When we were on ocean village for a 14 nighter some months ago, we ended up eating at the james martin restaurant most nights as we prefered the fact we were serverd rather than having to fend for ourselves at the buffet.....although we did use the buffet for lunch. the bills did mount up but we felt it was worth it, we had the best fillet steak ever and the creme brulee was amazing.
You can still choose fixed time diding ie 6.30 or 8.30 but choose select dining as and when you want to when on board this ensures you have the best of both worlds we do this, all you have to do is book a select venue such as the Rhodes restauratns or terrace grill etc when on board and let your restaurant know that you wont be dining with them the night before you go to the select you just have a word with your waiter you will definitely have a table reserved then either tiomed dining which is also a very good standard or the more expensive select option we ate in the Rhodes (Gary) restaurant on our Baltic cruise and yes it is more expensive but not alot and alot of attention is paid to you such as the maitre de chats to you and you are not rushed at all and the food is equisite!!
Well Mr Dave Beaumont, I read your article with interest, several times, and I am still not sure what you are saying. Was it an entreaty not to use the newly sprung up speciality restaurants, were you saying that the only way to get the food we used to take for granted is to use these new creations or are you saying that by not using them one is not a follower of fashion? Elucidate would you.
I, for one, liked the speciality restaurant on the Caronia where one had one or two free bookings per cruise because then that was something special. I understand that the Azamara ships are offering the same. I haven't bothered with any other speciality restaurants mainly because to do so would say to the cruise lines that I not only accept their precept of special food only in the specialist restaurants but by indulging I stop the better foods being served in the main restaurants as a matter of course, sorry no pun intended.
Finally the engagement of celebrity chefs is not always good for the passengers. P & O did this when they engaged Anton Mossiman who proceeded to change the menus so badly in P & O's favour when he insisted they use all the left overs from one days fare in the following days menus with quite horrific results, his plans still are executed on their ships taking their food back to the days of poor English cooking.
Food for thought, pun intended, Heather
It wasnt a question, i posted this on P&Os cruise community a while ago, i just wanted to see what kind of responce/reply i got from a different sort of cruise forum.
Initionaly the thread was to see if people were happy to pay a suppliment to eat at these dining venues.
To answer the latter part of your question - if it was a question - the dress code in the select dining venues (Plaza buffet is not a select dining option)is the same as for the rest of the ship. We ate in Oriana Rhodes last week (and very good it was too) and it was on a Smart Casual Evening. My husband chose to wear a jacket and tie even though he did not need to because that is what he would wear when we visit a smart restaurant at home. We felt it was worth every penny of the £15pp charge.