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Kam7185

~*Holland America Food*~

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Hello all! I'm a Holland America virgin, I've only sailed on Celebrity. We will be taking a 16 day mediterranean cruise in May. What is the food like?? Any favorite menu items? Does anyone have any menus?

 

Thanks*~

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We have been on 16 HAL cruises and # 17 is coming up this weekend. We have cruised on HAL exclusively!

 

Food items:

 

Breakfast:

 

Look for the fresh squeezed orange juice, the smoked salmon with capers and onions, European luncheon meats as well as the usual bacon, ham, sausage, hotcakes, eggs of all kinds including omelets, potatos, bakery rolls, criossants, fresh fruit, juices, coffee, tea, etc. on the Lido. In the dining room look for extras like eggs Benedict, ask for rasberries or strawberries in heavy cream or creme fraiche. Room service also has a good breakfast.

 

Lunch:

 

Lido - roast chicken, roast beef, roast pork, all types of veggies and fresh fruits, shrinp and chicken curry, Indonesian, Thai and Phillipino specialties. Italian Station, try the pasta with sauce bolognese. Deli station has giant sandwiches, subs, desert section has cakes, pies, bread pudding, fudge, the ice cream bar has sundaes and cones free most of the day. Room service menu is good. The pool grille has hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, pizza, Chinese and Indonesian food.

 

Dinner in Lido has steak, fish, potatos and veggies in a very casual setting.

 

Dining Room - GREAT!

 

Appetizers:

 

Pineapple with berries, Salmon Tartare with Avacado, Baked Brie in Phyllo pastry, antipasto platter, smoked salnon, prawns, scallops, escargot, Seared Ahi Tuna Carpaccio, Duck Foie Gras, Chicken Sate, Procuitto with melon, mussels, Carpaccio of beef, Puff pastry with chicken, fresh fruit with liqueurs, Pates, Grilled Portobello and Rostini Crostini, Thai Spring rolls, Norweigen Gravlax, fish cakes, oysters rockefeller, sweet tomato and fresh mozzarella are a few of them.

 

Soups & Salads:

 

Lobster Bisque, Oxtail soup, , Ceasar salad, mixed green, Seafood Bouillabaisse, 3 bean soup, strawberry bisque, Kansas City steak house soup, chilled leek and potato vichyssoise soup, cream of cauliflower soup, roast garlic soup, beef consomme with veggies, Chiiled carrot and ginger soup, basil tomato soup, Island Pepper Pot soup, Chilled blueberry soup, cream of mushroom, Gazpacho, Curried pasta fagioli with spinach, Chicken gumbo, 3 berry minnestrone, seafood chowder, greek salad, French onion, shrimp bisque, mango gazpacho, corn chowder, grandma's chicken noodle and chilled apple vichyssoise.

 

Entrees:

 

Linguine with seafood and salmon, sauteed shrimp provencale, pan seared duck breast, filet mignon, vegetable strudel, apricot glazed salmon, surf & turf, honey glazed ham, cornish game hen with sage and walnut sauce, rack of veal, Grilled sirloin steak, grilled chicken breast, seared salmon, Fettucine Alfredo, grilled red snapper, pork tenderloin, rosemary chicken, Indian red lentil Dahl, Lasagna, Aztec grilled shrimp, prime rib of beef au jus, pheasant breat with gooseberry port wine relish, pork chops, macadamia nut crusted perch filet, eggplant and zucchini piccata, Mahi Mahi with corn/plantain salsa, grilled chicken and mango, Eggplant cannelloni parmagiano, old fashoned meatloaf, hazelnut crusted grouper, chicken cordon bleu, roasted vennison loin, Dover sole, Nasi Goreng, Brisket of beef with hoge-podge, roast turkey Southwestern style cheese mannicottiOsso Buco, Roast leg of lamb, lobster tails, King crab legs, Beef Wellington, Orange roughy, Oriental rotisserie duck, Caribbean Paella.

 

Room service - OK

 

If you have a SA, SB, SC Suite - then you can order all these dinner goodies brought to your room or balcony!

 

The bars have appetizers like chicken sate, bitterballen meatballs, shrimp crackers, and other assorted hot & cold goodies before dinner. Perfect with that cocktail.

 

I know this is overkill but I am a foodie! I didn't list the desserts (they have flambe at your table),

 

Enjoy the food and your cruise!

 

Dave

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will they make caesar at the table also? I k now it's simple but - it's one of my favorites and I look forward to it each vacation.

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will they make caesar at the table also? I k now it's simple but - it's one of my favorites and I look forward to it each vacation.

 

Only place I've seen this is at Celebrity's alternative restaurants. HAL's dining room food is just a notch below Celebrity, but their Lido buffet is better.

For cuisine, Celebirty's Millennium class ships, when you combine the dining room, Aqua spa cafe and the alternative restaurant, are the best bang for the buck at sea!!!

 

Have a great cruise!

Kel

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WOW! Thank you so much!! Have you ever done a Med. cruise? I've noticed that most of the items you mentioned were on the menus that I have skimmed. I was wondering if they included more options or "local" cuisine!!

 

Thanks

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It is not what is listed on the menu in the Dining room or the Lido, but what the food realy tastes like. The menus do not change very much, but the food does. I formerly thought it depended upon the chef, but learned after my 15th or 16th cruise tht it depended more upon what the cooks were provided: is it high quality (U.S. Choice or Prime meat, or lower grades; highest quality fish, or lower grades, etc.) or something less. One of the Celebrity chefs, somewhat frustrated with what he was being given confided that management had lowered the quality of what he was being given. I later confirmed with one of the major purveyors of food to the cruise lines, what was being ordered and that there is a substantial variation with cruise lines. He told me that it changes and his company supplies whatever is ordered.

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Here are some pictures of the food on HAL. I've sailed HAL and Celebrity and found the food to be quite comparable. If anything, HAL seems to have better food on their Lido buffets whereas Celebrity has Gourmet Bites and a more expansive Midnight Buffet.

 

These are from the Veendam last week:

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/paulstansel/Veendam

 

Here's more pictures from the Zuiderdam:

 

http://travel.webshots.com/album/430054002dtWFEq

 

You can find menus at:

 

http://cruiseclues.com/menus.htm

 

The Oosterdam and Westerdam have the best examples.

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We did Med on HAL a couple of years ago. The breakfast room service was great. Great eggs Benedict. Breakfast in the Lido was pretty good with a nice varied selection. Our dining time was messed up - we were scheduled for the early seating which is WAY too early for me. We were on a waitlist with 250 other people who didn't want to eat that early - So we ate dinner most nights in the Lido and it was just average. We actually tried to eat a late lunch in port most days as the food on the ship wasn't worth the bother. I lost weight on a 2 week cruise. And I love to eat! We did eat a big breakfast in the dining room while waiting for disembarkation. And I got food poisoning and spent my wedding anniversary and several days in our hotel room in Venice while my hubby had to tour the city himself. We met some lovely people - all of whom like us had cruised HAL before and like us said never again. Too much nickel and dimeing and what you did get was just sub-par.

 

Enjoy the foods in port - The Med has such great options! And stay away from the smoked salmon toward the end of the cruise.

 

Sorry to be a nay sayer - but I know I would have liked to have been prepared instead of being let down.

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The unfortunate thing is that you ask 10 different people you will get at least 10 different answers.

 

And as far as I am concerned you serve enough people you are going to get a share of people who love the food and a share of people who hate it.

 

I have heard good things about HAL food overall, but I am assuming that the food will be just a step up from convention/conference food served at a hotel ESPECIALLY since I am sailing during a peek week (this Saturday).

 

In other words I will judge for myself.

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will they make caesar at the table also? I k now it's simple but - it's one of my favorites and I look forward to it each vacation.

 

They don't make it at your table but they will prepare it if you request it.

I only eat Caesar salads and vaguely recall it being on the menu only 1 night. That was back in OCT on the Westerdam.

 

We LOVED the room service. Ate on our balcony every morning. :D

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I've been with Holland twice. The first time was on the Noordam. I thought everything was quite good.

 

The second time was on the Oosterdam. The food was pretty much the same, but I'm getting a little bored with the Holland food. It's perfectly fine, but the menu items do not vary much. I'm a big fan of all the soups. The fish is never quite what I hoped it would be.

 

Actually, some of the best food (in my opinion) was served poolside. One day they had some really tender, perfectly seasoned pork wings. Very nice.

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Currently, the OOsterdam dining room menu offers 2 dinner salads, one varies nightly, the other is the caesar. We were not offered fresh berries at breakfast, which i missed. We thought the food on the 2-week european cruises was better than in the caribbean, for example. And Hal is the only line where I can continue eating for 2 weeks and not find the food tiresome. It is closest to how we eat at home.. On vacation, we rarely can stomach eating out for more than a few days because the food is so heavy and over-salted and over-cheesed and over-cooked! I like small well presented portions.

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I have sailed the Med - not on HAL, but I can offer this: enjoy eating lunch while in port. There is such great food and local specialties to have, not to mention soaking up the culture and people, that dining on shore each day was a highlight. We would simply 'follow the crowds' to pick a place to eat. Even simple things like a pizza in Naples Italy were fantastic. (Down an alley off the center of town, a place called Brandy's and they invented the marguerite pizza.)

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You forgot the the fried rice on the breakfast buffet. It is philipino thing.

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We did two weeks on the Ryndam last November and have also cruised RCL, Princess and Carnival.

 

HAL food was as good or better as any of these. Here are a few things we particularily noticed.

 

I have to say the Lido buffet was impressive. We usually avoid buffets, but ate at this one for lunch on all our sea days. They used panko breadcrumbs for things like chicken kiev. Very, very good. Very little was self-service, mainly served by their Indonesian staff. And they would usually make the servings on the small size. That's fine with me, but I could tell some people were irritated when they had to ask for "more" two or three times. I suspect the small Indonesians are shocked at how much Americans eat!

 

The dining room was only open for lunch for one hour, starting at 12:30. And they didn't want you to wear shorts at lunch (though I saw people do so), so it was rather inconvenient.

 

I'm only going to talk about the food at dinner because we had an absolutely dreadful wait staff and I really don't think that is typical of HAL.

 

The cold fruit soups are delightful. And I don't think anything I ordered wasn't good. But it did seem like the selection was more limited than on other lines. The menu did not include any "always available" items. And the one time DH asked if he could have chocolate ice cream instead of what was on the menu, he was told if it wasn't on the menu he couldn't have it (I told you our wait staff was bad!).

 

Serving sizes were small, so don't worry about ordering several items. The typical appetizer was more the size of an amuse bouche. But maybe that's how it should be.

 

One lunch time they had an Indonesian barbeque poolside and that was wonderful. And the horrible lines we've seen on other ships didn't exist here.

 

We also liked the Mexican pool side food station where you could make your own nachos/tacos/whatever. This was the first cruise where I gained weight, and I know that was the reason.

 

We haven't done Celebrity yet, but I think you'll enjoy your meals.

 

Have a wonderful trip.

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I've been with Holland twice. The first time was on the Noordam. I thought everything was quite good.

 

The second time was on the Oosterdam. The food was pretty much the same, but I'm getting a little bored with the Holland food. It's perfectly fine, but the menu items do not vary much. I'm a big fan of all the soups. The fish is never quite what I hoped it would be.

 

Actually, some of the best food (in my opinion) was served poolside. One day they had some really tender, perfectly seasoned pork wings. Very nice.

 

"Pork wings?" Can pigs fly?

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LOL!! My thoughts exactly.

 

I just went on the 3/31 sailing of the Zuiderdam and I thought the food ranged from, at worst, average to excellent. Overall the food was very well prepared but a bit underseasoned for my tastes.

 

But that being said, the menu towards the end of the trip seemed a bit tired and it seemed they relied upon salmon a bit too much.

 

Oh yeah and the fruit soups were excellent.

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I am not an experienced cruiser, HAL Oosterdam being my first. But, the dining room food was wonderful, and the specialty restaurant food (Pinnacles) was worth the expense. We should have gone twice! Buffets are buffets, but the smoked salmon I always snatched!

 

I haven't seen it mentioned, but the bread in the dining room (and room service) was to die for! Fresh-baked and so yummy! And the coffee left a lasting impression. I hope the food on our next cruise (Golden Princess Mexican Riviera 11/07) is as wonderful.

 

Room service breakfast was a little ho-hum (eggs would get cold) but it was worth it just to have coffe in bed while looking out the balcony window. Enjoy!

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What drinks are available at the Lido for lunch?

 

patnjohn,

Not great, only tea and ice water, but here's a tip -- I would take an empty glass over to the salad station area and ask one of the buffet workers to fill my glass with grape juice from the breakfast machine. Each time they would lift the face of the machine up and check on which button would release grape. So what ever juices they have for breakfast ( usually six different types) most were still loaded in the machine.:)

They have a drink cart with cokes, sprite, vitamin drinks..., for sale during lunch.

 

Good luck and have a great cruise!

Kel

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Thanks for the tip. I assume you ment hot tea. I am use to Celebrity where you can get ice tea & guava juice at lunch. Not too big of a deal though. Thanks again.

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Thanks for the tip. I assume you ment hot tea. I am use to Celebrity where you can get ice tea & guava juice at lunch. Not too big of a deal though. Thanks again.

 

sorry! ice tea (I'm not a big fan:rolleyes: :) )

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