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jenniferop

New “Unlimited Dining Plan” used on Symphony of the Seas

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This might be a little long - sorry but I detailed each night

 

Hello – we (DH, myself and 3 other couples) just got back from the 4/27-5/4 Symphony cruise.

DH and I had the new UNLIMITED Dining plan – the others had the BOGO and then bought Izumi and a Chops dinner.

First things first, the others bought the BOGO because they were told by Miami CS that they could use it for Izumi – once on the ship they were told they could not…so, they had to buy Izumi for the 3rd night (Our TA bought the Chops on Night 6 for everyone – except us, I told her to save the money since we had UDP, it would be covered).

Night 1 - we all had Jamie’s Italian. The food was plentiful and pretty decent for mass market Italian – little better than Olive Garden. (The Charcuterie board was really good).

Night 2 - we all had Chops (originally wanted to do Izumi but was not covered under BOGO for the others in our group) this night service and food were excellent – night 6 not so much but more on that later.

Night 3 - we had Izumi – the others had to pay for this night, it was covered under our unlimited plan - but only for the $45 entrees – DH and I both got the $49 selection so we paid the difference.

Night 4 - DH and I separated from the group and did Hooked. I had the whole Maine Lobster and DH had the Blackened Halibut. My Lobster was on par with the thousands of Whole Lobsters I have eaten in my life and I had NO complaints, except with the sides – the cheesy crabmeat was NOT good and the caramelized butter was the weirdest thing I have ever tried. Hubby LOVED the Halibut – was cooked perfect and the seasoning was delicious (I tried it too). We had the Oysters and Mussels for the apps and they were both VERY good - we told our waiter we did not need the sides of Corn and fries but he brought them anyways.

Night 5 – DH and I had 150 Central Park. We have never eaten here before but we were told they have recently ended their partnership with a "Celebrity Chef" and have a new Menu. I had heard the old format was a 6 course tasting menu – this was not and it was EXCELLENT. We had the Tenderloin for 2. Service was wonderful, food was the best we had all week.

Night 6 – back to Chops, it was bought before the cruise by our TA. Tonight we had a different waiter who was little slower than the one we had night 2.  We all tried something different on the menu – I had the Filet and Lobster tail on Night 2 and that was good. I had the Ribeye on this night and it was not as good a Ribeye that I can get at Texas Roadhouse here at home…Hubby had several pieces of Ribeye that he could not chew L. Another in our party had to send back his Filet as it was not cooked properly. Sides are served family style and they were really good.

Night 7 – we saved the best (most entertaining) for last…WONDERLAND. DH and I had been watching YouTube videos leading up to the cruise and we were really looking forward to this meal. The introduction to the meal from our waiter was a little confusing, he could have explained the process a little better but it may have also been a language/ accent barrier that we just did not understand what he was telling us. We got our menu and painted them to reveal our options but then our waiter asked for any dislikes or allergies when we said we had none and we like everything – he just told us what he was bringing us and did not give us a chance to request something. Now to be fair to him – everything he brought was wonderful but we also did not try a few things we had thought looked interesting on the menu. We ended up being very happy with the whole meal!! The Mad Hatter was just silly and sassy enough – not over the top but not understated.

So, for the first cruise EVER – we NEVER ate in the main dining room – not once. We had breakfast most days from the Vitality Café in the gym. Hubby would grab a few mini focaccia sandwiches and a cappuccino (VERY good). Once we ate at Johnny Rockets and had pancakes and once we ate in the Solarium Bistro and then the last morning we ate in the Windjammer (should have just grabbed sandwiches from the Vitality Café.)

Also included in the new UDP was Playmakers (we ate here 3 days for wings and nachos), plus we ate at Johnny Rockets and Hooked for lunch once each (also covered). So for $199 per person – we got our money worth and would buy it again!! I know tipping is a controversial topic but just to add more info for you – we tipped at every restaurant (yes, I know it is added at time of purchase but we left extra anyways).

 

Happy to answer any questions.

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yes open everyday - and it was yummy! the nachos will feed 8 people as an app

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Jennifer, this was excellent and very helpful information.  Thank you for taking the time and effort to share with the Cruise Critic  community!

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 Thanks for such great information! I am thinking of doing this on our symphony cruise in October. Am I understanding it correctly that you cannot make reservations until you get on the ship?

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8 minutes ago, islandchicklet said:

 Thanks for such great information! I am thinking of doing this on our symphony cruise in October. Am I understanding it correctly that you cannot make reservations until you get on the ship?

 

Correct.

 

If you must make pre-cruise reservations, you have that option when you pay full price for the restaurant.

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1 hour ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Correct.

 

If you must make pre-cruise reservations, you have that option when you pay full price for the restaurant.

Thanks for the info! It seems kind of stressful to work dinner times in around the shows and ports etc. after you get on the ship.  It seems like a really good deal but it may not be good for an OCD planner like myself. 😞

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I think I see what the issue was with Izumi.

 

You referred to it as Izumi however you said entrees were $45 and $49 which leads me to believe that you actually dined at Izumi -Hibachi.

 

There is a difference between the two.  Izumi (Sushi)  would have been covered under the BOGO (up to $35 per person) which is why you were told that while Hibachi has never been covered.

 

Unfortunately a misunderstanding in the names of the restaurants and the responses that you received.

 

Great review, we had the Ultimate dining package last Christmas and will have the unlimited this Christmas, looking forward to Playmakers. 

Edited by Ourusualbeach

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I wish the Hibachi was consistent under the new plan. Some reports of no extra charges, other reports like this one, where they are requiring for you to pay the difference between the one or two proteins. Nowhere in the terms does it say you may have to pay more for the two proteins. I'm sure a trip to guest services would eliminate it. 

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17 hours ago, islandchicklet said:

 Thanks for such great information! I am thinking of doing this on our symphony cruise in October. Am I understanding it correctly that you cannot make reservations until you get on the ship?

 

Correct - you can not make reservations for the restaurants before the cruise - but you can book your shows...so in my Executive Admin OCD"ness" I made a spreadsheet with our Show times - went straight to a kiosk set up on Deck 5 when we got on the ship, handed my spreadsheet to a reservation person with the times and locations I wanted for the whole (minus changing Izumi a little later when we found out it wasn't covered under BOGO) and she booked everything exactly like I wanted it.

 

13 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

I think I see what the issue was with Izumi.

 

You referred to it as Izumi however you said entrees were $45 and $49 which leads me to believe that you actually dined at Izumi -Hibachi.

 

There is a difference between the two.  Izumi (Sushi)  would have been covered under the BOGO (up to $35 per person) which is why you were told that while Hibachi has never been covered.

 

Unfortunately a misunderstanding in the names of the restaurants and the responses that you received.

 

Great review, we had the Ultimate dining package last Christmas and will have the unlimited this Christmas, looking forward to Playmakers. 

 

You are probably right,  didn't think of that at the time, We just booked Izumi - Hibachi for night 3 and they paid for it...we never did Izumi - Sushi, because we had also booked the Sushi making class for the 2nd sea day (not covered under the plan) so we had our sushi for the week...the wings kept us coming back to Playmakers.

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12 hours ago, PhilNDebbieAtSea said:

Thanks so much for sharing your experience! Sounds delicious! 

 

It was - only thing we would have changed in hindsight is not going to Chops twice but instead going to 150 Central Park twice so the others could experience the new menu.

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Thanks Jennifer, this is so helpful!

When you went to Izumi night 3 was it for hibachi or the a la carte menu?

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42 minutes ago, mrsmagoo1 said:

Thanks Jennifer, this is so helpful!

When you went to Izumi night 3 was it for hibachi or the a la carte menu?

 

Hibachi - I keep forgetting there are 2 options with the same name - on the Hibachi side the new Unlimited plan covered the $45 meals we paid the difference for the $49 meal - if we had gone to the Sushi side it would have given us a $35 credit towards a la carte

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On 5/7/2019 at 12:35 PM, jenniferop said:

This might be a little long - sorry but I detailed each night

 

No need to apologize for such an informative and helpful review -- thanks for writing it!

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I have another question now.  I just went to purchase the UDP and I actually read the terms and conditions😳  and they said it was not valid at Chops Grille??  Is there a Chops Grille and a regular Chops?  It says Dine, Drink, Discover but it is the terms listed right before I was purchasing the UDP.

1192499268_ScreenShot2019-05-08at6_18_00PM.png.7612d04574f97289aadf4e6b9877bdea.png

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22 minutes ago, islandchicklet said:

I have another question now.  I just went to purchase the UDP and I actually read the terms and conditions😳  and they said it was not valid at Chops Grille??  Is there a Chops Grille and a regular Chops?  It says Dine, Drink, Discover but it is the terms listed right before I was purchasing the UDP.

1192499268_ScreenShot2019-05-08at6_18_00PM.png.7612d04574f97289aadf4e6b9877bdea.png

 

Dine, Drink, Discover is what Royal calls the perk you get for booking a Boardwalk or Central Park balcony stateroom.  It is not the Unlimited Dining Package.

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31 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Dine, Drink, Discover is what Royal calls the perk you get for booking a Boardwalk or Central Park balcony stateroom.  It is not the Unlimited Dining Package.

 

 

HAHA Thanks!  I have actually had one of those cabins before and forgot that it was called that!  

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I have a question about this plan.

 

So it says beverage are not included in the restaurants. So does my drink package would cover those? Or not.

 

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1 hour ago, Deseo1578 said:

I have a question about this plan.

 

So it says beverage are not included in the restaurants. So does my drink package would cover those? Or not.

 

Your drink package will work in the specialty restaurants 

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13 hours ago, Deseo1578 said:

I have a question about this plan.

 

So it says beverage are not included in the restaurants. So does my drink package would cover those? Or not.

 

 

Your Beverage Package will cover your drinks in the Spec Rests - they actually even covered the full $15 for the Martinis we ordered in 150 Central park and didn't change the difference from $13 covered under the package...

 

We did pay the food upcharge in Izumi Hibachi for the $49 meal ($4 each) - the $8 upcharge in Chops for my Lobster tail and the $18 upcharge in Chops of DH Dry Aged 20oz Porterhouse.

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23 hours ago, jenniferop said:

 

Hibachi - I keep forgetting there are 2 options with the same name - on the Hibachi side the new Unlimited plan covered the $45 meals we paid the difference for the $49 meal - if we had gone to the Sushi side it would have given us a $35 credit towards a la carte

What is $49 vs $45?

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1 minute ago, mrsmagoo1 said:

What is $49 vs $45?

1 protein vs 2 (a combination dinner)

We got the Lobster and Scallops - if you order just steak or just chicken or just shrimp - it's $45

Edited by jenniferop

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5 minutes ago, jenniferop said:

1 protein vs 2 (a combination dinner)

We got the Lobster and Scallops - if you order just steak or just chicken or just shrimp - it's $45

Thanks!!

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