Not so much that I avoid them "out of Principal" as I can't really think of a good reason
to use them at all. Generally we are more than satisfied with the food, service and companionship in the main dining room. I simply can't think of a reason to use
an added charge dining room. If for example we had a special event , I would rather buy wine for the table and share our event . But , that's us.
The only time I have used this type of dining operation was when we cruised with Crystal Cruise Lines. However, since we were "blackballed" by Crystal, t we have not used such facilities. We are simple eating folks and not entranced by the fancy offerings that are excellent but tend to offer more food than we can digest.
I've tried the specialty restaurant on Celebrity's Millennium and RCI's Brilliance and loved them both!
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
I've only tried it once, on Celebrity Millennium, but loved it. It's a different experience than the main dining room offers. Definitely worth the price as you would have to pay $300 for such a meal on land. The cooked-to-order dishes, the tableside preparation and presentation of most courses, and the elevated level of service were an elegant change from the main dining room.
As long as the quality of the food in the main dining room does not suffer, there is no trend toward making ordinary dining alternatives (such as a pizza or sushi bar) extra charge, and the special restaurant offers a unique and specialized experience that justifies the additional fee, I see no harm and much benefit in having a special extra-cost restaurant.
Land Cruise, Britain and Belgium
Now posting as MichelleP.
I tried Sabatini's on the Grand, with a group...Thats really the only way i would go again. At the time I think it ws $5.00 pp..I like the companionship of the tablemates, with lively conversation. continuing daily..I can do without a 3 hr dinner, as some of these are I have been told... Trip/ Monday Chat Host
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: POLL-Extra cost restaurants...DO U USE THEM?
I've done the Sterling Steakhouse on the Sea Princess and the Normandie on the Summit - and I loved them both! The Sterling is a more casual experience, while the Normandie just blew me away with the special service, the tableside preps, dishes prepared to order, etc. I wouldn't eat at one of the speciality restaurants every night but I think once per cruise is fine.
Crown Princess 1/18/14....the NEW Me, Myself and I cruise!
Being a hunks, I can see no reason to use such a facility when there's already a dining room or buffet on board. The money would be better spent during a shore excursion. Of course, if subjected to "spousal pressure," I'd go with strong reservations--pun intended. But she better have some pretty cogent arguments for doing so.
I may dwell on the land, but I live at sea!
Sensation 2/03 I disembarked, but never really left the ship.
Sensation 04/05 The vessel made me do it!
Summit 03/06 to Hawaii, Where God left his fingerprints, in memory of Margaret.
Carnival Freedom (March 08)
\X\Mercury (January 09)
We did on the Atlantica and it was Wonderful. Very romantic!
The service was much more attentive than in the dining room. Probably
50-60% better. Most probably because the waitstaff had a lot less tables
to wait on.
Costa Atlantica, 3/23/03
Jewel, 2/1/10, RCI cancelled our cruise, (insert sound of sobbing)
Pay extra for the food..... NOT......thats one of the reasons I'm taking a cruise instead of a land vacation. I have always found food in the dining room on most cruise ships to be very good, so why would I pay extra to act stuffy and sit for two long hours to complete my meal. If people stopped paying the extra fee's cruiselines would end the surcharge.
Re: Re: POLL-Extra cost restaurants...DO U USE THEM?
Why would you be "blackballed" by Crystal Cruises?
We just returned from our third cruise on the Harmony, and love everything about Crystal.
We do use the specialty restaurants on the various ships. It's nice to have a romantic dinner with my husband occasionally, as we always dine at a large table in the main dining room.
We sometimes enjoy a leisurly dinner for 2 with a good bottle of wine and superb service, and make this part of our total "cruise budget".
Cruise lines do a great job at what I call "upscale banquet food" but the smaller restaurant venues offer something beyond that.
I don't give NCL high marks for the general dining, but we have really liked Le Bistro.
The specialty restaurants on the Celebrity Millie-class ships are well worth the price.
On the Radisson ships, their "trattorias" are more fun than should be allowed at sea.
There's no right or wrong on this.
I don't think that the people who do pay the extra for a different dining experience should be excoriated because they pay the bucks and are some sort of snobs. Neither do I think that people who don't wish to do it should be judged in a negative way.
Yes we do. The experience is not to be missed. Of course we have only tried Celebrity alternate dining and the service was out of this world, the food .. well , not to be missed and worth the extra fee.
__________________ Ready to Steer towards another cruise
I've always found the dining room food to be excellent, especially on my last two cruises - Millie and Brilliance. So I have no desire for the alternate dining rooms. I won't use the alternate dining rooms based on prinicipal. But everyone has to decide for themselves.
No...I can remember when they started doing this and I thought it was a bad idea. That was one thing, "the food" that was always included in your payment of the cruise. Then I started seeing extra charges for things I didn't feel you should be charged for; and then the "special" restaurant charges. It's not the money, I guess it's the principal of the whole thing. They're adding so many extra charges now, it makes cruising not as enjoyable as it use to be. I just feel too many things are extra now and that was one of the big draws for cruising, was that almost everything was already paid for. We always eat in the traditional dining rooms and I don't feel we have missed anything by not patronizing the restaurants that have the added fee.
Deb and I do. We enjoy them very much. We have already made our reservation for the Olympic on the Millie Apr 20 sailing. Where else could we get such a wonderful dining experience for 25 dollars? I don't look at it as an extra charge since we choose to eat there one night instead of the main dining room. It's no more an extra charge than the casino is. ...where most of our money goes ..lol.
As long as we keep getting the good food and service in the main rooms as in the past we probably wouldn't want to go "extra" unless, of course a "super special something" warranted it. Anniversary, wedding, lotto hit, etc..;-)