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Dining, including UDP, thoughts for solos


Adriana
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Hi again (really am sorry for all the questions)! I have been away from cruising for far too long…four years! This (Anthem on Oct 29th) will be my first since then and as a Diamond. I will be cruising solo (common for me).  It has its pros and cons, and now I am trying to figure out dining. I have My Time Dining and was asked if I wanted a small or large table. I was never asked that before and said small since I do not want to purposely impose on a family or friends. However, dinner conversation could be nice. Do you have any thoughts either way? With a random person sitting with you or if you like to do it? I know it is usual on cruises, but since I will be alone, it may make the others feel awkward and feel they must include me.

     Also, any thoughts on the UDP? I am considering it. It would be nice to try the different places (I don’t eat seafood) and venues. Not sure if it would feel more isolated (not always a bad thing), may be missing out, will get bored, etc. It may be nice for a more experience, more relaxed pace. I have never done any specialty dining (for pricing, best is UDP and not other packages).  I know it is personal preference,  I am curious to hear others’ thoughts. Thank you! 😁

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It's all personal preference. I cruise solo a lot (and vacation solo in general a lot) and enjoy a small table to myself. I don't really enjoy interacting with strangers much and want the peace of my own table, without needing to chat and get to know people.

But if you do, then that's fine. Probably another group will have opted in as well to sharing a table; they can always request their own table if they don't prefer sharing. 

Anthem has an excellent selection of restaurants so you probably won't get bored with the UDP. But at the same time, it has a ton of great foods included at no extra cost, so it's all depending on your personal tastes. You can review all the dining options on the Things to do Anthem page (scroll down to "All Dining" row):
https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-ships/anthem-of-the-seas/things-to-do

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49 minutes ago, SuzanneM said:

It's all personal preference. I cruise solo a lot (and vacation solo in general a lot) and enjoy a small table to myself. I don't really enjoy interacting with strangers much and want the peace of my own table, without needing to chat and get to know people.

But if you do, then that's fine. Probably another group will have opted in as well to sharing a table; they can always request their own table if they don't prefer sharing. 

Anthem has an excellent selection of restaurants so you probably won't get bored with the UDP. But at the same time, it has a ton of great foods included at no extra cost, so it's all depending on your personal tastes. You can review all the dining options on the Things to do Anthem page (scroll down to "All Dining" row):
https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-ships/anthem-of-the-seas/things-to-do

Thank you! I am the same, go away solo more often than not and am pretty comfortable with it. At times, I do love chatting with others, but when at the table with them, it is more pressure to be witty and social (which I like, but like the option of being on my own.  I will probably stick to my little table. Sometimes, folks from another table start a conversation, usually asking if I am alone (you prob get that). Since separate tables, not as much pressure. 
     This will be my third time on Anthem. I have only done the main dining room and the other free places like two-seventy and Windjammer. I am on the fence with UDP, but leaning towards it. … Thanks again!

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I tend to be reading my kindle while waiting for the meal so I'm usually left alone. Sometimes the tables are really close though and someone strikes up a conversation. And sometimes that's okay. Not sure how close the tables are now that the pandemic has happened; I'm going on my first cruise since the pandemic in eleven days.

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33 minutes ago, SuzanneM said:

I tend to be reading my kindle while waiting for the meal so I'm usually left alone. Sometimes the tables are really close though and someone strikes up a conversation. And sometimes that's okay. Not sure how close the tables are now that the pandemic has happened; I'm going on my first cruise since the pandemic in eleven days.

That’s a good point about the closeness of the tables now. They used to be so close that I almost always chatted with the neighboring table. I wonder what they are like now. … Oh how neat! I hope you have a great time!!

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Super excited! I bit the bullet and got the UDP! I was able to make a reservation for the first night. I will prob try to make it to the MDR some nights (in addition to specialty), maybe for just a bite and check it out. Let’s see! Yaaay!! 

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Yay for the UDP! It's not available anymore for any but one of my sailings and I don't think it'd be worth it anyway; I'm on Rhapsody so there's just Chops, Izumi, Giovanni's. But I may still get it for the last one, where it's still available. That's just a three-day and maybe I'll use one night for Chef's Table at discounted price. 

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1 hour ago, Adriana said:

Super excited! I bit the bullet and got the UDP! I was able to make a reservation for the first night. I will prob try to make it to the MDR some nights (in addition to specialty), maybe for just a bite and check it out. Let’s see! Yaaay!! 

Adriana, as a solo I got the UDP on my last cruise (got tired of the same meals in the MDR) and loved it. I always felt well taken care of in each restaurant that I visited.  Great views, and if I wanted to chat with my neighbors, they were normally close enough to strike up a conversation.  I always have my trusty novel with me in case I have those awkward solo moments.  The servers were wonderful in going through the menu and answering any questions that I had.  Glad you're back cruising... have a great time!

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37 minutes ago, SuzanneM said:

Yay for the UDP! It's not available anymore for any but one of my sailings and I don't think it'd be worth it anyway; I'm on Rhapsody so there's just Chops, Izumi, Giovanni's. But I may still get it for the last one, where it's still available. That's just a three-day and maybe I'll use one night for Chef's Table at discounted price. 

Oh no! Even if you don’t get it, it’s nice to have the option! Your plan sounds like a good one, especially if a decent price. 

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20 minutes ago, BeachGal said:

Adriana, as a solo I got the UDP on my last cruise (got tired of the same meals in the MDR) and loved it. I always felt well taken care of in each restaurant that I visited.  Great views, and if I wanted to chat with my neighbors, they were normally close enough to strike up a conversation.  I always have my trusty novel with me in case I have those awkward solo moments.  The servers were wonderful in going through the menu and answering any questions that I had.  Glad you're back cruising... have a great time!

Thank you so much!! I am glad your experience has been a positive one and that is definitely reassuring! 

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18 minutes ago, joberry57 said:

I did solo with UDP. One night I ate with a couple I met. Was able to add them to my reservation. It was my first solo but really enjoyed the dinner options. Did a second solo but it was the Grandeur so only did one night at Chops. I would still do UDP on the Oasis/Quantum class if solo. 

Thank you! That’s pretty neat that you met folks and were able to join together for dinner!! Thanks for the feedback, I feel more confident about my decision for it! 

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I met an interesting couple in the Chef's Table I went to on Jewel and we all dined the next night together at Chop's. It was fun. 

If you haven't been to Chef's Table yet, I recommend it. It's a high-ish price ($50 upcharge from the UDP or $95-ish by itself) but I think it's worth it for everything you get. And it's just a great time overall. The wine is flowing and it's really an enjoyable environment. 

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When I cruise solo I get the UDP. I don't have the guts to join a table unless I knew they were strangers already.  I'm more than happy to add to my party and in the past when people have been sat with my group it's gone well. The last time the other group wound up changing their plans so we could all hang out and it was awesome.

I like the specialty restaurants solo, love getting my meal and reading at the table. 

 

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1 hour ago, ellcee said:

When I cruise solo I get the UDP. I don't have the guts to join a table unless I knew they were strangers already.  I'm more than happy to add to my party and in the past when people have been sat with my group it's gone well. The last time the other group wound up changing their plans so we could all hang out and it was awesome.

I like the specialty restaurants solo, love getting my meal and reading at the table. 

 

You don't want to eat at a small table alone in the MDR? It's easy to dine solo there. 

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17 minutes ago, SuzanneM said:

You don't want to eat at a small table alone in the MDR? It's easy to dine solo there. 

Nope but also I don't love the MDR to begin with. I like it as an experience with people. It's too many people for me to want to be solo. I'm more comfortable in the specialty restaurants by myself. Personal preference. Plus I like the food better. 

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13 minutes ago, ellcee said:

Nope but also I don't love the MDR to begin with. I like it as an experience with people. It's too many people for me to want to be solo. I'm more comfortable in the specialty restaurants by myself. Personal preference. Plus I like the food better. 

Yeah, fair enough. I much prefer dinner at the Windjammer over MDR. Better selection and usually quieter (at least for dinner) with larger tables. And you can stay as long as you want. No one has a problem with my grazing off the buffet bit by bit, grabbing a million cups of lemonade, and reading a book for an hour or two on my kindle.

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4 hours ago, SuzanneM said:

I met an interesting couple in the Chef's Table I went to on Jewel and we all dined the next night together at Chop's. It was fun. 

If you haven't been to Chef's Table yet, I recommend it. It's a high-ish price ($50 upcharge from the UDP or $95-ish by itself) but I think it's worth it for everything you get. And it's just a great time overall. The wine is flowing and it's really an enjoyable environment. 

Thank you!! I have been thinking about doing the Chef’s Table! My concern is that I do not do seafood well (not an allergy). I am pretty sure I can let them know but don’t want to be a pain. … That is neat that you met friends and got together for dinner!

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3 hours ago, ellcee said:

When I cruise solo I get the UDP. I don't have the guts to join a table unless I knew they were strangers already.  I'm more than happy to add to my party and in the past when people have been sat with my group it's gone well. The last time the other group wound up changing their plans so we could all hang out and it was awesome.

I like the specialty restaurants solo, love getting my meal and reading at the table. 

 

Thank you! I am weird, I feel rude reading at the table. I know I am alone and not ignoring anyone, but feel rude for some reason. I don’t think there is anything wrong with anyone else doing it, though! Weird. I am looking forward to the specialty restaurants for sure!

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22 minutes ago, Adriana said:

Thank you! I am weird, I feel rude reading at the table. I know I am alone and not ignoring anyone, but feel rude for some reason. I don’t think there is anything wrong with anyone else doing it, though! Weird. I am looking forward to the specialty restaurants for sure!

It's either I read and pretend not to people watch or full on people watch and hope no one catches me, at least with a book I can keep up the pretense, or totally get into my book. 😉

 

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I have done the UDP solo and always have my Kindle/book. Most times people will ask me to join them and if I am in the mood I will, but mostly I enjoy my meal and read. I have had people at the next table in the MDR try hard to include me in their conversation. Sometimes it is awkward; once it was a couple celebrating an anniversary and they told me all about how they met while arguing. I love a good people watch, especially when I cruise or visit a theme park.

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54 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

I have done the UDP solo and always have my Kindle/book. Most times people will ask me to join them and if I am in the mood I will, but mostly I enjoy my meal and read. I have had people at the next table in the MDR try hard to include me in their conversation. Sometimes it is awkward; once it was a couple celebrating an anniversary and they told me all about how they met while arguing. I love a good people watch, especially when I cruise or visit a theme park.

I pretty much just sit and people watch and usually enter in a conversation with another table. The wait staff chat quite a bit, too!

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2 hours ago, Adriana said:

Thank you!! I have been thinking about doing the Chef’s Table! My concern is that I do not do seafood well (not an allergy). I am pretty sure I can let them know but don’t want to be a pain. … That is neat that you met friends and got together for dinner!

I told them on the ship that I didn't eat shellfish. With enough advance notice (a day or two), they can substitute it with alternatives.

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