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johno1234

11 Night Ultimate Caribbean on Reflection - Specialty Dining Packages... should we?

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Hi all,

 

I am thinking I should get a 3 or 4 night package for the two of us. Have heard comments that if you pre-buy this through the cruise planner you can experience negatives including:

- You get a different menu than if you just booked and charged it up onboard.

- You can get just as good or better discounts onboard anyway

- You risk being unable to get a reservation to fully use the package up.

 

Is the above all baloney or not?

 

I would hope to use the package over the four sea days - as will probably be tuckered out by the end of each port day.

 

Any comments or recommendations?

 

Thanks

 

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We loved the choice of restaurants on Reflection.

 

When we were on board the two busiest restaurants were Murano and Lawn Grill which by mid cruise only had very late slots left....

 

We now have speciality dining included with our room but prior to that we always booked a package. No menu differences. 

 

On boarding we would head for one of the speciality stands (outside Oceanview) and book all our dining for the cruise. We only ever were refused one requested time slot and that was because of a large party in Tuscan and they still fit us in just earlier. The fact you want to book all sea days could restrict you a bit as lots of guests like speciality dining for chic nights which are usually sea days and others (like ourselves) like Murano’s on a sea day when we are rested and fresh. You could need to adjust your preferred time or day if pre cruise booking has been high by guests booking online (no discounts) and higher suite guests who will have booked through the shoreside concierge. If you do all your bookings on boarding you should get all restaurants even if you need to compromise a bit on time/day.

 

Deals are offered on board, over the years we possibly could have saved a few $ by haggling. On our Reflection cruise it was Tuscan and LPC offering discounts but Murano’s didn’t offer any and Lawn Grill only for very late seating...Personally we were always happy with the guaranteed discount on a package.

 

We loved the Porch on sea day lunchtimes. It wasn’t busy and we believe discounts were offered. Not financially worth spending your package deal on.

 

So in summary, decide where you want to dine and when, see someone immediately on boarding and you should be fine or be able to book everything with just small timing adjustments. 

 

Hope you have a fantastic cruise.

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Next Q: If you add a dining package in the cruise planner, say 3 days, it asks you for a time slot on day 1 of the voyage. That doesn't make sense... unless you are forced to use it on day 1?

 

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We are thinking of booking this same package, for the same trip!  I understood that you are automatically booked for the first night but when you board you can change that to another night?  Also if you book this package do you only book the other nights once on-board and not beforehand?

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When you go to your room after boarding there will be a card indicating your first dining reservation restaurant and time. This will be for day one or two of your cruise. If you don’t like it either go to the speciality restaurants stand or to any of the speciality restaurants and they will sort it for you.

 

I think you will find that one of the conditions of your package booking is that one of your speciality meals should be first or second night. This, I guess, is the compromise you make for the discount received. We have never asked them if we can ‘swap’ out of this agreement so I can’t comment on how successful you might be. 

 

Personally, we find the first night is great for a speciality restaurant. Firstly, the general dining rooms do not know their guests preferences for water, drink packages and new to Celebrity guests may ask lots of questions...Service, despite the waiters and sommeliers trying their hardest will be sloooooow. In a speciality restaurant, however, service will flow and a special meal in a special venue ‘kick starts’ the holiday. We always book Tuscan first night....Nothing like looking out of those fantastic windows at the wake view, real life fading into the distance and knowing that you have your full cruise ahead of you...

Edited by chemmo

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1 hour ago, matj1986 said:

We are thinking of booking this same package, for the same trip!  I understood that you are automatically booked for the first night but when you board you can change that to another night?  Also if you book this package do you only book the other nights once on-board and not beforehand?

 

See above re first/second night then book the rest once on board, do not wait until later in the cruise, book on boarding so you have a better chance of the days and times you prefer.

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6 hours ago, johno1234 said:

Hi all,

 

I am thinking I should get a 3 or 4 night package for the two of us. Have heard comments that if you pre-buy this through the cruise planner you can experience negatives including:

- You get a different menu than if you just booked and charged it up onboard.

- You can get just as good or better discounts onboard anyway

- You risk being unable to get a reservation to fully use the package up.

 

Is the above all baloney or not?

 

I would hope to use the package over the four sea days - as will probably be tuckered out by the end of each port day.

 

Any comments or recommendations?

 

Thanks

 

1: BALONEY - the menus DO NOT change.

2. You MAY get a discount onboard, maybe not. The package is a sure thing.

calculate your price per dinner with a package, the average on-board discount is 30% sometimes reaching 50% and it is rare to get a discount in Murano.

3. Make your reservations as soon as you board and you’ll almost certainly get your times, and restaurants. The risk of not using it all is extremely low.

 

We just bought one for our next cruise and the cost equals $26 a night. I am unlikely to get that good a discount onboard so it worked for us. Ymmv as they say.

The most likely discount is Qsine, Tuscan, and sometimes sushi on 5, sometimes not.

The least likely is Murano and The porch.

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47 minutes ago, justcrusn said:

1: BALONEY - the menus DO NOT change.

2. You MAY get a discount onboard, maybe not. The package is a sure thing.

calculate your price per dinner with a package, the average on-board discount is 30% sometimes reaching 50% and it is rare to get a discount in Murano.

3. Make your reservations as soon as you board and you’ll almost certainly get your times, and restaurants. The risk of not using it all is extremely low.

 

We just bought one for our next cruise and the cost equals $26 a night. I am unlikely to get that good a discount onboard so it worked for us. Ymmv as they say.

The most likely discount is Qsine, Tuscan, and sometimes sushi on 5, sometimes not.

The least likely is Murano and The porch.

On our 2016 Scandinavian cruise got a discount at Muranos for 40% off. Booked same day. Granted it took a bit of haggling but was approved. On an earlier cruise that same year received 50 off at Tuscan Grill.  That was the only specialty dinners we've ever done.

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You are not required to use one of your dinners on the first or 2nd night; that changed awhile ago.  The not so spiffy Celebrity IT system still requires a night and time selection to process the transaction.  We have purchased dining packages 3 times in the past year but once on the ship never had a assigned reservation for the first or second night.

 

In fact in the Cruise Planner they now offer a discount on dining in the speciality restaurants on the first night, you book and pay and pick your dining time. So the speciality restaurants are being filled on the night by these reservations.  

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4 hours ago, jelayne said:

You are not required to use one of your dinners on the first or 2nd night; that changed awhile ago.  The not so spiffy Celebrity IT system still requires a night and time selection to process the transaction.  We have purchased dining packages 3 times in the past year but once on the ship never had a assigned reservation for the first or second night.

 

In fact in the Cruise Planner they now offer a discount on dining in the speciality restaurants on the first night, you book and pay and pick your dining time. So the speciality restaurants are being filled on the night by these reservations.  

 

Ok that's good. Was thinking about grabbing a 1st night discount but it's cheaper to add one extra day to your package (~$20) so realised that didn't make any sense! 🛳️

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Do not book until you are on the ship. We got 50% off at Tuscan on the 2nd night. Everyday there were restaurant reps outside the buffet offering discounts at all the specialty restaurants.  You can also request a % that you name.  Often, if bookings are low, you can get a table at a big discount.  The MDR is good.  Menus change daily. Specialty restaurants have fixed menus.  I enjoy a variety of choices. It would be better if Celebrity restaurants offered a variety of menus. It would be more interesting.

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The 4-night package averages out at $37.25 which is an ok discount, but the 3-night at an average of $43 is probably not worth bothering with unless you intend to eat all three dinners in Murano.

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On 2/26/2019 at 4:43 AM, johno1234 said:

Hi all,

 

I am thinking I should get a 3 or 4 night package for the two of us. Have heard comments that if you pre-buy this through the cruise planner you can experience negatives including:

- You get a different menu than if you just booked and charged it up onboard.

- You can get just as good or better discounts onboard anyway

- You risk being unable to get a reservation to fully use the package up.

 

Is the above all baloney or not?

 

I would hope to use the package over the four sea days - as will probably be tuckered out by the end of each port day.

 

Any comments or recommendations?

 

Thanks

 

Yes, it’s baloney

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22 hours ago, Redtravel said:

Do not book until you are on the ship. We got 50% off at Tuscan on the 2nd night. Everyday there were restaurant reps outside the buffet offering discounts at all the specialty restaurants.  You can also request a % that you name.  Often, if bookings are low, you can get a table at a big discount.  The MDR is good.  Menus change daily. Specialty restaurants have fixed menus.  I enjoy a variety of choices. It would be better if Celebrity restaurants offered a variety of menus. It would be more interesting.

Don’t agree, if you want Murano three or four times you won’t save money waiting. Second half of the cruise you won’t always be able to get a discount.

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Depends on the cruise. On my last few cruises, you could get discount any night. I take longer cruises. On a week cruise, you may be right. 

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