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FManke

Chops Grille menu tweak...

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Just noticed that the Chops menu has been tweaked as of July 23 on Adventure of the Seas. Two additional priced seafood towers have been added as well as rack of lamb. Must have just happened as it is different than the menu posted on Harmony on July 1. Too bad they didn't tweak it with new included items, although the rack of lamb is a nice addition. Not a fan of lamb, I think. May have to give it a try in Oct though.

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1 minute ago, FManke said:

Just noticed that the Chops menu has been tweaked as of July 23 on Adventure of the Seas. Two additional priced seafood towers have been added as well as rack of lamb. Too bad they didn't tweak it with new included items, although the rack of lamb is a nice addition. Not a fan of lamb, I think. May have to give it a try in Oct though.

I think Royal seriously needs to rethink Chops. The menu is weak with too many extra charge items and the cover price is higher than many other cruise lines.

I just dined at the equivalent (Crown Grill) on Princess and for $29 you could order anything on the menu in addition to adding a lobster tail to all of the steaks, chops, or seafood that was on the menu.

I still like Chops, but they need more cuts of meat and it's really only worth doing, in my opinion, if you're on the dining plan and are getting a percentage off. At the standard cover charge, it's over priced for what you get especially when one of the desserts are simply cookies taken off the buffet, warmed,  and served with a scoop of ice cream.

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7 minutes ago, DocLC said:

I think Royal seriously needs to rethink Chops. The menu is weak with too many extra charge items and the cover price is higher than many other cruise lines.

I just dined at the equivalent (Crown Grill) on Princess and for $29 you could order anything on the menu in addition to adding a lobster tail to all of the steaks, chops, or seafood that was on the menu.

I still like Chops, but they need more cuts of meat and it's really only worth doing, in my opinion, if you're on the dining plan and are getting a percentage off. At the standard cover charge, it's over priced for what you get especially when one of the desserts are simply cookies taken off the buffet, warmed,  and served with a scoop of ice cream.

It would be nice if they considered the meal you are not eating in say the MDR or Windjammer and rolled that "cost" into the meal at a specialty restaurant to help subsidize better options. Or maybe they already are? Not sure what their overhead is for those meals.

I guess as long as they are filling those specialty restaurants up each night, not sure they are if they are offering the dining plans though. If they can sell them at full price the would, so does that mean without the discounted dining plans they wouldn't be full? 

Are  the specialty restaurants generally full on a nightly basis?

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4 hours ago, FManke said:

It would be nice if they considered the meal you are not eating in say the MDR or Windjammer and rolled that "cost" into the meal at a specialty restaurant to help subsidize better options. Or maybe they already are? Not sure what their overhead is for those meals.

I guess as long as they are filling those specialty restaurants up each night, not sure they are if they are offering the dining plans though. If they can sell them at full price the would, so does that mean without the discounted dining plans they wouldn't be full? 

Are  the specialty restaurants generally full on a nightly basis?

I'm not actually sure they're filling them at "rack rate," given the number of discounts being offered through the dining plans, first night done right, etc. When I've dined in many of the restaurants, they have only been about 1/3 full on most nights, although they do seem to get busier near the end of the cruise. On long cruises, however, they seem to be underutilized. In fact, when we came back onboard in St. Petersburg, there was a server just past security hawking Chops Grill at a nice discount, so we dined there a fourth time that cruise.

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I wonder in general how well all the "extra fee" deals work (not sure how you would go about testing it but that's another story).

Seems like the specialty restaurants are generally underutilized and I frequently see deals offered to try and fill the space ... perhaps if the pricing was back at the $20 level they would be full all the time ... now whether you make more money off a partially filled restaurant at high prices or a filled restaurant at a lower price is the part I don't have enough data to test ;)

Same thing with alcohol ... lets jack up the prices and then sell expensive packages to people but then offer discounts and "cards" and other things to try and bring the prices back down again when we don't sell enough at the higher prices ... but revenue from onboard spend is at all time highs so I guess ultimately they have a pretty good formula going.

Same thing with the cabins ... lets jack up the prices so we can constantly advertise the sale of the day which really isn't a sale just a way of making sound like it is ...

As trying to figure out what I am really going to pay for the "package" of Cruise, Meals and Drinks gets more and more complicated my enjoyment is less and the feeling increases that I am paying more for what I used to get included rather than getting a "deal".

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20 hours ago, DocLC said:

I think Royal seriously needs to rethink Chops. The menu is weak with too many extra charge items and the cover price is higher than many other cruise lines.

Can't say I've been overly impressed with my experience at Chops. There's nothing inherently bad there, it's just not any better than the MDR. I was especially unimpressed by the steak selections that were included at our cover charge. I'm a fan of steak, though definitely not a connoisseur, but didn't think the steak I received was anything special. Although there are obviously other entrees on the menu, I feel obliged to get steak at a steakhouse, and I really felt like they needed to step up their steak game.

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Guest toodle68

We have only been once to Chops and will not return. $35 might be acceptable if we could order multiple items, but there is no way what we ate was worth the $70 we paid. I could have paid $20 each at Outback and had a better meal. Even when the selection is poor, we still enjoy our MDR experience. 

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3 hours ago, toodle68 said:

We have only been once to Chops and will not return. $35 might be acceptable if we could order multiple items, but there is no way what we ate was worth the $70 we paid. I could have paid $20 each at Outback and had a better meal. Even when the selection is poor, we still enjoy our MDR experience. 

It seems that Chops has a lot of mixed reviews, especially lately. I hope we have a better experience than you did. Being this is our first ever cruise, we decided to give the big 3, Chops, Izumi and Giovanni's a try. We'll see how it goes.

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8 minutes ago, FManke said:

It seems that Chops has a lot of mixed reviews, especially lately. I hope we have a better experience than you did. Being this is our first ever cruise, we decided to give the big 3, Chops, Izumi and Giovanni's a try. We'll see how it goes.

I do each cruise and really was only disappointed at Chops once. And if you're buying the package, it makes the price point much more reasonable. And for what it's worth, I do each of them at least once each cruise.

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1 minute ago, DocLC said:

I do each cruise and really was only disappointed at Chops once. And if you're buying the package, it makes the price point much more reasonable. And for what it's worth, I do each of them at least once each cruise.

We are doing the plan, so it takes the cost down to $25pp. I guess about the same you would spend at a family steakhouse per person. 

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Just now, FManke said:

We are doing the plan, so it takes the cost down to $25pp. I guess about the same you would spend at a family steakhouse per person. 

My recommendations:

Chops - 9 oz filet for the entree, the cream of mushroom, soup, and the scallops, pork belly, and shrimp cocktail for appetizers.

Izumi - the Ramen is quite good, and the hot rock is fun.

Giovanni's - I'm a fan of the Osso Bucco and the risotto is also very good.

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1 hour ago, DocLC said:

My recommendations:

Chops - 9 oz filet for the entree, the cream of mushroom, soup, and the scallops, pork belly, and shrimp cocktail for appetizers.

Izumi - the Ramen is quite good, and the hot rock is fun.

Giovanni's - I'm a fan of the Osso Bucco and the risotto is also very good.

All sounds great, thanks!

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