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zitsky

World Cafe or Restaurant?

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In 25 years of cruising we NEVER ate dinner at the buffer.  That is until our 14 night sailing last October on the Star where we spent four evenings at the WC.  They usually offered many of the same entrees being served in The Restaurant plus the every night sushi, shrimp and crab legs and those wonderful specials at the Aquavit Terrace.

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They also had cooked to order pasta. Different ones each day. The grilled chicken breast cooked to order was always really good. They also had eggs benedict cooked to order in the morning as well as made to order omelets. We ate at the World Cafe much more than we ever anticipated, it was that good.

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12 minutes ago, zitsky said:

Where is the love for the restaurant?!

We ate in the restaurant 1 or 2 times for dinner and once for lunch. It was not the best food on the ship for us.

I have to say it was the only time I had fish that I didn't love. But it was a nice quiet spot to eat where you are served your meal. So if, for example, someone uses a walker/cane or has balance issues it would be nice to not have to serve yourself at a buffet.

We ate lunch there primarily because they had a nice champagne and we got 15% off the bottle due to the SSBP. So we ate there to be able to have table service for the champagne.

Depends on what you eat and how you like to dine.

WC was our preference for lunch for dining outside and for dinner because we had sashimi and sushi rolls every night. Huge variety and you can make your portions the size you like.

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24 minutes ago, zitsky said:

Where is the love for the restaurant?!

lol You won't find it from me!!!  I'm a WC fan for all meals!  To me, the restaurant was too slow; seemed to take forever to get our food.  And I liked seeing the food at the buffet to help decide if that's what I wanted to eat.  And we could linger at the table as long as we wanted or we could dine quickly and move on to other things.  Dining at the tables outdoors was also very nice in good weather.

We all have our faves---makes life more fun!

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My impression of buffets is they are crowded, chaotic and noisy.  Is that a fair assessment?

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27 minutes ago, zitsky said:

Where is the love for the restaurant?!

 

 

Right here, my friend, right here!

 

DH and I are are quite happy to serve ourselves breakfast and lunch but at dinner time, I like the idea of sitting down to an elegantly served meal--one that is pre-ordered and specially prepared for me because I can't eat garlic, bell pepper and raw onion but is still fairly close to the item listed on the dinner menu. By dinner time I'm tired of asking, "is this made with bell-pepper or garlic or raw onion?" for every item that is on the buffet line that looks interesting.  It just makes dinner that much more relaxing for us.

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Have you looked at photos of the World Cafe or read any reviews? It is a fairly serene environment with tables of many sizes (we always ate by ourselves) and often you have the opportunity to eat al fresco.

I have only sailed on Viking and my experience was great. I can't compare to any other cruise lines.

It was not crowded, chaotic nor noisy. Perhaps the restaurant is quieter--but not a huge difference in my experience.

You choose your table in WC and take a seat. You will be served water and beverages (coffee, cocktails, beer, wine) and your beverages will be refilled.

I saw people who were in wheelchairs or walkers or using canes given extra assistance carrying plates.

They will cook you food to order if you choose.

It is not Golden Corral or China Buffet---it is the same quality food you get in the restaurant with a wider choice.

Peak times are still enjoyable. As an example--we ate in Manfredi's at 8 PM when every table was full. It was noisy and unbearably hot. Servers were great but it was chaotic. We skipped dessert to get outside to cool off. WC was never that noisy, hot and chaotic.

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7 minutes ago, zitsky said:

My impression of buffets is they are crowded, chaotic and noisy.  Is that a fair assessment?

 

NO! Not necessarily and usually none of the above. In fact, if you hit it at the right time, it can actually quiet. Of course, the right time differs from night to night and from cruise to cruise. Every cruise has its own pace and its own vibe.

 

 

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And I agree with Peregrina regarding dietary situations. I think the restaurant may be better able to accommodate any special needs. Although the WC does a good job marking things gluten free, etc. But if you have special dietary needs or allergies---the restaurant may work better. In Peregrina's case--avoiding onion, garlic and bell pepper, that may be harder in the WC where you are selecting food that is already prepared. 

It all boils down to exactly what you like to eat and how you prefer to dine. We like to choose our meal and compose our own plate with our preferred serving sizes. That is more important to us than having our meal served to us.

It's personal dining style.

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There is a lot to be said for all the venues.  Mamsen's food, to me seems to be more snack type.  The kind of thing you might eat in the den.  Pool grill is more picnic type.  WC is a nice buffet but it does offer things that are promoted in the open area though one sample or signs, that are not out to see but available.  Made to order omelettes in the morning and gelato and pizza at other times.  I like to eat toward the aft of the ship and here you can also eat inside or out if the weather cooperates.  It's a little more relaxed than the restaurant.  I like the restaurant for breakfast if you have the time on a sea day, late arrival into port or disembarkation.  Lunch there is fine when it's open and dinner there is nice when you want to act like you're grown up.  Again, I usually like the tables in the aft or at the window and though there is talk of outdoor seating in this area, I have never seen that happen.  The two specialty have their own ambiance.  I hear about the service but that has never been a problem for me.  I'm not one of those people that make an evening out of dinner with cocktails, meal, dessert and after dinner conversation  with coffee or drinks.  I have never felt like I have had to linger too long there and I'm always a V and the only time I've eaten late is if it fit my schedule due to shore excursions on a time or two for some event held around the beginning of the serving time.  Last time I cruised with some one that like to go to the spa after we got back from shore excursions so we might not have been there  until 7:00-7:30 but we like to go to the shows and since they don't start until 9:00 ish it has worked with our schedule just fine.

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Maybe it was just our sailing, but the entire passenger population seemed to want to dine at 7pm.  This led to lines and buzzers being handed out at The Restaurant.  Normally we're ok with eating later, but we like to see the show, which is only offered once, at 9pm.  The theater was always standing room only (several times saw hotel mgr personally carrying in extra chairs).  Eating at the buffet permitted us to get to the show early.  Food there was always excellent. 

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2 hours ago, Baron Barracuda said:

Maybe it was just our sailing, but the entire passenger population seemed to want to dine at 7pm.  This led to lines and buzzers being handed out at The Restaurant.  Normally we're ok with eating later, but we like to see the show, which is only offered once, at 9pm.  The theater was always standing room only (several times saw hotel mgr personally carrying in extra chairs).  Eating at the buffet permitted us to get to the show early.  Food there was always excellent. 

Oh no.  Queuing for dinner.  I thought this was a cruise line where I could avoid this.  What would be a good time to avoid lines for dinner.

 

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We did not see any buzzers for the MDR on the Star in November.  If there was a line it moved quite quickly....we sometimes had 2 shows while onboard so that may have helped.  We encountered waiting for seating at BREAKFAST sometimes in the MDR.  I agree if you are eating in the MDR and trying for a 9pm show  sometimes it does take 2 hours for dinner especially when there are more than 2 at the table or you order many courses ..ie. appetizers, soup, salad and entree plus dessert....just takes time!!!

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On 1/17/2019 at 3:59 PM, BruceB NYC said:

On our 1st VOC Homeland 15 day cruise April-May 2018 there were some surprise dining treats at the World Café.

 

One night while dining in the World Cafe at our usual spot aft near the gelato station, we discovered food being served at the back of the buffet area just in front of the Aquavit Terrace.

 

On 3 different nights we checked and found these “Unannounced/not listed� buffet spreads-

 

  1. Charcuterie — smoked meats, hams, sausages, mini reindeer burgers.

     

  2. Different Nordic Smoked fishes.

     

  3. A variety of  Eastern European “dumplings� - pierogi

     

All were very enjoyable.

 

Does this occur on other VK ocean cruise itineraries?

 

Yes. And like an idiot I would always forget. The thing to remember is to check the Viking Daily and/or take a little stroll towards the Aquavit Terrace end of the WC to see if they have special offerings going on before you check out the evening offerings at the main stations. Otherwise you risk finding yourself with a full plate before you discover your error. As I did too many times last year. Next year when we do the Med for 22 days (woo hoo!) my plan is not to be an idiot. 😉

Edited by CharTrav

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On 1/17/2019 at 11:00 PM, Dauntless said:

There is a lot to be said for all the venues.  Mamsen's food, to me seems to be more snack type.  The kind of thing you might eat in the den.  Pool grill is more picnic type.  WC is a nice buffet but it does offer things that are promoted in the open area though one sample or signs, that are not out to see but available.  Made to order omelettes in the morning and gelato and pizza at other times.  I like to eat toward the aft of the ship and here you can also eat inside or out if the weather cooperates.  It's a little more relaxed than the restaurant.  I like the restaurant for breakfast if you have the time on a sea day, late arrival into port or disembarkation.  Lunch there is fine when it's open and dinner there is nice when you want to act like you're grown up.  Again, I usually like the tables in the aft or at the window and though there is talk of outdoor seating in this area, I have never seen that happen.  The two specialty have their own ambiance.  I hear about the service but that has never been a problem for me.  I'm not one of those people that make an evening out of dinner with cocktails, meal, dessert and after dinner conversation  with coffee or drinks.  I have never felt like I have had to linger too long there and I'm always a V and the only time I've eaten late is if it fit my schedule due to shore excursions on a time or two for some event held around the beginning of the serving time.  Last time I cruised with some one that like to go to the spa after we got back from shore excursions so we might not have been there  until 7:00-7:30 but we like to go to the shows and since they don't start until 9:00 ish it has worked with our schedule just fine.

Also don't forget the self serve stuff they have in the WC. All the time. 

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16 hours ago, CharTrav said:

Yes. And like an idiot I would always forget. The thing to remember is to check the Viking Daily and/or take a little stroll towards the Aquavit Terrace end of the WC to see if they have special offerings going on before you check out the evening offerings at the main stations. Otherwise you risk finding yourself with a full plate before you discover your error. As I did too many times last year. Next year when we do the Med for 22 days (woo hoo!) my plan is not to be an idiot. 😉

 

The daily breakfast/lunch/dinner menus for all restaurants were viewable on our tv at embarkation.  With that knowledge we were able to modify our specialty reservations so as not to miss favorites in mdr.   When not thrilled with mdr offerings we just headed up to WC.  Don't believe TV showed nightly specials by the Aquavit though.  For that info needed to check the daily

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