Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Recommended Posts

I know this a totally loaded question! Can anyone who has sailed Celebrity compare the food to HAL. (I'm purposely not trying to compare Oceania, Silversea, etc) We are taking our first HAL cruise and will enjoy no matter what but would like to hear other's opinions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned here frequently...food is totally subjective. What I like, you might hate. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, molemaui said:

I know this a totally loaded question! Can anyone who has sailed Celebrity compare the food to HAL. (I'm purposely not trying to compare Oceania, Silversea, etc) We are taking our first HAL cruise and will enjoy no matter what but would like to hear other's opinions. 

 

Sorry....you can't get true opinions with having to be lectured first. 🙄

 

Anyways, I generally prefer Celebrity's food.  I think Celebrity's MDR and specialty restaurants are better than HAL's.  The buffet, I'd rate about even.  

 

The only thing I'd say is notably better on HAL is the poolside burgers.  Celebrity's pool-side burgers are very generic grilled burgers whereas HAL's Dive In burgers are more of a specialty burger.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve only done one Celebrity cruise and I probably chose the wrong one 😉  but, for that one, the food on HAL was better by a long shot as was the service in the MDR.

 

But, food is subjective, service can change from week to week so my experiences may not mirror yours 😉 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on b2b cruises this past spring with the same crew on the Nieuw Amsterdam.  Even with the same menus each week, I found the food to be inconsistent, as well as the service.  It was hit or miss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been on two X and two HAL cruises in the last 1.5 years. I liked the X lunch buffet better than HAL, but preferred the HAL dining room to X. Breakfast was about the same. Specialty restaurants a little better on X. Coffee shop better on X.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having done 4 Celebrity cruises, I think the MDR on HAL is better.  Specialty restaurants are equal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We think that HA is better, especially the buffet, where HA will serve the portions out(cleaner) and we like the different stations that HA has--at least on Koningsdam (newer ship).  not sure about HA older ships and how they have it set up.  MDR is almost equal. Specialty restaurants, HA has the edge.  We really enjoy both lines for different reasons.  Service is excellent 97% of time on both!! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leaving aside service and focusing only on the food (which is what the OP asked):

 

I don't tend to eat in the buffet other than for breakfast; to me Celebrity and HAL are about equal here, though I thought HAL's Eggs Benedict were better. (Celebrity's waffles on the other hand are pretty tasty!)

 

I find that the MDR food varies more by ship on HAL than on Celebrity. The food on the last Celebrity cruise I took was very good in the MDR; on HAL, less so. I also think I prefer the menus overall on Celebrity more than on HAL. I will point out that my last Celebrity cruise was a couple of years ago, so I can't confirm whether all the grousing on the X boards really reflects a change in quality or not...

 

I think Murano on Celebrity beats HAL's Pinnacle Grill by quite a lot. But I'm not a huge fan of the "steak house" concept and prefer a more Continental style of cooking and presentation. The other Celebrity specialties are just okay. I have not tried Tamarind on HAL. 

 

Celebrity's coffee bar (Il Bacio) is also better IMO than what HAL offers (including the treats!).

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We like HA food better.  The breakfast room service  (not in a suite)  has more options.  The main dining room seemed to have more European ethnic dishes on HA. We liked the lido salad bar on HA  all tastes very fresh and seemed a few more servers asking if you would like a beverage.  Celebrity did stand out in their specialty Italian restaurant over the Canaletto on HA.   i also liked the wine selections better on Celebrity...  actually much better.  I think my opinions are personal preferences as I would sail either line again.  To me the food was very good on both!!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very subjective here.  I primarily sail HAL, at least twice a year right now.  Last time I sailed X was in 2014 on the new Reflection, so it's been a while.  X does a better job with breakfast buffet lines.  I liked their concept of giving each passenger a number while taking omelet orders.  Once the omelet was ready, the server called the number.  This created less of a bottleneck in that area.  I also prefer X's corned beef hash.  I can't stand HAL's version which is disappointing because I love this dish but have found no good hash on HAL.  I keep trying.  Oh, well.  In 2014, X had a better selection of free ice cream than HAL.  Has this changed?  So very exotic flavors, which HAL used to have but doesn't anymore unless you're willing to pay extra on a Pinnacle Class ship at Gelato.

 

I dislike X's room service menus, especially breakfast.  Not many choices if a passenger books a lower accommodation.  Since I don't particularly like lamb, I found the nightly offering on X disconcerting.  Overall the two MDRs are about equal in presentation, quality and taste.  On HAL's Pinnacle Class ships, the New York Deli and Dutch Café both have a lot going for them with their free choices.  Dive In burgers, fries, and hot dogs are the best at sea on HAL, IMO.  

 

All in all I believe the two lines are similar, except for the qualities/drawbacks I've listed above.  Again, what one passenger adores, another may loathe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going on our first trip on the volendam to Alaska next June. Just hoping the food overall will be better that Australia's p & o which was very ordinary at best. 

Ps. Are all hal ships got the same menus in mdr or do they vary and is the quality the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The menus vary by itinerary, and quality can vary across the fleet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have taken 4 cruises since last November, 2 on Celebrity and 2 on HAL, and 21 on HAL since 1997. 

I have found the food on both lines to be very good as far as cruise ships are concerned. Where Celebrity has an edge is in the Buffet, food a little bit better and so many more choices, also have found of late that HAL's desserts aren't as good as they once were. Service on both lines are excellent. One more point if it matters to you, fares are less on HAL.

 

Edited by MISTER 67

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took a cruise on Zuiderdam with my good friend and we just returned three days ago. It was my first HAL cruise and she has cruised many times on various HAL ships. I found the food on this cruise - in the buffet, dining room, and room service - to be unquestionably less impressive than Princess and Azamara ( have not sailed Celebrity). My friend said that the food has gone down in quality over the last year, and even zince her last HAL cruise 2 minths ago. There were some good dishes, and the gala nignts had the best food, but many of the dishes, and nearly all the desserts throughout the cruise were disappointing. We loved the pool side burgers though, and everyone raved about the french fries they serve there. The ice cream in the buffet area was also plentiful and very good. The Pinnacle Grill food was excellent - lunch is very economical (only open on sea days).

 

We were put off by the constant upselling of food. All cruises I've been on touted their specialty restaurants, but on the Zuiderdam, every menu in the dining room had items only available for purchase! At breakfast in the buffet, the FIRST server was always the one trying to sell you Evian bottled water. The worst food, in our opinion, was the afternoon tea. On other lines, we enjoyed small sandwiches with the crusts cut off - on HAL they were made of sliced baguettes spread with cream cheese and with cucumbers or other items laid on top. They also served tiny scones about the size and shape of a small meatball. They were so dry I could not eat them, but my friend asked if we could have some jam and they did bring that and cream,  as is customary. But they did not serve those until she asked. I remarked to her that they didn't even serve the sweet items I was used to at teas, so after we finished,  I decided to go have something sweet in the buffet. As we got up to leave, the servers told us they had been planning to serve us little cakes and eclairs! There were only three tables to serve, so what were they waiting for? 

 

Service was also inconsistent. Twice I saw dinner companions receive something other than what they ordered. The staff is are overwhelmed and work very hard, but I didnt notice this inconsistency even on my Carnival voyages. The employees DO have consistently friendly and helpful attitudes however.  I hope this information is helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/20/2019 at 2:40 AM, molemaui said:

I know this a totally loaded question! Can anyone who has sailed Celebrity compare the food to HAL. (I'm purposely not trying to compare Oceania, Silversea, etc) We are taking our first HAL cruise and will enjoy no matter what but would like to hear other's opinions. 

We are currently on the Maasdam and the food in the MDR every night of the first 15 days of our cruise has been very tasty and so far the menus have not repeated themselves. If they have we haven’t noticed because there is usually a variety of tasty options to choose from.
 

Since you brought up Oceania, we have found very little difference in the quality of the food served in their GDR and the Maasdam’s MDR. But, when comparing O’s specialty restaurants to that of HAL’s, O definitely is the winner there in MHO. 

 

With regards to Celebrity’s MDR food, we always thought it was pretty good too. But since my DW loves chocolate desserts and noticed the Luminae has them on both their lunch and evening menus, we book sky suites now, so it’s been a couple of years since we have eaten in a X MDR. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree food comparisons are so subjective. We did one X cruise right after our first HAL cruise and IMHO the HAL food was much better. That was back in 2005 and 2006 and in subsequent HAL cruises I think the HAL food quality has come down some but from what I read in CC all cruise line food has also come down in quality and selections. I think Tamarind is still the best specialty restaurant of any cruise ship we have been on. Also we really enjoyed the hamburgers in the Dive In on the Noordam in July.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only sailed with Celebrity once, but I have found the food to be fine on both HAL and Celebrity, but then I am not a foodie.  I do like HAL's buffet a bit more than Celebrity's as I thought they had a better variety to choose from.  Choices seemed a bit more limited on Celebrity to me.  MDR's were similar in my opinion, and service was good on both.  That said, I have never gone to bed hungry on any cruise line.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With so many different foods offered on any ship these days, if you cannot find something you like then it really is a personal problem 🙂

Really, anything prepped, cooked, served and taken away after is a great thing. Even at home when a person is cooking , not all meals are good so, it can happen anywhere.

I have been on several lines and a number of cruises and the food has been good on every one of them. 🙂

 

Edited by pete_coach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been on both.  Very hard question.  However, I think I need to give it to Celebrity.  I found the Buffet food on Celebrity much better than HAL.  MDR were good on both lines.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wife was on the Celebrity Edge and thought that food was very good. We have been on many X cruises (S class and M class ships) and their food IMHO has declined significantly (everywhere but Sushi on 5 and Murano). Went on Nieuw Statendam 7 months ago and found the HAL MDR to be a step up from X. Better menu (VERY VERY SUBJECTIVE) and prepared more accurately (rare was rare, medium was medium). Pinnacle Grill lunch was excellent.

Now, if someone wants to pay for my cruises to do an in-depth comparison across ALL the ships, please let me know. I hear there is great interest in the food on the world voyages so I'd probably have to investigate that one twice 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are elite+ with Celebrity and have done two cruises on HAL with a third and fourth booked next year.  This is my opinion only, but I think the food and service on Celebrity has gone way downhill from when we started cruising with them in the 1990's.  I realize this might be true of HAL also. But when we did our first cruise with them a year ago, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and very pleased with the service.  I also like the variety of dishes in the MDR on HAL.  I enjoy the buffet food on HAL more than Celebrity.  As I said, this is just my opinion and part of the reason we're cruising HAL now.  Eventually, we'll probably try another cruise with Celebrity.  But for now, HAL is doing very well for us.

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...