Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
kruisey

Food Glorious Food

Recommended Posts

We read much about the food quality on the ships.It is a subject always close to most folks heart.

Could it not be the quality of the food but chef in charge of all the cutlery delights that results turn out bad ,fair ,or yummy?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a gourmet and rarely go out to restaurants. I have found most cruise ship food much better than what I can make and have no complaints. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, the ability to choose what I want on the spur of them moment and the fact that somebody else cooked it goes a long way with me. A very long way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

the chef ?  the chef ..... I gotta admit food quality is way up on the list of ten 

 

 

Edited by c-boy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kruisey said:

We read much about the food quality on the ships.It is a subject always close to most folks heart.

Could it not be the quality of the food but chef in charge of all the cutlery delights that results turn out bad ,fair ,or yummy?  

 

No. The Chef works for Princess/CCL. If he is not up to snuff, then it is up to Princess/CCL to replace him. The Chef could make a minor difference, but not a major one.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kruisey said:

We read much about the food quality on the ships.It is a subject always close to most folks heart.

Could it not be the quality of the food but chef in charge of all the cutlery delights that results turn out bad ,fair ,or yummy?  

Sure, the head chef matters.  But the head chef doesn't actually cook anything.  He oversees a huge staff, any one of whom could be a weak link.  But they are working off of corporate recipes that are tried and true and preparing them in mass quantities.  If there are 50 portions of Orange Roughy in a hotel pan all prepared at the same time, it is unlikely that one of those portions is materially different than the other 49.  Consistency is paramount.

 

If one detects a drop in quality, it is more likely the result of a slash of the galley budget.  A meal is only as good as its component parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We took a fifty day cruise from FLL to LA. It had three legs. On the first leg the beef was tough and very difficult to eat. On the second leg the beef was excellent. On the third leg the beef was just OK. We had the same chef and kitchen crew. and the same menus. It had to be the quality of the beef they took on board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Sea Hag said:

Honestly, the ability to choose what I want on the spur of them moment and the fact that somebody else cooked it goes a long way with me. A very long way.

I SO agree! 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, dfields1814 said:

We took a fifty day cruise from FLL to LA. It had three legs. On the first leg the beef was tough and very difficult to eat. On the second leg the beef was excellent. On the third leg the beef was just OK. We had the same chef and kitchen crew. and the same menus. It had to be the quality of the beef they took on board.

I suspect the quality of the beef depended on the supply that was available at each of the ports that they took on supplies. That would extend to the rest of the victuals.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dfields1814 said:

We took a fifty day cruise from FLL to LA. It had three legs. On the first leg the beef was tough and very difficult to eat. On the second leg the beef was excellent. On the third leg the beef was just OK. We had the same chef and kitchen crew. and the same menus. It had to be the quality of the beef they took on board.

 

49 minutes ago, brisalta said:

I suspect the quality of the beef depended on the supply that was available at each of the ports that they took on supplies. That would extend to the rest of the victuals.

 

 

I'm guessing the second leg of your cruise included Argentina which has some of the best beef in the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have posted multiple times, here, on Cruise Critic, that the Chef for a given room makes a lot of difference.

 

We rarely have dinner in any of the dining rooms, but we often dine in the specialty restaurants.  I am going to use the example of the Crown Grill because most Princess ships have a Crown Grill (or a Sterling Steak house which is close enough) and the fare is agreeable most Cruise Critic posters.

 

I should mention that, in all honesty, I feel that I can buy a steak at my local grocery store (probably, no better than USDA Choice), grill it in my back yard, and it will be as good or better than any steak that I have ever had in the Crown Grill.  In certain regards I am not particularly fussy.  In certain regards I am quite fussy.  When my wife and I go out to dinner, we want to dine not just eat.  That is the reason that we prefer the specialty restaurants.

 

I have had some very good steaks or chops at Crown Grill.  I have, also, had numerous chewy and, even, flavorless ones.  100% of all my Princess cruises have been California embarkations.  I am pretty sure that there have been no drastic variations in the sourcing of the meats.  I have also had both good and mediocre experiences on different cruises of the same ship.  I attribute it to the kitchen staff.  A poster above commented about the fact that there is one Executive Chef on the ship and he is not preparing most meals.  However, every kitchen does have a chef who has overall responsibility for the operation of that kitchen.  My opinion is that he sets the standard.  So, yes, that chef does matter.

 

When I order a steak or chop, and the server asks how I would like it prepared, I always specify, "Rare."  I have learned that I also have to make sure that the server gets the message, and, so, I will pause and look him/her in the eye and say, "Rare.  Blood rare."  Usually, that works, but not always.

 

On the Emerald Princess a little over a year ago, I noticed that the Crown Grill chef would occasionally stroll through the dining area.  On our second visit that cruise, I ordered a Porterhouse steak and, yes. specified, that I would like it "Blood rare."  When the steak was presented to me, the server asked me to slice it to make sure it was to my liking.  When I looked up, I noticed the chef standing behind the server.  I sliced the steak and was pretty disappointed to see pink and not red.  I guess I did not disguise my disappointment.  The chef stepped around the server, picked up the plate and told me, "We'll do it again for you."  I would not be surprised if somebody back in the kitchen received a reprimand.

 

Again, as has been stated, the various kitchens are preparing meals from standard recipes.  However, attention to detail is important.  If the chef for a given kitchen pays attention to the details, and if he insists that the other cooks in that kitchen pay attention to detail, then superior meals will come out of that kitchen.  If the chef does not care, then, guess what, the staff doesn't care.

 

The exact same thing happens in the front of the room.  The headwaiter sets the service standard for the room.  I have had mixed levels of service in, picking again on, the Crown Grill.  Invariably, the times I have had mediocre-to-poor service, the headwaiter has not been in sight.  The times I have received crisp attentive service, I have seen the headwaiter all over the room.  Chatting with diners, pouring glasses of wine, helping out with the delivery of courses to large parties, clearing off tables.  When the service staff sees the headwaiter hustling, they know that is the standard.  When the service staff does not see the headwaiter on the room, that is another message that they receive.

 

I had an interesting experience in the Crown Grill on the Crown Princess a few years ago.  We were seated at a table next to a large group of 16 who took up two tables.  Our server had to take care of us and the large party.  Guess who received the short end of that stick.  I did feel sorry for that server.  In addition to being large, that group was pretty demanding,  No headwaiter anywhere in sight.

 

Towards the end of our entree I see the headwaiter along with the ship's Maitre d' table hopping.  Soon enough, they stopped at our table and asked how we were enjoying our meal.

 

"Fine," I started.  "Thank . . . ????"

 

That was all I was able to get out.  I was looking at their backs as they walked away.

 

Well, that explains a lot.  The headwaiter doesn't care because his boss doesn't care.

 

Front of the room and back of the room management matters.  The fact that management changes fairly often leads me to conclude that you cannot make general statements about the meals of any specific ship.  A ship that is being denigrated in Cruise Critic one month my get new management and turn around completely.  Also, vice versa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dfields1814 said:

We took a fifty day cruise from FLL to LA. It had three legs. On the first leg the beef was tough and very difficult to eat. On the second leg the beef was excellent. On the third leg the beef was just OK. We had the same chef and kitchen crew. and the same menus. It had to be the quality of the beef they took on board.

Very interesting point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, capriccio said:

 

 

I'm guessing the second leg of your cruise included Argentina which has some of the best beef in the world.

At one point, Princess was sourcing all their meat from the US (regardless where the ships were in the world). I don't know if that is still true or not. The beef last year on my Norway trip was awful - I was thinking it was probably British beef. I would be curious if anyone has asked a Chef about where the food is sourced recently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The executive chef does make a difference. He is responsible overall for ensuring that all food that leaves the galleys is up to Princess standard even though he may not be directly in charge of each galley. But if he doesn't manage his senior chefs properly then standards start slipping. We noticed this a few years ago on our second Princess cruise. On our first cruise we had been amazed by the high quality of the food but on the second cruise the food was much saltier and the plating was sloppy, however the overall quality of the produce was the same on that cruise. Our third cruise was back to the previous high standards.

 

Unfortunately on our last Princess cruise, on Majestic late last year (our 7th Princess cruise), both the quality of the produce and the appearance and taste of the dishes we had were poor. The formal night beef medallions, in particular, were tough and gristly. Also the always available salmon ordered on another night was dry and tasteless. Not what we've come to expect from Princess.

 

As XBGuy said above, there are no guarantees that you will get a fantastic executive chef on every cruise because every ship has a different executive chef naturally, in fact probably two to allow for time off. However we should be able to expect the same quality of produce across all cruises and that's where Princess is failing these days. I actually have serious concerns about what we'll get on our upcoming 35 night Hawaii/Tahiti cruise.

Edited by OzKiwiJJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My grandma used to say one can ruin a good piece of beef but you can't make a bad piece of beef good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On one of my longish cruises in MDR we were all complaining about the meals.Half way through the cruise it was the time they exchanged  Executive Chefs. Oh my it was a change the food was delicious from then on no complaints. 😊Must say though I do prefer the food in the Crown Grill.Went there most nights this last May on Royal Princess excellent fare.😋

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...