Did you only eat in the buffet and main dining rooms?
Thus far we've taken 4 NCL cruises, we have cruised several time on other lines as well.
I really am not a big fan of buffet food and I really don't care if it is at land or sea...buffets leave me cold.
I do love a good cut of red meat and it is very hard to beat what I can get right here at home. I can say that it has been my experience in the last year or two to enjoy some very good cuts of beef on NCL...however, that was not in the main dining rooms generally speaking, nor was it in the buffet, it was in Cagneys, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki. I also enjoy seafood and have had excellent sushi, sashimi and other seafood on NCL but the best selections were also in the surcharge restaurants. The few dinners we had in the main dining room were not bad, but we were served much larger portions and higher quality in the speciality restaurants, as it should be.
We had very large meet & greet turn outs on our last two cruises and there were some complaints regarding the food quality, taste, frustrations etc.. encountered in the main dining room and buffets. The only really odd thing I myself encountered was some sort of fruit we ordered had bits of summer squash in it, which was just weird and had to have been a mistake (I hope
) I go to the main dining room for breakfast and lunch and refuse to fight the crowds in the buffet unless I sleep in.
I cannot say that NCL is any better or worse in the food department than RCCL or Carnival, if you are willing to spend a little extra to enjoy the speciality restaurants I think NCL is pretty good, but the folks who I did talk to that were unhappy with the food on NCL were those who didn't try the speciality restaurants. To me thats part of the fun. Our last cruise on NCL was 14 days and by the end of the cruise we knew all of the Maitre D's, Asst. Maitre D's and speciality restaurant staff by name and they always made us feel very welcome and took very good care of us.
I do have to say the very worst steak I ever had was on RCCL. It was the ever infamous RANCH STEAK from Hell a/k/a Shoe Leather. It was the pits, and I even tried it once more to be sure it wasn't just a fluke and it was terrible.
Because of budget constraints, I feel that the quality of food served on cruise ships has been scaled back dramatically but all in all it's still better, because they cook it and serve it to me and then clean up the mess afterward.