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Dos vs other suites

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Besides the obvious extras included with the dos has anyone noticed better treatment from staff or the bulter/concierge while staying in the dos vs a regular suite or Haven room?

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8 minutes ago, gaabbee said:

Besides the obvious extras included with the dos has anyone noticed better treatment from staff or the bulter/concierge while staying in the dos vs a regular suite or Haven room?

No.  The Concierge makes a real effort to have contact with all Haven passengers and satisfy their requests.  

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Haven’t been in a DOS but have stayed in an H5 and H6. If service is better in DOS than anything we received in those other categories then it must be because they are pealing grapes and feeding them directly to the guests!  My point, we had impeccable service of the highest quality. If you go for the DOS do it for the space, view, little extras. If you’re looking for high quality service, go with a more “budget friendly” option bc I think you’ll get it with any of the Haven categories. Just my opinion. I’d be interested to know what higher levels of service was received, if any, myself. 

Edited by Georgia_Peaches

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I cannot say that I noticed a significant difference in the treatment from staff when staying in a DOS vs. a two-bedroom suite.  To me it seems to vary more on the staff on that particular cruise?  But I DO notice a difference in treatment when staying in the various GV suites in the NCL fleet.  That service is really above any and all other Haven service in my opinion.  ALL our great however!

 

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On the havenless Dawn we have stayed in almost every suite category, we had a great butler and concierge when we were in one of the DOS.  It may have been due to a great concierge, Hanno and a great butler, Dominic. 

 

I have been in the haven twice on the Gem, 1st time in the DOS, which I never wanted to leave and the 2nd time in a H4, I think the service was the same.  I think I am a very "relaxed" cruiser.  We don't ask for much, just don't bring me yucky hors d'oeuvres in the afternoon, I prefer BLT quarters. 

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I agree with chloemonkeyI honestly think your service has a lot to do with luck. We've stayed in one DOS (Dawn) and we had great service -- but we didn't feel it was because we were in a DOS. It was just because we had a really good butler and room steward. 

 

We've also had great experiences and okay experiences in other suites. 

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1 hour ago, brookie848 said:

I agree with chloemonkeyI honestly think your service has a lot to do with luck. We've stayed in one DOS (Dawn) and we had great service -- but we didn't feel it was because we were in a DOS. It was just because we had a really good butler and room steward. 

 

We've also had great experiences and okay experiences in other suites. 

Agree 100%.  Think it all depends on your Butler and Concierge not the room category.  Although the one time we were in the Pearl Garden Villa, we were treated like royalty.

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Only time I've noticed a service difference with the Garden Villa ("GV").  Butler and concierge went way above and beyond for the GV.  Butler would see us playing card games in the room and would bring up snacks.  He had a rough week the week before us with the band Kiss staying in the same room, so he really seemed to enjoy how laid back we were.  I have previously stayed in Haven 2-Bedroom Suites (x2), Haven Owner's Suite, and Haven Aft-Penthouse.

Edited by PeleNipsy

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On 8/7/2019 at 4:26 PM, pathubia said:

I have been in the haven twice on the Gem, 1st time in the DOS, which I never wanted to leave

 

Agree, agree... loved that cabin class on that ship!  

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On 8/8/2019 at 3:11 PM, PeleNipsy said:

Only time I've noticed a service difference with the Garden Villa ("GV").  Butler and concierge went way above and beyond for the GV.  Butler would see us playing card games in the room and would bring up snacks.  He had a rough week the week before us with the band Kiss staying in the same room, so he really seemed to enjoy how laid back we were.  I have previously stayed in Haven 2-Bedroom Suites (x2), Haven Owner's Suite, and Haven Aft-Penthouse.

Doing our first GV this January.  Any advice?  Had a friend that did it several years back and they were invited to dinner at LeBistro with the hotel manager and some other officers.  Also....have always done suites or haven but this seems like a whole different level so I am having trouble with tipping ranges.

 

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Our only experience in Haven was on the Jade in a DOS. Our butler was pretty bad and unresponsive, so I'm hoping that was just bad luck. Cabin steward was great, but not enough for us to justify spending that kind of money again anytime soon. When I complained to customer service when we got back they gave us a whopping $100 OBC. Gee, thanks. 

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4 hours ago, Nolanoel said:

Doing our first GV this January.  Any advice?  Had a friend that did it several years back and they were invited to dinner at LeBistro with the hotel manager and some other officers.  Also....have always done suites or haven but this seems like a whole different level so I am having trouble with tipping ranges.

 

Don’t get lost!  It’s big and really gives you the feeling you have room to spread out.  We loved the huge private hot tub, too.  Make use of that big private sun deck!  Tipping is very personal and depends on how much you use your Butler and Concierge.  We also tipped the guy taking care of the hot tub.  Just enjoy it!  We did it once on the Pearl to Alaska  and doubt we will ever get to do it again.

Edited by mertziek

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2 hours ago, Sailing12Away said:

Our only experience in Haven was on the Jade in a DOS. Our butler was pretty bad and unresponsive, so I'm hoping that was just bad luck. Cabin steward was great, but not enough for us to justify spending that kind of money again anytime soon. When I complained to customer service when we got back they gave us a whopping $100 OBC. Gee, thanks. 

 

When I complained to customer service when we got back they gave us a whopping $100 OBC. Gee, thanks. 

 

 

This was not clear - did you complain when it happened ? or later on the ship at some time ? or worse after the

cruise getting the $100 OBC to use (maybe) on your next cruise.

Deficiencies should not be left to fester so the guests using the facility will also be shortchanged.

 

The Concierge is a fixed position - the Butlers however are rotated around to know what the expectations are of

the various suites OS DOS GV Havens - Cabin Stewards may have a seniority system in prime cabin services.

 

xxx

 

The one noticeable difference between the suite and OS/DOS (GV) is the beverages in the mini-fridge are comp.

and a compliment of hard liquor is also provided virtually setting up your own bar.

All things being equal the pecking order of Priority reservations - tendering - escorts about the ship starts with the

$$$$ class of accommodations.

On the DAWN for instance Balcony seating is provided in the theatre with GV having the best view/space followed

by the other classes in higher tiers and less advantageous viewing.

You are paying top dollar you should expect top service.

 

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Absolutely not  better service or perks other than what comes with room which sometimes takes a reminder.

 

On NCL in suites you are totally at the luck of the draw as to who you get and service or lack thereof provided.

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15 hours ago, mertziek said:

Don’t get lost!  It’s big and really gives you the feeling you have room to spread out.  We loved the huge private hot tub, too.  Make use of that big private sun deck!  Tipping is very personal and depends on how much you use your Butler and Concierge.  We also tipped the guy taking care of the hot tub.  Just enjoy it!  We did it once on the Pearl to Alaska  and doubt we will ever get to do it again.

I saw how big it was when I sailed with a friend who booked it.  It was just she and her mom.  Crazy amount of space!!  I think I spent the entire time I was in there with my jaw dropped.  LOL  Pretty sure that this will be a once in a lifetime experience and fully plan to take it all in.  I have sailed on the Dawn three times before and just love that ship.  This will probably be the first and only time that we will do some in suite dining.  I typically am very low maintenance for the butler and concierge - am thinking that may change a bit on this trip.  Thanks so much for the feedback!!

 

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2 hours ago, dexddd said:

Absolutely not  better service or perks other than what comes with room which sometimes takes a reminder.

 

On NCL in suites you are totally at the luck of the draw as to who you get and service or lack thereof provided.

I have had great butlers and so-so butlers - but the so-so ones ended up okay if I left notes for them telling them what I want.  They really don't do much other than snacks and coffee.  But then again I don't ask for more than that.  Now, my last sailing on the BA the concierge Bowen was the bomb.  He made the entire trip easy and made us feel like we were getting top notch service.  If you really aren't hitting it off with your butler - you can ask to be assigned someone else.  so it is not totally the luck of the draw.  

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It all depends on the specific Butler you get.

We sailed in a Garden Villa this year. We had friends onboard who were in an aft Penthouse suite. We happened to be in their suite when their butler came to introduce himself, and spend time showing showing & explaining the layout & amenities of the suite (the smallest suite available). He spent 15-20 minutes explaining everything, and asking what he could do to make their cruise more enjoyable. He was so kind & informative!

Flash forward 20 minutes. We arrived at our Garden Villa and unpacked after looking around. Our butler arrived to introduce herself after about 45 minutes (not an issue). She then proceeded to show us the bank of light switches in the living/dining area (many of which no longer work), and asked us if we had any questions, then departed. The Garden Villa is a 5000 sq ft suite, vs maybe 200 sq ft in the aft Penthouse. She spent less than 5 minutes with us, without even a smile on her face. We didn’t know what to ask her when she wanted to know if we had any questions because we’ve never sailed in a Garden Villa. There was no tour. There was no explanation of how to operate any of the amenities (hot tub, stereo, coffee machine, power window shades, etc) and no explanation of the things we could have requested from her. Thankfully, our steward was always nearby to help us with questions that came up.

 

note: This is not meant to be a “poor us” story. We loved the suite. This was a once in a lifetime adventure which we thoroughly enjoyed. I’m just pointing out that it doesn’t make any difference what size suite you are in (other than the added perks of dos & Garden Villa’s), it matters which Butler you get.

 

Also note: Our freind’s butler told us he was the Garden Villa butler the previous week. Butlers rotate weekly through various blocks of suites. It’s just the luck of the draw. We’ve always had wonderful butlers in the 7 suites we’ve previously sailed. This butler didn’t ruin our trip. She just wasn’t anything close to our past butler experiences, and didn’t seem to have the friendly, warm demeanor of a butler, or the proper training to give us a guided tour of the suite. The few (simple) questions we did have for her during the cruise required her to call someone, then get back to us later with an answer.

Edited by cruiser1955a

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I have to agree with the other posters that think it's more hit or miss.  We've only been on 6 NCL cruises, but all in DOS.  4 on the Breakaway and 2 on the Escape.  When it comes to butler service, we had 2 fantastic butlers and 4 sub par.  I think it has more to do with rotation than suite level.

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I only had one really "bad"" butler.  If I knew then what I know now I would have asked for another.  It's pretty easy to contact the hotel manager and request a different butler.  I wouldn't do it just because they are not great - but the experience that cruiser1955a is describing is pretty bad - particularly for what you pay for the GV.

 

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On 8/17/2019 at 11:00 AM, Nolanoel said:

I only had one really "bad"" butler.  If I knew then what I know now I would have asked for another.  It's pretty easy to contact the hotel manager and request a different butler.  I wouldn't do it just because they are not great - but the experience that cruiser1955a is describing is pretty bad - particularly for what you pay for the GV.

 

The problem is most cruises are seven days.  If you are wasting the first couple with issues and ask for a change you aren't assured of better service.

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the level of service we received on the Bliss in the DOS was AMAZING - partially because everyone wanted to say Hi to our 7 month old GD & also because of a great butler & room steward. Not sure I will ever spend that much on a cruse again but it sure made it easier to travel with a baby

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I've never had a bad butler in any of my cruises, but a factor not mentioned so far is the impact/demand of fellow travelers.  On the Jade several years back the ship was almost empty, and it seemed the butler was constantly at the door of our penthouse suite seeing if we needed anything.  Yet on the Star in a DOS on deck 12 we seldom saw our butler as two family suites had continual demands on the butler (I don't think they ever ate a meal outside of their cabins!).  Even in this case though the butler always was great!

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18 hours ago, dexddd said:

The problem is most cruises are seven days.  If you are wasting the first couple with issues and ask for a change you aren't assured of better service.

I hear you - I really don't do 7 day cruises myself unless forced.  LOL  Like I said though - if I knew then what I know now I wouldn't wait even a couple of days.  If it starts off badly then chances are it is not going to get better.  Besides it's just a phone call to the Hotel manager or in the haven the concierge to fix it.  It's not like you have to sit in your stateroom waiting for the fix.  LOL  My first suite cruise I had a butler that was so snooty I spent the entire cruise feeling out of place in the suite.  That started day 1 for me.  Like I say - if I knew now....Thank  God I have never had another like him.  But you are right - even changing butlers does not assure that the new one will be better.  Bad ones are a fluke to me - so few times I have had a sub par butler.  

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On 8/16/2019 at 9:20 PM, don't-use-real-name said:

 

When I complained to customer service when we got back they gave us a whopping $100 OBC. Gee, thanks. 

 

 

This was not clear - did you complain when it happened ? or later on the ship at some time ? or worse after the

cruise getting the $100 OBC to use (maybe) on your next cruise.

Deficiencies should not be left to fester so the guests using the facility will also be shortchanged.

I honestly didn't feel comfortable. We were stuck with the butler the whole trip regardless. I felt that if I made a complaint the service would just get even worse.

 

Wrote a lengthy detailed letter to customer service when we returned, they thanked me for my letter and said they couldn't open the word document attachment and asked me to resend it. Granted, it took them the full 3 weeks to reply at all, and then an additional 3 weeks to the day to send a follow-up after they were able to actually read the attached letter of our issues.

 

The $100 was for a future cruise, which took 3 separate phone calls, 45 mins on hold each, to finally get applied to our most recent POA trip we took earlier this month.

 

The biggest issue for me that I tried to explain to them was that with Haven, you're paying for a certain level of service and extra perks. That's how we justified the price jump from a regular balcony cabin. We didn't come close to getting that. I wasn't expecting a free trip or even a substantial refund, but $100 didn't even cover the cost of our prepaid gratuities... It felt more like a slap in the fact, especially when it took them 2 months to respond at all. 

 

But yet here I am, with another cruise under my belt and 2 more booked..... guess I'm a sucker and they know it.

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On 8/16/2019 at 2:48 PM, Nolanoel said:

Doing our first GV this January.  Any advice?  Had a friend that did it several years back and they were invited to dinner at LeBistro with the hotel manager and some other officers.  Also....have always done suites or haven but this seems like a whole different level so I am having trouble with tipping ranges.

 

 

It really depends on the concierge.  When we sailed in the GV, we had 8 guests in the GV, 5 guests in a 2-bedroom suite, and 4 guests in an inside cabin.  Our concierge set-up dinner for the 17 of us to have at Teppanyaki.  He comp'd the cover for the 8 guests staying in the GV and the costs of sodas/juices for all 17 guests.  That was our dinner instead of with the hotel manager or other officers, which was fine.  We had a great time having both grills for our entire group. 

 

Our concierge also gave us a tour of the bridge.  We weren't sure if his invitation was for the 8 guests staying in the GV or all 17 guests, so only the 8 guests that wanted to go the most went.  When we meet the concierge, he said that his invitation was for the entire group but it was too late by then. 

 

Because our group was split between Haven and non-Haven cabins, we were reminded the first day that the non-Haven guests could not use the Haven Courtyard area or have meals in Cagneys/Moderno, which we knew going in.  (The guests in the inside cabin where my brother's single guy friends who booked the cruise at the last minute.)  The concierge did allow the four guys in the inside cabin to disembark in ports with us.  He certainly wasn't required to do that, but we appreciated that he did.  I think it helped that the bulk of our group were staying in the Haven.

 

(Side note, security did get to know the guys about half way thru the cruise.  Another guy on the ship wanted to start a fight with one of them, but they all walked away instead of throwing a punch back.  Security camera footage and crew-member interviews confirmed that none of the guys provoked or fought back, which they said was one of the first times they've ever seen that.  Either the head of security or the captain later came up to the GV with the concierge to commend the guys on how well they handled the situation.  They seemed really surprised at how it ended up being only one-sided.  Typically, both people will be kicked off the ship.)

 

As for the butler, I can't remember his name, but we really liked him.  He was personable and shared stories from other cruises with us.  He also seemed to appreciate that we were a very laid back group and not what he was typically use to in the GV.  He was anticipating another rough week after us.  It was either the size of the group (very small) and/or known prior guests.  I got the impression that he much enjoys larger groups to smaller groups.  And I get it.  A big group pooling resources to do something so amazing and otherwise inaccessible is going to have an entirely different dynamic.  

 

That cruise was in 2014, and we haven't been able to figure out a way to make it work again since then.  Certainly have tried, but with the pricing increases and the free-for-all packages, it just hasn't worked out.  A year ago, we began planning an Alaskian cruise on the NCL Jewel for 2020.  Booked two 2-bedroom Haven suites for 8 guests, hoping that we could upgrade one to the GV with the bid process.  Well, when the 20% latitudes sale was announced, we re-evaluated everything and decided to do a GV instead of the two 2-bedrooms!  Also pushed the cruise back two weeks so that we're starbooard on the Northbound route.  Already planning on having breakfast and lunch brought into the cabin on the day we're in Glacier Bay National Park!  Should be incredible being able to be in the hot tub as we watch glaciers go by. 

 

(In case you're wondering about the 7th & 8th guests, there is a couch in the master bedroom that flips 180-degrees into a twin bed.  There is also a chair that folds out into a twin bedroom in the third bedroom.  So 8 guests doesn't work well when it's all adult couples.)

 

One thing to get use to is that staff will be in and out of the common areas of the GV frequently, such as the concierge checking on your there.  But, only the room steward will go into the bedroom areas.  Even had a bunch of officers storm the GV one afternoon because the steam room set off the fire alarm. 

 

So, bottom line, enjoy it!  Try not to have expectations about what the butler/concierge will offer/do because it can vary SOOOO much.  It'll be an incredible experience regardless!

Edited by PeleNipsy

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