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Thinking of booking the Haven. Any advice would be helpful.  

 

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It helps get better answers if you are more specific.   Which ship?   How many people in your party?  What would you like to know?

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So not sure I'm doing this right as never linked to another post on CC, but this is my favourite thread on the Haven subject.  It helped me enormously to understand the experience - what it is, and what it isn't.

 

 

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I originally had a mini suite booked on our Jade trip last November.  I placed a bid for a Haven suite . It was a 21 day trip .  Two days before embarking I found out my bid had "won" an upgrade to a Haven courtyard suite!  It was a fantastic experience.  The Jade does not have the Haven restaurant for the evening meals but we were able to have breakfast  & Lunch in either Moderno or Cagneys.  It was just my husband and myself in the 2 bedroom 2 bath suite.  The courtyard area was very nice and relaxing.  The concierge service was impeccable.  Not having to wait in line or join the masses gathering for excursions in the theater was wonderful! We didn't really use our butler as much as we could have.  I a!m a little afraid that I won't be satisfied with any less than the Haven going forward.... ! 

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26 minutes ago, agnesd said:

Thinking of booking the Haven. Any advice would be helpful.  

 

I guess I was kind of vague. The NCL Encore. We travel alone. Usually travel Oceania, Crystal and Viking. But cruised on the MSC Yacht Club with 5000 other pax. 

And it was fine. We are older than dirt but that doesn’t bother us. Just want own restaurant and lounge etc. 

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Just now, Georgia_Peaches said:

Just do it!  But know that one you do, you can't go back.

 

Oh you're killing me!  lol...first cruise ever and doing Haven...guess no turning back!  haha

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1 hour ago, agnesd said:

Thinking of booking the Haven. Any advice would be helpful.  

 

Be forewarned, you can never go back....

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45 minutes ago, agnesd said:

I guess I was kind of vague. The NCL Encore. We travel alone. Usually travel Oceania, Crystal and Viking. But cruised on the MSC Yacht Club with 5000 other pax. 

And it was fine. We are older than dirt but that doesn’t bother us. Just want own restaurant and lounge etc. 

I think you will be o.k. with the Haven. You get a separate restaurant, but the menu does not change. Assuming that you are booking the Bermuda itinerary, you'll get 3 meals in specialty restaurants for dinner, so you can venture out 3 of the 7 nights. 

 

You'll get reserved seating in the main theater. We actually don't use the Haven seating (which is on the left side) and go for seats closer to the front and in the center section of the Theater. 

 

Your butler and the concierge will take care of all of your needs. The private forward facing lounge is beautiful and a great place for a drink. We venture out and join the masses all night for different entertainment. 

 

We actually have a Haven room on the encore booked for an upcoming cruise (we were in a minisuite the last time we were on the Encore). But travel in the Haven a couple of times a year. 

 

Enjoy!

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With due respect for those who disagree with me, I enjoyed sailing in the Havens on the Jewel, Epic and Breakaway.  I made good use of all of the privileges afforded.  However, I absolutely did not find the value in the extra thousands of dollars required.  Since then, I have greatly enjoyed sailing in NCL balcony and even Studio cabins. 

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4 minutes ago, FLAHAM said:

With due respect for those who disagree with me, I enjoyed sailing in the Havens on the Jewel, Epic and Breakaway.  I made good use of all of the privileges afforded.  However, I absolutely did not find the value in the extra thousands of dollars required.  Since then, I have greatly enjoyed sailing in NCL balcony and even Studio cabins. 

Totally respect that view.  Except I do enjoy a certain level of butt kiss that I can't get in a regular balcony category.  On Breakaway, in the Haven, they made me feel like the ship was mine and mine alone.  Well worth the splurge from where I sit.  And I'm not a high maintenance kinda gal, but I do enjoy the finer things when I'm on vacation.

Edited by Georgia_Peaches

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17 minutes ago, davencl said:

Be forewarned, you can never go back....

 

 

Oh but you can!

I usually book our "big vacations" (those that are planned in advance and need flights and requests for time off work with plenty of notice and a lead time to the dog boarder and begging the neighbours to bring in the mail etc) in the Haven.

But those quick and spontaneous " Hey it's a long Holiday weekend, ABCD can watch the dogs, lets do something Honey!" grab an UBER to the port vacations? Inside cabin 1 perk cheap as I can get it!! (We make FULL use of the drink package on those trips.

And we enjoy both types of trips for completely different reasons.

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On 2/8/2020 at 3:14 PM, GettotheSun said:

So not sure I'm doing this right as never linked to another post on CC, but this is my favourite thread on the Haven subject.  It helped me enormously to understand the experience - what it is, and what it isn't.

 

 

Thank you so much for re-posting this.  I had so much fun doing it.  I find it so interesting how folks react to postings.  Positive, negative, and sometimes to just four words in a huge post.  For me, writing this another post is therapy.  Thanks again. 

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On 2/8/2020 at 3:24 PM, Petals22 said:

I originally had a mini suite booked on our Jade trip last November.  I placed a bid for a Haven suite . It was a 21 day trip .  Two days before embarking I found out my bid had "won" an upgrade to a Haven courtyard suite!  It was a fantastic experience.  The Jade does not have the Haven restaurant for the evening meals but we were able to have breakfast  & Lunch in either Moderno or Cagneys.  It was just my husband and myself in the 2 bedroom 2 bath suite.  The courtyard area was very nice and relaxing.  The concierge service was impeccable.  Not having to wait in line or join the masses gathering for excursions in the theater was wonderful! We didn't really use our butler as much as we could have.  I a!m a little afraid that I won't be satisfied with any less than the Haven going forward.... ! 

LOL, you got really lucky or unlucky.  Lucky because you got one of the better Haven Suites.  Unlucky because nothing else will compare.  As a side note, My first Haven Suite was a Spa Suite.  Very small suite as suites go.  My next was a Two-Bedroom (H4) Family Villa.  Wow.  My adult 29 year old daughter was upset with me.  She thought it would be stuffy up in the Haven.  Only old people.  She warned me she may never use the Haven Pool, Lounges, Spa, Bar or Restaurant. She never left the Haven unless it was a show, excursion, Mojhito bar or Specialty Restaurant. I guess I knew what I was talking about,  although I would never hear that.  Loved your post, thank you. 

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we only book Haven on the large ships.  we made this call after experiencing a small ship Haven (Gem, which was fantastic) then large ship Haven (Escape, Breakaway and Getaway).

 

on teh smaller ships, we will spring for a non-Haven suite so we get the Butler perks and the special breakfast/lunch and free room service, as well as the priority disembark/tendering. But to pay often substantially more for a Haven room to really only get the use of the courtyard (no haven bar or restaurant for dinner on the small ships) isnt worth it to us.

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On 2/8/2020 at 4:32 PM, Georgia_Peaches said:

Totally respect that view.  Except I do enjoy a certain level of butt kiss that I can't get in a regular balcony category.  On Breakaway, in the Haven, they made me feel like the ship was mine and mine alone.  Well worth the splurge from where I sit.  And I'm not a high maintenance kinda gal, but I do enjoy the finer things when I'm on vacation.

Agreed, however I can see both point of view.  Love the term "Butt Kiss".  I have worked with people all my life.  Even in the Haven, a great attitude, not being afraid to ask for what you want, and a quiet tip to bar tenders make a huge difference.  Recently, we were at the Haven Bar, I met a very nice lady (I am married so this was not a date), she seemed upset that she was not served quick enough.  The Bar staff was busting it.  The Bar tender saw me, smiled and ask me what I and my friend wanted immediately.  She was taken back.  Then I told the Bar tender to take care of my friend for the week.  She thanked me on the last day.  Some get mad when I say I tip with cash on day one.  Others thank me for the thought on how to improve their time. Others argue and say they should have to do that.  I say, I want to be a Rock Star for 7 days.  Cruise well. 

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Before we stayed in our Haven suite on the Jade, I thought everyone in the Haven would be stuffy and very demanding.  It turned out I was wrong.  Most of the other Haven guests were "normal" people, not stuffy at all.  We met some really great people.  The staff was wonderful also.  We have been fortunate though, we really haven't had any negative staff experiences except on the Gem and it was really probably my expectations of what the person could do or not do for us while on board that colored my experience.  On the Jade trip, I wanted my husband & myself to be spoiled ..... and we were! 

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2 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

Agreed, however I can see both point of view.  Love the term "Butt Kiss".  I have worked with people all my life.  Even in the Haven, a great attitude, not being afraid to ask for what you want, and a quiet tip to bar tenders make a huge difference.  Recently, we were at the Haven Bar, I met a very nice lady (I am married so this was not a date), she seemed upset that she was not served quick enough.  The Bar staff was busting it.  The Bar tender saw me, smiled and ask me what I and my friend wanted immediately.  She was taken back.  Then I told the Bar tender to take care of my friend for the week.  She thanked me on the last day.  Some get mad when I say I tip with cash on day one.  Others thank me for the thought on how to improve their time. Others argue and say they should have to do that.  I say, I want to be a Rock Star for 7 days.  Cruise well. 

 

Well said about tipping, and many can learn from your example as well !! It goes along way, as does actually having a friendly conversation with the staff member.

 

Our experience in the Haven has been the same as your own, you get what you give, and it only requires a few dollars and some friendly genuine conversation.

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1 hour ago, Robert Peel said:

 

Well said about tipping, and many can learn from your example as well !! It goes along way, as does actually having a friendly conversation with the staff member.

 

Our experience in the Haven has been the same as your own, you get what you give, and it only requires a few dollars and some friendly genuine conversation.

 

A friendly conversation with the staff can go so very, very far. I'm not in the habit of cash tipping in the beginning (but don't object to those that do) - and we've pretty much always had exemplary service. We are really into getting to know the staff and ask them all about their families and where they're from. In our Haven experience, we were traveling with 3 kids, then 15, 11 and (almost) 2. The Pool Valet on the Pearl was extremely attentive - I think he really liked seeing the 5 of us gather for breakfast every morning in the Courtyard. With the toddler, it was great not having to head to a dining room of any sort.

 

Luckily for us, our butler was on her first sailing after a 2 month leave and had left behind her own toddler daughter. They doted heavily on us and our kids, but we also made it a point to get to know them. They were tipped heavily at the end of our trip for their excellent service.

 

We're booked back into the Pearl this November and I am so looking forward to that Courtyard again. Kids will be 18, 14 and 5 by then and my teens still rave about the personal attention we received in the Haven.

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On 2/8/2020 at 3:35 PM, agnesd said:

I guess I was kind of vague. The NCL Encore. We travel alone. Usually travel Oceania, Crystal and Viking. But cruised on the MSC Yacht Club with 5000 other pax. 

And it was fine. We are older than dirt but that doesn’t bother us. Just want own restaurant and lounge etc. 

My wife and I are also Older than dirt as well, LOL.  I also traveled on MSC and Oceania.  The response you were given below about the Haven is completely accurate.  The Haven "Ship with in a Ship" concept is like the Oceania Special area in the front of the ship for Penthouse and above.  Except a lot bigger and several floors.  On the Encore, it is very important to note, the Haven pool area is available to any Haven passenger including children.  The top floor is 16 or above and has service as well as two hot tubs.  That is where I camp out.  Sometimes, remember only sometimes, especially during holiday and school vacation time, the children in the Haven Pool area are a little of an issue.  God help me for saying this, when I wrote my review, I got lots of angry parents send me post that expressed their children were well mannered.  I agree with them.  However, it happens and I have experienced this.  Not a darn thing that can be done.  I just retreated upstairs and problem solved.  On Oceania, the area is smaller however rarely with this be an issue. 

On the Haven Restaurant food menu never changing.  That is correct.  Great Menu and service in my humble opinion.  Key word, opinion.  I personally that the Haven Restaurant and service was much better then the specialty restaurants.  I could have eaten at the Haven, every meal, every day. 

Please recognize the NCL ships, Encore especially is a main stream cruise line not premium like Oceania.  Food, service, accommodations on Oceania, Viking ect. is more formal, less hectic and simply better/different.  It also can cost a lot more.  I love both options.  Hope that adds to your question. 

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On 2/8/2020 at 4:35 PM, agnesd said:

I guess I was kind of vague. The NCL Encore. We travel alone. Usually travel Oceania, Crystal and Viking. But cruised on the MSC Yacht Club with 5000 other pax. 

And it was fine. We are older than dirt but that doesn’t bother us. Just want own restaurant and lounge etc. 

We were on the Encore 01/12/20 in Haven Suite 17716, a two bedroom near the pool. The Haven experience was near perfect. The menu in the dining room did not change, but food was excellent. The observation lounge was seldom used. I think it would be much better if the bar was located there, rather than where it is.

 

The pool water was very cold that week and no one seemed to get in the Haven pool. The 2 hot tubs on deck 19 were nice, but a long distance to the bar area on deck 17. Waiters would bring a drink, but it might take 20 minutes. We were in San Juan till midnight and I got a little miffed when they closed the hot tubs at 10.

 

All in all, the Haven is a great place to spend your cruise time. Whether it is worth the cost is subjective. I will definitely do it again.

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On 2/8/2020 at 3:05 PM, agnesd said:

Thinking of booking the Haven. Any advice would be helpful.  

 

I am not sure if I responded to you or if you have enough information.  I am the Author of the Haven article someone re-posted on this thread. You can ask me any questions you like.  

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3 hours ago, JDIRWINCPA said:

We were on the Encore 01/12/20 in Haven Suite 17716, a two bedroom near the pool. The Haven experience was near perfect. The menu in the dining room did not change, but food was excellent. The observation lounge was seldom used. I think it would be much better if the bar was located there, rather than where it is.

 

The pool water was very cold that week and no one seemed to get in the Haven pool. The 2 hot tubs on deck 19 were nice, but a long distance to the bar area on deck 17. Waiters would bring a drink, but it might take 20 minutes. We were in San Juan till midnight and I got a little miffed when they closed the hot tubs at 10.

 

All in all, the Haven is a great place to spend your cruise time. Whether it is worth the cost is subjective. I will definitely do it again.

I have to ask you a question about your Two Bedroom Haven Family Villa.  I am booked in one on the Encore in May.  I have been told the Two Bedrooms on deck 17 have the larger balcony.  Where on deck 18 have the smaller balcony.  My suite is literally right next to the Haven Restaurant on Deck 18 currently.  Your thoughts?

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26 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

I have to ask you a question about your Two Bedroom Haven Family Villa.  I am booked in one on the Encore in May.  I have been told the Two Bedrooms on deck 17 have the larger balcony.  Where on deck 18 have the smaller balcony.  My suite is literally right next to the Haven Restaurant on Deck 18 currently.  Your thoughts?

I believe the balcony on deck 17 is larger than those on deck 18. On the two bedroom balcony on 17, the balcony extends past the master bathroom. The master tub and master shower are each on the outside of the stateroom facing the balcony. The tub and shower each have a pull down shade; however they only provide partial privacy. If you are in the bathroom at night with the lights on, anyone on the balcony can see in both the tub and shower. Hard to believe!

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Totally worth it on the newer ships.  The restaurant, no joke, they have a pork chop that is the same protein served in Cagney's for dinner.  I challenged them on it and they admitted it was the exact same cut, just prepared different. FOR LUNCH!!!  Also, they have a really nice misto of seafood as a lunch app.  I also recommend the short rib on polenta dinner app, amazing!   We ate there a LOT, basically every meal other then our UDP meals, and we had breakfast in our room every day, order whatever you want, they will bring it.  Steak and Eggs, Eggs Benedict, it's all fair game.

I can tell you this, you can ask them if they can modify things, and they normally are cool about it....BUT, on our cruise last week there was a family that handed them a list of what they wanted made for each dinner, all things that were NOT on the menu at all, just random things like Chicken Francaise.  I have no idea if they did it, but you could see the disdain in the face of the manager after she came over to talk to them, they love to do things for you, but if you go in there expecting it and treating them like they have to do it, it won't go as well for you.  Remember to treat them great, make a connection, they love that.

Here is a pic of my lunch pork chop.

IMG_20200205_134216.jpg

Edited by oteixeira

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