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Trip Report: Norewgian Breakaway in NYC

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Getting to Norwegian Breakaway from the InterContinental Times Squarewas super easy. We actually had two options because we were connected to the metro. We opted to take a cab because my ankle is still killing me from a fracture back in early April. We left our hotel at 12:15p and arrived at pier 88 at 12:30p. Realistically, you could walk to the pier from our hotel but with a lot of luggage it may be a pain.

 

 

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This was my first time at the Manhattan Passenger Terminal at Pier 88 and check-in was flawless. It went really fast and you could tell that Norwegian really has the embarkation process streamlined. From pier to ship was under 10-minutes. We embarked on deck 7.

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You can’t miss the ship docked at the pier. Contemporary artist Peter Max was commissioned to paint the hull of the ship and it’s quite colorful.

My first impression of Norwegian Breakaway surprisingly wowed me. I saw a bunch of photos and videos of the ship but you have to actually be there to do it any justice. First thoughts were that if Norwegian Cruise Line keeps this design and color concept up they will very quickly become a premium cruise line. To me, Norwegian Breakaway felt a lot like Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships. It had that five star contemporary resort feeling.

 

 

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Mini-suite, deck 11

 

 

 

Our room was located on deck 11, Midship (11196). The room was a mini-suite (236 sq ft) and had a full size bed, sleeper sofa and balcony. The bathrooms were probably one of the largest bathrooms I’ve even been in at sea, with an oversized spa-like shower and a sink with a unique two-faucet design. Perfect for him and her.

Sailing out of NYC was amazing and very humbling. We lucked out because they just put the spire on top of the Freedom Tower that morning, so sailing past it was really emotional.

 

 

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View my Norwegian Breakaway photo gallery here.

 

 

This ship has 27 venues to grab food. You can get everything from a lobster roll to an amazing Japanese steakhouse. We were only on the ship two days so it was hard experience a lot of the venues but I was able to sample half of them and what I had impressed me. We started with Savor for lunch. Cagney’s that evening, the buffet, Sushi, the Manhattan Room (main dining room), NYC hot dog stand and Ocean Blue.

 

 

 

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I’ve seen some pretty cool waterparks at sea but Norwegian Breakaway was pretty awesome. It’s a full-blown waterpark at sea. Norwegian Breakaway has five waterslide, a ropes course, you can walk-the-plank, a pirate like plank that suspends you eight feet over the side of the ship.

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To say that this ship has nightlife is an understatement! They have Second City Comedy, Broadway’s Rock of Ages, Firework displays, Cirque Dreams and Dinner, Howl at the Moon, Slam Allan Blues Bland, Bowling and a slew of other things. I would definitely put the broadway show up against broadway and the howl at the moon against any rockin' piano venue on land. I personally enjoyed O'Sheehan's Irish Pub because of the 24-hour food and all the sports on the TV.

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Thanks for the review! I'm going in August! First time for New York too...checking it off my bucket list. I am SOOOO excited for this!

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Thanks for the kind words on report and photos.

 

I also taped my weekly radio show aboard Breakaway if you're interested in hearing it. The show outlines the design process with Kevin Sheehan (ceo), family programs and some entertainment reviews.

 

Here is the link to our audio server: http://cruiseandblog.podbean.com (i assume I can post this link)

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3 1/2 weeks for us - can't wait! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Donna, Small world. :) I'm not sure I told you on VT but I'll be taking a cruise to Alaska soon

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Hi Donna, Small world. :) I'm not sure I told you on VT but I'll be taking a cruise to Alaska soon

 

Hey Mike!! I'll message you over on VT.

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There has been a lot of question about Norwegian Breakaway and how the outdoor spaces will stack up during sea days. While it doesn’t look overly huge, there are a lot of nooks and crannys that you can take residence up in while soaking up the sun. With that said, it will be a good test.

 

 

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Outdoor aboard Norwegian Breakaway.

 

 

Three story sports complex.

 

 

The ropes course was very popular, walk the plank (that puts you eight feet over the edge of the ship) was a hit and the nine-hole mini-golf course kept the families happy for what seemed like hours.

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Probably one of the biggest draws on the outside of the ship is the waterparks. Five waterslides that drops you, tests gravity and races you to the end. I am dealing with a fractured ankle right now so I wasn’t going to test the slides but everyone I talked to absolutely loved them.

There are night time fireworks on Norwegian Breakaway, which is a cool Disney-like feature. We didn’t get to experience the fireworks on our cruise because the weather was nasty on our last night at sea but the ship is going to have fireworks on every voyage too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Waterfront

In the way of cruise ship design there isn’t much that hasn’t been done. It seems that every cruise line has revolutionized the industry in one-way or another. Norwegian Cruise Line did the same with The Waterfront located on deck eight. Picture shops, bars, eateries and chill spots — on both sides of the ship. There’s a seafood take out window, NYC hotdogs, Brooklyn beers, Italian food and more.

 

 

The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, Kevin Sheehan, was on this sailing and I had a chance to ask him his thoughts on The Waterfront. A lot of people use the word “game-changer” in the cruise industry, but in reality most of it has been done in one way or the other. Take The Waterfront. Carnival Breeze has that area on deck five where they have Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ. However, there is a difference. They have one venue outdoors and not as nearly the amount of options as Norwegian Breakaway. Also, Carnival Breeze has a big glass window pane on their lanai, Norwegian Breakaway just has a single railing that gives you an unrestricted view.

 

 

One thing that always concerns me on ships is “areas of mass congestion.” Places where people bottleneck and just a poor design or flow. We saw a couple of those spots on Norwegian Epic, but not so much on this ship. Granted, I was only on Norwegian Breakaway for a couple days but I didn’t experience any of those areas during my time.

 

 

 

 

IMG_1650-300x225.jpgThe Waterfront on deck 8.

 

 

The Haven

This is one part of the ship that I barely got to see. My time on the ship had me consumed with so much that there just wasn’t time for everything. The Haven has 42-suites, 24-hour butler service (a little high brow for this guy) and offers a secluded pool and dining only available to haven guests. Sounds cool!

 

 

Conclusion

Norwegian Breakaway was an awesome ship and I feel if they keep the trend up they’ll get right up there with the premium line ships. I mentioned in an earlier post that Norwegian Breakaway reminded me a lot of Celebrity Solstice in terms of design and color (think 5 star hotel). Where will the future take Norwegian? Time will only tell.

 

 

IMG_1724-300x225.jpgHeading back into NYC.

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