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rattanchair

Observations from the Breakaway Haven

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We are home now from our June 9 Breakaway sailing. Getting off the ship is pretty good. Everyone in the Haven assembles in the Haven Lounge just prior to the ship being cleared by the port authorities. The concierges escorted us out and down the hidden service elevators that they used to speed us into the shows during the cruise. The luggage had not even been unloaded from the ship; and the Haven gold tagged luggage was the first off the ship. Another observation on our last evening on board the beautiful Breakaway.  Several evenings we found it difficult to stroll around the outside deck known as the Waterfront, due to windy conditions. That is a problem on any cruise ship. There are glass wind breakers that help a great deal. But last night was exceptionally calm and beautiful with a slight refreshing tropical breeze, absolutely a perfect evening to dine at one of the Waterfront Restaurants, especially 1/2 hour before sunset. We walked into Moderno and asked the hostess when the their Waterfront section would open for dinner. Her answer was "Sorry sir, the Waterfront section of Moderno will not open tonight, we have not enough help". Ocean Blue, Cagney's and  La Cucina were Waterfront open. Walking around and around and around deck  8 at this dinner hour you can get a 'feel' of the tropical ambience; and depending on which direction the ship is heading, two Waterfront  Restaurants can be found to be slightly more enjoyable than the other two Waterfront Restaurants. There are just so many nuances a devoted hedonist, like myself, is searching for on a cruise. Last night was absolutely perfect for Moderno and Ocean Blue side of the ship, and though Ocean Blue is thought to be the best restaurant on this ship by many CC posters, I shy away from seafood.

    Oh yes, 'effective April 1, 2019, a $18.00 USD service charge will be automatically added, per guest per day (for guests three years and older). These charges will be shared among those staff members, including the restaurant staff, stateroom stewards and other behind-the-scenes staff, who have provided services to enhance your overall cruise experience.'

   ' However, certain staff positions (e.g., beverage service, concierge, butler, and youth counselors) do not benefit from this shared charge because they provide service to only some guests, not all.' 

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On 6/15/2019 at 6:46 PM, NLH Arizona said:

I must pick the most boring cruises, because I've never experienced anything like some have seen.  The Haven Restaurant was very quiet, as was the lounge and the pool area.  

What dates do you cruise? I would absolutely love to experience the most boring cruise aboard the Breakaway. It is very similar to cruising in a suite on RCCL and having my experience diluted by all the NSPP (non suite pinnacle passengers), demanding the limited staff cater to them first.

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23 hours ago, tymike said:

IMHO, 

I'd rather have the OP's experience in the Haven than mine the second and last time I've sailed there.  

 

I endured a huge family (probably more than 20 people of all ages) take over the BA Haven .  Nerf balls flying, no tables available ever (even when the folks were in the pool forever but left their stuff on the tables), no hot tubs available ever and a concierge who told me that "when there's a large group on board there's really nothing we can do" in response to my comment/complaint to him.  That is code for "we cannot give you a good experience in the Haven because this group owns more rooms than you do for this week."

 

I loved my first Haven experience (on the 3rd sailing of the Breakaway) but I'll never do it again after the second time.  

 

The Haven is a total crap shoot in my experience.  It all depends on who else is booked during your cruise.

 

 

I have to cut and paste a copy of your post to remind myself I was not dreaming of my own Haven experience being diluted due to Haven guests lacking manners and staff afraid for their jobs.

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15 hours ago, david_sobe said:

Dinner and a show.  Sounds like you had good seats too.

Unfortunately.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, rattanchair said:

What dates do you cruise? I would absolutely love to experience the most boring cruise aboard the Breakaway. It is very similar to cruising in a suite on RCCL and having my experience diluted by all the NSPP (non suite pinnacle passengers), demanding the limited staff cater to them first.

Usually first week of December.

Edited by NLH Arizona

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44 minutes ago, rattanchair said:

I have to cut and paste a copy of your post to remind myself I was not dreaming of my own Haven experience being diluted due to Haven guests lacking manners and staff afraid for their jobs.

No dream...a waking nightmare!

I was so disappointed and the concierge was the same one that I had on my very first cruise (on the Dawn many years ago) so I was even more unhappy with his response.  On my first cruise the concierge was magic.  On the BA, he was nowhere and no good.  I know the ship is bigger but his job should be the same...to ensure guests are cared for and feel listened to.

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1 hour ago, rattanchair said:

I have to cut and paste a copy of your post to remind myself I was not dreaming of my own Haven experience being diluted due to Haven guests lacking manners and staff afraid for their jobs.

They have just opened the Haven bar and restaurant to everyone. Seriously.

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On 6/15/2019 at 9:29 AM, Shoppie124 said:

Just a thought but shouldn’t the staff have cut these women off long before they became falling down drunk?

Disconcerting and dangerous. 

I cannot believe that the maitre d' or another staff member did not step in - it doesn't matter if you were in the Haven or any restaurant venue. You are describing an unsafe and very disruptive situation which really takes away from your personal experience. 

Amy

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On 6/14/2019 at 5:02 PM, rattanchair said:

For what it is worth, I have another Breakaway observation. We just started this 'ship within a ship' concept of cruising. We thought we could spend all our time within The Haven, as within the Coastal Kitchen, the Luminae, the Retreat, or the Yacht Club. We started out with a big misconception with the NCL Haven when it comes to dining. NCL posters sold us a bill of goods when it comes to circumventing the limited, never changing Haven breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Several have posted Haven guests can order off Main or Specialty Restaurants menus and have them delivered to the Haven Restaurant for your dining pleasure.This we found to be untrue on this sailing, June 09. You can accomplish this, but delivery will only be through your butler and only to your cabin. Now who likes to dress up and eat dinner in their cabin? Yes, perhaps if you are sick, incapacitated, or quarantined. Then forget about people watching and catching a 'show'. So from the very start of your cruise be ever so adventurous and book all the Specialty Restaurant venues and the Manhattan Supper Club (when the dance band is playing). We missed all the Specialty venues this cruise (did not use our 3x specialty perk). You might as well, as we discovered that the Haven is not really as NCL is marketing it to be--it is exactly like the rest of the ship.

Different experiences on different ships - one poster got upset on another forum when I described a number of times that we have been able to pre-order or request things from other restaurants as they felt I (and other posters with similar experiences) was receiving special treatment. 

Today, on the Dawn, my son wanted something special from the garden cafe while we were in another restaurant venue. Our waiter asked permission from someone (? maitre d'). and about 10 minutes later my son was munching on his diner. Did not have to go to our cabin nor was it suggested. 

I am sorry you are not having the same experience, and am I truly sorry you are not loving your time in the Haven. 

Amy

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On 6/14/2019 at 3:52 PM, rattanchair said:

We are on the 6th day of our Breakaway Haven cruise in an aft penthouse H6 and have to say the ship is beautiful and generally immaculate, giving the crew a daily chance to clean up after a bunch of slob passengers. The only thing wrong with this ship are a few of its guests. The cabin is the best we have yet encountered at sea. The staff and crew are very friendly and accommodating, which should be expected. We could not find a better combination, especially in the Haven. Now I have to tell you about an incident that happened in the Haven Restaurant last evening. I have never seen such an incident in all our years of cruising. A threesome of ladies, about 50ish, were sitting at a table in the Haven Restaurant , drinking and not eating. The next thing I witnessed was 2 of the ladies carrying out their third party member in a manner I can only describe as seeing in a war movie like 'Saving Private Ryan'. The two of them on either side of the passed out compatriot dragging her out of the Haven 'war zone', her arms draped around their shoulders. The 2 remaining ladies returned a short time later to their original positions, continuing their libations. Only moments later I look up from my  grilled salmon entree and see that the second lady of the original threesome , had fallen out of her chair, and was lying on her back on the floor laughing hysterically. She refused to get up or except help from the staff. A fellow passenger got up from his meal and walked over to assist, but she refused his help as well. The third lady of the original threesome just sat in her chair and drank through the entire escapade.  The lady finally rolled over and resumed her original position in her chair at the table, grabbed her beer bottle and took a chug (no, she was not drinking out of a glass). By this time I was enjoying my chocolate layer cake, when the alerted ship personnel wisely sent in someone to stand, converse and chaperone the two ladies. Who would have guessed  that evening we would be treated to a dinner and a show.

Love your review of the grilled salmon and chocolate layer cake!! Couple a delicious meal with a side ‘or two’ of light entertainment and one proves to sleep more soundly in the haven.. lol

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12 hours ago, elwood_98034 said:

They have just opened the Haven bar and restaurant to everyone. Seriously.

Unbelievable. That has to be the answer for the atrocious behavior I witnessed. One can expect that from college students, but from 50 -somethings .  It is why I segregate myself with a ship within a ship, but to no avail on the Breakaway.

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12 hours ago, elwood_98034 said:

They have just opened the Haven bar and restaurant to everyone. Seriously.

 

The behavior of hoi polloi who pay to get into the Haven lounge and restaurant will probably be better than that of the Haven passengers, not worse.

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10 hours ago, amygutman said:

Disconcerting and dangerous. 

I cannot believe that the maitre d' or another staff member did not step in - it doesn't matter if you were in the Haven or any restaurant venue. You are describing an unsafe and very disruptive situation which really takes away from your personal experience. 

Amy

Dear Miss Amy,  The maitre d' and the waitress both went over to help. The women refused their assistance and preferred to lie on the floor laughing . They walked away and minutes later appeared a staff member I had not seen before in the Haven, who stood at their table conversing quietly.  We left and did not see these ladies in the Haven again.

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7 minutes ago, rattanchair said:

atrocious behavior I witnessed. One can expect that from college students, but from 50 -somethings .  It is why I segregate myself with a ship within a ship,

 

You get what you paid for, and it seems that you paid to be around drunks.

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There was a couple on our Haven Getaway cruise that was constantly fried.  The girlfriend fell off her stool at the bar more than once and was escorted by her boyfriend to the cabin "to sleep it off" several times.  Once, it was in the mid-afternoon.

With this new policy of non-Haven guests allowed in the restaurant/lounge, it will just add numbers to the problem, even if the percentage of drunks is the same.  Sad.

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3 minutes ago, kochleffel said:

 

The behavior of hoi polloi who pay to get into the Haven lounge and restaurant will probably be better than that of the Haven passengers, not worse.

I used to be a part of the hoi polloi in my youth. I like to think that my behavior improved as I have aged. I have new found respect for my peers as I age.  I believe it was Goethe that once said "Most people live lives of quiet desperation" and we go on these delightful cruises to escape our problems, just not at the expense of my fellow cruisers.

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We'll be on the June 20th sailing on the Breakaway doing an H6 for the first time.  We've been doing H5's previously, however with our Son now getting bigger we opted for more room.  A bit nervous about the distance from the Courtyard and Haven Lounge/Restaurant.  Have you found it inconvenient getting from aft to forward?

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1 hour ago, GA Dave said:

There was a couple on our Haven Getaway cruise that was constantly fried.  The girlfriend fell off her stool at the bar more than once and was escorted by her boyfriend to the cabin "to sleep it off" several times.  Once, it was in the mid-afternoon.

With this new policy of non-Haven guests allowed in the restaurant/lounge, it will just add numbers to the problem, even if the percentage of drunks is the same.  Sad.

Dave, what is the new policy you refer to?  I have not heard anything about this.

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4 minutes ago, Lupush said:

Dave, what is the new policy you refer to?  I have not heard anything about this.

 

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On 6/14/2019 at 3:52 PM, rattanchair said:

...The lady finally rolled over and resumed her original position in her chair at the table, grabbed her beer bottle and took a chug (no, she was not drinking out of a glass)...

 

For what it's worth, I prefer to drink my beer from a bottle and not a glass.  Apparently some judge others for that? Well, that's your problem.

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5 minutes ago, GA Dave said:

 

I believe this option is for Haven guests that book the "connecting room" categories on the newer ships (Bliss, Escape).  It gives them the opportunity to have their kids/guests have dinner with them in the Haven Restaurant if they desire.  

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Just now, Lupush said:

I believe this option is for Haven guests that book the "connecting room" categories on the newer ships (Bliss, Escape).  It gives them the opportunity to have their kids/guests have dinner with them in the Haven Restaurant if they desire.  

No, if you read the entire thread, they have added this as a specialty dining option on everyone's upcoming cruises, including insides, ocean views, balconies, etc., etc.  It already took effect on the Bliss on the 13th and someone onboard there in the Haven said she wound up having to wait for a table in the Haven restaurant for dinner and the people were lined up two deep at the bar after it took effect.

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1 minute ago, GA Dave said:

No, if you read the entire thread, they have added this as a specialty dining option on everyone's upcoming cruises, including insides, ocean views, balconies, etc., etc.  It already took effect on the Bliss on the 13th and someone onboard there in the Haven said she wound up having to wait for a table in the Haven restaurant for dinner and the people were lined up two deep at the bar after it took effect.

Ahh. I see.  Did not know that.  Thanks, Dave.

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