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Lido Cafe -- Oosterdam May 21 -- Limited hours and running out of menu items


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Just off the Oosterdam May 21-28 cruise to Alaska. It's been a while since I cruised on HAL. The ship was elegant, and the staff wonderful. But what's the deal with the Lido Market Cafe? Hours are quite limited compared to other cruise lines I've sailed with. And they seem to have some planning issues, because several nights the "featured" items were gone very early.

 

Re hours -- Most of my cruises in past few years have been on Princess and RCCL. On those ships, the Lido cafe is open, serving something from about 6 am to midnight. Things transition from breakfast to lunch to afternoon snacks to dinner to late snacks. And you can get a full dinner at the Lido until about 9-10 pm. Oosterdam would have significant breaks in service (though you could mostly get Pizza and some pasta). Worse was the fact that dinner service shut down at 8 pm -- do they really think that people stop eating dinner by 8 pm?

 

But the 8 pm deadline was a bit misleading, because on the three nights that I ate there, the line was out of featured menu items well before 8. One night, they were "advertising" filet mignon and shrimp (prominently noticed on cards placed on all the tables at lunch.) I got there at 7:30, and those items were gone, and did not return. Another night I was expecting prime rib. Learning my lesson, I arrived a little after 7 -- only to see the last of the prime rib served to a guest several places ahead of me in line. Staff then said they should have more in about 20 minutes. None ever appeared. The last night was again sadly comical. The featured steak item was gone by 7:06 pm.

 

The line staff were so friendly, I felt sorry for them. They clearly were not getting the support they needed to serve guests the items that were listed on the menu. I wonder if this is usual for HAL these days, or if something was amiss on this cruise? The problem definitely did not inspire me to want to come back to HAL.

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That seems typical of Holland, and is probably my only complaint with the line. I recently did an extended trip on Koningsdam, with several late nights in port, and if you came back after 8:00pm the Lido Market was closed, and thethere were huge line ups at the deli/pizza outlet. Holland should really work on this issue.

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That seems typical of Holland, and is probably my only complaint with the line. I recently did an extended trip on Koningsdam, with several late nights in port, and if you came back after 8:00pm the Lido Market was closed, and thethere were huge line ups at the deli/pizza outlet. Holland should really work on this issue.

 

Gosh, this is not good news. We will be going on our first HAL cruise with the Koningsdam, and for us, buffet is very important.

 

If Lido buffet shuts at 8.00pm, that is ridiculous! What is Holland America playing at? We have read elsewhere in the board that their service MDR restaurants could be very, very slow, AND the food was sometimes not very good. We had thought if that was the case, if we did not enjoy the meal in the MDR and still feel hungry (because of their poor cuisine) we could at least go to their Lido Cafe buffet restaurant. Looks like we will not be able to do that if the Lido closes so early.

 

NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT!!!!

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HAL has always had limited hours in the Lido on all their ships for all the years we have sailed on their ships -- since 1996. So this is not new.

And yes -- the dinner items run out quickly -- you have to be there early to get choices.

Sorry you were disappointed in the Lido.

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Gosh, this is not good news. We will be going on our first HAL cruise with the Koningsdam, and for us, buffet is very important.

 

If Lido buffet shuts at 8.00pm, that is ridiculous! What is Holland America playing at? We have read elsewhere in the board that their service MDR restaurants could be very, very slow, AND the food was sometimes not very good. We had thought if that was the case, if we did not enjoy the meal in the MDR and still feel hungry (because of their poor cuisine) we could at least go to their Lido Cafe buffet restaurant. Looks like we will not be able to do that if the Lido closes so early.

 

NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT!!!!

Unfortunately, this is fleet wide with HAL. Just got off Koningsdam and found dining, other than specialty restaurants and the MDR, to be quite limited in the evenings.
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Every line has its own ways, and it's best to pick the one that most closely matches your needs.

 

While HAL does close the Lido down for periods so it can be cleaned up and prepped for the next meal, and other lines stay open longer, HAL also has an extensive room service menu, for no charge, including dinner from the dining room menu.

Not all lines offer that.

 

There's no reason to go hungry on HAL.

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HAL Lido buffets are typically open until 8:30pm for dinner. Then they reopen from 10:30pm to 11:30pm each evening. On the original poster's itinerary, an Alaskan cruise on Oosterdam, the night the ship is in Victoria BC the Lido has expanded hours for dinner, 5pm to.8:30pm, the standard dinner hours, then again from 9pm to 11:30pm to accommodate passengers coming back from their shore excursions.

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If you want to eat in public venues 24/7, HAL is not a good choice. However, it does offer very good room service for free 24/7. Can't really compare the smaller, older HAL ships with their limited and more traditional prep areas, to the larger more industrial behemoths. Go with what best suits your own dining needs. The main dining room remains available for dinner after the 8pm shut down time at the Lido.

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Then they reopen from 10:30pm to 11:30pm each evening.

 

I was wondering about this. While we rarely would eat dinner in Lido on our last HAL cruise one of the better memories was the availability of a late night snack or dessert in the Lido. Lido we most often use for lunch so unless we're ashore we will plan to be there closer to lunch start than end. I'll be sure to include Oosterdam observations in review in a few weeks.

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Worse was the fact that dinner service shut down at 8 pm -- do they really think that people stop eating dinner by 8 pm?

 

Dinner service does not "shut down" at 8:00 p.m. The regular, late night seating and service begins at 8:00 p.m. We have on many occasions been enjoying our meal or dessert at 9:30 or 10:00.

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HAL Lido buffets are typically open until 8:30pm for dinner. Then they reopen from 10:30pm to 11:30pm each evening. On the original poster's itinerary, an Alaskan cruise on Oosterdam, the night the ship is in Victoria BC the Lido has expanded hours for dinner, 5pm to.8:30pm, the standard dinner hours, then again from 9pm to 11:30pm to accommodate passengers coming back from their shore excursions.

 

That's good to know. What sort of food did the have at the later hours?

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That's good to know. What sort of food did the have at the later hours?

I posted the full list of late night buffet menus from the Caribbean here:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=51825040&postcount=284

 

We ate dinner at the second fixed seating, so we were never ready to eat again when the late night snack was in operation. (That was "sipping time" for my people.)

 

My guess is that the Alaska menus are probably pretty similar.

 

I think the key takeaway is that you should send DW and I on a cruise early in each season so that we can gather up and report on all this information. :D

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I posted the full list of late night buffet menus from the Caribbean here:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=51825040&postcount=284

 

We ate dinner at the second fixed seating, so we were never ready to eat again when the late night snack was in operation. (That was "sipping time" for my people.)

 

My guess is that the Alaska menus are probably pretty similar.

 

I think the key takeaway is that you should send DW and I on a cruise early in each season so that we can gather up and report on all this information. :D

 

Interesting suggestion, but we prefer to do our own research. ;p

 

That said, we're among the early to bed, early to rise crowd, so we don't stay up for the late snack. I am curious about the 9 PM meal in Victoria. I think we'll do the gardens on our own and have dinner there, but if we don't do that it's nice to know there will be something available at that hour.

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Interesting suggestion, but we prefer to do our own research. ;p

 

That said, we're among the early to bed, early to rise crowd, so we don't stay up for the late snack. I am curious about the 9 PM meal in Victoria. I think we'll do the gardens on our own and have dinner there, but if we don't do that it's nice to know there will be something available at that hour.

You should be able to find out what that night's snack will be in the morning. From what I recall, the selections were a little more extensive if you have a late port departure.

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Nobody starves on a cruise ship, even on HAL:D One of the most comprehensive websites here is kept by Roger Jett, who has posted literally every kind of menu you can find from several of his cruises. He's currently on the Noordam, and I'm sure he'll post more good stuff when he gets back:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/

 

There is hot food available at the later evening offerings in the Lido. My sister and I never eat in the Lido, but we walk through there pretty regularly, and there is a huge selection of food to eat. Amazing, to my eyes. ( A church I attended some years ago sponsored a Romanian pastor and his wife to come talk about missionary work in Romania. The first time we took him to the Costco near where we live, he broke down in tears at the immense sight of the towers of food all around him, food of every kind and selection, a cornucopia he had no idea existed in the world. The Lido is not quite Costco, but I find it pretty impressive):)

 

Unfortunately, the only photos of Lido menus we have are from lunch.

 

And I do think we should start a research fund for POA and the Institute of Cheer to do a complete photo review of every single HAL ship and itinerary. And even then, there would be doubters, now wouldn't there?;p

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That said, we're among the early to bed, early to rise crowd, so we don't stay up for the late snack. I am curious about the 9 PM meal in Victoria. I think we'll do the gardens on our own and have dinner there, but if we don't do that it's nice to know there will be something available at that hour.

If you love seafood, Nautical Nellies is amazing. Don't miss Happy Hour. Actually, let me amend that. They also had amazing steaks and burgers. Yum.

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Dinner service does not "shut down" at 8:00 p.m. The regular, late night seating and service begins at 8:00 p.m. We have on many occasions been enjoying our meal or dessert at 9:30 or 10:00.

 

Yes, I know that you can opt for late seating dining if you choose the MDR. My post was about dinner in the Lido.

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Yes, I know that you can opt for late seating dining if you choose the MDR. My post was about dinner in the Lido.

 

If you need 24hr on-demand Lido food, HAL ships are probably not designed to offer it. Good thing you found other cruise lines that will.

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Nobody starves on a cruise ship, even on HAL:D One of the most comprehensive websites here is kept by Roger Jett, who has posted literally every kind of menu you can find from several of his cruises. He's currently on the Noordam, and I'm sure he'll post more good stuff when he gets back:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/

 

There is hot food available at the later evening offerings in the Lido. My sister and I never eat in the Lido, but we walk through there pretty regularly, and there is a huge selection of food to eat. Amazing, to my eyes. ( A church I attended some years ago sponsored a Romanian pastor and his wife to come talk about missionary work in Romania. The first time we took him to the Costco near where we live, he broke down in tears at the immense sight of the towers of food all around him, food of every kind and selection, a cornucopia he had no idea existed in the world. The Lido is not quite Costco, but I find it pretty impressive):)

 

Unfortunately, the only photos of Lido menus we have are from lunch.

 

And I do think we should start a research fund for POA and the Institute of Cheer to do a complete photo review of every single HAL ship and itinerary. And even then, there would be doubters, now wouldn't there?;p

 

 

Did you happen to notice this on your Eurodam trip? The Lido running out of dishes early, that is. Were sailing her in September and just curious.....

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Yes, I know that you can opt for late seating dining if you choose the MDR. My post was about dinner in the Lido.

 

You can also choose to eat at 8pm or later in the MDR with the Anytime Dining option--we did a few times on our cruise on the Noordam May 21-28. There was no lack of prime rib in the MDR--my spouse had it twice!

 

Now that the dress code is so relaxed in the MDR, it's not a big deal to dine there, especially with Anytime Dining.

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Running out of the advertised meat seems like cheating the customer. There is a certain economy of scale by encouraging people to eat in the lido. It frees up dining room space and wait staff if many eat buffet style verses sit down. It may cut food cost if people fill up on starchy buffet food.

If the dinner meat was gone that is a deal breaker. Buyer beware.

We've had this happen at lunch on Holland America and we were unhappy. Dinner shortages take it to another level.

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Did you happen to notice this on your Eurodam trip? The Lido running out of dishes early, that is. Were sailing her in September and just curious.....

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

We never ate in the Lido, or went through at dinner time (too busy having cocktails in the Pinnacle Bar or the Ocean Bar;p ) but did walk through several times during lunch. Never saw empty or depleted food stations at lunch time, but wasn't looking for specific food items.

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