The one thing I look forward to most on ships is the dining experience. I have been impressed with Carnival recently, as their food quality on their newer ships now is on par with many other lines in my opinion.
I am ready to book my next cruise, and would be willing to try new lines. I can not afford the "high end" lines, so they will not be considered.
Of the lines rated below, please respond by ranking in order from best to worst the quality of food in the main dining room. Please do not list any line for which you have not sailed in the past five years.
My experience says: celebrity, carnival, norweigan but all three were very good! Celebrity's is slightly more upscale. Although I like to think of myself as at least a little sophisticated, sometimes I didn't know what items were and would have to ask the waiter. Also, they have truly fabulous homemade deserts, breads pastries and ice cream. By comparison, on Carnival I found these types of items only passable - I wouldn't bother with them reasoning that I'd rather have the yummier items take up space in my tummy and add to my calorie count!
I have had better food at very expensive restaurants (the truly extraordinary ones) but each of these lines offered fare that was as good as most expensive restaurants.
You will not go hungry.
I have only been on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.
1st choice: Celebrity (every dining room meal was great)
2nd choice: Royal Caribbean (Explorer was okay, Brilliance not so great.....weird spices in their dishes)
On any ship, try the specialty restaurants, they are worth the money.
I'm going on the Summit next week, I'm sure the food will be great. I'm also going on the Jewel of the Seas next year and it will be interesting to see if the food is the same as the Brilliance) I hope not, I hope they've improved their recipes.
I have been on Celebrity, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
Food on Carnival is up with the best I think in the main dining room. Carnival also has pizza 24 hrs a day. I like Celebrity mostly because of the cabins. Royal caribbian food was not any better than Carnival in the Dining room
Carnival ships sailed- the old Carnivale, Paradise, and Holiday
Celebrity-- Milennium, Infinity,Constellation, Summit, and Horizon.
RCI- Monarch of Seas, Splendour of Seas
Now I am not mentioning the speciality restaurants on the Celebrity ships. Nothing can be as good as that, but the main dining room on Celebrity is not any better than on Carnival at least as of last July.
Between Carnival and Princess- We liked Carnival more. There are more menu items I want to try on Carnival, items are less gourmet on Carnival, and overall quality was better on Carnival. Carnival has great pizza, and you can get it by the slice, whereas you cannot on Princess. I also don't like the late night lido service on Princess, where you can't just grab your own food.
Dinning experience is a lot more than good food and service. Dining room experience should be measured by “How much did I enjoy the it”. My best experiences have been with RCL. Not only was the food excellent, but the employees seemed to be trained to entertain, and socialize with the patrons. They’re happy, capable, and seek to make each dinning experience an unforgettable one.
I’ll be sailing on Hal this April, for the first time. I expect great food, excellent service, in an elegant setting. But I find it very difficult to believe I could have a more enjoyable time than the ones I’ve had on RCL. I’ll be expecting to have room service, and eating on the balcony, on HAL. Breakfast al fresco on the balcony won’t be hard to take.
All the people at our table (friends we met, while dining on the previous RCL cruise) Looked forward to the next dining adventure.
Also everyone I met on RCL cruises was always pleasant, and well behaved. The spirit is infectious.
I have posted on this topic on this forum and the NCL forum within the last half hour. I did not discuss Celebrity however. We sailed the Mercury to Alaska 6/1/03 and found the food very disapointing after reading all the great reviews and the Celebrity forum for months after cruises with Carnival 12/99, 12/01 and NCL 11/03. That said: I have never had totally bad food, some is better than others and if i don't have to plan, shop, cook and clean up I am a happy camper.