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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. 

Just got off the Encore on the 2/2 cruise.  We are a couple in our late 60's.  We booked a Haven aft suite and wouldn't have traded it for the world.  How can I explain why our cruise was so great?  I was treated like a movie star.  The Haven restaurant is so amazing, that if I had to do it over again, I don't know if I'd eat anywhere else.   The attitude of the staff was gracious and white glove.  We upgraded to the premium plus beverage, as we like to indulge in our drinks.  It was totally amazing.  I've been home 2 days and it's like it was a dream.  The escort service to any shows, the getting on/off of the ship. The Concierge desk that is there to help you with anything.  I've traveled on Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn before, but never made to feel as important and doted on as I did last week.  Any questions, feel free to ask.

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1 hour ago, JDIRWINCPA said:

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!

Thanks for the info.  We are booked in cabin 17104 (two bedroom next to the hot tub) on May 31 and really looking forward to it.  We'll have to keep an eye on this part..

 

 

Edited by Newfun4me
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51 minutes ago, benzygirl said:

Just got off the Encore on the 2/2 cruise.  We are a couple in our late 60's.  We booked a Haven aft suite and wouldn't have traded it for the world.  How can I explain why our cruise was so great?  I was treated like a movie star.  The Haven restaurant is so amazing, that if I had to do it over again, I don't know if I'd eat anywhere else.   The attitude of the staff was gracious and white glove.  We upgraded to the premium plus beverage, as we like to indulge in our drinks.  It was totally amazing.  I've been home 2 days and it's like it was a dream.  The escort service to any shows, the getting on/off of the ship. The Concierge desk that is there to help you with anything.  I've traveled on Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn before, but never made to feel as important and doted on as I did last week.  Any questions, feel free to ask.

Thanks!  I think you described it well in saying you are treated like a movie star.  It's pretty amazing and tough to go back home to reality.  I'm really just curious as I've been debating the premium plus beverage package.  You thought it was worth it?  What were your favorites?  

 

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There’s only two things that really make the plus worth it. If you’re a champagne lover, or appreciate the expensive scotch, brandy etc.  I drank 6-8 glasses of Veuve @ $35 which would be +$20x7=$140. Cost me $29. Plus bottle water at meals, small bottles to bring yo room, fresh oj and capaccino every night.  My hubby drank MAcallan which was also $35/drink.  Sometimes I ordered a bottle of Moët instead of Veuve by the glass to have it handy and cold. But sometimes after one glass of Veuve, they’d just bring The bottle.    Service with a smile was their motto 

otherwise for regular nice drinks the regular pkg is fine. A few waters, capaccino etc won’t cost you $500 for the week 

Edited by benzygirl
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The room service pizza is excellent +, and they are cool if you order it in the Haven restaurant. 

 

You can order Doubles - we had the upgrade though, and that got us whatever we wanted to drink from Fivebucks as well. The upgrade is totally worth it. Especially for the Cognac, and the Verve. After one glass of the Prosecco my financial adviser walked straight around the corner to the Concierge desk and paid for the upgrade. I don't remember a lot about the Cognac...Weird.

 

Boarding and disembarkation. Nuff said.

 

You can totally avoid the buffet. Nuff said.

 

Stay away from the duck. No bueno.

 

Take a long charging cord. Then you can sit on the toilet and charge your fone at the same time. ...In case you have the duck.

 

You may struggle to find salads or vegetables in quantity. If you are vegetarian you will need to take your own bag of lettuce. By a few days in I was craving for a salad. A salad, that wasn't Caesar or some inedible Gucci thing. Broccoli. Potato salad. Something green. Anything. A tomato! I felt like Kevin Costner on his boat.

 

We didn't use the butler very much, and you could see that it bothered him. He really wanted to help. 

 

The restaurant menu wasn't fabulous, and we got tired of it really fast. Like, FAST. By the end of the week we had given up completely. Even breakfast. We just didn't bother. We had Cagneys x2, the French place, and room service x2. I wouldn't say that we avoided the place, but...yea, we avoided the place. We even ordered room service to be served in the restaurant one night. For lunch we usually skipped it entirely or went to the buffet for Indian. Three of us got sick from the duck on the second night, and kids were sticking their fingers in the food at breakfast. Yeah, nah. We avoided it.

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, oteixeira said:

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

This was an Unbelievable story.  Really, I can't believe a family would do that. Now I am nuts with my preparations and requests also. My focus on attempting to stay on my Keto diet. Key word attempting.  Like instead of the Potato's, can I have a green vegetable. What that family did was over the top.  WOW.

You did teach me something with your post.  On my last Haven cruise, my wife and I were in a Spa suite.  It was very nice but small.  Having breakfast in the rooms was well difficult.  We did one morning not thinking about ordering from the Haven Restaurant.  So it was an early excursion and we ordered off the menu in the room for breakfast.  Both my wife and I did not like it.  It just was't the same.  My mistake was not asking for the breakfast from the Haven. 

A side note.  I love, love, loved the pork chop for lunch.  Several folks did ask the Haven Restaurant to hold a pork chop for dinner.  Not problem with that request. 

Final thought.  Regardless of how much I love the experiences I have gotten at the Haven, and I do.  NCL is NOT a premium or Luxury cruise line.  The food and service will never match the Seven Seas, Viking, and or a premium line like Oceania.  They also cost a lot more.  However, it is a cut above the normal if you, like I do, like large ships with lots to do like the Getaway, Escape and Encore.  Setting expectations that are realistic is really a key to enjoying a great cruise experience. 

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5 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

This was an Unbelievable story.  Really, I can't believe a family would do that. Now I am nuts with my preparations and requests also. My focus on attempting to stay on my Keto diet. Key word attempting.  Like instead of the Potato's, can I have a green vegetable. What that family did was over the top.  WOW.

You did teach me something with your post.  On my last Haven cruise, my wife and I were in a Spa suite.  It was very nice but small.  Having breakfast in the rooms was well difficult.  We did one morning not thinking about ordering from the Haven Restaurant.  So it was an early excursion and we ordered off the menu in the room for breakfast.  Both my wife and I did not like it.  It just was't the same.  My mistake was not asking for the breakfast from the Haven. 

A side note.  I love, love, loved the pork chop for lunch.  Several folks did ask the Haven Restaurant to hold a pork chop for dinner.  Not problem with that request. 

Final thought.  Regardless of how much I love the experiences I have gotten at the Haven, and I do.  NCL is NOT a premium or Luxury cruise line.  The food and service will never match the Seven Seas, Viking, and or a premium line like Oceania.  They also cost a lot more.  However, it is a cut above the normal if you, like I do, like large ships with lots to do like the Getaway, Escape and Encore.  Setting expectations that are realistic is really a key to enjoying a great cruise experience. 

Sthrngary,

 

    My entire experience in the Haven (it was my first) was guided by your post!  I can tell you when I saw that family do that I was in shock!  They had a small child, and also requested a special blended fruit with each meal, and complained when the apple was green (granny smith) and not red....  I did the opposite, I tried to learn something about each server, get to know them, and treat them as my equal.  By the end of the week they were bringing my wife her favorites to the table without asking (like the olive bread for dinner, she got it every lunch).  It really is a simple thing to show kindness, so some people just disappoint me.  

   As for the room service breakfast, we were in a spa room, and it was kind of small, but we also do this when we are non-Haven (and I don't mind paying the charge).  We ate at the round table or out on the balcony.  I wanted to ask, is it normal for the Starbucks to be free in the restaurant and for breakfast?  I was never charged, but would have happily payed as I was on the standard beverage package.

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7 minutes ago, oteixeira said:

Sthrngary,

 

    My entire experience in the Haven (it was my first) was guided by your post!  I can tell you when I saw that family do that I was in shock!  They had a small child, and also requested a special blended fruit with each meal, and complained when the apple was green (granny smith) and not red....  I did the opposite, I tried to learn something about each server, get to know them, and treat them as my equal.  By the end of the week they were bringing my wife her favorites to the table without asking (like the olive bread for dinner, she got it every lunch).  It really is a simple thing to show kindness, so some people just disappoint me.  

   As for the room service breakfast, we were in a spa room, and it was kind of small, but we also do this when we are non-Haven (and I don't mind paying the charge).  We ate at the round table or out on the balcony.  I wanted to ask, is it normal for the Starbucks to be free in the restaurant and for breakfast?  I was never charged, but would have happily payed as I was on the standard beverage package.

The Starbucks thing is hit or miss.  I know they will charge you if you go to the Starbucks store on the ship.  In the Haven, I always have the "Premium Plus Drink Package".  I always ordered specialty coffee after dinner.  As you know, the French press in the morning was a highlight of my trip.  I was never charged, I don't think they do at the Haven Restaurant.  I also was not charged when I did my specialty restaurants but that might have been because of my drink package.  Sorry, the best answer I could give.  

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Done 4 Haven Cruises....two each on Getaway and Breakaway.  Each were fantastic.  I would LOVE to sail on any of the Breakaway+ ships (or even the Epic) in the Haven.

 

People have mostly covered what you’ll like....Haven Restaurant....private, cordial, impeccable service, great food (even if it doesn’t change).  Mostly, I liked the Haven Restaurant for lunch and breakfast.  If you’re in the Haven, you’ll likely have the Specialty Dining package as a perk.  You can get variety by using those.  Oh, and have your concierge make your reservations for Specialty Dining.  (S)He can get you into them even when they’re sold out.  Plus, they’ll make your reservations for all the premiere shows on board, in the best seats in the house.

 

Any billing snafus?  Concierge takes care of it.  No standing in line at the SErvice Desk.  Internet problems?  Concierge again.

 

Want something from the restaurants served in your room?  Butler.  Want specific types of snacks, cakes or candies in your room?  Tell your Butler.

 

Want to just eat under the stars?  Haven has a dinner planned just for that in the courtyard where you’ll meet the Captain.  Want to get a massage without going to the Spa?  Haven has a special private massage room.

 

My favorite thing to do, is to just hang out with my new made friends at the Haven Bar before/after dinner or a show, returning from a long excursion, or maybe a nightcap before bed.  Service is wonderful.

 

Can’t recommend it enough.

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56 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

Done 4 Haven Cruises....two each on Getaway and Breakaway.  Each were fantastic.  I would LOVE to sail on any of the Breakaway+ ships (or even the Epic) in the Haven.

 

People have mostly covered what you’ll like....Haven Restaurant....private, cordial, impeccable service, great food (even if it doesn’t change).  Mostly, I liked the Haven Restaurant for lunch and breakfast.  If you’re in the Haven, you’ll likely have the Specialty Dining package as a perk.  You can get variety by using those.  Oh, and have your concierge make your reservations for Specialty Dining.  (S)He can get you into them even when they’re sold out.  Plus, they’ll make your reservations for all the premiere shows on board, in the best seats in the house.

 

Any billing snafus?  Concierge takes care of it.  No standing in line at the SErvice Desk.  Internet problems?  Concierge again.

 

Want something from the restaurants served in your room?  Butler.  Want specific types of snacks, cakes or candies in your room?  Tell your Butler.

 

Want to just eat under the stars?  Haven has a dinner planned just for that in the courtyard where you’ll meet the Captain.  Want to get a massage without going to the Spa?  Haven has a special private massage room.

 

My favorite thing to do, is to just hang out with my new made friends at the Haven Bar before/after dinner or a show, returning from a long excursion, or maybe a nightcap before bed.  Service is wonderful.

 

Can’t recommend it enough.

Thanks!  The eat under the stars thing is new to me.  Is that on all ships?  

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47 minutes ago, Newfun4me said:

Thanks!  The eat under the stars thing is new to me.  Is that on all ships?  

It was on my last cruise on the Breakaway.  I would assume it's the same on the other ships with a Haven.

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Great information here!  We sailed in Haven a couple of years ago and then went back to our regular balcony/minis.   Our favorite thing about Haven was the great restaurant with the best service.   Nice to read here and remind ourselves of what we enjoyed so much.   We now have another Haven booked for next year.....before we go back to the regular cabins😊

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This is a great posting.  I have two more things I recommend for the Haven.  Both are items I will absolutely do again when I am on the Encore in May.  1) The chocolate Cake with ice cream in the Haven Restaurant.  Let me set this up for full impact.  Prior to my last cruise in the Haven November 2019, I had been on the keto diet for 4 months and working out three times a week for 3 months.  I had not had sugar or any carb like potato/rice for four months.  The cruise was my reward.  Night one, I was going to stay good but the person next to me got the cake and rolled his eyes after one bit.  To hell with Keto, it was life changing.  I had it three more times that week.  2) The Crazy Special Drink that is made with smoke in the Haven bar.  Look this one up on YouTube. I tipped the bar tender and we did it about 2:00 PM on the last sea day.  I gathered everyone around the bar and it took the bartender about 10 minutes to make it.  We passed the drink around so everyone could try it.  So much fun.  I then did about 10 shots of tequila and took a nap for about 3 hours be for dinner.  You can skip the last part.  Try the crazy drink and invite all your new friends to join.  

Folks, let me tell you all something.  I stopped cruising for a long time.  My wife and family got sick of it.  Then I got ill a few years ago.  I worked extremely hard to get in better shape. Then I went on a cruise.  Now I have been on dieting and working out again until my May cruise.  7 months worth.  Cruises are what you make of them.  For me not at my age, they are my goal prize. Cruise well. 

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On 2/11/2020 at 10:05 PM, elwood_98034 said:

We even ordered room service to be served in the restaurant one night.

Wow - too funny!!  

 

We're looking forward to the Haven for Alaska in June.    Perhaps another way to look at Haven is to  book it for Alaska first ... then every other Haven cruise following will "feel" like a great deal 🙂      

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14 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

The Starbucks thing is hit or miss.  I know they will charge you if you go to the Starbucks store on the ship.  In the Haven, I always have the "Premium Plus Drink Package".  I always ordered specialty coffee after dinner.  As you know, the French press in the morning was a highlight of my trip.  I was never charged, I don't think they do at the Haven Restaurant.  I also was not charged when I did my specialty restaurants but that might have been because of my drink package.  Sorry, the best answer I could give.  


I always have the regular alcohol package in the Haven and never charged for the French Pressed. I only drink black iced coffee in the morning. So, each day/night, I would get a small French Press, put in my fridge once cooled and press and drink in the morning with my large cup I bring from home. I would bring the press back to the bar each day and they would replace with another press for my fridge.  This would happen every morning when I got back from the gym so if the bar wasnt open yet (although they are usually there setting up) I would give to the restaurant to swap out. 

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On 2/12/2020 at 10:51 PM, js said:


I always have the regular alcohol package in the Haven and never charged for the French Pressed. I only drink black iced coffee in the morning. So, each day/night, I would get a small French Press, put in my fridge once cooled and press and drink in the morning with my large cup I bring from home. I would bring the press back to the bar each day and they would replace with another press for my fridge.  This would happen every morning when I got back from the gym so if the bar wasnt open yet (although they are usually there setting up) I would give to the restaurant to swap out. 

That is one hell of an idea.  I love the nespresso machine in the room.  However, that french press coffee is outstanding.  Great hint, I am going to remember that one.  

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