I am not an "old time" cruiser, our first cruise was in 2004, so I admittedly speak from ignorance of the glory days of when the food was better. I do have to wonder if this supposed decline in food quality has to do more with the ever increasing size of main line cruise ships than any other factor. It must be incredibly difficult to serve 1000 high quality meals at approximately the same time.
All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; John Masefield
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, 2014, Caribbean 2013, Coral 2014, Regal 2014, 2016
Sail Windjammer: Mandalay 2017
Star Clippers: Royal Clipper 2015