My wife and I just returned from a seven day cruise through western Caribbean on the Getaway. We had a Haven Deluxe Spa room on deck 14. Although the room was great (far better than standard rooms), the service and amenities are even better. The staff catered to our every need day or night. The food in Haven was the best food I've had on a cruise of this caliber. It may be extremely difficult, if not impossible to ever go back to cruising the "old" way. That said, I do have one noteworthy comment/complaint.
NCL markets Haven, well as a "haven". Webster Dictionary defines "haven" as: "A place of refuge". In the marketing literature you will see pictures of beautify sunsets, couples sitting on deck drinking champagne, and other romantic imagery. NCL further neglects to make clear that Haven bookings are open to ANYONE, this includes families with young children. Unfortunately, as a result, this experience that we thought would give us a break from the noise and chaos usually associated with being around young children was far from that. Because NCL often offers 3rd and 4th passengers free travel, families are using this offering to bring their young children. For most adults spending 5 to 10 times (or more) the typical cruise costs to travel Haven, I'm fairly certain they didn't expect to be chased out of the private Haven pool by splashing and yelling children OR not be able to sit at the bar because junior wanted to order a virgin daiquiri. Making it even worse, my wife and I spent nearly $600 on spa treatments (massage, facial, etc), which is performed in the Haven area (deck 16). However, it's impossible to enjoy these costly treatments when children are running up and down the hallway and slamming doors immediately next to the room where you are trying to relax during these spa treatments. I can't even begin to express how angry I was as I thought about the $600 I was spending on top of the cruise cost. There is just no acceptable excuse for this. As the name suggests, Haven should be a serene environment and not a children's playground. There are countless other decks on the ship where families and children can play.
As mentioned, the ship houses multiple decks of family activities and staterooms. I see no practical reason why families should be using (or allowed in) the Haven area.
So, even though our overall experience was great, NCL's misleading marketing and handling of the Haven environment makes this trip questionable if a traveller's goal is to relax quietly as an adult with other adults.
Needless to say, what was a near perfect vacation became scarred as a result of misrepresentation.
If I could offer any suggestion, it would be to not allow anyone under the age of 21 to be permitted in the Haven area. The Getaway (and most NCL ships) is a very large ship that houses multiple decks of family activities and rooms. I see no practical reason why families should be using (or allowed in) the Haven area given how it is represented. If NCL is not prepared to do that, as an alternative I would propose that 3rd and 4th passengers in Haven pay full price (or even just half-price) rather than travel for free. This likely would discourage most families from bringing their young children and mitigate the majority (but not all) of the problem. However, not permitting at all would be the right thing to do in my opinion given the marketing material and themed naming.
So, even though our overall experience was great, NCL's misleading marketing and handling of the Haven environment makes this trip questionable if your goal is to relax quietly as an adult with other adults.
The cabin (14132) was great. It was awesome having the spa in the room. the cabin is mostly roomy however there is limited open floor space. So storing your luggage or other things in an open space was difficult. Assuming you don't need much floor space, the room was perfect. The large king size bed and in-room spa made this vacation with my wife more like a second honeymoon than just an annual trip.
The addition of the Haven offering made this even better. The services and amenities that come with it take the experience over the top.
We are from south Florida, so we are familiar with the Miami area. The experience specifically in the NCL terminal was good. However, the port itself is very busy/congested. It is also under construction, which seems to have been the theme for decades. I can't recall a time when something or some area of this port was under construction. Regardless, our experience in the NCL terminal went mostly well. NCL seemed a bit understaffed, but we made it on-board and that's all that mattered.
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