Thanks to everyone here on Cruise Critic- we decided to check out the Haven and see what all the raving was about. I love reading comparisons across lines, so I thought I would add my personal opinion.
I have been on Carnival, Princess, Disney and Royal. We are gold on Disney (when kids were young) and are diamond on Royal (once kids turned teenagers). We mostly sail in RCCL suites, most recently crown lofts on Allure and Oasis.
I have read so much about the Haven, I decided I needed to give NCL a try. We just got off the Epic and I must say- we LOVED the Haven. I was so sad to leave!
I will try to compare each category:
Cabins: both are wonderful. I liked the crown loft a little more than the 2BR Haven (can't beat the view! and I love the huge rain shower in the loft), but the second bedroom was so nice for my son. I thought the view of the ocean from the shower would be nice on our 2BR, but the window was always a little dirty and the view did not wow as I hoped.
Suite (Haven) restaurant: both excellent. I think service was more personal on NCL- they always called us by name. I wish NCL would change the menu midway through the cruise like Coastal Kitchen does...
Specialty restaurants: we ate in Cagney's (good, not great), Le Bistro (very good) and La Cucina (disappointing). I think 150 Central Park and Giovanni's are a bit better than these three. But, at the end of the day, the Haven restaurant beat them all.
Entertainment: loved Priscilla of the Desert! The comedians were good and the venue size was better than other ships, yet still intimate (Headliners). Haven seats are better than RCCL suite seats in the main theater.
Bars: I was afraid that the bars would be awful given that everyone has the drink package. I was so wrong! Service was quick and wonderful. Drinks were yummy and strong.
The Haven pool was delightful and nicer than the RCCL sundeck (no pool). I wish Posh had a shower like RCCL sundeck had though.
Concierge: so helpful! He was worth every penny for the tender escort and debarkation! Better than RCCL.
Butler: very nice. We didn't utilize him much (we do not like eating meals in our cabin), but he was always offering help.
Overall impression: We are no longer loyal to Royal, but I do see us cruising both lines, depending on price and itinerary. I do not know whether I would feel the same way if we had not been in the Haven. The Haven definitely won us over and I already booked a cruise in 2020 with my CruiseNext certificates.