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celem

New Celebrity Food Quality Poll

Select your average Celebrity MDR Dining Experience  

341 members have voted

  1. 1. Select your average Celebrity MDR Dining Experience

    • Fast food chains: Mc Donalds, Wendy's, Subway
      4
    • Hotel catered meal, such as for convention.
      44
    • Sit down casual dining chain, mostly pre-prepared food: Chili's, Applebee's, Olive Garden, Outback.
      26
    • Better quality food chains that prepare most of their food from scratch: Macaroni Grill, PF Chang's.
      35
    • High-quality hotel catered meal, such as for a wedding or special event.
      147
    • High-quality restaurants with national name recognition: Ruth's Chris, The Capital Grille, etc.
      65
    • Fine local restaurants that are worth a two hour trip from elsewhere.
      19
    • True gourmet restaurants with highly complex, challenging cuisine of fine ingredients and wines.
      1


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...I don't understand comparing them to the food in the MDR on Celebrity.....I really don't get the comparison...

 

The poll covers everything from McDonalds to true gourmet. In a previous poll I found that rating by number, i.e. 1-to10 or descriptive, i.e., bad-good-great-superlative, etc., was far to subjective to be of value. One man's good is another man's gourmet. By using common restaurants the subjectivity is reduced somewhat because we are not rating the quality but rather saying what it is comparable to. The quality of what it compares to remains subjective but beyond the scope of this poll. I personally agree with the majority that Celebrity's food is comparable to a Hotel catered meal such as for a wedding or special event, but my opinion is from 2004. This January I will again cruise the Constellation and will cast my own poll upon my return. I expect, based upon the poll's current results, that it is likely to remain a Hotel catered meal such as for a wedding or special event. Thank you for taking the poll - obviously you didn't select a comparison to Applebees.

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We also just returned from the Equinox TA and were very pleased with the food. I don't know if all the ships are doing this well now, but we found the selection and quality to be better than what we have experienced in the recent past.

 

The Solstice class ships do have more specialty restaurants and the buffet has a better selection, but we found that they seem to really have their act together on this ship with the exception if the implementation of Select Dining. They still need a lot of work in that venue.

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We also just returned from the Equinox TA and were very pleased with the food. I don't know if all the ships are doing this well now, but we found the selection and quality to be better than what we have experienced in the recent past.

 

Joanie,

Glad you had a great trip. We agree with you. About a year ago, we thought the food had declined, but has made a nice comeback lately. :)

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I've seen photos of the menus and of the food itself and it all looks good to me. I sail on Mercury in January, so I'll make my own judgement and take this poll when I return. I don't think I'm going to starve. ;)

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I found most of the dishes I had in the MDR on the Equinox I(5-19 Nov 09) to be very good. The exception was my filet mignon, which I like prepared very rare. After three returns, I gave up and ate a 'medium' - at least it was tender that I still enjoyed it. I felt the food was so much better than my other four Celebrity cruises.

 

The food in the specialty dining restaurants (we did all three) was fantastic, especially the Murano. Service was impeccable.

 

The food at the oceanview cafe was good. Some dishes better than others. At least there was a good selection, which I found to be better than the other cruises I was on.

 

Monica

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We were on the Oct 16 sailing of the Connie. Felt MDR was very good both quality, quantity and service. The only negative was the Grand Buffet. Looked like pigs going to the trough. Never saw such a rude group of people taking and devouring food. But that is not the fault of Celebrity. Take us out us out of that picture.

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I think one of the problems is -- we expect =X= to provide a certain level and it seems they are thinking that they can cut back because the ship is not full. We purchase with the expectation of that level, and are disappointed when it is not provided. It's akin to buying a Volvo, and finding out that underneath the Volvo body is a "K car" -- A lot of people thought they (K cars) were ok, and many, many people bought them and were happy, but they weren't expecting the Volvo, either. Price is not the subject. If they cheapen the food, I'll not purchase the next cruise with them at any price. The cruise is like an all-inclusive. If it isn't worth it, I'm not going! I'll do something else. (past experience with HAL, RCCL, Carnival, and NCL found food quality to be better than I expected although not all were stellar -- depending on the line -- and prices were comparable for all the cruises) -- I'm worried the Millie (my first X cruise) will be disappointing -- I'd rather have more normal fares, and get my expected level of dining - it's part of the experience we look for. Also, if the ship isn't full - cut back in the advertising department -- somebody there may not be doing their job -- but don't cheapen the product I purchased. When I get back in January, I'll be glad to offer a poll rating, and I'm praying it will be closer to some sort of fine dining experience because that's what they led me to believe it would be.

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...I'm worried the Millie (my first X cruise) will be disappointing...

 

Your points are quite valid - it all does depend upon what we expect. I certainly agree that if Celebrity doesn't meet my expectations I'll never book with them again. There is a LOT of competition for my travel dollars. We go on one or two significant trips a year yet we cruise only occasionally because we often opt for other forms of travel. Twice recently we have stayed in Europe like locals via UnTours (Tuscany and Switzerland) and really love that mode of travel. We have also done land only travel with OAT and Vantage. Finally, we do some totally independent travel, usually around the USA or to the UK. A cruise is not the most cost effective mode of travel so it has to meet my expectations to continue to receive my travel dollars.

 

Post trip, I use a spreadsheet to compute our total trip costs after every cost is factored in. On our 2004 cruise on the Celebrity Constellation, the cruise fare was 57% of the total trip cost and the total trip costs were $341 per person, per day. In January we did an ultra cheap NCL Carribean cruise that involved no airfare. The cruise fare was 28% of the total trip cost and the per day, per person total trip cost was $131 per person, per day.

 

Given that, as a couple, we were spending between $262 to $682 per day. While I expected less for the $262 per day trip on NCL, the food was usually enjoyable, and typically similar to a hotel catered meal such as for a wedding or special occasion. In 2004, our Celebrity Constellation food experience was about the same, i.e., a hotel catered meal such as for a wedding or special occasion. I certainly would have liked it to have been a bit better, but with the kitchen plating about 900 meals per seating, a hotel catered meal is appropriate. Nobody can produce gourmet food in that volume, nor should they be expected to do so. So, if you approach your upcoming cruise with the expectation that its quality will be like a hotel catered meal such as for a wedding or special occasion, you shouldn't be dissappointed.

 

My expectations for our January cruise on the Constellation are that the food will be comparable to a hotel catered meal such as for a wedding or special occasion. If it exceeds this, I will be pleased. If inferior to this, I'll be disappointed.

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I want to know who the one person was that said it was a true gourmet experience. While Murano on Equinox, from an experience perspective equal to some of the highest end restaurants (Per Se, le cirque) some of the ingredients were far from it (the cuts of meat were tough to say the least).

 

But the MDR was really quite horrible in my opinion (Sept. '09). The food was uninspiring, bland and forgettable. The few nights the buffet was also open I opted to eat there as at least I didn't have to sit through 2.5 hours of service to get bad food.

 

I LOVED the ship and the cruise overall but the food was SUCH a let down. I'd taken a cruise on Carnival a couple years prior and I have to admit that overall I felt their MDR food was better (I'm sure I will be flamed for this). But in Celebrity's defense, that was the ONLY thing that was better on Carnival.

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I want to know who the one person was that said it was a true gourmet experience.

 

It wasn't me, but I don't think choosing this option is any more ludicrous than choosing the "McDonald's/Subway" option. All these responses are outliers and can be quite easily ignored.

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Hi Celem,

 

This is very interesting. Could you please share with us the results of this poll when you conducted it 5 years ago?

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We just returned from the Connie yesterday and we were not impressed with the new menus at all. We thought the food was rather bland and tasteless. Having said that the seasoning is up to the individual chef so it may improve if the chef changes. We definitely expected better.

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My observation coming off of a 10 day sailing on Millie last week was this: the buffet had actually improved in many ways, the MDR had slipped two notches, and the Olympic was nearly as good as it was 4 years ago.

 

Add me to the crowd who doesn't love the new MDR menus. The food was fine and mostly good, but it's not the =X= of yesterday. Not by a long shot.

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Throughout my cruise, 11/19-11/23 on the EQUINOX, I noticed that the majority of the people in BLU would not eat most of their meals at dinner. myself included. My server, Aleixo, was truly outstanding and every time he noticed I wouldn't eat my choice of entree, would offer me something else.

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Our first sailing on Celebrity was in Oct. We were on the Millie for 12 days. I had heard great things about the food but we were both disappointed in all venues. However, the service we received was wonderful!

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It seems most of the reviews on food are much happier with the 2 new ships while the rest of the fleet (6 ships vs 2) are sinking fast. It makes sense for Celebrity to make a good impression with the new ships because that is their future and they have made a substantial investment in them and cannot afford to fail even in tough economic times. It also must be noted that if you compare similar itineraries between the older ships and the new the prices are much higher on the new. Hopefully if the economy turns around and prices go up so will the quality of the food on all ships. However having said that and having cruised for nearly 25 years I would say that the quality of the food has gone down and that to approach the same level of quality and choice you must either step up in class (cunard or crystal for large ships) or else eat in the specialty dining rooms every night (which can get quite boring after a while). I sail on the Millenium in Jan and was last on a Celebrity ship in 06 on the Constellation and will be interested to see how much they may have slipped but I am hoping for the best.

 

 

Peace,

Rodan

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It seems most of the reviews on food are much happier with the 2 new ships while the rest of the fleet (6 ships vs 2) are sinking fast. It makes sense for Celebrity to make a good impression with the new ships because that is their future and they have made a substantial investment in them and cannot afford to fail even in tough economic times. It also must be noted that if you compare similar itineraries between the older ships and the new the prices are much higher on the new. Hopefully if the economy turns around and prices go up so will the quality of the food on all ships. However having said that and having cruised for nearly 25 years I would say that the quality of the food has gone down and that to approach the same level of quality and choice you must either step up in class (cunard or crystal for large ships) or else eat in the specialty dining rooms every night (which can get quite boring after a while). I sail on the Millenium in Jan and was last on a Celebrity ship in 06 on the Constellation and will be interested to see how much they may have slipped but I am hoping for the best.

 

 

Peace,

Rodan

 

Staying on topic....

 

Funny, not one poster on this thread has claimed that the food is better today than <insert the time/period/year> on any cruise line/ship. It's always inferior than in the past.

 

Hell, I remember as a kid beating stone crab claws until I was blue in the face, paying $8.00 All You Can Eat. Today 8 bucks will not even get one claw.

 

I agree with the poster who said: "Try Cunard & the others if you want more upscale dining".

 

BaDH

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Staying on topic....

 

Funny, not one poster on this thread has claimed that the food is better today than <insert the time/period/year> on any cruise line/ship. It's always inferior than in the past.

 

Hell, I remember as a kid beating stone crab claws until I was blue in the face, paying $8.00 All You Can Eat. Today 8 bucks will not even get one claw.

 

I agree with the poster who said: "Try Cunard & the others if you want more upscale dining".

 

BaDH

 

The worst food I experienced on a cruise was my very first cruise in 1977 -- NCL Starward. The best, last spring on the Solstice and a few years ago on Azamara's Journey. I will give Oceania a try next month and the Queen Mary 2 next year.

The "good ole days" are over-rated!

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

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Sanitation! Nobody has said anything regarding it.If anyone has ever gotten sick on a cruise it was always because of motion sickness which lasted a day.If someone gets food poisoning then everyone onboard including the crew gets it.Food preparation is the most important element in any restaurant,fastfood chain and cruiseship.The crew all wear plastic gloves and they don't let the passengers handle the food.Its not because of the norovirus,its to stop cross contamination.How many times have you seen people pickup food from the buffet with their hands then put it back.With Celebrity, at least we feel confident with the way they handle their storage and food preparation on a day to day basis.If you have ever had cramps or the runs after eating out at any restaurant its more than likely you ate something that was spoiled.Maybe some of the food could taste better but most food is packaged,frozen,thawed and prepared onboard.Their food preparation standards deserve a high mark for the amount of people it serves.

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The worst food I experienced on a cruise was my very first cruise in 1977 -- NCL Starward. The best, last spring on the Solstice and a few years ago on Azamara's Journey. I will give Oceania a try next month and the Queen Mary 2 next year.

The "good ole days" are over-rated!

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

 

Sanitation! Nobody has said anything regarding it.If anyone has ever gotten sick on a cruise it was always because of motion sickness which lasted a day.If someone gets food poisoning then everyone onboard including the crew gets it.Food preparation is the most important element in any restaurant,fastfood chain and cruiseship.The crew all wear plastic gloves and they don't let the passengers handle the food.Its not because of the norovirus,its to stop cross contamination.How many times have you seen people pickup food from the buffet with their hands then put it back.With Celebrity, at least we feel confident with the way they handle their storage and food preparation on a day to day basis.If you have ever had cramps or the runs after eating out at any restaurant its more than likely you ate something that was spoiled.Maybe some of the food could taste better but most food is packaged,frozen,thawed and prepared onboard.Their food preparation standards deserve a high mark for the amount of people it serves.

 

Kelmac - I totally a gree with you about NCL's food. We went on them for the first time a few years ago and it was the WORST :( food we have ever had on a cruise line. We have vowed never to sail with them again at any price or itinerary.

 

IrishWhiskey - You are correct sanitation is most important. We went on a tour of the Celebrity kitchens several times and they were spotless. You could have eaten off the floor. They also have pictures up of how every dish should look leaving the kitichen and the menus posted for a 7, 10, 14 day cruises. It was really very interesting. That is why they receive the high marks that they get. As for the current quality of products - i.e. meats being purchased -- due to the downturn in the economy -- that is another story (see Host Andy's recent review and others). We are hoping for the best for our March cruise...

 

Have a a great Thanksgiving... :)

Neil

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Last year I have experienced the same thing on Constellation as most of you described.

 

This year I will spend X-mas and New Year on Millennium.

 

Obviously nothing has changed since last year.

 

Keep telling them what you don't like!

 

=X= has been my favorite cruise line for years now. But if food quality declines and entertainment is cut back (it's hard to find the activity staff on the M-class), I will go with RCCL or even Princess next time. It may be the same food quality there then, but at least better entertainment.

In my eyes =X= is not a premium cruise line any more.

 

The problem is: The staff will become more and more unhappy, too, because they have to deal with people's complaints. One day we will miss the famous Celebrity smiles then.

 

The management has made a lot of wrong decisions in the past years. The strategy was completely wrong.

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I can not vote since we have not yet sailed Celebrity however this thread is very interesting. It really shows how different everyone's taste in food is. I know many times people say food is subjective and this is really brought out in this thread. I am a OG and Red Lobster fan and often the MD has too fancy food for my taste and we will eat in the buffet.

We will be sailing on the Solstice in Feb and are looking forward to trying the food.

Does anyone have a link to the new menus?

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I've seen photos of the menus and of the food itself and it all looks good to me. I sail on Mercury in January, so I'll make my own judgement and take this poll when I return. I don't think I'm going to starve. ;)

 

Hi....

I was on the Mercury in October and most of us agreed the food had gone down a notch. Guess what? They got rid of the chef (I think he hd a German name) and hired a new one for the cruise after mine. I still think the food is good on =X= and hope by January the new chef will have turned things around. I'm taking a b2b on Mercury in March. One thing I can say, is the service is superb in all areas of the Mercury. Jini

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