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Quality of food on Royal Caribbean


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On 1/1/2017 at 2:19 PM, cruzgryphon said:

I'll start off by saying I'm not an employee of Royal Caribbean, don't have any relatives who work for Royal Caribbean or anything like that. I just wanted to start this thread to get a feel for what others think of the food quality on Royal Caribbean.

 

I've been cruising for 10 years - predominantly with Royal Caribbean but have also tried some other cruise lines as well. Over the last couple of years it seems to me that the food quality in the main dining room (not the specialty restaurants) - variety, quality of food itself - has decreased on Royal Caribbean.

 

People who I've talked to onboard seem to feel the same way - new cruisers, cruisers who have cruised other cruise lines and loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers.

 

Do others find this as well? How does the quality of food compare to say Princess these days? Be interested to hear people's thoughts on this.

We have done two Royal cruises in the past  year and a half as well as 11 on Celebrity and 7 on NCL.

For the MDR Royal does almost as good as Celebrity (I think is the best).   NCL is below Royal and Celebrity.

Royal's buffet is weak in places and some buffet food we had last June on Serenade (moussaka and lasagna) were awful.  Celebrity's buffet is great and they tend provide more health food choices.  NCL's buffet is average.

On 1/1/2017 at 2:19 PM, cruzgryphon said:

 

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2 hours ago, Queen of Oakville said:

I don't believe there was any chocolate.  The cake was actually very moist, it just wasn't tasty.  And my cream cheese frosting is better 🙂

 

It was only a few days ago, but I can't recall if the cookie was in a skillet or not!  One thing I did not see on this cruise which used to always be on the sea day lunch menu was the raspberry chocolate tart.  Previously, it was one of the few desserts I enjoyed on Royal.  Celebrity has them at Café Bacio.

 

I'm a baker and I have to say, I like my cream cheese frosting too ....lol

The raspberry chocolate tart sounds delicious!  I'll be on the look out to see if they brought it back ...

Our next cruise may be on Celebrity.  Is Café Bacio included, or for a fee?

 

1 hour ago, Wanderista said:

I have access to the menus for my sailing on the app and I had been thinking about getting apple pie. I'm not a big fan of chocolate cakes but I like pie and fruit. It sounds like it is a good choice provided that the ice cream is at the correct temperature.

 

I love apple pie with ice cream too!  I found a picture on CC's Harmony page, but I also saw one recently on YouTube and it was an individual apple pie.

 

*Photo from Cruise Critic member Christoh1 (May 2018)

 

Note:  Yes, I'm a foodie ... lol

apple pie harmony 2018.jpg

Edited by red-dragon
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On 1/1/2017 at 10:06 PM, Agavegirl1 said:

I am also very interested in hearing from experienced cruisers on this topic. I have been reading a lot of trip reports in preparation for my first cruise and it seems somewhat discouraging.

 

No worries...

 You have to understand that the people who come to CC are experienced cruisers with a lot of cruises under their (very wide 😉) belts. 

 

It is natural for some people to be a little picky about variety when they do 5 or 10 cruises a year like some of the folks here.  For most of us however,  while the overall quality of food may have gone down,* the food is generally quite good considering they are feeding 3-4,000+ people at a time.  Most first or second (or even 3rd or 4th) time cruisers will find the food very good to excellent. Heck, I've been cruising for 40 years and found the food on the Freedom in Feb to have been excellent. The Allure in April wasn't as good but still better than what we eat at home.  If you can't find something good to eat (in the MDR or buffet), you ain't trying or looking hard enough.

 

*Things change. You don't see midnight buffets or parades of waiters carrying flaming Baked Alaska on their heads anymore either. 

Edited by mac66
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29 minutes ago, mac66 said:

Heck, I've been cruising for 40 years and found the food on the Freedom in Feb to have been excellent. The Allure in April wasn't as good but still better than what we eat at home. 

 

That is the only thing that kills me when it comes to cruise food.  There should at least be some better consistency across the entire cruise line.  SO MANY reports such as yours where the food is much better on one ship than the other   When I go to eat at a chain restaurant on land, I know what to expect, no matter if its a Ruth Chris or fast food place.  

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12 minutes ago, ryano said:

 

That is the only thing that kills me when it comes to cruise food.  There should at least be some better consistency across the entire cruise line.  SO MANY reports such as yours where the food is much better on one ship than the other   When I go to eat at a chain restaurant on land, I know what to expect, no matter if its a Ruth Chris or fast food place.  

 

The food on Allure wasn't as good as Freedom but was still good generally. There were some very good meals. Some of that may have to do with dinner times and service. It just took longer to get our food on Allure.  I mean, it's just harder to feed more people on a larger ship.

 

We had a complementary meal in Chops through our TA. We had the filet Mignon. It was good but nothing special. In fact it was about the same as we had in the MDR.

Edited by mac66
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We were on Liberty of the seas last January and the MDR food and service were very good.  Waiter gave his "favorite" as a recommendation every night and we quickly learned to pay attention!  I would love to have the same team, but don't  remember their names.  We aren't foodies but the couple we were with are and they both agreed.  We are returning this December.  I am curious, what are the "savory bites" that were mentioned and can they be ordered at MDR or are they available at the specialty restaurants?

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3 hours ago, jannray said:

We were on Liberty of the seas last January and the MDR food and service were very good.  Waiter gave his "favorite" as a recommendation every night and we quickly learned to pay attention!  I would love to have the same team, but don't  remember their names.  We aren't foodies but the couple we were with are and they both agreed.  We are returning this December.  I am curious, what are the "savory bites" that were mentioned and can they be ordered at MDR or are they available at the specialty restaurants?

 

I was curious about them for our first sailing too, after reading about them here on CC.  I posted a picture of them on page 18 of this thread.  IMHO (in my humble opinion), they're tiny little firm bread bites covered in poppy seeds.  I found they tasted like pretzel bites.  I personally didn't like them, but they are very popular. I hope you see them on Liberty.  If not, ask your waiter for them, and I'm sure they will have them for you the next night, if they don't already at the time.  

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36 minutes ago, red-dragon said:

 

I was curious about them for our first sailing too, after reading about them here on CC.  I posted a picture of them on page 18 of this thread.  IMHO (in my humble opinion), they're tiny little firm bread bites covered in poppy seeds.  I found they tasted like pretzel bites.  I personally didn't like them, but they are very popular. I hope you see them on Liberty.  If not, ask your waiter for them, and I'm sure they will have them for you the next night, if they don't already at the time.  

Ugh, they don't allow edits after a certain time frame.  Tried to say they tasted like firm bagels, not pretzels!

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The food on Royal is very good in my opinion. At our local Community College the cafeteria is soo delicious. We are known for our Breakfast Burritos and lunch items. I know the manager and cook personally and they make up some good Persian food for a good cost. Even if you don't attend classes you can eat there.

 

This is related because it depends on who is the chef cooking the recopies.  A British Chef may not be as versed as a Moroccan or French chef or pastry chef unless they have good training.  Tasting the food is very important to see that its not too salty.

 

We had some over salted food and we told the Maitre D who worked with the chef to tone down the salt.

 

If you don't speak up or return an item that is not up to your par how would the y know unless you speak up? Remember int he backend POS system everything gets registered from how many of the items get returned to how many people order seconds etc.

 

I am a foodie but am not picky.  I have had delicious curries in the Windjammer and the steak in Chops have been good as have the food in Giovanis. Royal is much better than some land based restaurants that I have dined at. 

 

If something is not right I politely mention it and get it replaced not only does it help Royal Caribbean to see if the dish needs to be reworked or they need to come up with something else. I tell the server what is wrong about the dish not in a mean way and this is very rare but it does happen. I am not going  to be nit picky but if the dish is really overcooked, cold or is not tasty I will politely decline it an order something else. This is the beauty of cruising you can try new items and not have to like everything.I try to cut down on waste.

 

In the WIndjammer I first make myself a sampler plate and then return to the stations that I liked.  I love the Wecker Sandwiches in Park Cafe and the Tuti Fruti Salad Bar and the MDR lunch on sea days.

 

Food is subjective. Why people try to compere it to over 30 years ago when tastes have changed really irks me. If you want a 5 star food experience then try sailing on Silversea Chrystal or even Cunard and Celebrity My Father and I spent 2 weeks on Cunard and had great food int the MDR, Pub and Buffet.  Now Royal has so much variety and if the menu is really that bad then I will order the cheese plate, French Onion Soup and a Flank Steak or Pasta.

 

Royal has so much variety and I usually clean up my plate!

 

My Parents and I will be on a 22 night cruise on the Brillance B2B and can't wait to enjoy the MDR ,Chops and Giovannis.  My Fathrer and I were on the Brillance in April 2018 and had good food!  

 

I always write in to Royal to let them know about the quality of the food. 

 

Please go in with an open mind and don't compare it with how it was 30 years ago. If you really wanted the old Royal Caribbean you can find the old cookbooks and make them yourself just remember you are doing the dishes! 

 

I hope this helps. Please feel free to comments. 

Edited by travelplus
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17 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

 

Hope you like raisins!

 

I am happy to report that on Symphony - the apple pie in the MDR and in Chops - do not contain raisins.

 

DH throughly enjoyed his apple pie without raisins (and without ice cream).  Worth noting that the ice cream is served in a separate container for those who don't like it.

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16 hours ago, red-dragon said:

 

I'm a baker and I have to say, I like my cream cheese frosting too ....lol

The raspberry chocolate tart sounds delicious!  I'll be on the look out to see if they brought it back ...

Our next cruise may be on Celebrity.  Is Café Bacio included, or for a fee?

 

 

I love apple pie with ice cream too!  I found a picture on CC's Harmony page, but I also saw one recently on YouTube and it was an individual apple pie.

 

*Photo from Cruise Critic member Christoh1 (May 2018)

 

Note:  Yes, I'm a foodie ... lol

apple pie harmony 2018.jpg

On Celebrity - the pastries and desserts at Cafe al Bacio are included with your cruise fare.  You require payment or a drink plan for beverages.

Edited by Queen of Oakville
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23 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

We have done two Royal cruises in the past  year and a half as well as 11 on Celebrity and 7 on NCL.

For the MDR Royal does almost as good as Celebrity (I think is the best).   NCL is below Royal and Celebrity.

Royal's buffet is weak in places and some buffet food we had last June on Serenade (moussaka and lasagna) were awful.  Celebrity's buffet is great and they tend provide more health food choices.  NCL's buffet is average.

Totally agree with you except buffet on Allure was bad in every way except maybe for coffee?

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I’ve only been on Harmony Of The Seas. Next year I’m on Harmony & Allure.

 

i really enjoyed the food. I didn’t do specialty dinning. We mostly ate Windjammer, due to the selection available for my dietary needs. Lots to choose from. I do not have any complaints. Love the Coney Island hot dog at the Hotdog house. Sorrento’s pizza, amazing and the banana bread at Cafe Promenade just like Grandma made. 

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On 1/1/2017 at 11:19 AM, cruzgryphon said:

I'll start off by saying I'm not an employee of Royal Caribbean, don't have any relatives who work for Royal Caribbean or anything like that. I just wanted to start this thread to get a feel for what others think of the food quality on Royal Caribbean.

 

I've been cruising for 10 years - predominantly with Royal Caribbean but have also tried some other cruise lines as well. Over the last couple of years it seems to me that the food quality in the main dining room (not the specialty restaurants) - variety, quality of food itself - has decreased on Royal Caribbean.

 

People who I've talked to onboard seem to feel the same way - new cruisers, cruisers who have cruised other cruise lines and loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers.

 

Do others find this as well? How does the quality of food compare to say Princess these days? Be interested to hear people's thoughts on this.

 

I am a new cruiser with only two cruises under my belt so far and one per year for the last two years.

 

The first was on Celebrity Millenium ina Alaska and that set the bar for me for cruise food. When I travelled on Vision of the Seas in July to the Med I was comparing all things to the only other cruise I was on.

 

My understanding going in was that Vision would be a step up in tier to Celebrity. So that also calibrated me a certain way which was unfair to Vision.

 

So here is my take with a small sample size.

 

Celebrity Millenium

 

Main Dining Room

 

I was relatively impressed with the food.

 

I specifically ordered a well done steak (I know!), which was not done to my liking the first time. It was quickly corrected and then they hit the target without fail every other night I ordered it.

 

The creme brulee had that awesome <Crack> and was like pudding beneath every night as well.

 

Buffet Food

 

Everything was good with the exception of some dessert issues.

 

1.) The ice cream (not from a machine) had something wrong with it due to temperature control. It looked really good but was not tasty and had frozen ice chips along with absolutely melted sections.

 

2.) Apple Strudel was VERY doughy and not the crispy almost croissent style I am used to. I may be used to something unusual.

 

Tuscan

 

Great!

 

Qsine

 

Great!

 

So I went into Royal with the expectation that RC is a tier higher than Celebrity and so I concede I was calibrated wrong.

 

Vision of the Seas

 

Main Dining Room.

 

They could not hit the well done steak target, tried a couple times and then gave up. 

 

Creme brulee was soft shelled on top, and the internal was closer to a jello'ish custard.

 

So the meal I had been waiting a year for.... failed me. I asked about the creme being better another night and was told it is always the same.

 

I was sad.

 

Other items were... fine, but I became much less adventerous.

 

Chefs Table.

 

Amazing. There was a smokey tomato soup that was just awesome. Also the chef made my steak well done and nailed it perfect on the first try. 

 

Buffet

 

Alright no real complaints except the ice cream from the machine. I saw everyone eating it and so tried some. It was really not good. I could not figure out how people were eating to much of it. Loved the lunch stir fry.

 

Izumi

 

Did the hot rock meal, and it was pretty damned good too.

 

Summary

 

So it seemed like a step down for me to go to Vision foodwise, though I do not know if this is a boat to boat or line to line thing.

 

I am going to try Princess next year and I believe it will be similar to Celebrity (unless I am calibrating wrong again!) so I will have a larger sample size. I just hope to not fall to the dark side and be bitter about my creme brulee not being perfect. 

 

Such a first world crisis!

 

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5 hours ago, Lowyfer said:

 

I am a new cruiser with only two cruises under my belt so far and one per year for the last two years.

 

The first was on Celebrity Millenium ina Alaska and that set the bar for me for cruise food. When I travelled on Vision of the Seas in July to the Med I was comparing all things to the only other cruise I was on.

 

My understanding going in was that Vision would be a step up in tier to Celebrity. So that also calibrated me a certain way which was unfair to Vision.

 

So here is my take with a small sample size.

 

Celebrity Millenium

 

Main Dining Room

 

I was relatively impressed with the food.

 

I specifically ordered a well done steak (I know!), which was not done to my liking the first time. It was quickly corrected and then they hit the target without fail every other night I ordered it.

 

The creme brulee had that awesome <Crack> and was like pudding beneath every night as well.

 

Buffet Food

 

Everything was good with the exception of some dessert issues.

 

1.) The ice cream (not from a machine) had something wrong with it due to temperature control. It looked really good but was not tasty and had frozen ice chips along with absolutely melted sections.

 

2.) Apple Strudel was VERY doughy and not the crispy almost croissent style I am used to. I may be used to something unusual.

 

Tuscan

 

Great!

 

Qsine

 

Great!

 

So I went into Royal with the expectation that RC is a tier higher than Celebrity and so I concede I was calibrated wrong.

 

Vision of the Seas

 

Main Dining Room.

 

They could not hit the well done steak target, tried a couple times and then gave up. 

 

Creme brulee was soft shelled on top, and the internal was closer to a jello'ish custard.

 

So the meal I had been waiting a year for.... failed me. I asked about the creme being better another night and was told it is always the same.

 

I was sad.

 

Other items were... fine, but I became much less adventerous.

 

Chefs Table.

 

Amazing. There was a smokey tomato soup that was just awesome. Also the chef made my steak well done and nailed it perfect on the first try. 

 

Buffet

 

Alright no real complaints except the ice cream from the machine. I saw everyone eating it and so tried some. It was really not good. I could not figure out how people were eating to much of it. Loved the lunch stir fry.

 

Izumi

 

Did the hot rock meal, and it was pretty damned good too.

 

Summary

 

So it seemed like a step down for me to go to Vision foodwise, though I do not know if this is a boat to boat or line to line thing.

 

I am going to try Princess next year and I believe it will be similar to Celebrity (unless I am calibrating wrong again!) so I will have a larger sample size. I just hope to not fall to the dark side and be bitter about my creme brulee not being perfect. 

 

Such a first world crisis!

 

 

You lost me at well done steak😱

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