Dinning reservations

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#1
New York NY
2,907 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
We have a trip booked on Riviera in a ocean view room. Room looks great with the floor to ceiling window. I know I am at the bottom of the chain for the special rest. How hard will it be to get a reservation in each for a early dinner? Thanks.
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#2
Santa Rosa, CA
1,131 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
We have usually found the earlier times are more available but each cruise is different. It also may depend on the sail times from ports. Be sure and book your reservations 45 days from sail date, on line. You can always try and change them once on board if there is a conflict later.
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#3
1,751 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
When booking on-line you can see what is available. Tables for two are fewer and harder to get. that said we have seen 6:30 tables for two available for booking when we have made our reservations. We normally dine late and have often found tables, even for two available.

What are your chances? Depends if you want a table to yourself or want to join others, on the cruise itinerary and days you are choosing, when the other passengers prefer to dine, and the early booking habits of your fellow cruisers. Despite what it may seem like from reading this board not every one on your cruise will have have jumped on-line on their first available day and booked their reservations. Some might not even realize they can and wait to book on board. Some choose to wait until on board. Rather than holding a booking they will not use because they might join others they meet on board.

So there are a lot of variables but from my experience, 6:30 (if that is 'early') have been available; not for every day of the cruise perhaps and not always for tables for two but I've often seen early spots available especially if you are flexible.
#4
81 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
We were on the Marina on a 12 day cruise in December. We were in a "lower class" room but were able to eat in the special restaurants 7 of the 12 nights. We reserved 4 before we even boarded the ship and for the other 3, we just went early to the desk that does the reservations and put our names in. We were not too particular about which one or what time and as I said, had 3 more nights in them. Jacques reservations seems to be the hardest to get--only got there once. We were quite pleased with all of them. And both the regular dining room and the buffet were exceptional as well. You will not be disappointed!
#5
29 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
So we have a group of 7 booked on the Riviera. My parents are booked in the suite so they are able to make their specialty restaurants early and added us as their guests. They have 2 reservations in each restaurant. When we tried to add the rest of the guests to the extra reservations we were told that is not possible since the other guests ( the 5 of us) have already used up their allotted 4. Is this correct?

So right now they have made 4 reservations for all 7 of us, and another 4 reservations for just 2 guests. I'm wondering can we add the rest of us once we board to their reservation?

Also from what I'm reading on this board, ppl seem to avoid the Main Dining Room. I know food is very subjective but I don't see how a ship can operate with 4 wonderful restaurants, a great Terrace Cafe and Waves Grill and can't get the Main Dining Room correct?
#6
GTA, Ontario, Canada
33,932 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by airmike2
So we have a group of 7 booked on the Riviera. My parents are booked in the suite so they are able to make their specialty restaurants early and added us as their guests. They have 2 reservations in each restaurant. When we tried to add the rest of the guests to the extra reservations we were told that is not possible since the other guests ( the 5 of us) have already used up their allotted 4. Is this correct?
You do not say what Cat you are in
But if you are added to your parents reservation & your Cat is allowed 1 reservation in each restaurant then yes you have used your quota

You could ask once onboard to get a seating with your parents if space permits

I found the GDR to be fine sometimes it was a little slow but we did not mind as we were not in a hurry
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#7
CA, USA
13,717 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
I would suggest that your parents speak to their butler as soon as you board and let him handle adding you to their reservations. I am assuming when you say they are in a suite you mean something above a PH. Suite passengers normally get whatever they want.
#8
Philadelphia
5,030 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by wripro
I would suggest that your parents speak to their butler as soon as you board and let him handle adding you to their reservations. I am assuming when you say they are in a suite you mean something above a PH. Suite passengers normally get whatever they want.



So true but you'll get slammed for saying that here.
#9
29 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by LHT28
You do not say what Cat you are in
But if you are added to your parents reservation & your Cat is allowed 1 reservation in each restaurant then yes you have used your quota

You could ask once onboard to get a seating with your parents if space permits

I found the GDR to be fine sometimes it was a little slow but we did not mind as we were not in a hurry
Thanks for the suggestion, we have 2 cabins B2 and B4 and my parents are in OC. Since so many posts have gone on and on about the 4 specialty restaurants we wanted to maximize our dining experience at the 4. This is our first time on O and we are all very excited!
#10
Waynesville, NC
618 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
We are recently off Marina and an OC level. We asked if traveling companions could be added to our remaining specialty reservations. Contrary to the suggestions above, we were advised O's policy is strictly on an as available basis processed through the normal request channel if the other category had used their alloted guarantees. No additional consideration.
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#11
Stamford, CT, USA
6,070 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Goldmann
We are recently off Marina and an OC level. We asked if traveling companions could be added to our remaining specialty reservations. Contrary to the suggestions above, we were advised O's policy is strictly on an as available basis processed through the normal request channel if the other category had used their alloted guarantees. No additional consideration.
Of course that has to be the official policy, if only to keep the Suite Guests from being hectored.

Tipping a maître d' in order to get a good table isn't in the rule book either, but one learns to do what works
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#12
Montreal, Quebec
865 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
[quote=JimandStan;33595187]Of course that has to be the official policy, if only to keep the Suite Guests from being hectored.

Tipping a maître d' in order to get a good table isn't in the rule book either, but one learns to do what works [/quote
We prefer to dine earlier than later (6:30ish) and also prefer a table for two.
On our past O cruises we were given tables in a variety of locations....noticing
over time, that there are levels of table locations...good, better, best. If we were to tip the Maitre d' at the particular dining rooms, could we get the best location? We use this tipping practice at home but did not know whether this was the same on a cruise.
#13
Stamford, CT, USA
6,070 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
[quote=canuck.qc;33595512]
Originally posted by JimandStan
Of course that has to be the official policy, if only to keep the Suite Guests from being hectored.

Tipping a maître d' in order to get a good table isn't in the rule book either, but one learns to do what works [/quote
We prefer to dine earlier than later (6:30ish) and also prefer a table for two.
On our past O cruises we were given tables in a variety of locations....noticing
over time, that there are levels of table locations...good, better, best. If we were to tip the Maitre d' at the particular dining rooms, could we get the best location? We use this tipping practice at home but did not know whether this was the same on a cruise.
We tip "at the door" in large cities, but on a ship where we will be seeing the maître d' night after night, we generally get to know him by name, ask for the tables that we would like specifically (we tend to favor certain waitstaff over a given location), and then commend him in our end of cruise survey and tip at that time.
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#14
Waynesville, NC
618 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Of course that has to be the official policy, if only to keep the Suite Guests from being hectored.

Tipping a maître d' in order to get a good table isn't in the rule book either, but one learns to do what works

Two entirely different points, location versus access to limited shipboard quantity. The suggestion by OPs was ask and ye shall receive. I was merely recounting our experience where that was not at all the case.
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#15
Montreal, Quebec
865 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
[quote=JimandStan;33596195]
Originally posted by canuck.qc

We tip "at the door" in large cities, but on a ship where we will be seeing the maître d' night after night, we generally get to know him by name, ask for the tables that we would like specifically (we tend to favor certain waitstaff over a given location), and then commend him in our end of cruise survey and tip at that time.
Will do that on our upcoming Marina cruise...BTW.. we took you up on a few of your recommendations & would like to thank you, especially: Cipriani Hotel-Venice, Rueben-London and a few tour companies including Alain from DreamTours..Il est un Tres bon et beau guide! Bon Voyage on your Riviera Cruise can't wait to read your reviews.
#16
Okeechobee, Florida
5,760 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Jim and I (the best of friends) often have a friendly debate about tipping a maitre 'd. He's from New York and understands it's a normal procedure; I'm from rural Central Florida, and the closest thing we have to a maitre' d is a high school girl hired as a hostess.

So, we each use the technique to which we've become accustomed, and to date, I've never been seated at a "bad" table, and I get as many extra reservations as anyone. So, from my point of view, it has more to do with asking with a smile than asking with a sawbuck (or whatever). YMMV.

As for preferring the specialty restaurants over the GDR, that's something I've never understood. The menus in the specialtys rarely, if ever, change. After nearly 6 years of traveling on Oceania ships, I think we've tried every dish we want to try, and have settled on our favorites -- but that gets boring, and we're reminded that the menu in the GDR is always exciting, and changes every night (unless you're on board several weeks).

As for the Terrace, is the special grill worth the hustle and bustle, sometimes crowding, waiting in line, and the noise level? And, don't forget them clearing your table while you're waiting in line for dessert! Again, it's personal preference, but we much prefer the relaxed, elegant atmosphere of the GDR. We enjoy converstations with our table mates and have never noticed that service is slow -- sometimes we're the last to leave, because we're still talking! I've never noticed an excessive noise level; the Terrace is much buzzier and busier to me. Also, much of the food on the buffet is identical to the GDR. I do enjoy the made-to-order pasta at the Terrace.

To the point that we make every attempt to even have breakfast in the GDR except when we have an early tour, and then we might do breakfast in the room. I've made as many as four circuits of the Terrace buffet tryng to find a table, sometimes with no luck, and when I do find one, it seems best for one of us to "stake it out" while the other gets food -- which generally results in us not really eating together.

The only time I generally avoid the GDR is lunch, but that's because I really don't want a hot entree with lunch, and much prefer the casual offerings at Waves. Waves also has the Terrace beat on service, at least on Marina (and presumably Riviera), because you give your order to a staffer, along with your table number, and your food is delivered to your table when it's ready. The only line in which you might wait is the ice cream bar.
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#18
1,751 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by hondorner
As for preferring the specialty restaurants over the GDR, that's something I've never understood. The menus in the specialtys rarely, if ever, change. After nearly 6 years of traveling on Oceania ships, I think we've tried every dish we want to try, and have settled on our favorites -- but that gets boring, and we're reminded that the menu in the GDR is always exciting, and changes every night (unless you're on board several weeks).

As for the Terrace, is the special grill worth the hustle and bustle, sometimes crowding, waiting in line, and the noise level? And, don't forget them clearing your table while you're waiting in line for dessert! Again, it's personal preference, but we much prefer the relaxed, elegant atmosphere of the GDR. We enjoy converstations with our table mates and have never noticed that service is slow -- sometimes we're the last to leave, because we're still talking! I've never noticed an excessive noise level; the Terrace is much buzzier and busier to me. Also, much of the food on the buffet is identical to the GDR. I do enjoy the made-to-order pasta at the Terrace.

To the point that we make every attempt to even have breakfast in the GDR except when we have an early tour, and then we might do breakfast in the room. I've made as many as four circuits of the Terrace buffet tryng to find a table, sometimes with no luck, and when I do find one, it seems best for one of us to "stake it out" while the other gets food -- which generally results in us not really eating together.
Well said, Don. We too much enjoy the GDR, the variety, ambience, service and as you mention, the conversation.
One note though, breakfast on Terrace Cafe's outer deck on a sunny day is almost perfect. If you happen to be lucky enough to get a table while sailing into port, it is perfect.