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Old August 22nd, 2010, 09:35 AM
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Default Bad food happens......

Lets face it...on any cruise line, once in a while there can be something we ordered, that just was not up to our liking. What I usually do, is just wait for my next course, I know I won't go hungy. With an entree, I might ask for another choice, maybe not. I did once decide to order poached halibut once, lord only knows what I was thinking, but, it was my bad..surely a poached fish lover,would have been in heaven While I surely enjoy the dining aspect when cruising,I know, there will be another meal around the bend


Could this low key attitude though, add to the deterioration of some lines food...if there were constant passenger complaints, do you think things would change? As ships get bigger, and then even bigger,could the focus of the food, get lost in the shuffle of other focal points onboard?

I have seen, diners get upset with the waiter,[don't kill the mesenger] leave the mdr, and, never come back, deciding to eat elsewhere, and people like me....perhaps telling the waiter, it was not to my liking, and wait for the next course. My waiters have always been solicitous,and I appreciated that.

So...how do you handle a not so great tasting dish, and have you seen ill mannered upset diners?
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Sometimes no matter where you are eating you may get a meal or an item that's not what you expected or to your liking. If I'm really hungry and wanted a particular item that was tough, cold, or otherwise not up to my expectations, I simply and politely in a low voice talk with the server and ask for another or a different 'entree, and always thank them for their cooperation and help.
This can be done politely and quietly without storming out and making a scene, as I've seen some folks do.
But, I've seen people throw tantrums and be rude in restaurants at home as well as aboard ships.
Politeness and being gracious will get you more help and cooperation from the service staff than throwing fits and creating a scene!
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 10:37 AM
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We've only cruised 4 1/2 times but we never had bad food
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 10:56 AM
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The only time I can remember having bad food[not my choosing something new to try,like that poached halibut,and just didn't like,] was on the Zuiderdam. We had a triple threat, bad food, waiter and asst waiter not getting along, and probably the worst placed table in the dining room...All that made for a not so pleasant dining experience...My friends we cruised with, are big time HAL fans, and they were so surprised, by it all, and we lost the other couple for a few days...
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 11:54 AM
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I have never blamed a waiter or asst for the food quality. I have many times in fact, sent fod back as unacceptable. The worst was on the Solistice in May when we did not have a single meal that was within the parameters of what we term good. Every single main was cold and I do mean cold. The only meal we enjoyed all week was at Maurano's.

One of the reasons we have slowed down with cruising on RCL is because we feel the food is sorely lacking. The last time we were on the Brilliance I ordered a shrimp dish. The first mouthful I almost chocked it was so salty. I'm sorry to say, that's the kind of thing I'm finding on all cruiseships.

At the same time, the extra pay restaurants food is delicious.

I believe that as long as cruisers keep making excuses for lousy food instead of complaining (not blaming - just complaining) it will continue to get worse. First of all, the can't fix what they don't know is broken. (I'm being kind with this statement).

Let's face it, all the extras on board, pay restaurants, booze, etc are where the cruiselines make their real money. If no one complains they will continue to push until either the cruisers revolt or everyone starts paying to eat decent food.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:06 PM
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We have never had bad food, but there have been times when my DW does not care anything on the menu.
When this happens, we politely mention it to the server and they allways have come up with something that she likes.
If you are kind and considerate people will go out of their way to please you.

Henry, how do you do 1/2 cruise?

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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
The only time I can remember having bad food[not my choosing something new to try,like that poached halibut,and just didn't like,] was on the Zuiderdam. We had a triple threat, bad food, waiter and asst waiter not getting along, and probably the worst placed table in the dining room...All that made for a not so pleasant dining experience...My friends we cruised with, are big time HAL fans, and they were so surprised, by it all, and we lost the other couple for a few days...
Our next cruise will be on the Zuiderdam
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
We've only cruised 4 1/2 times but we never had bad food
How do you do a 1/2 a cruise?
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:12 PM
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Default 1/2 cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
We have never had bad food, but there have been times when my DW does not care anything on the menu.
When this happens, we politely mention it to the server and they allways have come up with something that she likes.
If you are kind and considerate people will go out of their way to please you.

Henry, how do you do 1/2 cruise?

TM
Manuel,I've mentioned this before ,you are the first to have inquired.

We boarded a cruise ship at 11PM in Maine and arrived in Yarmouth ,Nova Scotia 7AM the next day .
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:23 PM
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Henry, in 05 when we sailed the Zuiderdam, they had what I though to be the most crowded dining room I had ever seen..It was almost as if they had set up tables in walk way areas. Little spacing between each table added to the crowded feeling.

They also have step up levels, which out table was in. This table was a table for 6... three chairs and a banquette, stuck in a corner, very close to another table..My friend, who is a big man, sat on the end chair, with his wife opposite hm on the banquette...so she was tucked deepy in the corner,and he was way too close to the patron, at the close table.

Consequently, to get them their meals, it was quite tricky,and uncomfortable for all. My advice to you, would be to, visit the dining room, and see your table placement, if it seems familiar to this description, ask for another table.

We did enjoy this ship, and the Pinnacle Grille, this was our only gripe.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:24 PM
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My main concern, and I have voiced it to a couple of head waiters, is the comment cards. The waiters are so freaked out that if you mark them lower on the card, they will get demoted when all I want to do is rate the food! "RCI" has been a real roller-coaster ride and it is amazing when the whole fleet follows the same menu. A "Princess" assistant Maitre'd was bold enough to say that the head chef can make or break a menu with how they run the kitchen and which personal tweaks he or she is willing to use (and still stay within budget).

None of this will keep me from cruising but it is frustrating, Robbie
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
Manuel,I've mentioned this before ,you are the first to have inquired.

We boarded a cruise ship at 11PM in Maine and arrived in Yarmouth ,Nova Scotia 7AM the next day .
We did that as well. I guess that you could call it a 1/2 cruise.

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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:47 PM
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Default Returning and asking for another entree

If a specific dish is ordered and it is returned in exchange for another entree enough times, it screws with the Chef's budget. It's not in the interest of the cruiseline or the Chef to keep throwing away and entree and having to send additional food/different entree out the doors of the kitchen. Same thing if no one orders an entree that the Chef's budgeted food purchase includes. If you just let the entree be returned w/o exchanging it, it will continue to show up on the menu...on that ship or fleetwide. We can usually find something to our liking. We have on a couple of meals where we have chosen "poorly." Our waiter has always noticed and always asked if something was wrong, offered us another choice and we've always been polite but accepted his offer to exchange the bad choice for a different entree. We've never blamed the waiter, stormed out. That just doesn't accomplish anything. Having to see one entree repeatedly returned or rejected as a choice DOES make a difference. It doesn't happen overnight, but it does register and get attention in a critical place...the food allocation and budget. In "other comments" we've said, "poached halibut" (and I actually think that was the entree for us too) was terrible and not a good menu choice and we always compliment an entree we loved and compliment our wait staff.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 05:01 PM
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There is a big difference between sending something back you do not like it and sending something back that is not properly prepared.

Many people confuse these two things. Trip's example of poached Halibut is a good example of this. The nice thing about a cruise ship is that you can get another entrée and remember not to order that dish again. The problem is that I have seen many people order things that they were not familiar with or had some sort of strange idea of what it should taste like and when they receive it they think it's improperly prepared and that the food is bad and go off on rant when they are the ones who are wrong.

On the other side of the coin if something is not properly prepared then send it back and request the same thing properly prepared. Give them a chance to get it right. If they don't either order something else or just give up.

Never blame the waiter for improperly prepared food. The waiter is probably the culprit if the food is cold.

Now is where I will be flamed: I do have a personal issue with the attitude of "It doesn't matter to me what the food is like. As long as I don't have to cook it or clean up then it's good for me".

If it's good then that's fine but if something isn't good bring it to the staff's attention. The cruise lines will do things to the lowest tolerated level and if poorly prepared food is tolerated then that's what you are going to get. People who put up with this are just as bad as the person who has a fit because they are served something that they "don't like". Don't allow the bar to be lowered. Unfortunately, I am seeing the bar lowered across the board.

Julia Child said it best. "You learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences."

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 09:50 PM
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Hello again....

Ok...I was going to not post anything about Mike's response about having "personal issues" with someone like me who is just happy to be onboard and NOT having to clean OR COOK, but I couldn't let it pass...and heck Mike....I would NEVER think of FLAMING YOU . One good thing about these boards are that you can voice your opinions...and not have someone FLAME YA.....like some other "boards" i've heard tell of.

I think women especially can relate to having someone ELSE do the cooking, cleaning, preparing, etc.......and I know some men do DO all of that too, but to be pampered like that on the cruise just makes me so DARN HAPPY:-D.....that being said....I wouldn't say that it lowers my food tastes.....I know what I like and I'm not a hard person to please..but if something was served to me and I didn't like it...I would send it back or ask for something else.

Now.....as for FOOD...something that has happened on our last 2 cruises, we are from CANADA EH......so we mentioned a poutine to our waiter and described what it was.....and EVERY night they made up 2 plates of it and brought it as an appetizer it was such a great thing for them to go out of their way to do this for us.....sure made us feel right at home!

I think the experience in the dining room is a special part of our cruise, we've always had the best tablemates and waiters. But again.......it's like life I guess........it's what YOU make it

Happy Cruising to us ALL!
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p.s. Mike.....I don't think you were quoting me personally.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
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Henry, in 05 when we sailed the Zuiderdam, they had what I though to be the most crowded dining room I had ever seen..It was almost as if they had set up tables in walk way areas. Little spacing between each table added to the crowded feeling.

They also have step up levels, which out table was in. This table was a table for 6. three chairs and a banquette. stuck in a corner, very close to another table..My friend, who is a big man, sat on the end chai, with his wife opposite hm on the banquette...so she was tucked deepy in the corner,and he was way too close to the patron, at the close table.

Consequently, to get them their meals, it was quite tricky,and uncomfortable for all. My advice to you, would be to, visit the dining room, and see your placement table, if it seems familiar to this description, ask for another table.

We did enjoy this ship, and the Pinnacle Grille, this was our only gripe.
We will definitely do that .
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 08:40 AM
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A couple of comments. We were on the Zuiderdam in January. We found the food the best we've had in a very long time. I did notice on the second level (where we were) there were step up levels and some elderly had difficulty with it. However, on the second night their waiters, section heads and assistances were waiting for them to lend an arm for anyone who needed it. I certainly have never seen this on any other line.

I have no interest in using the excuse, and yes I believe its an excuse, to say "at least I'm not cooking, cleaning etc." Saying that only gives them the opportunity to sink to new lows of bad product.

I'm somewhat of a picky eater so I don't order anything out of the ordinary. When I send food back, and with RCL and Celebrity it happens far too often, it's because the taste sucks and it has not been cooked properly. It is not because I ordered something then decided I didn't like it - I send it back because it's is terrible and not fit to eat.

I've had several tours through the galley. I do realize they are set up as well as they can be. However when a plate has sit in the server area for more than 3 or 5 minutes it should be removed. It will be too cold once it arrives at the table. Each waiter will bring out 10-12 plates at a time. Far to many to be delivered in a timely manner. If you are the last couple of people, your plate has sat in the servery for probably 5 minutes, then carried out, then sat another 5 minutes waiting to be put in front of you. Far, far too long.

Cammy, are you just giving reasons or are you suggesting we shouldn't send food back that is poorly prepared or cold? Quite frankly, I don't care about the Chef's budget. I want a decent meal. To use the old whine - I've paid for it, I want it.
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HAL
Cunard
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and some unknown tub

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Old August 30th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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we try not worry to much about food. Sometimes the cruise has great food and others it just sucks. what can you do, all I say am not cooking so that's good for me.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 03:11 PM
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Cooking for large groups such as the chefs do for the main dining room; its tough to have all your poultry exactly the same; meaining if the poultry is supposed to be poached; or grilled; it is still supposed to have some texture and taste to it. If you receive a poultry entree and is dry or has no taste at all; then by all means tell your waiter; however, it is tough for the kitchen staff to serve up 1,000 poultry dinners without any being a little dry or didn't get seasoned correctly; by returning your dish to the kitchen, what you're trying to do is get a entree that has a little more seasoning or is not completely dried out. This does happen from time to time; and when cruise lines try to duplicate dishes that are something you have eaten in a resturaunt in your home city; sometimes the ships food won't meet your standards; cooking for 1,000 at a time; while cooking for 25 in the specialty resturaunts are two different arenas. you can see why people rave about the specialty resturaunts; they remind people of the upscale places they vist at home. I am happy with MDR food; but I know that certain foods offered on the menu, can not be duplicated for large groups; thus , I ususally order something else; this is a long response, but I back up the ships chef by saying, they are doing a fine job; sometimes you have to go by the % rule; you will never satisfy 100% of your guests; you can set the goal of customer satisfaction; but, as far as everyone walking away every night completely satisfied with their dinner; not gonna happen.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 03:59 PM
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There is no doubt about it, cooking for the throngs of passengers onboard, surely is a daunting task. This article with the hotel manager on the Enchantment, does go back a while, and it was for appox, 2700 passengers.... but it does give you an idea, what they need to buy, and, then, cook for all of us For the megaships now, the shopping list, would skyrocket...take a peek.

Cruise Opinion and Humor; Cruise Food Consumption or Shopping for 9,000 Lbs. of Chicken.
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