Norwegian Breakaway in New York
Norwegian Breakaway in New York / NCL
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Aqua Park
Aqua Park / Norwegian Cruise Line / Rick Diaz
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Norwegian Breakaway's Svedka Ice Bar
Norwegian Breakaway's Svedka Ice Bar / NCL
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Cirque Dreams
Cirque Dreams / Norwegian Cruise Line
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Mini-Suite / Norwegian Cruise Line
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Norwegian Breakaway
Norwegian Breakaway / Norwegian Cruise Line / Danny Lehman
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Norwegian Breakaway Review

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

This is a big, bold megaship with a distinctive New York accent. It was a new class of ship for Norwegian Cruise Line and the largest vessel to homeport in Manhattan year-round when it debuted in 2013. Big Apple references abound, including the colorful hull design — by pop artist Peter Max — which features the Statue of Liberty and other city landmarks. Norwegian Breakaway still sails from New York on occasion, but its itineraries also now include the Caribbean from New Orleans and Miami and the Mediterranean from Barcelona and Rome. If you’re seeking a mainstream ship that offers lots of choices, you’ll be pleased with Breakaway’s options: 15 bars and lounges and 18 eateries.

What We Love

The Skyy Vodka Ice Bar: You may be cruising the Caribbean, but you can put on a loaner parka and gloves and enter to enjoy a window of time in this well-chilled room. While there, you can drink ice-cold vodka and cocktails made with ice wine and admire ice sculptures of such landmarks as the Brooklyn Bridge and the Chrysler Building.

Diverse Entertainment: This ship has a lot of great ways to spend an evening: See history and Girl Power combined in the musical phenomenon “Six,” which creatively tells the tales of the six wives of Henry VIII. Watch the sexy ballroom dancers of “Burn the Floor” perform on stage and in The Manhattan Room dining room, or a cover band deliver solid versions of top rock ‘n roll hits from the ‘70s and ‘80s in Syd Norman’s Pour House. Need some joy and laughter? You can catch first-rate dueling pianos in Howl at the Moon and comedy acts in Headliners Comedy Club. 

The Waterfront: The ship's distinctive design feature is this extra-wide, quarter-mile promenade lined with restaurants, where you can hang out in the sea air and watch the ocean. Our favorite space: a seafood shack at Ocean Blue on The Waterfront that serves up lobster rolls.

Best Known For

Outdoor Thrills: Five water slides let you twist and plunge down toward the ship at speeds of up to 33 mph. At the huge ropes course, you can harness up to do more than 40 activities, including walking The Plank, which takes you eight feet off the side of the ship and more than 150 feet above the sea. There’s a Kids Aqua Park, too, for thrill-loving junior sailors.

Staterooms for Solo Sailors: Norwegian Breakaway — along with most of the newer ships in the cruise line’s fleet — makes it easy and affordable for single travelers to enjoy a cruise by offering 100-square-foot Solo Studios and larger Solo Oceanview and Solo Balcony staterooms. Guests in all three categories get access to the Studio Lounge, where they can socialize with other single travelers.

Who It's Best For

Active Types: This is a good fit for everyone from 20-somethings to seniors. It's best for those who like their cruise vacation casual and action-packed and don't mind being part of a crowd.

Families: Kids are well entertained in the big Splash Academy play area, and teens get their own Entourage lounge.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

There Are Lots of Extras: With pay-as-you-go temptations, including gelato, draft beer and cocktails, and specialty restaurants such as the seafood-focused Ocean Blue and Cagney’s Steakhouse for prime cuts and classic sides, you'll want to keep close track of your onboard tab.

Quiet Spaces Are Hard to Find: Like its Breakaway and Breakaway-Plus Class siblings, including Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Escape, lively and loud are part of this ship’s DNA. There are some calmer zones on the upper sun decks, and the Mandara Spa’s Thermal Suite is a serene oasis, but you should be prepared to be the life of the party on any Breakaway sailing.

Fran Golden
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger