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View Full Version : Concierge Suites Opinion


Rominet
02-16-2012, 12:46 PM
This is a little bit of a vent!

We've tried the Concierge rooms once before and now have one booked on an upcoming cruise on the Fantasy. A poster a while back stated something to the effect of "just realize you are paying for the room and not a service". Truer words have never been spoken!

The onshore Concierge Service is just a person going onto the website on your behalf and booking the reservations for you. It is easier and faster to do it yourself!

Onboard, there is very little benefit. I haven't experienced the Lounge yet, but it seems like Disney just centralized requests (breakfast, checking out DVDs, etc) so the staff doesn't have to provide individual service to rooms, which makes sense.

As long as a family needs/wants the room size there will be no disappointment, but I would never recommend to anyone to book Concierge for the services.

Gigi22
02-16-2012, 01:09 PM
Can't say that I agree with you. Both times we had a 1 bdrm. suite on the Magic, we loved our cabin! As a matter of fact, I had a heck of a time getting DH to leave the cabin, he liked it so much! The amenities were nice, but the cabin was wonderful! Much nicer than a comparable concierge-level cabin on HAL.

SharonLowe
02-16-2012, 01:19 PM
This is a little bit of a vent!

We've tried the Concierge rooms once before and now have one booked on an upcoming cruise on the Fantasy. A poster a while back stated something to the effect of "just realize you are paying for the room and not a service". Truer words have never been spoken!

The onshore Concierge Service is just a person going onto the website on your behalf and booking the reservations for you. It is easier and faster to do it yourself!

Onboard, there is very little benefit. I haven't experienced the Lounge yet, but it seems like Disney just centralized requests (breakfast, checking out DVDs, etc) so the staff doesn't have to provide individual service to rooms, which makes sense.

As long as a family needs/wants the room size there will be no disappointment, but I would never recommend to anyone to book Concierge for the services.

Why bother to book one then? And, if you haven't experienced the lounge, what basis do you have to complain about anything???? In fact, the rooms, not suites, in Concierge on the Dream and Fantasy, are the same size as the same room without concierge service. So, do yourself a favor and book the family stateroom without concierge.

As for pre-cruise benefits, anyone in concierge who has paid up can book excursions and other activities 120 days out. Unless you are a Platinum cruiser, that is a huge benefit.

taswira
02-16-2012, 02:28 PM
This month I did Cat. T on the Dream and will have the same on the Fantasy in April. While the one bedroom suite itself is not comparable to the more comfortable and stylish ones on the Magic and Wonder, I think going Concierge on the new ships is worth it for the gated separate area. Although I was not "wowed," I was reasonably impressed with the private sun deck and especially the Concierge Lounge and offerings (not for meals but for nice fresh snacks, beverages, the cocktail hours and the accessibility of the concierge CM), and did receive some thoughtful amenities. When our concierge found out that I like iced tea, he made sure I always had a fresh pitcher in the fridge. Although that isn't monetarily worth anything, it was a thoughtful gesture that I appreciated. I am easily pleased by small considerate gestures.

I love Concierge for the ability to escape the crowds (only a real concern on the new, larger ships) and not having to battle my way to the drink station by the pools (which I never use) when I'm thirsty.

However, I am Platinum and have so far not found shoreside concierge to be useful at all. We shall see on this next cruise.

As for room size, I was in a suite. But someone mentioned that the non-suite deluxe family oceanview stateroom with verandah in concierge is the same size as the NON-concierge version of that room. According to DCL's website, that is incorrect. They show the Cat. V as 306 sq. ft. including verandah (or 304 depending on which page you look at) and the largest Cat. 4 as 299 sq. ft. including verandah. That's a 5 to 7 sq. ft. difference. Minor, but still a difference. ;)

Whether concierge is worth it to an individual depends entirely on what you want on your cruise. Those who won't be spending much time on their verandah or in the concierge areas would probably be happier saving their money or spending it on other things. P.S. - I don't have kids, but my observation is that there is really nothing of interest to them in the concierge area. I think they'd rather be with other kids where the action is. :)

CoolHandsGirl
02-16-2012, 02:34 PM
I actually had a great experience with Shoreside Concierge prior to our upcoming cruise. They were able to book me a spa time that wasn't even available online for booking. They also were able to sort out some dining reservations for multiple adults in multiple rooms for Remy, Palo dinner and Palo brunch that online I didn't have the ability to customize and hadn't been able to book online properly.
Plus they were able to advise on a couple little things like booking the nursery a half hour sooner than I thought I needed as it was on the opposite end of the ship from the activity I'd be heading to, etc. Overall, they're just making it more seamless I'm finding. :thumbsup2

speedo
02-16-2012, 02:39 PM
This is my second time sailing DCL and first time sailing concierge. I read the reviews about the shoreside concierge team so my expectations were low. But my experience have been completely opposite. They have been very helpful and responsive. They were able to do more than what I could do online at midnight and have been really friendly in answering all of questions. I also was pleasantly surprised when they called me on the phone before my booking window opened to introduce themselves. I guess I will have to wait till I am on the ship to see if all my requests go though. But so far so good!

1stdcl2012
02-16-2012, 02:47 PM
I'm a first-time DCL cruiser, and I discovered Concierge gave me the ability to book in advance as well as have someone authoritative to answer questions. At present, I am totally satisfied and think I am getting my money's worth. I did not need to login to the DCL website, just send them an email with what I wanted done.

I do not think I would have snagged a family cabana if I were not Concierge. I was able to book a hair/salon appointment and a private 30min photo session via the Shoreside Concierge team. These are not available online - I asked the Concierge and they said they will do it for me. I also asked them for advice on the timing of appointments as I do not know whether it will conflict with certain activities I wanted to do. They also scheduled certain payments to post at a certain date per my request (e.g. prepaid gratuity 3 days prior to my cruise, etc).

Also, I noticed (from pictures) the furnishings in the concierge cabins are much more upscale than the regular ones (carpet, bathroom tiles) - or were the pictures not accurate?

taswira
02-16-2012, 03:08 PM
Since I'm coming up on my 16th DCL cruise, I really don't need them to answer questions for me. What we discovered with shoreside concierge is that there are some there who do nothing more than pay lip service to what they will do for you, but one or two of them who (if lucky enough to have THEM help you) will actually do everything possible to convey your requests to shipboard concierge and try to arrange whatever it is that you want.

On our recently completed and upcoming cruises, we DID get all the ressies we wanted, but that was because I made them all in a matter of 5 minutes time online at midnight at the start of the 120 day point. Shoreside concierge said they could not have made those reservations until they came in the next morning, 8 hours AFTER all Platinum and Concierge guests could make them online, so they suggested we do it ourselves. Thus I don't rely on them for that.

I think it would help tremendously if Concierge guests were assigned one particular shoreside concierge CM instead of communicating with several different ones upon each call or email. Oh, well ...

Rominet
02-16-2012, 03:08 PM
Why bother to book one then? And, if you haven't experienced the lounge, what basis do you have to complain about anything???? In fact, the rooms, not suites, in Concierge on the Dream and Fantasy, are the same size as the same room without concierge service. So, do yourself a favor and book the family stateroom without concierge.

As for pre-cruise benefits, anyone in concierge who has paid up can book excursions and other activities 120 days out. Unless you are a Platinum cruiser, that is a huge benefit.

The past booking was because we are a family of 5 with young kids and we always booked two adjoining rooms (kids needed naps and couldn't stay up as late as us). One time it happened that the cost of two rooms wasn't so far off from the 1 br concierge. It was nice to have the space. It was also nice to have a hot breakfast in the room, too.

This time was again we got an early booking deal and my dh really wanted to try it. By the time I talked him into getting out of concierge, it would have cost us more to downgrade to a Family Verandah room because the room costs had increased so much.

Didn't complain about the lounge. I stated I hadn't tried it yet.

Just Silver, but concierge rooms didn't bring any advantage to booking anything.

I completely agree with you. We have a future cruise booked now with NO concierge! The kids will be older and don't need naps/early bedtimes, so we are getting the Family Verandah for 5!

Rominet
02-16-2012, 03:09 PM
Can't say that I agree with you. Both times we had a 1 bdrm. suite on the Magic, we loved our cabin! As a matter of fact, I had a heck of a time getting DH to leave the cabin, he liked it so much! The amenities were nice, but the cabin was wonderful! Much nicer than a comparable concierge-level cabin on HAL.

Very nice, treat!

Rominet
02-16-2012, 03:14 PM
I don't know why, but I found it calming in my "venting' state. Thanks.
:)

cypressmom
02-16-2012, 03:26 PM
I'm a first-time DCL cruiser, and I discovered Concierge gave me the ability to book in advance as well as have someone authoritative to answer questions. At present, I am totally satisfied and think I am getting my money's worth. I did not need to login to the DCL website, just send them an email with what I wanted done.

I do not think I would have snagged a family cabana if I were not Concierge. I was able to book a hair/salon appointment and a private 30min photo session via the Shoreside Concierge team. These are not available online - I asked the Concierge and they said they will do it for me. I also asked them for advice on the timing of appointments as I do not know whether it will conflict with certain activities I wanted to do. They also scheduled certain payments to post at a certain date per my request (e.g. prepaid gratuity 3 days prior to my cruise, etc).

Also, I noticed (from pictures) the furnishings in the concierge cabins are much more upscale than the regular ones (carpet, bathroom tiles) - or were the pictures not accurate?

Who is the 30 minute session with?

1stdcl2012
02-16-2012, 03:41 PM
Who is the 30 minute session with? Oh, sorry I wasn't clear :goodvibes. It's with the Shutters photographer - no characters involved. We wanted a couple of family portraits (with DCL borders) as we're travelling with grandma. I did ask about the atrium photos w/characters, the CM said it's just one line so there's no advantage for Concierge guests.

mytripsandraces
02-16-2012, 06:54 PM
I found the shoreside concierge to be proactively helpful. I was traveling solo on my last cruise and they called to ask me if I wanted them to arrange for a table for me to eat by myself. I asked them to put me at a table of other adult cruisers, so parents wouldn't feel awkward about a single adult sitting at the end of their family table.

Just Silver, but concierge rooms didn't bring any advantage to booking anything.

Concierge guests, regardless of Castaway Club level, are able to book about a month in advance of silver Castaway Club members, so there should have been some advantage.

DisneyHelen
02-16-2012, 07:53 PM
I have travelled concierge on the WONDER and the DREAM. I thought being able to book Palo and excursions at 120 days was great. I especially loved the lounge on the Dream. Snacks most of the day and the pre dinner drinks were great. We also liked the character greet with Goofy.:yay:

AlexandNessa
02-16-2012, 08:26 PM
While you haven't experienced the lounge yet, which is something I'm sure you'll love, I do think that you are paying for the service.

Maybe not so much ahead of time, although the shoreside concierge gang have always been helpful to us.

What we most appreciate is the 'one stop shopping' aspect of concierge. No stopping at guest services, the excursions desk, the dining desk on the first day, etc. Just call the concierge, and anything you need is handled. That is worth it to us alone.

On the Dream and Fantasy at least, folks can no longer say you're paying for the room and not the service in concierge. At least with the Cat V rooms.

cypressmom
02-16-2012, 08:42 PM
Oh, sorry I wasn't clear :goodvibes. It's with the Shutters photographer - no characters involved. We wanted a couple of family portraits (with DCL borders) as we're travelling with grandma. I did ask about the atrium photos w/characters, the CM said it's just one line so there's no advantage for Concierge guests.

Thank you!

disneywonderfun
02-16-2012, 09:04 PM
I suspect I might have been one of the people who mentioned something about the room being more important than the service, perhaps.

We stayed in the Roy Suite on the Wonder two years ago and found the concierge staff to be spotty at best. Since they did not have a centralized area, you had to call them anytime you wanted something. I almost felt like I was imposing on them. In addition, when we asked our concierge if she could suggest something to make our trip especially magical, there basically was nothing except the response: "well I know there is still a cabana available which I can book for you for $499".

Last year, we stayed in the Walt Suite on the Dream. I only agreed to book that cabin since I love to stretch out on a cruise. Also, with its large balcony, I thought we would be able to enjoy the experience more than on the Wonder/Magic where the balcony is a long, thin sliver. Well, I loved the cabin, but this time, I adored our concierge staff. Melanie, Thomas, and Julia really made our lives wonderful while we were there. They really made the experience exceptional.

So, I do not think the new ships are trying to cut corners by consolidating the concierge staff. I think they decided it is more efficient with a central location. For example, ordering Palo for room service was a snap when sitting across from the concierge with the menu. It also adds a layer of accountability.

I did leave a fairly full review of our last trip at:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2806031

For what this is worth, we did book the Walt Suite on the Fantasy for our next scheduled cruise next summer. I cannot imagine having anything but a fantastic experience if it is similar to the Dream

DWF

P.S. One thing I wish is that Disney would solicit more feedback about the experience from repeat guests to the concierge area. For example, I think the character meet-and-greet could be much, much better. We have gone to a couple of them, but have not enjoyed them at all. Everybody packed into a room to spend 2-3 minutes for some photo ops with Goofy. Why not bring in three characters and split the event in half with odd number cabins coming to one meet-and-greet and the even number cabins coming to another? How hard could it be to bring in three characters instead of one and have two events instead of one? Now that would be memorable instead of painful. I know that we will not be going to the next one unless things are adjusted a little. Why not have a few more perks around the common areas of the ship? Maybe allow several concierge cabins to reserve the balcony boxes in the Walt Disney Theater for the evening performances? I do not think it is a good idea to overdo it, but I do think that Disney could do a little better for their higher paying guests.

P.P.S. Just a little extra rant, but it might be nice for Disney to throw in a cabana for the 2 cabins reserving the Royal Suites. Considering we are already spending more than the cost of the average new car sold in the US for the cruise, a little perk beyond what is usually provided would be nice. We are still going to reserve a cabana for our next cruise, but the extra $499 just irritates me for some reason.

mytripsandraces
02-16-2012, 09:29 PM
I suspect I might have been one of the people who mentioned something about the room being more important than the service, perhaps.

Last year, we stayed in the Walt Suite on the Dream. I only agreed to book that cabin since I love to stretch out on a cruise. Also, with its large balcony, I thought we would be able to enjoy the experience more than on the Wonder/Magic where the balcony is a long, thin sliver. Well, I loved the cabin, but this time, I adored our concierge staff. Melanie, Thomas, and Julia really made our lives wonderful while we were there. They really made the experience exceptional.

Melanie was one of the concierges on my January cruise and she was wonderful (as were Eddy and Rodrigo)!! I was hoping to see her on the Fantasy in December (I'm going concierge, but in a family stateroom - I can't afford a suite on the Fantasy on my own, but I would in a heartbeat, if the extra $3K came available!), but I think she's staying with the Dream.

So, I do not think the new ships are trying to cut corners by consolidating the concierge staff. I think they decided it is more efficient with a central location. For example, ordering Palo for room service was a snap when sitting across from the concierge with the menu. It also adds a layer of accountability.

I love the concierge lounge. On the Wonder, you were stuck with whichever concierge had your side of the ship. In my case, I was very lucky to have Tawanda! My parents were on the other side and weren't so lucky. They saw their concierge twice. Neither of us ever heard from shoreside concierge before the cruise, but I did in January.[/QUOTE]

P.S. One thing I wish is that Disney would solicit more feedback about the experience from repeat guests to the concierge area. For example, I think the character meet-and-greet could be much, much better. We have gone to a couple of them, but have not enjoyed them at all. Everybody packed into a room to spend 2-3 minutes for some photo ops with Goofy. Why not bring in three characters and split the event in half with odd number cabins coming to one meet-and-greet and the even number cabins coming to another? How hard could it be to bring in three characters instead of one and have two events instead of one? Now that would be memorable instead of painful. I know that we will not be going to the next one unless things are adjusted a little. Why not have a few more perks around the common areas of the ship? Maybe allow several concierge cabins to reserve the balcony boxes in the Walt Disney Theater for the evening performances? I do not think it is a good idea to overdo it, but I do think that Disney could do a little better for their higher paying guests.

In January, the meet-and-greet was on the sun deck, so everyone could spread out and relax while waiting for Goofy to make the rounds. Melanie even brought up cookies and brownies for people to munch on while they waited. She's great!

ppiew
02-16-2012, 09:48 PM
I do agree that the cabanas should be included with the 2 Royal Suites. The price paid for the cruise is really HUGE and that would be such a great perq!!

kcashner
02-16-2012, 11:29 PM
[QUOTE=mytripsandraces;44051292]I found the shoreside concierge to be proactively helpful. I was traveling solo on my last cruise and they called to ask me if I wanted them to arrange for a table for me to eat by myself. I asked them to put me at a table of other adult cruisers, so parents wouldn't feel awkward about a single adult sitting at the end of their family table.


/QUOTE]

A simple call from a non concierge guest to DCL would arrange the same thing. I've NEVER been seated as a solo at a table with a family. DCL tends to sat "likes" together. When teen DD and I cruise together, we tend to be seated with other "couples," and in some cases that has been other mother/teen daughter pairs. When I cruise as a solo, I am typically seated with other solo cruisers, or occasionally similar age couples.

mytripsandraces
02-17-2012, 02:10 AM
A simple call from a non concierge guest to DCL would arrange the same thing. I've NEVER been seated as a solo at a table with a family. DCL tends to sat "likes" together. When teen DD and I cruise together, we tend to be seated with other "couples," and in some cases that has been other mother/teen daughter pairs. When I cruise as a solo, I am typically seated with other solo cruisers, or occasionally similar age couples.

I'm sure it would. In my case, though, I hadn't thought about it at all. The shoreside concierge contacted to me to find out about my dining preferences and I really appreciated it.