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BOGO 2 Night Dining Package?


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Hi - newbie here to the message boards.. (but have been listening to Matt for years on his old gig on WDW today).  I've been on 13 cruises, but last time I was on a RCCL ship was '89 on the Sovereign.  I'll be traveling on the Allure in September - I'm excited about getting on board an Oasis class ship!

I was debating one of the multi-night dining packages, but my fiancee's not that interested in spending so much time away from the MDR.  We compromised on 2 specialty meals: Chops Grill and 150 Central Park.  I went onto my cruise planner and found a program that I hadn't noticed before called "BOGO 2 Night Dining Package" for $40/pp.  Has anyone done this package?  It says no restrictions.  I'm kind of finding this a bit in the "too good to be true" category... would they really let me into the 2 aforementioned restaurants with this package?  The only restriction I see is the "you have to eat in one of the specialty restaurants in the first two nights".

Any thoughts are appreciated!

 

Jon

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Welcome, Matt has done this before and posted about it, I couldn't find the post, but to answer your question, yes there are no other strings attached other than what you have mentioned, except, that after you pick night 1 or 2 and the time, they pick the restaurant and you don't know what restaurant they have chosen for you until the first day on the ship.

With that said, on the first day, I go as fast as I can to one of the specialty restaurants and change my reservation to the restaurant I want. So they may have picked Sabor for you but you can change it to chops or 150, you may have to work with them on the time, but you can usually get close to what you want. Make both reservations while you are doing this, you do not actually have to go to Chops or 150 to make or change the reservation.

If you get on early enough, there is usually a kiosk on the Royal promenade also, as well as any of the Main Dinning rooms.

Welcome to the boards.

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I did a slight variation of this for my honeymoon last fall.  I don't remember exactly what they called it but it was BOGO for 2 specialty dinners but both had to be used on nights 1 and 2.

Yes, you will give up a certain degree of advance planning - you will only pick a time and night for your first dinner.  They will pick the restaurant and they might pre-assign the second restaurant as well.  Just plan to check and change your reservations (if necessary) when you board.  I can't remember anyone posting that they were unable to eat in the restaurants of their choice though as noted above some flexibility might be needed on the time of the second meal.

Of course, there's always some small chance a restaurant is completely booked.  You would have to make a full price reservation to be absolutely certain of your schedule.  Overall, I think the savings with this deal are well worth the risk!

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It's a great option! There are two catches.

  1. You have to eat at one of the restaurants on the first or second night
  2. You cannot book anything until you get onboard.

The first catch is sometimes an issue if you don't want to eat a specialty restaurant on night 1 or night 2.

Not being able to book onboard has the theoretical possibility the day and time you want for a restaurant will not be available.  In practice, this rarely if ever happens (especially if you make your reservations on day 1).

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I thought I understood this package but maybe I don't.    

When you buy 1 BOGO package are you buying a dinner for 2 people?

Here's what I thought:  For 2 people you buy 2 packages.    1 for each person.   Then 2 dinners are scheduled for both the 1st and 2nd nights with no exceptions.   

Maybe it's somewhere in between.

Can the first dinner be used on either the  1st or 2nd night and the remaining dinner any other night?

I purposely avoided this so that I could meet my waitstaff in the MDR.

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It's one package per person, so for two people you have to buy two packages.  One of your two dinners has to be on the first two nights, when you go to buy it in the cruise planner, you pick which day you'll be having the first dinner reservation.

In theory, RC will pick your restaurants and second dinner date and time, but you can change this on the ship.  I bought the 4-night packages and Royal didn't pre-book any of mine.

As soon as you get aboard the ship, look for someone standing at a podium or desk with a specialty dining sign and check/adjust your reservations then and there so you can get what you actually want.  I boarded a little after 11am and didn't have any trouble getting all 4 booked the way I wanted.

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Well, I was just about to book this package, and then I looked at the wording a bit more closely...

      "Select your dining party and your preferred dining time and a courtesy dinner reservation will be made on your behalf once onboard in two specialty restaurants for the first two nights of your cruise." (emphasis mine)

And then further down:  

     "This offer requires dining on Days 1 and 2"

So, it appears that this would take us out of the MDR for both of first two nights.  1 of the first 2 nights would be fine; both nights is not going to work for us.  That's likely the reason that the deal seems to be so good.  For those people that want to dine in the specialty restaurants the first two nights, it'd be perfect.  Not for me this time, though.

I'll now have to convince my fiancee that we need to eat at a third specialty restaurant and move into the 3-night package! ?

Jon

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Correct.  You purchase 2 BOGO plans and that allows the 2 of you to eat 2 specialty dining meals, each.

You can have the first meal either night #1 or night #2.  When you schedule the second meal is a bit more nebulous.  These days most ships allow you to eat that second meal whenever you want it.  They used to be stricter about when that second one was scheduled.

If you want to meet your MDR wait staff, I recommend that you eat in the MDR on night #1 and schedule the first of your BOGO meals for night #2.  This is what we always do. Once that first one is scheduled, you can ask what your options are for BOGO #2.  This way, you will have a chance to pick your table (if you are doing My Time Dining) and  meet your wait staff. 

I don't recall whether you are doing My Time Dining or Traditional Dining.  But, if you are doing MTD, here's an important tip.  IF you are happy with both your table location and your wait staff, be SURE and tell the maitre'd, on your way out, that want to KEEP that table for the rest of the evenings that you will be dining in the MDR.  Be sure and let them know when you will NOT be there (nights you are eating elsewhere) so that they can give your table to someone else on those nights.  They will tell you that they will try and accommodate your wishes but I have only had this backfire once.  Normally there is no problem with getting the same table every night as long as they know that you want to be there.  If you are eating at different times every night this can complicate things but they will still try and hold that table for you if they can.

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I have done the BOGO on Symphony , 

Although they ask you to choose the first night dining time they never really secure it (and not for the first time).

Once we board the ship we went to the central park to find one of the special restaurants which were open so we can book the required restaurants.

We went to Choop grill and it was quite easy to book the two restaurants we wanted   (Wonderland and Hooked) so it seems no restrictions.

On day 1 we went to Wonderland and on day two to Hooked.

 

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totally worth it!!!!   we did chops grille and giovanni's.   couldn't have been better!

 

by the way, even though they pick your first night, you can have that changed if you want.   they set us up for chops on night 1, and giovanni's on day 2, and we wanted that reversed for our anniversary...they were more than happy to make the switch for us.

 

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This was my experience on the Allure of the Seas in April, maybe it depends on the staff you're dealing with.

I had bought the BOGO 2 night dining package on the Cruise Planner ($50 CAD) and I was planning on going to Chops Grille and Giovanni's but once I got on board, my choices were only Giovanni and Samba. They said that I had purchased the $40 USD package and if I wanted to go to Chops, they could refund me the $40 USD package and they would offer Chops for half price...so, I was pretty irritated as I did not want to eat at Samba.  They should have stipulated the restaurants that were included. And she also mentioned that Chops is included in the $50 USD BOGO 2 night package (which was not an option on my Cruise Planner in Canadian dollars).

I will not be doing that again...Giovanni's was quite good though.

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35 minutes ago, JessiesGirl said:

This was my experience on the Allure of the Seas in April, maybe it depends on the staff you're dealing with.

I had bought the BOGO 2 night dining package on the Cruise Planner ($50 CAD) and I was planning on going to Chops Grille and Giovanni's but once I got on board, my choices were only Giovanni and Samba. They said that I had purchased the $40 USD package and if I wanted to go to Chops, they could refund me the $40 USD package and they would offer Chops for half price...so, I was pretty irritated as I did not want to eat at Samba.  They should have stipulated the restaurants that were included. And she also mentioned that Chops is included in the $50 USD BOGO 2 night package (which was not an option on my Cruise Planner in Canadian dollars).

I will not be doing that again...Giovanni's was quite good though.

I don't blame you.  We did Samba on our Allure cruise in April and we were so disappointed.  It had previously been such a fun experience and this time it was just - meh.

I completely agree with you.  It should be made clear which restaurants qualify for the BOGO (or any package, for that matter) when you purchase it.  I have heard that on some ships, Wonderland is not included in the dining packages.  I can't say that is a BAD thing, as I loathed Wonderland but some enjoy it very much or at least want to try it just to find out, once they board, that dining at Wonderland is not an option with the package.  They need to be CLEAR about what is included and what is excluded.

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On 5/18/2018 at 10:37 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

I don't blame you.  We did Samba on our Allure cruise in April and we were so disappointed.  It had previously been such a fun experience and this time it was just - meh.

I completely agree with you.  It should be made clear which restaurants qualify for the BOGO (or any package, for that matter) when you purchase it.  I have heard that on some ships, Wonderland is not included in the dining packages.  I can't say that is a BAD thing, as I loathed Wonderland but some enjoy it very much or at least want to try it just to find out, once they board, that dining at Wonderland is not an option with the package.  They need to be CLEAR about what is included and what is excluded.

 I totally agree with you and I am glad you agree with me...:).  On another note, we dressed formally for Day 2 and the people in Samba were dressed so casually...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just got off Allure on June 3rd. The cruise planner stated that Chef’s Table was the only specialty option not eligible for the BOGO package. Onboard we were told we could only eat at Gio’s and Samba. Checked with multiple specialty restaurants to make sure it wasn’t just the individual we were dealing with and they all toed the line. 

We caved and upgraded to the 3 night package and ate at 150, Izumi, and Chops. Izumi was a $35 credit pp. 

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My guess and it is only a guess is that the specialty dinning was selling well on this cruise, they typically use the "First night" and "BOGO" to raise awareness and participation in the specialty dinning so they are not sitting empty on the 1st and 2nd night.

Again, just a guess, but would bet they were getting close to capacity, except at Gio's and Samba.

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