My husband and I have cruised many times, on several different cruise lines, as well as several transatlantic cruises. Our children are grown adults, so we chose cruise lines and travel times when children are "in school".!!! Leaving from NY and NJ is great, as you do not have to fly, and get stranded in airports. I would suggest the next time you cruise, and please DO select another cruise, that you look to Cunard Cruise L ines, which are our favorite. You will also enoy Celebrity Cruise Lines . The Carribbean cruises are great, and if you can get time off from work, please try Cunard's transatlantic. You will love their food, entertainment and their rooms are quite large. We always take a balcony, mid ship, on a lower level if they are available. There is so much to do on the ship that you will have trouble deciding what you want to do. Between the lectures, art auctions, Canon Ranch Spa, etc., the list goes on. Good luck. Mendhacruiser
I have yet to sail on the Breakaway but I have been on three other NCL cruises: Dawn from Boston to Bermuda, Star from Tampa to the Western Caribbean, and the Jewel from NYC to the Bahamas and Florida. The most crowded and annoying child cruise I went on was the Jewel from NYC to the Bahamas and Florida. 1, we went during July, which is when all the schools are out and the weather is the best. 2, This itinerary is very kid-oriented with many Orlando excursions. 3, I think the clientele out of NYC is not as nice as the ports on my other cruise. The best cruise I went on as far as crowds, kids, and clientele go was the cruise from Tampa to the Western Caribbean. It was February but not school vacation week. There were very very few children and the majority of passengers were very polite and calm. It also did not seem over crowded.
The point of my post is that I don't think you should give up on cruising entirely and maybe even stay with NCL. All three of the NCL cruises I have been on were excellent and 2 out of 3 did not have a ton of obnoxious kids on them. I suggest you pick a different itinerary to get a more classy clientele, pick a week when children are traditionally in school, and choose a smaller ship (it seems they are packing way too many people on the Breakaway and will likely do the same for the Getaway and the two new ships on order). I also suggest staying away from Carnival. While I have not been on Carnival personally, I do know that they are known as the "Fun Ships" and tend to attract children, college kids (that pack 4 people in one cabin), and budget cruisers.
I hope this helps and that you have a better experience in the future.