I have recently returned from the launch of Norwegian Cruise Lines’s latest super-liner Norwegian Breakaway. Along with a number of my colleagues I was lucky enough to have the chance to experience what this brand new ship has to offer. Having never previously sailed with NCL it was a fantastic opportunity for me to see what the product is like first hand, and I was not disappointed!!
Norwegian Breakaway berthed in Southampton
As anybody who might have caught some of my previous blogs may have realised I’m a a glutton for good food (and a few drinks but we shall come to that later) so I shall start with some of the fantastic restaurants on offer -
Cagney’s Steakhouse - Select from choice cuts of Black Angus perfectly prepared like a traditional T-bone or tender Prime Rib. Your mouth will water, so sip your favorite cocktail in anticipation. And don’t forget to order made-from-scratch jumbo crab cakes and a side of our famous truffle fries. – I really wish that I would of had the chance to experience this restaurant and the general response from my colleagues who did were that was absolutely fantastic and well worth the $30 cover charge
La Cucina Italian Restaurant – Prefer your pasta al dente in the main restaurant, outdoors on The Waterfront or would you like to dine Atrium Al Fresco-style? The menu at La Cucina’s is casual, family-style Italian and the ambiance, including the courtyard, is Tuscan-esque complete with lanterns, timbers and stonework. – Although I didn’t get the chance to dine here I did make a point of vising this restaurant I did make a point of having a look and along the fantastic menu the first thign that jumped out at me was the relaxed feel.
Le Bistro French Restaurant – If you’ve always dreamed of dining at a sidewalk café in France, Le Bistro can satisfy your craving. Our new seating option, Atrium Al Fresco, is reminiscent of sidewalk-style dining – overlooking the social hub of 678 Ocean Place. Be mesmerized by the 3-story cascading LED chandelier and the constant flow of people as you dine on classic French favorites.
Moderna Chursscaria - Whether you dine indoors or out, your mouth will water as different grilled and slow-roasted meats are carved tableside. Use your Moderno Green and Red Place Card to control the carving. Moderno Signature Salad display is a traditional part of any churrascaria. You’ll find a mouthwatering, bountiful selection of freshly prepared salads, artisan cheeses and more.
Moderno Signature Salad display is a traditional part of any churrascaria. You’ll find a mouthwatering, bountiful selection of freshly prepared salads, artisan cheeses and more. Green side up and the professional “Passadores” will continue to stop at your table with succulent skewers of meats. Use the red side to stop.
O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill – Located on Deck 7, in the heart of the action at 678 Ocean Place, this is the place to hang out, 24/7. Serving up Irish/American classics in a relaxed, pub atmosphere, O’Sheehan’s is a guest favorite complete with billiards, darts, arcade games, TV’s and a giant two-story screen for sports and movies. The sport of people watching is popular, too. – I can highly recommend the cheeseburger if you are looking for a quick bite to eat & the hot wings were a fantastic snack to share with friends.
Teppanyaki – Flying shrimp. Onion volcanoes. Twirling knives. The sizzles and surprises never cease at our authentic Japanese Hibachi restaurant. Sit around a lively shared table as a skillful chef slices, chops and grills steak, seafood and chicken on a large steel grill right before your eyes. Our chilled, sake-infused Wasabi Cocktail will have you flipping too. – This was as much an entertainment venue as a restaurant for me, I highly recommend this restaurant the food was fantastic and the interaction with your chief makes the $25 cover charge more than worth it.
Food & drink go hand in hand and Breakaway sure has a wide variety of bars to suit any mood, whether you want to grab a quick beer or relax with a bottle of wine
Bar 21 – The sounds of the slot machines and cheers of the crowd at the neighboring casino won’t distract you from noticing this stunning, intimate bar. It could easily become your favorite haunt, especially late at night. – A tip for you smokers this bar is very close to the Casino (which allows smoking) so may prove ideal for you smokers who do not want to have to go up on deck
Bliss Ultra Lounge – Cruise into the clubbing scene at Bliss. Dance to a different beat and feel the excitement as you walk through the lit tunnel to the illuminated bar. Great if you want to dance the night away after a cocktail or five!
Ice Bar – A unique artic-like frozen chamber, guaranteed to give guests the ultimate chill. The bar, seating and glasses is made entirely from ice. The bar is kept at 17 degrees Fahrenheit and features ice sculptures of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building to pay homage to New York City, its year-round homeport. The Ice Bar also features New York City-inspired specialty cocktails. – As the bar only holds 25 people and had to be pre-booked I did not get to experience this but it looks absolutely fantastic.
Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar – Sit starboard, right alongside the sea where the view is intoxicating. Good times flow indoors, too. With a unique international variety of spirits and an impressive list of imported and domestic beers, you can sip your way around the world without leaving your chair in air-conditioned comfort.
Shakers Cocktail Bar – Happy hour comes shaken or stirred at this classic martini bar with a twist. Join the martini crowd for some cosmopolitan ambiance or try the latest, modern concoction made to your liking.
An area where NCL have truly excelled with the Breakaway is the sheer amount of entertainment offered on-board for all the family. Lets have a look at some of whats on offer -
Splash Academy – An absolutely fantastic area for children aged 3-12, Everything you can imagine to keep the little ones happy from finger painting and puzzles to the latest video games and some unbelievable technology. – I am not ashamed to say that I attempted the ‘dodge ball’ game on the amazing interactive dance floor.
Sports Complex – A very impressive complex numerous sports activity to keep all the family entertained.(includes a Jogging Track, Basketball/Volleyball Court, Golf Nets and much more
Aqua Park – This area of the ship was incredible featuring two pools, 5 hot tubs a kid pool and 3 multi-storey waterside, but for me the highlight was the 200 foot Plunge, the only bowl slide at sea – I just wish I had packed my swimming trunks.
Spa – Another area where NCL have excelled with Breakaway the spa was fantastic and a perfect place to unwind, particularly on a day spent at sea.
I was accommodated in an outside stateroom and found this to be more than sufficient, however i was lucky enough to have a tour of some of the other grades of cabin available. The standard inside and outside cabins I found to be bright, modern and spacious. The only bad thing I picked up on was that the standard balcony staterooms could have perhaps had slightly larger balconies. For those of you that like some luxury the Haven Suites looked absolutely fantastic and the benefits can certainly rival the Princess/Queens Grill suites offered by Cunard.
Overall I found the Norwegian Breakaway to be absolutely fantastic and at least on par with many of the cruise lines that NCL are in direct competition with. Two things stand out the most for me – firstly the food, having never experienced an NCL ship previously I was unsure as to how the ‘Freestyle’ concept would work. Personally I feel that it works brilliantly and I have never seen a ship with quite so much diversity on offer. You can grab a quick bite to eat at O’ Sheehan’s or book yourself into one of the many themed restaurants for a truly incredible meal. Secondly I was impressed by the design and layout – many a time I have struggled to navigate myself around a larger ship (sometimes drink may have played a part, but still) I found Breakaway incredibly easy to navigate and think that NCL have definitely got it spot on with the design and layout as never did it feel like the ship was over crowded.
While I completely understand that the ‘Freestyle’ concept is not for everyone I honestly feel comfortable recommending this ship to absolutely everyone.
Families will enjoy the sheer amount of activities to keep everyone entertained. Couples will enjoy the wide range of restaurants and bars available. If you like luxury and being pampered the spa is fantastic and the Haven Suites are out of this world.
So if you would like to know anymore please feel free to give me a call on 0800 408 6131 I will be delighted to share my experience with all of you