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bunduo

Memo to Colin: Do SOMETHING about the food.

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Dear Colin.

 

Just returned from the 6/11 sailing on the Jewel. This will be brief. After being away from home for so long, the grass is so long we have already lost the dog (who was mad at us anyway), I broke my toe dropping the fifty pounds of junk mail that was delivered, and the bags of wet, pulpy, gooey newspapers had to picked up by the corners of their little plastic condoms.

 

First of all, my wife, two sisters and I wouldn't be considered fussy eaters. We are not connoisseurs of haute cuisine. We will eat just about anything if you put barbecue sauce on it. In short, we are not b*tchers or complainers. With that said, it was clear on this cruise that the quality of food has dropped considerably. On a couple of nights, there wasn't ANYTHING on the menus of the main dining rooms that looked the least bit appetizing.

 

Prior to the cruise, I thought that it was just the snobby 'haters' who were complaining about the food but it isn't.

 

However, the people eating in the 'pay' restuarants raved about the food. Like any company, NCL is trying maximize their profits. Me and other conspiracy theorists suspect NCL is trying to push people into the pay restuarants and let the peasants eat in the main dining areas. We will call this the 'Da Veitchy Code'.

 

Unfortunately, the bad food left a bad taste about the entire cruise. It alters the perception of whether the cruise was good or bad...even if your not a 'foodie'. I'm an NCL defender but it's hard to defend the company that is obviously cutting corners. In the short term, it may help the bottom line but, in the long term, people won't return.

 

I guess this wasn't so brief for which I apologize, Colin.

 

I must go cut the grass and find the dog. Sincerely, Matt

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On a couple of nights, there wasn't ANYTHING on the menus of the main dining rooms that looked the least bit appetizing.

 

.

 

I could not agree more. We were on the 6/11 Spirit and we are not very picky eaters and it was a stretch a couple of nights to find something we liked on the menu. One night I ended up with beef stroganoff. I didnt like it. After I ate I always kicked myself that we didnt go to a specialty restaurant.

 

Our cruise was great. More appealing selections on the menu and better taste would have made it pefect.

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We were on the Sun 2 months ago: I want to mention that I am considered a Blue Ribbon cook, earning ribbons in the local and state fair every year and have had recipes printed in food magazines: I only mention this to make it clear I do know good food and the food on NCL is fine. Is it 4 or 5 star, nope, nor are many mass marketed lines anymore. Sure they are trying to sell the alternative dining and I don't blame them. We split up our meals between the specialty dining and main dining. We had prime rib in the main dining room the first night and wonderful beef strogonoff the last night. For those who are basic meat and pototo eaters I can understand your disappointment as most everything is cooked with sauses, etc and a little unusual. If you love huge servings you will be disappointed as well. They have cut back on size of servings, but as for quality I just don't see it has changed much. NMNita

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Let us know if you get a response!
I hope the OP did indeed send his memo to NCL. I'd hate to think he's using Cruise Critic as NCL's message center. :eek:

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We couldn't agree with you more, Bunduo! We recently returned from a cruise on the NCL Crown to Bermuda, and we were very disappointed with the food.

 

Although I am considered an excellent cook and am always asked for my recipes, I will admit that I have not entered any cooking contests nor have I contributed any recipes to cookbooks. However, IMHO, I think that I can respectfully say that some of the food that we had aboard the Crown did not even come close to some of the land based "chain-food" type restaurants that we have eaten at.

 

I am sure that the debate over the quality of food on cruise ships in general, as well as the food on NCL in particular, will continue to rage as long as the day is long. It is a very subjective matter. However, I find it quite amusing that the same people come to the defense of NCL over and over again. It's almost as if they are trying to convince the rest of the world that they have "good taste".:confused:

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but as for quality I just don't see it has changed much. NMNita

 

I guess serving baby shrimp as shrimp cocktail (at home baby shrimp is used as a garnish on salads), diluted juices, cold or warm food, running out of water in the buffet and leaving watermelon seeds in the fresh fruit cocktail is quality.

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We couldn't agree with you more, Bunduo! We recently returned from a cruise on the NCL Crown to Bermuda, and we were very disappointed with the food.

 

Although I am considered an excellent cook and am always asked for my recipes, I will admit that I have not entered any cooking contests nor have I contributed any recipes to cookbooks. However, IMHO, I think that I can respectfully say that some of the food that we had aboard the Crown did not even come close to some of the land based "chain-food" type restaurants that we have eaten at.

 

I am sure that the debate over the quality of food on cruise ships in general, as well as the food on NCL in particular, will continue to rage as long as the day is long. It is a very subjective matter. However, I find it quite amusing that the same people come to the defense of NCL over and over again. It's almost as if they are trying to convince the rest of the world that they have "good taste".:confused:

I do agree some of the food isn't any better or even as good as some chain eateries, but that is some, not all. We cruised Celebrity last December: the same was true there, some of the food wasn't all that good, but cruise line food isn't supposed to be 4 or 5 star as I mentioned earlier. Saying some isn't that good and all was terrilbe are 2 different things. Everything or most everything is brought on board at embarkation time and frozen or dehydrated. The crew is serving, in most cases, between 2000 and 3000 passengers a day: the cooking staff is preparing food for the buffet, the main dining rooms, the specialty dining rooms and maybe 2 or 3 other places and we think we are going to get Ruths Chris food? For those who expect the top of the line you need to cruise on Oceana, Crystal or other primium lines, not mass marketed ones. These are not the days of cruising as many of us remember them when a huge ship held 1500 passengers, there was very little entertainment and the main reason for cruising was to eat.....NMNita

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I hope the OP did indeed send his memo to NCL. I'd hate to think he's using Cruise Critic as NCL's message center. :eek:

 

Cecilia, a few officers on the Dawn told us that they DO read the CC threads. So while we provide feedback to others, we're also getting our message across to them.

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You know it must be in the air. People disagree with you and you say all the NCL defenders etc. I see one comment that the person doesn't agree you. The other said I hope you actually sent it. I do think the Halleck(I think that's right it may not be) menus were better.

 

You are entitled to your opinion as food IS subjective...the other person is just as entitled to theirs.

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We couldn't agree with you more, Bunduo! We recently returned from a cruise on the NCL Crown to Bermuda, and we were very disappointed with the food.

 

Although I am considered an excellent cook and am always asked for my recipes, I will admit that I have not entered any cooking contests nor have I contributed any recipes to cookbooks. However, IMHO, I think that I can respectfully say that some of the food that we had aboard the Crown did not even come close to some of the land based "chain-food" type restaurants that we have eaten at.

 

I am sure that the debate over the quality of food on cruise ships in general, as well as the food on NCL in particular, will continue to rage as long as the day is long. It is a very subjective matter. However, I find it quite amusing that the same people come to the defense of NCL over and over again. It's almost as if they are trying to convince the rest of the world that they have "good taste".:confused:

 

BRAVO!!!:D

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If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times (OK, maybe just 4 times) food tastes vary from person to person. Even something as simple as seasonings can be complicated when several hundred people will be ordering it. Some will say it's too spicy and some will say it's too bland.

 

My wife & I are pretty simple folks where food is concerned, and when we were on the Jewel in Dec, I remember specifically that on the first night of our cruise I had prime rib that was OK (not terrific, but I still enjoyed it), and the second night we had lobster (yes the tails are small) that I considered the BEST that I've had on any cruise. We ate in LeBistro one night and that was very good. That leaves 4 nights that I can't remember 6 MONTHS LATER. Seems to me the food was pretty good to us as I remember specifically 3 dinners we really enjoyed, none we didn't enjoy and 4 that were not memorable either way. Oh yes, we both really loved the fish & chips we had a couple times in the Blue Lagoon and I recall some great breakfasts (I'm a big breakfast eater on cruises).

 

So IMO-the foods fine (to us) but as I said, everyone has different tastes. Guess I'll find out in a couple months if it's dropped that far that fast when we are on the Sun.

 

-Monte

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I do agree some of the food isn't any better or even as good as some chain eateries, but that is some, not all. We cruised Celebrity last December: the same was true there, some of the food wasn't all that good, but cruise line food isn't supposed to be 4 or 5 star as I mentioned earlier. Saying some isn't that good and all was terrilbe are 2 different things. Everything or most everything is brought on board at embarkation time and frozen or dehydrated. The crew is serving, in most cases, between 2000 and 3000 passengers a day: the cooking staff is preparing food for the buffet, the main dining rooms, the specialty dining rooms and maybe 2 or 3 other places and we think we are going to get Ruths Chris food? For those who expect the top of the line you need to cruise on Oceana, Crystal or other primium lines, not mass marketed ones. These are not the days of cruising as many of us remember them when a huge ship held 1500 passengers, there was very little entertainment and the main reason for cruising was to eat.....NMNita

 

Gee everyone that I have talked to believes cruise line food should be exceptional 4 & 5 stars. I agree with you on Celebrity it ranks right there with NCL 2 stars the most. Now if you want exceptional food where every night in the main dining room is a wonderful culinary delight sail on Princess.

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I do find the old Henry Haller menus more interesting than the new ones, but when someone complains about being offered a wonderful dish like beef Stroganoff, it does cause me to question his/her opinion on this topic.

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Gee everyone that I have talked to believes cruise line food should be exceptional 4 & 5 stars.

 

Please folks, before we throw stars around, does anyone know just how rare a genuine 5 star restaurant is (and also how much it costs to eat in one)? 4 star restaurants are also rare. Those stars are hard to come by!!!

 

jmo

-Monte

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Gee everyone that I have talked to believes cruise line food should be exceptional 4 & 5 stars. I agree with you on Celebrity it ranks right there with NCL 2 stars the most. Now if you want exceptional food where every night in the main dining room is a wonderful culinary delight sail on Princess.

Never cruised Princess but friends whose opinions I value said the food was no better than on other mass-market cruise lines. Some here recently extolled HAL's food but we found it dull, uninteresting, and served lukewarm.

 

Sometimes I think people are dazzled by all the bowing and scraping and unwarranted formal dress in other lines' dining rooms and judge the food accordingly. Just like others who have an initial disappointing incident (e.g., delayed boarding, lost luggage, flight mix-ups, canceled excursions, incorrectly-configured beds) then go on to find nothing but faults with the remainder of their cruise--particularly if they're expecting some kind of extravagant compensation for an inconvenience.

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Please folks, before we throw stars around, does anyone know just how rare a genuine 5 star restaurant is (and also how much it costs to eat in one)? 4 star restaurants are also rare. Those stars are hard to come by!!!

 

jmo

-Monte

 

Michellin only gives three stars and there are very few of those. I have spent more for lunch at a three star resturant in France than the cost of the airfare over....and it was worth every penny...

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Just like others who have an initial disappointing incident (e.g., delayed boarding, lost luggage, flight mix-ups, canceled excursions, incorrectly-configured beds) then go on to find nothing but faults with the remainder of their cruise--particularly if they're expecting some kind of extravagant compensation for an inconvenience.

 

Nope didn't have any of that stuff happen just hated the food on Spirit. And I shouldn't have to go to the specialty restaurants to get good food it should be served all over the ship. You should have been in my office and the whole place was shocked that they served 12 baby shrimp as shrimp cocktail and left the watermelon seeds in the fresh fruit salad. My boss came up to my desk one day waving a fork at me and she said "I just wanted to remind you of your cruise" it was a baby shrimp that was a garnish on her lunch time salad. The whole office was hysterical. Lower than 2 stars.

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Michellin only gives three stars and there are very few of those. I have spent more for lunch at a three star resturant in France than the cost of the airfare over....and it was worth every penny...

 

Thank you Sid, that's my point exactly. I doubt that many who say they expect 4 & 5 star dining have any idea just what they're saying (or expecting).

 

-Monte

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Gee everyone that I have talked to believes cruise line food should be exceptional 4 & 5 stars. I agree with you on Celebrity it ranks right there with NCL 2 stars the most. Now if you want exceptional food where every night in the main dining room is a wonderful culinary delight sail on Princess.

I think this shows how subjective food is: I have read so many gripes about Princess food lately. I do have a select group of clients that love Princess including the food; also have some that returned from Alaska recently and hated the food. As for those who feel cruiseline food shoud be 4 or 5 star; you are right, many still do feel that way: my point is, this doesn't exist much anymore unless you are cruising the luxury liners. What we think should be and what is are 2 different things. NMNita

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...left the watermelon seeds in the fresh fruit salad.

And how awful if they left pulp in the orange juice. Sorry, your complaint is silly, in my book.

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Please folks, before we throw stars around, does anyone know just how rare a genuine 5 star restaurant is (and also how much it costs to eat in one)? 4 star restaurants are also rare. Those stars are hard to come by!!!

 

jmo

-Monte

Monte, you are so right, even 4* dining isn't seen too often. I think what most of us are accustom to, especially if we live in smaller cities is about 3 star period. This would include the run of the mill chain restaurants like Outbake, a few independently owned dining rooms that would be a little better or certainly more customized and maybe our local country club dining. We do have a few 4* restaurants in Albuquerque but we rarely patronize them: why, partly due to price; again it's back to the subject of food anywhere; if you want the top of the line you have to pay for it; same with cruising, if the quality of food is what you are looking for, try a luxury liner NMnita

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I just did a quick web search and came up with this little bit of information: In the 1995 Michelin Dining guide there were 20 - 3 star restaurants.

 

"The Michelin Guide awards restaurants between one and three stars, and they are coveted. Getting one, or one more, can create a legend; losing one can result in significant heartbreak. The Guide itself says that "certain establishments deserve to be brought to your attention" because of the quality of the cuisine served."

 

"3 stars means the restaurant merits a special trip. The food, wine, decor and service will be exceptional and you should expect to pay and you should probably leave the kids at home. There were 20 3 star restaurants in the 1995 Michelin Guide."

 

-Monte

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Thanks Monte,

 

This comparing stars is getting ridiculous:o People don`t realize what goes into the Michelin rating.

 

If you want to compare NCL in the Michelin system it would be a -3:rolleyes:

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