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Old March 21st, 2010, 04:10 PM
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Default NCL Freestyle Dining...

Am wanting to book on the new Epic for late fall, but we have never sailed on NCL... I know they have the freestyle dining. The new ship has 11 freestyle and 10 "fee" venues. My question is, is it worth it to pay the extra amount for the specialty restaraunts? Or am I better off just sticking with what's included? Need to write some $ into the budget for these meals if it's a "don't miss" situation. Any advice?
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Old March 21st, 2010, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AShann View Post
Am wanting to book on the new Epic for late fall, but we have never sailed on NCL... I know they have the freestyle dining. The new ship has 11 freestyle and 10 "fee" venues. My question is, is it worth it to pay the extra amount for the specialty restaraunts? Or am I better off just sticking with what's included? Need to write some $ into the budget for these meals if it's a "don't miss" situation. Any advice?
Since nobody has sailed the Epic yet there aren't any reviews of the food, service vs. the pay restaurants.. We did pay extra for Le Bistro and on this upcoming ship we would pay, if we were going to the Cirque and by the way Cagneys is to die for too, if your a meat eater... So, your answer might be put a $100.00 or so extra into the kitty.. it maybe well worth it because we found he non-pay were rather boring and service indifferent.. If they have the 24 hour restaurant.. try the tomato soup and their Buffalo wings.. to die for.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 09:36 PM
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I didn't try one of the "pay" resturants on my last trip on NCL. A lot of people say it is a must for at least one night and enjoy a quiet upscale meal with extra service. I was advised that you prebook a reservation or do it as soon as you get on the ship as the reservations are limited and the popular cusines fill up fast. Don't expect to wait until the night you decide to go as it will be too late.
I'm not a dress up kind of person so I enjoyed the open dining and the fact you are not rushed to make you meal time, especially when you have had a tiring day on shore and want to rest a little before you eat. I don't own a tux nor do I want to. Casual dress with no tie is just right for me. They do have one night when you can get formal if you so desire and that is the night they take photos as you go to dinner. I guess they call it "Elegant Night" now, usually the last night at sea.
You will enjoy open dining. I am booked on Carnival Legend and they have the same as NCL.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 03:00 PM
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On our last NCL cruise, we did a pay extra, "Bistro" restaraunt once and thought that the food was not as good as the regular dining room. But, so much depends on preparation and cooking that it can vary from ship to ship and even cruise to cruise on the same ship. I would take enough to allow us to try one or maybe two of the pay extra venues, but whether I spent that money or not would depend on how happy we were with the "free" ones.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 03:15 PM
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I really enjoyed Cagney's and the Mexican. I did not care so much for the Italian or the French, but that is my personal preference. My husband liked both of them well.

On a 7 day cruise, we ate in 4 specialty restaurants. We got a super deal for this cruise. We had a mini suite stateroom that we paid $800 for each of us, Thanksgiving week, so we had a very good price. I think we had another $100 in extra fees for the specialty restaurants, for my husband and I. We did leave extra tips in those restaurants, but still, even counting that, I would say we still paid less than $900 a person for our meals and our stateroom.

As long as I had that kind of value again, I would not mind paying extra to get better food. However, if I could cruise Princess or HAL for the same price, (and the itinerary I wanted) yes I would pick Princess or HAL.
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