Jump to content
BubbaBoat

Solstice Aqua Class Dining and OnBoard Credit Suggestions

Recommended Posts

Haven't gone on a cruise in over 28 years (Song of Norway RCL). Our 30 year anniversary is coming :hearteyes:. I've booked two cabins in Aqua Class on the Solstice to Alaska. I chose the Go Best Package which includes $150 OBC, Paid Gratuities, Internet Access and Premium Beverage package.

 

 

I am thinking about using everyone's $150 OBC on Specialty Dining Packages. However, we have Blu access so I am not sure if I am going to really need to utilize a specialty restaurant more than 1 or 2 nights on the 7 night cruise. The dining package gives you a discount on the regular nightly cover charge for the specialty restaurants. I have seen posts that state discounts to the various cover charges are also offered on the ship. A few questions:

 

 

 

Should I hold off on the package and try and get a discount at Murano while on the ship?

 

 

Because most of my alcohol and beverages are included, where else would I be spending $$$ on the ship? Can I get a glass of wine or two or three at dinner without ordering a bottle of wine? If not, we could order a bottle with dinner and use our OBC.

Furthermore, we're not into Spa treatments, photos, or cruise line booked shore excursions.

 

 

It's my understanding that we are allowed to bring two bottles of wine onboard per stateroom. Can I consume those in my cabin without a corkage fee? Is the corkage fee of $25 in the restaurant still accurate? Does a normally priced $30 bottle of wine cost more than $55 on the ship?

 

 

What about snacks...Ice cream at the Gelateria ...Latte at the coffee shop...Do they charge you extra for those items?

 

 

What about room service...late night snack...breakfast, etc....Do they charge you extra for those items and the service?

 

 

Lastly, the Go Best package provides Prepaid gratuities. What do these gratuities include? Restaurant staff, room service staff, maid service, bar staff, etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Gelateria is extra charge, but the ocean view café has ice-cream available and it's free and all your coffees in café al bacio will be included with your beverage package

Room service is free between 6am and 11pm I believe

 

You will not be charged corkage if you consume your bottles of wine in your stateroom, but will be charged $25 if you take a bottle to the MDR or one of the other restaurants

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have extra non-refundable OBC, for me the best way to handle it is to use it at the casino rather than purchase something I do not really want. I usually use it up playing blackjack; if I lose it I am not out any of my own money, whatever I win I keep and can then use for whatever I want, whenever I want. When using OBC at the casino they give you "promotional chips" - essentially you can not cash them in, but you keep gambling them until you lose them; anything you win in the process is paid in "real" chips that you can cash in for $$$.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You’ll be in Alaska and should really consider spending it on excursions to see things you may never see again. That’s just my opinion.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And a wine priced $30 at your local store can cost much more than $50 on board. So even paying the corkage, if you have a medium or higher priced wine, you'll still come out ahead (except on those weird circumstances that a really GOOD wine isn't a lot more than on land). I've seen Nickel and Nickel and even Opus priced semi-reasonably (maybe not on X IIRC, however).

 

I agree w/ the above that if you haven't been to Alaska before, at least ONE tour would be a worthwhile investment. I rarely do ships tours, and often just DIY, but in Alaska, I'd probably grab onto a tour if one seems interesting (I've found Alaska excursions to be fairly pricey IMHO).

 

I also might wait and book Murano on board. Even w/ Blu, Murano is a cut above as far as I'm concerned. Heck even in a suite Murano compares favorable to Luminae (which I love so not bashing).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice everyone. My bad...I din't mean to convey that we weren't going to take advantage of shore excursions, I don't plan on booking my shore excursions through the cruise ship ;p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the advice everyone. My bad...I din't mean to convey that we weren't going to take advantage of shore excursions, I don't plan on booking my shore excursions through the cruise ship ;p

 

 

 

The Tracy Arm Fjord Catamaran tour is one to consider. You disembark from the Fjord onto a tour catamarans and get up close to the glacier. You end up meeting back up with the ship in port. You can only purchase this from Celebrity. This was our favorite tour from our 30th anniversary cruise on the Solstice. We also booked all other excursions with 3rd party operators.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another question, while eating at any restaurant can I simply order a glass of wine, beer or a cocktail at no charge thanks to my premium beverage package? I'm sure there are some Super high end cocktails or wines that are not on the package, but for the most part, can I order a glass of zinfandel with din din? Is it designated on a list somehow?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another question, while eating at any restaurant can I simply order a glass of wine, beer or a cocktail at no charge thanks to my premium beverage package? I'm sure there are some Super high end cocktails or wines that are not on the package, but for the most part, can I order a glass of zinfandel with din din? Is it designated on a list somehow?

 

 

 

You got it. Just give them your card.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BubbaBoat: At the dinning MDR and restaurants the sommellier will ask you if you have a beverage package, and then pour wines covered by your package. You can always ask for something more expensive and then just pay the differential. But what is particularly nice is that you and your dining partner won't have to share a bottle, but will have wine by the glass which the sommelier feels is suitable for your meal -- the pairings may not be the same wine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No need to take on your own bottle of wine with the bev pack. There are many choices that are included except for room service or out of the mini bar. Sometimes we would get a glass of wine and pour it into a empty water bottle and place in the cabin fridge to save for using in our cabin later during the cruise.

 

You are also give a bottle of sparkling wine in your cabin that sometimes can be exchanged for something else or credit given towards. We usually pack it and take it home.

 

Usually on the first night in AQ they offer a 30 to 50% discount for that evening in a specialty restaurant

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Haven't gone on a cruise in over 28 years (Song of Norway RCL). Our 30 year anniversary is coming :hearteyes:. I've booked two cabins in Aqua Class on the Solstice to Alaska. I chose the Go Best Package which includes $150 OBC, Paid Gratuities, Internet Access and Premium Beverage package.

 

 

I am thinking about using everyone's $150 OBC on Specialty Dining Packages. However, we have Blu access so I am not sure if I am going to really need to utilize a specialty restaurant more than 1 or 2 nights on the 7 night cruise. The dining package gives you a discount on the regular nightly cover charge for the specialty restaurants. I have seen posts that state discounts to the various cover charges are also offered on the ship. A few questions:

 

 

 

Should I hold off on the package and try and get a discount at Murano while on the ship?

On a 7 night cruise in Blu we would not spend the money for a speciality dining package. You can generally get a discount on the ship- not as much as the package but on a 7 night cruise 1 speciality is plenty. We find the food & service in Blu to be excellent.

 

Because most of my alcohol and beverages are included, where else would I be spending $$$ on the ship? Can I get a glass of wine or two or three at dinner without ordering a bottle of wine? If not, we could order a bottle with dinner and use our OBC. With the Premium beverage package you can get wines by the glass up to $13 per glass- that covers a lot of different wines.

Furthermore, we're not into Spa treatments, photos, or cruise line booked shore excursions.

The OBC can be used for the speciality restaurant, purchases from the shops, bingo, in the casino, fitness classes, hot glass classes, gelato, late night room service, drinks above the $13 limit in addition to the things you are not into.

 

It's my understanding that we are allowed to bring two bottles of wine onboard per stateroom. Can I consume those in my cabin without a corkage fee? Yes

 

Is the corkage fee of $25 in the restaurant still accurate? Yes Does a normally priced $30 bottle of wine cost more than $55 on the ship? Yes, a $30 bottle of wine in your local store will be in the $100 +range.

 

 

What about snacks...Ice cream at the Gelateria ...Latte at the coffee shop...Do they charge you extra for those items? Gelato is a extra charge the lattes & other speciality coffees & teas are included in your beverage package, as are fresh juices, bottled water and cans of soda.

 

 

What about room service...late night snack...breakfast, etc....Do they charge you extra for those items and the service? Room service between 11pm and 6 am has an extra charge $4.95 I believe. Other times room service is no extra charge.

 

 

Lastly, the Go Best package provides Prepaid gratuities. What do these gratuities include? Restaurant staff, room service staff, maid service, bar staff, etc?

. You are correct the prepaid gratuties cover the dining staff & cabin attendant & the beverage package includes the gratuties to the bar staff. We generally tip a few $ if we order room service and if a particular person has provided excellent service we will tip them extra at the end of the cruise.

Enjoy your cruise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another question, while eating at any restaurant can I simply order a glass of wine, beer or a cocktail at no charge thanks to my premium beverage package? I'm sure there are some Super high end cocktails or wines that are not on the package, but for the most part, can I order a glass of zinfandel with din din? Is it designated on a list somehow?

Since you have the premium beverage package you can order any beverage in any of the on board restaurants and bars and it will be covered. If you order a beverage that costs more than your package limit allows you'll only be charged the difference + 18%. You may order as many glass of wine with dinner as you like under your package so unless you are seeking a particular vintage and or variety not available by the glass, there's no need to buy a bottle to enjoy wine with dinner.

 

You can also use your OBC for giving additional gratuities should you wish to tip your waiter, room steward etc. additionally. It can be used in the shops as well. The prepaid gratuities included with your perk package includes gratuities to the dining wait staff, and your room steward. The beverage package includes an 18% gratuity on all drinks, so you won't be charged anything additionally unless you order (we never have had that happen) above your package. If you wish to give an additional tip that's entirely not expected, but appreciated, and is your option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should I hold off on the package and try and get a discount at Murano while on the ship?

Contrarian answer here, Murano is a lovely place to celebrate a special occasion, like an anniversary, if you want this special dinner to be on a particular night, then book ahead. Otherwise I would wait for the shipboard discounts. There are a lot of threads about Blu dining and various strategies to avoid waits. The first night often "everyone" turns up to eat at the same time at Blu, because everyone is anxious to get the cruise going. Therefore Murano often has good discounts for that first night.

Agree to that excursions are everything in Alaska, and they are pricey, so that might be better use of OBC. You can book those in advance using OBC.

 

Because most of my alcohol and beverages are included, where else would I be spending $$$ on the ship? Can I get a glass of wine or two or three at dinner without ordering a bottle of wine? If not, we could order a bottle with dinner and use our OBC.

Furthermore, we're not into Spa treatments, photos, or cruise line booked shore excursions.

We get the Premium package and use it to have a "paired" wine with dinner - perhaps a Kir Royale as an apertif, then white with first course, red with entree, etc. It is hard to plan the wines ahead of time, because unlike beer and cocktails, the ship doesn't always know exactly what it will have in time to advertise on the website - sounds wrong, but they might not be able to source enough cases of a particular year to do that.

Again, Alaska is all about the shore excursions - it would n't be the same if you didn't whale watch, or salmon fish or drive a dogsled on a glacier or take the float plane to the icy lake.

It's my understanding that we are allowed to bring two bottles of wine onboard per stateroom. Can I consume those in my cabin without a corkage fee? Is the corkage fee of $25 in the restaurant still accurate? Does a normally priced $30 bottle of wine cost more than $55 on the ship?

Can check those fees on the website under beverages I think. We took one bottle on our last cruise and with the beverage package ended up drinking it too fast the last day. LOL, when we pulled out our suitcases to pack the last night, I heard something clink in the box under the bed where the life vests are kept. Lo and behold, the last guests had stored their 2 bottles of wine in the life vest box and not only had they forgotten the, but the stewards hadn't found them and neither did we until too late to do anything. We just slid the box back under the bed. All that to say, as with coffee in the am, one person can take both cards to nearest bar and stock up for the getting ready time. With premium you also get I think about 20% off a bottle, that might be easier...although you may have to drink that in the dining room

 

What about snacks...Ice cream at the Gelateria ...Latte at the coffee shop...Do they charge you extra for those items?

Latte no, gelato yes, except one free for Captains Club, I think

 

What about room service...late night snack...breakfast, etc....Do they charge you extra for those items and the service?

I think they charge for the middle of the night, not regular meal hours.

 

Lastly, the Go Best package provides Prepaid gratuities. What do these gratuities include? Restaurant staff, room service staff, maid service, bar staff, etc?

 

Yes. we usually add a little on the side for excellent and personal service, sometimes halfway through the cruise. But no more tracking everyone down, and trying to remember who the maitre d' was,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also remember that your beverage package also includes cappuccino and other specialty coffees ordered in any of the dining rooms or specialty restaurants as well as pre and post dinner drinks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blu is so awesome, we didn't find the need to spend much on specialty dining. We tried QSine the first night and afterward went to Blu and were so satisfied--we didn't get bored.

 

If you're in Alaska, it's hard to imagine not going on excursions to experience the ports. From the White Pass train in Skagway to the glacier viewing in Juneau to the jaw-dropping Misty Fjords in Ketchikan, these are once in a lifetime experiences. Excursions in Alaska are expensive, but I'll never forget these memories. Of course, everyone expects different things from their cruise, but Alaska is a magical place, and most of it can't be seen just walking around in port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from an earlier post:

 

 

"Now that there are so many programs in place giving non-refundable OBC, and we can no longer take this out of the casino in cash, I have come up with this list of things to spend OBC on, since we see so many questions about this onCruise Critic:

 

I'll make the list alphabetical, so it will be easy to add any items I have forgotten.

 

Acupuncture

Airport transfers

Alcove rental (some ships)

Apple products and Ilounge classes

Art Auctions

Beverages -- Alcoholic, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas, bottled water

Bingo

Bottles of wine

Casino

Duty free liquor and cigarettes

Fitness classes

Flowers

Gelato

Gift shop

Gratuities and extra gratuities

Hair and nail salon

Internet

Laundry/pressing/drycleaning

Luggage Valet

Medical Center

Mini bar

Shore Excursions

Pay-per-view movies

Photos & cameras

Room service up charge items & late night delivery

Shore Excursions

Shuttle to town (some ports)

Spa -- massages and treatments

Specialty restaurants

Teeth Whitening

Voyage in Review DVD

Wine and liquor tastings

Zumba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely look into non-ship excursions...but if you have the credit, some of the ones you can book directly are also the exact same ones as those you book through Celebrity. You may save a few bucks if you were doing it out of pocket, but using the OBC works too. We did one amazing excursion in Alaska booked directly with the tour operator - that had people from our ship and from a Carnival cruise that had paid slightly more on it.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another suggestion: If you really like a particular wine and want to purchase the bottle, with the premium beverage package you receive 20% off each bottle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Celebrity uses the wording “access to Blu” which is misleading. Blu is your assigned dining room, you do NOT have an assigned seat in the Main Dining Room. You may eat there but only in the Select area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spend my onboard credit in the Apple store. Last cruise I got bluetooth headphones, almost bought the bluetooth speaker. Then I used the leftover for screen protectors for Ipad an Iphones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the Catmaran excursion off the ship, best excursion we were ever on, highly recommend it.

 

Just a quick point but the drink package can be used everywhere on the ship except room service and the little fridge in your room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't thank you all enough for your insight. This info has been extremely helpful. I'll definitely share some posts during the trip. We're extremely excited

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×