Jump to content
Jeebs

Cagney's Steakhouse: A Steak Review

Recommended Posts

After a recent trip aboard the Pearl and experiencing Cagney's Steakhouse a couple of times, I felt the need to come here and write a review on the steakhouse on its own. I am not trying to ruffle the feathers of those who so passionately love NCL nor those who love Cagney's. This is merely my opinion for those willing to read it.

 

This is not a review of all of the food at Cagney's. I did not have time to try everything on the menu and do not have the refined palate to accurately judge everything. For example, I thought the shrimp cocktail was pretty darn good but a seafood connoisseur might disagree.

 

My Authority

 

At this point you may be asking, "Who is this guy to review a steakhouse?" While I am just a normal guy who is not a professional food critic, I am a self-proclaimed steak guy. I have the good fortune of being able to enjoy the finer end of the food spectrum since leaving the Marine Corps in 2006. We frequent steakhouses that feature prime steaks and excellent seafood. When grilling at home, we only use prime steaks and make it a point to cook them to perfection.

 

I have a sort of ranking system that uses some common national chains to establish a comparison system.

 

  • The Low End: Sizzler, Denny's and the like. These restaurants feature some pretty poor steaks. Often thin, tough and flavorless.
  • Better: Applebee's, TGI Friday's, etc often have slightly thicker cuts, slightly better quality and usually cooked better than that of the Low. No guarantees though...
  • Mid-Range: Outback Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse and other such chains. Here you can expect a decent cut of steak at a reasonable price. Usually prepared well, a good thick cut and better flatware.
  • High End: Ruth's Chris, Flemings Prime and other steakhouses featuring USDA prime steaks. These are typically white-tablecloth style restaurants featuring ala carte style menus. Steaks are great, service is great and you get the proper flatware to carve up these delicious steaks. A couple can plan on roughly spending $100-$125 including drinks.
  • Best of the Best: Donovan's Steak and Chop House and other non-chain prime steak houses. A step up from high end in price and quality. Plan on spending over $200 for a couple here.

 

This list isn't black and white and there are restaurants that would fit in the gray areas between a particular group. This is more of a rough guideline to give a better idea of what I am referring to.

 

Now, on to the review!

 

Restaurant and Atmosphere

 

Cagney's Steakhouse can be accessed two different ways. Lunch and dinner are included in suite passenger's fare. All passengers can go to Cagney's for dinner for a $25 flat cover charge. For those wanting lobster that will cost an additional $8. Water is included for free while all alcoholic and soft drinks are not. For three of us, with a cocktail and a bottle of wine, the total came to $107 to dine at Cagney's.

 

Cagney's is a 'white tablecloth' style restaurant that offers a more elegant dining experience than most of the restaurants in my scale, save the top two groups. The restaurant is smaller than the main dining rooms on the ship and offers a quieter environment. The lights are slightly dimmed to further add to the more intimate atmosphere. This is not to much different from the main dining rooms on the ship. Those are also white tablecloth with the same wait staff and flatware. The only real difference between Cagney's and a main dining room is the size of the restaurant.

 

At this early point, it is not worth the extra coverage charge.

 

The Steak

 

As I stated earlier, I will not be rating the various foods at Cagney's - just the steak. After all, it is a steak house!

 

My first experience at Cagney's on this latest cruise was during embarkation. Our concierge dropped us off for lunch after checking in for our cruise. I ordered the New York strip cooked medium-rare. Prior to the arrival of our food, our waiter brought the steak knives to the table. They didn't look particularly impressive but I held judgement until I used them. When the steak arrived, I could tell it was overcooked at first glance. Cutting into it only confirmed this. The steak was relatively thin and fairly tough. The steak knives didn't help much. They were dull and did not cut well at all. The steak didn't have any flavor to speak of either. The only thing I could make out was the salt I added to try and kick things up a bit. At this point, I was very disappointed. I would compare this steak to one that I would have paid <$10 at an Applebee's.

 

My next experience at Cagney's was for dinner. Of course, I made sure to order steak. Why? I gave NCL the benefit of the doubt that my first experience was a bad cut, a rookie chef, just lunch - something. I've read entirely to many reviews about this place that proclaim its excellence and could not imagine NCL charging $25 for what I had for lunch. Their steak has to be better; right? Wrong. While slightly better than what I had for lunch, the steak at dinner was less than impressive. It was cooked to medium-rare, which was nice, but again had many similar traits to the strip I had for lunch earlier in the week. It was tough and had little flavor to speak of. This was, again, similar to something I would expect to get when paying around $10-$15 at an Applebee's or similar back on land.

 

Main Dining Room Comparison

 

Cagney's is not the only place on the ship to grab a steak. On the Pearl, both the Indigo and the Summer Palace had a steak selection. These restaurants, like Cagney's, also offer the white tablecloth style dining experience. At the Indigo, my wife ordered a rib-eye steak. I had not yet worked up the courage to order another steak after having experience lunch at their much touted Cagney's. I am glad I didn't. When it arrived, it looked horrid. Picture a rubber steak toy that one would give their dog. This was extremely thin, < 1/4", and overcooked. I cannot blame whomever prepared it, though. At that thickness it would be terribly difficult not to overcook it. It was tough, flavorless and dry. I would have been disappointed if I ordered this at Denny's!

 

On our last night, we dined at the Summer Palace dining room and I ordered the New York strip. You may be asking, "Why, after such bad experiences, would you do that?!" Well, first off, I am a sucker for steak. Second, I so wanted to believe that NCL could do it right. After ordering, our server brought the steak knife out. This is the exact same flatware that you get in Cagney's. When my steak arrived, it looked far and away better than the others we had previously experienced. It was cooked properly, had a decent thickness to it and was somewhat juicy! What a pleasant surprise! Now, make no mistake, this was not something you would expect at a fine steak house, or even an Outback level restaurant but it was a step in the right direction.

 

Final Thoughts

 

All in all, Cagney's steak was a huge disappointment. I would not recommend anyone spending the extra $25 per person on top of your cruise fare for a meal you could get for around $15-$20 at a restaurant with similar quality steak anywhere else. Further, the white tablecloth atmosphere that some may seek can be experienced at either main dining room without the added cost. Save your money, enjoy the main dining rooms and go to a steak house back on land!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After a recent trip aboard the Pearl and experiencing Cagney's Steakhouse a couple of times, I felt the need to come here and write a review on the steakhouse on its own. I am not trying to ruffle the feathers of those who so passionately love NCL nor those who love Cagney's. This is merely my opinion for those willing to read it.

 

This is not a review of all of the food at Cagney's. I did not have time to try everything on the menu and do not have the refined palate to accurately judge everything. For example, I thought the shrimp cocktail was pretty darn good but a seafood connoisseur might disagree.

 

My Authority

 

At this point you may be asking, "Who is this guy to review a steakhouse?" While I am just a normal guy who is not a professional food critic, I am a self-proclaimed steak guy. I have the good fortune of being able to enjoy the finer end of the food spectrum since leaving the Marine Corps in 2006. We frequent steakhouses that feature prime steaks and excellent seafood. When grilling at home, we only use prime steaks and make it a point to cook them to perfection.

 

I have a sort of ranking system that uses some common national chains to establish a comparison system.

 

  • The Low End: Sizzler, Denny's and the like. These restaurants feature some pretty poor steaks. Often thin, tough and flavorless.
  • Better: Applebee's, TGI Friday's, etc often have slightly thicker cuts, slightly better quality and usually cooked better than that of the Low. No guarantees though...
  • Mid-Range: Outback Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse and other such chains. Here you can expect a decent cut of steak at a reasonable price. Usually prepared well, a good thick cut and better flatware.
  • High End: Ruth's Chris, Flemings Prime and other steakhouses featuring USDA prime steaks. These are typically white-tablecloth style restaurants featuring ala carte style menus. Steaks are great, service is great and you get the proper flatware to carve up these delicious steaks. A couple can plan on roughly spending $100-$125 including drinks.
  • Best of the Best: Donovan's Steak and Chop House and other non-chain prime steak houses. A step up from high end in price and quality. Plan on spending over $200 for a couple here.

This list isn't black and white and there are restaurants that would fit in the gray areas between a particular group. This is more of a rough guideline to give a better idea of what I am referring to.

 

Now, on to the review!

 

Restaurant and Atmosphere

 

Cagney's Steakhouse can be accessed two different ways. Lunch and dinner are included in suite passenger's fare. All passengers can go to Cagney's for dinner for a $25 flat cover charge. For those wanting lobster that will cost an additional $8. Water is included for free while all alcoholic and soft drinks are not. For three of us, with a cocktail and a bottle of wine, the total came to $107 to dine at Cagney's.

 

Cagney's is a 'white tablecloth' style restaurant that offers a more elegant dining experience than most of the restaurants in my scale, save the top two groups. The restaurant is smaller than the main dining rooms on the ship and offers a quieter environment. The lights are slightly dimmed to further add to the more intimate atmosphere. This is not to much different from the main dining rooms on the ship. Those are also white tablecloth with the same wait staff and flatware. The only real difference between Cagney's and a main dining room is the size of the restaurant.

 

At this early point, it is not worth the extra coverage charge.

 

The Steak

 

As I stated earlier, I will not be rating the various foods at Cagney's - just the steak. After all, it is a steak house!

 

My first experience at Cagney's on this latest cruise was during embarkation. Our concierge dropped us off for lunch after checking in for our cruise. I ordered the New York strip cooked medium-rare. Prior to the arrival of our food, our waiter brought the steak knives to the table. They didn't look particularly impressive but I held judgement until I used them. When the steak arrived, I could tell it was overcooked at first glance. Cutting into it only confirmed this. The steak was relatively thin and fairly tough. The steak knives didn't help much. They were dull and did not cut well at all. The steak didn't have any flavor to speak of either. The only thing I could make out was the salt I added to try and kick things up a bit. At this point, I was very disappointed. I would compare this steak to one that I would have paid <$10 at an Applebee's.

 

My next experience at Cagney's was for dinner. Of course, I made sure to order steak. Why? I gave NCL the benefit of the doubt that my first experience was a bad cut, a rookie chef, just lunch - something. I've read entirely to many reviews about this place that proclaim its excellence and could not imagine NCL charging $25 for what I had for lunch. Their steak has to be better; right? Wrong. While slightly better than what I had for lunch, the steak at dinner was less than impressive. It was cooked to medium-rare, which was nice, but again had many similar traits to the strip I had for lunch earlier in the week. It was tough and had little flavor to speak of. This was, again, similar to something I would expect to get when paying around $10-$15 at an Applebee's or similar back on land.

 

Main Dining Room Comparison

 

Cagney's is not the only place on the ship to grab a steak. On the Pearl, both the Indigo and the Summer Palace had a steak selection. These restaurants, like Cagney's, also offer the white tablecloth style dining experience. At the Indigo, my wife ordered a rib-eye steak. I had not yet worked up the courage to order another steak after having experience lunch at their much touted Cagney's. I am glad I didn't. When it arrived, it looked horrid. Picture a rubber steak toy that one would give their dog. This was extremely thin, < 1/4", and overcooked. I cannot blame whomever prepared it, though. At that thickness it would be terribly difficult not to overcook it. It was tough, flavorless and dry. I would have been disappointed if I ordered this at Denny's!

 

On our last night, we dined at the Summer Palace dining room and I ordered the New York strip. You may be asking, "Why, after such bad experiences, would you do that?!" Well, first off, I am a sucker for steak. Second, I so wanted to believe that NCL could do it right. After ordering, our server brought the steak knife out. This is the exact same flatware that you get in Cagney's. When my steak arrived, it looked far and away better than the others we had previously experienced. It was cooked properly, had a decent thickness to it and was somewhat juicy! What a pleasant surprise! Now, make no mistake, this was not something you would expect at a fine steak house, or even an Outback level restaurant but it was a step in the right direction.

 

Final Thoughts

 

All in all, Cagney's steak was a huge disappointment. I would not recommend anyone spending the extra $25 per person on top of your cruise fare for a meal you could get for around $15-$20 at a restaurant with similar quality steak anywhere else. Further, the white tablecloth atmosphere that some may seek can be experienced at either main dining room without the added cost. Save your money, enjoy the main dining rooms and go to a steak house back on land!

 

I won't disagree at all. We went to Cagney's twice...two different ships and decided not to go again (unless they improve it).

We like it very much for breakfast/lunch when we have VIP perks or are staying in a suite, but for dinner...no thank you.

LeBistro is much better overall. The steak in LeBistro was definitely better

 

AS far as steak houses and surcharge restaurants on ships go...CCL's are excellent and Celebrity's are just phenomenal.....but I don't like either of those lines all that much unfortunately....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, I'm glad you posted this review, and were candid in your assessment that Cagney's for dinner, which NCL tries to pass off as a fine steakhouse, simply is not.

 

Last year, on the Jewel, based on the fact that so many people here on CC have raved and raved about Cagney's for dinner, my partner and I decided to try it. Our dinner was not only the worst meal we had all week on the ship, it was one of the worst meals we've ever had, anywhere. The quality of the food, including the steak, was mediocre, and it was all poorly prepared, from start to finish -- the soup, the sides, the steak (tough and overcooked like shoe leather).

 

In the last year or so, I've read more reviews on here like yours, from folks who have sailed on a range of NCL ships. I think NCL needs to be using better quality food, and preparing it better. Certainly if you claim to be a steakhouse, you'd better know how to cook a steak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... I am just a normal guy who ... [has] ... the good fortune of being able to enjoy the finer end of the food spectrum since leaving the Marine Corps in 2006. ...

 

Cagney's Steakhouse can be accessed two different ways. Lunch and dinner are included in suite passenger's fare. All passengers can go to Cagney's for dinner for a $25 flat cover charge. ...

 

Thank you, Jeebs, for your review. First, I would like to say that I am grateful to you for your service to our country. My hat is off to you.

 

DW and I will be cruising on the Spirit in February. Since we are doing the suite life, the plan is that on sea days we will enjoy Cagney's for breakfast and lunch, and just eat light faire for evening meals. On the four consecutive port days we will again do Cagney's for breakfast, something ashore for lunch, and a specialty restaurant for some of the dinners, main dining room and/or Henry's pub for others. Since we are doing so much Cagney's for breakfast and lunch, it isn't on our list for dinners.

 

The main takeaway I get from your review is that I really ought to give our local Ruth Chris a shot. I've always wanted to, but I've been a bit staggered by the right side of the menu.

 

I will suggest that you are in error when you say that lunch and dinner are included in suite dweller's fare. My experience is that it is breakfast and lunch that are so included.

 

Warm regards,

InTheCruisingYearsOfLife

 

PS: I also meant to opine that perhaps part of the reason for the steak being better toward the end of the cruise than at the beginning is a matter of freshness. It is my understanding that NCL ships stock their larders with enough of all types of food for an estimated 1.5 times the amount needed for the current itinerary, and practice a rigorous FIFO system of supply consumption. The inevitable upshot of this is that food consumed at the beginning of the cruise is that which is left over from the previous cruise, and so is less fresh than food consumed later.

Edited by InTheCruisingYearsOfLife

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your review. We would like to try a specialty restaurant on our upcoming Pearl cruise. We are midwestern meat and potatoes people. Cagney's would be a natural choice. We have had breakfast there but never dinner. Maybe we should try Le Bistro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeebs, thank you for taking the time to write the review of Cagneys (Steaks).

 

Like you, I call myself a steak guy. I also buy prime steaks when cooking at home. So I know a good steak.

 

Food can sure be a subjective topic. On my last two cruises the Pearl (alaska), and POA. I heard people rave about the food at Cagneys.

 

We ate Cagneys on the Pearl and Lazy J's on the POA. Both times I ordered the large filet. And both times I was disappointed in the quality of the steak. The steaks did not have the texture or favor I'd expect from a Steakhouse with a $25 cover charge. I won't pay $25 to eat in the Steakhouse again.

 

Again, food can be such a subjective thing. I think cruise ships cater to the masses. Most cruisers find the food in restaurants like Cagneys to be excellent. Example, when we were leaving the Lazy J, a group was leaving just ahead of us. I asked them how their meal was, and they responded it was the best steak they every had.

 

So bottom line, for steak guys like us, we'll be disppointed. As other will be thrilled with their dinner....

Edited by jack300s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DW and I will be cruising on the Spirit in February. Since we are doing the suite life, the plan is that on sea days we will enjoy Cagney's for breakfast and lunch, and just eat light faire for evening meals. On the four consecutive port days we will again do Cagney's for breakfast, something ashore for lunch, and a specialty restaurant for some of the dinners, main dining room and/or Henry's pub for others. Since we are doing so much Cagney's for breakfast and lunch, it isn't on our list for dinners.

 

This is very similar to what we did. We would order the Cagney's breakfast to our room on most days - sea and port. Your butler will set up your very own white tablecloth dining room right in your suite. The breakfast was pretty good. We ate elsewhere for lunch on most sea and port days.

 

The main takeaway I get from your review is that I really ought to give our local Ruth Chris a shot. I've always wanted to, but I've been a bit staggered by the right side of the menu.

 

Ruth's Chris is excellent! I highly recommend their crab cake appetizer and the ribeye. I believe the ribeye is between $40-$50 and the sides are right around $12-$15 a piece. The sides are large and can be shared, however! The sweet potato casserole is heaven. I have so much faith that you would enjoy it that I would almost be willing to send you a check for your meal if you didn't! :p

 

I will suggest that you are in error when you say that lunch and dinner are included in suite dweller's fare. My experience is that it is breakfast and lunch that are so included.

 

You are absolutely correct, I misspoke. Breakfast and lunch are included in the suite passenger fare, not dinner. Unfortunately I cannot go back and edit the original post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the thorough assessment and knowing the limits of your expertise. :-)

 

We haven't been to Cagney's in year, and my steak was similar to what you described. I also ordered a strip, so wonder if some advice to others is to avoid the strip. My husband had a different cut, can't remember what, and he loved his.

 

I thought the steak knives on my recent Dawn cruise in the MDR cut just fine. DH had steak twice in the MDR and I had it once. Both times ours were perfectly cooked, not too thin, but we did add some salt and pepper. We were impressed, as previously the steaks were too thin and poorly cooked in the MDRs. However, we saw a couple both grumble about their MDR steaks next to us one night. She sent hers back, and her partner kept his.

 

I'm not ready to write Cageny's off completely, as there are many who rave. I just don't want to spend the $ if there's a reasonably good chance I'll be disappointed again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for your review. We would like to try a specialty restaurant on our upcoming Pearl cruise. We are midwestern meat and potatoes people. Cagney's would be a natural choice. We have had breakfast there but never dinner. Maybe we should try Le Bistro.

wibeachbum, If I were you I think I would give Lebistro a try. I, like you am from the midwest and a definite member of the meat and potatoes brigade. I have tried both Cagneys and Lebistro on most of the NCL ships I have sailed on, including the Pearl, and I prefer the Lebistro experience much more than the Cagneys. Its not that I had a bad meal at Cagneys because I haven't. But we are used to good meat and good steaks in the midwest so it wasn't as much of a treat to me. However, we don't have a lot of good French restaurants in our area, so that is why I preferred the Lebistro. The food was always very good, and it was much more of a treat to try something you don't get as much of. Happy sailing and enjoy the Pearl.

Edited by travelnap

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ruth's Chris is excellent! I highly recommend their crab cake appetizer and the ribeye.

 

As much as you are a steak guy, my dear bride of 34 years is Lady Crab Cake.

 

If we come back from our upcoming cruise neither too destitute nor too cruise-induced rotund, I shall put Ruth's on our docket for a couple weeks later when we attend our next White Bird dance performance in downtown Portland. On the other hand, if NCL is successful in making my wallet too lean or our bodies too fat, it will have to wait until March or April, when we have other White Bird tix.

 

Thank you again!

 

InThe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jeebs for taking the time to post this review and for qualifying yourself "as a steak guy"

 

I usually take CC information about food with a grain of salt :D. (so to speak)

Food can sure be a subjective topic.

 

I generally do not order steak in restaurants for the fact that I prefer to have my steak custom ordered from the butcher and BBQ’d to perfection by myself for myself.

 

From reading your review I will forgo spending money in Cagney’s on steak with my next NCL Cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember dh ordering the steak for lunch the first day at Cagneys. It was tough. Although the steak at b'fast (steak & eggs) was pretty tender.

 

I usually order the prime(?) rib for dinner in Cagneys, and the filet in leBistro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have to agree with your assessment. You do have to deal with the demographic that you have here. For /most/ people Outback is a good steak house and Cagneys is of similar food with slightly higher (or different) atmosphere. This is not knocking outback as Outback has a very good product at a reasonable price. So with Cagney's you're essentially dealing with the same category as they have limitations. It's no like they can age their steaks onboard for 45 days, etc, etc. It's still food service/mass that they have to work with. I would doubt that the cuts they have are even USDA Prime (though even those rankings are too simplistic at best).

 

That being said - I'm not even sure I'd pit Donovan's at the top of the food chain. Either that - or there are ones even above that. For steak houses I would rank above say Donavans, like in Las Vegas Craft Steak (Colicchio's), Prime, SW. But many of these deal with cuts of beef that are way beyond what most consumers can buy. Whether thats Austrailian/NZ wagyu (or japanese) or US bred from say Mishima Ranch, etc. .. But you're also looking at $80-$100 for just the steak without drinks, sides, gratuities, etc. Probably $400+ to get out with a couple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting this. A couple things have been on my mind over the last few years on this subject.

 

First being when we went as a large family group (like 16 people) on the Gem in 2008. We went to dinner in a MDR the first night and most people ordered steak. So out it comes and it is about 1/4 inch thick, fatty, and not tasty. I felt embarrassed as I was the one who talked everyone into going and they were expecting more than that.

 

That did make an impression on them and they haven't been interested in cruising since (I'm not saying that is the sole reason). The rest of the group ended up eating in the buffet from then on except one night we went to Cagneys. Overall the dinner was pretty good that time.

 

Our last two cruises we skipped Cagneys as the time prior to those trips we had a meal that wasn't very good. Tough steaks and the price was up to $25/pp. I saw the other recent post about Cagneys on the Epic and find the quality issue seems to be popping up more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I remember dh ordering the steak for lunch the first day at Cagneys. It was tough. Although the steak at b'fast (steak & eggs) was pretty tender.

 

I usually order the prime(?) rib for dinner in Cagneys, and the filet in leBistro.

I had the same experience onthe Gem in November. The NY strip that I saw being served looked inedible..... The petit filet served with eggs in the morning however was wonderful.......

 

 

I agree with the poster that said Le Bistro has the best steak..... The best filet I have ever had on NCL came from Le Bistro. I really real the quality of Cagney's has falle....I do remember having great meals there on the Spriit in 2009....but since then I feel the quality has gone down. I am on the fence about whether I will give it another try for dinner on the Dawn in two days.....:):)

Edited by cherylroslyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being a BIG fan of the Steakhouses on Carnival (a few dozen dinners there to my name), I can tell you that the quality of their steaks is consistent. They are aged Prime grade beef, and you can tell.

 

I have dined in Cagney's on each of our 4 NCL cruises and found the quality of the beef to be lacking. On both the Pearl and Epic I did make a point to ask IF the steaks were Prime grade, since there was no mention of this on the menu. Given the delayed response - even though it was eventually in the affirmative, I knew that they were making that call on the fly.

 

IF it were Prime grade, it would be touted on the menu - without a doubt.

 

I will agree that the filet I enjoyed in Le Bistro (3 times) has been very tender. Though it is a filet, so I expect that to begin with!

 

I enjoy dining in Murano on Celebrity, though still have to rank Carnival higher - simply based on the quality of the beef (I like the choices on their menu better as well... being less "French")! ;) Having said that, we are booked there for 3 nights on our Eclipse sailing next month -- it's the best food on the ship!... though somehow I'll manage the other 4 nights (2X Qsine, and 2X Tuscan Grille)! :D

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cagneys has never pretended they served prime beef. The menu is clearly labeled Premium Black Angus. That said I have to believe that NCL has changed suppliers for their beef in the last year or so. I had some great meals in the past in Cagneys the last 3 cruises this year it was not up to its old standards. Even when cooked correctly far too dry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I enjoy dining in Murano on Celebrity, though still have to rank Carnival higher - simply based on the quality of the beef (I like the choices on their menu better as well... being less "French")! ;) Having said that, we are booked there for 3 nights on our Eclipse sailing next month -- it's the best food on the ship!... though somehow I'll manage the other 4 nights (2X Qsine, and 2X Tuscan Grille)! :D

 

Tom

 

Tom - agree with you 100%. Best steak (and meal!) we have had was in the Carnival Legend steakhouse, followed by Solstice Murano. We have dined in 3 Cagney's (Dawn, Sky and Epic). We do enjoy dining there, but the quality and selections are not as good as Carnival and Celebrity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to remember .... does Cagneys serve rack of lamb?

If they do, maybe I'll order that instead of my usual prime rib (although that's been good in the past anyway).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say don't get caught up in the "labels" of the beef. USDA prime isn't all that great to sniff at. It's just a starting point. Just because it claims to be "aged" doesn't mean anything either. Thats like saying a bottle of wine is aged. .. . If they let things hang there for a couple days, they can call that aged as well. The amount of time that top tier steak houses age their beef is quite absurd at time. Frequently they lose 1/3 of the slab due to aging. It's pretty much a given that the cruise lines do not age their beef. They buy the beef from food processors and if the beef processor claims its aged by a day or two, then it now becomes "aged".

 

Besides, not sure if people know, but USDA ratings for beet is essentially the amount of fat (marbling) in a steak. has nothing to do with preparation, storage, frozen or not, contains mad cow's disease or whatever. It's just amount of visible marbling of the piece of meat in question. A real poor gauge to how something will taste, but it is a starting point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm trying to remember .... does Cagneys serve rack of lamb?

If they do, maybe I'll order that instead of my usual prime rib (although that's been good in the past anyway).

 

No but the lamb chops I had in Cagneys in Oct were part of the best meal I had in Cagneys this year.

 

 

2614272930059187889S600x600Q85.jpg

Edited by time2cruise1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would have to agree with your assessment. You do have to deal with the demographic that you have here. For /most/ people Outback is a good steak house and Cagneys is of similar food with slightly higher (or different) atmosphere. This is not knocking outback as Outback has a very good product at a reasonable price. So with Cagney's you're essentially dealing with the same category as they have limitations. It's no like they can age their steaks onboard for 45 days, etc, etc. It's still food service/mass that they have to work with. I would doubt that the cuts they have are even USDA Prime (though even those rankings are too simplistic at best).

 

That being said - I'm not even sure I'd pit Donovan's at the top of the food chain. Either that - or there are ones even above that. For steak houses I would rank above say Donavans, like in Las Vegas Craft Steak (Colicchio's), Prime, SW. But many of these deal with cuts of beef that are way beyond what most consumers can buy. Whether thats Austrailian/NZ wagyu (or japanese) or US bred from say Mishima Ranch, etc. .. But you're also looking at $80-$100 for just the steak without drinks, sides, gratuities, etc. Probably $400+ to get out with a couple.

 

I don't believe I wrote that Donavan's was the end all be all. It was merely a point of reference for comparison. There are numerous fine steakhouses but listing them served no real purpose here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My steakhouse scorecard:

Carnival - Legend :). Best filet mignon I've ever had. I've craved having another one over the years, it was that good! The rest of the items I had, lobster bisque and chocolate sampler desserts, were just as good. It was an absolutely awesome meal! Eating at Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse pales in comparison.

NCL - Pearl :confused:, Dawn :confused:. While the meat itself was fine on both nights, the spicing and flavor just didn't live up to expectations. The other items, which I can't even remember, couldn't raise my overall meal rating. I think the steaks I've had in the main dining room have been as good as those in Cagney's, which is fine when not paying a $25 surcharge. Needless to say, I haven't been craving another Cagney's steak. In fact, I came back from my cruises craving Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I remember dh ordering the steak for lunch the first day at Cagneys. It was tough. Although the steak at b'fast (steak & eggs) was pretty tender.

 

I usually order the prime(?) rib for dinner in Cagneys, and the filet in leBistro.

 

That's the insane thing...When we had breakfasts at Cagneys and my DH ordered the steak & eggs, the steak (tenderloin) he had for breakfast (probably 5 out of 7 days) was far better than any steak we got at Cagneys for dinner.

I don't get it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No but the lamb chops I had in Cagneys in Oct were part of the best meal I had in Cagneys this year.

 

 

2614272930059187889S600x600Q85.jpg

That's a good meal :)

Edited by davesgirl51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm trying to remember .... does Cagneys serve rack of lamb?

 

If they do, maybe I'll order that instead of my usual prime rib (although that's been good in the past anyway).

 

Go to LeBisto for the rack of lamb - it is fantastic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know nothing about beef other than whether I like it or not when I eat it. My opinion is it used to be yummy and a sure hit. Last few cruises I ventured away from it and ordered other items such as lamb or fish. I will still eat the buffet roasts and Le Bistro's beef. I am still wondering what on earth I ate in Cagney's one evening in 2011.

 

 

coka

Edited by coka

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Go to LeBisto for the rack of lamb - it is fantastic.

 

No rack of lamb. They serve the same lamb chops in Le Bistro as they serve in Cagney's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would say don't get caught up in the "labels" of the beef. USDA prime isn't all that great to sniff at. It's just a starting point. Just because it claims to be "aged" doesn't mean anything either. Thats like saying a bottle of wine is aged. .. . If they let things hang there for a couple days, they can call that aged as well. The amount of time that top tier steak houses age their beef is quite absurd at time. Frequently they lose 1/3 of the slab due to aging. It's pretty much a given that the cruise lines do not age their beef. They buy the beef from food processors and if the beef processor claims its aged by a day or two, then it now becomes "aged".

 

Besides, not sure if people know, but USDA ratings for beet is essentially the amount of fat (marbling) in a steak. has nothing to do with preparation, storage, frozen or not, contains mad cow's disease or whatever. It's just amount of visible marbling of the piece of meat in question. A real poor gauge to how something will taste, but it is a starting point.

 

I would imagine that the "aged" beef on Carnival is wet aged - as in it's sat in a vacuum packed plastic sleeve for a couple of weeks.

 

The most intense flavor (read: well broken down tissues, bordering on "funky") I have enjoyed in a steak was at Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa. There it was dry aged for a LONG time. A few meals at Prime (Bellagio) and other similar places have allowed me to cross paths with some nice quality steaks.

 

Prime (grade) is a good starting point, in my opinion, but it is not the sole determinant in quality.

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a 65 year old granny with only half my teeth, and as another poster said, I know absolutely nothing about beef, other than if I can chew it and it tastes good.

 

We must have hit it lucky the night we went to Cagney's on the Star back in September, because I had an excellent filet that I had butterflied, and it was one of two steaks I had during the week that I could eat. The other was a rib eye in the MDR at the Captain's table (don't know if that's why it was better) but I gave up ordering New York strip after three tries and switched to chicken dishes. Even the night they had pork chops, you couldn't cut the chop with the steak knife.

 

The only thing I didn't like about Cagney's was the surcharge for lobster (on top of the $25 surcharge already paid). We specifically chose Cagney's because of the lobster and then to find out it cost extra was a bummer, so my friend (who loves lobster) ended up not getting it at all during the cruise (which was a first). In our 7 cruises they usually have always had lobster one night.

 

But I agree with a lot of the other posters, I won't pay the $25 surcharge to go to a specialty restaurant again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As others have said, and I should have added on my post, the Cagney's breakfast steaks we had in August were fabulous IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As others have said, and I should have added on my post, the Cagney's breakfast steaks we had in August were fabulous IMO.

 

Now here is a question - were they fabulous because you're used to a crappy piece of steak in the morning when/if you order steak and eggs - and their steak is of above average in that category (same as dinner)

 

Or were they truly "fabulous" as in that that piece of steak would be rated "fabulous" if you had it at dinner ??? I've had steak and eggs at breakfast, and would rate it as the same quality as at dinner - which in the overall scheme of things, is "above average" (similar to say outback).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have dined at Cagney's on each of our seven cruises. I only order the filet because I find most other cuts to have more chance of being tough. Every steak we have had at Cagney"s has been cooked to my specification (medium rare) was tender, juicy and flavorful. I couldn't say why your experience was so different. Just thought I'd share mine.

 

As for the MDR, in the last couple of cruises I've had problems ordering beef medium rare. The first time I said "medium rare" and the waiter repeated back "medium well". I corrected him, saying "medium RARE". He repeated medium rare and the steak came medium well. The next time I ordered I said medium rare and the waiter repeated correctly. Again it came medium well. Both times I sent it back and it returned correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you really think you were going to get an 80dollar steak for 25 dollars.Buy the way would you ever consider eating something other than steak. I mean there are so many choices these days . We eat out a lot and would never go to a high end steak house 50 or 60 dollars for a steak and then 8 bucks for a potato or some bad rice peloff ,no thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you really think you were going to get an 80dollar steak for 25 dollars.

 

Absolutely not. What I did expect was something worth the EXTRA $25 above the fare already paid. What I got was a steak that can be purchased at any chain restaurant for half what I paid to get into Cagney's.

 

 

Buy the way would you ever consider eating something other than steak. I mean there are so many choices these days .

 

Its a steakhouse...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Absolutely not. What I did expect was something worth the EXTRA $25 above the fare already paid. What I got was a steak that can be purchased at any chain restaurant for half what I paid to get into Cagney's.

 

...

 

Agreed!

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried Cagney's on the Jewel. It was just ok. On the other hand found Le Bistro fabulous. So when we went on the Dawn I chose to celebrate my nephew's 18th in Le Bistro. We split their Chateaubriand for two, it had an upcharge. It was probably the best steak I have had on NCL. I tried several specialty restaurants again on the Sun during my 14 day SA cruise. The steakhouse was toward the bottom of my list of preferences.

 

My favorite meal at sea was on Celebrity Summit in the Normandie. And earlier this year I was delighted by the Chef's table dinner on the Carnival Paradise. Most definately worth $75 plus $40 in tips.

 

BTW, i prefer to have lobster in Tepenyaki. I prearrange for extra veggies no rice and just lobster. I pay extra, but worth it to have a lobster tail cooked to order, not overcooked and delightful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have the good fortune of being able to enjoy the finer end of the food spectrum since leaving the Marine Corps in 2006.

This is where I stopped reading your review. I mean, c'mon - who can take seriously some guy who probably fought for the Beef Stew MRE? :)

 

<-- Marine Reservist who left Active Duty in '08 (after 10 years), and has attended Culinary School post-AD...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your take on Cagney's, it's was only a couple days ago I posted how Cagneys was always ahit and miss with us mainly a hit but we always knew we could count on the shrimp cocktail were we would order two and if the steak was sent back we would just order more shrimp cocktail.

 

I really don't understand why NCL has to have this problem is it because they buy cheap cuts of meat or is it in the prep and cooking area because as far as I can see they are not saving any money on us if we end up having 6 shrimp cocktail and top of them throwing the money away for a steak that has to be thrown out.

 

I have complained to every restaurant mgr and hotel director on every cruise (22) to be exact and all b2b and yet they still continue to blow it. Thank goodness for Le Bistro

 

And this is where Carnival scored really well is that while we cruised with them in January on Freedom for the first and last time as our overall experience was far less than acceptable they only have one pay restaurant which is their steakhouse, we ate there twice and had memorable steaks and apps. both times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find New York strips always fall short if compared to a filet mignon so I never order the NY strips when we cruise. Just on the Spirit and had a wonderful filet at Le Bistro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×