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3 night dining pkg (day 1 or 2)? Help!


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I have decided that for our family of four on our 7 night cruise I want to do the 3 night dining package.

Apparently it forces you to begin using it day 1 or 2 because when you try to add it on the cruise planner it makes you select one of those 2 days with a specific time before you can pay for it. 
 

As far as times, how can I commit to a time now when I have no idea what times the shows are (first cruise)?? I don’t want to miss a show because I booked a conflicting dinner time. Any suggestions?

For day 1 its giving me the following 4 options….

5:30

6:00

8:30

9:00

For day 2 its giving me the following 2 options…

8:30

9:00

 

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11 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

I would do an after 8pm dining option as usually the welcome show is around 7pm and 9pm the first night. If the second night is a port night the shows will also start 7,8, 9 and 10ish. Speciality restaurants require 2hr blocks for dinner. 

Thanks for that info. Unfortunately 8pm is not an available time to pick.

Do you think I should pick 8:30pm and go to the show around 7pm before dinner? 
 

Also do you know how do I figure out which nights are “port nights”? I know the daily destinations but I don’t know when the ship takes off from each port.

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My other question is how do I get the restaurant I want that first night? It does not ask you anything about what restaurants I prefer or anything like that. 
 

I want to make sure I get Chops or 150 Central Park that first night. How do I do that of they are just going to randomly pick a specialty restaurant for us on that first reservation? 
 

I don’t want to pay for this thing and then find out they reserved us for Jhonny Rockets for that first reservation lol

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34 minutes ago, ElmoHongZito said:

My other question is how do I get the restaurant I want that first night? It does not ask you anything about what restaurants I prefer or anything like that. 
I want to make sure I get Chops or 150 Central Park that first night. How do I do that of they are just going to randomly pick a specialty restaurant for us on that first reservation? 
I don’t want to pay for this thing and then find out they reserved us for Jhonny Rockets for that first reservation lol

I recommend searching this site for similar threads to get more opinions but here's a quick summary.  By buying a dining package, you are paying a lower price but the trade off is you have to make all your reservations on board.  If you are the type of person whose meal will be ruined by dining at 6:15PM instead of 6PM, you should probably not buy a package, just make the exact reservations you need.  If you accept some flexibility in dining time and location, you can save some money.

With a package, you cannot guarantee what restaurant you will get the first night (or any other night).  However, MOST people report they can get all the restaurants and times they want as long as they prioritize making their reservations soon after boarding the ship.  Go into the process with an idea of what you want by studying the entertainment schedules from previous cruises (you can find them posted here or join various facebook groups for your cruise and the ones before it with similar itineraries).

I'll ease your mind on one thing, they won't assign you Johnny Rockets.  That's a restaurant, but not one you can reserve.

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I had gotten the 3 night dining package for a family of 6. I selected the first night since I did not want to rush back from my port excursion.  I also picked a later time since we normally eat late.  But if you are an early dinner, pick an earlier slot. 

YES, you can change the restaurant and time once you are on-board.  I was on board by 11 am and did not have trouble change the venue. (I had the time I had wanted).  Just walk quickly to the first restaurant (like Chops) and they can make all the reservations for you at any restaurant and any day.  Just walk up knowing what you want and have 2nd and 3rd choices ready.  

One more piece of advise, pay attention on when you will get back from shore excursions if you also have dinner plans.  Leave yourself enough time to shower and change before your reservations. Enjoy!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/12/2022 at 2:19 PM, Ampurp85 said:

For some reason they always assign Chops. You can change it onboard. I normally do 8:15 and that way I can see the 7pm show and anything after 10.

I see from a cruise compass back in February similar to my itinerary (not exact) that the Cats musical is a 90 minute show only showing on 2 nights at 8:30. With an 8:15pm reservation we would miss the show.

Is there really this much logistical planning that goes into a cruise? This is my first one but if I have to figure out so many tiny logistical things ahead of time it might be my last. Too much stress. 

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On 9/25/2022 at 6:49 PM, ElmoHongZito said:

I see from a cruise compass back in February similar to my itinerary (not exact) that the Cats musical is a 90 minute show only showing on 2 nights at 8:30. With an 8:15pm reservation we would miss the show.

Is there really this much logistical planning that goes into a cruise? This is my first one but if I have to figure out so many tiny logistical things ahead of time it might be my last. Too much stress. 

@ElmoHongZito You don't have to do a ton of planning to enjoy a cruise.  There are so many activities and shows on the large ships that it is impossible to do them all on a single cruise.  Since you reference an 8:15PM reservation, it sounds like you have late traditional dining in the Main Dining Room (MDR).  This guarantees you a table there every night but you are not required to eat there every night.  There are several other free options plus specialty restaurants so it is very easy to attend any show that you want to see (with or without spending more money).  If you really want to see Cats, you'll have to eat at a different time/place, but that's no different than if you had theater tickets on land! 

As a first time cruiser, you may not realize this, but most cruisers do not eat every dinner in the MDR every night of the cruise.  Think of taking a cruise like visiting a new city, you've got tons of options for food and entertainment.

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So I"m on the cruise planner regarding the courtesy booking, it says for Day 1 the available time is at 530, 6, 8 and 9.....

When I am on board the ship on the first day, can I book on the app or go in person to pick my own time for courtesy booking ? Thanks in advance. 

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11 hours ago, Jayhoaps said:

So I"m on the cruise planner regarding the courtesy booking, it says for Day 1 the available time is at 530, 6, 8 and 9.....

When I am on board the ship on the first day, can I book on the app or go in person to pick my own time for courtesy booking ? Thanks in advance. 

You will be able to book all your nights when you bord, at any time you want as long as it is available.

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On 9/12/2022 at 10:38 AM, ElmoHongZito said:

Thanks for that info. Unfortunately 8pm is not an available time to pick.

Do you think I should pick 8:30pm and go to the show around 7pm before dinner? 
 

Also do you know how do I figure out which nights are “port nights”? I know the daily destinations but I don’t know when the ship takes off from each port.

On a recent sailing we were forced to pick 8:30 pm via cruise planner which was too late for us.  First thing onboard, go a specialty restaurant (anyone one will do) and ask for a different time. 

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On 10/11/2022 at 12:27 PM, RCLblue10 said:

I booked my time and then bought package of 3 specialty restaurants,  when I get on ship to make the chops, wonderland, etc. reservations are the my time dining reservations deleted?

No because you could pay for dinner in a specialty dining restaurant at 5PM and then go eat a free dinner in the MDR at 8PM.  Some people pop into the MDR just for an appetizer they know they like or to have a second dessert.  If you don't plan to eat in the MDR, it's polite to cancel your reservations so they don't hold a table that someone else could use.  But they won't do it for you.

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