January 20th 2018

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Trans-Atlantic On Board Norwegian Breakaway Trans-Atlantic On Board Norwegian Breakaway Trans-Atlantic On Board Norwegian Breakaway Trans-Atlantic On Board Norwegian Breakaway Trans-Atlantic On Board Norwegian Breakaway

 

Continent: North America. Country: United States. City: New York City.

Trans-Atlantic On Board Norwegian Breakaway

By Neil Henderson, Banana Travel

This was my 6th Trans-Atlantic crossing, but the first going from the UK to New York – previous crossings have all been from Miami to Europe. This was also my 18th cruise with NCL – I am a big fan of Freestyle cruising and have cruised on all NCL ships, except the NCL Dawn.

 

The Ship

The Norwegian Breakaway is the first of two sister ships being built – the 2nd, Norwegian Getaway is due to be launched in January 2014. This crossing was the inaugural cruise for Breakaway.

Breakaway is going to home based in New York, cruising on the Bermuda route – with the exception of a couple of Caribbean cruises in January. NCL have done a great job in designing her for this home port. Everywhere you go on board there is a flavour of the Big Apple. When you first view the hull artwork by Peter Max you feel New York bound! Be it the Carlo’s Bake Shop, the hot dog carts, the Rockette drinks … the list goes on, but you are left with no doubt that this is New York’s ship!

The design in some ways is similar to the NCL Epic – but in my opinion anything that was wrong on that ship, has been corrected on the Breakaway. I really couldn’t fault the ships design. She is a pleasure to cruise on, all public areas are bright and well designed and I soon found my way around on board.

 

Freestyle Dining

Hunger is not something a passenger usually experiences whilst cruising and NCL make sure of that. With a total of 28 places to dine on board you are really spoilt for choice. Cagney’s was, as always, my favourite and Breakaway featured a new improved Cagney’s menu. I was disappointed that the Chinese Cuisine restaurant was not on board – however I tried the Moderno Churasscaria – not for vegetarians! The meat just kept coming and every single piece just melted in your mouth. If you are going to try Moderno I suggest you miss lunch before and you definitely won’t want any breakfast the morning after! La Cucina served a fantastic Italian meal again with a few improvements on other ships selection.

The Waterfront is a new feature to NCL (a new feature to cruising I believe) and what a fantastic idea it is. Basically it gives you the opportunity to enjoy a selection of your favourite restaurants and entertainment places – outside – overlooking the water. The weather was not kind enough to us on this crossing, however I walked around a few times and just imagined a meal al-fresco while the sun sets on the Ocean!

The other great thing with Freestyle is room service – if you get back to your cabin and feel a little peckish – just lift the telephone and half an hour later a tray a of great food arrives. Far too easy really and remember that  O'Sheehan's Neighbourhood Bar & Grill is open 24 hours a day for great comfort food – as I said you never get hungry!

 

Entertainment

When it was announced that Rock of Ages was to be the headline show on Breakaway, I must admit I wondered if it would be any good on board ship. I have seen the show in London, twice, and love the music. Well there was really no need to worry. The set is identical to London and with the exception of a couple of cuts to the original, to reduce running time I guess, it was brilliant. I have to admit to seeing the show three times on Breakaway and each time was fantastic. At the end of the show. I suddenly realised I was actually on a cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – not in a London Theatre. The cast really were fantastic. If it had been on again I would have been there for sure!

I saw Cirque Dreams on board Epic and thought it was a good show. As it was a dress rehearsal I watched, a meal was not included, but I remember other passengers commenting negatively about the meal and charge. I booked into see the new show on Breakaway and this time I got fed – more food…..! I thoroughly enjoyed the food and was amazed how the staff managed to serve so efficiently with everything going on. The tent is a different design to Epic with no upstairs – the show was to a far higher standard though and not too much audience participation. The whole production was so professional and I would highly recommend to others.

I also went to see Burn The Floor. To be honest it was not for me but to be fair most people were raving about it – so go and make up your own mind!

Breakaway has some smaller venues offering entertainment. I went to see Second City about 5 times. They feature on most NCL ships and I love their humour, so much so that a couple of years ago I visited them at their home in Chicago. The cast on Breakaway were to the usual high standard. Fat Cats was a great venue to visit for some Jazz and with most bars having live music you were never far away from some entertainment.

 

Daytime on board

The Epic had the Epic plunge (no I didn’t!), the Breakaway has an amazing selection of five multi-story water slides – including two where you stand up and the floor just goes from below you – no I didn’t do that either, but I did watch people have some great fun. There is also a crazy golf course, a huge rope course – which include The Plank which goes out over the side of the ship – just the plank between you and the ocean (and no I didn’t!). There is a massive sports complex, several pools and hot tubs and some fantastic kids facilities – so really enough to keep you busy all day – I certainly never got bored! There were always different talks going on, we were lucky enough to have Kevin Sheehan on board (The boss!) and he gave a couple of really interesting talks. I did a behind the scenes tour which included the galley, laundry and the entertainment venues – very interesting.

 

Summary

What an amazing ship I so enjoyed my time on board. It was so special waking up and walking out onto the balcony and seeing the New York skyline in the sunshine. NCL have really worked hard and managed to provide the passenger with a fantastic experience. Considering this was the first cruise there were very few teething problems. The boarding process was smooth and even immigration in New York was fast and efficient – and that was a surprise.

I would love to cruise on Breakaway again and I am planning to book the inaugural crossing in January on board Getaway.

 

Neil Henderson, Banana Travel
2 Market Place, Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1AT
Website: www.bananatravel.co.uk
Email:  sales@bananatravel.co.uk

 

 

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