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cruisinfever

Celebrity specialty restaurants

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This will be our first Celebrity cruise (13 night TA in November).  We have cruised mostly on RCCL.  We were thinking of getting the three night specialty dining package since we are in the ship for 13 days.Is it worth it?  On RCCL we were very satisfied with the main dining room but  did go to Portifinos one night.  We found it delicious but too much food.  What is everyone else’s opinions?

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Opinions vary wildly.  Some people only eat in the specialty dining rooms, some people only eat in the main dining room, I don’t think he will be able to learn much from the opinions here. But my advice is:  for your first cruise stay in the dining room and evaluate it for yourself, and then on your second cruise if you wish try the specialty restaurants.

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As above you will get wildly different views, we don’t rate MDR these days and prefer. speciality restaurants, many people think the MDR is fine and refuse to pay extra on top of their cruise, in the end only you can really decide.

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Posted (edited)

The food in the MDR is very good but the specialties are usually much better.  On a 13 day you might have a few nights nothing on the MDR menu "floats your boat", perfect time to try a specialty.  We've had great luck just negotiating a discount onboard so we have never pre-purchased a meal package. Don't be afraid to ask for a deal.  If you are flexible with date and time you can usually get 25% to 50% off. We typically ask for a 2 for 1 deal and haggle from there.   Sometimes the ship offers discounts, check the daily.  There are some good places to eat on Reflection!

Edited by TFLG

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We have tried all of the speciality dining restaurants on the Solstice Class ships.  Everyone is right that the speciality dining is very subjective.  We have loved Murano.  We are not big fans of Tuscany or Qsine, but again recognize that this is very subjective.  Qsine simply was too much food and, in our opinion, tried to do too much.  Italian is our favorite cuisine, but we did not think Tuscan was special, other than the amazing wake view from a table by the window.  We try to celebrate special occasions at Murano, which we both think stands up with fine dining on land.  We are going on the Edge on June 5th and are looking forward to trying La Petite Chef at the Bistro.  We have been told that the new steak house is great and that the meal at Eden is original and delicious.  We will probably try the steak house or Eden, in addition to La Petite Chef.

 

With all that said, we think the main dining rooms on Celebrity are usually good and it is hard to spend $200 for the family to dine at a speciality restaurant when dinner in the main dining room is part of our cruise fare and is delicious.  WE will send our son and his friend to dinner in the dining room when we want to try a nice dinner at Murano.  On this cruise we are all going to La Petite Chef as it looks original and special and our son and his friend think it looks cool.

 

Enjoy your cruise and know that there is no wrong decision.

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As Yorky said you will get wildly different views

We cruised on Solstice last year and thought we'd wait until we boarded to see if we would like to try one of the speciality restaurants, but we found the food in the MDR to be great and just like eating at a fancy upmarket restaurant - we didn't feel the need to 'splurge out' and try any of the other restaurants.

I'm sure they are all great and many posters on this forum have commented about the fantastic food at Murano or Tuscan Grille...etc..

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4 hours ago, cruisinfever said:

This will be our first Celebrity cruise (13 night TA in November).  We have cruised mostly on RCCL.  We were thinking of getting the three night specialty dining package since we are in the ship for 13 days.Is it worth it?  On RCCL we were very satisfied with the main dining room but  did go to Portifinos one night.  We found it delicious but too much food.  What is everyone else’s opinions?

Let me ask you a question.  Based on your Portifinos’s experince if this was a 13 day cruise on RCCL would you return to the Speciality Restaurant?

 

If not, I would suggest you skip the 3 night Specialty Dining Package.  Since this is your first Celebrity Cruise, I think you will fine the MDR better than the RCCL MDR experience.

 

If you would, I would still suggest that you not buy the package.  See what you think when you are on the cruise, look for a deal on board, and then try it.

 

If you are on a S Class ship, Murano’s is our favorite.  

 

Enjoy your cruise.  

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If you liked the MDR food on RCI, you will be very happy with the MDR on Celebrity. We are Pinnacle on RCI and have switched to Celebrity for a number of reasons. I suggest you wait until on board and see what kind of a discount you can get for a restaurant sometime during the cruise. Nearly always, you can get at least 20-30% discount at any specialty if you are willing to be flexible. At any rate, we really enjoy Tuscan Grill for a good steak and fresh pasta. Service in all dining venues that we have tried has been very, very good. to outstanding.

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OP: I think the food in Celebrity's MDRs is quite good, but on a 13-night TA, you may find you want some change of scenery.  It's a long enough cruise that you really could take a few nights to try out the specialty restaurants, and not be shortchanging yourself as far as the MDR is concerned.  And you are in luck -- our very favorite Celebrity specialty restaurant -- the Lawn Club Grill -- is only on the Silhouette and Reflection, so this would be a good chance to try that.   (It's an outdoor venue, so keep that in mind in terms of the weather.)

 

As others have said, food is subjective, so you'll have to decide for yourself.   As for the 3-night package, if you watch your Cruise Planner and find it on sale, that might be a good way to go.   

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We are very happy with the MDR.  With that said, on our 14 night cruise last Fall, we found our one night in Tuscan(gift) and Qsine(reduced price), plus one lunch(reduced price) in Sushi on Five a nice change.  On our upcoming cruise we have one night in Tuscan(first night discount) booked, but, hope to dine in Qsine and Sushi on Five again.  On our 15 night Panama Canal cruise we were with friends and did no specialty dining.

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Our last Celebrity cruise of 14 days we did not eat in the MDR one time.  We enjoy the specialty dining very much, although on past cruises we have eaten in the MDR. Food is so subjective that everyone has a different opinion on where to eat.  We know what we like and don't have an issue with not eating in the MDR.😄

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12 hours ago, cruisinfever said:

This will be our first Celebrity cruise (13 night TA in November).  We have cruised mostly on RCCL.  We were thinking of getting the three night specialty dining package since we are in the ship for 13 days.Is it worth it?  On RCCL we were very satisfied with the main dining room but  did go to Portifinos one night.  We found it delicious but too much food.  What is everyone else’s opinions?

The $125 3-night package does not give you much of a discount at $41.67 per night - actually more expensive than a couple of the specialty restaurant's standard prices! Recommend you instead look for specialty restaurant deals while on board.

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I agree the 3 night package is not a great value. The 4 night is only $20 more, wouldn’t you eat in a specialty restaurant for $20?

As an alternative to the 3 night deal, you can usually get the first night at a discount and then shop for discounts during your cruise. There is usually someone near the buffet,sometimes at a podium, sometimes at a table, trying to get reservations and offering discounts. Another option is to attend any cooking demonstrations in the specialty restaurants (they’re thinly veiled sales promotions) and ask. We’ve even been stopped in the elevator on our way to Blu.

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We gave up using speciality restaurants after a particularly bad experience in Murano 7 years ago. We find the MDR quite adequate for our needs most of the time. We are fortunate to live in an area blessed with a wide range of superb restaurants and nothing on a cruise ship will ever come close so wouldn't waste money on perhaps a just ok experience. For us it's all about the whole cruising experience and destinations - we never go hungry!

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