Of all the Haven perks, I think the private Haven restaurant turned out to be our favorite. We dined there almost every day on this cruise and the food was always fantastic. We breakfasted there the first morning and had steak and eggs and the salmon frittata. This would be the first of A LOT of steak we’d eat on this vacation (steak-cation?). I also appreciated that breakfast in the Haven restaurant was offered until 10:30 on sea days, which allowed us plenty of time to enjoy some sleeping in each morning.
After our tasty breakfast, we made our way down to the thermal suite to enjoy some spa time. We loved this on the Escape in September, and we enjoyed it again on this cruise. It was a bit smaller than the version on the Escape, which only became a problem on the final sea day when there were zero loungers available. The loungers themselves were also nowhere near as comfortable as the ones in the thermal suite on the Escape. This turned out not to matter much, as we spent most of our lounging time in the Haven courtyard, but it’s something to consider for future cruises. We definitely got a lot of use out of the various jets in the thalassotherapy pool, not to mention the hot tub and salt room. We skipped the sauna because we are not masochists.
After a brief dip in the spa, we made our way up to the Haven to explore the courtyard area. We absolutely loved the sun deck on deck 17, where we found the most comfortable loungers on the ship. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and we spent some quality time enjoying the sun and wonderful breeze, not to mention a few drinks brought to us by the courtyard valet, Mark, who was very nice and very attentive all week.
We also sampled the Haven pool, which was very small, not to mention freezing cold. Seriously, it was a good thing there were no kids around when we got in the pool that first day, as Kathleen and I swore an epic blue streak when we hit the cold water.
We tried the Haven restaurant for lunch and the food was again great. Kathleen tried the flatbread and I sampled the French dip.
We spent a couple more hours enjoying the quiet Haven facilities after lunch. I can very easily see how doing a Haven cruise can spoil you for future cruises. It was always a heady feeling, using the keycard to enter that private sanctuary away from the rest of the ship. Leaving the quiet of the Haven complex for the crowded craziness of the rest of the ship became harder and harder as the week progressed.
After we had our fill of relaxing in our quiet Haven area, we opted for more relaxation in our even more private cabin. We sampled the in-room hot tub, which was a lot of fun. We relaxed and lounged and enjoyed the cookies brought by Joseph for our afternoon snack.
Making our way down to the atrium bar for some coffee, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the Getaway had not yet switched to Starbucks coffee. Lavazza was still available (at least until the Getaway goes in for refurbishment), and we enjoyed some of our favorite coffee while listening to the jazzy combo play some mellow tunes.
At 6:30, we made our way over to Fat Cats for the Haven meet and greet with the ship’s officers. It was a little strange, as all the officers were lined up in a row. We shook hands with all of them, one after the other, which was a bit odd. I think I expected more of a mix and mingle kind of thing, not a line of people to meet one after the other. Still, there was champagne and canapes, and the Captain got up on stage with the band and played Eric Clapton, which was awesome.
For the third time that day we made our way up to the Haven restaurant. Dinner was good, though the risotto was really heavy on the truffle oil. Kathleen enjoyed the sea bass, and the shrimp skewers I ordered were also great.
Following dinner, we braved the general population and made our way to the Mojito Bar to listen to a music duo play some tunes. The ship seemed uncharacteristically dead, which we’d noticed the previous night, as well. I’m not sure if everyone was partying outside since the weather was so nice, but on our last Getaway cruise the Mojito bar was always elbow-to-elbow. Not that we were complaining; it just seemed odd.
We tried Fat Cats again, this time for a 70s and 80s medley, which ended up consisting of a lot of Kool and the Gang songs. Again, we probably would have stayed longer had the venue been a bit more comfortable.
Up next: Day 3 – More Haven!