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Specialty Restaurant Reservations

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We are newbies on Oceania (Riviera) and I see posts regarding making reservations in the specialty restaurants. Am I correct in assuming one doesn't need to make reservations for the main dining room, but for the specialty restaurants (those with no extra charges) it's a good idea or even necessary to make reservations?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.

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No need and no reservations accepted in Grand (Main) Dining room. No extra charge for the four specialty restaurants on Riviera or on any Oceania ship.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Sulo said:

We are newbies on Oceania (Riviera) and I see posts regarding making reservations in the specialty restaurants. Am I correct in assuming one doesn't need to make reservations for the main dining room, but for the specialty restaurants (those with no extra charges) it's a good idea or even necessary to make reservations?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.

You need to make reservations for the specialty restaurants if you want to be guaranteed a table.  Walkins are possible, but rare except for 9 pm tables and table sharing.  Even then it's risky.

 

Also make sure you do the guaranteed ones on line as soon as the bookings open.  Don't wait until onboard.

 

No reservations are taken for the Terrace or the main dining room.

Edited by 1985rz1

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6 hours ago, Sulo said:

We are newbies on Oceania (Riviera) and I see posts regarding making reservations in the specialty restaurants. Am I correct in assuming one doesn't need to make reservations for the main dining room, but for the specialty restaurants (those with no extra charges) it's a good idea or even necessary to make reservations?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.

Hello Sulo

 

The specialty restaurants are wildly popular and everyone on board is guaranteed at least one seating in each.  So the short answer is "Yes!  You need a reservation."

 

You may wait until you board and stand in line at the reservations desk on deck 5.  There will be times held back for those who choose not to book ahead online.  But standing in line on vacation is something we want to avoid.  Plus the times available will offer few choices.  

 

On the Oceania website you will find a "manage this booking" tab under "My Account".  There you will find the date when you can book online, starting with suites, then concierge, verandah, etc.  Some of us log on at midnight Miami time (EST/EDT) to book our dates/times.  

 

Do a little homework and look at your itinerary.  Choose some possible date you would like for specialties and be ready to log on.  You will need your booking number handy.  You may choose to dine alone, with friends (have their booking number also) or share.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

Katie

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Exactly!  In skimming through these comments I didn't notice if anyone mentioned best times, especially if you want to dine alone -- generally early or late!  Other options are to share with people you've met up with already (say at your Roll Call) OR just to say I'll share with anyone you want.  We've had some of our best dinners that way!  (And never a bad one although I do recall one dinner with two women who we just didn't have much in common -- nor they with us.  But it was still a pleasant dinner.)

 

On our last cruise we ended up at a sharing table with two other couples -- British -- maybe just because we came in at the same time!  But it was one of the best dinners we've ever had.  And the food wasn't bad either ...  On another occasion we were (again) at a table for six in the GDR and it turned out that ALL of us were musicians.  That was very special indeed.

 

It's always harder to get a table for two if that is what you wish, which is why booking an early table or late table can be your best option, unless you manage to enter the booking lottery at the earliest possible moment.  In that case, the higher level cabins have a definite advantage.

 

Mura

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, KatieBelle said:

Hello Sulo

 

The specialty restaurants are wildly popular and everyone on board is guaranteed at least one seating in each.  So the short answer is "Yes!  You need a reservation."

 

You may wait until you board and stand in line at the reservations desk on deck 5.  There will be times held back for those who choose not to book ahead online.  But standing in line on vacation is something we want to avoid.  Plus the times available will offer few choices.  

 

On the Oceania website you will find a "manage this booking" tab under "My Account".  There you will find the date when you can book online, starting with suites, then concierge, verandah, etc.  Some of us log on at midnight Miami time (EST/EDT) to book our dates/times.  

 

Do a little homework and look at your itinerary.  Choose some possible date you would like for specialties and be ready to log on.  You will need your booking number handy.  You may choose to dine alone, with friends (have their booking number also) or share.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

Katie

Living on the Left Coast can be a definite advantage on timing, huh?  🙂  I'm already giving it some thought.  Definitely French and Italian and likely steak.  Red Ginger isn't wildly appealing since we get a good bit of that out here.  And we'll definitely have some lunches even early dinners in ports and may not want a lot for dinner.  A real first world problem.

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45 minutes ago, clo said:

Red Ginger isn't wildly appealing since we get a good bit of that out here.  And we'll definitely have some lunches even early dinners in ports and may not want a lot for dinner.  A real first world problem.

Give it a try - you may be pleasantly surprised. In any case, you are entitled to 1 reservation - why give it up.

We like a number of things but my favorites are calamari or spicy shrimp appetizer and lobster pad thai. Many rave about miso glazed sea bass and it is very good.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Give it a try - you may be pleasantly surprised. In any case, you are entitled to 1 reservation - why give it up.

We like a number of things but my favorites are calamari or spicy shrimp appetizer and lobster pad thai. Many rave about miso glazed sea bass and it is very good.

Also the duck and watermelon salad!  I readily confess that I love Red Ginger almost more for the lovely relaxed atmosphere (plus warm towels, chopstick choice, lovely tea) and excellent service always almost more than the food itself.  

 

Paul, I tried the lobster pad thai on Marina just last month for the first time, and indeed it was superb!

Edited by CintiPam

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6 minutes ago, CintiPam said:

Also the duck and watermelon salad!  I readily confess that I love Red Ginger almost more for the lovely relaxed atmosphere (plus warm towels, chopstick choice, lovely tea) and excellent service always almost more than the food itself.  

 

Paul, I tried the lobster pad thai on Marina just last month for the first time, and indeed it was superb!

I read about the chopstick choice and first thought *****.  Is that some kind of pretension?  And unless you're eating with your hands - I hope not - why would you need the towels?   I don't know it just seems a little much.  To me only of course.  Here's the sample menu:  https://www.oceaniacruises.com/Documents/Menus/70445/Red-Ginger-Dinner-Menu.pdf  Except for some sashimi, nothing particularly appeals.  But that's just me of course.  No offense intended please.

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4 minutes ago, clo said:

I read about the chopstick choice and first thought *****.  Is that some kind of pretension?  And unless you're eating with your hands - I hope not - why would you need the towels?   I don't know it just seems a little much.  To me only of course.  Here's the sample menu:  https://www.oceaniacruises.com/Documents/Menus/70445/Red-Ginger-Dinner-Menu.pdf  Except for some sashimi, nothing particularly appeals.  But that's just me of course.  No offense intended please.

No offense taken; Oceania is a foodie’s delight so discussing food is a pleasure for many of us and individual tastes vary so much.  

 

IMO it is Jacques that is full of pretension; several, certainly not all by a long shot, who work there seem to specialize in acting “snooty French”.  It also is by far the most difficult to book.  

 

And certainly the numerous olive oil choices in Toscana are a bit much IMO although thankfully the almost dozen choices have been reduced over the years.

 

I hope you enjoy all the various food experiences offered onboard.  My husband and I felt that the food and service we had last month on Marina were the best ever since we started cruising on Oceania in 2008.

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9 minutes ago, CintiPam said:

No offense taken; Oceania is a foodie’s delight so discussing food is a pleasure for many of us and individual tastes vary so much.  

 

IMO it is Jacques that is full of pretension; several, certainly not all by a long shot, who work there seem to specialize in acting “snooty French”.  It also is by far the most difficult to book.  

 

And certainly the numerous olive oil choices in Toscana are a bit much IMO although thankfully the almost dozen choices have been reduced over the years.

 

I hope you enjoy all the various food experiences offered onboard.  My husband and I felt that the food and service we had last month on Marina were the best ever since we started cruising on Oceania in 2008.

Thanks for your reply.  My favorite thing to do is cook so tasting a bunch of olive oils is VERY appealing to me.  It's actually something that I tend to buy when we're traveling.  I looked at the cooking classes but none appealed. PS:  I'm loving this thread.  xoc

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1 hour ago, CintiPam said:

I readily confess that I love Red Ginger almost more for the lovely relaxed atmosphere (plus warm towels, chopstick choice, lovely tea) and excellent service always almost more than the food itself.  

I agree - RG is has a warm, inviting atmosphere with great service but Jacques serves my favorite food on the ship.

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2 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

I agree - RG is has a warm, inviting atmosphere with great service but Jacques serves my favorite food on the ship.

Yep.  Jacques speaks to me.  And why I'd like two reservations.  All apps.

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I'm with Paul in that Jacques is our favorite venue on the "O" ships. We differ somewhat in that Red Ginger is our least favorite -- but I do enjoy the tea choice, the chop stick choice, etc.  For us, we've always been Szechuan people so Asian Fusion doesn't do it for us.  But one of our best meals ever was in RG when Jancruz arranged a pre-ordered dinner for 8.  It was spectacular.

 

And we celebrated another passenger's birthday in RG on Sirena in October '16 (a few days after MY birthday had been celebrated in the GDR) and while I, as a professional singer that was, usually cannot abide the waiters' renditions of happy birthday, in RG they had a charming routine that was JUST PLAIN FUN.

 

We all have our choices.

 

Mura

 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, clo said:

Yep.  Jacques speaks to me.  And why I'd like two reservations.  All apps.

In that case you might try changing your RG reservation for a second Jacques reservation - might have a better chance that way to get your extra J reservation.

Another possibility is to not book a specialty on the first night and then ASAP after boarding try to get a Jacques reservation for that night.

Edited by Paulchili

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

In that case you might try changing your RG reservation for a second Jacques reservation - might have a better chance that way to get your extra J reservation.

Excuse my newbie ignorance.  What's an "RG" res?  And thanks.

ETA; oh, right, Red Ginger.

Edited by clo

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Just now, clo said:

Excuse my newbie ignorance.  What's an "RG" res?  And thanks.

Red Ginger 😊

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6 minutes ago, Mura said:

I'm with Paul in that Jacques is our favorite venue on the "O" ships. We differ somewhat in that Red Ginger is our least favorite -- but I do enjoy the tea choice, the chop stick choice, etc.  For us, we've always been Szechuan people so Asian Fusion doesn't do it for us.  But one of our best meals ever was in RG when Jancruz arranged a pre-ordered dinner for 8.  It was spectacular.

 

And we celebrated another passenger's birthday in RG on Sirena in October '16 (a few days after MY birthday had been celebrated in the GDR) and while I, as a professional singer that was, usually cannot abide the waiters' renditions of happy birthday, in RG they had a charming routine that was JUST PLAIN FUN.

 

We all have our choices.

 

Mura

 

What's with the chopstick choices?  I've never had this in my life.  What's the point?

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, clo said:

What's with the chopstick choices?  I've never had this in my life.  What's the point?

It’s a bit of a unique touch - not necessary but nice. The presentation is also very nice - it’s the RG’s equivalent of Toscana’s olive oil choices. 

It gives you a choice from several different types of chopsticks - wooden, lacquer, metal, etc. Personally, I avoid the metal ones as they tend to be too slippery.

Edited by Paulchili

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2 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

It’s a bit of a unique touch - not necessary but nice. It gives you a choice from several different types of chopsticks - wooden, lacquer, metal, etc. Personally, I avoid the metal ones as they tend to be too slippery.

AFAIK is metal ones are for Korean food.  Otherwise too silly.

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If it's silly you don't have to partake!  It's a little thing, that's all.

 

I wouldn't mind just being presented with one kind of chopstick ... as long as it wasn't one of those cheap wooden ones you get with takeout!

 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Mura said:

I wouldn't mind just being presented with one kind of chopstick ... as long as it wasn't one of those cheap wooden ones you get with takeout!

Interesting that you should mention these “cheap wooden chopsticks”.

We are getting ready for our Silversea Muse cruise and I am reading that they provide these chopsticks (the ones you have to separate) in their Kaiseki Japanese restaurant and the Silversea customers are understandably confused about this (ditto for their Indochine restaurant - same chopsticks).

I’ll take O’s “silly” choice of nice chopsticks over those provided on the “luxury” cruise line like Silversea.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2665233-a-mused-in-a-laska-seward-to-vancouver-27-may-to-6-june-2019/page/4/?tab=comments#comment-57617427

 

Edited by Paulchili

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I love Jacques.    Going on Nautica next so there won't be a Jacques proper.    I can't understand the different choices of olive oil in Toscana, and I wouldn't go to Red Ginger at all but my DH loves it.   I once had "no spice" in Red Ginger but it was all too bland so that wasn't the answer either..

 

As someone says "First World problem"   J

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10 hours ago, Paulchili said:

Interesting that you should mention these “cheap wooden chopsticks”.

We are getting ready for our Silversea Muse cruise and I am reading that they provide these chopsticks (the ones you have to separate) in their Kaiseki Japanese restaurant and the Silversea customers are understandably confused about this (ditto for their Indochine restaurant - same chopsticks).

I’ll take O’s “silly” choice of nice chopsticks over those provided on the “luxury” cruise line like Silversea.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2665233-a-mused-in-a-laska-seward-to-vancouver-27-may-to-6-june-2019/page/4/?tab=comments#comment-57617427

 

As long as people don't use chopsticks for things like nigiri.  Hands only.  I've shared this short video numerous times.

 

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1 hour ago, Jay23 said:

I love Jacques.    Going on Nautica next so there won't be a Jacques proper.    I can't understand the different choices of olive oil in Toscana, and I wouldn't go to Red Ginger at all but my DH loves it.   I once had "no spice" in Red Ginger but it was all too bland so that wasn't the answer either..

 

As someone says "First World problem"   J

See?  I love to cook and have numerous oils and vinegars so tasting oils is something I look forward to.  Bringing home olive oil from our travels is a regular for me.

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