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About Sthrngary

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Birmingham, AL
  • Interests
    RVing, Movies, College Football
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America, Celebrity, NCL, Oceania
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Any where

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  1. Ok, let me be clear, I was on the NCL Getaway. This "All Inclusive Bungalow for Two" was located on Rotan. The excursion started off rather rough. The Getaway could not dock so we had to use tenders. This also forced us and other to get up an hour earlier which effected how late we stayed out the night before. The tender ride was awful. It was way longer then it needed to by at one hour. The tender back to the ship was 10 minutes. The ships crew seemed to be take by surprise not being able to dock. So this update would not be fair unless I shared that with you first. The ride to the resort is 45 minutes. There is a tour guide in the air conditioned bus with you. This guide is attempting to share history with you on this island that is kind of run down. The guide really pushed her enthusiasm a bit to much to compensate for the negative attitudes of the folks on the bus after this rough start. Not her fault but everyone wished she would just shut up. The resort is nice, not great, nice. We were escorted to a section right off the beach where the Bungalows were located. Only those with Bungalows were allowed in this area yet we could go to the beach anytime we choose. That was a plus. The Bungalow were very nice indeed. About eight of them lined up. Lovely basket of fresh fruit waiting and a chilling bottle of Champagne. Met the butler and bar tender. It was a full bar of nice brands. The shrimp cocktail followed which was very nice. Lunch was Caribbean Lobster tail with steak. I rate the food 6.5 to 7. I got in the water with the provided floating tubes because that is really what I love about this excursion. Then after five minutes it was time to get the party rolling. As my neighbors came in the water I introduced myself. As more joined I waited until 8 or nine folks were in the water. My was reading her book on the bed. Then I sprang. I got the bartender to get the 8 of us in the water shots of tequila. More folks joined us in the water including my wife. 7-8 shots each later, everyone was having the time of their lives. No one was feeling any pain I assure you. When it was time to take the bus trip back to the ship (45 minutes), everyone was singing and happy. We offered the bus driver $100.00 to stop at the only Popeyes Fried Chicken place on the island so we could get a bucket for the bus. Seems they only have to fast food places on the Island, Popeyes and Pizza Inn. The bus driver would not take the bribe. I had a GREAT time but I always do. This or any excursion as well as cruises are what you make of it. You make the determination for you and your guests. Please remember if you want a 3rd of 4th person, each one is $199.00. I hope that helps your decision. Wish I was there with you. Be well.
  2. Your answers are below. I love coffee in the morning also. However, please remember two lovely things. 1) The Haven Resturant at breakfast has French press coffee, yum. 2) when you upgrade your Premium Beverage Package to the Premium Plus Beverage Package, there is no charge for specialty coffees As well as other benefits. Hope that adds flavor to your coffee question.
  3. The concierge makes a call. With one minute someone shows up. They take down the freight elevator. You are first online getting off the ship for excursions and last day. This is very important for excursions. You get breakfast at the Haven, got out first especially on early departure excursions. Last day we were out, got our bags, through customs and in a cab in less then 10 min. Hope that helps.
  4. If you are on the ship for 14 day, sure; Margaritaville will be a good initial change of pace. I used to live at the beach. I simply did not care for the food. That being said, it is a perk, if you don’t like the food, go back up to the Haven. Personal preference not bad food. Now O’Sheenes was bad food.
  5. I loved the Getaway and just did a review. Last year I was on the Celebrity Equinox for a lot more money. I did not enjoy that experience half as much as the Getaway. So because you were so nice, I am going to give you some more hints: Haven Bar: The Bartender's name is Patrick. Say a guy named Gary suggested he make you the Smokey drink. It is a show and a half. Water Slides: Go after the first day at sea. I never had to stand in a line for more then a few minutes. Show Reservations: Make your show reservation now and coordinate your specialty restaurants reservations based on that. As I mentioned in other post, the Haven Restaurant does not take reservations. Haven Desk on the Ship: You have a question, ask them. You have an issue, tell them. Smoking: If you smoke, do not smoke anywhere that is not an expressly approved smoking area. They will fine you. Tour the Ship Day One: They will give you an invitation for lunch at the Haven Restaurant or Margarettaville. Don't take the bait, have lunch at 12:00 PM day one in the Haven. Prior, bring your carry on to your suite even if it is not completely ready for you. Then come back to the Haven. After lunch, tour the ship before it gets to crowded. Fish On the Rugs/Carpet: In the halls, look down at the fish in the carpet. There heads indicate the front of the ship, tails back of the ship. Harder to get lost knowing that. Room Service: Don't order off the in-room menu. Have the butler get you your food from the Haven. That being said, if you have an early excursion, room service breakfast is a nice way to go providing a kind of wake up call. Venture All Over the Ship: As nice as the Haven is, you got to see the rest of this ship. Putt Putt Golf, Rope course which my wife would not allow me to do (I was drunk at the time, good wife and I am 62), shuffle board for shots is fun. Premium Plus Drink Package: If it does not blow up your budget AND you do like to indulge with adult beverages AND you like to have really great bottles of water (with or without gas) at meals AND you like specialty coffee's AND you would like to have a full bottle of wine at dinner then take what is left over to your room AND you like top shelf brands of Liquors. Then pay the upgrade from the Premium Drink Package. If you don't drink and don't intend to drink, skip this bullet point. Shows: Go into the theater on the left side, the Haven reserved section is mid-way on the left. Nice perk. Burger By the Haven Pool: The Haven Burger comes this the cute basket of fries. Sit by the pool, the servers will be out there, have a burger by the pool one day. So good and no nice. Chocolate Haven Cake: Unbelievable. I broke my Keto diet for this cake with vanilla ice cream three times. Other Must Eat Items: Salmon or Pork Chop for lunch; Beef Short Rib appetizer for dinner; Prime Rib for dinner is crazy good, Smoke Salmon is on the Breakfast Buffet for a starter, the almond danish is great, my Favorite breakfast was the steak and eggs. Love the French Restaurant for the experience and the deserts are to die for. Enjoy your trip and keep on cruising. Encore here we come in May. Be well.
  6. I am on the Encore in Mid-May to the Bermuda with my family of five in a Haven 2-Bedroom Suite Also. Here is the approach, hints, stratigies, and my thoughts. Let me set the foundations. The Haven Restaurant does not take reservations. You may have to wait some nights for as long as an hour. Rare but true. If you go at 5 to 5:45 PM, no issue on a ship that the Haven was sold out. Next step is not restaurant, it is shows. Reserve your shows and once done, make your specialty restaurants accordingly. Also take into account your excursions time back prior to making reservations. Do everything online as soon as you can. If you have or need a change, the Haven Desk will accommodate MOST Times. I hope that answers all of your questions.
  7. Sure thing. This tread has taken several turn in emphasis and focus. The first was away from the Haven Experience and on a small comment I made about rude children/parents of those children in the Haven Pool area. The second turn in this thread was to how to leverage all the benefits of the Haven. Now the focus on the different type of Adult drinking packages and how to leverage them effectively. That is the core of your question to me. When we all purchase our cruises from NCL, we usually get the option of a Perk called the Premium Beverage Program. Prior and the first day of the cruise, if you have this perk (or purchased it), you can upgrade this program to the Premium PLUS Beverage Program (PPBP) for $250.00 per person, per week. This PPBP allows the purchase of bottles of wine, flights, and bottles of liquor for a 40% discount. You can order Bottles of Liquors off your room service menu. Please note, you will have a service fee of 20%. A normal liquor bottle is $100.00. You can now make a decisions knowing the discount applied.
  8. First Cruise and in the Haven. Way to go, you will not be disappointed. It is insanely nice and everyone will feel like a rock star. I hate crowds also so follow my hints if possible. Get the the port at 10:45 am. Problem solved. You will be offered Lunch in a specialty restaurant or the Haven restaurant. This is VERY important, eat in the Haven restaurant at 12:00 pm. Get the pork chop, salmon or anything else on that unbelievable menu. SOOOOO Good and not crowded at all that first lunch. I am taking my adult children and getting them a soda package even though they are 25 plus years old. I am also buying a bottle of rum for the room at 40% off for my children. I will also get them adult beverages, bottle water and or energy drinks if they want them. As a matter of fact, I will get a few for the suite. Since this is your first cruise, ask you room Stewart to get all the "for sale" stuff in your mini-refrigerator. I don't know a thing about the wine program. Final hint, 60 days prior to the cruise you will get a letter from NCL giving you the direct email of the Haven desk for request you have. Don't be shy, have stuff handled for you prior to cruising. Also, get your show, specialty restaurant and excursions reservation handled online as soon as you can. You will thank me for that advice. Enjoy.
  9. I am going to take your post one item at a time. Bottle delivered to the room by the butler: NOT going to happen without a serious cost to you. Not what I mean. Let me give you an example of what I am saying. You go to the Haven or any dinning room for lunch or dinner. While their you have the Premium Plus Drink Program. You look at the wine list and several have a notation next them them. Those notations mean you can have a bottle of that wine (not just a glass) brought to your table side. If you don't finish the bottle at that meal, you can take it to your room yourself or they will deliver it. If you order a full bottle to your room, they will charge your for that full bottle. I am giving you a hint on how to have wine in your room for no extra charge with the Premium Plus program only. Viva Vino Package: I have no idea. What I do know is if you go online to NCL.com put in your user name and password (to get this you have to have a confirmation number) you can see all the drink packages and purchase ahead of time. Viva Vino Package and Water Package: Do the math. Just like above, I went to the bar or resturant. Got a large bottle of water with and without gas. I brought it back to the room. Water Bottles, Energy drinks, specialty coffee are not part of the Premium Drink package, just the Premium Plus. Why by a water package and wine package when you can save money with the upgrade to Premium Plus. Your decision. If you do a wine package, it is located on your cabin card. Order the wine at any restaurant. I can't emphasize enough, your butler is your room service person. If you order wine or an adult beverage for room service, there will be a charge. Again, I am giving you a hint on how to navigate this crazy NCL system. If you let them, they will charge you endless fees. My ON-Board account would untapped until my last day when my wife went shopping. I am crazy about NOT getting nicled and dimed on a cruise. Finally on security. Lets not get confused here. Security and check in are to different things. Everyone goes through the same security, no special lines that I could see anyway. I got right through no issue at 10:45 am. Just like the airport security, when you are though, ask where the Haven Check-in is located. You might have to ask more then one person. You then go to check in at Haven Check-in. Takes about 10 minutes total and there usually is no line. When completed they escort you to the PORT Haven lounge. Simply a small room with chairs. Some food, soft drinks and coffee. Just to wait before boarding. When the ship clears, they will escort you to the actual ship and take you directly to the Ship Haven Lounge. That is when it is party time for real. As a last comment. I know they are unclear about what I am explaining. That was the entire purpose of my post. I have done many post on luxury activities like this. Super VIP for Four Day Music Events is another example. Simply no concrete explanations of how to fully leverage the value when paying a premium. Hope this clarifies your questions and post.
  10. Let me clarify. Louis was not on the list for example. You did get a 40% discount on the $65.00 1/2 ounce shot. I passed on that opportunity, lol. Everything else on the best bar (Haven Bar) was a GO!!!! Limited to the premium plus description. I was never turned down for anything based on one drink. Now let me approach the delivery of a bottle of wine. Look at the Premium Plus wine list. On the wine menu, it has an asterisk next to the allowable bottle of wine at meals. They will NOT deliver a new bottle of wine to your suite for free. They will deliver a bottle ordered at meal to your room. Be careful about that clarification. Hope that helps.
  11. You are more then welcome. Security Line: No, that is why I got to the port at 10:45 AM. To add to that, nobody seemed to know where the Haven Entrance was after security. So here is how you handle it. Go in to security. Go around the security wall, look to your far right side wall. Go there and go in. Should be no line. I wish they had better signs but they don't. Say hello to Patrick the bar tender from Gary and Tami. Be well and enjoy.
  12. GREAT comment. To be completely honest. I am taking my three children in the NCL Encore Haven in May 2020. They are 34, 29 and 25 respectively. I am afraid they will inturupt my vacation and asked my wife to leave them at home. I will lose, LOL. With all seriousness. The real issue here is choice and NCL perk policy. I would NEVER been able to afford to take my children regardless of age. Let me add that if I put the kids in another cabin out of Haven, they could not eat in the Haven or even join us. To me, that would be unacceptable. I want to see my kids enjoyment of being treated like a "Rock Star". Big difference from 2-3 year olds or 8-10 year olds which we both found. I also enjoyed our Spa room. Very nice. I also noticed if you want an Haven Spa room, you get book early. Thanks again for your very well written comment.
  13. I am embarrassed to tell you, we forgot them. I knew I would for get something. We are going on the Encore in May. I will figure something out for that. I did tip a lot though. My bad for forgetting.
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