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peterhof

IS IT WORTH PAYING FOR THE ALL NIGHTS DINING PACKAGE?

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We recently disembarked from the Indy (May 2019) after not cruising with RCL for the last eight years, and were disappointed by the obvious drop in standards of both food and wait staff in the main dining room. Just to give it a try, we booked a 3-meal pre-cruise dining package and boy are we glad we did - so much so that we are contemplating buying the 'All cruise night package, which includes specialty lunches on sea days and even dining in more than one restaurant each night!!, for our 6-night cruise on Explorer in October. The price seems a bargain, however, we a) like to dine on a large table and meet new friends and b) have worries that by the end of the cruise we would not be able to fit into our clothes!

 

The difference in food quality comparing the MDR to Chops and Geovani's Table is like comparing a cart horse to a thoroughbred race horse and way wider that the last time we cruised with RCL.

 

Does anyone else agree with me?

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, peterhof said:

We recently disembarked from the Indy (May 2019) after not cruising with RCL for the last eight years, and were disappointed by the obvious drop in standards of both food and wait staff in the main dining room. Just to give it a try, we booked a 3-meal pre-cruise dining package and boy are we glad we did - so much so that we are contemplating buying the 'All cruise night package, which includes specialty lunches on sea days and even dining in more than one restaurant each night!!, for our 6-night cruise on Explorer in October. The price seems a bargain, however, we a) like to dine on a large table and meet new friends and b) have worries that by the end of the cruise we would not be able to fit into our clothes!

 

The difference in food quality comparing the MDR to Chops and Geovani's Table is like comparing a cart horse to a thoroughbred race horse and way wider that the last time we cruised with RCL.

 

Does anyone else agree with me?

 

I did not like Chops, I had the ultimate plan on the Anthem in March and ate there twice and cancelled my last reservation there and made it for Jamie’s which was far better. 

I only paid $126 on Cyber Monday so it was worth it but I would not pay $199. I am hoping for similar pricing for the Oasis next year on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, if not I will stick with Coastal kitchen.

FYI I do not agree with eating dinner with strangers, had a bad experience once & I would never do it again. 

 

Edited by Casino Comp Chick

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Posted (edited)

Well, if you wish to dine with others, perhaps join your roll call and see if like minded people are also buying the dining package or people without the package who want company in a specialty restaurant certain nights during the cruise.  If so, you could coordinate your reservations at specialty restaurants.  Without planning or a bit of luck on board, odds are you will be dining separately in specialty restaurants.

 

I have been tempted to purchase a package when on larger ships with many specialty restaurants. After a certain number of cruises, the MDR experience dims.

Edited by Starry Eyes

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I just got off of the Anthem. I definitely agree with you about the service. Couldn’t get a refill on a drink and they never offered coffee with dessert.One night I was so frustrated that I got up and walked over to Vintages for a glass of wine and a coke. I don’t agree about the food. With the exception of the small rubber lobster tail on formal night I had no issue with the cut quality or preparation of the food.

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We have been eating most meals in specialty for more than 5 years , even on recent oasis cruise we perfer specialty over coastal kitchen,  larger ships like oasis have some nice options for dinner.

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Just cruised on Rhapsody out of Venice and felt that the MDR was fine. We did have BOGO which were great but couldn't of sustained that level of food intake all week. Maybe if on one of the big ships may do a three night package but would pass on the every night speciality package 

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Hubby and I did the Unlimited Dining on our May 19th cruise and never ate in the dining room.  I kind of missed the dining room.  We were so stuffed that by the end of the cruise I was tired of it.  We cruised as a family the following week and did not have the package.  I found hubby and I ate less because we were overburdened from the week prior.  That being said the food was great in the specialty restaurants although Chops was not our favorite.  We canceled our second night there and went again for Italian. We booked it when it was Ultimate vs. Unlimited and got a great deal.  I'm not sure how I feel about booking it again.  Price and who we are cruising with would probably determine that.  Hubby is buying it for a thank you for his friend he is cruising with in December.  I'm sure those two guys will appreciate it and eat their money's worth.

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We recently had a package on Grandeur.  It was nice but I agree with other posters— too much food and we missed the dining room.

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I was going to get the package in the Symphony it was on sale for less than 120$ or so I can’t remember but my friends joined me on the cruise and I cancelled the package. I had some doubts about getting the package or not but no you can have nor Ethan one entree when you have the package so I’l definitely going for the package next tjme

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Posted (edited)

I'll be getting it when we cruise on Allure in Dec 2020.  That cruise is just DW and I.  This December we are cruising with DD, DSIL and 3 GK's and were paying for everything so were going to have to give it a pass. Also, one of our grand daughters has an excessive amount of food allergies.  I thought that it would be simpler if she had the same server's every night saving us having to explain over and over and over again all the things she can not have.

 

We did have it on Mariner in April and loved it and will probably look at it for all other future cruises.

 

 

Edited by Tree_skier

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19 minutes ago, Tree_skier said:

I'll be getting it when we cruise on Allure in Dec 2020.  That cruise is just DW and I.  This December we are cruising with DD, DSIL and 3 GK's and were paying for everything so were going to have to give it a pass. Also, one of our grand daughters has an excessive amount of food allergies.  I thought that it would be simpler if she had the same server's every night saving us having to explain over and over and over again all the things she can not have.

 

We did have it on Mariner in April and loved it and will probably look at it for all other future cruises.

 

 

Not worth it to us on the smaller ships, not enough choices.  A large ship like Symphony has 6 or 7 specialty venues whereas a small ship like Explorer is limited to 2 or 3. happy cruising

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10 minutes ago, taglovestocruise said:

Not worth it to us on the smaller ships, not enough choices.  A large ship like Symphony has 6 or 7 specialty venues whereas a small ship like Explorer is limited to 2 or 3. happy cruising

Well on Mariner, although it was a small ship compared to Symphony,  it was only a three night cruise.  With Chops, Jamie's and Izumi Hibachi we felt we were well served.  We also availed ourselves of some wings and Nachos at Playmakers on the program as well for a couple of late lunches!

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5 hours ago, peterhof said:

We recently disembarked from the Indy (May 2019) after not cruising with RCL for the last eight years, and were disappointed by the obvious drop in standards of both food and wait staff in the main dining room. Just to give it a try, we booked a 3-meal pre-cruise dining package and boy are we glad we did - so much so that we are contemplating buying the 'All cruise night package, which includes specialty lunches on sea days and even dining in more than one restaurant each night!!, for our 6-night cruise on Explorer in October. The price seems a bargain, however, we a) like to dine on a large table and meet new friends and b) have worries that by the end of the cruise we would not be able to fit into our clothes!

 

The difference in food quality comparing the MDR to Chops and Geovani's Table is like comparing a cart horse to a thoroughbred race horse and way wider that the last time we cruised with RCL.

 

Does anyone else agree with me?

I 100% agree with you.. I have been on 52 Royal Caribbean cruises and I think the MDR is terrible.. I buy the Unlimited dining plan for every cruise and boy am I happy I do.. Like you said the food is so much better and I have a much better time.. I say go for it. you already know you like the restaurants so do it and be happy. 

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The last time we did this there was a cumulative dining package. The more meals you had in specialty restaurants the higher the discount per centage. Do they still do this. 

 

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My DH doesn’t want to deal with waiting to board to make reservations. Would appreciate any info you guys have. 

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1 hour ago, agslc5 said:

I 100% agree with you.. I have been on 52 Royal Caribbean cruises and I think the MDR is terrible.. I buy the Unlimited dining plan for every cruise and boy am I happy I do.. Like you said the food is so much better and I have a much better time.. I say go for it. you already know you like the restaurants so do it and be happy. 

I'm guessing that somebody at Royal Caribbean must have a smile from ear to ear when they read posts like this! 

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2 hours ago, I&J Cruisers said:

The last time we did this there was a cumulative dining package. The more meals you had in specialty restaurants the higher the discount per centage. Do they still do this. 

 

No, I haven't seen this.

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2 hours ago, I&J Cruisers said:

My DH doesn’t want to deal with waiting to board to make reservations. Would appreciate any info you guys have. 

You have two choices. Pay full price for each restaurant and reserve online through the cruise planner or get one of the packages and make all reservations once onboard.   Don't use the Kiosk in the promenade, just go to one of the specialty restaurants and make all your reservations for the week. The absolute best plan that I have come up with is that I wait at trellis Bar, in your case on your ship I would go to Schooners,  and let my wife find me after she has made all the reservations.  Being extremely flexible with times will suit you well.  Make your first stop after you board the trip for reservations.  Early birds do indeed get the times they want.

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3 hours ago, I&J Cruisers said:

The last time we did this there was a cumulative dining package. The more meals you had in specialty restaurants the higher the discount per centage. Do they still do this. 

 

 Each meal is cheaper as you go from the 3 night, 5 night and unlimited.  Unlimited really is a good deal if you have lots of sea days to also get lunch.

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5 hours ago, taglovestocruise said:

Not worth it to us on the smaller ships, not enough choices.  A large ship like Symphony has 6 or 7 specialty venues whereas a small ship like Explorer is limited to 2 or 3. happy cruising

Agree, for the symphony is a great value 

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5 hours ago, taglovestocruise said:

Not worth it to us on the smaller ships, not enough choices.  A large ship like Symphony has 6 or 7 specialty venues whereas a small ship like Explorer is limited to 2 or 3. happy cruising

Oh how times have changed when we bow refer to the Explorer as a small ship.😁

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35 minutes ago, taglovestocruise said:

 Each meal is cheaper as you go from the 3 night, 5 night and unlimited.  Unlimited really is a good deal if you have lots of sea days to also get lunch.

I didn't think they were offering the 5 night anymore.

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5 minutes ago, Tree_skier said:

I didn't think they were offering the 5 night anymore.

Sailing needs to be 10 days or longer. 

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Just now, Biker19 said:

Sailing needs to be 10 days or longer. 

Thanks

 

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We've booked UDP for the upcoming LOTS cruise from Galveston, TX.  At $22/day, it's not too bad.  Is Izumi Express covered?  

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