Cruise lines normally shy away from mentioning “rocks” when talking about their ships and where they are sailing.
But Norwegian, perhaps the most innovative of all the modern cruise companies, is not shy. And neither is the world’s newest cruise ship, the 4,028-passenger Norwegian Breakaway, which, says the company, now rocks New York City.
After a trip across the Atlantic Ocean, Norwegian Breakaway, built in Germany, arrived in America this week like so many other Europeans through the years, cruising past the Statue of Liberty on the way to Manhattan.
After two days aboard the Breakaway, I can tell you that this immigrant is ready for prime time.
On Thursday, the Breakaway, New York’s latest celebrity, was full of glitz and edgy rock ‘n roll, making its social debut while tied to a Manhattan pier.
A New York state of mind
At the naming ceremony aboard ship, Mayor Michael Bloomberg stopped by to welcome the city’s newest citizen; a dozen Rockettes, who are group godmothers to the Breakaway, danced and kicked; Peter Max, who painted the ship’s hull in bright, playful colors, was there, along with Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo's Bakery and TV star as "Cake Boss;" and "Iron Chef" Geoffrey Zakarian, who has his own restaurant, Ocean Blue, on the new ship.
Norwegian Breakaway was designed with a New York state of mind, specifically to cruise from New York City year round. It offers three Broadway shows, including raunchy “Rock of Ages,” and plenty of food choices. Many of the restaurants carry an extra fee, but all-beef hot dogs on deck, from Sabrett’s NYC sidewalk stands, are free.
“This is New York’s ship,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO. He has described his vision for Breakaway as a piece of Manhattan that floats.
You might ask why anyone from the big city -- more than 8 million folks live in New York -- would seek out a big ship for vacation.
The answer is that some New Yorkers won’t, especially those hoping for peace and quiet on a secluded holiday. But there’s a reason that millions of people choose to live in such a city of energy, non-stop activity and excitement. Breakaway was built for them.
For non-New Yorkers, Norwegian Breakaway will give you an opportunity to taste some of New York without the traffic and construction dust.
You can eat well, see a show or three, dance into the night at an adult 1980s party (with fireworks), and please your children in an upper deck water park that has five slides.
You can exercise at stretching classes designed for the dancing bodies of the Radio City Rockettes and test your mettle by walking out on a plank that hangs over the sea.
And of course you can cruise on North America’s newest ship, which will depart New York for Bermuda, the Bahamas, or into the Caribbean, depending on the season. Breakaway information
David Molyneaux writes regularly about cruising news, tips and trends at TheTravelMavens.com. His cruise trends column appears monthly in U.S. newspapers and on other Internet sites. He is editor of TheTravelMavens.com