Have you ever had the chef make you a special meal on a cruise line ?

Has anyone else ever had the Chef make a special not on the menu dinner for you on a cruise?

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I have had this done on a couple ships.   When we took the Dawn Princess to Alaska about 20 years ago the food was very bad.  I got gritty Salmon in Alaska (a chef should be shot for that in Alaska).  The next night the Steak was over cooked, dry and though.  The 3rd night I only when to MDR to keep company with my parents and friends, the staff asked why I was not ordering much?  Asked if I was on a diet,  I was 5'10" and 145 lbs back then, so not on a diet.  When I said "Im not ordering because the food Sucks" telling them of the bad steak and fish they asked what would I like.   That night everyone else got there dinners but my special order came out about when dessert came for the others.  I ended up with a good steak that was about 3" thick and hanging over the sides of the plate.  It was enough steak that I shared with Mom,  Dad and my friend (none of them ate much dinner because the food was so bad).  That was my first and last time on Princess.

 

On RCI Adventure Of The Sea's I did a 14 night transatlantic that ended in England and they had changed the menu for the English pallet.   When I was not ordering much at dinner because I did not care for selections they asked Why?   I explained that I did not care for the food.  They asked if I had liked the Salmon the night before?  They made that Salmon for me 2 more times on nights they did not think I'd like the regular menu selections (without me asking for it).  I did give the MDR staff extra tips and asked that they deliver a tip I had for the chef that made the Salmon for me.  The waiter also set aside some Raspberry Sherbet for me after one night I said it was one of my favorites.  Every night he would bring me a scoop of it in addition to the regular dessert I ordered.

 

 

Honestly can't remember if it was a whole meal, but whenever I've mentioned how much I enjoyed something (e.g., dessert, side dish, main course) to the wait staff, it miraculously shows up on the table again.  I've always appreciated that special touch.

Never knew it was an option.

I use the option at times for special eggs benedict... my favorite.

We haven't ever had a cruise ship's chef make a meal exclusively for us, but have heard of it being done for some who aren't satisfied with the choices on the menu. For an exquisite meal though, never heard of it happening except this comes fairly close: 

In September on the Regal Princess we kept seeing references to the "Chef's Table" as a specialty restaurant on the ship. But there was no such facility, and I looked hard.

I finally called and found out that this was a special arrangement thing, offered only occasionally where they really do it up big. Only ten guests are allowed each time and they really give you the third degree as to who you are, what you like, etc. I asked them why the scrutiny. Language is the first consideration they said, if you speak only Spanish then they will put you on that list. Food alergies and preferences are also a big factor since the Chef is not going to make a speical meal for someone who doesn't share the tastes and diet of the other nine. It is actually an exclusive table d'hôte menu (sometimes called the prix fixe menu or set meal & set menu at a fixed price with a wine pairing supllement.)

As they advertise; "An extraordinary treat for both gastronomes and gourmet novices. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes galley tour with Champagne and hors d'oeuvres, followed by an extravagant multi-course dinner created and hosted by the executive chef." This pitch is not an overstatement, it is truly an eating experience. They even forget to mention the variety of wines served with each course and that you end up in a special section where they drape a huge circular semi-transparent curtain around everybody after seated. This is located in a section of one of the MDRs when time comes for the main course and desert. Very-very good. My wife loved it. Trouble was I didn't ask the price, which was good as we might not have taken them up on the offer. Found out when we received the final bill getting off the ship it was $230 for both. We both agree now that it was well worth it.   

Carnival does the "Chef's Table" with I think 12 guest for $ 75.00 each.   I have not tried it as it is a fixed menu.  On the small Fantasy class ships they do it in the Library.  I'd rather do 2 nights in the Steak House for the same price.

Does a "meal" constitute an omelette? on the NCL Jade, the best part of breakfast was to go to the omelette station in the buffet and ask the chef there to prepare a fresh omelette with all the ingredients you wanted. It was a lovely way to start the day

Celebrity and Princess are doing chef tables or comparable.  I'm not sure they are worth it because wine is factored in to the cost and we do not drink.  I've commented on that for the last couple cruises... "please price the chef table experience for with and without alcohol". I don't begrudge anyone their wine, but I don't want to subsidize someone else's consumption.

I'm not certain but they might do a "non-alcoholic Chefs Table". As I mentioned, they really grill all ten of the participants to make certain they all have the same interests, likes, palatableness, etc. They don't want to get stuck in a situation where someone in the group speaks a different language or is allergic to this or that. So, since they have such a large variety of "Tables" and not all that many of them to begin, the odds of getting picked for a Chef's Table are slim even if one is a pretty much a run of the mill average cruiser, taste wise and otherwise.  We were on the ship for three weeks and I believe the segment before ours was two weeks. As near as I could tell they only had two english speaking Tables over that period and a very long wait list, even at $115. pp.   
   

We have done the Chef's Table on Carnival as we are "foodies".  For us totally worth it.  That said we were going to do it on our next cruise and the menu was the same.  We chose to do the Steakhouse.  Both experiences totally worth it!

 

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