Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips
,

Specialty restaurants before or after boarding?


bangzoom6877
 Share

Recommended Posts

We're going on the Breakaway in July 2015, and I know that now the specialty restaurants can be booked before boarding...90 days in advance right?

 

We aren't doing the UDP because we like to eat in the MDR most nights. Is it better to book in advance than waiting to book once we board? Do they reserve a certain amount of seats in the specialty restaurants for on board booking? We are interested in Cagney's for the two of us, and also Moderno for a party of 11 people. Those are the only two specialty restaurants. But we like to see the MDR menu first so we see if it's something we feel is worth missing (I know a lot of people don't like the MDR, but we do, so I'd appreciate it if those folks would please refrain from negative comments about dinner in the MDR...thanks!). Also, I have read about the special chocoholic desserts they now have in the MDR instead of the chocoholic buffet, and we don't want to miss that dinner in the MDR either. Is there a set night they usually do this?

 

The last time we went on ncl was in 2011 and everyone booked onboard back then. DH and I loved Le Bistro and also the special dining events they had (Best of All lunch and Jazz brunch back then), and we had no problem booking them all for the times we wanted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some have reported a difficult time lately getting the times they wanted. If it is a must do dinner, or you are like me a big planner, reserve them ahead of time. You can always cancel them (24 hours notice) or change the times, once you are on the ship.

 

We are also new to NCL. We will be sailing in the Haven and have also purchased the all inclusive package. Should I also make reservations for the specialty restaurants- we like to dine about 6:00 PM. but will review the show schedule before we book. How far in advance can we book shore excursions, restaurants, shows etc.

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some have reported a difficult time lately getting the times they wanted. If it is a must do dinner, or you are like me a big planner, reserve them ahead of time. You can always cancel them (24 hours notice) or change the times, once you are on the ship.

 

My questions are above, but didn't select Instant e-mail notification.

 

Txs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are also new to NCL. We will be sailing in the Haven and have also purchased the all inclusive package. Should I also make reservations for the specialty restaurants- we like to dine about 6:00 PM. but will review the show schedule before we book. How far in advance can we book shore excursions, restaurants, shows etc.

 

Thanks

 

 

I would do it before you go. I think it is 90 days before. Because you are doing the all inclusive, you can cancel anytime, since there is no charge to do so. I had the UDP on my last cruise, and did cancel a reservation. I would try to do it when you know, so someone else can get a reservation. I would look at the show reservations first, and give yourself sometime after you plan on getting back to the ship on port days to relax a little and shower. If you decide to change before your cruise, there is a number on the website. Once you are on the ship, call the conceirge.

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are also new to NCL. We will be sailing in the Haven and have also purchased the all inclusive package. Should I also make reservations for the specialty restaurants- we like to dine about 6:00 PM. but will review the show schedule before we book. How far in advance can we book shore excursions, restaurants, shows etc.

 

Thanks

If you know what time you want to eat, I would say reserve ahead of time. You can book the restaurants 100 days before your cruise leaves, since you are in the Haven. Shore excursion, you can book when ever they are up on the computer. My November cruises shore excursions have been up for many months. Not sure about show reservations. If you don't want to do them on line, just call the pre-concierge and they will make your reservations. Edited by NLH Arizona
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you know what time you want to eat, I would say reserve ahead of time. You can book the restaurants 100 days before your cruise leaves, since you are in the Haven. Shore excursion, you can book when ever they are up on the computer. My November cruises shore excursions have been up for many months. Not sure about show reservations. If you don't want to do them on line, just call the pre-concierge and they will make your reservations.

Thanks for the information.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the smaller ships, we've never had trouble making reservations (or even walking up without reservations) for the specialty restaurants once on board. However, our recent Getaway cruise, and I'm going to assume the Breakaway is similar, the specialty restaurants were very booked already by the time we boarded. For those two ships, I'd book before, if a particular night or dining time is important to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the smaller ships, we've never had trouble making reservations (or even walking up without reservations) for the specialty restaurants once on board. However, our recent Getaway cruise, and I'm going to assume the Breakaway is similar, the specialty restaurants were very booked already by the time we boarded. For those two ships, I'd book before, if a particular night or dining time is important to you.

 

Thank you! I would think the Breakaway and Getaway should be similar because they both have the same number of passengers. We'd like to book 90 days in advance for the specialty restaurants, but how do I find out the daily dinner menus in the MDR so I know which nights we want to go to the two specialty restaurants we plan to go? We are looking to reserve Cagney's one night (for either 4 or 11 people, depends if the rest of the family joins us) and Moderno one night for all 11 of us. On past NCL cruises (2011 and before), we were able to see the dinner menu early the same morning, or late the previous night and then decide if we wanted to reserve a specialty restaurant instead. Now it seems like we better book in advance or we may not be able to go at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had the UDP, sailed Breakaway in August. I booked dining near the 90 day mark...we were caught in the middle of the switch from 45 to 90 days. I had no problem getting reservations...but the times were limited.

 

Onboard there were many more times to choose from on Day 1. For example, booking online or calling before the cruise, Moderno had times of 5:30 or 8 pm. But onboard on Day 1, Moderno had times in between for all the days of the cruise. I hope I am making sense.

 

When I got onboard, honestly, I found myself wanting the change the time. If I changed it the day before...I had no problems...but the same day...I had problems. Many of the specialty restaurants were sold out.

 

I can't say if this was a fluke or not, but one time I wanted to change my Cagney's time from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Dining desk at Guest Services said nothing available. I went to the restaurant and had no problem changing. This was about 5 pm. We had a party of 9.

Edited by diskids2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had the UDP, sailed Breakaway in August. I booked dining near the 90 day mark...we were caught in the middle of the switch from 45 to 90 days. I had no problem getting reservations...but the times were limited.

 

Onboard there were many more times to choose from on Day 1. For example, booking online or calling before the cruise, Moderno had times of 5:30 or 8 pm. But onboard on Day 1, Moderno had times in between for all the days of the cruise. I hope I am making sense.

 

When I got onboard, honestly, I found myself wanting the change the time. If I changed it the day before...I had no problems...but the same day...I had problems. Many of the specialty restaurants were sold out.

 

I can't say if this was a fluke or not, but one time I wanted to change my Cagney's time from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Dining desk at Guest Services said nothing available. I went to the restaurant and had no problem changing. This was about 5 pm. We had a party of 9.

 

Thanks for letting me know this! I have been wondering if ncl holds a certain number of tables to be released at sailing time, since I believe the UDP can still be purchased once you board. So maybe having desirable times available on sailing day makes it more likely they can convince more people to purchase the UDP once they board, in person (when the crew can be more persuasive instead of having the passengers just see it online, if that makes sense).

 

I'm not sure what to do. For a night when DH and I would go to dinner just the two of us, we would need a time later than 7pm because the kids' camp opens at that time. So the plan would be to give the boys dinner at the buffet first, then drop them off at camp, then go to dinner. 7:30 would be an ideal time so it's also not that late, since we aren't used to eating dinner late at home. The latest we start eating dinner at home is 6:30, but on vacation of course it could be a little later. Just don't want to be stuck first arriving for a reservation at 9:30...that's definitely too late for us.

 

When it's the 11 of us, we would have to eat dinner when the restaurant opens at 5:30, because my nephew will only be a year and a half old at that time and my sister is keeping him in his normal routine on the cruise. But it doesn't seem to be as difficult to get a 5:30 reservation than a 7:30 one.

 

So now I'm not sure what to do. Maybe we should reserve in advance just in case and then see if we want to change once onboard based on availability. But then, I'm still in the same dilemma as before...what if we reserve on a night that turns out to be something in the MDR we really don't want to miss, and there aren't desirable reservations left for the specialty restaurants Cagney's and Moderno?

 

Does anyone have the daily dinner menus from the Breakaway from a recent cruise? I know there are some available online but they don't specify which days offer which dishes, and I'm also not sure how old they are. Something recent would be great.

 

Also, does anyone know which night on the summer Breakaway 7-night Bermuda cruise the MDR has the special chocolate desserts that replaced the chocoholic buffet? I know all of us definitely don't want to miss that (I know this sounds weird to some, but we still love dinner in the MDR too).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I like to reserve before we leave. I get the exact time I want and I don't spend time on the ship making a reservation (I know it does not take that long but vacation time is sacred). Another reason I like it, is to pay in advance, it is one less charge on the bill at end of the cruise and I like to pay what I can in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I like to reserve before we leave. I get the exact time I want and I don't spend time on the ship making a reservation (I know it does not take that long but vacation time is sacred). Another reason I like it, is to pay in advance, it is one less charge on the bill at end of the cruise and I like to pay what I can in advance.

 

Can you pay in advance without getting the UDP? We will only be going to 2 specialty restaurants so the UDP doesn't make sense for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you pay in advance without getting the UDP? We will only be going to 2 specialty restaurants so the UDP doesn't make sense for us.

 

We took a package that includes almost everything, tips, drinks, some shore excursions etc. It isn't only dining. We like the idea of no bill at the end of a cruise. First time, so we will give it a try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just came off the Jewel and didn't make any reservations in advance of the cruise. We ate in specialty restaurants 4 nights out of the 7. Some nights there were 4 of us, other nights just 2. One of the nights when it was just the 2 of us we didn't even make a reservation earlier that day and walked up to Le Bistro and they had room to seat us right away.

 

The other times we had made a reservation earlier that day and had zero problems getting a table.

 

Have fun!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We took a package that includes almost everything, tips, drinks, some shore excursions etc. It isn't only dining. We like the idea of no bill at the end of a cruise. First time, so we will give it a try.

 

Tell me the specifics about this package, if you don't mind. When are you sailing? And does this package by any chance include the spa pass for the thermal suite? I'm guessing it doesn't, but I thought I'd ask since DH and I will definitely be booking that as soon as we board!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just remember, if you make a reservation ahead of time, it IS charged to your credit card right away which means, if your package includes an OBC, you won't be able to use it to pay for a specialty reservation that's already been made. If you make the reservation onboard, then the OBC money is used. Of course you can always use the OBC to buy a nice piece of jewelry. :D. BTW, we did not have problems getting the days and times we wanted once we got onboard....but then there were only two of us. We were on the BA recently and someone said that the menus for the week were available on the cabin TV but we never checked it out so I'm not sure this is so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just remember, if you make a reservation ahead of time, it IS charged to your credit card right away which means, if your package includes an OBC, you won't be able to use it to pay for a specialty reservation that's already been made. If you make the reservation onboard, then the OBC money is used. Of course you can always use the OBC to buy a nice piece of jewelry. :D. BTW, we did not have problems getting the days and times we wanted once we got onboard....but then there were only two of us. We were on the BA recently and someone said that the menus for the week were available on the cabin TV but we never checked it out so I'm not sure this is so.

 

Thanks, I didn't think I could use OBC for something that was already paid for. But, if we cancel it, do we get out money back if it's within the proper cancellation window of time? Just wondering.

 

I hope the daily manus are on the cabin tv. That would be great so if we want to try and switch something, we can. Or at least to see when the chocoholic desserts are offered in the MDR. I think that's the main thing for us...we want to experience the chocoholic desserts and it's a must-do for us. DH used to enjoy lobster night but since that's a thing of the past, I'm sure we could live with missing out on an MDR dinner one night, provided it's not chocoholic night. ;)

I personally never cared for the quality of lobster served anyway so I won't miss it. DH said he won't miss it either, but he did enjoy it when it was available.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of the TripInsuranceStore.com - November 2022
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...