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Crystal Dining Room Vs Oceania Question

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Just now, Paulchili said:

That must be something new. Yes, there were tiny pieces of lobster in appetizers but no lobster as a main course.

The menu gets changed up periodically. There was a nice refresh after the re-branding from "Silk Road" to "Umi Uma". Some recent additions include lobster spring rolls (which used to be available as an off-menu special, but are now part of the everyday menu) and a Nobu special lobster tail as a main course. (One lobster tail is the "standard" portion serving, but it is very easy to request more lobster tails, or even a half-portion, or whatever your preference may be.)

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Looking forward to trying the 'new" Umi Uma - the previous version did not leave a lasting impression.

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33 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

That must be something new. Yes, there were tiny pieces of lobster in appetizers but no lobster as a main course.

Can you please post a link for that menu.

Also, there would a charge for this after the 1st visit (unlike on Oceania where there is never a charge in any restaurant).

 

You get 2 specialty restaurant visits included. After that, it is $30 pp unless you are in a PH or above or (I think) 50 cruises or more, in which case you have unlimited. 

 

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10 minutes ago, suzeluvscruz said:

 

You get 2 specialty restaurant visits included. After that, it is $30 pp unless you are in a PH or above or (I think) 50 cruises or more, in which case you have unlimited. 

 

 

Additionally, if your cruise is 14 days or longer, you get 4 included specialty restaurant visits.

 

Nancy

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6 hours ago, vistaman said:

Chatkat, you make me very melancholic  - Valentino unfortunately is closed for ever...

From 1994 tot 2000  I always ( missed one year ) did the reposition cruise Los Angeles Miami on Vistafjord and later on Seabourn Sun.

The cruise was always on offer - I admit it but it gave me also the opportunity to eat at Valentino. The first time I was looking into the wine book to white Burgundies and the owner said why not trying something very special from my country , what i could not refuse. I had marvellous evenings:classic_biggrin: at Valentino. great memories !!

Yes it is of the thread but recipes of Valentino were served in Prego for years.

 

For those that enjoyed Valentino's, Piero Selvaggio has opened a new restaurant in Newport Beach....Louie's by the Bay.  I have not personally been there yet but have friends who are now regulars and love it.  Piero is ever present and smiling from ear to ear in his new home.  Oh and Vistaman, loved the Sagafjord and the Vistafjord.  Probably drove me to Crystal and we will see everyone on board the 9/17 sailing!!

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We have been cruising Crystal since 1995. We have met some of the nicest, warmest people we have ever met...nicer than our own surroundings in the town we live. We have made several long time friendships with people we see and/or cruise with regularly. I feel that if you can’t make friends on Crystal, it’s your own fault. 

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23 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

Paulchili - after your not so great experience on Crystal, it sounds as if you will try them again.  Have to ask....... why?

Love the itinerary -never been to Kiribati before and no other cruise line is going there.

Also, as I pointed out above, Crystal shines in enrichment programs which are mostly on sea days and there are plenty of those on this itinerary. In addition, I want to see if my prior experience on Crystal was an "aberration" or do I still feel the same after this one.

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2 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Love the itinerary -never been to Kiribati before and no other cruise line is going there.

Also, as I pointed out above, Crystal shines in enrichment programs which are mostly on sea days and there are plenty of those on this itinerary. In addition, I want to see if my prior experience on Crystal was an "aberration" or do I still feel the same after this one.

 

Looking forward to your next review of Crystal!

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

 

P.S.  What is all of this talk about no lobsters?  Regent has them on their "every day" menu (along with Filet Mignon, etc.). I'll pay special attention to this when we are onboard.

 What is “all the talk” about no lobsters? One poster mentioned lobsters and several posts followed that you can have lobster every night if you want. You just have to request the day before.

 

I hope you can soften your preconceived notions about Crystal guests, they happen to be delightful with perhaps one or two exceptions in our 24 years of sailing on Crystal. 

 

And the crew is spectacular.

 

 

Edited by suzeluvscruz

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6 hours ago, Paulchili said:

That must be something new. Yes, there were tiny pieces of lobster in appetizers but no lobster as a main course.

Can you please post a link for that menu.

Also, there would a charge for this after the 1st visit (unlike on Oceania where there is never a charge in any restaurant).

If you decide you would prefer to eat both your specialty meals in Umi Uma, you're free to do that at no additional charge. We had done that on several cruises when we weren't in the mood for the more heavy Italian fare.

While it's true there's a $30/person charge after the first two times,(unless you're in a PH), by the same token all drinks on Crystal are free which is somewhat different from Oceania. 

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22 minutes ago, AtA said:

If you decide you would prefer to eat both your specialty meals in Umi Uma, you're free to do that at no additional charge. We had done that on several cruises when we weren't in the mood for the more heavy Italian fare.

That is good to know - we just might do that as well.

 

23 minutes ago, AtA said:

While it's true there's a $30/person charge after the first two times,(unless you're in a PH), by the same token all drinks on Crystal are free which is somewhat different from Oceania.

Unfortunately for us this is of no value to us as we don’t drink but we definitely do eat 😁

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Just now, Paulchili said:

That is good to know - we just might do that as well.

 

Unfortunately for us this is of no value to us as we don’t drink but we definitely do eat 😁

You won't be able to prebook both in Umi Uma before the cruise but I've found there really isn't a problem getting another reservation once on board.

 

And I hear about about it not being any value as I don't drink either. I prefer to waste my calories on chocolate.

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6 hours ago, suzeluvscruz said:

 

Actually you could have lobster as much as you want, you just have to ask.

 

 

Exactly - just give 24 hours notice in Waterside and you can have lobster as a main dish served as per your preference  - every night if you really wish

 

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Wow I thought this thread was to solicit input about when to eat at Waterside and which specialty restaurants to eat out.  Even though the thread was about food it looks like a food fight.

 

Cruise-Y I am going to try to get back to your original question.

 

As I said you might want to book a specialty restaurant for the first day.  They tend to be less crowded the first day and Waterside can be a little hectic that first night.  As the cruise goes along things calm down.

 

I enjoy the Waterside menu most nights but it is even better IMHO on the BTO nights.  If no BTO night unless an overnight typically that second night is special.  Usually you'll find caviar on the menu that evening, lobster, a nice beef (maybe beef Wellington or something else along those lines).

 

Someone mentioned they would not go to a specialty restaurant that night.  Well the upside is the menu but the downside is it normally is very busy that night.  So it is up to you.  We mix it up.  Some BTO nights we go to Waterside and on others we go to a Specialty Restaurant as the Specialty Restaurants might be quieter that night.  However, this depends on the length of the cruise.  If s short cruise the specialty restaurants will be busy on most if not all nights.

 

As to Lobster for us we either have it that night or the night after so it hasn't been frozen.  In this case if we have it the night after we will have it precisely the way it was prepared.  As mentioned as long as it is still on board you can have Lobster any night and if we had it after it was frozen we would special order it and ask for it to be prepared differently.

 

With very few exceptions if ingredients are on board the ship and 24 hours advance notice you can special order most items in Waterside.  Again the key is providing time and also that the ingredients are on board the ship.

 

In general, we now minimize special ordering and find something on the menu we like and for us it works very well.

 

On a related note there are some items not on the menu which you can get any night.  This includes a Caesar Salad, a mixed salad, jumbo shrimp cocktail, chicken broth with or without a matzah ball, salmon, chicken, various cuts of steak.  

 

As I said Umi Uma is very special at least for us and we find his use of sauces to be very unique in many of the dishes.

 

You mentioned that you can eat Italian on land.  I would still consider dining at Prego for not only the cuisine but for the combination of its ambience and service.  I find that it is not just about the food at any of the on board restaurants but it is the combination of these components  that make it very special.

 

One other suggestion.  If you want to try various items consider half portions so you could try a great diversity of items.

 

As I mentioned when it comes to food most of the comments are subjective.  The ones that are not are things such as you can get lobster any night, or Crystal serves or does not serve an item or the hours of operation are x to y, etc., etc. etc.

 

What someone thinks of food is subjective. When someone compared food between ships on the same line that is subjective and when someone compare food amongst two or more cruise lines that is subjective.

 

I also remind people that even the same recipe prepared at sea, on land or at home doesn't come out the same way all the time.  So sometimes someone might say I tried this and it was terrific or I tried this and it was not good and so much better on another cruise line.  Personally I don't draw too many conclusions from those comments as eat the same things 10 times and it is not always the same.

 

Again the only opinion that matters is our own.

 

If food on one cruise line works or doesn't work for them so be it but my own option might be 360 degrees different.  Who is right?  

 

Keith

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27 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Who is right?  

 

and of course the answer to that is......

 

All together now.....

 

Time Will Tell

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2 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

and of course the answer to that is......

 

All together now.....

 

Time Will Tell

I love it.

 

Keith

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I thought the answer was going to be ... choice is good.

 

But those of us of a certain age know that the real answer is ... 42  :classic_cool:

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18 hours ago, Nicho99 said:

For those that enjoyed Valentino's, Piero Selvaggio has opened a new restaurant in Newport Beach....Louie's by the Bay.  I have not personally been there yet but have friends who are now regulars and love it.  Piero is ever present and smiling from ear to ear in his new home.  Oh and Vistaman, loved the Sagafjord and the Vistafjord.  Probably drove me to Crystal and we will see everyone on board the 9/17 sailing!!

I hope for Piero Selvaggio his new business is going well !! The Vistafjord - great memories as well - I only did 1 Sagafjord to 20 on Vista  , i did not like the atmosphere on Sagafjord and it was a very closed society of repeaters .

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13 hours ago, AtA said:

If you decide you would prefer to eat both your specialty meals in Umi Uma, you're free to do that at no additional charge. We had done that on several cruises when we weren't in the mood for the more heavy Italian fare.

While it's true there's a $30/person charge after the first two times,(unless you're in a PH), by the same token all drinks on Crystal are free which is somewhat different from Oceania. 

I still find the charge for an additional visit regrettable however I also noticed some pax ( non PH ) were in those speciality restaurants on a nearly daily base before it.  Once a Belgian group partially TA were only in the MDR for in those days "formal" evenings.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, vistaman said:

I also noticed some pax ( non PH ) were in those speciality restaurants on a nearly daily base before it.

Not the passengers' fault - it's up to the Maitre D' to give everyone equal opportunities to enjoy the specialties. He/she should know how many times each passenger used those facilities.

OTOH, perhaps there was no demand and then why have empty tables while refusing some reservations.

Conversely, with high demand, refuse those frequent users (not PH) and give others an equal chance.

And I agree, it is tacky to charge for specialties on a luxury cruise line that is not at a bargain basement price to start with.

Edited by Paulchili

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3 hours ago, Paulchili said:

Not the passengers' fault - it's up to the Maitre D' to give everyone equal opportunities to enjoy the specialties. He/she should know how many times each passenger used those facilities.

OTOH, perhaps there was no demand and then why have empty tables while refusing some reservations.

Conversely, with high demand, refuse those frequent users (not PH) and give others an equal chance.

And I agree, it is tacky to charge for specialties on a luxury cruise line that is not at a bargain basement price to start with.

I agree... but it was instituted to regulate the number of people.  But it is a fallacy that it works, because they regulate this by number of advance reservations you can make.   Of course you can show up at 5:30pm be at the front of the line and get a seat at the Sushi bar without a reservation.

 

I do think Umi is better than its predecessor.

 

Paul -- I do wish that Crystal would take a lesson from Oceania and learn how to make proper Croissants and French Bread.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, PaulMCO said:

I agree... but it was instituted to regulate the number of people. 

Of all people you know how well this concept can works on Oceania. Everyone is guaranteed their allotment and extra reservations are then given as they become available - at no extra cost while trying to be fair to everyone. 

No line is perfect - it's just a matter of the "best" fit.

For example, I wish Oceania had Crystal's Bistro and Crystal's enrichment program and Seabourn Square.

Oh, well....

 

Edited by Paulchili

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19 minutes ago, PaulMCO said:

I do think Umi is better than its predecessor

 

Really? 

 

Apart from the new new name I struggle to see any real difference - what’s changed that makes a difference to you? 

 

Sure there’s some changes on a few dishes but it’s the same style and quality continues to be offered - all of which we enjoy

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