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VTHappyGirl

Ships without Coastal Kitchen -- UDP?

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I have only been on two cruises with RCI so far and both have been Oasis class ships.
Now looking ahead at the next bookings and looks like based on itinerary will be on  a Freedom or Voyager class ship.

For me -- the biggest perk of the the suite is access to Coastal Kitchen and then double the C&A points.

For these ships without a Coastal Kitchen does it make sense to get the UDP?  I feel like the Suites w/o a CK
is really just added cost to 'buy' the C&A points.  Am I missing another perk I should be taking advantage of more?

Maybe this is the cruise to just get the JS for the points?  Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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I would say it depends on the ship.  CK is only on Quantum and Oasis class.  The rest of the fleet has various specialty restaurants.   If a ship only has two specialty venues then the UDP can become repetitive since the menus in specialty venues don't change.  

Some AMPED Voyager class have a good variety of speciality restaurants, others are more limited.  Navigator has Hooked, Mariner does not.  Some Voyager class ships have an Izumi that offers hot rocks, some ships just offer sushi in Izumi.  If you aren't a sushi person your dining options are reduced.  

Most ships have or will soon get a suite lounge so that's a perk for full suites.  Breakfast in Chops is usually offered to full suite guests.

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There are many perks that I enjoy when traveling in a full suite (Majesty and Empress excepted):  priority boarding (better at some ports than others), full service breakfast in one of the specialty restaurants every day, reserved seating for shows, access to the suites lounge, backstage and bridge tours, access to the services of the suites concierge, priority disembarkation (better at some ports than others)...so access to a Coastal Kitchen isn't really the only consideration.  We always get the UDP even when we travel on a ship WITH a CK but that's a personal preference.  

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We found ourselves in this exact dilemma for our cruise this July on Adventure.  As many here know, I am #teamCK all the way.  Initially, when we first booked our Adventure sailing, I told Hubby right away that we would get the UDP.  However, looking into it further, Adventure doesn't have that many specialty restaurants to choose from and their Izumi isn't even a full Izumi. 

In the end, we decided to purchase the 3 night dining package instead because we felt the UDP would be too repetitive for a 9 night sailing.  The itinerary is pretty port intensive this time (waking up really early and out all day) so we figured our other nights, we would either eat in the MDR or WJ. 

So I guess, what I am trying to say is that there is value in the UDP if you think you will actually use it a lot.  For us, we considered the number of restaurants and itinerary and decided it wasn't worth it.

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We were on Allure in Dec in a JS and ate dinner in the CK every night... tremendous service and food!!  We have a JS reserved for Independence in March (no CK) so we'll see if there are any other benefits (other than double points, and possibly earlier boarding?)...  Other than those, I'm not sure if there's much of a tangible benefit to the JS on non-CK ships.

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17 minutes ago, Snotarni said:

We have a JS reserved for Independence in March (no CK) so we'll see if there are any other benefits (other than double points, and possibly earlier boarding?)... 

There's not.

That is why, over the last year, I have starting booking the Panoramic suites instead.  Even though the are missing that balcony, it gets you full suite benefits.  Usually they are not much more than a JS.  On my Adventure sailing this July, and Liberty in 2021, it was actually priced lower than a JS.

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