My wife and two teenaged sons have cruised four times and with NCL twice, once in the Carribean on the Jewel and recently on the Pearl's Glacier Bay cuise in Alaska. We have stayed in The Haven both times. The priority boarding, concierge and butler service, breakfst and lunch served in Cagneys, priority seating at shows, and secluded courtyard on the 14th floor are worth the extra money for the suite. The suite, balcony and bathrooms are all very spacious. Since much of your time is spent cruising the glaciers, having a great suite and view out the balcony and a resticted deck for just the Haven suites to view the scenery was great. We ate in most of the specialty restaurants, but also ordered room service many times. We like the size of the Jewel class ships, not too big but big enough to have lots of activities. The Pearl was built in 2006 and probably needs some refurbishing and updating, but everything was clean. The Mendenhall Glacier and Whale watching excursion in Juneau was our favorite.
We do not drink a lot of alcohol, play bingo or other ship activities and thus did not pay all the extra fees some reviewers are complaining about. We bought the soda package for the kids which was a mistake as they did not drink as many sodas as we expected and there is tea and other beverages in the dining rooms. I actually won money in the casino and thus do not have any complaints. The shows were alright as Oh What a Night was pretty good and Bud Anderson is pretty funny. Our kids joined but did not participate in Enterouge (the teen club). It can be cold, windy and rainy and thus the rock climbing wall, basketball and other activities can be hit or miss.
We love freestyle crusing with laid back dress codes and eating when and where you want to without having set schedules. We only ate at the buffet after a couple of excursions when we arrive back at the ship after the other restaruants were closed. The buffet food is mediocre but OK if you stick to pizza, burger and dogs. The Summer Palace and Indigo main dining rooms are alright. The specialty restaurants are all pretty good. Yes they charge a cover charge, but we used our onboard ship credit for much of those charges.
Butlers, Steward and Concierge were all excellent (thanks Charlie, JonJon, Leha and Rolando). When ship staff see that you are in the Haven, they may give you better service and were all very pleasent with us.
Great scenary but boarding process at the train was chaos and we did not get to finish the tour as the train had to help a disabled train prior to going into Canada.