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Mr. Nazzy

Possibly unpopular opinion - Havanna area is meh

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I sailed May 5-11 on the Vista in a Havanna Aft view extended balcony.  Here's my thoughts:

 

The good - The room itself was great.  Room attendant was fantastic. This was our first time in an aft view and I really loved it.  The Havanna pool area was really nice and never really crowded.  There was no towel game and plenty of loungers available at all times. The pool was typically pretty cold, and most people stuck to the hot tubs which were warm but not hot.  On the first sea day, we did really enjoy our time in the Havanna pool area.

 

The meh - The Havanna bar was staffed by one bartender who was resposible for both the inside and the outside bars.  Service was slow.  We nicknamed the daytime bartender Grumpy Cat.  He was irritated basically the enitre cruise.  He snapped at the waitress more than a few times while we were sitting at the bar.  The other bartender was fine, but not much on personality. 

Now let's talk about the music.  I get it, it's a Havanna theme, but the limited rotation of repeating latin music got really old.  There was strangley even a Christmas song in the rotation we heard 4 different times.  I wish they'd mix in some other songs just for some variety. We stayed on ship for one port and decided to go to the main pool primarily for a change in music.  On the second sea day, we started at the Havanna, but ended up heading to the Tides pool for better service and better music. 

 

Nothing above ruined our experience.  We had an amazing vacation.  But if we sail a Vista class ship again, we'll skip the extra expense of the Havanna area.  Just not worth it to us. 

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Posted (edited)

I've never had one if these staterooms, probably never will.  I don't see the attraction.  There is no balcony, just a porch with people walking by. I understand some love them.  Not for me.

Edited by Butterbean1000

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Thanks for posting your thoughts.  The whole idea of a separate class on the ship is distasteful to me.

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Thanks for your thoughts. I'm not sure I'd want to book a Havana cabin.  DH is totally on board with the idea, so we might end up in a Havana cabin one of these days.

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2 minutes ago, bury me at sea said:

Thanks for posting your thoughts.  The whole idea of a separate class on the ship is distasteful to me.

I agree with this. I won’t book one. 

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30 minutes ago, Butterbean1000 said:

I've never had one if these staterooms, probably never will.  I don't see the attraction.  There is no balcony, just a porch with people walking by. I understand some love them.  Not for me.

There are cabins with actual balconies. The cabanas are open.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgshqq0iO-Q

 

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5 minutes ago, cruizergal70 said:

There are cabins with actual balconies. The cabanas are open.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgshqq0iO-Q

 

Correct.  There are both aft view and wrap around balconies.  Butterbean was referring to the Havanna Cabanas on the 5th deck.  Havana Balcony rooms are on deck 6 and 7.

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Posted (edited)

I don't disagree with you in some respects.  I thought the Havana bartenders were rude but there should be more than one in that area, they are overworked. The music got old but it was at a low volume so I was often able to tune it out (we actually asked one morning for them to leave it off until someone ask that it be turned on).  I am a person that despises the main pool area so the Havana was still totally worth it to me.  Like anything else, it has its pros and cons, I like that it's an option, but can also totally see not wanting to spend the extra money.  The only reason we would still book it is because it does not allow children under 12, if they ever change that, I would no longer consider it an option.

 

I thought the Vista had a great aft pool area--if that were adults-only, that would be great.

 

The ship within a ship thing is a fair subject for debate.  But I think of it as paying more for an area that is more relaxing, as that is something that is important to me so I am willing to pay for it.  Lots of people like more action, don't mind kids as much, etc., it's nice that there are choices.

Edited by Beachiekeen

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Beachiekeen - We typically travel to adults only all inclusives in Cancun/Riviera Maya, so I fully understand the no kids position.  This was a break from the norm for us.  The main pool was full of children, but the tides pool was mostly adults.  I imagine most kids want to stay closer to the waterpark area for the most part.  I booked this trip intentionally for a date when schools were still in session, but I was still surprised at how many kids were on board... I guess everyone homeschools now a days. 

But I agree - to each their own.  Just not worth it to us. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mr. Nazzy said:

The meh - The Havanna bar was staffed by one bartender who was resposible for both the inside and the outside bars.  Service was slow.  We nicknamed the daytime bartender Grumpy Cat.  He was irritated basically the enitre cruise.  He snapped at the waitress more than a few times while we were sitting at the bar.  The other bartender was fine, but not much on personality. 

Now let's talk about the music.  I get it, it's a Havanna theme, but the limited rotation of repeating latin music got really old.  There was strangley even a Christmas song in the rotation we heard 4 different times.  I wish they'd mix in some other songs just for some variety. We stayed on ship for one port and decided to go to the main pool primarily for a change in music.  On the second sea day, we started at the Havanna, but ended up heading to the Tides pool for better service and better music. 

 

Nothing above ruined our experience.  We had an amazing vacation.  But if we sail a Vista class ship again, we'll skip the extra expense of the Havanna area.  Just not worth it to us. 

 

Thank you, I appreciate your honesty. It's refreshing to see someone who's willing to put such an opinion out there since so many of them say Havana is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

 

1 hour ago, bury me at sea said:

Thanks for posting your thoughts.  The whole idea of a separate class on the ship is distasteful to me.

 

I agree.

 

41 minutes ago, Beachiekeen said:

The ship within a ship thing is a fair subject for debate.  But I think of it as paying more for an area that is more relaxing, as that is something that is important to me so I am willing to pay for it.  Lots of people like more action, don't mind kids as much, etc., it's nice that there are choices.

 

I can't help but feel the ship within a ship concept is going in the wrong direction. Backwards. Up until this point, yes, people could pay more for a bigger cabin, but everyone was allowed into all areas regardless of what they paid for their cabin. The Havana area walks the line between a restricted area for those who paid up for it, with the exception of allowing everyone else in after 7pm. With Loft 19 on Mardi Gras, it takes it a step further. Excel suites have complimentary access, but everyone else has to pay up to enter. I know we're still far from it, but it almost feels like we're headed back to the days of 1st class vs. steerage.

Edited by Organized Chaos

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Its funny, we were on Deck 6, balcony and overlooked those expensive rooms with the patio deck.  Never saw anyone out on them.  Ever.  DH and I both said we wouldn't pay for that, especially because the upper decks are all looking right into them.  

As far as the no kids... well, when we went out to the Havana pool area one night when it was open to public to check it out, there was a kid in the pool.  And we saw the same kid with parents heading down there another evening around dinner time.  So either they don't enforce, or they let kids in after 7pm.  

No thankyou.  We can use the Havana Bar and music for free if we want.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Anyone can use the Havana after 7:00, it's open to everyone.  They absolutely enforce it during the day, we saw lots of people get turned away.

 

I think the "it's the greatest thing since sliced bread" thing is subjective just like anything else.  For someone like me, who wants to be able to swim and use the hot tubs in a relaxing, adult environment, it was like my own little slice of cruise heaven.  If those things aren't important to you, it's not worth it. 

 

It's just like anything else--first class on planes, club levels at hotels, etc.  If the extras are worth it to you, you can pay for it, if it's not, you don't have to. You should see the NCL board people talk about the Haven--that is crazy to me and something I would NEVER pay that much for but many do and as long as they do, the cruise lines will continue to include them as options.

Edited by Beachiekeen

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21 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

I can't help but feel the ship within a ship concept is going in the wrong direction. Backwards. ... I know we're still far from it, but it almost feels like we're headed back to the days of 1st class vs. steerage.

 

You pinpointed it nicely.  I know a couple of other mass market lines have moved this direction, and am disappointed in Carnival for starting down the rabbit hole.

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1 hour ago, Butterbean1000 said:

I've never had one if these staterooms, probably never will.  I don't see the attraction.  There is no balcony, just a porch with people walking by. I understand some love them.  Not for me.

The OP had an aft view balcony, not an on the side of the ship lanai which you're referring to.  The attraction of the area is that you basically have your own private pool and hot tub.  The aft pools on all Carnival ships are like adult soup, with people standing around, while the hot tubs are overrun by kids.  This is the polar opposite of what the Havana area is all about.  And chair hogs are at a minimum in the Havana area.

1 hour ago, bury me at sea said:

Thanks for posting your thoughts.  The whole idea of a separate class on the ship is distasteful to me.

Then you're relegated to the smaller, older ships on Royal, NCL, Celebrity, MSC and Carnival.  The class system is another way that the cruise lines can generate money.  It's not going away. 

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We just got off the Horizon and had wished we booked a Havana room. It was nearly impossible to get a chair outside and the pools were both full of kids and adults you could hardly find a place to get in. Thanks for the honest review I think we will try this next time we go on the bigger ships. 

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36 minutes ago, ABQrobin said:

 

As far as the no kids... well, when we went out to the Havana pool area one night when it was open to public to check it out, there was a kid in the pool.  And we saw the same kid with parents heading down there another evening around dinner time.  So either they don't enforce, or they let kids in after 7pm.  

No thankyou.  We can use the Havana Bar and music for free if we want.  

 

Anybody can use the Havana pool area after 700PM at night and that includes kids.  They do enforce the policy prior to 700PM.  By 700PM, I don't care who uses the area since I am either at dinner or at the Alchemy Bar having a cocktail. 

Robin, you obviously don't wish to pay extra to not be overrun by kids in the hot tubs, fight with chair hogs or not be able to swim around in a pool.  That's fine, it's OK.  That's why they have vanilla and chocolate.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, cantw82cruise said:

We just got off the Horizon and had wished we booked a Havana room. It was nearly impossible to get a chair outside and the pools were both full of kids and adults you could hardly find a place to get in. Thanks for the honest review I think we will try this next time we go on the bigger ships. 

I would recommend that you limit your possible Havana area bookings to the 3 Vista Class ships (Vista, Horizon, Panorama).  On the Mardi Gras, Carnival had decided to add additional cabins that have access to the area, while at the same time eliminate the hot tubs and reduce the size of the pool.  They were more concerned about the new Loft 19 area and the Havana area was an afterthought relegated to the side of the ship instead of the aft position on deck 5 that it claims on the 3 Vista Class ships.

Edited by SNJCruisers

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4 minutes ago, SNJCruisers said:

I would recommend that you limit your possible Havana area bookings to the 3 Vista Class ships (Vista, Horizon, Panorama).  On the Mardi Gras, Carnival had decided to add additional cabins that have access to the area, while at the same time eliminate the hot tubs and reduce the size of the pool.  They were more concerned about the new Loft 19 area and the Havana area was an afterthought relegated to the side of the ship instead of the aft position on deck 5 that it claims on the 3 Vista Class ships.

Good to know... I don't really care for the bigger ships there just seems to be too many people you have to wait in line to see any show and you can't get a chair outside. My next two cruises are on the Legend I love the Spirit class ships the most. 

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I have yet to experience Havana, but have it booked on 2 upcoming cruises. I enjoy laying in the sun with a book, but I feel like I need to stake claim to a chair and keep it for hours in order to enjoy.  This leads to me skipping other activities because I feel like I won't be able to come back to a chair.  The person I travel with hates sitting still, but does enjoy the sun from time to time.  So what we're hoping is Havana will allow us to get up, go do things, and come back to chairs, so we can have the best of both worlds.

 

If Carnival enforced no saving seats, Havana likely wouldn't be necessary for us, because finding seats wouldn't become a scavenger hunt I don't really want to participate in. 

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I think the biggest appeal of the Havana area is the ability to lounge around the pool/spa area in an environment far less hectic than the Lido pool(s) area.  Since I live in Florida and have a pool/spa in my backyard, the Havana area doesn’t really appeal to me since I have a similar area at home. Plus I don’t spend too much time outside on the ship on most days. When I do spend time outside, I find the Serenity areas more than adequate, with the exception of Sunshine.  

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, cantw82cruise said:

Good to know... I don't really care for the bigger ships there just seems to be too many people you have to wait in line to see any show and you can't get a chair outside. My next two cruises are on the Legend I love the Spirit class ships the most. 

It will be interesting to see if Carnival institutes the policy of reservations for shows like RCI and NCL have on their mega ships.  With the Mardi Gras coming in at 180K tons, the amount of people will more than likely result in reservations being needed.  Some hate the idea of having to plan things out ahead of time, but it sure beats having to stand in line for a half hour plus in order to see a comedy show.  On NCL, you make your reservation and just walk in.  They also have a stand by line that lets in people 10 minutes prior to show time for those that did not show up for their reservations.

Edited by SNJCruisers

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1 minute ago, SNJCruisers said:

It will be interesting to see if Carnival institutes the policy of reservations for shows like RCI and NCL have on their mega ships.  With the Mardi Gras coming in at 180K tons, the amount of people will more than likely result in reservations being needed.  Some hate the idea of having to plan things out ahead of time, but it sure beats having to stand in line for a half hour plus in order to see a comedy show.  On NCL, you make your reservation and just walk in.  They also have a stand by line that lets in people 10 minutes prior to show time for those that did not show up for their reservations.

I agree this is the way they should go. I think if you set it up as the faster you book and pay for your cruise the sooner you can reserve shows by time and venue. This will make for a better vacation you know what you will be seeing and you will not wait in line for an hour only to find a bunch of people in front of you were holding spots for others and now there is no room for you. 

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2 hours ago, Butterbean1000 said:

I've never had one if these staterooms, probably never will.  I don't see the attraction.  There is no balcony, just a porch with people walking by. I understand some love them.  Not for me.

Those rooms are the Havana Cabanas, not the aft balconies.  I agree they do seem a little odd, but the only people likely walking by are other guests in the Cabanas.  I do like how large the 'porch' is though.

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14 minutes ago, purplephenom said:

 

We're usually the ones booking the lowest deck inside cabins, so Havana is quite a bit more money- but if it keeps us from griping at each other, it'll be a good experience.  We'll see. 

Had a great experience last August and will again this August staying in a sideways inside cabin in the Havana area on the Horizon.

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2 hours ago, bury me at sea said:

Thanks for posting your thoughts.  The whole idea of a separate class on the ship is distasteful to me.

I appreciate your view point.  For me, I love the idea.  If you are willing to pay more for your room and to access the Havana area, then why not??  I want an area with no little kids, no fighting/hogging of lounge chairs, just an area where adults can relax and enjoy their vacation.  We booked interior Havana rooms with our friends and now we can all hang out together around the pool and relax.

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