Our Mike is just home off the Radiance, and I just read a post he had on chit chat....I can't wait to hear all about his cruise, but, one line I pulled out of the post, made me mad,and, sad...
Quote..."Sorry but the only good meal I've had is the hamburger from room service." So, I pose this question like the old, "point, counterpoint" segment on 60 Minutes...
How long do you continue to cruise on a line that is not up to par, on an integral part of the cruising experience.. The Food!
If you went to a restaurant on land, and you walked away unhappy, but, heard such good things, you decided to give them another try, and again, walked away having a bad meal, would you go back again? I bet the answer would be no!
I am a big fan of RCI, but, admittedly, it's been a while since I cruised them, so I cannot really remember our dining experience, except to say, I never went hungy. But should Mike's remark, or that of so many other cruisers, with talk of just so so food, be something that RCI, is complacent about, as it seems they are, with these comments going back years now.
Should the expressions, oh, you can find someting to eat, or, you can order another entree, if yours was not right, be one so bandied about?
So, I ask, does the food, just not matter so much anymore? Does everything else RCI offers on theirs ships trump the so so food? Was your food on your recent cruise ho hum. or can you honestly say it was wonderful?
Do you think RCI should get their act together, so, returning cruisers could be giving kudos to the food, as well as the ship itself?
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
I never have a problem finding lots of delicious food on RCCL ships- but we seldom eat in the dining rooms, maybe on the first night and then we show up on the last night with envelopes... I think the DR menus have been unchanged for years, I could remember almost everything on it last time- when I commented to my waiter he looked surprised, but it's time they did some overhauling of menus. Windjammer is where we eat, and I love it, but food is not anywhere near the top of my list as to what makes the cruise worth it.
As long as someone else is shopping, cooking and cleaning it up I will enjoy it.
I'm always amazed when I read reviews and each meal is described in detail with all sorts of comments re service- I can't remember what I ate yesterday- but on RCCL I always know where to find something good...
Just an afterthought- I was looking at Celebrity Constellation 13 nights Transatlantic from Miami to Hamburg on 4/11/10 on sale for $399 each with OBC.
If I put my two dogs into kennels and take that cruise it will cost me more to board my dogs than it will for me to travel across the Atlantic in comfort and eat as often as I want... so cruising is still one of the best bargains.
We have already made our decision on that. We just sailed HAL and I can tell you, the food was miles above RCL. We have found RCL's food to be terribly lacking on our last few cruises and therefore, because of that and other reasons, we have been looking elsewhere.
When we sail with RCL we do eat in Chops and Portofino's and find their food excellent. However I am not going to pay extra money every night to have eatable food.
I was looking at the new menus that have been posted on "that other board" and am completely unimpressed. Almost everything on them falls under darn cheap. If I want to eat hospital food, I'll go to the hospital.
On the Zuiderdam, we had lobster (and good lobster) 4 nights. Only 1 night was in the specialty restaurant.
As long as people are willing to make excuses for the poor quality food they will continue to serve it. I'm tired of hearing how many they have to cook for etc. It's just a much of excuses from die hard fans who just can't accept that RCL does serve terrible food.
I thought the food on RCL was passable. It was very bland which I suppose is on purpose.
I liked the food in Windjammer better than the DR. We were underwhelmed by much of the offerings in the MDR.
I think : To increase revenue --- they serve below par food in MDR and nudge you towards the pay-for venues for more $$$. They have found a way to make you pay even more for something that is already included in the price of your cruise ----- genius!
But to your point ---- yes, I believe food is less of an issue than it used to be. I don't cruise for the food. I cruise for the destination.
RCCL Serenade of the Seas
I do have to quantify and elaborate on this post. I was very disappointed in the overall quality of the food. That does not mean that everything about the cruise was bad. Actually; everything but the food was great. The ship is beautiful. The service is very good and the staff are overall wonderful and very accommodating. Our cabin stewards, Eduardo and Putu, were two of the best we've had on any cruise. We also enjoyed the activities and entertainment. However, food is something that is a part of the cruise that is important for my wife and I and in this area we were disappointed.
The main cause of the disappointment is that we have cruised Royal Caribbean a number of times before and on our first three or four cruises the food was very good. The previous two cruises had mediocre food and we haven't cruised them for three years. We decided to again give them a try. We were not looking for bad food. I approach a cruise with an open mind but, once again, the food was disappointing.
The food in the Windjammer was just fine and we enjoyed breakfast and lunch. The only thing I could suggest was a bit more variety for breakfast. It was the same basic menu each day but it did not leave me wanting.
The problems were in the main dining room and Portofino's. In the main dining room I sent food back three or four times and just didn't eat some items just because I was tired of sending stuff back.
There were also little things like: Soup bowls with soup running down the sides and not being wiped before serving. Entrées arriving before appetizers and then being asked if we still wanted the appetizer. These things, in themselves, are not major issues but do show a lack of coordination, manpower and/or training.
The specifics were: Escargot that had been sitting too long before serving and was basically a lump of cold bread crumbs on top of the snails. It came out in clumps when trying to eat it.
Steaks that my wife and I had that after a few attempts to chew had to be inconspicuously spit out into the napkin.
Roast beef that could not be cut because of the toughness. These issues were not just ours but others at the table. On both of these occasions another entrée was provided however the second entrée, salmon was over cooked to the point of crumbling.
I also found the food extremely bland and lacking seasoning. This in itself would have not been an issue, there's always salt and pepper, but other issues bring this to light.
Portofinos. My wife had a seafood pasta that had two scallops that were beyond fishy tasting and contaminated the taste of the entire dish. I also had mushroom pasta that when I went to eat it the pasta came out of the dish in a clump. My halibut was done on the outside but still clear on the inside. We did tell them of the problem and the chef apologized but because of the time between courses we did not re-order new entrées. The manager did not charge us for the meal.
I am someone who enjoys food but I am not overly picky but do not take the attitude of "It's fine as long as I don't have to cook it". In this instance I would have been happy to go into the galley and cook my own dinner.
I do have a major issue when food is over cooked, under cooked or just bad quality. I stated that the best thing I had was a room service hamburger and that was the truth. It was perfectly done, hot and juicy. I ordered that after the night at Portofino's because I was hungry. Also: the fish and chips in the Seaview Cafe were wonderful and our dinner at Chops was very good and the service was excellent. The mushroom soup was a highlight of the cruise.
I do believe that Royal Caribbean is cutting back or just neglecting on the quality of their products and I also believe that they have to really pay more attention to quality of what's going out of the galley. There should be no reason to have this many incidents of poorly prepared food on one cruise. I know that there will be many people who had wonderful food or enjoyed what they had but there are also many, like me, who had a memorable dining experience and the memory wasn't a fond one.
As I stated at the beginning the cruise itself was wonderful but the food is what was lacking.
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"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
I agree with you Mike. I understood you were only talking about the food. However, we sail for all parts of the cruise and that particularly includes good food wthout which the whole cruise can go down the tubes.
RCL ships are the best looking ships out there, but that isn't enough to cause us to book with them again any time soon. I will never say we won't book with them again, but there are things that have to improve and food quality so leads that race.
When we sailed Radiance last month...and I have to admit that for the first time we rarely ate in the main dining room. Our waiters were super nice...but for some reason getting the actual food to the table seem to be a problem. Also we weren't impressed with what was offered. I don't think it was bad...just not especially good.
So anyway we ate in Portofino's, Chops (excellent..but like's been said, who can eat there every dinner?) and Windjammer. Our favorite was the SeaView Cafe for late night snacks.
I have to say, from what I've been reading, I think Royal Caribbean should take a good look at their kitchen's and get some good dishes going...I have never had food that has been discribed here, but if I did, I may re-think cruising on them, good wake up call?