Why We Love Norwegian Cruise Line's Haven
There are more and more ship-within-a-ship concepts, and no, they're not all created equal. We love Norwegian's Haven, and here's the full scoop on why. If you're in the market for upper-level suites on cruise lines, listen up. These insights will help you set your expectations.
A True Ship Within a Ship Concept
The concept of a ship within a ship is not new, but Norwegian's Haven takes it to another level. Everything is conveniently located in one place. This was a pleasant surprise for us as we found that this isn't the case for many other cruise lines. Take Celebrity Cruises' Retreat, for example. It's spread out across the ship, which means you might have access to The Retreat, but if you're not staying in one of the top-level suites, you may need to take a bit of a hike to reach The Retreat's amenities.
In contrast, The Haven on Norwegian has all suites connected to the Haven's amenities. The private pool, restaurant, lounge, and suites are all within one unit with either a private elevator or priority elevator service, depending on the ship. This design ensures that everything you need is just a few steps away, adding to the exclusivity and convenience of your stay.
When it comes to value for money, The Haven stands out among most ship-within-a-ship concepts. Its competitive pricing makes it an attractive option, but this also means that The Haven tends to sell out far in advance of sailing. The upside, of course, is that you can get more luxury and exclusivity for your budget, making your cruise experience even more memorable.
You Feel the Difference
Staying in The Haven is not just about the physical space; it's about the experience. When you stay in The Haven, you get priority on everything. From access to shows to embarking and disembarking the ship, everything feels like white-glove service. You will never wait in line or find yourself missing out on an activity. We've found that with other comparable products, only those in the top-tier suites receive this level of service. But at The Haven, every guest experiences this high level of attention and care.
Your Butler is Just a Call Away
One of the standout features of The Haven is the personalized service that every guest receives. This is epitomized by the fact that each guest is provided with a mobile phone upon arrival. But this isn't just any phone; it's your direct line to exceptional service.
This phone has your butler on speed dial, ensuring that guests of The Haven have access to service anywhere, anytime. Whether you're lounging by the private pool, enjoying a meal in the restaurant, or relaxing in your suite, help is just a call away. This means you can request room service, make dining reservations, arrange for laundry service, or even ask for advice on what to do in the next port of call, all at the touch of a button. Other cruise lines typically require that you contact your butler from your stateroom.
More Options for Entertainment
One of the things that sets NCL apart is its diversity. People from all walks of life are onboard, and the ship reflects this in its offerings. Staying in The Haven is like having a private luxury hotel within the ship, making the rest of the ship feel like a city that can be visited. However, if you prefer, you never need to leave The Haven. It's fully self-contained with direct access to the spa level. This is a major bonus as you have the option to remain in a quiet, calm environment or venture into the more lively social hubs accessible to all guests onboard. From indoor cigar bars to go-kart tracks, NCL has done an excellent job of making their ships versatile. If you're traveling with a group, there's something for everyone.
Major Upgrade to The Haven on New Ships
We recently sailed on The Prima and were impressed with the updated aesthetic of The Haven. For a more refined, modern experience, definitely consider staying on a Prima Class ship. The older ships, as expected, do feel dated, and The Haven just doesn't feel "as nice" on many of NCL's older vessels. There's still great value and large suites, but to maximize your Haven experience, we recommend the new ships. New Haven amenities include features like an ice room and sauna next to the private pool, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and larger, more comfortable lounge areas.
Conclusion: Best Overall
Choosing the right cruise line depends on what you're looking for. If you have a family with small children and want a kid-focused escape, Royal Caribbean might be best. If you prefer a more tranquil, spa-like environment throughout the ship and have a larger budget, Celebrity will be your choice. Want to party the whole time? Check out Virgin Voyages. But for those looking for a variety of options that combine all of the above, reasonable prices, and complete seclusion from the rest of a massive ship, The Haven wins, hands down. We're keeping our eye on MSC Yacht Club, but from what we've experienced, nothing quite compares to The Haven's ability to satisfy everyone.
Why book NCL through LuxRally Travel?
Firstly, if you book directly, you will always pay the sticker price. We will cross-check to ensure you are getting the best deal. We often have access to group rates that can be extended to our clients. For the creme de la creme, top-tier suites, we are sometimes able to negotiate on your behalf. Additionally, we can oftentimes provide onboard credit, so even if you pay the same price as booking direct, you get more value. We aren't the biggest fans of tours done by cruise lines, so we can advise you on how to maximize your time in each port and set up private tours. Lastly, we are here to service you. From assisting with pre and post-cruise travel to ensuring any special needs are taken care of, you'll have your agent's cell phone number for any and all requests. Our services are free, so you get all of this without paying a dime more. In fact, you'll definitely save time and likely money.