We booked this cruise last minute (less than 60 days out) as a getaway for the two of us. We wanted to try the Haven on Norwegian as we have heard great things about it and prefer to travel in similar class suites on other cruise lines. The Haven on Norwegian did not disappoint! When booking a Haven class cabin, the embarkation process is sped up by a personal escort past the mass of people trying to onboard and straight into the Haven onboard at floor 17. As a person who hates waiting in line, to me this alone would be worth the extra cost of the cabin class...but there was much more to love about it. Located at the front of the ship on the top 3-4 levels, the Haven comprises of a bar area (where the concierge is also located), a 3-story atrium area (with a pool, jacuzzi, waterfall, lounge chairs and bar service), an observation lounge (with light buffet, very comfortable indoor seating, and panoramic views from one of the top floors at the front of the ship), and an outdoor sun deck with dual hot tubs at the very top of the boat! We love cruising for the all-inclusive nature and took full advantage. Food on this boat (Norwegian Joy) was better than most of the other cruises we have been on but we stuck to the Haven restaurant and the specialty restaurants because that’s what we prefer. The menu in the Haven restaurant was great, but does not change for the entire cruise which is not ideal, but the salmon and filet were both so amazing that I didn’t care. This itinerary at this time of year was colder than I thought it would be (had I researched average temperatures I probably would not have been surprised) so other than the one day we were in Cabo there was not much sunning happening and standing out on the outdoor areas was too cold for comfort. We thoroughly enjoyed the 2 shows, Footloose and Elements which were put on well, done to recorded music (not my preferred live orchestra) and had very strong performers in all the roles. I am frequently disappointed by the lack of horn players on the ships and this was no exception. No sax/trumpet/trombone to be found and no real jazz lounge on board, mostly cruise-style popular piano singers but the country/rock band in the ‘Q’ restaurant was really really good. As far as the service goes, it was very good, but for the Haven class we were in I would say there were several time I was disappointed with them. Whenever my concierge made a reservation for me, the people at the destination (gaming, go karts, restaurants) all said the reservation was not present when I arrived and that I should have contacted them anyway, even after the concierge made the reservation. If this is the case, why have a concierge at all? Also, while having a butler for the room we did not see him once after the day he introduced himself at embarkation. All in all, the service was very good and 100% worth being in the Haven instead of in a regular cabin class. My recommendations: 1) get to know the restaurant managers as they often enjoy pampering you and giving some special attention 2) stay in the Haven if you can because the privacy and luxury are definitely worth the extra dollars for a special vacation.
Cabin is as expected for the Haven tier. Unfortunately the 18th floor depth for the balcony is half of what the balcony depth is on the decks below. Fortunately, for this specific itinerary it was not significant as the temperatures were not warm enough to enjoy the balcony regularly. The rest of the features were what one would expect with a concierge/haven class cabin.
Really nothing at the port in LA unless you decide to do some sort of tour in Los Angeles.
As far as ports of call go, this is less tourist friendly than most (I have been to 20+). If you want to take an excursion I would recommend it. Otherwise stay on the ship.