Get Ready for a Breakaway: Norwegian Breakaway

by Gray Cargill on May 1, 2013

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Dear solo travelers who are itching to go on a cruise: Do I have good news for you!

Remember the excitement of 2010 when Norwegian Epic debuted with its solo lounge and 128 staterooms sized—and priced–for solo travelers? Well, Norwegian just gave birth to The Epic‘s brand new baby sister called Norwegian Breakaway which features the same solo stateroom/lounge concept as The Epic, but with a new itinerary: New York to Bermuda. You know what this means, don’t you?

That’s right—you can now explore the Bermuda Triangle!

Kidding, kidding. No, what it really means is: More cruise options without single supplements! (Can I hear a “Hell Yeah!”?)

Breakaway Studio Stateroom

On May 10th, I’ll be boarding The Breakaway for a 2 night inaugural cruise/press trip. Sadly, with only 2 nights, we won’t be going to Bermuda. But I’ll have plenty of opportunity while the ship is at sea to get to know this new Norwegian beauty with a New York theme.

Given my love for themed resorts, is it any surprise that the thing I am most giddy about is seeing how thoroughly and how well the ship incorporates the New York theme into The Breakaway? Two New York-related tidbits are that the Rockettes are the ship’s godmothers and the ship’s ice bar is rumored to have a New York theme (complete with ice sculptures of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty!). I seriously cannot wait to see that.

Naturally, I’ll be checking out the Studio Staterooms and the Lounge while I’m aboard to see how they compare to The Epic‘s. (I’ll warn you ahead of time, there are half as many as on The Epic, with just 59 staterooms, but at least they have them.) But this cruise isn’t just about me: Consider me your boots on the ground, your proxy, your eyes and ears, your advance scout. Give me my marching orders.

What else would you like me to check out while I’m aboard?

After all, part of this blog’s mission is to help you plan your solo travel. How do you know if this is the right ship for your solo cruise if you don’t know what it’s really like, right? What do you want to know about The Breakaway? What makes a cruise ship appealing to you?

Here is some more information I know about the ship before even boarding, to help you consider what you would like to know more about:

Le Bistro

The public relations folks at Norwegian have pulled together an itinerary for some of my time. So I already know I’ll be dining one night in the Manhattan Room (the main dining room also available aboard The Epic, but so much more appropriate for a ship whose home port is New York City) and one night at Le Bistro (one of the signature restaurants). I’m especially pleased to have a chance to experience Le Bistro. In my 9 nights aboard The Epic, I never had the opportunity.

The Breakaway has some new dining concepts—such as two new “treats” shops—Carlo’s Bake Shop (which might sound familiar to viewers of TLC’s “Cake Boss”) and Dolce Gelato—as well as an upscale seafood restaurant by George Zakarian called Ocean Blue. But it also has old favorites, like Teppenyaki, O’Sheehans, and Cagney’s Steakhouse. It’s a tough job, but I’ll try to snack my way around the ship and sample as many of the venues as my stomach will allow.

I’ve also been booked to see the ship’s major theatrical show, Rock of Ages, a musical featuring a rock ‘n roll storyline and ’80s music. This show opened in Las Vegas a few months ago, and I’ve heard very positive reviews. Since I lived through my formative teenage years in the ’80s, I have a feeling this show is going to bring back a lot of fond memories of big hair bands. There’s a Cirque Dreams & Dinner show, just as there is on The Epic, as well as a dance show called Burn the Floor that sounds like hot stuff.

Rock of Ages

Every sailing of The Breakaway will feature a fireworks show at Spice H2O and an ’80s dance party, so we’ll be getting a taste of that as well. (Anyone have any ’80s clothing I can borrow? The only thing I have left from the ’80s is my love of popular culture!)

So think about what you want me to check out for you while I’m aboard The Breakaway. You can learn more about the ship at the Norwegian Breakaway website. Please add your questions in the comments section below.

Since I’m aboard the ship for less than 48 hours and I’m hoping some of those will be spent sleeping, I may not be able to get to everything. But I’ll do the best I can for items of particular interest to people. AND. . .You don’t have to wait until I get back from the cruise to get a sneak peek of this new cruise ship. From May 10-12th, you can follow along virtually on Facebook and Twitter (and follow the hashtag #NorwegianBreakaway).

Photo renderings courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines: Norwegian Breakaway; Studio Stateroom; Le Bistro; Rock of Ages.

Teresa Vincent May 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Gotta say the “J” word here that I usually don’t use–I’m a little bit jealous but a LOT bit excited for you! Having recently sailed on an older Norwegian ship from NYC to Bermuda (and LOVED it!) going on a brand new ship is definitely something on my “must do” list. Cruising past the Statue of Liberty is something that I will cherish forever (and now has me wanting to cruise mainly from NYC). Looking forward to your review and pics of your sample cruise 🙂 Live Large for all of us Gray!

Gray May 6, 2013 at 5:52 am

Thanks Teresa! 🙂

Dave May 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

If you get a chance, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the casual dining options. I like a nice sit-down restaurant as much as the next guy, but a lot of times, I’m more in the mood for something informal and faster.

Gray May 5, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I’ll do my best, Dave!

Sabina May 4, 2013 at 10:23 am

This sounds fantastic. I’ve been on one cruise (Western Carribean) and just loved it. I shared a room with my then-boyfriend (his dad paid for the cruise, as it was a family reunion getaway 🙂 ) and although I don’t expect any other cruises to be free like the my first one, it is very good to know if ever I were to take a cruise by myself, I don’t have to pay a single supplement.

Gray May 4, 2013 at 11:15 am

More and more cruise ships are starting to build these solo cabins, Sabina, so hopefully we’ll all have more options in the future for cruises with no single supplements!

spagirlaustin May 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I love to cruise. Make sure you check out the spa for me.

Gray May 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Ooh, my pleasure, spagirlaustin. Any excuse to check out the spa. 🙂

Sarah P | The Travel Spotlight May 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Yay for no single supplements! I really wish they’d do away with that altogether especially for tours! I love travelling solo on a tour sometimes but the cost can be so prohibitive!

Have fun on the cruise Gray! I’m not a fan of long cruises but this one looks short & snappy enough to be fun! Can’t wait to read about your experience (:

Gray May 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Hi, Sarah – Yes, this one is very short. No port stops, just out to sea and back. Thanks for the well-wishes, I’m sure it’ll be a good time! You and I are 100% in agreement about single supplements. If only we were running the world. 🙂

Rika | Cubicle Throwdoqn May 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

The first thing that popped into my head was the seating arrangements as well! I don’t mind eating alone, but at restaurants with all big tables you sort of end up sticking out. Please let us know what they say!

Gray May 1, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Will do, Rika! (I hear you on the big tables. Sitting alone at a table for four–or six–is excruciating.)

She ate great May 1, 2013 at 6:37 am

I wonder how your seating arrangements will be at dinner. Grouped with couples? Or allowed to sit alone by choice ? Please advise. Thanks!

Gray May 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Hi, “She ate great” – For this particular cruise, dinner is being hosted by PR, so it will be small groups. But I’ll ask once I’m on board what the dining arrangements generally are for solos at the various restaurant venues. I’m fairly certain you can dine alone by choice, since I was able to do that aboard the Epic. But I’ll check. Thanks for the question!

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