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DaCr00zer December 22nd, 2008 11:44 AM

Dining Options
On the Celebrity Board there's a thread dealing with carrying trays in the casual dining areas...which eventually led to the fact that trays are disappearing completely...which then led to discussion of the disappearance of formal, or main, dining options for mid day meals. Apparently, Celebrity has opted to discontinue opening the main dining room on port days...allegedly due to declining attendance. I consider this an unfortunate step in the wrong direction for cruise lines (assuming, as has been the case with other "cost cutting" options, other lines eventually follow suit).

I happen to prefer meals being served aboard ship. That's one of the little luxuries that cruising offered. I have always been satisfied with the meals served in the main dining rooms of the various ships and have not elected to take advantage of the "alternative" dining restaurants. When that concept was first introduced, as AN alternative restaurant, I thought it was a nice idea, but the price I paid for the cruise included meals and I chose not to pay the "cover charge" that was added to the alternative venues. I have THAT option back home on dry land! Now, cruise lines have expanded the alternative dining idea to include a myriad of options!

The dropping of main dining room lunches leads me to wonder whether the next step will be conversion of ALL main dining rooms to "specialty" restaurants and ONLY including buffet dining with the cost of the cruise! Or, returning to CLASS codes, with FIRST CLASS passengers getting dining room privileges and STEERAGE passengers only allowed at the buffet line...without trays (or bring your own mess kits???). Just kidding with this last suggestion...I hope! :roll:

Ron n Jon December 22nd, 2008 01:39 PM

We have often made this very point, as the entire cruise industry seems to be leaning to an a la carte system. Real coffee is extra, Ice Cream is extra, hot chocolate is extra, and on it goes. We have the ridiculously low fares offeres to thank for this. Just yesterday, again, an e-mail ad for 7 day cruise for only $28./day. For that one should bring their own bedding...

But if that is the way it is to be then yes, let it be a restaurant la carte system where you pay for what your order and when one misses a meal for whatever reason one does not have to pay at all. Today's commonly used expression "the tough" will give sustance and the restaurant of your choice will give you dinning pleasure. But let it be one way or the other please.

DayvidB December 22nd, 2008 03:44 PM

"allegedly due to declining attendance. I consider this an unfortunate step in the wrong direction for cruise lines "

I can see this from the lines perception, there must be today a very limited "audience" that would want to "do lunch" in the formal dining room.

No need, and sorry its a reaction to reality and not an "unfortunate step "

So if no one does it any more, would you honestly expect a ship or any business to bring X number of waiters or staff etc into a dining room on the chance that someone may want served lunch?

Question, the last time you experienced that,,be honest. How many diners where in this massive room for lunch and all that goes with it?

And to be really honest in todays market I would not expect Celebrity or any other line that carries "bulk" to provide it.

Yes there are lines out there that still will, but you pay a premium and for that you get a premium

We have to be realistic,,and I dont know how far your experience of cruising goes,,but on certain lines the "class" OR THESE DAYS MONEY RULE STILL APPLY's. And that is the dining room allocated to you, look at Cunard....there you get a dining room to eat in, based on the room you purchased. Who says "class" has gone or not part of cruising

Paul B December 22nd, 2008 09:25 PM

There has always been one dining room open for open seating lunch on every ship I have cruised, and they do fill up.

Snoozeman December 22nd, 2008 09:52 PM


Originally Posted by Paul B
There has always been one dining room open for open seating lunch on every ship I have cruised, and they do fill up.

If we mean on port days, then not anymore. At least on my last 5-6 cruises. Buffet yes, dining room no.

momofmeg December 23rd, 2008 11:26 AM

Do you mean when the ship stays late in port? I know when we were in LaHavre last year we missed usual our dinner time as our excursion did not return until 8 pm.

Not that it mattered, we still could have had dinner. The ship had an open seating that day for the dinning room, but we opted for the lido restaurant, as many others did that night. This did not surprise me as Paris and Versailles were over 3 hours away, so those of us that chose those destinations, were very late returning to ship. We had been 6 hours on the road, just traveling to and from our excursions.

I did not mind. We had a late dinner in the lido restaurant. It was not a problem. Although it was cafeteria style, our plates were served for us-it was not self serve, a waiter carried my tray to the table and we had a waiter who filled our drinks and also offered us a chance to order wine or alcoholic drinks. I was fine with that, especially as I was exhausted from the long drive and excursion that day. I had no desire for a long dinner that would take 90 minutes to be served.
I do believe that is why,perhaps they have discontinued this service. Many were like me, simply too tiered for a 90 minute dinner.

Perhaps you could pick that night for the specialty restaurant?

Now, if you mean on days the ship leaves port at 5pm that Celebrity is discontinuing their dinner, I would not understand that. I would dislike that also.

As far as lunch, I have not been on a ship yet that served lunch on a port day. Normally on port days we use the lido for breakfast as it seems we always have early excursions. so I would not mind breakfast and lunch being discontinued.

hombre December 23rd, 2008 02:46 PM

aren't we talking about lunch and not dinner??? no cruise lines i know of cancel dinner in the main dining room on port days. keep the feathers in place.

DayvidB December 23rd, 2008 03:14 PM

No we are talking the ability to sit and be waiter served a meal around what most individuals would call lunchtime, 12- 2pm, i.e. midday.

Those that want that,,mm they really don’t want to get off the ship, and don’t want to experience others outside their "allocated" table. Its there if they want it, but not on bulk

Maybe the problem is some folks don’t know today’s bulk, compared to specialist

DaCr00zer December 24th, 2008 04:48 PM

Yes, I am talking about mid day meals. As I said, we were on HAL last April and NCL in October...neither of which can be considered "specialist", I don't think! The mid day meal was open we aren't limited to those seated at our specified table (no such thing on NCL, as you must be aware).

This will be our 19th cruise experience and, I guess, our first without lunch being served. Our usual practice has been to schedule our shore excursions, or portside shopping, around the meals being served (as much as possible). And, by the way, I thought that Celebrity had always been a cut above the "bulk" market! Unless you mean that everything below Crystal and Radisson is "bulk".

kookylabooka December 24th, 2008 06:31 PM

On my past 3 Carnival cruises when in port the dining room was closed for lunch but open for dinner.

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