Norwegian Breakaway Transatlantic – Southampton Sailaway

The 30th April 2013 the brand new Norwegian Breakaway was heading to New York, her new home for cruising. The weather wasn’t that hot but at least not raining. I went over on the ferry to my new home for the next week. This would be my 50th cruise so I was excited to spend it exploring a brand new ship. My 5th had been Norwegian Gem in October 2007, another inaugural but that was 2 nights to Amsterdam from Dover. There’s always something thrilling about new ships and they have such a wonderful smell. As I was in Mayflower Park, I received a text from my friend Mark Kennedy saying he hoped I had 2 printed copies of the ESTA otherwise you wait 10 minutes for them to photocopy it. NCL didn’t say anywhere you needed to give them one. You don’t when you fly to the US so I hope they do for Getaway when she repos to Miami in January. I went to the Holiday Inn and the woman at reception was about to help when there was a power cut. I went to the DeVere and they’d been affected by the power too but thankfully it came on and I was able to do it. Then to the ship!
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Due to the check-in queue being horrendously long (probably due to those ESTA requirements), they stopped the security one for about half an hour. Bloke in front of me had done over 100 cruises and his wife only 2 but she was enjoying them. I am sooooooooo glad I’m a Latitudes member (albeit Bronze until after this trip) because that queue was extremely short. Smooth check-in process then onto the ship! What can I say but WOW! My cabin (5828) was ready so I had a look around. It is very spacious for an oceanview with plenty of storage but no drawers. I forget NCL beds are higher than other cruise lines but it was also very comfortable.
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dumped my stuff and went to the Garden Cafe for some lunch and explored afterwards.
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Muster was at 4.30pm and my station was Taste, which was very different to the one on Epic. Many didn’t turn up. The muster announcements had only been in public areas and apparently during the drill, the PA system wasn’t working in the theatre. Up for sailaway! Other ships were in with us. Crown Princess left more than half an hour late so was moving out of Ocean as I got up there. On Epic there is no forward observation area thanks to the Havens but they corrected that on Breakaway. The starboard side is for Haven but we plebs have a bigger area. Some visitors hadn’t left the ship and, once the last had, off we went with three deafening blasts! As we neared Mein Schiff 1, which wasn’t sailing until 8pm, a horm battle ensued started by the German ship, and we won hands down! My friend Mark Kennedy was up there too so after we’d passed Cowes, went to find Marie, her mum and stepdad, who were in the Garden Cafe.
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After some shopping I stumbled across La Cucina along the same deck, and much easier to find than on Epic. It’s opposite Fat Cats though so each time the door was opened the quiet Italian music was drowned out. The price for the Italian is now $15 and worth EVERY cent. I had a great meal on Epic (then $10) and thought I’d give this a go. I have an allergy to bell peppers and some cruise lines have this rather annoying habit of putting them in food without listing them on the menu, garnishing or mixing them in with things like pasta (Royal Caribbean and my recent P&O Aurora cruise being serial offenders) so it was a blessing to find not only much food WITHOUT it, but also properly itemised menus.
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Back to the cabin for a short while before meeting friends Mark and Marie for a drink. Then a little exploring before going to bed after a wonderful first day on this magnificent ship. Not ashamed to say I didn’t want to leave before we’d even left Southampton and am looking forward to the rest of the crossing.
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