Just got off the Breakaway cruising Oct 13th to the Bahamas. We had a good time but not sure if I would book NCL over other cruiselines for my next cruise. There were plus and minuses as with every vacation. Here's my review.
It was a breeze. We were able to take advantage of the Casino at Sea priority line and boarded the ship immediately. A+
Very small inside cabin for a new ship compared to other cruise lines. C -
We did not care much for the stage shows. Burn the Floor was good. Rock of Ages was in my opinion bad. I saw the Broadway version twice and I felt that the singing here was ok but the acting was amateurish. It felt like I was watching a HS production of the show. Cirque show ( we went on the first night which was discounted for $29.99) in my opinion was not worth the extra money. It was a nice show, but you can see the same acts they showcase for free on other cruise lines (juggling, quick change, aerial acts, etc). Second City was awful in my opinion. I guess this is just a preference. I did not care for their sketch acts and it seemed as if we were watching drunk college students put on a comedy act.
We did enjoy Dancing with the Breakaway Stars which was fun, couples game show which was hilarious, Fire and Ice--love their Motown and Tina Turner Show, trivia, etc.
Howl at the Moon was entertaining for the night we went as was the Blues Band in Fat Cats.
Dan the Man was a great cruise director and was visible everywhere around the ship. His staff were friendly and upbeat.
The one thing we did not care for is having some of these events in the atrium. There is not enough seating for people and if you dont get there a half hour before, good luck trying to see what's going on. For example, the not so newlywed game is in Headliners which does not accommodate that many guests...why not put it in the theater? Doesn't make sense.
I give the entertainment on this ship a Rating: C.
Sporting activities / Pool Deck
Ropes Course was enjoyable and the slides were really fun...loved the free fall slides. Rockwall was not open often--didn't get to try. Miniature golf area was very disappointing. Pool was small and crowded on sea day morning and early afternoon.....went late afternoon around 5pm and it was cleared out by then. Rating: B
This is where I feel this ship fails. Besides our room attendant and the casino staff, service lacked terribly especially in O'Sheehans and Dining Room. Staff seemed to have an attitude and service was very slow. Guest service desk was not informative or helpful. Seemed like you were bothering them. Rating D
We dined at Cagneys--very good and the service was great, Le Bistro was disappointing except for the desserts which were very yummy!. Shanghai Noodle Bar---wasn't worth the extra cost---could go to the buffet and get similar food. Tried the Lobster Roll and Calamari at Ocean Blue---it was good, but don't feel the Lobster Roll was worth the extra $10. Rating: B-
Very organized and went smoothly Rating A+
Overall Rating: C
We did have a good cruise but not sure if we would book this ship again. We cruised on the Gem last year (first cruise on NCL) and loved the freestyle concept. On the Breakaway, it seemed like everything had to be planned in advanced and you were fighting the crowds. I think if we plan another NCL cruise and the price is right, it will be on a smaller ship where freestyle actually works and there is no planning involved.