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Free Specialty Dining guests


kaycee17
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We got the Free Specialty Dining when we booked for guests 1 and 2. Guests 3 and 4 are our kids and do not receive the free dining. When we go to the specialty dining, how strict are they on which guests are being served? If I (guest 1) go with my son (guest 3), will they care? Or just bill it to guests 1 and 2?

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Technically speaking, specialty dining credits cannot be "gifted" to anyone else. That being said, I have only ever seen them swipe one key card when checking you into a specialty dining restaurant, so as long as that card belongs to one of the people with the package, I think they likely wouldn't charge you cash for the second guest.

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1 hour ago, JamieLogical said:

Technically speaking, specialty dining credits cannot be "gifted" to anyone else. That being said, I have only ever seen them swipe one key card when checking you into a specialty dining restaurant, so as long as that card belongs to one of the people with the package, I think they likely wouldn't charge you cash for the second guest.

from my experience of having the specialty dinning on various ships:

one key card is swiped at check in, this is usually to make sure you have a reservation and your party size

then towards the end of meal, towards dessert the waiter/waitress will ASK for everyone card where they will process everyone order to the correct card. for those that have the dinning plan, your receipt at the end should say 0.00 cost and those that do not have the plan will have to pay whatever the total price is

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3 minutes ago, shof515 said:

from my experience of having the specialty dinning on various ships:

one key card is swiped at check in, this is usually to make sure you have a reservation and your party size

then towards the end of meal, towards dessert the waiter/waitress will ASK for everyone card where they will process everyone order to the correct card. for those that have the dinning plan, your receipt at the end should say 0.00 cost and those that do not have the plan will have to pay whatever the total price is

This has been my experience as well. Specialty restaurants have ala carte items so it makes it much easier for staff to swipe and charge accordingly. 

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2 hours ago, kaycee17 said:

We got the Free Specialty Dining when we booked for guests 1 and 2. Guests 3 and 4 are our kids and do not receive the free dining. When we go to the specialty dining, how strict are they on which guests are being served? If I (guest 1) go with my son (guest 3), will they care? Or just bill it to guests 1 and 2?

 

How old are your kids? Children under 12 eat free.

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10 hours ago, Love my butler said:

Both room cards will be swiped.  However, the waiters don't care who actually eats the food on the table.  It really is none of their business.

Technically, it really is their business......  they are the front line of both enforcement of the SDP (making sure it's non transferrable) and also security (to make sure the card being swiped is actually being used by the owner).  I'm sure you'd have a different opinion if you dropped your room card and found your SDP was emptied or someone ran up $100s in PBP extra charges or purchased a new Nikon camera or......... 

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3 hours ago, workn2cruz said:

Excluding alcohol, is there additional charges for certain menu items not covered in the SDP?

Yes. There are premium menu items that have an additional cost + 20% gratuity.   They are clearly marked on the menu. 

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11 hours ago, Hotspring said:

Actually the kid menu is go for kids under 13, 12  YO are eligible.

Technically anyone can order from the kids menu and eat free if it is one of the ala carte restaurants.  If one is not ordering something off the specialty restaurant's menu, there is nothing to charge them for.  There is no "sharing" fee.  Also, in my experience, we have had only one card swiped.  They swipe it when the check us in for our reservation, and then they swipe one card again after the meal.  We have never ordered drinks or ala carte add on items with the SDP, so maybe that is why only one card has ever been swiped?

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8 hours ago, esm54687 said:

Technically, it really is their business......  they are the front line of both enforcement of the SDP (making sure it's non transferrable) and also security (to make sure the card being swiped is actually being used by the owner).  I'm sure you'd have a different opinion if you dropped your room card and found your SDP was emptied or someone ran up $100s in PBP extra charges or purchased a new Nikon camera or......... 

Nope, it aint.  Once food is placed on the table I can whatever I wish with it.  The waiter has absolutely no business or concern.  At that point, it is mine.  No different than if I got it all to go and took it to my room.  Will the waiter follow me and watch what I do with it or who eats it?

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About the cards, here is what we have experienced. One card is always asked for and swiped when checking in with the hostess. When asking for the bill only one card is necessary if everyone at the table is in the same cabin and no one or just one person ordered drinks or upcharge items. If two or more people ordered drinks or upcharge items, separate bills came out to each person that ordered a drink or upcharge, and their card was required to process the bill even when the total was zero due to dining and drink packages. If we are dining with friends from another cabin the waiter will ask for cards from someone in each cabin and bring separate bills even if both bills are zero. The last time everyone at our table was asked for their card was on the Pearl in 2018 so perhaps the procedure has been relaxed since that time.

Edited by Paul Bogle
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18 minutes ago, Love my butler said:

Nope, it aint.  Once food is placed on the table I can whatever I wish with it.  The waiter has absolutely no business or concern.  At that point, it is mine.  No different than if I got it all to go and took it to my room.  Will the waiter follow me and watch what I do with it or who eats it?

Disagree. You can't have a family of 6 at the table and have one person with the SDP order 10 apps, 15 sides, 1 entree, and 15 desserts to share among everyone.

 

Unless things have changed or I missed it......... "to go" is not available. 

 

Same idea as the PBP. You are allowed 2 drinks per transaction...... once you walk away those drinks are still under the rules of the T&Cs. If you give one to someone without the package you can have the package terminated. 

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31 minutes ago, esm54687 said:

Disagree. You can't have a family of 6 at the table and have one person with the SDP order 10 apps, 15 sides, 1 entree, and 15 desserts to share among everyone.

 

Unless things have changed or I missed it......... "to go" is not available. 

 

Same idea as the PBP. You are allowed 2 drinks per transaction...... once you walk away those drinks are still under the rules of the T&Cs. If you give one to someone without the package you can have the package terminated. 

 

the sdp terms and conditions no longer say unlimited appetizers like they did a couple of years ago, probably because people were abusing it.

now the waiter says you're limited to 2 apps and 2 sides with sdp.

so i guess if the poster wanted to order 10 apps, he'll get charged for the difference. (note: i've ordered 3 or 4 sides multiple times at Cagney's and was never charged for the difference.)

 

as for 'To go', they allow it for dessert.

 

Edited by fstuff1
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10 minutes ago, fstuff1 said:

 

the sdp terms and conditions no longer say unlimited appetizers like they did a couple of years ago, probably because people were abusing it.

now the waiter says you're limited to 2 apps and 2 sides with sdp.

so i guess if the poster wanted to order 10 apps, he'll get charged for the difference. (note: i've ordered 3 or 4 sides multiple times at Cagney's and was never charged for the difference.)

 

as for 'To go', they allow it for dessert.

 

The T&Cs specifically say "1 entree" for Cagney's, LeBistro, La Cantina for example..... but ommit any reference to the number of apps, sides, or desserts thus the ability to order the number I referenced. Some waitstaff will try to limit these but back down when you present the T&Cs. 

 

The absurd number I used in my example was just to point out that you can't really share food (people do but can be enforced by waitstaff)

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I am pretty sure that they swipe off two meals if there are 2 people even if asking for the one card. That's what I have experienced when I go with my daughter...We both have the package and one of each of our meals gets used.

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19 minutes ago, cyndyga said:

I am pretty sure that they swipe off two meals if there are 2 people even if asking for the one card. That's what I have experienced when I go with my daughter...We both have the package and one of each of our meals gets used.

 

Only of both people order entrees.

The waiter should only use sdp from one of them if only 1 entree was ordered.

 

Ie: the entree is shared

 

But yes, if both ordered an entree and are in the same room, only 1 keycard is required

 

Edited by fstuff1
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2 hours ago, fstuff1 said:

 

Only of both people order entrees.

The waiter should only use sdp from one of them if only 1 entree was ordered.

 

Ie: the entree is shared

 

But yes, if both ordered an entree and are in the same room, only 1 keycard is required

 

Right but not if anything else is shared...

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13 hours ago, gizfish said:

Technically anyone can order from the kids menu and eat free if it is one of the ala carte restaurants. 

Perhaps it depends on the ship.  Are 13 YO was denied the kid menu after we were seated in a couple of specialty restaurants but we ended having to order and pay for a side at least---and then share our food, as we intended to do anyway.   

Hey maybe if you are 70 and say that you are twelve you can get away with using the kid menu but we do not want to teach our daughter to lie.   Remember the kid is taking up a seat in the restaurant that could in theory be used by someone that is not getting a freebie.

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12 hours ago, fstuff1 said:

 

the sdp terms and conditions no longer say unlimited appetizers like they did a couple of years ago, probably because people were abusing it.

now the waiter says you're limited to 2 apps and 2 sides with sdp.

so i guess if the poster wanted to order 10 apps, he'll get charged for the difference. (note: i've ordered 3 or 4 sides multiple times at Cagney's and was never charged for the difference.)

 

as for 'To go', they allow it for dessert.

 

I don't recall the T&Cs ever stating unlimited appetisers. If they did it was certainly more than a couple of years ago.

 

This discussion has been going on for many years (basically, since around when the dining package was introduced). The T&C's do not refer to apps and desserts, but wait staff occasionally state a limit. If it was ever different, it wasn't for long and was a long time ago.

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This is my experience.

 

When we go to a restaurant they scan one card, but they look at everyone who is in the room, and who is there. For example, when my wife and I go by ourselves, they almost always confirm that our son is not joining us. If we are with friends then (I may have misremembered this bit) they usually ask for a card scan from them at the time.

 

Also, at this point they tend to confirm how we will be paying. This may not be noticeable for everyone (for example, if you are a couple and have a three meal plan/three meals booked), but in some places they expect platinums may be using the voucher. We often end up having used different numbers of meals to our son (due to platinum or him not being with us for some meals), and all the history is there for them. Once, when the numbers were out, we were able to go through  all the meals we had done with them, comparing against the numbers that they see on the system.

 

So, in the OP's situation, they will see what is going on. It would then be up to the staff as to whether to allow this. They shouldn't but there is likely nothing to stop them. Personally, I have never asked for a dining credit to be used for someone else, and would expect the answer to be no, but you never know. The most likely result is that ythe credit doesn't get used and the child has to pay a la carte anyway.

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Regarding getting sides etc for others using the SDP, it is very clearly their business if they chose to make it so. You haven't purchased the food (in which case it is yours to do with as you want). You have bought a package which entitles you to food, subject to the terms of that package. If you do something with it that is against those terms then they can rectify that (maybe by charging you).

 

However, it is rare that they actually choose to make it their business. That is a different thing.

 

In our experience, some wait staff have been very proactive in moving things around to give best value. For example, when someone was paying a la carte, they charged them the cheapest entree and put theirs against one of the packages. I've had similar when going over platinum limits (two apps for example).

 

I've never asked for this. They just sometimes do it anyway.

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