NCL Breakaway to Bermuda sailing out of New York City. July 14 - 21.
No real "deal killer" complaints. Nothing was wrong on the Breakaway, but not much was A+ or exceptional, either.
DW and I are rather easy-to-please, go with the flow, people, having a good sense of what we like and don't like. So, we are not using this message board to vent or be picky.
In order to have a good time on the Breakaway, one must acknowledge two things and then put them aside. 1. The Breakaway, as with most cruise lines, has turned into a cash machine with all sorts of ways to get extra dollars out of you. 2. There is a real design flaw about the Breakaway. The public spaces are NOT designed to accommodate 4000+ passengers.
What was "very good" to "excellent."
1. Embarkation. Very organized and did not take much time.
2. Specialty restaurants. You pay extra, but well worth the extra charge compared to the average meals at the inclusive restaurants.
3. Debarkation. We did the early walk off (no luggage assistance) and were hopping in a taxi by 8:15 am.
4. Very good water park. The kids and teens, and adults too, will love it!
What was "average."
1. The rooms. Lots of complaints on this board about the rooms, especially the size. But we found them to be fine.
2. Cabin steward. Nothing really special, but yes, we did get the towel animals at night. We did have her come back the first day to reclean the shower, which she did right away.
3. The inclusive restaurants. We tried the Manhattan Room and Savor. Nothing special, just Okay. Not terrible, not above average either.
4. The shows. Good, basic cruise ship shows. We have certainly seen below average on cruises. These were "good." We saw Burn the Floor. It was like watching Dancing With The Stars for an hour with no commercials.
5. Elevators. 16 elevators, 8 each aft and stern, are simply not enough to move 4000 people deck to deck. Often the doors would open, revealing a compartment stuffed with people, thus, causing a wait for an elevator with enough room.
"Below average" or concerns.
1. As noted earlier, this ship is a floating design flaw. 4000+ passengers and the public spaces were much too small, especially the swimming pool deck. To get a couple of lounge chairs in a choice location on the deck, I had to get up at 6:00 am. (Really!) and go sit, allowing DW to sleep in. By 6:30 to 7:00 most chairs were taken. People who came to the pool deck after 8:00 am were left standing. The ONE pool could handle about 50 people, max. Handicapped people in electric chairs had difficulty navigating the public areas. In the Garden Cafe, it was a deep line to get an omelet, for example. Waiting 6 people deep for ice was common. As you read the Breakaway reviews, you need to take seriously the comments about the ship being crowded BEFORE you make a final decision to sail.
2. Watch the internet charges. If you don't log off, the time keeps ticking at 75 cents a minute!
3. The "sales." Come on, cruise folks! For example, they made a big deal of selling Invicta watches at 75% off. So, one with a $1000 price sticker was a "steal" at $250. Well...Ebay is FULL of new, with tags, Invicta watches for $40. Probably good prices on booze, though. Just watch the so called "deals." And, they are still hawking the near worthless tanzanite as some sort of precious stone.
Lastly. Oh yeah, Bermuda! A wonderful island! We went to Horseshoe Bay. Very beautiful, but way too crowded. Literally, a sea of Pepsi umbrellas! DW and I went to Tobacco Bay in St. George. A very nice beach and not too crowded. Try to go to beaches that will not be as crowded. If you eat on the island, it is expensive, so bring enough cash. (They take US dollars.) The bus and water ferry is easy to use. The main museum in the Dockyard is excellent. Lots of history and great views of the ocean and dockyard.
In summary. I would MAYBE go with NCL again, IF they gave a good price. I would not do the Breakaway again. And we would DEFINITELY go to Bermuda again!