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Davybe

Speciality Restaurants

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https://www.bolsovercruiseclub.com/news/french-speciality-restaurant-la-mer-to-feature-on-princess-cruises-newest-ships/

Princess Cruises including a new to them Speciality Restaurant ,which sounds really nice even at $35 pp .

Do you use the alternative Restaurants on your cruise, and which did you find the best.

Arcadian Rhodes was the best I ever ate at absolutely head and shoulders above any other place  I ate at.

We like P&Os Epicurean restauruants and try to go at least once on a cruise.

Celebrity we prefer Tuscan Grill some very nice steaks , The Chops grill on RCI very nice to though the steaks can be too big.....Davybe

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It was a sad day when the Rhodes restaurants disappeared from P&O - Marco PW just wasn't the same imo !! agree the Tuscan Grill on Celebrity is excellent, we also liked the Verandah ( French ) on Cunard although this has recently changed and it is now a steakhouse, we tried it for the first time over Christmas and I have to say it was excellent with plenty of menu choice. 

Edited by *Dancing Queen*

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10 hours ago, Countrygirl said:

Yes davybe I agree Rhodes was a good place to eat, but my favourite on P & O would have to be have been The Orchid

Which ship was the Orchid on?...davybe

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A couple of weeks ago I had a discussion with others regarding 'Speciality Restaurants' which I found interesting. One person said they were not 'Speciality' but rather restaurants serving MDR food, but cooked correctly. Another pointed out that in many cases they should be renamed 'Alternative Pay' restaurants as very few ships had 'Speciality' restaurants such as Sushi, Noodle, Curry, French etc. Another said for the money you pay you shouldn't have to spend more to get good food. What do others think!!

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Without doubt the best speciality restaurant on P&O IMO was XV11 on Azura. Excellent food and service and far better than any MDR food that I have been served on many cruise ships in 22yrs of cruising. Anyone that says food/menu in XV11 was the same as you used to get in MDR is either delusional or talking about either cruising on 6 star cruise lines, the price of those you should expect that service/food or perhaps P&O in the very old days pre 1990s when cruising was very expensive compared to today.

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6 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

A couple of weeks ago I had a discussion with others regarding 'Speciality Restaurants' which I found interesting. One person said they were not 'Speciality' but rather restaurants serving MDR food, but cooked correctly. Another pointed out that in many cases they should be renamed 'Alternative Pay' restaurants as very few ships had 'Speciality' restaurants such as Sushi, Noodle, Curry, French etc. Another said for the money you pay you shouldn't have to spend more to get good food. What do others think!!

Hi OWT,

One of the reasons we prefer to cruise with Azamara is that we find the Main Dining Room experience to be so good.  On three cruises with them in the last couple of years, we are yet to try anything different. 

DavidH

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20 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

A couple of weeks ago I had a discussion with others regarding 'Speciality Restaurants' which I found interesting. One person said they were not 'Speciality' but rather restaurants serving MDR food, but cooked correctly. Another pointed out that in many cases they should be renamed 'Alternative Pay' restaurants as very few ships had 'Speciality' restaurants such as Sushi, Noodle, Curry, French etc. Another said for the money you pay you shouldn't have to spend more to get good food. What do others think!!

I agree with all three I've never felt compelled to pay extra.

I've looked at several so called "speciality restaurant" menus and nothing encourages me to spend extra, infact I wouldn't pay the equivalent of $35pp at home let alone on a ship in which I've already paid.

Very rarely had a bad meal in the MDR so I'll stick to that.

HLM.

 

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21 hours ago, Countrygirl said:

Arcadia, on Sky deck where Sindhu is now located. As you can guess by the name is was Chinese themed.

Thanks I remember it now, I have to be careful which type of food these places serve my wife cannot eat certain types of food....Davybe

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21 hours ago, sinbad10 said:

Without doubt the best speciality restaurant on P&O IMO was XV11 on Azura. Excellent food and service and far better than any MDR food that I have been served on many cruise ships in 22yrs of cruising. Anyone that says food/menu in XV11 was the same as you used to get in MDR is either delusional or talking about either cruising on 6 star cruise lines, the price of those you should expect that service/food or perhaps P&O in the very old days pre 1990s when cruising was very expensive compared to today.

Totally agree we ate in XVII the first year Azura was cruising, the food around the ship was pretty good ,but we enjoyed a very nice meal in XVII ,nothing like the MDR far better choice....Davybe

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22 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

A couple of weeks ago I had a discussion with others regarding 'Speciality Restaurants' which I found interesting. One person said they were not 'Speciality' but rather restaurants serving MDR food, but cooked correctly. Another pointed out that in many cases they should be renamed 'Alternative Pay' restaurants as very few ships had 'Speciality' restaurants such as Sushi, Noodle, Curry, French etc. Another said for the money you pay you shouldn't have to spend more to get good food. What do others think!!

We find that our preferred  first choice Cruise line Celebrity serve very good and consistently good food in the MDR, but we like to treat ourselves by try out one or two of the alternative restaurants .

P&O sadly we have had the best food ever on one cruise (Arcadia ) and the worst food ever (Arcadia) which sums. up P&O food for me, you hope your going to get nice food but your never sure.Either way we will book another pay to eat venue for a treat and a change....Davybe

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We have tried a number of speciality restaurants over the years, but generally agree that the MDR food is more than adequate for our needs and we don't really need to pay any extra.  However for us the best has to be Celebrity's Tuscan Grill on the Solstice ships, with those wrap round windows and great views over the wake it would be tops even without the special service and some great food.

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We regularly enjoyed the Gary Rhodes restaurants on board P&O ships and on our one Azura cruise also enjoyed Seventeen - which we really thought was just a continuation of the cuisine & service of the Rhodes restaurants once he parted company with P&O.  On our one Celebrity sailing (way back in 2005) we enjoyed the food in the Ocean Liners restaurant on Summit but felt the service was a bit OTT - along with the wine prices!

Whilst I don't like spicy foods, I have also enjoyed two meals in Sindhu aboard Aurora.

I guess I have been lucky to have felt the mdr food was pretty good aboard all the ships I have sailed on - the poorest quality being served up by Portuscale (small, niche line) and Marella (last year).

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We dont always eat in Speciality Restaurants with the intention of getting better food just a variation. We love Crown Grill on Princess and the 22oz Porterhouse Steak equally we enjoy Sindhu because we love all aspects of Indian food. But I agree with Davybe with regards to P&O its always a throw of the dice of quality of food you get on P&O we have had very good food in general especially on Britannia but on the 2 cruises we have done on Oriana the food over the whole cruise was below standard and what should be expected  in quality and portion size.

Edited by sinbad10

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15 hours ago, sinbad10 said:

We dont always eat in Speciality Restaurants with the intention of getting better food just a variation. We love Crown Grill on Princess and the 22oz Porterhouse Steak equally we enjoy Sindhu because we love all aspects of Indian food. But I agree with Davybe with regards to P&O its always a throw of the dice of quality of food you get on P&O we have had very good food in general especially on Britannia but on the 2 cruises we have done on Oriana the food over the whole cruise was below standard and what should be expected  in quality and portion size.

We found the same on Britannia ,the food overall first class.

Pondered  on  this last night people not wishing to pay $35 for meal but quite happy to pay that for a bottle of wine?.....Davybe

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20 minutes ago, Davybe said:

We found the same on Britannia ,the food overall first class.

Pondered  on  this last night people not wishing to pay $35 for meal but quite happy to pay that for a bottle of wine?.....Davybe

I think I prefer to pay £35 for a bottle of wine and dinner in the MDR rather than £105 for the same bottle and dinner in Epicurean, although in our case we are quite happy with the wine at £17 - £20 per bottle.

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Personally think £28pp in Epicurean and £20 in Sindhu are fantastic value for money even taking into consideration that you have already paid for your meal in MDR. Heard many say on P&O cruises that they would not pay any price however cheap for food or coffees when they can get everything at no extra cost by eating in MDR and drinking tea/coffee in buffet restaurant.

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23 hours ago, towny44 said:

I think I prefer to pay £35 for a bottle of wine and dinner in the MDR rather than £105 for the same bottle and dinner in Epicurean, although in our case we are quite happy with the wine at £17 - £20 per bottle.

Never paid anything like £105 in Epicurean or any other ships restaurant ,even with wine.

I Quoted $35 not £35 as that was the charge given in the link.P&O have some nice wines in the £18 -.£25 range.

The last time we dined in Epicurean it cost £28 pp = £56 and we got a free bottle of house white? .

The Premium lines like Cunard and Celebrity you would now be lucky to find a decent bottle for $35US when you include the grats.

We often buy the "Captains wine Package " which works out at around £19 per bottle.....Davybe

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For those who have not been ,this would not be my choice of food ,but it gives you some idea as to what your £28 gets you, they do sometimes do special offers...Davybe

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On 16 March 2019 at 1:40 PM, sinbad10 said:

Personally think £28pp in Epicurean and £20 in Sindhu are fantastic value for money even taking into consideration that you have already paid for your meal in MDR. Heard many say on P&O cruises that they would not pay any price however cheap for food or coffees when they can get everything at no extra cost by eating in MDR and drinking tea/coffee in buffet restaurant.

Not only on P&O sinbad10, I know of people who regularly cruise with Cunard and Princess who will not pay any extra for tea or coffee when it's available FOC in the buffet .... each to their own, I enjoy my speciality coffees and will continue to pay for them. 

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Adding another twist to this thread.

When Celebrity first launched the "Solstice Class" ships they introduced the "Aqua Class" cabin whin in fairness had more and better facilities than a standard cabin, but the cabin were not in the best position on the ship, and over the years the price for aqua class rose faster than other cabin prices.

The biggest thing that made Aqua class attractive was you dined in "Blu" small restaurant which a different  menu than the MDR.

People soon twigged that you could get a standard cabin in a great position  ,and eat every night in one of the pay to eat dining rooms and have some change.....Davybe

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14 hours ago, TrentAnn said:

Not only on P&O sinbad10, I know of people who regularly cruise with Cunard and Princess who will not pay any extra for tea or coffee when it's available FOC in the buffet .... each to their own, I enjoy my speciality coffees and will continue to pay for them. 

That's what it is all about Ann - doing what you enjoy.  In principle, I don't agree with the whole 'Speciality' or 'For fee' Restaurants on cruise ships but they are here to stay so I have eaten in Rhodes, Seventeen & Sindhu on P&O and (long ago) Ocean Liners on Celebrity.  Re the coffee, most people agree that standard cruise ship coffee (on all the major lines) is not great but personally, I don't really like the speciality coffees served on P&O as they don't seem to taste anything like those on Land.  Now that Costa is owned by Coca Cola, I have even less incentive to use them 😁.

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