May 2014 - Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda
I posted this review on a few sites I am on: Did the Easy Walk Off for the first time and think I'll do it every time from now on! Got to the line of people waiting for the okay to leave at 0710. We were in walking past the luggage being lined up and heading for a taxi at 0732. At least the NY customs building stair nazi wasn't at the post this time, she would let only one person go down th escalator at one time last year. Created a huge logjam. This time, a different lady allowed about 10 feet between people. Okay, the cruise: 1. Tops down, the best entertainment I've seen in my whole 5 cruises (1 RC, 3 NCL, 1 Carnival). The Cirque starts hokey, but that is just the support crew. It was amazing. Food, not so much. Dark in the venue and hard to cut/eat and watch the act at the same time. Rock of ages was awesome! So much talent! Not exactly like the movie, but great! Burn the Floor was also amazing, the dancing and singing was excellent! The magician act (Michael Finney) was great as well. As for the ship's movement...hardly felt anything until the last two days, but we hit the swells coming from the storm that hit the east on Wednesday. I like the movement. We had a normal balcony stateroom with 2 twins and a couch. With the twin set-up it was difficult to get around the beds. Rooms are smaller than what we had on the Gem, which was the same type of room. Shower water pressure SUCKED, no other way to put it. It was difficult to get cold water once people started taking showers, in fact, the water was painfully hot. Sometimes the toilet wouldn't flush, had to reseat the lid or pound on the knobby (wall protector) on the wall behind the seat. That was the room. For the cruise, there are far too many pay only options. Ultimate dining pkg gives one a specialty restaurant each night with the cirque show on night one included, cost is $119. Does NOT include Ocean's ($49) or the ala carte Raw Bar or Noodle/sushi bar. The gelato, Cake Boss, and cappaccino is also pricey. Drinks, of course, cost. I do like the soda package at around $50. You get a cup to haul around for refills or just get a glass filled at any bar AND any restaurant. It is fountain, not out of a can, and bar staff are nice about it (that lacking was my pet peeve about Carnival). My biggest issue was with the Mandara Spa pass I had been so excited to get. Unlike the Gem, which was $99 and had a womens, mens, and co-ed spa with all of them including jacuzzi's, wet and dry saunas, showers, as well as both cushioned and warmed ceramic lounge chairs. They also only sold around 100 passes. Breakaway had a small co-ed location with one large jacuzzi, four different saunas, rain showers (that some were not working correctly), 10 ceramic chairs and maybe 30 cushioned chairs and they sold 120 passes that cost $199. On sea days, it was impossible to get a lounge chair. I will be critiquing NCL on that one. I was told they made it smaller to accommodate more rooms, probably the Spa Haven suites. They wouldn't get seats either. I found out there is a top deck pool area for adults only called Vibe. At least a hot tub and some chairs, but no way to see in there. No idea the cost and they sold out of passes. However, the water slides were the bomb!!!!! Note (since there wasn't a sign) NO jewelry allowed, to include wedding rings. The ropes course was also a total blast!!!! My fat butt fit both of those fun things!! Buffet was pretty good. Cagney's was awesome, Teppanyaki pretty good, and Moderno's okay (a bit to odd for me, but the salad was great). Pizza 24/7 was good, but at a cost of $5 and delivered anywhere. The casino is mid-ship, located around the multi-deck stairways (where photos are taken). Meaning, the smoke wasn't as bad as being confine in a closed room HOWEVER, you could smell smoke downstairs in Le Bistro (a specialty restaurant). The internet area was open and next to the atrium so people would sit there when they were out of seats if something was on the screen or an activity was going on. Stupid. The "stores" were kind of open as well which made it a bit chaotic as it is a major walk way. It incorporated the photo area. I did like the binder system for photos. MUCH easier to find your photo. Don't know how someone got away with the designs. Would I take the Breakaway or equivalent again? ONLY if I got a deal I couldn't pass up. Bear in mind, I don't complain about everything, but I expected more and won't blow sunshine up to gloss things over! I'll stick to the Gem/Jade. This one was too big and too many extra costs.