Stray Dog enjoyed his Epic cruise so much that he decided to book a studio on the Breakaway.
How did it compare? Read more to find out below!
Overall, there is going to be a little bias as NYC is a 90 minute bus ride from me and more interesting than Miami which of course involves getting up early to go the airport, fly, then take a cab to a hotel and then to a ship.
In NYC I can walk from the bus to the hotel, and even walk from the hotel to the pier (took a cab though) even with 2 carry ons.
I got to NYC Saturday morning 9AM - dropped my bags off at the hotel (Comfort Inn Theatre District) and then went to 2 movies and 2 plays. The next day it was around a $11-12 cab ride (had some construction en route still a good deal) and got to the pier around 10:20 and took the elevator up and dropped of my bags. Was on the ship 11:30 or so and at O Sheenans around 12- by 12:30 the rooms were ready- Luggage was there by 2:30.
* Of note, I had originally booked a studio but due to lower occupancy was able to grab a balcony for $15 more a night. I would say this marginally made my cruise better but if I had to stay in a studio again I wouldn't hesistate. The main advantage of having the balcony in my opinion was more space to unpack clothes and it was nice spending some time on it but I do not go on a cruise to be isolated from people.
I went to the Studio Lounge that afternoon and joined some other solo travelers throughout the week for shows, bus/ferry rides and meals. We had a great time and enjoyed each others company.
I did not eat at any speciality restaurants: Several things in the MDr were excellent such as eggplant parm, moouse, and a corn/cheddar soup. One reason of skipping speciliaty's was the Uptown Grill was very useful for sandwiches at 4PM after a day at the pool or in Bermuda. The hot dogs were very good as well! Late at night I would sometimes get nachos with cheese sauce.
Entertainment is my favorite thing- I enjoy getting up on stage like on the Epic and playing the piano at Fat Cats and with Howl at the Moon. NCL is very good about this; although there seemed to be more audience participation on the Epic.
Although I enjoyed the cruise as much as the Epic, I think the Epic had some of the better shows (BMG, Legends, I liked the Epic Cirque better)
I thought my service was excellent- made sure to tip my steward extra. My safe didn't work at first and he had someone there within 3 minutes to reset it the first day. Dining room was slow for lunch, decent for dinner.
The cabin was very spacious and comfortable and I am thinking about trying to book last minute for next year.
Bermuda was very enjoyable- highlights for me were: The Dockyard Museum, the Bermuda Triangle Cruise, and Fungolf even though I shot an 86 for hitting to many sand traps.
I skipped some forts, the cave and aquarium but plan on going again. The bus ride back from St George was very scenic and I ate good veal parm at a restaurant called La Tratorria I think .
I liked how the ship was much more open than the Epic- also I found it easier to meet people and find them than on the Epic. I thought I would not like Spice H20 but felt it is improved: even though the pool is gone, I liked the water fall feature. I found some of those day chairs on the left side and combined them which was enjoyable to read on.
Anything I missed? I'll post a link of this in the cc NCL forum.
Disembarkation was much easier (did the early walk off) than the Epic and I was at the Bus Terminal ($16 cab ride) by 8:15 and back home by 11am.
Would I do it again? Defintely!
I was considering going in December possibly but today would likely stick to Bermuda in September