We flew to New York the day before the cruise. We stayed at the Broadway @ Times Square Hotel on 46th Street, around the corner from Times Square. We enjoyed walking around Times Square and going to a Broadway show.
Embarkation was quick and easy. We arrived at the cruise terminal around 10:30, checked in and were on the ship by 11:45 am. We were able to drop our carry ons in our cabin by 12:30 pm. Our bags were delivered shortly after.
We were in a spa balcony (forward cabin 14750) with an angled balcony. The bed in that cabin is by the balcony, with the sofa by the closet. As mentioned by others, there is not much room between the closet door and the sofa. I much preferred having the bed by the balcony. Others we spoke with said their preference was to have the bed by the closet. We found we had lots of storage; we didn't even use all of the storage in the bathroom. The balcony was larger than others because of its shape.
The service on the ship was very good. Everyone smiled and acknowledged you. Our cabin steward was Andros. He was excellent - he remembered our names, made sure we had ice morning and evening and took care of all our requests. We met the ship's officers on many occasions. They seemed to be present all the time.
I can' t comment on the slides and pools. We didn't spend much time on those decks. We had spa passes and enjoyed our time in the spa. We used the pool, heated (hot) lounge chairs and regular lounge chairs. There was some saving of chairs but we did see Spa staff removing towels one afternoon. A negative was the noise level - loud conversations at times - not relaxing spa like atmosphere.
DINING. Breakfasts were mostly at O'Sheehans. The service was fast and friendly. I enjoyed the omelets and pots of hot chocolate as I am not a coffee drinker. We never made it to the dining rooms as they stopped serving breakfast very early. We did try the Uptown Grill one morning. The food was ok, but not enough choice and the food was cold.
Lunches were in the Garden Cafe - the usual buffet selections - and the Uptown Grill (sandwiches and burgers). There are lots of tables and we never had a problem finding a place to sit.
We ate at the specialty restaurants five of the seven nights. The food was good to very good; the service was very good and the atmosphere also very good, except for Cagney's. We were unfortunately seated behind a large loud group. By the time we realized this it was too late to move.
ENTERTAINMENT All of the shows we attended - Burn the Floor and Rock of Ages - were very good . The Cirques Dreams and Dinner show was amazing - the costumes and the variety of acts and acrobats were outstanding. We spent many hours at Fat Cats. The duelling pianos were a disappointment. They seemed more interested in tips than playing songs. There are definitely many bars and venues for everyone's taste.
DISEMBARKATION: We found disembarkation was well organized and quick. It took about 30 minutes to find our luggage, go through customs and find a taxi to our hotel.
Miscellaneous comments: The muster drill was the most disorganized we have ever attended.
The casino is smoky. However, we didn't find it as bad as others said. We never had to go through other floors to avoid it and we are both non-smokers.
There are some chairs on the Waterfront (deck 8) where you can sit to read or relax away from the crowded upper decks.
Reading cruise critic before our cruise we knew we would need an extension cord for my husband's CPAP machine; we also had a dummy card to charge my tablet when we were out.
We missed one day in Bermuda because of tropical storm Gabrielle. The captain kept us informed at all times. He navigated around the storm and we reached Bermuda twelve hours later than scheduled.
I'm sure I forgot some things so please email if you have questions.
All in all we had a wonderful cruise and would sail on the Breakaway again.