Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
ms_samuella

Reservations for Specialty Dining Restaurants

Recommended Posts

My husband and I will be sailing on the Celebrity Equinox in November, and this will be our first cruise with Celebrity. Our last cruise was with NCL and the reservation process for specialty restaurants seemed high demand and were made far in advance of sailing. Will we have difficulty making reservations for Tuscan Grille, Murano, or Le Petite Chef if we do not reserve online and wait until we are on ship? If waiting until onboard is a safe bet is there a point in the cruise where it can be difficult to make reservations?

 

Thanks for the help navigating the ins and outs of a new cruise line! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ms_samuella said:

My husband and I will be sailing on the Celebrity Equinox in November, and this will be our first cruise with Celebrity. Our last cruise was with NCL and the reservation process for specialty restaurants seemed high demand and were made far in advance of sailing. Will we have difficulty making reservations for Tuscan Grille, Murano, or Le Petite Chef if we do not reserve online and wait until we are on ship? If waiting until onboard is a safe bet is there a point in the cruise where it can be difficult to make reservations?

 

Thanks for the help navigating the ins and outs of a new cruise line! 

 

In our experience on Celebrity you can usually wait until boarding and still manage to book the nights you want at the time you want. However, if you pre book individual restaurants pre cruise then you will pay full price.

 

You can pre book a package. If you do this you will save (more the bigger the package you book). On boarding you will find a card in your room with a reservation for night 1 or 2. If you don’t like your reservation simply visit one of the speciality restaurants or stands and change it and at the same time make the rest of your bookings. I strongly suggest you do make your bookings at this time. If you leave it until later in the cruise you will probably still be able to get in but may not get your preferred time.

 

Alternatively you can board and look for offers. On some cruises guests report good discounts above the saving made by booking a package. If you enjoy haggling, are not particularly bothered about specific times or days then this could be the way to go!

 

Personally, we love the speciality restaurants but don’t like haggling and have previously booked a package. Murano’s is by far our favourite restaurant I suggest you give it a go, Tuscan has wonderful views and Le Petite Chef is great fun! 

 

Hope you have a fantastic cruise, we board in just over a week, can’t wait!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ms_samuella said:

My husband and I will be sailing on the Celebrity Equinox in November, and this will be our first cruise with Celebrity. Our last cruise was with NCL and the reservation process for specialty restaurants seemed high demand and were made far in advance of sailing. Will we have difficulty making reservations for Tuscan Grille, Murano, or Le Petite Chef if we do not reserve online and wait until we are on ship? If waiting until onboard is a safe bet is there a point in the cruise where it can be difficult to make reservations?

 

Thanks for the help navigating the ins and outs of a new cruise line! 

 

If you are celebrating a special event, then I would book in advance before getting on the ship.  You may pay full price but you will be able to get the day and time of your choosing.  As for waiting to book on the ship, you will often get a discount but that is not guaranteed.  Also, when we have booked on the ship,  the times offered have often been at 6 or 9 pm.  

 

Murano would be our first choice without hesitation.  Food and service are outstanding.   We always book Murano in advance to secure the day and time we desire. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone know about the "2 Dinners + 1 Lunch" package they're offering for $100pp for an upcoming Equinox sailing?

Is it mandatory that one dinner be the first night (e.g., the discounted $30-35 rate vs. $50-55 normally)?

It doesn't look like Murano or Tuscan Grill are even open for lunch??? Is the Sushi restaurant the only choice there? Do you still get the $35 credit? The T&C's are not clear at all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Short answer you can’t book in advance with a package. We have a package and will go book our times as soon as we board. Yes it will be difficult getting peak time bookings as they seem to hold these back for those paying full price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have actually booked the Specialty Dining Trio for an upcoming cruise. We are too confused by the wording in Celebritys description. Are we locked in to dining the first night in a Specialty restaurant? Do we need to wait to book dates and times till onboard? 

We called Celebrity they said No you can wait until onboard and said the menu was the same for lunch and dinner in the Lawn Club Grill. $45 for lunch? Seems kind of strange for a dinner menu for lunch. But after posting about the Lawn Club Grill on a Celebrity thread. We found that the lunch menu is not the same as dinner, prices are $25 pp for lunch once onboard. Im not sure we will keep the Specialty Dining Trio.

But if someone had a accurate description on what the Specialty Dining Trio is exactly please share with us.

Thanks for the help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We knew we wanted to try Murano, and waited until we boarded.  They usually have dining package tables, so we just inquired about a discount for Murano if we dined there the first night....we got 30% off!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried to book the Trio package (2 dinners and a lunch) as they are currently offering a 24% off for our part of the world anyway. The special finishes tomorrow Monday. Going through the online booking procedure it said there were no restrictions yet when I came to pay the website required me to make a booking for the first night or it wouldn't let me proceed. It did say however that should my time not be available I could rebook onboard.  I do not want a specialty restaurant booking on first night as part of a discounted package. As an Elite cruiser I get a discount on the first night anyway but then so does everyone else. I rang the Celebrity call centre in Guatemala and was told that the package must include a first night dinner which is contrary to the "No restrictions" on the website. I have since sent an email to X asking what the story is around this so called discounted package. I want to make a booking for two b2B cruises each of 15 days and lots of sea days. I do wish X would get their shore based act together.   AS part of the offer I was able to cancel and rebook a shore excursion saving myself $NZ85 for a couple which is nothing to be sneezed at

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll answer you with how we handled it - we had a specialty dining credit from our travel agent and had not made plans. We did not know what night we wanted, or if we would go at all. We called the Tuscan Grille 24 hours in advance, and they happily received us with open arms. To be fair, we did choose an early time slot and they were not busy and it was very pleasant. So hopefully you can get in when you desire, but perhaps it may be earlier than you were planning on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Langley Cruisers said:

I'll answer you with how we handled it - we had a specialty dining credit from our travel agent and had not made plans. We did not know what night we wanted, or if we would go at all. We called the Tuscan Grille 24 hours in advance, and they happily received us with open arms. To be fair, we did choose an early time slot and they were not busy and it was very pleasant. So hopefully you can get in when you desire, but perhaps it may be earlier than you were planning on.

Getting a booking once onboard isn't the issue here. The issue is having to dine on day one when one purchases a package. Day one has too much going on to worry about specialty dining.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the lunch question. The specialty restaurants are usually open once per cruise with a special lunch menu that is a slimmed down version of the dinner menu at a lower cost.  When we last sailed on Reflection the LCG was open for lunch with a burger and salad bar only menu for approximately $25.  Perhaps they are now joining the other specialties and serving a modified dinner menu for lunch once per cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very seasoned Celebrity cruiser here.  You can almost always wait until you get onboard and then book.  They generally offer a good discount the first night, and then as the sailing goes on you can almost always arrange for discounts on restaurants, depending on bookings.  You will have many more options and more luck at getting discounts if you are flexible about times (early or late).  Prime time (6:30-8:00) is harder to do as it is most popular.  There is really no 'haggling' needed.  Just ask the maître d' in your restaurant (who can reach out to the specialty maître d'), or the one at the specialty restaurant, if they have any discounts and when.  Then either accept the answer or don't.  In our 52 Celebrity cruises we have only had issues doing this twice.  On one cruise a few years ago, they were not offering any discounts - was never sure why -  so we skipped it.  On another cruise there was a very large corporate group onboard who booked up the entire restaurants on multiple nights so no one else stood a chance to get in.   But we generally have no issues at all getting 20-30% off on a regular basis for Tuscan or Murano.  Don't like the new Le Petit Chef concept so we don't do that.

 

Edited by phoenix_dream

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had a response from Celebrity concerning my query on the trio (2 dinners and a lunch). What was supposed to have no restrictions appears to be full of them. According the advice I have  been given one chooses the time to dine and day 1 and X select the specialty restaurant and then select time for second restaurant and X select the restaurant and day. At least the lunch will be on a sea day. We declined to take up the offer. As we are on a b2B with lots of OBC on both cruises we will take chances on board

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/21/2019 at 11:25 PM, Beanb41 said:

Getting a booking once onboard isn't the issue here. The issue is having to dine on day one when one purchases a package. Day one has too much going on to worry about specialty dining.

 

Hi - I was replying expressly to the OP, who didn't mention anything about a dining package in her initial post. I realize you came along afterward and asked your own question, but I would have quoted you if I had been replying to you. Hope that helps.

Edited by Langley Cruisers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just dined 8 of 10 nights in specialty

Bought the package through the planner and then handled booking the nights/times when onboard

Seamless, no worries.

There is  a baked in discount with the packages.

 

We have been on sailings that were full and no packages were available on board

 

While onboard there maybe--depending on sailing--also other specialty dinners (Indian/curries for one), Veuve Cliquot dinner, Wine pairings, Chef's table... all for other fees.

The packages are for the specialty dining straight menus.

 

FWIW While working with a MaitreD and booking our other evenings (we had 8 nights to book) a woman came in to speak to the Maitre D and said she "heard" she could book the restaurant (named a discounted price) He corrected her with the full price. She asked again--saying her "friend told her she could get it for x", and again he corrected her. She left.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Langley Cruisers said:

 

Hi - I was replying expressly to the OP, who didn't mention anything about a dining package in her initial post. I realize you came along afterward and asked your own question, but I would have quoted you if I had been replying to you. Hope that helps.

Not a problem. These posts have a tendency to have a broader response than sometimes is intended by an OP such is the diversity of correspondents and different experiences we endure. Many are readers of these forums with fewer making contributions. That said the readers will often will get an answer to a query they may have just by following a post. Also responses often cross over due to time differences around the world. Appreciate your comments and contributions

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...