a bucket of beer to the room and played cards and just wanted something to snack on. We asked for bar mix one night and were offered potato chips, which took 45 minutes to arrive and was a very small handful of chips. Guess we should have packed munchies. I read complaints about the rope course and slides not being open a lot. I didn't really notice, our kids were too young for both, our friend and my DW did try to go the 2nd to last day and it just started to rain right as they were in line, so they were closed for them. It was a bummer but we didn't make it a priority. The rain didn't last long thankfully but then the last day as we headed back to NY, it was cold and overcast so we spent the time at shops, the arcade's, exploring the boat and packing. The Splash academy hours worked fine for us, open from 9am-12pm then 2-5pm and 7-10:30pm. We did with it opened at 6pm instead of 7pm since our kids tend to go to bed around 7-7:30, we did let them stay up because it was vacation but they were ready to pass out themselves from all of the activity. So we only sent them in the mornings or afternoons and they had a blast. Mind you this was only for our 3 and 4 year olds. The baby had a "guppy room" which was really super lame. It was a walk in closet size room with a few toddler toys, some of which were broken and had sharp edges on the broken parts (we turned those toys into the one worker we saw, since the room was unattended) nothing to climb on or explore. They had guppy activities which were at very inconvenient times 12:30pm and 5:30pm, right during lunch/nap or dinner. We did not expect a daycare option for him but something more than a small room. DW did take the baby to the disco guppy party one of the evenings at 5:30, there were these plastic noise maker type toys which our destructive little guy smashed in two strikes and had plastic and pieces flying everywhere. We wished there was a play type area for him. We mostly took him walking the ship which he loved. He loves stairs, (there are plenty of those) and going in and out of doors since he just started walking. He actually got really adjusted to the motion of the ship, it was funny when we came home it took him awhile to find his land legs again. The waterfront on deck 8 was neat, it was a nice stroll on the ship, comfy loungers and so forth. The only show we took in was Rock of Ages and it was great. For a sold out ship I never felt like we waited in line for anything really long. We eat early breakfasts/dinners because of the kids so that probably helped and we arrived early for the show. Disembarking at Great Stirrup Cay we heard was a long wait so we weren't sure if we wanted to or not because of having to tender etc. We decided that we should try it. We put ourselves on the tender list and waited for them to call our group but I happened to walk past the disembarking area before our group and asked one of the gentlemen there and he said whenever we were ready we could just come down and get in line, it probably would have been a 25-45 minute wait but since we had a stroller they escorted us down the elevator and we got out a little sooner. The tender process was smooth and easy overall. The Island was pretty, we got there around 11:30am and all of the seats on the beach were taken, so we rented one of the big blue rafts and propped it up against a tree close for the kids to have shade to play in and it worked great. We ate the BBQ food provided and the baby laid down for a nap in his stroller which was great. The kids loved the beach, the sand was much nicer than the sand in FL and the kids noticed as well. We took the raft out in the water after the babies nap and they all had a great time. In Nassau we decided not to book the Atlantis resort through the ship, I had contacted an Atlantis representative prior to the cruise and they mentioned if they were sold out we could get tickets at the gate and it would be around $90 a person. Unfortunately that was incorrect. We got off the ship, hailed a taxi ($5 a person, baby was free) and the driver was great, gave us a quick tour on the way there and was fun and personable. We got there before the tour bus of ship passengers did, however the price per adult at the gate was $150 not $90 and so we didn't save much as the ship price was $169 per adult. We only had to pay our 4 year old as 3 and under were free. We went in and saw a few things on our way to the kids pool area, the place is expansive and very pretty overall. I didn't think it looked run down. The kids enjoyed the pool and structure in the pool and water slides. There were only 5-6 adult slides, my DW and our friend went on a few. I'm not much of a water slide person so I did one of them and it was fun. I think it was over priced for what you got. But I wasn't sure what other things we would have wanted to do instead. We had done beach two days in a row and were sort of ready for a sand free day. I'm not sure we would book it again but when in Rome... The food at Atlantis was also expensive and not worth it. Ship Pools: our kids only got to use the kids pool twice, since two of the days at sea on the way out and way back were cold, not the fault of the cruise line - so perhaps in the future we will fly to FL or somewhere first to take advantage of warm weather the whole time. They did enjoy the pool and had a blast with the spray things. We did also book the Pajama Jam breakfast party which was Friday morning. Dora, Diego and other Nickelodeon characters danced while there was a breakfast buffet available, mostly with fun pancakes and waffles and other carb loaded kid fun breakfast items. The music and dancing was fun, then photos with the characters, we don't watch Nickelodeon so our kids were only kind of familiar with them but bright, dressed up larger than life characters are always fun for kids. They interacted with the kids during the dancing and let the kids join them. They had a great time. We pre-booked a few shows that once we got on board had all been rescheduled and then we were told we didn't need to reschedule. So as much encouraging as we were given to pre-book ended up not being needed and folks were first come first to shows? So that was odd. The morning of disembarkation after much "discussion" as my DW and I had different opinions on if we should try the express walk off or check our bags, we went with her walk off idea and managing all of our own luggage and three kids. I thought she was nuts. The morning arrived and we waited in our state rooms as directed until walk offs were called over the system. Around 8:30am we were told to head to floor 7. We went to get an elevator and waited for 15 minutes or better. We got lucky when one opened up and only two people were on it and jumped in. We ended up being on that elevator for 45 minutes, thankfully with the doors open on floor 7 but still on the elevator as floor 7 was jammed wall to wall with people NOT moving. It was insane. People were angry, agitated and trying to get further along when nothing was going anywhere. They announced once or twice that customs was backed up because there were so many people. Was this the first time the ship was near capacity? I doubt it. The line eventually started moving slowly and they were directing folks in two directions, we took what appeared to be the path of least resistance. The baby fell asleep in his stroller for most of this thankfully, the older two boys were bored but made the best of it. I ended up with two suitcases strapped together so I could roll them both, my back pack and the two small bags the boys were supposed to be pulling but in that kind of crowd it didn't make sense for little bags to be drug around. So taking our luggage off ship ourselves didn't end up being the biggest issue, it was the long line and slow process. I'm not sure if this was an NCL issue or customs issue but I will say that NCL could have been better staffed to direct folks, or make better announcements to help people understand what was happening. In total from leaving at our room at 8:30am we made it to our car (friend picked us up) at 10:30am. Two hours isn't bad except that walk off's with luggage usually take 20 mins or less. All of this was waiting in line, once through customs it was out the front door and found our friend. It would have been a longer wait, but since we had the stroller we went in the elevator line vs. the escalator line and again in customs they put us in a shorter line vs the longer line. So that came in handy. We foster all three of our kids, so the customs woman took a little longer checking out birth certificates. However we were on the way BACK from the trip, haha so if we were not legitimate then the guy who checked our ID's on the way onto the ship who barely took a second glance was the one we thought we would have to present our letter of explanation to. We were frustrated, annoyed and many other things leaving the ship that morning. So it wasn't a good way to end the trip. However overall, I would say that there were good things and things that left us wanting more. I think we will pay extra and fly to a port that has a Royal trip. I'm not saying I wouldn't ever travel NCL again, it wasn't that bad at all. It was a good cruise overall, we enjoyed it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
This was our 9th cruise, all with NCL, We love sailing out of NYC because we are in NJ and it is pretty easy and convenient , we have done Alaska last year, Western Caribean out of MIami in 2010 and Europe in 2009, all others Bahamas and ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise, all with NCL, We love sailing out of NYC because we are in NJ and it is pretty easy and convenient , we have done Alaska last year, Western Caribean out of MIami in 2010 and Europe in 2009, all others Bahamas and Bermuda. EMBARKATION We live in northern NJ, only ½ hr. from the port, so transportation was really easy, once at the port we dropped our bags and case of water, yes you can bring your own bottle water, and went ahead for check in around 11.00 AM. we were invited by CAS (Casinos at Sea), after passing the security screening we asked about the VIP line for CAS and we were directed straight to one of the front desk ladies and checking was done in less than 10 minutes; we were giving #8 for Casino guest, we went straight to take our embarkation picture and sat for about 1/2 hr until they start boarding by rows on the waiting area, this time they did not called by numbers and we got on board at 11. 30 AM. We had cruised 8 times before, all of them on NCL, 3 on the Gem, 3 on the Jewel, 1 on the Dawn, and I on the BA last summer to Bermuda so for us was not a new ship, so we went straight to our cabin, in deck 14, literally we were the first one in the whole floor, we boarded AFT and our cabin was FWD, so we walked the whole deck and all the cabins were ready and open. We met our room Steward, who greeted us by our first names, very nice and attentive guy. I left a note for him to empty the refrigerator to put my water there and a couple other minor requests. I was in charge of the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet so I had a Door sign from CC with my screen name and the place and location for the meeting next day. I like the idea of let the staff know we were cruise critics, no because i expected anything else and did i not get anything else that we were supposed to, but at least i know everything will be fine since my feeling is they will be more careful and making sure nothing goes wrong. We had arranged lunch with some fellow CC at Savor at 12.30 and service and food was great. CABIN We were in a Spa Balcony Deck 14. Room was a good size, queen size bed next to the balcony with a couch. Balcony was small, just plenty of room for 2 chairs. There was a coffee maker and refrigerator and safe in the room. Just enough room for 2 adults, plenty of storage room for your clothes and stuff, no so much for your bags, but we stowed them underneath the bed and used them to keep the dirty clothes. Overall we were happy with the room, and the truth is we are never in there, just to sleep and shower; this ship has so many things that will be a waste to stay longer in the room just watching TV or drinking coffee by the balcony. Spa balcony is no different that a regular balcony is just that give you access all cruise long to the Thermal Suite at the Spa with no extra charge, that was the best part of the cruise specially with the no so good weather we had (Thanksgiving week). ATRIUM ON DECK 6 They were pretty smart with the design of this area, very functional, multipurpose, every day and night they have so many different events there that for many guest this is one of their favorite areas. It has a super big screen so that allow them to project anything. This area has been designed as a 2 open levels, with balcony style viewing from O’Sheehan’s on deck 7. On deck 6 you will find most of the customer services areas, Front Desk, Shore excursions desk, Cruise consultant, Internet Café, the library and card room and the Lavazza Coffee Shop. Connecting the Atrium with 678 Ocean Place is a hallway that hosts the Art Gallery with a very smart design to keep the paintings out and to storage all the Art collection when not at auction. 678 Ocean Place is a space designed to connect deck 6, 7 and 8 with a beautiful staircase and a huge and beautiful chandelier hanging from the top, during the day is white and at night change colors all the time. On deck 6 you also will find Le Bistro French restaurant and Headliners Comedy Club. CASINO Located on the center of deck 7, wrapping around the big chandelier; designed as an open space that forces people to walk through it when going from Forward to AFT on the ship. Can be really noise and smoky at sometimes but personally I do not thing that is a big of a deal since is located at the center of the entertainment area, with many bars and restaurants around. I think they were very smart with the location of the casino right on the middle of the ship as I said before forcing people to walk thru almost all the time. Also on deck 7 is Bliss Ultra lounge were some parties are being held especially after midnight. WATERFRONT ON DECK 8 The design of this section of the ship is super smart, is a really nice area to walk around, sit down and look at the sea or land while on ports, having the chance to dine outside is great when weather permit it. Overall we loved the Waterfront, so many things to do there and so many small areas to sit. MAIN RESTAURANTS The Manhattan room on deck 7, Savor and Taste on deck 6 are the main dining restaurants, they are complimentary. Despite we were sailing at full occupancy, they never seem to be over crowded, we eat almost every night at the Manhattan Room, the formal one, Savor and Taste are the most informal ones. Dress code for Savor and Taste is Resort style, Shorts and t-shirts are ok. Manhattan room is Casual, long pants are required for men; Polo shirts and Casual shirts are ok. Not formal dressing is required (no suits need, but this is the place if you want to dress up). Overall food was good and all 3 of them, service at Savor and Taste was OK, a little slowe specially at breakfast time. We are not demanding people and not looking for royal treatment, but we felt that overall service was lacking the good service we had encounter on the other NCL ships before. SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS We only visited Teppanyaky, the Hibachi restaurant, service was great, Food was great, and the Cheff was very engaging and entertaining to watch BUFFET In my opinion they did great with the design of this area of the ship, they did split it in 2, on every side of the back of the ship. Usually in other NCL ships we always had a hard time finding seating at the buffet, that was not the case on the BA, we went for breakfast many times there and we never had to look for more than a few moments to find at seat. Food stations are almost the same in both sides of the buffet with few differences, overall food was OK, but not as good as on the other ships we have been. I miss the different fix stations they have in others; I miss the Asian and Indian Stations. They did have Asian and Indian dishes but only one or so of each, but not as many as on the others. They had different theme nights, Seafood night the first sea day, Asian and Mexican nights. Late night Buffet was a great option, although was almost the same every night. For after midnight eating was O’Sheehan’s, regular late night menu, burger and fish and chips. POOLS AND WATER RIDES this comments are actually from our first time on the BA to Bermuda in July 2014 since we did not use the pool area at all this time because the weather. Pools are not very big; it is a pool for adults and others for kids; they are always activities and games hosted by the cruise staff people. The water rides are great, the red and blue FREE FALL are awesome, we went down them many times and we had a lot of fun, they are pretty safe and not just for kids; they are a great attraction among adults. The other water rides are also great, a lot of fun. Let your inner child to come out and have fun. Sun decks are always busy but a difference than the other NCL ships we have been on it, we had not much of a difficult time to find a chair, of course on the shaded area but we were always out and about so no really much time to sunbathing, but for those who want to do so, we find it not so hard to find a place for it. Sundecks are throughout deck 14 and 15 and on deck 16 at Spice H2O on the back of the ship. The Vibe beach club is the private sundeck, charge is $78 for the whole week and $30 for a day. Passes are limited and although they are sell out rather quickly, it seems that people who buy them not use the area very often, it looks not so busy all the time. They are sold at the front desk on deck 6 upon boarding of the ship, not sold online. ROPE COURSE AND THE PLANK They are great, we tried, at least i did try, i got all the stuff putted on me, i walked to the first place and i could'n take off, i am kinda afraid of heights and the first plank was on the edge of the ship overlooking the ocean, so i backed up and got off. my travel mate did the whole thing and loved it KIDS AND TEENS Splash academy for the little ones and Entourage lounge for the Teens seem to be very popular among them. THE SHOPS They are located on deck 8 along with the photo store. The photo store created a new way to see your pictures taken during the cruise, on you key card you will find a number that correspond to the binder were all your pictures are kept, they do not display them anymore throughout the whole gallery, they do display some of the more recent ones. They also have digital screens were you can order copies directly. A great and smart improvement. PARTIES AND ENTERTAINMENT The Cruise Director and her staff they are always running activities throughout the whole day; From bingo, Deal or No deal, Pool games, etc. and of course the nightly parties on deck 16 at Spice H2O. Everything start with the Sail away party at 3 pm on the first day, and every night is a different party with different themes, Night Out, 70’s, 80’s, top 40’s and the farewell party on the last night. Spice H2O and the parties held every night here are a big success (weather permitting). Out of all the cruises we had been on, this is the first time we have seen this parties so packed. Of course is twice the people than the other ships, but I believe the reason for the high attendance to this parties is because is an open space and children and teens are allow, so this bring the whole family together. It was really nice to see so many people on the dance floor, really entertaining. We attended the Farewell party, the Night Out party (was held on the Atrium because bad weather), the Glow party (also known as the White Party) and the 70’s party (was at Bliss lounge). Fireworks were display at the 80’s party, was amazing to have this event at sea. They no longer concentrate on Spice H2O, now they encourage people to watch them from any open deck on the Port side. SHOWS Theater is beautiful; it has a Box office at the entrance for reservations and questions you may have about the shows. They are touch screens all over the ship where you can do yourself reservations for shows and restaurants. Theater is smaller, just one level, different than the 2 levels the Stardust theater has in other ships. Now is called the Breakaway Theater. Rock of ages, Burn the floor and Second city are free shows, although you need to make reservations if you want to guarantee to get a seat at the desired time, they are always seats available and you can get them at the stand by line before the show start. Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy is a pay dinner show, $40. ROCK OF AGES was a good show; I have seen the original show on Broadway in NYC once and twice in AC. It was a good rendition, especially since they edited out some of the slow scenes on the original show to make it shorter. It is a show no just for the adult, but many of the teens seem to enjoy the show and the music. BURN THE FLOOR was my favorite; I saw the original Australian show a few years ago in Las Vegas and was amazing and a couple of years later in NYC. The BA version is a concise version of it but the choreography is great, the dancers are wonderful; we saw this show 3 times during this cruise. ONce at the BA theater and twice at the Manhattan room when they performed at the restaurant’s dance floor. We only reserved seat for the first performance. SECOND CITY COMEDY CLUB was OK, I am not a big fan of comedy but they did great, we saw the 11 pm show, for adults only and was good, last time in july we saw the 7 pm show, so it was a family show with a lot of kids and teens attending. The Second City staff did well; HOWL AT THE MOON or the dueling pianos at headliners was good, although they are not great singers, they pretty good knowing so many songs, and they are funny. A good show to watch. FAT CATS JAZZ & BLUES CLUB, we stopped by for a little while. I am not a huge fan of jazz but I can say that the band is good. SPA AND FITNESS CENTER Spa is beautiful and big, we did a tour of it and were amazed by. Spa is on deck 15 (entrance, beauty salon, spa thermal suit, and the wet area. ) and 14 (treatment rooms). Staff is really friendly and knowledgeable. We talked with some of the Massage Therapist and got quick sample of some of the treatments and made appointments for massages on the last port day (cheaper than sea days). Like i mentioned we had a Spa Balcony which give you access to the Spa at not charge. is for both Men and Women together. The thermal suite is like a big Jacuzzi with jets, an area to laid back inside the water, a high pressure jets area that lift you up in the water. the heated tile lounge chairs are ok, not a big deal for me, i think they should be a bit hotter for my taste. is also a Sauna and a Steam room, and the SALT room, Spa is very relaxing specially at sea days with bad weather. Fitness center is also located on deck 15 right before the Spa. Is split in 2 areas on both sides of the hallway towards the Spa. On the right side is the Cardio area, and on the left side is the weight lifting area and spinning and kickboxing room. In my opinion it is a very smart design dividing the fitness center in 2, If you only like cardio machines you do not have to even step up on the weight lifting area and vice versa. WL area has windows facing the hallway (which make it dark) and Cardio area has windows facing the ocean (which bring a lot of natural light). ROOM STEWARD Our room was always impeccable and ready, cleaned twice a day, and always stacked with all the supplies. Our Steward was great very friendly and attentive. CRUISE DIRECTOR AND STAFF JC Sanchez was our Cruise Director, and he did a good job, very entertaining. DISEMBARKATION We opted for gold color, VIP which is the 8.30 am disembarking, was pretty easy and smooth. Immigration was a breeze, just a look at the passport and they collected the form and off we go, not passport stamps, no questions asked. CRUISE CRITIC MEET AND GREET We attended the M&G party at La Cucina restaurant on the first sea day. We had a moderate big group, we met really nice people, and after the meeting we went to the casino for the slot pull. We putted $15 each and had no good luck at all, after everybody did their pull we had won only $8 pp, so we decided to keep rolling and see what happens. Lady luck did not show and we lost all the money. FREE STYLE CRUISING Over all we think that was a great cruise, the design of the ship is amazing and very smart; it seems that they thought about almost every detail and even sailing a full capacity with 4000+ passengers it does not look overcrowded and is due the fact that are so many places to eat, drink and seat. With 29 places to eat and 22 bars and lounges you will always find a place to have a good time. Some reviews complaining about been overcrowded, well, I guess when they booked the cruise, they did not pay attention to that small, detail, they are 4000+ passengers and 1600+ crew members, meaning, it is a small town a float, if you want intimacy, you better look for small ships. I have loved the Breakaway since the moment NCL reveled the details of this ship and I couldn't wait to sail on her again and did not disappointed us. NCL did a great job with this ship. We love free style cruising, we love not to have to dress up, we are in vacation, we want to be relaxed and comfortable. We like to dine anytime we want, not at the same time every night, that’s why we love NCL and free style cruising. We loved the BA so much that we are booked again for February/2014. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
Boat: How can you go wrong with a new boat? Everything was very nice. Public places were well maintained and ethically pleasing. This is a big boat and therefore you may need a day or two in order to really get a feel for the boat. ... Read More
Boat: How can you go wrong with a new boat? Everything was very nice. Public places were well maintained and ethically pleasing. This is a big boat and therefore you may need a day or two in order to really get a feel for the boat. “Where am I again?” was mentioned a few times. The waterfront located on deck 8 is wonderful. We spent most cocktail hours there and really enjoyed it. The only minimal downside I found with this boat is there are clearly elevators missing. Most times I caught the “Local” making stop on too many floors. Embarkation: There was a slight delay in boarding that caused some waiting. Nothing serious or too long. NCL did warn us to only show up after a certain time. Which we did and waited maybe 45 minutes in all for the whole street to boat process (customs, security, registering, etc.) Food: The food was delicious, warm and well presented. I’ll admit I’m not a fan of the garden café (buffet) but this one seems to work. It has been planned well and could always find a seat (breakfast or snacks). We ate dinner in “The Manhattan Room” all evenings but one. Again the food was warm and service was nice. I would have liked to have a bigger “variety” of foods but then again it was all very good. I did miss “Lobster night” which I had on all other NCL Cruises in the past but was not present on this one. Sun Decks: Very well done NCL. There was enough chairs and room to move around. We loved the small private area at the front. We also noticed staff removing “reserved” chairs after 1 hour. Great improvement. The water in the pool was warm which we found very nice. The slides were very cool and not too crowded. We also walked the plank which was nice. Cabin: The cabin was nice. We were in an inside cabin on deck 11. Don’t expect a big cabin. This was made to maximize space and efficiency. Being my first try inside I did find it a tad big to closed off for my taste. I believe I’ll remain with my outside cabin or balcony cabin next time. The bathrooms were bigger than on previous ships which was appreciated. Bermuda: This was my second time on the island. We loved it. We walked Hamilton and enjoyed Horseshoe Bay. The bus and ferry service is very good, reliable and easy. The water was cooler but resembled the east coast in July so all in all, quite well. Entertainment: We saw Rock of Ages and it was very good! Second City didn’t quite hit the mark with me. I felt troops on other ships were better. What needs to be improved: Not much really. I would suggest a better “map” of the ship in order to better familiarize yourself with the boat. The one page indication of the ship were not very good. Sales should not be made into a mad dash of pushing and shoving. It was tasteless and plain and simply not fun. This needs to be addressed: Officers reprimanding crew members. Twice, I noticed an Officer telling a member of the crew there job was not being correctly and SCREAMING at them. Any reprimand needs to be handled in private and not in front of passengers. As a passenger I should never feel as if I need to step in to calm the Officer down. This shows to me a lack of respect for crewmembers. I didn’t like it. Summary: All in all a great trip, great food and nice drinks. You can’t go wrong!   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014
About Me: I’m a 32 year old gay male who sailed solo in the Norwegian Breakaway studios. It was my second experience in the studios with Norwegian. My first was on Norwegian Epic. Overall, this was my 28 cruise and my 18th with Norwegian ... Read More
About Me: I’m a 32 year old gay male who sailed solo in the Norwegian Breakaway studios. It was my second experience in the studios with Norwegian. My first was on Norwegian Epic. Overall, this was my 28 cruise and my 18th with Norwegian Cruise Line. I’ve sailed on other brands including Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and sadly once on Carnival. I sailed on the Norwegian Breakaway Inaugural Trans-Atlantic crossing (see my user name above to find the review for that) and wasn’t impressed with her then. Also, this cruise was booked last minute using Norwegian’s newly announced Buy One, Get One free promo and during Bermuda bonus days. The price was too hard to pass up and I booked a week prior to sailing with onboard credit. Would this time be a completely different experience? Transfer to the Pier: At this year’s Boston Globe Travel Show, Academy Bus Company was handing out brochures for people who wanted to take a bus rather than fly or drive to NYC. I booked with them and learned in Woburn, MA at the pickup site that Academy was the bus line used by Norwegian officially. After being stuck in traffic and waiting for a passenger and her daughter in Springfield, MA, we arrived to the pier just before 2PM after leaving Woburn at 7AM. It was a long bus ride but at least we made it! Norwegian Breakaway – May 18 – May 25, 2014 Embarkation: Arriving as late as we did, the only check in line with a backup was new to Norwegian. I sailed right through Platinum Latitudes and was on the ship within 10 minutes of arriving to the pier! Immediately I headed to the room to drop off the bag and do a little unpacking of things I’d stuffed in there before heading up on deck for a quick bite at Uptown Grill. Studio Cabin 11573: This looks exactly the same as the Epic with a few subtle differences and ones that if you’re not paying attention, you wouldn’t notice. On the left as you enter the cabin is the compartment for the toilet (not see through) and the see through shower stall. I chose a cabin which was not connecting so I didn’t keep up my neighbor with my music playing. The connecting door would’ve been between the shower and the toilet stalls. Ahead on entry is the sink and it is in-cabin. To the left of the sink is a row of cubby holes to put towels, sundries and the bottom one is the trash. Storage is plenty under the sink and two closets with doors which slide to the left over the sink and TV. Differences to Epic’s studios is the lighting schema. On Epic, there are four lighting options for the lights surrounding the wall of storage spaces and sink and along the top of the bed. On Breakaway, there’s only one option: White. I missed the multi-color setting. It was like having your own disco! Also, the shower head on the Epic had alternating settings between pulsing and rain and on Breakaway it was only the rain setting. Studio Lounge: The studio lounge on the Breakaway is about one quarter the size of the one on Epic. Comfortably it cannot fit all the members of the studios which holds about 50 passengers. The studio lounge could comfortably seat 20 people on the bottom level. There was a nightly hosted social hour with Jovan, a member of the Cruise Staff. If Jovan wasn’t so friendly and out-going, I don’t think I would have met the great group of people I did throughout this sailing! The rest of the cruise review will be in chronological order based on how I did things: DAY 1: NEW YORK CITY – Embarkation Day: After dropping off the bag and grabbing a quick bite at Uptown Grill, it was time to go to lifeboat drill. I had embarked so late I couldn’t really poke around the ship but had been on it for 7 straight days before so I was comfortable. I headed to the Breakaway Theater and sat through lifeboat drill. Immediately thereafter I headed to Spice H2O for the cast off party. The cast off party featured typical modern line dances, Nickelodeon characters and a walking Statue of Liberty on stilts. After the ship was past the Staten Island, Statue of Liberty and Verrazano Bridge, I went to the Garden Café for a salad and a slice of prime rib! After freshening up for the evening, it was time for the studio lounge social hour hosted by Jovan at 6PM. Jovan did a good job of going around and introducing himself to people. My primary concern was dining alone at night in the main dining room. I asked if he was arranging nightly dinners for people and he said he would arrange something for the next night. He was very friendly, personable and really out-going. A perfect fit for the job of singles social host! BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Welcome Aboard Show It was an introduction to some of the entertainment we’d see throughout the week on the Norwegian Breakaway. We had a performance by Fire and Ice, a Motown-soul group, Nickelodeon characters and then the magician who would perform later in the week. In between each act Julie, the Cruise Director would take the stage and talk anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes promoting different, largely pay for items on the ship. I like Julie, she’s fun and outgoing but during this show it was too much talking and not enough performances. Between her this night and the magician who was tacky at best, I got up and left for the 7:30PM Friends of Dorothy gathering. It wasn’t worth staying for Burn the Floor’s bit because I knew I’d be seeing them later in the week already. My recommendation, if you have something else conflicting with this on the first night – do that instead! The nightly Friends of Dorothy gathering was held at Shaker’s Martini Bar on Deck 8 midship. This is where I met Maurice (Morris) Robeiro. He was a great bartender who knew my drink after I ordered the first one and would remember it for the rest of the cruise. If he saw me and I gave a thumbs up, my drink was ready in seconds! This night I dined in Manhattan towards the tail end of dinner service and sat by the back windows. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Welcome Aboard Raffle Party Something new-to-me was Norwegian Breakaway trying to get people to stay out late night at Bliss by giving away prizes to people who entered Bliss and hung around. I stayed for a bit even though I was dog tired from a long travel day. People were winning nice prizes and the music was great! DJ Keith was at the helm but Bliss was too small and cramped to host an event of this size. On the Trans-Atlantic I commented how small Bliss was and for a full passenger load it wouldn’t be able to handle it, I was right. It can’t! Now tables and chairs have been added to an already small dance floor to make more seating available but there was no room for people to stand anywhere except being on the dance floor. I really hope Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss have a larger and more thought out Bliss Lounge! DAY 2: SEA DAY: After a leisurely breakfast in the Garden Café it was time to hang around the ship and get to see things and check out the gift shops. I met some of the nice gift shop staff during this visit and had a nice conversation with them. Ultimately the only thing I would buy the whole week was dental floss (last minute packing means not everything gets packed)!! CRUISE CRITIC MEET AND GREET: The senior officers and Julie, Cruise Director, stopped by and Jovo, the Hotel Director spoke to us about the ship. It was a very nice reception from the senior staff of the vessel. He encouraged us to speak up during if something was askew that he could fix, which I did take him up on later in the week. Following the meet and greet was a cabin crawl organized by another CC’er. I only booked a week prior so I wasn’t active in the roll call but they did allow me to tag along and I did! It was a great time, from the interiors on the lowers decks to the ocean view to the balcony, mini-suite, spa suite and a small group of us got to see the forward Suite in the Haven, it was a great tour of the ship. The Haven is a nice place for a nice price. Maybe someday when I win the lottery! BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: 3D MOVIE: Gravity On the Trans-Atlantic, the Breakaway Theater didn’t have 3D movies or at least I don’t recall them. The cruise staff provide you with Dolby 3D glasses. I chose to sit three rows from the front so it was like an IMAX 3D film. I’d always wanted to see this movie in IMAX but never made it. Wow at the Breakaway Theater sound system and 3D technology! It was like being at a movie theater! I loved the experience and loved the movie! After the movie it was back to freshen up for the packed evening which lay ahead. I went to the singles social hour and had a 45 minute gap in which to squeeze in an appetizer and main course in the Manhattan Room. Big thanks to Amee Balauro, Waitress in Manhattan for recognizing my crazy schedule this night and getting me the food I wanted quickly, with fast, efficient and friendly service! Without her I would’ve been late for my next social engagement which was a cocktail party. Thereafter, it was a stop at the Friends of Dorothy gathering. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: BURN THE FLOOR (SECOND SHOW) I love most styles of dance and loved Burn the Floor before on the trans-Atlantic. I was more than excited to see their production again with a new cast and they didn’t disappoint. From the Tango to the Foxtrot to other styles of dance, you have got to see the show. It’s not boring for anyone. The music has the energy to keep you going alone and the dance styles have a whole new flair for a new, younger generation. It is the BEST show on the Breakaway in my opinion and family friendly! BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Norwegian’s Night Out Party – Spice H2O It was a little chilly to be topside at Spice H2O but not too bad. The music was great with DJ Keith spinning the tunes until the wee hours of the morning. Drinks were flowing by Morris and new found friends were dancing the night away! The party shut down somewhere around 3AM and I had a blast compared to the trans-Atlantic. DAY 3: SEA DAY: I woke up and turned on the window (television) and saw it was raining. I was extremely tired and after a stressful semester coupled with an insane couple of nights on the ship meant I slept the day away and watched TV in the cabin. It was low key and the sun did appear in the afternoon but too late to go topside so I stayed in until it was time for the single social hour. Together with another solo we headed out for the Manhattan Room for dinner. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: BURN THE FLOOR – “Steppin’ Out” – Manhattan Room The best part of Burn the Floor is that they perform in the main dining room. I timed the dinner so the main performance would come towards the dessert course. We got a seat close enough to the dance floor to see their feet movements and the show was again astounding. It was nice to have great company for dinner, the show and the food. Norwegian’s new main dining room menu was actually quite good and had a lot of different options. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: 70’s Disco Groove Dance Party With DJ Keith at the helm and Jovan, Singles Social Host bouncing around looking for people, it was a great night of dancing to beats from the 70s! Lots of people turned out with the ship’s early arrival into Bermuda the next day. Early on no one was out there so when Jovan approached me to be in the Village People, I said yes. When we were introduced, the dance floor area was a LOT more packed then what I expected. I have never laughed and “danced for my life” so hard before! The YMCA went off nearly flawlessly (or so I thought since I had enough adrenaline rushing through me) but it definitely made the crew remember me all week and some passengers too! It is definitely a lasting memory I’ll have from this cruise. Thank you to Jovan for talking me into it and for a solo cruiser who took a ton of pictures that I will forever cherish! DAY 4: HERITAGE WHARF, BERMUDA – Day 1 I watched the ship pull in from the Waterfront. After we were alongside, the throngs of people rushed off the ship and I went to a leisurely breakfast in the Taste/Savor complex. On the way to and from breakfast I noted a significant odor of smoke on Deck 6 starting at the Art Gallery and all the way past Le Bistro and Headliners towards the entrance to Taste/Savor. The smoke smell would get stronger as the week progressed. Once I was finished with that the ship was largely deserted so I went the gym and enjoyed the ship largely to myself. The crew had a drill and it lasted for my entire workout. I went back to the cabin and took a shower and headed up to the Garden Café for some lunch before going to Spice H2O which was also a ghost town to lay out for some afternoon sun. Spice H2O features cool beats from the stereo at a soft level and the screen features the Window Channel with different images from all over the world. The only thing which was not working was the waterfall, cool off area. It was completely drained. It was blistering hot up there and you had to go into the shower to cool off. I wrote a Dear Jovo letter to have it fixed and it was working the next time I laid out up there. At about 3PM I headed off the ship to snag some wifi from some crew recommended places. There are several places to get wifi but the best option is the Wifi Zones offered by Island Outfitters with prices packages from $3 for 1 hour, $10 for 24 hours and $20 for 72 hours. I purchased the 24 hour package. The service was slow in the dock yard during peak crew times off and I can understand why as they spend long amounts of time away from their family and friends and want to keep in touch. I tried to avoid using it during their peak times as it was slow. It worked in other parts of the island, including Hamilton! Back on the ship it was time for the Solo Traveler’s Meet-up hosted by Jovan. Irma was our bartender from O’Sheehans pub and grill for the hour. She always looked after us and made sure we were ok. She even remembered me from an earlier Norwegian Spirit sailing and asked about my mother. You know you cruise too much when crew remember you from other ships and years back! Met up with another single and went off to the night’s featured entertainment. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: ROCK OF AGES (FIRST SHOW) Either people didn’t book it because they were ashore in Bermuda or weren’t interested in 80’s music. This show is as risqué as I’ve ever seen at sea. It’s a true Broadway representation of the show at sea. Not having mom next to me this time meant I got to enjoy it more. However, it’s still not a show for children – don’t bring them, no matter how young! Skin is still in and plenty of it! If you have conservative values or easily offended, then this show is not for you. I enjoyed it this time around but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again should I sail on Breakaway. The solo cruiser I saw it with said she was surprised by some of the content and would also not bring her mother to the show. After dinner in the Manhattan Room listening to the Manhattan Room band, it was time for Dancing with the Breakaway Stars at 10PM in the atrium. The teams were downright crazy this cruise with people going all out for the plastic trophy crown and bottle of bubbly. It was a great time. I went to cheer on Jovan, our solo cruiser host, but sadly he was eliminated before the finals. The losers lounge portion is always a laugh riot! Tonight was Party under the Stars with DJ Keith. I stopped by for two drinks before heading ashore to the party at Snorkel Park’s Club Aqua. Wednesday night this place was happening with crew and passengers from both the Norwegian Breakaway and Celebrity Summit. As the night went on more crew showed up but the energy seemed to wane as the beats slowed from dance to hip hop so I went back towards the pier and grabbed some wifi with crew before turning in for the night. DAY 5: HERITAGE WHARF, BERMUDA – Day 2 Today I got up fairly early and snagged some breakfast at Taste / Savor. The service was fast and efficient and allowed me time to get off the ship to grab a green tea latte at Buzz in the Dockyard Pharmacy. I’m still waiting for Norwegian to partner with Starbucks and get their tea menu! Now that’s a partnership I’d love to see on Norwegian! Snagged some more wifi and checked on a few things before heading back to the ship and hastily packing my backpack to go to a last minute trip to Hamilton. Ferries to Hamilton run every half hour from the Royal Naval Dockyard, except during the lunch hour. In the afternoon there is an hourly ferry back to the Dockyard from Hamilton. I took the ferry over and walked up Front Street going into the gift shops. A tip is to keep walking up Front Street because the further you go from the ferry terminal, the better the deals that can be had on souvenirs. I looped up by the Bermudian Parliament building and the Episcopal Church before stopping at City Hall for their free museum on Bermuda’s history and then looped down to the park on Queen’s Street for a little people watching before heading back to the ship. It was a nice little jaunt to get me out of the sun and get some exploring in. Having been to Bermuda five times previously, I’d done most of the island highlights I wanted to do. Back on the Breakaway, it was time for the solo’s gathering hosted by Jovan. He did a great job tonight of getting everyone together and organizing us for a Dolce Gelato on the following evening and also put up a sign up for the final night’s meal in Manhattan. He really was keeping our group engaged and keeping the people who wanted to be social together. SPECIALTY DINING: MODERNO CHURRASCARIA After the solo’s gathering, it was time to dine on the waterfront. I used the Platinum Latitudes rewards dinner for Moderno Churrascaria. On this voyage Moderno’s waterfront location overlooked the sunset over the Royal Naval Dockyard’s museum house. It was picturesque. The food was great, service efficient and the portions plenty! The solo who I dined with only wanted specific meats so she told the waitress at the beginning of the dinner service and they brought her a plate with every meat except beef. The salad bar was filled with plenty of options as well. Moderno can be sometimes hit or miss, if you go earlier in the evening I found the meats to always be tender and juicy and this time was no different as we dined at 6:30PM. The sunset happened and it was truly beautiful! BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Deal or No Deal Happening in the atrium, I came upon this while heading back to the cabin forward from Moderno on Deck 8 in O’Sheehans. It caught my attention as I’ve never made it to this game show before but always wanted to see how it was played. One person is selected to play on the big screen and gets the prizes while everyone else plays on the floor and tries to match what is in the cases that the person opens. Since they are all scanned into the computer before the game is played, the computer tracks how many people have matches and at the end of each round displays them. Not one person won a cash prize out of the game, most won a strip of pull tabs and some won a free photo from the photo gallery. For the price to play the game, it wasn’t worth the money for me to go back and want to play again but it was fun to encourage the person which case to open! She ended up with $419. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: GLOW Party – Spice H2O Prior to heading up to Spice H2O, we met up for a drink in O’Sheehan’s served by Irma who is the studio solos bartender as well. One of several theme nights on the Norwegian Breakaway, Spice H2Glow features fast paced beats spun by Norwegian’s best resident DJ at sea – DJ KEITH! He didn’t disappoint and kept the party going until the wee hours. Glow sticks were handed out to early guests such as myself and some studio solo folks. A splinter group of us went off ship and headed to Club Aqua at Snorkel Park. We regretted that decision as it was dead and we left at 1AM. The DJ at Snorkel Park on Thursday night was hideous. He wanted to keep hearing himself blabbering and calling out people for whatever stupid reason, either to encourage people to drink or people who were celebrating something. I think he was doing a better job of driving most people back to the ships from where they came including us! Back on the Norwegian Breakaway after 1AM, the party was still going strong up in Spice H2O. It went until about 2AM and then went to after hours at Bliss. Bliss was still hopping for the late hour but the music and beats were different. Music in Bliss was provided by DJ Rick. I stayed until roughly 3AM talking with some folks in there before going to bed. DAY 6: HERITAGE WHARF, BERMUDA – Day 3 Today was Norwegian Breakaway’s last day in port and I started the day with a breakfast in the Taste/Savor complex. I joined a solo who had already placed her order but the server came right over with a table setup and the waitress took my order. We talked and she wanted to try the Wii Dance 4 in the Atrium at 10AM. I swung by that on the way back to the cabin and got sucked in! What a fun time dancing in the middle of the atrium and trying to keep up with what was on screen. People were stopping by and watching but thankfully most people were off ship so it wasn’t so embarrassing! I still can’t believe I danced to a Justin Bieber song… um, yeah… that happened! Next it was time to spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon in Spice H2O sunning. Lunch was from the Uptown Grill with spicy meatballs and vegetables served. I love the menu in Uptown Grill. It’s fast but it’s healthy if you want it to be! I returned to the lounger in Spice and more people started to trickle back to there as the ship was going to be leaving at 5PM. At about 3:30PM I headed off ship to Buzz at Dockyard Pharmacy for one last green tea latte. On the pier the Norwegian Breakaway crew and senior staff were throwing the welcome back bash with Julie on stilts and the beats provided by none other than DJ KEITH! Most of the crew were dancing and had on shirts that said I love NYC. It was cute but going against the flow of passengers returning and crew dancing proved a bit of a challenge. I made it with plenty of time to spare and returned back just as the party was winding down and they were getting ready to pull up the gangway. Back on the Breakaway it was time for cast off. This coincided with the single’s solo gathering so I told Jovan I would meet him and the fellow solos outside Dolce Gelato at 5:30PM because it closed at 6PM which was the time it was originally scheduled for. I watched the ship pull away and turn and as we were sailing up the side of Bermuda towards St. Georges, the rest of the solos who were in the lounge came down and we all ate Gelato together and talked and watched as Bermuda faded away into the setting sun. It was a nice group gathering and very thoughtful of Jovan to do this to utilize the waterfront and see off Bermuda. Tonight was the Platinum Latitude’s Cocktail Reception where Martin, the Future Cruise Consultant, basically tells you about the new itineraries and sells the Cruise Rewards program. It’s a nice program and definitely has its benefits if you’re a loyal Norwegian. I talked with the Assistant Hotel Director (Djamel?) and the Restaurant Manager Iulian during the reception. Both made me feel less awkward sitting there by myself (no solos could accompany me as it was invite only). Thanks to them for that! BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Awesome 80s Party – Spice H2O Most of the people who were up in Spice H2O were up there to see the fireworks display at 10:45PM. It was never as crowded as it was for this night during the entire cruise up there. People were pushing and shoving and the port side of the deck is closed off for safety reasons for the fireworks display so everyone was packed onto the dance floor and starboard side by the bar. The 80s music was playing and some of the fellow guests dressed up like Bon Jovi, Tina Turner and one even as Madonna. They were good sports and aptly rewarded with a free drink afterward. They put on a good show. When 10:45PM rolled around, the music stopped and people were looking around for a good few minutes and then it was announced that due to the windy conditions on deck and they’re trying adjustments (I’m assuming to ships course and heading), they would be unable to safely perform the show. People grumbled and started the mass exodus towards the exit. The solos who grouped together stayed up there and drank while DJ KEITH continued to play the 80s music. I’m not a huge fan of 80s music and the wind and chill were just too much to stay up there so we decided to float around the ship and see what was going on. We headed to Bliss where at 11PM the evening nightclub was supposed to begin with DJ Rick. When we arrived people were dancing to ballroom and they still were at 11:15PM. I’m not sure what happened to the party but lots of people were going into Bliss and leaving. We decided to head over to O’Sheehans and grab a drink from Irma while sitting at the bar. I was hungry so I ordered spicy chicken wings which were awesome! We had our drink and then went back over to Bliss. In Bliss, I was stunned to hear what I was hearing when I walked in. A song was playing where nearly every other word was the f-bomb with one renegade b-word thrown in for good measure. Norwegian always plays clean versions and when I give music to the DJ’s its always clean. I was stunned this guy was playing such trash music! I did write a Dear Jovo comment card about this night and about DJ Rick’s song choice. The 80’s party came to an abrupt end when I returned up there hoping the music would flip to something a little more current when the sky opened up and the ship sailed into a downpour. 80s music is not for me. With the one hour time change, it was truly a wasted night for me when it could have been an awesome one. Norwegian needs to seriously re-consider signing this DJ Rick. He’s not good for the brand image and reminds me of the music I heard in the nightclub on the crappiest cruise I’ve ever taken – Carnival. Also, a stronger theme night such as Spice H2Glow should be on the night of the time change. DAY 7: AT SEA On our final full day on the ship, I started off with a leisurely breakfast in the Taste/Savor restaurant complex. I followed it by attending the Tango Class by a Burn the Floor dancer. I watched as people learned how to tango from O’Sheehans. I didn’t feel like participating as the floor was too crowded. Lots of ballroom dancers on this voyage! I’d see them dancing at night to the Manhattan Room band as well. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Wine Lovers: The Musical This was a new experience on the Norwegian Breakaway for me. It replaced the Dysfunctional Family Reunion Second City was putting on during the Trans-Atlantic. This is a wine tasting with a lunch while watching a musical performance about wine. There are a total of 6 wines tasted. Five are presented when you sit down, the sixth at the end after dessert. The meal consisted of salad with duckling strips, an entrée of shrimp and steak and dessert was a coffee flavored cake. The wines varied from Chardonnay to Norwegian’s Signature blend. The show was not overly entertaining but it had moments, like when the lead forgot his lines and everyone thought he was joking – but he really wasn’t or when he was making jokes about the red wines and the high school prom dress (I’m not explaining it)! For the wine tasting and the lunch, it was a good pairing. The show was just added filler for the wine tasting. I would recommend doing it! BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: International Crew Talent Show At 2PM in the Breakaway Theater, crew largely based from the Philippines performed songs, modern dance, traditional cultural dances and then the grand finale with the staff and crew joining them to the You are Norwegian Now song. The show was entertaining and some of the crew while seemingly shy and nervous put on a great show. Go and support your crew members, they work so hard for you and cheering them on is one way of giving back! Tonight was the final solo’s gathering of the cruise hosted by Jovan. He arranged for a special meal for all of us to dine together in the Manhattan Room. It was a great idea and we really enjoyed our final night together. Shortly after dinner concluded I stopped by the photo gallery to get a stock photo of the Norwegian Breakaway to add to my cruise ship photo wall. Immediately after I headed to Shaker’s Martini Bar to see if anyone was showing up for the Friends of Dorothy gathering and during this time an announcement was made by Julie saying the fireworks were going to be attempted again tonight at 8:30PM so head to Spice H2O. BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Fireworks at Sea – Spice H2O I took the photo and headed up to Spice H2O where DJ KEITH was hastily setting up to spin for a few minutes and create an instant party while the crew were standing by with the port side roped off. It was looking favorable. To keep us warm DJ KEITH played some modern tunes we danced to as a group. We stayed out on the dance floor which is the best vantage point for the fireworks display. The fireworks went off choreographed to the 80s playlist and were absolutely beautiful. I had a better vantage point then the Trans-Atlantic crossing and everyone in the group loved the fireworks. Thanks to Jovo, the Captain, Julie and the fire safety team for getting the show in before the cruise ended. We returned to our cabins to pack up and get the luggage out and returned to O’Sheehans one final time to say goodbye to Irma and get a drink. We talked for a bit with her before heading off to Party Music with DJ KEITH in the Bliss Lounge. When we arrived it was dead as we got there early but the solos agreed to all meet up there and say goodbye one last time while partying the night away. Jovan even stopped by and danced a few songs with us and we all exchanged information and danced the night away. Shortly after midnight I headed to O’Sheehans for some hot wings and then joined some of the solos in Howl at the Moon for a few songs before going to bed. It was a great night and thanks to DJ KEITH for providing some great tunes for us! DAY 8: New York City – Disembarkation I woke up at 7:30AM and turned on the TV bow cam channel and we were already docked. Shortly after that an announcement was made that all guests with easy walk off should start to disembark the vessel. I chose to have my luggage taken off for me and went to Taste / Savor one last time for breakfast. The ship had run out of bananas on this morning but it wasn’t a big deal. I still had everything else I wanted and was on my way back to the cabin by 8:30AM and the announcement came for the motor coach transfers at 9AM to disembark so I headed to the gangway. I was outside customs in less than a half hour after disembarking the ship. I was booked with Academy Bus Company and so I was looking for their busses. The folks who booked the transfer from Norwegian had Admiral’s Bus Company on their return vouchers. The drivers for the Academy busses were nice and told us the bus for Woburn would be along shortly and to wait, which we did. When the bus arrived, the driver had my name and the rest of the other folks going on the same route on his manifest so that was indeed the company. Norwegian printed the wrong name on the bus transfer voucher for them. On the bus, we had a comfort stop when we got out of NYC to pick up food and drinks as it was going towards lunch time. We headed back on the highway driving through Hartford up I-84 to the MA Pike and then into Framingham, MA for our first stop. Woburn, MA was the second stop and Salem, MA was the last stop. I was home by 2:45PM. All in all, Academy Bus wasn’t a bad method of transportation from New England to the pier in Manhattan. It is traffic dependent as to how long the ride is but on the way back the bus ride flew by! It definitely beats flying and takes just as long when you factor going through an airport. Plus, it’s cheaper than flying at $110 round trip per person! CONCLUSION I always start concluding my reviews by thanking the people who made the vacation memorable, either through great service or for a lasting memory. First and foremost I’d like to thank Jovan Dostanic (Single’s Social Host) for his amazing work all week long in getting me and others engaged together and creating lasting friendships and crazy memories (YMCA on 70s night to name one). Jovan is full of energy and enthusiasm and definitely loves his job. It shines in the work he does. Second, I would like to thank DJ Keith for his excellent sets every night of the cruise. He kept the party going, clean and strong until the wee hours. He’s the best Norwegian DJ and always delivers a good party! The Boston market misses him on the Dawn but I’m saddened to learn he’ll be further away as his next deployment is on Getaway!! Keep him in NYC or bring him back to Boston! Third, I would like to thank a special bartender Irma Tuazon for her incredible memory for remembering me from Maharini’s Lounge on the Norwegian Spirit a few years back and for taking care of us solos in the Studio Lounge and when we would visit her in O’Sheehans. Another bartender who memorized my drink the first night was Maurice (Morris) Robeiro. All I had to do was give him a thumbs up and my drink was ready in no time! Now that’s service. The entire staff and crew of the Norwegian Breakaway were exceedingly friendly and offered excellent service and thanks to them all I had a vacation that I will remember for years to come. The smoke issue from the casino drifting up to Deck 8 forward towards Fat Cats and on Deck 6 through the art gallery to the atrium was one problem from the Trans-Atlantic which seemed to have worsened on this voyage. The smoke was further reaching. The air cleaning scrubbers were not working in the casino and more are needed throughout the open air on the decks above and below the casino. A suggestion would be creating a walled area for smokers who want to play table games and slots and trying to contain the smoke there. In the end, I did enjoy my last minute Breakaway Bermuda cruise much better than I did the Trans-Atlantic crossing and have great memories and friends for life! Norwegian Breakaway offers a better nightlife experience than the Norwegian Dawn out of Boston despite her design issues (Bliss) in some areas. I look forward to my second, free sailing with Norwegian in the future on the Norwegian Sky later this year or early next year! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
We chose this cruise for 2 reasons, price and for the port it was leaving from. The price was cheap because it was between college spring break, and April vacation for schools. It left from NYC, so I was able to take a 2 hour drive instead ... Read More
We chose this cruise for 2 reasons, price and for the port it was leaving from. The price was cheap because it was between college spring break, and April vacation for schools. It left from NYC, so I was able to take a 2 hour drive instead of flying. Getting to the port was very easy, parking was a bit expensive, but if I had flown, I still would have to pay for parking at the airport. Embarkation was horrible. We were given a number and when your number was called you were supposed to get on the ship. However, only one employee was telling passengers this as they exited the security screening, and if he was busy answering someone's questions, passengers just walked past him to the line that said "Embarkation Here". It was very frustrating for the passengers that were waiting as this one person could not control the large number of passengers coming from the security checkpoint. After waiting about 45 minutes for our number to be called, and watching hundreds of passengers just get in line to get on the ship, we finally just got up and went in line and got on. Absolutely the worst embarkation ever. The food on the ship was disappointing. I would compare the food to any chain restaurant. There was nothing special about any of it. They boast about the pizza that you can get delivered to any part of the ship, but you had to pay for the delivery. The garden cafe was a good size and our party of 4 didn't really have too much of a problem finding a place to sit. There were many tables outside the cafe, and in nicer weather, it allowed for more seating. On my cruise, we had bad weather, which forced us to spend most of the time inside the ship. After 5 of our 8 days inside the ship, it became very boring. We had seen and done everything several times. Our first stop in Cape Canaveral, it was pouring rain the entire day. We missed the private island due to rough seas. Our stop in Nassau was our first nice day. We did the segway tour which was a lot of fun. The last 2 days were sunny, however the last day was too cold to spend time on the deck. Disembarkation went well. No problems and the lines moved at a good pace   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We started off getting up at 5:30 a.m. to get the pups ready for daycare. We dropped them off and headed downtown to catch the Amtrak. The train ride to NYC was quick and uneventful to Philly. However, there was a delay in changing over ... Read More
We started off getting up at 5:30 a.m. to get the pups ready for daycare. We dropped them off and headed downtown to catch the Amtrak. The train ride to NYC was quick and uneventful to Philly. However, there was a delay in changing over the tracks heading from Philly to Trenton, and then from Trenton to Newark. I think we waited in Newark for 15 minutes while they waited for the tunnel into NYC’s Penn Station to free up and continue letting trains through. Overall, we arrived at Penn Station about 35 minutes late. We headed up to the street to hail a cab and it was an eventful ride that ended up costing us about $17 bucks with tip. The cab dropped us off at Pier 90 and it was quite crowded when we entered the terminal. We were handed boarding group number 29 and proceeded to get in line to check in. Check in was long and one of the workers sent us into the wrong line, so her co-worker tried to tell us to go back around and walk down the correct line which would have lost our place in the current line. I wouldn’t hear of it. I told him that wasn’t fair and he needed to close off the line well behind us since requiring everyone to walk back around would make all those folks behind me lose their place in line as well. Before we got to the counter, the older gentleman directing passengers to an open counter was super nice and a bit “Friendly” so my babe looked at him like “slow it down a bit pops.” She’s so cute!! While waiting be called to transfer to pier 88 to board, some folks were just downright NASTY. I started to get a bit uncomfortable b/c obviously there was nothing any of the workers could do to make the process go faster so nastiness proved to be fruitless and unnecessary. When groups 1-16 were called to board, a nice gentleman said he liked my outfit, hair, etc so gave me his extra group 16 boarding card which I appreciated and off to the Breakaway we went. We were onboard probably around 1:10ish I believe. We headed straight to our balcony cabin #11114. I thought it was nice, but it was on the port side (I wanted starboard). We then headed up to the Garden Café for lunch. The buffet food was pretty good. There were a few misses that I tried but overall, it was good. I also met Tiggerwannabe and got my pretty pink butterfly. After lunch we explored the ship and I thought it was just beautiful. My first cruise was on Carnival and all I remember were bright gaudy colors. We headed to O’sheehan’s for the muster drill where I met Mizlorinj. After that we walked around a bit more and headed out to the Waterfront for Sail Away. After sail away we headed to dinner in the Manhattan Room. I had the salmon tartar for my app. It was yummy, I almost ordered a second helping, but the Duck Confit dish was awful, I sent it back and got the Eggplant which was just okay. I love duck confit but this was not Confit, no duck fat at all and it was dry -- which is the complete antithesis of Confit!! That was disappointing. I had the pistachio crème brule’ for desert which was good because it wasn’t too sweet. After dinner we walked off the food a bit. We then headed back to the room to freshen up and relax a bit b/c we had a 10:00 pm reservations for Rock of Ages but we missed it. We had the munchies around this time so we snuck into the studio lounge and grabbed some cookies. It’s really nice in there. Around 10:30 we were beat and ended up skipping the show, so we showered and headed to bed. Saturday morning I got up early b/c I wanted to get sunrise pics which came out absolutely stunning. I then hung out until it was time to get ready for the Meet & Mingle. I thought it went great and was extremely happy to meet everyone that I had the pleasure of meeting. I liked the DJ, but I didn’t spot a bartender or photographer?? After the Meet & Mingle we headed to O’sheehans for lunch. The food was just okay. I ordered a burger and the bread was hard as a rock. The apps (wings & cheese sticks) were okay but the spinach dip was awful. We then headed to Carlo’s and got 2 cupcakes they were also awful, not fresh, dry, and fell apart in the box and a cannoli which surprisingly was probably was the best darned cannoli I’ve ever had. We then stopped in the casino, had a few drinks, and just people watched until dinner. We headed back to the buffet for dinner and again it was pretty good. Overall, it was a great cruise that we really enjoyed. The only downsides were the food issues listed above, all the unsupervised young children running around especially in light of yesterday’s tragedy, and no towel animals or chocolates left for us even after I tipped our steward each day.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
I have cruised with NCL and many other lines before. I have been on the DAWN several times as well as the SUN and the JEWEL I was looking forward to the new BREAKAWAY and planned a week vacation with my family over New Year's. Well, ... Read More
I have cruised with NCL and many other lines before. I have been on the DAWN several times as well as the SUN and the JEWEL I was looking forward to the new BREAKAWAY and planned a week vacation with my family over New Year's. Well, to make a long story short, this ship has way too many passengers and not enough staff to handle them. There were constant long lines for everything and while waiting for the tenders to go to Great Stirrup Cay, a fist fight almost broke out in the theatre where the crowd was being held because the staff was not releasing the patrons in the correct order in which they arrived. Also, the common areas are very small and compromised due to the addition of new features like the HAVEN and the water slide area. Thank goodness we were cruising in the winter because there is no way the two tiny pools on board could accommodate even a portion of the almost 4,000 guests. The food was very disappointing, Bland, poor quality and the buffet was messy and sometimes only half of it was open. There were no special dining events - no midnight or chocolate buffet. The only good food we had was in Le Bistro which is one of the many upcharge restaurants aboard. In fact almost everything worth doing on the ship requires you to pay MORE than your initial fee. There are charges for some of the entertainment, at the special restaurants, at the private pool and club, to use any of the spa services (even if you've booked a massage you pay extra to use the hydro room), it's really ridiculous. It seems like this ship is geared toward income generation and cramming as many people on board as possible without thought of where to put them when they are not in their cabins. The main lobby is horrible. It's dominated by a huge LCD screen tv where they show sports, movies and hold some games and entertainment activities. (A lot of this stuff on the DAWN occurred in the Spinnaker Lounge, but there is nothing like this on the BREAKWAY. that space has become the HAVEN). So every time you go to or through the lobby, it is loud and incredibly crowded. The staff is pleasant, but scarce. While at the pool for 3 hours one day, not one person came by to ask if I wanted drink nor did they pick up towels that were left on the deck. I have had good experiences with NCL before, but will never go back to the BREAKAWAY and have zero interest in exploring the sister ship GETAWAY. Other guests I spoke to on board had a similar experience. They came on to this cruise thinking it would be an elevated version of the NCL experience they had had in the past only to be bitterly disappointed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
Overall the Breakaway is an excellent ship and I will likely cruise her again in the future. The Haven was Heaven and I think the Haven on Breakaway is more refined than any other ship (including Epic). We sail NCL and The Haven because we ... Read More
Overall the Breakaway is an excellent ship and I will likely cruise her again in the future. The Haven was Heaven and I think the Haven on Breakaway is more refined than any other ship (including Epic). We sail NCL and The Haven because we like the blend of relaxation that The Haven provides and the city-like atmosphere that the rest of the ship offers. Embarkation and Disembarkation were easy and efficient. We were in the Haven so we got priority boarding. Design Breakaway is a beautiful and well designed ship. There are several separate spaces to accommodate the crowds, even on sea days. That said, there are certain spaces and times were crowds are evident, but that is no different from any other mass market line. For example, the atrium also houses movies during sea days, so naturally, there are lots of people sitting watching the movie. Move slightly over to the Guest Services desk and it is empty by comparison. The elevator banks (forward-center and aft-center) were perfected placed making getting from one end of the ship to the other very easy. TIP: The atrium wasn't designed for serenity, use the Waterfront instead. There were many quiet places to sit and read a book. Pool Deck The pool deck is either poorly designed or it's intended use is not properly communicated. It appears to me that NCL sees the main pool experience as an activity/party space and not a serene/tranquil environment. There were several activities taking place everyday at the pool. I think they perceive Spice H2O as the adult relaxation area, but it is little more than an uninspired open deck. TIP: The pool deck is crowded on sea days in the middle of the afternoon, but in my experience real crowding only occurred on the first two sea days. After that, people found other things to do which eased the crowding. If you choose to go to the pool during the middle of the afternoon on a sunny sea day, you should be prepared that others have the same thing in mind. If you don't like the crowds, zig when everyone else zags and you'll have no problem. There is PLENTY to do onboard. Value: It is very clear that NCL is pushing the limits of what people are willing to pay a premium for and Breakaway is proof of concept for their strategy. That said, things that are free on other mass market lines are also free on Breakaway. There are more for-fee premium experiences on Breakaway than any other NCL ship, which could lead to the PERCEPTION that you are being nickeled and dimed. If you truly think about it, you are getting a lot more for free on Breakaway than most other ships including, rock climbing, ropes course, dinner in 6 free restaurants (excluding room service, hot dog stand, and the Haven restaurant), Broadway shows, game shows, etc. Smoke: I am not very sensitive to smoke and I spend a lot of time in the casino, but this casino was noticeably more smokey than any other ship I've sailed. I think they could do a better job of ventilating the casino. Smoking is allowed in almost every land-based casino in the US, but modern casinos are able to better control the smell. There was a non-smoking section next to Shanghai, but it too was very smokey. Smoke did travel through the atrium, but if you stepped back from the staircase it was barely noticeable. It is not true that the entire ship smells of stale smoke. Entertainment Bliss is good for dancing late night and the LED walls are very cool. It's not as much of a lounge as it is on the other ships. Wish they would bring back some of the lounge feel. Rock of Ages was great, one of the best shows I've seen on a cruise ship. It keeps you engaged for the full 1:45. Magician was more comedy than magic, but good none the less. Cirque Dreams was better than the Cirque show on Epic (they eliminated the verbal storyline), but not my favorite type of entertainment. My opinion only, others in my group liked it. The Casino! The Casino was the worst and not just because I lost. The first day, it was very clear that they were out to push the house edge further. The payout on Blackjack was terrible. The only Blackjack tables without continuous shuffle machines were $50 minimums for 8 decks and $100 for 6 decks. One day they opened a $15, but it was 8 decks and the dealer hit on all 17s. They never opened it again. I did see a woman hit a $4,500 jackpot on a $1 slot machine. Most of the dealers were friendly faces I'd seen on other ships. A couple were jerks as usual. If you're going to take my money, the least you can do is be friendly and not deal 10 cards a second. Recreation The ropes course, including The Plank were outstanding and one of the highlights of my trip. The slides, especially the Free Fall were a lot of fun. The Fitness Center is way too small and broken up between cardio and strength training. Both are small, but it was especially difficult to get access to machines because of the crowds. We typically went to the gym between 10 AM and 1 PM. On port days the crowds dissipate. Food/Bars The Waterfront is an amazing concept and you should make it a point to use it as much as possible. It was great for reading or relaxing during the day, very quiet, and to have a drink at night. It was underused for most of our trip. Teppanyaki was good as usual. Haven restaurant was excellent. Main dining rooms were average. O'Sheehans is worst than Applebees. The buffet is good for what it is - a buffet. Generally, the lines were not long, but there were a lot of people. They've managed to accommodate the flow and amount of people very well by having two long hallways of repeating action stations. There are PLENTY of seats throughout and if you walk towards the back most of the tables are open. Service Nearly the entire staff was very friendly and helpful. EVERY SINGLE STAFF MEMBER that we came in contact with greeted us and even attempted to personalize their greeting. The consistency and seemingly genuineness blew me away. That said, there are always bad apples. Specifically the bar staff at 21 Bar were not very friendly or helpful. We did encounter a few at O'Sheehans who wouldn't go out of their way to get you something if they had to. Suite 10312 Aft Penthouse The Aft Penthouse was amazing! Very large and the balcony was to die for. Others could not see into your balcony from above unless you were standing at the very edge. Ample storage space. 1 large closet and 3 smaller (2 with shelving) in the bedroom. An additional closet in the living room. 2 full bathrooms. We considered staying in The Haven (or closer), but glad we chose the Aft. The walk to The Haven was a breeze.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
Embarkation: The New York passenger terminals can be overwhelming due to tight curbside spaces and passengers attempting to board such a large ship as the Breakaway. We are Platinum Latitudes members and we found the expedited line easily ... Read More
Embarkation: The New York passenger terminals can be overwhelming due to tight curbside spaces and passengers attempting to board such a large ship as the Breakaway. We are Platinum Latitudes members and we found the expedited line easily and quickly, we were on the ship curb to deck 15 poolside in under 30 minutes. Fellow Cruisers: In Florida the kids went back to school the second week of August; obviously not the case in NY and NJ. I was told that there were approximately 1900 children and young adults under the age of 18 onboard and this bore out throughout the trip. The Crew did a good job of enforcing 'Adult Only' areas and 'Curfews' but there were a lot of kinds and I think the ship's facilities and crew were overwhelmed by the sheer number. My companion and I will forever refer to this cruise as our 'Jersey Shore at Sea experience'. While most people were quite nice the passenger load was LOUD ( bellowing across public rooms, dining rooms), Colorful in language and wardrobe, Boisterous, and did I mention LOUD!!! Beware if you find New Yorkers or New Jerseyites hard to handle en masse this may not be the ship for you. This cruise saw very large families and groups mostly from NJ and NY. Ship Overall: A really beautiful ship, the d'cor is very rich and warm. We were surprised for a mass market ship and having been on 65 ships, the Breakaway had some of the loveliest public areas we have seen. In many ways the ship looked like it should have been part of the Celebrity Fleet. Of special notice is the Manhattan Dining Room, really gorgeous. The outdoor areas of the ship are crowded and the pools are woefully undersized for the passenger load, the outside 'Uptown Grill' was a great place to escape to the shade and a good place to have breakfast and avoid the maddening crowd one deck down at the Garden Caf'. Oceanside areas on Deck 8 were ok, the space was compact and if you ate outside you were subject to passerbys and those who smoked. Better execution of this concept was on the Carnival Breeze. The SPA is gorgeous (but the EPIC's is better) with forward facing windows over the bridge and a wonderful series of steam and salt rooms as well as a large therapy pool. The men's changing room was very nice and actually had a place to sit and cool down! The treatment rooms were nice and located one floor below the SPA. No kids allowed and it was enforced. I was amazed at what an incredible job the crew did with keeping the ship spotless! Even packed as it was and with all the kids! I have a real thing about dirty dishes in hallways or public areas ' never saw it. Witnessed crew members constantly cleaning, the ship was maintained to a spotless standard. Casino reeks of cigarette smoke, they try to move the air and to deodorize but the smell is omnipresent and the non-smoking areas are invaded either by smokers directly or indirectly through wafting clouds of smoke. Favorite outdoor area was deck 7 forward where the shuffleboard courts are located ' big expansive deck at the rail and very much under utilized. Food: Ate Breakfast and lunch in Taste and Savor restaurants and it was generally very good. The rooms are smaller than the Manhattan and have a more intimate feel. Zakarian Seafood was ok but not worth the $50.00 cover charge ' although one of the best servings of Dover Sole I have ever had ' but still not worth the high tariff. Brazilian Charuscaria and the Steakhouse were very good and worth the up-charge as the food was excellent and service good. Italian was just good and service was spotty because the night we ate there it was very busy. We ate at the Bistro twice and the service was excellent and the food was very good and definitely worth the cover charge. We enjoyed the food in the Manhattan Dining room but the service was stretched too thin and the ambiance was loud and chaotic (remember lots of kids). The ambiance was more a function of our loud fellow passengers and their extended family/group members extended throughout the dining room. The entire time we were in the dining room people were milling about and shouting from table to table ' not the fault of the cruise line except that the maitre'd could have done a better job seating these groups. Garden Court is a beautiful room and the options are plentiful and good; however, the crowd makes the experience less than pleasurable we gave up after two failed attempts to have lunch here. Uptown Grill ' loved it and grab a cinnamon roll at breakfast they are yummy. The Pub is great but the menu limited and this was the only place that we ran into poor service. We don't drink so cannot comment on the bars. Overall the food quality was very good ' believe it or not the chilled melon plate became or morning favorite along with the muesli and sweet roll. The Watermelon served onboard was amazing ' I am going through watermelon withdrawal. Suggestion , buy the restaurant package before you go. Cabin: Occupied a Spa mini Suite on Deck 14 Cabin 14770. Lovely and nice cabin with large bathroom ' tiny balcony but the overhang of deck 15 provided shade and shelter from rain. Lots of storage but the room still felt tight. The Bathroom was big and the shower was pleasant with the different spray heads; however would have preferred a tub/Shower combo at this price point. Utilized the spa pass everyday and enjoyed it. Nothing else very special ' really liked the NCL EPIC's Spa mini-suite much better. Shows: Book in advance!!!! If you don't, you will miss out. Loved the entertainment. Rock of Ages was good fun and well presented but don't take your kids under 16 as it is too suggestive and the language. We were shocked to see 5 ' 10 year olds in the audience, the cruise line provides ample 'warnings' about the show's content. Burn the Floor was amazing what a talented group of dancers and singers. The Comedian Magician was just ok. The lounge act Fire and Ice was incredible, this duet was wonderful and we thoroughly enjoyed their shows in various venues ' we became something of groupies. Service: For the most part very good. Few service failures and some rough spots but this was due to the overwhelming number of passengers on a completely booked ship with 1900 kids. Room steward was good though he seemed to have too many rooms and we were always last. Dining staff was universally very good, Cruise staff were excellent ' visible, friendly, and high spirited. Officers were approachable and interactive and exhibited a good sense of humor especially when a South Jersey boy stood up during the Q&A to ask the captain , 'who onboard cuts the cheese'. My only complaint is with the guest services staff ' the folks behind the counter could do very little without a supervisor's approval ' these people are not enabled and it must be frustrating which leads to a generally bad attitude. An item was posted incorrectly to my bill and was not applied until the night before disembarkation. I discovered this error when the final bill was delivered and I went down to the Guest Services desk where I was greeted by a greeter, told him of the issue and he asked why I waited until the final morning to check my bill, I was not amused. I was then assigned to a line of 5 people to wait my turn (the Lattitudes Concierge was nowhere to be seen). When I finally was called to the counter I started to explain my issue when a maitre'd and waiter barged to the counter, demanding the agent helping me help them. When he got back to my issue he indicated that a credit was due but he could not do so without a supervisors approval and there were no supervisors available. He asked if I would stand aside while he waited on others, I borrowed the persona of my fellow passengers from NJ and refused. 45 minutes later he was surprised to see that the credit had been 'magically' adjusted elsewhere and my bill was correct. Not really a good final service impression. Dis-embarkation: Did walk off and it was very easy. Again the Cruise Passenger terminal in NY leaves a lot to be desired. One needs to cross the very busy west side highway to hail a cab. Destination: Bermuda is beautiful, quiet and low key. Golf and beaches. Eat onboard food is better and you'll save a bundle. Nothing special about the shopping. But all in all relaxing. Overall: Would I go on the ship again, yes. Is it my favorite mega ship? No, I prefer the Allure of the Seas and the EPIC. The concentration of passengers from the 5 boroughs and New Jersey can be overwhelming and a culture shock to the uninitiated. Did I have a good time, Yes. However, I was glad to end my 'Jersey Shore at Sea' experience and get home.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
We sailed the Breakaway on 8/25/13, 7 nights to Bermuda. We stayed in an S7 Suite, a Haven Forward-Facing Penthouse, and we loved it. There was plenty of storage space - much more than we needed; the rooms (bedroom and separate living ... Read More
We sailed the Breakaway on 8/25/13, 7 nights to Bermuda. We stayed in an S7 Suite, a Haven Forward-Facing Penthouse, and we loved it. There was plenty of storage space - much more than we needed; the rooms (bedroom and separate living room/dining area) were attractively decorated; the bed was extremely comfortable; I wanted to take the bathroom home with me, LOL; and our Steward and Butler were attentive, professional, and went out of their way to accommodate our wishes. Yes, the balcony is small, and covered, but comfortable for two people to enjoy a cup of coffee and the sea breezes. I was most impressed with the Haven complex; after seeing how lovely and tranquil it was, we spent no time at all at the much more crowded and frenetic main pool and sundeck. We really enjoyed the Haven Restaurant, but I must say, the food was consistently good wherever we dined on the ship (except for O'Sheehan's, where the food was mediocre; we did not eat at the buffet at all). In fact, this was the best food we've had on any cruise (we've sailed NCL, Carnival [never again!], and Princess in the past). We particularly enjoyed the Cirque Dreams and Dinner show; it was the equal of any show of that type we've seen on land. Very impressive. Rock of Ages was well-cast and well-presented, but perhaps not exactly my cup of tea. The ship overall was quite lovely, classy, without the over-the-top gaudiness we have seen in some other ships. Everything on the Breakaway is tasteful and well-designed. Do not miss Carlo's Bake Shop! The lobster tails, cannolis, and pecan squares are to die for. Definitely, if you can, choose Haven accommodations: well worth the difference in price for the service and facilities, as well as for the priority embarkation/disembarkation and priority seating at shows. I suppose the best endorsement I can give is to let you know we have booked a short "getaway" cruise on the Breakaway for the winter, again in an S7 suite, because we can't wait to get back on that gorgeous ship! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
I have taken cruises on NCL before and wanted to try there new ship the Breakaway. I am a young single guy that has cruised both with my girlfriend and my family. On the Breakaway I went with a couple of buddies. For the record I have ... Read More
I have taken cruises on NCL before and wanted to try there new ship the Breakaway. I am a young single guy that has cruised both with my girlfriend and my family. On the Breakaway I went with a couple of buddies. For the record I have cruised on NCL Jewel and NCL Star and had the greatest time on both. The Good: The food on the Breakaway is great. The Buffet is great and always has great fresh food for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Any sit down place is excellent. Beware though that the portions at the sit down places can be small, but the food is great. I suggest you check out Taste, Teppanyaki, and La Cucina. There are bars everywhere and all stocked with your favorite liquor. The Ice Bar is a very fun experience but its a little to cold to enjoy a drink. I had a Mini Suite and it worked fine for me. The bathroom was nice, balcony was great and I loved the flat screen LED TV in my room. Bermuda is the best. I beg you to go to Horseshoe Bay Beach. You will never see another beach like Horseshoe. Pink velvet sand, calm coves for snorkeling, and some waves. They also have chairs for rent and food/drink for sale. I also recommend you take the Dockyard Jet Ski Tour. We actually say many tropical fish on the jet ski including a few dolphins. The events on the boat are cool. I never got to see the fireworks since it was raining but I here they are great. Definitely check out the Deal Or No Deal, Dancing With The Stars, and the 80s Party. The Bad: Crowded, Crowded, Crowded. If you hate large crowds and some tight spaces, do not cruise on Breakaway. Good luck trying to find a pool chair on a sea day. You gotta get there by 7 AM or your going chair less. There are a thousand people in the pool and you will wait 30 minutes to get in a hot tub. The Whip slides are fun, but you will wait in a line for almost an hour. DO NOT GO ON THE FREE FALL SLIDES. I was so pumped to get on it until a girl I had become friendly with on the ship went on and came off with layers of skin off her back. So many people hurt there backs and got stuck on those slides. You really don't get that tight knit feel with the crew and other guests on this boat most likely because the boat is so crowded. You have to pay for most of the shows in the theater, not like on other boats where you could just show up to the theatre and watch the show. You have to keep you card in the slot in your room for the power to work. This means that you will walk to to your room hot because there is no AC until you put in the card. Most of the crew is friendly, but there are few that are nasty and don't want to be bothered. Dolce Gelato, Rope Course, and Carlos are almost never open. You can't get on the basketball on the court after 9 PM because the crew takes over and starts playing games. That really frustrated me. The ship is supposed to be for the paying guests, not the crew! To summarize, I had fun on this cruise but the definitely need to work out some bugs. My suggestion for you is to try it, but I definitely liked NCLs smaller ships more.   Read Less
Norwegian Breakaway Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 5.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 2.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 3.0 3.3

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