Your statement has validity, I experienced a lesser quality of food beginning in 2000 on a cruise ship. Recently dining has been great and mediocre, on a Carnival Dream cruise the food in the MDR was superb. Conversely, under the same umbrella, on the Ruby Princess the food was rather poor in the MDR. If you have good food in the MDR, I see no point in expending more funds to eat in the alternative dining rooms. We eat in the MDR at every opportunity, and only use the buffet when necessary. Table service one reason we cruise.