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abbydancer

Specialty dining packages, discounts and Vat tax

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Hi all

 

We're on our first Celebrity cruise in September on the Reflection and we want to try all the specialty restaurants (except Sushi and the Porch). I can buy a drink package before we sail, but I see postings that you can often get better discounts by booking individual reservations onboard. It was also suggested that if there aren't discounts, you can buy the package onboard, but on our itinerary they'll add vat tax, which would pretty close to wipe out the discount.

 

So, I'm not sure what to do on that. Also, if we don't do a package, but hope for individual discounts, would the dinners be taxed, or just the package?

 

In addition, it looks like we'll have some onboard credit to use up. We were thinking of buying from the shops, but of course there would be Vat tax. Can we get that refunded at the airport on the way home?

 

Hope these questions make sense - I have checked other threads and am still a little confused.

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On our last cruises (on Reflection in Europe and Equinox in the Caribbean), discounts for specialty dining were offered for individual dinners. The discounts being offered were 30%. We asked for and were given a 40% discount for Lawn Club Grill the first night of the cruise.

 

Now that you can use OBC to pay for excursions, specialty dining and beverage packages etc in advance of your cruise, it sounds as though purchasing the specialty dining package is a good way to avoid the VAT and the savings should be pretty much the same as on board.

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We have purchased on board with discounts offered. I never noticed any additional charge on the bill. We did see that the gratuity was included, but opted to add an additional gratuity for outstanding service. Pardon the question, but what is Vat tax? I've never seen that.

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We have purchased on board with discounts offered. I never noticed any additional charge on the bill. We did see that the gratuity was included, but opted to add an additional gratuity for outstanding service. Pardon the question, but what is Vat tax? I've never seen that.

 

Vat is value added tax. It's a tax that some countries charge, based on value of goods, and is charged to the purchaser. The European Union has one, and since our cruise is entirely in the EU, the vat will be charged on goods and services.

 

I hope that helps. If you've never done a cruise entirely in the EU, you won't have seen it. This is my first, and will be the first time I see it.

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Vat is value added tax. It's a tax that some countries charge, based on value of goods, and is charged to the purchaser. The European Union has one, and since our cruise is entirely in the EU, the vat will be charged on goods and services.

 

I hope that helps. If you've never done a cruise entirely in the EU, you won't have seen it. This is my first, and will be the first time I see it.

Thanks.I've done land trips to many of the EU countries, but it was before the EU. Always good to learn something new.

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The VAT refund process is not available for purchases (watches, jewelry, purses, clothing, etc) made on board. Shops have to sign up for the VAT refund service, and buyers who don't live in the EU can claim the VAT back at the airport. But the ship is not in the program, so you can't make that claim and get that VAT back.

 

Shops that participate have a sign in their window or at the till saying "Tax Free for Tourists". You fill out paperwork in the store, take the items and the paperwork to the airport and prove that you are taking them out of the EU, and claim the VAT refund, which you either get in cash or as a credit on your credit card. Minus a pretty hefty fee from the agency that processes the refund.

 

VAT that is charged on meals, drinks, etc. can't be claimed, even on land-based tours. It's only possible to claim the VAT on goods you are removing from the EU.

 

This process has been in place since before the EU, by the way. VAT refunds could be claimed in England for years. You have to spend a minimum amount in one store in one day to make it worthwhile, but I remember a couple of major shopping sprees at Harrods many years ago where the tax refund was worth the hassle at the airport.

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When we boarded the Infinity last fall for our Panama Canal cruise, the hustle for the specialty dining offered us 25 % off, I hesitated, then he inquired if we were in a suite and if so, he could offer 50% off. I said we weren't in a suite but if he gave us the 50% we would book any day they had availability, allowing him to pick their slowest night at Qsine. He agreed, we were booked for a few days later and enjoyed a wonderful dining experience at a very reasonable price. Not sure it will always work but will certainly try it again. Never hurts to ask.

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This just in----Reflection now participates in the VAT refund program GLOBAL BLUE. So if you make a large purchase you might be able to get some VAT back. This is new.

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There is a 20% off sale this weekend for dining packages...and other add ons. Check the price for cruise in your cruise planner.

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There is a 20% off sale this weekend for dining packages...and other add ons. Check the price for cruise in your cruise planner.

I can't figure out how to get the sale price. It's all coming up at normal price. I have some time though.

 

Thanks for this, that might make it worth it to book in advance.

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I can't figure out how to get the sale price. It's all coming up at normal price. I have some time though.

 

Thanks for this, that might make it worth it to book in advance.

 

I don't think this sale applies to all cruises. Couldn't see it either on our TA.

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There is a 20% off sale this weekend for dining packages...and other add ons. Check the price for cruise in your cruise planner.

 

I can't figure out how to get the sale price. It's all coming up at normal price. I have some time though.

 

Thanks for this, that might make it worth it to book in advance.

I logged into 'My Cruise Planner', 20% off everything for our Nov Equinox cruise. Booked 9 dinners in Murano for $209 each, and used our OBC to pay for it.

 

Never seen this before.

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I don't think this sale applies to all cruises. Couldn't see it either on our TA.

Yet when I go into my cruise planner, the sale banner is there. I wonder if this doesn't apply to packages? Although when I tried to book a single dinner it was also full price.

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We have three booked cruises on Celebrity: a Caribbean in November, a TA in April, and a Western Med in September. The only cruise with the 20% discount on add-ons available is the November Caribbean cruise.

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We have three booked cruises on Celebrity: a Caribbean in November, a TA in April, and a Western Med in September. The only cruise with the 20% discount on add-ons available is the November Caribbean cruise.

 

It only applies for cruises July to December 2017

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It only applies for cruises July to December 2017

Thank you CruiseJunky. I've had a difficult time finding the small print terms and conditions :D

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I logged into 'My Cruise Planner', 20% off everything for our Nov Equinox cruise. Booked 9 dinners in Murano for $209 each, and used our OBC to pay for it.

 

Never seen this before.

 

Were you actually able to book Murano specifically or did you book the nine night package which uses all 3 restaurants?

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I saw on another post that when a cruise stays entirely within the EU, In addition to charging VAT on purchases, the Duty Free Shop is closed. Is this correct?

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I know, I was responding to CYN Sport

Yes, but my point was that mine shouldn't be exempt based on that.

 

Sorry for the confusion.

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So now I see it on my Planner, but it's only for the 6 and 9 dinner packages. I don't suppose I can buy 6 for 1 person, and do 3 for 2 people.

 

And the only excursion I booked through Celebrity is not on sale either. Oh well.

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Were you actually able to book Murano specifically or did you book the nine night package which uses all 3 restaurants?

It did not ask for specific restaurants, we have had friends do every one in Murano when booking the longer packages.

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It did not ask for specific restaurants, we have had friends do every one in Murano when booking the longer packages.

 

Thank you. We're looking at purchasing one of those. :)

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Thank you. We're looking at purchasing one of those. :)

And I was able to use our OBC to pay for it!

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