IMG_4940
Norwegian Breakaway

As a long time cruiser of Norwegian Cruise Line (some 10 years), I have seen the company go through changes and upgrades on their ships overtime. For those looking for a more elevated luxury experience, the creation of the Haven has been their most advanced upgrade.

This was my second time cruising on the Norwegian Breakaway but the experience was entirely different. I had the opportunity to stay in the Haven, which is a luxury enclave, or “ship within a ship” as NCL would call it. If you are not familiar with the Haven, the concept is that you have a private area perched atop the ship that was designed for those who book Haven rooms.

Benefits of booking a Haven room:

  • Priority embarkation/disembarkation – no waiting in lines
  • 24 hour butler – a phone is given to you in your room that you can take anywhere on the ship to contact them
  • Dedicated concierge inside the Haven Courtyard
  • White tablecloth in-suite dining
  • Evening turn down service
  • Priority restaurant and entertainment reservations
  • Exclusive access to The Haven Courtyard area with private pool, sundeck, hot tub and fitness area
  • Sparkling wine, bottled water and fruit on embarkation day (For 2-Bedroom villa, Courtyard Penthouse, Spa Suite, and Penthouse only)
  • Mini-bar and deluxe coffee/espresso/cappuccino machine
  • Special Haven Menus
  • Grab and go breakfast items including parfaits, diced fruit in a martini glass, fresh pastries and gourmet meats
  • Treats delivered to your suite each evening
  • Invitations to an exclusive breakfast and lunch
  • Invitations to exclusive cocktail parties
  • Cocktail party with ship’s officers
  • Bliss Collection by Norwegian pillow-top mattress
  • Fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu
  • Plush bathrobes, slippers and oversized bath towels
  • Luxury bathroom products

The extended benefits of booking a Haven room truly change the experience of your cruise. Having been on 10 cruises, this one was entirely different but I still received the same service that I have come to love from Norwegian.

From the moment I arrived at the pier in New York, there was staff for the Haven waiting to take me to a private check-in where afterwards I could enjoy food and be the first to board. In the Haven lounge I met with the concierge staff that would be available during the cruise for Haven guests only.

Once on the ship, my room was ready and waiting for me. There was a bottle champagne on ice, chocolate covered strawberries and fresh flowers awaiting my arrival. Technically there were a few bottles of champagne because of my Latitudes status as well.

IMG_4220

The Room:

For this 14 day cruise I checked into a Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with a Balcony. The room was located within the enclave of the Haven where key card access is required to get in. Within the courtyard is a private pool, deck, sunning deck, bar, and restaurant – which are exclusive to Haven guests only.

Room Features:

  • Room: 328 sq. feet
  • Balcony: 58 sq. feet
  • Bliss Collection by Norwegian pillow-top mattress
  • Fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu
  • Plush bathrobes, slippers and oversized bath towels
  • Luxury bathroom products – Bvlgari
  • Bathtub/shower combo
  • 2 closets
  • HD TV
  • Dining set for 2
  • Lavazza Coffee machine
  • Mini Bar and glasses for most drinking occasions
  • Love seat sofa that folds out into a bed
  • Extended room service menu – at no cost
  • Movies on the TV were free
IMG_4171
Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with Balcony
IMG_4173
Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with Balcony
IMG_4178
Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with Balcony

What I loved about this room was the extra space – and believe me – every foot matters when you are on a cruise, the much larger luxury bathroom that had a bathtub and vessel sink with 2 faucets, the ability to make my own espresso or cappuccino, in-room dining, the room service selections were abundant and included, and the balcony chairs and table were a step above the other rooms – and by that I mean cushioned seats and they were a bit bigger.

The balcony views I found to be much better as well since I was on a higher floor of the ship, giving me a wider view.

IMG_5059
Curacao
IMG_5070
Caribbean Sea

I did in-room dining several times because I had a table, it was easy and I liked to be lazy on sea days. There is an extended Haven menu for room service and there is no charge.

IMG_4345
Room service breakfast
IMG_4348
Egg white omelet
IMG_4368
Lunch – Greek salad

My room was on the 15th floor and had a door down the hall with direct access to the spa and gym, which was nice since I had a thermal spa suite pass (you can either book a spa room with access or buy a thermal spa suite access pass for the duration of your cruise). So many sea days and nights I spent winding down in the hot tubs, sauna or just relaxing on the heated chairs overlooking the ocean.

IMG_7172
Thermal Spa Suite
IMG_7174
Thermal Spa Suite

*Highly recommend getting the thermal spa access – it was such a great place to relax.

The Restaurant: 

The restaurant that is exclusive to Haven guests IS the best restaurant on the ship. I know this because I have dined at most of them on previous sailings and the food is just a cut above the rest. In fact, I ate 90% of my meals on board in the Haven restaurant .. on a 14 day cruise – that good! To be honest, I think the restaurant alone is worth booking the Haven for and that’s without adding all the extra upgrades!

I want to be fair though – the food on the ship is good everywhere, I just found it to be an elevated dining encounter in the Haven.

*Note: the menu for each of the 3 daily meals never changed. There was a new dinner special each night, but otherwise did not change.

Breakfast:

Breakfast IS my favorite meal of the day .. why? Because I love bacon and croissants. My absolute favorite breakfast dish in the Haven restaurant was the huevos rancheros and I did not try it until my last day. Take note, try it the first day!

*The Haven restaurant has a small buffet of meats, cheeses, cereals, yogurts, fruits, danishes, breads, etc for you to take as you please and has menu items in addition.

Lunch:

After discussing with fellow cruise guests, I would strongly argue that lunch was the best meal for the restaurant. I must have eaten the goat cheese galette 7 times and the prosciutto and mozzarella salad was just divine.

Dinner:

With the exception of a couple nights, I ate here for dinner every night. And every night I always ordered the butternut squash soup with duck confit and the slow roasted pork belly.

Butler:

During the duration of the cruise I had 2 butlers, one of them worked from 8am-8pm and then the other covered the overnight shift. Both butlers were incredible. Essentially they were a direct line to take care of all your needs on board, should you have any.

I remember telling the butler when I got on board that I loved souffle and towel animals .. and he delivered, literally.

IMG_4431
One of the amazing towel animal creations
IMG_5083
Coconut souffle

Butler Features:

  • Private phone to use throughout the ship that they would answer & assist
  • Direct line for room service – and would deliver white tablecloth dining in room
  • Delivered daily treats to the room
  • Took care of reservation, spa, or any other requests
  • Delivered anything you request
  • Left daily fruit
IMG_4218
Daily treats delivered
IMG_4372
Daily treats delivered

IMG_4433

Concierge: 

Easily one of the most beneficial perks of the Haven. Having a dedicated team that is inside the Haven (and rarely a line to speak with them) – that escorts you priority off the ship, takes you to priority seating at shows and assists you in every possible way you could imagine, was essentially like having a team of people working to make sure your trip was the best it could be.

IMG_5684

Haven Courtyard Area:

The courtyard was one of the driving reasons I wanted to be in a Haven room on a 14 day cruise. This ship is newer and holds a lot of people and this specific itinerary had about 8 sea days in total. Having this extra space to go to where it seemed no one ever was, gave me somewhere to go and relax outside of my room that was private.

The courtyard area had a pool, 2 hot tubs, private sun deck, inside deck with chairs, beverage station, bar, restaurant, lounge, private spa rooms exclusive to Haven guests, and the concierge desk. In addition, staff were always present with beverages and ready to assist in anything.

IMG_4412
Haven Bar
IMG_4464
Haven Pool
IMG_5678
Haven Lounge
IMG_7074
Beverage Station
IMG_4459
Haven Deck
IMG_4467
Haven Pool

Overall:

Loved the upgraded luxury experience of the Haven and all the bells and whistles it came with. There was no detail missed in this experience – every staff member in the Haven knew me and all the other Haven guests by name and face and always greated us with lovely smiles. I have cruised in every level of room categories now with Norwegian and this was by far my favorite – however, every cruise I have been on with NCL has been just as great and in different ways. The one major thing I would note about this cruise in the Haven compared to all other cruises outside of it was that I spent most of my time on board in the Haven, and that is because it was simply a marvelous experience.

Pins for Pinterest:

**Disclosure: I did partner with Norwegian Cruise Line but as always, opinions are entirely my own

7 thoughts

  1. Thanks for the review! Now thinking that we should book in The Haven very soon! As a regular Norwegian passenger, I also have never had a bad experience on any of their ships!

    Like

  2. I think this blog post has convinced me that this is something we should try. I love the extra room, dedicated spaces and in room cappuccino machines are a delight. The food looked heavenly. Thanks for this peek into a new luxury option!

    Like

  3. Wow I didn’t realize cruising could be so luxurious. I always thought it was just people going to buffets. Clearly I need to book a cruise.

    Like

  4. What a glam experience Nicky! I have never seen a side of a cruise ship so well designed too. Major detail going in to this one, no doubts there. Cruising seems to call to me more each week as I run into travelers who rave about these vacays on the sea. I see why 🙂

    Thanks much 🙂

    Ryan

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s