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Old 10-23-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
barefootMom
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Which ship to book concierge on?


Hi All,
We have never cruised before and I am desperate to do so and book something as soon as the 2014 dates come out. The problem is that my husband ONLY wants to do it if we go concierge. He doesn't care which port or which itinerary and we don't know enough about the ships to rule any out so I am wondering if you could book concierge (yes, this will be a crowded time as we want to go during Presidents Week in February), WHICH ship would you go on and why? We will have our 2 daughters with us (9 and 12) and probably want a 7 night cruise.
ALSO, I keep reading on disboards of people upgrading once they get to the port about to board and I am wondering how common that is? I imagine you cannot plan on that and we should book concierge from the start? Will the rates be lower when 2014 dates come out or should we wait for some reason? THANKS SO MUCH!
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:13 PM   #2
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I say upgrade on ALL of 'em, then compare!! Then share this comparison with everyone!!!
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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I think it all depends, which ship do you like the best and what port works best.

Honestly if your wanting to book it, than book it online, if you want to gamble they will have some on the ship available and want to save some money, upgrade at the port, we did it and they had quite a few suites available, it still I would assume be great on any ship. I think on the Magic you get less perks than say the Fantasy...
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #4
barefootMom
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It does sound like there are less perks on the 2 older ships for concierge but possibly the cost to go concierge is a little less on them than the Dream/Fantasy? Does anyone know?
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:22 PM   #5
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If I were you, I'd choose the Fantasy. The Dream, as far as I know, doesn't have 7 nights cruises. The newer (Dream and Fantasy) ships have smaller rooms in their concierge level, but they have the lounge and concierge deck.
We had a V category room and there was plenty of room for me, Dh and my 10 and 12 year old.
I'd book ASAP. The price of concierge will not go down. It only goes up. I wanted an Easter cruise and drug my feet booking and was priced out of it. Had to move to a later date. I don't know if I'd risk there being availability for an upgrade at port. Especially during a holiday.
Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootMom View Post
It does sound like there are less perks on the 2 older ships for concierge but possibly the cost to go concierge is a little less on them than the Dream/Fantasy? Does anyone know?
I think it works out to be the same if you compare a V category on the Fantasy to a 1 bedroom on the Magic.
Is cabin space important to you? Or is having a dedicated lounge and concierge available to you a priorty?
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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Does that mean the Magic + Wonder do not have a dedicated lounge for concierge? The space would be nice to have a real 1 bedroom but I am not sure that would be better than a lounge, a private deck area....
hmmm....
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:40 PM   #8
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We have sailed concierge on all the ships and overall the benefits on the newer ships, Dream and Fantasy, are better. There are several threads you can do a search for them but I'll make a few comments here as well. On the new ships obviously you will have a lounge and sundeck. These are big pluses. Also there is an additional category that makes sailing concierge cheaper in a way. It is very difficult to do an apples to apples comparison because the lowest concierge on the old ships is the 1 bedroom suite whereas on the new ships you have the family concierge room which is kind of a decorated category 4 room, you don't get the space of a 1 bedroom but you get the concierge perks minus the in room dining options of the main dining room.

Overall it is cheaper to concierge on the older ships. Especially for a large party as the royal and the 2 bedrooms accommodate so many people and on the new ships you don't have the 2 bedroom and the royal sleeps a few less.

Also keep in mind that there is a rumor that the old ships may be incorporating some sort of lounge at the next dry dock. Although they can only allocate so much space on the ship. The sundeck and lounge on the new ships were designed to be there so that is hard to beat. Also it is nice on the new ships that deck 11 and 12 are concierge only.

My advice is to pick a longer cruise to get the most value. If you are dedicated to that presidents' day weekend the. You won have too much itinerary choice. Don't chance port upgrade if this is really important to your husband because you may not get it and also you lose some of the concierge perks of early booking.

And finally cost is one thing but the value is subjective. For us we have tried it on all the ships and at different lengths. On shorter cruises it was nice but unnecessary. Only you can decide if the perks are worth it as it is hard to assign a value to some of them.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootMom View Post
Does that mean the Magic + Wonder do not have a dedicated lounge for concierge? The space would be nice to have a real 1 bedroom but I am not sure that would be better than a lounge, a private deck area....
hmmm....
The Magic does not (as the above poster said "yet")

We really picked the upgrade for the extra room we got in the 1 bedroom, it was nice to have a real door to lock the kids out and the extra bathroom/shower and other things..we didn't or maybe wouldn't care if there was a private deck, there is so much open space on all the ships that you can go to and not see anyone I am not sure how much I would use them unless I really was dedicated to being alone! But again, the main reason we even upgraded was because we brought 2 kids, 7 pieces of luggage and wanted a bigger room! The concierge party was just an added perk BUT it was the same cost as adding another person to our bill!
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootMom
Does that mean the Magic + Wonder do not have a dedicated lounge for concierge? The space would be nice to have a real 1 bedroom but I am not sure that would be better than a lounge, a private deck area....
hmmm....
You can still do a 1 bedroom. Like the other posters we like the space. And we like having hot breakfast in our room. The 1 bedroom is just more expensive on the new ships. Also about the lounge and sundeck, our daughter enjoyed it more than we did, the concierge people were always so nice to her and had activities for her to do. If you do try a V then the lounge and sundeck are like an extension of your room. On the old ships you see the concierge people everyday as there is no lounge they come to check on you. Also they seemed to bring more food treats to your room. On the new ships you can avoid the lounge completely if you want. The concierge hosts work in shifts and there is always at least 1 in the lounge to help out. They do not necessarily visit you everyday and treats are available in the lounge daily. Also sine they have a desk and work station in the lounge they can accommodate your requests right away. On the old ships they can use the wave phones for calls but if you need DVDs, tickets, etc they have to go back to their office in guest services to get those things for you.

We still vote new ship but your experience should be magical either way.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:42 PM   #11
deanna23
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We have only stayed concierge on the old ships because of the cost of the 1 bedroom suites on the new ships. I like the extra room in the 1 bedroom suites.We just took a Disney cruise last week and I was able to get the Roy Disney suite cheaper than I could get a 1 bedroom suite on the Fantasy. We really had a great time. We had Palo brought in for bunch. We also got a bridge tour. I kind of like seeing the concierge everyday. Deanna
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:53 PM   #12
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Having only sailed the Wonder and Dream (both in Concierge 1 bedroom suites) I would sail the Dream again in Concierge in a heartbeat, but would have a harder time justifying the Wonder's upgrade.

Yes, the Wonder's 1 bedroom is bigger - but for us, the bigger bang for the buck is the Dream's Concierge Lounge and Concierge Staff. There was no request that was too large or small from the Dream's staff - they were outstanding! Also, we were cruising with friends (2 other 1 bedroom suites) and it was lovely to meet in the lounge for breakfast or cocktails before dinner!

On the Wonder, our Concierge never stopped by when we were there - we always seemed to miss him, and requests either took 1-2 days, or weren't done at all. No lounge - a more dated room - and no real 'perks' that were of value to us. We will be happy to sail the Wonder again, but Concierge won't be a must for us. Whereas, we will gladly sail on the Dream and Fantasy in Concierge 1 bedroom suites
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootMom View Post
Hi All,
We have never cruised before and I am desperate to do so and book something as soon as the 2014 dates come out. The problem is that my husband ONLY wants to do it if we go concierge. He doesn't care which port or which itinerary and we don't know enough about the ships to rule any out so I am wondering if you could book concierge (yes, this will be a crowded time as we want to go during Presidents Week in February), WHICH ship would you go on and why? We will have our 2 daughters with us (9 and 12) and probably want a 7 night cruise.
ALSO, I keep reading on disboards of people upgrading once they get to the port about to board and I am wondering how common that is? I imagine you cannot plan on that and we should book concierge from the start? Will the rates be lower when 2014 dates come out or should we wait for some reason? THANKS SO MUCH!
My first choice would be the Fantasy. Second choice would be the Fantasy. Third choice would be the Fantasy . . .

Of course, there are some other issues at hand. The classic ships (Magic and Wonder) only have suites for the concierge cabins. They also are the only ones with two bedroom suites (the Royals also have two bedrooms on those ships). So, if you want your daughters to have their own room with a door they can close, perhaps the classic ships are a better choice. If you were considering a one bedroom suite, I think the perks of the concierge level on the newer ships is a huge improvement. Nearby lounge, two happy hours, a sundeck, etc., etc. None of those perks are available on the classic ships. If you simply need a standard verandah cabin, you can opt for that on the newer ships on the concierge level.

If you want a Royal suite, the experience on the newer ships is much better in my opinion. The balcony is huge with a jacuzzi, there is a minikitchen, enclosed steam shower, etc, etc. that are simply not available on the classic ships. You do not get a second formal bedroom, but my two kids could care less due to all the other upgrades. The consensus in our family was for the next cruise to be on the Fantasy.

Good luck with your choices,

DWF

P.S. I always thought a good way to split the difference on a classic ship was to simply get two cabins with an adjoining door. You get two bedrooms, two bathrooms, etc. at a much lower cost than a one bedroom suite on a classic. And, in my opinion, the minimal additional perks of concierge on those ships is fairly uneventful.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:31 PM   #14
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I'll let you know in a few weeks.

We sailed Cat V on the Fantasy in May and it was fabulous! We loved the lounge and the Concierge staff were wonderful. The cappuccino machine in the lounge was probably my favorite thing on the ship. lol.

We're sailing in a 1 bedroom on the Magic next week, so we'll see how it compares. The space will be nice, but I think I'll be missing my cappuccino machine.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:17 PM   #15
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We've upgraded to the 1-bedroom on the Magic & Dream. Both were nice but the edge goes to the Dream because of the dedicated concierge lounge and staffed concierge desk.

If you're a first timer the pre-cruise planning could be worth the extra $$ to have.

I'd say if you're planning on doing 7 nights go with a 7-night itinerary. That's gonna be the Fantasy.

Also, if your hubby wants concierge you should book concierge. Rule of thumb is to always book what you'll be happy with, not something you don't want. Upgrades at the port are a great bonus but they don't happen on every sailing so you don't want to sour an entire cruise in a room you didn't want.

Book as soon as the itineraries release. Prices won't go down for the concierge level but they will go up.
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