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View Poll Results: Do You Want More dining options?
I love the idea of many dining options, and don't mind paying Xtra 13 40.63%
I'd prefer only one or two options outside the dining rooms 7 21.88%
I won't pay extra for food on a ship 5 15.63%
Food options don't enter my thinking when deciding what cruise to book 7 21.88%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 12th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Default POLL - Move to More Dining Options - Great OR Money Grab?

The move of late has certainly been to new ships adding more and more dining options; lots of different themed restaurants, and of course, many coming with a surcharge free for the pleasure of using those facilities.


Do you like the idea of more choices?
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Old July 12th, 2010, 10:41 AM
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To me being on a cruise is akin to being in a hotel in the Catskills in the 1960's where you could eat as much as you desired . I eat in the main dining area 100% of the time with an occasional visit to the buffet area .
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Old July 12th, 2010, 10:58 AM
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The question is....just how much food can we eat? We've done over a dozen cruises and not once have we eaten in a specialty restaurant. And not just because of the surcharge-we cruise Celebrity most of the time and have always been very satisfied with the MDR food. We're not accustomed to spending $200 plus to dine out at home so we don't miss it on a cruise. I like the option of alternative dining in the buffet (love sushi), breakfast in the MDR or on the balcony, and a snack by the pool. I maybe wrong but I think the more dining options there are, the more likely the quality of the food going down.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 11:53 AM
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I enjoy eating in the MDR - but I like the option to have a good meal elsewhere if I have a conflict or just want to eat at a different time.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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Having options, means choice, a great thing! To go or not to go...to have the availability to select only to dine in the free options, is key for many many cruisers. I do like the option NCL has, of bundling the pay options at a special price...Something for everbody, is great.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 09:43 PM
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Cruise lines spend between $5 million and $10 million for installation of EACH alternative restaurant and galley on a ship.
The cover charges run anywhere from $15 to $40 per person.
These restaurants rarely serve more than 100 people per night on very busy nights.
They often serve far fewer.

They generally feature food items that cost them far more than the "regular" food in the dining rooms.

If you do the math, most of these restaurants will never even pay for their physical elements over the entire life of the ship. They will never some even close to paying for the high cost foods, special equipment, and additional staff. Where's the "money grab"?
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Old July 13th, 2010, 11:31 PM
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Bruce..

I don't see where anyone even close to using the term "money grab". You must just be used to defending against it

In my past I was involved in the opening of several restaurants (one high end), and at least on land it's pretty hard to spend $5 million on one restaurant.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 09:26 AM
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With all the dining options open to us all while on a cruise ship, the last few cruises where they have the open dining, I've tried to get traditional and could not. One cruise I was on a wait list with hundreds in front of me....I think they need to put back some seating for that??
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Old July 14th, 2010, 05:06 PM
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We have never gone to an extra pay resturant on a cruise and don't plan on doing so in the future. With one exception we have always been happy with the food in the MDR. And that exception we both felt was due to the fact that the line really wants people to go to the extra pay resturants on board or to the smaller non extra pay on board, though we had an extremely hard time trying to get reservations at the smaller ones and when we did get in the food still was not much better than the MDR. I'm sure you can figure out what line I am talking about and we will not be cruising with them again.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 06:23 PM
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I like having different dining options and the ability to set my time to go. I voted for number 1 but there would be a limit. If the price is more than $30 per restaurant it is too much.

I also need to have included restaurants available and that serve decent food.

If the Star Cruises model was implemented fleetwide (Your included dining options are dictated by how much you paid) I would have an issue. NCL is going that route but at this time they haven't gone completely over to it.

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Old July 14th, 2010, 06:34 PM
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I really dislike the whole MDR concept of dining with strangers, forced small talk, etc. I want a lovely dinner with my husband or friends so having lots of alternatives to the MDR works for us. $20 - $25 per person I have no issue with and of course tables for 2 work just fine in the MDR. The more we cruise the more we find we're escaping the MDR for a little bit more intimacy in our dining.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 10:47 PM
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I do like to have the choice. We always eat in an alternative at least once every cruise.

On our last cruise, on the Solstice, we would have eaten in alternative every night even we had been able. We thought the food was less than sub-par in the dining room.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
Bruce..

I don't see where anyone even close to using the term "money grab". You must just be used to defending against it

In my past I was involved in the opening of several restaurants (one high end), and at least on land it's pretty hard to spend $5 million on one restaurant.
Kuki,

I never heard any passengers calling it a money grab. I first saw this term on the very first post in this thread - made by you. See below.

"POLL - Move to More Dining Options - Great OR Money Grab?"

I was also in the restaurant business in America I opened and operated the most expensive restaurant in the USA for many years. We spent about $5 million to open it in the 1980's. But it was far nicer than anything you see on a ship.

But anything you build on a ship costs far, far more than the same thing on land. The last time passengers on my ship lit candles and burned up their cabin, we charged them US$40,000 for repairs. They got quite a deal. The actual repairs cost us nearly double that amount.
Comparing the $75,000 we spent to repair a tiny cabin that was already built, $5 to $10 million for building a new 100 seat specialty restaurant (with galley) seems quite reasonable.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 09:26 AM
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Bruce...

You're right! I read all the replies, but didn't read the title I used! DUH!!

Teach me to post before I've had my pot of coffee and and am awake.

STUPID title!!
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Old July 15th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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We have tried the specialty restaurant. It was excellent, but not enough for me to do again. I can't say I will never go back to the specialty restaurants. But for now I'm sticking with the MDR. The food items are not different enough from the MDR. If the specialty restaurant was a theme like a French restaurant then we might go back. On Carnival and Celebrity the specialty restaurants are nice steak houses I can get that on land or in the MDR. I want something new and different that I can't in the MDR. Oh I know I want a Teppanyaki restuarant. I should explain what that is. Benihana is aTeppanyaki restuarant, you are seated in front of an iron grill and meals are theatrically prepared by a knife-wielding, joke-telling chef. I would pay extra from that. I think a lot of people would, look how popular the mongolian bbqs are on the Carnival ships.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady View Post
We have tried the specialty restaurant. It was excellent, but not enough for me to do again. I can't say I will never go back to the specialty restaurants. But for now I'm sticking with the MDR. The food items are not different enough from the MDR. If the specialty restaurant was a theme like a French restaurant then we might go back. On Carnival and Celebrity the specialty restaurants are nice steak houses I can get that on land or in the MDR. I want something new and different that I can't in the MDR. Oh I know I want a Teppanyaki restuarant. I should explain what that is. Benihana is aTeppanyaki restuarant, you are seated in front of an iron grill and meals are theatrically prepared by a knife-wielding, joke-telling chef. I would pay extra from that. I think a lot of people would, look how popular the mongolian bbqs are on the Carnival ships.

I love those. When we go back to Winnipeg for a visit we always go to one there. It's been there, in the same place for over 50 years. We found one when we were in Tahiti as well. I would definitely pay extra for that.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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If the food was not good in the MDR (main dining room) I would say they are money grabs, but in fact I find the food in the MDR to be very decent on most ships - including NCL which has the most alternative restaurants onboard.

I personally like the alternative restaurants very much and find the food to be of excellent quality - worthy of what you pay to dine in them.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 07:18 PM
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NCL has Tepanyaki restaurants on most of their ships. They are really one of my least favorites. They are fun but the quality of the chefs and the food is far below what you would find at a Benihana, Samurai or Ichiban.

If you go: Go for the fun and not for the food. Go to Cagney's or Le Bistro for the food.

Take care,
Mike (Who would really love some Cagney's clam chowder right now)
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Old July 16th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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It's a shame the food isn't good at the NCL's Tepanyaki restaurant. It's kind of like the mongolian bbqs on the Carnival ships are not of the quality of the land restaurants we have here in California. On Splendor I ended up trying the mongolian bbq once was disappointed and moved on. I'm getting picker in my old age.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 05:52 AM
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Default Choice is Good

I like having multiple options for dining. It, IMHO, isn't a money grab unless the main dining room food is horrible. I had a cruise on Carnival and my waiter told me that the Tuesday menu wasn't going to be that good and if we wanted to try the alternative restaurants, that was the day to do it. I didn't listen and he was right, the food wasn't bad, just nothing to write home about like the other nights were.

I have ate in the alternative restaurants on Carnival and Princess and Carnival is much better. As a matter of Fact, I had a steak in the alternative restaurant on the Island Princess that was just about the worst I ever had.

Options are good, just as long as the cruise lines don't go overboard and do away with meals included in the price.

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