Monday, May 20, 2013

Breakin’ Away With Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Cruise Ship

By: Anne M. Raso

New York now has a new “lady” taking up the space at Pier 88 —the Norwegian Breakaway. The gorgeous new ship with be docked here any time it's not on its way to Bermuda, London, Bahamas or a “cruise to nowhere”! Norwegian hope that she will soon be considered as the official cruise ship of The Big Apple and Mayor Bloomberg himself came out for the christening and the Rockettes “manned” the ribbon cutting part of the ceremony—although the giant ribbon they held onto was just pulled away from the side of the stage and not really cut with a scissors.

The media was invited aboard the Breakaway for six hours of non-stop partying—the only time we kept still was for the 90 minute christening ceremony which included not only the introduction of legendary artist Peter Max who told me he created a few different drawings with a New York theme that was then made into cruise ship size images via a complex computer app. Max was kind enough to sign commemorative Norwegian Breakaway posters for a full hour for press, travel agents and passengers and will also be aboard a cruise to the Bahamas on the Breakaway next week. His art is behind the check in desks and also for sale in the galleries on board.
Pool Area
The ceremony—which had Cake Boss Buddy Valastro as MC—included speeches by Mayor Bloomberg, Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan, Craig Cannonier, the premier of Bermuda and Perry Christie the prime minister of The Bahamas. There were snippets of shows aboard every cruise including Howl At The Moon (a rock trio ho switches instruments) and Rock Of Ages. The Rockettes did their classic high kicks and toasted with champagne after the “ribbon cutting.” All along the ship and onstage were the numerous Nickelodeon characters placed on board for constant family entertainment.
Mayor Bloomberg at the Ribbon Cutting
My personal explorations on board included checking out the deluxe staterooms and suites in the Haven area (which is similar to the concierge area of the hotel with private dining and even a private pool area). I grazed at the Garden Café, easily the most diversified and highest quality buffet I have encountered on any ship in my lifetime. As a foodie, I counted up the different ethnicities of cuisine, and found ten different types including Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Modern American. For lunch, I headed to the Shanghai Noodle Bar on Deck 15, which has community seating and highly authentic Chinese appetizers like spring rolls and pork dumplings, noodle dishes (including soups with sliced pork), and Mango Pudding that the passengers surrounding me fell in love with. I admit to sticking my feet in the pool while devouring several delicious virgin pina coladas for a full hour from the Breezeway Bar before departing. Somewhere along the way, I forgot to taste Buddy Valastro’s extravagant cake modeled on the Breakaway, of course—and that was my only regret!
Rockettes Perform!
Passengers can get tours of the ship by checking in with the front desk and it’s a must for any Norwegian cruise. There is a lot more than the shows, casinos, great food and family games. There are all sorts of daredevil amusements that other cruise ships in their Aqua Park on Deck 17, which includes five multi-story slides. (Not-so-brave parents can soak in one of the four hot tubs while kids take on the slides!). I hope to be able to spend more time on the Breakaway in the future and go on a full-fledged cruise as opposed to being on board for just a day. I took one of the activity flyers on my way onto the ship the other day and counted no less than fifty activities for the day. Wow, it’s mind-blowing and hard to think about the work you left behind once you get into the sensory overload of all the Breakaway has to offer.

Photos: Anne Raso

No comments:

Post a Comment