Breakaway draws cosmopolitan cruisers who want to break away from big-city obligations for a few days, but in a lively, Big Apple way. This ship is as bold as the city itself, with some of the fastest and most fearsome water slides at sea, Broadway-caliber live shows, and the Svedka Ice Bar (reservations are a must). Home ported in NY, she sails to Bermuda in the summer on 3-night and 7-night itineraries. Winter is a mix of 7-day Bahamas, Florida and longer Caribbean itineraries.
As the first ship in the Breakaway class, she debuted many great things, including the Waterfront—a quarter-mile of indoor-outdoor dining, drinking and socializing space. She also has the 678 Oceanplace, an entertainment/shopping/dining hub occupying the same space on three consecutive decks.
Other highlights of the New York motif: the distinctive hull artwork was done by Peter Max. The Rockettes are godmothers. The production shows are Burn the Floor and Rock of Ages. There’s even a hot dog stand on the Waterfront. And then, of course, there’s the scale of the ship: at 18 decks, it’s like if you took an actual downtown NY neighborhood and stacked it up to the sky.
The majority of cabins are balcony staterooms—modern, sleek and clean. To accommodate the mixed crowd that always includes some solo travelers, there are 59 studio staterooms on Breakaway.
There are 27 dining options on this ship. The for-fee restaurants present a tantalizing lineup, including a Western contemporary seafood restaurant (Ocean Blue) and a sushi bar, an American steakhouse, the South American-inspired Moderno’s Brazilian Churrascaria, and a choice of Tuscan countryside ambience at La Cucina or upscale French cuisine of Le Bistro. For dessert (or a daytime indulgence), cruisers can indulge in French pastries at The Bake Shop or a couple of scoops of gelato from the gelato bar. Note: Norwegian has switched over to a la carte pricing for all alternative restaurants except the Brazilian Churrascaria and the Japanese Teppanyaki.
The complimentary restaurants also offer plenty of variety, though more on the quick-casual side of the spectrum. The buffet—or as NCL calls it, the “action station” casual restaurant—is on deck 15. The pool grill, sports bar and grill, two contemporary dining rooms (on deck 6) and Shanghai’s Noodle Bar (on deck 7) offer dining choices to suit every mood. There’s also a dedicated restaurant just for guests of The Haven butler suites.
The main restaurant is known as the Manhattan Room, naturally. The elegant two-story venue features floor-to-ceiling windows and a central dance floor that often has live music. In keeping with the fleet-wide promise of flexibility, Freestyle Dining means no assigned seats or set dining times at dinner.
Bars & Lounges
This ship contains 22 bars and lounges. Breakaway is one of three ships in the entire Norwegian fleet that has an ice bar. Svedka Ice Bar (where reservations are highly recommended) and Shaker’s Cocktail Bar draw Manhattan-caliber crowds. And O’Sheehan’s is a fleet-wide favorite: a busy, loud sports bar with bowling lanes and darts, open 24 hours a day.
Other bars include Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar, Mixx (located in between the deck 6 dining rooms) and Spice H2O (in the adults-area on deck 15). Waves Pool Bar is a daytime hangout with an eclectic crowd. If you enjoy being on the right side of a velvet rope, buy a pass to the for-fee adults-only Vibe Beach Club.
When Norwegian tours Broadway shows, they mean business. Rock of Ages in the Breakaway Theater is the same hilarious, big-haired celebration of Eighties vice that you’ll see on Broadway. Note that this show features risqué content; parents who would rather not bring their children to this one can use the childcare services on board during the show. An otherwise family-friendly option is Burn the Floor, which features no dialogue and focuses on dance.
For those who love Cirque du Soleil, the Cirque Dreams & Dinner: Jungle Fantasy show under the Spiegel Tent is a wonderful multi-sensory experience. Also available on Norwegian Epic, the show’s $39.99/person surcharge includes world-class performers, dreamy theater effects, the most incredible indoor-outdoor floating theater and food.
Headliners Comedy Club is more than just standup; it’s the beloved improv group Second City, which has discovered and prepared many brilliant comics for Saturday Night Live and movie careers over the decades. Dueling pianos break up the improv sets.
With the Grammy Experience no longer present, Breakaway goes back to a classic cruise offering with Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club. This, plus the casino and the cigar lounge on deck 8, are bastions of classic cruise entertainment.
For those who want to dance to DJ-spun music, the options are Spice H2O (on deck 16) and Bliss Ultra Lounge (on deck 7). Bliss is on other ships as well, but this one has been styled to evoke a Manhattan club feel rather than a cruise disco. Fat Cats also amps up the action till late-night.
The Waterfront debuted on Breakaway and swiftly became a popular centralized hangout. This deck indoor-outdoor promenade on deck 8 approximates a New York street full of cafes—except instead of just tables, loungers are out as well. On sunny days, guests can sit (or lounge) and take in the sunshine with no further agenda. 678 Oceanplace is the three-deck shopping/dining/entertainment hub that functions as Breakaway’s “downtown” center.
The huge Aqua Park has five water slides; including two “Free Fall” drop slides located right next to each other (so you can experience the rush in tandem with a friend). A children’s splash zone is adjacent.
Deck 17 aft draws daredevils with the Sky Trail ropes course. This was a first for the fleet, and the designers really went above and beyond—literally. Of its 40 pulse-racing elements, the ultimate thrill is The Plank, which actually extends eight feet over the open sea[ZR1] . Another adrenaline-spiking feature is the zip line. Elsewhere on the sports deck, there’s a bungee trampoline and a “Spider Web” climbing wall. On the tamer side of the spectrum, the nine-hole mini-golf course is also a first-in-fleet.
Deck chairs and space around the single main pool are in high demand, so adults who prefer more space and less splashing often retreat to either the SpiceH2O adults-only area or the posh, fee-required Vibe Beach Club. After dark, Spice H2O turns into a Euro-inspired outdoor party spot.
Those who have chosen Haven luxury accommodations will feel very “VIP” on sea days, since they have their own pool with a full bar in a courtyard high up on deck 15.
The ship has a well-supervised kids club and a popular teen club called Entourage.
- One main pool is not enough for 4,000 passengers.
- Smoking and non-smoking sections are not always clearly delineated.
- With the population of an actual small town onboard, this is just too crowded of an experience for people who want a more relaxed cruise.