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h-sar

Sanctuary booking

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Hello, will be on the Sky princess at Christmas and New Year’s. I’ve never considered booking the Sanctuary before, but pictures of the sanctuary on the sky look so stunning, thought we would give it a whirl for one afternoon. There are 4 of us. What is the newest procedure for booking? Can it be done online? Would I have a better chance of getting the day I want if I book on board the first week for an afternoon on the second week?
 

Also, what time does the afternoon tea in the sanctuary happen? Does it have to be booked in advance as well, or can we just tell the attendant that afternoon? 
 

Thank you for any advice! 
 

Edited by h-sar

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50 minutes ago, h-sar said:

Hello, will be on the Sky princess at Christmas and New Year’s. I’ve never considered booking the Sanctuary before, but pictures of the sanctuary on the sky look so stunning, thought we would give it a whirl for one afternoon. There are 4 of us. What is the newest procedure for booking? Can it be done online? Would I have a better chance of getting the day I want if I book on board the first week for an afternoon on the second week?
 

Also, what time does the afternoon tea in the sanctuary happen? Does it have to be booked in advance as well, or can we just tell the attendant that afternoon? 
 

Thank you for any advice! 
 

Procedure is no different than for a long time now.  You go to the entrance and request to book chair(s).  You should have at least one person from each cabin there.  They will tell you what is available and show you the location as well if you want to see it.  One can go there anytime during the cruise and inquire and book, but on some itineraries - especially Caribbean - they will be sold out on embarkation day for the sea days at least.  If you are sailing B2B, you always have the best chance to book for the second voyage as you can book ahead of all new passengers boarding the ship.  They will give first choice or "right of refusal" to anyone from the first voyage who has booked for the full trip and wants to book again for the next segment.  If you cannot get what you want in the first segment, then ask the Sanctuary manager when you can put your name in for chair(s) on the following voyage.

 

The afternoon "tea" service is small snacks and tea/coffee that is automatically offered daily to everyone by coming around to the occupied chairs.  It is usually around 3 to 3:30 I think.

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Can not be done on line. You have to select your lounge and location in person.

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You book onboard as you select a specific lounger or cabana in a specific location. That’s your lounger or cabana for the time you booked. 
 

Hours are 8am-5pm if you book for the day; 8am-12:30pm if you book for the morning; 1-5pm if you book for the afternoon.

 

Afternoon tea is served at all loungers at about 3:30pm. You don’t request it. They bring the carts and trays to your lounger or cabana. 

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Thanks, everyone. We will head over there as soon as we embark for the first leg and book a sea day afternoon for the second leg. Fingers crossed that we get the booking we want. Thank you for all the information! 

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36 minutes ago, h-sar said:

Thanks, everyone. We will head over there as soon as we embark for the first leg and book a sea day afternoon for the second leg. Fingers crossed that we get the booking we want. Thank you for all the information! 

Not a guarantee that they'll let you book for the 2nd leg while you're on the 1st leg. Ask and be happy if they let you do it.

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5 minutes ago, atdahop said:

Are there any shady spots available to book?

Yes. Depends on the time of day and the direction of the ship...unless you choose a lounger that's in the middle with little to no view.

Edited by JF - retired RRT

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5 minutes ago, JF - retired RRT said:

Not a guarantee that they'll let you book for the 2nd leg while you're on the 1st leg. Ask and be happy if they let you do it.


I did wonder about that as we are not booked as the 14 day cruise (was sold out as such for our cabin category a year out), but rather b2b seven day bookings.

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2 hours ago, h-sar said:


I did wonder about that as we are not booked as the 14 day cruise (was sold out as such for our cabin category a year out), but rather b2b seven day bookings.

Last time I tried to book it we got there at 12 noon on embarkation day only to find out the entire 10-day cruise was booked up. I asked whether some of those bookings were from the previous cruise and was told no, they don't allow that.

 

So go as soon as you possibly can with your fingers crossed.

 

Jim

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4 hours ago, h-sar said:

Thanks, everyone. We will head over there as soon as we embark for the first leg and book a sea day afternoon for the second leg. Fingers crossed that we get the booking we want. Thank you for all the information! 

As I mentioned above in my original reply, you cannot book the second cruise until the end of the first cruise.  Also, those already in the Sanctuary for the first cruise who are also continuing on the next cruise, will have priority of first refusal over anyone else looking to book for second cruise.  But you will beat all the new cruisers boarding if you inquire in a timely manner.

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1 hour ago, jasbo49 said:

Last time I tried to book it we got there at 12 noon on embarkation day only to find out the entire 10-day cruise was booked up. I asked whether some of those bookings were from the previous cruise and was told no, they don't allow that.

 

So go as soon as you possibly can with your fingers crossed.

 

Jim

Sorry, but makes zero sense to me.  They have always taken bookings for B2B'ers AFAIK.  When do you think the B2B'ers are going to book for the next cruise?  They certainly do not have to wait until the other passengers have boarded.  At the VERY WORST, they would be standing in line on embarkation morning before anyone else made it up there after embarking.

 

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4 hours ago, atdahop said:

Are there any shady spots available to book?

It will be interesting to see if SKY is any different than sister REGAL.  There is very little real shade on Regal - excluding Cabana Row.  Best shade is well back from the glass walls and in a central area that has only chairs and no loungers.

 

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Thank you my husband can't be in the Sun at all so it looks as if the sanctuary will not be for us

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2 hours ago, jasbo49 said:

Last time I tried to book it we got there at 12 noon on embarkation day only to find out the entire 10-day cruise was booked up. I asked whether some of those bookings were from the previous cruise and was told no, they don't allow that.

 

So go as soon as you possibly can with your fingers crossed.

 

Jim

Yikes....what time did all those people board!

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I'll add color to a few points based on our most recent experience on Royal from which we departed on Monday.

 

Booking process is well covered noting to add.  We did back to backs and were sought out at the end of leg 1 for bookings on leg 2.  We were sought out again at the end of leg 2 in case we were continuing on to a 3rd leg (we weren't).  I can easily imagine this might vary ship to ship as do so many things.

 

Regarding tea time.  We've had two experiences.  In both cases tea time started around 3:00 though as Pam notes it often takes until 3:30 to reach everyone if it's busy.  Experience 1 (we like this one) servers come around with a trolly or trays containing sandwiches, cakes, cookies and scones.  Yo take as many or few as you like.  Experience 2 (we really DON'T like this one) servers come around with pre-plated goodies you take everything or nothing.  They seem to do the latter when it's either very busy or very slow in the sanctuary.  

 

Shade on Royal class ships.  Yes I agree that Royal had very little shade (Royal must be similar).  A small number of chairs were positioned behind the central gazebo which afforded shade for a small part of the day.  Ironically, the worst seats (in terms of sun and heat) were those at the very front (bow) end behind the glass which both blocked any breeze and seemed to magnify the sun streaming through from above and glancing off the water.  

 

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The loungers right at the bow are under partial shade - a mesh awning that is more effective than it looks. We loved that position but we were on Royal in the Med and it wasn't too hot.

Edited by OzKiwiJJ

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3 hours ago, jondfk said:

Experience 2 (we really DON'T like this one) servers come around with pre-plated goodies you take everything or nothing.  They seem to do the latter when it's either very busy or very slow in the sanctuary.  

That explains our one and only experience in the Sanctuary. We expected a tea trolley and got a plate that had a couple of cookies and sandwiches. We were almost the only ones in the Sanctuary that day. We never booked it again.

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5 minutes ago, JF - retired RRT said:

That explains our one and only experience in the Sanctuary. We expected a tea trolley and got a plate that had a couple of cookies and sandwiches. We were almost the only ones in the Sanctuary that day. We never booked it again.

That is too bad.  Our past experiences have been with a trolley service.  Will have to see what they do on Crown in Nov.

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Can we book for 4 people of we charge it all to one cabin?  We are on the Sky in Jan and are elite so on first.  What to book for 4 but we are in different cabins BUT willing to charge it all to one.

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1 minute ago, Denmal said:

Can we book for 4 people of we charge it all to one cabin?  We are on the Sky in Jan and are elite so on first.  What to book for 4 but we are in different cabins BUT willing to charge it all to one.

They would not have known pre-Medallion how many in your cabin.  And maybe they don't now either.

 

What might be better is you and friend board as the Elites and your partners board together.  That way you both go to Sanctuary and book two chairs.

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51 minutes ago, steelers36 said:

That is too bad.  Our past experiences have been with a trolley service.  Will have to see what they do on Crown in Nov.

It very much depends on how busy the Sanctuary is. On Australian cruises we're often the only ones there so end up with the plate, usually with 3-4 sandwiches and 3-4 cakes, but we have also had the trolley or trays of goodies.

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41 minutes ago, steelers36 said:

They would not have known pre-Medallion how many in your cabin.  And maybe they don't now either.

 

What might be better is you and friend board as the Elites and your partners board together.  That way you both go to Sanctuary and book two chairs.

That might be a problem as we are elite but our friends are not....we will try to book for 4 OR try to get all on at the same time maybe that can be possible now with medallions

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