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  #91 (permalink)  
Old April 22nd, 2014, 11:42 AM
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Actually, I have an 8-day cruise booked on Quantum in January - looking forward to it. I want to see the ship before it leave for China.

I also wonder what changes will be need to be made. China is not the country a lot of Americans think it is. For example, the food is really different than even from what we Americans think of as "Chinese Food". It is largely fried in peanut oil, very few vegetables, they eat a lot of entrails and other parts of animals- chicken feet, Bull penises, - you get the idea.

When I was in China even when I had "beef" it did not taste at all like beef to me as we are used to it here in the U.S. - it was very fatty and chewy, and I could not differentiate the meat from the sinew. China was not a great experience for me.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
They eat lot of entrails and other parts of animals- chicken feet, Bull penises
Is that China's speciality meals which may be available on Formal night or an every day thing which would be available in the Windjammer?

Note to Royal....Please "Asianize" Quantum After my cruise is over!
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 03:32 PM
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I'll be on that cruise with Paul and while I am an adventurous eater, I am not into bull penis soup or creative uses of intestines and duck feet even they they were stir fried with Szechuan peppers and lots of garlic. And for the record I have tried duck and chicken feet before, although it was in the Philippines.

However if they have dim sum for brunch and Peking duck for dinner on the Quantum I'll be happy to try it.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 04:34 PM
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The Chinese who choose to cruise on ships from the West might be looking for something different than they experience at home.
Most people do expect things to be somewhat exotic when they visit foreign destinations.
I'm sure that Royal Caribbean is putting a lot of thought on how to handle the process of doing business in Asia.


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Old April 22nd, 2014, 05:26 PM
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Isn't there a cruise line that already operates medium-sized cruise ships in the Asian market? (Star???) Or do they market to Westerners more than Asians?
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 06:26 PM
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Isn't there a cruise line that already operates medium-sized cruise ships in the Asian market? (Star???) Or do they market to Westerners more than Asians?
Star Cruises does target the Asian market. They are part owners in NCL. Star is very gambling-centric and the cruise experience is a bit different than the Western cruise world. What is is included in your cruise is very dependent on what level of cabin you book.

Costa has also been cruising out of Asia for many years.

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Old April 22nd, 2014, 08:47 PM
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Will be interesting to hear about the menu changes when changing a cruisline's destinations like this, so totally different...
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 01:15 AM
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Star Cruises does target the Asian market. They are part owners in NCL. Star is very gambling-centric and the cruise experience is a bit different than the Western cruise world. What is is included in your cruise is very dependent on what level of cabin you book.

Costa has also been cruising out of Asia for many years.

Take care,
Mike
Can you speculate on whether RCI will likely "follow the leader", or do their own thing and keep the experience more western? Does this model seem to be what's in the cards for RCI? (pun intentional... the butt one wasn't )
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 10:13 AM
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Can you speculate on whether RCI will likely "follow the leader", or do their own thing and keep the experience more western? Does this model seem to be what's in the cards for RCI? (pun intentional... the butt one wasn't )

They will have to do what it takes to make a profit. That is what corporations do, if they want to say in business.
As more new ships come out every year, they have to spread them all over the world to attract customers.

For those of us who want to cruise we still have plenty of ships based in the Western World.

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Old April 23rd, 2014, 11:27 AM
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With all due respect to Mr. Motter's post as to the Chinese eating animal innards, bull penises, etc., I would point out that in this country animal innards such as pig intestines ( aka chitlins ) have been eaten for many years. Although I have never heard of animal penises being eaten here, bull, sheep and hog testicles are eaten and in some areas may be considered a delicacy. In some areas, especially the western U.S. and Canada, they may be known as rocky mountain oysters, cowboy caviar, and prairie fries. They may be fixed in a variety of ways, one being pounded flat, cut up and deep fried.
( doesn't that sound really appetizing !! )
Other animal parts eaten in this country are pickled pigs feet, ham and cattle hocks, hog jowls and entire cooked pigs heads, to name a few more. Some of these foods are more common in the south than other parts of the country.
Unlike Mr. Motter, I haven't spent any time in China and certainly cannot comment with authority as to the average Chinese diet. However
speaking as one who lives between two Chinese families, I can say I have had the good fortune to eat with them informally on several occasions over the last few years and never was served any animal innards, penises, etc.
What I've seen was a lot of fruit, fresh vegetables, of course rice, chicken and pork, deep fried dumplings, egg rolls,etc. all served in moderation as compared to the large meals we as Americans are used to having.

I just read in today's paper that Yum brands, that owns Ky. Fried Chicken has experienced a 9 % increase in their sales in China this year, so it seems that the Chinese may be forsaking their animal innards and chicken feet to dine higher on the chicken !
I'm sure RCCL will have to alter it's menu to an extent if it is to cater to the Asian market but I wouldn't think if someone from the west were to cruise out of China on RCCL they would have to worry about being served penis soup to go with their sea bass.
Just my opinion, which matters to none but me.
Happy sailing, dining and enjoyment to all.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 11:46 AM
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Just to be clear on my comments about food - I want people to understand something - my examples of what they eat were just meant o be examples. The French also eat similar food.

BUT what I really wanted to stress is the difference in the average palate. If you were served organ meats prepared by famous French chefs you would likely enjoy them, because they have a palate similar to our own.

The average Chinese palate is nothing like our own - as I suspect the cruise lines already know. And when you encounter food that tastes nothing like anything you are familiar with, the first reaction (for me) was "this is awful - simply inedible" - and I was not alone in my assessment.

In fact - the Chinese eat very, very little rice. It s considered peasant food, and to be served rice with a meal would be like someone serving you ramen noodles. It is considered "filler food" for hungry people.

On the other hand - other "delicacies" are considered highly desirable food. And yes, they do regularly eat dog, cat, snakes and other reptiles.

After all - this is a nation where the average income is $10,000 and there are well over 2-billion people. It is actually pretty hard to feed so many people.

Other rare foods: Peanut butter, wheat bread, dairy. Ice cream flavors will be "green tea, ginseng or red bean" - there is also very, very little coffee - mostly tea.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 12:36 PM
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Excerpt from an online article:

"A tiger penis, deer penis, turtle penis, or bull penis is consumed in restaurants in parts of China and southeast Asia and is commonly offered as a soup delicacy. People have been known to spend up to $5700 on a particularly rare tiger penis dish."

I saw a show on The Travel Channel where Andrew Zimmern went to a restaurant over there that only serves animal penis dishes.

But to the point trying to be made: don't expect to see Chop Suey Dinner #8 with egg roll, or General Tso's Chicken and fortune cookies being served on the Quantum when it sails from Shanghai.

Royal has already said they will have to modify the kitchens on the Quantum prior to it's starting service in China. To me that means a lot of conventional electric ovens and cooktops will be replaced with commercial wok stations and steamers.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 01:09 PM
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Who knows--maybe that American staple, the bologna sandwich would be a hit !!
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 01:59 PM
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You know, I don't think I've ever seen bologna on a cruise ship. Mortadella yes, and I happen to prefer mortadella anyway.

On the Royal Princess earlier this month they had beef tongue available in the buffet lunch at the sandwich bar. Sadly they were serving the tongue (with pastrami) on white bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato. This is seriously wrong and cause for being ejected from many proper NY delicatessens. There wasn't a slice of rye bread in sight.

I'm not sure how the Chinese regard tongue. I assume they eat it.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
BUT what I really wanted to stress is the difference in the average palate. If you were served organ meats prepared by famous French chefs you would likely enjoy them, because they have a palate similar to our own.

The average Chinese palate is nothing like our own - as I suspect the cruise lines already know. And when you encounter food that tastes nothing like anything you are familiar with, the first reaction (for me) was "this is awful - simply inedible" - and I was not alone in my assessment.

In fact - the Chinese eat very, very little rice. It s considered peasant food, and to be served rice with a meal would be like someone serving you ramen noodles. It is considered "filler food" for hungry people.

On the other hand - other "delicacies" are considered highly desirable food. And yes, they do regularly eat dog, cat, snakes and other reptiles.

After all - this is a nation where the average income is $10,000 and there are well over 2-billion people. It is actually pretty hard to feed so many people.

Other rare foods: Peanut butter, wheat bread, dairy. Ice cream flavors will be "green tea, ginseng or red bean" - there is also very, very little coffee - mostly tea.
Yes: There are a number of "interesting" things in Asian foods. Reptiles are common foods. Snake on a stick is very common for street vendors to sell and it's dang good. I do believe that if most westerners didn't know what they were eating their initial reaction would be: "mmm good".

Dog is becoming more common in China. The Chinese government pushes dog farming because it is a way to generate a large amount of meat using very little land. Unlike cattle ranching that requires large amounts of land and is far more expensive. However, this is something that only came about in the last 20 to 30 years. Most, older Chinese will not eat dog. I've never seen cat for sale in any market.

You must have been eating in high end restaurants. Rice is still a major staple of the Chinese diet but it is a "Side Dish" or served at the end of the meal. You will rarely see food placed over rice like you do in Western Chinese food. The exception is Chinese BBQ restaurants where meat and sauce may be placed over a small bed of rice or it is served in a small bowl. You are correct that rice is a "filler" food and is/was used to supplement the common, small meals that regular Chinese eat. Meat is expensive and is used sparingly.

Root vegetables, cabbage and herbs are very common in native Chinese food. The quantity is just less. In most restaurants it is common to order one more dish than the number of people in the party and all dishes are shared. Coffee is not common but a "Coke" is always available. Beer is VERY common in most restaurants and, if you can really handle your liquor, you can try bai jiu (sp?). It is over 100 proof and tastes like lighter fluid.

Dave: Andrew Zimmern is a Minnesotan and it was through his articles in Mpls/St. Paul magazine where I found my favorite Chinese restaurant. They had the standard Gwai Lo menu with sweet and sour chicken, General Tso chicken, etc. but they also had the back house menu with authentic Chinese dishes. They have now combined the two menus so everyone can get what they want and not have to ask for the "special" menu. The sweet and sour fish is to die for as well as the brined pigs ears.

I would never purchase dog because of my affection for them, but if I was in someone's home I would not insult them by not eating it.

I do expect that Quantum will offer more stir fry options and more authentic Chinese dishes but you'll never see dog, cat or lizard on the menu.

I also believe that the upper income, Asians that will sail on Quantum will be looking for high end food and will jump at the chance to have a steak, lobster and a good old hamburger. The middle income folks love McDonald's and other western fast food franchises. KFC is the most popular in China and you see them everywhere. However the menus are a little different. You can get rice at KFC and McDonald's.

Take care,
Mike
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  #106 (permalink)  
Old April 23rd, 2014, 06:11 PM
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Some popular Asian Delicacies Dishes....

Chicken Feet


Fried Tarantula


Balut (Duck Egg)


Shirako (Male Fish Sperm)


Wasp Cookies!!


If it tastes good and you have the stomach for it... then go for it..
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 08:07 PM
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I actually think I would loose weight on a cruise with this kind of food....Just not for me.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 08:27 PM
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen View Post
Some popular Asian Delicacies Dishes....

Chicken Feet


Fried Tarantula


Balut (Duck Egg)


Shirako (Male Fish Sperm)


Wasp Cookies!!


If it tastes good and you have the stomach for it... then go for it..
If you like beef jerky or gnawing on a chicken leg the you'll love chicken feet. A good rule thumb is: If the toenails are still on it then it's probably not too good. The cook didn't take time to cut them off so what else did he not take time for.

I've never tried tarantula or wasp cookies. However I have tried balut and shirako. Shirako has a creamy smooth taste and isn't bad and balut tastes like a hard boiled egg with feathers and beak. Neither are things I will go out of my way to eat again. The balut is better with vinegar.

Donna: I will put money on it that you will not see any of these foods on a mass market cruise ship.

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Old April 23rd, 2014, 09:10 PM
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You just never know where a thread is going to go!!!

I prefer the old traditional formal night fare. LOBSTER!!! <3

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Old April 23rd, 2014, 09:39 PM
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I have tried a lot of different foods, but I don't much care for Asian food.
It reminds me of my Vietnam experience.

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Old April 23rd, 2014, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
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I actually think I would loose weight on a cruise with this kind of food....Just not for me.
Me too!!
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 10:12 PM
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You just never know where a thread is going to go!!!

I prefer the old traditional formal night fare. LOBSTER!!! <3

YUM!! My type of dining room meal!
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 10:23 PM
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YUM!! My type of dining room meal!



I also love the lamb shanks.

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Old April 24th, 2014, 05:51 AM
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When it comes to Chinese food I'll stick with the basic.....

Shrimp and Broccoli with white rice....
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Old April 24th, 2014, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
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I also love the lamb shanks.

TM
A good choice also!
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Old May 4th, 2014, 10:09 AM
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With all the drama and dufus decisions surrounding both Quantum ships...we've abandoned any interest in them for the next 2 years.

Instead...we've booked a 2015 Allure Europe (Mediterranean) cruise instead.

It's a shame all the musical ships/musical port changes have taken place.
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  #118 (permalink)  
Old May 4th, 2014, 11:54 AM
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Well, I'll tell you, I am not surprised you lost interest. RCCL was marketing these ships to Americans with all the "reveals" and pre-announcements. Then the virtually pulled the rug out from under our feet by saying we wouldn't be keeping Quantum. - And there have been no new announcements since - although one is supposed to be coming in June/July about entertainment.

It makes you wonder what will happen when the ship is here for a few months - great reviews would lead to people being mad the ship is not staying, or bad reviews would be even worse with comments like "no wonder they decided to send it to China."

I was thinking that the North Star (viewing pod) would be a HUGE hit in Alaska - over a glacier for example.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Well, I'll tell you, I am not surprised you lost interest. RCCL was marketing these ships to Americans with all the "reveals" and pre-announcements. Then the virtually pulled the rug out from under our feet by saying we wouldn't be keeping Quantum. - And there have been no new announcements since - although one is supposed to be coming in June/July about entertainment.

It makes you wonder what will happen when the ship is here for a few months - great reviews would lead to people being mad the ship is not staying, or bad reviews would be even worse with comments like "no wonder they decided to send it to China."

I was thinking that the North Star (viewing pod) would be a HUGE hit in Alaska - over a glacier for example.
After spending more than a year anticipating the new ship announcement, followed by nearly a year of U.S.-based hype and anticipation...yeah...they pulled out the rug on many people. Lesson learned.

In the meantime we have Alaska around the corner and now looking forward to Allure in the Mediterranean in 2015. From what I'm seeing online...those bookings are going very, very well...so maybe others are having similar thoughts to change their ship and destinations...
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Old May 4th, 2014, 07:25 PM
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It also makes me wonder, with the first concept of Quantium and sailing from the USA, how the Asian cruisers will take to a ship like this. We've cruised on the Freedom and Allure class and know what to expect and Quantium was built from those successful ships?? It will be interest to see how well the ship does there??? I hope they know what they are doing...
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