Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mikeb1892

First Timer, Unlimited Dining?

Recommended Posts

My wife and I are on Oasis in July.  Our first cruise, WOOT!  We're almost ready to pull the trigger on the 3 night dinning package (currently $99) but want to consider the  unlimited dining (currently $179).  We know for sure we want to do Chops, Giovanni and 150 Central Park.  Not interested in Izumi.  We'll probably check out Playmakers and possibly Portside BBQ, but don't expect to each much at either of these venues.  Since we're first timers we're perfectly fine having meals in Windjammer, MDR, Solarium Bistro, and the other locals that are not up charges.  Has anyone ever been in this position, purchased the 3 night dining and later wished they went with the unlimited?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on your first cruise!

We went with the three-night dining package as it seemed to be the most cost-effective way to enjoy some of the specialty dining as well as the regular (included options). We just didn't feel that the unlimited dining package would be worth our money as we wanted to have a diversity of food experiences. Don't regret our choice. Other persons' mileage may vary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I concur..if this is your first cruise just go with the 3-night package.  If you want to try Portside and Playmakers, go ahead and do that and just pay ala carte for those and you will come out ahead money-wise.  Portside meals are reasonable (7.99 lunch/15.99 dinner) and are enough to feed 2 people!  Playmakers is ala carte and, in my opinion, reasonably priced for sports bar food on or off a cruise ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll give another vote for the three night package. We did the same on our first cruise just so we could then make an educated decision on future cruises.

After doing that,  we've decided to do it again on our next cruise. We're quite happy with the MDR, but a few nights in specialty restaurants breaks it up a bit. 

If this is your first cruise,  taking the unlimited package means you're either missing out on the MDR,  or paying for specialty dining on nights that you do eat in the MDR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also agree that the 3 night package is a great option for your first cruise. It gives you the ability to try everything on the ship for the most part without the lingering thought in the back of your mind that your wasting money by choosing the "free" options. This will help you in the future figure out if you want to go "all in" the next time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  Being a first time cruiser you might consider a different approach.  If you are like the vast majority on here you will probably cruise again.  Choose one specialty dining restaurant and give the MDR a chance.  Your menu for the MDR covers a lot of different foods that are really good.  Formal night is lobster night.  And remember you can choose as many things as you want and as much as you want. (including lobster)  Your chance to try some different foods,  like escargot.  I eat at a specialty restaurant on occasions and enjoy it but you already paid for the meals in the MDR,  Windjammer etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the 3-night package last year on the Symphony of the Seas and felt it was a great deal and offered a nice change of pace from the MDR and other options like the Solarium Bistro buffet.

We're doing back-to-back cruises this September and will do the 3-nighter on each leg of our adventure. While I can understand why some folks might splurge on the unlimited specialty dining option, we just feel the MDR is often underrated. Happy Sailing! 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I consider our last cruise this past Dec. I'm glad that we tried out Specialty Dinning at  Hibachi and Giovanni's.  We also had a excellent experience in the MDR. The MDR food is great but not atypical of a good local restaurant.  What I mean by this is that the presentation and sauces are good but not exceptional and the dishes are not creative or unusual. To find that next level dinning experience the Specialties bring that. At home we might eat out once a week, and select restaurants that serve MDR fair. A few times a year we will splurge and eat at a Specialty level local restaurant. I don't always want the pomp and ceremony of these high end restaurants and can't afford it anyway.

 We have close friends that are foodies and are in the Double Income No Kids club. If we ever cruised with them the MDR wouldn't be creative enough for them. They would eat Specialty every night. 

I also hate to pay extra for something that is quite good and included in your cruise. Cruising isn't cheap, especially if your vacation time is limited to the school calendar. Think of it this way that Special Dining cash could help pay for your next vacation or an excursion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on Oasis last week and did the 3 night package. It was perfect! Gave us 3 nights of scheduled nice meals and 4 nights to be flexible. Lobster night on 2nd formal night in MDR was great. My husband had 9 lobster tails! Yes, we were those people but oh well. Made reservations the 1st night in Solarium; good way to kick things off with something light and delicious. Make your 3 night dining reservations as soon as you get on the ship at any restaurant so you get your choice of days and times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We almost bought the dining package for our first cruise and honestly didn’t miss it.  It was a 7 night cruise and the main dining room was excellent.  We made sure to go to the two formal nights and a couple of others. There was a night where we were just too full and didn’t feel like eating (grabbed a late slice of pizza at Sorrentos).  The last night we celebrated with a la carts Izumi.  I think for the first time maybe the 3 night package would be fine.

And don’t forget the main dining room for lunch too!  Excellent food and service!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great advice here about the 3 night. We will be doing the same on our Oasis July cruise. This will be our second cruise. On our first 8 night we did MDR every night but one (When I fell asleep and we missed dinner, lol). We enjoyed it, we loved our table mates and our wait staff but found the menu repetitive by night 5. It was a small ship (the beautiful Rhapsody) so the only specialty choices were Chops, Giovanni's and Izumi. We did Izumi for lunch and as sushi fans didn't feel it was worth the extra. This time we are going with the 3 night package on the Oasis with more variety of specialty restaurants so we can still enjoy the MDR and get something different during the week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We typically use a TA, and have been fortunate enough that the TA gifts us 1 specialty dinner plus OBC.  We purchase the 3 night, and using our OBC the Chef's table.  Typically our cruises are 7 or 8 nights.  That means for us, we typically eat in the MDR for dinner the formal nights, and maybe 1 more.

We truly enjoy the MDR for lunch and feel no need to eat in a specialty for that meal.

For us,  after several cruises this has become the best bang for our buck.   Plus, because we don't care for certain specialty restaurants, it works well.  IE Wonderland to us is a 1 hit wonder.   We enjoy unique food, but it just wasn't our cup of tea.  Izumi doesn't rock my world.  However, I will say the amount of sushi you can order is insane.  

~~~ If you enjoy sushi, think about doing the 3 night, and have 1 of you take the sushi class instead of eating dinner at Izumi.  The class is @30 per person.  I have never done it, but I have been told by a large majority that it is well worth it.  After the class you can join in eating all of the sushi they created during the class.  Supposedly, there is plenty.  Due to health and safety issues regarding food contamination you are not allowed to leave with what you created, which is why you can come in and eat what your cruising partner has made.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, CaptainPanda said:

Out of curiosity, are those prices for the dining packages ($99 for 3-Nights & $179 for unlimited) about average for RC across the fleet?

I was lucky enough to snag the 3-night package for my 9-night May cruise on Grandeur for $79; at that time, the UDP was $199. Now in CruisePlanner, the UDP is up to $216.

I have some extra OBC, so I decided to also buy lunch at Chops for embarkation day, both because $22 for their lunch menu sounds like a fabulous deal and it'll help avoid the chaos that will be the Windjammer on Day 1, if my previous cruise on another line is any indication of what normal embarkation day hunts for food look like!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/6/2020 at 9:28 AM, KBrad said:

 My husband had 9 lobster tails! Yes, we were those people but oh well. 

If it's allowed by the cruise line, and he eats all of them, I cannot see an issue.

 

It's the people that order huge serves and then leave them, or do sneaky things to get more than they are entitled to that people object to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, CaptainPanda said:

Out of curiosity, are those prices for the dining packages ($99 for 3-Nights & $179 for unlimited) about average for RC across the fleet?

Can't speak about over the fleet, but since we booked 3 night for $99, UDP has varied between $179 and $199 (3 night has stayed at $99). Before we booked any package, unlimited was available for $139. Another vote for if you think you'd like something from cruise planner, book it and watch out for repricing. 🤑

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, CaptainPanda said:

Out of curiosity, are those prices for the dining packages ($99 for 3-Nights & $179 for unlimited) about average for RC across the fleet?

Those are the standard prices for all Oasis class ships... Older ships cost less

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...