First time NCL'r
I am taking my first Norwegian cruise on the Getaway. I have cruised 5 times with Carnival and once with Royal. After I hung up with the NCL representative, I realized she didn't ask me what time I would like seating for in the dining room. Are there no set times for the free dining room on NCL?
With NCL, you dine where you want, when you want, with whomever you want. It's pretty much like going out to dinner at home. Lot's of free venues ( 3 main dining rooms, 24 hour place, buffet, Cuban ) as well as many specialty venues for a cover of $15 to $30 per person except for Ocean Blue, which is I think is $49.
Dress is pretty casual. You can read the requirements on the website. We were just on the Getaway in February and we loved the ship and food. Any questions, let me know.
Jeff, I have also booked my first NCL cruise. I am looking forward to dining when I want and not having to carry jacket or tie.
This is why you should never book directly with the cruise line. If you used an agent, they would have spent time with you going over all the details. Plus, if you book with the cruise line and have any problems, who do you think they represent?
With that said, as you've already been advised, NCL is noted for their anytime dining approach. (Of course, now all cruise lines offer this as well). When you go to the main dining room, it's like going to a restaurant. Depending on when you go, the type of table you'd like, and whether you want to be seated with others or not, you may be seated right away or you may have to wait a while.
However, and obviously this is just my opinion, the food in the main dining room is just okay - nothing special. So as I tell everyone booking an NCL cruise, plan to spend an extra $100 per person while on the ship to try the specialty restaurants because their food is much better.
Enjoy your cruise and let us know how you like the Getaway when you get back.
Norwegian Cruise Line have freestyle cruising which is part of our brand name were we leave you to your own freedom to choose when you want to eat or how you would like to dress. Everything is freestyle.
Should you then wish to book a particular restaurant or a time you can contact your representative and they can assist to take your required booking.
A little more info on the Getaway, Jeff. The Tropicana is the very large MDR which has live music and a dance floor. If you do think you won't want to dine alone, or your party would like to join others, there is a daily sign up sheet by guest services in the lobby. ( you can ask the hostess, but odds are, everyone else in line just wants to dine with their own party. ) You would be restricted to a set time, I think it was 5:30, but there might be a late option, like around 9:00. No guarantees anyone else will sign up of course. You can also request a set daily reservation time, but again, there are restrictions on when this is available.
There are also two smaller and more intimate MDRs, Taste and Savor. On our cruise, we ate once in the Tropicana, once in Taste. No wait for either. We also had a meal in O'Sheehans, the 24 hour restaurant, the prime rib dinner, which was just OK. We thought the buffet had a lot of variety and was very good and we had a few meals there. Was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to find a table in the buffet at any time of day. There is a seafood buffet there with lobster tails, grilled shrimp and other fish dishes on Tuesday nights. We went after a show and no lines, plenty of lobster, and it was of good quality. Flamingos, the Cuban restaurant is great for a lunch. NCL is instituting new menus fleet wide which were available on our sailing. We thought the food in the free venues on this cruise was excellent and most people seem to think it is a significant improvement. We ate at Cagneys for a $30 up charge and it was well worth the money. One of the best steaks I have had anywhere, land or sea.
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