Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by Cruisenmike711: Norwegian Breakaway Rocks!
Overall Member Rating
Norwegian Breakaway Rocks!
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
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 More 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! Less
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