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Haven Booking - I am the only idiot?

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On 7/17/2019 at 10:41 PM, bam1957 said:

We book outright. I don't like having someone else decides for me where I'm staying.

 

I agree with you but I decided to surprise my daughter for her birthday with an upgrade from mini suite to H5 and happily won my bid.  This will be our forth cruise on NCL and I wanted a different experience since we took Escape 5/2018 in a mini suite...My experience was very nice on the Escape 7/7-14/2019.  I didn’t bid on Haven Aft or Forward suites afraid I might received suites on lower decks 9 or 10 with possible obstructed views.  

Haven have spoiled me!!!!  The best part of staying in Haven section of the ship is being steps away from Haven restaurant for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  However I’m planning next year cruise to Canada & considering a Haven Forward Suite just to have a larger Suite with a separate bedroom so I can watch TV late at night! lol

Love sailing NCL...it’s worth every penny!

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6 minutes ago, dinkydee718 said:

I book outright but the agency I use saves me thousands. 

 

Which staterooms have you booked on NCL?  Have you ever bid for an upgrade?

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49 minutes ago, Ozzieru1e said:

 

Which staterooms have you booked on NCL?  Have you ever bid for an upgrade?

Family of six here, so we book the Haven 2-bedroom. No, we have never bid because I don’t want to chance losing the stateroom. 

 

Not the Haven, but have also booked the Deluxe Owners Suite on the Star. I loved it but my husband hated that there was no balcony.

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We haven't ever booked the haven because we have never seen it priced at a rate we considered equivalent to the value.

We do book NCL suites pretty consistently.   I like the extra level of service for my mother, and she really enjoys the quiet elegance of the suite breakfast over the buffet.

 

But when I compare the price of a non-haven suite to a haven accomodation, I just don't see the value.  On our upcoming November cruise on the Joy, I can put 5 of us in a CF concierge suite:  a 2-bed 2-bath inside (with virtual balcony = big tv screen).   It's our first time without a balcony at all...but I am hoping it works out.  According to NCL: the concierge category features spacious, luxury accommodations, concierge service, and private breakfast.

 

I notice we don't get private lunch, which we would in another NCL ship's suite.  I think we get priority boarding and disembarkation, but between our platinum status and my mom needing a wheelchair that doesn't really matter.   I see we don't get a butler, which means no butler snacks which does disappoint me.  

 

In any event, for the five of us all in, (beverage package, specialty dining, no pre-paid gratuities and no NCL insurance) we are at $6,131.65 (US).

 

The room we would fit in in the Haven is a H4.   That would cost us $7800 more for same options.   More than twice our current fare.   

 

Will I make a bid for one of those rooms?  You bet.  Will I bid anywhere near to the asking price right now? Nope.   I don't think the Haven restaurant and access to the Haven sundeck is going to be worth  the additional 1114.29 a day to us.  Especially since only my girls are sun worshipers.  Maybe that much more for the whole week.  Maybe.

 

So, no, I don't pay (haven't paid) full price for Haven, but I will either bid or watch the fares and someday maybe be lucky enough to try the Haven kool-aid to see if I change my tune.  If I get in, I'll try not to dilute the pool too much with my non-full price paying presence.

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Ha! Once you sail in the Haven, it's hard to go back. So we also just cough up the cash for Haven cabins because it would ruin my vacation knowing about the extra special time some folks were having behind the locked doors. 🙂

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We have booked three Havens - Love the perks and services, especially when on these large ships.

Breakaway out of NY 14 day winter/caribbean trip with 2 months to go and after a price drop - about $4500 each but with 1000 OBCs. It was a terrific cruise and well worth it. 

Jade out of Tampa - 7 day Carrib - $3500 each - near rack rate with 500 OBCs.

Jade transatlantic 15 days with two months to go and $4000 each - and with ship and broker $1500 OBCs. Also, the last two times the 2br suite was a few hundred more than the court suite, and that cabin is really hard to beat on any ship for that money. That was also a fabulous trip.  

The way we look at is that we take a cruise every year or so and  like a comfortable gorgeous room to escape from the large crowds when you want.  So we pay. Timing gets us a better rate but no bargains. And our savvy 'up bid' friends did not get upgrades the last two times, but because we were haven we got every restaurant reservation when we needed it and several in room parties.

We did a lot of Holland and found upgrades to Neptune easy, but sometimes rack. (our Alaska cruise was discounted maybe 10%). We like Holland a lot.

 

Just book our first Silver sea  10 days  carrib - $4500 each  - for a veranda suite - stay tuned.

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we have sailed in both suites (non Haven) and balconies and usually book the suite as soon as possible to get the lowest rack rate. One cruise I had my TA book the cruise on a special day where only PCCs and TAs could book rooms. We were over 2yrs out - but the price never went down-  only up. That was before the bidding process started. Our current cruise was booked about 1.5 yrs out and so far the perks and the price can not be beet. I also start looking at airfare around 400 days out - which is usually the longest ahead you can book - our flights dropped 400.00 ea in the first 2 weeks and then started to rise  - I have found 330 days to be a sweet spot to get both good prices and seats.

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Our first NCL cruise a few weeks ago was in an upgraded Haven Courtyard Penthouse. I've already told my husband that the next cruise on NCL will be in the Haven, I'm just booking that right from the get go.  That is something I'm not leaving up to chance, lol. 

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On 7/25/2019 at 5:42 PM, mjcatlvr said:

Ha! Once you sail in the Haven, it's hard to go back. So we also just cough up the cash for Haven cabins because it would ruin my vacation knowing about the extra special time some folks were having behind the locked doors. 🙂

 

This made me smile.  I cannot not book the Haven on NCL knowing what I would be missing would be a deal breaker, same for MSC YC.  We do sail balconies on RCCL but they don't have the ship within a ship area so I'm still fine with them and balconies but I wouldn't even want to walk by the Haven door knowing I couldn't go in LOL
 

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So glad you asked this question!  It is good to know you are not the only one. We have also booked Haven right away. We have even paid the upgrade difference for my sil ( of course she never knew this)  from a mini to haven courtyard once because we wanted to be in the Haven and traveling with family. Argh it was just easier to pay it and not say anything. All she thinks is it was some kind of magic points upgrade.  I do have to say though  if I couldn't do a Haven I would be looking at a spa mini. That seems to be ( or in the past anyway) a sweet spot for pricing and a little added privacy. I know they used to be sold out quickly in the past. Now I think people wait for bid upgrades  

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we booked Haven straight off. It's important to me to get exactly what I want and am expecting.  I want to be able to choose the room, location, etc.  I wouldn't bet on upgrading, as I'm pretty sure the ship will be full or near capacity.

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Posted (edited)

You must have taken my place! I've switched on NCL to a Balcony/Mini Suite+ Thermal Spa + All Specialty Dining + Vibe (and Platinum for expedited boarding) - Makes for a great cruise and 1/2 of the cost these days.   I loyally go to another line now for the Ship within a Ship Experience. 

 

I used to sail Haven when prices were much lower and they used to call me and offer me a discounted upgrade.  Those days are LOOOOOONG gone.

 

 

Edited by SailBreakaway

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12 hours ago, SailBreakaway said:

You must have taken my place! I've switched on NCL to a Balcony/Mini Suite+ Thermal Spa + All Specialty Dining + Vibe (and Platinum for expedited boarding) - Makes for a great cruise and 1/2 of the cost these days.   I loyally go to another line now for the Ship within a Ship Experience. 

 

I used to sail Haven when prices were much lower and they used to call me and offer me a discounted upgrade.  Those days are LOOOOOONG gone.

 

 

 

Correct. Those days are long gone. If I could purchase the Vibe and know I have it beforehand that would possibly help sway me (MAYBE) from the Haven but there is no way I'm getting my mom to make a mad dash and will need the rest of my family to also follow me LOL I am Platinum too and guess that would help in the Vibe dash for tickets.

 

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On 7/17/2019 at 11:35 AM, graphicguy said:

Not at all.  I sail the Haven sometimes.  I just keep an eye out on pricing and book when the "price is right" (usually in the $4K-$4.6K all in range for a Haven Spa Suite).  I have bid on Haven Suites in the past when their prices seemed high, but have never had a winning bid.

 

So, to answer your question, I think most Haven Suites are booked outright.

 

Have done outright booking Haven. When the Haven prices are too high, I book a Mini-suite and bid up to Haven. Have been lucky enough to win several times. My favorite ship is Escape.

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We have done both regular rooms and haven and I have also bid on rooms and I can tell you honestly when we bid on a Haven room and didn't get it once we were very disappointed because we know the difference 😉  now the last 3 cruises we just cough up the money and book the haven right away and have zero regrets. If you can afford it go for it! I can remember years ago before this bidding it was so much easier and cheaper to get upgraded to the haven from a mini suite!

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Posted (edited)
On 8/2/2019 at 8:19 PM, dam64 said:

We have done both regular rooms and haven and I have also bid on rooms and I can tell you honestly when we bid on a Haven room and didn't get it once we were very disappointed because we know the difference 😉  now the last 3 cruises we just cough up the money and book the haven right away and have zero regrets. If you can afford it go for it! I can remember years ago before this bidding it was so much easier and cheaper to get upgraded to the haven from a mini suite!

 

I agree...I won my bid from a mini suite to a Haven Courtyard H5 7/7/2019 on NCL Escape.  It was nerve recking waiting to see if my offer was accepted which I found out a week before my cruise...it was my first Haven experience.  I’m afraid to try bidding again because the next time I may not get lucky.  Now that I’ve enjoyed a Haven experience I would be very disappointed with a mini suite so I booked the Haven outright for my next cruise.

Edited by Ozzieru1e
word correction

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On 7/18/2019 at 3:17 PM, js said:

 

That is a great price.  My dh can only cruise in the summer or holidays for a few more years so we are stuck with paying high prices.

 

We're currently booked on Escape for Feb in a Haven Spa Suite. When I booked I paid $3199 pp. I always keep an eye on prices and this weekend I noticed the price had dropped to $2999 pp. Called and got the new price! 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Cruzn Bills Fan said:

 

We're currently booked on Escape for Feb in a Haven Spa Suite. When I booked I paid $3199 pp. I always keep an eye on prices and this weekend I noticed the price had dropped to $2999 pp. Called and got the new price! 

 

WOW, that is a fabulous price. Escape is my favorite Haven.


I cruise, too, every February but I go with my mom and not my family.  About three years ago, we were booking the Haven on I think Getaway and started reading about MSC YC. It was thousands less than Haven (still is but prices are starting to creep up).  We ended up booking that and now every February we sail MSC Yacht Club.  We paid right under $4,000 total for the two of us in the Yacht Club in a balcony cabin, with the drinks and spa included.  IMO the YC far surpasses the Haven but my family much prefers the nightlife on NCL so I just sail MSC with my  mom (although I would sail with my dh if our adult kids weren't always coming along LOL).

 

Edited by js

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