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THE SECRETS OF THE NCL HAVEN LUXURY EXPERIENCE


Sthrngary
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7 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

On the Ulta, ask your butler. My gut tells me they won’t do that regardless of plan or suite selected. On this, I could be wrong.

Can we get unopened cans of beer (2 per visit each) at the nearest bar to take back to the room? We're used to sailing with Royal in their 4 bedroom Villa suite and we get an entire ice chest full of beer LOL. This Bliss sailing is convenient since it's out of So Cal. so we jumped on it. It's a pain in the a$$ to fly to MIA the day before to cruise Royal. We lose an entire day flying each way.

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Also I'm really surprised this room doesn't automatically give us the Plus bev pkg & unlimited specialty dining. This is standard on Royal in their Star Class. If comparing perks alone, Royal appears to win hands down. But again, convenience sold us on this cruise. Like so many others, we've terribly missed cruising and can't wait to jump onboard the Bliss.

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8 minutes ago, flyguyjake said:

Also I'm really surprised this room doesn't automatically give us the Plus bev pkg & unlimited specialty dining. This is standard on Royal in their Star Class. If comparing perks alone, Royal appears to win hands down. But again, convenience sold us on this cruise. Like so many others, we've terribly missed cruising and can't wait to jump onboard the Bliss.

I agree on both of your points.  I was just on Crystal Cruises.  Everything was complementary. We had spirts, beer, wine soda.  Nothing was off the table.  
 

Yet, I still prefer NCL for the bigger ship, entertainment and other attractions.  If the Bliss was near my home, I also would not travel to Miami. Royal is wonderful also.  We just make adjustments for convenience. You will have a great time.

 

Cruise well!!

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15 minutes ago, flyguyjake said:

Can we get unopened cans of beer (2 per visit each) at the nearest bar to take back to the room? We're used to sailing with Royal in their 4 bedroom Villa suite and we get an entire ice chest full of beer LOL. This Bliss sailing is convenient since it's out of So Cal. so we jumped on it. It's a pain in the a$$ to fly to MIA the day before to cruise Royal. We lose an entire day flying each way.

Yes on the beer. Still ask Butler. They may accommodate you. I just can’t confirm it, so I hesitate.  Hope that makes sense.

 

Cruise well!!

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On 10/16/2021 at 9:25 AM, Cruise Gopher said:

Sailing in the Haven for the first time in January and I’m still just struggling so much to understand the limits of what is acceptable to ask for. I don’t want to look like a fool or ask for something that is just not the norm and then be embarrassed.
 

Like for example I see people on here referencing that their butler will serve them breakfast in their stateroom. What exactly is acceptable to ask for? Are we talking a carafe of coffee and some pastries? Or can I have a full hot breakfast like eggs benedict delivered to my room?

 

Another example, afternoon canapés, can I go so far as to ask for some shrimp cocktail, or am I limited to something more basic? I also like meats,cheese,veggies,hummus etc for enjoying on the balcony when sailing away from ports during the cruise. Is that an acceptable request?

 

I would love for someone to write a “Haven for dummies” thread to explain some of these and give real examples of what is acceptable and where the limit is. 

 

 

Like the "Haven for Dummies" idea. My first haven will also be in January on the Joy.

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On 10/16/2021 at 4:23 PM, Cruise Gopher said:

Thanks for all the responses.  To build on my idea of a "Haven for Dummies" idea, I have gone ahead and created a shared Google sheet with items that people have requested in the Haven. 

 

I'd love for those who are seasoned Haven cruisers to add to this list so that Haven newbies can get ideas on what is acceptable to request.  The goal is to make things a bit less intimidating for those sailing in the Haven for their first time so they can enjoy and get the most out of their Haven experience.

 

@Sthrngary I have added things from your 1st post on this thread.  But please do add anything else you can think of.

 

Haven for Dummies Spreadsheet

Thanks for the spread sheet. Just wondering by chance does the Haven have "sweet" tea?

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On the Escape, we are trying to decide between the Aft Penthouse or the 2 Bedroom Family Villa.  Both have pros and cons but hopefully you guys can answer a few questions that will help us decide:

 

How much sun does the Haven pool get?  Do they leave loungers out in the evening?

 

Also, if you were a couple traveling with a 12 year old, which room would you choose?

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1 hour ago, Shayhooper said:

How much sun does the Haven pool get?

 

It can be sunny. The loungers closest to the pool tend to get the most sun. 

 

1 hour ago, Shayhooper said:

Do they leave loungers out in the evening?

 

Yes but the hot-tubs are closed/covered at a certain time.

 

1 hour ago, Shayhooper said:

Also, if you were a couple traveling with a 12 year old, which room would you choose?

 

As much as we prefer the aft-facing suites, a 12 year-old would probably prefer to have their own mini-apartment with the 2BR. 

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14 hours ago, Shayhooper said:

Also, I know that there is a great deal of discretion when it comes to tipping the butler and concierge, but how much is suggested?

Lots is written about this subject.  Allow me to say, it is subjective.  Also, what I do does not mean it is proper or right.  OK, that should hold off the masses, LOL.

 

  1. It depends on the number of folks in your Haven Suite:  My next trip will be on the NCL Joy, with my family of four adults at the end of November 2021.
  2. It depends on how much you will be utilizing the Butler:  This most likely has to do with the size of your suite.  If it is a big suite with lots of veranda space, you may do more parties or in-suite dining.  That means you will use your butler more.  Again, my upcoming suite will be an (H2) Haven Deluxe Owners Suite.  We indent to do parties and dinning in suite from time to time.
  3. It depends on if you want to utilize the Butler at All: Some folks simply don't know how or what to ask their butler to do.  They are shy or embarrassed.  In these cases, you here folks saying they never saw their butler the whole week.  That has never happened to me because I research exactly what they do, apply what my family needs are, and put it in writing on day one.
  4. I write a letter to the Butler: It has a little about every member of my families wants, needs and motives.  It has our likes/dislikes.  It has any requests we have that was not handled by the pre-cruise Haven desk.  Finally, it has the tip in in upfront. This creates controversy on this and other boards. I don't care. Since tipping upfront, I have only gotten outstanding high quality service from each and every butler.  Prior, it was hit or miss.

OK, now you have some perspective.  For my wife and myself, I tip between $150.00 to $200.00 for the week depending on suite size.  With four adult members, know my kids will also leverage this highly skilled professional as well, we tip $200.00 to $300.00.

 

Please understand and read my four bullets.  I tend to give more vs. less because these folks have not been working for 18 months.  I also pre-pay my gratuities for the rest of the crew but still give the something extra in this case at the end of the cruise.  Please remember, the Butler is NOT on the pre-paid gratuities program.  Many Haven Guest forget to tip them.  That is why I tip them up front.

 

Long answer to what could be considered a simple question.  Hope it helps you.

 

Cruise Well.

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The Secrets of the NCL Haven Luxury Experience was originally written with the frequent cruiser in mind.  I wanted folks to know not just about the NCL Haven; I wanted them to also know how to utilize the amenities. This stream like any Social Media topic has taken some twist and turns.  For the most part, it is still focused on education NCL cruisers on the Haven.

 

Many folks have an issue with the Haven.  Those issues range and to many to list here.  That is not what this stream is all about.  It is about what the Haven has to offer, amenities, hints and yes secrets to get the most out of your Haven Experience.  This is #938 post to this stream so the topic must be popular.  I hope if you are new to NCL or the Haven, you will read the very first post.  

 

As part of my obligation to CruiseCritic.com and those on this stream, I will use this topic for live updates on my upcoming NCL Joy Haven journey on November 27, 2021.  Because of circumstances beyond my control, I have had the opportunity to cruise in a (H2) Haven Deluxe Owners Suite for this voyage.  That is what Covid-19 did on a positive note for my family and me.  It will also be the first time my adult children will be on and NCL ship and especially the Haven.  All of this will be reflected in my upcoming posts.

 

One more aspect of what is to come.  NCL has a brand new terminal in Miami.  I think it would be very important to overview and review the new exclusive Haven Entrance, terminal lounge and process to get onboard.  You can be sure that will be included in my writings.  Until that time, 

 

Cruise well everyone.

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I am excited to hear your review of the NCL Joy.  I am on the Joy (Haven Courtyard) in February.  I know I am little behind to make reservations (six of us), but I believe you made your dinner reservations after the shows.  I am trying to decide what time to eat dinners.  What time did you choose?

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1 hour ago, Ironmikereith said:

I am excited to hear your review of the NCL Joy.  I am on the Joy (Haven Courtyard) in February.  I know I am little behind to make reservations (six of us), but I believe you made your dinner reservations after the shows.  I am trying to decide what time to eat dinners.  What time did you choose?

I like eating later vs. earlier.  Remember the Haven Restaurant does not take reservations.  All of my specialty dining is 07:00 PM.  You can reserve those restaurants 130 days out.  You will have to call or email the Haven Pre-Cruise Desk to do so.  

 

The shows are usually at 10:00 ish so I want a after dinner drink, then show.  I never want to be rushed.  That is why I choose 07:00 PM.  Hope that helps. 

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sthrngary: much like yourself, i am totally enamoured of the haven and its suites. consequently, i see no reason to try and bid on upgrades. i try and book the 2 bedroom (gives me a place to go other than the bar if my wife and i are arguing, or she kicks me out of the bedroom because i'm snoring)

 

in any event, have  a great cruise, i envy you the deluxe owners suite, but most importantly

 

"BON VOYAGE"  i look forward to your narrative vis-a-vis your cruise.

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Gary,

 

I have to say, for the first time I'm very disappointed with you!  

 

I've been looking forward to your updates on your November cruise and just now realized that it's so close to mine (Dec 5th Epic but leaving a few days early to hang out in NY).   Drat!  Looks like I won't be able to take full advantage of your advice.  I've been on Suites in the Jewel Class but this is my first experience with a Haven restaurant. 

 

Hope you have an amazing time and thank you again for all the time you've put into this.

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3 hours ago, Yesimapirate said:

Gary,

 

I have to say, for the first time I'm very disappointed with you!  

 

I've been looking forward to your updates on your November cruise and just now realized that it's so close to mine (Dec 5th Epic but leaving a few days early to hang out in NY).   Drat!  Looks like I won't be able to take full advantage of your advice.  I've been on Suites in the Jewel Class but this is my first experience with a Haven restaurant. 

 

Hope you have an amazing time and thank you again for all the time you've put into this.

I've been on Suites in the Jewel Class but this is my first experience with a Haven restaurant. 

 

FYI

Just to clear up any misunderstanding the JEWEL (JADE GEM PEARL)

while these do have a Haven they do not have a Haven restaurant (or Bar)

NCL would have to add another deck or two to create that feature.

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4 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

I like eating later vs. earlier.  Remember the Haven Restaurant does not take reservations.  All of my specialty dining is 07:00 PM.  You can reserve those restaurants 130 days out.  You will have to call or email the Haven Pre-Cruise Desk to do so.  

 

The shows are usually at 10:00 ish so I want a after dinner drink, then show.  I never want to be rushed.  That is why I choose 07:00 PM.  Hope that helps. 

 

Edited by Robb
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Sthrngary..........responding to your post (in my previous post above).  We are in the Haven on Epic in 30 days and contacted the Haven Pre-cruise Concierge desk and was told that nothing could be booked at present but the requests will be forwarded to the Haven Concierge on the ship.  

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23 minutes ago, Robb said:

Sthrngary..........responding to your post (in my previous post above).  We are in the Haven on Epic in 30 days and contacted the Haven Pre-cruise Concierge desk and was told that nothing could be booked at present but the requests will be forwarded to the Haven Concierge on the ship.  

I understand.  On my cruise, Joy 40 days from today, I reached out 130 days out.  The did not show any restaurants when I logged in.  I listed the dates, Restaurant and times I wanted.  Later that day, all reservation were on my online summary account, on the specific day and time.

 

The good news is you won’t have an issue.  The ship are 60% and they will my you a priority.  I was just sharing my experiences.  The Concierge will no let you down.

 

Cruise well.

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29 minutes ago, Robb said:

Sthrngary..........responding to your post (in my previous post above).  We are in the Haven on Epic in 30 days and contacted the Haven Pre-cruise Concierge desk and was told that nothing could be booked at present but the requests will be forwarded to the Haven Concierge on the ship.  


This is an odd IT quirk at the moment because the Epic is sailing currently in Europe. They had to turn off the reservations for dining to cope with capacity control rules on the ship over in Europe. Apparently they cannot turn off the pre bookings for just specific sail dates, but they can turn it off for entire ships. Once the ship is done with its Europe cruising season they will turn the system back on so people can pre book once again. 

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On 10/17/2021 at 9:59 AM, Sthrngary said:

Because this question gets confusing when read out of context, let me start out this way.  This answer is ONLY for a (H2) Haven Deluxe Owners Suite.  At no time can you ask your butler to bring wine or sprits to the room other then day one.  On day one, on a 7 day cruise, you receive three bottles from the list on on reply # 809.  Any other request for adult beverages will have a cost. Regardless of plan. 

 

On bottles of wine, if I am not mistaken, they have to open the bottle. We would have on glass, cork it and take it back to the suite. We would do this at lunch and dinner. This always gave us a bottle & a half in the suite at all times.  This is one of the main reasons we do the premium plus plan,

 

On the Ulta, ask your butler. My gut tells me they won’t do that regardless of plan or suite selected. On this, I could be wrong. 
 

Hope my answer helps.

this is what was provided to me in the DOS on Encore.  I requested the 3 bottles of liqour, mixers, and various waters.  It was replenished every day.  There were 2 sparkling waters and multiple cartoons of water.  On occasion, we would walk by the Haven Bar, request 3 glasses of wine, and Ronnie would just give us a bottle with 3 empty glasses to take back to the DOS.  

 

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24 minutes ago, ecco41 said:

this is what was provided to me in the DOS on Encore.  I requested the 3 bottles of liqour, mixers, and various waters.  It was replenished every day.  There were 2 sparkling waters and multiple cartoons of water.  On occasion, we would walk by the Haven Bar, request 3 glasses of wine, and Ronnie would just give us a bottle with 3 empty glasses to take back to the DOS.  

 

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This is lovely and great information for those in the (H2) Deluxe Owners Suite (DOS).  I can not thank you enough for the description and the picture.  I love the Moet in the back ground.  Thank you for taking the time to share.  

 

Cruise well.

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