Jump to content

Recommended Posts

So as some of you know, I've only ever cruised with Carnival before now and only just booked my first ever P&O Cruise.

 

I am sure there are differences between how things work on different ships and brands and my partner keeps asking me questions about the food so I suggested I'd ask them here!

 

My partner is rather fussy with food and will often not want any of the options for one or more of the courses. If they were to ask for 3x starters instead of a main course for example, would this be doable/normal to ask?

 

Are you restricted to 1 starter, 1 soup, 1 main, 1 dessert or could someone have 2 main courses if they couldnt choose? (Ignore the gluttony aspect for now!)

 

I don't know about you all but I like to treat the MDR as my little experiment. I am a creature of habit in restaurants at home, I want to try new things but I don't like paying for things I end up disliking, so on a cruise, I use the MDR to try new things, on the understanding that if I don't like it, I haven't lost anything and I've tried it! Does anyone else do this?

 

Do people find the specialty restaurants worth the cost? We tend to do specialties once or twice a cruise on Carnival as a treat, usually when we're not too fussed on the MDR menu.

 

On that note, do they advertise the MDR menu/s in advance?

 

Thanks all 🙂 Let's start getting hungry in this thread 😄

Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, whatever you ask for from the MDR menus will be provided, very readily, along with a few standards which aren’t necessarily shown but are always available. Very much a case of mix and match if that suits you best.

 

I enjoy the food on P&O, and have always found the portion sizes ample, but if you feel that’s not the case they’ll always provide more on request.

 

I can only speak for The Epicurean so far as speciality restaurants are concerned, but it’s really excellent. Very high standard of food and service indeed for a real treat. Well up there with many a Michelin starred UK restaurant.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Harry Peterson said:

Basically, whatever you ask for from the MDR menus will be provided, very readily, along with a few standards which aren’t necessarily shown but are always available. Very much a case of mix and match if that suits you best.

 

I enjoy the food on P&O, and have always found the portion sizes ample, but if you feel that’s not the case they’ll always provide more on request.

 

I can only speak for The Epicurean so far as speciality restaurants are concerned, but it’s really excellent. Very high standard of food and service indeed for a real treat. Well up there with many a Michelin starred UK restaurant.

That's great to hear!

 

It's less about the portion sizes and more that if a menu has no main course that my partner likes the sound of, would they be able to have a selection of starters instead?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Scratchrat said:

That's great to hear!

 

It's less about the portion sizes and more that if a menu has no main course that my partner likes the sound of, would they be able to have a selection of starters instead?

Absolutely so!  Without any problem at all. Chicken, steak and salmon are, I think, always available - others will correct me if I’m wrong on that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem at all asking for something from the starters as your main course, I have done it many times.  Just remember to tell the waiter which one is for your main course because if you don't there is a chance that both plates will arrive together as I discovered the first time I did it. 😃😃

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find searching the P&O website to be a nightmare since its most recent *improvement*

 

So, Uncle Google has kindly given me this, which appears to be pretty much up to date

All your ships, all your venues, all your menus

 

https://ask.completecruisesolution.com/help/ext/PO/life-on-board/example_menu

 

I find it hard to accept that some people seem to complain about *all* the food.  I wonder what they eat at home.  Surely, surely, among everything listed, there is something for the most and least adventurous?  
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You will find the menu for the evening meal in MDR displayed each morning

outside each restaurant, so if you eat breakfast in MDR as we do, you can see

the menu as you exit.   If nothing appeals that is the evening to go to a select

dining room if they have any tables remaining for booking. 
 

I agree the Epicurean is great, as is Sindu and we also love the Beach House for a more casual dining experience.

 

Enjoy.

 

Terri

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Eddie99 said:

I find searching the P&O website to be a nightmare since its most recent *improvement*

 

So, Uncle Google has kindly given me this, which appears to be pretty much up to date

All your ships, all your venues, all your menus

 

https://ask.completecruisesolution.com/help/ext/PO/life-on-board/example_menu

 

I find it hard to accept that some people seem to complain about *all* the food.  I wonder what they eat at home.  Surely, surely, among everything listed, there is something for the most and least adventurous?  
 

 

Well my partner was vegetarian until recently and even since then will not eat any meat on the bone, is only really a fan of chicken or turkey. 

 

The veggie options are often fine and look tasty though, just on occasion there's menus where they think ALL the starters sound amazing but not any of the main courses, so they would want to just have the starters all as a tapas 😛

Link to post
Share on other sites

The menu is posted outside the MDR every day. As far as main courses go, there are several to choose from. Steak, chicken and salmon are usually available in addition to the other mains that are different every day. I am a fussy eater but rarely do I have a problem. 
 

The speciality restaurants are good for a treat. Epicurean and Sindhu menus are online and do not change daily. Usually menu A for 4 nights, then menu B for the next 4 and so on. They are less flexible over variations.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, pete14 said:

The menu is posted outside the MDR every day. As far as main courses go, there are several to choose from. Steak, chicken and salmon are usually available in addition to the other mains that are different every day. I am a fussy eater but rarely do I have a problem. 
 

The speciality restaurants are good for a treat. Epicurean and Sindhu menus are online and do not change daily. Usually menu A for 4 nights, then menu B for the next 4 and so on. They are less flexible over variations.

 

Not a problem at all. When I say my partner is a fussy eater, I don't mean they will complain or be unhappy with the offerings. They are well aware of the fact they are the problem not the menu 😉

 

They will always make do with something and enjoy it, I was simply checking if we would be breaking some kind of social faux pas by asking for multiple main courses or replacing them completely as we have done on Carnival. (sometimes ordering a double portion of kids menu items instead hah!)

 

We're not awkward people or anything and never complain 🙂 We wouldn't want the culture of the ship to bend to our tastes! I loooove the look of the menus personally.

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

There is also a seperate, not on display, full vegetarian menu which is available on request. Never seen a kids menu. 

 

Yes well worth asking for IMO.  I am not vegetarian, but am not a big meat eater and found myself with a lot of large chunks of animal on my plate on a recent Arcadia cruise as the portions were so big with not a lot else with few, if any, non meat options, even in the starters.

 

I discovered the  vegetarian menu towards the end of our cruise and tended to ask for both menus and used them on a mix and match basis.  The menu was not mentioned anywhere, but the standard menu did not have the selections of vegetarian items that I have had on other cruise lines (e.g. Fred), but we normally use the smaller ships, which does not include other lines run by Carnival Corporation, or the other big  US cruise groups.

 

Regards food overall I do find P&O food can be rather heavy on the salt, though it does vary on a cruise by cruise basis and is less noticeable in warmer climates when you need the salt.  Perhaps just my experience in recent years though - others may feel differently about that.  

Edited by tring
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a pescatarian, and have never had any problems finding something on the menu - either fish or vegetarian.  I have, though had to ask for sauces removed, as I have an irrational hatred of mushrooms.  I've also occasionally had two starters or soup then a starter instead of a main course, and they have always been happy to do this.

 

As mentioned, prawn cocktail, cream of tomato soup, steak, salmon, chicken and fruit salad are always available as an alternative to any of the courses on the main menu.

Edited by showingdiva
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Scratchrat said:

know about you all but I like to treat the MDR as my little experiment. I am a creature of habit in restaurants at home, I want to try new things but I don't like paying for things I end up disliking, so on a cruise, I use the MDR to try new things, on the understanding that if I don't like it, I haven't lost anything and I've tried it! Does anyone else do this

I have tried one or two dishes that looked interesting, from the various courses, occasionally. Some I've liked, but others that I didn't like were changed for me with no problem. I've also asked for one vegetable substituted for another, providing it's already on the menu with another dish or extra if it's a particular one I like, sugar snap peas for instance😋. Nothing's too much trouble, you just have to ask. I find it's not what you say, but how you say it, and with a smile.

This brings to mind a young man and his parents who were  sat at a table near us in the MDR. He refused to eat his dinner unless he had 6 chips on a plate next to him. His parents told the waiter he was autistic. Every evening without fail the waiter had 6 chips on a plate waiting for him when he came to dinner. That's service you don't always find.

Avril 

Edited by Adawn47
Added text
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Adawn47 said:

I have tried one or two dishes that looked interesting, from the various courses, occasionally. Some I've liked, but others that I didn't like were changed for me with no problem. I've also asked for one vegetable substituted for another, providing it's already on the menu with another dish or extra if it's a particular one I like, sugar snap peas for instance😋. Nothing's too much trouble, you just have to ask. I find it's not what you say, but how you say it, and with a smile.

This brings to mind a young man and his parents who were  sat at a table near us in the MDR. He refused to eat his dinner unless he had 6 chips on a plate next to him. His parents told the waiter he was autistic. Every evening without fail the waiter had 6 chips on a plate waiting for him when he came to dinner. That's service you don't always find.

Avril 

 

Wow, that's something else 🙂 

 

One thing I always love about cruising with Carnival and I hope P&O too is that you do really seem to get to know the team! Even doing anytime dining and sitting in different areas each night, people would remember you, say hi, it makes a difference.

 

Thanks so much to everyone who has helped answer my questions, I feel confident the food will be great, now to just focus on what awaits!

 

Anyone got good food pics? 😄

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the food. I'm too busy eating it😉.   With the odd exception, P&O crew are amazing and willing to help whenever they can. We've always had wonderful service and are constantly surprised when our drink orders are remembered. 

Avril

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Adawn47 said:

Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the food. I'm too busy eating it😉.   With the odd exception, P&O crew are amazing and willing to help whenever they can. We've always had wonderful service and are constantly surprised when our drink orders are remembered. 

Avril

So lovely to hear this Avril 🙂

 

I'm super excited to go, never sailed from the UK before so it's so convenient, it's crazy to think Im able to just drive to the ship this time as we usually sail out of Orlando or the Med!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to say I definitely don't cruise for the food.  It's fine, but quite often I look at the menu and don't fancy anything.  It's all roast beef, roast lamb, duck.  I would so like something like a lasagne and I do love their Indian food, just wish it was on the menu more often.  I like things with a sauce and they are few and far between.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, jeanlyon said:

Have to say I definitely don't cruise for the food.  It's fine, but quite often I look at the menu and don't fancy anything.  It's all roast beef, roast lamb, duck.  I would so like something like a lasagne and I do love their Indian food, just wish it was on the menu more often.  I like things with a sauce and they are few and far between.

I'm the same as you there Jean, I hate "dry" food. I don't eat crisps unless it's the kind with dips, I don't do dry breakfast bars or anything like that. 

 

Pasta, curry, mexican food with lots of salsa, yes please 😄

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I cruise with Carnival I prefer to stick to sea food. I mean its so remantic having sea food while in the sea. Its not like you wont eat anything else there but sea food is what I usually avoid when I am on shore.. but I never give it up when I am cruising 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Scratchrat said:

So lovely to hear this Avril 🙂

 

I'm super excited to go, never sailed from the UK before so it's so convenient, it's crazy to think Im able to just drive to the ship this time as we usually sail out of Orlando or the Med!

We've never done a fly cruise because my husband refuses to to fly now. Hence the cruising. Its so much easier as you never see your cases until their in your cabin, and no luggage weight to worry about either. So much easier. 

Avril 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Adawn47 said:

We've never done a fly cruise because my husband refuses to to fly now. Hence the cruising. Its so much easier as you never see your cases until their in your cabin, and no luggage weight to worry about either. So much easier. 

Avril 

I can see that!

 

My in-laws always fly to the US then get a transatlantic cruise home 🙂

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

My partner is rather fussy with food and will often not want any of the options for one or more of the courses. If they were to ask for 3x starters instead of a main course for example, would this be doable/normal to ask?

 

 Yes it is all totally do-able and very much used to be the norm many years ago when things were much better.

The standard meal schedule is Starter, Soup, Main Course then Dessert

 

Lots of people skip the soup and order a 2nd starter instead of soup.

 

Every menu has a lot of daily choices plus a separate side menu with "always available dishes".   The daily choices are cycled dishes of pork, lamb, beef, chicken and various types of fish.  They also at times include family favourites and comfort foods like pastas or stews or pies and so on.    The "always available" menu always includes steak, roast chicken and salmon.

 

Dishes come plated up (they used to be silver service in days of old).   The vegetables on them is very sparse and nothing like you might give yourself at home.  You can always ask your waiters to bring additional veg and / or a bowl of chips or potatoes if you want them.

 

If what they bring you isn't to your liking you can tell the waiters and they will take your dish away and offer to bring you an alternative off the menu. 

 

If you have any specific dietary requirements (gluten free, no dairy, vegetarian, vegan etc) then inform the restaurant manager and you will be given separate menus.

 

Bottom line is that you can order whatever food you want from the menu, starters, soups, mains or desserts. 

 

However on a personal basis I am always mindful of my table companions and what they have ordered.  I bear in mind the time they will have to sit waiting if I order additional courses because the waiters bring food in batches (starters, soups etc).

 

Thus is you fancied 2 starters off the menu and also the soup then you would likely be eating the 2nd starter whilst others were having their soup course and then you'd be eating your soup course on your own with everyone else waiting for their main courses.  Nevertheless it's your cruise, you paid the money and so can order and eat whatever you like.  It's simply my personal preference to be mindful of my table companions.

 

 

 

Quote

 

I don't know about you all but I like to treat the MDR as my little experiment. I am a creature of habit in restaurants at home, I want to try new things but I don't like paying for things I end up disliking, so on a cruise, I use the MDR to try new things, on the understanding that if I don't like it, I haven't lost anything and I've tried it! Does anyone else do this?

 

 

Yes of course, lots of people do.  I agree it's a great way to try things and as stated above, if what they bring you is immediately not to your liking or palate then the waiter will remove it and bring something else.  Variety is the spice of life.  Try it all imo.

As a fish lover one of the first things I did when cruising was to work through all the different fish.  Monk fish, John Dory, Mullets, Baramundi, Mahi Mahi, Sole, etc etc etc   In fact in the earlier days instead of soup many people used to ask for one of the main fish dishes to be made into a small "fish dish" as a 2nd starter.   i.e.  Starter, fish dish then main course then dessert.

 

Don't forget you have lunches too.  Lots of opportunities to try lots of different dishes.   In fact in some respects the lunch dishes are more interesting as they are usually much more than "meat and 2 veg" dishes that you get in the evenings.  For lunches there are meat platters and salads and curries and pastas and much more.   Enjoy it all and experiment.

 

 

Quote

 

Do people find the specialty restaurants worth the cost? We tend to do specialties once or twice a cruise on Carnival as a treat, usually when we're not too fussed on the MDR menu.

 

Personally, not for me these days.  3yrs ago I would have said yes but not now.  I personally find the service and quality as gone down in my favourite alternative dining areas.   The "fusion" restaurant Sindhu was a firm favourite and was most certainly worth the supplement.  Great tasting food, really different and exceptional service.  At Christmas just gone we found that the food was nowhere near as good as it used to be.  Awfully tiny portions and just not the remarkable flavours as before.

 

The Beach House restaurant I didn't think much of either.  It's basic food using the same ingredients as the MDRs so why pay more?   And who puts a pot of pork scratchings on a menu as a starter ???!!

 

Glass House I find is good.  They used to run food and wine tasting evenings twice a cruise.  Those were very good but always had the same menu so once done not much incentive to return a 2nd time.   The Rib-Eye steaks in Glass house are delicious and the lunches they do are really different and extremely tasty.  The only problem, which I sincerely hope P&O will address, is that they allow general passengers to lounge about in the eating areas, reading books, knitting, playing card games etc which makes a mockery of it being a dining area.   I'm not really willing to pay food supplement costs to eat my food with someone in the neighbouring table sat knitting or playing Gin Rummy.   A restaurant should be a restaurant esp if it is chargeable.

 

In the end you'll just have to try these places and see for yourself and judge if it's worth the extra money.

 

. 

 

Edited by KnowTheScore
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
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with RiverCruising, the River Cruise Experts
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...