By Stacey Zable
Family Travel Editor

The largest ship to homeport out of Manhattan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Breakaway is ideal for family clients, especially those driving distance from New York City.

Following are key selling points for families…

A WOW Water Park: With five multi-story waterslides, two swimming pools and four hot tubs, the truly impressive aqua park is filled with water fun. Clients — and we’re talking even adults here — who are adrenaline junkies will love the Free Fall, one of two drop-slides that plunge riders feet first, and the Whip, two racing, side-by-side twister slides. The open flume body slide is a tamer thrill, while the SpongeBob SquarePants themed water area will keep the youngest passengers happy with a shallow pool, small slide and water features.

Three-Story Sports Complex and Largest Ropes Course at Sea: Keeping active on the ship is no problem with this multi-level structure that has 40 different elements, including a zip track. Passengers can even “walk the” Plank, a platform that extends eight feet over the side of the ship. There is also a rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline and spider web, a 24-foot enclosed climbing cage with a spiral slide and a basketball court. A nine-hole ocean-themed miniature golf course provides more family fun.

Complimentary Children’s Programming: Norwegian Breakaway boasts NCL’s largest youth and teen dedicated facilities. Splash Academy spans two decks and has areas and activities designed for three age groups from ages 3 to 12. Clients with babies will be happy to hear about Guppies, a dedicated play space aimed at ages six months to two years. Mom and dad do need to stay to enjoy the interactive independent and group activities.

Teens Have Their Own Space: Teens ages 13 to 17 have their own cool hangout at Entourage, with foosball table, dance floor area and video games. Activities have them taking advantage of the entire ship, including basketball games, nighttime pool parties and more, with an energetic staff to supervise.

Nickelodeon Partnership: Nickelodeon themed events are part of Splash Academy and also take place throughout the ship, such as a Pajama Jam Character Breakfast, Dora’s Dance Party, and Nickelodeon character meet and greets.

Family Staterooms: Most family staterooms and mini-suites with balconies sleep up to four, with connecting staterooms available. Get families to upgrade to The Haven concierge level so they can enjoy the luxurious Two-Bedroom Family Villas that sleep up to six and feature two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a separate living room and extra-spacious balcony.

28 Dining Choices: The almost always open Garden Café buffet and the 24-hour O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill have plenty of kid-friendly anytime food choices, while the specialty restaurants exude romance for mom and dad.

Mom and Dad Time: While kids are in camp, adult family members can enjoy the spectacular nightly Slam Allen show at the Fat Cats Jazz and Blues Club and nightly Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos Show at Headliners. Encourage them to also take some time to relax at the two-deck, 23,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, with the first-ever salt room at sea.

The New York Factor: Sailing from New York is a huge selling point for local families. Not only do they save on not having to purchase roundtrip airfare (and can use that money to upgrade to a better stateroom), but the stress of travel is minimal. Clients from outside the area will love the chance to add a few days pre- and post-cruise to enjoy the great city. Aspects of New York City have been integrated into Norwegian Breakaway, including three Broadway shows (Rock of Ages, Burn the Floor and Cirque Dreams & Dinner Jungle Fantasy), the “Cake Boss” Carlo’s Bakery (although from New Jersey) and a specialty restaurant from New York City chef and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian.

Great Destinations: Norwegian Breakaway will homeport from Manhattan, with 7-day cruises to Bermuda through Oct. 6, 2013 and 7-day voyages to The Bahamas & Florida and two 12-day cruises to the Southern Caribbean from October 2013 through April 2014.

Booking Information: Visit or call 800-327-7030 for rates and departure dates.

Stacey Zable is an award-winning veteran travel writer and family travel expert who has written about destinations, resorts and cruise lines around the world. Send travel questions and comments to Stacey at [email protected].