Originally Posted by AR
I didn't miss your point at all, but you sure missed mine. . .
You're simply in the camp that says nothing should ever change. But things do change. Whether or not the overall quality of Celebrity's MDR food has declined is in the eye of the beholder. It's probably gone down a little, but no big deal. Some think it's gone down a lot, others think it's just fine. Based on a personal absence of five years, you choose to believe what you've "heard." Since you have, it will probably turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophesy, because you will expect it to have declined.
You say that specialties should be a thing of the past. I promise you that they're here to stay. You're gonna have to live with that, even if you don't eat at them.
You insist that the correct route for Celebrity would be to increase its base fares in order to improve the quality in the MDR. Celebrity disagrees, mostly for the reason I pointed out: they have to compete with other lines and they have to hold down base fares to do that. The result: cruising is still one of the biggest travel bargains in the world.
You'd be happy for them to raise the cruise fare by "a few hundred dollars" to support better MDR food. Well, think about it: for a few hundred dollars more, and depending on the length of the cruise, you could eat at a specialty restaurant most or all nights. That would effectively solve your problem and give you exactly the product you want for the price you are willing to pay. What the cruise lines are doing with the specialty restaurant idea is giving people a choice, which is what most people seem to want.
The elimination of midnight buffets by most lines obviously saves money, but it is also obvious that their research showed that these exercises in gluttony were not valued by the great majority of passengers. People (including me) generally overeat on ships anyway, and a lot of people (including me) saw these gorge-fests as way over-the-top. In fairness, to compensate many ships now have some sort of food available 24 hours.
The other solution is the one you mentioned: sail on a super-premium line. Great idea. You might want to add Oceania to the two possibilities you mentioned. Sounds like their product is more in line with your tastes. Just be aware that your own "experience-based" data is past the pull date, and the opinions of others may not match yours.
I do agree with some of your points :
I Understand specialty restaurants are here to stay as it is a big money maker for the cruise line and at the same time they lowered the quality of the food in the MDR a win - win for the line.
Having been away from cruising for some time you have to at some point listen to cruise reviews from books and people otherwise you might be highly dissapointed. I get the fact that what is good to ssome isn't good to others but I try to average out all reviews and from what I hear the standard and quality of the food from years back has suffered. Just like Queen of Oakville
mentioned the food declined due to the quality.
The reason why I would like to see the specialty restaurants leave is because I would like to arrange spa and dinning options prior to the cruise, I would of course find out when Captain's night is so I would not miss that meal in the MDR.. But my problem is what happens if I book a night in a restaurant only to find out prior to going to the restaurant there is a food item being served in the MDR that I would really want to try. I miss out on that item and then have to pay for a dinning option. Its sort of like buying a car...remember back when most car companies charged you extra for AC...now for most autos AC is included in the price. Is'nt that sort of the same, If car companies can raise the price of their autos to include AC why can't cruise lines do the same for higher quality food.
As for midnight buffets I do agree after reading your response, however I would at least like to see one Grand Gala Buffet.
I have viewed videos of SilverSea and Crystal cruises and I think the nod would go to Crystal, the only thing that might stop me would be the snobbish type of people...remember the movie "Titanic" I don't think I can deal with people who act like that for a week or two.
I own a car service company but having to deal with people who have to go to the smoking room after dinner and have a brandy and decided how to split up the world is something I would not look forward to nor would want to be a part of their world. Heck I'm a Becks beer guy but don't get me wrong Im not a slob either.