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Specialty Dining Package - Confusion


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On my previous NCL cruises, there has always been confusion with the Specialty Dining Package in the various restaurants with what is included. The NCL site says only 1 entree is included but doesn't address appetizers, sides, etc. On one of my cruises, I got clarification from someone in charge that it includes 1 entree but limitless appetizers, sides, etc. I still had experiences where they wanted to charge for additional apps, etc. What is the current policy? And, is the policy written somewhere on the NCL site? Thanks all!

 

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On some ships at some restaurants they claim that there is a 1-1-1 rule. We always order multiple apps, one entree, and one dessert and have never been charged (despite what the waiters have been told to tell you). The written terms and conditions only mention a single entree (as you pointed out). 

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Here are the T&Cs (located at the bottom of the page) for the SDP taken from the NCL website (clearly states the only menu item that will incur an additional charge is the main course - so enjoy unlimited salads, soups, apps and desserts (except at those restaurants where it is limited to 4 total menu items).... until you have to be rolled out).  Print them out to help if you are challenged at all.

 

https://www.ncl.com/specialty-dining-package/faq

 

Specialty Dining Packages (SDP) are available online for pre-sale or onboard during the first two days of the voyage. SDP is not available on 1 and 2-day sailings; On 3-day sailings SDP is for sale on day 1 only. No refunds available if not all meals are used. SDPs are personal and non-transferable. SDP does not include any beverages and additional main courses will incur charges. An SDP meal in Food Republic, Pincho, Sushi and Wasabi includes 4 menu items. A 20% gratuity and specialty service charge will be added to the package price. No SDP kids pricing available. We encourage guests to visit ncl.com/myncl to make dining reservations in advance. Reservations are not required but highly recommended for SDP guests, however, once onboard, reservations will be subject to availability. SDP meals can be enjoyed at American Diner, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Food Republic, Italian, Le Bistro, Los Lobos, Margaritaville at Sea, Moderno Churrascaria, Ocean Blue and Bayamo by Ocean Blue, Pincho Tapas Bar, Q Texas Smokehouse, Raw Bar, Sushi and Teppanyaki.

 

Dining options vary by ship. You may choose to use SDP meals in entertainment-based restaurants for an upcharge. SDP guests will be charged the following upcharges versus the full cover charge/a la carte price: Cirque Dreams (Epic, Getaway) - $10, Supper Club Cabaret (Escape) - $18, Velvet (Breakaway) - $10. When using the upcharge option, that meal will be deducted from the SDP. Venues/Events not included in SDP include: Room Service, Mini Bar, District Brewhouse, The Bake Shop, Coco’s, O’ Sheehan’s Ice Cream Bar, Gelato, Special Occasion/Holiday menus (e.g. New Year’s Eve, Christmas), Jazz Brunch, Wine Lovers and Murder Mystery lunches.

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10 hours ago, MaryLS said:

On my previous NCL cruises, there has always been confusion with the Specialty Dining Package in the various restaurants with what is included. The NCL site says only 1 entree is included but doesn't address appetizers, sides, etc. On one of my cruises, I got clarification from someone in charge that it includes 1 entree but limitless appetizers, sides, etc. I still had experiences where they wanted to charge for additional apps, etc. What is the current policy? And, is the policy written somewhere on the NCL site? Thanks all!

 

 

You are reading the terms wrong. It doesn't say that only one entree is included and no other food. It says you are limited to one entree, so you can't get a 2nd entree unless you pay extra. There are no other limits.

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14 hours ago, MaryLS said:

On my previous NCL cruises, there has always been confusion with the Specialty Dining Package in the various restaurants with what is included. The NCL site says only 1 entree is included but doesn't address appetizers, sides, etc. On one of my cruises, I got clarification from someone in charge that it includes 1 entree but limitless appetizers, sides, etc. I still had experiences where they wanted to charge for additional apps, etc. What is the current policy? And, is the policy written somewhere on the NCL site? Thanks all!

 

It seems to be a question that no one can get a straight answer to: We had always thought it was 1 of each and have read others have thought the same, but on our Dawn cruise a few months ago, in Cagney's there didn't seem to be any limits for side dishes. We ordered salad, veggie and appetizer, skipping dessert cause we were just too full. ht 

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36 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

It seems to be a question that no one can get a straight answer to: We had always thought it was 1 of each and have read others have thought the same, but on our Dawn cruise a few months ago, in Cagney's there didn't seem to be any limits for side dishes. We ordered salad, veggie and appetizer, skipping dessert cause we were just too full. ht 

 

There have never been limits. You might have one out of 50 people post here that they were told something about a limit. You might have 1 in 1000 say they were actually charged, and I doubt even those. It's not the issue that some try to make it, nor is it confusing. Unlimited everything except entrees. That's so simple.

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52 minutes ago, LrgPizza said:

 

There have never been limits. You might have one out of 50 people post here that they were told something about a limit. You might have 1 in 1000 say they were actually charged, and I doubt even those. It's not the issue that some try to make it, nor is it confusing. Unlimited everything except entrees. That's so simple.

wow, I am not arguing with you at all: I was simply saying it seems some think there is a limit. and we were told that quite awhile ago. If you read what I said we nave never had to pay anything for extra sides. I too agree, I wonder if anyone has ever been charged. It is like the person who seems to say, if you have some perks you do not get the 100.00 OBC  credit for being a share holder. How that got started who knows, bu only that one person has ever said they called were told no OBC. I never understand where these stories come from 

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12 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

wow, I am not arguing with you at all: I was simply saying it seems some think there is a limit. and we were told that quite awhile ago. If you read what I said we nave never had to pay anything for extra sides. I too agree, I wonder if anyone has ever been charged. It is like the person who seems to say, if you have some perks you do not get the 100.00 OBC  credit for being a share holder. How that got started who knows, bu only that one person has ever said they called were told no OBC. I never understand where these stories come from 

 

I think a lot of times people will take an anomaly or an exception to a rule and broadcast it, then others repost or discuss, and it grows and grows. Everyone gets confused when that happens. 

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I wonder if waitstaffs' response to "How many appetizers/sides/desserts am I entitled to with SDP?" may be determined, in part, based on how many people at the table actually have the SDP.

 

I'll be sailing Escape next month, and my wife and I have the SDP. Our son does not have the SDP, but he will be joining us at Cagney's. We'll pay a la carte for his steak of course, but it's probably frowned upon for my wife and I (with the SDPs) to order multiple appetizers/sides/desserts and then just pass some of them off to our son.

 

I like to do what I think is ethical. My son will want a side of fries with his steak and I will indicate to the server that the fries are for my son who does not have the SDP. If the server doesn't charge for the fries, I'll probably just add the cost of the fries to his additional gratuity (if I choose to offer one).

Edited by xfkzjg1
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We just returned from the Epic.  The La Cucina waiter was very specific in that we could order one appetizer, one pasta course, and one entree.  Le Bistro waiter stated 2 appetizers and one entree.  At Cagney's it was one app, one soup or salad, and one entree with 2 side dishes.

 

We didn't challenge them on this as that was more than enough food for us, but their could be flexibility if you ask.  There were 2 adults and 2 teenagers all with the SDP in our group.

Edited by glawless
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The real answer is that there is no answer. it is different on every ship, and in every dining room. Some places may limit your apps and sides and others may not. You will not find it written anywhere, and if the terms that are quoted above are ambitious.

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4 minutes ago, glawless said:

We just returned from the Epic.  The La Cucina waiter was very specific in that we could order one appetizer, one pasta course, and one entree.  Le Bistro waiter stated 2 appetizers and one entree.  At Cagney's it was one app, one soup or salad, and one entree with 2 side dishes.

 

We didn't challenge them on this as that was more than enough food for us, but their could be flexibility if you ask.  There were 2 adults and 2 teenagers all with the SDP in our group.

Unfortunately, this is where the unnecessary confusion comes in.

 

There are no restrictions to anything other than the entrees, but the waitstaff do tell people that there are. You don't need to hope for flexibility if you ask though. Just order what you want and you won't be charged.

 

What some wait staff tell people about limits to other courses is incorrect. People do not actually get charged.

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Just now, zqvol said:

The real answer is that there is no answer. it is different on every ship, and in every dining room. Some places may limit your apps and sides and others may not. You will not find it written anywhere, and if the terms that are quoted above are ambitious.

There are two issues here, what people are told and what happens.

 

The first varies from ship to ship or even restaurant to restaurant or staff member to staff member. It causes great confusion.

 

The important thing is what actually happens if you order multiples. This is absolutely clear. You don't get charged for any extras other than entrees.

 

As I say on almost all of these threads, I have asked many times on these boards for anyone who has actually been charged for extras. I have started threads specifically to answer. Just one person has claimed that they were charged. Multiple people have stated that they regularly order multiples without being charged. I don't understand why people are so determined not to believe this. It isn't as if NCL staff are well known for giving out accurate information.

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I was just on Epic in the specialty restaurants and I asked and the waiter was able to say what was included. In one restaurant, it was 2 choices from appetizers, soups, or salads, an entree and desert. Another said one of each. But all did say just one entree per person.

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1 minute ago, Voelfgar said:

I was just on Epic in the specialty restaurants and I asked and the waiter was able to say what was included. In one restaurant, it was 2 choices from appetizers, soups, or salads, an entree and desert. Another said one of each. But all did say just one entree per person.

Again, that has no bearing on what would have actually happened if you had ordered more than that.

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3 minutes ago, BirdTravels said:

I am sure that the waiters are not making things up. They are told what to say to help Muniz’s costs and waste. They are also told not to charge people who order extras. 

I have no idea why they say what they do, and I'm not speculating on that, but the fact is that the result is basically random answers. As the multiple threads on this subject show, it varies all over the place.

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We’re on NCL 3-4 times a year, eat mostly in specialty restaurants, and get the 1-1-1 Rules more times than not now. We never argue, just smile and order what we want. Things have evolved since the ultimate dining days when you could even do a progressive dinner for fun. 

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43 minutes ago, LrgPizza said:

There would be a lot less confusion if people would stop asking their servers. Simply order what you want, based on the terms, and you won't have any issues.

Absolutely. That would save so much confusion.

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