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Old January 12th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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Default Cover Charge Restaurants?

We have cruised once on RCI. So this is our first time freestyling. I have been reading about the restaurants and understand there is a $17.50 cover charge for Cagney's. Does this mean you pay the cover & then still order whatever you want from the menu? I know there will be some things on the menu with separate prices, but can you have anything else (even 2 or 3 entrees) you want for your $17.50?
Thanks for your help,
Nancy

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Old January 12th, 2005, 11:07 AM
newmexicoNita
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Default Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

Nancy, I have heard of those who ordered more than one entree, but we haven't tried it so only know from rumor. Regardless you need to try at least one alternative dining room, it's worth the extra bucks you pay. Not everyone agrees which is fine, and the food in the main dining rooms is quite satisfactory, it's just there is something so special about the alternative dining experience. this is one thing that sets Freestyle apart from other more traditional dining lines. Some say they don't want to pay an additional $15-$20 which is fine, but the other lines like Carnival and Celebrity are charging $30 per person for specialty dining. Hope this helps a little.

NMNIta
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Old January 14th, 2005, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

The extra-pay restaurants are a scam. Passengers shouldn't encourage the cruise lines to add this feature.

You pay for sushi on the Dawn, but they provided it to everyone TWICE for no extra charge on the Majesty when I sailed two summers ago.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

licruiser, that is a matter of opinion. I think it might be better if you stated it that way. I happen to be happy with the food in the main dining rooms, but feel the food and service in the specialty restaurants are about 3 steps above main dining. Some see no reason to venture away from main dining and that's fine, but some like the service and amliance of the specialty dining rooms. I do feel the lines that are charging $30 and more are a bit out of hand, but $15-$20 is fine with most of us. This is a matter of taste and not just whether you get sushi or not.

NMNita
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Old January 16th, 2005, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

NMNita -

I agree 100%. I'm booked on my third NCL Freestyle cruise in February. I think that the main dining rooms on NCL compare well with RCCL and provide good food and service. Some of the meals I've had in the specialty restaurants are some of the best I've had on land or sea. In addition to noticably better food and service, on the newer Freestyle-designed ships, you get unique restaurants with different menus than the main dining rooms. On the Star, one of the restaurants had a lobster tank and the lobsters didn't have their claws bound. During most of our meal, several lobsters were fighting with each other, picking each other up with their claws, etc. It was a riot! Well worth the $15-$20 cover. If you don't want to spend the extra $$, eat in the main dining room and leave a table open for me.

Has anyone dined in the specialty restaurants on the Spirit?
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Old January 16th, 2005, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

I'll bet you people would love to spend $15 per chair on the pool deck and $20 per person for priority check-in, and another $20 for priority disembarkation and another charge for chairs at the private island.

You get the idea.

Suckers like you will drive up the price of cruises and reduce the number of amenities that traditionally came with cruising.

Thanks a lot!!!
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Old January 17th, 2005, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

OK. Now you're getting personal. Since most cruise lines are offering specialty restaurants and not specialty deck chairs, you're the one off base here. There is a difference between allowing passengers to pay extra for a different/extra experience than charging extra for a basis service. Last time I checked, cruise prices are much less than they were in the 90's. At least I have been paying less for my last few cruises, which allows me to pay extra for what I want to. How is this different than the passenger that chooses to do their own thing on the islands vs pay for an excursion? Maybe you should look at other cruise lines if freestyle cruising irritates you that much.
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Old January 17th, 2005, 05:28 PM
newmexicoNita
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Default Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

Chad is completely right, no one could have put it clearer. Iicruiser, you are making absolutely no sense what so ever!!

NMNita
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Old January 18th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

Well put Chadn!
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Old January 19th, 2005, 10:42 AM
licruiser
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

My main point is that dining was always part of thecost, but island excursions never were.

It doesn't take much of a leap to think that if the cruise lines are looking to boost the top and bottom lines, they'll constantly think up new ways to charge people.

Royal Caribbean initially charged for the rock climbing and ice skating, but its initial cruisers flipped out when they learned it was not included, and they subsequently changed that policy.

The irony is that eventually they will need to take the word "free" out of "free style" if people willingly pay for things that were traditionally included in the flat price.

But, in the end, that's NCL's free-market decision that it will need to make and the potential passengers' free-market decision whether to pay for them or go to another cruise line.
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Old January 19th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

licruiser: one can still dine "for free" on all NCL ships in the dining rooms and in some of the specialty restaurants - so I don't get your point. One does not have to use the "pay extra" restaurants (which incidently are poping up on other cruiselines as well).
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Old January 19th, 2005, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

I do understand your point licruiser. Perhaps in the future we will see cruiselines offer only one size staterooms throughout the ship and equal dining choices for all. Not trying to be sarcastic here. Just thinking how nice it would be to leave all class distinctions at home and observe how people would communicate without them.
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Old January 19th, 2005, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

pata, that might sound like a good idea to some, but I believe freedom of choice is the name of the game. If all cabins were the same size, everything equal would the same families that can afford to cruise now be able to afford to cruise if there were absolutely no choices. What about those who want something a little better and can afford it, should they have to give up what makes them happy? I am sure you don't mean it the way it sounds, but that type of living rings a bell to some that isn't quite the capitolistic way to live. Just a thought. NMNita
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Old January 20th, 2005, 07:47 PM
pata
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Default Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

I see your point Nita. I did sound a bit socialist didn't I? ...I was really thinking more along the lines of an experiment. You are right, without class distinction, what would one have to strive for? Though, I do somethimes wish we didn't have quite so many choices. Some studies have shown that people actually prefer fewer choices. Guess I am one of those. I actually enjoy eating in the main dining rooms more than the specially resturants. And, doesn't Raddison offer an all inclusive cruise? I wonder how that works out.
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Old January 21st, 2005, 01:53 PM
newmexicoNita
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Default Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

ok, I see your point also: yes, Raddison does offer an all inclusive, but for most of us it is still out of our price range. Yes, some will say if you look for their great special (which are great) there is little difference in price: very true if you book the more expensive class cabins on mass marketed lines but many who cruise go with the lesser expensive cabins and find lines like Raddison out of their range. That's why we do have so many lines and varies choices: yes, choices can be too many at times.Right now I am working on prices for 3 different people who want to do Alaska this summer: none of them have a clue what they want and I am trying to narrow it down knowing their personalities. I don't want to just give them 20 choices or more. It's too confusing for everyone. Happy cruisin

NMNita
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Old January 21st, 2005, 07:09 PM
pata
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Default Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

Nita, you sound like a wise person if you are considering personalities when choosing cruise lines. It is amazing how much more complicated a TA's life must be than most people realize. Good Luck!
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Cover Charge Restaurants?

pata, being a TA is one of the most rewarding carreers I can imagine, but one of the poorest paid when you consider all the hours a good TA puts into research. Thanks for the vote of confidence and yes, personalities are very important. Example, I wouldn't put our county commissioner who is in her late 60s and never cruised on Carnival and probably not RCI. Infact I would only recommend NCL for the freestyle dining as she would like that, but I think her personality, her attention to details and her slight taste for the elegent if that is the right word is more geared to HAL or Celebrity. Just what I have observed. My neighbors on the other hand, in the same financual range would hate Celebrity and love NCL. All are great people, but all very different. NMnita
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