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#21
Scarborough ON Canada
4,160 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Some things on the menu benefit from being plated in the MDR (like the quesadilla) where other things benefit from being served on the buffet (I'm looking at you fried shrimp - I'd rather have as an entrée than an appetizer).

We prefer the MDR (sit down, be served, multiple courses) but will use the buffet for dinner if there's a movie we want to catch.

With having late dining, it's also nice to be able to go up to the buffet when it opens and have a pre-dinner salad that you put together yourself (I like the salad bar better than the pre-made salads served in the dining room). Of course you have to be careful that it doesn't turn into a pre-dinner, dinner because you can see all of the dinner choices.
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Disney:
Magic 10-30-2010
Dream 10-30-2011 & 11-03-2011
Magic 4-30-2012
Fantasy 10-26-2013
Magic 11-15-2015
Carnival:
Dream 3-12-2011 & 3-19-2011
Miracle 8-26-2011
Dream 10-27-2012
Pride 03-15-2015
Pride 01-17-2016 & 01-28-2016
Pride 07-10-2016
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Navigator of the Sea 11-10-2015
Freedom of the Seas 02-12-2017
Celebrity:
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Equinox 11-21-2014
Summit 08-30-3015
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Princess:
Caribbean Princess 11-20-2017

Future Cruises:
Adventure of the Seas 05-18-2018 (7 nights) A Cheap getaway
Caribbean Princess 11-25-2018 (14 nights) Circle Caribbean
Caribbean Princess 12-10-2018 (10 nights) Partial Panama Canal
Caribbean Princess 12-19-2018 (14 nights) Circle Caribbean
Celebrity Infinity 01-05-2019 (5 nights) Because we're already in Florida
Carnival Sunshine 01-12-2019 (13 nights) Journey Cruise
Disney Fantasy 01-26-2019 (7 nights) Stars Wars at Sea
Disney Magic 02-03-2019 (5 nights) Marvel Day at Sea
#22
Central Texas
819 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
We do a combo of MDR or buffet for breakfast/brunch/lunch, and buffet for dinner. Gives us the sit down meals and being waited on, but avoids the dress code and longer meal periods of the evening meal.
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Carnival Valor 9 day Panama Canal Cruise
#23
small town in the Midwest
332 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by Sizzlechest
Last time I was on a Carnival cruise was back in 2011 on the Glory. I liked the dining room, but there was a lack of choices. One night I got fed up and popped up to the buffet while the rest of the party was waiting for dessert. The buffet had the SAME items as the MDR plus a whole lot more. I made a plate of desserts for the table (that were not on the MDR menu) and brought it back down to everyone's delight
I think it's disrespectful to bring outside food into the MDR, and probably against the rules. Maybe next time you could all bring trays of buffet food and not order anything off the MDR menu.
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#24
Malden, MO
5,423 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
We've eaten in the MDR before but honestly prefer just grabbing something in the buffet or deli or pizza place or Guy's, etc. We don't cruise for the food but for the relaxation and not having to be on a schedule except the one we set for ourselves.
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#25
Orygun
2,829 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
I like eating in MDR but the buffet is so much easier...less time... we usually eat there a couple times per cruise.
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April 13, 2019 Carnival Vista itinerary /Costa Maya Mexico / Belize / Mahogany Bay Roatan / Cozumel Mexico
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#26
Columbus,Ohio
6,447 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Garth2
I think it's disrespectful to bring outside food into the MDR, and probably against the rules. Maybe next time you could all bring trays of buffet food and not order anything off the MDR menu.
"Outside food"? It's from the same kitchen as the food served in the MDR. It's not like Sizzlechest went to some dining establishment floating all by itself out in the ocean. Disrespectful? To whom? Against the rules? I don't believe there are any rules against bringing food items or beverages from another part of the ship into the MDR, or vice-versa.
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Carnival Vista April 2017
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Carnival Breeze May 2015
Carnival Liberty May 2013
Carnival Liberty May 2012
Carnival Sensation Feb. 2008
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2007
RCCL Explorer of the Seas March 2002
RCCL Majesty of the Seas Dec. 2000
Carnival Imagination Sept. 1999
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas Feb. 1999
RCCL Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 1997
#27
1,499 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by Garth2
I think it's disrespectful to bring outside food into the MDR, and probably against the rules. Maybe next time you could all bring trays of buffet food and not order anything off the MDR menu.
Yeah. The sommelier gave the maitre de a look of haughty disgust when I smuggled the slice of key lime pie past him. He almost soiled himself with indignation.
#28
Carolina Coast
3,859 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
On a cruise we order room service for breakfast - Coffee, juice, fruit and danish. On sea days we do enjoy the brunch though so those mornings we just get coffee and juice room service while we leisurely get ready to go to brunch mid morning.

Lunch is always some sort of "buffet" - either the Lido, or Guys or the Deli.

When it comes to dinner I want to sit down in the MDR and be waited on hand and foot.

I've never not been able to find some "stuff" on the menu to fill me up - even if it's servings of apps for my dinner rather than an entree.

At home, because of some DH health issues, I have to shop for, prepare, serve and clean up after each dinner - Every Night . My greatest joy on a ship is to NOT have to do any of those things.
Each to their own .... but no buffet for dinner for me
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#29
1,844 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by wms99
Menu's are on the Hub App. They are also posted outside the MDR. And lobster is traditionally the first formal night. Finally, lobster is just a really big shrimp/crab thing. It's good, but not that much better than most other offerings.
I wouldn't even call it "really big". In fact, as lobsters go, the elegant night MDR lobsters are tiny.
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#30
Columbus,Ohio
6,447 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by ParrotRob
I wouldn't even call it "really big". In fact, as lobsters go, the elegant night MDR lobsters are tiny.
I think it's because the lobsters are rock lobsters (or maybe even Louisiana crayfish ), not Maine lobsters.
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Carnival Vista April 2017
Carnival Conquest May 2016
Carnival Breeze May 2015
Carnival Liberty May 2013
Carnival Liberty May 2012
Carnival Sensation Feb. 2008
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2007
RCCL Explorer of the Seas March 2002
RCCL Majesty of the Seas Dec. 2000
Carnival Imagination Sept. 1999
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas Feb. 1999
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#31
Texas
32 Posts
Joined Apr 2018
Originally posted by Sizzlechest
Yeah. The sommelier gave the maitre de a look of haughty disgust when I smuggled the slice of key lime pie past him. He almost soiled himself with indignation.
would you say he had a sour look on his face?
#32
219 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I never liked eating at buffets. Just the fact that they call that clear plastic thing on top of a sneeze guard grosses me out. I actually avoided cruising until I was almost 50 years old because I thought all meals were served at the buffet. Have had four cruises since, and have managed to not eat anything from the buffet.
#33
Southern NJ near Philly
7,851 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by sanmarcosman
I can't get poached eggs at the omelette station to make eggs benedict to replace the overcooked poached eggs sitting on the steam table at the buffet.
My response was to someone stating they could not get a runny yolk egg at the buffet and my response was correct in that sunny side up or over easy could be had at the omelette station. If you want immediate poached eggs at a buffet, even in multiple options benedict wise, cruise on Celebrity.
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Norwegian Bliss 2/2/19 Eastern Caribbean
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#34
San Diego County
3,498 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by SNJCruisers
My response was to someone stating they could not get a runny yolk egg at the buffet and my response was correct in that sunny side up or over easy could be had at the omelette station. If you want immediate poached eggs at a buffet, even in multiple options benedict wise, cruise on Celebrity.
That person, Sizzlechest, said: "I prefer the MDR for breakfast since I like eggs benedict, and the odds of getting a runny yolk at the buffet are slim and none. (Heat lamps keep cooking eggs while they sit there.)The omelette station would be of no use to them in their case because they don't prepare poached eggs for Sizzlechest to cobble together eggs benedict to their liking.
#35
Colorado
5,775 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by SNJCruisers
My response was to someone stating they could not get a runny yolk egg at the buffet and my response was correct in that sunny side up or over easy could be had at the omelette station. If you want immediate poached eggs at a buffet, even in multiple options benedict wise, cruise on Celebrity.


There is no ship on any cruise line or any land restaurant who can hold poached eggs soft. Yes, they stated they wanted runny eggs with Eggs Benedict, nothing about up or over easy.
#36
Scarborough ON Canada
4,160 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by coevan
There is no ship on any cruise line or any land restaurant who can hold poached eggs soft. Yes, they stated they wanted runny eggs with Eggs Benedict, nothing about up or over easy.
We've been able to get fresh poached eggs at the buffet on Carnival. We just ask one of the cooks and they bring out however many we ask for.

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Patricia (Trisha to my friends and family) cruiseforfood.com
Disney:
Magic 10-30-2010
Dream 10-30-2011 & 11-03-2011
Magic 4-30-2012
Fantasy 10-26-2013
Magic 11-15-2015
Carnival:
Dream 3-12-2011 & 3-19-2011
Miracle 8-26-2011
Dream 10-27-2012
Pride 03-15-2015
Pride 01-17-2016 & 01-28-2016
Pride 07-10-2016
Pride 08-21-2016
Sunshine 05-29-2017
Pride 01-07-2018
Royal:
Explorer of the Seas 2-24-2013
Explorer of the Seas 2-23-2014
Navigator of the Sea 11-10-2015
Freedom of the Seas 02-12-2017
Celebrity:
Summit 06-01-2014
Equinox 11-21-2014
Summit 08-30-3015
Summit 02-18-2017

Princess:
Caribbean Princess 11-20-2017

Future Cruises:
Adventure of the Seas 05-18-2018 (7 nights) A Cheap getaway
Caribbean Princess 11-25-2018 (14 nights) Circle Caribbean
Caribbean Princess 12-10-2018 (10 nights) Partial Panama Canal
Caribbean Princess 12-19-2018 (14 nights) Circle Caribbean
Celebrity Infinity 01-05-2019 (5 nights) Because we're already in Florida
Carnival Sunshine 01-12-2019 (13 nights) Journey Cruise
Disney Fantasy 01-26-2019 (7 nights) Stars Wars at Sea
Disney Magic 02-03-2019 (5 nights) Marvel Day at Sea
#37
Cincinnati, Ohio
114 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
We chose the MDR for as many meals as we can. Eat less and nice but not large portions. If we are not on tours, breakfast in the MDR to meet new people, lunch on sea days for the same reason. At dinner we have always preferred the MDR, not because of the food but because of our table mates. It is great to dine with the same group every night. In all the cruises we have taken we have never had bad table mates. I hope they feel the same way.
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Celebrity Zenith 1996 Carribean
Cunnard Crown Dynasty 1996 Alaska
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Princess Dawn 2001 Carribean
Princess Crown 2001 Baltic
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Grand Princess 2011 February Caribbean
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Princess Grand February 2013 South America 30 days

Celebrity Eclipse February 2014 Caribbean
Holland America Nordaam February 2015 21 days Carbbean
Celebrity Equinox July 2015 28 days Mediterrean
Celebrity Equinox Feb 2017 21 day
Coral Princess Feb. 2018 Panama Canal 14 days
Carnival Glory Feb. 2019 Caribbean
Crown Princess September 2019 British Isles & Transatlantic
#38
626 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
It's buffet for us, just about every meal.
Benefits:
Get exactly what you want....and the portion you want
If you don't like it....get up and get something else.
More variety in the buffet.
You can be quick or take as long as you want.
Meet a variety of people at adjoining tables.


MDR....for people who don't eat out often it's a treat to be served. (We eat out almost daily.) They try to emulate an upscale restaurant but fall short as far as the food and service.
#39
We Move Around ;)
47 Posts
Joined Apr 2018
Originally posted by wms99
Finally, lobster is just a really big shrimp/crab thing. It's good, but not that much better than most other offerings.
A really big shrimp/crab thing? LOL! Maybe in Alabama that's what they resemble, but not in Maine. Thanks for the laugh!
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#40
Colorado
5,775 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by meatloafsfan
We've been able to get fresh poached eggs at the buffet on Carnival. We just ask one of the cooks and they bring out however many we ask for.

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never, they are always hard boiled, as in cooked yoke. When I order my Eggs Benedict in the MDR, I always order very soft. If the yoke is not runny, I will send it back. The buffett's Bene's look like crap.