Enjoyed our vacation on the Breakaway!: Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by tammy91098

Norwegian Breakaway 4
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

Enjoyed our vacation on the Breakaway!

Sail Date: July 2013
Destination: Bermuda
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
My husband and I (both in our 40's), sailed the Breakaway July 7-14th. This was our second cruise. We sailed on the NCL Dawn in July 2010, same trip NYC to Bermuda. We are very private people, not looking to meet new people or to get to know the staff on board...we just want to do our thing and relax. Overall, we had a great time!! It was so nice to be on a brand new ship!! I think I enjoy the smaller ship with less people, but I did enjoy the technology on the Breakaway. I do suggest arriving early to the pier. We arrived about 11:30, and people were already on the ship! It took us about an hour to get checked in and on board. Long lines, but organized well.

~I did feel the ship moving at times. I wore my seabands, and did not get sick at all.
~There are no midship elevators. I did not find that a problem, but I did find the elevators to be overcrowded at busy times (after shows let out, etc). We were packed in many times. Get on an empty one and More don't worry about it going up or down, just ride it until it's going to your floor!
~all floors by the elevators are marked with floor number, and Aft or Forward which was nice. Also, carpets in the halls by cabins have fish on them swimming towards the front of the ship. Touch screens throughout the ship can be used to make reservations, check dining availability, give you directions to areas on the ship. Very nice! I found this bigger ship MUCH easier to get around than the Dawn.
~Pools and hot tubs are jam packed! We rarely saw any open lounge chairs on the decks. This is the reason I HIGHLY recommend VIBE!!! Vibe is a private area, they only sell 75 passes per week. We went to guest services at 1:30 on Sunday, and they only had 5 passes left. We bought them, without even seeing
Vibe. $79 per person for the week. So worth it....2 hot tubs (everytime we went up, there was at least 1 open hot tub..we never shared one!), nice cushioned lounge chairs (always some available), private bar (that gave us really strong drinks). For us, as private people....it was the best money we spent on this cruise!!
~Staff was very friendly. Always saying hi and have a good day, etc. We were approached by staff many times asking if we had any issues, anything they needed to address. (had some sweet treats delivered to our room courtesy of the executive chef after he stopped at our table to talk to us at dinner one night!).
~we heard very few announcements in public areas of the ship, and none that we can remember in our room.
~photo system is great. Make sure and have them scan your card whenever they take your picture, then you can scan your card and look at your pictures on the screen and order what you want. You also have a binder where they have hard copies of some of your pictures. You can also look at your pictures on the tables in the atrium.
~there is no promenade deck, but on deck 8 you can go 3/4ths of the way around, and then just have to cut through to get to the other side. We didn't mind the short time in the air conditioning!
~we had a mini suite on the Dawn. This time we were in a balcony. We did not find this room that much smaller. No coffee table, but otherwise very similar.
~tons of storage space, we didn't use half of it. No drawers, but we were fine with shelves. If you really want drawers, there are 2 under the sofa.
~we met our steward on the first day, and saw him at least once a day after that. We were always greeted by name. He was very friendly.
~when we arrived, we did not have robes in the room. We asked for some, and had them by the first evening. Also asked for extra towels and ice everyday, never had to ask again, they were always there.
~you can ask for your mini fridge to be emptied. We did this and used it for late night snacks, etc. Plates do not fit in it, so bring ziplock bags to store stuff for later.
~The TV's let you check your account, make reservations, etc. This did not work for us the first 3 days, but then worked fine after that.
~I thought the hair dryer worked well. My issue was that is on a short cord, and I am tall, so I had to sit on the couch to dry my hair.
~We got towel animals 5 nights (not first and last).
~I thought the light in the bathroom was fine.
~they supply 2 beach towels to use. Your charged if they are lost (or if you take them)
~coffee maker in the room
~we liked having to use our card for electricity. It was nice to walk out of the room and not have to turn anything off, we just pulled our card out. Our steward told us we could use any card in there if we wanted to leave the power on to charge things,etc.
~Our steward explained that when you open the balcony door, the AC shuts off...it will not go back on until the door handle is in the closed position (doesn't matter if the door is closed...the handle must be in the closed position). We heard some people complaining that their AC wasn't working, but I tend to think it was not being informed of the door issue.
~there is a large overhang above the balcony on deck 14. We did not get any sun until late afternoon. This was ok for us...on the Dawn, we had no cover and people could look down at us from the buffet windows, and also had a few things fall onto our balcony (including a golf ball right in my chair!)...we much preferred the coverage!

~we saw burn the floor, rock of ages, and cirque. I thought all were very good, but Rock was my favorite! Very entertaining. Once again, not for small children! Foul language and skimpy outfits on the girls.
~we booked all the shows ahead of time, I would suggest this, as many showed up as sold out very early in the cruise. I thought this took away from the "freestyle" aspect of the cruise, but it wasn't a huge issue. We just planned accordingly.
~All shows are roughly an hour.
~they offered 25% off the first night of Cirque. We had pre-paid for the show, but our onboard account was credited the difference without us even asking!
~your keycard is your "ticket", so be sure to bring it with you.
~don't be late...about 5 minutes before the start of the show, they open the doors to the "stand by" crowd and you'll lose your seat if they fill up!
~we sat in a booth for cirque with 2 other couples. Very comfortable and we had a nice view. My biggest complaint was the servers with their big head feathers getting in the way. Menu is set, but you can ask for minor changes. We saw them honoring some requests. Meal was good...not huge, but good. Desert was not so good.
~We had 2 Rockettes on board. Cruise director Julie, told us they are on board once a month. They did a couple of Q&A's, dance lessons, picture sessions. We enjoyed this, as our daughter is hoping to one day be a Rockette!
~Only "party" we attended, was the 80's party. We had a great time, but only because we spent a good amount of money on drinks!! LOL
~games/trivia, etc. were often in small venues or the atrium. We felt they were very crowded and did not hang around. I thought this was a big issue. For example, they were doing dancing with the breakaway stars in the atrium,and I needed to get to the internet cafe. It was so jammed that people were getting angry at me for trying to squeeze through. Then there were no chairs at the computers, as everyone took them to watch the show. Also, when they were playing deal or no deal in the atrium, we were trying to have a meal in O'Sheehan's and it was so loud with people yelling and cheering for the game, that we couldn't hear each other at all. We decided to leave and go to the buffet. They really need a larger venue to host these things.
~If you get invited to the latitudes party...GO! Free beer and rum punch!!
~Which leads me to cruise director Julie. She was very nice and stopped to talk to us a few times. She called the box office and got us into a sold out show so that we could go to the latitudes party (we were booked for Rock at the same time as the party...which was Tuesday night @ 7:15). But, she was major lacking in her entertainment skills. She would introduce something or be there at the beginning of the game/show, etc...then she would leave and let someone else handle the actual game. Or she would stand on the side and jump in once in a while. For the 80's party, she got things going. Then it was staff dancing in 80's outfits while videos played on the big screen. I saw Julie slip out the door around 11. We had Matt Baker on the Dawn, and he was awesome! Keep us involved in EVERYTHING! He was tons of fun, Julie...not so much. But, my husband said she looked great in her evening wear!
~overall we thought the food was good to great. We don't expect 5 star, just for it to taste good. I am a dessert girl, and I am not impressed with NCL's. Although, I did love the warm bread pudding in the main dining rooms!
~We ate in Taste, Savor, and Manhattan room.....we always got right in for a table of 2. I noticed a lot of bigger parties had reservations, but often still had to wait. Service was spotty in Taste and savor, it really depended on your server. While docked in Bermuda, it took us about 1 1/2 hours to eat even though the restaurant was almost empty. We had a pile of dirty plates on our table, because no one came and cleared them, and very long wait between courses. Manhattan room was much better for service. We did notice that they were not enforcing the dress code, as many adults came in with shorts on.
~I thought the buffet was good with lots of choices. They had a carving station {one night they had prime rib, I thought it was very good). Thursday at dinner they had a crepe station. Monday was seafood night, the daily said there would be seafood dishes, but when we got up there...there was lobster tails. Lines were long to get them, and people were taking heaping plates full, but they did have lobster!! It is crazy busy, so be ready for the crowd, but just keep walking around and usually towards the AFT of the ship, there was less people. We always found a seat, sometimes just had to walk around a bit. I like the addition of some flavored waters to the free drinks. I also made iced coffee with the buffet coffee, IMO better than the coffee in the coffee bar. I wish they had trays to carry stuff back to your room, but they are trying to cut down on waste, you can only take what you can carry!
~the uptown grill is a great option. One floor up from the buffet. Limited choices, but it was never busy when we went up there. Made to order eggs, different egg sandwiches...and cinnamon rolls that were AWESOME! We only ate breakfast there, so I can't comment on other meals.
~we ordered room service a few times. Limited choices, and sometimes food tasted old. I got a BLT one time, and the bread was like rubber. Always took about 45 minutes. We did use the card in our room to pre-order breakfast one day. Previous reviews had said it comes early, so we took the 9:30-10:00 time frame, and it arrived at 9:10. So be ready for it to get there early!
~We kept walking around Deck 8 to try the ocean blue take out window, etc. It seemed to always be closed. We finally figured out best time to go was during afternoon hours...like 2pm. We tried the calamari at ocean blue...very good for $5. Gelato was also very good. Grabbed a hot dog from the cart.
~I was very excited for Carlo's bake shop. I tried a cupcake and cannoli, and was not impressed with either one.

It was nice when we got back on the ship in Bermuda, they handed out cold towels and ice water. In Bermuda, if your going to the beaches, grab a special bus right outside of the pier and tell the driver which beach you want to go to. They will take you right to the beach without stopping at all the stops.
You can buy bus/ferry passes right on board, we bought the 2 day for $25 each. Unlimited bus and ferry rides for 2 days. worth it for us, as we like to explore on our own. Bermuda is amazing, we can't wait to go back again!

Disembarking was easy. We chose to check our luggage, so it was to be outside your door before 11pm on Sat. You choose a luggage tag color, according to what time you want to leave. We took the latest, so we ate breakfast, and then wandered around the ship until about 9:45 when they called our color. But, people that did not check luggage and did self walk off, were leaving the ship by 7am. FYI, if you want to see the ship arriving in port, it does vary, but we docked in Bermuda around 7am, and when we got up at 6:30 on Sunday we were already docked in NYC.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email me at tammy91098@aol.com. I will be happy to help if I can. Less

Published 07/28/13

Cabin review: 14838

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