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Salf777

First Time Oceania what restaurants?

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Hi,

I will be sailing Oceania for the first time soon. The ability to make dining reservations opens up to me soon. What restaurants are the best I should make a reservation for ASAP? I like all kinds of food and welcome any suggestions. To all you seasoned Oceania cruisers, If you could only eat in one restaurant whats your go to?

Thanks in advance!

Sailing on the Riviera!

Edited by Salf777

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Might help to say which ship you are sailing, as the restaurants are different between the Regatta and Oceania class of ships, and Sirena has different restaurants over the other Regatta class ships.

 

As I have only sailed on the Regatta class ships, I really like Toscana.   That said, the Main Dining Room will not disappoint either!

 

Joe

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3 minutes ago, JoePDX said:

Might help to say which ship you are sailing, as the restaurants are different between the Regatta and Oceania class of ships, and Sirena has different restaurants over the other Regatta class ships.

 

As I have only sailed on the Regatta class ships, I really like Toscana.   That said, the Main Dining Room will not disappoint either!

 

Joe

Edited this to say Riviera

Thanks for catching my error!

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We just sailed for the first time a few weeks ago to Bermuda so I will give you my impressions as a fellow newbie (although I'm sure there will be a ton of other opinions). We found the main dining room on Insignia to be very hit or miss-- its definitely mass catering and not cooked to order. The speciality restaurants were much better-- Toscana being our favorite with Polo being a second. 

7 minutes ago, Salf777 said:

What restaurants are the best I should make a reservation for ASAP?

You should make reservations for every restaurant you want to dine in right away-- availability for smaller tables goes away quick and you'll most likely find tables for 2 early or at 9pm. It doesn't matter if you cancel or don't use them-- just make them. 

 

8 minutes ago, Salf777 said:

To all you seasoned Oceania cruisers, If you could only eat in one restaurant whats your go to?

The good news is you don't have to choose-- you are guaranteed at least one reservation at each restaurant. We we're able to dine a second time on a 7 day cruise in Toscana on the last night because of additional availability. 

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All the restaurants are good. After boarding ask if there are extra reservations available. We’ve never had difficulty getting additional reservations as well as changing the times to better suit our preferences.

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Book a reservation in every one!  Besides having better food in the specialties, it’s a fun evening to try different venues.  On our last Riviera cruise we had dinner in each one and then our butler got us an additional reservation in Polo.  We shared at a table for six and it was the best evening of the cruise.  Try them all.  If you have to share it’s a great way to meet fellow cruisers.  On O ships you won’t run into many unpleasant dining partners.

 

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You should get one advance reservation for each specialty restaurant, perhaps more if you have an upper suite or a very long cruise.  I would encourage you to make reservations for all as soon as the window opens, especially since you say you like all kinds of food.  This will give you a sampling. 

 

If you hesitate too long, you will have difficulty securing what you want (day, time, two-top), and the selection will be even more limited once you board as most prime spots will have been take.  You can always cancel any of these once on board if you change your mind or want to try to change the reservation.  

 

Asking which is your favorite specialty restaurant is a black hole, since folks have their own preferences on types of food, and you won't get any consensus as to which is a favorite.  I would always go for Jacques as my favorite, with Toscana second.   I'm not fond of steak houses, while others are and Polo's menu offers items that would get their nod.  Still others love Red Ginger because they prefer an Asian experience over Italian, French Bistro, or Steakhouse.

 

My advice:  reserve all you can on line, try them all and decide for yourself which is your favorite.  Most of all enjoy the cruise!

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Salf777 said:

Hi,

I will be sailing Oceania for the first time soon. The ability to make dining reservations opens up to me soon. What restaurants are the best I should make a reservation for ASAP? I like all kinds of food and welcome any suggestions. To all you seasoned Oceania cruisers, If you could only eat in one restaurant whats your go to?

Thanks in advance!

Sailing on the Riviera!

 

Edited by 1985rz1

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Also, try to book the specialties on days you do not have long, full day shore excursions.  You will likely to too tired to fully enjoy and/or won't have time to get changed for one of the earlier times.  I agree that you should make your reservations as soon as they open.  Also, if you are taking one of the afternoon classes in the Culinary Center (and they are lots of fun), you may not want to eat in one of the specialties that night.  Not that you will eat an entire meal in the class; but you will taste a bit of everything you cook (you can't take anything you make out of the Culinary Center).  Enjoy your cruise.

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try them all  then see what ones you like best 😉

You can then try for another reservation from the desk on deck 5

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I booked 3 out of my 4 the first part of the cruise so if I want to go back to one can hopefully get another reservation later in the cruise. 

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4 minutes ago, carlsbadguy said:

I booked 3 out of my 4 the first part of the cruise so if I want to go back to one can hopefully get another reservation later in the cruise. 

why not book the 4th restaurant also?

 

You get 1 per restaurant you can book in advance

Then you can ask for  more upon availability

you need to ask each morning  to see what  if any spaces are open

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1 hour ago, carlsbadguy said:

I booked 3 out of my 4 the first part of the cruise so if I want to go back to one can hopefully get another reservation later in the cruise. 

I'd suggest you book the 4th one, unless it's a cuisine you are absolutely not interested in.  Cancel on board if you want to change.  JMO.

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What I meant to say is I booked 3 of my allotted 4 during the first part of the cruise so if I really like one I can hopefully get another reservation later in the cruise.

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11 minutes ago, carlsbadguy said:

What I meant to say is I booked 3 of my allotted 4 during the first part of the cruise so if I really like one I can hopefully get another reservation later in the cruise.

But you get no "credit" for by not booking the 4th restaurant on line.  That strategy will not get you any preference for getting another reservation on the cruise, except for possibly getting a reservation at the restaurant you didn't book.  But even if this case you will loose out on the availability.  Am I missing something about your expectations?

Edited by 1985rz1

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Just ask people what their favorite restaurant is. 

 

As has been mentioned you’ll get at least one in all of them. 

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You will get answers that cover all the restaurants being favourites

Book them all particularly as a first timer. There are lots of options and choices to eat your way through until you have done most of them. We still like to eat in them as we have a few of our favourites at each.

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I understand the second night menu in the regular dining room is very good. Should I not book a specialty on that night? Also, as far as very early/late being open; what time is early?

Edited by victory2020

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12 hours ago, carlsbadguy said:

The 4th one I booked later in the cruise all at the same time. Polo was the last one I booked.,

Now I see what your doing.  I think you'll enjoy them all and hope you'll get additional reservations at the ones you liked.  Have a great cruise!  Our next two cruises are on Oceania's R ships, so we'll only have two specialties, none of which are Jacques.  😭😭😭   I'm a sucker for French Bistro. 

Edited by 1985rz1

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Jacques would clearly be our #1 choice because it’s not available on the R ships (and is far better than Regent’s French offering Chartreuse).

 

Then Red Ginger, which is consistently excellent and just different than the others.

 

Followed by Polo, which always does a solid job with steak and lobster and has that unique clubby atmosphere for a change.

 

 Finally, Toscana, which is pretty good too but nothing special. We go for the Veal Milanese if it’s available that night.

 

if you haven’t done La Reserve, which is a separate fee reservation, we have enjoyed their Odyssey menu. We think the Dom Perignon menu is overpriced, and prefer to have a red wine with meat courses.

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1 hour ago, victory2020 said:

I understand the second night menu in the regular dining room is very good. Should I not book a specialty on that night? Also, as far as very early/late being open; what time is early?

I wouldn’t book a specialty restaurant for the first, second, or next to last evening.

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Different strokes for different folks.  We always seek out a specialty on the first night.

 

Now, we might do that if we flew in to the departure port on the day of departure.  In that case we'd probably be too tired.  But since we always come in a few days early, we're fine with a specialty on Night #1 ... and we've found it's easier to get a reservation that night.

 

 

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6 hours ago, JPR said:

I wouldn’t book a specialty restaurant for the first, second, or next to last evening.

Foe us we will book a specialty and night we can get a reservation.  Love all of them. 

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OP appears to think that there are limits.  Well, there are ... BUT everyone is guaranteed at least one reservation in each restaurant on board.  And as many have said, you can get extras depending on demand.

 

When we first started cruising on Renaissance there were only two restaurants (which is the case on Oceania's "R" ships as well) so we tried them.  We weren't super enthused.  ON subsequent sailings we wouldn't even book one -- we liked the GDR that much.  On Ren they would call us, almost begging us to make a reservations.

 

That hasn't happened on Oceania but the restaurants are pretty much the same.

 

For myself, I'd advise any newbie to book each one at least once (depending on our cabin designation because higher cabins, especially on longer cruises, have the option for more reservations per restaurant).  At least you know.  It's not like you can only go to one or two.  Don't feel you need to "save" a reservation for the restaurant you don't feel like trying because that won't work ... not to say you can't get a second reservation in a fave but depending on demand -- you might well be able to.

 

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