Breaking Away: Easy To Stay Fit On Norwegian Breakaway

Breaking Away, 1979 Academy Award Winner
Breaking Away, 1979 Academy Award Winner.

One of my favorite movies back in the late 1970s was Breaking Away. The Academy Award Winner for Best Screenplay is about a small-town teen obsessed with bicycle racing.

The teen’s obsession reminds me of my younger days when I pedaled across the United States and Canada, through New Zealand, the east coast of Australia — and lots of Europe. I still enjoy pedaling today.

So, of course, I was intrigued when I learned that Norwegian Cruise Line’s 4,000-guest Norwegian Breakaway will feature “black light spinning” classes.

Sounds pretty fun to me. Imagine pedaling away to club music against a backdrop of neon graffiti art and New York–themed murals as you’re turned into ultraviolet 1970s glow sticks. Making spinning and sweating a bit more fun than it might otherwise be when you’re stuck with cycling on stationary bicycles indoors.

In another nod to Breakaway’s New York City home port, those looking to stay in shape while at sea will be able to take part in a fitness class developed by the Radio City Rockettes, the famed leggy dance troupe who will also, collectively, serve as Breakaway’s godmothers.

These are but a couple of an unprecedented number of sports, fitness and spa options to debut on Norwegian Breakaway this coming May in the Big Apple.

Breaking Away In The Big Apple

At Norwegian Breakaway’s expansive fitness center on Deck 15, athletes (and those who aspire to be) can choose from a huge range of classes and training methods, both high- and low-tech, including yoga, Pilates, kettlebell training, boot-camp-style body sculpting, TRX workouts (which use your own body weight against a system of suspended straps) and several low-impact classes, including one that combines elements of yoga, tai chi and meditation.

If you’re in a combative mood instead, you can use the ship’s Nexersys interactive fight-training simulators, in which you compete against a virtual avatar in high-intensity boxing workouts. New “Freestyle Fight Klub” classes will combine Nexersys workouts with cardio boxing classes using the fitness center’s 12 heavy bags.

Of course, you’re not limited to taking classes. Lone-wolf athletes can opt for solitude with the fitness center’s Technogym cardio and strength-training equipment, the latter of which have HD screens for following a training program, watching TV or navigating the playlists of their docked iPods.

Norwegian Breakaway’s Sports Complex

Norwegian Breakaway's Sports Complex
Norwegian Breakaway’s Sports Complex.

To add some vitamin D to your workout, head up to the Sports Complex on Decks 17 and 18, which offers a basketball court, a rock-climbing wall, an enclosed “spider web”–style climbing cage, a nine-hole miniature golf course, and what the line is billing as the largest “ropes” course at sea.

Set up on multiple levels and encompassing some 40 different challenges, the course lets you strap into safety harnesses and clamber among beams, platforms, nets, suspension bridges and other hazards.

If doing all that in the open air some 200 feet above sea level doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping, you can amp things up by walking “The Plank,” which takes you eight feet beyond the side of the ship.

Me? I’ll stick to spinning, and if I am lucky, I’ll have a chance to experience the black light spinning classes when I attend Norwegian Breakaway’s inaugural ceremonies May 10-12 in New York City. Stay tuned.

Norwegian Breakaway will sail weeklong Bermuda cruises from New York from May through September, then switch to seven-night Florida/Bahamas cruises visiting Port Canaveral (for the Orlando theme parks), Nassau, and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island destination. A sister ship, Norwegian Getaway, will debut in January 2014 and be home-ported in Miami, sailing seven-night eastern Caribbean cruises.

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