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rockymtn2

Best way to book shore excursion & specialty dining on board?

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We will be boarding the Eurodam on Dec. 11 for a Panama Canal partial transit.  We have been waiting to book our Puerto Limón shore excursion on board to use our OBC.  There are only a couple of excursions that interest us, so what is the fastest, most efficient way to book?  Go to the shore excursion desk, book from TV in cabin, or use Signature Suite Concierge?

 

We will also be making our specialty dining reservations.  What's the best way to do that?  Not as worried about that since we have many more options.

 

Thanks!

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For shore excursions, I'd head to the excursion desk as soon as you board.  If there's no one in attendance, then book through your television. 

 

You can find a station set up (sometimes it's on the Lido Deck by the Canaletto Restaurant) where you can make your specialty restaurant reservations.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂 

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I download the navigator app and start clicking away. No lines, no fuss, immediate confirmation

 

you can download the app beforehand and simply activate it as soon as you hit the deck 

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15 hours ago, Mary229 said:

I download the navigator app and start clicking away. No lines, no fuss, immediate confirmation

 

you can download the app beforehand and simply activate it as soon as you hit the deck 

Good idea; I hadn't thought of using the Navigator app . . . that would likely be the quickest way to make any and all reservations!

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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Any reason not to make the reservation now - especially since you are looking at only a few excursions?

It seems unlikely to me that your other onboard costs will be less than any OBC. At the least you will have roughly $160 per person in gratuities alone. I suppose if you pre-paid everything ...

We knew of several people that for instance couldn't go horseback riding in HMC because they were completely booked before the ship left port. 

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I personally like to wait at the excursion desk for them to open - that way I know I got what I want and that I used OBC.  

 

I understand wanting to use up OBC - sometimes I have so much that it is hard to use up (especially if I have prepaid gratuties).  I sure wish that HAL would WAKE UP and let us use OBC to prebook excursions!!!  It would save us all alot of unnecessary work.

 

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1 hour ago, DaveOKC said:

I personally like to wait at the excursion desk for them to open - that way I know I got what I want and that I used OBC.  

 

I understand wanting to use up OBC - sometimes I have so much that it is hard to use up (especially if I have prepaid gratuties).  I sure wish that HAL would WAKE UP and let us use OBC to prebook excursions!!!  It would save us all alot of unnecessary work.

 

 

Totally agree with you!!

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If you're really interested in a shore excursion, pre-book it.   I had a bunch of OBC once, and waited to book it on the ship.  Unfortunately, the EXC was no longer available, and I've never seen it since.  Must have been one of those EXC the vendor only offered for one season.

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20 hours ago, rockymtn2 said:

Signature Suite Concierge?

Is there a concierge for the signature suites?

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14 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Is there a concierge for the signature suites?

 

8 minutes ago, CruisingAndDiving said:

I was told it was a "phone concierge".  I'll find out for sure in 3 days 

 

 

 

Basically it’s a telephone “concierge”.  PIck up the phone to make your request.  How well it works is debatable. 

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8 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

 

Basically it’s a telephone “concierge”.  PIck up the phone to make your request.  How well it works is debatable. 

I'll give it a try and report back 😄

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4 hours ago, AlexCherie said:

Any reason not to make the reservation now - especially since you are looking at only a few excursions?

It seems unlikely to me that your other onboard costs will be less than any OBC. At the least you will have roughly $160 per person in gratuities alone. I suppose if you pre-paid everything ...

We knew of several people that for instance couldn't go horseback riding in HMC because they were completely booked before the ship left port. 

We did pre-book for the "must have" shore excursions and we do have pre-paid gratuities.  We're not big drinkers, so using up our OBC on at least one shore excursion is the best bet for us.  Thanks for all the ideas from everyone!

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1 hour ago, kazu said:

 

 

Basically it’s a telephone “concierge”.  PIck up the phone to make your request.  How well it works is debatable. 

Oh, a 'hot line' to the front desk.

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1 hour ago, kazu said:

 

 

Basically it’s a telephone “concierge”.  PIck up the phone to make your request.  How well it works is debatable. 

I have used it for some basic information requests and it worked fine.  How they are at handling more complex issues like making shore excursion reservations I cannot answer.

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I book those special excursions early but usually wait on the others.  Often once onboard there have been additions to popular, easily reproducible excursions.  Usually it is a matter  of timing.  For instance on my last Caribbean cruise before the cruise only one (early morning) excursion was listed.  Once onboard they had added a noon and perhaps even a late afternoon edition.  I love to walk or run in the morning and prefer to come back and take that later excursion.   The app lists the additional times. 

Edited by Mary229

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Good day all. First time HAL cruiser. I see many of you have OBC's, just wondering how you managed to snag them especially the prepaid gratuities! Were they part of your cruise "deal"? We booked directly through HAL and so far our Personal Cruise Consultant hasn't contacted us with any offers (we sail on Dec 14). We did take advantage of an upgrade offer that came via email. TIA.

 

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10 minutes ago, Vanalikat said:

Good day all. First time HAL cruiser. I see many of you have OBC's, just wondering how you managed to snag them especially the prepaid gratuities! Were they part of your cruise "deal"? We booked directly through HAL and so far our Personal Cruise Consultant hasn't contacted us with any offers (we sail on Dec 14). We did take advantage of an upgrade offer that came via email. TIA.

 

Several ways to get OBC (without buying it of course):

1.  As a booking promotion

2.  Book using a Future Cruise Deposit (which can only be gotten onboard)

3.  Earn by being a CCL stockholder.

4.  Gift from HAL due to some complaint you had and HAL wants to make ammends.

5.  Gift from you TA for booking with them

 

That should cover most of it.

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12 minutes ago, Vanalikat said:

Good day all. First time HAL cruiser. I see many of you have OBC's, just wondering how you managed to snag them especially the prepaid gratuities! Were they part of your cruise "deal"? We booked directly through HAL and so far our Personal Cruise Consultant hasn't contacted us with any offers (we sail on Dec 14). We did take advantage of an upgrade offer that came via email. TIA.

 

HAL allows you to take advantage of any sales that come up between you booking and final payment date as long as you did not book a restricted fare.  My TA keeps track and I sign up for alerts for my bookings right here on Cruise Critic.  They tell me if there is a new sale/offering.

 

Also if you book onboard the ship you get an OBC plus you can book a fully refundable fare and can transfer the deposit later if you change your mind.  The deposit is refundable also.

 

Many of us are also shareholder of Carnival Corporation, the parent company of HAL.  They offer a shareholder benefit.  

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Wow, you guys are quick! Thank you so much for the info, I've learned a ton reading though Cruise Critic. Much appreciated, see some of you on the Nieuw Amsterdam Dec 14 Eastern Caribbean!

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