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Sthrngary

THE SECRETS OF THE NCL HAVEN LUXURY EXPERIENCE

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14 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

 

  1. Premium "Plus" Beverage Package & the Haven:  As most of us, my wife and I got the perk of the Premium Beverage Package.  I upgraded that package to the Premium "Plus" Beverage package.  WHY? Lots of reasons but here are just a few. a) Full Bottles of REALLY GREAT wine at meals not just a pour in one glass at a time.  You could take the bottle back to your room if not finished.  Actually, they would deliver it. b) No limit per cost of drink except two really high dollar items.  I was drinking 1800 Silver all week long.  c) Haven Bar specialty drinks or custom drinks.  No extra cost. d) Bottled water with and without gas at no extra charge. e) specialty coffee's at no extra charge. I am NOT sure about the Starbucks, we never needed it. You make your own decision. 

You can order any liquor (except two high end ones) with the premium plus package?  You are not limited to the types listed in the premium plus description?  They will deliver wine by the bottle if requested?  This is great news as I will soon be cruising Haven on the Getaway and this will make me rethink about purchasing the plus package.  

 

Edited by stretch44

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19 minutes ago, stretch44 said:

You can order any liquor (except two high end ones) with the premium plus package?  You are not limited to the types listed in the premium plus description?  They will deliver wine by the bottle if requested?  This is great news as I will soon be cruising Haven on the Getaway and this will make me rethink about purchasing the plus package.  

 

Let me clarify.  Louis was not on the list for example.  You did get a 40% discount on the $65.00 1/2 ounce shot.  I passed on that opportunity, lol.  Everything else on the best bar (Haven Bar) was a GO!!!!  Limited to the premium plus description.  I was never turned down for anything based on one drink.  Now let me approach the delivery of a bottle of wine.  Look at the Premium Plus wine list.  On the wine menu, it has an asterisk next to the allowable bottle of wine at meals.  They will NOT deliver a new bottle of wine to your suite for free.  They will deliver a bottle ordered at meal to your room.  Be careful about that clarification. 

Hope that helps. 

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On 10/19/2019 at 7:46 AM, papa B me said:

I certainly understand your frustration. Your post was a great idea and I personally truly appreciate it. Like you I research my trips to death therefore rarely am surprised by our travel experiences. We have booked a DOS in the Haven on the Epic for Jan 2021 and have had trouble gathering detailed first hand accounts of how to get the most from the experience. So your post was fantastic. I've been somewhat frustrated there weren't more posts along the lines of your intent and that it has morphed into a thread about unruly kids. But rest assured that there are probably many who appreciated what you've written and have found it helpful. Thanks again!

Brian

Thank you very much

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2 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

Let me clarify.  Louis was not on the list for example.  You did get a 40% discount on the $65.00 1/2 ounce shot.  I passed on that opportunity, lol.  Everything else on the best bar (Haven Bar) was a GO!!!!  Limited to the premium plus description.  I was never turned down for anything based on one drink.  Now let me approach the delivery of a bottle of wine.  Look at the Premium Plus wine list.  On the wine menu, it has an asterisk next to the allowable bottle of wine at meals.  They will NOT deliver a new bottle of wine to your suite for free.  They will deliver a bottle ordered at meal to your room.  Be careful about that clarification. 

Hope that helps. 

 

Thanks for the clarification - I got a bit excited about the prospect of bottles being delivered to the room by the butler (if buying the PPBP), but it sounds like this would be an option only for room service at meal time.  

 

Do you know if they had the Viva Vino package / offer on the Getaway when you were aboard?  I'm leaning more in that direction and ordering 4-6 bottles of wine / sparkling wine for the week vs. purchasing the PPBP. (although would then also buy a water package).  The selection isn't on par with the PPBP wines, but we will be in the aft haven and I like the idea of having chilled beverages ready in my room.   And as I understand it, we could ask the butler to have one of our bottles delivered to a speciality restaurant for dinner.  

 

And sorry, just back to embarkation in NOLA...so there is one security line / section for everyone.  Once you go through that security line, then the Haven lounge entrance is behind the security wall to the right.  Funny they don't post signs...seems like that would be the more logical thing to do.

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17 minutes ago, GettotheSun said:

 

Thanks for the clarification - I got a bit excited about the prospect of bottles being delivered to the room by the butler (if buying the PPBP), but it sounds like this would be an option only for room service at meal time.  

 

Do you know if they had the Viva Vino package / offer on the Getaway when you were aboard?  I'm leaning more in that direction and ordering 4-6 bottles of wine / sparkling wine for the week vs. purchasing the PPBP. (although would then also buy a water package).  The selection isn't on par with the PPBP wines, but we will be in the aft haven and I like the idea of having chilled beverages ready in my room.   And as I understand it, we could ask the butler to have one of our bottles delivered to a speciality restaurant for dinner.  

 

And sorry, just back to embarkation in NOLA...so there is one security line / section for everyone.  Once you go through that security line, then the Haven lounge entrance is behind the security wall to the right.  Funny they don't post signs...seems like that would be the more logical thing to do.

I am going to take your post one item at a time. 

 

Bottle delivered to the room by the butler: NOT going to happen without a serious cost to you.  Not what I mean.  Let me give you an example of what I am saying.  You go to the Haven or any dinning room for lunch or dinner.  While their you have the Premium Plus Drink Program.  You look at the wine list and several have a notation next them them.  Those notations mean you can have a bottle of that wine (not just a glass) brought to your table side.  If you don't finish the bottle at that meal, you can take it to your room yourself or they will deliver it.  If you order a full bottle to your room, they will charge your for that full bottle.  I am giving you a hint on how to have wine in your room for no extra charge with the Premium Plus program only.

 

Viva Vino Package: I have no idea.  What I do know is if you go online to NCL.com put in your user name and password (to get this you have to have a confirmation number) you can see all the drink packages and purchase ahead of time. 

 

Viva Vino Package and Water Package: Do the math.  Just like above, I went to the bar or resturant.  Got a large bottle of water with and without gas.  I brought it back to the room.  Water Bottles, Energy drinks, specialty coffee are not part of the Premium Drink package, just the Premium Plus.  Why by a water package and wine package when you can save money with the upgrade to Premium Plus.  Your decision. 

 

If you do a wine package, it is located on your cabin card. Order the wine at any restaurant.  I can't emphasize enough, your butler is your room service person.  If you order wine or an adult beverage for room service, there will be a charge.  Again, I am giving you a hint on how to navigate this crazy NCL system.  If you let them, they will charge you endless fees. My ON-Board account would untapped until my last day when my wife went shopping.  I am crazy about NOT getting nicled and dimed on a cruise.

 

Finally on security.  Lets not get confused here.  Security and check in are to different things.  Everyone goes through the same security, no special lines that I could see anyway.  I got right through no issue at 10:45 am.  Just like the airport security, when you are though, ask where the Haven Check-in is located.  You might have to ask more then one person.  You then go to check in at Haven Check-in.  Takes about 10 minutes total and there usually is no line.  When completed they escort you to the PORT Haven lounge. Simply a small room with chairs.  Some food, soft drinks and coffee.  Just to wait before boarding.  When the ship clears, they will escort you to the actual ship and take you directly to the Ship Haven Lounge.  That is when it is party time for real.

 

As a last comment.  I know they are unclear about what I am explaining.  That was the entire purpose of my post.  I have done many post on luxury activities like this.  Super VIP for Four Day Music Events is another example.  Simply no concrete explanations of how to fully leverage the value when paying a premium.

 

Hope this clarifies your questions and post. 

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58 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

 If you don't finish the bottle at that meal, you can take it to your room yourself or they will deliver it.  If you order a full bottle to your room, they will charge your for that full bottle.  I am giving you a hint on how to have wine in your room for no extra charge with the Premium Plus program only.

Thanks this is what I thought.

 

 

58 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

Viva Vino Package and Water Package: Do the math.  Just like above, I went to the bar or resturant.  Got a large bottle of water with and without gas.  I brought it back to the room.  Water Bottles, Energy drinks, specialty coffee are not part of the Premium Drink package, just the Premium Plus.  Why by a water package and wine package when you can save money with the upgrade to Premium Plus.  Your decision. 

Yes I get your point, and it's why I'm back-and-forth on the Premium Plus as the economics make more sense when comparing to adding the water package.  I think our boys would really want the energy drinks and water bottles (way more so than any pop).  Considering they are not even offered on their soda / pop package, I'm not sure I have any qualms about picking those up from the bar and passing them to our kids.  (the stone throwers can wind up now)

 

58 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

 

If you do a wine package, it is located on your cabin card. Order the wine at any restaurant.  I can't emphasize enough, your butler is your room service person.  If you order wine or an adult beverage for room service, there will be a charge.  Again, I am giving you a hint on how to navigate this crazy NCL system.  

 

 

I could be mistaken but I thought if you do the Viva Vino package, they will go ahead and charge the 20% gratuity at the time of ordering, whether you got it at a restaurant or had it delivered to your cabin?

 

 

 

58 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

 

Finally on security.  Lets not get confused here.  Security and check in are to different things.  Everyone goes through the same security, no special lines that I could see anyway.  I got right through no issue at 10:45 am.  Just like the airport security, when you are though, ask where the Haven Check-in is located.  You might have to ask more then one person.  You then go to check in at Haven Check-in.  Takes about 10 minutes total and there usually is no line.  When completed they escort you to the PORT Haven lounge. Simply a small room with chairs.  Some food, soft drinks and coffee.  Just to wait before boarding.  When the ship clears, they will escort you to the actual ship and take you directly to the Ship Haven Lounge.  That is when it is party time for real.

 

Thanks again.  Sorry if I'm being pedantic with my boarding questions.  We have never cruised before and I like crowds like a root canal.  I really wasn't sure about security - I guess I wondered if Haven had a  separate "Nexus" line for accelerated security like at the airport.  I think it will definitely become real for me once we are on board and in the Haven Lounge!

 

Thanks again for your responses, and this thread - really really helpful, not only as a first time in the Haven, but first time on a cruise.  (with kids...and mine really are well behaved...hahaha)

 

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33 minutes ago, GettotheSun said:

Thanks this is what I thought.

 

 

Yes I get your point, and it's why I'm back-and-forth on the Premium Plus as the economics make more sense when comparing to adding the water package.  I think our boys would really want the energy drinks and water bottles (way more so than any pop).  Considering they are not even offered on their soda / pop package, I'm not sure I have any qualms about picking those up from the bar and passing them to our kids.  (the stone throwers can wind up now)

 

 

 

I could be mistaken but I thought if you do the Viva Vino package, they will go ahead and charge the 20% gratuity at the time of ordering, whether you got it at a restaurant or had it delivered to your cabin?

 

 

 

 

Thanks again.  Sorry if I'm being pedantic with my boarding questions.  We have never cruised before and I like crowds like a root canal.  I really wasn't sure about security - I guess I wondered if Haven had a  separate "Nexus" line for accelerated security like at the airport.  I think it will definitely become real for me once we are on board and in the Haven Lounge!

 

Thanks again for your responses, and this thread - really really helpful, not only as a first time in the Haven, but first time on a cruise.  (with kids...and mine really are well behaved...hahaha)

 

First Cruise and in the Haven.  Way to go, you will not be disappointed.  It is insanely nice and everyone will feel like a rock star.  I hate crowds also so follow my hints if possible.  Get the the port at 10:45 am.  Problem solved.  You will be offered Lunch in a specialty restaurant or the Haven restaurant.  This is VERY important, eat in the Haven restaurant at 12:00 pm.  Get the pork chop, salmon or anything else on that unbelievable menu. SOOOOO Good and not crowded at all that first lunch.  

I am taking my adult children and getting them a soda package even though they are 25 plus years old. I am also buying a bottle of rum for the room at 40% off for my children.  I will also get them adult beverages, bottle water and or energy drinks if they want them.  As a matter of fact, I will get a few for the suite.

 

Since this is your first cruise, ask you room Stewart to get all the "for sale" stuff in your mini-refrigerator. I don't know a thing about the wine program.  Final hint, 60 days prior to the cruise you will get a letter from NCL giving you the direct email of the Haven desk for request you have.  Don't be shy, have stuff handled for you prior to cruising.  Also, get your show, specialty restaurant and excursions reservation handled online as soon as you can.  You will thank me for that advice.  

 

Enjoy.

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Thank you again.  Great advice - really appreciate it!  

I really like your approach to the Haven, so many good pointers!

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3 hours ago, GettotheSun said:

 

Thanks for the clarification - I got a bit excited about the prospect of bottles being delivered to the room by the butler (if buying the PPBP), but it sounds like this would be an option only for room service at meal time.  

 

Do you know if they had the Viva Vino package / offer on the Getaway when you were aboard?  I'm leaning more in that direction and ordering 4-6 bottles of wine / sparkling wine for the week vs. purchasing the PPBP. (although would then also buy a water package).  The selection isn't on par with the PPBP wines, but we will be in the aft haven and I like the idea of having chilled beverages ready in my room.   And as I understand it, we could ask the butler to have one of our bottles delivered to a speciality restaurant for dinner.  

 

And sorry, just back to embarkation in NOLA...so there is one security line / section for everyone.  Once you go through that security line, then the Haven lounge entrance is behind the security wall to the right.  Funny they don't post signs...seems like that would be the more logical thing to do.

 

The VIVA-VINO package has nothing to do with the HAVEN or any other program.

The program is independent from beverage packages i.e. sodas corks n' caps Premium & P +

 

Basically the first couple of days of the cruise anyone has the option to purchase the package

minimum of 4 bottles - available in 3 tiers. There will be a kiosk or display table in or near the

ships Atrium and maybe near the pool deck.

 

You buy the package up front and will be given paper receipts for each bottle.

You can have the bottles delivered to your cabin no charge no fee no up anything

-OR-

just go any bar or restaurant when you want a drink - show the paper receipt and wait a few

minutes while the/a bottle is retrieved from a wine cellar/vault somewhere on the ship.

The bottle will be uncorked by the restaurant beverage server or at a bar by the bartender.

Don't finish it all - you can take it back to your cabin or have it corked and stored for your

next visit (anywhere on the ship).

-OR-

If the bottles are in your cabin and need a corkscrew ask your cabin attendant or Butler for one.

Oh and don't forget the wine glasses too !

 

No additional fee or charge for this package it is all paid upfront (charge to your on board account***)

*** strangely the charge may be on the Main Dining Room and not a wine invoice

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39 minutes ago, don't-use-real-name said:

 

The VIVA-VINO package has nothing to do with the HAVEN or any other program.

The program is independent from beverage packages i.e. sodas corks n' caps Premium & P +

 

Basically the first couple of days of the cruise anyone has the option to purchase the package

minimum of 4 bottles - available in 3 tiers. There will be a kiosk or display table in or near the

ships Atrium and maybe near the pool deck.

 

You buy the package up front and will be given paper receipts for each bottle.

You can have the bottles delivered to your cabin no charge no fee no up anything

-OR-

just go any bar or restaurant when you want a drink - show the paper receipt and wait a few

minutes while the/a bottle is retrieved from a wine cellar/vault somewhere on the ship.

The bottle will be uncorked by the restaurant beverage server or at a bar by the bartender.

Don't finish it all - you can take it back to your cabin or have it corked and stored for your

next visit (anywhere on the ship).

-OR-

If the bottles are in your cabin and need a corkscrew ask your cabin attendant or Butler for one.

Oh and don't forget the wine glasses too !

 

No additional fee or charge for this package it is all paid upfront (charge to your on board account***)

*** strangely the charge may be on the Main Dining Room and not a wine invoice

 

Thanks for all that detail - when I searched online, I didn't find any where near those details, so thanks again.

 

I guess I'm still not sure whether to do PPBP or the Viva Vino.

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9 hours ago, stretch44 said:

You can order any liquor (except two high end ones) with the premium plus package?  You are not limited to the types listed in the premium plus description?  They will deliver wine by the bottle if requested?  This is great news as I will soon be cruising Haven on the Getaway and this will make me rethink about purchasing the plus package.  

 

So, can one person order the premium package?  I am thinking my husband would really enjoy the premium scotches and I would not mind sharing the wine bottle at dinner.  I tried to do it online, however, it only would do two of us, not one.  I assume you can do it onboard or just call the concierge?  

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21 minutes ago, Momma Rene said:

So, can one person order the premium package?  I am thinking my husband would really enjoy the premium scotches and I would not mind sharing the wine bottle at dinner.  I tried to do it online, however, it only would do two of us, not one.  I assume you can do it onboard or just call the concierge?  

 

If you are both in the same stateroom, you both would have to upgrade...

 

Beverage packages must be purchased for all guests staying within the same stateroom, additional stateroom, adjoining stateroom or travel with. - NCL (LINK)

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Can you give us examples of things you wanted to request through the pre-concierge?   

Also, what was helpful to put on a list for your butler?

 

We did the Getaway Haven once a few years ago, but I don't recall doing any requests before the cruise.  We didn't use the butler for anything really (didn't even meet him until the 3rd or 4th day!)     However, we loved the Haven Bar & Restaurant.  Plus, the concierge staff was great. 

 

We will be trying another Haven cruise next year on the Breakaway....then back to those balconies☺️

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16 minutes ago, Sand and Seas said:

Can you give us examples of things you wanted to request through the pre-concierge?   

Also, what was helpful to put on a list for your butler?

 

We did the Getaway Haven once a few years ago, but I don't recall doing any requests before the cruise.  We didn't use the butler for anything really (didn't even meet him until the 3rd or 4th day!)     However, we loved the Haven Bar & Restaurant.  Plus, the concierge staff was great. 

 

We will be trying another Haven cruise next year on the Breakaway....then back to those balconies☺️

 

Well a while back you could make a request for types of pillows - I guess that is a bunch of feathers now.

 

You could hint how you want the bedding arrangement as long as you are not trying to split KING beds - no can do.

 

Putting that to bed - you can make reservations for dining times and show times on those ships that reserve them.

 

In a GV DOS OS you can select the alcoholic beverages you want at the stateroom wet bar and the fixens***

*** soft drinks you want in the galley fridge

 

Have kids along for the cruise - request those gummy bears or M&Ms maybe a plate of cookies to spoil lunch and dinner.

 

Realistically all these can be done by Cabin Steward and the Butler - just jot the things you want done and after

registration/check-in give the details to the Butler *****

***** AND ABOUT THAT BUTLER ---(didn't even meet him until the 3rd or 4th day!)

 UNFORGIVEABLE - this should have been reported to the Concierge and the General Manager -

You are paying for this service and if not needed dismiss him but NOT showing until 4 days late - this is BAD ! - - - Did you at least get an escort on board to the HAVEN and lunch ???

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5 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

First Cruise and in the Haven.  Way to go, you will not be disappointed.  It is insanely nice and everyone will feel like a rock star.  I hate crowds also so follow my hints if possible.  Get the the port at 10:45 am.  Problem solved.  You will be offered Lunch in a specialty restaurant or the Haven restaurant.  This is VERY important, eat in the Haven restaurant at 12:00 pm.  Get the pork chop, salmon or anything else on that unbelievable menu. SOOOOO Good and not crowded at all that first lunch.  

I am taking my adult children and getting them a soda package even though they are 25 plus years old. I am also buying a bottle of rum for the room at 40% off for my children.  I will also get them adult beverages, bottle water and or energy drinks if they want them.  As a matter of fact, I will get a few for the suite.

 

Since this is your first cruise, ask you room Stewart to get all the "for sale" stuff in your mini-refrigerator. I don't know a thing about the wine program.  Final hint, 60 days prior to the cruise you will get a letter from NCL giving you the direct email of the Haven desk for request you have.  Don't be shy, have stuff handled for you prior to cruising.  Also, get your show, specialty restaurant and excursions reservation handled online as soon as you can.  You will thank me for that advice.  

 

Enjoy.

If I may ask, how do you get a 40% discount on a bottle of liquor for the room?  Thanks! 

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8 hours ago, ashleyriley said:

If I may ask, how do you get a 40% discount on a bottle of liquor for the room?  Thanks! 

Sure thing.  This tread has taken several turn in emphasis and focus. The first was away from the Haven Experience and on a small comment I made about rude children/parents of those children in the Haven Pool area.  The second turn in this thread was to how to leverage all the benefits of the Haven.  Now the focus on the different type of Adult drinking packages and how to leverage them effectively.  That is the core of your question to me.

 

When we all purchase our cruises from NCL, we usually get the option of a Perk called the Premium Beverage Program.  Prior and the first day of the cruise, if you have this perk (or purchased it), you can upgrade this program to the Premium PLUS Beverage Program (PPBP) for $250.00 per person, per week.  This PPBP allows the purchase of bottles of wine, flights, and bottles of liquor for a 40% discount.  You can order Bottles of Liquors off your room service menu.  Please note, you will have a service fee of 20%.  A normal liquor bottle is $100.00.  You can now make a decisions knowing the discount applied. 

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21 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

You are more then welcome.  Security Line: No, that is why I got to the port at 10:45 AM.  To add to that, nobody seemed to know where the Haven Entrance was after security.  So here is how you handle it.  Go in to security. Go around the security wall, look to your far right side wall.  Go there and go in.  Should be no line.  

I wish they had better signs but they don't. Say hello to Patrick the bar tender from Gary and Tami. Be well and enjoy.

 

Thank you for this-well, really, everything you have been posting!!😃

We'll be on the Getaway next month in the Haven so following your every words!!😉

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Thanks for the super informative post; the aforementioned twists are what made it even better. My family (yep, kids....who behave or don’t get to play....pretty simple) will be on our second NCL trip in June in the Encore Haven. Our first was on the Dawn in a regular suite. Anyway, our trip is to Bermuda and I’m just not sure on times for dinner and kinda want to play it by ear. Is it better to make some reservations online prior to boarding according to how we feel 130 days out and then probably change them onboard via concierge or is less painful (for us AND the concierge) to just wait and do it onboard? I’d think it’d be the same for us, no pain at all, but didn’t know if the concierge usually prefers one way or the other?

 

Thanks in advance! 

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1 hour ago, rmandmm said:

Is it better to make some reservations online prior to boarding according to how we feel 130 days out and then probably change them onboard via concierge or is less painful (for us AND the concierge) to just wait and do it onboard?

 

Do as much as you can at 130 days. Think of using the concierge as a backup plan if adjustments are needed. 

More reservations open on embarkation day but you'll probably get the times that you want if booking on your own as early as possible, 

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39 minutes ago, Two Wheels Only said:

 

Do as much as you can at 130 days. Think of using the concierge as a backup plan if adjustments are needed. 

More reservations open on embarkation day but you'll probably get the times that you want if booking on your own as early as possible, 

 

I'm looking at a couple of cruises but when I make my mind up it'll probably be around 90 days.  It's for the Haven.

 

For what, exactly, do I need to make prior reservations?

 

Will booking at the 90 day mark put me at a disadvantage?

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Great thread and I want to thank Sthrngary for his detail and recommendations. It is obvious that he has the experience and the know how to maximize your trip.

 

Well done!

 

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19 hours ago, don't-use-real-name said:

 

...Realistically all these can be done by Cabin Steward and the Butler - just jot the things you want done and after

registration/check-in give the details to the Butler *****

***** AND ABOUT THAT BUTLER ---(didn't even meet him until the 3rd or 4th day!)

 UNFORGIVEABLE - this should have been reported to the Concierge and the General Manager -

You are paying for this service and if not needed dismiss him but NOT showing until 4 days late - this is BAD ! - - - Did you at least get an escort on board to the HAVEN and lunch ???

Our onboard escort was by a different butler.  Things were a little chaotic, but we did get lunch in the Haven which we loved.   I've read others have been given talk about how things worked in the Haven but we never had anything like that.  All we knew at that time was what we had read here.   (This was actually 3 years ago now that I look at my cruise history.....lots of 'regular' cruises since then.)  

 

We didn't report the Butler, but we didn't tip him either (and he definitely knew not to hang around that last day in hopes of one!)  Instead we upped the planned tips to the Concierge staff plus Haven Restaurant staff.   I guess we should have chatted with the Concierge about it, but truly we didn't mind it too much.  However, would have been nice to get a choice of treats instead of whatever they happened to have leftover that day😕

We were in a Haven Spa Suite (not the Haven compound) so I wondered if that was out-of-sight out-of-mind for the butler. 

 

My DH is the kid who will want those M&Ms and cookies.....I'll start a list.    Thanks!

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5 hours ago, rmandmm said:

Thanks for the super informative post; the aforementioned twists are what made it even better. My family (yep, kids....who behave or don’t get to play....pretty simple) will be on our second NCL trip in June in the Encore Haven. Our first was on the Dawn in a regular suite. Anyway, our trip is to Bermuda and I’m just not sure on times for dinner and kinda want to play it by ear. Is it better to make some reservations online prior to boarding according to how we feel 130 days out and then probably change them onboard via concierge or is less painful (for us AND the concierge) to just wait and do it onboard? I’d think it’d be the same for us, no pain at all, but didn’t know if the concierge usually prefers one way or the other?

 

Thanks in advance! 

I am on the Encore in Mid-May to the Bermuda with my family of five in a Haven 2-Bedroom Suite Also.  Here is the approach, hints, stratigies, and my thoughts.  Let me set the foundations.  The Haven Restaurant does not take reservations.  You may have to wait some nights for as long as an hour.  Rare but true.  If you go at 5 to 5:45 PM, no issue on a ship that the Haven was sold out.  Next step is not restaurant, it is shows.  Reserve your shows and once done,  make your specialty restaurants accordingly. Also take into account your excursions time back prior to making reservations.  

 

Do everything online as soon as you can.  If you have or need a change, the Haven Desk will accommodate MOST Times.  I hope that answers all of your questions.  

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11 hours ago, Debde said:

 

Thank you for this-well, really, everything you have been posting!!😃

We'll be on the Getaway next month in the Haven so following your every words!!😉

I loved the Getaway and just did a review.  Last year I was on the Celebrity Equinox for a lot more money.  I did not enjoy that experience half as much as the Getaway.  So because you were so nice, I am going to give you some more hints:

Haven Bar: The Bartender's name is Patrick.  Say a guy named Gary suggested he make you the Smokey drink.  It is a show and a half.

Water Slides: Go after the first day at sea. I never had to stand in a line for more then a few minutes.

Show Reservations:  Make your show reservation now and coordinate your specialty restaurants reservations based on that. As I mentioned in other post, the Haven Restaurant does not take reservations. 

Haven Desk on the Ship: You have a question, ask them.  You have an issue, tell them.  

Smoking: If you smoke, do not smoke anywhere that is not an expressly approved smoking area.  They will fine you.

Tour the Ship Day One:  They will give you an invitation for lunch at the Haven Restaurant or Margarettaville. Don't take the bait, have lunch at 12:00 PM day one in the Haven.  Prior, bring your carry on to your suite even if it is not completely ready for you.  Then come back to the Haven.  After lunch, tour the ship before it gets to crowded.  

Fish On the Rugs/Carpet:  In the halls, look down at the fish in the carpet.  There heads indicate the front of the ship, tails back of the ship. Harder to get lost knowing that.

Room Service:  Don't order off the in-room menu.  Have the butler get you your food from the Haven.  That being said, if you have an early excursion, room service breakfast is a nice way to go providing a kind of wake up call. 

Venture All Over the Ship:  As nice as the Haven is, you got to see the rest of this ship.  Putt Putt Golf, Rope course which my wife would not allow me to do (I was drunk at the time, good wife and I am 62), shuffle board for shots is fun.

Premium Plus Drink Package: If it does not blow up your budget AND you do like to indulge with adult beverages AND you like to have really great bottles of water (with or without gas) at meals AND you like specialty coffee's AND you would like to have a full bottle of wine at dinner then take what is left over to your room AND you like top shelf brands of Liquors. Then pay the upgrade from the Premium Drink Package.  If you don't drink and don't intend to drink, skip this bullet point. 

Shows: Go into the theater on the left side,  the Haven reserved section is mid-way on the left.  Nice perk.

Burger By the Haven Pool:  The Haven Burger comes this the cute basket of fries.  Sit by the pool, the servers will be out there, have a burger by the pool one day.  So good and no nice. 

Chocolate Haven Cake: Unbelievable.  I broke my Keto diet for this cake with vanilla ice cream three times.  

Other Must Eat Items: Salmon or Pork Chop for lunch; Beef Short Rib appetizer for dinner;  Prime Rib for dinner is crazy good, Smoke Salmon is on the Breakfast Buffet for a starter, the almond danish is great, my Favorite breakfast was the steak and eggs.  Love the French Restaurant for the experience and the deserts are to die for. 

 

Enjoy your trip and keep on cruising.  Encore here we come in May.  Be well. 

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