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TonyB17

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In your experience, do the MDR and specialty restaurants get better or worse over the course of the cruise?  Or no difference at all?  About to make our reservations and I'd be interested to know if people think it makes a difference.  EX. do Cagney's the first night or wait until later in the week?  Or any other dining insights?

 

Thank you

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I have never noticed any difference.  If I have copies of MDR menus sometimes that helps determine what nights to do speciality but those could change.  Or I might book a bigger meal like at Cagneys on a day when at a port and might not eat lunch. The quality has been the same throughout to me.  

 

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28 minutes ago, Krisco said:

I have never noticed any difference.  If I have copies of MDR menus sometimes that helps determine what nights to do speciality but those could change.  Or I might book a bigger meal like at Cagneys on a day when at a port and might not eat lunch. The quality has been the same throughout to me.  

 

They cook the same way/same meals each week, every day, every cruise.

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48 minutes ago, TonyB17 said:

In your experience, do the MDR and specialty restaurants get better or worse over the course of the cruise?  Or no difference at all?  About to make our reservations and I'd be interested to know if people think it makes a difference.  EX. do Cagney's the first night or wait until later in the week?  Or any other dining insights?

 

Thank you

 

My experience could have been unique, but on our most recent cruise (April 1) we ate at Cagney's the first and the last day and the experience was night and day different.  Our server the first evening seemed lost and unfamiliar with the restaurant and normal dining traditions such as delivering a wine list prior to taking drink orders.  On the last night, our service was top notch.  The food was the same but we ordered different items, so I can't tell you if they worked out the kinks on overcooking the small fillet or not, but the service was smooth, relaxed and attentive.  It was not the same server, but we did see night one guy again in a different location during the day and he seemed more together.

 

Our theory was that there was a staff change and the poor chap on night one was in Cagney's for the first time.  This can happen at any restaurant anywhere, but there's probably a higher chance that staff changes occur at the start of a sailing. 

 

So, random opinion from me is that if you're only going to do specialty dining once or twice - don't do it the first night.  Save it for a bit later so the staff (if they are shiny and new) can learn the ropes on someone else's time.  
 

But, a bad service night at Cagney's is far better than what my poor family has to deal with tonight.  Surly mommy doesn't want to cook anything gourmet and isn't going out - so I'm reheating spaghetti sauce and dropping noodles in a pot.  Eat that!

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The only difference I've ever seen is that they don't make eggs benedict on the last day because the dish does not pass the temperature test if the inspectors come on board 

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Whether it's your first night or last night it not the issue on if the dinning experience is going to be better, worse of different.  What you need to know is whether it is your cook's and your server's first or last night of their contract.  Now that is what is going to influence your dining experience.  What night it is otherwise makes not difference to them.

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I've found different nights can yield different results in the same restaurant.  I believe there are so many variables, like crowd size, difference in servers, difference in temps (I've sailed some cruises that started out in freezing weather and two days later being in a spot where it's 90ºF), difference in rough and calm seas within a 24 hour period, etc.

 

All of that is bound to have an affect in food preparation and service.  That being said, I've found NCL to be fairly consistent from day to day with minor differences here and there.  Generally speaking, I've found all of their food to be good to great, depending on venue.  I've only really had issues while eating at Shanghais.  The last few cruises I've found the food to be less than well prepared and service to be sub par.  Not sure why it's been that way over different ships and different dates.

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15 minutes ago, FranknBeans said:

The only difference I've ever seen is that they don't make eggs benedict on the last day because the dish does not pass the temperature test if the inspectors come on board 

 

Is this still true?  It certainly was some years ago.  

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For the restaurant, it’s just another day. All the same to them.

 

We have seen isolated cases where something was not available because the ship was just provisioned and the food had not made it to the galley. 

 

Most ships provision at their home port. Some mid-cruise. Some ports are more difficult (slower) to provision than others.  

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I don't usually see a change. I was on The Escape for 14 days this past fall and ate at Savor for breakfast just about every day. I did lunch in there at times too. The service was always great, and the staff got to know me well over the two weeks. It is quieter then, so that was a plus. We only ate in the MDR a couple times for dinner, but the Manhattan Room was great, and that was towards the end of our two weeks.

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We are thrilled to be able to eat every meal with multiple courses, wait staff, and table clothes.  We are not simple folk, but cruising, even with MDR, is like dining out three times a day.

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I wouldn't say it's that the food isn't as tasty as that first night. It's just not always delivered with as much presentation and care as the cruise comes to an end. 

 

I found this to be particularly true for the Haven restaurant, which is easy to notice as it's the same menu every night. For example, my mother ordered the prime rib three times while in the Haven. On the first order, the cut of meat nearly filled the entire plate and was garnished like it was about to be photographed for Bon Appetit magazine. On the second order, the cut of meat was noticeably smaller, but still came out looking presentable. By the last order, the cut of meat was reduced to half the size and wasn't garnished, nor did any of the side dishes come out with the main (but my mother says it still tasted just fine).

 

I think it's a bit harder to notice in the main MDRs with menus that change. 

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I've found that the later in the evening I dine, the better the service and temperature of the food. So, doesn't matter beginning or end of cruise...for me, it is later vs earlier in the evening.

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Well for the first night, it is more casual in specialty restaurants compared to any other nights.

In term of food, the first night might not be so perfect or have good services.

To each restaurants, every day is the same but to guests it does make a different.

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Never noticed any different in food quality.

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I think the food is consistent but as the cruise comes to an end I don't

enjoy it as much.Sometimes towards the end we are tired of eating

(LOL if that is a thing) and start skipping meals...sometimes even dinner.

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I find that I like items on the main dining room menus early in the cruise better than the menus later (days 6 and 7 on a 7 day cruise). I also prefer booking specialty dinning on sea days.  Thus, I tend to book a specialty restaurant the last full day of our cruise.

 

But that is only my preference. Everyone else is different. Regarding the experience, service and food, I see no difference throughout the cruise.  

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