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GA Dave

Norwegian Getaway 9/9 through 9/16

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Still traveling home from our cruise, but I wanted to start my trip report thread and add some quick comments while the memories are still fresh in my mind. I will have many photos to add once I get home and can upload them to an online location. I also saved every scrap of paper they gave us (i.e., dailies, letters, disembarkation instructions), which I will scan and upload.

 

Overall thoughts:

The Haven is everything they advertise and more. The service we received was just incredible. The food in the restaurant is as good or better than any of the specialties, the bartenders are world-class mixologists, and the boarding/disembarking perks are a huge plus. It truly felt we were cruising on a private yacht, even though we were on a mega-ship.

 

I will post more once I get through security at MIA.

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My DW, 55, and myself, 59, have not cruised for 16 years. Our last cruise was on the Norwegian Sea in 2002 in an OV. We had spent the last 16 years taking our kids to Orlando for vacations, getting them through college, and hosting our daughter’s wedding last summer in Michigan. Last September, we finally decided it was time for some “us time”, so we booked a MS w/ large balcony on the Getaway to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We booked last year on 9/23 and started the long wait.

Early in May, I began to explore the internet for information on cruising and, thankfully, found CC. The information found here made our cruise so much better! Reading reviews from BirdTravels and TheDougOut really helped us understand the ships in the Breakaway class and all they offer. The biggest break came when I discovered the “bidding” thread. We looked into all the posts about bidding on The Haven and decided to take a shot. We bid $700pp on a Haven Courtyard Penthouse and the same on a Fwd Facing Penthouse. I then starting checking the prices of both cabins three times a day, as nothing seemed to be selling.

During my morning check on July 4th, I noticed that the CY PH cabins still had 15 available, and only a few FF PH cabins had sold. That evening, I noted that the CY PH price had dropped $500/person. Adding in the additional perks we would receive, the total cost of a direct upgrade would be only $740!! I called NCL at 8AM the next morning and cabin 16710 was ours!!

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YES! I'll be on her in 3 weeks! OMG but I'm excited! Thank you for sharing!! Can't wait to read more! And I'm so glad you had a good time, too!

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My DW and I had decided early on that we wanted this trip to be as stress-free as possible. Since I am a rather “intense” driver, we figured it would be easier on both our nerves to fly rather than put up with my cursing for seven hours! Since I had plenty of vacation time saved, another decision to reduce stress was to fly in the day before and fly out the day after.

Although AA now has nonstop flights between our home in Savannah and MIA, the times (6AM down, 12AM arrive back) are not vacation friendly. This meant our usual trip through the ATL airport on Delta. We departed SAV on time at 11AM on Saturday, had a quick 55 minute layover in ATL with only a few gates to traverse in terminal B, and arrived in MIA before 3PM. Based on CC reviews, we had reserved at Towncar through Larry’s Limos. Our driver was waiting for us at our baggage carousel and took our bags to a covered area where he had parked. He was very friendly and we had a great conversation about the growth in Miami on our way to the Marriott Biscayne Bay hotel. He unloaded our luggage and helped us get everything into the lobby. Very nice service. We paid the round trip fare of $157 including gratuity via debit card.

Check in at the Marriott was quick and painless. Using my corporate discount gave us a rate of $117 for a king room. They gave us a bay view room on floor 17 where we had a great view of the port (pictures to follow). Dinner was at Catch restaurant in the Marriott, which was reasonable in cost.

After dinner, we returned to the room and placed our the Priority bag tags we had received from NCL in July on all our bags. Sleep followed pretty quickly as we were both excited to get up early and get to the port!

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Hey Dave....really excited to see your take. I was going to post in a separate thread. But, will tag along here, if you don't mind.

 

Great meeting you and your wonderful wife, BTW. Enjoyed chatting with you.

 

So far, can't disagree with anything you've posted.

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Hey Dave....really excited to see your take. I was going to post in a separate thread. But, will tag along here, if you don't mind.

 

Great meeting you and your wonderful wife, BTW. Enjoyed chatting with you.

 

So far, can't disagree with anything you've posted.

 

 

So I assume you made your flight from Ft Lauderdale no problem ;)

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So I assume you made your flight from Ft Lauderdale no problem ;)

Good memory.

 

I took your advice....especially as I kept an eye on the storms which were predicted.

 

Ended up rescheduling my work trip to CA. I felt guilty about that, but hey, it's vacation time. Actually, I had one of my colleagues cover for me in exchange for me covering for him in Michigan.....in January.

 

Flew in to FLL on Saturday. Ended up cashing in some Marriott reward points to stay in MIA Saturday night. Took SAS from FLL to MIA (SAS was great and inexpensive). It was a $5 Lyft ride from my hotel to the cruise terminal.

 

Leisurely boarded around noon on Sunday.

 

As luck would have it, I checked on my original Sunday flight. It was on time. Still, at least I wasn't stressing about the flight coming in on Saturday.

 

Thanks for all the tips!

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Hey Dave....really excited to see your take. I was going to post in a separate thread. But, will tag along here, if you don't mind.

 

Great meeting you and your wonderful wife, BTW. Enjoyed chatting with you.

 

So far, can't disagree with anything you've posted.

 

Dan,

Absolutely! Please join in whenever. Great meeting you too!

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Thanks, Dave.

 

Just thinking, I probably have some different pics than you do, so I'll just put them in another thread. Looking forward to the compare and contrast.

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Really looking forward to reading the rest of your review as I remember reading your posts before your cruise--especially in regard to Haven. Very happy you had an wonderful vacation.

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Sorry for the delay folks! Getting home and back to work is hard!! :(

 

Sunday my DW awoke at 6AM (later than usual for her) and I awoke just before 7AM. Opening the curtains, we had our first view of the Getaway!! Our first thoughts were “that is a lot bigger than theNorwegian Sea!”. I sat on our balcony and watched as the sun rose overMiami and the Getaway while my DW took her shower, etc. At one point, it looked like the ship was truly glowing as the sun brightened. Pictures to follow.

Once we were both prepared, we went down to the lobby and had a light breakfast at the coffee shop. Around 9AM, the bellhop called over a taxi for us and we were off! The approach into the port was more spectacular than the view from our hotel, even with the traffic and throngs of people disembarking and arriving at the same time. Our driver dropped us off right at the baggage porters and our two big suitcases were quickly taken (along with a $6 tip), and the porter directed us to the security entrance.

We quickly cleared the door check and joined the line. As soon as we got online, my wife realized that we were standing opposite one of her HS classmates, Dan, that she had reconnected with on our cruise’s FB group! It truly is a small world. Unfortunately for all of us, it seemed that they were slow on clearing the previous passengers, so we did not start processing through security until after 10 AM. Once through, we saw the sign saying "Haven Check-In" immediately to our left. We found that we were Haven passengers 3 and 4 to check in and quickly made friends with Jane from England! There was also a small breakfast spread with coffee, tea, juice, cakes, danish, and fruit in this small room. Once the room filled up, an NCL port employee escorted us to the Haven waiting area, which included new, plush gold fabric chairs I had not seen in other reports. The red chairs I had seen previously are now used by the CAS and status priority passengers. Again there was another, larger set up of food and beverages for us. They really know how to keep you fed!

 

Up next: Boarding the Getaway!!

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The Getaway as seen from my 17th floor balcony at the Marriott Biscayne Bay, first at sunrise, then glistening in the sun:

IMG_1136_zpse8sflbhb.jpg

IMG_1137_zpso9jaoq3w.jpg

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Now that I am caught up on pictures.

They made an announcement that general boarding would begin at 11:30. An NCL representative came to the Haven waiting area right after that announcement and said we would now be boarding. They took us up the forward ramp and onto the ship. Members of the crew were stationed there to greet us and provide us with our first of many "washy-washy"s. We then entered the elevators and rode straight up to deck 16 and into The Haven. The bartenders were awaiting us in the lounge with fruit punch, but I immediately ordered a Rebellious Fish for my DW and one for me. We took a seat in the comfortable chairs and relaxed for a few minutes. Anoop, the head of the Concierge group, welcomed us to The Haven and proceeded to tell us all of the amenities that we had available as Haven cruisers.

IMG_1147_zpsyjdfz7cg.jpg

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