BREAKAWAY to the Open Waters with Norwegian CRUISE lines
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
For my first cruise ever (Chas' 10th I believe), we boarded the NCL Breakaway with an itinerary of hitting Honduras, Belize, and two stops in Mexico. I've heard these ships are like floating skyscrapers, but that did not prepare me to pull up to the Port in Miami and see this insanely huge ship we were about to spend the next week on.
I had wanted to take a cruise for as long as I could remember and never had the means to make that a reality. I had watched plenty of videos on the cruise ships and all the fun and exciting things you could do. I was told of all the incredible entertainment and shows on board. I heard all of the stories about the unlimited beverage packages and how you could eat til you roll off the side of the ship. Literally none of that actually makes a dent in the experience.
"I'm going to be floating on that around the Caribbean for the next week?!"
The NCL Breakaway is not in the largest class of cruise ships, but that doesn't mean by any means that it isn't humongous. This ship holds nearly 4,000 passengers with another 1600+ in crew working. It is over 1,000 feet long and all of these numbers still could not make you understand the sheer shock you experience when seeing this thing and thinking "I'm going to be floating on that around the Caribbean for the next week?!"
We had an interior stateroom so I can only speak to the things I experienced in there. I was warned extensively that the showers in the staterooms of these ships are super tiny and luckily on this specific ship that was not the case (although I would come to find at a later date on the NCL Sun that it still is the case for some of the older ships). The bed was large
and comfortable but took up a good portion of the room. The room had plenty of space for two of us to move around (my girlfriend and I, not Chas you perverts) but there were definitely some hang up’s that would require for some extra planning. Firstly, there are very limited outlets. Some of these ships have additional usb ports built in around the room but if you have a lot of things to plug in like we do, you’re going to need to bring a power strip or two (we recommend this power strip that offers 18 outlets and 3 additional usb slots - https://amzn.to/3076JPk)
Secondly, the closet has very limited hangers even for one person so for two people it’s nearly impossible to hang the things you need to. A little-known fact is all cruise ship walls in the staterooms are magnetic. We found these cool little hooks (https://amzn.to/2XVZLdj) that can handle up to 100lbs that you can hang from your walls for additional ability to hang anything you need in the cabin, not just clothing. Hats, if you have lanyards for your on-board card or passport ID, towels, etc. are all things that these make perfect sense for.
You’ll also find a safe in the room you can use for your personal belongings and of course the mini bar!
To Dine or not to Dine
There are so many options when choosing where to eat, it can become a little overwhelming. There are the buffet options (and there are usually multiple buffets), there are the sit down restaurants with menu’s that are complimentary with your trip, and there are pay per meal experiences that are their “upscale” dining options. In hindsight to be honest, I was just as happy in the buffet as anywhere else, but why not lay it out a bit.
In the buffets it’s pretty much a free for all. You can wear what you want, eat what you want,
and seating is based on you seeing a spot and sitting down. The food is maybe a half a notch under the other dining options, but the convenience of this option outweighs that for a lot of people.
In the complimentary dining room’s you will find more constructed menu’s and more formal service. As a man, you’ll also be required to wear long pants to these meals. I had a really nice pair of khaki shorts that I figured would pass for the dress code one night and I was sent back to my room to change. You are also suggested to make reservations for these rooms. You can go and wait in line (if there is a line) but the reservation guarantee’s you sit literally as soon as you walk up. The meals in these dining rooms were perhaps a step up (the desserts certainly were) but you’ll need to be prepared to be a little more structured.
In the fine dining pay per meal type options the service is again a step up. We ate in the Brazilian Steakhouse one night and the attention to detail was certainly a bit more pronounced here (what I could remember of it at least after a full day of sun, pools, hot tubs, and the unlimited beverage package). The food was good, but honestly I wouldn’t say it was so much better than the other options that you’d need to pay an additional fee to experience it.
Come and Stay for the Show
One of the major attractions on Norwegian cruise ships is their entertainment. We went to the “Howl at the Moon” Dueling Piano Bar (3 nights out of 7 to be exact), the Karaoke bar (also 3 times), A little salsa music/dancing side show, trivia, and of course…the big draws! We attended the “Burn the Floor” dance show that was like something straight out of a
dancing with the stars world tour and we attended “Rock of Ages” which was quite literally a Broadway show on a ship. I was very impressed with the quality of these shows. The dancers were incredibly talented and their ability to do all of this while on choppy waters between Honduras and Belize was astonishing. The cast of Rock of Ages was clearly full of actors/singers/dancers that could have left that ship and walked right into a Broadway practice space and fit right in.
Get Wet, Stay Wet
Another really fun part about this ship was all of the ways to get a little exercise in while having fun. Aside from having an actual gym and a track built in for people to run/power walk off the calories from the buffet, there were a few other attractions that gave you some
enjoyment while perhaps working off the frittata. There are five water slides off the 17th story of this ship that you can go slip sliding down! There are four hot tubs for you to soak in and let those muscles rest. There are two pools you can go for a nice swim in. There is also a large kids' water play area if you have children with you.
If you prefer to stay dry but still get your workout in check out the rope challenge course, walking the plank, or the mini golf course!
What a Week
I have since been on other cruise ships but there is just something about your first isn’t there? I have such fond memories of this trip and this ship, I would love to be able to once again someday ride the Breakaway! NCL thank you for an awesome ship and a great week, the NCL Breakaway – Didn’t Suck!
Please check out our video about our time on-board the NCL Breakaway and check out the MANY photos in our photo gallery!