Breakaway Bermuda Inaugural, Last Day in Bermuda

Okay!  First off I have to say, I love Bermuda.  I can't imagine I went this long and travelled this much, and never made it here.  And I am glad I finally did.  And I really love a 3 day port call.  The chance to just run back and forth from the ship all day and all night is very nice.  And there is more than enough to do here to fill the time.
I got up, had a little breakfast, and then met up with a small group for a bridge tour.  It was originally scheduled for the day before, but got postponed by an emergency drill.  So, we got up to the bridge and the Navigation officer showed us around.  Pretty much the same as other modern bridges I've seen, but it's always cool.  And this time, for the first time, I got to sit in the captains seat. Very cool.  Way more comfortable than the seats in the theater, what with being a cutting edge, ergonomically designed Recaro leather seat and all.
After the bridge tour I wanted to take one more scooter ride before turning it in.  A friend of mine told me she really wanted to find a beach, so we did that.  Past Somerset, wandering thru some neighborhoods until we came upon one last perfect little beach, totally beautiful, totally deserted.  Got some pictures, wiggled her toes in the sand a bit, and then we headed back.  She did me the favor of getting some action video from the back of the scooter.  I haven't had a chance to review it yet, but it should make the final cut better, and give an idea of how exciting these roads can be with the busses and trucks zipping by on one side, and stone walls on the other with little room to spare.
Turned in the scoot, and did my obligatory souvenir shopping for the family back home, got back on the ship and took lunch on the buffet.  It was okay.  Y'all know I am not big on buffets.  Breakaways is good.  But not good enough to change my mind on that.
After lunch I really needed to get online and upload some stuff, including all the video.  So I went back down and did that, and as I was finishing up the staff all came down for the sailaway dancing and stuff.  That was GREAT!  It has become a tradition, I guess, for a bunch of staff and crew to greet passengers on the way back with music and dancing.  They pulled out all the stops yesterday.  Cruise Director Julie and A.C.C. Simon were on stilts, Simon juggling, and about 50 crewmembers lining the walkway.  The DJ was blasting some tunes and everybody was just having a good time.  I hung out for an extra half hour and got some more video.
Went and chilled on the balcony until sailaway.  Went up and watched that, said goodbye to Bermuda, and decided to join a friend for dinner at Shanghai Noodle Bar.  The Singapore noodles were excellent, as were the fried potstickers.  After dinner we hooked up with another friend and went to the casino. OMG is all I can say.  Not an empty seat.  And it wasn't open yet!  Apparently the gamblers don't tolerate three whole days without a fix very well.  And they were NOT moving!  Even when it was announced the casino would not be open for at least 15 minutes, no one moved.  I hung around a little, talking to some folks, but the crowd and noise and aura of desperate finally drove me away. 
Went back to the room and chatted with the roomie a bit until she got ready to go down for Karaoke.  Decided to join her and give a listen.  I have to say the play list for karaoke on this ship is the worst I've ever seen anywhere.  One guy was pretty good, and Crickett was dynamite, as always.  The rest ranged from "meh" to "get off the stage, you're hurting me".
But it was fun.  Stayed til time for the 80's Party.  Went up and changed into the spandex and denim and headed to Spice.  Beautiful weather for this one, unlike Saturday when we were forced into the Atrium and the fireworks were cancelled.  THIS one had it all...and the fireworks were just incredible.  I know Disney has been doing this for a while, but I've never had the experience of fireworks from a ship.  It was great.  Accompanied by a great musical track, the bombs bursting in air, so to speak were a great addition to an already great deck party.
Ended up staying and dancing until I couldn't.  Ended the night chilling on the balcony talking with a friend, recapping the week and deciding it has been a pretty great cruise, overall.
Finally turned in at 2ish, as we have to get up for one more 9am session for the seminar.
and that, my friends, is that.  If you're week has been 1/10th as good as mine, you are lucky indeed.  Talk to you tomorrow!


Breakaway Bermuda Inaugural, Bermuda DAY TWO

After the 4am balcony party I slept til 8:30.  Hung around the ship, had breakfast, blah blah blah.   Couldn't find anyone to join me for a scooter ride.
So I went by myself.  And decided to keep the scooter for 24 hours instead of just 3 or 4.  Best call of the trip.  Took a little test drive into Somerset and back.  About 10 miles.  Came back to the ship for a quick lunch, and then took the grand tour.  The best afternoon on  a cruise since 19-forgotten.
In about 4 1/2 hours I managed to get to the South Shore and over to Hamilton and back.  So many beautiful beaches and little inlets dotted with boats moored.  It seems every couple miles I had to pull over and take a picture.  This really is a beautiful place.  And the people are awesome.  Unlike those 3rd world islands where everybody is hustling everybody every chance they get, when you ask directions here, they just give you directions.  It's nice.
So, yeah, that was the bulk of my day, just getting the wind in my face and dodging busses.  The roads are all very narrow and the busses very wide.  So you really do have to pull over when you see something interesting...cuz when you are on the road you have to be paying attention.
After the afternoon of touring, I came back to the ship to grab a little snack.  One of my friends wanted to take a ride, so we did that.  Just a half hour, to get a taste.
By then it was time to get ready for dinner at LeBistro.  This one was better than I recall from the EPIC.  And Klaus stopped by and chatted for a while.  By the time we finished dinner it was time to sneak into Rock of Ages.  I had just seen it Friday, but it was good the second time too. 
Got out about midnite, went with some friends to O'Sheehan's for a late night snack, talked a while, and a couple of us decided to go for a 1am stroll around the Dockyard.  So we did.
And then it was off to bed, as I have a 9am Bridge Tour.
Sorry this is so short today, but the videos on my youtube channel and Facebook page pics should make up for the lack.  It really was a pictorial kind of day.
Hasta Manana, mi amigos!


Breakaway Bermuda Inaugural. IN BERMUDA!

We made it.  First off, to clarify for those of you following the story:  No, the improvements to the Heritage Wharf at the Dockyard are not yet finished.  But they are finished enough to dock the ship.  In other words, the extension the ship ties up to is all done.  But there is a construction zone still on the area where passengers would be able to debark from the rear of the ship.  It looks to be a week or two from completion.  In the meantime, I didn't see any problems yesterday with moving everybody off and on the ship using just the forward gangplank.  I think because it's a 3 day port call, there was not the mad rush to be first off the ship.  As far as I could tell (and I got off 4 different time), there was never a line either direction.
I got off the first time, took a walk down the pier and saw a full on presser happening with the Island muckety-mucks and the ship's captain.  The Breakaway really is a big f*****g deal, to quote Joe Biden.  After that I got directions to get a card to access wifi.  If anyone cares, you can purchase them in the gazebo past the gazebo.  Amazingly, I found it with those directions. 
The dockyard has recently been outfitted with pretty much blanket wifi, and the prices are crazy cheap.  $5 for an hour, $10 for a day, and $15 for 3 days.
And once you get it set up, it's pretty good.  Definitely faster than the ships satellite internet.  I can get a signal from the side of the ship facing the Dockyard, though it's not very strong.  But from the wharf right outside the ship, it's fine.  The lady who sold me the card says they will run phone lines out the wharf extension when it is finally finished, finished, at which time you'll probably be able to get a signal anywhere on the ship...at least on the open decks.
After that little project was finished I got back on the ship, ran into some friends who needed wifi, so I escorted them over and we got them all set up. 
We decided to hang out at the Bone Fish restaurant and do some work.  Sat outside on the patio.  Right next to the Boner Bar.  Just because, well...it's the Boner Bar.  How could we not?
I had a bowl of the local fish chowder.  Pretty good, I guess.  Basically it's Pepper Pot, with a dash of sherry and a bit of fish.  Chased it with a bit of the local ginger beer.  Good, but not as gingery as most of the Caribbean ginger beers.
Back to the ship for a real lunch.  O'Sheehans.  I realized that I have eaten a bunch of meals at every O'Sheehans in the world, and have never had a burger there, so I rectified that situation.  I am not a big burger guy.  I'm still not.  'Nuff said.
The girls I was with decided it was time to try the speed slides.  I took a pass as it was a little windy and chilly, and I'm still fighting a cold.  So I ran back downstairs and answered a few emails.
By the time I was done it was time for dinner.  We had a big group dinner with the Seminar at Sea thing, in the Manhattan Room.  The food was quite good, and the little performance by the Burn the Floor dancers was outstanding.  But the Manhattan main dining room is still just too big, too crowded and too noisy for my tastes.  If I eat in an MDR the rest of the week, it will be Taste or Savor.  Much more to my liking.
After dinner another bunch of friends decided to head ashore and grab a drink.  We ended up at the Frog and Onion pub.  Met a great waiter there, a former RCCL waiter.  Had another ginger beer while my friends sampled the local hard brews.  On the way out, we passed a group of guys posing for some strange, vaguely lurid photos against the wall of the Cooperage.  We made some comments to the photographer, and next thing you know, all five guys are facing the wall and dropping trou...So, yeah, a quintuple moon.  No one needed to see that.  We're not talking young, buff guys either...we're talking old fat tourist guys.  So, with that disturbing image burned into my brain, we walked on back home.
Back on board, I bopped around a little, looking for something to do.  Lost some of the friends, and it finally came down to me and Kris hitting Howl at the Moon.  Great bunch!  Two guys/one girl.  Very entertaining, getting the audience involved, making up songs, even sliding into a lullaby as a woman got up to take her sleeping baby out and to bed.  So, that was fun.
We had eated awful early, and I was getting seriously hungry.  So the two of us went to my balcony and ordered some room service and just enjoyed the cool night air.  Til about 3:30 when my roomie came home.  Then the 3 of us played musical chairs, because the balcony is definitely not big enough for three, until 4 or so, when we all kinda decided it was time for the party to be over.
Thus ends the first day in Bermuda.  The weather is supposed to get better.  I'll let you know.
But, while I have you here, it's time for the shameless plug:  If you are looking to book a Breakaway cruise, CALL ME.  HOLMAN TRAVEL 760.265.3687. or email me at daveholman@verizon.net.  And don't forget to check my youtube/daveholmantravel site for videos, or my FB page, /HolmanTravel for pics and minute by minute updates.


Breakaway Bermuda Inaugural, DAY THREE, FOR REAL

Cuz, apparently I can't count when I am on vacation.  Sorry about the confusion.
Yesterday, our second day at sea, was mostly spent fighting off a cold.  And apologizing to a cranky roommate.  Not that I blame her...apparently I was sawing logs big time last nite...so, today its Contac and Emergen-C.  And spending most of the morning trying to figure out the internet situation.  I have a new set up here, using my Droid RAZR tethered to a bluetooth keyboard, because my netbook finally took a dump.  I think I have it all figured out, though.
So, yeah...breakfast was at O'Sheehans.  A little casino time, including a wildly unsuccessful prelim for the Blackjack Tournament.  Went to the Sushi bar for lunch.  AWESOME.  The Red Hokkaido Roll was to die for.  Spicy tuna and scallop, with enough  Srirachi to strip the paint off a car.  And then an accidental 3 hour nap.  By the time I woke up it was time to get dressed for the Captains VIP Reception.  Lot's of fun.  It's kinda cool that so many of the officers are over here from the EPIC and other ships I have sailed on.  It's like a reunion.  Also got a chance to talk to Kevin Sheehan and point out that taking creamed spinach off the Cagney's menu is a grave mistake.  He agreed that a steakhouse without creamed spinach is a travesty.  We also shot the breeze about some trivial stuff. 
After the reception, I hosted a half dozen friends for dinner at La Cucina.  I love that place.  Had the carpaccio, the Insalata Caprese (tomato and mozzeralla), and a couple pizzas and the Osso Buco for an entree.  Everything was excellent, both the food and the company.  After dinner we got down to the theater just in time to have Rock of Ages cancelled.  Major bummer.  Technical difficulties.  Ran up to Spice for Fabba instead.  That was good.  But the cold was still trying to get ahold of me, so I turned in early.
Another installment tomorrow.
preview:  We are in Bermuda and it's beautiful.


Norwegian Breakaway Bermuda Inaugural, Day 3

After a good nights sleep, I popped out of bed at 6:30 or so and spent an hour and a half writing that brilliant post the world will never see. Thoroughly disgusted, I decided to join the Seminar at Sea folks in a little tour of the ship.  Having been onboard for the pre-inaugural I knew most of it, already, but, whatever...We did get a chance to check out the Ice Bar, which was very cool.  I got some nice pics, which you can find on my Facebook Page or Profile...or I will post them here when I get landside.
After the tour I had a late breakfast at O'Sheehans with a couple of friends.  My usual Country Platter, which is Norwegians take on the classic English (or maybe Irish) breakfast, and one of my favorite things.  It was good as usual.
Following breakfast it was just walking about, stopping in the casino (which is NOT being nice to me), and whatnot until lunch time.
Lunch found me with a couple of other friends.  Actually, one different friend and one same friend.  We went to Savor, and I had the Chicken Milanese again, because it's really good.  And the portobello mushroom and goat cheese appy.  Because it's really good.  I think I've had it four times, now, in five lunches.
Afternoon was more of the same whatnot, and watching the weather steadily deteriorate.
Mid afternoon some stuff arrived at the cabin.  Chocolate strawberries, courtesy of the Hotel Director, and the chocolates I referred to in my last post.  The "KLAUS" truffle plate it shall be known as.  Forever.  Not available in stores.  Although, Norwegian might want to think about a line of signed chocolates by El H.D. di Tutti H.D.s...
One more quick spin thru the casino and it was time to dress for dinner.  Tonite is Cagney's, my former favorite which was replaced by Moderno, my current favorite.  But with a re-worked menu that includes an 18oz Bone In Ribeye, they may retake #1.
But I get ahead of myself.  My pre-prandial ablutions were interrupted by a colleague who just wanted to drop by and check out the balcony, since she is sharing an inside with two others.  I detected a hint of jealousy when she saw the plates of goodies.  And the invite to the Captain's Cocktail Party on Tuesday...and I love making colleagues jealous. So, anyway, she went on her way, I got dressed and headed to Cagney's. 
As I said they have retooled the menu, mostly for the good.  With one glaring exception.  My favorite creamed spinach is no more.  I am sad.  I don't eat creamed spinach as a rule, but I tried it in Cagney's a few years back on a tip, and it was excellent.  So, now I always order it.  Alas...
But, like I said, they added a few things.  I ordered the Shrimp Cocktail, which was perfect, the new Split Pea Soup, which was interesting.  Rather than the thick and hearty porridge most people associate with split pea soup, it was peas in a thin broth, with shreds of pork and a touch of mint.  Honestly, I wasn't sure when I read the menu description, but I decided to try it anyway, and I am glad I did.  It was quite delish.
And then the monster rib-eye steak showed up.  O.M.F.G!!!  You can say 'FABULOOOUUUSSS', but you'd be short changing this piece of prime Angus Beef.  It was like  bloody, buttery Heaven.  As I plowed thru it, I could feel my arteries hardening in gratitude.  We're all prepared to die, now, if necessary.  Truly, the best steak I've eaten in forever.  And I have eaten some steaks.  There were also some sides...the Cagney's Fries were there usual awesome selves, with the truffle oil and parmesan sprinkled on 'em.  And creamed corn, which was okay, but was definitely NOT creamed spinach.  And some roasted mushrooms that just pushed the steak all the way to Nirvana.
So, yeah...major beefgasm accomplished I waddled out of Cagney's and headed to see Burn the Floor.
Interesting show.  Up front:  I am not a dance fan, much.  I watched exactly one season of Dancing With The Stars, because my friend Drew Lachey was competing.  But these dancers were worth a watch.  And the music was excellent.  The female singer was dynamite in a dress.  And the range of styles, from tango to mambo to bossa nova to the dirty boogie was very, very entertaining.  As usual with Norwegian these days the production values were outstanding with actual live musicians and singers, an excellent sound system (which I already knew from Rock of Ages, which is in the same theater), and good lighting and effects. 
After the show, some of us took one more turn in the casino.  I finally hit a little something-something that almost got me even for the day.  So, as I rarely do, I decided to quit while I was, if not ahead, at least not too far behind.
Back down to the cabin for a late night decaf and a smoke, and on to bed, 1ish.
And now, my friends, I am caught up, and so are you.
I will be hear bright and early tomorrow.

Breakaway Rocks New York City - The End

So, I spent most of yesterday writing what was, no doubt the finest blog post I've ever done.  Pulitzer material.  When I went to save it to check one little trivial factoid, I accidently deleted it.  FML
You'll have to settle for this.  Sorry.
To end the 2 day Rocks New York City, we got up at 7 or so, went and checked my bags at Guest Services, got my new key for the Bermuda Inaugural (a process made infinitely simpler thanks to the intervention of Klaus Lugmaier, Norwegians official Rock Star and now Vice President, who told the folks at the desk I was "family" and to take care of me), and walked on out.  Me and my friend Pat sent our respective roomies off to New Jersey, as neither is staying for the Bermuda run.
We walked on up to Starbucks to grab some overpriced caffeine and free wifi.  Sat there a while catching up on emails, etc.  Decided to head back and get on the ship.  Halfway there she got  a call from one of her agents who was a block behind us, so we waited up for her, and the three of us got to the ship right at 11.  I breezed thru Security and got on board for the Breakaway Bermuda Inaugural!
Which will be in the next post.
So, you know...ciao for now!

Norwegian Breakaway Bermuda Inaugural

When last we spoke your intrepid reporter was getting onboard the Norwegian Breakaway for her inaugural 7 day Bermuda cruise.  I got on up to my cabin and my new roomie was already there.  Ive known Crickett a few years now.  We met at some travel agent functions when she lived in LA.  And it is SUCH a relief to have a platonic roomie.  Let's just say there is less responsibility.  If Crickett decides to get drunk and obnoxious, she can pour herself into her bed.  And no one is going to hold it against *me*.
We hung out a while on the balcony and got caught up, waiting for Stanley the Steward, so we could talk to him about a few things in the room, got that accomplished, and headed our for a little ship tour.  Ran into my favorite Canuckistani agents, Paul and Carol, so the four of us did our own little tour/cabin crawl.  We are in a balcony, Paul in an Oceanview and Carol in the Studios.  The tour continued with a walk around the Waterfront.  Had my first (and most certainly not last)Sabrett's dirty water dog off a cart.  Just like the ones on the streets of Manhattan, except it looks like they might change the water more often here.  Ran into Klaus on our walkabout.  He gave everyone his card and did his whole "just a humble servant routine".  Thing is, it sounds so sincere when he says it.  But it's kind of belied by the fact that, the next night, I got a plate of truffles and one of them is a rectangle of white chocolate with "KLAUS" embossed on top.  So, yeah, he's the only humble servant I know that has, literally, "signature chocolates".
Anyway, after the walkabout it was time for muster, which went smoothly, and then a Sailaway Party on Spice with all my agent friends.  Met about 20 of them.  It was also where the main sailaway party was, so we had music blasting and cruise staff dancing and all that jazz.  Based on my facebook page, a lot of you were watching it on various webcams.  Kinda creepy when you get someone posting to look to the left, they are watching you from Brooklyn. heehee
It was then time for a welcome reception for all the agents doing the Seminar at Sea.  About 120 of us.  Nice chance to meet/remeet colleagues, and also our Hosts for the seminar, Meg and Karolyn.  Two more Norwegian Rock Stars, imho.  Especially Karolyn who toils behind the scenes at Miami headquarters.  A lot of people don't realize just how much she does for the travel agents dealing with Norwegian...but she definitely is on the front lines when it comes to making "Partners First" a reality and not just corporate bloviating.
After the reception we had rezzies at Ocean Blue, Norwegians newest alternative restaurant and first foray into the Celebrity Chef craze.  It mostly works.  I know from the previous two days that Iron Chef, Geoffrey Zakarian didn't just design a menu and slap his name on it.  I saw him in the kitchen, working, making things right.  I heard he slipped out between the two pre-Inaugurals and went to Whole Foods to get some produce because he wasn't happy with what the regular wholesaler had delivered to the ship.  Actually, pretty impressive.  Though, I have to say, when I met him he wasn't the most personable person.  On the other hand, if he's letting his food talk for him, he is sending a message.  Dinner was great.  I started with a Steak Tartare that was nothing short of brilliant.  A nice patty of chopped beef topped with a celery leaf/fennel/something that had been very lightly marinated.  For the entree I chose the Monkfish Loin.  I was disappointed in the size of the portion, but only because I seriously wanted more.  However, a couple of the non-seafood-lovers at the table ordered the Delmonico steak which was the size of a small car, and one of the ladies at the table gave me about 1/3 of hers, because there was no way she was going to eat it all.  So, I had a very filling meal, and finished it off with a "Bergamont (sic) tea flavored" panna cota.  Despite the misspelling on the menu, it was delightful.  But, I have to tell you...I had a lot of fun finding a misspelling on a menu in this otherwise perfect dining venue.  I do hope someone at Norwegian will take steps to correct this.  Bergamot, for those of you who don't know, is a type of orange, the oil of which is used to give Earl Grey tea it's distinctive flavor.  BergamoNt, on the other hand, is, well...not a word, that I can find.  It might be a city in North Jersey or something, I guess.
So, back to the story:  After dinner I was about exhausted.  Cruised the casino, and dropped a couple bucks but it was packed and noisy.  So I finally decided about 10:30 to catch up on the sleep I hadn't had the previous two days.
And that's about it for Boarding Day of the Norwegian Breakaway Bermuda Inaugural!

Norwegian Breakaway Bermuda Inaugural, Day Two


Norwegian Breakaway Rocks New York City

Now, let's see...where was I when I was so rudely interrupted by having to get back on the ship?  Oh, yeah - Saturday!

Up bright and early for a 7am Flywheel class.  Good Lawd!  After being up all day and night the day before, and getting a couple hours sleep, I stumbled on down to the Fitness Center (which is huge and awesome, by the way).  Got all shoed up and mounted the bike.  It started slow and easy, but the trainer upped the pace and the grade rapidly.  As we did our first stand up position, I managed to twist my shoe off the pedal, slide to the side and pull either a muscle or a tendon in my groin.  Yay, me!  Now, in all seriousness, if I had a half a brain I would have quit then.  But, noooooo...I chose to keep going, play thru the pain.  It only got worse.  Honestly, at the top of it the pain was almost unnoticeable, because I couldn't see thru the sweat or hear anything but the pounding of my middle-aged heart and the gasping for air thing.  And THEN, we did a couple sprint race type deals (at the front of the Flywheel studio is a big screen with each riders speed and total points).  Made it thru one without looking too lame.  Then a little more pedaling and another sprint, etc.  On the second to last sprint, I actually managed to beat Andy Stuarts speed and make up a few points (though I was lagging too badly to catch him, absent a stroke or heart attack on his part).  Which was pretty much my only goal in life, at that point.  And then at the last sprint, my whole leg was on fire, and I told them all to go on, and I would catch up in a day or two.
I did manage to finish the approximately 45 minute workout, without crying or dying, so I am counting it a success.  However, for the rest of the day I could not sit down, lie down or climb a stair.  But, I did get a nifty tote bag and a T-shirt!  So, you know...WINNING!
After the torture session, and a long shower and a cup of coffee, there was no time for breakfast, as I had a seminar session with Stuart Cohen.  Great guy.  Very motivational.  I have heard him before and always pick up something.  Even standing in the back of the room, since I was in too much pain to sit down.  That was followed by a session with Vivian Ewart about Norwegians Freestyle Groups.  Great stuff, and I'll definitely be using it, but nothing you, Dear Reader, would care much about.
There was one more session, but I had to slip out and eat something as I was nearly comatose from pain and hunger at this point.  So, over to O'Sheehans for some wings and spinach dip.  The menu/food/service there is on a par with the EPIC.  After lunch I took a little limp around the pool deck to check out the pools, jacuzzis and slides.  They are AWESOME, and I will most definitely be checking them out this week.  Sadly, I was in no condition to do more than watch.  So, I talked to some colleagues for a bit and then went on down for a nap.  Unsuccessfully, as it turns out laying down was almost as painful as sitting down or walking.  But I lazed about til my friend returned from her Spa Day.  Again, I will try the spa at some point in the week, but from her reports it was all pretty cool.
One last session at 4pm with Andy and Camille.  Part information, part pep talk, they spoke about Norwegians history, and it's future and their PARTNERS FIRST philosophy.  While I already know, first hand, that Norwegian has made a huge investment in it's relationship with the Travel Agent community, it's nice to hear it reaffirmed by the folks at the top who are actually implementing it.  In it's third year, now, the Partners First idea is fully implemented and seems to be working for both sides, quite well. 
So, anyway...After that session, we dressed for dinner and went back down to Savor, given that rezzies at the alternative dining were still jammed up and that we'd had such a good  meal there the night before.  I had the pumpkin soup, which is always good, the Asian Mandarin Chicken salad and Crispy Duck.  The salad, a pile of glass noodles on a bed of shredded lettuce with Mandarin orange and chicken slices on top, dressed with a light ginger/soy dressing was delightful.  The Crispy duck was not as crispy as I would like, but it, too, had a nice, sweet, plumsaucy sauce that was perfect for duck.
After dinner we headed on over to Headliners to catch Second City's Improv act.  Pretty good cast, it seems, with a couple of people I recognized from the EPIC.
Then it was time to dress for the big 80's Party.  Bad weather forced it from Spice to the Atrium, but it turned out well.  Quite a few of us chose to go full tilt dressing up for it.  The music was great, the dance floor was crowded and hoppin', and a good time was had by all, I think.  In the case of my roomie, a bit too much of a good time, so I was forced to bail out about 12:30 to pour her into bed.  But, it's all good. ;-)
So, yeah...tomorrow I promise to get to Sundays fun of getting off the 2 day Breakaway Rocks New York and back on for the Breakaway Bermuda Inaugural.

Stay tuned.  Also, check out www.youtube.com/HolmanTravel for a couple short vids I made during the day.  And of course www.facebook.com/DaveHolman and www.facebook.com/HolmanTravel for some short posts and pictures.  I'll upload pics here, later, but at shipboard wifi prices...I'll wait til I get to Bermuda.

Later, Dudes!


Norwegian Breakaway Rocks New York City

Okay, sorry I haven't been posting every day, but, frankly I've been having too much fun.

So, we flew in on  the Virgin America redeye, got to New Jersey at 8 a.m.  My friend Pat and her hubby picked us up and we got to to the city by 9.  We were on the ship at 10.

First impression:  the balcony cabins are very nice, but the balcony is a bit on the small side.  Not unusably so, but two people on the balcony does require a little moving about of chairs and table.  The room itself is nicely beige and boutique-hotel looking.  Bathroom is awesome.  Personally, I never had a problem with the funky EPIC bathrooms, but a lot of people did, and the Breakaway bathrooms are back to a standard configuration, pretty big and with a huge shower.  Room for two, if you're good friends.  At least that's what I heard.

The rest of the ship was, frankly, FABULOUS!  All the decor and furnishings are light and elegant.  And the Waterfront is, to quote a friend a "f***ing Game Changer".  Really, the biggest complaint on Norwegians last ship, the EPIC was that it feels disconnected from the sea.  You can't get more connected than the Breakaway.  Four of the alternative dining venues have, quite literally, ocean front seating.  Also Fat Cats Blues Club has an outdoor section with speakers and TV.s, so you can slip outside, watch the ocean, and still hear Slam Allen wailing the blues.  There is also a wide promenade the whole length of the Waterfront, outside the seating areas, for just strolling.  It feels like Ports O' Call in LA or Shoreline Village in Long Beach.  And very "connected" to the sea.  The only thing missing is the sound of sailboat rigging in the breeze.

So, anyway, back to my story:  We got settled in to the cabin, did the muster drill, and headed to Fat Cats to watch the Sailaway.  Nothing better than a sailaway down the Hudson.  The Palisades on one side, Lower Manhattan on the other.  And the Freedom Tower now dominating the skyline.  Awesome.  Then Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  The Staten Island Ferry following along for a while.  The Verazzano Narrows Bridge. Very Americana.

After sailaway we bopped around, just checking everything out til dinner time.  The Speciality restaurants were pretty much impossible to get into, so we decided to dine at Savor, Norwegian's newest Main Dining Room.  Good call!  The Surf and Turf was excellent, with a goodish sized lobster tail and a nice tender piece of sirloin.  Started with something that, honestly, I am too frazzled to remember right now.  It'll come to me, but, what I do remember is that it was all excellent.  And with all my fellow TA's mobbing the alternative dining rooms the service was superb.  I figured I'd let the poor schmoes that had to get off the ship Sunday have their premium dining experiences, and wait til this week to try them myself.  I have reservations this week for Ocean Blue, Cagney's and La Cucina, so I'll be reviewing all of them in the next few days.

After dinner we went to see Rock of Ages.  One word:  BITCHIN, DUDE!  It was the most fun I've had at a Broadway show in, like, ever.  The cast was rad, the music gnarly and just the whole experience was totally, like, worth it, man. 

The show didn't get out til almost midnite, and having been up for 30 or so hours at this point, it was pretty much time to call it a nite.  So, we did.

Sorry it's so brief.  Hopefully in the next few days things will slow down and I can get caught up.  It was such an intense two days, I am gonna get back on the boat, find my stateroom and take a well deserved nap.

Oh, and as I sign off, let me say...HAPPY DAY MOTHERS.