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Waverunner1

Is the Haven really worth it?

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25 minutes ago, elwood_98034 said:

We were on Deck 17 on the Joy after just having come out of the Haven, and met a 'Karen' outside the elevators doing her best RBF. She had clearly been waiting a long time for the elevators (? a minute of two), as people were apparently getting on on Deck 16 (Garden Cafe), and going up one level before going back down. So all the elevators that appeared were full.

 

After she directed her RBF at us, I had an idea and walked over to the crew priority scanner on the elevator lobby wall, and said to my Financial Advisor, "It's OK, I'll just do the Haven thing." and swiped my Haven card on the scanner. Of course it does absolutely nothing at all except flashes and beeps, and ten seconds later a half empty elevator coincidentally appeared with enough room for 'Karen' to get on.

 

I just smiled, and said, "Go ahead. We'll get the next one".

 

The look on her face was '...priceless, PRICELESS!' -Viggo. John Wick, 2014.

 

The Haven is what you make of it. It is different things to different people. The additional services and facilities are there if you choose to use them, but that is entirely up to you. We liked it because the demographic was fairly close to our own, everyone was very polite and extremely considerate, and the crew were clearly invested in their jobs. It was definitely a far, far, better experience than previous cruises that we have done.

 

 

 

Does that elevator trick work the entire cruise?  

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39 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

RBF?

 

Random misogyny, much like calling a certain type of woman 'Karen'. 

 

(There is no male equivalent of 'Karen', of course. Much like there's no male equivalent of "RBF"; if a man does it, we just call it a scowl.)

 

A troll escaped from reddit, basically. 

 

Edited by perditax

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If you get snag the Haven at a decent price (and only you can define what a decent price means to you) and as long as you are on a ship with a fully dedicated Haven area (restaurant, bar/lounge, pool, etc.), then I would recommend trying it out.

 

I actually think the Haven restaurant food quality is a step above the MDRs, both in taste and presentation (just unfortunate that the menu never changes for the duration of the cruise). The service in the Haven restaurant and bar is also a notch above and you won't find yourself in as many struggles trying to get the attention of a server or bartender.


I was skeptical about the butler, but she turned out to be a nice perk and came in real handy when we opted for in-room dining one night .

 

The Haven is more than just gummy bears and mass-produced cookies. At least that was my experience on Escape a couple years ago. And I'm going back to the Haven, this time on Bliss. The Haven observation lounge was enough to convince me, especially after hearing that it's often quiet and not fully utilized by guests. 

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It's really a matter of how you use the amenities and it can be a learning curve to maximize the benefits.  Lots of threads here describe great ways to maximize your experience in a Haven cabin or Suite. 

 

Aside from the obvious benefits of the Haven areas themselves that you would have access to, the access to the concierge can be really useful when needing restaurant reservations or show reservations and even excursions.  The Butler can also be very nice to have, provided you utilize him/her to the best of their abilities.  They really can do so much to make your trip great and there are numerous threads here describing what they can do for you.  

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27 minutes ago, nyc2pdx said:

 

Does that elevator trick work the entire cruise?  

The card thing? It doesn't work at all. Only for the crew. Only when we boarded did I ever see it used.

Edited by elwood_98034

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3 hours ago, tomservo said:

 

For a cabin of 2, 4k for a 7 day in the Haven (Breakaway/B+) is definitely doable, I just found 15 sailings between 4k and 4.5k for 2 in the Haven (mostly spa suites I think). We are a family of 4 so we're usually looking at H6/7/8's, so for us my threshold is under 6k (under 850/day). Some people have less flexibility with their travel schedule or can only travel during the summer. The above cruises I mention start at 6k for 2 in summer 2020. It's like any other cabin - you can get good prices if you sail offseason and/or at the last minute, or you pay more for the peak travel season and by booking in advance.

Is this per person, or actually the total for 2 people? I’ve been looking at the Haven on the Getaway for August 2020 and the cost is $4500 per person.

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Our two bedroom on the Joy was essentially three cabins. A small Inside with bunks and its own bathroom, a balcony with sofa bed, and a window with king bed and the nicer bathroom. It was three or four times the price of what we possibly would have paid for the three cabins if booked seperately. Buuut, all the other stuff was thrown in. Was it worth it to us to not be tripping over two kids for a week, and them having their own spaces? Sort of. Did the other stuff like the restaurant, bar, and lounge being right outside our door, and the lack of crowds make a difference? Yes. A big yes.

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2 hours ago, Sweetnspicy said:

It wouldn’t be worth it to me. It stresses me out to think about a butler and concierge. I’m very happy with a balcony stateroom. 

 

I suddenly remembered the only time we have been in a hotel with a concierge on each floor.  I had got a great deal in an off-season in the Strand in Yangon.  It was the last night of our trip after a succession of hostels!   We had a few walks out during the day and each time we came back to the room someone knocked on the door to give us a refreshing fruit juice.  The juice was nice but my daughter was finding it really creepy that we were being watched. 

 

Is is it like that in the haven?

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26 minutes ago, ollienbertsmum said:

 

I suddenly remembered the only time we have been in a hotel with a concierge on each floor.  I had got a great deal in an off-season in the Strand in Yangon.  It was the last night of our trip after a succession of hostels!   We had a few walks out during the day and each time we came back to the room someone knocked on the door to give us a refreshing fruit juice.  The juice was nice but my daughter was finding it really creepy that we were being watched. 

 

Is is it like that in the haven?

No. They are pretty good at not getting in your face. If you need them you can phone them, otherwise they come and do their thing when you aren't there. It isn't like you have a couple of new best friends who turn up at random just to hang out. We didn't need/see our butler for a couple of days at a time, and the concierges never left their desk.

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36 minutes ago, ollienbertsmum said:

 

I suddenly remembered the only time we have been in a hotel with a concierge on each floor.  I had got a great deal in an off-season in the Strand in Yangon.  It was the last night of our trip after a succession of hostels!   We had a few walks out during the day and each time we came back to the room someone knocked on the door to give us a refreshing fruit juice.  The juice was nice but my daughter was finding it really creepy that we were being watched. 

 

Is is it like that in the haven?

Way off.  Nothing like that.

 

The Butler will deliver snacks to your cabin during the day.  S/He'll also deliver and serve your meals in the suite when requested.  Never had one randomly bother me for no good reason, though.

 

The Concierge will resolve any customer service issues you have, get you the best seats at the shows, make your restaurant reservations (even if they're sold out), etc.  But, only upon your request.

 

The Haven Bartender(s) will know your favorite drinks after the first day.  The Haven restaurant staff will know if you want decaffeinated coffee, or your type of juice, whether or not you want your eggs scrambled or poached, etc.

 

Pricing...if you're pricing during "high season" and over certain holidays (Christmas, New Years, all months when school is NOT in session, etc), prices will be high.  

 

But, I've always paid LESS THAN $4,500 for two in a Haven Suite.  Booking far in advance isn't a guarantee of a cheaper price, either.

 

Personally, I only book, at most, 10 weeks in advance.  The cruise I have coming up next week I booked about 2 weeks ago.  It's less than $4K in a Haven Spa Suite with access to the Thermal Spa thrown in.

 

 

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Ahhhh...Heaven. Oops, I mean Haven.

 

I remember waaaaay baaaack when you'd actually get an upgrade for FREE. You know, when dinosaurs still walked the earth.😋 I was upgraded to a balcony from an outside ocean view. So next cruise, I booked that but got upgraded, for a very small fee, to a penthouse (they had butlers). Well, as they say, once you do a penthouse, you never go back. And we didn't!. When the Haven started being offered, DH said, "It's pricey, but let's do it!" And, as they say, once you do...

 

DH is no longer on this mortal coil to share expenses with me, but I still do the Haven. Longer between cruises, but, to me, well worth it. I am cared for like minor royalty, even though I am by myself. Sometimes a solo woman traveler is kind of pushed into the background, bartenders and waitstaff kind of drift around blindly, and you wait forever to get noticed. Not on NCL, and definitely NOT in the Haven.

 

112 days to go!

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1 hour ago, tray said:

Is this per person, or actually the total for 2 people? I’ve been looking at the Haven on the Getaway for August 2020 and the cost is $4500 per person.

 

Total for 2. Here are some itineraries I found in that range:

 

Getaway

1/5/20

https://www.ncl.com/cruises/GETAWAY7MSYCZMGECOCJMSY?itineraryCode=GETAWAY7MSYCZMGECOCJMSY

H9 - 3852 for 2 + grats + Free at Sea grats

 

1/26/20 same as above 4052

 

Joy

3/1, 3/8/20

https://www.ncl.com/cruises/JOY7LAXCSLMZTPVRLAX?itineraryCode=JOY7LAXCSLMZTPVRLAX

HA - 4186 for 2 + grats + Free at Sea grats

 

Escape

12/7/20

https://www.ncl.com/cruises/ESCAPE7MIACZMRTBBPICMAMIA?itineraryCode=ESCAPE7MIACZMRTBBPICMAMIA

H5/7/9 - 4338 for 2 + grats + Free at Sea grats

 

I am loathe to reveal my secrets, but I use Cruise Plum for all my research.

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9 hours ago, Waverunner1 said:

For the amount of my bids I could book another balcony room cruise. so my question is...is it really worth it?............. So again, is it worth the extra money and why? What makes it worth it in your opinion over booking another cruise?

Again, it is all a matter of personal choice.  Everyday I drive into work, I pass by people with their huge pickup trucks, BMWs, Corvettes, etc. while I drive my little Chevy sedan.  To them, I am sure the $50k + they paid for a vehicle was well worth it.  To me, it is a colossal waste of money.  I would rather save my money by driving a less-expensive, conservative car and pamper the DW and I with a Haven cruise every couple of years.  It's just our choice.

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Depends on what you want out of your cruising experience.  So it's a hard question to answer.  If I'm on an Away class ship or higher, then Haven is the only way I will travel and if it's too pricey, then I will wait for something that isn't.  If its a smaller ship without the true ship in ship concept, (like missing the haven restaurant, for example) then I may do the Haven if the price is right but would consider another category.  A really small ship like the Sun, where there isn't a Haven, I'm good with a balcony or a minisuite.  The Away class and higher are really big ships with lots of people.  The Haven is a place to relax without having to fight the crowds, chair hogs, noise, etc.  Worth the extra $ from my perspective.

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1 hour ago, JustAPilot said:

Don't forget to the "expectancy" of having to tip your butler and concierge seperatly if staying in the Haven area. 

Expected, perhaps but not mandatory.  

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9 hours ago, davy jones said:

We are relatively simple folks.  For us, the food is fine and we rarely go near the pool anyway, preferring quiet shady spots.  We are up before the crowds jam up the buffet for breakfast and we get real eggs from the omelet guy.  We have no use for a butler and getting making our own reservations is just as easy as telling someone to make them for us.

 

I am sure that it is nice, but we prefer use the extra $ to take one or more additional cruises.

Ditto.  We never have a problem getting real eggs and if the butler brought me cookies I'd have to spend more time in the gym.  I can't think of anything worse for teeth than gummie bears.  Despite my "advanced age" I can make reservations and find the theater unescorted...lol.

Seriously....for us it would be a total waste of thousands of dollars  So instead of paying to be treated like royalty I use that money for my casino fund and DH buys me an expensive bauble as a souvenir.

It really depends on what YOU value when making the decision.  You sound down to earth and I think you'd be happy where you are.

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44 minutes ago, April42749 said:

Ditto.  We never have a problem getting real eggs and if the butler brought me cookies I'd have to spend more time in the gym.  I can't think of anything worse for teeth than gummie bears.  Despite my "advanced age" I can make reservations and find the theater unescorted...lol.

Seriously....for us it would be a total waste of thousands of dollars  So instead of paying to be treated like royalty I use that money for my casino fund and DH buys me an expensive bauble as a souvenir.

It really depends on what YOU value when making the decision.  You sound down to earth and I think you'd be happy where you are.

Best advice yet! Cheers!!

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If you can afford it, it’s worth it. If you’re worried about spending the extra money, forget it. You’ll just spend your time trying to justify it and not enjoy the cruise

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56 minutes ago, gmbhardy said:

If you can afford it, it’s worth it. If you’re worried about spending the extra money, forget it. You’ll just spend your time trying to justify it and not enjoy the cruise

OP isn't worried about spending extra money.  OP is what I call "an educated consumer" and doesn't want to waste his money on something that he may not find of value.  I can afford it but I don't want it; I have other priorities.

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If you’re going to worry about the cost of the nicer cabin, the better service, the private restaurant, the private bar, the nicer private lounge areas, etc.....then don’t bother even look at the Haven.  
 

Not to sound so flippant, but the extra money that goes with a different (and much better) cruise experience, will constantly be in the back of your mind.  Stick with the “regular” cabins and save your money.

 

Some of us value the Haven. To us, it’s well worth it.  For others, there’s no way they’d ever try it because of the price.

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3 hours ago, April42749 said:

Ditto.  We never have a problem getting real eggs and if the butler brought me cookies I'd have to spend more time in the gym.  I can't think of anything worse for teeth than gummie bears.  Despite my "advanced age" I can make reservations and find the theater unescorted...lol.

Seriously....for us it would be a total waste of thousands of dollars  So instead of paying to be treated like royalty I use that money for my casino fund and DH buys me an expensive bauble as a souvenir.

It really depends on what YOU value when making the decision.  You sound down to earth and I think you'd be happy where you are.

 

I don’t think the reasons you’re listing are the sorts of things compelling most of the cruisers who sail in the Haven, at least not for me. We don’t choose the Haven for the butler or the butler snacks, or concierge reservations and theater escorts (which I don’t think they do anymore). Those are mostly fringe benefits. We choose it for the uncrowded ship within a ship experience. The most important benefits to us are the quiet, uncrowded areas to relax, get drinks, and dine (ie the lounge, courtyard, sun deck, and restaurant), and the larger rooms. Everything else is a moderate to fringe benefit:

 

Moderate

Priority embark

Priority debark (this is actually a great one)

Concierge (see below)

Nespresso machine (we drink a lot of coffee)

Ability to eat any meal from almost any restaurant in your room or balcony

Service - I’m not talking about the kind service to make you feel like royalty, but just good service. There is great service all over the ship, but the service is the Haven is usually top-notch.

 

Fringe

Butler in general (which to us is effectively a cabin stewart with extra access who doesn’t clean your room)

Snacks

Free room service

 

I make my own reservations prior to the cruise, but the Concierge is really useful if you want to switch times or restaurants for whatever reason. For example I had reservations for Le Bistro at 5:30 one night, but when we got on the ship we got an invitation to the Captain’s reception at 6, so we asked the Concierge to give us a later reservation. It’s also much quicker to resolve issues encountered on the ship through the Concierge instead of guest services, since the line for that always looked 40 people deep at all times. 

 

My wife doesn’t do well with crowds, so it’s nice to have something uncrowded to fall back on when the crowds become too much. We still enjoy everything the large NCL ships have to offer (esp the shows and activities), which is why we prefer it over the higher end lines like Celebrity. We would rather cruise less often in the Haven, than more often in a balcony. 

 

It depends on what your priorities are and what you’re looking for in a cruise. Anyone who can afford to take 2 cruises should be able to do one in the Haven if they wanted to. If the offerings and perks sounds like something you’re interested in, the only way to really know if you’ll like it is to try it for yourself.

 

Finally, as others have said, it sounds like it’s not worth it on the older ships (better off in the suites), but is worth considering on the newer ships (Epic and newer). 

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As others have said, cruising in the Haven really depends upon what you personally want from your vacation.  My vacations are primarily to "unwind" from a hectic job, so to be on a ship with 4K people & crowds and no real place to hide (regular cabins are great for sleeping/dressing - but too small for hanging out or unwinding!) is NOT relaxing to me.  I don't need the Haven on the Jewel class ships - on those I book non-Haven suites.  But on Breakaway & Plus class ships, the Haven is the only way to go for me.  You have all the options (entertainment & otherwise) available on a huge ship, but a nice, quiet "haven" in which you can retreat from the crowds and enjoy a much higher level of service.

 

I always laugh at the gummy bear comments (I never realized so many people are addicted to gummy candy LOL), because that is the LEAST of treats you can get in the Haven. (I have cruised the Haven many times and have never had a single gummy bear!)  You can get ANYTHING YOU WANT in the Haven!  If it's on the ship, you'll get it right away - if it's not on the ship, you'll get it after the next port stop.  The cabins are bigger and designed for comfort (e.g. a REAL, fabulously comfortable King-sized bed, spacious bathroom and living space, comfortable padded loungers, etc.)  Casino is chilly?  Call your butler on your provided hand-held phone and ask him/her to bring your sweater.  Want morning coffee & warm almond croissants on a fully set table the minute you open your eyes?  How about a cup of chamomile tea served in bed while you are under the covers watching a late-night movie?  Want dinner served at sunset on your balcony - but you want the Ceasar salad from LaCucina, the escargot from Le Bistro and a burger from O'Sheehans?  That x1000 - THAT is your Haven cruise. 

 

I totally agree it is not for everybody - but it is SO much more than gummy bears! 🙂 

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14 hours ago, tomservo said:

 

Total for 2. Here are some itineraries I found in that range:

 

Getaway

1/5/20

https://www.ncl.com/cruises/GETAWAY7MSYCZMGECOCJMSY?itineraryCode=GETAWAY7MSYCZMGECOCJMSY

H9 - 3852 for 2 + grats + Free at Sea grats

 

1/26/20 same as above 4052

 

Joy

3/1, 3/8/20

https://www.ncl.com/cruises/JOY7LAXCSLMZTPVRLAX?itineraryCode=JOY7LAXCSLMZTPVRLAX

HA - 4186 for 2 + grats + Free at Sea grats

 

Escape

12/7/20

https://www.ncl.com/cruises/ESCAPE7MIACZMRTBBPICMAMIA?itineraryCode=ESCAPE7MIACZMRTBBPICMAMIA

H5/7/9 - 4338 for 2 + grats + Free at Sea grats

 

I am loathe to reveal my secrets, but I use Cruise Plum for all my research.

I use them, too.  Now we both have leaked our secret!

 

But, those who are booking Haven for $7K, $8K, $9K or more for a two person suite aren’t very good at doing even a little research.

 

BTW...that fare for the Western Caribbean itinerary on the Getaway is particularly good.  I’ve snagged one at that price, but it was a few years ago, and mine didn’t offer free airfare.

Edited by graphicguy

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