Embarkation was a breeze. Once called, we were on the ship within 10 minutes, and went straight to O'Sheehan's for a very nice lunch. Soon after, we were in our mid-ship balcony rooms settling in and then went exploring. The Breakaway is a beautiful ship. I found the decor throughout to be understated, yet chic.
Our balcony cabins were a very decent size with enough room for all of our belongings. The bathroom was also roomy with plenty of storage. The beds were beyond comfortable....I had my best sleep there. Balconies were on the small side, just enough for two, which is ok....I wasn't planning a party out there, it was fine for enjoying the view, relaxing with a cup of coffee. The room was completely quiet, the only sounds we sometimes heard was the entertainment from Fat Cats, which we really enjoyed from our balcony. Our room attendant, David, was a real sweetheart.
Most staff were wonderful, with just a few exceptions. Whenever we passed staff in the halls, they were quite friendly. The staff serving at the buffet were just indifferent, although the staff walking around the tables were very nice. The staff in the specialty restaurants were extremely attentive. The staff in the complimentary restaurants were very good, considering how hard they were working.
I can honestly say that I enjoyed the food in this ship, both in the complimentary and specialty restaurants. Le Bistro and Cagney's were our favorites with phenomonal food and service, La Cucina was so-so, Taste and Savor were very good, with some great menu options. Presentation at all the sit-down restaurants was top-notch. Even the buffet, which gets very crowded, was laid out well and kept very clean. We never waited long to be seated anywhere.
The only time the crowds were an issue for us was getting onto the ship as well as attending the muster drill. Elevators sometimes were a bit crowded, but not a big deal. Otherwise, we didn't have a problem at all. There were times we went to some places on the ship that were empty. We did not use the pools, they were small, crowded and overrun with kids, even in the adult pool. I'm not a fan of public-type pools. Perhaps setting an adult-swim only time may make it more pleasant for some adults. Since we were all adults in our party, we stayed in the Spice H2O area to lounge, use the hot tubs and cool off in the waterfall area. That was fine for us, and there was never an issue getting lounge chairs. Some of us did use the sports area and slides. They were alot of fun.
I personally found the entertainment is really lacking. I would recommend more lounge-type acts for the bars/shows (ie Martin/Sinatra singers, comedians, Irish singer/piano player; bands playing current music for younger group; hypnotist; specialty classes/seminars - genealogy, destination talks/history, etc.; more activities specifically for groups, ie ages 18-25, singles, etc. Some events had nobody there. My daughter attended a college-event and was the only one in attendance; more movies at H2O and the Atrium; have events more than once, since I missed some that had a conflict of time; the only shows that should be in the Theater should be family-oriented entertainment. Rock of Ages may be good, but I think it appealed to a certain generation of people.....most adults would find it offensive, and it's very inappropriate for children. The Cirque show should be free for all in the theater.
The casino didn't offer a great variety of slot games, it was smokey, but nothing too offensive and you needed to work through it to get from front to back of the ship on that deck. As a non-smoker, I was able to handle it fine, although it would be helpful if there was a small area confined only to smokers.
Bermuda was beautiful and we took a 5-hour sight-seeing trip of the island independent of Norwegian. We used one of the taxi drivers just outside of the dock. His name is Lee and he is a former cricket champion on Bermuda. Lee is a true gentleman and his tour was wonderful. You get a true taste of Bermuda. Highly recommend him. My kids went jet-skiing and did the Bermuda Triangle night cruise. Horseshoe Bay Beach is gorgeous as is Chaplin Bay, a much quieter, seclued beach. Overall we had the most wonderful experience there.
Disembarkation was also very easy, although we didn't want to leave the ship. I had many worries at the beginning of this vacation after reading so many negative reviews, but they all disappeared immediately after boarding. We had a great time and would definitely sail on the Breakaway again.