Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Sthrngary

THE SECRETS OF THE NCL HAVEN LUXURY EXPERIENCE

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, ceilidh1 said:

I just got off Bliss, in an aft Haven suite. Our butler was excellent - she was ALWAYS around if we needed her, but invisible when we didn't! I wouldn't worry too much about the fact you are outside of the Haven. We didn't have an issue at all - all of our requests were fulfilled without any issue!

This makes me feel much better-the Aft suites are even further from the Haven than the FWD ones (where I am).  I can't wait!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ashleyriley said:

The comment about "kids running amok in the Haven" has me a little concerned.  Does this scenario happen frequently in the Haven?  We are cruising the second week in December. 

 

I sailed in the off sessin, Feb, and the Haven was overrun by families and children.  Made the courtyard almost unusable unless you also wanted to snorkel the hot tubs.  It was a first and last Haven experience for me.  Whether it's common or not is irrelevant, I'm not spending that kind of money on a gamble.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a young lad next door who was generally either on their balcony screaming because he wanted to be in the pool, or screaming in the pool. Fortunately, or perhaps coincidentally, the pool was freezing cold, so he was usually the only one in it. I hope has parents had a delightful trip.

 

As for the 18+ sundeck, I made the decision early on that if we could be on our balcony and experience passive smoking from the Haven sundeck, then my 13yo daughter was going to have one or two visits to the hot tub. Between smokers and drunks constantly in the hot tubs she only had one visit, but after a week of passive smoking my position had become rather non-negotiable on their 'rules' regarding the age restriction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, BNBR said:

 

I sailed in the off sessin, Feb, and the Haven was overrun by families and children.  Made the courtyard almost unusable unless you also wanted to snorkel the hot tubs.  It was a first and last Haven experience for me.  Whether it's common or not is irrelevant, I'm not spending that kind of money on a gamble.  

The best thing about the Haven pool is that it attracts the kids away from the other areas like the observation Lounge. We used the pool area once, but we used the Observation Lounge almost constantly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, elwood_98034 said:

The best thing about the Haven pool is that it attracts the kids away from the other areas like the observation Lounge. We used the pool area once, but we used the Observation Lounge almost constantly.

 

I don't see any point in paying for the Haven then hanging out in the observation lounge...  I'd just book a regular cabin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, BNBR said:

 

I don't see any point in paying for the Haven then hanging out in the observation lounge...  I'd just book a regular cabin.

Was the OP talking about the Haven only Observation Lounge?  I think it is above the main Observation Lounge on the Joy/Bliss...or is this another ship without a Haven only Observation Lounge?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, nyc2pdx said:

Was the OP talking about the Haven only Observation Lounge?  I think it is above the main Observation Lounge on the Joy/Bliss...or is this another ship without a Haven only Observation Lounge?

 

No idea.  I was on Escape.  Observation lounge was pretty much empty anyways and public.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, BNBR said:

 

I don't see any point in paying for the Haven then hanging out in the observation lounge...  I'd just book a regular cabin.

It was on the Joy. No one was smoking in the Haven Observation lounge. And a cabin is a cabin. Unless you are in the DOS it is still not unlike being in a submarine with a balcony. We had a two bedroom, which is really just three cabins connected. It isn't like one huge hotel room. The key to the lounge was that there wasn't 5,000 of our new best friends in there trying to have the whole wilderness experience thing with us. Many times it was just us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, elwood_98034 said:

It was on the Joy. No one was smoking in the Haven Observation lounge. And a cabin is a cabin. Unless you are in the DOS it is still not unlike being in a submarine with a balcony. We had a two bedroom, which is really just three cabins connected. It isn't like one huge hotel room. The key to the lounge was that there wasn't 5,000 of our new best friends in there trying to have the whole wilderness experience thing with us. Many times it was just us.

I'll be on the Joy in December, and have to admit...fighting to get a lounger in the Observation Lounge (Public) as opposed to an open Haven Observation Lounge with a choice of loungers and bar service sounds like money well spent for me!

Edited by nyc2pdx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oceania for me are one of the best cruise ships. Not too big and with some of the best food I have ever had on a cruise ship.

We have not sailed Haven but would be put off by it not being adults only. I accept that there are some well behaved children but in the same light some that are a right pain or should I say the parents are.

One of the biggest things from that list would be the sunbed situation but is it worth all the extra money not sure.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, nyc2pdx said:

I'll be on the Joy in December, and have to admit...fighting to get a lounger in the Observation Lounge (Public) as opposed to an open Haven Observation Lounge with a choice of loungers and bar service sounds like money well spent for me!

Don't count on the bar service. Most times if we wanted a drink we got to walk back to the bar and get it ourselves. The servers were very few and far between. Many times they just weren't there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, BNBR said:

 

I sailed in the off sessin, Feb, and the Haven was overrun by families and children.  Made the courtyard almost unusable unless you also wanted to snorkel the hot tubs.  It was a first and last Haven experience for me.  Whether it's common or not is irrelevant, I'm not spending that kind of money on a gamble.  

Many school districts have a one week winter break in February, and it sounds like you might've unfortunately sailed during that time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, cloudsail said:

Many school districts have a one week winter break in February, and it sounds like you might've unfortunately sailed during that time. 

 

Maybe. I guess for the price of the Haven I'd prefer not to have to play the "will it be a day care disaster" lottery.  Much better ways to spend my money. Just the anxiety of not knowing if the Haven will be overrun or not is enough to avoid.  Better products from other lines without these issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, BNBR said:

 

No idea.  I was on Escape.  Observation lounge was pretty much empty anyways and public.

 

I thought Escape lacks Observation lounges. Bliss, Joy and Encore have them but not the Escape.

 

Edited by bluesea777

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, bluesea777 said:

 

I thought Escape lacks Observation lounges. Bliss. Joy and Encore have them but not the Escape.

 

 

Lol, you are right. I'm confusing ships!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, BNBR said:

 

Lol, you are right. I'm confusing ships!

 

Then enlighten us with which ship were you on that you made the remark?

 

Edited by bluesea777

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, bluesea777 said:

 

Then enlighten us with which ship were you on that you made the remark?

 

 

Wasn't even NCL.  Not sure why I even confused the two... It's irrelevant.  Anyways, if I have to run away from the Haven courtyard because of kids, I wouldn't book Haven. With or without an observation lounge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It kind of amazes me why people would bring kids into the Haven pool area as it can't be much fun for them in a quiet courtyard.  It is very expensive, and when I was a kid, we never went to fancy places...it was always family friendly places.  Different world, I guess. I think of the Haven as pretty high end...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, nyc2pdx said:

It kind of amazes me why people would bring kids into the Haven pool area as it can't be much fun for them in a quiet courtyard.  It is very expensive, and when I was a kid, we never went to fancy places...it was always family friendly places.  Different world, I guess. I think of the Haven as pretty high end...

 

Contrary to the slow motion movements in the Haven advertising, the Haven is meant for families. The splitting of the "16 and older" sundeck from the "all ages" rest of the Haven is the compromise that they came up with recently. 

 

Irresponsible parents can be anywhere just as out of control children can be anywhere. The Haven courtyard is no different. You might find children who are well behaved. You might find adults who are not well behaved. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

Thank you for the kind words.  No one should ever treat a member of the crew horribly, yet I also have seen it happen.  My tipping approach was because my love of my life (wife) who is the kindest person I have ever met, was not being taken care of in previous cruises.  My tips initially is much more for her, then I.  Also, and this is very important, I still ALWAY tip at the end of the cruise, always have.  The crew spend months away from their families.  Many depend on those tips and work extremely hard.  I wish the cruise ship paid them more but that is the economics of cruise brands.  I knew saying what I did about tipping upfront would get me some push back. Just something I learned and my pleasure to do. 

I can understand your need to tip, so your wife can get the kind of service she is too shy to ask for. You are a very thoughtful husband! 

And I want to say good job on the weight loss, so far I am down 9 lbs, but doing it slowly and no Keto, because, bread! And bread! Lol.

The closest I get to eating carb free on a cruise is smoked salmon -I eat a lot of it every cruise. I told my butler once that I loved it and he brought a whole tray of it every afternoon to our stateroom. And yes I ate it all.

I just wish it wasn’t so full of sodium, otherwise it’s a health food!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, nyc2pdx said:

It kind of amazes me why people would bring kids into the Haven pool area as it can't be much fun for them in a quiet courtyard.  It is very expensive, and when I was a kid, we never went to fancy places...it was always family friendly places.  Different world, I guess. I think of the Haven as pretty high end...

 

3rd and 4th sail free and tons of 2 bedroom suites. These are family suites.  So why not book Haven?  What I noticed is that the families took it over.  Mom claims the couple of day beds and another group takes the loungers.  Parents read and relax with service while kids run amok and play with other kids in a contained, private area where they can easily be watched.  It's great for families. Heck, if I didn't have some semblance of decency and respect for others, I'd bring my young kids and join in.

 

NCL really should just market it as a luxury day camp.  There is nothing high end about the Haven.  That's just marketing nonsense.  Other companies provide much more high end experiences across the entire ship than the tiny little Haven area, and for half the price.

Edited by BNBR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience in the Haven.  I would have loved to have seen something like this in advance of our first NCL cruise a few years ago! Since that time we have done 6 NCL cruises (Breakaway and Escape) and overall we enjoyed each one, but like many others on here, we too noticed a steady decline in product from cruise 1 to cruise 6.  In the end, our last cruise could not hold a candle to our first (both the NY to Bermuda trip).  Everything (and I really mean everything) just appears to have degraded in quality cruise over cruise (e.g., service, atmosphere, quality, included amenities).

 

Don't get me wrong, we still had a great time, but after our last cruise we decided to look hard at how we wanted to spend our cruise budget going forward.  We always thought that we too wanted that "ship within a ship" concept so we could take advantage of large ship amenities but still have a small ship feel.  As we thought about our actual activity on the ship, however, we realized that between the Haven and the Thermal Spa pass (which I absolutely LOVE), we rarely went to the other parts of the ship save for dinner and that quality too has gone way down since the ubiquitous SDP promo. And don't even get me started on the ridiculous beverage package . . . talk about inflated prices for well liquor offerings . . . smh.

 

We did a ton a research and ended up following a similar path as OP.  We are heading over to Seabourn next March . . .  much smaller ship with only 450 passengers, but with a nearly 1:1 passenger to crew ratio and a truly all-inclusive offering we are looking forward to trying a luxury line.  What sealed it for us was comparing our perceived "value" of NCL Haven vs. Seabourn vis-a-vis the price and inclusions.  Granted, I'll be giving up that nice DOS on NCL, but for the same price as that suite we'll be in an Owner's Suite on Seabourn . . . but the Owner's Suite includes unlimited internet, complete full in suite bar set up and refill (6 bottles of my choosing, unlimited wines and champagne), all dining included (even their Thomas Keller offering), complimentary limo to and from the airport/cruise port, all beverages at all ship locations/bars (premium liquors, wines, champagne, coffees, sodas), and even caviar on demand (not a selling point for me and I'm hoping I can swap that out for some cheese and crackers, ha).

 

Now, I understand that all of that may not be appealing to everyone and some may prioritize one or more over others, but what cannot be argued is that offering should give NCL pause on their pricing models for the Haven.  On all my cruises, even in a DOS, all those things would have been extra charges . . . and one thing that I came to really hate was the constant nickel and diming even after I paid $13-15K for my accommodations.  I am looking forward to my $13K on Seabourn to really mean $13K inclusive of everything mentioned above (I've been told it very common for passengers on Seabourn to disembark with a $0 balance on their accounts).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My unruly, out of control child in the Haven....doing her homework! 90% of the time, we were the ONLY people in there!

 

image.thumb.png.b6ed43d3e57cd75647d90b0a6215f273.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Navis said:

Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience in the Haven.  I would have loved to have seen something like this in advance of our first NCL cruise a few years ago! Since that time we have done 6 NCL cruises (Breakaway and Escape) and overall we enjoyed each one, but like many others on here, we too noticed a steady decline in product from cruise 1 to cruise 6.  In the end, our last cruise could not hold a candle to our first (both the NY to Bermuda trip).  Everything (and I really mean everything) just appears to have degraded in quality cruise over cruise (e.g., service, atmosphere, quality, included amenities).

 

Don't get me wrong, we still had a great time, but after our last cruise we decided to look hard at how we wanted to spend our cruise budget going forward.  We always thought that we too wanted that "ship within a ship" concept so we could take advantage of large ship amenities but still have a small ship feel.  As we thought about our actual activity on the ship, however, we realized that between the Haven and the Thermal Spa pass (which I absolutely LOVE), we rarely went to the other parts of the ship save for dinner and that quality too has gone way down since the ubiquitous SDP promo. And don't even get me started on the ridiculous beverage package . . . talk about inflated prices for well liquor offerings . . . smh.

 

We did a ton a research and ended up following a similar path as OP.  We are heading over to Seabourn next March . . .  much smaller ship with only 450 passengers, but with a nearly 1:1 passenger to crew ratio and a truly all-inclusive offering we are looking forward to trying a luxury line.  What sealed it for us was comparing our perceived "value" of NCL Haven vs. Seabourn vis-a-vis the price and inclusions.  Granted, I'll be giving up that nice DOS on NCL, but for the same price as that suite we'll be in an Owner's Suite on Seabourn . . . but the Owner's Suite includes unlimited internet, complete full in suite bar set up and refill (6 bottles of my choosing, unlimited wines and champagne), all dining included (even their Thomas Keller offering), complimentary limo to and from the airport/cruise port, all beverages at all ship locations/bars (premium liquors, wines, champagne, coffees, sodas), and even caviar on demand (not a selling point for me and I'm hoping I can swap that out for some cheese and crackers, ha).

 

Now, I understand that all of that may not be appealing to everyone and some may prioritize one or more over others, but what cannot be argued is that offering should give NCL pause on their pricing models for the Haven.  On all my cruises, even in a DOS, all those things would have been extra charges . . . and one thing that I came to really hate was the constant nickel and diming even after I paid $13-15K for my accommodations.  I am looking forward to my $13K on Seabourn to really mean $13K inclusive of everything mentioned above (I've been told it very common for passengers on Seabourn to disembark with a $0 balance on their accounts).

 

Probably not the right thread, but do tell me more....we do Haven for peace and quiet, lack of crowds, and catering to hubby’s pickiness; we do NCL for entertainment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/13/2019 at 12:32 PM, salty dingo said:

I think the solution to the issue of parents bringing the whole family and kids running amok in the Haven is to steer the parents to Disney.

The problem is that a Disney Cruise is still more expensive than NCL, even in The Haven. We are booked on the Encore in The Haven and its $3,000 LESS for our family of 4 than what we paid for a standard balcony stateroom on the Disney Fantasy. NCL is making it very affordable and enticing for our family to sail in The Haven because they are offering a kids sail free promotion on our sailing, plus all the other perks. 
 

Don’t worry, my kids won’t be causing chaos at the Haven pool. They have already cruised enough to know what’s expected of them and what behavior is going to get them in trouble. Plus they’ll be much more interested in all the activities outside The Haven (race carts, laser tag, water slides etc). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...