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Semi-Live Norwegian Breakaway Northern Transatlantic 10/2-10/16

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I'm surprised it is this crowded on a TA

Don’t know the NCL standard but RCI typically sails over 100% booked on TA’s. All cruises pretty much sail full over overcapacity (capacity is 2/cabin. When at 3-4 ina. Cabin can go over if wondering). The chair situation in the atrium area is on par with beach chairs. People camp them out all day. The Breakaway is not meant to be a cold weather ship so i am shocked that it’s homeport is NYC and does the Northern European cruises. A huge portion of the ship is devoted to outdoor eating and activities. It would be like if you sent the Oasis to alaska. The Oasis or Oasis class ships are not designed for cold weather cruising and IMO neither is the Breakaway. I am not the only one to make this observation. Other Pax who were on the previous cruise said they spent large chunks of time in the cabin due to lack of seating in indoor venues.

 

Other than the seating problem, it’s a beautiful ship and has some great venues. Just not enough seats in lounges.

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Don’t know the NCL standard but RCI typically sails over 100% booked on TA’s. All cruises pretty much sail full over overcapacity (capacity is 2/cabin. When at 3-4 ina. Cabin can go over if wondering). The chair situation in the atrium area is on par with beach chairs. People camp them out all day. The Breakaway is not meant to be a cold weather ship so i am shocked that it’s homeport is NYC and does the Northern European cruises. A huge portion of the ship is devoted to outdoor eating and activities. It would be like if you sent the Oasis to alaska. The Oasis or Oasis class ships are not designed for cold weather cruising and IMO neither is the Breakaway. I am not the only one to make this observation. Other Pax who were on the previous cruise said they spent large chunks of time in the cabin due to lack of seating in indoor venues.

 

Other than the seating problem, it’s a beautiful ship and has some great venues. Just not enough seats in lounges.

 

Once she gets back to NYC she will be leaving for New Orleans her new home port:). yes the cruise prior to yours missed a lot of ports due to weather and I'm sure the same problem with finding indoor places to go

I'm booked on Jade TA in April, hoping it's not crazy crowded

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Also surprised. Been on a spring break cruise on Breakaway and did not feel crowded. Only time it felt crowded was when weather was bad and everyone was indoors.

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Also surprised. Been on a spring break cruise on Breakaway and did not feel crowded. Only time it felt crowded was when weather was bad and everyone was indoors.

 

Exactly, it’s 40-50 degrees outside. Everyone is inside ALL the time. We went to the hot tub yesterday and the water was only lukewarm so we froze. As it was super windy as well.

 

New Orleans is a much better homeport for this ship. It’s not made for cold weather. The water front and pool deck and all the other outdoor eateries use up lots of space and when it’s unusable, it makes it incredibly crowded inside. They changed out the tables in the atrium to make more space for more chairs to help some but it made a minimal difference and they moved progressive trivia out of the atrium to the manhattan dining room which made that significantly more enjoyable now that half the people aren’t sitting on the floor or standing.

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Sorry to hear about the cold weather and the crowds as a result.

 

We have been on several TAs; one was on the northern route - never again. If we do TA, we take the more southern route because of the much warmer weather.

 

We were on the Getaway (sister ship to Breakaway) from Copenhagen last year - we went via Azores and Bermuda, ending up in Miami - it was great - weather was kind to us, and it was a thrill to stop in Bermuda overnight as it was on our bucket list to sail into and out of Bermuda on a cruise ship. We were meant to go to St. Maarten and St. Thomas (see, we picked that TA because of the more southernly route), but thanks to Irma/Maria, these were replaced with overnight Bermuda.

 

Perhaps, if you are to book another, pick the ship that leaves from the Med, and goes via the Caribbean (i.e. St. Thomas).

 

Hope you enjoy the rest of the crossing.

 

P.S. your blog is so good and interesting to read. A tip to you … never ever drive many hours on the same day as either the cruise OR flight!! Drive the day before and stay overnight in hotel. Or fly. You were lucky that Norwegian delayed the flight.

 

We were on the 2nd leg of a B2B cruise once and I was in an elevator during the muster drill (that we did not need to attend) when a family came in with suitcases, huffing and puffing and saying thank god. I asked what happened … they had driven to port - the journey was supposed to take 4 hours, but they ran into road works on the way and then there was a parade in Miami and that added 4 hours to the drive …. I said better to drive the day before, and she said they'll fly next time.

 

I loved that you enjoyed Copenhagen! It's my fave city - my mother was Danish so I still have relatives and friends there. Surprised to read about the Steel House Hostel.

Edited by bluesea777

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On 10/7/2018 at 10:10 AM, bluesea777 said:

Sorry to hear about the cold weather and the crowds as a result.

 

We have been on several TAs; one was on the northern route - never again. If we do TA, we take the more southern route because of the much warmer weather.

 

We were on the Getaway (sister ship to Breakaway) from Copenhagen last year - we went via Azores and Bermuda, ending up in Miami - it was great - weather was kind to us, and it was a thrill to stop in Bermuda overnight as it was on our bucket list to sail into and out of Bermuda on a cruise ship. We were meant to go to St. Maarten and St. Thomas (see, we picked that TA because of the more southernly route), but thanks to Irma/Maria, these were replaced with overnight Bermuda.

 

Perhaps, if you are to book another, pick the ship that leaves from the Med, and goes via the Caribbean (i.e. St. Thomas).

 

Hope you enjoy the rest of the crossing.

 

P.S. your blog is so good and interesting to read. A tip to you … never ever drive many hours on the same day as either the cruise OR flight!! Drive the day before and stay overnight in hotel. Or fly. You were lucky that Norwegian delayed the flight.

 

We were on the 2nd leg of a B2B cruise once and I was in an elevator during the muster drill (that we did not need to attend) when a family came in with suitcases, huffing and puffing and saying thank god. I asked what happened … they had driven to port - the journey was supposed to take 4 hours, but they ran into road works on the way and then there was a parade in Miami and that added 4 hours to the drive …. I said better to drive the day before, and she said they'll fly next time.

 

I loved that you enjoyed Copenhagen! It's my fave city - my mother was Danish so I still have relatives and friends there. Surprised to read about the Steel House Hostel.

 

We had multiple back up plans if we had missed, but due to my job, I was pushing it to take off 19 days.  We had to fly out the same day we left.  But even if we had missed, Norwegian had a flight option leaving later that night, and several over the course of the next couple days.  I would never have done that if that as our only option and we were catching the boat the next AM.   If you read our other cruise blog, we stayed the night before, in a hotel to catch the boat, and pretty much always stay in port the previous night except on some rare occasions.  When we fly a low cost carrier with no real network of backup flight options, I always look at just what flights I can take to get me there in the event we miss the initial.  While not ideal to miss the initial, it's good to have a back up as we have missed a flight before.... by driving to the wrong airport!!! LOL!

This was our 3rd TA, and 2nd Northern TA.  The last one was even colder (went to Iceland and the Faroe Islands) and on a smaller ship, the Brilliance of the Seas.  That ship is designed for cold weather, and never felt crowded. The Breakaway is just poorly designed for bad weather.  We really enjoyed the Northern TA last time, and enjoyed this one.  Just wish it was on a different ship. 

Thank you for the compliments on the blog. It's been hard work, but fun. 

The Steel house Hostel was great!  Better than most hotels. We had a great time staying in it. TONS of families there.  Made it very enjoyable for us. 

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Finally back on land where internet is not ridiculously overpriced.

Here is day #5.

http://thesmallworldfamily.com/2018/10/17/northern-transatlantic-cruise-live-blog-day-5/

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How's the wifi on NCL vs RCI? I hear it's like 1990s AOL dial up. I'm on Oasis next moth and am paying $8/day for unlimited high speed wifi, From what I have read, NCL charges $30 per DAY and the service is abysmal. 

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3 minutes ago, CruisingNole said:

How's the wifi on NCL vs RCI? I hear it's like 1990s AOL dial up. I'm on Oasis next moth and am paying $8/day for unlimited high speed wifi, From what I have read, NCL charges $30 per DAY and the service is abysmal. 

 

I cannot speak for NCL as we didn’t use it once.  On RCL it varies by the ship.  All ships have voom these days but they are definitely not all equal.  When we live blogged our last cruise we gave up two days from the end as it was so slow we were wasting a good portion of our time trying to upload pics.  Most passengers complained of it being pretty slow but I never used it so I can not say from personal experience.  I have had times on RCI where it’s pretty zippy and sometimes it takes forever to load my Facebook feed. I am betting it partly depends how many people on the boat are using it.

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enjoying your review-we were on Breakawy to Baltics in july this year

we were in balcony cabin and our friends inside cabin-we are all platinum /platinum plus

our friends said it was the smallest cabin they have been in and complained of lack of storage space

our balcony cabin however ha loads of space

so this seems to be an issue for Breakawy and sister ship Getaway-other ships they have always found their insides much more spacious

 

you mentioned that you brought on 2 bottles of wine as the maximum allowed

actually you can bring on as many bottles as you like but you pay $15 corkage on each

 

for some reason the hyperlink to day 5 doesn't work-I clicked on to day 6 and was able to read day 5 from the link to previous day

 

carry on with the great review

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1 hour ago, fabnfortysomething said:

enjoying your review-we were on Breakawy to Baltics in july this year

we were in balcony cabin and our friends inside cabin-we are all platinum /platinum plus

our friends said it was the smallest cabin they have been in and complained of lack of storage space

our balcony cabin however ha loads of space

so this seems to be an issue for Breakawy and sister ship Getaway-other ships they have always found their insides much more spacious

 

you mentioned that you brought on 2 bottles of wine as the maximum allowed

actually you can bring on as many bottles as you like but you pay $15 corkage on each

 

for some reason the hyperlink to day 5 doesn't work-I clicked on to day 6 and was able to read day 5 from the link to previous day

 

carry on with the great review

 

Thanks for catching the wine thing.  I am so used to Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Disney two bottle maximum I forget that NCL is unlimited on the wine front.  They do charge the moment you get on the ship where as the corkage fee only applies to outside stateroom consumption if there is a corkage fee at all.  I edited the article to fix that.

 

I am trying to find the non working hyperlink.  Is this on the blog site.  I tried clicking on all of them and can’t seem to find the one that won’t link.

 

RCI Vision class ships have similar inside cabin sizes at right about 130 SQ FT.  I have done several 12 night cruises in these cabins without an issue.   Sometimes with a pack n play (baby crib). The space is well thought out and there are drawers and lots of nooks and crannies to store things.  The Breakaway inside cabin is just a poor design.   There is absolutely NO WHERE to put down ANYTHING.   Minimal counter space.  The bathroom was too big.  They needed to shrink the bathroom and add some shelving.  The ship is gorgeous, and we were initially highly impressed with the ship, but there are some questionable design decisions that we will touch on in our upcoming blog articles.  Mainly issues that began to surface as the cruise progressed.

Edited by rimmit

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Fantastic, can not wait to read more. Thank you for taking the time to blog this trip.

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1 hour ago, fabnfortysomething said:

the non working link to day 5 is post 32 on ths thread-all other days I can click on and get to your blog

I unfortunately can not go back and edit an old post.  Thanks for letting me know.

 

Here is the link again. For day #5.

https://thesmallworldfamily.com/2018/10/17/northern-transatlantic-cruise-live-blog-day-5/

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Very much enjoying your blog.   I have been on the Breakaway four times, and the Quantum/Anthem three times...

I pretty much agree with all of your findings, especially the difference for cold-weather cruising.   The Anthem is vastly superior, with two indoor pools compared to none, (other than the extra cost Haven or spa), as well as the fantastic indoor sportsplex.   And the Anthem holds their trivia games in the Schooner bar, rather than the crowded atrium.   

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Don't even get me started on the trivia situation.  We will be blogging about that in the upcoming days.

 

I am shocked the Breakaway was based in NYC for so long given it's design.

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Enjoying your review, thanks. Looking forward to my trip next year. Going back and forth with the thought of using Norwegian air.  (I worry about canceled flight with no back up)

 

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On ‎10‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 12:12 PM, rimmit said:

 

We will get to that. Short story is. Norwegian Zaire flight was delayed by over a day and a half and had a bunch of passengers so the ship stayed in port and waited on them.

I'm surprised the ship waited on them. (I'm glad to hear they did)

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33 minutes ago, debnjoe1438 said:

Enjoying your review, thanks. Looking forward to my trip next year. Going back and forth with the thought of using Norwegian air.  (I worry about canceled flight with no back up)

 

We were very worried about that as well.   We figured scheduling 3 nights prior to the cruise have us a big enough buffer I. Case something went wrong.

 

Here is Day #7.

https://thesmallworldfamily.com/2018/10/19/northern-transatlantic-cruise-live-blog-day-7/

 

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7 hours ago, rimmit said:

Don't even get me started on the trivia situation.  We will be blogging about that in the upcoming days.

 

I am shocked the Breakaway was based in NYC for so long given it's design.

Read your latest blog, and again, I have to agree about the horrible location for playing trivia (which I am addicted to:classic_biggrin:)...

Besides the lack of space, it is very annoying when people passing thru the venue, and aren't even playing, feel compelled to shout out answer's, spoiling the game.   I think they should move it the the Manhattan MDR, which would have plenty of space, and get better use out of that venue, as well, since it is only used for the evening dinner....

 

As for NCL's program of giving 'signature cards'....I like that practice...first of all, it encourages people to participate in all of the organised staff activities, and socialize with other's.   And even if you never 'win' an event, you still get to 'cash in' on the last full day of the cruise all of your accumulated signature's from a selection of logo merchandise, which is completely different from those sold in the shops on board...:classic_cool:

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3 minutes ago, bob brown said:

Read your latest blog, and again, I have to agree about the horrible location for playing trivia (which I am addicted to:classic_biggrin:)...

Besides the lack of space, it is very annoying when people passing thru the venue, and aren't even playing, feel compelled to shout out answer's, spoiling the game.   I think they should move it the the Manhattan MDR, which would have plenty of space, and get better use out of that venue, as well, since it is only used for the evening dinner....

 

As for NCL's program of giving 'signature cards'....I like that practice...first of all, it encourages people to participate in all of the organised staff activities, and socialize with other's.   And even if you never 'win' an event, you still get to 'cash in' on the last full day of the cruise all of your accumulated signature's from a selection of logo merchandise, which is completely different from those sold in the shops on board...:classic_cool:

I am addicted to trivia as well... stay tuned for how the trivia turns out on this cruise.

 

There are pluses and minuses to the signature cards.  You do get better prizes.  I found that people are much less likely to team up on NCL than RCI, at least from our one cruise on NCL.  On RCI, I always find a team every game.  Even in the later games where we stalked down a seat, the people we would sit next to would not want to team up, and just wanted to play by themselves.  This happened on MULTIPLE occasions and was not a one off event.  We only teamed up with someone twice not including progressive.  I felt that this may have been due to the signature cards.  People know they will win something just by participating.  The stakes are higher on RCI as it's all or none for that elusive key chain, highlighter or pen.  You either win it or you don't, and you get much better odds by joining a team.  Just an observation. 

 

The seating situation was not conducive to teams either, but again, even when we were sitting in a block of 4, the other two people more often than not just wanted to play by themselves, which is really rare on RCI.  Again, this was just an N of 1 for Norwegian, but I found it so odd that no one every wanted to be a part of a team.  We have been on other TA's and repositioning's, some with a more diverse and international crowd, so I do not believe it to be the demographic. 

 

How is the team participation on your other Breakaway sailings?  Seems as though from your experience it seems to be a more social crowd so maybe this was an anomaly.

 

One of my favorite things of cruising is trivia, both for the competition aspect and the social aspect.  Me and my wife love meeting new people and this is one of the funnest ways to do it.  I did not get that same level of socialization from the NCL trivia games, and we were on the ship for 9 sea days and 14 total.

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Well, you do have a point there..but in full disclosure, I often sail on cruises with friends I have made on other cruises, and we always team up together.   That said, I have never had a problem finding people to team up with, on any of my cruises...whether I knew people previously, or not....

 

I participate in almost all of the activities, and often end up giving away some of my cards to other's needing them to obtain some higher value prize. such as a t-shirt, or glass logo mug, etc...since I have all of that stuff, already...:classic_smile:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, bob brown said:

Well, you do have a point there..but in full disclosure, I often sail on cruises with friends I have made on other cruises, and we always team up together.   That said, I have never had a problem finding people to team up with, on any of my cruises...whether I knew people previously, or not....

 

I participate in almost all of the activities, and often end up giving away some of my cards to other's needing them to obtain some higher value prize. such as a t-shirt, or glass logo mug, etc...since I have all of that stuff, already...:classic_smile:

 

I have never had a problem teaming up with anyone.  People are always happy to have more people, the more the merrier.  We were standing or sitting on the floor a lot, and in those situations, I understand that teaming up is difficult.  But when we sat in a pod of 4, the other two wouldn't want to.  Or if I was standing next to someone playing, I'd ask if they wanted to play as well, and get shot down.  It was strange.    In progressive we had no issues teaming up, but aside from that it was difficult.  I think the seating situation made for a tough time. 

 

They did attempt to improve things as the trip goes on, which we will get to in the upcoming blogs.  

 

Maybe we can team up sometime!   

Edited by rimmit

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