“New York’s ship”, as Norwegian Breakaway has been dubbed by Norwegian Cruise Line, made her debut at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal today (May 8) with great fanfare and festivity befitting the arrival of a new ambassador. Indeed, that will be her role, bringing the imagery and flavour of New York to all the cruise destinations where she calls.

Among the luminaries in attendance for Breakaway’s naming ceremony were her 12 godmothers, the famed New York City Rockettes, who pulled the ribbon releasing the traditional bottle of champagne; artist Peter Max, who designed Breakaway’s colourful, New York-inspired hull art; and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. All spoke during the naming ceremony—Peter Max conceding “there’s a little boy inside of me who is very happy with what they [NCL] have done with the outside of this ship,” and Bloomberg, who quipped, “Breakaway passengers will never really leave New York behind.”

The vessel, which enters regular service on May 12, sails weekly cruises to Bermuda through October and then switches to seven-day cruises to the Bahamas and Florida and two 12-day voyages to the Southern Caribbean through April 2014. At 146,000 gross tons and carrying over 4,000 passengers, she is the biggest ship ever to homeport in New York City year-round.

A full review of the Breakaway’s features and amenities will appear in the June issue of Cruise Passenger magazine.