What if we all stopped going to "Specialty" Dinning?

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Arkansas
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Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by xriva
This is why choice is a good thing! The live music annoys the crap out of me. It's distracting, it drowns out any hope of conversation, and I (it's weird, I know) feel obligated to watch the dance show and I'd rather be eating. If I want to see a show, there are others on the ship.
and I absolutely love the Manhattan room. I wish the smaller ships would have something similar. For us it was one of the best features of the mega ships and the service was outstanding.
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Arkansas
30,757 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by ellasmomanddad
When I read this it occurred to me that I didn't see live music at dinner on the Dawn. We only had dinner in the mdr once and it was aqua. I had the memory of a 95 year old women on the breakaway doing a jig with her walker and the host taking her hand for a dance. Im sure it made her trip and I remember the family smiling and laughing. I am not judging just sharing.
It is only on the mega ships
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Arkansas
30,757 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
[quote=DMH15;54338240]
Originally posted by hawk/hornfan



LOL. We have some excellent Brazillian steakhouses in Dallas. I am a carnavore but I love the salad bar most of all. Don't think I have ever seen sushi on a single one of them, but sure did at Moderno on the Epic!!! That's just WRONG!


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Have eaten at a couple in the DFW area and agree they are outstanding but so are the prices for them. Modernos isn't the quality I agree, still one of our favorites on all NCL ships.
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EASTERN PA
1,786 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
Being Platinum Plus we are content to eat our two complementary meals in the specialty restaurants and then settle for the buffet other times. We like to cruise to do something different, we eat every day when we are not cruising, so we think little about it.
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South Carolina, USA
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Joined Mar 2014
We were on the Jewel in May, and had the SDP for 3 nights. Went to Moderno's, Tappanyaki, and Cagney's. The only disappointment was Moderno's. The service was awful, and the food not much better. Never again.
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Seattle
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I've done classic traditional style before, and honestly when more choice and no set times came into play, I was in heaven. I am very willing to pay a little extra to get a little extra. Sometimes it's worth it, other times it's not. Always the risk to take and since I like to explore, I prefer to take the chance then go back to traditional style.
And yes, buffet works great when low energy, or time comes into play.
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Frozen Tundra
8,132 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by Jnsplace1
I've done classic traditional style before, and honestly when more choice and no set times came into play, I was in heaven. I am very willing to pay a little extra to get a little extra. Sometimes it's worth it, other times it's not. Always the risk to take and since I like to explore, I prefer to take the chance then go back to traditional style.
And yes, buffet works great when low energy, or time comes into play.
I enjoy the non-traditional dining, too. But on NCL, you don't have to pay extra for that, since they don't have classic traditional dining anywhere.
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Fredericksburg, Virginia
152 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
Originally posted by wdsted
The idea is fine, but don’t have any expectations that you’ll attract many to participate. Contrary to the predictable bashing in your post, as with anything brought up here on CC, we like speciality dining, are satisfied with the product, and have no desire to go back to the good old days. And we also feel no indignation of paying what amounts to a few bucks to dine at these venues via the perk provided.


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I have to agree with this. My husband and I almost never "go out" at home unless it's a special occasion, because we'd rather save our money for travel, and splurging when we do travel. So we really enjoy being able to "go out" to a variety of different restaurants while we are cruising. He refuses to pay for it but I am willing to pay for both for the chance to make up for having to "dine at the same place every night" at home. I have been satisfied with the meals in main dining rooms on our cruises, but I like having some variety in atmosphere. I paid for the 3 specialty dining package on the next cruise.
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Michigan
6,898 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Sorry. We won't be joining you in your crusade. We had 4 SDP promo on Escape on our last cruise and loved it. We didn't even go to the MDR for dinner since the other nights we ate O'Sheehans 2 nights and the Garden Buffet the last night. We ate at the MDR for 2 lunches and that was it. We didn't have a bad meal anywhere and our SDP meals were above and beyond what we expected, especially at Cagneys. It was our best cruise ever and I wouldn't change a thing.
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3,405 Posts
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Originally posted by Manbo
We have cruised a decent amount over the years and have tried specialty dinning on many NCL ships. Overall, I must admit to being underwhelmed. There have been a few really nice experiences, but not really worth the extra price.

To make it worse, it seems like NCL is pushing more and more in that direction. For example the Margaritaville experience on the Getaway and Breakaway.

So, I suggest we stop getting caught up in the hype of Specialty dining and demand that the cruise lines provide their best dining options at all dining rooms to all guests. No more paying extra for dining!


Crazy idea???

I disagree 100%.. Just like restaurants in a big hotel ( like Las Vegas), there are cheap venues and $$ ones..same now on ships....I think the specialty dining venues are TEN times better than the MDR.. I have been on 35 cruises on all but Costa & MSC..so eaten about 150- 200x in the MDR's on all cruises..about maybe 20 have been very good, maybe 10 excellent and the rest ho hum or mediocre IMO...on the other hand, 95% of all our specialty dining dinners ( about 50 meals) have been between outstanding and very good..you are missing the point about specialty dining- it's not about the $$ to me, it's about romance, a table for 2 by the window with maybe a sea view, QUIET ( unlike the MDR which is noisy), and dining with 50 people VS. dining with 1500 people is much better to me...love the ambiance- dark, soft music, better entrees, appetizers, side dishes ARE KILLER, better service, and the feeling you are DINING..in the MDR, the feeling is like you are at a wedding or a party ( to me at least ..)..also, we rarely ever say after an MDR meal, "wow, can't wait to come back tomorrow night!", but after a specialty dining meal, it's usually, "that was soooo worth it"..and BTW, where are you going to get a 4-5 course meal for $25-35 PP? You can't even eat at Denny's for $25..and of course, If you don't want to dine in the specialty dining venues, then don't..no one is forcing you.. I have friends who only dine specialty, and I know some who only dine MDR... I am going on the Getaway next month and we have the 3 specialty dining package and I added one more ( Ocean Blue)..can't wait!
2,172 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by Manbo
We have cruised a decent amount over the years and have tried specialty dinning on many NCL ships. Overall, I must admit to being underwhelmed. There have been a few really nice experiences, but not really worth the extra price.

To make it worse, it seems like NCL is pushing more and more in that direction. For example the Margaritaville experience on the Getaway and Breakaway.

So, I suggest we stop getting caught up in the hype of Specialty dining and demand that the cruise lines provide their best dining options at all dining rooms to all guests. No more paying extra for dining!

Crazy idea???

Don't let your "demands" hit you in the back side as you walk out of Cagney's. Very little ever gets done by anyone "demanding" anything. BTW you only pay extra for SPECIALTY dining and that is only if you CHOOSE to do so. BTW if you are so underwhelmed, why does it even matter if it is free or not?
Washington dc
546 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
I have had find dining in my lifetime, so i don't consider Cagneys, Moderno, or Bistro better dining, or ambiance for that matter in fact i went to Cagneys last year for the first time and i thought my steak in the MDR was a lot better. I guess my answer to that question is to each its own, give people choices and let them decide.
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141 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
I think NCL does cruising the right way. The started a trend to offer for a reasonable price special food options and quieter restaurants. The MDR in all ships are noisy and the food may or may not be warm. The price of specialty restaurants is reasonable and it allows for a menu of interesting items that might not be popular in the MDR.

Having a price point for basic services then allows each of us to add on what we want to enjoy or partake of during the cruise. I would hate to pay for stuff I was not interested in. Remember all the wasted food of yesteryear's midnight buffets that looked pretty but were not so tasty. Cruise lines have to cater to everyone and that is why NCL has been a trendsetter. Some of the other lines do not handle the "MY dining so well" With the prices of alcohol being so high, I would prefer to spend my money on interesting restaurants instead.
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141 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by big al
I disagree 100%.. Just like restaurants in a big hotel ( like Las Vegas), there are cheap venues and $$ ones..same now on ships....I think the specialty dining venues are TEN times better than the MDR.. I have been on 35 cruises on all but Costa & MSC..so eaten about 150- 200x in the MDR's on all cruises..about maybe 20 have been very good, maybe 10 excellent and the rest ho hum or mediocre IMO...on the other hand, 95% of all our specialty dining dinners ( about 50 meals) have been between outstanding and very good..you are missing the point about specialty dining- it's not about the $$ to me, it's about romance, a table for 2 by the window with maybe a sea view, QUIET ( unlike the MDR which is noisy), and dining with 50 people VS. dining with 1500 people is much better to me...love the ambiance- dark, soft music, better entrees, appetizers, side dishes ARE KILLER, better service, and the feeling you are DINING..in the MDR, the feeling is like you are at a wedding or a party ( to me at least ..)..also, we rarely ever say after an MDR meal, "wow, can't wait to come back tomorrow night!", but after a specialty dining meal, it's usually, "that was soooo worth it"..and BTW, where are you going to get a 4-5 course meal for $25-35 PP? You can't even eat at Denny's for $25..and of course, If you don't want to dine in the specialty dining venues, then don't..no one is forcing you.. I have friends who only dine specialty, and I know some who only dine MDR... I am going on the Getaway next month and we have the 3 specialty dining package and I added one more ( Ocean Blue)..can't wait!

I agree with BIG AL and if one can spend a lot of money on booze, then add a few bucks and try a nice meal too
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Albuquerque, NM
7,528 Posts
Joined May 2003
Having the Ultimate Dining Package is the only way we would cruise on NCL. We eat every evening meal one of the great alternative restaurants; breakfast and lunch in the MDR; and avoid the buffet, except on the larger newer ships.
With the UDP + the Drink Package it bumps the experience up to a level similar to Celebrity, which is our "go-to" cruise line. It does drive the costs up a bit, but it's nice to have choices.

Enjoy!
Kel
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(529 days total)
448 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
[quote=DMH15;54338240]
Originally posted by hawk/hornfan



LOL. We have some excellent Brazillian steakhouses in Dallas. I am a carnavore but I love the salad bar most of all. Don't think I have ever seen sushi on a single one of them, but sure did at Moderno on the Epic!!! That's just WRONG!


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Texas de Brazil in Dallas has Suchi on salad bar. It's very tasty btw


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Dallas, TX
9,047 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by spanishguy1970
I have had find dining in my lifetime, so i don't consider Cagneys, Moderno, or Bistro better dining, or ambiance for that matter in fact i went to Cagneys last year for the first time and i thought my steak in the MDR was a lot better. I guess my answer to that question is to each its own, give people choices and let them decide.


Food is subjective.

I guess ambience is too. The specialty venues are a lot smaller. Feels more intimate. Definately quieter. Definately less foot traffic. And since most people eat in one of three banks of time there are not various parties of diners being paraded in or out kicking my chair. Yes, I prefer the ambience.

Service too must be subjective. But it is no stretch of the imagination that a server in a small venue as opposed to a massive banquet hall is going to be more accessible. Yes, I prefer the service.

And, I even prefer the food.


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Donna (Dallas, Texas)

Previous Cruises:
NCL Epic - Forward Owner's Suite (17004) - Eastern Caribbean (after
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NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. America (& Antarctica) - 2/09 (Favorite)
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NCL Jewel - TransAtlantic to Greece - 04/07
RCI Monarch - Baja Calif - 03/05 - Family Reunion Cruise!
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Carnival Ecstacy - Bahamas - 5/00
NCL Norway - broom closet (Inside) Caribbean - 7/86 My 1st!!!
Dallas, TX
9,047 Posts
Joined May 2008
[quote=MrMan;54407511]
Originally posted by DMH15



Texas de Brazil in Dallas has Suchi on salad bar. It's very tasty btw


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LOL. They closed the Texas de Brazil near me in Dallas, I am downtown. I now go to Fogo on McKinney. No sushi there.

But glad you enjoy your international dining experience!


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Donna (Dallas, Texas)

Previous Cruises:
NCL Epic - Forward Owner's Suite (17004) - Eastern Caribbean (after
being cancelled TWICE by NCL)
NCL Jewel - aft PH - Western Caribbean from Tx - 4/15
Carnival Magic - aft balc - Caribbean from TX - 11/14
NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. Caribbean - 03/13
Carnival Paradise - Baja Calif - 03/11
NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. America (& Antarctica) - 2/09 (Favorite)
NCL Dawn - NYC to Nowhere -04/08 -
NCL Jewel - TransAtlantic to Greece - 04/07
RCI Monarch - Baja Calif - 03/05 - Family Reunion Cruise!
Celebrity Summit - Alaska - 08/03
Carnival Ecstacy - Bahamas - 5/00
NCL Norway - broom closet (Inside) Caribbean - 7/86 My 1st!!!
Dallas, TX
9,047 Posts
Joined May 2008
[quote=dmh15;54407879][quote=
Quotes ate messed up. Looks like I said TDB has sushi when Mr Man did. Sonit looks like I am contradicting myself.
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Donna (Dallas, Texas)

Previous Cruises:
NCL Epic - Forward Owner's Suite (17004) - Eastern Caribbean (after
being cancelled TWICE by NCL)
NCL Jewel - aft PH - Western Caribbean from Tx - 4/15
Carnival Magic - aft balc - Caribbean from TX - 11/14
NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. Caribbean - 03/13
Carnival Paradise - Baja Calif - 03/11
NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. America (& Antarctica) - 2/09 (Favorite)
NCL Dawn - NYC to Nowhere -04/08 -
NCL Jewel - TransAtlantic to Greece - 04/07
RCI Monarch - Baja Calif - 03/05 - Family Reunion Cruise!
Celebrity Summit - Alaska - 08/03
Carnival Ecstacy - Bahamas - 5/00
NCL Norway - broom closet (Inside) Caribbean - 7/86 My 1st!!!
EASTERN PA
1,786 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
Nice to be Platinum Plus and get the two meals for two at specialties, that is usually enough of a diversion on a 7 night cruise. Like it but would not miss it.
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