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Have sailed on other cruise lines and looking forward to our first cruise on Oceania. Assuming, this Pandemic insanity comes to an end. Have a couple of questions regarding dining from the experienced people on this board.

 

In the main dining room are you seated with other people or given a choice?

Same question regarding the specialty restaurants. Aware that these require reservations made in advance.

 

Probably trivial questions considering if and when the cruise industry will return. Tonight, I will pretend that life is back to normal and ask stupid questions that am sure have been answered many times. 

  

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17 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

You are given a choice (pre covid )

 sharing or non sharing ...your choice

Request? Yes

Receive? Maybe

For your allotted pre-cruise specialty reservation slots, there are always more date/time options if you are willing to share. Same holds through for extra specialty reservations (on a day-by-day basis) once onboard). 

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10 hours ago, mexicobob said:

Have sailed on other cruise lines and looking forward to our first cruise on Oceania. Assuming, this Pandemic insanity comes to an end. Have a couple of questions regarding dining from the experienced people on this board.

 

In the main dining room are you seated with other people or given a choice?

Same question regarding the specialty restaurants. Aware that these require reservations made in advance.

 

Probably trivial questions considering if and when the cruise industry will return. Tonight, I will pretend that life is back to normal and ask stupid questions that am sure have been answered many times. 

  

A lot depends on your accommodations. In the GDR(main dining room)we've never had an issue getting a table for 2(our choice) This has been for trips on Riviera. I can't say about the smaller ships. As to the specialty restaurants, if you book suites(accommodations again)you get first choice & it drops as your level drops. Inside cabins get last choice. If you like the GD, then you still should be fine. The specialties get a little harder. We found Red Ginger to be easiest to get our choice, but Jacques, we always needed to share a table. Our last cruise was different in Jacques, as a couple was pretty obvious that they did not want to share with a gay couple. So that time we had the table to ourselves. In most cases you'll be fine. The earlier you choose to dine is best. 7-8 PM was usually peak times.

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I will add to RBTAN's  comments

 

On the R ships  you may or may not get a 2 top in the GDR  we rarely have a problem but some nights everyone seems to want to dine alone  😉

 On one cruise even the Maiitre'd made a comment  about it  as the previous cruise it was not a problem

We like to share  most of the time  but some nights just to tired to make small talk  LOL

 

We usually do not have a problem getting early seating in the Specialties  6:30 or 7 Pm  for 2

We do not care for Jacques  so never book there  but it seems very popular  with others

We sail in Peon class

 

Book the first day you are allowed to make the reservations 

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Not only is cabin class important to outcomes but also:

 

1. Length of cruise;

2.  How full is the ship;


A lot of difference in outcomes between a full ship on a 7-10 day cruise versus a 21 day cruise at 75-80% capacity. 

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We usually do not have a problem getting a table for 2 in the GDR.  On the nights when it looks more crowded (quite often the night of the captain's cocktail party), we head to the Terrace Cafe where getting a table for 2 is not a problem.  If there's a crowd in the GDR, the Terrace will be pretty empty and you won't starve as there are numerous dinner entrees as well as the steaks, shrimp and lobster tails from the grill.

 

As we rarely book suites, reservations for the specialty restaurants are more variable. In general we are able to get a table for 2 if we make a reservation as soon as we are able based on the category of room booked.  As others have mentioned, getting additional reservations in the specialty restaurants is a bit easier if you are willing to share.  We find that if you get assigned a table for 4, the experience is very good.  However, if you get a table for 8, the experience can be very trying especially if you have someone at the table who decides to order a soup, a salad, a couple of cold appetizers, and one or more hot appetizers before the entree.  We find it a bit tedious to be sitting at the table for 2 hours before our entrees arrive - depending on the wait staff, it seems at times that the rest of the diners at the table are forgotten.  Therefore, we tend not to seek additional specialty restaurant reservations as the food in the GDR and the Terrace Cafe keep us happy and certainly well fed.

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3 hours ago, rbtan said:

 We found Red Ginger to be easiest to get our choice, but Jacques, we always needed to share a table. Our last cruise was different in Jacques, as a couple was pretty obvious that they did not want to share with a gay couple. So that time we had the table to ourselves. In most cases you'll be fine. The earlier you choose to dine is best. 7-8 PM was usually peak times.

We find just the opposite, hard to get extras in Red Ginger but Jacques seems to be always available. 

 

BTW, are you with KeithM? That story sounds familiar. 

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Never had a problem getting a table for 2 when we requested it.  On our last cruise on Sirena in March 2020, we ate table for 2 at every meal.  There are several options of where to dine. Often the GDR seems empty.  Dinner in the specialty restaurants are excellent.  Unless you are set on specific time, you should be able to get a table for 2.  Dinner at the Terrace Buffet is a good option. Food choices are often better than GDR. The GDR offerings plus lobster, steak, fresh grilled fish are served at night.  On most ships I hate eating at buffets. Oceania buffet area is well thought out. They have always been more sanitary cautious than most cruise lines.  You never handle serving pieces.

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11 hours ago, rbtan said:

Our last cruise was different in Jacques, as a couple was pretty obvious that they did not want to share with a gay couple. So that time we had the table to ourselves. In most cases you'll be fine.

Is it alright if I chuckle a tiny bit? Yet another good reason to be gay 🙂 

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Thank you all for the replies and information. Really appreciated. Look forward to putting this to use hopefully sooner than later. We would be booking a penthouse suite so sounds like  we might get a little priority. No big deal either way. Most nights would enjoy company but as one of the posts stated, sometimes you are too tired for small talk. Good to know we may have an option. Thank you.

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28 minutes ago, mexicobob said:

Thank you all for the replies and information. Really appreciated. Look forward to putting this to use hopefully sooner than later. We would be booking a penthouse suite so sounds like  we might get a little priority. No big deal either way. Most nights would enjoy company but as one of the posts stated, sometimes you are too tired for small talk. Good to know we may have an option. Thank you.

Well if you have a PH  you can also "dine In" your butler will serve you course by course

Enjoy

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Good advice!  We just booked our first Oceania cruise on Riviera for June 2022.  Our experience has largely been with Celebrity, so good to know some of the "tips" to look for.  We have a A3 Concierge, so will be sure to have our selections and choices for specialty dining as soon as we are able.

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2 hours ago, DENIE said:

Good advice!  We just booked our first Oceania cruise on Riviera for June 2022.  Our experience has largely been with Celebrity, so good to know some of the "tips" to look for.  We have a A3 Concierge, so will be sure to have our selections and choices for specialty dining as soon as we are able.

I can't remember if this was mentioned but the booking window opens at midnight Eastern time. Living on the West Coast that meant I could book at 9PM. And I was given correct advice to not sign in ahead of time. PS: The food is really awfully good 🙂 

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1 hour ago, clo said:

I can't remember if this was mentioned but the booking window opens at midnight Eastern time. Living on the West Coast that meant I could book at 9PM. And I was given correct advice to not sign in ahead of time. PS: The food is really awfully good 🙂 

Clo....good to know. Thanks! 🙂

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We prefer to dine early at a two top.  Never had a problem.  The ding room usually fills up about an hour after it opens. If you're new to O you'll be surprised to find most two tops are in spacious areas with window views.  Exact opposite from some lines who squeeze you into a corner.

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We've only done one Oceania cruise - on Marina . Booked the speciality restaurants as soon as we could. And had dinner in the GDR on all the other nights. We had booked for around 8pm and turned up at the GDR at about that time. Never had had a problem getting a table for 2 - usually in the GDR we were shown straight to a table but once or twice had about a five minute wait.

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On 3/21/2021 at 12:39 PM, ORV said:

We find just the opposite, hard to get extras in Red Ginger but Jacques seems to be always available. 

 

BTW, are you with KeithM? That story sounds familiar. 

Yes. Keith's spouse. He got fed up with the "goings" on. He'll still fed me some of his opinions, but I try to stay above nastiness that seems to occur on this site. There's that joke about opinions, you know. As to Red Ginger, we must be lucky there. Always get the time & night to choose our dinner. Jacques seems to be a little harder to get our choice.

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While I agree with the comments made above, I would just note that sometimes, at least, it is interesting to join others, though I agree an 8-top is a bit too much.  We have always joined the Roll Call, and you will get to meet some of the members at the Meet and Greet.  The first cruise on Regatta, we were amazed how many times we ended up at tables with members of the Roll Call who we had gotten to know at least a little, and we had several very enjoyable dinners with one or two other couples.  That being said, if you want to eat alone, the previous comments pretty well lay out the situation.

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This may not be applicable to Oceania of course, but we took a cruise on a Ponant ship (Le Soleal) during the brief period last year when they were cruising French Polynesia. Nobody was asked to share tables at any meal unless they specifically requested it. That didn't create any logistical issues because there were only 47 passengers on board a ship with a capacity of 260.

 

I would expect some adjustments to dining room seating arrangements for a while at least.

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In that I have witnessed staff clearing a four top for couples that request and/or demand to eat alone, getting a “ two” top is rarely an issue at the sit down restaurants.

 

Since FDR has announced that the Terrace will initially become a sit down, waiter served, affair, I’m guessing in order to facilitate physical distancing reservations will become necessary as long as those conditions lasts.

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In fact if there is a wait line at the GDR they may move you to a specialty restaurant. Not counted as your quota. This has happened to us several times. They are always looking to please you.

Food is fine in the Terrace Cafe however we prefer to be served. On occasion though we have eaten on the back deck if it is a nice hot evening.

Terraces is our preference for breakfast & lunch often eating outside.

We enjoy meeting new friends so usually ask for a table of 4/6. Have met great people ( some have even visited us in Canada)hope we can soon resume cruising. Platinum member just waiting to go again!

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On 3/22/2021 at 2:22 AM, rbtan said:

A lot depends on your accommodations. In the GDR(main dining room)we've never had an issue getting a table for 2(our choice) This has been for trips on Riviera. I can't say about the smaller ships. As to the specialty restaurants, if you book suites(accommodations again)you get first choice & it drops as your level drops. Inside cabins get last choice. If you like the GD, then you still should be fine. The specialties get a little harder. We found Red Ginger to be easiest to get our choice, but Jacques, we always needed to share a table. Our last cruise was different in Jacques, as a couple was pretty obvious that they did not want to share with a gay couple. So that time we had the table to ourselves. In most cases you'll be fine. The earlier you choose to dine is best. 7-8 PM was usually peak times.

Arrghh - that's awful.   People  can be horrid.  

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