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Bribrittmom

Have dining package, can’t get any reservations

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New to Norwegian, many cruises on other lines. We have the three night dining package on our upcoming Mediterranean cruise on the Epic 8/18. None of the specialty restaurants show availability. I am worried my package may be useless. Will there be spots available if we rush to sign up immediately upon embarking? We never had this much trouble on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Disney. Worried 😟 Also how difficult is it to get into the main dining rooms without a reservation? Making a reservation every night kind of negates the concept of Freestyle.

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You should have no problem booking on board.  I understand that they only pre-book 30% of the specialty dining times.  Do try an make reservations on the first day though.

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Once on the ship it's truly easy to get reservations. You can go to guest services but we always skip this and use the tv in our room to scroll thru whats available and make the reservation right there with your remote.. You can also just go down to a restaurant and ask for availability. You may have to wait 15 min but have a drink and relax. People are notorious for making reservations and not showing up or cancelling on the day of their reservation so you most likely won't have to wait long for a table anywhere. early dining times such as 530, 6pm do tend to be the busiest times. I've never not been able to use my dining packages because we didnt have a reservation so don't worry 🙂

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We have found that after 7:00pm are more popular on Mediterranean cruises.  You can book speciality and mdr once on board via the cruise Norwegian app or tv it kiosks.  Keep checking online before the cruise too / they may fix the current software problems before you cruise.

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We were on the Epic in June...

I had to ring up and reserve as I'd been told that there was a "blip" in the system where some client's planners won't open the dining reservation system.

They managed to book everything that I asked for. Maybe worth trying as you could be one of the "blips" too?

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The OP was also worried about getting into the main dining rooms without a reservation. Not to worry! I have never, ever made a reservation for the main dining room and have always been promptly seated. (Well, except once we we were given s pager and were paged within ten minutes.) And we usually go right after the early show (around 8-8:30 PM, when demand is high.

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This computer “blip” (I call it a major malfunction in their recent conversion/migration/merging) is very aggravating.  Get it fixed already NCL!  It has been 3 weeks.  I had problems with my air reservation that took two weeks of several unanswered emails and endless hours on hold with Premium Air!  Now I can’t book my dinners.  I know - not a life-threatening issue - but I’m getting tired of calling every few days to check if the system is fixed.  However, I continue to get their emails to book a new cruise and make final payment!  That part of their computer system is functioning just fine.  😳🤬

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13 hours ago, Bribrittmom said:

New to Norwegian, many cruises on other lines. We have the three night dining package on our upcoming Mediterranean cruise on the Epic 8/18. None of the specialty restaurants show availability. I am worried my package may be useless. Will there be spots available if we rush to sign up immediately upon embarking? We never had this much trouble on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Disney. Worried 😟 Also how difficult is it to get into the main dining rooms without a reservation? Making a reservation every night kind of negates the concept of Freestyle.

 

You are catching on.

 

If you need to make reservations for dinners or shows before setting foot on the ship or be stressed about making them once on board, is the cruise truly "freestyle?"

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Bribrittmom said:

New to Norwegian, many cruises on other lines. We have the three night dining package on our upcoming Mediterranean cruise on the Epic 8/18. None of the specialty restaurants show availability. I am worried my package may be useless. Will there be spots available if we rush to sign up immediately upon embarking? We never had this much trouble on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Disney. Worried 😟 Also how difficult is it to get into the main dining rooms without a reservation? Making a reservation every night kind of negates the concept of Freestyle.

Reservations for your cruise opened in early May and are likely sold out by now. You waited too long. You can book dinners on embarkation day. You must make it a priority when you embark. 

 

You have a challenge because Rome is a secondary embarkation port and fewer reservations are held for your specific cruise. It is not as easy as 2/3 of the reservations are made onboard, because that is NOT true for your cruise with multiple embarkation ports. 

 

You may find that it is easier to book later in your cruise after the Barcelona people leave and before the next Barcelona group boards. 

 

Try book your shows (Pricilla and Burn the Floor) early in your cruise giving you more flexibility for dining toward the end of your cruise. 

 

 

Edited by BirdTravels

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We embark in Barcelona. I already booked our shows. When I checked online for dining reservations earlier the only times listed were for 5:30 or 8:30. One was way too early and the other too late. 

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Reservations for Oct 20, 2019 Getaway just opened up.  I was able to book all dinners I wanted.  Yay!  Finally some progress.

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5 hours ago, Homosassa said:

 

You are catching on.

 

If you need to make reservations for dinners or shows before setting foot on the ship or be stressed about making them once on board, is the cruise truly "freestyle?"

You don’t need to make reservations before you cruise. When you board your rooms are not ready anyway, so either use the TV kiosks by the elevators, the NCL app, or go to guest services. Then have a drink and enjoy! Only stressful if you make it that way.

 

another tip is you can book it online at a time you don’t want, if that is all that is showing open.  Then once onboard when you are ready to do so, go to Guest Services and switch the times fir something more to your liking.

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19 hours ago, Bribrittmom said:

New to Norwegian, many cruises on other lines. We have the three night dining package on our upcoming Mediterranean cruise on the Epic 8/18. None of the specialty restaurants show availability. I am worried my package may be useless. Will there be spots available if we rush to sign up immediately upon embarking? We never had this much trouble on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Disney. Worried 😟 Also how difficult is it to get into the main dining rooms without a reservation? Making a reservation every night kind of negates the concept of Freestyle.

 

6 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

Reservations for your cruise opened in early May and are likely sold out by now. You waited too long. You can book dinners on embarkation day. You must make it a priority when you embark. 

 

I'm also new to NCL and on the Epic and have been waiting for weeks for them to fix the online booking system. I've been in contact with NCL Customer Service and there are tables still available for all speciality restaurants on my cruise (sail 31st July) - just limited as to time on particular days.

 

If you want to book before you go, just phone Customer Service or email them with what you want and I'm sure they will sort this for you.

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Bribrittmom said:

New to Norwegian, many cruises on other lines. We have the three night dining package on our upcoming Mediterranean cruise on the Epic 8/18. None of the specialty restaurants show availability. I am worried my package may be useless. Will there be spots available if we rush to sign up immediately upon embarking? We never had this much trouble on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Disney. Worried 😟 Also how difficult is it to get into the main dining rooms without a reservation? Making a reservation every night kind of negates the concept of Freestyle.

 

They only make about 35% of the slots available before boarding. You should have no trouble getting reservations or seated without a reservation when you board.

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I am drawing a mental block. I have the email confirmation from where we booked our dining reservations, but can’t recall if or when I can see them online.  Am I misremembering that they are visible?

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4 hours ago, mertziek said:

Reservations for Oct 20, 2019 Getaway just opened up.  I was able to book all dinners I wanted.  Yay!  Finally some progress.

 

 

Same here. Our reservations for our 10/06 just opened. 

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23 hours ago, cmecruise1962 said:

You should have no problem booking on board.  I understand that they only pre-book 30% of the specialty dining times.  Do try an make reservations on the first day though.

Totally agree. Was on Bliss until June 2. Couldn't get times I wanted pre-cruise. Went to one of the dining hosts on board on Day 1 and got everything switched to days/times I actually wanted.

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You will be fine as long as you go immediately after boarding and make your reservations for specialties. We are just off the Escape with 9 people and I was able too book 4 night specialties at prime times. Agree also that don’t worry about the MDR’s. Also walked up for a party of 9 and never waited..

 

Enjoy!,,

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15 hours ago, teeredi2cruise said:

I am drawing a mental block. I have the email confirmation from where we booked our dining reservations, but can’t recall if or when I can see them online.  Am I misremembering that they are visible?

you can print out a summary of your trip under your reservation - booked items list

 

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2 hours ago, schildiams said:

you can print out a summary of your trip under your reservation - booked items list

 

This is what I thought, but our dining reservations are not listed. I wanted to make sure before I sat on hold to make sure that they did not disappear from our reservation. Thank you for responding.

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Posted (edited)

I'm on the Epic 10/20/19 sailing and haven't been able to book any of my specialty dining.  I see that other's have posted they've been able to book their dining reservations for the same sailing.  I was able to book two shows though.  Am I doing something wrong?  I just checked again, and it shows as not available for booking.  Now, that I looked at the post more closely, I see they are on the Getaway.  I'm on the Epic.

Edited by barbnbrian
additional comment

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NCL Customer Services have contacted me today to say that they have finally fixed the problem with booking speciality restaurants on Epic. I can now book online, so hopefully you can too 🙂

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