We just salied out of NYC on the NCL Jewel for a 2 day Cruise to Nowhere January 18 thru 20. The Manhattan Pier was a mess because the NCL Jewel, NCL Gem and the Queen Victoria which is doing a world cruise made her 1st stop in NYC. We didn't feel the pain most felt checking in because we were staying in the Haven so we were wisked thru security to the VIP counter, checked in and walked over to the VIP waiting room. Our Butler came to get us around noon and told us he would be taking us to our 2 bedroom family suite to drop our bags and then to Cagneys for our 1st lunch. When we were boarding there was still a long line of people outside that just got back from the 12 day cruise on the Jewel still waiting to get thru customs and it was COLD outside.
This was our 1st time in the Haven and it didn't dissappoint us. We normally get a suite on NCL for the perks but the Haven could run a couple thousand more on the 7 day cruises so we don't bother but for a couple hundred more we decided to try it. My daughter and her friend really enjoyed the pool and Jacuzzi it was a very relaxing area and Sherwin the Haven Butler did a good job of making sure everyone had what they needed. There's a concierge lounge on the Jewel if you walk up the stairs by the elevator bank that overlooks decks 12 & 13 and makes an awesome spot for the sail off when it's cold...we were the only one's there.
Speaking of the Concierge he was no where to be found. There was a letter in the room with his name and extension but never saw him until we were leaving on Sunday. I did call him Friday to see if he could change our dinner reservation at Cagney's from 7:30 to 6:30 because we wanted to see the 8PM show but he said they were booked full until 9:30 so we decided to go down at 7PM and to our surprise they weren't even 1/2 full?? They seated us and service was so fast we were done just before the show was about to start. We were on the Gem 7 day cruise in May to Florida/Bahamas and Ryan the concierge was always visible but it seemed like everyone on the Jewel was resting for their upcoming 12 day cruise. The cruise director was no where to be found and his staff didn't seem very motivated...they need to duplicate Sinan on the Gem and get some motivation in that staff. Sinan was everywhere on the Gem but this guy on the Jewel lacked any enthusiasm to the point that I don't even know what his name is...he's in the wrong line of work.
More dissapointments..they don't offer the soda program on the 2 day, there's no room service (nothing), no towel animals even on the 2nd night, no champagne in the suites for sail off. The biggest dissapointment is this is a huge money maker for NCL...all the pay extra restaurants were packed to the point they added extra hours, tons of drinks being sold and Casino packed but I didn't feel they take it serious enough. Friday night after the 2nd show we went to the Blue Lagoon for a few wings and before I got to open my mouth the girl at the podium said it's quicker to get the food to go?? The place was 1/2 empty and I said we would prefer to sit here so she said suit yourself, walked to a table threw the menus down and walked away?? so much for those Platinum Haven card keys:-)
Long story short this 2 day cruise didn't cost us any less per night then if we were on a longer cruise but the lack of motivation and all the extra corner cutting will keep us from ever booking a CTN in the future.