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Specialty Dining: Allure or Oasis or Symphony?


APDMOM
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I hope everyone enjoys this “normal” cruise question 😁

 

Contrary to our usual “Cruise budget”, we are considering the Unlimited Dining Package.  We are booked on Oasis, Allure, and Symphony in the next year.  Prices for the Unlimited Dining Package only vary by $10 per person.  Which ship would you choose to splurge on the Unlimited Dining Package?  

 

I will appreciate any input from those who have experience with specialty restaurants.  Our usual “stingy” (ahem frugal😉) budget does not allow for this splurge, but we decided to try it one time on one of the BIG ships.  We are not picky eaters and we have never tried any of the specialty restaurants.

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7 minutes ago, APDMOM said:

I hope everyone enjoys this “normal” cruise question 😁

Our usual “stingy” (ahem frugal😉) budget does not allow for this splurge, but we decided to try it one time on one of the BIG ships.  

 

You've never been to specialty before? Imagine at home going out to a new favorite restaurant every night 7 nights in a row! And then when you like that restaurant so much, you can go back again. Where seating is not 2 inches from the table next to you and you get personal service, not a hundred waiters running around everywhere like in the MDR. One night you're sitting in Central park enjoying the violins, the next in CP150, the next in Wonderland having a blast with a view of the boardwalk. I would try it on the very first of your sailings... I would bet that you may want to purchase it for the next two cruises as well 😀

 

Edited by Hoopster95
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9 minutes ago, Hoopster95 said:

 

You've never been to specialty before? Imagine at home going out to a new favorite restaurant every night 7 nights in a row! And then when you like that restaurant so much, you can go back again. Where seating is not 2 inches from the table next to you and you get personal service, not a hundred waiters running around everywhere like in the MDR. One night you're sitting in Central park enjoying the violins, the next in CP150, the next in Wonderland having a blast with a view of the boardwalk. I would try it on the very first of your sailings... I would bet that you may want to purchase it for the next two cruises as well 😀

 

 

😂 “Imagine” is the right word, Hoopster 😂  We don’t even eat out at home unless we have a gift card.  I fear you underestimate the “stinginess”.  We live on a very strict cruise budget.  

 

Our first Oasis class cruise is Symphony... I guess that makes one vote for Symphony.  Thank you for your input!

 

Now, I am afraid we will find out what we have been missing all along and our cruise budget will suffer.  🧐

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Symphony was great as it had Wonderland and hooked but I feel that we go5 better value on Oasis as they had Portside BBQ and Playmakers which we used for lunches.

 

Can’t  go wrong with either one of those, Allure would be my last choice if I could only choose one.  We’ve has the unlimited on Allure and Oasis and the 5 night on Symphony. 

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Just now, APDMOM said:

 We live on a very strict cruise budget....

Now, I am afraid we will find out what we have been missing all along and our cruise budget will suffer.  🧐

 

Yes I believe you will.... and then you'll see what those great memories that you two had and how much fun it was looking forward to different venues each night, you may see the value in it.

 

Or, you will return to stingy and go back to free MDR. You may hate UDP and specialty. I personally love it.

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2 minutes ago, APDMOM said:

Now, I am afraid we will find out what we have been missing all along and our cruise budget will suffer.

We used to get the 5 night package but since they cancelled that we always get the unlimited on Oasis class.  Have a couple Quantum class booked that we will only get the 3 night package and maybe pay for one more night since there aren’t as many options on those ships. 

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2 hours ago, APDMOM said:

Looks like Oasis is it.  🙂 Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

We have sailed all three and have had at least the 5 night package. Our choice would be Symphony as it has Hooked and Wonderland.  All Oasis class also serves a no charge JR breakfast before 10:30. Before someone corrects me the 5 night packages are on TA cruises. We have never had the UDP but usually get a 3 and a 5.  Royal also has a pretty good nighttime dinner in the Windjammer as well as a awesome sea day MDR tutu salad bar buffet. 

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1 hour ago, taglovestocruise said:

We have sailed all three and have had at least the 5 night package. Our choice would be Symphony as it has Hooked and Wonderland.  All Oasis class also serves a no charge JR breakfast before 10:30. Before someone corrects me the 5 night packages are on TA cruises. We have never had the UDP but usually get a 3 and a 5.  Royal also has a pretty good nighttime dinner in the Windjammer as well as a awesome sea day MDR tutu salad bar buffet. 

Thank you for the input!  DH wants to try Hooked, but we are going to wait a month or so to decide about the package for Symphony, since that is coming up July 25th... We are fairly confident that cruise will not be cancelled, but decided to rather book Unlimited Dining for Oasis in March 2021.  

 

If it looks like Symphony is a definite ‘go’, we may just splurge on that one too. 🙂  Being in this “lock down” has been good for the cruise budget... even though I work 10-12 hrs a day for the price/pay of 7.5 hours.  I am definitely earning that next cruise!  🏆

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42 minutes ago, APDMOM said:

Thank you for the input!  DH wants to try Hooked, but we are going to wait a month or so to decide about the package for Symphony, since that is coming up July 25th... We are fairly confident that cruise will not be cancelled, but decided to rather book Unlimited Dining for Oasis in March 2021.  

 

If it looks like Symphony is a definite ‘go’, we may just splurge on that one too. 🙂  Being in this “lock down” has been good for the cruise budget... even though I work 10-12 hrs a day for the price/pay of 7.5 hours.  I am definitely earning that next cruise!  🏆

 

Portside on Oasis is fantastic, don't really need pkg for that. 2 can eat plenty for under 20 bucks total. Split a 3 meat platter

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25 minutes ago, lovelife said:

A vote for Symphony.  I could eat at Hooked every night!!  

Agreed. But do give Wonderland a try.  Twice at Hooked and twice at Wonderland on our cruise. DW would have picked Hooked over 150 Central too.

 

We never entered the MDR even for lunch.  And outside of breakfast, we never ate at the Solarium Bistro, which was our backup plan.   But I don't recommend wasting anything at Vintages on the Symphony.  They did away with the wonderful tapas menu they had on the Oasis and were just serving Jamie's appetizers. 

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In case you didn't know if you book the UDP now and the price lowers anytime from now till your a couple days before your cruise you can simply cancel and rebook online thru the cruise planner.      Right now there are alot of sales for Sept to Dec cruises but I didn't see any sales for my 2021 cruises yet.     So keep an eye out for the sales if you book now.     You will Love it!

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I will join the “not a fan of Wonderland” club.  I do think that folks should try it for themselves to see....some enjoy it.  We hated it.  Our group started out with 8 and by the end of the meal there were 2 left.  We do like Hooked though. 150 CP is no longer a favorite since they went to a static menu and then got rid of the special salts. Izumi is our staple.  Love lunches at Izumi.

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On 4/22/2020 at 4:28 PM, John&LaLa said:

Hilarious, we had a lousy meal at Hooked and hated Wonderland on Harmony. 

 

It wad so bad, Laura wouldn't even let me book Wonderland for free on our upcoming Odyssey cruise. 🤣🤣

I'm close to your feelings regarding Wonderland, although hate is a bit strong a word for me to use there.  I do think part of our dislike may be because my sister doesn't eat seafood, and I am allergic to shrimp.

 

I realize that limited our choices.  We had the smoked eggs and, even though I have never had eggs smoked in grass, that's how I felt they tasted.

 

I thought the veggies in avocado smash were decent, but my sister wouldn't even touch them.  We both ordered the chicken breast as we had beef every night until Wonderland.  The chicken was well presented and looked so delicious.  If only it tasted like that, my attitude toward the restaurant would be different.  It was dry as a bone. One bite was all I ate of it.

 

There was an accompanying cauliflower something whose name I don't remember.  We both love cauliflower and this was like the paste kids in kindergarten use and tasted close to what I think the paste would taste.

 

The best thing of all was the world dessert.  It was sooooooo good.  That alone made the dinner bearable.  Additionally, we had heard the Mad Hatter added a lot to the enjoyment, but he was nowhere in site when we went on Harmony.

 

For us, the experience was a one and done for sure.

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On 4/22/2020 at 2:16 PM, Sunshine3601 said:

In case you didn't know if you book the UDP now and the price lowers anytime from now till your a couple days before your cruise you can simply cancel and rebook online thru the cruise planner.      Right now there are alot of sales for Sept to Dec cruises but I didn't see any sales for my 2021 cruises yet.     So keep an eye out for the sales if you book now.     You will Love it!

What's the lowest you've seen the UDP special go down to per day? Debating going for the 3 day due to cost and I want to get a good few stabs at the MDR.

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