Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
MarLieb

When to book Specialty Dining?

Recommended Posts

We will be on the Summit Dec. 21 sailing and would like to try Le Petit Chef.  Do you think I need to pre-book?  I hate to pay full price if I don't have to, LOL!  We may also go to Tuscan Grille, but that's one I could take or leave, so will probably wait until we are onboard to see if we can get a discount.  Also, will a 12-year old be charged the adult pricing in the specialty restaurants?  Thanks for your thoughts!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just off the Reflection. We had no intention of eating at Specialty restaurant but beginning on about the third night, we were approached in the martini bar with a special price at the Lawn Club. 1/2 price. We took it and were  delighted.  He offered us the same deal any night we wanted to return. We planned to go again in the last night but weather was rough and winds were up so we decided not to go.  Wonder if they were having trouble filling up the tables. I wouldn’t buy before cruise...deals seem to always be available on board

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a 14 night Christmas cruise a few years ago and there was not one discount the entire time.  I tried, believe me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cruise spans Christmas and Hanukkah; more extended families and children are apt to be celebrating aboard...

 

I’d guess—but don’t know—that Celebrity will have little if any incentive to discount Specialty Dining during a holiday sailing...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Xport said:

Cruise spans Christmas and Hanukkah; more extended families and children are apt to be celebrating aboard...

 

I’d guess—but don’t know—that Celebrity will have little if any incentive to discount Specialty Dining during a holiday sailing...

 

 

 

We are on the Dec 23 Solstice (12 night) sailing.  Specialty dining pricing is higher for all of the nights than what I am used to seeing at $70/person for Murano and Tuscan Grille.  On Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, it is $119!

 

Holiday Eve Murano.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Normally the first night is offered 30% off if booked using the web site cruise planner.

Not sure if it will be due to holiday sailing, but you should look.

This is normally the best deal you will get.

Normally they jack up the holiday sailing specialty restaurant prices to $70 or more per person.

One time on a non holiday cruise on Equinox we asked the RM at Tuscan about a 2 for 1 and even though the restaurant was a ghost town he was quite insulted !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did 2 New Year's sailings and no discounts available.  Every restaurant was filled at prime dining times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No matter the week (holiday or not) we book Specialty Dining dates and times in advance pre-cruise if we definitely want a specific date like a special occasion (birthday, anniversary, etc).  This will be even more important for a holiday week cruise.  For most other cruises on regular weeks where we have no specific celebrations we book on board and get discounts and we are flexible on the restaurant, day and time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much everyone!  Ok, I will pre-book Le Petit Chef.  We did this same cruise last year and were in a RS, so specialty dining was "free" (LOL!) and we pre-booked the reservations.  While I noticed staff members pushing specialty dining, I really wasn't paying attention to what their offers were.  We are in a Celebrity Suite this year so I'm paying more attention to the costs.  Based on all the feedback, I think I will pre-book LPC and wing Tuscan as I really don't care if we eat there or not, though it would be a nice change of pace from Luminae, I suppose.  I noticed the holiday meal pricing too!   $119 to eat at Tuscan on Christmas Eve and Christmas?!  No way.  We'll try to eat there another night, hopefully, with a discount!  Thank you all so much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, MarLieb said:

Thanks so much everyone!  Ok, I will pre-book Le Petit Chef.  We did this same cruise last year and were in a RS, so specialty dining was "free" (LOL!) and we pre-booked the reservations.  While I noticed staff members pushing specialty dining, I really wasn't paying attention to what their offers were.  We are in a Celebrity Suite this year so I'm paying more attention to the costs.  Based on all the feedback, I think I will pre-book LPC and wing Tuscan as I really don't care if we eat there or not, though it would be a nice change of pace from Luminae, I suppose.  I noticed the holiday meal pricing too!   $119 to eat at Tuscan on Christmas Eve and Christmas?!  No way.  We'll try to eat there another night, hopefully, with a discount!  Thank you all so much!

Good idea to pre-book LPC if a specific date and time is important.  For other dining reservations, since you are in a CS then your butler and/or the Michael's Club/Suite Lounge concierge can be very helpful getting other dining reservations even if you buy a discounted package.  They have strings to find tables sometimes!  Also in advance of the cruise you can make arrangements with the on shore concierge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TommyD3 said:

Normally the first night is offered 30% off if booked using the web site cruise planner.

Not sure if it will be due to holiday sailing, but you should look.

This is normally the best deal you will get.

Normally they jack up the holiday sailing specialty restaurant prices to $70 or more per person.

One time on a non holiday cruise on Equinox we asked the RM at Tuscan about a 2 for 1 and even though the restaurant was a ghost town he was quite insulted !!!

Not true about 2 for 1, it all depends - on the sailing, the night you are looking at, which restaurant, the phase of the moon, whether the waitstaff doing the offering needs to make a quota or get some sort of bonus (I do NOT KNOW that this is true, but I really, really suspect that it might be at some times).

We got 2 for 1 for LPC on first night, Nov 2018, Silhouette, we were in AQ. We had bought a pkg for our other meals, but made those reservations on board. The LPC reservation was not made as part of the pkg, the waiter chased us down after we finished booking the meals in our pkg and offered us 2 for 1 for that night. We weren't going to do that, because we wanted to make connections with the Blu staff, but the offer was too good to turn down. Our they making that same offer now? Who knows? Would they do that on a holiday sailing? Very unlikely, why would they?

 

A related point - on that Silhouette sailing, it was a TA with at least 1/3 passengers being Elite or experienced cruisers. Scheduling specialties at boarding was a madhouse - even though the restaurants were actually rather slow during most of the cruise, except maybe Murano. (I think this was partly weather and port related, there were certain nights that were much more attractive to go "out"). Anyway, people got their reservations made on boarding all messed up - lost, double booked, booked for the wrong night, etc. - we are paranoid and always call the desk at the specialty to double check - after departure and at least a day or so before our scheduled reservation. Just a thought when you are trying to get those discounts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A tip that a fellow seasoned cruiser once told me: Wait till you are on board and then go around to all the specialty restaurants and leave a paper with your room number on it. I use my business card with my room number and have gotten 1/2 off many times. They will call you with a 10 or 20% discount but hold out as they will call you again with a better a discount or just tell them can you make 1/2 off and we will be right down.

 

They also have people with signs posted near the pool area offering their restaurants and this is also a time to give them your card again.

 

 

I will say that sea days are harder to get a table and you may want to on one of 

those days take the discount they give if any.

 

Good Luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On our last three Celebrity sailings we've always been offered 50% off at either Murano or Tuscan on the first night. Either via the cruise planner or we've found a flyer in our room claiming it's an aquaclass offer. 

If approached by people selling specialty dining I just wait until they've finished their dales pitch and tell them "That's a little disappointing. On previous cruises the deals have always been more generous....." Then wait for their next move. 

I can appreciate that holiday sailings are completely different though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, MarLieb said:

Yowza.  I just found this:  http://creative.rccl.com/Sales/Celebrity/General_Info/Flyers/15047719_CEL_Children_Specialty_Dining_Flyer.pdf

 

It looks like my 12 year old son can eat in the specialty restaurants and order off the regular menu for $10!!  I think that's my discount right there.  My son eats like a horse.  This is awesome!

I interpreted this to mean a discount of $10 from the adult price...flyer was confusing .

 

Either way interesting to see the latest changes b/c children were not always permittrd in the specialty venues..now they are welcomed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Hmmmmmm....

"WE IMPLEMENTED CHILDREN’S PRICING IN ALL OF OUR SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS. Kids ages 6-12 will dine for lunch & dinner at our specialty restaurants at a discounted rate of $10 from the standard dinner menu.
• Ages 5 and under will dine for free.

• Children will be able to dine from the standard dinner menu in each restaurant. In Tuscan Grille, there’s also a separate “Italian Favorites” menu that children can choose from if they’d prefer for the same price.

• Children’s pricing not available for premium experiences including Daniel Boulud Chef’s Table, Connoisseur dinners, Food and Wine pairing dinners, Moveable Feast, etc.
• For pre-cruise purchases guests need to book at full price and once onboard we will apply an onboard credit accordingly (5 years and under full cover charge credit; 6 years to 12 years at discounted rate)."


That is badly written as it will cause confusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started a sep thread because some will love it, some not...Seems it was implemented in July 2019.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, hcat said:

I interpreted this to mean a discount of $10 from the adult price...flyer was confusing .

 

Either way interesting to see the latest changes b/c children were not always permittrd in the specialty venues..now they are welcomed!

 

You're right - now that I read it again, it is confusing!  It could definitely mean it's only $10 off.  Thank you for pointing that out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you make reservations online with a dining package? We have the first night special at Murano booked, but that’s it. Do you make the other reservations when you check in for the first dinner?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have always purchased our Speciality Dining packages before hand.  It has always been a better value than waiting unitl we got on board.  I have already booked  for our Celebrity Reflection sailing February 2020 (11 night sailing).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/1/2019 at 7:27 AM, MarLieb said:

 

You're right - now that I read it again, it is confusing!  It could definitely mean it's only $10 off.  Thank you for pointing that out!

 

Yes, it could be written better, but that is definitely what it means. It says a discounted rate “from” the standard menu. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vt cruiser posted in the sep  thread I started,  and indicated others have used the discount and paid ONLY $10...

 

This would be great news for Marlieb's  12 yr old son with adult appetite!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

 

Yes, it could be written better, but that is definitely what it means. It says a discounted rate “from” the standard menu. 

 

2 hours ago, hcat said:

Vt cruiser posted in the sep  thread I started,  and indicated others have used the discount and paid ONLY $10...

 

This would be great news for Marlieb's  12 yr old son with adult appetite!

 

Yes, it's so confusing and calling Celebrity didn't really help much.  The rep I just spoke with really had no idea.  She then checked with a colleague who told her it is $10 (not a $10 discount, but the actual child cost for 6-12 year olds is $10.  5 and under are free).  I asked what to do if I pre-book as the system doesn't have child pricing.  She said I would pay full price and then Celebrity would give me OBC in the amount I paid minus the $10 charge.  I guess I could try to pre-book and see if the OBC pops up in my account.  I would be fine with that as we would either use it toward my son's beverages (he does not have a beverage package) or use it in the casino.  If the OBC doesn't appear, I suppose I could cancel and then try to book onboard . . .  We had issues last year with phone reps telling us things that contradicted onboard staff info and vice versa.  I really don't understand Celebrity marketing to young families the way they do and then making it so difficult to book things like this.  They have children's pricing for shore excursions.  Can it be that difficult for their website to recognize children's ages when booking specialty dining? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2019 at 12:12 PM, MarLieb said:

 

 

Yes, it's so confusing and calling Celebrity didn't really help much.  The rep I just spoke with really had no idea.  She then checked with a colleague who told her it is $10 (not a $10 discount, but the actual child cost for 6-12 year olds is $10.  5 and under are free).  I asked what to do if I pre-book as the system doesn't have child pricing.  She said I would pay full price and then Celebrity would give me OBC in the amount I paid minus the $10 charge.  I guess I could try to pre-book and see if the OBC pops up in my account.  I would be fine with that as we would either use it toward my son's beverages (he does not have a beverage package) or use it in the casino.  If the OBC doesn't appear, I suppose I could cancel and then try to book onboard . . .  We had issues last year with phone reps telling us things that contradicted onboard staff info and vice versa.  I really don't understand Celebrity marketing to young families the way they do and then making it so difficult to book things like this.  They have children's pricing for shore excursions.  Can it be that difficult for their website to recognize children's ages when booking specialty dining? 

I would book online for two adults to hold your reservation.  When onboard go to the restaurant and add your son for $10 which they will charge to your account so it will come out of your OBC.

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 Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • 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...