Meals...what to expect?

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#1
Cherry Hill NJ
453 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
I haven't seen much written on what the meals are like on board a river cruise...Viking to be specific. (Rhine Getaway-Late April)

I know it won't be like the plethora of food on an OC, but other than the free flowing beer and wine at dinner can anyone give some insight as what to expect for dinner. How many choices? Can you order extra of somethings?

I assume breakfasts and lunches are a buffet with items that change daily.

I also assume the menus are regional and seasonal, but is there any straying from this concept.

Thanks for any insight.
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Cindy

Zenith, Bermuda 09/97
Rhapsody of the Seas, Southern Caribbean 2/98
Zenith, Bermuda 6/99
Sea Princess, Alaska 7/01
Mercury, Western Caribbean 01/03
NCL Dawn, Florida & Bahamas 9/04
Golden Princess, Canada/New England Oct 2005
NCL Dawn, Canada/New England 9/30/06
NCL Gem, Mediterranean, 10/21/2007
Viking Gullveig, Rhine Getaway, April 25,/2014
Viking Rinda, Paris and Normandy, April 6, 2015

Viking Baldur, Tulips and Windmills, April 14, 2017






#2
Nashville, Tennessee USA
994 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
First, you might want to move this thread to the River Cruise board where it would get more attention.

We've done two Viking cruises (Cities of Light & Romantic Danube) and were pleased with the food on both. Portions are reasonable, but not overwhelming. Breakfasts didn't seem to change a lot most days. At lunch, one usually had the option of a buffet in the lounge or a sit-down lunch in the restaurant.

For dinner, the menu is indeed regional, but one always has the option of a steak or fish and maybe a vegetarian option that doesn't change.

Hope this was helpful,
FuelScience
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FuelScience

2018: The Douro: Portugal's River of Gold & Spain w/Madeira extension, Vantage Douro Serenity (April)
2017: Burgundy & Provence, Avalon Poetry II
2016: Canals, Vineyards, and Paris, Avalon Affinity II
2015: Switzerland & the Heart of the Rhine & Moselle, Vantage River Navigator
2014: Tulips & Windmills, Viking Atla
2013: Romantic Danube, Viking MS Vienna (leased)
2012: Cities of Light, Viking Sky
#3
Cherry Hill NJ
453 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Sorry about the placement of my post, but I did try to find the most appropriate forum, but it appears that there are really only 2 choices: The Roll Call or the Ports of Call threads.
Am I missing a more broad thread?
Anyway, thank you for taking the time to reply.
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Cindy

Zenith, Bermuda 09/97
Rhapsody of the Seas, Southern Caribbean 2/98
Zenith, Bermuda 6/99
Sea Princess, Alaska 7/01
Mercury, Western Caribbean 01/03
NCL Dawn, Florida & Bahamas 9/04
Golden Princess, Canada/New England Oct 2005
NCL Dawn, Canada/New England 9/30/06
NCL Gem, Mediterranean, 10/21/2007
Viking Gullveig, Rhine Getaway, April 25,/2014
Viking Rinda, Paris and Normandy, April 6, 2015

Viking Baldur, Tulips and Windmills, April 14, 2017






#4
Nashville, Tennessee USA
994 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
It is confusing at first. If you go to the river cruising board, just scroll down below the 4 sub forums, that's the main River Cruising forum.

FuelScience
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FuelScience

2018: The Douro: Portugal's River of Gold & Spain w/Madeira extension, Vantage Douro Serenity (April)
2017: Burgundy & Provence, Avalon Poetry II
2016: Canals, Vineyards, and Paris, Avalon Affinity II
2015: Switzerland & the Heart of the Rhine & Moselle, Vantage River Navigator
2014: Tulips & Windmills, Viking Atla
2013: Romantic Danube, Viking MS Vienna (leased)
2012: Cities of Light, Viking Sky
#5
florida
3,664 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
As you will hear from many,food is very subjective.What I like and require may be very different than for you.That being said.We never have left hungry during any of the 10 river cruises,on 6 different lines.But some food just seemed "better" on some lines than others.Also,can vary by country.Our least favorites were Egypt and Russia.Best were parts of France,Vietnam,and Portugal.
So that makes a big difference in food quality about ea.ship.So to rate them,my "favorite"(meaning most flavor,best presentation and service,along with amount) was AMA(on 2 cruises).Avalon,Uniworld,VIking were sort of average,but still good.Worst was Gate1.
There are usually 4 different main course choices ea.dinner,can also order of SET menu avail all the time.Lunch is nice buffet,with special daily soups,salads,main course(again SET menu to order also).Breakfast same.
BUt,as you state,not as "GOOD" as most OC just do to size,budget,etc,IMO.
Sure you ll enjoy it, just don t have unrealistic expectations.
You can always eat offshore during port stops too.
#6
New York
8,308 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Our experience on AMA was that the food was very good, even compared to upper-mainstream ocean cruises (e.g. Princess and Celebrity). Sometimes my dinner entree wasn't top notch, but in each case I had already eaten so much good food that day (including the soups and appetizers) that I was happy to pick at it until dessert came!

The included wines were also uniformly good, and representative of the areas we were sailing through. AMA prided itself on pouring a different red and a different white each day on the 7 day cruise, so you really got a wine education.

The best surprise on AMAcello was the quality of the bread and pastries. It was less of a surprise when we learned that there is one chef dedicated to baking bread and one dedicated to pastry/dessert (for 148 passengers!).
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I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

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#7
New England
457 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
We have done 4 Vikings and one Avalon. The Vikings have always had very good food. As several others have mentioned dinner includes several choices plus a set of alternatives that are always available (steak, chicken, fish). We have often found fresh local vegetables and fruit--more so than even on our ocean cruises. Our Avalon cruise was disappointing. The food was average but in the south of France I expected a little more local flavor.
Jay
#8
Ontario, Canada
2,756 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Hi -

We have done Uniworld X 3, Scenic X 2, AMA & Viking x 1 each.

Our best food was with Uniworld - Paris/Normandy and (surprise....) Russia!!

As mentioned above, breakfast & lunch are (at least in part) buffet --> often with an option to supplement from the kitchen.

Dinner has a choice of appetizers, a soup (sometimes a choice of 2 --> one broth based, one cream based) - and a choice of 3 main courses. There is almost always a meat, a fish & a vegetarian option. There is always an alternative menu. Sometimes it is limited to a steak or a chicken breast, but at least one cruise offered salmon as an option.

There are usually 2 or 3 options for dessert - sometimes there is a cheese platter available (not on the dessert menu.... or perhaps *on* the menu as one of the dessert options)

You can order all courses, or just pick 2 or 3 of them. You can order 2 appetizers, or 2 desserts. I have been with people that ordered 2 main courses as they couldn't decide what they wanted to eat!!

Helpings aren't huge - but, I have never gone hungry. AMA (when we sailed with them) came around to each table and offered 2nds - so you could taste what the other entrees were.

Menus are regional and seasonal - some lines better at this than others.

Our "best" bread was on Uniworld when we did Paris/Normandy with them. We have never had the quality and taste duplicated on any other cruise we have done. But, just my opinion here...

Fran