Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Secrets of the Norwegian Breakaway

Last week I returned from a Florida / Bahamas cruise aboard the beautiful Norwegian Breakaway.  My experience was overwhelmingly positive and the Breakaway definitely ranks as one of the top 5 ships I’ve ever been on (I don’t believe I’d be able to pick a favorite within the 5 since each one has its own unique attributes). Since so many reviews have already been written about this ship, I thought I would just share some tips on how to make a great cruise experience on the Norwegian Breakaway an extraordinary one.

I highly recommend pre-booking specialty dining and shows, particularly if you are cruising on a busy week.  I was on the New Years Eve sailing and the ship was sold out.  Without pre-booking, I’m sure you can still eat at the restaurant of your choice, and see every show, but I’m pretty picky about when I dine, and pre-booking allowed me to secure a 7 pm reservation every evening.  If you don’t want to compromise on your dining time, or be stuck with a late show, book in advance.

Even if you don’t usually choose to dine in the specialty restaurants, for one evening try Waterfront dining.  The Waterfront on deck 8 includes outdoor seating for Cagney’s Steakhouse, La Cucina, Moderno Churrascaria, and Ocean Blu. We chose Moderno Churrascaria on the evening we were departing Nassau.  It was a balmy evening with no less than a zillion stars twinkling above us! After a delicious dinner we lingered longer than usual, finishing up our bottle of wine while listening to the whispers of the ocean. What a beautiful experience…this is what cruising is all about!

For a quiet spot to sunbathe or snooze, away from the activity of the pool deck, there are two less crowded spots to check out. On deck 17, walk all the way forward, passing Vibe and you’ll find an area of clamshells and loungers.  Or, head aft on deck 16 to Spice H2O, an outdoor area for adults only. It includes many lounge chairs, lounge beds, a bar, hot tubs and video screen.

That leads me to another little known place. The Uptown Bar & Grill is just around the bend from Spice, and a great spot for snacks or a casual meal. Freshly made burgers with the works, deli sandwiches, meatballs, beef & pork meat pie, waffle fries, and a selection of desserts are served. Best of all, it was never crowded and it’s also serves breakfast. They have Egg McMuffin type sandwiches, bagels, fruit, croissants and they do eggs/omelette's to order.

I discovered the Library on deck 6 late into my cruise. It’s sort of hidden by the Internet cafe. You’ll probably encounter a chilly day on winter cruise out of N.Y.City, and the library was a nice place to curl up with a book. It also has some really interesting Rockettes memorabilia…remember, the Rockettes are the godmothers of the Breakaway.

Lobster tails or lobster rolls?  Why choose, have both! Lobster Tails are a crispy pastry, shaped like you guessed it, a lobster tail.  They’re filled with a blend of custard and whipped cream and pair perfectly with a steaming cup of cappuccino.  You can purchase this yummy snack at Carlos Bake Shop on deck 6, or if the line is too long, head to deck 8 for an annex of the bakery shared with the gelato shop. For a savory lobster roll, head to the take out window of Ocean Blu on the Waterfront. Add a cold glass of a crisp white wine and you have the ultimate cruiser’s lunch! And while I’m on the topic of lobster, the Garden Grill has a lobster night! Yes, that’s all you can eat lobster tails!

I hope you find these tips helpful and you have a wonderful time aboard the Norwegian Breakaway.  I loved every moment onboard and I’m ready to book again!  Maybe a Bermuda itinerary.

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