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The Main Dining Room

I've heard so many things about this room. Formal nights is one the biggest argument on the cruise news groups. Ideally, to tell you the truth, even on New Years eve, there were not a lot of fancy people there. I saw people in a shirt and pants, a basic suit. And for those who wanted to dress up, I saw a few tuxedo's, sparkley gowns etc. The shot's I have were from my table, I wasn't in a centralized location to get anything better.

All tables are customized to who going to sit there. We had 11 people (all related), and instead of splitting us apart, they sat us at one large table. We sat at the side, out of the way, near a window. Which worked great for me, because I could place my camera in the window area for safe keeping. Each table has 2 waiters. The main waiter, and the assistant. When you first walk in, you find your table, each table has a number, and that number and sitting time can be found on your room card. A label on the table has a name. Ours was written Subash. I thought that was by far the worst spelling of Savad I've ever seen. That was the waiters name, our assistant waiter's name was Tomy. Remember this location, the name plate and numbers disappear. We had a window seat, across from the fire hose.

Each seating has it's own custom shaped napkin. A shoe, suit, bird shapes, are some of the formations. Frankly I don't remember them all, as I only noticed they were shaped like anything until a few days into it. The first plate is the napkin plate, after they place the napkin on your lap, the plate is taken away. Silverware is not easy to understand. 4 forks, 3 spoons, 2 1/2 knives, 3 glasses - makes up one setting. I think it goes: appetizer fork, salad fork, main course fork, coffee spoon, desert spoon (the large one for some reason), soup spoon. Butter knife and steak knife are the same. Your not allowed to have a pocket knife on board, I kept asking why I couldn't, considering the dining room has steak knives. They broke the tips off of the knives, their blunt now. Of course now they look like butter knives. But wait there's a spreader knife as well. I can only assume, you cut the bread with the butter knife, and use the other one for buttering? I don't know.

Each night is a theme night. On each theme night they have select breads, soups, deserts, main meals and so forth that match that theme. The bread is pretty good, you have a choice of butter or margarine as a spread. The soup can be cold or warm, as stated on the other food page. You start with the main menu, later there is a desert menu. As I said each night has a theme, and later in the week, the waiters start to sing. I wish they wouldn't. It is impressive that 100 people from around the world, each speaking their own language, each with their own accent can sing at all. But singing italian songs and a few other's, man, like watching dog howl at the moon. Each waiter waves at his assigned tables.

You can get a sampling of the singing if you order a birthday cake. ALL singing is done on the stairs. So if your sitting central, you'll have good seat. Music is often live at this time, as there is a piano pit in the middle of the stairs.

The main waiter's job is to get you food. You give him the order. If you want wine, one of the waiters will get the bar person to help you. The assistant does the grunt work. Refills water, coffee, etc. Pours the wine - oh and do be prepared, they have you smell that cork, taste the wine, and approve it for use. They have glasses in front of you - water, white wine, and red wine - god for bid if they were mixed up. Soda can be ordered, but remember the bar maiden comes around, she'll ask for the card, and it's a few bucks a glass. I had water the whole time I was there. Before New Years, a card was placed on the table for champaign. $65 was the cheapest, $220 for the most expensive. 6 bottles to choose from. The waiter claims that everyone has picked their's, and tried to lay pressure on us to buy something now. But frankly no one would have known the choices as they just printed that card. So as far as I'm concerned it was a big fat lie. The cheapest one there was identified to be about $20 in a store. The most expensive, I recognize the bottle, they sell for around $150. Still expensive, but no $220.

The chairs are pretty comfortable. Padded cloth seats. All chairs have arms. Important to know if you want to wear a belt bag or something. The lighting is very dim. Everything lit with little halogen lights. I like a brighter place, this was dark. There is a lot of wood work on the walls. A large mosiac on the back wall.

At the end of the vacation, the waiter tells you that there is a card in your room. It's a performance card, he said to check off only the best for him. We did, as we didn't have anything against him. But I found it rather rude to even ask that.

Dining Room 2003

Formal Night 2003

There was 2 formal nights. The second day, and (4th day) New years. These were shot on New Years. All taken from my table. Photographers come out only on formal nights. They pose people in pairs - not in families. These pictures aren't the best shot's in the world of the event, but you can see their backs at least. Sorry for the over exposed foreground, The flash needed to reach far.

Hall to room

This is the hall leading to the dining room, as we sat on the side. Textured glass with metal leaf overlay on the screen. They close off the room until it's the right time, which is why it's better to be 5 minutes late.

Room Seats

The side of the room. I got this during a quiet time. They are open breakfast and lunch, but there is always a quiet time as well.

Seats and Art


The double set of stairs and the artwork on the back of the wall. This is the location where the waiters sing.

Main Place Settings

This is a small table, this is how it's set up. Lot's of silverware.

Art Detail

Art Detail

You got to love the detail they put into making this.

Just a Charming Flower

"Just a charming flower" - A charming detail they place on each table.

Main Dining Room

A view of the room from the second floor.

Main at Dinner

A view of my view from my table.

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Our Room 9526 Day 1 - San Juan
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Day 2 - St. Thomas
The Centrum Day 2 - Coral World
The Colony Club
Day 3 - St. Johns
The Stores Day 3 - Nelson's Dockyard
The Aurora Theater
Day 3 - Shirley Heights
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Day 6 - Fisherpond House
Main Dining Room
Day 6 - Orchid World
The Wind Jammer
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The Champaign Bar Day 8 - Old San Juan
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