Norwegian Breakaway Dining
Passengers on Breakaway can choose from 27 restaurants and dine indoors or outdoors at any of the restaurants along The Waterfront on Deck 8 -- a great spot for a meal or just drinks-with-a-view. Savor and Taste are two of Breakaway's three complimentary main dining rooms, located just across from each other on Deck 6. By splitting up what is usually one large dining room, each dining room maintains a sense of intimacy, offering a quieter environment for dining. Only one of the two is open for breakfast and lunch each day.
The Manhattan Room is the third complimentary main dining room. It's located on Deck 7 aft and includes a dance floor on which "Burn the Floor" is performed. The views are spectacular, with two-story floor-to-ceiling windows.
Dinner menus, which change daily, are the same in Taste and Savor, while the Manhattan Room always has its own menu. At least one healthy and/or vegetarian selection is always available.
Like everything else on Norwegian Cruise Line, dining is Freestyle. This means there is no early or late seating; you can eat whenever you like. Reservations are never required, though they are recommended in the specialty restaurants. Some specialty eateries, such as Teppanyaki, LeBistro and Cagney's, fill up fast, so reservations should be made early on in the cruise, if not beforehand. Only passengers with concierge access (suite/haven guests and elite past passenger loyalty members) can make reservations for the main dining room. Waits for main dining rooms can be upward of a half-hour if you're dining between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. If you've waited until the last minute to choose your dining venue, you can check digital signs throughout the ship telling you which restaurants still have openings and at which times.
Passengers seeking a buffet option can eat at the Garden Cafe on Deck 15. The design is innovative, with actual wash basins so passengers can wash their hands before dinner, rather than rely on antibacterial gels. (Those are available, too.) All food stations are centrally located, with dining tables along the perimeter. Even with 4,000 passengers, the flow is smart, and lines are short.
The Uptown Bar & Grill offers alfresco dining and serves as the outdoor version of the Garden Cafe.
Norwegian brings back its popular pub, O'Sheehan's, which debuted on Norwegian Epic. But whereas the Epic version features three full-sized lanes of bowling, the Breakaway version only offers two mini-bowling lanes at the back of the pub, with shorter lanes and smaller pins and balls. Open 24 hours, O'Sheehan's serves up complimentary pub fare like Buffalo wings and fish and chips. Beer-lovers take note: O'Sheehan's is also the best spot on the ship for draft beer.
For those who want the ultimate in opulence, Breakaway offers a Chef's Table, in The Haven restaurant. For $89 per person, diners get nine courses from an upscale menu, a glass of Champagne, a wine pairing for two courses and a galley tour. They'll also rub elbows with the executive chef, food and beverages manager, among others.
Iron Chef and native New Yorker Geoffrey Zakarian makes his debut on Breakaway with Ocean Blue ($49 per person). Snuggled behind the sushi bar on Deck 8 and featuring an outside space on The Waterfront, it seats about 40. The emphasis is on seafood, but in a concession to nonfish fans, there is the inevitable steak and also an unexpected surprise -- roast Peking duck. Eight starter choices include calamari, mussels, grilled prawns and a carrot and madras curry bisque. Eight main choices include a daily special and black sea bass, monkfish, salmon, crab risotto and scallops, all served with various interesting vegetarian choices like "forbidden" rice and roasted squash. The service and presentation are top-notch. Passengers who'd rather cozy up to a bar and select their favorites can dine at the Raw Bar, adjacent to Ocean Blue. It features primarily crustaceans and wine by the glass, as well as a la carte pricing.
A favorite among Norwegian fans, Cagney's returns on Breakaway. The menu is slightly different in that it features certified Angus beef, something Norwegian will roll out to all Cagney's restaurants in its fleet. Of course, the waitstaff recommends the 14-ounce New York strip, but if you're looking for something a little leaner, the filet mignon is delicious at two different sizes (5 ounces and 8 ounces), and the bison steak is juicy without being gamey. Save room for dessert: the Oreo cheesecake is a favorite. One portion will feed two people. The surcharge is $30 per person.
Another favorite eatery, the hibachi-style Teppanyaki ($25 per person), is also back, located on Deck 6. Larger than ever, the venue offers 96 seats around several tables where eaters are entertained as chefs send onions, eggs and vegetables flying through the air before the ingredients are turned into flavorful meals. Entrees include combinations of chicken, beef and seafood (including lobster) served with miso soup, ginza salad, vegetables and garlic fried rice. Ice cream or fresh fruit serve as dessert.
If you love meat, you won't be able to resist Moderno Churrascaria ($20 per person), a Brazilian-style steakhouse that offers an expansive lineup of skewered meat, including lamb, filet mignon and sausage. You can also order from a small a la carte menu, and complement your meal from a salad bar with international cheeses, dried meats, olives and marinated veggies, alongside the traditional salad ingredients. Sides, including mashed potatoes, fried bananas, and rice and beans, are served with the meat.
Le Bistro is Norwegian's popular French restaurant, which, on Breakaway, is located on Deck 6, midship. Sandwiched between two art galleries, Le Bistro ($20 per person) spills out onto the inside promenade with a scattering of wrought-iron tables and chairs creating a sidewalk cafe feel. Inside, the decor is muted, and incandescent lighting lends the eatery a candlelit ambience. The food is rich and flavorful; selections include escargot bourguignonne, steamed mussels and scallops, coq au vin, grilled beef tenderloin, roast rack of lamb and grilled swordfish. For an extra $10, diners can choose one of the three Bistro specials -- fruits de mer, butter roasted lobster tail or 32-ounce rib eye steak for two.
For $15 per person, diners craving Italian can check out La Cucina. The Tuscan-style eatery offers pizza and pasta dishes with both inside and alfresco dining options.
Tucked away in a corner near the casino, Shanghai's Noodle Bar offers a small selection of noodle dishes, as well as appetizers (spring rolls, pot stickers and the like). Diners eat at long, communal tables, and it's a bit snug, so be ready to rub elbows with the person next to you. No reservations are required, but the spot does get crowded during peak lunch hours. Pricing is a la carte.
Adjacent to Ocean Blue, Wasabi is a delight for sushi-lovers. Cozy up to the sushi bar to watch the chefs prepare a variety of sushi and sashimi dishes. The restaurant also features an extensive Sake menu. Pricing for Wasabi is a la carte.
When you're done with dinner, you've got a few desert options to try out. If you want a sumptuous pastry or piece of cake, you can swing by New Jersey-based Carlo's Bakery on the Waterfront for cream-filled pastries, cannolis, "lobster tails," cupcakes, biscotti and elaborate cakes. Right outside the bakery is the Gelato Bar for yummy ice cream. The cafe on Deck 5 also serves up a sampling of Carlo's baked goods. Prices range from $2.50 for ice cream to $49.95 for a cake.
The Cafe and Bar at the Atrium is an offshoot of Carlo's Bakery on Deck 8 that features freshly brewed Lavazza coffee, a selection of pastries and cakes.
The Haven Restaurant and Lounge on Deck 16 is available only to Haven passengers. It promises a fine-dining experience, though its menu doesn't change throughout the cruise, as well as light bites.