Originally posted by Cortney:
One person said they had to get up at like 6:30 every morning to call in to make reservations for that night's dinner, and even then, sometimes they couldn't get through right away or had to make the reservation for late, like 9 pm. Is that true? This is one of my main concerns, as I want to relax - I don't want to have to worry about whether I'm going to be able to get reservations. Also, I like to eat sometime between 6 and 7 (on "traditional cruises" we always do first seating)... I don't want to wait until late to eat.
People also said that the Gem nickeled and dimed them to death and that EVERYTHING seemed to cost extra, including coffee. Is this true?
What other things had extra costs attached?
Thanks in advance!
You only hsve to make reservations for the Specialty restaurants, the included with the fare Main restauarants and Buffet don't require reservations. Whereas the food in the Specialty restaurants is better than what's at the Main restaurants, it's not that much better to wish to dine in one every night. So don't sweat not being able to make a reservation in a Specialty restaurant that much, you will not go hungry from lack of free food.
Several Specialty restaurants are hard to get reservations for, mainly because they are so popular. Others are easy. The hardest ones are the "free" Italian restaurant, get my drift, and the Teppanyaki which has very limited seating. You might wish to get up early to reserve them. But the other Specialty restaurants shouldn't be difficult, as you can reserve a table that night and the next night.
The person you quoted waited to the day of, no wonder they discovered their Specialty restaurant of choice fully booked until 9 pm. My simple solution is to book a day in advance.
The cruise lines are in a business, where profit is the primary goal. Of course everything that's available on a cruise ship isn't free. It's easier to list what is included with your fares. Main dining rooms and other free restaurants food and beverages, but not sodas, beer, wine, and alcohol. A book at the ship's library. A swim in the main pools. Sun on deck. A seat in the main theatre, a seat in the bars and lounges.
Just about everything else costs more, including coffee at the coffee bar, which can be found free in your cabin or in the restaurants.
But you can find free champaign and discounted alcohol drinks if you attend certain events. Yes, you'll have to listen to the sales pitch, so in a way it isn't free.