Bermuda’s First Family are impressed by the Norwegian Breakaway.
Premier Craig Cannonier and his wife Antoinette were on the ship last week for a two-day cruise after the ship’s christening.
They have both been on several cruises before so when they say the Breakaway is “phenomenal” it is not through the wide-eyes of a newbie, but of someone who has been there, done that.
Except, in this case, while some experiences that are the same, there are so many innovations and firsts on the Breakaway, it left them wowed.
The Premier said: “Of course, like anything new … people get excited about the new ship.”
He said while that was true, the Breakaway offered many things that would draw him back to sail on it.
“I was impressed by the ease of finding out where to go. I have been on ships many times before and you get lost trying to maneuver and figure out where things are.
“I tip my hat to Norwegian. It was just a fantastic layout of the ship. That’s what really impressed me having been on other ships. Everything tied in to the other. You really didn’t need to figure out where everything was.”
He said one place that was easy to find was the Internet café.
“Usually, on cruise ships, its tucked away on some room and takes forever to find it. It was right there.
“The entertainment was all in one spot too. They did a great job with that.”
He said besides the easy layout of the ship, even if you did get lost, there were touch screens on all the decks to help direct passengers to where they wanted to go.
Premier Cannonier said: “It made it so easy to find out where I needed to get to.”
While the layout was a gem in itself, he cited the Waterfront as a signature design of the Breakaway.
“The most impressive thing though was the outside dining decks. The Waterfront just sets it apart from all other cruise ships. To be able to set out on the deck for the signature restaurants is pretty impressive.”
He described the “elegance” of the Breakaway compared to other ships where you get bright and gaudy colours clashing.
“This was very elegant, very rich in its presentation of rooms, which were really, really phenomenal.”
“It’s pretty mind-boggling to see the size of these new ships and what they’re capable of doing. You’re breaking away from the norm and you’re having an experience.”
He said the Svedka Ice Bar also stood out.
“ I’ve never been in an ice bar before. I heard about it but to go in and witness something built by blocks of ice — that big massive chair made out of ice is brilliant.”
Mrs Cannonier added: “The Ice Bar was a totally new experience for us. I didn’t realize you actually had to put on a jacket and gloves to go in. We were there for all of 10 minutes but that was definitely different — and a unique experience.”
She liked the feel of the ship and “even though the ship has a capacity of 4,000 passengers, it didn’t seem like it because everything was central. We didn’t have to walk too far. We’ve been on other ships where we had to walk the whole length of the ship to get to the different areas but this was very well laid out”.
Mrs Cannonier said two days was too short a time to experience everything but they got a tour of all the facilities.
They had a private meal prepared for them by Klaus Lugmaier, director Shipboard Operations; They also ate at Cagney’s, Norwegian’s signature steak house.
“We had the coffee and the pastries at Carlo’s Bake Shop. The pastries were very good there. The best thing about the ship was the food.”
She also loved Slam Allen at the Fat Cats Jazz and Blues bar and saw the Cirque Dreams and Jungle Fantasy Dinner.
Mrs Cannonier said: “I do like the Norwegian style of cruising – eat when you want, do what you want at whatever time you want. I would recommend that cruise to someone who was looking for the cruise experience.”
Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell was also on that voyage. He said: “My favourite restaurant was Ocean Blue run by Food Network star and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. I had an opportunity to talk to Mr. Zakarian and he said he loved to play golf in Bermuda and he hopes to bring his wife for a visit to the island later this year.
“In addition to the magnificence of the ship, the recreational facilities, dining, and entertainment were all first class. My time on board was truly a memorable experience on the seas.”