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Island Beachdog

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  1. How does the SDP perk work with the a la carte restaurants? Thanks in advance for help.
  2. Just home from Dec. 8 cruise on Allure. While we had a nice time on the ship, I feel compelled to review my experience with the Chef's table. We receiving an invite to meet in the library on the night of our reservation. I thought was a nice touch. As it was formal night, everyone arriving was dressed for the occasion. The library, however, was open regular hours and was in fact in use at the time. We were presented with a glass of champagne, however, there were not enough chairs for everyone to sit so we stood as the sommelier talked about the champagne we were drinking. We were t
  3. We will be on the Allure in a week. Sounds like the Piano guy is definitely worth catching. Did you catch his name or which venue is the piano bar? Loving your live review! Thanks
  4. Thanks for the information. I have not been on Royal Caribbean in about 15 years so it takes a while to see how things are done on different cruise lines. We always tip wait staff, bartenders and the room steward in addition to the service charges. It is confusing that cruise planner shows the additional gratuities for the beverage package but not the dining.
  5. If the first specialty reservation is not scheduled until the third night, embarkation would be ahead of the 48 hour requirement. If I understand it correctly, they make a courtesy reservation your first night at the preselected time and you can book or change additional reservations once onboard. I intend to keep the chef's table reservation as I am aware that it is not included in the dining plan. If the dining plan precludes the chef's table reservation then it is a mute point. I do not want to miss that.
  6. It is my understanding that if you purchase the unlimited dining plan on cruise planner, the gratuity is included in that price? What about the pre-purchase of individual specialty restaurants? Does that price also include gratuity? I am a planner and don't want to lose my already scheduled dining times. If I were to purchase UDP could I keep all reservations except for the first night and cancel once on board? I have the chef's table on second night so I could meet the 48 hour requirement for cancellations. Thanks for your help in advance.
  7. We will be celebrating our anniversary on our Allure cruise so I was looking for something special for dining. I booked the chef's table but now have started having second thoughts. My husband is vegetarian. After repeated difficulties adhering to this while traveling, he will eat fish if necessary. My question is if the chef's table menu is available prior to the meal? If no beef or chicken we should be fine. I know that it says vegetarian options are available but if they have already planned a menu with wine pairings how good could a last minute change be? Thanks in advance,
  8. Are the cabin stewards able to change out the deck chairs on the balcony for ones that recline? We reserved a large balcony cabin and it looks like there is plenty of room. I would be totally happy with the ones that have the ottomans but didn't know if Allure had those. Thanks,
  9. Does Royal Caribbean have the wine packages for sale like they have offered on NCL. I am referring to the ones where they have a table set up on embarkation day and you can choose 3 bottles at a discount for the package? I haven't been on Royal for quite a while and am trying to figure out whether to buy the beverage package. Thanks,
  10. `Thanks everyone for taking time to reply. This will be very helpful.
  11. Can someone tell me what options there are for lunch on embarkation day? We will be on the Allure for the first time. I know the Windjammer will be packed and would prefer to avoid if possible. What other options are there? Thanks
  12. I have been a long time NCL cruiser. I follow the boards regularly but rarely participate in discussions. I have been watching the changes in terms of pricing and packaging since the first of the year. I have been waiting for the structure to return to a more reasonable base price while still offering the opportunity for some perks to be had. I do not want to have to pay for "free" perks I do not need or want. I do not want to fly "free" as it simply is not worth the aggravation. Since I wanted to cruise again this year, I got tired of waiting. I booked a RCL cruise instead. I got a hi
  13. If the itinerary is your priority, I would choose the Breakaway without hesitation. Having been to all the ports for both cruises, Breakaway’s itinerary is superior IMHO. I do prefer the Epic however, over the Breakaway. It is not everyone’s cup of tea due to the cabin layout. You can read much about that on the boards. For us, however, it remains one of our all time favorite ships, particularly for sea days.
  14. Thanks for the information. I started the fake booking for passenger 2 and the price came up in my shopping cart much lower. I went ahead and entered the villa for passenger 1 which was 39 less than the posted price. I went ahead and booked the villa under passenger one and deleted the cabana. I am going to keep an eye on prices in case they drop further but I feel good about the price I paid.
  15. Do the prices for NCL shore excursions now vary like Royal Caribbean's market based pricing? I was looking at the price for GSC villas. Relatively speaking, they are so much more reasonably priced than the cabanas for RCL's Coco Cay. I was wondering if the current price would start to increase as supply and demand changes. If so, I need to go ahead and book. It's been a few years since I have been on Norwegian and didn't know if things have changed. Thanks,
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