I was under the impression that it was a waste of money, until I tried it. We had some friends send us vouchers for the 2 specialty restaurants on board the Emerald Princess. I will definitely do it again. I thought the dining room food and service was outstanding, but they go over the top in the specialty restaurants. I had a petite fillet in the Crown Grill and one at Ruth Chris's. The one on the ship beat Ruth's hands down. My hubby had lobster and was really impressed. If your budget is tight, then save it for something else. But, if you can afford to splurge a little, you won't be disappointed!
After dozens of RC cruises we gave in last time and finally ate at Chops (one of the speciality restaurants). We will definately be doing that again! I can't believe what we've been missing. If you think the regular dining menu food is good...wait till you try Chops. So delicious!!
Originally posted by matkanmich:
Ok, I just have ot say that the idea of paying for a cruise which includes a wonderful meal in the diningroom only to spend an additional $20 per person to eat at chops or portofino is a waste of money. Been on 7 cruises and the thought of spending money at those dining options is kind of like paying for a meal twice. Save your money and use it some place else.
matkanmich- I guess we're in the minority when it comes to the specialty restaurant charges. I also cannot see paying the extra charge when the food in the dining room is fine. I can spend my $40 at home & get a great meal anytime so why spend it on the ship when a great meal that's already been paid for is waiting for you. I've never had the extra money to spend on luxuries like that at home so why spend it on a cruise ship?
I will admit I've never heard any complaints from the people that do spend the extra.
I don't eat at Chops or Portofinos on every cruise, especially if I'm with friends at the dining room table. If you haven't tried the specialty restaurants you can't say it's not worth it. It's a special treat, and chances are you won't ever find a restraurant at home with food as good. If you're celebrating a special occasion, one night in Chops or Portofinos might be a great idea.
I think they are a waste of money unless you are celebrating a special occasion.Yes, I had both poor service and a tough steak in Chops. let me add I think you should try it once and make up your mind.
I guess we're in the minority when it comes to the specialty restaurant charges. I also cannot see paying the extra charge when the food in the dining room is fine.
Well you can add me to that minority. Food on cruises certainly is delicious and plentiful, and the variety of places to eat that don't cost extra is what has kept us from the specialty places. Plus, we don't eat red meat more than a couple of times a year.
I was on Crystal last year and had dinner one night in their specialty Italian restaurant. The food and service were sublime, it was one of those 3-hour meals with lots of friends and it worked out great. However, the extra cost was $6 per person for gratuity, and that doesn't count, in my book, as an extra charge.
Maybe I'm just not that much of a gourmand, but the included food and atmosphere certainly are great for us. On some 3-night cruises, we've eaten every meal in the Windjammer, and didn't feel we've missed anything.
Usually, I would agree that it is silly to waste the extra money. Just because something is better, doesn't mean what you have already paid for isn't great. It’s not $40 for a great meal – its $40 plus what you already paid for the normal meal. That money could go to a bottle of wine, or part of an excursion, or some beer, or whatever. This doesn't mean I don't want to try it, its just that I'm very money conscious and want to appreciate what I already have.
However, I have neighbors who cruise very often, and eat at the special restaurants on EVERY night of their cruisea. I guess they don't feel that the regular food compares. Or they may be nuts
Having said all that, I'm thinking about trying it on my upcoming honeymoon cruise. My fiancee is pretty against spending the extra money, but she might like it if I surprise her. Still not sure. Either way, I highly doubt it will become a habit.
Let me add that we've never used the specialty restaurants (I won't include Johnny Rockets even though it costs a little extra). I have been one who felt as the others do - that the included food in the dining rooms was paid for and why should I be hit with extra charges for a steak.
But things change and I realize that I might be missing something. So I think we will try it the next time we are on a ship with these places. Unfortunately that does not include our upcoming cruise, since the Rhapsody has not been refitted with a Chops.
I think it's just my mind set that keeps me from spending the extra $40 + extra tip for the meal. I probably have the money but I come from a generation where we didn't have it to spend & just because I do today I'm not going to spend money on something I consider extraneous. If I were to win the lottery tomorrow for $10 million my lifestyle wouldn't change much. (I might upgrade to a suite for a change).