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Food Question! (Menus)


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We're food lovers in quality not quantity.

 

I have the 2 meal specialty dining package for free and usually we just dine at the MDR.

 

So we make the best of the package, I was wondering if they display the menu for the Main Dining Room in advance so you can decide what night is best to go specialty? I don't wanna prebook a steakhouse meal and then find the MDR menu is amazing that night.

 

Carnival display the nights MDR menu outside the restaurant in the morning so we usually make our minds up then.

 

I'm thinking of doing Cagney's Steakhouse on my birthday but unsure how to use the other meal atm.

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I think they post them the day of, but it may be too late to make reservations by then. I’d go ahead and book the specialties you want when you want.  MDR food can be pretty tasty, but I’d never call it amazing.

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They usually post them during the day. If I ever want to see what is available later then I go to the restaurant that isn't open for lunch, as they often post the evening menu quite early.

 

As stated above, this may not help you with your speciality restaurant decision as you may not be able to get in where you want by then. Cruisekitty is correct that they do apparently have them available to look at early in the week.

 

My opinion, for what it is worth, is that the MDR menus are generally pretty good but there are few, if any, items on them that make me want to go there so badly that I regret having made other arrangements.

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While food at the main dining room are okay, in my opinion there are nothing that would stand out or be very amazing that you would regret not eating there for that night.

 

FYI, you are on a vacation so you can have the choice of eating at both restaurants if want to.

For example, if you had dinner at 5 pm at a specialty restaurant and then later on you're hungry, you know you can go eat at the MDR.

 

I would suggest to reserve for the specialty restaurant ahead of time.

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1 minute ago, poohdreaming said:

While food at the main dining room are okay, in my opinion there are nothing that would stand out or be very amazing that you would regret not eating there for that night.

 

FYI, you are on a vacation so you can have the choice of eating at both restaurants if want to.

For example, if you had dinner at 5 pm at a specialty restaurant and then later on you're hungry, you know you can go eat at the MDR.

 

I would suggest to reserve for the specialty restaurant ahead of time.

I can’t eat that much as I’ve got a tiny tummy lol

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2 hours ago, ScratchTheRat said:

We're food lovers in quality not quantity.

 

I have the 2 meal specialty dining package for free and usually we just dine at the MDR.

 

So we make the best of the package, I was wondering if they display the menu for the Main Dining Room in advance so you can decide what night is best to go specialty? I don't wanna prebook a steakhouse meal and then find the MDR menu is amazing that night.

 

Carnival display the nights MDR menu outside the restaurant in the morning so we usually make our minds up then.

 

I'm thinking of doing Cagney's Steakhouse on my birthday but unsure how to use the other meal atm.

The specialty dining will sell out quickly for prime time and sometimes for the entire cruise. NCL allows you to make reservations 120 days prior to departure (a portion of the tables are released and will sell out). You can also stand in line on embarkation day to make reservations. The recommendation is to book exactly 120 days prior to cruise for best selection. 
 

On a “recent” cruise we were on, Cagney’s Steak House was sold out for the entire cruise by 1 pm on embarkation day. 
 

Sometimes you can walk-in with a short wait. Sometimes you are invited to return closer to closing. Since Suite guests can “overbook” restaurants, tables are hard to get in without reservations. 

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1 hour ago, ScratchTheRat said:

Cagney's I will book as soon as bookings open (for my birthday meal) but the second specialty meal I'll book for probably Teppenyaki or La Cucina

Teppenyaki sells out quickly because it is a small venue with limited seating so if you fancy that I would recommend that you book it in advance, you can always look at changing it to another date once you are onboard

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after over 15 cruises with ncl since 2010, i can assure you that there will be no items on the menu in any mdr, that would be better than taking the 2 dinners at either cagney's, moderno, or teppanyakki.

 

le bistro is not one of my favorites, so we tend to skip that regardless of how many free dinners we get, and la cucina is just a so so italian restaurant.  teppanyakki being our favorite, but cagney's comes in a real, real close 2nd

 

you wont miss a spectacular meal in the mdr on any given night.  the days of dancing waiters and baked alaska are long, long gone.

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It all comes down to personal choice. For us, we usually choose Cagney's and Teppenyaki. And go to La Cucina a la carte style.

 

Other people rave about Le Bistro. 

 

Find the menus online to make up your mind what you will book.

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2 hours ago, Yinster said:

It all comes down to personal choice. For us, we usually choose Cagney's and Teppenyaki. And go to La Cucina a la carte style.

 

Other people rave about Le Bistro. 

 

Find the menus online to make up your mind what you will book.

i just think since  ncl pushes their "freestyle cruising"  concept,  le bistro is just a little stuffy in their attitude for me. much rather be at cagney's. im not putting le bistro down, as a platinum + member, as well as getting the dining package, we get an extra shot at le bistro or cagneys. in all my cruises on ncl since 2010 (15+) i've only eaten at le bistro once, and the waitress dropped a try of drinks on my shirt.

 

thanks but no thanks.

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  • 3 months later...

On most cruises if you ask for something they had on the dinner menu a prior night you can request it.  Especially if it was from the night before.  It's not a guarantee but worth a try. 

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Never heard of ordering off menu. MDR food is prepared in bulk and not to order. 
 

If you wait until day of dinner to try and make reservations l, you may squeak in at 9:00 pm. Here’s a real life example from last night on a 60% loaded ship. 
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31611BE6-2787-4FFA-840C-C6F1CB551A90.jpeg

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On 5/3/2021 at 4:06 PM, complawyer said:

i just think since  ncl pushes their "freestyle cruising"  concept,  le bistro is just a little stuffy in their attitude for me. much rather be at cagney's. im not putting le bistro down, as a platinum + member, as well as getting the dining package, we get an extra shot at le bistro or cagneys. in all my cruises on ncl since 2010 (15+) i've only eaten at le bistro once, and the waitress dropped a try of drinks on my shirt.

 

thanks but no thanks.

@complawyer our last cruise (Jewel Australia/NZ 2019) we ate at Cagney's every night! I agree with you about Le Bistro, too la-di-da. We enjoyed it on our first cruise back in the days of cheese fondue and tableside cherries jubilee, but the menu of late doesn't appeal. 

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You can request to see the menus in advance. We have to do this because of a food allergy. On the Spirit, I remember being able to view the dining room menus at the dining reservation desk in the lobby/atrium of the ship.

 

An alternative, especially for teppanyaki is to consider doing it for lunch on sea day. Not only was it less crowded and less noisy, it was a great experience to get away from the other busier dining venues on the ship that occur on a sea day.

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2 hours ago, Shellbelle28 said:

@complawyer our last cruise (Jewel Australia/NZ 2019) we ate at Cagney's every night! I agree with you about Le Bistro, too la-di-da. We enjoyed it on our first cruise back in the days of cheese fondue and tableside cherries jubilee, but the menu of late doesn't appeal. 

while i sing hi praise for cagneys, you do yourself a disservice by not trying moderno or teppanyaki at least on one of the other nights. la cucina i can take or leave. if you do try modeno, better come hungry.

 

 

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1 hour ago, complawyer said:

while i sing hi praise for cagneys, you do yourself a disservice by not trying moderno or teppanyaki at least on one of the other nights. la cucina i can take or leave. if you do try modeno, better come hungry.

 

 

Teppanyaki- have done it several times. Lately, since they've stuffed so many tables into the available space and are trying to turn them as fast as they can, it's noisy and rushed. The first time we had teppanyaki on NCL, it was so elegant and Zen, now... CLANG CLANG. We have a decent teppanyaki place in our town, but the top steak restaurant is Outback, hence the Cagney's love. And Moderno food is ok, but because of the style of service, it feels less personable than any of the other venues. Bliss will be our first ship with the larger choice of specialty restaurants and we're looking forward to trying Ocean Blue. Oh and La Cucina has my Italian heritaged, Western NY raised spouse sad with disappointment 😳

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Posted (edited)

Hello,
Hope you are all well.
Back in 2019 & 2020 one of the stops on the Behind the scenes ship tour is the galley MDR.

That being said I'm not sure a behind the scenes ship tour still exists.

But on that tour in the galley on the wall is the 20 day menu with photos for the MDR (App, entree and dessert).

The menu sometimes also resets to 1 at the end of the voyage (ie if you are on a b2b voyage 8+8 day cruise, day 9 for you might be reset back to the day 1 menu or might continue on the day 9 also)

I'm not sure if that cycle menu has changed since 2020 (I image it has) but I take photos of each days galley wall menu so I can see not only the next day but the MDR menu for the entire voyage.

Attached are the MDR menu's from 1-6 from the Gem in 2020. 

I have them from Day 1 - 20 but not sure how relevant they are now.

 

As for SPD I prefer:

1: Ocean Blue-The seafood place on the breakaway class (but I mainly travel on Jewel class vessels)

2: Le Bistro

3: Cagney's

4: Teppanyaki

5: La Cucina

Safe travels,

- WYB

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Edited by WYB!
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Compared to the MDR menus posted by the Bird on the return to sailing on the Encore, there hasn't been much if any change. All the talk of menu changes on the Embark series seems to be referencing specialty dining only.

Thanks for posting.

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So to find out which menu day you are on in the MDR, look at the bottom of the menu. It's written in small font and may also be hidden under the tucked portion if you are at the table.
You may also be able to see the day # posted on the menu outside of the MDR.

 

Also I forgot about, Moderno in my SPD list:

As for SPD I prefer:

1: Ocean Blue-The seafood place on the breakaway class (but I mainly travel on Jewel class vessels)

2: Le Bistro

3: Cagney's

4: Moderno

5: Teppanyaki

6: La Cucina

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Bottom line, at first opportunity, book your birthday dinner.  Followed by any restaurant you would like to try for another night.  Better to have a reservation than get on board and find none of your top choices & times unavailable.  And make your second reservation for early in the cruise - so if you truly want to eat in the MDR, you have more opportunity to look for an opening.  (You can cancel dining reservations onboard).  Boarding day had more times available when I was making my reservations.  (And I don’t think they do headliner shows in the theater the first night, so no conflict with dining / entertainment times).

 

I have been reading menus since I decided 5 weeks ago to sail NCL.  I am more excited about having a buffet for dinner than the MDR menus. (I have appreciated ships with dinner buffets; it is more relaxing for me than a 2-hour meal in a dining room, with overly attentive waiters.) There is very little on cruise menus that make me excited. Not that it is bad. I actually loved the soups on Carnival. What a weird thing.  It was the highlight of their food.

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4 hours ago, greatestvalue said:

And if you dont mind rolling out of dinner, couldnt you always go to your specialty dinner and then go to the MDR and eat again.  -

Yes, you can (and don't ask me how I know this!)

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