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PaulInPGH

A Haven Getaway on the Getaway - January 6, 2019: A Review

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Day 7: Wherein the ship is no longer our personal resort.

 

Getting up at 7:15 the previous morning was a real imposition, so we decided to sleep in on Saturday. We did make it out of bed in time to get to the Haven restaurant for more omelets.

 

The previous afternoon, Joseph left us a note that said the concierge would be giving a talk about disembarkation at 10:30. I really didn’t think disembarkation needed an entire presentation, and I was right. It’s not that different in the Haven, except you can stay in your cabin until 9:00 and you do not have to be off the ship until 9:45. And, as in port, the concierge will escort you off the ship when you are ready. It’s a nice perk, but in no way does it require a how-to chat.

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We spent the morning reprising our favorite activities—relaxing in the spa, relaxing in the Haven, and so forth. We paused the relaxation to enjoy a final lunch at O’Sheehan’s, which continued to be a delight.

 

On this, our seventh cruise, we finally tried our hand at shuffleboard. Turns out, we’re terrible at it. Maybe we’ll practice more on our next cruise, when it’s not quite as sunny out, and when we don’t have a family waiting for us to finish, circling us like sharks waiting to attack.

 

After miserably failing at shuffleboard, we went back to the things we’re good at, i.e., doing nothing. We bid a sad farewell to the spa, and another farewell to the fantastic Haven courtyard. Believe me, it’s going to be hard when we one day have to cruise without that wonderful Haven retreat.

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Remember when I mentioned that we were promised the recipe for the gratin at Ocean Blue? Well, several times throughout the week, we’d run in to that waiter. He’d asked whether we’d received the recipe, and we told him it had yet to appear. Well, on the final afternoon, it finally showed up in our cabin! Except—and I still can’t quite believe this—the recipe did not say anything about cheese! The only thing I truly wanted to know (the type of cheese used) was the only part of the recipe that was missing. It was simultaneously frustrating and funny.

 

We spent some time packing (yuck) and generally trying to get in the frame of mind to accept that the cruise was coming to an end. Luckily, we still had one final meal to enjoy.

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So sad when it ends! Thank you so very much--this just upped my excitement even more. And I love the way you write. No more relaxaustion for you guys until the next one!

 

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6 hours ago, northernrose said:

Thanks for taking us along on your vacation. We will be on NCL Getaway and we will have a Haven suite.

You will love it, I'm sure. The Haven is fantastic and has ruined me for all future cruises.

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6 hours ago, Greenpea2 said:

So sad when it ends! Thank you so very much--this just upped my excitement even more. And I love the way you write. No more relaxaustion for you guys until the next one!

Thanks very much. It is a bit of a struggle sometimes to come up with ways to make "we swam, relaxed, and ate a lot" sound interesting, hahaha.

 

Not sure how much relaxing we'll get in on the next cruise, as we're looking at some Med cruises for our next trip. The last time we did one of those we were on the go from dawn til dusk. Very fun, but definitely not relaxing.

6 hours ago, Greenpea2 said:

 

 

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4 hours ago, maulers2000 said:

Great review, I don't want it to end!

Thank you. That's exactly how I felt about leaving our Haven cabin and the most comfortable bed I've ever had the pleasure to sleep on. I still miss it:(

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We’d originally booked Cagney’s for our final night meal. But since we enjoyed Ocean Blue so much, and since we’ve eaten at Cagney’s a number of times, we decided to go back to Ocean Blue. I of course ordered the gratin again, and there was definitely cheese in that dish! We got a bit of a chuckle when we heard a woman complaining that she doesn’t eat seafood or steak, which begged the question, why on earth did you choose to dine at a restaurant that features nothing but seafood and steak?

 

The meal was amazing. Here’s a taste of what we had: champagne, calamari, crab cakes, red wine, surf and turf, spinach, gratin, and Mac and cheese. Also, not to be forgotten, the delicious sorbet dessert. It was a lovely finale to a lovely trip.

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We spent the rest of the evening at Howl at the Moon. It was a lot of fun, even though they did not attempt our Rush request, despite our $5 tip.

 

We finished the night on our balcony, lamenting the fact that we’d be off the ship in only a few short hours.

 

Up next, Post-Cruise – Goodbye, beautiful Haven.

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Post-Cruise: Wherein we are sad.

 

Haven disembarkation is so nice, it might be worth booking a Haven cabin just for that final morning. We slept until 8:00, and we then made our way up to the Haven restaurant, which was fully operational. Because we were staying in Florida for a few more days and had nowhere to be, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast while everyone else made their way off the ship.

 

Escorted off the ship at around 9:15, we made it out quickly. But we then hit a long line leading into the luggage pick-up area, something to which we were not accustomed on this vacation. We eventually made it to the luggage pick-up area, but we had a hard time figuring out where the Haven priority luggage was located. It turned out that it was in a separate room a ways away from the main luggage area. This was very confusing, and could definitely have used some signage to point the way.

 

We eventually made it outside. We’d intended to take Uber again, but the area was so chaotic, we opted for a taxi instead.

 

We spent a delightful few additional days in Florida, where we spent time with my family, and ate some truly epic seafood. We flew home on Wednesday, and the universe had mercy on me, because the flight was uneventful.

 

Since we’ve been home, we’ve been giving a lot of thought to our next vacation. There are a lot of places we want to go, and knowing us, a cruise will likely be part of whatever we choose to do.

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Well, this brings me to the end of another review. I'm certainly happy to answer any questions (though I don't have copies of the dailies, so I probably won't be able to answer specific days/times questions). Otherwise, see you after the next cruise!

 

Cheers,

Paul

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Did you ever have to wait to be seated at the Haven Restaurant?

 

Did you ever have to wait to be seated at any of the restaurants on the Getaway?

 

In the Haven suite was there a beer opener?

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56 minutes ago, northernrose said:

Did you ever have to wait to be seated at the Haven Restaurant?

 

Did you ever have to wait to be seated at any of the restaurants on the Getaway?

 

In the Haven suite was there a beer opener?

We definitely never had to wait at the Haven restaurant. However, we were only a party of two, so that may be a factor. We saw a couple parties of four or five have to wait, but it didn't look like they had to wait long. It was definitely nice to have that venue available essentially whenever you wanted it.

 

We never had a wait at any other restaurants. Margaritaville seemingly gets pretty busy, so you may have a little wait there, but since we went on a day when the ship was in port, it was basically empty. We never did the dining room, but we've never had to wait at the dining room on any of our other NCL cruises. Again, being a party of two probably makes that easier.

 

I don't recall seeing a beer opener in our suite; we never had need of one.

 

Cheers.

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How much did you tip the Butler and concierge? Seems like you used them quiet a bit...trying to find out what is appropriate and what not...

Thanks

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On ‎1‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 2:59 PM, Kalum said:

How much did you tip the Butler and concierge? Seems like you used them quiet a bit...trying to find out what is appropriate and what not...

Thanks

Tipping is so subjective and entirely dependent on your individual experience. I don't think there's anything that's "appropriate" or not. For us, we felt that we didn't use the butler much at all, with the exception of the two mornings we ate breakfast in the room. Even that, I felt, was a little lacking, as I'd read that butler's typically set up your breakfast for you (with a table cloth, place settings, etc.), and Joseph simply dropped off the food.

 

All that being said, we stayed at about the $50 range for tipping. Some probably do more, some probably do less. Just leave what you're comfortable with.

 

Cheers.

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You've inspired me to bid (also fairly aggressively) on the Haven for my sailing in 12 days, here goes nothing! 

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On 1/25/2019 at 5:01 PM, PaulInPGH said:

Escorted off the ship at around 9:15, we made it out quickly. But we then hit a long line leading into the luggage pick-up area, something to which we were not accustomed on this vacation. We eventually made it to the luggage pick-up area, but we had a hard time figuring out where the Haven priority luggage was located. It turned out that it was in a separate room a ways away from the main luggage area. This was very confusing, and could definitely have used some signage to point the way.

 

 

YES!  We had the same experience after getting off the Getaway on our NYE cruise...it was crazy to try and find the luggage.  They certainly could do a better job of signage and/or staff that pointed you there.

 

Glad you had a great time, we LOVED our second Haven experience (first was on Escape).

 

On 1/26/2019 at 11:59 AM, Kalum said:

How much did you tip the Butler and concierge? Seems like you used them quiet a bit...trying to find out what is appropriate and what not...

Thanks

 

Just to answer this from our perspective...we ended up tipping the concierge staff way more on this cruise because they did so much more for us than on the Escape.  I think about $60.  Also tipped the bar staff $40-50 because they also were outstanding (did not do that on Escape).  The butler was good (the one on Escape was better) and I think we tipped him $90.  We plan about $200 total (give or take) for tips for concierge/butler/anyone else in the Haven that we think warrants it.  

 

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Enjoyed your review and story telling.  Thank you for sharing it with us.

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On ‎2‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 4:24 PM, ggooglyboogly said:

You've inspired me to bid (also fairly aggressively) on the Haven for my sailing in 12 days, here goes nothing! 

I hope you win your bid! If you do, please drop back in and let us know how it went and what you thought. Have a great cruise!

 

Cheers.

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