Okay so just where do all you people eat at.!?

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#1
Temecula,Ca
42 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
So I just when through and read all 23 pages of the post "Whats the worst cruise line you have sailed on"

Very many of the postings deal with "NCL" and "The Food".

Just a little back round I have only sailed on Carnival and NCL. Carnival back in the early 90's when I was in my 20's. Most carnival cruises were a lot of drinking and a lot of sitting by the pool. My 2 NCL cruises were very nice and to me I enjoyed the food very much, but never on both cruises have I eaten in the MDR. I have only ate at the buffet, room service and the specialty restaurants.

My wife and I enjoy very much to dine out at least twice a week and eat at mainstream restaurants such as Chiles, Red Robin, Olive Garden, etc. I think that the food on NCL is very comparable to those restaurants.

So my question is do you posters that dislike the food on NCL or any other cruise ship only eat at 5 star restaurants. Is it a regional thing as there are many deferent styles and food taste.

We are booked on a Celebrity cruise next year after the refit in a suite so should I expect a better class of food on this line.

Thanks Bryan
#2
Virginia
20,234 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
I'm not a real picky eater but I have found some food items on ships that I didn't care for. For example, on my last cruise the creme brulee was always runny in the middle(and it is my favorite desert) so after the first two times I got a different desert (not really a hardship). I have almost always eaten in the MDR for dinner unless I was tired or not feeling well. I have yet to pay extra to dine in a specialty restaurant.

I found the Celebrity food quite good although that was a few years ago. I think you will be impressed with Celebrity in all areas.

Hope you have a great time!
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#4
The Big Tomato; i.e. Sacramento CA
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I "generally" will eat in the buffet, and once or twice per cruise, eat in one of the speciality restaurants. The MDR will see me a couple times, but that's it. I try to sample all the dining venues on the ship.
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#5
Coastal GA USA
20,448 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
I feel that I have paid for three meals a day, and should not need to pay extra for a specialty restaurant. The MDR is my restaurant, and if the food there is not acceptable, then I will not sail that cruise line again. I have eaten in specialty restaurants twice, both times were complimentary. And they were not experiences I felt worth paying to do again. EM
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#6
Pittsburgh, PA
665 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
While we haven't been on NCL yet, I will say we haven't eaten in any specialty restaurants on Disney, Carnival or RCCL.

I do think food is really subjective. Alas we don't eat out as much as you do, but we try and go out once a week if it's in the budget. Most are the same type of places you go to since we also have 2 bottomless teenage boys with us

Disney was far the best but this was also close to 10 years ago and over Christmas. I understand even they have done cut backs since then. RCCL, I personally thought the MDR was horrible. Don't know really about the food, ate there 2 days out of 7. Mainly because with 2 kids 3 HOUR dinners wasn't okay! I don't know if it was the food or the waitstaff (or both!) but yeah, not my cup of tea! Carnival I didn't think it was anything more than I make at home on a regular basis so..

It really could be a regional thing also and that might be a BIG part of it! Even talking about main stream places, I spent a few years living in Houston before moving back up to Pittsburgh again. We were at Joe's Crab Shack constantly down in Houston before they went really national. We were VERY excited when one opened here about 6 years ago. We went 3 times and won't go back because of the difference in regions. Not much fresh seafood up in this neck of the woods and you can really tell a difference.

I do think some people just expect 5 star dining on a cruise and it is still considered a "rich persons" vacation to a lot of people. It's funny in a way because a 4 day trip to Busch Gardens for the 4 of us cost about $400 less than the fare and travel expenses of our last 7 day cruise... If my stomach is full and I didn't have to cook, I will eat pretty much anything!

It all comes down to what you expect. If you expect the equivalent of a $60 meal every time you eat well those people would be disappointed! I know food mark up is crazy at restaurants, but could you imagine the cost of fares if they had to equate even $200 a day per room for 2 people for food?! Thanks, I will pass!
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#7
Raleigh NC
24,509 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I think you have to take opinions on food with a grain of salt.
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#8
105,575 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
First off -- we have never eaten at Chili's or Red Robin -- or any fast food restaurant after a bad experience at Olive Garden.

That being said, we all have our own preferences and tastes as to what we like and don't like.

Guess you could say that we have gotten a little picky as we have gotten older.

One thing we have noticed the last couple of years, the cruise lines are staring to cut back on the quality of the food as prices keep going up on everything.
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#9
Greenville, SC, USA
51,264 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Remember, the thread you referred to asked people what was their worst cruise line. So you are only seeing complaints it. Lots of people have the opposite views of those in that thread.
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Paul
#10
Summerville, SC
6,633 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
We are not five star diners as their is only one five star-rated restaurant close by. We do however prefer to dine at locally-owned, non-chain restaurants. The food and service tend to be vastly superior to the national chains. Olive Garden is an insult to the palate!
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#11
6,362 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
We do not eat at buffets at home or on a cruise. We rarely eat at hamburger places and do so only occasionally on a cruise. I think eating habits carry over from home to a cruise.
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~Doris~
#12
Delaware
2,193 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by dorisis
We do not eat at buffets at home or on a cruise. We rarely eat at hamburger places and do so only occasionally on a cruise. I think eating habits carry over from home to a cruise.
I am totally the opposite. We tend to eat out at a sit down restaurant at least once a week. Sit back and relax for a while. We never eat at buffets On a cruise, we tend to forgo the sit down meals (for the most part) and eat at the buffet. We only have a few days of vacation and I do no want to spend my precious vacation time sitting down for an hour or longer meal.

To the OP, that is the beauty of cruising. What is good for one may not be good for the next and both options are available. Food is definitely subjective depending on where you come from and what you do and do not like. The nice thing is, if you do not like what you have been served, there are other places on the ship that you can grab something else.

I do not cruise for the food, its more of something I have to do than something I want to do. That being said, on my last cruise we did pay for a specialty restaurant so we could celebrate our 25th Anniversary. It was fantastic and we very much enjoyed it.

Each cruise may be different as well. Depending on how many sea days you have and how many port days or have you been to a particular port. So live it up. Do what YOU want to do and know you will not go hungry unless you chose to
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#13
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,150 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by CruiseMan1970
My wife and I enjoy very much to dine out at least twice a week and eat at mainstream restaurants such as Chiles, Red Robin, Olive Garden, etc. I think that the food on NCL is very comparable to those restaurants.
Then I definitely NEVER want to cruise on NCL. I'm glad you enjoy eating at those places, but to me they are cafeteria food at best.

I eat at home most of them time. It's much healthier and significantly better tasting, not to mention much better quality--organic, GMO free, with grass fed beef and free range chicken, sustainably farmed, and locally sourced as much as possible.

When I do eat out, my favorite "chain" is Seasons 52. When I'm on a cruise, I want the food to be equal to, or better than the food there.

We usually eat in the specialty restaurants on each ship. The best meals we've ever had at sea were Remy on DCL--well worth the $75 pp upcharge--and a Wine Maker dinner with guest chef James Beard winner Jason Wilson on the Windsurf.
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#14
Fredericksburg, va. USA
81,518 Posts
Joined May 2001
We eat sometimes at the restaurants you mentioned...the food is fine! However, having started cruising in the 90's when the dining room was REALLY something special and the food was WAAAAY above the quality of chain restaurants, it is a bit disappointing nowadays to see how the quality has dropped.
I don't think anyone will go hungry on any cruiseline....you just can't expect it to be the same as it used to be.
#15
Pepsicola FL
9,887 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by ducklite
Then I definitely NEVER want to cruise on NCL. I'm glad you enjoy eating at those places, but to me they are cafeteria food at best.
concur. Olive Garden is an insult to All Italian Grandmothers everywhere. I have to be SERIOUSLY craving a Burger to eat at Red Robin.. and then only if there is no 5 Guys nearby.

5 star? nahh, not regularly, but our preferred locales do tend to be a ladder up( as opposed to a step) from chain restaurants. we also end to eat at the bar at our one favorite steak house.

Disney: loved the grape pizza, hated nearly everything else. even my beloved eggs benedict was a disappointment. it is truly the one thing that keeps us from going back to Disney

Carnival: food was pretty decent, especially the more esoteric stuff like Venison, duck and the like. too bad the rest of the cruise experience sucked for us.

Royal: as of this minute it's the best of both worlds. the new menus are a pleasant surprise from the old( and we loved that) even if they DID take away my beloved onion tart.

Celebrity: I'll let you know Next May after we get back from our first cruise on Century end of April.....
#16
Olathe, Kansas
3,069 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by CruiseMan1970
So I just when through and read all 23 pages of the post "Whats the worst cruise line you have sailed on"

Very many of the postings deal with "NCL" and "The Food".

Just a little back round I have only sailed on Carnival and NCL. Carnival back in the early 90's when I was in my 20's. Most carnival cruises were a lot of drinking and a lot of sitting by the pool. My 2 NCL cruises were very nice and to me I enjoyed the food very much, but never on both cruises have I eaten in the MDR. I have only ate at the buffet, room service and the specialty restaurants.

My wife and I enjoy very much to dine out at least twice a week and eat at mainstream restaurants such as Chiles, Red Robin, Olive Garden, etc. I think that the food on NCL is very comparable to those restaurants.

So my question is do you posters that dislike the food on NCL or any other cruise ship only eat at 5 star restaurants. Is it a regional thing as there are many deferent styles and food taste.

We are booked on a Celebrity cruise next year after the refit in a suite so should I expect a better class of food on this line.

Thanks Bryan
And I suppose that's why I dislike food on the mainstream cruiselines so much - because those restaurants are absolutely terrible to me. My wife and I usually cook, but do go out once a week or so. We'll usually end up at a nicer place, so the bill for both of us without drinks or tip will be about $80-$100. I only go to the mega chains when I'm out with friends who prefer them or don't feel like dropping the cash on more expensive places.

I guess part of the reason I prefer land vacations to cruises is because my wife and I wouldn't go to Chili's, Applebee's, or Olive Garden on a land-based vacation, so we don't feel like having that food on sea-based vacations either. As a result, the food at the MDR on a cruise ship is fairly poor in our minds.

I know all the things about "they're cooking for thousands" and what not. But still...when we go out to dinner, we go out to nice places, so cruise ship food disappoints us.
#17
Los Angeles
7,892 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by ducklite
Then I definitely NEVER want to cruise on NCL. I'm glad you enjoy eating at those places, but to me they are cafeteria food at best.

I eat at home most of them time. It's much healthier and significantly better tasting, not to mention much better quality--organic, GMO free, with grass fed beef and free range chicken, sustainably farmed, and locally sourced as much as possible.

When I do eat out, my favorite "chain" is Seasons 52. When I'm on a cruise, I want the food to be equal to, or better than the food there.

We usually eat in the specialty restaurants on each ship. The best meals we've ever had at sea were Remy on DCL--well worth the $75 pp upcharge--and a Wine Maker dinner with guest chef James Beard winner Jason Wilson on the Windsurf.
Different strokes for different folks. I would not be able to swallow a bite that cost me $75. Are you kidding me? I think the only time I ever paid that much for a meal was my High School Reunion. I think Cagney's was $20 on NCL when we went, and only did that once.
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Eleanor
#18
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,150 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by agabbymama
Different strokes for different folks. I would not be able to swallow a bite that cost me $75. Are you kidding me? I think the only time I ever paid that much for a meal was my High School Reunion. I think Cagney's was $20 on NCL when we went, and only did that once.
Don't knock it until you've tried it. There is a huge difference between a run of the mill steakhouse and what would merit two Michelin Stars if it were on land.

I find very few steakhouses worth the cost, and usually only eat at them when that's where friends want to go.
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April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia
June 2012--Windstar Wind Surf Back-To-Back, Rome to Venice to Athens
October 2011--Disney Dream Bahamas
October 2005--RCCL Mariner Western Caribbean
August 2002--Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean

Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.
My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here
20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.
#19
Los Angeles
7,892 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by CruiseMan1970
So I just when through and read all 23 pages of the post "Whats the worst cruise line you have sailed on"

Very many of the postings deal with "NCL" and "The Food".

Just a little back round I have only sailed on Carnival and NCL. Carnival back in the early 90's when I was in my 20's. Most carnival cruises were a lot of drinking and a lot of sitting by the pool. My 2 NCL cruises were very nice and to me I enjoyed the food very much, but never on both cruises have I eaten in the MDR. I have only ate at the buffet, room service and the specialty restaurants.

My wife and I enjoy very much to dine out at least twice a week and eat at mainstream restaurants such as Chiles, Red Robin, Olive Garden, etc. I think that the food on NCL is very comparable to those restaurants.

So my question is do you posters that dislike the food on NCL or any other cruise ship only eat at 5 star restaurants. Is it a regional thing as there are many deferent styles and food taste.

We are booked on a Celebrity cruise next year after the refit in a suite so should I expect a better class of food on this line.

Thanks Bryan
Bryan, I'm with you, Chiles, Red Robin and Olive Garden are some of my hang outs too. My first NCL cruise in 2004 met that standard in the MDR. My traveling companion hates buffets, so only traditional dining for us. Out last cruise on NCL in 2011 DID NOT meet that standard. Any of the meat in the MDR was shoe leather (even a pork chop). Could not cut it with a sharp knife, let alone chew it.

Did our Celebrity cruise in 2004 also, so things could have changed since then too, but the MDR food selections and the whole ambiance of the ship was a couple steps up from NCL.

I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Have a great cruise!
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Eleanor
#20
81,390 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by CruiseMan1970
So I just when through and read all 23 pages of the post "Whats the worst cruise line you have sailed on"

Very many of the postings deal with "NCL" and "The Food".

Just a little back round I have only sailed on Carnival and NCL. Carnival back in the early 90's when I was in my 20's. Most carnival cruises were a lot of drinking and a lot of sitting by the pool. My 2 NCL cruises were very nice and to me I enjoyed the food very much, but never on both cruises have I eaten in the MDR. I have only ate at the buffet, room service and the specialty restaurants.

My wife and I enjoy very much to dine out at least twice a week and eat at mainstream restaurants such as Chiles, Red Robin, Olive Garden, etc. I think that the food on NCL is very comparable to those restaurants.

So my question is do you posters that dislike the food on NCL or any other cruise ship only eat at 5 star restaurants. Is it a regional thing as there are many deferent styles and food taste.

We are booked on a Celebrity cruise next year after the refit in a suite so should I expect a better class of food on this line.

Thanks Bryan

DH and I dine out often but never at Chiles, Olive Garden, Outback, Applebees or the like. We don't care for any of those fast food sort of chains. We don't dine five star as a regular weekly activity either though we certainly do dine five star periodically.

DH and I enjoy privately owned small local restaurants, specialty restaurants, family owned restaurants and those that are usually only known to the locals. We like wholesome, fresh cooked, fresh ingredients, and places that don't mind accomodating special requests such as hold the onions, please.

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