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jessjax11

Getaway Sep 26 1st time on NCL HAVEN

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Hi all! Glad to be a part of this community:)

We are looking forward to our first cruise on NCL this coming September and are fortunate to be in a Haven Suite H5 Haven Courtyard Penthouse with Balcony.

We have cruised on a number of other ships so we know the basics however we have never cruised at this level of amenities and we want to make sure we make the most of it!

We are travelling with a five year old.

We have included with our suite all of the NCL specials UBP, UDP, pre-paid gratuities and $75 credit per port for excursions.

Our itinerary is 7 nights Eastern Caribbean.

1. How do we best utilize the valet, butler and concierge services during our cruise?

2. what are the best specialty restaurants to hit and when lunch/dinner?

3. Haven Courtyard is it child friendly? Is it best to have breakfast there so we get chairs for sunning?

4. What shows are family friendly?

5. What port/excursions must we do? Does it make more sense to have the boat to ourselves in Nassau?

6. Can our butler unpack for us?

7. Has anyone dined in room for diner from a specialty restaurant? How was the timing? Did you have room? Was it as good meaning food warm and with all the accompaniments? Which restaurant is best suited for this?

8. Anyone travel with a five year old? Did you use the Splash Academy? Was your child happy? What are the MUST DO family things on board? Do you need to make reservations?

9. How important is it to make reservations? I heard we can make diner res. 100 days out which is 10 days before anyone else.

10. Are there activities on board that you need to make reservations for prior to embarkation?

11. Anyone travel with just US Birth Certificates no passports?

I may have more questions but any information would be greatly appreciated and if anyone has room 16126 pictures we would love to see them!! TIA:)

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I'm curious about the unpacking/packing thing too...I've never had that done. Not sure I really want a stranger rummaging through my bags. I'd be interested to hear what other people's experience has been like.

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We don't have the butler unpack. It would be frustrating for us not knowing where everything was. Also i don't think they would be able to unpack you right away, as they have other cabins to greet and tend to, so your luggage would be there in your way longer. However if we were traveling with someone needing assistance( like the in laws) I just might use this service for them. The havens are children friendly, just respect other cruisers. I take that to mean no running, yelling or outside behavior. Your daughter will be treated like a princess.

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Interested in the responses as we are traveling in the same (h5) January 2016.

 

To the OP, out of curiosity what cabin are you in?

 

We could only get a cabin on 15 as 16 was sold out. Curious to others on their Haven experiences on 15th floor vs 16th floor.

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We've used room service from specialty restaurants several times. Just call your butler to make your order. We had plenty of room at our table. The butler has a warming pantry to keep your courses warm.

 

I can't imagine having the butler unpack my luggage, and there's no way my wife or daughter would ever use that service.

 

Use the butler for room service, drink orders, snack delivery, questions about your coffee machine, and so on.

 

The concierge can book restaurants for you, as well as excursions and other shipboard activities. He'll also get priority tender tickets and take care of getting you off the ship at the end of the cruise.

 

The last person is your room steward, who makes your bed, cleans the heads, empties the trash, etc.

 

You SHOULD always travel with a passport, even if it's not required. If for some reason you need to leave the cruise to fly home, you'll have to have a passport if you're returning from a foreign country.

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Second the comment regarding passport for child. A small $$ investment that eliminates significant headaches in case of adverse travel event / emergency.

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I put my responses to your questions in red. I just got off the Getaway last Saturday. Getaway is an AWESOME ship and The Haven is WONDERFUL. We absolutely loved our cruise!

 

Hi all! Glad to be a part of this community:)

We are looking forward to our first cruise on NCL this coming September and are fortunate to be in a Haven Suite H5 Haven Courtyard Penthouse with Balcony.

We have cruised on a number of other ships so we know the basics however we have never cruised at this level of amenities and we want to make sure we make the most of it!

We are travelling with a five year old.

We have included with our suite all of the NCL specials UBP, UDP, pre-paid gratuities and $75 credit per port for excursions.

Our itinerary is 7 nights Eastern Caribbean.

1. How do we best utilize the valet, butler and concierge services during our cruise?

 

Butler: pillow menu and room service

concierge: tour, dinner and show reservations

valet: no such thing on NCL

By the way, you tip the concierge and butler - they are NOT included in the prepaid gratuities and we usually wind up tipping our stateroom attendant extra as well.

2. what are the best specialty restaurants to hit and when lunch/dinner?

 

Most specialty restaurants are only open at night. On Getaway, I like Cagney's, Le Bistro, Moderno, Ocean Blue and the sushi place. The sushi place is open at lunch time and we ate there the day of the Illusionarium show because we don't really like what they serve in the Illusionarium. Ocean Blue is open outside during the day I believe but it's a different menu. There is La Cucina ,but we didn't get a chance to eat there. It looked really nice though. There is also Carlo's bake shop - we got 2 cakes from there for my husband's b-day - one from Ocean Blue and one I pre-ordered. There is a gelato place. There is so much food onboard it is unreal. We prefer to eat at the Haven Restaurant for breakfast and I recommend you try this the first morning to see why. Probably you won't go anywhere else for breakfast. We also like going to the Haven Restaurant for most lunches although there is a MDR always open and Flamingo Grill and the Buffet. The buffet on this ship is vast. We are not into buffets, so we never ate there, but I'm sure it's good as it was very busy all the time. The cocktails are good. I liked the "Cherry Limeade" cocktail of the day especially. Wine by the bottle is inexpensive - we found bottles cheaper than may land based restaurants.

3. Haven Courtyard is it child friendly? Is it best to have breakfast there so we get chairs for sunning?

 

Sort of. It is a quiet place to relax. If you child is active, it is better to take your child to the children's pool area.

 

4. What shows are family friendly?

 

Illusionarium, and there are a whole bunch that are specifically geared towards kids. I probably wouldn't take a young child to burn the floor unless they like dancing or Legally Blonde - might be too long for them but the material in the show if mild and suitable to kids, but for a 5 year old, it might seem boring - hard to know without knowing your child. There is a 3D movie that is usually child friendly and several children's movies shown throughout the cruise in the Atrium and elsewhere. There are a lot of other things done through the kids clubs onboard that you child will want to participate in. Finally the kids clubs put on a circus show for the parents that they practice for all week. There is also a parade the children do. You will need to find out the particulars about all this from the kids club if your child would want to participate in it.

 

5. What port/excursions must we do? Does it make more sense to have the boat to ourselves in Nassau?

 

That's what we did - stayed aboard in Nassau. Otherwise, the main two options are the water park at Atlantis (your child is too young) or Blue Lagoon (your child would enjoy this and it is quite economical - you can save money by booking yourself through the internet on their website - you don't have to do it as an NCL excursion at all.)

 

We like the excursion from Tortola to The Baths on Virgin Gorda, but be forewarned that many people got sick on the ferry going over - it was a real barf fest off the back of the ship that day - so take Bonine before you go on that one. The baths include these amazing caves that you do rock climbing in. It is a steep climb down to The Baths beach over uneven terrain, then you go through the caves to get to Devil's bay beach and climb back up a less steep but very hot trail. At the top there is a restaurant known for their pina coladas (they really are the best I've ever had, fresh water pool and scenic overlook. Wear water shoes and take water or buy water at Poor Man's bar at The Baths beach. There is no bar or restaurant at Devils Bay Beach. Wear water shoes. It is physically exhausting but worth every bit of the effort. On the way back we saw Necker Island.

 

The best place to go in St. Thomas is to St. John. I recommend the Champagne Catamaran and Snorkel trip. Expensive but worth it.

 

Again, check out Mitsugirly's cruise reviews here in the NCL board - she has photos and tells all about what she and her family do on excursions.

 

6. Can our butler unpack for us?

 

No.

 

7. Has anyone dined in room for diner from a specialty restaurant? How was the timing? Did you have room? Was it as good meaning food warm and with all the accompaniments? Which restaurant is best suited for this?

 

Yes and the food came at one time and it was hot in covered dishes, but in a Penthouse you will only have a small table so I wouldn't suggest doing this except if you must because you had to bring your child back to the suite for some reason. It is better to do this in an Owner's Suite or 2 bedroom villa where you have a real dining table or maybe even in the Haven Courtyard which is not far from your room but has tables and chairs (ask your butler if this is allowed. I know you can get food from The Haven restaurant out there.)

8. Anyone travel with a five year old? Did you use the Splash Academy? Was your child happy? What are the MUST DO family things on board? Do you need to make reservations?

Do a search for Mitsugirly's various cruise reviews on the NCL boards. She travels with her young daughter who LOVES Splash Academy. She includes lots of color photos illustrating her reviews - it's awesome! She posts on here a lot and you probably can ask her questions through the NCL board if you want.

 

9. How important is it to make reservations? I heard we can make diner res. 100 days out which is 10 days before anyone else.

 

VERY. Make your dinner and show reservations via the NCL website from home to make sure you get the dinner and show times you want. You may or may not be able to change onboard. Also, if you change day of, they charge you the cover charges you would have paid unless you change the restaurant to another day. Cancellation is 24 hours in advance. Keep in mind The Haven Restaurant is very good and included and you will never need a reservation for it.

 

10. Are there activities on board that you need to make reservations for prior to embarkation?

 

Legally Blonde

Illusionarium

Burn the Floor

Wine Lover's the Musical

 

11. Anyone travel with just US Birth Certificates no passports?

 

I strongly advise against this. If you miss the ship at a port or if someone becomes ill and you are put off in another country, then you will have to obtain a US passport before flying home. NEVER travel to any foreign country without a passport. It's just really risky to do this. That said, many people do this and never have a problem, but why take the risk? It is easy to get a passport and once you have it, you have it. I also think it is good to become a "Trusted Traveler" http://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs

as this can expedite things greatly at the airport.

 

In addition, through the concierge you can debark the ship very early - before anyone else. We easily made a 10:30am flight home. /COLOR]

 

I may have more questions but any information would be greatly appreciated and if anyone has room 16126 pictures we would love to see them!! TIA:)

 

The spa on Getaway is AMAZING. They only sell about 125 spa passes. When you board, immediately go to the spa and try to get one. Trust me, it is totally worth it! I was in a The Haven Spa Suite last week and it was absolutely fantastic.

 

Here's video tour of a The Haven Penthouse Suite on Getaway which is identical to yours:

 

I don't know if you can afford this time wise or money wise, but if you can, schedule 2 cruises on this ship back to back. There is so much to do that you literally cannot do it all in a week. I've been on all the mega ships and this is by far, my favorite ship! In fact, I think Getaway is my favorite ship ever! I can't wait to go back! Enjoy!

 

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Interested in the responses as we are traveling in the same (h5) January 2016.

 

To the OP, out of curiosity what cabin are you in?

 

We could only get a cabin on 15 as 16 was sold out. Curious to others on their Haven experiences on 15th floor vs 16th floor.

 

We were in a The Haven Spa Suite on 14 - 14142 - it was awesome and not all that different from being directly in The Haven. The biggest difference you will find is that you take the stairs or elevator to the Haven. No big deal.

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Thank you! Our Daughter is well behaved and we would never allow her to ruin some one else's experience:) But I understand the concern! 2red4u.

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Interested in the responses as we are traveling in the same (h5) January 2016.

 

To the OP, out of curiosity what cabin are you in?

 

We could only get a cabin on 15 as 16 was sold out. Curious to others on their Haven experiences on 15th floor vs 16th floor.

We are booked in cabin 16126 any pictures would be great!

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1. How do we best utilize the valet, butler and concierge services during our cruise?

:)

 

I would recommend leaving your car at the pier, no need for a valet on the ship.

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Thank you so much for the time and effort it took to respond to me! Hope you have another trip planned soon:) SuiteTraveler

Edited by jessjax11
didn't mention who I was responding too.

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I would recommend leaving your car at the pier, no need for a valet on the ship.

I should have been more specific. I was referring to the Haven Courtyard Valet! LOL

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Oh, heavens I didn't mean to suggest she was, just courtesy. I'm so sorry if I offend you! You are going to get afternoon snacks, let the butler know any allergies, likes or dislikes. For us, 2 adults and 2 kids, it was 3 plates! It's alright to let him know specific like a plate of PBJ and choc covered strawberries. Bring a few ziplocks to house leftovers. Our crackers got a bit soggy.

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Oh, heavens I didn't mean to suggest she was, just courtesy. I'm so sorry if I offend you! You are going to get afternoon snacks, let the butler know any allergies, likes or dislikes. For us, 2 adults and 2 kids, it was 3 plates! It's alright to let him know specific like a plate of PBJ and choc covered strawberries. Bring a few ziplocks to house leftovers. Our crackers got a bit soggy.

It would take a lot more to offend!!

THANK YOU for mentioning the ziplocks that is such a huge tip and something I say EVERY time we go on a cruise!! Note to self:)

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