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tommyj4

Don't go to specialty restaurants

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Specialty Restaurants are really nothing more than a change of pace. If comparing to the MDR, the food is about the same to me and the service not much better either.

LIke we say - Food is subjective. However, SRs do charge extra, just like any restaurant in the world.

 

Do you honestly believe that the food is the same in the SR and MDR?

 

The service is the same in the SR and MDR?

 

What cruise lines do you cruise on?

 

I don't see steaks in the MDR like they use to have before the SRs.

I don't see the Lobster in the MDR like they use to have before the SRs.

Wonderland is a total experience I have never gotten from any MDR.

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LIke we say - Food is subjective. However, SRs do charge extra, just like any restaurant in the world.

 

Do you honestly believe that the food is the same in the SR and MDR?

 

The service is the same in the SR and MDR?

 

What cruise lines do you cruise on?

 

I don't see steaks in the MDR like they use to have before the SRs.

I don't see the Lobster in the MDR like they use to have before the SRs.

Wonderland is a total experience I have never gotten from any MDR.

For a more relaxed intimate experience the Speciality Restaurants win every time.

We have never had a bad meal in the MDR but we are on holiday and like to experience different dining experiences.

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If you're not eating the "regular" food in the dining room, what are you getting out of the $2,000 stateroom you purchased on the ship? Just a place to rest your head and a mode of transportation?

 

For me, the great part of cruising and what makes it such a great deal is the all inclusive dining. Having to pay for all of your meals doesn't make it such a great deal, in my opinion. Just my two cents.

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If you're not eating the "regular" food in the dining room, what are you getting out of the $2,000 stateroom you purchased on the ship? Just a place to rest your head and a mode of transportation?

 

For me, the great part of cruising and what makes it such a great deal is the all inclusive dining. Having to pay for all of your meals doesn't make it such a great deal, in my opinion. Just my two cents.

 

I think that's one good thing about cruises - it suits many people's needs and desires. I totally get what you're saying, while also disagreeing in that going to specialty restaurants is easy money to justify in my book.

 

But, I think we're also different in that the stateroom is a place to us to rest, away from people. At a certain point, my wife and I are just done with people, so having a room where we can go back, relax, and sit on the balcony with a drink is important. It's not just a place to rest.

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If you're not eating the "regular" food in the dining room, what are you getting out of the $2,000 stateroom you purchased on the ship? Just a place to rest your head and a mode of transportation?

 

For me, the great part of cruising and what makes it such a great deal is the all inclusive dining. Having to pay for all of your meals doesn't make it such a great deal, in my opinion. Just my two cents.

Thats true but even just 1 night in a SR is a nice treat.

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Watching Cruise Calendar every day for more than a month. Everything comes and goes on sale, except special dining. Our cruise starts 24. March. Still hoping for a good bargain. Special dining is every thing for us. We are the ones that saves money choosing inside cabins. Spending our money on every other upgrades. Fine dining , more exclusive wines, good Cognac.Always searching for best possible excursions on port days. Prefer a private boat trip with a local fisherman in front of a touristy catamaran. The best quality with cruising is all the choices. Everyone can choose their own preferences of activities,food and drinks. Just have in mind that RCCL works in the segment -purchase your ticket, and pay if you want something extras. Happy Cruising

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If you're not eating the "regular" food in the dining room, what are you getting out of the $2,000 stateroom you purchased on the ship? Just a place to rest your head and a mode of transportation?

 

For me, the great part of cruising and what makes it such a great deal is the all inclusive dining. Having to pay for all of your meals doesn't make it such a great deal, in my opinion. Just my two cents.

 

 

 

I agree with this wholeheartedly

 

 

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If you're not eating the "regular" food in the dining room, what are you getting out of the $2,000 stateroom you purchased on the ship? Just a place to rest your head and a mode of transportation?

 

For me, the great part of cruising and what makes it such a great deal is the all inclusive dining. Having to pay for all of your meals doesn't make it such a great deal, in my opinion. Just my two cents.

Each to their own, we love the speciality restaurants and will go to at least 3 on a 14 night cruise.

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Each to their own, we love the speciality restaurants and will go to at least 3 on a 14 night cruise.

I agree,they do make a nice change.

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That is quite pricey. It is cheaper to go at home and the quality and experience is just as good.

 

 

I'm with you, for $45-$49, I can get 2 hibachi dinners. We go to Fuji Japanese restaurant located in Hazlet. I order the scallops hibachi dinner entrée. It starts with miso soup, followed by salad, shrimps appetizer, noodles, scallops with either white or brown rice and vegetables. Topped off by ice cream. Fare is $21 and lobster is $24.

 

Also, if I'm not mistaken, the $45-$49 does not include the 18% grats.

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If you're not eating the "regular" food in the dining room, what are you getting out of the $2,000 stateroom you purchased on the ship? Just a place to rest your head and a mode of transportation?

 

For me, the great part of cruising and what makes it such a great deal is the all inclusive dining. Having to pay for all of your meals doesn't make it such a great deal, in my opinion. Just my two cents.

 

100% in agreement but unfortunately I do go to the specialty restaurants too.

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Whoever said that specialty dining is supposed to be 5 Star anyway????? You would think the majority of the people that cruise RCI go out to eat. At 5 star restaurants all the time. Nobody that cruises RCI never eat at chain restaurants such as Applebee’s, Chili’s, Texas Roadhouse, or many of the other national chains because supposedly they are all nasty. Nobody goes to any of the fast food burger places but must always eat at gourmet burger places. Nobody eats at the food courts in the mall. Nobody eats at buffet restaurants until they go on a cruise and eat in the Windjammer. Nobody order pizza from Pizza Hut, Dominos, or Papa Johns. Nobody eats at little neighborhood mom and pops restaurants. Because of this I understand why most people on RCI tries to compare everything to 5 Star restaurants because they have nothing else to come the ships food too! Geez!

 

I am so glad that my taste in food covers a large spectrum of taste of all the above mentioned places and that I can find something I wherever I eat on the ship that will satisfy me. We do specialty a couple of nights on the cruise just for something different and not because we think the MDR is so god awful nasty. Price is not an issue because we always factor that into our cruise vacation cost.

 

Oh and I know no one agree with this but we think The Costal Kitchen is highly overrated!

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Whoever said that specialty dining is supposed to be 5 Star anyway????? You would think the majority of the people that cruise RCI go out to eat. At 5 star restaurants all the time. Nobody that cruises RCI never eat at chain restaurants such as Applebee’s, Chili’s, Texas Roadhouse, or many of the other national chains because supposedly they are all nasty. Nobody goes to any of the fast food burger places but must always eat at gourmet burger places. Nobody eats at the food courts in the mall. Nobody eats at buffet restaurants until they go on a cruise and eat in the Windjammer. Nobody order pizza from Pizza Hut, Dominos, or Papa Johns. Nobody eats at little neighborhood mom and pops restaurants. Because of this I understand why most people on RCI tries to compare everything to 5 Star restaurants because they have nothing else to come the ships food too! Geez!

 

I am so glad that my taste in food covers a large spectrum of taste of all the above mentioned places and that I can find something I wherever I eat on the ship that will satisfy me. We do specialty a couple of nights on the cruise just for something different and not because we think the MDR is so god awful nasty. Price is not an issue because we always factor that into our cruise vacation cost.

 

Oh and I know no one agree with this but we think The Costal Kitchen is highly overrated!

Some good points.

We are from England but when we come to Florida we like:

Longhorns,Dennys and Friendlies etc.

We always like to do at least 2 speciality restaurants in a 7 night cruise because we like the feel of the speciality restaurants.

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If the specialty restaurants were "pro-rated," I might eat at them. And when I say "pro-rated," I say so because I feel like the value of the food in the MDR should be taken into consideration when setting the price for the specialty restaurants, since the MDR food is essentially paid for when you purchase the cruise fare. For example, let's say that a meal comparable to what you'd get at the MDR is worth $20 at a local restaurant. That being said, the $50 specialty restaurant should cost $30. You're taking a pre-paid meal (MDR) and "upgrading it" essentially, but based on the specialty restaurant prices, it's like you're paying for the entire meal, thus completely negating the value of the food that you paid for via your cruise fair. Which, in my mind, makes those restaurants a complete rip-off.

 

That was long-winded and maybe it doesn't make sense, but if anyone comprehends, feel free to paraphrase. LOL.

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If the specialty restaurants were "pro-rated," I might eat at them. And when I say "pro-rated," I say so because I feel like the value of the food in the MDR should be taken into consideration when setting the price for the specialty restaurants, since the MDR food is essentially paid for when you purchase the cruise fare. For example, let's say that a meal comparable to what you'd get at the MDR is worth $20 at a local restaurant. That being said, the $50 specialty restaurant should cost $30. You're taking a pre-paid meal (MDR) and "upgrading it" essentially, but based on the specialty restaurant prices, it's like you're paying for the entire meal, thus completely negating the value of the food that you paid for via your cruise fair. Which, in my mind, makes those restaurants a complete rip-off.

 

That was long-winded and maybe it doesn't make sense, but if anyone comprehends, feel free to paraphrase. LOL.

One could easily make the argument that the price is prorated and the charge would be even higher if your uneaten MDR food were not taken into account. My point is RCI can spin the pricing anyway they want. Ultimately, they will charge as much as they determine people are willing to pay.

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One could easily make the argument that the price is prorated and the charge would be even higher if your uneaten MDR food were not taken into account. My point is RCI can spin the pricing anyway they want. Ultimately, they will charge as much as they determine people are willing to pay.

 

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.

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If you're not eating the "regular" food in the dining room, what are you getting out of the $2,000 stateroom you purchased on the ship? Just a place to rest your head and a mode of transportation?

 

Well, let's see. I'm getting a wonderful morning in the Solarium reading a good book. I'm getting a fun afternoon at the Pool Bar people watching, listening to music, usually laughing and relaxing. I'm getting a beautiful view from almost anywhere. I'm getting varied lounges where I can be rowdy or chill. I'm getting a casino where I usually have fun win or lose. Oh - and my room is more than $2K unfortunately but we like the GS perks and extra real estate. And we like having the choice of a specialty restaurant where we can usually eat faster than the MDR and have a more intimate atmosphere.

 

Just because it's not your choice doesn't mean it's not a valid choice for someone else. I'm getting a lot out of the options available. Not everyone considers their room a place to rest their head. I'm cool with those that do though. :)

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I have a little different viewpoint about cruising.

 

I remember when air travel was an experience and people dressed up for the plane ride. Then the airlines started marketing to the groundlings and it has now become like an airborne New York subway ride.

 

I also remember when an ocean cruise was an experience and people dressed up for the cruise. Then the cruise lines started marketing to the groundlings and it has become like a floating county fair with the Beverly Hillbillies.

 

We now look at cruising as basic transportation to get from the US to Europe or Europe to the US. We don't expect five-star dining anymore, we expect the shows to be over-amplified, we expect to see feral children run loose, and we expect to see chair hogs.

 

But we don't expect to pay extra for food when there's plenty in the MDR and the buffet.

 

 

Groundlings, Beverly hillbillies, feral children.....WOW! Somebody has a bad case of the "I am better than most of you and I keep stubbing my toe because my nose is so far up in the air."

I was going to do a transatlantic cruise some day, but on the off chance of running into you, I think I'll pass.

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How do you find out what the menu will be in the Windjammer at night? I love Mongolian food, but we usually go to the WJ only when nothing on the MDR menu sounds good to us and we've only run into Mongolian night twice.

 

Is the WJ menu posted somewhere, or do you just have to ask on the ship? Do you ask Guest Services or someone in the WJ?

 

As always, thanks to the experienced folks who share their information on CC.

 

Margy

 

I believe we were able to see a menu for dinner outside the WJ each day.

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More germs......:(:eek:

I guess I should have been dead years ago from eating in those germ infested buffets.:rolleyes:

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I guess I should have been dead years ago from eating in those germ infested buffets.:rolleyes:

Just think how healthy your immune system is now!

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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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I guess I should have been dead years ago from eating in those germ infested buffets.:rolleyes:

 

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.;p

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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Edited by nealstuber

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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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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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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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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

 

 

Envoyé de mon iPad en utilisant Forums

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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.

 

 

 

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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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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