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Having trouble justifying the dining package with new pricing. Anyone else?


L1211
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On 7/20/2019 at 10:55 AM, L1211 said:

We're planning our next NCL cruise - it has been a couple of years since we've sailed them.  We've only done specialty dining in our prior three cruises - we have young adult daughters who love getting dressed up and going out to dinner with us and specialty dining seems to really make the evening, well, special!  We love the smaller venues, better service and have found the food typically very good.  But, at $40 PP now, it seems difficult to justify buying a package.  My daughters are not big eaters and I just can't see my family of four finding a way to say spend $160 at Los Lobos and of course, Tepanyaki is only $39pp any way - again, no reason to have a dining package.   So,  I guess we'll use the "free at sea" package then purchase al la carte for the remaining nights.  Others making that choice too?  Anyone finding value in the dining packages any longer?  Thanks!

2 or 3 cruises ago, I quit with the specialty restaurants. Maybe it was the ship, but I found the nightly specialty dishes in the MDR to be better than anything else on the ship. It's become more difficult for me to justify paying more on the ship than I would at a local restaurant for better food. Last cruise for sure, I only ate in the MDR. If you are a steak and potatoes person for dinner every night (I met one of those once) or will only eat the dishes served every night, I think there is a difference in quality and it might be worth it. I've been happy since moving to the nightly specials.

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On 9/25/2019 at 2:09 PM, KeithJenner said:

I'll put that down to another bit of misinformation given out by the waiters.

Definite misinformation - we ordered the T-bone once in Le Bistro on our recent cruise (looking at the receipt here) and no issues having that credited to the SDP. The package may cost more but we were running $90-120 for two people for just apps-entree-desserts for each meal. You'll pay a lot more a la carte especially with the higher priced entrees.

Edited by InfrequentPNWCruiser
clarity
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On 7/20/2019 at 11:55 AM, L1211 said:

We're planning our next NCL cruise - it has been a couple of years since we've sailed them.  We've only done specialty dining in our prior three cruises - we have young adult daughters who love getting dressed up and going out to dinner with us and specialty dining seems to really make the evening, well, special!  We love the smaller venues, better service and have found the food typically very good.  But, at $40 PP now, it seems difficult to justify buying a package.  My daughters are not big eaters and I just can't see my family of four finding a way to say spend $160 at Los Lobos and of course, Tepanyaki is only $39pp any way - again, no reason to have a dining package.   So,  I guess we'll use the "free at sea" package then purchase al la carte for the remaining nights.  Others making that choice too?  Anyone finding value in the dining packages any longer?  Thanks!

Have you ever eaten at Disney? Our family of 4 ate at a character breakfast for about $180 dollars.... yes that’s $180 US dollars for eggs and bacon and hasbrowns...and at the time we didn’t think twice about it. I guess when you factor in the entire cruise price it just averages out.

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2 hours ago, expectthebest said:

Have you ever eaten at Disney? Our family of 4 ate at a character breakfast for about $180 dollars.... yes that’s $180 US dollars for eggs and bacon and hasbrowns...and at the time we didn’t think twice about it. I guess when you factor in the entire cruise price it just averages out.

 

Wow. Good thing our kids run screaming from anyone in a mascot-type costume.

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We just left the Breakaway and ate all meals in the free venues, the Garden Cafe, Savor, Taste and the Manhattan.  We all did the free breakfast Buffet in Moderno.  We have done the specialty dining thing and don't find enough service difference to justify the cost.  We are not foodies so don't cruise for the food.  When the package used to be free without the additional gratuities added we used all the specialty restaurants and even then the difference wasn't that big of a deal for us.  We did try Margaritaville  $15.00 pp upcharge on this cruise. We got  a BBQ bacon cheeseburger...a regurlar burger, no bacon was delivered mediocre at best, and a chicken sandwich; average nothing to write home about.  The french fries we barely warm and had been sitting in the warmer for awhile.  With the automatic gratuity the charge was $36.00. The dessert was either cheesecake or Key Lime Pie.  The key lime pie was really the cheesecake with a little lime zest on it....Left it.   I wouldn't waste my money going back.  I do know that the food is subjective and varies depending on the ship and cruise itinerary so if I got the specialty dinner package for a reasonable fee, I would try them again.  I find doing the sail away rate and saving the $$$ and using the savings to eat in port is a lot more fun.  It all depends on what makes a good cruise for you, whether it be a Caribbean or European cruise just have fun.

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22 hours ago, gwsster said:

We did try Margaritaville  $15.00 pp upcharge on this cruise. We got  a BBQ bacon cheeseburger...a regurlar burger, no bacon was delivered mediocre at best, and a chicken sandwich; average nothing to write home about.  The french fries we barely warm and had been sitting in the warmer for awhile.  With the automatic gratuity the charge was $36.00. The dessert was either cheesecake or Key Lime Pie.  The key lime pie was really the cheesecake with a little lime zest on it....Left it.   I wouldn't waste my money going back.

 

We had a slightly better experience at Margaritaville on the Getaway. My volcano burger exploded and baked under a heat lamp, and the volcano nachos were cold. Everything else was mostly ok. The fries we got were hot and fresh, and were the best fries we had all cruise. I got the cheesecake (which was fine, standard issue cheesecake), and my wife got the key lime pie. She said it was really good and ended up being the best dessert she had on the ship. I thought it was pretty good too, I wouldn't say it's just the cheesecake with lime zest on it, it had a nice tart flavor. Texture-wise I could see it being close to the cheesecake, maybe you're used to a different style of key lime pie?

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