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Total Food Snob - Is Regent Right for Me?


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8 hours ago, mpfund said:

The best food at sea is on the Hapag-Lloyd ships.  But unless you speak German you will find yourselves consistently alone.

 

We were sorely disappointed in our first (and so far, only) Regent cruise on Mariner.  Too many problems to list,  but the situation never improved and we just gave up and laughed.

Explain further please?

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12 hours ago, mpfund said:

The best food at sea is on the Hapag-Lloyd ships.  But unless you speak German you will find yourselves consistently alone.

 

Yes, please can you give us some more detail?  What is it you like about the food on Hapag-Lloyd? And which cruise lines have you tried?

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The variety of food on the H-L ships is staggering -- 40 kinds of fish, 80 kinds of cheese.  We took a tour of the kitchen and storerooms so I believe this is true.  One night there was a seafood buffet which, among other things, included lobster and oysters.  All the food is well seasoned, as opposed to US ships where I always find it under-seasoned.  One day at lunch my hsband requested dill pickles which they did not have.  Oh well, and he said nothing more.  Next day a special dish of dill pickles arrived -- the kitchen had made them without being asked.

 

We've sailed on SIlverseas, Windstar, Le Ponant, Paul Gauguin, Oceania, Sea Dream Yachts, Seabourn, Star Clippers, QM2, Viking, American Queen -- does that establish my bona fides?  We have not sailed on Crystal but hope to.

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6 hours ago, GrJ Berkshire said:

Explain further please?

I neglected to mention in my response to Wendy that there is a poster, named Catlover, who has been on far more H-L cruises than our 3.  She mostly posts on the Seabourn board, but if you want info from the perspective of an American who speaks fluent German, her posts are invaluable and to me, extremely interesting.

 

Here are some of our disappointments with Regent --

 

On the first night we got a reservation at the French restaurant and I was really looking forward to the cheese trolley.  Walking in I noticed it tucked into a corner, forlornly empty.  At the end of our not memorable dinner  I asked about the trolley and was told it was not used as it could not navigate around the tables.  Of course, I later found this to be a blatant lie and it certainly set a poor tone for the balance of the trip!  The mediocre cheeses I was served were ice cold, straight from the refrigerator.

 

The wine server in the main dining room spoke limited English and insisted that the white wine was just that -- white, no other name such as winery, etc.

 

I was denied cottage cheese at lunch as "that is only served at breakfast."

 

I found the food at the Asian restaurant no better than PF Chang's, but in fairness I should state that we lived i San Francisco for 25 years with all it's great ethnic restaurants.

 

One of the waitresses on the pool deck spoke no English at all!

 

This is a small  list of the near daily service/food lapses.

 

I truly think that no ship's food will meet the expectation of the OP, but to me, the best of the lot is Hapag-Lloyd.

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I get it with the cheese. There's nothing like a table side trolley with cheese at the correct temp. Cunard Grill class is the best that we've encountered in our cruising experience...

The wine thing in CR.....why didn't you ask for the head sommelier? or speak to your waiter to secure help in that matter. If it was me and I wasn't happy with what I was hearing, I'd ask for additional support. After all you paid for it...

Cottage cheese? Again, ask for assistance from the m'd or a table captain....

A waitress on the pool deck who doesn't speak English....hard to imagine, but if so why didn't you seek out another? or better yet, ask for someone who speaks English.

I know the thinking....it's a luxury line, you shouldn't have to be proactive, but you know, once you've paid the monies and it's something within your powers to possibly correct, I'd do it.

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We did talk to supervisors, etc.  The only help we got was from the head wine steward who, when he saw us, shooed away the wine waitress and took our order himself.  No one was rude, but nothing happened.  

 

This cruise was half of the 2019 World Cruise and from various posts on this board I believe it is possible that the best staff was reassigned to Explorer/Splendor.

 

 

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Thanks, yes, you seem to have gotten around!  How left out would you feel on one of those ships if you weren't German?  I speak a few words, and my husband fractures it.  Would the cultural difference be a showstopper for the average North American?  Just curious.  And enlightened--somehow I thought a German ship would be dominated by bratwurst and sauerkraut, ha ha.

 

BTW, I hated it when they stopped the cheese trolleys on Regent. Just not the same, I agree.

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Regent has improved.....slightly on the cheese scene. Unfortunately it always comes pre cut and unless it's an obvious selection, I have no idea of what's what. White cheese on a white plate with a few grapes, just doesn't cut it for us. Too bad! However I'll forgo the cheese for some well mixed specialty cocktails made from fresh juices/ingredients.

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I think most non-Germans would not be happy on H-L ships.  We noticed that even among the German majority they did not seem to interact with each other.  We talked more to the staff than to other passengers!

 

Europa 2 and Europa (which is #1 rated by Douglas Ward) are both pretty formal, with set dining hours for dinner.  When we were on Hanseatic it was also pre-assigned seating for dinner, but that may have changed.

 

I recommend you read Catlover's comments and I believe she took her non-German speaking husband on one H-L cruise.  

 

For us, H-L is like the little girl with the curl -- parts are terrific, parts are, for us, terrible.  The bi-lingual cruises were designed to attract more international travelers, but were so popular with Germans that now it is very difficult to find an available cabin and prices have jumped.

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3 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

BTW, I hated it when they stopped the cheese trolleys on Regent. Just not the same, I agree.

 

2 hours ago, Mudhen said:

Unfortunately it always comes pre cut and unless it's an obvious selection,


The cheese trolley was still being wheeled around in Chartreuse on Voyager last October.

As usual an excellent selection of hard & soft French cheeses at the correct temperature.

Edited by flossie009
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On 8/12/2020 at 8:52 AM, fizzy said:

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.

Food snobs define themselves by being endlessly dissatisfied and take great relish in demeaning the food their served.  CIA graduate, class of '81. 

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Food Snob also posted on Oceania. I answered the post but it was lost in the chatter. I agree with Mudhen and MamaFej . There are people who actively seek to be disappointed and then share their disappointment with others. Have encountered this onboard more than I care to. Every meal becomes a " meh " and my favorite " Toscana is a joke" multiple times from the same woman.

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We’ve been on multiple Regent cruises and completely agree that the food is generally excellent, but that the lack of a cheese trolley, or even a room temperature cheese board, except in Chartreuse, is a real shame. The best French restaurant we’ve been on at sea was Murano on Celebrity Silhouette. The room temperature cheese trolley replete with an oozing Epoisse is making my mouth water even at 8:30am! They also accomplished table side cooking with REAL flames.

BFDD9C05-40B6-4ABB-A2FE-9B4830A6C82E.jpeg

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9 hours ago, lprp said:

We’ve been on multiple Regent cruises and completely agree that the food is generally excellent, but that the lack of a cheese trolley, or even a room temperature cheese board, except in Chartreuse, is a real shame. The best French restaurant we’ve been on at sea was Murano on Celebrity Silhouette. The room temperature cheese trolley replete with an oozing Epoisse is making my mouth water even at 8:30am! They also accomplished table side cooking with REAL flames.

BFDD9C05-40B6-4ABB-A2FE-9B4830A6C82E.jpeg

How long ago was your cruise on Celebrity?  I agree the food in Murano was wonderful when they first opened it, but it went down hill over the years.  Also, many of us can remember that every cruise line had the flaming baked alaska night until it was deemed a fire hazard.  My DH and I have generally found the food on Regent to be the best we have had, with rare exceptions.  It is not Inn at Little Washington, Paul Ducasse in France, nor French Laundry, but very few restaurants in the world are.

Norma

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28 minutes ago, Ladys Mom said:

How long ago was your cruise on Celebrity?  I agree the food in Murano was wonderful when they first opened it, but it went down hill over the years.  

It was October 2018, we enjoyed it so much we ate there 3 times in our 14 night cruise. On the same cruise we ate in the Tuscan Grill and thought it was dreadful. We typically don’t have such extreme reactions on Regent. 

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When I see a reference to Oceania I think back to our one, and very likely ONLY Oceania cruise on the Insignia.  I had been excited with all the hype about the food.  What a disappointment!  Things seemed to start off with a good idea, and then someone seemed to think they needed to do something unique.  Sunflower seeds in the turkey gravy?  Bouillabaisse with with a side of garlic aioli?  Garlic toast, maybe, but you're supposed to stir this glop into your meal?  A sandwich of raspberry jam and processed cheese spread?  The one consistently good item was the pasta Bolognese at the buffet.  Fortunately, we had a marvelous butler who keep us supplied with potato chips and pretzels to keep us full.  Pretty sad when a 4" bowl of potato chips is the culinary highlight of a cruise.  When we disembarked in New York where our son lives, as much as we'd been missing him and were eager to see his family, our first stop was lunch in a restaurant.  We were starving!

 

We've been delighted with the cuisine on Crystal and are very excited about our first Regent cruise booked for next summer on the Explorer.  The menus look great and we are eager to experience each of the dining venues.

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Ladys Mom

 

I am thinking you guys are the ones we met on the Explorer cruise in May of 2018 from Barcelona to London.  We met you guys for dinner at a restaurant in Barcelona.  We are Kandy and Ron from Texas.  Hope you guys are doing fine and staying safe.  As I recall you all were going on the world cruise this year and we were able to do Australia and New Zealand and complete just prior to all this Covid issue.  We were scheduled to do Africa in Dec but that is cancelled so doing next year in Dec.  We are also scheduled for the Holy land  in May and hoping this is possible.  Please email me and letscatch up at kandydipprey@yahoo.com

Edited by jhenry1
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20 hours ago, Cinnamon Seahorse said:

 Bouillabaisse with with a side of garlic aioli?  Garlic toast, maybe, but you're supposed to stir this glop into your meal? 

Glad to see that you were being served bouillabaisse with its proper accompaniment, rouille, which is indeed eaten in the soup,  so not sure what the complaint is . Maybe not known in Seattle but this certainly the norm in the South of France.

Oh, and to be pedantic, aioli , by definition, contains garlic. Tautologous to describe it as garlic aioli 

Rp

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Thank you, Rosepark, for pointing out that serving bouillabaisse with garlic mayo (although rouille with saffron is not always offered in the south of France, in my experience)  is entirely appropriate and very much in line with the traditions of Marseilles.   

 

It appears that our friends from Seattle, despite living in one of the most "foodie" cities in the U.S., are at bit at odds with the rest of us Puget Sound foodies who would prefer a proper bouillabaisse with a good garlic mayo rather than spend our time on a cruise munching on Ruffles.

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I make 3 great meals everyday at home at this point, and we don't miss eating out at restaurants in SW Florida at all since Covid19. But I'm so very much looking forward to our next Regent cruise in September of next year. We are rarely disappointed by our meals on Regent. We spent over a month onboard last December and January, and really had no complaints other than returning to the ship after an excursion and finding only leftovers available for lunch. After a few days of this, they started leaving the restaurants open later at lunch for those returning from excursions.

We love French food and have always enjoyed Chartreuse. We try to get as many reservations there as we can. There is no readily available foie gras in Florida, and by the end of our last cruise, I had so much foie gras at Compass Rose, that I didn't miss it for a while (but I do now). I don't care for Prime 7 since I don't enjoy a large steak for dinner, and the non steak entrees have disappointed me. My husband loves their steaks, so I suffer through it at least once.

We don't like buffets where everyone help's themselves, and some reuse the plates that they've eaten from. We've even seen people tasting from the spoon in the tray. Maybe Covid19 will improve food safety in that area. We have never been fans of "all you can eat". We would rather have smaller portions of great food.

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