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Chops or Wonderland???


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I am not an "out of the box" kind of person.  I am definitely "in the box." I like tried and true favorites when it comes to food.   Any restaurant I visit, I order my favorite. That's just me. DD is more adventurous.  She likes surprises. I want to get my money's worth when making any kind of purchase. 

 

The MDR is fine with me.  I've paid my cruise fare.  So instead of spending money on specialty restaurants at sea, I'll just save my money for a special meal when I am at home. The cruise is special. Just the way I roll. . .

 

BUT 

On our Symphony cruise in May, we have a stop in San Juan.  We are going on the Rainforest excursion (late return) and will miss our early seating time.  So, I am wondering if we should try a specialty restaurant.

 

DD will probably enjoy Wonderland's food and fun.  I would enjoy the fun, but the food does not seem to be what I would like AT ALL (with the exception of dessert).

 

Chops seems more of the kind of place I would enjoy.  DD would like it, but she would probably enjoy Wonderland more.  HOWEVER,  after looking at the menu, it seems that the only thing more "up scale" is the meat.  Everything else seems to be available in the MDR.

 

$53 for a filet or $55 for an dining experience where I may not eat much??

 

Are there any "squares" like me that feel you got your money's worth at Wonderland??

 

TIA

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Honestly, I would say give Wonderland a try. I am mostly similar to you (I have a few set favorites at restaurants that I always get), although I am a bit of an adventurous eater when I travel.

 

Wonderland is something I highly recommend trying at least once, you might be pleasantly surprised and the experience is quite enjoyable even if you don't care for the food and need to swing by Windjammer or Sorrentos afterward

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The last few times I went to Chops I swear Outback makes a better steak. I was really disappointed in the quality Of meat and I will no longer go to Chops on future cruises. Wonderland on the other hand I’ve been at three times and each one has been an amazing experience! the food is really good and really creative ways and presenting it.

Edited by Moltar
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We are basically MDR people too but we tried Wonderland for DW’s 50th birthday. The food was delicious they bring out everything and I’m sure there will be something for everyone to like. Wonderland is something you can’t  do at home so that’s how I justify the cost. It’s definitely a one and done experience but I wasn’t impressed with Chops Menu at all for the price. We also ate in Jamie’s because we were offered 30% off during the week we were on board. It was better than I expected and would probably eat there again before I ate at Chops.

Edited by Iamcruzin
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My hubby was super hesitant about Wonderland, only went to appease me and it ended up being one of his favourite meals of the cruise.  The dessert in Wonderland is to die for.  It was a great experience and definitely worth a try!

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Choose Wonderland. As previous posters have said a lot of the food it's self isn't all that adventurous its more about the presentation. I'm sure you will be able to find something enjoyable for yourself and your daughter will really enjoy the experience. 

 

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I know I am in the minority, but we did not enjoy Wonderland.  Part of our dislike may have been that we told our waiter we didn't want any seafood.

 

We had the smoked eggs.  I felt they tasted like burned grass would taste with deviled eggs on top.  It took a long time to get the smoked taste out of my mouth.  It wasn't a pleasant smoked taste like that of smoked meat.

 

The tomato water with the bread foam was good.  The veggies served in avocado smash was ok to me, but not to my sister who doesn't like avocado at all.

 

The chicken with an "egg" that we were told was pureed cauliflower was beautiful looking, but dry as a bone.  The cauliflower was like paste that had hardened.

 

The world dessert was the best part of the meal.  For us, it was a one and done and I think we would have been upset had we paid full price, but we had the UDP, so it wasn't expensive, but I'm not sure it was worth what we did pay.

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42 minutes ago, Moltar said:

The last few times I went to Chops I swear Outback makes a better steak. I was really disappointed in the quality Of meat and I will no longer go to Chops on future cruises. Wonderland on the other hand I’ve been at three times and each one has been an amazing experience! the food is really good and really creative ways and presenting it.

 

Agree with Moltar.

 

Every time we sail, we say "never again"...no more Chops.  But we tried it again on our most recent sailing on the Freedom.  We ordered different meats (we usually order the filet but was disappointing to say it mildly.), this time we ordered the rack of lamb and the rib eye.  Both were tough and difficult to eat.

 

The asparagus was limp.  The mac & cheese was something I used to make out of a box.  The mushroom was tasteless.  And when I informed the waiter that the "truffle infused" french fries...tasted worse than the Windjammer fries...the waiter said: "I'll inform the Chef".  He didn't bother replacing it.

 

The icing on the cake (pun intended) was when we asked for dessert...chocolate cake, if I remember correctly.  The waiter said: "Oh, we don't have that tonight".

 

Yes, we spoke to the restaurant manager.  One of his most memorable response to why the rack of lamb was tough...he said: "The rack of lamb was tough because it was a free-range animal"....HUH?

 

Note: The couple next to us at Chops sarcastically whispered: "They're giving us free wine...we complained the food was awful".   Another couple from Texas said: "I know my meat, this ain't meat."

 

Never again.

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4 hours ago, luv2sailAgain said:

.Chops seems more of the kind of place I would enjoy.  DD would like it, but she would probably enjoy Wonderland more.  HOWEVER,  after looking at the menu, it seems that the only thing more "up scale" is the meat.  Everything else seems to be available in the MDR.

 

Are there any "squares" like me that feel you got your money's worth at Wonderland??

 

TIA

We always have a package that puts Wonderland at $25 pp.  Everything at Chops is available in the MDR.  Nothing in Wonderland, including the plates, silverware, and the waiters can be found anywhere else on the ship. happy cruising

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Thank you for all the great advice! I think we will give Wonderland a try. I'll go for the fun and the dessert. Maybe I will surprise myself and enjoy one or more of the items. I really should step out of my comfort zone every now and again.  After hearing about Chops, I'll grill a filet in my back yard and save some money. 😉

 

Thanks again!

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Chops is good but, it's basically meat and potatoes. Wonderland is on another level. The food is delicious, the preparation is clever, unique and the presentation is whimsical and fun. You can't miss going to Wonderland. It's a meal you will love and returning for on your next cruise. We book it every year. 

 

Jonathan

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We’ve done wonderland in two different ships.  Almost the same menu on both but both were great experiences. Ahead of time let the reservation folks know and then the waiter know if any food preferences. We have a no seafood eater and they brought out items that didn’t involve seafood for them.  
 

Dessert was amazing and remember you can always ask for seconds 🙂

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I agree that the Wonderland experience can vary from ship to ship. Just walking in to Wonderland aboard Symphony is part of the experience. Aboard Anthem, for instance, not so much. 

 

I would recommend Wonderland to anyone at least once, if they’re at all curious. It is, after all, more than just a meal. With the right waitperson, along with the AMAZING Madhatter, it’s dinner AND a show.  

 

Enjoy your cruise. 

 

Ellen

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Wonderland - a unique experience, excellent food, great drinks!  if you find yourself not liking the food, go to the windjammer when done (or have them bring you some "normal" food.). Regardless, its a great experience, and I actually liked the food.

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They both have good and bad points - they can be discussed till the cows come home, but the way I'd look at it is this - every (well at least I'm yet to find one that doesn't!) ship has a Chops onboard, yet not all have a Wonderland & 150CP etc so we tailor our dinner choices by that theory! 

In addition, you can get a fairly substantial menu for a Chops lunch for a fraction of the price of dinner, so therefore maybe trying both as well as the staple that is the MDR?

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I'm basically a boring meat-and-potatoes guy, never go near seafood (there is a reason why god or mother nature put fish underwater - to keep them away from people! 😉 ). I like my zone and will stay in it.

 

Having said that, I liked Wonderland. The food was mostly ok/good. A few dishes that I didn't like but there are so many small dishes brought out, I was satisfied.  The waiters are entertaining and the food is like looking at a works of art.  A few weird looking things that I was sure I wasn't going to like turned out to be tasty. Plus, there is always Sorrento's for dessert/midnight pizza if you are still hungry.

 

For me, I was glad I tried Wonderland but it's a one-and-done experience, unless I have some extra OBC that I need to get rid of.

 

As for Chops, my experience had been all over the map. Some times it's been excellent, other times just very average and a few times, disappointing.  I didn't mind spending $25 pp back in the day but now at $49 or $52, it's really not that great of a value unless someone really needs a break from MDR. Once a while, I'll order a Chops steak off the MDR menu for $16.95 to satisfy my need for something a little better.

 

As others have said, every ship has a Chops but only a few have Wonderland.  Plus, every town has a steakhouse but how many have a place like Wonderland. I say give Wonderland  a try.

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