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MrsMcCruise
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Hi there! First time cruising NCL. Hubs and I are going on the Jewel soon and I wanted some insight on the food. I've heard mixed reviews regarding the food in the complimentary restaurants. We are torn on the idea of purchasing the ultimate dining package. Can anyone give me an idea of what's typically on the menus in the main dining area? Also any opinions on ultimate dining package vs eating at the included places. Thank you!

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We were on the Jewel in September 2014, I didn't buy the dining package, and there was plenty to choose from, from the free restaurants. We ate at the buffet a couple of times...but mostly at Azura, Tsars and Oshehaan’s. We did pay to go to the Teppanyaki one time. I felt the selections were good, and the food was just fine for me. When I go on my cruise in Sept 2015...I plan on doing the exact thing. Now keep in mind these are not 5star restaurants =) but I don't have any complaints!

 

I have heard wonderful things about Cagneys, but I have not been there myself. I guess it really all depends what you like

 

the buffet is very crowded, we did not go there often because of this. Azura takes reservations and if free! We made a res the first night of the cruise, glad I did cuz the line got long fast and we walked right to the front =) Oshehaans was good and never a wait for us. and Tsars was good and no big line. Tsars made you feel like you were in a pay restaurant, but it was free too.

 

And Teppanyaki ....was worth the money! Fun and lots of food! (too much food)

 

Sorry this was long, hope it helps =) Enjoy your cruise!

Edited by jowens1873
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  • 5 months later...
Hi there! First time cruising NCL. Hubs and I are going on the Jewel soon and I wanted some insight on the food. I've heard mixed reviews regarding the food in the complimentary restaurants. We are torn on the idea of purchasing the ultimate dining package. Can anyone give me an idea of what's typically on the menus in the main dining area? Also any opinions on ultimate dining package vs eating at the included places. Thank you!

 

Personally, I would never recommend anyone takes the UDP on their first trip. You don't save a huge amount over what it costs if you pay as you go, and you will never get to find out whether you like the free venues.

 

I like to go to two or three speciality restaurants each cruise. There are always some days when we just don't fancy sitting down for a full meal and the buffet or o'Sheehans/Blue Lagoon will do fine. We also usually go to the MDR every now and then as well.

 

The menus linked to above (on the cruisewithgambee page) are out of date for the main dining rooms. New menus were introduced last year, and I think that they are an improvement. It can be a bit tricky to get copies, but an some have been posted in reviews recently. I posted this thread last year from the Epic, which has some examples:

 

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2047989

 

The menus are fleet wide, but there are 14-20 of them so you may or may not get any particular one.

 

My suggestion would be to not purchase the UDP, book any speciality restaurants you like the look of, but give the free options a go. If you really hate them then go over to the specialities, but as long as you have a couple in the free venues it should be no more expensive than buying the package (unless you east in Cagneys all the time).

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We were on the Jewel a couple of weeks ago and ate in one of the main dining rooms 5 out of 7 nights. One night we weren't very hungry and just got sushi and one night were treated to the French restaurant by some fellow travelers. There were a couple of nights we weren't excited about the menu offerings, but with some direction from our waiter ended up very happy with our meals. Overall I felt like the food was on par with most other cruises lines/ships we've been on.

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We did not eat at any PAY places on our Jan 31 st cruise! We ate at Azura and Tsars, the Buffet a lot and Oh'sheeans the rest of the time.

 

Food was good everywhere in our view. I would say unless you feel a need to get dressed up or have a VERY SPECIAL night out, I would NOT spend the money for the UDP .

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