Breakfast & Lunch in the dinning room ?????

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O.C, California
12,251 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Hi Everyone,
Not much is ever mentioned about the dinning room menus for lunch and breakfast on the HAL cruise ships ( or any for that matter) , I heard it was open seating but what types of food do they serve ???
Thanks in advance for any help in this matter!
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111 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
We quit long ago having breakfest in the dinning room because to often service was slow and uneven. Sometimes we waited up to 45 minutes to get our orders and they still had to be sent back because they were not correct. While I'd still prefere to have breakfast in the dinning room my wife is just as happy to eat in the Lido or have room service in the mornings, it seems a whole lot easier.
Melbourne, Australia
10,673 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
We love having breakfast in the dining room on sea days as it is a nice leisurely way to start the day. The breakfast menu is similar to the lido with juices, cereals, hot meals etc.

We again often eat in the dining room on sea days at lunchtimes. The menu is quite extensive and you can choose to eat a lot or a little. We love being in a lovely room and being waited on. We are not buffet people and are not keen on the clatter and noise in the Lido.

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Loveland, CO
1,725 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Remembering this is just personal opinion, I will state the following:

11/03 Rotterdam - tried dining room for lunch and breakfast and hated it. Food was so much better in the Lido as was the service.

06/04 Zuiderdam - completely the opposite; the Lido was average at best and unclean tables all around and the dining room service was great and the food was exceptional!!! Except for the Eggs Benedict. HAL doesn't seem to have them down at all!!!! Lunch was soo good, relaxing, and the conversation was great - one day we were the last to leave from lunch!! In fact we ate lunch there most of the seven days. Breakfast was room service since we had a SS suite and that was just heavenly!!!

So what I guess I am saying, is try all and see what suits you best! Since I had such opposites on the same line, I do this as a matter of habit now to see which i will do most of the cruise!!!
Fayetteville, NC
294 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
We never tried the dining room for breakfast because we are early risers & prefered the continental breakfast on the Lido before most people were awake and long before the dining room began serving.

We thought we would lunch in the Lido also, but found we prefered the dining room. Open seating--but we were usually seated with other passengers which was always enjoyable. The menu featured several salads & soups to choose from & you could combine them for a light meal or there were also a list of entrees--I remember several fish dishes becasue that is what my husband got. I had quesadilla & Wisconsin cheese soup one day. Another day I had bami goering. I had been dissappointed because it was not offered on Dutch night & I had heard so much about it on these boards. Instead it was an entree the next day for lunch!! Also great deserts! Enjoy Shari
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We have always enjoyed eating in the Dining Room. We go to buffets a lot living in Las Vegas so it is nice being waited on with fine silver and china. Lunch is good when it is a sea day but on port days they have a quicky lunch with out the large variety, those days are almost better to go to the Lido for more choices. Breakfest time works well for us, I get up at 6:15 and go to the gym for an hour, then come back to the cabin to shower. While I am in the gym DH goes up to the Crow's Nest to watch the new day. They usually have rolls and juice and coffee up there. Then about 7:45 we head to the Dining Room for breakfest.
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Statesboro GA ex-Chicago IL USA
3,111 Posts
Joined May 2000
We tried the DR for lunch on every cruise and have been disappointed every time. You are seated with people who have already ordered, or vice-versa, and conversations seem awkward. The service was fair at best and the food not that good. For breakfast, the saver was Eggs Benedict, but it was hard to get the pastry guy to come back.

DR Lunch menus are in my .sig below.

Originally posted by Ziggy7
Hi Everyone,
Not much is ever mentioned about the dinning room menus for lunch and breakfast on the HAL cruise ships ( or any for that matter) , I heard it was open seating but what types of food do they serve ???
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Candy the ZuiderPrincess (and Sir James)

59 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
We love to eat in the diningroom....any and all meals. It's much more relaxing with more upscale food choices than the Lido. The only time we "force ourselves" to eat in the Lido is if we're in a hurry to catch a shore excursion.
Fairfax, VA
149 Posts
Joined May 2003
Lunch in the dining room on a sea day is a pleasant diversion from the hustle and bustle of the Lido. We usually find something more to our liking as well.

Breakfast can be hit or miss as others have stated.
14,214 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
We enjoy the dining room for breakfast. I enjoy the Lido, but DW prefers to be waited on in the a.m. It is a great way to start the day. We've also noticed that the pastry tray bearer doesn't come around but once or twice.
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108,142 Posts
Joined Jul 2001

We have eaten breakfast and lunch a couple of times in the dining room - too slow.

If it is a port day and you have something you want to do, i.e., tour or shop early, the dining room isn't the place to eat.

The Third Coast - Nashville
7,886 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
On my last cruise, I ate breakfast in the dining room twice, and ate lunch in the dining room 3 times. With the exception of Eggs Benedict, the dining room breakfast menu doesn't offer anything out of the ordinary...I just like being waited on!

At lunch I had some more unusual food, like Nasi Goreng and fried calamari. As a solo cruiser, I enjoyed eating in the DR because I was seated with other people and it gave me the chance to socialize and meet others. I got better (faster) service at lunch, but still a more leisurely pace than the Lido.

If it was a port day and I got back on the ship for lunch and was wet and/or sweaty, I tended to go to the Lido so I could have lunch quickly and do some more exploring in port.

Jacksonville, FL USA
48,693 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Hi, I also sail solo and I love being waited on too! I try to eat at least 1/2 my breakfasts and lunches in the dining room.

Roz, may I ask how many HAL cruises you have done solo? This will be my first on looking forward to the new experience.
San Diego
878 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
On the Ryndam last November we tried the dining room for breakfast once and had terrible service. It was extremely slow and then the food was cold. We ended leaving there and eating in the lido right afterwards!

We had one lunch in the dining room and had a great experience.
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Kay Lynn
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Kennesaw GA.
5,668 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
My experience with breakfast in the dining room has been excellent. I prefer it over the Lido. We eat there most mornings.

Only once we had lunch in the dining room. We liked the choices of the Lido better so we stick with the Lido or the Grill in the pool area for lunch.
Commerce, TX, USA
14,554 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
In general we eat breakfast in the Lido on sea days and, via room service, in our cabins on port days. We eat lunch about half the time in the main dining room ... at least once a cruise, just to see how it is, and if the service and food quality is good we eat there several times on a cruise. On the Statendam to Hawaii the food and service in the main dining room was excellent. That was also true on the Volendam to Alaska. However, on the Maasdam back in the late 1990s lunch in the dining room left something to be desired.

Try lunch in the dining room at least once ... just to find out. If you don't like it, don't eat it and go to the Lido to finish. I've actually done that once.
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The Third Coast - Nashville
7,886 Posts
Joined Mar 2001

I've done 2 cruises on solo and one with friends. I had so much fun on the solo cruise that I booked another one for this coming December. Because I was by myself, I met more people than when I was with friends. Being by yourself almost forces you to get out there and socialize.

7,828 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
We've had breakfast & lunch in the Lido and Dining Room. We've had mixed experiences (with other passengers) in both locations.

Dining Room - never had a problem with poor service or cold food. However, there have been a few times we've been seated at a table for 6/8, with another couple already seated, that have NOT been pleasant dining companions. They've treated us as if we're imposing on THEIR table or totally ignored our presence. A simple hello is fine.

Lido - As those who've already sailed on HAL know, there is a friendly crew member (gloved) who sets up the trays for the buffet. He sets a plate, napkin/serviette, and tableware on a tray. On our cruise last summer, there were 2 women in line ahead of us clutching plates to their chests (as if someone was going to steal them ). When they saw that plates were being put on the trays for them, they put their plates BACK in the stacks. I really do not want off a plate that someone has had his or her hands all over. We've also seen passengers not using the serving utensils provided, but sticking hands in to get food.