June 2015 - Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda
The water slides are exhilarating fun and, because of all the other activities on board, there are no long lines. Also sunning and tanning are great on this ship. You can find a seat on deck 15 by the pools for more activity or Deck 16 in the same vicinity for less activity but still within earshot of the music. From deck 16 you can go up two levels to the Public Sundeck by Vibe (17) and Freestyle Sun deck (18) where the noise of people disappear and it’s just you and the ocean.
The rock climbing wall is a fun challenge but also a place with good camaraderie as each person in line roots on the persons taking their turn to make it all the way to the top to ring the bell.
The big screen in the atrium is a great place to gather on either of two floors to watch sports, movies or other entertainment. Atrium bar had great seating and good location to watch TV, enjoy a drink and relax.
On a drinking note, buy liquor on the ship. Fabulous prices at Tradewinds, unlike any where else, three liters (bottles) of liquor came to $30. The wine list at restaurants includes bottles of wine for $27-32 that you can take with you to your cabin. This is the best deal onboard. (If you bring the same bottle onboard from your favorite discount liquor store for let's say $10 then pay the $15 corkage fee you save only $2-7 for your trouble.)
The cabin steward was great. We had fresh towels throughout the cruise, and the room spruced up twice a day. That's all we needed and we were very grateful for that.
A cabin on the 5th floor--forward--was ideal. The three floors above us house guest services, the 24/7 eatery, bars, casino, dining halls, and the gangplank to shore. The top decks with all the parties, water attractions, etc. are a healthy stair climb away, including their crowds, noise, trash and puddles.
The Brazilian style restaurant is the best deal on the ship--best food, best atmosphere, best views, best seating, best service!
Both the free shows, Burn the Floor and Rock of Ages are a fun experience though mainly for adults. Burn the Floor is great but also somewhat forgettable. The most enjoyable thing about this dance troupe is that they give dance classes in the atrium every day. Rock of Ages was worth the time and entertaining. Shorter than the Broadway version but equally entertaining.
Service at bars, such at Maltings and Shakers during evenings are off putting because you wait forever for attention and then you are rushed past. Your impression of any bar, restaurant, or other service may vary with the service you get because the quality of the service is that important to your first impressions. For example, we found a waitress who was kind and attentive, so our first impression of Savor was that it was a better restaurant, even though it was otherwise the same atmosphere, food and seating as it's sister restaurant across from it called Taste.
The chairs in the Manhattan Room, Taste and Savor, the Atrium lobby, O'Sheehans, The Boardwalk, the theatre and basically everywhere you sit, unless you came with your own sweet cushion, were ridiculously uncomfortable with either no padding and/or weird slide-you-off slopes. Who's the HGTV Design reject who used to be an accountant and volunteer wartime materials rationer? (If you enjoy coach seating on airlines disregard this con.)
The food was horribly fattening and deceiving. Burgers were tasteless dry pucks filled with thickener. Cakes were tasteless dried out sponges filled with thickener. Gnocchi was miniature dry day-old-like dinner buns filled with thickener. Thickener was a tasteless substance filled with thickener. (If you like thickener you are gonna $&¥£%# yourself.)
Rubber chickens make rubber eggs, which equals terrible scrambled eggs at the Garden cafe. We tried it with beans, salt, potatoes, and ketchup, but nothing helped these eggs.
Uptown Bar and Grille had large different styled burgers and salads but again they needed to be smothered in ketchup and condiments to add juicy to these burgers.
The Manhattan Room had such poor service and sense. Anyone dressing up hoping to have the supper club experience, be prepared to have the hostess seat the couple in flip flops and tank tops at the stage to laugh too loud at milk shooting out their noses, while the few tuxedos and gowns in the room are seated near table bussing stations or The Shire with Bilbo and the rest of the hobbits. But take heart, the incompetent wait staff working the latter tables will ensure you 30 minutes between contact and courses to hajj to the big band who are wondering why they are playing a Jersey Shore grunge crowd around the dance floor.
Bliss Ultra Lounge offered a good getaway from the crowded Spice H2O if you are looking to dance with your date. Though many days the music catered to a younger crowd with merengue, bachata and other spanish tunes/dances.
The photographers do great work but they are also so hard to find. They ought to be posted at all ship events regardless of the hour. Why do photographers have early bedtimes vs every other crewmen up DJ'ing, mixing, serving and more?
The snorkel park at the Royal Dockyard in Bermuda, where the Breakaway docks, is not free and an awful dump with broken glass, rusty rebar, colonies of water bugs on the rocks, and sharp wreckage, trash and broken cement for the waves to smack you into. If you do not wear water shoes, you run the serious risk of cutting your feet. This place should be shut down. It's dangerous and gross. (Holland America parks in front of Front St., which fronts the water in Hamilton. Better location. Safer.)
Take a shot and travel on the buses/ ferries in Bermuda instead of taking a taxi. They make travel easy. Also create your own excursions and itinerary while there. You will definitely find cheaper deals while in the island versus through the ship.
For the cost of two adults traveling to Bermuda with it being the first on this ship, it was decent. The activities are endless and you will never be bored. The food and service could have been better, but if you hunt around the ship you will have a good experience at some point. The crew was okay. Customer service and stewards are helpful but future cruise consultants are more on the pushy side. Bartenders are a mixed bag. Overall the activities and expansiveness of the ship save the day.