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Total Food Snob - Is Regent Right for Me?


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Hello! I've been poring through this board, hoping to get a real sense about the food. I'm concerned about how many passengers must be served in the same time frame. So, I thought I'd ask this wonderful group of people what you think!

 

I grew up in San Francisco, recently moved from the City by the Bay to New Orleans and am in my 40s. I adore food and used to be a pastry chef. French cuisine is of particular interest to me. What are the chances that Regent is able to produce food of world-class quality on a ship of hundreds of people? I know I sound horrid, but food is really, really important to me and I want to make the best choice I can for a cruise on the other side of all of this difficulty. Perusing cruise lines is keeping me sane. Though maybe not that sane; I have spreadsheets with every little detail to compare (down to coffee makers in the cabins). 

 

Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated!

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I honestly think that people that call themselves snobs are not going to be happy with any product and will be setting the stage for irritation both as a passenger and to the staff that will have to deal with the perceived mishaps.

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You can make special requests for meals or a dish to be "always available".   Regent will do all they can to try and get the dish you want or try to acquire a special food item.   For us, we love pomegranate and make a special request for it, last year in the Med our butler started storing them in our room when he realized the ship was running out and wasn't going to get any more.  We've also requested special dinners either in our room/balcony or outside by the pool (before they started opening the pool grill for dinner).    On some cruises, they also offer going into town with the head chef to go food shopping, which is always a special experience.    With Regent (and other luxury lines) if you have a request, they will try their hardest to make it happen.   

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6 minutes ago, ROLLTIDE2 said:

The food on Regent is very, very good for a cruise line.  But if food is that important to you, a cruise may just not be a good fit.

The food is excellent, however no ship, will hit the heights of a 30 cover Michelin star restaurant which in the UK will cost upward of £200 for a couple, so maybe not comparing " apples with pears". Even on Regent at speciality restaurants they are larger than this.

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We enjoy food and there are some really excellent chefs on Regent ships. Compass Rose has become our favourite restaurant because you can order whatever you want from the menu e.g. Dover sole and scallops or fillet steak and lobster should you so wish. Also, if you give 24 hours notice, whatever you want e.g. an Indian meal. 

They always try to accommodate you and this is what makes Regent the standout cruise line. 

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Have you cruised before with any line?  Probably an important question.

 

We've sailed many lines, and find the food on Regent (as well as Oceania) to be among the best.  We prefer Regent and the wide variety of choices and combinations in Compass Rose, the main dining room.  They will do their best to accommodate special requests.

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I'm sure that online, somewhere are some sample menus for Compass Rose, as well as Prime 7, Chartruese and Pacific Rim.

Maybe if you perused them, you might get a general idea of what is offered. CR, in particular has huge choices and for the most part, you can probably get almost anything you want.....whether you like it or not.....we can't help you with that!

My husband is a retired upscale restaurant chef and I can't think of any meal on board that he's ever complained about. Having been in the restaurant business, we have tremendous respect for kitchen staff (all of 'em!) and table service. I can't fault Regent in any of those areas.

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20 minutes ago, RJ2002 said:

Have you cruised before with any line?  Probably an important question.

 

We've sailed many lines, and find the food on Regent (as well as Oceania) to be among the best.  We prefer Regent and the wide variety of choices and combinations in Compass Rose, the main dining room.  They will do their best to accommodate special requests.

Excellent question, I should have included that in my original post. My husband and I went on Celebrity for our honeymoon 15 years ago and overall enjoyed the experience a lot. The one area that I was disappointed in was the food, so I've been doing an ungodly amount of research on the subject and have narrowed it down to Regent and Oceania. Of course, at this point who knows what it will look like once the dust settles, but dreaming of a great vacation helps pass the time.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question! It was very helpful.

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10 minutes ago, Mudhen said:

I'm sure that online, somewhere are some sample menus for Compass Rose, as well as Prime 7, Chartruese and Pacific Rim.

Maybe if you perused them, you might get a general idea of what is offered. CR, in particular has huge choices and for the most part, you can probably get almost anything you want.....whether you like it or not.....we can't help you with that!

My husband is a retired upscale restaurant chef and I can't think of any meal on board that he's ever complained about. Having been in the restaurant business, we have tremendous respect for kitchen staff (all of 'em!) and table service. I can't fault Regent in any of those areas.

 

I love the menus, it's a large part of what has drawn me to Regent. Your feedback is so helpful, thank you!

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We have been on 5 Regents cruises and have 2 booked.

You mentioned how can they serve all the people in the same time frame.  Let's take the Voyager with about 700 passengers and the restaurants: main dining room, Prime 7, Signatures, Sette Mar, pool grill plus any room service.   Passengers do not all get seated at the same time, so they are not all being served in the same time frame.  The various restaurants have their own kitchens.  Yes, some times it does get crowded in the main dining room, but the other restaurants are handling guest like other high end restaurants.  There are reservations for the 2 specialty restaurants, if there is a back up in Sette Mar, then you can wait in the lounge and will be called when they have a table ready.  If you decide to give Regents a try be sure to sign up for a galley tour and you will be impressed.

 

As many people seem to agree, the food in the restaurants is excellent with great service along with it.  We have never been disappointed with a meal, instead we have always enjoyed what they serve.

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I'm not sure you go to a cruise ship for greatest food ,but Regent is surely  one of the best. If food is that important, seek out the famous places or just go to France. Cruising offers so much, and good food is just part of the package.

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If you are  an ex pastry chef you will appreciate the desserts on Regent.  The are outstanding and beautifully presented.  

 

Breads are pretty yummy too.  

 

My guilty pleasure is the pool deck burgers. Explorer has the best 

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@All_About_Food, You will find some useful reviews of Regent cuisine if you search out some of the live blogs to be found on this Board.

Here is one from Explorer which has some excellent food pictures & descriptions scattered throughout the pages:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2685671-sorta-live-from-the-explorer-in-the-norwegian-fjords/

 

We have always been very pleased with the standard of food on Regent - menu choice, quality of ingredients & care in preparation.

The evening menu in the main Dining Room, Compass Rose, is exceptional with an extensive list of delicious "always available' options plus daily specials.

 

 

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I’m not a “foodie”, but I love quality food. You mentioned French food as one of your favorites so at considerable risk I will offer my opinion. IMHO Jacques on Oceania is better than Chartreuse on Regent. Totally subjective.
Having said that, I would choose Regent over any cruise line I have had any experience with.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I agree that some of the main courses in Chartreuse can be disappointing.

However the starters & desserts are delicious; the cheese trolley in Chartreuse is not to be missed if you enjoy a selection of hard & soft French cheeses 😋

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The best meal we ever had on one of the two lines was in La Reserve on Oceania Riviera.  It was pay-extra, small group of about 10 people, wine-pairing with every course.

 

Other than that, the much touted food on Oceania, that one cruise, I did not find better than Regent; in fact in some cases it was much worse.  Their specialty restaurants particularly annoyed me--they were fake-pretentious, cutesy for me.  The food was pretty good, in general.

 

On Regent, you won't find a Michelin *.  But you will find many very pleasant meals, and on average, very good to excellent dining. And you really can special-request just about anything.

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35 minutes ago, flossie009 said:

@All_About_Food

The evening menu in the main Dining Room, Compass Rose, is exceptional with an extensive list of delicious "always available' options plus daily specials.

 

 

 

Many things to love about Regent, but this is one of our favorites.  Lots of great choices in CR.

 

OTOH, Oceania's menu in the Grand Dining Room almost seems to be going in the opposite direction, with seemingly fewer choices and more repetition (in our recent experience).  For that reason alone we prefer Regent over O.

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I think the chefs on the luxury cruise lines are amazing in what they can do for large numbers of people, in a fixed amount of time & maintain good quality.

If you ask which luxury cruise line has the “best” food, you will start an unproductive argument usually ending with “food is subjective.” (I don’t think it is.)

Based on my experience, the food on luxury cruise lines is a big step up from lower tier cruise lines. For us, it’s a step up from the suite only restaurant on Celebrity (which was very good) & a huge step up from their main dining room. Oceania, while not considered a “luxury” cruise line is known for the quality of their food. I haven’t tried it.

To compare it to Michelin starred dining on land isn’t fair as GrJ Berkshire has mentioned. I have spent more $ on one meal at a Michelin 3 star restaurant with my wife than the fully loaded cost of 2 days on a luxury cruise line.

Based on my experience & reading of these forums, even luxury cruise lines can have good days & bad days in their restaurants, particularly with service, but the bad days are not normal.

The one consistent thing I have seen on Seabourn & Regent is that the included house wines are not up to the quality of the food. So, if you are a “wine snob” you should be prepared to purchase from the premium wine list. They are usually priced at their retail price rather than the doubled price at most land restaurants.

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1 hour ago, flossie009 said:

@All_About_Food, You will find some useful reviews of Regent cuisine if you search out some of the live blogs to be found on this Board.

Here is one from Explorer which has some excellent food pictures & descriptions scattered throughout the pages:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2685671-sorta-live-from-the-explorer-in-the-norwegian-fjords/

 

We have always been very pleased with the standard of food on Regent - menu choice, quality of ingredients & care in preparation.

The evening menu in the main Dining Room, Compass Rose, is exceptional with an extensive list of delicious "always available' options plus daily specials.

 

 

 

Thank you! This is so helpful. I am still figuring out how to navigate this board, it was lovely of you to do the legwork on this.

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1 hour ago, blacksmith said:

I’m not a “foodie”, but I love quality food. You mentioned French food as one of your favorites so at considerable risk I will offer my opinion. IMHO Jacques on Oceania is better than Chartreuse on Regent. Totally subjective.
Having said that, I would choose Regent over any cruise line I have had any experience with.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

I'm considering Oceania, but I'm leaning towards Regent because it sounds, on balance, like it will appeal more to me because of the whole package. Thank you for your take on Jacques and Chartreuse, it's really appreciated.

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1 hour ago, flossie009 said:

I agree that some of the main courses in Chartreuse can be disappointing.

However the starters & desserts are delicious; the cheese trolley in Chartreuse is not to be missed if you enjoy a selection of hard & soft French cheeses 😋

 

You said the magic word. I will do bad things for good cheese. Apps are probably my favorite, so this is heartening. Thank you!

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Of all the lines we've been on, Regent has by far the best selection and best food. There is always something absolutely delicious. CR has of course, the biggest variety of dishes, while Signature and Prime 7 are having a fixed menu (which only changes with catch of the day and sometimes other local additions).  Yes, you can request a special meal, but, if it is something new to the crew or not "often requested", the chef/team will accommodate you, but the results may not be what you expect. People talk about special "indian" meals and they are great, but we also had special dishes which turned out not quite as good. We actually stopped requesting special meals because we realized the kink it causes in the kitchen. And the new menu has always something to our liking (but I digressed). 

One of the great features though (imho) is that any meal on the menu can be ordered in different sizes. You want to try one dish...but you are not sure, get a small portion...you really like...get another one. We've been on the ships often and meet the same staff often. It happens that they automatically bring a bigger portion of one of my fav dishes. They remember and I love it. That is another aspect of the Regent Food experience. No, not the double amount :-) but that the staff creates a welcoming and wonderful dining environment. 

 

Enjoy the cruise. 

 

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