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JamieLogical

How much would you pay for Haven?

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People have flat out gone nuts since the bidding stuff started.  They bid too much, change their bids 50 million times and obsess over it for up to 78 days.  It is a game that usually only NCL wins.  That aside, the other aspect of the bidding has been a trend of questioning whether or not it is changing the make-up of the Haven.  I have seen this so much - it is really disturbing.  I don't understand where this is coming from.  The Haven is a splurge and has always been a splurge for the majority of people who sail in it.  Prior to the bidding - there was an upgrade department.  Same thing - people actually got in for cheaper using upgrade than using the bidding system.  So guess what?  If you think the "class" of people in the Haven has declined since the implementation of the Upgrade Advantage - think again.  If you haven't sailed Haven before  - be aware there is a bit of reverse snobbery from non-haven cruisers.  I have been shot dirty looks and had people make unpleasant comments to me as I have embarked, disembarked and other places where I was outted as a Haven person.  Please understand that all these comments are based on my experience - I am not saying all people do these things!

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My other Haven concern, perhaps misplaced, is getting “stuck” with other cruisers. We love chatting to folk but do not want to spend time with the same people the whole cruise. 

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1 minute ago, amelia3171 said:

My other Haven concern, perhaps misplaced, is getting “stuck” with other cruisers. We love chatting to folk but do not want to spend time with the same people the whole cruise. 

It's not that small.  You can leave the area - and will for shows, dinners, etc.  There are also a number of Haven suites (spa, aft, etc. ) that are not in the actual Haven.  I understand where you are coming from but I never had it happen that I was stuck with only the same people all week.

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Posted (edited)

Okay so I think I've compiled the "benefits" included with Haven. In red/bold are the "benefits" that I would use or find beneficial. The rest either don't matter to me, I wouldn't use or I just think are silly. Therefore, I don't believe I'd spend more than about $300 (the cost of the limo and the coffee/minibar) for the Haven addition. I simply want to add, I realize the things not highlighted have value to others. This is simply my opinion as was asked by @JamieLogical.

 

  • Skip the lines and be personally escorted on and off the ship at the pier and at ports-of-call
  • Complimentary limousine service from pier to airport (for Garden Villa guests)
  • 24-hour trained and certified suite butler. From unpacking your suitcase to pouring your champagne our butlers are at your service
  • Concierge service to help you book dining, entertainment, shore excursions and more
  • Courtyard attendant to take care of all your cold towels, fresh fruit, and sun deck refreshment needs
  • White tablecloth in-suite dining
  • Evening turndown service
  • Haven Lounge
  • Haven Restaurant
  • Priority when reserving restaurants and entertainment
  • Exclusive access to The Haven Courtyard area with private pool, sundeck, hot tub and fitness area
  • Spacious Accomodations
  • Free Pay per View
  • Mobile phone that can be used throughout the ship (Available on Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Epic)
  • Distinctive platinum keycard
  • Sparkling wine, bottled water and fruit on embarkation day (For 2-Bedroom villa, Courtyard Penthouse, Spa Suite, and Penthouse only)
  • Mini-bar and deluxe coffee/espresso/cappuccino machine
  • Special Haven Menus
  • Grab and go breakfast items including parfaits, diced fruit in a martini glass, fresh pastries and gourmet meats
  • Treats delivered to your suite each evening
  • Invitations to an exclusive breakfast and lunch
  • Invitations to exclusive cocktail parties
  • Cocktail party with ship's officers
  • Bliss Collection by Norwegian pillow-top mattress
  • Fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu
  • Plush bathrobes, slippers and oversized bath towels
  • Luxury bathroom products
Edited by JennyB1977

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Posted (edited)

The limo service is only for Garden Villa guests - so that is not really a Haven benefit.

The mini bar is not free.

The beds, bathrooms, bath products and linens are great.  The bathrobes are heaven.

Skipping the lines - priceless.  LOL  

Priority reservations mean you can basically decide that day or evening where you want to go and the concierge will get you in.

The cocktail parties are so-so (wine, beer, and rum punch).

Most everything else you listed is why I sail Haven.  

It's most certainly a personal choice.  

Nice list!!  

Edited by Nolanoel

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5 minutes ago, JennyB1977 said:

Okay so I think I've compiled the "benefits" included with Haven. In red/bold are the "benefits" that I would use or find beneficial. The rest either don't matter to me, I wouldn't use or I just think are silly. Therefore, I don't think any more than about $300 more than a balcony (the cost of the limo and the coffee/minibar)

 

I think I would use a lot more of the items on that list. I don't know how MUCH I would use them though, which makes estimating their value a challenge. Here's what I think I would use:

 

  • Skip the lines and be personally escorted on and off the ship at the pier and at ports-of-call
  • Complimentary limousine service from pier to airport (for Garden Villa guests)
  • 24-hour trained and certified suite butler. From unpacking your suitcase to pouring your champagne our butlers are at your service
  • Concierge service to help you book dining, entertainment, shore excursions and more
  • Courtyard attendant to take care of all your cold towels, fresh fruit, and sun deck refreshment needs
  • White tablecloth in-suite dining
  • Evening turndown service
  • Haven Lounge
  • Haven Restaurant
  • Priority when reserving restaurants and entertainment
  • Exclusive access to The Haven Courtyard area with private pool, sundeck, hot tub and fitness area
  • Mobile phone that can be used throughout the ship (Available on Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Epic)
  • Distinctive platinum keycard
  • Sparkling wine, bottled water and fruit on embarkation day (For 2-Bedroom villa, Courtyard Penthouse, Spa Suite, and Penthouse only)
  • Mini-bar and deluxe coffee/espresso/cappuccino machine
  • Special Haven Menus
  • Grab and go breakfast items including parfaits, diced fruit in a martini glass, fresh pastries and gourmet meats
  • Treats delivered to your suite each evening
  • Invitations to an exclusive breakfast and lunch
  • Invitations to exclusive cocktail parties
  • Cocktail party with ship's officers
  • Bliss Collection by Norwegian pillow-top mattress
  • Fine linens, feather duvet and pillow menu
  • Plush bathrobes, slippers and oversized bath towels
  • Luxury bathroom products

Also, we are specifically looking at booking a Spa Suite which includes spa passes. So those are valued at $200 per person for the week. That one is easy to factor in!

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We are going on the Escape in July.  The upgrade fairy visited and I decided to bid on a Courtyard Penthouse.  We are traveling with friends and they decided to try for the same as well.  We will be happy with our Mini Suite, but I thought it would be nice to get the Haven upgrade because my DH loves perks!  If we win, it will be a surprise for him, I won't tell him until we are headed to the Haven lounge before boarding.  I bid what I was comfortable paying if we won.

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We have sailed several times in the Haven/suite and also in regular balcony cabins/mini-suite.  I am not sure if I have a specific dollar amount that I use.  I think it is more of when we want a more special vacation since we have done the Haven/suites when we have cruised in Europe, Hawaii and Alaska.  For the Caribbean, we have sailed in regular balcony cabins or mini-suites.  We do love the Haven though since it allows us access to the larger ships with better entertainment options, more restaurants, more activities etc. but also allows us more personal service.  Some of the things we like best about the Haven and adds value to us (this has been our experience and I am sure others' experience have varied):

  • Breakfast in the Haven restaurant - such a nice way to start the day with a wonderful breakfast served by the same staff every day in a relaxing environment.  French pressed coffee and a varied menu with great options.  Small buffet also available where you can get some fruit/pastries while you wait for your meal to be served.  So much nicer than the hectic buffet.  One morning we decided to just go to the buffet for a quicker breakfast but realized by the time you fight the crowds and get what you want from the various stations and then find a clean table and eat that we did not save any time.
  • Haven pool / sun deck - more comfortable padded lounges with space between them so that your lounge chair is not touching the one next to you.  No need to get out to the pool deck to get a good chair in the sun/shade before breakfast.  Can decide to go any time of the day knowing that you will find a good chair.
  • Having the butler serve you a nice lunch on your balcony upon returning from an excursion (pre-arranged) without having to shower/change first to eat in a restaurant or having to grab something at the buffet (we are just not fans of the buffet) or other quick serve location.
  • We enjoy the specialty restaurants and will go to them on several nights but it is also nice to have the Haven restaurants on those other nights instead of the main dining rooms.  Better service and nice atmosphere.
  • Afternoon snacks delivered to your room - always enjoy the surprise we get each afternoon that we pick on when getting ready for dinner.
  • Fresh flowers in our room - not sure if they still do this but we have previously had a fresh flower arrangement in our room upon embarkation which lasted all week.  I love flowers, so though definitely not a necessity, it was a nice touch that I appreciate.
  • Express disembarkation - Concierge can hold an elevator for Haven use and can escort you off the ship quickly at ports of call.  Nice perk when you need to meet at a specific time for an excursion. 
  • Concierge - having that direct point of contact for anything you need on the ship - questions, dinner reservations, show reservations etc. 
  • Pool towels - don't need to swipe card for towels or exchange them for a dry towel
  • Butler - some have been better than others but again it is nice to have that personal contact for anything you need.
  • Larger rooms - bigger bathrooms and closets.  Nice size balconies.  In our Epic 2 bedroom room, shower and tub with ocean views - wonderful experience
  • Reserved seating in the theater - we know the seats are not the best but they are good and we don't have to arrive at the theater 30+ minutes before the show to get good seats.  More time to enjoy other things!
  • Haven lounge - nice close place to meet up with the rest of your group when sailing with friends/family
  • Being escorted onto the ship by your butler and being able to make arrangements needed with the concierge instead of rushing around the ship to get that done.  Nice way to start the vacation.

Value is very individualized but these are the things we enjoyed.  I would and do cruise without it but do appreciate it when we choose to sail in the Haven.

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We generally take two or three holidays/vacations a year, only been on two cruises previously with another booked for three weeks time!  For us a cruise is already an expensive holiday/vacation, and with the price of cruising increasing I'd be more likely to look at downgrading from Balcony to Outside/Inside depending on itinerary rather than go into Haven.  Given Haven is roughly twice the price of a Balcony I'd only bid the absolute minimum for an upgrade, we have a great time on the ship already and would rather use that extra cash for another holiday/vacation than just an upgrade to a nice suite and a few extra amenities.

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Posted (edited)

After sailing Haven, we would never waste money for it again.  If you like the courtyard concept, there are other lines that provide a MUCH better version with their standard rooms.  Otherwise, you get access to a decent restaurant with a menu that never changes and that's about it.  Whoopie.  Total waste of money.  And that courtyard can very well be full of kids, loud as heck, and anything but relaxing.

 

If you want a little more upscale experience, just go with a solstice class Celebrity ship.  The whole ship is like the Haven, but way better.

 

Otherwise, just save your money.  Or spend a little bit more on specialty dining (better than Haven restaurant).

Edited by BNBR

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15 hours ago, brookie848 said:

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.

 

 

A $1000. increase on a $6000 cruise is almost a 20% increase. The cost of living is only going up 3% so that is a huge jump. Looked at the Bliss Haven prices which can run $700. per day. That's an awful lot of extra service. If I search hard I can find $350. per day Haven pricing. 

 

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6 hours ago, Pete's Girl said:

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.  

The Haven Escape is my absolute best ship.

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A price that feels right is a different threshold for everyone but with the Haven suites that don’t sellout, the price threshold is more than current or potential booked passengers are willing to pay.  As far as the actual experience being 4-5 *, ymmv. When travelers spend top dollar, their expectations can be harder to live up to.  When you think the product is a bargain it’s easier to overlook the fine points that might be off with the product.  Suite venue Food is typically a notch up but nothing omg worthy and sometimes whats available in the buffet or local is better. 

 

To me it’s more about the lack of hassle in the Haven.  When I cruise with my kids we’re all about enjoying the activities on the ship.  They don’t mind a pool area that’s crowded.  They wouldn’t want the Haven because they’re only in the room to sleep.  If husband and myself are cruising we prefer the Haven because it’s more relaxing, quiet and easy.  It’s nice to be in a comfortable place, sit on balcony/watch the sea, have a specialty meal delivered if we’re too tired from a long port day and have the dining venues, a hot tub..nearby.

 

Concierge and butler may or may not be of value but we’ve found them to be a big asset. The concierge is priceless if something goes wrong -for example an itinerary change, you get sick, want to change your excursions.  They’re connected to crew such as hotel director and able to fix issues if you have any.  A little easier than waiting in line at guest services.  I’ve heard of not so great concierges but we’ve only had one mediocre experience and the hotel director stepped up and made things right. 99% of the time you won’t need anything addressed but sure nice to have in case. 

 

Pricing - I am not willing to pay the crazy prices but when I see a relative bargain I’ll bite upfront and adjust my vacation budget for Haven.  We didn’t get a high bid accepted for Haven on the bliss last year for Alaska but we still had a blast and I did more spending in port, splurged on specialty dinners, spa, racetrack... For our med two week this fall the initial Haven rates were almost verging on reason so we booked one.  They were gobbled up pretty quick.  I think there’s enough keen shoppers around that when ncl offers up a great itinerary and prices almost within reason they are a great sellers.  

 

If a haven suite is almost in the budget id say go for it at least once.  We started sailing ncl in the Haven but have since had just as fantastic vacations in non Haven  including inside and ov.  I’m all about a decent deal.  If that’s an inside stateroom for next to nothing, I’m just as happy. 

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Looking at the lists of benefits people are posting and commenting on, I do want to add that

 

  • White tablecloth in-suite dining

also includes breakfast, which on port days when you need to get off the ship fairly quickly is fantastic.  (Just ignore the "white tablecloth" part of that particular benefit.)

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1 minute ago, LeesaB said:

Looking at the lists of benefits people are posting and commenting on, I do want to add that

 

  • White tablecloth in-suite dining

also includes breakfast, which on port days when you need to get off the ship fairly quickly is fantastic.  (Just ignore the "white tablecloth" part of that particular benefit.)

 

You can get room service with any class of cabin...

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7 minutes ago, BNBR said:

 

You can get room service with any class of cabin...

Sure, but you save 8 bucks each time you do it in The Haven... 😉

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3 hours ago, JennyB1977 said:

.

  • Evening turndown service

 

Isn't that included in every cabin on the ship?

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34 minutes ago, LeesaB said:

Sure, but you save 8 bucks each time you do it in The Haven... 😉

 

And pay $2000 more for the room.  What a deal!

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, BNBR said:

 

And pay $2000 more for the room.  What a deal!

LOL!!  I think it is more about a combination of perks that add up to deciding about Haven vs non-Haven.  I am sure nobody books to save the room service charge.  Room service is quite a bit nicer when your butler brings it then when you hang the overnight menu on the door...js

 

Edited by Nolanoel

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7 minutes ago, Nolanoel said:

 Room service is quite a bit nicer when your butler brings it then when you hang the overnight menu on the door...js

 

 

When we have ordered breakfast in suites we have hang the menu on the door. A butler brings it but except for that it's not a big difference.

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Its a good question?  How much?
It would depend on ship, type of room, and itinerary for me.  The Haven is very nice especially the service.  Its hard to put a figure on it but I agree with one poster who stated it was worth about $3k per person for a 7 night cruise.  I sailed in several Haven suites on different ships and always enjoyed it.  However, I do see how some think some about the Haven is over blown and is more about image than substance.  For example, I boarded the Epic in Miami with priority embarkation and the embarkation was running very smooth but the families with lots of kids in the Haven boarding lounge bogged down the process and people in regular cabins were just whizzing by us in the embarkation process.  Big deal?  Not really, just pointing that out.  The bottle of sparking "wine" is a nice $4.99 touch.  The larger cabin is nice to spread out in.  However especially with the newer ships where you can book shows and restaurants months in advance, do you really need a concierge?  If you are a good planner and book early, there is not a need for a concierge unless you want to change plans.  No free alcohol unless you are in a DOS or Garden Villa.  We usually skip the Haven cocktail party every time.  Its very stuffy and formal, just not our style.  We never use the courtyard swimming pool which I always refer to as the "rich kid swimming pool" since it seems the youngers diving for their toys seems to occupy the pool the most.  The Haven sundeck is really great especially Posh on Epic.  However unless you are Escape or Bliss there are no water features i.e. hot tub or plunge pool on the Haven sundeck.  The Haven restaurant is outstanding and the service is top notch.  Sometimes the staff learn your name by the second or third day.  The food is really good. Is it better than the MDR?  Yes.  Is the service better than the MDR?  Yes  But is it worth 4x the price of a balcony cabin?  It really depends on you.  I must say, one of the greatest perks is one that is rarely mentioned or over looked. Priority disembarkation.  After the week, everyone is depressed, bitter and almost angry the cruise has come to an end.  There are endless lines waiting to get off the ship.  They will escort you past everyone and get you to customs immediately.  LOVE IT every time!

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17 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

When we have ordered breakfast in suites we have hang the menu on the door. A butler brings it but except for that it's not a big difference.

Bummer! Try calling it in next time.  It's a difference with a good butler and a nice pot of French press coffee:)

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It is really the little things that add up to make the Haven so enjoyable. The free movies, the snacks in your room, the Restaurant Maitre’d remembering your name, the attentive service in the restaurant and throughout. I had a problem with my   internet minutes and I went to the Internet Cafe to fix it where I was faced with a line of 6 to 8 people ahead of me. Instead of waiting,  I went back to the Haven and asked the Concierge to take care of it and he did.  I remember on one of my non-Haven cruises waiting in hot weather to get back onto the ship. The NCL attendants came by and pulled the Haven people off the line and got them aboard. 

 

I believe that Norwegian wants their Haven guests to be as stress free a possible and they do a wonderful job of delivering. You can have a wonderful cruise not being in the Haven and I still do, but when I can swing the Haven, I’ll always take it. 

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On 5/16/2019 at 9:46 PM, Phaedrus78 said:

 

I'm with you on this one.  I wouldn't know what to do with a butler if I had one.

 

I'd honestly rather the Haven didn't exist at all.  Real estate on a cruise ship is severely limited, and I don't love the amount of space that is dedicated to only a few people.  That's just the socialist hippie in me talking, though.  

Me too, I couldn’t think of anything worse, I would have bad FOMO and people watching is a big part of cruising for me 😂😂😂 I always clean the room before the person comes in anyway 🙈😂

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@JennyB1977....thanks for the compilation.  Just one small correction, I’ve never run into anyone who has had their Butler pack or unpack for them.  I have heard some say the Butlers explain that there is liability in having them do that.  Just be aware that it probably shouldn’t be considered a function of the Butler.

 

I also heard someone had requested their Butler push their child in a stroller for them.  If I were a Butler and someone asked that of me, I’d flat deny them, regardless of the consequences.

 

Someone mentioned Celebrity as an alternative to NCL’s Haven.  I haven’t sailed in Celebrity’s Suite class, but know for a fact their regular cabin service comes nowhere remotely close to NCL’s Haven.

 

Last time I priced out Celebrity’s Haven equivalent, it was about $8K more per cabin.  

 

Just a head’s up.

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