Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review to Bermuda

Contributor Level: Captain

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Hey NCL, can I borrow a few of my nickels and dimes for a bus ride home?

Sail Date: July 24, 2016

Reviewed: 10 months ago

Traveled As: Large Group

Room Type: Balcony

I bet NCL has a full-time staffer putting those in rolls.


Let me start off by saying that I had a great cruise. We did a 7 Day Bermuda sailing from New York City with 43 family members on our biennial family reunion. My family is amazing and we could sail a shipping barge and have a blast.


If I were a first-time cruiser, I'd probably rate the trip as 4 or 5 stars. But, I've been on over a dozen sailings and have a baseline for comparison. Our past five family cruises were all on Royal Caribbean.


Most of the family lives in New England, so we figured Boston or NYC would be the most convenient ports. We've done the Caribbean a bunch and decided on Bermuda. With the combo, our options were limited. The Breakaway is a fairly new, larger ship so it was an easy choice.


We all got balcony cabins and paid roughly $1,700 each. 


The consensus among the family was:  Royal Caribbean > NCL


I'll get into detail in the specific sections below, but as a summary, here's our reasoning.


- not a fan of the "freestyle dining" 

- we felt constantly "nickle-and-dimed"

- it feels like half of the ship is specialty dining restaurants

- felt too crowded

- staff wasn't as personable or friendly

- leaving and returning to NYC was pretty terrible


Also - when you get home, prepare to have your email inbox flooded with more than an email a day from NCL.


Cruise Photos

Cabin / Stateroom
The cabin was great.... spacious and clean.

The bathroom was bigger than on other ships.

Our balcony was great.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Our boarding time was 9:30am, so we showed up at 9. We ended up boarding after 12:30.

Getting off the ship didn't take quite as long (only 1 hr+), but was pretty miserable.

It was worse than Penn Station in rush hour.
Ship Quality
Everything was very clean.

Most common areas were packed with specialty dining restaurants, which was very frustrating.

It constantly felt crowded... like way more crowded than any other ships I've sailed.

If you can afford it, get The Haven for some peace, quiet and elbow room.
Destinations and Excursions
Bermuda was the best cruise port we've ever been to.

It's clean, safe, beautiful and the people are wonderful.

We did Horseshoe Bay, which is breathtaking. It's $40 to rent two chairs and an umbrella. It feels crazy crowded, but you can easily walk a few hundred yards though the rocks and have yourself nearly a private beach. A cab to Horseshoe Bay was roughly $20.

Snorkel Beach: you can walk here from the ship. It takes 10 minutes and costs $5 per person. You can walk right off into the water and snorkel. It was much better than I was expecting. Again, super crowded and there's nowhere to get away from the crowd at this beach.

There's a Ferry from Kings Wharf that will take you to Hamilton. It's really cheap (like $3) and is a beautiful route. Hamilton is very cute and definitely worth a look.
Onboard Activities It felt the entire ship was taken over by specialty dining restaurants.
Burn the Floor was amazing... best dance show we've seen on a cruise. Truly world class talent.

Rock of Ages... we ended up missing most of it, but made it for a taste. Multiple people described it as "corny."

There didn't seem like enough shows. On most cruises, we'd catch 3 or 4 shows... on the Breakaway, we were only able to see one.
Service and Staff
I very much respect their hard work, but compared to other ships, they weren't very friendly and didn't provide the best quality of service.

A few incidents come to mind in which we were disappointed with the staff.

- we were having a great time on the shuffleboard court and managed to get most of the 43 family members there. A staff member came and kicked us off at 10pm and wasn't very nice about it. Rules are rules, but c'mon.

- we bought the overpriced family pics. The stated rate was $100 for 10 pics (already a ripoff). When we went to check out, the guy tried charging double because "there are a lot of people in the picture."

- the casino pit boss was overseeing a blackjack tournament. She "promised" four times that it was the last buy-in round. The winners obviously wanted the final table to start asap. She went back on her word four times, bringing in an extra few hundred dollars in tournament that already brought in tens of thousands of dollars with a total payout of $500
Food and Dining
We'll never do "freestyle dining" again as a big family. Main dining room seating is much easier for us to all meet for dinner.

The main dining rooms had decent food - we were far from impressed. Make sure to leave plenty of time if you have a post-dinner show, because service can take a while.

With a large group, we didn't get a chance to do any of the specialty restaurants other than Wasabi, which was great.

It was frustrating that the majority of the common areas felt as if they were off-limits (specialty dining we couldn't access)
New York, New York
When getting off the ship on the last day, take your time if you can. Let the herd thin out or be ready for a hot, crowded mess for an hour+.
Royal Naval Dockyard, West End, Bermuda
We golfed at the main, public course. It was crazy expensive (like $200 with clubs), but was AMAZING. So beautiful and well kept.


On one night while "at sea," the cast of Burn the Floor put on a show in one of the Main Dining Rooms.

If you can get a table by the dancefloor on this night at this time, you'll get the best show of the week.

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