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rimmit

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

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Very much enjoying your blog!  The commentary is well written and the photos are terrific.  I'm on the Breakaway Dec 6 out of NOLA, my third NCL cruise and first on the Breakaway.  All the info you can provide about the ship will be very helpful.

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1 hour ago, njkate said:

Still enjoying and I have to agree on Stonehenge, I found it underwhelming.

It’s hard to ruin something like Stonehenge,  but they managed to do it.  It was so easy before.  You didn’t even have to pay to see it if you didn’t want to.  Now the whole shuttle thing is a really pain if you have a stroller, wheelchair, etc.  standing in line takes as long as the entire experience took before.   I totally understand they wanted to make it nicer and add some “mystique” by not just seeing it from the parking lot.  I can only imagine ever since they changed the whole experience that many bus tours timings had to change completely to take into account the shuttling back and forth.  Why add shuttles when you don’t have too???   It’s just one more thing to maintain and detracts from the convenience of the whole experience.  No one likes standing in line and adding the shuttles added a bottleneck to an attraction that didn’t need one.

Edited by rimmit

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Wow, I'm almost afraid to take my trans atlantic in April. It can still be chilly and the lack of seating would make me nuts.

I was on Breakaway in August for the Baltics and on chilly nights it could get packed indoors.

My TA is on the Jade a smaller ship so I'm hoping 🙂

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2 hours ago, njkate said:

Wow, I'm almost afraid to take my trans atlantic in April. It can still be chilly and the lack of seating would make me nuts.

I was on Breakaway in August for the Baltics and on chilly nights it could get packed indoors.

My TA is on the Jade a smaller ship so I'm hoping 🙂

I think a smaller NCL ship would be fine.  Don’t know the jade ship plans but the main issue with the Breakaway is that there are ZERO large lounges.  As such there no place to ever hold events that any number of people would want to do other than the atrium.  The atrium is too small and too many people just sit there whether they cared about the activity or not further aggravating the seating situation.

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4 hours ago, njkate said:

Wow, I'm almost afraid to take my trans atlantic in April. It can still be chilly and the lack of seating would make me nuts.

I was on Breakaway in August for the Baltics and on chilly nights it could get packed indoors.

My TA is on the Jade a smaller ship so I'm hoping 🙂

 Deck 13 forward is the Spinnaker lounge - my fav spot on the Jewel class ships. lots of comfy couches around the stage & others facing out looking at the ocean. I've only experienced crowding during bingo

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Love your blog!  Just enough detail and the pictures are beautiful.

What a great way to have memories of these trips for your kids... they will love it later in life!  

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Over the 14-day Breakaway transatlantic cruise, I had nearly all my drink orders taken and drinks delivered to me while in a comfortable armchair.  After a few days, the bar wait staffs in the Atrium, Maltings and Shakers knew me by name and what drink I was likely to order.  After 20 minutes or so, they would ask if I wanted a refill or more mixed nuts.  I never had a problem finding an armchair, although this is certainly easier for a solo than a family.  Over the two weeks, I read two books (carry my Kindle everywhere) and conversed with perhaps 50-60 fellow passengers while seated in bars.

 

I also took a bridge lesson and played in the organized bridge game each sea day, and watched NFL games with fellow fans in the various ship venues in which they were shown.  Met a lot of nice people in both activities.  

 

Not a big trivia or bingo fan, I sat in the Atrium for Pictionary and won 7 signatures.  I enjoyed the singers who rotated through the Atrium and the bars.  Finding seats in the Atrium (and a drink) for musical performances was generally not an issue.  

 

In London, I shopped Camden Passage (an antiques area) on my own.  In Ireland, I took the ship's distillery tour.  In Ponta Delgada, I had an excellent seafood lunch at an outdoor cafe, bought, wrote and mailed some postcards, then toured the Jewish Museum.  

 

Ship's food, while rarely great, varied from acceptable to pretty darn good.  I particularly enjoyed the filet in Cagney's, Moderno's salad bar (but not the meats), carved Peking duck in the Garden Cafe's asian buffet, piles of cold shrimp and shucked mussels waiting for cocktail sauce in the Garden Cafe's seafood buffet, and carved whole roasted hog (snout to tail) in a Garden Cafe luncheon buffet (one day).  Maybe it's just me, but I also liked the alternating open-faced tuna salad and chicken salad sandwiches on hearty bread in Manhattan, the MDR open for lunch.  I ask for them with coleslaw on the side, rather than chips.  

 

Positive:  My cabin steward was irresistibly cheerful.  Negative:  Only one laundry bag special on this two-week trip (on future cruises, I will receive the Platinum free bag).  

 

I am 70, in my estimation near the median age of passengers.  This was my second solo NCL westbound transatlantic (first was on the Epic from Barcelona to Orlando).  I recommend them to anyone seeking two weeks of (mostly) relaxation and enjoyment.  Perhaps we will meet on one.  

Edited by FLAHAM
Add coleslaw comment.

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31 minutes ago, FLAHAM said:

Over the 14-day Breakaway transatlantic cruise, I had nearly all my drink orders taken and drinks delivered to me while in a comfortable armchair.  After a few days, the bar wait staffs in the Atrium, Maltings and Shakers knew me by name and what drink I was likely to order.  After 20 minutes or so, they would ask if I wanted a refill or more mixed nuts.  I never had a problem finding an armchair, although this is certainly easier for a solo than a family.  Over the two weeks, I read two books (carry my Kindle everywhere) and conversed with perhaps 50-60 fellow passengers while seated in bars.

 

I also took a bridge lesson and played in the organized bridge game each sea day, and watched NFL games with fellow fans in the various ship venues in which they were shown.  Met a lot of people in both activities.  

 

Not a big trivia or bingo fan, I sat in the Atrium for Pictionary and won 7 signatures.  I enjoyed the singers who rotated through the Atrium and the bars.  Finding seats in the Atrium (and a drink) for musical performances was generally not an issue.  

 

In London, I shopped Camden Passage (an antiques area) on my own.  In Ireland, I took the ship's distillery tour.  In Ponta Delgada, I had an excellent seafood lunch at an outdoor cafe, bought, wrote and mailed some postcards, then toured the Jewish Museum.  

 

Ship's food, while rarely great, varied from acceptable to pretty darn good.  I particularly enjoyed the filet in Cagney's, Moderno's salad bar (but not the meats), carved Peking duck in the Garden Cafe's asian buffet, piles of cold shrimp and shucked mussels waiting for cocktail sauce in the Garden Cafe's seafood buffet, and carved whole roasted hog (snout to tail) in a Garden Cafe luncheon buffet (one day).  Maybe it's just me, but I also liked the alternating open-faced tuna salad and chicken salad sandwiches on hearty bread in Manhattan, the MDR open for lunch.  I ask for them with coleslaw on the side, rather than chips.  

 

I am 70, in my estimation near the median age of passengers.  This was my second solo NCL westbound transatlantic (first was on the Epic from Barcelona to Orlando).  I recommend them to anyone seeking two weeks of (mostly) relaxation and enjoyment.  Perhaps we will meet on one.  

 

Finding a seat at a bar was never an issue.  That’s all this ship had was bars.  The waiter at Mixx knew our names and drinks after Day One. However, I was unfortunately never asked if I wanted a drink in any venue and the same went for many as well.  I never saw one cocktail waitress in 14 days in the Atrium.  Only the wait staff at the bar, and we attempted at least two atrium activities a day.  Especially in the MDR where most were self serving there drinks from Mixx where we always sat and had a drink.  The lounge seating was very difficult for two or more as you suggested.  My wife and I are very tiny and thankfully on the rare occasion I found an atrium seat during an event we would share our seat.  I am glad as a solo passenger you were able to find seating.  I cannot speak for the atrium singers,  but I can definitely speak for Syd Norman’s and the main theater where seating was nearly impossible.  Headliners was never an issue for the dueling pianos.

 

I enjoyed my time on the Breakaway,  however,  it is the first cruise where I ever experienced such continued frustration over something as simple as seating.  

 

This was our third TA, and we have done them on ships both bigger and smaller than the Breakaway, and never experienced seating issues despite inclement weather.  We love TAs but this one felt off at times.

Edited by rimmit

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Never sat at a bar.  Always sat in the armchairs around bars that were served by bar waitstaff.

Edited by FLAHAM

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5 minutes ago, FLAHAM said:

Never sat at a bar.  Always sat in the armchairs around bars that were served by bar waitstaff.

 

Admittedly we never had a drink at malting, so i cannot speak to that situation.  What other bars had waitstaff?  We never saw waitstaff, Atrium and Mixx which were the main areas we stuck too.  There were two in Syd Norman’s and 1-2 in headliners.  My wife said she was approached for a drink in the Breakaway theater once, but I never actually saw one in all the shows we saw there.  Never was approached in Spiegel Tent, Garden Cafe, or Moderno.  The deck was closed 90 percent of the trip so cannot speak to service by the pool.  There are like 20+ bars on the ship and we did not go to all of them, but the ones we frequented were definitely lacking in servers.  The bartenders were excellent though, and we enjoyed Raymond in Mixx thoroughly.

 

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Been on Breakway 3 times.  Waitstaff is always present for Syd's (when it was Fat Cats) and Headliners.  Only during busy times at Shakers, Atrium and Maltings.  Never at Mixx. Rarely at O'Sheehan's.  Mid day around pool and Spice H2O.  Always during big shows in the theater, but only 2 people, so I usually get a drink at the theater bar myself.  Server handles drinks in restaurants.  I think I saw a server only once in the Buffet area.

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1 hour ago, PelicanBill said:

Been on Breakway 3 times.  Waitstaff is always present for Syd's (when it was Fat Cats) and Headliners.  Only during busy times at Shakers, Atrium and Maltings.  Never at Mixx. Rarely at O'Sheehan's.  Mid day around pool and Spice H2O.  Always during big shows in the theater, but only 2 people, so I usually get a drink at the theater bar myself.  Server handles drinks in restaurants.  I think I saw a server only once in the Buffet area.

That seems to be about my observation as well, except for the buffet area.  I don't think I ever saw one in the buffet, and since your waiter is nonexistent in the MDR, it was impossible to get a drink there without leaving to go to a bar.  It's amazing how ever since the Beverage Packages came about, the wait staff has just disappeared across most cruise lines.  It makes sense.  Why have waitresses floating around giving out free (paid for, but at this point, the more they serve, the more they lose) drinks?  I suspect in the near future there will be zero cocktail waitresses, and all drinks will need to be retrieved by yourself to further reduce the number of drinks they serve. 

The bartenders are great as always though and always one my favorite parts of any cruise now that the waiter has taken a smaller and smaller roll in the cruise experience compared to the "olden" days. 

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23 hours ago, PelicanBill said:

Been on Breakway 3 times.  Waitstaff is always present for Syd's (when it was Fat Cats) and Headliners.  Only during busy times at Shakers, Atrium and Maltings.  Never at Mixx. Rarely at O'Sheehan's.  Mid day around pool and Spice H2O.  Always during big shows in the theater, but only 2 people, so I usually get a drink at the theater bar myself.  Server handles drinks in restaurants.  I think I saw a server only once in the Buffet area.

Maybe it was because we always sat on the port side of the Center section of the theatre across the aisle from the suites folks but never had an issue getting a drink. Always three or four servers. 

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Thanks for your blog, I’m enjoying seeing how your Breakaway TA experience compared to our Baltic one. I hate you weren’t able to be “live” as when I read of your issues in the Garden Cafe I thought, hopefully they will discover Moderno for breakfast.  It was a life saver for us!

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16 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

Maybe it was because we always sat on the port side of the Center section of the theatre across the aisle from the suites folks but never had an issue getting a drink. Always three or four servers. 

 

That makes sense.  We were starboard as the haven ate up a lot of space on the port side, with 2 kids it was hard to find seating for all four on the port side.  Given the bar was on that side, it definitely makes sense you had easy access to drinks, versus the port side where it is a much farther walk for the servers.

 

13 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

Thanks for your blog, I’m enjoying seeing how your Breakaway TA experience compared to our Baltic one. I hate you weren’t able to be “live” as when I read of your issues in the Garden Cafe I thought, hopefully they will discover Moderno for breakfast.  It was a life saver for us!

 

Thank God we discovered Moderno.  It was a life saver!!!  Just navigating the Garden Cafe was a nightmare with two small kids.  It was just exhausting stalking a table.  The main buffets can always have table problems, but I've never experienced it on this level.    

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Ramon,

Great Blog! Are you a Domer ? I graduated in 1969. 50th anniversary is coming up.

Jay

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6 minutes ago, Trobrah said:

Ramon,

Great Blog! Are you a Domer ? I graduated in 1969. 50th anniversary is coming up.

Jay

Sure am!  Class of ‘03.  Heck of a season this year.  We normally go to one game a year but with all our traveling this year it won’t work out.  We were supposed to go to Michigan but decided to do the Adventure of the Seas to Canada/New england instead because we got a great deal on the cruise.  Super hopeful they make the playoff, but if they draw ‘Bama it’s over.  I went to the NC game in ‘12.  Most expensive 2 minutes of my life....   I still have nightmares of that game.

 

Go Irish!!

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Ramon,

I had tickets to Michigan as well. DW had unexpected surgery so I sent my tickets to a former classmate who lives in South Bend.  My wife went to Purdue so she was very excited last week! 

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3 minutes ago, Trobrah said:

Ramon,

I had tickets to Michigan as well. DW had unexpected surgery so I sent my tickets to a former classmate who lives in South Bend.  My wife went to Purdue so she was very excited last week! 

Sorry to hear about your wife.  

 

Purdue did awesome last week!  The highlight of the season as far as I'm concerned.

 

Day #12

https://thesmallworldfamily.com/2018/10/24/northern-transatlantic-cruise-live-blog-day-12/

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