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Specialty RR reservations

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We are new to Oceania.   Our date for booking specialty restaurants is fast approaching.   First of all I presume we just do that thru the Oceania website, correct?  How do we decide what nights to do each?  Is it better to do on a long port day (for example one where the ship leaves at 8 or after) or at sea day.    I know that is all subjective, but would love to here other people's varied opinions.   Do you do your favorite early or toward the end?   Do you like to eat with a group or just as a couple?   Again I know it is subjective but would be fun to hear a variety of opinions or pros and cons of each!

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Hi pna,

 

I enjoy visiting one of the specialty restaurants on the first night aboard, usually my favorite.  The 2nd night onboard is usually the Captain's Welcome Aboard night which can mean a special meal in the MDR.  I'll book the other specialty restaurants skipping a night if the cruise is longer than 7 nights.  There may be a chance you can get another reservation in one of your favorites.  I prefer to dine around 7:00 or 7:30pm on the ships.  Last year, on Marina, my friend and I had a bad experience with one shared table, so in 2020 we tried to book a single table.  One night will be shared as that is all that's what's available in our timeframe.  Finger crossed that we have nice tablemates.

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We always share a table and VERY rarely have we not enjoyed our tablemates.

On our last cruise, one night we were seated with just one other person (not our preference) who announced that she was only sitting with us because no tables for one were available and that she didn't like sharing. Oh,swell.

I did my best to be charming, and it must have worked because, at the end of the meal, she told us how surprised she was to enjoy sharing a table.

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5 hours ago, Andee said:

We always share a table and VERY rarely have we not enjoyed our tablemates.

On our last cruise, one night we were seated with just one other person (not our preference) who announced that she was only sitting with us because no tables for one were available and that she didn't like sharing. Oh,swell.

I did my best to be charming, and it must have worked because, at the end of the meal, she told us how surprised she was to enjoy sharing a table.

Very well done you.  How rude of your table mate, so glad she had to eat her words as well as her dinner.    J

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Book as soon as the you are able to access reservations. Don't wait. Reservations book out quickly. Log in to your account and click "Manage Reservation", the "Manage this Booking". You'll see tabs for shore excursions, dining, hotels, etc. Click "dining".

 

Do we the first two nights and the last night, 6:30, table for two only. Then we reserve additional restaurants in a random fashion. All 6:30, table for two. We're flexible on the time but only book a table for two. We mostly reserve on shore days unless we are on a lengthy and/or strenuous excursion. 

 

We try to book additional reservations once we board. From our experience, it's usually no problem booking more if you're flexible.

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We too have always had pleasant table mates.  I can think of only one time out of many when we were seated with two other women who were just fine BUT the four of us weren't really sympatico.  That doesn't mean we didn't have a pleasant dinner with them!

 

We prefer NOT to do specialty restaurants on port days since we're usually tired enough after touring that we don't want to dress up.  So we'll either go to the GDR or Terrace on those nights or possibly have dinner in our room.  Of course we have a morning tour and are back on board for lunch, we're fine with a specialty.  Our favorite times are sea days but not all itineraries have those.

 

I really cannot imagine some announcing at the outset "I don't like to share"!

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It's funny how different people like different things. Time is our first consideration, then whether we can get a table for 2, which we prefer, or sharing. If a table for two is only available later than 7:30 and we'll always select sharing to get the earlier time. 

 

The OP didn't mention where they are at in the pecking order on how early(days before the cruise) they get to reserve. This will have a lot to do with what times and sharing/non sharing is available to them. 

 

We usually don't book one for the first night as that is usually a night that you can get an extra easily. Also the last night of the cruise is usually easy to get a second night. Naturally sea days tend to be the most popular. A sharing group will always take longer than a table for two, so factor that into your decision. When you choose sharing you never know if it will be with 4, 6, or 8. 

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This is what my account says about dining reservations. How do I know how many days in advance I can make them? My cruise is Jan. 25 on Sirena. I am in a Cat C2 cabin.

 

Dining Reservations are available 45 to 7 days prior to sail date.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Rob the Cruiser said:

Book as soon as the you are able to access reservations.

And adjust for the difference in time zones! So Miami's midnight was our 9PM.

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43 minutes ago, susiesan said:

This is what my account says about dining reservations. How do I know how many days in advance I can make them? My cruise is Jan. 25 on Sirena. I am in a Cat C2 cabin.

 

Dining Reservations are available 45 to 7 days prior to sail date.

 

 

The answer is 45 days before Jan 25th, which let's see, is Thur Dec 12th, in two days. The latest you can book is 7 days before your cruise, which would be Jan 18th. 

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18 minutes ago, ORV said:

The answer is 45 days before Jan 25th, which let's see, is Thur Dec 12th, in two days. The latest you can book is 7 days before your cruise, which would be Jan 18th. 

I was a bit confused about the wording. I thought it meant different cabin categories get to make reservation at different times. I assumed the lowest priced cabins would be last to make reservations, and that is the cabin we have. Last time I sailed on O all my specialty dinners were with friends who were in suites and they reserved way in advance, had us on their reservation.

 

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Susiesan, you did assume correctly.  Top suites start first, and so on.  Usually 90 days for them if I'm remembering correctly.

 

But the 45 and 7 days apply to your cabin category.  As has been said, the earliest you can book and the latest.

 

Mura

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Thank you for your responses.   I appreciate the input.  It is "food for thought".

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On 12/10/2019 at 11:10 AM, ORV said:

The answer is 45 days before Jan 25th, which let's see, is Thur Dec 12th, in two days. The latest you can book is 7 days before your cruise, which would be Jan 18th. 

ORV: You were spot on. Dining reservations opened up yesterday 12/12 and I was able to make my 2 for 6:30, my preferred dining time, on the days I wanted, as a sharing table.

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On 12/10/2019 at 8:24 AM, susiesan said:

This is what my account says about dining reservations. How do I know how many days in advance I can make them? My cruise is Jan. 25 on Sirena. I am in a Cat C2 cabin.

 

Dining Reservations are available 45 to 7 days prior to sail date.

 

 

Your booking invoice should have the actually date your reservation window will open.  Adjust for any time difference from EST.  Being in California we were able to book at 9:01 PM the day prior to what was on our invoice.  

 

 

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On 12/9/2019 at 7:37 PM, pna said:

We are new to Oceania.   Our date for booking specialty restaurants is fast approaching.   First of all I presume we just do that thru the Oceania website, correct?  How do we decide what nights to do each?  Is it better to do on a long port day (for example one where the ship leaves at 8 or after) or at sea day.    I know that is all subjective, but would love to here other people's varied opinions.   Do you do your favorite early or toward the end?   Do you like to eat with a group or just as a couple?   Again I know it is subjective but would be fun to hear a variety of opinions or pros and cons of each!

I would love to help...but these are questions only you can answer...its your call... no one can but YOU really  What I like is  only to hit 1 or 2 of the specialties....  as the terrace and main Dining room are so good   Red Ginger and Jacques are all I ever eat at

Reservations can be easy to get on board if your flexible.     rolling seas bring many cancels and opportunity..... take it as it comes... dont try to control  and plan ....   Let it happen....

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