We did the NYC-Bermuda this summer and experienced the dine ashore for the first time.
At first skeptical, but then enjoyed it. They charged your account $5/per person/meal for lunch and $10 for dinner. You then get a coupon and can get a meal at one of many resturants.
For lunch it was great, cause we were going to eat off the ship anyway. The meal we got was well worth the $5. Salad, nice chicken and soda and desert. It allowed us to experience the culture of the port more. We were not "forced" to eat at a resturant we wouldn't have anyway. Although it was a "special" menu, the food that the resturant was "known" for were still on there.