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Navis

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  1. Exactly our situation. 6 cruises on NCL all in the Haven in DoS. Our next cruise will be on Seabourn in an Owner’s suite for just $1000 more pp. I enjoyed the Haven product and it was our gateway to cruising, but the prices are simply crazy and with so few DoS, waiting and bidding just isn’t an option for us. Like others, we would sail again if the pricing is right, but in all honesty, the Haven does not compare to Oceania/Seabourn/Regent so i’m not sure how they get away with pricing the Haven as if it is.
  2. I have to agree with other poster, for us Food Republic and Pinchos were fantastic. We also had thermal spa passes, which were great.
  3. My concern is that we will never have any transparency into true price equilibrium as a result of the bidding system. My observation is that NCL has, effectively, removed the price ceiling by installing this bidding system. They set the prices as high as they want (5-10% per annum inflation) and whoever they get to pay full price is just gravy for them. They know that as the cruise approaches they can fill the suites via the bidding game. People feel they got a "deal" because they get some discount from the inflated "rack" rate, but they probably end up at or around NCL's internal targets. What would be really interesting to see is what the average rack rate is for each category in the Haven the day before the cruise sails. I think that would give us a truer approximation of actual value. In short, the bidding system has obscured the transparency of traditional supply and demand curves.
  4. It seems like we have recently come around to your thinking as well. We stayed with NCL and the Haven because we liked the idea of all the entertainment and bar/dinner options on a large ship, but with the option to retreat to something more quiet and slow paced when needed and we really did love the layout of the DOS . . . it was perfect for us when coupled with a spa pass. Our first butler was amazing (but she left NCL) and the ones we have had since have just been ok. The room stewards/stewardess have always been great. But over the last few cruises I've noticed overworked Concierges, less friendly bartenders, nickel and dining re: included alcohols (I mean, really, I just spent $12K on a suite and you want to charge me $2.95 for a Hendricks? Or $15.95 for a Johnny Blue?). Again, we have really enjoyed our cruises on NCL (even last Sept's that was rerouted from Bermuda to FL), but when I can get a true luxury experience on a 14-night cruise on Seabourn for just $1K/pp more I justify Haven prices any longer.
  5. Same here. After 6 cruises, all the in the Haven on the Breakaway and Escape, we are moving on to another cruise line. We loved our times in the DOS, but the value is not there anymore for us and with the bidding system now, the Haven always sails at capacity and the service quality has steadily ticked down each cruise. I totally understand why they installed the system, but bidding has really tarnished the Haven experience . . . at least we think it has.
  6. This is exactly our situation as well. For us, we believed that the value was on par with the price they were asking ... so we kept cruising with NCL. We averaged about $12,000/week for the two of us in DOS on the Breakaway and Escape over the past 3 years. Each time we kind of felt the price/value was knocked down a peg. Whether it was the constant $2-3 charge for a drink, the continually abysmal wine list, the so so food quality any place outside the Haven, or the DSC increases (for, if anything, worse quality service). Again, none of these things were bad in and of themselves, but they added up. We still loved our cruises, but now feel the value (especially in the Haven) is just not there. For us, the final blow was when we priced out a cruise on Seabourn to join my brother and sister in-law next year. I told my brother “no way, that would be too much money for a cruise.” Frankly, when I priced it out, I was shocked. Granted, we won’t have that massive suite and deck we are used to inside the peaceful Haven, but I was able to secure an Owner’s suite (about 1/2 the size of a DOS it looks like) for only $1,000 more per person! That may seem like a lot more, but included with my Seabourn fare is ALL meals at ALL restaurants (including their Thomas Keller restaurant), unlimited open bar with all premium brands, unlimited in suite bar stocked to my requests, on demand champagne and caviar (ok, not at all my thing but my spouse is psyched about this one), unlimited internet, 24 hr complimentary room service (no menu restrictions), specialty coffee drinks from the cafe, bottled still and sparkling water, free car service to and from airport and port, and a suite butler. All of that would certainly add up to more than $1,000/pp on an NCL ship (if it is even possible). In short, the value proposition of sailing on a luxury line seems much higher than sailing in the Haven on a mass market line. Now, i’ll admit, the jury is still out on how we will handle a 450 passenger ship with a crew to guest ratio of roughly 1:1 or a more formal dress code or how we will hit it off with other passengers (by all accounts it looks like we will be about 20yrs younger than average). But for us, a true luxury cruise for only $1,000/pp more just seemed like a no brainer. I will miss sailing on the larger NCL ships as we always had a good time and met some great people, but the value is simply not there anymore.
  7. So, I've been off of CC since our cruise last September and apparently lost access to my account when the UI switched over so, sadly I am starting over on here! That said, I could not agree with this comment more. We have been on 8 NCL cruises, all in the Haven and all in deluxe owners suites. Don't get me wrong, we have enjoyed each of our cruises (even our cruise to just Port Canaveral last September) but certainly have noticed a continual degradation in the product. I also think it is gotten much worse since the bidding system was installed. The included liquors have been downgraded, the food quality has slipped and it seems the demands placed on the Haven staff seem to have exponentially increased (and, at least the requests I overhead, were unreasonable). We decided that, given all the changes that have happened to the Haven product (anyone remember the $3.95 upcharge for Johnny Blue?), we just can't justify the cost anymore. We decided to make the move to Seabourn for our next cruise. We'll see how it goes, but I don't expect we'll be returning to NCL until they reconsider the watering down of their Haven offering.
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