Our Review: Exploring the Norwegian Breakaway

For those of you who don’t follow the swells of the cruising industry, there’s a brand new, stacked megaship on the seven seas: Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Breakaway. Packed with delicious specialty dining, unique entertainment, and some great onboard features, this cruise ship is everyone’s newest fascination. I had the good fortune to attend a 2-Day Pre-Inaugural cruise onboard the Breakaway from May 10-12, 2013, and thought I’d weigh in on the ship’s innovative highlights and features.

Ocean Blue

My Favorite: Geoffrey Zakarian’s Ocean Blue Restaurant

For those of you who enjoy seafood (or ‘Chopped’ on the Food Network) this fine dining establishment is a must if you are cruising on the Norwegian Breakaway. Moderately sized, this restaurant will book extremely quickly, and is unique to the ship. My party was lucky to be seated in the early evening on the first day of the cruise, and let me tell you—it was stupendous. The atmosphere was cool, chic, and upscale and the environment was perfect.

Service: Considerate, careful, professional waiters attended to our every need (without over-serving), and even brought out the chef when we asked to commend him!

Cuisine: From the Grilled Prawn Panzanella to the Sea Salted Raspberry Paté Fruit, the culinary influence and instruction from exceptional chef Geoffrey Zakarian was crystal clear. Highlight—crab risotto.


Most Unique: First-Ever Salt Room at Sea

In the cruising industry, it’s all about setting yourself apart from the many other cruise ships on the sea. The Norwegian Breakaway’s most unique, one-of-a-kind feature (in my eyes) would have to be the first-ever ‘Salt Room at Sea’.

Described by one of The Cruise Web’s guests onboard the inaugural as cool, pleasant and bright (great for relaxing/detoxing), this unique spa treatment ‘mimics the natural salt caves of Eastern Europe’ and has been proven to improve respiratory/skin issues. Those who experienced it during our cruise were extremely pleased with the experience.

Cirque Dreams aboard the Norwegian Breakaway.

Cirque Dreams aboard the Norwegian Breakaway.

Most Impressive: Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy & Dinner

The ‘Cirque Dreams’ Jungle Fantasy & Dinner was an enthralling experience to say the least. As a lover of all that is theatric, and one fortunate enough to be around theater for my early years, it’s not easy to impress me.

The seating arrangement was excellent, as all guests were situated around the performance in a circle, which allowed everyone to get a fantastic view. The servers were amazing in the speed which we were served, and the amount of attention we received, which unprecedented.  The food was sublime, in particular their version of the surf & turf (a steak and shrimp).

The show was a spectacle for the mind and eyes. Creatures of all sorts and beasts of the jungle performed high-flying feats of strength and dexterity. Kicks, bends, leaps, and rolls wow’ed the crowd (including myself) as the beautiful and sometimes mysterious music carried the entire show along.

That’s right, the Norwegian Breakaway is filled with spectacles and special attractions, from the spa to the theater and everywhere in between.  Think this sounds great? Check out some Norwegian Breakaway cruise deals on The Cruise Web website. If you have an innovative feature or unique experience to add, please join the conversation in the comments below!

Austin Gambino, of The Cruise Web, is our resident cruise expert.

[Featured photo: Wikipedia / Body photos: Austin Gambino]