Disclaimer: Due to the high price the internet on the ship (.99/minute) we were unable to blog live for this cruise. The events of this article took place on Oct 6, 2018.
Read about our previous day here.
Today we woke up en route to Cork, Ireland. On vacation, I am always the earliest to wake up in my family by several hours, so I typically go have an early morning workout while they are still sleeping. The gym on this boat is always packed. Having only 18 treadmills and 16 that are actually functioning for a ship of 4,000 passengers is just poor ship design. We have been on many cruises, and this is without the lowest passenger to treadmill ratio I have ever seen. After waiting 15 minutes for a treadmill, I eventually gave up and settled on the first available cardio machine, a stairstepper. I would normally go out on deck and run, but that was not allowed due to the fact that the upper decks are closed due to wind and weather .
After working out, I went to Garden Cafe to grab mother nature’s recovery drink, chocolate milk. I then went and back to the cabin to see if the kids were awake and they were, so we all showered, and afterwards we headed up to Garden Cafe to grab a breakfast.
Given we let the kids sleep in today, we got to the buffet at 1015. We think everyone must have slept in after such a long day in port because Garden Cafe was PACKED. It took 10 minutes of stalking tables to finally find a seat. It is typically pretty hard to find a seat in the main buffet on any ship during peak eating hours, but normally passenger turnover is fast enough to where you may wait 2-3 minutes at most. Given there were so many passengers all looking for tables at the same time, you had to be VERY fast to snag a table, and dragging two kids with you limited our ability to jump on a table when it became available.
I had some chocolate milk and scrambled eggs, the kids had some Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Kendall decided to join in the cereal trend and had some Frosted Flakes. We ate pretty light breakfast as we would be eating again in 1.5 hours.
After breakfast we decided to head to the Atrium to watch the Cake Decorating Demonstration.
Naturally, there were no seats.
So we ended up sitting on the floor. It did afford us a great view up front though.
The chef did his own narration which was entertaining.
I had never watched a Cake Decorating demonstration before, as it is not an activity I normally see on Royal Caribbean. I found it very interesting and entertaining watching him create a cake, and turn it into a piece of art. The kids were enjoyed it as well, and Zack of course wanted to eat it. It took all of his restraint not to lick the icing.
After cake decorating, we decided to go checkout visual dog trivia. The monitors on the screen said visual dog trivia was to be held in the Spiegel Tent so we left 30 minutes early to get a seat. Unfortunately, the monitor was wrong, and by the time we figured out it was in the atrium, there of course were no seats available. At this point we didn’t feel like sitting on the floor again so we decided to go eat lunch.
We were growing tired of the seating situation in Garden Cafe, so we decided to check out an alternative complimentary lunch dining option, Moderno. Moderno is a specialty restaurant that normally serves Brazilian food for dinner, however, during the morning and daytime it serves up a complimentary breakfast, and a themed lunch buffet. Today was Kendall’s favorite, Mexican.
The buffet was small, but we didn’t care. We just wanted to not want have to walk for forever with two kids looking for a table to sit at, and Moderno provided just that. We were able to get a table RIGHT NEXT TO THE BUFFET without having to stalk a table. This level of convenience when feeding children is HUGE.
They had a variety of Mexican food, including nachos and cheese, taco meet, fajita meat, taquitos, and churros. Kendall, Zack, and Lucy all really enjoyed the food. Mexican is not my favorite, but I really did enjoy the churros.
We really enjoyed eating at Moderno as it is a much lower stress environment, and we looked forward to trying out their breakfast there.
We dropped the kids off at Splash Academy and started walking toward progressive trivia.
On the way to progressive we passed by the shops. For all those that are fans of the $10 dollar sidewalk sales on Royal Caribbean, I just want to let you know that the $10 dollar sale is alive and well here on Norwegian, and it sells the EXACT same merchandise, the “Cruise Club” standard.
Progressive trivia has thankfully been moved out of the main atrium today to the Manhattan dining room. This venue was perfect for progressive as there were tables that teams could easily form and discuss answers. We could only hope that progressive trivia would be held here everytime.
The questions were super hard and our team only got 7/20. Progressive trivia can be hit or miss on how well it’s run on a cruise ship. I must say, everyone on this cruise can say we felt that it was poorly run. The questions in general were not fun, and were composed of EXTREMELY OBSCURE random facts, such as “What is the weight of the largest cake ever created?” and the answer had to be EXACTLY CORRECT. Not just within a couple thousands pounds, BUT EXACT. It made for a very frustrating time.
After progressive we decide to try out the hot tub… or should I say luke warm tub. We typically enjoy hitting up a hot tub a couple times each cruise, and we especially love hitting up the hot tub when it’s cold outside. Today seemed like one of those days as it was 40’s and windy and cold, which was very similar to the last time we tried out the hot tub on our last cruise.
Normally this would great hot tub weather but the hot tub was not exactly hot. Our ears were freezing, and most people did not last longer than 10 minutes at best due to the conditions. We really missed Royal Caribbean at this point as almost all their ships have an indoor pool, and if they do not have an indoor pool the hot tub area is typically in a covered area to help reduce wind. The Breakaway’s only indoor pool is only for the Haven guests which is their exclusive Suite area.
After about 10 minutes of trying to brave the hot tub, we decided to get out and shower. We then picked up the kids from Splash Academy and decided to try out Taste, one of the main dining rooms.
It took 40 minutes from the time we sat down to get our appetizers. In the mean time we snacked on some bread. We both ordered the bruschetta as an appetizer.
I got the Chinese Style Barbecue Pork for dinner.
Kendall and Zack ate the country fried chicken.
I really enjoyed dinner, however, it was just ok for Kendall. The kids both enjoyed their chicken and baked ziti. Our total time in the dining room was about 1 hour and 15 minutes for our two courses. Dessert would have extended that time, but we are not sure by how much. We ended up skipping desert because we wanted to go see the magician who was tonights headliner.
The magician was Justino Zoppe or “JZ” as he likes to be called. We hadn’t seen him before on any previous cruise ship. His show was pretty entertaining and the kids enjoyed watching him.
He had a preshow video that showed his highlights of his shows through the years including a video of a day in the life of a cruise ship magician which was very entertaining. He clearly used to do a lot more traveling and have much larger more elaborate shows, but due to changes in his life (having a child) he has slowed down. He put a lot of heart into his show and really emphasized the importance of family.
His close up was very impressive. Zack and Lucy were super excited because Matthew, one of their kids club friends, was called onto stage. This was the funniest part of the show and definitely a highlight.
Zack loved it and absolutely had to meet Justino after the show.
Afterwards we went to Garden Cafe for dessert as we didn’t have time for it at dinner. We then decided to go to bed early because it was going to be an early morning tomorrow and a long day of touring in Cork, Ireland.
Today was our first time in the main dining room this cruise. I used to think that Royal Caribbean’s dining room was understaffed until we went to Norwegian’s. We only saw our waiter four times the whole meal. Once to tell us she would be back to take our order, once to take our order, once to drop off our appetizer, once to drop of our main course. We were never asked if we wanted a drink of any kind, and after the initial main course was dropped off, we were never checked on again. I needed a spoon after our main course was served and I was done with my meal long before our waiter came back, as she literally never came back. They are clearly stretched to the limit and in all honesty, I do not believe she actually had any time to do more than she did as she seemed to be moving full speed always attending to something.
We have also started to notice a complete lack of waitstaff around the ship in general. I have only seen cocktail waiters or waitresses in two lounges thus far this ship, Syd Norman’s and Headliners, and even those are few and far between. If you want a drink on the Breakaway, you are pretty much gonna have to get it yourself. This is confirmed by the fact that any time we are sitting at Mixx, which is the bar outside of Taste and Savor, the two of the main dining rooms, we frequently see people leaving the dining room to get a drink at the bar and bring it back to their table. I have experienced this similar phenomenon on Royal Caribbean ever since the rise of the beverage packages. Although most lounges still have at least one cocktail waitress floating around.
Read about our next day here.
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