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Old 06-26-2013, 04:53 AM   #1
lolainkent
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Do I really need reservations booked far in advance?

Hi Everyone, I'm new to the forum and a first time cruiser set for the Dream next February!

Because it's our first cruise, we're the last to get the option to make reservations. I've looked up several Navigator pdf's from cruises (including the Dream) in Feb 2013 and it looked like you could still book spa appointments, Palo/Remy and get children into the kids club. So do things really get full ahead of time or are there generally spots to book things with 75 days to go and closer? Can you make decisions once you get on board if you decide on a whim to, say, have a spa treatment?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:20 AM   #2
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Most spa events will still have space (there are a few that may sell out though), Remy and Palo may fill up online prior to the 75 day mark (especially the brunches since they are only offered one day on a 4 night cruise) but you can generally still book on board - it's best to try that first day when you board for availability.

The kids clubs don't need to be reserved (except the nursury).

A lot depends on the number of repeat cruisers on your sailing.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:13 AM   #3
lolainkent
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Most spa events will still have space (there are a few that may sell out though), Remy and Palo may fill up online prior to the 75 day mark (especially the brunches since they are only offered one day on a 4 night cruise) but you can generally still book on board - it's best to try that first day when you board for availability.

The kids clubs don't need to be reserved (except the nursury).

A lot depends on the number of repeat cruisers on your sailing.
The nursery is the one I'm most after since my we want to use it for our daughter after dinner (we have the first seating). I'll make sure I attempt to book that with the 75 days to go, and worry about the rest later. Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:27 AM   #4
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Palo/Remy over half of all reservations are held by DCL for booking on the ship and are not available for anyone to book early.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:29 AM   #5
lolainkent
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Palo/Remy over half of all reservations are held by DCL for booking on the ship and are not available for anyone to book early.
Oh okay, that's good to know! I think I had read that some were saved but not that many. DH and I weren't planning on booking either but others in our party might be so I'll pass on the info. Thanks
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:21 AM   #6
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Make securing reservations that you want a priority the moment you board. You'll probably get everything you want.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:41 AM   #7
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We were on the Dream Memorial Day week and we ate brunch at Palo on the sea day and inquired about any dinner reservations for that night at Palo and they had a 6 pm slot open.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:53 AM   #8
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We are in the thinking that if you sure you want something, a dinner, excursion, nursery, whatever; and advance reservations are offered, you should make the reservation as early as possible to avoid any possibility of disappointment.

Case in point, we were unable to get a reservation in advance for Palo brunch on the Dream for one of our cruises. We were able to get an early Port Arrival Time, and got boarding group 3, we went straight to Palo to book onboard and we were told they were completely booked for the cruise. This was within 20 minutes of start of boarding. So our experience has been that they do not always hold back some of the spots for Palo/Remy for onboard booking.

This is just our experience. We always book in advance, if possible, on the first day that we can.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolainkent View Post
The nursery is the one I'm most after since my we want to use it for our daughter after dinner (we have the first seating). I'll make sure I attempt to book that with the 75 days to go, and worry about the rest later. Thanks!
I'm wondering about the nursery too. We have Grandma coming with us but I don't want to assume she'll watch baby every time we want a break from baby. So IF we book the nursery but Gma decides to watch baby instead, can we cancel our nursery time?
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:12 AM   #10
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I'm wondering about the nursery too. We have Grandma coming with us but I don't want to assume she'll watch baby every time we want a break from baby. So IF we book the nursery but Gma decides to watch baby instead, can we cancel or nursery time?
Yes. I'm not sure of the lead time for it, though. I think it's not much - like maybe a couple of hours ahead you must cancel by.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:06 PM   #11
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Case in point, we were unable to get a reservation in advance for Palo brunch on the Dream for one of our cruises. We were able to get an early Port Arrival Time, and got boarding group 3, we went straight to Palo to book onboard and we were told they were completely booked for the cruise. This was within 20 minutes of start of boarding. So our experience has been that they do not always hold back some of the spots for Palo/Remy for onboard booking.

This is just our experience. We always book in advance, if possible, on the first day that we can.
They do hold back 50% of bookings for each cruise. Not all of that 50% is available for all guests, however, as a certain number are held for concierge rooms. Of course on the Dream and Fantasy the number held back is higher than on the Magic and Wonder because there are more concierge staterooms. Also, on the Dream there would have been one day open for brunch, which also limits the number of slots available to book. If you are told that Palo is completely booked on your cruise, ask to be put on the wait list. Concierge only has the first day onboard to utilize the bookings that are held back. The next morning they are released to other guests and they will start calling the wait list. Also, people cancel and you can get a call when that happens as well.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:20 PM   #12
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I'm wondering about the nursery too. We have Grandma coming with us but I don't want to assume she'll watch baby every time we want a break from baby. So IF we book the nursery but Gma decides to watch baby instead, can we cancel or nursery time?
Cancellations may be made without penalty up to 4 hours in advance of reservation.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:26 PM   #13
lolainkent
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Quote:
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I'm wondering about the nursery too. We have Grandma coming with us but I don't want to assume she'll watch baby every time we want a break from baby. So IF we book the nursery but Gma decides to watch baby instead, can we cancel or nursery time?
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Yes. I'm not sure of the lead time for it, though. I think it's not much - like maybe a couple of hours ahead you must cancel by.
Yup, this is my biggest thing. We're traveling with my dad, my step-sister and her best friend who expect to be used as babysitters but surely they'll have a limit. I've just shot off an e-mail through the Contact Us section of the DCL website, I'll post here when they get back to me.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:27 PM   #14
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Cancellations may be made without penalty up to 4 hours in advance of reservation.
An answer as I was typing a different reply! Thank you, this is good to know!
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:04 PM   #15
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If I book with a travel agent will they ask me about all of theses things I have to book ahead of time?
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