Jump to content

What restaurant chains would you compare Celebrity food to?


Recommended Posts

We all know that food reviews are very subjective and that comments like "delicious", "sub-par", and "out of this world" mean different things to different people. However, we've all dined in chain restaurants (Olive Garden, Ruths Chris, Red Lobster, etc.) which are usually pretty consistent. As such, I think that such comparisons might be more helpful. Who wants to start? ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
We all know that food reviews are very subjective and that comments like "delicious", "sub-par", and "out of this world" mean different things to different people. However, we've all dined in chain restaurants (Olive Garden, Ruths Chris, Red Lobster, etc.) which are usually pretty consistent. As such, I think that such comparisons might be more helpful. Who wants to start? ;)

 

We normally eat in Blu but I'd say a sort of close comparison to Blu is the restaurant, Season's 52.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One big difference is that the cruise food is usually already made or somewhat made and the chains vary also, Outback for me has gone downhill, and Red lobster is not bad so maybe them for the seafood, I would say the MDR is not at the high end steakhouse quality.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Would I rather be visiting a series of "chain restaurants" or be served by the waiters in Celebrity's MDR or speciality restaurants?

 

I'd rather be at sea with a better experience than any that you have listed.

 

But then again if I had the choice of the list, I'd get better fare at home.

Link to post
Share on other sites
We all know that food reviews are very subjective and that comments like "delicious", "sub-par", and "out of this world" mean different things to different people. However, we've all dined in chain restaurants (Olive Garden, Ruths Chris, Red Lobster, etc.) which are usually pretty consistent. As such, I think that such comparisons might be more helpful. Who wants to start? ;)

 

I think this is a great question! I'm a first-time cruiser, and I hear so many reports of the horrible food - I'd like to set my expectations. I don't know if people are comparing the food to the grand old days of cruising, or comparing to a hospital cafeteria, or somewhere in between. I guess if I go in expecting it will be about as good as Applebees (which I think is mediocre), and it's really as good as Red Lobster or Outback, then I think I'll be happy. I actually like Red Lobster and Outback. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bad Question? no way. If someone asked how much to tip at the meal, or if their drink package worked at the meal, or if there were chair hogs at the meal, or you could disembark prior to the meal, then that would be a bad question. Ask away... they fall off the page soon enough.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think this is a great question! I'm a first-time cruiser, and I hear so many reports of the horrible food - I'd like to set my expectations. I don't know if people are comparing the food to the grand old days of cruising, or comparing to a hospital cafeteria, or somewhere in between. I guess if I go in expecting it will be about as good as Applebees (which I think is mediocre), and it's really as good as Red Lobster or Outback, then I think I'll be happy. I actually like Red Lobster and Outback. :)

 

When it comes to food, I wouldn't rely on the taste buds of others nor some of the opinions here on Cruise Critic. Go with an open mind and judge for yourself. Have a great cruise. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
One big difference is that the cruise food is usually already made or somewhat made and the chains vary also, Outback for me has gone downhill, and Red lobster is not bad so maybe them for the seafood, I would say the MDR is not at the high end steakhouse quality.

 

Outback and Red Lobster. Heaven help me where people point out some sort of reference to steak and fish.

 

Like saying Celebrity is lke Carnival. :eek:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just trying to find a reference point, I sailed Carnival once the food was about Denny's quality and I wrote about how disappointed I was in the food, they responded back and I am paraphrasing " We never said we had great food"

 

For Celebrity the food is very good in my opinion , in the MDR it is like an upscale but not expensive restaurant, the steak at outback used to be comparable to a MDR steak but Outback has gone way downhill in their meat quality. You may knock Red Lobster but I have been to one here in Denver and they do a very good job with their dishes. One thing i always have to overlook is that the food is rarely hot on a cruise ship, and some food is just better hot.

 

This is a good topic in my opinion as some people think every meal is like Ruth's Cris the service is but not the Steak.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The portions aren't big and the food is a little on the bland side, though getting better...I think Seasons52 is a decent comparison. The quality in the MDR is pretty good but not exquisite, kinda like Bonefish Grill. I sure wish there was a buffet on land that came close to Oceanview Cafe or a chain restaurant that was as elegant and as good as Murano.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the Century out of Vancouver to Alaska Sept 8. The food in the Island Cafe was hit and miss to say the least. Coffee was not refilled on at least eight occasions with folk walking around to get a cup of coffee. Same with water. Tables were cleaned but rarely wiped - I had to ask at least five times for the table to be wiped down from the previous diner's debris. Servers were unsmiling and surly and the queue for sandwiches during lunch was long due to only one server being appointed to that station. Same for bread and toast at breakfast. Hot food wasn't hot. We had select dining and the service was inconsistent. On one evening, the food was served before the wine order was even taken despite several requests to see the sommelier. On another evening, we had to ask three times for coffee and were not even offered a refill. Cheese arrived without biscuits. Some evenings, depending on the table, the service was excellent, on other evenings totally chaotic. The Murano was superb. Our daughter and SIL tried the dining room for breakfast on the morning of her birthday and gave up as the waiter was unable to take the order correctly due to his poor usage of English. I couldn't compare the food and service to a restaurant because it was so disappointing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it's hard to compare a cruise line to a chain restaurant. I think it's easier to compare it to a hotel:

 

Carnival- Holiday Inn

Celebrity - Hyatt

etc...

 

I agree this is a good comparison and it's all about expectations. We expected Holiday Inn when we cruised on CCL and, in general, they exceeded our expectations, especially in the MDR. On X we expect it to be better than CCL. Applebees, Outback, and Red Lobster are tough comparisons since their menus are so generically "American."

Link to post
Share on other sites
some of it is grade school cafeteria and some of it's Ruth's Chris and some of it's fine dining.

 

Yup - I would agree with this. Things vary on the ship from venue to venue and from day to day.

Edited by Sascol
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I agree, it's hard to pick a chain restaurant that a large ship's food is like. I also don't think it's useless to make these comparisons. Yes everyone's tastes are different, but just like for movies where everyone's tastes are different but knowing the general consensus is still helpful in picking out what to watch for the night. That's why sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are still helpful when in comes to picking out restaurants. It's not the final word, but it is still helpful.

 

All in all, the closest thing that I can think of on land that is like the MDR is a hotel banquet meal. Everything looks like it's plated like fine french food. Even something that tastes very plain will look very fancy. Some of the dishes will be really good. Up to par to what it looks like. By the way, I found the lamb and the pork to always be very good. And some of them will be really good, but not to your taste. And a few, I would say maybe 20% or so would be very bad. As in improperly cooked, not fresh, poorly seasoned, or something like that. So the biggest surprise I had with the MDR is that kind of inconsistency. Normally a restaurant on land will be either good, mediocre, or bad, and pretty much the same throughout. In the MDR, you really have to try everything. You never know by the menu if something will be good or not. So I wouldn't even compare it to Applebees because even though Applebees is not that great food, it is consistent. When you go there you know what your food is going to taste like. Think of the MDR as that fancy restaurant in town that is having an unpredictable night. Some things come out delicious, and some things look like someone messed up along the line.

 

As for the Oceanview buffet, I thought it was extremely similar to what my college dining hall was like. I went to a college that was rated top 5 for food (why I went there, heehee), so I'm not saying this about the buffet as a bad thing. Celebrity tries hard to give you lots of options that look and usually are pretty tasty. It's not gourmet, but you will not go hungry.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it's hard to compare a cruise line to a chain restaurant. I think it's easier to compare it to a hotel:

 

Carnival- Holiday Inn

Celebrity - Hyatt

etc...

Have you ever sailed Carnival? Your food assessment is way off....... Carnival's food is not the problem.......

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my take on some of the venues!

 

The pool grill= Steak N Shake

Really good burgers, but no shakes.:(

 

The buffet= Panera Bread

Not great, not bad, some interesting choices.

 

BLU= Grandmas house

Sometimes really good, Sometimes not so much. It's Small and intimate and the tables are super close together. The service can be spotty and not always ready to accommodate guests. Love Grandma, but she is no Martha Stewart.

 

The Main Dining Room=Texas de Brazil

Good service, descent food, Interesting presentations and there is always a lot of food.

 

Normandy=Morton's

Good food, good service, nice atmosphere, but not French! Why do they call this a French restaurant?

 

Qsine=Seven Hills, In San Fran

Definitely not chain food, innovative menu, creative, fun and just really a must do. Let me just state that the food is only half as good as the food at Seven Hills. But even at that level is still pretty tasty.

 

Cafe` al Bacio= Generic coffee house, that you can find in any airport!

Hands down only consumable coffee on the ship. Free coffee is like day old dorm room coffee.

 

Hope this helps! It is only my opinion and may not reflect other peoples experiences and or preferences. I'm well aware that Seven Hills is not a chain restaurant. However it is the only point of reference I could come up with. Just one pointer stay away from any game type food they may serve on the ship, like Pheasant. Anything that is very lean tends to be over cooked and under seasoned.

Link to post
Share on other sites

to think about this as a "type" of "apples to oranges"....never have thought of it that way. TBH...we don't eat in many "chain" restaurants...so can't compare one to another. But I would say that on X the food is always "good" and sometimes "better"...based on being in the "special" dining venues...but I think the MDR food could be compared to a "nice" hotel based venue dinner. Does that make sense? LuAnn

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the MDR is like an average hotel serving a banquet style meal. The MDR is not as good as a mid-priced steakhouse, Just take a look at the shrimp cocktail, salads, soups, or the tasteless desserts and ask if you would be satisfied if served the same quantity or quality in any mid-priced restaurant. I would not.

I also don't think any steakhouse on any mass market cruise is comparable to a Morton's or a Smith&Wollenskys.

We love to cruise and enjoy all our meals in a great environment, but we realize we are getting mass produced food

Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly I don't see how any MDR can be compared to land-based restaurants. How many do you know that serves 2500+ people each night? If I wanted 5*. I would be sailing on a ship that could comfortably serve a couple hundred people.

 

We tend to like several things at the buffet. Lots we skip but surely plenty so that we don't lose weight on a cruise.

 

Can't figure out if desserts are so tasteless why so many people still eat them:confused: We can always find something that is decent, including the ice cream, cheesecake and cookies, among other things

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
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team: New Ship Ultramarine
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...