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A nice problem to have - what to do with OBC?


friendswithdave
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Our extended family of 6 is travelling on the Eclipse in late August. We have OBC between $150- 200 per person. After discussion, we don't like any of the Celebrity excursions (doing just one whale watch on our own), enjoy the MDR and tend not to do the specialty restaurants, and have drink packages or don't drink. Most of us tend not to shop. I'm trying to figure out how we can get the best benefit from our OBC. The most likely scenario for wife and I are a few specialty dinners and a few hot glass pieces. Any thoughts from you all? Maybe there's something cool we can do with our OBC that I'm missing.

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Bingo.  With the price that is charged to play, you can go through your OBC in no time!

 

We have the same problem as you on our next cruise.  Free gratuities and a drink package, so we will have more OBC than we are used to.  For us most of our OBC will be refundable, so even if there is some left over we won’t be throwing it away.  We always have used up all our OBC in the past so it will be interesting to see what happens on our next cruise—how we spend it.

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Because this gets asked so often I've compiled a list of things to spend OBC on. The only thing I know of now that you CAN'T buy with OBC is a deposit on a Future Cruise. Otherwise, here you go:

 

 

Acupuncture

Airport transfers

Alcove Rental (some ships)

Apple products etc. and Ilounge classes

Art Auctions

Babysitting

Barber Shop services (Edge only)

Beverages -- Alcoholic, carbonated soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas, bottled water

Bingo

Bottles of wine

Casino

Chef’s Table

Duty free liquor and cigarettes

Extra cost entrees and other items in Main Dining Room and specialty restaurants

Fitness classes

Flowers

Gelato

Gift shop souvenirs, purses, cosmetics, clothing, jewelry, etc.

Gratuities, and extra gratuities

Guests dining with you in Luminae (applies to Suite Passengers only)

Guest entertainers' CD's and DVD's

Hair and nail salon

Hollywood hot glass experiences (some ships)

Internet

Laundry/pressing/drycleaning

Luggage Valet

Martini Flights

Medical Center

Mini bar

Portrait photo sessions

Pay-per-view movies

Persian Gardens passes

Photos & cameras

Room service up charge items, and late night delivery fee

Shore Excursions

Shuttle to town (some ports)

Spa -- massages and treatments

Specialty restaurants

Teeth Whitening

Telephone calls using ship's system

Transfer to another passenger's account

Voyage in Review DVD

Wine and liquor tastings

Zumba

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1 hour ago, friendswithdave said:

Our extended family of 6 is travelling on the Eclipse in late August. We have OBC between $150- 200 per person. After discussion, we don't like any of the Celebrity excursions (doing just one whale watch on our own), enjoy the MDR and tend not to do the specialty restaurants, and have drink packages or don't drink. Most of us tend not to shop. I'm trying to figure out how we can get the best benefit from our OBC. The most likely scenario for wife and I are a few specialty dinners and a few hot glass pieces. Any thoughts from you all? Maybe there's something cool we can do with our OBC that I'm missing.

First of all where are you going?

For an extended family I would recommend Le Petit Chef or Qsine - either would make a fun evening for a group.

Buy photos with some of it groups and singles. I hear that you don't like shopping, but maybe some small items to commemorate the trip - I bought myself, daughter and DIL a large scarf/pashmina, all alike but each a different color. I also got the girls an evening purse and packaged that together for Christmas (they were on sale for like $10 each, so this was purely using up left over credit and buying stocking stuffers).

 

I'm assuming Alaska because of whale watch? I'm surprised you couldn't find any other excursions, Alaska excursions are really pricy and use up that onboard credit fast.

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We have the same problem. $300 OBC from X and $425 from our TA, for a total of $725!

 

Now, we have already bought our excursions and have the premium drinks package, Internet and gratuities included, so apart from a meal package (thinking 4-meals @ $149 each), that leaves us with $425 to spend!

 

I quit smoking four years ago and we're flying international, so can only buy two liters of liquor - very good liquor, I think 😉 ), so the rest, we'll have to find something to spend it on. I on't play slots and had a gambling addiction when I was 19, so I tend to go easy in the casinos - in fact, since I quit smoking, I found a lack of drive to gamble at all!

 

We dislike bingo and feel it's a waste anyway, so that's out. Maybe the DW will get a nice purse out of the deal!

 

 

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The OBC from your TA may be refundable so if you don’t spend it the remaining will be refunded back to your credit card.   Check with your TA to find out if tge OBC is refundable, ours from the TA is always refundable.

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Our strategy has been to use any unused credit on blackjack in the casino.  In case you don't know, you buy promotional chips with OBC.  You always play the promo chips, and then if you win, they give you "real" chips which you set aside.  Keep playing the promo chips until you use them all up.  Then be disciplined enough to stop gambling and cash in your real chips.  On our last cruise we played (I think) $300 of promo chips to use up OBC, and ended up with $360 of real money to take home with us.  Obviously, you usually end up with less than the amount of your promo chips, but you are not going to lose every hand, so you always end up with something of real value to take with you.

 

Tom & Judy

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some great ideas on here! I always find a way to use OBC. We have used most of ours on a couple of shore excursions and I assume I will find something on board to purchase to use the rest. However, if I had lots of OBC I would definitely take a trip to the spa!! 

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2 hours ago, brillohead said:

If you meet someone on the ship (or in your Roll Call) who doesn't have enough OBC to cover all their spending, you could have them pay you in cash and transfer your OBC to their room.  

Or just give the OBC to a friend to spend. Go to guest relations and have OBC moved to the other persons account.

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Not a problem I have EVER had (and sometimes we have a lot of OBC) but then I have a Mrs Gut.

 

she sticks up on various face stuff she or the girls use, or a handbag or jewellery for one of them.

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3 hours ago, bigbenboys said:

Or just give the OBC to a friend to spend. Go to guest relations and have OBC moved to the other persons account.

You can do that? That would solve a lot of issues when we go on our upcoming family cruise 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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We use our OBC for excursions. But that doesn't interest you.


If I was having a family cruise, like you, I would use it for a photo package.  If your other family members aren't interested in that, you could book massages.

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I'm laughing...

We just got off back-to-back cruises on Reflection a week ago.  One the first cruise, we had zero Celebrity perks...only $370 OBC from our TA (refundable) and that fit well in paying off our gratuities.  BUT, for the second cruise, we had ALL FOUR Celebrity perks--Drink package, unlimited internet, included gratuities and OBC...AND we also had another $400 OBC from our TA.  Now, here's what made all this even more convoluted--when we originally booked, we had only one perk--the drink package--but, due to deals later offered, we were able to renegotiate to the four perks.  But, by that time, we had already purchased all of the shore excursions we were going to buy--and we got them at some unusually low sale prices--so, we could not merely cancel and rebook to use the OBC--that wouldn't make sense.  We had also already booked and paid for a specialty restaurant (which, luckily, we could cancel and rebook--but it only laundered a portion of our OBC).  We also had a FREE specialty restaurant in our deal...and didn't really want to eat in specialty restaurants more than twice.

 

Plus, we are Elite Plus Captains Club--so we get 2 loads of free laundry each (far more than we can use).  Actually, even the drink package and the internet package are overkill already since Elite Plus get free drinks each night pre-dinner and free 240 minutes each of internet.

 

We also fly in early and out late, so we can't use Celebrity transfers ...and Ubers or trains are cheaper and more convenient than Celebrity transfers anyway

 

So, when it all boiled out, we still had $200 of Celebrity OBC left that we couldn't use.  Couldn't use it on drinks (upgrading to premium packages was a consideration, but I am okay with generic drinks and my wife is not much of a drinker--we got nowhere near the value out of her drink package), couldn't use it on laundry...or internet...or shore excursions...or specialty restaurants...or transfers...

 

That leaves only three things:  Gambling, Spa and the onboard shops...

We don't gamble.  With a port-intensive itinerary, we really had no time for the spa (or rather, my wife had no time--I don't really care).  I won't even consider  the "art auctions"--I am a firm believer that those are a rip-off and should be removed from the ships entirely. So, that left the shops...

 

I don't think buying jewelry on the ship is that great a bargain...and I am not buying $200 worth of t-shirts and cruise line junk...

 

So, we came to a decision prior to the cruise:  My wife has an antiquated iPad and wants a new one.  The iPad prices onboard are the same as back home, but minus sales tax: $329.  The choice became easy--we would wait until that second leg and head down to the iStore and buy her an iPad.  Settled...

 

Not so fast!  I checked out the iStore during the first leg...and they confirmed the price and told me they had plenty onboard so, no problem.  On embarkation day for the second leg, we headed back to the iStore so my wife could pick out her new iPad...and, lo and behold, the display case was empty...and there was a sign that said something like "Due to VAT regulations in the Republic of Ireland, we will not be selling ANY iProducts on this cruise"...(Later, we saw another sign in the shop that sold such things that said they wouldn't sell any alcohol or tobacco either for that same reason--not that we would buy any).

 

I went to guest relations and complained vehemently.  They were understanding and we worked out a solution to otherwise "launder" the OBC...and we received it as part of a credit back (along with our TA OBC) at the end of the cruise...But, wow. it was NOT THAT EASY!!!

 

On next year's booked back-to-back, we have two perks--drinks and $300 OBC on each 7-night leg.  The gratuities will take care of $203 of the OBC on each leg...We want to use only private shore tours...So, it looks like we'll have the same dilemma for $97 each leg...

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11 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

You can do that? That would solve a lot of issues when we go on our upcoming family cruise 

We were on the Summit and a friend wanted to buy something. So yes we went to GR and moved some of our OBC to his account. Last cruise I thought we only had $600 OBC from Celebrity. Two days before getting of the ship we found $400 more on my husbands account.

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