August 2016 - Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda
First time sailing with NCL and was excited about trying a new cruise line. Sailing out of NYC was really cool to see the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The ship was beautiful.
We have normally sailed on smaller ships and we were concerned with the amount of people going to be on this ship. It usually was not an issue except the pool deck was very crowded as there is only one primary "adult pool". We had a mini-suite balcony cabin mid-ship on deck 11 (larger room without the suite perks). The room was a nice size and the bathroom was huge. Large walk-in shower and double vanity sink. You were definitely not cramped using this bathroom!
When we purchased our cruise it can with the promotional unlimited drink package and 4 specialty dining meals (that normally would have had an up-charge). The food was pretty good. Some things we liked and some we did not. Definitely glad we had the specialty dining meals though. There are three dining rooms on the ship. All have a different theme and when reading about them themes on-line before the cruise, I got the impression that each would have different menus. However, they all served the same menu each night that changed each day. Also, the same lunch menu was severed in the dining rooms was served all week. The specialty restaurants gave what we thought was slightly better food options. They suggest reservations and I suggest you make them before or early in you cruise for all your dinners. If not they do take walk ups but you may have to wait. There were also many service issues. There were many times we would have to ask several times for a refill of a drink or try to flag down a waiter to get something. Also, at a couple of meals, it took over 30 minutes after the salad course plates were removed from the table and the main course was removed. We did speak to the Maitre D' and they did say they were busy but it was an early reservation and it did not appear that way when we placed our orders. Most of our meals for 2 people took close to 2 hours a night.
The entertainment was great. The shows "Broadway" type shows were good. We really liked Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor. We loved the Howl at the Moon dueling pianos. They performed several nights. Our suggestion is definity see them the last night of the cruise. It appears that since the other shows are done for the cruise a lot of the other musician/entertainers/dancers were at this show. Toward the end of the night the other musicians on the ship got up on stage and played and song with the Howl group. It was really cool seeing these guys jam together.
The Second City comedy troupe on the ship was a lot of fun. It is amazing how fast those guys can think on their feet.
Disembarkation was horrible. Not sure if it was NCL or Customs but it took close to 2 hours from the time they said we can disembark to the time we cleared customs. THere was a huge line snaking through one of the decks of the ship and then more lines on the pier. Very slow process.
As for Bermuda. We liked the fact that we in port for 2.5 days. No rush to see everything. You can get a multi day ferry/bus pass which makes getting around the island pretty easy. Highly recommend a walking tour of St. George's. Go see Crystal Caves. Horseshoe Bay Beach or another beach is a must. Also we really enjoyed the Bermuda Maritime Museum at the Royal Dockyards.
As I said in my title there were some issues but is was still a great vacation. Cruising is always better than working.