Sail Date: October 2014
Check In/Embarkation:  We embarked on October 19 with myself (first time cruiser!), my husband and our 3 and a half year old daughter. One of the reasons we chose this ship was because it embarked/disembarked in NYC (we only live 3 hours ... Read More
Check In/Embarkation:  We embarked on October 19 with myself (first time cruiser!), my husband and our 3 and a half year old daughter. One of the reasons we chose this ship was because it embarked/disembarked in NYC (we only live 3 hours away) so it was very convenient. We drove in and the pier was very easy to get to and the parking ample and conveniently on the same level. We arrived around 10:30am and despite the massive amount of people there (I didn't realize at the time that they were disembarking people from the ship at the same time as we were checking in), there were plenty of signs and pier workers there to direct us where to go. The initial check in was like airport security- you gave them your itinerary and passports and went through the metal detector. Then it was the final check in before embarkation to get your room keycards. They should have had more people working the counters to check people in to expedite the process but it went very smoothly. You also got a number that determined when you got to embark as well. It made for a easy process- when they began embarking, you waited until your number was called and everyone with that number could get on the ship. Ship: The Breakaway is, overall, an excellent ship. The size made for very smooth sailing. There were only a couple of times that we felt any movement or swaying from large waves as we were sailing back to NY. Otherwise you didn't even know you were on the water except for the wind or from watching the ocean. Noise-wise, there wasn't much noise from the actual ship~ just a buzz or clank every so often that we normally would hear from hotel plumbing anyways. We heard a lot of running/pounding feet from above (we were on deck 14 so we had the Garden Cafe/pool above us) but it was seldom and passed quickly. You could definitely hear music/voices/shouting/etc. if you were sitting on the balcony or had the balcony doors open. It didn't bother us but for those who want absolute silence on their balcony will be disappointed. For the most part, there was plenty of space on board. Obviously, indoor seating at the Garden Cafe is hard to find during meal times while at sea when it's windy out, but there are plenty of tables outside or at the Uptown Grill (and not too chilly with a sweater or jacket). On sea days, loungers by the pool filled up quickly (especially around the kiddie pools) but we would come back or sit at the tables by the Garden Cafe instead. The only places that it was annoyingly hard to find seating was at the Atrium (and the railing right above it outside O'Sheenan's where you could look down into the Atrium) for the game shows and concerts. The programming there was so great and well-run that it's no wonder people camp out to watch it, but it would be nice to either repeat the games so more people can attend or to move them to a larger venue. Activities: Having a preschooler with us, we split up onboard activities based on things we did all together, things she did and things we did while she was at Splash Academy (with more about that later). Family activities were offered though we didn't do much of those except for the family party at Spice H2O where they had music, balloon hats and face painting. Otherwise we spent a lot of time in the pool- there as a family pool that kids could swim in with parents as well as a Spongebob-themed kiddie pool with a little island and slide that was a bit hit. We also did the mini rope course, mini golf and played a few games in the arcade with her. By ourselves, we went on the water slides. The free fall ones are definitely a heart stopper. We also did the ropes course with a zip line at the end which was also absolutely terrifying but we would definitely do those again next time. Things we didn't get a chance to do/didn't want to try was a bouncing bungee/trampoline (where they strap you into harness and you can jump and flip and twist as you bounce on a trampoline) and a spider tower where you squeeze and climb up and slide down a twisty tube slide to get back down. Basketball, shuffle board, ping pong, mini golf and a giant chess set were available as well. And those are just physical activities. There were also a library, card room and informational panels about ports, shopping, health, etc. as well as the fitness center and spa. There's definitely something for everyone. Service: We cannot say enough about the superb service that we received. Everyone, from the moment we got on the ship, made us feel so special, welcomed and comfortable. Their professionalism, enthusiasm and all round A+++ service truly made this vacation for us. What really stood out to me was the way everyone made it a point to talk to and engage with our daughter as well. The truly wanted to make sure we were enjoying ourselves and took the time to chat and answer our questions which, now that I think about it, are probably ones they've answered hundreds of thousands of times. But they never gave any indication of any annoyance or feelings that we were bothering them. There was always a smile and "hello" that, while simple things, really added up. In particular, the following staff members went above and beyond: Renson (our steward), JC & Alvin (the cruise/assistant cruise director), Zappy, Ivy, BBQ, Mily, Lady Bug (Splash Academy staff) Cabin: We had a mini-suite with a balcony so for us there was plenty of room. The room, furniture, sheets/bedding and towels were very clean. There was plenty of closet space and little shelves/cubbies to store things. There was also plenty of space underneath the bed to put our suitcases so that was really handy as well. We loved the double sink in the bathroom. Plenty of space there for toiletries though we did bring a hanging organizer with pockets to store them since weren't sure about the space. The shower is surprisingly spacious with 6 spray jets in you choose to use them. The water gets incredibly hot which is nice, but just as a warning to set the handle to the colder side and turning it up slowly. The balcony was really nice~ the walls give a semblance of privacy but you can easily look around them to your neighbors on either side. Since we were directly below the pool & Garden Cafe, we could definitely hear everything that was happening if we were outside or had the balcony door open. Dining: Taste: Not on purpose, but we only went to Taste instead of Savor or the Manhattan dining rooms though the menus were the same at all 3 restaurants whenever I checked. We're not picky eaters so we found the menu to have plenty of options and everything was super tasty. Portions were very nice- not too much so that you could eat all three courses without feeling like you'll explode. La Cucina: We had the osso buco and shrimp risotto which were outstanding. The portions here were huge so unfortunately, I couldn't finish my risotto. I asked if the leftovers could be sent up to the room and our server said they'll send a new one up. We protested that there was nothing wrong with the one I had, which still had plenty left so he agreed. When we got it, they had replaced the shrimp we had eaten so it was complete again. Garden Cafe: Knowing that this is a buffet, we didn't go in with high expectations so we were pleasantly surprised by the selection and taste. It's a huge buffet so if there's something you want and there's a big crowd, go around the corner and chances are it will be there with less people. Le Cirque: The dinner show was awesome. It was hard to tell what was better- the entertainment or the meal. Both were wonderful and worth the price. It is a pretty long show so it might now be a good fit for those with little, little ones. Splash Academy: Splash Academy is the name of the children's club Norwegian offers. It's essentially a day care where the staff will arrange activities for the kids based on their age group. We highly, highly recommend it if you have children cruising with you. A. It's free, B. They have great hours and C. The staff members are great with the kids. They'll be taken care of and given lots of fun things to do and participate in. They started off the week with a parade through the Atrium, after painting the kids' faces, heading through the Art Gallery to the aft elevators and then up to the Garden Cafe where they walked around buffet, outside past the pools and then back down to Splash Academy. The kids felt so special and they got such applause from the crowd. There was also a special party at Spice H2O for the kids with balloon hats, face painting and dancing midweek. At the end of the week, they had a big circus-themed show where the kids from each age group would perform a routine for the parents. It was super adorable and impressive that they managed to throw such a show together in a few hours. Entertainment: Second City was hilarious, and we only saw 2 family improv shows. We definitely want to see them again and catch the later night shows. Dueling Pianos was a lot of fun too. The live bands and performers who performed at the Atrium and various lounges were amazing as well. There was a lot of talent on board and the music they played (ranging from easy listening, classic rock, 70s, 80s) was very nice. JC Sanchez & Alvin Oliva (the cruise director and assistant) had amazing energy at all the events they ran or reported at. They really kept a great vibe going the whole week. Disembarkation: The actual disembarkation from the ship was easy. You choose different colored tags that correspond to the time that you can disembark (Starting from 7:30am if you can carry off all your luggage to 10am). When your colored is called, everyone with that color leaves and goes to the section of the warehouse/port that has your luggage. Since we didn't have too far to go, we chose the 10am time slot. There was a long line to get into the port since there was backlog starting around 9am. The luggage was also just all lumped together but it was pretty easy to navigate and find your luggage. The most painful part was getting through customs, which has nothing to do with Norwegian but with the government employees. After getting your luggage, you were directed to get into one of two lines. There was no explanation on why there were two lines and no one asked about whether you were citizens or coming from abroad until you were at the front and THEN they split up the people based on that. There were also only 5 stations opened with 4,000+ people trying to exit until right around 10:30 when they finally opened up another 2 stations. I guess the 20 other employees they had there had to watch the line. So aside from a few things here and there, this trip was overwhelmingly great. We cannot wait to cruise again and look forward to seeing some familiar faces in a few months! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
537 days ago I booked the Norwegian Breakaway, the ship wasn't even in the harbor yet. I have sailed The Gem and The Dawn and both were very nice ships. This time was going to be a little different.. this trip was for my husbands 50th ... Read More
537 days ago I booked the Norwegian Breakaway, the ship wasn't even in the harbor yet. I have sailed The Gem and The Dawn and both were very nice ships. This time was going to be a little different.. this trip was for my husbands 50th and I booked the Haven...well it was everything I had imagined, read about looked up and more. The thing about NCL is the staff they are all amazing ..always ...whether you are in the Haven or not. The food no matter where I ate Speciality, Haven private or the Manhattan room (no fee) The service, the food, the staff excellent. The thing that blows my mind is the negative reviews?? One okay day on an NCL ship is by far better than a good day at home. I will sail again and again with NCL...everything was perfect. I'd like to send a special thanks to the following people who made our vacation so SPECIAL...Alina, Rochell, Anoop, Denzel,DeLaura, Christina, Cecilio,Alvin, Julie, Satees,Lorna ,Michele,Alex Godi, Phy, Elvina and a extra special thanks to Paula in the spa WOW...get the Thermal Spa it is EVERYTHING relaxing.....to all the people who are waiting at the port with cool cloths and ice water.....no stone left unturned. Thank you NCL you made a beautiful memory for my family and friends...can't wait till we meet again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
My fiancé and I sailed on the Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda on May 11. This was our 7th cruise on NCL and the 6th NCL ship we have sailed on, so we have experienced many different classes and sizes of NCL ships. We were excited to try ... Read More
My fiancé and I sailed on the Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda on May 11. This was our 7th cruise on NCL and the 6th NCL ship we have sailed on, so we have experienced many different classes and sizes of NCL ships. We were excited to try out this new ship for many of the new features advertised. Overall I would say the experience was mediocre, but with a few changes Breakaway could be an amazing ship and experience. Much discussion has been made of Breakaway compared to the NCL Gem, the other NCL ship that is home ported in NYC year round. Having sailed the Gem twice, most recently this past Thanksgiving, I found myself making the same comparisons. For the benefit of those trying to decide which ship is better for them, I will compare the two here. Room: we were booked in a Haven Spa Suite for the Breakaway cruise. The decor and layout of the room is modern and clean. The way they designed the room afforded a lot of storage space, much of it embedded in the walls as to not take up valuable space in the room. This made the room feel much bigger. Bathroom was also a decent size, with two double sinks and a deluxe shower with multiple jets. However as so many others have noted, the balcony is tiny. It was long but not wide at all. Gem's balconies are larger however, as she is not as new a ship, the decor is showing her age in some spots. However, Gem wins this category for one big reason. Directly amongst the spa suites the Breakaway has a staff store, which is used by the cleaning crew to get supplies, store dirty laundry, etc. Every morning right around 8am this very heavy door was opened and slammed shut every minute for two hours straight. This means if you are sleeping at that time you will get jarred awake by the slamming and shaking of the walls. Why they would put this next to spa suites (which, coincidentally, are built for relaxation) is beyond me. I even put a note in the Dear Jovo box (hotel director) expressing that they should just prop open the door when in use rather than constantly banging it and disturbing all the passengers. This note went unanswered (more on the staff issues later). Therefore, because the Gem provided me the opportunity to sleep on my vacation, I will say one point for the Gem here. Food: in what may be the most important topic for many cruisers, Breakaway does add some new venues for eating. In addition to the usual main dining halls, Teppanyaki, steakhouse,etc found on most NCL ships, Breakaway adds O'Sheehans pub, Ocean Blue Seafood, Carlos bakery and a gelato shop. The quality remains the same, better in the specialty restaurants that have a surcharge. Even though there are 4,000 people on this ship, the number of venues provided is sufficient and we never had trouble getting a reservation. Purely for the extra selection, score one for the Breakaway over the Gem. Entertainment: one of my main complaints as a repeat NCL cruiser us that most of the shows are repetitive and I gave seen them many times. Breakaway solved that problem by providing much more variety here. The Cirque jungle show was a pleasant surprise and worth the extra fee. Burn the Floor was decent and it was nice to see them perform in the Manhattan Room dining room in addition to the theater. Rock of Ages we had seen in NYC on Broadway and I would say the performance onboard was strong. And yes the show is raunchy, just as it was on Broadway. NCL warns people multiple times that this is suited for adults. If you are easily offended, heed the warning and don't go. There are also new musical acts on board, the best being Howl at the Moon dueling pianos and the jazz band in Fat Cats. The only negatives for entertainment were that the theater is much too small for the boat and having to get reservations was at some times a hassle, particularly when they were not clear on if you needed them (example: it was not noted in the Freestyle Daily that reservations were needed for the comedic magician but when you got there they expected you to have them). However, entertainment overall was fresh, new and top notch so this category goes to the Breakaway. Spa: as noted we were in a Spa Suite which gave us access to the thermal suite area for the entire week. We usually purchase this pass on other boats and enjoy the relaxing, adults only area. The Breakaway spa thermal suite area is much larger than other ships and includes some new things, such as a salt bath. Because it is so much larger, there was never any problem finding a lounger. The staff kept on top of keeping it clean, towels picked up and water mopped. The only complaint was a few passengers who don't seem to get that this is a relaxation area, not the indoor pool. These people scream and yelp like they are at a water park. I wish the staff would enforce the quiet rules a bit more. The Gem also has a fairly large spa, however since it is smaller than Breakaway's it has less loungers. Both ships spas as great investments for the week if you're looking to relax, however due to the extra size and features, I will give this one to Breakaway. Staff/Service: here is the black eye for Breakaway. For the most part the staff was painfully mediocre on Breakaway. It was very surprising to us to encounter so few staff that seemed to care at all about any of the passenger's experience. The staff on the ship do their jobs - the food gets to you, the ship stays clean and gets where it needs to go, but so few go above and beyond, which is rare for cruise ship staff. For example, we ate most of our breakfasts and lunches at the Haven restaurant. After an entire week I do not believe one person in that restaurant knew our names or anything we liked. There was really only one waitress in there that made any effort to speak or get to know the passengers. Hence, she was the only one who left you feeling like she cared if you were enjoying yourself. Compare this to the Gem where we also took most of our breakfasts and lunches in the suite restaurant. By day 2 of that cruise the staff there knew our names and what kind of tea I liked and had it waiting for me each day. It's little touches like that which make a real difference to the passengers. Unfortunately those little touches were hard to come by on Breakaway. The bad service continued all around. The concierge? Pretty much useless. Again, made no offers to help us out, barely knew our names. His assistant did more than him. The one time we called him to get us directions to a beach in port he basically blew us off, saying he had never heard of the place. Sorry sir, the correct answer would have been "I have never heard of it but I will look it up and get back to you shortly with some info." But no, there was no offer to take that step for us and that is inexcusable. Also as mentioned above, I wrote into the Dear Jovo box to the hotel director (which was encouraged in the Freestyle Daily with the promise of response) and received no response. No apology, no follow up call and no action on my problem. That would no have happened under Jenny Lim, who was our hotel director on the Gem. If you have a hotel issue and bring it to her, she gives you, the passenger, and your issue the attention it deserves. The bottom line is, on the Gem the staff is superb, they make you feel like family as soon as you board. On the Breakaway you just do not get that feeling. The staff does the bare minimum to make the ship run. For me, that was very unfortunate, particular compared to my other cruises. The Gem wins this category by a mile. So in the end we come to three points for Breakaway and two for Gem. One might think after seeing this that I would choose the Breakaway over the Gem in the future. However, at this time I would actually go back to the Gem. Although Breakaway does gave some great new features in the entertainment and food departments, I cannot get past the service level on Breakaway. The service on the boat makes a huge difference in my overall experience. Until Breakaway improves this, the Gem is my pick in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
I need to qualify my review so that similar type of cruisers benefit and those that could be put off without need will not be. Hope that makes sense. In the last year I've ridden twice on the QM2 in the grills, enjoying both an ... Read More
I need to qualify my review so that similar type of cruisers benefit and those that could be put off without need will not be. Hope that makes sense. In the last year I've ridden twice on the QM2 in the grills, enjoying both an eastbound and westbound journey. At 150k tons the QM2 holds 2,620 passengers. The NCL Breakaway, at similar tonnage held 4,509 for my week aboard. I chose the Breakaway exactly based on its name. A lousy winter and I just wanted a casual environment where I could relax and renew cold and weary bones. I was not looking for a formal ship and have a 3 cruise (Med (Dream, 11/01), Western Caribbean (Sun, 04/02), and New England (Dawn, 07/05) history with NCL so calibrated my expectations accordingly. OK, with that proviso, here I go. a) 4500+ (we had 4,509 with 700+ kids) people in a 150k ton ship is just too many, especially when we are talking only two banks of passenger elevators that ride on a very slow door close and movement rate. Constant tussles between passengers and frustrations were voiced, many often opting for stairs, even if it meant 5 or more flights, out of pure frustration. Having said that this ship is great for families. Though the cabins are very small, the Splash Academy and outdoor slides, rope course and putt putt course, along with the pools, an arcade, etc etc are tremendous for kids and family fun. Kids have a blast on this ship and are kept well entertained. (some of their parents can learn a thing or two but that's another topic) b) Inconsistent customer service: customer service felt like you were one among 4,500 most of the time, which isn't to say awful but don't expect a high touch service, especially if you hit a snag, except for The Haven, a segregated "First Class" area (I was in there the last 2 days). Friends of mine (two women sharing a cabin) had a very bad time of it. Their cabin had a kind of intense swooshing sound that would startle and waken them throughout the night (inside 13th deck). It took 3 complaints before they were heard (4 days into trip) and moved. Once moved their new room keys didn't work which took another round of complaints before it was understood they couldn't get in their rooms (they kept giving them (3x) new keys instead of having maintenance check the door). They were eventually moved to a third cabin (in 7 nights, 2 moves isn't great) and were finally able to catch up on sleep the last 2 nights (just saying that phase says everything about their experience). Not really how you want to spend 7 nights but they were good soldiers. c) Food overall was what I expected. A bit better then a catering hall and a bit above that in the specialty dining areas, though I never found a dessert I liked, including sorbet or ice cream, though the ship's coffee was very good. I thought it was just me but polled a bunch of folks and they agreed. I was great with starters and entrees (nice variety) but desserts, yuch. Breads were good too. I did the ultimate dining package allowing me to sample 5+ specialty restaurants. I ended up with Le Bistro 3x and Cagney's 2x with the main dining room (Manhattan and Savor) the other two. The Garden Cafe was well done with nice variety, spacious and well staffed, though I avoided it at peak day periods for fear of my life. d) Entertainment: if you can't find something you like on this ship you're not trying. From the rides (for the kids but I did too @ 58! - slides scared the heck out of me and were a blast) to Second City comedy, to Rock of Ages (didn't like this cast much but it was OK), ito jazz, to bank-e-okee, etc, there's a huge variety (of course casino) of things to do and see. e) Ambiance: Based in NYC it's clear the designers went for more of a subtle NYC sophisticated style over in your face stuff. Lots of use of wood style (I don't think it was wood) paneling, muted colors, etc. Deck space is often criticized for being tight with chair/chair/chair/chair setting. True - with the space taken for rides on the main sun decks this is not the typical pools with surrounding deck chairs and one above. Though there's a wonderful sunning space on the front of the very top, port side. Beautiful views and wonderful sunning place. Where there are tons of people, you feel it and in my case, wanted. to get away as much as possible, which leads me to, f) The Spa: where I spent most of my days. Great hydrotherapy pools ($198 a week for daily entrance), steam room, sauna, sauna-light and Salt room. Great location at forward on 15, a true get away (no kids allowed), not very populated (calm, relaxing) and well done. There's also heated stoned recliners good for warming. I also indulged in 2 massages with Boigoy, the only male masseur and they were excellent. I especially liked the stone massage. The spa made the ship for me. I'd work out in the morning and spend a lot of time in the spa hydrotherapy pool, jacuzzi, steam or sauna and just relaxing reading. This was well worth the price of admission and I'd have to consider better than the QM2 Canyon Ranch spa even. Embarking/Disembarking: NCL has this down well and there weren't issues beyond a long line for immigration. Getting a taxi across the street was a bit weird but ultimately easy. Never easy to cross the West Side Highway whatever the hour or day. Freestyle dining: I like it for the freedom it brings, along with the variety. Having said that you do miss a sense of home base for dining and getting to know your waiters, etc. Still, I prefer free style, especially when looking for an informal warm weather cruise. On the high seas with 'Cunard' I like one table and one main dining room. Overall it did the trick but I know I prefer something around 100k tons with a great spa. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
My wife and I just got back from a 7-day cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway. We sailed during Spring Break because my wife works in the school district. It was our seventh cruise and our third on Norwegian. Due to Spring Break, there were ... Read More
My wife and I just got back from a 7-day cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway. We sailed during Spring Break because my wife works in the school district. It was our seventh cruise and our third on Norwegian. Due to Spring Break, there were over 4800 passengers on board (1/3 of them kids) along with over 1300 crew. I thought that the cruise went well, despite the overcrowding. I have read many reviews about the ship and I will try not to repeat what other people have said, but truthfully, I had a hard time finding any negatives about this trip. We were looking forward to this trip for quite a while and we weren’t disappointed. We were interested more in the ship than where it was going. We had been to all three stops previously, more than once, so we didn’t bother getting off at the ports and stayed on the ship the whole week. You might think that’s strange, but it worked out great for us. We booked the Breakaway about a year ago and were able to choose a cabin with a balcony in the middle of the ship. We didn’t know at the time that you have a long walk to the elevators from the middle of the ship, but it wasn’t a big deal. The elevators and staircases are located about ¼ of the way from the front and rear of the ship with no access in between. EMBARKATION: We arrived at the pier early…about 10:15 for a 3:00 sailing. I’ll explain why we did that a little later. We got boarding #5. I’d say each number has about 200 people boarding with that number so I was a little surprised that so many people had gotten there that early. We waited about an hour before they started boarding, which is what I had figured. The overall boarding process was a breeze, from luggage to key cards to actually boarding. STATEROOM: Our cabin was clean and ready. I was surprised that there was more storage space than on the other ships we’ve been on. Both pieces of luggage fit easily under the bed and there was room for one more. There was a large closet with shelves and there were drawers for other items in different parts of the room, with some storage next to each side of the bed. The ship is only a year old so everything in the room should be clean and working and they were. The bathroom was a normal size for a ship, but somehow the shower seemed bigger than others. I read many reviews about the balconies being small but even though that was true, there was still room for two chairs and a small table. You just had to turn the chair a little sideways instead of facing the railing of the balcony. If you’re gonna complain about something like that, you might as well stay home. All the doors open outward into the hall which gives you a little more room inside. An interesting side note about the room is that the electricity doesn’t work unless there is a ‘key card’ inserted in a slot behind the door. Many ships and office buildings have started doing this to save electricity and costs. Sometimes you forget to put your key in the slot when you come in at night, but you get used to it. DINING: The Breakaway has many more places to eat than most other ships. Complimentary Dining; They have a ‘main dining room’ (long pants only for guys) called the Manhattan Room and they have two ‘satellite dining rooms’ called Taste and Savor. All three have the same menu. All have some of the same items all week long but they change some of the entrees and appetizers each night. We did not eat in the Main dining room at all but we had dinner in one of the others twice and breakfast in the others six times. The food and the service were fine with no complaints. The buffet is called the Garden Café and it has the usual buffet items that you would find on any ship and at any buffet. One night they had a fish concentration and served lobster tails, mussels and calamari with fra diavolo sauce and some other fish items. We had dinner there that night and one other night when they had an asain concentration. We had lunch there several times eating burgers with fries or chicken salad sandwiches or ham and cheese or whatever. They had somebody serving ice cream in bowls or cones (a little better quality) where as on other ships they had an ice cream machine. We never had a problem getting a seat or waiting on a long line for food. The ship has an Irish pub style restaurant called O’Sheehan’s which I think is named after the president or CEO or the owner of Norwegian or something like that. (not sure). They have pub food here (burgers, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie, and so on.) The food is OK, nothing spectacular. We had dinner here once and I had breakfast there once. This place is the only one on the ship that is open 24 hours and there were plenty of people in there at 2:30 in the morning a couple of times. There is also another restaurant on Deck 16 called the Uptown Grill. This place is open for all meals and serves burgers and beef patties and has somebody cooking eggs for breakfast. Paid Dining; My wife and I decided not to eat in any of the specialty restaurants except for one because the food in the free restaurants are good enough so why bother. . We had dinner in Tepanyaki (specialty restaurant 25..00pp) on the last night and it was probably the best meal that we had. They cook on the table and the cook puts on a good show for you. The restaurant has eight tables which fit about eight people each and they have 5, 7 and 9:00 seatings. We did eat one dinner in the Shanghai noodle bar which was excellent. We had fried dumplings (potstickers), lo mein (which had many add ins) and fried rice. You have to pay a la carte in this place but it was inexpensive. We had dinner one night at the Cirque Du Soleil show. This was dinner and a show for 29.00pp/ Again, although I’d heard people complain about the food, I had no problem with the service or the taste. They served mozzarella and tomato appetizer and steak and shrimp for dinner. Meanwhile, the Cirque show is going on with the usual acrobatics that they create. The other specialty restaurants are Moderno (a Texas De Brasil type restaurant that serves meat off a stick right at your table), Cagney’s (steakhouse), La Cucina (Italian), Le Bistro (French), and Ocean Blue. All are 20 – 25 pp with Ocean Blue at a hefty 49.00 pp. They also have a la carte restaurants such as the Shanghai Noodle Bar (see above), The Raw Bar (oysters, clams, shellfish) and Wasabi (sushi). One of my favorites was Carlo’s Bake Shop, copied after the main bake shop in Hoboken, NJ from the “Cake Boss” TV show. This place had Cannoli’s (regular and chocolate), lobster tails (the pastry, not the fish), and other assorted cupcakes and desserts. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, and believe me, this place is great. It’s located in the Atrium which is in the center of the ship on Deck 6. There is also a 24 hour pizza delivery service which is 5.00. And Carlo’s has a Gelato ice cream place outside on the deck. Most of the specialty restaurants have indoor and outdoor seating which is a feature only on the Breakaway. It is called the ‘Waterfront’. The outdoor seating is situated on a promenade type walkway on each side of the ship and is as if you’re walking down a street past the different restaurants. PORT AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: As I said previously, we didn’t get off at any of the ports. They were Port Canaveral in Florida (The only thing I would have been interested in would have been the Kennedy Space Center but we decided not to go. The excursions for Orlando-Disney were at least an hour away and were outrageously priced), Norwegian’s private island (been there before and the tendering process in seas that are not calm is usually a pain in the rear), and Nassau, Bahamas (I’ve been there about 8 times and most recently in October). ENTERTAINMENT: The Breakaway has more entertainment to choose from than other ships I have been on. Even though most of the shows are free, you do need reservations so the ship’s crew knows how many people will be at each show. It helps with overcrowding and space. Rock of Ages, a replica of the Broadway show, was in the theatre a few times during the week, with 7:00 shows and 10:00 shows. I wasn’t impressed but my wife enjoyed it. I heard from some other people that the Broadway version was much better. A dance show called ‘Burn the Floor’ was the other main show in the theatre, also at multiple times. This show was energetic and kept moving with excellent dancing and singing. A must-see if you like dancing. My wife and I also had reservations for a dinner show from Cirque Du Soleil called Jungle Fantasy which took place in the Spiegel Tent, which is just another venue on the ship. As I said above, it was the usual acrobatics that you would expect from Cirque and the food was good. We saw a comedian/magician in the theatre and he was entertaining, nothing spectacular. I had read in reviews to try out the Jazz place but the ship changed entertainers in there the week that we sailed so since we didn’t know anything about the new act, we didn’t go. They had the usual ‘Newlywed Game’ in the Spiegel Tent which was OK. The people that were picked for the game weren’t particularly funny and the Cruise Director had a hard time making them funny. Most of the other games/participation events (Deal or No Deal, Karaoke, Dancing with the Stars) took place in the Atrium. The Atrium is in the center of the ship and is open on the 6th and 7th floor. Unfortunately, the area was always crowded for these shows and didn’t have enough seats. The Bake Shop and a bar are also in this area, and all of the seats for them were taken by the people watching the show. Guest Services, Dinner reservations, Excursion reservations, Cruise Credit and the Internet stations are also in this area.. They really should have these events in an enclosed area with seating for everyone. I realize that they wanted to take advantage of the two floors of people watching an event (O’Sheehan’s was directly upstairs along with a bar and stools overlooking the Atrium) but it didn’t work for me and I’m sure other people felt the same. It was just too crowded. The Atrium did have a large movie screen which showed pretty good recent movies from about 8 – 11 on some nights. There were usually seats available for that. Far and away, the best entertainment on the ship came from the Dueling Pianos show called ‘Howl at the Moon’ which took place four times during the week in the Headliners club. Three amazing piano players (only two play at one time) entertain for three hours each time with requests that they take from the audience. It seemed that whatever was requested, they were able to play it in a sing-along fashion. They constantly kept the audience clapping and singing in a way that was energetic and contagious and amusing. I couldn’t get enough of it. Great idea and a great show. The place was packed every night and with the doors open, you could hear the music down the hall. We did not take advantage of the Second city comedy sketches. We saw them on another ship and didn’t think it was funny, so we skipped it. They had some themed dances such as 70’s Disco and 50’s & 60’s Night outside at night in an area called Spice H2O. They usually started at about 10:30 and like I said, it was way too windy to enjoy it. Also I wasn’t impressed with the DJ’s for these shows. For instance, during the 70’s Disco show, he played four songs in a row from the 80’s and none of them were disco. Not a big deal but…….we left after that. This Spice H2O area is an adults only area during the day, with hot tubs and spray showers and nice lounge chairs. It’s open at night though to the kids and, on this particular cruise, due to Spring Break, there were 1650 of them under the age of 18. They also had a fireworks show on the left side of the ship (they shot them off from the ship) on the fourth evening. It only lasted about 7 minutes but it was a nice touch. The ship had a special Nickolodeon program going on all week. I didn’t have any kids with me so I didn’t take advantage of it and didn’t hear anything, good or bad, about it from others. WEATHER: We lost the first two days outside due to cold weather and wind, but we figured that might happen leaving New York in the middle of April. Even though it was a nice 65 degrees when we left, it quickly turned windy and cold when you get out in the ocean. We ended up with four really nice sunny days in a row. Then it was cold on the last day as expected. LAYOUT OF THE SHIP: I complained briefly in the previous section about the problem with the Atrium and the shows that were taking place there. Another problem with the layout is that the casino is in the center of ship on the 7th floor with an open staircase going down to the 6th floor, and its situated where everyone, everyone, everyone has to walk through it to get from the front to the back of the ship on that 7th floor. O’Sheehan’s pub is right next to the casino and is often crowded so everyone has to walk through to get there. The Shanghai Noodle Bar is on the other side of the casino and both of these places are open areas and not separated by doors, nor is the casino. Now it didn’t bother me, but I can definitely see how it would bother people with children who are walking through to get where they’re going and don’t want their children associated with that environment. Children normally are not even allowed to walk through a casino. Also the smell of smoke from the casino is not contained in that area so you can definitely smell it when you’re in the area or passing through. The Waterfront is a nice area to walk through and maybe to eat at, but it was a little too cold and windy for most people to take advantage of that. I imagine that it would be great in the summer months but that’s only three or four months out of the year. Even though we were in Florida and the Bahamas, it was still April and it was still pretty windy and cold out there when the sun went down. We arrived early at the pier early because we wanted to get on the ship first so we could sign up for this special ‘Vibe Beach’ area, which is up on Deck 17. This area is for adults only and has space for only 50 people. They have nice lounge chairs, lounge beds, cabanas, 2 hot tubs, a bar, and a glass enclosed shower area to cool off. There is no pool up here. It costs 79.00 pp and it was worth it to us to not have somebody else’s kids running around our feet and to have hot tubs where there aren’t 10 kids sitting in it at all times. We got four good days of sun, so it worked out well. We were able to relax and met a nice group of people that we hung out with all week. The Breakaway also has a private area called the Haven. The suites in this area are extremely expensive and they have their own restaurant, their own pool and, believe it or not, butler service. There is a concierge there to make your arrangement for dinners and shows. There are full families allowed here with children. They also have special reserved seating at the shows and special pre-boarding. The ship, overall, is very pretty (it’s only a year old) and everything works right in the cabins and in the public areas (it’s only a year old). ACTIVITIES: There were counselors doing things with the enormous amount of kids all the time and the kids seemed to be enjoying it. They had the usual bingo games a few times during the week although I didn’t take part in them. The casino had Texas Hold-Em Tournaments, Blackjack Tournaments and Slot Tournaments. The Slot Tournament was a little disorganized and we had to sit around and wait for a long time. There were some games being played at the pool but we didn’t take part in nor watch them. The pool area was small due to the large water slides and ropes course and rock climbing wall and zip line and basketball court that they have in that area. There is a small bowling alley along with air hockey and pool for the kids. There is also an arcade which is on Deck 16. You can really have a good time with all of the extras they have on board, especially kids. SERVICE: There were 4850 passengers on board (1650 kids due to Spring Break) and the crew had their hands full but from what I saw, they did a great job keeping everybody happy and satisfied. I always got a ‘hello’ and a smile from each and every crew member I came across. Our steward Sherry, was very friendly and always called us by our first names, which means something. Everything in the cabin was kept clean and organized and I had no complaints about her. The Cruise Director (Dan “The Man” Ollson) was very good at his job. He made himself visible and always seemed to be working hard and yet he did stop and talk once with my wife and I for 15 minutes. Very nice gentleman and I wish the best for him. His crew of 123 members all seemed to be doing their jobs. None of them were particularly funny or entertaining although they did try but I didn’t hear about any complaints when it came to the staff. The waiters, waitresses. busboys, bartenders (a big hello to Courtney in the Vibe), buffet servers, and everyone who kept the ship clean at all times, did a great job. DISEMBARKATION: We carried our luggage off the ship so we didn’t have to go through the annoyance of putting our luggage out the night before, then waiting around to here your color called, then looking for your luggage in a sea of luggage. If you carry (wheel) your luggage yourself, you can leave whenever you want, whether it be 8:00 in the morning or 10:30 in the morning. The ship was docked by 4:30 AM. Overall, no problems at all getting off the ship. SUMMARY: Overall, we had a great time enjoying the ship and all that it has to offer. Even though we only had four days of sunshine, it was still worth it to cruise out of New York. It’s very exciting and I live here. If you can’t have a good time on this ship, than you’re doing something wrong. If you have any questions that I haven’t covered, you can e-mail me at tffd01@earthlink.net. I’ll be happy to answer your questions   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
My wife and I decided to set sail to the Bahamas this New Year's Eve with a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway. We had previously sailed on her for the inaugural cruise to Bermuda. At that time, we were not 100% satisfied with the ... Read More
My wife and I decided to set sail to the Bahamas this New Year's Eve with a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway. We had previously sailed on her for the inaugural cruise to Bermuda. At that time, we were not 100% satisfied with the experience. However, being that we are big NCL fans, we had no qualms about taking another cruise on the Breakaway. I can say, without hesitation, that this was a fantastic cruise. The service, food, entertainment, and ship itself exceeded expectations. Our steward, Roberto, was enthusiastic, kind, and did an excellent job taking care of us. Beyond the stateroom, we found the overall service on the ship to be top-notch. Every server, officer, and other staff were friendly, helpful, and ensured that we had a great experience. The food was quite yummy. We ate at three specialty restaurants this week: Ocean Blue, Cagney's, and La Cucina. Whereas on the previous Breakaway cruise I found myself unimpressed with the specialty dining, this was quickly dispelled by the tasty courses we had at each restaurant. Ocean Blue, in particular, stood out. For La Cucina we ate on the Waterfront (outside) as we sailed away from the Bahamas. Quite romantic! We ate at Savor and The Manhattan Dining Room several times. The Manhattan Room is great! They had a special New Year's Eve menu which included some more upscale dining choices that were greatly appreciated. We acquired Spa passes to the thermal suite within the first hour of embarking. This time, we also booked hot stone massages. As usual, the thermal suite was very relaxing, and the massages were exactly what we were looking for. The entertainment on the ship was top-notch with all of the acts giving it their all. The Cirque de Soleil show, which we had seen previously, had enough new material to make the show seem brand-new to us. This is quite impressive to see on a cruise... You would be foolish to miss it. We also saw the Presumed Murdered Second City murder mystery. We are huge Second City fans, and tried not to miss any of their performances. Both of these entertainment options did carry an upcharge, but were well worth it. On New Year's Eve, they fired off the fireworks at the stroke of midnight. A gorgeous display lit up the night sky! All in all, a fantastic cruise! Embarkation and disembarkation was a snap. However, we have gold status for Latitiudes which gave us priority embarkation/disembarkation and was greatly appreciated being that the ship was completely sold out for this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This is a beautiful ship! All the public rooms are wonderful, as was our cabin. Embarkation was a little hectic, as they are trying to get so many people on in a short time...the cruise leaves at 3:00 p.m. But, other than that we never ... Read More
This is a beautiful ship! All the public rooms are wonderful, as was our cabin. Embarkation was a little hectic, as they are trying to get so many people on in a short time...the cruise leaves at 3:00 p.m. But, other than that we never felt crowded, even though the cruise was sold out. Also, being a vacation week, there were over 1,500 children on board. However, the crew is so attentive to them we never felt the children were an issue. The food on this ship was as good or better than we have had on any cruise. Several specialy dining options are available and we tried four of them...all were great but we enjoyed Le Bistro the best. The entertainment was fantastic. You have to try the dinner theater, which features magicians, acrobats, and jugglers. Amazing! Burn the Floor was also amazing. But, what made this cruise one of our favorites was the crew. They are incredibly polite and accommodating. One word of caution to people who get sea sickness, this cruise is rough. The Atlantic is much more rough than the Caribbean. It didn't bother us, but it did many others. We thought our mini suite was very nice. We booked our cruise late and was offered this cabin, which is normally reserved for handicapped passengers. Because of this, the room was much larger than a normal mini suite and had a very large deck. The only minor inconvenience is the door was automatic and took an long time to close each time we entered or left. Our cabin steward (Michael) was amazingly accommodating, professional and polite. We had an issue with the passengers above us throwing cigarette buts ant trash down on our balcony and Michael took care of that for us, saving me from getting myself in hot water! No sofa in this cabin though, but that was not a concern for us. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Hello! My wife and I just returned from our weeklong cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda from September 1-8. A bit about ourselves before jumping into the review so those reading can equate my comments to our age group. I am 36 ... Read More
Hello! My wife and I just returned from our weeklong cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda from September 1-8. A bit about ourselves before jumping into the review so those reading can equate my comments to our age group. I am 36 years old and my wife is 30 years old. We are both in the healthcare profession. This was my first ever cruise, and only the second for my wife (the last one was a bargain basement spring break cruise 10 years ago). We are very social people and were looking to enjoy great entertainment, great food, and a vibrant social scene. We also wanted an upscale experience, so we chose to stay in the Haven. EMBARKATION: This has been covered in nearly every review. It was seamless. Probably the easiest check in I have ever experienced. We walked up to Pier 88 and simply gave our bags to a porter and they were gone. Since we were Haven guests, we were immediately directed into a separate Haven check in area after we went through general security. We walked right up to the clerk with zero wait, exchanged our documents, and got our cruise cards printed. We then waited maybe 5-10 minutes in the waiting area with maybe 10 other people. There were light refreshments such as cookies and desserts, as well as water, coffee, and juice. A Norwegian representative was escorting small groups up into the ship and directly into the Haven every ten minutes or so. I must say, Norwegian already had us feeling special even after just something as simple as check in. We were escorted to the Haven and our concierge gave us an informal 5 minute presentation. At that time we were able to fill out dinner reservation requests as well as show requests. Then we were cut loose to go explore. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS: I won't break this thing down into a day-by-day review like some others have done, instead I would like to share my thoughts in a loose time progression. Right after our concierge talked with us, we headed to the Haven bar for a drink. At this time we decided to bite the bullet and go for the Unlimited Beverage Package (UBP). It was $50 per person per cabin per day (so $100 a day for my wife and I). It ended up being around $788 because I guess they either threw in tax or gratuity. The package included all soft drinks as well as beers $5.50 or less, glasses of wine $9.50 or less, and mixed drinks $8.50 or less (don't quote me directly on those wine and drink numbers, but they are very close). They will explain to you in detail if you are interested, but really, it is great because they have set those price limits so that essentially EVERY POSSIBLE DRINK is included. There are a few pricier beers (such as a huge 23 ounce Grolsch) or mixed drinks that are above the price point, but that was never an issue. There were probably 10-12 beers to choose from. As far as liquor goes, things such as Grey Goose, Ketel One, Jack Daniels, Barcardi(s), Johnnie Walker Black, etc. are ALL included. So you can catch my drift here: there won't be a single thing you could want that isn't realistically on the list. Regarding the drink menus, they were mostly standardized throughout the ship, but some bars did have a few signature drinks. And again, essentially every drink on their menus was included with the UBP. Bottles of wine or liquor were available for purchase, but of course those are an additional charge. One last thing about the UBP: it works in all of the restaurants as well, so your drinks with your meals are covered (that is what pushed us to go ahead and get it -- if drinks in the restaurants were NOT included we would have passed on the package). Sailaway was great, we hung out in the outside part of the Haven on the starboard forward top of the ship. I am not sure if there was a formal party in the main portion of the ship. Our luggage was in the room by 2-3 PM. Our rooms were ready to go into around 12:30 PM. We really didn't need to change prior to our luggage being delivered, so we dropped off our backpacks and explored the ship. The Waterfront is totally awesome. Just a super idea, and it really makes this a unique ship. It was so cool to stroll around the whole thing, stopping off at the bars for a drink and to mingle with other cruisers. The gelato shop was open, Carlo's was open, and the Sabrett hot dog stand was open in two separate locations. We actually never tried the gelato or Carlo's (kinda kicking myself for not trying the cannoli or lobster tail). A word about the hot dog stand. I don't understand why so many former Breakaway cruisers cry and whine about it never being around. I literally saw it every day. EVERY DAY. There was always one in Spice H2O and usually one around the main pool. So stop it everyone, they are available. We tried one once and were done. It was good, but it's a hot dog. Come on. The Atrium is very nice with that huge video board. We watched some Thursday night football on it as well as bits of some movies as well. Great picture. Don't forget that you can get all of the Carlo's baked goods at the Atrium coffee shop at all times. Because we booked in the Haven we received 3 meals in the up-charge restaurants. We were a bit nervous about getting all of the free upgrades they said we would get when we got on board, but Norwegian nailed them all. The chocolate covered strawberries were in our room right when we walked in, there was a bottle of champagne chilled on ice as well, and the free bottle of wine was waiting for us with two beautiful long stem red wine glasses. We went to the concierge in the Haven and immediately booked 3 dinners with no problems right when we boarded, and they were fully aware of our 3 free meals. The first night we ate in Le Bistro. The food was excellent, and we received a free bottle of chardonnay for dining in the restaurant the first night of the cruise. (Yes, one of their new catch phrases should be "Norwegians Like to Drink".) One thing to note: the additional-fee restaurants I think want to make your experience "grander" so the service is I do believe intentionally a bit slower. Some people have condemned the restaurants on these reviews for being too slow. Again, I think they want you to relax and enjoy your meal as if you were truly in a French Bistro, etc. It did not bother my wife and I. Our dinners took on average 2 hours. But if you want to move things along you simply have to flag your waiter and let him or her know you are in a bit of a hurry and you will be fine. We actually missed Burn the Floor the first night because we were having such a nice dinner at Le Bistro. Since we are on the topic of food, let's finish the dining portion. The other meals included in our package were Cagney's and La Cucina. We ate on the Waterfront at Cagney's as the sun set and it was genuinely wonderful. I'm from Chicago and now live in Texas, so I know a great steak, and Cagney's was pretty good, but not anything noteworthy as far as my filet. I am Italian and La Cucina was very good. My meal had gnocchi, and my only complaint was that they were a bit too doughy/chewy. Don't be fooled into thinking that you can't eat more than one thing at these restaurants. I'm not sure the official Norwegian policy, but pretty much every one of these places had the waiters/waitresses asking us if we wanted 2,3,4 appetizers or 2 entrees each (clearly they were not going to charge us)! Ridiculous amount of food! Of course we never took them up on it, but just know that you will NOT leave the specialty restaurants hungry, I promise. We paid for Moderno Churrascuria and Ocean Blue. I've eaten at every mainstream high end Brazilian steakhouse (Fogo, Texas de Brazil, etc) and I can say that Norwegian did very well with this one. Their salad bar portion was actually what made the meal, and even had this unreal scallop and fish ceviche that was out of this world. The salad bar was as good as any land-based store, and the gauchos with the grilled meats did a great job. Overall the meats were very good, and they were essentially identical in variety to what you would find on land. Ahh, and finally Ocean Blue. A true masterpiece! Mister Zakarian has done a wonderful job with this one. You can simply tell the entire staff in this place was hand-picked for their attention to detail, friendliness, politeness, and knowledge of the restaurant. The food was fresh and expertly prepared. No complaints. Was it worth $50 per person? Well, that would be a deal on land, so you do the math. One other night we ate the Frog and Onion pub in Bermuda -- pretty good, just pub grub. And we just ate at the Garden Cafe one night because we were swamped. It was cool though, we sat next to the cast of the Second City show (more on them later). SEA DAYS: Very laid back and relaxed, or nuts if you wanted it to be! We split time between the Haven private sun deck and atrium and Spice H20. We occasionally spent a couple of hours at the main pool. The main pool is unfortunately just like others have described it in previous reviews. Especially on sea days, there is literally like 2000 people trying to use the loungers, get poolside, and pack the bars. Don't even ask about the hot tubs. They'll pack in about 10-12 people sometimes. The whole "get up at 5 am and put my towels down on 5 chairs to reserve it all day" is very true out there. But, give Norwegian credit -- they made it very clear on their daily updates that leaving your belongings on a lounger or chair unattended for more than one hour will forfeit your spot and the staff would remove your things and bring them to lost and found. So, if you really need to, you can pick a spot, make sure it has been unattended for an hour, and then go get someone from the Norwegian staff. We did not need to do this. The kids pool is tandem to the main pool. Chock full of kids, as you would assume. It was odd that you ended up having to navigate around the little ones running and splashing you as you walked past this area to get into the Garden Cafe, mostly at lunch. Poor planning on that one. The waterslides were up some stairs in this area as well. The main pool had either a DJ or live music every day from what I could gather. Top 40 stuff and the typical Bob Marley covers, etc. We did not go into Vibe Beach Club because we didn't need to (we didn't pay for it), but I think it would have been cool. I think it is a bit silly that we didn't get instant free access to this being Haven guests. Norwegian should include this. Maybe they don't want us crowding the Vibe area. HAVEN REVIEW: Overall quite nice. The actual Haven area included a private concierge station, two private key card entrances, an indoor lounge area, a private bar, private restaurant, and an indoor private two level enclosed pool area with outside dining area. The roof here is retractable, and they did indeed open it almost daily as long as there was sun. There are two rectangular lounge pools only a couple inches deep and then a small square pool that is maybe 4 feet deep. This pool made no sense to me. They need to remove one of the separate water lounge areas and connect it to the pool. I am a pool junkie on vacation, and because of this layout, I really didn't want to go into the pool there, and therefore felt a bit cheated on my pool time. The second indoor floor had cabanas and loungers and more dining tables. This area opened up to a huge outdoor sun deck with VERY faint "easy listening" type music. So it got kind of boring out there. So, the indoor area. I was not a huge fan. It was very nice and very pretty, but for one it is too small. There are only about 10 loungers in the enclosed area, and yep, you guessed it, they would be "taken" first thing in the morning. On our cruise it was the same obnoxious 15 person family who would take every chair and "cover it" with their towels, and then sit there and eat for about 10 hours straight. They had screaming kids that they did not attempt to control, and I had to deal with them doing cannonballs into the tiny square pool. It actually made us avoid this entire area. The Haven should have been more proactive with telling them to keep it down as well as enforcing the "no squatter rule" for hogging lounge chairs. So for those wondering if kids are allowed in the Haven and all of its areas, the answer is YES. I didn't understand why these parents didn't take the kids to the Sponge Bob play area. We actually never ate at the Haven restaurant. We discovered that it had the same food as the Taste and Savor restaurants (we didn't eat there either), which each had the SAME FOOD AS THE GARDEN CAFE BUFFET! So, we ended up just eating at the buffet for each breakfast and lunch and it was just FINE. The food in there was delicious and pretty creative. You could get anything you wanted, all the way up to formal carving stations. My wife waited a max of 5 minutes one morning for a made to order omelette. So people complaining about the Garden Cafe are being boorish and unrealistic. Did it get crowded in there? Yes. Did we occasionally have to look around for a table? Yes. But who cares? You're on vacation. Chill out man. The Haven is actually quite divided up. Most rooms are part of the true Haven complex on decks 15 and 16. Much to our chagrin we found out that our Spa Suite was completely outside of the Haven on a completely separate deck (14). This actually bothered us and made us feel separated from an amenity for which we paid a substantial amount of extra money. Norwegian should make this clear when people book this type of Haven room. Our room itself was very nice, but size wise was pretty much just a standard junior suite. There was a moderate-sized hot tub in the corner of the room. The balcony was fine: two chairs and a nice drink table, with room to spare. The bathroom was fine, with a big two faucet sink. The shower had all these extra spray nozzles on it which didn't do much for me. Water pressure and temperature were perfect at all times. Closet space was very very nice, we each had one side of a large wall closet. There were drawers galore. There was a huge impressive Lavazza espresso machine that was quite nice for the morning coffee. We had a mini bar stocked with stuff that we would have to pay for, so we stayed away. Daily fresh fruit, fresh flowers were provided. We had silverware at all times as well as wine glasses, champagne flutes, glasses, and 3 sizes of coffee cups. Very large TV for a ship, at least 32 inches. My wife liked getting ready in front of the large room mirror. We had a butler, named Chris, who was just super pleasant. He knew our names the second we walked on (but never addressed me as "doctor" -- nothing to make me mad but something I always see if people realize -- it gets them extra points with me). We used his services a few times when we needed some ice in the afternoon. We tended not to bother him too much. Our huge suitcases fit with room to spare under the awesome king sized bed. The decor of the room was hues of purples and blues and was very pleasant. Would I Haven again? Yes. But probably not on Breakaway. This is my first cruise but I think the Haven on Epic is much bigger and better. SPA: We had unlimited access to the treatment deck above the bridge all week in the Mandara Spa. It was a nice perk. We went a couple times. The huge pool is wonderful with multiple high pressure bubble areas, there is ample space to lounge, and there are 4 different treatment rooms including sauna and salt room. SHOWS/ENTERTAINMENT: Rock of Ages was awesome. So well done, felt like you were on Broadway. Contrary to what people are writing, NCL does indeed warn people in their bulletin AND on a sign as you walk into the theater that the show is very much adult-themed and includes a sex scene and some dirty language. But of course, during my show, I had to watch families get up and storm out with their 6 year olds. PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE! I applaud NCL for providing entertainment for adults and further applaud them for sticking to their guns and not trying to already change the show or water it down. But beware, yes, there is some dirty language, up to and including the "F" word. No, I am not kidding. If you're cool with that stuff and want to sing your lungs out to awesome 80s tunes from Journey et al, this one is for you! Burn the Floor put me to sleep. My wife loved it. 'Nuff said. Michael Finney is talented and is doing his show for the Wounded Warrior Project. He is pretty darn funny and his magic is good, but I am not so sure he is happy to be there doing the show on the Breakaway. Very dry humor that bordered on him sounding annoyed. We didn't do the Cirque show. And no, it is NOT a Cirque du Soleil show. But other passengers said it was awesome. Svedka Ice Bar was awesome. Just go and do it. You get a couple drinks for your 20 bucks and can take some cool pictures. CASINO: OK, time to put some stuff to rest. It's pretty ridiculous (and just plain incorrect) the amount of screaming about the tobacco smoke. Are there some people smoking in the casino? Yep. Is it flagrant? Nope. Can you smell some smoke? Yep. Who cares. It's a casino. If you don't like it, don't go there. If you want to gamble, IT'S A CASINO, so deal with it. They had your standard table games and slots. We burned 20 bucks one night on a slot machine and never returned. What I want to specifically address is what I believe is actually the main source of the smoke. Maltings Bar has an enclosed indoor smoking room for cigars. Maltings is literally right next to the casino. It was ALWAYS full of guys smoking stogies. Whenenver the door would open smoke would escape. And that was what you were smelling -- that very distinct cigar smoke. Not really cigarette smoke. Once again, not that big of a deal. So please don't buy into the reviews which claim it "ruined my vacation" blah blah blah. Get over it. BERMUDA: This thing is getting out of control, so I will wrap it up soon. Bermuda is universally beautiful, safe, well-kept, and proud. Bermudans love their country and it is literally the cleanest island we have ever visited. The beaches are perfect. Look real close, you'll see why they are pink sand. We toured and shopped, but didn't really do much else. It's a location that is now crossed off my list. DISEMBARKATION: Just as easy as everyone says. We chose the freestyle disembark, and actually got off the ship even before those people because they let the Haven guests get off absolutely first. We were off the boat at 7:25 AM. We were blessed with smooth seas the entire trip, and it only rained once for a couple hours in Bermuda. OEVERALL: Hats off to you Norwegian! You made my first ever cruise awesome, and something I will never forget. I am now a true cruiser, and I was already planning our next one in the airport on the way home! We will not likely sail out of New York ever again. We are midwesterners and now Texans and we simply did not mesh well with the New Yorkers and New Jerseyans who made up 90% of this cruise. I am not disrespecting anyone, so don't write me a Nastygram. It is what it is. The crew simultaneously made you laugh and smile, and then broke your heart in the same breath. I say this because they are all far from home, away from their families, working for what is most likely a very small paycheck. Respect your crew. Thank your crew. Talk to them, listen to their stories. Some of them are fathers and mothers whose children don't recognize them when they come home after being on duty for 11 months. They live in tiny inside quarters and have to watch all of us indulge ourselves with food and drink and never take a little something for themselves or they will be fired. And all the while they just smile and say "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" and serve you, no matter what room you are in or how much money you spend. They MAKE this cruise what it is, and they MAKE this ship special. Whatever you can spare, give your housekeeper (and concierge and butler if so) a little something extra. Twenty bucks, anything. To see them smile when you give them a tip and thank them back for a wonderful week and job well done will melt your heart. I do believe that last paragraph is important. Thank you Norwegian for a great week, thank you for a beautiful boat, and thank you giving my wife and I such wonderful memories! 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: September 2013
We just returned from another perfect week with Norwegian! This is our third cruise with the company and we can only say good things. As usual, the staff was great. We did not encounter anyone without a smile. We snorkeled with FantaSea ... Read More
We just returned from another perfect week with Norwegian! This is our third cruise with the company and we can only say good things. As usual, the staff was great. We did not encounter anyone without a smile. We snorkeled with FantaSea and they were incredible! We toured the caves in St. George's and I can say one is enough - I'd suggest Crystal over the Fantasy cave. We would have done more around the islands, but you can only stuff so much into three days. Granted, this was our fourth visit to the country and we were happy to just relax. On previous cruises with NCL, we've done upscale dining for most dinners. This time, we were so busy that we ate at the Garden Cafe for just about every meal. We're foodies, but we didn't mind! A tip: The delicious mushroom soup from Le Bistro was spotted on the buffet twice! I'll admit that I had a huge bowl. I also took chicken from food stations and cut it up over a salad. We did pay extra for the spa. We're private people and it is nice to just relax. Norwegian blended the male and female relaxation areas here and we liked and disliked that. Still, the spa area was wonderful. The black-tiled steam room (a.k.a. "Steam Room of Death" or the "Steam Coffin") was uncomfortable. It would have also been nice to sit in the hot tub and see the ocean. One tip: This trip was to be on the cheap for us and we got an inside room. It was fine (as long as you pack lightly) but the worst thing is that we could loudly hear every time anyone along the line flushed the toilet. We hadn't previously experienced that annoyance in balcony rooms or penthouse rooms. I also think the ship could have used one more bank of elevators. At times, the walk to our room seemed lengthy. On the Jewel and Gem, there were fore, mid and aft banks -- Breakaway has just fore and aft. I enjoyed the room coffee more than what was available on the buffet. This has to be the first time this has ever happened! My review of the "Ultimate Beverage" beverage package is mixed. At first, it seemed like a great deal. We calculated that $49 dollars p/p a day is just a few drinks, right? In Manhattan, yes. Well, the drinks were affordable onboard at $7 to $8 a pop. Do the math: You have to drink a lot of drinks to break even. I decided to skip hangovers and lose money. It was fun to try new drinks, however. Trying the daily drink-of-the-day was a blast. I think the Blue Lagoon was the best. Here's my annoyance: The separate soda package is $6.50 a day and you don't pay the 15% gratuity each time you get a refill. You do pay the gratuity on the "ultimate beverage package." We were annoyed to watch people with the soda package walk away with a travel-mug of soda as we were signing the gratuity line for a flimsy plastic cup, which cost about 32 cents for each soda. The package also doesn't include water, gourmet coffee or alcoholic coffee. Not sure why putting Baileys (which would be included in the package, all by itself) in coffee isn't included, but it is if you throw in a banana, other liquors and blend it up -- you've got a drink that is covered under the plan. Water also wasn't included. How is this ultimate? Still, we love Norwegian Cruise Line and decided to that we won't get the beverage package on our next trip in the spring because it will be cheaper for us to pay by the drink. Rock of Ages was splendid. As we walked out, I overheard people calling it mediocre. Are you serious?!?! It was great and I don't even dig 80s music. The Second City crew was fabulous. My husband went to six shows this weed and I went to three. (I've never been to a comedy show before!) They made me laugh. Not giggle, but gut-hurting laugh. The Cirque show was magnificent. While the food was good, it wasn't spectacular. Still, I'd pay the money for the show! The talent exhibited there was incredible and I was riveted the entire time. The ropes course and slides were fun. I chickened out on the largest and fastest slides, but I could because I was on vacation! 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
In April of 2013, I talked my girlfriend into going on a cruise with her daughters. I wanted them to experience the almost 16 hours of daily fun and excitement that I had cruising before on Carnival's cruise line. We also brought my ... Read More
In April of 2013, I talked my girlfriend into going on a cruise with her daughters. I wanted them to experience the almost 16 hours of daily fun and excitement that I had cruising before on Carnival's cruise line. We also brought my daughter and her husband. Since my girlfriend didn't like being 'stuck' on a ship, I looked for a cruise that had a single port of call, so that she would have a few days of getting off the boat in a row. I found two ships I liked with activities for the 12 year old that sailed the week of 8/25/13. One Carnival Ship whose name I do not recall, and the NCL Breakaway. We ultimately chose to go NCL, since we could simply drive to NY and avoid the hassle of flying. During the booking process, I reviewed the cabin categories, and finally chose to purchase the spa-deck mini-suites with balcony, which included unlimited access to the spa facilities. Total cost so far, about $13,000 for 6 adults, 1 child in 2 spa suites, and 1 inside cabin. As part of the fun plan we had, we hired a limo to take us from NJ to NY. On 8/25/13, at 8AM, the Limo driver showed up with a super-size bus, and our excitement began. We enjoyed the trip to NY, and arrived at the port on schedule at 9:45AM. This cost us about $275 each way, not bad considering parking in NY alone was $210 per vehicle. We were checked in by 10:30AM, and waited to board the breakaway at 11:30am. We boarded the ship, enjoy the view from the top deck, and had lunch. We went to our Mini Suite with Balcony, and laughed at how small these rooms are, and how super-small the balconies were. The chairs barely fit. That evening we a elected to see the first performance of Cirque Dreams Jungle Fever dinner show on the ship, at a "today only discounted rate of 25% off list price." ($209). This show was amazing. We truly enjoyed everything about the show. That evening we explored the ship, and found the "Howl at the moon" dueling pianos performance and enjoyed this performance until about midnight, at which time I stumbled to bed almost drunk. Yeah!!! Since I already had about 10 drinks on day one, I decided to get the "Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP) for $49.95 per person per day". Total price about $800 after 15% included gratuity. I could now drink anything, without having to worry about how much my bar tab would be at the end of the week.....and this is where the real fun begins.... Here are the rules for the UBP, some of which you'll find out after you pay for it... 1. If you have the UBP, you can't order two drinks without both cards being present. Only 1 drink at a time. Even 2. Only drinks under $8.25 (I believe this is the amount) are included. If the drink was 25 cents more, it was not included at all, and the full price would be charged to your room. 3. All your drinks are charged to your room. At the end of the day, they remove up to 15 drinks per person. So instead of worrying about not spending over $800 in alcohol in the week, I now have to worry about if each drink I order is included, and if I'll drink enough to cover the expense of the UBP. The only pro to this was that if I didn't like a drink, I simply ordered another, but even with that, we still didn't order enough to cover the $800. Guess we don't drink the way we used to. We're now on Day 2, and we're on the ocean. So we're off the find things to do. Since we had the spa package, we went to find the spa. We checked in, and received our stickers to give us access for the week. The spa itself was simply fantastic. Super-size tubs sauna, solarium, salt room, steam room, etc.... and a few loungers. The spa was only for those 18 and over, so our 12 year old that was booked in the spa category, couldn't get in, but we couldn't 'transfer' this to our daughter who didn't stay in the spa suite. Another waste of money. At dinner time, we chose to eat at the buffet, which was OK. Although the seating areas were filled, we eventually found areas to sit. Day 3, tried to get some time on the pool deck. This is where we found out that there are a total of six loungers pool side, and more than half of the other loungers are in the shade. Try to find pictures of the pool deck on the breakaway, and you won't find many, except for NCL's CGI images. We picked a few out on the top deck in the sun, but once they started to play the music, it was so loud we just left and went back to the room and our 'private balcony'. You could hear and feel the bass from the music in our cabin, so we found other things to do...back to the SPA we went. I spent some time at the Casino tables as well, earning the 1500 points necessary to get the 'free drinks on us while at the casino'... but since I already had the UBP this didn't mean anything to me except a sign that I spent too much time in the casino. Please note, that the ship's casinos are UNREGULATED, and you may win some the first few days, but that quickly changes on return voyage, when I'm certain they change the odds. The automated card shufflers can be programmed to give out winning or losing hands as they desire. Day 4, we arrived in Bermuda, and set out to enjoy the island, which we did. Since this review isn't about Bermuda, I won't go into details on this. Day 5, St Georges. Day 6, Rained out. Our Bermuda Triangle snorkel tour which was a 5 mile out catamaran excursion was changed to a short boat ride to a near-by area, or we could cancel... we elected to cancel this excursion. Day 7, Cruising back home, and eager to get there....the ship was packed, every area of the ship were there was anything to do, was simply packed beyond capacity. The ship itself was clean (it's new after all), and the cruise staff was very polite, as I've come to expect, but when I paid $13,000+/- for the trip, I didn't expect to get nickeled and dimed on everything on the ship. Only 2 shows are included as "complementary", and those shows aren't that price of free. In the end, this cruise cost us about $20,000+/-, and ended with us never wanting to cruise again, with any cruise line. I know not all cruises are like this, but the fact that once you set sail, you're there until the end, makes us all uncomfortable cruising again. Carnival, I'm sorry I didn't come back to you instead. I never felt cramped there, and enjoyed the evening entertainment on the ships, and all at no extra charge.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
We had a wonderful time on the NCL Breakaway. It is a beautiful ship. We had a Spa Balcony and it is worth every penny to be able to use the spa resources when the ship is crowded and you want to get away from the crowds and kids. I can ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the NCL Breakaway. It is a beautiful ship. We had a Spa Balcony and it is worth every penny to be able to use the spa resources when the ship is crowded and you want to get away from the crowds and kids. I can not say enough about the Steward that took care of us on our cruise. By the end of the first day he had our names down and by the end I wanted to take him home. The shows are great Rock of Ages Rocked! Burn the floor was good but I had the original NYC to compare it to so it did come in 2nd but still worth seeing and great dancing. Always plenty to do during the day. Buffet were very good. If you do not get a soda plan or alcohol plan still plenty to choose from for beverages, ice tea, juice etc. Restaurants were great. Definitely spend the money on at least one meal and if you do make it Cagney's Steak house! Worth every penny! The Spa Balcony is very reasonable for 2 people and worth the money to be able to use the Spa resources. The room would be to tight for more than 2. The balcony is smaller than ships I have been on before. The room layout that we had was the couch near the sliding door and the bed next to the closet and bath. I am traveling again next month on the Breakaway and know to get the room 14724, or 14722 because it was hard getting in and out of the closet with the bed so close. 14724, and 14722 are reversed they have the bed near the slider and the couch near the closet which makes it much easier to get shoes from the bottom. Bring a night light for the bathroom. Once the lights are off it is DARK! I picked up a battery operated tea light that I left on the bathroom counter with the door cracked it was perfect. Bathroom was fine. Not hugh but enough. The counter layout and the shelves were a great asset to the small bathroom. AHHHHH Bermuda! Why did I wait so long to get there!!!??? The island is beautiful and the people are very friendly. The bus system is great, but can be a little crazy for the faint of heart. Wish they had better markings at the bus stops so you knew were to get off and on or announced it on the bus. Water ferry's were great as well get a 3 day pass for bus and ferries is worth it. Beaches are amazing. We did so much and it was great to be in port 3 days and use the ship as your hotel. I would go back in a heart beat. Top 3 likes: Great staff, Spa, Rock of Ages. Top 3 Dislikes: Hard time finding Deck chairs during sea days, Small balcony, Smoke in Casino Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
I just got off the Norwegian Breakaway (NYC-Bermuda / 07/7-14/2013) and wanted to provide some feedback for those thinking about sailing on her. I had read many reviews here on CC prior to boarding and while I was excited to finally get to ... Read More
I just got off the Norwegian Breakaway (NYC-Bermuda / 07/7-14/2013) and wanted to provide some feedback for those thinking about sailing on her. I had read many reviews here on CC prior to boarding and while I was excited to finally get to see her, I had fairly low expectations based upon what I read. I was pleasantly surprised. I will say that this cruise was a very different experience than any I have ever had. I'm not sure if I can explain it, but it was just not a typical cruise experience (maybe due to a very different ship design, layout, etc.). It felt much like a boutique hotel on water (boutique hotel meaning small). I am giving the Breakaway 4 ribbons for one reason and one reason only (I really wanted to give her 5 but just couldn't). Overall, it was a great experience once I let go of the one and only thing wrong with her - it was the first time in all of my cruises I ever felt crowded on a ship. I will talk more about that in a bit. * My Cruising History * This was my 9th cruise (2nd on NCL). I have done 5 on RCL, 1 on Celebrity and 1 on Carnival (my first cruise, 8 years ago). I have done everything from 7 days to 18 days and have sailed most of the Caribbean Islands, sailed through the Panama & Suez Canals as well as the Mediterranean. I would count myself as a "Frequent Floater" with a varied set of experiences on varying sizes of ships. I have my next one already booked on NCL (Jade) for this November sailing the Eastern Mediterranean. 1.) Embarkation (NYC): [5 ribbons] Because I am a Latitudes member, I got through the lines very quickly. I arrived at 1:00pm and was on the ship by 1:30pm. I was able to go right to my cabin and then went to the Garden Cafe (buffet) for lunch. 2.) My Cabin (Studio Lounge - #11573): [5 ribbons] I was excited to finally get to sail alone and to try out these cabins for solo travelers. In a word, it was AMAZING! You can see my video review of my cabin here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjVb7gCjHEY&feature=c4-overview&list=UUthA0SxLm_-thzllH-ykyZw . I loved the Studio Lounge that you get access to and I liked that NCL posts a crew member there every day at 5pm for a Solo Travelers Reception to help you get acquainted with those solo travelers cruising with you. The arranged several outings for us together. It's of course, optional, but it was a nice touch. One cool thing to note is, in the lounge there is a high-end coffee machine that allows you to make good latte's, cappuccino's, etc. which was very nice (and free). Overall, I would do this cabin type again many times. The only thing I missed was the balcony (my 1st cruise without one). I didn't take long to get used to not having it - I mean, how much time did I really spend in the room anyway? :) 3.) Dining: [4 ribbons] I do love NCL's Freestyle Dining format. I had dinner in Taste 2 nights, Shanghai Noodle Bar 1 night, La Cucina 1 night, Garden Cafe (buffet) 2 nights and Cirque Dreams 1 night. I found the food across the ship to be good (not great - but certainly good enough). RCL's Italian specialty restaurant is better than La Cucina. I liked the Garden Cafe for breakfast and lunch. I wanted to try Moderno but didn't get around to it. The service was good to great in most venues, but I still felt a little like a herd of cattle in most places (not usual for me). Overall, the quality of food was good and the experience was good (not great). 4.) Pool: [2 ribbons] In all my cruising, I have never seen something so ridiculously small. for 4,000 passengers, NCL simply did a very bad job of thinking this through. The water slides are very cool (I did all of them and they were great fun), but they take up so much space on the pool deck that the main adult pool simply didn't have the amount of space it needed. The comments I heard around the ship from other passengers was the same. It is just too small and the space allotted for chairs to sun is just terrible. I saw people become very aggressive in the saving of lounge chairs. I saw the crew place small stickers on chairs with a time on it. Supposedly - there is a time limit of 1 hour to save chairs - but I saw people ripping those stickers off just as soon as they were put on - haha. I am not much of a sun bunny (even though I do like to lay out by the pool under the coverings), but for those who are - you will want to walk into this with real expectations so you are not disappointed. 5.) Spa/Fitness: [not rated] I took a break from exercising on this cruise and didn't hit the fitness facility or the spa at all this time. I normally do a massage but chose not to this time. I did tour the facility on day one and it is very nice and well outfitted. The only thing I didn't like is that I love to sit in the steam room to relax and normally, they are in the individual men's/women's locker rooms, but on this ship, the only steam room is in the Thermal Spa that comes along with a charge. But from what I understood, you can't buy day passes (don't quote me on that) - you buy access to it for the whole cruise or nothing. And I didn't want to spend the $199 to get access to it. It looked very nice, but was doing this cruise on the cheap I guess. 6.) Beverage Packages: [3 ribbons] I don't drink alcohol so I always buy the soda package and I did on this cruise as well. It was priced well and I was happy with it. The reason I gave this only 3 ribbons was because I had a friend on the ship who wanted the Premium Beverage Package that includes alcohol and when we went to inquire about it on day 2, they said you have to pay for all 7 days for it, even if you buy it days into the cruise. They wouldn't consider pro-rating the package because some days had already passed. Now, I think if I were a drinker, $49 per day for unlimited wine, beer & liquor is a GREAT deal, but to not be flexible with it depending on when you buy it is not very good customer service. She opted not to buy the package. In the end, she probably spent more on her alcohol than the price of the package (which is probably the ships strategy), but still…. So, if you are interested in purchasing that alcohol package, make sure you do it on day 1. 7.) Entertainment: [5 ribbons] As I mentioned, I have been on 8 cruises prior to this one and I can tell you - the quality of entertainment on this ship is by far, the very best I have ever seen. Being a musician/performer myself, I am a bit jaded by cruise ship entertainment for the most part, but was happily surprised at the level of talent on this ship. Every single venue I experienced that had entertainment (e.g., Fire & Ice, Howl at the Moon, Fat Cats Blues, Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams & Rock of Ages, etc.) was spectacular. I was a little forgiving with ROA because the show is silly, but the quality of vocal performances was outstanding. My favorite by far was "Burn the Floor." This show was on Broadway and I can tell you it is that same quality on the ship. These dancers are AMAZING!!!!!! It is a must see! Overall, I was incredibly happy with the entrainment. Oh, and Julie, the Cruise Director - best CD I have ever had on ANY ship! 8.) Service: [4 ribbons] At every turn, the service was good, verging on great. From my cabin attendant, Winston, to the various crew I interacted with all over the ship, it was a good experience. I did have to take into account there were 4K people on the ship and sometimes the crew seemed a little rushed to "get it all done", but over all, I was happy with the service. There were many crew who seemed genuinely happy to have me on board and to meet my needs. My mantra for this cruise was "Feed Me & Flip Me" and I will be happy. :) 9.) Bermuda: [3 ribbons] I guess I am a little jaded in that an island is an island (and I have been to so many on cruises), but I was not all that impressed by Bermuda. Remember, I am not a sun bunny so I didn't go to the beaches (which I heard were beautiful). I did, however, make one very strategic move that paid off big dividends. We were docked in port 3 days and I chose to stay on the ship on day 1 & 2 and get off on day 3. Smart move! The ship that felt crowded most of the time, was perfect on those days. And because everyone went off ship on day 1 & 2, day 3 was quiet in St. Georges. I didn't go to Hamilton, but enjoyed the laid back, "old town" atmosphere of St. George's. If you want picturesque, go to St. George's. If you want shopping, go to Hamilton. In the end, I was glad I took this cruise, glad I got to experience this new ship and glad I got to see what NCL has on the horizon for it passengers. I will say, however, I don't need to sail on her again. This also means, I am not jumping to sail on their sister ship, the Getaway anytime soon. I enjoyed it, but don't need to repeat the experience. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Waiting For The Cruise:  I was waiting for the cruise for less than a year. The day was finally there and I could not believe it. Nervousness and excitement took me over as I was finally ready to step foot on the Breakaway itself. My ... Read More
Waiting For The Cruise:  I was waiting for the cruise for less than a year. The day was finally there and I could not believe it. Nervousness and excitement took me over as I was finally ready to step foot on the Breakaway itself. My Cabin: I had a balcony room that I was sharing with two other guests. The room was very small and compacted, but it served its purpose. The dresser drawers opened and closed as the waves became choppy. I would advise you to bring along duct tape to close the drawers temporarily. Be careful when stepping into the bathroom, there is a slight step that is easy to trip over. In addition, the balcony was very small. You would be lucky to fit three people on the balcony at once. My favorite part about the cabin? The towel animals! Haha The Dining: The buffets offered lots of food choices and the food was delectable. The buffets were easy to access if you just wanted to grab a quick snack before hopping off the ship. La Cucina was the only specialty restauraunt that I went to over the course of my cruise.The food was not very good and I would never go there again. If I were you, I would just stick to the free and delicious buffets. The specialty resauraunts are not worth there money. The Aqua Park: The water slides were well worth the wait. Although the lines got long during the day, they were so fun! The pool was enjoyable, but it was just your typical pool, nothing special about it. The hot tubs were relaxable, but very squished when too many people came in at once. The Sports Complex: The ropes course was one of the most fun parts of the ship. The plank was just a tourist trap. You stand in a harness and get your picture taken. It is yet another way for the Breakaway to make money off of us suckers. The mini golf was fun, but fast and the zip line was very fun. The Casinos: Of course, a way to waste your money. There were lots of slot machines and that was pretty much it. Just your typical Atlantic City money waster. Entertainment: Jungle Fantasy was the best. There were swinging, flying, rolling, and jumping acrobats. What could be better than that? I had paid for the VIP seating, but it was not worth it. If anything, regular seating was better. Burn The Floor was exciting and fun. The show was enjoyable , but continuous dancing did get boring after awhile. Rock of Ages was definitely rated PG-13. There was some foul language and racy clothing that children should not be watching. The show is better for adults or older teenagers. Overall, the show pretty good. But make sure you come early! Bermuda: Beautiful and tropical! This was my first time visiting an island. It was just as good as I wanted it to be, but better. There were a few good daytime excursions. Hartley's Helmet Dive, Caves and Aquariums, Bermuda Triangle Evening Cruise, and Day at The Beach (at Snorkel Park beach). Make sure to visit the shops and local meuseums. On Wednesdays Bermuda always has a festival in the small town of Hamilton, definitely worth going to. I was so sad to leave the beautiful island of Bermuda. Tips: Reserve a lounge chair early in the morning. Place a towel on the chair. Bring duct tape to seal dresser drawers. Bring conditioner if needed. There is not any conditioner in the bathrooms. Book shore excursions before cruising. It is much easier! Stay out of your cabin and have fun! Go swimming or join the kids program. Participate in the onboard activities and meet new friends. Enjoy the Breakaway. It really is a wonderful ship. Bon Voyage!   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
We took the inaugural cruise of the Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda the weekend of May 12th! Overall, our experience on the Breakaway was fantastic with some minor misses along the way. We sailed in one of the Spa Mini-suites. Here's ... Read More
We took the inaugural cruise of the Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda the weekend of May 12th! Overall, our experience on the Breakaway was fantastic with some minor misses along the way. We sailed in one of the Spa Mini-suites. Here's our breakdown: Spa: The mini-suite included two passes to the Thermal Spa for the week. We took advantage of the spa facilities three days during the week, as well as each had a bamboo massage. The spa area was fantastic: a well-designed heated hydrotherapy pool, multiple different rooms (sauna, salt room, etc), and a lounge area with heated tiled recliners. We had a great time here and would highly recommend. Room: The room was smaller than we were used to for this grade of a cabin, and the balcony was much smaller than any we've had previously. It was a comfortable room, with some nice features and designs. Entertainment: This ship had a great selection of entertainment. "Rock of Ages" was very fun (warning: I would say this show is the equivalent of a soft-R rating, so parents and the easily offended be warned); the Cirque de Soleil Dinner Show was awesome (tip: forget about the premium seating, as the regular seats - while not on the floor - still provide you with a great view of the action); Second City's Dysfunktional Family Reunion was pretty funny; and, Burn the Floor was exciting to watch. All in all, fabulous! Food: The food overall was great with several disappointments. We skipped the Chef's Table when we discovered that it was exactly the same menu that we had on the Norwegian Star last summer which took away the idea that the Chef actually selected the menu options. The most talked about new restaurant - Ocean Blue - was pretty overrated and overpriced. We attempted to be seated two hours earlier from our reservation time (since we wanted to see the finale show) and were told that we could only eat outside (meanwhile, the majority of the dining room was empty). This wouldn't have been a major problem if it wasn't windy and starting to rain :) While I understand we were deviating from our original reservation, they had more than enough room to accommodate our request. We also ate at Cagneys, Le Bistro, and Moderno as our up-charge options and each were disappointing. My suggestion would be to pick only one up-charge meal option and skip the rest. The food in the main dining rooms and buffet is more than enough as far as quality and variety. There was nothing in these other dining rooms that justified the extra cost, in my opinion. The gelato window was great as was the selection of baked goods from Carlo's Bakery. Service: The service, as usual, was fantastic. Fireworks: The fireworks were good, but I don't think that it was smart to have them linked to the Awesome 80s Dance Party. Everyone wanted to see the fireworks, but not everyone enjoyed the initial 45 minutes of 80s videos/music being played. All the people there for the fireworks jammed the dance floor sitting on chairs, and looking generally cross until the fireworks came on. As soon as they were finished, at least 1/3 - 1/2 of the people there immediately left. Inaugural Cruise Experience: What inaugural cruise experience?! With all the emails that we received over the course of the past year, one would've thought that they would have pulled out all of the stops in making this particular cruise very special (especially when we paid higher prices to be on this cruise). To be honest, there was minimal recognition of this being a special cruise, and I think it left many of us feeling disappointed. Overall: If you forget about the hype and build-up to this ship and an expectation of special events to recognize the inaugural cruise to Bermuda, this truly was a fantastic cruise, and I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about it. I didn't even touch on every single offering this ship has - there's so much to do and discover! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
Where to start? Being the maiden voyage to Bermuda obviously the ship was in perfect condition! The decor was gorgeous and perfect! We boarded the ship around 11:30 and were able to go to our state room (spa balcony) right away. We were ... Read More
Where to start? Being the maiden voyage to Bermuda obviously the ship was in perfect condition! The decor was gorgeous and perfect! We boarded the ship around 11:30 and were able to go to our state room (spa balcony) right away. We were greeted with chocolates, a gift bag and the bottle of wine we pre-ordered so it was great to be able to sit and have a glass of wine on our balcony.Our room was beautiful. Nice and spacious, bathroom was large. The balcony was a little smaller than usual, but the size of the room made up for that. Our room steward was phenominal too! *suggestion - you need to use your room key to turn on the power and lights so if you plan on charging anything, we went to the front desk and they gave us a fake key to leave in while we were out of our room We next explored the ship. Fortunatley we had 7 days of perfect weather. The layout of the ship was awesome! For such a large ship it was simple to get from one end to the other. Luckily being in the spa rooms we were one flight of stairs from the spa and pool deck. The spa was beautiful - and while we are not typically used to co-ed steam and sauna, it was fine. The thermal pool was great and the stone chairs were relaxing. A nice touch was the lemon and orange enfused water. We spent a portion of every day in the spa (sometimes twice a day)- There were times when we were the only 2 people in the spa which was GREAT! And the staff was FANTASTIC! The main atrium was stunning... the lighted staircase and the warm feel of the Bistro was just fun and yet elegant. It was great to be able to move around to different parts of the casino without feeling trapped. The Aqua Park was a favorite. The slides were top notch and the free fall was INSANE! We did the ropes course and at first we were scared to death, but after we got comfortable actually walked the plank 3 times (while in port) - Don't think I could do that at sea. Vibe Beach Club is a must if you want privacy. We paid $79 for the week and it was perfect. 2 huge hot tubs that everytime we were there were the only ones in them. HUGE cabannas that I thought I read you had to pay extra for, but we did not and used them when open. Now that was privacy! Frozen fruit scewers are served there as well. The restaurants were awesome! We ate at both Taste and Savor for breakfast, Manhattan for a few dinners, Cagney's(AWESOME), O'Sheehan's, Ocean Grill (Fantastic) and believe it or not the Garden Buffet which we typicall NEVER do. But we found the food there to be GREAT! Such a variety and really, really good. The only shows we got to see was Rock of Ages and Second City. Rock of Ages we heard had some technical problems early in the week, but our show was fine. At first I wasn't sure how to take the show, but by the end we were on our feet! The FIREWORKS! Wow - hard to believe that could be done off the back of the ship. My only suggestion is don't feel you have to cram into H20 to see them because it was pretty tight - Go to deck 17 or the side of the ship and you will see them. But DON'T MISS! The Crew! Wow - they definately got the best of the best on this ship. Everyone knew our names and we just loved them. But we have never gone wrong with Norwegian. I guess I could keep going, but this will definately give you an idea of our vacation. For being the first sailing - there were a couple of very minor things that I am sure will be worked out, but we had NO complaints! LOVED every minute of the being on the Breakaway and looking forward to sailing on the Getaway next year! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
This was our 3rd NCL cruise and we traveled with friends who'd never cruised with NCL before. They are seasoned cruisers with Oceania and Crystal and other "luxury" lines and proclaimed this the finest boat and the finest ... Read More
This was our 3rd NCL cruise and we traveled with friends who'd never cruised with NCL before. They are seasoned cruisers with Oceania and Crystal and other "luxury" lines and proclaimed this the finest boat and the finest cruise experience they'd ever had. In fact, they were apprehensive about NCL given their prior experience (as were we given that we'd never been on a ship with more than 2,000 or so passengers, give or take). But from the moment we entered the boarding area to the time we stepped into our cab for the airport upon disembarkation, I don't think we had to wait in line more than 15 minutes for the entire cruise (including the ferry lines at the Dockyards in Bermuda). And our cruise was considered fully booked at 4,200 passengers. NCL has a 1:3 (or so) ratio of crew to passengers so the level of service is exquisite. Our steward, Jovi, is easily head and shoulders above any steward we've had on a ship, a plane, a train, a resort or a hotel. An amazingly accommodating and gracious human being and a real credit to his ship and his company. Exceptional: The ship; our spa balcony room (brilliant design - can't understand why so many other people found the storage wanting...they must be cruising on the Queen Mary or something because we had room to stow the contents of 3 suitcases, two brief cases and a dive bad AND the suitcases themselves (easily accommodated under the bed)); the service; the spa (most amazing hot tub experience I've ever encountered with waterfalls and multiple "stations"); the buffet (quality, quantity and service...even table side coffee service) and the appointment of the buffet area itself. The entire area is ingeniously partitioned out so you don't feel like you're eating in a big room. It was as close to a restaurant experience as I've ever had on a cruise ship...again, brilliantly designed. The ability of this ship to accommodate so many people so effortlessly is a miracle. She is a beauty and we will sail Breakaway again. Just plain good: The Waterfront Experience...they should just eliminate the concept and make the associated restaurants bigger...which I'll bet they do on future ships. It was an interesting and worthy experiment, but over hyped and under utilized (especially given that they ate up jogging track and quiet deck space that could be better used for...well...quiet deck space). On cold, windy sea days, it's useless. Nice try though. The specialty restaurants (with the exception of Ocean Blue)....good food and good service. The main restaurants (Taste, Savor and Manhattan Room)...decent food, good service...but nothing truly exceptional. Not so good: Ocean Blue is grossly over-priced...I wound up not liking any of the entrees (and you have to pay extra if you want to try something different) so effectively wound up with a $50 chick pea salad. Also, there was a cherry pit in my Manhattan cocktail that nearly cost me a crown and two successive glasses had chips in the rims, one of which cut my lip. But our server Cherry was very accommodating and helpful and made the experience liveable for me. Everyone else in our party loved their food, so the menu issue may just be me. Also not so good the Casino. Small and irritating. But aren't they all? Also, not enough table games. Again, the Waterfront experience, while a nice experiment, really takes away from quiet deck space (see "Bad"). Bad: The constant assault of horrible rock music, cover bands and terrible reggae music anywhere near the pool. None of us got within 200 feet of the pool the entire trip...it was just a horrible assault on the senses with too much noise, not enough chairs and a too-small pool that could all go away and not be missed. But since this is true of pretty much every cruise ship out there, can't hold it against Breakaway. Bottom line - a world-class experience. The friends with whom we traveled are semi-retired and world-travelers (and like I said, experienced cruisers). That they deemed this the best cruise experience of their life (take that Oceania and Crystal) and have already put a deposit on their next NCL cruise (as have we) is true testament to the passion and joy and professionalism that NCL infuses in every moment. If you don't like this ship, you're one of those people who simply don't like...anything.As for Bermuda, it was Bermuda! The lack of shore excursions was surprising but not unwelcome. We spent a half day in Hamilton, a day in St. Georges, a day on scooters cruising the south beaches and visiting the Gibbons Light House and a half-day snorkeling. And what better place to come "home" to each night than the big, beautiful Breakaway and her amazing crew. 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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