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I tried searching but couldn't find the answer I was looking for. I have read somewhere that MDR is open for breakfast, and that it's also open seating. 

1. Is it buffer, or is it served?

2. Is the food same as WJ offering, or is there a different menu?

3. What's the dresscode for breakfast at the MDR? Does it have a "high end breakfast vibe" and therefore you should dress up a bit, or people just show up in whatever (shorts and t-shirts)?

4. For you personally, what would make you eat breakfast in the MDR, versus WJ, versus room service (provided that you're only ordering the free items)? Does it differ between port days and sea days?

TIA

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On my last 3 cruises, MDR breakfast has had both served dishes and a buffet section in the centre. The buffet is a lot smaller than in the WJ but generally contains the fundamental breakfast items. It's proportional to the size of the ship, though, so we found it perfectly adequate on Harmony and Navigator but disappointing on Serenade.

No dressing up is required for breakfast. Shorts and t-shirts are fine.

I like having breakfast in the MDR because I find it a much more relaxing experience than the frenzy of the WJ. I like being escorted to a seat and not having to hunt for an open table and I like that DH and I can both go and get our food at the same time, rather than one of us having to stay at the table to make sure another guest doesn't think it's free and take it while we're away.

The only problem is that the MDR opening hours are not very long for breakfast so on sea days, when we like to sleep in a bit, we usually miss it. 

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Welcome to the forum, there is a wealth of information here that can improve your cruise experience.  One thing I'd suggest is to check out the many videos of your particular ship and study the deck plans to get an idea of what to do and where things are.  You can also check out the Cruise Compasses to get an idea what is happening day to day on the ship. 

MDR has a made to order breakfast and a small buffet, you can have one or both.  I prefer MDR for breakfast as it's more relaxing.  You just walk up and they will seat you, they will ask you if you want to be seated with others or by yourself.  The made to order is your typical breakfast items, one thing I didn't realize till my second cruise is that i could ask for a small size of grits, oatmeal and such.  

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Hi @nyold, welcome to the forums!

A key thing to know about the MDR breakfast is that it's only served on sea days. And as @FionaMG noted, the hours are not very long and this makes it somewhat difficult to make it on a day when you may want to be sleeping in.

There are a couple of items on the MDR breakfast menu you won't find at the Windjammer -- things like eggs Benedict, or a bagel with smoked salmon (although you may be able to assemble one yourself in the WJ). For the most part, though, it's the same as what you'll find in the WJ.

The main reason I have for dining in the MDR at breakfast is to meet people and have some morning conversation. I will go there and request a shared table, and take my chances with who my table-mates will end up being. This worked wonderfully on my cruise on Freedom last year, and I met a number of really nice people who made breakfast really enjoyable and not just an exercise in filling my stomach. I only had one bad match-up, where my wife and I were sat with a pair of much older ladies who clearly didn't want to talk with anyone but each other.

I will note that this works best on ships with a traditional-style main dining room that has large tables. My wife and I tried this once on Anthem last year and we'll never do that again. They don't have large tables in the MDR used for breakfast (American Icon Grill), and the room itself is very crowded and hectic.

If I had to give a situation for each venue, I'd say:

  • MDR for a breakfast at a relaxed pace, where you have nothing specific to rush off to in the morning, and for a chance to meet some new people and have engaging conversation with your meal
  • WJ for when you don't care about eating with anyone besides your family / travel-mates, want to be able to sit down and eat at a somewhat relaxed pace, but don't want to wait for servers to take your orders and bring the food out
  • Smaller venues like Park Cafe, Cafe Two70 (Quantum class ships only), Cafe Promenade, etc. when you only feel like a quick bite / aren't especially hungry / need to quickly grab and go for an excursion
  • Room service when you want a really relaxed breakfast to enjoy on your balcony with just your signifiant other / family members, or alternatively, when you need to eat super-early to get off the ship as soon as it's docked and you don't want to deal with the WJ crowds.

EDIT -- Want to modify my classification of Cafe Two70 a bit. Yes, it's good for getting a quick bite away from the WJ, but it's also a really good venue for a relaxed meal in a quiet space, where you can just gaze out the massive windows and watch the ship wake, maybe see the sunrise depending on what time you get down there.

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2 hours ago, JLMoran said:

A key thing to know about the MDR breakfast is that it's only served on sea days.

I wonder if this depends on the ship because we definitely had breakfast offered in the MDR every day on our three most recent cruises (Harmony, Serenade and Navigator)? As late risers on sea days, we only ever used it on port days.

Lunch, on the other hand, was definitely only available on sea days.

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5 minutes ago, Susie said:

C&A Diamond, do we get free breakfast room service? or just D+ or Pinnacle Peeps.

Everyone gets free continental breakfast service..but the hot items such as eggs and bacon have the $7.95 +18% per order charge.  The room categories of Grand Suites and above get the order charge waived..and Pinnacles too it seems!

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23 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

Everyone gets free continental breakfast service..but the hot items such as eggs and bacon have the $7.95 +18% per order charge.  The room categories of Grand Suites and above get the order charge waived..and Pinnacles too it seems!

Thanks a bunch. Sometimes we are in a hurry in the morning for excursion so I will take continental breakfast if need. Thanks again

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Just now, Susie said:

Thanks a bunch. Sometimes we are in a hurry in the morning for excursion so I will take continental breakfast if need. Thanks again

Remember that the Diamond Lounge will also have a continental breakfast every morning so if you forget to order or just want to pick up something quick, you can stop by there and pick up something too.  They will have juice and specialty coffees as well (assuming the coffee machine is working !).

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Just now, WAAAYTOOO said:

Remember that the Diamond Lounge will also have a continental breakfast every morning so if you forget to order or just want to pick up something quick, you can stop by there and pick up something too.  They will have juice and specialty coffees as well (assuming the coffee machine is working !).

Thanks @WAAAYTOOO and hope Diamond Lounge has Smoke Salmon that will be set for me.

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7 hours ago, FionaMG said:

I wonder if this depends on the ship because we definitely had breakfast offered in the MDR every day on our three most recent cruises (Harmony, Serenade and Navigator)? As late risers on sea days, we only ever used it on port days.

Lunch, on the other hand, was definitely only available on sea days.

Ugh, sorry! I mixed up breakfast and lunch! You are correct, breakfast is daily in the MDR, it's lunch that is only on sea days!

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