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Sthrngary

THE SECRETS OF THE NCL HAVEN LUXURY EXPERIENCE

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44 minutes ago, Debde said:

 

This is the second time you have said this. For dinner-for real-I can come in my bathing suit in the Haven dining room??

You also mentioned pajamas are OK. Is that just at breakfast or dinner too??

 

I can understand a butler is the luck of the draw. We have been very lucky with no required pre-tip to be very well taken care of.

 

Food is subjective. I'll give Margaritaville a try since it is for no charge on embarkation day. Other then that, on NCL, I have always enjoyed the food so I'm good to go! That is also never using specialty dining unless I have it included.

 

I've always noticed that the bartenders do not come out from behind the bar to take orders. I did however always see a server, often, in the Haven taking orders. Luckily I have no problem getting drinks from the bar myself and then parking my lazy  self somewhere. LOL  And I always ask for two for just in case and they laugh!!

 

Still looking forward to up and coming Getaway cruise!!

We have been on about 30 cruises with Celebrity, Princess, Holland and other cruise lines. Most recently in suites. I’ve had better service on another line. Very disappointed with Haven experience. 

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On 12/23/2019 at 10:29 PM, Momma Rene said:

The folks under us figured out they had a bad butler.  They paid him $100 up front and suddenly, the service changed.  

 

In our cabin, we were told by our butler that we could only have one small bar of soap per cabin that had two bathrooms.  It was so funny!  I mentioned it to other passengers and the next day they were giving me soap.  We all laughed!  Apparently, the sink soap is the shower soap as well.  

 

In any event, either pay the butler up front or call the concierge.  

 

I really don't want to get into the toilet paper in the cabin.....  WOW....  Public restrooms have better stuff.....

 

Also, don't worry about a dress code.  There is none.  Bare feet and shorts or bathing suits are welcome at dinner.

That is not true that there is no dress code in haven restaurant. It is the same there as it is in the mdr and casual specialty restaurants.  Shorts are fine.  But bare feet, bathing suits, robes and PJs are of course not allowed.

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12 hours ago, gizfish said:

That is not true that there is no dress code in haven restaurant. It is the same there as it is in the mdr and casual specialty restaurants.  Shorts are fine.  But bare feet, bathing suits, robes and PJs are of course not allowed.

I can only say what I saw. I was on Getaway

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20 minutes ago, Momma Rene said:

I can only say what I saw. I was on Getaway

 

What you mean is that the dress code wasn't enforced on your sailing. Posting that there is no dress code could be misleading to people reading the thread for information.

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23 minutes ago, Momma Rene said:

I can only say what I saw. I was on Getaway

 

I was on this same cruise (Dec 13-22 Getaway) and was in the Haven.  I did not see bare feet, PJs, or robes at any time in the restaurant. If people were wearing bathing suits then they were also wearing cover ups. 

 

We had great service at the Haven bar (sitting at the bar or not) and on the sundeck.  

 

The butler assigned to our cabin was friendly.  We asked for ice and a pitcher of iced tea daily and were accommodated.  We tipped at the end of the cruise.

 

It's always so interesting how people on the same cruise can have such different experiences.  We had a great time and look forward to staying in the Haven again.

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56 minutes ago, Tigger42 said:

 

I was on this same cruise (Dec 13-22 Getaway) and was in the Haven.  I did not see bare feet, PJs, or robes at any time in the restaurant. If people were wearing bathing suits then they were also wearing cover ups. 

 

We had great service at the Haven bar (sitting at the bar or not) and on the sundeck.  

 

The butler assigned to our cabin was friendly.  We asked for ice and a pitcher of iced tea daily and were accommodated.  We tipped at the end of the cruise.

 

It's always so interesting how people on the same cruise can have such different experiences.  We had a great time and look forward to staying in the Haven again.

Perhaps we were there at different times. Also, as I mentioned after 30 cruises and lately in suites, we were comparing to other lines. 
 

happy sailing! 

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On 10/21/2019 at 9:48 AM, graphicguy said:

Have done both the YC on MSC (Divina, Meriviglia) and The Haven with NCL (Breakaway, Getaway).  Not taking anything away from MSC, but the only thing I found better with MSC was the price differential.  But, that has since not been a factor when I’ve looked at the YC over the last few cruise bookings.

 

The Entertainment on NCL is worlds better than MSC’s.  The exclusive Haven areas (like the loungers on the Haven upper deck) are nicer than MSC’s.  Food was hit or miss with MSC’s YC dining room, also.  MSC still has dress requirements in the YC restaurant, too. That’s a “no-no” for me.

 

I found the service on NCL (and in particular, the Haven) to be much better than MSC.  MSC wasn’t bad.  It’s just that they were much more non-chalant about providing great service, whereas the NCL Concierges, Butlers, Bartenders, Waitstaff, even the cabin attendants, seemed more focused on giving great service.

 

If the YC drops in price again, I’d sail MSC.  But, choosing The Haven over the YC at the same fare, my money would go to the Haven.

I agree 100%.  Done both YC and Haven.  Food, drinks, service and entertainment was better in our Haven experiences than on our YC 12 day sailing.  It was certainly cheaper on our YC but even if that deal could be had again we would not return to MSC YC.

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We were recently in the Haven on the Encore. I found that people dressed more and more casually

as the week went on. On the last sea day someone in a bikini was sitting at the Haven bar.

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On 12/27/2019 at 6:02 AM, Peachypooh said:

We were recently in the Haven on the Encore. I found that people dressed more and more casually

as the week went on. On the last sea day someone in a bikini was sitting at the Haven bar.

I have also seen folks at the Haven Bar in a bikini.  Did something out of character for me.  I said, "Excuse ME sir.  Don't you think you need to cover up?"

When you have been cruising as long as my wife and I have, you remember how formal things used to be.  Back then folks said, "This is my vacation, I should not have to dress up all the time."  So the cruise ships and most brands said casual.  Do folks take it to far, YEP.  

Even though I am a bit old (62), I figure everyone should have a really good time.  Dress the way you want and I do the same.  As my son says, "You do you."  Do I think it is wrong to were a bikini at the Haven Bar, only if you are sitting there for a while.  If you just came in from the pool and want a drink.  Fine.  

"You DO You!"

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On 12/6/2019 at 7:43 AM, rmandmm said:

Thank you both! Makes perfect sense and I can’t want to hear your thoughts on Encore right before us, Gary. I have a reminder on my calendar for 130 days out!

Not sure I responded to this post.  Yes, I will post a review after my Encore experience with my entire family in May 2020.  A little update on my planning.  We are 134 days out.  in 14 days my family and I are having a Family meeting.  We will gather to select: 

  1. What nights and times we will go to which specialty restaurants. 
  2. What nights and times we will reserve each show.
  3. What excursions we want to go on.  On this one, I will look for my favorite excursion which is a Beach Cabana/Villa. Just my favorite thing EVER.
  4. What hotel we will attempt to stay at in Manhattan the night before the cruise. 
  5. There will be no choice on the Restaurant in Manhattan however, with five people I want to go to Carmine's.  No negotiation there. 
  6. Finally, we will set the rules.  Dad paid for the 2-bedroom Haven Villa.  You all have a credit card under your name because I will not pay for your extras.  PERIOD.  Now that is a good deal.  Wish my dad did that for us.  We went to a dude ranch and played volleyball in the fields.  LOL

Lets enjoy our respective cruises, DEAL.

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7 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

Not sure I responded to this post.  Yes, I will post a review after my Encore experience with my entire family in May 2020.  A little update on my planning.  We are 134 days out.  in 14 days my family and I are having a Family meeting.  We will gather to select: 

  1. What nights and times we will go to which specialty restaurants. 
  2. What nights and times we will reserve each show.
  3. What excursions we want to go on.  On this one, I will look for my favorite excursion which is a Beach Cabana/Villa. Just my favorite thing EVER.
  4. What hotel we will attempt to stay at in Manhattan the night before the cruise. 
  5. There will be no choice on the Restaurant in Manhattan however, with five people I want to go to Carmine's.  No negotiation there. 
  6. Finally, we will set the rules.  Dad paid for the 2-bedroom Haven Villa.  You all have a credit card under your name because I will not pay for your extras.  PERIOD.  Now that is a good deal.  Wish my dad did that for us.  We went to a dude ranch and played volleyball in the fields.  LOL

Lets enjoy our respective cruises, DEAL.

 

Deal!!! Very much looking forward to hearing about your choices! And, yes, we gave our kids $100 each to spend onboard for Christmas (which is part of the OBC gave by our TA) and after that...good luck! 🙂

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13 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

I have also seen folks at the Haven Bar in a bikini.  Did something out of character for me.  I said, "Excuse ME sir.  Don't you think you need to cover up?"

When you have been cruising as long as my wife and I have, you remember how formal things used to be.  Back then folks said, "This is my vacation, I should not have to dress up all the time."  So the cruise ships and most brands said casual.  Do folks take it to far, YEP.  

Even though I am a bit old (62), I figure everyone should have a really good time.  Dress the way you want and I do the same.  As my son says, "You do you."  Do I think it is wrong to were a bikini at the Haven Bar, only if you are sitting there for a while.  If you just came in from the pool and want a drink.  Fine.  

"You DO You!"

Not only was the dress code more formal back in the day I remember  we used to have the staff parade around the dining room with baked Alaska in flames, and skeet shoot off the aft deck of the ship and see how far you could play a golf ball into the ocean.  I prefer it the way it is now, however ripped jeans and especially ball caps in the restaurants annoy me. We were in the Haven restaurant  on the Breakaway a few months back we saw a whole family, Dad, Mom and three kids sit down to eat all wearing baseball caps, guess they thought it was Mcdonalds. 

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7 hours ago, armwinder said:

Not only was the dress code more formal back in the day I remember  we used to have the staff parade around the dining room with baked Alaska in flames, and skeet shoot off the aft deck of the ship and see how far you could play a golf ball into the ocean.  I prefer it the way it is now, however ripped jeans and especially ball caps in the restaurants annoy me. We were in the Haven restaurant  on the Breakaway a few months back we saw a whole family, Dad, Mom and three kids sit down to eat all wearing baseball caps, guess they thought it was Mcdonalds. 

I will tell you two stories.  First about 30 years ago, I took my wife to a very nice restaurant in New Orleans.  I was wearing a ball cap.  The owner came up to me and asked me to take it off.  I was more then happy to do so.  I had no idea it insulted folks.  The key here is the owner in a nice way asked me to take it off.  Second, during my last cruise in the Haven on the Getaway, I really never saw anyone inappropriately dressed in the Haven Restaurant.  Since the Haven Bar was right next to the pool, I did see some folks ordering drinks with bathing suits on at the Haven Bar.  None of that bothered me.  What bothered me was a group of eight 20 year olds drunk in the hot tub making a scene.  Only one of them was a Haven Guest and he let his friends in.  The Haven Staff was made aware of it and did nothing.  That was disappointment however it only happened once.  

No cruise or cruise passengers are perfect.  The key is go with the flow and enjoy yourself.  We paid a lot of money to be both on the cruise and in the Haven.  The rule for today is just enjoy life. 

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On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 11:10 AM, Momma Rene said:

Just off the Getaway.  Our butler was terrible.  We were in the aft cabin.  The folks below us paid the butler $100 when they saw that he was not working except for a tip up front.  We spoke to the conciege twice and by the third day, we finally got a fruit basket.  We wrote the email to the concierge and nothing was followed except taking the items out of the refrigerator.  By the next to the last day, we finally got ice in the afternoon.  

I AM SO SORRY THIS HAPPENED TO YOU.  MY BUTLER WAS NOT ATTENTIVE EITHER UNTIL I GAVE HIM THE LETTER I PRE-DID PRIOR TO COMING ONBOARD.  ONCE HE READ IT, EVERY SINGLE ITEM WAS TAKEN CARE OF.  SHOULD I HAVE HAD TO DO THAT NO! AM I GLAD I DID, YES.  LOTS OF THINGS HAVE HANGED AND I FIGURE, I CAN'T CHANGE THEM BACK SO JUST TRY A DIFFERENT APPROACH. 

On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 11:10 AM, Momma Rene said:

 

 

The best food that we had was the pork chop at lunch and the fish at dinner.  Scallops were bay scallops and not cooked.  Menus do not change daily.  As reported by someone else, there were no "special" offerings at night.  Two people that we saw left their prime rib.  Not a good cut of meat.  Bread was the same awful, dry french bread, rolls.  Salmon was over salted, seemed to have salt crust.  The salmon for breakfast was not of a good quality.  I did look at the regular buffet and it seemed that the food in the Haven was a lot of the buffet items, just plated very nicely.

THIS IS SO DIFFERENT THEN MY EXPERIENCE JUST A FEW WEEKS EARLIER.  I AGREE WITH THE PORK CHOP FOR LUNCH.  MY PRIME RIB WAS REALLY GOOD.  I HAD THE SMOKED SALMON ON THE BREAKFAST BUFFET IN THE HAVEN EVERY DAY.  I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GOOD KIND OR NOT.  I LIKED IT.  I DID NOT EAT THE BREAD BECAUSE I WAS ON A KETO DIET AT THE TIME. WHAT IS INTERESTING IS HOW INCONSISTANT THE FOOD AND SERVICE WAS FOR YOU.  NCL SHOULD BE BETTER THEN THAT.  AGAIN, SO SORRY.

On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 11:10 AM, Momma Rene said:

The bartender stood behind the bar and catered to those at the bar.  The server wound up making drinks for us.  We told him how to do it.  The bar stools are too high for folks with bad knees, so we sat in the bar area and were ignored unless we went to the bar.  No bar staff was out at the pool at any time.  Drinks in Waves were so much better if you wanted a margarita or something tropical.  Three times we asked for a martini glass for our martini and finally they got the right glass, which if you like a martini, makes a difference.  

I LOVE MARTINI'S ALSO.  I AM A MARTINI SNOB.  I NEVER ORDERED A MARTINI PERSONALLY BECAUSE I WAS DRINKING STRAIGHT STOLI.  ON DAY ONE, THE HAVEN BARTENDER WHOS NAME WAS PATRICK MET MY WIFE AND MYSELF.  LAST YEAR WE WERE ON THE CELEBRITY EQUINOX AND MY WIFE HAD TO WAIT 45 FOR A DRINK AT THE POOL BAR.  THIS YEAR IN THE HAVEN, ON DAY ONE, ON DRINK ONE, I GAVE PATRICK A TIP OF $20.00. AGAIN, NOT SAYING IT IS RIGHT OR WRONG, JUST SAYING WHAT I DID.  HE WAS ALL OVER US THE ENTIRE CRUISE, NEVER HAD AN ISSUE.  ON THE SERVICE OFF THE BAR, WHEN EVER THE YOUNG LADY WOULD COME BY, I CALLED HER OVER.  I GAVE HER A COUPLE OF $1.00 TIPS.  NOT A LOT.  AGAIN, NEVER AN ISSUE.  AT THE POOL, THERE WAS NO SERVERS JUST AS YOU SAID EXCEPT TO CHANGE OUT THE OUTSIDE FOOD ITEMS.

On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 11:10 AM, Momma Rene said:

Haven Restaurant had absolutely no dress code.  People were there in swimsuits, pajamas, no shoes for dinner.  

I NEVER SAW ANYONE IN THE HAVEN RESTAURANT IN SWIMSUITS, PAJAMAS, NO SHOES FOR DINNER.  I DID SEE THOSE TYPE OF FOLKS AT THE HAVEN BAR WHICH WAS RIGHT OFF THE POOL.  THAT IS THE ISSUE WITH FREE STYLE DINNING, SOME FOLKS TAKE IT WAY TO FAR.  TO EACH HIS OWN.

On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 11:10 AM, Momma Rene said:

The concierge was wonderful and very helpful.  She made the difference.....

I COULD NOT AGREE MORE.  FOR THE MOST PART THEY WERE 100% COMMITTED TO MAKING US ALL HAPPY. I TIPPED THEM $50.00 AT THE END OF THE WEEK. LEAST I COULD DO.

On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 11:10 AM, Momma Rene said:

Please know this was our personal experience after 30 cruises on different ships including Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, etc.    Our expectation of Haven was high and we came off very disappointed as well as other more seasoned passengers who have been on other lines.

 

AGAIN, I AM A 20 PLUS CRUISER.  I ABSOLUTED LOVED THE EXPERIENCE SO MUCH SO THAT I AM TAKING MY FAMILY OF 5 ON THE ENCORE IN MAY 2020.  AGAIN WHAT IS SAD IS THE INCONSISTANT FOOD, SERVICE AND EXPERIENCE NCL IS OBVIOUSLY PROVIDING.  REALLY HARD TO MAKE AN EDUCATED DECISION WHEN TO FREQUENT CRUISES HAVE SUCH DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES.  REGARDLESS, THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO COMMENT.  IT WAS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.

On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 11:10 AM, Momma Rene said:

 

 

 

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My Getaway cruise is getting closer. I'll come back and report if they let me in the restaurant in my Jammies!!😜     :flee:

 

Seriously though-I truly believe a vacation is what you make of it. The only thing I have read here that would disturb me is a bunch of people taking over the Haven Courtyard pool area that are not staying in the Haven. I never make a stink about anything but that could be the one thing to push me to it!!😱

 

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4 hours ago, Debde said:

My Getaway cruise is getting closer. I'll come back and report if they let me in the restaurant in my Jammies!!😜     :flee:

 

Seriously though-I truly believe a vacation is what you make of it. The only thing I have read here that would disturb me is a bunch of people taking over the Haven Courtyard pool area that are not staying in the Haven. I never make a stink about anything but that could be the one thing to push me to it!!😱

 

With the Haven, it depends upon your past voyages. If you are coming from Carnival, you will be happy.

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I’m honestly curious what the appropriate noise level should be in the Haven.  Whispers only, like a library?  Normal conversation voice and laughter levels but no exclamations?  

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10 hours ago, Momma Rene said:

With the Haven, it depends upon your past voyages. If you are coming from Carnival, you will be happy.

 

I have never been on Carnival so I have no way of comparing the Haven to them.

 

I've only sailed Royal Caribbean and my honest opinion, their version of the 'suite life' will NEVER get another penny of my money.  NCL Haven on the larger and smaller ships and the Yacht club on MSC and love both of them.

 

Since you have sailed Carnival-what do they have to offer in a Haven like setting??

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Debde said:

 

I have never been on Carnival so I have no way of comparing the Haven to them.

 

I've only sailed Royal Caribbean and my honest opinion, their version of the 'suite life' will NEVER get another penny of my money.  NCL Haven on the larger and smaller ships and the Yacht club on MSC and love both of them.

 

Since you have sailed Carnival-what do they have to offer in a Haven like setting??

 

 

I have a friend who just sailed on Carnival and she told me that have no perks for sailing in a suite!  She tried to book one.

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We cruise the Getaway Haven spa suite in April.  Our first NCL cruise. Six previous cruises on other lines.  
 

My question how much is the Vibe Beach Club for Haven rooms?  Why is this not included.  We are party people at the pool, not too wild, we like to have a good time.

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48 minutes ago, Debde said:

 

I have never been on Carnival so I have no way of comparing the Haven to them.

 

I've only sailed Royal Caribbean and my honest opinion, their version of the 'suite life' will NEVER get another penny of my money.  NCL Haven on the larger and smaller ships and the Yacht club on MSC and love both of them.

 

Since you have sailed Carnival-what do they have to offer in a Haven like setting??

 

 

I’ve never cruised Carnival. It seemed that people on the ship who had done Carnival were very happy with Haven. We have been on Princess and Celebrity Suites. Celebrity Does a wonderful job with their restaurant, Lumanae that is top notch. Their lunch and dinner menus change daily. Michaels Club is an upscale bar with wonderful service. They knew our names, preferences and greeted us warmly. 

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3 hours ago, raitch said:

I’m honestly curious what the appropriate noise level should be in the Haven.  Whispers only, like a library?  Normal conversation voice and laughter levels but no exclamations?  

In my opinion quiet conversation not necessarily whispers would be great. In reality if there are many  kids there

will be noise sometimes rising to the level of screaming.  (some kids are quiet but not all) If there are groups of

adults drinking their voices and laughter usually (but not always) rise to sometimes deafening levels depending

upon the amount of alcohol consumed. I know this flies in the face of what NCL advertises but you just can't

assume a serene and quiet experience.

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28 minutes ago, Momma Rene said:

I’ve never cruised Carnival. It seemed that people on the ship who had done Carnival were very happy with Haven. We have been on Princess and Celebrity Suites. Celebrity Does a wonderful job with their restaurant, Lumanae that is top notch. Their lunch and dinner menus change daily. Michaels Club is an upscale bar with wonderful service. They knew our names, preferences and greeted us warmly. 

 

 

Thanks. I have to admit-I do like the ship within a ship concept. I wish celebrity had that. I know they are putting in what they call The Retreat but still not like the Yacht club or The haven.

 

Lucky we have  so many cruise lines to choose from so we find just the right match for our own personal likes!.

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If anyone wants a quiet  and serene “first class” experience on a cruise, I would recommend they try “grill class” on Cunard...

They rigorously enforce all decorum and formal dress code....

Their passengers crave traditional cruising.

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51 minutes ago, Peachypooh said:

In my opinion quiet conversation not necessarily whispers would be great. In reality if there are many  kids there

will be noise sometimes rising to the level of screaming.  (some kids are quiet but not all) If there are groups of

adults drinking their voices and laughter usually (but not always) rise to sometimes deafening levels depending

upon the amount of alcohol consumed. I know this flies in the face of what NCL advertises but you just can't

assume a serene and quiet experience.

Usually at the Haven bar area, there are about six bar stools in front of bar. Usually, folks quite drunk. So to get a drink you had to stand at the bar, try to get between the drunks and order a drink. There is one bartender and one server. The bartender seemed to cater to the folks sitting at the bar. We would get the attention of the server and he would try to make us our drinks. Not good drinks. We did tip both but they just wanted to serve the folks sitting at the bar. 
 

just thinking that if they removed the bar stools, it would be a nicer environment for all. There is plenty of seating in the bar area

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