ABOARD THE NORWEGIAN BREAKAWAY — Remember those unusual open-plan bathrooms in cabins aboard the Norwegian Epic? You won't find them on Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, the Norwegian Breakaway.
The line's new standard cabin design, on display this week as the vessel sails with passengers for the first time, features a much more traditional enclosed bathroom — albeit one with a sleek, contemporary look.
As can be seen in our new deck-by-deck photo tour of the Breakaway, the ship's standard cabins overall have a modern, stylish design that would fit right in at a New York boutique hotel. Each of the 204-square-foot Balcony Staterooms has a queen bed (convertible into two twin beds) that is topped with crisp white-on-white linens, and a curvaceous, built-in, wood-colored wall unit that includes a desk area, 26-inch television, minibar and storage.
Balcony Staterooms also have contemporary sofa beds with built-in storage drawers, and large floor-to-ceiling closets with room for hanging clothes, shelving and a safe. The rooms' balconies have two chairs and a small table.
More storage is available in large drawers under the sofas in Balcony Staterooms.
Breakaway's windowless "inside" cabins are similar in style to Balcony Staterooms, if smaller at 151 square feet and lacking pull-out sofas. There are 960 Balcony Staterooms and 449 Inside Staterooms on the ship, with the two categories accounting for 70% of all rooms.
Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan has told USA TODAY the line worked hard to make sure Breakaway's standard rooms were as functional as they are stylish, addressing what some cruisers, travel agents and travel writers thought were failings with the cabins on the Epic.
Norwegian Breakaway has 449 windowless inside cabins that have two twin beds that can be converted into a queen.
Criticism of Epic cabins centered around the open-plan bathroom layout, which had the toilet and shower in separate and not-particularly-private compartments, a space-saving move that allowed the line to make cabins slightly narrower than is typical. The rooms also were criticized for having poor lighting, particularly around the sink area, and difficult-to-find switches for lighting.
"You needed a Ph.D to figure out how to use the lights," Sheehan joked with USA TODAY in 2011.
The enclosed bathrooms in standard cabins on Breakaway have a toilet, shower and sink all in one private compartment that feels spacious compared to some cruise ship bathrooms. The sink area is well lit, with a large mirror, and features a large amount of shelving and storage.
The bed area of the cabins feature a chestnut leather headboard with a lighted recess above the bed to hold items such as books and electronic reading devices.
By Gene Sloan, USA Today
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