I'm not a picky eater by any means, so no ... I've not made special requests in the dining room.
However, we cruised with a tablemate on the Prinsendam once who was just wild about the ship's oso bucco. After he had it, he ordered it three more times! And the kitchen gladly provided it, even though it wasn't on the menu.
The only special requests I've made in the dining room is for an iced tea to be waiting for me when I arrive each evening, smaller portions if possible, and sometimes two desserts. I've absolutely got to have my sorbet each night ... and then occasionally there will be something else on the dessert menu ... a true dessert ... that I'll want as well.
Not that this is a special menu request but there is a special type of Asti Spumanti that we really like. We frist found it when we sail on the Zuiderdam back in April 2003. We had it again on the Oosterdam in 2004. The last time that HAL actually offered on the bar menu was in November 2004. We found out in late 2005 that we could request things like this so since then we have. Some times they have been able to get it other they have not. Although I will say the one ship that has always had it for us has been the Oosterdam, but the Ryndam also had it for us in May last year.
Now Tom is a picky eater and likes things very plain so when he orders an item he will ask to have something held and they have always been excellent at preparing the item as he asked.
I order off the children's menu half the time so the dining staff always has it available for me to compare and contrast. Oh yeah, I am a savy cruiser, indeed
Believe me, you're not the only one.
When I took my Hawaii/South Pacific cruise, I sat in the dining room with another roll call board member. As the cruise wore on, she was getting bored with the fare in the dining room and began ordering off the children's menu. In fact, to be honest, she seemed to be getting bored with the entire cruise.
Yes, I have had good luck with getting special requests on items not on the menu or special preparation on HAL. The dining stewards are so sweet about special requests and will usually remember the special request after the first time. They remember the little things, too, such as coffee or tea after the meal or with your dessert, how you like your meat prepared. Lovely, gracious service with a smile has been my experience.