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Which line has the best food overall?

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Very interesting! 

 

I'm a foodie too. Very keen to read on people's views on this topic. 

 

Very new to cruising (done 2 cunard and 1 P&O). Now looking at doing one next year but struggling to find a cruise line that will meet my requirements. 

 

Anyone got recommendations for a cruise line for a "foodie"? I'm looking for something slightly above the cunard level, would prefer larger ships with plenty of facilities and entertainment but also want the quality. I didn't really enjoy the P&O cruise I did. 

 

I'm finding it quite hard to navigate my way around the forum and would be grateful if someone could post links to the different classes/types /ranking of cruise lines there are etc and where would you class Cunard and P&O lines? Whether Cunard is considered "premium" etc. 

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Posted (edited)

Cunard can only be considered premium in the Grills.  You need to decide if you want Premium cruise lines or mass cruise lines.  Premiums lines would be Viking, Seabourn, Regent, Silver Sea, Sea Dream with Oceania and Azamara as slightly below Premium.  You can check each one of these boards right here on CC.

Edited by CGTNORMANDIE

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On 7/22/2019 at 11:49 AM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Cunard can only be considered premium in the Grills.  You need to decide if you want Premium cruise lines or mass cruise lines.  Premiums lines would be Viking, Seabourn, Regent, Silver Sea, Sea Dream with Oceania and Azamara as slightly below Premium.  You can check each one of these boards right here on CC.

I will defer to others, but I always thought that “premium”in cruise language just meant one step up from mass market. Seaborne, Regent, SeaDream, silversea and Crystal are “luxury” brands.

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On 7/20/2019 at 6:55 PM, zltm089 said:

Very interesting! 

 

I'm a foodie too. Very keen to read on people's views on this topic. 

 

Very new to cruising (done 2 cunard and 1 P&O). Now looking at doing one next year but struggling to find a cruise line that will meet my requirements. 

 

Anyone got recommendations for a cruise line for a "foodie"? I'm looking for something slightly above the cunard level, would prefer larger ships with plenty of facilities and entertainment but also want the quality. I didn't really enjoy the P&O cruise I did. 

 

I'm finding it quite hard to navigate my way around the forum and would be grateful if someone could post links to the different classes/types /ranking of cruise lines there are etc and where would you class Cunard and P&O lines? Whether Cunard is considered "premium" etc. 

Most of the most upmarket ships with the best food are reasonably small. That I think is what the passengers on those ships prefer. They have lots of facilities however, but just not all the bells and whistles that make big ships like floating shopping malls rather than ships.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Toryhere said:

I will defer to others, but I always thought that “premium”in cruise language just meant one step up from mass market. Seaborne, Regent, SeaDream, silversea and Crystal are “luxury” brands.

I know this is confusing.  You are right...I meant to say luxury.  I wonder though...is there really anything that is truly premium on the mass market lines?  Are the Neptune Suites on Hal really premium when they don’t offer complimentary beverages outside the Neptune Lounge?  Does the NCL Haven qualify as Premium when they do not offer a Haven Restaurant with a menu that changes daily nor a dedicated outside pool deck?  JMO but the only mass market line that offers Premium is the MSC Yacht Club.  The YC offers a dedicated outside pool deck with full meals and beverages, a dedicated restaurant with daily rotating menus and complimentary premium beverages as well as complimentary mini fridge stocked daily.  And let’s not forget the expansive YC lounge with nightly entertainment and 20 hours of rotating snacks and beverages.  That, to me, is Premium.

 

 

Edited by CGTNORMANDIE

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2 years ago we went to Alaska on the Celebrity Solstice and the food was all awesome... though we had a sky suite and ate almost every meal in the Luminae restaurant that was only for suite guests. We had room service for breakfast every morning and it was always great. We did lunch in the buffet a couple of times and it was fine, but we preferred the luminae.

 

We did a princess cruise in a club class mini suite and the MDR was good, club class got to sit in a different less crowded section which was nice, and it was fun being allowed to skip ahead of the line when it was real long 🙂 On the last night we had dinner in the steakhouse and it was seriously the best steak I ever had in my life.

 

Also, and maybe most important, the gelato was better on celebrity too!

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On 7/20/2019 at 4:55 AM, zltm089 said:

Very interesting! 

 

I'm a foodie too. Very keen to read on people's views on this topic. 

 

Very new to cruising (done 2 cunard and 1 P&O). Now looking at doing one next year but struggling to find a cruise line that will meet my requirements. 

 

Anyone got recommendations for a cruise line for a "foodie"? I'm looking for something slightly above the cunard level, would prefer larger ships with plenty of facilities and entertainment but also want the quality. I didn't really enjoy the P&O cruise I did. 

 

I'm finding it quite hard to navigate my way around the forum and would be grateful if someone could post links to the different classes/types /ranking of cruise lines there are etc and where would you class Cunard and P&O lines? Whether Cunard is considered "premium" etc. 

I think Cunard and P&O are both under the Carnival umbrella and primarily based in the UK.  My limited impression is Cunard is fancier dress, old fashioned cruising while P&O is more mass market appeal/mainstream.

 

I'm not sure if you will find larger ships (depending on your definition of large and what you want for entertainment) with the level of quality you seek.  My view is US based, possibly the dynamic is different in England, so my opinion/experience may be slanted.  Here is my general understanding (and I'm sure several lines are missing):

-Mass market: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, possibly P&O or MSC.  These ships generally have more "bells & whistles" and appeal to families and younger adults (although you can find all ages).

Premium: Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, Disney*, and possibly P&O or MSC (Cunard might fit here too).  Price point starts increasing and appeal is to more mature crowds (Disney obviously an exception).  Activities and entertainment are still to be had, but likely more intellectual versus high energy.

Premium Plus: Azamara, Oceana, Viking (possibly Cunard - I'm sure I'm missing others).  These generally have smaller ships and more included with your (higher priced) fare.  This is probably the sweet spot for a "foodie" wanting quality, but you might sacrifice facilities and entertainment (depending on what you want there).  Another option is a suite on a lower line - especially something like Yacht Club on MSC or Haven on Norwegian.

Luxury: Crystal, Regent, Silver Sea (probably others).  Much smaller ships with high level of service and high price tag. 

Some lines (Windstar I think?) are much smaller ships and are more about the sailing experience and the destinations than the other onboard experiences, but still likely to have good food.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that ship galleys are a different animal than land based kitchens.  Some of the cooking techniques aren't as practical.  Also, the larger amount of diners will generally mean the lower quality food.  Mass produced buffet food is generally not as good as individually plated MDR food.  Specialty dining will be a step above that, with Chef's Table experience at the top for mass market.  We have never gone hungry on a cruise, but have only had a truly excellent meal once.  Regal Princess (and other Royal class ships) offers a Wine Maker's table that serves around 12 guests with a set menu paired with wines and prepared a la minute.  It makes sense though that food specially prepared for 12 would be better than a variety of foods for 4000 😉 

 

If entertainment is equally or more important than food, you might want to find the ship that has the amenities you want and then focus your food experiences on shore for a great lunch somewhere local.

 

Hope that helps.

 

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On 8/1/2019 at 10:26 PM, pacruise804 said:

I think Cunard and P&O are both under the Carnival umbrella and primarily based in the UK.  My limited impression is Cunard is fancier dress, old fashioned cruising while P&O is more mass market appeal/mainstream.

 

I'm not sure if you will find larger ships (depending on your definition of large and what you want for entertainment) with the level of quality you seek.  My view is US based, possibly the dynamic is different in England, so my opinion/experience may be slanted.  Here is my general understanding (and I'm sure several lines are missing):

-Mass market: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, possibly P&O or MSC.  These ships generally have more "bells & whistles" and appeal to families and younger adults (although you can find all ages).

Premium: Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, Disney*, and possibly P&O or MSC (Cunard might fit here too).  Price point starts increasing and appeal is to more mature crowds (Disney obviously an exception).  Activities and entertainment are still to be had, but likely more intellectual versus high energy.

Premium Plus: Azamara, Oceana, Viking (possibly Cunard - I'm sure I'm missing others).  These generally have smaller ships and more included with your (higher priced) fare.  This is probably the sweet spot for a "foodie" wanting quality, but you might sacrifice facilities and entertainment (depending on what you want there).  Another option is a suite on a lower line - especially something like Yacht Club on MSC or Haven on Norwegian.

Luxury: Crystal, Regent, Silver Sea (probably others).  Much smaller ships with high level of service and high price tag. 

Some lines (Windstar I think?) are much smaller ships and are more about the sailing experience and the destinations than the other onboard experiences, but still likely to have good food.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that ship galleys are a different animal than land based kitchens.  Some of the cooking techniques aren't as practical.  Also, the larger amount of diners will generally mean the lower quality food.  Mass produced buffet food is generally not as good as individually plated MDR food.  Specialty dining will be a step above that, with Chef's Table experience at the top for mass market.  We have never gone hungry on a cruise, but have only had a truly excellent meal once.  Regal Princess (and other Royal class ships) offers a Wine Maker's table that serves around 12 guests with a set menu paired with wines and prepared a la minute.  It makes sense though that food specially prepared for 12 would be better than a variety of foods for 4000 😉 

 

If entertainment is equally or more important than food, you might want to find the ship that has the amenities you want and then focus your food experiences on shore for a great lunch somewhere local.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Good comment.

the smaller the ship, the more likely that the food will be more interesting.

on SeaDream, for example, they often give passengers the opportunity to walk to the local market with the chef, as he selects some local food for that evening’s dishes. You also have the opportunity to get the galley to cook you anything you may prefer, if you give them some notice.

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Some very good recommendations. 

 

Looking at Celebrity cruise at the moment. Might give them a try for a cruise next year. 

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Oceania all the way!!! 

The fact that Oceania has famous French chef Jacques Pepin as its executive culinary director speaks volumes about its dedication to fine onboard dining. The main dining rooms offer high-quality fare in an open-seating plan, and even the buffets and poolside grill fare refuse to disappoint. Lobsters come sourced from the line's own Maine lobster farm, and its beef is dry-aged for 28 days in Oceania's aging facility. Specialty venues are all fee-free (minus special wine-pairing menus), and range from the Asian-style Red Ginger to Italian Toscana and French bistro Jacques. And if eating mouth-watering cuisine isn't enough, you can learn to prepare it yourself with classes in the Culinary Center. Look out, too, for the line's expanded portfolio of Culinary Discovery Tours, dedicated foodie-friendly shore excursions on offer in ports like Casablanca, Rio and Venice.

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I have only cruised NCL, RCCL (a long time ago) and Carnival.  Between them, RC was the best, but Carnival was very good, too, on the ships I have been on with the Chefs Table being phenomenal. The food on thr NCL cruise I went on was completely inedible.  Truly horrific...so bad we won't do NCL again. 

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Oceania is usually 1st choice for most people who have actually tried them.  Have sailed on Oceania, Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, RCCL, Carnival, and Costa with food quality in that order.  Big difference between Oceania and Celebrity, very small difference between Celebrity and Princess.  Even Costa wasn't that bad thought it was different.  The only cruiseline with decent pizza was Princess in their Alfredo's Pizzeria.  Only food I would not eat at Oceania is pizza.  My favorite dishes on Oceania is miso-glazed Chilean Seabass,  black peppered new york cut steak, & surf and turf sandwich (filet mignon & lobstertail sandwich).  Their french baguettes are surprisingly addictive.  

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If you are looking for a large ship with decent food then I would suggest a sky suite on Celebrity. The Luminae restaurant is really good and they will make you pretty much anything you want with a 24 hr notice. We had a indian meal made for us which was really good. Also, you can buy a specialty dining package if you want to branch out a little. The food in the MDR and buffet are not very good IMO.  Celebrity has always been my favorite however their prices have gotten significantly higher recently and so I am taking is Seabourn cruise for much less then I would pay in a sky suite (smallest suite) on Celebrity. Sebourn is a much smaller ship. 

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Windstar Cruiseline has amazing food. The chefs are top notch!  I was very spoiled on the 3 cruises I’ve taken with them. ❤️

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