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One opinion, re charging in Alternative restaurants


JEDIKNIGHT

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I think charging for alternative restaurants is fair and square.

 

As I understand it from the reviews, 'included' in standard fare ia a Main Dining Room for 3 meals, PLUS a buffet, PLUS limited room service.

 

They could jack up fares and include alternative dining, but what if someone's on a budget and is happy without Filet and Lobster?

 

I say, go ahead and charge for alternative dining, but make it a quality experience in both service AND food.

 

American tourism has become too much about "get the lowest" price. The "Cattle herd" experience is evident with airlines, and is starting to show itself in the cruise world.

 

So yeah, instead of discounting and providing lesser product, also make it OPTIONAL to pay more, and expect more.

 

This lets people cruise within their budgets and priorities, and they can spend their money where they like, be it restaurants, booze, bingo, or whatever.

 

FWIW....one cruiser's opinion.

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I think charging for alternative restaurants is fair and square.

 

As I understand it from the reviews, 'included' in standard fare ia a Main Dining Room for 3 meals, PLUS a buffet, PLUS limited room service.

 

They could jack up fares and include alternative dining, but what if someone's on a budget and is happy without Filet and Lobster?

 

I say, go ahead and charge for alternative dining, but make it a quality experience in both service AND food.

 

American tourism has become too much about "get the lowest" price. The "Cattle herd" experience is evident with airlines, and is starting to show itself in the cruise world.

 

So yeah, instead of discounting and providing lesser product, also make it OPTIONAL to pay more, and expect more.

 

This lets people cruise within their budgets and priorities, and they can spend their money where they like, be it restaurants, booze, bingo, or whatever.

 

FWIW....one cruiser's opinion.

 

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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people have the choice..to either dine in the surcharge restraunts or not..

there always the 2 main dining room s ..

 

i have no problem with the specialty restraunts..but, i would not want to

take away the experience from the main dining room s by decreasing the

quality of food or service..

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We've been to the 'alternative' restaurant on every one of our cruises, since we found out about them..:)

 

They are always worth the extra charge for the food, service and atmosphere provided..!! I just pre-booked for our next cruise in June at the Supper Club on the Legend!.:p

 

Looking forward to our TA on the Jewel in 2010 so we can try the alternative restaurants there as well... As long as we know that the main DR is available, at no extra charge, we look at the 'alternative' option as an adventure...:D

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After cruising NCL twice in the past year, I am beginning to wonder if the quality in the main dining room is going down so that you are forced to eat in the specialty restaurants at a surcharge. We have sailed NCL many times and find the quality and service in the main dinning rooms is not what it use to be. I thought the new plan was to better the quality, but I haven't found that to be true. Still love freesyle, so I will continue to sail with NCl and eat more in the specialty resturants. Guess it's working!

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After cruising NCL twice in the past year, I am beginning to wonder if the quality in the main dining room is going down so that you are forced to eat in the specialty restaurants at a surcharge. We have sailed NCL many times and find the quality and service in the main dinning rooms is not what it use to be. I thought the new plan was to better the quality, but I haven't found that to be true. Still love freesyle, so I will continue to sail with NCl and eat more in the specialty resturants. Guess it's working!

 

They know their pax and their market.

 

As long as their pax say "oh, I don't complain" and "a cruise is what you make of it" in response to anything that goes wrong, of course NCL or any business will do whatever suits them best.

 

I'm all for rolling with the punches whether it's a Motel 6 or a Ritz. But sometimes it seems that too many pax are willing to just smile and say "Thank you ma'am, may I have another"?

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They could jack up fares and include alternative dining, but what if someone's on a budget and is happy without Filet and Lobster?

 

I say, go ahead and charge for alternative dining, but make it a quality experience in both service AND food.

Agree with everything you've written. Worth pointing out that filet, in the form of beef Wellington, and lobster are available in the main dining rooms at no extra charge, just not every night.

 

And, we've found no decline in main dining room food quality since our first NCL cruise in 2001. But we love having choices.

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I haven't sailed on NCL yet... :( My opinion of the dining on RCI and CCL: Dining Room food is better on CCL... Buffet food is better on RCI!..

Supper Club on CCL is better, food and ambiance wise...;)

 

Naturally, one must realize that charges for the 'alternative' restaurants on these two lines is $25.00 to $30.00 pp... :eek: In my mind "it is worth the $$$"... So much nicer...:p

 

NCL has 'alternative' restaurants for anywhere from $10.00 and up pp...! I really need to experience what is offered before I can comment, but we usually enjoy a day or two on RCI or CCL at the 'upscale' restaurant...:)

 

If NCL, or the others, compromise their offerings in the main DR, we may opt for another vacation option! IMHO!

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Well put. Another way is to look at it this way:

 

Pay $2,100 for your cruise and eat in the main dining rooms, buffet, blue lagoon and room service.

 

Pay $2,400 and meals are covered in the other restaurants. Well, okay, you actually pay per meal, but you get the point.

 

Makes more sense to reduce the cruise price and let folks decide if they want the others. And by the way, many people NEVER set foot in the others.

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I think charging for alternative restaurants is fair and square.

 

As I understand it from the reviews, 'included' in standard fare ia a Main Dining Room for 3 meals, PLUS a buffet, PLUS limited room service.

 

They could jack up fares and include alternative dining, but what if someone's on a budget and is happy without Filet and Lobster?

 

I say, go ahead and charge for alternative dining, but make it a quality experience in both service AND food.

 

American tourism has become too much about "get the lowest" price. The "Cattle herd" experience is evident with airlines, and is starting to show itself in the cruise world.

 

So yeah, instead of discounting and providing lesser product, also make it OPTIONAL to pay more, and expect more.

 

This lets people cruise within their budgets and priorities, and they can spend their money where they like, be it restaurants, booze, bingo, or whatever.

 

FWIW....one cruiser's opinion.

 

 

I couldn't agree more. I really noticed on our last cruise in the specialty rooms you were more likely to find folks dressed to the nines and enjoying the full on formal experience that some folks want on their cruise. The main dining rooms, though, were still very nice and had great food as far as we were concerned. We ate at the main rooms mostly but also had dinner one night at Le Bistro (romance package - well worth it in my book), one night at Cagney's, and one night at La Trattoria (what an experience!) - the main difference seemed to be cozier atmosphere and a way better shrimp cocktail in Cagney's than the main dining room! But we had lobster TWICE in the main dining rooms, and on the last night they had escargot in the main dining room that I can say for sure was exactly what we had in Le Bistro earlier in the cruise (I'd never tried that before and was pleasantly surprised - I guess garlic butter really does make everything taste good!)

 

So I have to agree that if other folks want to pay for a really upscale experience they should have the choice and keep the overall price down for those of us who find the main dining rooms perfectly wonderful.

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Well put. Another way is to look at it this way:

 

Pay $2,100 for your cruise and eat in the main dining rooms, buffet, blue lagoon and room service.

 

Pay $2,400 and meals are covered in the other restaurants. Well, okay, you actually pay per meal, but you get the point.

I don't even think the price differential has to be that big. On our recent 12-day Jade Med cruise, we ate twice each in Cagney's and Bistro, once in Papa's, and once in the Asian restaurant. Using the two-for-one early bird offers twice in Bistro and once in Papa's, the total came to $75/person additional to dine half the nights in specialty restaurants. We were in an AD, so that amounted to a 3% increase in the cost of the cruise. On four other nights, we had beef Wellington, rack of lamb, prime rib, and seafood extravaganza (with lobster) in the main dining room. What's to complain about?

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Pay $2,100 for your cruise and eat in the main dining rooms, buffet, blue lagoon and room service. Pay $2,400 and meals are covered in the other restaurants. Well, okay, you actually pay per meal, but you get the point. Makes more sense to reduce the cruise price and let folks decide if they want the others. And by the way, many people NEVER set foot in the others.

 

The increase would be more like $50-$60 per person.

 

To get this figure, I added up the capacity for the surcharge restaurants on Jewel. My data may not be 100%, it's going to be close. Here's how I calculated this number:

 

I added up the capacities for the premium restaurants on Jewel as posted on NCL's website.

Le Bistro French restaurant (seating capacity 129);

Chin Chin Asian restaurant (seating capacity 162);

Cagney’s Steakhouse (seating capacity 176);

Tango’s Tapas restaurant (seating capacity 96);

Mama’s Italian Kitchen (seating capacity 96);

Blue Lagoon (seating capacity 94).

That comes to 753. Figure 2 seatings per night and that's a maximum of 1506 passengers per night. Multiply that by an $15 average pp specialty dining room fee to get $22,590 revenue per night x 7 nights = $158,130 per 7 night cruise. Divide by the number of passengers, 2376 at double occupancy, gives you $66 per passenger per cruise.

So $66 pp wourld translate to $158,130 extra revenue per sailing for the cruise line. However, NCL currently doesn't hit that figure now as dining rooms aren't full, they offer two-for-ones, etc. They could no doubt hit their current revenue plus an nice increase without having to raise pp cruise fares by as much as $66, so I'm rounding down to $50.

Some will no doubt say that removing the extra fee would result in people paying extra, but the dining rooms would be impossible to book because they would be packed. If you take the number of seats per night per cruise (10542) and divide by the number of passengers (2376), that comes to 4.44 premium dining room visits per person.

NCL should be able to steal market share away from their closest competitors. They would be charging slightly more than the other lines per person, but would be able to market themselves as the cruise line with more specialty restaurants than any other cruise line--all at no extra charge.

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Not that we are experienced cruisers, but we are experienced eaters. On our Spirit sruise, we ate in specialty retaurants most nights and it was hit or miss as to whether it was worth the charges. I'd say that all in all, it averaged out to the positive side. None of the food would garner a Zagat food rating of 26 or above, but that's not really what the cruise was all about for us. If we wanted that, we would have stuck to NYC or Europe.

 

That being said, I would rather have the lower cost and stick to the main dining rooms. I think that they get this part right. Come to think of it, from what I've seen, they get almost all of it right.

 

The only problem is that thinking about this has made me hungry ....

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Keep the prices the way they are. I never understood why people say they are "being forced" to go to the specialty restaurants. We have never had problems with the included food and don't go to the specialty restaurants that often. Keep it the way it is I say and don't raise the prices so I can go to Cagneys for free or something.

 

I guarantee you if NCL took away the specialty restaurants then you wouldn't have nearly as many people complaining about the included meals or the price. It's one of those things where people think they are entitled to something because they can see it. NCL has more included free restaurants then most if not all cruise lines. Then they have 5-6 MORE restaurants on top of that and suddenly because of that NCL is "ripping people off."

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Keep the prices the way they are. I never understood why people say they are "being forced" to go to the specialty restaurants. We have never had problems with the included food and don't go to the specialty restaurants that often. Keep it the way it is I say and don't raise the prices so I can go to Cagneys for free or something.

 

I agree! With times such as they are, keep the prices as low as possible and let people decide if they want to pay extra or not. Even in times that aren't like these, for that matter.

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Keep the prices the way they are. I never understood why people say they are "being forced" to go to the specialty restaurants. We have never had problems with the included food and don't go to the specialty restaurants that often. Keep it the way it is I say and don't raise the prices so I can go to Cagneys for free or something.

 

I guarantee you if NCL took away the specialty restaurants then you wouldn't have nearly as many people complaining about the included meals or the price. It's one of those things where people think they are entitled to something because they can see it. NCL has more included free restaurants then most if not all cruise lines. Then they have 5-6 MORE restaurants on top of that and suddenly because of that NCL is "ripping people off."

 

Very good points, James.. well said.

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Keep the prices the way they are. I never understood why people say they are "being forced" to go to the specialty restaurants. We have never had problems with the included food and don't go to the specialty restaurants that often.

 

I also agree. We've never had any problems with the included food and just do the spec rooms everynow & then to make it just a little more special.

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