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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
We flew the day before from London to Rotterdam with British Airways, It is so easy so have a direct fight from London. We arrived in Rotterdam and made our own way to the Hilton Rotterdam by tramway. The cost was around 3.50 euro per ... Read More
We flew the day before from London to Rotterdam with British Airways, It is so easy so have a direct fight from London. We arrived in Rotterdam and made our own way to the Hilton Rotterdam by tramway. The cost was around 3.50 euro per person. We booked an executive room as you pay a bit more but receive a lot more advantages like drinks and nibbles, breakfast. On the morning of the mini cruise, we walked all the way to the ship to burn the calories from the breakfast. That way we could also see the hull and the design from Peter Max. I found the design very nice. The embarkation process in Rotterdam was very disorganised. No proper lines to enter the cruise terminal, nobody from NCL around. Dutch people who don't know where to start a line and just jump in or push to get in front of you. The port of Rotterdam staff need to go to the USA for some training. We were handed a colour card to give you access to the ship as they arranged boarding by colour. When we finally arrived in the terminal, we went directly to the Latitude check-in area. One lady was asking us to wait while the checking agent was asking for us to go to the desk. Again no organisation. We finally boarded the ship 30 minutes after we checked in. When we arrived aboard, one of us went directly to the room to put or bags and the other one went to book the restaurant Moderno for that evening. We were in a mini suite and we could not really tell the difference with a normal balcony stateroom. Just that you have a larger bathroom and a better shower. The balcony was very small. Tea and coffee facilities were available in the room. We went for lunch to the Garden Cafe before the rush. The food selection was amazing. You could find for every taste. Asian, Indian, pasta, sandwiches, salads, burgers,... The quality was excellent too. For me one of the best buffer at sea. We started to tour the ship. The ship was very clean, all the staff aboard were smiling and saying hello. This is going a long way with us and from that we can see that the staff is very happy. The ship was very nice. Maybe a bit of lack of space at the pool area. I could not imagine a day at sea in the Caribbean. It would have been packed. The pools are very small too for a ship of this size. The boat drill at 3.30pm was a bit chaotic. The sail away from Rotterdam was very nice. For dinner we went to Moderno, the Brazilian restaurant. The service and the food were excellent. Well worth paying the $20. If you are a vegetarian, do not go there as you would only be able to eat the salad bar. After dinner, we went to see the show. We were a bit disappointed that Rock of Ages was cancelled due to the lead singer being a bit sick. The replacement show was excellent. 10 out of 10. Again one of the best show at sea. In the evening, we walked around the ship and discover the ambiance aboard. We went to the martini bar and decided to have a cocktail there and listen to the pianist. The lady had a great voice. A shame that some rude Dutch people could not stop screaming. They were drunk and they should have been asked to leave the area. Also one inconvenient from the area was the smell of people smoking in the casino. The morning of disembarkation, we decided to go to the Garden Cafe for breakfast. The place was full and this with only 2000 passengers aboard. I could not imagine if the ship would have been full. We didn't have the choice than to seat in the outside area. Disembarkation was again a bit chaotic. Would I spend a week aboard NCL Breakaway, maybe I would. I am not decided yet. Did it get the wow factor like our week aboard Oasis of the Seas. No. Did it get our wow factor to compare with NCL Epic. Yes. My 3 tops on this one night cruise: - The great staff of Norwegian Breakaway - The excellent food served - The excellent show My 3 downsize: - The checking was disorganised - The smoking areas inside the ship and outside the ship - You can't find a quiet corner if you would like to read a book Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
This was a perfect example of how better NOT to introduce past or future (paying!) customers to a new ship or product!! Boarding did not start till shortly before noon, no explanation why and despite the fact some 2000-3000 passengers ... Read More
This was a perfect example of how better NOT to introduce past or future (paying!) customers to a new ship or product!! Boarding did not start till shortly before noon, no explanation why and despite the fact some 2000-3000 passengers were already checked in, waiting to be let on board, hoarded like cattle. Not a good start. There was absolutely no reception of the passengers. Since it was some sort of an inaugural sailing, well it was the first sailing with paying passengers, one would have at least expected a welcome glass of champagne. No, not with NCL, nothing comes free with them. Staterooms were of course ready by the time we boarded ( they only had agents on the night before anyways which surely did not trash the ship ), again no sight of any recognition or welcome aboard or any other approach or appreciation. One leaflet was delivered later in the afternoon but that was it. Not even the arrival time or deboarding process in Southampton was explained or mentioned. No ice in the buckets, a sealed fridge, no attendants nearby, nada, nothing. I did not even hear the captain speak, I guess that's falling out of fashion with NCL these days since I did only thear the captain once(!!) on an 11 day Jade cruise recently Not a good first impression. The ship was full, again, how can you do that if you want to show your new product and make sure it "shines"? So instead it seemed extremely crowded everywhere and in the end left me disliking this otherwise pretty ship, uncertain whether I want to book NCL again in the future. I did go to Ocean Blu restaurant for dinner, paid the premium charge of USD 35.- After all the hype about the restaurant I was quite puzzled to see how small and tucked away it was. Well, dinner was very good, but one incident again left me puzzled with NCL's strategy and attitude towards customers. When I asked whether I could have a second appetizer, the soup, I was told I had to pay an addition for this and in the end was charged an additional USD 4,25 on top of the cover charge of USD35.-. Unbelievably cheap from NCL, especially given the fact that all the portions were extremely small and the main course, obviously a fish, had absolutely nothing on the side, no rice, no potato, no veg no nothing. It was just a fish, well done, but still simply not enough as a main course. I left for the show after dinner, which , without any information other than on the daily planner, had been changed from Rock of Ages to Burn th Floor. Ths show was nothing to write home about and simply was not well received by a European audience. Quiete a few people got up and left early. I felt sorry for the dancers who were incredibly good! Other impressions from the ship: - Haven area - did not look half as nice as on Epic but might be better suitable for NYC cruises. If Getaaway however will feature the exact same enclosed area, I doubt that it is gonna be a success. - Sports Complex on deck absolutely fabulous, the Aqua Park slides are amazing and so is "The Plank". - Waterfront . The weather wasn't cooperating so I won't comment on this. It looked good and could work just fine and as advertised! -Ths ship is quite identical to the Epic when it comes to its looks. It has a lot more glass and thus views of the ocean but it is also smaller which, if full, leaves you with a " way too many people" feeling. - POSH Beach Club excellent, better rhan on Epic. - Pools small, the whole deck area a big improvement over Epic but still quite "packed". - Buffet. Very crowded, selection quite basic with not too much variety. The revolving doors to the buffet, whoever thought of that should be slapped on the head. Nightmare and will lead to a lot of anger! - My inside cabin did not even have a picture on the wall. Very basic, very very small, much too small by today's standards. - Gym has now been divided into one area for cardio ( they have the views ) and one area for the weights ( they are tucked away ). Did not care for it. - Spa looked quite nice but is probably too small on a longer and sold out cruise. So overall Breakaway was not my cup of tea. NCL's beahviour/attitude towards the guests on this cruise makes me look elsewhere first. They made it very clear that they did not value the European guests on this mini cruise. All the talks, all the advertisement is geard towards Americans. So where does that leave us Europeans. I guess we are just good enough to fill the Jade... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2013
NCL newest ship The Norwegian Breakaway just completed its first 1 night cruise from Rotterdam to Southampton and I was one of the lucky ones on this maiden cruise. I will give you a full and detailed review of the ship. Firstly the ... Read More
NCL newest ship The Norwegian Breakaway just completed its first 1 night cruise from Rotterdam to Southampton and I was one of the lucky ones on this maiden cruise. I will give you a full and detailed review of the ship. Firstly the ship itself is much better looking than its sister Epic but still its not so eye catching as some may want. The Waterfront promenade from what I saw does not seem to offer more than seats outside an restaurant or entertainment venue. There is the ice cream parlour on this promenade. When the ship sails in warmer climates the limited number of seats outside will be taken quickly or maybe pre bookable. I think that this a let down. Inside the 3 deck Atrium which houses the majority of entertainment, dining and services is in my opinion very plain. This is the same all over the same, it just very plain in decor. Nothing that says wow. By putting more dining and entertainment venues this has made all them all small. For example the Bliss night club was packed and there were only 1575 guests on this short cruise, what will happen when the ship is full. The same goes for dining options The Mahatten Room with its dance floor and one of the 3 main dining rooms was 'red' ie fully booked for 2 hours and Taste and Savor (the other 2 main dining rooms) were nearly full. This leads me on to the Buffet which on boarding was a bit chaotic again not enough seats and the rectangle layout is not so good. Again this area is not themed and lacks any decor. The food in all dining options was good, cooked well and enjoyable. Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy Dinner Show is worth the $29.99 standard seating fee or $39.99 premium fee. The menu is a set menu of 3 courses starting with a Salad, followd by Surt n Turf (jumbo battered prawns with steak, a piece of broccoli and half jacket potato with the inners taken out and reput in masked) followed by a Trio of little cakes/desserts on a long dish. The show itself lasts 90 minutes and this is non stop so you have to watch and eat at the same time, there are no pauses such as in Cirque Dreams on Dinner. There is no speaking in the show and no such story line- just very good acrobots, over 300 costumes and recorded music. This is still very enjoyable. I was in a Studio stateroom/cabin and these are bigger than on Epic. I was actually surprised on the size of them and at a push you could just fit 2 adults on the bed. Just like on Epic the shower and toilet are separate. Some of these cabins have connecting doors. Rock of Ages was not shown on this cruise and instead we had the other Broadway show they perform 'Burn the Floor'. if you like Strictly Come Dancing you will like this. Along with singing it mainly consists dancing, more dancing and more dancing. Not really my cup of tea but it was performed well. The casino on the ship is the biggest at the sea with more slot machines than I saw in my whole Las Vegas trip. The machines start at 1 cent a spin going up to $25 for those with deep pockets. There are a wide range of table games from the usual Roulette, Poker etc. The outside pool is on the small side again more space is taken up with the 5 big water slides than fill up half of the top deck. They were open but it was a bit cold to use. The Ropes courses with The Walk The Plank was good and enjoyable though the crew said that if the sea is anything more than choppy and the slip is slightly moving up or down or rocking this will be closed. It is too dangerous otherwise. The Spa with the worlds first Salt Bath at sea is large and well equipped with also houses the gym (on two sides, one has a seaview the other hasn't just a mirror). A day pass for the spa was $20. Fat Cats and Slaam Allen (from Epic) was onboard and performing and still as good as I remember it. Duelling Pianos is back along with the Comedy Club. Bliss Nightclub is too small and only about 10 seats. Breakfast in Savour main dining was good but service was bit on the slow side and they were not busy. Crew on this were as the cruise director put it 'The Best of the Best', the majority had transferred from Epic. I saw a lot of faces I had seen before. I was lucky enough to see a range of cabins/staterooms as they were getting ready for Travel Agents ship visits, the suites are well equipped but have tiny balconies. Overall a good 1 night cruise but the ship is not so pleasing to the eye inside and NCL in making so many different things to do/eat have made so small that people will not get a seat or even get in a venue. Any questions please ask. Quality of Food 4 OUT OF 5 Entertainment 4 OUT OF 5 Shore Excursions n/a Staff 5 OUT OF 5 Children's Facilities N/A Onboard Activities 4 OUT OF 5 Cabins 4 OUT OF 5 Overall Rating 4 OUT OF 5 Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2013
We were on the Breakaway for two nights, one night sailing from Rotterdam to Southampton, then an overnight in Southampton, staying in the Haven Deluxe Owners Suite 16102. Embarkation If you are ever sailing from Rotterdam stay in ... Read More
We were on the Breakaway for two nights, one night sailing from Rotterdam to Southampton, then an overnight in Southampton, staying in the Haven Deluxe Owners Suite 16102. Embarkation If you are ever sailing from Rotterdam stay in the Hotel New York, the old Holland America Line building which is literally a minute away from the Cruise Terminal. Staying in their Loft Suite meant we could go onto our roof terrace and watch Breakaway come up the river and tie up literally yards away, and so the excitement begins! She has a classic design without the Epic top hat, and you either love or hate the hull art work, personally I think it's rather cool. Boarding was a breeze, and we ended up maintaining the Butler family tradition (since the Sun) of being the first fare paying passengers to board; being met at the gangway by Denis Prguda the Hotel Director who brought Breakaway into service, a man we've sailed with before and a real professional. The first impression of Breakaway (as with all NCL ships) is WOW, classy, elegant and fun looking, and as you explore the ship it is obvious she is the daughter of Epic and the granddaughter of the Jewel Class ships. Albeit after a while you realise she is Deluxe Epic on Steroids. Throughout this review I will refer to comparison with Epic, so apologise to those who have not sailed on Epic you should. The Haven As usual with Haven guests we were escorted to the Haven by our butler Lucky Lee who has looked after us before and as we discovered later had set the wet bar in our suite exactly how we like it. Unlike Epic the entrance to the Haven is nowhere near as grand, but hey a door's a door. Walking into the reception we were met by Ruth Hagger (who we've known for more years that either of us likes to admit) and the lovely Elvina De Meneses who we last saw on Epic. Ruth was her usual friendly and professional self, ensuring we knew about the reserved seating for the Burn the Floor show that evening in the Theatre. The Haven area has a comfortable bar and meeting area, and an elegant dining room, neither of which are as large as Epic but there are less Haven guests so I don't think this will be a problem as they have less Haven guests to cater for. Fortunately (especially for winter in New York) the Haven has a moveable full glass roof, so no problems with wind and inclement weather. The area itself is much superior to Epic with beautiful items including a stunning and very impressive green planted wall feature. The colours are muted with many beds and sofas/chairs, with a really nice feature being a surrounding balcony on deck 17 under the glass roof with even more beds and sofas. So this is a super place to sit and relax especially for the suites with compact balconies, and we always like to have breakfast here as opposed to the dining room. Pools, hot-tub, sauna and Spa treatment rooms (as on Epic) compliment the Haven area, although the small pool appeared not to have a swim against system? There were a large number of day visitors on the ship before we sailed, so I have no doubt that the Haven will provide more than enough space, comfort, luxury and enjoyment for its guests when cruising. The food in the restaurant was as usual up to the high standards we have come to expect, and it was nice to catch up with lots of crew who we've known from past cruises just like coming home to a family get together. The Deluxe Owners Suite (16102) At the front of the ship above the Mandara Spa with a wraparound balcony what a spectacular suite, except for the Garden Villas, the finest suite in the fleet. The colours, design and finish are magnificent, as we walked in we were just wowed by it, the lounge is stunning with masses of space, a large dining table and even larger sofa which I believe turns into a bed. The wet bar as I said had been stocked correctly by Lucky and I was pleased to see that NCL have kept the same glorious coffee machines, and there is enough technology to keep even me amused. The sound system is still Bose but It's a shame that the surround sound speakers have disappeared. I suspect that is because it's possible to remove the adjoining wall to the next Owners Suite, now that makes some accommodation, find a hot tub and it's nearly a Garden Villa! The whole front of the lounge, as well as the bedroom and bathroom, have a glass wall and doors that open onto an enormous wrap around balcony, with loungers table and chairs. Arturo Guerrero (VP Hotel & Newbuild Operations/Development) who we've had fun with on previous new builds came up to check on us and bet me (unlike Epic) that I wouldn't find anything wrong or missing with the suite. Lucky for me I found one screw on the balcony that had not been tightened. He of course had it fixed within the hour, but still paid his wager. There is no doubt that Breakaway meets all the quality build standards that come from Meyer Werft. Into the very large and comfortable bedroom, with fantastic views through to the plush and luxurious bathroom. A large corner tub with windows on two sides, a very large shower again with a glass wall to the side, dual vanity sinks and everything else you would need in a luxury suite. A very large dressing area leads back into the hallway with a well-appointed guest bathroom. The only other observation about this beautiful suite is that there is more storage space than we've ever seen in any suite (in any hotel let alone ship). Dark wood and soft touch opening drawers and cupboards, although as Pamela said she'd hate to be the steward (ours was Noel) responsible for cleaning the finger marks off. A great example of fantastic design ignoring practicality and functionality, but beautiful all the same. The Ship In two days it's impossible to review the whole ship, so I will focus on the areas we enjoyed and stood out to us. You need at least two weeks on Breakaway to experience the whole ship and she definitely warrants at least that much time. Breakaway has restaurants and then some, Norwegian classics and new additions with the exciting and innovative feature of outdoor dining to many of them along the superb Waterfront, which is a brilliant feature and one NCL should be very proud of. As well as the Haven we ate in Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy, the show is mind boggling and even better than Epic, the tent seating all tables on one floor with standard seating around the edge and premium nearer the action. We sat at one of the two elevated stage tables which provided a superb view, although from what we saw everyone had a great view of a mesmerising performance. The set menu was excellent, although as we were so enthralled with the performance the food was really an afterthought but delicious nonetheless, this experience is a must do on Breakaway. The other must do as far as dining is concerned is dinner at Ocean Blue with the Raw Bar alongside, the menu by Geoffrey Zakarian is simply brilliant, fine dining at its best. My dover sole was to die for and Pamela says her crab risotto was even better; a truly memorable experience, and worth every cent. With inside and outside dining this restaurant is worth making a beeline for. Of course we had to have cocktails in the Ice Bar which seemed slightly smaller (but probably wasn't) than Epic. The New York theme was very much different from Epic, and I would say we missed the actual ice bar inside the cool room. What's a Norwegian cruise without donning the snow cape? Pamela spent a few hours in the Mandara Spa, coming back invigorated and rejuvenated, she loved the time in the Salt Room and very much enjoyed La Therapie Oxy-Polish facial. All in all a great success. The Casino is a very important and key feature for us, we had a great time 'investing' dollars with NCL, met lots of our old casino friends, who always smile as they manage our investment! The set- up is almost identical to Epic, Rimarie Manzano, the Casino Host and Jules Boligao the Casino Fleet Host Manager were charming and attentive as always and made us both very welcome. It was terrific to see that Le Bistro has been brought back to prominence by NCL with a superb location on Deck 6 where the venue actually looks like a classic bistro in Paris. Therefore, Platinum Latitudes members will enjoy meals in fine surroundings as well, of course, as all the other guests on Breakaway. A few very happy hours were spent in Fat Cats Jazz Club and it was especially enjoyable as they brought Slam Allen and his Blues Band from Epic, a venue to spend many hours listening to superlative jazz. We strolled all around the Waterfront seeing all the outside elements of each restaurant. as well as a great outdoor seating area for Maltings. As I said, the Waterfront is a brilliant idea and I am sure that the glass windbreaks along the walkways will ensure dining comfort. The pool and sundecks are everything one comes to expect, the meccano style rope area and walk the plank looked fun, although I didn't have time to try any of it. The crazy golf has an amusing and challenging course recommended only for golfers with a 10 handicap or less! As always a basketball court is available (mainly for the crew if any of our other cruises are to go by)! The colourful and breath taking waterslides are going to give endless hours of fun for all and H2O looks like a party location for the outdoor evenings. I think I liked VIBE, although I preferred POSH on Epic. I am not sure the design and set-up has been completely thought through, but I have no doubt it will be a success and the cabanas are a great idea for the lucky few who secure them. Back to the restaurants, the Garden Cafe looked spacious and again a similar design to Epic, every food station accessible and what looked like a great choice of dining. The Uptown bar and grill near H2O also looked like an interesting venue to spend some quality eating and drinking time in. Cagneys and Moderno are set up exactly like Epic on each side of the stern of the ship with the centre tables overlooking the Manhattan Room below. It seems that Cagneys has a new menu and a number of people we spoke to commented very positively about the quality of the steaks. Savour and Taste, together with the now classic O'Sheehan's are all well located and complete the eating areas providing great choice and menus. The centre of the Ship on decks 6 through to 8 have the new Norwegian signature very large LED chandelier changing mood and colour as the day drifts by. This is the hub of bars, restaurants, shopping and entertainment and it is great place to people watch and while the time away. (Assuming you have any of course)! Again like Epic Teppanyaki is a big feature with numerous eating/cooking stations which generate a fun atmosphere, great food and entertainment. Whilst catching up with lots of old crew friends, we met up with Andy Stuart and Francis Riley and of course, the inimitable and world famous Klaus Lugmaier, all who were beaming from ear to ear about Breakaway and justifiably so, as she is a fantastic ship and will no doubt become NCL's number one very quickly. However, in closing, there is one point I must make, NCL designs and builds innovative ships, however, they are only steel, wood, glass etc. What makes NCL stand out for us, and ensures we come back time and time again, are the Crew, some of who we consider close friends and indeed, some we have known for over 15 years. NCL recruits, trains, retains and motivates the best crew sailing and to them Pamela and I say a very heartfelt THANK YOU. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
I booked a balcony cabin at the aft of the ship. PRE CRUISE I had a ship visit in BRISTOL so booked a klm flight to AMSTERDAM then a train to ROTTERDAM the trains were so packed i had to waited ages to get on the nest one. HOTEL. ... Read More
I booked a balcony cabin at the aft of the ship. PRE CRUISE I had a ship visit in BRISTOL so booked a klm flight to AMSTERDAM then a train to ROTTERDAM the trains were so packed i had to waited ages to get on the nest one. HOTEL. I stayed at the MARITIME HOTEL overlooking the PORT. I have used this hotel before and always had a lovely cooked breakfast but this time hardly anything cook and all the meat and cheese had gone. Plus the wi fi was awful my laptop could not even pick it up. EMBARKATION I walked over to the port and joined the queue got a color card but was not told i had to check in 1st so when my card was called handed it in and then had to to check in and then had to explain i had no card. CABIN. BALCONY cabin aft DECK 14. Has to ask if the cabins were ready and then find it myself. No sign of the steward. No ashtray and no ice i called for these and hours later nothing if i had not seen the steward later i would have got neither! the mini bar was locked and was not going to be opened. the bathroom was ok apart from no proper soap. FOOD Market cafe cafe was full up so had to go outside to sit and the revolving door kept stopping. No trays or any mention of washing your hands. DINNER i had in the CIRQUE DREAM AND DINNER only 1 food choice and the wine was too pricey. ENTERTAINMENT Only did the CIRQUE DREAMS JUNGLE FANTASY which was worth every penny of the $29.99 sadly no pictures or video allowed. i wanted to see "RICK OF AGES!" but this had changed to "ROCK OF AGES" and the show was full. i much prefer a dinner and walk in show. LIFEBOAT DRILL A good location in the restaurant names cabins go into their machine but no talk from the captain then it was over. LIBRARY Very poor selection CIGAR ROOM A great idea but much too small BOWLING Sure small ships have a big one but only 2 lanes??? DISEMBARKATION Very quick had to take own luggage off and no shuttle to the station. FUTURE AWARDS A great idea paying $250 towards a deposit on another cruise and $100 off your bill but no interest i9n booking a cruise and no brochures at all!! OVERALL IMPRESSION better than the one on the EPIC 2 years ago which was 3 hours waiting to get onboard and 1 engine failing. But i think the ship is too big and does not have some things smaller ships have. 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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