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Is Chops Worth $39?

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I'm just wondering what the consensus is now that Chops, at least on one ship, has upped its surcharge to $39. I'll be honest that I wasn't that impressed with Chops on the Jewel, largely because of subpar service on the first night, but will be giving the restaraunt another try on the Brilliance this summer mainly because it's a perk with our booking. However, I then started wondering how much better a specialty restaraunt should be. That is, if you've already paid for your dinner in the MDR, shouldn't you receive a meal that goes beyond the surcharge? After all, you're substituting a meal for one you're paying extra for.

 

I will say there were some exceptional items at Chops, but my wife's braised short rib was a tough, flavorless hunk of meat. My steak was good, but not exceptional, while everything else was very good or better. I also think that Royal needs to consider offering some bone-in steak choices, including a ribeye, to call itself a true steak house.

 

Just my opinion. What's yours?

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We already put Chops on the "don't bother" list at the old price, price increase just seals the deal.

 

The experience changed a lot in our brief cruise history from a "special" experience at $20 on our first go around (Liberty) to nothing special at $35 last time we tried it (Allure).

 

Looking forward to trying Sabor this Thanksgiving on Freedom though.

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Our experience at Chops on Navigator was good. The price was more than I would pay on land, but then the ambiance was on par with a higher end steak house in our metro area. The filet mignon was pretty tasty and our waiter was very attentive.

 

That steak in the Windjammer at lunch WAS pretty tender though... so I suppose that shows how easy to please with food I am haha.

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I've always said Chops is the most consistently good restaurant across the fleet.  I've always enjoyed the food here.  

 

I do think the ever increasing price gives me pause.  On a 7-night cruise, we will usually eat at a specialty restaurant perhaps twice for dinner and maybe the next time I'd choose something else but for a nice evening out, it's hard to beat.

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I'm going to give Chops one more try, but I'll be honest that I haven't been very impressed with most cruise steak houses. NCL's was the best overall, and while HAL offered exceptional steaks they fell flat with the appetizers and desserts. Murano on Celebrity was exceptional especially for the price, but that's not a traditional steak house. I'll try Chops again and report back. :)

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I saw that someone had posted elsewhere that Chops was CAD$50 and 150 Central Park was CAD$51. That doesn't seem right to me. I had figured that 150 Central Park should command more of a premium over Chops Grille based on the kind of food being served. Or, putting it another way, I don't think that Chops Grille's menu and service is worth the same price as 150 Central Park.

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On the Jewel, the specialty restaraunts were seriously under utilized. They had a waiter strolling the Windjammer and MDR trying to drum up business using a pretty hard sell technique. They were also offering a 20% discount on just two reservations over the seven days, which is normally reserved for 3 nights from what I've read. Perhaps this was a one off, but it seems to me that the price increase would only make sense if they were overcrowded.

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On the Jewel, the specialty restaraunts were seriously under utilized. They had a waiter strolling the Windjammer and MDR trying to drum up business using a pretty hard sell technique. They were also offering a 20% discount on just two reservations over the seven days, which is normally reserved for 3 nights from what I've read. Perhaps this was a one off, but it seems to me that the price increase would only make sense if they were overcrowded.

I've seen that too on Navigator and Jewel.  Looking forward to seeing how busy the specialty restaurants are on Quantum.

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I'm big into Specialty Dining (as Matt knows), and will often go to a Specialty Restaurant every night of a cruise (if the ship has at least 3-4). For my August cruise, if Chops is as underutilized as some people say, then I expect them to be offering 20% off deals on-board, etc. So for the first time, I'll hold off on booking Specialty Restaurants in advanced (you used to HAVE to book in advance to get a seat at the time you wanted!), in the hopes that I'll get a good deal on board!

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I'll be honest, I was unimpressed by all the specialty restaurants. Tried Sabor, Giovanni's Table, and Chops. We won't go back this next cruise. For variety, amount, quality and completely informal setting, the Windjammer is the place for me. Certainly for breakfast and days at sea lunches. Several dinners too.

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