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Ronin23

Norwegian Jewel - Haven or Aft Penthouse

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Currently booked on the Jewel in an Aft Penthouse this December and having never tried the Haven, trying to figure if it’s worth upgrading to a Courtyard Penthouse or stay put.

For those in the know, what are your thoughts? Am I missing anything being in a suite outside the Haven?

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1 hour ago, Ronin23 said:

Currently booked on the Jewel in an Aft Penthouse this December and having never tried the Haven, trying to figure if it’s worth upgrading to a Courtyard Penthouse or stay put.

For those in the know, what are your thoughts? Am I missing anything being in a suite outside the Haven?

The Haven on Jewel Class ships is not that big and no bar or restaurant for dinner.  They will also cost normally close to $1000 more pp but sounds like you are bidding.  There is the small pool and a sun area one deck up.

It will be normally VERY quiet in the Haven area though.  If you are talking a few hundred, then yes, otherwise, no.

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I would say no … the normal Haven benefits simply do not exist above and beyond a suite on the small ships.

 

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I've never stayed in the Haven either, but I have stayed in an aft penthouse suite on the Jewel, and would not hesitate for a second to book one of those rooms again. We were in a corner suite and the balcony was great. A quick ride up the elevator to the bar at great outdoors to pick up drinks, then sit on the balcony and enjoy the scenery go by. The only thing you miss out on is Haven access to the courtyard, but since we were invited in for the captain's cocktail party and glacier viewing in Alaska I don't think we missed much. 

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Probably not worth it on the Jewel. We stayed in Aft Penthouse 10666 in 2013 for a Pacific Coastal cruise on the Jewel. We really enjoyed the larger cabin (normally get Balcony), the nice coffeemaker, breakfast in separate dining area (I think it was Cagneys at the time), reserved seating for the shows, etc. We saw very little of the butler since we assume he was mostly in the Haven area. That was fine as we have little needs. We still got all the snacks and things in the room. 

In 2017 we reserved a balcony and bid up and got a Haven Penthouse on the Getaway for a Baltic cruise. That was well worth the extra $ since that ship has a true Haven with their own dining room, bar, pool, jacuzzis, sauna, etc. It was extremely quiet even though it was full.

We are back on the Jewel in a couple weeks in the Aft Penthouse out of Singapore on the first cruise after a 2 week drydock. On the list of drydock refurbishments is the "Penthouse Suite redecoration" so we expect a brand new cabin when we board (anything to get rid of those loud colors). The aft location is not my favorite as I prefer a mid/side view. I had the chance to bid on upgrade but not worth it to me on the Jewel. We'll try to keep the cabin in good shape for you since you'll be a couple weeks behind us. :)

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30 minutes ago, Korlad said:

Probably not worth it on the Jewel. We stayed in Aft Penthouse 10666 in 2013 for a Pacific Coastal cruise on the Jewel. We really enjoyed the larger cabin (normally get Balcony), the nice coffeemaker, breakfast in separate dining area (I think it was Cagneys at the time), reserved seating for the shows, etc. We saw very little of the butler since we assume he was mostly in the Haven area. That was fine as we have little needs. We still got all the snacks and things in the room. 

In 2017 we reserved a balcony and bid up and got a Haven Penthouse on the Getaway for a Baltic cruise. That was well worth the extra $ since that ship has a true Haven with their own dining room, bar, pool, jacuzzis, sauna, etc. It was extremely quiet even though it was full.

We are back on the Jewel in a couple weeks in the Aft Penthouse out of Singapore on the first cruise after a 2 week drydock. On the list of drydock refurbishments is the "Penthouse Suite redecoration" so we expect a brand new cabin when we board (anything to get rid of those loud colors). The aft location is not my favorite as I prefer a mid/side view. I had the chance to bid on upgrade but not worth it to me on the Jewel. We'll try to keep the cabin in good shape for you since you'll be a couple weeks behind us. 🙂

Hey Korlad:

I am booked on the Jewel late next year and have been hunting for information on the refurbishments. Can you tell me where you ran across the information on the Penthouse Suite redecoration? (We'll be in 10664 by the way).

I agree, the Jewel's furnishings are very outdated and, I have heard, badly worn. We were in the Pearl's aft penthouse suites last month, which were refreshed a year or so ago, and the colors are nice and neutral now. 

20180916_124917.jpg

Edited by Shellbelle28

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I would say that this is hugely dependent upon the destination - which presuming December is not Alaska. It's not as binary as people suggest....

Aft Penthouse does not afford you access to the Haven Courtyard or sundeck, this might matter if you like to sun yourself in a less busy, potentially shaded and quieter setting. The Haven sundeck on the Jewels is typically lightly used, offers shaded cabanas and butler service. The courtyard offers a private plunge pool, shade, hot-tub, steam room, nibbles and facilities. On tropical itineraries these features are worth it since finding filtered shade elsewhere on the ship is a big ask.

We've done both multiple times. For Alaska, I wouldn't bother with the Haven Courtyard - no upside and an Aft Penthouse is perfect for that setting. For a 'sea and sun' itinerary I think the Haven has the edge.

...and ya know... it's also kind peaceful up there in the clouds. In most other aspects it's a wash unless you're on the larger ships.

PS: Jewel will shortly be in for its 'Edge' refit... so will no longer be tired.

Edited by Notnewtoit

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4 minutes ago, Shellbelle28 said:

Hey Korlad:

I am booked on the Jewel late next year and have been hunting for information on the refurbishments. Can you tell me where you ran across the information on the Penthouse Suite redecoration? (We'll be in 10664 by the way).

I agree, the Jewel's furnishings are very outdated and, I have heard, badly worn. We were in the Pearl's aft penthouse suites last month, which were refreshed a year or so ago, and the colors are nice and neutral now. 

20180916_124917.jpg

Maybe there going to finish what they started. Because 9170 needs new color's badly. This is from July.

IMG_0238.JPG

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16 minutes ago, Shellbelle28 said:

Hey Korlad:

I am booked on the Jewel late next year and have been hunting for information on the refurbishments. Can you tell me where you ran across the information on the Penthouse Suite redecoration? (We'll be in 10664 by the way).

I agree, the Jewel's furnishings are very outdated and, I have heard, badly worn. We were in the Pearl's aft penthouse suites last month, which were refreshed a year or so ago, and the colors are nice and neutral now. 

20180916_124917.jpg

Here is where I got some info on the refurbishment. One item I read on another site (can't remember where) is that all the coffeemakers were going to be switched out too. I don't care the type of coffeemaker, just provide quality coffee is all I want. I really like the new color scheme. If I have one of those plastic trees in my cabin like in the past I may have to ask to have it removed.

https://www.cruisemapper.com/wiki/767-cruise-ship-refurbishment-dry-dock-schedule

 

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Just now, Korlad said:

Here is where I got some info on the refurbishment. One item I read on another site (can't remember where) is that all the coffeemakers were going to be switched out too. I don't care the type of coffeemaker, just provide quality coffee is all I want. I really like the new color scheme. If I have one of those plastic trees in my cabin like in the past I may have to ask to have it removed.

https://www.cruisemapper.com/wiki/767-cruise-ship-refurbishment-dry-dock-schedule

 

LOL, I looked through all my pics, the plastic trees are gone! As well as the scary art.

The coffee machine was a Nespresso, it brewed teeny espresso sized cups of coffee, but I  asked the butler to bring us some bigger coffee cups and I brewed a couple pod's worth into the a bigger cup and topped it off with cream... perfect for the first cup of the day. ( I also had asked the butler to provide "real" cream in a little pitcher for the fridge... hate those no refrigeration needed cups). 

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On 10/17/2018 at 5:08 AM, Ronin23 said:

Currently booked on the Jewel in an Aft Penthouse this December and having never tried the Haven, trying to figure if it’s worth upgrading to a Courtyard Penthouse or stay put.

For those in the know, what are your thoughts? Am I missing anything being in a suite outside the Haven?

The SF Aft Penthouses is the best bang for your buck cabin in the fleet, IMO. Jewel Class ships do not offer the same Haven experience as the newer ships, but the cabin's in the Haven category are pretty nice. We love the aft suites. The cabins are great, perks are fantastic, and the location is mesmerizing. We also almost always sail with non suite family and friends, and we think the Haven perks are too exclusive as opposed to suite level. Wish NCL offered a suite category in the more recent designs. We will be in our 6th aft penthouse in January, this time on the Jade.

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Thanks for the assistance.

Taking  into account the Haven is a somewhat compromised version compared to the larger ships, think we will just stay put in our Aft Penthouse on deck 8.

We are on a 16 night cruise to New Zealand over Xmas  and NEw Year so taking in the Sounds from our aft balcony should be pretty special. 

Edited by Ronin23

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FWIW, here's a photo from our SE (forward-facing) Penthouse suite on the Jewel in January 2017, so you can see the decor.  I have to say, these colors were nowhere as garish as the Gem Penthouse suites with their bordello colors.  (And the artwork in our Gem suite was downright scary.  No idea who selected such horrors).  In comparison, the Jewel was fairly tasteful [for its time], 🙂, though I like what they've done with the neutral colors on the Pearl as seen in the photo in the comment above, and I'm sure the Jewel will be improved with them.

enhance

(photo by turtles06)

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2 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

FWIW, here's a photo from our SE (forward-facing) Penthouse suite on the Jewel in January 2017, so you can see the decor.  I have to say, these colors were nowhere as garish as the Gem Penthouse suites with their bordello colors.  (And the artwork in our Gem suite was downright scary.  No idea who selected such horrors).  In comparison, the Jewel was fairly tasteful [for its time], 🙂, though I like what they've done with the neutral colors on the Pearl as seen in the photo in the comment above, and I'm sure the Jewel will be improved with them.

enhance

(photo by turtles06)

 Thanks Turtles. Agree on the colours. What surprises me the most is that these ships were only built in the mid 2000's which is not that long ago, yet they look like something out of the 1980's.

Anyway, looking at the previous refurbs on Jewel class ships they seem to be doing a good job of rectifying the problems. I am sure the Jewel will look like new in a few weeks.

 

BTW, how did you find the forward facing penthouse with regards to motion and wind? I have only ever been in a very forward balcony room on the Star and the slapping of the bow onto the waves was very noticeable.

I would like to try an Owners Suite however they tend to be at the front of the ships.  

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2 minutes ago, Ronin23 said:

 Thanks Turtles. Agree on the colours. What surprises me the most is that these ships were only built in the mid 2000's which is not that long ago, yet they look like something out of the 1980's.

Anyway, looking at the previous refurbs on Jewel class ships they seem to be doing a good job of rectifying the problems. I am sure the Jewel will look like new in a few weeks.

 

BTW, how did you find the forward facing penthouse with regards to motion and wind? I have only ever been in a very forward balcony room on the Star and the slapping of the bow onto the waves was very noticeable.

I would like to try an Owners Suite however they tend to be at the front of the ships.  

 

We specifically picked that forward-facing suite for a full transit of the Panama Canal; it was our "dream cabin" for the transit. (Not that you should spend the transit in one place, but it was a great starting point in the morning for the first set of locks, when everyone else was trying to cram onto the bow.)  We did not have a problem with the motion or wind.  Certainly when the ship was underway you could really feel the wind when you were standing at the rail, but it did not bother us sitting down.  We were on a (very!) warm weather cruise; it might be different in Alaska! 

 

An extra bonus of that cabin was the dark sky at night, since there are no lights allowed on the bow (and the cabins have to keep the curtains drawn), so that the Bridge can be dark.  This made for fabulous star gazing!  We could see the Milky Way, as well as the Southern Cross in the wee hours before we got to the Canal.  Awesome.

 

As for the decor of the Jewel-class ships when they were first built, you are right.  Sooo tacky and 1980s.  This is an SF Penthouse on the Gem in 2016 (right after the dry dock in late 2015!!!), totally worn furniture, garish furnishings.  Hard to believe all they did in that dry dock was replace the carpet. Shameful.  The big mirror on the closet (can't be seen in this photo) actually fell off the closet in the middle of the night, putting shattered glass all over the carpet in front of the bathroom.  (Thankfully, we did not cut up our feet.) When it was fixed the next day, I saw that it had been put back so many times the original holes had been stripped.  

 

enhance

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I have opted for a Haven area cabin on our upcoming cruise on the Jewel.  I like the privacy that's there if you want it.  On previous 'Haven' Jewel class ships we have loved being able to order lunches and drinks & have it served in the small courtyard area.  And the sundeck is a wonderful area to relax without having to

worry about chair hogs:-)  And hubby (who gets up at the crack of dawn:-) has a nice area to have his coffee while I'm still snoozing!!

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1 hour ago, Turtles06 said:

 

We specifically picked that forward-facing suite for a full transit of the Panama Canal; it was our "dream cabin" for the transit. (Not that you should spend the transit in one place, but it was a great starting point in the morning for the first set of locks, when everyone else was trying to cram onto the bow.)  We did not have a problem with the motion or wind.  Certainly when the ship was underway you could really feel the wind when you were standing at the rail, but it did not bother us sitting down.  We were on a (very!) warm weather cruise; it might be different in Alaska! 

 

An extra bonus of that cabin was the dark sky at night, since there are no lights allowed on the bow (and the cabins have to keep the curtains drawn), so that the Bridge can be dark.  This made for fabulous star gazing!  We could see the Milky Way, as well as the Southern Cross in the wee hours before we got to the Canal.  Awesome.

 

As for the decor of the Jewel-class ships when they were first built, you are right.  Sooo tacky and 1980s.  This is an SF Penthouse on the Gem in 2016 (right after the dry dock in late 2015!!!), totally worn furniture, garish furnishings.  Hard to believe all they did in that dry dock was replace the carpet. Shameful.  The big mirror on the closet (can't be seen in this photo) actually fell off the closet in the middle of the night, putting shattered glass all over the carpet in front of the bathroom.  (Thankfully, we did not cut up our feet.) When it was fixed the next day, I saw that it had been put back so many times the original holes had been stripped.  

 

enhance

I could see why the SE Penthouse would be great for the Canal. We did it for the first time this year on the Bliss on an aft balcony which was great, however I think in hindsight forward facing would have been ever better.

 

Good to know that you can still sit without the wind factor and I hadn't even factored in the darkness aspect which would be really appealing.

I notice with the Owners Suite is that it has the two balconies which would be great so that you can relax on the front balcony and get out of the wind if need be on the other to the side.

As an aside,  they seem to be putting two Deluxe Owners Suites on the Jewel, assuming during the refurbishment.

 

Hard to believe that's all they changed was the carpet on the Gem, it looks so bland and tired. We did an SF Penthouse previously on the Jewel back in 2010 however I can scarcely remember anything about it other than the bright colours. The only thing that irks me a bit about the SF and SE Penthouse is the bathroom. Not a fan of showers in baths and I think they needed to be a bit more special. They are effectively just a mini suite bathroom.

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7 minutes ago, Samstress said:

I have opted for a Haven area cabin on our upcoming cruise on the Jewel.  I like the privacy that's there if you want it.  On previous 'Haven' Jewel class ships we have loved being able to order lunches and drinks & have it served in the small courtyard area.  And the sundeck is a wonderful area to relax without having to

worry about chair hogs:-)  And hubby (who gets up at the crack of dawn:-) has a nice area to have his coffee while I'm still snoozing!!

 

Does it ever get too busy in the courtyard and does it tend to attract many kids with the inclusion of mainly family orientated suites in that space Samstress?

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1 hour ago, Ronin23 said:

 The only thing that irks me a bit about the SF and SE Penthouse is the bathroom. Not a fan of showers in baths and I think they needed to be a bit more special. They are effectively just a mini suite bathroom.

 I totally agree with you.  I hate shower/tub combos.   And the ones on these ships have tubs that are too narrow for adults, or least many adults, to even use, plus having to step into the tub to shower is tough for short people and those with bad knees or other mobility issues.  

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22 minutes ago, Turtles06 said:

 I totally agree with you.  I hate shower/tub combos.   And the ones on these ships have tubs that are too narrow for adults, or least many adults, to even use, plus having to step into the tub to shower is tough for short people and those with bad knees or other mobility issues.  

Me three on the unspectacular Aft Penthouse bathrooms! I could totally give up that dim, dead end vanity area between the bathroom and closet if they could make a more luxurious bathroom with the extra space! 

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Not sure what the weather will be like on your winter holiday cruise, but a huge bonus for us for the Havens is the ability to be lounging on the covered deck, in the hot tub and in the pool for the first few days and last days of the cruise when it is too frigid outside. I hate "losing" any vacation days when I could be relaxing in a quiet sanctuary. 

 

We love the Gem - similar to the Jewel...no Haven restaurant or concierge area per se (they stay in Moderno for part of the day), but I will give up the convenience of an in-Haven restaurant any day for a warm, covered sanctuary in the middle of winter. 

 

With the choices you have...it's a win either way!

 

Amy

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Just to clarify....the Jewel will be in Australia for December so not winter but rather our summer.

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When given the choice on the Jewel class ships I will take the SE or SF suites - there are only 2 penthouses in the Haven the rest are the two bedroom family suites and of course the garden villas - I know that the Pearl and the Gem have two suites above the villas - not sure about the Jewel and Jade. I love the view out the aft and being able to see a full 180.

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Bring back the Lavazza coffee machines!   GEM in aft Suite #10666 is where I developed a love of cappuccino!   Was so disappointed they replaced those with Nespresso machines.

 

About the Gem's drydock--yes, hard to believe the only change was the carpeting which did not even match the pinks and purples that were left with the cracked bathroom sinks, worn wood furniture, etc.   That's not a true drydock at all.   

 

I don't mind the new neutrals of the Breakaway, Getaway, Escape.   

 

Anyway, back to the original question, we thought the aft SF was better than any of those tiny balconies people in the Haven had.  We don't care for the tiny pool there either.    

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I would keep the penthouse.  The Jewel haven is not that great.  It's tiny and if you get one big group there who are inconsiderate ( happened to us twice on the Gem) you don't really get to fully enjoy the space.   You still have access to Moderno's/Cagney's for breakfast and lunch, you still have a butler and concierge and all the suite perks.  

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