This is post #2 of the three part Mother-Daughter vacation series. Let me give a little background to stress the importance of this NCL Breakaway Cruise.
My Mom missed a family cruise a few years ago when she had major back surgery. She and my Dad rescheduled for a Christmas (her birthday) cruise the following year. She missed that boat when she forgot her passport. If those weren’t reasons enough, the need to update this 1992 bedazzled photo from a Bahamian cruise would decide our fate.
So, here we are. Passports secured in safe locations with constant reminders. Everything planed out to a T to make sure this trip went off without a hitch!
The NCL Breakaway has a capacity of 4,000 passengers and 1,600 crew. Our itinerary included 3 days to cruise to the tip of the Bermuda Triangle, 3 days docked at the Royal Naval Dockyard, and a day and a half to sail back to New York.
We shared an inside cabin, and we both agreed that next time Mom would do better with a balcony because she retreated to the room to break from the sun. Despite the Breakaway being the largest of the NCL fleet, it does not offer a lot of lounge areas. In fact, the layout is poorly designed and this was a disappointment echoed by many people.
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I explored every nook and cranny of this ship so I would not miss anything.
Here is the breakdown:
Deck 4: Tender Lobby, Gangway. It was an easy process to come and go while in port. The area was open 24/7. I liked how they had wash clothes, sanitizers, and cold drinks to welcome passengers aboard. It helps to keep the germs down and refreshes you after a long day.
Deck 5: This is the medical area and all inside cabins. The hallways are much wider than decks 9-14 stateroom hallways. Unfortunately, we had to make a trip to medical. My Mom had the worse sunburn I have ever seen on a person’s lip.
Deck 6: This is the Atrium level which extends to deck 7. Guest services, the Park West Art Gallery, internet café, library, Taste and Savor restaurants, and comedy club are all on this level. There are no staterooms.
Deck 7: The Manhattan dining room, O’Sheehans, bowling, casino and theatre are what you will find. Outside, is a shuffleboard area. You can only walk the length of the ship on this level.
Deck 8: This is the level for all the specialty restaurants. There is a Jazz & Blues club, photo shop, trade winds duty free, Svedka Ice Bar and gift shop. The outside area is the lowest deck where you can walk the entire perimeter of the ship. There is a jumbo chess game and a few lounge chairs for relaxing if you can find one unoccupied. I wish they had some seats at the aft.
Decks 9-14: These are all staterooms with the exception of deck 12 which has a Splash Academy kids club.
Deck 15: You will find the adult only pool, towel exchange, Mandara Spa & Thermal Suite, Garden Café Buffet, Marketplace (small sample of items from the gift shop on the pool deck), 4 hot tubs, kids aqua park and the Haven which extends to decks 16 & 17.
I took a break from exercising all week.
Deck 16: The Uptown Grill, Spice H20 (18+ area from 6am-5pm), 3 hot tubs, splash bar, Entourage teen club, arcade, jogging track, rock climbing wall, and 4 water slides draw the crowds.
Deck 17: Minature golf, Vibe Beach Club, Round daybeds at the front of the ship just opposite of the Haven sundeck.
Deck 18: Sundeck, basketball court and ropes course.
Food: I read reviews about the food being poor quality, and I thought the reviewers were being extra picky. Slot marsepeinstein aflevering 7. Sadly, they were correct. The Golden Corral would put the Breakaway’s Garden Buffet to shame.
The items were never steaming hot. By the time you made your plate and sat down, the food was room temperature at best. Taste and Savor have the exact same menus. The service in Manhattan was slow. The desserts were down right terrible! Your best bet is an ice cream cone (from the machine, not the watery hand dipped) or the pound cakes. The pot pie from O’Sheehan’s was my best meal because it was served hot.
Service: We did not meet our stateroom attendant until Wednesday. So unacceptable, or is this Norwegian’s concept of freestyle cruising? I did not like the lack of formality. There was nothing on the Breakaway to make me feel like I had the luxury of being a cruiser.
Atmosphere: The entertainment was awful. Rock of Ages was a waste of time. Burn the Floor put me to sleep. The ship’s lounge singers were horrible.
The majority of passengers were from NY and NJ. They were some of the most filthy mouthed people with unruly children I have ever seen. They allowed their children in the adult shows, kids in the casino, and they lacked table manners.
The Haven: On the other side of Vibe is the Haven. I gained access by meeting someone who gave me a tour. They have 24 hour butlers and it was very fancy compared to the regular areas of the ship.
I was up at 6 a.m. to reserve a lounge chair. I ran into this guy who sectioned off a corner. We talked for a while and he told me his son was proposing to his girlfriend. This was the nicest family I met. Congratulations to the newly engaged couple!
Mandara Spa Thermal Suite: We bought a day pass for $49. It was perfect after a 7 hour excursion. The day pass was definitely worth it with therapeutic pool, hot tub, salt bath, 2 saunas, rain shower heads, and the steam room with 100% humidity. They had lounges that were tiled and heated along with tea and orange infused water.
All in all, the NCL Breakaway will get you to your destination. You may get an animal towel on your bed, but dont expect anything more unless you want to be nickle and dimed for food and service upgrades.
Most important, I finally got my cruise with my Mom and the updated photo:
Day 3 aboard Norwegian Breakaway.
I woke up with a real regret of going to bed so early and not waking around a little. Mom kept telling me how much fun everyone was having and other cool stuff. In any case nothing I could do now, but try not to drink so much earlier so I would not be so tired by the time the night came.
That day was the time change, and that meant that in our time they would start the aerobic one hour earlier. Since we had slept with the balcony door open we were woken up by the music at Spice fitness classes. They do not play it too loud, but it was enough to wake my up. If I recall correctly mom stayed in bed a little more.
I also used that time to check my email and update CC in the latest happenings aboard the Norwegian Breakaway.
This is also a good time to talk about our Stewart, her name was Juana. I forget where she was from, but given that she talked in spanish my mom, and her could talk very easy. You all heard me rave about Gilbert on the Allure, but I have to give it to Juana, she is now the best attendant we have ever had. She went above and beyond to make our voyage a very enjoyable one. Even when we had bad days with customer service, she somehow managed to make it all better. I think service wise, Juana helped us see that NCL could offer a good service if you land with the correct person.
So yeah, thumbs up Juana! NCL are you keeping track of this? She was absolutely AMAZING! Thank you Juana! If anything she should be giving seminars on how to treat cruisers!
We also noticed that the weather had gotten much better, and we were excited about this.
Ncl Breakaway Casino Reviews
X Summit in the distance. I don’t think I have mentioned this, but we traveled together the entire journey.
Since we had yet to try the uptown grill we decided to go there for breakfast, I had heard from Slice that the Buffet was an absolute madhouse at prime times and that uptown was much better. I will get into why the buffet gets so chaotic later on when I actually go to the buffet.
When we got to the Uptown we saw Island2Island and they invited us to go eat with them. I thought my food was great, but everyone else did not like theirs. The main complain was that the food was not warm.
We had a good time catching up with them, they told us that they won the dancing contest the night before in H2O. They also told me that a few CC members were getting together to play bowling later on, I decided to join them.
After breakfast mom and I decided to go and walk a little before bowling started.
Norwegian Breakaway teppanyaki
They were playing Wii in the atrium.
We also did a quick stop by the Spiegel Tent. We never went to see their shows, but everyone I talked to said that it was really good. Even from people who said that they have seen it all, and they still found something new to enjoy. Personally I don’t do shows, so having to pay for a show was not going to happen. But overall this show comes highly recommended.
They also hold the love and marriage show there. If you want a good seat for the love and marriage show, get there early to get a good seat. If you get there late, you wont be even able to go inside the venue. It gets really packed.
By the way from what I heard the old seating setup is gone, now it is first come first serve. And I believe the cost is $39 for all.
As you excite the tent there is a small hallway with the meeting rooms, the library and a card room. I took a few pictures there. Overall a nice and quiet area in the Norwegian Breakaway.
We then headed outside to the promenade deck.
Ncl Breakaway Casino Review
That picture is of the oceanfront.
We waited around Oshehaan’s for the boiling to start, at some point lost my mom. I think she went to gamble .
Then soon enough everyone had showed up, we had a total of 10 people, split into two groups. Each game per person costs $5. I absolutely love that you can wear your own shoes here, I think that is one of the biggest selling points for me. We had a good time, I was third to last, I guess I am not as good as a bowler as I remember . I believe islad2island won, but I can’t remember.
After that I went looking for mom and found her in the casino donating money for the Norwegian Breakaway Plus fund.
Mom and I decided to try the noodle bar for lunch. This place is HORRIBLY located next to the casino. That said, the food there is very good and the service is great as well.
Mom ordered the mixed fried rice, very good. And I had the seafood noodle soup, yummy