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Doc Tom

Pre-cruise Concierge Extremely Disappointing

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Posted (edited)

For the first time ever we booked a Haven suite for our upcoming cruise. The NCL promo information describes the pre-cruise concierge who "will fulfill your every wish from reservations to special pillows." I was excited but in the end I was let down. I emailed the Pre-Cruise Concierge simply asking for (a) 4 dinner reservations for two and (b) emptying out of the mini-frig.  Three weeks later "Victoria" responded to say she had made 2 of the requested dinner reservations -- but she only made those for one person.  And she said she couldn't do anything about emptying the mini-frig, so we should ask "someone about that" after we are on-board. She did ask if we were pleased with our pre-printed luggage tags -- woo hoo.  We're still a month away from sailing and I am already having a bad feeling about our decision to spend extra money on a Haven suite. Have others had similar experiences with the pre-cruise concierge services?  And, in general, were you disappointed with the Haven experience? Thanks.

Edited by Doc Tom
typo

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Doc Tom said:

 but she only made those for one person. 

 

check your reservations, this is normal. whenever i make diner reservations online before my cruise, my confirmation in my email and  on my edocs only has one person name and then next to it says my party size

Edited by shof515

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6 minutes ago, shof515 said:

 

check your reservations, this is normal. whenever i make diner reservations online before my cruise, my confirmation in my email and  on my edocs only has one person name and then next to it says my party size

Hi shoh515, I just checked my reservations online and on the confirmation PDF. Both say party size of 1. Thanks anyway.

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Posted (edited)

The Haven has lots of puffery and the pre-cruise concierge is always hit or miss.  I used them once but never again.  Too much frustration but the biggest reason is everything they do can be done immediately when you board with your concierge face to face.  In my experience, I had way too many mix ups and confusion so I learned a lesson to never use them again.

Having said that, the pre-cruise concierge should have 0 impact on your cruise.  Don't let this non-issue get in your head and allow it to sour your mood prior to boarding.

Lots about the Haven is making you "feel" special.  But many things like the pre-cruise concierge fall short IMHO.

Edited by david_sobe

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12 minutes ago, Doc Tom said:

For the first time ever we booked a Haven suite for our upcoming cruise. The NCL promo information describes the pre-cruise concierge who "will fulfill your every wish from reservations to special pillows." I was excited but in the end I was let down. I emailed the Pre-Cruise Concierge simply asking for (a) 4 dinner reservations for two and (b) emptying out of the mini-frig.  Three weeks later "Victoria" responded to say she had made 2 of the requested dinner reservations -- but she only made those for one person.  And she said she couldn't do anything about emptying the mini-frig, so we should ask "someone about that" after we are on-board. She did ask if we were pleased with our pre-printed luggage tags -- woo hoo.  We're still a month away from sailing and I am already having a bad feeling about our decision to spend extra money on a Haven suite. Have others had similar experiences with the pre-cruise concierge services?  And, in general, were you disappointed with the Haven experience? Thanks.

The Haven will not be a let down! It is wonderful.  The precruise concierge offering is useless in my opinion. Once onboard tell your butler you would like the fridge emptied, pillows, etc. and talk to the concierge for dinner and show reservations. Have a great time!

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1 minute ago, david_sobe said:

The Haven has lots of puffery and the pre-cruise concierge is always hit or miss.  I used them once but never again.  Too much frustration but the biggest reason is everything they do can be done immediately when you board with your concierge face to face.  In my experience, I had way too many mix up and confusion so I learned a lesson to never use them again.

Having said that, the pre-cruise concierge should have 0 impact on your cruise.  Don't let this non-issue get in your head and allow it to sour your mood prior to boarding.

Lots about the Haven is making you "feel" special.  But many things like the pre-cruise concierge fall short IMHO.

Thanks david_sobe. The pre-cruise concierge fiasco is/was definitely getting into my head and souring my entire outlook. I appreciate you pulling me back aboard. I will follow your advice and talk face-to-face with our concierge as soon as onboard. One more question if you don't mind: How will I know which concierge is assigned to our suite and how do I locate him/her immediately upon boarding? Thanks so much.

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6 minutes ago, Greenpea2 said:

The Haven will not be a let down! It is wonderful.  The precruise concierge offering is useless in my opinion. Once onboard tell your butler you would like the fridge emptied, pillows, etc. and talk to the concierge for dinner and show reservations. Have a great time!

Greenpea2, I'm trying not to let this pre-cruise concierge fiasco spoil my mood for the cruise. It's good to hear you have found them useless too. I'll do as you suggest. Thank you.

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I've had success with the pre-cruise concierge on every Haven sailing but I understand that many people have not. I usually get an email response the next day or even the same day. Looking back at an old email that I printed, it wasn't from a "Victoria" so maybe the different coordinators are the problem or cause for the inconsistency. 

 

The actual "on ship" experience isn't impacted by the failure of the "off-ship" customer service. The actual concierge/butler/steward on the ship will take care of your needs. 

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1 minute ago, Doc Tom said:

Greenpea2, I'm trying not to let this pre-cruise concierge fiasco spoil my mood for the cruise. It's good to hear you have found them useless too. I'll do as you suggest. Thank you.

I've had great experiences with the pre-Concierge, but I call them with my requests, especially dinner reservations.  I stay on the phone while they make the reservations.  I let them know my other requests and then follow up with an email.  

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1 minute ago, Two Wheels Only said:

I've had success with the pre-cruise concierge on every Haven sailing but I understand that many people have not. I usually get an email response the next day or even the same day. Looking back at an old email that I printed, it wasn't from a "Victoria" so maybe the different coordinators are the problem or cause for the inconsistency. 

 

The actual "on ship" experience isn't impacted by the failure of the "off-ship" customer service. The actual concierge/butler/steward on the ship will take care of your needs. 

Thanks Two Wheels Only. I'm slowly feeling better about our decision to try the Haven. I appreciate your reassurances.

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2 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

I've had great experiences with the pre-Concierge, but I call them with my requests, especially dinner reservations.  I stay on the phone while they make the reservations.  I let them know my other requests and then follow up with an email.  

Thanks NLH Arizona. I'll give them a call -- can't do any harm. Appreciate the good idea.

 

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5 minutes ago, Doc Tom said:

Thanks david_sobe. The pre-cruise concierge fiasco is/was definitely getting into my head and souring my entire outlook. I appreciate you pulling me back aboard. I will follow your advice and talk face-to-face with our concierge as soon as onboard. One more question if you don't mind: How will I know which concierge is assigned to our suite and how do I locate him/her immediately upon boarding? Thanks so much.

There is one main concierge, and they have assistants.  You won't have one specifically assigned to you.  They sit at a desk immediately within the Haven area, and the concierge will introduce themselves to you once you are in the Haven area.  Most also do a quick orientation talk.  You deal with the concierge on anything outside your room (reservations, escorts to shows/tenders, guest service issues).  You deal with the butler on anything inside the room (pillow preference, room service, extra coffee, etc.)  Your butler should introduce themselves to you shortly after boarding.  

 

There will likely be a long line for the concierge immediately on boarding.  Don't stress yourself by thinking you need to deal with your issues immediately and wait in that long line.  Make a list of the show and dinning reservations you need and drop them off or discuss them with the concierge when the line has thinned.  The concierge has amazing power to get reservations for the Haven guests.

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1 minute ago, gizfish said:

There is one main concierge, and they have assistants.  You won't have one specifically assigned to you.  They sit at a desk immediately within the Haven area, and the concierge will introduce themselves to you once you are in the Haven area.  Most also do a quick orientation talk.  You deal with the concierge on anything outside your room (reservations, escorts to shows/tenders, guest service issues).  You deal with the butler on anything inside the room (pillow preference, room service, extra coffee, etc.)  Your butler should introduce themselves to you shortly after boarding.  

 

There will likely be a long line for the concierge immediately on boarding.  Don't stress yourself by thinking you need to deal with your issues immediately and wait in that long line.  Make a list of the show and dinning reservations you need and drop them off or discuss them with the concierge when the line has thinned.  The concierge has amazing power to get reservations for the Haven guests.

gizfish --- Very very good to know. I would have stood in that long line. I'm liking the sound of the Haven experience better with each reply. Thank you so much.

 

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9 minutes ago, Doc Tom said:

gizfish --- Very very good to know. I would have stood in that long line. I'm liking the sound of the Haven experience better with each reply. Thank you so much.

 

When you phone the pre-Concierge, if they can not make any of your dinner reservations.  Ask them to alert the Concierge on the ship that you want them and also take a note with the reservations and give it to the Concierge at check in... he or she should be in the waiting area prior to you boarding.  I was on one of the ships where you couldn't make reservations for the Teppanyaki restaurant and the pre-Concierge told the Concierge on the ship and when I got to check in he searched me out to tell me the reservations were made.

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As others have said, the pre-cruise concierge service is touch and go. I always call. Sometimes the person I talk with is wonderful, other times not so much.

 

Please remember that some of your requests are not taken care of by the concierge -- they are handled by the room steward. And even if they are communicated, they may not be done when you arrive in your cabin. The stewards are crazy on turn-around day. We always ask for our fridge to be emptied and extra pillows and blankets. If these are not taken care of when we arrive, we talk to our steward or leave a note. They are always done by the end of the day.

 

Only a certain percentage of dinner reservations are open for pre-cruise booking. We've had issues with the pre-cruise concierge making dinner reservations for us (I was hoping that they could see things that I couldn't see online). That didn't work out, but we got the time we wanted once we were on board.

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1 hour ago, NLH Arizona said:

When you phone the pre-Concierge, if they can not make any of your dinner reservations.  Ask them to alert the Concierge on the ship that you want them and also take a note with the reservations and give it to the Concierge at check in... he or she should be in the waiting area prior to you boarding.  I was on one of the ships where you couldn't make reservations for the Teppanyaki restaurant and the pre-Concierge told the Concierge on the ship and when I got to check in he searched me out to tell me the reservations were made.

Good ideas. Thank you!

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12 minutes ago, brookie848 said:

As others have said, the pre-cruise concierge service is touch and go. I always call. Sometimes the person I talk with is wonderful, other times not so much.

 

Please remember that some of your requests are not taken care of by the concierge -- they are handled by the room steward. And even if they are communicated, they may not be done when you arrive in your cabin. The stewards are crazy on turn-around day. We always ask for our fridge to be emptied and extra pillows and blankets. If these are not taken care of when we arrive, we talk to our steward or leave a note. They are always done by the end of the day.

 

Only a certain percentage of dinner reservations are open for pre-cruise booking. We've had issues with the pre-cruise concierge making dinner reservations for us (I was hoping that they could see things that I couldn't see online). That didn't work out, but we got the time we wanted once we were on board.

All good to know. Thank you!

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2 hours ago, Doc Tom said:

For the first time ever we booked a Haven suite for our upcoming cruise. The NCL promo information describes the pre-cruise concierge who "will fulfill your every wish from reservations to special pillows." I was excited but in the end I was let down. I emailed the Pre-Cruise Concierge simply asking for (a) 4 dinner reservations for two and (b) emptying out of the mini-frig.  Three weeks later "Victoria" responded to say she had made 2 of the requested dinner reservations -- but she only made those for one person.  And she said she couldn't do anything about emptying the mini-frig, so we should ask "someone about that" after we are on-board. She did ask if we were pleased with our pre-printed luggage tags -- woo hoo.  We're still a month away from sailing and I am already having a bad feeling about our decision to spend extra money on a Haven suite. Have others had similar experiences with the pre-cruise concierge services?  And, in general, were you disappointed with the Haven experience? Thanks.

Please don’t be disheartened!

 Make a list of what you want, I usually have a “calendar page” with dinner venues , party size and time for each day listed. You can also add the show and showtimes you want for each day, and what excursions you would like booked. Make sure to add your name and room number, give it to the concierge. He will work his magic and leave a confirmation note in your room. If there was anything he couldn’t do (rare!) he will ask you to contact him.

I usually make a list for the butler/ room steward too, and that way they don’t have to remember it along with everyone else’s requests ( empty fridge, egg crate mattress, extra hand towels, extra decaf, no shrimp, pitcher of unsweetened tea in fridge, distilled water for cpap)

 

Relax, enjoy! ( and keep a list of things to share on cruise critic when you get back!)

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14 minutes ago, stefmaia said:

Please don’t be disheartened!

 Make a list of what you want, I usually have a “calendar page” with dinner venues , party size and time for each day listed. You can also add the show and showtimes you want for each day, and what excursions you would like booked. Make sure to add your name and room number, give it to the concierge. He will work his magic and leave a confirmation note in your room. If there was anything he couldn’t do (rare!) he will ask you to contact him.

I usually make a list for the butler/ room steward too, and that way they don’t have to remember it along with everyone else’s requests ( empty fridge, egg crate mattress, extra hand towels, extra decaf, no shrimp, pitcher of unsweetened tea in fridge, distilled water for cpap)

 

Relax, enjoy! ( and keep a list of things to share on cruise critic when you get back!)

Thanks stefmaia. I will do exactly what you say. I'm getting excited again!

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Clearly, you are feeling better about booking the Haven and with good reason!  You are going to love your experience despite being disappointed with the pre-concierge.  I have found that often those who represent NCL outside of the actual ship end up being less than desirable when it comes to service to the customer.  Once on board, I think you will find that the ship's crew, especially inside the Haven, will go the extra mile to accommodate your needs.  Also be advised that you can make your own dinner reservations on line and this opens up early for Haven guests.  If something is showing as unavailable, I have found that talking to the concierge once on board often helps.  Once our concierge got us in to La Cucina when it was showing as full.  Plans change and people often cancel reservations last minute allowing for openings.  Also be advised that once you go Haven, there's no going back!

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Definitely don't think the pre cruise concierge is an indicator of the Haven experience.  I emailed them and never even got a response after a few attempts.  I called and they put notes on my reservation for me. That was all they could do.

 

The main concierge will introduce him or herself to you in the Haven.  There will be assistant concierges at a desk in the Haven that you can speak to throughout the cruise.  We have always gotten any reservation time or outside request needed and quite quickly.  The service is outstanding.  The pre cruise people have access to everything you have right in your NCL online account.  They can't do much more than that.  Between the on board concierges, butler and cabin steward you will have everything you need.  I find they all love notes because it makes it easier for them to remember and get you exactly what you want.  Remember to tip them!  They go above and beyond.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Doc Tom said:

For the first time ever we booked a Haven suite for our upcoming cruise. The NCL promo information describes the pre-cruise concierge who "will fulfill your every wish from reservations to special pillows." I was excited but in the end I was let down. I emailed the Pre-Cruise Concierge simply asking for (a) 4 dinner reservations for two and (b) emptying out of the mini-frig.  Three weeks later "Victoria" responded to say she had made 2 of the requested dinner reservations -- but she only made those for one person.  And she said she couldn't do anything about emptying the mini-frig, so we should ask "someone about that" after we are on-board. She did ask if we were pleased with our pre-printed luggage tags -- woo hoo.  We're still a month away from sailing and I am already having a bad feeling about our decision to spend extra money on a Haven suite. Have others had similar experiences with the pre-cruise concierge services?  And, in general, were you disappointed with the Haven experience? Thanks.

We always strongly advise people to ignore the pre-concierge. They are useless. We rather build a rapport with the concierge staff and butler on the ship that will help make our cruise wonderful. 

 

I don’t need to specify “Regular or Decaf Coffee” or to try and pick a non-existent pillow on the ship. The pre-concierge does NOT have any access to restaurants that you don’t yourself online. The concierge on the ship can help by overbooking sold out restaurants (but if you wait too long, even the concierge can’t get you a table I a restaurant is totally sold out). 

 

The pre-concierge is a bunch of minimum wage guest services call center personnel. Nothing special. 

 

The concierge staff on the ship are [usually] wonderful and help you get everything you want done (shows, restaurants, shore ex, spa, other ship activities - Canvas by U). 

 

Your butler and room steward will help you empty your refrigerator and fill it. We always ask for a pitcher of ice water and ice tea. Sometime a small pitcher of juices. And we make sure the butler keeps bowls of gummy bears, peanut M&Ms, chips and bar mix. Most of that end up in a zip lock for a snack while we are ashore. And there are always those special afternoon treats (we even ask for PB&J sandwich’s for us big kids as a snack). 

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9 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

We always strongly advise people to ignore the pre-concierge. They are useless. We rather build a rapport with the concierge staff and butler on the ship that will help make our cruise wonderful. 

 

I don’t need to specify “Regular or Decaf Coffee” or to try and pick a non-existent pillow on the ship. The pre-concierge does NOT have any access to restaurants that you don’t yourself online. The concierge on the ship can help by overbooking sold out restaurants (but if you wait too long, even the concierge can’t get you a table I a restaurant is totally sold out). 

 

The pre-concierge is a bunch of minimum wage guest services call center personnel. Nothing special. 

 

The concierge staff on the ship are [usually] wonderful and help you get everything you want done (shows, restaurants, shore ex, spa, other ship activities - Canvas by U). 

 

Your butler and room steward will help you empty your refrigerator and fill it. We always ask for a pitcher of ice water and ice tea. Sometime a small pitcher of juices. And we make sure the butler keeps bowls of gummy bears, peanut M&Ms, chips and bar mix. Most of that end up in a zip lock for a snack while we are ashore. And there are always those special afternoon treats (we even ask for PB&J sandwich’s for us big kids as a snack). 

That all sounds wonderful. I won't let my bad experience with the pre-cruise concierge  sour my mood. Thanks you TravelBirds!

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17 hours ago, Doc Tom said:

It's good to hear you have found them useless too.



(shakes head slowly)

How can one even process the intrinsic negativity simmering under the surface of this statement.

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OK guys-here it is-my humble opinion here. Never once have I used any type of pre-concierge service. Each time I have sailed in the Haven I stroll on without a care in the world😉, with not one dining reservation, one shore excursion booked or any shows booked and the on ship concierge, butler and stateroom attendant have always covered everything.

I love to see the daily schedule to plan my day so I wing it as to what show I want to see, what time I want dinner and what I want in my fridge day by day. I guess I'm pretty easy and learn to go with the flow.

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