What Line Has the Best Food?

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#1
Fair Lawn, NJ
2,828 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I'm a fairly new cruiser and am a self-professed true foodie! Love to eat. If food is my focus (and quality is important), any suggestions for what line might be better for me than others? Thanks!
#2
Massachusetts
2,916 Posts
Joined May 2006
Of the lines that I have sailed on: Carnival, RCCL, NCL, Princess and Celebrity, Celebrity's food is the best.
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#3
Fair Lawn, NJ
2,828 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
That's the sense I'm getting. Was on Princess Dawn in June & going on Princess Star in Oct. I thought the food was pretty good, but since I am such a foodie, I thought I'd seek out a step up for the future!

Thanks!
#4
Gulfport, Mississippi
15,850 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Hard question to answer, as everybody's taste buds are different.

Out of Princess, RCCL, and Carnival, I definitely appreciate Carnival's cuisine more. I'm a retired chef, F&B director, and caterer, and I'm a bit picky about food. Carnival has consistently been there with quality, taste, and presentation. The food was just fine on the other lines, but nowhere near Carnival's.

But then again - that's MY opinion.
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#5
Fair Lawn, NJ
2,828 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Interesting...I was on Carnival many years ago, and I liked it then, but it seems somehow Carnival is viewed as a "lower tier" than RCL and Celebrity...Am I wrong?

Cotton: You seem to be very experienced with Carnival. Is it true that it primarily targets a younger audience, or is it pretty varied? When I cruised w/them years ago, I was on the younger side & remember being surprised that many of the passengers were much older.
#6
Toronto, Canada
3,379 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by RealDeal
Interesting...I was on Carnival many years ago, and I liked it then, but it seems somehow Carnival is viewed as a "lower tier" than RCL and Celebrity...Am I wrong?
I don't think that you are wrong about a generally held perception that Carnival is "lower tier". I do think that the perception is wrong.

In my limited experience Carnival's food while not the most imaginative is usually tasty, well prepared and of good quality. I found the menus well structured, offering good variety with choices to suit most palettes, reasonable portion sizes, and good nutritional balance. Those seeking gastronomical perfection will not be happy. Nor will those used to eating in 4 & 5 star establishments.
#7
Gulfport, Mississippi
15,850 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
RealDeal - Carnival's image has changed MUCH since the earlier days of cruising. I saw very few families and children on my earlier cruises (late 80s). Now, there are many more families with children on board. However, I don't personally see that many, as I cruise in early September to avoid kiddies of all ages.

BRoberts - I was chef in a 4-star and a 5-star restaurant in New Orleans, and I have to say that although Carnival's food is not in those categories, they are probably 2 to 3-star, which is not a bad rating at all...considering that most restaurants in the U.S. have no rating. LOL Most everything I've tried has been very good to excellent. Only a few things met with disfavor from me, namely the gumbo.
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"Laissez les bon temps rouler!"
1987 - Carnival Festivale
1988 - Carnival Carnivale
1989 - Carnival Mardi Gras
1990 - Princess - Pacific Princess
1991 - RCCL - Song of Norway
2001 - Carnival Holiday
2002 - Carnival Holiday
2003 - Carnival Holiday
2004 - Carnival Holiday CTN
2004 - Carnival Sensation
2005 - Carnival Paradise
2006 - RCCL - Sovereign of the Seas
2006 - Carnival Conquest - Platinum!
2007 - Carnival Holiday
2007 - Carnival Paradise
2008 - Princess - Crown Princess
2009 - Carnival Fantasy
2009 - Princess - Alaska
Remember - NO irons, heating pads, or candles allowed in cabins!
#8
2,207 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Celebrity:
#Lunch buffets.... what else can be said... they are buffets
#breakfast buffet--good waffles and good omlette bar. Pastries are very good
#Evening dining room.... very good, good food, excellent service
#Cova cafe---there coffee is not free, but very good. All pastries are excellent. Try the chocolate coissants
#aqua spa cafe--very good. healthy and excellent. Check out the daily made to order specials
#pool grill- hotdogs, burgers etc..
#afternoon tea- different, good
#sushi- very good
#evening gourmet bites- also very good. But we choose late dining and are usually too full to enjoy the late bites
#room service- very good, always on time, good service
we found the dining room experience to be far above other cruise lines
Oh! Specialty restaurant should not be missed
#9
California
6,007 Posts
Joined May 2000
I've sailed Princess, NCL, HAL, RCCL, Celebrity, Crystal & Disney. My personal favorite for food would be 1) Crystal and 2) Celebrity's specialty restaurants (on the Millennium-class ships).

Here are some of our food photos from previous cruises:

Crystal: http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...58609473BwigHe

Celebrity Specialty Restaurant: http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...51434781hmIhtm
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#10
Southwest side of Indianapolis
4,339 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
I've sailed both RCI and Carnival. I have mixed feelings. I liked the desserts MUCH better on Carnival, but I liked the main courses MUCH better on RCI.
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#11
Kentucky
171 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I've been on Disney -- interesting dining experiences -- different restaurants every night, Celebrity -- not impressive, and RCCL twice. 'Nough said? Service was great and food top-notch on Mariner of the Seas. One tip -- go to breakfast and lunch in the dining room at least once -- meet the nicest people at those meals! Also, order room service at least once -- just 'cause you can -- esp. if you have a balcony!
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#12
New Jersey
708 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
I've been on 2 Carnival cruises, 3 Princess and 1 RCCL. I found the food on Carnival to be almost inedible. The Princess food is very good and very consistent. But, the food on RCCL was fantastic! I gained 5 lbs. on a 4 day cruise!
#13
Near Eugene, Oregon
1,413 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
We've cruised on Carnival, Princess, and NCL.

Carnival food was OK - though it was a short cruise on an older ship so that may have had something to do with it.

NCL food was just OK - nothing really jumped out at me as great, except for the specialty restaurant, which was fantastic.

Princess food was the best, in my humble opinion. I gained 15 pounds on a 7 night cruise

We are going to try HAL next. I've heard it is quite good but we'll see. I'll do my best to sample everything
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#14
Jersey Shore
1,331 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
2 Disney cruises....Wonder & Magic....food was excellent

1 RC.....food was alright

2 Carnival Glory.....lst cruise, food was good...2nd time, food was alright...not great.

Next cruise is a Christmas cruise on HAL Noordam....looking forward to this one, heard the food was excellent....
#15
Boynton Beach, FL USA
4,271 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Under my signature, you can see the lines I have been on. Celebrity’s overall food selection, quality, preparation and presentation, for the most part, are slightly better than most of the other lines we have cruised on.

In Celebrity's main dining room, red meat dishes were quite good as were the vegetables. I was especially pleased with the variety of vegetables offered. The Celebrity salads were very nice, and we particularly fell in love with the Goombay Dressing. We need to find the recipe since it is quite habit forming. We also found the appetizers to be quite good. Our major disappoints were in the soup and dessert courses. For the most part, the soups tasted okay, but they were very thin almost watery.

Celebrity's SS United States Restaurant (on the Infinity) was a wonderful dining experience, and should not be missed. The food and service were very good and well worth the $30 up charge. The restaurant itself just feels classy, and it was a pleasure to spend time dining with the harpist playing quietly in the background.

We both ordered the Goat Cheese Soufflé upon the recommendation of friends. Now we consider it a “must order” item, outstanding. We also both ordered the Tenderloin Steak Diane. I don’t think I have ever had a more tender steak. It was also outstanding.
The cheese course was a unique experience. Fortunately the waiter was able to help us pick out a good selection.

For dessert, Mike had the delicious Waldorf Pudding; and Carol chose the Michel Roux's Favorite Bite-Size Surprise Desserts.
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#16
Vancouver, Canada
374 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Of the cruise lines I have cruised with(see my signature below), Crystal is undoubtedly the best, with Celebrity the runner-up.
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Crystal Serenity (October 2005 - Mediterranean)-Some pictures of the cuisine on the Serenity:http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...87757449spwEIt
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#17
Orlando, FL
4,627 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Have to agree that from what I've experienced (Disney, Carnival and Princess) Disney is the best! From the chicken fingers poolside to the chocholate souffle at Paulo's and everything in between.
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#19
Tucson, AZ
2,376 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I have traveled with Carnaval 4x, HAL, RCL 2x, and Princess. In the dinning room, Carnaval was the best but not by far, then Princess then RCL and HAL far below.

The service and adaptabilty of HAL was horribable. For Salad's you had to have the dressing offerered that night. They would not substitute of give options. The last night of the trip was the worse meal I have ever had on a cruise ship.

RCL has some good sauces but meat was not as good of quality. All their meat seemed to be a bit tough. Their lobster was not as good as on other lines but I still had my share.

Princess was good food. Shaky on the bread side and very basic for a crusie line. Service was great. Great hordeves.

Carnaval, best mid night buffets, best meals, best desserts, best service.
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#20
Philadelphia, Ms
410 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by BEAV
I've sailed Princess, NCL, HAL, RCCL, Celebrity, Crystal & Disney. My personal favorite for food would be 1) Crystal and 2) Celebrity's specialty restaurants (on the Millennium-class ships).

Here are some of our food photos from previous cruises:

Crystal: http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...58609473BwigHe

Celebrity Specialty Restaurant: http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...51434781hmIhtm
What a great Idea!!! I loved the photos of the food and hope I can find some on carnival cruise foods. It helps to get a peek before voyage so you can have a better idea what might appeal to you. Thanks so much, Sasha
Middle of Ms