I am an experienced cruiser. I generally take 5 or 6 cruises per year on different cruise lines. I try to enjoy each cruise on its own merits. I was traveling alone on the Breakaway and I felt the ship was a really good option because it is a very large ship with excellent entertainment options. When traveling by myself, I love freestyle cruising. These are my opinions of the ship:
My standard balcony cabin was quite small, but elegantly appointed. I loved the soft, easy tones and lighting. Everything was sparkling clean and the beds were incredibly comfortable. There is not much storage space, but I made it all work. My cabin attendant did an excellent job of keeping my room clean and tidy.
On our 7 night cruise, I never had dinner in the same dining venue twice. I loved having all the different options. If you make reservations online for a specialty restaurant for the first night of your cruise, you will receive a free bottle of wine with your dinner, so I reserved a spot for myself in Le Bistro, which was excellent. The food and service were outstanding. The head-waiter remembered me from a previous sailing on Norwegian Jewel. The main dining room, the Manhattan restaurant is beautiful. The food is more basic in the free venue, but the service I had and the decor was very well done. It was fun to see people get up and dance between dinner courses. Everyone was having a great time. I also really enjoyed Cagney's Steakhouse. Again, excellently prepared food with prompt, attentive service.
Norwegian Breakaway has some of the best entertainment options at sea. I love that Norwegian is getting away from the silly song and dance routines, jugglers and bad magicians that are so typical on cruise lines. Burn the Floor was very well produced. I loved every minute of it. Rock of Ages, while not my cup of tea, was a great, entertaining, Broadway style show. Cirque Dreams dinner show was really fun. While the food wasn't the best, the experience was very entertaining and fun. A very innovative entertainment feature you cannot get on other cruise lines. My favorite entertainer onboard was Slam Allen in the Blues Club. WOW, what an incredibly talented entertainer. I ended up seeing several of his shows onboard. DON'T MISS SLAM ALLEN!! The entertainers at Howl at the Moon were also amazingly good. The breakaway does not have a Spinnaker Lounge, or a comfortable venue for ship entertainment like bingo and parties. They try to hold Some entertainment events in the atrium and it just does NOT work, unfortunately. Popular events like Deal or No Deal simply cannot accommodate everyone who would like to attend and it ends up being CHAOS.
Breakaway has some of the best water slides I have seen at sea. The water is heated, so people were able to enjoy them even when it was a little cool outside. The ropes course also seemed very fun and popular, although I did not try it myself. There aren't many open deck areas to just lounge around. Everything on the upper decks felt cramped. Too much upper deck space is reserved for the Haven Suites, which leaves little deck space for the remaining people who can't afford such luxuries. The remaining deck space holds the water slides and ropes course. The swimming pool is tiny and looked like an afterthought. Between the tiny pool and the waterslides they built a huge bar area that takes up too much valuable deck space. Overall the outside decks are poorly designed, tightly packed and cramped.
When I boarded Breakaway, I loved the look and concept of the waterfront. Outdoor eating and drinking areas on deck 8 of the ship. While it is a fun idea, I never saw any of the waterfront areas used during my entire 7 day cruise. It always looked like a ghost town on the waterfront.
I recommend pre-reserving your entertainment options before you leave home. Log onto the Norwegian website and reserve your shows. Also, Norwegian has a discounted specialty dinner special if you pre-reserve before leaving home. I recommend booking that as well and enjoy some of the better restaurants onboard.
Overall I LOVED my cruise on Norwegian Breakaway. Being a regular cruiser on Norwegian, I felt right at home. I've never seen better entertainment on a ship and I love the new direction Norwegian Cruise Line is heading with their new ships.