No more cruising for a while.

Wichita Falls, Texas
4,459 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by rukkian
Ultimate Dining Package. Lets you dine in specialty all week for one price. For ours it is $168. Much cheaper than the difference to switch to a suite or an expensive line. We don't do it because we are fine with the included options, but if better service and better food is the main gripe (not sure it is), then that might be a great way to get at least closer to what you were missing.
Royal Caribbean should be sued for calling it the Ultimate Dinning Package. I am a foodie and the food and service of the specialty restaurants falls much short of being called the UDP.
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Pete
2003 GRANDEUR May ~ SPLENDOR Nov 2004 GRANDEUR Apr ~ NAVIGATOR Dec 2005 RHAPSODY Feb ~ RHAPSODY Aug ~ NAVIGATOR BTB NAVIGATOR Nov 2006 BRILLIANCE Feb ~ RHAPSODY Apr ~ NAVIGATOR Jun ~ VISION Sep ~ FREEDOM Nov 2007 BRILLIANCE Feb Panama Canal ~ EXPLORER Apr W Caribbean ~ RADIANCE Sep 28, 15 Day Hawaii 2008 RADIANCE B2B RADIANCE Jan 13 & Jan 19 E & W Caribbean ~ VOYAGER Mar 2 W Caribbean ~ LIBERTY Sept 13 E Caribbean ~ JEWEL Dec 8 Panama Canal 2009 VOYAGER Jan 18 W Caribbean ~ LIBERTY Oct 24 E Caribbean 2012 OASIS Sept1, W Carribean ~ NAVIGATOR Nov 24 from New Orleans 2013 ALLURE Apr 7 from Ft Lauderdale ~ JEWEL ~ Aug 31 from San Juan ~ BRILLIANCE Sep 22 from Boston ~ SERENADE, Dec 12from New Orleans 2014 ALLURE, Feb 9 from Ft Lauderdale ~ MAJESTY, Feb 16 from Miami ~ SERENADE, Mar 29 from New Orleans ~ VISION, Jun 9 from Ft Lauderdale ~ NAVIGATOR B2B, Sep 7 & Sep 14 from Galveston ~ NAVIGATOR B2B, Oct 19 & Oct 26 ~ SERENADE B2B2B, Nov 29 & Dec 6 & Dec 13 from New Orleans 2015 ADVENTURE B2B, Feb 1 & Feb 8 from San Juan ~ NAVIGATOR B2B Aug 30 & Sep 6 from Galveston 2016 OASIS Mar 16 (9 day) from Ft Lauderdale ~ LIBERTY B2B May 15 & May 22 from Galveston ~ALLURE B2B Sept 4 & Sept 11 from Ft Lauderdale ~ LIBERTY B2B Oct 30 & Nov 6 from Galveston 2017 NAVIGATOR B2B Feb 12 (5 day) & Feb 17 (9 day) from Miami ~ LIBERTY May 14 from Galveston ~ EMPRESS Sep 17 Cuba from Tampa 2018 LIBERTY Mar 18, 2018 Caribnbean from Galveston ~ EMPRESS Apr 23 Cuba from Miami BOOKED: RADIANCE Jun 22, 2018 Alaska from Seward ~ SERENADE Sep 18, 2018 Maritime Islands from Boston ~ HARMONY Oct 27, 2018 Eastern Caribbean from Ft Lauderdale ~ INDEPENDENCE Jan 25 from Ft Lauderdale ~ GRANDEUR Apr 25, 2019 Bermuda & Charleston SC from Baltimore
Cocoa Beach, FL
24,353 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by Don Pedro
Royal Caribbean should be sued for calling it the Ultimate Dinning Package. I am a foodie and the food and service of the specialty restaurants falls much short of being called the UDP.
Well luckily for Royal, most people are more easily impressed. 😉

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Missouri
80 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by Paulette3028
A dear friend of ours just went on a two week Viking Ocean cruise to experience what they had to offer....much smaller ship, 900 or so passengers. It did a very nice Southern Caribbean itinerary going into the Panama Canal (not all the way through). The food she did admit was marvelous. No menu was repeated over the two week timespan. They managed to cater to her food desires, which is for NOT very spicey or exotic food, yet not just hamburgers or chicken cutlets either. So she was happy. Soft evening entertainment is how she described it (but she did say, that me and my DH would probably have been bored in the evenings), interesting lectures during the at sea days and lots of leisure time.

After chatting with her.....I can say, it will be a few years until we venture on that kind of cruise. We are in our mid 60's, but we want and like the 'high energy nighttime' of Royal.
This is pretty much all true. The Viking Star was a gorgeous ship dripping with class and elegance. The food was absurdly good, and the best part about it is that you don't pay extra for really anything. All of the restaurants, etc. are all included in the one price you way (which is significantly more then Royal). But the service will leave you wanting for nothing.

The entertainment on the other hand, I think if it was only 5 days or so would probably be perfect. But two weeks as your friend did and I did. You kind of want something a little more high energy after that length of time. But again, most of the guests were above the average age of cruisers. And there are absolutely no children on Viking Oceans cruises.
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Past Cruise :

Carnival Inspiration - November 2010 Western Caribbean

Viking Star - 2 Week May - June 2015 Viking Homelands

Disney Dream - December 2017 Bahamas


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Florida originaly from Plymouth UK.
707 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by hi2you
I have never cruised RCL. Carnival the pizza was okay. NCL Gem East Coast the pizza was horrible. I am curious to find out when I sail in May on the NCL Epic with Italy stops, what the ship pizza will taste like.

I certainly don't go on a cruise to see what the pizza is like.
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22 Years sailing the high seas then the last 18 as a passenger
Missouri
80 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by Hoopster95
Ok, so comparing a 350sf/70sf PH on Oceania to a 370sf GS on Harmony is not good enough for you? I sense your head is firmly stuck in the sand and absolutely refusing to look at this objectively.

Let's look at a simple interior then, shall we?

Oceania per diem on my sailing = $240 per person. This is exactly the price I booked at.
Now remember, this is inclusive of everything including alcohol, gratuities, free internet throughout the cruise, specialty dining, room service, you name it

So here's Harmony per diem of the exact same random sailing I picked in 2019 = $131
Comparing apples to apples add the drink package ($60/day), the ultimate dining package ($168/7), gratuities ($14/day), and voom ($10 per day)...
now it's $241.

You're wrong Paulette. If you "want it all" the luxury lines are totally a better value. If you want to pay for and buy absolutely nothing extra, then yes RCL is cheaper in an interior. You get to pick and choose what you want to pay for.
I tend to agree. Viking Star was as all inclusive as you can get. While expensive, you had to only pay for drinks. All restaurants were included, even the Chef's Table. Internet was included. I mean, pretty much everything. Even your refrigerator was stocked with beer, small bottles of wine, soft drinks, and bottled water which were restocked daily and included in the cost of your suite. I remember doing some comparisons of that vs getting a suite that was the equivalent of a balcony suite on the Viking Star on a I believe it was an NCL ship, and once you added up all of the additional costs for everything. The Star ended up being a far better value once you factored all of those in as well. Even so, on the Viking Star which was a cruise of the Baltic Sea, dress was business casual in the main dining room unless you had reservations to eat at the Chef's Table, or Manfredi's the Italian Restaurant which required a jacket and tie, a polo and slacks were just fine. Who wants to wear a tie all the time on vacation.
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Past Cruise :

Carnival Inspiration - November 2010 Western Caribbean

Viking Star - 2 Week May - June 2015 Viking Homelands

Disney Dream - December 2017 Bahamas


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Charlotte, NC
229 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by A boat named Jenny 1
I agree with you, we were on Harmony a year ago. She is beautiful, lots to do, crew was great....but the dinning. Which has been in issue lately on all the ships we have been on. We started cruising 7 yrs ago on Serenade. The dinning was wonderful. But since (even on Princess) the lack of dressing up for dinner has suffered. If you don't want to dress up, go to the buffet. And something can be done about it if the cruise line would put rules in place and follow them.
Why should I have to go to the buffet to have a meal? I paid for MDR too. I'm neat and clean. So I don't have a tie on and a jacket. Big deal. Times change. We don't dress like the 1700's anymore either.
cincinnati, ohio,usa
6,370 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by Don Pedro
Royal Caribbean should be sued for calling it the Ultimate Dinning Package. I am a foodie and the food and service of the specialty restaurants falls much short of being called the UDP.
Well, it's "ultimate" for Royal - LOL!
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2016
April - Serenade OTS - 10 nts, Eastern Caribbean
June - Serenade OTS - 11 nts Norway/Arctic Circle
December - Eurodam - 7 nts Eastern Caribbean

2017
August - Equinox - 7 nts Western Caribbean

2018
April - Eclipse - 15 nts. Eastbound TA with Ireland.
October - Allure of the Seas - 7 nt. Eastern Caribbean

2020
February - Carnival Elation - 5 nts Eastern with Disney Extension
Sydney, Australia
1,610 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by SelfCheckoutGuy
Evil shareholders... I know on a daily basis at my job I think, thank goodness I'm not making more money, just as long as I'm delivering something special.
Yes the strange idea people have that a business is in business for any other reason than making money. I can't imagine even once thinking I will focus today's efforts in managing this business (not my own) to delivering something special rather than making money for the owners, and hopefully keeping myself and my colleagues in a job
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Radiance OTS Jan/Feb '19 - NZ - Auckland to Sydney
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Rhode Island, U.S.A.
24,523 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Magnetchief
I certainly don't go on a cruise to see what the pizza is like.
Everyone cruises for their own reasons. What one person is interested in may not interest me at all but I never feel the need to attempt to invalidate anyone else's reasons and interests.
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Canada
199 Posts
Joined Dec 2015
To the OP... We had much the same experiences on Celebrity that you had on RCCL, so I wouldn't suggest trying it as an upgrade. If you go to the Celebrity board, you will see that lots of people are also complaining about the MDR food and the downgrades in pretty much everything, so it's not just us. Not surprising seeing as RCCL and Celebrity are the same company.

We haven't tried Viking yet, but have done Windstar. The small boat experience is quite different from the mega-boats. The MDR food is amazing, the service is wonderful, and the boat is beautiful. No kids. No yard sales. Small boats get to ports that the big ones can't and almost no waiting in line for anything including the tenders. Downsides can be not much happening after dinner, no 'Vegas' shows, climbing walls, bumper cars, ice rinks, etc.

Cheers!
Lisbon, Portugal
138 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Originally posted by Margarita Cruisequeen
We've been cruising for 20 years and all but 3 times have been with RCCL. To say the least, we've been very loyal and introduced many of our friends to RCCL. We sailed on January 27th on Harmony of the Seas and due to health issues, this was our first cruise in 3 years. The ship was beautiful and clean, the crew was friendly and helpful but the whole dining experience was very disappointing. Over the years we've noticed changes, of course, but what a difference 3 years has made! Back in the "good old days" the dining was elegant, food was delicious and presentation impeccable. Gone are the days when we would have a drink on our table when we arrived and the bar waiter would pass our table frequently. At the end of the meal, we would have the opportunity to have the after-dinner-drink of the day and who could pass these up in the pretty little glasses? The food served was so delicious there was no need to pay extra for eating in a special place on board. In fact, as I recall, there were no separate restaurants. On formal nights there was either a pianist or string quartet, and other nights as well. Our last night on the Harmony, I swear my selection was a frozen dinner! And don't even get me started of the lack of dress code. Are we the only ones objecting to this and should we just move on to another cruise line for older and stuffier cruisers?
Hi, Margarita Cruisequeen!


As many or most have stated here times have changed. Mainstream cruise lines are now just something for everyone... Ask any of those teens or young families aboard contemporary mega ships and you'll find the exact answer for what I am talking about... This is the trend, and nothing will stop it this way at this point... But of course that comes at a price. All of us, whom have started on the current mainstream lines some 15 to 20 years ago or even more and whom are generally on our 45-65 years old, are being "expelled" from the cruise industry... we are a relatively small crowd compared to all those young families whom want to enter this wonderful world that cruising is... And we have just few opportunities because few to no one will care for our demands... The premium to luxury lines of the day have their ships filled with all those fortunate enough retires whom are paying for them... And the suite programmes on mainstream lines are just little bit upgraded services up to the regular offering... Nothing really significant for those ones whom just want the "plain vanilla" experience of yesterday on contemporary ships...


Well: At least I can find a nice compromise on the industry. It's called the MSC Yacht Club!... Google it or find here in CC on the MSC forum!... It won't be absolutely kids free, but it is a "ship inside the ship" concept. You'll have your own dedicated restaurant, a dedicated lounge and bar, a small "gourmet" buffet, and a pool grill; butler service and a concierge service guests exclusive for the 200 passengers or such in the "enclave" and regarding drinks it is all inclusive around the ship!... And at the moment in the Caribbean they are selling this at just a little bit more than a regular RCI Oasis class regular balcony!... Indeed, personally I can't call it luxury service. Cabins are roughly the same size as regular cabins and definitely the smallest of the so called suites at see... But its service reminds more likely the "plain vanilla" experience of yesterdays ships!...



Maybe you can find that as a compromising solution. Don't give up on this wonderful world of cruising!...


have a nice day!...
Waterford, WI
1,081 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by TominNC
Why should I have to go to the buffet to have a meal? I paid for MDR too. I'm neat and clean. So I don't have a tie on and a jacket. Big deal. Times change. We don't dress like the 1700's anymore either.
You don't want the people who do dress up to judge you, and yet you accuse them of being in the 1700's. Throughout this entire thread, those who wish to dress up are calling those who don't "lazy," and those who don't are calling those who do "stuffy." (With both using additional descriptive names.) Seriously? You're ALL saying you don't want to be judged for what you wear. Then, in the next sentence, you say something judgemental about those who do things differently than you do.
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Rotterdam of the Seas 2003 - Adventure of the Seas 2004 - Voyager of the Seas 2005 - Jewel of the Seas 2006 - Freedom of the Seas 2007 - Adventure of the Seas 2008 - Adventure of the Seas 2010 - Jewel of the Seas 2012 - Liberty of the Seas 3/9/15; Fibro Cruise - Allure of the Seas 11/27/16 Liberty of the Seas 4/2/17; Fibro Cruise - Independence of the Seas 3/15/18; Freedom of the Seas 4/14/18; Fibro Cruise, Preview Cruise Norwegian Bliss 5/8/18, Upcoming - Carnival Splendor 6/30/18, - Upcoming - Oasis of the Seas 2/24/19 - Fibro Cruise, Upcoming - Adventure of the Seas 2/29/20 - Fibro Cruise
Charlotte, NC
229 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by payitforward
You don't want the people who do dress up to judge you, and yet you accuse them of being in the 1700's. Throughout this entire thread, those who wish to dress up are calling those who don't "lazy," and those who don't are calling those who do "stuffy." (With both using additional descriptive names.) Seriously? You're ALL saying you don't want to be judged for what you wear. Then, in the next sentence, you say something judgemental about those who do things differently than you do.

I'm sorry. But my 1700s comment is meant to illustrate that times change, "Elegant" and "proper" and "refined" dress has also changed. What is "correct" dress attire now is not what it was 100 or 200 years ago. Times change. Now more people have decided that knotting a piece of cloth around their neck is pointless and some women have decided that they don't need a gown to be feminine.
66 Posts
Joined May 2005
I totally agree about the dining changes. I loved the old traditional multi level dining rooms with with the beautiful chandeliers, and I especially loved dining on formal nights. Now I don’t bother bringing
formal wear. It’s just not the same.

It’s a shame RCCL followed the NCL dining concept. However, for some reason it seems to work for me on NCL.
Cocoa Beach, FL
24,353 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by flowergirl22
I totally agree about the dining changes. I loved the old traditional multi level dining rooms with with the beautiful chandeliers, and I especially loved dining on formal nights. Now I don’t bother bringing
formal wear. It’s just not the same.

It’s a shame RCCL followed the NCL dining concept. However, for some reason it seems to work for me on NCL.
Oasis, Freedom, Voyager, Radiance, and Vision class all have multiple levels in MDR. MJ is old and does not. Don't remember Empress and never sailed Quantum class.

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Oasis of the Seas 6/17/2018
Serenade of the Seas 8/19/2018
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Enchantment of the Seas 11/16/2018
Rhapsody of the Seas 12/8/2018
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Mariner of the Seas 1/20/2020

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Overland Park, KS
730 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
I was on the same Jan. 27 Harmony of the Seas cruise. I agree about the dining room. The sirloin steak was tough, as was the steak Diane and the pork chop. In fairness, the beef tenderloin was very good, as was the pork loin. The assistant waiter used to bring around a tray of rolls and you picked one and he/she came around later to offer the rolls again. Now there is a bowl of rolls on the table, counted out to the number of chairs at the table. On the third night, our table mates were not there yet, and a man sat down, introduced himself and ate several of our rolls. His wife showed up and told him he was at the wrong table. Later we tried to get more rolls, and the waiter had to get permission. We did get more rolls. We were never offered a second roll on any night, though. The side dishes were sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes too much of the time. Some of this is due to preparing food for over 6,000 people, but I feel they can do better.

We did start to have the soft drinks we ordered each night at the table when we arrived after a night or two.

The food in the Windjammer was actually good for breakfast and lunch, but the Windjammer was crowded on this full ship.

We enjoyed the cruise, anyway.
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Kathy


Enchantment of the Seas – 1999, Grandeur of the Seas – 2000, Monarch of the Seas – 2001, Navigator of the Seas – 2003, Pride of Aloha – 2005, Norwegian Spirit – 2006, Freedom of the Seas – 2008, Adventure of the Seas – 2008, Carnival Miracle – 2009, Freedom of the Seas – 2009, Liberty of the Seas – 2010, Monarch of the Seas - 2010, Carnival Miracle – 2010, Allure of the Seas – 2011, Cardinal Freedom – 2011, Freedom of the Seas – 2012, Carnival Liberty – 2012, Carnival Freedom – 2013, Independence of the Seas – 2013, Oasis of the Seas - 2014, Oasis of the Seas B2B, 2015, Navigator of the Seas, 2015, Allure of the Seas, 2016, Navigator of the Seas, 2017, Liberty of the Seas, 2017, Harmony of the Seas, 2018.







Scottsdale, Arizona
13 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Our upcoming might be our last on Royal. We've cruised with them 8 or so times in the past. But when Hurricane Irma hit Cuba just before our cruise there, our opinion of RCCL changed. They allowed us to cancel our trip (to where?), refunded our prepaids, but banked our cruise fare money. Now that was okay, except when we went to use it. Because it was a buy one, get one 50% on the canceled cruise, all of the banked money didn't go in the same "pot." We ended up spending an additional $350 out of pocket and left $350 of the banked money in RCCL's pocket. They said they had to use the money for each of us individually, and couldn't just split it evenly. Hubby is now ready to call it quits with them. Oh, and, yes we agree it would be nice to have some type of dress code at the formal dinners again.
649 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Try Cunard or Seaborne. They will offer the experience you are looking for.
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Previous Cruises:
Carnival Victory - Feb 26th, 2006
Carnival Magic - Sept 21st, 2014
Liberty of the Seas - April 16th, 2016
Liberty of the Seas - Sept 18th, 2016
Harmony of the Seas - Nov 26th, 2016
Liberty of the Seas - May 15th, 2017
Liberty of the Seas - Jan 21st, 2018
Upstate New York, United States
146 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by CruisingNole
Perhaps "lazy" was a poor choice of words. Probably "lack of class" would have been more appropriate.

If you received a wedding invitation, or any invitation and the instructions were to wear "formal attire," you would adhere to the request, out of respect, right? I sure would hope so.

A cruise is no different. Formal attire is instructed for MDR on formal night. That's the whole purpose of said formal night. Don't like it, go to the buffet.

I'm aware my statements will cause a backlash, but if you don't like formal nights, perhaps Carnival is more your cup of tea.
I'm just trying to imagine how one goes through life letting what others are wearing affect their ability to enjoy themselves. No backlash here, just a bit of pity.