This was our 8th cruise, last one on Celebrity Equinox, December, 2012, three cruises on RCCL, including Rhapsody of the Seas, one Princes sailing and two other NCL cruises, last being Norwegian Dawn in 2006.
We are a married couple in early and late forties, with three kids who stayed home with their grandparents during this sailing. We have booked this cruise three weeks before the sailing in a balcony guarantee category, which was priced as inside cabin at the time. Two weeks pre sail date we were assigned a cabin in the mid-ship location on deck 11. Perfect location, mid-ship in every sense of the word: front to back and top to bottom. Very short walk to stairs / elevators ( Forward). For those with no walking handicap, practically eliminates need for the elevators all together. Very quiet location, with only cabins on decks directly above and bellow. Bed is by the door, which we felt is better than by the balcony, because it creates a feel of the "living area with sliding door" ( this is our perception). Room has a coffee / tea maker for single cup servings only. Closet and storage space was more than ample for us.
Breakaway is a beautiful ship, very classy, with a definite feel of NYC all around. We live in one of the boroughs of NYC and we felt like a night out in Manhattan every evening on the Breakaway. I don't want to compare and contrast this cruise with others I've been to. All I can say, we had a great, relaxing vacation and would definitely sail on the same ship and even same itinerary again.
Four paid dining venues we tried were great. Complimentary dining options were good. Customer service was not at all what people describe. Balconies may be small for some, but absolutely served their purpose for us. Entertainment was good. Fireworks were exceptional, since we have never experienced anything like this on any cruise. There is tons of information available covering every inch of the ship on CC forum and it is helpful. This is just a general overview for those taking negative reviews to heart. Whoever is going on the Breakaway- ENJOY! We did.