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jdwilliams1

Could someone please explain the dinning process for me on most cruise lines

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We are scheduled for a cruise on the Celebrity Edge in March and Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas in June.

 

This will be our first experience on a cruise and the dinning options have us confused.

 

I hear about buffets, restaurants, set dining times. What's included and what's not.

 

Currently I do not think we have any dining plans setup, but can't we eat at the buffets at any time? But I am reading they are crowded?

 

What food is included in the cruise price?

 

If we reserve dining plans we have to pay for those meals?

 

We have no plans on the RCI cruise but we are staying Aquaclass on the Edge and I understand we can eat at the BLU, but I assume we have to pay for meals there correct?

 

Any help in understanding this food things would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

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As far as dining, most cruise lines have fixed times, early or late or any time dining in the MDR. No cost. Special dining there is an up charge. Buffet and many other venues are free. Calling for reservations is free. Hope this helps.

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You might want to ask on the appropriate cruise board.

For Celebrity, Blu is included, no additional charge. Only specialty restaurants incur a fee.

For RCI, you should have picked a dining time (early, late, My Time) when you booked. That is your MDR time. Go and enjoy, again no charge, just specialty restaurants.

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The Celebrity line has three main restaurants. You will be assigned to one of them. The Main Dining Room (MDR) is for everyone not traveling in Aqua class or a suite. They have two fixed traditional seatings (early & Late) and 'select' dining, which means you select the time you want to go, as in a landside restaurant. Aqua class cabins are assigned to Blu and it is open seating and time. Go when you want during the times it is open. Suite passengers have their own restaurant, Luminae, which is also open time dining. If you find you don't want to eat in your restaurant, you can eat at the buffet. These areas are all included in your fare, no extra charge. There are other free venues, the Aqua Spa Cafe for healthier offerings, the grill, pizza, etc. There will also be some specialty restaurants that cost extra. All of this will be listed in your daily planner. EM

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Are the acronyms making you more confused?

MDR - Main Dining Room. This, and the buffet are free. Buffet has no fixed time, but Main Dining room may have a set dining time, or be accessible between set hours.

 

When reviewing the descriptions of your ships, the websites are now quite good at saying 'free' or 'additional charge'.

Some people don't get far enough into their research to even realize the main dining room is free.

I find Cruise Critic Ship Overview very helpful. Here are links to the explanation for dining venues:

Celebrity Edge

https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=1130

RCI Freedom of the Seas (if no fee comment - then it is Free)

https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=358&pgtype=dining

As mentioned, certain room classes offer free meals at certain restaurants

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Wow! thank you so much to all. I will review this information and follow these links in hopes of clearing things up. I was just unclear on the process. As I booked my Celebrity cruise through AMEX and paid for the full package for premium drinks, internet, and everything else plus a credit for onboard spending. But, now when I login to my Celebrity account it is asking me to set up all cruising dining. so when I go to that page it shows prices next to each item.

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Wow! thank you so much to all. I will review this information and follow these links in hopes of clearing things up. I was just unclear on the process. As I booked my Celebrity cruise through AMEX and paid for the full package for premium drinks, internet, and everything else plus a credit for onboard spending. But, now when I login to my Celebrity account it is asking me to set up all cruising dining. so when I go to that page it shows prices next to each item.

Check your initial documents as somewhere in there you most likely made a choice on Main Dining Room option - early, late, or Any Time. If they are asking you to set up dining, it is because many for fee restaurants sell out quickly once on board, so these are your options to book a reservation beforehand.

However, it could be that somewhere in the list of restaurants is one of the 2 MDRs.. Find the name of those and see if they are on your list. If not, then your dining is set. If they are on the list, then there should be no fee attached...just determine what timing option you want.

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The dining room, buffet and other venues are included...some are classified as "specialty" and will carry a fee...it will be clearly stated on each cruise line's info in their website.

 

You can do "fixed" seating or "anytime" on all the mainstream lines nowadays.

 

There is no reason to pay for food on a cruise, unless you want to!

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You have booked Aqua class, and your dining room is Blu. However, the computer program doesn't recognize it as 'anytime' and wants you to select either early or late. So select one of those...it won't matter, just make the computer happy. EM

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You might want to ask on the appropriate cruise board.

For Celebrity, Blu is included, no additional charge. Only specialty restaurants incur a fee.

For RCI, you should have picked a dining time (early, late, My Time) when you booked. That is your MDR time. Go and enjoy, again no charge, just specialty restaurants.

 

Blu is only included for those booked in Aqua Class. If you want to dine in Blu, they may accommodate those not in AC, but there is a fee for that.

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Blu is only included for those booked in Aqua Class. If you want to dine in Blu, they may accommodate those not in AC, but there is a fee for that.

 

When Blu was first created, they allowed Suite guests to eat there for a small fee, if space was available. They long ago eliminated the fee, and suite can still eat there on a space available basis. No others can eat there, even for a fee. EM

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Since you are in Aqua Class, Blu is your assigned restaurant for dinner. All seating in Blu is Open Sitting (no reservations) so you simply show up when you want to eat (I think its open from 6-9) and you will be seated. There is no charge for any of your food in Blu. The buffet (lido) is open for every meal (and for much of the day and night) and is completely free. If you want to have dinner in the Main Dining Room (MDR) instead of Blu you can ask the Maitre'd at Blu to make the arrangements. Most consider Blu somewhat more upscale (and better) then the main dining room. There are also some so-called alternative restaurants on your ship for which you need a reservation and must pay a fee.

 

Hank

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The Celebrity line has three main restaurants. You will be assigned to one of them. The Main Dining Room (MDR) is for everyone not traveling in Aqua class or a suite. They have two fixed traditional seatings (early & Late) and 'select' dining, which means you select the time you want to go, as in a landside restaurant. Aqua class cabins are assigned to Blu and it is open seating and time. Go when you want during the times it is open. Suite passengers have their own restaurant, Luminae, which is also open time dining. If you find you don't want to eat in your restaurant, you can eat at the buffet. These areas are all included in your fare, no extra charge. There are other free venues, the Aqua Spa Cafe for healthier offerings, the grill, pizza, etc. There will also be some specialty restaurants that cost extra. All of this will be listed in your daily planner. EM

 

We’re booked in a sky suite on Celebrity Equinox and have an assigned 6:00 pm dining time. I keep reading that suite guests are assigned to a separate restaurant but we have an assigned time. So, can we eat in MDR if we choose to, or just Luminae?

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We’re booked in a sky suite on Celebrity Equinox and have an assigned 6:00 pm dining time. I keep reading that suite guests are assigned to a separate restaurant but we have an assigned time. So, can we eat in MDR if we choose to, or just Luminae?

 

I suggest asking your question on the Celebrity Board.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=28

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We’re booked in a sky suite on Celebrity Equinox and have an assigned 6:00 pm dining time. I keep reading that suite guests are assigned to a separate restaurant but we have an assigned time. So, can we eat in MDR if we choose to, or just Luminae?

 

I cannot imagine a reason you would want to eat in the MDR. Luminae has its own small menu but also gives you the option of ordering anything from the MDR menu. So why mix with the masses :).

 

Hank

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I cannot imagine a reason you would want to eat in the MDR. Luminae has its own small menu but also gives you the option of ordering anything from the MDR menu. So why mix with the masses :).

 

Hank

Thanks, Hank! I think that answers it. If I can get MDR menu too. We had heard the menu was a little limited and we're sailing after the revolutionizing 😊 so maybe they'll switch things up a little.

 

Thx again!

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Thanks, Hank! I think that answers it. If I can get MDR menu too. We had heard the menu was a little limited and we're sailing after the revolutionizing 😊 so maybe they'll switch things up a little.

 

Thx again!

 

That issue came up, recently, on the Celebrity boards. Some have not been happy with the limited menu in Lumanae, but apparently were not aware (or at least they did not say they were aware) that the Luminae menu is essentially a supplement to the MDR menu (they use the same galley for both venues). My suggestion is that the first time you go to Luminae you ask about the MDR menu if it is not mentioned.

 

Hank

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Thanks, Hank! I think that answers it. If I can get MDR menu too. We had heard the menu was a little limited and we're sailing after the revolutionizing �� so maybe they'll switch things up a little.

 

Thx again!

 

Also, Luminae is anytime dining, not a fixed time. Go whenever you want. The thing on your reservation is just to satisfy the computer. Your assigned dining room is Luminae, not the MDR.

 

Also, to add to Hank, there are some things from MDR which are staples on Celebrity, which you get every night in Luminae. Shrimp cocktail, delicious onion soup, Celebrity salad with house dressing and Creme Brûlée’s.

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Also, Luminae is anytime dining, not a fixed time. Go whenever you want. The thing on your reservation is just to satisfy the computer. Your assigned dining room is Luminae, not the MDR.

 

Also, to add to Hank, there are some things from MDR which are staples on Celebrity, which you get every night in Luminae. Shrimp cocktail, delicious onion soup, Celebrity salad with house dressing and Creme Brûlée’s.

 

Just to clarify, those items are on the so-called everyday menu and always available in the MDR as well as Blu (some of us call it Blu's secret menu since those items are not listed on theBlu menu but always available upon request). And you forgot one popular Celebrity delight which is their excellent Escargot which is also available most any night in all the venues. What is interesting to me are some of the recent posts about folks who can dine in Luminae trying to get into Blu (space available basis) because they prefer Blu's menu to Luminae's. There is no pleasing everyone.

 

Hank

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