Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by seashellstwo: Big isn't always the best
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Big isn't always the best
The ship is immaculate and the crew is friendly and responsive to the passengers. The decor in the public areas is nothing special. One of the nicest rooms on the ship is the Manhattan Dining Room which is ArtDeco in style and provides a nice atmosphere for dinner. The lack of a walkaround deck with deck chairs was a huge drawback in our opinion as we sail because we like being on the ocean and enjoy sitting and walking on deck. We think the outdoor dining feature is a waste of space that could have been used for a walking deck and deck chairs for those of us who didn't want to sit by the pool and endure the non-stop noise provided by way too many people in a confined space and the loud music that was always blasting in that area. Although the weather to and from and in Bermuda was perfect, we saw very few diners elect to eat outside.
The pool area is too crowded with double rows of deck chairs, the waterslides, the rock and rope climbing area plus a bar and the marketplace. More It was really unpleasant trying to sit in this area and talk or just enjoy being on a ship.
The Atrium on deck six is a logjam due to there being a stage with a large screen plopped in the middle with the surrounding areas featuring a large bar, the customer service desk, the tour office, the internet cafe, and a coffee and pastry bar. It was incredibly noisy in this area and anyone trying to use the computers at the internet cafe had to put up with singing, game playing, a movie being shown and the general noise of the bar conversation. The internet cafe needs to be walled off from the rest of the Atrium and become part of the library which offers a semblance of quiet.
The cabin we had was nicely decorated and sufficient in size for two people. There were some innovations in the cabin that were welcomed such as the light switches at the door that lit a button above the door so that the steward knew when to enter or not enter the cabin. The general layout and furniture worked well. The balcony was very small but it was sufficient for sitting outside in the sun and breeze.
The specialty restaurants were OK but nothing truly "special" decorwise or foodwise. I had duck at the French bistro which was literally two different experiences as one piece of meat was tough and difficult to cut while the other was tasty and tender. The Italian restaurant served food that you could get at any Italian restaurant. Cagney's steakhouse was a good atmosphere and the filet was very good. Moderno -- the Brasilian restaurant was a nice experience, with a very good salad bar and excellent meat dishes and wait staff.
The Manhattan Dining Room has a nice ambiance with dinner music provided by a combo and a female vocalist and a dance floor that people did appear to enjoy using. The menu was typical American restaurant fare and the food was prepared well.
The Garden Cafe is open for all three meals and offers an extensive selection at all of them. It's a nice airy space that once again could use a bit of decoration to liven it up.
Entertainment on the ship was good. Burn the Floor was outstanding while Rock of Ages was just OK. The performers were good but a show that "highlights" the music of the 80's and groups like Journey and Whitesnake isn't exactly a walk down the list of greatest hits ever. The story in Rock of Ages is really questionable for a ship that will cater to families. It was noted that kids shouldn't attend but there were loads of them sitting in the theatre the night we were there.
Lack of an actual movie theatre was disappointing. I like to catch up on missed films on a cruise. The selections that were on the cabin movie channel were mostly awful films that may appeal to 14 year old boys but aren't likely to attract people who actually like to see a movie with some substance.
The casino is a decent size but has zero pizzazz -- as in there is no actual decor in it -- plus the ventilation system didn't do a great job of venting the smoke. And the casino needs a lot more video poker machines -- throughout the cruise when the casino was open, it was practically impossible to get a video poker machine to play. This was highlighted by the fact that there were a lot of gamblers on the ship on this particular cruise.
The ship encourages "casual" dress which to some people means they can wear anything, anytime, anywhere. I got tired of seeing people in flipflops and shorts day and night and it really does look silly to see two adults in shorts or jeans dancing to the music of Cole Porter being sung by a woman in a cocktail dress. Overall, I felt that the people on this cruise would have been just as happy to spend a week at the Jersey Shore walking the boardwalk and taking their kids on the amusement rides or waterpark slides. There really seemed to be little effort on the part of families to make the trip special by dressing up at least one night for dinner or even acknowledging that they were on a ship and enjoying the ocean. Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Breakaway 11298
Cabin was very quiet. Balcony is small but OK for sitting and reading. Bathroom is compact but not too small, there is enough room for toiletries on the shelves. Cabin had a queen bed and large sofa. Flat screen TV was 32" and is interactive so you can check your account, make reservations for dinner, tours, shows etc. Good TV channel selection. Hairdryer is permanently plugged in under vanity with a holder under the vanity to keep it out of the way when not being used -- good idea. There is a clever footstool in the room that provides storage space and can be used as a seat or if you put on the wooden "cap" -- it can serve as a table. Lighting in room is very good, adequate storage space and closet space. Room has a coffeemaker and a refrigerator. Could have done without the coffeemaker but I guess some people have to have one. Entire ship is WiFI including the cabins so all electronics work -- there is a fee of course but still -- great convenience to be able to use a laptop or tablet in the cabin.
Port and Shore Excursions
We've visited Bermuda many times over the years so we've seen the sights and now we just enjoy walking around the town and doing some shopping, having lunch, etc plus revisiting some of the major buildings in Hamilton like City Hall, Parliament, and the cathedral. We enjoy the ferry service that serves all of Bermuda and aside from using the ferries to get from Dockyard to Hamilton, we also take a ride on the local ferry that just travels around the harbor dropping off tourists and residents at the many little islands that are in the harbor.
Bermuda has an excellent bus system and most tourists avail themselves of it to get to the beaches or to St. George or to the various wonderful golf courses.
Dockyard has much to offer -- many shops and restaurants plus Snorkel beach and the new miniature golf course with its spectacular ocean and harbor views.
The Commissioner's House is a must see for anyone interested in history and also for anyone interested in a terrific view from the veranda of the house.