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krob90189

Celebrity Specialty Dining

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Hello all, first timer with the first of probably many dumb questions. Travelling next summer to the Mediterranean on Reflection for 12 days. Wondering if it is better to book a package of the specialty dining before or after arriving. Was reading that crew offer 2 for 1's and other discounts once you arrive on ship. What's the better deal ?

Thanks in advance

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If you are particular about what day and time you dine you are probably better off with a package. 50% off does happen on board, but rarely and if it does, it's probably on first night or on restaurants that are less booked. The more average discounts are 20-35%, which is what can be gotten on the packages. Reflection has lots of specialty options, our favorite being Murano and Lawn Club. We don't care for Tuscan and DH doesn't like sushi, so Sushi on 5 is out. Le Petite Chef at Qsine appeals to some and not to others. You can google it and see the production video on YouTube and decide for yourself. The Porch, as far as we're concerned is more appealing for lunch than for dinner.  If you're willing to dine later you may do as well with waiting, but if you want the prime times go with a package. We've only had one sailing (on Eclipse) where there were no discounts offered on board.

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On 11/6/2018 at 10:44 PM, krob90189 said:

Hello all, first timer with the first of probably many dumb questions. Travelling next summer to the Mediterranean on Reflection for 12 days. Wondering if it is better to book a package of the specialty dining before or after arriving. Was reading that crew offer 2 for 1's and other discounts once you arrive on ship. What's the better deal ?

Thanks in advance

If you haven't been before why bother with speciality dining? The food on the ship which you have already paid for is excellent and really varied. Speciality dining is not necessary, spend your money on excursions and dine out at home. The cost of speciality dining is now ridiculous as are the drinks packages. If you want a drink though it is best to get the package as they really rip you off if buying ad hoc on the ship. That's my opinion of course. Be prepared to be pestered on the ship about speciality dining as they really push it.

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We quite enjoy the speciality restaurants especially when we are not travelling in a group just me and hubby . The main dinning room can be very hectic at times and I notice it more when we are not in a group . So I really like the ambience of the specialty restaurants.

When to buy - each cruise is different. We have been on 7 days and they are pretty much booked up before we board and some offer no specials to speak of. 

Generally night one is reduced the most but depending on their sales you may or may not see much more worth waiting for . We find the 4 night package that we pre book on line is generally the best savings .

When you board the ship go immediately to the speciality table that is set up and tweak whatever your selections are . They will do their best to accommodate your wishes . Whatever you choose - enjoy ! 

Brockmom

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Just off the Solstice. If you only go to one Speciality Rest make sure you go to Murano absolutely fabulous and very special.  Book now if you can as after the 1st day on our cruise it was booked out and we could only go once.  I would have loved to have gone again though we just couldn't get it.  Our cruise was out of Sydney 9 nights South Pacific and it was amazing.  The staff the cruisers we had such a great time.  We also had the Premium drink package and it was well worth it for us and I bet they put the prices up for Aussie cruises now LOL.  The World Class bar has some spectacular drinks though only the Premium package fully covered them.  The food everywhere was great though Murano like I said is special.  Get dressed up and go.  We did the Tuscan and the Chinese they were OK though I wouldn't bother with them again.  I will spend all my OBC in Murano.  I had the Sole and Strawberry Crepe Rod had the Pork Belly and said it was spot on and he had a meat dish sorry can't remember what it was though I so wish I could go back to have the Souffle.  I would definately sail with Celebrity again it was a fantastic trip.

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On 11/6/2018 at 10:44 PM, krob90189 said:

Hello all, first timer with the first of probably many dumb questions. Travelling next summer to the Mediterranean on Reflection for 12 days. Wondering if it is better to book a package of the specialty dining before or after arriving. Was reading that crew offer 2 for 1's and other discounts once you arrive on ship. What's the better deal ?

Thanks in advance

Onboard discounts of 2 for 1 seldom happens these days, the best is probably 30% off.  Check your Cruise Planner, the prices of all Specialty Dining Packages has been increased this week by 13-21% due to their popularity.

 

As too when to book, you say you are travelling to the Med next summer - I would definitely book pre-cruise then you will avoid the EU Value Added Tax which will add an extra 10% to all Specialty Dining reservations when booked aboard.

(if Gibraltar is on your itinerary the VAT will not apply)

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One thing that may affect when you purchase is the Itinerary.   If all of your ports are in EC Countries all purchases on board the ship will be charged 22% VAT while purchases  made in advance are duty free.   Check the list of countries as there are a couple that always throw me e.g. Croatia is EC while Montenegro is not.

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2 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

Check the list of countries as there are a couple that always throw me e.g. Croatia is EC while Montenegro is not.

 

Celebrity Reflection has only 2 Mediterranean cruises next summer the rest are outside of the Med.

The 18th Sept cruise is OK  - No VAT will be charged as Gibraltar is on the itinerary whilst the 30th. Sept cruise definitely will have the VAT imposed for all purchases whilst onboard. The rate will range from 10 to 22% - specialty restaurants will incur the 10% rate added to the higher Celebrity package rates.

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On 11/6/2018 at 5:55 PM, Luvcrusn said:

If you are particular about what day and time you dine you are probably better off with a package. 50% off does happen on board, but rarely and if it does, it's probably on first night or on restaurants that are less booked. The more average discounts are 20-35%, which is what can be gotten on the packages. Reflection has lots of specialty options, our favorite being Murano and Lawn Club. We don't care for Tuscan and DH doesn't like sushi, so Sushi on 5 is out. Le Petite Chef at Qsine appeals to some and not to others. You can google it and see the production video on YouTube and decide for yourself. The Porch, as far as we're concerned is more appealing for lunch than for dinner.  If you're willing to dine later you may do as well with waiting, but if you want the prime times go with a package. We've only had one sailing (on Eclipse) where there were no discounts offered on board.

With the recent increase in package prices (3-N for $129 average $43/N and 4-N for $149 average $37.25/N) the package discounts are much lower. For example, with the 3-N the discount is only 4.5% at Tuscan Grille and 14% at Murano. Luckily I got the 4-N at the old prices for our next cruise.

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18 minutes ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

With the recent increase in package prices (3-N for $129 average $43/N and 4-N for $149 average $37.25/N) the package discounts are much lower. For example, with the 3-N the discount is only 4.5% at Tuscan Grille and 14% at Murano. Luckily I got the 4-N at the old prices for our next cruise.

I would expect to see the prices of the speciality restaurants increase.  LPC is $55 and is a gimmick so can’t imagine Murano will stay at $50 or Tuscan at $45.

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We did the Med on the Reflection last month. 10 nights, all EU and we had a lot of OBC so I pre-purchased a 4 night package. As soon as we got on the ship I went right to Murano to see what I had been assigned for the first night and what I could get for the other three. One note, Mrs. Click is allergic to all fish, sea food and basicly anything that ever swam so some of the options do not work for us... anyway, I was told they had nothing for us for night one but could "fit us in" at really crappy times and the rest of the cruise was the same. From Murano I visited guest relations and they tried to help but it was the same deal so I canceled the package, Mrs got to some some spa stuff for her hair on the sea days and I bought a GoPro.....We did make it to the The Tuscan Grill once with some help from our Captains Club hostess and we did enjoy it.  I wish the package had worked, we were looking forward to something different but the different we ended up with was some great, late lunches off the ship with new friends and late visits to the buffet for a nice snack rather than dinner.  My advice, if it is your first cruise, just go and enjoy the MDR, it really is pretty nice, good service, good food, good variety and a whole lot cheaper.

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We usually get the dining package - number of nights depends on length of cruise.  However, our last cruise on Constellation only had Qsine and Tuscan Grille and Sushi on 5.  Qsine is not a favorite so even getting the 3 dinner package did not seem like a deal so we asked for discount at Tuscan(30%) and went to Sushi on 5 twice(asked for discount each time and got 20% costing us $29 and $32 total for 2) so it cost us  just under $100.  We definitely have the specialty dining package on the upcoming Edge cruise.  I have never been refused a discount as long as we are flexible on day and time.  It is not a great savings but in this case I would have felt to get full benefit I would have had to go to Qsine or Tuscan twice.

 

It is always fun eat in a different restaurant once in awhile instead of main dining.  However, Edge has made that unnecessary as they have 4 main dining rooms with a few different selections on the menu in each dining room.

 

My suggestion for specialty dining would be to look at restaurant choices, know your flexibility and see how it goes.  Have been surprised how easy it was to get discounts. 

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We ate at Tuscan Grill and Qsine and liked the food at both. Qsine had the cool factor with le Petit Chef. We absolutely loved it. Each animation was so fun to watch. You really have to see it in person. We will definitely go and see it again.

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Is it possible to make e-mail reservations for specific restaurants/times prior to boarding ?

If so where can I find appropriate e-mail address ?

Many thanks

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My experience of the dining package a few weeks ago on Eclipse  has put me off having it again, despite enjoying all of the dining.  Luckily we like to eat early, but even so had our work cut out getting reservations we wanted when we wanted them - and we went straight to the booking podium before 1 pm on embarkation day.  For instance, the only Sea day with any availability at all (and we had 4) was the final night on board.  The rest were already fully booked, presumably at full price.

 

In response to Limpit, I do not believe it is possible to pre-book with a package but I’ll be delighted to be wrong.

 

For my future cruises I have booked a speciality restaurant at the discounted first night price and if there are any offers we may book others.  However we have always been happy with the food in the MDR - if only it weren’t quite so noisy and tables so close together!

Edited by mrsgoggins

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I recommend Qsine and Murano. Our group has some real sticklers in it when it comes to food and both places exceeded our expectations. The service was great. The show at Qsine with Le Petit Chef was a special treat. We really enjoyed it.

Edited by JackB60

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My wife and I are aboard the Silhouette 15-night TA right now. Months before sailing, Celebrity had a very good sale on 6-night specialty dining packages, and we each bought one, for a couple of reasons. First, on a cruise this long, we like to have some variety in where we dine. Also, when we were last aboard the Silhouette (four years ago), we really enjoyed most of the specialty venues, especially Tuscan and the Lawn Club. 

 

Now that we are well into the cruise, I will say that we regret having bought that package, for two reasons. Some of the specialty venues, in our opinion, have gone  downhill, and the food and service in the MDR (we have select dining) have been excellent.

 

We had dinner at Tuscan early on during this cruise, and it was a huge disappointment. The service was very poor (we were either ignored or rushed), and the food was mediocre. We’d planned on eating dinner there again, and cancelled those reservations. Murano was excellent, but it’s the kind of dining we can only do once a cruise. Lawn Club has been tough because our crossing was windy and chilly. We did finally eat there, and there were only two other people having dinner. It’s kind of creepy to eat in an empty restaurant, and the food was not as good as on our last trip. We have another reservation there after we leave Bermuda; perhaps it will be warmer. We had one dinner in Sushi on Five. It was good, but this place too was empty and we just don’t like that vibe in a restaurant.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Turtles06,

Murano’s has several different excellent options for dinner that can be enjoyed over 15 days, but it obviously your choice.  If I had a six dinner package over 15 days, I would go to Murano’s three times.

 

We do understand your point.  On our recent Solstice 18 day cruise, we had an unlimited specialty dining package.  We chose to dine in Luminae about 50% of the time.

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I agree. Murano and Qsine were our top choices for specialty. It's nice to have a change from the MDR a few nights. The food was top notch in both. Le Petit Chef at Qsine was really cool. Great concept and a lot of fun to watch.

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