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  1. Morning guys and gals! Cin and I traveled BOTS Jan 7-11, 2016. Wonderful "first" time cruise. We traveled with 10 other guests, all with "my time dining". When we all arrived at the MDR, we were asked if we would like to sit together. Reply was yes, if possible. Within 4 minutes, we were escorted to the far back corner of the upper level MDR (they knew we were trouble, lol). When we got to the table, it was only set for 10 guests. 2 of our party offered to sit close by, but there was no way the head waiter was going to allow that. She said, NO! and in less than a minute there was another table added and room for 12. It gets better.... Our Waiter, and assistant, were 2nd to none. I know these guys work for tips, but, they were sincerely "interested" in our group, and wanted to please. They also showed a sense of pride in and about what they were doing. Not deadbeat "here we go again" type of service. Two of our guests were young boys, 10 and 15. The boys had their food even before the adults order was taken. Amazing! The boys were able to ask for something NOT on the menu, and were not disappointed. They soon after went to the teen area of the ship, leaving the remaining time/dinner for adults. We love the kids, even though they are well behaved boys, surely they enjoyed NOT having to sit with 10 adults for over an hour. It's the little things the staff do, and did, that make a venue "special". Order taken. Grilled asparagus was awesome was offered as a side veggie. A couple of our people mentioned how pleased they were to the head waiter during her walk-around. Others in our group chimed in (it was awesome veggie). She smiled and said, "you all like it"?, "I'll make sure you all have Asparagus, for the group, tomorrow with dinner". Go Figure...talk about a happy crowd. Yes, the next evening, Asparagus "magically" appeared on 2 separate large plates as a veggie to be shared by the table. And, yes, every night thereafter. Yes, it was just as good as the first night. Now, to the nitty-gritty....The Food! Between the group, we had pretty much everything available on the menu. Starting with fresh baked assortment of dinner rolls....Pork, Duck, Fish beef and more. Homemade mashed potato's. What more could one ask for? lol. Everything was excellent, no complaints, and many empty plates. Our Waiter actually "built" a dinner for Cindy, when she was having trouble deciding, taking the best from different dinners. Cheese topped escargot was a surprise. I didn't ask to see if it was available without, but, sent back an empty plate. Deserts were enjoyed by all. The quality of the food made me think "why would anybody want to go to one of the other pay venues"...it was really that good. Cin and I will most likely have to try "chops" on the next cruise just to compare, but we don't see how it could be $70 better, really! Our waiter and assistant, both, had all of our names memorized AND what we drink, by the 2nd night. Unbelievable when you think of the number of people they work with during a 4 night cruise. The entire wait staff was smiling! Not only when around the tables...they honestly looked "happy" with their jobs.....I notice little things like that. There was a "stout" Black Man, bald, suit and tie, walking around that seemed un-interested in answers after asking how we were doing....every night within about 10 seconds of arriving to our table, he pulled his cell phone from his jacket as if answering a call, never received our responses, and walked away as if something more important was going on. It got to be a joke around the table. The last night he showed up, I picked up my cell phone and loudly said "yes, he's here".....looked at him, and said, "Grab your cell phone...you're fixing to get a call...." The whole table cracked up, and so did he.....then he walked away, like the other nights...We didn't need him anyways. lol The staff was doing a great job. We were NOT a rowdy group, 5 of us are over 60 and the entire group was well behaved. The group did not feel "rushed" in order to turn the table. Cin and I visited Windjammer for Breakfast and Lunch. Next cruise we'll try MDR for those when we can. Windjammer, after the 2nd or third meal, becomes blah, with the same "type" menu/buffet repeated. Maybe not the same exact food Items, but buffet food. We found that "filling", but nothing remarkable. To be noted: we found, by mistake, in the back of the ship where the bingo is played, a bar/lounge. In the late afternoon/evening there was a hot finger food bar there. I peeked... large fried coconut shrimp, cheese sticks and other warm items. I was surprised at the size of the shrimp. They sure "didn't scrimp on the shrimp". I found later they are the dinner size shrimp served in the MDR. It wasn't advertised, so keep an eye open for it, or ask...it was late afternoon. I didn't want to spoil dinner so I held off. lol Over all, we give the MDR an A++ for our experience. Over and above our expectations. Cin wants to go FOTS next.....the MDR will have a high standard to meet, much less beat.
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