Enjoyed this class cabin with just the three of us last time so booked it again, this time with our high school senior granddaughter. The cruise was for her spring break and part of her graduation present. We arrived to NewYork a couple of days early and visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the 9/11 memorial and museum, took a horse and carriage ride through Central Park with NYC Horse Carriage Rides, and saw a Broadway Show (Waitress). We stayed pre-cruise at the Holiday Inn Express on 48th St., just a few short blocks from the cruise port. Booked early enough and received a good rate, and added bonus of breakfast each morning and being able to walk to the port for embarkation. Our Statue of Liberty tickets were purchased early and we were able to climb the stairs to the crown. Our time at Ellis Island was sandwiched between the stair climb, and the 9/11 memorial and museum, and would probably have been better if we had more time. We spent three hours, but could have spent much longer at the 9/11 museum if we had a longer stay. Saturday afternoon was spent allowing our granddaughter to shop New York City style, and purchasing tickets for our show on Saturday evening at the TKTS booth (great seats at a great price).
It was an easy 2-3 block walk from the hotel to the port. We arrived at the port on Sunday morning around 10:45 and dropped our bags with the porter. We were sent inside the terminal, and not seeing The Haven check-in area we asked where it was located. We were instructed to “go this way” pointing to the regular check-in line. We had to reiterate that we were booked in The Haven. Finally we were shown the appropriate direction to go. Check-in was quick and we barely had time to grab some juice and coffee, and our concierge was there to escort us to The Haven lounge for a briefing. We then could choose to dine in The Haven restaurant, La Cucina, or Margaritaville while awaiting our stateroom being readied. Our cabin was ready a little before 1pm, and by then luggage was already beginning to arrive. Choir of Man show showcased some very good talent. After Midnight, a jazz show was very good. Uptown, a complimentary dinner show was also very good. The dinner served was a “no choice” meal of a nice mixed green salad, tasty beef tenderloin with chimichuri sauce, and over cooked rice. Mexican chocolate cake was the dessert, not worth the calories. Breakfast every day in The Haven was always great. An expansive buffet of ready to eat items while waiting for your cooked order was perfect-fruit, yogurt, meats, pastries and rolls. Fresh squeezed juices (added cost) and French press coffee were available also. Dinners in The Haven were also good with meat and seafood dishes, and even a vegetarian option. The menu remained the same for each meal. The specialty restaurants all were good options. We enjoyed Cagney’s, a great steakhouse, Moderno, a good salad bar and more varieties and amounts of meat than anyone can eat, and Le Bistro, a typical French restaurant. We used our included dining package to visit the specialty restaurants, so the only added cost for us was an added tip.
As Haven guests, we were afforded priority embarkation, disembarkation, tendering at Great Stirrup Cay, and a select seating area in the theater. Our concierge, David was excellent. He deftly managed all of our last minute show and dinner reservations and was our escort to all shows and was an ever-present friendly face whenever we visited The Haven lounge. Our butler, Jefferson was awesome. He managed our in-cabin dining and pretty much delivered anything we asked for. Jefferson was responsible for bringing snacks every afternoon, and kept wondering what we would like. We finally had him bring banana cake and chocolate covered strawberries. In addition, he always brought a couple of other “surprise” snacks too.
Our shore excursion in Port Canaveral was the Kennedy Space Center. We had taken this tour approximately 35 years ago. We were a little disappointed because the time allowed for this excursion was not nearly long enough for an in-depth educational experience. We had never been to NCL’s private island and as I understand, it is a frequent “miss” due to weather conditions. It is a fairly crowded beach day, with no separate area for Haven Guests. We spent about 2 hours there, then returned to the ship. There was a bbq lunch served on the island that we didn’t try as we had 5pm dinner reservations. The Nassau stop allowed us to take the water taxi to Paradise Island for our newly turned 18 year old’s visit to the casino. For $8 round-trip, we took the 20 minute ride to Paradise Island. Be advised you will have to wait for the water taxi to completely fill before departing both ways,so plan on some additional time when returning to the ship. There is a short approximately 5 block walk to reach the Atlantis casino from the water taxi arrival point. There are some high end specialty shops along the walk and more once you arrive to the Atlantis. Also you will find a Starbucks and Ben and Jerry’s along the walk. Know that all shops along the way are cashless, only accepting credit or debit cards.
Disembarkation following our return to New York went smoothly. The Escape was the only ship in port on our return. As Haven guests, we were afforded priority disembarkation and were escorted off the ship by our concierge. The sea of luggage made it look impossible to find our bags, however there were people there asking what color luggage tags and pointing people in the right direction. The crowds were well controlled and passing through customs went very smoothly. From the time our key cards were scanned out, to exiting customs only 15-20 minutes had passed. There was a sea of taxis across the street waiting to ferry passengers. We were approached by an individual offering to take us to the airport for $65. We finally settled on $60, and were quickly delivered to LaGuardia. We would have required two taxis but fit the four of us and all of our luggage comfortably in his SUV, saving us some cash. We enjoyed his banter along our trip to the airport, and saw some different views of New York. We enjoyed this entire trip immensely and would definitely return and recommend it to others.
With a regular balcony size cabin living area, a king bed in the separate bedroom, and a huge bathroom, there was plenty of room for the four of us. There was more than enough storage for all of our things with three separate closets and many drawers. The bathroom had a separate toilet room, a large walk-in shower with three different shower heads, a large soaking tub, a makeup counter, and double wash basins. The living area had a comfortable couch for lounging during the day, that pulled out at night for sleeping. There is a small desk with chair area. There is also a small dining table and 3 chairs. We made great use of the Nespresso coffee maker and kept some of our snacks in the small refrigerator. The balcony is on the small side, but had 2 chairs and a small table. We actually took a couple of dining chairs out so all four of us could sit.