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Pre book Sabatini's vs waiting to board......?

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So we board the Star in two weeks in Seattle for a Coastal cruise and have a question about booking  a specialty restaurant prior to online.  We have OBC for this cruise and are wanting to eat in Sabatini's the first night due to the mess that is anytime dining on embarkation night.  I believe I have heard that if I book my reservation on line I will need to pay for it via credit card at that time.  Am I able to change that on board to use my OBC after the fact.....?   Can I assume when we board I can get a reservation easy enough and use our OBC then....?   Thanks for any help ......

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I always book the first day onboard for the same reasons as yours and have never had a problem getting what I want.

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I, personally, have never had a problem getting an embarkation day reservation at a specialty restaurant, and I do that almost every cruise.  Once or twice I have had to be flexible on the time, but that is never a problem for us.  Normally, I just call the DINE line, although there have been times when I noticed somebody attending the greeting station in a restaurant and just made the reservation with him.

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The suites have first night for free, but there aren't that many of them. Most passengers don't do the first night in the specialty restaurants due to finding the right table in TD or just wanting to get started in the MDR. First night meal is usually very nice.

All that being said: Sabatini's isn't usually busy anyway.Crown Grill is more popular.

And: the online reservation limits your choice of times.

Plus: if you have a TA and booked at the right time, you should get a coupon from the mostly worthless book for "BOGO". If you have it, it will show in your Personalizer.

 

For all the above reasons...you might want to wait till your onboard (or plan B, book now and change it around once you're on the ship).

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I like to book specialty dining on embarkation for the same reasons you stated!  We've done it both ways - pre-booked/prepaid; and waited until onboard. 

 

We've not had a problem either way.  The main negative for pre-booking is that there are only three dining times available, whereas if you wait until you board you can get other times depending on how busy they are.  For us prepaying is a positive because we pay in CAD and Princess converts upfront at a very favourable rate for us at the moment. Using up onboard credits has never been a problem so can't speak to that. 🙂  

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We always dine at Sabatini’s on the first night. For whatever reason, we find the first night’s menu and last night’s menu to be the least desirable so we go to Sabatini’s on first night and Crown Grill on the last night. We have booked the first night once on board and have booked in advance and have never had a problem either way. But now that pre-booking is available, we do that. No downside to locking in our reservation. It’s not like we can’t find other opportunities to spend our OBC. 

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If you are getting the Good Coupon Book by booking your cruise with a TA that had a Sale , the Bogo Coupon is only good for that first night . That is an indication by Princess that  they need help booking Specialty Restaurants on that first night .

So don't waste $$$ purchasing in advance.

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