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leeshajoy

Cruise Food Sucks.

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Please don't take this the wrong way, but you must have had trouble sleeping last night! You dug up a thread that hadn't had a post in over 5 years!:eek::D

 

Don't worry about it though, you're not the first. Welcome to the boards!

 

 

LOL! I was researching cruise ship food on Google and this thread came up :-)

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I sure would like to know which airlines you're flying on?? Haven't had prime rib, lobster tails, crepes, souffles, chocolate mousse, beef Wellington, French onion soup, escargot, on any of my flights to anywhere!

 

TinaLee

 

Saw your ship sail away from Fort Lauderdale. That's a huge ship. Unfortunately we sat docked until 1AM that same day for unscheduled maintenance. Hope you had a blast!

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:D:D:D This made me laugh... And, this is said with a great big THANKS for the smile, so don't YOU take this the wrong way.... This thread is actually TEN years old. jes sayin':)

LOL I luv CC

 

No offense taken at all! But I do have an excuse: our 13 month old daughter has had an upset tummy the last two nights and I have to be at work at 6:30! :p

 

And for the record, I have thoroughly enjoyed most all of the food that I've had on all of our cruises.

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No offense taken at all! But I do have an excuse: our 13 month old daughter has had an upset tummy the last two nights and I have to be at work at 6:30! :p

 

And for the record, I have thoroughly enjoyed most all of the food that I've had on all of our cruises.

 

 

so sorry to hear about your wee girl. Hopefully, she is feeling much better by now.

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so sorry to hear about your wee girl. Hopefully, she is feeling much better by now.

 

She's doing a little better, but she's teething so we may have to deal with the upset tummy for a bit longer. She's still a happy little soul though! Hopefully she will be back to normal by next week so she can enjoy her first cruise!

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Now that I've sampled 4 different cruise lines, I think I am ready to share my feelings on what I had heard over a lifetime...OH, "wait till you get on a cruise ship...the food is (insert adjective here....)" I don't think of myself as a gourmet, however my son has an organic vegetable and herb business and we have spent the last years enjoying cooking a variety of the worlds most talked about dishes...sometimes several times to figure out how to get it just right. Having qualified my background a bit...I can suggest that of the 4 lines I've been on...if food is your focus, don't get on a ship. For me MSC was tops, then NCL, then RC, and bringing up the bottom was Carnival. Including a mix of the specialty dining locations. For sure, NONE of the lines had what I would call BAD food. But some was badly cooked, badly kept warm, or some pretty questionable origins. OR a combination of the former. On the other hand, I don't know that I should expect a kitchen that's got limited storage, limited sourcing, and mostly line cooks who had no formal training and who put out 100 copies of only one and the same dish every night, 7 nights a week, to WOW ME. It's an unfair expectation in this modern world of cutting prices, finding the cheapest source, and extreme competition for the price of tickets. To me some of the challenge, some of the fun, is to figure out what's good on a ship, to try different wines, and a couple of entree's (for each meal)..where else can you do that at no additional cost? I'm not opposed to leaving something that I don't like. I'd rather feed future fish than take on bad tasting calories. ON THE OTHER HAND...if you do anything in the food business, there is MUCH to be learned about presentation from cruise ship fare! I brought back a notebook of ideas of how to do things differently...like the deconstructed Key Lime Pie on NCL. Tasted just the same...but the LOOK was incredible! If only it would have had the authentic key lime flavor rather than the regular large limes at the grocery. So for me it's a gathering of ideas, and the ability to taste MANY things that's the draw. And BTW the Calamari on NCL was some of the best I've had in the world. How is it that they can make that dish so good (had to be frozen..as it was a 16 day cruise). So in summation...cruising to me is an adventure. In my Motorhome I can change venue's the moment I don't like something, or get bored, but on a ship, it's a bit of a prison experience. SO the fun is getting thrilled by the little things that we normally pass by. The color of the Atlantic, the brazenness of modern diners who don't know what a sport coat is, or even something more than a ripped T-shirt. Observing how people treat others because they have been promised that they'll be treated like royalty...it's marketing folks, don't think you're a princess (even if your on Princess lines!). It's all an adventure. If you approach it from that point of view, then the food is good too! Just my 22 cents (inflation) worth.

Edited by reitmeier
spelling spelling

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We just got back from our honeymoon on RCCL and the food was HORRIBLE. To us it was airplane quality crap. Someone else aboard commented it was prison quality.

Is there a cruiseline with QUALITY food?

 

Wish you had tried one of the Specialty Restaurants on RCCL.

The extra charge is SO worth it. :)

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We just got back from our honeymoon on RCCL and the food was HORRIBLE. To us it was airplane quality crap. Someone else aboard commented it was prison quality.

Is there a cruiseline with QUALITY food?

 

You'd freak out seeing what we ate on US Navy ships back in the 80's. What cruise ship with RCL were you on? We find the food to be outstanding (except for the polenta and sea bass)>

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On Princess, HAL, & Celebrity we don't have to go to a specialty restaurant for dinner EVERY night. :)

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Personally, whiile I may come across bad meals, I've never had a cruise where all the food across the board "sucks." BUt that's me. Heck, I've had great meals in hole in the wall restaurants and not so great meals in 4 store land restaurants.

 

So right. Best burger I ever had was in the Hukilau Cafe on the North Shore of Oahu.

 

I haven't read the whole thread, but I'm struck by the hyperbole of the OP's post. Prison food? C'mon. Some cruiselines have better food than others, but I've never been on a cruise where the food was consistently awful.

 

Sometimes I've been worried, after reading very negative reviews, but I've always found plenty of great food regardless of the line we've sailed.

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So right. Best burger I ever had was in the Hukilau Cafe on the North Shore of Oahu.

 

I haven't read the whole thread, but I'm struck by the hyperbole of the OP's post. Prison food? C'mon. Some cruiselines have better food than others, but I've never been on a cruise where the food was consistently awful.

 

Sometimes I've been worried, after reading very negative reviews, but I've always found plenty of great food regardless of the line we've sailed.

 

Omigosh. I didn't realize this thread was started so many years ago ...

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Omigosh. I didn't realize this thread was started so many years ago ...

Eleven years might be a record.:D

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Carnival Conquest Buffet Omelette station is great.

081_zpsedu6fa3k.jpg

 

And yes Guy's Burger Joint Hot and Greasy

027_zpsdhtqaaob.jpg

 

You might want to think twice when in the dinning room on all ships because the kitchen looks like a Buffet all ready and waiting.

IMG_4693.jpg

 

IMG_4691.jpg

 

I LOVE BAD FOOD

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I think enjoyment of food is always context dependent. Though no one would argue airline food is a great category per se, there is something neat about having food prepared and served in the air, and the adventure of it makes it fun. Sometimes it has tasted good, too.

 

I think cruise food I've had has been disappointing mainly when I was expecting too much. With judicious decision making it as usually been very good, and sometimes it's been great by any standard. I had no complaints on 3 Celebrity cruises but found HAL more of a challenge last year, but even then learned what to order and when and had good food experiences.

 

The thing about cruising is the fun and adventure of being at sea, moving, having a compact little village, and somehow taking care of all ones needs. It's the adventure of it that imbues everything itch a social quality, food included. Can't remove the food experience from the context.

 

- Joel

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We have been blessed to have cruised on over 60 different ships (14 cruise lines) and are real "foodies." Obviously we love to cruise, but we would not say we cruise for the food/cuisine. While we have experienced some amazing cuisine (such as at Aqulina on Azamara) we think that most cruise food could be best classified as mediocre to very good banquet cuisine. We sometimes ask ourselves, would we be willing to go out to a land-based restaurant that serves what we get on ships? The answer is pretty much a big no! There is no way we would ever go out to a restaurant and order mushy warm water lobster tail (which we can get at a local diner where they serve 2 tails for $24.99). If I want lobster it will be at a restaurant that serves whole Maine (or Canadian) lobster...or perhaps a decent cold water lobster tail. Would I ever go to a restaurant that served a thin slice of prime rib like we get on most cruise lines? Nope. I would be at a place that served a thick slice of Prime Rib...or perhaps a 2 inch thick properly aged Rib Eye. DW and I love Italian food. But we have been on few ships that served Italian food that could even compare to the Olive Garden (which is not particularly great cuisine). If I want to eat a burger, I will go to a decent local restaurant where I can get a 1/3 pound freshly ground rare burger topped with good Blue Cheese. On most ships my choice is to get a well-done (and then cooked again) piece of meat (better then nothing, but I would not pay for it on land).

 

HAL sometimes serves Mussels as a starter. This usually consists of about 5 or 6 small mussels in a tasteless broth. On land, when we order Mussels we will get a large pot (with at least 2 dozen of the critters) in a tasty white wine broth. Yes, there are some darn good dishes on cruise lines but these are the exceptions rather then then the rule. So if cruising is so darn bad, why do we already have 69 days of cruises booked for 2016? Perhaps it is simply because we love the entire cruise experience.

 

Hank

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We have been blessed to have cruised on over 60 different ships (14 cruise lines) and are real "foodies." Obviously we love to cruise, but we would not say we cruise for the food/cuisine. While we have experienced some amazing cuisine (such as at Aqulina on Azamara) we think that most cruise food could be best classified as mediocre to very good banquet cuisine. We sometimes ask ourselves, would we be willing to go out to a land-based restaurant that serves what we get on ships? The answer is pretty much a big no! There is no way we would ever go out to a restaurant and order mushy warm water lobster tail (which we can get at a local diner where they serve 2 tails for $24.99). If I want lobster it will be at a restaurant that serves whole Maine (or Canadian) lobster...or perhaps a decent cold water lobster tail. Would I ever go to a restaurant that served a thin slice of prime rib like we get on most cruise lines? Nope. I would be at a place that served a thick slice of Prime Rib...or perhaps a 2 inch thick properly aged Rib Eye. DW and I love Italian food. But we have been on few ships that served Italian food that could even compare to the Olive Garden (which is not particularly great cuisine). If I want to eat a burger, I will go to a decent local restaurant where I can get a 1/3 pound freshly ground rare burger topped with good Blue Cheese. On most ships my choice is to get a well-done (and then cooked again) piece of meat (better then nothing, but I would not pay for it on land).

 

HAL sometimes serves Mussels as a starter. This usually consists of about 5 or 6 small mussels in a tasteless broth. On land, when we order Mussels we will get a large pot (with at least 2 dozen of the critters) in a tasty white wine broth. Yes, there are some darn good dishes on cruise lines but these are the exceptions rather then then the rule. So if cruising is so darn bad, why do we already have 69 days of cruises booked for 2016? Perhaps it is simply because we love the entire cruise experience.

 

Hank

 

Hank, Interesting that you mentioned Aqualina. We ate there twice on a transatlantic before the Journey was ''clubized.' The first dinner was superb, but the second a huge disappointment. I ordered osso buco which was a cylinder of overly dry shredded veal wrapped in bacon or pancetta. There was no bone with the heavenly vessel-clogging marrow. What was served was not even distant cousin of the real thing. Someone on the ship knew real Italian cooking because a proper osso buco was served in the main dining room a night or two later.

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Hank, Interesting that you mentioned Aqualina. We ate there twice on a transatlantic before the Journey was ''clubized.' The first dinner was superb, but the second a huge disappointment. I ordered osso buco which was a cylinder of overly dry shredded veal wrapped in bacon or pancetta. There was no bone with the heavenly vessel-clogging marrow. What was served was not even distant cousin of the real thing. Someone on the ship knew real Italian cooking because a proper osso buco was served in the main dining room a night or two later.

 

Tis sad. It seems like everyone is cutting back these days. Whatever happened to setting a marrow spoon/fork when one orders Osso Bucco. Nothing is sacred anymore :)

 

Hank:cool:

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HAL Westerdam was a mixed bag for us. Some of the buffet was good, some BAD and some meh. And the hours were not conducive to being on any schedule other than theirs - we are from the Midwest and they go on local time (2 hours ahead for us) so getting a meal in was kinda tough some days. Yea they close the buffet regularly several times a day, and after 10 on HAL cruises. STUPID. The main dining room was good, though limited on options most times, plus not always easy to find a table quickly. Room service was mostly meh. Best food I got on board (oddly enough) was the "Dive In" restaurant on the lido by the pool, they made burgers and hot dogs to order - by day 4 I was real happy to have something cooked for me - hot and fresh.

 

I'd never complain except that the ONLY and I do mean ONLY way to get a decent breakfast was to go to the main dining room. On the buffet the eggs were ... watery, mushy and cold, the meat undercooked (including the sausage - pink in the middle) the hasbrowns were hard flavorless pucks of what at some point was potato, their egg mcmuffin things were horrible. If you went to the omelet station you had a 50/50 shot of getting decent edible food. (I got a good one and one that was horribly burnt) It was sad cause dangit I LOVE BREAKFAST and I love breakfast buffets at least land based buffets.

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HAL Westerdam was a mixed bag for us. Some of the buffet was good, some BAD and some meh. And the hours were not conducive to being on any schedule other than theirs - we are from the Midwest and they go on local time (2 hours ahead for us) so getting a meal in was kinda tough some days. Yea they close the buffet regularly several times a day, and after 10 on HAL cruises. STUPID. The main dining room was good, though limited on options most times, plus not always easy to find a table quickly. Room service was mostly meh. Best food I got on board (oddly enough) was the "Dive In" restaurant on the lido by the pool, they made burgers and hot dogs to order - by day 4 I was real happy to have something cooked for me - hot and fresh.

 

I'd never complain except that the ONLY and I do mean ONLY way to get a decent breakfast was to go to the main dining room. On the buffet the eggs were ... watery, mushy and cold, the meat undercooked (including the sausage - pink in the middle) the hasbrowns were hard flavorless pucks of what at some point was potato, their egg mcmuffin things were horrible. If you went to the omelet station you had a 50/50 shot of getting decent edible food. (I got a good one and one that was horribly burnt) It was sad cause dangit I LOVE BREAKFAST and I love breakfast buffets at least land based buffets.

 

Interesting, since I'm a foodie and have a completely different opinion of our westerdam cruise in November. I'm not a buffet person but loved the breakfast options they offered. Most days I took advantage of the eggs benedict (usually crab meat and mushrooms, occasionally smoked salmon). I chose to go there over the pinnacle grill every morning.

 

I'm not sure I follow you on the times being off for someone from the Midwest though since I'm also from the Midwest. I do agree they have some bad gaps in food service though and it's the only issue I've every really had.

 

We never had issues with the mdr and anytime dining. We were always seated quickly, even on the second gala night when we actually requested a table for 2. The every day options were lacking but I never had a problem finding good food to eat.

 

I agree on the dive in. I really enjoyed that and we used it for lunch twice. The cheese sauce for the fries was delicious and I loved the burger (cooked to medium) with the gouda on it.

Edited by sherilyn70

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I have to agree with Hank about the food. Its the cruise experience we go for and when you get real gourmet food that is an added bonus. Living in New England we have great seafood anytime, you get it right at the Grocery store. For instance lobster right now, to us, is expensive - $6.99 a pound. So something like that on the cruise is not a huge deal for us. (just wanted to make everyone envious as I look at the cold snowy misery outside)

 

The one caveat to that is, if you are paying extra for the "specialty" dining on a cruise I expect them to deliver better quality food & service. We have done that on several cruises and it's a mixed bag.

 

NCL we ate at the Italian specialty restaurant. This was just about the worst meal/food I've ever had in my life. It wasn't Italian but it sure was salty. The French restaurant was OK.

 

Disney Dream - Palo's, we had read good things and they were all spot on. Went to the Brunch and had one of the best meals ever. The staff was fantastic and food was stunning. They have a buffet-stations for some of the items, but you can also order other items from the kitchen. They had several different egg choices (Benedict, Florentine, etc) I asked for the Florentine with a little smoked salmon under the spinach. They brought out the best most perfect eggs with perfect bechamel sauce and just as I ordered. It was so good I had to get a 2nd. In general all the Disney Dream restaurants and food was well above cruise average. Best cruise food I've had on any line.

 

HAL - Pinnicle Grill (Westerdam) This past fall was an OK meal, but the WORST service we've ever gotten on a cruise ship. 2nd Gala night so it was only 1/3 - 1/2 full. 2.5 Hours most of it waiting for anyone to come by and refill our water. I had to get up and "hunt around" the other tables to get salt . Ours was empty and so was most of the others. Mind you this is after 10 minutes of waiting for someone to come by and have them get it for us. It was like being in a McDonalds. Very sad, and no one came over to say "please I can get that for you". Food was OK but all I remember is the horrid service. Head waiter never came by in 2.5 hours to ask "how are things".

 

In general I thought the Westerdam food was OK. I can't think of anything "memorable" for the meals either in the MDR, or the Buffet's. I liked the buffet's breakfast better, because I was able to get my eggs hot and cooked right there.

 

The MDR service our first 2 try's was regrettable. First night-dinner again a 2.5 hour event. We got tired of waiting for our Waiter to come back so we could order desert. Decided to go up to the Buffet and get some but it was 9:30 and it was closed. So I went to the Courtesy desk and complained. The Restaurant MGR called our room and apologized, said "please try again we'll do better". Next morning get up go to MDR and again super slow service. But they did top themselves. Gave us cold food, and the Hash brown was so overcooked and cold it was like Styrofoam, it was inedible. Again complained to the Restaurant MGR, his solution was to seat us on the other side of the MDR. I guess the Wait staff actually work on that side, we didn't have any more service problems after that. Sadly instead of "fixing the problem" he just moved someone else to the troubled area.

 

For me I use Yelp and find the good (mostly ethnic) restaurants when I go places. Best meal from our last cruise, the Capital Grill in Fort Lauderdale FL the night before we left. Hank if you are leaving from there give it a try. Expensive but it should be one of the best meals of your cruise.

 

Richard

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I find it hard to believe that the OP had such a hard time with the food unless they have severe food restrictions. Based on liking only cereal and turkey sandwiches, sounds like someone with a very limited or processed food palate and afraid to try new foods. Only been on RC once ages ago but there was definitely something for everyone. Last cruise was with Carnival and liked most of the food. Did she try the specialty restaurants? Some people will absolutely not eat outside their comfort zone and can't relax and enjoy what's on offer.

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Overall, I have enjoyed the food on all the cruises that I have been on. My most recent cruise was on MSC Preziosa, sailing in the Yacht Club. That was excellent. Full review here - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2288693

 

Some videos of the food.

 

Lobster dinner in the Yacht Club restaurant.

[YOUTUBE]2_DnkB_ubl0[/YOUTUBE]

 

Dinner on another night in the same restaurant.

[YOUTUBE]1NqHiNAVIdQ[/YOUTUBE]

 

Food offerings in the Buffet restaurant, open to all guests.

[YOUTUBE]5K2ZlYP3-yY[/YOUTUBE]

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