Sorry for the cross posting (this is also on chit chat and RCI boards). I don't think I'll be posting this series on chitchat anymore. I am doing a small series of mini comparisons of RCI and Carnival. Remember folks, it's only MY point of view, not the word of god or anything. Just one girl's opinion!
So, how does the food compare? Remember, I've only cruised once with RCI, so don't have as much to base it on (3 times with Carnival), but here goes:
Buffet - I found Carnival's buffet to be sorely lacking and RCI's wasn't any better. I just don't like the whole buffet experience, I suppose. Food that is supposed to be hot is cold, supposed to be cold is warm. But Carnival's was slightly better.
Dining Room - It's almost a dead tie, even though I've heard Carnival usually wins hands down for most people. Carnival came up slightly ahead in the dining room, but not by a huge margin. Better soups on Carnival, better desserts on RCI.
Other food: the Carnival ships I've sailed (Fantasy, Glory and Miracle) all had that lovely sushi bar at 5 pm, RCI didn't; RCI had Johnny Rockets and although I didn't actually eat there (we have them in Atlanta, so they are no big deal to me) other people on the cruise loved it; RCI wins on pizza, especially since not only is the pizza better than Carnival's, but you can sit in the pizza restaurant (Sorrento's) and not have to join the throngs in the buffet area; a number of Carnival ships have the fish and chips area (yummy) - not one on SOS; speciality coffee shops are tied; Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream on RCI a big plus; RCI brings around lovely hors douevres at midnight to ALL the bars - nice touch.
So for me, Carnival wins by only by the slimmest of margins in the food category.
Next installment: staterooms!
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04
Dorothy, I really couldn't agree with you more. The only thing I would add is in the arena of speciality restaurants...I have yet to find anything on a ship that beat our dinner at Harry's on The Liberty. Harry's definitely trumped Chops.
My other issue with RCCL's buffet on the Enchantment are the hours it was open (Me and about half the ship were standing outside at 7:00 a.m. waiting for them to open) and even when they were open they were always out of something, cups, glasses, plates, coffee, etc...
On Carnival I have never had any difficult finding food, drinks or coffee at any hour of the day or night. That was not the case with the Enchantment.
On a positive note though, I did like the island serving station concept and wish Carnival would adopt this practice, as they buffet experience on the larger ships like the Liberty can be a complete nightmare.
As far as the main dining room experience, Carnival's dishes win again. They are tasty, varied and complex. Unfortunately RCCL has not realized that no matter what you call their ranch steak, its still tastes like shoe leather and would make a great door stop or hockey puck.
But all kidding aside, I woudn't hesitate to cruise either line, they both promise and deliver a great product.