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ValleyCruiser

Cruise Planning as A Suite Passenger?

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My family, which includes my wife, our two children ages 12 and 11, and myself, are booked on the 4-Day Mariner of the Seas sailing out of Port Canaveral on September 30, 2019, and we are booked in a Grand Suite. Although we aren't new to Royal, we haven't sailed with them since our oldest was an infant, so some things have definitely changed, not least of which are their upgraded suite perks.

 

These forums have been invaluable to me in figuring out what perks are likely to be available to us as suite passengers, and I have been reading all the latest CC reviews and posts on the subject, and appreciate what I have been able to glean, particularly since Royal Support seems to know nothing, and always confuses me when I ask about perks for ships that aren't participating in the Royal Suites Program.

 

That being said, I haven't been able to find anything that addresses a particular question of mine, which is, if I can expect the Concierge to assist with booking our various spa and other activities reservations, should I go ahead and book anything through the Cruise Planner online? I guess one of my concerns is if other guests are booking prior to sailing, won't most of the activities be sold out and nothing available for the Concierge to assist with once we get on board?

 

If so, would it be more wise to reserve our activities now online, and then once on board have the Concierge change things around if needed? From what I have gathered by reading these boards, there will possibly be private times for various activities, such as the Flowrider, Ice Skating, etc. to which suite guests may have access, and I would certainly want to take advantage of those times and may not end up needing the times scheduled prior to our cruise. In your opinion, what would be the best course of action for planning these types of activities?

 

Thanks in advance for any who are kind and knowledgeable enough to respond to my inquiry!

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5 minutes ago, ValleyCruiser said:

would it be more wise to reserve our activities now online, and then once on board have the Concierge change things around if needed?

 

This!  The only guaranteed way to get what you want is to take care of it yourself.

 

The Concierge can assist you with getting refunds on anything that book and change later if a refund is warranted (lower price, etc.)

Edited by AshleyDillo

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3 minutes ago, ValleyCruiser said:

From what I have gathered by reading these boards, there will possibly be private times for various activities, such as the Flowrider, Ice Skating, etc. to which suite guests may have access, and I would certainly want to take advantage of those times and may not end up needing the times scheduled prior to our cruise. In your opinion, what would be the best course of action for planning these types of activities?

The only private session for Flowrider is one you pay for (directly or via Key). I have not heard of private ice skating session on Mariner.

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You can have the Concierge book reservations for you if you want.  However, I would go ahead and book on My Cruise Planner so I can have a better selection of times.  You can always have your Concierge change the time if you want.  I found it easier to just go to the spa and change the time myself.  I can tell you this based on experience:  I booked my hair appt on the cruise planner before we left.  I had OBC which paid for my appt.  When I got onboard and had my hair done, I was entitled to a discount based on my status w/RCCL.  Because I had prepaid, I was not given this discount.  Lesson learned-I won't do it again.

We had a Grand Suite on Freedom of the Seas in April and really enjoyed the perks.  I especially liked the reserved seating in the pool area and for the shows.

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2 minutes ago, gamecock411 said:

You can have the Concierge book reservations for you if you want.  However, I would go ahead and book on My Cruise Planner so I can have a better selection of times.  You can always have your Concierge change the time if you want.  I found it easier to just go to the spa and change the time myself.  I can tell you this based on experience:  I booked my hair appt on the cruise planner before we left.  I had OBC which paid for my appt.  When I got onboard and had my hair done, I was entitled to a discount based on my status w/RCCL.  Because I had prepaid, I was not given this discount.  Lesson learned-I won't do it again.

We had a Grand Suite on Freedom of the Seas in April and really enjoyed the perks.  I especially liked the reserved seating in the pool area and for the shows.

can you tell me where the reserved seating (main theater and pool)  is for suite guests on Freedom?  We just booked our very first grand suite for our upcoming Freedom cruise.

Edited by slyster

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There are 2 areas for the reserved seating at the pool on Deck 11.  If the main screen is behind you and the bar is in front of you, the reserved area is to the left and to the right.  It has a rope across it and shows you have to have a gold card to enter.  Gold is not your status in the C&A Society, it is the color of your card b/c you have a suite.  Many people thought they could enter (especially at the shows) b/c their status is Gold.  The crew had to explain to passengers that it was not their status, it was the color of the card.  They will treat you like royalty with the gold card.  Take advantage of the concierge lounge.  You will also probably get a few invitations in your room:  We had a sail away party from St Kitts on the helipad, there was a behind the scenes tour of the galley, I think maybe a captain's cocktail party.  We also got free pressing on the first formal night which we used.  Free room service was a plus also.  I believe you will really enjoy it.

If I can answer any more questions, let me know.

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Mariner does not have the same amenities for suite guests as on the Oasis and Anthem class. If you have star class with a genie. You would have private Flowrider lessons and other special things. You do have access to the concierge lounge and seating in the theater and ice skating rink.

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19 minutes ago, gamecock411 said:

There are 2 areas for the reserved seating at the pool on Deck 11.  If the main screen is behind you and the bar is in front of you, the reserved area is to the left and to the right.  It has a rope across it and shows you have to have a gold card to enter.  Gold is not your status in the C&A Society, it is the color of your card b/c you have a suite.  Many people thought they could enter (especially at the shows) b/c their status is Gold.  The crew had to explain to passengers that it was not their status, it was the color of the card.  They will treat you like royalty with the gold card.  Take advantage of the concierge lounge.  You will also probably get a few invitations in your room:  We had a sail away party from St Kitts on the helipad, there was a behind the scenes tour of the galley, I think maybe a captain's cocktail party.  We also got free pressing on the first formal night which we used.  Free room service was a plus also.  I believe you will really enjoy it.

If I can answer any more questions, let me know.

wow okay thank you very much.  Is the behind the scenes tour free to suite guests?  I was also wondering if there was a dvd player in the suite? 

 

Room service...does it come quickly or do you have to wait a while?

 

Oh!  and I thought of another question.  I read that you get private breakfast and lunch in one of the restaurants.  I never understood that for suite guests.  Do they get their food from the windjammer and then have easy access to tables or do they have their own separate menu or something?  I love the buffet!

Edited by slyster

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22 minutes ago, gamecock411 said:

I can tell you this based on experience:  I booked my hair appt on the cruise planner before we left.  I had OBC which paid for my appt.  When I got onboard and had my hair done, I was entitled to a discount based on my status w/RCCL.  Because I had prepaid, I was not given this discount.  Lesson learned-I won't do it again.

 

Interesting. I also have OBC and hadn't considered the possibility of not getting the discount if I pre-booked. I guess I would have to decide if the time slot is worth possibly paying full price for.

 

14 minutes ago, gamecock411 said:

They will treat you like royalty with the gold card.  Take advantage of the concierge lounge.  You will also probably get a few invitations in your room:  We had a sail away party from St Kitts on the helipad, there was a behind the scenes tour of the galley, I think maybe a captain's cocktail party.  We also got free pressing on the first formal night which we used.  Free room service was a plus also.  I believe you will really enjoy it.

If I can answer any more questions, let me know.

 

This is also part of my dilemma, as I would be interested in the behind-the-scenes tour of the ship, but have no idea when it is offered and am likely to schedule something that conflicts with the available times.

 

I do agree that overall we should definitely enjoy the gold card access. We booked the suite because my wife really enjoys time in our staterooms and we've especially enjoyed the suites perks on other lines, particularly NCL. Although we haven't sailed on Royal in a number of years, I was pleased when we received notice of their updated suite amenities/perks since we last sailed and look forward whatever perks we experience. From the reading these boards, it seems the embarkation in Port Canaveral should be the best I've ever experienced. Hope that is true, 'cause I don't like lines much.

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I may be reiterating somethings already posted. I would definitely book excursions in advance via your cruise planner  as the good ones often sell out.  If it is already not available, the concierge may be able to assist prior to the cruise when you get you welcome email usually a week prior to cruising.  Just email them back with your request.  As far as the spa, unless you have a service you need at a specific time, I would wait until on board to get the discounts and they often run spa specials once on board.  Also if you are interested in the Chef's Table ask the concierge if he can get a discounted rate.  They often need to fill a table on certain nights and will do this.  We were invited to join for free a second night but had already made plans with friends. Enjoy your cruise! 

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53 minutes ago, maryjaden said:

As far as the spa, unless you have a service you need at a specific time, I would wait until on board to get the discounts and they often run spa specials once on board.

Thanks! We will consider this.

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1 hour ago, gamecock411 said:

Gold is not your status in the C&A Society, it is the color of your card b/c you have a suite.  Many people thought they could enter (especially at the shows) b/c their status is Gold.  The crew had to explain to passengers that it was not their status, it was the color of the card.  They will treat you like royalty with the gold card. 

I read in another post on this board that people in suites on ships that do not have "Royal Suite Class" are no longer receiving gold cards.  That poster said that the gold cards are only being given to Pinnacles on those ships and that people in suites are receiving silver colored cards.  I do not know whether this is true from personal experience but I will find out this Monday (8/12) since my wife and I will be in a GS on the Navigator next week.

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2 hours ago, slyster said:

wow okay thank you very much.  Is the behind the scenes tour free to suite guests?  I was also wondering if there was a dvd player in the suite? 

 

Room service...does it come quickly or do you have to wait a while?

 

Oh!  and I thought of another question.  I read that you get private breakfast and lunch in one of the restaurants.  I never understood that for suite guests.  Do they get their food from the windjammer and then have easy access to tables or do they have their own separate menu or something?  I love the buffet!

The tour we were offered is not the comprehensive "All Access Tour" where you go to different areas of the ship.  What you should be offered is an invitation for the galley tour and yes, it is free.  As far as room service, we always put in an order the night before (my husband likes his coffee on the balcony) and they would call when they were on the way.  It was always delivered at the time we ordered.  As far as breakfast and lunch, we only did breakfast and it is in Chops Grille which is located on the right side when you come into the Windjammer.  I would highly recommend this-no crowds and cooked to order breakfast plus great views.  We used it every morning we could.  You can also get your food in Windjammer and bring it into Chops but again, I would recommend getting something off the menu.  Eggs Benedict is really good!  No DVD player in the suite.

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56 minutes ago, gamecock411 said:

The tour we were offered is not the comprehensive "All Access Tour" where you go to different areas of the ship.  What you should be offered is an invitation for the galley tour and yes, it is free.

I know you are referring to Freedom, and we will be sailing Mariner and hoping to receive a similar invitation, but your invitation to the galley tour, was it a set time or did you have different time options? Thanks!

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2 hours ago, actuarian said:

I read in another post on this board that people in suites on ships that do not have "Royal Suite Class" are no longer receiving gold cards.  That poster said that the gold cards are only being given to Pinnacles on those ships and that people in suites are receiving silver colored cards.  I do not know whether this is true from personal experience but I will find out this Monday (8/12) since my wife and I will be in a GS on the Navigator next week.

We were in a suite on the Serenade this spring and we are not Pinnacle and had Gold Seapass cards.

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1 hour ago, Murphy said:

We were in a suite on the Serenade this spring and we are not Pinnacle and had Gold Seapass cards.

The poster I was quoting said that the change in colors started just last month (July).  Therefore, it would not have affected a spring cruise.

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3 hours ago, gamecock411 said:

The tour we were offered is not the comprehensive "All Access Tour" where you go to different areas of the ship.  What you should be offered is an invitation for the galley tour and yes, it is free.  As far as room service, we always put in an order the night before (my husband likes his coffee on the balcony) and they would call when they were on the way.  It was always delivered at the time we ordered.  As far as breakfast and lunch, we only did breakfast and it is in Chops Grille which is located on the right side when you come into the Windjammer.  I would highly recommend this-no crowds and cooked to order breakfast plus great views.  We used it every morning we could.  You can also get your food in Windjammer and bring it into Chops but again, I would recommend getting something off the menu.  Eggs Benedict is really good!  No DVD player in the suite.

 

Thanks for the info.  Morning room service is a great idea especially with early tours.  As for eating in Chops for breakfast/lunch, thanks for explaining it. It sounds like it’s more catered to made to order breakfast like they have in the main dining room.  I do love eggs Benedict though!  My vice is the made to order white egg omelets in the WJ. LOVE it!   Thanks for confirming on DVD players.   I really appreciate the feedback on everything!

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6 hours ago, slyster said:

wow okay thank you very much.  Is the behind the scenes tour free to suite guests?  I was also wondering if there was a dvd player in the suite? 

 

Room service...does it come quickly or do you have to wait a while?

 

Oh!  and I thought of another question.  I read that you get private breakfast and lunch in one of the restaurants.  I never understood that for suite guests.  Do they get their food from the windjammer and then have easy access to tables or do they have their own separate menu or something?  I love the buffet!

We were on Explorer in March and gold card holders had breakfast in Chops every day

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We were on the Radiance of the Seas in a 2 bedroom Grand Suite in July 2019. You still receive gold cards. We did a galley tour but we had to pay. The head waiter offered it like it was free but stated he gave a discount to us. 30 bucks per person kids free. Not bad but I thought it should have been complimentary.

I also agree to eat breakfast at chops every morning. No crowds made to order food and just better service all around in my opinion.

Room service is complimentary and arrived quickly but you do have to remind the person you are ordering from that you are in a suite. Every night I would get a statement about a charge until I explained I was in a suite.

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17 hours ago, actuarian said:

I read in another post on this board that people in suites on ships that do not have "Royal Suite Class" are no longer receiving gold cards.  That poster said that the gold cards are only being given to Pinnacles on those ships and that people in suites are receiving silver colored cards.  I do not know whether this is true from personal experience but I will find out this Monday (8/12) since my wife and I will be in a GS on the Navigator next week.

The post I was referring to is:

 

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8 hours ago, denavo said:

We were on the Radiance of the Seas in a 2 bedroom Grand Suite in July 2019. You still receive gold cards. We did a galley tour but we had to pay. The head waiter offered it like it was free but stated he gave a discount to us. 30 bucks per person kids free. Not bad but I thought it should have been complimentary.

I also agree to eat breakfast at chops every morning. No crowds made to order food and just better service all around in my opinion.

Room service is complimentary and arrived quickly but you do have to remind the person you are ordering from that you are in a suite. Every night I would get a statement about a charge until I explained I was in a suite.

Thanks for the heads up on the room service. 

 

I usually get several pieces of crispy (hand picked) bacon and I love the egg white omelets with bacon, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and cheese.  Am I able to get that in the speciality restaurant?  If so, I’m set.  Otherwise, I’m usually up early enough to best crowds.  I like the idea of having lunch there though!!!

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5 minutes ago, slyster said:

Thanks for the heads up on the room service. 

 

I usually get several pieces of crispy (hand picked) bacon and I love the egg white omelets with bacon, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and cheese.  Am I able to get that in the speciality restaurant?  ...

 

Most likely.

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On 8/9/2019 at 5:22 PM, actuarian said:

I read in another post on this board that people in suites on ships that do not have "Royal Suite Class" are no longer receiving gold cards.  That poster said that the gold cards are only being given to Pinnacles on those ships and that people in suites are receiving silver colored cards.  I do not know whether this is true from personal experience but I will find out this Monday (8/12) since my wife and I will be in a GS on the Navigator next week.

My wife and I are on the Navigator in a GS right now and we do have the new silver colored sea pass cards.

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On 8/9/2019 at 6:56 PM, ValleyCruiser said:

I know you are referring to Freedom, and we will be sailing Mariner and hoping to receive a similar invitation, but your invitation to the galley tour, was it a set time or did you have different time options? Thanks!

 

I've paid for the galley tour on Freedom, and if it's the same one, it's usually on the last sea day around lunchtime because lunch is included at the end of the tour. The suite perk galley tour may be different so don't quote me on that... 😀

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On 8/10/2019 at 10:28 AM, slyster said:

Thanks for the heads up on the room service. 

 

I usually get several pieces of crispy (hand picked) bacon and I love the egg white omelets with bacon, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and cheese.  Am I able to get that in the speciality restaurant?  If so, I’m set.  Otherwise, I’m usually up early enough to best crowds.  I like the idea of having lunch there though!!!

yes you do not have to order off the menu.  I've special request exactly what I want.  

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