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We are sailing on our first Oceania cruise on March 6 on the Riviera. We have reserved a PH1 category suite. While we have reserved our allotted premium restaurant reservations, I would like to inquire about the possibility of making additional reservations. Once on board, would we ask our butler or can we visit each restaurant to inquire? Is it common to be able to secure additional reservations? Thanks.

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Additional specialty restaurant reservations are available on a first come, first served basis. Ask your butler or check with the Maitre d at the Terrace buffet in the morning. You may also "order in" from the specialties and be served by your butler in the evenings if you so desire. This is a perk for having a PH.

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Your Butler can best take care of it for you.

 

There will be a table on Level 5, in the main corridor, where additional reservations can be made, on the day of the reservation. They open at 08:00, accepting requested reservations. They will take your requests, but not typically notify you of a confirmed reservation until 15:00-16:00 in the afternoon. It is not first come first service, and the requests are reviewed in total before they divy out the additional reservations based upon their own Agendas.

 

Be aware that everyone is guaranteed at least one reservation in each specialty restaurant. So the answer to your question on additional reservations, it typically dependent upon how booked the ship is, the itinerary, and how flexible you are. For example, getting an additional early reservation on any night that is followed by a "day at sea", would be nigh on impossible, whereas a 21:00 reservation "sharing" might happen.

 

Additionally, on many cruises Polo Grill (for instance) is often easier to get an additional reservation for than Jacques or The Red Ginger.

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Allow me to add on about why it is absolutely not first come first service.

 

1. As I stated above, everyone is guaranteed a reservation in each Specialty. Therefore, if you, or your Butler, are early in the process and request a slot, you are still prioritized behind any other cruiser that does not have a reservation for that restaurant. Not every cruiser pre books all (or any) of their Specialties. They wait until they Board or even the day they want the reservation.

 

2. If you have had multiple additional reservations and the couple in the PH next to you has had none, and you both request an additional reservation for the same restaurant, their request will get filled before yours .

 

These are just a couple of the reasons requests for additional reservations are never immediately confirmed, but done so later. There is a pecking order and first come first is low on that pecking order!

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Also

Every cruise is different. I have been on cruises where staff goes around the terrace asking people if they want extra reservations. Other cruises slots may be tough to get

 

It is always easier if you are willing to share a table

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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No disagreements here. Sometimes extra reservations are easy -- if there are not so many other passengers who want them. Sometimes they are hard -- when it's the opposite.

 

I find that if we have a butler, he can do a far better job at getting extra reservations than we can, especially if there is lots of demand.

 

Some of us aren't all that enthralled with the specialties -- not that DH and I dislike them, but we are equally happy in the GDR or Terrace -- or ordering into our room when we're in a suite. There have been times when we didn't use all of our allotted reservations, and I know we aren't the only ones who've been in that situation.

 

There are others who want to be in a specialty restaurant every night. It really depends on your fellow passengers who will set the demand.

 

That being said, when we've sought out extra reservations on our own, USUALLY we have gotten them. But we have to be flexible in dining times and whether we share a table with strangers. Since we like sharing, that hasn't been a problem! We've met some of our favorite co-passengers at dinner ...

 

Mura

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We've also been asked, upon arriving at the MDR and asking for a table for two, that they politely ask if we'd like to go to Polo or Toscano because the MDR is quite full and there are open tables in the specialty. Cannot recall ever being offered Jacques or Red Ginger but One never knows...

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We were offered a table in Jacques rather than the MDR and we were a party of six ... but it WAS departure night which is probably why the space was available.

 

Mura

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Mura my PC crashed and I lost all my email contacts.

If you have me in your contact list will you please email me. Have a question I would like to ask you.

BTW this new format is not making me happy.

Regards,

Bobbi Guerra

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We just finished our Riviera cruise and found that towards the end of the cruise it is much easier to reserve additional specialty restaurant slots above the number allotted for your cabin designation. It is better to go through your butler or the restaurant when it first opens nightly at 6pm.

 

I would skip the desk on the 5th floor as both gentlemen working the desk are complete asses. They were both asses on our November 2015 Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro cruise aboard Marina and we were very disappointed to see them on the Riviera. My wife asked me to inquire about a time change for one of the reservations and I ended up just walking away rather than nailing the guy with my fist.

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We were on the Riviera early Feb. Was completely sold out--even had asked people to switch to the next cruise for all kinds of percs. We were 3 couples all in penthouse cabins and we had pre-made 4 reservations (one in each restaurant).I would go down to reservation desk on days we did not have a reservation at 8 AM and put us on waiting list for 7:30 or 8:00 at ANY of the 4 specialty restaurants. I would then check in the early afternoon and always something had opened up! Mainly at Polo and once at Jacques. Loved every meal except one lobster which was way overcooked.

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As to Lane' s comment about going directly to the restaurant. On our last Marina cruise, the ship was completely sold out. The restaurant maître de would not accept or take any reservation requests. Everything was ran by the specialty reservation crew. A recent past cruiser had bragged, both on this site and on the ship, on how he had tipped certain maître des and got Specialty reservations every night of the cruise. People complained and O's mgt does, at times read these threads. End result those maître de investigated, fired, kick off the ship, and the fear of god was put into the other restaurant maître de. Everything is in the computer, so tracking back which maître de where involved was a simple process. Perhaps things have chilled now, but all reservations were made through the Level 5 Specialty Reservation table whether by one's butler or personally.

 

I have witnessed a bit of attitude by staff toward those, in PH and below, that either personally or through their butler show up every day wanting/expecting an additional Specialty reservation and not eating in the MDR or the Terrace. This is especially the case on a full to near full ship. Where one eats, or has eaten, every meal is clearly shown in the computer for the reservation staff to view.

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  • 3 months later...
As to Lane' s comment about going directly to the restaurant. On our last Marina cruise, the ship was completely sold out. The restaurant maître de would not accept or take any reservation requests. Everything was ran by the specialty reservation crew. A recent past cruiser had bragged, both on this site and on the ship, on how he had tipped certain maître des and got Specialty reservations every night of the cruise. People complained and O's mgt does, at times read these threads. End result those maître de investigated, fired, kick off the ship, and the fear of god was put into the other restaurant maître de. Everything is in the computer, so tracking back which maître de where involved was a simple process. Perhaps things have chilled now, but all reservations were made through the Level 5 Specialty Reservation table whether by one's butler or personally.

 

I have witnessed a bit of attitude by staff toward those, in PH and below, that either personally or through their butler show up every day wanting/expecting an additional Specialty reservation and not eating in the MDR or the Terrace. This is especially the case on a full to near full ship. Where one eats, or has eaten, every meal is clearly shown in the computer for the reservation staff to view.

 

Well, that is confusing; since Lane's report is recent and yours is too. I don't want to get anyone in trouble but I am in charge of extra reservations per DH :). We are always flexible anytime/anyplace/any size table and still had trouble getting extras. It will be what it will be.

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We are always flexible anytime/anyplace/any size table and still had trouble getting extras. It will be what it will be.
Pardon me, but this is not confusing at all. :halo:

 

As was pointed out several times by Happy Cruiser, the variable in the "getting extra reservations" equation is always going to be the actions of your fellow passengers.

 

We all have different priorities, so those actions do vary, but as a rule of thumb, cruises of less than two weeks have the greatest demand because everyone usually wants their innings at every restaurant.

 

This issue is compounded by the number of folks who see it as a status symbol to be able to avoid the GDR and Terrace entirely.

 

On longer voyages, the demand abates after a time because the Specialty Restaurant menus are static.

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Yes, it is obvious that demand is part of the problem. That will help keep things in perspective.

 

But supply seems to be also. The stated policy is to go to the main reservations desk if you don't have a butler. But there are reports to directly to the matri d of the specialty. Now a report that someone was fired over it.

 

I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences to stamp out my confusion. Thanks.

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Jim is absolutely right, PLUS the factor that it also depends on the makeup of your fellow cruisers. Some are like us and tend not even to use all the reservations we are entitled to. Others are as Jim cited, and are determined never to be having dinner in Terrace or the GDR.

 

There's no predicting what your fellow passengers will want to do. If enough people are fighting for extra reservations, it becomes that much harder to get them.

 

Mura

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My understanding from reading the above posts is that the maitre d' that got into trouble was over taking tips, not making reservations on the spot - although I could be wrong. The proper place to ask for extra reservations is at the right place - the reservation desk in the lobby on O class ships and the reservation dest at the Terrace cafe entrance on R ships.

That said, the Maitre d' has given reservations to those that inquire in the restaurant on the night in question if the restaurant is underbooked (as it sometimes happens) or a guest cancelled/didn't show. Why should a table remain empty when there is someone interested in taking it?

On rare occasions I have witnessed Maitre d' asking guests in Terrace Caffe or even in the MDR if they were interested in dining at specialty restaurant that night as they had openings.

Edited by Paulchili
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Paul chili has it correct. The proper place to ask for reservations is at the reservations desk. On our cruise, the individual restaurant Maitre De would not accept reservation requests. They would always direct inquiries to the reservation desk. If they had no shows they appeared to have a list of stand byes to call, then they might go to the GDR or Terrace to fill the slot.

 

There is a heirarchery on filling the request for additional reservations. Be flexible and polite and don't expect success every night and you'll be pleased overall.

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I thought Oceania was discouraging people from showing up at the Specialty restaurants asking for tables on the night

 

Last year we were in Polo ... 2 ladies came in the Maitre'd had a conversation with them & left

about 30-40 minutes later they returned again conversation then left

we noticed a table with a couple sitting by the window getting their meal served rather quickly by O standards while we sat & waited over 45 + mins between the salad course & the main

soon after the 2 ladies appeared again & the couple who had the most attention during their dinner were leaving ..table was turned over quickly & the ladies were seated there

Something tells me the Maitre'd was going above & beyond to seat those ladies

BTW we were there from 6:30 to after 9 pm with the slow service for our table of 4

Friend had ordered the lobster which the waiter usually takes out of the shell & removes it from the table ..this time he put the plate down & left not to return ..

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Paul chili has it correct. The proper place to ask for reservations is at the reservations desk. On our cruise, the individual restaurant Maitre De would not accept reservation requests. They would always direct inquiries to the reservation desk. If they had no shows they appeared to have a list of stand byes to call, then they might go to the GDR or Terrace to fill the slot.

 

There is a heirarchery on filling the request for additional reservations. Be flexible and polite and don't expect success every night and you'll be pleased overall.

 

You are absolutely correct.

However, I just want to point out one technicality for those that are new to O.

There is a difference between maitre d' "accepting/making" reservations ahead of the time and the maitre d' accommodating someone "at the door" at dinner time when there is availability (and no waiting list).

Edited by Paulchili
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Sooooo, if one wants the extra reservation go to the central reservation first, wait for call later, if no call then go check in person for no shows.

 

Also regarding tipping the maitre d. Do you ever?

 

Personally, we do not want to dine every night in the Specialty but we do enjoy them more than other venues for the service.

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The dining reservations desk is open from 8:00 until around 13:00 to take requests. The only people that get reservations, upon request, are those that have not booked their guaranteed restaurant allotment. For all others, they merely take the requests. After all the requests are received, using their preference system, additional reservations are granted. Typically, by 16:00 an envelope will be delivered to your cabin with the reservation therein. If you didn't get the envelope, you didn't get the reservation and go on the waitlist. If an opening appears, they call from the waitlist. But, you have to be in your cabin to get the call.

 

Cabin class typically establishes priority. OS and VS will typically always get their requests, with PH next in line. I was told by one at the desk that PHers are not sure locks. Remember everything is in the computer. They can see where and how many times, in each restaurant, a cruiser has dined. So if a PHer requests his second or third additional reservation in restaurant and a regular cabin holders has had none, the PHer goes down the list and typically doesn't get the reservation. Other than the very top suites, it's a little black magic, but the reservations people seem to have the system working fairly well. Flexibility is the key, imo. The later one is willing to eat, the greater the possibility of getting an additional reservation. The success rate for those that will only accept a reservation at 19:30 or before is fairly low in comparison to those that can/will eat later.

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