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Dining options on full ships


FFMilesJunkie
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4 hours ago, Travel-and-See said:

I’ve been lucky on both virgin cruises and gotten in to restaurants but I really don’t like dealing with the app.  

of the restaurant choices, Test Kitchen and Gunbae are experiences more than traditional restaurants, and Razzle Dazzle has great food but is really lacking in charm. That leaves 3 legit “fancy dining” experiences in my book and big surprise, those are the 3 that are usually always sold out.   
 

they really need a main dining option that doesn’t require a reservation.  I can’t tell you how much more relaxing my celebrity cruise was this summer with anytime dining…. SO much better.  
 

virgin does a lot right, but they need to fix this. 

 

Agree 🎯 we ate at Test Kitchen, The Wake twice and Extra V twice. Tomorrow is Gunbae but pretty sure we’re cancelling and just eating burgers.  
The menus are good but very limited. Most nights we just wanted a nice relaxing meal in a dining room.  It’s way too time consuming worrying about getting and changing reservations on an app.  The food court is very weird.  Unappealing, half closed, and very limited.
The food was pretty good overall but as a whole, no better than Celebrity and a lot more of a hassle.  Bars were very cool. Drinks better than any other line we’ve been on.  Wine selections were excellent. 
We won’t go out of our way to book VV again.  It was a One and done for us. Our millennial son joined us last minute and he was not that impressed. The room service menu was terrible**** chicken soup, popcorn, gummy bears….

We want a club sandwich and ff  😂 not chocolate covered pretzels, sea bass or beet hummus….

same with breakfast. No customizing the eggs, and the meals and coffee arrived ice cold all five mornings. 

The itinerary was great. 

Edited by WatermelonSugarHigh
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We're just off the Resilient Lady which was more than 90% full (according to a staff member). I had booked our disembarkation day breakfast and all our dinner reservations 45 days prior to sailing so we had no problems with our reservations and enjoyed the dining experience onboard. The challenge for us, & many others, was trying to get breakfast at The Galley between 8.30 - 10am. It simply didn't cope with the number of passengers on a pretty full ship wanting to eat at that time. It was extremely crowded and there was no seating available. We gave up on that first morning, got some 'grab & go' packs and went back to have breakfast on our balcony instead. Thereafter we learned to forget even trying to get into The Galley for breakfast/brunch and went straight to Razzle Dazzle instead. We were always able to walk in and get a table for 2 and we really enjoyed their breakfast menu too. I did overhear a lot of older passengers complaining about the App and not being technologically savvy. They hadn't realised they could have booked dinner reservations via the App either and were frustrated at not getting into any of the main restaurants for the whole cruise. 

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15 minutes ago, Luvsbooks said:

We're just off the Resilient Lady which was more than 90% full (according to a staff member). I had booked our disembarkation day breakfast and all our dinner reservations 45 days prior to sailing so we had no problems with our reservations and enjoyed the dining experience onboard. The challenge for us, & many others, was trying to get breakfast at The Galley between 8.30 - 10am. It simply didn't cope with the number of passengers on a pretty full ship wanting to eat at that time. It was extremely crowded and there was no seating available. We gave up on that first morning, got some 'grab & go' packs and went back to have breakfast on our balcony instead. Thereafter we learned to forget even trying to get into The Galley for breakfast/brunch and went straight to Razzle Dazzle instead. We were always able to walk in and get a table for 2 and we really enjoyed their breakfast menu too. I did overhear a lot of older passengers complaining about the App and not being technologically savvy. They hadn't realised they could have booked dinner reservations via the App either and were frustrated at not getting into any of the main restaurants for the whole cruise. 

Yes.  The breakfast situation is a problem they need to address. They had two young girls running ragged trying and failing to keep up with the demand. We gave up.  The omelettes were dry, flat and not worth the wait anyway.  We had five beach stops so didn’t want a sit down meal.  Actually, we’ve never had breakfast in a sit down restaurant on any line.  
 

I didn’t hear one person complaining about the app except a few servers. I think it’s just too much demand for not enough restaurants. I got blasted for not enjoying Test kitchen but it’s the only one always available with every time slot. We didn’t speak to anyone who enjoyed it. 
   I had no problem with the app.  My husband is tied to his phone 24/7 for work.  He locks his in the safe on day one and leaves it there until disembarking. 

it’s great to book restaurants 45 days early but we didn’t book this trip until right around Christmas,. 

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On 1/30/2024 at 2:28 AM, crusinthrough said:

Everyone who pays for a cruise deserves an opportunity to eat in one of the dining venues and participate in activities.  

Absolutely, agree with this. It shouldn't be stressful nor time consuming to partake in what you paid for. 

On 1/30/2024 at 2:28 AM, crusinthrough said:

The other frustrating thing is the event line up isn't released until after you make dining reservations.  Pre-cruise it it's hard to re-schedule dining because everything is usually booked a few days after dining opens.

This has to be frustrating, especially if you already had to jump through hoops to get your dinner reservations. 

 

One thing about VV that has already turned me off is that your almost forcing me to be tied to my phone. I want to disconnect from technology and the screen time. I guess there's no checking the phone once per day like other cruises.

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1 hour ago, gsutiger2 said:

One thing about VV that has already turned me off is that your almost forcing me to be tied to my phone. I want to disconnect from technology and the screen time. I guess there's no checking the phone once per day like other cruises.


Generally speaking I only need to use their app once a day after the first day or so of getting everything booked in. Unless there is a notification of a change, I’d just check in once a day to see if there is anything like a fitness class where a space has opened up from others cancelling. You can pick up a paper guide for show times and then just open the app to book them.

 

 

I do agree that they probably do need to solve the dining issue when it is busier, but generally Razzle Dazzle and Test Kitchen aren’t busy. They’ve already changed the Razzle menu significantly, maybe that needs  another attempt to try and get people in for dinner.

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On 2/1/2024 at 4:52 PM, Travel-and-See said:

they really need a main dining option that doesn’t require a reservation.  I can’t tell you how much more relaxing my celebrity cruise was this summer with anytime dining…. SO much better.  

I can tell this is becoming an issue and hope it is considered.  If food is one of the main reasons one may choose VV, the dining issue will need to be assessed. 

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4 hours ago, jon81uk said:

Unless there is a notification of a change, I’d just check in once a day to see if there is anything like a fitness class where a space has opened up from others cancelling. You can pick up a paper guide for show times and then just open the app to book them.

For those on full (or nearly full) sailings who are trying to sort their schedules,  I understand they may be tied to the app due to event changes or openings and trying to sort dinner - especially if you are a group over 2 people. Not everyone gets their dining sorted or even access to the restaurants they desire. It's a constant "check back" or try "stand by". 

 

A bit exhausting for the higher VV sailing prices in my opinion. 

 

 

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On 2/1/2024 at 6:52 PM, Travel-and-See said:

I’ve been lucky on both virgin cruises and gotten in to restaurants but I really don’t like dealing with the app.  

of the restaurant choices, Test Kitchen and Gunbae are experiences more than traditional restaurants, and Razzle Dazzle has great food but is really lacking in charm. That leaves 3 legit “fancy dining” experiences in my book and big surprise, those are the 3 that are usually always sold out.   
 

they really need a main dining option that doesn’t require a reservation.  I can’t tell you how much more relaxing my celebrity cruise was this summer with anytime dining…. SO much better.  
 

virgin does a lot right, but they need to fix this. 

 

I love Celebrity Anytime Dining . I just wish that Celebrity out of San Juan had some nightlife on their ships.  Last year we were on Millennium in December and the food was tragically awful and the ship was a snorefest as far as nightlife and bar areas.  The ice bar is old news. I see Summit is leaving from San Juan in December and we’ll be booking it, despite all that, because of the itinerary.  Hopefully their dining has improved and gone back to what it was before, 

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5 hours ago, jon81uk said:

 

 

I do agree that they probably do need to solve the dining issue when it is busier, but generally Razzle Dazzle and Test Kitchen aren’t busy. They’ve already changed the Razzle menu significantly, maybe that needs  another attempt to try and get people in for dinner.

Strong dislike for the new RD menu. Our top 2 favorites were removed.  Yes. the desserts are better, but the rest of the evening menu needs "secret" help.  Breakfast is good though.

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