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Does the price drop on board for Specialty Restaurants?


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I've been hearing that they really push the specialty restaurants when you're on board.

Is it the same price whether you book before the cruise or when you get on board?

Can you haggle the price with them at all?

 

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1 minute ago, KATHYMAC68 said:

Is it the same price whether you book before the cruise or when you get on board?

Can you haggle the price with them at all?

Not usually - they add 18% to on board price

Yes.

Edited by Biker19
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It’s usually about the same price.  Pre booking includes the 18%.  On board, by the time they add the 18% you aren’t going to be saving much, if anything.  Not unless they are having a hard time filling reservations 

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Purchasing a package in advance will almost always be cheaper.  As noted previously, any sale price you may find on board will have the 18% gratuity added.  I think the UDP is too much food but the 3-night dining package is nice, and well priced.  

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Pick a restaurant you'd like to visit.

Pick an "upcharge price" you're willing to pay.

When they start the sales pitch make your offer immediately.

Some have experienced success with this on anything from Specialty Restaurants to the Ships Tours they offer.

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1 hour ago, spookwife said:

It’s usually about the same price.  Pre booking includes the 18%.  On board, by the time they add the 18% you aren’t going to be saving much, if anything.  Not unless they are having a hard time filling reservations 

I did not know the 18% was included in pre booking.  Thanks for that tip.  I've always tipped again.  Good to know just in case the service is not good.

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15 minutes ago, bayou cruiser said:

I did not know the 18% was included in pre booking

I don't think anyone other than the bean counters at RCI really know how much of the beverage package price the bar tenders get when buying pre cruise - one can't really say 18% is included, we only know that on board another 18% is added.

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6 hours ago, KATHYMAC68 said:

I've been hearing that they really push the specialty restaurants when you're on board.

Is it the same price whether you book before the cruise or when you get on board?

Can you haggle the price with them at all?

 

It is supply and demand and in our experience they do try and push sales on Board with discounts ranging from 20-50% offered.

We always do the D+ BOGO for the first and second night and we are on Explorer now and paid $39 total in Chops Grill for 2 and $32 total for 2 in Giovanni's.

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4 hours ago, grapau27 said:

It is supply and demand and in our experience they do try and push sales on Board with discounts ranging from 20-50% offered.

We always do the D+ BOGO for the first and second night and we are on Explorer now and paid $39 total in Chops Grill for 2 and $32 total for 2 in Giovanni's.

Just to clarify - was the BOGO only for Diamond+ or was it available to others?

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Just of Harmony, was offered BOGO for Jamie's  that would come to approx. $58 for 2 people including tip but maybe that was because he said he would match our current deal we had just used there.  (We bought the original BOGO offer when it was still available for non-D+)

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Agree with John, people are always trying to sell you a dinner while onboard. Especially on longer sailings middle to end(they have to try and fill them one way or another).

 

Ask your head waiter in the MDR while making their rounds, that's a new one we learned a few cruises ago. Had a couple of them glad to get us 50%. Talk to the host at Chops during the day, amazing what can be accomplished. We generally don't do first or second night specialty dining, so our D+ BOGO is gone. We still do BOGOs every sailing.

 

On one sailing day 10 or later, we were having lunch in the WJ, when a "management type" person was making the rounds in WJ. When he got to us, I told him we would go to Giovannis if the offer was right...BINGO

Edited by L454S
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On 10/10/2019 at 3:17 PM, bayou cruiser said:

I did not know the 18% was included in pre booking.  Thanks for that tip.  I've always tipped again.  Good to know just in case the service is not good.

When booking online, the fine print does state gratuity is included, but no where does it state an amount. I don't know if it's 18%, $5 or what it is and none of the posted info on the website state the amount.

 

Someone did post on another site this past week a copy of a receipt, even though it was zero due as she had purchased the meal online, which stated 18% gratuity was included.  My thought on that is that it is a generic receipt and used for all meals in the specialty restaurants when a receipt is given.  I don't think there is one receipt for those with prepaid gratuities and one for those who are paying in the restaurant.  We don't usually get a receipt and have had to ask our waiter for one so we could tip the extra.

 

Based on my feelings, we tip $10 per person for dinner and $5 per person for lunch when we have the UDP.    We have always had excellent service and felt the extra tip was worth it.

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Last cruise we booked 3 night dining on board.  It was offered for $65 less 15% discount.  Pre-cruise was $79.  So onboard was cheaper.

 

Also, if you book pre-cruise, they make your first night on board reservation at a restaurant of their choice.  You have to deal with changing.

 

On board, you can book whenever you want.

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