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Old 08-09-2004, 12:56 PM
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I've sailed on 4 cruises and I've only sailed on the "smaller" ships. We're preparing to book a cruise for our honeymoon. I am dismayed to read that there are a range of cover charges, from dining rooms, to burger joints. My fiance isn't happy about paying so much for a vacation, only to find out that only gets you the lowest level of service. Is it worth it to pay these cover charges? What do you havr to pay extra for? We wanted to try the new things the mega-ships offer, but we're saddened to find out that we have to pay so much extra to experience them.

Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2004, 12:56 PM
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I've sailed on 4 cruises and I've only sailed on the "smaller" ships. We're preparing to book a cruise for our honeymoon. I am dismayed to read that there are a range of cover charges, from dining rooms, to burger joints. My fiance isn't happy about paying so much for a vacation, only to find out that only gets you the lowest level of service. Is it worth it to pay these cover charges? What do you havr to pay extra for? We wanted to try the new things the mega-ships offer, but we're saddened to find out that we have to pay so much extra to experience them.

Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2004, 04:47 PM
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Actually, my experience has been that the food and service in the main restaurants is just as good (or better) than it ever was, and of course, there is no cover charge. The only restaurants that carry cover charges are the specialty or alternative restaurants on most line's ships.

These would introduce fine dining with impecable service that is a notch or two higher than the main dining room. It is just another option that did not exist before alternative dining was introduced.

No one has lost anything, simply gained more options. I am sailing on the Norwegian Star in Alaska in a couple of weeks and can't wait to dine in Le Bistro, The Soho Restaurant, the Tepenyaki Room, the Ginza and so one. I could dine in the main restaurant every evening without paying extra, but to me the dining experience is worth it.

Just my opinion

Give it a try, I think you will like the experience.

Tom
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Old 08-09-2004, 06:29 PM
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Hello. We sailed on Explorer of the Seas on June 6th, 2004, to 7 day Western Caribbean. Explorer is one of RCI "bigger ships". The burger joint, "Johnny Rockets" was free, the only extra charge was for specialty drinks such as malts and shakes. I used my drink card for sodas and got free sodas there, I just had to show my card. We eat there 2 times, & didn't spend an extra penny. The Portofino restaurant had a surcharge of $20, I am pretty sure it was $20. We never ate there, the dining room was more than great for us. They post the menu outside the restaurant, it has mostly Italian, and the doors were open alot, so you could peek inside to look around. I don't recall seeing a extra charge for any of the activities, except for the golf simulator. Rock climbing is free. Our only other cruise was Monarch, the 4 day Baja. We really enjoyed the Explorer. We splurged on a Junior Suite, (to get the extra cruise credit), and loved it. We thought a regular balcony would be fine next time. But for your honeymoon, a suite would be neat, plus you get an extra cruise credit. We never went to the ice skating, we never found the time. Enjoy your honeymoon, and good luck. Lori
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Old 08-09-2004, 08:43 PM
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Please reassure your future husband, that he will definitely NOT be receiving the lowest level of service! You can have an absolutely wonderful experience never stepping foot in the "Specialty" restaurants. The food and service is fine in the main dining rooms. Think of it like checking into a five star hotel and getting absolutely wonderful service and accommodations, but you know there is a "Presidential Suite" on the top floor. Most of us never even consider that as an option and have a wonderful experience. Even at an exclusive resort you expect to have to buy your drink at the pool, pay for your spa treatment or spend money in the casino - but these are all choices that one can choose to forego.
Nancy
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Old 08-10-2004, 03:06 AM
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Hello,

I have to agree with what the other posters said. In my experience the alternative dining venues did not result in a lower-quality experience in the main dining room, but they usually offer a dining experience much better than what one usually finds on the ship.

I usually make sure to have dinner at the alternative restaurant at least once per cruise, as I have really found most of them worth the extra charge. There was only one exception, and that cruise line is now out of business.
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Old 08-11-2004, 12:23 PM
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I'm confused.. while reading Tom's review of the Mariner of the Seas, he claims that there is a 3.95 cover charge for Johnny Rockets? Yet another person said that they just ate there and you only pay for drinks?

I don't mind eating in the dining room, i'm not that picky but my fiance really likes his burgers, and will be dissapointed in being charged for them.

So what's the story?

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2004, 12:43 PM
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Actually the poster and Tom are both correct. Royal Caribbean implemented a $3.95 cover charge on the Mariner and Navigator. This began as an 8 week trial period back in March, but it looks like it stuck. To my knowledge the other ships still do not impose this cover charge. You just have to pay for the specialty milkshakes and malts. Hope that clears up the confusion.
Nancy
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Old 08-11-2004, 06:18 PM
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RCI still serves burgers, hot dogs, fries, pizza and chicken sandwiches for free in the pool's dining venue. Johnny Rockets is a 1950s themed restaurant that is very popular with the kids. I am not a burger person, but filks seemed to like the burgers and such by the pool.

You guys will enjoy it, I am sure.

Tom
 
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