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Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
3,650 Reviews

A Fab Time! Solo Haven

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by sparkyvc

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2018
  • Destination: the Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: The Haven Courtyard Penthouse with Balcony

My complaints are so minor they slip my memory. DO keep in mind I was a solo traveler (female mid-50s) and in arguably the best cabin onboard for me (16704).

Embarkation was a complete cluster. Think NYC traffic, bozos everywhere and a completely disorganized plan. For those of us that paid the large premium for Haven it was a dismal start. There was no marked line. I had the choice of being extremely rude trying to be separated from the masses or (eventually) making the General Public feel lousy compared to my care. For me the the whole point of Haven status was the ability to disappear from public view. Instead I was on full display. Not a good start.

But that was just a flash in the rearview mirror. Once someone figured out who I was I was led to a sad little room that looked like a jail visitation area. But there were yummy little bites and infused water and it was quiet. In just a few minutes we (total of 3 Haveners), were escorted to the ship and directly to our Concierge Bowen. He gave us a very rote intro to the areas, then we were directed to our suites (in mine by 12:30). Before I headed off I met my new bestie, Anita, the helm of the best-run bar ever. Even if you just drink coffee and juices, Anita ( Ineedadrink :)) is pretty much the Lady of the Haven on Breakaway IMO. The bar is open 7am-close. There are fun little bar games around 9 for those having a nightcap. I can't say enough about how well the bar service worked. Gotcha though - drink service is sporadic on the sundeck (17). The bar needs another body on sea days.

Concierge - Mine was Bowen. I must say, several of us Haveners were cautious about him the first couple of days. He just seemed very stiff on a ship filled with the opposite. But by Day 3 we all loved him and on Day 10 he was a rock star. I didn't have much scheduled and probably way under-utilized his knowledge. Next time I will rely on my Concierge more. I sure hope it is Bowen. He never once led me astray. He was the one to recommend being the last off the boat. It saved me a ton of time. I also liked that I saw him all over the ship and not just with "us". He definitely had relationships with people throughout the ship, just as an excellent Concierge should.

Room - 16704 I was a solo and of average size with a side of clumsiness. My suite was awesome,. The bed is king and comfy. The balcony is one of the most private on the ship. Forward is the glassed-in bath of the DOS; aft is the shower of a 2BS. Above is the sundeck. Below is the spa. My room was not ever well-cleaned. I had to request new sheets Day 7. The TV remote sucks, but they all do and there is nothing to watch. Bvlgari bath products are low quality. Remember the bath water is extremely hard so pack your own bath products, especially lotion. Storage is mind-boggling. There is an abundance of hangers (20++). Lighting is also very good so bypass packing a nightlight. I always travel with an extension plug but could have survived in this room without it.

Butler!!!! I had Louis and he changed my life. I will never forget him and I still think of little trays of treats and smile remembering him. Think of Bowen, but all to yourself (or so it seems). I really tried to be a good guest, but am sure I was not. Poor Louis was lugging my empty plates, wine glasses and coffee dregs off all of the time., He started bringing me my afternoon treats as catered to my diet as possible. FYI I am a fairly obedient T1 Diabetic but did not want the line to limit my cheat options. Louis was very attuned to my food cravings. One night I was a tad ill and a sugar crash. Louis brought me orange juice and gorgeous grilled shrimp on skewers in minutes. I also saw him buzzing about in the GP a time or two. It was a great sign that "our" staff have relationships throughout the ship.

Dining in the Haven was Heaven. The menu does not change but it is divine. If you do one thing, please have a taste of the chilled soup d'jour. It was not until Day 5ish that the kitchen and I came to terms. After that it was nirvana. My issue? Sizes for 3 people! It was all fantastic, but the better the food the less I eat. Good food just makes me filled and happy and it doesn't require crazy portions. So once I figured out that I could order 1 egg, 2 lamb chops, no starches, a few more beans... it was excellent. The female Maitre´d is lovely. I ate at a few of the specialty restaurants but quickly learned Haven dining was what I enjoyed. And do not forget your butler can get you anything your heart desires.

Pool/Courtyard. The word is that they will open the glass cover at Port on request. I can tell you it was never opened on my 11 day trip. Our weather was almost perfect and I never felt having the top closed was a bad thing. Except for a handful of kids the area was quiet and a nice retreat to read or meditate. Meals were also served there and coffee/tea/water/snacks were available 7am-10pm. The hot tubs were just warm and sloshed into the hallway on 16 on sea days - mildew was the norm for that area. The sauna was great and never used that I saw.

Back to Concierge - the area could use another body, especially at peak times. Forget the fancy robes, 24-hour butler, room service and private deck. Your Concierge is the BMOC on the ship. When you are whisked off to an event with the GP expect an escort that will lead you to the best seats for everything. The freedom of skipping massive lines easily pays for the treat of Haven. Seriously, just keep saving a little linger and then do it right. Disembark - - - per my Concierge I was the last to leave. From the lounge to starting my car was 19 minutes (6 block walk). Bowen is there to make us feel special. He was excellent. Someone needs to get me normal again!

Service everywhere was top-notch (save my room steward). Not only will I remember all of the people on the ship that work so hard to make me happy, I will also remember my fellow travelers. My years are long in adventures and my favorite memories are the people I meet along the way. Everywhere on the ship there were pleasant people, but I felt a connection with my Haven Homies. We would trade ship stories and snippets of our real lives. I met plumbers, managers, artists, doctors, attorneys, longshoremen and pilots. I conversed with people of all ages and from many places.

Do it again? Heck yeah and in a heartbeat. I will stick to the big ships because I am a Haven addict now and need the restaurant/bar.


sparkyvc's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

The Haven Courtyard Penthouse with Balcony
Cabin H5 16704

Look at the the pictures and youtube. This room is magic. 104 is portside in most stops.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Some fellow crushed his leg so no tenders that day

Ocho Rios

Horrible port position. To walk to town was 30 minutes r/t with the pot sellers.


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sparkyvc
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