Advice Magazine

Norwegian Breakaway

5 1
3.5
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

Price: $$     Size: XL     Built: Apr 2013    


What people said about this ship:

"...by two of the managers who visited our table at a specialty restaurant if we had any feedback, we said that the orange..." in 5 reviews.

"There was no flow at the dining rooms." in 15 reviews.

"Guests from New York were occasionally very rude." in 20 reviews.



Recommended Reviews


rosendiane
Third Mate

Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
7+ cruises

4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Amazing Change

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Breakaway | Sail Date: Jul 06, 2014

We sailed on the Breakaway in June 2013 and again earlier this month.  What a difference!  In June, I seemed to spend all my time walking the passageways to the back of the ship for food and then to the front for entertainment.  What a bore.  It didn't happen this time and the only reason I can find to explain the difference is the location of my cabin right next to the aft elevator lobby.  The ship has only two banks of elevators and all the activity centers are located between them  and easily accessible.  We had a mini-suite the first cruise and a balcony cabin the second.  The balcony cabin seemed more comfortable.   We discovered Spice H2O which we didn't remember from the first cruise, but it's a lovely open deck on the top rear of the ship which is child free during the day and becomes an entertainment venue at night with an enormous led screen for showing movies and DVD's.  We loved the ship the second time around.  The only drawback for late night snackers like us, is that there's no place to get a cookie or piece of cake after eleven at night.  We wound up eating hot dogs in O'Sheehan's at midnight.

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queenhass
Third Mate

Traveled As:
Large Group

Room Type:
Suite

Experience:
4-6 cruises

3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

Big Ship!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Breakaway | Sail Date: Jun 29, 2014

Traveled with 13 family members.  Was told we couldn't eat all at one table that they only seat 12....The band singing in the buffet restaurant area made a comment to me as I walked by that was inappropriate and disgusting.  Lots of food but was limited as a healthly vegetarian.  The rooms were comfortable and the showers had great water pressure.  Crew helpful and friendly.  Would perfer assigned eating times as the wait was always long for dining in the free restaurants.  Decks were stuffed with people and hard to get a lounge chair at the pool.  Very clean ship.  Would perfer a non smoking ship as walking in the main areas were smokey from areas people could smoke.

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Was this review helpful? 10


Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
1 cruise (first)

4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Great cruise... beware the reverse vampires!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Breakaway | Sail Date: Aug 10, 2014

THE GOOD

Extremely clean in all aspects, the rooms, the bathrooms, the food service areas even the buffet.  The washy-washy crew had us thinking about washing our hands all day long.  Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor were excellent shows.  We never had to wait to get a seat in one of the main dining rooms and the food is good enough as to not need to go to the specialty restaurants if you don't want to.  I was surprised at how good the wings at O'Sheehan's were for lunch, which is a very convenient complimentary "irish" pub midship looking down on the Atrium.  They have trivia multiple times per day, both general trivia and theme trivia, which was a lot of fun and the activities staff members Jovan, Kristine, and Ferdie were very lively and humorous.  The waterslides are excellent especially the free-fall waterslide.  The ropes course was fun... I overcame my fear of heights while my wife discovered hers!  We went on Gosling's rum tour and the Rising Son Catamaran Snorkel and Swim which were both very easy to arrange through the cruise and very worthwhile excursions.  Also both tours provide lots of rum, if you are into that sort of thing, which we are.  When the ship is in port the pool and waterslides are a ghost town so you will have an embarrassment of riches in using the slides and picking any spot you want to sit.  Beer buckets and draft beers at O' Sheehan's were good deals.

 

THE BAD

The adult swimming pool is 6'8" deep with a large shelf around the edge which is great for us because we can swim and float and so there is lots of room in the actual pool itself... but is also odd because an environment is created where a few people are in the pool being watched by 100 people all sitting around the edge of the pool because apparently nobody from New York can swim.  There was even a handrail to hold on to in the pool but still very few people went in the pool itself.  Nightclub parties at Spice H2O had the potential to be fun but it was weird having on one hand adults drinking and partying with grade-school children running around.  They have earlier parties for families who apparently don't leave when it is supposed to be adults only.  They are good at enforcing the adults only rule in the Bliss nightclub though.  Although we did book Rock of Ages before the cruise, they lost the reservation and we had to complain.  We were accommodated but it was a hassle.  I recommend confirming any reservations made prior to the cruise with guest services and the box office on your first day.  Some members of guest service were not the most proficient at communicating how different reservation and onboard credit programs functioned which was partially a language issue.  One would think that guest services, restaurant reservation  staff would be the most easy to deal with but this was not the case and was an extremely frustrating aspect of the cruise.  My wife however was appeased by the chocolate covered fruits they sent to the room as an apology gesture.  Lastly the commemorative flash drive we purchased along with our printed pictures had half the files corrupted on it so that is another issue we have to resolve with Norwegian.

 

THE UGLY

The worst part of the cruise came in the form of what my wife has now termed "the Leathers" usually hailing from a certain port city... you can spot them visually by their over-tanned skin that is the color and texture of a football.  A well tuned ear can sense their presence 20 yards away as they will arguing with their husbands, scolding their children, or complaining to cruise staff about trivial issues.  Although Norwegian claims that one cannot reserve deck chairs for more than one hour, the Leathers obviously did not get the memo.  One Leather will reserve 6 deck chairs for family members who will never arrive, or lay one towel across 3 chairs reserving them for the entire day.  Woe to anyone who attempts to sit in one of these obviously unoccupied chairs!  Far be it from you to sit in a chair in such a way which "blocks their Sun".  These reverse Vampires attempt to suck all the fun and joy from the pool and sun deck experience, and from the cruise experience generally.  The cruise staff fail to enforce the no reserving of deck chairs regulations and are afraid to stand up to these Leather hordes leaving other poor saps to wonder aimlessly trying to discover an unclaimed deck chair even though less than 50% of deck chairs actually have a body in them at any one time.

 

SUMMARY

Overall we recommend this cruise (great food, cleanliness, generally fun and courteous staff, memorable excursions, good water park amenities) but be prepared for some glitches with reservations and steer clear of "The Leathers" and if you manage to find an unclaimed deck chair...well done!  We loved the free-styling aspect and do plan to "Cruise like a Norwegian" in the future, but perhaps from a different port... sans Jersey Shore immersion experience.

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MamaJama
Purser

Traveled As:
Family w/older children

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
2-3 cruises

5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star

Awesome Vacation!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Breakaway | Sail Date: Jul 27, 2014

Our cruise to Bermuda aboard the Norwegian Breakaway was fabulous thanks to the wonderful crew who go out of their way to make certain that you feel welcome and that your vacation is fun, relaxing and memorable.

 

The ship is absolutely stunning, very modern in design and has really terrific amenities. Every inch of the ship was squeaky clean. The staterooms are typical in size but still quite comfortable. Lots of restaurants to chose from and we found the food to be expertly prepared in every single one of them. The pool deck is well thought out....the young children's pool and Nickolodeon splash pool are inviting but separated from the more rowdy adult pool which is by the bandstand and pool bars.  Spice H20 on deck 16 was the perfect alternative to the party atmosphere when we needed a quieter water / lounging area to just chill, visit or read.  And the waterpark and ropes course are for real...TONS of fun there!!!  Entourage, for our two teens, was an eager attraction.  We really enjoyed this cruise!

 

 

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Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
7+ cruises

4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Breakaway is beautiful and as not too crowded after Labor Day

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Breakaway | Sail Date: Sep 07, 2014

My wife and I have cruised Celebrity a number of times, plus Carnival, Holland America (once each) and Disney twice. This was our first Norwegian. As far as we are concerned, Celebrity still does it the best. Disney is of course great, but is very crowded and way too expensive. Now that our daughter is in college, we have no inclination to do Disney again. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by the Breakaway. We would cruise Breakaway again, but probably only in the off-season.

 

Other reviews that we had read, as well as experiences from friends who have done the Breakaway, prepared us for the possibility of an unpleasantly overcrowded cruise. I have no doubt that the ship is overcrowded during the high season. But, we went to Bermuda the week after Labor Day, when kids were supposed to be back in school and the weather was still nice, and the ship was not overcrowded. She was crowded, to be sure, but it was manageable. There were more children and young adults than I expected, considering the week that we cruised, though. Don't get me wrong...we love kids, and love being around kids. The ship was just not overrun with kids that week, unlike Disney, which is of course the whole point of Disney. I suspect that during the times when kids are out of school Breakaway is mobbed with kids. If that is your thing, I am sure you and your family will enjoy Breakaway during the high season.

 

Breakaway is new, so she is beautiful and has all of the amenities of a modern cruise ship. The water slides are fantastic, and they are not just for kids. Two thumbs-up to Norwegian for the water slides. There is something surreal about doing water slides in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean...

 

The food was pretty good. I still think Celebrity has noticeably better food, especially if you cruise Aqua Class, like we have. The service and the entertainment were outstanding. Broadway quality shows, for certain. We are not gamblers, so we avoided the casino, mostly because it was pretty smokey. There is a main staircase that form an open public space from deck 6 (the Atrium, where guest, entertainment and excursion services are), through deck 7 (the casino) and up to deck 8 (the shopping area). You can smell smoke from the casino down into the Atrium and up into the shopping area. If you are allergic to smoke, or are anti-smoke, beware. Breakaway could probably use more smoke-eaters in the casino.

 

We had a BC category balcony stateroom on deck 14. The room is really nice, and the living area and bathroom were spacious enough. However, the mattress is like what I have experienced on a sleeper sofa. The mattress is rather thin on top of a solid platform and you can easy feel the coil springs. We asked the cabin steward for an extra comforter and blanket to add cushion, which helped some. Celebrity mattresses are comfortable, at least we do not remember it being a problem, but our Breakaway mattress was not comfortable. If there is one thing Norwegian should do better, they should invest in more comfortable pillow-top mattresses.

 

Other reviews complained that the balcony was small, and that a big guy might not be comfortable. Well, I am a 6'4" solidly-built guy and I was comfortable enough, even with my wife on the balcony, too. It was "cozy". Celebrity has a much larger balcony, for sure, and more comfortable reclining deck chairs. But, I would not say Breakaway's balcony was too small, unless you want to get a family for 4 on the balcony together. That is just not happening.

 

The embark and disembark procedures in NYC are pretty good. If you drive and park, however, beware the parking lot! I got screwed out of $70 because the Manhattan Terminal website offered a printable 25% discount on parking until October 31st. When we got to the park lot, the attendant said they were not honoring the discount coupons after Labor Day, even though the coupon clearly says it expired on October 31st. She said the coupon was a City of New York offering that the parking company is not bound to accept.

 

Also beware of the Cruise's Only on-board credit offering. I double-checked with Cruises Only before the cruise about the on-board credit and asked for written documentation for the Cruises Only rebate and on-board credit. When we got on the ship, Norwegian denied our on-board credit, even though we had documentation from Cruises Only. We spent a couple of days going back-and-forth between Norwegian and Cruises Only, and in the end we did not get the on-board credit. This issue is still in dispute between us and Cruises Only. As good repeat customers, I am expecting Cruises Only to make good on their documented promises for on-board credit, even if Norwegian denied it.

 

Bermuda is Bermuda, no matter how you get there. Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) is rumored to have said something like, "When I die, I want to go to Bermuda instead of heaven". Enough said.

 

To sum, If you are looking for a very nice cruise, I can heartily recommend Breakaway from NYC to Bermuda. I would just recommend you stay away from the high season, if you can.

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More about Norwegian Breakaway


Cabins

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Dining

Explore the 22 dining options including complimentary and up charge restaurants.

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Popular Tips for Norwegian Breakaway


good beers on tap

Be sure and catch the evening entertainment. Worth it.

jopo
Purser

Don't take iron or hairdryer or hangers

Roll Calls


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Members on Cruise

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