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Is the main dining room open for lunch on embarkation day? Or what are the alternatives?

Thank you

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Not on any of the cruises I have done. I have always gone to the Colonnade and the spread has been more than enough. 

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My experience is no.  You also have the patio grill and room service.  Please be advised that the MDR is also closed for lunch on most port days.

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4 hours ago, DCCruiser57 said:

Please be advised that the MDR is also closed for lunch on most port days.

 

Please also be advised that the MDR is also closed for breakfast on most days.  Considering the number of meals for which it is closed, we should really consider not referring to it as the "main" dining room.

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1 hour ago, sananda said:

 

Please also be advised that the MDR is also closed for breakfast on most days.  Considering the number of meals for which it is closed, we should really consider not referring to it as the "main" dining room.

 

 

Please be advised that the MDR is closed breakfast and lunch on SOME itineraries. On others it is open daily for both. 

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On our recent 41 day Sojourn cruise the MDR was open for breakfast and lunch every day apart from embarkation day and disembarkation day.

 

When people make up stuff I wonder what they are thinking...

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

 

 

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3 hours ago, Isklaar said:

 

 

Please be advised that the MDR is closed breakfast and lunch on SOME itineraries. 

 

Yes, in the Med. on the Sojourn it was closed for both breakfast and lunch on every day.

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8 hours ago, markham said:

... When people make up stuff I wonder what they are thinking...

 

The reports of the MDR being closed for various meals matches my experience.  When people attack others for correct factual information, I wonder what they are thinking.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, DavidTheWonderer said:

The reports of the MDR being closed for various meals matches my experience.  When people attack others for correct factual information, I wonder what they are thinking.

 

 

Because every cruise is different. If people said (as they eventually have) on XXX cruise the MDR was open/closed for breakfast/lunch everyday/most days/port days that's factual. However just to blanket claim that 'the MDR is also closed for breakfast most days', which was what was originally written, is not factual. On some cruises it is and on some it's not. 

 

On our previous two cruises, which were Encore in the med last summer and Sojourn in Asia earlier this year, the MDR was open for breakfast every single day on both cruises. On the med cruise lunch was available in the MDR about 1/2 the time and that cruise was 100% port days; there were a lot of walk-off-walk-on ports so quite a few people were back for lunch, perhaps that's why it was open some days in port. On the Asian cruise indeed the MDR was only open for lunch on sea days. Those ports tended to be more full-day excursion ports and the ship was pretty quiet come lunchtime so perhaps that's why it was only sea days they opened for lunch on that cruise. 

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On our recent Kobe-Vancouver itinerary, the MDR was open for breakfast every day except disembarkation day.  It was also open for lunch every day except embarkation day.  

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Well, I guess the facts speak for themselves. The quote from the poster above is therefore not authoritative even though it is written as if it is:

 

Please also be advised that the MDR is also closed for breakfast on most days.  Considering the number of meals for which it is closed, we should really consider not referring to it as the "main" dining room.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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This is not a fact. It's an opinion. The MDR should remain open for breakfast and lunch on every cruise on every ship. This is Seabourn and guests should have that option whenever and wherever they sail. That's part of what luxury is all about.

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The fact that the MDR is not always available for all meals on all cruises is one of the minuses of Seabourn.  There are many pluses for the line, but this policy isn't one of them.  I recall one sea day when only the Colonnade provided indoor space for lunch, and there wasn't a seat to be found.  Some people resorted to the Patio Grill, but the staff had to provide blankets for people to huddle under since it was so cold that day.

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YMMV, is the bottomline.

SB keeps crew ( and therefore pax) costs down by sometimes closing off venues they perceive to be underused, depending on the cruise and odds of people being mostly gone.

On an “epicurean” cruise Barcelona to Dover on Quest two years ago the MDR was open every day at lunch except first and last, we always looked forward to that peaceful venue. 

On a port intensive Caribbean Odyssey cruise last Christmas, we were disappointed MDR was closed every day except one day when rough seas precluded disembarking, when they did an excellent galley lunch in MDR.

We went to Patio Grill for lunch a couple times to find no seats, so then went to Colonnade but that too was so loud and crowded and missing crew to supervise the chaos.  So we just took a couple plates with some key food items back to the room with us ( there are no trays, so you have to have good balance), that is allowed,  and then also ordered room service — two portions caviar, and I had vodka on hand, so it turned out not so bad! It was not what we originally had in mind, and not full on luxury to do this, but I will spontaneously improvise if needed and DH will follow, so we were ok.

However, if you are in the group of people whose metabolism requires you eat NOW, with no delays, I suggest you have a little extra emergency food like cheese, crackers, protein bars, and nuts in the suite ( or your backpack if on excursion) in case there are delays, room service is slow. Sad this is sometimes needed on a luxury line on popular route, popular time of year cruises, but it keeps prices down.

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@Catlover. Could you please tell me in what context you used YMMV?  Do you mean your mileage may vary or you make me vomit. I trust you didn't mean the latter.

 

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1 hour ago, cuddles115 said:

@Catlover. Could you please tell me in what context you used YMMV? 

 

My read of the post is that Your Mileage May Vary on whether/when the Main Dining room is open for breakfast and/or lunch as it varies widely by cruise/itinerary.

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23 hours ago, Hoyaheel said:

My read of the post is that Your Mileage May Vary on whether/when the Main Dining room is open for breakfast and/or lunch as it varies widely by cruise/itinerary.

Exactly. And it shouldn't. Consistency of product is a hallmark of a luxury brand. We deserve to know what we're going to get any and every time we board a Seabourn ship.

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I agree Wripro.  I am very disappointed when the MDR is not open for breakfast or lunch.  The menu is a short one and could easily be tied to what is available in the Colonnade  

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I love to be served breakfast in the MDR and was honestly surprised by the lack of variety on Seabourn. We ate in the Colonnade more often than I wished because I wanted to eat other things.... [what we had was good, I just wanted other things that were available elsewhere...]

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For our first thirty years of cruising we sailed (most of the last 15 years of that time) in suites, usually the largest, on premium cruise lines.  On those cruises there were alternative dining sites for suite passengers as well as the availability of the main dining room and buffet.  Being able to dine in the MDR for breakfast and lunch on every day whether in port or not, in no way would define to us a luxury cruise There is so much more to that.  Quality of food, superior service, wonderful accommodations,  lack of nickel and diming at every turn make the difference to us.  We dine most days in the Colonnade for breakfast. We enjoy sitting outside and find the variety of food enough to please us.  On a few occasions we have asked for my favorite, a BLT sandwich for breakfast and it has been happily provided.  What more can I ask for? 😊

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Some people, and I am one of them, Sun Viking, really do not like buffets.  I don't like them on land or on ships.  And it's one thing if you CAN go out on the deck outside the Colonnade and eat there (ordering from the specials--something like the salmon with vegetables), but on a cold weather cruise, I could not face a buffet plus an indoor crowded venue.  To me, that would not be luxury.  That's why I was grateful the MDR was open at both breakfast and lunch.  

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I forgot to answer the OP -  we boarded Sojourn in Vancouver for an Alaska voyage (Sept 2018). I do not believe MDR was open. We went to deck 9 while we waited for our cabin to become available, so we could see what was going on but stay out of the way (very few people up there). Had some fries from the Patio grill and a couple of beers (even though the bar was not open, the bartender who was setting up couldn't bear to see us empty-handed. He remained our favorite bartender the entire cruise ;-)

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Sailed on the Encore in NZ & Australia March of this year. MD was open for 1hr/breakfast and 1hr/lunch on sea days. Port days 1hr/breakfast and closed for lunch.

 

I find these very, very limited hours on sea days unacceptable for a luxury line.

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 We have sailed on over a dozen SB cruises over close to a decade. All itineraries except the Caribbean, which may be different because of its daily ports. Last cruise was the summer of '18 in the Med. Hundreds of days to enjoy and observe the dining experience in all the venues.

Here is my take on this discussion about the MDR, based upon our multiple cruise actual experience. All the ships.

 

First, I start with, of course, the SB MDR on all ships should be open for breakfast and lunch as must as possible on every cruise because that's what a luxury cruise line is all about. Alternatives - to a casual burger in the outdoor heat at the Patio or the  crowded breakfast and lunch buffet at the Colonade.

On Embarkation days, we have never seen the MDR  open for lunch, even for continuing passengers. Must be logistics. Colonade on these days is just fine. On Disembarkation days, most of the time we have seen it open.

 

For lunch, it has almost always been open on a daily basis on all our cruises. There are some days when it is closed, but very rare in our experience.

 

Having said all of this, the MDR does very little business at either breakfast or lunch. Most passengers prefer what we do not, or  room service. Great for us, who enjoy no crowds, and quiet and relaxation, but there are only a dozen or two tables taken during the limited hours they remain open, and only a handful of waiters, usually on only one side of the the dining room.. We have wondered how long SB,  much to its credit and a mark of luxury, will continue keeping it and its associated kitchen open as an alternative dining venue, but so far SB has decided, at least through the summer of '18 in the Med, that this is something they must do, and we applaud them for this.

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3 hours ago, brittany12 said:

Having said all of this, the MDR does very little business at either breakfast or lunch. Most passengers prefer what we do not, or  room service. Great for us, who enjoy no crowds, and quiet and relaxation, but there are only a dozen or two tables taken during the limited hours they remain open, and only a handful of waiters, usually on only one side of the the dining room.. We have wondered how long SB,  much to its credit and a mark of luxury, will continue keeping it and its associated kitchen open as an alternative dining venue, but so far SB has decided, at least through the summer of '18 in the Med, that this is something they must do, and we applaud them for this.

 

That has also been our experience. Breakfast seems to do more business than lunch, but neither of them attract much of a crowd. I possibly understand this as we also used to go to the breakfast buffet on both SS and SB and always had an odd fear, irrational of course, of being the sole diners at breakfast trying to order whatever complex meal we had in mind that day. It always seemed a lot easier to go to the Colonnade and pick it up yourself, as much as neither of us like the whole buffet experience. We had the same feeling about lunch. 

One day, possibly two or three cruises ago we'd been saying "we must go to breakfast in the MDR one day" for years and went. That was the last time we had a breakfast buffet. On our last cruise we were talking to some people we met about it and they, we found, had the same apprehension. We invited them to join us for breakfast the next day in the MDR and from there on out the dining room had two more every day as they too found it was a much more pleasant experience. 

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