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mcoler18

How much do you use the MDR?

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28 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Sorry, should have said "the majority" or another term instead of "you". I still stand by my statement, though; I do believe the vast majority choose MTD because they want to eat when they're used to eating at home. And that's naturally going to lead to an hour or 90 minutes that is just insane and makes any kind of attentive service impossible for everyone. Those who don't 

And full disclosure -- when my wife and I got to enjoy CK last October on Anthem, guess what time we ended up booking every night? Yup, 6:30 PM, right when we're used to eating dinner at home! Only time we changed it was the night we saw Spectra, when we booked for 6:00 instead so that we didn't have to rush our meal. I was honestly stunned when CK was empty all but the last night, even allowing for the fact far fewer cabins can eat dinner there relative to the rest of the ship.

Usually the "standard" theater shows are done twice to accommodate the two traditional dining times -- earlier show for the late dinner seating, later show for the early seating. But yes, the Broadway shows and comedians and other specialty acts are either one show time or a time that conflicts with late dining. I almost have one on my upcoming Athem sailing, where We Will Rock You starts at 6:30 PM and won't finish until about 8:30, right when our late seating begins. Thankfully that's close enough that I'll just let our wait staff know we'll be a few minutes late that night.

Ah, I dont often think of eating after the show.  Which would be fine for cruise days, with all the breakfast and lunch, eating at 8:30 would probably be a relief.  but port days, often returning half starved, its nice to get cleaned up and straight to a meal.

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We eat in the MDR every morning for breakfast and every evening for dinner. I only eat in Windjammer or Sorrentos for lunch and snacks. Personally, I don't love serving "myself" at a buffet when I am on vacation and enjoy having a waiter for breakfast. At dinner in the MDR, I enjoy having the same table and servers every night. They always get to know you, develop a rapport and remember my drink order by the 2nd/3rd day! The food is always really good and you can order more than one entree/appetizer/dessert if you want it or just can't decide. I can't justify spending extra on dining when the MDR experience is perfect for me.. I did pay ONCE on Indy because they had a Playmakers where we watched a football game and we were in the mood for wings (LOL).

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When my wife and I started cruising, we only eaten at the MDR for dinner.  Now, we are going to the MDR less.  Not because of food quality/service.  More because the Windjammer is just more convenient.  We prefer a quick meal and go about the rest of the evening.  My favourite offering at the Windjammer is the oxtail curry. Mongolian Grill night is also up there on the list. 

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2 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

@FManke  I think a little bit of both.

They are making it cost efficient to do 3 nights ($69 for our cruise), use a travel agent and they gift you a specialty and now you have 4 nights for a total of 70 pp out of pocket.  Pretty cheap. 

That is outrageously expensive. 

It should not cost more than $10 per person. I can get 2 for $20 any day of the week all over the place. There is no way I will ever pay that much extra when I have already paid over $1k for the cruise which includes food.

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@Jolly Ogre.  In essence you are talking 23 pp per meal upgrade.   The dinner at Chops is on the equivalent level impo as Capitol Grill or Ruth Chris, where you would be paying a couple hundred for a couple before drinks, tips and taxes.  

I think this is also why the specialties are becoming more popular.    It  can be seen as a way to have that high level steak house for less than eating at Outback Steakhouse.  Same is true for Giovannis/Janies regarding Italian food and going to Olive Garden.  Or Hooked vs Red Lobster.

For some, they see this as just part of the excursion package.  That is how I see it.  For some, like me, we don't gamble, and don't buy anything from the shops on the ship, been to Nassau enough that I don't do excursions anymore, Bermuda I will pay for a taxi to take me to Horseshoe instead of RCL.  So what does that leave me to spend my OBC (always buy the DBP)   If I have 100 pp OBC, I can get the 3 night for free, and still have money left.  Our TA comped us 1 specialty and in the end 150 pp OBC.  That meant we got the 3 night,  + Chef with maybe $5 pp out of pocket for aa total of 4 nights, add in the TA comp and we had 5 nights.  

It is a personal decision.  Mine had nothing to do with the quality of the food.  Mine has to do with the fact that we have done the big ticket, check the box 1x excursions (swim with dolphins,  parasailing,  catamaran, etc) so now we do this instead.

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2 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

@Jolly Ogre.  In essence you are talking 23 pp per meal upgrade.   The dinner at Chops is on the equivalent level impo as Capitol Grill or Ruth Chris, where you would be paying a couple hundred for a couple before drinks, tips and taxes.  

I think this is also why the specialties are becoming more popular.    It  can be seen as a way to have that high level steak house for less than eating at Outback Steakhouse.  Same is true for Giovannis/Janies regarding Italian food and going to Olive Garden.  Or Hooked vs Red Lobster.

For some, they see this as just part of the excursion package.  That is how I see it.  For some, like me, we don't gamble, and don't buy anything from the shops on the ship, been to Nassau enough that I don't do excursions anymore, Bermuda I will pay for a taxi to take me to Horseshoe instead of RCL.  So what does that leave me to spend my OBC (always buy the DBP)   If I have 100 pp OBC, I can get the 3 night for free, and still have money left.  Our TA comped us 1 specialty and in the end 150 pp OBC.  That meant we got the 3 night,  + Chef with maybe $5 pp out of pocket for aa total of 4 nights, add in the TA comp and we had 5 nights.  

It is a personal decision.  Mine had nothing to do with the quality of the food.  Mine has to do with the fact that we have done the big ticket, check the box 1x excursions (swim with dolphins,  parasailing,  catamaran, etc) so now we do this instead.

I could see maybe paying the $23 if it was for both me and my wife but not per person and that would be for only 1 night as a splurge. 

I would never pay $100 on a meal ever. Outback we had 2 for $24 last November, but I only had to pay for just that one night not 3-4 times.

OBC the most I have ever gotten was $25 per person. That does not go far on a cruise.

I have gone but only when it was comp by the TA.

I dont do any big ticket items at all. The cruise is the big ticket item that I save for 2 yrs to be able to go on.

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On 9/12/2019 at 9:22 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

I will agree that the specialty restaurants are getting more and more crowded.  I am not happy with the way they are shoving 2 tops so close to each now, just like they do in the MDR.  I won’t sit at one of those if they try and put us there.  I’m not sure where you go once the specialties start looking and sounding like the MDR.

I put this in my last post cruise survey (not that I think they will read it).

Next choice is room service on the balcony! This is particularly nice in port. We have been able to upgrade ourselves to the mini-suites when available and that gives us plenty of room to have a quiet dinner for 2 out there! We can eat at our own pace and enjoy our time before heading out to do whatever we have plans for that night.

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We generally eat dinner in the MDR but sometimes we don't have time from getting back in from a port or if we embark at the beginning of the cruise and its during dinner time (we always get early dinner) I'd rather watch the ship leave/sailaway so we will go to windjammer.    We don't partake in specialty extra charge dining.   I'm sure its good but theres always plenty of food, way more than we can eat at the regular venues.   We have learned to appreciate the MDR breakfast though....much less chaotic and crowded than windjammer at certain hours in the morning.

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Almost never. Admittedly, we've only done a few cruises on Royal Caribbean, but I've always been underwhelmed by the MDR - food and atmosphere alike. We'll either pay extra for a specialty restaurant, or just chill in the buffet. Occasionally will do room service on our balcony, but that's rare and usually just breakfast.

 

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On 9/12/2019 at 12:19 PM, Pima1988 said:

@Jolly Ogre.  In essence you are talking 23 pp per meal upgrade.   The dinner at Chops is on the equivalent level impo as Capitol Grill or Ruth Chris, where you would be paying a couple hundred for a couple before drinks, tips and taxes. 

I have to completely disagree with you on this. I like Chops...I have always been pleasantly surprised with how good my steak is. But, I get to Capital Grille at least 6x yearly and Chops is definitely not the quality of steak as Capital Grille, nor is the cooking temp as consistent.

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I like the experience of the MDR, I like eating with a bunch of other people to socialize and enjoy that "classic cruising" experience.  But that's me.  I'm totally fine with the food, I can try things that I normally wouldnt try and its like going out and being all fancy.   

That said, I also do love some specialty dining.  Chops, Wonderland, Izumi, love them.  Now my hub doesnt like sushi or even most asian food.  So one night we do a "go your own way" food night.  I go to Izumi and he goes wherever he wants to (I suspect the windjammer, this is normally something that we enjoy separately and I go on and on about the food and the ambiance and he just talks about the food so I have difficulty figuring out where he went unless he's raving about pasta)  Sometimes though he'll join me at Izumi so I can try something additional and he'll just enjoy a drink, while I stuff my face with sushi and then I'll accompany him whenever he wants and I'll have dessert, and he'll have his fill.  

I think the next Oasis sailing I go on I'm going to try the UDP eating around the ship thing I've wanted to do.  One course at each specialty restaurant and maybe include the MDR and the WJ into the equation.  I'm actually unsure if I can eat that much food, but to me that's like a shore excursion, going on a food tour right on the ship!

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