My wife and I really enjoyed cruising on the brand new Norwegian Breakaway. This is our 16th cruise (14 with Princess and now 2 with Norwegian). We picked this cruise for 2 reasons; a new ship and we have never been to Bermuda.
We flew out Sunday morning (June 2nd) on Southwest Airlines from Milwaukee. It was a 2 hour flight and we arrived at Laguardia at 9:00 AM. We then caught a taxi to the cruise terminal in Manhattan (Pier 88). The taxi cost with tip was $45.00. Arriving early at the cruise terminal was nice; check in was a breeze. We were given a card with #32 and were seated in a wait area for roughly an hour. By 11:30 AM we were onboard. The only small problem was our room wasn't ready till 12:30, so had to take our travel bag around with us. We headed up to the Garden Cafe Buffet (Deck 15) for lunch. Being onboard early it wasn't very crowded, but for breakfast the rest of the week it was, but we always found a table to sit at. The food is good at the buffet. Nice selection. We really liked the beverage dispensers, you could get lemenade and flavered strawberry and mango water. Coffee was always available. Orange juice in the morning at the dispensers. My one complaint about the buffet, I didn't see any shrimp during the week. Also, I'm a big dessert guy! After 9:30 PM, you could only get cookies and not much more. By 11:00 PM the buffet was close (are you kidding me). I do have to praise the fresh omeletes made your way each morning (fantastic).
After lunch we headed to our cabin. We booked a inside cabin on Deck 10 Forward (10415). We were pleased with the room, especially the bathroom with a nice roomy shower. The bed was very comfortable (not hard). We had a nice 32" flat screen TV mounted on the wall. We had plenty of hangers in the closet (heard early cruises had very few). Our room steward (Joanna) was great, kept everything spotless. She had a different towel animal made each night when we arrived back to our cabin. All the employees on the Breakaway were friendly, smiled and were helpful. Julie (Cruise Director) and Simon (Assitant Cruise Director) were outstanding. Their whole staff kept everyone engaged in game shows, triva, deck parties, etc. They made it fun to be onboard!
I do want to mention the entertainment onboard. It was the best I've ever seen on a cruise. "Rock of Ages" the broadway musical was outstanding! DO NOT MISS. "Burn the Floor" is a dance show you must see; talented, high energy dancers doing amazing dance moves. The costumes, stage set up, music were great. Another DO NOT MISS. One of our favorite shows was attending the "Fat Cats Jazz & Blue Club" every night to see the Slam Allen Blues Band. This guy could sing and play his guitar like nobody I've ever seen. We loved going every night, brilliant performer, top notch, don't miss! Another great show was was watching "Fire & Ice" in the atrium. Do not miss the tribute shows to Michael Jackson and Tina Turner. Fantastic singer, she reminded me very much of Tina Turner, great singer with non stop high energy dancing. Unbelievable talent!!! We didn't attend the "Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy" show, but heard many people praised it, but this was a dinner show that cost $39.00 per person. You always had options for entertainment. You could also see each night "Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos" in Headliner lounge and "The Second City" comedy acts that performed there. All the game shows were entertaining, lot's of laughs. Also enjoyed the 80's deck party on Friday night followed by some good fire work (another must do). You will never be bored on this ship. One small complaint, the atrium area should have more chairs available, with so many activities going on there. The place was packed when they held the "Deal or No Deal" game show, plus the meet & greet with the girls from the "Rockettes".
Recreation activities were plentiful during the day. The pool area had stuff going on all the time. There were 4 different water slides, rock climbing, rope course, minature golf, kids aqua park & pool, etc. The ship around the upper decks seemed to have plenty of lounge chairs available. We liked using the Pulse Fitness Center and deck track to exercise in the morning before breakfast.
O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill was a popular place onboard. Open 24 hours a day. They served some good pub grub along with desserts. I liked going there for a late night snack and a cup of coffee. They had one dessert that gave me my fix, it was a nut brownie sundae, delicious! We mostly ate our meals at the Garden Cafe, but did go to the Manhattan dining room twice. It's a beautiful 2 story dining hall with a dance floor in the center. They had a jazz band playing so people could dance during dinner if they liked. The food was terriffic, great service. The other 2 complimentary dining rooms were "Savor" and "Taste". We never made it to those, but heard they were good. You had plenty of choices, the Breakaway had 9 restaurants with cover charges from a steakhouse, to sea food, italian, sushi, etc.
Now a little about Bermuda, we arrived at King's Wharf early Wednesday morning, the start of 3 great days. Bermuda has good transportation available for cruisers at the wharf. You can catch the ferry to Hamilton for $8.00 per person round trip, which we did. You can also catch the bus to "Horseshoe Bay Beach" for the same price. You can buy day tokens or passes for 1 to 3 days right at the wharf where they have a ticket booth, very easy. If you like going to the beach, Horseshoe Bay Beach is the place to go! What a beautiful place. The white pinkish sand was so fine and clean - straight out into the water. The water had the most amazing aqua blue color I'gve ever seen and it was crystal clear. You can rent beach chairs for $11.00. They also had a nice concession stand & gift shop and restrooms & showers on hand. We spent 5 hours there, it was a beautiful day to relax and swim. We loved every minute there.
The Royal Naval Dockyard by the wharf was nice, plenty of shops to browse in. It consisted of an old 1800's English stone fort which now has gift shops, restaurants, etc in the old buildings. One place we really enjoyed going to was the "Frog and Onion Pub". It has the only brewery in Bermuda at this place, the "Dockyard Brewing Co.". Had some good beers, really enjoyed the atmosphere and people here.
Now to wrap up my review of the Breakaway. It was one of the best cruises we ever took. Never a dull moment, always something to do. The casino was fun, the waterfront deck around the ship was excellent. I was able to take some great sun set pictures one evening. Nice place to relax and have a drink outside. Evan Hoylt our captain was very personable and was from the United States. There were so many positives to this ship. One little negative was the narrow hallways by the cabins, when people would put their room service plates and cups on the hallway floor. It wasn't very attractive and many people did this. That being minor, we are now considering going back on this same cruise next summer . We would like to treat our son and daughter, their spouses and our 3 grand children on this cruise. The grandkids would love the nickelodeon themed events and characters.
Leaving the ship on disembarkation day was very easy. We did the walk off with our luggage around 8:00 AM and were through customs in 20 minutes. You can catch a taxi right across the street when you come outside from customs. Don't bother with the guys that approach you for transportation to the airport. I was told by the taxi stand lady they will charge you double or triple the price of a metered taxi. I paid $38.00 with tip to Laguardia airport.
And finally, thanks Norwegian Cruise Line for a memorable cruise on the Breakaway.