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THE SECRETS OF THE NCL HAVEN LUXURY EXPERIENCE


Sthrngary
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1 minute ago, SkierRobUMN said:

Question about luggage tags. When sailing in a Haven Suite does NCL mail you luggage tags to use? Or do you just have to print off luggage tags like normal?

They do send you luggage tags.  They are worthless.  Get one of those plastic luggage tag units with metal ring from Amazon.  Put the luggage tags in those units.  WHY? the takes get ripped off and the guy taking your luggage may or may not get you before you get on board.  I promise you, that was really good advice. 

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Just now, Sthrngary said:

They do send you luggage tags.  They are worthless.  Get one of those plastic luggage tag units with metal ring from Amazon.  Put the luggage tags in those units.  WHY? the takes get ripped off and the guy taking your luggage may or may not get you before you get on board.  I promise you, that was really good advice. 

Thanks! We already have those so I will put the tags inside them. 

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personally, i have never had this problem. we do get our haven tags in the mail, but we usually fly in to the departure city 2 days prior to sailing.  we dont put the tags on our luggage until the actual day of sailing. we put them on prior to checking out of the hotel, and carefully place them in the cab.

 

for the past 5-6 years it has worked out with no problem. of course it doesnt hurt to give the guy at the dock who is taking your bags a ten spot or more. 

 

since they send about 6-8 separate tags,  we staple them together on the luggage handles, on as many handles as the luggage has. usually on the top and the side. this way at least one of them cannot get ripped off the bag.

 

also, if youre staying in a haven suite, they find a way to get you y our bags relatively quickley

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We always use the plastic tags from Amazon and I have them in three different sizes as all the cruise lines seem to have different dimensions.  I'll make one of these work for NCL seeing I don't really know the dimensions of their tags.   I'm sure they are similar to either Princess, Costa, HAL or Celebrity? 

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On 4/13/2021 at 1:18 PM, Sthrngary said:

It was my pleasure.  A couple of things.  I was booked on the NCL Encore for May 2020.  Was cancelled.  I then rebooked for the Encore for May 2021.  Was cancelled. Now I am on the Joy for the week after thanksgiving.  Second, I have a much longer document on the Haven.  If you give my your email address, I will send it to you.  

 

I have done these kinds of studies on Luxury vs. Mainstream vs. Premium Cruises.  Also on how to make your cruise a All-Inclusive VIP Luxury Experience.  This stuff is my hobby during covid times.  Happy to help.

not sure why I did not see this post (haven't been on much but guess I missed the notification when I was on - did they move it 🤔) If the offer still stands I would love for you to send me that! Thanks again, look forward to all your posts, hopefully we'll all be cruising soon & can meet & have a drink 😉 

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1. Drinks during show - On my last cruise, our Dawn concierge Ruel greeted Haven guests as they entered. He made sure everyone had a drink before the show started. The Haven section is not suppose to be ignored by drink servers.

2. Haven menu - Sometimes I found I preferred a dish that was being served in the MDR over the Haven choices for that day. Not wishing to eat in the Main dining room, I went to concierge desk before mealtime and requested my MDR dish to be served to me in the Haven restaurant.  They can bring any meal item that is being served that day to the Haven restaurant, even specialty restaurants, except they need to know in advance because the MDR kitchen is several levels down and Haven server has to go get it.

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8 minutes ago, kitty-sail said:

1. Drinks during show - On my last cruise, our Dawn concierge Ruel greeted Haven guests as they entered. He made sure everyone had a drink before the show started. The Haven section is not suppose to be ignored by drink servers.

2. Haven menu - Sometimes I found I preferred a dish that was being served in the MDR over the Haven choices for that day. Not wishing to eat in the Main dining room, I went to concierge desk before mealtime and requested my MDR dish to be served to me in the Haven restaurant.  They can bring any meal item that is being served that day to the Haven restaurant, even specialty restaurants, except they need to know in advance because the MDR kitchen is several levels down and Haven server has to go get it.

This is good to know.  Thanks 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, gardening_guy said:

This is good to know.  Thanks 

After so many complaints about Haven fixed menu, they added a 'daily special' but even then sometimes I didn't like the daily special. MDR has a nice variety of cuisines. Too bad they couldn't combine the 2 menus and offer each on a regular basis. I would like to see a salad platter for lunch instead of burgers and sandwiches.

PS: The concierge desk has a copy of MDR menus.

Edited by kitty-sail
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On 6/14/2021 at 1:02 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!

It will make things awkward. While you're relaxing by the pool or enjoying a drink in the sundeck spa, your friends will still be looking for a lounge chair that isn't taken or doesn't have a towel holding it for the recipient. You'll be sitting in the reserved Haven theater section while they're trying to find 2 seats together. We had dinner with our friends in the MDR just so we could spend some time together. You will be together on tours, etc. but you won't want to give up your Haven perks. PS. Hold on to that aft PH, it's the best cabin on the ship. That's why the Haven on the Prima was moved to the rear so they get tons of aft cabins.

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1 hour ago, kitty-sail said:

It will make things awkward. While you're relaxing by the pool or enjoying a drink in the sundeck spa, your friends will still be looking for a lounge chair that isn't taken or doesn't have a towel holding it for the recipient. You'll be sitting in the reserved Haven theater section while they're trying to find 2 seats together. We had dinner with our friends in the MDR just so we could spend some time together. You will be together on tours, etc. but you won't want to give up your Haven perks. PS. Hold on to that aft PH, it's the best cabin on the ship. That's why the Haven on the Prima was moved to the rear so they get tons of aft cabins.

We did it once. It was with my SIL and she was traveling alone. We didn't have an issue during the day because we purchased the Vibe and so did she. We did have her come to dinner with us in the Haven one night (asked permission and paid for her). I just felt that we didn't get to enjoy the Haven as much because we were always worried about what she was doing. I would just make your friends aware that you will be in the Haven a lot and won't be spending a ton of time with them. They might not mind, especially since they are traveling as a couple. 

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I am the Op-Ed on this original post.  Years ago when taking my family on an NCL Cruise, I purchased two adjoining balcony suites.  Then I looked at what it would be for a two-bedroom family villa in the Haven.  It was the same and everyone got the Haven Benefits.  My daughter got upset at first, she lost her private room and balcony.  I got upset at that attitude since this was a free vacation for her and her significant other.

 

Then I showed them the Suite, Haven, Amenities,  on a well done YouTube video.  This kind of handled the issue.  Now your situation is different.  It is so much fun to have friends come along.  However, it will effect your enjoyment.  One day you will attempt to gain them access and it might be just fine.  On the other hand, it might be embarrassing for all involved. That is my greatest fear.

 

Know the "Rules to the Game".  Know the consequences.  Have an agreement with your friends. That is the best advice I can give.  Cruise well.

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if all else fails, i would suggest pleading your case to the concierge. he may be sympathetic enough to let your friends join you a few mornings for breakfast or lunch (no guarantee however) 

 

and although this may sound tacky, maybe slip him or her  or even the hostess a $20. i call it the famous las vegas handshake, and in a whole bunch of places it seems to do the trick .

 

finally, i dont think any one checks i.d. at the bar or pool area, so try and bring them up for that.just stroll in casually, sit down and order a drink, or get a chair in the pool area. again, no one has ever asked me if we were staying in the haven. you just need the key card to get in.

 

only caveat is they be really jealous as to how haven passengers get treated, and never speak to you again.  as for the theater, i dont think it's really necessary to take the haven seats, my wife has 2 bad knees and doesnt like to walk back up all those stairs, so sitting with them at a show would be no problem if you dont really need the haven seats

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6 minutes ago, complawyer said:

finally, i dont think any one checks i.d. at the bar or pool area, so try and bring them up for that.just stroll in casually, sit down and order a drink, or get a chair in the pool area. again, no one has ever asked me if we were staying in the haven. you just need the key card to get in.

 

What if every Haven guest did the same?....😠

 

If traveling with non-Haven friends, it's fine to bring them into the Haven guests' suite but it is not OK for the non-Haven guests to use the Haven common areas. Imagine the embarrassment if/when the non-Haven guests are asked to leave or are escorted out of the area. 

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4 minutes ago, complawyer said:

if all else fails, i would suggest pleading your case to the concierge. he may be sympathetic enough to let your friends join you a few mornings for breakfast or lunch (no guarantee however) 

 

and although this may sound tacky, maybe slip him or her  or even the hostess a $20. i call it the famous las vegas handshake, and in a whole bunch of places it seems to do the trick .

 

finally, i dont think any one checks i.d. at the bar or pool area, so try and bring them up for that.just stroll in casually, sit down and order a drink, or get a chair in the pool area. again, no one has ever asked me if we were staying in the haven. you just need the key card to get in.

 

only caveat is they be really jealous as to how haven passengers get treated, and never speak to you again.  as for the theater, i dont think it's really necessary to take the haven seats, my wife has 2 bad knees and doesnt like to walk back up all those stairs, so sitting with them at a show would be no problem if you dont really need the haven seats

If friends want to join you for a meal in the Haven for a meal, they do make allowances for a price. It's no secret and no need to slip a $20. There's a fixed price for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is an one off.  I had friends join me after I asked the concierge first and then they paid after the meal. They can't join you in every meal. It won't be fair for Haven guests. 

 

As for checking IDs. Haven staff don't tend to do this as they are pretty clue up who is a Haven guest and who isn't. Even haven guests who are clued up will work out your friends are not haven guests. If you wish to embrass yourself and your guests, by all means go ahead. 

 

Theatre wise - you can enter before everyone else and you don't need to sit in the haven area. You can sit anywhere. Just make sure if the show requires tickets then you have one. Ask the concierge for tickets if you don't. I never been to a show where anyone has been turned away but it's just polite to do so

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44 minutes ago, complawyer said:

if all else fails, i would suggest pleading your case to the concierge. he may be sympathetic enough to let your friends join you a few mornings for breakfast or lunch (no guarantee however) 

 

 

This is a very sore subject.  Please do not advocate bringing guests into the Haven and using the facilities, (except restaurant where they're paying for the privilege). I don't mean to be a snob, but the difference between a Haven cabin and a non-Haven is a few thousand dollars. If you want your guests to enjoy the Haven amenities with you, tell them to  book a Haven room. I get upset when people try to 'sneak' friends in and then put the staff in a adverse position or make us look like 'meanies'. Just follow the rules

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We've been pretty upfront with our friends on how we plan to spend our time.  DH and I cruised in the Haven before and appreciate the perks/amenities.  We also understand that it would not be fair to the other Haven guests for us to ask for special privileges for our friends who have chosen to not spend the extra to cruise the way we have on this trip.  

 

We'll be dining with them on our specialty dining days.  We'll plan our excursions with them.  If we can take them to the Haven restaurant and share a meal or two (paid of course), we will happily do so.  We will ask our Butler to serve us breakfast on our balcony for the 4 of us (if it's not too much trouble) on the canal viewing day.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, complawyer said:

if all else fails, i would suggest pleading your case to the concierge. he may be sympathetic enough to let your friends join you a few mornings for breakfast or lunch (no guarantee however) 

 

and although this may sound tacky, maybe slip him or her  or even the hostess a $20. i call it the famous las vegas handshake, and in a whole bunch of places it seems to do the trick .

 

finally, i dont think any one checks i.d. at the bar or pool area, so try and bring them up for that.just stroll in casually, sit down and order a drink, or get a chair in the pool area. again, no one has ever asked me if we were staying in the haven. you just need the key card to get in.

 

only caveat is they be really jealous as to how haven passengers get treated, and never speak to you again.  as for the theater, i dont think it's really necessary to take the haven seats, my wife has 2 bad knees and doesnt like to walk back up all those stairs, so sitting with them at a show would be no problem if you dont really need the haven seats

I am sorry, I have to say this.  There is a reason why some folks are in the Haven.  It has a very high premium to have the opportunity.  If we can allow our friends, even our family members into the Haven, it is not the exclusive area we are investing in.  It loses it value and it will be gone because why would I pay for something I can get for free.

 

If the guest is not a Haven Guest, they can come to your suite.  That is it.  Anything else is off limits.  The alternative is they pay the same premium we are and join us.  If that is not financially possible then we simply stay in a non-Haven Suite.  You can't have it both ways.  

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5 minutes ago, nhtravels said:

We will ask our Butler to serve us breakfast on our balcony for the 4 of us (if it's not too much trouble) on the canal viewing day.  

 

That is no problem at all. The butler will gladly bring breakfast to your suite for you and your friends. 

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26 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

I am sorry, I have to say this.  There is a reason why some folks are in the Haven.  It has a very high premium to have the opportunity.  If we can allow our friends, even our family members into the Haven, it is not the exclusive area we are investing in.  It loses it value and it will be gone because why would I pay for something I can get for free.

Absolutely, it wouldn't be long until some 'family' booked one Haven suite and another 10 or 12 in other classes of cabin and then brought the whole group to the Haven.

 

We have a special (30th anniversary) cruise in march 2022.  Wife wanted to share this with son and his wife.  We paid their fare for a haven suite so we would not have these issues.  There is an understanding that all other expenses are their responsibility.   We will consider doing this again for our 40th.

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13 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

 

 

We have a special (30th anniversary) cruise in march 2022.  

Happy 30th! We are also celebrating 30 years (on our February cruise!)

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19 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Absolutely, it wouldn't be long until some 'family' booked one Haven suite and another 10 or 12 in other classes of cabin and then brought the whole group to the Haven.

 

We have a special (30th anniversary) cruise in march 2022.  Wife wanted to share this with son and his wife.  We paid their fare for a haven suite so we would not have these issues.  There is an understanding that all other expenses are their responsibility.   We will consider doing this again for our 40th.

I did the same for my 40th (Cancelled), 41st (Cancelled) and now November 2021 cruise.  I agree with your notion on the other expenses.  Thanks for the comment.

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26 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

I did the same for my 40th (Cancelled), 41st (Cancelled) and now November 2021 cruise.  I agree with your notion on the other expenses.  Thanks for the comment.

dont get all huffy, it was merely a suggestion. i have been labeled a snob in some other posts, but i wouldnt get all bent out of shape if a haven couple brought up another couple. in most of the times we've been in a haven, (last 6 actual cruises) the pool area was virtually empty, as  was the bar area and the restaurant was only about1/2 full while wealth may indeed have its privileges, if you were in a haven and your close friend or relative (brother, sister, mom and dad) couldnt afford the cabin, wouldnt you try and  do the same for them?  im not talking about the entire cruise, i appreciate the exclusivity,  but  for a couple of days why not. it's like mamas chicken soup. it couldnt hurt 

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3 minutes ago, complawyer said:

... if you were in a haven and your close friend or relative (brother, sister, mom and dad) couldnt afford the cabin, wouldnt you try and  do the same for them? ...

Absolutely not. 

How many others on the same cruise "couldn't afford the cabin"?

Why not invite them as well?

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