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Is this a new policy for dining?


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One fun part of cruising is meeting people and having dinner together. On previous cruises we've generally booked either Retreat or Aqua class and have generally (but not always) been able to have friends occasionally dine with us (at the discretion of the restaurant AND charges for the upgraded dining being billed). This was not an every time accommodation but was done many times on an availability basis. 

 

I have just been informed that this practice is no longer allowed. There are three couples traveling in Aqua class with a single paying the "double" fare in a lesser cabin. Our single friend will not be able to dine with us at all  I am told if we only dine at Bleu. 

 

I realize nobody has been cruising for a while and many things may have changed. Just hoping there is a "work around" for this problem. 

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Yes there is a work around.  The Specialty Restaurants are open to all passengers as is the buffet ( however they run it).    You are also able to dine with friends in the Main Dining Room regardless of your cabin type.   We did make arrangements with the Restaurant Manager the morning before we all dined together.

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I am amazed if you have ever been allowed to bring a guest into Blu.  Luminae, yes, for a fee, but it has been one of the few hard and fast rules that Blu was for Aqua only (and suites on a space available basis). This is not a new dining policy.   It had been in effect since Aqua began.

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I think that for awhile occupancy in every venue will have limits, so the flexibility to allow guests in Luminae or allowing folks booked in Blu to dine in the MDR May not be what we have experienced in the past.

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10 hours ago, molemaui said:

One fun part of cruising is meeting people and having dinner together. On previous cruises we've generally booked either Retreat or Aqua class and have generally (but not always) been able to have friends occasionally dine with us (at the discretion of the restaurant AND charges for the upgraded dining being billed). This was not an every time accommodation but was done many times on an availability basis. 

 

I have just been informed that this practice is no longer allowed. There are three couples traveling in Aqua class with a single paying the "double" fare in a lesser cabin. Our single friend will not be able to dine with us at all  I am told if we only dine at Bleu. 

 

I realize nobody has been cruising for a while and many things may have changed. Just hoping there is a "work around" for this problem. 

Have the single upgrade to Aqua Class.  Or you could dine with them in the MDR, buffet or specialty restaurant.  

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OP was told correctly that non Aquaclass friend will not be able to join them in BLU.  Check in is by cabin # for dinner and breakfast..and is not open to non AQ guests..same  rule  as for thermal suite/ Persian Garden.

 

Suite travelers have been able to invite and pay extra  for guests in  Luminae but was never permitted for BLU.

 

No guests are allowed in BLU  ( not even at  extra charge ) due to space limitations...probably worse now with social distance spacing,  as tables always were very close together

 

If friends are in a suite they were admitted on space available basis for dinner.   And I recall that a single paying double fare for AQ class could bring one guest.  

 

Friend will have to upgrade to AQ as a single, find a friend to join as a roomate in AQ class,   or as mentioned,  can  join you at MDR by arrangment, buffet or  a specialty dining venue ( extra charge for all)

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It has never been possible in Blu as others have said. If there is space a suite guest could book. Personally when I am in Aqua class I would never choose a night in the noisy MDR

Upgrading for a single cruiser to aqua is very expensive. Could be a couple of thousand. Cheaper to pay for specialty dining.  Or just agree to have lunch and breakfast together.

Other option is for the single friend to find a room mate

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Thanks for all the feedback. The upgrade to Aqua for the single is nearly $4000 so that is out of the question just to be able to eat together. Whatever, it will all work out. 

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IMO--- 

Perhaps you should have confirmed the dining policy prior to booking .

IF we were in the same position with 2 other couples plus a single ( 7 people ),  I would have suggested we ALL book the same category to avoid a situation like this.

It's a " guarantee " for hurt feelings and even loss of friend(s ).  

Also IMO---- Just with regards to dining---

We have cruised in Aqua class twice and didn't feel the value was worth the extra cost.

( Forget the Aqua class " perks " . They are built into the price ).

The Blu dining room is very crowded , tables much too close to each other , no dining time reservations permitted, and the food selection is just " ok ". No comparison to the Specialty restaurants. 

Assuming you were all in the same category , you could have booked Anytime Dining and reserved a time for every night of the cruise ahead of time. They would set a table for the group and most likely assign the same waiters for the entire cruise. That would be much better and less stressful than trying to make arrangements for the single person to join you in Blu.

 

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

Yes there is a work around.  The Specialty Restaurants are open to all passengers as is the buffet ( however they run it).    You are also able to dine with friends in the Main Dining Room regardless of your cabin type.   We did make arrangements with the Restaurant Manager the morning before we all dined together.

Spot on.

We talked to the manager of Blu the day we embarked and he cleared it for on single.

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I'd like the OP to expound on the ship and the Maitre'd involved in letting any non-AQ, non-Suite guest dine in Blu.

Since none of us has ever heard of it, I'm interest in knowing particulars.

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I’m not sure everyone is talking about the same thing here.

 

Covepointcruise arranged to eat in the MDR, as I read it.

 

longboysfan, did you somehow make an arrangement for a non Aqua guest to dine in Blu?

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Posted (edited)
On 3/26/2021 at 1:57 AM, molemaui said:

Thanks for all the feedback. The upgrade to Aqua for the single is nearly $4000 so that is out of the question just to be able to eat together. Whatever, it will all work out. 

That would be the same as $2000 more pp for Aqua.  If it is a 10 day cruise that is $200 a day pp premium.  No way is Aqua worth that kind of premium IMO.   Did you all pay that much of a premium for Aqua?  How long is your cruise and what category did your solo person book?

Edited by jagoffee
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Non aqua guests dining in Blu can  depend on “wink wink”, the ship, the Matri  D, and your relationship with him and the hotel manager. 
 A few years ago, we were 3 couples cruising. Only one couple was Aqua class. They were so enamored with Blu that they wanted us to try it.
Lo and Behold, after some discussion, we 4 non aquas were able to have dinner with that couple.

Personally, I was not impressed and saw no reason to book Aqua class in the future,

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molemaui, you may want to consider having your full group downgrade to regular verandas and then apply the savings to daily reservations at specialty restaurants. You may save a few $ and will have a nicer and more varied dining experience. 

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20 minutes ago, kathynorth said:

molemaui, you may want to consider having your full group downgrade to regular verandas and then apply the savings to daily reservations at specialty restaurants. You may save a few $ and will have a nicer and more varied dining experience. 

That's a GREAT idea!

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12 hours ago, trivia addict said:

Non aqua guests dining in Blu can  depend on “wink wink”, the ship, the Matri  D, and your relationship with him and the hotel manager. 
 A few years ago, we were 3 couples cruising. Only one couple was Aqua class. They were so enamored with Blu that they wanted us to try it.
Lo and Behold, after some discussion, we 4 non aquas were able to have dinner with that couple.

Personally, I was not impressed and saw no reason to book Aqua class in the future,

 

Interesting.....have never heard of non Aqua guests being allowed to dine in Blu....

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1 hour ago, Gracie115 said:

 

Interesting.....have never heard of non Aqua guests being allowed to dine in Blu....

 

People on this board over the years have said they even offered money to the Maitre'd to no avail.   I guess there are always exceptions. 

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LOL--- Anyone notice post # 11 ??

The writer forgot to add " A gratuity to the Maitre 'D at the beginning of the cruise is like an " Insurance policy "--- comes into effect when needed.

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