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Old January 20th, 2011, 07:51 PM
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Default Master Chef's Dinner

What is this? And why do people hate it?

I was lurking at CC yesterday and someone made a comment about trying to book Pinnacle on the same night because she wanted to avoid the Master Chef Dinner. Someone else asked what it was ... but was never answered ... just told to search the forum. Another replied with "you mean Nasty Chef's Dinner".

I've never cruised HAL before ... but I would expect something titled "MAster Chef's Dinner" to be pretty good.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 09:33 PM
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Some people like it, some don't. We DON'T.

When they first started it about 5-6 years ago it was held one night during the but now it's usually on the last night, at least it was on our 7 day cruise recently.

Check this out on You Tube, although it really doesn't explain it.

YouTube - Master Chef's Dinner aboard the ms Westerdam


This being your first HAL cruise, I suggest you go to it and then make up your own mind. You may love it.

The waiter, wine stewards and entertainment staff "entertain" you during the dinner with song and dance.

Maybe someone who has gone to the dinner recently could explain it better than I can. It's been so long since I've been to one that all I can remember is the waiters "dancing" into the dining room carrying very large bowls of salad from which they served you.

If you go back to that other board you mentioned you will notice that the question has been answered.

Last edited by DeeDee; January 20th, 2011 at 09:36 PM. Reason: found the post on CC where the question was answered.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 09:52 PM
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My friends and I who were on the cruise last month LOVED the Master Chef's dinner .
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Old January 21st, 2011, 01:10 PM
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thanks and thanks.

I'm at work now, but will check out the youtube video tonight.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 02:10 PM
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I went and read. It sounds corny, but my kids will love it .... my daughter will be up and dancing espeically during the ballet segment!

If it were just DH and I, I might skip the theatrics and have dinner somewhere else....but I'm sure the kids will love it!
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Old January 21st, 2011, 05:46 PM
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Default Master Chef's Dinner

Well, the Master Chef's Dinner seems to be a love it or hate it proposition.

It involves the dancers from the theater, as well as all the waiters and assistants, putting on a show during the serving of dinner. They dance around and throw rolls into baskets, juggle heads of lettuce and chop them into bowls, flip the wine bottles, wave napkins, and so on. At least sometimes it includes the Baked Alaska parade. Here is a picture of part of the show:



It is fairly good theater and a lot of fun.

OTOH, lots of people don't like it because:

1) It interferes with anytime dining. Because dinner is "choreographed" for that evening you MUST choose either early or late seating.

2) The menu is limited. The dishes have to fit the "choreography."

3) The service is limited as the waiters are performing instead of serving.

4) Some folks just don't like dinner theater.

Evidentally the lovers of the show are winning out on the comment cards, because it is continuing.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 07:10 PM
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There was a group of 8 of us who enjoyed the dinner. We all thought the food was as good as everyother dinner in the MDR, the service was also as good but we did notice the guys had to really hustle more than usual so there was not a lot of the standard interaction with them i.e. in a more relaxed setting.

In all, we made an evening out of it by having pre-dinner cocktails then dancing after. So yes, we had a fun evening and not quite as bad as some had made it out to be.

FYI: This was the Oosterdam 9/2010 in Alaska.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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I don't particularly like the Master Chef Dinner. Specifically, I don't care for the menu choices: nearly everything has mushrooms in it, and I'm allergic to mushrooms in that quantity (one dish with mushrooms in it is fine, two dishes can be iffy, and three or more are very problematic). But, most especially, I feel sorry for the staff that has to go through the song-and-dance rigamarole when they should be doing what they're trained to do, and what they do so VERY well ... provide precise, elegant service. Many of them don't like doing it as much as, if not more than, many of us don't like attending. Sadly, they can't get out of doing it, and they have to do it cruise after cruise after cruise.

I've attended the Master Chef Dinner maybe 6 times since its inception; the rest of the time they either haven't held it for some reason or other or I've managed to eat in the Pinnacle that evening. I see no purpose being served in spoiling someone else's good time. And, yes, a lot of people do enjoy it.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 07:48 PM
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well, I wish they would let the waitstaff be the professionals they are clearly trained to be. It seems to be an awful lot of work for them to get into the song and dance routine when they have to serve so many people. There's plenty of entertainment on the ship. I just think the dining experience should be a calm and a lovely end to the day rather than some show required by the staff. Personally, I find it demeaning if you really think about it. They work hard enough without all this foolishness. Do they like it? Who knows. I doubt it. But, like anything else, some would say it's a job.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suse View Post
well, I wish they would let the waitstaff be the professionals they are clearly trained to be. It seems to be an awful lot of work for them to get into the song and dance routine when they have to serve so many people. There's plenty of entertainment on the ship. I just think the dining experience should be a calm and a lovely end to the day rather than some show required by the staff. Personally, I find it demeaning if you really think about it. They work hard enough without all this foolishness. Do they like it? Who knows. I doubt it. But, like anything else, some would say it's a job.
Hey, Suse, you all snowed in up there in Rhode Island?
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Old January 28th, 2011, 10:46 AM
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Rev, we are buried in it like crazy. But, I'm back at work today. Yesterday, couldn't get out very easily, snow on top of snow.
That's a very good reason to have a cruise to look forward to!
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Old January 28th, 2011, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suse View Post
Rev, we are buried in it like crazy. But, I'm back at work today. Yesterday, couldn't get out very easily, snow on top of snow.
That's a very good reason to have a cruise to look forward to!
You're not kidding.
Sadly, I'm not due to cruise again until October 25th.
That's a LONG way off, with a lot of HOT summer between now and then.
Oh, well ... I hope that means I'll enjoy it even more!
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