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JIMinNC

June Alaska Cruise Specialty Dining Nights?

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We're on a southbound Mariner Alaska itinerary in late June in a Penthouse cabin, so in a little over a month we can make our two specialty dining reservations. Trying to figure out which nights to book on that cruise.

 

Our embarkation day in Seward is a milestone birthday for my wife, so I was thinking that night should be one of the two, unless there is some reason embarkation day on Regent would be a bad choice for specialty dining. Any issues/thoughts on that? Our sail away time is 5pm, so thinking maybe 7pm would be ideal.

 

As far as the second choice, since it is daylight in Alaska so late, I would hate to be locked into a specific dining time and miss great scenery. We are in one port late (until 11pm, Juneau) but we have a late excursion that day that won't return to the ship until 7:30, so I'm thinking that one is probably out. Also definitely out is Ketchikan, since we'll be doing an afternoon crab feast excursion and probably won't want a big meal that night. So that leaves these four options for the second specialty:

  • Our day cruising the Hubbard Glacier
  • Sitka (depart 6pm)
  • Skagway (depart 3pm)
  • Our last full day cruising the Inside Passage

It may not matter, but since this is our first time in Alaska and our first time on Regent, are there any things we should consider in choosing the best nights to lock ourselves into an advance dining time?

 

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Hi , I think your idea of the first evening onboard is ideal for a specialty reservation. It takes away the wonder of where to dine. Mybe if it was me I would chose 1930 so that you can take your time unpacking with a chilled glass of champagne, then enjoy a pre dinner cocktail in one of the bars pre dinner, especially as it’s a special birthday celebration.

Also I’ve always tried to book a specialty restaurant on the night Krew Kapers is held. I may be wrong but we’ve always noticed it’s second last night onboard? So that would let you enjoy this special show then no rush to Compass Rose you have your reservation. Krew Kapers usually finnishes at 1830. 
Alaska is so beautiful am sure you will have a wonderful cruise there and also have a special birthday cruise for your wife.  Jean.

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In regards to reserving a specialty restaurant while sailing the inside passage, this was the one evening that we saw the most sea life from our balcony. It was absolutely magnificent and not to be missed. I hope that I am not steering you wrong. But, that may be a night for eating at the Pool Grill so as to enjoy the best that an Alaskan cruise has to offer. 
I vote for you first night. Have a drink at the Mariner Lounge (second stool from the right is my seat) and enjoy your celebration. 
Z and TB

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Thanks for the replies so far. Sounds like the first specialty is a "GO" for our first night for the birthday. Since the Hubbard Glacier evening is day #2, I'm thinking back-to-back nights in the specialties would be a poor decision, so probably can eliminate that night from consideration. Also sounds like from Zqueeze1 that the inside passage night would be a poor choice. I had already more-or-less eliminated Ketchikan due to the crab feast and Juneau due to the late arrival from an excursion in my OP.  So that leaves as options for specialty #2:

  • Sitka (night 3, depart 6pm)
  • Skagway (night 5, depart 3pm)

Evening 5 in Skagway for specialty #2 would space things out a little better from the first one on evening 1, so that may be the way I'm leaning given the other factors above, but are there any other reasons to favor one of these two evenings over the other for a set-in-stone dining time?

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1 hour ago, JIMinNC said:

Since the Hubbard Glacier evening is day #2, I'm thinking back-to-back nights in the specialties would be a poor decision, so probably can eliminate that night from consideration.

 

Hi JIMinNC,

 

FYI - The 2nd evening onboard is usually Captain's Welcome Aboard dinner.  That night has the best menu in the Compass Rose.  

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As far as first night is concerned, I agree with the others, I always, always book a specialty for the first night.  Not exactly sure why, in years past I have found that the main dining room on any cruise ship to be somewhat disorganized on the first night of a cruise.  I don't know if that is still the case, but we keep the tradition.

 

As far as other nights go, there are 2 nights that I usually avoid specialties- the second night and next to last night.  These are generally Captain's Welcome and Captain's Farewell dinners, if memory serves there are some better specialty choices in Compass Rose.

Also, on Seven Seas Society night CR has Miso Glazed Sea Bass, many people think is a not to be missed dish.  But sadly, that night cannot be predicted in advance.  But if you are in a specialty that night, please bear in mind that the dish can be special ordered for another night with 2 days notice.

 

 

Regent food is yummy!

Bob

 

Sorry, I posted this before reading NCCruzQueen's response, but we are in agreement.

Edited by boblerm

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My family is on this cruise, too, and I'm thinking about the same thing.

 

 

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On 2/21/2020 at 9:37 AM, Zqueeze1 said:

In regards to reserving a specialty restaurant while sailing the inside passage, this was the one evening that we saw the most sea life from our balcony. It was absolutely magnificent and not to be missed. I hope that I am not steering you wrong. But, that may be a night for eating at the Pool Grill so as to enjoy the best that an Alaskan cruise has to offer. 
I vote for you first night. Have a drink at the Mariner Lounge (second stool from the right is my seat) and enjoy your celebration. 
Z and TB

 

Z, your job is to steer people wrong and mine is to harass you!  Okay - I can almost be serious with you.  Based on your comment, we will try dining at the Pool Grill (unless it is too hot or there are chickens running around:classic_biggrin:).  

 

In terms of booking specialty restaurants, we always book the first and last night's (plus anything that we can get in addition to those nights).  We find the menu less than wonderful on the last night and people dine early because they need to pack so, CR gets crazy busy.  (However, if you sail with Z, you could ask if he wouldn't mind packing for you so that you could enjoy dinner).

 

A quick off-topic cruise.  A few of us already have discussed the Margarita and Bloody Mary Society for our 2021 cruise.  I will be sure to send photos.

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7 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

Z, your job is to steer people wrong and mine is to harass you!  Okay - I can almost be serious with you.  Based on your comment, we will try dining at the Pool Grill (unless it is too hot or there are chickens running around:classic_biggrin:).  

 

In terms of booking specialty restaurants, we always book the first and last night's (plus anything that we can get in addition to those nights).  We find the menu less than wonderful on the last night and people dine early because they need to pack so, CR gets crazy busy.  (However, if you sail with Z, you could ask if he wouldn't mind packing for you so that you could enjoy dinner).

 

A quick off-topic cruise.  A few of us already have discussed the Margarita and Bloody Mary Society for our 2021 cruise.  I will be sure to send photos.

Hah!!! Now the world knows that I hate chicken. I can’t even stand the sight of it. 
I am all for packing as long as I am paid through the bartering system (Hendricks is my preferred mode of currency). 
I am bestowing upon you the keeper of the M&BMS traditions and protocols on your cruise. Please do us all honorably and make us proud. 
Your upcoming cruise is one for the history books with so many CCers onboard and I hope to see lots of pics and read about your antics. Our good friends, Karen and John (1Teach53) are boarding the Splendor this Tuesday and will cross paths with you in San Siego. We board the Explorer a week from tomorrow!

Z and TB

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