I read a ton of the reviews for both Norwegian and Breakaway. If you enjoy cruising, realize the expectations that go with a cruise then you will not be disappointed. Overall, a very, very good cruise. I travel extensively for work and my wife and I have travelled often both cruising, resorts and city destinations. This was our 6th cruise and we were impressed. WE are both mid forties, have kids but left them with family for this anniversary trip. We are fortunate enough to enjoy fine dining around home and when we travel. We are very active and enjoy all types of entertainment. This was setup to be a great fit for us and our lifestyle.
I hate to dwell on any negative points as I think vacations are meant to be enjoyed..and not nit picked. No major complaints at all about the cruise. However, as with a cruise we took from San Juan, some of the locals on the ship were the most annoying part of the cruise. Twice I had to snap at a passenger rushing to get an elevator before my wife even got halfway off the thing...I was ready to drop the reeboks a couple of times. Some locals acted like they were the only one's on the ship. Many dressed like they were at the beach the whole time. I really don't want to see nasty arm pit hair in the dining room and sandals...come on people...you live in the fashion capital of the USA....act and dress like it. That is my main gripe and I do think the cruise industry should try and control this a little better...so on to what went really well....and it is a long list.
3 days in New York - Great way to start the trip! Stayed in Midtown, taxi to the terminal, no problem at all. We left Mid town around 12:30, on the ship by 1:15. Let the crowds show up early and miss the rush...way more relaxing.
Departure - awesome sailing down the river and past the Statue of Liberty. Great start, drinks were flowing and off to the Savor Dining room. Our bags showed up quickly, room was clean, balcony was big and the view was incredible.
Savor Dining Room - Great first dinner. most 2 person tables are at a window so we go to watch the ocean go by in a sophisticated setting. Great food, good service...what's not to like.
Entertainment: Phenomenal...Howl at the Moon was awesome. We went 3 times. Great music, played our requests, funny and a good mix of musicians. Strong drinks and a great time.
Days at Sea: We found nice spots that were quiet and away from the New York Frat Party. We watched a bit but way too crowded by the main pool. I am jut not a fan of exchanging sweat with strangers while sitting shoulder to shoulder on the pool ledge while watching drunk women try and win the tattoo contest. We sat at SPICE H20 at the back on deck 16. Great bar, hot tubs, a cool waterfall pool to cool off in and no rif raf.
Food: The buffet was pretty good. No complaints. Breakfast was good. Eggs, omelet station was there, good selection of food, fresh tasting and good egg's benedict! Lunch at the buffet was very good. Good variation but it is obvious they want you in the specialty restaurants. Uptown grill had good Pastrami on Rye and Italian sandwiches. I tried Shanghai Noodle House one lunch and it was excellent. Main diner rooms were all very good. A little noisy but who cares...good energy, good service, decent wines and the Manhattan room had a decent band playing. Very enjoyable.
Late nights found us at Sheehan's Irish Pub. AWESOME spot. Late night drinks, great chicken wings and late night pub grub. We tried everything there...really good when you are hammered and looking for that late night snack.
Specialty Dining: We ate at Ocean Blue and really enjoyed it. Great appetizers. My wife ordered the Monkfish and it was excellent. I had appetizer mussels and they were incredible. Practically a meal. A very good seafood meal. We also ate at Le Bistro. Another great meal. We had the Escargot...amazing! We had the Duck...incredible. Really good food.
Room: We had room 9730...large balcony room and it was nice. A little tight, but the balcony was a perfect size. Shower was great and over all, comfortable. Bring a power bar though. The bed was very comfortable for a cruise ship. WE never heard our neighbors and they never heard us. I had an ipod speaker going and never a complaint. The announcements were never heard in our room which was nice. Everything was practical, new and well laid out. Top marks.
Getting around: The floors with balconies were very narrow and a pain...so what! The staff were a little slow to clean up dishes in the hall which made for some odd odors and some good hurdle practice but not a big deal. Most area's were good but still groups of people would take over a walkway and were ignorant that 1800 other people might need to get by???
Bar Service: Very good. Great service, good drinks, great beer selection and tons of places to grab a cold one. On deck service was amazing! Built in tips are on the order and now and then I threw a dollar extra and it was amazing the service we got! "Will that be another Amstel Light Mr. David?"...Oh yes, yes it will be! Great job!
Bermuda: Awesome! Awesome island. I went Scuba diving with Fantasea, booked it direct and saved 30.00. Great dive...incredible coral and fish. We saw 3 eagle rays...phenomenal. We went to Hamilton for the day and had a blast. Wednesday night they have a street fair. We bar hopped and loved it. Next day we went to the Elbow Beach Resort. Incredible beach. Pricey..but worth it. Awesome water and beach..get there early.
3rd day we went on the kayak tour. Also really well done. A ton of fun.
Photos: My wife went to get the photo's. She said it was so well organized finding your photos. The ship creates a folder for your room number and it is right there waiting. Normally that is a 3 drink process on any other ship. She had it done in one glass of wine. That is a marvel in its own right. Great shots too. They did a great job.
Disembarkation: A breeze. We waited until the last group. Awesome until you leave the terminal. Ugh....New York on a Sunday was nuts! You have to cross the street with your bags and catch a taxi??? Stupid! We had 2 large bags each, crossing cobble stone and trying to squeeze on a center island with bags with cars flying by... I amazed someone hasn't been creamed yet with this ridiculous setup. Be careful...
Summary.... A great cruise. Ship was awesome, included food was really good, specialty food was excellent. Service was very, very good. Cleanliness overall was good but could use some improvement if the guests weren't such slobs. A little pricy but we enjoyed it a lot. Bermuda was awesome. A cruise only the pickiest princess wouldn't enjoy. Book it, you won't regret it.