I've been reading some of the posts on so-called 'Celebrity food cutbacks'. Just wondering... Didn't Celebrity introduce added touches last spring / summer to further confirm its premium status. Am referring to champagne upon embarkation, poolside sorbets, sushi cafe, etc. Add to that Concierge Class cabins. Wouldn't it be weird of them to slash the food experience after. New menus and reduced food budget doesn't necessarily mean lower quality. Could be that contracts with vendors were negotiated down or seldom ordered items from the menu were dropped or more affordable ways of preparing a dish were conceived. Wouldn't jump to conclusions too fast... At any rate, I'll be on Celebrity in a few weeks. Will gladly report on my experience. Happy travels! NP
NP: I'll look forward to your report when you return. You make some very valid points. Have a wonderful time on your cruise.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
Lots of discussion on this topic, but so far no substantive evidence since no one has cited any specific examples of food "cutbacks" on recent cruises. Lots of folks have sailed since the rumored cutbacks were supposed to have been imposed (late November?) and the only mention on this board of cutbacks is the replacement of midnight buffets with "gourmet bites," something Celebrity started several years back. Hardly a cutback.
We just got off the Mercury New Year's sailing and there were a few small cutbacks that we noticed. The first was that we they did not offer cream or half & half with your coffee, only non-dairy. After requesting it several ways, Butler, Room Service, and in conversation with other staff and the Social Hostess, on the third day the Asst. Hotel Manager brought some whipping cream for the Butler to keep in his pantry for us. (Perhaps being in a Royal Suite helped). Another nit-pick was that they no longer had coasters for your drinks, just cocktail napkins which shred quickly when the glass sweats in the humidity.
The food in the dining room was as good as always, but not presented as elegantly.
They were all small items, not likely to be noticed by a first-time passenger, but to someone who regularly sails Celebrity, they were noticed.
There were several cutbacks in the food area. Steaks that were like shoe leather and couldn't be cut with a steak knife, Prime rib that was tough,,. Yes, they do provide Shushi, Champagne, but this is the window dressing.
We have found the quality and variety of the lunch and breakfast buffets to be down over past years.
At the lunch buffet, I saw the same items two days in a row. Ate there twice and the food was quite bland (the little that we did like to try) - ended up eating lunch the other 12 days in the dining room or at the specialty sandwich bar.
Didn't see the beans tied with scallions - but found the food in the dining room quite good - the presentation wasn't the same. And this was in November on the Millie transatlantic before the talk of food budget cuts.
As we have only cruised Celebrity once we are probably not qualified to respond, but overall we found the food (dinner especially) very good, but the buffets left a lot to be desired. Some will argue this point as we all have different tastes, but we found them to be less than inspirational and very boring. It was the same thing day in and day out. The presentation was very nice giving the appearance of real class if buffets can ever be real class. That was where it ended in our view. I honestly can not say we were disappointed in any of the dinner choices or the dining room for breakfast and lunch. In fact, after 15 cruises I think I liked the lunch on the Connie better than any we have tried.
Recently on Mercury - I have never liked the regular Buffet, only visit there if too late for anything else - it seems to me a waste of the cruise experience. So----The food in the dining room was as wonderful as I have always found - the Filet Mignon could melt in your mouth. I did hear the Lobster was rather bland but I couldn't say. The Cruise Director said Celebrity has cut down on their MIDNIGHT BUFFETS and thereby really decreased their food budget. Celebrity found that most people really were not interested in those very late night buffets & now they only have 1 or 2 per cruise, depending on length.
If the food cutbacks are only involved with eliminating the midnight buffet, I'd have no problem. However, the last cruise we had on the Constellation in the fall of 2002 only had one midnight buffet so they had already eliminated all but one. I'll find out in May I guess.
I am trying to understand which Constellation some of you on this thread and other were on? We found the meat on our November cruise to be very good, great selection and served just the way we requested; rare for my son in law and myself, med rare for the rest of the family. The one thing I think many of us are forgetting: in the so called olden days the ship food and service, by the way, was better than today; the cost of cruising was about twice as much as well. This goes for many things: Chinese restaurants in the 80s and back didn't all, or almost all have buffets. We ordered off the menu and the food was quite superior to todays. Even the better Chinese or any other ethnic food was better. It wasn't massed producted like today. This doesn't mean I want to good back to the "good ole days" it means things change, some for the better, some for the worst. Frank, I am sure you will not be disappointed in your food.
Bottom line, this has got to come down to personal tastes and preferences. Can't conclude anything else at this point. Some say the food was amazing, others mediocre. Just read the messages. Definitely depends on the individual... As for me, I'll see later this month on Millennium. One thing's sure, I can't believe a line would degrade food conciously to the degree described on these posts. Could the line be in an adjustment period after having revised budgets and menus, very well might be. Would they purposely decide to bring down their experience to such a low level, I have difficulty believing. Just goes against basic long term marketing logic! Cheers. Nicolas
"I am trying to understand which Constellation some of you on this thread and other were on? We found the meat on our November cruise to be very good, great selection and served just the way we requested"
That was our experience in the fall of 2002 and why we are sailing her again in May of this year. Hopefully we won't notice much of a change.
I just got off the Millenium 2 days ago and had the most wonderful meals. We did get steered in a different direction once or twice by the waiters but we were never disappointed with their recommendations. I had Prime Rib, New York & Filet Mignon. All could be cut with a spoon. The lobster (both) were rich, tasty & cooked to perfection. Tender, juicy veal & the most delicate stuffed quail. I never had a disappointing meal. Keep in mind people that the ship serves over 9000 meals a day!
Who really needs a midnight buffet after a 5 course meal. There is no shortage of variety. Some complaints are trivial. Consider how production line it must be in the kitchen to prepare all those meals, want better, go to the restaurant that you make reservations at, wait, have a long leisurely meal and no seconds.
Seriously, lets not get petty...no cream, no coasters.
Stop looking for things to complain about.
For those of you that enjoyed the very good food once served on Celebrity........we lost(passengers).... and the bean counters in Miami at the home office win again. I don't know what Celebrity has to offer me if the food quality and selection continues to decline?
BC Cruiser, right on! Let face it, no matter which line you cruise there will always be those who aren't satisfied. The cream thing did crack me up. I never even noticed when we were on the Connie. I don't use 1/2 and 1/2 at home but guess others do.
"I just got off the Millenium 2 days ago and had the most wonderful meals. "
Thanks for the positive report. It's good to hear it is not all gloom and doom. As far as the half & half issue, I agree with what someone else says - we don't use it at home so what's the big deal at sea? My wife prefers a non-dairy creamer and I don't care that much either. What I don't like, and they always seem to serve on Princess, is something that seems like a low-fat milk as cream. Now it takes a lot of that to meet my needs and seems to dilute the coffee too much. But that is not something that would keep me ashore.
Celebrity has been cutting back on the buffets for quite some time. When the Century was launched (12/95), they started instituting gourmet bites instead of a couple of buffets. They worked up to alternating buffet with gourmet bites and finally they are down to 1-2 midnight buffets. (We did have 3 on the 14 night transatlantic - a chocolate, a fruit and sherbert, and the Grand Buffet.)
The gourmet bites are nice, instead of having to leave your evening activity, the food comes to you.
Don't miss the Grand Buffet and look for the carved turkey. That is always a highlight for the viewing - see if we can spot the turkey. They carve a whole turkey into some object. One year it was an Indian head with the legs as part of the feather headdress. On our last cruise, it was carved into a pirate head with the turkey breast shaved into the beard.