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THE SECRETS OF THE NCL HAVEN LUXURY EXPERIENCE


Sthrngary
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16 minutes ago, WarfRatWA said:

We have experienced that exact situation.  Luckily, it was our very good friends who chose not pony up for the Haven (They were Princess Cruisers).  Having explained to them the benefits I did not feel bad when we spent time in the Haven Proper, or used other Haven perks.  We had them to our suite for drinks...and by day 2, they were sold.  We now have 3 cruises booked (including the Prima)....and we are all in the Haven.

 

In our case, we were close enough that I could let the Haven sell itself....and frankly I enjoyed it (particularly when I sent pics of the Haven bartender making me a Smokey Old Fashioned) .  These were friends of ours for 30yrs, so no hard feelings.  We laugh about it now.

 

It really depends how close you are with your friends.  We used the opportunity to convert...and it worked.  Next cruise is on the NCL Joy in January.

You are killing me with the Smokey Old Fashioned.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE when they do that.  Amazing to watch and it is always better with lots of folks cheering the bartender on.  We gave ours a standing ovation. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, voyager1964 said:

A supervisor can override the system

 

Things have gotten tighter...much tighter since then (2013). Too many people were taking advantage of getting suite privileges for the minuscule additional price for guests 3&4.

 

Even when using a TA, the system will usually catch it before everything is finalized. If someone can pull it off, more power to them. I wouldn't expect it to go smoothly. Many people on the forum have reported trying but in the end, having to decide to either keep everyone in the suite or 2 in the suite/2 in the other stateroom with only the suite guests getting what comes with the suite.

Edited by Two Wheels Only
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We would never try and bring these friends into the Haven proper.  We will offer to host dinner in our suite (or on the balcony) a few times.  But I guess, as far as sea days, our plans were to enjoy the Haven.  And that's what DH and I will do.  Our friends made the choice not to book the Haven, but we did.  It's our anniversary - and a bucket list trip.   We can enjoy their company on excursions and in the evenings at dinner!  

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

That was my complete bad.

 

I understand not wanting to be "that guy..." but I look at the big picture. If the non-Haven guests inconvenienced you, they most certainly inconvenienced other Haven guests. Even if I was fully dressed with no intention of going into the hot tub at that exact moment, I would have still said something to the concierge. 

 

7 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

I had to learn that I would ruin my vacation if I let the evil Gary come out.

 

I wouldn't see it as being "evil" by just mentioning it to the concierge. If by evil you mean "running around the lounge screaming for something to be done!!!...", I agree that it's better for evil Gary to avoid the situation. 😉   

 

7 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

You were right to call me out on this one. 

 

I didn't mean to call you out. My apologies if it seemed that way. It's just that if those teens return to the Haven on a different cruise, we know what will happen. It will be just as bad or worse especially if "Well, we did it before and nobody said anything...." was the previous experience. If the concierge handled the situation, I doubt that the teens would try it again. I've never personally seen anyone removed from the Haven nor the Yacht Club but I have seen people stopped at the door when they tried to sneak in for a peek. 

 

 

Edited by Two Wheels Only
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7 hours ago, Two Wheels Only said:

 

I understand not wanting to be "that guy..." but I look at the big picture. If the non-Haven guests inconvenienced you, they most certainly inconvenienced other Haven guests. Even if I was fully dressed with no intention of going into the hot tub at that exact moment, I would have still said something to the concierge. 

 

 

I wouldn't see it as being "evil" by just mentioning it to the concierge. If by evil you mean "running around the lounge screaming for something to be done!!!...", I agree that it's better for evil Gary to avoid the situation. 😉   

 

 

I didn't mean to call you out. My apologies if it seemed that way. It's just that if those teens return to the Haven on a different cruise, we know what will happen. It will be just as bad or worse especially if "Well, we did it before and nobody said anything...." was the previous experience. If the concierge handled the situation, I doubt that the teens would try it again. I've never personally seen anyone removed from the Haven nor the Yacht Club but I have seen people stopped at the door when they tried to sneak in for a peek. 

 

 

The entire purpose of Cruise Critic is to gain feedback and idea's.  I avoid other social media cruise sites because all the posters come across as experts.  I on the other hand knew I should have said something and will in the future.  The evil Gary was never to others, it was that my attitude changed and my family got the bad part of it.  If would take me an hour or so to not be mad anymore.  Now I just tend to look the other way.  I love your comments and that you thought enough and took the time to address what i said.  Don't stop.

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20 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

LOL, The issue is not being retired.  It is being "REALLY OLD".  I was going to leave all my money, the little I have, to my children.  Then I rethought that notion.  I had to work for it so they should too. SO, I am taking them in the Haven instead.  Not their choice but it is my cash and I want to die bankrupt. 


OK Boomer. 

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Just now, Sthrngary said:

LOL, Bommer, finally someone understands me.  

I was going to ask if one of your kids signed up to the site just to reply to you with that.  LOL

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3 minutes ago, oteixeira said:

I was going to ask if one of your kids signed up to the site just to reply to you with that.  LOL

LOL, long story but you have read my posts before so you know I am long winded.  2.5 years ago, I booked a family cruise for five.  One balcony for my Wife, Son (Adult) and me.  The other for my Daughter and her partner.  It was for my 40th wedding anniversary.  I thought, "Wait a minute, why don't my wife and I have a private room.  This is not fair."

 

I rebooked all of us in a "Haven Two-Bedroom Family Villa".  My daughter went nuts.  She wanted her own private balcony.  She said she did not need the Haven, that was way to Bougie. She would not spend one second in that place.  

 

Fast forward, three cancelations, Future Cruise Credits 125% and 10% off next cruise.  Now she is in a Haven (H2) Deluxe Owners Suite.  We had a family dinner and I showed her the second bedroom, Haven Courtyard, huge balcony, water slides, and shows.  All of a sudden, no issue.  LOL.

 

Problem solved.  Only problem left, "Can we please get that cruise out of a Miami port with everyone vaccinated.  Please.  I don't want to have to change my air for the 4th time.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

LOL, long story but you have read my posts before so you know I am long winded.  2.5 years ago, I booked a family cruise for five.  One balcony for my Wife, Son (Adult) and me.  The other for my Daughter and her partner.  It was for my 40th wedding anniversary.  I thought, "Wait a minute, why don't my wife and I have a private room.  This is not fair."

 

I rebooked all of us in a "Haven Two-Bedroom Family Villa".  My daughter went nuts.  She wanted her own private balcony.  She said she did not need the Haven, that was way to Bougie. She would not spend one second in that place.  

 

Fast forward, three cancelations, Future Cruise Credits 125% and 10% off next cruise.  Now she is in a Haven (H2) Deluxe Owners Suite.  We had a family dinner and I showed her the second bedroom, Haven Courtyard, huge balcony, water slides, and shows.  All of a sudden, no issue.  LOL.

 

Problem solved.  Only problem left, "Can we please get that cruise out of a Miami port with everyone vaccinated.  Please.  I don't want to have to change my air for the 4th time.

That is great, and I really do think this time is the charm for you.  I have one scheduled in December with my mom.  She introduced me to cruising 20 years ago and due to some unforeseen health things she has not cruised in many years.  This is me giving a very very small amount back to her for all she's done.  It really better go.  

It is funny how your daughter complained about what she wouldn't use when you are paying.  Too funny.

Edited by oteixeira
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4 minutes ago, oteixeira said:

That is great, and I really do think this time is the charm for you.  I have one scheduled in December with my mom.  She introduced me to cruising 20 years ago and due to some unforeseen health things she has not cruised in many years.  This is me giving a very very small amount back to her for all she's done.  It really better go.  

It is funny how your daughter complained about what she wouldn't use when you are paying.  Too funny.

My daughter has no idea the unbelievable difference the Haven makes.  All she remembers from her last cruise was below average service, food, entertainment.  Long lines to get on and off the ship.  Tiny balcony.  The last NCL cruise ship she went on was decades ago on the SS Norway.  She was to young to remember that.  Her partner has never cruised so she does not what to think.  My pleasure is when I say, "I Told You So".  That is going to happen the first night at our Haven Dinner.  I CAN'T WAIT.

 

What you are doing for your mom is awesome.  Life is to short.  Spend those moments and do it right.  You will always have those memories.  Push comes to shove, all we have are memories.  Make the best of them.

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1 hour ago, Sthrngary said:

My daughter has no idea the unbelievable difference the Haven makes.  All she remembers from her last cruise was below average service, food, entertainment.  Long lines to get on and off the ship.  Tiny balcony.  The last NCL cruise ship she went on was decades ago on the SS Norway.  She was to young to remember that.  Her partner has never cruised so she does not what to think.  My pleasure is when I say, "I Told You So".  That is going to happen the first night at our Haven Dinner.  I CAN'T WAIT.

 

What you are doing for your mom is awesome.  Life is to short.  Spend those moments and do it right.  You will always have those memories.  Push comes to shove, all we have are memories.  Make the best of them.

Our very first cruise was on the SS Norway, wow haven't heard that name in ages. Guess I'm dating myself :). Love the suite life on NCL though.

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I just made it through this whole thread to prepare for our first haven experience. We are quite excited!

I know that the premium plus beverage package would get us the specialty coffees, but what about the haven restaurant or room service? Are there any lattes with flavoring included in these venues? And what about “boozy” coffees as she would describe them? We are unlikely to upgrade from the standard beverage package but are weighing our options. 
thanks in advance

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3 hours ago, lfox02 said:

I know that the premium plus beverage package would get us the specialty coffees, but what about the haven restaurant or room service? Are there any lattes with flavoring included in these venues?

 

The Haven restaurant has espresso, cappuccino, latte and the menu has a price for each but I've never been charged for any of them even with the standard beverage package. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/14/2021 at 12:02 PM, nhtravels said:

We have been fortunate to have only ever sailed in the Haven.   My question for those who travel with friends/family - 

 

Can you really enjoy your Haven experience if you have friends who are not staying in the Haven?  DH and I booked a 16 day Panama Canal cruise 2 years ago (HA cabin) for our upcoming 30th anniversary in February.  Now our friends want to join, but don't want to spend the $ for the Haven.  (I understand.  For this cruise it would be in the $30k range, as pricing has gone up considerably since we booked!).   Our cabin is an Aft large balcony penthouse, so they can come use our balcony all the time.  Are we being rude for thinking that we'll use the Haven amenities during some sea days, while our friends are not?  

 

Thoughts from those who have traveled with friends (Or not!). 

 

Travel well!

There are reasons for  restricting access to the Haven to those who have paid for the Haven.  While you're talking about a few friends, I'm sure there would be many who would want to bring a few, 10 or 20, additional persons.  Or, then there is the issue of someone wanting to bring along a few new found best buddies they met on the cruise.

 

We were faced with this dilemma for our upcoming 30th anniversary cruise. We reserved a Deluxe Owner's Suite for ourselves and a connecting Haven Penthouse for our son and his wife.  There is the understanding that we're paying for their cabin but they are expected to pay for everything else that isn't included.  We're driving to the port so airfare isn't a problem.

 

I know this is expensive but the wife wanted her son to join us and didn't want to face the issue of their not being allowed into the Haven also.  This is a one-time special event, they can pay for their own cabin in the future. 

 

As Sthrngary said: "Life is to short.  Spend those moments and do it right.  You will always have those memories.  Push comes to shove, all we have are memories.  Make the best of them."

Edited by RocketMan275
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I have yet to find an answer (from NCL or anyone else) about those forward facing Haven penthouse that have connecting cabins (non-Haven) next door. For a while, we have been wanting to book these cabins for our family as two rooms would give us more space than the 2 bedroom family suite. Since our kids are 15 and 11, we would need to book the rooms as one adult/one child in each, although we would be sailing with adults in Haven room and kids next door. I'm concerned about how this would affect Haven access for the adult booked into the non-Haven room? I couldn't care less about the kids having access - to be honest, they rarely use it anyway and are happier grabbing dinner with friends in the buffet! Anyone know if there is a work around for this situation?

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9 minutes ago, ceilidh1 said:

I have yet to find an answer (from NCL or anyone else) about those forward facing Haven penthouse that have connecting cabins (non-Haven) next door. For a while, we have been wanting to book these cabins for our family as two rooms would give us more space than the 2 bedroom family suite. Since our kids are 15 and 11, we would need to book the rooms as one adult/one child in each, although we would be sailing with adults in Haven room and kids next door. I'm concerned about how this would affect Haven access for the adult booked into the non-Haven room? I couldn't care less about the kids having access - to be honest, they rarely use it anyway and are happier grabbing dinner with friends in the buffet! Anyone know if there is a work around for this situation?

Wow, that is complicated however you sure did a great job of outlining it.  I am not sure how you have asked NCL for a decision.  On the phone, email or a letter.  I have found that I sometimes get mixed messages during phone calls.  May I suggest you email the pre-cruise Haven Desk (mebenites@ncl.com) with this question.  I also recommend you send a letter to the head quarters.  

 

Before some folks start saying, "You should not have to do all this. NCL should have a clear policy"  I want to completely agree.  You should not.  However, If I were in your situation, I would want it in writing that the adults had full Haven access and the children either do or don't. 

 

I hope i was helpful

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31 minutes ago, ceilidh1 said:

I have yet to find an answer (from NCL or anyone else) about those forward facing Haven penthouse that have connecting cabins (non-Haven) next door. For a while, we have been wanting to book these cabins for our family as two rooms would give us more space than the 2 bedroom family suite. Since our kids are 15 and 11, we would need to book the rooms as one adult/one child in each, although we would be sailing with adults in Haven room and kids next door. I'm concerned about how this would affect Haven access for the adult booked into the non-Haven room? I couldn't care less about the kids having access - to be honest, they rarely use it anyway and are happier grabbing dinner with friends in the buffet! Anyone know if there is a work around for this situation?

Because of the type of room you described, I am guessing that you are referring to a "Jewel-type" vs an "Away/Away + type."  I highly recommend doing as @Sthrngary suggested with the Pre-cruise Haven Desk.  That should, at least, start the process of making the Onboard Crew aware of your situation.  Hopefully, you can also get Priority Boarding for everyone in your party verified ahead of time.  Once you get into the terminal, be absolutely certain that you ALL meet the Concierge and any available "Haven Staff."  That should help everything go smoothly!  

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41 minutes ago, ceilidh1 said:

Since our kids are 15 and 11, we would need to book the rooms as one adult/one child in each, although we would be sailing with adults in Haven room and kids next door. I'm concerned about how this would affect Haven access for the adult booked into the non-Haven room?

 

The adult not booked in the suite would not get Haven access. In the past, it was acceptable to book the adults in the suite and the kids in the connecting and all 4 would get Haven access. Too many people started to take advantage (4 adults in the suite/4 children in the connecting....8 with Haven access for less than booking 2 suites) so NCL got strict. 

 

NCL will want you to book everyone together (a larger suite?) and all guests would have access or book 2 smaller suites (1 adult/1 child in each).  Another option is to have a 3rd adult booked with the children in the connecting and both parents booked in the suite. 

 

 

47 minutes ago, ceilidh1 said:

Anyone know if there is a work around for this situation?

 

The actual concierge on the ship can allow access to those booked in the connecting but it is at his/her discretion. It isn't guaranteed. A phone rep can tell you "yes", the pre-cruise concierge desk can tell you "yes" but if the concierge says "no", the answer is no. 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sthrngary said:

Wow, that is complicated however you sure did a great job of outlining it.  I am not sure how you have asked NCL for a decision.  On the phone, email or a letter.  I have found that I sometimes get mixed messages during phone calls.  May I suggest you email the pre-cruise Haven Desk (mebenites@ncl.com) with this question.  I also recommend you send a letter to the head quarters.  

 

Before some folks start saying, "You should not have to do all this. NCL should have a clear policy"  I want to completely agree.  You should not.  However, If I were in your situation, I would want it in writing that the adults had full Haven access and the children either do or don't. 

 

I hope i was helpful

 

43 minutes ago, ggTexasGal said:

Because of the type of room you described, I am guessing that you are referring to a "Jewel-type" vs an "Away/Away + type."  I highly recommend doing as @Sthrngary suggested with the Pre-cruise Haven Desk.  That should, at least, start the process of making the Onboard Crew aware of your situation.  Hopefully, you can also get Priority Boarding for everyone in your party verified ahead of time.  Once you get into the terminal, be absolutely certain that you ALL meet the Concierge and any available "Haven Staff."  That should help everything go smoothly!  

 

19 minutes ago, Two Wheels Only said:

 

The adult not booked in the suite would not get Haven access. In the past, it was acceptable to book the adults in the suite and the kids in the connecting and all 4 would get Haven access. Too many people started to take advantage (4 adults in the suite/4 children in the connecting....8 with Haven access for less than booking 2 suites) so NCL got strict. 

 

NCL will want you to book everyone together (a larger suite?) and all guests would have access or book 2 smaller suites (1 adult/1 child in each).  Another option is to have a 3rd adult booked with the children in the connecting and both parents booked in the suite. 

 

 

 

The actual concierge on the ship can allow access to those booked in the connecting but it is at his/her discretion. It isn't guaranteed. A phone rep can tell you "yes", the pre-cruise concierge desk can tell you "yes" but if the concierge says "no", the answer is no. 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the feedback. I am talking about the rooms on Bliss/Joy/Encore - forward facing penthouse connecting with regular balcony. These seem like the ideal rooms for my family. The 2 bedroom suite worked in the past but now I have a 15 year old girl and 11 year old boy, sharing the 2nd small bedroom is not ideal. That means one of them is on the sofa bed in the sitting room and that's not ideal, either...lol. 

 

I have spoken with a few reps by phone. One told me outright that there would be no way to get Haven access for the adult booked in the balcony and there was no way to book just the kids in the balcony. One told me that on the ship, I "should" be able to switch guests so adults are booked in the Haven room. One told me it would be no problem. It ended up that the sailing we had booked for these rooms was cancelled anyways (thanks Covid) so I never really found out the true answer. If we decide to go this route in the future, reaching out to the concierge pre-cruise seems like a good plan!

 

I'm honestly not trying to game the system. If anything, booking the 2 rooms is more expensive than booking the 2 bedroom with 3rd and 4th free. My budget can't quite stretch to booking the owners suite, or even two Haven suites, so this seemed like the happy compromise. I guess we will need to live with the 2 bedroom for another year or so until my daughter turns 16 (I believe at that age they can be booked into their own cabin?)

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, ceilidh1 said:

I'm honestly not trying to game the system.

 

I understand that in your case but NCL has to also set policies to prevent others from trying to take advantage. This topic has been discussed many times with varying results. You will find posts from forum members who said that it was no problem and posts from other forum members who were denied. Officially, it is a no. 

 

55 minutes ago, ceilidh1 said:

I am talking about the rooms on Bliss/Joy/Encore - forward facing penthouse connecting with regular balcony. These seem like the ideal rooms for my family.

 

That's what I figured from your post. There are some aft-facing suites with connecting non-suite, too. Your dilemma is common on the forum. I'm also a family of 4 so I understand what honest families (like ours) would like but I also see how NCL has to tighten the reins to prevent guests from pulling a fast one.

 

55 minutes ago, ceilidh1 said:

I guess we will need to live with the 2 bedroom for another year or so until my daughter turns 16 (I believe at that age they can be booked into their own cabin?)

 

This is another area with conflicting information.....

 

One part of the website will tell you that one person 21 or older is the minimum age to be booked in the stateroom (the most strict is current policy, AFAIK).

 

Another part of the website will tell you that under 21 is allowed if an accompanying adult over 21 is booked in the connecting stateroom.

 

Another part of the website will tell you that under 21 is allowed if an accompanying adult over 21 is booked in the connecting or adjoining stateroom. 

 

Booking the 2BR (for now) is the safest bet even though it isn't ideal. Taking a chance with the split/connecting isn't something that I would do. 

 

Edited by Two Wheels Only
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2 minutes ago, Two Wheels Only said:

 

I understand that in your case but NCL has to also set policies to prevent others from trying to take advantage. This topic has been discussed many times with varying results. You will find posts from forum members who said that it was no problem and posts from other forum members who were denied. Officially, it is a no. 

 

 

That's what I figured from your post. There are some aft-facing suites with connecting non-suite, too. Your dilemma is common on the forum. I'm also a family of 4 so I understand what honest families (like ours) would like but I also see how NCL has to tighten the reins to prevent guests from pulling a fast one.

 

 

This is another area with conflicting information.....

 

One part of the website will tell you that one person 21 or older is the minimum age to be booked in the stateroom (the most strict is current policy, AFAIK).

 

Another part of the website will tell you that under 21 is allowed if an accompanying adult over 21 is booked in the connecting stateroom.

 

Another part of the website will tell you that under 21 is allowed if an accompanying adult is booked in the connecting or adjoining stateroom. 

 

Booking the 2BR (for now) is the safest bet even though it isn't ideal. Taking a chance with the split/connecting isn't something that I would do. 

 

I really appreciate this - thank you!

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3 hours ago, ggTexasGal said:

Because of the type of room you described, I am guessing that you are referring to a "Jewel-type" vs an "Away/Away + type."  I highly recommend doing as @Sthrngary suggested with the Pre-cruise Haven Desk.  That should, at least, start the process of making the Onboard Crew aware of your situation.  Hopefully, you can also get Priority Boarding for everyone in your party verified ahead of time.  Once you get into the terminal, be absolutely certain that you ALL meet the Concierge and any available "Haven Staff."  That should help everything go smoothly!  

 

I have seen the suggestion that one can have non-Haven friends and/or family join you in the priority boarding posted here several times.  We did an Alaska cruise on the Jewel in 2019.  We were in a suite and we had 3 (then called mini-suites) for 6 other members of our family.  In the letter that we sent to the concierge desk I asked if the other 6 could join us in the priority boarding.  I got this in response:

 

Unfortunately, all guests cannot check-in together as the designated area for suite guests is small and this takes away from the exclusivity for the other suite guests.

 

As it turned out, we arrived late for boarding and there were no lines.  While we waited for the butler to escort us, the rest of family got on board ahead of us.  FWIW ours was a non-Haven suite.

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10 minutes ago, pbenjamin said:

Unfortunately, all guests cannot check-in together as the designated area for suite guests is small and this takes away from the exclusivity for the other suite guests.

 

It is a request. Sometimes, it is approved and sometimes, it is not. 

 

Ours was approved for my mother and sister. We all checked-in together (their cards were in the Haven check-in area). We were all escorted to the Haven and the concierge even knew their name and stateroom number. He also offered to give them a tour of the Haven. We received the approval in writing via email from the concierge desk. Our experience was extremely positive while some forum members are told "no" even for 1 extra guest. There's no harm in requesting but people should know that it won't always get approved. 

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20 hours ago, Two Wheels Only said:

 

It is a request. Sometimes, it is approved and sometimes, it is not. 

 

Ours was approved for my mother and sister. We all checked-in together (their cards were in the Haven check-in area). We were all escorted to the Haven and the concierge even knew their name and stateroom number. He also offered to give them a tour of the Haven. We received the approval in writing via email from the concierge desk. Our experience was extremely positive while some forum members are told "no" even for 1 extra guest. There's no harm in requesting but people should know that it won't always get approved. 


Who did you contact, and how far ahead of the cruise we’re you able to get an answer?
 

DH and I have booked the club balcony next to our OS for a May 2022 Alaska cruise on the Sun for my elderly not-too-mobile mother, and we are hoping that she can participate in the (non-haven) perks with us.  There’s only the two of us in the OS, and my mom is solo in the club balcony, so we are dropping a fair bit of cash for only three people.  We haven’t told her about the cruise yet, and want to find out if she’ll be able to board and dine with us, etc before we commit to taking her, since she really couldn’t manage on her own.  If she can’t access things with us, which I know is a big possibility, we will likely cancel her cabin and take her on a different cruise some other time.  I’d just like to find out one way or the other before final payment.

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