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lilrosie

Altrnative dining

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can you please explain the difference between the dining for me?? I understand formal..and casual and buffet..i feel like a total idiot but I dont know what alternative dining is..sorry folks..we are total newbies to cruising..

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Many ships today have rooms that usually specialize in certain types of cuisine (French, Italian, Steakhouse, Southwest, etc.). You can make reservations to dine in these restaurants on one or more nights instead of the Dining Room. There is an extra charge for dining in these rooms ($10-$25 per person). You suposedly get better food in these restaurants, but I have never dined in any as of now. Usually reviews do say that they are excellent meals, but once in a while you may read something bad. One of these days, we'll try one.

Howard

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"Alternative Dining" is just one more way that the cruise lines have come up with to increase the windfall of onboard revenue....

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While you expect to pay extra for certain optional goods and services (photos; drinks; souvineers; shore excursions), I, personally, don't believe in paying extra for something that is already included in the fair. If a cruise line can only serve good food in an alternative restaurant, at an extra charge, and not in the dining room, I choose a different cruise line....

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Hi Lilrosie,

All of the above are true of alternative dining.

We were lucky enough to win a dinner in the alternative dining room on the Carnival Conquest. We dressed like we were going to any fine restaurant. The presentation of the was far superior to that served in the regular dining room. Portions were much more generous. Waiters are also more attentive. We enjoyed our dining experience so much that we decided that it would be worth it to reserve seats in the alternative dining room on future cruises. We would find out when something was being served in the regular dining room that we didn't particularly like and than make reservations in the alternative dining room on the day that those particular meals were being served in the regular dining room.

Regular meals on Carnival ships are pretty good, so just imagine dining in a resturant a few notches above that.

Alternative dining can also mean you prefer to dine on the Lido Deck, cafeteria style, rather than in the regular dining room. Dining on the Lido Deck is more informal and some passengers prefer to have their meals there so that they can keep their shorts on or their more casual clothing. I have known some passengers who have never stepped foot in the main dining rooms, opting to stay on the Lido Deck and listen to the Calypso band.

My advice is to be prepared to experience everything on your first cruise so that you don't miss out on anything. You may be pleasantly surprised. So bring something nice to wear on formal evening. You will fit right in with other diners in the dining room. If you decide it's not for you then you can opt out in the future.

I'm not exactly a very formal person, but I do enjoy formal nights just for a change. I have to admit I do get a little tense preparing for it, making sure that my suit and shirt are well pressed and my shoes are polished. Once I get into the dining room and the ladys start remarking how well dressed I am, I am immediately put at ease. Of course I comment to the ladys on how beautiful they look.

As you can see you have many choices on the ship. You can create your own cruising experience.

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We do a comination of dining room and Lido Deck. We enjoy the dining room on formal night or when they serve the lobster dinner. We also enjoy eating at the buffet on the Lido deck when we're too pooped to rush to the dining room or don't feel like being there at a certain time. You can just do whatever you feel like, Lilrosie. You'll have a wonderful cruise, no matter what you do. :cool: :cool: :cool: Please feel free to ask as many questions as you'd like. That's what we're here for. And by the way, Lilrosie, every question is important so don't hesitate to ask away. :cool: :cool: :cool: PS. This response is for Carnival , I'm not familiar with how things work on other cruise lines.

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GottaCruz,

I'm ashamed to say it but we have eaten in the dining room and one hour later gone on the Lido Deck to eat again. We were so embarrassed when we saw our assistant waiter busing tables on the Lido Deck after we had such a nice dinner. It didn't seem to matter to him one bit. As a matter of fact, he insisted that we sit down while he served us our drinks. He also came back to converse a little.

So you see you can even do the dining room and alternative dining on the same night if you choose.

Gotta Cruz, are you a Carnival fan too?

Sometimes I think Carnival gets little credit for the service and entertainment they provide now. I know they are not considered a luxury cruise but they sure treated me royally when I was on the ship.

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