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Old January 19th, 2007, 05:53 PM
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Default Restaurant - Serenade of the Seas

Does anyone know (I know there are other nice ones, but you have to "pay"), why there is only "1" nice restaurant on the Serenade of the Seas ship?

On the 6 cruises I have taken on different ships, there is generally "2" restaurants that they will book you with.

Just wondering
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Old January 19th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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There are 2 specialty restaurants on the Serenade. Chops is a steakhouse and Portofino is an Italian restaurant. Each are 20.00 pp surcharge. We loved both, and ate at Chops twice. Excellent food and service and atmosphere. Worth it in every way. Beware, they serve a lot of food...and I hate to leave leftovers.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 05:26 PM
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Default Restaurants of the Serenade of the Seas

In Chops and Portofino Restaurants, you say they serve a lot of food. Are you saying they serve different corses, or just that the platter is full? Can you give me an idea what they serve, if I would want a steak dinner? Is it like a vegatable, baked potato and steak for the $20.00? Is there also tax on this?
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Old January 24th, 2007, 07:23 AM
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Default Re: Restaurants of the Serenade of the Seas

Quote:
Originally Posted by brneyes
In Chops and Portofino Restaurants, you say they serve a lot of food. Are you saying they serve different corses, or just that the platter is full? Can you give me an idea what they serve, if I would want a steak dinner? Is it like a vegatable, baked potato and steak for the $20.00? Is there also tax on this?
The serve multiple courses, and they are good sized portions. They have a New York Strip, a Filet Mignon, Lamb Chops, a fish entree, and think a couple of others. We've had the filet several times, and it has always been excellent.

We had soup, a salad, the entree, vegetables (as I remember, they offered three or four), dessert, coffee.

The $20 fee includes a gratuity, but we always leave extra. There is no tax.

We've eaten at both Chops and Portofino, and liked them both. Oddly enough, when we ate at Portofino, the Italian bistro, several people around us were ordering steak. Go figure.

If you want to eat at either specialty restaurant, you should book soon after getting on board. The restaurants are small, and fill up quickly. Enjoy.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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I only ate at Chops, and yes, they serve plenty of food including dessert. You will walk away from the table totally full. The food and service in these restaurants is up there, worth the $20 IMO.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittarwen
There are 2 specialty restaurants on the Serenade. Chops is a steakhouse and Portofino is an Italian restaurant. Each are 20.00 pp surcharge. We loved both, and ate at Chops twice. Excellent food and service and atmosphere. Worth it in every way. Beware, they serve a lot of food...and I hate to leave leftovers.
Agree with you kittarwen,
But what´s wrong with Reflections Dining room, Seaview Café or Windjammer? All serve good food.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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Call me "old school" but I am still not of the mind set to pay extra for dinner when they have a great dinner in the dining room. In fact, I think the specialty restaurants take something away from the cruise expereince when you have empty or half filled tables in the dining room. I have never left the dining room in want of more food.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave the Wave
Call me "old school" but I am still not of the mind set to pay extra for dinner when they have a great dinner in the dining room. In fact, I think the specialty restaurants take something away from the cruise expereince when you have empty or half filled tables in the dining room. I have never left the dining room in want of more food.
have to agree with Dave on this: I guess I don't understand the appeal of the surcharge restaurants and feel that the main dining rooms are part of the cruise experience; I have noticed that the main dining rooms are not fully booked; why pay the extra $$ save it for shopping, casino or whatever else your heart desires....

also space is a premium on a cruise ship, so why waste it on surcharge restaurants and the rarely-filled dining areas; split up the dining based on attire. maybe they should close the surcharge restaurants, make those the truly "Formal" (tux and gowns) dining areas, so peeps can be formal on whatever night they want and be surround by other like-minded peeps and leave the main dining area as dressy casual. (not shorts/tshirts)
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Old January 24th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Good idea, MSBJ. It also just occurred to me that by charging for the specialty rest's and JR's they are able to keep the fares down for those of us that are content eating in the dining room and Windjammer. So, in effect, those people willing to pay extra for dinner that is already included in the fare, are subsidizing our cruise. So not all bad I guess.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Those surcharges at those resturants go directly to the bottom line. Added revenue for the cruise line, but the fares don't go down.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 06:18 PM
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We enjoy the dining room, but enjoy also doing other dining options on the cruise in the evenings. We like the smaller size restaurant, but mostly the quiet in the specialty restaurants,as expectedly, the large dining rooms are noisy but fun. Mixing it up throughout the week is fun for us. I do agree, I hate to see empty tables around the dining room, but we always tell our waiter we won't be there the next night, etc. We still tip the full amounts, of course. The food in Seaview is very good, but is more snacky food (delicious sandwiches, fried chicken fingers, wonderful onion rings, etc), and being creatures of habit, once we discovered it, we ate there every day after going ashore. It is only open for certain hours, too. The Windjammer is fine for lunch, but for us,not so exciting for dinner. The food is good, however. You really can't go wrong in any of the places to eat, it is a personal choice. The prawns at Chops were out of this world, BTW. Do order them if they are still on the menu.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 05:44 PM
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Default Serenade - Restaurants

Thank you everyone for replying back to this post. My mouth is starting to water.....just thinking about the steak and fillet meals. My only problem right now, I feel I need to loose a couple pounds. Maybe I will by then

I must also agree with Dave the wave, or something like that He mentioned about the food in the nice restaurants, where you do not have to pay. If I remember a couple cruises ago, we weren't happy with the menu, and we wound up ordering steaks and fillets which were not on the menu, and they DID deliver. I don't think they were too happy about it, but we did get what we wanted. Also, my friend and I like to be with a large table of people. This way we are learning about people and their cultures, who are from all walks of life.

We did try one of the "paying" restaurants on the NCL (which is another story), and we said we would not go back to that restaurant, or this cruise ship.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 02:43 PM
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Yes, you are right you can order a steak any night in the main dining room even if it is not on the menu. The problem is, they rarely can truly cook it to your specifications in the large dining rooms. That is not a problem if you like your steak anywhere from Medium to Well done, but for people who want it rare, it is a sure thing in Chops to have it as such. All the meals on the ship were great, and you will not be disappointed either way! Have a wonderful culinary cruise!
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Old January 30th, 2007, 05:46 PM
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Here's a question & it just hit me. Do the specialty restaurants have their own kitchen also or do they use the main one in the dining room?
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Old January 30th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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They have their own galley.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave the Wave
Good idea, MSBJ. It also just occurred to me that by charging for the specialty rest's and JR's they are able to keep the fares down for those of us that are content eating in the dining room and Windjammer. So, in effect, those people willing to pay extra for dinner that is already included in the fare, are subsidizing our cruise. So not all bad I guess.
That is how I view the casino!
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Old February 8th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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Default Steaks

Wells that is good to know, just in case I don't want what is on the menu. And yes, I am different from a lot of people, I DO like my steaks medium well, so I would probably be alright.
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