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-   -   Pay for specialty? (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/celebrity/387577-pay-specialty.html)

buttons16 February 9th, 2012 11:36 AM

Pay for specialty?
 
Hello to all my fellow cruise lovers.

The question to book a specialty restaurant and pay an extra surcharge has been a difficult decision for my wife and I.

We do understand that a smaller venue such as a specialty restaurant can increase the quality of the food and service considering how few people can book it per night. But the real question is should the cruise line increase the price of the cruise to keep the quality of the food and service at a high level of quality?

I for one am not pleased that I have to pay extra to get the quality of food that should be included in the price of the cruise. Consider many years back when the first thing people thought of when a cruise was mentioned was how wonderful the food was. Nowadays lots of cruise lines lower their quality of food for cost savings.

One of the main reason I have cruised with Celebrity was the fact that the food level was at a rather high level of quality, compared to other cruise lines I have sailed with, it was sort of comparing Wendys to a sit down restarant.

We understand that if the cruise line increased the price of the cruise then it is proberly the same as if you paid for the specialty restaurant. The only difference is that all passengers pay the higher rate wheather you want to eat a higher quality of food or not.

I believe the way to go is to raise the cruise price and get served a higher level of food and service. By charging a surcharge it just makes the whole situation feel like they are nickle and diming you.

I guess when push comes to shove my wife and I would pay for a couple of evenings in a specialty restaurant. But in the end it just does'nt feel right. I don't think we should have to make a reservation to get a higher level of quality since we think it should be standard on Celebrity...

What do my fellow cruisers and fans of Celebrity think :?:

Lakers Fan February 9th, 2012 01:50 PM

I personally would not pay additional money to eat in a specialty restaurant .

big apple February 9th, 2012 02:00 PM

The difference may only be slight however in my opinion it is worth the added expense and the service is the best of the cruise line.Am sure there are numerous places to spend your money on a cruise however we feel that this is a special ocassion and will partake at least once a cruise.I can remember the days when the food was prepared at your table and yes then you would not have needed a specialty restaurant.

Manuel February 9th, 2012 02:49 PM

I love Celebrity and have enjoyed all my cruises on their ships, but I have never paid to eat in a specialty restaurant.

I con't plan to do so on Celebrity, or any other cruiseline.

TM

Lakers Fan February 9th, 2012 02:57 PM

One of my closest friends and his wife are doing their first cruise ever this coming Sunday on the Celebrity Soltice .

buttons16 February 9th, 2012 03:32 PM

Individual choice
 
I can understand and appriciate both sides of the opinion as to wheather to pay or not pay for a specialty retaurant.;)

Considering this will be our first cruise in 5 years, I think my wife and I will opt to try it. Though I dont believe in paying for something that should be included.

However I do have a limit, and that would be if the extra charge is more then $30.00 per person. If that is the case then I will pass. I think $30.00 per person is even high, at that price I will expect nothing less then a triple A 5 Diamond white table cloth restaurant, anything less would be a dissapointment. Are my expections too high, not really considering the Celebrity motto is "exceeding you're expectations".

johnthed0g February 9th, 2012 03:46 PM

Why should it be included? Everything else is included & they offer a special dining experience if you wish to indulge in it ..up to you really, we always try a speciality venue & Celebrity have some good ones.

Lakers Fan February 9th, 2012 03:50 PM

My thinking is that in the not too distant future all free activities on cruise ships may no longer exist . On my first cruise every possible activity was included .

Trip February 9th, 2012 04:03 PM

The population of people saying the food in specialty restaurants is a better option, is growing steadily. To take in more revenue to offset lower prices, the trend continues for more pay venues.

Next month, we opted for most of the week, excluding our Cruisemate group dining get togethers, to dine in specialty venues, for a cost of $150.00

Enjoy your cruise,and your options.

Kuki February 9th, 2012 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Henry43 (Post 1414470)
My thinking is that in the not too distant future all free activities on cruise ships may no longer exist . On my first cruise every possible activity was included .

Henry... when you first cruised, the only activity option was rowing :)

Seriously, in the early days of cruising, there weren't many activities, except for shuffleboard.

As far as activities go, there's not all that many "activities" that they do now charge for.

johnthed0g February 9th, 2012 04:52 PM

We look at the speciality restaurants as a special treat, but a choice nevertheless.

buttons16 February 9th, 2012 04:57 PM

Some good opinions.
 
To answer some points that were brought up first JohnthedOg:

I stated that the cruise line should raise the price of the cruise itself, to offset the extra care and quality in the food and service. To be charged a extra fee makes it seem like they are nickle and diming you. But I never said it should just be included.

I do agree about the point being in the future more and more activites will cost extra. How far can they go ? well look at the airlines. They pushed the envelope so far that at the basic's can double the original fare. Items such as:
Pillows, food, headphones,aisle seats, window seats, bulk head seat, carry on bags, checked bags, they are even thinking about charging to use the restroom.

How far can cruise lines go? well we see it already in some of the things that never existed years ago and one of those Items is specialty restaurants. Thought up with just one thing in mind, raise the profit of the cruise line.

My wife and I do not drink soda, But we heard on how high the prices of soda packages can be especialy if you have kids. But will free ice tea be a thing of the past soon?

This is just meant as some discussion material and in no way is it meant to be confrontational. I do respect all opinions on this matter. So lets hear how you feel.;)

Surfguyxxx1 February 9th, 2012 06:11 PM

Alright, I can't believe I am telling you all about this but on my next cruise, I booked a speciality restaurant every night. Why; I love the attention I/we get in this smaller venue. I like the quieter atmosphere, the detail to finer service, the "clear" distinction of the wait staff, the offerings on the menu. I am not and never have and never will be a "stand up and whirl your napkin above your head kinda guy".

I am not rich by any means, but I like to be pampered and if it costs me a few extra dollars, I think I work hard enough to deserve it! I actually have more of a problem with scheduling a 50 minute massage, having to wait for her to come back into my room, getting 35 minutes of actual massage and 15 minutes of trying to sell me potions and lotions.

johnthed0g February 9th, 2012 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surfguyxxx1 (Post 1414506)
Alright, I can't believe I am telling you all about this but on my next cruise, I booked a speciality restaurant every night. Why; I love the attention I/we get in this smaller venue. I like the quieter atmosphere, the detail to finer service, the "clear" distinction of the wait staff, the offerings on the menu. I am not and never have and never will be a "stand up and whirl your napkin above your head kinda guy".

I am not rich by any means, but I like to be pampered and if it costs me a few extra dollars, I think I work hard enough to deserve it! I actually have more of a problem with scheduling a 50 minute massage, having to wait for her to come back into my room, getting 35 minutes of actual massage and 15 minutes of trying to sell me potions and lotions.

Yep...enjoy & indulge!! Never had a massage but I see what you mean.

Mike M February 9th, 2012 06:29 PM

Surfguy: Nothin wrong with that. Enjoy.

My wife and I usually book at least one specialty restaurant over the course of the trip on most lines. On NCL we book about 3/4 of our dinners at the additional charge venues.

On Celebrity it isn't what it once was. I remember when my wife and I sailed on the Millennium. We had dinner in the Olympic restaurant and it was one of the BEST dinners, food and service wise, we have ever had.

Sadly, it isn't quite the same as then. The "Butterfly Service" is gone and the food, while good, isn't the level it was then. This is based on dining in the S.S. United States and two times in Murano's on Century. My last dinner in Muranos, in May 2011, was good but reminded me of what was "normal" in the MDR six or seven years earlier.

Take care,
Mike

johnthed0g February 9th, 2012 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buttons16 (Post 1414484)
To answer some points that were brought up first JohnthedOg:
I stated that the cruise line should raise the price of the cruise itself, to offset the extra care and quality in the food and service. To be charged a extra fee makes it seem like they are nickle and diming you. But I never said it should just be included.

Surely by saying they should increase the price to offset the extra care etc....is implying it should be included?
The speciality restaurants are an experience in themselves, not just the food. For instance "Ocean Liners" on Constellation is a 3 hour dining journey with matched wines for each course, superb service in splendid surroundings.

buttons16 February 9th, 2012 06:40 PM

Wow some really great points for both sides. I also am not a wave the napkin high above your head while waiters dance around balancing plates of dessert on thier heads.

I guess I like the finer points of cruising. I for one like Surfguy's thoughts about paying a little extra to be pampered. If that's what it takes then so be it.

I will proberly book at least two dinners in a specialty restaurant because I like the extra attention that would be offered. Dont I still don't agree with the tactic. I just wont book a specialty dinner during a formal night, that just does not make sense to me. Why pay extra when they are serving lobster in the MDR ?

2katz3fsh February 9th, 2012 06:55 PM

My husband and I tend to eat nightly in the specialty restaurants on board ship. Living in NYC, we often attend Broadway shows so we tend not to view on board entertainment venues unless they are before/after dinner. Our dining experience in the specialty restaurants is, therefore, "our show."

We do not like to be rushed, nor do we like to be herded like cattle, nor wait on lines to go into a restaurant. Check the watch, six o'clock? Ok, let's line up in front of the restaurant, eat six courses in less than an hour, go to the cabin to freshen up and then rush to the theater to get a good seat for a show. Not us, sorry....I'm not saying that it is a bad thing, but just not for us nor our lifestyle.

We enjoy dressing up nightly for dinner, sitting down in a restaurant that has lower lights, lower noise level, smaller population, not rubbing up against someone at the next table and having to make coversation with others if we are having a bad day or did not like the port and are still complaining about it...

That's just us and our way of cruising. We don't mind spending the extra money for fine wines and dinner, lingering longer over it (even if it means we are the last ones out of the restaurant which is most always the case). This is our thing and that is what makes a cruise for us. Doesn't mean that dining in the MDR is less enjoyable, but been there many times, done that many times, and this is what works for us at this point in our lives.

We tend to sail only on ships having specialty restaurants, and some are far better than others. HAL's PG is one of the worst, although they are my favorite line, and we still tend to eat there nightly. Celebrity's Olympic is far superior to Tuscan Grill (in my opinion, which does not even come close to Princess' Sabattini's) but the Murano is third on our favorite list. Chops was, at one time, another fave, but we tend to eat less red meat nowdays. Portofino was also excellent on RCL. LeBistro, on NCL, is another favorite for the food and atmosphere. I will also admit that since we eat nightly at these restaurants, we may form relationships with the staff there and are allowed to order off menu at times, order food from the MDR menu, or even make special requests. This depends on the chef, wait staff, and ship as this may also vary and at times, we are not permitted to do so. No problem, we still eat there anyway.

I would suggest that cruisers try at least one specialty restaurant on board a cruise ship which encompasses your favorite food. It is, after all, your cruise, and try to experience all aspects of shipboard life at least once, and then draw your own conclusions.

Wherever you eat, whomever you eat with, enjoy your vacation with its lasting memories!

big apple February 9th, 2012 07:15 PM

my wife and I have over 60 cruises and the best specialty restaurant was the Olympic many years ago and the entire experience will be always remembered.

buttons16 February 9th, 2012 08:41 PM

2KATZ3FSH and big apple,

Thanks so much for your honest opinion's. I also like the extra attention that would be givin in a specialty restaurant. I proberly will take the advice of proberly booking the Olympic.

One question though, would it be advisable to reserve on line prior to sailing ? If that is the case then I would have to find out when the two formal nights are. I would prefer to eat in the MDR on formal nights.

Golden1 February 9th, 2012 09:29 PM

Exactly when do you book the specialty restaurants? Can you do it before hand, like the excursions or spa? Or do you have to wait until you
actually get on board? If so, where do you go to book your reservation?

Mike M February 9th, 2012 11:02 PM

You can pre-book online and you can book once you are on board. To book on board you can do so by telephone from your cabin or go directly to the specialty restaurant.

Many times they will have a table set up in the main atrium where you can book a specialty restaurant reservation.

Take care,
Mike

Lakers Fan February 9th, 2012 11:05 PM

Broadway shows
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2katz3fsh (Post 1414522)
My husband and I tend to eat nightly in the specialty restaurants on board ship. Living in NYC, we often attend Broadway shows so we tend not to view on board entertainment venues unless they are before/after dinner. Our dining experience in the specialty restaurants is, therefore, "our show."

We do not like to be rushed, nor do we like to be herded like cattle, nor wait on lines to go into a restaurant. Check the watch, six o'clock? Ok, let's line up in front of the restaurant, eat six courses in less than an hour, go to the cabin to freshen up and then rush to the theater to get a good seat for a show. Not us, sorry....I'm not saying that it is a bad thing, but just not for us nor our lifestyle.

We enjoy dressing up nightly for dinner, sitting down in a restaurant that has lower lights, lower noise level, smaller population, not rubbing up against someone at the next table and having to make coversation with others if we are having a bad day or did not like the port and are still complaining about it...

That's just us and our way of cruising. We don't mind spending the extra money for fine wines and dinner, lingering longer over it (even if it means we are the last ones out of the restaurant which is most always the case). This is our thing and that is what makes a cruise for us. Doesn't mean that dining in the MDR is less enjoyable, but been there many times, done that many times, and this is what works for us at this point in our lives.

We tend to sail only on ships having specialty restaurants, and some are far better than others. HAL's PG is one of the worst, although they are my favorite line, and we still tend to eat there nightly. Celebrity's Olympic is far superior to Tuscan Grill (in my opinion, which does not even come close to Princess' Sabattini's) but the Murano is third on our favorite list. Chops was, at one time, another fave, but we tend to eat less red meat nowdays. Portofino was also excellent on RCL. LeBistro, on NCL, is another favorite for the food and atmosphere. I will also admit that since we eat nightly at these restaurants, we may form relationships with the staff there and are allowed to order off menu at times, order food from the MDR menu, or even make special requests. This depends on the chef, wait staff, and ship as this may also vary and at times, we are not permitted to do so. No problem, we still eat there anyway.

I would suggest that cruisers try at least one specialty restaurant on board a cruise ship which encompasses your favorite food. It is, after all, your cruise, and try to experience all aspects of shipboard life at least once, and then draw your own conclusions.

Wherever you eat, whomever you eat with, enjoy your vacation with its lasting memories!


I've been going to the theater in NYC for 50 years and in my opinion many of the shows on cruiseships are far superior to what is offered in NYC and I am including 2 of my plays .

Grands3 February 10th, 2012 10:27 AM

My Husband and I will be cruising on our 35th anniversary and would like to eat at one of the infinity's speciality restaurants that night. My husband is a steak/lobster man. Which one should we book. And I've read that it cost 30 a person. So is this whatever we want on the menu? Does this cover any drinks? Also, is dress attire suit and tie or tux or sports coat?

Lakers Fan February 10th, 2012 11:36 AM

my first cruise
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kuki (Post 1414475)
Henry... when you first cruised, the only activity option was rowing :)

Seriously, in the early days of cruising, there weren't many activities, except for shuffleboard.

As far as activities go, there's not all that many "activities" that they do now charge for.

Shuffleboard ,skeet shooting .

I had plenty of time to day dream and one of thos dreams was to some day be able to post on an Internet message board about cruises .LOL

Trackypup February 10th, 2012 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grands3 (Post 1414619)
My Husband and I will be cruising on our 35th anniversary and would like to eat at one of the infinity's speciality restaurants that night. My husband is a steak/lobster man. Which one should we book. And I've read that it cost 30 a person. So is this whatever we want on the menu? Does this cover any drinks? Also, is dress attire suit and tie or tux or sports coat?

I thought Celebrity raised their prices to $40... you should be able to find out online. I've heard they offer a few specials onboard if you're not too fussy about what night you eat in the specialty restaurant.

buttons16 February 10th, 2012 12:31 PM

WOW $40 per person is getting a little high IMHO. For just two nights for two people would be $160..That seems to be really pushing the envelope. Seems they will keep raising prices as high as the market will bear. Price getting to the point that I might just say forget it.

Trackypup February 10th, 2012 12:53 PM

Ridiculously high! I think they're trying to push people towards their wine and dine packages by making individual nights so expensive. I have read though that they have lots of 25% off specials onboard as the restaurants are sitting empty.

http://media.celebritycruises.com/ce...Dine_Final.pdf

johnthed0g February 10th, 2012 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grands3 (Post 1414619)
My Husband and I will be cruising on our 35th anniversary and would like to eat at one of the infinity's speciality restaurants that night. My husband is a steak/lobster man. Which one should we book. And I've read that it cost 30 a person. So is this whatever we want on the menu? Does this cover any drinks? Also, is dress attire suit and tie or tux or sports coat?

The dress code is I think smart/elegant casual in the speciality restaurants, the charge is just a cover charge & does not relate to food or what you get. Drinks are not included. Depends on the venue but they are "fine dining" places usually, steak & /or Lobster may be on the menu but if I was you I would look at the menus online so you know if it for you.

matey February 10th, 2012 05:13 PM

First, I would not like them to raise cruise prices! We tried the specialty restaurant once. We found that it was too much food! In the MDR, we feel that it is included so we can eat as much or as little as we like. Since we pay extra for the specialty venue, we feel we have to eat it all! Actually, on our last cruise, there was one day that they offered free specialty if you booked a future cruise. We did book a future cruise, but didn't even bother to book on that day.

Now, Massages are another story. Ever since we began cruising (about 15 years ago), I always treat myself to a few massages. I don't get cheated on the time!


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