We had just sailed Transatlantic on the Crown Princess and disembarked in Southampton. A short taxi ride from the Ocean Terminal over to the City terminal was accomplished with minimal problems, and a 5 pound fare. Our arrival was early, about 10:00 AM and the baggage was tagged and went aboard without problems. The terminal was almost empty and boarding had not started. Our group consisted of 6 cruisers, 3 of which required wheel chairs for boarding. The terminal was set up for local day only ship tours and for boarding of passengers in separate lines. We asked the port agents if wheel chairs would be available, and were told they would be coming soon. An hour later a request of another agent provided the same response. We did contact what we believed was an NCL agent ( his name tag was hidden by a jacket ), and received the same story that they would be coming soon. Three hours had passed and no wheel chairs. Finally we located an NCL agent from the port of Southampton, not from the ship. This young man took up the problem and made things happen. Soon there were wheel chairs accompanied by ships officers and assistants to get us on the ship. We did finally get into the line for boarding passes and passport check, but it was still unorganized. This was probably the first time the wheel chairs were needed by the Breakaway, but not for NCL.
Our first impressions of the ship were impressive although that ended when we got into our cabin. The cabin was narrow and the closet was small and without drawers. Having come from a 17 day cruise with both formal and casual wear a lot of the formals stayed in the suitcase under the bead. This ship was made for 7 day cruises in warm weather, and for people that are able to pack for a less formal cruise. The one shining highlight was a shower that you could actually turn around without bashing into the faucet or the safety grab bar.
Most of the cruise was pleasant and the North Atlantic was quiet. We are used to a more sedate form of cruise. There are many choices in dining and entertainment although there seemed to be a lot of extra charges for most of them. The food was good to excellent although there were some start up problems dining was enjoyable. We had a good time and met many wonderful people, both crew and passengers.
Would I sail on this ship or on NCL again?? Probably not. As I said we enjoy a more sedate form of cruise.