- Introduction: A free cruise using points? Our NCL Epic Transatlantic Haven Suite
- Delta One 777 review – It’s time for an upgrade Delta
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- AC Marriott Forum Barcelona Review via Chase Ultimate Rewards and Connexions Loyalty
- Norwegian Cruise Lines Haven Experience – what to expect and is it worth it?
- Review: Norwegian Cruise Lines EPIC Haven 2 Bedroom Suite 2017 – Cabin 16011
- Review: Norwegian Cruise Lines EPIC Haven Spa Suite 2018 – Cabin 14149
- Does lifetime elite status matter on cruise ships including NCL Norwegian Cruise Lines?
I can not tell you how excited I was to return to the Norwegian EPIC Haven again this year after last year’s first ever Haven experience. I will share more about this crossing at the end of this post. The flight over this round was on Delta’s new A350 Delta One Suite and resulted in a bit of a panic when my bags did not show up in Barcelona when we did (they were delivered about 9 hours later – a reason for yearly blanket travel insurance). The transfers from the airport and to the ship were cheap and simple with “Welcome Pickups” (and even pre-paid).
We had a chance to bid on upgrades to either the same 2 bedroom suite we had in 2017 or the very large owners suite. We only chose the owners and put in an offer but I am happy we lost that upgrade because I really did want to see how good or bad the Haven spa suite would be.
The stock rendered photo from Norwegian gives you an idea of what the room is like but it shows a table and chairs – there is simply no way for that to fit in this very compact suite. Take a look:
This is a strange cabin. The round-ish bed, while comfortable, is odd. The space to move about the room is extremely limited. More on this in a bit but let’s look around the room at the amenities.
Immediately as you enter right you are greeted with the bathroom / vanity area.
There are a number of issues with this setup. First off it is right outside the shower so be ready for a blast of steam if anyone exits and you are getting ready. Next there is little space and the phone placement is in the way. Lighting is just so-so.
The shower, on the other hand, is huge and nice with both an overhead rainfall option and a handheld choice. But there is one big issue with the shower.
The lip at the door is tiny. The result is, when there is almost any movement by the ship, water will literally pour out of the shower into the suite (and run all the way to the outside balcony door). The only way around this is to put down a wall of extra towels before you shower.
The sink is tiny and just not comfortable to use. But above the unit there is plenty of storage as the mirror does open up.
And yes the lavatory has issues as well. Size wise it is OK but unlike the motion sensor light from our 2 bedroom suite that stayed on for a very long time once triggered, this one only stayed on for a few seconds unless you were moving. Oh and the door would swing back and forth with ship motion if you did not tie the curtain to the handle at night.
Another issue is the lack of seating (and the space for it). If you want to watch TV it has to be in bed or on the little stool next to the tub.
Overall there are a bunch of negatives that would make me think twice before booking this room again.
Also the ship, while refreshed just a few years back, is beat up. Take the side panel that slides out so you can have a night table. It does not close all the way and is hard to use. Given how tiny the room is I never had it out more than for this photo. But there are some really nice features that almost make up for all these issues.
Notice that cordless phone in the photo next to the coffee maker? You can take that with you and call your butler for whatever from anywhere on the ship. It is great being able to call him/her for lunch orders when you are up on the private adults only POSH sun deck
Also the massive jetted tub (if you like that sort of thing) is a feature of this haven spa suite.
But the one thing that makes this suite a star is the massive deck that has space for two lounge chairs as well as two standard chairs.
We had our butler bring us Haven covers for the chairs to make them even more comfortable and we did spend quite a bit of time here after we had had enough sun up on POSH. Also, included access to the Mandara spa right around the corner from our room was a nice perk.
Overall it was another amazing crossing. I truly love the EPIC and it’s amazing features of POSH, the large Haven restaurant and bar area. The service and food is simply first rate. But it was not as amazing as the year before that was over the top.
Also looking at the 2019 crossing, prices have skyrocketed to the point that it is too much for me compared to what is offered. Before my frequent flyer points tricks that resulted in out of pocket cost to cruise for about 11% of retail, the BASE PRICE for the two of us for my 2017 Haven cruise was about $6,000. In 2018 just under $7,000. For 2019 they want over $10,000 (and over $12,000 for the above Spa Suite)! No thanks NCL – there are other choices (and not just cruise line vacations).
Have you been on the NCL EPIC before? Have you sailed in the Haven Spa Suites? Shout out in the comments below! – René