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Getting the most out of a 3-meal SDP - Epic


LisaLisa87
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Hi all. We’ll be on Epic with our 16yo DD in April. DH and I have the 3-night SDP as one of our perks. We don’t have a lot of experience with NCL and have a few questions about getting the most bang for the buck.

 

1) Should we get a package for DD or just pay as we go with her? Does that make things complicated? Every time I’ve looked, the price has been $118 (including gratuity) for the 3-night package, which seems expensive. Are there ever sales?

 

2) We want to see the Cirque show. Standard seating is $24.99/person, and there’s a $10 surcharge if we use the SDP there. Am I missing something or is that just a bad deal?? I’m thinking we’ll pay for Cirque separately and use our SDP elsewhere. Related question: Is it worth paying $39.99/person for premium seating?

 

3) I know this is very subjective, but La Cucina or Le Bistro? DH and DD are adamant about going to Moderno and Teppanyaki as those were their faves on POA. We also ate at La Cucina on POA and thought it was just okay. The service was terrible that night, which didn’t help.

 

Thanks in advance for any input!

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1 hour ago, LisaLisa87 said:

Hi all. We’ll be on Epic with our 16yo DD in April. DH and I have the 3-night SDP as one of our perks. We don’t have a lot of experience with NCL and have a few questions about getting the most bang for the buck.

 

1) Should we get a package for DD or just pay as we go with her? Does that make things complicated? Every time I’ve looked, the price has been $118 (including gratuity) for the 3-night package, which seems expensive. Are there ever sales?

 

2) We want to see the Cirque show. Standard seating is $24.99/person, and there’s a $10 surcharge if we use the SDP there. Am I missing something or is that just a bad deal?? I’m thinking we’ll pay for Cirque separately and use our SDP elsewhere. Related question: Is it worth paying $39.99/person for premium seating?

 

3) I know this is very subjective, but La Cucina or Le Bistro? DH and DD are adamant about going to Moderno and Teppanyaki as those were their faves on POA. We also ate at La Cucina on POA and thought it was just okay. The service was terrible that night, which didn’t help.

 

Thanks in advance for any input!

I would buy your DD her own package. It will save money overall. No sales on packages. 
 

Always book premium seating. Standard seating is at the back row of the showroom or up in the balcony looking down. Seating is first come first serve. One member of your party should be in line at least 1 hour before show time. Everyone needs to be in line 30 minutes before show time when the doors open and you are assigned seats (and dinner starts). 
 

Le Bistro is the ship’s fine dining  restaurant. I would pick that over Italian. 

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I agree with what others have said.

 

Invest in the dining package -- take a look at some of the recent menus. The prices have increased dramatically in the past year or two.

 

Book the premium seating for the Cirque show. We've seen it twice -- once with regular seating (the first time) and once with premium. We would not consider doing the regular seating again. Whether or not you use the dining credit is your call -- do you want to do two other specialties or three?

 

While we have not done Le Bistro (we are scheduled to try it the next time we cruise), we enjoy La Cucina. We ate there twice on our last cruise -- once we got entrees (sea bass is awesome) and once we got their pizza. We really enjoyed the pizza since it is "our kind" of pizza -- thin crust. One nice thing about La Cucina on the Epic is that it is in the front of the ship, underneath the buffet. The views from the restaurant are very nice if you are eating there while it is still light outside.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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Thank you for your replies! I’m sold on buying DD a package and going with premium seating for Cirque. I’m leaning toward paying for Cirque separately since there would be a $15/person upcharge if we use the package there. It’s good to know that there aren’t sales on the SDPs — no need to keep waiting to buy it for DD.

 

We didn’t have a great experience in the MDR on POA and are leaning toward skipping it on Epic. We’d probably go to O’Sheehan’s, Shanghai’s, and the buffet on the nights we’re not at a specialty restaurant or Cirque. 

 

Thanks again!

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Don’t rule out the MDR because of a bad experience on another ship.  I’d at least give it a try before resorting to the buffet.

And, if you don’t make reservations before boarding, you can always do so immediately upon boarding.  I’ve done so with groups up to 9, so with a group of 3 you should have no problem.  They only release a limited number of table for pre-booking.

LeBistro is our favorite, so I’d definitely recommend it.

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17 hours ago, Travelicious said:

Le Bistro is a much better quality restaurant than La Cucina.  It usually has the best steaks on the ship (much better than Cagney's), as well as other good choices.  Bang for the buck, you'll get more here.

Definitely TRUE! LeBistro has better steaks than Cagneys. We are not even dining at Cagneys on our upcoming Encore cruise.

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Cagneys is my favorite. 

 

Teppanyaki 2nd. 

 

I'd rate Bistro over Cucina. Moderno was good, too but im not a huge all you can eat guy.  

 

Cirque seating was cramped, I think we went regular seating. Great show. Meh on food selections. 

 

Loved osheehans and buffet. 

 

You're gonna have a blast!

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you like a good steak dinner Cagney’s is amazing!  I was o the NCL Star in November.  We are at Cagney’s, Le Bistro, and Moderno.  Of the three Cagney’s was number one and Le Bistro #2.  They bill these restaurants ala cart, so you see how much someone not on the dining plan would pay.  At both Cagney’s and Le Bistro our individual bills were almost $100.00. We will be sailing on the Epic in May 2020 with our two teenagers and plan on buying the dining package for them.

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9 hours ago, Bonnie23 said:

If you like a good steak dinner Cagney’s is amazing!  I was o the NCL Star in November.  We are at Cagney’s, Le Bistro, and Moderno.  Of the three Cagney’s was number one and Le Bistro #2.  They bill these restaurants ala cart, so you see how much someone not on the dining plan would pay.  At both Cagney’s and Le Bistro our individual bills were almost $100.00. We will be sailing on the Epic in May 2020 with our two teenagers and plan on buying the dining package for them.

The prices are way jacked up one IMO to make people feel they are getting a good deal with plan, two so they can inflate price of plan that they charge the 20% on, and third, since usually only pax 1 & 2 get the promo if you have more in room you are in a quandary what to do with eating for them, either pay ala crate, buy expensive package, or they don't go.

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On the epic this past may, I’ve been to le bistro, the Cirque show and Teppanyaki & cagneys.  On the PoA, I also had La Cucuna which would be my least favorite yet it’s a different ship so I won’t really count that.

 

First I’d recommend the Cirque show as it was a highlight of the epic.  I would also recommend Le Bistro which had the best food I tried on the epic (Their steak tasted like it was prime) and Teppanyaki as you get both good food and a show.  Chef didn’t show up until 30mins after the reservation (they did have drink service and you order your dish in advance) but it was 40mins post reservation before we got the first course.  I’d recommend going to the Shanghai’s an hour before a Teppanyaki reservation as the portion amounts at both Shanghai’s and Teppanyaki (unless you like tons of fried rice) are tiny.  Food comes out quick at Shanghai’s so it’s like a starter to Teppanyaki.  I had some of the best service I’ve ever had at Cagney but I found the steak only on par with the MDR.  If you get a steak there, consider getting it blackened, Gorgonzola crusted or with garlic butter.

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4 hours ago, NutsAboutGolf said:

On the epic this past may, I’ve been to le bistro, the Cirque show and Teppanyaki & cagneys.  On the PoA, I also had La Cucuna which would be my least favorite yet it’s a different ship so I won’t really count that.

 

First I’d recommend the Cirque show as it was a highlight of the epic.  I would also recommend Le Bistro which had the best food I tried on the epic (Their steak tasted like it was prime) and Teppanyaki as you get both good food and a show.  Chef didn’t show up until 30mins after the reservation (they did have drink service and you order your dish in advance) but it was 40mins post reservation before we got the first course.  I’d recommend going to the Shanghai’s an hour before a Teppanyaki reservation as the portion amounts at both Shanghai’s and Teppanyaki (unless you like tons of fried rice) are tiny.  Food comes out quick at Shanghai’s so it’s like a starter to Teppanyaki.  I had some of the best service I’ve ever had at Cagney but I found the steak only on par with the MDR.  If you get a steak there, consider getting it blackened, Gorgonzola crusted or with garlic butter.

 

Thanks for your input! Our booking window opened a few days ago, and I booked Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, and Moderno under the package, plus Cirque (premium seating). I’d rather go to Cagney’s than Moderno, but DH and DD outvoted me!

 

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