14 Day Southern Caribbean Cruise On The Norwegian Breakaway

The Norwegian Breakaway used to be home to New York and you can see the beautiful design on the front of the ship where Lady Liberty graces. The ship now also does cruises in Europe along the Baltic Sea. Part of the newer Breakaway Class, this ship can hold over 3,900 passengers (based on a double occupancy).

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If you have ever cruised on an older ship before, the Breakaway is going to wow you with all of its modern updates, sleek designs, the number of activities available, and how it has become a foodie destination at sea. But don’t get me wrong, the older ships have their perks as well! These big newer ships have just been updated to a modern standard and have a lot more amenities to offer its passengers. I love that you can now make reservations for shows and meals and book excursions right from your TV in your stateroom, NCL has an app you can download and it works while on board, there is USB ports next to the beds for charging, and ample storage space!

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Gorgeous chandelier

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Pool and slides

Cruising is just one of the ways I like to travel. For me, cruising is about taking it down a notch, relaxing, having amazing food, sleeping in the same bed for a week+, unpacking and staying put, being able to explore more than one place without having to do all the work of flying and shuffling to hotels, and really just enjoying my time on the open water.

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Balcony sunset

The Itinerary:

For this cruise it was a 14 day itinerary out of New York to the Southern Caribbean.

  • Day 1: Leave New York, at sea
  • Day 2: At sea
  • Day 3: At sea
  • Day 4: At sea
  • Day 5: Aruba
  • Day 6: Curacao
  • Day 7: Bonaire 
  • Day 8: At sea
  • Day 9: Martinique
  • Day 10: St. Lucia
  • Day 11: St Kitts and Nevis
  • Day 12: At sea
  • Day 13: At sea
  • Day 14:  Return to New York

I loved the itinerary because I had been wanting to visit so many of these islands for so long and I got to experience each one in a different way – even fell in love with a few! There is almost equal the amount of time at sea as there is port days but Norwegian does a great job of providing daily schedules with things to do to fill your day OR you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.

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Bonaire

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Martinique

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Floating Market – Curacao

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Caribbean Sea

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St. Kitts

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Bonaire

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Curacao

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Bonaire

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Kite Surfing – Bonaire

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Salt Flats – Bonaire

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Bonaire

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Arriving in Bonaire

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Martinique

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Aruba

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Aruba

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St. Lucia

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St. Lucia

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St. Lucia

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Curacao

Excursions: 

Pro tip: book your excursions before you leave or as soon as you get on board to avoid them filling up and missing out. You can view excursions online before getting on the ship here.

My two favorite excursions that I booked were the See and Sea tour in Aruba and the Scenic Railroad in St. Kitts. I loved the tour in Aruba because it was the best of both worlds – an island tour and a glass bottom boat tour. I also loved the railroad tour because it was a 2 hour, 18 mile ride through scenic St. Kitts showcasing the islands beauty.

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Aruba

I hired a private driver in Bonaire right outside the port for a couple hours for $100 USD and that was one of my favorite days on the entire cruise. This wonderful person showed me the southern part of the island, told me all the history (good and bad), and he even found flying flamingos for me! I highly recommend this but I also want to say this is not sponsored by the ship or covered – this is a take at your own risk activity. You will be responsible for getting back on time before the ship leaves.

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Flying Flamingos

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Salve huts from the past

In Curacao I woke up early and got off the ship before everyone else and walked the city for about 4 hours taking in all the beautiful colors it offered. I did not take an excursion here but absolutely fell in love with the island.

Entertainment and Activities:

The Norwegian Breakaway offers a plethora of entertainment to keep those of all ages engaged aboard the ship. From Broadway shows, comedy, music, swimming and slides, jogging track, gym, art auctions, spa days, wine tastings, bingo, sunningand mind bending Cirque du Soleil – there is an endless stream of fun to be had.

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Slides

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Haven pool

I really loved the Broadway shows Burn The Floor and Rock of Ages! Both shows are amazing and the cast really outdoes themselves. One of my favorite things about seeing a show on board is that you completely forget you are even on a ship at sea and feel like you are right in Times Square on Broadway.

Since I had already been on this ship I did not see the Cirque du Soleil show again, but I loved it the first time around. Its a dinner and show. *Tip – book a top floor seat, I found the views up there looking down to be amazing. 

My room was on the 15th floor and had a door down the hall with direct access to the spa and gym, which was nice since I had a thermal spa suite pass (you can either book a spa room with access or buy a thermal spa suite access pass for the duration of your cruise). So many sea days and nights I spent winding down in the hot tubs, sauna or just relaxing on the heated chairs overlooking the ocean. This is a must if you like to relax.

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Thermal Spa Suite

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Thermal Spa Suite

Staterooms:

This ship offers a wide variety of staterooms fit for any need. The first time I was on this ship I had a balcony stateroom that I loved. This time around I stayed in the Haven, which is a luxury enclave – ship within a ship. If you are looking for the most luxurious experience and rooms aboard, then the Haven is absolutely where you want to book a room.

During my cruise I stayed in a Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with a Balcony. I loved this room and think it is the best room I have ever stayed in on a cruise ship. I loved that the room was significantly bigger than any other room I have stayed in, the upscale design elements, a full bathroom with a tub (having a bath tub in your room on a cruise is a luxury in itself), king sized bed, luxury bath amenities, and then all the features of the Haven: 24 hour butler service, priority boarding and disembarkation, private parties, private pool, bar, and the best part: the Haven Restaurant.

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Welcome amenities – Haven and Gold Latitudes

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Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with Balcony

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Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with Balcony

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Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with Balcony

Room Features:

  • Room: 328 sq. feet
  • Balcony: 58 sq. feet
  • Bliss Collection by Norwegian pillow-top mattress
  • Fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu
  • Plush bathrobes, slippers and oversized bath towels
  • Luxury bathroom products – Bvlgari
  • Bathtub/shower combo
  • 2 closets
  • HD TV
  • Dining set for 2
  • Lavazza Coffee machine
  • Mini Bar and glasses for most drinking occasions
  • Love seat sofa that folds out into a bed
  • Extended room service menu – at no cost
  • Movies on the TV were free
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Daily towel animals

Food:

This was a different experience on this ship for me this time around. When I cruised on this ship before I stayed in a balcony room and ate at several of the restaurants on board. This time I stayed in the Haven and I ate nearly every meal in the private restaurant or through room service. Now that may seem silly with so many options on the ship but there is a reasoning behind my madness – the food in the Haven is just a cut above the other restaurants. If I booked a Haven room again, one of the top 3 selling points would be the food in their private restaurant.

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Room service breakfast

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Room service breakfast

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Room service lunch

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Haven Breakfast

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Haven Breakfast

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Haven Breakfast

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Haven Breakfast

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Haven Lunch

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Haven Lunch

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Haven Lunch

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Haven Dinner

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Haven Dinner

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Haven Dinner

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Haven Dinner

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Haven Dinner Dessert

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Haven Dinner Dessert

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Haven Dinner

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Haven Dinner

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Haven Dinner Dessert

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Haven Dinner

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Haven Dinner

So while I did not indulge the other restaurants this time, I do remember my experience before when eating at them and will share.

There are several restaurants that are free and Norwegian sails with the “Freestyle Dining” philosophy which allows you to come and eat whenever you want (if the restaurant requires reservations this would not apply).

Free Restaurants:

  • Savor – sit down for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Taste – sit down for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Manhattan Room – sit down for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • O’Sheehans – open 24/7
  • The Haven – exclusive to Haven guests only
  • Garden Cafe – buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Extra Fee Dining:

  • La Cucina – Italian only open for dinner
  • Le Bistro – French restaurant only open for dinner
  • Ocean Blue – seafood only open for dinner
  • Teppanyaki – Japanese only open for dinner
  • Cagney’s – steak house only open for dinner
  • Moderno – Brazilian steakhouse only open for dinner
  • Raw Bar – only open for dinner
  • Wasabi – sushi for lunch and dinner
  • Cirque Dreams and Dinner
  • Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville at sea – I think this goes without saying .. it’s 5 o’clock somewhere
  • Room Service – 24/7
  • Gelato
  • Bakery

Norwegian often has deals that allow you to book some number of free perks with your room. I have seen free specialty dining nearly every time – so look out for those deals! Then you can dine everywhere at no cost.

All of the food on the ship is good to me – but I have some favorites. Moderno, the Brazilian steakhouse is my favorite outside of the Haven. You decide what you want and when you want it. You get a red and green card and you flip green to go and red to stop – when its on green staff members with fresh meats come to your table and cut you off a piece of whatever you want. In the last decade these restaurants have become widely popular and its a fantastic experience. Tip: go hungry and try not to eat too late if you have an early morning.

As for the free restaurants, Savor, Taste and the Manhattan Room keep the same menus that change daily. The Manhattan Room is a bit fancier so if you are looking for something a bit more than a relaxed “come as you are” meal – then dine here. They also have live music at dinner and dancing if you like.

 

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Le Bistro

Additional Information:

  • Wifi is available on board for a fee – keep in mind that it is satellite internet and not as fast as you would have it at home – however, the have now added plans that allow you to stream Netflix so that would be an extra cost to have internet with a speed that fast. You can purchase an unlimited package during the first 2 days on the ship and is the best deal to stay connected.
  • You can bring your own wine aboard the ship to have a meals – you will just be charged a corkage fee
  • Soda and alcohol are not included in your booking unless you booked a package that included it. You can purchase all-inclusive packages when you board the ship during the first 2 days

Overall:

I really loved this itinerary and the ports. One of the best things about cruising is the ability to get a taste of other places and make the decision to go back and explore more. I have already booked trips back to 2 of the islands! That is how much I loved them. As for the ship, Norwegian does such an excellent job of building itineraries with things to do each day on the ship that it would be near impossible to ever be bored.

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*Disclaimer,  I did partner with Norwegian Cruise Lines but as always, opinions are entirely my own.

Review: Norwegian Breakaway’s Luxury Haven

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Norwegian Breakaway

As a long time cruiser of Norwegian Cruise Line (some 10 years), I have seen the company go through changes and upgrades on their ships overtime. For those looking for a more elevated luxury experience, the creation of the Haven has been their most advanced upgrade.

This was my second time cruising on the Norwegian Breakaway but the experience was entirely different. I had the opportunity to stay in the Haven, which is a luxury enclave, or “ship within a ship” as NCL would call it. If you are not familiar with the Haven, the concept is that you have a private area perched atop the ship that was designed for those who book Haven rooms.

Benefits of booking a Haven room:

  • Priority embarkation/disembarkation – no waiting in lines
  • 24 hour butler – a phone is given to you in your room that you can take anywhere on the ship to contact them
  • Dedicated concierge inside the Haven Courtyard
  • White tablecloth in-suite dining
  • Evening turn down service
  • Priority restaurant and entertainment reservations
  • Exclusive access to The Haven Courtyard area with private pool, sundeck, hot tub and fitness area
  • Sparkling wine, bottled water and fruit on embarkation day (For 2-Bedroom villa, Courtyard Penthouse, Spa Suite, and Penthouse only)
  • Mini-bar and deluxe coffee/espresso/cappuccino machine
  • Special Haven Menus
  • Grab and go breakfast items including parfaits, diced fruit in a martini glass, fresh pastries and gourmet meats
  • Treats delivered to your suite each evening
  • Invitations to an exclusive breakfast and lunch
  • Invitations to exclusive cocktail parties
  • Cocktail party with ship’s officers
  • Bliss Collection by Norwegian pillow-top mattress
  • Fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu
  • Plush bathrobes, slippers and oversized bath towels
  • Luxury bathroom products

The extended benefits of booking a Haven room truly change the experience of your cruise. Having been on 10 cruises, this one was entirely different but I still received the same service that I have come to love from Norwegian.

From the moment I arrived at the pier in New York, there was staff for the Haven waiting to take me to a private check-in where afterwards I could enjoy food and be the first to board. In the Haven lounge I met with the concierge staff that would be available during the cruise for Haven guests only.

Once on the ship, my room was ready and waiting for me. There was a bottle champagne on ice, chocolate covered strawberries and fresh flowers awaiting my arrival. Technically there were a few bottles of champagne because of my Latitudes status as well.

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The Room:

For this 14 day cruise I checked into a Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with a Balcony. The room was located within the enclave of the Haven where key card access is required to get in. Within the courtyard is a private pool, deck, sunning deck, bar, and restaurant – which are exclusive to Haven guests only.

Room Features:

  • Room: 328 sq. feet
  • Balcony: 58 sq. feet
  • Bliss Collection by Norwegian pillow-top mattress
  • Fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu
  • Plush bathrobes, slippers and oversized bath towels
  • Luxury bathroom products – Bvlgari
  • Bathtub/shower combo
  • 2 closets
  • HD TV
  • Dining set for 2
  • Lavazza Coffee machine
  • Mini Bar and glasses for most drinking occasions
  • Love seat sofa that folds out into a bed
  • Extended room service menu – at no cost
  • Movies on the TV were free
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Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with Balcony

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Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with Balcony

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Haven Courtyard Penthouse Suite with Balcony

What I loved about this room was the extra space – and believe me – every foot matters when you are on a cruise, the much larger luxury bathroom that had a bathtub and vessel sink with 2 faucets, the ability to make my own espresso or cappuccino, in-room dining, the room service selections were abundant and included, and the balcony chairs and table were a step above the other rooms – and by that I mean cushioned seats and they were a bit bigger.

The balcony views I found to be much better as well since I was on a higher floor of the ship, giving me a wider view.

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Curacao

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Caribbean Sea

I did in-room dining several times because I had a table, it was easy and I liked to be lazy on sea days. There is an extended Haven menu for room service and there is no charge.

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Room service breakfast

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Egg white omelet

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Lunch – Greek salad

My room was on the 15th floor and had a door down the hall with direct access to the spa and gym, which was nice since I had a thermal spa suite pass (you can either book a spa room with access or buy a thermal spa suite access pass for the duration of your cruise). So many sea days and nights I spent winding down in the hot tubs, sauna or just relaxing on the heated chairs overlooking the ocean.

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Thermal Spa Suite

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Thermal Spa Suite

*Highly recommend getting the thermal spa access – it was such a great place to relax.

The Restaurant: 

The restaurant that is exclusive to Haven guests IS the best restaurant on the ship. I know this because I have dined at most of them on previous sailings and the food is just a cut above the rest. In fact, I ate 90% of my meals on board in the Haven restaurant .. on a 14 day cruise – that good! To be honest, I think the restaurant alone is worth booking the Haven for and that’s without adding all the extra upgrades!

I want to be fair though – the food on the ship is good everywhere, I just found it to be an elevated dining encounter in the Haven.

*Note: the menu for each of the 3 daily meals never changed. There was a new dinner special each night, but otherwise did not change.

Breakfast:

Breakfast IS my favorite meal of the day .. why? Because I love bacon and croissants. My absolute favorite breakfast dish in the Haven restaurant was the huevos rancheros and I did not try it until my last day. Take note, try it the first day!

*The Haven restaurant has a small buffet of meats, cheeses, cereals, yogurts, fruits, danishes, breads, etc for you to take as you please and has menu items in addition.

Lunch:

After discussing with fellow cruise guests, I would strongly argue that lunch was the best meal for the restaurant. I must have eaten the goat cheese galette 7 times and the prosciutto and mozzarella salad was just divine.

Dinner:

With the exception of a couple nights, I ate here for dinner every night. And every night I always ordered the butternut squash soup with duck confit and the slow roasted pork belly.

Butler:

During the duration of the cruise I had 2 butlers, one of them worked from 8am-8pm and then the other covered the overnight shift. Both butlers were incredible. Essentially they were a direct line to take care of all your needs on board, should you have any.

I remember telling the butler when I got on board that I loved souffle and towel animals .. and he delivered, literally.

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One of the amazing towel animal creations

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Coconut souffle

Butler Features:

  • Private phone to use throughout the ship that they would answer & assist
  • Direct line for room service – and would deliver white tablecloth dining in room
  • Delivered daily treats to the room
  • Took care of reservation, spa, or any other requests
  • Delivered anything you request
  • Left daily fruit
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Daily treats delivered

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Daily treats delivered

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Concierge: 

Easily one of the most beneficial perks of the Haven. Having a dedicated team that is inside the Haven (and rarely a line to speak with them) – that escorts you priority off the ship, takes you to priority seating at shows and assists you in every possible way you could imagine, was essentially like having a team of people working to make sure your trip was the best it could be.

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Haven Courtyard Area:

The courtyard was one of the driving reasons I wanted to be in a Haven room on a 14 day cruise. This ship is newer and holds a lot of people and this specific itinerary had about 8 sea days in total. Having this extra space to go to where it seemed no one ever was, gave me somewhere to go and relax outside of my room that was private.

The courtyard area had a pool, 2 hot tubs, private sun deck, inside deck with chairs, beverage station, bar, restaurant, lounge, private spa rooms exclusive to Haven guests, and the concierge desk. In addition, staff were always present with beverages and ready to assist in anything.

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Haven Bar

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Haven Pool

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Haven Lounge

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Beverage Station

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Haven Deck

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Haven Pool

Overall:

Loved the upgraded luxury experience of the Haven and all the bells and whistles it came with. There was no detail missed in this experience – every staff member in the Haven knew me and all the other Haven guests by name and face and always greated us with lovely smiles. I have cruised in every level of room categories now with Norwegian and this was by far my favorite – however, every cruise I have been on with NCL has been just as great and in different ways. The one major thing I would note about this cruise in the Haven compared to all other cruises outside of it was that I spent most of my time on board in the Haven, and that is because it was simply a marvelous experience.

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**Disclosure: I did partner with Norwegian Cruise Line but as always, opinions are entirely my own