Those in the New York area got a big treat when Norwegian Cruise Line decided to use the city as the home port for its ship the Norwegian Breakaway. This 4000-passenger cruise ship was launched in May 2013 and is the largest ship to sail round-trip from New York on a year-round basis. The Norwegian Breakaway will primarily sail 7-day cruises to Bermuda in the summer and 7-day cruises to the Bahamas and Florida the rest of the year. Both itineraries include three days at sea, allowing guests time to enjoy all the activities and amenities the ship has to offer.
The rest of this article provides details on the Norwegian Breakaway, with links to over 100 photos and other details on the cruise ship.
Norwegian Breakaway Balcony Cabin (c) Linda Garrison
The cabins and suites on the Norwegian Breakaway are classic and comfortable, with nice-sized bathrooms similar to those on the Norwegian Jewel-class ships. All staterooms have plenty of storage, flat-screen televisions, and utilize the key card to control the lighting.
The Norwegian Breakaway has 2,014 staterooms and suites with 15 different types in over 40 categories:
- Suites/Villas/Courtyard Penthouses in The Haven (42),
- Aft/Forward-Facing Penthouses (20),
- Mini-Suites (248),
- Balcony (960),
- Spa Suites (16),
- Spa Balcony (36),
- Spa Mini-Suite (20),
- Family Suites (44),
- Oceanview (120),
- Inside (449), and
- Studio (59).
The Haven Courtyard on Norwegian Breakaway (c) Linda Garrison
Those who love mega-ship amenities and variety but also want the luxury and exceptional service provided on small ships will appreciate The Haven. This exclusive area is the private accommodation, lounge
, and dining
complex on the ship. Guests staying either in one of the 42 suites in The Haven complex or in a Penthouse or Spa Suite located elsewhere on the Norwegian Breakaway have access to all The Haven benefits and amenities.
Norwegian Breakaway Savor (c) Linda Garrison
With 29 dining options on the Norwegian Breakaway
, guests on seven-day cruises will have to select their favorite cuisines since they won't be able to try them all. Eight of the venues and those accessible to guests staying in The Haven are included in the basic cruise fare, and the others either have a fixed surcharge or a la carte pricing. Some of the restaurants are familiar to Norwegian Cruise Line freestyle-cruising fans, but others like the three seafood venues designed by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian are new.
Norwegian Breakaway - 678 Ocean Place
678 Ocean Place on the Norwegian Breakaway (c) Linda Garrison
The Waterfront is a new outdoor area on the Norwegian Breakaway, and 678 Ocean Place is the corresponding indoor gathering area. Spanning three decks (6, 7, and 8), the daytime and nighttime entertainment, shopping, gambling, and dining hub is THE place to be indoors on the Norwegian Breakaway. Some of the restaurants and bars have indoor sidewalk dining, and the atrium
and 18,000-square-foot casino
area are large and attractive. As seen in the photo at the left, the huge chandeliers and glass staircases add sophistication and glitz.
Those who love the Rockettes, who are the Godmothers of the Norwegian Breakaway, should be sure to check out the library
on deck 6. Several of the famous Rockette costumes are on display.
Norwegian Breakaway Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line
There's no mistaking the Norwegian Breakaway, with her New York-themed hull art designed by Peter Max. Her bow is decorated with the Statue of Liberty and the famous city skyline. It's definitely a good indicator of the ship's home port.
One of the new outdoor features on the ship is The Waterfront
, a quarter-mile promenade with outdoor dining, drinking, and entertainment area on deck 8. Guests can enjoy al fresco dining from four of the ship's restaurants or a drink from one of the bars.
Norwegian Breakaway - Lounges and Bars
Norwegian Breakaway Ice Bar Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line
As noted above, the Norwegian Breakaway has over 20 dining venues. It also has 22 lounges and bars, so guests won't have to walk far to find a place to enjoy a drink. Some of the lounges, like the Headliners Comedy Club and Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club, have live entertainment, and Bliss Ultra Lounge
is a popular disco spot. Bliss features an LED-lit tunnel entrance, LED walls, an illuminated bar, and dance floor.
Those looking for a quiet before- or after-dinner drink can enjoy Prime Meridian
or the Mixx Bar
, and of course, there's the fun Ice Bar
, perfect for a photo-op (and a cold drink).
Norwegian Breakaway - Entertainment
Rock of Ages on the Norwegian Breakaway (c) Linda Garrison
New York City is famous for its entertainment, and the New York-based Norwegian Breakaway has a wide range of entertainment for its passengers. The Atrium and several of the bars and lounges feature live musical entertainment, and the ship has these additional unique options.
Rock of Ages is a 5-time Tony Award nominee, and its music rocks the Breakaway Theater. The edgy theme and rough language make this an R-rated production, but those over 21 and under 65 will be singing along with the music.
Burn the Floor is a non-stop dance show with performances that include all the Latin dances, the Foxtrot, and the Lindy. The main show is in the Norwegian Breakaway theater, but a spicy Latin performance is seen on the dance floor of The Manhattan Room during dinner.
Cirque Dreams & Dinner: Jungle Fantasy is a dinner theater show in the Spiegel Tent. The venue is similar to the one on the Norwegian Epic, but the show is different. It still features aerials, acrobatics, athleticism, colorful costumes, interesting music, and fun.
Headliners Comedy Club features The Second City improvisational group and the Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos show. The shows are similar to those on the Norwegian Epic.
Fat Cats Jazz and Blues Club has nightly live blues performances, including those by the Slam Allen Band. Its urban setting fits well with the New York theme.
The Norwegian Breakaway will have a weekly outdoor 80's deck party followed by a fireworks show. Guests should bring along their favorite 1980's wear and tease up the big hair.
Norwegian Breakaway - Aqua Park and Sports Complex
Norwegian Breakaway Aqua Park (c) Linda Garrison
The Norwegian Breakaway has an exciting 3-deck high Aqua Park that provides outdoor fun for everyone. The park includes five multi-story water slides, two swimming pools, and four hot tubs. One of the water slides is appropriately named the Whip, and another is named Free Fall. Be prepared for a very fast ride!
The Sports Complex is an outdoor area that also covers three decks. It weaves around the Aqua Park and includes a ropes course with over 40 different elements, a zip track, 9-hole miniature golf course, rock climbing wall, jogging track, basketball court, bungee trampoline, and spider web climbing cage. One of the most talked-about thrills at the Sports Complex is The Plank, an eight-foot long platform that extends over the side of the ship. Guests won't end up in the drink when walking this plank, but it's really spooky.
Norwegian Breakaway - Mandara Spa and Pulse Fitness Center
Norwegian Breakaway Fitness Center Photo Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line
The Norwegian Breakaway Mandara Spa and Pulse Fitness Center cover more than 23,000 square feet on decks 14 and 15 forward, right beneath The Haven. The fitness center has all the latest fitness equipment, including simulated boxing and spinning. Bootcamp, Yoga, Pilates, and Zumba classes help guests work off some of those extra calories they consume on the ship. In addition, educational fitness classes and personal trainers get passengers started on a training program they can continue back home.
The Mandara Spa has all the relaxing, pampering, revitalizing treatments one expects from a large spa. In addition to private treatment rooms, the spa includes a relaxation lounge, hydrotherapy courtyard, DIY scrub experience, steam Rasul treatments, and Medi-Spa services such as acupuncture, botox, and tooth whitening. The spa also includes a full-service salon and the first-ever salt room at sea.
This short article provides an overview and quick look at the new mega-ship, which I sailed on for two nights following the christening
in New York. This large cruise ship is a great option for those who want to cruise from the Northeastern USA, plus it offers several great indoor and outdoor amenities and entertainment. It's definitely filled with high-energy activities, but it's large enough for guests to find a quiet corner if they wish.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.