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How important is it to buy the extra dining package?


stlpam
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We are not fancy eaters, but we enjoy a good streak or prime rib, etc.  Do we need the upgrade for three meals for $75?  Do we purchase it before we start the cruise?  My husband refuses to eat anything exotic; Asian food is a "no go" for him.  Do the meals have to be from three different places? 

Thank you in advance. 

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Food is very personal but I often sail with no extra dining purchased.  Specialty dining is more of an exception for me.  Something about $45 per person for a meal when I've already paid my cruise fare that includes dinner doesn't sit well with me.

I am typically quite happy in the MDR and occasionally will do dinner in the Windjammer which can be surprisingly good.  

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32 minutes ago, twangster said:

Food is very personal but I often sail with no extra dining purchased.  Specialty dining is more of an exception for me.  Something about $45 per person for a meal when I've already paid my cruise fare that includes dinner doesn't sit well with me.

I am typically quite happy in the MDR and occasionally will do dinner in the Windjammer which can be surprisingly good.  

That sentiment is perfectly me on two levels. First, paying twice would be hard to do, and more importantly, I am not a big foodie so food is just a necessity not a vice. After many years within the Army system of chow, I have come to not be too picky in what fills the stomach, it just has to do the job ?.

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1 hour ago, ellcee said:

Short Answer - not important at all.

I've never bought the package until recently for my upcoming cruise because I wanted the experience.

I'm in that camp as well.  I have never paid for specialty dining except 3 times...once was for the experience (as @ellcee mentioned), it was Wonderland.  And the other two times was because it was for a specific menu item.  There are certain food items that we cannot say  no to lol.  But overall all, like others have mentioned, we do not like "paying twice" for food.  The reason why I asked earlier about ship/suite is that some ships have Coastal Kitchen (suites only restaurant) and if you have access to that, I would say definitely not worth it to purchase specialty dining.

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been on 3 cruises never bought a package the food in the MDR is so very good no need 

and if your husband do not like exotic or asian food there is NO need at all

We did tried the Wonderland because we received it in a complimentary would have never paid like everyone says double money for the meals...

And I don't think that it is a questions of ship as for the moment I did love them all ?

Liberty of the seas in 5 days sooo excited 

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I've been on around 8/9 cruises now and always had either the BOGO dining package which is cheaper but not always available I don't think or the 3 night, I find it just breaks the cruise up a little nad gives me something extra special to look forward too.

saying that its certainly not essential as other have said - there a many options of where to get delightful food.

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You don’t need a dining package at all to get decent food. If you are the type that doesn’t want to pay extra then  don’t and you will still have a good meal.

But I think @Matt idea is smart. If you don’t mind paying a little extra, try a specialty dining once and see how you like it. It can be a great experience if you enjoy really good food like me.

Of course my wife always disagrees with me. If it was up to me I would do the Dining Plan because I love really good food and want to have a special vacation. She doesn’t think the food is worth the extra money. I do. So we compromise by eating a couple of times per cruise.

 

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I fully agree with everyone here in that you don't need specialty dining at all. My family and I all loved the MDR food at dinner every night, maybe just one or two entrees or desserts where one of us was underwhelmed.

To add on to @Matt's idea to try it just once, if your itinerary includes a port day that has an overnight stop or a very late departure time (after 8 or 9 PM), you could most likely book a specialty restaurant on that evening for a nicely discounted price since many (most?) people who would otherwise do specialty dining will choose to stay out and dine at a land restaurant to sample the local cuisine.

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Our family did the BOGO package.  For $30 per person for two dinners, we thought it was worth it.  We loved the main dining room.  The only complaint anyone had was that the lobster was a bit tough and flavorless.  I had nothing but great food in the MDR.  in fact, we were offered a great deal on a third night ($10 per person) but decided we'd rather stick with the MDR. We did really like Chops Grille and Giovannis, but not that much more than the MDR.  

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