Originally Posted by Mike M
I have to say that the dinner I had, almost ten years ago, in the Olympic Dining room on the Millennium was one of the best meals I've ever had on land or sea.
Sadly, I can't say the same for the dinners I've had more recently in the SS United States (Constellation) and the two dinners I've had in Murano's on Century.
They were good but not at the same level. Gone is the butterfly service and I had to send back a steak twice on my last Murano's visit because it was very overcooked and the waiter had the nerve to tell me that a Medium Well steak was medium rare.
That really irritated me.
The dinners I've had in Cagney's, Le Bistro and Moderno, on NCL, have been excellent. As have been the dinners in the Carnival steakhouses but I haven't ate at the steakhouse, on Carnival, in my last two cruises just because of scheduling and the groups I was with.
The worst luck I've had with alternative dining is with Royal Caribbean. I have yet to have, what I consider, a real good meal in any of their alternative restaurants. I know a lot of this is "luck of the draw" but if I draw the short straw too many times I will no longer play the game.
The alternative restaurant and flexible dining options are what kept my wife and I cruising. We were ready to find something different because we were very tired of the "herd" feeling of eating at a set time and sometimes having to rush back to the ship because we had to eat dinner and felt obligated to be there and had no way of letting our tablemates or anyone know we would not be there.
Alternative restaurants are here to stay but I have to say that what you are now getting in the alternative restaurants, in terms of quality of product, is what you received in the MDR six to ten years ago. The ala minute of the alternative dining provides a better meal but the meats, fish and vegetables are what you once received in the MDR.
I take alternatives now as part of the experience and put one, two or more nights of alternative dining into my cruise budget.
I agree with you 100%
The food for the most part in specialty restaurants we use to get in the MDR (Celebrity).
I just looked over the 2012 Berlitz guide to cruising (The bible for cruise reviews) and make no mistake, they say Celebrity food at time was dissapointing as compared to years back. The main reason I cruised with Celebrity was the higher standard of food.
As far as Royal Carribean, Though I have never traveled on thast line many guide books refer to the food as edible...to me that means nothing memorable just someting to eat when your hungry. To me that is UNACCEPTABLE.
When people talked about cruises a few years back you always thought about how wonderful the food is. Is'nt it a shame that a major part of a cruise that so many look forward to has suffered and the only way to get that back is to leave the MDR and sit in a little restaurant and get charged for it....Does'nt matter if you can afford it or not, IMHO thats a disgrace.
lets see if the cruise lines start charging for for the rest of the things that are free or use to be included in the price...bet you can't think of much that is free on a ship. But Im sure the things you do think up the cruise lines have already thought about charging you a fee, lets see how many I can think of.
Coffee or tea in the MDR
use of the pool
use of towels at the pool (or at least a deposit
Lounge chair at the pool $5.00
use of the safe in a room
surcharge on all meals in the MDR, say $5.00 per person
a $5.00 fee for each show you see on board
a $5.00 fee per person per cruise for the band on board
a $5.00 fee to board the ship after a tour
swipe your sail and sign card to use the elevator say $1.00 per ride
Of course some are ment to be sarcastic but I can actually see some of these fees adopted by the cruise lines...Just look at the airlines and see what they did. Did you ever think you would have to pay for a pillow or anything over one checked bag, My friend was charged $70 for an aisle seat...he is 6' 6" tall and requires a aisle seat...and believe it or not was charged $70. The fees can litterally double or more your airline ticket price. When does it end...
When does all the crazy extra fees stop. The answer is NEVER. As long as they have people paying they will keep charging..
Just look at the price of oil and gasoline...Consumption of oil and gasoline has dropped drastically over last year, with a very mild winter we are litterally floating in oil, but have you look at the price of gasoline and home heating oil ?
During the push to $5.00 a gallon a year or two ago a barrel of oil was close to 150 a barrel gasoline was $4.00 + a gallon....oil is now 103 a barrel and gasoline is $4.00 a gallon...WHAT IS WRONG HERE...I will tell you what is wrong the same thing that is wrong with the cruise industry....GREED.
Have you seen lately that some cruise lines are now stating that they can raise your cruise price even after giving a deposit depending upon the price of fuel...Why is that ok and people are will to pay that, but people will not pay a higher price for better quality of food and service, the very things that effect your total cruise experiance.