Norwegian Breakaway Debuts, UK Travel Pros Approve

Norwegian BreakawayNorwegian Cruise Lines new Norwegian Breakaway is due to arrive in New York City to be christened in the city by Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes on May 8. This week, the 146,600-ton ship was previewed by UK travel professionals and members of the press in Southampton on a two-night preview sailing prior to its inaugural transatlantic sailing. Sailing year-round from New York, Norwegian is betting heavy on the success of the ship’s New York City theme with everything from the city skyline painted on the ship’s hull to Sabrett hot dog carts positioned around the ship. But how did the ship play out in real life? Gadling asked travel professionals on the UK sailing for their opinion.

Norwegian promotes the ship as “ground breaking” and “innovative,” something Norwegian Cruise Lines knows a thing or two about. They introduced the concept of Freestyle Cruising that broke away from rigid ship schedules for dining and activities.

Scott Anderson, General Manager of The Luxury Cruise Company told Gadling he thinks Norwegian hit their goal, saying Norwegian Breakaway is a “much needed departure away from the clashing colours and gaudiness of the Jewel class and (Norwegian) Epic. The Norwegian Breakaway cabins and suites are all decorated in soft, natural, muted tones; the ships public rooms, whilst being ‘themed’ are not over the top and the carpets throughout are not migraine inducing.”Norwegian BreakawayTop-end staterooms include The Haven by Norwegian, a luxury ship within a ship area full of suites. Guests booked in the luxury accommodations enjoy an array of amenities, including private 24-hour butlers, concierge service, in-suite dining, priority embarkation and disembarkation, a distinctive platinum keycard, priority boarding of tenders to shore, in-suite espresso/cappuccino machines and more.

“What really distinguishes it for me is the Haven area – beautifully decorated, with guests occupying Haven suites given access to their own bar, lounge and restaurant,” said Anderson.

Built to handle 4,500 passengers, Norwegian Breakaway continues the line’s innovative spirit with two signature areas. An oceanfront boardwalk called the Waterfront combines dining and drinking venues with entertainment and gaming. 678 Ocean Place will be a hub of activity spanning three decks that feature seven more dining venues, 12 bars and lounges coupled with shops and other entertainment options.

“A very innovative design and great for a bar crawl!” said Anderson. “Shakers cocktail bar was great, and I would love to sit outside at La Cucina in the evening for a nice Italian meal.”

Norwegian BreakawayBut whom will this ship appeal to? New Yorkers? Non-New Yorkers wanting a New York experience? Cruise travelers in general? What age group would like Norwegian Breakaway? The ship has plenty of bars, restaurants, entertainment options and top-deck features like an Aqua Park and Sports Complex. It sounds like Norwegian Breakaway has all the bases covered.

“If I was sailing with a multi-generational family group – who all wanted different things out of their vacation, then I would definitely sail on this ship,” concludes Anderson. “The kids clubs facilities are very good, the number of bars and clubs are perfect for 20-somethings and young parents, and there are enough areas for those who like quieter times to sit and relax. Evening entertainment and the choice of restaurants should keep everyone happy.”

Norwegian Breakaway will sail year-round from New York to Bermuda in the summer then do a seven-day Bahamas and Florida itinerary in the winter.

Want to know more about Norwegian Breakaway? Norwegian has a dedicated website for the ship and this video highlights other features:

[Photo Credit – Scott Anderson]

Cruise Line Brings Heat To New York City

cruise lineNorwegian Cruise Line is bringing new 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway to New York City later this year to sail year-round to Florida, the Bahamas and Bermuda. Getting ready to be New York’s home town cruise line, Norwegian has engaged in partnerships with the New York City Rockettes, pop artist Peter Max and others. Norwegian Breakaway will even have Sabrett New York hot dog carts positioned around the ship in convenient places, much like on the streets of New York City.

Now, Norwegian is back on the streets of New York offering what they call “Warming Stations” around the city.

As part of their sponsorship with NYC & Company, the official marketing, tourism and partnership of the City of New York, Norwegian Cruise Line is setting up three warming station events in New York City through the end of January.

The warming stations feature a large backdrop of Norwegian Breakaway along with heat lamps, sand and palm trees to give passers-by a warm, tropical feeling. Commuters passing through can visit, have their pictures taken with the backdrop like they might while boarding a cruise ship and enjoy a hot beverage.cruise lineUpcoming dates and locations are:

January 14 – Flatiron Plaza
January 22 – 14th St. & 9th Ave.
January 28 – Times Square

And what would be a cruise-oriented event without something free given away?

The Warming Stations will feature instant-wins every hour where visitors can win tickets to either see “Rock of Ages” or eat at Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant, The National.

Featuring an oceanfront boardwalk called the Waterfront, Norwegian Breakaway will have shops, restaurants and bars combined with entertainment and gaming. A hub of activity spanning three decks is called 678 Ocean Place, featuring seven dining venues, 12 bars and lounges coupled with shops and other entertainment options.

Can’t wait for Norwegian Breakaway to arrive in May? Norwegian Cruise Lines has a micro-site set up all about the new ship and its features. Check this video for more:




[Photo Credit- Norwegian Cruise Lines]

Authentic, New York City Experience, On A Cruise Ship

New York City

Norwegian Cruise Line will launch new Norwegian Breakaway from New York City in May 2013. Busy getting New Yorkers into the idea of sailing away on their newest ship, Norwegian has everyone from the Rockettes to celebrity chef’s excited and involved in one way or another. Now Norwegian Cruise Line has good news for travelers who might not get into fancy restaurants or new-ship features.

Onboard Norwegian Breakaway will be authentic Sabrett New York hot dog carts positioned around the ship in convenient places, much like on the streets of New York City. To wash down those dogs? Brooklyn Lager Beer.

“As a New Yorker, I’ve been a fan of Sabrett’s. Since we are launching New York’s ship, it made complete sense to bring New York’s favorite hot dog to Norwegian Breakaway,” said Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line in a Travel Pulse report.

Norwegian currently has the ship’s Godmother Rockettes dancing a Christmas show at a discounted rate courtesy of the cruise line. Norwegian used native pop artist Peter Max to paint the New York skyline on the hull of the ship and tapped New York restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian to create a luxury seafood dining experience with a dining room, a raw bar, and a more casual venue called Ocean Blue on the new ship.

Now, going a bit more casual, the all-beef Sabrett hot dogs will come with a choice of condiments including onion in tomato sauce, sauerkraut, mustard and relish. The carts will be positioned on the Breakaway’s extra-wide promenade, The Waterfront, and on the pool deck and forward deck.

“With Sabrett hot dogs and Brooklyn Lager beer, our guests will truly get a real taste of the city as a part of their whole New York experience while onboard,” added Sheehan.

Fascinated by the New York City hot dog scene yourself? Learn more via this video:




[Photo Credit- Flickr user WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)]

Cruise Line Can’t Build New Ships Fast Enough

cruise line


Norwegian Cruise Line announced this week a plan to build one, maybe two more new ships, their biggest yet, on the heels of their two Project Breakaway ships that are still under construction. Citing the buzz among cruise travelers and travel professionals in Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway as reason enough to build the 163,000 ton ships, the cruise line is as confident as ever.

“Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway have garnered significant attention in the marketplace with their innovative design, rich stateroom mix and world-class amenities,” said Norwegian President and CEO Kevin Sheehan in a Seatrade Insider report.

Indeed, Norwegian has had a laser focus on the deployment of their next ships. Dedicating Norwegian Breakaway to year-round service from New York City, the cruise line brought on board pop artist Peter Max to paint the ships hull with the New York skyline. About a month ago, Norwegian announced the Godmothers of Norwegian Breakaway, the New York City Rockettes. Sister ship Norwegian Getaway will sail year-round from Miami in 2014 and a close tie to Miami and South Florida is expected there as well.

Norwegian’s new Breakaway Plus ships to be delivered in 2015 and 2017 if an option for a second ship is triggered put two more giant ships in service, these weighing in at 163,000 tons, carrying about 4,200 passengers. The ships will be built at Meyer Werft’s Papenburg, Germany shipyard and financed by a German bank.

“Building on that momentum, along with Meyer Werft’s expertise and efficiency in the design and construction process, we are extending the excitement and anticipation with a new, larger edition Breakaway Plus-class ship to further distinguish the Norwegian brand,’ said Sheehan.
At a price tag of €700m (getting close to $1billion each), Breakaway Plus will host a continuation of the signature Norwegian Cruise Line Freestyle Cruising guest experience and focus on technical and sustainable environmental advances as well.



[Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Lines]