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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:41 PM
DMH DMH is offline
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Default Cover charge at restaurants

What is the deal with restaurants with cover charge,,,,I assume that food is included,,,,
how does that work???
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Old March 18th, 2008, 11:31 AM
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If you choose to make a reservation at any of these specialty choices, you are charged pp......All other venues onboard, the food is included in your fare.

Last year on the Conquest, we had intended to try the Supper Club, but the food was so wonderful in the dining room, we decided not to. The Murano specialty restaurant, on the Century was, hands down a wonderful taste for the palette:)

The specialty resaturants sometimes have special themes and great ambiance, and the dining experience takes over 2 hours....Hope this helped.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 12:41 AM
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Most current Celebrity ships do not have multiple restaurants like some lines.
The Millennium, Constellation, Infinity, Summit, and Century have a specialty restaurant which has a charge and is billed to your sign and sail account when you dine there (need a reservation) and an Aqua Spa cafe which is free - except for the smoothies.
Now I'll cover what is available on all current Celebrity ships - with the exception of the Expedition.
For free dining on all ships:
Celebrity ships have a main dining room with assigned tables and seating time for dinner. For lunch on sea days and breakfast on all days the seating is open.
They have a buffet which is open for breakfast, lunch, and tea time.
For breakfast there is a waffle station and an omelet station in the buffet area.
For lunch and early evening, they also have a grill which serves hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.
There is also an ice cream station - real ice cream - which is open at lunchtime and early afternoon.
For lunch and through the evening, they have a pasta station and pizza station in the buffet area.
In the evening there is a sushi bar in the buffet area.
Room service is available 24/7 with a menu that is published in the binder in your cabin. There are hang cards for breakfast that you can leave on your door at night. Also, during dining room hours, you can order room service from the dining room menu.
At midnight, Celebrity usually has gourmet bites instead of a midnight buffet. Waiters pass around trays of appetizer-like morsels and petite desserts in the public lounges and casino. It is actually very nice as the food comes to you instead of you having to go to the food.
There is usually at least one midnight buffet on a cruise of 7 or more nights (not sure of the 5 or less cruises as we haven't done them) which is held on the last formal night and called the grand buffet. Even if you don't eat, you should go and view during the picture taking time - usually the half hour before it opens.
That is about it for the free dining on all Celebrity ships.
There is a mixed venue - some things have a charge, others are free - the coffee bar. There is a charge for coffees and teas - even plain tea. But the rolls and pastries are free even if you don't buy a drink.
Now for the pay dining on all ships:
For dinner there is alternative casual dining in the buffet area with waiters and table service which has a charge of $2 per person (covers the tip as these are waiters in training). Reservations are requested which can be done that same day, though several people have been able to just walk up. The menu is not the same as the dining room, it has a limited selection and there are two to three menus that alternate.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Cover charge at restaurants

DMH,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
What is the deal with restaurants with cover charge,,,,I assume that food is included,,,,
how does that work???
There's no charge for "normal" meal service. This includes the main dining room, the buffet, the poolside grill, the pizza and pasta bar, room service, the sushi bar (in the buffet area at dinnertime), and on the ships of Celebrity's Millennium class, the Aquaspa Cafe.

There is a charge of $2.00 per person, which is basically a gratuity for the service, for Celebrity's "Alternative Casual Dining." The "Alternative Casual Dining" offers full table service in a section of the buffet restaurant during the dinner hour, with rotating menus that are not the same as the menus in the main dining room.

There is also a charge of $30.00 per person for Celebrity's specialty restaurants, which offer true gourmet dining with tableside preparation and synchronized service. Of Celebrity's current fleet, only MV Century and the four ships of the Millennium class have specialty restaurants.

There is also a charge for all "bar' beverages, which include soda and, except at breakfast, juices. Also, the "Cova Cafe di Milano" charges $plenty for specialty coffees and teas in addition to bar beverages. If you want coffee or tea, get it at the buffet, at the grill, at the Aquaspa Cafe aboard ships of the Millennium class, or at the pizza and pasta bar aboard MV Galaxy or MV Mercury, where it's free, instead.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 09:04 AM
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datatsea: I noticed you booked the 11/09 transatlantic on Celebrity and we just booked it also - on Friday. We have never cruise Celebrity - have cruise on Princess (15 times), RCCL(3 times) and NCL(1 - learned really fast it was not for us). We enjoy Princess but noticed you are on Celebrity cruiser. What drew you and kept you cruising Celebrity? We are really looking forward to a brand new ship.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 05:53 PM
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cruise dreaming,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
datatsea: I noticed you booked the 11/09 transatlantic on Celebrity and we just booked it also - on Friday. We have never cruise Celebrity - have cruise on Princess (15 times), RCCL(3 times) and NCL(1 - learned really fast it was not for us). We enjoy Princess but noticed you are on Celebrity cruiser. What drew you and kept you cruising Celebrity? We are really looking forward to a brand new ship.
I'm not "daysatsea" but, as a veteran of thirteen cruises with Princess and eleven with Celebrity, I'll answer your question. I started cruising with Princess in 1998 and I really liked what Princess offered at that time -- a very classy, very traditional cruise aboard stylish, but very well designed ships that functioned smoothly. Unfortunately, Princess made several changes to its product around the start of the new millennium that I cannot regard as improvements.

>> First, the line changed its policy on evening dress, reducing the number of "formal" evenings to the lowest in the industry on cruises longer than seven nights and eliminating "semiformal" evening dress completely. This change attracted a lot of passengers who did not want to dress up for the evening, many of whom exhibited a very arrogant attitude ("It's my vacation, and I'll do whatever the f*^& I please!") toward the ship's staff and their fellow passengers. The line's failure to enforce its dress codes also led to a marked deterioration in the ambiance of the "formal" evenings.

>> Second, the line introduced its "Personal Choice Cruising" campaign, with "Personal Choice Dining" and the "Anytime Dining" option. I despise the "Anytime Dining" option, partly because having the same tablemates every night affords an opportunity to build real friendships that often endure past the end of the cruise and partly because service suffers when you don't have the same waitstaff every evening. In Traditional Dining, the waitstaff get to know your preferences on the first evening or two and anticipate your requests thereafter, providing much more efficient and robust service. (Here, I should note in fairness that Norwegian Cruise Line's introduction of "Freestyle Cruising" with a "Formal Optional" policy may have led to some confusion about the fact that Princess's "Formal" evenings theoretically are not optional, although many passengers seem to ignore the dress code with impunity.)

>> Third, after many problems surfaced in the layout of MV Grand Princess, which has positively the most dysfunctional layout of any ship on which I have ever cruised, the line proceeded to build seven ships (so far) to the same basic design.

>> And fourth, the parent company introduced a major "Cost Reduction Programme" around 2001 or 2002 that cut so deeply into the product that it became very noticeable. There were major cutbacks in entertainment, and traditional flaming desserts like Bananas a la Foster and Cherries Jubilee disappeared from the line's dining rooms to cut the cost of insurance. Quite simply, the "Cost Reduction Programme" went WAY too far!

For me, the last straw came when the stockholders of the line's parent company voted to merge operations with Carnival Corporation, which at the time was having a series of major operational incidents across all of its cruise lines that appear to have stemmed from neglect of maintenance and inattention to safety. As a former naval officer, I won't go near a ship that does not appear to be properly maintained.

And in Celebrity, I have found substantially what Princess had ceased to provide. Celebrity is the dressiest of all the major cruise lines, still holding "informal" evenings in addition to "formal" evenings, and it draws a lot of passengers who really enjoy dressing accordingly -- especially on cruises longer than seven nights. Celebrity's cuisine is also very good, though I do miss Princess's themed menus. But overall, Celebrity seems to be the closest to what Princess was when I first started cruising.

Of course, YMMV!

Norm.
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