About Me: I’m a 32 year old gay male who sailed solo in the Norwegian Breakaway studios. It was my second experience in the studios with Norwegian. My first was on Norwegian Epic. Overall, this was my 28 cruise and my 18th with Norwegian Cruise Line. I’ve sailed on other brands including Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and sadly once on Carnival. I sailed on the Norwegian Breakaway Inaugural Trans-Atlantic crossing (see my user name above to find the review for that) and wasn’t impressed with her then. Also, this cruise was booked last minute using Norwegian’s newly announced Buy One, Get One free promo and during Bermuda bonus days. The price was too hard to pass up and I booked a week prior to sailing with onboard credit. Would this time be a completely different experience?
Transfer to the Pier: At this year’s Boston Globe Travel Show, Academy Bus Company was handing out brochures for people who wanted to take a bus rather than fly or drive to NYC. I booked with them and learned in Woburn, MA at the pickup site that Academy was the bus line used by Norwegian officially. After being stuck in traffic and waiting for a passenger and her daughter in Springfield, MA, we arrived to the pier just before 2PM after leaving Woburn at 7AM. It was a long bus ride but at least we made it!
Norwegian Breakaway – May 18 – May 25, 2014
Embarkation: Arriving as late as we did, the only check in line with a backup was new to Norwegian. I sailed right through Platinum Latitudes and was on the ship within 10 minutes of arriving to the pier! Immediately I headed to the room to drop off the bag and do a little unpacking of things I’d stuffed in there before heading up on deck for a quick bite at Uptown Grill.
Studio Cabin 11573: This looks exactly the same as the Epic with a few subtle differences and ones that if you’re not paying attention, you wouldn’t notice. On the left as you enter the cabin is the compartment for the toilet (not see through) and the see through shower stall. I chose a cabin which was not connecting so I didn’t keep up my neighbor with my music playing. The connecting door would’ve been between the shower and the toilet stalls. Ahead on entry is the sink and it is in-cabin. To the left of the sink is a row of cubby holes to put towels, sundries and the bottom one is the trash. Storage is plenty under the sink and two closets with doors which slide to the left over the sink and TV. Differences to Epic’s studios is the lighting schema. On Epic, there are four lighting options for the lights surrounding the wall of storage spaces and sink and along the top of the bed. On Breakaway, there’s only one option: White. I missed the multi-color setting. It was like having your own disco! Also, the shower head on the Epic had alternating settings between pulsing and rain and on Breakaway it was only the rain setting.
Studio Lounge: The studio lounge on the Breakaway is about one quarter the size of the one on Epic. Comfortably it cannot fit all the members of the studios which holds about 50 passengers. The studio lounge could comfortably seat 20 people on the bottom level. There was a nightly hosted social hour with Jovan, a member of the Cruise Staff. If Jovan wasn’t so friendly and out-going, I don’t think I would have met the great group of people I did throughout this sailing!
The rest of the cruise review will be in chronological order based on how I did things:
DAY 1: NEW YORK CITY – Embarkation Day: After dropping off the bag and grabbing a quick bite at Uptown Grill, it was time to go to lifeboat drill. I had embarked so late I couldn’t really poke around the ship but had been on it for 7 straight days before so I was comfortable. I headed to the Breakaway Theater and sat through lifeboat drill. Immediately thereafter I headed to Spice H2O for the cast off party. The cast off party featured typical modern line dances, Nickelodeon characters and a walking Statue of Liberty on stilts. After the ship was past the Staten Island, Statue of Liberty and Verrazano Bridge, I went to the Garden Café for a salad and a slice of prime rib!
After freshening up for the evening, it was time for the studio lounge social hour hosted by Jovan at 6PM. Jovan did a good job of going around and introducing himself to people. My primary concern was dining alone at night in the main dining room. I asked if he was arranging nightly dinners for people and he said he would arrange something for the next night. He was very friendly, personable and really out-going. A perfect fit for the job of singles social host!
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Welcome Aboard Show
It was an introduction to some of the entertainment we’d see throughout the week on the Norwegian Breakaway. We had a performance by Fire and Ice, a Motown-soul group, Nickelodeon characters and then the magician who would perform later in the week. In between each act Julie, the Cruise Director would take the stage and talk anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes promoting different, largely pay for items on the ship. I like Julie, she’s fun and outgoing but during this show it was too much talking and not enough performances. Between her this night and the magician who was tacky at best, I got up and left for the 7:30PM Friends of Dorothy gathering. It wasn’t worth staying for Burn the Floor’s bit because I knew I’d be seeing them later in the week already. My recommendation, if you have something else conflicting with this on the first night – do that instead!
The nightly Friends of Dorothy gathering was held at Shaker’s Martini Bar on Deck 8 midship. This is where I met Maurice (Morris) Robeiro. He was a great bartender who knew my drink after I ordered the first one and would remember it for the rest of the cruise. If he saw me and I gave a thumbs up, my drink was ready in seconds! This night I dined in Manhattan towards the tail end of dinner service and sat by the back windows.
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Welcome Aboard Raffle Party
Something new-to-me was Norwegian Breakaway trying to get people to stay out late night at Bliss by giving away prizes to people who entered Bliss and hung around. I stayed for a bit even though I was dog tired from a long travel day. People were winning nice prizes and the music was great! DJ Keith was at the helm but Bliss was too small and cramped to host an event of this size. On the Trans-Atlantic I commented how small Bliss was and for a full passenger load it wouldn’t be able to handle it, I was right. It can’t! Now tables and chairs have been added to an already small dance floor to make more seating available but there was no room for people to stand anywhere except being on the dance floor. I really hope Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss have a larger and more thought out Bliss Lounge!
DAY 2: SEA DAY: After a leisurely breakfast in the Garden Café it was time to hang around the ship and get to see things and check out the gift shops. I met some of the nice gift shop staff during this visit and had a nice conversation with them. Ultimately the only thing I would buy the whole week was dental floss (last minute packing means not everything gets packed)!!
CRUISE CRITIC MEET AND GREET: The senior officers and Julie, Cruise Director, stopped by and Jovo, the Hotel Director spoke to us about the ship. It was a very nice reception from the senior staff of the vessel. He encouraged us to speak up during if something was askew that he could fix, which I did take him up on later in the week. Following the meet and greet was a cabin crawl organized by another CC’er. I only booked a week prior so I wasn’t active in the roll call but they did allow me to tag along and I did! It was a great time, from the interiors on the lowers decks to the ocean view to the balcony, mini-suite, spa suite and a small group of us got to see the forward Suite in the Haven, it was a great tour of the ship. The Haven is a nice place for a nice price. Maybe someday when I win the lottery!
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: 3D MOVIE: Gravity
On the Trans-Atlantic, the Breakaway Theater didn’t have 3D movies or at least I don’t recall them. The cruise staff provide you with Dolby 3D glasses. I chose to sit three rows from the front so it was like an IMAX 3D film. I’d always wanted to see this movie in IMAX but never made it. Wow at the Breakaway Theater sound system and 3D technology! It was like being at a movie theater! I loved the experience and loved the movie!
After the movie it was back to freshen up for the packed evening which lay ahead. I went to the singles social hour and had a 45 minute gap in which to squeeze in an appetizer and main course in the Manhattan Room. Big thanks to Amee Balauro, Waitress in Manhattan for recognizing my crazy schedule this night and getting me the food I wanted quickly, with fast, efficient and friendly service! Without her I would’ve been late for my next social engagement which was a cocktail party. Thereafter, it was a stop at the Friends of Dorothy gathering.
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: BURN THE FLOOR (SECOND SHOW)
I love most styles of dance and loved Burn the Floor before on the trans-Atlantic. I was more than excited to see their production again with a new cast and they didn’t disappoint. From the Tango to the Foxtrot to other styles of dance, you have got to see the show. It’s not boring for anyone. The music has the energy to keep you going alone and the dance styles have a whole new flair for a new, younger generation. It is the BEST show on the Breakaway in my opinion and family friendly!
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Norwegian’s Night Out Party – Spice H2O
It was a little chilly to be topside at Spice H2O but not too bad. The music was great with DJ Keith spinning the tunes until the wee hours of the morning. Drinks were flowing by Morris and new found friends were dancing the night away! The party shut down somewhere around 3AM and I had a blast compared to the trans-Atlantic.
DAY 3: SEA DAY:
I woke up and turned on the window (television) and saw it was raining. I was extremely tired and after a stressful semester coupled with an insane couple of nights on the ship meant I slept the day away and watched TV in the cabin. It was low key and the sun did appear in the afternoon but too late to go topside so I stayed in until it was time for the single social hour. Together with another solo we headed out for the Manhattan Room for dinner.
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: BURN THE FLOOR – “Steppin’ Out” – Manhattan Room
The best part of Burn the Floor is that they perform in the main dining room. I timed the dinner so the main performance would come towards the dessert course. We got a seat close enough to the dance floor to see their feet movements and the show was again astounding. It was nice to have great company for dinner, the show and the food. Norwegian’s new main dining room menu was actually quite good and had a lot of different options.
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: 70’s Disco Groove Dance Party
With DJ Keith at the helm and Jovan, Singles Social Host bouncing around looking for people, it was a great night of dancing to beats from the 70s! Lots of people turned out with the ship’s early arrival into Bermuda the next day. Early on no one was out there so when Jovan approached me to be in the Village People, I said yes. When we were introduced, the dance floor area was a LOT more packed then what I expected. I have never laughed and “danced for my life” so hard before! The YMCA went off nearly flawlessly (or so I thought since I had enough adrenaline rushing through me) but it definitely made the crew remember me all week and some passengers too! It is definitely a lasting memory I’ll have from this cruise. Thank you to Jovan for talking me into it and for a solo cruiser who took a ton of pictures that I will forever cherish!
DAY 4: HERITAGE WHARF, BERMUDA – Day 1
I watched the ship pull in from the Waterfront. After we were alongside, the throngs of people rushed off the ship and I went to a leisurely breakfast in the Taste/Savor complex. On the way to and from breakfast I noted a significant odor of smoke on Deck 6 starting at the Art Gallery and all the way past Le Bistro and Headliners towards the entrance to Taste/Savor. The smoke smell would get stronger as the week progressed. Once I was finished with that the ship was largely deserted so I went the gym and enjoyed the ship largely to myself. The crew had a drill and it lasted for my entire workout.
I went back to the cabin and took a shower and headed up to the Garden Café for some lunch before going to Spice H2O which was also a ghost town to lay out for some afternoon sun. Spice H2O features cool beats from the stereo at a soft level and the screen features the Window Channel with different images from all over the world. The only thing which was not working was the waterfall, cool off area. It was completely drained. It was blistering hot up there and you had to go into the shower to cool off. I wrote a Dear Jovo letter to have it fixed and it was working the next time I laid out up there.
At about 3PM I headed off the ship to snag some wifi from some crew recommended places. There are several places to get wifi but the best option is the Wifi Zones offered by Island Outfitters with prices packages from $3 for 1 hour, $10 for 24 hours and $20 for 72 hours. I purchased the 24 hour package. The service was slow in the dock yard during peak crew times off and I can understand why as they spend long amounts of time away from their family and friends and want to keep in touch. I tried to avoid using it during their peak times as it was slow. It worked in other parts of the island, including Hamilton!
Back on the ship it was time for the Solo Traveler’s Meet-up hosted by Jovan. Irma was our bartender from O’Sheehans pub and grill for the hour. She always looked after us and made sure we were ok. She even remembered me from an earlier Norwegian Spirit sailing and asked about my mother. You know you cruise too much when crew remember you from other ships and years back! Met up with another single and went off to the night’s featured entertainment.
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: ROCK OF AGES (FIRST SHOW)
Either people didn’t book it because they were ashore in Bermuda or weren’t interested in 80’s music. This show is as risqué as I’ve ever seen at sea. It’s a true Broadway representation of the show at sea. Not having mom next to me this time meant I got to enjoy it more. However, it’s still not a show for children – don’t bring them, no matter how young! Skin is still in and plenty of it! If you have conservative values or easily offended, then this show is not for you. I enjoyed it this time around but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again should I sail on Breakaway. The solo cruiser I saw it with said she was surprised by some of the content and would also not bring her mother to the show.
After dinner in the Manhattan Room listening to the Manhattan Room band, it was time for Dancing with the Breakaway Stars at 10PM in the atrium. The teams were downright crazy this cruise with people going all out for the plastic trophy crown and bottle of bubbly. It was a great time. I went to cheer on Jovan, our solo cruiser host, but sadly he was eliminated before the finals. The losers lounge portion is always a laugh riot!
Tonight was Party under the Stars with DJ Keith. I stopped by for two drinks before heading ashore to the party at Snorkel Park’s Club Aqua. Wednesday night this place was happening with crew and passengers from both the Norwegian Breakaway and Celebrity Summit. As the night went on more crew showed up but the energy seemed to wane as the beats slowed from dance to hip hop so I went back towards the pier and grabbed some wifi with crew before turning in for the night.
DAY 5: HERITAGE WHARF, BERMUDA – Day 2
Today I got up fairly early and snagged some breakfast at Taste / Savor. The service was fast and efficient and allowed me time to get off the ship to grab a green tea latte at Buzz in the Dockyard Pharmacy. I’m still waiting for Norwegian to partner with Starbucks and get their tea menu! Now that’s a partnership I’d love to see on Norwegian! Snagged some more wifi and checked on a few things before heading back to the ship and hastily packing my backpack to go to a last minute trip to Hamilton.
Ferries to Hamilton run every half hour from the Royal Naval Dockyard, except during the lunch hour. In the afternoon there is an hourly ferry back to the Dockyard from Hamilton. I took the ferry over and walked up Front Street going into the gift shops. A tip is to keep walking up Front Street because the further you go from the ferry terminal, the better the deals that can be had on souvenirs. I looped up by the Bermudian Parliament building and the Episcopal Church before stopping at City Hall for their free museum on Bermuda’s history and then looped down to the park on Queen’s Street for a little people watching before heading back to the ship. It was a nice little jaunt to get me out of the sun and get some exploring in. Having been to Bermuda five times previously, I’d done most of the island highlights I wanted to do.
Back on the Breakaway, it was time for the solo’s gathering hosted by Jovan. He did a great job tonight of getting everyone together and organizing us for a Dolce Gelato on the following evening and also put up a sign up for the final night’s meal in Manhattan. He really was keeping our group engaged and keeping the people who wanted to be social together.
SPECIALTY DINING: MODERNO CHURRASCARIA
After the solo’s gathering, it was time to dine on the waterfront. I used the Platinum Latitudes rewards dinner for Moderno Churrascaria. On this voyage Moderno’s waterfront location overlooked the sunset over the Royal Naval Dockyard’s museum house. It was picturesque. The food was great, service efficient and the portions plenty! The solo who I dined with only wanted specific meats so she told the waitress at the beginning of the dinner service and they brought her a plate with every meat except beef. The salad bar was filled with plenty of options as well. Moderno can be sometimes hit or miss, if you go earlier in the evening I found the meats to always be tender and juicy and this time was no different as we dined at 6:30PM. The sunset happened and it was truly beautiful!
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Deal or No Deal
Happening in the atrium, I came upon this while heading back to the cabin forward from Moderno on Deck 8 in O’Sheehans. It caught my attention as I’ve never made it to this game show before but always wanted to see how it was played. One person is selected to play on the big screen and gets the prizes while everyone else plays on the floor and tries to match what is in the cases that the person opens. Since they are all scanned into the computer before the game is played, the computer tracks how many people have matches and at the end of each round displays them. Not one person won a cash prize out of the game, most won a strip of pull tabs and some won a free photo from the photo gallery. For the price to play the game, it wasn’t worth the money for me to go back and want to play again but it was fun to encourage the person which case to open! She ended up with $419.
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: GLOW Party – Spice H2O
Prior to heading up to Spice H2O, we met up for a drink in O’Sheehan’s served by Irma who is the studio solos bartender as well. One of several theme nights on the Norwegian Breakaway, Spice H2Glow features fast paced beats spun by Norwegian’s best resident DJ at sea – DJ KEITH! He didn’t disappoint and kept the party going until the wee hours. Glow sticks were handed out to early guests such as myself and some studio solo folks.
A splinter group of us went off ship and headed to Club Aqua at Snorkel Park. We regretted that decision as it was dead and we left at 1AM. The DJ at Snorkel Park on Thursday night was hideous. He wanted to keep hearing himself blabbering and calling out people for whatever stupid reason, either to encourage people to drink or people who were celebrating something. I think he was doing a better job of driving most people back to the ships from where they came including us!
Back on the Norwegian Breakaway after 1AM, the party was still going strong up in Spice H2O. It went until about 2AM and then went to after hours at Bliss. Bliss was still hopping for the late hour but the music and beats were different. Music in Bliss was provided by DJ Rick. I stayed until roughly 3AM talking with some folks in there before going to bed.
DAY 6: HERITAGE WHARF, BERMUDA – Day 3
Today was Norwegian Breakaway’s last day in port and I started the day with a breakfast in the Taste/Savor complex. I joined a solo who had already placed her order but the server came right over with a table setup and the waitress took my order. We talked and she wanted to try the Wii Dance 4 in the Atrium at 10AM. I swung by that on the way back to the cabin and got sucked in! What a fun time dancing in the middle of the atrium and trying to keep up with what was on screen. People were stopping by and watching but thankfully most people were off ship so it wasn’t so embarrassing! I still can’t believe I danced to a Justin Bieber song… um, yeah… that happened!
Next it was time to spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon in Spice H2O sunning. Lunch was from the Uptown Grill with spicy meatballs and vegetables served. I love the menu in Uptown Grill. It’s fast but it’s healthy if you want it to be! I returned to the lounger in Spice and more people started to trickle back to there as the ship was going to be leaving at 5PM. At about 3:30PM I headed off ship to Buzz at Dockyard Pharmacy for one last green tea latte.
On the pier the Norwegian Breakaway crew and senior staff were throwing the welcome back bash with Julie on stilts and the beats provided by none other than DJ KEITH! Most of the crew were dancing and had on shirts that said I love NYC. It was cute but going against the flow of passengers returning and crew dancing proved a bit of a challenge. I made it with plenty of time to spare and returned back just as the party was winding down and they were getting ready to pull up the gangway.
Back on the Breakaway it was time for cast off. This coincided with the single’s solo gathering so I told Jovan I would meet him and the fellow solos outside Dolce Gelato at 5:30PM because it closed at 6PM which was the time it was originally scheduled for. I watched the ship pull away and turn and as we were sailing up the side of Bermuda towards St. Georges, the rest of the solos who were in the lounge came down and we all ate Gelato together and talked and watched as Bermuda faded away into the setting sun. It was a nice group gathering and very thoughtful of Jovan to do this to utilize the waterfront and see off Bermuda.
Tonight was the Platinum Latitude’s Cocktail Reception where Martin, the Future Cruise Consultant, basically tells you about the new itineraries and sells the Cruise Rewards program. It’s a nice program and definitely has its benefits if you’re a loyal Norwegian. I talked with the Assistant Hotel Director (Djamel?) and the Restaurant Manager Iulian during the reception. Both made me feel less awkward sitting there by myself (no solos could accompany me as it was invite only). Thanks to them for that!
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Awesome 80s Party – Spice H2O
Most of the people who were up in Spice H2O were up there to see the fireworks display at 10:45PM. It was never as crowded as it was for this night during the entire cruise up there. People were pushing and shoving and the port side of the deck is closed off for safety reasons for the fireworks display so everyone was packed onto the dance floor and starboard side by the bar.
The 80s music was playing and some of the fellow guests dressed up like Bon Jovi, Tina Turner and one even as Madonna. They were good sports and aptly rewarded with a free drink afterward. They put on a good show.
When 10:45PM rolled around, the music stopped and people were looking around for a good few minutes and then it was announced that due to the windy conditions on deck and they’re trying adjustments (I’m assuming to ships course and heading), they would be unable to safely perform the show. People grumbled and started the mass exodus towards the exit. The solos who grouped together stayed up there and drank while DJ KEITH continued to play the 80s music.
I’m not a huge fan of 80s music and the wind and chill were just too much to stay up there so we decided to float around the ship and see what was going on. We headed to Bliss where at 11PM the evening nightclub was supposed to begin with DJ Rick. When we arrived people were dancing to ballroom and they still were at 11:15PM. I’m not sure what happened to the party but lots of people were going into Bliss and leaving.
We decided to head over to O’Sheehans and grab a drink from Irma while sitting at the bar. I was hungry so I ordered spicy chicken wings which were awesome! We had our drink and then went back over to Bliss. In Bliss, I was stunned to hear what I was hearing when I walked in. A song was playing where nearly every other word was the f-bomb with one renegade b-word thrown in for good measure. Norwegian always plays clean versions and when I give music to the DJ’s its always clean. I was stunned this guy was playing such trash music! I did write a Dear Jovo comment card about this night and about DJ Rick’s song choice.
The 80’s party came to an abrupt end when I returned up there hoping the music would flip to something a little more current when the sky opened up and the ship sailed into a downpour. 80s music is not for me. With the one hour time change, it was truly a wasted night for me when it could have been an awesome one. Norwegian needs to seriously re-consider signing this DJ Rick. He’s not good for the brand image and reminds me of the music I heard in the nightclub on the crappiest cruise I’ve ever taken – Carnival. Also, a stronger theme night such as Spice H2Glow should be on the night of the time change.
DAY 7: AT SEA
On our final full day on the ship, I started off with a leisurely breakfast in the Taste/Savor restaurant complex. I followed it by attending the Tango Class by a Burn the Floor dancer. I watched as people learned how to tango from O’Sheehans. I didn’t feel like participating as the floor was too crowded. Lots of ballroom dancers on this voyage! I’d see them dancing at night to the Manhattan Room band as well.
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Wine Lovers: The Musical
This was a new experience on the Norwegian Breakaway for me. It replaced the Dysfunctional Family Reunion Second City was putting on during the Trans-Atlantic. This is a wine tasting with a lunch while watching a musical performance about wine. There are a total of 6 wines tasted. Five are presented when you sit down, the sixth at the end after dessert. The meal consisted of salad with duckling strips, an entrée of shrimp and steak and dessert was a coffee flavored cake. The wines varied from Chardonnay to Norwegian’s Signature blend. The show was not overly entertaining but it had moments, like when the lead forgot his lines and everyone thought he was joking – but he really wasn’t or when he was making jokes about the red wines and the high school prom dress (I’m not explaining it)! For the wine tasting and the lunch, it was a good pairing. The show was just added filler for the wine tasting. I would recommend doing it!
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: International Crew Talent Show
At 2PM in the Breakaway Theater, crew largely based from the Philippines performed songs, modern dance, traditional cultural dances and then the grand finale with the staff and crew joining them to the You are Norwegian Now song. The show was entertaining and some of the crew while seemingly shy and nervous put on a great show. Go and support your crew members, they work so hard for you and cheering them on is one way of giving back!
Tonight was the final solo’s gathering of the cruise hosted by Jovan. He arranged for a special meal for all of us to dine together in the Manhattan Room. It was a great idea and we really enjoyed our final night together. Shortly after dinner concluded I stopped by the photo gallery to get a stock photo of the Norwegian Breakaway to add to my cruise ship photo wall. Immediately after I headed to Shaker’s Martini Bar to see if anyone was showing up for the Friends of Dorothy gathering and during this time an announcement was made by Julie saying the fireworks were going to be attempted again tonight at 8:30PM so head to Spice H2O.
BREAKAWAY ENTERTAINMENT: Fireworks at Sea – Spice H2O
I took the photo and headed up to Spice H2O where DJ KEITH was hastily setting up to spin for a few minutes and create an instant party while the crew were standing by with the port side roped off. It was looking favorable. To keep us warm DJ KEITH played some modern tunes we danced to as a group. We stayed out on the dance floor which is the best vantage point for the fireworks display. The fireworks went off choreographed to the 80s playlist and were absolutely beautiful. I had a better vantage point then the Trans-Atlantic crossing and everyone in the group loved the fireworks. Thanks to Jovo, the Captain, Julie and the fire safety team for getting the show in before the cruise ended.
We returned to our cabins to pack up and get the luggage out and returned to O’Sheehans one final time to say goodbye to Irma and get a drink. We talked for a bit with her before heading off to Party Music with DJ KEITH in the Bliss Lounge. When we arrived it was dead as we got there early but the solos agreed to all meet up there and say goodbye one last time while partying the night away. Jovan even stopped by and danced a few songs with us and we all exchanged information and danced the night away. Shortly after midnight I headed to O’Sheehans for some hot wings and then joined some of the solos in Howl at the Moon for a few songs before going to bed. It was a great night and thanks to DJ KEITH for providing some great tunes for us!
DAY 8: New York City – Disembarkation
I woke up at 7:30AM and turned on the TV bow cam channel and we were already docked. Shortly after that an announcement was made that all guests with easy walk off should start to disembark the vessel. I chose to have my luggage taken off for me and went to Taste / Savor one last time for breakfast. The ship had run out of bananas on this morning but it wasn’t a big deal. I still had everything else I wanted and was on my way back to the cabin by 8:30AM and the announcement came for the motor coach transfers at 9AM to disembark so I headed to the gangway.
I was outside customs in less than a half hour after disembarking the ship. I was booked with Academy Bus Company and so I was looking for their busses. The folks who booked the transfer from Norwegian had Admiral’s Bus Company on their return vouchers. The drivers for the Academy busses were nice and told us the bus for Woburn would be along shortly and to wait, which we did. When the bus arrived, the driver had my name and the rest of the other folks going on the same route on his manifest so that was indeed the company. Norwegian printed the wrong name on the bus transfer voucher for them.
On the bus, we had a comfort stop when we got out of NYC to pick up food and drinks as it was going towards lunch time. We headed back on the highway driving through Hartford up I-84 to the MA Pike and then into Framingham, MA for our first stop. Woburn, MA was the second stop and Salem, MA was the last stop. I was home by 2:45PM. All in all, Academy Bus wasn’t a bad method of transportation from New England to the pier in Manhattan. It is traffic dependent as to how long the ride is but on the way back the bus ride flew by! It definitely beats flying and takes just as long when you factor going through an airport. Plus, it’s cheaper than flying at $110 round trip per person!
I always start concluding my reviews by thanking the people who made the vacation memorable, either through great service or for a lasting memory. First and foremost I’d like to thank Jovan Dostanic (Single’s Social Host) for his amazing work all week long in getting me and others engaged together and creating lasting friendships and crazy memories (YMCA on 70s night to name one). Jovan is full of energy and enthusiasm and definitely loves his job. It shines in the work he does. Second, I would like to thank DJ Keith for his excellent sets every night of the cruise. He kept the party going, clean and strong until the wee hours. He’s the best Norwegian DJ and always delivers a good party! The Boston market misses him on the Dawn but I’m saddened to learn he’ll be further away as his next deployment is on Getaway!! Keep him in NYC or bring him back to Boston! Third, I would like to thank a special bartender Irma Tuazon for her incredible memory for remembering me from Maharini’s Lounge on the Norwegian Spirit a few years back and for taking care of us solos in the Studio Lounge and when we would visit her in O’Sheehans. Another bartender who memorized my drink the first night was Maurice (Morris) Robeiro. All I had to do was give him a thumbs up and my drink was ready in no time! Now that’s service. The entire staff and crew of the Norwegian Breakaway were exceedingly friendly and offered excellent service and thanks to them all I had a vacation that I will remember for years to come.
The smoke issue from the casino drifting up to Deck 8 forward towards Fat Cats and on Deck 6 through the art gallery to the atrium was one problem from the Trans-Atlantic which seemed to have worsened on this voyage. The smoke was further reaching. The air cleaning scrubbers were not working in the casino and more are needed throughout the open air on the decks above and below the casino. A suggestion would be creating a walled area for smokers who want to play table games and slots and trying to contain the smoke there.
In the end, I did enjoy my last minute Breakaway Bermuda cruise much better than I did the Trans-Atlantic crossing and have great memories and friends for life! Norwegian Breakaway offers a better nightlife experience than the Norwegian Dawn out of Boston despite her design issues (Bliss) in some areas. I look forward to my second, free sailing with Norwegian in the future on the Norwegian Sky later this year or early next year!