We loved the Breakaway last year, discovered Haven and didn’t even look at other cruise lines, booked the Bliss for our Alaska trip which we’ve been planning for a while now.
Haven was great for embarking, disembarking and to skip the crowds which can be overwhelming. However, it’s exaggerated to the point of misrepresentation. You do get priority with dining but everything else is just regular. You have a concierge that calls around for you but if something you want is booked, it’s booked.
Our trip also started on the wrong foot, a customer representative canceled our whole reservation by mistake 4 days prior to sailing - she was supposed to be canceling the airport transfer- 3 hours on the phone after being interrogated and put on hold to listen to the recordings and I got it back but allen reservations I’ve made were gone. And when I tried to rebook, everything was gone. Another few hours on the phone with no luck, no sympathy from anyone, not even an apology and we hoarded without any reservations. Haven concierge just kept saying everything is booked. Freestyle cruising is a joke, if you don’t plan months ahead, you won’t get to do the things you want. Race car and laser tag we’re both completely booked, we could do race car doubles only and once in the whole week. That was disappointing since we were counting on those two even though they charge extra.
Our butler was nice but he didn’t have language or people skills to make anything happen. Luggage - tagged priority- came at 7pm, butler said sorry it will come from downstairs?! Everyday I asked for housekeeping at 9am, we get up early with the kids, no one stopped by before 1pm. I was washing coffee cups in the sink because housekeeping wasn’t responsible for those, it was someone else, butler we found out the last day. Small things but they add up.
Jersey Boys was great, Broadway quality. However, there was nothing to do with the kids during the day. The simple silly things were really boring because the staff is not enthusiastic and language is really a problem. How can you entertain people if you’re struggling to speak English the whole time? And 80% of the activities revolve around selling you stuff and promotions. So we actually walked around not being able to find anything to do which was not the case at Breakaway. Haven lounge was a great escape and the observation deck there is outstanding, we spent most of our time there. Also the pool and jacuzzi was nice for the kids since it was indoors.
Fitness center is a shame, it was full every single time I went and it’s so small. Just the lounge area of the spa is bigger than the fitness center. The weight equipment is lined up on the side so narrow, looks like an after thought. And no classes other than a 7am stretch class. This is a deal breaker for me.
Dining is pretty good at NCL, however Haven restaurant was over staffed with under trained employees that walked around all the time but you still don’t get your coffee and only option is French press.
For us, Haven was not worth the money and downstairs was too hectic so we’ve decided to look at smaller cruise lines and it’s ok if they don’t have a race track on top.
Cabin was great, brand new, bathroom design is smart, bedding excellent which is a Haven perk, there’s nespresso machine in the room, we used the balcony a lot. The room was great with just enough space.
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Embarkation was smooth with the Haven priority but luggage came very late at 7pm even with priority.
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