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Haven Access for non-Haven Guests - Thoughts?

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On 6/16/2019 at 2:30 PM, elwood_98034 said:

Variations of this are popping up all over the YouTube travel agents' channels:

 

"NCL has just opened up the Haven. Anyone on the ship can use its bar and restaurant now. They are advertising it on their website. You can save big $ by not booking the Haven. Just get a standard cabin, and head on up and join the fun. It will be especially good on viewing days as the Haven has THE best views! Burn up that free drink credit in the poshest bar on the ship hanging out with the Gucci crowd, and watch the glaciers slide by."

 

Some of the channels have had as many as a million views in the past.

Dear El,  Just love your posts. On Breakaway last week, no Gucci loafers, just bare feet and shorts. The best dressed were found in the Manhattan Supper Club. We both regret not having booked that venue instead of the Haven Restaurant,  and not because of the food.

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On 6/16/2019 at 3:26 PM, elwood_98034 said:

We are trying to decide on a 21 day Panama Canal or maybe a trans-Atlantic. Those big Royal Caribbean ships are amazing though. We could have got a suite on one out of Miami for what we have paid for our two bedroom Haven.

My sister did a 3 week LA to Sydney a couple of years ago and loved it. I must ask her who they went with. That would be awesome, cruise over, look around and fly back. Nice.

Just watch out for those Pinnacles if you decide on a suite.

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On 6/16/2019 at 5:31 PM, Bigbluegal said:

We stay in the Haven but often eat in the other dining areas for the variety of the menu.  The Haven menu stays the same and gets old during a week long stay.  They will accommodate things not on the menu but it would be nice if the menu had more daily changes.

Dear Big,  Like WHAT will they accommodate not on the menu? We were on Breakaway last week and they refused to bring us anything not on the Haven Menu. Yes, anything on the menu could be cooked to order. A $ 50 tip did not change things. Do not tell us your fairy tales ! I will give you and Miss Amy the benefit of the doubt and the NCL policy on the Breakaway Haven has changed since you were on board as well. We had to pre-order at lunchtime for dinner and because we pre-ordered it would take our service longer (for no salt request) each evening. Not that we had anywhere special to go, mind you, but by the end of the cruise we started to order straight from the menu, salt and all.

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I received the email from Ms. Ewart as well!  I sent her a very strongly worded, but courteous, email last night.  I am very glad they saw the light!  So looking forward to my next Haven!!

F264BD8F-D2E7-4484-AC68-CE03F9F6E4F1.png

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32 minutes ago, GA Dave said:

I received the email from Ms. Ewart as well!  I sent her a very strongly worded, but courteous, email last night.  I am very glad they saw the light!  So looking forward to my next Haven!!

F264BD8F-D2E7-4484-AC68-CE03F9F6E4F1.png

Thanks, Dave.  Experiment was short lived!

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41 minutes ago, rattanchair said:

Dear Big,  Like WHAT will they accommodate not on the menu? We were on Breakaway last week and they refused to bring us anything not on the Haven Menu. Yes, anything on the menu could be cooked to order. A $ 50 tip did not change things. Do not tell us your fairy tales ! I will give you and Miss Amy the benefit of the doubt and the NCL policy on the Breakaway Haven has changed since you were on board as well. We had to pre-order at lunchtime for dinner and because we pre-ordered it would take our service longer (for no salt request) each evening. Not that we had anywhere special to go, mind you, but by the end of the cruise we started to order straight from the menu, salt and all.

Yes, they will (at least the did for me) on my December Breakaway cruise.  The Concierge came into La Cucina while I was there and in my ordering, I asked if the restaurant could make spaghetti bolognese, which they had taken off the new menus, for me and the server said no.  The next day as I entered The Haven for lunch, the Concierge told me that the Chef had spaghetti bolognese (I'm guessing he got it from the MDR, since they serve it for dinner) for me to have with the restaurant's breaded veal.  It took a little longer, but it was delish.  The Chef came out and said if there was anything else I wanted to just let them know and he would take care of me.  It might have changed since December, but when I was onboard, they were very accommodating.    

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, ceilidh1 said:

Question 1 for Haven veterans (my first Haven experience is coming up end of September and I've paid a small fortune upfront for it). How do the powers that be KNOW that you are a legitimate Haven guest? I understand the concept of needing to scan your card for entry, but say you are traveling with non-Haven folks and you all go up together on the first day. The Haven person scans the card, all of the group walk in....how does anyone in the Haven area know that some are not legitimate Haven people??

 

Question 2 - if this non-Haven folk dining takes off, what will this mean for actual Haven people? Can we make reservations for the Haven restaurant? I had thought that we just show up whenever and get seated whenever, since it's an exclusive restaurant? If they are taking actual reservations for those willing to pay $50 then does that "trump" those of us that have "complimentary" access? If I have to reserve a specific time then I just as well go eat in Taste/Savor!

 

Question 3 - has anyone yet been on a sailing where this is already in place and has seen any negative consequences?

Dear Ceil,  I can only speak about our experience aboard the Breakaway last week. We slipped our card into the entry door and walked down the corridor to two waiting concierges on our left at their desks and computers. The gentleman was Roy Pelegrino  who asked to see our cards and checked us in. He directed us to the restaurant which was located to the right around the lounge bar, where the hostess was waiting, again asking for our key card and she swiped us in for lunch.

    We never had a wait, but we dine at 6:15 every evening and I told them of this request. At dinner the maitre d' came over and introduced himself and was startled when we told him we would be dining every evening in the Haven and not take advantage of the free package 3x specialty we had as a perk. As you already know this is a mistake on our part. You will not have the same waiter each night in the Haven. Something similar to RCCL. So I wound up tipping the four I recognized the last evening's dinner. Do, please take advantage of the specialty restaurants, we did not. We had a marvelous time out of desperation one evening at the Manhattan Supper Club when the band was playing. We ordered 3 desserts to share and for a $5 tip the waiter could not do enough for us the rest of the evening.

    We cancelled our cruise on RCCL Symphony and lost $500 non refundable deposit because of something similar To this new NCL policy. Although, we were treated ever so nicely ($50 tip to the maitre d' on the first day I am sure helped), it did not get us the off the Haven menu specialty restaurant meals in the Haven. We were affected by the RCCL policy on the Allure recently, of allowing non-suite pinnacle passengers into suite venues that did affect us adversely. Thus our decision to cancel the Symphony. The Breakaway is beautiful, but we will not be back until you all report that NCL rescinds this new policy in the  really fabulous Haven.

   

Edited by rattanchair
spacing of words

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6 minutes ago, rattanchair said:

Dear Ceil,  I can only speak about our experience aboard the Breakaway last week. We slipped our card into the entry door and walked down the corridor to two waiting concierges on our left at their desks and computers. The gentleman was Roy Pelegrino  who asked to see our cards and checked us in. He directed us to the restaurant which was located to the right around the lounge bar, where the hostess was waiting, again asking for our key card and she swiped us in for lunch.

    We never had a wait, but we dine at 6:15 every evening and I told them of this request. At dinner the maitre d' came over and introduced himself and was startled when we told him we would be dining every evening in the Haven and not take advantage of the free package 3x specialty we had as a perk. As you already know this is a mistake on our part. You will not have the same waiter each night in the Haven. Something similar to RCCL. So I wound up tipping the four I recognized the last evening's dinner. Do, please take advantage of the specialty restaurants, we did not. We had a marvelous time out of desperation one evening at the Manhattan Supper Club when the band was playing. We ordered 3 desserts to share and for a $5 tip the waiter could not do enough for us the rest of the evening.

    We cancelled our cruise on RCCL Symphony and lost $500 non refundable deposit because of something similar To this new NCL policy. Although, we were treated ever so nicely ($50 tip to the maitre d' on the first day I am sure helped), it did not get us the off the Haven menu specialty restaurant meals in the Haven. We were affected by the RCCL policy on the Allure recently, of allowing non-suite pinnacle passengers into suite venues that did affect us adversely. Thus our decision to cancel the Symphony. The Breakaway is beautiful, but we will not be back until you all report that NCL rescinds this new policy in the  really fabulous Haven.

   

We are committed to providing exceptional experiences across our fleet for every type of traveler.  As such, we test a variety of opportunities to expand our offerings.  Recently, we explored making an extremely limited number of reservations for The Haven restaurant available to non-Haven guests. Given that this test has not been well received, we will continue to preserve The Haven experience exclusively for our Haven guests. With over 30 restaurants and lounges available across the fleet, serving a variety of delicious cuisines, we are confident our guests will have a satisfying culinary experience on board.

From NCL

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Posted (edited)

My agent received this response from NCL today after sending a rather stern email to the big wigs sharing that he was pulling all his clients over to MSC yacht club.  

 

I’m curious if it’s true and the offer will be pulled off the menu choices for dining! 

 

We are committed to providing exceptional experiences across our fleet for every type of traveler.  As such, we test a variety of opportunities to expand our offerings.  Recently, we explored making an extremely limited number of reservations for The Haven restaurant available to non-Haven guests. Given that this test has not been well received, we will continue to preserve The Haven experience exclusively for our Haven guests. With over 30 restaurants and lounges available across the fleet, serving a variety of delicious cuisines, we are confident our guests will have a satisfying culinary experience on board.
 

 

 

Edited by Dgius
Typo

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1 hour ago, rattanchair said:

Dear Big,  Like WHAT will they accommodate not on the menu? We were on Breakaway last week and they refused to bring us anything not on the Haven Menu. Yes, anything on the menu could be cooked to order. A $ 50 tip did not change things. Do not tell us your fairy tales ! I will give you and Miss Amy the benefit of the doubt and the NCL policy on the Breakaway Haven has changed since you were on board as well. We had to pre-order at lunchtime for dinner and because we pre-ordered it would take our service longer (for no salt request) each evening. Not that we had anywhere special to go, mind you, but by the end of the cruise we started to order straight from the menu, salt and all.

We were on the Bliss not the Breakaway....but some examples would be....we had a gentleman in our party who had to have sugarfree ice cream.  While they didn't serve that in the Haven it was provided for him from the garden café.  My mother also requested grill cheese and fries on one evening as we do not eat seafood and she was not willing to try some of the other items that others might see as cuisine.  They brought up pizza one night as well.  We were also offered any of the menu items from the other dining areas(not specialty).  We would trade lamb for soup beans and cornbread any day of the week but we had to wait to get back home for those.  

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2 hours ago, rattanchair said:

Dear El,  Just love your posts. On Breakaway last week, no Gucci loafers, just bare feet and shorts. The best dressed were found in the Manhattan Supper Club. We both regret not having booked that venue instead of the Haven Restaurant,  and not because of the food.

I blasted it all over the YouTube travel agent channels. I have had a number of them contact me earlier this morning. It took them by surprise as well. I wonder how much people like me screaming in outrage made them change their mind, and how much it was the travel agents phoning them. Mostly the latter, I expect.

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On 6/15/2019 at 2:57 PM, zqvol said:

Seems easy to control. Just put a host stand at the entrance to the Haven. If you are not a Haven guest or on the reservation list you don't get in. As long as you limit the number of guests and the hours it is no big deal.

 

As an aside this tells me that the Haven concept is not doing as well as they hoped

Actually, this indicates Haven guests are eating elsewhere, tables are empty so NCL is willing to move other guests in to fill the seats. At $50pp some will try it as a way to peak inside the Haven. NCL has a pretty low cost additional revenue stream. And may convince some to book the Haven in the future. I don't see spending $50 for dinner on a cruise, unless my partner lobbies for it then I can see giving in to that request.  

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1 hour ago, Dgius said:

My agent received this response from NCL today after sending a rather stern email to the big wigs sharing that he was pulling all his clients over to MSC yacht club.  

 

I’m curious if it’s true and the offer will be pulled off the menu choices for dining! 

 

We are committed to providing exceptional experiences across our fleet for every type of traveler.  As such, we test a variety of opportunities to expand our offerings.  Recently, we explored making an extremely limited number of reservations for The Haven restaurant available to non-Haven guests. Given that this test has not been well received, we will continue to preserve The Haven experience exclusively for our Haven guests. With over 30 restaurants and lounges available across the fleet, serving a variety of delicious cuisines, we are confident our guests will have a satisfying culinary experience on board.
 

 

 

Who is your agent? I wonder if it was one of the ones I contacted.

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1 hour ago, elwood_98034 said:

Who is your agent? I wonder if it was one of the ones I contacted.

Please let this not be just a rumor. Please let it be written in stone. Big big big bucks are paid for the pleasures of the Haven

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We were on the Bliss not the Breakaway....but some examples would be....we had a gentleman in our party who had to have sugarfree ice cream.  While they didn't serve that in the Haven it was provided for him from the garden café.  My mother also requested grill cheese and fries on one evening as we do not eat seafood and she was not willing to try some of the other items that others might see as cuisine.  They brought up pizza one night as well.  We were also offered any of the menu items from the other dining areas(not specialty).  We would trade lamb for soup beans and cornbread any day of the week but we had to wait to get back home for those.  
Wait, you pay all those big bucks so your mother can eat grilled cheese and pizza up there in the haven?

I thought the hoi poloi were dining on caviar and lobster up there.

Just another reason I won't be wasting my money on haven suites or passes.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

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4 hours ago, Bigbluegal said:

We were on the Bliss not the Breakaway....but some examples would be....we had a gentleman in our party who had to have sugarfree ice cream.  While they didn't serve that in the Haven it was provided for him from the garden café.  My mother also requested grill cheese and fries on one evening as we do not eat seafood and she was not willing to try some of the other items that others might see as cuisine.  They brought up pizza one night as well.  We were also offered any of the menu items from the other dining areas(not specialty).  We would trade lamb for soup beans and cornbread any day of the week but we had to wait to get back home for those.  

Glad to hear about everyone's different experiences - 

I bumped into a few folks today on the Dawn that I recognized from a past Haven sailing - they are avid CC stalkers but not frequent posters (shout out to Joanne (sp?) or Jacklyn (sp?) from NY 🙌. They noted about a 50% success rate with special requests - different boats, different Havens, different concierge. The one thing they confirmed was a 100% denial rate for the sushi restaurant. 

Interesting too: they said on their last cruise on the Escape (last Nov) their friends were unable to get a meal from another restaurant ordered at the Haven, so either the butler or concierge got them a free meal credit at Le Bistro for another night. Granted - I am getting the tale 2nd hand, but still good info. 

Now...most importantly...cornbread...where can I get cornbread on the Dawn?????

Amy

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23 hours ago, AtlantaAlly said:

The bliss horizon lounge has mini m&m, gummy bears, peanut m&m, fruits, pastries (chocolate croissants, raspberry chocolate croissant puffs, sweet biscuits with frosting drizzle) as well as a few breads/pound cakes- pistachio pound cake, walnut bread, strawberry pound cake, muffins, and yogurts a few other items that are kept refreshed next to the espresso/cappuccino machine all day.

I wasn't sure which ship elwood was on but you are right, the newest couple ships have more things to snack on in those forward lounges than the rest of the havens in the fleet.

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5 hours ago, Ron the Rev said:

Please let this not be just a rumor. Please let it be written in stone. Big big big bucks are paid for the pleasures of the Haven

 

It was posted on the NCL Facebook page by the SVP of client services, or something like that. It's been emailed by NCL to hundreds of people. The bookings have been removed from the website. What else do you need?

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11 hours ago, Norwegian Cruise Line said:

We are committed to providing exceptional experiences across our fleet for every type of traveler.  As such, we test a variety of opportunities to expand our offerings.  Recently, we explored making an extremely limited number of reservations for The Haven restaurant available to non-Haven guests. Given that this test has not been well received, we will continue to preserve The Haven experience exclusively for our Haven guests. With over 30 restaurants and lounges available across the fleet, serving a variety of delicious cuisines, we are confident our guests will have a satisfying culinary experience on board.

 

5 hours ago, Ron the Rev said:

Please let this not be just a rumor. Please let it be written in stone. Big big big bucks are paid for the pleasures of the Haven

NCL actually posted in this thread, so I think you can consider that it's written in stone!

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7 hours ago, elwood_98034 said:

I blasted it all over the YouTube travel agent channels. I have had a number of them contact me earlier this morning. It took them by surprise as well. I wonder how much people like me screaming in outrage made them change their mind, and how much it was the travel agents phoning them. Mostly the latter, I expect.

Also don't underestimate the power of Cruise Critic.  This thread has had almost 13,000 views since Saturday night and over 300 replies (compare that to other topics on the NCL forum.) It'd been highlighted as a hot topic due to activity until NCL reversed the policy. NCL actually posted in this thread.  

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I actually think NCL had an inkling of the reaction to their "experiment" but not sure they knew just how strong the objections would be.  I'm glad it was knocked out before it really had time to take hold.  For me, it's unlikely I'll ever cruise in the Haven but, that doesn't mean I won't voice my opinion if I see something that's just not right. 

 

Cheers

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Its a fallacy that the Haven restaurant never gets crowded.  In 2013 on the last sea day, we were told a 45 minute wait to get a table.  It was so busy that several members of the Haven staff had to cancel their performances that evening in the crew talent show.  To add additional guests makes no sense.

Boy NCL sure finds clever ways to increase revenue at all costs.

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10 hours ago, GA Dave said:

I received the email from Ms. Ewart as well!  I sent her a very strongly worded, but courteous, email last night.  I am very glad they saw the light!  So looking forward to my next Haven!!

F264BD8F-D2E7-4484-AC68-CE03F9F6E4F1.png

Thanks so much for posting - 

 

It's a similar situation as if you were to sell only 80 passes to vibe, but then have the ability for anyone to pay a fee to have vibe access for a day - definitely makes the experience less special, and more crowded. 

 

And honestly, reading the forum, there is so much of the "those staying in the Haven are entitles A--holes"...it's unnecessary and untrue. Yes - those staying there pay a lot more than the average cruiser, even those who get awesome deals in upsells. There is a reason...and that is to have a special, less-crowded, less-noisy, easily navigated and personalized experience. Is it worth it for everyone - of course not. But if those staying in the Haven are spending thousands of dollars more than the average cruisers then it's not unreasonable to expect that the "Haven product" continue to be specifically for those who purchase the product. If $50 / meal got me access to the Haven for the entire day, then heck yeah - I'd rather pay $600 for the week than $1500-$2000. 

 

I'm loving, loving, loving the Dawn this week - the suite life without the Haven. That being said, I miss not having a small, uncrowded, private pool and deck area to watch my kiddo enjoy himself. We've had zero pool time other than a sunrise hot tub dip - way, way to crowded in both the adult and kids area. 

 

Amy

 

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4 hours ago, amygutman said:

Glad to hear about everyone's different experiences - 

I bumped into a few folks today on the Dawn that I recognized from a past Haven sailing - they are avid CC stalkers but not frequent posters (shout out to Joanne (sp?) or Jacklyn (sp?) from NY 🙌. They noted about a 50% success rate with special requests - different boats, different Havens, different concierge. The one thing they confirmed was a 100% denial rate for the sushi restaurant. 

Interesting too: they said on their last cruise on the Escape (last Nov) their friends were unable to get a meal from another restaurant ordered at the Haven, so either the butler or concierge got them a free meal credit at Le Bistro for another night. Granted - I am getting the tale 2nd hand, but still good info. 

Now...most importantly...cornbread...where can I get cornbread on the Dawn?????

Amy

Not sure about Dawn but you can get cornbread on the Bliss at Q but it is quite different than what we make at home.

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