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Is it better to book when I am on board and Is it cheaper as a package?

 

 

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There is not a lot in it. If they are quiet you can usually get around 30% off and that is around the discount you get by pre booking unless you are looking to do more than 7 nights in the speciality restaurants. The more dinners you book the more discount you get once you get past 7.

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It's cheaper to buy the package vs paying full price. They sometimes offer discounts on board, usualy the first day and the last day sometimes other days too. However, even if they are not offering a discount you can usually get one if you ask (haggle). We have a nearly 100% success rate getting anywhere from 30% to 50% off as long as we are flexible on time and the day. We usually book at the kiosk outside the buffet.

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Is it better to book when I am on board and Is it cheaper as a package?

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Yes the packages tend to be a bit better deals. You might want to run the numbers on the discounts they're offering on the packages through cruise planner though. On one upcoming cruise I looked at, the percentage discount actually dips for a couple of the options (4 dinners being cheaper per dinner than 6) then goes back up for the full-cruise option.

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For our cruise in August we could book a speciality restaurant via the Cruise Planner for the 1st night at a 30% discount. Previously we could get 40-50% off on first night once onboard. but in August the 1st night was heavily booked so couldn’t get any more than 30% discount & only late reservation times.

 

The 3 & 4 night packages sold out before the cruise. The only restaurant where they were pushing booking onboard was Silk Harvest with with 35% off. We managed to get a reservation at Murano with 20% off but at 9:00.

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Why don’t they just reasonably lower the specialty dining charge and quit with the discounts? Seems some get them some don’t! Book on board don’t book on board, everything is a gamble to me without a discount I wouldn’t buy the dinners but always seem to get the discount, seems silly.

 

 

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A lot of the discounting has gone away since they started doing the packages. Before the packages came into play they often had a lot of empty tables but since you can now buy at an assured discount and use your Celebrity OBC when buying a package the restaurants seem to be fuller.

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Why don’t they just reasonably lower the specialty dining charge and quit with the discounts? Seems some get them some don’t! Book on board don’t book on board, everything is a gamble to me without a discount I wouldn’t buy the dinners but always seem to get the discount, seems silly.

 

 

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Buying the package pre-cruise represents a 30% +/- discount, no need to search for a discount onboard or be disappointed if there isn't a good discount on board.

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OP asks a terrific question. We have often used the various alternative dining venues and always try to negotiate a discount (we seldom pay full price). Over the years we generally are able to get 30-50% Off by quietly talking to the appropriate staff. But on our last cruise we did purchase a dining package because we were able to get our meals at 50% Off. This happens by buying enough nights (the more you buy the lower the cost per meal) and doing it during a Celebrity 20% Off Sale which got us 20% off the already discounted dining package. We paid $25 per meal...and had nearly all of our meals in Murano which, in a sense, became our regular restaurant. At the time we had thought about booking an Aqua Class cabin so we would dine in Blu (have done this on many cruises). But by booking a normal balcony cabin (versus AQ) we were able to save enough money to purchase the dining package that covered every night (except for formal nights when we wanted to dine in the MDR) and we had money left over :). Anyone who has dined in Murano, the Lawn or Qsine can voice their own opinion on how they compare to Blu....but to us there is not even a close comparison.

 

Hank

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