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  #91 (permalink)  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 12:05 PM
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Buttons.. if you thought the food and service on Celebrity was terrific 4 or 5 years ago, you'd have really been impressed sailing them 5 yrs before that

Of course there's budgets. It's all about mathematics, as the cruise lines are in business to make a profit.

However, for example an 11 day cruise in 2000 cost us $208 pp per day for a balcony cabin. Today you can easily find that same cabin for the same cruise for $127 pp per day. That's $81 pp per day less that the cruise lines have to cover ever rising costs.

On the mass market lines in many cases you can get onboard for $75 - $100 pp per day.

Simple math. It's not a matter of paying a little more for better food and service. The differences are substantial.

Depending on the sailing, the luxury lines will cost anywhere from $400 -$1000 pp per day. The "premium plus" lines $250 - $350 pp per day.

Cruise lines today are building ships that cost over half a BILLION dollars. They have to service that debt as a part of that $100 pp per person day.
In order to do that they have to keep their ships full.

When you refer to ships 4 or 5 years ago, you would be shocked at how little was budgeted daily to feed the passengers. $10 per day would have been considered a lot.

I found it hard to believe they could feed us anything for that amount.

With rising costs I'd bet they are spending more than that today, while getting considerably less for the cruise ticket.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 03:27 PM
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Well buttons, if in the future you do not want to pay extra for a specialty, perhaps you should book Regent or Crystal, especially since you said it is not about cost of cruise but the idea you have to pay for extras.

Also, no I do not find Olive Garden or even Bob Evans uneatable. I think they are okay for budget mid price restaurants. Since you find them uneatable-then maybe you should not eat at them.

I am willing to pay more when I can afford more. When I can't, I do as I did originally for this upcoming cruise, book an ocean view room, or as I have done in the past when we travel holiday weeks and cruise prices are hiked up, I cruise NCL. That's my choice.

If I choose to pay extra for the specialty- (since I cannot spend $5000 a person for Regent of Crystal) because I would like a nicer meal a couple of times during the cruise, I am glad I have that choice, as THAT works better with MY budget.

You know, there are many choices, and surely there is a choice for everyone, including which line you cruise, or where you choose to eat on a cruise. Just because a choice does not interest you does not mean it does not interest others.

I really find it a bit selfish when people think only what they want counts. Obviously most do not feel the way you do about specialty restaurants; otherwise the cruise lines would have lost money and discontinued them.
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  #93 (permalink)  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
Buttons.. if you thought the food and service on Celebrity was terrific 4 or 5 years ago, you'd have really been impressed sailing them 5 yrs before that

Of course there's budgets. It's all about mathematics, as the cruise lines are in business to make a profit.

However, for example an 11 day cruise in 2000 cost us $208 pp per day for a balcony cabin. Today you can easily find that same cabin for the same cruise for $127 pp per day. That's $81 pp per day less that the cruise lines have to cover ever rising costs.

On the mass market lines in many cases you can get onboard for $75 - $100 pp per day.

Simple math. It's not a matter of paying a little more for better food and service. The differences are substantial.

Depending on the sailing, the luxury lines will cost anywhere from $400 -$1000 pp per day. The "premium plus" lines $250 - $350 pp per day.

Cruise lines today are building ships that cost over half a BILLION dollars. They have to service that debt as a part of that $100 pp per person day.
In order to do that they have to keep their ships full.

When you refer to ships 4 or 5 years ago, you would be shocked at how little was budgeted daily to feed the passengers. $10 per day would have been considered a lot.

I found it hard to believe they could feed us anything for that amount.

With rising costs I'd bet they are spending more than that today, while getting considerably less for the cruise ticket.
Kuki my last Celebrity cruise was in Sept. 2007, and before that Feb. 2006. I thought Celebrity had great food. We did do the specialty one night on the Connie, (Zenith had no specialty)but apart from the ambiance and a large portion of filet mignon, I felt the main dining room was just as good. I thought Celebrity had great food-has it gone down? Surely it is still better than NCL which (I admit) if not eating in a specialty I am as content eating in the lido restaurant.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 04:57 PM
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I have to say that I've had meals at Olive Garden that were far superior than some I've had onboard a ship. Actually I've had some good food there. I'm not expecting "authentic Italian" but I've walked out saying "That was good.". I've also walked out saying: "I'm not going back there again".

There is no way you can do pasta in mass quantities and not have it turn to mush. I never order pasta unless it's in an alternative restaurant. My wife loves pasta but every time she orders pasta in the MDR it is usually a mushy blob. At least, most of the time, Olive Garden has edible pasta.

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Old April 22nd, 2012, 07:31 PM
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I have to say that I've had meals at Olive Garden that were far superior than some I've had onboard a ship. Actually I've had some good food there. I'm not expecting "authentic Italian" but I've walked out saying "That was good.". I've also walked out saying: "I'm not going back there again".

There is no way you can do pasta in mass quantities and not have it turn to mush. I never order pasta unless it's in an alternative restaurant. My wife loves pasta but every time she orders pasta in the MDR it is usually a mushy blob. At least, most of the time, Olive Garden has edible pasta.

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Old April 22nd, 2012, 11:49 PM
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Hello to all my fellow cruise lovers.

The question to book a specialty restaurant and pay an extra surcharge has been a difficult decision for my wife and I.

I believe the way to go is to raise the cruise price and get served a higher level of food and service. By charging a surcharge it just makes the whole situation feel like they are nickle and diming you.

What do my fellow cruisers and fans of Celebrity think
Buttons16, you asked for fellow cruisers thoughts back in Feb. It is now April and with >90 posts the overwhelming opinion of fellow cruisers is they do not agree with your thinking. Posters on this website are not one time or infrequent cruisers, they are experienced seasoned cruisers.

You noted a while back you are willing to pay a few hundred $$ more for a higher level of food & service. One poster noted that is all you will pay by frequenting the specialty restaurants for all your meals on Celebrity ships. I assure you Celebrity specialty restaurants are a higher level than the MDRs were back in the days it was acceptable to your standard.

IMHO, you should not cruise on mass market or luxury lines. We may someday run into each other and your exhausting argumentive nature will put a damper on my good time.

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Old April 23rd, 2012, 10:43 AM
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Buttons16, you asked for fellow cruisers thoughts back in Feb. It is now April and with >90 posts the overwhelming opinion of fellow cruisers is they do not agree with your thinking. Why can't you accept their thoughts? Posters on this website are not one time or infrequent cruisers, they are experienced seasoned cruisers.

You noted a while back you are willing to pay a few hundred $$ more for a higher level of food & service. One poster noted that is all you will pay by frequenting the specialty restaurants for all your meals on Celebrity ships. I assure you Celebrity specialty restaurants are a higher level than the MDRs were back in the days it was acceptable to your standard.

IMHO, you should not cruise on mass market or luxury lines. We may someday run into each other and your exhausting argumentive nature will put a damper on my good time.

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Old April 23rd, 2012, 10:48 AM
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Best stuffed mushrooms I ever had were at Olive Garden....
We have an Italian restaurant in our area called Porofinos. (almost the same name as the RCI ships but a little diff.) It only opene for dinner-it is a bit higher than Olive Garden-not a whole lot-your dinner bill may would vary $20 or $30 for a couple.

The ambiance is better, but as hubby says, the food isn't, outside of the tiramsui. He would rather save the $20.
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  #99 (permalink)  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 12:44 PM
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I look at alternative retaurants this way...

Having them has allowed the cruise lines to lower the cost of MDR food overall and hence keep cruise prices extremely competitive. You get your cruise cheaper and can splurge on finer food when you are in the mood for it, and NOT pay for it when it doesn't matter to you.

Now - there is a cruise line with a daily food budget for everyone. Oceania and Azamara, for example have wonderful daily food and no surcharges for the "specialty restuarants."

If you want to spend more you can go to Crystal, Seabourn or Silversea, but there you are paying extra for more than just good food, you also pay extra for more space per person, more staff per person and all beverages included.

I just don't see alternative dining as a "controversial" issue once you see the logic of how it has been implemented by the cruise lines. Yes, without a doubt the average dining room food quality has diminished industry-wide over the years, but cruise prices have remained almost the same for over a decade now while the cost of fuel has gone up (what?) 500%.

It is just a different structure of dining than it used to be, but the quality is still available.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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I look at alternative retaurants this way...

Having them has allowed the cruise lines to lower the cost of MDR food overall and hence keep cruise prices extremely competitive. You get your cruise cheaper and can splurge on finer food when you are in the mood for it, and NOT pay for it when it doesn't matter to you.

Now - there is a cruise line with a daily food budget for everyone. Oceania and Azamara, for example have wonderful daily food and no surcharges for the "specialty restuarants."

If you want to spend more you can go to Crystal, Seabourn or Silversea, but there you are paying extra for more than just good food, you also pay extra for more space per person, more staff per person and all beverages included.

I just don't see alternative dining as a "controversial" issue once you see the logic of how it has been implemented by the cruise lines. Yes, without a doubt the average dining room food quality has diminished industry-wide over the years, but cruise prices have remained almost the same for over a decade now while the cost of fuel has gone up (what?) 500%.

It is just a different structure of dining than it used to be, but the quality is still available.
I'll add something else to Paul's statement. I strongly believe that the only reason Celebrity has not gone to a "smart casual" dress code every night in the MDR is because of the Specialties. From my experience and reading various boards more and more people are opting to eat in the Specialty restaurants rather than dress up formally in the Main Dining Room. They are making quite a bit of money off of this.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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So, Celebrity made their dress code "smart casual" to make less money in the alternative restaurants?
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Old April 24th, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by OldFartCruiser View Post
Buttons16, you asked for fellow cruisers thoughts back in Feb. It is now April and with >90 posts the overwhelming opinion of fellow cruisers is they do not agree with your thinking. Posters on this website are not one time or infrequent cruisers, they are experienced seasoned cruisers.

You noted a while back you are willing to pay a few hundred $$ more for a higher level of food & service. One poster noted that is all you will pay by frequenting the specialty restaurants for all your meals on Celebrity ships. I assure you Celebrity specialty restaurants are a higher level than the MDRs were back in the days it was acceptable to your standard.

IMHO, you should not cruise on mass market or luxury lines. We may someday run into each other and your exhausting argumentive nature will put a damper on my good time.

O F C'er
This is the place to have different points of view and to talk about different area's of interest. I understand this is your way of saying enough on this subject...However considering this is a forum, I fought for this country in a war,nor I have not broken any rules I feel in can continue on this subject.

My solution Sir is if you dont want to partake in this conversation then just not respond to click on this link. Please explain why a person who doesnt want to talk about this thread nor are they interested in it..why then would they click on this link...Also If you were to run into me and didnt want to have a conversation then I suggest you just walk away...But then again I know the time and place when to bring up a point, and of course on a cruise is not the time nor place..so your point is invalid.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 06:19 PM
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OK, OK, now calm down. You're right Buttons16; as you said previously "This is the place to have different points of view and to talk about different area's of interest".
So, how about if I, Kuki, Mom of Meg, Mike M, Paul Motter, 2Katz3Fsh and 50 others, who like "speciality restaurants", go to the speciality restaurant and have a gourmet meal, pay a little more and have a fantastic time while you go to the MDR. See, that was easy!
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Now - there is a cruise line with a daily food budget for everyone. Oceania and Azamara, for example have wonderful daily food and no surcharges for the "specialty restuarants."

If you want to spend more you can go to Crystal, Seabourn or Silversea, but there you are paying extra for more than just good food, you also pay extra for more space per person, more staff per person and all beverages included.
Paul, any reason you left Regent off the list of luxury cruise lines? BTW, I agree with your assessment of Oceania and Azamara if all you want to do is pay more for great food and that with luxury lines you are paying for great food and a lot more too.

Marc
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Old April 25th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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OK, OK, now calm down. You're right Buttons16; as you said previously "This is the place to have different points of view and to talk about different area's of interest".
So, how about if I, Kuki, Mom of Meg, Mike M, Paul Motter, 2Katz3Fsh and 50 others, who like "speciality restaurants", go to the speciality restaurant and have a gourmet meal, pay a little more and have a fantastic time while you go to the MDR. See, that was easy!
That is the beauty of it, you don't have to go if you don't want to, if you wish to go you can, really simple..

Don
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  #106 (permalink)  
Old April 25th, 2012, 11:09 AM
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I think that most of us who have come to accept alternative dining as a fact of life are OK with it.

At first Button's opinion was pretty prevalent - but the cruise lines convinced us to go to their side with lower prices overall.

Mr Buttons - I think you just prefer the old traditional manner of cruising, where everyone dined in the same dining room nightly, etc. I am guessing you wish dress codes would come back as well.

However, the fact is that there is now just a much wider variety of cruise options out there, and the mainstream lines do not cater to people like you anymore.

But I do believe there is a cruise line for everyone, I think you mentioned Celebrity. That is what we have come to these days - getting to the point where people have to be very selective to find the cruise lines with the options that are important to them.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 11:16 AM
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And by the way - I think you will find that most cruise sites will be populated with people who will respond the same way people have responded here.

That is just the way it is - and you can't back in time anyway, so I guess we're stuck with the way things are done by the cruise lines now and in the future.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 01:20 PM
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Paul, any reason you left Regent off the list of luxury cruise lines? BTW, I agree with your assessment of Oceania and Azamara if all you want to do is pay more for great food and that with luxury lines you are paying for great food and a lot more too.

Marc
I would like to try Oceania and Azamara-they would be more affordable than Regent or Crystal. I could perhaps afford them.

Maybe Buttons should forget Celebrity and go on Azamara.

I however love cruising in a balcony, so Celebrity and the specialties are still better for my budget-I would be in an inside on Azamara.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 01:28 PM
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Paul, any reason you left Regent off the list of luxury cruise lines? BTW, I agree with your assessment of Oceania and Azamara if all you want to do is pay more for great food and that with luxury lines you are paying for great food and a lot more too.

Marc
No, no reason. I just forgot. I haven't been on regent for so long I often forget about it.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 01:53 PM
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If you don't mind I am having a discussion, its not like you make it seem to be somewhat combative...I enjoy opposite sides have a conversation and getting different points of view...if you don't want to partake in this conversation then you don't have to reply to the thread...if you do want to partake then I suggest a point of view on the conversation and not attack the side you disagree with.
No, I don't mind that you're having a discussion. Do you mind if I have an opinion about your discusssion?
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Old April 25th, 2012, 04:07 PM
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No, I don't mind that you're having a discussion. Do you mind if I have an opinion about your discusssion?
The problem is that your not giving an opinion on the topic...you personally attacked me and not the topic of this thread...BIG difference...shall I point out and quote your attack ?
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Old April 25th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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Well after going through this thread and re - reading the cruise guides, my wife and I decided to book a crystal cruise even with its possible setbacks. I feel the good such as Service, food and just about everything else is included out weighs the possible negative I see..

I feel dining is an art and it seems Crystal is top rated in that area among other areas such as service and all inclusive.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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We started cruising in the late 50,s from Miami and have seen the total transition thru the years.Can vividly remember when several courses were prepared at your table every night on Sitmar and also on Holland and on this line we dressed in a suit or formal every night and most formal with the strings playing above the dining room and the basic price of the cruise was the same as today.It is my opinion that the food and service in the specialty restaurants is very close to my comments however you are paying a premium for this however there is no way in order to turn a profit unless you add more passengers thus no way to offer the table service of olden days.The bottom line is that for better food and service you will have to step up to a cadilac over a chevy. For me I would rather have more cruises than only one on the expensive ships Do think it is important to compare apples to apples and there are some who stand above the others in this regard and we have been on all lines to include those based in Europe many years ago.Celebrity will be right up at the top With Holland a close second food and remember we are talking food only and not the many other aspects of a cruise.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 09:20 PM
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We started cruising in the late 50,s from Miami and have seen the total transition thru the years.Can vividly remember when several courses were prepared at your table every night on Sitmar and also on Holland and on this line we dressed in a suit or formal every night and most formal with the strings playing above the dining room and the basic price of the cruise was the same as today.It is my opinion that the food and service in the specialty restaurants is very close to my comments however you are paying a premium for this however there is no way in order to turn a profit unless you add more passengers thus no way to offer the table service of olden days.The bottom line is that for better food and service you will have to step up to a cadilac over a chevy. For me I would rather have more cruises than only one on the expensive ships Do think it is important to compare apples to apples and there are some who stand above the others in this regard and we have been on all lines to include those based in Europe many years ago.Celebrity will be right up at the top With Holland a close second food and remember we are talking food only and not the many other aspects of a cruise.
Agree with your comments, I have said for awhile that eating in the Specialties is like eating in the MDR on Celebrity in the early 90s.

Its funny talking about this because I have my own problem to deal with at home. Wife believes that we paid for our food in our fare and that eating in specialties is a waste of money. I like to do it at least once a cruise especially for a special occasion.

Don
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Old April 26th, 2012, 02:19 PM
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The problem is that your not giving an opinion on the topic...you personally attacked me and not the topic of this thread...BIG difference...shall I point out and quote your attack ?
Buttons, I do not think anyone has attacked you-it is more the tone of your posts,that your opinion is the "right" opinion. People do not like reading that. There are a lot of opinions-you need to realize what is right for you may not necessarily be right for me, and what is right for someone can be completely different form what both of us feels is best for each of us individually I think that is why there are so many cruise lines, there is something for everyone.

Maybe Celebrity is not right for you? perhaps Azamara would be better for what you want.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 03:05 PM
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The problem is that your not giving an opinion on the topic...you personally attacked me and not the topic of this thread...BIG difference...shall I point out and quote your attack ?
Yes, please do point out my "personal attack". If you consider anything that I've posted as a personal attack, then I humbly apologize. But I also must say, that you perhaps need to acquire a thicker skin, as well as a less argumentative attitude. Because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean that they have missed your point, as you have pointed out to many.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 02:47 AM
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I have been looking for a cruise to Thailand and Malaysia and Bangkok, is it possible for me travel in cruise in India?? Are cruises available in India?? I am also visiting India for few days so i was asking it.
***Edited to remove commercial referencre***

Last edited by Donna; April 28th, 2012 at 04:44 AM. Reason: removed hyper link
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Old November 29th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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Default Infinity & paying

Just back from a Panama Cruise on the Infinity ... wanted to say that I love the perspectives of people here.

Multiple cruiser, mostly on Celebrity but also Holland and Carnival and just wanted to share a couple of experiences. First, I hit the Olympic in 2001 ... and it was among the best dining experiences I've ever had in my life. Really ... just memorable.

But the costs have gone up to $40 now, and frankly the SS United States on the Infinity was ... well good, but not "all that". The goat cheese souffle was served rather cold, and didn't appear as it should. The entrees were fine, but at $40 ... feh. OTOH, I don't think you could have a more distinct or better experience than QSine. Phenomenal, and really other-worldly. Great service, best lamb chops ever, a true blizzard of foods spectacularly presented right down to the coffee and ice cream.

Also ... a contemporary note about charges. I don't know if this is echoed anywhere else but I was surprised to find that both specialty restaurants offered deep discounts (including 2-4-1) during the cruise.

One last note ... on the Eurodam, I felt one of the better choices was to enjoy the Pinnacle Grill for lunch at $10 a throw. But there is also this: on our cruise, I had the opportunity to be served, in the Pinnacle Grill, the original Creme Brulee by the lady that invented the dish - the wife of Sergio Macchioni. I can remember to the day that I was able to prepare this dish myself in the 70s, so it was ... a sublime event for me.

Some things, some times, are worth the chance. I will continue to spend the extra dollar now and again to enjoy specialty restaurants. And thanks to all for your posts.
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