Cruise Ship Restaurant Up-Charges: Would You Pay $75 to Dine at Sea?

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#3
flushing, ny
5,869 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I think most folks don't mind at all that these upscale choices are made available to those that choose to patronize them.
What we strongly object to, is that in most cases, the cruise lines have seriously downgraded the fare served in the main dining rooms and buffets in order to 'encourage' passengers to upgrade to what they previously enjoyed in the regular venues.
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#4
Germany/Switzerland
9,314 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
You can find here our experience of our Chef's Table on OCEAN PRINCESS:

http://heinbloed-pcl.blogspot.com

If you see what we all get for 75 USD: the price was more or less "nothing".

Beside the food:

The cooking book... let's say 30 USD
the photo... let's say 15 USD
all beverages (paring champagnes, wines and water)... let's say 30 USD...

we are right now at 75 USD...

If Princess wants me back on their cruiseships:

only with a lifetime garantee for participation on their Chef's Table.

It was worth the money and definately: yes. I am willing to pay for that what we get.

Same with the balcony dining which was also worth the money.

Best value is for me 18.00 USD with Moderno Churrasceria... best antipasta and best meat...

http://heinbloed-ncl.blogspot.com.

The food is always freshly made as I request and not stored for hours: so it should be worth to pay some extra for extra performance.

Regards
HeinBloed
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#5
Oklahoma
541 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
No. No way. Not a chance. As a solo cruiser I have to pay a lot as it is to cruise and feel that I should be able to get a decent meal in th Main Dining Room.
#6
Oklahoma
541 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by bob brown
I think most folks don't mind at all that these upscale choices are made available to those that choose to patronize them.
What we strongly object to, is that in most cases, the cruise lines have seriously downgraded the fare served in the main dining rooms and buffets in order to 'encourage' passengers to upgrade to what they previously enjoyed in the regular venues.
I agree. When I sailed with NCL the choices available in the MDR were pitiful and you felt like they were trying to "encourage" you to eat at one of the pay venues. I didn't eat in the MDR once on 2 cruises and kept to the lido deck buffet restaurant. Fortunately, on the 11 day Hawaiian Cruise the lido deck buffet was pretty good.
#7
Southern California
36,909 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
If it is optional it is fine. There is a big difference between charging to use the restroom on an airplane where there is no alternative and charging for a special meal on a ship that does have free (or actually included) alternatives.

As for the food and service being better in the extra cost restaurants - of course it is. Who is going to pay more for the same quality and service that one can get for free?
#8
flushing, ny
5,869 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
If the regular dining rooms were as they were say twenty years ago, and they added upscale pay venues that offered more personal service, even better quality or expensive items like Maine lobster, caviar, prime aged steaks, etc., fine. As long as they didn't degrade what was formerly offered in the regular dining venues.

I believe that instead, the upscale dining rooms now charge you for what you used to get included, and they have downgraded the regular dining rooms so that it is 'worth it' to go to the specialty restaurants.
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#9
flushing, ny
5,869 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I have not been in the fancy new Disney restaurant. But I have my doubts that regardless of what their press release states, no restaurant on a ship can ever be as good as a top shoreside restaurant.

I do know that none of the ships can offer a Porterhouse steak that can even come close to that served at Peter Luger's Steakhouse in New York.
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coming back is the other half!
#10
Germany/Switzerland
9,314 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
For 75.00 USD you get as much champagne as you want, served by the Excutive Chef and Maître d'Hotel at a place no other has access:



made while you are eye whitness:



with ingredients you do not get in the regular main dining room like caviar etc.



the pairing wines...

In which main dining room you get an sherbet between the main courses???



No that's not in the lido restaurant what some might expect:



and the cooking book incl. their signatures and menu...

PRICELESS...



I do not want to have it every night.

So I do not need to book a cruise where I can it every night in a dining room.

But I want to experience it once during a cruise and so 75.00 USD is fine.

Good Night
HeinBloed

booked already Chef's Table for CARNIVAL SPIRIT in April 2011 on the way to Hawaii...
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#11
Southern California
36,909 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by bob brown
I do know that none of the ships can offer a Porterhouse steak that can even come close to that served at Peter Luger's Steakhouse in New York.
How much does that Peter Luger Porterhouse steak cost?
#12
Sonoma, CA
6,668 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
We wouldn't pay it. But then we've been cruising for many years, and can accept what is in the main dining room and find something we will like. We don't eat that fancy at home. I love cruises - no shopping, no cooking, no cleaning.
#14
Chicago Area
655 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
We cruise a few times a year and the big issue is not the charging at the upscale restaurants but the down grading of the meals in the main dining room. One of the great things about cruising is the service, quality and quantity of the food served but each year it seems to become less and less unless you want to pay an additional fee.

Charge the fee and if we want to go we will go, which we do, but do not lessen the overall cruise experience to force people to go to give them the great experience that made cruising the attraction it is or you will kill the golden goose.

If you went out to a fine restaurant in the Chicago area you are not going to get away for $75 a person.
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#15
Ontario
846 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I would definitely have to try it. We stay away from the buffet if at all possible. I find that the extra fee restaurants are alot less crowded, the service is excellent and the dining is an experience in itself. It is the price that I would pay at a land based restaurant anyways.
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#16
Florida
2,478 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
My last cruise was on the Carnival Valor back in October 2010. I must say that I was disappointed with the food on this ship (and this was my second time on the Valor. We sailed her back in 2005). My main disappointment was the quality of the food in the Lido buffet for lunch. In my opinion, the food on the buffet was not up to the quality of [recent]past Carnival cruises I've taken. In particular, the deli. The quality [lack-there-of] of the meats and especially the cheeses was very frustrating. So much so that I posted a thread a while back stating that I would be willing to pay a nominal ($5-$7)fee for good deli sandwiches if it meant high(er) quality meats but especially higher quality cheeses. Most responders didn't agree. Carnival has a steakhouse for which they charge $30 per person. I have never been [really don't like steak], but would gladly pay the fee if they offered menu items such as shrimp scampi or some other fancy pasta dish with veal or shellfish. However, I would not pay $75 for a for-fee restaurant.
#17
Columbia, SC
136 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I don't have a problem with the for fee dining. We have dined in one of Carnival's for fee restaurants and it was truly wonderful. It was an option we decided to try and was well worth the money we paid.

Where I would become concerned is if the food in the main dining room were downgraded in an effort to force me to "trade up". I have read in these boards many people feel NCL may be engaging in this practice. I will be sailing NCL for the first time this year bit can assure you, should I feel this is their practice, I will do what most consumers do and vote with my $$$ by not booking further cruises with them. I watch with horror the evolution of the airline industry and hope cruise lines don't try to adopt these practices. There is clearly pressure on the bottom line of the industry. I, for one, believe cruise fares are artificially low so the on board revenue is a huge part of the bottom line. I would rather see the fares rise somewhat so the quality stays high.
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#18
Woodstock, Ontario
117 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by bob brown
I think most folks don't mind at all that these upscale choices are made available to those that choose to patronize them.
What we strongly object to, is that in most cases, the cruise lines have seriously downgraded the fare served in the main dining rooms and buffets in order to 'encourage' passengers to upgrade to what they previously enjoyed in the regular venues.
Bob: You took the words right out of my mouth. I couldn't have said it better!
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#19
Carlisle, PA
1,045 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
If the fare were really really cheap, I might be tempted to pay for an upscale dining experience. BUT - the quality of the food and service and ambience in the MDR of all the lines I have sailed on recently (RCL, Princess, HAL, Celebrity) has greatly decreased since my first cruise in 1988 on an RCL ship. DH and I have declared a moratorium on cruising for a while, until we read comments on these boards that MDR has improved.
#20
Palm bay Florida
3,860 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I Have never paid extra for a Meal on a ship, An dont plan to. I am almost Diamond plus so I have cruised many times. Just not willing to pay for food when it is offered free.
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