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Old April 15th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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Default Alternative dining on Noordam

We are considering a cruise on the Noordam in Jan. Besides the regular dining room, the buffet is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but do they do table service in the buffet area at dinner? Celebrity has a very nice casual alternative dinner set-up and I wondered if this was available on HAL.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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The dinner in the Lido is really a buffet. You give your entree order to the steward taking the orders (I think there were 3 entreee choices) and then you choose your appetizer, soup & salad from the buffet.

We've only done this once and will not do it again. We chose our salad and appetizer and had barely started when our entree arrived. The meat & veggies were lukewarm and the potatoes were cold. I ordered pecan pie for dessert and was given a tiny pecan square - it certainly was not a piece of pie.

Next time when we don't want to get dressed up to eat in the dining room, we'll order room service.

Now I know a lot of people eat dinner in the Lido and love it, but ours was a disaster. Never again.

Forgot to mention. You can also have dinner in the Pinnacle Grille which is very good, but it costs $30.00 pp. The beef they serve is excellent.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 08:10 AM
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as much as i love the HAL experience in general, i must admit that my lido dinner experiences have not been very good. when i travel solo, and that is most of the time, i often go to the lido in the evening. i've found that the salads and appetizers and deserts are recycled from lunchtime -- and look like it. the entrees are at times okay, and they are brought to the table, which is 'dressed up' with linens, etc. so, it is not a fine experience, but breakfasts and lunches in the lido are wonderful!!!!
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Old April 16th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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Thanks for the input-but disappointing to hear. We have sailed HAL once before in 98 or 99 I think. On the OLD Noordam. I figured on the new Noordam there might be some alternative dining as most cruise lines now seem to offer someting other than a buffet. It's not that we want to avoid dressing up-we love formal nights and never miss them. On our cruise last Feb. on Celebrity, we were seated at a table with a couple in their 30's (no problem) and 2 children aged 7 and 11 (BIG PROBLEM) so we wanted a quiet dinner on our own and enjoyed the buffet set up so much we went back twice. A limited menu sure, but excellent service. I heard the waiters are training for the main dining room and they bent over backwards. There was a choice of appetizers, soup and salad plus 4 entrees. We had sushi first (buffet style) then a table by the window(irrevalent becuase it's really dark out there ) Maybe HAL will reconsider by the time we cruise.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
I heard the waiters are training for the main dining room and they bent over backwards. There was a choice of appetizers, soup and salad plus 4 entrees.

May be I didn't make myself clear, but this is what HAL has set set up in the Lido for dinner also - white table clothes, etc. I understand the waiters working dinner in the Lido are newbies and thereby get more trainining before heading to work in the dining room.

Maybe we had a bad night but we didn't enjoy it.

The only time I have seen Sushi is at lunch in the Lido at the Asian Bar. I believe it's served every day.

We sailed many times on the OLD Noordam - you will be very surprised and I am sure love the NEW Noordam - it's my favourite VISTA ship.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 08:40 PM
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I probably wouldn't make it a habit to dine in the Lido, but yes, they had the table clothes etc and you could order the entrees that were being served in the main dining room. We thought it was ok, not great, but nice if you were either busy the entire day and couldn't make your regular dinner time, too tired for late dinner if that was your time or just didn't feel like dressing up. I have heard, to make the esperience better, do not order your entree until you are almost finished with the appitizer and soup or salad. We even brought our bottle of wine.

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Old April 17th, 2008, 04:08 PM
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O.K. I think I have got the picture now really appreciate all the info.We haven't booked yet but it looks like a go. One question for Nita-about the wine. You said you bought your own wine to dinner-what knid of corkage does HAL charge? We make our own wine and I was going to take 2 or 3 bottles on our Celebrity cruise last Feb. until I discovered they charge a $25 per bottle corkage fee :evil: A little exhorbitant I would say!
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