Norwegian Breakaway


Norwegian’s New Breakaway Ship

David Rentsch

President, Cruise Holidays

Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Breakaway ship is capable of carrying 4,028 guests, and is loaded with interesting and innovative features. With this new design, it’s arguably poised to be the most successful, popular ship Norwegian Cruise Line has built in its long history.

Breakaway has 14 passenger decks numbered from 5-18. Deck’s 6, 7 and the rear half of deck 8 accommodate most of

the public spaces.  The ship only has two stair towers/elevator banks, which seemed less than ideal for such a big, long ship. However with some stairs between decks 6, 7, and 8 amidships, the elevators ended up efficient.

678 Ocean Place

Following the launch of Norwegian Epic in 2010, the line’s new build team noticed that several areas of the ship — like the Bliss Ultra Lounge — cleared out following scheduled activities. From a guest standpoint, it increased the amount of distance passengers would have to walk to dinner or to their next entertainment venues. Because of that, the company made the decision to centralize most of the ship’s entertainment venues, restaurants and lounges on Decks 6, 7, and 8 — hence the name 678 Ocean Place.

This decision also meant that some of the bottlenecks that could occur aboard Norwegian ships are almost non-existent here. The ship’s design is more intuitive with public rooms that complement each other and are noteworthy for their unusual levels of intimacy for such a large ship. 678 Ocean Place includes long-standing Norwegian Cruise Line favorites like Le Bistro, La Cucina and the always-hopping Wasabi. For Breakaway, Norwegian Cruise Line also partnered with noted Chef Geoffrey Zakarian to offer Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian.


Norwegian seems to have struck gold with The Waterfront, creating one of the most pleasing new features I’ve seen aboard a ship in a long time. In fact, the entire concept is so creative that I’m surprised no one has done this before. Running three quarters of the length of the ship on both port and starboard sides and wrapping attractively around the stern, The Waterfront is where most of their alternative dining venues are located and overlook a wide teak promenade deck. These restaurants boast large windows offering sea views and have some lido-dining seating on the promenade. The Waterfront also has a fun feature:  there are some glass panels set into the teak deck, both sides aft, where you can view the sea and wake below.

Main Dining Rooms

The Manhattan dining room (deck 7) is one of the inclusive dining options and the largest dining room on-board.  It has a very attractive Art Deco design, with a large floor to ceiling windows and a large wooden dance floor, with a stage for a band. It is a double height room and is located at the very stern of the ship. Like Epic’s room of the same name, Cagney’s (steak house) and Moderno (the Brazilian-style restaurant) are located above the Manhattan and overlook the dance floor through windows.