Why am I excited about Norwegian Breakaway?

It’s not often a hardened hack like me uses the word ‘excited’. It’s very much a PR/marketing/corporate word, most often misused when people say they’re ‘excited’ about making a mundane announcement.

So what is it about Norwegian Breakaway which has my pulse racing more than other new ships this year? Well, NCL, as it dislikes being called these days, normally spells F.U.N. (you can have that one, marketing people). It’s brash, friendly, dressed-down, easy-going. It transformed the cruise industry with Freestyle dining, laying on a multitude of restaurants where you could turn up at any time you wanted. Its brightly coloured hulls scream: ‘Look at me!’ Staff are open and welcoming – one barmaid recognised and remembered me on four different ships. I also associate it most with the Caribbean – sunshine, relaxed shore excursions and early cocktails.

As for Breakaway, which I’ll be joining in Rotterdam for its maiden voyage to Southampton, it boasts 28 dining options. And the fun? Well, there’s an ice bar with frozen sculptures of New York landmarks. Waterslides galore, including a free fall one said to be the fastest at sea. A plank that extends 8ft over the side of the ship (safety gear provided). Broadway shows. And much more.

I hate to tempt fate and may be setting myself up for a fall bigger than that waterslide. If I’m disappointed, I will let you know. But, for now, I can say there will be a spring in my step as I set off for the airport in the early hours of Sunday morning.

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