I have gone to the specialty restaurants on most ships that offer them. I go for a special occasion, just to give them a try, if I have a craving for a good steak or if the dining room menu is not up to my liking that night.
I have to say Surprisingly on NCL the French restaurant was Excellent . It was the
only really good food we had on the trip, the MDR was about as good as Home Town Buffet on the Star.
On Celebrity I do not need the Specialty's as the food in the MDR is Excellent most nights. The last ship I was on did not have specialty dining, just the MDR, Buffet or the Chef's special dinner for $ 75.00 each.
This next trip I will go to the Steak house or the Chef's special dinner to celebrate my b-day. I have tried to get my B-day at sea for year and this year I get to do it.