What's your experience with in suite parties/hosting?

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#1
952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
For our upcoming cruise in March, we have splurged for the OS on Ruby to celebrate our 25th anniversary and vow renewal with family and friends. Much to our utter delight, quite a few have decided to join us (16 and counting).

Several have booked suites, including the one next to us so that we can open up the balcony door separating the two balconies, as well as CC, balcony and interior cabins.

We really want to enjoy our suite perks, but even more we want to spend time with our guests. So I plan on taking advantage of the enhanced room service, having breakfast, tea and dinner parties.

I've searched the boards for others experiences, but not finding a lot. We do plan on tipping staff well for the extra effort. Would love to hear your experience of hosting guests in your suite.
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#2
Texas
1,852 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
You can order any meal from the full dining room menu for breakfast, lunch, or dinner during the hours the dining room is open at no charge. When you order, you can order for as many people as you want - you are not limited just to ordering for two. However, you need to check your suite first to see how many people can comfortably eat a meal there - I don't think you would have room to host 16.
#3
952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Good point, but I think it will be ok. There is seating for 8 between the cabin table/chairs in the OS, and the balcony; plus the table for four on the balcony next door. Some of the guests are our daughters, and their BF/fiancés so unlikely we would be having dinner for the full group at once as the 20 somethings will be doing their own thing some nights.

The parties would be casual, mix and mingle type, given that it's kind of impossible to have a formal dinner with some inside and some on the balcony.

Breakfast gatherings will be mostly family, and tea parties primarily the ladies.

The one dinner for the entire group will be at Crown Grill, spaced out over a few tables.

My most important concern is making sure my guest know how much it means to us that they joined the cruise-- and that we are doing meals that are festive
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#4
Whidbey Island, WA
872 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
I assume you bought one of the Renewal of Vows Packages. Talk to your Renewal of Vows coordinator once you're on board He/She will probably have some great ideas and may help you coordinate the parties in your suite(s). Our ROV coordinator on the Ruby several years ago was fantastic.
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#5
Battle Ground, WA
576 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
We had a suite one year and invited our table mates to watch Glacier Bay from our balcony. We told our steward about it and he brought canapes to share and extra ice for drinks. It was really quite special and everyone had a wonderful time.
#6
349 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
OS has lots of space. If you get creative like you mentioned I see no issue with getting 16 to eat together. A vista might be a bit tight but the OS has the extra table and space. I'm sure you will but tip both the delivery folks and your steward to reflect the extra service provided.

We end up with stacks of plates with just 4 of us after breakfast. Can't imagine 4 times that. You might even want to "order" a cart to keep with the delivery so you can stack the empties on the cart after the meal.
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#7
Texas
1,852 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by GRAYTech
OS has lots of space. If you get creative like you mentioned I see no issue with getting 16 to eat together. A vista might be a bit tight but the OS has the extra table and space. I'm sure you will but tip both the delivery folks and your steward to reflect the extra service provided.

We end up with stacks of plates with just 4 of us after breakfast. Can't imagine 4 times that. You might even want to "order" a cart to keep with the delivery so you can stack the empties on the cart after the meal.
Also I would recommend talking with the Head Waiter in Club Class and selecting the menu in advance - don't try to order it all by calling room service. With this many people, it may be a better idea to plan on ordering appetizers, soup, entrées, and desert separately instead of having all the dishes delivered at the same time. Ask the Club Class Head Waiter for advice on how to do it.
#8
midwest
4,309 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
We were in the grand suite for 5 weeks and had friends in for dinner many times. The table seats eight. We ordered appetizers and when they were delivered, we ordered soup and salad. When they came, we ordered mains. And later ordered desserts. They took dirty dishes away inbetween. It worked out great. Just remember, that the room service staff work their tails off so be very generous with the tips.
Enjoy.
#9
349 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by NavyVeteran
Also I would recommend talking with the Head Waiter in Club Class and selecting the menu in advance - don't try to order it all by calling room service. With this many people, it may be a better idea to plan on ordering appetizers, soup, entrées, and desert separately instead of having all the dishes delivered at the same time. Ask the Club Class Head Waiter for advice on how to do it.
This is great advice and I bet they will be willing to accommodate your needs without exception. Calling in for 4 people can be a challenge depending on who you get on the other end. Having the menu ahead of time means you can get everyone's order written down and handed to the Head Waiter. Easier for everyone involved.
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#10
pennsylvania
511 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
We have stayed in a suite. Most have one gathering. We have gone with another couple and they came to our suite each night before dinner for happy hour.

Just a suggestion. Go see the MD on the first day and talk with him. He controls all of this.

Personally, why not have happy hour in your room/adjoining suites and arrange to have cheese/cracker, relish tray, other snacks delivered daily at a certain time. They will set everything up for you and take everything down then when you go to dinner in the dining room or Crown Grille or Sabatinis. As far as liquor, order bottles of wine or have everyone bring a bottle.

Even simpler, see if you can reserve some seats where they have the suite/elite happy hour. Then all the goodies are there and everyone orders their own drinks. Easy peasy...no mess for your room steward.
#11
952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by WVBill
I assume you bought one of the Renewal of Vows Packages. Talk to your Renewal of Vows coordinator once you're on board He/She will probably have some great ideas and may help you coordinate the parties in your suite(s). Our ROV coordinator on the Ruby several years ago was fantastic.
Yes, we did book the ROV package. We did it last year as a trial run, to see if it was something we wanted to do for the "big" anniversary with family and friends. The coordinator was really nice, but getting to talk to him was like pulling teeth. Hoping this year is easier. And more enthusiastic. We have pre-reserved the Crown Grill for the post ROV party (had to spread the reservations over a few family members) and am hoping the coordinator will assist with some simple table decor I'm bringing.
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#12
952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by towhee
We had a suite one year and invited our table mates to watch Glacier Bay from our balcony. We told our steward about it and he brought canapes to share and extra ice for drinks. It was really quite special and everyone had a wonderful time.
Sounds lovely! We are doing a sailaway party, but I'm sending the "kids" to the IC and buffet for the snacks. Embarkation day is too much work for the steward, to add to it by asking for party help that day. But I will definitely confer with the Steward about the other gatherings.
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#13
952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by GRAYTech
OS has lots of space. If you get creative like you mentioned I see no issue with getting 16 to eat together. A vista might be a bit tight but the OS has the extra table and space. I'm sure you will but tip both the delivery folks and your steward to reflect the extra service provided.

We end up with stacks of plates with just 4 of us after breakfast. Can't imagine 4 times that. You might even want to "order" a cart to keep with the delivery so you can stack the empties on the cart after the meal.
The extra space was exactly why we chose this suite -- that and it was only $100 more pp than the next category down. And yes, we will take good care of the staff.
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#14
952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by NavyVeteran
Also I would recommend talking with the Head Waiter in Club Class and selecting the menu in advance - don't try to order it all by calling room service. With this many people, it may be a better idea to plan on ordering appetizers, soup, entrées, and desert separately instead of having all the dishes delivered at the same time. Ask the Club Class Head Waiter for advice on how to do it.
Good idea-- i have a dietary restriction, so need to talk to the HW anyway. We won't be doing a bunch of dinners --two at most, plus the tea parties. Breakfast will just be with our girls and their SO's. Two sets of them are in interior cabins so I want them to enjoy balcony breakfasts 😄
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#15
952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by compozer
We were in the grand suite for 5 weeks and had friends in for dinner many times. The table seats eight. We ordered appetizers and when they were delivered, we ordered soup and salad. When they came, we ordered mains. And later ordered desserts. They took dirty dishes away inbetween. It worked out great. Just remember, that the room service staff work their tails off so be very generous with the tips.
Enjoy.
I've seen photos of that suite! Can't even imagine getting to spend 5 weeks in it -- heaven!!!
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#16
952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by mellon1
We have stayed in a suite. Most have one gathering. We have gone with another couple and they came to our suite each night before dinner for happy hour.

Just a suggestion. Go see the MD on the first day and talk with him. He controls all of this.

Personally, why not have happy hour in your room/adjoining suites and arrange to have cheese/cracker, relish tray, other snacks delivered daily at a certain time. They will set everything up for you and take everything down then when you go to dinner in the dining room or Crown Grille or Sabatinis. As far as liquor, order bottles of wine or have everyone bring a bottle.

Even simpler, see if you can reserve some seats where they have the suite/elite happy hour. Then all the goodies are there and everyone orders their own drinks. Easy peasy...no mess for your room steward.
Not everyone can attend the suite/elite happy hour, since they aren't all in suites and don't think there are any elites in the group. Of the 10 people potentially eating dinner with us in the suite, 6 are traveling in a suite and can order from the MDR. I think it's the same or less work for staff to bring meals to one cabin, rather than 4 separate ones.

The option to have an in suite dinner party is a big part of why we booked this cabin. And all staff will be generously tipped. This is not going to be every night -- at most in suite dinner parties would be twice during the cruise and not on the same day as tea. One of the reasons I started this thread, is for all the great suggestions for arranging a party without overburdening staff.
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#17
Southwest Washington
716 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
We were in a suite on the Ruby recently; while it doesn't directly answer your question, we were enjoying sail away on our balcony with a couple friends. Our great Steward (wish I remembered his name!) stopped by to drop off some treat, then excused himself and came back with four glasses of sparkling wine! Very classy.

Have not requested food for a party on Princess, but have done so on Royal. Worked with the steward who knew just the right folks to talk to get stuff arranged; a cash tip here and there doesn't hurt.

Cheers,
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#18
952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by DandDM
We were in a suite on the Ruby recently; while it doesn't directly answer your question, we were enjoying sail away on our balcony with a couple friends. Our great Steward (wish I remembered his name!) stopped by to drop off some treat, then excused himself and came back with four glasses of sparkling wine! Very classy.

Have not requested food for a party on Princess, but have done so on Royal. Worked with the steward who knew just the right folks to talk to get stuff arranged; a cash tip here and there doesn't hurt.

Cheers,
Here's hoping we have a similarly great experience! We hosted a happy hour type event in our Haven suite on NCL -- but no dinners. Our butler was fantastic for that trip and I'm quite confident we will have great service on Princess too
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#19
Granger, Indiana USA
4,242 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
Great info. I've had a gathering on my balcony while in the Owner's Suite aboard the old Tahitian Princess, as well as several NCL ships including, most recently the Gem. On NCL you have an assigned butler to your Suite who, in my experience, bends over backwards to make a small gathering into an event. I'll be in an S4 aboard the Star Princess next year, and am looking forward inviting members of our roll call to an informal get-together at our Suite during our 15 day cruise.
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#20
SAN DEIGO, CA
3,388 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
We are doing this same thing but with only 4 people total soon. We will be in a suite while our friends in the balcony next to us. We planned on making a week of it and having all dinners except for the ROV dinner in our suite. So should we get the menus early and then earlier that day see the HW and place our order for dinner? I am not understanding the writing down the order and giving to HW part. I never thought of telling the ROV coordinator or even the HW upon boarding our thoughts of having all dinners in our suite but I will for sure make the note to do this to see if it can make things a bit easier on the staff knowing ahead of time.
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