Why You Should Pay Extra For Specialty Dining on Celebrity Cruises

This article has links to products that we may make commission from.

When you decide to go on a luxury cruise, you probably already know these two things: That it’s going to be expensive and that what you’re paying so much for is a truly luxury experience that meets all of your expectations. Celebrity Cruise line delivers on that promise very well.

If you’re already expecting to pay for the luxury experience, it would be a real shame if you skimped on the dining experience and didn’t pay a little extra for specialty dining on Celebrity cruises.

the experience with specialty dining on Celebrity cruises
Seared Tuna at Blu Restaurant

They offer a remarkably luxury experience in every aspect. The ship is undeniably elegant, the staterooms are well-appointed, the bars and lounges are opulent – even the cafe is decked out with modern decor and trendy high-backed chairs. It’s a luxury experience, for sure.

Specialty Dining on Celebrity Cruises

I know that dining outside of the general dining room isn’t a high priority for everyone – the food in the main dining room is already high quality – but there are other unique dining experiences that you definitely will want to try.

A major plus for Celebrity dining is that they’ve partnered with world renowned chef Daniel Boulud, who is their new Global Culinary Ambassador, to create signature restaurants at sea. Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud can be enjoyed on their Edge Series ship, Celebrity Beyond.

» Wondering if you should splurge for the premium beverage package? We bought the package and did the math. See our results here.

Caeser Salads are made tableside, just the way you want them.
Caeser Salads are made tableside, just the way you want them.

Specialty Dining Packages

You can book a specialty dining package on Celebrity before the cruise, with some restrictions. The type of package and price varies depending on the length of your cruise. But this allows you to tack on the package when you purchase or up to 2 days before your cruise.

You can also use your on-board credit to experience the specialty restaurants. When we booked, we were given $300 onboard credit and since we already upgraded to the premium beverage package, we decided to spend that money on dining experiences.

While on board, we were offered deals and discounts at the specialty dining restaurants throughout the cruise. Often, during breakfast or as you return from excursions, you will be approached by crew members offering deals like 2-for-1 or half off at a particular restaurant.

If you want to save a bit of money, you can wait for those opportunities to present themselves before making your dinner plans. 

» Is this your first cruise? Read about what we learned when booking our first cruise.

Celebrity’s Specialty Dining Restaurant Choices

Tableside cooking
Tableside cooking at Murano Restaurant

I knew Celebrity was a luxury ship and that they would have great food, but I had no idea there would be so many great restaurants. First a quick rundown of the options, with descriptions from the cruise website:

Tuscan Grille – A celebration of big, bold flavors. This Italian steakhouse features the rustic dishes of Tuscany with a nouveau twist.

Murano – A contemporary take on classic French cuisine. Exquisite fine dining with stellar service in sophisticated surroundings.

Lawn Club Grill – The joys of interactive outdoor grilling with ocean views in an open-air setting overlooking the lush green grass of the Lawn Club. Available on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Solstice.

Eden – Try divine, experiential cuisine at Eden Restaurant to the crescendo of theatrics. Indulge every sense in a space that transforms from chillful mornings to playful afternoons to sinful evenings.

Sushi on Five – A modern take on traditional Japanese cuisine. You can pair your favorite sushi and sake.

Fine Cut Steakhouse – Fine Cut Steakhouse delivers an upscale dining experience for dinner with service that’s elevated to an art form and views overlooking the three-story open design on the inside of the ship and stunning al fresco seaside dining on a hedge-lined terrace that looks out over the sea.

The Porch (only open for breakfast and lunch)  – Overlooking the Lawn Club’s cool, green grass, a spot to enjoy freshly-made breakfast or lunch. Featuring quick, simple and fresh food, like soup, salads and panini. Available on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection.

Rooftop Garden Grill – Nestled perfectly in its own delicious corner of the Rooftop Garden, this outdoor restaurant will satisfy your cravings with grilled favorites.

Le Grand Bistro – Designed to transport you to a bistro in the heart of Paris. 

As you can see, the options are numerous. While not every restaurant listed will be available on every Celebrity ship, there are many great options no matter which ship you’re on.  (Read more about the specialty dining options aboard Reflections.)

I suggest giving them all a try and seeing which you like best. If you’re on a shorter cruise, you may not go back more than once, but on our 12-day cruise we visited each restaurant twice, which spending the remaining nights in the main dining room, which for us was Blu, since we were in the Aqua-Class staterooms.

What to Expect from Specialty Dining Restaurants

Grilling with the Chef at the Lawn Club Grill
Grilling with the Chef at the Lawn Club Grill

Like I mentioned, we went to each specialty dining restaurant twice on our cruise. Each one was quite a bit different, but we found the food to be of a very high quality and standard in each, plus the service was stellar everywhere.

Each restaurant has a sommelier to help you choose wines to pair with your dishes, and they are happy to bring you a different wine with each course. There were plenty of options on the menu to be able to return 2-3 times without ever having the same meal. Though, I must admit that we fell in love with some dishes and couldn’t help but order them again the second time.

Apart from the dishes, I was really excited to try the sparkling wines of specialty dining restaurants. The first time I experienced specialty dining on a Celebrity cruise, the sommelier was incredibly accommodating, inspiring me to learn how they master wine tasting. I jumped at the opportunity to ask a couple of questions about wines because of my curiosity and excitement. It’s a good thing that the sommelier was happy to answer all my questions about the best wine pairings and other wine-related questions.  

What exactly can you expect from specialty dining? I had so many expectations on my first cruise, and I can say that most of them were met.

So, you can expect to:

  1. Eat really good food
  2. Get really good service
  3. Have a sommelier help guide your wine pairings
  4. Choose 3-4 courses from the extensive menu
  5. Stay for an after-dinner drink
  6. Have a seat with an incredible view

Not too bad for a night out, I’d say!

Celebrity Food Photos

Here are the photos we took of the food on our Celebrity Silhouette cruise, from each of the specialty restaurants that were available to us.

Tuscan Grille

The entrance to Tuscan Grille
The entrance to Tuscan Grille

My favorite of all the restaurants was Tuscan Grille. It wasn’t only because of the food, though it was incredible, it was also due to the service we received there. We had three different waiters, but we loved them all. And the sommelier always introduced us to something new to pair with our dishes.

The Food

Tuscan is really just a solid Italian restaurant, serving many of the classic dishes you really want from a good Italian spot. We kept going back for the lasagna, which was rich, creamy, cheesy goodness. And we always had the tableside Caesar salad with anchovies on top. They mixed it up just right. Another of my favorite things about Tuscan Grille is that they had limoncello to serve as an after-dinner drink.

Murano

The only actual fine-dining, white tablecloth restaurant on the ship is Murano. It’s a French steakhouse, serving sizzling cuts of beef, classic French dishes like mushroom soup and lobster bisque, along with some great show cooking and a cheese cart.

We only wanted to visit Murano once because it was the most expensive of the restaurants and the fanciest, so we dined there on one of the three formal nights.

The Food

The food was all very good. I ordered the lobster dish, which was cooked flambe tableside. It was fun to watch, but the dish was too creamy and rich without pasta. Also, sadly, the restaurant is very dark inside.

It’s the only restaurant that doesn’t really have any windows or view. So my pictures all had to be lightened and that always makes things look a little funny (sorry about that!).

Lawn Club Grill

The Lawn Club Grill
The Lawn Club Grill

Most of the time on our cruise, the weather wasn’t really nice enough to enjoy the rooftop lawn on the Celebrity Silhouette. It was beautiful up there, but because of the incessant wind, it was also mostly deserted.

The Lawn Club Grill is located in the middle of the lawn, so it was relatively empty the night we visited, which was okay with us because the fun of the Lawn Club Grill is being about to make your own food, if you wish. And we did.

The Food

First you go through the salad bar options and pick out the toppings for your flatbread (which more resembles pizza, I believe). Then you toss the crust for the pizza, dress it up and get it in the oven. Then you choose your meats to grill and take turns seasoning, grilling, flipping and otherwise tending to the grilling.

It’s really quite fun. We had the attention of the entire staff, so it was even more engaging and fun.

Unforgettable Specialty Dining Experience On A Celebrity Cruise

Do you want to experience an unforgettable dining experience on a celebrity cruise? If your answer is yes, then you can enjoy the best food recipes, wines, and services simply by paying extra. You don’t have to downgrade your cruise experience because you deserve to indulge yourself and have some time to unwind. 

The extra cost will be worth it, especially if you’re with your spouse or other close family members and friends. Don’t restrict yourself from enjoying both fine dining and a cruise trip, as I did.

CONCLUSION

If I haven’t managed to pique your interest in the specialty dining on Celebrity Cruises, I think you’re probably one of those people who just don’t care much about the food. You can’t be swayed. It’s okay. More room for the rest of us!

Have you been on a Celebrity Cruise and dined in any of these fabulous restaurants? Which one did you like the most? If you’re going on a Celebrity cruise in the near future, I hope you are prepared for all the delicious food you’re in for! It’s going to be a great trip.

Quick. Check these necessities off your prep list!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Like this post? Why not save it to Pinterest?
FOLLOW US on PinterestInstagramFacebook for more great travel inspiration and tips.

Specialty Restaurants
Why You Should Pay Extra For Specialty Dining on Celebrity Cruises

41 thoughts on “Why You Should Pay Extra For Specialty Dining on Celebrity Cruises

  1. Eleanor Lamdin says:

    Thank you Laura for your hints on Celebrity dining. I know Celebrity is an experience but I will certainly recommend my clients take up the specialty dining options offered on board.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      That’s great, Eleanor! I’m sure some folks don’t know what it’s like and think it’s just another expense. But it’s definitely worth it to make your experience even more special.

  2. Andrea Leblang says:

    Your post made me hungry! I completely agree with you – the perks make the experience well worth it. I especially like having a sommelier help with wine pairings. Wonderful post!

  3. chrysoula says:

    I have never been on a multi day cruise. Your post is very enlightening and love your photos the food looks so tasty you just made me hungry. Thanks for the useful info!

  4. Fiona @ London-Unattached says:

    I’ve never been on a Celebrity Cruise, but I have tried some of the food at food festivals in the UK. And, some of it is quite amazing – worthy of a top restaurant in Lonodn. So I do believe your review

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I bought Celebrity’s cookbook and have loved just looking at the photos and trying to recreate everything at home. They have really great chefs and their food is definitely as good as any top London restaurant.

  5. Mel Jones says:

    Laura this sounds divine! I’ve never been on a luxury cruise but I hope I’ll get the chance, you’re so lucky! 😀 This would be great for a honeymoon, relaxing and eating lots of scrumptious food, with so many different options to choose from what more could you want? 🙂

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Very true, Mel. It’s perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary. Everything is taken care of for you so all you have to do is relax and enjoy.

  6. Kimberly Erin @ Walkaboot.ca says:

    this looks so freaking lovely! I have never been on a cruise, it doesnt much fit my backpacker budget ahaha but maybe some day. It looks delicious, lovely and oh so special though

  7. Jennifer says:

    I’ve only been on one cruise and agree that having a choice of where to eat and to be able to get just a table for 2 is probably worth the expense if you are looking for a luxury experience. The food looks fantastic.

  8. Elena says:

    Now I am hungry! I’ve been wanting to take a Celebrity Cruise – having heard such great things – these are great trips. I’d definitely opt for the specialty dining.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Hopefully you’ll make it on a Celebrity cruise soon and can check it out for yourself. It’s a great cruise line and the food is just outstanding.

  9. Mia says:

    I love this idea! I’ve only been on one cruise and we didn’t upgrade the meals but the restaurants looked really good. I work in the airline industry and can usually get balcony rooms on the 5 day cruise for about $200-$300 so next time I will definitely upgrade the meals. The restaurant Blu is so pretty, hope I get to eat there.

  10. Francesca @onegrloneworld says:

    Anything that manages to get devoured before a photo can be taken – that’s a really good sign! I’m sold on specialty dining 😀

  11. Linz says:

    I don’t know where you get the idea that Celebrity is classed as a luxury ship, it is not in that category.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      It’s classified in the Premium category, but many people consider it a luxury experience, which it rightfully is.

  12. CC Marks says:

    April 2017 – 7-day Western Caribbean – The Specialty Dining package on our Silhouette cruise was a great purchase and each night was a wonderful and romantic experiences. Rather than being shoehorned into a two-top with a couple next to us on each side with tables less than 3 inches away in the main dining room, we choose 6 nights of fine dining in very civilized atmospheres where we weren’t forced to hear every conversation to each side of our table.
    We ended up dining two nights at both the LawnClub Grill and at the Tuscan Grill with these being our obvious favorites. Great service, knowledgeable staff and tremendous food and matching wines made these visits quite noteworthy. And we could not say enough about the killer deserts offered everywhere.
    The caloric intake was dramatic…and time spent in the fitness center and walking the track could not keep up.
    I strongly recommend everyone at least add a 3-night dining program before you leave. Then go to main dining room on the first evening and see if you ever want to return. Maybe it will be just fine for you and I trust it might have better for us if we had traveled with a group worthy of a 6 or 8-top table together. But if you seek an intimate dining experience for 2…good luck fulfilling that need in the main dining restaurant.

    It was an very good experience on CELEBRITY…top drawer everywhere we went….

    They really have it down to a science!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      That’s fantastic! We felt the same way about the restaurants. Lawn Club and Tuscan were also our favorites. We went back more than once to each. Looks like your experience was very similar to ours. Glad you had a good time!

  13. cooper says:

    Looks amazing the celebrities dining & also the food looks delicious………similar kind of luxury in dining can be seen in Bahamas Paradise. Varieties of cuisines and the interior arrangement is outstanding

  14. Ken Priban says:

    Will miss the ultimate dining package. Will they have deals for lunch at the Porch, Bistro on Five and Sushi on Five. Or can you ONLY get dinner specials?
    Am going on Reflection in May 2019 and would like the latest info.
    Thank you.
    Ken

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Ken, I think the specialty dining packages only apply to dinner. You can find the most up to date info here: https://www.celebritycruises.co.uk/onboard/food-and-drink/speciality-dining/speciality-dining-packages/. When you’re on board, you’ll be offered other deals for lunch and additional dinners. I’d look out for that.

      • Ken says:

        Laura,
        Thanks for your reply. 2 years ago I was on Reflection. Celebrity sweared they never heard of the Ultimate Dining Pkg. However, when I got on board, they couldn’t wait to sell it to me, dinners, lunch at specialty rest., etc. Hope this happens again.
        Ken

        • Laura Lynch says:

          I wonder if they do that as a flash sale on board only, when they haven’t been able to sell enough dining packages. I hope it happens again too!

  15. Dennis says:

    We are going on the Celebrity Reflection cruise in December 2018 and have signed up online for the dining package for the entire cruise. By doing it this way it is considerably less expensive than purchasing it on board the first day you arrive on the ship. We’ve been on many celebrity cruises and we just love eating at the Tuscan Grille and Murano restaurants. We are looking forward to trying several of the other new restaurants too. The celebrity line is our most favorite line of all the crew ship lines.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Dennis, that’s a great way to go. It’s definitely cheaper in advance, unless you want to try to get deals each day. We really enjoy those restaurants too. The Tuscan Grille was my absolute favorite. Be sure to come back and tell us about the new restaurants you try!

  16. Jane says:

    Wonderful site & info, thank you. But I’m not clear what you get in the Dining Pckage. Is it just priority access to select restaurants? Do you still pay for food & drinks after you’re seated? Or is it all included? We will shortly be travelling on Solstice to NZ.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Jane, you purchase a dining package and can then dine the specified number of times without paying anything extra. The only thing is that you’d pay for drinks unless you have a beverage package too. We preferred to purchase specialty dining while on the cruise because they’ll sometimes have special deals and then you can decide when you arrive rather than in advance.

  17. Pingback: How to Book Your First Cruise and Have the Trip of a Lifetime | Savored Journeys

  18. Pingback: Is the Beverage Package Worth It On a Cruise? | Savored Journeys

  19. Persephone Collins says:

    Ate at the Murano, wish I hadn’t bothered. Frozen lobster badly cooked (raw). Desserts so pretty but all show no taste.
    Tuscan grill …steak so salty I couldn’t finish it.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Well that’s not good. I wonder what was going on in the kitchen that night (or that cruise). I’ve eaten at Tuscan Grill many times and it was always great.

  20. Pingback: Should I use a travel agent to book a cruise? - Momma To Go Travel

  21. Pingback: Kids zone | Should I use a travel agent to book a cruise?

  22. Greg says:

    Sounds like you spend close to $2,000 extra for speciality dining? The pricing is at least dishonest (not like you get a refund for the dining room meals you aren’t eating), and destructive of the overall cruise experience. Complimentary dining is made worse because cruise lines can charge extra for what you used to get in the main dining room.

    Cruise lines used to be proud of their chefs and would compete to create signature dishes exclusive to their lines. Now they outsource. I admit, people love it, but in many ways they are being fooled. It’s much like the Broadway plays they offer — not at all the same, and if I wanted to see the play, I would go to a real theater. Give me something I can’t get on land or another cruise line, but don’t nickle and dime, or in this case, Grant and Franklin

    • Laura Lynch says:

      It doesn’t cost anywhere near $2000 extra for specialty dining. You can get great deals while on the cruise that adds just a small surcharge for going to the restaurants. I personally think it’s worth it occasionally for an extra special experience. To each his own.

      • Greg says:

        Sorry if I misunderstood. If you visited each of 9 speciality restaurants twice, with 2 people, at an average $50 each, that would be $1800. How much did you spend, would you say?

        I’m not saying I don’t appeciate better food, but I am saying passengers need to know that main dining room experiences have been diminished in favor of extra-cost venues.

        • Laura Lynch says:

          First, I wouldn’t say the regular dining room experience is at all diminished. It’s a great experience and great food. I just preferred a more “restaurant like” experience and was willing to spend the extra. I did not spend that much however, because you can use your on-board credit towards this and you can get great deals for day-of dining from staff on board that’s much less.

  23. Janman says:

    Easy.. because their standard dining is atrocious. However, if it’s your first time on one of their new ships and you didn’t book the restaurants months before, you’re in for a surprise when nothing is available. It’s very upsetting as much wife and I are stuck eating poor quality food on a two week cruise because we didn’t realize they changed how dining works.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I’m sorry to hear that’s been your experience. We’ve only ever had great food on a Celebrity cruise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.