Sailed for the first time on NCL in a Haven Penthouse Balcony room. The NCL embarkation and disembarkation processes need a lot of work. Although we were pretty much escorted through the throngs of people it was still a little bit convoluted. We arrived about 10:15 am and there were already at least a thousand people in various lines waiting to board. I can see why people get upset over the process as there were not nearly enough employees to assist those standing in long lines.
The Haven experience is wonderful and the Haven restaurant is elegant and welcoming. The staff there are the best and special kudos to Griffin-the greeter who I think has never had a bad day. He was friendly, cheerful and caring-simply a great employee.
The Haven pool area has a small sitting pool with chairs in it and a 4 ft deep little lap pool. There is also a dry sauna just off the pool deck and plenty of chairs near the pool and on the deck above. The service in the Haven pool area was also great with drinks and lunch brought to those hanging out there.
The Haven bar area was spacious and elegant. The bartenders were the best with a special shout out to Shah-who makes the best lemon drop martini we have ever had.
The rest of the ship is vast with bars everywhere that will soothe your taste buds. We really liked the Adults only Spice H2O sunning area on the rear of the ship. There were plenty of chairs there and a waterfall cavern to cool you off
We ate at three specialty restaurants-steak house, Japanese and Italian and all were very, very good with great service. The Haven restaurant dinners were scrumptious but the menu was the same every day. Having said that the menu included filet mignon, surf and turf, prime rib, rack of lamb, sea bass, etc. You could literally have lobster every nite if you chose to. The breakfast in the Haven was the best-steak and eggs(actually filet mignon and eggs) and the pressed coffee was the best!
We thought the entertainment was just Ok. The two main shows were After Midnight and Choir of Man. Both shows were high energy with outstanding performers. We really enjoyed the Choir of Man and thought it was one of the best shows we have seen on any of our 25+ cruises. The rest of the entertainment was merely ok and nothing really stood out.
We only took one excursion-Tepanyaki Beach on Roatan. It was a very relaxing beach day and the beach vendors were kept at bay by the security personnel. The beach there is beautiful and there are a variety of water activities you can choose from. We had no problem with the tendering process but heard that it was a nightmare for some of the guests.
All in all a very nice cruise experience and we will try NCL in the future.
Once onboard we were able to get into our room at about 1 pm. The room was not as large as a Celebrity cruise line sky suite(which we usually have) but was comfortable and the bathroom was very nice with a tub and a shower. Our butler Jon-Jon and attendant Alvin were both spot on excellent and quickly took care of the couple requests we had. Each afternoon we received little finger sandwiches, candy, crackers, etc. The best thing about the room was its location on the 17th floor of the starboard side of the ship. We were literally about 50 feet from the entrance to the bar and Haven pool/sun lounge area. I highly recommend avoiding booking a Haven room anywhere near the Vibe Beach Club as it can be quite noisy(19th deck port side).