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View Full Version : Couple questions about Topsider's...


il-gander
03-17-2004, 08:20 PM
DH is keenly interested in the buffet and wants some more specifics, so we have a few questions about Topsider's (for lunch and dinner only, not too worried about breakfast):


I'm sure the food is great, but how is the variety? Is it the same every day? Specifically, what kind of meats and seafood do you recall being available there?
I understand that pop is not free in this restaurant - can it be purchased?
How does what's available in Topsider's compare to what's served in the main dining rooms on the same evening (i.e., is it pretty much the same food, just self-serve)?


Thanks in advance for the great information I always find here! DH is diabetic and is tad too concerned IMO about the food (I intend to just eat anything and everything I can and enjoy it all - I'm on vacation :teeth: ), but since he asked I want to try and find out for him.

Carla

Luv2Dream
03-17-2004, 08:57 PM
bumping this. I haven't cruised yet so I don't know....anybody?

3 things
03-17-2004, 09:16 PM
1. The food is of "good" quality - just an opinion of course...
2. The selection did not seem outstanding to me. (We always chose to eat in one of the restaurants - and said we could only understand eating at Topsiders if we had a young child or if we really just wanted a quick snack.
3. We just got back from our first cruise (2nd will be April 2005!) and we both agree that we won't be planning on eating any meals at Topsiders.

PS - I grew up in central IL... I'm an ISU grad... And used to live on East Washington St. in Bloomington - out east where all the great big old houses are...

Have a great trip!

:hyper: <--- really impatient for next cruise!

bassoongirl
03-17-2004, 09:57 PM
Hi 3 things! I hope you enjoyed your cruise! I live in Plymouth and went the week before you. We had a fabulous time! We are planning to go on the Western cruise next February.

Carla,

The lunch buffet at Topsider's has a different theme everyday - Chinese, Italian, American, Seafood, etc. The same type of buffet is served in Parrot Cay each day too. In Parrot Cay, soft drinks are free, so we tended to eat there. I wasn't too impressed with the Chinese buffet. However, they did have a station where you could pick your own choices of food to be stir-fried. People I spoke with really liked the Italian buffet. The seafood buffet had crab legs and shrimp (I think), but my dh and dd did not like the Jumbalaya (sp?) - it had small, whole squid in it! We did not eat at Topsider's for dinner, but I believe I read where you get specific choices for the main course from a menu, but you go through the line for salads, side dishes and dessert.

Gayl

jwann
03-17-2004, 10:07 PM
Of course, if you want to have soda-pop with your lunch on embarkation day, just go to the buffet at Parrot Cay. Pop is complimentary there and there are the same foods on the buffet as there are at Topsiders/Beach Blanket.

il-gander
03-18-2004, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by 3 things

PS - I grew up in central IL... I'm an ISU grad... And used to live on East Washington St. in Bloomington - out east where all the great big old houses are...
[/B]

Hi 3 things, small world! I work at ISU and travel Washington St. all the time!

Thanks to everyone for the responses so far!

Carla

tkd lisa
03-18-2004, 06:38 AM
If you want soda with your meal, and you want to eat at Topsider, you need to go outside the buffet to get it. Sometimes they have a portable stand set up just outside, and sometimes you have to go to the bar at the Mickey pool. If soda at meals is important to you, I'd eat in one of the restaurants.

As far as the food, it's typical buffet, with a theme for the day. Embarkation day is an American type, with peel and eat shrimp, and I think I remember a roast beef carving station, but couldn't swear to it. Oriental theme day was okay. There was some sushi available, as well as stir fry. If you are a big sushi nut though, you probably will be disappointed. My DD loves tuna rolls, and they made some for her, so she was happy.

Seafood buffet was as described. I enjoyed it, but I'm not a gormet type person. Several times, I just grabbed some sort of sandwich at Pluto's dog house. The usually have brats and chicken sandwiches as well as dogs and burgers. Scoops also has wraps which were pretty decent.

Skuba2
03-18-2004, 06:43 AM
One thing I remember about Topsiders (almost 2 years ago) was that the "theme stations" such as make your own fajita were at the end of the buffet. The first day I was there, I loaded up a plate only to find what I really wanted at the end. So the next time I went straight to the end first to preview then got back in line.

DG

CAMICKEY
03-18-2004, 12:27 PM
Does Topsiders have the same menu every night and if so, does anyone have a link to a menu?

I thought I read somewhere that on formal nights they serve the same meal as the main restuarants in Topsiders for those who do not get dressed up. Can anyone confirm this? Thanks - Mike

CAMICKEY
03-18-2004, 01:56 PM
Bumping in hopes of an answer. - Mike

tkd lisa
03-18-2004, 02:41 PM
Have you tried Dave_From_Marietta's site? He usually has menus listed. I can never remember that link. I always go to www.***************** and then click on their link.

Anyway, I can't answer for sure, cause we never ate dinner there, but I have the impression it's similar to the main dining room. I know that you pick out somethings then the servers will bring you the main course you choose. Hope you get an answer.

dairyou
03-18-2004, 03:20 PM
Hi,

We loved eating at Topsiders for dinner! The last cruise we went on, we never went to the dining room and ate at Topsiders every night. The menu I believe was pretty much the same as they served in the formal dinning room. (I could be wrong since I didn't see what they were serving at the dining room) It was low key and there wasn't a set schedule when we HAD to go eat. I felt the food was very good.

We've cruised with Disney many times before and our kids didnt want to miss the Kids Club which always conflicted with activities they wanted to do. Also, my kids didnt want to take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to eat their dinner. My husband never disagreed since he didnt like getting dressed up anyways.

PM if you have any questions.

Deb

il-gander
03-18-2004, 08:42 PM
So dinner at Topsider's is not, strictly speaking, a buffet? It sounds like it's kind of a hybrid - you have some items served at a table and go to the salad bar. Is this correct? It seems like the variety of items offered this way wouldn't differ much from what is available in the in the dining room.

Carla

CAMICKEY
03-18-2004, 09:16 PM
tkd lisa - Yes I tried his site. Every menu they have except topsiders. Thanks for asking though.


dairyou - Do you remember what some of the selections were?

Thanks all - Mike

crisi
03-18-2004, 09:23 PM
No, Topsiders is definately a buffet. And VERY cafeteria style (as opposed to Parrot Cay - where you aren't forced through a line). The end of the buffet may have some specialty stations (stir fry, roast beef carving) but you'll get all your food yourself.

For sit down don't worry about it lunches, Lumiers (Tritons) is your best bet.

CAMICKEY
03-18-2004, 09:30 PM
crisi - So Topsiders is buffet for both lunch and dinner??? - Mike

crisi
03-18-2004, 09:54 PM
Yep, to the best of my knowledge (we only did the four day Wonder) always a buffet. Its not really set up to do anything else.

We didn't enjoy Beach Blanket Buffet - the Topsiders of the Wonder. We didn't think the food was very good - the stuff at Parrot Cay seemed fresher - getting it was a real hassle. The line is set up so as you walk in you pick up your tray and are "forced" through the line. The additional stations are hidden (we "found" the cinnamon rolls for breakfast the last time we ate here). Grabbing a second helping of something is logistically harder. Its difficult to manuver any buffet with small children (ours are 4 and 5), but Topsiders was more difficult than Parrot Cay due to the layout of the buffet. The seating is tight, and although sitting out on deck nine might be great, we never saw a free table out there. Obviously a lot of people love Topsiders - or we'd have found tables and a less crowded restaurant. The nicest thing about it is its proximity to the pools.

Compared to Parrot Cay, where a waiter will take care of making sure you have a beverage, you walk in and sit down, then go to the buffet - which is less linear - its possible to skip the salads and go straight to the entrees or the dessert bar. Parrot Cay always seemed less crowded.

The meals we had (breakfast and lunch) at Tritons (Lumieres) were different again. Order from a menu and have the wait staff bring things to the table. Never crowded and nice and quiet. With little kids in tow, having someone bring you food is always a plus.

MarkRG
03-18-2004, 10:19 PM
I would comment on something in this thread that I have not seen. If he's diabetic, he might be better dining in the dining rooms. Once you make your servers aware of this, they will have alternate offerings for meals there. There is also something said for the type of dishes offered in the dining rooms; they may actually be more compatible with his dietary requirements than he thinks. There are no huge portions. I am not diabetic, but I have researched it as a future subject, and I can say that the kind of meals offered there were satisfying, but not overly so, and think that most of them would be eating within the rules. And don't be afraid of the formality of it, I have been very comfortable dining there with just polo shirts and dockers.

il-gander
03-19-2004, 08:07 AM
Thanks Mark RG- that is one of the main reasons DH is so interested in Topsider's! He feels that he will have more choices and be able to control his portions better by eating at the buffet. He's also concerned about what he sees as "fancy" food in the dining rooms (nevermind the dressing up, I'll break that to him later LOL). No matter how many times I tell him that I've learned from all of the great people on this board that you can ask for entrees and such "plain" in the dining room, and in fact can get multiple entrees if one doesn't suit, he's uncertain. We've never been on an all-inclusive vacation before, so it's difficult for him to imagine that scenario.

I've asked him (and he's agreed) to try the dining rooms first and we'll then play it by ear as to what works best... I'm just trying to gather more info to help us make the best choices for us. Thanks everyone!

Carla

Zandy595
03-19-2004, 09:39 AM
Everyone probably already knows this, but I thought I would mention it anyway. Dietary requests should be made before you board the ship. Whomever you booked your cruise with, travel agent or DCL, should have asked about any special dietary needs.



Does anyone have the answer to the question asked about Topsiders/Beach Blanket serving the same food as the restaurants for dinner?

jeanniec
03-19-2004, 10:55 AM
Carla -- When I read your post and saw the word "pop" in it, I immediately had to look to see where you live (Illinois, of course). We lived in Chicago and the suburbs until we moved to North Carolina 17 years ago. My son went to baseball camp @ UNCC a couple of days after we got here, stayed in a dorm and asked where the pop machine was. No one had any idea what he was talking about. I still say pop around the family and just say Coke or whatever around others. Did you notice that most of your replies have "soda" in them? It was great to hear you talking "normally". By the way, we have never eaten dinner at Topsiders, but I have heard that it is mostly sitdown and the food is the same or very similar to what is being served in the dining rooms.

crisi
03-19-2004, 01:46 PM
No, the buffets are not going to have the same food as the dining room for dinner. Check out the menus over at www.dcltribute.com and you will see why. Dinner is very much a multi course, plated experience - not something easily served out of chafing dishes at a buffet.

Also check out the menus for special needs (il-gander, print them out for your husband - they may not be exactly current, but they aren't going to change too much). I think you will find they are highly appropriate "as is" to a diabetic diet without calling ahead. (If you are vegan or kosher or something else not as common, call ahead). My dad is diabetic and since diagnosis I tend to be much more aware of menu choices. Every night in the dining room they offer a grilled sirloin, a grilled chicken and a grilled salmon with grilled vegetables and at least two vegetarian selections. There are always several sugar free dessert selections (though two may be ice cream and cookies, the third is often something along the lines of sugar free cheesecake). We always did four courses, but sometimes it was two appetizers, sometimes a soup and a salad, sometimes an appetizer and soup or salad.

The wait staff and kitchen is wonderful. Think the salmon looks wonderful, but want to try the tenderloin - they will bring the tenderloin as a side (or a complete entree!). We had two desserts several nights. Need your sauces on the side, just ask. Want nothing but appetizers - not a problem, they will serve course after course of them. Want to sub the side from one entree to another - they will do it.

il-gander
03-19-2004, 02:09 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by jeanniec
[B]Carla -- When I read your post and saw the word "pop" in it, I immediately had to look to see where you live (Illinois, of course).

Ahh, the great "pop" debate... yep, I've lived in Illinois all my life where we know that carbonated cola beverages are called POP:teeth: ! I wondered if anyone would call me on that, LOL. I didn't know until I went to a college that other people referred to pop as soda, soda-pop or Coke (regardless of actual brand)!

il-gander
03-19-2004, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by crisi


Also check out the menus for special needs (il-gander, print them out for your husband - they may not be exactly current, but they aren't going to change too much). I think you will find they are highly appropriate "as is" to a diabetic diet without calling ahead. (If you are vegan or kosher or something else not as common, call ahead). My dad is diabetic and since diagnosis I tend to be much more aware of menu choices. Every night in the dining room they offer a grilled sirloin, a grilled chicken and a grilled salmon with grilled vegetables and at least two vegetarian selections. There are always several sugar free dessert selections (though two may be ice cream and cookies, the third is often something along the lines of sugar free cheesecake). We always did four courses, but sometimes it was two appetizers, sometimes a soup and a salad, sometimes an appetizer and soup or salad.



Thanks for the info, Crisi. I have shared the menus from that site and the Castaway Club site with him, but he's apparently determined to worry about this. :rolleyes: I think he'll be fine in the dining rooms, but it's great to get info about the buffets just in case!

Carla