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Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is another’s trash. That said please remember this is our personal impressions and yours, of course, will vary. We ignore postings that are made in response to our reviews that merely seek to flame. We will review subsequent posts in order to provide answers to questions asked. We appreciate this understanding. Please ignore any spelling or grammar errors – we want to get this posted swiftly before we lose focus on our experiences. Thank you. Travel and Embarkation - We are a semi-retired American couple (both 65 years of age) living as expats in an Asian country. This was our sixth cruise (3 on Princess and 3 on Norwegian). We were accompanied on this cruise by two of our granddaughters (age 14 and 12). We chose to make all our own arrangement for this trip including direct reservations with Norwegian Cruise Lines, air travel, hotel, and transfers (control freak syndrome). We flew in two days ahead of the 25 June sail date so we could enjoy some time in Copenhagen with the girls. Our pre-cruise stay was as the Scandic Copenhagen (Vester Søgade 6 Copenhagen V) located just across the street from the Tivoli Amusement Park where we spent a good part of Sunday. We also visited the statue of the Little Mermaid. The weather was great. On boarding day we took a taxi cab from the hotel at just after 10:30 AM and arrived at Passenger Terminal #2 just prior to 11:00 AM. After dropping off our bags we walked directly to security and then to check-in without waiting in a single line. We walked on to the ship within 15 minutes of exiting the Taxi. The Ship – It is big. The Breakaway had just come out of dry dock recently and I have to say that the ship looked to be in excellent condition. We saw no signs of damage from sailing into Winter Storm Grayson last January. We also saw no evidence of on-going maintenance during our cruise such as what occurred on the Norwegian Sun during March 2018. Our mini-suite was Port Forward on the 8th deck and we generally walked the stairs and rarely took an elevator so crowded elevators were not a concern. We did notice that often there were many waiting to ride. We did not use the casino but we did walk through the area a couple times and noticed a very heavy tobacco odor permeating the area. We decided that after the first day when walking from the front to the rear of the ship we would simply walked down a flight of stairs, crossed under the casino and walk back up the stairs on the other side. The odor, while evident, is not in our opinion, something to get into a huff about. The often mentioned vibration in the rear of the ship is a fact. As our cabin was forward the only time we noticed it was when we were having a meal in either the Manhattan Room or the Buffet. It seems that at certain speeds there is a very noticeable “rumble and shake” at the stern. Our granddaughters thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool, rock climbing wall, rope course, and basketball court. The weather was agreeable most days. There are two swimming pools on deck 15 (one adult and one open). Both are small and certainly could be a real problem during a cruise in a warmer location but this cruise was in the Baltic. Our Cabin – We had a mini-suite with large balcony on Deck # 8 Port Side Forward. Our cabin steward was very intuitive and was always available but never intrusive. He was very friendly and always helpful. Towels were replaced almost as soon as used and the room serviced regularly. The room was kept very clean. We had a large sized bed located by the balcony door. The two girls used a convertible sofa and a Pullman bed. Both reported that the beds we comfortable. The room is more like a superior balcony then a mini-suite in size. The bathroom was very large and had a big glass door shower with a rain shower head and multiple body jets. If you would like separate shampoo and rinse you should consider bringing your own. We were not a fan of the product provided. The bathroom was spotless. With the four of us I must say that storage space was a commodity. We managed. We had two lounge chairs, two regular chairs, and a large table on our balcony. The television was surprisingly small and the channel selection was non-existent but useful for checking your shipboard accounts and reservations. Ship announcements were not broadcasted into the rooms so you had to listen from the outside if you wanted to hear the public announcements. We had a 250 minute Wi-Fi package which lasted for the entire cruise and was fast enough to use our Voice over Internet Protocol application on our Cellular Telephones to made calls the girl’s parents. There was a coffee maker with free coffee provided in our cabin but we did not use it as the coffee available at many locations around the ship provided plenty of very satisfactory coffee. Dining & Entertainment - We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet on deck 15. Breakfast was the standard fare with omelets made to order and a wide variety of breakfast foods to choose. In our opinion the buffet was well designed with adequate seating. The staff was very fast at removing plates and silverware and cleaning tables as people left. We never had a difficult time finding a seat. We found the food in the buffet to be generally good but quite repetitive. One thing that both my wife and I found a bit irksome was the nightly themes in the buffet. Highly advertised Russia Night, American Night, Grill Night, etc. never materialized. There may have been a couple of added entrees but certainly not a “Theme Night”. Others may have had differing impressions. The girls fell in love with the self-serve soft ice cream machine in the buffet. We had dinner twice in the Manhattan Main Dining Room. Both were excellent meals. Having reservations we were seated immediately. We did notice a slight lag in service but the menu items were always appropriately hot, warm, or cold. On the first sea day we ate at the Cirque Dreams and Dinner Entertainment venue. It was an excellent show that the girls obviously enjoyed very much. The food was OK and of adequate quantity but the menu was very limited. On the second sea day we had dinner at Norwegian Cruise Line's hibachi-style Japanese restaurant -Teppanyaki. It was very entertaining and the food was very good. Tours – We booked all our tours through NCL. As everyone knows this is a more expensive option but the benefits of ease of booking, guaranteed return to the ship, and tour operator vetting are hard for us to ignore. We did not want to take any risks with our grandchildren. A note to those of us who need to take a bathroom break often – Make sure you avail yourself at every opportunity as we found that facilities in all ports are somewhat limited and there are usually long waiting lines. Rostock Germany – Picturesque Views & Molli Train. It was a great tour with an engaging guide. The short train ride on the narrow gauge coal fired steam train was very interesting with the shake and rattle and smell of the smoke was such a treat. We had German Chocolate cake and coffee/tea after the ride in a local hotel. Helsinki Finland – Highlights and Architecture. We toured the former home of Finnish architects Eliel Saarinen, Armas Lindgren, and Herman Gesellius. The home was built in 1902 by a beautiful lake. The home is meticulously maintained and contains much of the original furniture. Later we stopped at the Senate Square in Helsinki where we saw the Lutheran Cathedral, and the Presidential Palace. We later visited the Temppeliaukio Rock Church (the highlight of the tour for us). St. Petersburg Russia (2 days) – We visited the Hermitage Museum, Catherine’s Palace, and Peterhof Grand Palace along with an extensive bus tour of the city. Tours at all venues were extremely crowded with many (many) busses and tour groups all contending to view the exhibits at the same time. Our guide for the two days was a wonderful lady who was extremely knowledgeable and personable. She kept us all together and engaged with commentary and interesting conversation. There is very much information available on line and in other places concerning the exhibits in these locations so I will skip and lengthy dialog except to say that anytime you can get to see a da Vinci painting or a Michelangelo sculpture almost within arm’s reach you should jump at the chance. I remain in awe. Tallinn Estonia – Upper Town and Kadriorg Palace. We did a walking tour of Tallinn Old Town where we entered the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which has numerous gold icons and mosaics. We visited the Kadriorg Palace (now a museum) built by Peter Great in honor if his empress wife Catherine I. Our tour guide was an engaging lady who kept everyone’s attention with knowledgeable and interesting dialog. Stockholm Sweden – Best of Stockholm. We visited the museum of the Swedish warship 'Vasa', once considered one of the world's largest and the pride of Sweden's mighty navy. The present museum is built around the 17th century warship which sank in Stockholm's inner harbor on her maiden voyage in 1628. Next we visited Stockholm's oldest and coziest quarter, the old town of Gamla Stan. We viewed the exterior of the Royal Palace and walked through the narrow, twisting alleys and cobblestone streets. No opportunity was provided to enter any of the buildings. Our tour guide was somewhat inflexible and allowed no one to divert from his schedule or direction. Several of the tour participants asked to use a restroom but he continued to talk about glacial retreat while we suffered. We finally bolted from the group and went around asking for directions to facilities. We regret having taken this tour under these circumstances. Otherwise – Stockholm is a very beautiful city with much to see. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend the Norwegian Breakaway and the Baltic itinerary. The Breakaway is a great ship for families having facilities for everyone. The one area for which we would like to see change is more family entertainment in the theater. Mature themes kept us from attending all but one of the shows – Burn the Floor – which we greatly enjoyed.

Norwegian Cruise Lines 9 Day Baltic Itinerary 25 – 5 July 2018

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by lpops

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Large Balcony
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is another’s trash. That said please remember this is our personal impressions and yours, of course, will vary. We ignore postings that are made in response to our reviews that merely seek to flame. We will review subsequent posts in order to provide answers to questions asked. We appreciate this understanding. Please ignore any spelling or grammar errors – we want to get this posted swiftly before we lose focus on our experiences. Thank you.

Travel and Embarkation - We are a semi-retired American couple (both 65 years of age) living as expats in an Asian country. This was our sixth cruise (3 on Princess and 3 on Norwegian). We were accompanied on this cruise by two of our granddaughters (age 14 and 12). We chose to make all our own arrangement for this trip including direct reservations with Norwegian Cruise Lines, air travel, hotel, and transfers (control freak syndrome).

We flew in two days ahead of the 25 June sail date so we could enjoy some time in Copenhagen with the girls. Our pre-cruise stay was as the Scandic Copenhagen (Vester Søgade 6 Copenhagen V) located just across the street from the Tivoli Amusement Park where we spent a good part of Sunday. We also visited the statue of the Little Mermaid. The weather was great.

On boarding day we took a taxi cab from the hotel at just after 10:30 AM and arrived at Passenger Terminal #2 just prior to 11:00 AM. After dropping off our bags we walked directly to security and then to check-in without waiting in a single line. We walked on to the ship within 15 minutes of exiting the Taxi.

The Ship – It is big. The Breakaway had just come out of dry dock recently and I have to say that the ship looked to be in excellent condition. We saw no signs of damage from sailing into Winter Storm Grayson last January. We also saw no evidence of on-going maintenance during our cruise such as what occurred on the Norwegian Sun during March 2018. Our mini-suite was Port Forward on the 8th deck and we generally walked the stairs and rarely took an elevator so crowded elevators were not a concern. We did notice that often there were many waiting to ride.

We did not use the casino but we did walk through the area a couple times and noticed a very heavy tobacco odor permeating the area. We decided that after the first day when walking from the front to the rear of the ship we would simply walked down a flight of stairs, crossed under the casino and walk back up the stairs on the other side. The odor, while evident, is not in our opinion, something to get into a huff about.

The often mentioned vibration in the rear of the ship is a fact. As our cabin was forward the only time we noticed it was when we were having a meal in either the Manhattan Room or the Buffet. It seems that at certain speeds there is a very noticeable “rumble and shake” at the stern.

Our granddaughters thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool, rock climbing wall, rope course, and basketball court. The weather was agreeable most days. There are two swimming pools on deck 15 (one adult and one open). Both are small and certainly could be a real problem during a cruise in a warmer location but this cruise was in the Baltic.

Our Cabin – We had a mini-suite with large balcony on Deck # 8 Port Side Forward. Our cabin steward was very intuitive and was always available but never intrusive. He was very friendly and always helpful. Towels were replaced almost as soon as used and the room serviced regularly. The room was kept very clean.

We had a large sized bed located by the balcony door. The two girls used a convertible sofa and a Pullman bed. Both reported that the beds we comfortable. The room is more like a superior balcony then a mini-suite in size. The bathroom was very large and had a big glass door shower with a rain shower head and multiple body jets. If you would like separate shampoo and rinse you should consider bringing your own. We were not a fan of the product provided. The bathroom was spotless.

With the four of us I must say that storage space was a commodity. We managed. We had two lounge chairs, two regular chairs, and a large table on our balcony.

The television was surprisingly small and the channel selection was non-existent but useful for checking your shipboard accounts and reservations. Ship announcements were not broadcasted into the rooms so you had to listen from the outside if you wanted to hear the public announcements.

We had a 250 minute Wi-Fi package which lasted for the entire cruise and was fast enough to use our Voice over Internet Protocol application on our Cellular Telephones to made calls the girl’s parents.

There was a coffee maker with free coffee provided in our cabin but we did not use it as the coffee available at many locations around the ship provided plenty of very satisfactory coffee.

Dining & Entertainment - We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet on deck 15. Breakfast was the standard fare with omelets made to order and a wide variety of breakfast foods to choose. In our opinion the buffet was well designed with adequate seating. The staff was very fast at removing plates and silverware and cleaning tables as people left. We never had a difficult time finding a seat. We found the food in the buffet to be generally good but quite repetitive. One thing that both my wife and I found a bit irksome was the nightly themes in the buffet. Highly advertised Russia Night, American Night, Grill Night, etc. never materialized. There may have been a couple of added entrees but certainly not a “Theme Night”. Others may have had differing impressions. The girls fell in love with the self-serve soft ice cream machine in the buffet.

We had dinner twice in the Manhattan Main Dining Room. Both were excellent meals. Having reservations we were seated immediately. We did notice a slight lag in service but the menu items were always appropriately hot, warm, or cold.

On the first sea day we ate at the Cirque Dreams and Dinner Entertainment venue. It was an excellent show that the girls obviously enjoyed very much. The food was OK and of adequate quantity but the menu was very limited.

On the second sea day we had dinner at Norwegian Cruise Line's hibachi-style Japanese restaurant -Teppanyaki. It was very entertaining and the food was very good.

Tours – We booked all our tours through NCL. As everyone knows this is a more expensive option but the benefits of ease of booking, guaranteed return to the ship, and tour operator vetting are hard for us to ignore. We did not want to take any risks with our grandchildren. A note to those of us who need to take a bathroom break often – Make sure you avail yourself at every opportunity as we found that facilities in all ports are somewhat limited and there are usually long waiting lines.

Rostock Germany – Picturesque Views & Molli Train. It was a great tour with an engaging guide. The short train ride on the narrow gauge coal fired steam train was very interesting with the shake and rattle and smell of the smoke was such a treat. We had German Chocolate cake and coffee/tea after the ride in a local hotel.

Helsinki Finland – Highlights and Architecture. We toured the former home of Finnish architects Eliel Saarinen, Armas Lindgren, and Herman Gesellius. The home was built in 1902 by a beautiful lake. The home is meticulously maintained and contains much of the original furniture. Later we stopped at the Senate Square in Helsinki where we saw the Lutheran Cathedral, and the Presidential Palace. We later visited the Temppeliaukio Rock Church (the highlight of the tour for us).

St. Petersburg Russia (2 days) – We visited the Hermitage Museum, Catherine’s Palace, and Peterhof Grand Palace along with an extensive bus tour of the city. Tours at all venues were extremely crowded with many (many) busses and tour groups all contending to view the exhibits at the same time. Our guide for the two days was a wonderful lady who was extremely knowledgeable and personable. She kept us all together and engaged with commentary and interesting conversation. There is very much information available on line and in other places concerning the exhibits in these locations so I will skip and lengthy dialog except to say that anytime you can get to see a da Vinci painting or a Michelangelo sculpture almost within arm’s reach you should jump at the chance. I remain in awe.

Tallinn Estonia – Upper Town and Kadriorg Palace. We did a walking tour of Tallinn Old Town where we entered the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which has numerous gold icons and mosaics. We visited the Kadriorg Palace (now a museum) built by Peter Great in honor if his empress wife Catherine I. Our tour guide was an engaging lady who kept everyone’s attention with knowledgeable and interesting dialog.

Stockholm Sweden – Best of Stockholm. We visited the museum of the Swedish warship 'Vasa', once considered one of the world's largest and the pride of Sweden's mighty navy. The present museum is built around the 17th century warship which sank in Stockholm's inner harbor on her maiden voyage in 1628. Next we visited Stockholm's oldest and coziest quarter, the old town of Gamla Stan. We viewed the exterior of the Royal Palace and walked through the narrow, twisting alleys and cobblestone streets. No opportunity was provided to enter any of the buildings. Our tour guide was somewhat inflexible and allowed no one to divert from his schedule or direction. Several of the tour participants asked to use a restroom but he continued to talk about glacial retreat while we suffered. We finally bolted from the group and went around asking for directions to facilities. We regret having taken this tour under these circumstances. Otherwise – Stockholm is a very beautiful city with much to see.

Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend the Norwegian Breakaway and the Baltic itinerary. The Breakaway is a great ship for families having facilities for everyone. The one area for which we would like to see change is more family entertainment in the theater. Mature themes kept us from attending all but one of the shows – Burn the Floor – which we greatly enjoyed.
lpops’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Large Balcony
Cabin M6 8134
We had a mini-suite with large balcony on Deck # 8 Port Side Forward. Our cabin steward was very intuitive and was always available but never intrusive. He was very friendly and always helpful. Towels were replaced almost as soon as used and the room serviced regularly. The room was kept very clean.

We had a large sized bed located by the balcony door. The two girls used a convertible sofa and a Pullman bed. Both reported that the beds we comfortable. The room is more like a superior balcony then a mini-suite in size. The bathroom was very large and had a big glass door shower with a rain shower head and multiple body jets. If you would like separate shampoo and rinse you should consider bringing your own. We were not a fan of the product provided. The bathroom was spotless.

With the four of us I must say that storage space was a commodity. We managed. We had two lounge chairs, two regular chairs, and a large table on our balcony.

The television was surprisingly small and the channel selection was non-existent but useful for checking your shipboard accounts and reservations. Ship announcements were not broadcasted into the rooms so you had to listen from the outside if you wanted to hear the public announcements.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Helsinki
    We toured the former home of Finnish architects Eliel Saarinen, Armas Lindgren, and Herman Gesellius. The home was built in 1902 by a beautiful lake. The home is meticulously maintained and contains much of the original furniture. Later we stopped at the Senate Square in Helsinki where we saw the Lutheran Cathedral, and the Presidential Palace. We later visited the Temppeliaukio Rock Church (the highlight of the tour for us).
    View All 12,620 Helsinki Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Helsinki Cruise Port Review
  • Rostock (Warnemunde)
    It was a great tour with an engaging guide. The short train ride on the narrow gauge coal fired steam train was very interesting with the shake and rattle and smell of the smoke was such a treat. We had German Chocolate cake and coffee/tea after the ride in a local hotel.
    View All 12,620 Rostock (Warnemunde) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Rostock (Warnemunde) Cruise Port Review
  • St. Petersburg
    We visited the Hermitage Museum, Catherine’s Palace, and Peterhof Grand Palace along with an extensive bus tour of the city. Tours at all venues were extremely crowded with many (many) busses and tour groups all contending to view the exhibits at the same time. Our guide for the two days was a wonderful lady who was extremely knowledgeable and personable. She kept us all together and engaged with commentary and interesting conversation. There is very much information available on line and in other places concerning the exhibits in these locations so I will skip and lengthy dialog except to say that anytime you can get to see a da Vinci painting or a Michelangelo sculpture almost within arm’s reach you should jump at the chance. I remain in awe
    View All 12,620 St. Petersburg Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Petersburg Cruise Port Review
  • Vasa Museum
    We visited the museum of the Swedish warship 'Vasa', once considered one of the world's largest and the pride of Sweden's mighty navy. The present museum is built around the 17th century warship which sank in Stockholm's inner harbor on her maiden voyage in 1628. Next we visited Stockholm's oldest and coziest quarter, the old town of Gamla Stan. We viewed the exterior of the Royal Palace and walked through the narrow, twisting alleys and cobblestone streets. No opportunity was provided to enter any of the buildings. Our tour guide was somewhat inflexible and allowed no one to divert from his schedule or direction. Several of the tour participants asked to use a restroom but he continued to talk about glacial retreat while we suffered. We finally bolted from the group and went around asking for directions to facilities. We regret having taken this tour under these circumstances. Otherwise – Stockholm is a very beautiful city with much to see.
    View All 105 Vasa Museum Reviews
  • Old Town of Tallinn
    We did a walking tour of Tallinn Old Town where we entered the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which has numerous gold icons and mosaics. We visited the Kadriorg Palace (now a museum) built by Peter Great in honor if his empress wife Catherine I. Our tour guide was an engaging lady who kept everyone’s attention with knowledgeable and interesting dialog.
    View All 157 Old Town of Tallinn Reviews