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Sthrngary

THE SECRETS OF THE NCL HAVEN LUXURY EXPERIENCE

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36 minutes ago, Sthrngary said:

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. 

You recommend not to eat lunch in Margaritaville, but we were thinking about doing that if they offered it, especially since we'll be doing at 14 day TA in April.  We figured 14 days is plenty of time to eat lunch in the Haven, but eating in Margaritaville on Day 1 could get us in there for free since there's normally a charge.  I'm curious to know why - is Margaritaville really that bad?

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7 minutes ago, jasperess said:

You recommend not to eat lunch in Margaritaville, but we were thinking about doing that if they offered it, especially since we'll be doing at 14 day TA in April.  We figured 14 days is plenty of time to eat lunch in the Haven, but eating in Margaritaville on Day 1 could get us in there for free since there's normally a charge.  I'm curious to know why - is Margaritaville really that bad?

If you are on the ship for 14 day, sure; Margaritaville will be a good initial change of pace.  I used to live at the beach.  I simply did not care for the food.  That being said, it is a perk, if you don’t like the food, go back up to the Haven.  Personal preference not bad food.  Now O’Sheenes was bad food.

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Thanks again for the valuable tips. With each ship's Haven being different I was wondering if anyone has any specific tips for Epic. We are sailing in about a year in a DOS on Deck 17 midship. From what I've gathered from some reviews many don't like the Epic but say it is one of the best Havens. Any tips or thoughts specific to the Epic would be greatly appreciated 

 

Brian

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5 minutes ago, papa B me said:

Thanks again for the valuable tips. With each ship's Haven being different I was wondering if anyone has any specific tips for Epic. We are sailing in about a year in a DOS on Deck 17 midship. From what I've gathered from some reviews many don't like the Epic but say it is one of the best Havens. Any tips or thoughts specific to the Epic would be greatly appreciated 

 

Brian

On Epic by mid ship thinking you are talking about the ones that face the pool?

 

Actually, some of the Havens are similar.  GA and BA except GA no roof over pool, Epic one off, Jewel class all similar, BA plus similar.

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for GSC and excursions at ports, does the concierge walk you out? (bliss if it matters) or for the ports are you just with everyone else since i assume NCL excursions get 1st off anyway?

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Sthrngary- thank you so much again!! Great tips and advice for myself and so many!!

 

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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!

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1 hour ago, dexddd said:

On Epic by mid ship thinking you are talking about the ones that face the pool?

 

Actually, some of the Havens are similar.  GA and BA except GA no roof over pool, Epic one off, Jewel class all similar, BA plus similar.

Sorry I wasn't a little clearer.  I am in one of the DOS that overlooks partly the Haven Pool.  I went back and forth whether I wanted this suite or the forward facing suites.  I actually I think I'll enjoy looking out over the activity if sitting on the balcony during the day but decided to go with this one for the larger Balcony and maybe a little less movement if rough seas.

 

I also do understand that there are similarities among ships in the same class but have read about quite a few differences between classes as to size of the Haven, Restaurant or no Restaurant, roof or no roof, etc....  I had gleaned from reading different reviews and threads that the Epic was somewhat unique and many seemed to really like it.  So I was just reaching out to get feedback from any who have actually been in the Haven on Epic or sailed in a DOS in the Haven on Epic that may have specific pointers and recommendations that might be unique to Epic.

 

Thanks for your reply.

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Do you have to pay to use the Nespresso machine pods?  I've seen various reports on this (some were older so I wasn't sure what was accurate).

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14 minutes ago, futuredays said:

Do you have to pay to use the Nespresso machine pods?  I've seen various reports on this (some were older so I wasn't sure what was accurate).

 

No charge for the Nespressor machine pods - have a hankering for more de-café rather than regular tell your Butler.

Have trouble with the machine or need help - your Butler is the man !

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Just now, don't-use-real-name said:

 

No charge for the Nespressor machine pods - have a hankering for more de-café rather than regular tell your Butler.

Have trouble with the machine or need help - your Butler is the man !

Awesome, thanks!

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6 hours ago, luckyinpa said:

for GSC and excursions at ports, does the concierge walk you out? (bliss if it matters) or for the ports are you just with everyone else since i assume NCL excursions get 1st off anyway?

For non tender ports, there is no need for someone to walk you off.  Of course you can request it.  For tendered ports, Haven gets priority tendering, so speak with the concierge about how to arrange that.

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15 hours ago, Debde said:

Sthrngary- thank you so much again!! Great tips and advice for myself and so many!!

 

My absolute pleasure.

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15 hours ago, luckyinpa said:

for GSC and excursions at ports, does the concierge walk you out? (bliss if it matters) or for the ports are you just with everyone else since i assume NCL excursions get 1st off anyway?

The concierge makes a call.  With one minute someone shows up.  They take down the freight elevator. You are first online getting off the ship for excursions and last day. This is very important for excursions.  You get breakfast at the Haven, got out first especially on early departure excursions.  Last day we were out, got our bags, through customs and in a cab in less then 10 min.  Hope that helps.

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10 hours ago, futuredays said:

Do you have to pay to use the Nespresso machine pods?  I've seen various reports on this (some were older so I wasn't sure what was accurate).

Your answers are below.  I love coffee in the morning also. However, please remember two lovely things. 1) The Haven Resturant at breakfast has French press coffee, yum. 2) when you upgrade your Premium Beverage Package to the Premium Plus Beverage Package, there is no charge for specialty coffees As well as other benefits. 
Hope that adds flavor to your coffee question.

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On 12/6/2019 at 7:49 AM, papa B me said:

Sorry I wasn't a little clearer.  I am in one of the DOS that overlooks partly the Haven Pool.  I went back and forth whether I wanted this suite or the forward facing suites.  I actually I think I'll enjoy looking out over the activity if sitting on the balcony during the day but decided to go with this one for the larger Balcony and maybe a little less movement if rough seas.

 

I also do understand that there are similarities among ships in the same class but have read about quite a few differences between classes as to size of the Haven, Restaurant or no Restaurant, roof or no roof, etc....  I had gleaned from reading different reviews and threads that the Epic was somewhat unique and many seemed to really like it.  So I was just reaching out to get feedback from any who have actually been in the Haven on Epic or sailed in a DOS in the Haven on Epic that may have specific pointers and recommendations that might be unique to Epic.

 

Thanks for your reply.

Yeah, that is common that people either want to see the pool action or don't.  I know when we did Gem DOS I wasn't thrilled about being by pool but knew DW would like it.

 

Have a great trip.

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On 12/5/2019 at 7:44 PM, Sthrngary said:

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. 

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.  

 

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.

 

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.  

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, 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.  

 

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.

 

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.  

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

We had a similar experience in an aft Haven suite on the Getaway. I think that most people would agree that the Getaway Haven is not managed as well as the others.

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2 hours ago, gmbhardy said:

We had a similar experience in an aft Haven suite on the Getaway. I think that most people would agree that the Getaway Haven is not managed as well as the others.

 

So glad we're in the aft Haven on the Getaway for our cruise,  lol.

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1 hour ago, GettotheSun said:

 

So glad we're in the aft Haven on the Getaway for our cruise,  lol.

 

Getting a good butler is the luck of the draw and sometimes it’s not the butler, it’s the demands put on them by fellow passengers. Anyway, your experience might be fantastic. The cabin itself and balcony are absolutely incredible. I’m sure you’ll have an amazing cruise.

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5 minutes ago, gmbhardy said:

 

Getting a good butler is the luck of the draw and sometimes it’s not the butler, it’s the demands put on them by fellow passengers. Anyway, your experience might be fantastic. The cabin itself and balcony are absolutely incredible. I’m sure you’ll have an amazing cruise.

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.

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10 hours ago, 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.

Agree about the toilet paper, fast food restaurants have nicer quality tp.

I had a great butler, Ramon in our Haven aft balcony on the Dec 8 cruise.

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On 12/5/2019 at 10:23 PM, jasperess said:

You recommend not to eat lunch in Margaritaville, but we were thinking about doing that if they offered it, especially since we'll be doing at 14 day TA in April.  We figured 14 days is plenty of time to eat lunch in the Haven, but eating in Margaritaville on Day 1 could get us in there for free since there's normally a charge.  I'm curious to know why - is Margaritaville really that bad?

I heard from an excellent source that Margaritaville will soon be replaced by American Diner while on the Getaway. Good thing as service and food there sucked 3 weeks ago.

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11 hours ago, Momma Rene said:

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

 

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!!

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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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