Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review
September 21, 2014
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
Day 1 – Embarkation Day
It was an overcast day with temps in the high
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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