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Old August 31st, 2012, 04:17 PM
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Default How do you know what to order?

I think many of us would agree the main dining room food has skated downhill a little since the recession started.

So - if you have to dine in the dining room, what should you order and what should you avoid to get the best meals?

For example; I would check first before ordering fish, because it may not be as fresh as you expect.

Steaks can be good or bad. There are some steaks I might recommend and some I would order if I saw them. For example a flank steak, filet or New York cut.

I would probably stay away from Tenderloin or a "Swiss Steak".

Chicken can be good, but a chicken breast might come dried out.

Lamb chops - usually good, but I personally would not order a shank of mutton or veal.

Pasta is usually good.

But I would like to hear freom people with more gourmet experience than I have....
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Old August 31st, 2012, 04:37 PM
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Gee, we better brown bag it then!!
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Old August 31st, 2012, 05:12 PM
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Well I have some food intolerances which makes meal time interesting

Pasta and certain Indian/Chinese dishes are very successful with me.

I am allergic to salad vegetables (yippee) so I substitute spinach etc. I am also allergic to all shellfish and nuts.

When I worked in India. I really liked their vegetarian food - so I do order vegetarian occasionally.

Chicken breast is more miss than hit and coming from the home of Aberdeen Angus, I avoid all beef unless I know the farm.

So you might think what is left - well if I alternate salmon,sole,pasta,curry and vegetarian - I survive.

However I do live on rice and pasta dishes - I never starve.

Annie
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Old August 31st, 2012, 09:18 PM
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I do not eat steak ,lamb or fish .

I can usually find a nice vegetarian dish.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 09:48 PM
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We all know the time to try something new, is on a ship, but for many of us, there are sometimes when, nothing makes you happy. Ordering off the left side all the time can get boring. I could survive on the soup, apps,and sald if I had to. For the most part, I have dined happily.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Interesting. I've always thought that I had at least a decent palate, though I'm far from being a "foodie". That said, I have to comment that I have NOT noticed a deterioration in the MDR meals served on HAL. My last cruise was my first on Princess, and I was disappointed in both the lack of variety and in the preparation of several dishes, but put it down to that particular ship; perhaps I was actually seeing the result of a downward trend there.

When we were given a tour of the storerooms on the Eurodam, we were told that ALL fish comes on board frozen. I happen to like fish, and would not have otherwise known. I often order veal or lamb when it's offered, because my husband does not care for them and so we don't have them at home.

On other lines I've seen references to meatloaf, and in this one to "swiss steak" --- I have never seen either of those on a menu.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 01:54 PM
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I am pretty sure Carnival has "Meatloaf." As for Swiss Steak I am just refering to cuts of meat where they try to disguise the flavor and texture with lots of vegetables and spices, but when you chew it is it like rubber.

I had some kind of a local fish in Alaska - (I had never heard of it) on HAL, and it was awful - very salty.

Some fish comes packed in salt to preserve it. One night on a riverboat on the Seine the fish meal came out and it turned out an assistant chef had thought the salt was ice, so he didn't clean it all off before he cooked it. The result was terrible. That was one really embarassed cruise line - but they owned up to the mistake and told the truth.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 07:01 PM
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My wife likes to eat alot of fish when on a cruise since we don't prepare it at home all that much as I'm not a big fish eater. But as with steaks, some fish is definitely better than others.

As for steaks, personally I feel that we use to get a good choice steak in the main dining room, but now it seems like they're only serving select steak, which is not as good in quality. The specialty restaurants usually serve prime steaks, so we usually love to order a good steak there.

Since we're seniors (both of us are 62), we really like good food, so we really appreciate the food on Celebrity. We just got back from a cruise on the Paul Gauguin in Tahiti and I'm here to tell you that all of the food was the best we've ever had on any cruise, period! The surf & turf with filet mignon and lobster was to die for!!

But I'm thinking if food is one of the most important parts of your cruise, then you really need to research and decide which cruise line will satisfy your appetite. Because, as we all know, food is VERY subjective and what one person loves, another will hate.

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Old September 1st, 2012, 08:23 PM
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Just stepped off the NCL Dawn yesterday. The steak in the main dining room was excellent. Had it three nights (slight differences in the dish each night). I have yet to encounter a bad steak on a cruise ship.

Now, it couldn't compare to the meat served in Maderno, but it was still excellent.

Favourite dish of the trip in the main dining room was the Louisiana-style Red Snapper. Nice big fillet served in a spicy gumbo.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
I think many of us would agree the main dining room food has skated downhill a little since the recession started.

So - if you have to dine in the dining room, what should you order and what should you avoid to get the best meals?

For example; I would check first before ordering fish, because it may not be as fresh as you expect.

Steaks can be good or bad. There are some steaks I might recommend and some I would order if I saw them. For example a flank steak, filet or New York cut.

I would probably stay away from Tenderloin or a "Swiss Steak".

Chicken can be good, but a chicken breast might come dried out.

Lamb chops - usually good, but I personally would not order a shank of mutton or veal.

Pasta is usually good.

But I would like to hear freom people with more gourmet experience than I have....
Paul,
You probably already know that the USPH claims jurisdiction over all cruise ships that call at US Ports, all cruise ships whose sister ships call at US Ports, and all cruise ships whose companies sell cruises from the USA. When you think about it, that covers just about every cruise ship on earth.
USPH requires at ALL fish and shellfish served to passengers on the cruise ships they claim jurisdiction over, to be frozen before being cooked and/or served to pax. Strangely, this requirement does not cover fish served to crew.

Granted, some ships sailing outside US waters do cheat on occasion - and get away with it. Considering that the Japanese have been eating plenty fresh fish for the past few millenia - and doing quite well for it - it is probably not so risky to have the occasional fresh fish fillet on a cruise.

But sadly, expecting fresh fish on a cruise ship today is generally an exercise in futility.

Last edited by Bruce Chafkin1; September 2nd, 2012 at 02:12 AM.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 04:18 AM
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[QUOTE=Paul Motter;1444589]Lamb chops - usually good, but I personally would not order a shank of mutton or veal.

QUOTE]

The lamb dishes on Celebrity cruises have allways been excellent. I have had them quite a few times.

TM
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
Paul,
You probably already know that the USPH claims jurisdiction over all cruise ships that call at US Ports, all cruise ships whose sister ships call at US Ports, and all cruise ships whose companies sell cruises from the USA. When you think about it, that covers just about every cruise ship on earth.
USPH requires at ALL fish and shellfish served to passengers on the cruise ships they claim jurisdiction over, to be frozen before being cooked and/or served to pax. Strangely, this requirement does not cover fish served to crew.

Granted, some ships sailing outside US waters do cheat on occasion - and get away with it. Considering that the Japanese have been eating plenty fresh fish for the past few millenia - and doing quite well for it - it is probably not so risky to have the occasional fresh fish fillet on a cruise.

But sadly, expecting fresh fish on a cruise ship today is generally an exercise in futility.
Bruce, on a number of occassions, I have seen fresh fish cooked on a ship. First, are those times where fish is caught on a shore excursion and then cooked up for the individuals catching the fish. Second, I have seen local fisherman contacted in order to make a trade for some of their catch. Although not frequent, fresh fish does show up on board.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 11:05 AM
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We had excellent braised lamb shank on the Enchantment Of The Seas in June. In this case our headwaiter came over while we were looking at the menu and suggested it: "It is the best meat dish we serve from all the menus." How could I ignore that? It was delicious.

I always give waiter recommendations some thought.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 01:33 PM
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Even when we were in Alaska we were told that the USDA requires restaurants to use only fish that has been frozen first, so I am not surprised.

Now Marc generally travels on the more upscale ships - where chefs are known to go out shop in local markets.

But I like the way this thread is going - nice recommendations for good food on various ships.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 01:40 PM
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I usually find that if a line offers filet mignon that is an excellent choice. Azamara had one of the most excellent chef's dinners I have ever experienced.

I have also tried chef's dinners on Holland America and Norwegian Epic and both were very good.

I find the food in the alternative restaurants on NCL to be surprisingly good - especialy Moderno the Brazilian Churasscuria.

We tried the Lawn Grill on Celebrity and that was also really outstanding. It always really is a treat when you can get something fresh off a grill on a cruise ship.

In Alaska on HAL last month the grilled salmon at the outdoor lunchtime buffet was the best I had all week.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
USPH requires at ALL fish and shellfish served to passengers on the cruise ships they claim jurisdiction over, to be frozen before being cooked and/or served to pax.
Well, not quite ALL shellfish. You can select a fresh live lobster out of the salt water tank in the Crown Grill on the Crown Princess. It was one of the best lobster dinners we've ever had.

Pete
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cruise planner View Post
Well, not quite ALL shellfish. You can select a fresh live lobster out of the salt water tank in the Crown Grill on the Crown Princess. It was one of the best lobster dinners we've ever had.

Pete
Good point. It is possible on a few ships to have live lobsters.
But did you actually see a salt water tank?
When I last worked on Crown Princess we had to keep live lobsters in the refrigerator - not in water.
USPH has an entire program devoted to the multitude of regulations on live seafood from salt water tanks.

NCL installed a few lobster tanks on their ships several years ago. The regulations were so complex that they had to give it up - at least officially.
They kept the tanks and the lobsters, but claimed that they were aquariums and not for eating. Then they sneaked the lobsters out when someone ordered them.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
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Bruce, on a number of occassions, I have seen fresh fish cooked on a ship. First, are those times where fish is caught on a shore excursion and then cooked up for the individuals catching the fish. Second, I have seen local fisherman contacted in order to make a trade for some of their catch. Although not frequent, fresh fish does show up on board.
Exactly. That's why I stated in my post that some ships break the rules on occasion. If not calling at a North American port, it is highly unlikely that USPH will be around to check these things. It is even more unlikely that any passenger will have health problems eating fresh fish on a ship.

My ship is currently in Alaska. Every week we bring on fresh mussels and halibut. Most of this seafood is eaten by the officers - but the occasional VIP finds a surprise in front of him at dinner.
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