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It's a case of each to their own. We,although we have sometimes  ate in the WJ much prefer the MDR. Being served at your table instead of having to get your own food is all part of the dining experience in the evening.

Edited by UK Cruiser2
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Like the MDR the quality varies from night to night, ship to ship and cruise to cruise.  
As we always travel with kids, we like the lack of formality in the WJ. 
I have found that in smaller ships the food quality in the WJ is better. The WJ food on Oasis this year was just ok. 

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8 minutes ago, Jesseslola said:

Go early, so everything is still warm. If you want to take your time..then you get the cold food.

 

No. Hot food at a buffet should always be hot, no matter how early or late you go. Otherwise, it's no better than a highway rest stop.

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We had been on all Freedom and all the Oasis class ships, and lately with Celebrity Edge.  We go early, so that if we do not like the food we go to other venues.  We had been lucky so far.  Food had been hot. 

 

If you go late, you will get the overcooked/overheated food as expected, which is why, they turn off the heater

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To the OP:  Our experience has been that dinner in the WJ varies from ship to ship.  I recommend that you stop by the first night and see what you think.  On some ships, the food being served is very much like what the dining room is serving that night; on other ships the food selection is completely different.  Same with atmosphere...on some ships they really try to make it a nice evening:  the lights are lowered and they will have flowers on the tables and the silverware/napkins on the tables.  I would not automatically avoid the WJ at dinner, it can be a very nice experience (again, depending on the ship).

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9 minutes ago, Jesseslola said:

We had been on all Freedom and all the Oasis class ships, and lately with Celebrity Edge.  We go early, so that if we do not like the food we go to other venues.  We had been lucky so far.  Food had been hot. 

 

If you go late, you will get the overcooked/overheated food as expected, which is why, they turn off the heater

 

Ideally, freshly-cooked food will continue to be put out all night long. I've seen new trays of food come out 10-15 minutes before the WJ closes. Although that is usually at lunch time.

 

I get it that it's a balancing act. Cook too much food and it goes to waste, cook too little and you have empty trays and unhappy customers. But I'm sure Royal must have this down to a science by now.

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The bottom line is that there is no wrong or right way to have dinner.  Sometime you cook a simple meal at home, sometime you go all out and make fancy gourmet.  Sometimes you want to go out to dinner, white table cloth fancy, a pub, a cafe, etc. etc.... or just picking up something quick...depending on your schedule.

 

On the ship, the choices are also there.   We enjoy some nights in the MDR, (plus breakfast and lunch on sea days).  We also enjoy having the choice of just grabbing a light bite in the WJ after a long day, or having spent too much time socializing in the lounges.  😉 We can just grab and go, but also have a choice of enjoying a quiet table with no fuss to just eat small portions late.  Many officers in there late as well, with several occasions finding one or more of them asking to join us.  Interesting and fun conversations!  

 

Then there are specialty restaurants, and Chef's table, and one of my favorites...CK.  

 

Vive la difference...mix it up.  Life is too short.  🙂 

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6 minutes ago, island lady said:

Many officers in there late as well, with several occasions finding one or more of them asking to join us.  Interesting and fun conversations!  

 

It is amazing to see so many officers and show people dining in the WJ at night.

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On 10/6/2019 at 7:52 AM, KeywestK said:

We will be sailing next week on Majesty (our third time on her.)  We booked this cruise late, and MTD was filled, so they assigned us Late Seating.  We are currently waitlisted for MTD.  So, DH informed me that if we can't get switched to MTD when we're on the ship, he prefers we just have dinner each evening in the WJ.   Yikes!  After 25 years of cruising, we have never once had dinner in the WJ.  What can we expect?

Cruising since 1973 and only eat in MDR or specialty restaurants.Perhaps one day we shall try the WJ .

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We generally never eat in the Windjammer as like to make dinner something a bit more special than a cafeteria experience. Having said that on our recent B2B on Jewel we had one of our best meals in the WJ on the night they were doing an Indian buffet and we sat outside at the back of the ship as we sailed from Santorini - magical (and great food).

 

Whilst it won't be my first choice for dinner I'll certainly be looking out for the night they do the Indian theme on our next cruise.

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1 hour ago, MD VBMom said:

To the OP:  Our experience has been that dinner in the WJ varies from ship to ship.  I recommend that you stop by the first night and see what you think.  On some ships, the food being served is very much like what the dining room is serving that night; on other ships the food selection is completely different.  Same with atmosphere...on some ships they really try to make it a nice evening:  the lights are lowered and they will have flowers on the tables and the silverware/napkins on the tables.  I would not automatically avoid the WJ at dinner, it can be a very nice experience (again, depending on the ship).

I agree.  I have been on Freedom, Voyager and Radiance class ships and enjoyed the food in the buffet.  Ambience was nice with dim lights, tables set and quiet music playing.  All I’m saying is we tried WJ twice  for dinner and once for breakfast just in case the first time was a fluke.  Our food was cold all three times . I guess we picked the wrong food to eat those times.  The desserts were delicious.   A good buffet has hot food continuously.  Hey we are not fussy but we do expect our food to be edible.  

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Our first cruise 15 years ago on Voyager of Seas, we went to the dining room.  Our table wasn't the greatest it was a table for 8 only one other couple was there and they didn't speak any English, we didn't know we could ask for a new table.  So we went to the Windjammer, back then they lowered the lights, table clothes on the table, the would seat us at a table and it was always the same one, the would bring us dessert to the table.

 

It has changed, we just got off The Majesty, we ate 2 nights in the dining room and 2 nights in the Windjammer, this ship was probably my least favorite for dinner, it was good, just not like Allure or Oasis.

 

We still like eating in the Windjammer for dinner, not such a set schedule.

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How does it work at WJ dinner if you have allergies?  When we booked our cruise for next summer only the late MDR seating was available and we are on the wait list but are considering eating here if we can’t change.  Thanks!

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1 minute ago, lenquixote66 said:

What does that mean ?

Had nothing but good luck on Anthem WJ for dinner. - 03063dad

 

Let me break it down for you:

"Had nothing but good luck" - An earlier poster said the windjammer for dinner on the Anthem quote "It was a terrible experience for us - crowded and poor selection and quality of food." For those who read through this thread I wanted to let them know Anthem was not 100% bad for dinner. We didn't run into crowds, poor selection or poor quality. 

"on Anthem WJ" - Anthem of the Seas -  a RCCL ship, WindJammer restaurant.

"for dinner" - also known as supper, last full meal of the day, main meal, etc.

 

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1 hour ago, lenquixote66 said:

I inquired because I will be on the Anthem in December.

I can vouch for the Anthem WJ....but again do keep in mind that food and ambiance is very subjective.

I love it there over the loud and long drawn MDR dinner. But I am not averse to the MDR on the Anthem. Service is good and lunch is excellent. Once had stone crab couple times a week and and shrimp everyday at the lunch buffet in the MDR. So try that if you like sea food.

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22 hours ago, CynBeth6 said:

How does it work at WJ dinner if you have allergies?  When we booked our cruise for next summer only the late MDR seating was available and we are on the wait list but are considering eating here if we can’t change.  Thanks!

Don't worry about it.  My wife has quite a few dietary restrictions, and is a vegan to boot.  She had no problems finding something to eat anywhere on the ship when we were on Symphony in January.  And if it were the case that she couldn't find something she could ask someone for some options and they were more than eager to help.

 

The one thing I would suggest is that you call Royal once you are within 6 months of your sail date and inform them of your allergies.  Once you do that, if you do eat in the MDR or any of the other restaurants your wait staff will be aware before you even walk in the door and will work with you.  A member of the kitchen staff even came to our table the first night and went over the next night's menu with my wife and made suggestions on how certain dishes could be altered to accommodate her.  Also, she tried polenta for the first time on the cruise and loved it.  Every night after that she was brought a huge bowl of polenta within minutes of us sitting down.  All this being said, we did go to WJ for a couple nights during the cruise and she had no trouble finding something she enjoyed.

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