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First Celebrity Cruise - wonderful cruise but not a decent cut of beef to be found


pja&raa
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Just returned from Celebrity Edge, 7 night, Alaska cruise. . . .
Have cruised Royal Caribbean multiple times and after recent disappointments with their food offerings we decided to book Celebrity for our family cruise to Alaska with the hope that we would have a better experience. While we found the ship to be very well maintained and clean, our room with the infinity balcony was perfect for an Alaska cruise, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful … the food was less than satisfactory.

 

While we were very pleased with the Ocean View Cafe (both the variety and quality of the food offerings as well as the extended hours of operation) our disappointment was with the main dining room.  This included the menu selections, quality of food and most disappointing service.  Several times we waited 45 minutes before being served our starters and left the dining room after 2 hours without dessert.

 

But the reason for my title is if you or a member of your party is hoping to get a good steak or cut of beef on the Celebrity Edge you will most likely be disappointed.  The steaks we were served in the main dining room were a THIN strip steak - similar to what you would likely get when ordering steak and eggs for breakfast at your local diner. The ribeye that I ordered at Fine Cut was so tough I could not cut it let alone eat it, and the strip steak my husband ordered was so over tenderized it was inedible.  However, the filets served to others in our party were fair/good.  But again, the service was so slow that the time between courses was unbearable.  3 of the 6 people in our party left before dessert was even ordered - they gave it 2 1/2 hours before throwing in the towel. Hmmm…maybe if we had been on the drink package they would have been willing to stay a little longer.

 

Again, I very much enjoyed most aspects of our cruise and would definitely choose Celebrity over Royal Caribbean.  However, as I prepare to book our next cruise I am hoping to find a cruise line that offers a dining room experience that includes quality food offerings and an enjoyable dining experience.  Thoughts/recommendations???
 

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Posted (edited)

Try a river cruise.  For food and service it will beat anything that Celebrity and Royal have to offer except for entertainment and night life.

 

Or choose a more upscale line ...

Edited by NMTraveller
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14 minutes ago, pja&raa said:

Just returned from Celebrity Edge, 7 night, Alaska cruise. . . .
Have cruised Royal Caribbean multiple times and after recent disappointments with their food offerings we decided to book Celebrity for our family cruise to Alaska with the hope that we would have a better experience. While we found the ship to be very well maintained and clean, our room with the infinity balcony was perfect for an Alaska cruise, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful … the food was less than satisfactory.

 

While we were very pleased with the Ocean View Cafe (both the variety and quality of the food offerings as well as the extended hours of operation) our disappointment was with the main dining room.  This included the menu selections, quality of food and most disappointing service.  Several times we waited 45 minutes before being served our starters and left the dining room after 2 hours without dessert.

 

But the reason for my title is if you or a member of your party is hoping to get a good steak or cut of beef on the Celebrity Edge you will most likely be disappointed.  The steaks we were served in the main dining room were a THIN strip steak - similar to what you would likely get when ordering steak and eggs for breakfast at your local diner. The ribeye that I ordered at Fine Cut was so tough I could not cut it let alone eat it, and the strip steak my husband ordered was so over tenderized it was inedible.  However, the filets served to others in our party were fair/good.  But again, the service was so slow that the time between courses was unbearable.  3 of the 6 people in our party left before dessert was even ordered - they gave it 2 1/2 hours before throwing in the towel. Hmmm…maybe if we had been on the drink package they would have been willing to stay a little longer.

 

Again, I very much enjoyed most aspects of our cruise and would definitely choose Celebrity over Royal Caribbean.  However, as I prepare to book our next cruise I am hoping to find a cruise line that offers a dining room experience that includes quality food offerings and an enjoyable dining experience.  Thoughts/recommendations???
 

They say Oceania has the finest cuisine at sea.  My friends swear by them.  Just be aware that their cruisers skew much older, average age 70+

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Posted (edited)

Over the years we've tried most of the mass market lines as well as Oceania, Azamara & Regent. Regent by far had the best food in all venues. O & A were second. X used to be very good but recently, they have cut back on quality & quantity of food and service.IMHO, X still may be better than other mass market lines in the main dining rooms but food nothing more than decent banquet quality fare. 

Edited by dabear
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You will not find a great cut of steak on any mass lines imo.   I know what I like and buy my beef from local farms that raise the cattle etc.  Is it terrible know but if your expecting to be wowed on steaks on a mass service line your out of luck I think.  It's fair to passing mostly overall what I have gotten from the different venues when comparing, I know not valid, but for mass lines I think it works overall.  

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I had great steaks on edge right after Covid in fine cut , then on beyond it was terrible . Last year on summit Tuscan grill was terrible this year it was great , unfortunately very inconsistent. 

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Our servers were excellent on The Equinox, June 4th cruise. I do agree with you about the food though. It was just lacking and I can't pinpoint in what. The desserts especially. Cheesecake only one night and no carrot cake.

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10 hours ago, NMTraveller said:

Try a river cruise.  For food and service it will beat anything that Celebrity and Royal have to offer except for entertainment and night life.

 

Or choose a more upscale line ...

Are all river cruises the same ? Or is it you get what you pay 😉

 

Eating beef is overrated 😉

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If I am reading it correcting you were sailing with a party of 6.   If you were all dining together at a the same table it may be a reason for the slow service.   We have learned if we wanted coffee to be served with our desert we would have to order it with our entrees.  If not the coffee would arrive after we finished our desert. 

It does seem as if the food quality is going downhill.  Even in the speciality restaurants the food wasn’t what you would expect for the extra cost. 
 


Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

 

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5 minutes ago, miched said:

If I am reading it correcting you were sailing with a party of 6.   If you were all dining together at a the same table it may be a reason for the slow service.   We have learned if we wanted coffee to be served with our desert we would have to order it with our entrees.  If not the coffee would arrive after we finished our desert. 

It does seem as if the food quality is going downhill.  Even in the speciality restaurants the food wasn’t what you would expect for the extra cost. 
 


Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

 

To me it sounds like they were short staffed.  As for the quality of the meats, while the OP does not say, I’d of definitely brought it to my servers attention anytime my meal was served unsatisfactory.

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10 hours ago, pja&raa said:

our disappointment was with the main dining room.  This included the menu selections, quality of food

We were also disappointed more often than not with the food on Edge but Luminae was our assigned dining room and we felt the MDR was better!  We didn't experience your service issues but the lack of food quality was enough for us to cancel our upcoming cruise on Beyond in favor of MSC.  By and large I love the Celebrity product but am giving them a rest while they get this food thing sorted....

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8 hours ago, George C said:

I had great steaks on edge right after Covid in fine cut , then on beyond it was terrible . Last year on summit Tuscan grill was terrible this year it was great , unfortunately very inconsistent. 

Our best X meat ever was also right after COVID on the Connie restart cruises.  Inch thick pork chops you could cut with a fork, filets 2" thick you could cut with a fork and tasty.  As good or better than our own butcher.  Since Connie was newly in Tampa at that time, I wonder if they started out with a better (and temporary) purveyor.

 

Wish it had stayed that way!

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19 minutes ago, canderson said:

Our best X meat ever was also right after COVID on the Connie restart cruises.  Inch thick pork chops you could cut with a fork, filets 2" thick you could cut with a fork and tasty.  As good or better than our own butcher.  Since Connie was newly in Tampa at that time, I wonder if they started out with a better (and temporary) purveyor.

 

Wish it had stayed that way!

Our cruise was edge the week of July 4th which was my wife’s 60th birthday so I did a move up from sky suite to penthouse and won . I will never forget that , they treated us like royalty.

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11 hours ago, pja&raa said:

Just returned from Celebrity Edge, 7 night, Alaska cruise. . . .
Have cruised Royal Caribbean multiple times and after recent disappointments with their food offerings we decided to book Celebrity for our family cruise to Alaska with the hope that we would have a better experience. While we found the ship to be very well maintained and clean, our room with the infinity balcony was perfect for an Alaska cruise, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful … the food was less than satisfactory.

 

While we were very pleased with the Ocean View Cafe (both the variety and quality of the food offerings as well as the extended hours of operation) our disappointment was with the main dining room.  This included the menu selections, quality of food and most disappointing service.  Several times we waited 45 minutes before being served our starters and left the dining room after 2 hours without dessert.

 

But the reason for my title is if you or a member of your party is hoping to get a good steak or cut of beef on the Celebrity Edge you will most likely be disappointed.  The steaks we were served in the main dining room were a THIN strip steak - similar to what you would likely get when ordering steak and eggs for breakfast at your local diner. The ribeye that I ordered at Fine Cut was so tough I could not cut it let alone eat it, and the strip steak my husband ordered was so over tenderized it was inedible.  However, the filets served to others in our party were fair/good.  But again, the service was so slow that the time between courses was unbearable.  3 of the 6 people in our party left before dessert was even ordered - they gave it 2 1/2 hours before throwing in the towel. Hmmm…maybe if we had been on the drink package they would have been willing to stay a little longer.

 

Again, I very much enjoyed most aspects of our cruise and would definitely choose Celebrity over Royal Caribbean.  However, as I prepare to book our next cruise I am hoping to find a cruise line that offers a dining room experience that includes quality food offerings and an enjoyable dining experience.  Thoughts/recommendations???
 

I too was on the Edge in Alaska 31 May 7 nights and found the opposite.  We did not eat in any of the specialty restaurants but here was what we found:

 

We too went in dreading having the Infinet Verandah we were very pleased as it made the room feel bigger and brighter.  As you pointed out perfect for Alaska.

 

The only issue we had with the Ocean View Cafe was the bacon and all the sausage in the mornings was very dry.  We build our own English Breakfast, and the English bacon was like shoe leather and what makes English sausage so good is the rusk in it and it seemed to lack that so not much taste as well as the other sausage.  The ham carving station unless you got to it within the first hour, it dried out.

 

The Main Dining Rooms were a hit with us.  DH does not eat red meat and I am a carnivore.   We had Main Dining Select and our Concierge was able to set us up for 6 PM and we rotated between the four restaurants.  To us this was a neat concept in that it felt like specialty dining without having to pay the exorbitant prices.  I do miss having the same waiter each night.  Everything I had was perfectly done, even the steak I had.  The only issues was that the shrimp cocktail only had about 4 or 5 shrimp but I get it shrimp prices are not cheap.  On the last night I had the pork scopoline and for the first time in my 59 years I sent a dish back in a restaurant.  It was tough and dried out, but I understand when you cut things that thin, they don' hold well in banquet service.  I enjoy coffee with my desert and finally learned I had to be specific and order a regular percolated filter coffee otherwise I was getting Americano Coffee which is like brown water. We did notice any meat that came on a bone you could practically pick it up and flick the wrist and the meat would slide off.

 

Speaking of service, we did not experience what you did in the main dining rooms. While total dining experience was about 2 hours or less, we appreciated that we were not rushed out.  Now the question here is what size table were you at?  We have done bigger tables and now we always ask for a two top.  When we sat at the bigger tables, we noticed there were timing issues because everything is timed, usually if they serve properly, to the slowest diner so all the appetizers are brought at once, all the mains are brought at once and all the desserts are brought at once.

 

I am sorry you experienced what you did, however remember everyone's taste buds are different.  As both myself and DH majored in hotel restaurant management, we understand that the restaurant is run as banquet service, which can be unpredictable.  Do give them another try. 

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MDR isnt going to be a steakhouse anymore. What they serve is the standard issue Longhorn Steakhouse meat. Want the big juicy cuts?  Fine Cut but you are going to pay for it. 

 

The service aspect that you experienced is unacceptable. I have eaten in most of the restaurants on X and found the food is pretty good.  Luminae is excellent. That said, the menu is the menu and many people are "selective" eaters who only like what they like. Its not Cheesecake Factory with a 40 page menu 

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1 hour ago, tfred said:

MDR isnt going to be a steakhouse anymore. What they serve is the standard issue Longhorn Steakhouse meat. Want the big juicy cuts?  Fine Cut but you are going to pay for it. 

 

The service aspect that you experienced is unacceptable. I have eaten in most of the restaurants on X and found the food is pretty good.  Luminae is excellent. That said, the menu is the menu and many people are "selective" eaters who only like what they like. Its not Cheesecake Factory with a 40 page menu 

They ate at Fine Cut and had the same experience.

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Just now, Liao said:

They ate at Fine Cut and had the same experience.

then I wonder what they are really looking for then...

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17 minutes ago, tfred said:

then I wonder what they are really looking for then...

Quality varies greatly by ship. We ate at Fine Cut on the Edge in 2021 and it was not a great experience either. Everything was overcooked (like mom use to make).

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3 hours ago, Liao said:

To me it sounds like they were short staffed.  As for the quality of the meats, while the OP does not say, I’d of definitely brought it to my servers attention anytime my meal was served unsatisfactory.

Same here.  On our last cruise Blu was understaffed ...

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2 minutes ago, NMTraveller said:

Same here.  On our last cruise Blu was understaffed ...

If you are too close to the start or end of a season, they may not have 100% of their contracts on board yet.

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1 hour ago, tfred said:

then I wonder what they are really looking for then...

When I go to my local steakhouse it is a very good cut of meat cooked to perfection.  That is what I expect,  but I do not get it on a large cruise ship.  The chefs are serving too many people and the kitchens are too large.

 

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3 hours ago, miched said:

We have learned if we wanted coffee to be served with our desert we would have to order it with our entrees.  If not the coffee would arrive after we finished our desert

 

 We have gotten into the habit of asking for our coffee when they clean the entree plates from the table and before we are handed our desert menu's.  After the 2nd time doing this they just started bringing out coffee automatically. 

 

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