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Old June 12th, 2011, 10:43 PM
2katz3fsh 2katz3fsh is offline
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Cruise Maniac
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 137

I find it sometimes hit and miss on HAL cruises, which is why we go on those with specialty restaurants. Even there, it is hit and miss, depending on the chefs and their attitudes.

On our second voyage on the Westerdam, the PG was awful, being inconsistent night after night after night. One night, they had scallops as part of the dish, on others, not. Sometimes it was too hot, sometimes too cold. We were absolutely not permitted to order anything off the menu. Marcus, the chef, had an attitude problem and it showed. I ordered the veal chop and 3/4 of it was gristle. I told the maitre'd that a good chef would not send out an inferior piece of meat, as Marcus had done. Clearly, his heart was in the wrong place.

The third time we went on the Westerdam, it was one of the best dining experiences we've ever had. Our PG chef, Michael, catered to our every whim, designing dishes for us off the menu (both the PG and MDR). He came out and sat with us a few times after everyone left and we compared stories and recipes. He is truly a superb and experienced chef, with good interpersonal skills. Lucky for you going on the Statendam because that is where he is now.

The chef on our New Years Eve cruise on the Zaandam, Pierre (I called him "Lucky Pierre") was fantastic as well, again allowing us to order off the menu. His personality was great and it showed in his food.

Our cruise on the Eurodam was a little bit better than Marcus' offerings, but not by much. Brendan Whitaker, the chef, seemed to be found outside of the kitchen more often than inside. He was at the Maitre'd's stand, he was over at the Pinnacle Bar, he was out in the corridor. Just who was minding the mint? His food was hit and miss as well. I will admit, to his credit, he told my waiter not to let me order the veal chop as it was just as bad on this cruise as it was some years prior.

We did eat one time in the Main Dining Room on the Westerdam and was rushed the entire time, despite our asking to be the last ones served, at our own table for two. The veal cordon bleu's recipe was mistakenly mixed up with that of veal parmagiana. That was it for us!

I will say that we have never had a problem with any wait staff we've encountered, albeit room service for breakfast, lunch in the Lido, and any dinner we've had in the MDR or usually the Pinnacle Grill.

Good luck and hope your food is great, or at least palatable!
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