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Which line has the best food overall?

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When we cruised Disney the dinners felt like very gourmet meals. I would order things I would normally NEVER eat because I knew it would taste amazing! They even had Alaskan crab legs at the buffet.

We just did Royal Caribbean and I found the food bland. Our Chops Grille steak was just about on par with Disney but it cost extra!

Do any lines even touch Disney's food? Are they at least better that RCCL?

 

 

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The best answer is "whichever one you like best". Taste is so subjective that you can really only rely on your own experience.

 

 

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Alaskan Crab legs taste the same no matter WHO heats them! Lol!

It really depends on YOUR tastes! Some things friends like, I can't stand...and things I think are awesome, others don't like. Food is VERY subjective and personal!

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Problem is even within a cruise line food can vary widely depending on the ship. I was on Royal's Jewel of the Seas & the food was amazing with lots of good choices in the buffet every meal & the MDR was always excellent. Then six months later I was on Royal's Navigator of the Seas & the food was mediocre at best with few repetitive choices in the buffet & lackluster nightly in the MDR. So I don't know that you could ever say one line consistently had the best food overall unless you had been on ALL of their ships to compare. I suspect it has a lot to do with whoever is executive chef for the ship but that's just speculation

 

 

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Whichever cruise line you are OK with having dinner in the MDR without needing to go to a specialty restaurant EVERY night. ;)

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Here is my list*, as of today (this is a moving target):

 

#1 -- Oceania; MDR is so good you really don't need the alternatives.

#2 -- Azamara: close second to Oceania; buffet not as good.

#3 -- Celebrity; dollar for dollar, the best deal w/great food and nice alternatives;

Blu is a great experience.

#4 -- NCL(:eek:); pick up the UDP and eat every evening meal in an alternative;

eat breakfast/lunch in the MDR; avoid the buffet completely.

#5 -- Cunard; great MDR; buffet one of the worst at sea.

#6 -- Holland America; MDR is very good; maybe one visit to the P.Grill.

#7 -- Tie between Princess and Royal Caribbean; Princess is better in the MDR,

but RCL has better alternatives. Both buffets are so so.

 

*only ships I've cruised

 

Going to try MSC down the road in the Yacht Club. Crystal, Seaborne, Silversea...., some day!

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

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Here is my list*, as of today (this is a moving target):

 

#1 -- Oceania; MDR is so good you really don't need the alternatives.

#2 -- Azamara: close second to Oceania; buffet not as good.

#3 -- Celebrity; dollar for dollar, the best deal w/great food and nice alternatives;

Blu is a great experience.

#4 -- NCL(:eek:); pick up the UDP and eat every evening meal in an alternative;

eat breakfast/lunch in the MDR; avoid the buffet completely.

#5 -- Cunard; great MDR; buffet one of the worst at sea.

#6 -- Holland America; MDR is very good; maybe one visit to the P.Grill.

#7 -- Tie between Princess and Royal Caribbean; Princess is better in the MDR,

but RCL has better alternatives. Both buffets are so so.

 

*only ships I've cruised

 

Going to try MSC down the road in the Yacht Club. Crystal, Seaborne, Silversea...., some day!

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

 

Based on our experience (14 cruise lines) we think your rankings are excellent. We cannot speak to the NCL since we abandoned that line when they abandoned the Norway :). And based on our recent experience (have cruised over 100 days this year) we would move Princess up the chart to about the same level as Celebrity (who has recently cut-back on too many things). Princess did seem to go through a few tough years...but now seems to be back on track. Crystal also deserves to be near the top of your list (we assume you have not cruised on that line).

 

Hank

P.S. Our last experience in Blu (on the Eclipse) was not up to previous standards. Will be back on the same ship next month (again in Blu) and we shall reserve our opinion until we see if its a pattern or outlier.

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Based on our experience (14 cruise lines) we think your rankings are excellent. We cannot speak to the NCL since we abandoned that line when they abandoned the Norway :). And based on our recent experience (have cruised over 100 days this year) we would move Princess up the chart to about the same level as Celebrity (who has recently cut-back on too many things). Princess did seem to go through a few tough years...but now seems to be back on track. Crystal also deserves to be near the top of your list (we assume you have not cruised on that line).

 

Hank

P.S. Our last experience in Blu (on the Eclipse) was not up to previous standards. Will be back on the same ship next month (again in Blu) and we shall reserve our opinion until we see if its a pattern or outlier.

 

Thanks Hank,

 

We keep trying Princess because many people speak so highly of their experiences. We don't get it ------ yet; we might try the Ruby next year and give them another shot. All our experiences have been on their "shopping cart" ships. I keep looking for a deal on Crystal....some day! We have cruise 60 -- 66 coming up in the next year and a half. Going to give MSC Yacht Club a shot.

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

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Thanks Hank,

 

We keep trying Princess because many people speak so highly of their experiences. We don't get it ------ yet; we might try the Ruby next year and give them another shot. All our experiences have been on their "shopping cart" ships. I keep looking for a deal on Crystal....some day! We have cruise 60 -- 66 coming up in the next year and a half. Going to give MSC Yacht Club a shot.

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

 

ROFL! DW said the original Grand Princess looked like a shopping cart (we were on her when she was only a few months old). But Princess finally removed the "handle" and she looks a bit more like a real ship now. We used to cruise on Sitmar and when Princess bought the line we did our first Princess cruise on the Sky Princess (which we had actually booked when she was the Fairsky). For many years we were happy with Princess but about 10 years ago noticed a big decline in food, service, etc. So we stopped cruising Princess for nearly 5 years in favor of other lines. About 2 years ago we saw a good deal on a 4 week Ruby cruise (which included a repo to Europe) and booked the cruise. We were surprised that things seemed to have improved (except for the too-small main show room which is a Princess hallmark). So we have tried more (the most recent was on the new Regal) and thought they were actually approaching Celebrity in terms of cuisine (helped by the recent decline in Celebrity). We are again doing a short 10 day repo on the Regal next week...so we shall see :). To be honest, we have noticed so many cut-backs on our favorite mass market lines that its hard to know what to expect from month to month,,,much less year to year.

 

Speaking of Crystal, their new Northwest Passage itinerary looks very interesting....but the cost keeps us away. Never been on MSC...although their yacht club concept does look tempting. NCL seems to be trying to accomplish the same "ship within a ship" with their Haven Suites...so perhaps that is also something to consider in the future.

 

Hank

Edited by Hlitner

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Best food we have had has been on Regent!

 

 

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When we cruised Disney the dinners felt like very gourmet meals. I would order things I would normally NEVER eat because I knew it would taste amazing! They even had Alaskan crab legs at the buffet.

We just did Royal Caribbean and I found the food bland. Our Chops Grille steak was just about on par with Disney but it cost extra!

Do any lines even touch Disney's food? Are they at least better that RCCL?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

Regent has great food !

 

 

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The general rule of life applies - you get what you pay for.

 

Although we consider Norwegian to be the bottom of the barrel, as far as food goes, we would still cruise with them again if they offered the right itinerary at the right price. The food may not be outstanding, but there is always something acceptable.

 

But in my heart, I can't wait to cruise again with Oceania. I dream of their food - not in the MDR, but of the 4 FREE specialty restaurants on their "bigger" ships, and of the "Lobster on Demand" grill in the buffet. At the same grilling station, I can also have a lovely steak grilled for me to enjoy with my Caesar Salad when I want just a quick lunch and don't feel like waiting in the MDR.

 

Then there's those wonderful lambchops on the MDR menu that I order most mornings. And the lobster pad thai in the Asian restaurant.

 

Our last cruise was Around the Horn, with NCL. It was memorable for so many reasons, but food was not one of them.

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The general rule of life applies - you get what you pay for.

 

Although we consider Norwegian to be the bottom of the barrel, as far as food goes, we would still cruise with them again if they offered the right itinerary at the right price. The food may not be outstanding, but there is always something acceptable.

 

But in my heart, I can't wait to cruise again with Oceania. I dream of their food - not in the MDR, but of the 4 FREE specialty restaurants on their "bigger" ships, and of the "Lobster on Demand" grill in the buffet. At the same grilling station, I can also have a lovely steak grilled for me to enjoy with my Caesar Salad when I want just a quick lunch and don't feel like waiting in the MDR.

 

Then there's those wonderful lambchops on the MDR menu that I order most mornings. And the lobster pad thai in the Asian restaurant.

 

Our last cruise was Around the Horn, with NCL. It was memorable for so many reasons, but food was not one of them.

 

Hi burm,

 

I agree with your observations on Oceania. The best out there!

 

My wife and I gave up on NCL when they first went to their FreeStyle thing, as the food was really very basic. A friend, who had just completed a few NCL cruises, thought I should give them another try. To hedge our bets we picked up the UDP (ultimate dining package), and after two NCL cruises in the past two years, I must say the food is wonderful. We have not eaten in the MDR for an evening meal --- all our meals are spread out over their alternatives. We do visit the MDR for breakfast and lunch, and avoid the buffet at all times.

 

With five or six great alternative restaurants you can mix it up a bit and avoid getting menu fatigue. There are other speciality locations for snacks, lunches..., so loads of options.

 

This is why I now rate NCL highly for food quality.

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

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1st of all, as other posters have said, yes it is highly subjective and it depends what you like.

2nd just because it is the same cruise line, do not assume the food is the same on every ship.

3rd if you go on a cruise that is shorter than 7 days, do not expect the food to be the main event as the shorter the cruise, usually, the worse the food.

 

After considering the above, here are my 2 cents based on the ships/lines I have experience with (NCL, RCCL, Carnival, and Princess)... in rank order best to worst:

4) Princess: the pros- pizza is awesome, possibly the best at sea; International Cafe is a nice option to have snacks and light breakfasts and lunch, and the desserts in the MDR and at the buffet tend to be pretty good. Cons: MDR food is pretty bland and uninventive, buffet is VERY limited (at least on the ships I have been on), and there are significantly fewer dining options in general.

3) RCCL: the pros: some of the newer ships have some nice specialty restaurants ($$) with cool features but still I find the food to be lacking in the "wow" department, the Solarium is an awesome "healthy" option for breakfast and lunch (most of it is free of charge), and they have the most options in general. The cons: none of the food anywhere is that impressive despite the above average detail in the design/decor.

2) NCL: My very 1st NCL cruise in 2003 had AMAZING food and dining service (it was the Star), my next NCL cruise, also on the Star but 6 years later was THE WORST dining experience (really bad food all around). My 3rd was pretty good. Pros: best breakfast buffet- NCL seems to make the best use of local fresh fruits and veggies and offers a wide variety in their breakfast and lunch buffets and most everything in those meals are pretty good. Cons: MDR and Specialty are average for most meals with a couple being above average.

1) Carnival: My very 1st Carnival cruise was a 2 nighter and the food was HORRID! Like hot dogs and HB horrid... For this reason I did not consider Carnival again for quite some time but I am so glad I did because you cannot beat the value nor the food (in the lower budget range anyways). Pros: Sea Day brunches are awesome! Inventive menus with a Mexican flare are all tasty; MDR food is mostly above average with usually one meal that disappoints and one that is really stand out wonderful; chocolate melting cake!!! mmmm; Guys Burgers- free gourmet burger spot with every topping you can imagine (think "Five Guys"); Blue Iguana Cantina- another free dining option- I love their breakfast burritos and Huevos Rancheros (then for lunch think "Chipotle"); their chocolate buffet is also quite an indulgence; their pizza is pretty great; and their room service is awesome, especially with their newly added "pay" options which are definitely worth it. You can get a thing of really good buffalo chicken wings for $3, for example. They also have a "daily cookie" and I enjoy ordering a plate of cookies and tea or coffee for the afternoon. Cons: their buffet is pretty cafeteriaesque.

 

I look forward to trying some of the higher end lines when my kiddos are no longer traveling with us but for now, my foodie tastes are usually pretty happy with Carnival :) and of course seeking out really unique and special food options in port.

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Not hard to have good crab legs...they are pre-cooked, and heated.....hard to go wrong with that!

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You can't pay for the food on Regent because they just don't have it on their ships. REGENT has the best quality of food!

 

 

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13 cruises on Oceania and yes the food was very good. There were some rather ugly slips on our last cruise with inedible dishes.

CRYSTAL in our opinion beats Oceania by a mile. Variety, taste and service are all great and consistent.

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I don't have anything to compare to Carnival as that is all that I've cruised on, excepting my senior class cruise on Premier in 1991 which involved large quantities of alcohol :D, but their food has always been very good to me.

 

Yes, there have been some exceptions. As others have said, food is subjective. That said, very few times have I been disappointed with the food in the MDR. There have been a few occasions where the food wasn't as hot as I would have liked, but the taste has been consistently good with moments of excellent. Their buffet can be hit and miss. Cafeteria-esque is and apt description. However, their "specialty" offerings - Guy's, Blue Iguana, Mongolian Wok, Chopsticks, Deli, etc. have NEVER disappointed me. And we love their Sea Day Brunch. Always excellent!

 

We have been talking about trying some other cruise lines, and some of the talk about the food on other lines has me really looking forward to it!

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we love oceania breakfasts in mdr and of course the specialty rests but you are paying almost 3x the rates of celeb/princ/hal/msc. our fav dark horse is disney we have taken 14dy and several 7day cruises with them and the food was flawless and delicious but i think its their staff that add the special touches in the dining venues even at the buffet great service and care.. ocenia also but it really depends on what part of the world you are sailing. i prefer asia with oceania...

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I'm looking for a place to gripe about the recent Cruise Awards, where the Celebrity Eclipse was ranked second <!!!> for food. We were on a wonderful cruise in January 2017 and my biggest complaint was about the buffet. I consider myself fairly easy to please, but I am a decent cook and expect food to have some type of flavor. I was completely dissatisfied, and don't want to even try Celebrity again. When I wrote a review for this publication, many people responded telling me that the food was wonderful on the Eclipse. ?!?! It made me wonder what they ate day-to-day if they thought that food was great. I put photos up on Yelp if anyone is interested. Catasetumkid is my name.

 

I am getting ready to book a cruise through the Panama Canal for this winter and I have a few choices. I know that the buffet food as really gone downhill since my first cruise ten years ago. I'm just looking for a decent buffet, is that too much to ask? On the Eclipse, 90% of the food was in big dutch ovens, and was <shudder> just *awful* in presentation, flavor and selection. Suggestions?

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Whoops! I have a different (but still orchid-related) identity on Yelp! Here is the link if anyone is interested in seeing the buffet on the Celebrity Eclipse that won "second best" in food.

 

https://www.yelp.com/user_details_reviews_self?userid=Zk-zppRezQ3BWLPToCLBog

 

Such a shame since the rest of the trip was so awesome! It was seriously bad fare and that made a huge impression on me.

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Luxury line Regent has the best food, for mass market line it's Celebrity, worst food we ever had was on a 21day river cruise on the Viking Embla just horrible!

 

 

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