You probably already know that the Norwegian Breakaway is a HUGE ship with a New York theme. This theme goes throughout the ship including over crowded venues, small rooms, expensive prices, sold out shows and great food. The cruise we went on was sold out and one of the crew said there were 4600 people on board. Overall we loved this cruise.
We parked at the pier, it was expensive at $245 for the week, but it was paid for by the travel agent. I've read on the boards that the parking lot fills up fast and to be there by 11am. This is totally false, I talked to the parking attendant and she said they have 3 lots and they have never even filled up 2 of the lots during the cruises. (When we returned I noticed the 2nd lot was not even half filled)
We arrived at 11:45 and the cruise lobby was very crowded. They separate you by decks, but it was still about an hour wait in line. All the employees, from the porters, security, customer service and photographers, were very friendly and efficient. When we got on-board the ship we could go to our room immediately.
The ship is very large and there is so much to do it can be overwhelming.
We did not pay any extra to eat at the specialty restaurants.
The complimentary restaurants are the following.
The main dining rooms are Taste, Savor and The Manhattan Room. All three restaurants serve the exact same menu and the food varies only slightly each day. The Manhattan Room is fancier and we got dressed up to go and at 6pm there was a 45 minute wait! There were waits at Savor and Taste also, if this is freestyle dinning, I don't like it.
The Garden Cafe is the buffet on Breakaway. There is a lot of good food. On Tuesday it was lobster night and you would have thought they were giving out gold. I saw multiple people with 12 lobster tails on their plates! This gluttony disturbed me and we left.
We loved O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar and Grill. It is a sit down restaurant that is located above the atrium lounge. They have appetizers and bar type food. It is very good.
The biggest surprise is Uptown Bar and Grill located on deck 16, they served different food from the Garden Cafe and it was never crowded... without a second thought they had the best food on the ship!
We have sailed on Disney, Royal Caribbean and Carnival, NCL had the best food out of any cruise line we have been on.
I would love to say how wonderful all the entertainment was, but we saw Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, the Second City show, and the magician/comic. We didn't see any other shows because they were all sold out. I got 3 tickets to the magician and when I went to put in for the 4th it said they were sold out. I went to the box office and they gave me the fourth ticket. You can go half an hour early if you want to wait as standby and you may get to see the show, you got to love freestyling.
Cirque was fantastic, the tickets are $29 for regular, $39 for premium and $59 to sit on the stage. We chose regular because when I read the boards they said the seats were better. They are better but the reason for the less expensive price is that the waiters serving the premium seats walk in front of you quite a bit during the show. This is a definite must do, it is well worth the price. They do serve dinner and there is no choice on the menu, but it was very good.
Second City and the Magician were very good.
I recommend that you un-freestyle your cruise and plan your entire week the moment you get on-board to select the shows you want to see each night. This is done on your TV monitor in your room, your room key then becomes your ticket.
When I read that the ship had slides, a rope course, and a water park, I thought NCL was going overboard, but as a family we loved them. The slides are huge and surprise surprise, very little wait.
The rope course were my kids favorite. I will say that as an adult walking out on the plank was one of the scariest things I have ever done. It is safe because you are harnessed and at the most would drop a foot. Walking over the ledge 18 stories up on a moving ship still gives me chills. The zip line is part of the ropes course and goes starboard to port. When you walk up onto the course you must do at least 2 parts of the course before you could go off the course. I'm glad they did this because I would have turned around immediately.
The water park is done in a Spongebob theme and was very popular with small children.
The also have a bungee trampoline, and a spider climb for children. The spider climb is like a jungle gym that has rubber straps for levels. They also had mini golf that we could not play because there were never any golf balls. There was never any line at the mini golf because of the lack of golf balls! Bring your own and you will not have a problem any time!
My family likes the following when we go on cruises; Bingo, trivia, karaoke and game shows. NCL ruined these, Bingo cost $40 to $80 to play 3 games and the first 2 games the players won $130! Trivia and Karaoke were held in the Bliss lounge. The co-cruise directors that host these are at least 100 feet from the seating for these events. There was no connection between the host and the crowd,
My biggest peeve of the entire cruise is the game shows. With the exception of the "Not so Newlywed" game, everything is held in the atrium lounge that has enough seating for 100 guest. It was basically standing and sitting on the floor. I realize NCL spent a lot of money on a 2 story monitor for this location, but it needs to be put into a larger venue.
The room is the most expensive we have ever paid for on a cruise... and it was the SMALLEST. I realize that you don't spend much time in your room but with 4 people and the bunk beds out, 2 people could not walk at the same time. The bathroom is large with good water pressure. The shampoo and body wash dispensers are in an inconvenient location because my wife and daughter knocked them off the wall. I became an expert putting the pieces back together.
The balcony is small but it was fine.
We were on deck 9 which is above "The Waterfront", the roof of the Waterfront is below, so when you look directly down you see an 8 foot roof. During the cruise I saw a couple of items that people dropped from above accumulate on the deck including an ipod. I was in my room and I saw that there was a woman looking in my room! It scared the $#@1 out of me, it's not something you expect to see on a cruise at sea. She was picking up the ipod that was dropped. This got me thinking and I went on the Waterfront and looked up... you can see EVERYONE'S balconies. Just a warning that the balconies are not private.
Beautiful. It is a wonderful port and I like how you spend 3 days in one port.
We did Segway which was a lot of fun. It cost the same whether you book on-board or in person, but they do not allow children under 16 on NCL and Segway allows anyone over 100 lbs when the parents sign a waiver. We toured around the port and the surrounding areas. The tour guide gave good information. One warning is that you go into the streets and there are some crazy drivers in Bermuda.
We also did Harley's Helmet Dive. The BEST excursion I have EVER been on. You are picked up outside the ship, the captain Greg Hartley takes you out on a 30 minute trip to a location he has set up. You put on a diving helmet and air is pumped in during your dive. Hartley has fish that know him and come and show themselves off. He points out fish and marine life during your adventure. He then takes pictures of your trip. The pictures are expensive but were great!! Hartley has a unique personality.... I'm going to leave it at that. You have to book this excursion yourself and you can find it on his website, you can see all the positive reviews on Travelocity.
We went to Horseshoe Bay, it was crowded but one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The drive on the bus was an adventure in itself. To give you an idea about this, I saw a t-shirt on the ship "I SURVIVED A BERMUDA BUS RIDE."
We also did the ferry to Hamilton. This is a business area with a lot of tourist shops.
We will go back to Bermuda!!
I liked that they had sinks by the Garden Cafe, great idea!
The casino was large and well staffed.
The cruise director staff was always putting down Carnival cruises. Their running joke is that if they screw up Carnival will hire them. I hate to tell you, Carnival blows you out of the water with their customer service. I went on this cruise and not 1 crew member knew my name.
I liked the efficient way they handle photos at the photo shop.
The jogging track is located by the slides... it is impossible to use
If you want peace and quiet, Spice H2O is located on the back of deck 16 and is an adult only section. It is quiet and there was always a chair or lounge. Also the Waterfront is very quiet with few travelers. Some people found walking on this deck was easier that the jogging track, but you have to go into the ship to complete the circuit.
To open automatic doors you need to press the red circle lights on the doors.
Everyone is from New York or New Jersey!!!
There is no problems with only having 2 banks of elevators.
Large ships can rock and roll too, don't think because it's bigger they don't.
FAST FAST FAST.
We did self disembark.. we took the elevator down when called at 7:30, walked off the ship and was at our car and on the road by 8!!
We enjoyed our trip, but Freestyling is not our style. We need structure, I want to know that I have a seat at a restaurant and show! I feel I was lost on such a large ship.