On December 26, 2016 I boarded the Norwegian Breakaway and took my first trip outside the continental United States. My entire life I had always convinced myself that every cruise ship to ever leave its dock was going end up just like the Titanic. Don’t assume that everything you see in the movies will happen to you, kids. Especially ones where there is absolutely enough room for two people on a raft, yet one somehow doesn’t make it and dies. I’m still bitter. ANYWAY. My family woke up at 4:30am the day after Christmas and drove to our cruise port in New York City, where our home for the week sat patiently waiting to leave the frigid waters of the North Atlantic! After a quick and easy boarding process in the early afternoon, we walked onto the ship and took a tour as we waited to leave the dock. Stepping onto a cruise ship is mind-blowing because nothing about it feels like a boat unless you are on the top deck. The main floors of this particular ship were filled with bars, restaurants, four outdoor lounges, a cigar bar, a casino, outdoor shuffleboard, a bowling alley, an arcade, gift shops, cafés, ice cream shops, a library and a main indoor seating area with a giant screen that displayed images of our destination. The top of the ship was equipped with two pools (one for ages 18+ and one with water slides for kids), four hot tubs, two poolside bars with ship employees that hand delivered our drinks while we sun-bathed, ping pong tables, an all-day buffet cafeteria, a bungee jump, a rock wall, an entertainment stage, mini golf, a basketball court, and a rope course. If you just read this list of activities and can still think of a reason why you wouldn’t want to go on a cruise ship, keep reading. I promise I’ll have you convinced otherwise by the end of this saga.
The first day on the ship was spent enjoying the indoor activities while we sailed down the coast. We started by eating at an indoor Irish bar that overlooked the main floor and the big screen in the main room. Since we had purchased the food and drink packages, we were able to have unlimited meals, snacks, and whatever drinks we wanted! At this bar we ordered chicken wings and I had my first cocktail of the trip called the “Bahama Mama.” Ladies 21+, if you ever go to the Bahamas, DRINK THIS. (Guys too. I promise, having a pink fruity drink in your hand doesn’t make you less of a man.) After drinks we sat on the top deck and watched as the boat sailed by the Statue of Liberty and into the open Atlantic. (TIP: JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING ON A TROPICAL VACATION DOES NOT MEAN YOU DO NOT NEED TO PACK PANTS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE GETTING ON A BOAT IN NYC. I, being the genius of the family, only packed my beach pants because I conveniently only thought about what the weather would be like once we were down south. In conclusion, I was freezing. Don’t be like me. Please. I’m begging you.) The first night at dinner was at a restaurant called the Manhattan Room. Please keep in mind that the food and drink package still applied at this restaurant when I tell you what I ordered. I am not a rich snob, I just take advantage of unlimited pre-paid meals, which I think is acceptable! Okay so here it goes. To start, I had a caesar salad and some bread. Simple right? I’m not a snob yet. To drink, I ordered a glass of delicious white sangria. Best I’ve ever had. It went extremely well with my 18oz New York Strip steak cooked medium rare with a double order of mashed potatoes and asparagus (now you can judge). When I tell you that this was the best steak I have ever had in my entire life I mean it. It was cooked perfectly and if I’m being real with you guys, it took every ounce of me not to order a second round. For dessert I ordered an ice cream sundae, because obviously. Once we finished dinner it was around 8pm so my family and I went to the main room and sat by the windows. This scared me a little because since it was pitch black outside, all I could see were the waves that zoomed by us and crashed against the ship. However, I learned that if you just stare at it and think about how the captain isn’t freaking out, you shouldn’t be either and you will be fine. Around 9pm we got ourselves ready for the next day and all went to bed like the 80 year olds we are.
The second day was only about 68 degrees but you bet your bottom dollar we swam in the pool anyway. My sister Erin and I took full advantage of the unlimited food and ordered as many french fries we could possibly eat. I also double fisted margaritas and Bahama Mamas because why wouldn’t I? We weren’t even in Florida yet and the trip was already a dream come true. That night, since my mom is a travel agent, we were invited to attend a cocktail party with the captain of the ship (who’s driving this thing if the captain is with us!?!? ahh!) and some other very fancy shmancy people. I, again, made some poor packing decisions and only decided to bring my blue Lauren Conrad heels for fancy shoes even though nothing else I packed was blue. (If you are reading this and know of any fashion assistants or personal shoppers please send them my way. I am begging you.) My sister is luckily a very nice lady (she’s 15) and also a model who looks good in anything, so she bit the bullet for me and swapped shoes even though mine were two sizes too small. It was fine though because she looked like Gigi Hadid. So we talked with the captain, sat by the private pool, drank champagne, and had a maaaahvalous time like the very important people we are. We were asleep again by 9pm, which worked in our favor because the next night we would be up late! Tune in Sunday night for part 2 of Bahama Mama! For now, enjoy some photos of the first two days at sea!
Here’s a mini tour of part of the main floor, and a mini tour of the pool deck!