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Duffield

Breakaway Feb 1-8 Solo cruise

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I flew in the day of the cruise. Arrived around 9am and took Uber to Port Canaveral. Fare was $71.03 including a $9.26 tip. Arrived in cloudy, rain threatened Port Canaveral around 10.30, dropped my bag curbside with a very nice staff member and walked up to the check in counter which was not busy, checked in, had my photo taken, received a Group 1 boarding group card, and was seated by another very nice staff person in a disabled passenger waiting area. I have severe hearing and some mobility issues, not wheelchair dependant. The pre-cruise registration process significantly reduced the verbal interaction with staff at the registration desk. which usually presents a hearing problem for me, complicated by traveling alone. Checkin was effortless. 

 

After a little while a group of Haven passengers were boarded and my small group of disabled/wheelchair passengers followed. I gave the Group 1 card away. 

On ship, I went up to Deck 15, the pool deck where I found it had started to rain. A brief walk around the deck where I found the Mandara Spa forward, and then aft through the enormous Garden Cafe and then down to Deck 7 to Starbucks. From there, coffee in hand I wandered around the Deck 6, 7 and 8 area. The ship is HUGE. The promenade around Deck 8 is wonderful and I spent a lot of time there. I visited the Casino early in the morning after getting a takeaway coffee at O'Sheenans, and ended the week with a net gain of $13.25.  

 

The rooms seem to be ready not long after I had lunch in the Garden Cafe. I was in a solo cabin on deck 10 forward midship. The room was exactly like the solo cabins I had stayed in on the Bliss and Epic. Small but perfectly adequate for me, and very convenient to the forward elevators.  I liked the solo passenger lounge near my cabin on Deck 10. The free automatic coffee machine in the solo passenger lounge kept my expresso addition more than satisfied for the week. A cocktail party with bartender was held everyday in the Solo Lounge, and hosted by Patrick from the Cruise Director's office. He arranged a group dinner for the solo passengers every day. The Solo group was large and lively, and a mix of seasoned cruisers and newbies. 

 

Sunday dawned partly cloudy. The ship went all out for Superbowl which I went out of my way to avoid. I attended the 730 show of Burn the Floor. I liked the show. The dancing was terrific and the whole production was well done. I went back later in the week and saw it again. Hard for me not to be amazed by the skill and athletic ability of the dancers. And beautiful. 

 

I bought a pass at the Spa for the week. Everly day I walked by and ignored the very nicely equipped fitness area,  and soaked and lounged in the spa area that overlooks the bow of the ship and is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows. Spectacular! I loved the rain showers with unlimited hot water. The steam room was perfect. There were also a sauna and a salt room. The hot tub was nice and bubbly. The pool was heated and had a variety of water jets. Can't say enough about how much I enjoyed this part of the cruise.

 

The wind blew us right by Great Stirrip Cay so we had another sea day. Arrived in Jamaica with rain threatening. I scheduled an excursion and stepped off the ship into a downpour of rain. Luckily I had packed by raincoat with hood so I was good for the walk across the gangway and the brief walk to a tent where we huddled to keep out of the rain. Our group was called immediately and by the time we worked our way out of the tent the rain had stopped.  Off the 7 of us went to the Brimmer Hall plantation tour which was fascinating. Perhaps not everyone's cup of tea...7 passengers on the tour after all, but I wanted to see the sights on the drive to the plantation and see what was once the site of industrial level slavery. The land echos with it. 

 

I stayed on the ship at Grand Cayman. It was partly cloudy and didn't seem like the best beach day for me.  Some passengers mentioned the long wait time to get a tender back to the ship. I lounged around the ship and spa, read a great deal of Me by Elton John and had an enjoyable day. Explored more of the ship, including decks 16 and 17. Got a peek into the Vibe beach club and it looked pretty nice with upgraded lounges chairs and sun umbrellas.  The Vibe bar also served the forward part of Deck 16 that had lot of space for sunbathing. Plenty of sunbathing space on this ship. There was also a sun bathing deck on Deck 17.  Great views everywhere. The Spice H2O adults only area is on Deck 16 aft above the cafe. Large smoking area there and bar and sun bathing area with poolish thing. Very nice area to hang out. 

 

The show Six was a surprise even with all the pre-show promotion on board. It was edgy, loud and in your face for the entire 75 minutes of the show. There were six equal stars in this show and they sure let you know it. The backing band was all female and made a hell of a lot of noise anchored by a terrific drummer with a rock star size kit. Great show. Complements to NCL for doing something like this.

 

On Thursday in Cozemel,  we had the sunshine and blue skies everyone was looking for. I got off the ship intending to taking a walking tour of street murals in San Miguel. The sunshine, heat and humidity were amazing. There was a carnival of sorts near the city hall that was all set up but closed. Interesting items must be cooked there from the look of the gear. I walked about for a while intending to end at the museum for lunch. I didn't make it to the museum but enjoyed the murals I saw, and the city around the pier. I found out there is what looks like a very nice public garden at the state park a short cab ride from town. Something to keep in mind for a future visit.

 

On Friday morning we had an amazing thunderstorm with gale force winds and rain. Outdoor areas of Decks 16 and 17 were closed temporarily. The day remained cold and rainy. The ship seemed to me to be as steady as a rock all week and we did have weather of sorts with wind everyday. I could feel the motion occasionally but never enough to make me unsteady. However, I always have to pay attention walking about due to general unsteadiness. 

 

Disembarkation on Saturday should have been easy, but was complicated by what appeared to be crowd control measures on the ship. The stairways were closed so everyone had to use the elevators. You can image how well that went over. Once I got on a down elevator to Deck 7, we were walked the length of the ship to the main dining room where Customs had set up a facial recognition capture processing point. Unfortunately the image capture devices were not working so we were motioned through quickly after a cursory look at our passports. After that we were walked off the ship and out the door where buses were waiting for the airport. The airport run on the bus was quick and the bus had wifi. I certainly could have booked an earlier flight since everything from docking to weather to customs went quickly.

 

The Breakaway is an amazing ship that appeared to be very well maintained. Every where on ship was sparkling clean. Public restrooms were constantly being cleaned. The Garden

Cafe was spotless. Subtle but visible efforts were being taken at infection control. Red bleach buckets were visibly in use everywhere. The staff of the ship did an excellent job. All of my interactions with staff were pleasant.

 

I ate meals in the Garden Cafe and some breakfasts in the Moderno restaurant on Deck 8. I liked the food on board, enjoyed the enormous variety of foods served and the themed night dinners. I could eat the sliced french bread every day for the rest of my life. Excellent. I drank the water from the dispenser along with apple juice in the morning and lemonade (my beverage if choice) for the rest of the day.  Stayed away from deserts although they looked tempting. I have previously mentioned the expresso machine in the solo passenger lounge which I am almost ashamed to admit how much I used. I avoided group dinners in the dining room since conversation is impossible for me. The Manhattan dining room had a floor show of dancers that I peeked in on. No alcohol consumed but I vape in the conveniently located smoking areas. 

 

I paid under 2k for this cruise that included all regular added charges including basic trip protection. I did prepay tips and left cash for the cabin attendent who did a terrific job. I booked on the phone with NCL and chose the deck and cabin I wanted. I used two cruise next certificates. I am very satisfied with what I received for what I paid. In addition to the Spa package, I purchased 250 minutes of internet time that I used to call home.  I deliberately spent almost no time on the internet and had minutes remaining. 

 

On the disability issue, NCL did provide a hearing signal adaptor for the phone, but no one calls me except the cruise next people, but useful to have. I can not understand any of the announcements over public address system unless i was near a speaker. I know from previous solo cruising experience, if something important happens, I will know about it regardless of my hearing problems. Information was also provided in detail. about the physical requirements of leaving the ship and tendering at ports of call. Plenty of crew assistance was available on and off ship, but tendering is certainly something to think about. I found NCL to be really good at disability related issues. Pre-cruise, I registered my accommodation requirements and received detailed information about what support was available from NCL. There were a number of other disabled passengers onboard, and all seemed to be getting about ok. Corridors and walkways were wide and accommodated the crowd well. 

 

This cruise was all about relaxing and having a refreshing break from partner, dog, cats, house and everyday responsibilities.  Can't say it could have been any better. Maybe the weather.

 

 

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Going on the Breakaway in a few months and so happy to hear how much you enjoyed the ship. We booked this one based on how much we loved the Escape so sounds like it was a good decision.

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It's always a pleasure to read such a positive review, as I have enjoyed all of my NCL cruises, whether in the Haven or a Studio.  Minor points of difference--the lemonade in the Garden Cafe is horrendous!  Yuck!  Phooey!  Also, I enjoy breakfast in the MDRs because I like the sliced lox on a toasted bagel.  I sometimes also eat lunch in the MDRs because I like the open-faced tuna salad (alternates with chicken salad) sandwich on hearty bread.  With popcorn shrimp, coleslaw (substituted for fries) and fresh fruit it makes a tasty lunch.  I also enjoy occasional alcoholic drinks and specialty restaurant dinner dining.  Thanks for your review. 

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I was on that cruise as well, we probably passed by each other in the Spa!

 

My wife and I were participants in the "Perfect Couple" show in the atrium on the last night.

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14 hours ago, willsears94 said:

@RedwingHockeyFan @Duffield Any suggestions for disembarkation? I have a 1:45p flight and pre-arranged transportation. Should I walk-off or were there no issues with pulling a tag?

 

We walked off around 8:30, got to the airport in plenty of time.  Our flight was at 2:15.

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