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Why we choose this cruise: I wanted to take my entire family on a cruise which included my 28 year old daughter and her husband; my 16 year old son; my 11 year old son and my husband and me (in our early 50s). Additionally, I took my brother, his wife and 3 daughters. I knew I wanted to be in the Haven and wanted Norwegian's newest ship. I called my travel agent and said, "what is the least expensive week for 6 people staying in the Deluxe Owner's suite?". She told me that is was the week after President's week, the February 25, 2017 departure. So, I booked the DOS for my family and a 2 bedroom haven suite for my brother's family. Embarkation: We arrived to the Port of Miami at 11:00am and dropped off our luggage in the Haven area outside of the port building and went directly into the Haven check-in lounge. My brother's family was already there and by 11:30am we were all being escorted to the private elevator (passed thousands of people - literally 1000s) and up to the Haven Lounge. The concierge, Adrien, gave us a short low-down of where everything was and what we can expect. Waiters were passing around sliders with french fries and hors d'oeuvres while we waited, and the bar was open! Room was ready as soon as Adrien was finished and we went straight to our cabin. There was a bottle of champagne, a bottle of sparkling wine (I am also a Silver latitudes member) on ice and a tray of savories when we arrived. The 3 bottles of alcohol that is included with the DOS was not in the room even though we pre-ordered it through the pre-cruise concierge. But our Butler more than took care of this when we were on the ship. Cabin: What can you say about the Deluxe Owner's Suite....OMG! We were in cabin 17100, which I highly recommend. The Deluxe Owner's Suites on the 17th deck have balconies that are more than twice the size of the balconies on the 18th deck (We met the people above us in 18100 & they let us go into their cabin. The room was the same size, but the deck was much, much, smaller than ours). The Master bedroom is a dream with one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept on. The Master bath & closet are ridiculously big and there is even a second (regular size) balcony off the master bedroom. The smaller bedroom was the perfect size for my daughter and her husband (about the size of an interior cabin with its own bathroom, closets, TV and dressing table. The bed was a convertible couch which they kept out during the entire cruise. My sons slept on the pull out couch in the living room, which was a queen size bed. Very comfortable for a pull out and was closed every morning and opened (turned-down) in the evening. We had a large living area with TV, 6 seat dining table, large bar with all types of glasses (champagne, beer, wine, etc), mini fridge stocked with sodas, seltzer's, and bottled waters. (As a guest in one of the Owner's suites, you get unlimited waters, sodas, etc. and 3 bottles of liquor of your choice. They were very good about getting us exactly what we wanted, i.e. vodka and bourbon that was NOT on the list they originally sent us.). There is also another 1/2 bathroom in the entryway which is great, especially for the kids who were sleeping in the living room. My brother's room was lovely as well. They had a huge master bath and bedroom, separate bedroom for my 2 younger nieces and my older niece slept on the pull out couch in the living room. I do have to say that I was surprised by the size of the deck in the 2 bedroom suite. It is as big as a regular balcony room. Also, I have stayed in a 2 bedroom suite on the NCL Jewel and the room was layed out better and had a much larger living area. Dining: Note: we had a complimentary 3 venue UDP for me & my husband and we all had breakfast, lunch and dinner access to the Haven restaurant. My daughter and her husband purchased a 3 venue UDP for themselves. Hubby & I had a complimentary Ultimate Beverage Package. Daughter and her husband did not purchase the UBP; however, when they were with one of us, they NEVER paid for a drink in any bar, the Haven, Restaurant, bars around the ship, etc. The servers just put their drinks on one of our cards - I am a little leery about saying this as I am sure this will get out and be stopped. The best place to eat, hands down, was in the Haven Restaurant. Not only was the service impeccable, but everything from the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus were delicious. We NEVER had a bad meal. We didn't eat in any of the main dining rooms; however, we did go to the buffet a couple of times, once for ice cream and once for a quick breakfast before an early shore excursion. Not great, but what we expected. We also ate our last night at Teppanyaki. Food was good as was the show. Service (drinks and such) was very slow though. Kids enjoyed it.(When the bill came - we owed $59.90 which is the cover charge for the 2 kids. Daughter and I used our UDP) Cagney's was very good as usual. Steaks were cooked to perfection and all the sides and desserts didn't disappoint. You can get as many sides, appetizers and desserts as you want, but only 1 entree is included in the UDP. If you order more than one entree, you pay the a-la-carte pricing. (When the check came and we owed $0 dollars. Again, we used our UDP and daughter used hers) The "boys" had their own night out on Sunday and they went to the Brazilian Steakhouse, Moderno Churrascaria. They all loved it and come back stuffed (Check was $39.90 for the two kids) That night my daughter and I went to the Tapas restaurant, Pincho Tapas Bar. We enjoyed getting a variety of different dishes and paired them with different wines. (Check was $0.00 as we used our 3rd UDP for this venue) We ate once at O'Sheehan's for breakfast and would not go back; but, the boys got wings a few times and enjoyed them. We wanted to try the Food Republic but missed out this cruise. The hours are very short and just didn't work with our schedule. Finally, as a Haven guest, you are allowed to order in-suite from ANY restaurant on board. The caveat is this: if you order from a specialty restaurant, you can either use your UDP to waive the specialty fee or they will charge you the fee even for in-room dining, but you can order AS MUCH as you want. If the restaurant is complimentary, you can order ANYTHING in the room. We ate dinner one night in-suite and we were served by our butler on white linen. We ordered from the Haven menu as we found it to be the best. (Prime rib, lamb chops, salads, pasta, etc.) BUT THE BEST PART, which is a little known secret, is that we would order appetizers with our Butler for a cocktail hour the night before and have it delivered to our room so it was waiting for us when we returned from our shore excursions. We did this on 3 occasions. We ordered everything from nachos, to 4 different types of wings, guacamole, cheese/meat/crackers, quesadillas, spinach artichoke dip, mini sandwiches, fruit, M&Ms (both peanut & regular) and chocolate. You can also order this in the morning or any other time, but we found it best to do it the night before so we knew it would be there when we returned. Entertainment: We love going to Broadway shows and comedy clubs and have enjoyed much of the entertainment on previous cruises; however, we really didn't love the shows on this cruise. After Midnight was jazz based singing and dancing which was good, but it didn't have a story-line just a truncated version of the Broadway show (just the song & dance numbers). It was just okay for us and the kids were bored to tears. The Brat Pack was definitely better than After Midnight, but again, was good not great. The best entertainment by far was Dueling Pianos. All of the performers were funny and the audience participation is so much fun. The comedy show was hit or miss, depending on the performer, but overall we had a good time. Activities: Kids loved all of the ropes courses, miniature golf, basketball court, water slides, etc. The adults mainly stuck to the Haven pool and hot tubs. High winds closed the courses early a few days and all the lines were very long on sea days. Service: IMPECCABLE!! Our Butler, Dillip and steward, Jeffrey, were both amazing. There wasn't a request that went unfulfilled or anticipated. We read about how many people don't use the services of the butler, but we took full advantage of this amazing perk (in a good way - we didn't run him ragged:)) We asked if it would be possible to get 2 extra lounge chairs on our deck (we had 2, but wanted 4). By the time we returned from lunch, 2 more chairs appeared on our deck. The Haven lounge, pool, bar and concierge personnel couldn't be more accommodating. By day 2 they knew your name and anticipated your drink requests. The service by the pool was amazing as well. They would come around with fruit & shrimp skewers, drinks and ice cold cooling towels - even while we were sitting on the loungers in the water! When we ventured outside of the Haven, we found the service very good as well. Bartenders, waiters, etc were all attentive and accommodating. Note: At the end of the week, we tipped Dillip $500 and Jeffrey $275 Ports: Nassau, Tortola, St. Thomas Nassau: I really hope that we never go on another cruise that takes you to Nassau. If we do, I think I would stay on the ship and enjoy some of the ship's amenities rather than spend anytime on this island. Note: we have been there many times. We did island tours, snorkeling, Atlantis, etc. and we are pretty much done. Having said that, we booked a 2 hour snorkel trips with our sons and we did enjoy that. We ate lunch in town and then continued on back to the ship. Tortola: We booked the Virgin Gorda Baths tour through NCL. I usually don't book things directly through the ship; however, we were limited on time there and we had shore excursion credits we could use. We loved the baths and recommend them highly. Beautiful beaches and interesting caves. After the baths, we walked around the port in Tortola for a little while and then went back to our cocktail hour on our balcony. St. Thomas: We took a taxi to Blackbeard's castle and walked down the 99 steps to the bottom of the town, Charlotte Amalie. We then hired another car to take us to Mountaintop, wait for us and then took us to Coki Beach (this is where Coral World is). The beach is crowed, but we were able to get chairs (for a fee) and there were a lot of islanders smoking pot EVERYWHERE. We did have an amazing lunch at this little place on the beach. They had a fresh caught fish that was fried and it came with rice. It was really good. Then we walked up to the bus stop at the top of the street and took a very inexpensive bus ride back to the pier. Disembarkation: We ate at the Haven restaurant before we left the ship. We put our bags out in the morning (we didn't have to do it at night) and we were escorted down a service elevator to a private area were we got our bags, flew through the little customs area and grabbed a shuttle to the airport at one of the kiosks outside of the terminal. Final Thoughts: My family and I really enjoyed this cruise very much; however, we would never take this type of cruise if we couldn't be in the Haven area. The ship itself was extremely crowded and noisy. Drunken people who didn't think they had to smoke in the designated areas. The chairs are piled nearly on top of each other by the pool and on every available space on the sun decks. The outside bars are packed with people and the music is so loud you can't hear a conversation from someone sitting across from you. The ship itself is perfect for a multi-generational family traveling together as it had things for my pre-teen, teen, young adult and 50 somethings to do. Mainly, we just enjoyed our enormous sun deck during sea days or hung out in the Haven.

Perfect Family Escape!

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by Caliente Cruiser

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2017
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: The Haven Deluxe Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
Why we choose this cruise: I wanted to take my entire family on a cruise which included my 28 year old daughter and her husband; my 16 year old son; my 11 year old son and my husband and me (in our early 50s). Additionally, I took my brother, his wife and 3 daughters. I knew I wanted to be in the Haven and wanted Norwegian's newest ship. I called my travel agent and said, "what is the least expensive week for 6 people staying in the Deluxe Owner's suite?". She told me that is was the week after President's week, the February 25, 2017 departure. So, I booked the DOS for my family and a 2 bedroom haven suite for my brother's family.

Embarkation: We arrived to the Port of Miami at 11:00am and dropped off our luggage in the Haven area outside of the port building and went directly into the Haven check-in lounge. My brother's family was already there and by 11:30am we were all being escorted to the private elevator (passed thousands of people - literally 1000s) and up to the Haven Lounge. The concierge, Adrien, gave us a short low-down of where everything was and what we can expect. Waiters were passing around sliders with french fries and hors d'oeuvres while we waited, and the bar was open! Room was ready as soon as Adrien was finished and we went straight to our cabin. There was a bottle of champagne, a bottle of sparkling wine (I am also a Silver latitudes member) on ice and a tray of savories when we arrived. The 3 bottles of alcohol that is included with the DOS was not in the room even though we pre-ordered it through the pre-cruise concierge. But our Butler more than took care of this when we were on the ship.

Cabin: What can you say about the Deluxe Owner's Suite....OMG! We were in cabin 17100, which I highly recommend. The Deluxe Owner's Suites on the 17th deck have balconies that are more than twice the size of the balconies on the 18th deck (We met the people above us in 18100 & they let us go into their cabin. The room was the same size, but the deck was much, much, smaller than ours). The Master bedroom is a dream with one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept on. The Master bath & closet are ridiculously big and there is even a second (regular size) balcony off the master bedroom. The smaller bedroom was the perfect size for my daughter and her husband (about the size of an interior cabin with its own bathroom, closets, TV and dressing table. The bed was a convertible couch which they kept out during the entire cruise. My sons slept on the pull out couch in the living room, which was a queen size bed. Very comfortable for a pull out and was closed every morning and opened (turned-down) in the evening. We had a large living area with TV, 6 seat dining table, large bar with all types of glasses (champagne, beer, wine, etc), mini fridge stocked with sodas, seltzer's, and bottled waters. (As a guest in one of the Owner's suites, you get unlimited waters, sodas, etc. and 3 bottles of liquor of your choice. They were very good about getting us exactly what we wanted, i.e. vodka and bourbon that was NOT on the list they originally sent us.). There is also another 1/2 bathroom in the entryway which is great, especially for the kids who were sleeping in the living room. My brother's room was lovely as well. They had a huge master bath and bedroom, separate bedroom for my 2 younger nieces and my older niece slept on the pull out couch in the living room. I do have to say that I was surprised by the size of the deck in the 2 bedroom suite. It is as big as a regular balcony room. Also, I have stayed in a 2 bedroom suite on the NCL Jewel and the room was layed out better and had a much larger living area.

Dining: Note: we had a complimentary 3 venue UDP for me & my husband and we all had breakfast, lunch and dinner access to the Haven restaurant. My daughter and her husband purchased a 3 venue UDP for themselves. Hubby & I had a complimentary Ultimate Beverage Package. Daughter and her husband did not purchase the UBP; however, when they were with one of us, they NEVER paid for a drink in any bar, the Haven, Restaurant, bars around the ship, etc. The servers just put their drinks on one of our cards - I am a little leery about saying this as I am sure this will get out and be stopped.

The best place to eat, hands down, was in the Haven Restaurant. Not only was the service impeccable, but everything from the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus were delicious. We NEVER had a bad meal. We didn't eat in any of the main dining rooms; however, we did go to the buffet a couple of times, once for ice cream and once for a quick breakfast before an early shore excursion. Not great, but what we expected. We also ate our last night at Teppanyaki. Food was good as was the show. Service (drinks and such) was very slow though. Kids enjoyed it.(When the bill came - we owed $59.90 which is the cover charge for the 2 kids. Daughter and I used our UDP) Cagney's was very good as usual. Steaks were cooked to perfection and all the sides and desserts didn't disappoint. You can get as many sides, appetizers and desserts as you want, but only 1 entree is included in the UDP. If you order more than one entree, you pay the a-la-carte pricing. (When the check came and we owed $0 dollars. Again, we used our UDP and daughter used hers) The "boys" had their own night out on Sunday and they went to the Brazilian Steakhouse, Moderno Churrascaria. They all loved it and come back stuffed (Check was $39.90 for the two kids) That night my daughter and I went to the Tapas restaurant, Pincho Tapas Bar. We enjoyed getting a variety of different dishes and paired them with different wines. (Check was $0.00 as we used our 3rd UDP for this venue) We ate once at O'Sheehan's for breakfast and would not go back; but, the boys got wings a few times and enjoyed them. We wanted to try the Food Republic but missed out this cruise. The hours are very short and just didn't work with our schedule.

Finally, as a Haven guest, you are allowed to order in-suite from ANY restaurant on board. The caveat is this: if you order from a specialty restaurant, you can either use your UDP to waive the specialty fee or they will charge you the fee even for in-room dining, but you can order AS MUCH as you want. If the restaurant is complimentary, you can order ANYTHING in the room. We ate dinner one night in-suite and we were served by our butler on white linen. We ordered from the Haven menu as we found it to be the best. (Prime rib, lamb chops, salads, pasta, etc.) BUT THE BEST PART, which is a little known secret, is that we would order appetizers with our Butler for a cocktail hour the night before and have it delivered to our room so it was waiting for us when we returned from our shore excursions. We did this on 3 occasions. We ordered everything from nachos, to 4 different types of wings, guacamole, cheese/meat/crackers, quesadillas, spinach artichoke dip, mini sandwiches, fruit, M&Ms (both peanut & regular) and chocolate. You can also order this in the morning or any other time, but we found it best to do it the night before so we knew it would be there when we returned.

Entertainment: We love going to Broadway shows and comedy clubs and have enjoyed much of the entertainment on previous cruises; however, we really didn't love the shows on this cruise. After Midnight was jazz based singing and dancing which was good, but it didn't have a story-line just a truncated version of the Broadway show (just the song & dance numbers). It was just okay for us and the kids were bored to tears. The Brat Pack was definitely better than After Midnight, but again, was good not great. The best entertainment by far was Dueling Pianos. All of the performers were funny and the audience participation is so much fun. The comedy show was hit or miss, depending on the performer, but overall we had a good time.

Activities: Kids loved all of the ropes courses, miniature golf, basketball court, water slides, etc. The adults mainly stuck to the Haven pool and hot tubs. High winds closed the courses early a few days and all the lines were very long on sea days.

Service: IMPECCABLE!! Our Butler, Dillip and steward, Jeffrey, were both amazing. There wasn't a request that went unfulfilled or anticipated. We read about how many people don't use the services of the butler, but we took full advantage of this amazing perk (in a good way - we didn't run him ragged:)) We asked if it would be possible to get 2 extra lounge chairs on our deck (we had 2, but wanted 4). By the time we returned from lunch, 2 more chairs appeared on our deck. The Haven lounge, pool, bar and concierge personnel couldn't be more accommodating. By day 2 they knew your name and anticipated your drink requests. The service by the pool was amazing as well. They would come around with fruit & shrimp skewers, drinks and ice cold cooling towels - even while we were sitting on the loungers in the water! When we ventured outside of the Haven, we found the service very good as well. Bartenders, waiters, etc were all attentive and accommodating. Note: At the end of the week, we tipped Dillip $500 and Jeffrey $275

Ports: Nassau, Tortola, St. Thomas

Nassau: I really hope that we never go on another cruise that takes you to Nassau. If we do, I think I would stay on the ship and enjoy some of the ship's amenities rather than spend anytime on this island. Note: we have been there many times. We did island tours, snorkeling, Atlantis, etc. and we are pretty much done. Having said that, we booked a 2 hour snorkel trips with our sons and we did enjoy that. We ate lunch in town and then continued on back to the ship.

Tortola: We booked the Virgin Gorda Baths tour through NCL. I usually don't book things directly through the ship; however, we were limited on time there and we had shore excursion credits we could use. We loved the baths and recommend them highly. Beautiful beaches and interesting caves. After the baths, we walked around the port in Tortola for a little while and then went back to our cocktail hour on our balcony.

St. Thomas: We took a taxi to Blackbeard's castle and walked down the 99 steps to the bottom of the town, Charlotte Amalie. We then hired another car to take us to Mountaintop, wait for us and then took us to Coki Beach (this is where Coral World is). The beach is crowed, but we were able to get chairs (for a fee) and there were a lot of islanders smoking pot EVERYWHERE. We did have an amazing lunch at this little place on the beach. They had a fresh caught fish that was fried and it came with rice. It was really good. Then we walked up to the bus stop at the top of the street and took a very inexpensive bus ride back to the pier.

Disembarkation: We ate at the Haven restaurant before we left the ship. We put our bags out in the morning (we didn't have to do it at night) and we were escorted down a service elevator to a private area were we got our bags, flew through the little customs area and grabbed a shuttle to the airport at one of the kiosks outside of the terminal.

Final Thoughts: My family and I really enjoyed this cruise very much; however, we would never take this type of cruise if we couldn't be in the Haven area. The ship itself was extremely crowded and noisy. Drunken people who didn't think they had to smoke in the designated areas. The chairs are piled nearly on top of each other by the pool and on every available space on the sun decks. The outside bars are packed with people and the music is so loud you can't hear a conversation from someone sitting across from you. The ship itself is perfect for a multi-generational family traveling together as it had things for my pre-teen, teen, young adult and 50 somethings to do. Mainly, we just enjoyed our enormous sun deck during sea days or hung out in the Haven.
Caliente Cruiser’s Full Rating Summary
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Dining
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Entertainment
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Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
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Cabin Review

The Haven Deluxe Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
Cabin H2 17100
What can you say about the Deluxe Owner's Suite....OMG! We were in cabin 17100, which I highly recommend. The Deluxe Owner's Suites on the 17th deck have balconies that are more than twice the size of the balconies on the 18th deck (We met the people above us in 18100 & they let us go into their cabin. The room was the same size, but the deck was much, much, smaller than ours). The Master bedroom is a dream with one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept on. The Master bath & closet are ridiculously big and there is even a second (regular size) balcony off the master bedroom. The smaller bedroom was the perfect size for my daughter and her husband (about the size of an interior cabin with its own bathroom, closets, TV and dressing table. The bed was a convertible couch which they kept out during the entire cruise. My sons slept on the pull out couch in the living room, which was a queen size bed. Very comfortable for a pull out and was closed every morning and opened (turned-down) in the evening. We had a large living area with TV, 6 seat dining table, large bar with all types of glasses (champagne, beer, wine, etc), mini fridge stocked with sodas, seltzer's, and bottled waters. (As a guest in one of the Owner's suites, you get unlimited waters, sodas, etc. and 3 bottles of liquor of your choice. They were very good about getting us exactly what we wanted, i.e. vodka and bourbon that was NOT on the list they originally sent us.). There is also another 1/2 bathroom in the entryway which is great, especially for the kids who were sleeping in the living room. My brother's room was lovely as well. They had a huge master bath and bedroom, separate bedroom for my 2 younger nieces and my older niece slept on the pull out couch in the living room. I do have to say that I was surprised by the size of the deck in the 2 bedroom suite. It is as big as a regular balcony room. Also, I have stayed in a 2 bedroom suite on the NCL Jewel and the room was layed out better and had a much larger living area.
Deck 18 Suite Cabins