The Norwegian Breakaway used to be home to New York and you can see the beautiful design on the front of the ship where Lady Liberty graces. The ship now also does cruises in Europe along the Baltic Sea. Part of the newer Breakaway Class, this ship can hold over 3,900 passengers (based on a double occupancy).
If you have ever cruised on an older ship before, the Breakaway is going to wow you with all of its modern updates, sleek designs, the number of activities available, and how it has become a foodie destination at sea. But don’t get me wrong, the older ships have their perks as well! These big newer ships have just been updated to a modern standard and have a lot more amenities to offer its passengers. I love that you can now make reservations for shows and meals and book excursions right from your TV in your stateroom, NCL has an app you can download and it works while on board, there is USB ports next to the beds for charging, and ample storage space!
Cruising is just one of the ways I like to travel. For me, cruising is about taking it down a notch, relaxing, having amazing food, sleeping in the same bed for a week+, unpacking and staying put, being able to explore more than one place without having to do all the work of flying and shuffling to hotels, and really just enjoying my time on the open water.
For this cruise it was a 14 day itinerary out of New York to the Southern Caribbean.
- Day 1: Leave New York, at sea
- Day 2: At sea
- Day 3: At sea
- Day 4: At sea
- Day 5: Aruba
- Day 6: Curacao
- Day 7: Bonaire
- Day 8: At sea
- Day 9: Martinique
- Day 10: St. Lucia
- Day 11: St Kitts and Nevis
- Day 12: At sea
- Day 13: At sea
- Day 14: Return to New York
I loved the itinerary because I had been wanting to visit so many of these islands for so long and I got to experience each one in a different way – even fell in love with a few! There is almost equal the amount of time at sea as there is port days but Norwegian does a great job of providing daily schedules with things to do to fill your day OR you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.
Pro tip: book your excursions before you leave or as soon as you get on board to avoid them filling up and missing out. You can view excursions online before getting on the ship here.
My two favorite excursions that I booked were the See and Sea tour in Aruba and the Scenic Railroad in St. Kitts. I loved the tour in Aruba because it was the best of both worlds – an island tour and a glass bottom boat tour. I also loved the railroad tour because it was a 2 hour, 18 mile ride through scenic St. Kitts showcasing the islands beauty.
I hired a private driver in Bonaire right outside the port for a couple hours for $100 USD and that was one of my favorite days on the entire cruise. This wonderful person showed me the southern part of the island, told me all the history (good and bad), and he even found flying flamingos for me! I highly recommend this but I also want to say this is not sponsored by the ship or covered – this is a take at your own risk activity. You will be responsible for getting back on time before the ship leaves.
In Curacao I woke up early and got off the ship before everyone else and walked the city for about 4 hours taking in all the beautiful colors it offered. I did not take an excursion here but absolutely fell in love with the island.
Entertainment and Activities:
The Norwegian Breakaway offers a plethora of entertainment to keep those of all ages engaged aboard the ship. From Broadway shows, comedy, music, swimming and slides, jogging track, gym, art auctions, spa days, wine tastings, bingo, sunning, and mind bending Cirque du Soleil – there is an endless stream of fun to be had.
I really loved the Broadway shows Burn The Floor and Rock of Ages! Both shows are amazing and the cast really outdoes themselves. One of my favorite things about seeing a show on board is that you completely forget you are even on a ship at sea and feel like you are right in Times Square on Broadway.
Since I had already been on this ship I did not see the Cirque du Soleil show again, but I loved it the first time around. Its a dinner and show. *Tip – book a top floor seat, I found the views up there looking down to be amazing.
My room was on the 15th floor and had a door down the hall with direct access to the spa and gym, which was nice since I had a thermal spa suite pass (you can either book a spa room with access or buy a thermal spa suite access pass for the duration of your cruise). So many sea days and nights I spent winding down in the hot tubs, sauna or just relaxing on the heated chairs overlooking the ocean. This is a must if you like to relax.
This ship offers a wide variety of staterooms fit for any need. The first time I was on this ship I had a balcony stateroom that I loved. This time around I stayed in the Haven, which is a luxury enclave – ship within a ship. If you are looking for the most luxurious experience and rooms aboard, then the Haven is absolutely where you want to book a room.
During my cruise I stayed in a Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with a Balcony. I loved this room and think it is the best room I have ever stayed in on a cruise ship. I loved that the room was significantly bigger than any other room I have stayed in, the upscale design elements, a full bathroom with a tub (having a bath tub in your room on a cruise is a luxury in itself), king sized bed, luxury bath amenities, and then all the features of the Haven: 24 hour butler service, priority boarding and disembarkation, private parties, private pool, bar, and the best part: the Haven Restaurant.
- Room: 328 sq. feet
- Balcony: 58 sq. feet
- Bliss Collection by Norwegian pillow-top mattress
- Fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu
- Plush bathrobes, slippers and oversized bath towels
- Luxury bathroom products – Bvlgari
- Bathtub/shower combo
- 2 closets
- HD TV
- Dining set for 2
- Lavazza Coffee machine
- Mini Bar and glasses for most drinking occasions
- Love seat sofa that folds out into a bed
- Extended room service menu – at no cost
- Movies on the TV were free
This was a different experience on this ship for me this time around. When I cruised on this ship before I stayed in a balcony room and ate at several of the restaurants on board. This time I stayed in the Haven and I ate nearly every meal in the private restaurant or through room service. Now that may seem silly with so many options on the ship but there is a reasoning behind my madness – the food in the Haven is just a cut above the other restaurants. If I booked a Haven room again, one of the top 3 selling points would be the food in their private restaurant.
So while I did not indulge the other restaurants this time, I do remember my experience before when eating at them and will share.
There are several restaurants that are free and Norwegian sails with the “Freestyle Dining” philosophy which allows you to come and eat whenever you want (if the restaurant requires reservations this would not apply).
- Savor – sit down for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Taste – sit down for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Manhattan Room – sit down for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- O’Sheehans – open 24/7
- The Haven – exclusive to Haven guests only
- Garden Cafe – buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Extra Fee Dining:
- La Cucina – Italian only open for dinner
- Le Bistro – French restaurant only open for dinner
- Ocean Blue – seafood only open for dinner
- Teppanyaki – Japanese only open for dinner
- Cagney’s – steak house only open for dinner
- Moderno – Brazilian steakhouse only open for dinner
- Raw Bar – only open for dinner
- Wasabi – sushi for lunch and dinner
- Cirque Dreams and Dinner
- Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville at sea – I think this goes without saying .. it’s 5 o’clock somewhere
- Room Service – 24/7
Norwegian often has deals that allow you to book some number of free perks with your room. I have seen free specialty dining nearly every time – so look out for those deals! Then you can dine everywhere at no cost.
All of the food on the ship is good to me – but I have some favorites. Moderno, the Brazilian steakhouse is my favorite outside of the Haven. You decide what you want and when you want it. You get a red and green card and you flip green to go and red to stop – when its on green staff members with fresh meats come to your table and cut you off a piece of whatever you want. In the last decade these restaurants have become widely popular and its a fantastic experience. Tip: go hungry and try not to eat too late if you have an early morning.
As for the free restaurants, Savor, Taste and the Manhattan Room keep the same menus that change daily. The Manhattan Room is a bit fancier so if you are looking for something a bit more than a relaxed “come as you are” meal – then dine here. They also have live music at dinner and dancing if you like.
- Wifi is available on board for a fee – keep in mind that it is satellite internet and not as fast as you would have it at home – however, the have now added plans that allow you to stream Netflix so that would be an extra cost to have internet with a speed that fast. You can purchase an unlimited package during the first 2 days on the ship and is the best deal to stay connected.
- You can bring your own wine aboard the ship to have a meals – you will just be charged a corkage fee
- Soda and alcohol are not included in your booking unless you booked a package that included it. You can purchase all-inclusive packages when you board the ship during the first 2 days
I really loved this itinerary and the ports. One of the best things about cruising is the ability to get a taste of other places and make the decision to go back and explore more. I have already booked trips back to 2 of the islands! That is how much I loved them. As for the ship, Norwegian does such an excellent job of building itineraries with things to do each day on the ship that it would be near impossible to ever be bored.
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*Disclaimer, I did partner with Norwegian Cruise Lines but as always, opinions are entirely my own.