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ehogan

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I can remember our first cruises back i 1994. The MDR food was suburb. Since then it want down hill each and every year. Cruise lines are trying to cut back as much as they can to keep the cost of the cruise down, So now if you want the better dining. It's Specialty and you pay for it. All the water sports and slides etc. We never had these on any of the ships back then that I can think of. Now, roller coasters, go-carts, bungy jumping, rock climbing walls, zip lines and more and more. Merry go round. Attractions to get more sales. What really bothers me are the people that eat in the buffet, pile it on their plates and then toss much of it into the trash. All that waste raises the price of the cruise for all. We take a little of a few different items to see what we might like. Then go back and get what we like. My wife will cut a tiny piece of 2 or 3 different deserts in case she does not like them. Then go back and get a larger piece of something that she likes. My thinking. Getting a little at a time keeps the food fresh and hot.

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7 hours ago, Bo1953 said:

While aboard, did you bring this to the attention of the Maitre d' and/or F&B Manager?

 

How about requesting to speak with the Chef?

 

Bad food or service is not acceptable, generally, and not to speak up about it when aboard is not acceptable, either.

 

bon appetite and bon voyage

 

Well, I did 😮 I mentioned to our excellent, most wonderful waiter that the steaks weren't up to snuff and as much as I enjoyed the delicious roasted beet salad with goat cheese,  I just wish I could have an American style garden or chef salad, You know what? The next evening, the maitre d' asked if I would be willing to speak to the chef. I said sure. The dear pantry chef came to our table after dinner to chat. The next evening, our waiter appeared at our table with an exquisite chef salad, compliments of the  pantry chef. They do listen. 

 

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We have sailed over 150 times on Celebrity over 25 years. Back in the early 90's the MDR food was exceptional. Now dinner in the MDR is not even banquet quality. I am a beef eater. Six weeks onboard Edge, Eclipse and Millennium since March first I am totally disgusted. Sometimes overdone, sometimes underdone. The meat quality itself is terrible!!! Yes we have complained. Onboard Edge the F&B had to instruct the chef in the proper preparation of shrimp cocktail sause!!! Total lack of quality control!!!

They have cut the budget WAY too far!

Corporate controls everything. Down to the dB level of every show in the theater! This is what corporate wants!!!

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1 minute ago, TommyD3 said:

We have sailed over 150 times on Celebrity over 25 years. Back in the early 90's the MDR food was exceptional. Now dinner in the MDR is not even banquet quality. I am a beef eater. Six weeks onboard Edge, Eclipse and Millennium since March first I am totally disgusted. Sometimes overdone, sometimes underdone. The meat quality itself is terrible!!! Yes we have complained. Onboard Edge the F&B had to instruct the chef in the proper preparation of shrimp cocktail sause!!! Total lack of quality control!!!

They have cut the budget WAY too far!

Corporate controls everything. Down to the dB level of every show in the theater! This is what corporate wants!!!

 

I absolutely agree. The steaks (on Silhouette, so it's not just Edge) were of poor quality and sliced so thinly that they could not be prepared to the correct doneness. They were either gray and raw or gray and well-done. They would not have made it out of my kitchen, so I don't know how the chef didn't know. I stopped ordering steak. On the night beef Wellington was on the menu, I ordered it. That was very good. Other dishes were good to excellent. The shrimp cocktail was also very good.

 

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We are also back to Celebrity after almost 10 years...ironically back on the Solstice...our last Celebrity ship.

It has been only 3 days and found the ship to be in great condition. Nice to see that they still hand you a glass of bubbly when we got onboard.  Missing were the "linen-covered trays" in the Oceanview Cafe and waiters assisting passengers with their trays.

All our meals and service in the Blu have been excellent...with one exception: the rack of lamb was just a bit tough. (Yes, we politely mentioned it to the chef when he came out...and he gladly offered to make us anything we wanted.)

Agree, the Oceanview Cafe isn't as good as we remember...but do love to see that the ice cream bar is still there.

There used to be free sushi in the buffet...it's now Sushi on 5...I'll let you know how it is in a couple of days.

Note: What we are currently enjoying is our daily breakfast in the Blu, then walking next door to the Tuscan Grill and having (a few) Bellinis.:classic_biggrin:

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51 minutes ago, TommyD3 said:

We have sailed over 150 times on Celebrity over 25 years. Back in the early 90's the MDR food was exceptional. Now dinner in the MDR is not even banquet quality. I am a beef eater. Six weeks onboard Edge, Eclipse and Millennium since March first I am totally disgusted. Sometimes overdone, sometimes underdone. The meat quality itself is terrible!!! Yes we have complained. Onboard Edge the F&B had to instruct the chef in the proper preparation of shrimp cocktail sause!!! Total lack of quality control!!!

They have cut the budget WAY too far!

Corporate controls everything. Down to the dB level of every show in the theater! This is what corporate wants!!!

 

I would refer to you as an experienced cruiser....wow - that is some serious sea time.

 

You must have some great stories about your adventures.  

Favorite port ever?

(Actually you should start a thread - lessons learned over 150 cruises)

 

I may catch you eventually - 148 more to go 😄

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DW  and myself have cruised for 10 years. She has cruised longer before I met her. We've cruised Princess, Hal, Royal and Celebrity.We are easy people to please but we did feel food qtys and quality were down and for one item-the prime rib was thinly cut. We just ask for a thicker cut with no problem. We haven't cruised in 6 months but are going Nov 14 on Silhouette for 8 N.

There is nothing worse than a grissley steak thats tough. I dont think there is enough variety or just changes in the menu. Im hoping that the menu will have changed by the time we get on it in November. I'd rather have lesser higher quality food than more low quality food. There has to be a breaking point where the fellow cruisers say this is ridiculous to pay for this low quality food. You can only go so low in quality.

No one really likes to be on vacation then having to complaining about this and that. But sometime you have to but it stresses you out and takes your free time to deal with it. Hate that stuff. Be neat to go back to the old days of cruising and see what was offered then. Size of steaks, food quality, portions.Heard there was midnight buffets, chocolate fountains and so on. Share if you are a senior cruiser.

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5 hours ago, Baron Barracuda said:

Parent RCCL doesn't break out results for X in their financials, but for the entire company total food expenses only amounted to 5.5% of revenue last year.  That's down from 5.6% in 2017 and 5.7% in 2016.  That's despite the greater emphasis on extra charge and specialty dining which presumably use more costly ingredients.

I believe that fuel expenses have increased faster than food expenses; so one should expect that food expenses would decline as a percentage of total expenses; and presumably also decline as a percentage of revenue.

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Really interesting to read.  I like to think of myself as a bit of a foodie so it is curious to read others experiences.  Food is such a personal choice - and cultural to some extent as well.  What I expect as a European (or as a Brit) can vary from what Americans might expect in the same dish - and I suspect the same is true of Canadians, Australians etc.  I know what I expect in a steak is dramatically different from what my South Africa family think a good steak should be like.

 

Over the years with X I have had the opportunity to speak with several F&B directors, Head Chefs etc - even the guy who (Lord help him) designed LPC.  The kitchens are massive operations and although considerable efforts are made to maintain consistency it must through the law of averages fail from time to time. 

 

I am surprised to read that folk don't want to raise the issue at the time though?  I'm not personally a fan of complaining over very little thing (although I will not hesitate to send a dish back if I need to) but food wise I have always found X staff really quick to correct something if it is not to my taste - and to remember my preferences for the next day.  But I will add as a caveat we only sail in suites and dine (since its incept) in Luminae or specialty dining. On the odd occasion someone in the party orders from the MDR menu I have felt the quality was not as high but put that down to catering for a slightly different expectation.

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When we first cruised I think we were more easily pleased...I clearly remember being overwhelmed by the lighting and space in the MDR on our first few cruises.  The food was fine, we enjoyed it, but we were generally comparing it to ‘resort’ restaurants and mid range land restaurants which I think is where it still stands. We always added a dining package to vary dining location as much as food choice.

 

As we have cruised more frequently and dined in higher quality restaurants both on land and sea I think we are now just more ‘food aware’. 

 

On our most recent X cruises we mainly dined in Tuscan and Murano. We expect good (but not superb food) in Tuscan and very good food (but not fresh and seasonal) in Murano’s.

 

The best food we eat is simply from where it comes from...Best fish we have ever eaten from the fish market in Seattle, best pasta in Italy, fantastic tapas in Spain, best lamb from a pub in Derbyshire and the best steak pie from a hotel in Devon! 

 

We really enjoy our dining experiences on Celebrity. We dine in the speciality restaurants for the ambience and service level not just for the food. Could we dine better on a smaller ship? Yes, undoubtedly, especially if they were bringing in fresh local food each port but then we wouldn’t have the bigger ship experience....Everyone needs to consider what is important to them.

 

Re the buffet. We have always found buffets on Celebrity fine...They offer a good range of variety with their Indian food being very good. On our Eclipse cruises last year the buffet was really enhanced by ‘themed’ lunches and bringing fresh items on board...The temptation to over eat at lunchtime was never greater....

 

Nice food is important to us but it isn’t the only factor that determines who we cruise with...Come to think of it if food was the most important factor for us we would never cruise at all and simply spend every holiday in Italy or France...

 

Edited by chemmo

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10 hours ago, twodaywonder said:

I can remember our first cruises back i 1994. The MDR food was suburb. Since then it want down hill each and every year. Cruise lines are trying to cut back as much as they can to keep the cost of the cruise down, So now if you want the better dining. It's Specialty and you pay for it. All the water sports and slides etc. We never had these on any of the ships back then that I can think of. Now, roller coasters, go-carts, bungy jumping, rock climbing walls, zip lines and more and more. Merry go round. Attractions to get more sales. What really bothers me are the people that eat in the buffet, pile it on their plates and then toss much of it into the trash. All that waste raises the price of the cruise for all. We take a little of a few different items to see what we might like. Then go back and get what we like. My wife will cut a tiny piece of 2 or 3 different deserts in case she does not like them. Then go back and get a larger piece of something that she likes. My thinking. Getting a little at a time keeps the food fresh and hot.

I have not seen many piled plates on Celebrity.  ow the one cruise on Carnival..well the piles plates were ridiculous. I guess by cruising often on Celebrity I know what I like and happy to say it is none of the desserts in the buffet

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Personally, I thought food quality was very good on my Celebrity Cruise in November. I've cruised on Silversea twice before so my expectations were pretty high. I don't remember ever having a bad meal...or even an average meal.

 

My biggest disappointment was with the experience, trying to get drinks in lounge areas, using a card for drinks, crowded buffet, and Celebrity's lack of ability to solve problems, etc. 

 

In fact, one of the reasons my next cruise is on Oceania is the lack of customer service. I couldn't easily escalate concerns and intended to book a cruise with my parents on Celebrity leveraging the onboard benefits. Anyway, I've got a cruise to Bermuda in August on Oceania and it will be interesting to compare.

 

Fast forward....I had a $200 per person certificate from Celebrity (they eventually solved an issue) and the rest of the cruise overall was decent for the price point. We have a 14-day Asian cruise booked on Celebrity in January. The price was good and it will allow me to reassess Celebrity from a different perspective.

 

I'm looking forward to both cruises.

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19 hours ago, ehogan said:

Returned to Celebrity(Eclipse) after a ten year absence....what happened to the food!  The dining room food could only be described as poor.  Poor selection, overcooked vegetables, watery soup and on and on.  We noticed that as the cruise went on, fewer people were in the dining room and more in the buffet.  I wonder if Celebrity is doing what Norwegian started long ago....poor dining room food to encourage you to shell out for the specialty venues.

 

I was also surprised at some of the on board charges... 6$ for a specialty coffee or tea, a charge for orange juice (really?)

 

did enjoy the excellent entertainment and beauty of the ship but the poor food and constant pushing to specialty resteraunts is off putting and I doubt we will return.

We were on the 24 March Eclipse from Chile to San Diego.   We had done Eclipse on a TA in Fall of 2017 and it was our favorite X ship.   We found the MDR food to generally be up to speed.  Yes, the wonderful Crepe Suzette that we once had for dessert is now about 1/10 the original size (at least we get fewer calories).    Selections are reduced a bit, but there is still plenty to choose from and we very much enjoyed our dining.   Our group of six that had also been on the Eclipse TA felt about the same way.  We still don't do specialty dining, since the MDR is so good, unlike NCL.  Of course, NCL has cheaper specialty dining and the MDR food is not as good.

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1 hour ago, gold1953 said:

I have not seen many piled plates on Celebrity.  ow the one cruise on Carnival..well the piles plates were ridiculous. I guess by cruising often on Celebrity I know what I like and happy to say it is none of the desserts in the buffet

I was sitting next to a couple in the MDR. The woman bit into her dessert & immediately pushed it away. It was that bad.. My vegan desserts were fantastic.

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Name ANY mass market cruise line where the food is just as good ten years ago, let alone 1994.  I don't think you can.  

 

it's all about expectations.  And how much more you're willing to pay to meet those expectations.

Edited by jkgourmet

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27 minutes ago, jkgourmet said:

Name ANY mass market cruise line where the food is just as good ten years ago, let alone 1994.  I don't think you can.  

 

it's all about expectations.  And how much more you're willing to pay to meet those expectations.

How much more we are willing to "speak up" about our expectations...

 

bon appetite and bon voyage

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20 hours ago, twodaywonder said:

The buffet on the EDGE was terrible. However basically the exact same layout and food choices on the Reflection was fantastic. Way over spiced, totally destroying all the food on the EDGE, on the Reflection, everything was either perfect or needed a little extra.  Preparation, presentation and temperature were the main differences. The reflection had it all over them. The Head Chef on the reflection was always checking on everything. Replying to the shows. All but one was excellent.

We sailed Edge and thought the Oceanview Cafe was the best out of all Celebrity ships we have sailed.  But you thought it was terrible.  Our next cruise is on Eclipse so we will judge for ourselves the dining quality which is always a very subjective topic.

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39 minutes ago, jkgourmet said:

Name ANY mass market cruise line where the food is just as good ten years ago, let alone 1994.  I don't think you can.  

 

it's all about expectations.  And how much more you're willing to pay to meet those expectations.

It's also subjective. 

Edited by davekathy

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16 hours ago, MartinsCruise said:

When we were on the Reflection on 4/1, Head Chef DeJesus was out and about quite a bit.  He was so personable, always asking how our food was in Blu.  I talked with him more than all other chefs put together in our other 20+ cruises.

He is FANTASTIC! Onced talked to him about Philly Cheesesteaks when I discovered that he worked in a very upscale restaurant in Philly. Made my DW and I and friends the best cheesesteak I ever had.

At Cruise Critic parties I've heard several Captains and/or Hotel Directors asking for feedback.

Edited by Orator

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15 minutes ago, Bo1953 said:

How much more we are willing to "speak up" about our expectations...

 

bon appetite and bon voyage

Celebrity gave up on their '90s tag line, "let us exceed your expectations". 😉

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3 minutes ago, Orator said:

He is FANTASTIC! Onced talked to him about Philly Cheesesteaks when I discovered that he worked in a very upscale restaurant in Philly. Made my DW and I and friends the best cheesesteak I ever had.

OK here comes the age-old Philly cheesesteak debate.  Pat's or Geno's?  LOL!

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4 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

OK here comes the age-old Philly cheesesteak debate.  Pat's or Geno's?  LOL!

Steve's

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23 minutes ago, Bo1953 said:

How much more we are willing to "speak up" about our expectations...

 

bon appetite and bon voyage

 

Whether we like it or not, Celebrity will decide ALL these issues based on the bottom line.  As long as decreased services, food, etc don't decrease income and profit (they are NOT the same), they have no financially sound reason to change.  

 

That is the nature of capitalism.  AND it's the goal of every corporation: best results for their stockholders.  

 

Don't like the changes?  Vote with your dollars.  Take your business elsewhere.  IF that affects the bottom line, something will improve.  But I don't expect that passenger booking will decrease.  New cruisers will arrive and not compare to the good old days.  Those with their precious loyalty status will continue to book and *****.

Edited by jkgourmet

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17 hours ago, nancyshaw said:

 last year when I posted the same opinion of the food in the MDR on the Eclipse, all the critics came out of the woodwork..flaming me in every possible way....

 

now someone will once again say, did we raise the issue with Celebrity....

 

bottom line...if you want good food, Im not sure even if you pay for a suite that you can get it on Celeb anymore....they have cut back in every possible way all the while raising prices....that is the reality of Celeb...those who are new to the line, have no idea ...that is what Celeb is counting on...those that return, do so with far lower expectations....

 

we have moved on to other lines and are very happy with food and all else....

Agree with you - the customer should expect good food and service - you shouldn't have to complain for it ..

If Celeb doesn't want to provide it then there are  plenty of other choices   - The Celeb apologists will always protect the brand and turn things around to imply it was really your fault for not complaining .

You paid good money for good food and service if you don't get it then we can make our  decisions on future vacation dollars and where they are spent - There are plenty of options.

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