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@twangster  ONE MORE QUESTION ON THE SAME SUBJECT PLEASE. WOULD IT BE BETTER TO MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR THE SPECIALTY DINING ROOM NOW AND PAY FOR IT, THEN TRY TO GET A REFUND FOR ONE DINNER ONBOARD OR WAIT AND MAKE THE RESERVATION ONBOARD? THE ADVANTAGE OF DOING IT NOW WOULD BE GETTING THE DAY AND TIME I PREFER AND THE OPTIONS MIGHT BE LIMITED IF I WAIT.

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20 minutes ago, Mljstr said:

@twangster  ONE MORE QUESTION ON THE SAME SUBJECT PLEASE. WOULD IT BE BETTER TO MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR THE SPECIALTY DINING ROOM NOW AND PAY FOR IT, THEN TRY TO GET A REFUND FOR ONE DINNER ONBOARD OR WAIT AND MAKE THE RESERVATION ONBOARD? THE ADVANTAGE OF DOING IT NOW WOULD BE GETTING THE DAY AND TIME I PREFER AND THE OPTIONS MIGHT BE LIMITED IF I WAIT.

If you are celebrating a special event and want a specific restaurant at a specific time then an advanced reservation is best.  Yes it costs more but it's a sure thing. 

You cannot convert a cruise planner booking into a BOGO on board. 

The whole purpose of BOGO is to offer a lower price for flexible guests.  Can't get the venue or time you want, at least you didn't pay full price so you accept the alternative venue or less ideal time and move on knowing that is what could happen with the discounted price.

Having said that, if you board early and deal with booking the BOGO as soon as possible, you could get your desired time and venue.  If a large group books one venue they can sometimes remove that venue from the BOGO for that cruise.  

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We are due to board Vision next Tuesday and have just discovered (via Concierge) that the BOGO benefit for speciality dining is no longer being offered. We usually ask the Concierge to make a reservation for us before we board which is how we found out. I am rather disappointed that a worthwhile perk for D+ has been withdrawn. This is very recent as we certainly had the perk available on our last cruise on Explorer in June this year.

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9 minutes ago, JohnUK said:

We are due to board Vision next Tuesday and have just discovered (via Concierge) that the BOGO benefit for speciality dining is no longer being offered. We usually ask the Concierge to make a reservation for us before we board which is how we found out. I am rather disappointed that a worthwhile perk for D+ has been withdrawn. This is very recent as we certainly had the perk available on our last cruise on Explorer in June this year.

This is really disappointing if true fleet wide.  We are 3 cruises away from D+ and I have been pushing a bit to get there.  For us, that is really the only additional D+ perk that has value... and now it is gone...  😪

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1 hour ago, JohnUK said:

We are due to board Vision next Tuesday and have just discovered (via Concierge) that the BOGO benefit for speciality dining is no longer being offered. We usually ask the Concierge to make a reservation for us before we board which is how we found out. I am rather disappointed that a worthwhile perk for D+ has been withdrawn. This is very recent as we certainly had the perk available on our last cruise on Explorer in June this year.

Is it possible the concierge in the past was using the standard BOGO previously available to all guests?  Technically the D+ C&A BOGO isn't available until you are on-board.

The D+ BOGO was available on Empress this month.  

Vision has always been stingy with D+ often blocking them out of the Concierge Lounge.  I'm taking her through the Panama Canal and I'm guessing with enough Pinnacles on board I won't have CL access for 16 days.  The DL on Vision is tiny.  

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10 minutes ago, twangster said:

Is it possible the concierge in the past was using the standard BOGO previously available to all guests?  Technically the D+ C&A BOGO isn't available until you are on-board

No - technically you may be correct. We have never purchased the standard BOGO. Effectively, the Concierge is only making a reservation ahead of time for us, which could be for any sort of booking. We always tell him/her we will be using the D+ BOGO but it is not really relevant until we arrive at the restaurant. This time he informed us that the D+ BOGO was no longer available and asked, therefore, if we still wished him to make the reservation.

Last year we sailed on Vision around the Mediterranean and did have access to the Concierge lounge. I am hoping the same holds true this year as the itinerary is similar. I think there tend to be fewer Pinnacle and D+ on European cruises so the Concierge lounge is not quite as crowded.

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1 minute ago, JohnUK said:

No - technically you may be correct. We have never purchased the standard BOGO. Effectively, the Concierge is only making a reservation ahead of time for us, which could be for any sort of booking. We always tell him/her we will be using the D+ BOGO but it is not really relevant until we arrive at the restaurant. This time he informed us that the D+ BOGO was no longer available and asked, therefore, if we still wished him to make the reservation.

Last year we sailed on Vision around the Mediterranean and did have access to the Concierge lounge. I am hoping the same holds true this year as the itinerary is similar. I think there tend to be fewer Pinnacle and D+ on European cruises so the Concierge lounge is not quite as crowded.

We've seen before each ship can deviate to reach revenue targets.  Perhaps Vision is looking to specialty dining for that purpose.  

On the other hand, in the case of Diamond Happy Hour those drinks are paid for within Royal by the Crown and Anchor budget center.  The D+ BOGO may be as well so maybe it's not the ship but C&A who is making this change.  They're not afraid of upsetting D+.  Removing CL while adding SL and banning D+ for example.    Some ships are not offering the D+ 30% drink package discount either.  Perhaps the C&A department has a budget crisis with ever more Diamonds drinking every night so something had to go and this is what they are doing as a means to keep the free Diamond Happy Hour drinks. 

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20 hours ago, Mljstr said:

Exactly how do I contact the concierge for the ship we will be on in April? I am going to follow up on this. We will be on Anthem

Hi - I found this link a long time ago that is pretty good but never 100% accurate:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Pz4Im5qh4cqd1zE5A9srLm3wGd0_SNZwTdbLTa59EF4/edit#gid=0

I don't think a Concierge is duty bound to respond to requests in advance other than to Suite guests, who they usually contact in the week leading up to sailing to elicit requests. However, they usually do respond out of courtesy. It also helps if you know the Concierge from a previous voyage. Even so, I would not presume too much upon them - for courtesy's sake on my part.

For the same reason I would not try and contact a Concierge more than a week in advance of a sailing. It may be more appropriate to contact C&A directly to ask these questions as they should be able to give answers that cover all ships.

I hope that helps.

 

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13 minutes ago, JohnUK said:

I don't think a Concierge is duty bound to respond to requests in advance other than to Suite guests, who they usually contact in the week leading up to sailing to elicit requests. However, they usually do respond out of courtesy. It also helps if you know the Concierge from a previous voyage. Even so, I would not presume too much upon them - for courtesy's sake on my part.

For the same reason I would not try and contact a Concierge more than a week in advance of a sailing. It may be more appropriate to contact C&A directly to ask these questions as they should be able to give answers that cover all ships.

Could not agree with this more.  Also, keep in mind that April is very far off in terms of crew contracts.  It is very difficult to know who the concierge would be for sure 7-8 months out.

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@JohnUK @Lovetocruise2002  I don't get it! John asks the concierge EVERY cruise to make a reservation for him but I shouldn't ask a clarifying question? I didn't mean I was going to ask the concierge to make a reservation for April, just ask if the policy had changed. Strange! I think if he/she doesn't answer, then that's ok but what is the harm in asking? BTW I did send email to C&A but the confusion seems to be on the individual ships. 

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