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JamieLogical

How much would you pay for Haven?

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6 hours ago, GA Dave said:

For us, the Haven feels like an exclusive resort within the ship.  The staff is absolutely amazing.  The food in the Haven restaurant is better than all of the specialty restaurants IMHO.  The sense of relaxation and seclusion we feel when we walk through that door into the Haven is well worth it for us.

I absolutely agree with you Dave on all your points.  We bid up to the Haven on a Baltic cruise as a splurge.  We didn't realize what a difference the Haven makes. It felt like an entirely different experience.  It is truly relaxing with none of the hustle and bustle of jockeying around with 4,000 other guests.  I am comfortable spending up to $3,000.00 per person for the Haven.  I see people saying the Haven isn't worth it and I am sure to them it isn't.  We all make our choices of what we want on a cruise.  

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We have only sailed in the Haven or suites (on the Dawn). I can safely say that the chances of us sailing in a regular cabin are slim to none for a variety of reasons. However, I am starting to pay a little more attention to price. When the Bliss sailings released, the price for our normal suite (2-bedroom) was $7,000+ per person. There was no way I was paying that much money for ports that weren't that exciting to us (San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola) and/or had crappy port times. Instead, we paid $4,500 less per person and stayed in a DOS on the Dawn for an awesome southern itinerary.

 

We are going on the Epic next year for the third time in the same cabin. The price has gone up by at least $1,000/person since the first time we sailed the ship (we are paying about $3,650/person), but still consider this worth it. We are sailing out of Puerto Rico with a great itinerary that will still give us a decent amount of time on the ship because of port times and places we have already visited. In addition, we love the Epic's Haven and look forward to revisiting it, especially since we have gotten "better" at cruising since our first two cruises.

 

For us whether the Haven is worth it depends on a variety of factors, including price, itinerary and ship. We weren't fans of the Getaway's Haven (restaurant too small, no true outdoor eating area, no roof over the pool, no Posh), but really enjoyed the Escape and Epic. If the Haven isn't logical for us, then we would plan an awesome land-based vacation. That was our plan for this year before we found the Dawn cruise.

 

We rarely use the butler for special requests, but love the afternoon snacks. We appreciate the bar and restaurant, but we really love the size of the cabins and the early boarding/priority disembarkation at ports perks.

 

I don't mind people bidding into the cabins, but I wish NCL wouldn't continue to up the prices to non-logical levels (the $7,000+ for the Bliss eventually came down, but we still wouldn't have booked it). It also annoys me that we now have to pay service charges on the packages that used to be included. I think it would go a long way if they had some sort of Haven loyalty discount to make me feel better. 😛  At a certain point, even we will start to think about whether this is worth it for us or not.

 

 

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We have stayed in a Haven Penthouse, Haven Spa, Haven Aft and Haven Forward. We like the spa the least because the room is too small and the Thermal Spa have the same folks that love to hog the lounges and I honestly dont have the patience for folks with that mindset.  We absolutely love the separate rooms in both the Forward and the AFT, I can watch movies early in the morning without disturbing my spouse. We also like having choices. We can go to the Haven area and relax and have drinks delivered or go hang out in the regular area of the ship. We also love the free  room service for breakfast. We stayed in a Mini-Suite after being in the Haven and when we ordered room service for breakfast what a wake-up call(sad). My husband said never again. We are not pool people but I love going to the Haven area to read and people watch. It has never been overrun and I can read peacefully if I choose. We'll never sail non-Haven again. We cruise for the ship so that's another reason the Haven is important to us. It's about the experience and our fellow cruisers. We love people. For me all those things justify paying for the Haven.

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I have never had the chance to cruise in the Haven as I have not cruised on a new NCL ship where I believe the Haven might be worth it. I have cruised in the 2br  suite on the Jewel and Gem. I loved the cabin and I know it will be hard to go back to a balcony or mini suite. 

 

This year we decided we wanted to do an European cruise. We priced out a couple Haven cabins on NCL and I just about DIED when I saw the prices. We decided to try HAL in a Neptune Suite and I realize it does not have all the perks and special areas as a Haven, but we are spending about 5k less.  I will always keep my eye open on a Haven cabin, but for now the prices are just too high for us. 

 

But I would say if you can afford it, go for it! And then take lots of pictures and send them to me.

 

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7 hours ago, GA Dave said:

For us, the Haven feels like an exclusive resort within the ship.  The staff is absolutely amazing.  The food in the Haven restaurant is better than all of the specialty restaurants IMHO.  The sense of relaxation and seclusion we feel when we walk through that door into the Haven is well worth it for us.

IMG_1490 sm.jpg

This exactly why we want to cruise in a Haven. The private areas as well as the restaurant. On our last few cruises with NCL we haven't enjoyed the speciality restaurants as much as we have in the past. 

 

I can only hope that 1 day, I will be able to see what is behind that door myself. 

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HI,

We will be on our 3rd NCL cruise next month.  Our first two were on the Breakaway, one to Bermuda and the second to the Baltics.  We got an opportunity to upgrade for the first and it was fairly reasonable.  Were we ever happy!  The Haven on the BA to the Caribbean made all the difference, with the very crowded pool area and "spring break" type atmosphere.  Loved the priority boarding, sun deck, Haven bar, restaurant, all the other perks, disembarkation...  Last year we booked directly again based on the price and it was again fantastic.  This year we are on the June 22 sailing on the Pearl (Spain, France, Portugal, Italy) and booked a mini suite. Again got an upgrade invite but I turned it down based on the price itinerary, and frankly the size of the ship.  The Haven on the Pearl did not have as many as the amenities and it really was not worth the price.  I would prefer to spend that money on excursions, specialty restaurants, maybe thermal spa and other experiences.  We will see what the pool and deck situation is, however.  I think you need to consider this on a ship by ship basis.  The larger the ship the more I would go for the Haven!

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15 hours ago, Formula280SS said:

 

It also makes no sense to book the Haven, then have a drink in the Haven lounge with someone who booked another stateroom and won a bid for a lot less than your booking cost.

 

I am not sure I understand this mentality. Why would I be upset if someone took a gamble and won an upgrade to the Haven? I don't get mad when I walk through the casino and see/hear someone win a big jackpot. Everyone has the same opportunity to bid for an upgrade, but it is a risk if your heart is set on being in the Haven and there is a chance you won't get to. If people are willing to take that risk, more power to them. I am happy for people who win bids. On my sailing on the Escape last October, I was chatting with the guy on the balcony next to mine. He had won a bid for his balcony from an inside room, whereas I had paid "full price" for mine. I was thrilled for him. He seemed so genuinely happy about it. Had never sailed with a balcony before. I wasn't upset at all that I had paid more than him. I had gotten then angled balcony I specifically chose and was happy with the price I paid for it (wouldn't have paid it otherwise), so why does what he paid matter?

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

 

I think it might be better to think of it in terms of how much MORE you would pay versus a normal balcony or mini-suite on the same sailing. Sometimes those alone cost over $4000 for two people depending on the ship and sailing. But, let me give you an two examples:

 

  • On my Escape sailing in June, the price for the lowest Haven category is $1650 more per person than a BA and $1450 more than an MA.
  • On my 12-day Bliss sailing in December, the price for the lowest Haven category is $3720 more per person than a BA and $3070 more than an MA.

I simply cannot imagine that the Haven experience is worth over $6000 more for two people on that Bliss sailing. But someone might be able to persuade me that it is worth $3000 more for two people on the Escape.

 

See what I am getting at?

We are on the cruise you'll be on in a few weeks....June 2.  We sailed the Escape last year in a Forward Facing Haven suite and this year, we'll be in the Haven spa suite.  We are not made of money and there are reasons (health challenges) that make the Haven a worthwhile "get" for us, so we budget accordingly throughout the year.  Having said that, we LOVED the Haven on the Escape last June.  There was never difficulty finding a space around the pool to read a book or relax...there were plenty of places in the shade to be found.  The restaurant is wonderful.  Having a butler was nice...even though we rarely needed him for anything.  I think the best part was that we could be part of the "craziness" of the ship any time we wanted but when we needed some relax time, we knew just where to go.

 

I will also say, I've NEVER seen Haven prices this low for this cruise...EVER.  I stalk them like crazy, again, because of our needs and our budget.  If you've never sailed in the Haven, take the leap.  With the prices the way they are and if you can do it, go all in.

 

That would be my advice.

 

Jay 

 

And just to add a little perspective, our Haven Spa Suite is approximately $3k less this year than last.  Yes, different categories, but there was not much of a price difference between the two suites last year.  We went forward facing because spa was sold out at the time of booking.  It's a great deal this year.  

Edited by Pete's Girl

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The Haven is fantastic and worth every penny in my opinion. 

 

We booked the Haven for a cruise many years ago and have only stayed in the Haven since.

Back to back on the Escape this July, can't wait.

 

If it fits your budget then go for it, you won't regret it.

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15 hours ago, Formula280SS said:

 

We have no interest in the Haven at the current and most projected cruises (Escape and Bliss) prices.  It also makes no sense to book the Haven, then have a drink in the Haven lounge with someone who booked another stateroom and won a bid for a lot less than your booking cost.

 

Thankfully, we found MSC Yacht Club before that started to go up and have enjoyed 3 B2B's (Divina and Seaside) and have 2 B2B's Yacht Club upcoming on Meraviglia.  Seriously, when we booked these quite a while ago, we're getting 2+ weeks in the Yacht Club for the comparable lowest Haven stateroom at the time.  We also really like the Yacht Club "venue."  Quite nice.  The Haven is also nice, the restaurant is probably a notch better, but the "venue" just doesn't have it close to the Yacht Club (dedicated lounge, overlooking restaurant, pool deck and bar and grille; front of the ship, 180 views).

 

When we cruise NCL, recently B2B on Bliss and a cruise on Escape, we were quite happy with a mid-ship mini suite, a "spa week pass," and a "Vibe week pass," and enjoying the specialty restaurants (which we believe are really way above MSC's non-Yacht Club specialty restaurants).  

 

So, we schedule both NCL and MSC quite a bit.  We already have two Meraviglia B2B's booked and are looking the the Bliss 21-day Mexican-Panama-New York in the fall for a nice pre-Thanksgiving cruise.  Not the Haven though.

 

There are more topics in this post than the first paragraph.  The replies below are regarding only the first paragraph.

 

9 hours ago, perditax said:

The heck?

No fraternizing with the peons, I guess. 

 

The inference is not fair, and also not correct.  Also, I didn't characterize "anyone as a peon."  You did.  I'm not an instigator of social class speculation of people I don't even know at all.

 

The first paragraph comment was simple and straight forward without underlying class warfare.  It is simply nonsense, IMO, to book a Haven straight up ahead of time with the current bidding program that provides the upgrade alternative in which, "in all likelihood," can result in Haven passengers paying quite a bit less.

 

That's all.

 

It's an opinion, not intended to demean anyone.

 

To the contrary, to "state, assume or proclaim" that all Haven guests that achieved such by the bidding program are "peons" is not only not fair, it is not correct.

 

Finally, we're 2nd generation Americans, born into "dirt," worked our butts off to earn the American Dream, put three sons through college, graduate school and one even to law school, took care of each of our parents until death, etc.

 

We routinely look to converse with passengers of all nationalities, color,  race, etc. without even considering "what anyone is worth."  We love talking to Europeans especially, U.S. military families and *handicapped passengers (including wounded warriors).  We routinely push wheelchairs for anyone we see in need and even make trips to bars for elderly handicapped passengers for something particular that they want.  

 

Since I'm on a rant (sorry), I particularly enjoy talking, joking, etc. with everyone everywhere; elevators, morning coffee runs, morning visit to the fitness center, loungers, bar patrons, crew members, etc.

 

I'll end, I think the inference was not appropriate to say the least.

 

12 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:

 

I am not sure I understand this mentality. Why would I be upset if someone took a gamble and won an upgrade to the Haven? I don't get mad when I walk through the casino and see/hear someone win a big jackpot. Everyone has the same opportunity to bid for an upgrade, but it is a risk if your heart is set on being in the Haven and there is a chance you won't get to. If people are willing to take that risk, more power to them. I am happy for people who win bids. On my sailing on the Escape last October, I was chatting with the guy on the balcony next to mine. He had won a bid for his balcony from an inside room, whereas I had paid "full price" for mine. I was thrilled for him. He seemed so genuinely happy about it. Had never sailed with a balcony before. I wasn't upset at all that I had paid more than him. I had gotten then angled balcony I specifically chose and was happy with the price I paid for it (wouldn't have paid it otherwise), so why does what he paid matter?

 

Please see the above.

 

You used the word "I" about 13 times.  That's fair as it is "your opinion."

 

I was merely stating "my opinion."

 

I believe both of you have taken it WAY out of context.

 

I indicated "it makes no sense," which is not a "mentality."

 

I never indicated such was "upset."

 

I never indicated "getting mad."

 

So, "mentality," "upset," and "getting mad" are characteristic attitudes that were NOT introduced in my post; rather in the above replies.

 

Yikes.

 

 

 

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We absolutely love the Haven but we only book it if we are traveling just by ourselves.  We have several friends that love to cruise with us but would never pay for the Haven.  I'm not going to pay the extra only to have to spend a lot of time with our friends outside of the Haven.  We also like the Haven when we don't really care about missing the ports.  We've seen most of the Caribbean ports so we don't mind missing those to enjoy our time in the Haven.  We truly enjoyed all the benefits such as the priority boarding, butler service, Haven restaurant and bar.  When we travel by ourselves in the Haven, we usually meet a few people and end up sharing a few drinks and meals with them.  

 

We try to cruise twice a year.  Once by ourselves ( just hubby and myself ) and once with our friends.  So, we get the Haven once a year.  

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15 minutes ago, Formula280SS said:

I indicated "it makes no sense," which is not a "mentality."

 

I never indicated such was "upset."

 

I never indicated "getting mad."

 

So, "mentality," "upset," and "getting mad" are characteristic attitudes that were NOT introduced in my post; rather in the above replies.

 

Yikes.

 

Sorry, if I misinterpreted your meaning. Most of the time, when someone exclaims that something "makes no sense", it is because they are upset by it. It's hard to get across tone in text on the internet. So maybe I read some "tone" where there actually was none.

 

However, I do disagree with your assertion that it "makes no sense". It makes perfect business sense to me. NCL is a business that is out to make money (like every other business on the planet). The bidding system is clearly a way for them to maximize their profits by selling otherwise empty rooms to the highest bidder. With the old "upgrade fairy" system, they weren't maximizing profits. They had to pay human beings to call around offering upgrades and they were potentially leaving money on the table by giving the upgrade to the first person to accept the offer, versus calling around to everyone and seeing how much people were actually willing to pay. The Upgrade Advantage Program is a mostly automated system that allows them to squeeze the highest possible amount out of the people willing to bid the most.

 

Does it seem like Haven prices have risen since the introduction of the Upgrade Advantage System? That's because they have! NCL is obviously going to charge what the market will bear and implement business practices that make them the most profit.

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Pay what you can afford, they day you want to afford it. Then... watch the price, if it goes down, take the refund, if it goes up buy yourself a drink. After final payment STOP LOOKING!

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Good question Jamie! 

 

For me I think there are too many negatives to justify paying full price for the Haven and I am too picky about cabin location to risk a bid. I would prefer to cruise more often in a balcony than less often in the Haven. 

 

I travel with a friend and as far as I am aware there are really no Haven cabins that particularly work for 2 people who are happy to share a cabin but not a bed.

 

 

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This is a great question, and I just went through the same Haven-or-not question myself for my (next spring, I'm a planner) next cruise.

 

1.  We don't get to take "real" vacations all that often, so I'm ok spending what we need to in order to make sure it's an enjoyable experience. 

 

2.  I'm very much an introvert and neither I or my husband deal well with crowds.  Short periods of time are ok, but dealing with crowds for an extended period of time has been known to trigger panic attacks in me.

 

3.  We (family of 4, 2 teen boys) were originally booked in an aft balcony and an inside.

 

4.  Prices changed a bit and I just rebooked us in the Aft Penthouse suite at approximately $4K more than the two cabins.  The 2br suite is the ideal setup for us but I can't justify $6.5K more than two cabins.  So it looks like my cutoff is somewhere in the "more than $5,000 more" range.

 

This will be our first large ship experience and from what I've heard it *can* be rather crowded in the public areas, even more so on a Caribbean itinerary like what we'll have.  So while we'll have to figure out how the boys will sleep in the living room without killing each other, it's completely worth it to me because I'm SURE that we'll be able to enjoy this vacation, whereas I was worried I wouldn't without those, well, places to go hide from all the people.

 

That said, we sailed on the Pearl last year and I had no problem being outside the Haven.  It's smaller and known to not be as crowded as the large ships.

 

I'm not made of money so I certainly couldn't afford to do this on a regular basis, but for my first experience of a large ship and to see what it's like, it's worth the extra expense.  I may decide that it's not necessary afterwards, who knows?

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19 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

I am about to go on my 6th NCL sailing the first week in June on the Escape. Contemplating paying outright for a Haven upgrade, rather than relying on bidding. I've never been in a Haven before, but I constantly track their pricing and inventory for all of my sailings. The cost difference between say, a BA balcony and any of the Haven suites seems to vary greatly from ship to ship and sailing to sailing. For those of you who sail Haven occasionally, how do you decide when the time is right to book a Haven versus just a balcony or mini-suite. Is there a difference in price point that you pay attention to?

Looks like your Haven starting prices is $500 less than ours was a week later

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9 minutes ago, Laszlo said:

Looks like your Haven starting prices is $500 less than ours was a week later

 

Looking at the pricing history, it looks like the price on the cheapest Haven topped out at $3499 per person, dropped to $3399 back in February, dropped to $3099 in late April, dropped to $2999 in early May, then dropped to $2849 this week.

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I have sailed Haven and non-haven.  I adore the Haven and would sail it every cruise if possible.  The only time I regretted the Haven sail was when we had friends who were not in the Haven.  I felt like I wasn't using it as much as I would have liked....considering the cost.  I can't tell you how much I would say it is worth to me....or to you.  It is a very personal choice.  I know there are lots of folks who state that they would rather cruise more often and stay in a regular room - and others that would rather Haven it and cruise less.  Both opinions are valid and reasonable.  I am in between.  I want to sail every week in the Haven - just not able to - lol.  Favorite things:  1.  Room size!!  We did a 9 day BA Alaskan cruise last year and we were bumping into each other the whole time.  LOL  2.  Embarkation - a breeze with Haven.  Escorted on the ship quickly!  3.  The sliders and fries in the lounge when you board - yummy!  4.  The in room dining - no charge.  5.  The ship within a ship concept.  I don't like crowds.  6.  The concierge gets you any reservation, anytime, anywhere.  7.  The Haven bar and restaurant.  8.  Not as many extra charges (sheesh for what you pay you should get more!).  - no fees for room service, movies, snacks in your room  9.  COFFEE!!!  You have a nespresso in the room and you can get french press too.    In any case - love it!  I do think that if it's in your budget it is defiantly worth it at least once!!  

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Posted (edited)

My husband and I have discussed this and decided we would pay $100pp  more for Haven access than a regular balcony cabin. We have visited the Haven on multiple occasions for officer's receptions, and it simply does not appeal to us. Different people enjoy different things when cruising, and this does not fit our needs any more than anything else. We enjoy the entire ship, and it's unlikely we'd spend much time there in order to make it worthwhile. $100pp for the bigger cabin seems fair to us, but we certainly don't need more space.

 

Unlike JamieLogical, I AM a pool and sun person. That's part of the reason I'd steer clear of the Haven. The pools don't even have views of the ocean. 

Edited by LrgPizza

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19 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

 

i am not at all a "pool and sun" person, so this is not a part of the equation for me. I think I might lounge in the area around the Haven pool since it is shady in there. But definitely not out on the Haven sun deck.

For me depends on ship, just off Jade which has Haven suites but no dedicated Haven bar and restaurant so was not worth the price, the dedicated Haven bar and restaurant on a fully booked ship is a nice quiet getaway

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2 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

 

Sorry, if I misinterpreted your meaning. Most of the time, when someone exclaims that something "makes no sense", it is because they are upset by it. It's hard to get across tone in text on the internet. So maybe I read some "tone" where there actually was none.

 

However, I do disagree with your assertion that it "makes no sense". It makes perfect business sense to me. NCL is a business that is out to make money (like every other business on the planet). The bidding system is clearly a way for them to maximize their profits by selling otherwise empty rooms to the highest bidder. With the old "upgrade fairy" system, they weren't maximizing profits. They had to pay human beings to call around offering upgrades and they were potentially leaving money on the table by giving the upgrade to the first person to accept the offer, versus calling around to everyone and seeing how much people were actually willing to pay. The Upgrade Advantage Program is a mostly automated system that allows them to squeeze the highest possible amount out of the people willing to bid the most.

 

Does it seem like Haven prices have risen since the introduction of the Upgrade Advantage System? That's because they have! NCL is obviously going to charge what the market will bear and implement business practices that make them the most profit.

 

Thanks.  Appreciate your input of your opinion.

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1 hour ago, JamieLogical said:

 

Looking at the pricing history, it looks like the price on the cheapest Haven topped out at $3499 per person, dropped to $3399 back in February, dropped to $3099 in late April, dropped to $2999 in early May, then dropped to $2849 this week.

If I could cancel and rebook I would Lol. Our H5 was $3399. You book what your comfortable paying. This is a special cruise for us so I decided to splurge

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3 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

 

I am not sure I understand this mentality. Why would I be upset if someone took a gamble and won an upgrade to the Haven? I don't get mad when I walk through the casino and see/hear someone win a big jackpot. Everyone has the same opportunity to bid for an upgrade, but it is a risk if your heart is set on being in the Haven and there is a chance you won't get to. If people are willing to take that risk, more power to them. I am happy for people who win bids. On my sailing on the Escape last October, I was chatting with the guy on the balcony next to mine. He had won a bid for his balcony from an inside room, whereas I had paid "full price" for mine. I was thrilled for him. He seemed so genuinely happy about it. Had never sailed with a balcony before. I wasn't upset at all that I had paid more than him. I had gotten then angled balcony I specifically chose and was happy with the price I paid for it (wouldn't have paid it otherwise), so why does what he paid matter?

 

I see it this way:

 

If they have two suites and want a total of $8000 for both they can either sell them for $4000 each or price them at $6000 each and hope to sell them. If they only sell one for $6000 they can let someone bid $2000 and get it for that!

 

I only want the suite so I have to pay $6000 but should prefer to pay $4000!

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So were are also a “Haven or nothing” NCL crew. Been on only 6 cruises but all in the Haven on the breakaway and escape. Although we loved each of our cruises, we’ve decided to move on from NCL and try another line. Over time, we have witnessed a sharp decline in the Haven product and the service levels and we simply do not find it worth the money any more.

 

This may not be the PC thing to say, but the bidding program has certainly changed the dynamic in a significant way. Jamie, I am definitely in the same camp as you in that I really don’t care what anyone paid for their Haven experience, but it’s the demands that come with the “once in a lifetime bidding win” environment that has been hard to adapt to and the cumulative effect of so many bidding winners is simply crushing the staff. 

 

When we first started cruising with NCL, the Haven service was exceptional ... butlers there when you needed them, Conceirge available to help where they could, friendly bar and restaurant wait staff, almost all your specific requests met.  Then the bidding sustem started and we noticed and amazing uptick in passenger demands ... everything from having every single meal and multiple snacks a day delivered to a room to literally a woman asking the Conceirge what else she could “get for free because she’s Haven” (seriously, she wanted a printed list). Again, i’m not saying they don’t have the right to do it ... it is their vacation and their money ... but when it cuts into my perceived value of a cruise, I have to reconsider where I spend my money.

 

The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was last cruise when we were going to have our anniversary dinner on our deck (we were in a DOS on the Escape) overlooking the Dockyard in Bermuda .. simply beautiful view. Our poor Butler was running around crazy all week and kept telling us all the demands the other rooms were making. He knew we were accommodating so he asked if we could move back our dinner 1 hour because he had too many other cabins to accommodate that night. Of course, that message never got to the kitchen and our dinner arrived all at once (not course by course plated) and was cold. That was it for us.

 

So, to answer your question, for us what the Haven is “worth” became an external comparison more than anything. I realized for the same price as my Haven DOS suite I could get an owner’s suite on a luxury line (seabourn) for a cruise TWICE as long with literally everything included ...free limo to and from airport to port, all meals, all specialities, all drinks (premium included), free WiFi, etc. When you can sail on a true luxury line with more included for the same price as NCL Haven ... the Haven is overpriced by a wide margin.

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3 minutes ago, Navis said:

So were are also a “Haven or nothing” NCL crew. Been on only 6 cruises but all in the Haven on the breakaway and escape. Although we loved each of our cruises, we’ve decided to move on from NCL and try another line. Over time, we have witnessed a sharp decline in the Haven product and the service levels and we simply do not find it worth the money any more.

 

This may not be the PC thing to say, but the bidding program has certainly changed the dynamic in a significant way. Jamie, I am definitely in the same camp as you in that I really don’t care what anyone paid for their Haven experience, but it’s the demands that come with the “once in a lifetime bidding win” environment that has been hard to adapt to and the cumulative effect of so many bidding winners is simply crushing the staff. 

 

When we first started cruising with NCL, the Haven service was exceptional ... butlers there when you needed them, Conceirge available to help where they could, friendly bar and restaurant wait staff, almost all your specific requests met.  Then the bidding sustem started and we noticed and amazing uptick in passenger demands ... everything from having every single meal and multiple snacks a day delivered to a room to literally a woman asking the Conceirge what else she could “get for free because she’s Haven” (seriously, she wanted a printed list). Again, i’m not saying they don’t have the right to do it ... it is their vacation and their money ... but when it cuts into my perceived value of a cruise, I have to reconsider where I spend my money.

 

The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was last cruise when we were going to have our anniversary dinner on our deck (we were in a DOS on the Escape) overlooking the Dockyard in Bermuda .. simply beautiful view. Our poor Butler was running around crazy all week and kept telling us all the demands the other rooms were making. He knew we were accommodating so he asked if we could move back our dinner 1 hour because he had too many other cabins to accommodate that night. Of course, that message never got to the kitchen and our dinner arrived all at once (not course by course plated) and was cold. That was it for us.

 

So, to answer your question, for us what the Haven is “worth” became an external comparison more than anything. I realized for the same price as my Haven DOS suite I could get an owner’s suite on a luxury line (seabourn) for a cruise TWICE as long with literally everything included ...free limo to and from airport to port, all meals, all specialities, all drinks (premium included), free WiFi, etc. When you can sail on a true luxury line with more included for the same price as NCL Haven ... the Haven is overpriced by a wide margin.

 

The Haven on NCL is like buying a Honda Civic with leather seats ... you can put lipstick on a pig, but in the end you are still kissing a pig.

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