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mcatmcat

Are specialty restaurants really popular?

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Hi:classic_biggrin:

 

I always find a guy or 2 trying to sell us specialty restaurants  when we are at the windjammer or walking on the promenade, 80% of the time they have 30% online so you can buy the package not to mentions the BOGO special. Are these restaurant popular among the cruisers specially on bigger and the newest ship or not? 

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Specialty restaurants are not "that" popular yet, but definitely it is becoming more common every day.

I never seen a specialty restaurant at capacity, only Johnny Rockets at breakfast on the Allure

Edited by Pipo

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9 minutes ago, Pipo said:

Specialty restaurants are not "that" popular yet, but definitely it is becoming more common every day.

I never seen a specialty restaurant at capacity, only Johnny Rockets at breakfast on the Allure

 

I've seen it happen (just did on Mariner) but typically with Chops and on the last night (American's want their big blowout steak dinner on the last day). Jamie's was almost empty for us on night 1 and Izumi seemed 50-75% full on night 3 but was taking walk-ins. This was on Mariner on a 4 night cruise and we did speciality 3 out of 4 nights.

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It really depends on the sailing.  We sail at Christmas and March break when there are fewer C&A members and more new cruisers...the restaurants are full or pretty close to it.

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I believe (rightly or wrongly) that it isn’t overly important whether they are popular at the price Royal wants to initially sell the experience and that they have to discount heavily to make them popular with 30% off, BOGO etc.

 

Essentially Royal are selling you meals in a speciality restaurant that you have already paid for elsewhere on the ship in other venues. They probably make a decent profit even at $25 dollars for a chops dinner for example and we aren’t using restaurants or eating the food that what we paid for elsewhere which are included in our cruise fare.

 

Its brilliant business when you think about it, make a bit from the upsell speciality meal and save on the cost of the food you were contracted to supply that the passenger doesnt want. I have no idea but its possible that Royal serves two million plus speciality meals a year with say 3 venues on 22 odd ships so the figures from our growing appetite for speciality meals is probably really good for Royal.

 

 

 

 

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Now that the MDR menu has gotten much smaller, we are more likely to do specialty dining...  I like to try new things, and specialty dining gives me that opportunity.  On Symphony, we’re doing the Ultimate Dining package for $203 for a 7 night sailing with 3 at sea free lunches, and I think it’s worth it 🙂

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When we sailed on Anthem in September, Jamies and Chops were full most nights. Izumi was virtually empty most nights, and Wonderland was only full a couple of nights. 

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When we sail in a suite on the Allure we now see CK more crowded than when it was first introduced a few years back.

 

We make our reservations For CK before we board   (usually 2-3 times)  for the week when we get the welcome aboard e mail from the concierge and IF we think we need to cancel we do so a day ahead so others will have the opportunity to dine here.  (Only happened once we try to schedule by sea/port days).  

Other days we dine in MDR.

 

As far as pay venues go, we opt not to go unless we get a free  perk from TA.  Already paying for cruise cannot justify paying an additional $100 (with tip)  for these venues.

 

Are we cheap, no, just how we feel.

 

Safe travels

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Are the packages worth it from the perspective of not being able to schedule in advance of the ship more than the first night? I intentionally didn't pick a package when sailing on Mariner last week because I wanted specific restaurants and times each night scheduled and not worry about if seating at a given time or even the restaurant on a given night at all would be available for my sailing.

 

In April in the last "big" week of the spring break season after Easter I'll sail on Symphony and I'd love to do at least 3 speciality nights for my wife and I (maybe one night with the kids too) but with having to schedule around entertainment shows (that you have to reserve on Oasis class ships) and not being one to want to eat later in the evening since we have kids I worried that if I take advantage of the Black Friday or other deals to buy a "package" I'll arrive on the ship only to discover that I either can't get my desired restaurants on a certain night or that the times will interfere with shows etc.

 

That said on Mariner the restaurants all had no issues with times and even walk ins from what I could see OTHER than on the last night of the sailing in Chops which seemed full.

 

PS: Chops was a not great experience on Mariner (we have had Chops on Navigator and Allure before). Since it was full we had a server who seemed to have zero time for any personal attention, his first interaction with us was to set bread on the table and ask if we had decided. The steaks were way undercooked from our requested medium (I'm NOT picky and didn't send them back, but this was pretty wildly off the mark swimming in blood) and the "shareable" sides were so incredibly small it wasn't even a portion for a SINGLE person let alone for two (and my wife and I eat like birds this was literally 2 little spoonfuls of mashed potatoes to "share") so we had to ask for more which they certainly brought but made me feel like I'm some sort of glutton for asking. It really felt like the MDR but smaller. Jamie's on Mariner was very, very nice and Izumi was a typical but good hibachi experience.

Edited by canyonblue737

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