For a change of pace this year we stayed downtown in Battery Park City at the Conrad. The downtown location provided access to a whole world of things we usually don't see, but having only one evening there we didn't do too much. One thing I really wanted to see was the World Trade Center Memorial, but the line was killer so we skipped it. We'll get to do it sometime I'm sure. One place we did go was City Hall Park over next to the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a nice little place but the real reason we went was Wafels and Dinges. My wife has wanted to go there for quite some time after seeing it on TV. They have trucks all over New York, but only a small cart at this park. The wafels were out of this world good. So good in fact we walked back over there Sunday morning for breakfast.
The hotel itself was amazing. It was ultra modern and full of electronic gizmos. For example the you needed only to display your key card to enter your room rather than swipe it. Also, you could control the ac and lighting in the room on the TV. My son loved it so I'm afraid he's going to want to stay there again, but I don't know if I would just because of the location. Probably would I guess.
Sunday the drive up to Pier 88 was crazy. We made the mistake of leaving around 11:30. Generally we like to be there by 11:30 but this time for some reason we were a little later. The traffic getting to the terminal was awful probably because there were two ships in town. The Carnival Splendor was there as well. Once in the terminal it was crazy but not out of the ordinary. We got through embarkation relatively smoothly.
Having monitored the Everything Breakaway thread on the boards here at Cruise Critic for several months I thought I was more than prepared for this ship. We studied deck plans and watched her ever since the first photos began to leak out of the construction yard. That being said, I was still overwhelmed. It seemed really crowded and our room seemed abnormally small. We're used to inside rooms, but NCL seems to definitely have the smallest. Fortunately that feeling didnt last. And we soon got our sea legs and all was well.
The room was small but we got used to it. The reviews had mentioned the lack of storage and they were on the money. We were definitely disappointed with the room. But thats a small thing when you’re on the newest ship in the world.
Food was great all week. OSheehans was a delight. Typical Blue Lagoon fare but maybe slightly better. We ate there several times. Service was always good. Main dining rooms were good as usual. We always had good service and good food. My favorite venue on the Breakaway however was the Uptown Grill. We ate there countless times and food was always great. I called it the best kept secret because there was never a crowd. I know there are a million other places to eat on the Breakaway, but we are old school and refuse to pay to eat on a cruise when free food is abundant.
Entertainment was good but not great. I wanted so bad to really like Rock of Ages. That era of music pretty much defined my teenage years so I was really looking forward to it. It just wasn’t that great. Burn the Floor was good. It was just a dancing show but it was a pretty good one. Comedian Michael Finney was our favorite show of the week. He was really good and used the audience throughout. Colton loved Second City so we went like three times. It was always good and always different. I don’t see why NCL doesn’t have more comedians. They have a comedy club and everything but they seem content to just use it for Second City and bingo. Overall the entertainment was good but we didn’t care the way you book the shows 45 days out from the cruise. That doesn’t seem very Freestyle. Also they only let you reserve a show once, so if you wanted to go again you had to do the standby line. It was never a problem to get into Second City again.
Activities could have been better. They have Team Nickelodeon activities for the kids and we took advantage of most of what they offered, but it still could have been better.
The ropes course was in a way the best part of the cruise. My son and I went three times. We would have gone more if it wasn’t closed on the last day due to the wind. My wife got some great pictures of us up there climbing around. There were straight rope obstacles and some with different kinds of steps. The hardest one had the steps going zig zagged. The plank was very cool. My son and I both did it. We all three tried the zip line. It wasn’t much of a zip line but it was still cool if you’d never been on one.
The slides were awesome. The two that drop vertically had weight restrictions so My son couldn’t do it. I don’t think he wanted to anyway. I did it twice. I even had to remove my wedding ring to do it. Never been on a slide with that kind of restriction before. The purple and yellow ones were fantastic. We both did them several times. You build up tremendous speed on them. The lightweight blue slide was pretty tame but still probably better than the slides on other ships.
Bermuda was nice as always. We grabbed the ferry to St. Georges one day and went to Crystal Caves which was pretty cool. The weather was good, I believe it only rained the last day of the cruise. We later learned of a place to get three days of internet for $15 there in the Dockyard so we couldn’t take advantage of that. We explored the Dockyard and went to the museum and Dolphin Quest. Fortunately a family was doing the swim with the dolphins thing so we got to watch them. A couple of the trainers actually came over and chatted with us for a while too.
Debarkation was a breeze. As usual we selected the first color to be announced to go. Overall the Breakaway was a fantastic ship. I can’t wait to sail her again, but rates seem really high so far. I guess it will be that way for quite a while til the thrill of the new ship wears off.