If luxury, privacy and attentive service are on your list of cruise amenities, then the Norwegian Cruise Line Haven is just the right choice! Located in several of the ships, this is a self-contained area of suites, eateries and venues specifically designed for creating a one-of-a-kind cruise environment exclusively for Haven passengers.
Here are a few of the unique Haven spaces and experiences to consider before booking passage on your next NCL cruise.
In This Article…
- Haven Benefits
- Haven Suites
- Take in the Surroundings
The benefits of the Norwegian Cruise Line Haven experience begin before you even board the ship! When you arrive at the port of embarkation amidst the throngs of passengers, you have immediate attention from the staff.
Rather than waiting at extended security checkpoints, you have a special line for quick processing. And, all those other passengers seem to disappear when you are taken to a private room filled with comfortable seating and snacks.
While there, staff return for all the check-in procedures while you relax. In a matter of minutes, you are escorted to the ship and onto an elevator. Moments later, you are surrounded by luxury with a concierge at hand and more drinks and snacks about. You and your baggage have been whisked to an area of the ship known as the Norwegian Cruise Line Haven.
Read Also: Norwegian Cruise Ships – Newest to Oldest
This a designated section in the upper decks of certain ships that is reserved for the private luxury of keycard holders. Depending on which vessel, passengers have exclusive access to bars, lounges, pools, hot tubs, restaurants and sundecks not available to those other passengers you saw at the terminal.
Located in and amongst the enclave is the all-suite accommodation section of the Haven. There are nine “floor plans” to match how you’d like to spend your days (and nights) at sea:
3-Bedroom Garden Villa
As some of the largest suites available on any cruise ship, this area boasts a large living room, private dining and 3.5 baths. The rooms are surrounded by walls of windows and the balcony has a hot tub. (6,694 sq. ft. – sleeps 8)
2-Bedroom Family Villa
For a modern feel, book one of these suites. The kids will have their own room, bath and TV while you enjoy a master bedroom and bath. A private balcony is perfect for outdoor relaxing. (6,504 sq. ft. – sleeps 6)
Deluxe Owner’s Suite
A large living space with dining area along with the bedroom have floor-to-ceiling windows. A large luxury bath completes the room. And, a large balcony awaits. (1,307 sq. ft. – sleeps 6)
The living and dining areas are well-planned and a luxury bath is included. There are views for days through walls of windows; and some ships have not one, but two balconies. (4,824 sq. ft. – sleeps 4)
Generous seating and living areas make this a comfortable choice of suites. The bedroom has a king-sized bed; and the balcony has room for everyone. (4,655 sq. ft. – sleeps 4)
To enjoy a view like the captain in his/her wheelhouse, book this room. A king-sized bed and well-appointed sitting and dining areas add to the comfort. Sit on the balcony and see the land ahead. (4,451 sq. ft. – sleeps 4)
Deluxe Spa Suite
For relaxation at its finest, this is the room to reserve. Included is a hot tub and oversized waterfall shower (with jets), a king-sized bed and balcony. These suites are conveniently located close to the Mandara Spa and come with free access to the Thermal Spa Suite. (4,309 sq. ft. – sleeps 4)
This room is designed with romance in mind. Sleeping, sitting and dining areas share a space. A wall of windows and private balcony are included; and, there is the option for an additional guest. (3,440 sq. ft. – sleeps 3)
For a cozy spa experience, this is the spot. Decorated with the intention of relaxation, this suite comes with a hot tub and oversized waterfall. Like the Deluxe, this room also includes complimentary access to the Thermal and Mandara Spas. (2,378 sq. ft. – sleeps 2)
Keep in mind that actual square footage, floor plans, suite locations on the ships and lists of amenities will vary by vessel. So, if there are very specific details you’d like, choose your ship accordingly.
Take in the Surroundings
Once the attentive staff have escorted you to your room, take a beat to soak in the surroundings. (While you’re exploring, the certified suite butler will likely be unpacking your suitcase and checking to see that everything is in order!)
On embarkation day, expect to find drinks and snacks waiting at your dining table. There will be a mini-bar and coffee/espresso/cappuccino machine with supplies. Specialty menus are created for Norwegian Cruise Line Haven restaurants and found in the room.
In the bedroom, you’ll find a pillow-top mattress, fine linens and a feather duvet. And, the bathroom will be stocked with luxury grooming products, robes, slippers and thirsty towels.
Before the butler leaves, inquire about getting everyone an NCL mobile phone. It is quite useful to have for communicating while on board the ship.
Now that you’ve settled into your suite, enjoyed a hot shower in the luxury bath, and changed out of travel clothes into comfy cruise attire, let’s see what the Norwegian Cruise Line Haven section has to offer.
Some of our favorite activities onboard are the live performances. (Perhaps the reason it ranks near the top of the list is because I got to entertain passengers “back in the day” as part of a handbell choir special performance on a Caribbean cruise!)
As a Haven keycard holder, you will have priority reservations and seating at all entertainment venues. For example, you can book the best seats to see comedy acts, Broadway and Tony Award-winning theatre, breathtaking Cirque du Soleil shows, celebrity concerts, themed band performances (jazz, blues, rock and more), magic acts, dance venues (where you can learn some new steps) and even game shows.
Take a moment to look over the schedule of these top-rated shows and go ahead and make your reservations with the concierge service.
Depending on which specific ship you select, dining at a Haven restaurant is an option. These chef-prepared meals are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, you can make reservations at any time. Additionally, if you wish to taste the fare from other eateries located throughout the ship, reservations are also available.
Additionally, you will receive invitations to cocktail parties and have the chance to socialize with the officers of the ship.
For those who like to dine in the room, a white tablecloth service is included. Simply select your meals from the menu and in-suite service will arrive, set up your table and whisk it all away when you’re done.
Norwegian Cruise Line Haven Amenities
Once you’ve done a bit of planning for later entertainment and meals and the voyage is underway, more Haven amenities await outside your suite. One of the most popular is called The Haven Courtyard.
Located within the enclave, this private area is specifically created for outdoor luxury. Ample seating in both sunny and shaded sections provide a comfortable spot to lounge in or out of the sun. There are views of the ocean and the opportunity to relax beside the private pools. A bubbling hot tub and bar are included on this sundeck, and a fitness center is nearby.
While enjoying this outside space, you can utilize the services of a Courtyard attendant. Available for request are cold towels, beverages and fresh fruit – all brought to your chosen seating location.
During the voyage, the ship will dock at harbors along the route. Shore excursions at these ports-of-call are also highly ranked among passengers as favorite activities on a cruise. As a Norwegian Cruise Line Haven passenger, you’ll find more benefits here.
Speak with the concierge about the availability of ship-sponsored excursions. In contrast to independently exploring the port town, all the planning is done by the cruise line. Depending on the destination, you can signup for bus tours, walking tours, adventures like snorkeling, cultural experiences and more.
You will be first in line and personally escorted to the proper place for disembarking the ship. At ports with deep water, the ship may anchor at the pier. Passengers exit by walking across a gangway in this circumstance.
Or, the ship may anchor offshore, and you’ll be transported via a small boat called a tender. If you need special assistance, the ship’s staff will also take care of this.
Then, a guide will accompany you on the tour; answer all your questions; and, return you to the ship at the proper time.
Once you are back on board, spend the evening relaxing in the private Haven Lounge or Haven Bar. The staff in these locations is attentive, accommodating and might even learn your name – an added touch to this cruise experience.
Then, retire to your suite where the turndown service has prepared your room for a peaceful night’s sleep. This also includes gourmet treats specially delivered to your suite each evening in case you’d like a late-night snack.
Disembarking after a cruise is a bit different than the experiences of first-day boarding. The most noticeable one is the crowds. While folks arrived on a bit of a random schedule at the start of the cruise, everyone is packed and ready to exit the ship at the same time at the end.
However, this is not a problem for Haven passengers. You get to easily access the private elevator, skip the lines and be personally escorted off the ship. It feels like a final appreciative service for choosing the Norwegian Cruise Line Haven.
Ships with The Haven
Now that we’ve learned how the Norwegian Cruise Line Haven creates a ship-within-a-ship hideaway, let’s choose which vessel to book. The following ships (as of publication) offer this enclave for the discerning passenger:
- Norwegian Breakaway: Refurbished in 2020, she has a guest capacity of 3,959, offers over 25 dining experiences and has an aqua park and sports complex.
- Norwegian Getaway: Also, refurbished the same year, this ship carries 3,963 passengers attended to by a crew of 1,646.
- Norwegian Bliss: “Custom-built for the spectacular” in 2018, she is one of the newest ships in the line and has the capacity for 4,004 passengers.
- Norwegian Encore: This award-winning vessel constructed in 2019 has “the largest race track at sea,” a virtual reality pavilion and carries 3,998 passengers.
- Norwegian Escape: Spectacular destinations can be reached on this ship with a 4,266-guest capacity.
- Norwegian Gem: Considered the best choice for year-round cruising, this ship carries 2,394 passengers, has no set dining times and includes kid-friendly spaces.
- Norwegian Jade: Book an “Extraordinary Journey” on this 2,402-passenger ship known for its immersive experiences around the world.
- Norwegian Jewel: She has some of the largest suites at sea and also offers the extraordinary global itineraries.
- Norwegian Pearl: Along with some of the other ships, you can cruise through the Panama Canal in this vessel that has a guest capacity of 2,394 people.
- Norwegian Prima: Enjoy the line’s “first new three-bedroom suites in 15 years” in the “most exclusive and centralized complex ever.” With a guest capacity of 3,009, she is touted as a ship for “trailblazers and tastemakers.”
- Norwegian Epic: She’s a Freestyle cruising ship with a “best cruise ship entertainment award.” Go bowling, rappelling or wear a parka to the “chilly” bar.
A Final Note
The price point for booking accommodations in the Haven is higher than rooms in the rest of the ship. In exchange, you will have more space, fewer crowds and quiet public areas. For longer and/or extended days at sea, this can be a real bonus.
Also, you can fully expect a personalized and pampered interaction with the staff – complete with all the “small” bonuses. If that makes your luxury cruise list, then this is a good choice for you.
Ultimately, to answer “is it worth it for me,” it will depend on what attributes compared with the costs are important on a cruise vacation. Bon voyage!