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Overall our experience on the Breakaway was positive, my main complaint would be the short time we spent in some ports or the long distances back to the ship – Stockholm is an issue because they dock in Nynashamn; Berlin (if you choose to go into the city) is a 3 hour trip and we had an early departure in Helsinki. I felt we were always rushed to get back to the ship. We did not go on any NCL organized excursions. Having read previous reviews regarding dining madness on the Breakaway with people grabbing food left, right and center I was somewhat concerned before boarding the ship but I must say our dining experience was uneventful and nothing like the craziness others have described. We mostly ate at the Garden Café buffet but did eat at Savor several times (if you go early, before it is busy, you can avoid the cold food issue others have mentioned). Savor was ok (same menu as Manhattan's and Taste), one of the three meals was very good the other two middling. The buffet food was typical of mass feeding quality but the variety was good. Each night had a theme (i.e. Russian night, American night etc) but the standard fare was always available. Seating can be troublesome at the Garden Café if you go when it is busy. We had a mini suite which is not a suite at all, but simply a room with three beds and a slightly larger bathroom than the average cabin and a small balcony. The room was quiet however (we were on deck 12) and the porter kept it clean; sitting on the balcony was nice. Other than sleeping time we were rarely in the room so it served its purpose. We boarded the ship in Copenhagen having spent several days in the city to help adjust to the time change. We had no issues taking a bus to the port from the city – it takes you right to the ship. We also took the bus back to the airport following the cruise – it was simple (1 change) and you can buy tickets at a machine close to the bus stop (and I would buy tickets because we were checked for valid tickets at some point on the bus ride). Copenhagen is a beautiful city and we just loved it – it is expensive however with 25% sales tax and when converting to Canadian dollars was always a shock ($11.50 for an Ice Coffee, $32.00 for a veggie burger). We stayed in an AirBNB. Embarkation and disembarkment went smoothly. Berlin: Having recently read that Trip Advisor ranked a bike tour of Berlin as the 2nd best rated adventure worldwide we booked a bike tour of the city. Having done this now though I probably would not recommend this for cruisers, the trip to the city in a bus was about 3 hours, it then took about 30 -40 minutes to get to the bike place - the tour including lunch was about 3.5 hours then back on the subway to the bus then the bus ride back to the ship. That is at least 7 hours of travelling for a 3.5 hour tour - the tour was fun but we really zoomed around with stops including the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie (or the more appropriately named Snapchat Charlie now), the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the Brandenburg Gate. I do like bike tours in general however, beats sitting in a bus and you can't cover enough ground walking. Tallin Estonia is a picturesque small town. We walked off the ship and found a free walking tour by the tourist office in the main square that leaves that departed around noon. I would recommend a guided tour to provide the background to the sites. After the tour we walked around a bit on our own then went back to the ship. The weather was fantastic and the crowds not too bad. St Petersburg. We booked a deluxe tour with Denrus Tours - there were only seven of us on the tour and we saw a lot. Our guide was very knowledgeable and personable and the driver did a great job of getting us through traffic. The tour was very well organized. Going through immigration in St Petersburg is slow on the first day and the ship let those on the NCL excursions go first, but we departed the ship at around 8:30 and met our guide around 9. The Faberge museum was probably the highlight, we rushed through the Hermitage and several churches (I think the guide wanted to get home early on the first day – the tour was supposed to end at 5 but we were back on the ship at 4 having rushed through 2 churches spending about 10 minutes in each.) The food provided on the first day was poor but better on the 2nd. I was surprised to see the European style of many buildings and the spotless art-gallery like subway. In Helsinki we took a bus into town, wondered around the market square a bit (really just a touristy bunch of stalls) then took the ferry to the Suomenlinna fortress island where we walked for a few hours and had a nice luch. The fortress was reasonably interesting and a nice change from walking city streets. We felt rushed in Helsinki however because we had an early departure and had to be back at the ship around 4:00. Stockholm: Because the Breakaway docks in Nynashamn we took the train into the city from our port (about 1 hour including walking time to the train – the path is well marked). Not nearly enough time at this port – there is a lot to see in Stockholm and we were very rushed. It is unfortunate that the ship does not dock in the city; we saw a German cruise ship docked right by the old town. We once again did a free walking tour, it was ok but not great and we explored the old Town mostly on our own. It was recommended that we leave Stockholm on 3:40 train (I believe) to give us plenty of time to get back to the ship if the train was delayed. I would have liked to have stayed a 2nd day here (rather than what seemed like ½ a day). The ship’s onboard entertainment was ok, Burn the Floor had pretty good dancers but a standard dance show and nothing unique or outstanding. The Cirque Jungle Fantasy was good but the performance is only 45 minutes (not including dinner). I have already seen Rock of Ages in Toronto but went to see it again – I thought the performance was good (but not for everyone). There was an untalented magician with an uninspiring show whose last trick failed (he went out with a whimper rather than a bang). The expectation on the ship seems to be that you are there for the ports of call, not to swim. There are limited swimming pools (you can find an adults only section called H2O but this is not strictly enforced). The pools are busy on at-sea days but no one was pushy. The hot tubs seemed underused. The gym had plenty of treadmills and elliptical's and some weight machines. We took a class - it was tough but not worth the money for a 30 minute class (plus you did not get the body fat test etc that was promised). I used the daily roaming plan with my phone which cost $12.00 a day (Canadian). This provided us with adequate coverage and I set up my phone as a hotspot so the kids could use my data and we did not need to pay roaming for all. You have to be careful if you leave the roaming on while you are at sea however because your phone might connect to a satellite instead and this is very expensive (onboard roaming is not available through the phone company).

Overall a good experience - clean ship, reasonable food, interesting itinerary

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by Electriques

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Family Mini-Suite with Balcony
Overall our experience on the Breakaway was positive, my main complaint would be the short time we spent in some ports or the long distances back to the ship – Stockholm is an issue because they dock in Nynashamn; Berlin (if you choose to go into the city) is a 3 hour trip and we had an early departure in Helsinki. I felt we were always rushed to get back to the ship. We did not go on any NCL organized excursions.

Having read previous reviews regarding dining madness on the Breakaway with people grabbing food left, right and center I was somewhat concerned before boarding the ship but I must say our dining experience was uneventful and nothing like the craziness others have described. We mostly ate at the Garden Café buffet but did eat at Savor several times (if you go early, before it is busy, you can avoid the cold food issue others have mentioned). Savor was ok (same menu as Manhattan's and Taste), one of the three meals was very good the other two middling. The buffet food was typical of mass feeding quality but the variety was good. Each night had a theme (i.e. Russian night, American night etc) but the standard fare was always available. Seating can be troublesome at the Garden Café if you go when it is busy.

We had a mini suite which is not a suite at all, but simply a room with three beds and a slightly larger bathroom than the average cabin and a small balcony. The room was quiet however (we were on deck 12) and the porter kept it clean; sitting on the balcony was nice. Other than sleeping time we were rarely in the room so it served its purpose.

We boarded the ship in Copenhagen having spent several days in the city to help adjust to the time change. We had no issues taking a bus to the port from the city – it takes you right to the ship. We also took the bus back to the airport following the cruise – it was simple (1 change) and you can buy tickets at a machine close to the bus stop (and I would buy tickets because we were checked for valid tickets at some point on the bus ride). Copenhagen is a beautiful city and we just loved it – it is expensive however with 25% sales tax and when converting to Canadian dollars was always a shock ($11.50 for an Ice Coffee, $32.00 for a veggie burger). We stayed in an AirBNB.

Embarkation and disembarkment went smoothly.

Berlin: Having recently read that Trip Advisor ranked a bike tour of Berlin as the 2nd best rated adventure worldwide we booked a bike tour of the city. Having done this now though I probably would not recommend this for cruisers, the trip to the city in a bus was about 3 hours, it then took about 30 -40 minutes to get to the bike place - the tour including lunch was about 3.5 hours then back on the subway to the bus then the bus ride back to the ship. That is at least 7 hours of travelling for a 3.5 hour tour - the tour was fun but we really zoomed around with stops including the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie (or the more appropriately named Snapchat Charlie now), the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the Brandenburg Gate. I do like bike tours in general however, beats sitting in a bus and you can't cover enough ground walking.

Tallin Estonia is a picturesque small town. We walked off the ship and found a free walking tour by the tourist office in the main square that leaves that departed around noon. I would recommend a guided tour to provide the background to the sites. After the tour we walked around a bit on our own then went back to the ship. The weather was fantastic and the crowds not too bad.

St Petersburg. We booked a deluxe tour with Denrus Tours - there were only seven of us on the tour and we saw a lot. Our guide was very knowledgeable and personable and the driver did a great job of getting us through traffic. The tour was very well organized. Going through immigration in St Petersburg is slow on the first day and the ship let those on the NCL excursions go first, but we departed the ship at around 8:30 and met our guide around 9. The Faberge museum was probably the highlight, we rushed through the Hermitage and several churches (I think the guide wanted to get home early on the first day – the tour was supposed to end at 5 but we were back on the ship at 4 having rushed through 2 churches spending about 10 minutes in each.) The food provided on the first day was poor but better on the 2nd. I was surprised to see the European style of many buildings and the spotless art-gallery like subway.

In Helsinki we took a bus into town, wondered around the market square a bit (really just a touristy bunch of stalls) then took the ferry to the Suomenlinna fortress island where we walked for a few hours and had a nice luch. The fortress was reasonably interesting and a nice change from walking city streets. We felt rushed in Helsinki however because we had an early departure and had to be back at the ship around 4:00.

Stockholm: Because the Breakaway docks in Nynashamn we took the train into the city from our port (about 1 hour including walking time to the train – the path is well marked). Not nearly enough time at this port – there is a lot to see in Stockholm and we were very rushed. It is unfortunate that the ship does not dock in the city; we saw a German cruise ship docked right by the old town. We once again did a free walking tour, it was ok but not great and we explored the old Town mostly on our own. It was recommended that we leave Stockholm on 3:40 train (I believe) to give us plenty of time to get back to the ship if the train was delayed. I would have liked to have stayed a 2nd day here (rather than what seemed like ½ a day).

The ship’s onboard entertainment was ok, Burn the Floor had pretty good dancers but a standard dance show and nothing unique or outstanding. The Cirque Jungle Fantasy was good but the performance is only 45 minutes (not including dinner). I have already seen Rock of Ages in Toronto but went to see it again – I thought the performance was good (but not for everyone). There was an untalented magician with an uninspiring show whose last trick failed (he went out with a whimper rather than a bang).

The expectation on the ship seems to be that you are there for the ports of call, not to swim. There are limited swimming pools (you can find an adults only section called H2O but this is not strictly enforced). The pools are busy on at-sea days but no one was pushy. The hot tubs seemed underused. The gym had plenty of treadmills and elliptical's and some weight machines. We took a class - it was tough but not worth the money for a 30 minute class (plus you did not get the body fat test etc that was promised).

I used the daily roaming plan with my phone which cost $12.00 a day (Canadian). This provided us with adequate coverage and I set up my phone as a hotspot so the kids could use my data and we did not need to pay roaming for all. You have to be careful if you leave the roaming on while you are at sea however because your phone might connect to a satellite instead and this is very expensive (onboard roaming is not available through the phone company).
Electriques’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Family Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M2 12202
Not a suite at all, but simply a room with three beds and a slightly larger bathroom than the average cabin and a small balcony. The room was quiet however (we were on deck 12) and the porter kept it clean; sitting on the balcony was nice. Other than sleeping time we were rarely in the room so it served its purpose.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins