The restaurant itself is stunning and the food and service are several steps above the norm in a cruise ship's main restaurant. The price is quite in line with the charges being made on other ships for their gourmet alternative restaurants (the CostaAtlantica, as an example, is just about the same price, including gratuity). One of the ideas at work here, as I understand it, is to limit the demand for the restaurant, which cannot nearly accommodate all on board, even once during a 7 night cruise. The charge should separate out those who really want a gourmet dining experience, with menu's that cannot be prepared in large kitchens for great numbers of people from those who have only a casual interest. This ship has many excellent dining venues open to all, night and day. No one will go hungry here.