My wife and I chose to take a much deserved vacation aboard the Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda, and although we had previously sailed 10-14 times previously with Princess and Carnival, we were favorably impressed in general with our ... Read More
My wife and I chose to take a much deserved vacation aboard the Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda, and although we had previously sailed 10-14 times previously with Princess and Carnival, we were favorably impressed in general with our Norwegian experience.
Norwegian is unique in offering the opportunity to pre-reseve dining, entertainment and shore excursions. By all means, we suggest that these be pre-reserved, as they save valuable time and minimize stress and pressure when you want to take in all the ship has to offer. We pre-reserved dinners at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 pm on various days of our cruise and never had to stand in line for any of them! When we arrived on board, we used the Norwegian app on the cell phone to book Burn the Floor, Rock of Ages, and Howl at the Moon on dates and times that didn't conflict with dinner, and our cruise card was the admission "ticket" to the theater or lounge. We appreciated avoiding the pressure experienced on other cruise ships of having to get a seat 45 minutes before showtime... High tech a useful tool, and a great job, Norwegian!
My wife and I were impressed with the authentic experience of the Manhattan Dining Room (truly a "1940's supper club experience" with a vocalist and dance floor during dinner, the full Irish menu and beer selection at O'Sheehans Irish Bar and Grill, and the unique "Waterfront" experience of Deck 8, offering outdoor seating and dining areas for specialty restaurants. We appreciated the contemporary arrangement of the Garden Cafe buffet and the wide selection of food. All food was consistently good, not exceptional, but very good....
With 4,000 people on board, we were pleased that accessing a chaise lounge was never a problem, especially with Spice H20, and deck space up forward on Deck 16-17. We did resent the pool towel rules- we were provided with complementary towels in the stateroom on Day 1, but we assumed that if we left the used wet towels in the stateroom bath at night, the steward would replace the pool towels with fresh ones. No way that happened! When they were not replenished, we had to go to the pool towel desk and sign our room number to get a new towel, and if we didn't return it to the towel desk, our account would be charged $25 for each towel not returned!!!! I can understand that folks stealing the towels and taking them home must be a problem, but come, on, Norwegian! At least allow stewards to replenish wet pool towels left in the stateroom! (Word to the wise, guard your towel as you would your wallet, and obtain a direct replacement at the pool desk before the complementary towel is "lost" so you're not on the hook for it!)
We enjoyed our cruise not only because it round tripped New York, near where we live, but because it stayed 2 1/2 days in Bermuda. No pressure to hurry and see it all and get back before the ship left port, we could leisurely get on and off the boat, even walk around after dark if we chose. With Snorkel Park Beach 10 minutes walk from the pier, we could hop over for a quick swim with the tropical fish in 95 degree ocean water at any time, and the Hamilton ferry was only steps away. My wife commented that the Royal Naval Dockyard was perhaps the best cruise port dock for onshore activities she had been to.
We took the Sunset Swizzle Shore Excursion Catamaran cruise our second night. The cat took us up and down the Great Sound and the guide was quite knowledgeable. The rum was wonderfully intoxicating, and seeing the Breakaway from a distance lit up in the darkness was memorable. Highly recommend the tour company!
Our interior stateroom was a bit small compared to other cruise line interiors. There is no chair for the vanity, which is notable as the lack thereof increases floor space. We found using a room key to activate the lighting to be inconvenient when only one of us left the room (and the other in the dark). And the toilet flushing was "temperamental", mostly failing to work between 2-4 AM, and our steward and staff were not fully able to resolve the problem...
We found the entertainment to be the best on any cruise ship we had been on. Burn the Floor, and Rock of Ages left nothing to be desired in comparison to Broadway equivalents- both were most professional and "high tech" experiences. Howl at the Moon and Second City in Headliners Bar were audience engaging, and the former was the most fun I can recall having on the last night of any cruise. What captivating personalities!
Because my wife was a little under the weather, we were not able to do all we intended on this Bermuda journey. However, the dining, entertaining, and sense we were onboard a 4 Star hotel make it likely we will repeat the trip next year, (On the Norwegian Escape while the Breakaway is in Europe) Read Less