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My Vacation Lady was lucky enough to be invited on a 2 day pre-inaugural sailing of the brand new Norwegian Breakaway which starts sailing from New York City on May 12.  Two days is certainly not enough time to explore and take advantage of all of the amenities this ship has to offer.

artwork 2Let me start off saying that I was IMPRESSED.  We’ve seen the artwork on the hull of the ship, designed by Peter Max, and judging by the colors and design of the exterior, we were going to be WOW’d by the interior.  We were.

Our cabin was a deluxe family ocean view cabin on deck 5 and when we walked in, we were amazed at the size of the cabin and the storage space– 2 closets.  When we walked into the bathroom, we were even more surprised— a huge bathroom (by cruise standards and by larger than those in many apartments and houses we’ve seen) with a bathtub and double sink.  To start off seeing that, we knew this ship was going to be a winner with families.  Our cabin was able to accommodate 5 guests– not sure that I would want to but it was very adequate for a family of 4.  Ranging from interior cabins for 1 – 4, ocean view cabins, balconies, mini suites and suites, there are a lot of types of accommodations to choose from.

But let’s talk about some of the amenities, activities, food and entertainment.  Basically, if you can’t have fun on the Norwegian Breakaway, you won’t have fun anywhere.  Just to name a few activities:

  • rope course2A rock climbing wall
  • A mini bowling alley
  • A rope course
  • waterslide2Water slides- multiple water slides including the Whip.  Let me try to explain the Whip— it’s basically a free fall water slide– 6 seconds of sheer terror (not that I tried it- but judging by the screams coming from the ride, I’m going to assume this is not for the faint of heart.   When we ventured to the top of the water slide platform a woman was going for a 2nd time- so this must be fun.
  • Zip Line Course
  • aqua park 2Mini Golf
  • Sports Deck
  • Fitness Center
  • Pools
  • Kids Aqua Park
  • Kids Splash Academy and Teen’s Entourage.

For some pampering services, the Breakaway offers a full service spa with tons of spa treatments available.  It also offers a Spa Thermal Suite including a thalasso therapy pool and a salt room.  Fitness classes are offered, including some offered by the Rockettes.

For adult only space, Spice H2O is an adult only enclave at the back of the ship with hot tubs and a chic beach club feel but with a Sabrett’s hot dog stand.  At night, Spice H2O changes to a party lounge.

Food is a big part of every cruise and the Norwegian Breakaway will satisfy every palate.  The brochure says that there are 28 dining options and while we would have loved to try all of them, we only got to sample a few.  There are 3 dining rooms, which are complimentary– the Manhattan Room, where there is evening music so you can dine and dance, Savor and Taste.  The menu offers chef’s specials every night and then their always available options.  O’Sheehan’s Bar and Grill is the 24 hour pub serving burgers, fish and chips and more.  The Garden Cafe is the HUGE buffet that went around so far that we didn’t even realize what else was offered.  There are some grills around the pool area and the Sabrett’s hot dog stand.

atrium cafeIf you want to sample some different types of cuisine, you can try Italian, Brazilian (we did and we rolled out of the restaurant), Sushi, French, Japanese, a steakhouse, an Asian Noodle Bar, the Raw Bar and Seafood.  Carlos Bakery (the Cake Boss) has a shop on the ship and you can always try some Gelato as well.  These dining options come with a fee so check in advance and reservations are required.  Some of the restaurants open to the Waterfront for outdoor dining.

If you get thirsty, let’s not forget the 22 bars that you can sample including the Ice Bar (17 degrees and comes with a parka) to Shaker’s Cocktail Bar on the Waterfront.  The Rockettini is the ship’s specialty drink– a strawberry daiquiri with crushed pineapple-definitely worth a try or 2!

tina turner tributeEntertainment-  While Norwegian always had great entertainment, I think the Breakaway has just set an even higher bar.  For kids, there are Nickelodeon characters and more but let’s talk about the shows and entertainment options.    Several times a week, Rock of Ages is performed in the Breakaway theater.  It was fabulous and completely free so make sure you make reservations 45 days prior.  This is not for kids or those who are a bit squeamish about profanity.  Cirque Dreams & Dinner Jungle Fantasy was one we couldn’t get into on our 2 nite cruise.  This is additional, since it includes a meal, but it’s another must see.  The Second City is a improv comedy club that we saw at a lunch time show and in the evening before dinner.  We laughed through both.  Howl at the Moons are dualing piano players- lots of fun.    We enjoyed Fire and Ice- a tribute to Tina Turner, in the Atrium and you would think it was Tina herself performing.  Burn the floor4We had balcony seats to Burn the Floor (we were sitting in Moderno’s for dinner and were seated right by the window over looking the Manhattan Room where the Tango dance team was performing.  Talking about dancing- of course there are plenty of places to dance or listen to music and party.

So to end this review, who would My Vacation Lady recommend the Norwegian Breakaway to?

While this ship is not for everyone, it is great for families, multi-generational family groups, couples, and singles.  I forgot to mention that the Breakaway offers single cabins (at a much reduced rate than the standard single supplement rate and the studios have their own lounge for socializing and meeting other singles).

In My Vacation Lady’s opinion, the Breakaway is the newest and best ship sailing from New York City.  With 7 night summer sailings to Bermuda and then 7-12 night sailings to the Bahamas and Caribbean in the fall and winter, the Breakaway has a lot to offer and yes, I would sail on this ship.

Contact My Vacation Lady to plan your next cruise and we’ll help you decide whether the Norwegian Breakaway is the right ship for you!