We arrived at the Manhattan Port in New York at around 10:45am given a number and by 11:30am we were boarding the ship. Upon boarding there were energetic and friendly NCL personnel greeting us, even slapping us high 5s as we boarded. There were 2 boarding areas on deck 7 , we boarded the ship in the rear (aft). Other boarding area was in the front. We headed directly to deck 6 to the Vibe Beach club reservation area. Vibe Beach is a secluded area of the ship which permits 60 people paying $80.00 per person for the week basically guaranteeing us a lounger chair. No one under 18 is permitted. For $300.00 for 2 people you can rent a cabana, this includes a $100.00 credit for the Vibe bar. People in the cabana complained although elegant the cabanas are very hot.There are 2 hot tubs which they kept at a comfortable refreshing temperature instead of hot. the last sea day due to high winds Vibe was closed. We used it 2 days out of 7. We had a spa mini suite which allowed us access to the Thermal Spa. This is well worth the money, $200.00 per person if you don't have a spa room. It is quiet serene and peaceful and spent time here every day. there was a salt room, steam room, sauna, hot tubs, pool lounge, chairs and heated ceramic contour chairs where we fell asleep a few times. This was an awesome area and weather never affected it. My advice is to get one of these areas for some peace and quiet as the main pool deck was too crowded, loud and active for us. Others will love the up beat music,people watching and going ones. To me it seems like the water slides and rope course take up a lot of valuable pool deck area. I would have preferred a larger pool and deck area. The pool capacity is 24, not a typo 24 people with over 4,500 on board. Also there are only 1,100 lounge chairs you do the math.People were reserving lounges at 4 am. My advice is to get a room in The Haven as the extra money you shell out as well as the extra early you have to get to pier to get an early number so you can run like mad to get on line for Vibe Beach Passes and even then there is a good chance you won't get them as only 60 are issued. The Haven has its own private pool area and court yard, restraint and quiet.
CABIN: We had a mini suite it was very narrow but it was long. I am a packaholoic and I was able to unpack and everything had a place to go.You can store 4 huge suitcases under the bed. plenty of storage and small safe and lots of coat hangers,there is even storage drawers under couch. The balcony was small but did serve its purpose.Bathrooms are a nice size no tub but lots of shower jets. Only complaint was the flushing of the toilet. It won't flush if you are sitting on it, seat up or bathroom door is open. It took 6 or more pushes of the button to get it to flush. We weren't the only passengers having an issue with this. NCL is trying to go green and its part of save a water issue which they need to seriously need to address. We asked cabin steward to empty our mini fridge so we could add our own water. Anything we asked for or wanted ALL NCL staff were more than happy to help or correct any issues quickly and satisfactory,Excellent customer service.
DINING : All speciality restaurants were good but I feel they are not necessary as you are paying for food included in your cruise fare to pay for more food isn't necessary. Others we were traveling with wanted to eat at speciality restaurants. This is where NCL kinda fails, there are mainly 3 free food areas and only 1 open after11:00. Royal has many free areas with all types of food at all times. But to each is own.There are over 7 speciality restaurants on NCL. We also did them because you can make reservations where as the free areas including main dining room is Free style or as I like to say free for all. Some people waited over and hour and a half the first night. We waited 30 to 45 mins but we arrived at Main dining room at 8:45 pm. The food was ok, royal was better in quality and flavor. Breakfast and lunch Buffet was good, also Savor at lunch fantastic.We also liked the corned beef and cabbage soup in O'Sheenhans.
BERMUDA: WAS GORGEOUS and beautiful. A snorkeler's paradise.We chose to take a cab to Horseshoe Bay as cab ride to there and back was same price as ships excursion but on our schedule. You can rent chairs and umbrellas which you haul across beach and set up yourself. Good snorkeling in Baby Bay right next to main Horseshoe Bay Area. We then took a cab to Church Bay as this was suppose to be the best snorkel area. It is very rural and no bathrooms or services. Water here is rough with an undertow. We did see different color parrot fish and tropical fish. sand isn't powdery like Horseshoe Bay, there was also human garbage floating in water. Water bottles, plastic car battery casings just garbage. We arranged for a taxi to pick us up in an hour when we were dropped off and taxi driver was there. We also took ferry to Harbor Nights which occurs every Wednesday night during the summer in Hamilton. There were street vendors and local artists, there was entertainment bands, steele drums and of course the famous Goombay Dancers.They made the trip worth it . All the stores are open late this night. We walked thru Queen Elizabeth Park very nice. The next day we took a ferry to St. George. It is very historic here. We saw the town cryer, the stocks in town square. We walked 1 block to St.Peter's Church and it was amazing, walked out side door walked 1 block to Bermuda Perfume Factory very fragrant .We chose to walk to Tobacco Bay. The walk really wasn't uphill like they described. Along the way we stopped at the Unfinished Church was was beautiful . Tobacco bay GREAT for snorkeling lots of colored fish and parrot fish and we even saw a barracuda. Better than Church Bay. After snorkeling took cab to Fort St.Catherine's and took photos and discovered an amazing beach, no crowds, calm clear water huge, reefs close to shore.The next time we go will stop here instead of Tobacco Bay. The cab took us back to town where we grabbed some lunch fed some fish and returned to ship. The last day we went to the Royal Naval Dockyard and snorkel park in the morning as we had an afternoon snorkeling excursion. FYI STAY AT SNORKEL PARK BEST SNORKELING ON ISLAND!!!! Saw the most fish here and the most varieties including moray eel, and barracuda. It is a little rocky so wear water shoes or fins. This place was awesome and not crowded we stayed for 2 hours then walked dockyard and got ready for the most amazing excursion. We booked the Shipwreck and Coral Reef excursion thru the ship. BEST EXCURSION EVER, the snorkel sites were great visibility and tons of fish, coral and clear water. Ship wreck was great ,well worth the price.
SHOWS: Burn the floor was fun and entertaining. Rock of Ages great. Slam Allen in Fat Cats THE BEST if you like Jazz and Blues. Howl at the Moon ok but corny only did once. Second City improv only 1 good skit should have done something else with our time. Fireworks awesome ( well I love fireworks and never saw a bad one so I might be bias)
Overall the Breakaway is a ship that looks like NCL tried to do everything and failed rather than doing a few things great. I loved not flying and going from my house to the ship and being in my house an hour after I left the ship. If I book again cause NCL goes to Bermuda for 7 days not 5 I would book a room in The Haven and not go in the summer when the ship was at full capacity. The Breakaway was a great ship to cruise on but we did pay for the extras to avoid the crowds, and massive lines. BUT that should have been expected considering it is an inaugural year and the summer. My advise is go with the flow do what you enjoy and only you can make your vacation what you want it to be and don't be so critical and enjoy being on the sea.