Norwegian Breakaway Review and Tips

The Norwegian Breakaway is the largest and newest cruise ship to sail out of the Port of New York.  The Breakaway sails 7 night cruises to Bermuda in the summer and fall and to the Bahamas and Florida in the winter and early spring.  Norwegian Cruise Line added many new features to the Breakaway that have not been seen before on a cruise ship.

The Breakaway holds 4,000 passengers and is the first of the Breakaway Class ships from Norwegian.  The Norwegian Getaway will be the second when the ship begins sailing year round from Miami in early 2014.  The Breakaway is currently the 8th largest cruise ship in the world.

Staterooms

The Breakaway joined the Epic as the only two ships at sea to offer studio cabins for solo travelers.  Norwegian also did away with the unpopular bathroom design of the Epic and went to the traditional bathrooms to give cruisers the privacy that are accustomed to having.  All cabins have a 26-inch flat screen television, mini-bar, full closet, and inside staterooms are as small as 135 sq. ft.  Cabins are energy efficient by utilizing the room key to control lighting in each room.

On the Breakaway, passengers can choose from studio, inside, oceanview, balcony, spa balcony, mini-suites, and the Haven staterooms.  Guests who book rooms in the Haven will have special access to The Haven Courtyard Area, private restaurant and lounge.

Restaurants

You will not go hungry on the Breakaway as you can choose from any one of 17 dining venues on board to eat at.  Three of these restaurants are included in your cruise fare along with the Garden Cafe (buffet).  In addition to the restaurants, there is a gelato shop and a bakery shop run by Buddy Valastro from the hit show Cake Boss.  In keeping with the NYC theme on board the Breakaway, there are also three Sabrett hot dog stands.

Restaurants included in cruise fare:

  • Savor Restaurant
  • Taste Restaurant
  • Manhattan Room
  • Garden Cafe (buffet)
  • Room service

Specialty Restaurants

  • Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian
  • Le Bistro French Restaurant
  • Cagney’s Steakhouse
  • Teppanyaki
  • Moderno Churrascaria
  • Shanghai’s Noodle  Bar
  • La Cucina Italian Restaurant
  • Wasabi Sushi Bar
  • Cirque Dreams & Dinner Jungle Fantasy

Several of these dining options are coupled with bars and lounges that create a unique space on deck 8 called the Waterfront.  The is a first for a cruise ship as guests are able to enjoy breathtaking ocean views as they dine or enjoy their favorite drink.

For those who are worried about the Boardwalk being too cold to utilize in the winter when you first sail out of NYC, the dining options and lounges also offer indoor seating.

Entertainment

There are some great entertainment options on board the Breakaway.  Norwegian has joined Disney as the only cruise lines to offer a fireworks show on every cruise.

The signature show will be the 5-time Tony Award nominated musical Rock of Ages.  Set in 1980’s Los Angeles, songs from this Broadway hit include “We Built This City”, “The Final Countdown”, and  “Here We Go Again“.

Other shows that are offered are “Burn the Floor, Ballroom Reinvented” and Cirque Dreams & Dinner Jungle Fantasy.  For those who love comedy, there is a Second City comedy club that is exclusive to Norwegian Cruise Line.  The dueling piano show at Headliners is a great place to sing along to your favorite songs from the 70s to today.  One important thing to remember is that any song suggestion without a tip is just that, a suggestion.   Remember to bring several small bills so you can hear your favorite songs.  Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club will make you think you are in a New York City jazz club with New York blues star Slam Allen.

Recreation

There is something for everyone on board the Norwegian Breakaway.  For children, there is the Splash Academy for children 3-12 that is Norwegian’s largest kids area at sea full of Nickelodeon fun.  For teens, the Entourage is a great hangout that offers pinball, foosball, air hockey, a Playstation 3, video jukebox, and movies.

The aqua park offers 5 water slides including the fastest water slide on any cruise ship.  There is a special area for children that is themed with Nickelodeon. There are several swimming pools including one for children only.

The sports complex is huge offering the largest ropes course at sea.  There is also a basketball court, 9 hole mini golf course, rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline, and a spider web climbing cage. You can also “Walk the Plank” if you dare.  The plank stretches out 8 feet over the side of the ship to help you conquer your fear of heights.

The casino is larger than the ones you find on other cruise ships and offers the traditional casino games with a wide variety of slot machines, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Texas Hold ‘Em, and Poker.  If you do play in the casino, remember to sign up for the Casinos At Sea Players Card so you can earn reward points.

There is also a world class spa on board the Breakaway that offers over 50 treatments. The spa also offers a Salt Room that mimics the natural salt caves found in Europe.

Overall, the Norwegian Breakaway is a game changer for Norwegian and especially the New York City cruise market.

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Comments

  1. Ned Soltz says:

    I wonder if the reviewer actually has sailed on the Breakaway or is merely paraphrasing NCL publicity. The ship is cramped and was crowded with even 2800 passengers transatlantic. Food was mediocre and monotonous unless one ate in the specialty restaurants. Theater was woefully undersized for ship of this capacity requiring reservations even for the free shows. It seems that NCL’s business model is to offer a mediocre inclusive package pushing customers into a revenue-producing a la carte purchasing mode. Amenities were not as represented requiring some amount of arguing to get what we paid for. All in all, it was an enjoyable relaxing cruise from Southampton to New York but significantly missing the mark in overall quality of product.

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