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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 24th, 2003, 12:38 AM
kated
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Default food cutbacks?

Just curious what is meant by "food cutbacks". I have seen several people post that the quality of food has diminished greatly. I cruised last march on horizon and thought that while some items were average, most food was excellent. Have things changed that much in a year?
Thanks
Kate
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 24th, 2003, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Not in my estimation, but folks always need to complain about how good things used to be in the good old days.
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Old December 24th, 2003, 10:46 AM
Jeanne&Ellis
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

I agree with Papabill, my husband and I always gain weight from the wonderful food they serve. Everyones taste is different and maybe the french way isn't to their liking. And in "the good old days" our taste buds were much better than they are now, thats a fact.

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Old December 24th, 2003, 04:43 PM
Babette
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Effective with sailings 11/29/03 there have been cutbacks in the food budget. New menus are coming out in 2004 reflecting further $$ cutbacks.
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Old December 24th, 2003, 05:03 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: food cutbacks?

Where did you get this information?
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Old December 24th, 2003, 09:34 PM
Babette
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Hot Man, Food Manager, Restaurant Manager, Social Hostess, asst maitre d's... on several ships.
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Old December 25th, 2003, 03:27 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: food cutbacks?

I've sent a note to my TA about my concerns in this area. I've asked that she contact her Celebrity rep and find out more and to warn them that they have their reputation at stake. Mine too, as I convinced 5 other couples to join me next May on the Constellation because I was so impressed with my last cruise on that ship. I also plan to send a personal letter to Celebrity management with my concerns. All those that feel strongly that Celebrity is embarking on the wrong direction should do something similar.
Frank-in-CA
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Old December 25th, 2003, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Frank.. I think the fact you enjoyed your last Celebrity cruise enough to convince 5 other couples to join you on your next one, tells the story.

You shouldn't allow a post on the message boards to negate what you know you experienced, and were obviously happy with.

Budgeting in the "restaurant business" is a complicated area. Even if it's true, and they are cutting back on their food budgets, they may have found new less expensive suppliers to equalize the gap, or they have found that their combined buying power with RCI can save dollars with certain suppliers.

Complaining about a situation before you've experienced it is sort of putting the cart before the moose isnt it?

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Old December 25th, 2003, 08:10 PM
Micahel Sinn
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Default Re: Re: food cutbacks?

Babette,

Unless you give names..first and last this is only rumor and should be ignored.

Michael
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Old December 26th, 2003, 12:28 AM
Micahel Sinn
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Adam,
I am sorry...I did not mean to be RUDE as this is not my way.
I have had many clients on the last few weeks. Summit, Century, Mille, Const.
And most of them have been on Celebrity many times. I call each one of them when they return. They all report no issues with Dining But Thumbs UP!
On person said they did not like the Lobster one night. BLAND! I agree.
They all re-booked voyages on more Celebrity Cruises! This says that my clients are enjoying the experience on Celebrity. I base my thoughts and views on more then 1 person. Its many...including yours and Babettes and kuki's.
Its to bad that you think that your cruiseline is going down hill.
All the best to you. and I hope you can cruise on Celebrity sometime soon.

Peace!
Michael
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Old December 26th, 2003, 01:40 AM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: food cutbacks?

Michael:
I happen to agree with Adam - just because we've had wonderful experiences in the past doesn't mean that management is not above making a mistake that could tarnish the brand. I've sent a letter off to the Chairman of RCI asking for an explanation about what we are hearing about the food. I'll only feel reassured if the letter actually gets answered and they affirm that degradations in quality and presentation are not taking place. I will find out for sure in May but if I end up being embarrassed with my friends, it will be a long time before I book Celebrity again.
Frank-in-CA
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Old December 26th, 2003, 09:30 AM
Micahel Sinn
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Default Re: Re: Re: food cutbacks?

Frank,
Did you see my message?? I stated that my clients are reporting good reviews?
I understand your fears...but this is a bit much. Have you read anything from anyone that has been on any ships stating this? Besides what Babette said...it was said to her it would happen in the future by un-named people? I trust my clients and read the boards and so far have not seen proof of this. I see lots of people coming back stating they are re-booking on Celebrity again and again. This tells me that they are liking the brand and will stick with it. And sending a letter to Richard Fain or Jack Williams without proof...well that will get you 0 results. Trust me on this.

Michael
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Old December 26th, 2003, 11:04 AM
David Starkey
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Having sailed Celebrity ships from day one over many yearsand many ships I must comment that food cut backs are very real. I still enjoy Celebrity Cruise line, but special meals that were once common onboard.....are a thing of the past. Celebrity was founded with very good food and service in mind at an affordable rate. The service is still very good.....but the food is just average cruiseship food now.
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Old December 26th, 2003, 12:39 PM
Micahel Sinn
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Default Re: Re: food cutbacks?

Frank,
Thank you for your views. I have a different one..thats ok. As we all have our own views of what is good and great. And everyone else here to. I have to tell you that I like to focus on what the cruiseline does well and then focus on what they can do to get better. So far this thread is only looking at weakness not the strenghts of Celebrity..I wish there were a balance. Also I wonder what the reason is this was started?? What good will it do to post this and get people going? Am I off base but I see little good from this. Adam, Babette both think the cruiseline is going down hill..by what they think are cutbacks. And I have had people on the ships that will counter this. And even if they were true...what does the cutbacks mean? Less of a meat portion? Maybe a dish they do not serve anymore? Will this truly take away from the cruise itself?
I truly want to understand...

Michael
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Old December 26th, 2003, 01:22 PM
Jeanne&Ellis
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Boys-Boys!! No need to keep this up, we all will wait and see. As long as Celebrity keeps making me feel as though we are special, I will go with them. If they get like some other cruise lines i shall not mention, (don't want to start another flame) then I guess I will throw all their names in a hat and pick one for the next cruise. Peace on earth, good will towards men. and a Happy and healthy new year!!

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Old December 26th, 2003, 01:41 PM
hcat
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

I assume all who have sailed both Celebrity and Royal Carib. will agree that there is a very big difference between them when it comes to food : menus, quality of food, service, presentation etc. We enjoy both lines but have completely different expectations as to dining for each . Royal is OK but very simple--no presentation, just meat & potatoes like at a good local diner--guess it's eating as opposed to dining. (That's Ok as we watch our weight & I am diabetic) Hopefully ,if they become more similar the cruise prices will be adjusted along with our expectations.! Dining is not our main criteria in selecting a particular trip--=mostly it's the ship , the itinerary & our schedule but on Celeb I do look forward to the dining experience much more than on Royal. Hope in March & Sept we will not be disappointed. And we hope other areas are also not cut back if these items are true!
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Old December 26th, 2003, 02:14 PM
Micahel Sinn
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Default Re: Re: food cutbacks?

Jeanne,
Thank you for your post!! And thank you hcat for yours. It is nice to see some nice things posted here. I hope that you will not cutback on these type of postings!!

Pease and Good will to everyone...(On Land and Sea)

Michael
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Old December 26th, 2003, 05:41 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Re: food cutbacks?

>And even if they were true...what does the cutbacks mean? Less of a meat portion? Maybe a dish they do not serve anymore? Will this truly take away from the cruise itself?<

Michael:
That's a good point. We really don't know what it means but it doesn't sound positive. I will be very interested in responses from people sailing the first couple of months of next year - not first timers but veterans that recognize the differences. I know I was very impressed with the Constellation in every facet. They really did a lot of little classy items that made them stand out from my many cruises with Princess. They actually came close to what I've experienced on Crystal. I just want assurance that my previous Constellation cruise was not a fluke but what I can expect on my next.
Frank-in-CA
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Old December 26th, 2003, 06:01 PM
lysolqn
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Have heard and read a lot lately about food service cutbacks on Celebrity ships, but so far no one has been very specific. Lots of hype, not much substance.
Curious to know from veteran Celebrity cruisers who've sailed often prior to late November (the date those cutbacks were supposedly implemented), and since then as well. Did you notice any cutbacks in food service, and if so, what has changed?
We've sailed Celebrity 16 times - most recently, in early November, when nothing was mentioned about upcoming changes in food service - and are curious to know exactly what changes we will notice on our next cruise.
Thanks.
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Old December 26th, 2003, 08:04 PM
Jeanne&Ellis
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Talking with DH about this subject and he reminded me of a few things from our last cruise Nov.30th to Dec.7th.. Definitely less choices at the lunch buffet, but so much to choose from, I am not going to complain, although they also took the sliced melons from some of the buffet breakfasts. I remember that because that was my favorite thing to eat because the fruits are always outstandingly delicious. As for the little potato baskets, we never ate them anyway. Another thing which we have seen in some posts, in the new cruise brochure 2004, there isn't a mention of Michel Roux, but there is a few different things now available, that we feel it balances out in the end. They haven't stopped us from ordering more than one! Service is still the best around, we feel. Now it is true I only gained 5 pounds this cruise instead of 7 pounds. Maybe i am cutting back too!

Jeanne

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Old December 27th, 2003, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

The food is simply not the same as it was in the mid-90's, we all agree.

Adam


I wouldn't actually agree with that statement either. The food on my spring 03 Constellation sailing was considerably better than my Century '95 trip.

In my opinion the cruise line that has made the largest strides improving their food is Carnival. Pretty near everyone else has struggled back and forth with consistency.

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Old December 27th, 2003, 03:23 PM
hcat
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

I have asked Cathy who posted on recent Horizon thread what she meant by food there was better than Summit--Maybe we will get some specifics. No matter what we are booked & will not doubt enjoy without starving!. I am very much looking forward to the acquaspa offerings which have received very positive comments--fresh food, no lines healthy choices! And we will try the specialty rest if they honor our $25 off coupon!
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Old December 28th, 2003, 08:26 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: food cutbacks?

I'm sure my comment about the specialty restaurant will be challenged. First, you need to view it in the context that we had a most spectacular cruise on the Constellation where the food, service and ship were the best we've ever experienced with the exception of Crystal. We were comped dinner at the specialty restaurant and were not impressed. I couldn't knock the service as they went overboard (no pun intended) in that area. They were constantly filling glasses and fawning all over you. But I found the food not to be any different in quality as the main dining room. In fact, there were less choices. With the rumored cutbacks in the dining room, maybe there will be more differentiation in the specialty restaurant. If so, it is too bad they had to resort to that to make the specialty restaurant more appealing. Personally, I feel that a charge of $25/pp is a tad much compared to other lines. And if we had not been comped for this, I would not have sampled this option.
Frank-in-CA
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Old December 28th, 2003, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Now that we have many varied experiences on board Celebrity ships, I must say, service in dining room on Century's December 13th cruise was great in most cases, so let's leave service out of the question.

However, I must say, the food quality has changed dramatically since the November cruise. While the portions are satisfactory, the caliber of the cuisine leaves something to be desired. As an example, the last page of the dinner menue has the Maitre'D's choice for the meal, did anyone ever see the sodium count on some of the items? between 500mg -1,300mg ...quality food???

Nothing like the days when you were proud to tell others that you were sailing with Celebrity...Today, when you mention Celebrity, it is just a Ho Hum...



It wouldn't be a bad idea if someone in management would read these posts.
And Jeanne, we girls know it does not have to be quality food to put on 5-7 pounds, don't we?

Ann
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Old December 30th, 2003, 11:47 AM
Benjamin Smith
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Default Re: Re: Re: food cutbacks?

Frank,

This would not be the first time Celebrity has had cutbacks in food. The Constellation was new to you but I could tell you, unequivically, that the Connie's food (in 2002) didn't come close to what I had on the Galaxy or Century back in 1999. The presentation, the vegetables especially, the variety of desserts, the variety of cheeses, the variety of sauces and flavor of sauces, all considerably less quality than 1999. And, in 1999 Celebrity was new to me. In fact, people tell me that sailed Celebrity in the early 1990s that the food I received was considerably less than what Celebrity served in the early 1990s.

The problem is, Celebrity was aiming high in the early 1990s. The mid 90s cut back some but the ships and ovrerall product still aimed high. Now, Celebrity is resting on previous laurels and have embraced middle- mass market cruising and standardized ships. Yes, it is still very good and quite the value but this lowering of standards and food quality has been going on for quite some time. I appreciate your concern, I share it with you as well, but I fear the beancounters have taken over and Celebrity just won't shine in the food area and other areas as it once did. I think some of what Kuki says is correct, that perhaps they've found ways around waste and inefficiency and are making more sensible purchases. But most of the long-time Celebrity fans I know agree that Celebrity's food is now generally of lower quality and, cruise to cruise, hit or miss.
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Old December 30th, 2003, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Wow! I guess when they say the food is an important part of the cruising experience they aren't kidding!

I will be sailing on the Constellation on Jan 31st for my first Cruise ever and am anticipating a wonderful experience. As I have never cruised before, I have nothing to compare their food with - but as long as it's better than Kraft Dinner and hot dogs, I plan on relaxing, enjoying the ports and the ship experience and thanking my Hubby for a trip that not everyone gets the chance to enjoy.

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Old December 31st, 2003, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

I just wanted to quickly reply to the messages that I have seen posted with regards to food quality. I would agree that I think food quality on board has dropped slightly, but I would have to say that so have the prices compared with the 90's!!!!!

You can cruise for alot less now than you ever could before and sadly people believe that even with these huge drops in prices all of the amenities and quality on board can always stay the same. Unfortunately the reality is that cruise wide there have been reductions on board the ships and with prices so low and competition so high then something has to give.

Having seen the amount of great food that goes to waste on board the ships first hand, then I really don't think it will have a huge effect on anyone's experience on board. As someone stated earlier some cruisers will always need to find something to pick fault with. To all those going on board celebrity for the first time and worrying about the food quality I really wouldn't. If you do have problems then at the end of the day the staff are all there to help. I think you will find the restaurant staff especially are very helpful and accomodating.
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Old December 31st, 2003, 10:26 AM
Benjamin Smith
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Default Re: food cutbacks?

Bzeus,

Actually, for me, food isn't that important, although I'm looking for good food. The thing of it is is Celebrity is known for its fine cuisine. It is really one of the selling points of the line. Over the years there has been debates and discussion on the quality of Celebrity's food and whether or not the line currently deserves the reputation for fine food. So, on this line, more than most, the quality of the cuisine comes up fairly often.
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Old December 31st, 2003, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Re: food cutbacks?

THIS THREAD IS FUNNY!! I have been saying, all along, that the kitchen crew and head chef can make all the difference in the world. Prime example: My friend Linda was on the CONSTELLATION for the trans Atlantic crossing in October. She said that the food was lack luster and always served luke warm. My firend Bill, who is one of the best TAs in the business, just got off the Connie for the Christmas cruise and pronounced the cuisine to be the finest he has had on Celebrity in many years!!! Go figure!! If the kitchen crew is in transition there is usually hell to pay. My wife and I have always said, "Every cruise is different".

The "cutbacks" do not seem to be an intended reduction in quality...the jury is still out and we will have to watch this carefully. I seriously doubt that the management at X would be stupid enough to cut quality while Carnival is starting to come on strong in the cuisine department. Even the "airline executives" at X should know that the reputation of X is based upon fine food. We will need to watch this carefully.

ADAM...You make good points and you are very intent on getting the right information. BABETTE is a great asset to these posts because she has the inside scoop and I have never known her to be oncorrect. Her cruise savvy is the best I have seen anywhere. My point is that we can all learn by listening. Let's watch this situation and see what develops.

SAKARA: Everyone says that the prices are so much cheaper than the 90s...Maybe the lower category insides and lower category outsides are very reasonable but I have found that the suite prices and upper categories are as high as any other cruise line and now there seems to be more cabins with verandas and more Concierge type cabins and suites than ever before. Even the $499 cabins are paying $1000 bar bills at the end of the cruise and I see these same people blowing $100s and $1000s in the casinos. I do believe the trend to fleece the pax for big $$ will continue...They appear to be taking this to the next level. Will we eventually see a small main dining room with very mediocre food and service with many larger alternative dining rooms where we will pay bigger and bigger $$ for what we used to get included in the price of our ticket???
Stay tuned!!

BEZEUS: Let us know what you think after you return on your first cruise...You are going to have a great cruise!!


ROSS
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Old January 15th, 2004, 07:34 PM
SF Sharon
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Default Re: Re: Re: food cutbacks?

From what I recall reading somewhere on a cruise message board, Babette has cruised more than 150 times, and I would like to hear her opinion about the food after the cutbacks have been made.

Great food is very important to us on a cruise, and we would prefer to pay somewhat more in order to have excellent dining experiences aboard. I would like to know how much more money it would take per passenger per week in order to ensure great food quality. I doubt that it would be hugely expensive to get excellent quality ingredients prepared well.
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