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Peckishpixie

Based on food alone what is your favorite cruise line?

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I am taking my 28 year old son on a cruise and he is very particular about food. He is also a parkour champion, so he eats an utterly ridiculous amount of food in a day. (some days I am so jealous)  I mostly go on Holland and Cunard and their food is great. I especially loved the culinary cruise on Holland. I am curious if there is something better out there. I once saw my child cry because a pork roast was so yummy, so I would love to give him that gift again. 

What line do you think has the very best food that will make my son bounce in his seat with glee?

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We have been cruising for years and our favorite cruise lines for food are Celebrity and Oceania.  The specialty restaurants are always a+++.

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Posted (edited)

Celebrity, but I'm hearing a lot of negatives about the Summit, which is my next!

Edited by agibeault

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Been on 22 Carnival cruises and 3 Royal Caribbean cruises (one 2 weeks ago). We found the food on the Allure of the Seas to be much better than Carnival. Even the food in the Windjammer doesn't compare with Carnival's Marketplace buffet. So much better on RCI.

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In order for someone to tell you which lines have the best food, they must have cruised on many different lines for a valid comparison. I am not fully qualified to give you an accurate assessment because I have only traveled on 5 different cruise lines and none of the ultra luxury lines but I can tell you what I have determined from my 50 something cruises.

 

I have cruised mostly on Carnival and Norwegian and neither has anything special to brag about in the way of food. Same with Royal Caribbean which I have sailed on several times. I can tell you, however, that sometimes the food is better on one ship in the fleet than another but nothing to write home about.

 

My best meals have been on Holland American ships and MSC ships. Now I have only cruised on the newer MSC ships so I don't know if the older ones are as good and some of the Holland ships were better than others but all were better than the big three, Carnival, Norwegian and Royal.

 

Some ships have certain items that are better than comparable ones on other lines but overall I rate them as previously mentioned. Example: I have always enjoyed Carnival's sea day Brunch though most of their other meals are fairly plain.

 

I can't wait to book a cruise on Celebrity because more people have said their food is the best than any other line but I have not yet had a chance to try it.

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I have experience on Carnival, Princess, and Celebrity. Between them, Celebrity is by far the overall best, especially Blu main dining for Aqua Class and the fresh options at the Horizon Buffet.

 

However, there are specialty dining highlights at each of them:

  • Chef's Tables on Carnival are spectacular.
  • Fahrenheit 555 steakhouses on Carnival are also very good.
  • Share by Curtis Stone on Princess is excellent.
  • Murano on Celebrity is the best dining at sea I've had yet.

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On 4/15/2019 at 7:12 PM, agibeault said:

Celebrity, but I'm hearing a lot of negatives about the Summit, which is my next!

We were on the Summit 2 years ago, we enjoyed the food. We are going back to the Summit in September, I hope the experience is as good as we remember. 

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The food on Crystal was truly very good. We are foodies (flew to NYC just to eat at eleven Madison park for example) and I was pleased with my meals on crystal. 

 

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"Overall," I'd put Carnival above Royal Caribbean and Princess, for the main dining room, other included restaurants, and desserts, but not by much. Royal and Princess are still mostly very good, with just a few more misses. Royal has the best buffet of those three, and Carnival's is the worst.

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Buffets, as some seem to think, do not count as the measure of good food at sea, or as the question was asked in the original post, the "best" food at sea. Buffets are more about sampling many dishes, and volume capacity rather than "the best" or fine dining, which is normally done siting at a table and having others serve you, rather than elbowing one's way through long lines. Oceania claims that title of the best food at sea and it is largely deserved in my opinion. With their four, ( two bigger ships, others have three) specialty restaurants of the French Jacques, the ItalianToscana, the Asian and the Steak house, plus their MDR is very good too. Seabourn has been excellent in the past in its MDR (forget Keller) and strives, and sometimes does, to return to its glory days. (think caviar). We've had meals on Seabourn that rival Michelin starred restaurants on land. Crystal way up there too at the top. And Regent for sure.  The QG on the QM2 also at this level of fine dining. Yes these are the Luxuries where one pays for and expects the finest food around. It used to be Silversea ten years ago but they stumbled badly and we stopped sailing many years ago. Celebrity in the special charge restaurants onboard also very good but its MDR just OK. 

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We love cruising on Celebrity and have been on most of their ships, including Edge.  Specialty restaurants are excellent but general dining is far less perfect!  The cruise liner I prefer for food only is Oceania.  

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Oceania is superb.  Even the food in the MDR and Terrace Buffet are quite good.  But, the specialty restaurants are outstanding. On the larger ships, you have Red Ginger, Jacques, Polo and Toscano.  The Asian cuisine in Red Ginger is our favorite.

Cunard is nice; but Oceania goes much farther on the gourmet scale.

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Of the lines we have been on it is hands down Oceania. Even the buffet had made to order food. Best shrimp on any ship we have ever been on. Lastly we did not have to pay for the specialty restaurants either, included in your fare.

We have not done the luxury small ship lines so cannot comment on them.

We had outstanding food on Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise with Scenic.

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Our very best food experience so far has been Regent. Everything is included and the quality, variety , and service are there. Not only is there made to order food on the buffet but you can get quite nearly anything you want made for you with just a bit of notice. No request we made was too much trouble.

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Posted (edited)

Best food we've had on a cruise was on Oceania Insignia.  Both the main dining room and the specialty restaurants were quite good. I especially liked the variety of choices from the daily menu, the spa menu and some of their takes on local cuisines that were quite well done.

 

Windstar, Seabourn, AMA Waterways and Uniworld also do a nice job by and large.  Just not as cutting edge as Oceania when we sailed on O.

Edited by winegirl

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