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What if we all stopped going to "Specialty" Dinning?

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[quote name='newmexicoNita']For many that was a big deal; for us, the only problem we have had is, we like a bottle of wine in our cabin and by taking away that second bottle we no longer have it, plus we used to take our bubbly bottle to a bar and exchange it for a bottle of wine in the cabin. That is the biggy for me, but they have added features to the plat level that we like such as discounts on excursions and internet service plus last time we cruised we had free phone service even back to the USA. So I see it as a wash. I haven't seen any other line that offers anything more for frequent guest than NCL. At least princess doesn't have a better program or as good for that matter. Of course I am not a Princess lover, just have cruised them many times because of special pricing from time to time or itineraries. I still, regardless of the line, cruise based on itineray first, then price and 3rd previous experience with the line. Now that age is catching up with us and our cruising days are less, we stick with NCL.[/quote]
I find the Princess benefits more suitable for me because they allow me to bring a bottle of wine without penalty I get free Internet and a bar setup. The OBC is not restricted as ir is on NCL. It can be used for service charges and casino.

Princess also serves lobster in the buffet on some nights and they allow me to bring sodas and water onboard!!!!!.
Carnival stock pays dividends .

Bottom line for me is much better on Carnival owned lines.

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[quote name='swedish weave']

Bottom line for me is much better on Carnival owned lines.[/QUOTE]

Bottom line or not, the fact is that you are still here, on the NCL board....not on the Carnival board. That says a lot.

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[quote name='SeaShark']Bottom line or not, the fact is that you are still here, on the NCL board....not on the Carnival board. That says a lot.[/quote]
Had to use my last cruise deposit!!!
And I may cruise NCL again if if if ???
BTW I get my deposit back on Princess if not used. FDR and company keep it. ... Edited by swedish weave

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[quote name='Maniacal Cruiser']Yes I love that so many people buy so much alcohol which is a HUGE profit center and helps defray the cost of the cruise for non-drinkers.[/quote]

Likewise, I like the fact that non drinkers book cabins too. Making the cruise available for me. See, we all benefit in some way. You could say the same with folks that book inside cabins vs balcony's etc...it cuts both ways. Not sure why someone always thinks they are winning...we are all winning in our own way on a cruise.

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[quote name='LrgPizza']We stopped going a couple cruises ago. We prefer not to be tied down to reservations. Any time we dined at a specialty, we felt we were missing out on something we'd have preferred in the MDR. Now we just eat in the MDR. I'll take the ambience of a Manhattan Room with live music and dancing over the boring and tightly packed Le Bistro any day, that's for sure.[/quote]

This is why choice is a good thing! The live music annoys the crap out of me. It's distracting, it drowns out any hope of conversation, and I (it's weird, I know) feel obligated to watch the dance show and I'd rather be eating. If I want to see a show, there are others on the ship.

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[quote name='xriva']This is why choice is a good thing! The live music annoys the crap out of me. It's distracting, it drowns out any hope of conversation, and I (it's weird, I know) feel obligated to watch the dance show and I'd rather be eating. If I want to see a show, there are others on the ship.[/quote]
When I read this it occurred to me that I didn't see live music at dinner on the Dawn. We only had dinner in the mdr once and it was aqua. I had the memory of a 95 year old women on the breakaway doing a jig with her walker and the host taking her hand for a dance. Im sure it made her trip and I remember the family smiling and laughing. I am not judging just sharing.

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[quote name='PTC DAWG']Likewise, I like the fact that non drinkers book cabins too. [COLOR=Red]Making the cruise available for me.[/COLOR] See, we all benefit in some way. You could say the same with folks that book inside cabins vs balcony's etc...it cuts both ways. Not sure why someone always thinks they are winning...we are all winning in our own way on a cruise.[/quote]


I have no idea what your post is even saying. How does a non-drinker booking a cruise make it available for you? Whether someone drinks or not has no impact on if a cruise is available for you. NCL does not have a mandatory drinker to non-drinker ratio for its cruises! I do not recall ever mention winning and not winning, that is your thing not mine.

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[quote name='Maniacal Cruiser']I have no idea what your post is even saying. How does a non-drinker booking a cruise make it available for you? Whether someone drinks or not has no impact on if a cruise is available for you. NCL does not have a mandatory drinker to non-drinker ratio for its cruises! I do not recall ever mention winning and not winning, that is your thing not mine.[/quote]

Sorry for the misunderstanding, it seems on both parties.. You mentioned that selling of booze makes it cheaper for you to cruise. And that's a good thing. I mentioned that I was glad they sold cabins to non drinkers, which makes it cheaper for me to cruise. We are all happy. That's all I meant.

Sometimes things don't come across in print the way I/you want them to. Again, my apologies.

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[quote name='ImADaneFan']Someone on one of my groups on “the site that shall not be named” posted this today.

Just left a Travel Show - NCL was there and was giving out the current alcohol list for the UBP. Also confirmed that Moderno will be closing on most ships due to low “interest”. One of the servers did mention this when we were on the Escape two weeks ago and I didn’t know if I should believe them or not....[emoji53]

I don’t know if the information is correct or not, but personally I won’t miss Moderno. If this is true, the question becomes what will take its place? Maybe the new specialty restaurant Q that will be on Bliss, or maybe Los Lobos?[/quote]

That would be great. Moderno is terrible. Probably the worst restaurant on the ship.

[quote name='cb at sea']BEFORE "specialty" dining came to be, the food in the MDR was wonderful....beautifully presented, tasty and varied. Once they saw that folks could be enticed to spend more for the same food in a different venue, they moved the best dishes out of the MDR into the "specialty" venues.....and the decline in the included options continues.[/quote]
I never thought that the MDR food was that good. To me it was cafeteria food on a fancy plate. While not all of the specialty restaurants serve great food, I do think that the better items are much better than the best items in the MDR's.

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[quote name='PTC DAWG']Sorry for the misunderstanding, it seems on both parties.. You mentioned that selling of booze makes it cheaper for you to cruise. And that's a good thing. I mentioned that I was glad they sold cabins to non drinkers, which makes it cheaper for me to cruise. We are all happy. That's all I meant.

Sometimes things don't come across in print the way I/you want them to. Again, my apologies.[/quote]


I still do not see how selling to non-drinkers or anyone else in particular makes anything cheaper for you is what I was trying to convey.

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[quote name='lazyirishchic']Its an interesting thread because a first time cruiser will book a cruise because of stories they hear about the way it used to be. Long time cruisers like to say you are lucky to be able to cruise but in fact a cruise has become the cheapest vacation. So we take the cheapest vacation then complain about the low quality. I don't exclude myself, i was under the impression that by booking a balcony or suite I turned the motel 8 into the ritz carlton. I forgot that its the same employees at the motel 8 as the ritz[/QUOTE]



No butler at motel 6


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[quote name='geegee1']That would be great. Moderno is terrible. Probably the worst restaurant on the ship.


I never thought that the MDR food was that good. To me it was cafeteria food on a fancy plate.

Well don't knock cafeteria food. my grandfather owned one on the best restaurants in FT Worth, TX in the 50's, 60's and early 70's. It was a cafeteria, and I now in my 60's have fond memories of it. His cooks were the best.

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[quote name='hawk/hornfan'][quote name='geegee1']That would be great. Moderno is terrible. Probably the worst restaurant on the ship.


I never thought that the MDR food was that good. To me it was cafeteria food on a fancy plate.

Well don't knock cafeteria food. my grandfather owned one on the best restaurants in FT Worth, TX in the 50's, 60's and early 70's. It was a cafeteria, and I now in my 60's have fond memories of it. His cooks were the best.[/QUOTE]Meant school cafeteria food

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[quote name='swedish weave']I find the Princess benefits more suitable for me because they allow me to bring a bottle of wine without penalty I get free Internet and a bar setup. The OBC is not restricted as ir is on NCL. It can be used for service charges and casino.

Princess also serves lobster in the buffet on some nights and they allow me to bring sodas and water onboard!!!!!.
Carnival stock pays dividends .

Bottom line for me is much better on Carnival owned lines.[/quote]
We always use our OBC in the casino on NCL> Service charges NO, but we have started paying them as a perk when it is offered which it was on the cruise we are taking in a few weeks. I think it is safe to say, every mass marketed line is going to have promos that are pleasing to some but not to others, and each line is going to find a way to make a profit. It is up to everyone to decide what works best for them.

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[quote name='DMH15']So what? I know what I paid for my first cruise in 1986 and prices are not much more. At the same time food costs in our daily lives? Skyrocketed.

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Precisely. I am currently planning a solo 11 day cruise in a balcony for less than I spent on sharing an oceanview (in the days of windows not much larger than portholes) in the early 90s on the Seaward.

The cruise industry found the price point beyond which (most) people will not pay to cruise. To deliver that things needed to be cut and people allowed to select where they wanted to put their discretionary vacation spending.

I did enjoy the food and multiple courses full of great choices back in the day... and if I want that experience I can pay $8 grand for it on another line.

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[quote name='hawk/hornfan'][quote name='geegee1']That would be great. Moderno is terrible. Probably the worst restaurant on the ship.





I never thought that the MDR food was that good. To me it was cafeteria food on a fancy plate.



Well don't knock cafeteria food. my grandfather owned one on the best restaurants in FT Worth, TX in the 50's, 60's and early 70's. It was a cafeteria, and I now in my 60's have fond memories of it. His cooks were the best.[/QUOTE]



LOL. We have some excellent Brazillian steakhouses in Dallas. I am a carnavore but I love the salad bar most of all. Don't think I have ever seen sushi on a single one of them, but sure did at Moderno on the Epic!!! That's just WRONG!


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Stories of the way cruising used to be is what kept me from cruising for 47 years. Getting dressed up to eat with strangers at a pre-set time.....not for me. Along comes free-style cruising with the added benefit of specialty dining if I want and I am hooked. I do agree though Moderno was just blah, and I wouldn't go back there. But having choices in how one takes their vacations is what keeps most of us happy. So count me out on the OP's proposed protest.

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[quote name='xriva']This is why choice is a good thing! The live music annoys the crap out of me. It's distracting, it drowns out any hope of conversation, and I (it's weird, I know) feel obligated to watch the dance show and I'd rather be eating. If I want to see a show, there are others on the ship.[/quote]
and I absolutely love the Manhattan room. I wish the smaller ships would have something similar. For us it was one of the best features of the mega ships and the service was outstanding.

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[quote name='ellasmomanddad']When I read this it occurred to me that I didn't see live music at dinner on the Dawn. We only had dinner in the mdr once and it was aqua. I had the memory of a 95 year old women on the breakaway doing a jig with her walker and the host taking her hand for a dance. Im sure it made her trip and I remember the family smiling and laughing. I am not judging just sharing.[/quote]
It is only on the mega ships

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[quote name='DMH15'][quote name='hawk/hornfan']



LOL. We have some excellent Brazillian steakhouses in Dallas. I am a carnavore but I love the salad bar most of all. Don't think I have ever seen sushi on a single one of them, but sure did at Moderno on the Epic!!! That's just WRONG!


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Have eaten at a couple in the DFW area and agree they are outstanding but so are the prices for them. Modernos isn't the quality I agree, still one of our favorites on all NCL ships.

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Being Platinum Plus we are content to eat our two complementary meals in the specialty restaurants and then settle for the buffet other times. We like to cruise to do something different, we eat every day when we are not cruising, so we think little about it.

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We were on the Jewel in May, and had the SDP for 3 nights. Went to Moderno's, Tappanyaki, and Cagney's. The only disappointment was Moderno's. The service was awful, and the food not much better. Never again.

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I've done classic traditional style before, and honestly when more choice and no set times came into play, I was in heaven. I am very willing to pay a little extra to get a little extra. Sometimes it's worth it, other times it's not. Always the risk to take and since I like to explore, I prefer to take the chance then go back to traditional style.
And yes, buffet works great when low energy, or time comes into play.

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[quote name='Jnsplace1']I've done classic traditional style before, and honestly when more choice and no set times came into play, I was in heaven. I am very willing to pay a little extra to get a little extra. Sometimes it's worth it, other times it's not. Always the risk to take and since I like to explore, I prefer to take the chance then go back to traditional style.
And yes, buffet works great when low energy, or time comes into play.[/quote]
I enjoy the non-traditional dining, too. But on NCL, you don't have to pay extra for that, since they don't have classic traditional dining anywhere.

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[quote name='wdsted']The idea is fine, but don’t have any expectations that you’ll attract many to participate. Contrary to the predictable bashing in your post, as with anything brought up here on CC, we like speciality dining, are satisfied with the product, and have no desire to go back to the good old days. And we also feel no indignation of paying what amounts to a few bucks to dine at these venues via the perk provided.


Sent from my iPad using Forums[/quote]

I have to agree with this. My husband and I almost never "go out" at home unless it's a special occasion, because we'd rather save our money for travel, and splurging when we do travel. So we really enjoy being able to "go out" to a variety of different restaurants while we are cruising. He refuses to pay for it but I am willing to pay for both for the chance to make up for having to "dine at the same place every night" at home. I have been satisfied with the meals in main dining rooms on our cruises, but I like having some variety in atmosphere. I paid for the 3 specialty dining package on the next cruise.

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Sorry. We won't be joining you in your crusade. We had 4 SDP promo on Escape on our last cruise and loved it. We didn't even go to the MDR for dinner since the other nights we ate O'Sheehans 2 nights and the Garden Buffet the last night. We ate at the MDR for 2 lunches and that was it. We didn't have a bad meal anywhere and our SDP meals were above and beyond what we expected, especially at Cagneys. It was our best cruise ever and I wouldn't change a thing.

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[quote name='Manbo']We have cruised a decent amount over the years and have tried specialty dinning on many NCL ships. Overall, I must admit to being underwhelmed. There have been a few really nice experiences, but not really worth the extra price.

To make it worse, it seems like NCL is pushing more and more in that direction. For example the Margaritaville experience on the Getaway and Breakaway.

So, I suggest we stop getting caught up in the hype of Specialty dining and demand that the cruise lines provide their best dining options at all dining rooms to all guests. No more paying extra for dining!


Crazy idea???[/quote]


I disagree 100%.. Just like restaurants in a big hotel ( like Las Vegas), there are cheap venues and $$ ones..same now on ships....I think the specialty dining venues are TEN times better than the MDR.. I have been on 35 cruises on all but Costa & MSC..so eaten about 150- 200x in the MDR's on all cruises..about maybe 20 have been very good, maybe 10 excellent and the rest ho hum or mediocre IMO...on the other hand, 95% of all our specialty dining dinners ( about 50 meals) have been between outstanding and very good..you are missing the point about specialty dining- it's not about the $$ to me, it's about romance, a table for 2 by the window with maybe a sea view, QUIET ( unlike the MDR which is noisy), and dining with 50 people VS. dining with 1500 people is much better to me...love the ambiance- dark, soft music, better entrees, appetizers, side dishes ARE KILLER, better service, and the feeling you are DINING..in the MDR, the feeling is like you are at a wedding or a party ( to me at least :(..)..also, we rarely ever say after an MDR meal, "wow, can't wait to come back tomorrow night!", but after a specialty dining meal, it's usually, "that was soooo worth it"..and BTW, where are you going to get a 4-5 course meal for $25-35 PP? You can't even eat at Denny's for $25..and of course, If you don't want to dine in the specialty dining venues, then [I]don't..no one is forcing you.. [/I]I have friends who only dine specialty, and I know some who only dine MDR... I am going on the Getaway next month and we have the 3 specialty dining package and I added one more ( Ocean Blue)..can't wait!

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[quote name='Manbo']We have cruised a decent amount over the years and have tried specialty dinning on many NCL ships. Overall, I must admit to being underwhelmed. There have been a few really nice experiences, but not really worth the extra price.

To make it worse, it seems like NCL is pushing more and more in that direction. For example the Margaritaville experience on the Getaway and Breakaway.

So, I suggest we stop getting caught up in the hype of Specialty dining and [COLOR=Red]demand [/COLOR]that the cruise lines provide their best dining options at all dining rooms to all guests. No more paying extra for dining!

Crazy idea???[/quote]


Don't let your "demands" hit you in the back side as you walk out of Cagney's. Very little ever gets done by anyone "demanding" anything. BTW you only pay extra for SPECIALTY dining and that is only if you CHOOSE to do so. BTW if you are so underwhelmed, why does it even matter if it is free or not?

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I have had find dining in my lifetime, so i don't consider Cagneys, Moderno, or Bistro better dining, or ambiance for that matter in fact i went to Cagneys last year for the first time and i thought my steak in the MDR was a lot better. I guess my answer to that question is to each its own, give people choices and let them decide.

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[B]I think NCL does cruising the right way. The started a trend to offer for a reasonable price special food options and quieter restaurants. The MDR in all ships are noisy and the food may or may not be warm. The price of specialty restaurants is reasonable and it allows for a menu of interesting items that might not be popular in the MDR. [/B]

[B]Having a price point for basic services then allows each of us to add on what we want to enjoy or partake of during the cruise. I would hate to pay for stuff I was not interested in. Remember all the wasted food of yesteryear's midnight buffets that looked pretty but were not so tasty. Cruise lines have to cater to everyone and that is why NCL has been a trendsetter. Some of the other lines do not handle the "MY dining so well" With the prices of alcohol being so high, I would prefer to spend my money on interesting restaurants instead.[/B]

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[quote name='big al']I disagree 100%.. Just like restaurants in a big hotel ( like Las Vegas), there are cheap venues and $$ ones..same now on ships....I think the specialty dining venues are TEN times better than the MDR.. I have been on 35 cruises on all but Costa & MSC..so eaten about 150- 200x in the MDR's on all cruises..about maybe 20 have been very good, maybe 10 excellent and the rest ho hum or mediocre IMO...on the other hand, 95% of all our specialty dining dinners ( about 50 meals) have been between outstanding and very good..you are missing the point about specialty dining- it's not about the $$ to me, it's about romance, a table for 2 by the window with maybe a sea view, QUIET ( unlike the MDR which is noisy), and dining with 50 people VS. dining with 1500 people is much better to me...love the ambiance- dark, soft music, better entrees, appetizers, side dishes ARE KILLER, better service, and the feeling you are DINING..in the MDR, the feeling is like you are at a wedding or a party ( to me at least :(..)..also, we rarely ever say after an MDR meal, "wow, can't wait to come back tomorrow night!", but after a specialty dining meal, it's usually, "that was soooo worth it"..and BTW, where are you going to get a 4-5 course meal for $25-35 PP? You can't even eat at Denny's for $25..and of course, If you don't want to dine in the specialty dining venues, then [I]don't..no one is forcing you.. [/I]I have friends who only dine specialty, and I know some who only dine MDR... I am going on the Getaway next month and we have the 3 specialty dining package and I added one more ( Ocean Blue)..can't wait![/quote]


[B]I agree with BIG AL and if one can spend a lot of money on booze, then add a few bucks and try a nice meal too[/B];p

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Having the Ultimate Dining Package is the [COLOR=#ff0000][B]only[/B][/COLOR] way we would cruise on NCL. We eat every evening meal one of the great alternative restaurants; breakfast and lunch in the MDR; and avoid the buffet, except on the larger newer ships.
With the UDP + the Drink Package it bumps the experience up to a level similar to Celebrity, which is our "go-to" cruise line. It does drive the costs up a bit, but it's nice to have choices.

Enjoy!
Kel:D

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[quote name='DMH15'][quote name='hawk/hornfan']



LOL. We have some excellent Brazillian steakhouses in Dallas. I am a carnavore but I love the salad bar most of all. Don't think I have ever seen sushi on a single one of them, but sure did at Moderno on the Epic!!! That's just WRONG!


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Texas de Brazil in Dallas has Suchi on salad bar. It's very tasty btw


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[quote name='spanishguy1970']I have had find dining in my lifetime, so i don't consider Cagneys, Moderno, or Bistro better dining, or ambiance for that matter in fact i went to Cagneys last year for the first time and i thought my steak in the MDR was a lot better. I guess my answer to that question is to each its own, give people choices and let them decide.[/QUOTE]



Food is subjective.

I guess ambience is too. The specialty venues are a lot smaller. Feels more intimate. Definately quieter. Definately less foot traffic. And since most people eat in one of three banks of time there are not various parties of diners being paraded in or out kicking my chair. Yes, I prefer the ambience.

Service too must be subjective. But it is no stretch of the imagination that a server in a small venue as opposed to a massive banquet hall is going to be more accessible. Yes, I prefer the service.

And, I even prefer the food.


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[quote name='MrMan'][quote name='DMH15']



Texas de Brazil in Dallas has Suchi on salad bar. It's very tasty btw


Sent from my iPhone using [url=http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=76452]Forums[/url][/QUOTE]



LOL. They closed the Texas de Brazil near me in Dallas, I am downtown. I now go to Fogo on McKinney. No sushi there.

But glad you enjoy your international dining experience!


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[quote name='dmh15'][quote=
Quotes ate messed up. Looks like I said TDB has sushi when Mr Man did. Sonit looks like I am contradicting myself.

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Nice to be Platinum Plus and get the two meals for two at specialties, that is usually enough of a diversion on a 7 night cruise. Like it but would not miss it.

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