Breakaway review June 30th-July 7th
*We traveled on the Breakaway a family of 4 plus my mom with 2 B6 staterooms.*
Precruise: The day before our cruise we left Washington DC via Amtrak’s Acela Express to Penn Station. We stayed at the Springhill Suites in Manhattan for one night. This is a brand new hotel and it was a very nice stay. It is very close to Times Square, Central Park and Rockefeller Center. We booked a 2 queen with city view room. We were placed on the 16th floor with views of the Empire State Building. We took a taxi to Pier 88 which took about 20 minutes due to some streets being closed for a parade.
Day One(Embarkation): We got to Pier 88 around 10:30-11:00 AM. I asked the porters for luggage tags which they gladly put on our luggage. We had a super fast check in and waited about 20 minutes for our number to be called to board. Walking onto to the boat there was music, crew members dancing and welcoming you. Our room wasn’t ready until 12:30. We ate at the Garden Grill. It was crowded but manageable. We had 2 B6 staterooms next to each other. We had rooms 9730 and 9728. Good rooms with awesome balconies. Our stateroom refrigerator was already empty and my moms stateroom’s refrigerator was full. My mom asked the stewart to empty it and the stewart told my mom she could only lock it, not empty it. When we got into our rooms our balconies already had 2 chairs and one lounge chair. My mom stepped out of her room for 30 minutes and when she returned, her lounge chair had been removed by the room stewart :( She was very upset and talked to the stewart who said her boss told her to remove all the lounge chairs on the balconies. With a $20 tip the stewart was able to put one back where it stayed for the week. Our staterooms were on the starboard side of the boat. The starboard side is the side that passes by the Statue of Liberty as you leave the port. What a site to see. Then we passed under the bridge and all of a sudden you hear applause and cheering as this was the official start to the week! We registered our kids at kids club for the week around 5:00 and there were no lines. This night we ate at Garden Grill around 6:00 PM and it was empty. We went up to the ropes course around 7:00 PM to find that it was empty! My husband, myself and our 9 year old played on the ropes for about an hour with no crowds! That night we watched Fire and Ice. The woman is a fantastic singer! When we looked at the computers on the boat to see how crowded the restaurants were, the speciality restaurants were full or filling up fast.
Day Two (Sea Day): Woke up around 8:15 AM. I needed some soda so I took our mug we got from the soda package down to O’Sheehan’s to fill up. The restaurant was empty for b-fast. After we got dressed we went to the Garden Grill for b-fast. This was around 9-915 AM. It was extremely crowded. I really don’t like the set up of the buffet. I have seen better set ups on other cruise lines. After b-fast we walked around a little bit. The casino was open at 10:00 AM. There was hardly anyone playing in the casino at this time. I went to the fitness center around 11:30 AM to find it full. I waited until 1:00 PM and I was able to get on a treadmill. Keep in mind that the machines will stop you at 30 minutes. The gym is a nice set up just small. I love how some of the machines are right in front of the large windows that look out into the ocean. But, be careful because your body has to adjust to the movement of the boat as you are running on the treadmill. And we did have movement this first day at sea. We ate lunch at the Garden Grill around 2:00 PM. It was still crowded. After lunch I went back to my stateroom because I was really feeling the movement from the boat. I have NEVER gotten sea sick on a cruise (and I have been on some with huge swells). However, I had to lay down and take a Dramamine because I needed it! After I laid down for about an hour I felt better. We went shopping and overheard a lot of people asking for sea sickness meds. We went up to pool/slides area around 5:00 PM to find it had cleared out. We rode the slides and played in the Sponge Bob pool area. This was the best time of the day to go to avoid the crowds. We ate in the buffet for dinner. I did notice that the buffet had lobster tail with a very long line to get it.
Day Three (Sea Day): This day we ate at the buffet for breakfast. It was very crowded. Our 9 year old wanted to go to the kids club right away! We went to the fitness center around 12:30 and it was less crowded then the day before. We went to the sports deck around 5:00 PM, again no crowds and did the ropes course and walked the plank! The adults ate at Taste this night. We were seated right away around 7:00 PM. The food and service was great at Taste. I was paged to pick up my 4 year old from kids club (he was crying) and the server brought me a new plate of food b/c mine had gotten cold. My mom and I saw the 9:30 PM show of Rock of Ages. I LOVED it! My feet could not stop moving from all the great music. My mom liked it but it was not her cup of tea. Let me say what others have said, this is NOT a show for kids. They did say this over the speakers to warn parents.
Day Four (Bermuda): I woke up to sit on my balcony as we were almost in Bermuda. I love watching us pull into ports. We ordered room service for breakfast b/c we were booked for a 9:00 AM tour of the island (booked on our own). Our tour was through Winsom Transport and Tours. I won’t get into my review of this tour on cruise critic but I will say this was the best island tour we have ever been on! If you have any questions please ask. Got back on the boat around 4:00 PM. We went to the Spongebob swim area around 6:00 PM to no crowds. We ate dinner at the buffet around 6:30 PM and it was a little crowded.
Day Five (Bermuda) July 4th: We woke up to find that the ship was decorate with 4th of July things. Ordered room service for b-fast (45 minute wait). We are advanced divers so we scheduled a 2 tank morning dive with Dive Bermuda. We went back on the boat for lunch in the buffet. That afternoon we took a taxi to Church Bay Park to let our 9 year old so some snorkeling. Beautiful beach but not for beginning snorkelers. They did announce that the fireworks would be this night b/c it was July 4th. Im not sure if this was known to everyone (including the workers) b/c I did hear some employees telling guests that the fireworks are on the night that we leave Bermuda not July 4th. Our kids fell asleep early so we did not head up to the top decks. I did sit out on my balcony but I could only hear the fireworks not see them. I did hear they were very nice.
Day Six (Bermuda): We reserved a pontoon boat through Somerset Bridge Sports. We cruised around on the boat for 4 hours. We had an amazing time. Any questions please let me know. We were back on the boat around 3:00PM. We sat on our balcony to watch us pull out of Bermuda. We went up to to do the ropes coarse around 7:00 PM to no crowds!
*Overall I LOVED being in port for 3 days. Grand Cayman has always been our favorite island however Bermuda is now our favorite. I am in LOVE with Bermuda and will go there next year for a week (fly and stay at a hotel). It really is paradise!*
Day Seven (Sea Day): Very relaxing day. I did have a spa treatment this morning. I had a 50 minute swedish massage. It was expensive but wonderful! What a way to relax on our last day. We watched our 9 year old do an end of cruise performance with the kids club in the theater. We also ate at Taste again with no wait around 6:30 PM. We did some gambling this night in the casino. I am sensitive to the smell of smoke but I was not bothered by the smell.
Day Eight (Debarkation): We ate at Savor/Taste for b-fast around 7:30 AM. We did not have to wait. Service was slow. We decided to do easy walk off with our luggage. We left the boat around 9:00 AM to a line. The line moved fast and we were off the boat within 25 minutes.
I have not read too much info on the kids club on cruise critic. I want to say that my 9 year old LOVED it! He wanted to go all the time. My 4 year old did not like it at all (and he is used to going to preschool). I did see other young children crying going into kids club. They do not let your child cry (b/c it will upset other children). I think my 4 year old did not like it b/c he did not know anyone and everyone was a stranger to him. The kids club has 2 hours a day that they call “free play”. I think it was from 9-10 AM and 2-3:00 PM. This is where all the kids in all the age groups play together. This is the only time our 4 year old would go to kids club b/c he was with his brother. I did hear other families ask if their children could stay together (in different age groups) and the answer was always no. The kids club counselors were fantastic!
I have never cruised on NCL and I was excited to try the freestyle concept. I only booked our shows ahead of time and not any speciality dining. I just didn’t want to be tied down to a certain time to eat. Unfortunately, by not booking my speciality dining ahead of time, I was not able to eat in any of the speciality restaurants. The only times they ever had available was 9:30-10:00 PM. This was too late for my family to eat. I wish they would leave a small amount of tables available for folks willing to wait for the speciality restaurants. It would not have bothered me to wait for a speciality restaurant. It was my fault for not booking them ahead of time but I really didn’t want to be stuck to a particular time.
Overall we had a great time! The shows were great, the staff was friendly and the food was wonderful. The pools were very crowded but that was to be expected. The pool area is very small but I LOVED the water slides and the sports deck. I do suggest if you want to avoid the crowds go to the sports deck and pool area around 5:00 PM. It was like we had the whole area to ourselves. Was this our favorite cruise, no. I still rank Disney and Celebrity as our favorite cruise lines. Would we cruise on this ship again, absolutely!