We took the Breakaway for New Year's ( 12/29 - 1/5) to celebrate our 5th anniversary and to give our 4 teenagers something to remember. We enjoyed it very much.
1. We were looking for a "family friendly cruise where the kids had things to do and wouldn't say " I'm bored!!" by Tuesday.
2. This was my first cruise. But I am fussy. Not like a Manhattanite, but fussy all the same.
Remember that this ship has 4000 passengers and 1000 crew. Hard to do everything flawlessly, but everything they did with us was just fine.
We found the room well appointed. Our housekeeper was attentive ( learned our names) and was quick to help when we needed thing like glasses, towels or ice.
Funny, when you get on board they are busy huckstering you to sign up for things, but they didn't seem to have enough people at guest services, the box office, or the restaurant reservation deck. Fact is, you don't have to rush. We never had a problem getting a reservation when we needed it, and since we were travelling with my brother and his family we needed seating for 11.
The food was mediocre, but what do you expect, really? If all you ate at was the Garden Cafe buffet and Manhattan, you might have a beef about the food ( although the beef seemed the best item). Definitely budget to go to some of the up-charge restaurants. We really liked Cagney's and Moderno but were unimpressed with Ocean Blue.
Contrary to other reviewers, we found the crew to be professional. True, a lot of them were not great english-speakers, but they did try hard to be of help. Our waiter in Ocean Blue had worked for NCL for 20 years, another for 4.
We brought a case of wine with us ( and water for the kids) which the wait staff opened for a modest corkage fee. The guy who went looking for the sommelier didn't realize, I guess, that the offerings were mediocre. But teh cocktails were very inventive and good.
The teenagers loved the nightlife. We took in the shows, all of which are worth seeing. My son and I enjoyed Slam Allen and his band. We did get to stop at Stirrup Cay: nothing real exciting there, except we were ready to get off the boat. Atlantis was an expensive add-on, but for our kids, it was worth it extra money.
Yes, they are always trying t get in your pocket and they do some Mickey Mouse things ( like selling cigars but not offering matches- you can buy the lighter, bub), and the odd-looking cruise director was a bit annoying at first ( he mellowed into a kind of cartoon character), but that is commerce.
If it was just my wife and I, we would have chosen another boat and another cruise ( we are going in March on the SilverSpirit, where in our 50s we expect to be the " Young Set") . But for a family cruise, maybe the last we'll be able to take with all the kids for awhile, it was perfect and memorable.