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jdmcmellon

Specialty Dining vs. Haven Restaurant

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We will be sailing the bliss in July to Alaska.  We would prefer to stick with the Haven restaurant so we don't have to make reservations or worry about eating at specific times.  We are also a family that eats out 4-5 times a week normally so specialty dining doesn't seem that big of a deal to us.  However, I am seeing tons of people post about the specialty restaurants and now am worried I might be missing out.  Is the specialty dining really worth having to be tied down to reservations? If we just stick to the haven restaurant will that be good enough?  First time on NCL........Thank you!

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Posted (edited)

I don't believe the Haven restaurant has a changing menu....same food all the time.  Why not switch it up with a MDR dinner every other day?  No reservations needed.

Edited by Sauer-kraut

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The Haven restaurant is just as good, if not better, than the specialties. The draw of the adding the specialty restaurants to your plan would be to give you some variety, as the Haven menu doesn’t change.

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For us,

the Haven Restaurant is good for 2 dinners. After that, we’re looking for alternate foods.

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I didn't realize they didn't have a rotating menu. The other cruises I have been on did.  Thank you all for the info.

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Although reservations ensure a specific time for the Specialty Restaurant - you can also be spontaneous & check availability at the time you are ready to eat.  As a Haven Guest, I believe the Concierge may be able to assist w/ Reservations for the Specialty Restaurants....

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Although the Haven dinner menu does not change, take a look at it and see if you and your family would find enough variety in it for the amount of days you are sailing.  The MDR does not compare at all to the Haven.  I would sooner eat the same thing in the Haven than eat the food in the MDR.  Also, understand that they can bring you any other food that is available on the ship to the Haven for dinner.  So, if you had your eye on some MDR entrée a particular night (or on all the MDR desserts lol) they could bring you that.  If you wanted an entrée from a specialty restaurant, they will bring you that, but you would have to pay whatever it would cost in the actual restaurant.  Also, the Haven restaurant will accommodate any request you have as long as it is something they can make.  One night I was craving a burger.  So they made me exactly what I asked for, a burger with swiss, sautéed mushrooms and onions and arugula lettuce.  Another night I wanted eggs benedict, and they were happy to accommodate that request.  I know this may come off as entitled or demanding, but you ARE paying a high premium for this perk.  

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When we were on Getaway, we loved dining in the Haven restaurant...food was awesome and matched by excellent service! It's so much more personal than the MDR..and they all knew our names by about the second day! We like to do the 3 specialty dining choice so we do get some variety...then we enjoy the Haven restaurant on the other nights..It feels like a good balance...So hope you really enjoy the Haven restaurant! 

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The Haven restaurant is amazing - not just the meals, but the service. They know your names, preferences and provide amazing service. Fantastic view as well.

 

In regards to the limited menu - they do offer a special most nights, and if you have a request...they will do their best to accommodate. You can order a option from any other restaurant (except sushi due to health codes) to be delivered to the Haven. 

 

I am a vegan and the vegetarian options are decidedly limited - every night we ate in the Haven, they made something unique for me and the chef personally came out to ensure I was enjoying my meals and talk to me about other things I would like to sample. 

 

The speciality restaurants are fantastic, but you will not go wrong if you plan on 50% of your suppers in the Haven. It's just heaven. 

 

Amy

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The concierge will try to help Haven guests make reservations for specialty restaurants if they request them once they get on board. But it’s still better to make those reservations in advance, because tables at the most popular specialty restaurants tend to book up once the voyage is underway (at least during peak dining hours).

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Must point out that I was on the Epic couple of weeks ago and the maitre'd refused to allowed me to get something from Shanghai delivered to the Haven restaurant. Instead he did say ask your butler to deliver it to my room instead but as it is a spa suite then there's not enough room to eat anything in it unless I wanted to eat in bed. 

 

Previously on the Breakaway the maitre'd bend over backwards and I had meals from other restaurants deliver so I think it all depends on the maitre'd at the time. 

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10 minutes ago, Yinster said:

Must point out that I was on the Epic couple of weeks ago and the maitre'd refused to allowed me to get something from Shanghai delivered to the Haven restaurant. Instead he did say ask your butler to deliver it to my room instead but as it is a spa suite then there's not enough room to eat anything in it unless I wanted to eat in bed. 

 

Previously on the Breakaway the maitre'd bend over backwards and I had meals from other restaurants deliver so I think it all depends on the maitre'd at the time. 

The only way is to name and shame the maitre'd

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1 minute ago, Ron the Rev said:

The only way is to name and shame the maitre'd

Funny thing was they had all the menus in the Haven so I was allowed to look at the menus but not order which I found strange. If that was the case you might as well put the menus in the concierge area. 

 

The maitre'd avoided us for the rest of the week until the last day. Apparently he will be going to Encore when it launches.

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On 5/24/2019 at 5:58 PM, BirdTravels said:

For us,

the Haven Restaurant is good for 2 dinners. After that, we’re looking for alternate foods.

Agreed, the HAVEN restaurant is great!  But after a few meals, you'll probably want to switch it up with some specialty restaurants. We normally do HAVEN, specialty, HAVEN, specialty, etc....

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1 hour ago, vamom76 said:

Agreed, the HAVEN restaurant is great!  But after a few meals, you'll probably want to switch it up with some specialty restaurants. We normally do HAVEN, specialty, HAVEN, specialty, etc....

Exactly how we did it and it was great!!

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Let your concierge get you into any restaurant on the ship.  All of my requests have always been accommodated.

 

Haven Restaurant is quite good, but I like having dinner elsewhere for a change of venue. 

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Also, some of the specialty restaurants like Teppanyaki are about the entertainment as much as the food.

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We just got off the Bliss today and I agree with other posters - the Haven restaurant service is amazing but we did break it up with some specialty restaurants.  We made reservations (and our concierge made some) but on two occasions we were hungry before our reservation and asked if we could be seated early.  They accommodated us both times we tried. 

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3 hours ago, trimom30 said:

We just got off the Bliss today and I agree with other posters - the Haven restaurant service is amazing but we did break it up with some specialty restaurants.  We made reservations (and our concierge made some) but on two occasions we were hungry before our reservation and asked if we could be seated early.  They accommodated us both times we tried. 

Sorry that this is off topic but I’ve heard 2 different answers, so I’m wondering if you would mind being the tie breaker-

 

were there lines to get back onboard in the ports? If so, was there a Haven priority line?

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58 minutes ago, AtlantaAlly said:

Sorry that this is off topic but I’ve heard 2 different answers, so I’m wondering if you would mind being the tie breaker-

 

were there lines to get back onboard in the ports? If so, was there a Haven priority line?

Sometimes there are lines. However, if it is crowded, Haven passengers can usually get priority boarding within 2 hrs of departure. When we were in Grand Cayman (a tender port), a Haven representative was shoreside and escorted us past the line and onto the tender.

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Flourisgirl...we were were in the Haven the Getaway, it was nice that they took us down the back private elevator to join our shore excursions...I also liked that they did the same to get us to our different shoes and into the seats reserved for Haven guests...Those were nice touches!!!! Can't remember about getting back on the ship, but I think they had an entrance for the Haven guests...Just makes it hard to think about doing a different category since those perks were so special! 

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2 hours ago, AtlantaAlly said:

Sorry that this is off topic but I’ve heard 2 different answers, so I’m wondering if you would mind being the tie breaker-

 

were there lines to get back onboard in the ports? If so, was there a Haven priority line?

 

On the day we left, we were being escorted off by the concierge and someone made the comment about needing a priority line after shore excursions and that’s when we were told about the 2 hr prior to departure line that FLcruisergrl mentioned. We never saw/used it but we also didn’t have to wait long when getting back on the ship. 

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Seems like we have two topics.  

 

My experience on the Breakaway Haven was that we got escorted off the ship but I always just made my own way back on.  There weren't crowds and I never really noticed if there was "special" treatment available.  And I'm big on being special.  🙂

 

On the Breakaway, we found my usual favorite, Cagney's, to be disappointing.  And the steak/service in the Haven Restaurant to be excellent.  So, doing it again in the Haven if that ever happens, I would skip Cagney's as a specialty restaurant but go to say Teppanyaki (always fun) and/or other specialty restaurants for dinner variety since the Haven menu doesn't change except for a couple daily specials.  

 

Enjoy your cruise.

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Do you have a specialty restaurant package?  Most Haven guests will get all the offers, so not sure.  If you do, it mixes up with the Haven restaurant nicely,,,, few meals out in the specialty restaurants and then break it up with the Haven.  Oddly enough, Cagneys probably most follows the Haven menu, so if there was a choice, skip that restaurant or you will be saying that it is “Better in the Haven”.  That would have been good advice before we did that.  And we love Cagneys. 

 

Be be sure to enjoy breakfast in the Haven restaurant.  Our favorites were the French press coffee and the seafood Benedict.

 

Have a fun trip

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On 5/26/2019 at 12:03 PM, sargemrs said:

Exactly how we did it and it was great!!

This is what we have done, except we have a tradition of starting each cruise at Cagneys.

 

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