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Royal Princess Food - as bad as the reviews ?

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Absolutely lousy food on the Caribbean Princess.  The World Marketplace is a failure in my opinion.  Princess haven't been in a hurry to implement it fleet wide...no wonder.

 

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Food is very subjective.   We've sailed on Royal Princess and have found the buffet to be superlative compared with other Princess cruises.   Yes, if one only goes there for lunch many of the items can be the same, but the Royal had that extra buffet line serving specialty foods that made all the differences.

 

As for cold food: in ANY restaurant, shipboard or on land, my wife and I can be served identical dishes prepared at the same time and I will find the food temperature nice, and she will find it cold.   Often, especially with buffets, if one eats the cold dishes on the plate, like salad, first by the time one eats the hot food it has cooled.

 

In the MDR on a cruise, note that the servers will bring all the course offerings for their section from the kitchen at one time.  When there is a slow eater at a table, often the food will be in warmers (or just sitting with covers on).   Result: less than optimal temperature food, but still warm.

 

Perfection should not be expected. 

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21 minutes ago, kendon said:

Absolutely lousy food on the Caribbean Princess.  The World Marketplace is a failure in my opinion.  Princess haven't been in a hurry to implement it fleet wide...no wonder.

 

I totally agree although the food in the DR was pretty good- typically Princess fare. 

Talking to a sous chef on the Regal the same news has spread throughout their cook staff.

I really hope they just limit it to the CB & the Emerald until they can find a suitable replacement.  

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Posted (edited)

We've been on 30 Princess cruises, two of them on the Royal (2015, 2016) for a total of 24 days.  My main complaint with the buffet is that much of the "hot" food was at best "lukewarm" and sometimes nearly cold.  Otherwise, the choices available were greater than on the older.

Edited by BarbinMich

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If you want fine dining, book the Chef’s table. The rest to me is just average. But I don’t cruise for the food.

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Posted (edited)

We are Elite with 21 cruises on Princess and 60 overall, the first 20 the food was excellent in both the Buffet and the MDR. Our last cruise with  Princess was about 18 months ago on the Caribbean Princess and the the food took a turn for the worse. This was right after the WFM made its debut. My wife is a great cook and  loves to bake and uses quite a bit of butter, she said that most of the desserts in the WFM and MDR were made with lard, I could tell myself that it wasn't the same as our previous Princess cruises. We sat with an Italian American gentleman in the MDR and he wondered why the food was not as good as before. He spoke fluent Italian and had a talk with the Asst. Maitre D and was told that Princess has cut back on the food budget and not a little bit. He also told him that don't be surprised when there will be a nominal charge for meals in the MDR with the only free food in the buffet. 

Princess has just about lost us as loyal customers, we have sailed on Holland America and Celebrity for our last 4 cruises with excellent food and well maintained ships with both lines.

Besides the food, the condition of the Caribbean Princess left a lot to be desired, we have sailed on her 8 times from the time she was brand new and we found that carpeting in some of the cabins was from year one, we walk around the cabin in socks and the bottoms were dirty, that's unacceptable. We also had leaks from the ceiling and in the sink on one of our cabins, my conclusion is that Princess has become very lax on the upkeep of their ships, seems to us that preventive maintenance is something alien to the line. One other problem is the length of the shows in the Princess Theater, to get a good seat you need to get there 45 minutes early only to have the show last a little over 30 minutes, what a joke.

 

Edited by MISTER 67

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, kendon said:

Absolutely lousy food on the Caribbean Princess.  The World Marketplace is a failure in my opinion.  Princess haven't been in a hurry to implement it fleet wide...no wonder.

 

Agree 100%, read my post a that is right before this.

Edited by MISTER 67

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4 hours ago, Grammyluvs said:

If you want fine dining, book the Chef’s table. The rest to me is just average. But I don’t cruise for the food.

 

If they still offer the Wine Makers Dinner on the Royal class ships, it is also very good (and much cheaper)!

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We love the food on the Royal.  

Occasionally we get a klunker, but overall the food has been good to very good, and on many occasions , excellent  

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Posted (edited)
On 8/7/2019 at 2:33 AM, MTJSR said:

 Are you suggesting Princess is working hard to be just average? 

If I were to judge by the MDR food on the Majestic Princess cruise we did late last year I'd say Princess was working hard to be below average. 😋

 

Luckily I've been on enough Princess cruises  to know that the food isn't always that bad ... at least I hope it isn't as I'm embarking on a 35 night cruise on Sea Princess at the end of the month. If this thread starts steaming you'll know it was. 🤣

Edited by OzKiwiJJ

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On my 50 days on Sapphire late last year I had 4 of the worst main dining room meals of my years of cruising since 2008.

Two meals were set on beds of soup mix!  Another night the steak was so salted many diners complained to the dining room manager, myself included.  All main course dishes were smaller than normal entrees.

Fortunatly the Horizon Court buffet was excellent with an entertaining South African Chef.

Princess food was noticably worse than HAL's on Westerdam a few months later in April 2019.

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10 hours ago, MISTER 67 said:

He also told him that don't be surprised when there will be a nominal charge for meals in the MDR with the only free food in the buffet. 

I can't really believe that they would even consider something like that but if that day does arrive, there will be a mass exodus to the other cruise lines. 😙

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5 hours ago, SeaDog-46 said:

On my 50 days on Sapphire late last year I had 4 of the worst main dining room meals of my years of cruising since 2008.

Two meals were set on beds of soup mix!  Another night the steak was so salted many diners complained to the dining room manager, myself included.  All main course dishes were smaller than normal entrees.

Fortunatly the Horizon Court buffet was excellent with an entertaining South African Chef.

Princess food was noticably worse than HAL's on Westerdam a few months later in April 2019.

 

I always tell myself that a single experience in time should not condemn the entire cruise line. We had read some of the reviews of the food on the Sapphire last year before our June 2019 cruise and had some trepidation because they were uniformly bad.

 

Maybe chefs changed, maybe Princess listened to the complaints...but our cruise had very good to excellent food in the MDR (we didn't go to the buffet).  That wasn't just the opinion of the 4 in our group; others on the cruise who posted reviews had the same reaction.

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10 minutes ago, capriccio said:

 

I always tell myself that a single experience in time should not condemn the entire cruise line. We had read some of the reviews of the food on the Sapphire last year before our June 2019 cruise and had some trepidation because they were uniformly bad.

 

Maybe chefs changed, maybe Princess listened to the complaints...but our cruise had very good to excellent food in the MDR (we didn't go to the buffet).  That wasn't just the opinion of the 4 in our group; others on the cruise who posted reviews had the same reaction.

I do agree with you opinion although we do frequently go to the buffets for most breakfast, lunches & many dinners. 

I've just about given up on reading the reports posted here about the food. 

There comments might very well be justified but there are to many people posting with perspectives that are just no where near the same as ours.  

So I follow only certain posters whom I do trust to be in line with our ideas of good & bad. This is only because we've been on the same ships over the years & their comments have proven correct. 

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7 hours ago, MissP22 said:

I can't really believe that they would even consider something like that but if that day does arrive, there will be a mass exodus to the other cruise lines. 😙

If one line does it, they will all do it.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, MissP22 said:

I can't really believe that they would even consider something like that but if that day does arrive, there will be a mass exodus to the other cruise lines. 😙

 

I guess it all depends on how they market it.  First of all, the "transitional generation" will always notice the difference, and yes, there will be people reaching for torches and pitchforks.  But the generations behind them who come to cruising not knowing any different won't bat an eye.  You can't miss what you never had, other than in some emotional, nostalgic sense.  If such a change does come (and I'm not suggesting it will), and it comes soon, we will be the transitional generation who lived under the old rules and will be forced to adjust to the new rules. It's not always pleasant.  In the early days of my fine dining history, a prix fixe menu was just that.  One price. Make your selections.  But not too long after, I started to see the word "Supplement" on the menu.  Foie Gras? "$15 Supplement".  Butter Poached Lobster? "$25 Supplement".  Yes, I noticed.  No, I wasn't happy paying extra for things that I used to order within the price of the meal in days past.  But ask any diner under the age of 40 if they expect to pay a supplemental charge for certain items on a prix fixe menu and they will tell you "yes", and that they have never seen it otherwise.  The same would happen with a $5 surcharge for dining in the MDR.

 

But I doubt that a surcharge would be so transparent.  Rather, I suspect that we will see the expansion and transformation of "Club "Class", or the introduction of some other Class.  When you book, you would pay $1,000 per person for  "Cruise Class" entitling you to dine at the Buffet; $1,050 for "Culinary Class" entitling you to dine in the MDR or the Buffet. and $1,200 for "Club Class" entitling you to dine in a special section of the MDR with a few added menu options.  This last Class already exists and sells out quickly.  when marketed properly, I could easily see a cruise line offering multiple dining options at differing price levels, and the way prices fluctuate, it would be difficult to tell whether you were paying more for your cruise to dine in the MDR.  After all, if the nominal surcharge were $5 per person per evening, that is only $35 total for a 7 day cruise.  A cruise line could sneak that in to the base price without too much of an uproar.  And on the flip side, there are probably lots of people who would welcome the opportunity to pay "less" (which is admittedly a relative term) for the option of dining only in the Buffet.  Studies show that people don't mind being knifed as much as you might think they would if they are given the choice of which knife will be used on them.  Give people multiple dining options, some of which include the MDR and some that do not and I'll bet the outcry wouldn't be as loud as you think.  And as stated earlier, this outrage will only last as long as the transitional generation wants to keep shouting into the wind.  The generation behind them won't care one bit.  

Edited by JimmyVWine

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37 minutes ago, JimmyVWine said:

And as stated earlier, this outrage will only last as long as the transitional generation wants to keep shouting into the wind.  The generation behind them won't care one bit.  

As you say but I don't see Princess trying to entice the the new generation in the least.

They seem to be very content with their current dedicated cruisers and unless all the cruise lines follow suit with a DR charge it could come back to bite them in the long run.  

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10 minutes ago, MissP22 said:

As you say but I don't see Princess trying to entice the the new generation in the least.

They must be doing something.  I don't think that their long-term business plan is to close up shop in 15 years.

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2 hours ago, JimmyVWine said:

They must be doing something.  I don't think that their long-term business plan is to close up shop in 15 years.

Maybe they're counting on the Medallion system to wow the younger generation. 😁

 

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Cut and dry (what the Princess "never had a bad meal" cheerleaders might not tell you)

 

One ought to already be aware that overall food quality/presentation/service has seen a gradual decline among all mainstream cruiselines in recent years......

 

Princess does some things good, some things fair and some things bad.  It helps to have sailed with Princess a few times to learn what to opt for and what to generally avoid.

 

Let's start with THE BAD...

 

Princess (included in the fare)desserts are generally pretty crummy.  While they may have a fabulous looking appearance, once tasted, they come across with a very strange texture as if they have been freezer-burned(?) and having been made with poor ingredients such as lard instead of butter.

 

Beef is to be avoided in the MDR.  Don't do it.  It's a sure way for someone that enjoys a nice steak to receive a major let down.  The stuff ought to be make into beef jerky.

 

The breakfast offered in the buffet is the same offerings everyday.  Greasy eggs, slimy/coagulated thin sliced bacon, 1/2 cooked sausage links, hockey puck hashbrowns(that have a chemical aftertaste), Danishes and muffins so stale that they should be tossed to the seabirds, sliced fruit(canteloupe/pineapple/melon) that is mealy.  Sliced cheeses and meats that have had their surface areas exposed to the outside air/temperature for how many consecutive hours(days?),  coffee that tastes like a mud puddle.

 

The Pizza (what was once a pretty good slice) is now a shadow of its former "Best Pizza @ Sea" moniker.   Cardboard crust, wood-pulp shredded cheese, lazy (cheap canned quality) sauce. I used to look foward to the Pizza on the Lido deck.  I've avoided it the last few times on Princess now.

 

A little of THE FAIR...

 

Generally the breads can be OK in the MDR, though they too have declined in recent years.  Do they still offer breadsticks?

 

For the most part, soups(hot or cold) are a safe bet.  Most salads also suffice.

 

When it comes to main courses(MDR), most pass the edible test, but a lot of the time, one's chicken, pork, fish etc. is smothered in some sort of thick gravy like sauce, and the accompanying vegetables often look like they were cooked at lunch time and reheated in a microwave.  For those that like spices, MDR food is generally very bland.

 

Sorbets, Ice Cream to accompany a fruit based pie/tart can be viable choices for dessert in the MDR.

 

Ethnic themed offerings at the buffet(IE. Italian night, Mexican night, German night, 'Make your own Miso/Noodle soup etc.)  -- While they may sound really appealing, often they will fall short of what one is likely used to when they think of authentic quality offerings of the above mentioned cuisines that they;re used to -- unless they live where only fast-food, chain-restaurants and greasy-spoon diners is all that is available. 

 

Hey, some seem to like Olive Garden and Chilis.

 

The GOOD...

 

This is getting harder to find on Princess of-late.  

 

The (upcharge)specialty restaurants(though not a personal fan of 'Share') are generally reliable for a good meal.  I especially enjoy the French Onion soup in Crown Grill/Sterling.

 

The International Cafe - The panini pressed sandwiches are good, and they often have some tasty deli-style salad offerings.

 

Alfredo's -- while not the best pizza ever, it's certainly good.

 

 

I could write a book here, but I won't.  I've thrown a few that immediately come to mind for me personally, perhaps others could expound.

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6 hours ago, Skai said:

Princess does some things good, some things fair and some things bad.  It helps to have sailed with Princess a few times to learn what to opt for and what to generally avoid.

 

Let's start with THE BAD...

Maybe your post is one of them. 😄

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Skai - Mostly I disagree with you. I like the beef in the MDR. Also I like the vegetables and disagree with your description.  I can't comment about the ethnic foods in the buffet as we don't eat there at night.  As for breakfast, I either eat cereal and fruit or maybe have an omelet which is cooked to order.  DH eats the hot food and likes it.   I like many of the desserts in the MDR.  At the buffet I find that many of the cake type desserts are flavorless... to ME.  To you, the reader of this thread, may love them.  Taste is subjective.  As for Alfredo's... love, love, love the vegetarian pizza.  The danishes I have had are NOT stale but taste freshly baked.

 

For anyone reading this who has not sailed Princess yet... please understand that everyone has their own likes and dislikes.  If the food was as bad as that post says then Princess would have a real problem with bookings.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Skai said:

...slimy/coagulated thin sliced bacon...

 

And yet, I can't resist! 😋

 

When it comes to food on a cruise ship, (Specialty Restaurants excepted), I look at it this way.  I am on a floating hotel, an entertainment provider and a transportation vehicle that takes me to a different place each day.  If we pay on average $300-$350 per day for two of us while on a cruise, (or three people even), I figure that this sum is about right for providing us with our room; our "resort fee" that many hotels tack on now for using the pool and gym; a certain amount of entertainment; and our transportation from place to place.  We get all that for $300-$350 per day and that seems about right.  So in terms of budgeting, I see food as being a free throw-in.  Honestly, everything that I eat that is included in my fare is "free" after I account for the fact that my cruise fare covers all of the other things that I am getting.  And when I look at the food as being free, I set the bar much lower and Princess seems to surpass that low bar every time.  When I am on my balcony eating a creme-filled donut from the IC in the morning and I think to myself that this puppy is free, I smile.

 

Edited by JimmyVWine

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We thought the food was really bad.  The thought of going on another Princess cruise is not good. We will not be rushing to book another cruise with them. They did try hard for sure. They just could not execute.  The soft serve ice cream by the pool was terrible.  Got very tired of the buffet. They had a big variety especially for dinner but something was really lacking just not good.  

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Not to say that everyone isn't entitled to their opinion but I would really like to know where some of these poster are eating that the food is so much better.

Maybe I'm just to tolerant of the Princess food and accept what's served to me. :classic_wink:

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