CruiseDiva.comSM

The Online Cruise Travel Guide
Created by the Author of FODOR'S
 THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO CARIBBEAN CRUISES

tLinda Coffman's CruiseDiva.com
Linda Coffman
Author & Cruise Authority

Cruise Lines & Ships Articles & Advice

Cruise Reviews

Before You Go 
On Board In Port Get a Fare Quote   Home Page

Cruise Essentials:
Site Search
Cruise News
Planning Tips
Packing & Lists
HOT Tips
Cruise Links
About Us

 

CLICK HERE for savings--CruiseCompete
Don't pay more than your tablemates...
CruiseCompete makes it easy to let independent agents compete to offer you the best deal.

Cruisers' favorites:

Cruise Travel Magazine
Cruise Travel

Porthole Cruise Magazine
Porthole

125x125_Generic_NoOffer.gif

Have a question or a review to submit? Write Cruise Diva

Copyright © 1995-2013
Linda Coffman,
CruiseDiva.com (SM)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A
ll CruiseDiva.com content is protected by United States Copyright Laws. Violators of our copyright, as well as bandwidth theft by "direct linking" of images, will be pursued by all means necessary. Find out more in
  Terms of Service


Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review
Bermuda Itinerary
September 21, 2014

By Keith Henderson

We sailed on the Norwegian Breakaway that left on September 21, 2014 from New York City as a 7-day cruise to Bermuda. It was our 15th cruise on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship (23rd overall). We have sailed 7 times with Carnival and once with Royal Caribbean. We have been to Bermuda four times on previous cruises, but it had been 6 years since our last visit.

This would be our first cruise on a mega ship and we were both interested and worried about the cruise experience on a vessel with so many passengers. We really like the Jewel class ships of Norwegian and feel comfortable on them. But, we wanted to have an open mind to one of the cruise line’s newest ships.

Also something new for us with this cruise was that we could make reservations for shows and dining in advance of our sailing date. After reading about the smaller venues and larger passenger capacities, we did some research to see what shows would fit into our schedule. So, we did make reservations for the shows we specifically wanted to see before we sailed. We did try to book complimentary dining reservations for three nights in a specialty restaurant (2 for being platinum members and 1 was a booking reward), but the system is set up where you are charged for the reservations. After you get on board the ship you have to go to guest services to get a refund. All of that seemed like a big hassle, so we waited until we boarded to make the dining reservations.

Day 1 – Embarkation Day
It was an overcast day with temps in the high 70’s F.

In the days before the cruise, we were watching New York news broadcasts warning of a scheduled protest in Manhattan in advance of an upcoming conference at the United Nations, so we were concerned about traffic in Manhattan. We left a little earlier than normal for us as we drive to the city. Living in nearby Connecticut, the Manhattan cruise port is just a short drive for us. We always enjoy the anticipation of getting our first glimpse of the ship as we drive down the West Side Highway after passing under the George Washington Bridge. We were not disappointed as we made the final turn just north of the terminal area and spotted the huge ship ahead of us. Fortunately, traffic was not anywhere near the levels that we have encountered in years past. We figured that most people were staying away due to the protests.

The Breakaway was not the only cruise ship in port that day. In the berths besides her was the AIDAbella and as we were pulling into the parking lot, the Seven Seas Navigator was just arriving. It was around 11:30 am as we drove up to the parking lot above the cruise terminal pier. The rates were $40 a day, so we were charged $280 for our parking which we paid with one of our trusty NCL MasterCards. After parking the car, we then walked to the elevators with our luggage and headed down for the embarkation process. As we got out of our car, we could see that passengers were starting to go onboard the ship.

Alongside the cruise piers is the aircraft carrier Intrepid museum with displays of aircraft on her deck as well as the space shuttle Enterprise. They have built a hangar around the shuttle, so it is not visible from the outside.

When we first arrived inside the cruise terminal, we dropped off our two suitcases with a porter before heading to the line for security screening of all passengers. Past that, there were 3 lines. One was for Latitudes members. Another line was for Latitudes Gold, Platinum, and VIP members. The third one was for non-Latitudes members. We are Platinum Latitudes and took that line which had only one other couple in front of us. A few minutes later we were waved to an agent who registered us, took our photos, and gave us our keycards. With our keycards in hand we were pointed to the entrance ramp for the ship. We were walking onto the ship by noon.

As we boarded, they were announcing that the cabins would not be ready until 1:00 pm. But, we decided to see if our cabin was ready anyway. It was an inside cabin (room 11625) which was midship and reached by an inside corridor from the forward elevator lobby (the strange thing is that the ship has only two banks of elevators; aft and forward, but what they called forward is really only mid-ship). We were pleasantly surprised to find that our cabin was ready and we met our cabin steward, Ranson Martins, as we walked up the hallway. He was responsible for 13 cabins in total by himself. We asked him if he could empty the fridge so we could use it for soda we had brought onboard with us along with a few other requests. He said it would be all taken care of by that evening.

After dropping off our carry-on bag, we headed up to the Garden Café for lunch and then spent some time walking about the ship to explore and take photos. Around 3:00 pm, we decided to head back to our cabin to see if our checked luggage had arrived. When we got there, neither bag was outside. But when we entered the cabin, we found the bags inside and our steward Ranson stopped by to let us know that he had brought them into the cabin. In our 22 previous cruises, we have never had our luggage brought into the cabin for us!

On the desk in our cabin were some welcome aboard items from the Latitudes Club team as well as a notification that the reservation we made to see “Rock of Ages” was cancelled and rescheduled for another evening during the cruise (so much for planning in advance). The muster drill was scheduled for 3:30 pm and everything was closed at 3:00 pm in preparation of the drill. For the muster drill, we were told to go to the Atrium area on deck 6 (without our life jackets) to watch a demonstration of how to put on life jackets and where to go in case of an emergency. As we arrived, they scanned our keycards to verify that we were at the muster. (They announced that those not scanned would be required to attend a second muster the following morning).

After the drill, we rushed up to deck 16 to find a spot to watch the sail away scheduled for 4:15 pm. By the pool, they had the band “Impac” playing music to get you into the mood for the trip. The strange thing is that there was not one lounge chair available to use for the sail away. They were all stacked and strapped? So we would have had to stand up for the next hour as we sailed away and down the Hudson to the open ocean. We decided to go down to deck 8 and find a spot of the Waterfront promenade. We did find some available chairs on the port side by the Ocean Blue Restaurant. As time passed, there was an announcement by the captain that there would be a delay because there were so many late arriving passengers due to the traffic issues caused by the large protest in midtown Manhattan that day. (We found out later that several people missed the sailing and either re-booked a different cruise or they flew to Bermuda to meet us) Around 04:40 pm, they pulled away from the pier and sailed down the Hudson passing by the new Freedom Tower, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty before going under the Verrazano Bridge about 45 minutes after leaving the pier. The ship has approximately a 30 foot clearance under the bridge.

After the sail away, we decided to go to O’Sheehan’s Pub for dinner. For this evening, the Garden Café buffet and O’Sheehan’s offered prime ribs which is a big hit with my wife. When my wife’s order arrived, it was the largest and best cooked prime rib she has ever had on a cruise. The only issue was that it was hardly warm. If it was a little warmer, it would have been perfect for her. Even her potato was so cool that the butter would not melt.

After dinner, we went to the Headliners club to listen to a few numbers of the Howl at the Moon music act. The show consists of 3 singing piano players rotating between 2 pianos singing musical requests from the audience. By rotating, there was always 2 singers playing piano and the music is non-stop all evening. They were fun to listen to.

The shows for the evening were the “Welcome Aboard Show” and the “Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy” with each one being shown twice this evening. We decided to see the early “Welcome Aboard Show” that was in the Breakaway Theater which only has about 800 seats. You did not need to make a reservation for these shows. It was hosted by the Cruise director, Julie Valeriotte (we had seen her on a previous NCL cruise) who welcomed us and introduced some of the various acts in the show that we would see during the cruise. They included a duo called Fire and Ice and the cast of the production show called “Burn the Floor” who performed for about 3 songs. They also introduced the Nickelodeon crew and some of the characters came out like Sponge Bob Square Pants.

The “Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy” was found in the Spiegel Tent and is a dinner show with a fee of $39, but if you booked the shows for this evening, they offered a 25% discount. They take reservations for the Cirque shows.

Besides the two main shows, they had several music acts playing around the ship. There was Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos located in the Headliners room, Les Getrex and the Creole Cookin’ Band playing at the Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club, Fire and Ice in the Atrium, and William singing and playing the piano in the Shakers Bar. After the “Welcome Aboard Show” we ended our evening at Fat Cats listening to blues and Cajun music with Les Getrex and his band. They were definitely the best and tightest band on the ship and were fun to watch and listen to.

Once we got back to the room, we looked over the receipts from our bar service and notice one thing. While in port, they had a NY port tax added to the bill, but not while we are out to sea.

Day 2 – Day at Sea
It started as a partly sunny day with temps in the low 70’s F with a heavy breeze and slightly rough seas.

We started the day with breakfast in the Garden Café found on deck 15. (wow deck 15!, we were used to seeing the lido deck on deck 10 or 11 on cruise ships). It was just after 9:00 am and the buffet area was crowded.

We got up early because we had signed up for a complimentary “Behind the Scenes tour” given for Platinum Latitude members that was scheduled for 10:15 am. On this cruise there was about 100 each of Platinum and Gold Latitude passengers. Our host was Shaun Harrison, a cruise consultant who we have sailed with a few times over the years. We visited three areas of the ship on an abbreviated version of the tour offered to all passengers for a price of $55 each. We toured the galley, laundry and provisions areas. We ended our tour by walking down the long corridor on deck four that is referred to as “I-95” as it runs the entire length of the ship. Shaun did a terrific job making sure that everyone heard what was being explained by the local managers of each area.

After the tour, the captain came on the intercom to give us the nautical and weather information for the day. While the ship can sail at almost 22 knots per hour, we were only sailing at 12 knots as the ship was going to take 2 days to get to Bermuda. Also, due to the rough seas, the pools would be closed for the morning.

I decided to go for a run in the early afternoon. I went up to the jogging track and it was impossible to run with the foot traffic for uptown grill and persons on lounge chairs on the course. (Nice planning there NCL!) So I went over to the gym and got on a treadmill. I really do not like to use treadmills in general, but running on one while on a rolling cruise ship is like being ricochet rabbit bouncing from one side to another. I do not enjoy that. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking about the Waterfront on deck 8 and then relaxing by pool on deck 15 listening to the Jamaican band “Impac” perform. They were a good band and played both current pop songs and classic reggae tunes.

Before going down for dinner, we went to the Atrium area to play a video trivia game called “When They Were Young” which was fun. The Breakaway does not have a lounge like the Spinnaker lounges found on the Jewel Class ships, so they have trivia contests, music, and game shows in the atrium area on deck 6. Just above on deck 7, there were seats at O’Sheehan’s Pub that looked over the area as well.

The shows for the evening were the “Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy” in the Spiegel Tent, “Burn the Floor” in the Breakaway Theater, and a Second City “Scriptless” show in Headliners. Cirque and BTF had two shows while the Second City show had only one performance.

We had reserved seats for the second “Burn the Floor” show, so we chose to go to the Le Bistro for an early dinner at 05:45 am. As Platinum members of NCL, we are entitled to two complimentary dinners at either this French restaurant, La Cucina, or Moderno. Because they were complimentary, we could not book reservations prior to boarding. But, our concierge was able to make reservations for us once we boarded. Located on deck 6, some of the seating for Le Bistro is located out in the atrium area of the Area 678. But, the casino is just above and we could smell cigarette smoke wafting in the air. Up in the Garden Café buffet, they were offering seafood and lobster dishes (no lobster tails).

When were seated at Le Bistro, they brought the wine list since the complimentary pass includes dinner for two and wine. We explained that we did not drink wine and have always been able to order beers instead. The waiter, Aldwin, went to his manager who told us that there were no substitutions. It was wine or nothing. We said that we did not want wine and placed our food orders. A few minutes later, the waiter said that he felt bad about the wine/beer issue and had gone to the bar manager who said that we could each get one beer with our dinner. We thanked Aldwin and told him that we appreciated his help. My wife ordered the filet mignon and she said it was excellent. (We found out on the ship tour that only two restaurants on the ship get aged Angus beef and they were Le Bistro and Cagney’s.) My fish dish was good as well.

After dinner, we walked around to listen to some music. First, we went to the atrium to listen to “Fire and Ice” and duo with a female singer and male keyboardist. They were playing to pre-recorded music that was much louder than the volume of the singer. While she was energetic, we really could not hear her voice all that well. We left after a few tunes and headed up to Shaker’s where another duo were performing. They were called “Arvin and Emily” Both of them had terrific voices and seemed like they had operatic training. While they too were playing to pre-recorded music, Arvin was actually playing melodies and chords on his keyboard and the music was much softer than their voices which really stood out. I really admire singers with great voices.

We went to the 9:30 pm showing of “Burn the Floor” in the Breakaway theater. It was a show based on a cast dancing throughout the show. It had a lot of energy and the dancers were amazing, but after about 30 minutes, we found ourselves wondering how much longer the show was going to be. It just seemed to be repetitious after a while. I think if you like watching reality shows like “Dancing with the Stars” you would really enjoy the show.

They had plenty of musical offerings during the evening with the Dueling Pianos, Les Getrex in Fat Cats, a guitarist named Angel in the Maltings bar, Arvin and Emily in Shakers Bar, and Fire and Ice playing twice in the atrium. At 10:30 pm, they had the Norwegian’s Night Out Party at Spice H2O on deck 16 aft. For their events at this location, they stow away all of the lounge chairs in front of the large screen, so finding a chair is very limited. I guess they assume that everyone wants to stand around for an hour or two.

We ended our evening back at Fat Cats with Les Getrex and his Creole Cookin’ Band who were a lot of fun. Before we went to bed, we changed our clocks to go one hour forward to prepare for Bermuda.

Day 3 – Day at Sea
It was a slightly overcast day with temps near 80’s F and breezy.

We slept in late and went up to Moderno on deck 8 for their breakfast buffet at 10:30 am. After breakfast, we were walking along deck 7 and the atrium and stopped to watch a cooking demonstration by the chefs of Ocean Blue which turned out to be a commercial for the seafood specialty restaurant and why we should go to the place. They recently reduced the cost of a meal there from $49 to $39 and the head chef said that it was a bargain as going to the real restaurant in New York City would cost about $200 per person! My wife and I just rolled our eyes and laughed. We would rather spend hard earned money on days at seas while on a cruise than for a single meal at some trendy food spot in the Big Apple. To each their own, though.

We stopped by the shore excursion desk to buy passes for Bermuda public transportation (bus/ferry). They had one and two day passes for the same price as what you would pay on shore. We bought two day passes for $25 each.

At 2:00 pm, we went back to the atrium to play another video trivia contest called Super Hero/Villain. After the trivia, I went for a run, but this time I went to the deck 7 promenade which was almost empty. The promenade runs the length of both sides of the ship but ends both at the front of the ship and aft. I estimated that going from one end to another was close to an eighth of a mile. There were very few people out there while I was running. I really enjoy running and watching the waves go by, it is so relaxing.

We went to the Garden Café for dinner where they had Country Western themed carving stations with BBQ meats. The shows for the evening were the “Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy” in the Spiegel Tent and a comedy magician named Martin Brock with two performances each. In addition there were three Second City comedy shows; “Scriptless”, “A Night on the Town”, & “Late Night Scriptless” that were held in Headliners. They also had a shortened show of “Burn the Floor” called “Steppin’ Out” in the Manhattan Main Dining Room at 09:00 pm.

This was night we had booked the “Rock of Ages” which was rescheduled. We had seen Martin Brock on a previous occasion and are not fans of Second City comedy, so we were left without a show to watch this evening. We spent the evening listening to music. For music, they had Les Getrex in Fat Cats, two shows in the Atrium with Fire and Ice, guitarist Angel in Maltings, and Arvin and Emily at Shakers.

As we walked past the Headliners, we saw Shaun Harrison (cruise consultant) standing in front of closed doors of the Headliners club. He explained that they were having one of two Latitude parties there (ours was scheduled for later in the week). There were so many Latitude members on board, they had to split them up since they do not have a venue big enough for everyone to attend all together.

We started our evening listening to Angel in Maltings. He is a guitarist that has accompanying music tracks, but he plays guitar as well as sings. He was very good. He had a lot of us singing along to classic songs from the 60’s and 70’s. Once again, we ended the evening at Fat Cats listening to the terrific music put out by Les Getrex and his Creole Cookin’ Band. They were so amazing with their tight playing. They had a 70’s disco groove dance party at Spice H2O starting at 10:30 pm. I wonder what they do with any of the late evening entertainment up at Spice H2O when there is inclement weather?

Day 4 – King’s Wharf, Bermuda
It was a sunny day with temps in the mid 80’s F and very humid.

We arrived at the Royal Navy Dockyard at 8:00 am docking at the Heritage Wharf. We were the only ship in port for the next 3 days. They cleared the ship at 8:30 am and passengers were streaming off shortly after that. The local currency in Bermuda is the Bermudian Dollar. It is pegged to the U.S. Dollar. All of the shops and bars accepted U.S. dollars and gave change in the same.

This was our fifth visit to the island. We had toured the area of St. George’s Parish extensively in the past since two of our cruises had docked there, so our plan was to spend some time on the west end of the island.

We went up to the Garden Café for breakfast around 9:30 am before heading off the ship. As we walked off, there were plenty of taxis for single trips as well as tours. For today, we decided to take a bus to visit the Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse and then work our way back to the Dockyard. We already had our transportation passes we had purchased on board.

As we left the pier, we stayed to our right to walk the few blocks to the bus stop. It is here you can catch the #7 or #8 bus to Hamilton (all buses in Bermuda go to Hamilton – look for pink post as the sign for a bus stop going to Hamilton, blue post are for buses going away from Hamilton).

We were lucky to get onto a #8 bus that was just leaving. I had to stand up which made for an interesting ride. With all of the turns and twists on the narrow roads, it was more fun than any ride at Disney. When we got onto the bus, we had asked the driver to let us know which stop would be for the lighthouse. She told us that she would let us know when we got there. We drove through Somerset Parish, then Sandys (pronounced Sands) Parish, and finally Southampton Parish. She let off some passengers at Church Bay and announced that the next stop would be for Gibb’s Hill. We stopped in front of the Henry VIII restaurant and the driver explained how to get to the light house from there. We and another couple got off and walked up the slightly steep Lighthouse Road for about 15 minutes before we reached the light house at the summit of the hill. The tall white structure really stood out against the bright blue sky. It has 185 steps to the top that you can walk for $2.50 per person. The views from the hill were amazing. We could see our cruise ship in the distance as it towered over the dockyard area. To the right, we could easily see the city of Hamilton.

As we left the hill, we headed back down to the Henry VIII restaurant and waited for a bus heading back towards the dockyard. About 10 minutes later, a bus stopped to pick us up. We asked to be dropped off at the Somerset Bridge. After about 10 minutes we arrived at the Somerset Bridge. It is known as the world's smallest drawbridge and the part that lifts is only a foot wide to allow the masts of sailing ships passing through to get to the other side. The views on both sides of the bridge were great with Ely's Harbor on one side and the Great Sound on the other.

After crossing the bridge, we followed signs for the Railway Trail which we planned to use to walk to Fort Scaur Park instead of walking along the narrow roads with traffic and no sidewalks. It was about a mile and a half walk before we reach Fort Scaur Park which is located on a large hill that overlooks both sides of Sandys Parish. Fort Scaur was built in the 1860's as a defense point to protect access to the Royal Navy Dockyards. It is open to the public and has no admission. It is a self guided tour kind of place. There are several areas where you can go down into the halls of the fort below ground. The views of the Great Sound were great. They even have a spyglass that you can use to see all the way over to St. George's and Fort St. Catherine located there.

After leaving the fort, we found a blue bus stop post and waited for a bus to take us back to the ship. A bus came by in about 15 minutes and it was about 15 minutes to make it back to the dockyard area. We went back on board the Breakaway and changed into swimwear before heading up to the pools to cool off. The pool water was rather warm, so it was not as much a relief as we were hoping for. After the dip in the pool, we found two lounge chairs available near the band stand. We spent the next few hours listening to the band "Impac" play while we sat in the shade.

Before heading to dinner, we went to the afternoon trivia that was about landmarks around the world. We tied for first at that one. The shows for the evening were two performances of “Rock of Ages” in the Breakaway Theater, a Second City show called “Totally at Sea” at Headliners, and the “Newlywed not so Newlywed game show in the Atrium. They had another shortened show of “Burn the Floor” this time called “Wanna Dance” in the Manhattan Main Dining Room at 08:00 pm. In the Garden Café, they had an Asian theme buffet.

For this evening, we had made reservations at Cagney's Steakhouse. With all of our NCL cruises, we had yet to go to a Cagney's. My wife loves a good steak, but I'd rather have anything but red meat. So it never made sense to pay to go for a meal there. But when we booked this cruise, they gave us a dinner for two at the restaurant, so we finally had a chance to go there and give it a try. The Cagney's on this ship is rather large. It occupies half of the aft dining area on deck 7 sharing the other half with Moderno. It seemed more like a cafeteria setting than the more intimate steakhouses on the NCL Jewel Class ships or Carnival ships. My wife ordered the ribeye steak and I ordered the sea bass. Her dish looked and smelled terrific. She said it was the best steak she has had in a long time. My fish dish was okay. We were too full for dessert, so we left the restaurant after only an hour.

For music, they had Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos in Headliners, Arvin & Emily in the atrium, and William at Shakers. In the Atrium at 08:45pm, they had the Newlywed not so Newlywed game. We listened to Arvin & Emily perform in the Atrium before attending a trivia in the Bliss lounge where we had to guess TV Tunes. We ended our evening at Headliners listening to Howl at the Moon. That was a lot of fun. They had a Top 40 Party Hits with Fire & Ice at Spice H2O starting at 11:15 pm.

Day 5 – King’s Wharf, Bermuda
It was a sunny day with temps in the mid 80’s F and very humid.

To start the day, we went up to the Garden Cafe for breakfast. Our plan for the day was to take the ferry to Hamilton and do a little exploring. As we walked off the ship and to the end of the wharf, we walked to our left to the ferry boat station. It is here that you can catch a ferry to Hamilton, St. George's, or other spots on the island. We caught the 11:30 am ferry to Hamilton which only took about 20 minutes to arrive at the city harbor dock.

We stopped by the tourist information office to pick up a walking guide of Hamilton before heading off into the city. Our first stop was St. Theresa's Cathedral where we attended a 12:10 pm mass led by the bishop of the church. The church itself was very simple in style, but it had wonderful air conditioning which was a welcome relief after the walk up to the church from the harbor in the heat.

After that, we headed back towards the harbor, stopping at Victoria park before going into the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity which is an Anglican church. It is a large imposing building and has a large bell tower which you go walk up to the top for a fee of $3. This building had no air conditioning and it was a bit stifling inside. Leaving that church, we walked over to the nearby city hall building which contains the Bermuda National Gallery. The art museum is free, but they ask for donations (much like the museums we visited in London). It was air conditioned as we walked into several rooms with displays of both local artists as well as well known artists from Europe.

We popped into a few shops to look for souvenirs before walking over to the bus terminal (next to the city hall). After about 10 minutes, we were able to get onto a #8 bus to return towards the dockyard. I asked the driver to drop us off at St. James Church in Sandys which took about 30 minutes to reach.

I had read about the small quaint church and its history and was looking forward to seeing the inside of the building. The books I read said that the church was open daily, but when we got there it was closed. The surrounding grounds of the church is its cemetery and offered views of the water. After a few minutes, we walked to the nearest bus stop where we had 3 buses go by without stopping before one finally picked us up for the 10 minute ride back to the dockyard.

Just like the day before, we headed up to the pool to cool off and listen to some music. For this afternoon, they did not have the band playing, instead it was a DJ. He was playing the most boring mix of tunes, most of which were techno pulse types better suited for the disco club than poolside. The shows for the evening were two performances of “Rock of Ages” in the Breakaway Theater, two performances of “Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy” in the Spiegel Tent, and two Second City comedy shows called “A Night on the Town” and “Late Night Sketch” at Headliners.

We had reservations for "Rock of Ages" at 6:30 pm and "Night on the Town" at 9:00 pm. Before heading to the shows, we went up to the Garden Cafe for a quick dinner. (tonight it was a Mexican theme buffet) We wanted to be sure that we got to the theater at least 30 minutes before the start of the show. When we walked into the Breakaway Theater at 6:00 pm, it was already a third full. We did not know what the show was about except that it featured rock songs from the 80's. I have to admit that it one on the funniest shows we have seen in quite a while. At times, I was crying laughing so hard. It is a very campy cheesy show, and yes it has its vulgar and rude parts. I can see why young children should not attend unless you are ready to explain things to them.

We then went to see the Second City show “A Night on the Town” in Headliners. We are not fans of Second City Comedy, but we thought we would attend one of their shows that was supposed to be scripted. The show was OK with an occasional joke or skit that was amusing, but nothing that was laugh out loud funny. Most of their humor is based on clever observations and are funny if you get it. For music, they had Les Getrex in Fat Cats, Fire & Ice in the Atrium, and Angel at Shakers. We went to Fat Cats to listen to Les Getrex and his band for a set before going up to Spice H2O.

Up at Spice H2O, they had the Glow Party starting at 10:30 pm. We wanted to be able to find a seat, so we headed up at 10:00 pm and were lucky to find the last two seats. The glow party had everyone dancing in front of the big screen while they handed out glow sticks. We hung around for a half hour before ending the evening back at Fat Cats for another set by Les Getrex and his band.

Day 6 – King’s Wharf, Bermuda
It was another sunny day. The temps were in the 80’s F and humid with a slight breeze.

Today was our last day in Bermuda with a planned departure of 5:00 pm. We started the day with breakfast at the Garden Cafe. For entertainment, we were watching people in the small bay between the ship and the fort walls who were flying into the air use what I would call jet ski water boots. A person wearing the boots is hooked up to a hose that is connected to a jet ski. The operator of the jet ski guns the engine to force water through the hose and out of the bottom the boots. If the person is standing erect, the boots push them up out of the water. It was like watching someone trying to ride a teeter totter for the first time. Sometimes the person would reach 10 feet out of the water and other times fall over splashing into the water. It looked like fun.

Our plan for the last afternoon in Bermuda was to hang around the Royal Dockyard area. By noon, we were walking off the ship and started exploring by going to the nearby Clock Tower Mall building. We visited some shops before heading back to the fort area. We wanted to go into the National Museum of Bermuda which was the large fort area next to the wharf.

On the way, we walked through the Victualling Yard to visit the Frog and Onion Pub which is located in a former forge building used to make the metal bands for wooden storage barrels. The pub was quite large and they had a singer/pianist playing off to one side. They have their own brewery and I wanted to sample a few of their offerings. My favorite is a porter, but theirs had a heavy chocolate taste to it (no thanks) so I ordered a pint of their IPA which was quite good. My wife had an import, Bud light.

Leaving the pub, we went to the museum and paid a $12 admission fee for each of us. We were given a map of the fort area and given some tips on where to find exhibits. The main building to visit is the Commissioner's House that sat on a high point of the fort. To get there, we had to go up a steep hill and pass through a gated fence. The gate had a sign asking to keep the gate closed to not let the sheep get out of the fort. They had a small herd of sheep grazing on the grounds of the fort.

The Commissioner's House is a large building with three levels of floors, all of which had interesting exhibits. After that, we walked most of the perimeter walls and then went down to a spot below ground that was used to store ammunition. The grounds of fort are very interesting and I thought it was a nice place to visit.

We ended our afternoon by heading back to the ship and jumping into the pool to cool off. The band "Impac" was back again to play music for the rest of the afternoon and the sail away. We found lounge chairs near the band stand and listened for about an hour. All aboard was at 04:30 pm and we were pulling away from the Heritage Wharf at 05:00 pm.

Before going to dinner, we went to the atrium for a Beatles trivia contest at 5:15 pm. We had a good time with the game and finished second. While the game was going on, we sailed away from Bermuda. The shows for the evening were two showings of “Rock of Ages” in the Breakaway Theater, one performance of “Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy” in the Spiegel Tent, and three Second City comedy shows called “Scriptless”, “Totally at Sea” and “Late Night Adult Scriptless” at Headliners. Since we had seen "Rock of Ages" and had no intentions of seeing any of the Second City shows or the Cirque show, the one thing we had to look forward to this evening was the Latitudes Party and the fireworks shows for later that evening.

We had dinner in Garden Cafe. For this night, they offered Chocoholic Night in all of the restaurants. For music, they had a Tribute to Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond with Arvin & Emily in the Atrium at 09:00 pm, Les Getrex in Fat Cats, Arvin & Emily were in the atrium before and after their Tribute show, and Angel at Shakers.

After dinner, we went to the Headliner's Club for the Latitudes Party which was open to all Latitude members. We were greeted at the door by Shaun, the cruise consultant along with Julie, the cruise director and a few other members of the ship's managers. Since we had just sailed away, the captain and his staff were not available. The party was for only 30 minutes where they waiters come around with drinks that included wine, beer, and some mixed drinks. They also had some hors d' oeuvres. After about 15 minutes, Shaun grabbed a microphone to thank us for being loyal customers of NCL and hopes we will all return. That was it, no introductions of Julie or the other managers and no giveaways. It was sad to see that this was what NCL had to offer their loyal customers on one of their newest ships. Times have really changed in that regard. We remember when they would have a band, you would meet the captain and his team, have giveaways (including a free cruise for two), and then have time to dance and mingle.

After the party, we went to Shaker's to listen to Angel play for a set. Shaker's is not the best place to hear music as it is open to the Area 678 where you could hear noise from the casino below as well as the bar area. We then headed up to Spice H2O to make sure we had a seat for the fireworks. We went up to Spice H2O at 9:30 pm and found that they were showing a new Muppets Movie. We also saw that one side of the area was roped off which greatly reduced the amount of available seats. We did find two seats and sat around watching the end of the movie and then the start of the 80's dance party where they showed videos of various artists. The 80’s dance party started at 10:30 pm and then they had the fireworks display at 10:45 pm. By 10:30 pm, the area was packed with people that came up to see the fireworks which were fired away from the ship to the side. The display was short, but it was a fun time. After the fireworks show, they continued with the 80's videos. After we got back to our cabin, we changed our clocks backwards to adjust for NYC time.

Day 7 – Day at Sea
It was a cloudy day. The temps were in the 70’s F with a strong breeze.

We slept in late and did not make it up for breakfast until 11:00 am at the Garden Cafe. That afternoon, they had a show of sorts in the Spiegel Tent called "Wine Lovers: A Musical". It was a short play that included a lunch and samples of 6 different wines. It had a fee, but since we were not interested I did not bother to find out the cost.

We spent the afternoon playing trivia and attending the Crew Talent Show in the Breakaway Theater at 2:00 pm. At the end of the show, they had the captain, his staff, and representatives of every department come out to thank us for sailing with Norwegian. After the crew show, we went up to the pool area to lounge and watch the band "Impac" play for the last time of our cruise. It was very windy and cool. There was hardly anyone in the pools, just the hot tubs. I wanted to point out that Elliot Cerraro, a bar waiter for the Waves bar area by the pool was terrific. He really took great care of us throughout the cruise.

We had an early reservation for dinner at Moderno, but when we saw that there was going to be an Elvis Presley trivia game at 5:45 pm, we called to see if we could get a later reservation. The only time we could get was one for 8:45pm, so we made the change. Before we went to the trivia contest, we packed our luggage and put them out for the porters.

The Elvis trivia was just as much fun as the Beatles trivia from the day before. We had a good time and were tied for first for this one. The shows for the evening were a performance of “Burn the Floor” and a “Tribute to Ike & Tina Turner” in the Breakaway Theater, two showings of “Cirque Dreams and Dinner Jungle Fantasy” in the Spiegel Tent, a Second City comedy showing of “Scriptless” at Headliners. In the Atrium they had a “Perfect Couple Game Show” at 10:30 pm. For music, they had Les Getrex in Fat Cats, Arvin & Emily were in the atrium, and Angel was in Shakers.

Before heading to dinner, we went to Shaker's to listen to Angel. Around 8:30 pm, we headed up to Moderno to see if we could get in any earlier. When we got there, the place was a ghost town with only about 10 tables being occupied?? So when we checked in, we were seated immediately.

For tonight's dinner at Moderno, we had another complimentary certificate for dinner and wine. When we explained that we would prefer beer and not wine, the waitress said that it would be no problem. (I wonder why it was such an issue at Le Bistro?) This was going to be our first time eating at a Moderno Churrascaria (Brazilian Steak House). I had been to a churrascaria in Sao Paolo, Brazil so I was looking forward to trying NCL's version. We went up for the salad buffet before signaling (a tag with a green sign for yes and a red sign for no) that we were ready for the various meats to be brought by our table. I was going to try some beef this time. They came by with chicken, ribs, sausages, and filet mignon. The ribs and sausages were okay, but the filet mignons were super rare and very tough. We could not cut them with our knives. Other beef items were not very good either. Disappointed, we signaled that we were finished. The assistant manager came by to apologize and offered more drinks or to see if we wanted dessert, but we just wanted to leave. We told her that the service was very good, it was just we did not think the food was very good.

We ended our last night on the ship going to Fat Cats for one last set by Les Getrex and his band. They had a Farewell party with the DJ at Spice H2O starting at 10:30 pm.

Disembarkation Day – New York City
It was a sunny morning with temperatures in the mid 60’s F.

We were scheduled to arrive in New York by 7:00am. Our instructions had told us that we needed to be out of our cabin by 8:30 am. This was to allow the cabin stewards to have their cabins cleaned and ready for new passengers later that day. I went up to the buffet to get some tea around 7:30 am and saw that we were still coming up the Hudson having just passed the Statue of Liberty. I could see that the AIDAluna was in port at the Manhattan pier. Our ship was docked by 07:45 am. We headed up to the lido deck buffet for breakfast before returning to our cabin.

At 8:15 am, they announced that passengers that had chosen “self-assist” debarkation could start to get off the ship. We had been given yellow luggage tags which would allow us to be the first color called for those that had left out their luggage. Since, we had to be out of our cabin, we thought we would head down to deck 8 and find a spot to sit and wait for our color to be called. The mid-ship elevators and stairwells were clogged with those trying to get down to deck 7 and disembark with the self-assist, so we decided to head to the aft stairwell which was empty. We found a quiet spot by the Prime Meridien bar area on deck 8 that was just one deck above where we could get off the ship. At 9:45 am, they announced that our color tags could leave the ship and that the luggage was waiting for us in the customs hall. Even though we were one of the first ones down, it still took about a half hour to get off the ship and into the terminal building. Once we got inside the terminal, we easily found our luggage and then had to wait about 15 minutes to go through border patrol processing.

Norwegian Breakaway, Part 2: The Ship


More from CruiseDiva.com:

Articles & Advice

Cruise Reviews

Cruise Line Profiles



Order My
Latest Book

Don't Miss!
at Fodors.com
Cruises Guide & Cruise Forum

See What's New on
 
Cruise Diva's Blog

 

 


Back to the top of  this page

            Use keywords to search...

Google
Search CruiseDiva.com Search the Internet