Norwegian Opens Exclusive Dining and Lounge to Friends, Family of Haven Guests

September 27, 2011
epic-club (2 p.m. EDT) -- Just two months ago, Norwegian Cruise Line announced it would be renaming its Courtyard luxury ship-within-a-ship concept. Now guests in the newly dubbed Haven can invite family and friends traveling onboard to dine in the stylish digs onboard Norwegian Epic, albeit for a price.

A thread on the message boards states that, effective September 18, passengers booked in The Haven's accommodations can invite up to four people at a time, up to two times per cruise, to dine in the Epic Club eatery for a fee of $25 per person. They would also have access to the area's private lounge.

Cruise Critic member cruisinmama06 said she received the information through a mailing NCL sends to travel agents, and Norwegian has confirmed it.

It remains to be seen whether this new twist will ruffle the feathers of those who paid full price -- Spa Suites start at $3,199 per person for a seven-night Caribbean sailing in January -- for the perks. minniegirl says she'll be upset if the change makes it difficult for paying passengers to be accommodated, and slidergirl agrees: "If I paid for Haven and it's privileges, I'd be pretty upset if I can't use what I paid for WHEN I WANT TO because someone brought their friends (and possibly some noisy kids) in the restaurant."

However, not everyone is looking at this change as negatively. Some say it would be a good way for the line to make a few extra bucks while allowing passengers a luxury experience they might not be able to enjoy otherwise. "I think letting folks bring in limited guests and charging everyone including children a fee equivalent to the upscale restaurants is fine," says rvsullivan. "Since it would be controlled to not displace the suite guests, I think it is a way to maximize the usefulness of the staffing in the Haven."

What do you think? Weigh in on the discussion here.

--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor