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Changes in Specialty Dining


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Hi All,

We have a cruise booked on Symphony in October and it seems like every time I log into the cruise planner, there's another change in the Specialty Dining.  Has anyone else had that happen?  I'm sure they are trying to push their new unlimited package but first they eliminated the BOGO for the first two nights (which was a much higher price than the last two times we've done it).  Then they added a three night package which I am really considering doing as we are celebrating two birthdays while we are on board and definitely want to try Wonderland again.  We ate there on Anthem OTS and it was a really fun experience.  A few days ago it was $89pp for the three nights and now it's $99 and they put a banner on it saying that it's on sale now.  I really dislike the fact that we have to pay up front for two children in our group as one will be 100% free because she's four and my son will only be charged 50% as he's 11.  While no one likes to spend $200 that they don't have to, the bigger pain is that it will require a visit to Guest Services where I'll have to show them a copy in writing stating that they need to refund $150 to me and it might take more than one trip there.  Since we don't sail until October, I don't know if I should expect more changes or higher pricing.  Just wondering what the pricing is for the three night package on other sailings.  I guess if I book now at $99 but it goes back to $89 we can cancel and rebook, correct?  There's also a Chops + 1 but that price is pretty high too - $75 I believe.  I know this is first world problems and no one is forcing me to book specialty dining.  Just looking into options and opinions.  Thanks all!

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The payment in advance of the 3 night packages or even the UDP package isn't required for anyone under 13.  So, if you decided to do that,  you won't be paying in full for your children and looking for a credit.  The info is in the "fine print" on the cruise planner under the dining package;  therefore, you are not paying $200 in advance and looking for a refund.  By the way the cost isn't half price for your older child, it's $10  IF food is ordered from the child's menu.  That also is on the website and unless the info on there is wrong,  I feel you are worrying needlessly.

 

I do think Royal Caribbean uses some creative math when they show the prices of drink packages or dining packages/reservations.  If I see a price I feel is fair, I book at that and if the price goes down, I know I can cancel and rebook.  

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We were on Symphony last Nov.  The three months before the cruise had packages constantly added, taken away and then returned with prices and sales changing as well.  We had the BOGO and the five night and had no problem getting times and days we needed.  We had Wonderland booked at full price and then once onboard we used a package night as a replacement, the host who made our reservations took care of the refund to our account, no need to go to GS.  A little tip,, the kiosk on the promenade had a long line for specialty reservations, we went up to Wonderland where there was no line and made all our reservations in less then 10 minutes.  I should say my wife made all the reservations, I go wait for her at Trellis Bar. happy cruising

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3 minutes ago, taglovestocruise said:

We were on Symphony last Nov.  The three months before the cruise had packages constantly added, taken away and then returned with prices and sales changing as well.  We had the BOGO and the five night and had no problem getting times and days we needed.  We had Wonderland booked at full price and then once onboard we used a package night as a replacement, the host who made our reservations took care of the refund to our account, no need to go to GS.  A little tip,, the kiosk on the promenade had a long line for specialty reservations, we went up to Wonderland where there was no line and made all our reservations in less then 10 minutes.  I should say my wife made all the reservations, I go wait for her at Trellis Bar. happy cruising

Good tip, thanks for sharing! I'm using the one in my group who stands in line to confirm/make reservations for the specialty dining while everyone else is at the bar drinking. 

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9 hours ago, katiel53 said:

The payment in advance of the 3 night packages or even the UDP package isn't required for anyone under 13.  So, if you decided to do that,  you won't be paying in full for your children and looking for a credit.  The info is in the "fine print" on the cruise planner under the dining package;  therefore, you are not paying $200 in advance and looking for a refund.  By the way the cost isn't half price for your older child, it's $10  IF food is ordered from the child's menu.  That also is on the website and unless the info on there is wrong,  I feel you are worrying needlessly.

 

I do think Royal Caribbean uses some creative math when they show the prices of drink packages or dining packages/reservations.  If I see a price I feel is fair, I book at that and if the price goes down, I know I can cancel and rebook.  

Hi!

Can you show me where you’re seeing that because I can’t find it. I can only find this saying that I will be charged and I was the last two times we did a package like this and then had to chase the refund. Please know that I’m not trying to prove you wrong. I’d like to have the info you’re referring to so maybe I can call and book it a different way. The website is adding it automatically with no way for me to remove it and you can see in the picture below that that is what it says it will do...

Thank you!!

3488D1B1-095A-47CB-AC9E-BC2F5254023A.jpeg

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Just buy the package for the adults. When you get on board, check your reservations and change them to what you want, including changing the party number to 4. They will just charge you the 10 for your son at dinner. We did this on the Allure last month as we were the same way...no way was I buying for 5 and chasing a credit! There was no issues.

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The prices fluctuate I’m finding every few days. I would just keep checking the cruise planner. I see mine is back up to $99 for the 3 night plan on my November cruise. When I debating getting it, it was $99 one day, next day was $89 so I grabbed it! I was mainly worried about them taking away that 3 day package since there have been changes so I wanted to secure it early! 

I can’t comment on the other question, I have 2 teens so they are definitely considered adults. 🤦🏼‍♀️💸

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19 hours ago, Cruisin Around said:

I really dislike the fact that we have to pay up front for two children in our group as one will be 100% free because she's four and my son will only be charged 50% as he's 11.  While no one likes to spend $200 that they don't have to, the bigger pain is that it will require a visit to Guest Services where I'll have to show them a copy in writing stating that they need to refund $150 to me and it might take more than one trip there. 

 

I don't pay for my kid and stand in line to get a refund I am due; just don't pay it and show up with the kids.  The one that qualifies for free won't be charged and the one that qualifies for lower cost will be charged accordingly at the time.  It's not a big deal.  Never had a problem.  Not into chasing my money or going to guest services on a cruise.  

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7 hours ago, moesyk4 said:

Just buy the package for the adults. When you get on board, check your reservations and change them to what you want, including changing the party number to 4. They will just charge you the 10 for your son at dinner. We did this on the Allure last month as we were the same way...no way was I buying for 5 and chasing a credit! There was no issues.

Correctamundo 

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The 3 night dining package has been fluctuating between $89 and $99 for the past 3 months.  I have 10 packages reserved and paid for at $89pp and now need 2 more thus I check prices every day.  Just keep checking.  $89 is the best price I have seen to date.

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34 minutes ago, LMaxwell said:

 

I don't pay for my kid and stand in line to get a refund I am due; just don't pay it and show up with the kids.  The one that qualifies for free won't be charged and the one that qualifies for lower cost will be charged accordingly at the time.  It's not a big deal.  Never had a problem.  Not into chasing my money or going to guest services on a cruise.  

 

Sorry but I would not just assume you can show up with 4 people instead of 2 and still be seated.  If the restaurant is fully booked they will not be able to seat additional people.  I would suggest first changing the number of guests as soon as you board the ship to make sure there will be no issues.

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I must've found a steal on Ovation...I booked the 3-night a few months ago at $69 for the Vancouver to Honolulu cruise in September. Now the 3-night is at $99 and Chops+1 is at $75...absolute insanity! 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks so much for all of your input.  It's nice to hear that even when the price has gone up, it's gone back down again.  I'll keep watching as it's months away.  I'm a little nervous myself about showing up with six people (we'd be dining with my sister's family) but only having a reservation for four.  We've asked at the restaurant before about processing the refund and they told me that I had to go to Guest Services.  Once I had to produce the copy website saying that it was free and reduced for certain ages.  Have great cruises everyone!

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8 minutes ago, cot427 said:

I must've found a steal on Ovation...I booked the 3-night a few months ago at $69 for the Vancouver to Honolulu cruise in September. Now the 3-night is at $99 and Chops+1 is at $75...absolute insanity! 

 

 

 

 

The cheapest our 3 night has been is $89 and now it's $99.  I'll keep watching!  You did get an excellent deal!  The BOGO for the first two nights on ours (which isn't even available now) was almost $60

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It's called Dynamic Pricing.:classic_rolleyes:  When I began looking at tours for the August Anthem cruise to NE/Canada the pricing for a Bar Harbor tour with Lobster Bake was around $83 pp.  Waited too long and it shot up to $99 pp.  Bring it forward and the same tour is back to the original amount.  Called Pre-Cruise Planner Dept. and asked the Agent (Rebecca) to cancel and rebook.  By the way, she says, your Boston tour is also lower.  Bottom line saved $72.  Now just waiting for similar drops in the SR.  I keep looking for price drops on anything.:classic_biggrin:

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9 hours ago, Cruisin Around said:

Hi!

Can you show me where you’re seeing that because I can’t find it. I can only find this saying that I will be charged and I was the last two times we did a package like this and then had to chase the refund. Please know that I’m not trying to prove you wrong. I’d like to have the info you’re referring to so maybe I can call and book it a different way. The website is adding it automatically with no way for me to remove it and you can see in the picture below that that is what it says it will do...

Thank you!!

3488D1B1-095A-47CB-AC9E-BC2F5254023A.jpeg

Yesterday when I posted, I checked the fine print and it states what I posted about children.  Today when I went to copy and paste the info, it is now what you have above.  I am guessing that my Allure cruise for June wasn't updated with the new info, but it is now.  I should have just copied and pasted yesterday.  Sorry.

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No worries!  I think we've all had that happen!  That's always been the case in the fine print for us though.  Had to pay for the kiddos up front.  I try to look at it as buying on board credit because once I'm on board I should get back $150 lol!  It might take some work and it might be easy.  No one will know lol!

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6 hours ago, micruiser2002 said:

 

Sorry but I would not just assume you can show up with 4 people instead of 2 and still be seated.  If the restaurant is fully booked they will not be able to seat additional people.  I would suggest first changing the number of guests as soon as you board the ship to make sure there will be no issues.

We made all our bookings onboard, day 1.  On day 5 there was still flexibility. 

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I’ve had my waiter at specialty dining adjust the kid pricing for me (I didn’t ask him to, he offered). When he offered, I declined because I assumed he meant an adjustment for that night only and I explained that I would need to go to guest services for the other nights (we had made nightly specialty dining reservations rather than buying a package). He said no he could do it for all the nights we had made reservations and he did. And his tip increased because he saved me the hassle of going to guest services, which is of course why he offered. 

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8 hours ago, Cruisin Around said:

Well it went back down to $89 tonight (it was $99 this afternoon) so I booked it!  I'll keep watching to see if it goes any lower.  At least I know I have to check it at least twice a day now...  Thanks all!

Booked 2 more 3 night packages at $89 this morning.  Now all 12 of us have the 3 night package at $89.  As I posted earlier you have to check every day as they seem to fluctuate between $99 and $89.  Have an awesome cruise Pittsburgh.

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