5 Norwegian Breakaway Tips You Need to Know

norwegian breakaway tips cruise ship
We cultivated these tips from members who recently sailed! - Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Whether you’ve already booked a voyage on Norwegian Breakaway or are just weighing your options, we’ve rounded up great tips to make your cruise more enjoyable. In combing through hundreds of recent Norwegian Breakaway member reviews we’ve selected the tips that appeared most frequently. The following are the five most popular tips not to miss!

1. Spend some time in Syd Norman's Pour House

syd normans pour house norwegian breakaway
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

During Norwegian Breakaway’s last dry dock, the ship received a new venue replacing Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club. Syd Norman’s Pour House is a tribute to the grandfather of "Rock of Ages" playwright Chris D'Arenso, and has been modeled after various rock houses. Bartenders serve up specialty cocktails named after rock ‘n’ roll classics, and a five-person band plays popular rock songs that have everyone singing along. Lots of reviewers declared it the best hangout on the ship, whether it was for the drinks, the band, or both. 

"Deck 8 Pour House deck bar is a hidden gem." - dschmitz99 (read review)

“Don't miss Syd Norman's.” - shopland5566358 (read review)

“Hit Syd's Pour house for the band alone!” - Fletch2 (read review)

“Check out Syd and Norms! Best bar on the ship!” - dmgrill (read review)

"Go to the Pour House!" - marisacaggiano (read review)

“The best bar is Syd Norman's. If Wayan is there, he will take excellent care of you.” - Sayra74 (read review)


2. Reserve everything you can in advance

norwegian breakaway tips teppanyaki specialty restaurant
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

It’s no secret that you have to reserve a lot of dining, activities, and entertainment in advance on the largest Norwegian cruise ships, and Breakaway is no exception — reviewers recommended you definitely do this. If you can’t reserve everything you want prior to embarkation, make reservations as soon as you can once onboard. In some instances, you might still be able to participate without an advance reservation, but in many cases, you will either have to wait for no-shows or miss out completely. 

“Book entertainment, excursions and specialty restaurants before you cruise, if not go directly to the kiosks as soon as you board.” - KCMO2017 (read review)

“When you can, make reservations for all of the shows and where you want to eat well before you get on the ship. If you do not have reservations, be ready to wait.” - bsulfridge (read review)

“Make your specialty restaurant reservations, book your excursions and entertainment in advance, and use the NCL online app once onboard to keep track of your reservations, What's Happening schedule, and our onboard account! It works great!!” - kljquinn (read review)

“Make your reservations for the shows and specialty restaurants as soon as able before your cruise, and other shows the day you sail. Go in standby lane if you can’t get reservations.” - lkuhel (read review)

"Plan well ahead, make reservations for everything you can and get there early. If you just try to 'freestyle' it you may end up frustrated because what you want to do is full or you have to wait too long.” - willwork4cruz (read review)

“Make comedy and other entertainment reservations on day 1 of your cruise because they fill up quickly.” - katidid213 (read review)


3. Hang out on The Waterfront 

norwegian breakaway tips la cucina waterfront
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Many reviewers suggested spending time on The Waterfront, which is a quarter-mile long oceanfront promenade that wraps around the ship on deck eight. Several specialty restaurants and bars have their own outdoor spaces on this deck, but there is also plenty of open space on The Waterfront to relax in a lounger with a book or some good company.  

“If you like peace and quiet check out the chairs on deck 8 in the Waterfront area.” - mrjc96 (read review)

“Plenty to do, we enjoyed Deck 8 in the afternoon as a quiet space especially near Shakers Martini Bar.” - DNA3AR2cruisers (read review)

“Go to the Waterfront bar for a quiet and peaceful drink.” - tstout52143836 (read review)

“We found on the last day that the Waterfront is a quiet place that you can just relax or read a book and I wish I had found it earlier.” - LStyle (read review)

“Use the Waterfront on deck 8 as your private balcony if you don't have one.” - librarianelaine (read review)

"Check out the loungers on the waterfront for a comfy place to read.” - deejaye1969 (read review)

“Tour the entire ship as soon as you board...we didn't find the 8th deck until day 3 and there were great restaurants and bars there!" - mjwhite0428 (read review)

“Deck 8 is a great place to enjoy peace & quiet if you’re looking for it.” - Killercruiser (read review)

READ MORE: The Best Norwegian Ships for 2020


4. Steer clear of the casino as much as possible; smoke is a big issue

norwegian breakaway tips casino smoke
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Unfortunately, Norwegian Breakaway doesn’t have a great ventilation system for the casino. For this reason, smoke is an issue not only within the casino but also throughout the indoor and outdoor areas surrounding it. If you need to get to the other side of the ship, reviewers strongly recommend going out of your way to find a path that is not near the casino — especially for travelers that have a smoke allergy or other respiratory concerns.  

“Stay away from the casino. It stunk of smoke from the time we got on.” - 5seamama (read review)

“I hated the casino being by the promenade, smoke traveled to other decks to the open section of the promenade.” - NhGypsy (read review)

“Pool is too small and hated that there was smoking in casino could smell on other levels especially around dining areas.” - Laura6356 (read review)

“Expect to have to breathe filthy smoke smell when in center of ship.” - lyonsdenkl (read review)

“Stinks of cigarette smoke outside shops and restaurants thanks to a terrible design flaw (NO ventilation) in the casino.” - BklynCruiser

“Humidor for smokers has no ventilation and blows into the main entertainment area of the ship.” - Rhondamo (read review)


5. Take advantage of the spa's thermal suite

norwegian breakaway tips spa thermal suite salt room
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

With a ship so big filled with activities and amenities, it can be easy to forget some of the classic features — in this case, the thermal suite in the spa. Norwegian Breakaway’s thermal suite includes a Thalassotherapy pool, hot tubs, heated loungers, a sauna, a steam room, tropical showers, and a salt room. Several reviewers recommended buying a pass to the thermal suite for the entire length of the cruise, citing that it is well worth the money.  

“Definitely use the Thermal Suite in the Spa. Super relaxing and a great way to unwind after a port day or on a sea day. Steam Room, Sauna, Salt Room, Jacuzzis, Heated Loungers all with an ocean view. So amazing!” - alisabrown (read review)

“Take advantage of the spa it was wonderful.” - jojobee0304 (read review)

“Check out Spice H2O early, it is a great place to hang out. Also, the thermal spa is worth the money.” - gemstar554 (read review)

“Buy a pass to the Thermal Suite - you won't regret it - incredibly relaxing and a nice way to get away from children. The therapy pool is nice, the heated lounge chairs are incredible, and the steam and sauna rooms are very relaxing. Plus, you get to use the locker room showers and make up areas!” - jwise (read review)


BONUS: Other Notable Tips

norwegian breakaway tips ropes course
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

“Don't shy away from The Manhattan room. Food was great and the entertainment was enjoyable.” - kip213 (read review)

“Try to pick a room with a diagonal balcony! It'll give you twice as much room out there to enjoy the views.” - skyecruises (read review)

“Don't miss Escape the Big Top with your family, especially if you've never done an escape room activity before. Fill out comments cards with favorable reviews for all the servers who did great jobs on the cruise. They depend on our positive remarks.” - Katy76 (read review)

“Do NOT bother purchasing the non-alcoholic drink package or even the water package. Plenty to drink and no charge.” - wedezrvthis (read review)

“Make sure you download the NCL app before boarding. this allows you to utilize the onboard FREE wifi to text and talk to each member of your party while onboard for FREE.” - GettingNauti (read review)

“See the shows - Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor. Both shows are excellent and got standing O's .” - Captainba (read review)

“Go to the screens by the elevators right when you get on to sign up for times for the tenders!” - tweinke (read review)

“Moderno's, though a paid specialty restaurant for dinner, has amazing lunch buffets.” - JDura (read review)

“Follow the fish! The fish on the carpet lead to the front of the ship. Took me [four] NCL cruises this to learn this.” - kregan54 (read review)

“The ropes course is really cool and worth doing, bring tennis shoes and a longer sleeved shirt for it (the wind is cold).” - cbartnik665 (read review)

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Posted by PNWSon

Booked on Breakaway 6/13

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