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Have not done any high end lines, we both love caviar, one of my favorite ships was sovereign of the seas in late 1980’s fabulous entertainment, also very cool champagne bar which sold caviar, of course they served much lower end caviar in mdr, we had a tiny inside cabin and no ships had balconies back then.

 

When they are serving Beluga you know you’re in “Champagne from slipper territory”...LOL. I was on the Regent Sea when she was sailing out of Montevideo Bay and on both formal knights they had Beluga in a silver bowl on an ice throne. They would serve the caviar along with a shot of vodka and all the garnishes. We would order a bottle of Moët and we were in Hog Heaven.:D

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Looong ago... I remember on the Home Lines "Oceanic", they would serve "Royal Iranian Beluga Malossol Caviar". No extra charge! But only on the longer winter cruises, not on the one week run in the summer.

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Looong ago... I remember on the Home Lines "Oceanic", they would serve "Royal Iranian Beluga Malossol Caviar". No extra charge! But only on the longer winter cruises, not on the one week run in the summer.

 

Hi Marco,

Those longer winter cruises on Home Lines were famous and the menus were fantastic. I have a bunch of those menus in my collection and they are such fun to look at.

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Once upon a time Costa was a real Italian company.:D

 

So was msc , they both had pasta courses and large itilian staff, I remember the very small and old melody had a fantastic piano player who could barely speak English. I sure new ships are not the same but looking forward to yacht club next year.

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Unfortunately, the good quality has gone down on most of the cruise lines. As cruises have gotten more popular, a lot of quality has been put to the wayside, not just on the food, but on other things as well.

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6 hours ago, angie7911922 said:

Unfortunately, the good quality has gone down on most of the cruise lines. As cruises have gotten more popular, a lot of quality has been put to the wayside, not just on the food, but on other things as well.

Definitely true of the Mainstream Lines, but the Premium/Luxury Lines are maintaining quality victuals & services.

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On 12/18/2018 at 6:29 PM, Heidi13 said:

Definitely true of the Mainstream Lines, but the Premium/Luxury Lines are maintaining quality victuals & services.

 

Hi Heidi, Yes, the luxury lines try hard in order to justify the prices they charge.  I have to chuckle when I see a review or a post that starts complaining about the “decline” of the food quality on one of the luxury lines.  The food and service on the luxury lines are great if you enjoy smaller ships.  

 

 

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Returned from our oasis of the seas suite , suite restaurant was pretty good but give a edge to celebrity, although view in suite lounge, bar and restaurant was amazing it’s on deck 17. Will be back to luminae next then msc yacht in November 

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Quality food, along with quality service and quality entertainment got lost along the way to growth of market.  As the mass market lines realized that there were millions of potential customers out there whose only hesitation about sailing arose from the cost, their primary focus turned to cost control.  Until about the end of the last century, the cruise market was largely populated by people who expected, and could afford that level of quality. To fill the thousands of additional bunks coming on line every year, those lines    had to cut costs:  the only way to do that was to stop spending so much money on the food, service and entertainment which had been traditionally included.  

 

Then, in an effort to retain that portion of the market which was not primarily focussed on sticker price, they started offering alternative restaurants for additional fees, better service in higher “class” accommodations, etc.  So, in a somewhat contradictory fashion, they restored a class system to shipboard travel (while democratizing cruising by making it affordable) —- which had not existed since the glory days of the trans-Atlantic liners.

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On 8/22/2018 at 3:16 PM, George C said:

I disagree I thought ncl food was bad even 10 years ago, now if you go back 20 or 30 then it was good. Food on all the major lines have went down in quality, in most cases need a specialty restaurant or a suite restaurant for a really good meal, we rarely eat in mdr.

 

I first sailed NCL, on the Norway, in 2002.  Because she was the lines flagship she was touted as tops - MDR food and service was OK,  but clearly a notch or so below that which was then standard on HAL and Celebrity.  Then, in 2003, I sailed Norwegian Sea and experienced the “Free Style” concept (not sure it it was called that then) which NCL espoused to draw in first time cruisers more interested in low cost and “your way” cruising. By then, NCL food and service was definitely sliding.  Unfortunately, the other lines decided to compete using much the same formula:  make it cheap, then make up revenue with add-ones.

 

The bottom line: NCL MDR food and service was bad 15 years ago.

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I also have a LOT of the Oceanic menus.  They were printed on board.  The front covers were suitable for framing, inside, on top, it would say something like:   "Sunway Cruises -  en route to St Martin -  January 26, 1978

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On 9/5/2018 at 8:09 AM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Hi George,

 

I never ate at Delmonico’s but I have reviewed their menus from the past century. Too bad you missed some of the great ships...the America and the SS US included. Some of the best food was on the US Line. I have a slew of menus from those two ships. The dining room on the America was one of the most beautiful rooms ever.

 

There is a great book you might enjoy...”The Only Way To Cross” by The Dean of ocean liner history, John Maxtone Graham. You might also like to look at some of the old menus from the great ships. You can research them online. You will find the First Class menus to be very interesting. Cunard menus offered the choice of 4 different game birds in just one of the menu sections. We will never see their likes again.

My first job was in 1967 as a computer operator for US lines who then owned SS United States and America , regret never sailed either but heard wonderful stories from coworkers that did , office was 1 broadway so we had perfect view of ships passing the Statue of Liberty. 

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2 hours ago, George C said:

My first job was in 1967 as a computer operator for US lines who then owned SS United States and America , regret never sailed either but heard wonderful stories from coworkers that did , office was 1 broadway so we had perfect view of ships passing the Statue of Liberty. 

 

Ahhh George...those were the days.  When you could see 3 or 4 great liners berthed on ocean liner row...and you could visit them for a 75 cent contribution to the seaman’s fund.  

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On 12/25/2018 at 3:08 PM, navybankerteacher said:

 

I first sailed NCL, on the Norway, in 2002.  Because she was the lines flagship she was touted as tops - MDR food and service was OK,  but clearly a notch or so below that which was then standard on HAL and Celebrity.  Then, in 2003, I sailed Norwegian Sea and experienced the “Free Style” concept (not sure it it was called that then) which NCL espoused to draw in first time cruisers more interested in low cost and “your way” cruising. By then, NCL food and service was definitely sliding.  Unfortunately, the other lines decided to compete using much the same formula:  make it cheap, then make up revenue with add-ones.

 

The bottom line: NCL MDR food and service was bad 15 years ago.

 

Hi NBT,

 

i was was fortunate enough to have sailed on the France and the Norway.  We were onboard the Norway in 1993...twenty years after our sailings on the France.  

 

The food on the Norway in 1993 was pretty good.  It was after Knute Kloster sold his holdings in NCL that things went downhill.  In 1993 you could eat like royalty in The Parisian Cafe for $10.00 pp.  If you had a top side suite on the upper two decks you could have room service that offered steaks and giant shrimp cocktails or anything else you could think of.  I had a cocktail party in our suite and the Consierge sent out written invitations and delivered hors d’oeuvres.  How things have changed.

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54 minutes ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

 

Ahhh George...those were the days.  When you could see 3 or 4 great liners berthed on ocean liner row...and you could visit them for a 75 cent contribution to the seaman’s fund.  

I was 17 at the time and one of my coworkers sailed SS United States every year at Christmas time he was single and sailed as a employee he said his main job was to tell bartenders what time to close the bar . 

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Your statement has validity, I experienced a lesser quality of food beginning in 2000 on a cruise ship.  Recently dining has been great and mediocre, on a Carnival Dream cruise the food in the MDR was superb.  Conversely, under the same umbrella, on the Ruby Princess the food was rather poor in the MDR.  If you have good food in the MDR, I see no point in expending more funds to eat in the alternative dining rooms.  We eat in the MDR at every opportunity, and only use the buffet when necessary.  Table service one reason we cruise.    

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While I realize that a ship's food budget for a cruise is a factor in what I consume, after the number of cruises that I have experienced (and mostly enjoyed), I am convinced that the ship's Executive Chef has much to do with the preparation and the taste of the food served.  Some of them are able to "tweak" the corporate recipes better than others.  Some may not do any "tweaking" at all.  And, I know for a fact that such "tweaking" occurs.  I have heard that from more than one Executive Chefs.

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On 2/7/2019 at 4:57 PM, rkacruiser said:

While I realize that a ship's food budget for a cruise is a factor in what I consume, after the number of cruises that I have experienced (and mostly enjoyed), I am convinced that the ship's Executive Chef has much to do with the preparation and the taste of the food served.  Some of them are able to "tweak" the corporate recipes better than others.  Some may not do any "tweaking" at all.  And, I know for a fact that such "tweaking" occurs.  I have heard that from more than one Executive Chefs.

 

So true...I have seen a huge difference on the same ship with a change in chefs.  One was just average and the other went above and beyond.  This made a huge difference in the enjoyment of our cruise.  

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I came across a luncheon menu from the United States Line SS America dated May 27th 1955.  The America had, what I consider, one of the most beautiful First Class  dining rooms ever to sail the ocean.  When you entered the room you would see a cold buffet set up with all varieties of tempting foods and delicacies.  

 

Here is First Class lunch on SS America:

Hors D’Oeuvres:

chilled grapefruit, crabmeat salad, eggs a la Reine, cherrystone clam cocktail, Pate’ de Fois Gras, Mushrooms a la Francaise, chilled melon balls, celery and olives, Smoked Irish Salmon, Smoked Sturgeon, Smoked Whitefish, French Meat Salad and Antipasto Italienne.

 

Buffet Gourmet: 

Home-made Headcheese Vinagrette, Assorted Cold Delicasse Plate Garni, Roast Prime Ribs Of Beef with Horse Raddish Sauce, Westphalian Ham, Sliced Breast of Turkey, Sliced Roast Beef, Baked Virginia Ham, Fruit Salad, Various Fresh and Smoked Sausages, Roast Long Island Duck with Apple Sauce, Smoked Ox Tongue, Salad Florentine, Maine Lobster Mayonnaise.

 

Soups:    

Manhattan Clam Chowder, Oyster Broth, Consomme’ Princesse, Cold Borscht with Sour Cream.

 

Fish:  

Boiled Cod Fish Filet with Egg and Parsley Sauce, Broiled Baby Blue Fish with Paprika Butter, Fried Oysters with Remoulade Sauce and Cole Slaw.

 

Eggs:

Shirred Eggs Swiss Style, Poached Eggs Benedict, Omelette Chausseur, Welsh or Golden Buck Rarebit.

 

Entrees:

Assorted Vegetable Lunch America, Italian Spagetti and Meat Balls Parmigiana, Ragout of Ox Tail Joints with Macedoine, Half Spring Chicken Saute’ Cacciatore,

Beef Steak and Oyster Pie.

 

Roast: 

Haunch of Southdown Mutton with Red Current Jelly.

 

From The Grill:

Lamb Steak Maitre Hotel, Chicken Liver en Brochettes, Vienna Sausage on Toast.

 

Vegetables: 

Fresh Garden Peas, Harvard Beets, Wax Beans in Butter, Fresh Carrots, Saffron Risotto, Cramed Spinach.

 

Potatoes: 

Boiled New, Mashed, Baked Idaho, Hashed Brown, Saratoga Chips.

 

Salads:

Various Lettuces with Assorted Dressings and Various Fruit Compotes.

 

Desserts:

Cherry Pie, Walnut Cake, Raisin Zwieback Pudding. Danish Pastry, Assorted Cookies, Biscuit Tortoni, Boston Cream Puffs, Wine Jelly, Orange Sherbet, Rum Raisin and Vanilla Ice Cream, Assorted Cheeses and Crackers, Fresh Fruit Basket and Various Coffees.

 

Enjoy!  

 

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CGTNORMANDIE:  Thanks for posting that menu from S.S. America!  Those were the days, not to be repeated in our lifetime--if ever!

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44 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

CGTNORMANDIE:  Thanks for posting that menu from S.S. America!  Those were the days, not to be repeated in our lifetime--if ever!

 

Glad you enjoyed it Roast.

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Just got off a 14-Panama Canal cruises NCL Star.  Worst food ever.  I repeat, worst food ever!!!  I think the entire 2-weeks, I had 2 single items that were decent.  We are talking frozen chicken patties, frozen fruit (globs of frozen berries with your yogurt in the morning), only fresh fruit was apples, pears and cut up green grapefruit in the morning, also pineapple slice.  The only fresh fruit I ever saw was 3-raspberries in my drink.  WORST FOOD EVER ON NCL.  I've been on two Holland America cruises last year, food was unbelievable good.  Love lobster night.  The only lobster I saw on NCL was something they called corn and lobster bisque, if it was in there you couldn't see it taste it because the corn was undercooked.  Awful food.  NCL also had the same menu in the main dining room for 2-weeks, only thing changed off/on was a salad or soup.  

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15 hours ago, Perish2 said:

 Awful food.  NCL also had the same menu in the main dining room for 2-weeks, only thing changed off/on was a salad or soup.  

Wow, unbelievable that the MDR menu didn't change in 2-weeks. Must be  encouraging visits to their expensive specialty restaurants.

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