Um, I'm trying to think as we just got back what the worst thing I tried was. I can say I was most disapointed by the midnight gala buffet. I was SOOOO tired and sick but I fought it to be able to see the display, which was very nice, but the food was sort of a let down. Maybe it was an off night but I didn't find one thing, OTHER than the cakes, that stood out. AND the coconut chicken I think it was, YUCK! It tasted like what lemon wood polish smells like. Ewwwww.... Oh yeah there was one dining room meal I didn't like it was the Beef Wellington, with Goose Liver. OMG! Lol
Since I've from N'awlins, I am quite picky about food that is under-seasoned. The ONLY complaint I have with any food (from 3 different cruiselines) is the lack of seasoning in many items.
I think the problem arises when folks order entrees they are not familiar with. Example:
Beef Wellington. On Carnival, it is absolutely delicious! It's traditionally made using a filet mignon, a very thin coating of pate' (goose liver), and a flaky pastry crust.
I'm a retired Food & Beverage director for hotels, as well as retired caterer. I rarely find food that is not acceptable. BUT then, I do not eat at the buffet. Buffet food is buffet food, period. I prefer being 'pampered', taking all three meals each day in the dining room.
On my last cruise on Carnival Spirit we found a cake called "bleu cheese cake". It looked heavenly but just try and eat it!!! AWFUL!!!! Everything else was very good.
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The worst thing I ever had on a cruise ship was a pasta dish on the Grand Princess. I swear it was canned dogfood warmed up and plopped on a bowl of pasta. I shudder just to remember it!! The smell was terrible. Now, when we get something we don't particularly care for, one of us will "bark" and we know it means don't eat it!.
I also had frog legs on Crystal Harmony once. It was half a frog (cut at the waist with feet still attached)... steamed (and slimey)... placed on a white plate with a few "garnishes" around the edge. It was hilarious and disgusting all at once.
While the food on the Golden Princess was not "bad" portions were small and they tried to make the dishes too fancy. I would not do free style again as the waitstaff does not get to know you and you often have to wait to be seated.
Well my only complaint in this department is that the entrees focus on meat. If you want vegetables for lunch or dinner you have to make a special order. I wish the cruise lines would offer more vegetarian entrees or provide a selection of vegetables that you can order as a side dish. Sometimes I just want a "vegetable plate" - potatoes, beans, brocoli, squash, corn etc. A "vegetable plate" is a foreign language on the cruise - you have to talk to the maitre d and order in advance to get something like this. The only exception is Crystal - if you want a vegetable plate just tell your waiter and voila you will get what you want.
We were on the NCL Sea last December. Our biggest disappointment was lobster night. We each got 1 1/2 small tails. One of the lobster tails I got was O.K., the half was terrible. My wifes was inedible. Other than that the food in the restaurant was quite good considering it was one of the lower priced cruises. The buffet on deck 9 was just O.K. Very crowded, and really not much variety. But for the price we paid for the cruise, We really can't complain.
If Johnny Rockets on the ship is anything like the few we have in northern California, it's a pretty good hamburger joint. Great sandwiches and shakes too.
Have a great cruise all!!
Carnival Splendor (3 days of towing back to port)
Grand Princess had one dish that was a major disappointment. I ordered the "Beef Wellington" and it turned out to be left over roast beef with gravy. Plus breakfast in the GP was ice cold.
One of many good things about the food on the GP - the substitute steak was great and the substitute NY cheesecake was better than most regular desserts!
The food on the SENSATION was pretty good. I was hoping they would run out of rice and use plain old potatoes but they never did. . That was my fault, I could have ask for potatoes but didn't.
If you don't like what they are serving ask for something else, but please ask nicely. We don't all have to like the same things but we shouldn't blame the poor waitress for it either.
As far as getting what you pay for, I think that is out of line. McDonalds sounds better than a couple of these posts and I 'know' we all paid more than McDonald prices for our cruises. Just my thoughts.
I was on the Naviagtor of the Seas this past August (between hurricanes <whew>).
The food was generally acceptable all around. I'm from New York and it seemed to be on the level of a top Diner, and that was fine with me.
The Windjammer actually had better food for lunch than the main dining room, in my opinion. For breakfast, on the days we had shore excursions, the oatmeal was "just right" and you can get eggs cooked to order at the omlette station.
I don't know what folks thing they deserve to eat on a cruise; maybe it is the fault of the television commercials advertising the Cruise Lines.
I thought the dining room food on the Sensation was very good. Buffet was okay, nothing special though. I don't know how anyone could find the food on Sensation bad in the dining room--everything I ordered was good to great. I think some people don't know what good food tastes like!!!! They are so used to bland garbage from chains such as Olive Garden, Applesbee's, etc.
Yes, I had been warned, read the bad comments but like the inquisitive child who is told not put their finger in the light socket I had to do it. I found out that all the negative comments were true. It was awful; over cooked, overly marinated and cold. At least I ordered a back up at the same time and was very glad I did. It at least saved the waiter from having to go back to the galley to make up for my "curiosity".
BTW: Our waiter suggested my backup. :-)
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We have been on 5 Celebrity cruises & 1 RCL and I have to admit that the food on RCL was acceptable but nowhere near the quality of Celebrity. However one of my cousins was turned off by the food on RCL calling it "too fancy" and "Sunday Dinner every night". This was her first and probably last cruise. So perception is everything. I haven't always liked everything I've ordered but I've never had a meal that was cold or inedible. And I've certainly never walked away hungry.
So far, out of 6 cruises, the worst food was on the Radiance. Nasty, overcooked beef. Gluey gelatin based desserts. Tiny soggy little langostinos swimming in some oily concoction...this was their version of "lobster tails."
Great food on the Carnival Pride and Conquest. Leaving in 7 days to try the food on Carnival Miracle. Hope its as good.
The low end passengers always is a worse distraction for me rather than bad food. I prefer to sit facing the wall and not have to look at all the dregs and ferry boat crowds. Fellow dining room table mates can make or break a cruise dinner. It is hard to enjoy a rack of lamb when the table mates are wearing gang banger clothes and baseball hats. For that reason, I try to eat facing away from the crowd.