Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Direct Line Cruises Staff Reviews the Norwegian Breakaway

On May 10th the staff of Direct Line Cruises boarded the Norwegian Breakaway for a 2-night cruise to nowhere in order to get acquainted with the cruise line’s newest build. So, how would we rate the Norwegian Breakaway?  Unequivocally and unanimously astounding!

The Norwegian Breakaway is the largest cruise ship ever to homeport year-round in New York City, and it has been dubbed “New York’s cruise ship”. We certainly felt a NYC vibe. It can be found everywhere… in the d├ęcor, the Broadway shows, and the ice sculpture of the Statue of Liberty in the Ice Bar. There are even real Sabrett hot dogs stands – the very same carts you see on New York City street corners – handing out free hot dogs on board!

678 Ocean Place is awesome!  We loved the way the spaces flowed inside and out, and the way the levels (decks 6, 7 & 8, hence the name) interconnected; yet each area offered a different experience in dining and entertainment.  The casino is there, shopping, and all the different restaurants and bars to suit every personality. The Ice Bar is as authentic as they come!  Ice tables, ice chairs, ice sculpture and iced vodka! Thank goodness they gave us parkas and gloves before entering! We headed to Shaker’s Cocktail Bar for martinis and Maltings Beer & Whisky for an imported brew. However, The Vibe Beach Club was a favorite spot for many of us! This adult-only area has an oversized hot tub, big, comfy cabana-like chairs and of course a full service bar.

The Waterfront is brilliant! It’s more than a promenade.  It’s a quarter-mile oceanfront boardwalk!  Stroll a while or stop like we did, and order a dish of crispy calamari to be washed down with a cold glass of chardonnay.  There’s plenty of seating so you can gaze out into the ocean or people watch while you savor a cup of creamy gelato.  Take our word for it – it was delicious!  Or dine al fresco in on of the many restaurants that offer outdoor seating. And speaking of dining…it can only be described as a gastro experience! There are 27 dining options including French, Italian, Japanese, a Brazilian steakhouse, and sushi. Then, there are the exciting new venues by Geoffrey Zakarian: Ocean Blue, Ocean Blue on the Waterfront, and The Raw Bar! Our only regret was that we couldn’t try them all!

 No other ship compares to the Norwegian Breakaway’s variety of onboard entertainment and we can’t stop raving about it!  We saw “Rock of Ages” and have to say the performance was as good as any Broadway production! We marveled at the energy and grace of the dancers from “Burn the Floor”. We took in an interactive comedy show by Second City and are pleased to report it was really funny! Some of us went to Fat Cats Jazz Club while others got comfortable singing along with the dueling pianos of “Howl with the Moon”.  Still others danced the night way at Bliss.  This is a ship for night owls and for people that want to party late into the night!
 Of course we checked out all the children’s area (Splash Academy) and the teen facilities (Entourage). After all, we’re parents or grandparents too! Bright, colorful, experienced counselors and great programming!  The Aqua Park is a little person’s paradise.  And in case you weren’t aware, Sponge Bob and friends are on every sailing!

We toured a wide variety of cabin accommodations. With so many options, from studios to family accommodations, to the luxurious Haven, there is something for everyone.  All the cabins we toured were nicely appointed.  Of course, The Haven is the pinnacle of cruise ship accommodations, elegant and private with very special amenities. A suite in The Haven would be perfect for that special anniversary celebration, or as one of our agents said, “It’s a must at least once.”

We have so much more to share, but we’re out of space! The Norwegian Breakaway is so much more than a cruise vacation.  It’s a resort vacation at sea!  But don’t take our word for it. There’s no better way to experience the Norwegian Breakaway than to book the Norwegian Breakaway for yourself!"

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