In reading a review of the RCI Serenade in the Royal Caribbean message folder, I saw comments on the drop in quality of food (which I happen to agree with from our May 04 cruise on her).
Another poster commented that food quality is not really an issue for them when choosing a cruise.
So... of course, I got to wondering <G>.....
How important an issue is "food quality" to you when choosing your next cruise?
Personally, I admit to it being VERY relevant to my cruise experience. Not because I am a gourmand, nor do I expect gourmet quality. However, to me the dining experience is a big part of the cruise experience.
While we may be doing lots of different things on a cruise, we spend 2-3 hrs each and every evening partaking in the dining experience. So, in the overall percentage of time onboard a fair portion is spent on what I want to be an enjoyable experience.
If looking at a particular itinerary for your next cruise, and you saw a couple of ships doing the same itinerary, would you be more likely, or less likely to choose the one that had a better "reputation" in regard to the dining/service departments?
I guess that I am too easy to satisfy, but I have had very good food on every cruise. Rating the food on any particular ship may be a bit subjective. Several times I have seen one person on the same ship and same cruise refer to the food as bad with another person calling it excellent. Perhaps the presentation and service also enter into rating the food. All things being equal, I would rather have my food taste good than look good.
That being said, if the majority of the reviewers of any particular ship felt the same way about the quality of the food, it would certainly affect my choice of ship.
I am pretty easy to please food-wise. I think if anything, some ships I crave something that stood out (for instance, the onion rings and the dim sum appetizers on the Diamond). I seem to rate the food more with what stood out in my mind as fantastic. (Veal marsala comes to mind on Norwegian)
That's my two cents. :-)
__________________ Harry Martin
Moderator - Mexico and G/L message boards
One of the big things I like about a cruise is they've never asked me to cook dinner or wash the dishes so I'm happy. If its fresh & palitable then its good. I try to be realistic, they're cooking for 3000 people.
I dont know Kuki, since I have nothing to compare to. I really enkoyed the food on the Fantrasy and hope the Conquest is as good. But overall ..I think it does have a bearing on what ship to choose. I would go for the general comments on the food of a certain ship.
I agree with Kuki that food is very important. So much on the ship is orientated around food, plus we dress a certain way to come to meals, and probably most important, we PAY for that food. I've always thought that the ship itself influenced me the most, then itinerary, but food is right up there as a top priority.
I think the expectation for three 5-star meals each day (four meals, six meals?) come from out seeing the adverising from the cruise lines on television and from reading their brochures.
I would avoid a cruise line if read in the postings that the food was so disappointing that folks left the table hungry and had to eat a replacement meal at the buffet.
But, hey!, what should we expect in the real world? We chose cruises on price as if they were a commodity.
I was on Navigator this August (between hurricanes) and found the food at the level of a good Long Island Diner; what more could I have looked for? Family didn't go hungry, not even my fifteen year old son.
And my wife and I LOVED the coffee. Go figure.
Hmm.... I do not like 'fancy' food. As long as the steak/beef, chicken dish is nicely done, that will do for me. I do not eat any seafood(although I might try lobster since it will be served one night). I am a bit picky when it comes to beef quality though. But overall I am not that picky.
The ship, then itinerary,then food is what I choose when looking for a cruise.
NCL Jewel March 14/08(Southern Caribb.)VALOR Jan. 7 /07(Western Caribb. again!)
VALOR Jan/05-our first family cruise was great!
Food is some what important but not a big one. The service and ports of call are the main thoughts when looking for a special cruise. Many times I have sent something back that was not to my liking. For instance the sea food can be over cooked and I like a al dent pasta. so if it is not right ,send back. Te food on the Carnival was o.k. but I like HAL better. Vegetables and salads are another. i do not like the lido foods, I can get better hambergers at home ( fast food) The main dining is where I draw the line.
Like Michelle and several others said, it's very important to me.
In all honesty, it's one of the things (although not the only thing) that has kept us away from RCL. I've heard so many reports of the food not being as good as Carnival's.
We don't usually eat many meals in port, so 3 meals a day over 7 days is 21 meals that I want to enjoy!
Even though the food was excellent for dinner, on our last cruise we grew a little tired of the lunch meals and were actually longing for a meal in a port.
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
We've only been on 1 cruise....Caribbean Princess last May, but I was really impressed! Lobster and filet on the buffet the first nite out of port.....can't complain about THAT! ....overall, yeah, it was important. Activities/pools second, entertainment third.
We enjoy spending time with our table mates and having good food served. Some cruises are better than others on presentation and quality. Last time with RCCI, in 1997, the food was still good. In my opinion, the quality of food served on cruise ships 15 to 20 years ago was much better than it is now. The reason......most of the ships then only carried less than 1,000 passengers. Much different now with so many ships with 3,000 passengers food has to be prepared for.
Food is very important to me. I am generally pleased with the food on our Princess cruises, not everything was " 5 star* but there were lots of good choices. We cruised on Carnival years ago, and quite frankly the food sucked, the lunch buffet was like a high school cafeteria with greasy fries, salad that consisted of ice berg lettuce and a sliced tomato and gloppy thousand island dressing. BORING. I don't eat at "Dennys" at home, darn if I want to on vacation. I understand the food is better now.
I would like to try Celebrity, I hear the food is great, but it just isn't in our price range quite yet, plus now that we have tried Personal Choice dining I don't think we want to go back to traditional seating.
So the answer is the food is imporrtant to us, we pay thousands of dollars to cruise, and we do not expect lobster every night, but we do like lots of choices, and we are not meat and potato folks. I can cook boring food myself I don' t need to pay anyone to do that!As another poster said, presentation is great, but not if the food tastes bad. I like a happy medium decent looking food that tastes good, rather than a spectacular plate that tastes like crap!
So far we have been happy with Princess, ( yummy french toast, the sushi , although not the best I've had was pretty decent, and even the pizza was good) and we never eat in port, if I have to do that there is a problem with my cruiseline,
it's funny <in a good way> how people go on the same cruise line but have so many different opinions about the same thing. But I guess this is what makes us all "unique". I did not ever care much about the food since we aways had good food on our first 2 RCCL cruises. However, our last cruise in September on the Caribbean Princess the food wasn't very good through out the ship. Sure, some things stood out <the Love Boat desert> but it wasn't quality. The sushi wasn't great either. The lobster was cooked very well. However we never did starve. This beeing said we are considering our next cruise and we might try RCCL again because of the food issue and other major things that we did not like. So I guess food does play a role in our next cruise!
2015--- Alaska Cruise separate land trip to Ireland and England !
I have mostly cruised with Carnival and I think their food is great. I always enjoy the dining rooms. My early cruises on Carnival I remember the lido meals only consisting of burgers and fries. that has all changed now and I love the lido buffet. They still have the burgers and fries by the pool for those who want it. I went on Celebrity once and the food was very good there too. My cruise on the now defunct Home Lines I remember good food. I must be easy to please. The little windjammer I did from Maine was good too. The food was all "down home" cooking done by the Captains wife and some of the crew and passengers. Served up on deck. The dining experience is important to me, I enjoy anything from pizza to gourmet. I guess as long as I am not passing under "Golden Arches" at the dining room entrance I am going to enjoy the food.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.“
Sue-I agree with Sarah J--you got a "bum steer" on your cruise, as those who have gone before and after your group had a much better time.
Now--I'm pretty easy to please at mealtime-either in the Dining Room, or up in the Buffet. I can usually find something that will suit me. Hubby is a different story. I keep telling him that he should get a job as a meal rater for restaurants and cruises. He comments on everything from the rolls (stale?) to the sauce on the spaghetti or lasagna (too sharp), lettuce is limp, no choices in the line, etc, etc etc. Sometimes that spoils my meal having to listen to that, especially if I'm enjoying mine.
I go on a cruise as my annual vacation from work-everything is done for me, since I'm at the beckon call of my residents at my facility at work. This is MY time to be served. I'm there for the relaxation, the socialization and the freedom from the everyday schedule. Trevor has told me that I'm at my best when I'm walking the Promenade and end up talking to someone I know, or being engaged in a conversation going on while we pass. I do that in the grocery lines, too! Trevor likes his food-and is picky-but will eat until he's almost sick if he likes something. (Lobster, Crab Legs, etc). He also goes on the cruise as a change of pace-as he's the house husband while I'm at work so he doesn't have to do dishes, make the bed, make the meals, etc.
By my answer, you are more aware that I'm a conversationalist-no short answers! But, the food doesn't come first when choosing a cruise.
Sounds like Lynne & I are married to the same guy! I can always find something I like to eat. If I'm cruising, I'm happy! But DH has an opinion or complaint on just about everything. After almost 23 years I've learned to ignore him! As long as I don't have to cook or clean up, its good!
I think we can agree, however, that when they really like something, they'll go on forever, too! I also agree with the cooking and cleaning up part!
On this last cruise, I must say that at least one late night I was hard pressed to find enough to eat that was on my list of tasty snacks. I think it was the Mexican meal offers up in the Caribe Cafe.I ended up with a soft taco with some lettuce and cheese that I put on it, and lots of sour cream and guacolmole.Actually, there was another taco under the one I had so I got double the thickness. I did find some fruit and a little dessert, and, of course, my coffee----which, I didn't think was too bad, by the way.
I must admit that I'm not the overly adventurous type when it comes to food, partly because of allergies. I always check to see what's in the sauce or gravy, for example.
But--I "ain't" starving!! Lynne
We've been on Princess & Royal Caribbean, & I can't recall our complaining about any of the food. Except maybe lobster that was too done. We thought desserts were wonderful, especially on our last cruise on the Vision of the Seas.