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About Run14

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    Flying (pilot and travelling), finance, reading, big foodie, wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The Haven

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  1. Congrats on the 50 years!! That's seriously amazing, and quite inspiring. As long as you get the luggage tags on before you hand the bags to the porters, you'll be fine. They will likely remind you if you forget, but best not to rely on that. When you pull up nothing is immediately different. Once you've gone through security things start to change - instead of the normal check-in line in the giant hall, you'll head on over to the Haven line/area to get checked in, then you will be escorted to the Haven waiting area lounge. Enjoy some coffee or tea and a small snack, you'll be in there anywhere from a couple minutes to maybe 10. From there you'll be escorted onto the ship, zipped up to the Haven, and be given an intro to the Haven experience. That's when things get fun. Oh, and make sure to board with room in your stomach - after passing around sliders, fries, and drinks, often you'll be given access to dine at Margaritaville. I recommend the nachos. To share. (They're huge) Enjoy and happy anniversary!
  2. Home Departure City - LAX Arrival/Destination City - MSY Airline(s) used - Delta Number of Connections - 0 Outbound Flight departure/arrival time - 09:30 PST / 15:14 CST Return Flight departure/arrival time - 13:48 CST / 16:09 PST Did You Pay for a Deviation (before or after cruise)? Y 2 days before # of Days Prior to Departure Flights Were Ticketed? 65 Home Departure City - LAX Arrival/Destination City - MSY Airline(s) used - Delta Number of Connections - 0 out, 1 return (via SLC) Outbound Flight departure/arrival time - 09:01 PST / 14:35 CST Return Flight departure/arrival time - 18:55 CST / 23:41 PST Did You Pay for a Deviation (before or after cruise)? Y - 2 Days Before # of Days Prior to Departure Flights Were Ticketed? 64 If you're wondering, 2 separate cruises from the same port, about 9 months apart (and the exact same itinerary). I won the poker tournament on the first cruise and, lucky me, the big tournament is on a duplicate cruise. Also, in case you're curious, yeah, I'm still pretty pumped.
  3. Just jumping on to echo the idea that the sauces are a great idea. I'm a foodie, so maybe biased, but local flavor sounds like an awesome gift to me. Also agreed that a jacket is a good idea. I've sailed the Caribbean in the summer and enjoyed having a light jacket on the balcony late a night (to be fair, I live in LA and 60 here is sweater weather). DW and I are also planners and like to have everything ironed out prior to arrival - it takes a lot of stress out of it. The only thing I'd recommend is to enjoy your cruise, you seem to be focusing on the right things in comfort and being yourself. Enjoy the cruise planning and don't hesitate to ask questions, everyone on this board was a new cruiser at one point!
  4. That's awesome! No buzzer for us, but I love that they are doing it now. Much more efficient.
  5. We ate in an MDR, and we were part of a large group (16 people I believe). The entirety of the group wasn't in the Haven and, although we had a reservation, we waited for half an hour in a hallway so crowded I thought I was going to develop enochlophobia.
  6. For my DW and I this is something we've put a lot of thought into. The biggest reasons that we stick with NCL/Haven are: 1) We love the entertainment of the big ships, which we haven't found on luxury lines 2) We love the respite of the Haven for a lot of time, but we do enjoy getting out and socializing/blending into a crowd 3) We are in our mid 30's, and we don't want to be the only sub-65 cruisers. We enjoy socializing with older cruisers, don't get me wrong, but from what we've heard from friends the mood is pretty different 4) We have platinum status on NCL, which doesn't provide a ton of benefits, but they do matter and it helps. 5) We've honestly been really happy with the Haven and haven't (yet) been motivated to start looking. That said, you never know... We've not done a Christmas cruise, but we have done a Thanksgiving cruise and I'd imagine there's a lot of similarity between the two. I will say, without exception, we won't do a holiday cruise outside of the Haven again. It's night and day. The longest we've ever had to wait for a table at the Haven restaurant is about 10 minutes, and even then it was pretty easy because we just grabbed a drink at the Haven bar. The main dining area outside of the Haven was always packed, and on the holiday itself it was a dumpster fire. You couldn't pay me to take a holiday cruise in a standard cabin again.
  7. I found myself instinctively nodding my head when I read this. Completely agree. My wife and I have done both Haven and gen-pop multiple times, and we only sail the Haven now. Having a quiet and calm, yet indulgent and comfortable, place to retreat to at any time that is larger than a basic cabin is invaluable to us. That said, just because we find value in it doesn't mean others will. The "little things" (as generally viewed by others) are more important/valuable to us than others seem to find them, especially the lack of waiting and under utilizing time.
  8. Fair point and good suggestion.
  9. Let's please not let this devolve into the usual tipping conversation. Please. I beg you all.
  10. Seriously great trip report. Objective in the info, highlighted what was your opinion, etc. My wife and I would cruise with you three any day. High five for handling everything that was thrown at you and brushing it off. The smoker on the plane made me LOL, because of COURSE you needed another wildcard on your trip. Thanks again for a great review!
  11. "Genpop" HAHAHA and here I thought only a few of us used that... - following
  12. Oh this one was funny. Packed a couple of bottles of wine (perfectly happy to pay the corkage fee) because we were cruising with a pair of our wine loving friends. The 4 of us were in a 2 bedroom Haven. Each of us was missing a suitcase and the bartender asked if we had any booze in them. After we said yep, he let us know they're in the locker. Fair enough, we walk down there to liberate the vino. We get down there and all hell hilariously breaks loose. We are trying to explain (admit) that we had some wine in our suitcases to an employee who thought we were trying to get around the corkage. He was not happy, like unnecessarily irritated, and we had a couple of drinks in us so we, of course, thought it was funny. When we started laughing, our butler busts in, out of breath and half scolding us and half apologizing. At this point, any sense decorum we once had was completely gone and we were doubled over laughing. To answer your question, we were down there for maybe 5 minutes. Technically we didn't take our bags (our butler did), and it cost us nothing to get the total of 4 bottles of wine to our room.
  13. The balcony is on the side (and partially obstructed in some [all?] cases), with a forward view from the bedroom section of the stateroom. You can find a few videos on Youtube if you'd like to see a walk-through.
  14. Check out this thread - It's a hot thread and the numerous NCL statements in dailies are about as official as it gets.
  15. Yep. There needs to be availability, but I've been told "no" by the ice bar and then, miraculously, the Haven concierge had us booked at 8pm. They can be awesome (it's hit and miss at times but generally great).
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