Last June, 2013, after disembarking Carnival's Splendor, we noticed the NCL's Breakaway was in the next slip. At that time the ship was only 3 or 4 weeks old and looked fabulous. We decided then and there that we would cruise the Breakaway in the near future. One year later, we did.
At the end of May, we booked with a guaranteed balcony room, with 8 days to spare. We were assigned 12758 on the starboard side the ship. Boarding was very smooth and we were on board within 30 minutes of arrivng at the port. The ship is beautiful, nicely laid out and still has that new ship smell.
Our room was a bit tight for 3 adults as was the balcony. The bathroom was a decent size but had the minor inconvenience of a broken soap dispenser. Even after telling Nicki, our room steward, it was never addressed. No big deal as we bring our own soaps and shampoos. I truthfully don't understand how they would fit a family of four in our room. There was barely enough floor space for the 3 of use. Nicki was attentive, the room was cleaned twice a day with the customary towel animals. He was a little slow in replacing the pool towels, we had to chase him down for them a couple of times.
Bermuda is beautiful. Enough said....
The food was OK at best. Our first night we ate in the Manhattan room. Again, the food was OK, but nothing special. NCL makes it a point to advise all cruisers that men should be in button down shirts, slacks and ladies should be in dresses or appropriate evening wear. Everynight I saw diners going in and coming out in ripped jeans, t-shirts and shorts. So much for upgrading the dining experience.
We also ate in Savor, which had the same menu as Manhattan and Taste. The menu in the main dining rooms changed very little and in my opinion, lacked enough seafood options..
We also ate at Shanghai Noodle Bar, which dollar for dollar, was the best bargain of all the specialty eateries. The food was delivered hot, fresh and in large quantities.
Wasabi's was nice, the sushi fresh and the wait staff, attentive.
O'Sheehan's was very good with the exception of their late night food, which was dry and overcooked. Stick my burger in the microwave please.
Although Carlo's cupcakes and cannoli's were delicious, they were over priced for what you got.
We ordered room service a few times and in most cases the food was good, if they managed to bring you what you ordered, which was rare. It wasn't worth the wait to send it back. Oh and the pizza was just plain bad.
The biggest disappointment was Ocean Blue. For what I paid, I expected so much more. The service and presentation was definately 5 star, but the food was not worth the $49 upcharge.
The Garden Cafe was one of the nicer buffets we have seen in recent times. Although the food didn't change that much, there was enough of a variation where you didn't have to eat the same thing twice, unless of course, you wanted to.
We saw Howl At The Moon 3 times and had a blast. Don't miss it! We also saw the family version of Second City TV, very funny. I heard the late night show was even better. We also checked out Rock of Ages. It was bad and worth the time, but be forwarned, it lasted almost 2 hours. As for the uncomfortable seating, I didn't notice it at all and I have a chronic back condition, go figure.
The casino was fun and the dealers attentive. I did well the first couple of nights but gave it all back by the end of the cruise. There is smoking allowed in some areas of the casino but it rarely bothered any of us and we didn't notice it anywhere else on the ship.
The water slides were a blast! Conquer your fear and do it. I also tried out the ropes course and enjoyed myself a great deal. Walking the plank is definately a gut check. The rock climbing wall never appeared open so I never got the chance to try it out. Too bad.
All in all, it was a good vacation. I've said it before and I will say it again, I am not a fan of anytime/freestyle dining. Unless you are lucky enough to end up with the same waiters everyday, which is never, you just don't get the personal service that you would get on Royal. There is no personal connection with any of the wait staff, just the odd bartender who might remember you.
Would we cruise on the Breakaway again?, maybe, if the price was right, otherwise, we will be staying loyal to Royal....