Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by JMR53: Beautiful Ship
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This was our second cruise on Norwegian. Our first was on the Jewel in 2012. That cruise got my husband and I hooked on cruising.
We left from the New York Manhattan terminal. . Norwegian has the process of checking in down to a science. We arrived a little after 11AM and we were on board by 11:45AM. We had lunch in Savor as we have done the buffet on the first day and it is usually hectic. Savor had a few people but we were seated right away. The meal was good and service was fast. By the time we were done lunch our cabin was ready.
Although the Breakaway is a big ship it is easy to get around. Most of the public rooms are in the center of the ship. The stairway in the center takes you from near the atrium on deck six to the casino on deck 7. Most of the public rooms and restaurants are on decks 6, 7 and 8.
My husband like the trivia contests so we tried to do most of those. They are fun and each one has a different theme. Ricky, the staff member who hosted More most of them was kind of reserve. Except on the last sea day where the topic was Elvis trivia. You could tell he was really into Elvis so his true personality finally came out. This was the most fun of all of them.
There are a number of activities that come with an additional cost. We did not participate in any of those but I did notice on the daily schedule that they had more pay activities than I have seen on past cruises.
The pool area was small and crowded but neither of us are pool people so it really didn't impact out cruise.
Service: Overall I would say it was good. . Our cabin steward, Mike, was exceptional!!. He came in as soon as we got to our cabin and introduced himself. He already knew our last name. Anything we needed, which wasn't much, he made sure we had it right away. He caught on right away that I really enjoyed the towel critters and made sure they were there every night and I have to say they were unique. I loved them.
As for the rest of the staff, they could take many lessons from Mike. They were all very professional I will give you that. But they were not fun or friendly. It seemed like they were instructed not to interact with the guests. Other cruises I have been on, including the Jewel, the staff had been friendly and that made the cruise fun. You would pass them in the hall and a lot of times they would remember your name. Not on this cruise. Most of the time when you passed staff, including officers, they did not acknowledge you. It does keep it professional but when on vacation, I leave the professional me at home and try to relax and have fun. I would think that being in the vacation service industry that it would be part of the job to be friendly to the guests. I may be alone in this thinking but I am a social person so I guess I might have noticed this more than other people.
The ship arrived in Bermuda on Wednesday morning. I was still asleep when we arrived so I don't know what time we actually got there. The sun was shining and the weather was beautiful the whole time we were in port. It did get a bit chilly at night but a light sweater or jacket was all you needed. The people in Bermuda are very friendly and knowledgeable about the island. When we first arrived we took the horse and buggy tour around the Royal Dockyard. It gave us a good feel for the island and the people. Then we took the Famous Homes sightseeing tour. It was not quite what I expected but it was a pleasant boat ride and the staff kept you entertained while explaining things about the island. I would recommend both of these tours. We also took the Gossling Rum Tour. This is a good cruise if you are not opposed to drinking rum straight. We do not therefore we did not really enjoy it. I did however get some great pictures of the sun setting over the ocean.
We had dinner at the Frog and Onion in the Dockyard. I can tell you that is was one of the best meals I had. It was so good my husband and I went back the next night and ordered the same thing. We had the prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. It was fantastic. This is a do not miss in Bermuda. The drinks are pricey, we paid $20 a piece for one drink but we did get to keep the glasses.
Cabin: We were in an Aft balcony cabin. We usually had mid ship balcony but I have to tell you I love the Aft cabins. We had a handicapped cabin due to my husbands problems but I did not expect it to be as big as it was. The room was clean, plenty of storage and the balcony was large. There was a coffee maker in the cabin but coffee on the ship is really bad ( if you are as particular about coffee as I am). I took my own and made it rather than start the day with bad coffee. Other than that I have no complaints about the cabin. Again, Mike was a good part of the reason we enjoyed out cabin so much.
Dining: there are so many options for dining that you can not eat at everyone of them during a one week cruise. As I mentioned earlier we had lunch at Savor. On Sunday night we ate at Cagney's Steakhouse. Never a disappointment. Our second night there we had dinner in the Manhattan Room. This is a particularly unique restaurant in that it is designed to look like an old New York supper club. It has live music and a dance floor so you can dance if you want to. We were on a tight time frame that night as we were meeting people at 8pm. We arrived for dinner at 6:30. Our waiter, Bartly, ,made sure we were out with time to spare. My husband and I had that days' special which was meat lasagna. It was very good. On Tuesday night we ate at La Bistro. The onion soup was excellent and the pork was good.
Breakfast we usually grabbed something at the buffet. Other than breakfast we had lunch once at the buffet and did not go back again. They had minimal offerings and the burgers were dry. On the last night we were going to eat dinner there but nothing looked appealing. i will tell that they were very creative with leftovers which I understand but as far as I am concerned they should only open for breakfast. Now I am not a food snob, I like diner food but this stuff did not even hit the standards of cart food. We ended up eating lunch in O'Sheenan's on most days. We also had dinner there when they had the prime rib. The prime rib at O'Sheenan's was actually better than Cagney's. The last night we ate at Taste. My husbands order was wrong but the waiter left and didn't come back so he decided to eat the chicken. It was not fully cooked so he only ate the potatoes and we ordered some pizza back in the room.
Now the wait staff. They were mostly all professional. Some were a bit rude in that they stared at my husband (due to his disability) and did not respond to him but rather looked at me to take over the conversation. This happened in O'Sheenan's and in Taste and a few of other places on board. I feel that they are in the service industry and must understand that they will meet all kinds of people and some will have disabilities. Everyone should be treated with respect. We didn't experience this on the jewel. It happened a number of times but we did not let it ruin our cruise.
Entertainmet: We only went to Second City and Burn the Floor both were very good and fun. We spent a lot of time in the casino.
Disembarkation: We got off the ship at 8:15 Am took a cab to Penn Station and were back in PA by 10:30. It can't get any easier than that.
Summary: Overall we enjoyed this cruise. Except for a few problems it was fun and relaxing. We met some really nice people through the Roll Call on Cruise Critic. If you are planning a cruise I would highly recommend joining the Roll Call for that cruise. Less
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