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coloradosmom

Specialty dining still worth it with lobster upcharges?

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To be honest, the only reason we paid for the specialty dining was to have lobster. Now I'm not sure it's even worth it. I can pay alot less while in port if you consider the upcharges. Nothing on these new menus seems that spectacular compared with the MDR to justify. Thoughts?

Edited by coloradosmom

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In my experience, lobster is one of the poorest choices on NCL.  Previously frozen, it is typically tough and chewy without much flavor.  Many much better choices in Ocean Blue and other specialty restaurants. 

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14 hours ago, coloradosmom said:

To be honest, the only reason we paid for the specialty dining was to have lobster. Now I'm not sure it's even worth it. I can pay alot less while in port if you consider the upcharges. Nothing on these new menus seems that spectacular compared with the MDR to justify. Thoughts?

 

Just off Breakaway, I ate in Cagney's and did the upcharge $5 for black tiger shrimp cocktail and $19 for surf and turf.  The lobster tail was grilled and fantastic, the filet was solid, but it is a notch below you'd get in a nice steakhouse (i'm talking Chicago steakhouse nice), but for $24 additional, I was pretty happy. 

 

NOTE - My UDP was included in my cruise fare, I booked and just got all the perks, if you were going to pay for UDP and then pay upcharges on top of that, the value might not seem as good.  

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It's quite funny that one week it's included than the next week it cost an extra $24, and people just pay, as if it's OK. For your convenience of course...

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It wasn’t long ago that you couldn’t get Lobster at all in most of the restaurants, so if the only reason you paid for the speciality restaurants is for the Lobster then it hasn’t been worth it for quite some time.

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I agree with those who say to not stress over lobster. There is so much else to eat, and it's really nothing special.

 

We beat the upcharge recently and ordered the Surf and Turf from the package. The lobster was better than the filet, I will admit, but it was not the best I have had.

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I only eat in the specialty restaurants, because the food, atmosphere and service is much better than the MDR IMHO.  My two favorites are Cagney's and the Teppanyaki restaurant and I've never had a bad meal at either.  Use to love La Cucina, but since they recently changed the menu, didn't like the offerings.  

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We just got off the Getaway and ate in Ocean Blue twice.  First night I ordered the Surf & Turf with the $19 upcharge using the SDP credit.   It was kind of funny how tiny the Lobster Tail was, plus the Filet was definitely 'petite' (not the listed size).  However, we just went with it and enjoyed our dinner immensely.   We had a large amount of non-refundable OBC to spend so the cost wasn't really of concern.   If I had been paying cash out of my pocket I might have been more upset🤨

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On 11/19/2019 at 10:50 PM, coloradosmom said:

To be honest, the only reason we paid for the specialty dining was to have lobster. Now I'm not sure it's even worth it. I can pay alot less while in port if you consider the upcharges. Nothing on these new menus seems that spectacular compared with the MDR to justify. Thoughts?

Agree. Purchased the SDP specifically for Ocean Blue and the lobster/shrimp. I am still awaiting a call back from Annette from the executive office regarding this. I urge everyone who agrees that this violates NCL's own dining terms & conditions to call and ask for an explanation - 1800- 456-7298.

Edited by schildiams

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On 11/19/2019 at 10:50 PM, coloradosmom said:

To be honest, the only reason we paid for the specialty dining was to have lobster. Now I'm not sure it's even worth it. I can pay alot less while in port if you consider the upcharges. Nothing on these new menus seems that spectacular compared with the MDR to justify. Thoughts?

Well, the MDR menus were significantly downgraded in July. Think repeating entrees of chicken, pork, cheap fish, flank steak. So, the items in the specialty restaurant are a step up from the MDR. However, the menu prices, surcharges, service charges plus even the cost of the dining package and free at sea promotion are not worth it. You are right, you'll do better in port where seafood is fresh, beef is aged, hand carved and grilled over an open flame.

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If you are using the specialty dining package just for lobster, save your money.  


We had lobster at Bayamo last month on the Escape - it was not as good as what we get from our local supermarket.

 

The reason we use the specialty dining package is for the upscale meals at places like Le Bistro - where their rack of lamb is some of the best we have ever had.   Most appetizers, entrees and desserts at Le Bistro are about as good as any  good French restaurant on land in the NY/NJ area.   We have enjoyed every meal at Le Bistro - on both the Gem and the Escape.  We eat there multiple times during our cruise.  We have had bad meals at both Cagney's and Bayamo, and will not go back there.  

Edited by DinaS

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We just got off the Gem and bought the dining package for all 13 nights. To us it’s money well spent. It’s not just about the food it’s about having nicer ambience and better service and booking your restaurants and times prior to the cruise just makes things easier when on board.

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