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What nights are best to reserve specialty dining?


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First post.

 

My wife and I are going on our first cruise next summer.  We're going to Alaska on the Konigsdam next summer. 

 

We want to dine in the Pinnacle grill twice, and Canaleto and Tamarind once.  (So that's 4 meals total.)

 

Would you do the specialty dining on the full day cruise days, or the days you are in port?

 

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

You might want to take a look at the menu for the Canaletto at Canaletto Menu (rogerjett-photography.com)  There is a special entree there each night. One may appeal to you more than others. That may make a difference. If it's a port day, will you schedule an excursion? If so, when does it return to the ship? And do you want to dine in the Main Dining Room (MDR) or specialty restaurants on Gala nights?

Edited by Cruise Suzy
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Posted (edited)

@Petrocelli , Welcome to Cruise Critic, and to cruising.  We are fans of Koningsdam and all the specialty dining.  I don’t know what everyone else will recommend, but I think you will be missing out if you don’t have one dinner in Sel de Mer.  We actually prefer Tamarind to the Pinnacle on Koningsdam.  So my other suggestion would be one reservation for dinner there and then decide if you want to repeat it.  Lunch is excellent in the Pinnacle, too.  

 

As we select Open Seating for dinner we are not committed to joining a group in the dining room, and we usually book the Tamarind for our first dinner on board, we find  the MDR is usually a bit chaotic the first night.   The Gala Nights are usually worth eating in the MDR,  we often check the menu ahead of time and then book a specialty restaurant if we don’t see anything exciting on it.  

Edited by Vict0riann
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8 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

@Petrocelli , Welcome to Cruise Critic, and to cruising.  We are fans of Koningsdam and all the specialty dining.  I don’t know what everyone else will recommend, but I think you will be missing out if you don’t have one dinner in Sel de Mer.  We actually prefer Tamarind to the Pinnacle on Koningsdam.  So my other suggestion would be one reservation for dinner there and then decide if you want to repeat it.  Lunch is excellent in the Pinnacle, too.  

 

As we select Open Seating for dinner we are not committed to joining a group in the dining room, and we usually book the Tamarind for our first dinner on board, we find  the MDR is usually a bit chaotic the first night.   The Gala Nights are usually worth eating in the MDR,  we often check the menu ahead of time and then book a specialty restaurant if we don’t see anything exciting on it.  

I agree with you.  While I wasn’t terribly impressed with sel de mer on my first trip on the k it was amazing on the n statendam.  It maybe was the chef??  I love the tamarind and even thought Canaletto was extremely good on the n statendam and I’m not generally a fan.  The pinnacle is quite good but it rates a 4th place with me.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

@Petrocelli , Welcome to Cruise Critic, and to cruising.  We are fans of Koningsdam and all the specialty dining.  I don’t know what everyone else will recommend, but I think you will be missing out if you don’t have one dinner in Sel de Mer.  We actually prefer Tamarind to the Pinnacle on Koningsdam.  So my other suggestion would be one reservation for dinner there and then decide if you want to repeat it.  Lunch is excellent in the Pinnacle, too.  

 

As we select Open Seating for dinner we are not committed to joining a group in the dining room, and we usually book the Tamarind for our first dinner on board, we find  the MDR is usually a bit chaotic the first night.   The Gala Nights are usually worth eating in the MDR,  we often check the menu ahead of time and then book a specialty restaurant if we don’t see anything exciting on it.  

Agree.  We like to do the specialty dinners on the first and last nights, if we have Open dining (like to meet other diners on the first night if fixed.  We try to do the MDR on Gala nights.  We did Sel de Mer once and really liked it (as I recall we got 50% off on lobster being 4 Star - hope I am right on this).

 

On the first night, as pointed out, things are often a bit unorganized, plus it is usually easy to get a reservation.  On the last night often the menu is not to our liking, plus its a nice way to end the cruise.'

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2 minutes ago, DaveOKC said:

Agree.  We like to do the specialty dinners on the first and last nights, if we have Open dining (like to meet other diners on the first night if fixed.  We try to do the MDR on Gala nights.  We did Sel de Mer once and really liked it (as I recall we got 50% off on lobster being 4 Star - hope I am right on this).

 

On the first night, as pointed out, things are often a bit unorganized, plus it is usually easy to get a reservation.  On the last night often the menu is not to our liking, plus its a nice way to end the cruise.'

What used to be nice at  sel de mer was that it was priced according to what you picked (50 percent off for 4 star plus), now it’s one price like the pinnacle.  That said, I would still go.

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2 minutes ago, DaveOKC said:

Agree.  We like to do the specialty dinners on the first and last nights, if we have Open dining (like to meet other diners on the first night if fixed.  We try to do the MDR on Gala nights.  We did Sel de Mer once and really liked it (as I recall we got 50% off on lobster being 4 Star - hope I am right on this).

 

On the first night, as pointed out, things are often a bit unorganized, plus it is usually easy to get a reservation.  On the last night often the menu is not to our liking, plus its a nice way to end the cruise.'

Thanks for the responses!

 

So if the advice is to dine at the MDR on Gala nights?  That raises two more questions:

 

1.  How do I know when gala nights are?

2.  How hard is it to make reservations for specialty dining?  That is, are there people out there waiting for reservations to open, and  they take all the good spots, or are is it pretty easy to get reservations?

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Petrocelli said:

Thanks for the responses!

 

So if the advice is to dine at the MDR on Gala nights?  That raises two more questions:

 

1.  How do I know when gala nights are?

2.  How hard is it to make reservations for specialty dining?  That is, are there people out there waiting for reservations to open, and  they take all the good spots, or are is it pretty easy to get reservations?

After seeing the gala night menus on a recent thread I am not impressed, but that subjective.  It’s hard to say how busy the reservations will be.  With the have it all promo it could be dicey.  I generally reserve the first and last night ahead then try to book most of the other nights once on board. 
 

Gala nights can be on the second night and the second to last night on a 7 day cruise.  This is not written in stone and I’m only speaking to my experience.

Edited by Florida_gal_50
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When you board, there is usually a stand across from the Pinnacle with a staff member taking reservations for specialty dining.  Like the others, we book the first dinner ahead of time, and any special occasion, like a birthday or anniversary.  

 

We really enjoy Canaletto with a group, then everyone gets a taste of everything!  As Cruise Suzy said, there is a daily special there, it’s nice to pick an evening where you find something you really want to try.  

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As far as which nights will be gala nights, it depends.  Usually the first sea day, and another sea day before the end of the cruise, if it is only one week.   If it’s longer, it may be three times in two weeks or so.   It most probably will not be the first or last nights.  

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We always book the Tamarind for the night we board.  After running around all day it is such a treat to sit back and relax.  If there is any port where we’re staying late (like 11PM) we usually go to the Pinnacle that nite.  You can book your reservations online before you go.  It’s listed under “ manage my booking.”

Helen

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11 hours ago, HELENPSL said:

We always book the Tamarind for the night we board.  After running around all day it is such a treat to sit back and relax.  If there is any port where we’re staying late (like 11PM) we usually go to the Pinnacle that nite.  You can book your reservations online before you go.  It’s listed under “ manage my booking.”

Helen

On a real late port night we like the Tamarind as being up so high on the ship we can enjoy the lights/sights of the city.  Was very nice in San Juan,

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So we rarely ever book speciality restaurants (the MDR is fine for us) but when we have......

 

We would book it the first night because the MDR is more "chaotic" as all us newbies get used to our waiters and our waiters get used to us.  Also, for whatever reason, it seems that specialty restaurants have been less busy on that first night.

 

Also, we never book a specialty restaurant on gala nights....That's when the MDR is kicked up a notch so no need to miss that.  And we would never book a specialty the last night....That's when we say goodbye to our wait staff and might pass them a few bucks and thank them for a great cruise. 

 

Of course, as they say, YMMV but that's the way we work thru that.....

 

Smooth sailing.......

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