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Ultimate Dining Package To Be Replaced

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2 hours ago, SAmome said:

Nah, it makes sense to let the people booking their meals for less than 29/night yield to those paying full price for Izumi/Chops etc 45-50/night.  It's in RCCLs interest to make more where they can and it seems fair that those paying full price are able to get the times they want ahead of time.  

I agree with you 🙂 

 

I probably didn't word my post carefully enough.  What it should have read is that I wish, for my own personal selfish reasons, that they allow reservations on the cruise planner in advance of boarding when you purchase a package. 

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17 hours ago, katiel53 said:

That is true as compared to the dinner menu, but the Key menu is a shortened version of the Chops lunch menu.  Entrees are different as are desserts.  I can't remember if the apps are different as I can't eat that much for lunch.

 

 

I have eat lunch at chops on both Rhapsody and Serenade recently and the menu only had 3 or 4 main course choices and one was their burger.   Is the key even more limited?

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12 minutes ago, later said:

I have eat lunch at chops on both Rhapsody and Serenade recently and the menu only had 3 or 4 main course choices and one was their burger.   Is the key even more limited?

 

Yes. When the Key program first started, they were using the traditional Chops lunch menu. Over the last 2-3 weeks, an even more limited menu for Key Chops lunch has appeared on some (maybe most) ships. It only has three entree options, fewer starters, fewer sides, and only two desserts. If I recall the entree options are a fish dish, burger, and a steak. I’m sure it is still very good but seems very limited for the premium Key charge. I think non Key Chops lunch hasn’t changed. 

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Just now, j1d1 said:

 

Yes. When the Key program first started, they were using the traditional Chops lunch menu. Over the last 2-3 weeks, an even more limited menu for Key Chops lunch has appeared on some (maybe most) ships. It only has three entree options, fewer starters, fewer sides, and only two desserts. If I recall the entree options are a fish dish, burger, and a steak. I’m sure it is still very good but seems very limited for the premium Key charge. I think non Key Chops lunch hasn’t changed. 

That seems to be the menu I received and I was not part of the key program.

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16 minutes ago, later said:

I have eat lunch at chops on both Rhapsody and Serenade recently and the menu only had 3 or 4 main course choices and one was their burger.   Is the key even more limited?

They key menu doesn't have:  Carpaccio, salmon (has Branzino instead), The wedge salad (has Caesar instead), 8 oz steak  (instead has  6 oz steak),  chicken,  steak salad, key lime meringue pie (I think that was in Chops). The sides are fewer also.

 

 

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1 minute ago, katiel53 said:

They key menu doesn't have:  Carpaccio, salmon (has Branzino instead), The wedge salad (has Caesar instead), 8 oz steak  (instead has  6 oz steak),  chicken,  steak salad, key lime meringue pie (I think that was in Chops). The sides are fewer also.

 

 

I will make a note of that for our May cruise and see what menu we get.

 

thanks for the info..

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2 minutes ago, later said:

I will make a note of that for our May cruise and see what menu we get.

 

thanks for the info..

You're welcome.   

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Getting a little off topic, but this may be of interest to anyone who has both the Key and the UDP.

 

Here is the Key Chops lunch menu.  I don't know if this is now the lunch menu for everyone or just for the Key.

IMG_0532.jpg.bb5b6a97153d0298fe322437eef

 

Here is the traditional Chops lunch menu.  Doesn't show the two or three dessert options.

Chops_lunch.thumb.jpg.68cfa7a041ca16ec1a99c0e09e52a8a7.jpg

 

Several options have been removed and it now specifies to Choose One of each.  Unfortunately for me, it is exactly the things that were removed that I wanted.  Specifically the wedge salad, carpaccio, and 8oz steak.  I've also read that a lot of people like the steak salad which is not on the new menu.  The new menu is definitely not something for which I would pay $20-25.  Very limited as an upcharge dining option IMO.  I would hope that there are separate menus for Key and non-Key but don't yet know for sure.

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3 hours ago, Tree_skier said:

I agree with you 🙂 

 

I probably didn't word my post carefully enough.  What it should have read is that I wish, for my own personal selfish reasons, that they allow reservations on the cruise planner in advance of boarding when you purchase a package. 

 

I agree with the idea of wanting to the ability to book reservations in advance if purchasing a package. It's that reassurance that you are going to be able to get what you want. There's a feeling of "ahh" all planned that happens when your preparations for a vacation are all said and done...and that feeling will not manifest until boarding and then getting with whoever you get with to finish sorting your dining plans. There's no real break between the end of the planning and the beginning of the vacation. So there's no anticipation stage...here are all my plans and now I'm just looking forward to them.

 

My concern with this whole package aspect is that, being able to get the reservations you want, but also...not feeling pressured to turn the table over too fast. I don't actually enjoy having meals that take up too much of my evening, but at the same time, I hope that there isn't a rushed feeling that starts to happen because there are reservations coming up and so the table I'm currently occupying needs to turn over to satisfy a reservation schedule.

 

When WDW does what they call Advanced Dining Reservations, it's understood that you do not have an actual reservation. You have something of a planned spot on the wait list. So, you get an ADR for 7:30, and basically at 7:30 your name hits the wait list with priority over stand by or walk ins. You understand that you could still have a bit of a wait, even with your ADR. The question for me becomes a question of whether or not tables are sitting empty in the specialty dining restaurants because there is a reservation at whatever time and there's this anticipation that if you have a reservation at 7:30, you should absolutely be able to sit immediately when you show up at 7:30. Or will the management of seating be more dynamic than that...flexible in a way to really allow the most people access to the restaurant over the course of the evening. A walk in could take an empty table at 7:00 for instance, and the 7:30 ADR may or may not have to wait for another table to empty. Or does the walk in sit there looking at that empty table from 7:00 to 7:30...and doesn't get to sit until ANOTHER table clears and it isn't needed for a future reservation. It takes some skill to actually manage the table turn over so that you maximize the number of diners going through, and it is Royal's best interest to do that...BUT making that happen is a whole other story.

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I'm not sure there is such a thing as a walk in at specialty dining.  I've never tried it but I have tried to make or change a reservation and have been told no or given an alternate time slot.  I've also never had to wait when I showed up for a reservation.  We aren't avid cruisers but we always get some sort of package and tend to eat 75% of our dinners in a specialty restaurant.

 

We've also never felt rushed to leave the table so that the next group of people can eat.  

 

As a compulsive planner I agree that it would be preferable if we could make reservations BEFORE we get on the ship, but we've never had a problem getting reservations for the initial times we want when we head to one of the restaurants  as soon as we get on the ship.  We make all of our reservations then and as the cruise progresses we try to change/tweak the times and as I mentioned above, sometimes they can be changed, sometimes they can't.

 

I think what you have to realize is that the vast number of cruisers are offended by the concept of paying for food on a cruise ship so it might not be as bad as you are visualizing.    

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So a couple days ago I had email Royal Caribbean customer support about the unlimited dining package and I just got an answer back and Justin Mayfair from customer support said the lunch is included in hibachi is also included

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I'm on the Mariner of the Seas with my family and we had pre-purchased the Ultimate Dining Package which was converted to the Unlimited Dining Plan..  We walked by Izumi and asked if the Unlimited Dining Plan included Hibachi and were told it was - so we made reservations.  We were told we were the first cruisers to use the Unlimited Dining Plan toward the hibachi.  We paid $10 each for the 2 protein $45 meal.

 

It was a really nice experience for our family.

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43 minutes ago, jerkymom said:

I'm on the Mariner of the Seas with my family and we had pre-purchased the Ultimate Dining Package which was converted to the Unlimited Dining Plan..  We walked by Izumi and asked if the Unlimited Dining Plan included Hibachi and were told it was - so we made reservations.  We were told we were the first cruisers to use the Unlimited Dining Plan toward the hibachi.  We paid $10 each for the 2 protein $45 meal.

 

It was a really nice experience for our family.

Was the one protein meal included and it was only because you got 2 proteins that you had to pay the extra $10 each. 

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We purchased, via the cruise planner, the day 1 luncheon (Chops) on Anthem recently.  Definitely had the reduced menu.  Since I had a filet I didn’t feel “cheated”.  But I think over $20.00 for a burger (if one chose that) would be a bit high.  Deceptive for Royal to post the original Chops menu but then not offer it to paying (not Key) guests. The wait staff knew we were not Key.  Katherine

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8 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

Was the one protein meal included and it was only because you got 2 proteins that you had to pay the extra $10 each. 

Sounds like Royal is treating it like an a la carte restaurant and only giving you the $35 credit for it. Seems a little ridiculous since I'm pretty sure there are only two price points on the menu, but I guess anything is an improvement over the previous option of nothing. 

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9 hours ago, jerkymom said:

I'm on the Mariner of the Seas with my family and we had pre-purchased the Ultimate Dining Package which was converted to the Unlimited Dining Plan..  We walked by Izumi and asked if the Unlimited Dining Plan included Hibachi and were told it was - so we made reservations.  We were told we were the first cruisers to use the Unlimited Dining Plan toward the hibachi.  We paid $10 each for the 2 protein $45 meal.

 

It was a really nice experience for our family 

Awesome! Any chance you could check if Playmakers is included too? 

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We have the key and UDL.  We are cruising May 11 on the Symphony.  We have been told both Jamie's and Chops are open for lunch on Embarkation day.  Our biggest value of the Embarkation day lunch was having a nice quiet lunch to start off our Cruise versus the hassle and bussle of a crowded buffet.  I kind of figured the reduced menu may have more to do with the crew busy turning over the ship and reprovisioning.  

 

Any news on Vintages being part of the UDP.  We really see this as being the best perk of having a free snack either pre late dinner or post early dinner.  Their menu was much more appealing then JR.

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We have never been to the hibachi restaurant with Royal. Is $35 the base price per person?

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33 minutes ago, Bonita John said:

Any news on Vintages being part of the UDP.  We really see this as being the best perk of having a free snack either pre late dinner or post early dinner.  Their menu was much more appealing then JR.

Nothing on Vintages that I have seen. I agree that this would be a nice perk for a snack. We are on Harmony in late May so you will have to report back 🙂

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1 hour ago, Ronaldo807 said:

We have never been to the hibachi restaurant with Royal. Is $35 the base price per person?

I think it's $39 for one entree or $45 for two. 

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2 hours ago, Ronaldo807 said:

Nothing on Vintages that I have seen. I agree that this would be a nice perk for a snack. We are on Harmony in late May so you will have to report back 🙂

 

Someone several pages back reported that an email from RCCL rep says Vintages snacks are now included. (But I am doubtful.)

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12 minutes ago, firefox247 said:

I think it's $39 for one entree or $45 for two. 

If they are treating it as a la carte then you would have to pay additional just to eat anything there. While $4 or $10 isn't much in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't make much sense that you can't at least get one protein included at no charge.

 

If it's not being treated as a la carte then you should be able to order either option and not pay extra per the updated package terms. 

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7 minutes ago, zooma said:

 

Someone several pages back reported that an email from RCCL rep says Vintages snacks are now included. (But I am doubtful.)

There has also been a report that a Royal Caribbean representative stated that Vintages is complimentary. 

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4 hours ago, firefox247 said:

Sounds like Royal is treating it like an a la carte restaurant and only giving you the $35 credit for it. Seems a little ridiculous since I'm pretty sure there are only two price points on the menu, but I guess anything is an improvement over the previous option of nothing. 

No, it has always been an extra charge for 2 protein.

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On 4/19/2019 at 1:48 AM, tinkr2 said:

Thats still places a really heavy advantage on advance bookers, which may or may not be fair, depending on your perspective.

I agree with you.  The way the system was supposed to work is that the tradeoff for those who prepurchase the dining plan (or individual meals) at a discount would be that they have to wait until they got onboard to make their reservations while those who purchase onboard and pay full price would get first dibbs at reservations. I'm not sure if that is still the way it is working but allowing those who prepurchase online at a discount would penalize those who pay full price, IMO.

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