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MDR vs WJ


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On 6/23/2019 at 6:33 PM, ChessE4 said:

We love the Main Dining Room because the food is good, the service is excellent, and we feel like royalty.  We find that when we get to know the wait staff, we have a richer cruise experience.

I am the same here.  When I am on vacation, I prefer to be waited on.  I dislike buffets even at home, so I don't enjoy the chaos of it on vacation.  In real life, at home, I do all the cooking, setting the table, serving the humans, etc.  So on vacation, I don't want to do that. 

We've done a couple specialty restaurants and I don't really think they're special enough to do with the extra cost on a short cruise. However, on a longer cruise I would totally do them again, one or two nights. 

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I hate the MDR. We'll either make it a nicer evening a do a specialty restaurant, or do a relaxing buffet. To me, the MDR has mediocre food in a stuffy environment...I'd rather pay a bit extra and get a better meal, or just have a super chill "let me try a bunch of different things and have some drinks in the buffet" type dinner (the buffet is so relaxingly quiet at dinner).

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We've done both. Depends on how we're feeling too. Like being served sometimes, like the multiple offerings of the buffet. Some complain about how long it takes in MDR, but we get a table for 2 so we don't have to wait for others to arrive or finish their courses. We've done MDR in 30 minutes. We've also done formal night in Windjammer.  Full on formal gown and tux. Definitely got some looks that night but the staff, especially the officers, seemed appreciative that we ate with them. Visited our table a little more than any other time we ate there. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I sailed on Allure of the Seas not too long ago, I ate at Giovanni's Table (Specialty Italian Restaurant), Windjammer Marketplace (Buffet), and Silk (Main Dining Room). I will just say that paying for a specialty restaurant is very worth it because of the luxurious experience. I still loved the Windjammer Marketplace and the Main Dining Room but I definitely preferred one over the other.

On Allure of the Seas, the Windjammer Marketplace had a wide variety of options, which I deeply appreciated because I like to try new things. I definitely tried small portions of new foods in the Windjammer Marketplace--some I liked and some I didn't. Also, since I was on an Oasis Class ship, the Windjammer Marketplace was absolutely massive. There was an abundance of seating--and even during peak hours, I was always able to find a table. However, I do know that Serenade of the Seas is a smaller ship, so I don't know if the Windjammer Marketplace is as spacious. The one thing I wasn't so crazy about the Windjammer Marketplace was the food itself. It was good overall, but the quality of the food wasn't as good as in the Main Dining Room. I appreciated that the Windjammer Marketplace was casual, fast, and easy. I ate here for breakfast and lunch throughout the cruise and thought it was fine.

However, I definitely enjoyed the Main Dining Room way more because of the experience. I understand why people don't like how slow the Main Dining Room is (yes it is extremely slow sometimes), but it feels a lot more luxurious and the service is top-notch. Silk, the third-level of the Main Dining Room on Allure of the Seas was absolutely gorgeous--it was extremely elegant and it even felt like a 5-star restaurant on land solely based on the ambience. The Main Dining Room on Serenade of the Seas looks gorgeous too. I also found that the quality of the food was much better in the Main Dining Room and it looked way more appetizing. Everything I ate tasted absolutely delicious especially the escargot. My servers on the Allure of the Seas were fantastic, too. My only complaint about the Main Dining Room in general is the tightness and lack of variety for both breakfast and dinner. The breakfast menu offered the same 12 items and the mini-buffet everyday and the although the dinner menu did change every night, a good portion of the menu was offered every night. But needless to say the food was definitely very good.

I found that I liked the Main Dining Room better overall.

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We have been skipping the MDR the last couple of cruises.  I like to have a couple of specialty dining meals (normally formal nights) which I don't mind being 2 hours.  Otherwise I'm hitting up the Windjammer and we are normally done in 30-45 mins.  Previously our MDR experience had been averaging 2 hours.  

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We used to love MDR and it was one of the sell points of going on the cruise ... to have "real service" etc. 

As the service level has dropped over the years and the food quality seems to have as well, its frequently easier just to hit up the windjammer when we are in the mood rather than planning on dressing up to go to a dinner that isnt what it used to be.

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15 hours ago, Jared M. said:

Also, since I was on an Oasis Class ship, the Windjammer Marketplace was absolutely massive. There was an abundance of seating--and even during peak hours, I was always able to find a table. However, I do know that Serenade of the Seas is a smaller ship, so I don't know if the Windjammer Marketplace is as spacious.

Actually, the windjammers on the Oasis class are often smaller for the amount of people on the ship. Oasis class was set up to disperse people and so you have a lot of venues for people to eat at (park Cafe, solarium bistro, Johnny rockets free breakfast, wipe out Cafe etc).  You will find that the windjammers are often bigger/and or bigger for ratio of people (if that makes sense) on the freedom class and smaller.  I was just on majesty and the windjammer always had tables.  When I went in on allure once, it was crazy and I fled lol....so I'm glad you had great luck!   We did solarium bistro a ton for breakfast and lunch.  Jane

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On 6/24/2019 at 5:12 PM, hayley_bopp said:

I like the variety in the WJ  but find that for dinner, it lacks ambience and I don't line the plastic plates (they don't bother me at breakfast or lunch!) and add Joe said, I don't like having to make sure there's someone saving my seat whilst I'm up getting food/drink meaning that you don't really end up eating together. 

Dinner in the Windjammer is nothing like the zoo at breakfast and lunch; there are times we've gone in there at dinnertime and the place is 3/4 empty. No worries about saving tables, etc.

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18 hours ago, cookingyo said:

We have been skipping the MDR the last couple of cruises.  I like to have a couple of specialty dining meals (normally formal nights) which I don't mind being 2 hours.  Otherwise I'm hitting up the Windjammer and we are normally done in 30-45 mins.  Previously our MDR experience had been averaging 2 hours.  

This is exactly what my family has been doing for the last few cruises, and with the same expectations regarding time.

Not sure what we're going to be doing on Majesty next week; no specialty restaurants, so we'll probably ask for MTD and bounce between that and the Windjammer. 

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3 hours ago, jticarruthers said:

We used to love MDR and it was one of the sell points of going on the cruise ... to have "real service" etc. 

As the service level has dropped over the years and the food quality seems to have as well, its frequently easier just to hit up the windjammer when we are in the mood rather than planning on dressing up to go to a dinner that isnt what it used to be.

Not to mention that, for the most part, the items being served in the MDR are also being served in the WJ. Plus, the food is warmer as they haven't been sitting on a covered plate along with the 23 others destined for your waiter's section.

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