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THE SECRETS OF THE NCL HAVEN LUXURY EXPERIENCE

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Momma Rene said:

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

The title of this thread is The Secrets of the NCL Haven Luxury Experience. Obviously,  the OP had the intention of providing great information about the Haven and how to make the most of the experience.  Which he did. (Thanks, OP!) You apparently did not have a great experience and it is fine to share it so others may manage their own expectations or learn to avoid a bad experience. However, to consistently be negative about NCL and the Haven everytime someone comments or asks a legitimate question is unnecessary and off topic. Others want to read this thread to add to the anticipation of their cruise. I can speak from my own experience that I had amazing food, beverages, and service both times I was in the Haven. It was not perfect,  but no vacation ever is. This is from my own experience of cruising Azamara, Celebrity,  Princess, and NCL. 

 

By the way, the idea of having no bar stools at a bar ? No. Just no. Not my idea of  luxury or even good design. 

Edited by ashleyriley

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About the 6 barstools at the Haven bar...

 

I like sitting at the bar, BUT pulling out and pushing in those barstools makes an AWFUL scraping sound. (At least on the Getaway and the Breakaway.) Maybe that's been fixed since my last cruise on the Breakaway last February. I guess I'll see in a couple of weeks. (Sheesh, all it would take is a few chair leg caps! Maybe I should bring some. ;-0

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18 minutes ago, Suite Heart said:

About the 6 barstools at the Haven bar...

 

I like sitting at the bar, BUT pulling out and pushing in those barstools makes an AWFUL scraping sound. (At least on the Getaway and the Breakaway.) Maybe that's been fixed since my last cruise on the Breakaway last February. I guess I'll see in a couple of weeks. (Sheesh, all it would take is a few chair leg caps! Maybe I should bring some. ;-0

We enjoy sitting at the bar too.  As one of the contributors to this thread called us, "drunks"  Nice.  I agree the barstools can make an awful sound.  It would be nice if they were narrower and swiveled so they did not require as much movement and people could get around us "drunks"   Lol.

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On 1/2/2020 at 9:25 AM, Momma Rene said:

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

 

As I stated before, I was on this same cruise.  My experience at the Haven bar was not like this at all.  First, I never saw anyone who was "drunk."  I saw people having a good time and laughing but I never saw anyone who appeared out of control or inappropriate.  Secondly, most of the time there were two bartenders present as well as servers.  If there were people at the bar we just went up and caught the attention of a bartender who was happy to make drinks for us.  If we were seated we were promptly approached by a server to take our drink orders. The drinks we had from the Haven bar were great and we enjoyed trying some new creations!

 

In posting this I am not trying to create any conflict.  I appreciate you had a different experience.  I just want to share a different perspective for others who will be sailing on the Getaway.

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The Haven bar on the Escape is about the size of the bar at Michael's Club on Celebrity Solstice. Escape is a little more modern in décor whereas Michael's Club is a little clubbier and cozier IMO.  Don't see where bar stools removal would matter.  Without bar stools I would think more people would be packed at the bar standing up.  Been several times on the Escape Haven bar and had nothing but fantastic service and drinks.  If a waiter/tress wasn't available, people would come to the bar with no problem as I saw it.  Looking forward to the Encore Haven this summer.  Regards, Gerry.

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12 hours ago, ashleyriley said:

The title of this thread is The Secrets of the NCL Haven Luxury Experience. Obviously,  the OP had the intention of providing great information about the Haven and how to make the most of the experience.  Which he did. (Thanks, OP!) 

 

Yes I agree! Great details and advice.  (Also thanks again, OP)
 

12 hours ago, ashleyriley said:

 

By the way, the idea of having no bar stools at a bar ? No. Just no. Not my idea of  luxury or even good design. 

 

A bar without stools?  That’s new...unless perhaps on Spring Break in Cabo.  Doesn’t seem very Haven-like. 

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, kickbutt10 said:

We enjoy sitting at the bar too.  As one of the contributors to this thread called us, "drunks"  Nice.  I agree the barstools can make an awful sound.  It would be nice if they were narrower and swiveled so they did not require as much movement and people could get around us "drunks"   Lol.


I thought that  person’s post (use of words) was a particularly unnecessary.  Is it possible there were “drunks” at the Haven bar?  Well sure anything is possible, but the post seemed to infer this was constant - usually “drunks” at the bar.  Ya that doesn’t seem likely.  I would hazard a guess that the bar stools were regularly full with patrons sitting and chatting with each other and the bartender.  Any busy bar requires you to step up to the bar and let the bartender know you want a drink.  He or she is not psychic.  Oh the humanity!

Edited by GettotheSun

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Posted (edited)
On 12/29/2019 at 12:43 PM, 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 remember in 1989, my dh skeet shooting off the back of NCL Dreamward and I'm sure that night was

a midnight buffet, I remember those as well as the chocolate buffets.  I am much more happier dressing more casual on a cruise. I have to dress up every day for work. It's much easier for women, IMO, though than for the men.  I'm happy my dh doesn't have to wear a suit any longer.  He still dresses nicely and it doesn't ruin my dining experience LOL

 

Edited by js

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Drunks at the bar, people in pajamas-what has this world/haven come to!!?🤣

 

Again, on a serious note-when some people do not enjoy a certain cruise line, some can tend to either exaggerate or the way a review/post comes across its probably not as bad as it is typed out.

 

Example-I will never give Royal Caribbean cruise line another dime of my money. Why, well, took my Mom on her first cruise and we were in a suite. Wanted to spoil her. Before dinner went to the Concierge Lounge to have a pre-dinner drink and they sat us in the hall.😠 Right there I was done. Now-I could leave it at that and it sounds far worse.

Reality was, yes-we were in the hall but due to overcrowding-that was the only option for us and a few others. There was a little nook with some couches, a table and chairs in it. We all made the best of it. Yes-the server came and took our drink orders, brought out some nibbles for us and looked after us the best he could. BUT- that was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back for me as this was and probably still is an issue with the lounge and this cruise line.

 

It's all in the delivery..............

 

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My mother and I are thinking of booking an H4 on the Joy. I understand that as part of the current promotion we could get the "free" beverage package but we would still have to pay the gratuities. My mom does not purchase any drinks during a cruise and at most I would buy one soda, one alcoholic drink and one milkshake (if the ship has a restaurant that offers them). Even though I do think that just paying the gratuities would still be a good deal for most people it would not be for us.

 

As Haven guests, is there any kind of happy hour or way to get a truly free drink if we book an H4 (I know some higher room categories would have drinks included)? I know that there is the Haven bar but from what I've gathered the only way the drink is "free" is if you purchased a drink package and that it is not a place Haven guests can go to get a free drink (I'm thinking of something like the Concierge Lounge on Royal Caribbean).

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5 minutes ago, cruiser82 said:

My mother and I are thinking of booking an H4 on the Joy. I understand that as part of the current promotion we could get the "free" beverage package but we would still have to pay the gratuities. My mom does not purchase any drinks during a cruise and at most I would buy one soda, one alcoholic drink and one milkshake (if the ship has a restaurant that offers them). Even though I do think that just paying the gratuities would still be a good deal for most people it would not be for us.

 

As Haven guests, is there any kind of happy hour or way to get a truly free drink if we book an H4 (I know some higher room categories would have drinks included)? I know that there is the Haven bar but from what I've gathered the only way the drink is "free" is if you purchased a drink package and that it is not a place Haven guests can go to get a free drink (I'm thinking of something like the Concierge Lounge on Royal Caribbean).

Are you saying you would only purchase one soda, one alcoholic drink, and one milkshake for the entire cruise?  If so, it would not be worthwhile for you to pay the gratuities on a free beverage package. 

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20 minutes ago, cruiser82 said:

My mom does not purchase any drinks during a cruise and at most I would buy one soda, one alcoholic drink and one milkshake (if the ship has a restaurant that offers them). Even though I do think that just paying the gratuities would still be a good deal for most people it would not be for us.

 

During booking, simply do not select the beverage promo. You will not be charged the 20% of the package. 

 

21 minutes ago, cruiser82 said:

I know that there is the Haven bar but from what I've gathered the only way the drink is "free" is if you purchased a drink package and that it is not a place Haven guests can go to get a free drink (I'm thinking of something like the Concierge Lounge on Royal Caribbean).

 

You can pay for drinks a la carte if you do not have a package. The bartender will swipe your card. This is for every bar on the ship including the Haven bar. 

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16 minutes ago, tampadee said:

Are you saying you would only purchase one soda, one alcoholic drink, and one milkshake for the entire cruise?  If so, it would not be worthwhile for you to pay the gratuities on a free beverage package. 

Yes, we aren't planning on buying it so I was hoping there would be another option for Haven guests to get free drinks.

 

Just now, Two Wheels Only said:

 

During booking, simply do not select the beverage promo. You will not be charged the 20% of the package. 

 

 

You can pay for drinks a la carte if you do not have a package. The bartender will swipe your card. This is for every bar on the ship including the Haven bar. 

That's what we plan on doing, not selecting the package. I was hoping as a Haven guest there would be a way to get a free soda at least but it looks like that's not the case. 

 

Thank you both for your help! This won't change our decision to book the H4 but it's a bit disappointing that they don't offer something since it's a suite.

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25 minutes ago, cruiser82 said:

I was hoping as a Haven guest there would be a way to get a free soda at least but it looks like that's not the case. 

 

Ask your butler. He/she can provide a pitcher of soda/iced tea/lemonade, etc. and you probably won't be charged. The butler will (almost always) charge for alcoholic drinks but you'll probably get a pitcher (from the gun) of soda without charge.

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9 minutes ago, Two Wheels Only said:

 

Ask your butler. He/she can provide a pitcher of soda/iced tea/lemonade, etc. and you probably won't be charged. The butler will (almost always) charge for alcoholic drinks but you'll probably get a pitcher (from the gun) of soda without charge.

I'll keep that in mind, thank you!

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The Haven bar and restaurant do not offer any drinks for free that are not free anywhere else on the ship.  There may be a sail away party in the Haven where they generally offer free champagne.  There will be a Captain and officers party in the Haven one evening where they will offer free drinks, and if you are a latitudes member, there will be a past guest party where they will offer free drinks.  At both those parties, wait staff will have trays of limited types of beverages.  Feel free to request whatever drink you would like from them that are not on the trays, and you will be given it for free.  

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2 hours ago, cruiser82 said:

As Haven guests, is there any kind of happy hour or way to get a truly free drink if we book an H4 (I know some higher room categories would have drinks included)? I know that there is the Haven bar but from what I've gathered the only way the drink is "free" is if you purchased a drink package and that it is not a place Haven guests can go to get a free drink (I'm thinking of something like the Concierge Lounge on Royal Caribbean).

 

So I know not a direct answer to the question, but wouldn't the guests also get a bottle of "champagne" at the start of the cruise given they are in the Haven?

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19 minutes ago, GettotheSun said:

 

So I know not a direct answer to the question, but wouldn't the guests also get a bottle of "champagne" at the start of the cruise given they are in the Haven?

Yes.

 

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51 minutes ago, GettotheSun said:

 

So I know not a direct answer to the question, but wouldn't the guests also get a bottle of "champagne" at the start of the cruise given they are in the Haven?

True, good point. My mom wouldn't drink that so it would be all mine lol

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Just bring a champagne cork...bubbles should last 3 days so you can have a glass per day, haha!

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4 hours ago, GettotheSun said:

Just bring a champagne cork...bubbles should last 3 days so you can have a glass per day, haha!

You can also ask your butler for a pitcher of OJ so you can make mimosas.

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42 minutes ago, gizfish said:

You can also ask your butler for a pitcher of OJ so you can make mimosas.

HIghly suggested because the "champagne" is not very good.  OJ may make it drinkable.

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On ‎1‎/‎2‎/‎2020 at 8:24 AM, tampadee said:

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.

 

I was looking at the Carnival Panorama and Carnival Mardi Gras and it seems like they may be stepping up some of their offerings between Havana rooms and Suites.  Panorama is sailing now, Mardi Gras will be launched later this year.

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15 hours ago, GettotheSun said:

 

So I know not a direct answer to the question, but wouldn't the guests also get a bottle of "champagne" at the start of the cruise given they are in the Haven?

 

If you aren't a champagne drinker you could ask them to switch it for a bottle of red or white.

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@Sthrngary I am hoping you can answer a question about the concierge and shore excursions.  If a shore excursion is not available on line would the concierge be able to add it for us once we are on board?  I know that they only release a percentage of dining reservations prior to cruising, I wondered if they did that with shore excursions too.

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