Huge ship/Nicer than expected
Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas
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.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
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!