Hi, I don't normally do this. However, I believe it is necessary to provide my thoughts on my Epic transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to San Juan. I had a Haven 2 bedroom unit on deck 16.
In no real particular order, here are my random thoughts. It is by no means a complete list. Just my thoughts.
1-The cruise did not start well. There was a noro virus problem on the prior cruise so everyone was late in boarding. Close to 2 hours on line. I would not have mind, but I asked if Haven meant skipping the lines. I asked three different people and was told to wait with the masses. I found out this was not true when I entered the terminal. From the Haven waiting room, a rep took us to the elevator on deck 6. We were told to wait. The problem was that the elevator waited for passengers on deck 7. I had to go up to deck 7 to tell the rep to come down to deck 6. Not a good start.
2-We were dropped off on deck 16. No one met us. We had lunch in the Haven restaurant.
3-The Haven concierge, Roel Gonzales, was my fourth favorite concierge. I have now been in the Haven on four cruises.
4-I did not mine getting a Haven tour but I traveled with another couple who were there for the first time. They could have used it. New to me was that Haven allowed access to Posh. I wish someone told me that before the third day.
5-There were a number of cabins on 16 and 17 being renovated. It looked like a construction sight for the first week. Another day, they replaced the carpet on the spiral staircase between 16 and 17. Why they chose a sea day to do this is beyond me.
6-There was always lines boarding the Epic at most ports and and different times.
7-We were also delayed disembarking the ship in San Juan. No info was provided by the concierge.
8- My cabin steward was great (Elisa) as well as my butler (William). The best after four Haven cruises.
9- The Haven restaurant had some great servers. But most were poor. Really poor. Problems taking orders, taking plates off the table or knowing the order to take the food.
10-On a related subject, the Haven toilet paper was the thinnest that I have ever seen.
11-Treadmills in Haven gym all had problems. With one machine, I had to indicate every 64 seconds that I was still using the machine.
12-The tonic water served with drinks was consistently flat. There was a nice selection of beers. The only remarkable bartender was by Cagney's restaurant. Did not get his name.
13-In Le Bistro a beverage manager ask for my thoughts during dinner. I took that opportunity to tell him how disappointed I was with the wine selection. Why does the wine prices top out at $9 or $10 when your liquor package allows selections up to $15? He couldn't answer that question but he did send a $3 bottle of wine to my cabin.
14-We ate once in the Manhattan room and thought the food and service was good.
15-I thought less of the food quality in the other specialty restaurants. La Cucina food was a major disappointment. Previously, I always enjoyed it.
16-Burn the Floor was fantastic. Saw it three times. Priscilla was also good. There was lots of music performed most nights. Almost all very good. I thought they cheap out on the entertainment in the Epic theater.
17-Something that really bothered me was my experience with the Haven lounge bar and the Epic general manager Nelson.
Here is the short version-
On various nights after leaving the theater, we would go up to the Haven bar for a nightcap. Arriving a night at 10:45 we were told it was closing but we could order a drink. Another night it was closed at 10:35. No one in sight. I went to guest services and asked when it closes. The rep called the concierge (who had no idea). The concierge contacted the bartender. I wasn't surprised when I was told it closes at 10:30 pm. I wrote to Nelson. Eventually he told me it should be between 11 and 11:30pm. He said he would contact bar services. This was the next to the last night.
If this had been my first Haven experience, it would likely have been my last. I told my friends so many good things about the Haven that did not turn out to be true. I would like to blame the Encore (coming into service) for many of the problems encountered.
Anyway, that is my story and I'm sticking to it. I will be back on the Epic in January in a mini-suite. I will be interested to see how different my experiences will be next time.