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Quality of food on Royal Caribbean

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We will be taking an Australian/New Zealand cruise in December. It'll be the first time we took a cruise that doesn't leave from the U.S. does anyone know if the menu in the MDR is the same as US sailings or is it a completely different menu?

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We will be taking an Australian/New Zealand cruise in December. It'll be the first time we took a cruise that doesn't leave from the U.S. does anyone know if the menu in the MDR is the same as US sailings or is it a completely different menu?

 

There will be some local customisation but fundamentally it will be pretty much the same.

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I've only sailed RCL once, 4.5 years ago, and the food was the least impressive part of the cruise. This was before staff cuts, repeat menu options, and much of what others have described here. That said, we like the decor and entertainment, so would still consider a 3-5 day sailing to get a taste every now and again.

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My first sailing was about 20 years ago. They most definitely were not serving 6 course meals. It was virtually identical as it is today. A small menu with apps, mains, dessert. Waiters brought it out on trays, took the tops off and served it. So I can't really relate to your comments of this amazing multi course dinner experiences that simply did not exist 20 years ago. I would point out that if you are referring to much more than 20 years ago, then the idea that the food has been declining becomes almost meaningless.

 

So yes, if you are comparing to a non-existent dining experience, I guess you could come to the conclusion that it has decreased in the years since?

 

Bringing up Oceania just proves that Oceania does it better. And since I can't relate to your comment that Royal used to be similar, then it really holds no bearing on the idea that Royal's food is declining. With the additional of better specialty restaurants and concepts, in my opinion, it seems obvious that the food is improving, if anything.

 

I agree, you have to go past 20 years to get the kind of food and presentation that people seem to think existed in the 90's, although midnight buffets and ice carvings were still around. My first cruise was in 1972 and my husband and I started seriously cruising in the 80's - food was considerably different back then, but so was cruising in general. Most people would be complaining right and left if they had to be on ships like Song of Norway or Song of America.

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I also think the MDR and WJ has declined just a bit since I first started cruising in 20+ years ago. However, I still love it.

I agree that perhaps they needed to reduce the quality as to not compete with the specialty restaurants. Mo-Money you know.

Also, I think the availability of quality foods in everyday homes and restaurants has improved and became more plentiful over the past 20 years so people are more adjusted to higher quality or higher standard of product and service.

If I don't have to cook it and clean up after it, I love it.

 

I would like to see menus change more frequently and differ from ship to ship.

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We will be taking an Australian/New Zealand cruise in December. It'll be the first time we took a cruise that doesn't leave from the U.S. does anyone know if the menu in the MDR is the same as US sailings or is it a completely different menu?

The menus were exactly the same as other cruises when we were on Radiance in March.

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Just off Liberty, our first RCCL cruise but this was our 27th cruise over 6 cruise lines (mostly Celebrity and Princess). WE felt the MDR food was at the bottom of all we have experienced on any of the other lines. The presentation was nice but the food, especially beef dishes, were very poor. Windjammer buffet was acceptable but still in the lower tier compared to CEL,PCL, and HAL. We tried Chops and I had the fillet which was very tender but lacking in much taste. Don't know how to take the taste out of beef but they managed to do it.

One thing I found very concerning was that virtually every crew member we met emphasized that we should fill out the RCCL survey but in no case rate anything less than a 10 (excellent). I even asked the waiter if I rated the service as great but only rated the food as poor would it hurt him. He replied it would even tho it was out of his control. No surprise the last 2 questions on the RCCL survey was "did anyone request you rate the survey high" and "who requested it". 

It seems to me that management wants high ratings but is not really interested in improvement.

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On ‎9‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 10:59 AM, davy jones said:

 

On the flip side, 20-30 years ago, dinner on a cruise was a 5 to 7 course experience with fine cuts of meat and seafood and elegant service throughout. Some dishes were prepared tableside.

 

Granted, meals and service like that can not be done on today's mega ships and most passengers do not want that type of formal dinner anyway. Also, fares then were considerably higher than they are now, so cost cutting is necessary to maintain profitability.

 

However, I do believe that food quality has decreased on the mainstream lines over the past 10 years. The decrease was very much on display on my recent Grandeur cruise. Some popular dishes were no longer offered. Cakes and pies had little flavor and many MDR entrees had low quality meats. I could not even eat the lobster tail served to me.

 

I think that the statement often heard on these boards, "I can always find something to eat." indicates how much things have changed. Passengers used to have difficulty choosing from the menu. Now they are settling.

 

I remember having pretty good filet steaks on airplanes back in the day.

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Food is definitely subjective! 
I know this is an older post, but the topic is of great interest to me personally.  

 

Our first cruise was on Oasis in 2011.  I thought the food in the MDR was quite good (but then again, I was a newbie).  Chops Grille was our favorite specialty dining restaurant.  I'm a foodie and food blogger and took hundreds of pictures!!! 

Since we'll be on our 2nd cruise next year, I looked back at ALL my old food pictures, and reviewed the present day ones found here on Cruise Critic forums and YouTube.  I noticed the presentation has changed dramatically, which imo, is quite disappointing.  I remember being very impressed with how they plated the food, with artistic and creative touches.   

I just personally feel we do "eat with our eyes first"

 

Has anyone else noticed this?  

 

It'll be interesting to do a comparison when we do sail.

 

Here is just a sample picture of the creme brulee from Harmony of the Seas - I captured it on YouTube.  I wish I could attach more, but it's hard to save a picture from a video!

 

image.png.1460f4be22a0dba29f5d109f65b2e7cf.png

 

Edited by red-dragon

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Twice I had to send my fish back on Harmony.  I also sent a soup back.  I loved the ship but was not impressed by the food,  except for the filet I had the first day with The Key.  I love to cook and I wanted to go back to the kitchen and give advice!😉

 

I will still go back however.  Loved the ship and staff.

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I enjoyed the food on Grandeur so I hope that I will be ok on Majesty. I really liked the MDR on Grandeur and went there for breakfast and lunch during most of the cruise last time. There was also a poolside BBQ that was actually good.

 

I will probably have lunch in port on port days. I might be willing to try out more of the WJ. Last time, I actually only ate there once. 

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Just off my second RCL cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas, first was Mariner of The Seas.  The food selection, taste and overall appearance was nothing to write home about.  After our 2nd night, we decided to give up on the MDR and stick with WJ for the rest of the trip.  There's no creativity when it comes to food, found it to be cafeteria-ish most of the time.  WJ offered a greater selection and not as repetitive, especially when it came to breakfast.  For all the hype I hear about RCL, this is one area they need to get their act together on.

 

We traveled in a large group and everyone reached the same conclusion and/or had the same concerns.  As someone mentioned earlier, we were also constantly asked to give high ratings for service and food.  Found the behavior to be a bit troubling, if service and food is great, the reviews will speak for themselves.  I'm not expecting high end food but a nice variety and good flavor is a given.

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First RCL cruise was back in 2008, I remember LOVING the MDR caesar salad. Now, the latest RCL cruise (Jan 2019) I didn't even bother ordering it. I knew from my 2016 RCL experience it had declined in quality and not worth the order. 

 

**Having said that...

 

I do consider myself a foodie on land and on board, and really enjoy the MDR. I know what food on the menu will be bland by nature and what dishes will be excellent. I always salt my food to bring out more flavor and bam! delicious! I tend to extreme overeat in the MDR because it is so dang good. But some items have declined over the years, but not enough for me to worry.

 

Thats my take and experience (: 

Of course, I am sure we will all agree we would love an upgrade on food in MDR and WJ just because things could always be better regardless of the current quality (great, good or poor). I am sure that we won't see these improvements without an increase in cruising prices. 

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Going on the Symphony OTS soon. Bought the UD pkg for 7 nights. 

Food is very subjective. Been cruising for years on all the major cruise lines. 

Everyone has their opinion. 

You have cheerleaders on all the lines. 

In our opinion, MSC has the poorest selection of food in the MDR and buffet. 

RCI, Celebrity, Princess, HAL and NCL food in the MDR and buffet is good. However,  quality, preparation, variety, etc., has decreased over the years. 

Forget cost,  we still do a balcony and buy the UD pkg which works out much cheaper than a suite or cabin from years ago. Don't need the RCI CK, Blue or suite dining room on Celebrity.

The UD pkg works out to about $25/ meal in the SRs. I think that is a bargin and much better for my $.

JMHO!

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14 minutes ago, ssb said:

Food on the ships is usually better than food at home . 

 

It depends on whose home it is!

 

When I was younger my beat friend was a Sicilian immigrant that was raised in Brooklyn and taught me everything I know about southern Italian cooking.

Edited by Judyrem

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The Windjammer Marketplace on Radiance of the Seas is what got us hooked on doing more RCI cruises.  It was outstanding!  We're going on Harmony in January to get away from the cold AND to enjoy the food in the Windjammer.  I don't care if we miss the MDR the entire week.  We're Johnny Rocket fans as well.  We enjoyed all the food on Oasis OTS. I hope they still have those roast beef sandwiches in the Park Café.           I just like having such a variety of choices and not having to cook it myself.  I'll report back if I think the quality has gone down but I doubt that will be the case.  Each ship is different so I'd like to try them all eventually.

Edited by Diver2014

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Tired old thread warning.  The subjective answers on food will be the same now as two years ago when this thread was started.

Edited by TeeRick

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What subject is new? Dress code,  food, cost of cruise, perks, etc. LOL

Keeps us entertained. 

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2 minutes ago, Oxo said:

What subject is new? Dress code,  food, cost of cruise, perks, etc. LOL

Keeps us entertained. 

The only subject more entertaining than food quality is any post which includes the term "smoking".

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33 minutes ago, Judyrem said:

It depends on whose home it is!

 

When I was younger my beat friend was a Sicilian immigrant that was raised in Brooklyn and taught me everything I know about southern Italian cooking.

Certainly that’s true . 

My wife is excellent cook from having traveled a lot  and living overseas . 

But the food is good and varied all over the ship , with all the choices as to where to eat .  Between specialty and windjammer which we do a lot of now , the food can be is very good . 

Food is MDR can be excellent, but the drawn out 

time aspect is not always our choice anymore . 

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16 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Tired old thread warning.  The subjective answers on food will be the same now as two years ago when this thread was started.

 

…..so don't read it. Some people like to discuss things even if you don't.

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14 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

The only subject more entertaining than food quality is any post which includes the term "smoking".

I always find the dress code threads entertaining. Can I wear my "good jeans?"

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We were on Oasis in 2011 and loved the ship, but remember that we were disappointed in the food.

Didn't go on Royal again until last October.  It was Allure.  And we thought the food was pretty good....better than 2011.

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First let start by saying my wife and I are both D+ on RCCL. We typically cruise 3-4 times a year (long & short ones). Over the past 3 -4 years we have also cruise 1 time on Carnival (Paradise), 1 time on NCL (Bliss) and 2 times on Celebrity (cant remember the names right now). We have been cruising RCCL ships for 20+ years now and have been on almost every class, size and multiple itineraries throughout the world (ex. Eastern, Western Caribbean, Hawaii, Repositioning, transpacific,  Alaska, Baltic Isles, etc.. 

 

I say this to give you a perspective as to what overall opininion I have regarding RCCL food.

 

I will also add that as I have gotten older my food tastes have changed as well. That being said, when I step foot on an RCCL ship these days I no longer have any expectations regarding the food other than will be plenty available. In years past I used to look forward to the "Dining Experience" as far as food quality, taste and presentation goes. Now, I just go with the thought, I hope it wont be too bad?? Sometimes I will deliberately go to the windjammer to eat a meal because the food is just not that great anymore.

 

They have definitely changed (lowered) the dining experience in the main dining room over the past few years. I am not questioning the quality of the ingredients that they use, I just don't feel that the presented end dish is that great anymore.

 

I have filled out several surveys for them and I never get any feedback from them. I will however say that the food on the other cruiselines that I mentioned earlier were incredible. Since "Celebrity" is an RCCL company I know that they can do better on the quality of food served in the main dining  room they just appear to not care to do so.

 

That being said, I will still cruise RCCL ( I have 3 cruises booked before the end of the year) and I will still enjoy my vacation because my moto is, and always will be, "THE WORST DAY ON VACATION, IS STILL BETTER THAN THE BEST DAY OF WORK".

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