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AttilaTheFun

Inaugural 2-night Cruise to Nowhere - Thoughts and pics

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Just got off the Norwegian Breakaway this morning and overall, I have to say that I am very impressed! I have sailed Epic twice and feel that Norwegian took the customer feedback very seriously - both good and bad - and made a very improved version of Epic.

 

I have not had a chance to read through the reviews, comments, and questions about Breakaway yet, other than to see a thread about how small the balconies are (which is very true...), so apologies if I repeat a lot of "duh" information :)

 

Our cruise was a 2-nighter to nowhere, so the casino was able to open and most of the ship ran like a normal cruise, with the exception that drinks and specialty restaurants were free, with a few exceptions. Due to this, my reaction to crowd size and other aspects may be very different than if this was a "normal" cruise.

 

I will start with my random thoughts and then post some pictures shortly. If you have any questions, let me know!

 

Christening Ceremony

  • This was an event that was nice in theory, but the execution had some technical difficulties. Some of the performances went on for way too long, the Bermuda speaker was just plain bizarre (Caesar Salad references?!), Buddy Valastro cannot read a teleprompter to save his life ("My good friend, Geoffrey Zak-ran!"), and there were frequent cuts to nothing or microphones going out during performances. The presentation also started nearly 30 minutes late, so I think Norwegian needs to step up the production values (and maybe rehearse?) in the future. Luckily, the rest of the experience onboard was great!

Stateroom

  • We were in a spa balcony room on the 14th floor and I thought it was wonderful. The room is exactly the same as a normal balcony room, but with slightly different decor and normally free access to the "Hydrotherapy Courtyard" (aka Thermal Suite). The room feels so much bigger than on Epic.
  • ...with the big exception of the balcony, which is tiny. As others have pointed out, it's barely wider than the chairs on the balcony and I don't see how more than 2 people could fit out there. However, I think that since Breakaway is sailing from NYC, there will be much of the year when the balconies aren't usable until the ship gets down to the Caribbean and I prefer the more spacious interior to providing more balcony space. I know there will be many who disagree, but I'm not a huge balcony-user.
  • The bathrooms are enclosed again and VERY well laid out! There is lots of counter and shelf space and the shower is huge! The water pressure is not that great though. Shower gel and shampoo are provided again in dispensers and there is a lower bar to assist women in shaving their legs. Our toilet's flushing button seemed a bit wonky and sometimes wouldn't flush the first few times. The first time it happened, we thought, "Oh no, we're on a Carnival ship!!" but then it worked, most of the time. :)
  • For some reason, it feels like there is less storage space in the room than Epic, but maybe it's only because Epic "hid" a lot of storage around the room. The closet was a good size and had several shelves and there were lower cabinet sections.
  • The mini coffee-maker provided in the room is a great addition, although the coffee provided is not so great.
  • Side note: A room type of every category was available to tour onboard and we got to most of them. My one comment is that the mini-suite is almost identical to a balcony room, but you get a bigger shower and double sinks. The double sinks reduce the counter space you have and if the shower water pressure was as light as our room, there's no need for a shower that big unless you want to throw a party in it. Save your money and skip the mini-suites!

Dining

 

  • Ocean Blue ($35pp normally)

    • We were lucky enough to snag a much-coveted reservation for Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian and we were blown away! The food, service, and overall experience were top-notch and comparable to NYC fine dining. I saw Mr. Zakarian in the restaurant quite a bit and he seems to be taking his new venue very seriously.
    • The dinner starts with mascarpone cheese bread, which is some of the best bread I've ever had!
    • We were only allowed to order one starter per person, which is different from every other specialty restaurant experience I've had onboard Norwegian. I don't know if this was because the cover charge was waived and they wanted to save on supplies or if this will be the normal procedure for paying customers. We tried the fried calamari and beef tartare and both were excellent. I highly recommend both!
    • For entrees, I had the Dover Sole with meuniere sauce and my partner tried the scallops with pork belly. The sole was cooked perfectly, but there were no accompaniments or sides served with it, so it got a bit salty and one-note after a while. Some vegetables or rice with it would be nice. The scallops with pork belly, however, were out-of-this-world! I would say the pork belly is actually the star of the dish, but that's not a complaint! There were enough different textures and flavors with this dish to make it amazing.
    • I tried the dark chocolate souffle for dessert and my partner had the apple strudel with cardamom. I loved my souffle, but the cardamom in the strudel reminded me too much of biting into a pod in Indian food. Our waitress also brought the assortment of petite-fours, which were very nice too.
    • We were lucky enough to be seated on the Waterfront during the fireworks at the Statue of Liberty! To be dining outside with fireworks and Lady Liberty looking back at you - that's an incredible experience!
    • The number of seats was very low for Ocean Blue, in my opinion. I don't know if Norwegian thinks it won't get as many diners or what, since the cover charge is significantly higher than they've had at other venues. The menu is very refined - I expected some form of fried shrimp or fish and chips and found none, although this may make it less accessible to a broad market. I would highly recommend Ocean Blue for a special occassion or if you're a dedicated foodie - you won't be disappointed!
    • There are two other Ocean Blue venues - the Raw Bar and on the Waterfront, which is a take-away window. The Ocean Blue on the Waterfront items range from $5-10 per item and the Raw Bar has a selection of oysters and crudo and is a pretty limited menu. We did not try either of these options - only the main Ocean Blue restaurant.

     

    [*]Le Bistro ($20 pp normally)

    • What can I say - Le Bistro is one of my favorite specialty dining options. It was fantastic as always and our servers did a great job. I love the escargot, mushroom soup, duck 2 ways, and pork tenderloin. For dessert, you can't go wrong with the Chocolate Napoleon - especially if you enjoy Nutella!
    • On Breakaway, they've incorporated a "sidewalk cafe" seating section that is open to decks 7 and 8. It's a nice idea in theory, but with the casino only one deck up, it ruins the illusion when the slot machines and craps table are so loud.

     

    [*]Wasabi (sushi, a la carte normally)

    • I snagged a seat and tried a spicy tuna and red hokkaido roll. I thought there were too much rice compared to the amount of filling, although maybe they were trying to save on ingredients as this venue was mobbed every hour of the day. I shouldn't make a judgement call on this one until I've dined in a normal situation.

     

    [*]Garden Cafe (complimentary buffet)

    • I'm torn on the layout of this Garden Cafe. On the one hand, I think it manages crowds very well, but on the other hand, it feels like you're walking a marathon down a mile-long buffet line on either side to scope out all the options. By the time you've made the journey, your food is cold. I prefer the setup on Epic or the Jewel class of ships, but can understand the thinking behind it.
    • The food selections were very similar to past Norwegian sailings, but I think the quality is improved. There was also breakfast flatbread, which was a welcome new addition.
    • This Garden Cafe has the full roll-out of other complimentary beverage options at lunch/dinner, including lemonade and flavored waters. I think Epic was still lacking these options back in January, but I can't remember.
    • There is a decent amount of outdoor seating available, but it feels like most is very covered or in the shadows.

     

I'm still working on uploading my pictures, so will try to post those shortly and also cover the service, public areas, and recreation next!

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Great notes thank you, I was going to order the Dover but after reading your notes on it, I think I am going to pass on it.

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Service

  • All the crew members were excellent and I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of familiar faces from Epic. It's great that Norwegian transfers some experienced crew to start the Breakaway off on the right foot. Our servers in Ocean Blue and Le Bistro were exceptional and nearly everyone was smiling and seemed so excited to be on such a great new ship.
  • The one exception to the excellent service was the Atrium Cafe, where we met the most surly workers I've encountered on any cruise. Not sure what was going on there!

Recreation

 

  • Ropes Course
    • RUN to the new ropes course - I have not had that much fun in a long time! When it was first announced, I was skeptical and didn't really understand the appeal, but after trying it, I'm converted! It's a ton of fun for both children and adults, as long as you don't mind being a bit off the ground ;)
    • You have to sign a waiver and get a harness/safety line from the staff. Be sure to bring a pair of sneakers as flip-flops are not allowed. Also try to have someone hold onto the stuff in your pockets as they have to be empty when you're up there. It's a bit of a shame, since you can't take pictures from the view up there, although some people have already been breaking this rule. If they accidentally drop their camera on someone below... :eek:
    • I would recommend getting there early or finding an off-peak time as some of the sections can turn into bottlenecks with many people up there. The ropes course doesn't have a set path - there are several options at each junction - and there's no real time limit for being up there either, so it could get pretty crowded.
    • Don't miss the zip line over the rock-climbing wall, which was my favorite. The other challenge for thrill-seekers is the Plank - which sticks out over the ship and has an activator that takes your picture when you venture far enough out! Give your best thumbs-up and you can find the pictures for $19.95 later in the Photo Gallery.

    [*]Water Slides/Pools

    • The Free Fall slides are a unique and thrilling experience. You are required to wear a foam board on your back as you go up to 40 MPH as you fall!
    • From the moment the "coffin door" is closed on you and the countdown starts, the experience goes so quickly that you don't even have time to react! The sensation of having the floor drop out from underneath you is insane and like nothing else I've ever done!
    • The other 3 slides are much more tame. As fun as the Free Fall was, I miss the Epic Plunge and think it has much broader appeal.
    • The pools are very small again and I prefer the much more open feeling that Epic has on the pool deck. Breakaway feels like the main pool is partitioned off from the other pool and kids splash zone. It's hard to explain, but you feel the difference immediately.
    • Most of the loungers on deck 15 are shaded, so the sun worshipers will have to flock to deck 16.

    [*]Spice H20

    • The size of Spice H20 has been reduced dramatically from Epic. Gone are the tiered levels and multitude of seats, so I think this area might get pretty crowded when the weather is nice and I'm sure chair-hogs will abound.
    • One change I really appreciate is getting rid of the laughably small pool in Spice from Epic and adding a waterfall cool-down section, which makes more sense to me.
    • For the 80's party, the smaller size of Spice made the party feel more energetic, as often times on Epic, people would spread out so much during parties that it lost the energy of the space.
    • The fireworks were a fantastic addition - they are semi-coordinated with 80's tunes and the show uses "We Didn't Start the Fire" as a sort of countdown before the show begins. This should be a real crowd-pleaser.

    [*]Hydrotherapy Courtyard/Thermal Suite

    • This section of the spa, which costs $146 for a 7-day cruise or is included with "spa" category rooms, is nice for relaxation. Day passes are also available for $39, but the spa staff warned that they normally won't have day passes available on sea days as the week-long passes have priority and usually sell out.
    • The layout of this section features great windows at the front of the ship and there are many padded loungers and heated tile loungers looking out. However, the hydrotherapy pool is smaller, all the facilities are now co-ed (even Epic had tiny single-sex saunas and steam rooms), and there is no view of the ocean from the sauna, which was a really cool feature on Epic. The Salt Room is included and seems like a gimmick. The jets on various sections of the hydrotherapy pool are now button-operated, so they'll turn on for a set amount of time and shut off, which is probably more energy efficient. I also miss the outside section that Epic's spa has, which very popular. I don't think they will have issues with not selling enough passes, but this is one area where I prefer Epic's design.

    [*]Ice Bar

    • Even after 2 sailings on Epic, I still hadn't visited the Svedka Ice Bar, so was excited to try it on Breakaway. It was smaller than I expected, but another unique experience. The Yellow Cab cocktail I tried was delicious! We only lasted about 20 minutes :)

I'll post some thoughts on the public spaces and entertainment next and pray that my pictures will speed up their syncing!

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Thank you for a point-by-point review:)

 

Very imformative, exactly what I'm looking in the review.

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Hooray, the pictures have loaded! Apologies in advance - these are all from my iPhone.

 

Some hull art to start with. I have to admit, it looks much better in person than I expected!

 

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Carlo's Bakery made a cake for the occasion:

 

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Sailing past Hoboken:

 

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Some fireworks pics from the Waterfront outside Ocean Blue:

 

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Edited by AttilaTheFun

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Our Ocean Blue dining experience

 

Mascarpone bread to start:

 

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Calamari and beef tartare appetizers:

 

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Dover Sole:

 

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Scallops with Pork Belly:

 

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Dark Chocolate Souffle:

 

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Apple Strudel with Cardamom:

 

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Passing under the Verrazano Bridge:

 

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The "Rocketini" signature drink - half pina colada and half strawberry daiquiri:

 

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Some Carlo's Bakery treats in the Atrium Cafe (a la carte pricing), cannoli was around $3.50:

 

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I loved the chandelier and the various color patterns it displays!

 

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The glass stairs in the center are a bit freaky - consider it a warm-up to the Ropes Course!

 

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Atrium Bar is nice and big:

 

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Better placement of front desk and excursions makes for better flow and less lines blocking walkways:

 

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Taste and Savor main dining rooms are decorated nicely and feel like a Celebrity ship:

 

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Mandara Spa - Hydrotherapy Courtyard

 

Pool is smaller than Epic and doesn't have as many massaging waterfalls:

 

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Plenty of heated tile loungers with sea views though!

 

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The various sauna, steam room, and Salt Room locations:

 

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Padded loungers, also with sea views:

 

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Men's Locker Room area:

 

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Garden Cafe buffet

 

...is loooooong:

 

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Some sandwiches at lunch:

 

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Breakfast flatbread!

 

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The Uptown Grill outside of Spice H20 has some nice grab-and-go options at breakfast:

 

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great review!!

 

Where is the entrance to the spa?

 

Can you sign up for a time at the ropes and the zipline?

 

What exactly is included in the thermal suite spa pass??

 

Thanks in advance!!

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More Public Spaces and Restaurants

 

Manhattan Room:

 

C9136B24-D6E5-47C4-B519-5EF83F681441.JPG

 

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Prime Meridian Bar (between Cagney's and Moderno):

 

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La Cucina:

 

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Looking down on Le Bistro from casino:

 

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The Waterfront (I didn't get many pics of it - fail! There will be many others posting though, I'm sure)

 

Looking towards the aft from Fat Cats:

 

341D3219-DB68-4920-9EFD-2CDD6C19A472.JPG

 

 

Looking down onto deck 7 shuffleboard court:

 

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Watching the lifeboat drills:

 

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Looking up from Ocean Blue on the Waterfront:

 

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Svedka Ice Bar (So hard to take pictures in this place - almost all of mine are unusable as the people appear too dark)

 

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Spice H20

 

Refreshing waterfall feature:

 

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The elusive day bed:

 

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Things heat up for the 80's Party!

 

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More food pics!

 

Spicy Tuna and Red Hokkaido roll at Wasabi:

 

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Pork Tenderloin at Le Bistro:

 

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Chocolate Napoleon at Le Bistro:

 

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Close-ups of some of the Carlo's Bakery items in the Atrium Cafe:

 

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Spa Balcony Stateroom - Deck 14

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Little balcony time!

 

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View from the balcony, facing forward:

 

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View from the balcony, facing aft:

 

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Spa Balcony Stateroom - Deck 14 (cont)

Desk area - note 2 US outlets and 2 European outlets. Coffee maker is European plug:

 

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Bathroom:

 

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Left-hand side of the closet:

 

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Right-hand side of the closet:

 

500778EB-3D69-44DB-B733-CDE04C2A4B48.JPG

 

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Very nice review and really fabulous pictures. Thanks for posting!

 

I have to say the Ocean Blue entrees are very small and then to have no sides to them....really?:rolleyes: I don't think I ever had a main entree anywhere that is not served with some sort of vegetables/potato....at least something on the side.

 

I'm getting very excited for my Breakaway cruise.:)

Edited by roe2ship

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great review!!

 

Where is the entrance to the spa?

 

Can you sign up for a time at the ropes and the zipline?

 

What exactly is included in the thermal suite spa pass??

 

Thanks in advance!!

 

Entrance to the spa is at the front of Deck 15.

 

The Ropes Course includes the zipline - they are not two separate attractions.

 

From the Breakaway site:

Norwegian Breakaway also boasts one of the largest Thermal Suites in our fleet with steam, dry sauna, a Vitality pool, hot tubs, waterfalls and heated tiled lounges that ensure relaxation. Within these tranquil walls, guests can experience the Salt Room, a dramatic grotto surrounded with layers of salt crystals to help cleanse the body. Simply inhale, exhale and be well.

 

From my tour, there is a steam room, dry sauna, slightly less hot sauna (or something), salt room, heated pool with massaging waterfall and massaging jets, one hot tub, padded loungers, heated tile loungers. The men's locker room had lockers, a few showers, a changing room, and the usual bathroom setup.

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Very nice review and really fabulous pictures. Thanks for posting!

 

I have to say the Ocean Blue entrees are very small and then to have no sides to them....really?:rolleyes: I don't think I ever had a main entree anywhere that is not served with some sort of vegetables/potato....at least something on the side.

 

I'm getting very excited for my Breakaway cruise.:)

 

The sole definitely could have used a side dish, but the scallops with pork belly was varied enough and included two fried anchovies, which my partner loved, but I'll take a pass on ;)

 

For the high cover charge, I hope they start allowing multiple appetizer courses and/or add some side dishes to the entrees.

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The Free Fall slides do not permit any jewelry to be worn. My husband was looking forward to this so much but can't get his wedding ring off :( We'll see if he goes to the jewelry store to have it cut off so he can go on it when we're on her at the end of the month. There were several others that had the same problem.

Edited by Bobbye

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The sole definitely could have used a side dish, but the scallops with pork belly was varied enough and included two fried anchovies, which my partner loved, but I'll take a pass on ;)

 

For the high cover charge, I hope they start allowing multiple appetizer courses and/or add some side dishes to the entrees.

I agree, they definitely should add some sides....it even makes the presentation of the meal better. I believe there is a review in the members section that indicated an issue at Ocean Blue when asked for another soup at the end of their meal...they were charged $4 or $5 extra for it.

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One of the complaints I read a lot about where Epic was concerned was about smoke from the casino taking over the atrium area. Have they found a way to address that on the Breakaway? If not, I'd think the indoor patio area of Le Bistro might be a little unpleasant for non-smokers!

 

Fantastic pics, review. SO appreciate it as someone who will be taking his very first-ever cruise on this ship in March!

 

Richard/Tralfie

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Just catching up with your pics, thank you. I am now getting a feeling of what breakaway is really like :)

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Emphasizing inside space on Breakaway seems like a sound idea for a ship based in New York. It would seem inside spaces are more varied and in some cases larger -- for example number of spa loungers and casino. In the winter, I usually figure that outside is chilly for the first and last day or so out of New York. I expect the Getaway may have more outside space as she is based out of Miami. I leave today for tomorrow's cruise and will post a review when I return.

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The Free Fall slides do not permit any jewelry to be worn. My husband was looking forward to this so much but can't get his wedding ring off :( We'll see if he goes to the jewelry store to have it cut off so he can go on it when we're on her at the end of the month. There were several others that had the same problem.

 

I didn't realize you couldn't wear any jewelry, but they also made me empty my pockets for the Free Fall. I had my room keycard with me, so the staff members held it for me until I was done riding the slides.

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One of the complaints I read a lot about where Epic was concerned was about smoke from the casino taking over the atrium area. Have they found a way to address that on the Breakaway? If not, I'd think the indoor patio area of Le Bistro might be a little unpleasant for non-smokers!

 

Richard/Tralfie

 

Other than when walking through the casino itself, I didn't find any issues with smoke. I don't remember there being a terrible amount of smoke unless you were sitting right next to a smoker in the casino. I don't think it will be enough to bother people on decks 6 or 8 - it's more the noise of the casino that ruins the Le Bistro sidewalk experience. However, the ship shuts down the casino for the 2.5 days while in Bermuda, so one of those nights would be a good chance to try the sidewalk of Le Bistro.

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I didn't realize you couldn't wear any jewelry, but they also made me empty my pockets for the Free Fall. I had my room keycard with me, so the staff members held it for me until I was done riding the slides.

 

Good to know, I guess I will be leaving everything with my mom while I am riding the slides.

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Okay, wrapping this thing up!

 

Public Spaces

  • Overall, greatly improved traffic flow and a feeling of more openness than Epic, IMO. I also found the decor to be more muted than in the past - maybe borrowing elements from the success of Celebrity's Solstice class?
  • The Waterfront
    • You'll notice that in the flurry of activity, I didn't document the Waterfront very well in pictures. However, the overall effect is very nice, if not a bit smaller than what I expected.
    • Outdoor seating will be available on the Waterfront for Ocean Blue, Ocean Blue on the Waterfront (take-out window), La Cucina, Cagney's, and Moderno. Speaking strictly about Ocean Blue, there was very limited seating outside though. I have no idea if there will be a high demand for outdoor seating at these restaurants or if people will prefer inside air-conditioning in some of the hot/humid climates.
    • As others have noted, the walkway area is a bit narrow as well, barely fitting two people side-by-side. If you think about a promenade deck, Breakaway has basically used half the width for walking and half for dining tables, so it leaves both uses with not much room.
    • Fat Cats, Shakers, and Maltings included Waterfront seating/tables as well. I noticed ashtrays at Fat Cats and Maltings, but do not remember them at Shakers.
    • I didn't check out the gelato shop or Carlo's Bakery while they were open.

    [*]Bliss Ultra Lounge

    • This space is a huge change from Epic and Jewel-class ships, where Bliss used to be a fairly large venue. Gone is any sort of stage and Bliss now feels just kind of like a shipping crate - not very big and without much personality. I guess Norwegian is counting on perfect weather year-round, because in the event of rain for one of their outdoor parties, I don't know what indoor space they could use now that Bliss is so small.

    [*]Casino

    • I didn't spend much time in the casino on Epic or any past Norwegian sailings, but Breakaway's casino seems to be pretty standard for a cruise ship. I think I read there are over 300 slot machines, so there should be plenty of options! My partner complained about a lack of quarter slots as most are penny or dollar ones.
    • Walking through the casino, I didn't notice the much-feared and reviled smoke that has launched a million complaints about Epic. I also did not notice a non-smoking section, but read that someone else mentioned this, so cannot confirm or deny.
    • If you are looking to avoid the casino completely, just walk across Deck 8 instead of Deck 7 and there shouldn't be any issues.
    • The central staircase of Ocean Place 678 connects the casino on Deck 7 with the decks above and below.

    [*]Main Dining Rooms (The Manhattan Room, Taste, Savor)

    • We didn't dine in the complimentary main dining rooms, but did take a look before they opened. They all look very nicely laid out and decorated, although the Manhattan Room has some tables that are quite far from the dance floor, which may be a blessing if you're looking for a quieter table, or a curse if you're looking to watch Burn the Floor perform there or want to hear the live music better.
    • I think I remember reading that Taste and Savor will have different menus from each other, which would be a welcome option. However, the menus that I did read looked like the same standards that Norwegian uses fleet-wide, which I have gotten very tired of over the course of 4 Norwegian cruises.

Entertainment

 

  • Unfortunately, I was getting sick during this cruise and there was already so much to see/do/eat that I didn't experience any of the entertainment options first-hand, so much of this will be based on my impressions and what I've heard from others on this cruise. However, I relate to the complaints that I've read recently about the idea of Freestyle going to the wayside as the entertainment options need to be pre-booked. I know there are usually stand-by seats available, but it adds a stress level to a cruise to hope you get the right night/time reservation for each show and then have to arrive early to the show to keep your reservation. I don't think there's much that can be done at this point and Norwegian must not have enough complaints about it yet as this seems to be the new method for much of the entertainment aboard their ships.
  • Rock of Ages
    • The performance during the Christening was horrendous - the singers sounded out-of-tune and most of the chorus' microphones weren't working, so this gave me pause about attending the show.
    • We missed our first-night reservation due to the fireworks elongating our dinner and then were locked out of a Rock of Ages reservation after that, as it thought we had already attended. Others have said they enjoyed it and the Christening performance was a fluke. It sounds like the content is also stirring controversy though as to how age-appropriate it is.

    [*]Cirque Dreams & Dinner: Jungle Fantasy

    • I know I'm in the minority here, but I was not very impressed with Cirque Dreams & Dinner on Epic. The service was abysmal, the food was not very good, and most of the performance was bizarre, loud, and grating (I was close to strangling the head clown with his constant whistle-blowing). The actual acrobatic performers all did a great job, but the rest of the show went on for too long and with what must by drug-fueled concepts, such as dancing rabbis with martinis on their heads and headless waiters. The short performance we saw of Jungle Fantasy for the Christening was fine, but I found the animal costumes a bit gaudy and silly again. The menu is also the exact same as on the Epic, so it didn't leave me wanting to attend and taking a seat from someone who hadn't experienced it before. My friend said the performances were great and the food was poor again.

    [*]Second City

    • I only ran into people who attended the Second City paid lunchtime performance, which was a family reunion theme, and they were not fans of it.

    [*]Burn the Floor

    • Their Christening performance was easily the best, but I don't enjoy dancing shows, so we didn't attend. I didn't run into any others who attended either.

Other review w/ pics

I had a chance to meet one of my favorite bloggers onboard and wanted to mention that he did a great review of Breakaway with much nicer pics:

http://avidcruiser.com/ftdc/

 

I actually want to include some tips for Bermuda as well, so will cover that in my next post, with some of my pics from there.

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Bermuda

This was a cruise to nowhere, so we never stopped at a port, but for those of you sailing to Bermuda, you're in for a treat! I sailed on the Star to Bermuda last October and it's my favorite "Caribbean" island by far. Here are some recommendations:

  • First thing - get a transportation pass! I recommend a 2-day unlimited pass, which includes all buses and ferries, for $20. On your last, partial day in Bermuda, explore the dockyards and ensure you don't miss the ship! The buses and ferries were all very easy to use, even if the bus rides were white-knuckle affairs!

 

  • Tobacco Bay - walk from St. George and bring your snorkel gear!

 

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  • Horseshoe Bay was huge and fun, but the best part was walking further down the beach to the left, where you would find tucked-away trails that lead to alcoves and, if you're really lucky, your own private beach for the day, like we found:

 

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  • Swizzle Inn (2 locations) to try a Rum Swizzle!

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  • Various shopping around Hamilton. If you're looking for a meal, the Bermuda Bistro on the Beach was good and has a waterfront location.

2012-10-04+09.32.17.jpg

 

 

 

 

I think that's about it, other than answering any questions you may have. I hope the thoughts and pics were helpful and that everyone experiencing the Breakaway has a fantastic time, like we did!

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Thanks for taking the time to write a great review with pictures. You are not alone, the Cirque Dreams on Epic is not very good now. In 2010, it was top notch. But they have dumbed it down to a clown with a loud whistle for 45 minutes. It is not funny and it does get on your nerves. Then they added amateur magic tricks and a silent movie scene. Total filler due to the lack of excellent performers from 2010. I also agree that the food is even worse too. We had grilled shrimp with the beef in 2010 but now they served 2 pieces of fried shrimp that were cold and had no taste. Much better food at the buffet. This is why I am glad NCL is going with a different show on Getaway. I saw a better Cirque Dreams show on Jewel and it was free.

But the 2010 Cirque Dreams show on Epic is still my all time favorite cruise ship entertainment.

Edited by david_sobe

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One other important feature to note - the keycard slot that keeps the room lights on is the same as Epic, but it turns off ALL the power to the room - including outlets! My partner found this out when we returned to the room and neither of our phones had charged at all. I'm fine with the slot controlling the lights, but to turn off outlets as well seems a bit overkill, especially if people are charging items.

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Great detailed review and pictures!!

 

I was happy to finally see pictures of the food at Ocean Blue (yikes for small portions!!) Do you recall how many scallops you had? It looked like some might be hiding in the picture.

 

Also, thanks for the Uptown Grill photos :D

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I was happy to finally see pictures of the food at Ocean Blue (yikes for small portions!!) Do you recall how many scallops you had? It looked like some might be hiding in the picture.

 

My partner remembers 4 scallops, 4 pieces of pork belly, and 3 fried anchovies. I would definitely get this dish if I went in the future!

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