I do have to quantify and elaborate on this post. I was very disappointed in the overall quality of the food. That does not mean that everything about the cruise was bad. Actually; everything but the food was great. The ship is beautiful. The service is very good and the staff are overall wonderful and very accommodating. Our cabin stewards, Eduardo and Putu, were two of the best we've had on any cruise. We also enjoyed the activities and entertainment. However, food is something that is a part of the cruise that is important for my wife and I and in this area we were disappointed.
The main cause of the disappointment is that we have cruised Royal Caribbean a number of times before and on our first three or four cruises the food was very good. The previous two cruises had mediocre food and we haven't cruised them for three years. We decided to again give them a try. We were not looking for bad food. I approach a cruise with an open mind but, once again, the food was disappointing.
The food in the Windjammer was just fine and we enjoyed breakfast and lunch. The only thing I could suggest was a bit more variety for breakfast. It was the same basic menu each day but it did not leave me wanting.
The problems were in the main dining room and Portofino's. In the main dining room I sent food back three or four times and just didn't eat some items just because I was tired of sending stuff back.
There were also little things like: Soup bowls with soup running down the sides and not being wiped before serving. Entrées arriving before appetizers and then being asked if we still wanted the appetizer. These things, in themselves, are not major issues but do show a lack of coordination, manpower and/or training.
The specifics were: Escargot that had been sitting too long before serving and was basically a lump of cold bread crumbs on top of the snails. It came out in clumps when trying to eat it.
Steaks that my wife and I had that after a few attempts to chew had to be inconspicuously spit out into the napkin.
Roast beef that could not be cut because of the toughness. These issues were not just ours but others at the table. On both of these occasions another entrée was provided however the second entrée, salmon was over cooked to the point of crumbling.
I also found the food extremely bland and lacking seasoning. This in itself would have not been an issue, there's always salt and pepper, but other issues bring this to light.
Portofinos. My wife had a seafood pasta that had two scallops that were beyond fishy tasting and contaminated the taste of the entire dish. I also had mushroom pasta that when I went to eat it the pasta came out of the dish in a clump. My halibut was done on the outside but still clear on the inside. We did tell them of the problem and the chef apologized but because of the time between courses we did not re-order new entrées. The manager did not charge us for the meal.
I am someone who enjoys food but I am not overly picky but do not take the attitude of "It's fine as long as I don't have to cook it". In this instance I would have been happy to go into the galley and cook my own dinner.
I do have a major issue when food is over cooked, under cooked or just bad quality. I stated that the best thing I had was a room service hamburger and that was the truth. It was perfectly done, hot and juicy. I ordered that after the night at Portofino's because I was hungry. Also: the fish and chips in the Seaview Cafe were wonderful and our dinner at Chops was very good and the service was excellent. The mushroom soup was a highlight of the cruise.
I do believe that Royal Caribbean is cutting back or just neglecting on the quality of their products and I also believe that they have to really pay more attention to quality of what's going out of the galley. There should be no reason to have this many incidents of poorly prepared food on one cruise. I know that there will be many people who had wonderful food or enjoyed what they had but there are also many, like me, who had a memorable dining experience and the memory wasn't a fond one.
As I stated at the beginning the cruise itself was wonderful but the food is what was lacking.