We sailed on Breakaway - our first cruise without our kids! We didn't want the hassle or cost of flying to another port so we decided to sail to Bermuda, even though we have been there before with Norwegian. We figured, if nothing else, we could enjoy the ship as it was supposedly abundant with new features and activities. The activities on this ship is what makes it so enjoyable and memorable. Water slides (esp. the Freefall), Rock climbing, Ropes Course (Walk the plank - the plank actually sticks 8 ft out over the water)are just some of the fun things to do. Of course there are bars (Ice Bar is especially noteworthy), 24-hour restaurant - O'Sheahan's and other eateries. There are speacilty restaurants that we did not go to but having them on The Waterfront was a particularly neat idea. THe bar on the Waterfront was especially comfy and served some nice drinks. The Waterfront is a promenade on Deck 8 that goes around the entire ship and has "sidewalk" style seating for the specialty restaurants and bars.
My favorite dining place was Manhattan Room. Opulent, yet classy and elaborately designed, this restaurant is gorgeous. The service and the food match the decor. Equally nice are the two other complimentary restaurants - Taste and Savor. The menu in all three is the same, so it doesn't matter where you sit. The ambience in each is slightly different and we dined in all of them and never had to wait more than 15-20 mins. to get a table.
The food in Garden Buffet was always well presented, hot and fresh. Being vegetarians, the choices were slightly limited than what we've had in other ships. This is one area that Norwegian needs to get it right; being that the ship is primarily a "big city" ship and more veg. are likely in bigger cities. For example, the prepared sandwiches for lunch NEVER had a veg. option. WHile there were two Soups at every meal, there were days when both were vegetarian, while on other days, neither one was. Even though the ship had around 4500 passengers for our sailing, we never had a difficult time finding a table with a view! Made-to-order omletes for breakfast, Pasta for lunch and dinner and crepes for dinner - what more could you ask for. One thing we missed was the Chocoholic Buffet but that has gone away a long time ago.
The Main Pool is a bit small and while finding a lawn chair around it can be a bit tricky, walk a few feet to the deck above and there were plenty available. Especially nice was a Sun Deck in the Forward section, where it was quieter peaceful and perfect to just laze or nap.
Shows were of exceptional quality. Rock of Ages was really well done. It is not for young kids and it was clearly mentioned everywhere, but still people complained about the language. Seriously, did they not read the signs posted and the announcements made? But then there are always the complainers. The production was equal to any theater in Broadway and the cast was top-notch. The same can be said about Second City. They were hilarious in both PG-13 versions and the Adult ones late at night. Other shows like Burn the Floor and the Magic/Comedy acts were entertaining also. People need to remember that these shows have to be reserved in advance and stop complaining when they are asked to wait aside.
Although it is a large vessel, there was, at no time, a crowd where people felt too stifled. The crowds were managed well and the flow of people constant to maintain the environment.
All in all, its an enjoyable ship and having 3 sea days really allows you to explore the ship and visit your favorite places again.
Bermuda - King's Wharf (Heritage Wharf) at the Royal Naval Dockyard is not located in the city so its a little out of the way for anything. But the Dockyard has enough of activities to offer. If you do chose to visit Hamilton or St George its not too difficult to get there as both are a quick ferry ride away. I would strongly recommend getting the 2-day Transportation pass from the ship itself so you save a lot of time when you land. The Pass is good on all ferries and buses for unlimited times for two consecutive days. This is an easy option to get around to different beaches. Horseshoe Bay is a MUST. It does get crowded by the entrance so walk left and past the big boulders and its much nicer and less crowded.
We did not take any excursions from the cruise line as this was our second visit to Bermuda. There are plenty of options available so do your homework.
Finally, it is a LARGE ship so be prepared to look at maps and signs, just as you would in a big city. Be prepared to meet different people and have different experiences, just as you would in a big city. And if these things are not for you, Breakaway is not for you!