April 2015 - 7 Night Bahamas & Florida (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Breakaway
I had never cruised with Norwegian before (prior cruises were on Disney and Royal Caribbean). I had heard that Norwegian wasn't quite on par with these, and while it wasn't in some ways, it was in others.
The Pros: Love the freestyle dining option - not having a set time/place to eat; the food was also, generally, just as good as Disney or RC; the Thermal Suite--well worth the extra money ($199 for the week) to have a quiet adult-only place to relax and recharge after the hustle and bustle of much of the ship--plus, you can take a shower in a decent-sized shower instead of the ones in the cabin, and dry your hair and put on makeup in the ladies' locker room; the Unlimited Beverage Package is well worth it if you drink more than a few drinks a day--no hassle and no sticker shock at the end of the cruise. My 13 year old loved the teen club (although it took her a few days and a new friend's recommendation to try it). Also, the Norwegian iConcierge app (and unlimited onboard texting for $8 for the week) is great if you want to communicate with others on the ship. Rock of Ages was a great show (but when they say mature themes, they mean it), and the Dueling Pianos/Howling at the Moon was a lot of fun.
The Not so Pros (not really Cons): The ship is not quite as upscale/nicely decorated as RC or Disney--it's clean, but just a step below in terms of quality; The cabins & balconies are really small, and the showers are tiny (hence my use of the Spa's locker room showers!). The upcharges for the specialty restaurants seem excessive--I heard that Cagney's (steakhouse) was good, but it wasn't worth the extra money to me to try it. Service varied tremendously: Some staff were pleasant, friendly, and helpful--others not so much. The size of the ship can be overwhelming--even after 7 days, I wasn't always sure where things were/kept needing to refer to the signs. They need more onboard shopping--only one real boutique with clothes.
Would I go on this ship and/or Norwegian again? Yes. Is it the best ship/line I've ever been on? No. However, it was a great value (got 1/2 off the 2nd person in my cabin, free Unlimited Beverage Package), and for someone in Massachusetts, sailing out of NY is easy and much less expensive/less of a hassle than flying to FL.