Posted by: Tom Baker | February 28, 2014

All Things BREAKAWAY & THE HAVEN Part 1


Norwegian-Breakaway

I was an honest skeptic about cruising from New York in the dead of winter to the Florida and the Bahamas but thought I would give Norwegian Breakaway a try! I sailed roundtrip from New York to Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau during a 7-day cruise on a February 9-16, 2014 sailing in the midst of some of America’s worst winter weather in decades!

Sailing out of NYC is always exciting from central Manhattan down the Hudson past the New York skyline, New World Trade Center Tower, Ellis Island, and Statue of Liberty! Breakaway sails from the mid-Manhattan cruise terminal which ails from severe congestion, parking nightmare, and traffic beyond imagination but embarkation seems to go fairly fast given Norwegian embarks over 4000 passengers in record time. It was a balmy 30 degrees when I checked in on a Sunday morning and moved quickly through the crowds and was whisked to the HAVEN (top suites) check-in desk to be provided my suite key. After this, I was taken into the HAVEN waiting Lounge which was packed to the rafters with guests awaiting embarkation. This was quickly abated as guests started embarking before other passengers and the room cleared within 10-15 minutes.

Once embarked, the HAVEN guests were taken up to the HAVEN Lounge where the affable Adrian Bica, Head Concierge, explained the features of the HAVEN. These include use of the private lounge sunning area, bar, private gourmet restaurant for HAVEN only guests, pool, spa, priority show seating, priority embark and disembark, and so much more… The HAVEN suites have exceptional privileges, exceptionally decorated suites, and offer a Seabourn type of cruise experience atop a massive cruise liner… It is something quite unique to Norwegian and VERY special!

My HAVEN suite was a forward suite on Deck 13 (13706) outside the HAVEN complex located on Decks 15 and 16. It was a one bedroom suite with a large marble clad entry way with dining room, deluxe Illy coffee maching, living room with two elegant arm chairs, large screen TV, small balcony called a “Panasea” balcony that was mostly enclosed (I appreciated it on this cruise as it buffeted and wind or snow encountered sailing in and out of NYC, a large master bedroom with huge slanted window facing the bow of the ship, amazingly comfortable Italian made (the most comfortable of ANY ships bed), Kind sized bed, tons of closet and storage space, a huge master bath with large separate toilet, shower stall, and bathtub, double brown Villeroy and Boch sinks, all accompanied by bottled Elemis Spa bath products. I tried to measure the suite and figured it was near 475 square feet in size (perhaps a bit larger actually). My suite was overseen by a darling Stewardess and Butler-both who made me feel like a superstar! I wanted to take them both home with me.
Norwegian Breakaway has HAVEN suites forward and Aft on a number of decks as well as in the HAVEN key-access complex. There are also a series of Spa HAVEN suites too on Deck 14 near the spa…

The HAVEN complex offers its guests respite from the busy downtown experience found on entertainment decks 6-8 where all the dining and entertainment take place. It is so nice to go downtown for a show and dinner and come back to sublime peace and quiet! I used the bar for cocktails where the staff seemed to know every guest by name and took breakfasts and most lunches in the elegant HAVEN restaurant (no added fee) where gourmet dining and cooked to order food was served by super friendly staff. It is something special to experience. I used the lounge area by the pool with a dome that opens and closes based on the weather only once but it was delightful with residential style furnishings and there was always room to sit or lay out!

I am going to write a longer review about cruising on Breakaway later but wanted to convey the VERY special experience that guests receive in the HAVEN by Norwegian. the most amazing thing after a lovely week onboard was that the Concierge, Adrian, made special arrangements for HAVEN guests who needed to disembark early, take a staff elevator to the gangway to avoid crowds for disembarkation. I had a 10am flight from La Guardia back to Houston and the ship docked at 7:15am… We were off the ship at 7:12am and outside the port meeting our car transfer by 7:30am..It was brilliant! I made it to La Guardia by 8am..

The HAVEN by Norwegian creates a really personal experience for avid cruisers, multi-generational families (there are many 1 and two bedroom suites for up to 6 guests), and gives a luxury experience to guests booked on a contemporary 4+ star rated and branded ship. This is still unique to the North American market and cherished by me and those who have discovered the HAVEN!!!!

Breakaway Pictures: http://cruisecenter.smugmug.com/Other/Norwegian-Breakaway-from/29185586_Pqn7TT#!i=2486440239&k=s2wHkTW


Responses

  1. cant wait to cruise in the haven in november.. thanks for the great article!

  2. I am cruising in the same room with 2 kids and my wife in july and would love to see any pictures if you have them. Also i was told that adult drinks were inlcuded but i was wondeirng if that was only in the Haven or any place on the ship? Your reply is appreciated
    Thanks
    Jon


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