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"Experience More Packages"

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Hi,

 

We have a lot of OBC to use, and are currently looking at our options for our transpacific cruise coming up.  Can anyone answer the following questions?

 

1)  Do past guests (we are Explorers) get a discount on the "Experience More Packages" as they do when purchasing an upgraded beverage package?

 

2)  The Indulgence Package for $1399, do you know if gratuity and tax is on top of that price?

 

Thank you fellow travelers!

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NO discount and no gratuity added. 

 

Bill

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And a great change for that package if you don’t want the chefs table there is now an alternative of three trips to the Speciality restaurants to select 

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2 hours ago, uktog said:

And a great change for that package if you don’t want the chefs table there is now an alternative of three trips to the Speciality restaurants to select 

 

Do people not find value in Chef's Table on Azamara?  We will be going on our first cruise with them in four months and have enjoyed Chef's Tables on long cruises on other cruise lines.  I'd say it's the one thing that I thought Princess did very well.  Azamara seems to have more of them, taking away the experience with the chef and just making it a real nice dinner, but a standardized dinner.  With these "set" menus, it certainly doesn't give the chef an opportunity to use fresh ingredients from a port for these dinners.  

 

I am thinking now that three specialty restaurants at $140 per couple is better than Chef's + 2 at $270.  

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We’ve never tried the Chefs Table, but that’s because I have a heart arrhythmia that is made worse if I drink much, so the paired wines would be wasted on me.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

 

Do people not find value in Chef's Table on Azamara?  We will be going on our first cruise with them in four months and have enjoyed Chef's Tables on long cruises on other cruise lines.  I'd say it's the one thing that I thought Princess did very well.  Azamara seems to have more of them, taking away the experience with the chef and just making it a real nice dinner, but a standardized dinner.  With these "set" menus, it certainly doesn't give the chef an opportunity to use fresh ingredients from a port for these dinners.  

I purchased the Ultimate package for my b2b in Jan-Feb on Journey.

 

I have exactly the same reservations re: the Chef’s Table set menus - I don’t find them outstanding in any way... why not let the Chef really shine??

 

If you want to highlight French or Italian wines, why not focus on one region’s cuisine, and alternate the menus - especially on the Grand Voyages. Have an innovative Asian fusion-inspired menu for the Californian wines... instead of what looks like to me to be a bland and boring set menu offering, overall for all three.

 

The Chef’s Table could be great for one of our sea days from Tahiti to NZ, but there is no way to check the scheduling of these ahead of time either. For 30 days of cruising on our b2b, it could be a nice experience to try it at least a couple of times... but I’m not frankly that tempted by the menus.

 

On the NZ Intensive b2b, it would have been an in-a-heartbeat decision if we were to see a NZ-centric menu featuring the region’s wonderful wines! Or an OZ-centric menu on the night that we leave Hobart... these would be great up-sell opportunities for Azamara.

 

Bonnie, maybe these suggestions could make a ‘journey’ of their own?! 😉

Edited by snowglobe

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Snowglobe, I guess you articulated better than I could.

 

My first Chef's Table was on a British Isles cruise on Princess.  First, we had a tour of the galley where the chef explained how everything worked.  Inside the galley, they served us appetizers that were fresh and not something you'd get on the ship.  Wine would be flowing.  I think the galley experience lasted about 30 minutes when they brought us to a special table where we all sat down.  It was a very social situation and the sommelier came out to discuss all wines that he would be serving and how they worked with dinner. The dinner was special and made from scratch and fresh.  It was an amazing dining experience.

 

Our last Princess cruise was on the Royal Princess in 2014.  They raised the price of the Chef's Table to $125 and no longer included the galley experience.  The food was good and so was the social experience, but not the same as our British Isles experience on one of their Grand Class ships.  That was our last cruise on Princess.  We felt they also ruined Sabatini's, the Italian specialty restaurant and we weren't crazy about that new class of ship.  

 

Some of the Chef's Table dinners on Azamara look good, but I'm not so sure the dining looks better than Prime C.  I did notice that they are starting to do the Indonesian Rice Table (rijsttafel)  dinners and that looks like fun and those are always good social situations.  We'll ask about that when we board.

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We did the French Chefs Table last summer on our Venice to Barcelona cruise and thought it was excellent. Much better than either of the specialty restaurants, imho.

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I do not think you can compare the chefs table experience, we have done them all, although my husband loses out on some of the special dishes because of his allergy and the substitute dishes are weaker.  However all experiences have been very enjoyable but for us each menu is something we do once only.  

The Rice Table is also good but is priced as a normal speciality meal - certainly well worth doing.

So including the option of three specials as an alternative to the chefs table works well for us.  It makes the package more attractive on some cruises

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We find the chef’s tables to be excellent on azamara!  Even though the menus are set, the chef’s are able to use  local ingredients, and really do get to show off their skills.  

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We prepurchased the Indulgence package for our upcoming AZ repositioning  trip because we found a couple of excursions that uses all but $4 of our credit and we will have a lot of days at sea to use the other benefits.  It is our first time on AZ in over 10 years so the Chefs Table is new to us.  Is it true that AZ prebooks you into one of the Chefs Tables without requesting which you’d prefer?  Is that just to guarantee that you have a spot in one?  So if we have a preference of which type food, do we have to go immediately upon boarding ship to see if we can get in on that?  Do they always have one French, one Italian, and one Californian on longer cruises?  Do they ever cancel the dinners if they aren’t full?  If we can’t get the cuisine we want, I’d prefer to use the 3 specialty restaurant nights but don’t want to find that out half way through the cruise. 

 

Any practical info would be appreciated.

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The best answer I can give you is when you board go and speak to the Speciality Restaurant Manager - go to the desk outside windows and explain you need to speak to someone about the booking.  Here are the facts as I have experienced them

1.  Yes they do prebook you into a Table but we changed ours without issue - did it on Day 2.  So yes it is a placeholder

2.  There will always be three types of table onboard but it depends on the area you are cruising in - there always seems to be French and Italian but I have also seen Arabian (loved that one) and Cuban (probably not on the agenda now but the food was amazing!)

 

If it is a long cruise with lots of sea days you should be fine but get one of the "suits" early on just for reassurance

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6 minutes ago, SoBaycruiser said:

We prepurchased the Indulgence package for our upcoming AZ repositioning  trip because we found a couple of excursions that uses all but $4 of our credit and we will have a lot of days at sea to use the other benefits.  It is our first time on AZ in over 10 years so the Chefs Table is new to us.  Is it true that AZ prebooks you into one of the Chefs Tables without requesting which you’d prefer?  Is that just to guarantee that you have a spot in one?  So if we have a preference of which type food, do we have to go immediately upon boarding ship to see if we can get in on that?  Do they always have one French, one Italian, and one Californian on longer cruises?  Do they ever cancel the dinners if they aren’t full?  If we can’t get the cuisine we want, I’d prefer to use the 3 specialty restaurant nights but don’t want to find that out half way through the cruise. 

 

Any practical info would be appreciated.

I’d suggest going to the speciality dining reservations desk inside the entrance to Windows buffet on Deck 9 as soon as you get onboard. They can advise you about the Chef’s table dates/menus, tell you the date of White Night (if you wanted to avoid booking a speciality meal on that night) and make any reservations for you.

I don’t know if Azamara automatically book you into a specific Chefs Table ahead of the cruise, but if they do I’m sure they will be happy to change it for you.

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Thank you Grandma and UKTog!  We will be doing the Alaska to Tokyo trip.  I wonder if the third cuisine will be Japanese or something that will highlight seafood?

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

I’d suggest going to the speciality dining reservations desk inside the entrance to Windows buffet on Deck 9 as soon as you get onboard. They can advise you about the Chef’s table dates/menus, tell you the date of White Night (if you wanted to avoid booking a speciality meal on that night) and make any reservations for you.

I don’t know if Azamara automatically book you into a specific Chefs Table ahead of the cruise, but if they do I’m sure they will be happy to change it for you.

See above for your information

1.  Yes they do automatically book you onto a table

2.  They would never schedule a Chefs Table on White NIght

 

I don't think the third would be Japanese, they actually spend ages testing menus and I have not seen a Japanese one under test but you never know.  Given the cruise you are on, you are not going to have a problem sorting something out.  The note about the table you have been booked into will actually be in your room that you will not get to until about 1330

 

My advice rather than waste time when you first book, wait and see what is allocated and then if you need a change go to Deck 10 Prime C and ask to speak to the Manager to handle the change - the people at the desk may not be able to do it.  As I say it was no problem changing ours on Day 3 on an 11 night cruise

 

Enjoy!!

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We’ve never been pre booked into a chef’s table, but we do always go to the reservation table as soon as we board.  French and Italian are both amazing!

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Certainly on Pursuit twice with an experience package they pre booked us. Not an issue made sense. Maybe on one because it was a transoceanic and many people had the package they did this to make sure spaces were at least secured

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