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We are cruising Rhapsody of the Seas, December 22, 2018. I thought that I should probably make my reservations for Chops and Giovanni's. Went to the Cruise Planner and proceeded to find that All of the Speciality Dining Dec, 24-25 are booked solid and there are NO spots open. I did get to book Giovanni for Wednesday, 26th and Chops for Friday, 28th. Maybe we might have a cancellation but it doesn't look too promising at this point. If you haven't made your reservations yet...better hit it soon and hope you can find open spots for reservations.
Just returned from 7 day Liberty from Galveston and wanted to comment on the food. My family of 4 (Wife, 16 year old boy and girl) did the 5 day dining plan and went to Chops 3 nights and Giovanni's 2 nights. MDR 2 nights Awesome: Chops - our waiter Jiri was just outstanding. We went to Chops the 1st night of the cruise and his service was impeccable. We requested him on our 2 other visits and he was a shining star! The food was excellent! from the salads right to the deserts. on the last formal night (lobster night) they made sure to let us know ahead of time that they would have lobster tails which made for an awesome surf and turf. It's been a few years since we cruised and the lobster tails used to be rock lobster. This time around they were Maine lobster tails. We are from New England and eat a lot of fresh lobster so we may be a bit picky. These tails were frozen which I would expect but they were still very good! Giovanni's - Service was again excellent. Food was very good. We visited on the 2nd night of the cruise and the waiter pretty much brought us everything on the menu including appetizers and main pasta dishes. there was so much food on the table that we couldn't come close to finishing. We ended up not touching the eggplant parm and had them box it up to go for our cabin fridge. The only thing they cold improve on is the deserts...taramisu was mediocre and cannoli were soggy. Not really a biggie because we ate so much there wasn't room for desert! Mediocre: MDR - went for breakfast the 1st morning because my wife and I always like to get the eggs benedict...they were both cold, overcooked, and had just a dribble of hollandaise which had no taste. Kids got pancakes with bacon and sausage which turned out to be the same quality as Wind Jammer buffet (just plain bad). Bacon is like beef Jerky and almost unedible...sausage is as low quality as you can get....no casing and mushy! lunch was good and we only went to lunch in MDR on sea days because of the salad buffet. Dinner was a bit better but lowest quality of any cruise I have been on (Disney, Princess, and multiple RCR). One annoying service issue was the waiters trying to sell us a bottle of wine on both nights even after telling them we had the drink package (glasses of wine included). Both of our waiters were incredulous that we wouldn't buy a bottle of wine at 40% off instead of ordering single glasses of wine. Why would I spend additional $$ on a bottle of wine when I can order the same wine by the glass which is included in my drink package. just strange. Plain BAD!!!!!!!!: Wind Jammer: This was by far the worst buffet dining experience I have ever had on a cruise ship. Barely edible items up and down the buffet line for breakfast and lunch. The ONLY thing I can recommend here is the egg/omlette station for breakfast. get your eggs cooked the way you want...grab some toast and get the heck out! "Sliced beef" carving station at lunch looked like pork...never seen sliced beef that was white in color...i passed. Burgers are hockey pucks. pasta...how do you screw up pasta!? Johnny Rockets: they didn't cook the burgers in front of you on the grill. they were same quality as the buffet hockey pucks and were just pre-cooked low quality burgers. It took 45 minutes to get our burgers AFTER we had cheese fry appetizer! We were there for 90 minutes one day just for burgers/fries and almost got up and left. This was really a disappointment as we have been to Johnny Rockets before and were expecting a decent burger....not Wind Jammer quality pucks. NOT WORTH THE UPCHARGE! Bottom line is that I am very happy we purchased the 5 night dinner package. If you want good quality food this is the only way to go. I had heard that food quality had gone down but was very surprised at how bad Wind Jammer quality was. I expect typical mediocre quality for mass produced food items in a buffet but this was close to unacceptable.