Yesterday, the exciting new Norwegian Breakaway from Norwegian Cruise Line – fresh from the shipyard and her European unveiling – began steaming across the Atlantic Ocean from Southampton to New York, where she will sail from year-round upon her arrival. The new cruise ship has yet to arrive stateside, but already her presence is palpable. Just follow #NorwegianBreakaway on Twitter to get a keen sense for the anticipation, anticipation that we share since our next Live Cruise Review will broadcast directly from the Norwegian Breakaway herself next weekend as we board May 10, 2013.
There’s no question that I get excited about cruise ship construction, so when I had the chance to visit the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany a little over a year ago, I was beyond ecstatic. While there, I got my very first glimpse of the Norwegian Breakaway, in pieces. Of course, even these pieces were already massive contoured panels of steel that would soon compose modular blocks and in time the entirety of the ship (as she began to appear after my visit in images like the one below). Seeing a ship at her “birth” establishes a connection, nay a testosterone-filled gear-head affinity for the vessel, and consequently, I cannot wait to see the finished product.
Stepping aboard the Norwegian Breakaway next week will mark the first time my father and I have ever been on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, but we are very familiar with her features after following and reporting on an abundance of announcements and construction updates. These revelations stem back to Cruise Shipping Miami in 2012 when we both had the pleasure of meeting the fun-loving Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. Still, going from perusing artist renderings (like that of the Aqua Park below) to experiencing the genuine article will be an utter joy, and boy, is there a lot to see, do and share with all of you in the two days we will be onboard.
The Itinerary (More of The Ship, Really)
The impressive 4,500-passenger Norwegian Breakaway is sized at 146,600-gross-tons and is chock-full of features that will be taking the place of traditional ports-of-call on our two-day cruise to nowhere from New York, New York. To be sure, it will be a challenge to fit them all in, but I’m certain this won’t be our last experience onboard the new ship. Already on our schedule are dinners at The Manhattan Room for main dining on one night and Moderno Churrascaria for Brazilian specialty dining on the other night. Pre-planned entertainment includes the Spice H2O Fireworks extravaganza and Rock of Ages Broadway production.
Our accommodations onboard will be one of the roomy and stylish mini-suites with a balcony and 269-square-feet of living space which can facilitate up to four guests. The clean, modern aesthetic comes complete with a padded leather-clad headboard, convenient storage nooks and pleasant LED accent lighting. The bathroom features a wide dual-faucet sink basin and a luxurious shower with a rain head, body sprays and additional handheld head. Visible in the rendering below, the cabin certainly looks comfortable.
Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the extraordinary list of features onboard the Norwegian Breakaway. Other highlights include the following ship zones:
678 Ocean Place – The extensive dining, retail and entertainment hub of the ship encompasses three decks – 6, 7 and 8 as the name implies.
The Waterfront – This indoor-outdoor promenade flanks the restaurants and bars on Deck 8 and creates an al fresco atmosphere, introducing the venues to the crisp sea breeze.
Aqua Park and Sports Complex – Five thrilling water slides, two pools, four hot tubs, a Nickelodeon-themed kids area, the largest at-sea ropes course, a sports court, a mini-golf course, a rock-climbing wall, a trampoline and a climbing cage dot the upper decks with fun.
Spa and The Haven – For pampering, the expansive spa features room for messages and all varieties of wellness plus a thermal suite and first at-sea salt room. With Haven-category suites and villas comes further seclusion with a private pool deck, butler service and priority reservations throughout the ship.
As you might expect, the list doesn’t even stop there. A multitude of other dining and entertainment options abound within the very areas mentioned above.
Complimentary restaurants include three distinctly designed main dining rooms with different menus: The Manhattan Room, styled like a New York supper club with a central dance floor and ocean vistas; Savor Restaurant, putting “a modern twist on traditional dining,” and Taste Restaurant, with rich woods and colorful glass accents. Other included dining options are O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill for 24/7 Irish and American pub eats, Uptown Bar & Grill for poolside burgers and drinks, and Garden Cafe for casual buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
Specialty dining options include eight unique restaurants: seafood at Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian, French cuisine at Le Bistro French Restaurant, steaks at Cagney’s Steakhouse, hibachi-style Japanese at Teppanyaki, Brazilian at Moderno Churrascaria, Oriental at Shanghai’s Noodle Bar, Italian at La Cucina Italian Restaurant, and lastly sushi and sashimi at Wasabi Sushi Bar.
What’s more, specialty sweets can be had at Carlo’s Bake Shop from Buddy Valastro, star of the TV series “Cake Boss” and “Next Great Baker,” and Dolce Gelato for frozen treats along The Waterfront. Also, look for Sabrett Hot Dog stands and Brooklyn Lager beer for a taste of New York. A wealth of bars and lounges finish off the offerings including an authentic ice bar with New York-themed ice carvings on display.
The 1980s are alive and well on the Norwegian Breakaway with headline entertainment like the Broadway favorite, Rock of Ages, and Spice H2O Fireworks set to the soaring music of the cherished decade. Also from Broadway, Burn the Floor brings sizzling dance numbers to the Breakaway Theater as well as The Manhattan Room while Cirque Dreams & Dinner Jungle Fantasy comes alive under the big top.
Rounding out the entertainment onboard are the dueling pianos in Howl at the Moon, the improvisational laughs of The Second City and the moody tunes at Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club. Also, the casino is ready for adults, Entourage is set for teens and Splash Academy is prime for kids.
Needless to say, there is plenty to keep guests busy onboard the Norwegian Breakaway, and we are looking forward to experiencing as much of it first hand as we can to share it with all of our readers in our Live Cruise Review. For more information on the Norwegian Breakaway from Norwegian Cruise Line, visit the line’s website here.
Do you have any questions about the Norwegian Breakaway? Ask away in the comments section below, and we’ll be sure to answer you…
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE