Don't go to specialty restaurants

Rhode Island, U.S.A.
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Originally posted by ariesknowbest
More germs......
I guess I should have been dead years ago from eating in those germ infested buffets.
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Central Illinois
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Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by Ocean Boy
I guess I should have been dead years ago from eating in those germ infested buffets.
Just think how healthy your immune system is now!
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Bob

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Rhode Island, U.S.A.
24,506 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Host Clarea
Just think how healthy your immune system is now!
Patients always ask me how I don't get sick. I used to think it was from years of being exposed to them. I now realize it is from years of buffet eating.
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Jersey Shore
5,363 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Ocean Boy
I guess I should have been dead years ago from eating in those germ infested buffets.
We sailed on the Jan. 29th Anthem 12 niter and did not get sick or discomfort. As soon as we got home within a couple of days both of us came down with terrible colds.
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Central Illinois
132,174 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by Ocean Boy
Patients always ask me how I don't get sick. I used to think it was from years of being exposed to them. I now realize it is from years of buffet eating.
Yet another great reason to use Windjammer.
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Bob

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Northern Alberta
719 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Actually prefer MDR (or speciality) over WJ more for portion control I know I can order multiples but I won't just so I can enjoy what I have, knowing there will be more food later.
Love the FNDR as a chance to do a specialty restaurant at a lower price and no I don't feel compelled to buy 3 or 4 nights.
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Southern California
2,394 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by CruisingNole
I get what you're saying, but I already feel like what they are charging is excessive as some of these restaurants are $50+ per person. I live in Orlando and our cost of living here is low, so maybe I'm just spoiled with reasonable prices. For example, there's several Hibachi restaurants convenient to me that are less than $25 per person.
I think you are spoiled..
we went to our local Shogun last night and the meal totaled $172.00 including tip for two of us, that included 2 crab rolls and two martinis. Under a hundred on the ship is a bargain.

SHOGUN COMBINATION DINNERS
Served with Clear Onion Soup or Organic Miso Soup, Salad with Ginger Dressing, Grilled Shrimp
Appetizer, Hibachi Mixed Vegetables, Two Signature Dipping Sauces and Steamed Rice
(Steamed Rice May Be Substituted with Chicken Fried Rice for $2.99 extra)
New York Steak
with Lobster Tail 38.99
Filet Mignon
with Colossal Shrimp 34.49
with Hibachi Scallop 36.49
Rib Eye Steak
with Colossal Shrimp 34.99
with Hibachi Scallop 36.99
Sesame Chicken
with Lobster Tail 36.99
Samurai Shrimp
with Hibachi Scallop 33.99
Imperial 36.99
New York Steak, Sesame Chicken and
Samurai Shrimp or Hibachi Scallop.
Shogun Special 43.99
Filet Mignon, Lobster Tail and Samurai Shrimp
Mikado 45.49
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South coast
324 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Look at the latest review. Margarita Cruis said “the whole dining experience was very disappointing”.
Such a shame but would rather “upgrade” to UDP than cancel.


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Mark & Jane


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Margate, Florida
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Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by thecruisers6
Look at the latest review. Margarita Cruis said “the whole dining experience was very disappointing”.
Such a shame but would rather “upgrade” to UDP than cancel.


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So sad that her 'whole dining experience was very disappointing'.....it leads me to wonder, what did she do to improve the experience? Who did she talk with about making it better, fixing what she felt was deficient?
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Mission, TX
3,815 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by BillOh
Maybe that explains why the bar service has gotten so bad in the MDRs recently. They are intentionally driving the herd to premium dining


There are a lot of reasons why the bar service has gotten so bad in the MDR, including the rise of beverage packages.

Not only is the cruiseline trying to make it more difficult for you to get what you already paid for, the servers now have a strong base tip built in to their wages from the packages. Used to be servers would actually work beyond their scheduled hours to earn extra tips - now there is not much incentive for them to do so.

I’m more disturbed that the responsibility for getting paid beverages in the MDR has now fallen to the assistant waiters. They are busy with that and it makes it much more difficult for them to support the waiters like they used to.

The three story dining rooms are magnificent venues, especially on the Voyager/Freedom class ships. It’s such a shame that the service and food does not measure up to it. There are so many restaurants on land that offer similar experiences to the specialties, but I’ve yet to see anything like the MDRs anywhere on land. I’d be happy to pay for a premium location in the MDR, with premium service, with the existing premium menu. Seems like this would be an easy moneymaker for the cruise lines: after you’ve booked your cabin, instead of just selecting a preference on time and table, offer the ability to upgrade- similar to what the airlines do with seating.


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Originally posted by nealstuber
There are a lot of reasons why the bar service has gotten so bad in the MDR, including the rise of beverage packages.

Not only is the cruiseline trying to make it more difficult for you to get what you already paid for, the servers now have a strong base tip built in to their wages from the packages. Used to be servers would actually work beyond their scheduled hours to earn extra tips - now there is not much incentive for them to do so.

I’m more disturbed that the responsibility for getting paid beverages in the MDR has now fallen to the assistant waiters. They are busy with that and it makes it much more difficult for them to support the waiters like they used to.

The three story dining rooms are magnificent venues, especially on the Voyager/Freedom class ships. It’s such a shame that the service and food does not measure up to it. There are so many restaurants on land that offer similar experiences to the specialties, but I’ve yet to see anything like the MDRs anywhere on land. I’d be happy to pay for a premium location in the MDR, with premium service, with the existing premium menu. Seems like this would be an easy moneymaker for the cruise lines: after you’ve booked your cabin, instead of just selecting a preference on time and table, offer the ability to upgrade- similar to what the airlines do with seating.


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You are a genius I would rather pay for an upgrade in MDR than go on a culinary trip around the world 3 times for a 14 night cruise.
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Mark & Jane


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Margate, Florida
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Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by nealstuber
There are a lot of reasons why the bar service has gotten so bad in the MDR, including the rise of beverage packages.

Not only is the cruiseline trying to make it more difficult for you to get what you already paid for, the servers now have a strong base tip built in to their wages from the packages. Used to be servers would actually work beyond their scheduled hours to earn extra tips - now there is not much incentive for them to do so.

I’m more disturbed that the responsibility for getting paid beverages in the MDR has now fallen to the assistant waiters. They are busy with that and it makes it much more difficult for them to support the waiters like they used to.

The three story dining rooms are magnificent venues, especially on the Voyager/Freedom class ships. It’s such a shame that the service and food does not measure up to it. There are so many restaurants on land that offer similar experiences to the specialties, but I’ve yet to see anything like the MDRs anywhere on land. I’d be happy to pay for a premium location in the MDR, with premium service, with the existing premium menu. Seems like this would be an easy moneymaker for the cruise lines: after you’ve booked your cabin, instead of just selecting a preference on time and table, offer the ability to upgrade- similar to what the airlines do with seating.


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Just recently off a 9 day NV sailing. Our assistant waiter along with a bar server worked TOGETHER to make sure that the bar drinks we wanted/ were served. The even accommodated using our drink vouchers from our seapass for those who were D and above. By day 3 they knew what people preferences were, or those that were not much drinkers during dinner and could spend their times serving those that were.

I surely don't understand what you mean when you say what is highlighted in blue. Wait staff and bar servers have plenty to do and little time to engage in extra activities for extra tips....what you are saying makes no sense.

What I have highlighted in green, would ONLY create more confusion for MDR staff and end up providing poorer service not better. So you really think that offering a different menu based on seating location in dining room, would make a difference....you can do that now by going to a specialty restaurant.
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222 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
OP, I think you can say the same thing about any upcharge purchase on the ship. Don't get the drinks package. Don't even get any booze a la carte - if too many people get drinks by the pool they'll raise prices and soon a glass of water will be an upcharge.

And you're right - they're nothing like a 5-star restaurant. Say, what do you mean by 5-star restaurant anyway? Yelp/Google reviews? I've seen 5-star McDonalds on those platforms.

The real rating for "incredible restaurant" would be something like the Michelin guide, which only goes up to 3 stars. And no, the onboard restaurants aren't 3-Michelin-star quality, but then they also aren't $400 a plate.

But for the price, the onboard restaurants really do tend toward the excellent side of the spectrum. If the quality drops or the price rises, then we'll re-evaluate whether or not we want to eat there.
Mission, TX
3,815 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by Paulette3028
Just recently off a 9 day NV sailing. Our assistant waiter along with a bar server worked TOGETHER to make sure that the bar drinks we wanted/ were served. The even accommodated using our drink vouchers from our seapass for those who were D and above. By day 3 they knew what people preferences were, or those that were not much drinkers during dinner and could spend their times serving those that were.

I surely don't understand what you mean when you say what is highlighted in blue. Wait staff and bar servers have plenty to do and little time to engage in extra activities for extra tips....what you are saying makes no sense.

What I have highlighted in green, would ONLY create more confusion for MDR staff and end up providing poorer service not better. So you really think that offering a different menu based on seating location in dining room, would make a difference....you can do that now by going to a specialty restaurant.


Your color coding did not come through, but I’ll respond as best I can:
If they had bar servers in the MDR on the NV, that’s great, our last Lib cruise we were told assistants handled that now.

It is well documented that despite their busy schedule, some service staff can and do work beyond their scheduled hours for tips. The used to do it more before they had a good base salary from the packages.

And I could not have been more clear as to why I would be willing to pay more for better service and food in the MDR: we like the rooms, nothing on land compares- even the nicest ships specialty Rs are a dime a dozen on land.

I Don’t think it would be hard to put flower arrangements, a bar steward, top tier waiters with a reduced work load to serve the menu that’s currently out there in 4 course style with the premium items included. Depending on Interest, I say the center of the lowest deck would be ideal for this. And I don’t think it would cause any more confusion than the roll out of my time dining.

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Rhode Island, U.S.A.
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When they started adding upcharge items to the menu people used to post that eventually the MDR would become a charge venue and the only cruise fare included eating venue would be the buffet. Now we seem to have someone actually advocating a move in that direction.
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Central Illinois
132,174 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by Ocean Boy
When they started adding upcharge items to the menu people used to post that eventually the MDR would become a charge venue and the only cruise fare included eating venue would be the buffet. Now we seem to have someone actually advocating a move in that direction.
I would be surprised if they actually made the MDR all upcharge, but I think by reducing choices, reducing quality, reducing service and reducing space in Windjammer, they will end up getting a great many people doing the Ultimate Dining package.
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Bob

Past Cruises

Celebrity: Mercury
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Charlotte NC
564 Posts
Joined May 2012
We never go in the MDR anymore. Specialty restaurants every night if possible, with maybe 1 night at the WJ.

It’s not as crowded and the food, while still not amazing, is better than what we get in the MDR. The WJ is edible at best.


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Eric and Teresa

Montreal,Quebec,Canada
908 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
I personally have tried a few specialty restaurants and some of course are better than others. To answer your question yes prices have been up but that’s to each individual to decide if the price is worth it for the place. It’s not too long that if a speciality restaurant is not to cruisers standards and we stop going cruise line will adapt by changing menu or price. Seen it in the past.
My only complaint is more that all the cruise line have taken MDR for granted now. The lighting is much to bright,too much noise,not enough waiters,food not as good and more.

I don’t mind paying for speciality restaurant but not when I am force because MDR is horrible.


Thanks
Sea ya

Eric


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Mission, TX
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Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by Ocean Boy
When they started adding upcharge items to the menu people used to post that eventually the MDR would become a charge venue and the only cruise fare included eating venue would be the buffet. Now we seem to have someone actually advocating a move in that direction.


No, I still see the MDR being “free for all”. But with so many different specialty venues that mimic a land experience, it would be nice if one of the specialty options was a more traditional cruise dining experience.

So many people here say closer tables, a more limited MDR menu with shabby service is fine because it keeps prices down and then folks who want more can just pay more in a specialty. I’m agreeing with that to a point. But even while the food and service in the Specialties is on par with what used to be common in the MDR 10+ years ago, for us, the overall experience is not. So for folks who are happy with the experience as it is now at the lower price, good for them. For those like us who do not see the specialty restaurants as a substitute for what Cruise dining used to be, that option would be nice.


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Liberty OTS II 6/17, New Years Dream 2017 Carnival Dream,
Carnival Legend Alaska 7/16, Liberty OTS to PAYA BAY and other Fun Places! 6/16
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Rhode Island, U.S.A.
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Originally posted by nealstuber
No, I still see the MDR being “free for all”. But with so many different specialty venues that mimic a land experience, it would be nice if one of the specialty options was a more traditional cruise dining experience.

So many people here say closer tables, a more limited MDR menu with shabby service is fine because it keeps prices down and then folks who want more can just pay more in a specialty. I’m agreeing with that to a point. But even while the food and service in the Specialties is on par with what used to be common in the MDR 10+ years ago, for us, the overall experience is not. So for folks who are happy with the experience as it is now at the lower price, good for them. For those like us who do not see the specialty restaurants as a substitute for what Cruise dining used to be, that option would be nice.


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I could understand your point if the specialty restaurants did not already exist. Maybe they should up the experience in the specialty restaurants to match what the cruise dining experience used to be and up the price as well. I don't see a need to re-invent the MDR when the specialty restaurants are already in place.
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