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22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
So just a heads up - we won this cruise and it originally was supposed to go out to sea and then back. We were told that due to Port Laws it couldn’t do that but there is some question as to whether that was the fact or if the number ... Read More
So just a heads up - we won this cruise and it originally was supposed to go out to sea and then back. We were told that due to Port Laws it couldn’t do that but there is some question as to whether that was the fact or if the number of indivduals who requested day passes made it non-viable to go anywhere. At first we were not really impressed with this as we could not get off of the ship and all shops and the casino were closed. They made up for this by making everything all inclusive including, speciality dining, alchol, and all attractions to ensure we got a good overall feel. As this was a “get to know” the boat tour I think Norwegian did well - with a major surprise to us all on the Saturday night....more on that later. We were travelling as a couple but kept our eyes open for those things families and singles would also like. This was the first visit to NYC by the Bliss on it’s way to Seattle for the Alaska season. She had just crossed from Europe to North America so we think a lot of the kinks in the operations would have been ironed out by then. The great things seasoned travellers will love include: - Streamlined cabins with efficient use of space. Curved cupboards (so no sharp corners to bang into on less than stable days) and double use of furniture (seat that doubles as a table but tucks away when not in use). - Lots of “things” to do including go kart track, laser tag, casino, pools, quiet places, bars and various venues for food. - USB ports in the night lights so you can have your phone/alarm clock right there with you by the bed (also adding more spots to plug in and charge - one on each side of the bed) - A well trained staff who were getting to know the Bliss like us made for efficient service that was above par. - Plenty of choices for food and drink connoisseurs. Staff was more than willing to amend or adjust food and drinks for various dietary needs. - A beautiful massive indoor observation lounge that is great to grab a snack, a drink, visit with friends, enjoy the view or curl up with a good book. The venue is open and airy so even with a lot of people in there you were not overwhelmed with noise. - A separate sun bathing area for adults (normally a fee applies at the Beach Club) away from the pool area to allow for a more laid back day in the sun (located beside the Haven private area and just as lavishly appointed). - Cavern Club provided some unique entertainment and was jammed with many people wanting to sing along to some great songs. - Interactive screens located on each deck to book speciality dining, laser tag or go karts or to provide you with information. - Buffet had themed food stations (like another line we go on) and is less cafeteria style as we have seen on other lines. - Nice having that Starbucks for the coffee fix - it is a legitimate Starbucks and not just coffee brewed with Starbucks products (this is normally an extra charge but sometimes you just need that brew). - Linens are currently plush and soft - now this is a new ship so who knows it may become the regular exfoliating towels however we noticed the towels were actually designed for the Bliss so maybe they will retain some ability to provide plushness rather than roughness. - The Waterfront is a unique deck where several specialty restaurants are located and allow you to access them from outside and in fact most of exterior seating - this will be really nice when the Bliss embarks upon her winter home port in the Caribbean. - Beer selection was excellent...not sure if it was due to the event or this is normal but you didn’t have to go a special beer bar to get a larger selection of world wide beers (though there is a special craft beer bar if the “regular list” isn’t enough). So here are some “myahs” on the ship: - There is not a lot of movement room in the rooms - to be expected but they seem to have ensured you are only getting the space you need - there is nothing extra. - Closet design was a little hinky in that about 6 inches became unusable due to an indent (unless you are bringing your own broom or hockey sticks and needed somewhere to store them). For me closet space is always premium so to lose that much means my husband suffers...ha ha. - Other than the observation deck (as noted) the ship was loud. Now it could be because there was a lot of amenities being provided however we found it to be noisy. The smaller dining rooms had bars outside their doors and I think that contributed to it - but once you were in the restaurant, it was still loud. - This is a weird one but was commented on by several people....the elevators (which we all know can get really full) had only a bank of floor buttons on the one side. As one person said they didn’t really consider left handed people. So while there are a lot of elevators you find yourself sometimes getting up close and personal with people standing just a little to close to those buttons. - Speaking of buttons.....the automated opening of exterior doors is not sensor based but instead you have to place your hand on a round disc located “somewhere” on a wall near by (sometimes you got lucky and it was on the door) but there were many people trapped sometimes between double doors as they could find the disc to open the next set. This is actually surprising as it increases the amount of surface space people are touching and therefore increasing the amount of germ transferrance. I don’t think this one was thought through from either an operational standpoint or from a health standpoint. - The only speciality restaurants we went to (and not for lack of trying but most were blocked off for private functions for those “day pass” people we mentioned) was Margaritaville. The day we went it was relatively warm 23C/mid 70s F, and the ship was not moving but it was cold sitting in this venue. The wind funnels through the deck to this area (the race track is above and there is an open stairwell up to it which we think just pulls the air through). There are no heaters (that we could see) which made for a chilly meal. The chairs used are trying to capture that blue/green beach chair look but if you are wearing shorts or have exposed legs be prepared for a little roughness. I ended up putting a towel on the chair to eliminate the scratching and draped it over the back to help reduce the draft on my back. The food was probably the worst we had on the ship - not bad - just the worst. We have eaten at land based Margaritavilles and this restaurant does not measure up. Considering there is normally a charge for this restaurant I would say it is not worth it. You can go to the shops and buy your souvenir glass there in comfort. - Theatre venue is small, entrance only on one level - considering the size of the ship (and the show they are putting on - Jersey Boys) this will probably lead to a lot of disappointed travellers not seeing this amazing production. - I don’t think the chefs believe in using salt.....at all. I am not a big salt lover so when I am adding salt to every meal you know that the seasoning is not quite right. Of course it is easier to add rather than take away...however it led to some very bland first bites. Lastly some nice little surprises that I am know are not going to be there as a rule but were cool to have. First - we went to the production of Jersey Boys. If this is on your to do book early - we went to try to book on embarkation day (we weren’t allowed to before) and all shows were sold out. We did stand by and got in but did the proverbial hunting of seats - which we got just not together. The show was excellent. We’ve seen the Broadway production and this production did homage to it. Though about an hour shorter nothing was left out. They were able to do this by eliminating any intermission and shortening some of the storylines. But here was the great thing.....as we were all getting ready to start watching this, in walks.....Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio....two of the original Four Seasons!!!! That was pretty surreal to watch a production about their lives with them! The next day The Four Seasons were inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. They ran out of white wine....how is that a nice surprise do you ask. Well first let me explain that the Bliss was sailing to Miami on Sunday and without passengers so the ship was not fully stocked. Add on top of that the number of day pass individuals who were there on an open ticket I am sure it wasn’t the only thing they ran out of. So when I ordered a glass and they didnt have any at dinner I was not too impressed....until they replaced it with some high end Champagne......adding bubble to any drink make things always better. Overall I think people will enjoy this ship. The fact they have listened to the passengers and are accommodating single travellers (single suite area is great with a independent lounge just for them), Kids activities and big “kid” activities, as well as meal choices for the various palettes makes Norwegian ahead of other cruise lines who are not quite there yet. However I think there were some design flaws by the various groups who either didn’t test drive the facilities (Margaritaville) or have no left handed friends (elevators). Would we cruise again on the Bliss - absolutely - would love to see her in action in the Caribbean. I also think that cruisers on the Alaska season are in for a real treat being able to view the various ports without getting chilled (especially the glaciers - so get there early and claim your viewing space) and just absorbing the scenery in a comfortable warm environment where someone will bring you a hot toddy if the chill still reaches you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
NCL Management needs to do a better job of communicating prior to the cruise. Our only real complaints were the lack of information regarding the check-in process. Why did they provide luggage tags to print and instruction to attach them ... Read More
NCL Management needs to do a better job of communicating prior to the cruise. Our only real complaints were the lack of information regarding the check-in process. Why did they provide luggage tags to print and instruction to attach them to our luggage when THERE WAS NO LUGGAGE SERVICE AT THE PIER for the 2-night cruise? Also, the numbering system used as you check in made no sense. It seemed like 90% of the people waiting to board were in group number 21 judging by the way the cheer went up when they said "and now, number 11 through 21" (there were no numbers 11-20). At least the room was ready when we got on board around 11:30. The only positive while we were sitting and waiting for embarkation was that the NCL ship WiFi became available around 10:30 and we were able to make entertainment reservation while sitting in the pier. Saved another line on board to make reservations. No complaints with the food. Moderno was good. We enjoyed it. Breakfast at O'Sheehan's both morning was quick and good. The buffet was, well, just a buffet. No surprises but nothing to write home about. Dinner at Savor met all expectations. Nothing outstanding but just good food. The comedy club was OK. Improv can be funny but it can also be just stupid. This show was somewhere in between. The only other minor complaint was with the sound crew for the Rock of Ages show. When they don't enable a performer's microphone, they're left on the stage talking or singing without the microphone working. It happened twice during the show to two different performers. No mic for several seconds. Also, they amplified the music much more than the voices of the singers. Made it hard to appreciate their performance. The cabin we had was a mid-ship balcony (category BA) on deck 13. Was noticeably smaller than the equivalent cabin we had on Quantum of the Seas last year. A few inches here and there really made a difference between the bed and closet, and in the transporter capsule they call a shower. Would we go on Breakaway again? Yes. Any day at sea still beats a day at the office. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We are a fairly new couple in our 60's who have taken 14 cruises between us, but we had never sailed together. Neither of us had been on NCL Breakaway before, and we decided to do the Breakway's December 11-13 Cruise to ... Read More
We are a fairly new couple in our 60's who have taken 14 cruises between us, but we had never sailed together. Neither of us had been on NCL Breakaway before, and we decided to do the Breakway's December 11-13 Cruise to Nowhere both as a romantic mini-getaway and to check out Breakaway to see if we would like taking one the longer regular sailings on this ship out of NYC in the future. We got our romantic weekend, despite some issues described below, and we now know we will never sail again on Breakaway and are unlikely to ever take a longer cruise on NCL after this experience. Pro's: Beautiful Cabin: We liked our Mid-ship BB Balcony cabin 9262 very much. Not very large cabin compared to some other ships we have been on, but it's well laid out with lots of storage. We loved the bathroom, somewhat more spacious than most others we have had, particularly liked the shower. Beautiful Decor: We liked the modern, colorful decor in the public areas, including the restaurants. Thermal Spa Suite: We enjoyed it thoroughly both afternoons, despite the significant additional expense charged by NCL. Some Great Entertainment: Highlight of this cruise was Fire & Ice performing their tribute to Tina Turner. Rosie Hunte did a spectacular job - amazing amount of energy. But NCL did a poor job by staging this show in the Atrium with limited seating, much of which was taken up by people who were not even watching the show. Biggest Con: Terrible Food: To say this was the worst overall food we have had on a cruise would be totally inadequate. While we had two good lunches (at Savor and Taste), we found most of the other food to be inedible, particularly for anyone who is trying to eat healthly. Dinner Friday at The Manhattan Room: I ordered the "Chef's Signature Dish", advertised as "Whole Striploin Steak" medium rare, but what arrived was two thin slices of grey, dry, overcooked roast beef, served with mushy overcooked broccoli and a tiny baked potato. My girlfriend ordered the shrimp entree, which consisted of five small overcooked shrimp and a large pile of plain white rice. So those meals went largely uneaten. Saturday dinner at the Savor Dining Room: Not having eaten my beef dinner on Friday, I gave beef another shot, ordering tonight's "Chef's Signature Dish", advertised as Yankee Pot Roast. But what arrived was two thin slices of grey, dry, overcooked roast beef (exactly the same mystery meat they served me night before under a totally different name), served with mushy overcooked green beans and a gelatinous cube that was billed as Potatoes Au Gratin. My girlfriend ordered the vegetarian lasagna, but what arrived appeared to be a few cold perogies with some cold mozzarella cheese on top. So those meals went completely uneaten by both of us, except for a couple of exploratory bites. On both nights, since we did not end up getting dinner in the dining rooms we chose, we wandered later up to the Breakaway's enormous Garden Cafe buffet. On both nights, we were astounded that neither of us could find much in terms of entrees we would eat. They have a large selection of food, and virtually all of it is horribly unhealthy and/or unappetizing: lots of fried food, fast food items like hamburgers and hotdogs that have been sitting there on the counter who-knows-how-long, and Oh, more of the roast beef they served me twice already. The only chicken dishes we saw were Buffalo chicken wings, cajun chicken legs, and a curry dish with chicken thighs. No seafood offered whatsoever except some fried items kids would eat: fish fingers and shrimp. No ham, no turkey dishes. So we cobbled up dinners both nights of some random side dishes. Other Con's: Poor Variety of Entertainment: Based on our previous experiences on other ships, we had expected to spend some time both evenings of our romantic mini-getaway dancing . Wrong! Despite having over twenty bars/entertainment venues on this mega-ship, the only place offered on this weekend cruise to dance was in the Bliss nightclub with a DJ playing booming music for the youngun's. We grownup's were out of luck. Beyond that, the primary entertainment events on both evenings were ticketed events that were sold out before the ship even left Manhattan Friday at 6PM. Surly Crew: While we interacted with some lovely crewmembers, we also found many of the crew to be downright surly, unfriendly. This was more common on Breakaway than either of us had experienced on other ships. Inadequate Elevators: Breakaway has only two elevator banks, resulting in long walks to find one and long wait times as elevator after elevator shows up on your deck packed with people. A ship this large needs three banks of elevators, covering forward, midships, and aft. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
I felt the need to write this review because I went on a cruise to nowhere 2 days on and off... Staff didn't have to go out of there way... Yet they did. Bartenders, room attendants, waiters, casino staff... Everyone exceptional. I ... Read More
I felt the need to write this review because I went on a cruise to nowhere 2 days on and off... Staff didn't have to go out of there way... Yet they did. Bartenders, room attendants, waiters, casino staff... Everyone exceptional. I love NCL and this just confirmed why.. This was my thitd time on this ship and I love it. Passengers were a little different on this trip a kind of strange crowd... But that's what makes this ship so much fun the diversity! I am sailing again in June in the Haven I am counting the seconds!! I had a balcony this time room was nice. Thanks for the special memories my NCL family!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
We took the Breakaway on the last cruise to nowhere. It was a great weekend! This cruise was a little different since it was just a two day cruise. For instance, there were no porters for luggage. But since it was such a short cruise, ... Read More
We took the Breakaway on the last cruise to nowhere. It was a great weekend! This cruise was a little different since it was just a two day cruise. For instance, there were no porters for luggage. But since it was such a short cruise, people didn't have much luggage anyway. And, when we boarded, we could head straight to our rooms. Embarkation was a mess. They assigned boarding numbers but the people working on the floor were calling different numbers than the ones called over the PA system. That worked to our advantage since our boarding number was 39. We got on when the PA was calling number 10. I've never seen such a disorganized embarkation. I also realize that some of that might not be under NCL's control. The ship is beautiful with some nice public areas. The atrium tends to get crowded though and the flow along the length of the ship can be tight at times as you move through the atrium, shopping area, or casino. The weather was great and we spent time around the pool both days. The adult pool area is nice and they enforced the no kids rule. Not sure why I need to show my room key to get pool towels though. The muster drill was poorly run. Some of the arcade games were allowed to continue and the ship board PA system was useless where we were, near O'Sheehan's, since we couldn't understand a word. There were some other announcements we couldn't hear. A wasted 20 minutes. We left about port an hour late. I don't know why but we got a great view of the NYC skyline when we sailed. I didn't see or hear anything about a sail away party. We had a drink at Shakers before dinner. Very good drinks and music by Angel was good to listen to as well. Dinner in Moderno was fantastic! Not only was the food and service great, we had a table right by the aft window so we got to see the NYC skyline, the Statue of Liberty and the Verazzano Bridge all lit up. Moderno has a great salad bar as others have commented. It was worth the up-charge. We spent some time in the casino but it was too smoky for us to really enjoy it. We went to Howl at the Moon--we really enjoyed the show! It was fun to sing along and it went nonstop. They rotated three people for the two pianos and it was non stop fun. All three are very talented. We had an inside cabin on Deck 11 forward. It was fine. The bed was comfortable and we got good hot water for a shower. It's kind of a long walk to the elevator or stairs though. The next day we had breakfast in the buffet and ate outside on the deck. The weather was great. We explored the outside decks and checked out the casino. Still too smoky so we left after a half hour or so. We had lunch in Savor that was very good. We hung out by the pool in the afternoon. The hot tubs were full. We tried exploring the shopping but the main shop was packed. There seemed to be too few shops for a ship this big. We changed for dinner and stopped by the martini bar again. We had dinner in Le Bistro. We had some champagne to start and a great bottle of wine with dinner. The server asked if I'd like another serving of escargot and I took her up on it. They were great! My steak was overcooked though. We went back to Howl at the Moon it was so fun the night before. It was really fun again. The next morning we had breakfast in Savor and walked off about 9:30. The taxi line was a mess so we left and began to walk to Penn Station. It turns out there is a taxi stand on 12th Avenue right across from the pier so we gat a taxi there and then head home. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was my first cruise with norwegian after 4 with Carnival. We got the the manhattan pier at about noon and it was very confusing compared to past cruises. We traveled with two other families and we met them aboard the ship. Once aboard ... Read More
This was my first cruise with norwegian after 4 with Carnival. We got the the manhattan pier at about noon and it was very confusing compared to past cruises. We traveled with two other families and we met them aboard the ship. Once aboard the ship we found our room and explored the ship. the ship is beautiful! Our first activity was the ropes course. We went on when it opened and it was very fun. we also ended up doing the ropes course again the next day since they never opened the water slides. The next day on the ship while we were at sea we enjoyed dancing by the pool side. The service on the ship was ok. the crew members did not seem as friendly as on Carnival and did not go out of their way for you. Our cabin was the family ocean view on deck 5. it was nice however was a little small for five people to stay in. We ate in the manhattan room the first night and enjoyed our meal. We also enjoyed O'Sheehans irish pub. The entertainment was great! we enjoyed the rock of ages show as well as the piano bar and the fire and ice show. Overall we had a great time on the cruise. the main crtisism i would have is that the crew were not very friendly and the ship seemed a little disorganized in coordinating events. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
I took this cruise because it was a new ship , and I wanted to experience this ship. But it was a disappointed. This cruise is just long and narrow. It is very congested, they tried to pack all these restaurant in this ship, but its no ... Read More
I took this cruise because it was a new ship , and I wanted to experience this ship. But it was a disappointed. This cruise is just long and narrow. It is very congested, they tried to pack all these restaurant in this ship, but its no good. the restaurant were like small cafeteria, who design this ship, bad design. The theater is so tiny, that's another complete disaster for a so call huge ship. the theater cant even accommodate the amount of people on the ship. You cannot go and enjoy a nice evening in the theater unless you make reservation, because of the size of the theater. would not take it for a longer cruise than two days. The only thing I really enjoyed was the shows, and I had to make reservation and pay extra, but it was worth it. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We chose this cruise for my parents wedding anniversary and for a weekend away! The ship was amazing! The larger ships have so much to do and you don't have enough time to do it all. Since it was just a weekend cruise and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my parents wedding anniversary and for a weekend away! The ship was amazing! The larger ships have so much to do and you don't have enough time to do it all. Since it was just a weekend cruise and kind of last minute, we just stayed in an inside cabin with the 2 kids. Being that it was such a short cruise and so much to do on the ship we were barely in there. Food in the main dining room on Valentine's Day was superb and so was the dancing entertainment. The Rock of Ages show is hands down the best show I have seen on a cruise ship ever. It is a must see!!! and more than once if you are lucky enough. I really wish there were more weekend cruises that would go out of New York. These are fantastic weekend away trips giving us a break during the year. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
NCL,s weekend end cruise's are not at all ran buy the same standards as the week long trips. With that said they cost more money per night with less staff. Don't other booking a Haven suite you'll never see the butler and oh ... Read More
NCL,s weekend end cruise's are not at all ran buy the same standards as the week long trips. With that said they cost more money per night with less staff. Don't other booking a Haven suite you'll never see the butler and oh get ready for this....anything goes and know one cares. They have a stunning pool area enclosed with two hot tubs. WE had lunch in the pool area and seemed to piss off the staff that we wanted to order lunch. While we were there some little kids were in the hot tubs with food AND GLASSES OF SODA. They were running around the pool yelling like it was a kids camp. I mentioned it to the staff and they just smiled. We never saw the butler anywhere near our room. When I called for a pot of coffee someone else brought it. The best part of this I that we were the corner cabin in the front of the boat. The boat shook at 4 AM the glasses in the room made a racket this went on for over an hour. I tried calling the front desk thought something was wrong with the ship.......know one answered. When we were getting on the boat they had us wait in the Haven room to get on.....Prison would have been nicer. It was the most boring room I ever sat in. They told us we have to wait to get on the boat. Then they brought us to the other boring room in the haven lounge where they served us sliders and fries with some strange fruit punch .....and some guy came out to say get ready to be pampered. If I didn't hear t I wouldn't have believed it. The people that we meet at the haven bar brought up a good point....Half the staff get off the boat in NYC for the weekend but they still have a full boat of people. We went on a weekend cruise the month before and noticed the same thing with the staff. We have five cabins and 11 people in January. We had a six thirty reservation in a premium restaurant it took three hours to get served. They staff looked like they were pissed off if you asked for anything. This is wear they miss the boat for sure...they greet you on the boat singing and playing music. Getting off the boat you get in a line they don't say good by, play music....just get out!!!!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
We had not cruised on Norwegian in about 10 years as we had such a bad experience previously. When this cruise came along, we decided to try NCL again and we are glad we did. Embarkation - we arrived at the port around 1:45pm and was on ... Read More
We had not cruised on Norwegian in about 10 years as we had such a bad experience previously. When this cruise came along, we decided to try NCL again and we are glad we did. Embarkation - we arrived at the port around 1:45pm and was on the ship at 2 o'clock. Very easy. The room was a mini-suite on 14th floor. The room is somewhat smaller than most lines & the balcony was very small but the bathroom with a large with full size shower with one large sink and 2 faucets. Plenty of room for storage. Food- We went to Moderno which is a specialty restaurant Brazilian style, It was very good. We ate at the Taste dining room for dinner and breakfast. Food was as good as other lines. We loved that we could get a table for two. Service was excellent. My coffee cup was always filled. We had lunch at the buffet and it was typical. A plus is that they offered real ice cream, not soft serve. Entertainment- We went to Rock of Ages and thought it was great. It was better than the usual shows on cruises. We enjoyed other venues such as bands, singer and piano player, dulling piano players etc. Drinks- the cost was a bit higher than most cruise ships but there was a good poor. Service- It was great. Everyone was attentive, friendly and helpful. I had read on Cruise Critic just; the opposite and we did not find that at all. Negative- smoking in the casino but all cruises have this issue. The casino was jumping and lots of fun. Since this was a 2 day cruise, there was a party crowd. We met lots of people and had a great time. Departure - We waited until 9:30am and the lines were long. Get off on the back of the ship otherwise you have to walk from front to back outside and it was quite cold. We had so much fun we are thinking of doing this again next year. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This would be me and my husband's 8th cruise but first time sailing with Norweigan. I am going to start off by saying, I was not impressed. My husband liked it a little more than I did but not by much. The Good: Embarkation and ... Read More
This would be me and my husband's 8th cruise but first time sailing with Norweigan. I am going to start off by saying, I was not impressed. My husband liked it a little more than I did but not by much. The Good: Embarkation and Debarkation were the fastest we have ever experienced we were both on the ship at arrival and off the ship and through customs when we returned in less than 10 minutes! Nice stateroom. We had a balcony, we couldn't use it often because if was freezing outside but that is not norweigan's fault. I found the stateroom to be large enough for the two of us. No issues with space. The decor of the ship was nice. Beautiful colors all throughout and the ship is clean. The food was tasty. Although, I heard people complain about feeling bloated from the amount of salt in the food, I didn't notice, only that there was a limited choice of foods and at the restaraunts there was not much food served at once. Which I guess is fine, so people don't waste food. Cabin Stewart: Very nice. Learned our names for a 2 day cruise and asked if we needed anything throughout our stay. Captain: Kept us very well informed about his plans for guiding the ship around the winds that were set to come in and even brought us back to dock a few hours early to avoid any trouble while at to sea. He seemed to really care about the passengers and their comfort level while on board. Ok- The not so good- Upon arriving in our stateroom, I could still smell the other people who had last stayed there, there was a cologne smell in the bed and around the cabin. Not a big deal, it just skeeved me out a little and made me wonder if there was really a thorough cleaning that took place. There was not a lot of water pressure in the shower and the temperature of the water would jump from Luke warm to scalding all on its own. Also, I had to request washcloths as there weren't any in the room. The shows- sigh.... Ok, I am really not a picky person but the Rock of ages show was really not worth seeing, after less than 30 minutes my husband and I walked out. The cirque du soleil was just ok. The performers had a really small area to perform in and it seemed like they had stuffed as many tables and chairs into the room as possible in order to make a dollar (the show was $40 per person and included dinner)... The staff who were working at the tables seemed irritated if you asked them a question and the show seemed to be a little disorganized. No one knew what they were serving for dinner. A plate was just placed in front of you and that's what you got. (It was shrimp and filet mignon but I don't eat red meat, so I gave the steak to my husband and ate a few shrimp. No one ever asked us if we wanted any soft drinks or cocktails and when they placed the dessert in front of me, I attempted to ask what it was because of allergies and I got a quick response that was drowned out by the music and she was gone, so I didn't eat it. My husband tried 1 bite and spit it out. As I stated earlier, the food selection seemed quite limited. I'm not sure if this was because it was a weekend cruise or if that's the usual way Norweigan operates but the food I did have was tasty. Aside from our cabin Stewart, the staff were not that friendly. No one was rude but no one was engaging either. Everyone seemed tired and like they would rather be some where else. Even when we arrived on board for the first time, no one was there to greet us. We just walked on board and found our way... I have never had that experience. Lastly, there was nothing to do all day. It was Valentine's Day and there was nothing going on except over priced art auctions. A woman I was in the elevator with actually asked me if I was bored yet? I responded YES! Most of the activities were set to be outdoors and it was 20 something degrees and snowing... I can't understand why they would have a boat with its home port being NYC all year around with no retractable roof over the pool, no bowling alley, no indoor movie theater.... Nothing. It was quite perplexing. When there were activities, they started after 9:00pm. And there were over 400 people trying to squeeze into a small area just to get some form of entertainment. We tried to see the sketch comedy show one night but even though we were right on time, it was already filled to capacity and they were not letting anyone else in. I don't know that I am interested in giving Norweigan another chance. If my family really wanted to try out a longer cruise with some ports to visit in some warmer weather, than I'll try it out again just to compare the weekend cruise with a longer vacation but if not, I am happy staying with Carnival and Disney! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
I have cruised quite often, to the Caribbean many times, to Alaska, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera...on RCI, HAL, Princess, Carnival (once) and Celebrity. I cruised on NCL three times before: Hawaii, Alaska, and Bermuda. Only Bermuda was a ... Read More
I have cruised quite often, to the Caribbean many times, to Alaska, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera...on RCI, HAL, Princess, Carnival (once) and Celebrity. I cruised on NCL three times before: Hawaii, Alaska, and Bermuda. Only Bermuda was a freestyle ship. I do not post often to these boards but read a lot here. I believe I am an experienced cruiser. My last cruise on NCL was to Bermuda. I felt then that NCL made the free restaurants mediocre so that you had to go to the upcharge places. I wanted to try the Breakaway to see if the new ship meant a new paradigm and if I could sail NCL again. So I took this cruise to nowhere. This was the worst cruise I have ever taken. It is really a shame but I am glad I only spent 2 nights rather than 7. This was a stripped down, bargain basement experience. Period. One would think they would go all out to impress on this mini cruise to entice people to take the longer ones. This did the opposite. I will never go on NCL again. The Food: Paradigm is the same. Serve mediocre food that is not fresh, overly salted, no flavor, no style in presentation so that you are forced to an upcharge restaurant. That is their ploy. But the upcharge restaurants are barely the quality of the free dining on other cruise lines. The best food I ever had was on HAL. The worst was on Carnival. Until now. Cagney's charged me ten dollars extra to have a rubbery lobster tail with the steak. Other cruise lines ask, how many and one cruise line just put six on the plate. At Cagney's, one steak was all fat and came with frozen fast food onion rings. Manhattan had a nice dance floor show but the food was inedible. The lasagna was something out of a hospital cafeteria. I couldn’t finish lasagna? Unheard of. My personal trainer said I lost weight when she saw me after this cruise. Wow. No grab and go, no taco bar, no chicken sandwiches. O'Sheehans was loud, greasy, old cold mozzarella sticks. Two sabrett hot dog trucks. What was the discussion at the board room: Let's have Sabretts because new Yorkers on this ship don't want to eat anything else? All they want is a hot dog and beer anyway? Trouble is, were they correct? Cold and stale cupcakes at the cupcake upcharge place. Guy behind the counter did not understand what I was asking for even when I pointed it out. There was a grill on one of the highest decks outside that seemingly served the best fresh made burgers and salads and gave them to you in a box. We keep reading about it in reviews. Pity we found this out too late because they never posted this place for lunch in the daily Latitudes, and gave only breakfast hours on that sheet. We would have eaten there twice. The only people who knew about it were up in the adjacent game room. Why was this kept a secret? The buffet was the worst mob scene at all times. I have never seen any cruise buffet that crowded and organized so poorly. The food was not fresh, desserts like a Chinese buffet. Was there a reason there was cauliflower in 3 of the hot dishes one day? In a burrito, really? How about a taco/burrito bar like on other cruise lines? They broke down one side early so that the mob was concentrated on the other side. You are trying to take food and they take the tray out from under the tongs you are holding. Stir fry looked like canned La Choy and Chun King (some will know what I’m talking about.) No cucumbers or onions on the salad bar. But some poor staff had the time consuming chore of squeezing a flowery dab of cream cheese on each cucumber slice at breakfast for people to put on a bagel. Let us put our own cream cheese on it. Are people wasteful or messy? So that there was a pile of wilted and wasted cucumbers and all the cream cheese taken just to get a decent schmear? Because the passengers couldn't behave in a civilized manner? Do you know from experience? I guess you all do. The Passengers: The 4000. Now I knew there were a lot and I knew that there would be some drinking. I enjoy a cocktail too. What I did not expect was the overt, excessive drunkenness of most of the passengers. This was a booze cruise, no more, no less. People were lying on the floor in some areas drunk. Groups of men, groups of women drinking all day. I guess from research NCL thinks that is all NYC passengers want because that is all there was to do during the day, more about which later. These people were loud, obnoxious, shoving, catcalling, yelling, fighting, heckling acts in the clubs. Imagine a loud college party atmosphere but with people in their 50s. No wonder security was walking around the decks. This was not just 20-30 year olds in a revival of spring break mode. There is something particularly unattractive about 40-60 year old women roaming in packs, each with a bucket of beer under their arm. Many passengers purchased a bottle of hard liquor in the bucket with sodas and walked around with their own BAR. They also thought the food was wonderful because they actually ate the buffet food with repeated gusto which makes your local buffet seem gourmet. It didn't matter. They were there to drink, scream Journey on the top of their lungs and screech and curse at Cagneys. This was a group, crowd experience that was not nice. In spite of warnings, they brought kids to Rock of Ages, a well done professional show, but clearly not for kids with simulated intercourse and drug use. That and kids had to watch all these drunken adults. No decorum and irresponsible. The majority demographic on this cruise belonged on Springer or Maury. Dressed like hell and wearing pyjamas by day and women ready for 10th avenue by night. Ladies, size 4 to 24, doesn’t matter, those outfits are not becoming. Some people dressed with some taste and class at night but that wasn’t the majority. Thermal Suite: Sorry we didn't do it. So sorry. We checked out the Thermal Suite and considered it, but thought there would be enough to do and not enough time to use the Suite. It is my biggest regret. 120 people soon realized it was the only quiet, decent place to relax and bought all the tickets. Again, if you wanted some quiet you had to pay extra. Otherwise, there was really nothing during the day: Acupuncture, bingo, detox seminars. Take your pick. Evening entertainment: The best show was the in Fat Cats Blues club with Big Poppa. That band is great, the music fabulous, the jokes bawdy but all fun. Too bad a heckler was loud. We saw this show two nights in a row and it was the best thing on this cruise. Keep Big Poppa and his group. Excellent talent. The dueling pianos were fun, great players and good atmosphere. There were many things good at the same time. If you did not get advanced tickets you did not get in. Their reservation system does not work. Same with dinners. If you had a reservation you still needed to wait. Could not see Second City. La Cirque was a pay event. Layout of the Ship and overall design: This ship was not designed well for NY departures. You lose a few days just getting out of the cold. There is no place to go. The outdoor seating and spice H20 were useless. NCL should make a retractable roof over spice h20 so that people can go in tubs and see films in all weather. There was no place to put 4000 people when it is under 40 degrees. Except in bars. The theatre was useless during the day. no films, nothing but a short bingo game. Every public area is crowded and loud. The entire time I felt I was walking back and forth on 34th Street. Awful. Further more, if you scope out decks 6,7,8, you've seen it all. We saw it all in two hours. You can barely walk. It felt like a bad 1980s indoor mall, not a cruise ship at all. The smell of smoke permeated the public areas because it wasn’t contained somehow in the casino. Other ships don’t have this problem. The smoke went into dining areas and it was old, stale smoke. This was disgusting. Why would you hold your 10 dollar sale right where people have to walk? Then you have the pushing, shoving women grabbing and standing around waiting to check out? Take a lesson from other cruise lines that use empty, unused restaurants, like Taste and Savor, and hold your sale in there. There would be more room. You wouldn't crowd your only way to walk on that deck. You can also monitor the people at the one door and make sure people pay. Some of your passengers thought paying was optional due to the lack of organization of your sale. There are only two banks of elevators: Forward and Aft. No elevators in the Centrum or Atrium. Just glass stairs that are not wide enough for two way traffic. It is hard to walk down those stairs sober, much less in the condition that these passengers put themselves in. With only two elevators on the extreme ends of the ship, that means you have to walk the Whole way on 6, 7, 8 to get anywhere, walking through the mob scene, again and again: 34th street, CANAL street or 5th avenue. Not Pleasant. Finally, the stateroom. Stripped down, no frills. No towel animals. How can you make towel animals with no towels? There were two towels in the bathroom. No glasses. No chocolates. No Room Service. People were expecting it for breakfast. I heard them Friday saying they looked forward to it. It would have cut down on the mob scene in the garden café. Instead we commiserated upon finding out no one had a room service menu because no one was getting any. Refrigerator locked. Beds pushed together you felt the Seam down the middle. We are 49 and 50 years old. This wasn't the cruise for us or the line. If you want a 40 hour booze cruise with a “Whatever happens on breakaway stays on breakaway” atmosphere, then maybe this is your spot. Perhaps the cruise to nowhere attracts a different demographic and NCL knows they don't care about food quality or amenities, just the bars. The main issue for us is that it seems their MO is to serve mediocre free food so that you pay the upcharge. But this food still is not as good as the free places on other lines. So it appears that a lower price gets more people on ship and you can keep it a low quality experience if you want or must pay more for a little better quality experience. If you want to be cloistered away and never see the great unwashed, drunken masses with uncontrollable children you pay for the Haven. But, you still have to get out there eventually and it's not nice. That is what Freestyle really means, and it's not for us. Once again, you get what you pay for. We would rather pay more for the overall experience to be excellent and not feel we got the bait and switch. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Returned from a relaxing weekend on the Norwegian Breakaway cruise to nowhere from New York City. It was a beautiful ship and I enjoyed it very much. Parents took the same trip year ago but myself and sister this was our first time ... Read More
Returned from a relaxing weekend on the Norwegian Breakaway cruise to nowhere from New York City. It was a beautiful ship and I enjoyed it very much. Parents took the same trip year ago but myself and sister this was our first time onboard. All of us stayed in mini-suite deck 9 which was spacious but not very large but was there when we needed it to return to. The bath was good size and shower was fun to use with the two settings on showerhead. Stateroom attendant was attentive. I will break down the cruise: EMBARKATION: (Friday) Left here 8:30am with some light snow on our trip to the NY Waterway Ferry in Weehaken where we parked the car in the parking garage then took the ferry to city side then got into New York City cab to the cruise terminal. Arrived terminal shortly before 10am cleared security, then checked in at the desk and our boarding number was 5. Waited for good hour then boarded via deck 7. Then went to Garden Cafe buffet for lunch not crowded so we got our food then found table. The food consisted of fries, burgers, hot dogs, short ribs, beef roast and much more. The food was very good. Beverages were lemonade, flavored water and water from the Vitality juice machines. Following lunch walked around the ship to check it all out parents give myself and sister tour of all the public lounges and restaurants. I mentioned earlier parents took this same trip last year without us. Then checked out stateroom as I mentioned earlier. Then walked around some more then prepared for muster drill which our station was C4 and was in the Atrium on deck 6 waited like an hour people were not cooperating so the muster drill did not go on time but when it began it ended quickly, They showed video on large screen demonstrating how to use your lifejacket. After muster drill parents and sister went to Moderno on deck 8 for dinner Moderno is the specialty restaurant and I just went to Garden Cafe buffet which consisted of similar items just like lunch. The first nights main dessert was an American flag cake which was strawberry short cake very tasty. Cruising: (Saturday) Saturday was a very windy day and the seas were choppy early morning but conditions improved when the sun came out in afternoon but still cold to do anything on deck. They closed all outside decks since it was very windy but there was one door that was not locked and that was center door entering and exiting Garden Cafe but it was kind of cold out there to walk the decks. They went for breakfast I slept in then walked the ship sat by Mixx Bar deck 6 just people watching until the lunch buffet served. After buffet walked around some more by Mixx Bar then checked out the exercise facilities on deck 16 which look out at the water. They is plenty to see on this large ship. Due to the weather things like the Aqua Park were closed but Friday noticed some people in the Jacuzzis and few in pool which are all heated but you must be very cold when you come out. I was also on that front deck Friday watching us depart the city and it was good weather but windy once the ship got moving. New York City looks vibrant when its dark outside. I had dinner in the buffet then just sitting around there then everyone got there after I finished then they had their dinner. Everyone else after dinner walked around bit I just return to stateroom to pack up little I had with me then to sleep. DISEMBARKATION: Sunday Was up around 5:30am shortly after that we were docking. I think we were due in 8am but earlier arrival. They went for one last breakfast I made sure I was all packed up then they returned then went to deck 7 to disembark the ship it was painless, NCL is the only line that lets you stay in your stateroom until you are free to disembark. Disembarked shortly after 7:30am off the ship to downstairs level clear customers and cross 12th Avenue to get cab no problem getting one returned to ferry terminal on ferry 8:10am return to get our car and in the door around 9am. ALL IN ALL: I enjoyed the NCL Breakaway very much. I would like to cruise on that ship again on a longer cruise to Bermuda maybe this fall or next spring if good deals come up. I never made it to O'Sheehans but definitely will next cruise. O'Sheehans was where parents went for lunch and dinner when they were on Breakaway last year and enjoyed it very much. It was always busy since the ship was full since this was a cruise to nowhere. It is a 24 hour venue which is always open. The age groups of people on this cruise were mixed bag some younger children and mainly adults who like to party and take off from work for three day weekend. They were few older groups onboard too. The ship was always clean everywhere you went. The service was attentive. I never went into the sit down or specialty restaurants. Next cruise maybe like to try Savor or Taste. I had a good time although weather was not very warm since it was late January but next cruise will need to do some things on deck. I recommend the Brekaway to anyone who is looking for a great cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This was my 2nd time on the Norwegian Breakaway. My first cruise was a 7 day cruise. We decided to take the Cruise to Nowhere, in hopes of a little getaway. The ship itself is a beautiful ship, and has many perks to it. However, this ... Read More
This was my 2nd time on the Norwegian Breakaway. My first cruise was a 7 day cruise. We decided to take the Cruise to Nowhere, in hopes of a little getaway. The ship itself is a beautiful ship, and has many perks to it. However, this time I found myself somewhat bored. Possibly because it was a "Cruise to Nowhere." My biggest complaint of the trip was the route that the Captain took on this cruise. Of course during the Winter, I don't expect the waters to be nice and calm. However, he basically took us away from Manhattan, and went in circles by Long Island. From my understanding from other cruisers, the usual route it to head towards Virginia and back. The Captain kept us in horrible weather conditions, and the only full day at sea was a very rocky one. Waves crashing, etc.. Many passengers were ill. They closed off the entire outside of the ship, so you nobody could go outside. This made the the trip not so great. I also found it odd that they don't offer Room Service on the Cruise to Nowhere, you can pay for a pizza to be delivered to your room, that is all. In closing: The cruise would have been much more enjoyable had the captain taken the better route. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
I'll state up front that this is my first cruise. My wife has cruised a few time before. We went on a 2-night cruise to nowhere out of NYC to celebrate our 40th birthdays. We arrived to the port in New York City around noon and went ... Read More
I'll state up front that this is my first cruise. My wife has cruised a few time before. We went on a 2-night cruise to nowhere out of NYC to celebrate our 40th birthdays. We arrived to the port in New York City around noon and went through the cruise terminal within 15 minutes. I was surprised that we walked onto the ship so quickly. Immediately upon boarding Breakaway I could tell that I liked the style of the ship. The interior decor is fresh and modern, yet warm. Very different than the Peter Max-designed hull artwork, which is quite flamboyant. We went to find our balcony stateroom to set our luggage down. We brought only carry on bags for the quick sailing. We found that our stateroom was already made up for us. However, there were a few spots where the cleaning crew had missed the mark. They were good about fixing the issue later that day and we had no other issue with the cabin. The cabin was a good size for the two of us. I was not expecting a lot in terms of spaciousness and I felt that I was pleasantly surprised how airy the room felt. The decor was clean and modern. The bathroom was roomy, with ample sink area storage and a good size shower. The balcony was wonderful, with a table and two chairs for relaxing. It was on the smaller side and it would be difficult to sit in a recliner on the balcony. The sliding door was very solid and when locked did a great job of blocking out outside noise. Also, as a parent I appreciated the lock mechanism that was set high on the door, away from small hands. Departure from New York City is amazing at night. The skyline all lit up is a sight to behold, as well as the Statue of Liberty. Passing under the Verazzano Narrows Bridge is also a high point of the sail out. I will say that since it is January it was very cold. I was well prepared with lots of layered clothing, gloves, and a winter hat. Dinner at the Manhattan Room was excellent. I have to say I was ready for the food to be pretty blah, but in general I was very happy with the food I received. In particular the fish dishes were excellent. I had a broiled cod dish that was amazing and my wife had salmon that was also excellent. We liked the decor and energy of the Manhattan Room and did both of our dinners there. We had lunch in Taste, which is a seated meal, and the Garden Cafe, which is the buffet. Taste was excellent and the buffet was generally good, though not quite as good as the seated restaurants. The Garden Cafe was a great place to grab a quick snack or ice cream treat though, and provided great views from deck 15 aft. We ate breakfast at O'Sheenan's pub and at Taste. Both very good basic breakfast. My favorite food related thing was the Sabrett hot dog carts that pop up around the ship. Delicious! We went to see Rock of Ages. This is not a show for kids. It is very risqué and they make an announcement to that affect before it starts. As a person who grew up loving hard rock in the 1980s it was a great trip down memory lane. I absolutely loved the show! But definitely not for kids. We also bought entrance to the Ice Bar, which is basically a freezer with a bar and ice sculptures in it. The $20 admission gets you two drinks, so it's in line with other bard on the ship. It was a cool experience, pun intended, and I am glad we did it. Probably wouldn't repeat though. Obviously since it's a winter sailing we couldn't make use of the waterslides. There were a few brave souls in the heated pools and hot tubs. I walked the ship and found an amazing looking ropes course and mini golf. My biggest regret is that we didn't have more time and sail to a warm weather location where we could really enjoy the outdoor facilities that Breakaway has to offer. We docked back at the port of New York early on Sunday morning. We ate breakfast with friends and made our way off the ship at our leisure, around 9:30. It was a simple process to get through immigration and we met our ride outside the terminal. My favorite feature of the ship the the Waterfront, which is the wrap around promenade on deck 8. Many of the restaurants offer outdoor seating in warmer weather and it's just a great place to walk around the ship early in the morning and take in the sea air. Overall we had a terrific time on Breakaway. We would definitely go again, but next time on a longer cruise to a warm weather location and with our kids. For me it was the perfect introduction to cruising and the location in NYC is super convenient.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
After reading a number of negative reviews we decided to roll the dice and get a sense of the ship with a weekend cruise to nowhere. A number of the complaints are perfectly valid, some a bit overblown, others somewhat questionable. We had ... Read More
After reading a number of negative reviews we decided to roll the dice and get a sense of the ship with a weekend cruise to nowhere. A number of the complaints are perfectly valid, some a bit overblown, others somewhat questionable. We had a lot of fun and will likely sail on Breakaway again but this ship isn't for everyone. EMBARKATION Get there early and you'll get on board fairly quickly. We arrived at the port at 11:40 and were onboard by 12:30. Not too shabby. BOARDING THE BREAKAWAY Kind of an odd thing to note about a cruise experience but worth pointing out nonetheless. If one of the highlights of your cruise experience is entering the grand atrium and looking around in awe this is not the ship for you. There's no atrium in the traditional sense. You're greeted, you board and you find yourself near the stairs and elevators, not the atrium. Make your way toward the center of the deck and you'll discover an atrium which resembles the hotel lobby of a boutique hotel with a European sensibility. It's very nice but it won't blow you away. The closest thing to an atrium experience can be found at the center of decks 6, 7 and 8 but the space feels a bit confined. SHIP LAYOUT Very easy to navigate since the focal point of the ship is at the center of decks 6, 7 and 8. Entertainment venues, the casino, restaurants, shops, guests services, etc. are spread across these three decks. Oddly enough, despite the size of this ship, many of the spaces seem small. You're left with the overall impression that they tried to squeeze as much as possible into a very defined space. This is most apparent in the atrium which hosts photo ops, dance lessons and other activities. Corridors are noticeably narrower on passenger decks than on other cruise ships. If someone is approaching you'll have to squeeze around them or move aside to let them pass. Elevators are in short supply. While you can typically expect elevators forward, aft and center on most ships, the Breakaway has only two elevator banks. This leads to crowding and long waits. My best guess is that a third elevator was eliminated to allow for additional cabin space (and the ship has a lot of cabins). Speaking of cabins.... CABINS and BALCONIES The cabins are very nicely done with pleasing tones and ample closet space but... They're a bit small. If you've sailed with Disney, Carnival or even on other NCL ships you quickly discover just how much smaller these cabins are. A standard balcony stateroom on the Breakaway comes in at just under 200 square feet -- and that includes the undersized balcony which accommodates two chairs that can be set at a slight angle or facing each other. You can upgrade to a mini-suite but that will cost you a bit more and the size is comparable to that of a standard balcony stateroom on competing Carnival, Disney, NCL and RCL ships. Most travel websites indicate that these rooms are larger but trust NCL's own website for accurate room dimensions. TIP: Cabins require a key card to turn on the lights. All well and good and not uncommon BUT when you remove the keycard ALL power is cut off to the cabin so if you're hoping to charge your camera or phone while at dinner or in the pool you'll return to discover that it hasn't charged. Ask your room steward for a card to keep the power. You can keep it in the slot for the duration of your cruise and you'll be able to charge your devices. THE FOOD NO complaints! We were pleasantly surprised that the food in the MDR's was actually VERY good. Our dinner in the Manhattan Room was fantastic and our meals in Taste and Savor were very good. Yes, all three share the same menu but there's a nice variety on the menu. Also, the 'free' restaurants are as nicely laid out and decorated as the premium restaurants. You won't feel as if you're getting second tier service. Another free option is O'Sheehan's which offers Irish Pub fare and is open 24 hours a day. Just don't eat at the bar. No one ever took our order. If you feel like splurging you can eat at one of the many specialty restaurants but the MDR's will work for most. Oh, and free hot dogs from the hot dog cart! if you're not a fan of Freestyle Cruising when it comes to meals, set times and wait staff are not NCL's thing. You may miss it but you'll adjust (and, really, Freestyle cruising is pretty much just about eating where and when you'd like). Tip: Book all meals before sailing. Also, if the board indicates that a restaurant has no availability drop by anyway to see if they can seat you. People tend to make reservations and then never show up. Tip: Arrive early for a good table to see the dancers from Burn the Floor perform in the Manhattan Room. They perform at 6:00 p.m. on select nights for a half hour and it's a lot of fun. ENTERTAINMENT ROCK of AGES is a lot of fun and the cast is fantastic. A crowd pleaser but definitely not for (most) kids under 14. It really depends on how sophisticated your kids are since language can get a bit colorful and some of the sexual situations are not entirely kid friendly. SECOND CITY is designed around both families and adults. If you enjoy improv you'll enjoy Second City. We did not attend the Cirque show. At $40 per person I just wasn't feeling it for this cruise. Other activities are available throughout the day for everyone in the family. BARS Lots of bars. The Ice Bar is a novelty that gets you two drinks for $20 and some fun pictures but if you opt to pass it by you'll be able to live with yourself. What I did miss, however, was an intimate bar experience. There's usually a lounge of some sort on most ships that's a bit on the low key side but most venues on the Breakaway were fairly high energy. This is to be expected on a cruise ship, of course, but every now and then you just want to slow things down a bit. THE SPA Ship spas tend to have a warm vibe about them but lots of blues and whites here with a layout that is perfectly functional but with a flow that seems a bit off. The fairly large pull, however, is a definite plus. SMOKE FROM THE CASINO This comes up frequently in reviews. It's definitely noticeable and one has to wonder why the casino would be placed between two decks in such an open area. That said, it's no worse than other cruise ships we've been on but it's definitely noticeable and at certain times more than others (at one point there was absolutely no smoking at all in the casino). SPLASH ACADEMY We didn't bring our kids on this cruise so I can't weigh in on how much fun it is but the facilities were a bit underwhelming compared to Carnival and (especially) Disney. Our daughter will have to weigh in on the fun factor on our next Breakaway cruise (and from what I've read kids love Splash Academy). STAFF Room stewards were great as were the servers. Very helpful and accommodating. We found the Guest Services staff to be available but not overly helpful. Having just recently been on a Disney cruise the contrast in service was hard not to miss. While the primary goal at guest services on a Disney ship is to find a solution to a problem or have an available answer for any possible inquiry (and always with a smile), the Guest Services staff on the Breakaway seemed a bit preoccupied. OUTDOOR FUN! It was a bit too cold to experience it all (and on day two all outside areas were closed off due to high winds) but what little we did get to see looks like it will be a lot of fun. Large open areas, the Boardwalk, water slides and much more. ABOUT THAT NEW YORK THEME FOR THE SHIP... Well, you definitely get the sense that the interior was not designed by someone with an intimate knowledge of New York. The hull design by Peter Max nails it but the interior of the ship doesn't quite follow through. Yes, there are splashes of art here and there as well as a number of old photos of old New York but it would have been nice if more of the interior spaces reflected the architecture and the sights and sounds of New York. Just an observation. CONCLUSION Was it perfect? No. Are there a few things that could use improvement? Sure. Some major, some minor. Was it a lot of fun? Yes, and because of this we're willing to sail on the Breakaway again   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We just returned from a 2-night sailing aboard the Breakaway this past weekend. Normally, my family prefers sailings with 7+ nights to really get to know the ship and the staff on board. We loved our first cruise with NCL in 2004, but each ... Read More
We just returned from a 2-night sailing aboard the Breakaway this past weekend. Normally, my family prefers sailings with 7+ nights to really get to know the ship and the staff on board. We loved our first cruise with NCL in 2004, but each sailing has been getting progressively worse. It seems as if NCL is shifting its focus from passenger satisfaction to purely profit. After the absolutely dreadful experience aboard the Epic last March, we were issued onboard credit and decided to give NCL one more chance by trying something new with a cruise to nowhere. Unfortunately, although the experience was better than the Epic (it is hard to think of how it could be worse), I cannot say that I want to cruise with NCL again or even recommend it to anyone. My first impressions were that the cruise itself had an entirely different atmosphere from longer Caribbean or Mediterranean as it was (1) during the winter so all of the guests were concentrated inside, (2) sailing out of NYC so most of the passengers were celebrating long weekends (drinks all around), and (3) a holiday weekend so many families were onboard as well. In other words, it was a giant party ship (not necessarily a bad thing). However, as a result of the concentration of people inside, the quality of service, especially in the main dining areas, suffered. At the buffet, we felt rushed as servers cleared our dishes while we were still eating or using them. In some instances, I would drink my coffee and turn to see my breakfast plate halfway off the table before I could call it back. Other times, when asked if I was finished, I replied no, and my plate was still taken. It was as if they were going through the motions of asking but not even waiting for a response and moving on. In the main dining room, service was slow and seemingly confused – as observed on other NCL ships, the freestyle model results in a lack of accountability on the waitstaff’s part, especially on a 2-night sailing. Unlike the traditional model with a main server, assistant server, and bar server for the table, the single server himself has to walk back and forth from the kitchen and bar to retrieve the food and drinks. Without a doubt, one of the highlights of our cruise was Ocean Blue. One of our favorite parts of cruising is the fine dining so of course, we had to try Ocean Blue (we also love Jeffrey Zakarian – he was so friendly when we ran into him at the airport!). Service was outstanding – welcoming, knowledgeable, and incredibly attentive. The food was also phenomenal; each dish was well balanced, flavorful, and quite unique. At first, we wondered why we were limited to choosing one menu item from each section, but the portions were quite large, and we couldn’t even finish our main entrees (but we finished dessert!). Without a doubt, we would have dined there again if the cruise were longer. O’Sheehan’s was another great dining option. We always go for their buffalo wings (haven’t let us down yet), but service was a hit or miss. At the bar tops, within five minutes of snagging a table, four waiters came to the table to ask if we were helped yet. However, due to the craziness, when our food came, all the plates were missing blue cheese. When asked for some, we were told that blue cheese was a separate order (… huh). Sounds nitpicky, but it was an odd response since it was untrue, and after saying it, our waiter rushed off. It was another 5-10 minutes before we flagged him down to ask for an ‘order’ of blue cheese. Nevertheless, service at the high tops was markedly better than that at the tables, which even though we were some of the only people there, seemed sluggish and inattentive. Other positives were the activities on board and the show Rock of Ages. I appreciated the fact that the Ropes Course, Mini Golf, and Rock Climbing wall were free since they often have additional charges on other ships. These activities were well-maintained and organized (even if we froze outside in the January weather!). Unfortunately, the zipline on the Ropes Course, which we were most looking forward to, was closed for maintenance when we sailed. The show Rock of Ages was the best we had seen on a cruise ship the past decade or even longer. Too often, entertainment on board turns out to be a mess of songs and cheesy dance numbers that comes off like a cheap Vegas sideshow. In contrast, Rock of Ages featured actual sets and costumes, a catchy song list, and some truly talented performers. It was definitely the other highlight of the weekend. On the flip side of entertainment and activities, a huge downside was the stateroom service. For such a short sailing, we opted for an interior cabin since we figured we wouldn’t spend much time there. Our first mistake was choosing a cabin on the 5th floor below the Atrium (what were we thinking!?!?) – since it was so cold outside, the party in the Atrium was still booming at 3 AM. Speaking of which, the meeting rooms and library were right next to the Atrium so sounds of the raucous crowd and instruments came right through the walls (horrible design and planning!). The stateroom and more importantly, the bathroom, were quite roomy, especially for a newer ship. There was a noticeable lack of drawers (as my mom noted, where do people keep their undergarments!?), but I didn’t find it to be a problem. For people going on a weekend cruise, it’s worth noting that there is no room service, and since the buffet closes around midnight, the only late night dining option is O’Sheehan’s. I found our room steward on this trip to be much colder than those we’ve met on other ships. Usually, we end up chatting with our room steward, who is generally one of the friendliest and welcoming people on board any cruise ship. However, this time, I definitely didn’t get the same impression (perhaps because it was such a short cruise?). On the first night, there was no towel animal or chocolate on the bed, which I figured must have been omitted for the short sailing. However, our parents received both of these so it was a bit strange. (Since we were kids, it’s become a nightly ritual to eat chocolate before bed as we read the next day’s itinerary – unhealthy and silly but something we’ve always done). The following night, we received an animal (yay! It was a… seal? snake?) but no chocolate. Again, it seems nitpicky, but the lack of attention to details seems like another consequence of the short sailing. For anyone hitting the gym, it felt horribly cramped compared to the usual cruise fitness centers. The weights are separate from the cardio equipment, and each room extremely narrow and cramped. At 7:30 AM, the cardio room was pretty busy, but luckily, I was only one of three people in the weight room. There were so windows in the room, and the bright amber paint made the room feel smaller than it already was. By 8:30 AM, the 8-10 people in the room made it hard to find somewhere to stand between sets and left us shuffling around each other. When looking for somewhere to stretch, there was a side area that perfectly fit two people, but I couldn't find anywhere else in the gym to lay a mat. Overall, it was a fun way to spend the weekend with a family, but we definitely won’t be going on another short cruise. It was simply not enough time to get to know the ship or staff, and due to the ridiculously quick turnaround time, the quality of service is markedly lower than that of longer sailings. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Well... I have my verdict. The Breakaway is an amazing ship! I was way more impressed with it than I thought I'd be. There is so much to do on this ship and the décor and themes throughout the ship are beautiful. I like the ... Read More
Well... I have my verdict. The Breakaway is an amazing ship! I was way more impressed with it than I thought I'd be. There is so much to do on this ship and the décor and themes throughout the ship are beautiful. I like the Breakaway better than the Jewel class ships. In my opinion its a more fast paced ship than the Jewel class, but you can still relax and do all of the things you like to do on a normal cruise ship and more. There's no reason to stay in your rooms, there's a lot to do. For a ship with 4,000 people on it, I didn't feel crowded at all. Do make reservations for the performances in which you can make reservations... there was a very long standby line at Headliners on day 2. There are several lounges and bars all throughout the ship with great musical entertainment all evening and night. Rock of Ages and Second City (Adult show) were very good. I suggest going to both of them. Rock of Ages was much more raunchy than I expected. It's almost a 2 hour long show, although online it says that its 1.25 hours. If you're offended by cursing then don't go to the Second City adult show. Ocean View was excellent. The Delmonico steak was the best I've ever had and the mussels were very good also. The duck was cooked perfectly, not rubbery or greasy. The risotto of Jonah crab is good, but it has cheese in it. The sea scallops were very good and very large. The calamari was good, although not the best I've had by far. My aunt enjoyed the madras curry bisque also. The cirque dreams and dinner was very impressive and mesmerizing. I suggest doing this if you're even slightly interested. You won't be disappointed. There was magic, acrobatics, juggling and several other acts within the 1.5 hour performance. A secret is... go to Moderno's for the quick buffet at lunch if you're trying to get in and out. Ask for a table near the atrium at Moderno's or Cagney's if you're eating dinner there and you may see the Burn the Floor dance show in the Manhattan room. The garden café is in a square on this ship. You walk around it in circles and sit on either side of the ship. Its actually set up better than on other ships, much easier to get in and out. Unfortunately, the weather was too windy and cold for us to go outside and use the waterpark, rock climbing wall or mini-golf course. Unfortunately, we didn't visit the spa or gym, although we wanted to. The big negative to this ship is the smoking in the casino and cigar lounge. The smoke can be very heavy at times during the day and during those times it travels to adjacent lounges and even further. In my opinion its a big problem, but you really only notice it if there's a lot of people smoking at the same time, which is not often. This could be because we were unable to go outside too. Bliss is in the casino unfortunately. And, the noodle bar borders the casino too. I chose not to eat in the noodle bar due to it being so close to the casino. Carlo's bake shop was good. We enjoyed the chocolate cake and cannoli's. Oddly, our cannolis were nearly frozen. After we let them thaw out they were great. Its hard to find the bake shop because the sign is small and off to the side. Its to the left, just before entering the Prime Meridian bar (in between Cagney's and moderno's). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
I've been thinking about writing this review from the first time I saw the boat. It's so beautiful. Inside and out. Arrival: -You actually park on the pier right next to the boat. NOT across the street like I read in some of ... Read More
I've been thinking about writing this review from the first time I saw the boat. It's so beautiful. Inside and out. Arrival: -You actually park on the pier right next to the boat. NOT across the street like I read in some of the reviews. It is $40/day to park. -Whoever is responsible for keeping the sidewalks salted did not do a good job. Be careful. I slipped and fell on the sidewalk on the parking pier. --We arrived and boarded around 2pm. There was a very short line to get our passes, etc. Easy boarding. I recommend that highly. No need to get there so early and then stand in a long line. -Super fun and friendly crew met us as we got on the boat. Because we boarded so late we were able to go straight to our room. Stateroom: --We had a balcony room. Absolutely lovely. SO MUCH STORAGE SPACE!! Those Norwegians know how to create space. There are actually draws under the couch if you need the space. The mini fridge is in a cabinet but was locked for us for some reason. We didn't inquire. Don't know if that's normal or not. But it was nice to have one if needed. -The room is quite spacious. Nice bed. Fun to have a balcony. Although cold, I stood out on the balcony and watched the sun rise. It was so beautiful. Quite a different perspective. -The bathroom was lovely. Again, TONS of storage space. Only negative was the water pressure from the shower. Oh well....at least it was hot when I wanted it to be. -The rooms were fairly quiet. Seemed like you could hear more of what was going on above than in the rooms next door. I brought a fan with me to create a little white noise. I would probably bring earplugs next time too. The boat: -It's beautiful. Everything is lovely. They seem to have tried to create a very social atmosphere. Encouraging the guests to be with each other. Everything seems to center down the middle of the ship. The atrium is where everything is always happening. Like a giant family room. It was usually quite packed so we didn't hang out there very much. --It's loud. That's my biggest CON to the whole trip. I could never find any place that was quiet to just sit and read or talk with my husband. There was always music playing everywhere you went. Coupled with the crowd noises, it was loud. Even in the dining areas. --Neither my husband nor myself are party people so we don't drink or gamble. Seems like the 2 day cruises are for people to have a quick party over the weekend which is a great idea. I think everyone had a great time. -Perhaps I'm a bit of a party-pooper but I just wanted to find a little quiet spot outside of my cabin to enjoy the boat. The food: --Incredible!!! --I thought the food was fantastic. Good gracious! Even the Garden Cafe buffet was amazing. -I don't know what they put in their scrambled eggs but they're so great! Silly huh? --I personally did not feel the food tasted like an Old Country Buffet at all. I thought it was splendid. Entertainment: -We went to the Cirque show on the first night. The 9:15pm show. Great show. -The music is very loud. The talent is truly a class act. I was amazed at what they could do with their bodies. The girl that juggles with her feet was outstanding! Loved that so much. There are a could of fellows that juggle each other...Amazing! And the couple on the rollerskates had me covering my eyes because of how fast they were going. -The food for the show was good but not as good as I would've thought. Good steak, french fries(huh?) broccoli for dinner. Good appetite. A trio of desserts (small) but very good. -All in all--I'm glad we paid the extra money to go to the show. --We chose not to go to Rock of Ages as the description about the language and sex just aren't our thing. -I highly recommend going to an art auction. They're so very interesting. You learn so much. It's a great way to spend some time. --I noticed that outside one of the restaurants across from Headliners there was some board games set out to play if you wanted to. I thought that was nice. Highlight: -Cruising out of Manhattan at night. Wear super warm clothes and go up on the 15th deck and watch as you cruise past Manhattan. It is glorious! It was awe-inspiring. You must do that!!! --It takes about 45 mins from leaving the port to get to the Statue of Liberty. That's really awesome also. --Another 10-15mins and you'll cruise under the Verrazano Bridge. THAT IS COOL!!! Return: -Back in port by 6am. -NCL let's you stay on the boat until 9:30am. You can go have breakfast and just enjoy your last few hours on board. That was the quietest time of the whole trip. :) --Easy to get off. More walking than getting on board. You have to walk all the way to the very back of the building to go through customs and then walk all the way back towards the city to get to your car. I would suggest exiting the boat at the AFT exit vs the front. Less walking. --Bring a rolling suitcase if you can. --Again, very little salt on the icy sidewalks. It was raining when we got back but the surfaces were so cold that the rain turned to ice. Be careful! All in All: --It was a great experience. I'm so glad we took a little mini-vacay from the kids and did something different. --The boat is wonderful. Cabins clean and fresh. I would highly recommend going. Enjoy!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Hi my DH K and I had a great cruise on the Breakaway 11/30. Some background. K has Parkison and I have had 4 back surgeries in the last 1 1/2 yrs, so walking can be a problem. Yes we stayed in the Haven and it was just what the doctor ... Read More
Hi my DH K and I had a great cruise on the Breakaway 11/30. Some background. K has Parkison and I have had 4 back surgeries in the last 1 1/2 yrs, so walking can be a problem. Yes we stayed in the Haven and it was just what the doctor ordered. It ws peaceful, beautiful and overall a great place to stay. the kids were great and fun. We had a 2 bedroom suite, K used the 2nd bedroom for his naps. The only problem was the tub leaked and both K and I slipped on the floor. K hurt his hip and broke his glasses and I bruised my left ankle. We are fine. The concierge went out of their way to get me a cane and my husband a wheel chair. Also made sure we were OK. I got a free foot message out of it!! The bathtub leak was fixed. Yes we used the concierge and the butler We had dinner 2 times in the room, ate at O'Sheehan OK, Haven Restruant, Cagney's, Le Bistro, La Cucina very good. Did Cirque, Burn the Floor, Dualing Piano, Fat Cats yes busy and more everything was good. Really enjoyed the cruise thanks to ll the people that helped mke it great Casino was for a change good to me. Had a SPA pass but really did not need with the Haven, but did enjoy a message and facial. Yes we would do another cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
I went on this cruise because i am sailing her in December to the eastern caribbean, and i wanted to see what the ship was all about... Really i can't judge the ship too much, because it was only for one night, and a lot of loud roudy ... Read More
I went on this cruise because i am sailing her in December to the eastern caribbean, and i wanted to see what the ship was all about... Really i can't judge the ship too much, because it was only for one night, and a lot of loud roudy people, which i don't enjoy too much..... but getting back to the Gem, i thought that the ship had a very homey feel, and nice and cozy....Definitely the ship was very easy to navigate around on.... I prepaid for a reservation at the Le Bistro which was $20....and had a lovely time dining there, and the food was absolutely delicious, and presented to the table very nicely.... I had the Filet of Beef, which melted in your mouth.... also ate in the Pacific Dining Room for lunch and breakfast the following morning....and i thought that the food was very good, and the food was presented to me nice and hot.... again as i said before, i cannot judge to much on the ship, as i was only there one night....but some of the people that were on the cruise, were down right loud and roudy...even in the Le Bistro, where i ate, they had a large birthday party in there, and those people were so so loud, that some of the guests asked to be moved to a more quieter location.... My cabin was 9549....forward on the ship....it was an inside cabin....and i loved it.... i got the nice cozy feel to the room....and everything was in order..... I am definitely looking forward to my cruise on the Gem in December, and i know that i will have a better experience....as it is a nine night cruise..... It was very convenient for me to get to the pier....I took the LLRR to Penn Station and hopped in a taxi, and i was there in minutes.... Had a very enjoyable time, dispite the loud and roudy people..... Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
My family and I set out on April 4th, 2014 for a one night cruise to nowhere for my grandmothers 85th birthday (300$ per person.) The day started out great after getting the family (11 people) together to celebrate such an occasion. ... Read More
My family and I set out on April 4th, 2014 for a one night cruise to nowhere for my grandmothers 85th birthday (300$ per person.) The day started out great after getting the family (11 people) together to celebrate such an occasion. Shortly after boarding the ship at 2:30pm, I began to think that maybe the getaway wouldn't be so great after all. Now were do I start...after boarding I noticed that there was only a single bar open to service a ship full of excited cruisers. Not only did the bartenders move entirely too slow, it took me over 30 minutes to get a drink. None of the activities on-board were up and running, and when we asked why, we were told that the activities didn't open until 6:30, and when they did open, many of those activities required an up-charge.There was only one dining hall open that offered terribly bland food and produced overcrowding and a lack of available seating. Above all else, my biggest complaint was the atrocious customer service. Almost every employee I encountered had a nasty attitude and didn't want to answer any of our questions or give us directions. The only positive interaction I had was with the cocktail waiters in the nightclub. Upon disembarking the vessel, we had to go through "customs," which took over an hour; upon reaching the fort we realized that there was only one employee checking guest out. I have to say, I have been on many cruises through royal Caribbean and Carnival and never had such an appalling experience and I must say that I will NEVER give Norwegian cruise line dollar of my money again! CRUISERS STAY AWAY!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
My husband and I just returned from an overnight cruise to nowhere and had a fantastic experience. We're in our early 40's with 2 small children, so this short trip was a perfect pre-Valentine's getaway. Leaving out of NYC ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from an overnight cruise to nowhere and had a fantastic experience. We're in our early 40's with 2 small children, so this short trip was a perfect pre-Valentine's getaway. Leaving out of NYC was a breeze. We drove up from Philly, went through the Lincoln Tunnel and BAM! There we were! Parked on the deck adjacent to the ship and after a five minute walk were in the terminal. We saw this cruise offered online and immediately jumped on it because of the price, and my hubby upgraded us to a suite (9170) at additional cost. This gave us priority embarkation, and upon boarding we were escorted to Cagney's for a great lunch. After, we went to our cabin which was Aft deck 9. PLENTY of space, espresso machine, king bed, bathtub, champagne, fruit basket, snacks....we might do this more often! We pulled out of port promptly at 6 pm and passed the Statue of Liberty on our way to sea. After all the bad weather of the prior weeks, we were blessed with calm seas and clear skies. It was awesome. But more about the ship.....we've been on the RC Adventure of the Seas twice, and while the Gem is noticeably smaller, it is a very nicely decorated and maintained ship. Never felt crowded or cramped. Staff was friendly and accommodating. Food was tasty; however, we did not get great service at Moderno. Just extremely slooow. I'd skip the specialty restaurant next time around. There was plenty of entertainment and the acrobat show was amazing! Had a good time with karaoke, danced, listened to the reggae band in the atrium. Ate some more. Drank. Fellow cruisers were festive and friendly.....folks were bending the elbow pretty deep, but not in the frat-party style. FYI - there were very few kids on this sailing. While most of the behavior was relatively tame, it was still an adults vibe. People were out to party and have fun. My little ones would have been out of place. The next morning we ate again at Cagney's (because of our upgrade) while everyone else had the buffet or the other sit-down restaurant. We had to be off the ship by 10 am, and the cruiseline made periodic announcement s to "encourage" our departure. Didn't feel rushed though, and we ate, disembarked and were on the road by 10:30. For $250, it was money well spent and I encourage anyone to jump on this deal the next time it's offered! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
We just returned from a 1 night cruise to nowhere which while it was enjoyable I didn't get to do as much as one would of hoped. I was still recovering from bronchitis and a sinus infection so I knew the original plan of partying ... Read More
We just returned from a 1 night cruise to nowhere which while it was enjoyable I didn't get to do as much as one would of hoped. I was still recovering from bronchitis and a sinus infection so I knew the original plan of partying late may end a bit earlier than planned but was still planning on having a blast. We arrived at the port in record time had absolutely no traffic on our ride up from the Allentown, PA area. It was approximately 11am when we arrived. Our first lack of service was the parking elevator attendant insisted on cattling us into a line to wait for the worlds slowest elevator. We waited and waited to then be told anyone who is capable can take the stairs.... we only had a small bag so we opted that route to find it was an escalator the whole time!! We only lost about 10 minutes but it was still frustrating. We then got through security quickly and were awaiting to check in. Since we had sailed prior we had "priority" check in. The guy who ended up checking us in was having computer issues, so we waited and waited. He finally got it working and then the swiping machine went down but he kept insisting it was our credit cards. Long story short we lost another 15 minutes or so. Made it on to the ship and up to the Garden Cafe by noon. Lunch was nice and there was plenty of space considering we were lucky and got on so quickly. Rooms were ready by about 1:30. We had a balcony on the 10th deck aft. It was a nice room although the bathroom configuration was interesting. I don't remember having a sliding shower door on the toliet area on our last Gem cruise but this time we did and it was pretty pointless as my string bean hubby could barely fit in the toliet area and shut the door. There was a crack in our sink that was purely a cosmetic issue, we had no problems using the shampoo or soap dispensers as I know that's been a complaint I've seen a lot recently. The balcony was nice but there were a few used bandaids laying out there when we arrived YUCK. Our cabin stewards were awful they didn't leave any of the forms, papers etc. that were supposed to be in our cabin. When running into them in the hallway they acted like they were being bothered. Not your typical friendly and helpful cabin steward. They also notoriously knocked very lightly once and immediately opened the door walking in on quite a few passengers. We went to have dinner in the main AFT dining room but they were having pager issues so there was an insane wait around 7pm. So we headed to the Magenta room instead and walked right in. Again the service wasn't there not your happy hello I'm blah blah from some country and will be your waitstaff this evening. They literally took your order and didn't offer bar service unless you asked multiple times. The food was hit or miss. Our one friend was quite bummed that surf and turf was not offered. There was a regional specialty which was lamb I believe but our waiter didn't find that piece of information important we overheard it later on in our meal from another server. One friend had the broccoli bisque and loved it. I had the garlic polenta and a spring roll which were both good but the sauce that went with the spring roll was not consistent. My other friend had it as well and her's was nice and sweet while mine was very spicy/gingery. Main meal I got the bacon carbonara which lacked flavor, my friend got the steak which was mostly gristle and the spinach served with it was awful. Her husband got the salmon which he enjoyed but it was a very very small portion. Unfortunately we didn't get to go to any shows as my husband became very ill not long after sailaway. At first we thought maybe it was his salad at lunch as it came on quickly with no notice but when we returned this morning the doctor diagnosed him with strep. Due to him being sick and us not knowing what the issue was in respect for the other passengers onboard we remained in our room for the evening and left fairly early the next morning to get him home to the doctor. Before leaving I quickly ran up to the garden cafe to grab some breakfast and was not at all impressed. The options were really lacking and the bacon was very under done. One of my biggest complaints were they had a staff member standing in front of the juice dispensers filling them constantly and adding them to a tray but she would just stand there with her back to you even once the tray was filled and looking down. Not walking around and offering them to anyone. So it made it very hard to get a juice drink or ice tea. I asked if I should fill my own or take one from the tray and she said fill please but then just stood there in the way. Maybe I just had bad timing but everytime I wanted a drink it seemed like she was just standing there smack dab in the middle of the machine with a full tray. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
I'll preface this review by saying that despite some complaints we had a wonderful weekend aboard the Breakaway and that this is our 6'th cruise as well as our third on Norwegian. I'll also offer a quick summary to state the ... Read More
I'll preface this review by saying that despite some complaints we had a wonderful weekend aboard the Breakaway and that this is our 6'th cruise as well as our third on Norwegian. I'll also offer a quick summary to state the food was pretty good, the entertainment was excellent (if you could get in to see it), the ship and the cabins were very nicely appointed, however it felt extremely crowded (needs less staterooms and more public space), the service was adequate but rather slow and no one seemed to go out of their way to go the extra mile. We had a great weekend onboard, but a weekend was enough; I wouldn't want to spend a whole week on the Breakaway. Finally, having sailed both NCL and RCCL multiple times, this trip helped to solidify RCCL as our favorite over NCL. We arrived at the cruise terminal about 10:30 and received boarding group 7, wasn't too long of a wait during check-in, however it seemed a bit disorganized as even the port employee standing at the front of the line directing people to each check-in agent as they became available was wondering out loud where all of the agents were as there were only maybe 4 or 5 agents there. We were among the first people aboard the ship when we finally began boarding about 12:40. First impression is that she ship is more refined and has more of an upscale feel to it than other NCL ships, I think it's largely due to the color scheme, more elegant with less tropical pastels found on other NCL ships, reminded me more of a Royal Caribbean ship. As we hadn't eaten breakfast and were later getting onboard than we had expected, we went first to the buffet and as we were among the first few people on board, there was plenty of space. The food was good, especially the pretzel rolls we've come to love and expect aboard NCL ships. We then proceeded to begin walking around the top decks of the ship, and by just before 2:00 they made the announcement that the cabins were ready. We were sailing for the first time in a balcony cabin (we booked this only a couple weeks before sailing and the price of the balcony was only very marginally more than an inside). The cabin was excellent. The bathroom and shower were plenty large enough. The shower had a curved glass door (no annoying curtain). Our bed was closer to the closet (with small programmable safe) and the couch by the window (it appeared the cabins alternated with the bed by the closet and then by the window). Although our room was considered a standard balcony, we were right next to the first cabin that was considered a "large balcony" cabin, so our balcony was actually angled like a trapezoid, the left side of it was much deeper than the right, giving the railing an angled look toward the front of the ship. It was really great and I'd definitely recommend cabin 9110 (not to mention how easy it is to remember the number). The flat screen TV has an excellent interactive feature to review your onboard account, make dining and entertainment reservations, and review all of the activities scheduled for the day. In addition there are large touchscreens on every deck in the stairwells that allow you to do all of the things you can do on your cabin TV except for review your account. The entertainment was the best we've seen on any ship. The Rock of Ages show (although as other have said is quite raunchy and inappropriate for children) is essentially the Broadway play minus a couple of scenes. The performance as well as the sets were fantastic. Highly recommend it! We also see the Second City Comedy Performance and they were hysterical, really able to think on their feet, although also (at least the late show) not appropriate for children, but very, very funny. The dueling pianos were also great, almost as funny as the Second City Show and they could really play and sing. They were only scheduled to play until 1:00 AM, but it was so packed and everyone was enjoying themselves so much that they played into "overtime" both nights, it was a lot of fun. We ate plenty of in-between meals/snacks in the buffet, it was certainly adequate, nothing I'd write home about but nothing to complain about either, the food was good. We ate dinner in the Manhattan room the first evening (we were seated on the starboard side and had a fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty from our table as we sailed out of NYC). The appetizers were excellent, some of the best we've had, the entrees were very average, like the buffet they were good, but definitely shy of exceptional. The deserts were pretty good as well. Overall, nothing I can really complain about, however nothing to rave about either; unless you're a serious foody though you'll certainly leave satisfied. We ate in the Taste dining room the next night and very much a similar experience with regards to the food. We had late night snacks in O'Sheehan's, similar experience agian with the food, the check wings were as good as could be expected on a cruise ship, not fantastic but certainly edible. The mozzarella sticks were good as was the hot dog. Worth noting in all of the restaurants (we can only comment on the Main Dining Rooms and O'Sheehan's as we didn't dine in the specialty restaurants) was that the service was on the slow side and really only adequate. I use adequate very specifically. On previous cruises, both with NCL and other lines, I feel the servers have gone out of their way to be above and beyond friendly and helpful. On this sailing, they were more perfunctory, they were polite and did their jobs but it didn't feel like anything truly special or unique. The service was also pretty slow, and from looking around it appeared as though they were understaffed/overworked. They just didn't seem to have time to go above and beyond for the guests as we have experienced on other ships. This bring us to the next point: how very crowded the ship is. In terms of gross tonnage, this is actually the largest ship we've ever been on (just nudging out the RCCL Mariner of the Seas by a few thousand tons). However, in terms of how it felt, it felt to be one of the smallest as it was very crowded. It was sailing with every cabin sold, but we've been on other full ships as well which didn't feel as crowded as this. Granted some of it may have had to do with the weather as it was freezing outside so while normally people would have spread out at the pool deck, everyone was inside. But there were (long) lines for all of the restaurants (including lines at the buffet), you had to make reservations to see any of the shows (we were lucky/smart and made our reservations for Rock of Ages and Second City online ahead of time but when we tried to switch to a later show when we were onboard we were told it was sold out), and just trying to maneuver through the ship from one end tot he other you were constantly bumping shoulders with other passengers and navigating your way through a large crowd. This was especially true on deck 7 where the casino took up half the deck, wreaked of cigarette smoke, and you had to squeeze through the machines and table to get through it. For those who aren't big gamblers, this is not a good design. I really think the experience onboard would benefit from a few less stateroom a few more square feet of public space. The lounges and the theater were just too small to accommodate the sheer number of people onboard. They could use a few more staff too as it was clear they were stretched thin as well. In the morning on Saturday it was chillybut it hit 39 degrees outside according to the Captain's announcement. The ropes curse was supposed to be open form 10-12 and again from 2-6 according to the daily planner, with an asterix saying weather permitting. Now the sun was out and it wasn't very windy and 39 degrees compared to the single digit temperatures we had been experience recently in the northeast felt like a bit of a heatwave, and sailing form NYC in January the high 30's to low 40's is really the best you can expect. However when we got up to the ropes course ready to tackle it, there was a cruise staff attendant there saying it was closed because it would be too cold to staff it as an attendant would have to stand out there form several hours. This was a huge disappointment, if you're not going to open it when it's nearly 40 degrees and sunny out then I think it might be safe to say you're not going to be opening in on short cruises out of NYC in the winter. That said, they shouldn't put it in the daily planner as "weather permitting" means it would have to be some type of tropical heatwave to actually open it. However, I noticed that he stood out there to the whole time to let guests know it wouldn't open. If he was going to be out there anyway, couldn't he have opened it? This was a let down as I was really looking forward to doing the ropes course, it is a big selling point on the ship. The last disappointment had to do with onboard credit. We had received $50 in onboard credit through a booking promotion with NCL. We were planning to use that amount to cover our Discretionary Service Charge (DSC), which is the $12 per person per night they automatically add to your onboard account. Unfortunately, only on the final morning when I review our statement did I realize they had taken back our onboard credit and charged my card for the DSC. We hadn't crused NCL in over a year, and in the past we had used onboard credit to cover the DSC (as we have on other lines more recently) without any problem. Apparently beginning in 2012, NCL changed their policy and onboard credit cannot be applied to the DSC. This is a policy that should be more prominently noted to passengers. Aside from the few negatives mentioned it was a great weekend getaway. I wouldn't want to spend a whole week on the Breakaway due to the overcrowding of the ship, but for a weekend it was a lot of fun and a nice change of pace. While I would consider sailing NCL again I wouldn't sail Breakaway and at least this trip did help to solidify Royal Caribbean as our favorite line. Read Less

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