An Introvert's Musings on Cruising - First Cruise, The Haven, The Jade, and more.

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#1
United States
69 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
About us - we are a family of three outgoing introverts cruising for the first time. Myself, hubby and 26-year-old son. We booked this trip a year ago and cruised the Jade in The Haven Family Suite.

What we packed that we never used -
- a power bar. Tons of outlets, including USB. There was a regular plug right next to the master bed for my CPAP.
- half of my clothes. We got the laundry special twice in 10 days. Used it both times. No problems. Whites came back white. But I could have packed a lot lighter because of this.

"Must Haves" that we DIDN'T pack and didn't miss -
- magnetic hooks: didn't need them, tons of storage space
- hanging shoe bag organizer: same reason, tons of space for every little thing.
- highlighter for the daily: we just used a pen to circle what we wanted to do.

Miscellaneous thoughts -
- Won't ever cruise in anything but the Haven or MSC Yacht Club. Common areas, particularly the pool and buffet were too "peopley" for us. We went to one activity, a game show knock-off. Everyone made fun of the host, who's first language was not English, because he couldn't pronounce many of the words. It was humiliating to watch. There were a few folks in the crowd who thought they knew everything and kept shouting out inappropriately, but they thought they were hilarious. Not for us.
- The variety and quality of music in the various venues was quite good. We enjoyed sitting in the Atrium or O'Sheehan's in the evening for the soloist or duet. We also enjoyed the dance parties.
- Le Bistro was the best specialty we went to. We cancelled Cagney's after having lunch there there the first day and changed to Le Bistro. So glad we did. Teppanyaki was also excellent, food and experience. We ate lunch at the buffet several times and the food surprised us by being pretty good. We were expecting the worst.
- We had to keep asking the butler to give us fewer pieces of fruit and smaller crudite platters. So much food everywhere and we didn't want to waste. The homemade pretzels are killer, as are the fruit tarts. The little sandwiches with the crusts cut off don't look like much, but when they were in our room after returning from excursions, we scarfed them down!
- We didn't get most of what we requested from the butler, even after multiple requests. That was disappointing.
- However, the courtyard butler was on point. Drinks flowing, snacks and juices kept filled, always checking to see how he could help. He got the lion's share of our tip money.
- Breakfast in Moderno was delicious. Big buffet, plus a menu to order from. Ask for breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausages and toast to go with your omlettes. So yummy!
- Despite what we were told, the folks at Columbian Emeralds, the ship's store, don't bargain. The price is the price. That said, they had the best price for watches out of all the ports we went to. We bought diamond jewelry in the Effy store in Aruba. Got a terrific deal.
- The master bed was very uncomfortable. I slept on the couch most nights as I need a firmer foundation. YMMV.

I probably have more thoughts that I'll add later. Feel free to ask any questions you like. I have pics of the room, some of the food, and thoughts on excursions as well that I will add to the port pages. We booked all excursions ourselves, not through NCL.

Cheers!
#2
United States
69 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Oh, our staff was:
Butler - Erlindo
Concierge - Omar
Stewardess - Juniati
Courtyard Butler - Mel
Cruise Director - Pacquito
#3
1,579 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
The Haven family suite is going to have a ton of room, most of those small items for storage or power are mainly for smaller rooms where space is a premium, and where you may only have 1 possibly 2 outlets total.
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#4
Austin TX
1,045 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Thanks for posting. My DH and I also like to avoid crowded areas, so we book a mini-suite or suite where we can hang out on the balcony with a drink and a book. Heaven!
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BabsinTX/Barbara & Bill, Austin TX

Looking forward to:
10/13/18 & 10/20/18--Regal Princess B2B--7-Night Canada/New England RT NYC
10/27/18--NCL Breakaway--15-Night Repo NYC to New Orleans
6/15/19--Viking Orion--Alaska & the Inside Passage
7/6/19--Golden Princess--Voyage of the Glaciers (Southbound)--gets us to Elite!
1/17/20--Emerald Princess--Panama Canal WB
(40thAnniversary!) followed by...
2/1/20--Emerald Princess--28-Day Hawaii/Tahiti/Samoa RT from Los Angeles

Fond memories of: Alaska; Bermuda; Boston to New Orleans repo; Caribbean:Western (4X), Eastern (4X) and Southern (2X); Hawaii; Mexican Riviera (2X); Norway; Scandinavia; One-night Vancouver to Seattle (2X); Pacific Coastal (3X);Panama Canal (2X); & Transatlantic (2X)
Cruise Lines: NCL (14), Princess (12), Cunard (1)
#5
Spain
193 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Hi RevCindy
Glad you enjoyed the Haven on Jade.
We use the Haven on EPIC.

On Epic there is a Haven Restaurant. I know suites on Jade have breakfast and lunch in private dining...but what happened at dinner??
Did you have to pay for the speciality restaurants at Dinner or was it all part of your Haven fare.

I'm interested because we are in an SF suite soon and wonder if an upgrade to Haven really adds very much.

Thanks again
Deeko
#6
1,924 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
jade does not have a haven restaurant. you go to the MDR for dinner or a specialty ( on your own dime).
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Carnival Sensation - Bahamas, January, 2011
NCL Star - Bermuda, July, 2012
NCL Breakaway - Bermuda, September, 2013
NCL Breakaway - Bahamas, April, 2014
NCL Epic - Western Caribbean, November, 2014
NCL Jewel - Western Caribbean, April, 2015
NCL Getaway - Eastern Caribbean, August, 2015
NCL Dawn - Western Caribbean, January, 2016
NCL Star - Baltics, May, 2016 (Non-Haven 2 Bedroom Suite)
NCL Sun - Alaska, September, 2016
NCL Gem - Eastern Caribbean, December, 2016 (New Year's Sail)(Haven 2 Bedroom Suite)
NCL Breakaway - Bermuda, May, 2017
NCL Jewel - Alaska, September, 2017
NCL Jade - Cozumel, January, 2018 (Non-Haven Aft Penthouse Suite)
NCL Star - Panama Canal (West to East), April, 2018 (Non-Haven SJ Family Suite)
NCL Getaway - Western Caribbean, September, 2018 (Haven Penthouse Suite)

In the Works:
NCL Spirit - Italy and Greek Isles, October, 2018
NCL Escape - Bahamas, December, 2018 (New Year's Sail)
NCL Dawn - Bahamas, May, 2019 (Non-Haven Forward Penthouse Suite)
NCL Escape - Bermuda, September, 2019
#7
Spain
193 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Thanks BostonGal

That says it all.

Very difficult to see a reason to pay for an upgrade from the SF aft we've got.

Appreciate your help.

Deeko
#8
37 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by deeko
Thanks BostonGal

That says it all.

Very difficult to see a reason to pay for an upgrade from the SF aft we've got.

Appreciate your help.

Deeko
Agreed! I would not pay for the Haven on a ship without the restaurant.