Cruise Food

Apr 18th, 2006, 03:57 PM
  #1  
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Cruise Food

Is it just my imagination, or has the quality of cruise food declined in the last couple of years? The quantity is still there but on my last cruise (this month), I was very disappointed in the choices at the traditional dining. The food arrived cold. The dessert choices were mediocre. On my first cruise five years ago (Royal Caribbean), I recall not being able to make up my mind which delicious entree I wanted to select every night, and frequently wanted to sample all five desserts. I didn't have that problem on this cruise - the Coral Princess.
RaleighGirl is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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I can agree with you there. Royal Caribbean's desserts seem blah. It wasn't till the last night that there was 2-3 that i wanted. Otherwise all the other nights i passed on it and went for pizza in the room.....lol
SUNSHINE1223 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Just returned from a cruise on the RCCL Explorer. I was disappointed in the food quality, especially the desserts on many (but not all) nights. I found the dining room food very good, but the regular buffet food was mediocre and repetitive. However, our Celebrity cruise last year was much better for quality and variety of food.
ellenbw is offline  
Apr 19th, 2006, 07:48 AM
  #4  
Suerich68
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We just returned from the Caribbean on HAL Noordam. We found the food to be very good, both in the dining room and at the buffet. Presentation, taste & temperature were all excellent. Pinnacle Grill ($20 add'l) was one of the best steakhouses we've been to.
 
Apr 21st, 2006, 09:30 AM
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I think people obsess with food quite a bit. At least on a cruise if you don't like what you're having, you can get another entree or dessert. We don't cruise because of the great food- we cruise because we love the relaxation. I don't expect gourmet food. I like the fun atmosphere on RCCL ships and I can always find something satisfying. I always hear people complain about the eggs at the buffet- why don't they go to the omelet station and have eggs prepared to order? I think if you expect great cuisine, you'd better pick one of the high end cruise ships, and frankly at that price, it isn't worth it!
LLindaC is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Good food, great cuisine, whatever, has always been part of cruising, at least in my estimation. And yes, it isn't as good as it used to be. We took our first cruise 27 years ago and the food was excellent. It was a Sitmar ship of comparable size for the time (about 600+ passengers). What chef could could possibly create the same caliber of food for 3,000+ passengers? It seems to me that size of the ships and number of passengers has greatly contributed to the decline in the food served.

While I disagree with LLindaC that those of us who expect special food on a cruise are not obsessing about it, I do agree that there is lots more to a cruise than eating! I personally wish we could afford what she calls the "high end" lines, not only for the cuisine, but more importantly for the smaller size of the ships.
Giovanna is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 10:18 AM
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IMO the question is a good one. Its not obsession I think. I too disagree with LLindaC. It has to do with the state of cruising and how it has changed. In that regard Giovanna refers to how cruise ships have become larger and perhaps less personal than in the past. Good point. JM2C.
jacketwatch is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 02:02 PM
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This is not about an all you can eat for x number of dollars restaurant. This is about expecting as close to fine dining as possible. It isn't at all about "stuffing up"--at least not in my case. It is about part of the cruise experience. I'm certainly no gourmand, but I do enjoy good food, good presentation and exceptional service. It isn't about gorging myself, it's about going to a dining room with ambience, visiting with dinner companions and enjoying good food and drink. Don't get the idea that I'm concerned about "getting full"; I'm concerned about the overall cruise experience and regret that it's slipping in terms of the food.
Giovanna is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 05:52 PM
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Some may obsess about food on cruises. Many do I think but the point being made by the OP does not have to do with overeating. Rather its about changes in the dining experience on cruises.
jacketwatch is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 02:38 AM
  #10  
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Having established that the quality of food is declining, which main line cruise ships do you feel has the best food (with the exception of the luxury lines)? We'll be taking one last cruise to Alaska.
RaleighGirl is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 04:28 AM
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Have to agree with Giovanna....There isn't any way to prepare high quality "gourmet" food for 3000 people or perhaps 1500 people per sitting. On our very first cruise 20years ago I distincly remember the waiters coming around with trays of vegetables and white glove service..On our last cruise (Celebrity) the meat was outstanding and the fish(we are from the NE area)was forgettable for the most part, but the desserts were the highlights especially anything chocolate.. there must of been a very high grade chocolate used. The real answer to this is... what quality of food are you accustomed to.. If you eat out rarely or if dine in the big cities...are you used to NE lobster or Caribbean (and my friends there is a huge difference).. We cruise for the experience of the ports... if we could afford a high end,ie. Crystal, Oceana or Seabourne that would be another story.. We are fans of NCL, not because of the price,but the people and living in proximity to a local port... and they have just hired a new mgr. of Food and Beverage.. There are some meals you win (lamb shanks) and some meals on ships that are uninspired and I do agree about RC.... the food was sub par and the most of the desserts and cakes seemed previously frozen..Sat at many a table with guests who had previously sailed with RC and Princess and they complained bitterly about the quality and service on this particular ship. At or table one evening a gentleman who was on the Atkins diet sent his steak back THREE times.. We normally eat ALL our meals in the main dining room, but on RC we found ourselves eating at the stations for lunch especially. Now with the price of fuel rising and cruise lines trying to cut costs you will see much smaller portions.
ParrotMom is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 04:39 AM
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Well ....... I feel that if you require me to wear a suit and a tie then you better treat me well. Living in Florida I will wear a tie maybe twice a year , always for a special ocassion or a special restaurant.
bobrad is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 06:58 AM
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I want to clarify my point, because having all these people diss me is killing my psyche. ;-) We travel 5 weeks or more a year. We cruise one to two times This year, we're spending 2 weeks in Switzerland $$$. We like to cruise the big ships because they have great facilities- gyms in particular. Also, we love to dance and find several venues on big ships to swing, jitterbug, cha cha, etc.What matters to me foodwise is that I can get fruits and vegetables, salads and healthy choices. I expect good service, too, and truly have never experienced bad service on any ship.Maybe it's cause we're friendly to our wait staff. Anyway, the food on RCCl, Princess and Carnival has always been a little hit or miss...some really good things, some a little like Ponderosa. They have to serve the masses and adding too much spice to anything will get them in problems with some Americans in particular. I like that they added Jade to the Mariner/Navigator, there's usually something nice and flavorful at the buffet. I am not expecting gourmet food on a ship that has 3000 people, but I do want healthy choices. If I can fix a big salad at lunch and take it to my balcony, I'm in heaven. If we spent the money to cruise on Radisson Seven Seas and have gourmet dining, we wouldn't be able to travel more often, period. We just got back from CA wine country, where we had several gourmet meals, but that's part of the experience. I've only been cruising for 10 years and have been on 13 cruises, but I don't think the food has gotten that bad. The specialty restaurants have definitely helped bump it up a notch. Happy cruising, all!
LLindaC is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 07:09 AM
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Then let me also clarify too Linda. From me there was no dissing, just a difference of opinion. Its admirable you are so disiplined in a situation where tons of food are so abundant. Whether we are on a cruise or at a resort I hit the gym nearly every day just to stay even. Cheers, Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 08:32 AM
  #15  
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Well, Linda, if eating at the trough was what I was looking for, I think I would be in hog heaven on any cruise ship. If a green salad and a trip to the gym is what floats your boat, that is fantastic. I'm not a big cruiser. This is only my third cruise in five years. I really prefer land. However, I was just interested in others' opinions regarding if the quality of the food had declined recently. Due to the invention of the megaship, we have traded a myriad of other fun activities for the quality of food. It remains to be determined if additional fun activities will be enough to hold the interest of the cruising public or if the quality of the food will be a factor in selecting a future cruise.
RaleighGirl is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 11:08 AM
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I feel that they should use the same bait to keep me that they used to hook me. Also by having specialty restaurants they are saying , in effect , that the food isn't first rate but if you pay more you'll get better food and service.
bobrad is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:08 PM
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I was on Celebrity Constellation and had excellent quality food on a ship of 2000 or so passengers. I was pleasantly surprised that they could serve such variety, quality and healthful choices. We ate breakfast and lunch nearly everyday at the outdoor spa cafe. Cafeteria style, beautiful plates of fruit, salmon, salads etc. I was really impressed. RCCL (Explorer) with a ship of 3500 passengers offered less variety, fewer restaurant choices and less quality. Although as Linda points out, you could go through the buffet and get a custom omelet, the lines for this were so long every day that it would take 20-30 min in line to actually get that. Although I don't go on a ship just for the food (if I did I would try Crystal which frequently brings in famous chefs to oversee the kitchen, I do expect a little more variety and quality than I got from RCCL.I've only gone on those 2 so I don't know how other lines compare although I have heard numerous complaints about the food on NCL, but haven't experienced it personally. I am curious about how Princess compares with RCCL and Celebrity in the food dept. I will say that the wait staff on both lines were just wonderful.
ellenbw is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 03:23 PM
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bobrad, Never thought about the specialty restaurants the same way you do, but it does make one think.
kaleighsgram is offline  
Apr 24th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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I hardly think feeling food and service have declined on cruises can be equated with being rude to staff or even less so with being "spoiled brats." My husband and I have always treated our room stewards, dining room wait staff and every other crew member with respect and friendship. And in most cases this has been reciprocal.

It's unfortunate that a difference of opinion has been misinterpreted and considered "dissing" when all that those of us who feel differently are expressing is what we believe is true and is in opposition to your opinions.
And even worse, resulted in assuming because we disagree with must be pigs at a trough with bottomless appetites, unpleasant with crew and somehow totally out of touch.

Whether you have cruised once or a 1,000 times, travel to Europe, etc. is irrelevant to the OP's question. Sorry it's turned into a food fight!
Giovanna is offline  
Apr 24th, 2006, 07:31 AM
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G: Check your email.
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