I have cruised both a number of times throughout the last 7 years and have found that the food is better on Carnival. All the way from marginally better to vastly better. Soups are always much better on CCL. In addition the pizza on CCL is great and on RCI it is pretty poor. At night there is also nothing to snack on with the RCI ships other than the poor pizza, small sandwitch bites that are not very good, and cookies. There are also no cold drinks to be had, even water after 10 PM or ice cream. For a cold drink you need to call room servie. On CCL pizza and deli sandwitches are 24/7 also with desserts and cold drinks and ice cream always available.
From the past several months I have been monitoring this board and others, I have come to the conclusion that it is a must to order 2 entrees. Simple because the portions are small. This is with CCL. Frankly, we intend on only ordering a single entree on the first nite of our seven day cruise to see shat we can expect. If this seems to be on the skimpy side we will double order.
Although our intention is to not eat like pigs at the trough, we do ecpect to have a decent filling meal so that we don't have to look for pizza and other fattening extras late at night. If one is not satisfied with their meal they sohould order 2 entrees.
PS. If you don't think the single entree is going to be enough, You'd better order it up front rather than latter (so I understand). The wait staff won't be too happy and you may not get it at all.
It is real simple.... If your lobster or steak or Quail is not enough then just tell your head waitress that you want another serving, they make extra entries for each dining.... One of our couples setting at our tanle got 3 servings of lobster ......
__________________ Bob & Kathy
Littleton, Colorado (near Denver)
Conquest .... Nov /03 (New Orleans)
Conquest .... Dec /05 (Galveston)
Celebration.. Sept /06 (Jacksonville)
Fantasy....... Dec/07 (New Orleans)
Splendor...... Nov. 29th, 2009
My husband tends to order two entres almost every night....some nights he has to choose two out of three items he really likes because two is pretty much his limit. He doesn't do this because of portion size...he does it because he wants duck and lobster (that's just an example and a poor one as I don't think they are served on the same night.) I've been known to order two desserts every night. We've both been known to order more than one appetizer, too. Oh..and there is a night or two where my husband has ordered two soups....he has his favorites. (For the most part none of this is due to portion size.)
Having said all of that....We've been on a 10 day Royal Caribbean cruise...their chocolate covered strawberries were scrumptious. However, we've also been on 7 Carnival cruises (all different ships)...and we feel like overall Carnival food is better than what we had on RCI. (Jim's right about the soup. My husband was very disappointed while we were on the Radiance of the Seas as he said it seemed to be the same soup base with something different thrown in every night....in other words not much change in the flavor.)
The steaks are great...so is the seafood. (Sometime they don't give you more than two lobsters to start....they have to see if they have enough to go around first.)
If you find after the first night or two that the portions are smaller than you anticipated...
then order two entres right away...it's much easier on the wait staff to get all of the same course at the same time. They will be happy to go get you another entre later...if you find your first one didn't fill you up....and the only time they've forgotten was when they had to go get ready for one of their songs. The times it's happened to us or to someone else around us they have always appologized profusely.
The Pizza is always good (made fresh on CCL - comes frozen on RCI)....lots of good finger foods at the late night buffets (the Gala buffet being more elegant than the other nights). Royal Caribben has their Gala buffet and sometimes a dessert buffet...otherwise they don't offer anything late at night. We did enjoy our Maitre'd on RCI...he was great about coming by the table to greet everyone each night. This is something Carnival could learn from them!
I personally prefer the seafood but my wife loves the steaks. As for ordering two entrees, I do when there are two things on the menu I wish to have and often order more than two lobsters and always order 2 or more escargo. <G> Keep in mind the reason any one serving is smaller than those that you may serve yourself or at a land dining facility you still have basically a 5 or six course meal. I often order more than one starter and soups, seldom a salad unless I only order one starter or soup, and if it strikes my fancy such as lobster I may get more than one. I have even been known to sample two desserts once in awhile. The servings are such that you really are not stuffed and can easily work it off.