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Old March 18th, 2011, 04:25 PM
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Default Why do you choose alternative restaurants? (Cost Logic?)

Just wondering why someone would choose to eat in the alternative restaurants when your cruise price includes the decent (I have never had a bad meal in the DR) meals in the dining rooms?

Do you "more than make up for it" () during open buffets? Do you take in more entertainment to 'balance it all out?'

I'm a die-hard cheap-skate, but am not opposed to paying for good quality. But I'm having a real hard time trying to justify to myself a good reason to opt out of the 'prepaid' dining included in my cruise fare and trying out the alternative restaurants for the (significant pp cost).

Maybe I should just figure entertainment & lodging into my cruise fare and it'll sit better in my head
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Old March 18th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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I will choose an alternative restaurant for a few reasons. The food and service are "usually" much better. The food is also "usually" much better and prepared ala-minute vs. good quality banquet food. I am the first to admit that I can be somewhat of a food snob and on many lines the MDR food isn't what it once was.

It is also for the atmosphere. I enjoy an evening with my wife in a more quiet and romantic setting than the MDR.

I also like the fact that I can tailor the time I want to eat rather than eating at a specific time. This applies more to Freestyle and Open Seating rather being exclusive to eating in an alternative restaurant.

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Mike
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Old March 18th, 2011, 07:05 PM
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I have dined in both. The ambience, and, quality of food is of high standards, and, delicious, in the pay venues. I have also canceled pay restaurants, when the food and company I enjoyed in the dining room, was wonderful, and we didn't want to leave.

I would tell you to add $200.00 mentlly to the cost of your cruise,and send yourself a ship credit for whatever amount you want..almost painless If you decide you don't want to use it to dine, you have many other options as to how you spend it
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Old March 18th, 2011, 07:38 PM
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I'm just an ordinary person, thrilled I can even afford to go on vacations when so many don't even have food on the table or a roof over their head. I'm curious about the alternate dining, but as long as the dining room food is paid for, I'll eat out as my treat once I'm back home to routine living.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 08:13 PM
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Ah...thank you for putting it in perspective. "Good quality banquet food." Yup, that's exactly it, but I didn't think of it that way.
And on my most recent cruise, I could either figure I got a heckuva deal (@ 57.25/night 4 nights) which INCLUDED my meals, lodging, and entertainment, or I could figure it was a pretty good deal for 'ok' lodging/entertainment and I SHOULD have taken us 'out to eat' more often.
I will most certainly consider the alternative dining next time, but also take into consideration the quality of the MDR cuisine based on ratings here & around the web.
Much obliged!
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Old March 18th, 2011, 08:31 PM
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I'm a finicky eater .I would not go to a specialty restaurant .
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Old March 18th, 2011, 09:00 PM
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Henry,
Just for a little better meal and different surroundings...I usually use one, just once during a week cruise. You are correct, there is nothing wrong with the food served in the MDR..
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Old March 18th, 2011, 09:33 PM
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Its not the cost I just feel that the MDR is fine .
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Old April 15th, 2011, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rum Runner View Post
Just wondering why someone would choose to eat in the alternative restaurants when your cruise price includes the decent (I have never had a bad meal in the DR) meals in the dining rooms?

Do you "more than make up for it" () during open buffets? Do you take in more entertainment to 'balance it all out?'

I'm a die-hard cheap-skate, but am not opposed to paying for good quality. But I'm having a real hard time trying to justify to myself a good reason to opt out of the 'prepaid' dining included in my cruise fare and trying out the alternative restaurants for the (significant pp cost).

Maybe I should just figure entertainment & lodging into my cruise fare and it'll sit better in my head

I'm a steak eater. On some lines the alternative restaurant serves a thicker cut of the same quality meat they serve in the main dining rooms. I have tried them and find no reason to repeat the experience.

However on Carnival, for $30.00 you can get a dry aged USDA PRIME grade 18 oz. Porterhouse and appetizers and dessert.
In a land restaurant, a USDA PRIME dry aged 18 oz. porterhouse WILL cost you $100.00 by itself and all accompaniments will be ala carte. You cannot even by that grade of meat in a supermarket for the $30.00 and it would be just raw meat, not dry aged, if you could by it for that price.
So, on Carnival, I have a meal that I cannot match for the price anywhere else.

Many tip above the $30.00 price but the tip is included in that price. And of course, you will skip your main dining room meal which is included in the cruise fare so some would add that to the cost of the alternative restaurant. I don't, I made a choice, I'll live with the choice I made.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 07:31 PM
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We did our 14th. cruise in Feb. and ate in a specialty (aka fee) restaurant for the very first time. We don't consider ourselves to be cheapskates but we do have a limited budget and have almost always been satisfied with the MDR food. But we had a generous OBC and decided to splurge-and so glad we did! It wasn't just about the food (which was outstanding)-it was the attentive personalized service, the ambiance, the whole experience. It wasn't just a dinner but an event. Will we do it on our next cruise? More than likely.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rum Runner View Post
Just wondering why someone would choose to eat in the alternative restaurants when your cruise price includes the decent (I have never had a bad meal in the DR) meals in the dining rooms?

Do you "more than make up for it" () during open buffets? Do you take in more entertainment to 'balance it all out?'

I'm a die-hard cheap-skate, but am not opposed to paying for good quality. But I'm having a real hard time trying to justify to myself a good reason to opt out of the 'prepaid' dining included in my cruise fare and trying out the alternative restaurants for the (significant pp cost).

Maybe I should just figure entertainment & lodging into my cruise fare and it'll sit better in my head
Why would someone choose to buy a Mercedes or a Lexus when a Chevy or a Volkswagen gives you a decent ride from A to B?

Why would someone choose to buy a cruise when you can rent a canoe, a tent, and a BBQ grill and have a decent holiday for far less?

Why would someone pay big money for orchestra or box seats at a Broadway Theatre when you can rent the DVD for $1, then watch it at home in your pajamas with potato chips and beer?

Why buy expensive canned tuna when canned tuna catfood costs far less and tastes nearly the same?
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Old April 16th, 2011, 04:29 PM
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We have only been on one cruise yet on that cruise we ate at two alterative resturaunts. We did so just for the expereince. I dont understand why the orginal poster has to justisfy everything on his vaction your on vaction let lose! I also dont understand the balance it all out or make up for it at the buffet or more entertanment? what are you going to do sit there with a calculator to make sure you get every pennys worth of your cruise? let go, relax, spend a little, try new things your on vaction lifes to short not to have fun. Buy the way the food was excellent and it was a blast!
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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:45 AM
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I met my favourite all-time cheap charlie passenger on a long repositioning cruise in Asia several years ago.
He was sitting alone in the dining room, having breakfast. He didn't look very happy, so I went over to say hello and cheer him up.
I approached his table and said, "Good morning, how are you today?"

He looked up at me with a miserable scowl and said, "Every bite I take costs me thirteen dollars and twenty nine cents." Then he went back to trying to eat his money's worth. I very much regretted trying to cheer him up.

I would be very happy to pay ANY cover charge to avoid meeting more pathetic people like him.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post

Why buy expensive canned tuna when canned tuna catfood costs far less and tastes nearly the same?
I can understand and totally agree with your other examples but I'm wondering how do you know that tuna cat food tastes nearly the same as canned tuna?

I agree: Some people enjoy experiencing or using something that's a bit "better". Especially on vacation.

Take care,
Mike
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