I'm on a week-long Alaska cruise on Ovation in September with my father, and I am struggling mightily with whether or not to get the Unlimited Dining Plan. I'm paying for the trip for both of us, so trying to balance having a fabulous vacation with costs. What is most important, to me, is what will make my dad happy. He loves food, but doesn't necessarily care about "fancy" food. He's perfectly happy with Olive Garden/Applebee's on land (I'm a bit more of a foodie, but I'm cheap - so I've never tried any of the specialty restaurants on prior Royal cruises and I don't have a good frame of reference for making this decision.)
Questions: Does anyone know if Vintages, Ocean & Amber, and/or Fish and Ships are included with the UBP? I get free drinks in the casino and usually carry a glass of wine with me into dinner in the MDR - is that acceptable in the specialty restaurants? (I'm sure I'll want to try some specialty beverages, but sometimes I'll just want wine.)
I'm open to any thoughts. Worth it? Not worth it? Here's what I'm thinking so far -
Not having to worry about costs - prepaid upfront.
Sushi! Dad loves sushi. Could theoretically get sushi early and then have a late dinner at another specialty restaurant on some nights.
Variety. I find that MDR tends to get a bit repetitive.
Lunch on sea days. On my last cruise, I found the MDR lunches particularly unimpressive, so it would be nice to have other options
Cost. ~$350 (for two) could be used for some pretty epic shore excursions instead.
Reservations. I currently have MTD/Solarium reservations for every night at preferred times. I'm not sure how hard it would be to get reservations for specialty dining for decent times with the UDP package.
Basically, any thoughts you all have would be greatly appreciated. I know this is very much a YMMV thing, but would love to hear what folks think. I've been reading lots of reviews and posts and have gone back and forth so many times now that it's all just confused in my head.
Thanks in advance!