Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
bendigoboy

Specialty restaurant booking embarkation day

Recommended Posts

We are travelling on the Grand in October. We are in a suite so they mention that we can make a complimentary specialty restaurant booking on embarkation day. How easy are these to make on board...i'm thinking for 7.30 ish for two probably at Sabattinis (please don't give me opinions regarding the qualities of the specialty restaurants i'm really focused on the booking set up). Are they often booked out for the embarkation day for popular times or do we have to settle for ridiculously early or late times? Or should i book before the cruise then try to get my money back or have it put to "on board credit". Appreciate comments from people who have travelled in suites.Thank You

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The complimentary specialty dining for full suites in only available to be used on embarkation day and very few other people plan to dine in specialty restaurants on the first night.  You should be fine if you want to dine at 7:30 p.m.  You can try to call the dine-line when you arrive to make reservations but often someone from the dining staff will call you in your suite to arrange what time you want to eat and where.  I wouldn't bother making reservations in advance.  You should not have any problems for the first night, especially for Sabattini's as Crown Grill seems to be more popular.

 

Jackie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you are in a suite you can pretty much have your pick of times and restaurants. I suppose if you board late some times might be taken, but they'll cater to you because there aren't that many suites and you are their focus on embarkation day.

 

You may arrive in your cabin to find a phone message or card suggesting a reservation has already been made for you and you can call if you'd like something else.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your odds of getting the time you want are better if you go to the CG to make your reservations, instead of calling the dining line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I normally find a card with the time/location in my suite.  I have called and changed venue and/or time at times and sometimes I like what they gave me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never had a problem getting a time I wanted on the first night when in a suite. Sometimes the available time will be a half hour earlier or later than I wanted, but usually not much more than that.

 

You cannot book in advance and pay and then expect to use a complimentary dinner. It wouldn't work on the first night anyway, since they do not take reservations in advance for the first night. They know how many suites they have, and they make sure to retain enough tables for suites, even if you are late in boarding and making your reservations.

 

I have made reservations by calling the DINE line and by going to the specialty restaurant. The easiest reservations I made were with the Club Class head waiter at lunch if I boarded early enough for lunch in the dining room. In this case, we had a party of eight and had no problem getting our desired time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, bendigoboy said:

We are travelling on the Grand in October. We are in a suite so they mention that we can make a complimentary specialty restaurant booking on embarkation day. How easy are these to make on board...i'm thinking for 7.30 ish for two probably at Sabattinis (please don't give me opinions regarding the qualities of the specialty restaurants i'm really focused on the booking set up). Are they often booked out for the embarkation day for popular times or do we have to settle for ridiculously early or late times? Or should i book before the cruise then try to get my money back or have it put to "on board credit". Appreciate comments from people who have travelled in suites.Thank You

 

You won't have a problem being seated when you want.  We were able to move our "embarkation" dinner to another night without any hassle as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, bemis12 said:

 

You won't have a problem being seated when you want.  We were able to move our "embarkation" dinner to another night without any hassle as well.

 

We have asked twice about changing to a different night and been told no both times.

 

So, while I don't question your experience, let's just say it seems to change ship to ship, cruise to cruise.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, bemis12 said:

 

You won't have a problem being seated when you want.  We were able to move our "embarkation" dinner to another night without any hassle as well.

 

We have asked twice about changing to a different night and been told no both times.

 

So, while I don't question your experience, let's just say it seems to change ship to ship, cruise to cruise.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we boarded there was a note in our cabin that due to the sail-away time and muster drill, the free embarkation specialty dinner would be on the next night for all.  But that was also formal night, which we did not want to miss.

 

So they made it for the third night without much fuss.

 

This may be very different than the norm, but it's MY norm.  😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been in a suite twice and both times have opted for a complimentary specialty dinner on a night other than the embarkation day. They never questioned the change to another night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just go to the restaurant after muster and they will set you up. Don’t spend all that time waiting on the phone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As others have mentioned, if you are in a full-suite there are multiple options to getting your Specialty Dining reservation made including going to the Specialty Restaurant you wish to dine in as soon as you board (or soon after) and if staff is there make the desired reservation (this has been hit or miss lately); go to your cabin and see if they have already made a reservation; call the DINE Line from your stateroom to make your reservation or change one that was already made for you; or if you don't do any of these and they have not assigned you a time, they may call your cabin to ask you where/when you wish to dine as this has happened to us a couple of times. As others have said, most passengers do not plan to dine in Specialty Dining the first night so there should not be an issue with getting your preferred restaurant/time.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, NavyVeteran said:

I've never had a problem getting a time I wanted on the first night when in a suite. Sometimes the available time will be a half hour earlier or later than I wanted, but usually not much more than that.

 

You cannot book in advance and pay and then expect to use a complimentary dinner. It wouldn't work on the first night anyway, since they do not take reservations in advance for the first night. They know how many suites they have, and they make sure to retain enough tables for suites, even if you are late in boarding and making your reservations.

 

I have made reservations by calling the DINE line and by going to the specialty restaurant. The easiest reservations I made were with the Club Class head waiter at lunch if I boarded early enough for lunch in the dining room. In this case, we had a party of eight and had no problem getting our desired time.

 

In many cases you may book pre-cruise even for the first night but you have to pay for it at that time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, suzyed said:

In many cases you may book pre-cruise even for the first night but you have to pay for it at that time.

You are correct. My information was outdated. When they first started allowing pre-booking specialty restaurants, they did not allow booking the first night. I just checked several upcoming cruises, and first-night booking is now available.

 

I guess Princess now has enough experience with first-night suite specialty restaurant bookings to know how many they can book in advance online while still leaving enough spaces for all of the suite passengers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, suzyed said:

In many cases you may book pre-cruise even for the first night but you have to pay for it at that time.

 

34 minutes ago, NavyVeteran said:

You are correct. My information was outdated. When they first started allowing pre-booking specialty restaurants, they did not allow booking the first night. I just checked several upcoming cruises, and first-night booking is now available.

 

I guess Princess now has enough experience with first-night suite specialty restaurant bookings to know how many they can book in advance online while still leaving enough spaces for all of the suite passengers.

However they are limited times to choose from and like you say have to pre pay.

I will take my chances and book onboard in order to take advantage of better times and OBC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...