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TBetti

1st Night Suite Comp dinner

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Has anyone gone on line and made a reservation and paid for it and then later went to the pursers office and had the money credited back to their ship board acct

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I am not a suite lifer, but for all my recent cruises the personalizer does not take specialty restaurant reservations for embarkation day. Have you actually checked that you can make one?

 

If you are in a full suite my understanding is that you can either stop by the restaurant or call the dine line from your suite (calls from suites go to the front of the queue) and you will get the time you wish. The restaurants are essentially reserved for you and there are plenty of tables to cover the 150 or so passengers entitled to this perk.

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On CP - Dine line only - no one was at the restaurant to take reservations. Choices were either early or late - noticed several folks came on their time.

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Been in 2 suites over 35 cruises and first night just showed up at Sabatini's and ate - no charge no fuss

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there are 14 of us, all but 2 are in suites, I know about the dine line, but with this large of a group, I wanted to be assured of a time of not 5:00 pm and not 9:00 pm I know you can only pay for reservations on the my princess web page. I just was wondering if you made the reservation on my princess, how hard would it be to get them to credit your on board account, being the 1st night is complimentary.

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there are 14 of us, all but 2 are in suites, I know about the dine line, but with this large of a group, I wanted to be assured of a time of not 5:00 pm and not 9:00 pm I know you can only pay for reservations on the my princess web page. I just was wondering if you made the reservation on my princess, how hard would it be to get them to credit your on board account, being the 1st night is complimentary.

 

again...have you actually looked in your Cruise Personalizer to see if it is possible to make a reservation for embarkation night? Your question re paying and then securing a refund is probably moot as they do not normally take advance reservations for that night--it is first come first served for suite passengers.

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There was no way to make a reservation for the first night on the Caribbean Princess for our April sailing. After boarding, I tried to call the DINE line and got a recording that essentially said "we are very busy so we are not taking reservations, call us tomorrow." So, I went to the restaurant to find no one there. Then I went to the Suite line at Passenger Services where the dude told me that the information was in a letter in my room. Back to room--no letter (it came on day 3 after I talked to steward). Back to Passenger Services where same dude made a phone call and said that we could choose 5:30 or 7:30. We took 7:30. No problems at all when we arrived for dinner.

 

After that run around, I started on the mini-bar trade out....at least that one took only 2 phone calls.

 

Reality--there has to be an easier way!

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I agree with you, they never answer the dine line as there is a lot of confusion the first day. I was just trying to go around the situation and pay and then try to get credit. Wondering if anyone had tried that. We have been on many cruises, most all of the time in full suites, and it is always a problem the first night. I think princess should rethink their policy.

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The good thing about having a suite on the Royal was letting the concierge make the reservations for us. I don't know if he has a special number to call other than the regular Dine Line, but he got through right away.

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I am not a suite lifer, but for all my recent cruises the personalizer does not take specialty restaurant reservations for embarkation day. Have you actually checked that you can make one?

 

If you are in a full suite my understanding is that you can either stop by the restaurant or call the dine line from your suite (calls from suites go to the front of the queue) and you will get the time you wish. The restaurants are essentially reserved for you and there are plenty of tables to cover the 150 or so passengers entitled to this perk.

 

150 or so? Which ship has 75, or a few less, suites.....:confused:

 

Bob

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150 or so? Which ship has 75, or a few less, suites.....:confused:

 

Bob

 

OK so I overestimated. Better for the OP that the number is even lower. Hopefully they will at some point wrap their head around the fact that it is impossible to make reservations for embarkation night in advance--but have absolutely no reason to worry about their party being accommodated.

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Also seeking first night reservations once boarding the ship will be those with the TA coupon book which has a BOGO coupon for a specialty restaurant good the first night only.

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No I haven’t done that since I didn’t think Princess would refund my money. Sabatini’s was not busy at all when we were there for dinner and for breakfast. Crown grill was a bit busier though. We had no issues getting in at either.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I'm boarding the Crown in about 3 weeks, am in a suite, have "Complimentary specialty dining dinner on embarkation evening". I hadn't considered reserving this for the embarkation evening until I read this thread. Just checked the Princess site, looks like reservations can be made for the embarkation evening - 3 times are available, but 3 seem available on all evenings, so maybe they always have 3 times (5:30, 7:30 and 9:30). Don't think I'll bother reserving and then looking for a refund...might call Princess.

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Posted (edited)
OK so I overestimated. Better for the OP that the number is even lower. Hopefully they will at some point wrap their head around the fact that it is impossible to make reservations for embarkation night in advance--but have absolutely no reason to worry about their party being accommodated.

 

Ok, you make a very good point:). Another point to consider is the ease of switching the dinner, as we have done on numerous occasions, to a day or two after embarkation.....:):):)

 

Bob

Edited by Woobstr112G

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I just looked at the cruise personalizer for our October Caribbean Princess cruise and can book either speciality restaurant for embarkation night, for one of the three times noted in another posts.

 

 

Not sure I would go to the trouble of booking & cancelling to be sure and get the suite benefit.

 

43291281092_2e85aef66a_o.jpgSR by Cool Runnings, on Flickr

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OK so I overestimated. Better for the OP that the number is even lower. Hopefully they will at some point wrap their head around the fact that it is impossible to make reservations for embarkation night in advance--but have absolutely no reason to worry about their party being accommodated.

Not impossible. I currently have reservations on two Princess ships for embarkation evening. They were booked through the personalizer. I checked three other booked cruises, and they all would allow me to book and pay for embarkation night, and had three different times available. I have done this before and never had any issues.

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Maybe I’m missing something here (and I usually am), but the implication, I think, is when you make reservations via your personalizer ahead of time, you have to pay via your credit card. These embarkation day dinners with the coupon book are BOGO...so how do you go about getting one dinner refunded?

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Maybe I’m missing something here (and I usually am), but the implication, I think, is when you make reservations via your personalizer ahead of time, you have to pay via your credit card. These embarkation day dinners with the coupon book are BOGO...so how do you go about getting one dinner refunded?

You don't. If you book in advance, you'll pay (if they are even accepting first evening reservations). To use either the suite perk or the BOGO coupon, you have to book on board. You will be given a slot with the suite perk. I don't know if that is a guarantee with the coupon.

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seems like we all have different experiences with first night specialty dining. We were in suite last year on emerald. After we boarded I walked to crown grill and the Matre D was standing there. He said all times were open. We booked a 5:30 slot. Piece of cake. I plan on doing same thing next Feb for our cruise on Caribbean Princess

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seems like we all have different experiences with first night specialty dining. We were in suite last year on emerald. After we boarded I walked to crown grill and the Matre D was standing there. He said all times were open. We booked a 5:30 slot. Piece of cake. I plan on doing same thing next Feb for our cruise on Caribbean Princess

When we went over to the Crown Grill on the Caribbean Princess, it looked like someone had just stepped away from the door. The doors were open and we actually walked in and looked around. We didn't generate any attention, even when I called out, so after maybe 5 minutes we gave up.

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Best experience ever. Just walked into my cabin. Somebody called me to ask when I would like (suite) dinner reservations for. Never happened again.

 

Do call from your room and not from lobby phones. Your suite number appears on the DINE line...usually they will answer the call.

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seems like we all have different experiences with first night specialty dining. We were in suite last year on emerald. After we boarded I walked to crown grill and the Matre D was standing there. He said all times were open. We booked a 5:30 slot. Piece of cake. I plan on doing same thing next Feb for our cruise on Caribbean Princess

 

Last year Princess did not allow booking specialty restaurants in advance, so there was no way it could have been full before you boarded back then.

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Thanks for your input, but we shall see with a party of 14. I will go to the restaurant or the suite line at the pursers office as soon as I board the ship and try to get the reservation. As I said in the previous post they DON'T answer the dine line number. It can ring off the hook. So I guess going in person is the only way. Yes I know they leave a card in the room. Have yet to ever have them call me. Have probably been in suites 10 times or more. Suite perks are going down the drain!

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Do call from your room and not from lobby phones. Your suite number appears on the DINE line...usually they will answer the call.

They didn't answer our call on April 1. They had a recording on that basically said, "We're busy, call back tomorrow." That obviously wouldn't work for dinner "tonight."

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Good luck, Betti. I'm sure you will have a great cruise.

 

I am going to dispute this comment, though.

 

 

As I said in the previous post they DON'T answer the dine line number. It can ring off the hook.

 

I cannot dispute your experience, but when you make such unequivocal statements on Cruise Critics, there are people that actually believe it. After all, they read it on the internet. So, it must be true.

 

I have never had that experience. We often make dining reservations from our cabin for embarkation evening--and, usually, while I'm on the phone I make one for the other restaurant for the next evening. I have had cases where I had to listen to some awful music, but there has always been an answer. If, I am on hold for a few minutes. it's really no big deal. Mrs. XBGuy is usually futzing around the cabin. So, I'm waiting for her anyway. I will confess, that there was one occasion where I think I held for, perhaps, 10 minutes. My life was fine.

 

One thing that is consistent about the dining experience at Princess is that it is inconsistent. So, yes, perhaps on the ships that you were on, and the staff that were on those ships, and, unfortunately, your experience was poor.

 

Here is another thing. Many people here on Cruise Critic report that they just go to the Specialty Restaurants on embarkation day and make reservations. I have, in fact, done that, also. However, I have also visited them, found a person standing at the desk, and, when I asked if I could make a dinner reservation, I was told to call the DINE line.

 

There have been times when I've walked by a restaurant on embarkation afternoon, and there was nobody there.

 

I once asked a person at the desk of the Crown Grill on embarkation day if I could make a reservation for the next day. The answer was that I couldn't because they were all booked up. I called the DINE line and made a reservation. No problem,

 

It's unfortunate that passengers' Princess experience is so inconsistent. We all like the prices of the mass market cruise lines. Those kinds of inconsistencies are one of the trade-offs.

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Yes, I will agree with you, service is inconsistent, most of the time it fine, obviously we are not on Silver Seas, or any one of the high end lines. I do think they have cut down on the personnel/staff, could be just my imagination, but that is the way I felt the last time we cruised. But all and all Princess is Princess and you know exactly what to expect, as at least all of the older ships are very similar.

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The good thing about having a suite on the Royal was letting the concierge make the reservations for us. I don't know if he has a special number to call other than the regular Dine Line, but he got through right away.

 

This has been our experience on the Regal and Royal too.....no problem and concierge handles everything....:)

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I can only speak from our own experiences, as only stayed in four suites the past two years. Twice on the Coral, once on the Emerald and most previously the Caribbean. We usually are on board right around noon, and unpacking for the next hour or so. Every time, they have called us while we were in the room, and booked our reservations for that night, along with wanting to know if there are any other nights we would like to book at the same time.

 

 

We use to see someone standing outside the restaurants on our first couple of cruises and did book once or twice, although I have not seen that on the last couple of cruises.

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Best experience ever. Just walked into my cabin. Somebody called me to ask when I would like (suite) dinner reservations for. Never happened again.

 

Do call from your room and not from lobby phones. Your suite number appears on the DINE line...usually they will answer the call.

Yes. We have had this happen and we have also had our reservations listed on a piece of paper for us. One of the first things we do after our Steward leaves is we call the dine line and change our reservation to a different night. Could that be an option for you? As many other people mentioned, the coupon book make that night very busy. I know their intention is never to fill up the restaurant but there is always a ton of tables available.

 

On our last cruise we did not end up in the main dining room till the 3rd night because we had a terrible chest cold that we got during the land portion of our vacation. So we got pizza and then the next night went to the crown Grill. and they were super confused of where we had been LOL. So this year I'm going to make sure we are there on the first night. But we love the crown Grill so much that we sometimes pay for it a second night even though we get it free one time. That makes me want to use that coupon on the first night and then our complimentary night a different one. The crown Grill is so good!

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Last year Princess did not allow booking specialty restaurants in advance, so there was no way it could have been full before you boarded back then.

 

Caribill, isn't first night in Crown Grill reserved just for suite guests and those who received a perk from their travel agent or Princess?

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Caribill, isn't first night in Crown Grill reserved just for suite guests and those who received a perk from their travel agent or Princess?

I don't think it is reserved "just for" those people. Those people do get a comp or discounted rate on the first night and are basically promised a reservation. When we were in the Crown Grill on night 1, there were only 4 tables occupied...unless there were a lot of tables that we couldn't see. There were many empty tables. Our time was 7:30.

 

People in suites or with a perk do need to make a time reservation, so the CG will have an idea as to how many spots might be open. I don't see why open tables wouldn't be made available to others.

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There is some confusion to my original comment. When I went to Crown Grill after boarding the Matre'D said dining times were wide open; to me this meant we could have any time slot we wanted; not that there were no one dining on first night. Sorry for any confusion.

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