My husband, two older teenagers, young adult son, and myself just got back from a fantastic cruise experience. I was hesitant after some reviews, but know you can't please everyone. If you free style cruise, book dinners first night for the whole week. However, the buffet in the Garden has fabulous views from every angle and the food was fantastic. The Casino was sufficient and staff very pleasant. The beds were so comfortable, better than mine at home.
My son didn't like the teen lounge, it's a bunch of teens let lose and lie about who and what they are for a week and dress up and try and get in the 18 and up clubs. The security was called several times about young teens trying to pretend to be older.
If you travel with older children I'd suggest the adults 18 and up go to Spice H2O first thing to grab a lounge chair before breakfast, save your chair with a towel and a book or something so it does not blow off. Chairs all over the ship and gone around 9am, but it is warm enough to swim so I understand why. Children are not allowed there so great for getting away and the falling waterfall type sitting pool was sufficient to cool off. The other pools are too full due to the slides which are great for the kids. I stayed away and it was fine since H2O was available. Water slides are great for kids all ages. The Celebrity ship that docked with us in Bermuda looked old and pale next to the Breakaway and smaller.
Explore the ship after you arrive (after eating at the buffet when boarding) there are two Carlos bake shops, one on the 8th floor and one in the Atrium. There is a small bowling alley and pool tables at the Irish bar, hidden in the back on the 7th floor.
Attend the game shows and trivia events. My kids and I really enjoyed them.
The zip line hanging rope course is awesome. My older kids really enjoyed that. I saw small children and older adults on it as well.(bring tennis shoes, can't go on with sandals or flip flops etc)
Casino is closed while docked.
If you don't want to dress up for pictures you don't have to, we got great family pictures in matching Bermuda T-shirts and Bermuda shorts. There were many that did dress up for dinner, but not needed at the buffet and many dressed up for "clubbing" at night. Many were there to impress, but not needed if you go to the Casino, or other events.
If you are budget conscious, don't tip extra on drinks 15% is already added.
We bought large water/24 bottles and split between our cabin and my children. It was actually to much water, we brought the rest home.
We stayed in two mini family suites on the 12th deck. We could not hear the Splash kids "daycare" at all, it was very quiet and I was thrilled with that.
In Bermuda, don't buy the Snorkel Park excursion if you are just going to lay out and swim, it's about two or three blocks from the cruise ship. I spent $5 entry fee, and $15 more for the lounge chair, get there early around 9am when they open.
We did the Kayaking Tour and it was great, but you do need to be in somewhat shape and no young children. It was great but a lot of work and tiring.
Where sunscreen and lots of it, the salt water and sweat wears off very quickly and the boat ride and wind gave me a sunburn pretty quickly.
I liked the glass bottom boat and snorkeling, but if you do buy the Snorkel Park Beach excursion for the snorkeling, the park is better, but you have to go past the coral and the water isn't very deep. It does have a pretty good bathroom at the park.
I was able to buy great T-shirts and rum cakes at the shops right outside the ship in the Dockyard.
Taxis are very expensive and I think they go the long route to make you pay more. Also they drive like maniacs, take the ferry if you can.
If you go to St Georgetown, go the first day or when ferries run more than three times a day, I wanted to go back on a Friday, but it only runs three times and it's very far away. The ship was leaving at five so I had to settle for the Snorkel Beach Park and shopping the last day. Don't bother eating at the Carriage house waist of money, nothing special.
Everyone goes to the Horseshoe Bay Beach, the Tobacco beach is great too ask locals and taxi drivers where others are. I didn't think the sand was very pink at all. Maybe light Peach?
I wouldn't pay for the Caverns, they have the same thing all over the US.
A taxi driver with one leg told us he'd give us a island tour for a lot less than the excursion, it was okay, but he was trying to drag it out get more money. He did show us things the regular tour will not like the sea glass beach and different trees. He let us feed the "Bermuda Piranhas" not really piranhas, that was cool. He also showed us what the excursion 5 1/2 hour would have as well, so not too disappointed and saved $100. It was also a private van for just us family members and quieter. He was outside the cruise ship every day, so not hard to miss. His name is Earnest.
Don't use a moped, too many get really hurt on those, they do drive on the other side of the road as the US. One guy really wiped out. They say tourist do it every day/ week and wind up in the hospital or worse.
All in all the cruise was great, but you do have to get out and try new things.
The staff was great and I loved the ship.