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tomservo

Is the Haven worth the premium in Alaska? (Bliss/Joy)

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I would like to do one of the NCL Alaska itineraries on a ship with an Observation lounge (currently Bliss/Joy). For those who have done this in the Haven, did you feel it was worth the premium? The Haven upcharge for Alaska seems much higher than normal, I guess for good reason. One immediate advantage I can think of is the dedicated Observation Lounge.

 

Another related question - if you stayed in one of the aft suites, was that worth the premium? The H6’s in Alaska are also much more expensive than normal. I guess the big aft balcony is good for glacier/animal watching?

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The Haven is worth. Every. Penny. If you can afford it, do it. We don't sail any other way.

 

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Stayed on Bliss in Haven Penthouse. Worth every penny to us for the last five or six cruises. I like to only stay in the courtyard area near everything and less walking to restaurant and lounge. We are not aft balcony fans for our own taste. Love the separate area and the Horizon Observation lounge is definitely a plus. 

 

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Thanks for the responses so far. Are you guys referring to the Haven in general? I’m wondering about Alaska specifically. I’ve sailed in the Haven to Bermuda, so I’m familiar with the product, just wondering if people feel it’s worth the premium specifically in Alaska. Can you guys elaborate on the advantages of staying in the Haven for an Alaska cruise?

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I would spend the money saved by not staying in the Haven for some great shore tours.  They are very expensive.  Haven was wonderful but a mini-suite is not bad.

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1 hour ago, tomservo said:

I would like to do one of the NCL Alaska itineraries on a ship with an Observation lounge (currently Bliss/Joy). For those who have done this in the Haven, did you feel it was worth the premium? The Haven upcharge for Alaska seems much higher than normal, I guess for good reason. One immediate advantage I can think of is the dedicated Observation Lounge.

 

Another related question - if you stayed in one of the aft suites, was that worth the premium? The H6’s in Alaska are also much more expensive than normal. I guess the big aft balcony is good for glacier/animal watching?

 

If you are going to spend that much you really should consider Regent or Silversea for AK. The Haven is definitely not worth the upcharge!

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Joy Alaska cruises for 4 in the Haven start at 7k, not sure what those 2 start at. I also have kids, so that’s another consideration. 

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We had an aft suite on our cruise to Alaska ( was not NCL ) and I loved being able to sit on the balcony while cruising.   The day cruising Glacier Bay was especially spectacular.   We cruised in early June and I was comfortable on the balcony using a blanket.  

 

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1 hour ago, luv2c00k said:

We had an aft suite on our cruise to Alaska ( was not NCL ) and I loved being able to sit on the balcony while cruising.   The day cruising Glacier Bay was especially spectacular.   We cruised in early June and I was comfortable on the balcony using a blanket.  

 

 

Thanks! This is the kind of insight I’m looking for.

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5 minutes ago, tomservo said:

 

Thanks! This is the kind of insight I’m looking for.

 

If you can manage an aft suite I would highly recommend it.   Pictures were taken from our balcony.

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I sailed on Bliss in a studio. I was able to find a spot in the observation lounge frequently, but several of those instances was me squeezing in smaller spaces. I don't know about glacier viewing as I did about half up on top and the other half up on the bow they opened up. I was in the "observation lounge" while I ate breakfast (ie garden cafe that's above it and looking out the same windows) and frankly I went back to my room to grab a jacket because I didn't want the obstruction of the windows.

But the haven sun deck might have less crowded top deck viewing?

Btw they rotate at the big glaciers so the aft wouldn't have glacier views 100% of the time, though more than a regular balcony.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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13 minutes ago, luv2c00k said:

If you can manage an aft suite I would highly recommend it.   Pictures were taken from our balcony.

 

Gorgeous views! What time of year did you sail?

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3 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

I went back to my room to grab a jacket because I didn't want the obstruction of the windows.

 

That’s one of the things I’m worried about, that viewing the glaciers in the Observation lounge wouldn’t be as good as being outside. 

 

4 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

But the haven sun deck might have less crowded top deck viewing?

Good point, I didn’t even think about that as an option. Perhaps the hot tubs on the sun deck would make for good glacier watching if it’s not too cold! 😆

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Good point, I didn’t even think about that as an option. Perhaps the hot tubs on the sun deck would make for good glacier watching if it’s not too cold! 

The very first sailing in May was gorgeous so hot tub totally would have worked. Being a Florida girl I was a little skeptical of low 60s, but after a bit of time on deck I realized I could have rocked the hot tub during the viewing. Didn't want to miss any glacier viewing so I stuck it out and then later in the afternoon enjoyed the last part of the sail out of glacier bay from a hot tub back in spice.

 

Fwiw I didn't find the top and bow ridiculously crowded. I found a railing (ie front row) often. It might have been because it was sunny so it was split between bow, top deck, waterfront, and observation lounge. Crappier weather could drive everyone to waterfront or observation.

 

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, tomservo said:

Thanks for the responses so far. Are you guys referring to the Haven in general? I’m wondering about Alaska specifically. I’ve sailed in the Haven to Bermuda, so I’m familiar with the product, just wondering if people feel it’s worth the premium specifically in Alaska. Can you guys elaborate on the advantages of staying in the Haven for an Alaska cruise?

 

Unlike your Bermuda cruise seeing open ocean/sea -

Alaska is except for maybe one SEA day always filled with land glaciers mountains fjords sea life ports of call

always photo opts at every turn of the ships wheel.

 

Comparisons are the difference between open ocean cruising and coastal cruising with multiple port calls.

 

Being in the HAVEN offers escape from the crowds and perhaps better viewing of the sights with limited

fighting with sabre selfie sticks encroaching every photo opt.

 

View the HAVEN as being far from the maddening crowd especially on the L-A-R-G-E ships.

 

Advantage HAVEN (and suites) with priority disembarking to make the best use of limited port/shore excursion time.

 

Yes you pay a premium to have this service and amenities !

Is it worth it - your judgment call to make !

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7 hours ago, zqvol said:

 

If you are going to spend that much you really should consider Regent or Silversea for AK. The Haven is definitely not worth the upcharge!

 

When you, or someone else, post this advice I always look at the options because I'm seriously interested in the more luxurious lines.

 

This is the first time I find that the advice seems correct when it comes to the price! The price I could find for Bliss in July 2020 was around $13000 for the cheapest suite. Both Regent and Silversea had cabins for around $11000.

 

My answer to the OP still is that if you shall cruise on NCL the premium for the Haven is worth it.

 

(If it doesn't have to be NCL, maybe Regent or Silversea can be an option.)

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6 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

When you, or someone else, post this advice I always look at the options because I'm seriously interested in the more luxurious lines.

 

This is the first time I find that the advice seems correct when it comes to the price! The price I could find for Bliss in July 2020 was around $13000 for the cheapest suite. Both Regent and Silversea had cabins for around $11000.

 

My answer to the OP still is that if you shall cruise on NCL the premium for the Haven is worth it.

 

(If it doesn't have to be NCL, maybe Regent or Silversea can be an option.)

 

Remember that the price on the luxury lines is generally all in, including gratuities and alcohol, which can add a nice additional cost to a mass market line.

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I don’t sail in the Haven if the fare (for 2) is above $5K.  Alaska may be more, as I’ve not looked at the Haven fares for Alaska.  May be worth it just to have the concierge and butler tend to you as you may be spending more time in your cabin/balcony looking at the beautiful scenery.

 

From purely a Haven perspective, I’ve yet been able to beat the service and pampering the Haven offers.  That said, I’ve only sailed the Haven and the Yacht Club (MSC).  Not sure about the boutique cruises when comparing like for like itineraries.  I know every time I’ve looked at Regent or Silverseas cruises, they were significantly more expensive than the Haven.

 

Every time I’ve booked the Haven, all the “perks” were included, too (drinks, specialty dining, etc).  The Haven also has come with significant OBC, too.

 

If you can swing the Haven, I wouldn’t hesitate.

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One benefit that is often offered is priority escort off at ports (or priority tenders), so that can save you some time/hassle. 

 

We haven't sailed to Alaska, but have sailed Haven in the Caribbean.

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A bit not answering your question, but are you REALLY interested in one of the observation decks?  We're (also a family of 4) sailing the Jewel in a 2br (non-haven) suite for significantly less than the Haven costs.  We still get priority embarkation/disembarcation, butler & concierge service, and suite breakfast and lunch.  We just don't have access to the little Haven pool or private sun deck.  But we'll have a nice balcony, Spinnaker Lounge for indoor observations, the top decks for all-over viewing, or the promenade for lower viewing angles.

 

For such a port-intensive itinerary where the real show is Alaska, this is the best of both worlds for us.

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We did the Jewel in Alaska, in an SE - knowing from previous posts here that they open the haven to non Haven suite guests on Hubbard and Glacier Bay days.  Both days were cold and windy in the Haven sundeck (and there is no indoor area in that haven where you can see anything outside), so after a quick stop to grab a hot alcoholic beverage and some complimentary blankets, we went back to our aft suite and had much more comfortable viewing.  Also, while they do rotate the ship, the aft gets the most time with direct views of the glaciers.  So I would 100% say you should spring for aft in Alaska.

 

As for Haven - on the Jewel class ships, I would say, not worth it (you get all of the same perks as Haven in a suite, just not access to the Courtyard, which is so not worth it on Jewel class).  On Bliss or Joy though, I would probably spring for it.  The Haven public spaces are larger and you will be able to use it rain, shine, heat, or cold.  Any of the public spaces will be MOBBED on glacier viewing days, so you would have to fight through a sea of humanity to get anywhere near a good view.  

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3 minutes ago, laurabegorrah said:

We did the Jewel in Alaska, in an SE - knowing from previous posts here that they open the haven to non Haven suite guests on Hubbard and Glacier Bay days.  Both days were cold and windy in the Haven sundeck (and there is no indoor area in that haven where you can see anything outside), so after a quick stop to grab a hot alcoholic beverage and some complimentary blankets, we went back to our aft suite and had much more comfortable viewing.  Also, while they do rotate the ship, the aft gets the most time with direct views of the glaciers.  So I would 100% say you should spring for aft in Alaska.

 

As for Haven - on the Jewel class ships, I would say, not worth it (you get all of the same perks as Haven in a suite, just not access to the Courtyard, which is so not worth it on Jewel class).  On Bliss or Joy though, I would probably spring for it.  The Haven public spaces are larger and you will be able to use it rain, shine, heat, or cold.  Any of the public spaces will be MOBBED on glacier viewing days, so you would have to fight through a sea of humanity to get anywhere near a good view.  

 

We did the Jewel in Alaska, in an SE - knowing from previous posts here that they open the haven to non Haven suite guests on Hubbard and Glacier Bay days.  Both days were cold and windy in the Haven sundeck (and there is no indoor area in that haven where you can see anything outside

 

When I first read this I was taken aback - thinking that the general guests would have access to the deck 15 sun deck above

the Haven H4 and H5 suite. Then I saw non Haven suite and relaxed a bit. Yes the Haven deck 15 would be great both

port and starboard but it is out in the open unsheltered and could be very cold in viewing glaciers.

Advantage though would be being able to switch sides as the ship rotates.

I have seen videos of the Haven sun deck (15).

 

Are your cabin key cards programed to use the elevators to deck 14 to do this viewing ?

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