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  #61 (permalink)  
Old April 7th, 2012, 07:06 PM
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I've cruised Crystal, Silversea, Seabourn and Regent thanks to my job with CruiseMates, not because I'm a "high earner".

On each, I interacted with a lot of different passengers, and only one person we met on Regent was at all as you described.

Everyone else we met on all those lux cruises were friendly, pleasant, and interesting.... because they are well traveled. With the one Regent exception, no one talked at all about their work, businesses, or jets.

In conversations I might occassionally ask what they did, and they'd say, but that conversation would end there, unless I pursued it further.

On Silversea, where dining is open, when you enter the dining room, the staff make a point of asking if you'd like a private, or "group" table. Each night we chose "group" tables, as did the vast majority of the passengers.

Almost every night we met new people, and each night the conversations were lively and fun. The way the dining room was run, initiated a very social atmosphere.

On Crystal I was on a set seating time and table, and I found the tablemates, as well as others I met throughout the cruise, very friendly, and welcoming.
And I found the staff on Crystal, throughout the ship, set a very relaxed tone, which the passengers picked up on.

One thing about the luxury lines that are all inclusive is there are no awkward moments about buying drinks, or sharing wine, etc. Because it's included no one worries about whose turn it is to buy a round. That also sets a very social atmosphere.

Crystal and Silversea were my favorites, and I'd go back on either one in a heartbeat.
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old April 7th, 2012, 07:32 PM
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Considering fares are cheaper than they were 15 years ago, I do not think specialty restaurants should be included in cruise price. Cruise companies to stay in business had to lower their fares. so they came up with things people would pay extra for such as gourmet ice cream, the specialty restaurants,gourmet coffees, etc.

I think it is up to us as individuals what we spend our disposable income upon. I for one don't give a hoot about gourmet ice cream-but if someone else wants that-why should not the cruise lines offer this as a source of income dollars.

We like eating in the specialties and we will continue to do so. We don't do it often-usually just once a on a 7 day cruise-perhaps twice on a longer cruise. Of course when cruising NCL we do it more often as their food is very much better in the specialties- whereas on Celebrity it is more the atmosphere is nicer and the food slightly better . Of course NCL the cruise fare is also cheaper-so it seems to "even out."

I do not see why it would bother anyone that we like to eat in a specialty every cruise. Why should it? Just like I am not bothered if they like the gourmet ice cream or the casino-I could care less about the casino-but I am not bothered that many cruise mainly for the casino.

Bottom line-eat there if you want-but if you don't want-don't. and realize if people were willing to pay higher cruise fares-there would be no pay extra restaurants.
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old April 8th, 2012, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by momofmeg View Post
Considering fares are cheaper than they were 15 years ago, I do not think specialty restaurants should be included in cruise price. Cruise companies to stay in business had to lower their fares. so they came up with things people would pay extra for such as gourmet ice cream, the specialty restaurants,gourmet coffees, etc.

I think it is up to us as individuals what we spend our disposable income upon. I for one don't give a hoot about gourmet ice cream-but if someone else wants that-why should not the cruise lines offer this as a source of income dollars.

We like eating in the specialties and we will continue to do so. We don't do it often-usually just once a on a 7 day cruise-perhaps twice on a longer cruise. Of course when cruising NCL we do it more often as their food is very much better in the specialties- whereas on Celebrity it is more the atmosphere is nicer and the food slightly better . Of course NCL the cruise fare is also cheaper-so it seems to "even out."

I do not see why it would bother anyone that we like to eat in a specialty every cruise. Why should it? Just like I am not bothered if they like the gourmet ice cream or the casino-I could care less about the casino-but I am not bothered that many cruise mainly for the casino.

Bottom line-eat there if you want-but if you don't want-don't. and realize if people were willing to pay higher cruise fares-there would be no pay extra restaurants.
Sailed on NCL also and found their specialties to be highly overated, about equivalent to Celebrity's MDR. Considered Cagneys to be on a level which Outback which I like but no where near Tuscan on Celebrity.

My outlook on their Specialties caused us not to eat in any of NCLs specialties on my second and subsequent cruises on NCL.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old April 8th, 2012, 09:32 AM
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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.

Take care,
Mike
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Old April 8th, 2012, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
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.

Take care,
Mike
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.

Iced Tea
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.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 12:42 PM
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And how does the Basic Cruise Cost per day: Room, Port, Taxes - compare to 6 - 10 years ago (since you are making essentially a cost comparison of food)?

I often see basic cruise costs for less than $100.00 per day per person. What is the cost of an AVERAGE hotel room per day? What do you get for that cost?

What do you expect for the price you are paying currently for a cruise when comparing it realistically to the cost you pay for an average hotel room & transportation TO the cruise?

A cruise INCLUDES the 'hotel room', transporatationn to multiple locations / Countries, entertainment & 3 plus meals a day. It sounds as though some people expect much More for the much Less they are most likely paying.

Last edited by ljjones; April 8th, 2012 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Correct wording.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 02:48 PM
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All a bit complicated...we just like the speciality places as a pleasant change, no big deal, don't think we are better, in fact some are a bit off putting for normal working types like us.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buttons16 View Post
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.

Iced Tea
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.
Just to comment on your last paragraph. The notification of raising the prices was part of a lawsuit filed by the Florida Attorney Generals Office years ago due to many cruise lines previously charging without putting the notification at the time of bookings. This was agreed upon by the courts and the cruise lines at the time and that is why they notify you at booking. I don't know what you are complaining about with the fuel costs, they havent raised any prices even though they could.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 06:10 PM
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Just to comment on your last paragraph. The notification of raising the prices was part of a lawsuit filed by the Florida Attorney Generals Office years ago due to many cruise lines previously charging without putting the notification at the time of bookings. This was agreed upon by the courts and the cruise lines at the time and that is why they notify you at booking. I don't know what you are complaining about with the fuel costs, they havent raised any prices even though they could.
Im not complaining about the fuel costs...MY point is missed yet again....

MY POINT ISpeople are willing to pay higher cruise costs due to higher fuel charges...But they won't pay a higher cruise cost due to upgrading the food and service in the MDR as years past..People have voiced their opinion that they are against paying higher prices for upgraded food and service...but will pay for a higher cost due to fuel...what is wrong with that picture.

As for a cruise costing less then $100 a day..what cruise line are we talking about ? a line with one ship converted from a ferry even the bottom of the barrel lines like Carnival will cost you more. I think you will be hard pressed to find a cruise for less then a hundred a day...OH don't forget to include Port charges, tax, tips and everything else.

What do I expect from a cruise line for the price I pay...Missed my point YET AGAIN....

I wish they raised the price of the cruise so the food and service would be up-graded...so JJONES your point about me complainng about what I get for the price I pay is not valid...I am more then willing to pay a higher price to get the standards up to where they were years back instead of nickle and diming me with lousy fees every time I turn around...Even Aqua spa blu restaurants charge a $5.00 tip per person...they could'nt find a way to include that tip in the cost of the cruise...it's things like that, that make people feel like they are being nickle and dimed.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 06:43 PM
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Random Examples from an area I am currently interested in cruising. There are multitudes of other examples:

14 Night Suez Canal Transit Eastbound from $749







customer reviews: (34)




expert review:





Ship Name:
Serenade of the Seas

Sailing Date(s): January 14, 2013

Ports of Call: Departs From Barcelona, Spain visiting Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt >> Suez Canal Transit >> Safaga (Luxor), Egypt >> Muscat, Oman >> Dubai, U.A.E.

Staterooms: Interior Oceanview Balcony Suite


Prices From: $749 $899 $1,199 $1,949
$54 Per Night! $64 Per Night! $86 Per Night!

12 Night Indian Ocean from $1,079







customer reviews: (20)




expert review:





Ship Name:
Celebrity Solstice

Sailing Date(s): November 11, 2012

Ports of Call: Departs From Dubai, U.A.E. visiting Muscat, Oman >> Cochin, India >> Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia >> Singapore

Staterooms: Interior Oceanview Balcony Suite


Prices From: $1,079 $1,179 $1,299 $2,849
$90 Per Night! $98 Per Night! $108 Per Night

16 Night Southeast Asia & China from $1,599







customer reviews: (12)




expert review:





Ship Name:
Diamond Princess

Sailing Date(s): Oct 2012, Nov 2012, Apr 2013

Ports of Call: Departs From Tianjin (Beijing), China visiting Busan (Pusan), South Korea >> Nagasaki, Japan >> Shanghai, China >> Hong Kong >> Nha Trang, Vietnam >> Phu My (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam >> Singapore >> Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand

Staterooms: Interior Oceanview Balcony Suite


Prices From: $1,599 $1,799 $2,499 $2,999
$100 Per Night! $112 Per Night! $156 Per Night! $187 Per Night!
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Old April 8th, 2012, 06:47 PM
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Also - the fact is most people are perfectly satisfied with the food in the Main Dining room & are more interested in the bottom line cost for the TRAVEL. Which is why you have the option of increasing YOUR cost by eating in the Specialty Restaurant on a nightly basis. It would seem that by this point in the conversation that you would understand that YOUR point is NOT the point of view of the majority.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 06:55 PM
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I for one would not want to dine in a speciality more than maybe twice a week. Too much rich food.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 08:54 PM
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Folks, we're twisting ourselves into knots over a guy who clearly will never be happy.

He's claims to be in a service business that caters to wealthy clients, and he hates them because they are snobs.

He makes categorical statements about food based on a complete lack of current experience.

He doesn't understand the economics of cruising (or of travel in general), and doesn't want to. The concept of getting what you pay for just doesn't register.

He's certain that the super premium lines are replete with customers in smoking jackets who want to rule the world, and who would look down on him, despite the fact that he's never been on such a line.

Finally, he supports his views by quoting dialog and scenes from the movies, which somehow don't seem to make his point.

He's mad at virtually everything and everybody, and I won't continue to engage with him. Most cruisers are fundamentally happy people; this man is not.

I'm done.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 11:09 PM
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Have been cruising since the late 50,s from Miami to Nassau and now have some 60 cruises to date and have kept receipts from past cruises and you are not paying any more than we did in the 70,s and agree that the food and presentation was much better in the past with many of the courses prepared at your table however with the numbers now being served in the main dining room this is absolutely imposable and if you want this great experience please try the alternative restaurants . Bite the bullet and enjoy yourself. Celebrity is a class act and they will make the visit a very special treat
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Old April 9th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buttons16 View Post
Im not complaining about the fuel costs...MY point is missed yet again....

MY POINT ISpeople are willing to pay higher cruise costs due to higher fuel charges...But they won't pay a higher cruise cost due to upgrading the food and service in the MDR as years past..People have voiced their opinion that they are against paying higher prices for upgraded food and service...but will pay for a higher cost due to fuel...what is wrong with that picture.

As for a cruise costing less then $100 a day..what cruise line are we talking about ? a line with one ship converted from a ferry even the bottom of the barrel lines like Carnival will cost you more. I think you will be hard pressed to find a cruise for less then a hundred a day...OH don't forget to include Port charges, tax, tips and everything else.

What do I expect from a cruise line for the price I pay...Missed my point YET AGAIN....

I wish they raised the price of the cruise so the food and service would be up-graded...so JJONES your point about me complainng about what I get for the price I pay is not valid...I am more then willing to pay a higher price to get the standards up to where they were years back instead of nickle and diming me with lousy fees every time I turn around...Even Aqua spa blu restaurants charge a $5.00 tip per person...they could'nt find a way to include that tip in the cost of the cruise...it's things like that, that make people feel like they are being nickle and dimed.
Didn't miss your point, you missed mine, I was just pointing out without opinion that the cruise lines are putting those passages in their reservations by court order. Trying to inform
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Old April 9th, 2012, 01:05 PM
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AR: "He's mad at virtually everything and everybody, and I won't continue to engage with him. Most cruisers are fundamentally happy people; this man is not.

I'm done."

AGREED.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR View Post
Folks, we're twisting ourselves into knots over a guy who clearly will never be happy.

He's claims to be in a service business that caters to wealthy clients, and he hates them because they are snobs.

He makes categorical statements about food based on a complete lack of current experience.

He doesn't understand the economics of cruising (or of travel in general), and doesn't want to. The concept of getting what you pay for just doesn't register.

He's certain that the super premium lines are replete with customers in smoking jackets who want to rule the world, and who would look down on him, despite the fact that he's never been on such a line.

Finally, he supports his views by quoting dialog and scenes from the movies, which somehow don't seem to make his point.

He's mad at virtually everything and everybody, and I won't continue to engage with him. Most cruisers are fundamentally happy people; this man is not.

I'm done.
Once again, spot on AR. Well said.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR View Post
Folks, we're twisting ourselves into knots over a guy who clearly will never be happy.

He's claims to be in a service business that caters to wealthy clients, and he hates them because they are snobs.

He makes categorical statements about food based on a complete lack of current experience.

He doesn't understand the economics of cruising (or of travel in general), and doesn't want to. The concept of getting what you pay for just doesn't register.

He's certain that the super premium lines are replete with customers in smoking jackets who want to rule the world, and who would look down on him, despite the fact that he's never been on such a line.

Finally, he supports his views by quoting dialog and scenes from the movies, which somehow don't seem to make his point.

He's mad at virtually everything and everybody, and I won't continue to engage with him. Most cruisers are fundamentally happy people; this man is not.

I'm done.
Not wanting to engage with my statements anymore does'nt mean much to me to tell you the truth...But I am pretty sure you are reading this reply...

To point out why you are twisting my words here are a few of you comments which I never said nor ment.

I never said I cater to wealthy clients...Please find that quote for me...I stated a majority of the clients were wealthy...I never catered to them...they used my service, its not like I searched for them.

I base my statements on a complete lack of current experiance...Well I do have many cruises under my belt as I have stated before..However word of mouth from people who have cruised recently and in the past along with Berlitz guide to cruising...whom I value their word more then yours states that the food has declined from years past.

Quoting scenes from movies...Find one quote from a movie...I stated that the higher end people I have dealt with are much ruder and more cut throat then the wealthy people depicited in the movie "Titanic"...

And finally if you feel someone who does not follow your thinking or has a different point of view, then you want to dismiss that person...

Do I really need to prove any more points of reference that you have twisted which really does not reflect in any way my point of view...

LIke I said before and will repeat....I would gladly pay a higher fare to get the food and service of years back.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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Let's see. We paid around $750 total for a 4 day cruise in an inside stateroom on Carnival Tropicale back 1998 for 2 people. That was in October, an off season hurricane month, and in the oldest and most worn out ship Carnival had at the time. It was like 20 years old in 1998. We actually lost power a couple of times-though only for a couple of minutes- thank goodness! ! That is about $86.50 a day a person. The food was great! Especially formal night-the food was more like what we now have in the specialties.

This June we are taking a 12 day med cruise on the Solstice in a spa balcony for $1650 each. Oceanview cabins are under a $1000 on this cruise right now. Solstice is what 2 years old-3 years old? This is with Celebrity- NOT Carnival and it is the Med is more expensive than the Caribbean. This comes out to something like $137 a day. So $50 more a day, for a much nicer stateroom on a better cruise line, on a ship much newer and in the Med.

That is what I meant by prices.

Dkretired I just mentioned NCL because we eat in the specialties even more on NCL. No they are not great, although my hubby and daughter love the French, and they thought that Brazilian steak house was superb. (I thought it was WAAAY too much meat and not enough veggies) Cagney's I thought was decent. I had a filet mignon. However on Celebrity Zenith, I had on formal night a porterhouse steak that I thought was about as good. Still, I do not find main dining room uneatable as some say-it more like comparable quality of Olive Garden or TGI Fridays.

As I told you before when we cruise NCL it is because our daughter works in our county school system and when she is off from work, the cruise prices are much higher.
For example we had a minsuite Thanksgiving week 2008 on the Pearl for around $850 each for my hubby and I and our daughter was another $500. Prices for Celebrity, RCI, and Princess that week we were looking at were between $1100 and $1350 for a balcony on some of them, $900 to 1100 oceanviews- you see why we booked NCL. Although some choices not that much more than what we paid-we would have been in a considerably smaller room-and 3 people so we chose NCL.

Hubby and I on our own-nope-the prices are within $200-250 each other most weeks- and as I said, we book the specialty perhaps once, when we go on better lines.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 06:01 PM
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Momofmeg

If you feel that MDR food is comparable to an Olive Garden and a T.G.I.F. then it is worse then I thought or heard.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 06:38 PM
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The newest movement by many cruise lines is to hire well known chefs, with great reputations, to redesign their ship's menus (not just the physical menu, but the food they servce).

For at least the past 12 - 18 months, I believe the food on those lines is improving, rather than waining.

They do have their work cut out, as I do believe that for the previous decade many of the lines had worked harder on making cut backs, and making them work.

At this time I think many of the cruise lines are actually refocusing on their food departments. They still have to work within budgets, but I do think we're seeing the bounce back in what they are serving.

But, no one should think it's possible to serve 1000 people at a seating, and make the food as good as in an initmate restaurant where all the food is cooked to order. All the food in the MDRs is pre-cooked to a degree, and salads, soups, etc. are prepared before hand.

A large ship can not pick up enough fresh products in the majority of ports of call to supply their needs. So, all meats and fish (for example) are frozen until needed, and they stock enough to last the duration of the cruise + extra to be sure.

On a seven day cruise, the ship carries enough stores to last at least 7 days. They can't take chances.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Momofmeg

If you feel that MDR food is comparable to an Olive Garden and a T.G.I.F. then it is worse then I thought or heard.
Oh really? Well we go out to dinner at such places about every week. (well not Olive Garden-no really healthy choices for me there) We do go to better restaurants but that is less often-once every couple of months or so.

Now I no longer eat fast food-but I do like Micky Dee's coffee!

Which is my POINT. People claim the food is uneatable-but yet if they are doing a land vacation they are eating at places like Denney's and Bob Evans. Now I like Bob Evans (but not Denneys) but I consider it a couple of steps down from Olive Garden.

Why not simply say when cruising you prefer to cruise on a line that serves better food? that would be the truth and not an exaggeration.

Anyway, back to what I said earlier. Until people are willing to pay more for cruise fare, they can't expect great cruise food. More gourmet items cost $$.

Just like the med cruise we booked in January. We started out in an oceanview, prices have dropped several times, first we upgraded to a balcony, then a spa balcony, now we are in a sky suite. Do I expect gourmet food every night? Not hardly, not for the fare we paid. Heck even though we get dinner twice in a specialty of our choice, I still do not expect gourmet food, although I am sure it will be excellent.

Now if we had booked a Crystal cruise where a 7 day runs about $5000 a person, yes then I would, for those prices I BETTER get gourmet food.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 04:11 PM
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First, You were the one that stated the food was comparable to a Olive Garden or a T.G.I.F....for me that horrible food for a cruise line in the MDR.

You brought out my point exactly...Lower grade of food and service and will stay that way until people are willing to pay a higher cruise fare, and in return get a higher quality food and better service.

Kuki your point of not being able to serve 1000 people a high quality food and service means you are accepting a lower standard. I do in fact think they can do better if we paid the price. Which brings us right back to the point of people not willing to pay a higher fare for better food and service.

Imagine peope will pay a cruise for two, sometimes adding airfare, hotels, hundreds in tips, tax, port charges, excursions, trinkets from the Islands, photos from the ship, liquor, soda, and many other items which adds thousands to a trip, but for heaven sake, DO NOT ASK ME TO PAY A HIGHER CRUISE FARE FOR GOOD QUALITY FOOD AND SERVICE...its laughable..
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Old April 21st, 2012, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Kuki your point of not being able to serve 1000 people a high quality food and service means you are accepting a lower standard. I do in fact think they can do better if we paid the price. Which brings us right back to the point of people not willing to pay a higher fare for better food and service.
Nope.. you are missing the point.... which is money doesn't make all things possible. Having been in the restaurant business for over 30 yrs. it is not possible to serve dinner for 1000 people at a time (plus that would be for two seating) with the same quality results as a restaurant preparing the food a la minute (when ordered).

The other thing of course, is if a person is willing to pay more, that option is available with more upscale lines, such as Azamara or Oceania. And even further by stepping up to pay for the luxury lines.

There are choices. People are chosing to pay for what they get. They certainly do have the choice of paying more to get more. There are options.

What your asking for is like going into a restaurant on land, and telling them they should improve their cuisine to whatever standards you may envision, and then you'll pay more. It is then irrelevant what the other customers might find acceptable for the restaurants current prices.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 07:53 PM
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Nope.. you are missing the point.... which is money doesn't make all things possible. Having been in the restaurant business for over 30 yrs. it is not possible to serve dinner for 1000 people at a time (plus that would be for two seating) with the same quality results as a restaurant preparing the food a la minute (when ordered).

The other thing of course, is if a person is willing to pay more, that option is available with more upscale lines, such as Azamara or Oceania. And even further by stepping up to pay for the luxury lines.

There are choices. People are chosing to pay for what they get. They certainly do have the choice of paying more to get more. There are options.

What your asking for is like going into a restaurant on land, and telling them they should improve their cuisine to whatever standards you may envision, and then you'll pay more. It is then irrelevant what the other customers might find acceptable for the restaurants current prices.
Im not asking for anything that has'nt been done in the past...PLEASE, I have been on many cruises in the past with close to a 1000 in the MDR...maybe 700 or 800. And the food was excellent and the service exceptional. So its not like it has'nt been done before. Its the cruise line cutting the budget for food and service and possibly the amount of staff in the galley.

As the cruise bible states (The Berlitz guide to cruising) "the food has been a lower standard from years ago aboard the Celebrity fleet". So yes it is possible to serve good high quality food in the MDR, its the cruise line's fault for not delivering that product. Blame also lies on the people who refuse to pay a slightly higher cruise fare which I explained in a earlier post.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 09:11 PM
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I'm the only "cruise bible" I go by. IMHO you have to go back over a dozen years to think about the food on the mainstream cruise lines being even consistently good. Dining Room food was rarely exceptional. I do believe service was universally better then.

Aside from other changes, the cruise industry has grown at a rapid pace since that time, and even finding staff who excel at offering great service is a chore, simply because of numbers necessary to fill staffing needs on all the ships.

They could improve their training programs to demand better quality from their staff, but there's expenses that go with that.... even presuming you find the people with the right aptitude.

It's not all about simply improving the quality of the ingredients.

Aside from all that the standard cruise fares were all well over $1000 for a 7 day cruise in even an inside cabin, balconies were closer to $1500, if not higher.

Today, it's not difficult to find balcony cabins for $899 (or less) for a 7 day cruise.... and that's including the taxes and gov't fees, as well as the accelerating fuel costs.

The economy dragged after 2001, then went into the tank in 2008. The industry has done pretty well, can you imagine how things would have gone, or will go, if fares increased 40 or 50%?

Frankly, though service can vary with the luck of the draw on the service team you get, I don't find the food on today's cruise ships, that bad at all.

And if I want a slightly better meal I can pay that $25 extra for my meal any time I feel like it.

Yet, other than NCL, where the variety of cuisine in the alternate restaurants is the draw for me, I find food in the regular dining rooms most often qualifies as very good.

On the other hand, I think entertainment is better on ships than it ever was.

Great restaurants on land are also, as a rule, much more expensive than they used to be. You can get a very good dinner for maybe $25/person. But, you generally can't find a great meal for less than $50.

One has to look no further than their own grocery bills at home to realise how much more expensive food has gotten.

In my view it's really a silly arguement. Mass market ships are feeding the masses. The masses are interested in inexpensive vacations.

Those who want better have the ability to pay to upgrade the experience on the more upscale lines.

If the economy ever fully recovers to the levels of the 80s and 90s, leading the customers base to be more affluent, and confident enough to spend more, I would imagine the current business model would adjust to that.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 10:20 PM
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You people are batting your head against a wall with this guy. Everyone who disagrees with him (and that seems to be just about everyone) gets told that they are missing his point, because his is the only right perspective.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 09:39 AM
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You people are batting your head against a wall with this guy. Everyone who disagrees with him (and that seems to be just about everyone) gets told that they are missing his point, because his is the only right perspective.
If you don't mind I am having a discussion, its not like you make it seem to be somewhat combative...I enjoy opposite sides have a conversation and getting different points of view...if you don't want to partake in this conversation then you don't have to reply to the thread...if you do want to partake then I suggest a point of view on the conversation and not attack the side you disagree with.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 09:47 AM
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Each cruise line gets a certain budget for different areas of the ship such as entertainment, food, service and many other things...its up to the cruise line to decide how much goes towards each area.

Years back and not decades, I am talking maybe 4 or 5 years...Celebrity was know for excellent food, the buget they spent on food was much more then say a NCL, Carnival or Royal Carribean. Carnival spent lots of their budget on entertainment and less on the food. At this time some of the worst food on a cruise ship can be found on Royal Carribean...Though I have ever sailed Royal Carribean, I am told by many friends that the food was very dissapointing. All the cruise guides also rate the food on Royal Carribean with low mark.. see the CONNECTION.
Royal Carribeal bought Celebrity cruise line...even though they are both seperate cruise lines, I truly believe that the decline on the quality of food and service has to do with Royal carribean leaving their mark on Celebrity. I say Raise the fare and give us quality food and service like it use to be.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 10:27 AM
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An interesting thread...

A couple of points:

Berlitz isn't necessarily the "bible;" I think Stern's is much better. Berlitz suffers from the same problem as Consumer Reports; they normalize to cost; i.e., instead of comparing one item to another, they put a value on what you "should" get for the cost.

Kuki, time for you to go back on Regent. I, have found a few folks I never want to see again but all in all a wonderful group of passengers. Food and service are fantastic!

Supply vs demand is a very valid argument when it comes to pricing of specialty restaurants. No way can 3000 pax all go to specialty restaurants in a week. I think prices will continue to rise to equate supply with demand. Although I have never sailed them, I like the NCL model of multiple restaurants with different fees.
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