Olympus has fallen. London has fallen and now Haven has fallen?
No, it is not another blockbuster for the movie series. Is what I sense recently in our 11 days Canary Island Cruise from Barcelona on Norwegian EPIC.
For more than 4 years I’ve been one of the biggest supporter of the Norwegian Cruise Line. Their concept of ship within ship called HAVEN never let me down and the inscription on the ship card, Welcome to you sanctuary was always backup by the reality on both JADE and EPIC. Until now.
We did in December a canary Island Cruise from Barcelona and we left the ship with an imperious need to come back as soon as possible. And here we are, less than three months after, back on board, on Norwegian EPIC, in Haven, room 17017.
What a joy this cruise could be! Unfortunately the reality was far away from our December experience and I am still trying to find what and how things on board can change in such a short time.
The room (17017) was what we expected: lots of space, elegant, Elemis amenities, clean and welcoming. Great first impression but, when you start looking around you realise that the maintenance of the ship needs to be reconsidered big time.
First the toilets; the revolutionary bathrooms — which split the toilet and shower into two separate units — got most tongues wagging with much talk about the “see through” doors. In reality, the doors are translucent and couples and traveling companions of a nervous disposition can pull across a drape that effectively shuts off the bathroom area from the rest of the cabin. Never had any problems with the design or functionality and in the photos the bathroom area looks nice & trendy. In reality the translucent glass door was broken in a previous cruise and even the guests in a 2 bedroom villa pays a lot of money nobody at NCL found a proper door as a replacement and the result was a piece of plastic very bad cut which resembles a little bit with the original. And was there THE SMELL. Due to the bad design or bad maintenance the main toilet smell continuously no matter how many times was cleaned or how many air freshener were placed in the room.
Reading again the NCL website I am still surprised by the Concierge’s role description: Once on board, a concierge will help plan your day whether it’s hosting a private party or reserving a private tour ashore?. In our previous cruise was exactly like that with a Concierge having lots of genuine smiles and polite conversation even if the guests in Haven are not all the time. Premium Guests and the feeling of new money-bad manners is quite common on NCL. This time was different. Both Concierge (Elvie) and a gentleman who was the Assistant Concierge were the perfect example for Concierge Don’t.
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