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Peckishpixie

Based on food alone what is your favorite cruise line?

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We're booked on Oceania Marina at the end of the year.  One of the reasons is the food.  I'm kinda 'into' food (hate the word "foodie!) and on the half dozen or so cruises we've done the MDR is what I call LCD, lowest common denominator, food.  Nothing awful but little that is all that great either.  From what I've read about Oceania even the MDR dishes are cooked to order.  And the specialty restaurants (culinary director is Jacques Pepin) are sometimes incredible.  And no extra charge for them.  I'm glad to see good comments here.

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For those who are only judging based on fine dining or specialty restaurants, if that is your thing...awesome!! When my wife and I are on land, we have to dress up often and are fortunate to eat well on many occasions. So, when it’s cruise time we purposefully don’t eat in the main dining room (or even take fancy clothes). This leaves us with the buffets, pizza shops, and free specialty restaurants while on the boat.

 

Our main reason for cruising is the ports of call - and eating native foods in their country/region of origin is a by-product of that. Shrimp Tacos in Mexico, Jerk Chicken in Jamaica, Mofungo in PR...yes please!!!

 

That said, Carnival’s pizza is very good, Guy’s Burger Joint and the Mexican themed restaurant on the pool decks are both great! Carnival buffet is not so great. Edible is probably the best adjective I can come up with.

 

RC Buffet is sufficient to good. Johnny Rockets is...well, Johnny Rockets. If that’s your jam, chow down!

 

Princess is good all around as well.

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10 minutes ago, Coldbunny76 said:

For those who are only judging based on fine dining or specialty restaurants, if that is your thing...awesome!! When my wife and I are on land, we have to dress up often and are fortunate to eat well on many occasions. So, when it’s cruise time we purposefully don’t eat in the main dining room (or even take fancy clothes). This leaves us with the buffets, pizza shops, and free specialty restaurants while on the boat.

 

Our main reason for cruising is the ports of call - and eating native foods in their country/region of origin is a by-product of that. Shrimp Tacos in Mexico, Jerk Chicken in Jamaica, Mofungo in PR...yes please!!!

 

That said, Carnival’s pizza is very good, Guy’s Burger Joint and the Mexican themed restaurant on the pool decks are both great! Carnival buffet is not so great. Edible is probably the best adjective I can come up with.

 

RC Buffet is sufficient to good. Johnny Rockets is...well, Johnny Rockets. If that’s your jam, chow down!

 

Princess is good all around as well.

One of the things that's nice about Oceania is that "country club casual" is the standard in all the restaurants.

 

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On 5/30/2019 at 6:10 PM, tallyho8 said:

In order for someone to tell you which lines have the best food, they must have cruised on many different lines for a valid comparison. 

I have cruised on Princess, HAL, RCI, Celebrity, Azamara, Oceania, Seabourn, Crystal, Silversea, Voyages of Discovery, Regent, Swan Hellenic, Marco Polo, Star cruises, Ponant, NCL, Cunard and probably some others I cannot think of right now.

Of all these cruises there is only one with the best food at sea and that is Oceania (and there no close second either) 😀

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21 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

I have cruised on Princess, HAL, RCI, Celebrity, Azamara, Oceania, Seabourn, Crystal, Silversea, Voyages of Discovery, Regent, Swan Hellenic, Marco Polo, Star cruises, Ponant, NCL, Cunard and probably some others I cannot think of right now.

Of all these cruises there is only one with the best food at sea and that is Oceania (and there no close second either) 😀

Since we're sailing on them in December, that pleases me enormously!

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2 minutes ago, clo said:

Since we're sailing on them in December, that pleases me enormously!

I hope you will enjoy their food as well as the entire Oceania cruising experience (knowing that food preferences are subjective).

PS I forgot Viking Ocean😊 

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1 minute ago, Paulchili said:

I hope you will enjoy their food as well as the entire Oceania cruising experience (knowing that food preferences are subjective).

PS I forgot Viking Ocean😊 

Everything about the line sounds great.  Marina is larger at still only 1200 pax.  And, except for one at sea day we spend all day in ports.  Time to actually see things.  We got upgraded to Concierge level and that has its own benefits.  Pretty jazzed.

1 minute ago, Paulchili said:

 

 

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4 hours ago, Paulchili said:

I have cruised on Princess, HAL, RCI, Celebrity, Azamara, Oceania, Seabourn, Crystal, Silversea, Voyages of Discovery, Regent, Swan Hellenic, Marco Polo, Star cruises, Ponant, NCL, Cunard and probably some others I cannot think of right now.

Of all these cruises there is only one with the best food at sea and that is Oceania (and there no close second either) 😀

With your experience sailing on many of the ultra-luxury cruise lines you should be able to fairly judge the cruise line with the best food (in your opinion) and I would value your judgement much more than someone's who has only cruised on 3 or 4 lines. Of course, since Oceania cruises usually cost several hundred dollars per person more than the larger cruise lines, one could expect them to serve food better than Guy's hamburgers.

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13 minutes ago, tallyho8 said:

Of course, since Oceania cruises usually cost several hundred dollars per person more than the larger cruise lines, one could expect them to serve food better than Guy's hamburgers

That is a valid point and quite true.

That said, there are cruise lines that cost more than Oceania (Regent, Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn come to mind) yet their food is not better IMO (again - food is subjective).

Just as a simple example - on our 21 day Crystal cruise they had lobster only twice. Oceania offers a lobster dish nightly in all 4 specialties and nightly at the grill in the Terrace Cafe.

Of those mentioned, Seabourn comes closest to Oceania’s food. All those lines are excellent and each has a strong point but as this thread focuses on food that is why I rate Oceania highest.

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On 5/30/2019 at 10:10 PM, tallyho8 said:

My best meals have been on Holland American ships 

We have only been on 3 cruises, Princess, RCL and Holland America and by far of the 3, Holland America surpassed the other 2 by far. 

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Club Class Dining on Princess!  

Edited by OCruisers

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Now that I have sailed on Celebrity I must agree that they have by far the best food compared to my sailings on Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland American and MSC.

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I have heard from past cruises Oceania has the best food, I haven't yet been on it.  Also, it would appear Virgin Voyage may have the best food at sea but we'll have to wait and see.  Of the lines I have tried, Crystal would be the best, X second, NCL third and Carnival last.  Carnival does have some of the best pizza, they actually use flour imported from Italy and fresh mozzarella.  Guys burgers are also well liked.  

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On 1/27/2020 at 3:31 PM, tallyho8 said:

Now that I have sailed on Celebrity I must agree that they have by far the best food compared to my sailings on Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland American and MSC.

I agree my wife and I both think that Celebrity has variety, flavor and service.  

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This is an interesting thread to read.  I just did my first Oceania cruise (Sirena in February 2020) specifically for the food reputation and was quite disappointed with the food and the drinks.  I found the main dining room food to be just average.  There was one night when my sister ordered the Maine lobster and it was inedible - she said it was mealy and did not taste fresh.  The gnocchi in Toscasa were dense and gummy, the caviar in the MDR tasted fishy instead of fresh and briney.  And the bartenders.....most of them had to refer to the menu to mix a drink and they were inconsistent at best.  The one bright spot was dinner at Red Ginger - every course was fantastic.  Unfortunately we did that on the first night so everything was downhill from there.

 

I've sailed Princess over 20 years ago and Silversea, Viking and Oceania in the last 2 years.  Of those, I probably would give the nod to Silversea (although I thought their food was even better in the early 2000s vs. 2018).  I have not sailed with them since they were bought by RC.  I was very pleasantly surprised by the food on Viking and would not hesitate to book another cruise with them. I would hands down take Viking over Oceania for food based only on the 1 cruise I've done on each line.

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