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Unlimited dining - is it worth it?


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We had the UDP a couple of weeks ago on Allure.  Other than my teenage granddaughter, the rest of us are big eaters.  We did not eat breakfast at all on the sea days and by the 2nd or 3rd day, it was almost a chore to go to a specialty restaurant for lunch.

 

I had a burger a couple of days and some of the others had pasta.  We went to lunch about 12 and had dinner about 7 or so and we didn't eat a lot at dinner because we were so full from lunch.

 

We ended up not eating all the lunches in the restaurants that we could have because there was just too much food.  I liked it much better when we were able to get a 5 night package as did the others.  

I'm sure we will get the UDP again, because the 5 night has been discontinued, but I know we will probably  only do lunch in a specialty restaurant on embarkation day because none of us liked feeling so  uncomfortable with eating so much more than we do at home.

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9 hours ago, ryano said:

It went back down to 175.00 per person so we jumped on it for our H.O.T.S. September 1 cruise.  I just dont see how you can go wrong at 25.00 per person per night for cooked to order "specialty dining" food.  I cant wait for the experience!   

 

We also jumped on the $175 price for the September 1st Harmony cruise.  I bet we will cross paths in one of the specialty restaurants that week. 

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I have the UDP on an upcoming Harmony cruise. Once onboard am I able to make all my dining reservations by visiting one restaurant or do I need to attend each restaurant separately?

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10 hours ago, thrifty99 said:

 

We also jumped on the $175 price for the September 1st Harmony cruise.  I bet we will cross paths in one of the specialty restaurants that week. 

 

I will be in a dark gray manual wheelchair so pretty easy to spot!  Please say hi if you see me!  :)   

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2 hours ago, cruzrman said:

I have the UDP on an upcoming Harmony cruise. Once onboard am I able to make all my dining reservations by visiting one restaurant or do I need to attend each restaurant separately?

 

You should be able to make all your reservations at one restaurant. They may also have a table set up near embarkation for dining reservations. Do it ASAP as the best times go quickly and with many people buying the UDP the restaurants will be more crowded. We have it for Symphony. Looking forward to it.

 

Mary Ann

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We have cruised many times, and on our last Symphony cruise did UDP.  This was mostly due to my fatigue with the standard options.  We loved it!!!!  We loved trying every “fancy” restaurant, and modified our reservations part of the way through to repeat our favorites 🙂. We also enjoyed doing specialty restaurants upon embarkation and on sea days.  We have no regrets :). However, on our next trip we will do MTD.

Edited by vacationlover_mn
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Seems like it might be a lot of work scheduling all the meals. We stay at the pool most of the day, so we grab something in the buffet.  (we go later so no crowd fighting).  Don't think I want to deal with  reservations and booking shows. We are on the Allure in 2 months and already booked our shows.

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17 hours ago, cruisegal40 said:

Seems like it might be a lot of work scheduling all the meals. We stay at the pool most of the day, so we grab something in the buffet.  (we go later so no crowd fighting).  Don't think I want to deal with  reservations and booking shows. We are on the Allure in 2 months and already booked our shows.

On the Allure you should prebook shows- or you have to wait to see if any seats are available on a line.  However, on Celebrity not- but of course not nearly the caliber of entertainment available- first come , first serve for seats- Dining is great, and you should try to book a couple of specialty restaurants- you can always cancel or adjust the time (if available) once on board.

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Cruise a holic.  This is true. I just may look into that.  Just seems to planned out from when we started cruising years ago. I could deal with the set dining but now having to do dining and shows just seems like it's getting more stressful. 

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48 minutes ago, cruisegal40 said:

 I could deal with the set dining but now having to do dining and shows just seems like it's getting more stressful

Well, then, don't do it and go with the flow once you get on board.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a question regarding the Unlimited Dining Plan I have not seen posted or answered. When you are in the main dining room, at the bottom of the menu, there are some "upgrades" for steaks from Chops or Lobster with pricing for people who want to add this on to their main dining room options. If you have the Unlimited Dining Plan, could you order these items without the surcharge?

 

The reason I am asking is because we purchased the Unlimited but will be joining the Main Dining room at least one or two nights to join with friends that have not purchased this option, so I was wondering if I would be able to still order the specialty items from within the Main Dining room, or must one be in the specialty dining venue proper?

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On 7/15/2019 at 10:22 AM, ryano said:

If it goes down to 175.00 again for my upcoming cruise, we have decided we are going to jump on the deal.

 

The more I read about how far down the quality of the "included in fare" food has gone over the last few years, the more it seems "worth it" to me.  Especially at 25.00 per night per person.  

I am thinking exactly like you. Waiting for the $175 again and going to nail it. Don’t forget that all 3 sea days can be used for lunch at Specialty Dining. Now it’s 10 meals at $17.50 a person. Can’t beat that 

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5 hours ago, amg3miami said:

I have a question regarding the Unlimited Dining Plan I have not seen posted or answered. When you are in the main dining room, at the bottom of the menu, there are some "upgrades" for steaks from Chops or Lobster with pricing for people who want to add this on to their main dining room options. If you have the Unlimited Dining Plan, could you order these items without the surcharge?

 

The reason I am asking is because we purchased the Unlimited but will be joining the Main Dining room at least one or two nights to join with friends that have not purchased this option, so I was wondering if I would be able to still order the specialty items from within the Main Dining room, or must one be in the specialty dining venue proper?

When we had UDP, you could not do a “free upgrade” in the MDR

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7 minutes ago, vacationlover_mn said:

When we had UDP, you could not do a “free upgrade” in the MDR

 

Did you have UDP when it was Ultimate or Unlimited?  The change was not that long ago.

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2 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

I believe that Ellen had the unlimited plan recently and wasn’t able to get the extra cost items in Solarium Bistro.  I would expect the MDR to be the same.

 

I'd be surprised if this policy didn't vary ship to ship.

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11 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

I believe that Ellen had the unlimited plan recently and wasn’t able to get the extra cost items in Solarium Bistro.  I would expect the MDR to be the same.

That's what I was told in May on the Harmony but I think it might have been from an uninformed employee.  I didn't push it  We were able to use it on the Oasis in the Bistro last year

Edited by molly361
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I keep reading that cruisers on cruisecritic don’t want to eat in the main dining room. Last time we were on Royal we really liked MDR - but that was more than 5 years ago. Should we worry for our cruise in September? Or do you just like variety?

Edited by CMDE
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I'm glad I didn't get it for my 9 night Anthem cruise, but I bought it for my upcoming 7 night Oasis cruise. The Anthem doesn't have that many specialty venues I find worth trying more than once. The Oasis seems to have more specialty options and since it's fewer days, it might be worth a try.

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